Ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to pimp Kiva to you. Now I’m sure you all support socially responsible charities (At least, I’d like to think I have some enlightened readers.) but let’s think outside the box today. Not charity, but loans. Kiva helps you make loans — micro loans — to entrepreneurs around the world. Your investment is $25 per loan, which when repaid, can be either withdrawn or reloaned. No, you don’t get interest on the loan, so if you’re looking for an investment that will make you rich, go play the stock market. Kiva is a way to offer that proverbial hand up to people who just want the chance to make their lives, and the lives of their families, better through hard work. You’re investing in the future of the world; that’s your interest.
To date, I have made 19 loans through Kiva with a total investment of a bit over $200 and not a single dollar of that has been lost. No one has ever defaulted on a loan I’ve made. With the exception of the amount I put into the perpetual fund of the investing group I belong to, I can withdraw all that money as soon as it is repaid. I think of it as a way to save your money while letting it work for the world.