Many investors believe their options are limited to stocks, bonds, or through a direct 401(k), or IRA. There are other options for investment.
Startup companies can be a great investment option for some investors. Startups are run by entrepreneurs who are hungry to turn their ideas into a successful business.
Alternative investments are attractive options for startups. Investors should however do their research and invest with care. Important steps include knowing what to look for and asking the right questions. Startups are a great option for investors looking to make a profit.
Your Risk Tolerance plays an important role
Startups may seem appealing. Silicon Valley’s giants started out as small businesses that operated out of dorm rooms and garages. Investors believed in the idea and gave these fledgling businesses a chance to succeed.
However, for every Apple, Microsoft, or Facebook, there are hundreds more businesses that did not succeed.
There’s a high-risk, high-reward element to alternative investments, especially startups. The federal regulations regarding investing in these businesses have been relaxed. The Securities and Exchange Commission has set some limits on the amount investors can invest within a 12-month time period.
The SEC guidelines allow you invest as much as $5,200 if your net worth or annual income is less than $107,000.
You can invest as much as 10 percent of your annual income, or net worth, if it exceeds $107,000. If you have more than $107,000, you may be able to invest up to $107,000.
Venture capital and angel investment are alternatives to startup investing. This concept is appealing to personal investors. Let an ambitious young entrepreneur overcome the funding hurdles and have a go at it. It is not easy for many companies to make it.
Know how much you’re willing to risk before you get involved in startup investing.
Smart investors see startups as other investment types. Smart investors diversify their portfolios instead of investing all their money in one asset. This is a great approach to take with startups.
Develop Your Investment Strategy
Before you dive into other investments, create an investment strategy. You must decide how much and how many deals are you going to invest. Your startup portfolio can have 15-20 investments to ensure financial security.
Do you want to allocate equal weight to all your startup investments. That’s one approach to diversification. Another approach is to let yourself invest in companies you are passionate about. Either way, it’s best to know you plan to allocate your funds prior to investing.
Which companies are you most interested in investing? Think about the companies that you are interested in investing in. Is it worth supporting an idea with a talented team? Would you rather invest your money in a more established startup that has a working product/service and revenue?
You may also be able to focus on a specific business sector and make your investments in that area. In your first venture, you may need to invest in multiple stages.
Locating Your Sources For Deals
Investors have full access to all publicly traded stocks through the stock market. This is not true for startups. It is difficult to find companies that are looking for funding. Accessing startups takes some effort.
There are many crowdfunding platforms that offer access to startups looking for angel investors. These platforms provide different levels of access and allow for some due diligence. These platforms provide access to companies in multiple sectors. Others focus on a particular investment area.
Another option is to join an angel investing club. You will meet like-minded investors who are interested in finding strong potential investments. You can also use them as a sounding board to make decisions about investments and hunches about companies. Members often share the responsibility of researching and decide where to invest their money.
Understanding the Financial Instruments
There are many investment options available for startups. Convertible bonds are a very popular instrument for investing today. Convertible equity is basically a loan that earns interest over time. The note can eventually be converted into shares.
Conversion is usually tied to major events, such as the first major financing rounds. Convertible investors are granted shares at the amount offered by the financing round.
The convertible approach can bring investors significant returns if the company gets the right attention. These deals are great for startups because they allow them to invest the money without having to worry about repaying debt. These deals are an easy way to raise funds and fine-tune your business.
You can also use debt financing to loan money to the company. The contract can pay a fixed or variable return depending on how the company performs.
You may be eligible to purchase shares if you invest in startups at a later stage. The shares may have to be held until the company goes public.
How to Research Startups
When deciding whether to invest, it is important to look at financials and business plans. Also consider whether you have expertise in the startup’s field, allowing you to apply that knowledge to your decisions.
Are they enthusiastic about their work? Do you feel that they are committed to seeing it succeed? Are they able to manage or learning from their mistakes?
You should also get an idea of the market size. Startups must have a large market that is growing in order to succeed. Finally, ask whether the time is right for the idea – why this product or service right now?
It can be exciting to invest in startups and discover the possibilities. There are unique benefits to learning about companies and being part of their success.