Close Control

Wrote about how people of modest means used to rent houses together; probably still do. For some reason, this doesn’t translate into pooling collective credit and buying a house together, thereby creating one’s own affordable housing.

Thought about this in relation to so many people losing money on Nortel and other stock plays, where the money is placed, directly or indirectly, in the hands of others. For perhaps the majority of people, the money lost is not money they could afford to lose. If one has some money to invest, why does one not invest in closer quarters. Fifeen people with $2,000 each becoming investors in a smaller business, pooling their collective credit for any excess funding needed.

While an articling student in Toronto, in 1977 I was asked to review the ownership of some of the older buildings in Toronto’s Chinatown, on Dundas Street West. Found one particular building where there were over twenty people on title, as tenants in common. Instead of forming a corporation and buying through a corporation, all of them wanted to have their names on title, in terms of having invested as a group. That is how a prime downtown Toronto investment property was acquired.

People will trust a virtual stranger (otherwise known as a “financial advisor” or “investment manager”) with thousands of their dollars. Give it up and wait for the statements. Perhaps when contemplating the next business or property investment, one might try investing with friends and closer acquaintances. It takes more personal time and monitoring, but when it’s closer, it is more controlled. Venture capital is based on a similar closeness. Self-generated venture capital as the next step?

About brucelarochelle
This entry was posted in Business Commentary, Investment Strategies, Toronto Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

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