Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It
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More About This Title Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It


How individuals and communities can profit from local investing

In the wake of the financial crisis, investors are faced with a stark choice: entrust their hard-earned dollars to the Wall Street casino, or settle for anemic interest rates on savings, bonds, and CDs. Meanwhile, small businesses are being starved for the credit and capital they need to grow. There's got to be a better way.

In Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It, Amy Cortese takes us inside the local investing movement, where solutions to some of the nation's most pressing problems are taking shape. The idea is that, by investing in local businesses, rather than faceless conglomerates, investors can earn profits while building healthy, self-reliant communities.

  • Introduces you to the ideas and pioneers behind the local investing movement
  • Profiles the people and communities who are putting their money to work in their own backyards and taking control of their destinies
  • Explores innovative investment strategies, from community capital and crowdfunding to local stock exchanges

With confidence in Wall Street and the government badly shaken, Americans are looking for alternatives. Local investing offers a way to rebuild our nest eggs, communities, and, just perhaps, our country.


Amy Cortese (New York, NY) is a financial writer who has spent her career writing about business, finance, environmental issues and food, giving her a unique perspective on how these different realms are intricately linked. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The New York TimesMagazine, Business Week, The American, Mother Jones, Wired, The DailyBeast.com, and many other publications. Cortese was previously senior vice president at online investment bank Wit Capital in the late 1990s. Throughout her career, including five years as an editor for Business Week covering high-tech and Silicon Valley, she has taken complex topics and translated them into accessible, engaging prose for a general audience.


Preface: Starting Anew vii

Introduction: Cereal Milk for the Gods xv

Part OneThe Economics of Local 1

Chapter 1 Motherhood, Apple Pie, and Political Theatre 3
How We Are Failing Our Small Businesses

Chapter 2 Blue Skies, Pipe Dreams, and the Lure of Easy Money 19
Our Financial Legacy and its Unintended Consequences

Chapter 3 Buy Local, Eat Local . . . Invest Local 31
Reconnecting Investors and Businesses

Chapter 4 The Local Imperative 47
Leveling the Playing Field

Part Two Experiments in Citizen Finance 63

Chapter 5 The Last Real Banker? 65
Relationship Banking Is Not Dead – Yet

Chapter 6 The Biggest-Impact Financial Sector You’ve Never Heard Of 79
Community Development Loan Funds Reach Out to Individual Investors

Chapter 7 A Model to LIONize 95
How One Pacifi c Northwest Town Engineered a Quiet Revival

Chapter 8 Community Capital 105
It Takes a Village, or a Police Force, or Perhaps Some Farmers

Chapter 9 Pennies from Many 125
When Social Networking Met Finance

Chapter 10 Slow Money 147
Finance for Foodsheds

Chapter 11 From Brown Rice to Biofuels 159
Co-ops on the Cutting Edge

Chapter 12 The Do-It-Yourself Public Offering 181
The Allure of Public Venture Capital

Chapter 13 Back to the Future 199
The Rebirth of the Local Stock Exchange

Conclusion 221

Notes 227

Acknowledgments 243

Index 245