The Great Financial Meltdown of 2008 has left investors and politicians stupefied, collectively scratching their heads in the absence of real explanations or solutions. Pundits sagely call for greater “transparency,” so investors, regulators and the public might better assess an offering’s underlying value.
What we really want is VISIBILITY. Wall Street’s savvy insiders basically couldn’t see what they were buying. They were driving well over the speed limit with their eyes closed—and crashed. In this case it’s the innocent bystanders who are injured and pay the price.
Today there is one place left where the prudent capitalist can invest in confidence. In this investor’s oasis, there is full WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) visibility. Here is an investment that operates in full sunlight, offering a real time, 360 view of the investment landscape, so you can continuously fine-tune your strategy.
American Capitalists, don your jeans and straw hats and join me in the Great American Garden. You have nothing to lose but your losses. This is the only place where your investment yields, at least, a 25-to-1 return.
This astonishing garden-grown ROI is not modern-day speculative sleight-of-hand, but real, tangible and fungible. The pragmatic, prudent, down-to-earth principles and values that made this country great still work–and can put delicious food on your table and green in your wallet.
In the garden you reap what you sow, and can watch your assets grow before your eyes. And, unlike any stock you ever bought, you can enjoy your returns sautéed, boiled, braised, broiled or served raw. This is interest worthy of the name.
Skeptical? Let’s look at the numbers. In January 2009, our company, W. Atlee Burpee, will offer a collection of six packets of vegetable seed ($20.00 if purchased separately) for $10.00. This $10.00 investment in seed–tomatoes, carrots, green beans, lettuce, peas and bell peppers—can produce up to $1,500.00 worth of vegetables on a mere tenth of an acre.
Compared with the produce at your local supermarket … quite simply, there is no comparison. Your garden-grown vegetables offer flavor and freshness that, literally, money can’t buy. These are tomatoes that take pride in being tomatoes, carrots that exemplify a noble heritage of taste and quality.
Today butterhead lettuce is on sale at my local grocery for a $1.75 a head. Burpee offers a packet of 350 butterhead seeds for $3.00, each seed producing one head of lettuce. Making allowances for germination failure, we’re talking one cent per head. So, conservatively, the garden yield will have a supermarket value of about $500.00 for a $3.00 investment.
There are additional cost factors. Let’s estimate at a maximum five dollars for water and a bit of compost. Labor cost: if you don’t garden yourself and hire a gardener, figure 2 hours each week for a month @ $10.00 per hour: a total of $80.00. You’re still saving $415.00. Incredible, eh? No wonder, then, that our beloved new friends, the French, call money, “lettuce”. When you parlay the labor costs across all six crops, the labor gets proportionately cheaper. The bottom line? We’re talking about a return that guarantees $150.00 earned for every $1.00 invested.
Yet this ratio fails to factor in the abundant and tangible non-financial returns: flavor, freshness, a nutritional bonanza for your family. The transcendent pleasures of growing things, watching them grow, being self-reliant and self-sufficient. Replacing the banal gyrations of the marketplace with the elements of sun, earth, and water, and reducing the need for costly anti-depressants.
Over the years my sharp-eyed Wall Street friends have regarded the seed business as hopelessly naïve and outmoded, as if we were selling detachable shirt collars and spats, or music for player pianos. They’ve talked to me as if I were in a dream world, and needed to wake up. Alas, they were the dreamers, and their avaricious dreams are now everybody’s nightmare. I look forward to visiting their gardens.