When you trade in highly liquid, lightning fast, electronically enabled casino markets … you watch the news like a ten-foot tailgater at 100 miles per hour.
And that’s who most of the mainstream financial media cater to.
The more fear, uncertainty, drama, and doubt … the better (for ratings). So they pour fuel on the fire.
The current drama du jour is President Trump’s up and down trade war with China.
Paper markets are gyrating as nervous traders try to time the trends and skim “profits” from the volatility. Politicians use every twist and turn as tool to score political points.
Meanwhile, on Main Street …
… folks get up every day and do their jobs, collect their pay, pay their bills, and largely ignore all the drama … most of which they don’t understand anyway (as if anyone really does).
That’s why investing in Main Street is SO different than investing in Wall Street.
Because while stock prices race up and down with every breeze of news or rumor … paychecks and rents remain relatively stable. Boring. But stable.
Of course, this doesn’t mean real estate investors can afford to be ignorant, naïve, or cocky. Real estate’s stability and resilience isn’t invincible.
The pain of 2008 made it very clear – what happens on Wall Street can bleed over to Main Street … rare as it might be.
Fortunately, real estate investors can usually follow the proceedings from a comfortable distance … with plenty of time to react and avoid mishaps.
Besides, more often than not, many of the “doomsday” fears just fade into the archives of “breaking news” that didn’t actually break anything.
So life goes on. People go to work and pay rent. Passive income flows. Equity happens … at least for those who aren’t paralyzed by all the drama.
Sure, we think it’s vitally important to watch macro-trends. And we do.
Macro-trends provide clues about long-term migration patterns … warnings of systemic breakdowns (credit, currency) …
… and insights about whether any key drivers in our markets and niches of choice might benefit or suffer from whatever’s developing.
But once you’re in a market you like based on macro-factors …
… the real work of real estate investing is building and working with your local team … and closing on deals that make sense and are structured to withstand a macro storm or two.
Once you master this, you’re not just a successful investor in your own right … you also have the potential to become a hot property yourself.
Because even though the Wall Street roller-coaster is exciting for the young and daring …
… after a few harrowing experiences, many Main Street investors would prefer to reach for the brass ring of prosperity from the much calmer merry-go-round of real estate.
When it comes to their life savings, most folks want stability, ease, and an after-tax growth rate in excess of real world inflation.
Ideally, they’d love to simply park their money in a boring bank account and collect a steady stream of interest income.
The problem is it doesn’t look like banks will be paying anything remotely resembling an inflation-adjusted positive yield any time soon.
That’s a big reason why income-producing real estate is very attractive right now … perhaps more than ever.
Of course, real estate investing is very messy and inconvenient to most people.
Wall Street and banks are easier, but at the price of nauseating volatility, minuscule yields, and high taxes … now or in the future.
So when YOU know how to produce predictable, high-yield (after tax) passive income through an inflation-hedged vehicle like real estate … you’ll find more than a few folks willing to invest in YOUR deals.
But whether you decide to fly solo or pilot a plane full of limited partners, real estate remains appealing as a stable investment in uncertain times … perhaps more so now than ever before.
So grab your popcorn and watch all the geo-political and Wall Street drama from a safe distance.
Just be careful not to let all the commotion keep you parked in the garage.
Until next time … good investing!
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