The White River Investment Club LLC (WRIC)—a small group of local residents dedicated to creating a better future through local investing— this week announced an initial investment of $20,000 in local telecommunications provider, ECFiber.
Following months of research, the club voted unanimously (with three abstentions) on December 7 to commit the very first investment of club funds to ECFiber’s current subordinate debt offering. Over the 15-year life of the investment, the club expects to realize a tax-free return for members of between 5% and 6%.
“This is a big win-win for our members and for the local economy,” said WRIC founder and president, Steve Aldrich of Stockbridge. “We get to put our money to work right here in the White River Valley and earn an excellent rate of return, while simultaneously helping to strengthen our local economy and improve the quality of life for ourselves, our friends, and our neighbors. Who could ask for anything more from an investment?”
The stated mission of the White River Investment Club is “to enable WRIC members to make local investments which help themselves and their communities,” noted Theo Fetter, club vice president. “This investment is in keeping with that mission. Our intention is to followup this first investment with many more locally-oriented investments that will strengthen our local communities and help improve the overall quality of life here in the White River watershed.”
Club treasurer Marilyn Edgerton, also of Stockbridge, noted that the club makes its investment decisions democratically:
“Each member has one vote, and an affirmative vote of at least twothirds of the members is required to approve any investment. We have developed a tool to help us screen well-characterized investment opportunities that reflect the investing values of the club.
Edgerton noted that the screening tool uses six criteria chosen as important by club members: risk, return, environmental effect, local character, social impact, and local economic impact.
Members rank potential investments using a transparent scale from one to five for each of these criteria.
“That’s one way we look at investment opportunities that come before the club,” she said. “We are always looking for local investment opportunities, so if you know of one, please bring it to our attention for consideration.”
The White River Investment Club is also accepting applications for membership.
Members are required to invest at least $1000 and be willing to actively participate. Regular meetings of the members are held about once a month.
Those with questions or interested in joining the club may contact Steve Aldrich at email@example.com or 234-5140.