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139: Ask Buck New Year’s Edition!

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You know it’s been a hell of a year in terms of market volatility right? Now, in cryptocurrency, we expect that. It is a speculative asset class with binary outcomes. That’s why we only invest money in money that we can lose. In 2018, we definitely lost it (who knows about 2019).

But the equity markets are supposed to be where you put your retirement money! Whats up with the volatility? December has been the worst month in the stock market since 2008 and could very well be the worst December since 1932 during the Great Depression.

Why? Because the fed raised rates by one quarter of one percent? Because there is a government shut down over a border wall? Why do these seemingly unrelated circumstances affect your publicly traded equities?

The answer…your wealth in the stock market is not real. When people get nervous and there is a sell off in the market, your wealth vanishes. Investing in the stock market is not conservative as conventional financial wisdom has led you to believe. It gives you exposure to systemic risk that you cannot control.

Now I know some of you skeptics out there will say yeah Buck the real estate market is not an uncorrelated asset either. That’s absolutely true but here is the difference.

You see, the money I have tied up in real estate is real. How do I know that? Well, I can see, touch, and feel an apartment building. And people have to live somewhere so they keep paying if they need a roof over their head. People sell stocks so they can pay their rent.

As for the value of the building. Maybe it will go down in value for a period of time but if I’m making money from the asset now, why do I even care? I’ll just cash flow for a few years and when the value goes back up, maybe I’ll sell (or maybe not).

These are not new concepts for this show but worth repeating because I am sensing panic out there with stock market investors and I am getting a lot of questions about where to invest or where to hold cash.

Rather than be foolish and give you financial advice, let me point out that my own strategy continues to be to buy moderately leveraged real estate with value add opportunities in high growth markets (Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Atlanta). If you are an accredited investor and you want to know exactly what I’m up to, join investor club ASAP and you can decide if you want to do the same.

As for where to keep cash, I’ll say it again. There is only one vehicle that I know that continued to provide solid positive compounding growth and liquidity through the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the Great Recession. It’s called Wealth Formula Banking and, in my opinion, this is the best risk adjusted long term investment ever.

If you are tired of feeling queasy not knowing which way the market is turning, it may be time to really take a look at this option. 

I think we are in for some serious volatility in the next year. That said, I do not believe that we are headed for another 2008 right now. The biggest problem we have right now is that rates are normalizing (although mortgage rates remain low) and there is a tremendous amount of political uncertainty. The markets hate uncertainty.

Sitting on cash in an almost certain inflationary environment may not be in your best interests either. That guarantees you lose money as inflation exceeds the nominal interest you are earning at the bank.

Markets go up and down even though in good times we never seem to remember that. It doesn’t mean we freeze. It means we make decisions based on what is in front of us. In this week’s episode of Ask Buck, we touch on these topics and more.

Start out the year with some Wealth Formula Wisdom. Don’t miss this episode.