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Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Local Dollars, Local Sense is a guide to creating Community Resilience.

Americans' long-term savings in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pension funds, and life insurance funds total about $30 trillion. But not even 1 percent of these savings touch local small business-even though roughly half the jobs and the output in the private economy come from them. So, how can people inc
Paperback, 249 pages
Published February 6th 2012 by Chelsea Green Publishing
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Michael Jandrok
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
For decades now, investors large and small have been placing their hard-earned money in traditional financial products like 401Ks, bonds, stocks, insurance, and mutual funds. The shortcomings of these investment vehicles was brought to light during the last big financial crisis, however. It's still pretty clear that the current world financial markets are unstable and unsustainable, especially given that the current administration in Washington is hell-bent on deregulating markets back to the co ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Contains a really interesting discussion of the systemic reasons it is so much easier to invest in giant globalized companies than in a small business down the street. Also explains the argument for economic localization in a way that makes more sense to me than any I've heard before. An interesting and enlightening read.
Jenn Raley
The major strength of this book is the broad survey of investment opportunities outside the global casino that is Wall Street. Shuman gives detailed examples of ways in which everyday people can invest in local and regional businesses and other endeavors. Many of the stories can be seen as either a challenge or a discouragement, though, as the author is careful to explain how many of these opportunities are outside the regulatory mainstream, and therefore require a certain amount of finagling in ...more
Tim Dewald
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a person interested in learning more about strengthening and participating in my local economy, this book offers interesting and compelling narratives of others doing relevant efforts around the world.

It was an eye opening read that I can see as a sort of springboard for myself to further investigate this emerging trend.

If I were to make a negative criticism, the book begins with the assumed bias towards local economies. It tends to beat up on the usual suspects of Wall Street, big business a
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a well written, accessible general survey of ways to invest in local businesses and organizations. If you are uncomfortable investing in Wall Street, either philosophically, or because you believe it's too volatile or risky, there are options. Many people are uncomfortable about local small business investing, because they believe it's too risky, but the author says that isn't true. The biggest hurdle is federal and state securities regulations, which limit the options of the small inves ...more
Jamie Fuller
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent, informative, and smart. This book breaks down the problems with current investment systems that we all know are there but often can't pinpoint or verbalize well. It also offers insight into how things got this way, what we can do instead, and how to get started.

A relatively quick and easy read, this should be on everyone's list.
Chris Fowler
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Michael is one of the leading thinkers and practitioners about the economy. Highly recommend this and every book Michael has published.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A bit dated (some companies defunct), but large lessons applicable to today
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good way to achieve real prosperity in America is to invest money in local businesses, instead of the multi-national conglomerates of this world. This book shows some ways to do it.

First of all, forget about the usual method, that of buying shares in a local store. The vast majority of investors are "unaccredited," and for a local store to legally offer shares to the public requires an accountant, a lawyer, and several thousand dollars in expenses. A way around that is for the business owner t
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: planning
This book delves into the idea that we as a culture/society/nation are encouraged to invest our money in order to build wealth and save for retirement. The author encourages these ideas and then takes them one step further and says that while you build wealth you can assist your local economy.

How do you do this? Well, not only should you buy this and other books at a local retailer, but you can invest your money locally. You don’t need to go see Wall Street to earn that income and create that s
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
an intriguing book on the options for investing at home, in local "main street" businesses and not feeding the trolls of wall street - the large, multi-nationals that kill local business, jobs & investment. there seems to be a great deal of American money tied into stocks and bonds of these multi-nationals while promising that they're creating jobs, when in actuality, they're not providing living wages and are actively killing jobs and removing opportunities in our communities.

investing locally
Tom Randell
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this not knowing it was by an author I had already read, yeah I can be that obtuse, however what I found is that the detailed delivery of message the message grabbed me just as firmly from this read as Michael Shuman's earlier book.

The guy is consistent and readable. If you care about your local community and building sustainable communities, read Michael Shuman's book Local Dollars, Local Sense. My copy has notes in the margin, sticky notes, and a read worn familiarity, that comes from
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
A fine look at how investing in local economies helps build local communities. Obviously there are limitations to this idea (e.g. I'm here on Goodreads, which isn't a company in my local community), but it's good to at least be aware that there are tradeoffs when we only support non-local corporations. I just wish that there were more academic articles out there with data on locals. This book detailed some studies, but not as much as I'd have liked. ...more
Carol Johnson
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved the idea of this book--investing in the local economy, but I found that most of the ideas were only available only to accredited investors--a term I had never heard of before--people who earn more than $200,000 per year. Many of the new investing options presented in the book have stalled due to the current econmic climate, as the author clearly acknowledges.
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very good book on opportunities to invest locally. The last chapter on investing on
efficiency of your home uses 16% return annually to come up with 35K investment that is what you
would spend on average to make back your investment.
WOuld like to investigate this further.
Sabrina Williams
Feb 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I thought this book was going to be about how to invest in your local CSA or local organic grocery. This book is for harder core banking and investment types that want ask the minutiae of how America can follow the lead of successful international local investment (oxymoron?!).
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very readable book, with some terrific ideas for local investing. Its only real flaw, in my view, is its disregard for the legitimate basis for the investor protections in the federal securities laws. It's not that these laws are bad laws, but times have changed. ...more
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Needs to be read first once through then a person can delve deeply into one or more of the strategies that seem to work in your community for local investing. Excellent information and details. Not a "feel good and get rich quick" book. ...more
Feb 03, 2012 marked it as to-read-shorter-list
Got my copy today, and it looks really good!
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it
An interesting, if scattered, overview of how financial tools relate to local businesses and how they could focus more on local business development.
Matt Erickson
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very important book. Shuman says to get a cup of coffee for part of it- you do need something, it's a fancy writing style but has just enough personality sprinkled to keep it entertaining. ...more
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting book. Ideas that are meaningful regardless of political leanings...
Aug 05, 2012 added it
I heard this guy speak at the Florida Small Farm Conference. I was excited to learn his stratgies for true local economies.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
The pathway to a more democratic, sustainable society is through local financing.
rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2017
Ashton Tassin
rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2014
Lauren Sheil
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Jul 18, 2017
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Nov 16, 2015
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“There’s a tendency for those unfamiliar with cooperatives to look down on them as the leftovers of the mainstream economy, implying that if these ideologically driven people simply reorganized themselves into “normal” private companies, they would be more efficient and productive. In fact, just the opposite is true: Cooperatives often enter into economic activities that private businesses will not take on. The most fertile period of cooperative growth was during the Great Depression. Rural electric cooperatives spread across the American plains when it became clear that other investor-owned and municipally owned utilities were uninterested in wiring up sparsely populated regions. Credit unions, as we’ll soon explore, have seen an upsurge during the recent financial crisis.” 0 likes
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