Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lending Club for Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico needs a peer to peer lending platform and it seems that there could be a great source of investment for such a platform.

Peer-to-peer lenders like Prosper and Lending Club run online platforms that can quickly and automatically match borrowers seeking a loan to an investor willing to provide the funds for that loan at an attractive interest rate.  

In Puerto Rico the Act 22 community is a high net worth group with incentives to generate Puerto Rico sourced interest and dividends.  If you hold an Act 22 tax decree, Puerto Rico sourced interest and dividends are tax free.  However, there are not very many safe Puerto Rican investments these days. The Puerto Rican economy is struggling and it seems to me that increasing the availability of funds to individuals and entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico could help improve the economy here.

The two leading p2p lending companies, Prosper and The Lending Club, do not offer services in Puerto Rico. I did find that Peerform does lend in Puerto Rico, so at least the market is being served.

I did ask support at The Lending Club if there was a way to restrict my loans to Puerto Rico, and got this response:

To answer your question though, we don’t lend in PR. However, you should review the prospectus – you’re earning interest from Lending Club notes, not the underlying borrower, so location would not matter. The borrower is not paying you directly.

There are probably reasons for having the payments come from LC notes, not the underlying borrower. To tap into the Act 22 funds, this issue could be solved by having the interest payments come from an Puerto Rican company. It wouldn't need to come directly from borrowers.

I wonder if there is a way to test this idea by creating a Puerto Rican company that is in the business of making loans only in PR. What are the regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome? How big is the market?

I currently have funds invested with The Lending Club and I'm making over 8%. How great would it be if investors in Puerto Rico could get 8% tax free and local borrowers could have access to funds more easily and more cheaply than other alternatives?

Here's hoping someone will create The Lending Club for Puerto Rico. I would certainly be interested in investing.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Growth Hacking Blogs


Note to self, follow these blogs:

Andrew Chen
http://andrewchen.co/recent/ 

 Noah Kagan
http://okdork.com/blog/ 

Hiten Shaw
http://hitenism.com/


Friday, February 14, 2014

USB Tethering to Mac with Nexus 5

I've been traveling around Australia for over a month now. Mainly we've been staying at hotels where we have some sort of status, Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton, etc., and the WiFi has been free.

This week I'm staying where they outsource the WiFi to Tomizone, which is fine, but they only let you use one device at a time, even though I've paid $60 for my 9 days.  I'm using a Nexus 5 lately so I've been using the N5 on the WiFi and then tethering to my Mac over bluetooth. This works but seems a bit flakey.  Occasionally the Mac can't connect and I have to turn the N5 bluetooth on and back off.  Luckily Android also supports USB Tethering.  Great, but of course the Mac doesn't support that out of the box.  A quick search lead me to HoRNDIS by Joshua Wise.  It works like a charm.  Extra bonus, my N5 is always charging while I'm using the Mac.

Thanks to Mactip for the great Android Mac USB Tethering howto guide.

Next step, turn on internet sharing and get my Kindle and Nexus 7 on the net through the Mac via WiFi!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lake Wakatipu versus Lake Tahoe

We've been spending some time next to Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown New Zealand. It reminds us a lot of Lake Tahoe at home. I decided to look up some stats. Tahoe is a bit larger, deeper, and higher. Wakatipu is amazing though, and longer. The water is fed from the glacier and it's filled with very finely ground granite, so it's a really unique color. Tahoe water is also amazingly blue but it's a different kind of blue.

Both lakes are amazing. We did have a windy day recently and I got to speak with a guy who just came in from kite surfing. He said it was pretty rare to be able to kite on Wakatipu.  The same could be said for Tahoe!

Max Length
Wakatipu 75 km
Tahoe 35 km

Max Depth
Tahoe 501 meters
Wakatipu 280 meters

Altitude
Tahoe 1,897 meters
Wakatipu 310 meters

Area
Tahoe 191 square miles
Wakatipu 112 square miles


Monday, January 27, 2014

Giant Clam on the Great Barrier Reef


Giant Clam on the Great Barrier Reef
Originally uploaded by albertwmui

Had a great experience diving the Great Barrier Reef today. Lots of amazing wildlife, but the most amazing new thing I saw was the Giant Clam. These things are pretty cool. They have a similar lifespan to humans!

I went on the Silver Sonic and would recommend them highly.  The divemasters were very good and the crew was super nice and helpful.  They warned us a few times about the high winds today and gave us the opportunity to reschedule. I didn't have the luxury of changing the date, so I went for it. Man, was it rough. About half the passengers lost their breakfast on the way out. I took some of the complementary ginger tablets and that did the trick on the way out. On the way back, after eating a bit too much for lunch, it was a real challenge to hold down my lunch, but I barely made it.

We did three dives, two of them drift dives where you drift along the reef and meet the boat at the other end. Besides clams, I saw a medium sized shark, a turtle, and tons of interesting coral, fish, and mollusks.  The divemaster would occasionally point out things we might have missed or hand us some creature that is safe to handle, like a starfish or sea cucumber.

Even though it was rough getting out and back from Port Douglas, it was worth it for me. I'm not sure the snorkelers on the trip would agree though.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Where is the Global Entry PASS ID or Membership Number?


It's on the back, in the upper left hand corner.  I found this information on the Global Entry site in this PDF file.

I was just filling out my profile on American Airlines, hoping that I'll get TSA Pre check next time I fly American.