FarmTogether is a new platform that allows accredited investors to invest in US farmland. That may sound like an odd investment choice, but farmland has been a popular alternative investment for the ultra-wealthy for years. The reason? It has slow, steady, stable returns over time, and it's performance isn't very correlated to any other index.
As such, many people have found farmland to be an attractive investment. But, until recently, it's been extremely difficult to invest in due to many factors, including knowledge of the market, locations (rural areas), price, and more.
FarmTogether seeks to change that, by opening up fractional share farmland investing to more people. See how FarmTogether works, and let more in our FarmTogether review.
- Fractional ownership of US Farmland
- Open to accredited investors
- Minimum investments range from $10,000 to $50,000.
Varies By Investment
Taxable, IRA, Trust
Who Is FarmTogether
FarmTogether is a real estate crowdfunding platform. But instead of traditional residential and commercial real estate opportunities, it focuses on farmland. The CEO and founder is Artem Milinchuk. FarmTogether is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
Alex Shevchenko is a board director of FarmTogether. Alex and Max Lytvyn co-founded Grammarly and are investors in FarmTogether.
“We think farmland as an investment is something that in 10-20 years will be a must in any professionally managed diversified portfolio. We are excited to be at the forefront of the rapid change in this exciting new market,” said Milinchuk in an interview with Valuewalk.
As an aside, there’s a game called Farm Together (with a space), which can make it a little difficult to find info on FarmTogether (the investment platform). In fact, there’s far more info on the game than the investment platform.
What Do They Offer?
FarmTogether gives investors the opportunity to invest in shares of entities that hold farmland. These entities are generally LLCs, managed by FarmTogether. If you are familiar with real estate crowdfunding platforms, FarmTogether works the same way. Just like real estate, it is illiquid and has a long hold period (i.e., years).
Investors make money through cash distributions and land appreciation. Cash distributions occur quarterly or annually, depending on the investment’s harvest sales schedule or lease agreement for the given year. Cash distributions are based on your percentage ownership in the LLC. As an example, if you own $50,000 in a $5 million investment, your percentage ownership is 1%. Land appreciation is realized only at the time of sale.
What can you expect from an investment in FarmTogether? The two charts below show the performance of U.S. farmland compared to market indexes from 1970-215 and 2000-2015.
FarmTogether is a passive investment. You won’t have to deal with tenants or any management of property. Of course, a passive investment usually means someone else is managing the investment for you and those people expect a fee. FarmTogether has a team of experts who manage each offering. Part of the fee you pay covers management, closing of the deal, and other administration costs.
Minimum investments range between $10,000 and $50,000.
Are There Any Fees?
Yes. Fees vary and are listed with each opportunity. You’ll have to be a registered user to see fees associated with any opportunity.
As an aside, we wish they would be much more transparent in the fees to give investors a better sense of the actual net returns they could expect.
There is an origination fee and an annual fee. Most fees will be below 2%.
How Do I Open An Account?
You can open an account at farmtogether.com. You must be an accredited investor, which means anyone who:
- Earned income that exceeded $200,000 (or $300,000 together with a spouse) in each of the prior two years, and reasonably expects the same for the current year, OR
- Has a net worth over $1 million, either alone or together with a spouse (excluding the value of the person’s primary residence).
Non-accredited investors are not currently eligible to invest with FarmTogether, although FarmTogether is looking into ways to open up the platform to more investors.
Is My Money Safe?
As with any investment, there is a level of risk that you can lose money. Additionally, you have to consider if FarmTogether will be around in a few years when it comes time to sell your shares. If not, you may not be able to sell your shares or have a difficult time trying to find a buyer and complete the transaction.
Those risks are really no different than what you’ll find with most real estate crowdfunding platforms. It’s also worth taking into consideration that FarmTogether, at the time of this writing, has only one opportunity listed, which brings its future viability as a business into question.
Crowdfunded investments are fairly new. Most sprung up between 2012 and 2014, which is not nearly enough time to judge the performance of investments requiring several years of hold time. Also, don’t forget that RealtyShares shut down at the end of 2018 when their funding ran out. So what happened to investors who bought shares of real estate through RealtyShares? They were handed over to IIRR Management Services, LLC. What ultimately happened to all of those investments isn’t known.
Is It Worth It?
FarmTogether offers a unique real estate investment opportunity for those who qualify. Like all real estate crowdfunding platforms, there are risks and investments are illiquid.
If you're comparing investments, there is only one other alternative in the space - AcreTrader.
If you are willing to try a passive real estate investment in something a little difficult and understand all the various risks, you might want to give FarmTogether serious consideration.
Farm Together Review
- Pricing and Fees
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
- Products and Services
- Risk Mitigation
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
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