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“To beat the market you must hold an idiosyncratic, or nonconsensus, view.”

— Howard Marks

Have you heard of investing in yak farms?

What a crazy idea!

In my years of investing, I’ve come across some very interesting and bizarre syndications.

Today, I want to share three of my favorites with you.

They are unique and pretty unknown (at least at the time of this article).

You can syndicate just about anything.

There are a lot of investments with unique characteristics.

Princeton researchers have been looking into the benefits of nontraditional investments since 1965.

According to this study in the Journal of Political Economy, nonconventional investments can even increase overall profits.1

That’s why it’s important to look at this niche in investing.

The investments may be different, but they could also have real upside.

Let’s jump into it!

1. Exploring Unique Investments

We’re going to begin by talking about the three most interesting and bizarre syndications I’ve seen out there.

Airplane Syndication

The first unusual syndication is airplane syndication.

I’ve seen many of these deals.

People purchase an airplane and lease it to an airline or group.

Typical returns for this range from 8% to 15% per year.

There are a few reasons why this could be a very safe investment.

As an added benefit – it’s also pretty cool to say you own an airplane..

South American Coffee Farms

The second investment I find really interesting is South or Central American coffee farms.

Coffee farms can be owned by foreigners.

You buy the land, which yields coffee each year.

The annual return is around 7% to 10%.

Another perk of owning the land is that you can get some of the coffee, which is pretty cool!

When you own land abroad, you can also go visit whenever you want.

These perks aren’t only seen in coffee farms.

There are also chocolate or cocoa farms that exist in similar areas.

When you invest internationally, there are some challenges.

The investment inherently carries more risk.

But there are also a lot of opportunities out there.

Make the decision that feels right to you.

Yak Farming

This last one is probably my favorite.

Yak farming.

I met a guy once who raised yaks.

He said one of the challenges is standing up to them.

They’re big and a little mean.

At some point, they will charge you at a speed of 20 miles an hour or more

You have to stand there and not back down.

It takes a pretty strong person to farm yaks.

They farm them for wool, meat, and dairy.

Returns can be anywhere from 5% to 9%.

Not only do you get a cut of the profits, but you might also get a cut of the beef or wool.

2. Benefits of Diversifying into Unique Assets

I was an investment advisor, specifically an RIA.

I actually still call myself an RIA, but instead of a registered investment advisor, I’m a recovering investment advisor.

I used to deal with Wall Street assets a lot.

Because of this experience, it’s my opinion that Wall Street doesn’t always serve the people.

Concentration in the stock market is overall bad for the economy as well.

According to this study in the Journal of Financial Economics, they lead to less efficient capital allocation, sluggish IPO and innovation activity, and slower economic growth.2

That’s why the returns tend to be more generous when you look at Main Street assets.

Those assets typically have more positive outcomes.

Whenever something is financialized, meaning it’s publicly traded or part of a big firm, that changes the way the investment works.

I tend to look for investments that are a little bit different.

One example of this is when we found a product called life settlements.

A life settlement is a life insurance product.

These specific products can be resold.

This sale tends to happen if somebody has been paying premiums for years and either can’t afford the payments anymore or they don’t want the coverage anymore.

Sometimes people in their 80s will end up selling their policy rights for up to 30 cents on the dollar.

The investor picks up the premiums and gets the benefit when the person dies.

They even get some cash value for it now.

Remember: It doesn’t matter what you invest in.

What really matters is your investment goals.

I’ve had over 2,000 calls with individual investors.

They ask questions like:

How do I reduce my taxes?

How do I grow cash flow?

How do I achieve appreciation?

These are all great questions to figure out your own investment goals.

That’s really what this is all about.

You need to make a goal and figure out what investment works best for you.

3. Steps to Invest in Unconventional Syndications

If you want to invest in unconventional syndication, the biggest thing you can do is connect with people in the field.

Make sure they’re people you know and trust.

One of the most transformational relationships you have as a passive investor is other passive investors.

Sometimes, really unique deals can even come to you.

Through a friend, I met someone who had a deal with a 50% return in about six months.

That’s a super high return!

I saw the investment as fairly low risk, so I went in.

Going to events is another great way to find deals, unconventional and otherwise.

Just because you haven’t invested in a specific area before doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

One of the big things we talk about in my book, Fire Yourself, is a secret system to analyze any deal.

When you look at the market, the operator, and the deal, you need to ask yourself:

How can I make money?

What are the ways that I can lose money?

Because there will always be risk in any deal.

You can even ask the operator about the risks.

See what they say.

They could help you understand how the deal will work.

To wrap this up: Be open to different types of deals, because you never know what will happen.

I never thought I’d be investing in ATM machines.

Now they’re my favorite!

We’ve raised over $16 million in that deal.

It’s become the most predictable, passive cash flow investment I’ve ever done.

We’re also doing stuff in the oil and gas space and seeing great results.

Now I want to hear from you!

What are some unique things you’ve invested in that have done well?

Get the conversation going in the comments below.

Before you leave, make sure to check out our special report about inflation investing. It shares the best choices to invest during an inflationary environment.

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Disclaimer: I am not your investment advisor. This is for educational purposes only. I am not giving specific advice on what you can do. I am simply giving my opinions.

Works Cited

1.     F. Scherer. “Corporate Inventive Output, Profits, and Growth.” Journal of Political Economy, 73 (1965): 290 – 297.

2.     Kee‐Hong Bae, W. Bailey and Jisok Kang. “Why is Stock Market Concentration Bad for the Economy?.” S&P Global Market Intelligence Research Paper Series (2020).

Bronson Hill

Bronson used to work as a consultant for a medical device company but switched to investing in apartment buildings to make his money work for him. He started with a single rental property that made good money and, after some advice from a family member, moved into bigger real estate projects. Now, he's all about helping others get into this kind of investment to earn money without having to work all the time. When he's not dealing with investments, Bronson loves to travel, write songs, stay active, and help fight modern slavery through his work with Dressember. He believes in working smarter, not harder, and wants to share how that's possible with everyone.

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