You may have noticed lately that bank interest rates on your checking and savings accounts are small to the vanishing point. CDs are not much better. So, where can you put small amounts of money for short periods of time and earn a better return?
Would you believe you can invest as little as $100, get up to 3% interest and help the world’s poor all at the same time? It’s possible via Micro Place which is an actual broker, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] and currently the ONLY broker involved in micro-finance. Micro Place was bought out by Ebay Inc. in 2006. Ebay’s economic power has allowed it to undergo the rigorous and costly process to get through the SEC’s regulatory tangle.
So, what’s the difference between Micro Place and other peer2peer lenders? For one, Micro Place invests in microfinance by purchasing securities. Funds generated by these sales are then dispersed to microfinance institutions [MFIs] around the world who then make loans and collect payments. Calvert Foundation community investment notes, for instance, is one example. To purchase such notes directly from Calvert generally requires a minimum $1000 investment.
Who gets the money? Investors in Micro Place choose the kind of investment they wish to make, the geographic area of the world and the return on their investment. Most micro finance goes to women who are judged the most likely to use it responsibly to care for their children and their communities as well as the most likely to repay the loans.
Thought about contributing to the Haiti relief effort? Instead of donating with giant corporations or charities who do who knows what with your money, this allows you to target specific individuals so you know your money has had an impact.