- Mitt Romney says a billionaire tax will trigger demand for these two physical assets — get in now before the super-rich swarm
- Stocks are down, but “cash is not a safe investment,” says Ray Dalio — get creative to find strong returns
- Warren Buffett likes these 2 investment opportunities outside of the stock market
Meet Your Retirement Goals Effortlessly
The road to retirement may seem long, but with WiserAdvisor, you can find a trusted partner to guide you every step of the way
WiserAdvisor matches you with vetted financial advisors that offer personalized advice to help you to make the right choices, invest wisely, and secure the retirement you've always dreamed of. Start planning early, and get your retirement mapped out today.Get Started
Betting (on) the farm
Gates’ purchase of farmland in North Dakota initially raised concerns because of a Depression-era law that prohibits corporations and limited liability companies from owning farmland in the region.
North Dakota’s Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring previously told KFYR-TV — a television station in Bismarck, North Dakota — that many people weren’t thrilled about the news.
“I’ve gotten a big earful on this from clear across the state, it’s not even from that neighborhood. Those people are upset, but there are others that are just livid about this,” Geohring said.
However, the anti-corporate farming law does allow individual trusts to own farmland if it is leased to farmers — and that’s what Gates’ firm plans to do.
On Wednesday, North Dakota’s Attorney General issued a letter saying that the purchase complied with the law.
A recession-resistant asset
You don’t need an MBA to see the appeal of farmland.
Markets can go up or down, but no matter what happens, people still need to eat.
That makes farmland intrinsically valuable.
And it just so happens that Gates’ good pal Warren Buffett also likes the asset.
In fact, Buffett bought a 400-acre farm in Nebraska back in 1986. “I needed no unusual knowledge or intelligence to conclude that the investment had no downside and potentially had substantial upside,” Buffett later wrote.
At Berkshire’s annual shareholders meeting earlier this year, Buffett mentioned farmland again as one of the two assets he’d buy instead of Bitcoin.
“If you said, for a 1% interest in all the farmland in the United States, pay our group $25 billion, I’ll write you a check this afternoon,” he said.
No need to be a billionaire
While the ultra-rich have been acquiring farmland, you don’t need to be a billionaire to get a piece of the action.
Publicly traded real estate investment trusts — that specialize in owning farms — allow you to do it with as little money as you’re willing to spend. You don’t need to know how to work the farm, either — just sit back, relax, and enjoy the dividend checks rolling in.
Gladstone Land (LAND), for instance, owns 164 farms totaling 113,000 acres. It pays monthly distributions of $0.0454 per share, giving the stock an annual dividend yield of 2.5%.
Then there’s Farmland Partners (FPI), a REIT with a farmland portfolio of 185,000 acres and an annual dividend yield of 1.8%.
If you are looking for options outside the stock market, there are investing services that allow you to invest in farmland as well.
What to read next
- Sign up for our MoneyWise newsletter to receive a steady flow of actionable ideas from Wall Street's top firms.
- Too many Americans are still missing out on cheaper car insurance
- How to turn your spare change into a diversified portfolio
Follow These Steps if you Want to Retire Early
Secure your financial future with a tailored plan to maximize investments, navigate taxes, and retire comfortably.
Zoe Financial is an online platform that can match you with a network of vetted fiduciary advisors who are evaluated based on their credentials, education, experience, and pricing. The best part? - there is no fee to find an advisor.