Friday, March 13, 2009

Start Thinking About "Slow Money"

In the past 20 + years, we have observed peers, acquaintances, friends and even family playing the stock market like a casino. Even those of us who consider ourselves prudent investors are guilty of rolling the dice. The priciple in the market has always been one of trying to game the system to get something for nothing. And nothing is what a lot of those "assets" are worth.

Put cash in, with no control and only the casino's rules, and hope to hit the jackpot. We all know that the house always wins in casinos. The "house" in this case has been the "Masters of the Universe" to quote Tom Wolfe - the big players in the big investment houses and banks. We have all, to some degree, been guilty by association and complicity in their crimes. Even Ronald Reagan said, "Trust but verify."

I guess we are all sobered by this trip to the casino. The bright lights are dimmer,the liquor is wearing off, we are hung over and regretful for our drunken behavior. But we must shake it off and learn from our mistakes.

So the question is "where do I put my money?" The stock market will recover, but in the future it must be approached more warily and with greater accountability demanded. One must know this: in the stock markets, no matter how much you think you know, somebody on the inside knows more and is going to leave you flat footed and wanting. Their interests and your interests are not aligned.

Sustainable Glasgow's goal is to encourage investment in this community and region, where the benefits of your money are multiplied and observable.

I heard a story on NPR today that piqued my interest regarding community investment. The subject was an idea called Slow Money. You can listen to the story through the link below. This is an approach where local citizens invest in businesses that they believe in and can see working in clear sight. The example in the story, and the most sensible first application of this idea, is in local/regional food production. How convenient.

I expect that a smart approach for the future will be broader diversification of assets. Why not make part of your investment for the future in businesses in your community and region? Where will you find greater security, transparency,and local dollar multiplication?

I am anxious to read the book Slow Money and I hope that some of you will, too.

This Slow Money idea may drive some of our future initiatives. Read up, think about it and let's make this part of our conversation going forward.

1 comment:

Billy Ray said...

More on this subject here