Ignore the National Talking Heads

dennisfassett.com

“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

~ Obi Wan Kenobi

I’ll bet you thought that old Obi Wan was talking about Mos Eisley, right?

Well, he wasn’t. It’s a little known fact that when he said that, he was actually referring to real estate investing in the City of Detroit.

Shocking?

You wouldn’t think so if you’ve been here.

Not only have I been to Detroit, I live here. Believe me, when I say that the parts of Detroit that I’ll actually venture into make the Mos Eisley Cantina look like a day care center.

And that’s on a good day.

Do not Enter – for Real

This is me being completely serious. As a heart attack. Stay away – for your own physical safety and financial well-being.

Trust me on this. There are areas on the East Side that the cops won’t even go in to.

I bring this up because of the brain donors at CNNMoney.com.

Once again, one of their ilk stumbled upon a mere speck of information and then wildly extrapolated that microscopic speck into what they consider actionable intelligence.

But in fact, it ended up neither actionable nor intelligent. But because they’re CNN, they didn’t notice.

The piece I’m referring to is titled: “Want to make money as a landlord? Try Detroit.”

Don’t Fight the Tape

 

dennisfassett.com

We had this old saying back in my investment banking days:

“Don’t fight the tape.”

It was a phrase that we used in finance that basically cautioned you not to bet or trade against the trend in the markets.

It was a REALLY old saying because the term “tape” referred to the ticker tape machine that the old timers used to have on their desks to get stock prices delivered to them before AOL, E-Trade, and iPhones.

The crazy thing was, we rolled our eyes and used the term a ton back then because there always seemed to be some bonehead clown who swore that he had developed a “system” or “strategy” that would beat the market.

The streets were littered with the carcasses of these guys, because the market chewed them up and spit them out without skipping a beat or even noticing them.

My own terrible experience with simultaneous deflation AND inflation

I read a great post today about the impact high debt levels are having around the world. It’s from the Sovereign Man blog at sovereignman.com. I highly recommend that you subscribe. His perspective is unique and definitely thought provoking. I’m reposting it here with full attribution to the author, Simon Black….

simultaneous deflation AND inflation

September 10, 2015

Santiago, Chile

Yesterday was a pretty big day.

First (and perhaps most importantly) my post-Italy no carb detox came to an end. Hooray for that.

Second, I signed the papers and closed on a new apartment here in Santiago.

It’s a great time to be buying in Chile for anyone spending US dollars. The peso is weak, as is the economy. So asset prices are very cheap.

Simultaneously, by any objective metric, the US dollar is enormously overvalued. So I ‘sold’ what was overvalued and bought what was undervalued.

It was a great deal– it’s a spacious penthouse flat encompassing an entire floor in the nicest part of town, all for less than what a down payment would cost me in the US or Europe.

Hell, given the million-dollar price tag for some parking spots in New York City now, you could have several of my apartments for that much.

Cigar Review: Rocky Patel Nicaraguan Torpedo

Rocky Patel Nicaraguan Torpedo

 

Wow. It’s rare when I find a truly great cigar for under $10 a stick. And it’s like finding a unicorn when I find one under six bucks.

But I found one. The Rocky Patel Nicaraguan Torpedo.

My dealer, Famous Smoke Shop, sells them. They go for – get this $5.20 a stick individually, and you can get a pack of 5 for $21.95 as of this writing. And they’re awesome.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the pack was their construction. It was absolutely beautiful. Perfectly rolled, firm to the feel, and a gorgeous wrapper. I had to check the label to make sure they were the right cigars. They’re listed as a natural wrapper, but they were so dark they looked like maduros.

In this era of mass produced “premium” cigars I often find that the smoking end of torpedoes are wrapped sloppily, and that makes clipping them a challenge so they don’t unroll. Not these. Each one in the five pack was wrapped perfectly with no extra wrapper bunched up and no gaps in the wrapping. Clipping them was a breeze.

Cigar Review: Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Sun Grown Queen B

A_Fuente_chateau_fuente_QueenB_single

I don’t normally start my cigar reviews talking about my wife, but she’s relevant to the story so stay with me.

Truth be told, my cigar habits are pretty boring. Having enjoyed them now for going on 25 years, I know what I like and I tend to stick to it for my “daily driver” cigar, my “yard work” cigar, and when I occasionally go upscale.

Old habits die hard I guess.

That’s where my wife comes in. She buys me cigars for pretty much every occasion throughout the year that requires some sort of greeting card. And I don’t think in all these years of her doing that she’s bought me the same one twice. So that way I get to sample a bunch of different cigars every year.

I asked her once several years ago how she selects them, because the ones she comes home with are always were unique looking in one way or another. When I asked her about her selection “process”, she said she always picks the ones that are the most interesting in the way they look or the way they’re packaged.

I thought that was intriguing, because I had never cared about that until she mentioned it. But since then I’ve started to notice.

Which brings me to my review of the Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente Sun Grown Queen B torpedo.

It is flat out a beautiful cigar that is in turn beautifully packaged. From the classic red and gold Arturo Fuente Casa Reserva label to the cedar wrap to the band of red ribbon at the bottom.

It’s definitely a cigar that my wife would pick. And when I got them I was hoping that they would smoke as good as they looked. And I was not disapponted.

Why is Real Estate Better than the Stocks?

betterthanstocks

I get this question asked to me a lot. “Why would I invest in Real Estate, why wouldn’t I just leave my money in the Stock Market.”

I see a lot of these financial papers or financial write ups that show financial comparison of a stock performance or of a stock index performance as it relates to Real Estate or Real Estate indexes as well. One of the things they show is just an increase line. So for example a graph, they will show the price of the stock or that index from 20 years ago and then they show increase of that stock and maybe a leveling or an increase or whatever. Then they will show at the end here is where we started, here is where we are now and has risen

Then they will take the same Real Estate analysis and they will show the same thing. Maybe they will show Real Estate didn’t improve at the same rate of appreciation or the same increase as compared to the stock. When they are doing that all they are really showing or comparing si the price of the stock vs the price of the Real Estate or the price of the property. So if you bought the property for $300,000.00 and they are showing over 20 years that property is now worth $600,000.00 compared to the Stock where there’s a bunch of stocks that you bought worth $300.00 and now they are worth $700.00.