11/03/2011 10:48 am ET Updated Jan 02, 2012

The Passion Portfolio

Do you feel comfortable investing in this economy? Do you trust the stock tips your financial analyst is giving you? (No offense Michael, I trust you). My guess is probably not.

At Marqeta we talk a lot about enabling consumers to make "investments" in their favorite brands. This isn't some marketing buzzword. We really mean investment. Pick a portfolio of your favorite brands, stores, websites and experiences - our partnership with those brands will bring you a guaranteed return.

We know that every person has a handful of things they're passionate about. And those passions often show when we choose to spend our hard-earned money. As I sit in the coffee shop known for expansion (Really? The Nordics), I look around and it's easy to see people's passions. Lululemon is literally the uniform for the on-the-go-mom. The Chicago winter slowly approaches, so the North Face fleece begins to make its first appearance. People pull their iPhones out and leave them on the table to serve as status badges. At a run this weekend, I found myself engaged in a discussion with two other runners about how much we love the Five Fingers. (Quick side note - I learned about the Five Fingers after reading Born To Run by Christopher McDougall. If you are a runner and have not yet read it, shame on you.)

Passion is a powerful thing. When you are passionate about something, you want people to know it. At Marqeta, we want you to be rewarded for that passion. Our core belief is that you should get more from the brands and stores you love than just the merchandise you walk out with - you should get recognition, status and value.

So, more and more, I find myself coming back to the idea of not only getting more at your favorite places, but also investing in them. With that I give you a homework assignment: put together a portfolio of the brands you might like to invest in. I'm not talking about the market or what you heard the trader say on the train this morning. Do it based on where you know you'll shop and spend. When you're finished, think about how much that portfolio could be worth and compare that number to you current investment portfolio. Which is worth more? Share that with us here or on Facebook. We want to know how powerful your passion is.