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15 Feb. 2016 
I've long been a fan of microfinance or microlending where a small loan can make a big difference. To date, I've made several small investments via both and And, in addition to doing good, I'm doing well. Kiva doesn't pay interest but it does make it easy to give gift certificates. Microplace, in the past, paid up to 3 percent interest, but Tuesday it announced a fund that's paying 5 percent.

Have you checked bank and CD rates lately? Five percent is great compared to the rates paid by most banks and money market funds.

The money is loaned to poor people--mostly women--in various parts of the world. The portfolio that now pays 5 percent goes through an organization called Micro Credit Enterprises, which makes loans to the working poor in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia, Mozambique, and other countries. And a little bit of money can go a long way. Nelida Espinoza Flores, a 38-year-old Peruvian, for example, borrowed $115, to buy Jell-O and other snacks. According to Microplace, she spends about $5 a day on supplies, which results in between $10 and $13 in sales.

Microlending, like other uninsured investments, is subject to all sorts of risks. But, based on past performance, the odds of seeing your money again are pretty high. Historically, 97 percent of low-income borrowers have paid back their microfinance loans.

Micro Credit Enterprises, according to Microplace General Manager Ashwini Narayanan has a "high rate of return because there is a guarantee system in place." She said that the organization "goes out to wealthy individuals and gets them to guarantee the investment so even if the borrowers default, the investor is repaid." But, as the investment's prospective discloses, there remain some risks.

The people in the countries who manage microloans are often referred to as "bankers on bicycles." According to Microplace founder Tracey Turner they work with "organizations that are on the ground in the developing world, they speak the language, they get on bicycles, they ride out the villages, and they meet directly with the borrowers on a weekly basis."

Click here to hear an interview with Microplace founder Tracey Turner.The interest rate paid by microfinance borrowers--on average about 31 percent--is much higher than what people in developed countries typically pay for loans but that's largely due to the lack of economies of scale as well as the cost of administering the loan. For example, when a finance company in the U.S. makes a car loan, the process is quick and automated and, because of the amount borrowed, the return can be substantial. A $30,000 five-year car loan at 6 percent generates nearly $4,800 in interest. A two-year $100 microloan, at 31 percent, generates $35.60 and that interest might have to pay for as many as 100 visits by that banker on a bicycle.

Microplace, which is a subsidiary of eBay, is a for-profit broker dealer. You can invest via checking account or transfer money from a Paypal account without having to pay extra fees. Microplace, according to Turner, plans to donate any profits to the company's Global Citizenship Project. It generally invests through other funds like Micro Credit Enterprises or the Calvert Social Investment Foundation. The Web site shows you a "sample borrower" but you're actually making the loan to an organization that distributes the fund to a variety of borrowers. is a not-for-profit organization. From a user perspective, one of the big differences between the two organizations is that Kiva doesn't pay interest. Also, Kiva is a bit more "peer to peer" in that its Web site shows you information about the specific entrepreneur who will be receiving your loan. One feature I like about Kiva is that you can purchase gift certificates for as little as $25. That's what I'm now doing for the children in my life. By giving them a Kiva gift certificate they and their parents get to chose who to loan it to and, eventually, the child gets the $25 back. It's a good long-term investment in social consciousness.

And, yes, I've put my money where my words are. After a couple of years investing in both Kiva and Microplace, I have nothing but happy (albeit small) returns.

By Larry Magid

Copyright 2009 CBS. All rights reserved.

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12 Feb. 2016 
Grocery shopping is one thing that tops our monthly to-do-list. Most people love this activity and cannot wait to hit the grocery store for the smallest of reasons. However, in today's hard economic times, it is extremely important to save money and cut corners in order to live a relatively decent life. The good thing being that, though the grocery is a primary expense, it can be controlled too, in order to save money. One of the best ways for serving this purpose is to search for grocery coupons. These are available online, in newspaper inserts, and sometimes, as discount coupons. Let's try to identify LiveJasmin Credit Hacker Tool a few places from where you will be able to obtain them.


Printable grocery coupons are the newest rage amongst shoppers, as well as manufacturers these days. Free coupons have always been a great attraction for shoppers and now, with the availability of the former, it is even more exciting. One of their biggest advantages is that you can use them as soon as you go online, and print them, which is so much more convenient. Hence, printing them out is the best way to get the maximum savings while shopping for what you need.

Free Sign-up

The best thing to do is to sign up on various suitable online sites. Sign-up for free on these websites and get to know about the special free coupons that are available at various grocery stores. Once you are informed about these offers, all you need to do is to print them and avail the discounts. The only thing that might hold you back from signing into these websites are the additional offers that keep on appearing in bulk. Well, there is a simple solution to this problem, as well; you just need to uncheck the box for additional offers and you will be spared of all such mails.

Shopper's Card

Some grocery stores also offer various schemes and discount offers, once you cross a certain amount of shopping. If you shop beyond that sum, you get a shopper's card. This card gets activated only after you fill up a small form with your contact number and/or email address. Once you do that, the stores keep on sending you text messages or emails about all the free sales offers on a regular basis for saving money on groceries. If they find that you are utilizing most of their offers, you get special considerations and additional discounts, whenever you shop from them.


Communication is the best way to save money on groceries. For instance, you can contact shop associates in person or by email, and request them to let you know about the ways that you can receive notifications regarding discounts and offers. Some websites also offer no-registration coupons to print. Such a facility is a great option for people who want to escape the hassle of first registering themselves.

Food coupons are pretty hard to come by, in comparison to grocery items like soaps, toiletry, juices, and other household products. Hence, you need to grab the opportunity as soon as it comes your way. Thus, all in all, it is certain that shopping will be quite a pleasant experience for you, provided that you use this facility to its full capacity.

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08 Feb. 2016 

Are you using Google Analytics or some method of tracking your visitor stats? It is interesting to me how long people spend on my website.

My home page is built around the theme of make money online. The average time a person spends on my site is 1 minute and 24 seconds. That is better than many websites do, but it still brings up a valid question.

When you are searching for ways to make money online, what do you expect to find when you land on a top rated website?

I have never been a fan of directory type of websites, but they do seem to perfom well with Google. Some of the top work at home websites are designed around a directory theme. They are filled with banners and link after link to one product or program.

People who are searching for the phrase "work at home" seem to be searching more for a job than a business. I think that is why you see so many take paid surveys, data entry jobs, and type at home programs.

People who are searching for the phrase "work at home business" are looking for an opportunity to make money at home building a business fo their own. These people expect to make an investment of some kind to get started.

This is an important distinction to make if you are in in the work at home niche. Sending people to a free survey site, and getting paid when they join and complete a survey is totally different than trying to sign someone up for a business opportunity.

From a searcher's point of view people looking for ways to make money online usually do not know what they are looking for. This explains why people do not spend very long on any particular website.

Even websites that rank very high on Google are not able to keep traffic for a long period of time. As a website owner this is kind of depressing when you think about it.

This is why so much emphasis as is put on building a mailing list. You know people are going to leave your site fairly quickly, so if you can get their name and email address you can follow up in the future.

Content websites do tend to perform well regardless of whether people are searching for a work at home job or a work at home business. People will stay on sites longer if it contains good content that they find interesting.

This is why you are seeing more people go to blog style websites. It's easier to get people to subscribe to your RSS feed than it is to get them to join a mailing list.

This gives you a chance to update your ways to make money online more consistently than if you had to build web pages. And you can cover more topics which will help you give people exactly what they are looking for.

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