The Best (and simplest) Way to Find Good Investment Ideas

By Wayne Mulligan, on Thursday, January 21, 2016

A few weeks ago, just around the corner from my home in midtown Manhattan, a classy new restaurant opened up. So last Saturday night, I decided to try it out.

After checking our coats, the maitre d’ escorted me and my girlfriend to our table. I was practically drooling over the dishes I saw on other folks’ plates.

But when the waiter handed us our menus, I nearly fell out of my chair...

The menu had nine pages. It was as heavy and thick as an old encyclopedia.

I hate when this happens: if I have too many options to choose from at a new restaurant, I feel like I won’t order the right thing.

Thankfully, I had a trick up my sleeve. It’s a trick that helps me make consistently good dining decisions.

And as it turns out, you can use the same trick to make great investment decisions.

Use Your Waiter

Without further ado, here’s my trick...

I call the waiter over to the table and I ask him a question:

“What are your three best appetizers and entrées?”

It might sound simple—but now, instead of having to evaluate dozens of different options, my choices have been narrowed down for me by an expert.

That puts me in a position to make a quick decision—and a good decision.

(In case you’re curious, my little trick led me to a fantastic meal that night: I had the French onion soup and a rib-eye steak, medium rare.)

The thing is, you can use the very same trick to start making good investments—more specifically, you can use it to make good early-stage investments.

The “Best of The Best” Early-Stage Investments

When people are just getting started investing in early-stage private companies, they tend to face a couple of main problems...

First of all, they don’t know where to find these potential investments.

And secondly, after they figure out where to locate deals, they get overwhelmed—because there are so many opportunities out there.

Wouldn’t it be great if a “waiter”—an expert—could help you narrow down your options, right at the outset?

Well, you might not realize it, but this expert actually exists:

It’s the websites that host deals—the websites known as “funding platforms."

And here’s how they can help you narrow down your options...

How Funding Platforms Work

Essentially, many funding platform play the same function as a waiter...

Instead of giving you the “full menu” of investment opportunities (many of which might not be very strong), they put significant time and effort into researching opportunities before they share them with you. This way, they’ll only be showing you the opportunities with the greatest potential.

And in fact, as the numbers show, the platforms are extremely selective:

  • A platform called FundersClub, for example, accepts just 3% of the starts-ups that apply for listing.
  • MicroVentures, another platform, accepts just 0.5% of its applicants—in fact, it’s easier to get into Harvard than it is to get listed there.
  • And to vet its deals, a platform called OurCrowd employs a deep bench of professional investors. The sole job of these pros is to source and filter deals on your behalf.

And OurCrowd’s results speak for themselves...

The Early-Stage Investing Report Card

OurCrowd recently released its year-end report. It reviewed the overall state of the early-stage investing market, as well as its own investment performance.

OurCrowd has been operating for just a few years now, but its ability to curate the best investments is already evident:

  • It’s backed 91 individual companies
  • Nearly half of them have already gone on to raise additional money (many of them at significantly higher prices)
  • And it’s already had four “exits”—meaning, the companies it selected for you to invest in were either acquired, or they went public...

These investments include ReWalk Robotics (which is now public on the NASDAQ under the symbol “RWLK”), Nextpeer (which was acquired by Viber), and BillGuard (which was acquired by marketplace lender Prosper).

You can read OurCrowd’s full year-end report here »

How Crowdability Can Help You Do Even Better...

As you just learned, using the funding platforms to find early-stage investment opportunities makes a lot of sense:

If you use the platforms, you’ll be able to focus your efforts (and capital!) on just a small set of pre-vetted companies.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of funding platforms—and not all of them are as selective as OurCrowd and WeFunder...

But that’s where we can help:

When we launched Crowdability, one of the first things we did was to build a piece of technology that aggregates only the very best deals from the very best platforms.

And we deliver those deals to your inbox every Monday morning.

It’s like having the best waiters from the best restaurants in town—on speed dial.

Then, in our online course, The Early-Stage Playbook, we teach our students how to evaluate these opportunities in greater detail. We teach you how to focus just on the opportunities that have the most potential to deliver the biggest gains.

And finally, we offer a service called CrowdabilityIQ. This is our proprietary software. It narrows down the universe of potential early-stage investments even further—and then it formulates a detailed research report on each one, giving you actionable insights you can use to make an easy investment decision.

Our goal is to make early-stage investing as painless (and as profitable) for you as possible.

If you’re interested, you can learn more about The Early-Stage Playbook here and CrowdabilityIQ here.

Happy dining—and happy investing.

Best Regards,
Wayne Mulligan



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