Can you handle the truth?

“You can’t handle the truth!” 

 – Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men

Neither optimists or pessimists can handle the truth.Optimists refuse to acknowledge the part of reality that’s negative …

… while pessimists can’t see the ever-present opportunities hidden behind the problems.

While we’d rather be optimistic than pessimistic, maybe it’s better to be BOTH.“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” 

 – F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Here are some thoughts about risk and opportunity from legendary real estate investor Sam Zell …

People love focusing on the upside.  That’s where the fun is.  What amazes me is how superficially they consider the downside.”  

“For me, the calculation in making a deal starts with the downside.  If I can identify that, then I understand the risk I’m taking.   Can I bear the cost?  Can I survive it?” 

You can only take calculated risks if you look carefully at both the upside AND the downside.

Today, the entire global financial system is largely based on “full faith and credit” … primarily in the United States dollar.

And there’s a gigantic investment industry that’s built on perpetual optimism …and a belief non-stop debt-fueled growth FOREVER is actually possible.

Even worse, the entire financial system’s fundamental structure literally REQUIRES perpetual growth to avoid implosion.

That’s why central banks and governments are COMMITTED to debt and inflation … at almost ANY cost.

But as Simon Black points out in Future of Money and Wealth 

History is CLEAR.  Empires and world reserve currencies don’t last forever.

And irredeemable paper currencies and out-of-control debt ALWAYS end badly … at least for the unaware and unprepared.

Optimists can’t see this.  So they take HUGE risks they don’t even know exist.

Pessimists can’t act.  So they miss out on the HUGE opportunities that are the flip-side of the very problems they obsess over.

Robert Kiyosaki stresses the importance of being REALISTS …

… standing on the edge of the coin, seeing BOTH sides … and then being decisive and confident to ACT in pursuit of opportunities while being keenly aware of the risks. 

We created the Future of Money and Wealth to gather a diverse collection of speakers and panelists together … to examine the good, the bad, and the ugly …

… so YOU can have more context and information to make better investing decisions. 

Chris Martenson opens our eyes to the physical limitations of long-term perpetual exponential growth which depends on unlimited supplies of clearly LIMITED resources.

Of course, as these critical resources dwindle, they’ll become very expensive as too much demand competes for too little supply.

When you see nation’s fighting over scarce resources, it’s a sign of the times.

But of course, there’s OPPORTUNITY hidden inside of crisis.

And to seize the opportunity, you must understand it … or it just sits there like a hidden treasure under your feet.

But it’s not just recognizing trends.  It’s also TIMING.  And being a lot early is much better than being even just a little late.

To beat the crowd, you can’t wait for the crowd to affirm you. 

To get timing right, it’s important YOU know what the signs are.

What does it mean when Russia dumps Treasuries and buys gold?  What caused Bitcoin to sky-rocket in 2017?  Why are there bail-in provisions in U.S. banking laws?

Peter Schiff saw fundamental problems in the financial system back in 2006 … and screamed from the rooftops that the financial system couldn’t support the then red-hot economy.

Few listened … then WHAM!  In 2008, the weakness of the financial SYSTEM was exposed … and MANY people were CRUSHED.

Peter insists the REAL crash is still yet to occur … and everything that made the financial SYSTEM weak in 2006 is MUCH WORSE today.

Yet small business and consumer OPTIMISM is at all-time highs.  The ECONOMY appears to be BOOMING … again.  And Peter’s still screaming out his warnings.

The Fed is RAISING interest rates to cool things down.  But history says EVERY SINGLE TIME the Fed embarks on a rate raising campaign it ends in RECESSION.

In Future of Money and WealthFannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan reveals when he thinks the next recession is coming … and WHY.  We listen to Doug because he’s got a really good track record.

The 2008 crisis exposed real estate investors to the REALITY that what happens on Wall Street, at the Fed, and in the global economy … can all rain down HARD on Main Street. 

Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.  And you’ll die of old age waiting for the storm clouds to blow away.

There will ALWAYS be risk.  There will always be OPPORTUNITY. 

It’s not the external circumstances which dictate what YOU get.

It’s really up to YOU … and your ability, like Sam Zell, to see both opportunity and risk, so you can aggressively reach for opportunity while carefully navigating risks.

Education, perspective, information, and thoughtful consideration are all part of the formula.

That’s why we created the Future of Money and Wealth video series.

Future of Money and Wealth features TWENTY videos … over fourteen hours of expert presentations and panels …

… covering the dollar, oil, gold, real estate, crypto-currencies, economics, geo-politics, the new tax law …

… PLUS specific strategies to protect and GROW wealth in the face of potentially foundation-shaking changes to the financial system.

Just ONE great idea can make or save you a fortune. 

Future of Money and Wealth might just be one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

To order immediate access to Future of Money and Wealth … 

Click here now >> 


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.

Headlines say real estate funds performing well …

Regular followers know we’re news hawks.  We scour the headlines for clues about opportunities and threats facing real estate investors.

We look at the good, the bad, the ugly … and consider things at the micro, macro, geo-political, and systemic level.

Even though we watch a broad range of real estate niches … we tend to look at the world through the eyes of a syndicator.

We think raising private capital to invest in real estate is the single BEST opportunity for real estate investors … and one of the best business opportunities in ANY industry.

So it didn’t surprise us when the following headline popped up on page one ofYahoo Finance, the most visited financial website on the internet …

Closed-End Real Estate Funds Are Performing Well

The real estate market is booming … Not surprisingly … funds that focus on real estate have been posting good numbers …”

A “closed-end fund” just means a fund which raises a specified amount of money, then closes to new investors.

This is different than a typical “open-end fund” like a mutual fund which continually accepts new investors.

Our point today is … 

Mainstream headlines are informing the market real estate is a winner …

…and that individual investors can access real estate through funds … versus taking on the personal hassles of tenants, toilets, and termites.

Of course, the aforementioned article is talking about publicly traded funds, which come with a host of risks most Main Street investors are unaware of.

But if YOU are thinking of investing in real estate through a publicly traded fund, OR …

… if you’re talking to Main Street investors about investing in YOUR real estateprivate placement (syndication) …

… then you’ll find it VERY helpful to understand the risks in public funds.

Publicly-traded real estate funds can be used as gambling chips in Wall Street casinos … just like any publicly traded stock.

This means speculators (gamblers) can short-sell, trade on margin, and use options … all of which add volatility to the share price.

So even if the underlying asset is as stable as the rock of Gibraltar … the share price can bounce all over the place as it’s traded in the casinos.

Of course, if you’re a long-term buy-and-hold paper-asset investor, maybe that doesn’t matter to you … just don’t watch the share prices or you might get nauseous.

But MUCH less understood is the counter-party risk every paper-asset investor faces because of the way paper-asset trading is facilitated.

In short, counter-party risk is the exposure you have when an asset on your balance sheet (a stock, bank account, a bond) which is simultaneously someone else’s liability.

In other words, they own the the asset and OWE it to you.  YOU own an IOU.

If the counter-party fails to perform or deliver … you LOSE.

Most people understand the concept of counter-party risk … but many don’t understand all the places they’re actually exposed to it.

And it’s a LOT more than you might think.

In the case of publicly-traded securities, like closed-end real estate funds, you’re NOT the registered owner … your broker is.

You get “beneficial ownership” through what is effectively an IOU from your broker to you.  The fund doesn’t even know you exist.

Of course, this is all fine as long as the financial system supporting all this is sound.  But in a crisis, if the broker fails, you might end up a loser.

It’s not unlike what happened in the 2008 financial crisis …

In short, individual mortgages … which are great assets to own … were pooled into securities and made into gambling chips in the Wall Street casinos.

Because the “beneficial ownership” of the mortgages changed hands so quickly, it was all facilitated through a system called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS).

When the financial system nearly collapsed in 2008, the flaws of MERS were exposed … as the legal documentation required to affirm clean title to the asset wasn’t properly maintained.

Some of the beneficial owners of the mortgages couldn’t prove legal ownership and lost when property owners challenged foreclosure in courts. Huge mess.

So there’s a BIG difference between “beneficial ownership” and actual ownership.  And the difference isn’t exposed until it matters.

Sometimes that’s ugly for investors.

The GREAT news for you and your investors is … it’s NOT necessary to play in the Wall Street casinos to get into a real estate fund.

In fact, we’d argue it’s better if you don’t.

If you’re following The Real Estate Guys™, you’re probably already a fan of real estate and may already be a successful individual property investor.

Maybe you’re considering, or have already started, putting together groups of investors to syndicate bigger deals.

Or maybe you’re tired of being an active investor … and now you’re looking to stay in real estate, but as a passive investor in another investor’s deal.

In any case, it’s important to understand the BIG differences between public and private real estate fund investing.

As an investor in a private offering, you directly own the entity which directly owns the asset.  There’s no counter-party who owes you the shares. YOU own them.

We think when you delve into the differences, you’ll agree private offerings are arguably a MUCH better way to go.

Of course, if you’re interested in starting your OWN real estate investment fund, the timing couldn’t be much better.

Headlines are telling the marketplace real estate funds are performing well.

And when you explain the important differences between public and private funds, we’re guessing you’ll get more than your fair share of investors interested in investing with YOU.

Main Street investing in Main Street … outside of the Wall Street casinos.  We like it.

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.

SWOT are you worried about …

A common adage is “treat your investing as a business”.  

Good advice!  And at first blush, you might think it means …

  • Figuring out your mission, vision, values …
  • Establishing clearly defined goals and objectives …
  • Developing strategies, tactics, processes, policies and procedures …
  • Recruiting, training, and leading a team …
  • Setting up communication and accountability rhythms, and processes for evaluating progress and making adjustments

All true.  But it’s also very important to pay attention to the economic environment you’re operating in.

A popular business planning tool is SWOT analysis … which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

SWOT helps you make better decisions about where to focus time, attention, and resources.

Most amateur investors focus only on opportunity.  They look for it.  They chase it.  They stretch their limits reaching for it.

And sometimes they end up in dangerous deals by not leveraging their strengths, acknowledging their weaknesses, or recognizing external threats.

In Am I Being Too Subtle?, multi-billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell says a big part of his success is the ability to understand the DOWNSIDE … and still proceed.

Most people ignore threats because they’re a downer.  It FEELS better to focus on sunshine.  It’s just not smart.

Risk is gloomy.  It doesn’t sell seminars, books, or video-courses.  And it can chase away an audience.

So investors are under-served by most gurus, media, and pundits because few talk candidly about threats.

Yet it can SAVE YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE.  So we do it anyway.

Besides, the flip-side of most risk is opportunity.  So when you frame looking at threats as searching for opportunities, it’s not so bad.

Part of SWOT is about assessing the environment you’re operating in.

We divide investing environments into four categories … Micro, Macro, Geo-Political, and Systemic.

Micro factors include …

  • The property, parties to the transaction; financing, etc.
  • The neighborhood, local economy; local laws, taxes, customs, etc.
  • The local team … property manager, on-site staff, etc.

Micro factors are where most investors start and finish … because micro factors are easiest to see and handle along the shortest path to getting the deal done.

Macro factors include …

  • Interest rates and factors which drive them
  • Federal taxes and laws
  • Policies affecting job creation, living costs, real wages, consumer and business confidence
  • Economic factors affecting energy, materials and commodities costs, currency strength, etc.

Sure … this is some heady stuff …

And if you’re only going to play small and VERY conservatively, maybe not worth all the effort to watch and interpret macro factors.

Then again … many small investors got killed when the Tax Reform Act of 1987 changed the tax treatment of rental properties.

They probably wish they’d been more aware and prepared.  When things are changing, a “wait and see” approach can be painful.

But if you plan to play big … and especially if you’re going to raise money from private investors … you’ll definitely want to invest in your macro education.

Remember … the 2008 crisis which crushed many unprepared investors started at the macro level … before crashing down on the micro level.

Most micro-players (including us), didn’t see the storm forming at the macro level until the monsoon hit.  Bad scene.

So … how much advance notice do YOU want when something major is lurking on the horizon?  More is probably better.

Geo-Political factors include …

  • Currency and trade wars
  • Oil and energy policies
  • International treaties (trade, land-use, etc.)

Most people hear about geo-political factors in the news all the time … but don’t consider or understand their impact on Main Street micro-investing.

Systemic factors include …

  • The financial system … currency, banking, bond market, etc.
  • The environment … energy, climate, water, etc.

We think systemic factors just might be the BIGGEST threat most investors aren’t paying any attention to.

Yes, it’s a lot to consider.  And maybe you doubt it really matters to your daily real estate investing.

That’s what we thought … before 2008.

Then we found out the VERY hard way these things DO affect Main Street investing … so thinking about them isn’t just for wonky paper asset pundits.

Let’s look at some recent headlines … how they might affect our Main Street investing … and let’s just focus on oil …

Is The Oil Industry Repeating A Critical Error – Oilprice.com 7/14/18

 “ … Wall Street has been subsidizing the consumption of oil on Main Street.”

“… the punishing price decline in oil from 2014 to 2016 … resulted in deep cuts in exploration and development throughout the industry …”

“… there isn’t an oil price … both low enough to avoid economic stagnation …  yet high enough … to prevent a decline in the overall rate of production worldwide.”

Let’s break it down …

Energy is essential to economic activity.  No energy, no growth. Restricted energy, restricted growth.  Expensive energy, expensive growth.  You get the idea.

Energy is a key input into the cost of EVERYTHING.  When subsidies mask rising costs, economic numbers look better than they really are.

Remember …  a strong economy is NOT the same thing as a strong financial system.

Investors make mistakes when they deploy capital based on false readings or temporary circumstances.

Remember what happened to real estate investors who flocked to North Dakota because of the oil boom … a boom only possible because of high oil prices.

When oil prices crashed, so did the North Dakota real estate boom.  Investors only watching micro-factors … and even macro-factors … didn’t see it coming.

Whether it was Saudi Arabia attacking U.S. frackers … or the U.S. directing an economic assault on Russia’s oil revenue … oil prices fell because of what was happening at the geo-political level.

So today, knowing oil prices affect economic growth, consider these recent headlines …

It takes cheap energy to grow an economy fast.  And with the Fed raising interest rates, Trump’s using tax cuts and cheap energy to goose the economy.

He’s got to out-run ballooning deficits and rising interest costs.  Cheap energy … even if only temporary … buys some time.

But cheap energy doesn’t fund the exploration necessary to replace oil being consumed.  Very few people on financial TV talk about this.

That’s why we hang out with brainiac Chris Martenson.  He’s a fun guy … a positive guy … but he’s a realist.  It’s sobering.  Brutal facts can be that way.

At some point, supply and demand take over and prices rise … slowing or reversing economic growth, driving up costs, and probably bankrupting marginal businesses.

Many billions in oil industry debt could go bad.  Remember when sub-prime mortgage debt went bad?

The financial system today is rife with counter-party risk, so bad debt can spread like wildfire through credit markets.

We’re not saying it’s going to happen, but we’re watching.  If something starts to break, we want to see it sooner rather than later.

Of course, we’re also watching oil, like gold, for its role in currency wars.  We remain convinced the dollar will be a major story in the next ten years… or less.

A little spooky.  But pulling the sheets over our heads doesn’t make it go away.

The good news is there are smart people watching all this … and thinking deeply about what it all means.

That’s why we get together with them regularly on our Investor Summit at Sea and the New Orleans Investment Conference.

These are voices mainstream sunshine-sellers don’t promote.  It’s bad for ratings.

But we put together nearly 14 hours of presentations and panels with all the big brains from our Future of Money and Wealth conference …

So if you missed the live event, you can still see and hear what everyone has to say. Click here to learn more.

Smart business people and investors practice SWOT… and invest in growing their education and network … so they can make better, faster investing decisions … in ANY economic environment.

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.

Protecting equity from bursting bubbles …

One of the primary purposes of easy money (“quantitative easing” or QE) is to inflate asset prices, bloat balance sheets, and create a wealth effect.

The formula is simple.  Print gobs of money, buy bonds to drop interest rates, and flood the markets with liquidity.

Corporations borrow cheap money to buyback stocks … pushing stock prices up and triggering big bonuses for execs.

Corporate raiders borrow cheap money leveraging operating cash flow into leveraged buyouts … triggering mega-mergers and acquisitions … and fat fees.

Real estate investors borrow cheap money … leveraging rental income into big mortgages … bidding up prices, creating lots of equity, and compressing cap rates.

Even everyday homeowners get in on the action … borrowing cheap money and leveraging their paychecks into big mortgages … pushing up prices and creating lots of equity.

And some of the equity boom in real estate comes from folks moving some of their stock equity into fancier houses.

Of course, from a portfolio management perspective, it’s probably not a bad idea to reposition fickle, volatile paper equity into boring, stable real estate equity.

For those with real estate equity in bubbly markets, it’s probably a good idea to consider repositioning some of that equity into less bubbly real estate markets.

After all, if quantitative easing was about inflating asset prices … what’s the likely outcome of quantitative tightening?

Right now, the Federal Reserve is raising rates and shrinking its balance sheet … which is the OPPOSITE of what they did to inflate asset prices.

So it’s reasonable to be concerned about the equity on your balance sheet.  If the prices of your stocks and real estate fall, so does your equity.

This all begs the big question … how can you protect your equity from bursting bubbles?

Aside from selling everything and sitting in cash … which has its own risks … one strategy is to simply reposition equity into assets which are less affected by leverage.

It’s why Jim Rickards (Currency WarsDeath of MoneyRoad to Ruin) recommends allocating a portion of your balance sheet into real assets, including gold and unleveraged real estate.

Of course, these strategies are easy to talk about.  But in the real world, it takes some work to actually implement them.  And it starts with education.

But you’ve read this far, so you’ve already begun the process.  Good job!

We get into much greater detail in the Future of Money and Wealth video series.

In fact, in module 13 of 20, there’s a detailed strategy (too big to explain here) for repositioning equity for wealth preservation, privacy, and increased cash flow … and some other VERY cool benefits.

But there’s more to protecting equity than simply understanding a strategy.

If you’re going to move equity from highly-leveraged stock or real estate markets into less-leveraged real estate markets, you’ll need to find and learn those markets.

One of our favorite un-leveraged real estate markets is Belize.

There’s a long list of reasons why we like a very specific market in Belize, including the fact it’s not leveraged … yet.

That’s because getting wealth into non-leveraged real estate markets insulates your equity if credit markets seize up like they did in 2008.

Just look back on what happened in Texas in the financial crisis that temporarily wiped out lots of equity for a several painful years …

Sure, you could get loans in Texas … but Texas law restricted some of the more aggressive lending.  So less air got into Texas values.

That’s a big reason why the Texas markets didn’t bubble as much as other markets, which made it boring pre-crash … but VERY attractive post-crash.

Well, Belize was even MORE stable than Texas going through the crisis … and that was before Belize had as much global exposure and demand to prop it up as it has today.

We thought Belize made sense heading into back then and we like it even better today.  That’s why we continue to share it with people through our discovery trips.

It’s not for everybody, but we think everyone would be wise to take a closer look.

Last year, Hilton Hotels decided to plant a flag in Belize.  Marriott just announced earlier this year.  Big players like this little market for a reason.

When you see big brands making moves into a market, it’s a leading indicator of market strength.

And when you have a chance to get in a market BEFORE leverage arrives, you have a good chance of catching a big equity wave.

Of course, if the leverage never happens … you simply have a chunk of your wealth parked in a stable market with some VERY desirable lifestyle perks.

So whether you do it in your own account or with partners through syndication, Belize is a market to consider right now … and you can learn all about it on our next fun-filled discovery trip to beautiful Belize.

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.

Trump’s budget and your real estate investing …

In case you missed it, President Trump just announced his proposed budget. 

Two items caught our attention.

First, there are big cuts to social programs.  With 43 million people on food stamps and many of those being renters, there’s an obvious ramification for landlords.

As we said back in 2015, “…if the government subsidy goes away or is reduced…or if interest rates on your tenants’ consumer credit goes up…then it becomes even harder for them to pay you rent.

Hopefully, it’s both an obvious conclusion and one you’ve seen coming.  It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s inevitable because of the math behind the problems. 

So be cautious about a portfolio overly dependent on government subsidies.

But something else popped up which is perhaps less obvious … and more exciting.

President Trump proposes selling off half of the U.S. strategic oil reserve to raise cash to pay down the national debt.

We’re not here to say whether that’s a good or bad idea.  We’re not that smart. 

Besides, our orange Trump phone isn’t ringing, so the White House hasn’t asked our opinion anyway.

But when things are happening which have direct economic ramifications, we’re interested in how they might affect real estate investors.

It’s a bit of a rabbit trail.  But because oil is an impactful component of economic activity, we think it’s worth the effort. 

To start, the immediate benefit of selling the reserves is reducing interest expense.  This is especially beneficial when interest rates are rising … or threaten to.

Of course, money saved on interest can be redirected into paying down more debt … OR,  it could be used for investing into income producing activities and infrastructure.

Now we’re not inside Donald Trump’s head, but we are real estate guys. 

So we wouldn’t be surprised to see the president direct more money into income producing activities and infrastructure. After all, that’s how real estate guys think … we don’t spend, we invest.

Of course, this begs the question … what kind of activities and infrastructure are most likely to get attention, and what kind of jobs will they produce … and where?

Real estate investors want to get to popular places and product types BEFORE they become popular.

So putting on our orange comb-over thinking cap, we think the-real-estate-guy-in-chief wants to create domestic manufacturing jobs.  It’s just a wild guess … based on what he overtly says he wants to do.

But the challenge for a domestic manufacturing agenda … as our good friend Peter Schiff points out … is the factories and supply chains needed to support it have long gone to China to take advantage of cheap labor and lax environmental laws.

So while a viable long-range strategy might be to create a more factory-friendly environment in the United States … the U.S. needs good, solid middle-class jobs NOW … or as close to now as possible.

So what kind of industry would be ideal for creating U.S. based jobs fast?

It would need to be something that could ONLY be done in the U.S., so there’s no temptation to take the jobs off-shore. 

And ideally, it would be for a product with both domestic and global demand.  

After all, a nation can’t get rich selling to itself.  It needs to export.

Of course, demand would need to be big enough to make a real contribution to economic activity. 

And it would also need to be a product with supply and distribution chains which either already exist or could be ramped up quickly.

Hmmm … we think it all points to energy.

After all, the U.S. has huge oil and natural gas deposits.  So the jobs to harvest, process and distribute them would all have to be created right in the United States.

And even though global demand for energy ebbs and flows, the long-term need for energy grows steadily along with global population and economic activity.

Remember, it was the energy sector which dominated the post-2008 U.S. job growth.  Many real estate investors rode that wave … especially in Texas.

Price wars with Saudi Arabia curtailed that growth, but with the Saudi’s still hurting over the last oil price war, maybe they won’t want to get into another.

And if the U.S. oil strategic reserve “savings account” is low, Uncle Sam’s in a better position to step in and provide some extra demand if prices need a boost.

So if a Trump Administration is pushing a pro-energy agenda, it checks a lot of boxes, even though it may miff staunch environmentalists.

Again, we’re not advocating one way or the other. 

We’re just observing and speculating about what might be happening, how it might play out, and how real estate investors might find opportunity.

So we went digging in our news feed for any interesting developments in the world of energy. 

Here’s something we found a little off the beaten path … 

First Ever U.S. LNG Cargo Set Sail For Northwest Europe

LNG is Liquified Natural Gas.  And it’s headed to Europe … one of Russia’s biggest customers.  Interesting.

But more interesting is this quote from the OilPrice.com article, referring to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) …

“According to the EIA, the U.S. is set to become a net exporter of natural gas on an average annual basis by 2018, due to declining pipeline imports, growing pipeline exports, and increasing LNG exports.

By 2021, four LNG export facilities that are currently under construction are set to be completed.”

Okay.  So this is probably a bazillion dollar business emanating from somewhere … where lots of people will need to do lots of work to make it all happen.  Jobs!

This took us on a hunt to find additional information about WHERE this LNG was coming from … because maybe those real estate markets are about to experience growth.

We found the EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook for 2017Actually, it was easy to find … because the OilPrice.com article linked to it.  Yeah, we’re sleuths.

The EIA report is 64 pages long with charts, graphs and maps.  On page 46, one map shows which U.S. regions they project to “lead growth in tight oil production.”

On page 60, there’s similar information about natural gas.

Now, we’re not saying these are treasure maps telling you where to invest in real estate. 

But it is a starting point for an investigation into where future job growth might occur … through natural economic forces, geo-politics, and a new U.S. administration eager to stimulate domestic production job creation.

But don’t just stop there.  Consider also the supply chain.

It takes big, heavy, expensive equipment and infrastructure to harvest, process, store and ship energy. 

These suppliers and sub-contractors might not necessarily be tightly geographically linked to the natural resources.  So look for them not by geography, but by working your way through the supply and distribution chains.

Because while energy production might create a surge of “primary” industry jobs, primary industry growth often gives rise to “secondary” (supply and distribution chain) jobs … sometimes in other areas.

Could this be the beginning of a resurgence of job growth in rust belt states? 

We don’t know.  But that’s another box President Trump would like to check, so it’s a development worth watching.

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.

Live from the 15th Investor Summit at Sea™ – Part One

Ever had a life-changing week that left you reeling? That was us, after our 15th Annual Investor Summit at Sea™. It was one of those weeks we could relive over and over, and we’d like to take you aboard.

Our speakers are providing the BEST insights on real estate, economics, business and even life tips. Hear, also, why there’s always room to be optimistic.

Listen in as we sail with the specialists. In this informative episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show you’ll hear from:

  • Your captain on the economic seas host, Robert Helms
  • His (calm and collected?) skipper co-host, Russell Gray
  • Faculty member, and author of mega-bestselling Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki
  • Faculty member, multi-family Investor and Rich Dad Advisor, Ken McElroy
  • Faculty member, investment broker, and respected economist, Peter Schiff
  • Faculty member, investor and founder of Sovereign Man, Simon Black
  • Economic researcher, and co-founder of Peak Posterity, Chris Martenson, PhD
  • Silicon Valley internet executive, and co-founder of Peak Posterity, Adam Taggart
  • Author of The Creature from Jekyll Island, G. Edward Griffin

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Preparing for the future…

 

Author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, continues the conversation … letting us know how he looks into the future.

“It really is possible to look into the future because there are parts of history that do repeat. The number one thing repeating is the ability to print money.”

The government continues printing more and more money.

Some would say it’s one of the biggest scams in history.

Robert explains that the biggest culprit of this salacious scam is the lack of education.

Due to the lack of financial literacy and excessive money printing, Robert suggests we may already be in a depression.

Robert’s reasons for writing the book Rich Dad Poor Dad was to prepare people for these types of crises today.

But no matter the crisis, there is still reason to be optimistic.

Robert’s best advice in these economically uncertain times is to have a plan B.

In fact … Robert started with his plan B.

He didn’t get a job … but instead started his own business, invested in real estate, and invested in financial education.

Robert’s plan B was better than any plan A.

Much of his success had to do with his mission … his devoutness to duty, honor, and respect and in staying in line with his moral and ethical compass.

Lessons to be learned … seek financial education … have a plan B … and have a moral mission.

 

Debt … is a good thing?

 

Debt … a four-letter word despised by many. But there ARE good times to go in debt.

Debt is overwhelming and often causes financial hardship. But real estate investor, Ken McElroy, gives his positive spin on the benefits of debt.

“I believe it’s good to be in debt right now because obviously the way the dollar is being printed. That’s going to drive inflation.

His simple reasoning behind this is if you are in debt now … you can pay it off with cheaper dollars later.

But don’t start racking up your credit cards now. There is a BIG difference between good debt and bad debt.

Bad debt is when you invest in things that depreciate quickly after purchase.

Many people’s credit card purchases fall into the bad debt category … those items simply lose value rapidly.

Good debt as Ken suggests, “is the kind of debt your tenants pay off.”

In other words, it’s investing in things that appreciate over time with a result in cash flow.

 

Essentially, “investing” in good debt is well … GOOD!

 

You borrow from the bank to invest in real estate (good debt) while tenants pay off that debt … and voilà you put money RIGHT back into YOUR bank account.

In Ken’s experience, “Good debt is a good way to get massively rich.”

Get into good debt … get more money in the bank.

Seems like an oxymoron, but the reasoning is sound.

So keep in mind … shying away from debt might actually lose you more money in the end.

 

A Strong Dollar … Relatively Speaking

 

Economist Peter Schiff joins our show once again with his expertise on the American dollar.

Peter and many others here agree that we are headed toward an economic downturn.

Generally speaking, in a strong economy and productive growth, prices don’t increase because you’re producing goods with a high supply.

But with decreased productivity and a shortage in supply … the economy slows down.

In many cases, the Federal Reserve resorts to printing more money causing inflation to accelerate.

We constantly hear in the news “The dollar is strong. The dollar is strong.”

Is this really true?

Peter recognizes the media’s common fallacy … exposing the strong dollar façade.

He explains the dollar is strong … relative to other currency falling at a slower rate.

But “it’s not real strength,” he explains.

Simply because the euro or the yen are weaker than the dollar doesn’t equate to strength.

According to Peter, gold is only up by 8% this year … which isn’t very strong compared to earlier years.

The constant increase in living costs … often more than 2% of inflation … only emphasis the weak dollar.

Peter asserts, “If the dollar really were strong, the cost of living would be falling.”

Perhaps the media should redefine their use of “strong dollar.”

 

An Opportunity for Optimism

 

Investor Simon Black of the popular Sovereign Man joins The Real Estate Guysonce again at our annual sailing summit.

Just like in any investment, there are many risks or potential problems to be weary of.

Simon identifies some of these problems including “unprecedented levels of debt” and the central bank that appears to be “actively engineering it’s own insolvency.”

But even as the bank inflates our money away, Simon joins other experts in remaining optimistic.

There may be a number of problems, but as Simon so brilliantly pointed out “Anytime there are problems, those are just opportunities. “

These problems present us with infinite opportunities to learn, innovate, adapt, and improve our circumstance.

These opportunities are a gateway to knowledge and learning … in hopes we can establish a healthy and sustainable marketplace.

We completely agree with Simon … at the end of the day we are intelligent people and “we are going to be okay.”

 

A Framework for Success

 

The Real Estate Guyswelcomes … for the first time on the show … authors of Prosper, Chris Martenson and Adam Taggart.

Chris’ curiosity led him to create a book and video series entitled The Crash Course.

After a series of events, Chris discovers that our entire entitlements system in the US is completely insolvent and unsustainable.

Intrigued by Chris’ insights, Adam continued the conversation with Chris … forming a complementary (and impressive) partnership.

Using their unique skills, data, and wealth of knowledge, they co-wrote Prosper in hopes for seeking real solutions.

Both teach the principles of The Three E’s. Which are:

  • Economy
  • Energy
  • Environment

The economy, as Chris suggests, is the most important E to pay attention to.

Without a functioning economy, we are vastly limited in possibilities.

The relationship between energy and the economy is also key to understand.

Just pay attention to oil prices.

Lastly, we need to understand the environment … what we take out of it and what we put back in.

Chris asserts, “We can’t keep going as we have. It’s time to have a whole new approach for living on this planet.”

We can’t continue to have a constant increase of growth year after year.

Yet so many companies and countries place their projections on this data.

Next year is always going to be better.

While this is a positive perspective, Chris and Adam’s research shows … it is NOT actually POSSIBLE.

“Infinite growth is not possible in a finite space,” Chris says.

Instead of projecting eternal growth, Chris and Adam advise investing in differing capital.

In their definition, wealth is a whole lot MORE than just the number in your bank account.

You preserve your wealth through various capitals including emotional capital, financial capital, or social capital.

You gain MORE resources by expanding your capital outside of mere money.

Developing these types of capital along with an increased resiliency … will set your path for success.

 

Money on the Mind

 

Our last interview for today is the author of The Creature from Jekyll Island, G. Edward Griffin.

The main question on our minds today is why people always want more money?

Edward’s simple response says it all.

“Money is a measure of the extent of which you can ask for and receive the services of other people.”

In expanding wealth, some believe money is for the greedy or evil.

However, money isn’t inheritably evil.

It can provide enlightening education, take us abroad, and create tremendous opportunity.

But also, unfortunately, money can be used in unsavory ways. “The fact of the matter is that evil people have captured control of the system by which money is created,” Edward states.

He is referencing the Federal Reserve.

Or what he also refers to as “the engine of inflation.”

The Federal Reserve controls the creation and elimination of money.

The controversy with this agency is their excessive fiscal printing with no tangible thing to back it up.

They produce money out of thin air … and then collect borrowed interest on it.

It’s a difficult concept to wrap your mind around … perhaps if the government had a little more moral in their mission like Robert, inflation wouldn’t be as big of a problem.

 

The Insightful Summit Ensues

 

Many of us are floating in a sea of investment opportunity.

There are so many factors. There’s the undercurrent, the winds, the weather, and the waves jostling us around.

But with every problem, there in turn is another opportunity … a chance to unify with our peers and come up with solutions.

This Summit gives us so much to digest … but don’t tune out just yet.

We have a lot more thought-provoking ideas heading your way as we continue our ocean sailing.

Until next time … make some equity happen!


 

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.

11/23/14: Liquid Real Estate – Has the Oil Boom Run Out of Gas?

Oil prices have been falling.  Why?  And does that mean it's a good time to invest?The dollar price of oil has fallen substantially as of late…just like real estate did a few years back.

Does that mean it’s all over for oil?  Or is now a good time to buy?

To explore this slippery topic, we take a trip to Texas to talk oil, gas and cash flow with our favorite oil man.

In the station pumping out broadcast brilliance:

  • Your energetic host, Robert Helms
  • His slimy co-host, Russell Gray
  • Special guest and bona fide Texas oil man, Paul Mauceli

While it may seen obvious to some, in case you’re wondering, oil and gas can definitely fall under the heading of real estate investing.

We’re not talking about commodity trading, where investors are flipping in and out of futures contracts or options trying to skim a little profit from price spreads and market volatility.

Oil well investing can be a great way to generate passive incomeWe’re talking about buying or leasing a piece of land, digging a well, putting up a pump and sucking money out of the ground.

Most of the horror stories you hear about in oil and gas are rookies getting crushed by the pros in the paper markets…or by naive investors going into a high risk (and potentially high reward) exploration project.

Exploration is like venture capital investing.  You’re buying into an unproven business plan.  Of course, if you strike oil, you’re rich.  Just ask Jed Clampett,  But the odds are against you.

Our friend Paul Mauceli has a different approach that we like a lot better.  It feels more like investing in an existing apartment building.

The concept is simple…

Instead of buying into one single point failure make it or break project hoping to hit a home run, buy into a pool of already drilled and producing wells…just like buying an apartment building that’s already leased up…and the oil (and cash) is flowing.Investing in a pool of multiple wells mitigates the risk of hitting a dry hole.  And no one likes a dry hole.

Your cash flow is based on the “rent” (the price of oil) times the number of units (barrels) less operating expenses.  These are things every real estate investor understands.

Your profitability is based on the ratio between what you pay and what you collect.   Obviously, the less you pay, the better your return.

The challenge comes when you buy and then later the “rents” drop.

Of course, this is a risk every investor takes, so it’s wise to build in a little wiggle room, so you can afford to stay in the game even if the revenue declines.

Obviously, buying when rents are low can be good if the price you pay is also low…which it should be based on the lower rents.

Then later, when the rents go up, you’ve already locked in your costs, so your profitability is actually better.  So even though we hate to buy when prices are low (it’s scary), it’s actually the best time.

If you wait until the market is high, then you risk paying too much and not having enough cushion in case of a pull back in prices.

One HUGE difference between apartment investing and oil well investing is there’s typically no loan on the oil well.  So you don’t have to worry about foreclosure or negative cash flow.

The dollar is strong...for now.  But how long will it last?Something else to consider is the 100 year history of the U.S. dollar.  In spite of its recent “strength” (really, a reflection of a weaker Euro and an even weaker Yen), the dollar has lost 97% of its purchasing power since 1931 (the year the Federal Reserve was created).  The dollar has a 100 year history of LOSING value.The dollar is strong right now primarily because the Euro and the Yen are weak

That means anything REAL purchased in 1913 (real estate, precious metals, gems, etc.) retained its value, while the dollar did not.

Right now oil is soft because of a weak domestic consumer economy, softness in China, increased U.S.production. and (allegedly) geo-political games intended to punish Russia for its aggression in Crimea.

But like real estate, you have to ask yourself:  will the long term worldwide demand for oil is likely to increase or decrease?  And is the long term strength of the dollar likely to increase or decrease?

If you think the world will use more, not less oil…and the dollar will eventually resume its 100 year trajectory down (remember, the Fed, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are ALL TRYING to INFLATE…i.e., devalue their currency), then when would be a good time to buy oil wells?

Paul thinks NOW is a great time because they’re on sale.  And that’s hard to argue with.

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

11/24/13: Follow the Money – Clues Where the Economy is Headed

John Denver once sang, “Life on the road is kinda laid back.”

Not for us.  But thank God we’re real estate guys.  For you youngsters, this is a reference to a classic John Denver tune, Thank God I’m a Country Boy.   You know…John Denver?  Rocky Mountain High?  Blond hair, little boy haircut, high voice?  No?  Just stay up late one night and watch some infomercials about 70’s music….

Anyway….

This episode is from yet another out-of-office experience for The Real Estate Guys™.  This time, we’re in the fabulous city of New Orleans for the 2013 New Orleans Investment Conference.  We attended this event last year and it was so much fun, we came back this year.  The to-die-for grilled oysters at Drago’s may have influenced our decision.  😉   We’ll be back in 2014!

For now, in the mobile studio-in-a-box for this jazzy episode of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show:

  • Your Duke of Discussion, host Robert Helms
  • His Dizzy co-host, Russell Gray
  • Best selling author and radio personality, Charles Goyette
  • Top performing mutual fund manager, Frank Holmes
  • New Orleans Investment Conference organizer and precious metals commentator, Brien Lundin

When you walk around the streets of New Orleans, which is VERY fun to do, you’ll see (among many things) collections of jazz bands performing.  It doesn’t take long to realize that the key to producing great music is the diversity of the ensemble.  Strings, winds, horns and percussion – and variations of each of those – all coming together to create a sound that’s unique to jazz.

We’ve been real estate guys for a long time.  And pre-mortgage meltdown, we were narrowly focused on all things real estate.  We lived, like many real estate investors, in a bubble (pun intended) – only seeing things from one point of view.  It’s like a one instrument jazz band.  It’s okay, but not as rich as full complement of instruments.

After being blind-sided by the crash (yes…we know we’re in good company, but that’s not much consolation when cleaning up the mess), we made a concerted effort to expand our minds by studying foreign markets, other asset classes, and trying to understand how global, economic, and yes, even political, factors affect real estate investing.  It’s something we thought was missing from most real estate related commentary and we’ve tried to fill that gap.

Along the way, we’ve met and interviewed many amazing and smart non-real estate people, like Peter Schiff, Herman Cain, Mike Maloney, Mark Skousen, Steve Forbes, and many more.

We’ve learned a ton.  And we’d like to think we’ve helped expand the perspectives of real estate investors around the world.  After all, the podcast version of the show is heard in over 180 countries.  Amazing.

But a funny thing happened as were preparing to go back to the New Orleans Investment Conference this year.  Conference organizer, Brien Lundin invited us to speak not once, but twice, on real estate. We’re obviously used to talking about real estate, but not to resource investors.

Our first talk (with the help of Summit at Sea™ faculty member John Turley) was about offshore real estate investing.

Our second talk was an updated version of a presentation we did at Freedom Fest 2012 on using real estate to short the dollar.  We expanded the discussion to include the idea of Real Asset Investing™ in the face of a fragile dollar.  You’ll be hearing more about this in the months ahead.  We think there’s a bubble brewing and the Real Asset Investing™ strategy is designed to not only provide protection, but produce profit.

Both talks were very well received even though the New Orleans Investment Conference isn’t really a real estate conference.  It’s more about resource investing (precious metals, mining stocks, oil and gas, etc.).

So why were The Real Estate Guys™ invited to speak at the New Orleans Investment conference?

Apparently, just as we’ve seen the benefit of studying other asset classes, the non-real estate investing community is beginning to see the wisdom of real estate as an investment, which to us, makes perfect sense.  After all, isn’t real estate the ultimate resource?

Of course, while we at the conference, we attended lots of sessions.  In addition to all kinds of investing experts, there were engaging panels and debates featuring a pretty well known cast of characters including Ben Carson, Charles Krauthammer, Ron Paul and our 2013 Summit buddies Mark Skousen and Peter Schiff (Peter’s coming back on our 2014 Summit at Sea!).

Even though you might think these guys all sing from the same songbook, there was quite a bit of disagreement among them, which we thought was helpful (and highly entertaining).  Next year, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan will be there.  We’re guessing that one will be entertaining too!

After listening to the sessions, we came up with the theme of “follow the money” for this episode.  And as much as we’d like to interview EVERYONE at the conference, everyone was very busy, and with only one hour for the episode we focused on three guests.

First, we talk with first time guest, Charles Goyette.  Charles is the author of the best-selling book, The Dollar Meltdown.  He just released his latest book, Red and Blue and Broke All Over – Restoring America’s Free Economy.  Charles is also the co-host of a daily radio commentary featuring legendary former Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul.

You can probably tell by the book titles and his association with Ron Paul, Charles is a free market, small government, individual liberty guy who’s concerned about the direction of the U.S. economy.  While he doesn’t think America will fail, he thinks there are some choppy roads ahead.  He says the answer is to free the markets from overly burdensome government intervention.

One of the best practical tidbits he shares is how to know a bubble from a boom.  It’s quite simple he says.  Just follow the money that’s driving the growth.  Is it from production or from printing?  If economic activity (measured in people working, products and services being produced) is driving the growth, it’s a boom.

However, if monetary stimulus (i.e., quantitative easing, artificially low interest rates, financial speculation) is the source, then get ready…it’s a bubble.  And he contends that while the Fed might attempt to mitigate or avoid a bubble bursting, ultimately the market is bigger than the Fed.  So it’s wishful thinking to believe the Fed can overpower market forces to stop a bubble from bursting.

Obviously, bubble watching is important to real estate investors.  When a bubble bursts or just passes lots of gas, it can be very disruptive to job creation, interest rate stability (especially if you have adjustable loans), and availability of capital to finance your real estate purchases and sales.

The theme of Charles’ new book is that freedom creates prosperity.  That connection is less obvious, but equally important (if not more so) than how to recognize a bubble before it bursts.

Charles Goyette’s contention is that when people are free to innovate and produce, and are left enough of the fruits of their labor and risk taking, that they will become highly productive.  In turn that high productivity creates abundance, affordability and excess capital to be re-invested in greater production and efficiency.  All of that means jobs, and the purchase of all the things necessary to build and maintain a thriving community.  Best of all, the prosperity extends farther down the socio-economic ladder to the working class (our tenants).

All of that bodes well for the local real estate market.

So, if Charles is right, a savvy real estate investor can look at the “freedom factor” of any given market and index its future growth prospects to its relative freedom factor strength (compared to other markets).  Later in the show, Frank Holmes talks about this exact phenomenon in Texas, which is home to some of the fastest growing cities and strongest real estate markets in the U.S.  So maybe Charles is on to something!

Speaking of Frank Holmes…

Frank is the next guy we talk to.  Long time listeners may recall our first interview with Frank a few years back.  We were impressed with his vast and amazing knowledge of global markets and the performance of his managed funds.  Now, here we are three years later, and Frank is still sharp as a tack, his funds are still top rated, and he’s as positive and optimistic about the future as anyone we’ve met.

Frank also takes up the theme of “follow the money”.  He says there’s big money on both sides of the political debate (big government versus small government) and both are super smart.  Dumb people seldom accumulate money and those that do don’t manage to hold onto it very long.  So whether or not you like their politics needs to be set aside so you can objectively ask, “What is the smart money doing and WHY?”

Did we mention that Frank’s a smart guy?

He goes on to give us important insights into the impact of the Unites States new found position as an energy producing powerhouse.  We’ve been following the oil and gas business for multiple reasons (local market job creation, support industry job creation, impact of production on absorbing inflation and slowing the dollar’s descent) and thought we were pretty sharp.

But Frank adds a new perspective we hadn’t previously considered.  Did we mention that Frank’s a smart guy?

He explains to us that the American economy has a HUGE competitive edge over foreign markets because of our cheap energy.  That’s right. CHEAP ENERGY.

Yes, we know that $4 gas doesn’t seem cheap.  But that’s an American paradigm.  Canadians pay $6 a gallon.  And it can be worse in other parts of the world.  And then there’s natural gas, where the edge is even bigger.  Foreign markets can pay as much as 3 times as much as American citizens and business.  Yikes!

“So what?” you might ask.  As did we.

The “so what” is that cheaper energy mitigates some or all of the disadvantage of cheaper labor.  Hmmmm……

We’ve been concerned that a falling dollar means rising (denominated in dollars) commodity prices (like food and energy, which are conveniently left out of the Consumer Price Index…but that’s a different rant…).  Rising prices combined with soft labor means tenants can afford less rent – and certainly are going to be resistant to rent increases.

So while Frank didn’t persuade us that we shouldn’t be prepared for a soft rental market, he did move us from “worried sick” to “moderately concerned”.  Maybe with a little more time, we could get up to “cautiously optimistic”.

As for Frank, he’s very optimistic about the U.S. being competitive in global markets.  We hope he’s right because that means less downward pressure on labor, which of course is positive for rental income. 🙂

Last on our dance card is Brien Lundin.

We’ve really enjoyed getting to know Brien and his team.  They’ve been producing the New Orleans Investment Conference for many years and our interactions with him have been great.  He’s a real pro and is well respected in the investment community.

When he’s not producing the New Orleans Investment Conference, Brien writes a newsletter on precious metals.  We don’t talk too much about metals on this episode, but you can expect to hear more from Brien on The Real Estate Guys™ radio show, podcast and blogs.

For now, we reflect on another successful conference, the integration of real estate and resource investing, and we look forward to next year’s 40th anniversary New Orleans Investment Conference which will feature former Fed Chairman, the legendary Alan Greenspan.  THAT will be amazing.  We can’t wait!

Meanwhile, listen in to this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ radio show…brought to you from the floor of the New Orleans Investment Conference.

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8/1/10: Economics, Politics and Real Estate – Interviews from Freedom Fest 2010

If you’re one of those who take The Real Estate Guys™ to the gym, make sure you carbo load first! This one’s a whopper!  Our radio audience only got an hour, but the podcast audience gets the whole enchilada.  That way whether you like American or Mexican, there’s something for everyone.

A few weeks back, we went to Las Vegas for the 7th Annual Freedom Fest conference.  This was our first time and we weren’t sure what to expect.  But after our previous interview with event founder, economist Mark Skousen, we thought it would be worthwhile.  It turned out even better than we thought!

After being near the epicenter of the financial earthquake which rocked the real estate portfolios of even the most experienced investors, we’ve put a big emphasis on studying economics.  Who cares if you’re expert at fixing up properties, managing tenants or putting together syndications if property values are crashing, tenants don’t have jobs, loans aren’t available, and people are too scared to act?

So we started looking for people who saw it coming, put their predictions in writing and got it right for the right reasons.  Hindsight’s often 20/20, but seeing the storm coming while there’s still time to shutter the windows is better.  You might not be able to avoid bad economic weather, but with advance notice at least you can prepare!

We looked at the lineup of speakers at Freedom Fest and decided this would surely be an eye-opening experience. We were especially excited about Peter Schiff, author of Crash Proof 2.0 (a highly recommended read!).  Schiff called the crisis for the right reasons – and way ahead of time.  We’re happy to say we got a lengthy interview with Mr. Schiff to see what he’s thinking now – which is the feature of our next show.

While we’re boasting about awesome interviews, we also had a chance to talk with billionaire CEO of Forbes Magazine and former Presidential candidate, Steve Forbes.  That interview is coming up in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!  The best way to be sure you don’t miss any of our exciting episodes is to subscribe to our podcast via iTunes (shameless plug). 😉

Today’s episode is about talking to LOTS of people! It was like one of those speed dating sessions.  Robert sat at the microphone from early morning to late at night, and Russ rounded up a long line of interesting people to interview.

Featured in this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ Radio Show:

  • Your host, Robert Helms
  • Co-host and cat herder, Russell Gray

And a long parade of very special guests (in order of appearance):

Jeffrey Verdon, Attorney, talks about estate planning and asset protection strategies utilized by wealthy individuals; including off-shore entities and a very interesting technique for funding life insurance.

Dave Fessler, Energy & Infrastructure Expert for the Oxford Club.  Dave discusses his views on the future of energy and infrastructure and their impact on jobs and the economy.  He also comments on “the paradox of thrift” – how consumer savings is actually fueling the recession.  He tells us how long he thinks it’s going to last, and where he believes America’s best chance for job creation are right now.

Bob Bauman, Attorney, Former U.S. Congressman, Founder of The Sovereign Society; shares his thoughts on offshore investment, asset protection, second citizenship and the growing interest many people have in diversifying globally.

Vernon Jacobs, CPA, is an expert in international taxation.  Vern tells us what to consider when investing or employing asset protection strategies offshore.

Robert Barnes, Attorney, is part one of two back to back interviews with lawyers from a premier tax and investment fraud law firm that went 3 for 3 (that’s pretty good!) in three of the top four high profile tax cases in the U.S. (you’d recognize the names).  Mr. Barnes reveals the worst thing you can do when contacted by the IRS.

Robert Bernhoft, Attorney, is part two of our tax and investment fraud attorney interviews.  Mr. Bernhoft describes what you can do to proactively avoid problems with both your investors and regulators; and shares how his firm uses specialized “non-litigation” techniques to recover misappropriated funds without going to court.

Steve Hochberg, Chief Market Analyst for Elliott Wave, works closely with Robert Prechter.  Prechter’s 2002 NY Times best seller, Conquer the Crash, accurately predicted the current financial crisis.  While everyone is running scared of inflation, Steve says DEFLATION is actually the big near term threat.  He believes we are “on the precipice of the greatest stock market decline of our lifetime.”

Patri Friedman, Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of The Seasteading Institute.  A city on the sea?  Really??? Before you write it off as Looney Tunes, go to their website and look at their management team.  These guys are all brilliant.  We’re talking Stanford, Harvard, Yale.  Wow.  Have you heard of Pay Pal?   Yeah,the founder is on their board.  And why were they at Freedom Fest?  Take a listen!

Leon Louw, Executive Director of the Free Market Foundation, all the way from South Africa!  Why?  To raise money to advance property ownership rights for blacks in South Africa. For what it’s worth, we didn’t see any evidence of racism at Freedom Fest, though it was full of “tea baggers”.  Obviously, Leon felt people at the event would be supportive of his cause. From our observations he was right.  But this isn’t a political interview. any more than our show is political.  We just  want to understand what people are thinking and doing, and how it creates or undermines real estate opportunities.  Think about the ramifications on demand in a market where a large part of the population, formerly locked out, suddenly has access to buy property.  Very interesting stuff.

Terry Coxon, author of Unleash Your IRA, shares a powerful concept for maximizing your Individual Retirement Account.  We thought we knew all about this topic, but Terry shares a strategy we hadn’t considered. Now we’re hyped to read his book.  With the demise of home equity, and a growing number of people predicting a tough stock market (at best); and lending getting even tighter from financial reform, we think IRA’s and rollover 401k’s are one of the BEST sources of private investment capital.  That makes this a topic worth exploring!

Ron Holland, editor of two financial newsletters and 30 year financial industry veteran, has something to say on the topic of IRA’s.  And it’s concerning.  He shares what he thinks is the greatest threat to your retirement account.

Terry Easton, author of Refounding America and contributor to Human Events. Terry is uber-conservative / Libertarian and has a lot to say on the topics of economics, politics and real estate.  We came to hear a lot of opinions and it just so happens that Terry has a lot of opinions.  But since they come from a long history of study and involvement, we think they’re worth listening to.

All in all, Freedom Fest was a great experience and we’re very likely to attend next year’s event.  We met great people, got valuable insights, and had our paradigms stretched (we’ve been icing them since we got back).  Most of all, we see the economy and real estate from a much broader perspective.  As we continue to seek out markets, opportunities and product niches to invest in, we are convinced a bigger perspective will pay huge dividends.

Remember – our next two episodes feature our interviews with Peter Schiff and Steve Forbes!

The Real Estate Guys™ Radio Show provides ideas, perspectives and resources to help real estate investors succeed.

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