One of my favorite posts to write each year is my late March Anniversary post. This year marks 5 years since I started this blog and I can't believe it. Starting from nothing and now I write on finance and fintech issues on a full-time basis. It's fantastic and thank you so much.
Here are some things I've written in previous years:
My first year anniversary didn't feel much like an anniversary so I wrote a regular post on Which Type of Peer to Peer Lending Investor Are You? I was #3 and still am.....Which are you?
My second anniversary I wrote about What I've Learned so far. Here I discuss how great the fintech community is (it still is), my growing interest and buzz in Bitcoin (prior to the 2017 explosion in Bitcoin's price and interest in it), the effects of big data and the emergence of decentralized lending.
My third anniversary I was in the midst of a huge AutoInvest series on Bitcoin Lending 1.0 with platforms like BTCJam, BitLendingClub, and Bitbonds, of which Bitbonds is the only one still in business. No special post there and no need to link since that content does not apply to the Blockchain Lending 2.0 platforms we have today.
Last year, I wrote about how starting a blog changed my life, the joys and challenges of writing, how Wall Street investment changed p2p lending to marketplace lending, and how Reg A+ can have a huge impact for retail investors. Those last 2 topics were big ideas in my book P2P Investing 101: Why the Smart Money is Investing in Peer to Peer Loans.
What I Learned this Past Year
Bitcoin's price went crazy from around $1000 up to $20,000 before 'crashing' back to around $7500 where it is today. You can learn many things from ups and downs like this. I learned that
- The strong hands holding Bitcoin very long term are still there and still holding strong
- Some markets like Japan and South Korea are becoming more Bitcoin-friendly while others are still very cloudy as far as regulation and compliance go
- The Bitcoin ecosystem has more talent working in it than ever. I'm very optimistic
- I like some altcoins more than I used to including Litecoin and Dash
Fintech's role in financial inclusion was a big topic for me this year. This covers everything from retail investor access that I talk about here all the time to greater access to financial services in other parts of the world where just getting into the financial system for the first time is a big success. For instance, in Venezuela, Bitcoin is an inclusion tool and a wealth preservation tool since their currency, the Bolivar, keeps losing value almost daily. In Colombia, where I just went for 3 weeks (it's fantastic you should go), there is a different story. Colombia is a growing economy and more people are in the market for financial services than ever before. African companies like M-Pesa are leading the way here but many US companies are in the market too.
As a full time financial and fintech writer, I learned that my clients are the best I've ever had in any part of finance. More and more fintech firms are understanding the need for clear quality content to differentiate themselves. 3 of my clients were nominated for European Fintech awards in 2017 and 1 of my clients is a LendIt 2018 nominee while another of my clients is a LendIt awards judge. I travel in good company :).
Lastly on writing, while I am glad I did it, writing a book was harder than I expected. I'm very happy with how it turned out and its a true resource for retail investors and reviewers have been kind so far........
I can't believe how lucky I am to do something I enjoy so much for a living. And all of you helped me make it happen.