[Webinar] Inside the Mind of a Syndicator: Crowdfunding, The Democratization of Assets, and Opportunities in Private Equity
The world of syndications used to be reserved solely for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, and most people didn’t learn anything about them in school. But investors like Hunter Thompson have uncovered the best strategies for success, including some unique opportunities that have come as a surprise to others along the way.
In one of our final webinars of the year, Excelsior’s founder, Brian Adams, hosted Founder and Managing Principal of Asym Capital, Hunter Thompson, to discuss the democratization of alternative assets, including some of the best opportunities available in the market today. In addition to managing his syndication firm, Hunter is also a successful author, podcaster, health advocate, and educator, and he provided listeners with keen insight into this industry.
In this conversation, Brian and Hunter discussed:
- How Hunter got started investing
- The importance of building a brand
- Hunter’s expectations for the market over the next 3 years
- ATMs as investment vehicles
- Other opportunities Hunter is excited about
- The ecosystem of being an allocator
Getting Started in the Investment Space
Thompson began his career as a passive investor in 2010 when he saw great opportunities emerge as a result of the recession. He initially focused all of his investments on recession-resistant assets, like mobile home parks and self storage companies. By concentrating his efforts on products that are inversely correlated with the overall economy, Thompson was able to “leapfrog” off of beginner strategies in real estate.
He quickly found out, however, that raising money is no easy feat and discovered that he was “speaking a different language” than his potential investors. “Trying to convince someone to change such an important aspect of their life (money) was a challenge,” and Thompson admits to having “failed miserably” the first time around. His goal now? To attract investors with impressive content rather than having to persuade them to invest with him.
Building a Brand
Adams commented that social media, inbound marketing, and story-telling within your business are keys to success in this day and age. While in the past he may have gone to grab coffee with potential clients and taken a long time to build up a relationship, the process has become much faster as we’ve become willing to meet and invest over instant online platforms with people all over the world.
While Thompson modeled his career after “some very savvy people,” he confided that “they were very wary about taking on something like podcasting.” But Thompson recognized the opportunity early and was able to build a successful brand around his name and company, propelling him far past others in the industry.
“The risk of creating a platform is so small when the cost is so little, and it truly has the ability to change your company.”
Expectations for the Market
Thompson chooses to participate intelligently in the market, as he knows it’s the only way to create long-term wealth for the company and his clients, but he does also admit to being an optimist at heart. He believes that with the low interest rates we’re experiencing, in addition to another stimulus expected to come next year, some great opportunities will be available in the market.
Asym Capital is currently prioritizing three investment vehicles:
- Mobile home parks
- Self-storage spaces
While mobile homes and self-storage facilities are go-to recession-resistant assets (in the case of downsizing as a result of economic hardship), ATMs are a new type of investment that Thompson explored for the first time this year.
The ATM Business
While real estate is the tried and true, simple investment model that Thompson’s firm, Asym Capital, typically focuses on, he appreciates the opportunity to diversify into new niche markets. So when ATMs presented themselves to be an attractive investment offering this year, Thompson was eager to move forward.
He explained that ATMs are inversely correlated with the economy because:
- Many Americans cannot afford to hold a bank account due to the monthly fees.
- It’s challenging for banks to keep low-balance clients.
- Banks must continue to increase their fees as the interest rate continues to decrease in order to remain sustainable.
Each of these factors have led to an increased demand for ATM use this year. The Asym Capital team has been able to travel all over the country to analyze and verify their machines, and the deal has proven to be immensely profitable for them.
Other Investment Opportunities
Although ATMs were the one deal that Asym prioritized this year, Thompson shared a few other opportunities that are still peaking his interest in the market today.
- Senior Living: While this is complex and challenging to administer due to the uncertainty of supply and demand, the returns for senior living facilities can be impressive if operations are implemented strategically.
- Distressed Debt: Purchasing the bonds of firms that have already filed for bankruptcy offers “a tremendous opportunity for pricing arbitrage.”
- Retail: Although we heard many reports on the “retail apocalypse” that was to come over the past few years, not all stories have aligned with the actual data. If you’re able to acquire a loan and the return profile is certain, there are still great opportunities available in the retail space.
- Hedge Funds: Hedge funds are another investment vehicle offering the opportunity for arbitrage.
What Being an Allocator is Like
Thompson has always handled his money, whether that be his personal finances or the capital raised from his investors, like a miniature family office. “It’s just a matter of how many zeroes you have at the end of your bank account, but we’re all basically running a family office.” Adams agreed, commenting that “it’s all about the focus on your mindset for creating long-term wealth.”
So, what does Thompson’s job as an allocator consist of? While passive investors may not have the ability to travel around the country to analyze deal opportunities, Asym Capital steps in to act as the additional level of due diligence. They offer an amount of leverage that’s greater than the traditional investor could have themselves. Thompson spends his time researching the best opportunities available and seeking the highest yield returns in the market.
If you’d like to check out any of Hunter Thompson’s additional resources, we have linked them here:
Inside the Mind of a Syndicator: Crowdfunding, The Democratization of Assets, & Opportunities in Private Equity
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