Will Crowdfunding Replace Angel Investing?

From dating to gambling to getting a degree, it seems there’s little that can’t be done online these days. But would you guess another thing you can now do online is fund early-stage businesses with your own money, and receive equity in return?

Startups must get their capital from somewhere, and two significant sources of it are angel investing and online crowdfunding. Angel investing – when affluent individuals invest their own money into startup companies in exchange for equity – has been in practice since the late 1970s, but saw a resurgence post-2007 when the recession ate up traditional capital. Online crowdfunding, on the other hand – when startups raise funding from a large number of people via an online platform – is a form of “alternative finance” that’s rapidly growing and evolving. So much so, in fact, that there’s talk it will surpass or even replace angel investing.

Is such a shift possible? Crowdfunding was valued at $34 billion in 2015, and is projected to surpass both angel investing and venture capital this year. In addition, …

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Get the Guns Out of Your Portfolio

500 Words on Thursday | Written by Lee Schneider 

People have the right to bear arms, but I don’t want guns in my stock portfolio, particularly in the 529 college savings plan that I am starting for my youngest son.

Why should we fund his college education with profits from gun makers like Smith & Wesson?

From a financial perspective, it makes a lot of sense to invest in Smith & Wesson (returning 16% over the last decade), Kraft Foods (highly-profitable maker of addictive crap that is killing us), Philip Morris (selling cigarettes to kids overseas; highly profitable) and Chevon (nice-talking oil company that is still killing the planet while providing solid returns to investors.) Strum, Ruger & Company, a gun maker located just a short car ride away from the Newton school shootings, returned 48.5% to investors over the past year.

In the world of investments big returns are good. It shouldn’t matter how you make a killing in the market, right?  Well, I think it no longer makes sense to fund a child’s …

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