Home prices surge … and subprime is BACK …

We’re just two weeks removed from our incredible Future of Money and Wealth conference … an it was an EYE-OPENER.

(If you missed it, you’ll be glad to know we video-taped the ENTIRE event and it’s in postproduction right now.   Click here to pre-order at a really great price.)

Meanwhile, now that we’re getting back to our normal routine, we noticed some real estate related news that looked interesting …

Home prices surge to a near four-year high, Case-Shiller shows 
– MarketWatch, April 24, 2018

“Rather than moderating, as many economists expected, home prices are accelerating.  The 6.8 percent annual gain … was the strongest since mid-2014.”

“ … finally broke above the peak it last touched in 2006.”

Hmmm …. is that good?

It kind of feels good.  Then again …

Subprime mortgages make a comeback—with a new name and soaring demand
CNBC, April 12, 2018

“The subprime mortgage industry vanished after the Great Recession but is now being reinvented as the nonprime market.”

A rose by any other name?

“allow … borrowers to have FICO credit scores as low as 500 … can take out loans of up to $1.5 million … can also do cash-out refinances … up to $500,000. Recent credit events, like a foreclosure, bankruptcy or a history of late payments are acceptable.”

“ … will also securitize them for sale to investors.”

Uh oh.  We’re having flashbacks …

“Big banks are also getting in the game, both investing in the securities and funding the lenders …”

Like “too big to jail fail” banks?

“It’s large financial institutions. A lot of people with private capital sitting on the sidelines …” 

Okay.  Let’s take a deep breath and try to figure out what’s really happening, and how it might impact all us lowly Main Street real estate investors …

First, does this mean another grandiose sub-prime implosion that drags the global economy into yet another Greater Recession?

Not sure we’d bet on that happening again.  At least not the same way.

Peter Schiff tells us he thinks the real crash will be the dollar.  He thinks when the debt markets implode, central banks will destroy the dollar in a vain attempt to reflate asset prices and save banks.

Wow.  That’s pretty apocalyptic.  But hey, it’s Peter Schiff.

James Rickards thinks the stage has been set to replace the dollar on the world stage with the IMF’s SDR.  Not sure what that means?  Read Currency Wars and The Death of Money.

But no one we’ve talked to think it’s all going to happen in a day. It’s a process.  And if you’re paying attention, you can see it coming and take pre-emptive action.

Of course, that’s a big topic and too much to dissect in this missive.  That’s why we hosted Future of Money and Wealth … and video-taped the whole thing.

Some of what we learned is that as the dollar begins to fail, dollar denominated bonds would fall out of favor.  After all, who wants to loan “strong” dollars today and get paid back late with weaker dollars?

Foreigners buy fewer U.S. longer-dated Treasuries at auction 
– Reuters, April 23, 2018

Well, THAT’S interesting.

Less bidders on bonds usually means interest rates rise …

Mortgages, other loans get pricier as 10-year Treasury rate tops 3% 
– USA Today, April 24, 2018

Okay, that’s getting closer to home … literally.

But usually when the world isn’t buying bonds (and yields rise) … the money goes into stocks and stocks go UP.  But they went DOWN.

Hmmmm…. it seems the paper players of the world aren’t wild about bonds or stocks.

Since stock investors aren’t piling into bonds for safety, where are they going?

Could be cash … for now.  That would explain the aforementioned, “… a lot of people with private capital sitting on the sidelines.”

We can’t claim to be paper asset experts … far from it.  But it seems to us if there’s cash on the sidelines, the issue isn’t liquidity as we’ve heard some say.

And if there’s plenty of cash … and plenty of stocks and bonds to buy … then maybe the issue isn’t liquidity or inventory, but quality.

Think about Detroit real estate at it’s worst.  There was PLENTY of properties.  And they were cheap.

You could buy a whole house for $2500.

But few did.  In fact, they bull-dozed lots of properties because on one wanted them.

The problem wasn’t price or availability, it was quality … or lack thereof.  No sale.

So MAYBE paper asset investors are a little afraid of stocks and bonds right now.  Maybe they’re starting to look for more real alternatives.

That’s what happened at the turn of the century.  Stock and bond investors poured into real estate and mortgages.  From their perspective, they’re safe.

Real estate is like that loyal, sometimes boring best friend in high school.  When things are free and easy, you hang out with your party pals … but when life gets hard, it’s that old faithful best buddy you lean on.

There’s a LOT of debt in the world right now.  More than ever before.  Much of it created in the last 10 years … providing the jet fuel for some pretty powerful paper pricing runs.

Of course, some of the cheap money has also made its way into real estate.  So real estate’s been good too.

But it’s quite possible the party is coming to an end.  Rising rates and declining stock prices could be warning signs.

And yes, a slowdown will probably impact real estate PRICES … especially for homes, which get overbid in good times.

However, incomes and rents are often less affected by downturns, making income producing properties much more stable in slowdowns.

And if you’re smart enough to lock in low cost long term financing, you’ve got a real competitive edge in a rising interest rate environment.

Meanwhile, if history is any indicator, when the paper party ends … it usually means an increased interest in real assets … especially real estate.

At least for now, it seems to us the volatility caused by rising interest rates is a MUCH bigger deal to the paper crowd than for real estate investors.

BUT … even Main Street investors should be paying attention to Treasuries, interest rates, the dollar, gold, and energy.  They’ll provide early warnings for bigger concerns real estate investors should be aware of.

Until next time … good investing!


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.

Investor Summit at Sea 2018 – Part Two

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, we bring the Summit at Sea™ to you! In part two of our Summit recap, listen to expert investors discuss the topics they know best, including:

  • Why moving to Puerto Rico can save you big bucks
  • What kind of capital you need to prepare for the future
  • The benefits of investing in real assets

And more! Our faculty will give you a taste of life at sea on the Summit cruise ship.

You’ll hear from:

  • Your smooth-sailing host, Robert Helms
  • His seasick (just kidding!) co-host, Russell Gray
  • Economist Peter Schiff
  • Chris Martenson and Adam Taggart, co-authors of Prosper!
  • The apartment king, Brad Sumrok
  • David Sewell, agricultural farmland broker and syndicator
  • Brand-building consultant Kyle Wilson
  • Syndicator Michael Becker
  • Author of the Gold Newsletter, Brien Lundin
  • Precious metals dealer Dana Sanderson
  • Real estate guru Kathy Fetke
  • And finally … the godfather of real estate, Bob Helms

 


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Tax free in sunny Puerto Rico

The Summit at Sea™ is more than just a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity … it’s also a cruise around the Caribbean.

One of our stops was lovely Puerto Rico (PR), where some Summit attendees were lucky enough to be hosted by faculty member Peter Schiff. Peter moved his family and business to Puerto Rico about five years ago.

“It was not a sacrifice,” says Peter. He sees great benefits to living in PR. It’s very family friendly and has beautiful weather and beaches and great communities.

But the biggest benefit … and the reason Peter relocated to this island territory … is the tax breaks. Puerto Rico has a four percent corporate tax, and residents can receive dividends tax free.

Living and working in PR is the best way to maximize tax benefits … although you only need to be in the area 183 days a year. But since Peter is “trapped by the school year,” he chooses to enjoy this island paradise year round.

“It’s not as onerous as it seems,” he says of getting and maintaining Puerto Rico residency. We can vouch for that!

Ways to build your capital

Chris Martenson and Adam Taggart joined us on stage to chat about the value of attending the Summit … and the importance of building the eight types of capital they outline in their book, Prosper!

Their key takeaway from the Summit? The number of millennials interested in finding ways to build capital and prepare for the future. “There is a critical mass of young investors who are keenly interested in our message,” says Chris.

During a breakout with millennials, Chris and Adam witnessed young investors getting the chance to learn from experienced investors.

They were impressed by millennials’ command of pressing issues, including, Adam says, resource depletion, species extinction, and the fact that lifestyle costs are quickly outpacing wages.

“Younger generations have nothing to gain if the status quo continues as it is, but older generations have everything to lose,” notes Adam. The big question is how to resolve this tension.

Younger generations will be the ones to come up with solutions … so it’s important they realize that the other side of challenge is always opportunity.

Folks who are intelligent and aware will have a chance to make an awful lot of money … but they can’t do it with financial capital alone.

“If all you have is financial capital, you’ve basically just painted a big target on yourself,” Adam says. He says emotional capital is probably the most important form of capital to have.

That means being able to handle crisis without falling apart … and coming back stronger. It’s the willingness to be vulnerable … and make meaningful connections with other people.

“It’s hard to find places where you can drop your guard,” says Adam, but that’s why the Summit is so extraordinary … it allows attendees to be real and experience true connection with a diverse group of people.

Turning dollars into precious metals

We had two faculty members speak to our attendees about precious metals investing. Brien Lundin is the author of the Gold Newsletter, and Dana Samuelson is a precious metals and rare coins dealer.

We invited these men to join us as faculty members because even though our focus is real estate investing, we believe investors should be looking at the bigger picture of all real assets … including precious metals.

“I was really blown away at the quality of the speakers, the audience interactions, and the audience itself,” Brien says. Dana agrees, “I’ve never met a more unassuming group of over-achievers in my life.”

Both men had similar advice for investors.

According to Brien, “Some level of dollar depreciation is inevitable.” And, he adds, “Every developed economy is in the same boat.”

Gold provides a hedge against appreciation because it’s the standard of wealth … and has been since currency was first created. “We are seeing a U.S. fiscal situation where debt is going to increase, which will naturally push gold higher,” says Dana.

For investors unsure of where to start, Dana offers reassurance. “Buying and selling gold is pretty easy these days,” he says. Investors have the option of buying physical metals or coins, buying in paper form through ETFs, or buying by proxy through mining shares.

If that’s not a sign to go for the gold, we don’t know what is!

The Summit experience

We spoke to six other Summit faculty to get their takes on this year’s Summit.

Multi-family investor and syndicator Brad Sumrok says, “I thought I knew what to expect, but I was blown away. The Summit is a mind-expanding experience.”

A common thread was the value of connecting with other investors … even outside of formal sessions. “Dinners and hanging out were the most valuable part of the cruise,” says syndicator Michael Becker.

A third-year faculty member, Kyle Wilson, says, “The network and connections are unbelievable. We come to get good ideas and bounce ideas off of each other.”

David Sewell agrees that the Summit is a center for unbelievable growth and learning. “I learn something new every time I’m here.”

Like our gold-loving friends, David believes in the value of investing in real assets to gain protection from the volatile dollar. His chosen asset is agricultural real estate, specifically coffee and cacao farms in Latin America.

Because of high, steady demand, getting into the coffee and chocolate business is “almost a no-brainer,” David says.

His goal is to monetize his business away from U.S. dollars into gold … and he’s learned how to do that, he says, by attending the Summit and learning from the stellar faculty.

Both David and real estate expert Kathy Fetke, along with many other Summit attendees and faculty, know big changes are coming to the U.S. dollar and to resource availability around the world.

But, says Kathy, “The right advice can change everything.” It can be scary to realize the reality of things … but you can’t prepare for the future if you don’t know what’s coming.

The Summit is invaluable for Kathy because it provides a chance to hear about massive upcoming changes … and discover ways to prepare.

For example, Costa Rica and Ohio are both wonderful places for growing food and accessing clean water, two things Kathy says will be incredibly important to have in an uncertain future.

Kathy was also impressed by the young people at the Summit. “They give me confidence in the future,” she says.

Our long-time contributor Bob Helms, the grandfather of real estate, agrees. “I was very impressed with the information, energy, and knowledge of the young people,” he says.

Want to get on the boat next year? Get on our advanced notice list! We’ll send you updates as soon as they’re available.


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The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training and resources to help real estate investors succeed.

Is this the end of easy money …

We’re just back from another incredible Investor Summit at Sea™ … and it was EPIC!

With 234 people, 2018 was our biggest ever … and many have already reserved their place for next year.  Click here to get YOUR name on the Advance Notice List.

We kicked off the 2018 Summit with a two-day land conference based on our theme, The Future of Money and Wealth.  Our speakers hit it out of the park!

Fortunately, we videotaped the whole thing.  Watch for more details … or if you already know you want it, click here to pre-order the entire two-day series.

Meanwhile, it seems the world continued to spin while we were gone.  So as much fun as it might be to keep cogitating on currency, bonds, gold, oil and interest rates …

… we decided to dig into our real estate news feed and see what’s happening with our favorite investment sector.

But a funny thing happened …

A couple of related headlines jumped out as particularly interesting after a week of contemplating the future of money and wealth.

First …

CRE Valuations Are Trending Down – NREI Online, April 6, 2018

For the uninitiated, CRE is short for Commercial Real Estate.  And when the industry talks CRE, it includes large multi-family.

But even if you’re a Mom & Pop single-family home investor, you can still learn a lot from following CRE trends.

So this first article opens with …

“… real estate investors can expect that property prices will trend downward in the near future …”

“‘Value appreciation has practically stopped …”’

“However, there are variations among sectors.  Industrial … has seen rising values … malls have seen big losses …”

“Cap rates have been inching up … for all sectors except industrial …”

After two days at Future of Money and Wealth, then another seven days at the Investor Summit at Sea™, these comments make a whole lot more sense to us.

First, interest rates are rising.  But the impact on real estate is much deeper than just mortgages getting more expensive.  If only it were that simple.

So without getting lost in the weeds, consider the impact of rising rates on the overall economy …

With record levels of consumer, corporate, and government debt … rising rates put a pinch on budgets at every level.

This means it’s harder for consumers to spend more, for businesses to sell more, and for landlords to raise rents on those consumers and businesses.

And when you realize income property values are driven by income, it’s easy to understand why stagnant rent growth means stagnant equity growth.

But this article also reminds us why we LOVE real estate … “there are variations among sectors” … so while retail (malls) are losing value, industrial is gaining.

We discussed this trend in our February 14 newsletter, so we won’t revisit it here.  The point is …. when things shift, pain and profit are NOT equally distributed throughout the economy.

So if you’re alert and proactive, you can get in front of an opportunity … or out of the way of a problem … faster than investors on cruise control.

Meanwhile, while rising cap rates can come from income rising faster than prices, most of the time it’s from prices falling.

(Again … no investor left behind … cap rate is income divided by price.  Just grab a calculator and play with numbers until you understand. It’s an essential investor skill.)

So why might cap rates be “inching up” … that is, why would buyers be offering less for the income?

Conversely, why would sellers be offering more income for less price?

(That’s two different ways of saying the same thing … go back and play with the numbers until you get it.)

One likely reason is investors aren’t willing to overpay today (bid up) expecting income to grow in the future.  The numbers need to make sense TODAY.

So cap rates are like a barometer of sentiment.  Rising cap rates are an indicator of a less bullish, more bearish outlook.

If rents rise (creating more income) and/or interest rates decline (reducing expenses), then cash flows improve.

If the rents don’t rise (stagnant income) and/or interest rates climb (expenses increase), then cash flows stagnate or decrease.

So investors are saying the think either rents won’t rise, or interest rates won’t decrease (or even increase), or both.  That is, they don’t expect market forces to improve cash flows going forward.

Make sense?

Which leads to the next headline …

Competition Intensifies for Value-Add Assets, NREI Online, April 17, 2018

“… competition is becoming increasingly stiff as the industry faces the likely end of the cycle and rent growth has moderated for core assets.”

“As yields get lower and lower … two strategies have emerged … speculative building and value-add …” 

Quoting a research director at a commercial research firm …

“‘Value-add has become quite attractive … people are less afraid to take on vacancy risk and reposition buildings.’”

So let’s break this down real quick, then you can go get a snack …

When you hear “the likely end of the cycle”, it’s code for “the party’s nearly over.”

Real estate, like the rest of the economy, has been partying on easy money since 2009.

At Future of Money and Wealth, Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan reminded us we’ve been in one of the longest (and weakest) recoveries in modern history.

In other words, we’re nearing “the likely end of the cycle.”  Duncan thinks the U.S. will be in full-fledged recession in 18-24 months.

So now instead of just buying a property and riding a wave, you actually have to buy smart and do some real work to improve the income … like “take on vacancy risk and reposition buildings.” 

And if you’re like our pal, the apartment king Brad Sumrok, and you’ve already been doing value-add and achieving spectacular results … be prepared to settle for “only” solid results.

Here’s the bottom line …

Rising interest rates are moderating the economy, so it’s important to focus your growth plans on things you have more control over.

This is probably not the environment to bet big on rising rents, falling rates, and lots of passive equity growth.  You’ll need to buy smart, have a good plan, and work hard.  We call it “force the equity.”

Pick your sectors, markets, properties, and financing structures for the long haul.

And remember … real estate is a highly inefficient investment vehicle with lots of nooks and crannies for good deals to hide.

So when you’re well-connected, diligently searching, and properly prepared with a solid team and resources so you can act quickly and carefully, you improve your odds of landing profitable opportunities.

Until next time … good investing!


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.

Investor Summit at Sea 2018 – Part One

This is our 16th year hosting our annual educational event … the Investor Summit at Sea™. Guests and faculty have all disembarked from a wonderful week learning about the future of money and wealth.

We didn’t want our wonderful listeners to miss out entirely on the treasure trove that is the Summit … so we hosted a live recording session on board the ship!

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, we chat with some of our illustrious faculty members. Listen in to hear their reflections and insights on our week at sea.

You’ll hear from:

  • Your adventurous host, Robert Helms
  • His seasick co-host, Russell Gray
  • Robert and Kim Kiyosaki, the brains behind Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • G. Edward Griffin, author of The Creature from Jekyll Island
  • Securities law attorney Mauricio Rauld
  • Victor Menasce, author of Magnetic Capital
  • Glen Mather, president of NuView IRA

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Lessons from Robert and Kim Kiyosaki

It was a pleasure to have the always inspiring Robert Kiyosaki and his wife, Kim, on board for the Summit. “It’s more important than ever before to come on Summit at Sea because so much has changed,” Robert says.

The duo enjoyed hearing from experts with many different points of view. “The conversations happening behind the scenes are the most important part,” Robert adds.

Lucky attendees were able to hear from Robert … and female attendees joined Kim in a women-only breakout session about finding financial freedom.

We asked Robert and Kim about their opinions on educating younger people … and why it’s important to have youth at the Summit.

“It’s important we teach the younger generation,” says Robert. “We need to teach kids to look at the world from a different point of view. Most kids haven’t been trained to see a problem as an opportunity.”

Kim adds, “What they teach you in school is the opposite of what it takes to be successful.” According to Kim, school teaches you there’s only one right answer … and you should never make a mistake.

But investors need to learn there are many right answers … and mistakes are the best way to learn. Plus, says Robert, “Student loan debt will never amortize on you.”

Robert and Kim recently celebrated the 21st birthday of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. “The message remains the same,” says Kim. Lessons like “your house is not an asset” and “savers are losers” still ring true, Robert says.

A red pill from G. Edward Griffin

G. Edward Griffin gives this review of the Summit: “I’m amazed at what I learned and that so many people learned so much!”

Edward walked us through the process of writing his book, The Creature from Jekyll Island. He almost gave up twice because he thought he couldn’t do the content justice … but he persisted. Today the book is on its 48th printing!

What about the young people? “Young folks can buy into the idea that the banking system is stealing from them in a legalized fashion,” Edward says. “We’re at a huge tipping point.”

Edward created the Red Pill Expo to get the word out to people that things aren’t always as they seem in the world of money and banking. “You have to be aware before you can do something about the problem,” he says.

The Expo aims to help people “take the red pill, break out of the matrix, and see reality.”

Edward had some great words of wisdom for everybody listening … “We have within all of us the power to understand that most of the great barriers in life are not the barriers we think they are.”

Three experts on the power of community

The author of Magnetic Capital, Victor Menasce, reports, “When you break bread with people, the level of connection and the environment is amazing.”

Attorney Mauricio Rauld agrees. The Summit provides attendees with the opportunity to “absorb knowledge like a sponge,” he says. “It’s an amazing environment.”

Faculty member Glen Mather believed in the power of the Summit so much he brought his first-time property buyer daughter so she could learn too.

Glen has seen the Summit work its wonders firsthand … on himself. “I can’t listen to these guys without thinking, ‘There is so much we have to change,’” he says.

We think getting together to learn is incredibly valuable … if we didn’t, we wouldn’t have created the Summit at Sea™. We offer materials like our podcast and educational reports as the start of a relationship … with the hope that listeners will take that relationship to the human level.

Gathering as a community is a powerful experience … and experiences like the Summit allow both fledgling investors and experts alike to learn new information, open their minds to ideas, and form life-long connections.


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training and resources to help real estate investors succeed.

The future of interest rates …

Interest rates are a big deal for real estate investors … for many reasons.

The first and most obvious reason is because interest rates are the price of the money you borrow to invest with.  Higher rates mean higher payments and less cash flow.

Of course, even when you pay cash for your properties, your tenants probably carry consumer debt … car loans, credit card, and installment debt …

Higher rates mean higher debt payments for your tenants, so less of their monthly budget is available to pay you rent or absorb rent increases.

Also, your property values, exit options, and liquidity are all affected by interest rates.

Higher rates mean buyers have less capacity to bid up comparable properties … and fewer buyers can afford to buy your property when you’re ready to sell.

For these reasons and others, most real estate investors and their mortgage advisors pay very close attention to interest rates …  especially when financing or re-financing.

But there are other very important reasons for real estate investors to care about the future of interest rates …

Interest rates are a barometer for the health of both the currency and the overall economy.

Last time we looked, most real estate investors transact and denominate wealth in currency (dollars for Americans) … and your rental properties, tenants’ incomes, and overall prosperity all exist inside of the broader economy.

So the potential for big changes to either the currency or the overall economy matter to real estate investors just like they do to paper asset investors.

In fact, based on the amount of debt most real estate investors use, interest rates are arguably even MORE important to real estate investors.

We’re just a couple of days away from our Future of Money and Wealth conference … with nearly 400 people coming … and right now we’re thinking a lot about the dollar and interest rates.

Peter Schiff is speaking.  Peter wrote Crash Proof in 2006 and released it in 2007.  Back then, he loudly warned of an impending financial crisis whose roots would be in the mortgage market.

Sadly, back then we didn’t know Peter, and we didn’t read his book.  Then 2008 happened, and we were blindsided by the financial crisis.

So now we read more … a LOT more.

We make time to listen to people like Peter Schiff, Robert Kiyosaki, and Chris Martenson.  And we work hard to share them with our audiences.

A very interesting book we just finished is Exorbitant Privilege by Barry Eichengreen.  He’s Professor of Political Science and Economics at Cal Berkeley.

Eichengreen published Exorbitant Privilege in 2011, which means he probably wrote it in 2010.

Keep this in mind as we share these prophetic excerpts from Chapter 7, “Dollar Crisis”…

“What if foreigners dump their holdings and abandon the currency [dollar]?  What, if anything, could U.S. policymakers do about it?”

“It would be nice were this kind of scenario planning undertaken by the Federal Reserve and CIA … it would have to start with what precipitated the crash and caused foreigners to abandon the dollar.”

Note:  Eichengreen probably didn’t know at the time that James Rickards, former attorney for Long Term Capital Management (the hedge fund at the center of the near financial meltdown of 1998), was participating in precisely this kind of planning, which Rickards describes in his book Currency Wars, published a year after Exorbitant Privilege.

Back to Eichengreen’s prophetic 2011 commentary …

“One trigger could be political conflict between the United States and China.  The simmering dispute over trade and exchange rates could break into the open …

“… American politicians … could impose an across-the-board tariff on imports from [China].”

WOW … Eichengreen wrote that at least 7 years before this March 22, 2018 headline from CNBC:

Trump slaps China with tariffs on up to $60 billion in imports: ‘This is the first of many’

Back to Eichengreen in 2011 …

“Beijing would not take this lying down.”

CNN Money on April 3, 2018:

China to US: We’ll match your tariffs in ‘scale’ and ‘intensity’

Eichengreen in 2011:

“Or the United States and China could come into conflict over policy toward rogue states like North Korea and Iran.”

If you’ve been following the North Korea drama, you probably know this one’s been back and forth.

Last summer, China seemed to side with North Korea.  Then they tried to take a neutral position.

But recently Kim Jong Un paid a secret visit to China.  Of course, no one really knows what that was about.

But based on recent trade policy it seems the U.S. isn’t sucking up to China for help with North Korea.  So maybe the U.S. and China disagree on North Korea?

Now STAY WITH US … because the point of all this is … according to Eichengreen …

China’s relationship with the United States and the U.S. dollar has a DIRECT impact on the future of YOUR money, interest rates, and wealth.

And if you’re like most Main Streeters, you may not completely understand the connection …

… just like we didn’t understand what Credit Default Swaps had to do with our real estate investing in 2008 … until everything suddenly imploded …

… despite reassurances from the wise and powerful man then behind the curtain of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke.

And the point here isn’t Iran, or North Korea, or tariffs, or trade wars … it’s about whether China gets upset enough with the U.S. and opts for the nuclear option …

Eichengreen in 2011:

“… China [could] vent its anger and exert leverage … by … dumping [Treasuries] … would send the bond markets into a tizzy … interest rates in the United States would spike.  The dollar would crater … could cause exporters, importers, and investors to abandon the dollar permanently.”

Obviously, there’s a LOT more to this topic than we can cover today.

Our point for now is that way back in 2010-11, Eichengreen envisioned a scenario in which conflict with China could create a dollar crisis.

As you can see, today’s headlines are living out his concerns.

When you read Eichengreen, like Jim Rickards, he talks about things reaching a tipping point … where everything happens fast.

We lived that in 2008 and it was NO FUN.  But that was only because we were on the wrong end of it.  While we got slammed, others made fortunes. They were informed and prepared.  We weren’t.

So be cautious of normalcy bias and complacency when it comes to contemplating the possibility of a dollar crisis.

Better to be prepared and not have a crisis … than to have a crisis and not be prepared.

Until next time … good investing!


More From The Real Estate Guys™…

The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training, and resources to help real estate investors succeed.

Profitable Niches – Residential Assisted Living Homes

The Silver Tsunami is coming. That’s right. It’s no secret Baby Boomers are retiring and entering a new phase of life, and looking for an alternative to traditional assisted living facilities.  

In the third episode in our Profitable Niches series, we explore the world of residential assisted living homes.

We chat with leading national expert and President of Residential Assisted Living (RAL) Academy, Gene Guarino, about this compelling investment opportunity, and four of his students who are successfully investing in this space.    

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show you’ll hear from:

  • Your happy-to-assist host, Robert Helms
  • His in-need-of-assistance co-host, Russell Gray
  • RAL Academy President Gene Guarino
  • A few of Gene’s star students, Sherry Ellingson and Rocky McKay, Loe Hornbuckle, and CJ Matthews

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An explosive demographic with specific needs

So much of real estate is about understanding specific demographics and their needs. All around the world, and especially in the United States, there is a massive population that has created business opportunities through every season of their lives … baby boomers.

Baby boomers are retiring in droves, and they aren’t too far away from not being able to live independently anymore. Unlike generations before them, boomers (in general) are adamant about not living in an institution or hospital. They want to live in a home and have a social life.

That’s what makes residential assisted living homes such a fascinating investment niche. This specific demographic and a unique financial model means more CASH FLOW than a typical single-family home investment.

Gene Guarino is the leading expert in this investment niche. As president of the Residential Assisted Living (RAL) Academy, he teaches investors everything they need to know to get started.

“It all starts with education. Get educated first. If you don’t, you’ll most likely go out, make mistakes, and bang your head against the wall,” Gene says.

We’re all about education for effective action. So, we sat down with a few of Gene’s star students to learn about their experiences and what advice they have for other investors.

Building your brand from the ground up

Sherry Ellingson and Rocky McKay are business partners who attended Gene’s class several years ago.

“We kept hearing about senior living,” Sherry says. “We both have parents who are going to be entering into this category before long, and after taking a look at some of the current options in our area we thought, ‘You know, we could do this a little bit better.’”

Rocky and Sherry first acquired an existing assisted living facility that needed some updating. The property is 10 beds with jack-and-jill baths and lots of places for residents to be able to visit with friends and family. The goal is to have residents feel at home and have a happy, safe place to make their own.

How do they attract tenants? Case workers from hospitals and rehab centers refer potential residents and their families to placement agents who find out what they are looking for in an assisted living facility.

Then, the agents take them on tours and show refer them to various home options. That’s why a good reputation is so important.

“The reputation of a home is attached to the owner, so your focus should really be on creating your own reputation and brand from the ground up,” Sherry says.

“The demand for a good home is extremely high, and as we provide such an essential service for our residents, it feels like we are doing the right thing,” Rocky adds.

For investors just starting in the niche, Sherry and Rocky recommend looking for an existing home and remodeling it into a residential assisted living home. They also suggest having a fixed rent rate with everything included so families can set their budget and not worry about hidden fees.

And don’t forget that there is benefit in adding more properties. More residents means the ability to buy supplies in bulk and save even more money on operation costs. Sherry and Rocky hope to have a couple hundred operating homes in the next several years.

Raising capital and expanding your network

After going through the RAL Academy course, Loe Hornbuckle found his passion. Since then, he has opened 40 beds in residential assisted living homes and is in the process of developing an 80-bed facility made up of five homes on six acres as a planned community.

“I look at residential assisted living as a tool to keep people out of nursing homes or institutional environments that may not be right for them,” Loe says. “There are a lot of people who are placed inappropriately in those settings.”

Even though he was passionate about the type of investment he was making, Loe says he still had a lot to learn when it came to raising capital.

“The first time I raised capital, I put out my business plan, and at the end of the first day my wife found me in the fetal position on the floor. It was harder than I thought it would be,” Loe says.

Proper education changed this for Loe. He learned you have to build a network to effectively raise capital. He suggests that RAL investors attend events and conferences so they can meet the many people out there who are willing to help them along the way.

“Your network is everything. When you build your network, you have the power to step into good business like residential assisted living,” Loe says.

Syndication and working smarter

As a self-proclaimed real estate addict, CJ Matthews was looking for an investment with good cash flow and without a huge amount of ongoing work. After hearing Gene speak on RAL homes, she knew she had found the perfect niche.

“With residential assisted living, you do the work to set everything up, and then you become the business owner. At that point, someone else can actually run the day-to-day business for you,” CJ says.

The biggest advice CJ offers to potential RAL investors is to learn about and apply effective syndication.

“Before learning to syndicate, going out and asking for money felt risky or scary to me, but after I attended the Secrets of Syndication seminar, I knew what I needed to do,” CJ says.

When it comes to working with partners, CJ recommends choosing people who have skill sets you don’t. That way you can work synergistically and accelerate your success. And don’t forget this particular investment niche requires a special touch.

“This space isn’t for everyone. You need to love real estate, love making money, love putting in work on the front end, and most importantly have a heart. If you aren’t willing to care about these people and making the last years of their lives happy, then this may not be the investment for you,” CJ says.

Interested in learning more about investing in residential assisted living? Listen in to the show to hear more from Gene and his students. You can also email us at ALF@realestateguysradio.com, and don’t forget that Gene will be cruising with us on our Investor Summit at Sea. We’d love to see you there!

Listen to other episodes in our Profitable Niches series (like Stacking up Profits with Self Storage or Making Money with Mobile Homes) to step off the beaten path and learn more about other lucrative, but as-yet unexploited asset classes.


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The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training and resources to help real estate investors succeed.