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"Hard Work, Not Sorcery"
on January 22, 2007
For clarity of style and reasonableness of approach to its subject, David Crook's THE WALL STREET JOURNAL COMPLETE REAL-ESTATE INVESTING GUIDEBOOK may not have a peer in the realm of investing advice.
Crook shines an antiseptic light on the shadowy "get rich quick" hucksterism that has plagued the world of real estate investing as a byproduct of a long runup in prices, a phenomenon that has also accompanied strong bull markets in US stocks intermittently for two centuries. And he does much more: he introduces, in a genial and accessible style, the complex details of buying real property for profit, as opposed to simply watching your own home's price rise and thinking of that as "investing."
His discussion of taxes, a particularly convoluted and arcane - yet crucial - area, is logical and well organized.
The author makes no secret of the fact that real estate investing, like all other kinds, is not sorcery and requires careful research, hard work, thorough preparation, and, most important of all, close attention to detail. Given a realistic understanding of the challenge, one can partner with this book as an inexpensive but wise adviser. It won't get you rich quick on no money down, but it will help you to make cautious and fact based decisions that are crucial to successful investing in any realm.
As a hedge fund manager, I am exposed to written financial advice of one sort or another virtually every minute of the day. I haven't seen writing that is more scrupulously researched and thoughtful (yet also personable) than that in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL COMPLETE REAL-ESTATE INVESTING GUIDEBOOK. I heartily recommend it.