Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Financial Planning Talk

A random group of people invited me to give a talk about financial matters. It was deemed better to have the talk off-site, so that's what I did. While I could not put all the slides up, I've put up a mostly sanitized version of the slides below in a Google presentation.

The talk went for about 50 minutes, and then I took about an hour or so of questions. Not all the questions were directed at me, as there were other financial experts at the talk. A pleasant surprise was Jeff Rothschild. I did not expect to see him there, since Jeff has probably forgotten more about financial planning than I've learned, but it was great to see him.

Someone did ask me a question about real estate, and XiaoQin pointed out that I should have answered it like this: it's one thing to hold REITs passively, it's another to buy real estate to make money as a business. The people who successfully run real estate as a business (like John T Reed) did it full time. Reed, in particular, no longer advocates buy-and-hold as a viable strategy for making money in real estate. (He said this even before the housing bubble!) He believes that you make money by buying below market value, or for cash flow with a cap rate of 10% or better. For everyone else, treat housing like a consumption decision, not an investment decision.
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