There is no denying it anymore. Peer to Peer Lending has changed my life. In ways I can easily measure and ways that are tougher to measure too.
I remember it vividly as I was at my favorite neighborhood coffeeshop in Atlanta, a place where I've written a number of these posts over the 3.5 years (so far) that I have operated this blog. It was a cold day (for Atlanta) in late January 2013.
My friend, who is an investment adviser, called me over to his table and pulled out his MacBook Air and showed my the Prosper website. He went on to ask me 2 questions....
Have you ever seen this before? and
Don't you do this kind of analysis of credits at your job?
The quick answers of No and Yes were the beginning of opening up a whole new world to me.
So You Mean I Can Buy a Piece of a Loan?
And not only that, but buy as much or as little of each one as I want?
And use my credit analysis skills from the equipment leasing industry to figure out which loans are actually less risky than their credit grade? Are you f^&*^(*&g kidding me?
Sign. Me. Up.
The Hard Part
Then comes the hardest part. I decide I want to write about my credit analysis experience to help others pick loans more easily for their own investments.
Now deciding to write wasn't the hard part. It's the actually writing about finance generally and peer to peer lending specifically is what's hard. It's really hard. Finance is already intimidating and challenging to write about and then add this topic that in 2013 virtually no one had heard of on top of that?
I must have been some kind of idiot. Really. I don't know what I was thinking.
Yet in March 2013, I posted my first post on this very blog on Prosper and how it rates its loans (with a shitty visual in there and everything). As you can see, I had alot to learn about good writing but I did have both some knowledge and some enthusiasm so yay me. At least I kept it short and sweet.
Like most that spend their careers in finance, I was only good at writing about finance for other financial people and some of the 'high end' clientele that use financial services. And you can see it in my work too. Alot of my early credit posts are very technical. Part of that is the subject matter and part of it is me having to learn how to write in a whole new way.
I have discovered that writing is incredibly rewarding, fun and a constant challenge. I am always in a race to try to get my ideas out in as few words as possible. Some days I'm more successful at it than others.
And then there was Bitcoin
Had I never discovered p2p lending and how awesome it is, and never expressed a desire to diversify out of lending my money in US Dollars, I would have never discovered Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is incredibly interesting and the Bitcoin Lending platforms are a real eye opening experience. Everyone who is into Bitcoin is for their own reasons, yet I learned that I am one of a relatively small group that like the idea of using it as an investment tool. That's been so much fun.
More on this topic later.....
Easily the best part
Writing is incredibly rewarding, so much so that I offer my writing services to others in p2p lending, Bitcoin, fintech, investments and personal finance on my Stu Writes For You tab up there at the top header. I'm always looking for additional fun and fulfilling writing gigs.....
Without any doubt, the best part of being in the fintech world and the Bitcoin world is the people. Nowhere in my career in finance have I ever met groups of people and people at conferences that are so collegial, collaborative and just fun to be around.
Everywhere I have been (and in 2015 I went to 6 conferences), I continually meet people that I like and just seem to get me. We get each other. We are all trying to build something. And we believe the pie is large enough for everyone to get their piece.
So if you lend on these platforms or trade in Bitcoin get out from under your laptop and go to a conference. I promise you it will be worth it.
Some of the greatest people I have met in my whole life are people in this community. My community.
There's lots more to go into but I save those for Parts 2 and Beyond......