Capital Gains -

How do you go from comfortable affluence to real wealth? Listen to the Capital Gains podcast, by, with host and professional real estate investor Jonathan Twombly. In interviews with top professionals, we'll discuss alternative investments you might not have known about that can help you go beyond merely obtaining a passive income to growing your asset base and becoming truly wealthy.
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Now displaying: December, 2016
Dec 15, 2016

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.

Are your investments diversified enough to be safe in a downturn?

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.

If you want to diversify your investment base, there’s a new way to do it.

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.

You can now have direct access to alternative investments.

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.

Now it’s easy to find vetted alternative investment opportunities.

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.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:01] My introduction to Sang Lee of Dark Matter.
  • [1:28] The industry of alternative funding and how Dark Matter fits in.
  • [4:21] Who are the end users of Sung’s company?
  • [7:51] Why many advisors are leaving institutions these days.
  • [8:54] How funds become part of this particular investment platform.
  • [11:16] What an investor might walk through to use the platform.
  • [13:42] The investment minimums on the platform.
  • [17:05] How Sung began his company.
  • [20:00] How DarcMatter changes the game for investors and funds.
  • [23:43] The trajectory the company has been on and where it’s headed.
  • [26:15] What investors can expect the first time they login to DarcMatter.
  • [28:13] Forecasting the next 5 to 10 years for DarcMatter.
  • [29:43] Why alternative funds are an exciting area for growth opportunities.

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Dec 9, 2016

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.

How can a currency be digital in the first place?

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.

What is it that gives Bitcoin its value? What’s to keep techies from simply inventing more?

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.

Could the government ever make Bitcoin difficult or illegal to use?

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.

What happens to Bitcoin of the electrical grid goes down?

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.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:08] My introduction of Trace Mayer and the issue of Bitcoin as an investment.
  • [2:22] What is Bitcoin and how is it used?
  • [4:22] What is it that gives Bitcoin value?
  • [8:20] How Bitcoin value can be proved instantly by digital means.
  • [10:44] The limited supply of Bitcoins: How do we know it’s true?
  • [13:44] Can Bitcoin be gamed or compromised technologically?
  • [16:46] The risks to Bitcoin.
  • [18:34] Competitors to Bitcoin and why they don’t threaten Bitcoin’s value.
  • [21:00] The incredible advantages that being first gives.
  • [25:15] Could the government make Bitcoin difficult to use?
  • [27:53] Trace’s book and the premise of it.
  • [32:38] How could you get involved in the Bitcoin market?
  • [38:00] Trace’s beginning experience with Bitcoin.
  • [42:13] The risk of losing Bitcoin should the electrical grid go down.

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On Twitter

On LinkedIn

Dec 6, 2016

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.

What IS an impact investment?

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.

Intentionality and accountability make the difference in Impact Investing.

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.

Is there a trade-off between a company having social impact and being profitable?

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.

Does an Impact Investment fund bring in the same type of returns traditional funds do?

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.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:03] My introduction of Brian Trelstad, partner at Bridges Ventures.
  • [1:51] What does Bridges Ventures do and how does Impact investing work?
  • [5:24] What exactly IS Impact Investing?
  • [7:05] How does Impact Investing differ from charity?
  • [9:11] What’s the difference between an Impact Investment and an investment in a company that happens to be socially beneficial things?
  • [13:20] How Bridges Ventures evaluates a potential investment.
  • [16:32] What makes a business and its potential impactful enough to be funded?
  • [19:57] What Bridges Ventures brings to the table to help impactful businesses succeed.
  • [23:02] Is there a trade-off between philosophy and profitability?
  • [29:36] How do the financial returns of Bridges Ventures funds compare to others?
  • [35:15] What might make a real estate investment impactful?
  • [37:21] Concern for the people of the neighborhood when developments go in.
  • [39:30] Who Bridges Ventures investments are aimed at and how you can get involved.

Resources & People Mentioned