In 1994, billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates spent $30.8 million on 18 pieces of paper. His purchases weren’t paintings or artwork—at least, not in the traditional sense. They were manuscripts, handwritten 500 years ago by artist, inventor, and genius Leonardo da Vinci. Bill Gates wanted to own the Codex Leicester because he wanted a tangible connection to one of his heroes—and he’s not alone.
- Buy in Spain for Less Than the Cost of Construction
Posted on February 25, 2014 by Ronan McMahon
For 15 years, real estate prices in Spain soared. Then in 2007 demand slowed. By the time the worldwide economic crisis rolled through Spain and Europe, the real estate bubble had well and truly popped.
- Buy a Traditional Mountain Home in Andalucía for as Little as $90,000
Posted on December 17, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
The white-washed town of Istán clings to the slopes of the Sierra de las Nieves (Mountains of the Snows). It’s a truly hidden place—yet stunningly and conveniently positioned. I’ve visited plenty of charming hill towns and villages in Spain, France, and Italy where real estate is cheap. But the downside has always been remoteness. Istán is different.
At first it just happened by chance, but it was the best thing that ever happened to someone struggling to survive in a foreign land. A $47,000 investment (down payment and closing costs) in the year 2000 to purchase a 750-square-foot apartment in Le Marais, Paris has resulted in the ownership of five properties valued at almost $3.5 million in today’s market. I was living in the apartment as a rental for the first two years, then the owners wanted to sell…but, I simply couldn’t bear to leave it and spent nine months figuring out how to buy it. That was just the beginning.
- Escape to Warmer Climes and Live off Your Property Investments
Posted on November 5, 2013 by Sarah Booth
I purchased my first rental property in the ski resort village of Whistler, BC, Canada, when I was 23-years-old with a very small down payment. At the time, I was working as reservations manager for a property management company so I had first-hand knowledge of the strong returns that could be achieved through rentals. Over the following eight years, I proceeded to buy, renovate, rent short-term, and ultimately sell nine Whistler properties.
- Brazil’s New Middle Class Could Mean Big Opportunity for You
Posted on October 25, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
“My maid now eats yogurt,” a contact told me on a visit to Fortaleza, Brazil in 2009. It may seem like a strange thing to notice but it’s a sure mark of how Brazil is changing. Yogurt is a premium product in Brazil—and my contact’s maid was changing her consuming patterns in line with Brazil’s new middle class.
You’ve got the options of a cosmopolitan lifestyle in cities like Quito, Cuenca, and Salinas… or a more quiet existence in any number of smaller enclaves where you can garden with a view. And your choices extend to the kind of home you’d like as well—from the convenience of a modern high-rise condo…to the space afforded by a single-family home with a yard…to raw land on which you can build your dream escape.
- You Could Have Doubled Your Investment if You’d Taken My Advice…
Posted on October 23, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
At Real Estate Trend Alert my beat is to find places where real estate is undervalued and where something is set to happen that means values will increase. I call this “the trigger event.” This trigger event could be a fast-growing, new, middle class or new infrastructure projects that will bring improved accessibility.
- An Unusual 32-year-old Way to Buy Real Estate Overseas
Posted on October 21, 2013 by Nick Hodges
If, like many Americans, your greatest source of personal wealth is in your IRA, you may be wondering how to best utilize that investment to safeguard it and watch it grow. You’re not alone. Concerns about the stability of the U.S. dollar have generated a greater interest in all manner of offshore investments—foreign real estate in particular.
Can you guess what all these Americans have in common?• William Jefferson Clinton: 42nd President of the United States • John Kerry: 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Senator, current U.S. Secretary of State • Jack Lew: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury • Mitt Romney: 2012 Republican presidential candidate, former governor of Massachusetts • Michael Froman: President Obama’s U.S. Trade Representative
Changing nutritional preferences and the restructuring of society are leading to new consumer trends in Colombia—and creating opportunities for expat entrepreneurs in the health-food market. BioPlaza is a chain of four outlets in Bogotá—three of them franchised—that is seeking to exploit this demand and is now looking for franchisees. The man behind it is Alex von Loebell, 49, who came to Colombia from Germany, where he had studied marketing and advertising, and worked in the media.
I know of only a handful of places around the world right now where you can buy a property for $150,000…and have it throw off $1,000 a month in yield right from the start. These are the rental-yield super-stars.
I’m thinking of a Latin American bank that truly stands apart. Unlike, say, Citigroup or Bank of America, this bank doesn’t offer loans or checking accounts to the general public. It doesn’t receive deposits from the public, either. Instead, it finances trade in Latin America, mainly by funding the sale of commodities and agricultural products to Asia.
It’s often overlooked, but dividends make up the lion’s share of stock-market returns. According to one study, dividend income made up 35% of the total returns of the S&P 500 between 1926 and 2009. There are two important reasons why this trend is set to accelerate. First, record low bond yields mean that dividend income is more sought-after than ever.
One of the best ways to create cash flow right now is through stock dividends—especially through stocks with exposure to the emerging markets. Cash flow is the amount of money your portfolio “pays you” each year. And by buying a diversified basket of dividendpaying stocks, it can be surprisingly stable.
- Start-up Economies: Why Frontier Markets Make Sense
Posted on November 26, 2012 by Chris Hunter
If you want to see real economic growth, get a taxi through Hanoi at rush hour. Every day, millions of residents of the Vietnamese capital weave their way through the city on newly-bought Chinese and Japanese motorbikes and scooters. Twenty years ago, bicycles were the main form of transport.
The world’s consumer power base is shifting. The “rest” are playing catch-up to the “West” right before our eyes. Most investors don’t see this. They are blinded by the doom and gloom surrounding the financial crisis, the debt ceiling, and the gridlock in Washington.
Today I’m going to tell you that you should buy a Spanish phone company. Your friends may laugh at you. Let them. It’s easy to repeat Warren Buffett’s advice at dinner parties: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” It’s harder to follow when it comes to your own portfolio. But that is exactly what I recommend you do with this Spanish company.
With more than three in five U.S. workers in their 50s and 60s planning on working past 65 (and over half of them planning on working into their 70s and beyond), the American Dream continues to die a death. IL’s Chris Hunter offers some sound advice on what you can do to protect your retirement.
Dividend champions are particularly attractive if you’re nearing retirement or are already retired. That’s because on top of capital growth (what happens when the stock price rises) they allow you to create a passive income stream in your account.
Some things in life are simple. For instance, I do almost all my clothes shopping when stores are running their winter or summer sales. You get exactly the same stuff…only cheaper. If you’re a dedicated fashion follower, this won’t work.
- Huge Upside Potential in This Deeply Unpopular Market
Posted on July 25, 2011 by Chris Hunter
Buy low. It’s a simple concept. But it’s downright difficult to execute.
- Demand for this Ultra Safe Currency Is about to Skyrocket
Posted on July 19, 2011 by Chris Hunter
Some people just don’t understand gold or the role it plays in a post-financial crisis portfolio. Gold is interesting to us as global investors for three reasons.
- Is This the “Holy Grail” of Agriculture Investing?
Posted on July 18, 2011 by Chris Hunter
The last decade hasn’t been kind to paper assets. Meanwhile, hard assets – such as oil, gold, copper and food commodities – have all been hitting record highs.