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For those looking to diversify their investment portfolio and explore assets outside more traditionally popular classes, farmland has become an increasingly appealing option. With the economy and stock market suffering in recent years, assets that had been deemed comparatively safe have suddenly become less predictably so. As a result, many investors have begun exploring new investment opportunities—and farmland has become increasingly desirable.
Though in the past it was considered a risky and financially unattainable investment for many, farmland has changed a lot in the last decade. With the rise of agricultural crowdfunding platforms, it’s now significantly easier and more affordable to break into the farmland investing space. Moreover, farmland is a great way to stabilize your investments and hedge against inflation and recession. If you’re interested in exploring investing in farmland for yourself, learning about the platforms available to you is essential.
In this article, we’ll explore all the finer points of FarmFundr in order to help you determine whether or not it’s the tool for you.
What is FarmFundr?
FarmFundr broke into the fast-growing world of farmland crowdfunding in 2015, founded by Brandon Silveira, a fourth-generation farmer and real estate investor.
FarmFunder was created with the goal of maximizing investment returns and lowering the risk of investing in farmland. They strive to make it easy, even for those who are less knowledgeable about farm management and land acquisition, to find high-quality, thoroughly vetted farmland investment opportunities. Because owning farmland is one of the oldest wealth-building strategies in human civilization—but it’s increasingly difficult to find your way into the industry without investing a huge amount of money.
FarmFundr is a platform that specializes in creating opportunities for investors to pool resources with others who want farmland in their investment portfolios. Beyond just reading details about your investment online, you’re invited to visit the property you invest in, all of which are in California, in person. This allows you to really see the land and ask any questions you have about the property on-site.
Another benefit of using FarmFundr is that all brokering is conducted through an SEC-registered brokerage dealer to provide you with the utmost assurance your investment is secure.
Invest in Farmland
West Coast U.S. Farmland
Access to a secondary market
South American Farmland
Open to non-accredited investors
How does FarmFundr work?
To get started with FarmFundr, simply sign up for a free account—this gets you full access to their online portal of farmland investment opportunities, allowing you to peruse all the potential projects you could get in on. Once you find one that aligns with your portfolio and investment goals, you can invest. From there, you simply monitor your investment—FarmFundr handles all the logistics and responsibilities of managing the land, from planting a crop to selling the harvest on your behalf.
Investors receive their share of revenue after each harvest, as well as once the land is sold at the end of the investment’s holding period.
The pros of FarmFundr
What are the benefits of investing with FarmFundr over other farmland crowdfunding platforms? Here are some of our highlights of FarmFundr:
- Expert vetting: Because this platform is founded by someone with highly specialized knowledge and skills, investors are able to benefit from the wealth of knowledge they bring to the investment vetting process—a level of proficiency they would need to dedicate significant time and resources to match on their own.
- Secure, accredited investments: With all investments brokered through an SEC registered broker-dealer, investors can rest easy knowing that their investment is being handled in accordance with all the established rules that keep them well protected, from start to finish.
- Investment transparency and hands-on attention: Since FarmFundr invites investors onto the premises of their farmland investments, you are given a chance to really lift the hood and kick the tires on the land you’re investing in. This level of personal attention is rare in the world of farmland investment, allowing you the chance to get far more personally acquainted with the land you hold shares in than you’d get with another investment platform
- Your investment is in good hands: Since their founder became well established in both land management and real estate before creating FarnFundr, you have the benefit of knowing your investment is being cared for and sold by a company that really knows the ins and outs of both industries. Plus, the company takes an equity stake with their investors, meaning they’re personally invested in things going well.
- High returns and minimal fees: According to their website, average investment returns range between 10%-13% annually. Since FarmFundr takes an equity share on deals, you pay no direct management fees. While some argue this actually ends up costing more in the long run than paying fees upfront, others find comfort in knowing they’re in the ring with their platform.
The cons of FarmFundr
While those benefits speak for themself, there are also some drawbacks to this platform that should be considered before choosing to invest with FarmFundr. Here are the main points to consider:
- Accredited investors only: FarmFundr is only accessible to accredited investors. To become accredited, single investors must be able to prove an annual income of at least $200,000 for the last 2 years—and that amount increases to $300,000 if you’re married. You must also have a net worth of $1 million.
- Comparatively high investment minimums: While FarmFunder certainly makes breaking into farmland investing a more financially feasible option for those looking to explore a new asset category, the minimums are significantly higher than other crowdfunding options at $10,000. If you’re just hoping to try farmland on for size, this may not be the platform for you.
- Minimal investment selection: While other platforms give investors a variety of investment types to choose from, FarmFundr provides only a few options: California Almond Orchard, California Pistachio Development, Denver Walnut Orchard, and Row Crop Farm. For many investors, having a greater variety available to them is important.
Is FarmFundr right for me?
There is no singular right choice when evaluating which crowdfunding investment platform to choose. Every investor is unique, and based on your personal circumstance and portfolio, different platforms will fall in different places in your own ranking. Some things that would make this platform particularly attractive, however, would be if you’re a California resident who wants to be able to visit their investment, or if you’re new to this investment class and are looking for someone to handle management and sale of your investment on your behalf.
Know your needs
Before you commit to a platform, make sure you’ve clearly identified your goals in moving into farmland investing—this will make it so much easier to decide which platform is right for you. While FarmFundr brings industry expertise, SEC accreditation, and full-package investor care to the table, it may not provide the upfront information other platforms provide to help you feel confident in deciding which investment is for you.
And while you know the investment opportunities have been carefully vetted by experts, if you value variety, FarmFundr’s limited selection may turn you off. Be sure you’re choosing a platform that works for your needs and goals.