Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

Where Is America Headed?

January 15th, 2014

america united statesIf you want to get an idea of where the rest of America is heading, just take a trip through the western half of West Virginia and the eastern half of Kentucky some time.  Once you leave the main highways, you will rapidly encounter poverty Read more…

Economy, Real Estate

The Chinese Are Buying Up Real Estate and Businesses In Detroit

July 31st, 2013

detroit citySomething very strange is happening to Detroit.  Once upon a time, it was the center of American manufacturing and it hadthe highest per capita income in the United States.  But now the city is dying and the Chinese are moving in to pick up the pieces.  Read more…

Real Estate, World News

U.S. Real Estate: 2013′s Mortgage Trend

April 22nd, 2013

realestateWith the economy recovering from its recent downturn, and the spring season coming on, it’s no surprise that many people are curious as to their current prospects for buying a home. Read more…

Real Estate

Crime Pays… At Least if You Structure it as a REIT

April 22nd, 2013

jailA reasonable person might ask why a company whose main purpose is to house prisoners would want to be thought of as a real estate entity. It turns out the answer is quite simple. Life used to be easy for private Read more…

Real Estate

Housing on the Rebound: Is it Better to Rent or Buy?

April 16th, 2013

home pricesUnlike the stock market, which is setting at record highs, the housing market has yet to recover from the depths of the last recession. While real estate sales and prices are trending higher and are clearly better off than they were Read more…

Real Estate

Homebuilder Stocks Will Soar

April 15th, 2013

homebuildersDuring the housing bubble a few years ago, I editorialized repeatedly [Alex nailed it in 2006] that the whole affair was likely to end badly for speculators, mortgage companies and – not least of all – homebuilders. It wasn’t just Read more…

Real Estate

The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX): An Alternative Way To Profit From Higher Home Prices

February 18th, 2013

home pricesSasha Cekerevac: With the recent data over the past few months showing home prices continuing to rise, many investors might believe they’ve missed the boat. The homebuilder stocks have seen a substantial increase in corporate earnings, resulting from higher home prices Read more…

Real Estate

Why Bob Toll Is Wrong About Future of Home Prices (TOL, MPW)

December 21st, 2012

Keith Fitz-Gerald: Bob Toll, Executive Chairman of Toll Brothers, recently told Reuters that home prices are going to jump 20% in 2013 and another 25-30% in 2014. Read more…

Markets, Real Estate

PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM): A Banner Year For Housing

November 16th, 2012

Sir John Templeton, perhaps the greatest contrarian investor of all time, once said: Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the Read more…

Real Estate

Why Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) Stock Rallied While Homebuilders Fell

November 14th, 2012

Jeff Uscher: The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) reported third-quarter business results on Tuesday and its management cited improved housing demand for their solid sales and earnings growth, particularly in the U.S. market. Read more…

Markets, Real Estate

Peter Schiff: The Fed Wants To Inflate Housing

October 22nd, 2012

Jared Cummans: Renown and rather outspoken investor Peter Schiff has taken a shot at the Fed in his most recent statements, as he accuses them of trying to inflate the economy. To be specific, Schiff thinks that Bernanke and company want to inflate the housing bubble, Read more…

Commodities, Government, Precious Metals, Real Estate

U.S. ‘Prison Economy’ Secretly Grows

August 26th, 2012

Jeff Nielson: In writing “The U.S. Prison-Cell Economy” five months ago, I was speaking at least somewhat in metaphorical terms. However, as Bloomberg reveals Read more…

Economy, Government, Real Estate

ETFs And Allocations To Protect Portfolios In The Current Financial Storm

October 24th, 2011

This is a followup to a previous postings suggesting how investors can take refuge in the oncoming financial storm. If you’ve not done so already, be sure to read my previous post Say It Ain’t So for a description of our dismal macroeconomic Read more…

ETF, Real Estate, Uncategorized

ETFs Turn Exotic – Protect yourself

October 17th, 2011

Investments that do not move in tandem with U.S. stocks present opportunities for diversification and potential performance Read more…

Commodities, ETF, OPTIONS, Real Estate, Uncategorized

Your Best Real Estate Investment is a Moat

June 15th, 2011

Reporting from International Living’s “International Real Estate Investment Forum”

During recent flooding in the Midwest, an enterprising Arkansas man built a moat around his home and property to protect it from the floodwaters.

It worked. His house, possessions, and family remained safe.

Like that guy in Arkansas, says Ronan McMahon, Director of Pathfinder Real Estate, when it comes to our personal financial well-being, we need to think about safety – especially in today’s stormy economic environment.

Ronan – who borrowed the term from Warren Buffett – applies this concept of “moat economics” to every investment he makes. He told us all about it here at the Investment Forum in Toronto. When you’re buying real estate for investment, he says, look for moats – barriers to entry that keep the competition low and boost your potential for profit.

Ronan, an international real estate investment advisor, spends most of his time traveling around the world looking for the best real estate investment deals out there. One of his strategies is to follow the emerging middle class. That’s why, despite falling home prices, he’s not investing in the US these days. The US middle class is struggling. And there are other, bigger problems, too – with no solutions in sight.

But there are many other markets – far more attractive markets, both economically and physically – where we should be investing. Markets with moats. Fortunately, Ronan and his team have done the hard work. He and his top lieutenant, Margaret Summerfield, find projects with huge profit potential at an early stage…when capital is critical and developers are willing to extend massive discounts to investors.

The developer knows that Pathfinder can bring in a number of investors. And this gives Pathfinder a big negotiating advantage. The strength of their group buying power allows them to negotiate price reductions and terms that usually aren’t available to the general public.

But Pathfinder won’t work with just any real estate developer. They only pick those with a solid track record and who are on a solid path to profit. Projects with economic moats… in markets or situations where it is difficult for competitors to gain entry…and sales and margins are protected.

As Margaret explained, “We have great leverage – we don’t work with every project out there, maybe only one in ten – in some projects we’ve sold 80% of their inventory so we have great leverage when it comes to pricing.”

By my count, today at the International Real Estate Investment Forum we learned of a dozen opportunities with big ROI potential…some through capital appreciation, others through rental income, many with both.

Talk about building an economic moat – there’s one around the entire country of Brazil. As Margaret explains:

We like the big picture in Brazil. Just look at these facts:

Brazil is energy-independent. Petrobras just announced another 350 million barrel find of high-quality crude, in a field that contains as much as 80 billion barrels of oil. Brazil is #12 in the world for oil production. Brazil is also one of the top ethanol producers, including sugarcane ethanol to fuel cars. Around 90% of new cars made in Brazil in 2010 were flex-fuel, able to run on any mix of gasoline or ethanol. Meanwhile, 80% of the country’s electricity comes from renewable sources (mainly hydropower).

It’s rich in mineral reserves…including iron ore, bauxite, tin and copper. It has huge reserves of fresh water…12% of the world’s reserves, in fact. It has vast tracts of agricultural land…and 25% more untapped agricultural land than the entire crop acreage of the US. It produces 80% of the world’s orange juice, and is the top soybean exporter.

Brazil’s strong manufacturing sector produces cars, cement, electronics, steel, and petrochemicals, and commercial aircraft. Brazil even has a satellite-launching center.

Brazil’s economy grew 7.5% in 2010. And that growing economy is growing the country’s middle classes. An estimated 35 million people joined the middle class between 2003 and 2009. More than half the country’s 190 million population now falls into the middle class bracket. By 2014, 20 million more Brazilians will become middle class.

Today, Brazil is the world’s #5 market for computers, books and music…#4 for cars and refrigerators…#3 for cell phones, TVs, soft drinks and cosmetics…

In short, Brazil’s new middle classes buy the same things we all buy when we have more money in our pockets. And that includes property…upgrading where we live to a better home in a nicer neighborhood, or buying a second home at the beach. Brazil’s middle classes are driving Brazil’s real estate market…

So invest in the right projects in the right markets in Brazil and you could be sitting pretty indeed. Here is one to consider:

In a sweet little beach town with miles of white-sand beaches – just 30 minutes from Brazil’s #1 domestic tourism destination – you can buy a beach lot in a residential community next to a new super-luxurious five-star resort. It’s expected that lot prices will double in the next three years. Listen in to the conference recordings and learn how you can get a big discount (and a low price not available anywhere else) and become an owner here. And the terms Ronan and Margaret have negotiated: No money down and interest-free payments for just two years…

There were other deals in Brazil. I sat through two workshops this afternoon given by Brazilian real estate experts. They both brought four extraordinary deals with top-dollar profit potential.

Closer to home in Costa Rica, Margaret showcased three areas of the country that are overlooked and under-priced. One on the Pacific side, one on the Caribbean side and one in a lush, green tropical mountain lake area (think Lake Tahoe without the people). Lake- and jungle-view lots start at just $19,000 and can be financed over three years, interest-free.


Susan Haskins,
for The Daily Reckoning

Your Best Real Estate Investment is a Moat originally appeared in the Daily Reckoning. The Daily Reckoning provides over half a million subscribers with literary economic perspective, global market analysis, and contrarian investment ideas.

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Your Best Real Estate Investment is a Moat

The Daily Reckoning is a contrarian e-letter, brought to you by New York Times best-selling authors Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin since 1999. The DR looks at the economic world-at-large and offers its major players – investors, politicians, economists and the average consumer – some much-needed constructive criticism.

Real Estate, Uncategorized

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