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Contrary Riches

Becoming Wealthy When Others Are Getting Screwed (Stocks, Real Estate, Gold, Investing, Debt, Income, Politics- Nothing is Taboo here)

Updated: 2018-03-02T12:21:19.423-05:00


Free Houses for Everyone!! Yippeee!!


On a holiday eve, the Treasury announces that they will back Fannie & Freddie to unlimited losses. Yes, you read that right...they will not cap how far or how much they'll back bad mortgages, essentially to infinity. This has caused investors and speculation to scramble about what this means...

One potential answer? Free mortgages!! That's right, big loan forgiveness (similar to how student loans can be forgiven) appear to be a-coming. May wanna start buying some homes if you are the gambling type.

“Given this outlook, we believe that the main driver of this significant change is the flexibility it gives the government to take more aggressive action to support the housing market, including potentially going down the road of allowing some form of principal writedown,

Anatomy of a bank takeover


Ever wanted to know how the process goes down when the FDIC comes to your local bank and says "Move out, we're in charge" to your bank's branch manager? This article goes thru it step by step.

Conservative lending institutions are among the many that are on Calculated Risk's unofficial problem bank list.

American Dream?



The American a big house, live in it for a while, then default on the payments and go rent a similar house for cheaper......

Are you unemployed?


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The biggest RE land rush right now


Its not here in the US and A...

Its not here in the Northern Hemisphere...

It is not even Australia..

Its...Africa. Farmland is going up for sale and selling in record time. An oncoming food shortage plus CHEAP land plus CHEAP labor makes for a great opportunity for those with big money.

The Best Investment for 2010-2020


The best stock investment for the next 10 years will be whichever bank/financial institution/lending company figures out a way to lend money to small businesses profitably and with little risk.

Simply put, this will be the BEST INVESTMENT of the next decade, short of a company finding a cure/treatment for cancer or heart disease. Why do I say that? The need is there in the form of ample demand, very limited supply, this/these lending companies can be extremely picky with who they have as customers, and they can get every kind of collateral they want. If they are or become publicly traded, these strong small business loans/lines will be the kind of paper Wall St and foreigners will need to buy. Something that is extremely tight with lending criteria, great assets as collateral, strong base of debtors, and above average returns on loans.

Anyone wanna weigh in or am I just nuts?

Anyways, here's a list of the top 10 stocks from 2000-2010 (or until November 2009)

Want Lower Credit Card Rates? Spend 750 bucks every month!!


Credit card companies LOVE to screw customers. After making them deal with the shock and horror of one time credit rates around 8% get JACKED UP to 29%, Citibank has decided to "make nice" with their customers:

Those who meet the spending minimum , in some cases $750 a month , will be able to get a rebate on their total interest charges for that month. The rebate could cover some or all of the interest rate hike. Customers also need to make payments on time to qualify for the rebate.

Yes, that's right, they want you to spend almost a GRAND every month in hopes to get you trapped further. Unbelievable!

Stupid Americanos....Won't Pay 50 bucks to buy Gold coin worth $1100


Great video that goes to show you how uneducated Americans are with money.

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Gold & the United States


Will the US ever sell its gold? Err, will the US ever be forced to sell its gold?

I hope not, but that doesn't mean the day won't come when we'll need to finance our vast debt to pay off our expenditures and future costs (such as the health care bill that just passed the House).

Govt giving ya 5000 smackers to buy a golf cart!



From Doug Casey:

You’re going to love this. I came across a recent story from The Wall Street Journal about how Uncle Sam is now paying Americans to buy, of all things, golf carts. Yes, you too can own that great necessity of modern life thanks to the federal tax credit to buy high-mileage cars that was part of President Obama’s stimulus plan.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The federal credit provides from $4,200 to $5,500 for the purchase of an electric vehicle, and when it is combined with similar incentive plans in many states the tax credits can pay for nearly the entire cost of a golf cart. Even in states that don't have their own tax rebate plans, the federal credit is generous enough to pay for half or even two-thirds of the average sticker price of a cart, which is typically in the range of $8,000 to $10,000. "The purchase of some models could be absolutely free," Roger Gaddis of Ada Electric Cars in Oklahoma said earlier this year. "Is that about the coolest thing you've ever heard?"

The golf-cart boom has followed an IRS ruling that golf carts qualify for the electric-car credit as long as they are also road worthy. These qualifying golf carts are essentially the same as normal golf carts save for adding some safety features, such as side and rearview mirrors and three-point seat belts. They typically can go 15 to 25 miles per hour.

In South Carolina, sales of these carts have been soaring as dealerships alert customers to Uncle Sam's giveaway. "The Golf Cart Man" in the Villages of Lady Lake, Florida is running a banner online ad that declares: "GET A FREE GOLF CART. Or make $2,000 doing absolutely nothing!"

Golf Cart Man is referring to his offer in which you can buy the cart for $8,000, get a $5,300 tax credit off your 2009 income tax, lease it back for $100 a month for 27 months, at which point Golf Cart Man will buy back the cart for $2,000. "This means you own a free Golf Cart or made $2,000 cash doing absolutely nothing!!!" You can't blame a guy for exploiting loopholes that Congress offers.

The IRS has also ruled that there's no limit to how many electric cars an individual can buy, so some enterprising profiteers are stocking up on multiple carts while the federal credit lasts, in order to resell them at a profit later. We should note that some states, such as Oklahoma, have caught on to the giveaway and are debating whether to cancel or limit their state credits. But in Congress they're still on the driving range.

Remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. When politicians dole out tax credits and other subsidies for their pet projects (green or otherwise), you end up paying for them in the form of higher taxes on other things -- like work and investment -- and a loss of purchasing power of your currency.

Got Perfect Credit? It'll Cost Ya...


Let's see....banks get money from taxpayers to save their sorry behinds..check...

Now what do banks do to forthright customers who have perfect credit? They charge them for it!!
The banks are starting to charge fees to reliable customers in response to a slew of new credit card industry regulations that will limit when banks can hike interest rates. Cardholders who get a new annual fee notice in the mail will be in a no-win situation.

"They can either pay that fee or they can close the account, and if they have had the account for a while and they close it, they are potentially going to hurt their credit card score," said Woolsey.

FDIC Friday Returns!



FDIC Shuts Down 7 more banks in one day!

While banks and thrifts are now well along in the process of loss recognition and balance sheet repair, the process will continue well into next year, especially for commercial real estate," FDIC chief Sheila Bair told Congress last week.

As a result, she said, the number of problem institutions increased significantly, to more than 400 during the second quarter.

Now, with unemployment near 10% and credit card default rates about the same, prime mortgage delinquencies are rising, stoking worries among the nation's banks that despite rising stock markets, fundamental banking industry health remains elusive.


The End of Capitalism??


An excellent read...some confirming suspicions on why capitalism may be long in the tooth.

15 more clues capitalism lost its soul ... is a disaster waiting to happen

Much more evidence litters the battlefield:

  1. Wall Street wealth now calls the shots in Congress, the White House

  2. America's top 1% own more than 90% of America's wealth

  3. The average worker's income has declined in three decades while CEO compensation exploded over ten times

  4. The Fed is now the 'fourth branch of government' operating autonomously, secretly printing money at will

  5. Since Goldman and Morgan became bank holding companies, all banks are back gambling with taxpayer bailout money plus retail customer deposits

  6. Bill Gross warns of a "new normal" with slow growth, low earnings and stock prices

  7. While the White House's chief economist retorts with hype of a recovery unimpeded by the "new normal"

  8. Wall Street's high-frequency junkies make billions trading zombie stocks like AIG, FNMA, FMAC that have no fundamental value beyond a Treasury guarantee

  9. 401(k)s have lost 26.7% of their value in the past decade

  10. Oil and energy costs will skyrocket

  11. Foreign nations and sovereign funds have started dumping dollars, signaling the end of the dollar as the world's reserve currency

  12. In two years federal debt exploded from $11.2 to $23.7 trillion

  13. New financial reforms will do little to prevent the next meltdown

  14. The "forever war" between Western and Islamic fundamentalists will widen

  15. As will environmental threats and unfunded entitlements

Free Stuff, Coupons, 1 Time Offers


From time to time, outstanding offers are made available thru various websites that are out there to help people save a buck. Since saving money by not overextending yourself is one key to becoming wealthy, we here at Contrary Riches will periodically bring the best deals/discounts out there.

1) $55 bucks to start investing in the stock market for those who want to dabble in the Stock Market (available with additional incentives if you are a Costco member)

2) $10 off a $50 purchase at Sherwin Williams for all you real estate minded folk.

3) Free food samples so that you can stock up on food without spending any money.

4) Coupons on household products.

5) Finally, 2 other blogs for you to follow to get the best bargains out there:
Deal Seeking Mom at :
Coupon Queen at Big Tent..she feeds her family of 6 for $4 dollars a week by getting discounts about her here

Truer Words Were Never Said Better


Materialism has not provided what we needed. As our current crisis deepens, luxury cars and Rolex watches will seem so phony. Childish symbols like yellow rubber wristbands and yellow, pink, and rainbow ribbon stickers on our SUVs do nothing to change the world. When you are walking down the street, look people in the eye and say hello rather than staring at your feet or checking your latest email or text message on your “crackberry”. Deeper personal relationships with family and friends will become crucial. The thieves and crooks occupy Washington DC and Wall Street. We do not need what they are selling. Economy sized dreams of hope will sustain the citizens of this great country. Instead of accumulating stuff, give your stuff to people who need it. Donate your stuff to Purple Heart, the Salvation Army, or any other worthy charity. Donate your time to Manna, Habitat for Humanity, or any other worthy cause. Don’t delegate your role in caring for your fellow citizens to the government. Americans will soon realize that what they wanted was not what they needed.

James Quinn, What's My Payment

Top 7 Fears of Real Estate Investors


The Top 7 Fears of Real Estate Investors Today 1. Lack of Cash - Personal incomes are dropping. Unemployment is nearing record highs. Renters in most markets are defaulting. Credit card companies are cutting the amount of cash available even for those who have amazing credit scores and always pay back on time. 2. Lack of Confidence - Many investors are lacking confidence in their ability to get through the next three years of this huge downturn. For example, many investors are finding that it's taking months to close a property deal. If you're working real estate short sale strategies, because banks are so burdened with offloading inventory, you could wait six months just to receive a BPO (Broker's Price Opinion). 3. Loan Challenges - A friend of mine couldn't even refinance his house for a lower mortgage payment than what he's paying right now because the household income dropped since his wife's death. If he can't refinance his home for a lower payment, what do you think your chances of getting a loan are? What's more, banks have raised down payment requirements on residential and commercial properties to as much as 40%. 4. Can't Find Deals - The majority of housing and condo sales are foreclosures, as homeowners don't want to sell now and lose all the value that they put into the house. 5. Not Enough Buyers - Yes, incentives like the tax credit are beginning to enter the market. Yes, we are starting to see a reduction in new inventories. The key word is "starting." Yet in many markets, investors are finding a lack of buyers even at bargain prices! 6. Takes Too Much Time - Many old-hat real estate investors are spending their days and nights trying to close deals. Most of their time is spent late at night on their computers, or traveling around the country hopping from one airport to the next, in hopes of getting that six- or seven-figure real estate deal done, just to be disappointed again and again. 7. Lack of Knowledge - Old-hat real estate investing requires you to understand negotiation strategies, NLP mind tricks, what's-working-now techniques, real estate contracts, and how to adapt to opportunities in more than one marketplace, using more than one investing strategy. [...]

Why its Time to Get Rid of the 401k (which for many is now a 41K)


If you have even peeked at your account statements in the past year, it's painfully obvious that something is wrong with the way we save. The tax-deferred 401(k) plan, and others like it, such as the 403(b) and the IRA, have become our nation's go-to retirement piggy bank. Invented nearly 30 years ago as an executive perk — one more way to dodge Uncle Sam — the 401(k) was never meant to replace the employer-guaranteed pension fund, supplemented by Social Security, as the cornerstone of our nation's retirement system. But propelled by a combination of companies looking to cut costs and consumers who wanted control of their retirement destiny, that's exactly what happened.

collectively we pour more than $200 billion into these accounts each year. But retire rich? Don't bet on it. The average 401(k) has a balance of $45,519. That's not retirement. That's two years of college. Even worse, 46% of all 401(k) accounts have less than $10,000. Today, just 21% of all U.S. workers are covered by traditional pensions, and the number shrinks every year. "The time may have come to consider returning 401(k) plans to their original position as a third tier of retirement planning, behind pensions and Social Security," says Alicia Munnell, who heads the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. "They should not be the thing we rely on for retirement security." And the government seems to agree. This summer, the Government Accountability Office concluded, "If no action is taken, a considerable number of Americans face the prospect of a reduced standard of living in retirement." That's what is known as an understatement.


Multi-Millionaire by 24- How One Kid Did It


Certainly goes to show you that success can come with hard work. Someone needs to tell broke ass Donald Trump to learn some lessons from this kid on how to do successful real estate deals.

Adam Blake made one of his first life-changing decisions as an eighth-grader in Kansas City. He made another just a couple of weeks ago.

Blake, 24, who has made a residential real estate business he started as a sophomore at Texas Christian University into a multimillion-dollar venture, in September closed on the purchase of the historic Electric Building in downtown Fort Worth from billionaire Robert Bass.

Blake hopes it will be the first of several commercial real estate buys. The deal, though, catapulted him into a market dominated by local deep pockets, institutional investors and older developers — right where he wants to be.

His company Atlas Properties was on the latest Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private U.S. companies, reporting 2008 revenues of $5.8 million, up from $382,778 in 2005. And that’s just one of the nearly dozen companies and investment funds he owns. Another is Blake Venture Corp.

His youth does get in the way of deals, he said. Recently, he wanted to buy a Houston apartment community, but the broker involved asked to see his personal bank statements before he’d accept his offer.

"One guy told me he thought a deal was out of my league because he read on one of my Web sites that I am only 24," Blake said. "Definitely, age can be a hurdle."

Retail Sales over the past 6 years


Shoppers’ Shifting Priorities

click for readable graphic


courtesy NYT

Risky Business: Betting on a home's value



There are some sure bets that are prudent to take, such as:
1) Tiger Woods kicking your ass in golf
2) The next Hugh Grant movie likely to suck
3) Kanye West to say something dumb
4) Laws against doing things on your cellphone having no effectiveness on behavior

But one thing that USED to be a sure bet and is no longer....the value of your house. From the Washington Post:

"We have cases where houses are being appraised at less than the cost to build them," Howard said. "People are just being really, really conservative."

Some housing industry insiders also say that the appraisal process has become more complicated since the implementation of a new set of rules, known as the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, in May. The rules, put in place by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, aim to shield appraisers from pressure to submit a desired estimate of a home's value to hasten its sale.

Investing in Time Shares PLUNGE!


One of the worst investments of all time is the infamous time share. Notorious for pushy salespeople that put car salesmen to shame, time shares have always been one of the biggest ripoffs that occur to put people in debt. Now, in a deprecession, the time share boom is finally being exposed for what it is.

U.S. timeshare sales dropped 8.5 percent last year to $9.7 billion from a peak of $10.6 billion in 2007, excluding the luxury fractional business and private residence clubs, according to an Ernst & Young LLP study prepared for ARDA. The decline was the industry’s first since 1975 and is being driven by tighter credit, a higher personal savings rate and the loss of 6.9 million jobs since the recession started in December 2007.


Mark Massarelli, who runs Dynasty Limousine in Boston, has been trying to sell one of two timeshares in Hollywood, Florida, that he and his sister inherited from their mother. He has been advertising a one-bedroom, one-bath unit on for six months. It’s at a full-service oceanfront property with access to an 18-hole golf course.

Massarelli, 46, hasn’t received any inquiries even after cutting the price twice.

“I am offering it at $3,995 but its value right now is probably around $8,000,” Massarelli said in a telephone interview. “I tried to sell it a couple of times for a higher price but nobody bit. The maintenance and taxes on the unit are getting expensive. So I cut the price to attract more buyers, but nothing so far.”

Hey Mark, if you can't sell it for 3995, then its value is NOT $8000, its whatever you sell it for!!

Are we supposed to be surprised???


Cash for Clunkers only worked while the cash was available for buyers? You mean it had no carryover effect? Wow, what a shocker!!
U.S. auto sales likely fell in September back to the nearly three-decade lows of early 2009 without government incentives to spur buying, leaving in doubt the timing and pace of a recovery for the battered industry.

Nearly 700,000 new cars and trucks were bought by U.S. customers through the government "cash for clunkers" incentive program from late July through the first three weeks of August, a leap from recession-stunted sales earlier in 2009.

However, none of the largest manufacturers are expected to post sales gains in September, and Edmunds has forecast a 23 percent industry sales decline for the month.

Bye bye, US Dollar. Hello.....(global currency? Renmibi? Euro? Gold?)


Ouch, baby...very ouch... "The dollar looks awfully like sterling after the First World War," said David Bloom, the bank's currency chief. "The whole picture of risk-reward for emerging market currencies has changed. It is not so much that they have risen to our standards, it is that we have fallen to theirs. It used to be that sovereign risk was mainly an emerging market issue but the events of the last year have shown that this is no longer the case. Look at the UK – debt is racing up to 100pc of GDP," he said So what does this mean?"It's almost Armageddon if the Japanese and Chinese don't buy our debt,” Robertson said in an interview. "I don't know where we could get the money. I think we've let ourselves get in a terrible situation and I think we ought to try and get out of it."Robertson said inflation is a big risk if foreign countries were to stop buying bonds. “If the Chinese and Japanese stop buying our bonds, we could easily see [inflation] go to 15 to 20 percent,” he said. “It's not a question of the economy. It's a question of who will lend us the money if they don't. Imagine us getting ourselves in a situation where we're totally dependent on those two countries. It's crazy.” China (remembering the golden rule...he who has the gold makes the rules) has this to say: China, meanwhile, continues to flex its muscle. It has proposed that the G20 economies consider setting up an international wealth fund that would invest a portion of its members' current-account surpluses in developing economies. "These comments reinforce their desire to diversify out of dollars and to encourage other nations to do so as well," said Kathy Lien, chief strategist for Global Forex Trading. A few Chinese deals were recently seen accepting payment in the currency of the buyer rather than in dollars, especially with Brazil, which the Asian giant is wooing as a future oil supplier. In addition, China -- the first nation to sign an agreement to buy IMF bonds -- took the unsual step of paying for the papers equivalent of 50 billion dollars with its yuan currency rather than dollars, which Beijing uses for much of its trade and other foreign transactions. [...]

A Change in Lifestyle of the United States


Consider the following 2 articles:

Meltdown gives consumers a new money mindset:

In ways big and small , from scrutinizing their bills and joining credit unions to scaling back weddings and college plans , people are finding creative ways to deal with the worst recession in a generation. In short, there's a quiet revolution taking place in the way people save, borrow and spend that represents a retreat from old habits, and the first steps toward new ones.

The changing behavior can be seen in other ways:

, Two years ago, the average amount spent on a wedding was $28,000, according to the Wedding Report, a market research company in Tucson, Ariz. Last year's average: $21,800. The second quarter of this year: $16,550 , 42 percent below the 2007 average.

, While enrollment numbers aren't yet available, public colleges reported a 14 percent spike in applications last spring, suggesting some students and their families are shifting from private schools so they can spend less.

Census: Recession had sweeping impact on US life

The homeownership rate fell to 66.6 percent last year, the lowest in six years, after hitting a peak of 67.3 percent in 2006. Residents in crowded housing jumped to 1.1 percent, the highest since 2004, a sign people were "doubling up" with relatives or friends to save money.

_ The share of people who carpooled to work rose to 10.7 percent, up from 10.4 percent in the previous year. Commuters who took public transportation increased to 5 percent, the highest in six years, with Washington, D.C., at the top.

Roughly half the states showed declines in the number of immigrants from 2007 to 2008. Major metro areas also posted decreases, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Detroit and Tampa, Fla. An influx of workers from India, who came looking for specialized jobs in telecommunications, manufacturing, computers and software, partially offset the national immigration decrease.