May 27th, 2009

diarmuid

No, it's not good as a pure investment

Residential real estate is not a booming asset class, even before the current bust.

Thing is, it's a consumption asset [to a certain extent...it's not pork bellies, but there is capital depreciation in that one must pay to maintain the asset]. Yeah, you don't make much money on the buy/sell spread generally...but you get to live in the house/condo/whatever.

That's what this is about:
Yet for very many people, even over the past 15 or 20 years, the imputed rent may have been all, or nearly all, the real value they actually got from their home.


I don't see anything wrong with that. And as an owner, one has more ability to do stuff to/with your structure than if you were renting. The comments on the piece have good points, such as the mortgage being a form of forced savings, though when all costs [interest, etc.] are factored in, most people are losing money. In short, don't try to make money through the real estate you're actually living in. Somewhat related, buy art because you enjoy it...not because you think you can make money off it.

Yes, there are people who can make money off of residential real estate and the art market, but generally there's a lot more analysis going into it that just buying and assuming things can only go up.
diarmuid

speed reading: why?

Listening to an ad on the radio for a speed reading [for adults] program....and I've got to say I don't feel like I need to read any faster.

I could read Chesterton at my "normal pace" for books, but what would be the point? I keep setting his books down because I want to think about what I've read. Say you sped-read Shakespeare.... then what?

And it doesn't matter whether it's fiction or non-fiction. If the text has low idea density, sure, ramp up your speed. But then the question is why you're reading that piece of fluff in the first place.