Saturday Summary – the most interesting property investment articles I’ve read this week (2013/02/23)

There are more property investment articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the interesting ones I’ve read during the week.

Enjoy your weekend….and please forward to your friends by clicking a social link buttons on the left.

100 Startling Facts About the Economy

Morgan Housel, wrote a great article in Motley Fool listing 100 startling facts about the economy.

Here’s a selection of them, in no particular order…

 1. As of January 2013, there are 16 people left in the world who were born in the 1800s, according to the Gerontology Research Group. With dividends reinvested, U.S. stocks have increased 28,000-fold during their lifetimes.

2. If you divide their net worths by their age, Carlos Slim and Bill Gates have each accumulated more than $100,000 in net worth for every hour they’ve been alive.

3. According to a study by Harvard professor David Wise and two colleagues, 46.1% of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets.

4. There are 3.8 million fewer Americans aged 30 to 44 today than there were a decade ago.

5. “Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products,” writes The New York Times.

6. Start with a dollar. Double it every day. In 48 days you’ll own every financial asset that exists on the planet — about $200 trillion.

7. Adjusting for inflation, Warren Buffett was a millionaire by age 25.

8. “97% of the world’s population now lives in countries where the fertility rate is falling,” writes author Jonathan Last.

9. The U.K. economy is 3.3% smaller than it was in 2008. The U.S. economy is 2.9% larger (both adjusted for inflation).

10. The International Labour Organization estimates a record 200 million people will be unemployed around the world in 2013. If you gave them their own country, it would be the fifth-largest in the world.

11. Despite the overall population doubling, more babies were born in the U.S. in 1956 than were born in 2009, 2010, or 2011.

12. According to The Telegraph, “Four in 10 girls born today is expected to live to 100. … If trends continue, the majority of girls born in 2060 — some 60 per cent — will live to see 2160.”

13. “Globally, the production of a given quantity of crop requires 65% less land than it did in 1961,” writes author Matt Ridley.

14. Thanks in large part to cellphone cameras, “Ten percent of all of the photographs made in the entire history of photography were made last year,” according to Time.

15. Two news headlines published on the same day last September summed up the U.S. economy perfectly: “U.S. Median Income Lowest Since 1995, ” and “Ferrari sales surge to record highs.”

16. If you add up annual profits of the entire airline industry going back to 1948, you get -$32 billion.

17. One in seven crimes committed in New York City now involves an Apple product being stolen, according to NYPD records cited by ABC News.

18. In the first quarter of 2012, the number of iPhones Apple sold per day surpassed the number of babies born per day worldwide (402,000 vs. 300,000), according to Mobile First.

19. According to economist Glen Weyl, “Of Harvard students graduating in early ’90s and pursuing careers in finance, 1/3 were making over $1 million a year by 2005.”

Read the complete list at Motley Fool


Some lessons from a seasoned property investor!

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner. If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly Internet based radio show.

Here are a few of this weeks guests:
Rachael Barnes – entrepreneur and property investor
Steve McKnight– author and accomplished investor
Pete Wargent– author of the book ‘Get a Financial Grip’
Michael Yardney and Gavin Taylor from Metropole Property Strategists

You should definitely subscribe to this weekly audio program. Click here It’s free and you can listen on the go on your smartphone, iPad etc.


An informed view on housing affordability in Australia.

Regular Property Update blogger Pete Wargent recently had a go at academic Philip Soos a well-known property bear saying:.

Interesting article from Philip Soos charting Australian residential property history.

Such debates often become polarised between those who own property (“prices always trend up”) and those who don’t (“housing bust!”). Typically what follows is degeneration into cheap shots (cf. “landlords are parasites”, “Soos is a Uni student”) but there’s plenty of that dirge on the internet already.

I’m a reasonably intelligent bloke and well aware that when the easing cycle reverses prices might fall, but I challenge whether the close to 70% who are property owners are necessarily the “greater fools” that they’re portrayed to be in Soos’ article and scores of appended comments.

Pete gives some insightful comments on the topic of housing affordability in Australia. You should really read them here. He concludes:

This will be dismissed as a spruik, but if you’re genuinely concerned about the price of Australian housing you need to pick the right target: the Australian Government.

The challenges facing leadership with regards to housing are vast but not insurmountable: improved transport links, increasing the supply of appropriate land and dwellings, reforming the tax laws. If you think our leaders are equal to the task…you have more faith in them than I do.


Property investing is not like home buying

Property commentator Monique Wakelin explains why buying a property investment is very different to buying a home in this article in

She explains some critical differences:

The reality is, buying an investment property is a vastly different affair to buying a home.

When you buy a home, you look for a property with the accommodation you need, in an area that you want to live in, within your budget.

When buying a home, the only opinion that matters about its features, location or accommodation is your own.

For an investment property, the equation is exactly the opposite.

Property investment is about finding a property in high demand and short supply that will go up in value substantially over time.

The only views that matter when assessing an investment property’s potential, features, location or accommodation is that of the market place, both now and in the future. It’s this balance of market opinion and underlying demand which ultimately determines its investment performance, both in terms of income and capital growth.

The smart investor never allows personal likes and dislikes to cloud their rational investment judgement.


Debunking 5 Common Myths About Sleep

You may believe you can function on less sleep than you need, catch up on the weekends or compensate by drinking more coffee. If only it was so simple. Entrepreneur discusses these five common beliefs about sleep and why they aren’t really so: :

1. Sleep is just a way to let your brain rest

2. I can get used to sleeping less

3. I can catch up on the weekends

4. Coffee can substitute for sleep

5. Sleeping longer will make me gain weight

If like many of us, you get sleep deprived at times it’s worth reading the full article here.

Blogs you may have missed this week:

If you didn’t have a chance to read my daily blog, here’s a list of the blogs you missed this week:

Where are all the first home buyers?
Look what’s going to happen to China’s economy!
‘Growth’ forecast for Australia. But what does that actually mean for property investors?
13 reasons to feel positive about property in 2013
Why counter-cyclical property investors win over the long haul
What influences your investment property’s performance the most?



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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