Robert weighing-in with a few guidebooks for Prosperity’s Path.
Part 1 – Where Do You Start?
By Robert Vallera CCIM
• What’s more valuable, specialized or broad information?
• How can professional organizations increase your investment performance?
For decades, I’ve had investors ask me to recommend a book or two that will help them with their real estate investments. This question always prompts the same thought, “Oh boy, I’ve probably read over 100 books in a variety of fields related to the analysis of real estate investments. How can I possibly reduce such a complex field down to just a few books?” Where do you begin? Do you start with narrow, specialized information, or should you first develop a broad understanding of investments and then progress towards real estate-specific information?
Having experienced the extremes of the multiple market cycles impacting real estate investments since 1981, I’ll admit that my perspective has changed over time. My conclusion is that a deep knowledge of investments, finance, economics, and human behavior are far more valuable over the long run than a narrow study of real estate investments per-se. The narrow real estate specialist, lacking an understanding of these broader topics, is likely to make money in a bull market… and lose it in the ensuing market correction, or down-cycle. The same holds true for people who invest in stocks and other securities: witness the tech wreck at the beginning of this century.
That’s not to say that you don’t need to possess specialized real estate knowledge. You do, and there are a variety of professional organizations that provide excellent, specialized educational programs for both part-time real estate investors and full-time professionals. These include local apartment associations and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM.) The CCIM Institute is an excellent resource offering high-powered classes oriented towards investors and brokers.
Given that these programs are an excellent source of specialized real estate knowledge, I have assembled a list of ten books designed to impart the broad knowledge and wisdom that will allow an investor to accumulate many millions of dollars through the course of their investing career and keep it for the long run. We’ll delve into that list in Part 2.