Your Questions About Real Estate Investing Tips

Donald asks…

Are Swiss Frank Denominated Fixed Annuities a Rational Investment Now?

These would be from Swiss annuity companies or banks. They would pay a fixed monthly sum, but in Swiss Franks not dollars. For example, a 55 year old man buys an annuity from Credit Suisse and pays cash for it now $250.000 USD. If he lives, but only if he lives to be 75 years old, he will get 3,500 Swiss Franks per month for the rest of his life. If he dies before reaching 75, his entire investment is completely forfeit. It’s not inheritable, It’s not transferable. It can’t be paid off with a lump sum payment. He can’t back out of the deal. It’s basically a bet. He’s saying he doesn’t want to be old and poor, so he’s betting that he will live to be 75 and then collect lots of monthly payments after that — maybe 20 years worth. The company says, they will take the bet, in exchange for his cash right now today, they will promise to pay out at the fixed rate per month if he lives long enough to start collecting, and they will pay as long as he lives — in Swiss franks.

The Swiss Franks, of course would arrive at the annuitant’s bank account, and then his bank could arrange to have them changed into US dollars. If the dollar goes into hyperinflation he would be protected, by getting a lot more dollars every month for his swiss frank income.

Swiss franks a currently backed by gold. Gold mining is falling worldwide. The global supply of gold (unlike US paper money) is fairly constant.

By rational investment I mean in comparison with: U.S. Treasuries, TIPS, Stock Funds, Bond Funds, Real Estate, Gold/Silver, or strategic metals (chrome, indium, platinum, rhodium, tungsten).

By rational I mean in accordance with reason, prudence, sound judgment, wise policy, and smart investing.

By “now” I mean by the end of 2009 — assuming no radical changes in the business environment or economic prospects for USA, or for the US dollar.

John answers:

The Swiss Frank is a very stable currency and probably will hold its value far better than the dollar over time. The current exchange rate is currently almost par. 1.059 CHF+ $1. I remember a time when there were like 4+ CHF to the dollar. However you are betting that you will live a long time so the investor should be in excellent health and not over weight. Also note that you get nothing for 20 years. It probably is a poor investment unless the person lives to be 95+.

William asks…

Am I too poor to invest in the stock market?

23 years to retirement. I max out my roth IRA, I contribute up to my company’s match of 4% in my 401k, I have one years worth of cash reserves, and, thankfully, no debt. But I only bring home around $520 weekly (bakers make dough, but not that kind!) I’m not interested in real estate. I would like to invest in funds like VFINX, VWO, FAIRX, VHGEX, AEMGX, CGMFX, and ETFs like LDF, but would it be better for me to just keep putting $150-200 weekly in my bank savings account, or in CDs and TIPs, in spite of taxes and inflation? I would like to find investments that can generate capital as well as some that would be ideal for retirement. Any advice would be appreciated. Meanwhile I’m reading everything I can at YahooFinance, MSN Money and Investopedia to educate myself.

John answers:

Go for it. You can never get hurt investing if you do it properly
and no one is ever too poor to invest.

Keeping reading MSN Money for investment ideas, and invest wisely and prudently. Before you invest further in mutual funds, you should look into ETFs, both would be considered conservative and prudent.
Stay with MSN.Money and see how the strategy Lab is doing, read all the commentaries.

Here’s some other sites that you may find helpful, not only for information but for investment ideas.

Stay with your investment plans, be conservative and prudent and you may found yourself a lot more wealthier than you think.

And never take advice from someone who does not invest.
Good luck

Michael asks…


hey there!! sup??… like… i’ve come to learn the fact that ‘the business of ‘REAL ESTATE‘ has been doin well over the past few years especially in the devoloping countries like india..etc.. WHAT TAKES IT TO BE SUCCESSFULL IN THIS FIELD OF ‘REAL ESTATES’!!!???



John answers:

Well, If you really want a big industrial empire, you would have to give atleast 1.5 million. But if you want like, the minimum price, you would have to spend 40,000 at the very least.

Ruth asks…

Help with REITs, please?

I’m thinking of investing in REITs. I have a banking account with RBC and a trading account with Can someone please tell me how I can buy a REIT that holds American real estate, especially in devalued regions such as Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, etc. (from what I’ve read). To make the process easier, I’d rather they be publically traded so I don’t have to open an account with some new institution. Also,. maybe some quick tips? Thanks a lot, this is important to me

John answers:

Cohen and Steers have mutual funds, closed end funds, and ETF REITs. Check them out at

Carol asks…

HELP! Need $170,000 Financial Planning Advice?

I have $170,000 to be used for all my expenses during 5 years of school and am looking for a safe, hands-free place to invest it. I have worked out my budget for the next 5 years and this money should be enough to cover my expenses if it grows above inflation. I am not interested in purchasing real estate, owning a business, or managing a large stock portfolio, so I would be grateful for any ideas regarding the best way to invest this money for the next 5 years. I will need to be able to withdraw 20% of the money each year to cover my expenses. Money-market savings accounts and certificates of deposit do not appear to have high enough interest rates to be viable options. The only option that I have found so far are Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) and Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities (VIPSX) looks to be the best TIPS, but I don’t know enough about inflation, diversification or investing to know if putting the entire $170,000 in a TIPS for 5 years is the best option. I would greatly appreciate any financial planning advice regarding my situation. If you could map out the specific investment vehicles or sketch a composite portfolio for the $170,000 I would be very thankful. This would be easier for me if I was investing for the long term, but my 5 year window, expense requirements, and the current inflation outlook and bear market make my situation very confusing. Thanks for your help.

John answers:

8% CD. Insured. Europe

But to my mind the best way to invest money is to invest in business. It’s more profitable – up to 40% per year.
You may contact me for a good advice.

NOTE: I don’t need your money.
I wish you success in your investments!

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