Comment: Luckily I like to read, because you've written a short novel

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Michael Nystrom's picture

Luckily I like to read, because you've written a short novel

And luckier still I like to read your comments especially. And glad to know that you learned something.

- wink -

Indeed, a house is a consumption item, not an investment. For the most part, so is a car. Except... Except if you need a car to get to a job, then the car is an investment, because it helps you make money. But you don't need a Lexus to get to work. An investment is anything that you can use that will make money for you.

Real estate is generally a good investment, but location plays a big role. When I was in college, there used to be this infomercial that came on all the time late at night for Carlton Sheets. It might still be playing. Carlton was all about buying houses and renting them out, and having tenants pay off your mortgage. He's cheesy, and he's a salesman, and I'm sure he made a lot of money selling his courses.

But just because you're selling doesn't mean you have to be like him. That is just one way. Carlton is cheesy, but he does have a valuable idea. Yes, a house is a liability if you're living in it, but if someone else is living in it, paying off your mortgage, then it is an asset.

Say, for example, someone lives in a college town. You know that every year there will be new students, looking for places to live. You'll never want for tenants. And after all those kids have paid off your mortgage, in the end you get a house to live in, free and clear.

That's why I enjoyed Bryan Charles's memoir There's a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From so much. It was the story of his path. Not everyone's path, just his. No doubt he had to do some selling to get his first book published.

Bryan was making an investment through his writing, and enrolling in that creative writing program in Brooklyn, after he quit his job after 9/11.

"Buy assets you love." Loosen up your definition a little about "buying" assets. Free your mind.

Rich Dad talks a lot about financial assets, but for young people without a lot of money, the best investment they can make is in themselves.

I don't think there is anything wrong with being a luddite as long as you're aware of it. (In which case, I don't think you can be called a true luddite. A true luddite would display this kind of self awareness of her luddite-ness. She'd be too busy smashing computers and ripping cellphones out of peoples' hands to have time for thoughtful reflection.)

Anyway, keep your eyes peeled and your nose alert to the wind. Hell these days even a blog can be an asset.