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How to Profit from the Coming Real Estate Bust: Money-Making Strategies for the End of the Housing Bubble Hardcover – September 20, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Positing that "the longer-lived an economic expansion, the deeper the resulting recession," Rubino (Main Street, Not Wall Street) argues that the housing bubble, like other investments, will soon pop. He explains that as stock prices fell in 2001, housing became the safe bet for American investors; but the very factors (i.e., low interest rates) that helped the housing boom will soon change directions. In such chapters as "Bubbles: Past, Present, Future, Foreign," Rubino lays out the last century's history of real estate ups and downs, both throughout the U.S. and in other countries. From here, with handy graphs and charts, he sets out a clear course for homeowners and investors to plan for the future. His solution? He recommends "shifting into reverse, financially speaking, and doing the opposite of what worked in the in 1990s." One way to effect such a reversal is, basically, to convert riskier investments into "cash" (e.g., money markets, bank CDs, and Treasury notes). While Rubino paints a worrisome picture of the future, he does offer readers useful tools and solid plans for preparing for it.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

How to Profit from the Coming Real Estate Bust
Money-Making Strategies for the End of the Housing Bubble

The housing bubble is about to burst. Are you ready?

While the rest of the economy teeters on the edge of recession, home sales are booming and home prices are surging. Can this continue?

Not a chance. The housing market is hot because Americans-- apparently convinced that the good times will never end-- are borrowing record amounts of money to buy ever-larger homes. And we've learned to treat our existing homes like piggy banks, borrowing against our home equity to maintain our lifestyles. This boosts the economy but causes us to incur debts that will soon force us to stop spending. The result will be a deep recession, complete with declining home prices and a collapse in the value of housing-related stocks.

And that's the optimistic scenario! With mortgage, corporate, and government debt soaring, the bursting of the housing bubble might set off a chain reaction that wreaks 1930s-style havoc on stocks, the dollar, and real estate.

In clear, easy-to-understand terms, this book shows how real estate has become the latest in a long line of financial bubbles, how the bubble is likely to burst, and how you can both protect yourself and make money as the drama unfolds. You'll also learn:

* Why all "cash" is not equally safe
* Why gold will soar as the dollar falls
* Which stocks will be casualties of the housing bust, and how to profit from their collapse
* How to ensure against-- and even profit from-- a decline in the value of your home

Whether you're worried about the value of your home, your stock portfolio, or your bank account, you'll find answers here. You can't stop what's coming, but you can turn it to your advantage.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (September 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579548709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579548704
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,400,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Rubino runs the popular financial website DollarCollapse.com and contributes regularly to CFA Magazine. His books include The Money Bubble (co-authored with GoldMoney's James Turk, 2013), Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom (2008), The Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit From It (also with GoldMoney's James Turk, 2008), How to Profit from the Coming Real Estate Bust (2003), and Main Street, Not Wall Street (1998). After earning a Finance MBA from New York University, he spent the 1980s on Wall Street, as a Eurodollar trader, equity analyst and junk bond analyst. During the 1990s he was a featured columnist with TheStreet.com and a frequent contributor to Individual Investor, Online Investor, and Consumers Digest, among many other publications.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover

I personally think the advice about "profiting" from the bust in this book is mostly worthless, indeed possibly even dangerous, but the arguments about whether there is a bubble & how to recognize it IMO are better.


The first half of the book (which another reviewer suggests you could skip -- !!!) is actually the most useful IMO. It gives a general summary of the reasons that suggest current housing prices are unsustainable. The arguments are not very complex in construction, but I don't fault the book for it, I think it has a target audience, and that is the general public, not the subset who have a firm grasp of macroeconomics & math. My biggest gripe with this part of the book is that he expresses some facts in a misleading way, to my mathematically semi-sophisticated eye. For example, on p. 62 he has a graph of total US debt and GDP vs. a 45 year time axis. To the "untrained eye" (and he supports this impression in his text), it looks like debt is growing much faster than gdp. This impression is created by the fact that both are under $5trillion in 1957, and by 2002 gdp is $10t and debt around $34t. However, I suspect if you graphed the RATIO of debt to GDP (which is really the issue, what multiple of gdp is debt, i.e. very roughly, how many years of earnings collectively would it take to pay it off), you'll see the ratio MUCH higher at the start of the period than now, you'd probably see a decline in the graph slope for many years, then maybe an increase starting around 1985, based upon an eyeball evaluation of the two curves. That would have been a MUCH more meaningful graph, a more useful historical perspective.
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Format: Hardcover
Back in 1999, when investment bankers were ordering $400 bottles of wine at lunch and Dow 36,000 was a credible forecast, not a joke, John Rubino was offering bear market strategies to readers of his column in TheStreet.com. Here's what he wrote on Oct. 21 of that year:
"Put simply, stocks are as expensive as they've ever been and the economy is running out of slack. Labor is so tight that companies are having to pay up to keep good people. Health care and energy costs are rising again, and interest rates are up across the yield curve. The inevitable result: higher costs of borrowing and doing business, lower corporate profits and sinking stock prices."
Rubino was clear-headed enough at the height of the stock market bubble to see the tunnel at the end of the light. Now he is sounding the alarm about the housing bubble. It's well worth listening to.
You don't need to be an economist or a financial expert to grasp the warning signals he points to: credit policies that have become shockingly easy, to the point where a down payment on a home has become optional; high levels of consumer debt, and soaring home prices. Meanwhile, job creation and income growth are stuck in neutral and profligate government spending has undermined the value of the dollar and left the U.S. up to its neck in debt to the rest of the world. Rock-bottom interest rates have been pumping air into the bubble, of course, but so has the relatively new process of securitization, a feat of financial engineering that allows government-sponsored agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to create a virtual bottomless pit of new credit that is beyond the reach of anyone to regulate.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like a smooth attorney summing up his case to the jury, John Rubino gives you every reason in the world to be very careful now that real estate has superseded stocks as the investment of choice. Written in June, 2003, Rubino is early. But "early" means you won't get knocked down if you head for the door.

Real estate is a much more serious bubble than stocks could ever be because not only does it involve the roof over your head, it also constitutes your biggest debt, a huge amount of employment and business activity, and enough political ramifications to cause major tremors under our political landscape in the event the author is correct. Additionally, there is no liquid market for real estate as there is for stocks. That means there is no October '87 to clean out the system in one fell swoop. Real estate busts take years to work through the system, with all the resulting hardships and recriminations that go with the bursting of a bubble.

Rubino wasn't as prescient as Robert Shiller who published "Irrational Exuberance" in the same month as NASDAQ topped out above 5000, but if real estate does crack, this time nobody can say they weren't forewarned.

The first half of the book is an excellent detailing of how the real estate market works, its history, and how the current bubble came to be. This is interesting reading for those who need to get current on the dangerous game we're playing.

The last half of the book gets more specific, giving you a good overview of the alternatives to keeping you money in real estate, including everything from lifestyle changes to tax consequences to his main concern - safety.

All in all, an excellent (and concise - 250 pages) synopsis on what more and more experts are warning is our next major crisis.
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