In the previous Slow Money post, I posed some questions about the velocity of our money. Below are some results of our money moving so fast vs. some solutions that result from slowing money down.
This is all great, but how do we do this? Well let’s revisit the riddle I asked. A raging bull is in front of you. You can’t go around, over, or underneath it. You can’t outrun the bull. How do you escape? Answer – Throw sand in the bull’s eye. I realize the answer is anticlimactic, but sometimes the solution is elusive even though it is obviously right in front of you.
So here is the sand. Slow money is a movement that takes local investors and funds local companies, specifically in food. Woody Tasch has written a book that enlightens the topic in much more detail. Here is why this is gaining popularity.
First of all, just as sunlight is the catalyst for photosynthesis, cash is essential for business growth. Imagine a group of 100 investors defer $1000 from their 401(k) and invest into a local slow money fund. This fund invests in a small organic farm, or a local bakery, or an artisan food entrepreneur. Now $100,000 is available one or all of these prospects.
- Food is essential part of all consumers’ budgets.
- Smaller tastes better.
- Local is fresher and more nutritious.
- Food start-ups require less capital. (imagine the investment to start building commercial jet airliners)
- Small food entrepreneur’s passion for their products is seen in the quality.
So now you are one of the those 100 investors. You found out you are loaning a local bakery $10,000 for a new oven. Would you stop by and try the bread?
If it tasted good, would you purchase it? Would you tell your friends to buy it? Or would you buy the mega grocery store’s bread instead?
Here is another question. You are the baker. Some of your customers are also the people who helped fund your new oven. Would you make sure you take care of your customers? They could also be your neighbors or friends. You may even coach their kids in soccer. Wouldn’t your work hard to make sure you pay them back?
Think of the best loaf of bread you have ever eaten. Where did come from? I doubt it came from a mega grocery store, and I would bet you would like to buy it again.
By doing this (slowing our money down), and then doing it again, and then again, slowly our financial problems ebb away. And slowly we restore our local economies all while providing something we all want – good food.