Local Investment Opportunity Network

Peak Moment TV interviews three people (middle-aged white men) involved in a local investment network in Port Townsend, WA (Local Investing Opportunities Network).  The network is basically just an email list-serv that connects investors with businesses/enterprises, with the help of a guy who knows securities laws; there is no formal structure (e.g. bank, non-profit, etc).  They formalized a more informal investment network that already existed with the email list.  Their goal is to keep money circulating locally, and investors are often ‘paid’ in dividends of products (e.g. cheese) rather than cash.

They discuss some technical details around investment, such as IRA (similar to RRSPs in Canada).  They’ve had about 25 investing opportunities; half have been funded.  About $500k has been invested locally so far.  Challenges include getting the word out, having core volunteer organizers, leadership and expertise.  It sounds like they aren’t allowed to give investment advice; so inexperienced investors need to draw on expertise from other investors, friends, and other sources of info.  The interest rate ranges from 0-8.5%, with most rates between 5-8%, whereas commercial loans are often 10-12%.  They also discuss how it helps make money something more public, rather than something that’s private and secret; it nurtures responsibility and accountability.  They’re also working on a Local Investing Toolkit: www.confisco.com.  They conclude by suggesting that this is one component of the ‘new economy’ that serves Main Street instead of Wall Street.

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