Newsmakers: Amy Cortese sees a future for local investing
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Amy Cortese's book about local investing was published last year, just as an eroded trust in Wall Street left many investors looking for another option.
The book, "Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From it" covers how a shift in directing investment dollars from global companies to neighborhood enterprises can deliver social and economic returns.
Cortese will be in Portland Friday, speaking that evening at the Jumpstarting Local Investment event presented by Springboard Innovation partners Supportland, Slow Money NW and LION:PDX at the Ecotrust building.
We caught up with Cortese over the weekend to get her thoughts on the book and why Portland is "a natural" for local investors.
Sustainable Business Oregon: When did you coin the term "locavesting"?
Amy Cortese: I coined it in late 2008, in a piece I wrote for the New York Times’ annual ‘Year In Ideas’ issue. It was right after the financial meltdown. I wrote about the idea of reviving local stock exchanges — like the ones that used to thrive across the nation— and called the people that were, and still are, looking for local investing alternatives “locavestors.”
SBO: At what point did you decide there was enough of a revolution happening to fuel a book? Was there a particular event that prompted it?
AC: It’s funny. I got a call from a book agent after the local stock exchange piece ran, and he asked if I had thought about doing a book. I hadn’t. In fact, I wasn’t convinced it was a book. So I started looking around some more, and the more I looked, the more I found. Partly it was timing. People were just really fed up with Wall Street and ready to do something about it. I went to a Slow Money conference in Santa Fe in the fall of 2009. It was the very first one. That conference drew a few hundred people from all over the country and some really interesting ideas were floated. I knew then that something much bigger was going on. So that was inspiring and a true catalyst for me doing the book.
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