Vive La Vache
Disappointed with the stock market? How about investing in a cow?
The French are doing just that. Rather than investing in stocks or putting their money into low-yielding savings accounts, the French are buying cows and earning money on their offspring when they’re sold. According to this interesting article in the New York Times, investing in cows can yield a 4 to 5 percent return a year. Currently about 37,000 cows are under contract in France at some 880 farms, but the market, according to the article, has the potential to grow to as many as one million cows.
The unusual French investment could be a model for cash-strapped dairy farmers in the United States. The article explains that selling cows to investors and raising them on investors’ behalf gives French farmers advance capital for improvements to their farms. One French farmer—owner of the Farm of the Happy Cows—is cited in the article as “renting” 37 of his 100 cows.
According to the article, the typical French couple will buy 10 to 20 dairy cows for $1,700 each. When the cows have offspring, investors can decide whether they want to sell the calves or keep them as additional “capital.”