On April Fools Day it’s good to remember that even smart people can get sucked into bad deals, especially when they are offered by someone we trust.
Take for example the New York Times article, “An Ex-Fox News Host Pitched ‘Financial Freedom.’ His Clients Want Their Money Back”.
The article explains how and why Clayton Morris has been sued by customers who say they were sold ramshackle homes as investment properties.
The article says: Clayton Morris walked away from his job as a Fox News host in 2017 to devote himself to the next phase of his professional life: helping regular people achieve financial independence.
Their plan was to connect mom-and-pop investors with turnkey investment homes in Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Fla., and several other cities. Their company, Morris Invest, would handle the details: finding properties, overseeing renovations, hiring property managers to rent out the houses. All clients had to do was put up the cash and then all you have to do is wait for the checks to arrive.
Watch out for those phrases that say all you have to do is wait for the money to come pouring in! All too often such promises are broken and the emphasis in the bargain is placed on the word WAIT.
The article tells how Morris’s company helped sell at least 1,000 properties over two years, and how the company made more than $5 million in referral fees from the sales.
Evidentially the customers thought the Morris’s company would be doing the renovation and maintenance. They trusted Morris. But Morris’s company was paid for the referral and then washed their hands of the whole affair.
Now customers are suing Mr. Morris.
The article says: The customers contend that the properties were in worse shape than advertised, and that rehab work paid for upfront was done poorly or not at all. Vacant lots sold on the expectation of new homes being built are strewn with trash. One house gutted by fire was sold a few days later to an unwitting investor, according to a lawsuit.
They say that poor upkeep resulted in collapsing ceilings and frequent plumbing problems. Furnaces often did not work properly, leaving homes freezing cold in winter. One renter in a pending landlord-tenant case blamed poor living conditions for the premature birth of girl who died an hour after delivery.
Morris denies responsibility and says “We were a victim, too,” blaming the company that was the seller of the homes who was supposed to do the renovations and manage the properties.
This mess shows the price of trusting but not verifying.
I love investing in real estate. Rental properties compose a majority of my portfolio. However now is not such an easy time to invest in real estate.
The Wall Street Journal article “Real-Estate Funds Have a Problem: Too Much Cash” (3) shows how real estate fund managers face challenges finding profitable buildings to buy.
The article says: Private real-estate fund managers, sitting on record amounts of cash, are finding it increasingly difficult to spend all that money within the deadlines they promised investors.
The problem is likely to get worse. The total amount of dry powder held by closed-end private property funds increased to a record $333 billion this month, up from $134 billion at the end of 2012.
In a 2018 survey, 68% of real-estate fund managers said that it was more difficult to find attractive investments than it had been a year before.
The article confirms what I have learned from our real estate business when it says…”It has become much harder for firms to hit their outsize return objectives one decade into a bull market. Finding profitable buildings to buy has become more challenging amid fierce competition, slowing rent growth, and fears that the real-estate market is heading for a downturn.”
Housing prices have risen, but the rents we can obtain have not kept pace with the price growth.
The success of real estate investing depends on the ability to buy at low prices.
We purchased the bulk of our rentals years ago when the Great Recession had pushed housing prices down. Now we can still buy because we know exactly what we are looking for. We chose houses with certain types of problems that we know we can fix at a low cost.
We also buy with immediate cash and are willing to say no if our low offer is not accepted.
This process takes work, lots of looking, offering and knowing the problems to look for how to fix them.
Also be Careful of Your Education.
Buyer beware. Learner beware.
The Morris debacle does not end with that sale of bad properties.
The Wall Street Journal article says: Selling real estate is no longer the top priority.
The Morrises are now selling an online financial advice and planning program: Financial Freedom Academy. The program offers a “proven system for building wealth, guaranteed,” according to its website.
The site describes a conversation that Mr. Morris said transformed his life: He was seated next to real estate investor on a trip to New Zealand several years ago, and learned the man and his wife were on a two-month vacation after making money acquiring homes, fixing them up and renting them out.
“From that moment on, I made it my mission to follow in his footsteps,” Mr. Morris says on the site.
Mr. Morris is inviting investors to follow in his footsteps with a nine-session online program at a special introductory rate of $697.
That online program might be good or not, but when marketing offers quick profits, an easy life and long vacations, even if the promise is from someone you trust, be sure to use common sense, ask questions, doubt and verify.
The importance of being able to take a look, kick tires and verify if information will help you is why we back up our 51 years of global investing experience with a no fuss, 60 day, money back guarantee. See the guarantee below.
Profitable Investing Made EZThere are only three steps to sustained, safe profits in investing. Seek value. Cut losses. Take profits.
Quotes from three great value professional investors support this thought.
“Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” Warren Buffett
“In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.” Ben Graham
“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” Charlie Munger
We do not have to be brilliant to preserve our wealth. When it comes to investing, discipline can make professional investing EZ because you become smarter than the smartest man in the world.
Sir Issac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time. His role was key in the scientific revolution.
His book “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” laid the foundations for mechanics.
He supplied a foundation to optics.
He helped develop modern calculus.
Newton formulated the laws of motion and gravitation and confirmed the heliocentric model of the cosmos.
Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope.
His theories about color and cooling and the speed of sound were spring boards in physics.
In math, Newton contributed to the study of power series, the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, and a method for approximating the roots of a function.
He is said to have been the greatest genius who ever lived!
But Sir Issac Newton also lost his shirt in the stock market.
Newton said: “I can calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies but not the madness of the people.”
Sir Issac forgot the intelligence in seeking value. He ignored the fact that buying and selling discipline is more important than being smart.
How can we gain this discipline? Discipline comes from simple math which is why my Purposeful investing course (Pi) is based around mathematicians not economists.
I am happy to introduce an investing math program that instills investment discipline in our Pi course.
Use math and time, not emotion and timing to protect your wealth.
We need a strategy so our savings, investments & income are sufficient for a full lifetime which can be much longer than statistics suggest. That’s really good to know but longer life expectancy is expected to worsen the shortfall in Social Security by 11 percent over the next 75 years.
What will a longer, active life do to our savings and budgets?
During nearly five decades of global investing I have noticed that some people, such as Warren Buffett, have a three point good value strategy that increases their wealth again and again.
What are the three tactics of this strategy?
The first tactic is to seek safety before profit.
A research paper that studied Warren Buffet’s investing strategy was published at Yale University’s website. This research shows that the stocks he chooses are safe (with low beta and low volatility), cheap (value stocks with low price – to – book ratios), and high quality (stocks of companies that are profitable, stable, growing, and with high payout ratios).
The second tactic is to maintain staying power so you can let time do its work. At times Buffet’s portfolio has fallen, but he has been willing and able to wait long periods for the value to reveal itself and prices to recover.
This chart based on a 45 year portfolio study shows that holding a diversified good value portfolio (based on a good value strategy) for 13 month’s time, increases the probability of outperformance to 70%. However those who can hold the portfolio for five years gain a 88% probability of beating the bellwether in the market and after ten years the probability increases to 97.5%. Time is your friend when you use a good value strategy. The longer you can hold onto a well balanced good value portfolio the better the odds of outstanding success.
The Buffet strategy integrates time and value for safety and profit.
A third, limited leveraging, tactic in the strategy boosts profit. Buffett leverages his portfolio at a ratio of approximately 1.6 to 1. The Yale published research paper shows the leveraging methods used by Warren Buffett to amass his $50 billion fortune. The researchers found that the returns from Buffett’s investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, far outweighed those achieved by any rival that has operated for 30 years or more. The research shows that neither luck nor magic are involved. Instead, the paper shows that Buffet’s success hinges on using leverage at the rate of 1.6.
To sum up the strategy, Buffet uses value, time and leverage to buy and hold “cheap, safe, quality stocks”. He uses limited leverage so he can hold on for very long periods of time, surviving rough periods where others might have been forced into a fire sale or a career shift.
You can learn how to use this type of three point strategy with the Purposeful investing Course (Pi). This course is based on my 50 years of global investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.
Pi reveals investing secrets and the sciences that make investing easy, safer, less time consuming and increases the chances of profit.
Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of a Pi Model Portfolio. There are no secrets about this portfolio except that it is based entirely on good math and uses time to take advantage of value.
The value analysis is used to create a portfolio of MSCI Country Benchmark Index ETFs that cover stock markets that are undervalued. I have combined my 50 years of investing experience with the study of the mathematical market value analysis of Michael Keppler, CEO of Keppler Asset Management.
In my opinion, Keppler is one of the best market statisticians in the world. Numerous very large fund managers use his analysis to manage over $2.5 billion of funds. However because Keppler’s roots are in Germany (though he lives and operates from New York) and most of his funds registered for the European Union, Americans cannot normally access his data.
I was lucky to have crossed paths with Michael about 25 years ago, so I am one of the few Americans who receive this data and you will not find his information readily available in the US.
In a moment you’ll see how to remedy this fact.
The Pifolio analysis begins with Keppler’s research that continually monitors 46 stock markets and compares their value based on current book to price, cash flow to price, earnings to price, average dividend yield, return on equity and cash flow return. Then Keppler takes market’s history into account.
Michael Kepler CEO Keppler Asset Management.
Michael’s analysis is rational, mathematical and does not cause worry about short term ups and downs. Keppler’s strategy is to diversify into an equally weighted portfolio of the MSCI Indices of each good value (BUY) market.
This is an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value because little time, management and guesswork is required. You are investing in a diversified portfolio of good value indices.
A BUY rating for an index does NOT imply that any one stock in that country is an attractive investment. This eliminates the need for hours of research aimed at picking specific shares. It is not appropriate or enough to instruct a stockbroker to simply select stocks in the BUY rated countries. Investing in the index is like investing in all the shares in the index. You save time because all you have to do is invest in the ETF to gain the profit potential of the entire market.
To achieve this goal of diversification the Pi portfolio consists of Country Index ETFs.
Country Index ETFs are similar to an index mutual fund but are shares normally traded on a major stock exchange that tracks an index of shares in a specific country. ETFs do not try to beat the index they represent. The management is passive and tries to emulate the performance of the index.
A country ETF provides diversification into a basket of equities in the country covered. The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund as well so such ETFs provide diversification and cost efficiency.
Here is the Pifolio I personally held at the beginning of 2020.
70% is diversified into Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) developed markets: Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.
30% of the Pifolio is invested in Keppler’s good value (BUY rated) emerging markets: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.
iShares Country ETFs make it easy to invest in each of the MSCI indicies of the good value BUY markets.
For example, the iShares MSCI Australia (symbol EWA) is a Country Index ETF that tracks the investment results the Morgan Stanley Capital Index MSCI Australia Index which is composed mainly of large cap and small cap stocks traded primarily on the Australian Stock Exchange mainly of companies in consumer staples, financials and materials. This ETF is non-diversified outside of Australia.
iShares is owned by Black Rock, Inc. the world’s largest asset manager with over $4 trillion in assets under management.
There is an iShares country ETF for every market.
How you can create your own good value strategy.
I would like to send you, on a no risk basis, a 130 page basic training course that teaches the good value strategy I use. I call this strategy Purposeful Investing (PI). You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.
When you subscribe to Pi, you immediately receive a 120 page basic training course that teaches the Pi Strategy. You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.
You also begin receiving regular emailed Pifiolio updates and online access to all the Pifolio updates of the last two years. Each update examines the current activity in a Pifolio, how it is changing, why and how the changes might help your investing or not.
Included in the basic training is an additional 120 page PDF value analysis of 46 stock markets (23 developed markets and 23 emerging stock markets). This analysis looks at the price to book, price to earnings, average yield and much more.
You also receive two special reports.
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!
30 years ago, the US 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 in this special offer, you 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” free.
With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events over the last two years. 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, compared to a ratio of 230 only two years before.
In September 2015, I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” about a silver speculation, leveraged with a British pound loan, that could increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times. The tactics described in that report generated 62.48% profit in just nine months.
I have updated this report and added how to use the Silver Dip Strategy with platinum. The “Silver Dip” report shares the latest in a series of long term lessons gained through 40 years of speculating and investing in precious metals. I released the 2015 report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80. The ratio has corrected and that profit has been taken and now a new precious metals dip has emerged.
I have prepared a new special report “Silver Dip” about a leveraged speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.
You also learn from the online Value Investing Seminar, our premier course, that we have been conducting for over 30 years. Tens of thousands of delegates have paid up to $999 to attend. Now you can join the seminar online FREE in this special offer.
This three day course is available in sessions that are 10 to 20 minutes long for easy, convenient learning. You can listen to each session any time and as often as you desire.
Enroll in Pi. Get the basic training, the 46 market value report, access to all the updates of the past two years, the two reports and the 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, easy diversified 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: You can keep the two reports and 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 Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Silver Dip” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio update lessons throughout the year.
Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.
Your subscription will be charged $99 a year from now, but you can cancel at any time.