Diamonds in Your Own Back Yard: Investing in Your Community


It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.
—Napoleon Hill

The Challenge!

While there are certainly advantages to getting into global investments, it’s important to remember that there are also advantages getting into local investments too. When you help others around you, they succeed with you.   Your local community has lots of investments waiting to be discovered with possible huge returns.

An advantage to local investments is that money stays in the community instead of leaving. When there is more money circulating in the local community, there is a much better chance the community can weather global storms such as major recessions and depressions.

Suppose you shop at mega-retail stores every year. You spend your money and receive products or services in return. It’s a win – win situation. They get the money. You get the product or service.

Now suppose you help others in your community invest in a retail store and then shop at your own store. You spend your money and receive a product or service in return. It’s also a bigger win – win situation – for you. You get the product or service and you receive money back in the form of company dividends and/or equity and/or discounts . You can also structure the retail store in a way where the investor gets a discount on what he or she buys.

When people invest in local businesses, they shop at their own businesses. When more people invest in local businesses together, these businesses will generate more traffic because there is a compounded interest to keep the community sustainable.

Having relationships in your local community is important.  I spent several months trying to acquire a lovely mismanaged marketplace in a local community with the help of key individuals around the city. What I discovered is that there was huge interest in sustaining the marketplace and making it a success. The problem was that no major investor would come to the table to purchase the marketplace because of the sale price, operating costs, repair costs, marketing costs, population base and bylaws that prohibited certain types of expansion. There were many big investment companies that wanted to buy the property but they could not get the numbers to work in order to buy it at a reasonable price.

I suggested to several key individuals how to buy the marketplace “outside the box.” Instead of trying to get a major contracting company to purchase the marketplace, get the local community to purchase it through private shares. Then they can shop at their own marketplace at a discount and have a sense of pride in owning a piece of their own community. As the value of the marketplace grows, so would their pocketbooks. The compound interest of hundreds or thousands of local investors would eliminate the local marketing budget. If it was done right, the investors would naturally tell all their family and friends about their investment and that would drive the local traffic to the marketplace without management having to lift a finger.

This would have turned the marketplace into a money magnet by attracting cash flow inside the community and then giving the cash back to the community in the form of dividends, buying discounts and growing equity. The marketplace was a tourist spot which attracted more money outside the community but would keep the profits inside the community.

I started to receive more interest to move forward with this proposal. I eventually found a partner to help put the plan together and also generated interest from lawyers and banks.

Unfortunately, we were finally beaten out by another group that bought out the marketplace. It was a great learning experience that will not be forgotten. The best part about the experience is that there is a lot of interest to put these types of investments together because it benefits so many people if it is done properly.

We are not limited to that marketplace. Even though we did not get it, we can use the same model to buy food marketplaces, farms, hotel and convention centers, property homes, golf courses, parking lots, mega retail stores, restaurants, and much more. Imagination is the key to a good investment along with the proper “number crunching”.

Can you get a group of people, companies and the local government to take an interest in their own community by making it more financially sustainable? If yes then it is a matter of simply putting a plan together to restructure buying opportunities in businesses by sharing the costs and the wealth. In times of recession, the cities that structure their finances the best will suffer the least. In times of prosperity, they will prosper the most.

This article came from the 1st edition of the 2008  book Get Ready to Take the Plunge: An Essential Guide to Financial Freedom in Canada by Leslie Michael.

He is considering re-releasing  a new worldwide version of the book again with new updated information .  If you find articles and stories like this valuable or have any opinions good or bad about it, please write to us and let us know your thoughts.



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About Author

Leslie Michael Jr. was born and raised on the Westcoast of British Columbia, Canada. He is a lecturer of Money Uncensored, a series of presentations designed for North Americans and people from around the globe to better understand the financial direction this world is headed and what they can do to protect themselves financially.

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