housing

Insider

How My Personal Portfolio Is Positioned Right Now

You've asked. I answer.
Friday, June 24, 2016, 4:46 PM

Executive Summary

If you have not yet read Part 1: Fortunes Will Be Made & Lost When Capital Flees To Safety available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

So, given the conclusions in Part 1 -- as well as the larger risks to the economy and financial markets that we analyze daily here at Peak Prosperity -- how am I positioning my own personal investments?

I get asked this question often. Often enough that I'm deciding to open the kimono here and let it drop to the ground. Everyone interested to look will get the full frontal.

Before I do though, let me make a few things absolutely clear. This is NOT personal financial advice. The investment choices I've made are based on my own unique situation, financial goals and risk tolerance. And I may change these choices at any moment given new market developments. What's appropriate for me may not be for you, so DO NOT blindly duplicate what I'm doing.

As always, we recommend working with a professional financial adviser to build an investment plan customized to your own needs and objectives. (If you do not have a financial adviser or do not feel comfortable with your current adviser's expertise in the market risks we discuss here at PeakProsperity.com, consider scheduling a free consultation with our endorsed adviser)

Suffice it to say, any investment ideas sparked by this report should be reviewed with your financial adviser before taking any action. Am I being excessively repetitive here in order to drive this point home? Good...

OK, with that out of the way, let's get started. I'll walk through the asset classes I own and my rationale for holding each.

The strategy behind my portfolio allocation is of my own devise, though it has been influenced in no small part by the good folks at New Harbor Financial, Peak Prosperity's aforementioned endorsed financial adviser.

At a high level, it has been constructed to address my strongly-held conclusions that:

  • Prices of most asset classes are dangerously overvalued
  • The risk of another economic contraction on par with (or greater than) the Great Recession within the next 2-4 years is uncomfortably high
  • The most likely path is we will experience a short period of coming deflation, followed soon after by one of high inflation as central banks starting printing currency without restraint (the Ka-POOM theory)
  • Capital will increasingly want to flow from paper assets (tertiary wealth) into tangible ones (primary and secondary wealth)
  • This is a time to prioritize protecting capital (defense) over speculating on how to grow it (offense)
  • Diversification is wise: just be emotionally prepared that some of your bets, by definition, will not pay off
  • In today's world of financial repression, no asset class is truly "safe". As such, asset performance is all relative.

This is not a swing-for-the-fences portfolio. It's much more of a prepare-for-the-storm approach... » Read more

Blog

Observations From The Heart Of Silicon Valley

The calm before the storm?
Thursday, May 19, 2016, 8:11 PM

Yesterday I made the 2-hour drive back to Silicon Valley, where I lived for 15 years before moving out to the country.

I rarely go back, as I miss very little about the hyper-elite scene there. When I do, though, I feel I have a useful 'insider-now-outsider' perspective that allows me to see things there more accurately than those who live in that fishbowl 24/7.

What hit me most strongly upon arriving back in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area, is how little of the craziness has changed since I left 4 years ago. I don't mean 'unchanged' though; rather that the same craziness is there, just more extreme than ever. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Billy Rioux: Log-Home-Adventures

#1 Tips For Building Log Homes

21 Log Cabin Builders Share Their Thoughts
Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 4:45 PM

Ever dreamed of building a sustainable and beautiful log home?   Want to have a small cabin in an off-grid homestead?  Below are the #1 tips and pieces of advice from 21 log cabin owners, builders and manufacturers for making your log cabin project a success! We really hope you find useful insights and knowledge to use and apply when building your log cabin home. » Read more

Blog

klublu/Shutterstock

How Much Longer Can Our Unaffordable Housing Prices Last?

Spoiler alert: not much
Friday, October 9, 2015, 5:12 PM

Markets discover price via supply and demand: Big demand + limited supply = rising prices. Abundant supply + sagging demand = declining prices.

Eventually, prices rise to a level that is unaffordable to the majority of potential buyers, with demand coming only from the wealthy. That’s the story of housing in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area and other desirable locales that are currently magnets for global capital. » Read more

Insider

Greenfire/Shutterstock

How A Major Housing Correction Can Happen Over The Next 1.5 Years

Own a home? This is a must-read.
Friday, October 9, 2015, 5:11 PM

Executive Summary

  • The Fed Won't Be Able To Soak Up Bad Mortgages Like It Once Did
  • Chinese Capital Will Dry Up After Capital Controls Are Imposed
  • The weakening petro-dollar will weaken demand for high-end housing
  • The inevitable symmetry of bubbles will force a price mean-reversion

If you have not yet read Part 1: How Much Longer Can Our Unaffordable Housing Prices Last? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we looked at factors that limit further home price appreciation—mortgage rates that can’t go much lower and stagnant household incomes—and factors that could continue to push prices higher in islands of strong job growth and global demand.

Here in Part II, we’ll look at several dynamics that could deflate the current Housing Bubble #2, even in areas currently experiencing high demand for housing such as New York City and San Francisco.

The Fed Will Encounter Political Headwinds in Pushing Money to the Wealthy

Setting aside cash buyers from overseas, a major factor in the inflation of Housing Bubble #2 was the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing programs that expanded the pool of money available to the already-wealthy while prompting very little “trickling down” of this new money to the bottom 90% of households.

The one Fed policy that aided the bottom 90% was buying $1.75 trillion of home mortgages. This unprecedented buying spree helped push mortgage rates down to equally unprecedented lows.

But as this chart shows, the Fed is... » Read more

Insider

petrmalinak/Shutterstock

Why China Is Extremely Vulnerable Now

The majority of household wealth is at risk of vaporizing
Friday, August 7, 2015, 12:36 PM

Executive Summary

  • Too much of China's wealth is tied up in housing
  • The Obvious Risk: Declines in demand will crush prices
  • The Less Obvious Risk: housing in China is very illiquid
  • China's extraordinary vulnerability

If you have not yet read Part 1: Is China’s “Black Box” Economy About to Come Apart? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we looked at the factors that render China’s economy a black box: the inputs and outputs are visible, but the internal workings are often opaque. Though there is an abundance of data on China’s housing market, it too is opaque in critical ways.

Let’s dig into what makes China’s housing bubble so risky.

Chinese Household Wealth Is Mostly In Housing

The percentage of household assets in real estate varies from source to source, but however it’s sliced, China’s household wealth is extraordinarily concentrated in housing.

This means any reduction in housing values will have an outsized impact on household wealth and the perception of wealth, i.e. the wealth effect: people who own assets that are rising feel wealthier and tend to spend more freely as a result. Those with assets that are declining in value tend to feel poorer, even if their day-to-day life in unaffected by the drop in wealth. This is the negative wealth effect.

While middle-class households’ wealth is in their primary residence, upper-middle class households tend to put the family wealth in additional homes as investment properties. Anecdotally, it is not uncommon for middle-aged people with secure employment to own three flats: one for their residence and two as nest eggs. The practice of buying third homes was subject to restrictions a few years ago, but the resulting drop in housing demand scared authorities into... » Read more

Daily Prep

Recycled $1500 Shipping Containers Used to Make Stunning Off-Grid Home

A gallery of ideas
Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 12:34 PM

Thinking of making one of your own epic shipping container home? Take a look at some of these incredible homes made from $1500 shipping containers!  Enjoy the following gallery.

http://www.containerhomeplans.org/2015/01/recycled-1500-shipping-containers-used-to-make-stunning-off-grid-home/

Blog

Martin Capek/Shutterstock

Future Shock - Crash Course Chapter 25

The unsustainable often ends abruptly
Friday, December 26, 2014, 11:24 PM

Chapter 25 of the Crash Course is now publicly available and ready for watching below.

Here at the penultimate chapter of The Crash Course, everything we've learned comes together into a single narrow range of time we'll call the twenty-teens. 

What this chapter offers is a comprehensive view of how all of our problems are actually interrelated and need to be viewed as such, or solutions will continue to elude us. » Read more

Blog

flickr/DonkeyHotey

How The Federal Reserve Is Purposely Attacking Savers

But bungling badly as it does
Monday, October 20, 2014, 12:36 PM

There's something we 'regular' citizens wrestle with that the elites never seem to: a sense of moral duty.

In a perfect world, we would honor our debts and obligations, every one of us. But the world is an imperfect place ,and moral obligation is something that almost never enters into the decision matrix of our society's richest. Or the banking industry.