Peer-to-peer lending can benefit borrowers and lenders


Peer-to-peer lending can benefit borrowers and lenders

Published 10/28/10  (Modified 3/23/11)

By Peter Andrew

Last year, my sister and brother-in-law wanted to remodel their kitchen. They both have good, secure jobs and great credit scores, and could easily have raised the money they needed, even in this economic climate. However, at the same time my mom had quite a hefty balance in a high yield savings account. With bank rates running low, it didn't take them long to work out that my mother could earn more interest, and my sister pay less, if they cut out the bank, and worked out loan terms between themselves.

And that, in essence, is what peer-to-peer lending (a.k.a. person-to-person or P2P lending ) is all about. By eliminating the costly overheads and shareholder profits of banks (not to mention those bonuses), a loan between individuals can make both the borrower and lender better off. None of this is new. Families and friends have been helping each other out for millennia.

P2P lending web sites

What is new is the worldwide web. This allows strangers to lend and borrow through a middleman website that charges a small fraction of the mark-up that banks take for, in effect, brokering a loan. The first of these sites in America, Prosper, began in 2006, and by October 2010 had attracted more than a million members and had funded $205 million worth of loans.

The other big player in this country is

 

Read the full article »

Day trading: Do you have what it takes?

Published 8/25/10  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

This is a guest post from Marc Pearlman.

When people ask me if they could be successful at day trading, my first response is, "Do you know what day trading is?"

Most people don't. You might think day trading is about finding the best online brokerage, grabbing a stack of financial reports, arming yourself with financial blogs and news and then diving in.

What many would-be day traders don't realize is that success doesn't come from the uncanny ability to analyze balance sheets and fundamentals like Warren Buffett. And even if you have the ability to interpret charts and price action--the primary skill for day trading--this is secondary to having the strict discipline of adhering to specific rules and guidelines.

Without these rules in place, day trading is like a child playing with a chainsaw.

I'm not judging the merits of day trading. I know both very successful day traders and those who blew themselves up financially with day trading. (For what it's worth, I know many more of the latter variety.) But if you're going to succeed at this kind of investing, you'd better understand what it takes.

What it takes to succeed

Here are observations from my experience as both a professional trader and money manager about what it takes to succeed at day trading:

  • Hard work. Brains don't hurt, but day trading is a skill, and that skill needs to be developed by treating this as a business. A lot of people day trade as a side avocation or hobby, maybe because it seems
Read the full article »

Investing tips for today: Q&A with money expert Saly Glassman

Published 8/9/10  (Modified 3/8/11)

By Barbara Marquand

In the wake of the financial meltdown, top money expert Saly Glassman says investors need to take responsibility of their finances and get their investments back on track. Glassman, ranked the nation's No. 1 woman financial advisor by Barron's, is author of "It's About More Than the Money: Investment Wisdom for Building a Better Life" (FT Press: 2010).

We recently chatted with her about today's hot personal money management issues, from coping with losses to investing independently with discount brokers.

MoneyBlueBook.com: What's your advice for investors coping with losses?

Saly Glassman: The best way to deal with a loss is to step back and make an unemotional evaluation of what happened. By looking with more objectivity at the situation, you can analyze what role you played in contributing to that loss. Were you overextended with your borrowing? Did you have unrealistic expectations with that return? Did you not save enough? Did you not do enough research on the kind of investments you were buying and the person who was advising you? Ask yourself, "What role did I play in the loss that I incurred?"

If you say, "It's everybody else's fault," where does that take you? How can you be part of the solution if you had nothing to do with the problem?

MBB: What are the biggest mistakes investors have made in the last two years?

Glassman: Common mistakes

Read the full article »

February 2010: Net Worth Report and Making Money By Blogging

Published 2/28/10  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

In case you haven't noticed, I've been taking somewhat of a financial blogging hiatus for the last few months. However, during this period of time, I've been spending my days productively - traveling overseas, tending to my other online and real world ventures, as well as scouting out opportunities in areas that remain yet untapped. It's not easy spotting the next big thing, particularly in the realm of online money making ideas, but I have a few new interesting ideas in mind. Perhaps one of these days once I've worked them out in my head and actually tested them out, I'll share a few of the better ones with readers.

Of course, until I find a way to definitively achieve financial independence or acquire a method to ensure a guaranteed passive income stream, I will inevitably have to end my extended vacation and return to my full time job sometime in the next few weeks. Thus I'll be getting back to my regular full time day job as a self employed attorney and part time gig as a blogger very shortly. Blogging has been an interesting part time job for me for the last two years (bringing in a very steady and rather lucrative income stream), however at some point, the inevitable pangs of writer's block and declined motivation inevitably creep. Thus it was nice to finally get away and get a multiple month breather after all this time. However, now that I've taken my sabbatical, spent time with the family, and pursued other extracurricular activities,

Read the full article »

January 2010: Net Worth Update and Paying Estimated Taxes

Published 1/30/10  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

The first month of the new year was a good month for me financially. Now you must be wondering to yourself - how can that possibly be - especially considering that my calculated net worth dropped in excess of $15,000 for the month of January. Well, because I only show a singular snapshot of my financial picture in each of my monthly net worth updates - they generally don't reveal sufficient cash flow numbers to offer one a complete picture of my true financial health from all appropriate angles. Thus, the balance sheet numbers reflected on these reports can at times be somewhat misleading, as in this particular case. At first blush, my January numbers would seem to suggest that this particular month was a disappointing one. But truth be told, in terms of earnings stability and projected future income potential, January 2010 was yet another reliably steady month for me.

For January 2010, the combined income accumulated from this personal finance blog, the revenue generated by my other online affiliate ventures, and the part time income I earned from my small legal practice as an attorney - all saw slight increases. However, much of the income stats were gobbled up by the hefty estimated tax payments I had to make to the federal and state government during the month. Because I operate my small business and solo legal practice using a cash basis form of accounting, I don't spread the estimated quarterly tax payments evenly throughout the year, but rather record them on

Read the full article »

December 2009: Net Worth Report and Financial Plans For Year 2010

Published 12/31/09  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Well, it looks like January 2010 has finally arrived. Goodbye 2009, and hello 2010!

According to most public sentiment surveys I've seen thus far, the overwhelming consensus is that 2009 was a particularly terrible year. The economy tanked, retirement savings were largely wiped out, and home equity values were pretty much eviscerated. However, where there's misery, there always seems to be a smidgen lining of hope. Despite most people's vastly negative opinion of 2009, the great majority of surveys indicate a very optimistic outlook for 2010. Maybe it's because this time around, we are no longer staring at the barrel of an imminent financial sector meltdown and hearing the ghastly doomsday warnings of a possible decade-long economic depression, but things certainly feel less dire than the same time 12 months ago.

Most certainly, while we are still languishing under the worst economic recession in decades with depressive unemployment rates continuing to climb, the pace at which the economy continues to worsen has drastically decreased. In other words, while the economy is still deteriorating, it's worsening at a significantly slower pace than before. This is very good news for the aspiring optimists and opportunists in all of us. Most significantly, there also does appear to be tangible economic metrics emerging to back up the growing optimistic fervor for 2010. While I personally think we are still many months away from a real and sustainable recovery, I think we are decidedly heading in the right direction as punctuated by the fact that I've been jumping back into the stock

Read the full article »