Real investing is, and has always been, a topic that has generated a lot of interest. Some people are actually accomplished investors while others are dabblers with the remainder being “wannabes”. That’s the American way and nothing wrong with that unless you fall victim to a real estate hustler.
What’s a real estate hustler? If you have ever heard of a fellow named John T. Reed, you will know. A West Point graduate and former Army officer, Reed isn’t exactly your run of the mill dummy. However, he does carry an acerbic pen.
To give you an idea, he has a full page devoted to those folks who sell how to invest in real estate courses. He gives you in no uncertain terms who he thinks is a hustler and who he thinks isn’t.
As one would imagine, he has both critics and supporters. Personally I like the idea he created his guru rating. It at least gives a broader read on the former late night real estate hawkers.
There is an ominous overtone in his pages as well. If you go to his headline page, you will see this in the headline box:
USAA canceled my homeowners insurance and refused to sell me umbrella liability insurance because of this page
I hate to admit this but USAA is my insurance company as well. I have been with them since 1972.
From the letters he reprints it appears USAA has decided to censor Reed for his outspoken political views. Mind you, in my opinion and from I’ve been taught, your political views are not grounds for censorship by ANY insurance company.
I also happen to be a co-owner of an insurance agency. None of the companies we represent list “political views” as a ground for cancellation.
This has me a bit upset. His political views and his real estate guru views are his and his alone and not subject to any sort of admonishment by any entity unless clearly declared illegal by law or done in a slanderous or libelous way.
What upsets me the most is the arbitrary nature of USAA’s expressed objection. If they can cancel Reed for his political views and statements, they can then cancel me because I invest in foreclosures. It amounts to the same sort of sin if one reads their reasoning.
The signal might be that only certain investments are politically correct. The signal might be Big Brother has many ways to keep you in line. I could go on but you get the idea.
I am neither a proponent nor a detractor of Reed’s. What I am is concerned that the censorship line is getting wider and wider. I used Reed’s case only because he is well known in the real estate investment community.