Yes, I’m serious. You didn’t think I was a farmer, did you?
Well, you’d be right. I don’t know shit about farming. But times are a changin’. I will explain.
As an American, foreign real estate is one of the few things that are exempt from American taxes. Pretty cool. I’ve also wanted to own land outside the USA for quite a while now for various reasons, including personal, financial, and five flags related.
Also, agriculture is a fantastic investment right now. Agriculture is at historic lows. Agricultural commodities like sugar are at 75–year lows(!). They are a great investment buy. All kinds of agricultural commodities like sugar, corn, cotton, and numerous others are likely going to explode in value over the new few years/decades.
The reason for this is simple. Being at their lows, if the world enters into a time of prosperity, demand will rise, so their prices will also rise. If instead the world enters a huge recession (which much more likely of course), collapsing Western governments all over the planet will do the only thing they know how to do to prevent recessions: print money like maniacs. This will drive prices of commodities, especially underpriced commodities like agriculture, upwards.
Investing in agriculture is pretty much a win/win scenario in my opinion, at least in the mid to long-term. The one possible hitch in the long-term is technological growth. It’s possible that in years/decades down the road, someone will invent something where you can snap your fingers and make all kinds of vegetables appear out of nowhere (instant growth, etc). This may drive agriculture prices down. Maybe. I consider this a small risk that I’m willing to take. Also, this kind of thing would only affect the first world. The second and third worlds will still need their corn and sugar.
Because of all of this, one of the aspects of my long-term financial plan was to own a small farm far outside of the USA. The benefits to me would be:
– Income from the farm
– Long-term investment in land
– Mid to long-term investment in agriculture
– International diversification (my Country D for five flags)
– Possible tax benefits
– A home/base of operations in a foreign country (one of my “flags”)
My plan was to purchase this land in South America, likely Chile or Peru, about 5-10 years down the road.
I’ve changed this plan to do this in Paraguay next year. Here are the reasons:
1. This will help me gain both residency and citizenship there. If I can show a real effort to invest in Paraguay via buying land, setting up a business, employing Paraguayans, selling to Paraguayans, and re-investing back into the community, all of which I intend to do, this will help my process a great deal. There are no guarantees, but it will at least help.
2. I have officially fallen in love with Paraguay. I’ve been there three times in the last nine months and I always find myself excited to go and missing it when I leave. The more I go, the more I like it. Despite it’s second-world aspects, the people there are amazingly friendly and relaxed across the board. The climate is gentle, the environment is cozy, and literally everyone I’ve met from poor people to middle-class workers to upper-class professionals and attorneys, all have been fantastic.
3. It will force me to up my timetable on learning Spanish, something that my five flags plan requires me to do for numerous reasons.
4. I’ve made a network of contacts with people in Paraguay who I really like, most of whom speak English, who I can rely upon for basics. I’m not alone down there anymore.
5. This can count as my fourth Alpha 2.0 business, just in case I want to eliminate or downsize one of the other ones in the next few years (which is likely).
So, I’m going to do this in 2020 instead of 5-10 years from now. I’m very excited.
Do I know anything about farming? No. But a farm is a business, and I know business. I will hire any experts I need and outsource everything, Alpha Male 2.0 style. I’ve also always wanted to start a business that I knew nothing about, forcing me to outsource all of the SW tasks. It’s going to be an amazing adventure and I can’t wait to get started. (Seriously! I’m getting excited just typing this.)
As to the type of farm I’m going to start, I’m going farm corn. As I said, corn is an amazingly fantastic, versatile, and safe investment. I considered farming soybeans, sugar, cotton, and a few other things, but corn seems to me the best and least complicated choice. I also briefly considered raising cattle, but as an international traveler dealing with livestock would present a problem for me, so I passed. Too many international entry forms ask you if you’ve had any contact with livestock during your trip. No thank you.
Here’s my current plan:
- Return to Paraguay on or before December of this year to finalize my residency process. I should be a legal resident of Paraguay before the summer of 2020.
- Have several meetings with some farmers and agricultural experts here in the USA I know (two of which are in my extended family) and come up with a very specific plan and budget to purchase the land, establish the farm, and sell the goods.
- Start casually looking at land online to get a feel for regions and prices. I don’t necessarily need a farmhouse, but real estate outside of Asunción is so cheap in Paraguay I might as well get one.
- Visit Paraguay at least two more times by the end of next summer and purchase the land.
- Use my attorneys and other business contacts down there to help me hire a staff to maintain the farm and to sell the corn.
- Hire either someone down there or someone internationally to document all procedures of the farm and create an operations manual so I don’t have to rely on any specific individuals as employees and can rehire people and train them very fast.
- Hand the day-to-day management of the farm over to someone capable. This person will email me regular profitability reports.
- Visit the farm on a regular basis.
This farm will be an example of an offline Alpha 2.0 business. It will run profitably without me having to physically be there all the time despite it being in a set, real-life location instead of a website. My IT marketing company is my other offline business, but that doesn’t require a location.
I’ll keep you all updated on my progress. I can’t wait to get started.