I’m tired of all the hot air out there….. The Tom-foolery and just out-right hype we hear and give as advice. Folks -the truth is that we as individuals need to take responsibility for our actions!If you’ve ever heard me talk, I will tell you to trust no one (and sometimes that just might mean yourself). Finger pointing is everywhere. Magnified by the stress and strains of our constricted economy. Stop the madness -and stop it now.
I am exhausted from the whip-lash of people’s advice/theories (even guru’s, advisers, consultants, what ever you want to call them, etc.) whether it be in the real estate, stock, bond, economic markets or even the gossip heard across the room. The last 2 years of great uncertainty has created a market of masses herded every which way most often without a clue. According to the experts, most have not earned a dime in the stock or real estate markets (or any other for that matter) over the past decade. Is that true? Is it for you? Look -some may call it luck or one in a million. However, I am here to tell you that this is not true for me! All of my investments as a whole have grown quite well. Sure -I’ve got mistakes (even have written about a few). No -I am not stating this as a point of bragging. Be a good steward of what you earn. Always take some profit off the top, diversify, and don’t over lever your operations.
Remember: Tuck your gratitude in your pocket and leave your greed & ego at home before you venture out into the World.
So what is my point?
Before we make investments, we must thoroughly educate ourselves on how to analyze an investment AND investigate the opportunity ourselves…..
I have always been amazed at how people believe what their told at face value. Again, believe nothing until you have verified yourself that it’s true. I get calls all the time from investors (that are looking to make an investment) running by inflated values and rents with regards to real estate & pie-in-the-sky growth rates on some stock investments (that’s supposed to go to the moon). I had a real estate investor today call me about rental rates on a 4/2 (wondering if $1,200-1,400/mo was accurate) and within 2 minutes provided him with a detailed analysis of some 15+ properties (within 2-3 miles that are for rent or rented in the last 90 days) strongly suggesting that $950 to $1,050 is a more realistic range. Think that alters the investments potential rate of return? Sure does. Consider this thought provoking article: Rental Rates. Whenever a key point of an investment is looked at (such as value, rent, expenses, financing, growth rate, debt to equity, cash-flow, etc., etc.), don’t believe the answer given. Take that answer and work the problem yourself. Verify that it is true.
Do you know that I zig when most zag? If you’ve read some of my Contrarian Articles, you know I’m a value investor. I suggest you start there too; after-all, how can you verify growth if you have no experience analyzing it? Simplicity my friend -value is quantifiable.
Don’t believe for a second that you can watch some stock market show, read the paper, or buy (and flip or rent) a home or three and be an expert. It is not that simple. We have lost sight (and respect) for education, experience, and true knowledge. It became apparent during the run up years of our real estate and stock markets that we had no respect for true expertise in the fields we’ve traveled. Its apparent even today. Read Investing 101 for additional thoughts.
I can tell you that what I know didn’t just occur these past few years. Did you know I went to 11 schools through high school? Mainly moving for careers, my parents bought a personal fixer-upper home to rehab & resell (practically every year). I learned alot from that. My mother divorced my father and went back to a top 3 business school for a MBA (with an investment banking slant). Being a single parent, she hosted most study groups. Care to guess who sat and listened to every session of credit, financial, operational, and/or marketing analysis? People ask why I invest in the specific neighborhoods that I do. I often refer to the demographic and growth ring studies available at the libraries (and probably all online now) that I started studying in my twenties. Expertise in a field takes years (if not decades) of thorough study and work.
So what’s my point –you ask?
Knowledge and experience doesn’t occur overnight in most cases. We must become students of our trade. No -I’m not advocating $500 + course’s (although they can work too). We must read, search, investigate what it is we think we want to do. We must slowly try our thoughts and theories only ratcheting up the volume when its clear it works -and then we’ll end up tweaking the system a time or ten. Remember: We must crawl first, walk, and only then run….
We must also be true to ourselves. HONEST. It seems that the easy way is to rationalize some problem and point the blame elsewhere. Truth is -if that’s occurring you are lying to yourself. And that will most likely result in failure. Believe me, I am certainly not perfect either. The issue is and always will be that we have to be true to ourselves first (before we can even go out into the World and be true to others). Could I point the finger at others for my foibles and mistakes? Sure can. However, the bottom line is that more than likely it is my responsibility and actions that allowed it to occur –let alone continuously repeat itself.
I’m tired and exhausted. Do you know why? Mainly because of all the hot air and finger pointing going on. Everyday is a new day. Lets wipe the slate clean and make tomorrow a new day. What can you do to take part and at least meet me halfway?