Dairy cows
Dairy cows
Dressage horses weren't Kotyan's only foray into livestock. He also once invested $25,000 into buying 10 dairy cows.

During a layover at an airport in California, Kotyan met a struggling farmer who told him how hard it was to secure agricultural loans to acquire farm animals. Hearing this, Kotyan decided to offer some assistance. "I said, "Listen, I have money just sitting in a retirement account and you know everything there is to know about cows, let's figure out how we can help each other.'"

And they did. Kotyan set up a self-directed IRA so that he could acquire the cows. The farmer agreed to lease the cows for five years, giving him the time to make enough money to then acquire the cows for a fixed price.

From acquisition to sale, Kotyan made a 25% return -- receiving annualized returns of about 12% from what he fondly calls his "cash cows."

Last updated July 05 2011: 11:13 AM ET
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