The Magic of OPM: Other People’s Money

Patrick didn’t set out to revolutionize an industry.

He just wanted to build houses.

During the roaring housing mania of 2005, the business he was building was a tiny fish swimming in a giant pond. He was trying to find empty lots to build new homes on. But land was scarce, and expensive. His competitors were multi-billion-dollar corporations, and they were scooping up property like marbles on the sidewalk.
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Ray Dalio – the founder of hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates – explains why recent bank failures could be a “canary in the coalmine” for more significant economic and financial troubles to come (from “What I Think About the Silicon Valley Bank Situation” on March 14)…

Because one man’s debts are another man’s assets and most people are levered long (i.e., they are holding assets financed by debt), when interest rates rise and money becomes tight, assets fall in value, which hurts debtors, creditors, asset holders, and financial intermediaries, which causes a self-reinforcing contraction and contagion because when money is needed,
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Australian investment professional Michael Block explains why basing your investment strategy on the “Goldilocks markets” of the last few decades may not be a wise decision (via Investor Strategy News on March 24)…

The investment markets have been buoyant for around three decades now. Most investors have seen consistent increases in equity and property prices and decreases in interest rates (at least until just recently). Long gone are the days when home mortgage rates were 17.5 percent. These Goldilocks investment markets have persisted for so long that most
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