A dog may be man's best friend, but Peggy Parks would
rather have an alpaca.
The 49-year-old's future is riding on the llama look-alikes, CBS News
correspondent Kelly Wallace reports. Do her friends think she's crazy?
"My friends do think I'm crazy," she said.
She was sick of watching her retirement savings move in the wrong direction,
so a year ago, Parks, a building-code inspector, decided to start breeding
the furry and low-maintenance creatures from South America.
it's something tangible that you have in your hand, it's always going to be
there," she said.
She made the unconventional investment after learning how robust the alpaca
business can be. Alpacas are in high-demand, because their fleece is used in
high-end clothing, and a breeding female alpaca can fetch upwards of
$15,000. Her initial $56,000 investment for seven animals has already paid
off with two new baby alpacas.
"As you can see with a male and female, I've already made at least $15,000
in the first year," she said. "That's a nice return."
Turning to tangible assets - like alpacas - is nothing new. Investors did
the same thing during previous market downturns, and didn't always come out
Travel to parts of Texas and there's a good chance you'll run into an emu.
Breeding them for their lean meat was all the rage in the '90s, but when the
investors lost their shirts, the birds were set free.
"Research, everybody should do their research," Parks said.