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Giving it away

Dear Fellow Investor

I don’t like giving money away.

Its not that I am stingy or don’t like to help people, I do.

But when I do, I want to help them to help themselves. Not just give them something to help them until they need to ask again.

My idea of giving, and maybe yours too, is best described by the quote:

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

I searched long and hard how to best reach this goal until I came across the organisation called Kiva.org

Here is what they do from the Kiva About page:

Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.

As of November 2009, Kiva has facilitated over $100 million in loans.

I have been lending money through Kiva since 2008. Here you can see my Kiva Lender page.

As at the end of November 2010 I have lent just under $10,000.00 and have had no losses at all.

Remarkable is that the delinquency rate on all 385 loans I have made is also 0%

 

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Should you want to give it a try, it’s really easy to get started.

All you have to do is register at the Kiva Registration page.

Once you have registered you must log into the Kiva website and you can immediately start lending money.

Select the entrepreneur you would like to help, go to checkout and the loan amount gets deducted from your credit card or PayPal account.

Also you cannot lend more than $25 to each entrepreneur. I think Kiva did this to ensure that each lender has a diversified portfolio – a good idea.

Something else.

When I invest I look for investments with the highest probability of increasing in value. Said differently, the most undervalued companies.

However, when donating money I try to help people that have lowest chance of being helped.

That’s the reason why most of the loans I make is in less developed countries, mainly to women.

Following the same principle, the other organisation that I support is the great work done by Heidi Breeze-Harris and the organisation one by one.

I would like to say this is a unique idea I came up with, but it is not. I got it from an interview with Warren Buffett that I read a long time ago.

I am sure you already donate a lot of money and have your own worthy causes you support.

With this article I wanted to give you two more to consider.

Should you make a loan on Kiva, or already have done so, let me know if you are interested and I will create a lender group for Eurosharelab.

Your grateful analyst

Tim du Toit