Michigan angel groups optimistic as 2022 approaches

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In addition, the Michigan Angel Fund, based in Ann Arbor, is in the process of raising its fifth fund, according to Skip Simms, the fund’s managing partner. Simms said the key goal of fundraising efforts is more to attract new members rather than reaching a specific dollar amount.

“My # 1 goal for the fund is not the amount or size of the fund,” Simms told Crain’s. “That’s the number of people who participate in the fund. That’s what I want to do, and that’s in line with… getting more people in the asset class and learning by doing.”

The Michigan Angel Fund has raised more than $ 10 million out of its five funds, according to Simms.

Engaging more high net worth people in angel investing is a key theme for many sources.

York with City Side Ventures, as well as the Birmingham and Great Lakes angel funds, said getting this message across to potential investors has become increasingly easy, especially the ongoing economic turmoil during a pandemic. That’s because more traditional investments like the stock market or commercial real estate are increasingly volatile, according to York.

“So I think it’s more attractive to wealthy people right now because there aren’t too many alternatives,” he said.

The idea of ​​diversifying beyond the stock market appealed to Zeno Windley, a member of the Birmingham Angels investor group since the end of 2019 who has invested in around fifteen companies. But the social aspect, and the opportunity to learn more about new technologies and new businesses, is something that “energized and” mentally stimulated “the 75-year-old investor, he told Crain’s.

“I was just looking for something rather than just keep putting money on the stock market,” Windley said. “I wanted something that would energize me a bit, besides providing an opportunity for a meaningful return.”

Lyle Wolberg, CEO and senior financial advisor at Southfield-based financial advisory firm Telemus Capital LLC, said he takes a “vintage” approach when it comes to advising clients on a variety of issues. investments in public and private markets.

“Just like stocks cycle, we think private markets cycle too,” Wolberg said. “So you allocate a percentage of the money to private investment over three to five years. You might not find the only diamond, but at the same time your chances (are greater) over five years.”

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