mobile menu mobile search

Buying the cow: Global investors take interest in South Africa’s literal stock market

Buying the cow: Global investors take interest in South Africa’s literal stock market

Global investors have taken note of a peculiar type of investment which is not at all a foreign concept to many South Africans, but has now become accessible to anyone who prefers livestock to corporate stock.

Recently highlighted by CNN, Livestock Wealth is a “crowd farming” initiative that launched in 2015, offering a modern take on a tradition trade – cattle farming.

The group allows you to invest in pregnant cows – living breathing cows – and use her offspring as a type of return or dividend as it is sent off to slaughter.

While unit trusts and shares are often intangible, numbers on a screen in a portfolio somewhere, Livestock Wealth says the cows are real – the investment is real – and investors can even go so far as visiting their cow on the farms.

According to the group, a typical investor can invest in individual cattle or in pregnant cows.

Individually, a six to eight-month old calf, which is sourced from preferred farmers, is raised at the farm until it reaches a mature age of 30 – 33 months, after which it is slaughtered to produce high value free-range, hormone-free, grass-fed beef.

The meat is sold online, or through bulk wholesale and to niche export markets, and the owner – or investor if you will – makes a return of between and 10% p.a. and 15% p.a. from the sale of the meat.

With pregnant cattle, the farm takes care of the calf (where it is expected the cow will deliver one calf a year, on average), and once suckled, is sold off to an abattoir. The returns from the sale are given to the investor.

The health and wellbeing of the stock can be tracked via a mobile app.

“It’s a stock exchange environment where the farm is the company, the cows are the stock and the babies are the dividends,” Nututhuko Shezi, founder and chief executive of Livestock Wealth, told CNN.

At current trading value, an investor can get into the livestock business from R6,280.

There is a monthly care fee of approximately R300 per month per cow – which is where Alpha Wealth makes most of its money.

The risks associated with this type of investment have mainly to do with the health of the stock. Death can occur from natural causes or from other factors – or your cow can be stolen. The monthly fee covers this potential risk, but additional insurance can be taken out, the group said.

According to CNN’s report, to date, 340 investors own 680 cows across three farms in Kokstad, Vryheid and Senekal, and the group is out of stock with a waiting list of investors.


Read: Cow poo can solve SA’s power crisis: researcher


BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
Join the Conversation
  • Hiren Patel

    Wow, 10-15% pa is quite a lot.

    • Ntuthuko Wa Ka Shezi

      If you come to think of it, a normal cow slaughtered is around R40/kg but when it gets to your supermarket its averaging R90/kg and if it is biltong – R200/kg (sometimes more). You do the Maths..

      • Deal_with__it

        Yes, the middle men who make the biltong and the supermarkets. Don’t see many rich herd boys.

        Why invest in cows that can die or ‘get stolen’ when I can invest in middle men who make an extra R50 to R160 per kg for doing little work?

        • Ntuthuko Wa Ka Shezi

          That’s why we have insurance….

          • Deal_with__it

            Which you have to pay extra for.

          • tongue in cheek

            and like fuel $ costs/exchange rate fluctuation increases only, never the decreases , are passed onto the consumer, again mitigating their risk onto us.

          • Deal_with__it

            So rather invest in the high margin retailers (who can pass the price on) rather than the low margin risky farmers (who have to take what the retailers give them). Got it.

          • tongue in cheek

            sure I “got it” however that materialistic mindset is exactly what I am commenting about, and believing we haven’t, as humanity, understood the implications that good statistical business isn’t quite emotionally humanitarian. It’s classical Sun Tzu survivalist theory.

          • Deal_with__it

            Then this should be sold as a charity not an investment.

          • kuli

            looks like most of the critics have not even taken time to understand the concept. By the way in South Africa farmers are amongst the richest people. Most here have been brainwashed by sponsored investment programs on radio which only promote traditional unit trusts that come at heft costs for very little work or performance.

          • Deal_with__it

            richest. Lol. Large scale commercial farmers exploiting economies of scale are rich – not people buying low margin risky individual cows.

          • kuli

            actually the risk is hedged by insurance. just haven’t done the sums to establish if this cost is excessive. every investment has an element of risk boetie…no such thing as riskfree profit.

          • Deal_with__it

            Did I say there was a such a thing as a risk free profit sussie? Insurance is extra. I don’t need to pay insurance to invest into a food retailer or a large food industrial company nor do I need to track my cow like a herd boy.

        • tongue in cheek

          “rich herd boys” – nor many on the floor managers of the self same retailers

          • Deal_with__it

            Do the floor managers own woolworths? No.

  • Riaan

    Yet another way for the gullible to loose their money.

    • Ntuthuko Wa Ka Shezi

      Having been around till 2015 and being audited by Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo, investment from Merril Lynch and Alpha Code – We are smart money.

Join our newest FREE BusinessTech newsletter today!
×