big change.png

5 reasons why I enjoy making loans on Kiva

19417442_10156312610694418_4565276473665598026_o.jpgAlmost 10 years ago in October 2007, I made my first loan on whose mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. My loan was to Mrs. Doung in Cambodia who needed $1,200 to purchase a motor-bike to transport her children to work. She was earning just $4.80/day in revenue and her husband was earnings $3.60/day. Such is life in the developing world and they were probably considered lucky earning more than $1/day;. In the end she made her payments on time and 20 months later, her loan was paid off in full. Since then I have made 2410 more loans in 79 countries around the world and I have enjoyed helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and help their families in the process. It is thrilling to know that Kiva just passed an unbelievable milestone -- Kiva lenders created over $1 billion in loans! I'm honored that I could be a part of it. Here are 5 reasons why I enjoy making loans on Kiva.

1) Cambodia

cambodia water.pngI will always think of Cambodia when I make my loans because It was my solo backpacking trip to Cambodia in 2004 that totally opened my eyes to extreme poverty. Yes I had seen homeless people in NYC but nothing compared to seeing the street kids in Siem Reap or seeing the conditions just half an hour away from Angkor Wat. Houses were literally thatched one room huts with no running water or bathroom for that matter. Women carried buckets of water for miles. I felt ashamed for ever complaining about anything in life after seeing those living conditions. Despite this, the Cambodia people seemed ok and happy. They shared their culture and stories of their daily lives. It is the only trip where I still keep in touch my tour guide and friend, Alann. It was that trip that made me want to find a way to help the people in any way possible and that started with that first loan to Mrs. Doung. A quarter of my lending has gone to lenders in Cambodia and I hope to visit again with my daughter one day.

2) Women

90% of my loans have been to women who typically have an even harder time accessing money in the developing world. Providing women access to microfinancing helps support families and communities. For every dollar a woman earns, she invests 80 cents in her family's education and well being. This can truly help change the world for the better.

3) The stories and entrepreneurs

Seeing the people and reading the stories definitely makes the experience at Kiva more interesting and an important piece to helping them surpass that $1 billion loan mark. I haven't met anyone that I've made a loan to yet but I hope to in the future. When I was planning a trip to Peru, I found myself reading about Peruvian loans and starting making most of my loans there. Hopefully I can make an even deeper personal connection in the near future.

As an investment professional, I spent many hours researching companies with a long track record of success like Disney or Walmart. But they all started in the same place as a small business and then slowly grew bigger and bigger. I hope that some of the loans on Kiva can propel families out of poverty and just maybe into the next multinational company. With technology today, anything is possible...

4) Low risk

I started making loans right at the beginning of the Great Recession. You may think that I lost tons of money making loans when the banks in the US almost went bankrupt. During that period, subprime loans were defaulting at a 20% rate but what about loans on Kiva? Not even close. On my loan portfolio, the default rate is 0.28% and the delinquency rate is just 0.41%.

5) Priceless return

big change.pngNo you don't earn a monetary return on any loans made on Kiva but the true return is priceless. I could have kept my money in a bank and earned close to 0% percent interest over these years. For what? To let the American banks recover from their bad loans? No thanks.

It was a no brainer to cycle that money productively into the global economy which could potentially improve lives over and over again. That is the power of capitalism. It is the ripple effect of people empowering themselves and their families. The more they make, the more they spend and the economy grows.

I hope that you check out Kiva for yourself and join in on the next $1 billion milestone!

Setting Financial Goals

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

About the Author: Chris Wang

Chris Wang


Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.-"Runnymede"), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Runnymede.  Please remember that if you are a Runnymede client, it remains your responsibility to advise Runnymede, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Runnymede is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Runnymede's current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. Please Note: Runnymede does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Runnymede's web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

Search Website

Annuity Review Database

Follow Our Podcast

Google Podcasts
Apple Podcasts

Recent Posts