As we count down to Christmas, it’s time to have some fun and recognise those who have made unique contributions to the world of money in 2021.

Let’s start with bitcoin. I gave it the Golden Tulip Award in 2017 for the fastest growing “asset class” when it rose 1671 per cent in just one year.

Then in 2018 it scored the Shrinking TulipAward when it plunged from $US19,650 to just US$3225.

Today I’m giving it the Phoenix Award because it rose 194.2 per cent for the year to $US56,980.

This does include a fall of 9.8 per cent in the last month. As I’ve often said: “you pay your money and you take your chances”.

The Ebenezer ScroogeAward for the most heartless assault on the vulnerable in our society goes to Beforepay – an organisation which allows you “get access to your wages instantly. It’s quick and easy to use and there’s no hidden fees”.

I first heard about them on the ABC television program Gruen.

It showed one of their advertisements, showing how a person with little food in the fridge could replenish their supplies very quickly by putting it on Beforepay.

Another ad showed a couple dining out in an expensive restaurant with the guy opting for something cheap because he was broke; Beforepay showed him how to order lobster immediately to impress his date.

Their website says, “there’s no interest or hidden fees. Just a 5 per cent fixed transaction fee and flexible repayments with instalments across up to four pay cycles.”

I reckon that’s an interest rate of around 36 per…

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