Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving thoughts

The news from around the world is gloomy, but outside it's a gorgeous day, and my mood brightened considerably when I received these words from an optimistic friend who specializes in real estate:

As I glance through the news about real estate around the world, I am impressed that the reporting seems to be only from the Dark Side of the Force.

Not trying to be blinded by what is obvious, I see immense lost alternatives to write about the countless opportunities that are presented by this unique set of circumstances.

We may never see a market reset of this magnitude again in our lifetimes. It's a reset that is shaking up the entire globe, but it points us back to the simple things we teach our kids about keeping a balanced checkbook, the power of having some cash in your pocket, the value of working, the value of saving for the future, the obligations that come with debt, and the wisdom of keeping some dry powder for unknown events and opportunities.

The opportunities around us may never be greater than they are today. Amidst the confusion and the really bad moods is a space of possibilities that is growing by the day.

Having lived through a deep recession where mortgage interest rates were 17-19% instead of today's 5.5%, I see real estate that can't be duplicated at even close to today's prices—homes, lots, and buildings that offer a chance to go back 5-10 years in a time machine, knowing what you know today.

Take every platitude you ever heard about investing, and know that they are all true:

Home is where the heart is;
It's always darkest before the dawn;
What goes up, must come down;
Buy low, sell high;
A penny saved is a penny earned;
Buy when there is blood in the street;
Cash is King;
Debt will kill you;
Don't spend what you don't earn.

Not one of them will lead you astray, but all of them point to the opportunities that are lying all around us right now, and which will continue to only get better as the money simply starts to flow again.

Money is a fluid; it stagnates when it stops moving, but just as the rains come to cleanse the world—even just a sprinkle—so do the economies of the world benefit from the return of liquidity. Money is starting to flow again; it's time to prepare and get ready to irrigate the fields and look forward to another harvest, keeping in mind the lessons we have been taught for generations.

Thanksgiving makes even more sense this year.

4 comments:

Mberenis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CDLIC said...

Scott,

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

Thanksgiving is the most underrated and misunderstood holiday of all.

As my friend recently wrote:
"After the Pilgrims nearly starved themselves to death by practicing Communism the first two or three years after arriving in America, Governor Bradford declared in effect: “each man/woman for himself.” The next year the colony had the first abundant harvest in spite of a drought and the first Thanksgiving was celebrated with a big feast. It was a perfect laboratory experiment on a societal level since the Pilgrims were completely isolated from the rest of the world. There were no victims to feed on parasitically, no gov’mint to subsidizes their basic needs and suddenly, everyone understood he/she had a proprietary interest in their own survival."

Thus, Thanksgiving is a celebration of Capitalism over Socialism.

If you want a real treat, read Robert G. Ingersoll's A Thanksgiving Sermon (1897). This is a wonderful read. Go to: http://freethought.mbdojo.com/thanksgivingsermon.html

The Lab-Rat said...

I see Black Friday resulted in death in Long Island, and a pregnant woman getting stampeded. Horrible. Losing your home or job to the initially termed 'subprime crisis' is one thing, but when it causes people to become so desperate for a $400 TV they will literally trample a man to death, we have a huge problem.

Scott Grannis said...

Lab-Rat: It was certainly a tragedy, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that one death in a country of hundreds of millions is a sign that we have a big problem on our hands.