The world continues to change in profound ways, and these changes can no longer be ignored. The trajectory is becoming obvious. They are going to intersect with our lives at some point in the future--most likely sooner rather than later. Therefore, this newsletter will be a little different than those in the past. Both Jeremy and Josh have a personal X-cerpt that they want to share with you. Then we'll show you what we are doing to take our own first steps to align with where we see the investing world going. Finally, we want to hear from you about what you think of this new vision.
The OWNx Team
As we consider the last decade and turn our eyes toward the vision of the next, we hear wisdom calling from the past and we are encouraged by the abundance of promise standing at our doorstep. My father always told me that we are surrounded by limitless opportunities. If he could be a part of the world that we see right now, he would be bubbling with the optimism, drive, and joy necessary to transform that opportunity into reality.
He also had this picture I always thought funny as a child: For some, their mind’s eye creates a picture where we are heading into the darkest time of the world’s history; for others, the picture is one of living in the most amazing time the world has ever seen. Never before has the individual had more opportunity to have a direct positive impact on the lives of others. To organize around worthy endeavors, to connect with brilliant, shining, like-minded individuals who have a vision of the world - one that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning because their vision is one where each of our lives matter.
We are all created to connect to a family or families that will play a role in creating this vision. How each one of us got to the place we are today in the world is the same: Individuals, families, and groups of families organized around a future they agreed was a future worthy of creating. We are in the same place now. Whether it is your biological family or one you've chosen, no matter your view of our world, it is a pretty amazing place; an ever emerging palette. If you haven’t already done so, join in, find your family, and start creating!
The world is changing in profound ways, some for the better and some for the worse. However, never before has your individual influence and power been greater. Because of that reality, this newsletter will be a little different than those in the past. We're going to talk about our first steps to align with some of the new opportunities we see, and ask you what you see as well. There are nearly 8 billion people on the earth today, with 3.2 billion and growing online! So, speak what you see, find your family, take your place, and don’t hide your face. The future needs you! And together, what we create will be amazing. Maybe not easy or clean, but amazing and full of both promise and purpose.
Together, Jeremy Brakenhoff, CEO
2020. It doesn’t feel like more than a decade has passed since we first stepped in to help level the playing field for people who want to own physical silver! Ten years ago, it was a rather novel idea to use technology to enable dollar cost-averaging into the silver market through automatic schedules, store it in a depository, and with a few clicks of a mouse, convert stored metal to other items and take delivery of it.
Innovative use of technology is always a game changer. In the 2010s, we focused on using it to connect people and precious metals, and will continue to do so into the next decade. As we look toward our second decade serving you, here are three areas we are aligning with:
- People: Ten years ago, the idea of creating and maintaining a relationship with someone on the other side of the world was just emerging. Today, there are numerous ways to make this idea into reality. The world has shrunk and the field leveled, making it easier to establish personal relationships between people who are geographically dispersed. Small is the new big, and alignment is a key.
- Things: Today more than ever, it is easier to “OWN |a piece of the world| ” - that is, to invest in physical, tangible assets of all kinds, anywhere in the world.
- Responsibility: With this new ability to connect comes a heightened awareness that our investments have an impact on others, whether locally or around the world.
At OWNx, we are working to integrate the people/things/responsibility trends within our platform. We’re looking to move beyond connecting people and metal into connecting people with people. Yes, some may own precious metals. Some may own other tangible assets. Some may be budding entrepreneurs that need capital. These people should be able to find each other and establish mutually beneficial, personal relationships that will help create the kind of world they want their children and grandchildren to live in.
Technology will bring about a convergence of these trends.
Many of you recall the last investment tech boom. Internet infrastructure companies like JDS Uniphase, Intel, and Cisco were the darlings of Wall St. When that bubble burst, it was the FAANG companies that developed on that infrastructure and became today’s largest tech companies: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. We believe that today’s new financial technology boom will echo that outcome with one very important difference.
The Crypto/Distributed Ledger Technology industry has gone through a hype and bust cycle. Bitcoin and Ethereum helped create innovation of a new infrastructure upon which tomorrow’s financial companies will flourish. However, this technology also has embedded with it a counter trend away from powerful monopolies. Instead, we see the trend of strong, healthy, local businesses emerging by the thousands around the world. These are the companies and relationships that we are looking to connect with in the coming decade.
Patience will be the key. Longevity is important to us, as we believe it is important to you. Therefore, we are stepping deliberately to align with this opportunity. We’ve developed a relationship with a company in Nigeria dedicated to developing a strong, local food economy which presently does not exist in the country. Read further to learn why we believe building this relationship is the right step to learn what is necessary to build a platform capable of providing this in the coming decade.
It’s a new world. Small is the new big. Our commitment to connect you with things remains. We’re adding people to the mix, and we’re are excited about the possibilities that creates for everyone!
All the best, Josh McCleary, COO
Food in Nigeria – Our First Step Into the Future
OWNx is working with a Nigerian company to get back to the basics: providing healthy, locally grown food in a nation that is struggling to feed itself.
Meet Jide (pronounced Jee-Day), president and founder of Farmedia. Jide is working to change the landscape of the production and marketing of fresh produce in Nigeria.
Nigeria struggles to feed its 200 million people even though there is an abundance of rich, fertile farmland in the nation. It's not a problem with natural resources. It's a problem with how the land has been managed, and the lack of opportunities available for the people of Nigeria to make a living wage producing and marketing the food locally.
"We are undertaking this project solely based on our love for our people," Jide says, "and to provide them with high-quality fresh produce, creation of jobs, and creation of wealth, making opportunities for people in terms of investment."
Making opportunities for investment. That's where OWNx comes in.
In November of last year, OWNx CEO, Jeremy Brakenhoff went to Nigeria and visited Jide at the site of his first step in bringing to life his vision of reshaping the agricultural landscape in Nigeria: a simple greenhouse.
While a single greenhouse may not seem all that important, it is the first of a 1000 planned greenhouses that will be scattered across the nation. And while the vision is big, Jide understands the need to take one step at a time. "One thing that is important to us is our integrity," he says. "We don't want to promise something we can't deliver. So we have a solid plan in place to scale up in the next 12 months, but we are starting first with just one."
Working with Jide is a great opportunity for OWNx to step into the emerging world of "small is the new big." That is, investing in the small things to make a big impact. Like Jide, we want to take our first step and prove the viability of investing in such opportunities. Then we will work to bring them to you, our clients.
In the end, this is about working together with people around the world who value relationship. People who understand the value of tangible assets, like gold and silver, as well as land and food. And people who feel the responsibility--as we do--to, wherever possible, invest with impact.
We're stepping out with Jide and his team to prove that we indeed live in a time where there are new opportunities for everyone to "own a piece of the world," and at the same time, accomplish fantastic things for our fellow man.