Arete Wealth’s Rogers: Invest in Small, Local Businesses

Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 07:45 AM

By Michael Kling

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Want to invest like Warren Buffett? Invest locally in small businesses you understand.

Call it “venture localist” investing, Joshua Rogers, founder and CEO of Arete Wealth Management, writes in an article for Forbes.

Buffett recommends investing in companies you understand, and small local companies are easier to understand.

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

Buffett, Rogers notes, has invested in local businesses such as See's Candies, a chain of sweet shops in California, and Nebraska Furniture Mart and Borsheims jeweler in his hometown of Omaha, Nebr.

If you're dismayed by Wall Street scandals, unethical scandals and market volatility, going small and local might be the way to go, Rogers argues.

The idea is becoming more popular, he says. In Shark Tank, a television reality show, a panel of investors considers ideas from small entrepreneurs.

In addition, peer-to-peer lending appears to be gaining traction. For example, the Kickstarter website helps small entrepreneurs raise money from small investors, who have invested $380 million into the projects.

Find a product or service that you admire or a business run by a friend or relative, Rogers advises. Knowing the people running the business will help you understand the business. Plus, you can depend on their personal integrity. On the other hand, you don't personally know the CEO or board members of a large corporation, he notes.

Local investing does pose some risks, he admits. For instance, you can't turn to a horde of analysts reporting on the small businesses. But the risks could be fewer and more apparent. And besides generating good returns, it could benefit your community.

Another version of local investing, the Slow Money movement, helps connect food producers to nearby people.

“Let’s just take some of our money and invest it near where we live in things we understand, starting with food,” says the movement’s founder, Woody Tasch, according to The New York Times. His returns are in the “lowish single digits,” ranging from approximately 3 percent to a few percentage points higher.

“Some people have opined that this is high-risk, low-return investing,” he says. “But the next question is, risky compared to what?”

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

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