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Abstract

Off-farm financial investments, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and certificates of deposit, can offer farmers significant opportunities for diversification. Moreover, deregulation of financial markets in the 1980s enhanced the ability of farmers to invest in these financial assets. This study reports the results of a mail survey to 473 North Dakota farmers to identify the type and size of financial assets these farmers hold, their geographic placement, and their motives for investment. The 119 North Dakota farmers who responded to this survey had not taken advantage of the financial innovations deregulation that financial markets afford. Their investments were concentrated in local savings accounts, checking accounts, and farm real estate. Few respondents had investments outside the state. Less than a third of the respondents held mutual funds, government securities, or common stocks. Nearly all of the respondents managed their own investment portfolios and were concerned primarily with the yield and safety of financial assets. The respondents saved primarily for emergency and retirement. v

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