Investment diversification is an important topic for any serious investor, mainly because you don’t want to have all of your investment eggs in the same types of baskets. That’s where alternative funds come in. An alternative investment is an asset that is not one of the conventional investment types, such as stocks, bonds, or cash. For that reason, it’s not an area of investing typical investors are familiar with, which is why I invited Sang Lee to come on the show. Sang is with DarcMatter, an online platform that deals almost exclusively with alternative investment assets, making them available to any accredited investor. On this episode of Capital Gains, you’re going to learn why alternative investments are a smart move when it comes to investment diversification and how the DarcMatter platform works.
Most investors understand the need to have their assets and investments diversified. When risk is spread out over a number of sources your assets are less vulnerable to market changes and fluctuations. But most investors are not aware that with the digital age there are new opportunities for investment that were previously unavailable to average investors. That’s where DarcMatter comes in. It’s an online investment platform that focuses on alternative investments. On this episode, I spoke with Sang Lee, CEO and Founder of DarcMatter about how the platform makes uncommon investments a reality for average investors. You’ll be intrigued by how the platform works and what it has to offer.
The traditional investment portfolio doesn’t usually include much in the way of international assets, but online platforms like DarcMatter are changing all of that. In your DarcMatter account, you can diversify your investor base by accessing both domestic and international LPs. But you won’t be doing it in the dark. You’ll also be able to streamline your investor interactions and track all communications through the dashboard. And you don’t have to worry about compliance issues either. DarcMatter’s system has you covered, ensuring that everything is done above board. You can find out more about the platform by listening to this conversation I had with Founder, Sang Lee.
The digital age has brought many changes to the traditional business models of the past - Uber, Airbnb, and others are changing the landscape of the way we do business and procure services. The same is happening these days in the realm of investing. Companies like DarcMatter provide transparent access to pre-vetted hedge-fund managers, private equity funds, venture capital, and other group funds to help you take advantage of opportunities that may have seemed out of reach before. Sung Lee, CEO and Founder of DarcMatter is my guest on this episode of Capital Gains.
When you login to the DarcMatter interface you’re able to browse investment opportunities using built-in search features that allow you to drill down into the exact areas and niches you are interested in pursuing. And the system keeps in mind how you’ve completed your investor profile, suggesting funds based on your personal or client risk profiles and investment preferences. It’s a tailor-made alternative that you’re able to do online, on your own. You can directly indicate your interest in a particular fund, allocating as you please. You’ve got to find out more about this amazing platform and the investment diversification that’s possible using its powerful features. Find out how Sang Lee and his team have designed DarcMatter to be both effective and easy to use, on this episode of Capital Gains.
If you haven’t heard about Bitcoin, the first example of cryptocurrency, you’re not alone. Over 10,000 times per month people are Googling the question, “What is Bitcoin?” I’d heard about Bitcoin a number of times but still felt like I didn’t have enough of a handle on what it is and how it works, so I decided to invite an expert on the subject to talk with me for the podcast. On this episode, I chat with Trace Mayer, one of the leading experts on the Bitcoin phenomena. He’s not only going to tell us what Bitcoin is, but also how it works, why it’s becoming more and more popular as a form of currency, and how you can get in on the Bitcoin movement.
Everything we’ve ever known and used as a currency has been tangible, something we can hold in our hands. But Bitcoin is changing all of that. Now you can transfer value - money, as easily as you transfer a file to someone over email. Only it’s encrypted using the same industry leading standards that many banks and financial companies use so that the value is kept intact, safe from the eyes and hacks of crooks who might want to exploit or use it themselves. Every transaction is tracked. Ownership of every coin is known. And it’s gaining ground worldwide. Find out what Bitcoin is and how it works by listening to this conversation with Trace Mayer.
When I first began this conversation with Trace Mayer I was a bit skeptical about the Bitcoin technology. But the more I got into the topic with him the more I understood that my skepticism was based on the fact that I didn’t understand the technology enough. As Trace began to explain to me how Bitcoin was first invented and the safeguards that have been built into it to ensure that its value is inherent and can’t be lost, it all started to make sense to me. You can learn more about how the Bitcoin system works and why it’s thought to be the currency of the future, on this episode.
Much of the fear surrounding Bitcoin has to do with the fact that it’s a completely new way of doing things when it comes to exchanging value in a transaction. Nobody really knows what the United States government or any government for that matter will do in attempts to regulate it, modify its use legally, or restrict it altogether. My guest today, Trace Mayer thinks that any steps that governments take should be to support and encourage the use of digital currencies like Bitcoin because it’s a more secure and stable currency than any that has ever existed - and makes exchange across currencies even easier. You can hear Trace’s argument and learn how Bitcoin is growing in value almost daily, on this episode of Capital Gains.
One of the biggest areas of vulnerability for any digital asset (computers, smartphones, online systems of any kind, etc.) is its dependence on a functioning electrical grid. Should something happen to bring down the infrastructure of a nation, or the entire globe (think natural disaster or effective EMP attack) then Bitcoin would be impossible to transfer and use. When I asked Trace Mayer about this possibility he had a very interesting answer that I think will get your wheels spinning. You can hear what he has to say about it on this episode.
Every investor wants a good return on his/her money. But is social impact something that you should be concerned about when it comes to where your funds are invested? For some years now certain individual investors have been concerned about the companies included in mutual funds, etc. for the sake of ensuring that they are not financing companies they are averse to supporting. But can it be done on a wider basis? Can social impact be a driving force behind not only a company but an investment fund? That’s exactly what we have in Bridges Ventures and today I’m talking with Brian Trelstad, partner of the firm to find out what Impact Investing is and how it’s becoming one of the more sought after ways of investing these days.
One of the basic questions I had to ask my guest today was this: What IS impact investing? Brian Trelstad is a partner at Bridges Ventures, an investment fund that aims specifically at investing in companies that are not only socially conscious but more so, are aimed at particular social issues that they want to address through the success and profits of the company. Those are the kinds of companies that are of great interest to Brian and the Bridges Ventures team because they are not only profitable and viable investment opportunities but are also making a difference in the world on a broader scale. Learn more about Impact Investing on this episode of Capital Gains.
When I asked Brian Trelstad what makes one recipient of a person’s funds a charity and another an Impact Investment he was quick to point out two things that define the difference: Intention and accountability. The Bridges Ventures team seeks out investment opportunities that are specifically aimed at a societal problem that the profits of the company are intentionally aimed at addressing. But they also look at the ways the company in question is aiming to support their favored cause and how they plan to be held accountable to do it. It's very different than charity giving. Find out more about the social impact of impact investing on this episode.
When you hear of a company like Tom’s Shoes that makes a huge investment in meeting the needs of people in specific areas of the world, do you ever wonder how much the profitability of the company is hurt because so much of their labor, materials, and shipping costs are spent producing products that will realize no profit at all? I asked my guest, Brian Trelstad if there is a trade-off between social impact and profitability and was pleasantly surprised at his answer. You can hear how he responded by listening to this episode.
Since this is a show about investing it seemed natural to me to get a feel for the rate of return socially conscious companies realize in comparison to companies that are not intentionally aimed at such causes. But I also wanted to know how an investment fund like Bridges Ventures - one that invests only in socially impactful companies - fares when compared to other more traditional investment funds. You’ll probably be surprised to hear the great rates of return the Bridges team sees through their investment philosophy. You may also be impressed with the extra levels of due diligence in which the Bridges team engages to ensure that every investment is as close to a guaranteed winner as it can be. Brian shares the Bridges Ventures approach to social impact and Impact Investing on this episode.
John Livesay is known as “The Pitch Whisperer.” He coaches startup founders who are seeking funding in how to best prepare their pitches to get maximum response. He knows the realm of pitching for funds inside and out, not just for the sake of getting money but also in terms of what investors are really looking for in startups and in their founders. If you are at all interested in learning how to be more effective in pitching your idea to investors, or are an investor who is looking to gain more knowledge about how to assess startups and their founders, this episode with John is going to be of great benefit to you.
There are many product and business ideas that could probably make a significant impact on their target market and truly meet a legitimate need. But they never see the light of day because the people behind the idea are not good at packaging and presenting it to the people who could make it happen - investors. If you want your investment pitch to be the most persuasive and successful it can be, you need to know my guest on this episode, John Livesay. John generously shares a wealth of insight from his work with startup founders and investors to help you understand what goes into a great pitch and how you can become skilled at giving a pitch to investors. Be sure you listen.
Many founders or business owners try to pitch their idea to investors without the proper preparation - both of their idea and of themselves. John Livesay has developed a very specific process that walks startup founders through the stages of preparation that can make their pitch compelling and persuasive - but he also helps the person presenting the pitch craft the right stories, develop their personal mindset, and hone their speaking skills to make the presentation go off without a hitch. The number of founders he’s helped get their ideas funded is impressive. You’ll enjoy hearing his story on this episode of Capital Gains.
You may have some very compelling data or facts that show the veracity and need of your product or service. But if you can’t convey it in a way that shows that the idea will meet real needs and that YOU are the person to make the idea come to life, you will have a hard time convincing investors that it’s worth their time and money. John Livesay insists that every founder he leads through crafting their perfect pitch develop stories that draw the investors in. You can find out how he does it in this episode.
One of the things I asked John Livesay on this episode was how startup founders can best go about pitching their ideas to investors. He said the single most important thing is that the founder learns to ask for advice, not money. When you ask for money you’ll typically only receive advice. But when you ask for advice you’ll not only get a lot of questions and interest, you also open the door for the potential investor to learn more about your idea and get excited right alongside you. That often brings investment offers - which is what you want in the first place.
If you want to know how to become an angel investor you need to hear this conversation. I chat with Kathleen Murray, a businesswoman and angel investor who stepped into the world of angel investing on her own, supporting a startup company in the wine industry that she still works alongside today. Interestingly, she isn’t sure she would invest in the company again if she was starting over and you can hear her explanation in our conversation. Kathleen is a person who is very clear about the risks and rewards of angel investing and has a great way of describing the process, including how to get started as an angel. If you’re interested in the possibility of investing in startup companies, Kathleen has a helpful perspective on her own journey that can help you consider all the options, so be sure you listen.
In this conversation with Kathleen Murray, an experienced angel investor, I learned how she got started in angel investing through a relationship with a company in the wine industry. In the course of our conversation she said that if she had it to do over again, she isn’t sure she would invest in the company in the first place. Why is that? It has to do with the long-term nature of the investment, the constant infusion of cash that’s been required to keep the company profitable, and the lack of a clear exit strategy for her investment. You can hear all the details on this episode of Capital Gains.
One of the things I was curious about when talking with Kathleen Murray was whether angel investments are typically income producing or if the profitability is typically realized at the end of the investment period. Kathleen was quick to point out that seldom is a startup company able to realize the kind of profits that enables investors to be remunerated in an ongoing manner. The funds that are put into the company are used to make it become profitable, not to enable quick profits - and there is a very clear difference. You can hear Kathleen’s clear and simple way of explaining the role of an angel investor on this episode.
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not angel investing is for you, my guest Kathleen Murray has some very clear questions she suggests you ask yourself to determine if angel investing is a good fit. Do you have extra income you don’t mind losing if a deal doesn’t work out? Are you excited about business and supporting new businesses? Are you eager to help new entrepreneurs who have great ideas? Are you willing and able to provide counsel, advice, and coaching? These are just some of the questions Kathleen shares so be sure you listen to get the entire list of things she says you should consider.
Kathleen Murray says that angel investing is not for the faint of heart and not for those who want a passive investment. Angel investing requires a good deal of time - in the beginning stages it's spent going through a thorough due diligence process to ensure the investment is in your best interest, and once the investment is made, walking alongside the company founders helping them think through and navigate the challenges of starting a new business. Kathleen does a great job of outlining the commitment and time it takes to be a truly helpful angel investor on this episode.
If you’ve heard the term “angel investor” but haven’t been sure exactly what it’s about, this is the conversation for you. On this episode, I chat with Jim Sullivan, an experienced businessman who has only been working as part of an angel investing group for just over two years at the time of our conversation. He’s the perfect guy to explain what angel investing is, how investing groups come together, how they assess potential investment partners, and what they are aiming to achieve in the end. I think you’ll really enjoy hearing Jim’s perspective on what it means to be an angel investor. He’s even got some advice on how to get started in angel investing, so be sure you make the time to listen.
Of course, anyone who has the money to invest in startup or first stage companies is able to do so. But doing so on your own can be very risky. An angel investing group is a partnership of individual angel investors who agree to work together to consider, assess, and advise early-stage startup companies in search of funding. The members of the group share the load of examining the risk VS reward of investing in the various companies and together make the decision to invest or not. It’s a great way to share the burden needed to make truly smart investing decisions. Jim Sullivan of The EF Angels investing group helps us understand how it works and is my guest today, on this episode of Capital Gains.
When you consider that there are always new companies looking for investment capital and that there are always investors who are looking to invest in promising new ideas and technologies, it may seem that getting those two parties together is a simple thing. But it’s really not. On this episode of the Capital Gains podcast, Jim Sullivan shares how he and his angel investment group make the first contact with potential startups through personal connections, introductions, and more. It’s proof that relationships and connections matter in business and you can hear how Jim and his group follow up with those first-time introductions to establish investment partnerships, so be sure you listen.
Imagine someone you don’t know approaching you at the local coffee shop. The person tells you about his brand new company, the incredible ways he believes it will change a specific high-tech field, and asks if you have the funds to become an investor in what he’s doing. Would you be interested? Most investors wouldn’t simply because they don’t know enough about the person, his company and product, what stage of development and marketing he’s at, and is likely at least a bit ignorant about the market the product or service is targeting. In short, there’s been no “due diligence” performed to ensure that the risk is one that is acceptable. Jim Sullivan is my guest on this episode and he explains what his angel investing group does in terms of due diligence so you can better understand how an angel investor makes decisions to invest or not invest.
When I asked my guest, Jim Sullivan what he recommends for the person who is intrigued by the idea of becoming an angel investor, he responded by saying that the first thing a person needs to consider is that they have a certain “risk threshold” - a level of risk beyond which they are unwilling to go. He recommends you know what your personal risk tolerance is and that you get your head around the idea that angel investing has no guarantees. You have to be prepared for the possibility that in every deal you may walk away with none of the money you’ve invested. It’s for this reason that Jim believes that angel investing is not for everyone and why he shares the kind of temperament that he believes is most suited to being an angel investor, on this episode.
Creative real estate investing is not a typical concept you hear about. But Nav Athwal is not your typical tech founder. He has over a decade of experience in real estate as an attorney, broker, and investor. Nav lectures at UC Berkeley Law School and the Haas School of Business, is a frequent contributor to Forbes, and is often featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business. In this episode of the Capital Gains podcast, I talk with Nav about his online real estate investment platform RealtyShares. It’s created to bring investors and real estate companies together to make investments and funding seamless. We talk about how the platform was built and got started, how it works, and the kinds of people who best benefit from being a part of the platform.
It was only a matter of time before the investment world - and in particular the real estate investment world - caught up with the way that technology and crowdfunding have changed so many other fundraising ventures. RealtyShares is an online platform that enables investors and real estate companies needing funding to come together to cooperate on vetted, verified deals that are poised to make money for everyone involved. On this episode, you can hear how Nav Athwal and his team have put the platform together and why Nav believes it’s on the cutting edge of the real estate investment strategies of the future.
Talk about creative real estate investing - this is it. When you sign up for a free account to become an investor with RealtyShares you are able to invest in amounts as low as $5,000 in projects or deals that have submitted all their details and financials - about the deal and the company overseeing it. Those companies are vetted and eventually approved by the experts at RealtyShares. It’s a great way to get started in real estate investing that is free of much of the risk that can happen in unverified deals. Nav Athwal shares how the RealtyShares platform is growing by leaps and bounds because of its simplicity and ease of use for investors, on this episode of The Capital Gains podcast.
The average real estate investor has to work hard to save up a significant chunk of cash before he/she is able to get in on an investment deal. But Nav Athwal and the team at RealtyShares has made it possible for would-be investors to invest as little as $5,000. It’s possible through the platform’s ability to pool funds from a variety of investors to fund projects that exist within the RealtyShares database so that the real estate developer or company is able to get the funds they need from a variety of sources. The RealtyShares platform only earns 2% of the initial amount invested and the returns on the actual project are what provide the dividend to the investors. Find out more about how RealtyShares works on this episode.
Because the RealtyShares platform combines the investments of many individuals or entities to fund development projects, they are able to spread out the funds of individual investors to mitigate risk. In other words, the money invested is used in more than one project. That makes the possibility of losing an entire investment smaller and the returns more likely. Of course, the RealtyShares team cannot and does not guarantee specific returns but the concept has built-in components like diversification that make it much safer for the average investor. RealtyShares is a great idea and is poised to change the real estate investing world forever. It’s truly creative real estate investing.
When you think about real estate development you typically think of the big apartment complex being built in the trendy part of town or the company that’s putting in a new neighborhood down the street. It seems overwhelming to think of taking on a project of that magnitude, but like anything else in life, you can learn how to do it if you approach it the right way. Today’s guest is Steve Olsher, an online personality, author, and entrepreneur who has spent a good deal of time as a real estate investor - and he did so by organizing development projects like the ones I mentioned earlier. How did he do it? Steve tells the story on this episode of Capital Gains.
As Steve Olsher got started in real estate development he spent time watching what people did who had been doing it for a long time. Through observation and lots of questions, Steve discovered that there are ways to make money at almost every stage of a development project - from the initial closing all the way to management or sale of the project. When I heard him say that it got my attention so I asked Steve how it’s possible. If you want to hear his answer you’ll have to listen to this episode. And I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Steve Olsher lives in southern California, one of the most expensive real estate markets in the United States. Yet, every day as he drives down the street he sees development opportunities that he is confident could make money. How could that be true? Steve’s background in real estate development is what enables him to see how the changes in neighborhoods and communities, coupled with the existing properties can be leveraged into multi-family unit properties that could even include retail space. That kind of development not only meets the needs of the people moving into a popular area like southern California but it also spurs economic growth. You can hear more about Steve’s insights into real estate investing through development, on this episode.
After hearing Steve Olsher’s story on this episode I was very curious how he would advise those interested in the possibilities offered through real estate development to get started. So I asked him. His answer was very practical. He says if he was starting all over he’d first do the work it took to meet people who are already overseeing developments in his area. He'd get to know them and find opportunities to come alongside to watch and learn. The benefit of seeing the development process in action when you have no cash involved is unparalleled and powerful. Learn how to make those connections that will help you take the first steps into real estate development by listening to this episode.
While Steve Olsher has had a lot of experience investing in real estate developments, that’s not all he’s done. Most people know him from his books or his podcast. It’s in that realm that Steve has been thinking most recently. He’s starting to believe that a handful of people with smaller followings on social media could leverage their small following in a cooperative effort with others who also have small followings. Their combined efforts could produce a monetary benefit as a result. He’s not giving away a lot of details at this point but Steve expects that he’ll have something to show the public by the end of 2016. If you’d like to hear more of the ideas Steve’s mulling over, you can hear all about it on this episode.
Multi-family real estate was not the first real estate investing experience for John Cohen. He has been investing in real estate since 2010 and started out purchasing tax deeds and tax liens, doing $3,247,000 in real estate transactions in 2013. He switched his focus to multi-family properties and joined a group that closed $70 million worth of transactions in one year. Prior to his involvement in real estate, John was a licensed (series 7 and 63) stockbroker but decided that real property investments were far less speculative than the stock market. On this episode, you’ll get to hear why John’s company invests in multi-family properties exclusively, how MF properties are safer investments in a turbulent economy, and what he recommends to those who are eager to invest in the multi-family niche of real estate.
Many investors who are trying to build consistent monthly cash flow understand the advantages of rental properties. There's nothing better than having tenants pay your mortgage as you make money on their occupancy of the property they’re paying off. But what happens if the property winds up vacant for a period of time? What happens if the renter is delinquent on their rent payments? Headaches, that’s what! Multi-family properties are almost immune to those issues because the overhead and cost of the property is spread out over many streams of income - the individual renters. On this episode John Cohen will tell you why multi-family real estate is so attractive to him and how you can benefit from being a multi-family investor.
John Cohen has been investing in multi-family properties for some time. That makes him the ideal person to tell us how to find and invest in multi-family units. On this episode, he gives away his specific strategies for researching a potential real estate market, the exact tools and websites he uses to do his analysis, and drives home the importance of building a good network of brokers and professionals on the ground in the prospective market where you're going to invest. You won’t hear hands-on, relevant advice like this anywhere else, so be sure you listen if you’re at all interested in investing in multi-family real estate.
If you’re considering a multi-family investment property in a city that is not familiar to you, say in Charleston, SC, what are the steps you should take to make sure you understand the local economy and real estate market? John Cohen says there’s only so much you can do online or over the telephone. You’ll eventually reach the point where you need to take a trip to the prospective city to look things over yourself. When you do, there are people you need to meet, specific questions you need to ask, and certain data you’ll need to accumulate from local offices. If you don’t know how to do those things, you’re in luck. John Cohen is on this episode to walk you through it step by step.
One of the questions I asked John Cohen toward the end of this episode of the Capital Gains podcast is how a person who has little experience, and maybe even a smaller amount of cash to invest, can actually get into some real estate investment deals. John’s company specializes in setting up multi-family investment deals and includes a variety of investor types in those deals, so he was happy to give us the full scoop on how it can be done. If you are at all interested in investing in multi-family real estate, John’s got some valuable information for you.
The venture capital world is growing by leaps and bounds and companies like Flybridge Capital Partners are fueling the tech and innovation behind many of the things that are transforming the world. In this conversation, I talk with Jeff Bussgang, general partner at Flybridge Capital Partners about a variety of things surrounding the venture capital space, including how he got started, what his company looks for in a startup company, and how they assess the leadership and team to make a wise early stage investment.
Early stage investments are nothing more than the money provided to promising companies that are not yet producing their products or services but have made significant headway toward the development or distribution of it. The money they receive is often referred to as “seed money” - the money used to enable the development, marketing, and progress of the company to move it toward profitability and sustainability. On this episode, Jeff Bussgang shares how his interest in the entrepreneurial world led him to become general partner of an early stage venture capital firm, and why startup funding is so exciting.
When I asked Jeff Bussgang what the team at Flybridge Capital Partners is looking for in an early stage company he gave me a number of criteria they look at to show them there is promise in the company: Innovative potential, leadership and team, the Pied Piper effect, and more. If those sound a bit vague, don’t worry. As you listen to this episode you’ll get a very clear understanding of what each of those things is and why Jeff and his team consider them vital to discerning a good investment from a bad one. It’s all on this episode of the Capital Gains podcast.
If the team at Flybridge Capital Partners is going to get behind a startup financially they want to see that the primary leader of the startup company possesses what they call a “pied piper” quality. That means he/she is a person who is a natural leader and attracts the interest of people to the projects they are working on. Jeff Bussgang points to the fact that we all know people whose ventures and projects are naturally of interest to us - and it’s because of who the person is and how they are wired that we are attracted. You can almost smell the excitement and potential because they are a person who tends to make things happen. Find out more about this elusive but tangible leadership quality, on this episode.
Jeff Bussgang understands that networking and connections are a huge advantage when it comes to making a company or cause successful. So much so that he’s generally unwilling to have serious conversations about funding a startup if their team did not approach him through some kind of mutual connection. He’s convinced that people who know how to make and utilize connections are also the people who will be able to build the relationships that will equip their company for future success. You can hear Jeff make the case himself on this episode.
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If you want to learn how to network with the people you most need to meet, nobody can teach you how to do it more effectively than my guest today, Judy Robinett. I came to know about her through reading her book, “How To Be A Power Connector.” Through the book, she opened my eyes to a systematic way to connect with people that influenced my thinking significantly. I invited Judy on the show to talk about her book, but also to share her experience in the angel investing niche - which is significant. Those are two ways you’ll benefit greatly from this conversation, so I hope you take the time to listen.
Networking used to be nothing more than going to business meetups and exchanging business cards. But even back then, those who knew the “secret” recognized that it wasn’t about being at the meeting to blast out your name and business to others, it was about adding value. Judy Robinett says that those who learn to add value to people quickly, get noticed quickly - and it’s that kind of attention that puts you on their radar in ways that can move your business endeavors forward. Judy unpacks that principle and a whole lot more on this episode, so be sure you listen.
It’s so much easier to start a conversation with someone you need to meet if someone they already respect or work with introduces you to them. That’s called a “warm introduction” and it’s not always something that’s easy to come by. But Judy believes that anyone can learn how to get those kinds of introductions - to almost anyone on the planet - if they know how to go about it. On this episode, she shares her two “golden questions” and tells you how to use them to make connections with the people who matter. You won’t want to miss this simple but powerful tip. It’s so obvious it’s embarrassing that I hadn’t thought of it before.
Judy Robinett points out that since the average person knows 600 people, it’s likely that almost everyone you meet is connected to someone that would be beneficial to you or your business. Said another way, the resources and introductions you need the most are only a few relationships away. But you have to know how to go about discovering those relationships and how to go about getting the warm introduction you need. Judy is a pro at doing that and in this conversation he tells me some of the ways she has gone about connecting with high profile people in all industries, government, and more.
One of the foundational principles of power connecting is that you play the long game. Patience is indeed a virtue. Find out what other people do. What are their dreams? Then think of the ways - through your resources and connections - that you can advance what THEY are doing. In this way, you become an asset to them that they won’t easily forget. When the time comes that you need to ask for a favor or introduction, they’ll respond in light of the value you’ve already provided to them. In other words, they’ll trust your motives because you’ve already been generous to them - and they’ll be eager to help. Judy Robinett is my guest today and she shares a lot more tips like this one, on this episode.
My guest today is Razi Karim, CEO of Bayside Venture Partners. Razi and his team focus specifically on investing in early stage companies that they see as potential successes in T.I.M.E. - Technology, Intelligence, Media, and Entertainment. Razi sees their company as a “Micro VC” company, an early stage accelerator. On this episode, you’re going to hear Razi describe the many ways his company comes alongside early stage companies to both advise and fund them toward the path to success.
That’s the strategy that Razi and his team follow as they consider startups that are in need of early stage investing. They want to make wise decisions about whether to invest in the company of course, but once they do make the decision to fund a company they want to do so in a way that allows them to ride the wave of success as the company raises funds, builds out its infrastructure, onboards users or clients, and begins to make a splash. You can hear how Razi guides his company through everything from initial conversations to negotiations, to full on seed funding in an early stage company, on this episode of the Capital Gains podcast.
Naturally, every seed funding source is going to have its own criteria for what would remove an early stage company from funding consideration. Razi ????? and his team have discovered that there are a handful of things that indicate that the company or its team are not quite ready for the kind of support that Bayside Venture Partners (Razi’s company) are able to give. If you’re an early stage company that will eventually seek funding, you’d do well to know Razi’s list so you can do everything possible to be an attractive opportunity for your investors when that time comes. You can hear his suggestions on this episode.
The world of venture capital and seed funding is new to most startup founders so it’s good to have an experienced voice that can speak to the issues involved. Today’s guest, Razi Karim gives a handful of suggestions to teams that are seeking or will soon be seeking investments in their early stage company. His suggestions range all the way from team dynamics and business model to already existing customers or users, as well as the attitudes he looks for in the leaders of new companies that tell him they will be a great partner to work with.
Many people who are actively investing are tired of the stock market, don’t believe in the return on bonds, and are open to other options. If that is you, it’s entirely possible that you could invest your funds in early stage companies. Razi Karim suggests that you find a group that invests in companies like you are interested in that has a track record of experience and good returns. The company's team should also have an eye toward identifying and evaluating the talent and opportunities that early stage companies bring to the table. You can learn more about how you can go about seed investing, on this episode of The Capital Gains Podcast.
It’s a vague dream most of us have that we’re not really sure how to define. We have that entrepreneurial itch, we’ve even build a small business of our own, but we don’t really know what it takes to make it to a level of true success. Tony Coretto is a guy who knows what it looks like and what it takes to achieve it. Tony and his partner began a business together without a lot of experience or savvy in the world of startup businesses. But as they learned in the school of hard knocks they discovered some timeless principles and strategies that made their business flourish. So much so that they sold it for big money and Coretto is now investing in real estate, dabbling in angel investing, and lots more.
Coretto and his partner didn’t really know what they were doing when they first started their marketing firm. They had mostly done contract work for others and inherited a big client from someone they had worked with in the past. That client opened their eyes to the possibilities of building something more significant and the journey began. On this episode of the Capital Gains podcast I’m speaking with him about the challenges they faced as the business grew, what they did to find the right team members, the psychological challenges of transitioning from part of the team to leader of it, and much more. Anyone who wants to become a successful entrepreneur will learn a lot from this guy. He is one.
As his company was growing, Coretto and his partner realized that the main thing holding them back from more growth was the two of them. They were the only ones doing the work for their clients and simply had no more bandwidth to add more. Their first step was to outsource some of the work to contractors, which worked for a while and helped them grow to the next level. But in time they came to see that full-time employees were the next step toward greater success. When they begin the process they learned very quickly that you have to take your time to ensure that you hire the right people. And if somebody is not working out, you need to do something about it quickly. You can hear the hard lessons learned from this successful entrepreneur’s climb to the top, on this episode.
When his business kept growing, Coretto and his partner began to entertain ideas for how they could grow their income and one idea was buying other related businesses. They were just at the point of exploring those possibilities when other business leaders began approaching them about buying their business. It wasn’t something they had thought about but figured they’d better consider it. Long story short - they sold the business for a tidy sum and today are doing the things they love to do - travel, family time, and more. Sounds like a dream entrepreneur success story, doesn’t it? You can find out how they did it, on this episode.
For my guest today that was a very valid question. He actually enjoyed building and running his business and felt that he had to find something to engage in that kept him sharp and built toward the future. He had already begun investing in real estate a bit and decided to crank up his investing quite a lot. That’s lead to the creation of a holding company, many rental properties, and possible land and real estate purchases in Costa Rica. You can hear what Corretto is up to and how he got there, on this episode.
Or at least it’s going to be. Think back to what happened to the alcohol industry once prohibition was lifted. Many companies sprang up overnight and the financial boom it was for smart investors was unheard of. The medical marijuana industry is poised to present a similar opportunity - only this time it offers an additional bonus - the use of cannabis as medicine is truly helping people (unlike alcohol). On this episode, Jonathan Twombly chats with Asher Troppe of Tress Capital about the opportunities that exist now and others that are coming as cannabis is becoming legal across the United States and even the world.
It’s easy to be skeptical about something that has come on the scene as quickly as the legalization of marijuana has. And with recreational use being pushed forward right alongside the medicinal uses it’s no wonder the average American is slow to accept the idea. But research and actual case studies are showing significant medical uses for marijuana that can’t be denied and those who are interested in investing in things that truly help others have an opportunity to both help and profit financially at the same time. This episode unpacks the legal and medical issues and paints a great picture of the opportunities that exist for savvy investors.
Every state in the United States has its own laws and guidelines for the use and production of medicinal cannabis, but it’s only a matter of time before common standards are created and enforced regarding the potency and use of it as medicine. The State of California has already passed a law that will soon require laboratory verification of the potency of medicinal marijuana. There are already companies that conduct lab testing to determine THC levels in medicinal cannabis - and they only serve about 5% of the medicinal market at this time. What’s going to happen when the regulations go into effect? Those companies will boom. The good news is, your investments could too. Find out more on this episode of Capital Gains.
It stands to reason that as regulation and law begin to legitimize the use of marijuana as a medicine that investment companies will step in to provide funding for the cannabis related companies out there and opportunities for investors. Tress Capital is one of those investment companies and on this episode you’ll get to hear from co-founder Asher Troppe about how Tress Capital is carefully positioning itself as one of the leading investment firms in the industry - and doing so from the standpoint of credibility and trust. It’s a great and revealing conversation.
It’s impossible for anyone to predict exactly what will happen in any industry. Investment forecasters have proven that to be true over the years. But all signs point to rapid and continued growth for the cannabis industry for the foreseeable future. With legalization spreading across the U.S. and more effective regulations coming into place each year, the need for companies and capital in the industry are going to become more and more in demand. Find out how you can get in on this growing industry at almost the ground floor, on this episode of Capital Gains.
Charlie O'Donnell is the sole partner and founder at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. His fund makes seed and pre-seed investments to startups and was the first venture firm located in Brooklyn, the place Charlie was born and raised. Charlie’s got a particular interest in New York City startups and has gotten involved in the first round of funding for many companies to date, including Canary, Orchard Platform, Tinybop, Hungryroot, Clubhouse, Ringly, and goTenna. On this episode Charlie chats about his approach to choosing startups he is interested in investing in, what he looks for, why he thinks a good team and a great idea carry equal weight, and what he’d like to see happen in the realm of angel investing in terms of diversification.
It’s a proven fact that the return on investment (ROI) for the typical real estate deal far exceeds what you’ll see in the typical wall street investment. But the risks are - well - different. There’s a tremendous learning curve when it comes to real estate investing so you want to be sure you have your ducks in a row before you step into the game. Having a person like Joe Fairless as a resource and guide will definitely help you make that learning curve shorter, which is why he’s the guest on this episode of Capital Gains. Joe is an experienced real estate investor who makes money in real estate primarily through purchasing multi-family apartment buildings. On this episode you’ll hear how Joe got started, what he looks for in deals, and why he believes anyone can make money in real estate if they take the time to learn the business.