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Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity--A Resilient Communities Guide

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A Resilient Communities Guide. Americans' long-term savings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and life insurance funds total about $30 trillion. But not even 1 percent of these savings touch local small business-even though roughly half the jobs and the output in the private economy come from them. So, how can people increasingly concerned with the poor return A Resilient Communities Guide. Americans' long-term savings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and life insurance funds total about $30 trillion. But not even 1 percent of these savings touch local small business-even though roughly half the jobs and the output in the private economy come from them. So, how can people increasingly concerned with the poor returns from Wall Street and the devastating impact of global companies on their communities invest in Main Street?In "Local Dollars, Local Sense," local economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors, including the nearly 99% who are unaccredited, how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies-and profit in the process. A revolutionary toolbox for social change, written with compelling personal stories, the book delivers the most thorough overview available of local investment options, explains the obstacles, and profiles investors who have paved the way. Shuman demystifies the growing realm of local investment choices-from institutional lending to investment clubs and networks, local investment funds, community ownership, direct public offerings, local stock exchanges, crowdfunding, and more. He also guides readers through the lucrative opportunities to invest locally in their homes, energy efficiency, and themselves.A rich resource for both investors and the entrepreneurs they want to support, "Local Dollars, Local Sense" eloquently shows how to truly protect your financial future--and your community's.


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A Resilient Communities Guide. Americans' long-term savings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and life insurance funds total about $30 trillion. But not even 1 percent of these savings touch local small business-even though roughly half the jobs and the output in the private economy come from them. So, how can people increasingly concerned with the poor return A Resilient Communities Guide. Americans' long-term savings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and life insurance funds total about $30 trillion. But not even 1 percent of these savings touch local small business-even though roughly half the jobs and the output in the private economy come from them. So, how can people increasingly concerned with the poor returns from Wall Street and the devastating impact of global companies on their communities invest in Main Street?In "Local Dollars, Local Sense," local economy pioneer Michael Shuman shows investors, including the nearly 99% who are unaccredited, how to put their money into building local businesses and resilient regional economies-and profit in the process. A revolutionary toolbox for social change, written with compelling personal stories, the book delivers the most thorough overview available of local investment options, explains the obstacles, and profiles investors who have paved the way. Shuman demystifies the growing realm of local investment choices-from institutional lending to investment clubs and networks, local investment funds, community ownership, direct public offerings, local stock exchanges, crowdfunding, and more. He also guides readers through the lucrative opportunities to invest locally in their homes, energy efficiency, and themselves.A rich resource for both investors and the entrepreneurs they want to support, "Local Dollars, Local Sense" eloquently shows how to truly protect your financial future--and your community's.

30 review for Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity--A Resilient Communities Guide

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Jandrok

    For decades now, investors large and small have been placing their hard-earned money in traditional financial products like 401Ks, bonds, stocks, insurance, and mutual funds. The shortcomings of these investment vehicles was brought to light during the last big financial crisis, however. It's still pretty clear that the current world financial markets are unstable and unsustainable, especially given that the current administration in Washington is hell-bent on deregulating markets back to the co For decades now, investors large and small have been placing their hard-earned money in traditional financial products like 401Ks, bonds, stocks, insurance, and mutual funds. The shortcomings of these investment vehicles was brought to light during the last big financial crisis, however. It's still pretty clear that the current world financial markets are unstable and unsustainable, especially given that the current administration in Washington is hell-bent on deregulating markets back to the conditions that set them up for a big implosion some ten years ago or so. China and Russia are taking active steps to become bigger players in world finance as the United States now looks to take a protectionist stance on global trade. There will surely be other players looking to fill the gap as the United States relinquishes its historic role as the arbiter of world economic growth. Enter the idea of locavesting, the idea that local dollars spent and invested in local businesses have far reaching positive impacts across the entire spectrum of a local economy. I'll admit that I have been interested in this concept for years, but I needed to know more about how to go about actually DOING it beyond just occasionally buying merchandise from a local farmer's market or gift shop. Michael Shuman’s “Local Dollars, Local Sense, How to Shift Your Money From Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity (Community Resilience Guides)” is an excellent first step in learning how to identify viable local investment vehicles and fund them. There is a ton of great information here about the power of cooperatives, the magic of credit unions, the potential of targeted investment funds at local banks, and advice on how you can explore the concepts behind truly local stock exchanges. There are also some great ideas on using self-directed IRAs as a local investment tool. I'll also state for the record that this book is about as politically neutral as you can get. Author Michael Shuman is equally as critical of out-of-control government debt as he is about the harmful effects of corporate greed and malfeasance. Shuman never loses sight of the fact that most (but not ALL) investors want a good rate of return, and emphasizes that local investment need not be a losing proposition. His methods can potentially match and perhaps beat the returns that one would get through more traditional investment opportunities. The idea of locavesting is beyond party politics, it's an area where EVERYONE benefits and EVERYONE prospers. I really do believe that this is one of the more valuable books that I have picked up over the last few years. I'm sure that I will use it as a reference guide as I begin to explore the local investment opportunities right here in my own community.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jacqui

    Contains a really interesting discussion of the systemic reasons it is so much easier to invest in giant globalized companies than in a small business down the street. Also explains the argument for economic localization in a way that makes more sense to me than any I've heard before. An interesting and enlightening read. Contains a really interesting discussion of the systemic reasons it is so much easier to invest in giant globalized companies than in a small business down the street. Also explains the argument for economic localization in a way that makes more sense to me than any I've heard before. An interesting and enlightening read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Raley

    The major strength of this book is the broad survey of investment opportunities outside the global casino that is Wall Street. Shuman gives detailed examples of ways in which everyday people can invest in local and regional businesses and other endeavors. Many of the stories can be seen as either a challenge or a discouragement, though, as the author is careful to explain how many of these opportunities are outside the regulatory mainstream, and therefore require a certain amount of finagling in The major strength of this book is the broad survey of investment opportunities outside the global casino that is Wall Street. Shuman gives detailed examples of ways in which everyday people can invest in local and regional businesses and other endeavors. Many of the stories can be seen as either a challenge or a discouragement, though, as the author is careful to explain how many of these opportunities are outside the regulatory mainstream, and therefore require a certain amount of finagling in order to take advantage of them. The weakness of the book is that it is ideological in a way that closes off debate or further explanation. Shuman states at the beginning that investment in the stock market does not provide the rate of return many believe it does, and this is the lens through which the stories throughout the rest of the book are seen. However, with this as the foundational assumption, there is not much opportunity to explore what he means when he discredits Wall Street's rate of return and touts alternatives instead. I recommend this book for anyone interested in knowing more about alternative forms of finance, either for your own business endeavors or as an investor. It's not the final word on the topic, but it's a good place to start.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tim Dewald

    As a person interested in learning more about strengthening and participating in my local economy, this book offers interesting and compelling narratives of others doing relevant efforts around the world. It was an eye opening read that I can see as a sort of springboard for myself to further investigate this emerging trend. If I were to make a negative criticism, the book begins with the assumed bias towards local economies. It tends to beat up on the usual suspects of Wall Street, big business a As a person interested in learning more about strengthening and participating in my local economy, this book offers interesting and compelling narratives of others doing relevant efforts around the world. It was an eye opening read that I can see as a sort of springboard for myself to further investigate this emerging trend. If I were to make a negative criticism, the book begins with the assumed bias towards local economies. It tends to beat up on the usual suspects of Wall Street, big business and the like, feeding into and reinforcing my own interests that brought me to read it. Those moments feel a bit like an echo chamber, but the book does provide a few interesting examples to support this sort of prejudice.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    This is a well written, accessible general survey of ways to invest in local businesses and organizations. If you are uncomfortable investing in Wall Street, either philosophically, or because you believe it's too volatile or risky, there are options. Many people are uncomfortable about local small business investing, because they believe it's too risky, but the author says that isn't true. The biggest hurdle is federal and state securities regulations, which limit the options of the small inves This is a well written, accessible general survey of ways to invest in local businesses and organizations. If you are uncomfortable investing in Wall Street, either philosophically, or because you believe it's too volatile or risky, there are options. Many people are uncomfortable about local small business investing, because they believe it's too risky, but the author says that isn't true. The biggest hurdle is federal and state securities regulations, which limit the options of the small investor. However, this book details a number of ways to get around these limitations.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Fuller

    Excellent, informative, and smart. This book breaks down the problems with current investment systems that we all know are there but often can't pinpoint or verbalize well. It also offers insight into how things got this way, what we can do instead, and how to get started. A relatively quick and easy read, this should be on everyone's list. Excellent, informative, and smart. This book breaks down the problems with current investment systems that we all know are there but often can't pinpoint or verbalize well. It also offers insight into how things got this way, what we can do instead, and how to get started. A relatively quick and easy read, this should be on everyone's list.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Fowler

    Michael is one of the leading thinkers and practitioners about the economy. Highly recommend this and every book Michael has published.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    A bit dated (some companies defunct), but large lessons applicable to today

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    A good way to achieve real prosperity in America is to invest money in local businesses, instead of the multi-national conglomerates of this world. This book shows some ways to do it. First of all, forget about the usual method, that of buying shares in a local store. The vast majority of investors are "unaccredited," and for a local store to legally offer shares to the public requires an accountant, a lawyer, and several thousand dollars in expenses. A way around that is for the business owner t A good way to achieve real prosperity in America is to invest money in local businesses, instead of the multi-national conglomerates of this world. This book shows some ways to do it. First of all, forget about the usual method, that of buying shares in a local store. The vast majority of investors are "unaccredited," and for a local store to legally offer shares to the public requires an accountant, a lawyer, and several thousand dollars in expenses. A way around that is for the business owner to, for instance, offer a $100 gift card for sale to the public. The buyer then gets $125 in goods or services on that card. The business owner gets extra money coming in, and the customer gets something extra for their "investment." The average Mega-Bank is getting less and less interested in approving a loan for someone who wants to start a business. They would much rather put their money in a higher-risk investment that offers a higher rate of return (credit default swaps, anyone?). Depositors should consider moving their money to a community bank or credit union, which is where loan-seekers should go for a loan. These are institutions where the head office is in your town, or a neighboring town, instead of a neighboring stsate. They will be much more interested in helping local businesses, and treating depositors and loan seekers as more than just a number. Consider resurrecting regional stock exchanges, which would trade only companies from that state or region. Consider changing the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) rules, to make it easier for smaller companies to sell shares to the public, and make it easier for the average person to buy those shares. If you do nothing else, invest in yourself. Pay off your credit cards, pay down your mortgage as fast as possible, consider going (or going back) to school, to increase your available skills as much as possible, and consider a DIY retirement fund. This will certainly change perceptions about finance. It is easy to read, and gives a number of ways to keep your money in your town (where it belongs).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Du

    This book delves into the idea that we as a culture/society/nation are encouraged to invest our money in order to build wealth and save for retirement. The author encourages these ideas and then takes them one step further and says that while you build wealth you can assist your local economy. How do you do this? Well, not only should you buy this and other books at a local retailer, but you can invest your money locally. You don’t need to go see Wall Street to earn that income and create that s This book delves into the idea that we as a culture/society/nation are encouraged to invest our money in order to build wealth and save for retirement. The author encourages these ideas and then takes them one step further and says that while you build wealth you can assist your local economy. How do you do this? Well, not only should you buy this and other books at a local retailer, but you can invest your money locally. You don’t need to go see Wall Street to earn that income and create that savings. You can invest in a mom and pop store, or in your local economy in quite a few ways. The author, Michael Schuman, dedicates essential one chapter each to a group of key ideas. These ideas are intertwined and related, but by separating them out, they become readable, and easy to comprehend. The writing is crisp and approachable. At the end of the book, the reader has an a-ha moment (of for those of us old enough - a V8 moment), where you realize that investing can be simpler than you thought. So, what are those key ideas explored in the book? Glad you asked, they are: Why would you investing your money in businesses you don’t agree with, and cannot influence? Did you know you have options beyond the traditional 401(k) and mutual funds to invest in? The long term impact on the (local) economy that localvesting has So how do you find and get involved in investments that align with your values? Explanations of investment numbers/jargon Examples of things, such as using a local bank (the easiest option for keeping your money local), community based ownership, and investing in a local start up business. One final key idea is that you can invest all you want in companies, large and small, but don’t ignore the value in investing in yourself. How do you do that? Pay off your loans/mortgages, and then save that money. The author believes that getting out of debt is always a better investment than stocks, bonds or retirement accounts.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    an intriguing book on the options for investing at home, in local "main street" businesses and not feeding the trolls of wall street - the large, multi-nationals that kill local business, jobs & investment. there seems to be a great deal of American money tied into stocks and bonds of these multi-nationals while promising that they're creating jobs, when in actuality, they're not providing living wages and are actively killing jobs and removing opportunities in our communities. investing locally an intriguing book on the options for investing at home, in local "main street" businesses and not feeding the trolls of wall street - the large, multi-nationals that kill local business, jobs & investment. there seems to be a great deal of American money tied into stocks and bonds of these multi-nationals while promising that they're creating jobs, when in actuality, they're not providing living wages and are actively killing jobs and removing opportunities in our communities. investing locally comes with a multiplication factor. if I buy local, they use local lawyers and accountants to deal with their business operations - not large home office legal & accounting departments - ergo, that money stays in the community and is reinvested. likewise, if their supply chain is local / regional - that money is also spent local, pays local wages and reinvests itself. he man challenge addressed here is that most Americans - 98% - are not "accredited" and are barred from investing locally. this book presents a lot of work arounds to that and proposes innovative LEGAL options to keep your money in your community and yield a "living return" on your investments while exposing the fact that wall street is not yielding the returns oft hyped. in sum: things are changing. localvores are demanding more than just local food options. they (and socially conscious / responsible investors) want to see good done with their money. and good done locally, while generating jobs. this text adds to the common stock of knowledge and moves investment closer to that reality.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tom Randell

    I read this not knowing it was by an author I had already read, yeah I can be that obtuse, however what I found is that the detailed delivery of message the message grabbed me just as firmly from this read as Michael Shuman's earlier book. The guy is consistent and readable. If you care about your local community and building sustainable communities, read Michael Shuman's book Local Dollars, Local Sense. My copy has notes in the margin, sticky notes, and a read worn familiarity, that comes from I read this not knowing it was by an author I had already read, yeah I can be that obtuse, however what I found is that the detailed delivery of message the message grabbed me just as firmly from this read as Michael Shuman's earlier book. The guy is consistent and readable. If you care about your local community and building sustainable communities, read Michael Shuman's book Local Dollars, Local Sense. My copy has notes in the margin, sticky notes, and a read worn familiarity, that comes from rereading and referencing. T.R.D.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    A fine look at how investing in local economies helps build local communities. Obviously there are limitations to this idea (e.g. I'm here on Goodreads, which isn't a company in my local community), but it's good to at least be aware that there are tradeoffs when we only support non-local corporations. I just wish that there were more academic articles out there with data on locals. This book detailed some studies, but not as much as I'd have liked. A fine look at how investing in local economies helps build local communities. Obviously there are limitations to this idea (e.g. I'm here on Goodreads, which isn't a company in my local community), but it's good to at least be aware that there are tradeoffs when we only support non-local corporations. I just wish that there were more academic articles out there with data on locals. This book detailed some studies, but not as much as I'd have liked.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carol Johnson

    I loved the idea of this book--investing in the local economy, but I found that most of the ideas were only available only to accredited investors--a term I had never heard of before--people who earn more than $200,000 per year. Many of the new investing options presented in the book have stalled due to the current econmic climate, as the author clearly acknowledges.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David02139

    Very good book on opportunities to invest locally. The last chapter on investing on efficiency of your home uses 16% return annually to come up with 35K investment that is what you would spend on average to make back your investment. WOuld like to investigate this further.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina Williams

    I thought this book was going to be about how to invest in your local CSA or local organic grocery. This book is for harder core banking and investment types that want ask the minutiae of how America can follow the lead of successful international local investment (oxymoron?!).

  17. 5 out of 5

    Clifford

    Very readable book, with some terrific ideas for local investing. Its only real flaw, in my view, is its disregard for the legitimate basis for the investor protections in the federal securities laws. It's not that these laws are bad laws, but times have changed. Very readable book, with some terrific ideas for local investing. Its only real flaw, in my view, is its disregard for the legitimate basis for the investor protections in the federal securities laws. It's not that these laws are bad laws, but times have changed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Needs to be read first once through then a person can delve deeply into one or more of the strategies that seem to work in your community for local investing. Excellent information and details. Not a "feel good and get rich quick" book. Needs to be read first once through then a person can delve deeply into one or more of the strategies that seem to work in your community for local investing. Excellent information and details. Not a "feel good and get rich quick" book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Got my copy today, and it looks really good!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    An interesting, if scattered, overview of how financial tools relate to local businesses and how they could focus more on local business development.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matt Erickson

    A very important book. Shuman says to get a cup of coffee for part of it- you do need something, it's a fancy writing style but has just enough personality sprinkled to keep it entertaining. A very important book. Shuman says to get a cup of coffee for part of it- you do need something, it's a fancy writing style but has just enough personality sprinkled to keep it entertaining.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Interesting book. Ideas that are meaningful regardless of political leanings...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    I heard this guy speak at the Florida Small Farm Conference. I was excited to learn his stratgies for true local economies.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David

    The pathway to a more democratic, sustainable society is through local financing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zack

    http://www.examiner.com/books-in-denv... http://www.examiner.com/books-in-denv...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bob

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ashton Tassin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brad

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Sheil

  30. 5 out of 5

    Prescott

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