We asked planners about the most unusual investments they’ve seen.
Frye Financial Center
A Frye client in the cement and construction business doesn’t like investing in stocks and bonds because he finds them boring.
Instead, he built a pen on land behind his house in southern Miami-Dade County and installed 25 ostriches, at a total cost of $300,000.
The business couldn’t lose, he told Frye. He would sell the meat, feathers, skin, eggs and chicks.
“As Murphy’s Law would have it, everything went wrong,” Frye says. “Ostriches grow to eight feet tall and 250 pounds, and they’re very hard to handle. They can be dangerous. Some of them killed each other in fights. Others got sick, and treating an ostrich isn’t easy, because of their size and disposition. These birds wouldn’t breed. They needed a special diet. And last but not least, the price of ostrich meat fell.”
The client sold off the flock after about a year for $100,000. “He was very relieved to have them gone,” Frye says. “He lost $250,000 on the 'can’t-lose' business.”