Locavesting by Amy Cortese


Locavesting by Amy Cortese is a thought-provoking book that explores the concept of investing in one’s own community. The book challenges readers to think more about the investments themselves and how they can be used to support causes they care about.

Cortese makes the case for why investing locally is a good thing, and provides stories of communities and leading citizens who have stepped up to make these changes. She talks about cooperatives, credit unions, direct public offerings, and local exchanges.

The book is divided into two parts: The Economics of Local and Experiments in Citizen Finance. In the first part, Cortese discusses how small businesses are failing, the lure of easy money, and how to reconnect investors and businesses.

The second part focuses on experiments in citizen finance, such as relationship banking, community development loan funds, and social networking.

The main themes of the book are the importance of investing locally, the potential of local stock exchanges, and the power of social networks.

Cortese argues that investing locally can help create jobs, keep money in the community, and level the playing field. She also highlights the potential of local stock exchanges and the impact of social networks on finance.

Overall, Locavesting is an inspiring read that encourages readers to think about their investments in a new way. Useful takeaways from the book include:

• Investing locally can help create jobs and keep money in the community.
• Local stock exchanges have the potential to revolutionize finance.
• Social networks can have a powerful impact on finance.
• Investing with values can be a rewarding experience.

What I Liked

I loved the idea of this book. Investing in local businesses seems like an incredible idea. I appreciated that the book went into deep detail about how to pull it off and what structures need to be put in place.

I found portions about investing for values to be persuasive…even if a bit naive and pollyanna-ish.

The biggest takeaway for me was banking locally especially via a credit union. It’s a risk-free way to get better service, better terms, and invest in your community. I chose to move our money to Delta Community Credit Union after Suntrust (our local big bank) merged with BB&T.

What I Did Not Like

I think the book pulls on an idea of the “good ‘ole days” that never really existed. The world has never been a version of It’s a Wonderful Life and never will be.

I don’t think she addressed the issues of whether local business owners want equity capital or alternative funding. I know I specifically do not want to sell equity or borrow money – on any terms.

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