"Locally there are lots of nice, tidy, quarter-of-a-million-dollar investments sitting there that the large companies will not do because their overhead is too high. So one of my themes is look in your own backyard — focus on fiscally-conservative, sound investments and focus on local employment. You will be surprised at the opportunity that just leaps out at you."
So says Francis Koster, who specializes in identifying community investment opportunities that offer attractive returns for the capital provider as well as longterm benefits for the local residents. Chris and I met Francis earlier in the year and were impressed by his inventive and scrappy approach to finding fresh, sustainable solutions for many of the long-term Three E challenges we face. He's one of the new voices you may not be familiar that with we think merits attention.
Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Francis Koster (runtime 39m:44s):[swf file="http://media.PeakProsperity.com/audio/francis-koster-2011-03-25-final.mp3"]
In this podcast, Francis highlights a number of the case studies he's collected at his website, The Optimistic Futurist, where motivated individuals have improved their local schools, roads, food, water supply, etc. while earning double-digit returns. These models can be adopted in nearly any community, which is the purpose behind Francis' work.
Not only are these alternative investments worthy of consideration at time when the stock and bond markets are increasingly treacherous territory for investors – but they increase our local and national resiliency. They are a great example of doing well by doing good. And a number of them can be funded at the individual or small group level – they don't require deep pockets; just a little inventiveness and courage.
In this podcast, Francis explains:
- How, collectively, local investments can have more impact than large national public works initiatives
- The large opportunity offered by investing in basic life support systems – food, energy, water, and the environment
- The value that can be gained by simple (and "non-sexy") investments that reduce operating costs and/or conserve – readily achievable with today's technology (vs. depending on new/untested solutions that may not perform as advertised)
- The win-win-win of delivering dependable double-digit returns while creating local jobs, improving the lives of the people in your community, and bettering the environment in which you live
- How our current economy and infrastructure has optimized around cost-effectiveness at the expense of our resilience – investing locally reduces that vulnerabilty.
- How individuals can learn how to apply these models within their own communities
Click here to read the transcript
Francis Koster is proprietor of The Optimistic Futurist. He's a writer and frequent lecturer on threats to our basic life support systems of air, water, food, and energy. His lectures and articles offer proven, cost-effective, and job-creating solutions to those problems. His research, coupled with extensive careers with progressive responsibility in higher education administration, Peace Corps, renewable energy, and healthcare convinced him that it does no good to warn people about emerging problems or opportunities if you cannot also furnish them with an acceptable alternative path.
Our series of podcast interviews with notable minds includes:
- Bud Conrad
- John Williams
- Robert McFarlane
- David Collum
- Joe Saluzzi
- Jim Rogers
- Bill Fleckenstein
- Willet Kempton
- Dan Ariely
- Ted Butler