The Real Estate Law Podcast

Cultivating Alternative Investments and Diversifying Your Real Estate Portfolio with Josh Ziegelbaum

December 27, 2022 Jason Muth + Rory Gill Season 1 Episode 82
The Real Estate Law Podcast
Cultivating Alternative Investments and Diversifying Your Real Estate Portfolio with Josh Ziegelbaum
Show Notes Transcript

Alternative investments are an excellent way to diversify your portfolio beyond real estate and stocks, and that's the topic of discussion on this episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast.

Meet Josh Ziegelbaum, Director of Investor Relations at Legacy Group, an alternative asset manager that targets profitable investment opportunities with high social and environmental impact in Latin America.

Josh is responsible for managing investor communications, onboarding, individual accredited investors and commercial clients, as well as overall support of company initiatives.

One of the Legacy Group's premier alternative investment options is The Green Coffee Company, a consolidated coffee farming operation based in Medellin, Colombia. The company’s innovative business model allows complete control of the supply chain: from cultivation, through processing, to direct trade with end-clients.

Since its founding, GCC has grown to become Colombia's second largest coffee producer with 4,010 acres of landholdings, and the most technologically-advanced producer of coffee in Colombia.

What we love about this discussion is that it's a deep dive into alternative investments - who are these right for, how to get involved, what to expect as an investor, and why people consider adding them to their portfolios.

In this episode, we discussed:
- What exactly is an alternative investment?
- Alternative investments outside the U.S. in emerging markets
- Why coffee? Farmland as an alternative investment.
- Why alternative investments are becoming more popular with investors
- The importance of producing a positive environmental and social impact
- What does it mean to be an "accredited investor?"
- The client profile for who typically invests with the Legacy Group
- Background on Legacy Group and The Green Coffee Company
- What types of investment offerings does Legacy Group have for accredited investors?
- What legal questions should you ask before committing capital to an alternative investment?
- What tax benefits are available for investments such as these?
- The value of excellent communication with investors

Where you can find Josh:
Website - https://legacy-group.co/
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-ziegelbaum-85a01270/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/legacygroupinvestments/
Green Coffee Company - https://gcc-coffee.com/

Join Jason Muth and Attorney / Broker Rory Gill of NextHome Titletown and UrbanVillage Legal in Boston, Massachusetts for another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast!

#realestatepodcast #nexthome #humansoverhouses #realestate #realestatelaw #realestateinvesting #realestateinvestor #realestateagent #financialfreedom #alternativeinvestments #diversifyingyourportfolio #emergingmarkets #accreditedinvestor

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Josh Ziegelbaum:

At Legacy Group and you know, it's at the core of our business that we want to focus on investment opportunities that produce high social and environmental impact. We believe that we can create meaningful financial returns for our investors, while also doing right by society. At Green Coffee Company, we do just that. So I could touch on a couple of things we do more granularly at the company. So from a social impact perspective, you know, we're the largest,

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Jason Muth:

Welcome to another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast. Thanks so much for joining us. Jason Muth here along with Rory Gill attorney, broker UrbanVillage Legal, NextHome Titletown Real Estate here in Massachusetts. How are you Rory?

Rory Gill:

Rory. How are you Jason?

Jason Muth:

We're excellent. We're talking about alternative investments today. Rory, we talk a lot about various real estate opportunities. Talk about BRRRR strategy, short term rentals, commercial real estate, industrial real estate a little bit everything. And I know a lot of people who are listening are looking for ways to continue making money in what is a volatile environment where you always have to be looking over your shoulder to see what's coming up behind you. And we thought we would do an episode about alternative investments, something that wasn't necessarily what everyone was looking at, right?

Rory Gill:

far afield, we're going to talk about investments outside the United States, farmland and things are way beyond our expertise. So that's why we're really excited to bring in Josh Ziegelbaum today to talk about what he's been up to and the, you know, what we would call an alternative investments.

Jason Muth:

Yes, which Josh, I'm sure you don't call it alternative investments, because this is what you live all day, every day. Is that right?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

We still do. It is life every day. So it's not so much an alternative. For me nowadays. It's the it's the norm, but we definitely operate in the alternative investment space.

Jason Muth:

Well, let's welcome Josh to the podcast. Josh is the Director of Investor Relations with Legacy Group. And he comes to us from super warm Florida, and my feet and fingers are very cold up here, because we're recording in the winter in Massachusetts. So Josh, welcome to the podcast.

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Jason, thanks for having me on the show. It's great to be here with you and Rory, and I'm looking forward to our conversation.

Jason Muth:

Tell us a little bit about the types of investments that you and your firm work with and the types of investors who will put money into this. You know, I think that it's a really great place to start, you know, understanding what would be an alternative investment and you know, specifically what you guys are offering. And then the people who come to you guys and say, Hey, I have some money to invest, whether it's, you know, $50,000, $100,000 hours, a million dollars, whatever the numbers are, that you're working with, who are those types of folks as well?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Yeah, let's unpack that, Jason. So first off, alternative investments. I mean, we like to think of that as anything that falls outside of your scope of traditional portfolio allocation. So think things like cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, you know, the things that you own, that most people have in their portfolios that financial advisors recommend and that are usually part of traditional portfolio strategy, anything outside of that we consider to be alternatives. So think private equity, real estate syndications, rather than owning it personally owning like a syndicated manner, maybe things like crypto even. So we definitely operate in the alternative investments space at Legacy Group. We're a private equity asset manager, Green Coffee Company is our flagship portfolio company. And it's an early stage private company, where we are giving investors direct access to land holdings and agriculture in Columbia. We control 6,500 acres of coffee farmland, over 7 million coffee trees. And we've grown the Green Coffee Company to be the largest coffee producer, largest single consolidated coffee producer in the country of Colombia. We have goals of scaling the business and and reaching the US markets through an IPO or a sale, but the IPO would be our preferred exit strategy. So this is definitely outside of the scope of what investors typically have in their portfolios. And I'll touch on kind of our investors and what they are invested in, what their profile is typically. So we have 350 investors who participated in Green Coffee Company. We raised 45 million in capital. We're in the middle of our Series C funding round. And the people that work with us, they're usually either high income earners, entrepreneurs, business owners, people that own residential property and maybe they own commercial property. They're already exposed to the stock market. They're already exposed to most pockets of the US markets and they're looking to diversify, they're looking to put an allocation in their portfolio that isn't as correlated with everything else. You know, we're seeing this year, and in the last couple of years, I mean, just such a high correlation with all asset classes, like the 60/40 portfolio theory is almost kind of out the window, because, you know, bond prices are coming down while stock prices are going down. And the market is kind of acting very irrational in certain ways, right. So investors are looking for ways, you know, not to necessarily sell out of their equities or move all their money out of cash, because investors are rightfully keeping money in cash nowadays, but they're looking for ways in which they can get exposure to other markets, our investors are heavily allocated to US assets, whether it's anything that I just mentioned, the homes that they own, the businesses that they run, and they want to get in on early with direct placements in interesting companies that are disrupting industries, and all of our investors are accredited. So we have requirements, of course on who we could accept into the business, minimum investments $100,000. So you can kind of think like, alright, well, who's typically investing in these, it's people that, you know, are investors net worth from two to ten million is kind of the average. 80% of Americans, but we have investors from all over the world. But, you know, these investors are rightfully concerned about what's going on economically on a macro level. And we're providing solutions to them in order to hopefully achieve outstanding financial returns in excess of the rest of their portfolio over the years to come.

Rory Gill:

So I know, Green Coffee Company is kind of is your flagship investment legacy group. And you go taking a deep dive into that probably illustrates who you are and what your goals are. But let's backup a second, and how did you find this investment? How did you come across this investment of all the other potential investments that were out there?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Sure. So let me kind of take you back to the beginning or close to it. So I studied economics at Rutgers University. I'm from the Northeast originally pretty, pretty close to where you guys are at, but in New Jersey. Out of school, I started working in private banking. So I was with Wells Fargo Advisors for about six years that brought me down to South Florida and 2018. After being here for about a year I found the partners at Legacy group Cole Shephard and Adam Jason. They live and work out of Medellín, Colombia, not too far from me down in South Florida, but they're both us trained as well. One is a corporate attorney, the other is a corporate accountant by trade. And they've been living on the ground in Colombia since I believe 2015. So in 2017, Cole Shephard, the founding partner of GCC and one of the partners at Legacy Group, he founded the company. And it was birthed as an alternative to a passive real estate investment. So we had investors, US investors who were living and traveling around Colombia, they were interested in adding exposure to their portfolio. And we really built this product around the needs of a set of high net worth investors. They were looking for a collateralized asset play, one in which we could kind of spit off dividends on an annual basis that was backed by the land. And obviously, coffee and Colombia are synonymous with one another. So we thought no better place to start than there. So we founded the company in 2017, we did the first funding round in 2018. And the idea at the time was to buy some farms and grow coffee and spit off cash flow to investors. It grew multiples of that, you know, and we've really just grown and scaled the company, the thesis has evolved. Now it's really a growth opportunity rather than income oriented investment. We issue common equity in the US holding company, however, we deploy all the assets, all the capital down there to build up our balance sheet. Being down there on the ground, the two partners, they just saw tremendous opportunity for arbitrage ways that we can pick up assets off market, add value, and you know, investors that work with us, they love that it's real asset back, you know, a lot of people that work with us are real estate investors. So even though it's an operating company, it's very much a balance sheet business, and we're able to, you know, with the exchange rate, you know, when we started the project, it was under 2,500 to one Colombian peso per US dollar, and now we're approaching 5,000 to one. So we've essentially doubled our buying power in a number of years. Coffee itself is a commodity that's denominated in dollars and we sell it in Colombia and outside of the country. So there's a really interesting hedge here, investing there particularly in coffee. And then you know, that region itself, you know, ripe for disruption. The coffee industry is so antiquated. And so, like they operate in a manner with technology from decades ago, it seems, and we're bringing in world class technology, management teams, and really kind of turning the industry on its head. And so a lot of reasons brought us there. But it was a company we found from the ground up, because we saw that there's opportunity in the market and our investors had an appetite for it.

Jason Muth:

And you mentioned accredited investors earlier. You know, I went through that process a couple years ago, once I realized what it was, when people were asking for accreditation. Why don't you just go into that really quickly, for people who are listening, thinking they know what that is, but don't exactly know what it means or takes to be an accredited investor.

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Of course, Jason, so here in the US, the requirements would be, you can either meet it through income or net worth, okay, so on the income side, it would be $200,000 a year in income as an individual, or $300,000 a year if, if filing jointly. If you wanted to meet it as an investor on the net worth side, it would be a million dollar more net worth excluding your primary residence. So we would validate that you meet either of those criteria in order to invest in an offering such as ours.

Jason Muth:

Right, and my understanding, I might have this wrong, but my understanding is that there are accredited investments such as this where you need to be an accredited investor, just so you know, people that don't have a ton of money, or a lot of experience are losing their shirt on something that might be less secure than - nothing secured these days - but, you know, it might be an investment that might be a little bit more out there, where you're looking to round your portfolio out and might not be the first place to start for somebody that is not quite accredited Is that, is that accurate?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

That is accurate. And the reason, you know, we have the offering structured as a under reg D 506. C, which allows us to openly advertise, but we can only accept capital from accredited investors, and you kind of hit the nail on the head. I mean, we want to ensure that investors are sophisticated enough, in order to make decisions to invest in projects such as these. This shouldn't be the first investment going into investor's portfolio. So for those who are like building up to the million dollar mark, or just starting professionally and have modest income levels. I mean, essentially, we want to protect them. These securities are inherently illiquid. So investors need to have substantial liquidity in their portfolio in order to meet their everyday needs. So you're right. I mean, this should this is not geared towards novice investors. I mean, we have generally pretty sophisticated people who work with us and, and there's risk with any investment. But when you're working with private equity, like I said, it's inherently illiquid. Timeframes are malleable. So we want to ensure that investors are sophisticated and that they know what they're getting involved with. Even though we see the high potential, it's important to protect investors against any downside, of course.

Jason Muth:

Sure. And you know, with 350 people investing already, how much would you say was raised? I mean, it's $100,000 or more per person, right? Was it 45 million? Is that what you said?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

45 million to date.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, yeah, it's doing that doing the quick math was about $123,000 or so per person, on average, I'm sure that some people put a lot in, and some are putting in the minimum. But yeah, my hunch, you know, if these are people that are they have invested net worth of two to $10 million, they've probably done a couple deals themselves. They own a couple properties. They own some securities. And they're looking for the next thing, right? I mean, investors are inherently itchy. There's not a single person on this planet that has money to invest who hasn't at least looked at crypto, right? They might look at it and say, I don't get this thing, or they might look at it go all in or test it out. And this is clearly not crypto. But it's like the point is people will look at other things. You know, if you have multifamily investors, who I'm sure that are in your class of investors, maybe they've done a couple multis, and maybe the market is soft right now, or it's hard to find a deal, because, you know, there's very little on the market that really cash flows correctly. And they're saying, Hey, I'm sitting on a couple hundred thousand dollars, I got to do something with it. Right. So that's maybe where you come in. Right?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Exactly. Yeah. I mean, we have a lot of investors who invest in multifamilies and other syndicated projects, and they're looking to round out the portfolio supplement some of that cash flow with some growth. Also, you know, on the commercial real estate front, there's uncertainty everywhere now, but with the rising rate environment, makes it challenging, and it puts certain business plans and thesises that people put together like, if you want to refinance later, well, maybe that doesn't work anymore, in terms of an exit strategy. So there's certain things going on in that space that are driving investors to look out outside of it and to supplement what they have. You're right.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, Rory and I talk about that a lot. You know, you hit the nail on the head with refinancing. Boy, it's been like a decade of people being able to just kind of come in and out of real estate investments, where you know, you're in at a certain low rate, you refinance it in six months, twelve months, eighteen months later, also at a kinda low rate. And on you go, right, you know. But here we're at a situation where people are sitting on these loans of, you know, 3% plus or minus a half basis point or so and they don't want to touch it, right. They're not gonna refinance that for 7% loan 8% loan unless you really need to.

Josh Ziegelbaum:

I know

Jason Muth:

We're in the same boat right here. So you know, we're saying, geez, maybe maybe next year, it'll be a little bit different where I could actually refinance a couple of these properties. But you just got to either sit tight and say, how do we free up money otherwise? Or where we put money otherwise? Right. And this could be one of those places?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think that there is some brightness ahead in terms of where rates are going and kind of stability in the markets. I think, you know, as the Fed sort of unwinds the work that they've been doing raising, and they kind of switch gears. I think this, the conversation changes a bit, it just remains to be seen when that is, I mean, at least in the foreseeable future, we're expecting some additional hikes. But I think things will moderate in the next couple of years. And we'll have more certainty in the market. But nevertheless, I still expect that we'll have interest in what we're doing.

Rory Gill:

I'm looking at the Green Coffee Company, and we're calling an alternative investment because of where it's located. It's outside of the traditional asset classes that we think about. But I know you've taken a lot of time to talk about your social impact, in some ways that in itself is an alternative investment. Can you talk a little bit about your company's approach to its social impact, environmental mental impact? And is that something that is going to be important for any future investments that you make?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Absolutely, Rory, I love that topic. And thanks for asking. So I mean, at Legacy Group, and you know, it's at the core of our business, that we want to focus on investment opportunities that produce high social and environmental impact. We believe that we can create meaningful financial returns for our investors, while also doing right by society. And at Green Coffee Company, we do just that. So I could touch on a couple of things, we do more granularly at the company. So from a social impact perspective, you know, we're the largest employer in the town where we have our farms, the town of Salgar about two hours outside of Medellín, we employ over 400 people full time, we provide real employment and formal benefits. So what does that mean, we pay into pensions, we pay people through bank accounts, not through, not with cash, we offer health insurance, paid time off care and leave for children. It sounds normal for us here in the US, like, oh, well, that's how things are done. It is not done like that in Colombian agriculture, or an agricultural industry in general in Latin America. So we're doing a lot to lift up the communities and where we operate, pay fairly, provide education, housing, I mean, we're doing things that are not done in Colombian coffee. We're revolutionizing the way in which people are paid and employed in the industry. From an environmental perspective, we do a lot as well. So we reduce plastic by using biodegradable planting mechanisms. So we have some technology we brought in from Europe, to ellepot Planting system so we could plant the coffee trees without using plastics, typically, coffee trees are planted in plastic bags, and it's just terrible for the environment. We're reducing a lot of waste there. We also use less water in our facilities. than what is typical. We're building out solar plants. There's just a lot on the environmental front as well. So we're not greenwashing. So this is this is a core of the business where like, everything we do is around impact, right? Obviously, we want to make money. And that's, that's kind of first and foremost. But you know, as we're deciding, okay, what initiative do we want to pursue, we want to make sure that that it checks all those boxes as it relates to ESG. Compare this to, let's use a kind of an extreme example, like an arms dealer, that take that donates 10% of profits to like a green cause. You know, there's a lot of that in the market, maybe that's an extreme version, but like, companies that at the core of their business, they're an oil company, for example, or they do something, something like what I just mentioned, and then they have like an arm of the company that's ESG or impact or percent donated, you know, we don't think that that's real impact. So, you know, we're trying to smooth out the realities here of what it takes to be, you know, a good company that does, right by all stakeholders.

Jason Muth:

It's like the casinos in New Hampshire, Rory, who have to give a percentage to the charity of the week, which is legit, it's posted in the casino, and they have to skim it off and give it to them. That's how they get their license. Things I could think of, you know, I'm thinking like a listener right now saying, Hey, listen, I got 100 grand, I want to do something else with it. Real Estate Market stinks. I can't find a good investment. And we're recording this the end of the year. So this is going to come out in the next tax year. Right. So you know, right now, people are doing a lot of tax planning. You know, we're recording this in December. So let's just say that, you know, fast forward of the year investments like this, like, is there like what is the pitch with why this would be good for somebody who might be looking to ease up their tax burden for the calendar year like is there some advantage, Josh, that an investor might have?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

So good question, Jason. So while the investment is structured in the US, and we're issuing common equity here, the assets on the balance sheet, at least now, we're planning, we didn't touch on this, but we're planning a US expansion with the roasting facility and more of a presence here as we look towards an exit. But at least now, with a assets being outside of the US, we're not able to take advantage of any depreciation or pass through depreciation for our investors. So it's, it's most certainly a grow my net worth style investment, as opposed to tax advantaged investment, you know, you see certain now is an ATM fund is an example where you get like full depreciation in year one, or in the first couple of years. This is not that. It's very much a growth oriented investment. And we're not able to do anything on the depreciation front for tax planning. Now, we are able to have investment done in a Self Directed IRA. And we have many investors who have elected to do that. So they'll make contributions into a Traditional IRA or a Roth, or they'll use funds that are already in one. And they'll use that in order to invest with us. So investors could achieve some tax benefits, they're investing in fields such as ours, whether it's us or with another asset manager through a retirement account, and then that that'll there's some inherent tax benefits there, I'd say.

Jason Muth:

Sure. And we have talked about that on this podcast before. Rory, we talked about investing in real estate using a self directed IRA, haven't we?

Rory Gill:

It works well, for a narrow slice of the investors that are out there. So somebody with kind of enough assets for it to make sense to, you know, jump through the the administrative hurdles to get there. But it sounds like a lot of the people who would be looking at these sorts of alternative investments would actually be often the same set of people that would benefit from a self directed version of their retirement accounts.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, but you know, you think about if you've been working for a couple of decades and worked for a couple of companies, and you take your 401k's and have rolled them all together over the years, and they're in a traditional or Roth, whatever it is, IRA, and you know, you're frustrated by the performance of the stock market, you don't want to put it just in a you know, 2040 retirement index fund, or whatever your target date is. So you look at things like this, if you're able to do it, you know, through your Self Directed IRA, you know, it's interesting way to get some growth from an emerging market, you know, such as a coffee estate in Colombia.

Rory Gill:

Right. And then you get the pride of saying that, you know, I own a socially and environmentally conscious coffee company in Colombia that's revolutionizing how the coffee industry works. I mean, that's probably a point of pride to to have a stake in something like that, you know, which begs the question, I think, for me, you know, what are some of the other future investments that Legacy is working on? Or even if you can't say that, just, you know, what do you have? What do you see in your future?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

We have another portfolio company investment that we made at Legacy group a few years ago, and a company called Polygonus, they do 3D Art and Design elearning. It's a tech company based at a managing very much not coffee, but a Colombian business. And one that's very interesting. So we made a seed investment in them a number of years ago, it's done very well. They do art and design for Netflix productions in Latin America, video games, things of that nature. It's a really cool company, but one in which we hope at the point in the future, we might be able to bring to the investor base, depending on capital needs for the company. So there could be some possibility there for funding round for Polygonus. Otherwise, you know, we're very much focused on the short term with Green Coffee Company, we're targeting a 2026 exit, we have heavy expansion plans in the near term. But beyond that, I'd expect that, you know, we're further diligencing deals and we always have our eyes open and ways in which we could invest in companies that we believe in and founders that we believe in, or in companies that we can build personally, like we did here. So industries such as energy technology, fintech, very much Latin American focus right now, specifically in Colombia, only, you would expect the Latin focus and an innovative industry, early stage company, one of the industries that we're in now or something similar.

Jason Muth:

Josh, is there a community element at all to this for the investors? Like, did they ever get together? Is there you know, did they go check out the actual coffee growing? Can they do that? Or is it really just you know, looking for somewhere to park their money and you got people all across the country and they don't really know each other? And

Josh Ziegelbaum:

That's a good question. Jason. And we that's fine. absolutely host investor trips and tours. So we take - I'm planning one for February right now with some of our top investors are coming down. We're meeting in Medellín. We're going to spend some time in the city doing a full day out at the farms on Thursday, two hours by car 20 minutes by helicopter fortunate enough to take a helicopter out there. We do like full tours, we show investors, the facilities, we show them the farms. And then we take them back to met with the planners go back to Medellín, show them a good time Friday night and then give them the weekend to themselves or we do something experiential over the weekend as well. There's definitely an experiential component. Not every investor wants to come down. We're not able to host every single one at every time. But we do several trips throughout the year based on business needs. We had an inauguration event at one of our facilities last October, not this year, but the year prior, where we invited some investors down. We had an opening this year, which wasn't investor focused, we had political figures come from Columbia, members of Starbucks, they came to that one. But it's definitely experiential. Investors love being invested in a coffee company as as Rory mentioned, it's something cool that they can tell their buddies, they also love the coffee. So even though we're focused on unroasted, green coffee at this time, we do have roasted coffee available as we're getting into that line of business. So investors have been given holiday gifts. So they're given like, this year, we're doing like coffee mugs from Yeti with fresh GCC coffee. That's definitely an experiential thing. So we do trips down to Colombia. We also do things in the US. For example, in Florida, we we've done a couple like investor meet and greets, or like q&a in person, Happy Hour type thing. So we try and do that as well. And I'm looking to plan additional Q&A in Florida and in Colombia in the months to come.

Jason Muth:

And of course, everyone gets to meet Shakira, right?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Of course. Yeah.

Jason Muth:

Because she's everywhere in Colombia, how do you handle an investor class the size that you do? And if they have questions for you, or if they, if they don't think the direction is right, or they want a different decision made. You're in charge investor relations, I mean, it might be challenging when you give that many people, you know, a voice, you know, they're putting $100,000 in or more, it's a lot of money for them. They might want you to do x instead of y, you know, how does that get handled?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

So we do formal quarterly investor updates. e just had a the time of this recording, we had it two days ago. We had our Q3 investor update webinar. And we provide a written report, it's a summary of what we did for the quarter, we give consolidated financial statements. And then we do a Q&A webinar, we do that every three months for the entire investor base. If they're unable to make it, we send a replay of the webinar thereafter. In between that we do newsletter updates. So typically, every week, we send a newsletter out to our investor base, we also have others who are not yet invested, who are just following what we're doing. So I'd encourage anyone that's listening to this, if you want to follow along, and your updates about the company, we have a newsletter, I can direct you to at the end of this at the end of this recording here. But we're very communicative. So every week I'm giving value add content, I'm providing maybe videos from the farms, commentary around different updates that are going on. And then we plug in the formal updates every three months. Anyone could reply to those regular emails, they can schedule a call with me personally, I always make myself available to schedule one on one meetings with any of our investors. So they all have my calendar link, they have my contact information. We run a very tight ship being very communicative leads to I don't want to say no questions, but less questions, right? Like, I'm not getting 50 questions a week on why is this happening? Or what's going on here? Usually, it's great job on this, this is awesome. What does this look like? You know, and they might ask like, a little plug on some of the information that we're following. So people reach out, we usually get questions through email, so they can contact us anytime at our Investor Relations inbox. All the investors also have my phone number, in order to get in touch with me personally. So we're very personal. I handle the onboarding directly with our investors, you know, so they'll work from with me from day one. And through the entire period of their investment, you know, perhaps in the future, we'll have an investor relations associate, but we run it a pretty tight ship now between myself and the two partners at Legacy Group. And, yeah, we're always open and available and communicative. And it leads to yeah, I don't have a lot of people saying, I think you should run the business like this to your point that you mentioned. If they do, we're happy to take that feedback. I always tell investors if you have input on what we're doing, introductions that you think would be valuable to the company, we'd love to hear that and we always take into consideration.

Jason Muth:

Yeah, it's a fascinating look into how an investment like this can be structured or what some of the benefits are, what to expect, if you as an investor are looking at an investment such as this one. You know, we've been involved in a couple syndicated deals over the years. And, you know, just a handful, and I can tell you that what you've described, is not exactly what we got in every situation. And, you know, it definitely led to some personal frustration, when you don't hear what's going on, you know, with where you're investing your deal. One of the deals was over, I worry, we put it over 100k in a deal. And, you know, I felt like it was crickets for a long time, and we eventually got the money back and got out. But, you know, everything you've described, Josh, I think is, is probably what's expected of you, or like yourself, you know, who are looking for accredited investors to invest in a project like this. And, you know, if you're listening to this podcast, and you have the money that you want to invest, you know, with Josh, or with another, you know, similarly structured deal. I think everything you just described, right, there is what an investor should look for. Right? They should ask those questions of like, what's the communication like? You know, they want to see touch, smell, feel, you know, what's going on with this investment? Who are the people? where's the money going? You know, because if you're, you know, putting an investment toward a coffee farm in Colombia, or, you know, you name it, it could be here in the US, it could be somewhere else, you know, just questions. People have legit questions, and, you know, real estate investors out there, I think they invest in real estate, because it's tangible asset, you know, you could step in it, if you need to, you can go walk to it, if you want to, you could fly over to it if you're investing 3,000 miles away, right, you know, but there's something there. So, you know, it's good that you actually have that level of, of communication with your investors. Before he get to the final couple questions. Rory, what are you thinking in terms of legal issues that anyone might want to think about before they go into investment such as this? And this is not legal advice. What question might be on your mind, if I were to come to you and say, Hey, I'm going to invest in a coffee farm in Colombia?

Rory Gill:

Well, some of the things I'm first thinking about it, the layers of syndication here to make sure that you're doing it correctly, we hit we hit on the topic of accredited investors, because making sure you're in line with the securities regulations, I think it's something that can trip up a lot of smaller deals where they may not realize they're running afoul of the SEC rules. So there's that layer of syndications here. And then the way that they've structured it, if it's basically an American company that has assets abroad, it makes a little bit simpler for American investors, because the corporate language and the corporate structures are going to be a little bit more familiar to them, even if the assets themselves are abroad. Convoluted, but I think the kind of the most important thing from the investor's point of view is how this syndication works and making sure that they they're investing correctly, and then making sure that it works with their tax strategy.

Jason Muth:

Why don't we get to the final couple questions, Josh. And then you could tell everybody where they can reach out to you, we'll put everything in the show notes, with links and everything. We ask three questions of all the guests that appear on the podcast, just as a way to wrap things up and get to know you a little bit better. The first of these questions is if you can get on stage for half hour and talk about any subject in the world with zero preparation, what would that be?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

I would have to say alternative investments, particularly in Latin America, you know, I've been comfortable on stage in the past with that it's one I've done keynote speeches on, I've been part of the panels. And we do webinars all the time on the subject. I think I could do a 30 minute presentation with no preparation with my, hopefully with my eyes closed.

Jason Muth:

Pretty confident that you can based on what you've said so far today, second question we have tell us something that happened early in your life or career that impacts the way that you're working today.

Josh Ziegelbaum:

It's a good one. I love this question. So there are many things of course, but I'm something that comes for stands out to me, which is somewhat on topic here. When I was a private banker, with Wells Fargo a little earlier on in my career, or even the whole time I was right, I was always working with high net worth clients, right. And one thing I noticed a parallel between all of them, almost every single one of them, they invest in real estate. So it was a parallel that I saw, like from the beginning of my career, I was at a college I started earlier role at the bank through through the private banker role. And I just saw that all the time with every investor. And then I was wondering, I'm like, how does this client get to wear shorts and I'm wearing a suit. I don't understand. Like, I was like asking myself these questions when I was like in my early 20s. So that really opened my eyes, just being exposed to clients every day. I managed to book of high net worth clients, and I was their relationship manager. They trusted me. They were telling me things that they were doing in their life. I just learned so much there. And like the power of leverage and the power of real estate, you know, it was really stood out to me early on and the power of investing in general. Right. So there's just so much out there that's outside of the typical portfolio strategy, right? Like, if you're working with a financial advisor, which I was at the bank, right, a lot of like, oh, the client has money they get we could lend them money for real estate but they can invest in a brokerage account. We can manage a brokerage for them. While that's not necessarily for everyone, and I noticed that, you know, the people that took the money themselves, and they invested in their own companies or they invested in, in real assets themselves, rather than bank products, they did way better than the other investors that had maybe half a million dollars in a brokerage account, they come to see their advisor every three months to do a portfolio review. And then you know, it's just such a big difference so that those experiences with my clients early on really opened my eyes to investing real estate and the whole nine. Yeah,

Jason Muth:

Yeah. That's amazing that you were able to surround yourself with those types of high net worth individuals early in your career. What you learned right, there is something that lots of people never learn. Or they learn later on, not when it's too late, but when they wish they'd learned earlier. So you certainly had a head start there. And since we're talking about real estate and real estate law on this podcast all the time, we are firm believers in the value of investing in real estate. So you know, we're on the same page there. Yeah. Finally, tell us something you're watching listening to or reading these days.

Josh Ziegelbaum:

An interesting book sitting right here next to me, Ninja Selling by Larry Kendall, it's a very cool one, my wife went to, I don't know what you'd call it, like a sort of a mastermind group for it. Like she went to like a four day program. And they taught her all the skills from the book. But the book is just really interesting. It's essentially like, tactics on how to solve problems and help people and that leads to just like, clients all coming to you, basically. And that's some, I was kind of doing that without even realizing it in certain ways. But, you know, the book speaks volumes about just leading with adding value. And then business essentially comes your way, right? The clients, like you don't have to go after clients, you provide value and do things right. And it's just a really cool book. So that was Ninja Selling by Larry Kendall.

Jason Muth:

We'll check that out. You know, I spent many years in a sales environment. I was a Sales Manager for, you know, well over a decade. And I learned a lot in that sales, you're not selling but you're solving problems, right, you know, you're filling a need, you're solving an issue, you're making things more efficient. And that's kind of what you're alluding to there as well, you know, and that's, that's how the true sales happen. And that's how people come to you. Because if word gets around, that you can solve somebody's need with what you're selling. Well, you're not even selling anything, you're just, you know, you're helping them out and they're paying you for it. That's exactly, yes. Bonus Question. How do you take your coffee?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Depends where I am. At home, I take it with a splash or half and half no sugar.

Jason Muth:

That's us.

Rory Gill:

That's that's how I do it.

Jason Muth:

That's how I do it. If

Josh Ziegelbaum:

I'm in Columbia, black, usually,

Jason Muth:

Will they look down on you, if you put anything in?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Not if you're in a cafe, but if you're out at the farms, you have to drink a Pinto, which is just black. Yeah.

Jason Muth:

Thanks so much for all your time today. And really explaining not only your investment, but you know, alternative investments as a category, something we haven't covered too much on this podcast. And I think a lot of what you have described would apply to lots of other potential alternative investments out there. So walking our audience through that I think is super helpful. How can people get a hold of you if they have questions about you, or the investment, or investing in coffee or you know, any particular that you heard on this podcast?

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Sure, you could find us online legacy-group.co. That's our website. You can also subscribe to our newsletter there. If you'd like to reach out to me directly, you can send us an email investor.relations@legacy-group.co. We'd love to connect with you in this Series C funding round that we're in we're forecasting an 11x net return on invested capital for 2026. And it's currently open to accredited investors. We'd love to connect.

Jason Muth:

Excellent. Thank you for that. And Rory, where can people find you?

Rory Gill:

You can find me through my real estate brokerage NextHome Titletown, nexthometitletown.com or through my law practice UrbanVillage Legal, vrbanvillagelegal.com.

Jason Muth:

And that's it. That's a wrap. That is another episode of The Real Estate Law Podcast. Thank you for listening. If you want to reach out to me directly. If you have questions about being on the podcast or questions about anything you've heard, you can reach me jason@nexthometitletown.com. We're super excited that we had an episode that would focus on coffee, we love coffee. I have my Dunks right here because in the northeast, everyone's got to have Dunkin Donuts. We nurse our iced coffee all day. I know you're probably looking at that saying that is not sustainably raised profit that is not Colombian coffee. But hey, it gets the job done for us. And, you know, northeasterners as you know, you know, having lived in New Jersey. We're hardy folks and we'll drink iced coffee all through the winter.

Josh Ziegelbaum:

Oh, yeah.

Jason Muth:

So on behalf of Rory Josh, thanks so much interesting and excellent conversation. Really appreciate it. Thank you for listening to the podcast and if you've enjoyed it, if you could please give us a great review online or drop a comment on YouTube. We'd appreciate that as well. Thank you. That's it, bye.

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