Slow Money – Not so slow……and smart returns….

Last weekend we hosted a meeting called Slow Money.
Medium to small businesses wishing to raise capital or offer write offs for charitable contributions, come together with potential investors or donors.
Sounds like a boring business meeting…..without the exciting
returns of an Apple stock investment or the acknowledgment of creating an endowment to serve a global cause.

Not so and not boring. The returns can be much smarter and
much less risky….here’s why….

The Wall Street market place structure means that you give
your money to a person you may only have spoken to on the phone (the average investor). They invest your dollars in what they perceive will earn the highest paycheck for themselves or the company they work for (not necessarily what will earn you the most dollars. They have stock to move and each move makes them more money first). The average investor doesn’t know the actual companies or individuals their money is given too.

A wise saying I follow when considering an investment of
time, energy or money….”Who do you listen too?” In other words, is the
person you are listening to successful in the thing you wish to
accomplish? Why would you listen to someone that is not? Kind of
like that cost accounting teacher I had in college. The tools would have
been better absorbed if the professor had run a business successfully and could apply real life scenarios….the best professors/teacher I have had in my life came from those with real life experiences.

It is interesting that someone that doesn’t have much money
will tell me they are an expert at investing. If you decide to make
investing your own business what you will learn from the books is to get to know the industry and companies you are considering. What is the history of the leaders in the industry you are considering and more specifically those of the company you investigate? Have they been successful (by whatever standards you apply) in the past? Do they have a vision and mission statement? Business plan? What are their shortcomings (everyone has them) and what do they do to shore those up? What is the long term vision and strategies to get there? What do those that work for them say about the leaders and the business? Are they inspired? How do you feel about the product they are selling? Do you see the market even if it is outside your generation? What are the down sides with the company?
What could get in the way of success as far as you can estimate. Finally,
if you take away your initial excitement, would you still be interested (make a sound business decision without emotion).

Slow Money gives you the opportunity to invest with businesses you can get to know, up front and personal. Long and short term investment with creative returns that can put or keep money in your pocket
while becoming part of something you can touch, feel and believe in.

Meet the owners, recognize their expertise, review business plans, strategies, long term visions, meet with others that work with them and
most importantly test their passion and resolve to use your money in your best interest.

By investing in local businesses, whether is it as a donor
or looking for a $$ return you will be putting your investment dollars into your local economy. Royalty financing (http://slowmoneynocal.org/royalty-financing) allows for the business owner to grow/build their business as a successful rate without the pressure of immediate required returns of normal investing.
It allows the investor to take less risks with as much upside as the
traditional investment and, not to be discounted, the value of knowing the company, its vision, mission, leaders and their past successes that, while not a guarantee, can give a strong sense of integrity and confidence.

If you wish to inquire into the opportunities available, go
to the Slow Money website. There are many opportunities here in our 4
counties that are exciting and lots of ways you can play with any level of
participation.

Lastly, Tara Firma Farms is entertaining such investors.
Your farm, your food. If you have interest, let me know (tara@tarafirmafarms.com).
Your Investing Farmer!