When guys get together someplace, there is eternally some sport to talk about, but then there is always time to run through what investment escapades one or the other has been through lately. No one is really kind to their money managers in these conversations either; but what are those poor managers to do? It’s a challenging market for them – and they don’t get a set fee for their services; they work on a 1percent commission. They really would not be standing by watching your investments take a dive if they could help it; their paychecks are taking a dive also. And they are so sick of seeing their incomes disappear month after month, they are looking to fresh ways to invest money, to bring their salaries up to speed. New, unorthodox ways.

Mostly, money managers are not so pleased with the customary thinking, that investing in stocks is the best way forward. If you would read any professional investments magazine for the people who manage your money, alternative investments is something they can’t stop talking about. What exactly is ‘unconventional’ as they mean though? They just mean investments that are not welded to the stock indexes and the treasury bonds. They are considering pointing their clientele to ways to invest money like buying up farmland, investing in managed commodity futures funds, and different unrestrained mutual funds. So what is all this business with the farmland?

Farmland investment has been rather popular for a while. Of course, you do need a certain minimum funding to get into this, normally about $120,000. You can purchase a dozen acres of farmland, lease it out to those who till the land, and collect your $3000 royalty check every year. And since land is forever in demand, you could forever sell it to get your money back, and then some. Why, in the last 15 years, land prices around the corn belt have risen approximately 7% yearly. But land prices do fall, and there is no real guarantee. In Iowa, land prices frequently lose about half their value once every 5 years or so, and rise up to gain a quarter in the following years. But there is a certain pleasure involved in making your wealth tilling the ground, even if by remote control.

Managed commodity-futures funds offer some really good ways to invest money. And they’re pretty exotic too. What they do is they buy a stock call option on anything they think is going to be hot in upcoming years, livestock, grain, or anything. And they hope that that product comes to be in demand. It doesn’t take much money to bet on the future in this way, and so many people could crowd towards this soon. Investors seem to be making a lot of money this year on this kind of investment. You don’t go to an everyday stockbroker, you go to a commodities trading advisor for this. Your broker or advisor will charge something like a fifth of whatever you make. These used to be just for the large investors until of late. But hedge fund sponsors are now bringing the market to you and me. You are able to get in with $8000.

It could actually be time to get out there and find new ways to invest money; the traditional avenues have not in fact been very kind to us lately.