Let’s Talk About Prosper

While researching different p2p (peer to peer) lending platforms, I learned that the two most popular and mainstream options are Lending Club and Prosper. They have similar set-ups and goals, but they certainly differ in their requirements to be a lender. They’re both great, it just depends on how much money that you have to start off with. Lending Club requires a starting amount of $1,000.00. That also means that you could start to make a decent monthly return (don’t forget that return includes BOTH principal payment and interest together, not just interest). My financial situation does not allow for me to have a free $1,000.00 hanging around…yet. I’ll get there eventually. Patience is key in the financial improvement world when you have little to start with. In comes Prosper. Honestly, I know more about Prosper than Lending Club simply because I am able to invest with them. Prosper only requires a first deposit of $25 and the minimum to invest in a loan is $25.

 

So yay! You’ve ready to invest your first $25 into a loan! Where do you start? What’s your game-plan going to be? Don’t know yet? Neither did I, and I’m still learning and growing. Bear in mind this one awesome detail: you don’t have to fun an entire loan by yourself (and in my opinion you probably shouldn’t). You can put in as little as $25 per loan. These loans are funded by a large group of investors, not just one, so it’s less risky if you invest in many loans with smaller amounts, than one loan with a larger amount. How do you choose which ones to invest in? It’s tempting when you get on the list of available loans and you see that D grade loan with a 23% interest rate that looks so attractive…soooooo attractive. Then you see the A grade loan next to it that looks…not quite as attractive. You think to yourself: really? 7%? Ugh. But there’s something important about the difference between these two loans and it’s a huge deal when you can’t afford to lose any money. As attractive as that high interest loan might seem…it may not be the best option for you…or it could the be that the A grade loan isn’t right. I’ll tell you why.

 

When Prosper vets’ borrowers they have a multi-step process. Borrowers enter information about their finances including their income, what the loan is for, etc. Prosper also tells the individuals funding the loan valuable information that could sway an investor one way or another. Prosper rates each loan based on historical statistics of loans of its kind. The ratings go from 1-11, with 11 being the more secure loan to invest in, and 1 being the riskiest (according to Prospers algorithm). Personally, I know that people make mistakes just like I have, so I give a little wiggle room when it comes to the grade and I generally accept 7 or higher. I think about it like this: on paper I did not look that great in the past, but I’d not default on paying a private loan to anyone, as I know that people work very hard for their money just like me. Therefore, I know that Prospers number grade may not encompass the entirety of that borrower. Even with their advanced systems they can’t avoid a borrower who may default on their loan who may have a great numbered grade. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Then I look further because I need more info to decide, but Prospers grade is a good starting point. I’ll let that info sink in for now.

I know it’s a whole world of financial possibility that I’ve introduced you to, and we’ll talk about the next steps in my consequent posts. Remember, you can always message me questions and I’ll get back to you asap!

 

P.S. Also, please remember to consult a certified financial advisor when it comes to the big decisions that you need help with. Although I have knowledge in this area, I would not pretend to be an expert. Happy financial improving! 😊Holding-Hundred-Dollar-Bills_4460x4460

Kindness is Contagious

I’ve been inspired lately to write about something that I feel can sometimes be taken for granted. I don’t really know what to say about it so far, so here goes. This is my brain drain about kindness. Kindness is contagious.

Have you ever noticed on the train how someone asking for money often goes ignored? Then, out of the many, one person donates…and it’s a ripple effect. People notice what is happening. Something in them encourages them to give what little they can. Automatically the heaviness on the train lightens just a little bit. A few smiles and kind words are exchanged. We are all reminded of the fact that others, too, are sometimes kind, in a world where it feels that not many are. For a brief second someones day has been made better, and that candle has been re-kindled inside them. The hearts of all involved have been pushed open just a little bit and warmth has been let in. It’s contagious; the best kind of contagious.

I’m a lover of inspirational quotes, so naturally I was looking up the perfect quote to share in this piece about kindness. There were way too many perfect quotes for me to share in one article; too much good material available, ironically! One of my favorite ideas, though, is that kindness begets kindness by using the law of attraction. In a nutshell, what you feel and put out into the world becomes your reality. I have personally known this to be true in my own life.  So, by being truly kind to the core you are not only improving the lives of others, but you are attracting kindness to you. Even when kindness is not reciprocated you can rest easy knowing that the universe has your back, and feel good about what you have done. So, you may ask, what inspired me to write about this? 

I won’t go too far into detail about the reasons behind why I was feeling stressed and low, but I will tell you about the person who showed unconditional kindness. It all happened in a coffee shop, of all places, in midtown NYC. It was a colder day and I went to Princi (which is fabulous, by the way) for a hot chocolate. Upon reaching the register, the barista, Nefertari, could tell that I could use a little boost and she treated me with such care and kindness that it truly warmed my heart. She went above and beyond with amazing customer service, a true to the core smile, and I could tell that her heart is very kind. She didn’t ask questions, she just knew and exuded such a warm, understanding energy that I couldn’t help but smile. I left that day feeling a little bit lighter. I was on the receiving end of a truly kind act, and I haven’t forgotten that. Everyone should have a Nefertari in their lives. I told her I would be writing a shout-out to her on my blog, and I hope to help pay it forward. If you have the chance, stop by, grab a hot chocolate, and enjoy the awesome atmosphere and warmth (literally, too) of Princi on an otherwise cold day. It could be exactly what you needed. Thank you, again, Nefertari, for reminding me that there are truly kind people out there. I hope it comes back to you tenfold!

 

Can A Place Hold A Memory?

I found myself thinking this while sitting in the audience tonight at rehearsal. I love sitting in the empty theatre of whatever show I’m performing in and coming to a state of comfortable balance in the space; just observing, centering myself. It’s a space of exploration for me. I’m curious about the great actors who may have graced that stage before me. How cool is it that I get to be in the same space? I’m not sure if it’s just me projecting my assumptions or not, but either way it’s special to me.

I learned about centering myself in the space in a class in college called The Speaking Voice In Performance. For the first few classes we laid on the ground, eyes closed, focusing on being in the moment and the breath. It may not seem like work, but you’d be surprised at how much emotional work and mental effort goes into quieting your brain and allowing yourself to let go of your anxieties or thoughts. After a while, with the noise of the outside world drifting away outside the black box doors, for an hour each day my mind quieted long enough to hear things I’d never noticed before. The hissing of the pipes, the creaking of a door, the sounds of the building becoming increasingly louder, as I myself grew increasingly quieter. The energy of the room became more apparent than it had before. This room had its own life, its own energy, its own vitality. I became just a passerby in the big scheme of things. I liked that. It reminded me that my anxieties are not the totality of the truth of my existence. There were many bigger elements outside of myself. For some, realizing that they are a tiny particle in a much bigger universe is frightening and makes them feel unimportant. For me, it started to relax me and showed me that the universe is vast and wonderful if you stop long enough to listen to it. It is not frightening nor depressing to me, my small nature in the big scheme of things; it is a relief. I am only in control of what I do. I can’t control the world outside of me, much as I can try, but at the end of the day I am not responsible for the actions of everyone and everything else in my vicinity. It’s a huge weight lifted. This vast world and the infinite space beyond all have their own marvels that I get to be privy to, should I choose to wonder at them. So, can this microcosm of a space in the big expanse hold a memory?

It may be far-fetched to jump from the contents of the last paragraph back to the original question, but in my brain it makes quite a bit of sense, so I’ll try to span the bridge as best I can for you, dear reader. Quieting my brain enough to be rooted in the space I’m in with no outside distractions, no cars honking, no passersby cursing, no trains humming, and getting in tune with the energy of the space leads me to question how one effects the environments they’ve spent time in, energetically. Who came before me in this space? On this stage? In this audience? In this dressing room? What great work has been performed exactly where my two feet are planted? How many wonderful memories have been created in this theatre? How much laughter? What did that sound like? How many memorable performances? How many standing ovations? Am I standing on the same ground, the exact spot, of the great performers who have inspired so many? There are so many that I admire. Have they left their energetic mark on these walls? As I experience the room, thinking these things, my imagination goes deeper and deeper, until I can almost see and hear each of these instances happening. Am I walking in the literal steps of the greats who’ve gone before me? I like to think so, and hopefully someone will come along and wonder the same about me…

Composing Beauty

Ingenuity, I love that word! It has such a nice ring to it, and such a deep meaning (at least to me). I view ingenuity as an essential skill in creativity, and creativity/ingenuity an essential skill of surviving in this new, digital age. I find it fascinating that one can create a job or a career for themselves where there was nothing before. In today’s day and age the opportunities for money making are endless. One of my inspirations for this exact thing is Lin-Manuel Miranda, internationally famous composer of Hamilton, In The Heights, and a member of Freestyle Love Supreme (who, I’m sure, has many more credits, both famous and not, to his name).

I’m absolutely enthralled by his tenacity, skill, perseverance, and his genius. He literally put himself on the map in the entertainment world. He created something brilliant using just his brains, skills, experience, and a pencil and paper. Not only that, but it’s given other artists the opportunity to be a part of the beautiful, caring community that he’s created throughout this process. He’s even changing the world and peoples’ lives by using his works to support causes that he cares deeply about. That, to me, is ingenuity. It”s creativity. I could write many, MANY more paragraphs about my admiration for him as an artist and person, but I’ll get to that in a later post because I could write a novel on it with my ability to go off on tangents and daydream (although that is not a bad thing).

With technology we have the tools to create new things every day. Heck, this article is new right now. It is not a masterpiece of an article, but it’s being created now, in the moment, and shared. Nowadays we have all kinds of opportunities for financial success, we just have to use our ingenuity to build on them. For example, in the past we couldn’t write something and automatically earn money  within a moments’ notice. Now we can. We couldn’t write a book and have it published on amazon without going through the proper book publishers outside of the company and then selling it…but now we can self-publish books and sell them online. We couldn’t automatically create a video of ourselves performing and broadcast it to the world, thereby gaining fame. Now, we have stars who got their start doing just that on youtube. The opportunities are endless. When you think about it, once you open up your mind and heart to creativity so many ideas can come pouring in, and you just have to work tirelessly at them, with all your passion and heart, to create something that you truly stand by. You don’t even have to create for others. Create for yourself, and your passion, care, tenacity, strength, and genius will shine through and you will find your own success by using inginuity.