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My Video of my visit to the Coffee Farms in Panama in 2018
In 2016, I met this Irish guy (Darren Doyle) at the bar at my Syndication mastermind meetings and he told me about this idea turnkey investment owning cashflowing coffee parcels in Panama with completely turnkey operators on-site to optimize the investment. (https://www.linkedin.com/in/darren-doyle-8539b1a2/)
Sounds crazy I know! But then I considered how it passed my three rules of investing:
1) evaluate income and expenses for positive cashflow (not much debt on it because its hard to get international financing but when we do watch out!)
2) leverage with favorable debt terms
3) hard asset
*Look what the wealthy do. They don’t buy into trendy tech startups. They are in the most boring commodities like coffee.
I got to know Darren and his partner David Sewell (https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-sewell-22aa278b/) a bit more (and after another meeting at a different bar) and a few months later I told him I was in… after all they have been doing this since 2014 how bad could it be 😉
This investment is perfect for your QRP because it does not use leverage and no UDFI tax on leverage portions (because there is none).
“I recently came back from kicking the Dirt in the high elevations in Panama. The site for the investment I am proudest of in my personal holdings which is… Turnkey Coffee Farmland Parcels. Coffee, cashflow, and a legacy investment with turnkey management. Get a parcel near mine before the whole mountain is gone.”
2017 I became an International Real Estate Investor
I also put it out to the much smaller 2017 version of the Hui Deal Pipeline Club and together we bought a dozen parcels. I tried to visit my investment in 2017 but because I was being a Cheapo I booked two separate airlines and my first flight was delayed.
“I read the documents and one concern I saw was that we did were unable to compete in the coffee business in the country of Panama” –Hui Deal Pipeline Club member
“Well duh?!? Are you planning on quitting your day job to start a coffee farm enterprise?” -Lane
“Well, no I was just pointing that out… Do we get free coffee?” –Hui Deal Pipeline Club member
Fast forward to the Spring of 2018, I finally got to make it out there to kick the dirt and to see if it was real and the guy Darren was for real or he was not just selling me a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow…
It took a lot of traveling from Honolulu > Houston > Panama City (PTY) > David (DAV) > 1-hour drive up the mountain to Bouqute
Funny story – Darren had arranged for one of the farm workers to take me to Bouqute. They had a sign for me! My first time for this Cheapo.
We made it!
And the hotel we stayed was amazing!
“All the kids these days are investing in the latest fad like tech or crypto currency. If I have learned anything these past few years watching the wealthy is that they invest in the most boring stuff and the basic commodities. What is more of a necessary than Coffee?”
We had a long couple days ahead of us. Apparently, there is a difference between “specialty” coffee and “cash-crop” coffee. “Cash crop” is the vast majority of coffee farming everywhere even in Panama – where they strip the entire branch for coffee cherries like barbaric savages taking ripe and unripe berries. (They also treat their workers like poo too…)
Specialty coffee is what we do at my coffee farm and it often sells for 10-20x more than the normal cash crap. And possibly yours too.
To do specialty coffee, we pick the best ripe berries which is tough to do and requires worker training and them actually caring. To give back to employees (native Indians) the company gives back a portion of income to fund housing improvements and education for workers children who live on site. When we were there we brought the children come cheap toys and goodies (see the above video). You have to understand that this is a third world country and even though the native Panamanians can’t read or write they have strong families and hard work ethic.
The business plan is very simple. Buy distressed raw-land or under-preforming coffee farms in the best locations from native families looking to leave the business behind. The investor comes in and provides capital for the land purchase, gets ownership in the land, and ICFC runs the planting, harvesting, processing, and end sales to produce a profit for everyone. Take a look at the above video and you can clearly see how modern this operation is. Oh yea its damn good coffee.
“Shade crops will be managed, water systems implemented, and soil and leaf improvements conducted.. Old trees that are past their peak will be cut down and replaced by saplings of new, healthier, more in-demand varietals from our own nurseries.. And the coffee and cacao will be processed and analyzed for quality in state-of-the-art, on-site wet & dry processing plants and proprietary laboratories.
When implemented, these plans need time to mature….. to “harvest” the extra rewards. These extra rewards will provide increased profits in the form of increased coffee and cacao quantity, higher quality and higher sales prices.
A key part of the business model is to be able to supply micro-lots of single-origin, traceable, specialty coffee and fine flavor cacao worldwide to buyers of these in-demand specialty products.
When acquired, the farms will usually be growing and selling some, usually substandard, coffee or cacao.. The business model intends to continue the operations with new and modern management practices to generate near-term income within 15-18 months and to develop an increased and sustainable annual income from these farms that will last for many years.”
Here is the money shot! Geisha coffee from the Geisha Coffee varietal plant. Better than Kona Coffee!
Why join in and buy a parcel of your own? The competitive advantages are such:
- High altitude – unique microclimates (on the Pacific and Atlantic ocean) – Geshia varietal = $$$
- The dream team: David/Darren (business and sales), Andres – shown in the picture (coffee growing operations), Biology staff, Dave (roast and blending team) – After losing $40,000 in a past deal, these are the people I want to go down in the “airplane”. -Andres Lopez, the General Manager, is born and bred in Boquete, Panama. He has been in the coffee industry for 25 years and has been advising some of the top coffee producing families before joining ICFC in June 2014. Along with his team, which includes Jose Saraceni, the in-house agronomist, and Valentina Pedrotti, in-house Biologist and value chain analyst, they look after the farms day to day to turn them around and produce amazing Specialty Coffee.
- Happy workers (giving back by providing education, running showers, and new living shelters)
- The competition is slim. No one is close to using this sort of modern equipment, science, and business systems. Coffee is one of the most scientifically studied wonder drugs out there. And besides how cool it is to talk about being an international coffee farm investor!
Even after 20% of the net revenue is used to improve the quality of lives for poor farmers, the annual average return (IRR) is anticipated to be 12%. Cashflow typically begins in 15-18 months and paid annually. This is meant to be a legacy investment.
Please hurry as the heavy equipment just got set up in 2018 because the first fields are beginning to produce. Don’t miss out on this investment opportunity as the team reaches their ideal coffee acreage and the focus shifts from capital generation/farm acquisition to operation.
“Currently we own and operate 10 coffee farms in the Boquete area and have built our own on-site, in-house coffee processing plant which is now fully operational.
We are pleased to be able to report that we have helped about 250 individuals gain ownership of these valuable coffee farm parcels in the last 4 years. About 785 – 0.5 acre parcels, valued at $8.2 million, are now real hard assets held in truly diversified portfolios all over the world.
Get you half acre parcel today for under $20,000.”
Here is mine!
How to make Coffee: Pour Over with a Chemex
How to make Coffee: Infusions
“There is nothing better than being an international real estate & coffee farm land investor. It sure makes sitting through work meeting drinking out of your ICFC mug”
“If you are listening to this podcast and implementing the strategies discussed, you are likely to become financially free in 3-7 years whether or not you use my coaching services or not. For most of you I talk to in our free intro calls I see a theme of mission and investing for a greater good. I found an investment that pays 20% of their revenue to improving the lives of their community by improving living conditions paying for children’s education. And by the way it’s not all altruistic, this specialty coffee makes for an amazing pro forma.”
***Updated 10/24/2018 – Q&A Webinar***
- What’s the succession plan for when he steps down, and how can we be assured high-quality management of our parcels long-term?
- How big do they expect to grow the portfolio/how many farms do they plan to purchase?
- Does he know if the purchase of this land qualifies US citizens for a Friendly Nations Permanent Resident visa? Not needed
- Any concern on the legal side of this – foreign workers suing landowners, workplace injuries, etc.? I know other countries aren’t as litigious as the US, but still…
- Your website states that cash flow typically begins in 15-18 months and is paid annually. [Part of that is just me underpromising] When looking at the actual financial projections see that it says there is no cash flow until year 4…is this because they are only selling parcels on new farms now (and it takes time to acquire & develop them) or am I missing something?
- How are the payouts done? Parcel specific or averaged over the farm or farms? are coffee and cacao similar returns?
- Have any original investors sold or selling their parcels?
- When filing taxes, what sort of tax documentation do we get at the end of the year? 1099? K-1!
- Purchased a parcel 9/2017 and have yet to receive any deed. What are they doing to expedite the process for new investors?
- Biggest Threats/Risks… disease etc?
- The life cycle of coffee trees and farm rotation/replanting plans?
- What is Specialty Coffee and why does it sell for a premium?
- Was there was a note on the site about not sharing audited financials. is that true?
- How do we calculate the return/ IRR?
- Deeding process?
- Is there any discount if simplepassivecashflow members buy as a group?
- Will there be equal number / percentage of geisha trees planted on each farm, since that will likely impact the return?
- Share webinar with email or website?