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As part of my move away from stocks and bonds this year, I am reviewing several "alternative" investments. These include investing in real estate (outside of REITs), shipping container investments (with a company called Davenport Laroche), and private equity.

Does anyone have experience with any of these alternatives?
 

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I have experience of rental real estate investing (houses and apartments) in Canada. I think well of real estate as an investment but you must know it is as much a business as an investment, in other words an active investment that requires active management.
 

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I have experience of rental real estate investing (houses and apartments) in Canada. I think well of real estate as an investment but you must know it is as much a business as an investment, in other words an active investment that requires active management.
+1
I have had one private equity investment. I lost all my money.
 

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As part of my move away from stocks and bonds this year, I am reviewing several "alternative" investments. These include investing in real estate (outside of REITs), shipping container investments (with a company called Davenport Laroche), and private equity.
Diversifying beyond stocks and bonds is a good idea. After all, those are just two asset classes, and they've been in a simultaneous bull market for over 30 years. Imagine that turning on you, and you could get a simultaneous bear market in stocks and bonds.

I think it's best to start with the traditional asset classes in your diversification. Real estate is one, which you mentioned. Could be a home, or land.

The other traditional asset class is gold. It's liquid and readily available, and only slightly more difficult to acquire than stocks and bonds.

I'd encourage you to look at the permanent portfolio construction, discussed in this thread. It turns out that when you add gold alongside your stocks and bonds, you get close to the same long term performance as just stocks & bonds, but you also have significantly less volatility -- due to the diversification gained by adding the new uncorrelated asset class.
 

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Real estate is highly overpriced right now, though there are a few deals out there if you look. As mentioned before, it's not a hands off kind of investment in any of the millions of ways to get involved. I know guys who are angel investors, they work even harder than I do and still only hope for 1 in 10 to get a good return, I think 3 in 10 return their equity...not great odds and a lot of work. I can't imagine the returns you'd get if you didn't do your due diligence properly.
 

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welsh you wouldn't perhaps be related to carol palmer, would you? she's another cmffer who posts rarely but always to offer unique & exotic alternative investment opportunities.

the latest was devices to protect one's pets' security.

normally, if a robber breaks in & a dog starts barking, that's a simple & basic kind of burglar alarm. Doesn't always work, but still burglars historically have under-appreciated watchful or hostile resident pets when they break into a home.

however, the device mentioned in our member's link is intended to protect the pet itself from being stolen.

that's a new one to me. I didn't know robbers were bypassing brand-new tablets, laptops & icecubes in freezers with jewellery frozen into them, in order to kidnap a flea-bitten fido or a mangy tabby cat.

welsh do you think that pet alarms could be a good alternative investment? shipping containers are an older, better-known alternative investment, but they lack that special warmth that comes from a live, breathing, affectionate animal pet, don't you think?

i mean, people would be more motivated to invest to protect a sweet helpless animal than to lease another shipping container, don't you think?


http://canadianmoneyforum.com/showthread.php/107354-Investing-in-pet-safety?p=1431706&viewfull=1#post1431706
 

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I would still suggest the classic stocks/bonds/gold before anything more exotic, but here are two thought on the private equity side.

Onex Corp is TSX traded and is a private equity firm. Symbol ONEX. I hold some of this in my speculative portfolio. Another interesting one is RIT Capital Partners, aka the Rothschild Investment Trust, a large British investment trust that also has private equity exposure. It trades on the London stock exchange. That is somewhat like holding Berkshire Hathaway.
 

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Come on guys - isn't it obvious that welsh-investor spent some time building up his post history, and then posted this with a link to a shipping container "investment" company in order to promote said shipping container company? I can't imagine another reason why someone who lives in the UK would know about TFSA's and spend time on the Canadian money forum.
 

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hp has a good idea. In the past few days we have lost a cat to a wolf. The cat could still show up, but I regard that as unlikely. Could have been taken by a cougar, but I know wolves have been around our place and it's been awhile since we have seen cougars or any sign of same. But domestic animals here need protection from both. We dislike the idea of keeping cats confined to the inside of a house 24/7. So, if you come up with a device to keep cats and dogs safe from predators, I'll be one of your first customers.

On a more serious note, the oft-given advice here is that you have to decide what kind of investor you are. What suits your temperament and personality? No one can answer that for you. Some trial and error is usually involved, but I would be slow to get into something for which you feel no affinity.

You mention real estate. It has done well for many, me included. I have always owned some form of real estate in addition to my home and results have always been good. I have done both quick flipping and the long-term type of investing. The former no longer interests me, perhaps partly because it takes more time and energy than I now care to expend. My real estate holdings are modest and have never matched those of some here, who have built up empires, buying multiple properties annually. Again, for me, that would not suit. It would be more than I would care to think about. I would have to entrust some aspects of it to others or run myself ragged trying to be a one-man show. Neither of those options would suit my temperament.

The stock market is the mainstay of the majority of CMFers. In another life I was involved in taking private companies public, but that was then. A different regulatory environment and I doubt that could be copied today. My current knowledge sucks and I do not pretend to have a scintilla of the knowledge of the average CMFer about stock markets. Again, the idea of learning about it leaves me cold. That does not fit with who I am, so I'll not try to force it.

However, I live where timber provides a livelihood for a lot of folks and I have sat on the sidelines and watched and learned over a period of years. I have found it interesting, therefore easy to learn. Friends and neighbours are in the business, in different capacities. In recent years I have learned how to trade in forest products in various manifestations; mainly what starts as standing timber. I have learned how to tell a merchantable log from one that’s not; I understand the implications of “AAC” - annual allowable cut, , the Ministry of Forests "take or pay" policy, etc. I know how to estimate logging costs and the equipment required (all very expensive) to get the job done. I understand (much better than most loggers) the niceties of the various forms of logging contracts in use, the various forms of forest and timber tenures, the meaning and implications of legislation such as the Forest Act, the Forest and Range Practices Act, and what to expect in dealing with Ministry of Forests District Managers and the Forest Appeals Commission, just for example. It has taken awhile, but now I feel confident in getting involved with my own funds.

Just this week, I was approached by someone who lives close by and who is more a farmer than anything else. He owns a small acreage on Vancouver Island abutting a piece that I own. He came up with something I had never heard of. This fellow used to live in Oregon. I did not know until he told me that Oregon is a significant producer of filberts (hazelnuts). Sure enuff, I googled it and there was much confirming what he said. He said our lands had the right climate and soil to grow filberts and he says they will produce a marketable crop within 4 years and the trees can produce for decades. He is proposing we develop a filbert farm. To me, that sounds interesting. I propose to look into it. Had he come to me and told me about some stock market investment we should investigate, I'd tell him to count me out. Just of no appeal, even if it makes money. But filberts? That strikes my fancy.
 

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Come on guys - isn't it obvious that welsh-investor spent some time building up his post history, and then posted this with a link to a shipping container "investment" company in order to promote said shipping container company? I can't imagine another reason why someone who lives in the UK would know about TFSA's and spend time on the Canadian money forum.

of course it's obvious, that's why i wrote a fun post

there are quite a few cmffers who build up small histories but in reality they are salesmen

seriously Spudd, don't you think that safety alarms for pets would be a funner alternative investment than dull, stodgy, has-been old shipping containers?
like, containers are such a cliché


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of course it's obvious, that's why i wrote a fun post

there are quite a few cmffers who build up small histories but in reality they are salesmen

seriously Spudd, don't you think that safety alarms for pets would be a funner alternative investment than dull, stodgy, has-been old shipping containers?
like, containers are such a cliché
I figured some had missed your point since people continued posting serious replies! And yes, definitely, I want Fluffy to be able to alert the authorities if she needs help! It's investing in what you care about! Rusty old shipping containers are so last century.
 

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I know wolves have been around our place and it's been awhile since we have seen cougars or any sign of same. But domestic animals here need protection from both.

good grief. How did wolves get onto your remote small island in the first place? please don't tell us they swam over.

talk about a snake in paradise. I'd be concerned if i lived there, because of the danger for children. Although they say wolves will attack humans of all ages.



he told me that Oregon is a significant producer of filberts (hazelnuts). Sure enuff, I googled it and there was much confirming what he said. He said our lands had the right climate and soil to grow filberts and he says they will produce a marketable crop within 4 years and the trees can produce for decades. He is proposing we develop a filbert farm. To me, that sounds interesting. I propose to look into it ... filberts? That strikei's my fancy

does "we" mean the 2 of you investing together? a partner?

since this is obviously going to be the lighthearted joke thread, i'll refrain from dwelling on the fact that a hazelnut harvest would be far less time-sensitive than oysters. One has to get them oysters off the island by plane to the fancy mainland restos instantly if not sooner, while the quivering mollusks are still day-fresh in their shells, no?

but a load of filberts could easily sail slow-poke by boat to vancouver harbour. Even when captained by a gentleman who tends to get lost in the night fog of a january winter storm at sea .:peach:


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they always do that around here, haven't you noticed? cmffers are so gullible ...

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But hp, as was said on another thread many months ago, sometimes, even though the initial post is not bona fide, it raises a question of general interest and so serious replies might be of general benefit. I think that is the case here. The general discussion is interesting even though, as pointed out, it's more than just a bit suspicious when someone has a slim posting history and they come up with an excuse to post a link to a specific site such as that here involving shipping containers.

We now have an interesting discussion re wolves. As far as I know, there are always wolves on our island, but the numbers vary. And yes, hp, I will tell you they swim here. See the links below. The National Geographic story says (and I believe) they can swim for miles.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/wolves-on-b-c-s-islands-mainland-genetically-different-1.2669964

http://pacificwild.org/news-and-resources/pacific-wild-in-the-news/national-geographic-puts-spotlight-on-bc’s-enigmatic-sea

So far as I am aware, their numbers vary depending on food supply. If game is scarce, more will leave to find food. I have photos of wolves in front of our house, including one on the beach dining on herring roe on kelp.

Cougars get around the same way:

http://o.canada.com/life/swimming-cougar-vancouver-island

I think black bears will also swim between islands. We have 2 or 3 on the island every fall when the apples start to mature, but we never see them the rest of the year, so I think they leave and I doubt they call a water taxi.

As for danger presented by wolves, there is little.

https://www.thedodo.com/how-many-people-killed-by-wolves-1413351180.html

As noted there: "A 2002 report prepared for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game found no human deaths in North America attributed to wild, healthy wolves since at least 1900."

Just yesterday I got an email from new neighbours. They are a mile south and our closest neighbours. They came last year from Manitoba. They wrote, in part:

"When we were walking past your place when the snow was still on the ground we saw wolf tracks going in and out of your property. Sorry to hear about your cat." Later that day they wrote: "[D] and I going walking almost everyday - should we be afraid of the wolfs? Should be be caring something with us?" I have not corrected the spelling. I think these people know better. I replied thus:

"Nope. No need to worry about wolves. They avoid people and there are few (I think perhaps zero) confirmed cases in Canada of wolf attacks upon humans, over many years. A pack will take on a large dog or much bigger animals, but not people.

Cougars are a bigger threat. But even with them I would not worry too much. We don't have so many around and they are solitary hunters. No chance they would ever attack 2 adults walking together. Small children are at risk, even if accompanied by adults, if a cougar thinks the kid can be picked off. If walking with a little kid, keep the kid close and between the 2 adults (if 2). The real danger is if the kid falls behind. Not all cougars even then will attack people, but some, if they see a chance to grab a small child, they will.

Another thing about cougars, they will come from behind. When I walk alone here, I frequently turn around and check my "back trail". If one is sneaking up on you, that's where he'll be. If you need to carry anything for comfort, a short length (well, maybe 3 feet) of stout stick is good. It can be wielded at close quarters and can provide a fair amount of discouragement. But, as I say, if you are two adults together, you're pretty safe.

Happy trails"

If anyone here on CMF has further and better advice to give about the ferae naturae in these parts, please post it and I'll pass it on.

since this is obviously going to be the lighthearted joke thread, i'll refrain from dwelling on the fact that a hazelnut harvest would be far less time-sensitive than oysters. One has to get them oysters off the island by plane to the fancy mainland restos instantly if not sooner, while the quivering mollusks are still day-fresh in their shells, no?

but a load of filberts could easily sail slow-poke by boat to vancouver harbour. Even when captained by a gentleman who tends to get lost in the night fog of a january winter storm at sea
Good point about the oysters, hp. That was exactly a point made by by filbert friend. He has experience working here with a relative who has an oyster lease and they produce, collect and sell "beach oysters". He said that, for the profit made, he considered oysters to be more effort and risky than nuts! My wife works in a fairly sophisticated aquaculture operation, with products shipped weekly. Their 2 biggest oyster customers are in Toronto and San Francisco.

And yes, my filbert pal is talking about some kind of joint venture, partnership. All rather inchoate at the moment (and maybe to stay that way), but worth exploring. interesting to consider.

Finally, back to wolves, there is some truth about wolves howling at the moon. Being of a certain age, most nights I have to get up to "use the bathroom". But seriously, when you live where we do, the great outdoors beckons. So I step outside, facing the ocean. There is a point of land a mile or so away that has long been known to be home to a wolf pack. If wolves are around, that's the most likely place to find them. I have found it to be the case that if I am out there on a bright moonlit night, it sounds like the wolves are having a party on that point. They are singing and carrying on, having a ball. Hearing them, the loons, the eagles, is all part of the joy of living here. Whales and sea lions seem to also have some nocturnal habits. You can hear the whales blowing and the sea lions snorting even if too dark to see them.
 

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Some of the responses above are confusing and I can barely understand them. Are we talking in riddles now?

humble_pie can you clarify, is this thread serious, or what's going on?
 

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Some of the responses above are confusing and I can barely understand them. Are we talking in riddles now?

humble_pie can you clarify, is this thread serious, or what's going on?
Yeah, hp, step in and take control, will ya'? And please instruct me to refrain from talking in riddles. It's bad form. Even iambic pentameter would be more appropriate.

Although this thread has perhaps not yet gone to the dogs, there is an unmistakable canine air about it, complete with references to seagoing wolves.
 

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Some of the responses above are confusing and I can barely understand them. Are we talking in riddles now?

humble_pie can you clarify, is this thread serious, or what's going on?


jas4 this is a fun thread

why not put away your spreadsheets & imagine stepping outside, onto the beach, in the pitch dark middle of the night. No light except for stars, new moon or maybe no moon at all.

now listen to the symphony of all the totem animals as mukhang plays them for you. Wolves howling & singing, whales blowing, sea lions snorting, loons calling, ocean tides roaring or whispering on the beach. Perhaps the wind moans in the pine trees behind the shoreline.

remember, you're in a pitch-black velvety darkness. You can hardly see your hand in front of your face. This amplifies the sound quality. The night is magic.

the only thing that could be better would be to haul a sleeping bag outside - no tent, just under the stars - but i suppose the risk of wolves coming by for a visit would be too great.


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!

I found this review of Davenport Laroche from Dec 13, 2016, on https://www.pissedconsumer.com/company/davenport-laroche/davenport-laroche-missing-information-20161213972501.html

It says, in part, "To me, that website does not look credible! ... I see it lacking in a lot of important details for investors.I was prepared to invest, but now their website is giving me second thoughts."


lol Davis, at first i thought u were describing cmf forum ! on one of its better days even !!

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