Five Not So Common Reasons Real Estate Beats Stocks

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Great news! You just got your yearly bonus or your Aunt Marge left you a tidy sum. The problem is that those extra dollars sitting in your account can add some stress. The stress typically revolves around needing to invest the money into something that earns you cash returns. For many of us, extra dollars left in a bank account get spent on things like the flat screen tv that you ‘can’t live without’ instead of on an investment. And, when making a decision of where to spend their investment dollars, many people buy “convenient” stocks, bonds and mutual funds and don’t even consider real estate rentals.

Below are Five Not So Common Reasons to Consider Real Estate Investments Over Securities

The Illiquidity Gift
I know most people look at illiquidity as a negative but I just love my properties not being liquid. Whenever I get a windfall, say, from a flip, I reinvest the earnings as fast as possible. I find if I put my money somewhere that is hard to touch, I won’t spend it; the money is growing and working and I can’t get any cash back out of it at the snap of my fingers. I’m less likely to make an impulsive purchase knowing a lot of action is needed to get my money back. How much better off would the pro ball players, estate inheritors and lottery winners be if they bought harder to sell assets that bring in income month after month?

Easy Numbers
It is easy for the business school majors out there to glean a clear picture of a company and its books from reading it’s annual report. For me though, I read an annual report and I have a gazillion questions. If I were to invest in a stock, I’d like to be able to understand all the annual report numbers.

I love real estate numbers; they are easy to understand. Give me a quick spreadsheet over an annual report any day. And, being easy to understand means I can ask good questions and make improvements on the performance of my investment. Without being an insider, how can I improve the numbers or even completely understand the numbers for that oil pipeline stock that my stock broker touted?

Gotta Love Insurance
A huge tree fell through the ceiling of one of my friend’s rentals last year. Her insurance gave her an $80K check for a property that she bought for $40K-ish. If you want to sell me stocks, please offer me some insurance if the investment goes bad. And make the insurance easy to get, easy to understand and include the cost into my final returns. If anyone knows a reputable stock insurance company, please send me the contact info.

Even my worst property mistake had an 11 percent return last year. With properties, mistakes can be more forgiving than with securities because you have more options if you are creative and a good problem solver.

I know you can buy on margin for stocks. Anyone remember the Great Depression? I daresay even with the difficulty getting loans on investment property in today’s market, getting a loan is a lot easier and with better terms than buying stocks on margin. With leverage, returns can escalate too. I wonder why banks won’t easily loan money to purchase stocks?

Real estate offers some not so well known advantages over stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Nearly everyone would initially say the liquidity of securities makes investing in real estate not as desirable. But for those who need a stable investment that helps protect them from frivolous and easily accessible cash for spending, real estate illiquidity is a gift. The easier to understand financials, the readily available insurance, the ability to fix mistakes, and the use of leverage, are all reasons to focus a bit more on real estate rentals over simply handing over your portfolio to stock, bond and mutual fund managers. Try some rentals and get some more “stress” from the extra money in your bank account.

Photo: Desirae

About Author

McKellar Newsom invests in single family properties in seven different markets. McKellar partners with investors who don't have time to devote to real estate investing.


  1. You must always have your money working for you to reach financial freedom. Having it sit in a bank account drawing 0.10% interest does not pay the bills. We lost about $50K in stocks and like you said even the worst mistakes you make with real estate – it still makes you money. Now we do not put anything into stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, retirement plans, etc. Everything is tied up into real estate investments that are growing like a small money tree. The leverage helps get you started and later you can put more down to have less debt behind your investments.

    Nice article with some good pointers that perhaps the younger generations will heed.


  2. McKellar,

    Similarly to your previous blog posts where you compared real estate investing with securities investing, you have again made a very incomplete comparison of the two types of investing.

    The Illiquidity Gift
    You list illiquidity as a positive factor in favor of real estate. You claim that those that experience a windfall may be better off if they invested in “hard to sell assets that bring in income month after month.” That could also describe restricted stocks, partnerships, investment in privately-held companies and immediate annuities.

    Perhaps those that compulsively spend would not be stopped by owning “hard to sell assets.” These spenders would just incur greater losses when liquidating these assets.

    Easy Numbers
    The reason that publicly-traded companies have long, hard-to-read annual reports filled with numbers is because the SEC requires full disclosure of ALL relevant information that an investor needs. This includes AUDITED financial statements attested by the auditor and the CEO and CFO of the company.

    If real estate investors had to provide the same level of information with the same level of scrutiny then real estate sales – all types – would drop by 90% and accountants’ and lawyers’ incomes would skyrocket.

    Gotta Love Insurance
    I discussed insurance on stocks before but I will give you a solid example.

    Coca-Cola trades at $37.07 today (10/25/12). So if I buy 100 shares my cost is $3,707 plus commission. I can buy insurance on this asset by also buying a put option. The January 2014 puts with a strike price of $37.50 sell for $3.95. If I buy that put to protect my 100 shares my cost is $395 plus commission. I then know that no matter what happens to the price of Coke stock, the lowest price I will receive until January of 2014 is $37.50. My downside is completely covered. No deductibles. No copays. No filing claim forms. No waiting for the insurance adjuster. No waiting for the insurance check to arrive.

    If you want a referral to an issuer, contact any brokerage firm, brick and mortar or online. The discount brokers will probably sell the stock for less than $10 commission and the option for less than $20.


    Mistakes and Leverage
    In both of these paragraphs you are “cherry-picking.” You could have easily mentioned Black Monday, the day in 1987 when the stock market (Dow Jones Industrial Average) dropped 500+ points in one day down to … wait for it … 1,739. Today the DJIA stands 10,000 points higher.

    I also suggest that the reason that you feel that real estate is “stable” is because it is so infrequently priced. Stocks and other securities are priced daily, hourly, by the minute and by the second and those prices are now available to anyone with internet access and a smart phone and tablet.

    If real estate prices were repriced (with a buyer and seller trading the real estate at the agreed upon price), then real estate would likewise show a similar level of volatility.

    • Jeff Brown

      Hey Kevin — You make some fair points. I have a simple question for ya. You and I begin in 1970 with $10,000 apiece in investment capital. You’re restricted to long term stock investments. I’m restricted to real estate.

      Whose retirement would you rather have.


        • Jeff Brown

          Not at all, Kevin. And for the record, the give ‘n take between you and me is completely informational and very friendly.

          My point is simply this: We both know that the stock market has been the vehicle generating above average retirements for far less Americans than has real estate, a gracious statement of fact if there ever was one. I often ask folks to take a sheet of paper and write down the people they know who’ve retired well from Wall Street, then do the same with real estate and real estate related investments.

          The response is almost universally, laughter. That doesn’t mean a large segment of the population hasn’t produced stunning results using Wall Street investments as their main source, cuz that would be false on its face. I’m saying that for every American who’s retired far better than most using stocks/bonds/etc., there are a ton more who’ve done so via real estate.

          The rest is HappyTalk.

        • Sorry Jeff, I don’t know that the stock market has generated “above average retirements for far less Americans than real estate.”

          And I can actually make a fairly sizable list of people who have very comfortable retirements from real estate, stock market investments, oil and gas investments and personal businesses (privately held)

          but all of this is cherry picking after the results are known.

        • McKellar Newsom on

          Hi Kevin and Jeff,

          I agree it’s simply easier for the average investor to do better with real estate than stocks.

        • Jeff Brown

          You win, Kevin. Americans know in their hearts and from experience with their stock brokers’ guidance that stocks are securing the envious retirements of most of us.

        • I picked Apple which was founded in 1977 and went public in 1980 (look up Apple on Wikipedia). I obviously cherry-picked. I’m surprised that you didn’t respond with Enron.

          Jeff, you could have related the story that you have told before of how you took the $10,000 and bought a rental property with a mortgage and started earning rental income and kept rolling the proceeds into more rental properties and how you now have $XXX,XXX +++ in assets and $YY,YYY in income.

          That is all hindsight just like I just did with Apple.


          Any real estate investor could also have picked a real loser of a property. Read the thread from Will Barnard “The Occupants from Hell.” A property like that would give any investor second thoughts about being a real estate investor.

          Any investing involves taking money, making choices and taking risks … risks because no one can know the future. Will Barnard is an experienced investor with many properties in his portfolio yet look at what happened to him. Will took a risk that may not have seemed big going in. He will be lucky to break even on a cash basis (his money has been tied up for more than a year at zero return).

          But this blog post is about comparing real estate to stock. I have just (continuously) pointed out the faults in that comparison.

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Illiquidity would be seen as a large negative by most. I offered up one positive side to illiquidity – a place to shelter assets from the big spender. I’m not a “big spender” per se but I do like to get any windfall working ASAP. I know I spend more when it’s available. One way to make your real estate investments more liquid is to refi. One bonus is that after a “seasoning” you can often refi for what the property is worth rather than what you paid for it. If you buy correctly, you can sometimes get even more money back in your pocket while still controlling the asset. A caveat is that you need to have a rent amount to cover your expenses plus your added mortgage costs.

      Regarding the “compulsive spenders”… you have a point.

      I’ll take the easy to understand numbers any day over reading some auditors or accountants’ numbers. For many real estate investments, you are your own auditor or accountant so you intimately know the numbers because you confirmed them all. I like knowing that my numbers are as correct as I make them. I do my “ratings”. I prefer that to the Arthur Anderson or Moody’s.

      What percent of stock investors are using put options? I’d bet almost all real estate investors use insurance.

      As far as pricing changes go, I like the slower pace of real estate. I don’t have to have my computer on all the time unless I’m in acquisition mode.

      For me the main advantages of investing in stocks are the liability issues and the time involved. Thanks again for your comments, Kevin. mck

  3. Kevin,

    You beat me to the punch. I read this blog post and thought there must be some reason someone would take the time to write this nonsense?

    So the basis of why REI is better than investing in stock is that the author knows absolutely nothing about investing in stocks?

    McKellar, exactly how do you protect against REI tanking in value? When it does liquidity is zero and you get to ride the boat off over the falls. As we have just witnessed RE does not always go up.

    I am presently dealing in stock options with the express intent of not buying the underlying stock. Selling puts and in the case of stock I already have I sell covered calls. Both of these trades are credits to my account. This is a bit more complicated as selling a put requires that I buy the underlying stock, which if the stocks tanked could be very costly, but I could also limit my potential losses by buying a put just below that strike price using the credit gained by selling the put to buy the put. The difference between the credit and the debit would still be a gain.

    The above seems very complicated to most RE investors, so I guess I should stop doing this and making about 6% each month on my principle?

    By selling puts and calls (credit trades) one could reduce the amount they paid for their stocks to zero in about 4 years. Do you think you could do the same with one of your properties?

    My options never need cleaning or painting and no toilets are needed.

    • Chris Clothier

      Dennis –

      Obviously you and Kevin are very well versed in the inner-workings of the stock market and the multiple options available to investors. Clearly the two of you are head and shoulders above the average investor when it comes to knowledge and, possibly, ability to conduct business in multiple ways within the stock market.

      McKellar on the other hand clearly states that she is not well versed on the market and has no desire to dig into annual reports…I think I, as well as many people would agree. I don;t think she tries to lay out in any depth the advantages of real estate over stocks, just simply what advantages she sees in real estate over stocks. As someone who writes a lot of articles, I can at the very least appreciate the effort she put into producing an article to get people talking.

      I would actually like to see either yourself or even Kevin send Josh a guest post on the advantages of stock buying versus real estate buying. There are a lot of us on here who are very knowledgeable about one area of business or real estate while we have no knowledge of many other areas of real estate. Same goes for the market. I don;t know if Josh would publish it, but if it is good information I’d read it.

      And that is the point. McKellar has a very good reputation within her community as a real estate investor and I have had several conversations with her. She has always come across as intelligent and thoughtful in her processes for investing. As “thin” as you may think her reasoning is for writing the article, I think a little respect for introducing the topic and inviting response should be enough to carry us past the knocks on that reasoning.

      All the best – Chris

      p.s. – I was serious about someone writing an article on this. I was lost halfway through your response as it went into concepts I am not familiar with. I would love to hear more about it and then make an intelligent response as to why I prefer investing in real estate.

      • Well said Chris.

        Obviously this community is biased towards real estate, but few are adverse to learning about other markets. After all, this is a place of learning. I agree with most of her reasons. (not a huge fan of insurance, but that’s me). We all have our reasons for getting into different investing vehicles.

        I am using real estate as my financial freedom road. I see few quicker and more solid ways to get out of my W2 and build a solid lifetime of cashflow for my wife and myself.

        Dennis, my returns have exceeded 30% ROI. That does not include appreciation and built in equity on my purchases. I would be hard pressed to do that unless I was a super stock picker. I am far from a real estate expert.


        • Hi Jason,

          Please share your thoughts regarding insurance.

          Do you returns include principal repayment made by the tenants or depreciation savings? I don’t think any of us would still be investing in real estate if we made returns mentioned in all the comparisons of stocks to real estate. Thanks. mck

      • Chris,

        First Bigger Pockets is a REAL ESTATE FOCUSED WEBSITE (emphasis added) that contains hundreds of thousands of messages related to real estate … probably touching on every aspect and every possible scenario.

        A Securities Investing website would probably be much larger – probably 2 or 3 times larger at least (sorry Josh). Add to that insurance topics and the topics multiply even further. My point here and the responses I have made to McKeller and Jeff Brown (in other blog responses) is that investing and financial planning are EXCEPTIONALLY BROAD subjects. To attempt to make adequate comparisons as McKeller and Jeff do in less than 500 words is an exceptional disservice to the reader.

        • Chris Clothier

          Hey Kevin –

          I’m not disagreeing with you that many of the posts on here and all of the posts you find on forums are going to be incomplete at best. But the conversation has to start somewhere. Your response was very good, but for someone with very little knowledge of the stock market, it was also incomplete. Many of us discuss what we know and sometimes we even disclose what we don’t know whether we mean to or not. I will say again that your knowledge in this area and the benefits of stocks vs. real estate (or at the very least diversifying with both) would probably be a good post.

          For me personally, I understand real estate as it relates to how I use it and how m clients use it to reach certain financial goals. On the other hand, I stay away from the market because I do not know it and every time I seek advice, it comes across as “selling” me on something instead of educating me on how to use another strategy. I would love to be taught how to properly use strategies in the stock market, but in a way I would understand. Sometimes, people turn to real estate for the simple reason of “feeling” like they understand it.


        • Chris, Bigger Pockets is NOT the place for a discussion of the differences and pro and cons of securities investing versus real estate or other investing. Investing and Financial issues are much too complex and everyone’s situation is different. The best I can offer and I am a firm believer in this edict. Speak with professionals in the areas of investments, insurance and the law as each pertain to one’s personal situation. One size fits all only works with hats.

          I’ve certainly met many people who do “invest in what they know” – be it real estate or their own business(es). They are neither right nor wrong in their approach to accumulating wealth. I am merely pointing out that there are vast differences that make the comparisons tough … especially in a blog or on a message board.

        • Kevin –
          I completely disagree. BiggerPockets is a perfect place for any discussion surrounding real estate, including comparisons with other means of investing.

          If not here, then where?

          If a successful investor like McKellar can’t talk about her experiences here, then where can she?

          No blog post here or on any site about real estate or any other topic is sure to be complete on any topic. It would take far more than a few hundred or thousand words to cover ANY investing topic adequately.

          We do what we can to let our contributors share ideas, opinions, and experiences so others can debate or learn from them.

          BiggerPockets is certainly a site for real estate investors, but real estate investing doesn’t define our users.

          Thanks for the feedback.

        • Josh, McKellar and other real estate investors certainly can share their experiences and many on here can claim expert status when discussing real estate or rehabbing or landlording. Sharing and learning are the key reasons for blogging.

          McKellar has overreached by presenting the negative aspects of securities investing (about which she admits no expertise) and really did so by picking the worst examples to support her view of the stock market (Great Depression) and the best examples to support her view of the real estate market (her friend’s experience with the tree through the roof).

          I have issue with her direct comparison and in my first response above noted some glaring errors in those comparisons. My comments were tame and I hope professional. If this blog had been posted on a stock trading message board … well the responses from others would not have been very polite.

          Several weeks ago on one of McKellar’s blogs, I pointed out how to “buy insurance on stocks” and McKellar responded to my posts on that prior blog so I know she read my message yet she again seeks a way to “insure” a stock purchase.

          Search around Denver for a professional investment adviser and a financial planner (fee-based CFP) and invite them to compose blog entries here.

          ( I hate blog wars )

        • Hi Kevin,

          Thanks for your comments. I think I’m fairly “expert” at listening to an advisor and opting to buy and sell stocks based on an advisor’s comments. I think most stock market investors do just that or buy mutual and bond funds. Most don’t do the specialized options, etc. They sound like a better “option” overall.

          I’ll opt for real estate every time though. mck

      • Hi Chris,

        Thanks for all your nice comments. As far as my stock experience, I’m well versed in the typical American buying stocks. I used to go in and meet with an advisor every quarter and take the advise and buy some and sell some on occasion.

        I’d love to read a blog describing some of the stock market investing tips Kevin and Dennis mention here. mck

    • McKellar Newsom on

      Hi Dennis,

      Ouch! Tell me what you really think. It’s a good thing I have some thick skin.

      The reason that I wrote this “nonsense” is that I believe it’s easier for the typical investor to get better returns with real estate than stocks. Does your average investor deal in stock options?

      I started investing in stocks, bonds and mutual funds right out of college, 25 years ago. I used a number of brokers as the typical investor does. The typical investor puts their money with a broker and takes their brokers’ advice on which funds or stocks to pick. I believe the typical broker takes their advice from their research department which tells them to buy, sell or hold. I did that “take what your broker says investing” for years as a typical investor. I never tried the stock options you mentioned above. In fact, none of my brokers (and I went through a few) ever suggested it. I don’t think many do. I imagine few “typical” investors use the option option. If I compare my two experiences, I’d take real estate any day.

      The “nonsense” I wrote is trying to tell you something that your “tank in value” comment shows me you didn’t quite understand. Real estate allows investors to make money in a number of ways, not just through price alone. In fact, most of the time, it wouldn’t matter if my REI tanks in value. I’d be more concerned with rents tanking in value.

      The “6%” you mentioned relates to price, not to all the ways you can get a return from REI. If I planned to only get 6% on my money, I’d just be a lender and go with that.

      Dennis, do you own any real estate investments outside your personal home? Don’t you love the rental income, principal repay, the depreciation, the buying of equity, the potential for appreciation (ah, the “6%” you mentioned), the ability to refinance, the control you have over your investment, etc.? What I disagree with is all the articles and charts out there saying stocks beat real estate. What they are saying is that stocks (appreciation and dividends) beat real estate appreciation. But what about rental income, the equity bought (this is like buying capital gains), depreciation, refinancing to get higher returns and sometimes all your money back, loan prinicipal paid by tenants, etc?

      I love being able to decide if I want to clean, paint or fix the toilets to save money. I can also decide to hire a property manager or a handyman to do it. I even get to negotiate costs. I can shop around for paint sales. When I bought stocks, well I could buy some more, sell some (option some?) but besides that I couldn’t change my investment much.

      I am curious to learn more about options if you could do more of a how to, I’d like to understand them more. If you write something up, I promise not to call it “nonsense”.

      Thanks Dennis. mck

  4. Hi, I just want to put my 2 cents in. Having rentals allowed me to retire at 42 years of age, now 65 and doing quite good. Bought my first property, rehabed it, rented it out for a positive cash flow within a month. Refinance and bought another one, done this for most of my rentals. Now how many years did it take me to get ALL my money back? About 6 months. I been living off these rentals plus buying more ALL from the rental income.

    I’m just an average guy that has others working so I don”t have to. The stock market can go way up or down same as property values, the differance is with property, that cash flow keeps coming in. I’m not going to loose all my money overnight as with stocks, been there, done that! You can”t sell stock if no one is buying. With positive cash flow coming in, I have nothing that I want to sell.

    With inflation, my rents and property values will more than keep up with everyday living expenses. As for needing extra money, which I usualy don”t, it takes about 3 weeks to finance a property. I’ve done this in as little as 5 days. I have 100% contol on my properties, how much control does one have with stocks- 0%. You can add value to property not stocks.

    I’m not even going to mention the tax write offs and many other benifits that I get owning real estate. Nobody is charging me fees monthly or yearly for owning real estate. As far as my yearly tax on income- less then 15%, not 33% like stock investors.

    Ms. McKellar, you touch on some goog parts on buying and owning real estate. You are allways going to recieve crap from stock buyers. Whats really bad is all those people who retired from thier stock investments and now having to get a part time job just to make ends meet. Compare that to retired rental property owners, yeah, completly different story.

  5. The stock market, as a whole, is notoriously schizophrenic – a cursory glance at the headlines in the business section will tell you this. Even successful companies with strong fundamentals and positive growth are punished in the stock markets because their quarterly earnings report are slightly lower than what analysts predicted.

    This is happening right now – just check out the ongoing saga of Apple’s stock price post iPhone 5. The phone has been a runaway success, Apple’s profits ROSE 24% on sales of the iPhone5 to $35.97 billion, and yet their stock price FELL, as of today October 27, 2012.

    Anyone following the market will see stories like this over and over again. It seems that the stock market is in a world of its own, devoid of the reality of the outside world. Investors hype certain stocks like it’s the next big thing and then tear them down without mercy when quarterly earnings report are 6% lower than what the analyst on CNBC says they should be. To put it another way, if the company you bought stocks in only made $47 billion in profit instead of $50billion in profit like the analysts wanted, the price of the stocks you own will go down, and you will lose money.

    Stick to real-estate folks.

  6. To Kevin Yeats,

    You must be very knowledgeable and well educated, especially when it comes to securities. I appreciated the post because it gives the average person (that got lost most of their retirement money in the stock market) encouragement to invest in something easier. RE is something that the investor controls, unlike being at the mercy of stock boards, complex derivatives, and cheating companies like Enron.

    My mom was a maid all her life, yet through RE was able to retire with almost 1 million in RE. That’s something that she never would have/could have done with stocks manipulated by the fancy companies that screwed investors and then got a bailout.

    Yes, stocks may be a good, easy way to retire, but I believe that RE levels the playing field where the average person has more of a fair chance to make money.

  7. The original article is indeed about real estate vs. stocks so this forum is evidentially a good place for this discussion as Joshua stated.

    To the point someone made about which retirement portfolio would you rather have with a $10k investment in 1970…probably both have done fantastically. For the record, I own both real estate and stocks (and a few mutual funds). For example, a $5k investment in McDonalds in 1970 is worth over $2m today. (I have a lot of McDonalds stock.) $10k in Altria in 1970 is worth nearly $1m today. (I have a lot of Altria.) $10k in Walmart in 1980 is worth way over $3m today.

    I feel like I understand real estate better and I can see it working for me when I cash rent checks. However, my dividends are getting reinvested and if I don’t look constantly the stocks do generally go up.

  8. McKellar-

    I agree completely with Josh. This should be a place where everyone can share their expertise as well as their ideas without feeling like they might be lynched for expression their opinion. We are investors and real estate is not the only vehicle some folks use to invest.

    Like McKellar, I understand real estate a whole lot better than stocks so that is the place I like to invest. And like Chris, I think it’s a great idea for those folks more knowledgable about the stock market to educate the rest of us.

  9. McKellar, I actually love your post. It is a great picture about some of the differences between RE and stocks, and in no way did I read it as a slam on stocks. Shoot, your comparisons are perfect for a stock trader to be reminded why he likes stocks. If a stock trader were to write a similar article about why stocks rock, it may just remind me that, while all of those points are great for those who like them, for me it reminds me of the things I don’t care to deal with. We all like and prefer what we like and what we feel comfortable with. Who cares what that is. Just because I prefer RE (yes, I absolutely side with I’d rather have the RE retirement and plan to) doesn’t have to have any impact or bearing on what someone else prefers. If someone loves stocks, awesome! I think we are all mature enough to not make any decisions based on a few statements from one blog. It should be nothing more than thought-provoking which allows us to then pursue learning more in a particular area.

    My favorite part of your blog is that is you put a fun twist on the perspectives, like why illiquidity can actually be a good thing. Thank you for the great read.

    • Hi Ali,

      I think most people don’t even see real estate as an option. I like comparing the two to give people something to mull over.

      Thanks for the comment regarding the virtue of illiquidity. I’d love to see some of the ball players and stars opt for more tangible assets that are easy to understand but harder to “spend”. Thanks. mck

  10. ” even the worst mistakes you make with real estate – it still makes you money.”

    this, as with all real estate, depends on the location. Try buying a piece of real estate 30 miles south of Phoenix and see how much money it makes you in the bust years ( nada ) or ask a Las Vegan or those people who bought one of those over-built condos in South Florida or homes in Orlando.
    The one advantage if real estate is a loser for you, 1/3 to 1/2 of the people don’t end up repaying the defaulted debt back unlike stock(s) that goes bad. Short sale it, some walk away, or restructure the debt. No chance on a margin stock.
    Another problem though, is when the stock markets goes down as a whole and one of the best of breed (BOB) stocks is funneled into the collapse. Once that 1st tier BOB stock comes back, it comes back with extremely strong gains. PCLN, is one example off the top of my head, and many others realize 1000% in 5 to 10 years. When real estate collapses, you get maybe 200% tops for a fixer in a prime area after a recovery (usually 8 10 15 years..???)
    Sure, real estate is easier to understand and most of the due diligence is done in the beginning but even owning a fairly new home as a rental can be a nightmare for you as a property mgr or a mgmt company that doesn’t do their job right.
    Real estate is more transparent. And yes, you could hit the lotto if the local govt. surprises you with a redevelopment project to gentrify the neighborhood.. I’ve helped a few people become millionaires by buying the in mid-90s. Their properties have quadrupled in value. Great equity appreciation of $750k from just 10% down almost nearing 20 years.

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