Thursday, September 09, 2010

if not wall street?

Many people have been disappointed by their investments on Wall Street. Where does one invest if not on Wall Street? How about your own community? Small business has the greatest potential for growth, and the smallest aren't on Wall Street. If a sole proprietorship hires a single worker, the work force and maybe profits can double. The government thinks that "small" business is 500 or more employees, but they, as usual don't know jack. There are thousands upon thousands of very small businesses that are having trouble getting support from our bailed out banks and their growth might depend on you or others more willing to invest in community.

In the meantime, most trading and exchanges on Wall Street these days are driven by formulas that are actually unrelated to the actual performance of the company. Stock prices are driven up or down by government reports on hiring, inventory and consumer confidence, not by actual performance and profit. Firms like Goldman Sachs are there to make money whether the market goes up or down, and the more things go up and down, the better the investment banks make out (like bandits.)

Does any of that make sense to you? More and more investors are starting to notice and pull back from what is becoming regarded as a casino form of investing. The house wins. The investor often does not.

And so what are some investment opportunities? Look for organic gardeners, builders, rental property managers whose work you can support and invest in. Did you know you can loan money to your plumber and make 6 percent? Buy something that needs fixing that you can save and sell. Learn a craft. Get down to the most basic level. Start with your own growth as a maker and see where it might lead. It will lead, no doubt, to greater sense of community and reports on earnings that aren't printed out of a computer but that can be seen each day when you drive through your own home town. You might even make greater profit at the same time.

Today I am working on boxes, finishing an order to ship. I will also be getting the Clear Spring wood shop ready for a weekend bowl turning workshop with Greg Thomas, master wood turner from Fayetteville.

Don't forget to participate in the poll at right.

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