It’s About Controllable Assets

April 3, 2015 by  
Filed under blog

I have a few more insights to share with you, hatched from Jeff’s “book report” on my book. On Addendum B–“When a Billionaire Speaks, I Listen” he commented on Curt Carlson’s advice. Jeff said, “Interesting that Fortune Magazine would say over 30 years ago that we’ve seen the last of the billionaires. But, that may be the typical thought of someone with limited thinking or a small world view.  While the oft-quoted statement by the commissioner of the US Patent Office in 1899 said ‘everything that can be invented has been invented’ may not be correctly attributed to him, it tells the same story. Carlson’s advice to get good people, then delegate is certainly right. The big wealth comes from spreading yourself around or at least by using ‘Other People’s Money’.  I always remember Aristotle Onassis, the Greek shipping magnate who married Jackie Kennedy, saying ‘borrow as much money as you can and always pay it back on time.’”

Hey Jeff, that’s some good stuff from your book report!  I think I will have to give you an A+.  I would add to Onassis’s comment about borrowing money with a very critical qualifier.  Yes, borrow as much money as you can but borrow it to purchase the “right kind of stuff” and by the right stuff I mean use it to purchase assets that appreciate in value and ideally assets that also provide you with cash flow returns as you watch and wait for their value to increase.

Yes, many stocks fit those parameters but for my money the assets that have worked by far the best for me have been income producing real estate (and that’s coming from a former successful stock broker.)  Why real estate rather than stocks?  The biggest reason is because with stocks you cannot control the company or the ups and downs and whims of the stock market. With the right kind of real estate you can at least have some degree of control over the property plus all that money you borrowed will, in the long run, be paid back by your tenants and if you have done it right, you will be collecting cash flow along the way.

So the take away here is that Onassis was partially right when he said borrow all the bucks that you can and always pay it back. But I say borrow all the money you can to buy appreciating assets that you have at least some control over, collect cash flow along the way and let your tenants pay off the money that you borrowed! I bet you can see just how smart that is!