MicroPlace & Me

Originally posted April 28th, 2008.

Being an eBay Inc. enthusiast, one of my first steps in exploring new career opportunities was to check out MicroPlace, an eBay Inc. start-up that launched in October 2007. Common sense dictates that when it comes to investing, you are taking risks, and can never guarantee 100% success. MicroPlace is ready to disagree, and has proven that in fact when it comes to investing you can finally have your cake and eat it too.

When the company had first launched, my fiancé and I immediately registered and made a small investment of $100 via Calvert Foundation for a loan to LAPO, a lending institution in Nigeria, an investment that would vest 36 months later with 2% annual percentage yield (APY).

In order to prepare the interview, I was asked to submit various writing samples, and also to draft a blog posting for MicroPlace –so I began to do my research and compare various investment vehicles with MicroPlace, examining other forms of marketable securities, in particular: CDs and money markets. It dawned on me that in fact the best thing I could do to my money was to invest it through MicroPlace.

With the stirring economy, and the continuing fluctuation of the interest rates where profitable saving accounts such as ING have declined from a 4.5% APY to a mere 3%, I foresee a continuous decline, therefore it makes more sense to invest where I can be guaranteed a locked 3% return on my investment. Plus with MicroPlace, I feel that I am guaranteed 100% success, because not only am I investing and ensuring my money gives me a most reasonable profit, I am also making a huge impact on someone else’s life, and fulfilling some of my social responsibilities.

Here is a summary of my research on the available current rates through various investment options which convinced me MicroPlace is offering a reasonable and competitive interest rate. Another thing I really appreciated about MicroPlace was the superb customer service agents they had. I called in several times to each of the banks to discuss the various options, and by far, the MicroPlace customer service reps were the most educated about their products, and took the time to patiently answer all of my questions.

As with all other investments and like most securities, you should be aware that if the issuer of my choice, Calvert Foundation, experienced serious enough financial conditions or bankruptcy, they may redeem all the securities and this may result in my losing some or all of my investment. On the MicroPlace site, you have the option to read the detailed prospectus associated with each security to know exactly what you are getting into. I feel pretty comfortable with my investment, knowing that in the very worst scenario, if I don’t make any interest (which is highly unlikely), at the very least I have taken a small step towards alleviating poverty. For me, that equals 100% success, where as in a traditional investment, I know I won’t be impacting anyone’s life but my own, and I still risk losing all my assets, should a catastrophe happen in our economic situation. Investing is exciting, but it can also be very risky. I am conservative by nature, and feel that in the US we have no job safety, so I would advise that you first make sure you have a safety net of at least 6 months salary saved in a traditional savings account before investing.

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