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Alpaca History
Alpacas (Camelids) were revered and treasured by the ancient Inca civilization. Today, alpacas still live on the Andean plateau in the mountains of South America. These beautiful animals were one of the key foundations to Inca commerce. The camelid provided food, clothing, fuel and transportation to the Incas who were accustom to a very harsh and hostile existence. 

The Alpaca and Llama have been domesticated for around 6000 years. Today, approximately 99% of the world's approximate three million alpacas are found in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The center of the alpaca textile industry is in Arequipa, Peru. Yarn and other products are made from alpaca and sold primarily in either Japan or Europe. 

Alpacas were first imported into the United States in 1984. Today, there are still fewer than 200, 000 registered alpacas in all of North America. According the Alpaca Registry Inc. (ARI), Registered Alpaca Count published in the Summer of 2007 on the ARI web site there are approximately 147, 690 alpacas currently registered in North America. According to this (ARI), Registered Alpaca Count posted in 2007 the population consists of approximately 112, 778 registered Huacayas and 26, 915 registered Suris in the United States. To learn more about this data please see Our Links to review the ARI database. Obviously, this is a dynamic and growing population. The excitement and unique business opportunity the alpaca affords the North American breeder is easily appreciated. 

Fiber Basics

Alpaca fiber has a cellular structure similar to hair. This valuable fiber is prized by the modern textile industry around the world. In particular, alpaca fiber is in high demand in Britain, Europe and Japan for its fineness and silky feel.

Alpaca fleece comes in 22 natural colors and sells for approximately $3.00 -$5.00 a finished oz. Annual fiber yield is about 5 to 10 lbs. per alpaca. Alpaca fiber can be easily dyed and has a feel similar to fine cashmere. This highly desirable finished product offers a lifetime of wear, insulation and shape. 

The alpaca has been meticulously bred for thousands of years to yield a beautiful fleece while minimizing guard hair (the prickle component found in other fleece like wool). As a result, alpaca is lightweight and soft. People that tend to be sensitive to other natural fibers can easily wear alpaca products. It is in especially high demand to those looking for absolute perfection in an all-natural finished product. 

Business Opportunity

As you investigate the wonderful world of Alpacas, you will discover many investment perspectives on the financial potential of our industry. In reality, these new business opportunities are potentially limitless. All types of exciting and rewarding enterprises are awaiting the new North American alpaca breeder. Make no mistake about it, there are very successful fulltime breeders generating six figure incomes and more in the alpaca business. Yes, we did say more! There are also breeders making little more than smiles. 

Many ranches have built their business through years of dedication and have invested in a quality-breeding program. Some have made their fortunes through importation and through investment speculation with volume exchange as a goal. 

It is important to note, that this is a true livestock business that incorporates some potential and inherent risk. Although the returns can be significant with hard work and dedication, it is prudent to realistically consider the risks. These risks are sometimes unavoidable and unexpected. 

Investment Opportunity:

However, if you are reading this site at all, you probably have decided that alpacas are of great interest to you and your family. Perhaps alpacas can provide your future with much more than pure investment potential. 

While consistent residual income may be icing on the cake, most likely you have simply fallen in love with these creatures. If you are reading this without having the pleasure of meeting an alpaca face to face, you may have your doubts. Once you meet you first alpaca, there is very little you can do to keep from being hooked. If that magic does not occur, it is perhaps recommended that you find another area of interest and potential investment. 

The investor looking to make a quick return might be successful in alpacas, but may be more successful on Wall Street. Ours is a long term nurturing business providing multiple benefits and financial rewards that require some dedication and most of all: Passion!

Lifestyle Opportunities:

Another key element to the success of our industry has been its versatility. With so many different investors, the range of potential business plans is virtually unlimited. In fact, there are hundreds of different ranch profiles and business approaches that are being employed by breeders large and small

In fact, the alpaca investment is completely scalable. Investors and breeders alike can enjoy alpacas at any level of participation that is ideal. There are many levels of quality and many opportunities to enjoy the alpaca lifestyle at personalized levels of risk and investment.

Some ranches do not rely on business plans at all, but rather life style plans that take far more into consideration than simply return on investment. In fact, these profiles are just as important as the business plan in one sense, in that they ensure long-term returns of personal satisfaction. While this may sound a bit idealistic, working from this perspective can help to realistically determine if the alpaca business is right for you and your family. Sound financial analysis along with some good ole fashion honesty can help frame the lifestyle benefits that will be the key to future success. 

These lifestyle plans are the real strength of the market because they represent its stability and the true value of our market. In fact, these benefits based on lifestyle rather than cash returns are often just as important to the potential investor. For those looking for more out of today's fast paced working environment through the alpaca lifestyle, the horizons are limitless. 

The passion for alpacas and our market is our most stabilizing factor because the truth be told: People Love Alpacas! They will always be in demand and popular. In fact, Quality is not a gimmick in any business and always commands its price and value. 

The Bottom Line:
So what's the bottom line? For those looking for a balance sheet leading down the yellow brick road, some examples exist. Please examine each example with your personal finances, investment portfolio and lifestyle in mind. 

Alpacas are great to own but even more fun to raise, show, train and sell! Once you raise an alpaca that was proudly hand bred and nurtured on your ranch, the hook will be set all that much deeper. What else can we say! 

Tax Benefits:

Potential Returns (Proceeds From) can be organized into several categories:
bulletThe Sale of Animals
bulletBreeding & Stud Service
bulletThe Sale of Fiber
bulletRanch Agistment & Related Services
bulletProduction of Alpaca Products & Services
bulletAlpaca Market Related Product & Services
bulletAlpaca Market Related Software & Services
bulletProcessing dung into fertilizer.
bulletProceeds from transportation of alpacas 
bulletProceeds from shearing alpacas

What Could go Wrong?
With all these potential sources of income, how could anything go wrong? As stated above, there are some potential risks such as illness, injury or death that do not plague an investment CD for example. These risks are limited, but do realistically exist. Therefore, it is essential that owners insure their investment utilizing the livestock insurance policies that are common in our industry. These policies can be customized to cover a variety of different potential risks. Education and research early in the evaluation process can help new buyers determine the appropriate insurance coverage to address these potential investment risks. 

Unfortunately, new buyers sometimes fail to insure their most valuable asset. This approach is not to be universally encouraged and is completely avoidable. Please, don't take this risk. 

Our formula is to insure our top studs and females until we have recovered our original investment through either stud service income or sales of new cria. Once we have realized this goal, we can accurately assess if removal of the insurance is appropriate. Another common method is insuring large herds at lower than market values through a deductible policy. In this situation, the cost of insurance is lower over the aggregate thus spreading the risk across your herd equally. (E.g. 5K per head). Please keep in mind that each breeder's assessment of potential risk may vary. For new buyers, these concerns are often more important as losses in the early stages of herd development may have more financial impact. 

With this in mind, please realize that there are some inherent risks in the alpaca business. However, the benefits and market potential is truly unlimited. Through careful planning one can safely avoid the potential losses and enjoy the business free of the limited risks. The Alpaca market in a sense is wide open from what we observe. 

How Long Will It Last?
bulletHow long will the alpaca market last?
bulletIs it too late for me to invest in alpacas? 

The answer in all honesty is unknown. That is why it is important to be realistic and prudent when projecting potential future returns. 

Please consider however that for the over 11 years that we have owned alpacas, the prices and market potential have remained relatively stable. In fact, the market is growing and our message of the many rewards is reaching more Americans than ever before. 

For example, our ranch features alpacas of every price range and provides several levels of quality, price and value. We have consistently experienced growth in all segments of our market.  

Our ranch is home to both South American Camelid breeds; the Huacaya and the Suri. Our approach is designed to offer our customers a wide selection of valuable inventory from each breed. Since the alpaca lifestyle is enjoyed from a multitude of perspectives, providing a wide selection of animals has been a proven formula for success.

Many new breeders purchase animals to simply make quality garments for family and friends and plan to enjoy the investment from a purely internal perspective. Other new breeders have purchased animals to create an exciting breeding based business. With this in mind, plan to evaluate the investment from your own personalized business/investment plan perspective. This will ensure a future that is financially realistic and personally rewarding without the misleading investment hype that can often be a part of a new investment endeavor. 

With these perspectives in mind we have been able to introduce many new breeders to the business. This has been both personally and financially rewarding. The opportunity to assist investors and potential breeders from initial evaluation to investment while offering first class follow up assistance, has been an excellent family business. 

Investment wise, our business results are based on conservative and realistic goals. Our business plan employs a policy to under promise and over deliver. This has led to rewarding new friendships and happy clients that are the key ingredients for future enjoyment and success in our industry. As expected, the alpacas do most of the work for you in this investment by simply being the wonderful creatures they have come to be. The rewards and lifestyle benefits of the alpaca industry are fantastic. Add the wonderful animals, fun business environment, great people; potential for residual income and the North American Alpaca tops the list of livestock investments. 

In summary, according to our breed association AOBA,

"Alpacas Are The World's Finest Livestock Investment!"

** "Alpacas By The Sea Can Help You to Realize Your Dreams." **


Alpacas By The Sea
P. O. Box 371628
1162 Tamarind St.
Montara, CA 94037
(650) 728-LUCK
Fax: (650) 515-3000

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