Americans agree on very little these days. But as local economies flatline and unemployment figures rival those of the Great Depression, red-state conservatives and blue-state progressives can agree on one critical point: Wall Street can no longer be trusted.
According to the Federal Reserve, Americans have $56.5 trillion locked away in Wall Street’s stocks, bonds, pension funds, and more. Yet Main Street—not Wall Street—is what powers 60 to 80 percent of the U.S. economy. These local businesses generate two to four times more jobs than Wall Street’s lauded corporate behemoths. They spend more of their money locally, pay local taxes, hire local people, and create far-reaching social returns for your community.
In a well-functioning investment marketplace, 60 to 80 percent of your money should be supporting 60 to 80 percent of the economy. Today, almost none is.
We’ve been conditioned to funnel our retirement savings into the stocks and bonds of Fortune 500companies, all but ignoring local businesses that are highly competitive and profitable.
Joining us for our discussion on Investing Local is Michael H. Shuman who is on the phone from his Maryland office. Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, entrepreneur, and leading visionary on community economics. He is the director of local economy programs for Neighborhood Associates Corporation, a nonprofit affordable housing company, and an adjunct instructor at Bard College's business school in New York City. A renowned local-economy advocate, he is the author of 10 books including The Small-Mart Revolution; Local Dollars, Local Sense; The Local Economy Solution; and Put Your Money Where Your Life Is: How to Invest Locally Using Self-Directed IRAs and Solo 401(k)s.
Welcome to Mastering Your Money, Michael H. Shuman.