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Beijing: The not so hidden dragon

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I’m currently traveling around China and I’m writing this in a high speed train going 200 mph from Beijing to Shanghai.

This is the second time I’ve been to China. Or as Trump pronounces it Gyna! Try it, it’s fun to say…

I’ve noticed that now that I’m back in Beijing there are some new things that weren’t here before. The new buildings are still popping up. Everywhere. The growth and building boom doesn’t stop.
The government tried to stop it by passing a law saying that an individual or a family cannot buy a second house anymore. They want to limit speculation and their goal was to lower home prices. Well, it worked in reverse the housing prices went up even more. Now a million $ gets you 900sqft in downtown Beijing.

Buying dinner is so easy here the price on the menu is what you pay. Tax is included and there is no such thing as tipping!
You can get a full breakfast for $5 and a nice dinner for 2 for about $40! with drinks.
What I haven’t seen before is that every restaurant no has an option to pay with your phone they bring you the check and wait for you to scan it then you’re done. Very simple! There’s always leftovers too. Most stores and restaurants have the scanning option, it’s like apple pay and it is extremely popular in China. I’ve never seen anyone use it in America. The app is called we-chat. It’s a texting/social app that is also linked to your bank account and all Chinese are on it.

We went to this luxury mall in Beijing. I have never seen anything like it in my life. There’s a big outside courtyard that you can enter the mall and most stores from and in that courtyard were advertisements for fine Italian suits with the pictures of the guys from Metallica! We entered the mall and there’s a doorman to greet you and he bows when you walk in. A guy actually bows to you when you enter the mall. Every Euro and American luxury brand was there. I’ve never seen most of them, there were a lot of Italian clothiers there. I looked at some of the tags and realized they were double the price of America. We went in to Dolce and Gabbana because my wife was looking at some shoes. The same shoes we saw in Chicago were double the price, the luxury tax makes everything double the price in China. But people were still buying. The mall was extremely nice and it was packed with people. There were even heated toilet seats.

The luxury tax doesn’t really stop the rich from buying goods, every day I see luxury cars. I saw a Maybach yesterday parked outside our condo. In America those are around 250K double that for China.

Another new thing I noticed is that every store and restaurant delivers. The streets are flooded with delivery drivers on scooters either wearing all yellow or red. We had 2 cups of coffee delivered to our condo the other day. We don’t ever need to leave the house to get anything we want.

Can’t wait to see what Shanghai has in store for me.

Stop being selfish

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I’m writing this literally flying across Russia on the way to Chicago from Beijing.

There’s a fat piece of shit sitting across the isle from me. He’s completely over weight and for the last 2 hours he’s been sleeping like a shit log.

The problem is he’s snoring. Loud as hell and he won’t stop.

I’m snapping my fingers at him to try to see if he’ll wake up real quick. He won’t.

Before he fell asleep he was coughing and sneezing.

All of this is because he is selfish. He has no self control over what he puts in his body. He’s a fat worthless slob. If he was in shape this snoring problem would not exist. He’s gasping for air because he’s a glutton.

I am having fantasies about punching him in the face!

I just yelled Stop Snoring!! Please!

He woke up all confused. What a piece of shit. I think he just stopped.

You can’t be scared of confrontation especially when you are dealing with a fat glutton. You have to let them know when they are being low class. If it’s affecting you say something.

Stop being lazy and take care of your body so you’re not a snoring savage that annoys everyone.

Goddamnit he just started to snore again.

Seriously just lose 50lbs and take care of your body. How much do you hate yourself to be a snoring , coughing glutton.

Don’t expect to become successful or get a skinny girl if you can’t even take care of your own body.

I have 7 more hours on this flight. Time to turn on loud metal music in my headphones to drown out this selfish piece of shit next me.

Take care of your body and speak up if someone is being a piece of shit… Which I’m about to do again right now.

Well the flight is over and the whole time he was either snoring or coughing. What I also noticed is that he ate both meals that were served in there entirety. I didn’t eat any of them because they are horrible. I would rather starve than eat that shit.

So now he stands up and he’s wearing white pants. Well guess what? and I swear I am not making this up… He shit himself. There is a huge brown shit stain all over the seat of his pants!

This was the most unbelievable flight, and it made me realize from coughing to snoring to shitting your pants. All of this because he can’t control what he puts in his body because he is selfish.

#MAM

How I Played The Brexit

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First of all I never though the Brits would leave the EU; I thought that would make too much sense and it would disrupt the globalist plan for larger governments across the world.  As we saw the mainstream politicians Clinton, Obama, Cameron, they all backed stay. They like that one government controls more people. The non-traditional politicians Trump, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, all wanted to see Britain a sovereign nation again.

When I heard the news my friend text me when I was on my way home from the Guns n Roses concert in Detroit. Having just experienced the best concert of my life, I received even better news, the Brits declared independence! Well, England did, with the exception of London city, Wales, Scotland, and N. Ireland, who all wanted to stay.

I knew I was going to wake up to chaos in the markets so this is what I decided to do. The market immediately when down, so with some cash I had on the sidelines I bought an index that tracks the S&P. It dropped right away and I slowly bought it. We have to understand that the stock market is like an emotional girlfriend; it will completely overreact from small problems. I knew this was just irrational fear.   A week later it recovered completely. It lost and gained 100 points in one week. As far as the talking heads on CNN, FOX, CNBC, etc. They will say one thing and the next day say the opposite. They need things to talk about or they don’t have a job. Everybody was saying this is going to ruin the markets, now everyone is excited.

 

Then I saw that the Pound Sterling hit a 35 year low! This was the lowest the Pound has been in my entire life. I didn’t get too crazy but I bought a little of the currency too. This is a long-term play, the pound will go back up and Britain will remain a financial and economic capital in Europe. People over react; I think logically. Buy when the sky is falling and have the courage to stay in, this will always be a lucrative long-term strategy.

This will be a good test for the whole western world; there will be more exits from the European Union and may even be a push to smaller governments.  David Cameron already announced he is stepping down in October because of this independence vote. The elections this year are going to be exciting and might for once actually bring real change.

How I made 25% in one month

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Being observant and aware of what’s going on around you can yield lucrative returns.

 

In March I’ve heard both sides of the argument about oil prices from the talking heads on TV and online. Oil was sliding and the Saudis said they weren’t going to stop pumping. I thought it was interesting and kept my ears open for more news.

 

One morning I was driving to the gym and I saw the price of gas at $1.30 a gallon! I though to myself that was the cheapest I’ve ever seen it since I stared driving.

I went to the gym and lost myself in my workout. The next day I remembered the price and I drove by again and I took a picture to remind me. Now it was on my mind and I started thinking about it and reading the news more.

 

This is where being a critical thinker pays off. The news again like every story will say one thing and completely change the next. I heard people say it’s going to bounce up immediately and others say it’s going much lower.

 

I began thinking there is no way that these oil producing countries are going to keep doing this for much longer. What has been happening is that the smaller shale producers in the U.S. are going out of business because the oil is so cheap, which is great for the big guys. Also there is a theory that the Gulf States are punishing Russia (an oil producing country) for bombing the Middle East.

 

Either way I would have no idea what reason is true and I don’t care.

I just began to think logically about this. I knew this wouldn’t last forever and I knew I couldn’t call the bottom. But I did know I had to get in. So I bough an index that tracked oil at about $31 a barrel, for myself and my clients.

 

It fluctuated for a couple weeks and then started to crawl up, just as I predicted.

In just a few more days I was up 10% and I knew it would continue. I sold a little at 16% profit, took a lot more off the top at 20% and finally sold the last of my holdings at a profit of 25%.

 

Now it is up much more, but I never want to get too greedy and get emotional about this. Once I started hitting double-digit returns I had to start slowly taking profits, it’s the smart thing to do. Every couple days I’d sell a little at a profit. As I can’t call a bottom, I can’t call a top, but once I was up 25% I decided that was a reasonable return in less than a month and I sold it all.

 

This is a trade you can only do if you are observant and have the time to trade. This will never happen if you are using a traditional financial advisor with a large firm. I asked all my friends at the large banks if they made this trade, none did. Why? Because their only job is to gather more assets for the firm, not to make money for their clients. How could they make a trade for all of their clients if they have around 1000 people to call and deal with. This can only be done by an observant person with the time to think and act.

 

The Best Tenant

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I had a vacancy in an upper unit 3-bed room in one of my properties. I put new windows in the bedrooms and updated a bit. It took me 3 months to get it rentable. Was extremely happy when I finally finished.

I hired a less than enthusiastic real estate agent to rent it out for me. He was searching for a good tenant to fill the vacancy, and he knew I’m very picky about my tenants. He finally found a factory worker that moved to Detroit for 10 years and was planning on moving back after she retired. He was very adamant that she sign a multi year lease. He got her to sign a 5-year with a 5-year extension option. I couldn’t believe it she actually wanted to stay for 10 years! The lease started at $750 a month and every year, increased $25 a month.

She moves in and she seemed very nice, she was a middle aged black woman.By the second year she realized she really liked the place and the neighborhood.

She started to update the house and pay for it. I couldn’t believe it; she bought new cupboards for the kitchen and decided to pay to have a granite countertop installed with a sunken sink. This was great, not only was the house improving but the value was too. A few months later she had the entire place painted too.

She even sent me before and after pictures. I went there after it was all completed and it looked amazing. At that time there was no way I would have been able to afford all of this improvement. She kept doing little things throughout the years too. On the front porch she put flowerpots out in the summer with beautiful flowers in them. I have no idea what kind they are but they look very nice.

The tenant just renewed her lease for 3 years with 2 left on her option. It turns out that there’s a 3 year maximum for a residential lease in Michigan. So she signed it and will stay for the remaining 2 to make a total of 10 years.

I was very fortunate with this tenant but at the same time there were a few things I did to attract a tenant like this.

The house is in a nice area that is still close to downtown. The houses are well kept and people are highly educated and care about their community.

When purchased I immediately fixed and updated everything that was needed to attract a new tenant. Including all new carpet, and new windows in the bedrooms.

She actually installed the rest of the windows in the living and dining rooms.

At that time it was hard to find a real estate agent that was motivated to rent out a house. When I found him, I hammered him and made sure to stay on him by reminding him I needed a good tenant and that I was serious about renting it out. I kind of think he was happy to get this rented for me so he wouldn’t have to hear from me anymore.

When something goes wrong for this tenant I immediately fix it and continue to improve this unit. I just installed central air last year.

 

Recently I turned the property over to a management company and rarely talk to her any more. I should probably drop her a line soon and

 

Keep it movin’

 

 

 

China vs. America

 

 

The subtle differences when you’re in china make a big difference.

There is definitely much more freedom on a micro level, even though it’s a communist country. I walked in to a little corner grocery store and bought a large beer for 60ç when converted to USD. I cracked the beer there and walked down the street drinking it. Its like I was being treated like a responsible adult. It was amazing.

I remember when I was in a suburb of Detroit at an outdoor fest and I went to order a beer and in the tent there was a kid working, he said he cant serve me because he wasn’t 18. I said whatever, I grabbed a beer and threw a $5 on the bar. Within a second an older lady came up from behind the bar and started yelling and asking what the hell I was doing. I told her there’s the money I grabbed a beer. Were at an outdoor fest with a beer tent, not the most prestigious place. She lost her mind and scolded me because even though I’m a grown man I can’t do that. I just laughed at her and said ok I’ll wait for you to serve me next time.

 

Thinking of neurotic Americans like this make me think that Adam Carolla was right, Americans ran out of problems so we need to make up new ones. Now if I walked out of that tent with my beer and onto the street I would be in jail and forced to pay money to the government in fines.

 

In China there’s no handicap parking spots you just pull up on the sidewalk and put your car in park. There is organized parking but many people don’t care they just park where it is convenient which is good and bad. What I like about it, is cops aren’t wasting their time giving out parking tickets and are actually focused on stopping real crime. Also the people that live there aren’t nosey and they mind their own business. If you’re driving on the side walk or smoking a cigarette in a restaurant no one says anything there is so much freedom and personal responsibility there its an amazing and freeing feeling .

 

Needless to say if you were to park on the street for too long in Chicago the cops will steal over $100 from you as a punishment. I do know that when someone parks in two spaces in America its completely rude but for the most park everything is more organized in the West because people like rules and like to enforce them on a micro level.

 

Another thing I don’t miss when I’m in China is when you’re checking out at a store no one says Hi, how’s your day, is it raining out? My grass could use it. No they mind their business and keep it moving.

 

 

Which do you prefer?

People all in your business, or people minding their business?

Organized laws on a micro level, or do what you want just be responsible for yourself.

 

Let me know…

Either way just keep it movin’

Closing on the Border of Detroit.

 

I found a house in my favorite neighbourhood that was still very cheap. I assumed that they were underwater still from the housing crash or it needed a lot of repair. Either way I knew they couldn’t afford it. It was an all brick duplex built in the 20s. I took around a lap around the house and noticed that the gutters were either off, or hanging down off the roof. The bushes weren’t trimmed and there was junk outside. I talked to a neighbor that said the gutters have been like that for years. Perfect! I knew the owners were hurting and I could probably bleed them a little more.

I got an appointment to see the bottom unit. The owners moved already and the top unit was occupied by her cousin.
My realtor and I looked around, and the place was trashed it needed everything updated. You could tell that the people couldn’t afford it. It needed a lot of work. But I knew I could do it and realized it was on the market for a few weeks to a month and hadn’t received any offers.
I slept on it for a day and decided to make an offer, cash. They were asking 140K I offered 133K cash. But contingent on me looking at the upper and a proper inspection. They accepted and I knew they were desperate. Because real estate is hot, especially in that area. I gave them a 5K good faith deposit refundable if I decide not to buy it.

I went back a week later and looked at the upper.
We walked in and were greeted by a young black man that said go ahead and check it out. So that’s what we did. He stayed in the kitchen and was packing up to move. We walked around the place and everything needed a total update.  I’m really put off by this place, now I’m thinking I have 2 units I need to update with paint, floors, windows, appliances, washer/dryer, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, and everything else.  Then I need to find renters for them and could I get all this done during peak moving season?

I decided I didn’t need the stress I really didn’t want to do it. I would hire a lot of it out but still I have to basically be the foreman on this job and it’s going to take a lot of time.

Well now this shit happens…
My fucking realtor she keeps telling me I’m going to have to spend a lot more to get a place like this in rentable condition. I keep saying yea I know, I don’t care, I don’t have time for this shit now. Now get me my 5K deposit back!
She tells me ok let me call the selling agent.
I hear back from her the next day and she tells me the selling agent is being very difficult with the deposit. I told her I don’t care get the money. She says she will and will contact her managing broker if she needs to.
The next day she calls me and tells me the listing agent is saying I’m racist because after we saw the black guy in the upper unit we said no.
Now I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. If he thinks I’m racist that’s fine. Because if you ever hear anyone defending themselves that they aren’t racist they sound like a huge pushover. But this listing agent what a low life loser. He has to stoop that low, show his desperation and as a last resort he has to use the race card? It was clearly the last attempt in a losing argument.

Again get me my 5K now I tell my realtor.
A couple days go by and I get the check so I’m fine and realize I just have to deal with losers sometimes and just forget it, and keep on pushin.

A month later and I get an email alert that a house in my area dropped in price. It’s the same damn duplex with the race-baiting loser as a listing agent! It dropped around another 15K!

I call my realtor.  Give them a full cash offer and send an inspector out there this week.
They accept, the inspection was fine, I found a couple new things that needed to be fixed outside of noticeable things but not a big deal. For this price I thought it’s worth it to put in time and money into this place.

So were able to close right away. When you pay cash you can close in a few days and it only takes 10 minutes.

On my way to the closing I was thinking to myself I’m going to give this listing agent some shit and tell him he’s a loser and a shitty salesman.
I was furious and I kept telling myself that I got the better side of the deal no matter what happens.

So I get there and I’m directed into a conference room and there’s a black girl there maybe in her late 30s. This is the girl that’s selling the house. I talk to her and she’s really nice, telling me about the house and giving me her cell # if I have any questions about the house. I felt much better and was chilled out a little.
Then the selling agent walks in he’s a 5’3 black man that’s pushing 70.  He’s wearing an old gentleman’s hat. He says hello very, very meekly and I think, ‘I can’t bully this loser’. He was clearly pissed that he thought he lost a deal. I kind of felt sorry for him. Well, not really.

Whatever, I’m buying a house in cash and if he’s that upset I’m sure he’s struggling. So needless to say, I bite my tongue and say nothing. I know I’m doing much better than him.
I leave 10 minutes later, call my girl, and go get a steak to celebrate.
Great, I got a good deal on this place and there is some work to do but who cares it’s worth it.

 

Everyone runs into these stupid situations.

It doesn’t matter.

Just keep it moving.

A couple rules for my first post

 

  1. We never buy mutual funds. If someone is trying to sell you them, run!
  2. We never buy annuities. The fees alone will make sure you don’t keep up with inflation, and if you ever want your money out there will be penalties to wipe away any profit.
  3. Never buy a house with 0 down. Ill never understand how people promote 0 equity in real estate investing.
  4. Always keep cash on hand for emergencies.

 

 

 

Mutual funds are the biggest scam in finance today. They are managed by people you’ll never meet and are promoted as geniuses. Couldn’t be further from the truth.

The large majority of mutual funds don’t out pace the market and underperform index funds. The fees are usually 1-2% a year and/or up to 6% upfront. The upfront fees lower when you add more money in the fund. This is called a break point. So you’ll see financial advisors using different fund families so their clients never hit the break point and they can always charge 5% upfront.

 

 

Annuities are similar, they are mutual funds wrapped in a life insurance policy.

The funds are illiquid and if you want to get them out you have to pay a fee just to withdraw your money. They praise them with guaranteed life income or guaranteed this or that. Yes they have those options for an extra fee. Usually you’ll pay 2.5% a year for an annuity. You could just buy well-diversified index funds and make a lot more.

 

 

Having 0 equity in your house is not fun or productive. If your house value drops like it has before that’s what causes you to be underwater. Your house typically increases with the rate of inflation, so after inflation your house hasn’t increased in value at all. If you plan on renting your house and tenants are covering all expenses it’s less of a problem. If you buy a 300k house with 0 down and you do decide to live there forever (which no one does any more) you will end up paying an extra $247,220 just in interest. Your $300,000 house will end up costing you $547,220. Always put money down.

 

 

When you have vacancies in your rental properties or you need a new roof, or you find a great business to invest in, you always need cash. Don’t over extend yourself, keep the cash available to make future purchases or pay the mortgage when you have vacancies.

 

 

There are exceptions to every rule…

More to come.

 

 

Keep it moving

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