Investors Benefit from this “Drawback”
Ever since its founding nearly 30 years ago, investors have been entertained and educated by The Motley Fool—the financial and investing advice company known for its good-humored “foolish take” on stock market matters. The firm started out by publishing a run-of-the-mill newsletter but burst into national prominence through a series of creative April Fool’s messages hyping a fictitious sewage-disposal company’s stock. The series mercilessly mocked penny stock promotions.
Through the years, the company’s output has garnered both champions and detractors. Nevertheless, through thick and thin, the Fool has retained its light-hearted tone.
Real estate investing has long been one of its central topics, even generating a specialized sub-brand called millionacres. Chicago investors who have checked in from time to time on this site have read answers to topics like “Is Real Estate a Good Investment?” (“The short answer is ‘yes’”) and “How to Invest in Real Estate” (there are “dozens of paths”).
Their research can yield solid nuggets that Chicago investors find valuable—like a Federal Reserve paper that shows real estate has historically generated rates of return comparable to stocks and equities but with much lower volatility.
In the same discussion promoting real estate as a “core pillar” of any investment portfolio is a typically “foolish” (and startling) idea—that real estate investments have a hidden benefit: illiquidity! Normally, the lack of liquidity—that is, that it takes time and effort to turn Chicago real estate investments into cash—is listed as a major drawback. Whereas a Wall Street stock investment can be easily sold at a moment’s notice, the opposite is true for real estate. But the Fools take the opposite point of view—and they have a good point. The financial barriers that are built into real estate investments practically force a long-term perspective. They prevent decisions made in haste, based on fear or greed—thus keeping panicky investors from becoming their own worst enemy. The upshot is to instill real estate investments with “the most powerful wealth-building tool ever imagined: compounded annual returns.”