Tuesday, February 06, 2018

The Investment Series....

Many years ago, when I first began teaching, I made a decision that most of my fellow teachers did not understand: I opted out of the state Retirement System.  I gave up a guaranteed pension for life after 20+ years of service.  Instead, I chose an Optional Retirement plan, whereby I invested and controlled my own contributions.  Now that I've "retired," that decision is paying off.

Now, rather than waiting for a monthly check from the state, I have taken my stash of cash with me, to use as I see fit. And having spent the last 20 years teaching Economics & Business, and working with young entrepreneurs seeking to start their own businesses through the Grinspoon Entrepreneurship Initiative, I am now entering a new phase of "work:"  using my accumulated retirement funds to invest directly in new and growing businesses. 

We're not talking stocks here: we're taking making loans and buying equity in small family businesses that are not traded on the markets. It is probably one of the most exciting and rewarding things I have ever done.

After planning for this for the past year, I have eight deals in various stages of closing.  And so today, I reveal my first investment:

Green Mountain Organic Creamery is a 20,000 sq/ft dairy processing plant located in Hinesburg, Vermont. GMOC was founded by Cheryl and John “JD” Devos, organic dairy farmers from Addison County, Vermont. Cheryl and JD own and operate the 200 cow, Kimball Brook Farm, which is capable of producing 3,400,000 pounds of milk per year. GMOC purchases its organic milk primarily from the Farm at fair market value prices and then produces and distributes certified organic, Vermont milk and value-added milk products (flavored milk, cheese, butter, etc.) throughout Vermont, New England, and New York.

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