Pension problems percolating …

In a complex financial eco-system, there are MANY components, dependencies, and inter-dependencies …

… any of which can be the catalyst for a seismic economic earthquake.

The flip side and basis of real estate’s stability is real estate’s relative lack of liquidity as compared to publicly traded securities.

After all, you can’t hit a buy or sell button and execute a real estate transaction in seconds like you can with stocks, bonds, currencies and options.

Real estate moves slowly.

That’s why real estate prices and rents don’t bounce around on a daily basis after a Presidential tweet, an executive faux pas, a jobs report, or even a Federal Reserve interest rate pronouncement.

It’s also why so many Mom and Pop investors come home to real estate when the Wall Street roller coaster ride becomes a little too nauseating.

But because most minor economic waves tend to break harmlessly against the breakwater of real estate’s stability…

… real estate investors can get bored of watching the horizon for the occasional financial tsunami.

And boredom’s not the only problem.

There’s also the issue of overwhelm. In today’s complex world, there’s not only a lot more to watch, there’s a lot more chatter.

While lots of information is generally good, some stories get lost in the noise. And entering an election year, there’s a LOT of noise out there.

But it’s a mistake to tune out and assume all is well. Or to put blind faith in the “smart” people whose hands are on the controls.

Sometimes, those in control are the very people creating and downplaying the problems.

Remember, it was then Fed chair Ben Bernanke who assured the world in 2007 that the sub-prime crisis was contained and didn’t pose a threat to the economy.

We all know how that ended.

Current Fed Chair Jerome Powell recently assured the world that the U.S. economic expansion is sustainable.

Perhaps.

But there’s a long list of alarm bells going off … in bond markets, in oil, in trade, the dollargeo-politics, and the resumption of easy money (just don’t call it QE).

Okay. Take a breath. Yes, Halloween is coming up, but we’re not trying to scare you … much.

It’s unwise to unplug a blaring smoke alarm because it’s interrupting your sleep.

If you’re trapped in the wrong slow-moving real estate and you wake up late to a developing problem …

… you may not be able to rearrange your portfolio fast enough to avoid losses and capture opportunities.

Remember … a bend in the road isn’t the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn … and problems and opportunities exist concurrently in any transition.

Events are often only as good or bad as your personal awareness and preparation make them.

So back to our threat assessment …

You’re going to be hearing more about problems with pensions.

But before you check out because you think pensions don’t have anything to do with you … think again.

You may not have a pension. But lots of people do.

More importantly, pensions control a HUGE chunk of assets in the economy, including stocks, bonds, and real estate.

While there may be many reasons for any particular pension fund’s failure, there are a couple of undeniable macro-factors common to all …

… artificially low-interest rates and an aging population.

This one-two punch has many pension plans on the ropes.

Recently, General Electric (GE), an iconic company once revered for its great management, announced it’s freezing workers’ pensions.

GE is FAR from alone.

Both public and private pension programs, not to mention Social Security, have been on a slow motion collision course with insolvency for many years.

There are many potential ramifications for real estate investors. Some good. Some not so much.

Starting with the not so good …

Loss of purchasing power creates a ripple effect in any economy … affecting which states, cities, neighborhood, product types, and price points people can afford for housing.

Jobs and wages are important. But neither have a direct impact on retired people living on fixed income.

When costs tenants can’t control rise for essential items such as energy, healthcare, food … they’re forced to cut back on big things they can control, like rent.

Think about that when you jump on the senior housing bandwagon. Not all senior housing communities or investments are created equal.

Also, for investors with properties in retirement markets … even if YOUR tenants aren’t depending on pensions and social security directly …

… those retirement checks still provide the economic fuel for the local economy.

After all, your tenants might work at the restaurant, gas station, grocery store, dry-cleaner, auto shop, or landscaping service providing services to retirees.

When retirees cut back, it affects those tertiary businesses and their employees (your tenants). Pay attention to these dependencies.

Bigger picture, failing pension plans mean potential bailouts.

While the Federal government can (for now) still print unlimited amounts of dollars, local municipalities cannot.

So failing local government pensions create a huge temptation for local officials to increase property taxes and the costs of municipal services.

Landlords are easy targets for pandering politicians in cash-strapped towns.

And while you might not pay directly for all municipal services, it doesn’t matter. If the tenant’s costs go up, it puts downward pressure on their ability to pay you rent.

It’s a complex eco-system and we’re all inter-connected.

Bailouts also could mean big federal tax increases, or perhaps even worse … loss of faith in the dollar, rising interest rates (pressure on both you and the tenants), and a general decline in the economy, jobs, and wages.

Robert Kiyosaki tells us failing pensions are one of his biggest concerns right now.

There’s more to watch out for, but before you go into a full-fetal coma, let’s end on a high note …

The flip-side of any crisis is opportunity.

When asset prices collapse, those who are liquid, educated, well-connected, and emotionally prepared can acquire quality assets at bargain prices.

So note to self: Now is the time to get liquid, educated, well-connected, and emotionally prepared.

Sadly, many retirees will sell homes to raise cash, then enter the ranks of renters. So just like 2008, demand for rentals in the right areas could actually increase.

Therefore, it’s important to really understand your markets, their drivers and demographics, and to be mindful of the product types and price points favored by an increasingly large retirement population.

For example, multi-story homes can be less desirable to seniors. Warm weather is a plus … who wants to shovel snow in their 70s?

Great local medical services are also really important to seniors.

And if retirees have moved away from friends and family in search of affordability, great transportation infrastructure is another valuable market “amenity”.

And of course, areas with an overall lower tax burden help those fixed incomes stretch further.

It’s not rocket science, but you do have to think.

That’s why we attend conferences and listen to smart people talk about all these things from different perspectives.

It’s also why we host the Investor Summit at Sea™ each year, where we get together with big-picture thinkers together and street-level niche experts to find ways to think big but invest small and smart.

Whether you join us at these events or find your own tribe, we encourage you to take your nose off the grindstone a few times a year and confer with the smartest investors you can find.

Because even though you can’t possibly watch it all and see every threat or opportunity forming, your tribe can. And you can all learn faster together.

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.


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Exploring Huge Tax Benefits and Unique Profit Strategies in Oil and Gas

Land is at the heart of real estate investment. Some investors build on the land. Others profit from growing on the land. 

But today we’re talking about the opportunities that lie UNDER the land … oil and gas. 

Many investors hop into real estate because of its tremendous tax breaks … but that often only applies to PASSIVE income. 

Oil and gas offer huge tax benefits that apply to ACTIVE income … that’s why high-income earners love this niche. 

No investment is perfect … some forms of oil and gas investing come with high risks along with high rewards. That’s why we called on a seasoned Texas oilman to learn more. 

We’re exploring exciting strategies for finding more predictable profits and tax benefits in oil and gas. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your drilled-in host, Robert Helms
  • His drilling-down co-host, Russell Gray 
  • Founder of Panther Exploration (PANEX), Bob Burr

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A unique way to catch a break 

Today we’re talking about a niche within real estate that has some unique upsides and some great tax benefits … and it’s something you might not have considered before. 

Oil and gas is a very different type of investment … but there is a huge tax advantage to oil and gas investments that doesn’t exist in too many other investment categories. 

So, if you’re at the end of the year, and you’ve got a big tax problem, and you’re trying to figure out where to deploy some capital … you could make an investment and get a tax break. 

Energy is forever. It’s not a fad. It’s not an industry that shuts down … and any type of economic recovery is going to require the development and consumption of energy. 

Oil and gas has a history with the petrodollar in association with the dollar and other currencies. But it also acts as a hedge against currency, because it’s a commodity like gold. 

Another interesting aspect of oil and gas is it’s not JUST oil and gas. There are many peripheries of the business. 

There are actual businesses that are associated with the industry that aren’t directly oil … so you can make a profit based on the oil business without having the same level of risk.

We’re hardly experts in oil and gas … but we are learning. And that’s why we hang around with smart people who know a lot more than we do. 

One of those people is our guest is Bob Burr, founder of Panther Exploration (PANEX). He has been in the oil business for over 45 years … and he has plenty of expertise to share. 

Opportunities in oil and gas

The first thing to know about oil and gas is that there is certainly an economic benefit. Everyone goes to the pump and sees what happens to oil prices. 

But this time of year there is also a tax benefit. 

We often say that we don’t let the tax tail wag the investment dog … but this niche might be the exception. 

If you invest a dollar in oil and gas, the federal government will let you write off all the intangible cost of that drill. 

“That means if you drill a hole in the ground and it has no value, it’s a hole. They used to make us depreciate the equipment out over seven years and eventually you would write off 100 percent. Now we get to write off the equipment also,” Bob says. 

Bottom line … you’re talking about a 90 or 95 percent write-off against ordinary income the first year, right at the beginning. 

So, how do you get started?

There are really a couple of different ways to invest in oil. The first is exploration … trying to figure out where the oil is. 

Many of these properties are not owned. Instead, they are leased with wells that produce oil. 

Most people looking for the tax write-off don’t want to be involved in exploration … because most of the time you don’t hit oil. 

Instead, they want to be involved in wells that are already producing. Wells produce different amounts of oil each day depending on the location … but some wells have been producing for decades. 

The other option is to find other businesses associated directly with the oil and gas business that makes sense for investors. 

Three years ago, Bob and his team started to look at saltwater disposal wells. 

As wells produce oil, they also produce tremendous amounts of saltwater. You can’t dump saltwater on the surface … it kills everything. 

So, the government requires producers to pump this water back down into the earth at a safe level. 

Bob pays a landowner to lease their land and builds a well to safely pump this saltwater … and other drilling companies pay him to take care of their saltwater waste for them. 

“We’re operating a well now that in the first two years it was in production, it made $4.8 million,” Bob says. 

Bob has also built off of this business by finding a way to clean the water before pumping it … allowing them to separate and remove any leftover oil and “skim extra off the top,” if you will. 

“We’re disposing of 10,000 barrels a day, and if even one percent of that barrel is oil, that oil is ours, and it adds up,” Bob says. 

And the saltwater disposal investment gets the same tax benefit as oil and gas. 

For a niche like Bob’s saltwater well, investors can expect to put in $100,000 per unit. 

They can then … depending on the details of the deal and after consulting a tax professional … write off 90 to 95 percent as ordinary income. 

Syndication is sacred

Oil and gas investment has the potential to be higher risk than other investments … that’s why Bob and his team take their job so seriously. 

“I’m interested in one thing: Making money for us and our partners. That’s why I tell my team that they have a moral responsibility to get serious,” Bob says. 

That is one of the great messages that Bob has shared with us and with other investors at our Secrets of Successful Syndication event. 

Syndication is a sacred thing. You are working with somebody’s hard-earned money. They’re entrusting it to you. 

That’s why an investor who is looking for this type of potential upside in terms of returns, as well as tax benefits, needs to understand and be educated on their prospects. 

To learn more about oil and gas investing, listen in to our full episode. 

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.


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Podcast: Exploring Huge Tax Benefits and Unique Profit Strategies in Oil and Gas

Most real estate investors focus on the structure on top of the dirt. Others profit by trading in the land itself. Still, others find opportunity in what grows on top of the land.

Today’s show is about what comes from UNDER the dirt … oil and gas. And there’s a LOT more to the story than meets the eye.

Real estate is famous for fabulous tax breaks, but they often only apply to PASSIVE income.

Also famous for huge tax benefits, oil and gas can be applied to ACTIVE income … making it a favorite of high-income earners.

Of course, no one wants to lose money … and some forms of oil and gas investing are high risk, high reward.

In this episode, we visit with a seasoned Texas oilman to explore exciting strategies for finding more predictable profits and tax benefits in oil and gas.


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.


Love the show?  Tell the world!  When you promote the show, you help us attract more great guests for your listening pleasure!

Mastering Market Trends to Find Late-Cycle Opportunities

They say the best deals go first … so it is too late in the cycle to find great real estate investment opportunities?

We say the answer is no. 

We’re visiting with a multi-market investor who is finding plenty of deals … even this deep into the economic cycle. 

Join us as we push past talk of bubbles and compressed cap rates to uncover deals still up for steals!

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your dealing host, Robert Helms
  • His reeling co-host, Russell Gray 
  • President of ROI Turn Key Properties, Jared Garfield

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The complex market ecosystem

It’s not just important what you invest in … but where. 

Markets are different across the world. So, today we’re going to focus on studying market trends to find excellent real estate investments. 

There is a lot of talk about “the market cycle.” But you see, there’s not just one market cycle. And some market cycles run concurrently. Others lag … and some are completely opposite of others. 

The key is to make decisions on where to invest depending on where you think the puck is going. 

Remember that markets are more than just geography. They also take in demographics. 

Economic cycles affect markets too … and they are affected by the business cycle … the ebb and flow of supply and demand. 

It’s an extremely complex ecosystem. 

Because real estate moves slowly, you don’t day trade. You look out at the horizon and think about the long game. 

There’s also a lot you can learn from other people’s experiences. There are plenty of resources from people who have been through a market downturn or downward cycle before. 

Just don’t forget that in real estate, there is no one great, perfect real estate market. 

The trick is to match a market with your personal investment philosophy … who you are as an investor, what you’re trying to accomplish, your goals and dreams. 

Focusing on a handful of markets can make a lot of sense in the long term. 

Our guest is in a lot of markets and does a lot of thinking and research about this very topic … and he is here to talk about some of the markets he likes for investors today. 

Identifying and adapting to markets

Jared Garfield used to go to his grandfather’s real estate office, drink soda, and talk real estate. 

“From the time when I was a kid, I wanted to be in real estate and follow in the family business,” Jared says. 

But Jared learned from his family’s successes and failures … and what he learned was the power of diversification. 

Jared started buying houses in college. He bought foreclosures and flipped them for modest profits. After graduation, he built up a pretty large real estate portfolio. 

But Jared recognized that markets change. A market that is more cash flow oriented becomes more of an appreciation market over time. Dallas, Texas, is the perfect example. 

So, Jared spends a lot of his time watching that evolution and … to the best degree possible … anticipating it. 

“I developed a spreadsheet that analyzes 278 metropolitan statistical areas across the entire country on about 80 different metrics,” Jared says. 

Jared incorporated everything from poverty level to crime to test scores to media to affordability … and he looked at appreciation, building permits, job growth, population and more. 

“With that, we’ve identified some markets where you can really outperform many of the other markets,” Jared says. 

Jared also says it is important to think about submarkets. Investors tend to be the first in when there is an opportunity and the first to leave. 

So, Jared likes to look at secondary and tertiary markets. Take Huntsville, Alabama, for example. 

Huntsville is known as the Pentagon of the South. It’s home to NASA, Boeing, Lockheed, and Raytheon, and the FBI just moved 4,500 jobs from Langley to Huntsville. 

Jared bought foreclosed houses in C or C+ neighborhoods for $28,000 to $35,000. They put in an average of $30,000 into rehab. Five years later, those homes are selling for about $120,000. 

The cash flow is really good. 

But, Jared says, you have to deploy different strategies at different phases of the cycle

Now that Huntsville is no longer an absorption project … it’s expansion, full tilt … there is no reason to buy turnkey in C class neighborhoods. Instead, it makes more sense to buy new construction. 

“A market gives you what the market gives you, and you have to decide how to take that and turn it into something that makes sense,” Jared says. 

Selecting the right market for you

There’s a lot to learn about selecting and profiting in high cash flow markets … that’s why Jared has prepared a special report for our listeners. 

In this report, Jared shares how to choose markets … the metrics you should use and how to understand the difference between high cash flow markets and others. 

Jared also shares what things you should watch for in each of his top market picks. 

One of those big factors is the one-horse town. 

A one-horse town doesn’t mean small. It could also mean a big town with a very segmented workforce. 

Seattle took a bath when Boeing laid-off workers in 1990. Houston had it rough because it used to be pretty much just oil. You’ve got to have a diversity of employment and industries. 

“I like to invest in towns that are at least 300,000 in population and have a variety of employment sectors,” Jared says. 

With single-family investing, all the data is there for you to pick the right market and get high returns … you just have to know how to look. 

For more tips and experiences from Jared, listen in to the full episode!

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.


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Taxing times for states spells opportunity for real estate investors …

Most people think of tax season as January 1 to April 15.

After all, that’s when most people close the books on the previous year, issue and collect tax documents, prep returns, and settle up with the taxing authorities.

But for a host of real estate investors and entrepreneurs, the REAL tax season is right NOW.

It’s a HUGE opportunity to dramatically improve your bottom line. And it just got BETTER …

States Fail to Overturn SALT Deduction Caps in Court
Forbes, 10/1/2019

Yes, that’s a wonky headline that may not convey intelligible information … much less exciting opportunity for the casual reader.

But before you wander away bored, invest a few minutes to dig a little deeper

For those unfamiliar, the recent Trump tax overhaul put a cap on the amount of State And Local Taxes (hence, the acronym SALT) that a taxpayer could deduct from their federal income tax bill.

There’s some political disagreement about whether this is good or bad, or what the motivations might be … but the bottom line is it’s the current law, and for now the courts are upholding it.

So what does it mean?

In short, high-income earners in high-tax states are now bearing the full weight of their tax bills at the federal, state, and local level.

High-income earners in high-tax states are paying MORE taxes.

As you might imagine, they’re not happy about it. So while a few states banded together to fight the law in court, Main Street folks are fighting with their feet …

Americans abandoning New York, New Jersey, other high-tax states
Fox Business News, 4/25/19

But according to our friendly neighborhood tax strategist Tom Wheelwright CPA… this is largely unnecessary.

After all, your state tax liability is primarily derived from your federal taxable income anyway.

So the secret to reducing your federal tax is less about deducting state tax than it is about reducing or eliminating your federal tax liability altogether by carefully following the instructions provided in the tax law.

And just in case you think that’s unpatriotic and you’ll starve your deserving federal government from much needed revenue, consider this amazing admission …

The necessity … to tax … to maintain … solvency is true for state and local governments, but not true for national government.

Two changes … have substantially altered the position of the national state with respect to financing its current requirements.

The first … is … the … central banks. The second is the elimination … of the convertibility of the currency into gold.”

This remarkably candid admission is a quote excerpted from an article titled, Taxes for Revenue Are Obsolete, which contains the transcript of a speech made by then-Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve, Beardsley Ruml.

But if taxes aren’t needed for revenue because the Fed can print as much money it wants … what ARE taxes for?

Chairman Ruml says …

“Federal taxes can be made to serve … these purposes ….

… to express public policy in the distribution of wealth and income

… to express public policy in subsidizing or penalizing various industries and economic groups …”

So when Tom Wheelwright says the purpose of the tax code is to coerce you into doing what the government wants you to do, he’s not just making it up.

The good news is the government wants you to be an entrepreneur and investor.

They want you to start businesses and make investments in real estate and energy.

When you do, they reward you with huge tax breaks.

So much so, that when you do it right, you can eliminate virtually all your federal (and therefore state) income taxes.

And THIS is the time of year alert investors are making smart moves to capture those tax benefits before the end of the year.

Of course, as a savvy real estate investor you probably already know all about the tax benefits of real estate.

You might even be aware of how to use energy investments or a solo 401(k) to create big write-offs fast.

But MANY high-income earners don’t.

This creates a BIG opportunity for syndicators to put together tax advantaged deals to help high-taxed earners reduce their tax bills.

And if you happen to be one of those highly taxed high-income earners, before you back up the moving van, take a closer look at the tax law

… not as an obstacle, but as a road map to reorganize your affairs to reduce or eliminate your taxes.

When you do, you’ll realize owning a business and investing in real estate are two of the smartest moves you can make.

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.


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Podcast: Mastering Market Trends to Find Late-Cycle Opportunities

Is it too late in the cycle to find great real estate investment opportunities?

With all the talk of bubbles and compressed cap rates, we visit with a multi-market investor who’s finding plenty of deals … even this deep into the cycle.

Listen in and learn what to look for and how to know if a market still has room to run.


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.


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Clues in the News — The Fed, the Repo Market, and Real Estate Investing

When you’re an investor … the state of the financial system is always on your mind. 

The Fed shocked the world when it pushed an emergency infusion of cash into a distressed financial system. 

In 2008 … it took $85 billion per month to stabilize the U.S. financial system. 

Today, the Fed is injecting $75 billion PER DAY. 

Does this mean our financial system is in trouble? 

We’re searching for Clues in the News about the Fed, the Repo Market, and what it could mean for investors like you. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your stable host, Robert Helms
  • His fabled co-host, Russell Gray 

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Staying Smart in a Changing Market

We look at a lot more than just real estate. That’s how we stay smart in an ever-changing market. 

This week, we’re looking at what’s going on at the Federal Reserve … and we’re not just talking about the interest rate change. 

But let’s start there. 

The Fed came out and dropped interest rates by 25 basis points … which is one-quarter of one point. 

It’s important to note that the Fed doesn’t actually drop interest rates, because they don’t set interest rates. 

What they do is set a target and a range. 

They dropped the high end of the range down 25 basis points … and that manipulates the markets. 

The Fed also goes into markets and buys and sells bonds … again manipulating interest rates. 

So what is the effect of those actions on a real estate investor?

Sometimes it can be confusing … but it starts with understanding that yields … which are interest rates on bonds … are a function of supply and demand. 

When money floods into the bond market, it means that the interest rates come down. When money leaves the bond market, it means that interest rates go up. 

Many people think that if the Fed lowers the interest rates, mortgage rates are going to go down … BUT really the opposite is what would happen. 

Today, it’s different. 

The money that is moving around isn’t coming from the market. The Fed is putting more money into the system. 

That means investors are playing with new money that is in the system … and bonds go up and stocks go up. 

For the last decade, there has been a big infusion of money into bonds … so much so that it has driven interest rates yield down. 

There are $250 trillion of total bonds out there … $17 trillion of them are negative yields. 

It’s important to understand because, at the end of the day, a real estate investor is a user of debt. 

As investors, we have to pay attention to what the Fed is doing … and we should watch other investment categories like stocks and oil and gas and metals. 

All these things play together and play off of each other. 

The Repo Market

Now, something happened this week that hasn’t happened since 2008 … and it has got a lot of people nervous. 

The repo market dried up. People were going in to raise short-term cash … and there was no money. 

The repo market is like a pawn shop. It’s where Wall Street traders go to hawk a bond. It’s the same thing that house flippers do … but it happens in a day instead of over the course of several months. 

Remember that the bond that you hold is valuable because it has a rate of return. 

There’s a payment associated with it. It’s a poker chip in the Wall Street casino. 

Healthy markets require certain components. There has to be cash. There has to be assets. There have to be buyers. There have to be sellers … and there has to be trust. 

If any one of these components breaks down, then the system locks up until people fix whatever the problem is. 

On September 16, 2019, people showed up at the repo market … and there wasn’t enough. 

So, in order to get cash, they had to start bidding up or discounting what they were selling. 

Interest rates went all the way up to nearly 10 percent … and the Fed’s target is about 2 percent. 

So, the Fed had to step in. They pumped in $53 billion the first day. 

It wasn’t enough. The next day they had to put in another $75 billion. 

Still not enough. The third day, the Fed added in $75 billion more. 

That’s more than $200 billion in three days. And it STILL wasn’t enough. 

So, the Fed lowered the rates … and every single day of the following week they pumped another $75 billion into the market. 

The question for investors is … why did this happen?

Well, nobody knows. It’s a big mystery. 

Ultimately it all comes back to those key components … buyers, sellers, cash, assets, and trust. 

If there’s no cash, you can’t have buying and selling … and people don’t trust the marketplace enough to come in. 

What You Can Do To Prepare

Every listener out there that didn’t live through 2008 really needs to wake up and understand what can happen. 

For those of you that did live through 2008, this is probably like deja vu. 

But there are things you can … and probably should … do to be prepared just in case this is a real crash. 

It may not be. It may be just a little crash … but if you’re prepared, a crash is a great wealth-building opportunity. You can go into a marketplace and pick up bargains. 

The best thing you can do is get educated. Education is not just consuming knowledge and perspectives … it’s processing and thinking and conversing with experts. 

The second thing you can do is pay attention. We obsess about the news because there is so much you can learn from what is happening around you. 

From a practical portfolio management standpoint … right now you can lock in low rates for the long term. Take advantage of that. 

And you can take the combination of cheap interest rates and equity and pull some of that equity out and get liquid. 

Store that liquidity in something that allows you to pivot to other currencies. 

All of this is so you can be prudent as you look ahead into the unknown. 

Listen to the full episode to learn more about today’s Clues in the News!

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Now the Fed’s up to $400 billion …

Last week the Fed pumped over $200 billion of freshly printed cash into the repo market.

Since then, the Fed’s upped the ante to $400 billion … and counting.

For those young or asleep during the 2008 financial crisis …

… back then, the Fed provided an infusion of $85 billion per month to keep the wheels on the financial system bus.

Today, they’re pumping in nearly that much PER DAY.

That’s MIND-BOGGLING.

They’re trying to keep interest rates DOWN to their target. Of course, interest rates matter to real estate investors. We typically like them low.

But this isn’t about real estate. It’s more about banks who hold debt (both mortgages and bonds) on their balance sheets.

As we explained last time, when interest rates rise, bond values fall

… and a leveraged financial system with bonds as collateral is EXTREMELY vulnerable to collapse if values drop and margin calls trigger panic selling.

The Fed seems willing to print as many dollars as necessary to stop it.

And that brings us to an important question …

If the Fed can simply conjure $400 billion out of thin air in just a week … is it really money?

This matters to everyone working and investing to make or save money.

For help, we draw on lessons learned from our good friend and multi-time Investor Summit at Sea™ faculty member, G. Edward Griffin.

Ed’s best known as the author of The Creature from Jekyll Island. If you haven’t read it yet, you probably should. It’s a controversial, but important exposé on the Fed.

In his presentation in Future of Money and Wealth, Ed does a masterful job explaining what money is … and isn’t.

In short, money is a store of energy.

Think about it …

When you work … or hire or rent to people who do … the energy expended produces value in the form of a product or service someone is willing to trade for.

When you trade product for product, it’s called barter. But it’s hard to wander around town with your cow in tow looking to trade for a pair of shoes.

So money acts as both a store of value and a medium of exchange.

The value of the energy expended to create the product is now denominated in money which the worker, business owner, or investor can trade for the fruits of other people’s labor.

This exchange of value is economic activity.

Money in motion is called currency. It’s a medium of transporting energy. Just like electricity.

When each person in the circuit receives money, they expect it has retained its (purchasing) power or value.

When it doesn’t, people stop trusting it, and the circuit breaks. Like any power outage, everything stops.

So … economic activity is based on the expenditure and flow of energy.

This is MUCH more so in the modern age … where machines are essential to the production and distribution of both goods and information.

Energy is a BIG deal.

This is something our very smart friend, Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity, is continually reminding us of.

Here’s where all this comes together for real estate investing …

New dollars conjured out of thin air can dilute the value of all previously existing dollars.

It’s like having 100% real fruit juice flowing through a drink dispenser.

If someone pours in a bunch of water that didn’t go through the energy consuming biological process of becoming real fruit juice in a plant…

… the water is just a calorie free (i.e., no value) fluid which DILUTES the real fruit juice in the dispenser.

Monetary dilution is called inflation.

Legendary economist John Maynard Keynes describes it this way

“By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”

Inflation waters down real wealth.

Fortunately, real estate is arguably the BEST vehicle for Main Street investors to both hedge and profit from inflation.

That’s because leverage (the mortgage) let’s you magnify inflation’s effect so your cash-on-cash ROI and equity growth can outpace inflation.

Plus, with the right real estate leverage, there’s no margin call. Meanwhile, the rental income services the debt.

Even better, the income is relatively stable … rooted in the tenant’s wages and lease terms. Those aren’t day-traded, so they don’t fluctuate like paper asset prices.

Effectively, you harness the energy of the tenant’s labor to create resilient wealth for yourself. And you’re doing it in a fair exchange of value.

Of course, the rental income is only as viable as the tenant’s income.

This brings us back to energy …

Robert Kiyosaki and Ken McElroy taught us the value of investing in energy … and markets where energy is a major industry.

First, energy jobs are linked to where the energy is. You might move a factory to China, but not an oil field. This means local employment for your tenants.

Your tenants might not work directly in the energy business, but rather for those secondary and tertiary industries which support it. But the money comes from the production of energy.

Further, energy consumers are all over the world, making the flow of money into the local job market much more stable than less diverse regional businesses.

It’s the same reason we like agriculture.

While machines consume oil, people consume food. Both are sources of essential energy used to create products and provide services.

So when it comes to real estate, energy, and food … the basis of the investment is something real and essential with a permanent demand.

Though less sexy and speculative, we’re guessing the need for energy and food is more enduring than interactive exercise cycling.

Real estate, energy and agricultural products, are all real … no matter what currency you denominate them in.

And the closer you get to real value, the more resilient your wealth is if paper fails.

Right now, paper is showing signs of weakness. But like a dying star, sometimes there’s a bright burst just before implosion.

Remember, Venezuela’s stock market sky-rocketed just before the Bolivar collapsed.

Those who had real assets prospered. Those who didn’t … didn’t.

Are we saying stocks and the dollar are about to implode? Not at all. But they could. Perhaps slowly at first, and then suddenly.

If they do and you’re not prepared … it’s bad. It you’re prepared and they don’t … not so sad. If they do and you’re prepared … it could be GREAT.

Real assets, such as well-structured and located income property …

… or commodities like oil, gold, and agricultural products (and the real estate which produces them) …

… are all likely to fare better in an economic shock than paper derivatives whose primary function is as trading chip in the Wall Street casinos.

So consider what money is and isn’t … the role of energy in economic activity … and how you can build a resilient portfolio based on a foundation of real assets.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
John F. Kennedy

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.


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Short-Term Rentals for Long-Term Profits

Why do we like short-term rentals as an investment niche? Short-term rentals lead to long-term profits!

But don’t take our word for it. 

We’re talking with a real-life short-term rental investor to discover what it takes to be successful in the world of short-term rentals. 

Learn practical tips and tricks … and have some fun along the way. 

In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:

  • Your long-suffering host, Robert Helms
  • His short and sweet co-host, Russell Gray 
  • International real estate investor, world traveler, and short-term rental guru, Tim Hubbard

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A Unique Investment Opportunity 

There are many ways to invest in real estate. 

You can put a tenant in a property and just let them stay for a long, long time … but there are actually reasons that shorter occupancy lengths can be really profitable. 

In fact, short-term rentals can be one of the most profitable ways to invest in real estate … and it can be one of the lower risk ways to invest in real estate. 

So, let’s set the stage. 

In most buy-and-hold situations, you have either a month-to-month rental period or an annual rental period. Sometimes a commercial property has a 5, 10, or 20-year lease. 

The amount of time that you’re tying up a property with the tenant completely depends on you, the property, and the marketplace. 

Recently, everyone has been enamored with vacation rentals. 

You buy a property in a niche market that people love to visit. Instead of renting it on a month-to-month basis, you rent it on a nightly or weekly basis … and that can up your returns. 

But there are also corporate rentals and contractor rentals … all kinds of ways to rent for shorter periods of time. 

And apps have made it possible for you to reach consumers without spending large amounts of money on advertising. 

One of the great things about short-term rental properties is that you can build up a clientele of repeat customers … people who fall in love with an area, have regular business in the area or come to visit family. 

When you develop that relationship with a client … just like you would with any tenant … they come back again and again … and maybe even tell other people. 

Another consideration is that many short-term rental opportunities also come with the potential for personal use. You could use the property when you travel and rent it for the rest of the time. 

But this is an area of real estate that takes a little more thought and education. You don’t just put a yard sign out in front of your property that says, “Available by the night.”

That’s why today, we’re chatting with an expert.

Making the Most of Your Short-Term Rental

We met Tim Hubbard many years back when he attended the Secrets of Successful Syndication. He then came on the Investors’ Summit, and he has been on every one since. 

Tim on his own account has more than two dozen of these types of short-term rental units. 

“All the properties I’ve acquired had long-term tenants in them. I just found traveling that you can get a lot more by the night, so I started doing that instead,” Tim says. 

Sometimes people stay in Tim’s properties for a longer amount of time … like for a month … but he is still getting nightly rates. 

Tim takes a unique approach to rentals. He doesn’t necessarily cater to just vacationers. 

“I try to find the best properties for business people first because they tend to come back more often, and they tend to travel alone. They’re professional, and they don’t have parties.” Tim says. 

But unlike a rental where tenants move in and out once a year, short-term renters are coming and going every few days. 

There’s a lot of housekeeping and a lot of operational pieces. 

It’s common for people starting out with their first property to clean themselves and handle guest messages … but by finding other ways to take care of that, you can scale quickly and continue to scale. 

Outside of having managers that run these processes for him, Tim has also found other ways to simplify the short-term rental experience. 

One way is by having digital locks with door codes on all the properties. This allows guests to check themselves in. 

Tim has also created guidebooks that go out digitally and give guests the necessary information they need to know about the property. 

“It’s really about figuring out what the guest is going to ask you before they show up and answering those questions before they even arrive,” Tim says. 

This cuts down on guest messages and increases the likelihood they will leave a great review at the end. 

You also need to offer some standard amenities. Think about the normal amenities you would find at a hotel like an iron and coffee. 

You Can Find Success

Many people think that you have to be in some big top market in order to attract guests … but that’s not true. 

There is a client that wants to stay at a unit like yours in almost any city that has commerce or industry. 

Like any other investment … it’s important to do your research. But with the right tools in place, you can find long-term success with short-term rentals. 

Listen to the full episode and learn more tips and tricks from Tim!

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.


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Podcast: Clues in the News – The Fed, the Repo Market, and Real Estate Investing

The Fed shocks the world with an emergency infusion of cash into a distressed financial system.

It took $85 billion per month to stabilize the financial system in 2008. Today, the Fed is injecting $75 billion PER DAY.

Is the financial system in trouble? What’s an investor to think … and do?

Listen in as we search for Clues in the News about the Fed, the Repo Market, and what it could mean to real estate investors.


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.


Love the show?  Tell the world!  When you promote the show, you help us attract more great guests for your listening pleasure!

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