On a macro level, one of the reasons for the U.S. & European economic crisis and financial meltdown –in plane & simple terms– is the fact that people, organizations, corporations and governments spend more than what they earn.
In Real Estate one of the most popular “get rich quick” tricks is the art of using leverage.
The leverage calls for “using other people’s money” to purchase property with the hope that “cash flow” from rentals would cover payment dues for interest expense, cost of money, debt, monthly dues, taxes, amortizations, principal debt and the like.
The use of this technique has been proven successful in the past.
Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of the book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad is USA’s number one real estate money book and an international best seller.
Kiyosaki also popularized the educational board game: CASHFLOW 101 –a sophisticated version of the board game MONOPOLY.
In the Philippines, I know of two avid followers of Kiyosaki. These are Dinna Lynn Revilla, author of Riches in Foreclosures & Dr. Larry Gamboa, author of Think Rich Pinoy .
Dinna, a success story from “rugs to riches” ended up in sad failure.
Dr. Larry Gamboa, on the other hand, became a success and excelled in the teachings of “CASH FLOW” by his ability to adapt and innovate, using creative information technology for Real Estate innovation. Moreover, Larry practiced generosity, helped others with kindness and applied Christian values for wealth generation and distribution.
The maxim “Don’t work for money; Let money work for you” is a simple but dangerous way of using “Cash Flow” to generate income, profit and wealth.
This may be true under “normal” circumstances; Unfortunately, this is no longer true today.
The debt crisis led to a “domino” effect of defaults, non-payments,
re-structures, foreclosures, job losses and many more. It is now a case where “money is no longer there to work for you”!
The result was chaos, financial breakdown and economic disaster. This scenario is a consequence of unpaid debts, spending more than one’s earnings, using other people’s money instead of engaging in productive work; this spells simply as G-R-E-E-D.
It is fortunate that the same situation has not yet taken place in the Philippines; therefore, we are not yet as adversely affected by the debt crisis as those in other western countries. However, as an Advisor, I do have the duty and responsibility to cry out: BE CAREFUL of debts, borrowing, leveraging and the use of “other people’s money”.
The international economic scenario does not look good. Even if interest rates are low, cost of money is cheap, and investors are ”hot” on going into real estate developments and projects, it is important to ascertain Market Sales and study closely Real Demand vis-a-vis Speculation and Liquidity.
2012, the year of the Water Dragon calls for “fluid” investments –outlays which may not generate high-level Returns, Yields or Profits but are nonetheless safe and secure –free from the stress of uncollected accounts or debt burdens that are just impossible to meet.
The solution I can recommend is to venture into productive work. In whatever field we choose to be –Services, Agriculture, Health Care, Tourism, Manufacturing, Education– these service activities mean that we ought to work, contribute to the economy, generate jobs, and provide housing & livelihood.
Productive work transforms Debt into Equity: the lazy earnings from anticipated “interest or rent” is directed into wealth generation and value added services that contribute to economic growth and progress.