We won’t even worry about trashing the stock market – it’s already trashed itself. If you are happy losing 40% of your investment as the end result of chasing after 8%, then stick with stocks. If you have higher goals, however, then a small investment in the outdoor advertising “billboard” business may be right for you. The upside is huge, and the downside is negligible. And the opportunities are all around you.
Here’s the upside of getting into the billboard business:
You can find new billboard locations, and obtain ground leases and permits for them. You can then sell the ground lease and permit to other billboard companies (there are normally about two or three huge, public companies in every city) at phenomenal prices. On the low end, you can get $5,000 to $15,000. On the high end, on a very desirable location, you can get $100,000 or more. That’s right, you can buy a house from the proceeds of selling one un-built billboard location. And that’s not some boast from a cheesy late-night “get rich quick scheme” infomercial. It makes sense for large companies to obtain their locations in this manner, and they are happy to pay big bucks for them.
You can keep the billboard locations you find, and build or renovate them, and rent them out and keep the income. Billboards return about 20% on your investment, so you can build a nice income stream with just a few signs. And there is conventional lending still available for building signs, despite the banking crisis. And if you become tired of operating your billboards, you can always sell them to bigger companies at great prices. Several of the Forbes 400 quietly made their money in this manner, including Ted Turner, John Kluge and Artie Moreno.
Here’s the downside of getting into the billboard business:
None. That’s right: none. The beauty of the billboard business is the complete lack of massive capital investment. Of course, if you spend 40 hours looking for a billboard location and find none, then you have lost your time and some gas money. But you probably made that back in entertainment and it’s a lot more healthy than going to a casino or spending the day watching TV.
So how do you get into the billboard business? It’s not something that you ever had a course on in high-school or college. The answer is to go to www.outdoorbillboard.com, and decide on how much education you want on the subject. We have Frank Rolfe’s book “Big Profits from Big Signs”, which is the only training manual on billboards ever written. We also have CDs you can listen to in your car on your daily commute. If you want to really take it seriously, you can take our Billboard Mentorship Program, taught by Frank Rolfe, or attend our annual Boot Camp, where you learn the business out in the field. Beyond the minor education costs, the only other tools you will need are a measuring wheel ($60) and some business cards. All the leases and contracts you need are in the books.