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Motley Fool launches real estate investing arm in Colorado – The Denver Post

When asked what they consider the best long-term investment, about 35 percent of Americans list real estate, while a smaller share, 27 percent, list stocks, according to Gallup.

That might explain why Motley Fool, which used an irreverent style to help make stock investing more accessible to the masses back in the 1990s, is now setting up a division in Lakewood focused on real estate investing called Millionacres.

“We see real estate as being similar to where equities were 20 or 30 years ago,” said Austin Smith, founder of Millionacres. “We see an opportunity to demystify this space so people can invest more intelligently.”

Millionacres plans to eventually employ between 35 to 50 people over the next few years, split among its Lakewood headquarters and locations in Philadelphia and Alexandria, Va., the base of Motley Fool Holdings Inc.

Most people associate real estate investing with owning a rental home, maybe even an apartment building, or doing fix-and-flip deals. Denver, home to market-leading portal Bigger Pockets, has become a hub of expertise in the field.

Millionacres plans to go much broader than residential real estate, Smith said. It will also cover investing in commercial real estate, real estate investment trusts (REITS), tax issues and a newer area, crowdfunded deals.

“The ways to invest in real estate are so numerous and expansive. We want to provide tools and information on all of them,” Austin said. In particular, the company is looking to become the go-to source on crowdfunded real estate.

Crowdfunding allows investors with limited resources to participate more directly in an investment than they could by owning REIT, but without all the hassles and headaches involved with owning properties directly.

Millionacres is a free website and open to anyone who wants to visit. A premium offering called Mogul, still under development, will provide research tools, make investment recommendations and serve as a forum for deals.

Besides providing information to help newcomers and veterans hone their understanding, Millionacres also is looking to create a community where people can share expertise and tips, something that Bigger Pockets has excelled at.

“Real estate investing, in particular, is an area where communities thrive,” Smith said.

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