Fixer Upper Smalltown USA

Our last real estate project has been a Fixer Upper in Smalltown USA.

Real estate prices continue to fall giving us a chance to get fixer upper real estate while the bargains last.


This was the fixer upper.

Real estate… imagination… research for value… creativity… and a bit of elbow grease create five powerful profitable combination… especially in…


depressed real estate markets. See how you can use these five qualities to beat inflation below. Here it is now.

of  stock and bond markets.

Merri and I like investing in real estate… especially in places like Florida where prices have fallen so dramatically and created so much value.

Our current project is in a small central Florida town where we purchased 16 acres… with orange groves… and a house in bad repair.

The process of fixing has begun. First this garage… had a guest house that had been almost…


abandoned.   Now it looks like…


this.  Outside and…




This process fills part of Merri’s and my  creative desires as it…


adds fun and value into out lives.

Prices are down and may fall more, but the demographics support.

Unemployment can continue to stall Florida’s real estate recovery. Plus there was a huge wave of 5 year balloon mortgages in 2005… that may create another wave of defaults.  So real estate in Florida could take another hit.

Keep these short term facts in mind but look at the long term demographics.

A USA Today article “Where will everybody live?” By Haya El Nasser outlines three significant facts about this.

First, the American population has risen from 200 million to 300 million in 39 years. At present growth rates the next hundred million will come in only 34 years!

Second, today each American owns 20% more developed land (housing, schools, stores, roads) than 20 years ago. By the 1990s 1.7 acres of land was developed for each additional person.

Third. More people need more space.  100 million additional people will need 70 million new homes and 100 billion square feet of non residential space.

Inflation supports real estate investments.

Construction costs are not going to fall! Normal inflation and increased demand from emerging markets for cement, steel, timber and other basics assure this. Plus environmental concerns will continue to slow acceleration of supplies as well.

Another reason for real estate investments in the US is changing utility. For example my mom’s home which was once the bastion of suburban WASPs is now filled with Mexicans, Chinese and Ukrainians. Our builder friend tells me that at least half his home buyers are first time immigrants who use a family plan (the whole family comes over pitches in and buys a house). This means that a single house is once again becoming more popular as a place for two, three or even four generations to live together rather than just one.

House lots used to be 5,000 square feet minimum. Now they can be 2,500 square feet. That’s a big change in utility.

Technology is altering the concepts of time and space so…property (like the farms we live on) that was once pretty useless, or land in the desert like the dry part of the land in southeast Oregon suddenly has a new utility. This is especially true for tens of millions of boomers who will be highly mobile when they retire.

Next, we need to compare US property prices in global terms. Sometimes the forest is hard to see because of the trees and real estate values are hard to see because of local comparables.

Prices of housing in the US may seem high, when you compare them with US house prices of five or ten years ago.

What happens when we compare US real estate prices to those in other industrialized countries like France, England, Denmark and such instead? The thought. “We ain’t seen nothing yet” may arise!

There is another reason that Merri and I like investing into real estate.   There is a local fundamental utility that is easier to understand and see.

We always invest with the understand that there is always something we do not know.

A December New York Times article “11 Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives”  by Louise Story explains why when it says:

On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan.

The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been strictly confidential.

Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk.

In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks.

The banks in this group, which is affiliated with a new derivatives clearinghouse, have fought to block other banks from entering the market, and they are also trying to thwart efforts to make full information on prices and fees freely available.

Banks’ influence over this market, and over clearinghouses like the one this select group advises, has costly implications for businesses large and small.

Derivatives are also big business on Wall Street. Banks collect many billions of dollars annually in undisclosed fees associated with these instruments — an amount that almost certainly would be lower if there were more competition and transparent prices.

Just how much derivatives trading costs ordinary Americans is uncertain.

But big banks influence the rules governing derivatives through a variety of industry groups. The banks’ latest point of influence are clearinghouses like ICE Trust, which holds the monthly meetings with the nine bankers in New York.

Even when we use good investment analysts to invest in stocks and bonds, there is a lot more… going on in places we cannot see… we do not know.

We do not like Flipping real estate!

Flipping is a nice concept to buy and quickly resell for a great profit… but this is usually pure speculation. Most flippers end up broke!

We believe in value added real estate investing.

Add imagination to your real estate investment.

Combine the miracles and talents that lay within you. By all means study how to be a better investor or business person each and every day. Use the benefits of modern technology. Create a common sense approach to searching for good value in investments. Develop external disciplines. Don’t spend more than you have. Work. Save. Invest. Hire professionals to help you study the markets. Even study economics and finance if you wish.

But match each of these external steps by also looking within. You are unique. You are a fountain of wealth…get to know yourself better. Tap the incredible power, knowledge and experience you already have. Your wealth not only will grow, but will become better, an everlasting flood of abundance that makes your ordinary journey through life an extraordinary process you’ll never want to end.

Real estate… imagination… research for value… creativity… about of elbow grease create a powerful, profitable combination… even in these depressed times!


Make Safe More Profitable With the Silver Dip

May 2017 will be my 51st anniversary of being in the investment & finance business.  This is the 49th year since I started talking about international investing, (I started a Hong Kong mutual fund business in May 1968).

Since that time, my investing goals have been based around spotting contrasts and trends.

One current trend is that the valuations of US shares are dramatically overpriced  in every fundamental way.   The Morgan Stanley MSCI Index USA currently sells for 2.81 times book value, compared to the MSCI Europe Index that sells for 1.68 times book value.   The US PE Ratio is 21.2 versus 18.2 in Europe and the average US dividend yield is 2.15% versus 3.69% in Europe.  Shares in Europe on average are a far a better value.

When you use a long time dimension and diversify correctly, investing in value such as this has always created the highest profits and greatest safety.

I use this strategy because using a value strategy also takes the least work and has the lowest stress!

Then I look for ways to add spice and extra profit short term distortions.

For example in 2015 I spotted two distortions.  They were contrasts that  had reaped huge rewards for me and many of my readers 30 years ago.  I quickly issued two reports, one for each trend.  After a  year one of the distortions has already returned 210.58% in the last year.

A new contrast has even more potential in 2017.

One of the reports released, “Silver Dip 2015” looked at potential profits in silver because when the US stock market falls, the price of gold and silver rise.  I have been a gold bug for almost 50 years and spotted this fact long ago.

The “Silver Dip 2016” report reviewed a way to profit from silver and gold because of a mathematical, historical fact.  When the silver/gold ratio rises over 80, silver is more likely to rise than gold.  That ratio is even higher now than it was in 2015 so silver may not create the extraordinary profits this year.

The “Silver Dip 2017” offers a new ideal speculation.

The second distortion, explained below, has greater long term potential and all but guarantees short term profits in gold, silver and the currenct hot speculation.

There is no question that a long term correction is coming.  Only the full timing can be in doubt.  The question we must ask is, “Could the big break come in 2017 and could it break upon us right now?”  The answer is “Yes”.  When the bubble bursts, it can cause the perfect economic storm that makes a few investors, who are ready, rich.

I have been warning readers about this stock market correction (and how to profit instead of lose), since  January 28, 2015.

Zero interest is the sucker punch that can devastate millions of investors.  This is a Ponzi scheme where governments rob money from the future and spend it badly in the here and now.  Each downward economic wave of the last 30 years has created a larger mountain of debt that brings the world closer to an economy where there is no more future money to steal.  The only way governments can afford to borrow more is to take it for nothing.  That’s zero interest.  In worst case scenarios, governments can charge you to borrow your own money.  In Europe some bonds now have negative interest.

shouldn’t pay us anything.  Even worse they could charge a negative interest rate on our bank accounts and lock our money into the system.  The alternative is to invest in a risky, over priced stock market and morbidly weak currency.

Over priced stocks and an over priced US dollar are the third sucker punch!

To date we have been able at least to choose where and in what currencies we invest.  This is where we encounter the one-two-three punch.  The zero or negative interest rate destroys the purchasing power of our savings.  Capital controls lock us into a weak currency or market so we cannot take profits or protect our purchasing power from this inflation and currency loss.

Our savings, pensions and wealth can be floored by a combination of a falling stock market, crashing US dollar and inflation.

The purchasing power of the US dollar will fall.   Trading down is working in many ways.  Even if  pensions can pay what they have promised, the money in dollars won’t buy as much.  Coffee isn’t free with meals.  Many ordinary foods (tomatoes, peppers, almonds and walnuts as an example) and yes, maple syrup become luxuries.

Social Security won’t be as useful either, if it is paid at all.  Could Social Security really default?  The answer is “Yes, it could”.  An October 8, 2013 Reuters article at said:  “President Barack Obama warned last week that Social Security benefits might not go out ‘on time’ if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling.  Should seniors and disabled Americans really be worried about their benefits if the U.S. government runs out of borrowing capacity later this month?  The answer is YES.”

I can make these predictions based on 30 year trends because I have been writing and teaching global investing for almost 50 years.  Long term experience helps me spot distortions and cycles that have been building for even as long as 30 years.   This experience has helped me steer my readers in the right direction again and again.

I invite you to join me and a small selective group who for the next year will participate in an intensive program called the Purposeful investing Course (Pi). The purpose of Pi is finding value to protect our savings, pensions, income and wealth from these two devastating economic conditions.

I’ve been watching this 30 year distortion take shape and believe that 2017 could very well be the year of a huge shift.

Slow, Worry Free, Good Value Investing

Stress, worry and fear are three of an investor’s worst enemies.  They create a Behavior Gap, that causes investors to underperform in any market good or bad.  The behavior gap is created by natural human responses to fear.   Pi helps create profitable strategies that avoid losses from this gap.

Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of a Primary Pi Model Portfolio, called the Pifolio.  There are no secrets about this portfolio except that it ignores the stories from economic news (often created by someone with vested interests) and is based mainly on good math that reveals the truth through financial news.

The Pifolio is a theoretical portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover all the good value markets using my (almost) 50 years of global experience and my study of the analysis of four mathematical investing geniuses (and friends).

The Pifolio analysis begins with a continual research of international major stock markets that compares their value based on:

#1:  Current book to price

#2:  Cash flow to price

#3:  Earnings to price

#4:  Average dividend yield

#5:  Return on equity

#6:  Cash flow return

#7:  Market history

We combine the research of several brilliant mathematicians and money managers with my years of investing experience.

This is a complete and continual study of what to do about the movement of international major and emerging stock markets.  I want to share this study throughout 2017 into 2018 with you.

This analysis forms the basis of a Good Value Stock Market Strategy.  The analysis is rational, mathematical and does not worry about short term ups and downs.  This strategy is easy for anyone to follow and use.  Pi reveals the best value markets and provides contacts to managers and analysts and Country Index ETFs so almost anyone can create and follow their own strategy.

A country ETF provides diversification and cost efficiency by spreading one simple, even small investment into a basket of equities in a good value stock market.  The costs are low and this type of ETF is one of the hardest for institutions to cheat.  Expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund.

Little knowledge, time, management or guesswork are required.  The investment is simply a diversified portfolio of good value indices.  Investments in an index are like investments in all the shares of a good value market.

Pi opens insights to numerous long term cycles that most investors miss because they have not been investing long enough to see them.

For example, in the 1980s, a remarkable set of two economic circumstances helped anyone who spotted them become remarkably rich.  Some of my readers made enough to retire.  Others picked up 50% currency gains.  Then the cycle ended.  Warren Buffett explained the importance of this ending in a 1999 Fortune magazine interview.  He said:  Let me summarize what I’ve been saying about the stock market: I think it’s very hard to come up with a persuasive case that equities will over the next 17 years perform anything like—anything like—they’ve performed in the past 17!

I did well then, but always thought, “I should have invested more!”  Now those circumstances have come together and I am investing in them again.

The circumstances that created fortunes 30 years ago were an overvalued US market (compared to global markets) and an overvalued US dollar.  The two conditions are in place again!   There are currently ten good value (non US) developed markets,  plus 10 good value emerging markets.

Pi shows how to easily create a diversified, worry free portfolio in some of these good value markets using Country Index ETFs.

The current strength of the US dollar is a second remarkable similarity to 30 years ago.   The dollar rose along with Wall Street.  Profits came quickly over three years.  Then the dollar dropped like a stone, by 51%  in just two years.  A repeat of this pattern is growing and could create up to 50% extra profit if we start using strong dollars to accumulate good value stock market ETFs in other currencies.

This is the most exciting opportunity I have seen since we started sending our reports on international investing ideas more than three decades ago.  The trends are so clear that I have created a short, but powerful report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More.”   This report shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small investments.  I kept the report short and simple, but included links to 153 pages of  Good Value Stock Market research and Asset Allocation Analysis.

The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that shows the most effective and least expensive way to accumulate these bargains in large or even very small amounts (less than $5,000).  There is extra profit potential of at least 50% so the report is worth a lot.

This report sells for $29.95 but you’ll receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” FREE when you subscribe to Pi.

Plus get the $39.95 report, “The Silver Dip 2017” free.

With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events.  The price of silver dipped below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV).   The second event is that the silver gold ratio hit 80 and has remained near this level.

These two events are a strong sign to invest in precious metals.

I updated the special report now “Silver Dip 2017” about a leveraged speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.  The purpose of the report is to share my 30 years of experience speculating and investing in gold and silver.

The low price of one commodity offers special value now so I want to send you this report because the “Silver Dip 2017” reveals how to gain enormous profit potential in the year ahead.

Save $428.95 If You Act Now

Subscribe to the first year of the Personal investing Course (Pi).  The annual fee is $299, but to introduce you to this online course that is based on real time investing, I am knocking $102 off the subscription.  Plus you receive FREE the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More”, the $27  report “Silver Dip 2015” and our latest $297 online Value Investing Seminar for a total savings of $428.95.

Triple Guarantee

Enroll in Pi.  Get the first monthly issue of Pi and the report “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” and the online Value Investing Seminar right away. 

#1:  I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through slow, worry free purposeful investing.

If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.

#2:  I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.

#3:  I guarantee you can keep “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More” and “Silver Dip 2015” plus the Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.

You have nothing to lose except the fear.   You gain the ultimate form of financial security as you reduce risk and increase profit potential.

Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.