For those looking to invest, real estate, stocks and bonds come to mind, but Carter Malloy offers another opportunity. Malloy is the founder and CEO of AcreTrader, which provides investors “direct access to the highly attractive asset class of farmland.”
The son of a rice and soybean farmer, Malloy grew up around farmlands at an early age, but didn’t realize their investment potential until he began buying and selling farmland with his dad while working for a long/short equity hedge fund in San Francisco.
“In that process of investing with him, I realized the returns on farmland were pretty great,” Malloy said. “I started doing some more work and researching, and realized that this is a huge asset that has produced vast amounts of wealth over generations.”
After that revelation, Malloy soon discovered that despite the vast return potential, investing in farmland was not as simple as other commodities.
“I started looking around and quickly realized that there was no easy solution,” he said. “If you wanted to invest in farmland and you aren’t out there in that world as a farmer, you had to meet a broker and go to a county that you’ve never heard of and invest large amounts of money to get in the business.”
While understanding that the difficulty of that process makes farmland investing a non-starter for most people, Malloy turned his attention toward creating AcreTrader to provide easy access to these assets.
“I started kicking through some ideas with some friends in technology and in the legal world, trying to come up with a solution for investors to get access to this asset class,” he said. “It’s a $3 trillion asset class in the United States. There are over 900 million acres of farmland. It’s absolutely massive.”
After spending seven years at Stephens Inc. in Little Rock, Malloy founded AcreTrader in April 2018 in Fayetteville. A crowdfunded investment platform, AcreTrader allows investors to buy shares in farmland and potentially see gains through the appreciation of the land or through rents received by the farmers who use the land.
“It’s pretty simple what we do with AcreTrader,” Malloy said. “We take a partial farmland, we put it in a unique LLC (limited liability company) and then we sell shares of that LLC to investors.”
Malloy shared the story of AcreTrader’s past, present and future with host Natalie Ghidotti on the latest episode of The Ghidotti Podcast, also touching on his previous work in financial services.
Subscribe to The Ghidotti Podcast on SoundCloud, Stitcher or iTunes to hear the full interview with Malloy, and stay tuned for future conversations with movers and shakers, disrupters, culture changers, business leaders and community influencers across the state of Arkansas. You can also follow our blog and find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as well. We love hearing from you!
The Ghidotti Podcast is recorded at the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art, which is part of the Central Arkansas Library System.