Tuesday Reading

I know you came here looking for another insightful article by Chris. You can expect to be wowed again by Chris tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some recent items of interest:

How Warren Buffett Invests

The folks at BusinessWeek have built a stock screener around Buffett’s investing principles. Check out What Would Warren Do? by By David Braverman.

Be a Home Owner

David Bach (of Automatic Millionaire fame) gives you definitive reasons why you should “own”. Read Why Home Owners Get Rich and Renters Stay Poor and then go out and find a place to live using the new home evaluation site Zillow. For an outsider’s look at Zillow, check out What’s Your Home Really Worth? by Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret.

Investing vs. Starting a Business

There’s a very important topic that I’d like to discuss briefly here, and it’s in regards to starting your own business. Fundamentally, a business is an investment. Any company’s goal is to generate profits for its owners, and in the case of a small business, a salary as well. The problem with businesses is that they’re a job. And not only are they a job, they also cause a lot of stress and a generally poor social life during the initial years.

Real estate has always been a passion of mine. Many people have made fortunes off real estate and growing up with a father in the business, I understand how the model works. However, getting started is a big effort, which involves management, construction, marketing, and all the other jobs associated with starting a business. This is not coincidence — buying investment property is a business.

I was very hot on real estate earlier this year, and ready to buy any reasonable property that came my way. At some point, though, I realized how much work and capital was going to be involved. While I have to admit that my passion for it has not diminished, I decided it would be prudent to educate myself on the full range of investment opportunities to see how much I can earn by investing. If I could earn 10% in mutual funds that require little oversight and are reasonably safe vs. 20% by starting a business that inevitably cause me a great deal of long hours and kill my social life, would it be worth a higher quality of life? That was and is my mission to find out.

The greatest fortunes are probably staked against going out on your own and building a company, but at what price? I urge those of you who may be reading this and have that familiar entrepreneurial voice in your head to silence it long enough to fully educate yourself in finance before you head out on your own.