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Top 10 Reasons you should rebalance your portfolio now!

1) Sell in May and go away. For those of you who are still in the buy and hold mode of asset management skip to Number 2. For those of you who are active investors, I am sure you know that the statistical averages point to a softer market over the summer months in general. Now this is nothing more than mathematical averages, but for some it has proven a great time to rebalance their holdings. Rebalancing is the act of strategically moving your allocations of money among the contrasting asset classes within your total portfolio plan. There are many people who don’t have a guide line or have not taken the time to match their current plan with their age or objectives. It is never too late to get your assets pointed in the right direction. This takes us to number two.
2) Look at your total holdings strategy; make sure it is line with your current principles. With the past few years being a life changing event for many of our holdings and future lifestyles, it is essential to think long term. For a twenty something you will have an effectively contrasting perspective than a fifty something that has been displaced from work and needs to reinvent herself. Take a snapshot of your assets (personal and holdings) and re align yourself with the current market trends.
3) Does the entrepreneur within call out to you? Young and old alike can reach within and tap an unparalleled idea or skill and make a business from that idea. Some will find their niche by accident and others by meticulous planning. One example that hit home with me was an older gal that was not making ends meet on social security (really, like who is?). She started a blog on how to be a great grandma. She went out on a limb, logged into a free blogging site, set up an account and started blogging about her niche market (did she invent this niche?). She was just promoted as most popular blog on the site she is on. Traffic to her site means ad revenue. Ad revenue means that Google is paying her for space on her popular post. She works a couple hours a week but is making money day and night. She is by no means a Bill Gates, but is now able to relax and have fun, the real goal in life.
4) Volunteer with your extra time. Many times those who give unconditionally receive more than they ever expected. It is fascinating who you will be working next to in the soup kitchen. That guy next to you may be a fortune 500 CEO. Giving unconditionally leads to interesting opportunities. Giving to others while you are in need is a magical potion. First, it helps others in time of need. It also gives something back to you, perspective. When you are working with those who give, new friendships blossom, and you never know what business opportunities will pop up.
5) As you rebalance you holdings look for opportunities. If standard asset management options have yielded little return, or like many, heavy losses, it is time to look elsewhere. I know what you are thinking, how do I use my 401K or IRA accounts to launch a business or buy real estate for example? It is easier than you think. In most cases you have the right and ability to sell some or all of your portfolio and open a self directed IRA. Read more about this at A self directed IRA gives you the ability to invest in many contrasting assets other than stocks. You can buy tax liens that pay as much as 16%. Don’t go all in (to anything) because the risk is commensurate with the return. You can use those funds to get going your small business Idea. If your friends and family are impressed with something you do chances are you could build a business around that idea. Think Pink Jeep Tours, or Create-a-card, or how about full time fishing guide, or a dog walking/pet sitting business.
6) Real estate asset management. For those who have a little more cash you can look into scoring some investments. There are public auctions, bank properties (reo) trustee sales and an array of deals out there. You can buy at 50% off in many markets right now. (That is 50% of some pretty inflated prices, yet many markets are very oversold and volume is moving in on the investor side.)
7) If you have some cash. Consider setting up your own organization of small investors to pool your cash together and find an opportunity. We do this all the time with our small investors. You can pick up 10 people with $25,000 each and buy a 4-plex that has a cash flow before taxes of 12%. Many deals we are seeing right now are yielding between 6% and 15% with the average being around 10%.
icon cool Top 10 reasons why you may rebalance your holdings now! If you have more cash. Use the same approach as above to find bigger deals. Our most popular equity partnership requires $100,000 to get in. We procure these funds and put them to work in the custom home market, which has taken the worst beating and offers returns in excess of 20%. Set up your own Equity partnership or LLC and build this partnership with qualified investors. Your syndicate of investors should include a Real Estate Attorney, an Accountant, a valid real estate agent or broker, and a quality building contractor. If these parties are not able to come in as full partners, set up a limited partnership with them (share potential returns in exchange for their services).
9) Concentrate your assets. The conventional wisdom of diversification and buy and hold has not worked too well over the last 10 years. There are times when even the finest of portfolio managers will concentrate their portfolio to juice their returns. Look at all of the really big players who love to keep your money hostage. They tell you to put 5% here 12% here 3% here 8% there and so on. Where have all of their big investments come from, IPO rollouts, derivative issuance and high risk mortgage backed securities. They take heavy bets on new companies, and reap the rewards even if the company fails. Nice concept, wish you could be in on that one! How about Warren Buffett. Do you think his first deal was done with 5% of his investments, how about 100% of 100 investor’s portfolio? Sam Walden used a ton of his cash along with OPM to start a little thing like Wal Mart. You may not be the next Sam or Warren, but if you do your home work, concentrating your cash on a well founded investment strategy can pay off like the big boys. Avoid the media, think for yourself, and trust your instinct.
10) Put yourself on a media diet. For the next 30 days tune out the media, as scary as this seems. Take this time to re assess the most important things in your life. Family, friends, spirituality, work, fun and your future. How do you need to spend your most key assets (time). Once you identify who you are, where you are going, what is really essential and what you need to do to make the thing you really want (not what you thought). Take all of this extra time you gain from your media diet and make a comprehensive goal guide line. commence at the ending. Set your long term goals first (what your life will look like). If you have knowledge of where you are going, it is much easier to get there! Once you have set up your life principles, it is time for the laborious stuff. Mapping your path there. Go to medium range goals next. This should be a 5 year guide line. What steps will you take to get yourself closer to the big goal set? I like using an outline format rather than a list. Using an outline gives you the ability to add action items in later as other short and medium goals come into reach. This method makes your goal set a working document as opposed to a check list. You should always feel free to adjust your ideals and dreams as you go. Once you have set up your medium range goals, boil these tasks down to manageable bite size tasks. This should be an one year goal chart. Now that your back to your life on today’s terms is time to make one more level of principles. These are the baby steps or action items. Set up monthly progress charts for the twelve monthly goals or progress steps. One of the things that will help you most is something I picked up at a motivational seminar several years back. It is the ultimate in time management: it is the 10 by 10 plan. Simply put, you layout your action plan for the following day as the last task of the evening. 10 by 10 means that you will attack the 10 most crucial things of your day early in the morning by 10am. Try to avoid email and phone/texting items until all of the most difficult tasks are cleaned from your plate first. Now I know this is complicated for many of us, but if you train your staff, co workers and family that this is your Zen time or Alpha time most people will begin to respect your time and your productivity will skyrocket. Now I must admit, being an Alpha tends to make me overly strong on my 10 by 10 task list and sometimes I am lucky to get 10 by 10pm. Days like this will happen. Just let it, you will be much happier and productive even if you don’t always complete your 10 by 10. Try it. It makes a world of difference! And this is why we set out to rebalance our life and investments. Take charge, you own the day!

To find out more about real estate investing and our views on the market please visit

In today’s dynamic real estate market people are asking: Where is the market going? What will I do? shall I sell? Should I buy? One bit of advice I can propose is know your history. All assets run through bull and bear trends. Many of these assets run the bubble and bust cycles that bring into being opportunity to make some exceptional returns on your investments. All of the signs are pointing to a weaker dollar and higher asset prices. So what does this spell out for real estate, and particularly for building a home? Right now is an once in a lifetime chance to get into real estate. With a decent credit score and a moderate salary, you can qualify for a home purchase. Each person is different and deals come in all different sizes, so read on and see what real estate is all about! Next we will address the potential of constructing a new custom home and how you can obtain some decent returns!

When it comes to getting gracious returns on your investment dollars, there exist fewer places to turn in these current economic conditions. Opportunity always exists for those who reach deep and look at the numbers. Those who follow the headlines are commonly left holding the bag when it comes to investing. The power of media to cloud the minds investment eye is very powerful and guided by the big money, banking and investment houses like Goldman Sachs. What have your personal returns looked like for the last 20 years? Some up and some down. 3%? 5%? 15% or more? How did Goldman do in the same time period? Well they were able to pay their employees on average $600,000 per year in bonuses, oh yea that is per employee. So while your $1,000,000 portfolio is perhaps reached $900,000 this year finally, the employees of your investment firm have raked in millions. Keep yourself invested is the wisdom of sages, so we can continue to keep getting our bonuses.

What does all of this have to do with constructing custom homes? I will get to this in just a flash. Perhaps the fact that media is so omnipotent and can twist our thoughts, and finding honest information about investing is so difficult to find by the average person that we just tend to go sheep with our hard earned dollars. Many of you might ask, how has your real estate portfolio performed recently? We all understand what has happened with the real estate bubble. It popped. What are they saying now! I told you, you should have remained invested in the stock market. Who caused the bubble? Investment banking deregulation, abuse of derivative instruments and plain old greed. Real estate investing without scrutiny is as good a picking yesterdays top performing fund manager. Whether you are in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodities or real estate you need to use good reasoning and do your research.

Now for the good news! I have been performing detailed market analysis on my local market (Scottsdale, Arizona) for the past 20 years. I have followed the cycles and made my moves based on long term averages. When you study a stock chart it is easy to see what the left side of the chart looks like. This is called 20/20 vision. No one has a crystal ball that lets them foresee the right side of a stock chart. What the best of the best do is use forecasting and prognostication to determine the most likely outcome of the stock pick. It never lets you know when the CEO has a heart attack and the stock plunges 20%. But solid research will give you a best look forward. The same is true in real estate. By modeling demographics and market trends one can shape an argument for where the market is trending. How do you learn when the market is turning? There is a science to market prognostication and the modeling of multiple functions like dollar strength, debt to GDP, population trends, and a host of other indicators that make up the tool box. Pricing, volume and direction are the three keys to being on the correct side of any investment. Real estate is only slightly different. The liquidity factor along with market shocks are the CEO heart attack factor. So how do you lessen your loss factors in real estate? Real estate trusts are one of the best ways to participate in this market. Now if you’re thinking Cohen and Steers on the open exchange, forget about it. The same type of obscene Salaries and bonuses are divvied up long before you see your slice of the pie.

What we are seeing and have been putting together for our investors is private equity partnerships where you can be a member for as little as $25,000. What you do is build a group, on your own, of people just like yourself (like minded people normally do well together) and pool your money to buy several properties in different areas of the country or world, once you have done your research. There are very simple ways for you to set up check book control of your IRA or 401K money to put some of this capital to work on emerging real estate markets. You need time to do complete market research, the ability to find and analyze the data, and negotiate hard for your deal. It is amazing what you will find right in your own back yard or half way across the globe. For example, what are the media moguls saying about Greece right now. Eminent collapse. Have the beaches become any less beautiful, have the hillside blue and white domed churches fallen into the sea? Of course not. Will the economy recover? Yes! What do you see in your own back yard, opportunity or doom and gloom? Think like a young Warren Buffet, what opportunities do you see? Don’t wait for the bells to go off, do your research and make your move.

One of the anomalies we have revealed in our research is the outright lack of new housing product in several of the high end communities across the country. If you wanted a new luxury home you will be hard pressed to find one. Furthermore, the land prices in these areas have plummeted as much as 80% in some cases. Land at trustee sales and auctions is obscenely low and this presents special opportunity for the Warren Buffets out there. Low land prices, no inventory, and a talented group of builders hungry for work is spelling big time profit potential. You need to surround yourself with an aggressive team of individuals who have the business Sauv? and know how to shake out the deals and execute them once found. Our team at Copper Valley Development Group (CVDG) has an investor services division that has in house real estate professionals, market trend specialists and a small board of regents that give the final reports a thorough back check for accuracy. CVDG also has a commercial construction division as well as a custom home division. The principals have on average 28 years in the real estate market. Visit for more information.

I use this little plug as a structure for building your own team. For example, if you had an friend who is a leader in your local real estate market, and a quality builder with a long standing reputation, and perhaps an escrow/title agent who excels at what they do, you could syndicate an assemblage of like minded people to bring your team together. Start small. Most of our groups are small (ten investors 100k each = $1M) and have moved capital from stocks to custodial accounts. Just remember, do your research and error on the side of caution. One of your most valuable players will be a good real estate attorney. It never hurts to get together over a cup of coffee and debate the possibilities of building your own private equity partnership or Limited Liability Company. This is not rocket science, but is does take time to build some valid data and build useful spreadsheets that reflect your target market numbers. Adding an accounting professional to your team is a good move as well. One of the challenges in setting up your team is coming together with a fresh perspective on the markets and setting goals to look at the markets without the help of media influence. Always trust the numbers. When your analysis tells you 16% ROI or 22% ROI don’t be surprised. Double check and triple check but the numbers won’t lie. One of our early challenges at CVDG was getting our real estate team to run reports back 6 to 8 years. Every Realtor that reads this will, at first glance think this is a waste of time. They will say 3 to 6 months is the only logical information to work from, everything else is just the past. I opened this dialogue with the statement “understand your history” and this is the key to reading the real trends. Once you get your Realtor on board with the concept and run the numbers back 8 years you will see the bubble and collapse unfold bigger than life. This is done by taking the same market and running monthly reports of sales and cost per square foot by market area. Keep all else equal and then chart both the price per SF and the total SF in two charts. Next track the lot price in the same way. What you will find is an overly depressed market (below long term averages) and demand by volume increasing. This spells opportunity. Don’t wait for the beautiful gal on the evening news to let you know what is happened already, go get the documentation for yourself and take action. Stay focused, have vision, tune out the media, and learn your history! The rest will fall into place.

To find out more about real estate investing and our guidance on the market please visit

As spring begins and the weather changes it is time to get our spring sanitation and home repairs under action. I always start in the kitchen (my worst task) by pulling out all of the things in the back of the cabinets that never get used. If you’re not using it toss it. Once I get the clutter removed I do a detailed cleaning of all of the cabinet fronts and make sure the hinges are still tight and in operating condition. I use a silicone spray on the hinges of the doors and on the drawer tracks. Silicone works well because it does not draw dirt like W-D40 or other oil based products. I then move to the appliances where everything gets cleaned and checked. It is essential to clean the grease screen in the hood vent at least twice a year depending on how much you cook. Remove the screen and wash them in hot soapy water for an hour. While they are soaking, I use 409 or something similar to clean up inside the hood vent. This is where most people fail. Get it good because most kitchen fires point to the stove and you don’t want all of the added fuel right there. This will also help keep the kitchen smelling fresh and clean. Follow the same course of action for the stove. Thoroughly de grease the inside and if you have a pull out move it out several inches to clean behind the unit, especially the back and wall area. Most people miss this area as well. Dish washers need attention as well. Clean out the screen in the bottom and then operate the complete cycle using only citric acid (you can get this at the grocery store). Add the crystals to the soap dispenser in the same measure as your normal soap. Work the washer on full cycle to clean out all of the drain hoses etc. If you can’t find citric acid you may also use Tang or lemonade (use a little more). Next we look at the refrigerator. I take everything out of the refrigerator and freezer, unplug the unit (yes, even if it is frost free) so I can clean every nook and cranny with a good bleach/water blend. I throw out all of the ice and give the ice reservoir a good scouring as well. Make sure to look over the rotating parts for use and see that everything fits well together. Once I have sanitized everything, I dry the compartments out so that I launch with no moisture in the unit. This is now the time to maintenance the water filters as well. Now is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. Toss anything that has sat in the freezer for more than a couple of months. I customarily defrost the older items and prepare the food for my dogs. Freezer burned steak is much better than kibble. Last but not least I replace out the filters on my reverse osmosis system. Fresh water, fresh Ice and a clean refrigerator are one of the nicest ways to kick off your summer!

When looking for home services in Scottsdale, Arizona Visit you will be pleased, that you did.

As spring rolls around and the weather changes it is time to get our spring cleaning and home maintenance under way. I always start in the kitchen (my worst task) by pulling out all of the stuff in the back of the cabinets that never get used. If you’re not using it toss it. Once I get the clutter removed I do a detailed cleaning of all of the cabinet fronts and make sure the hinges are still tight and in good working order. I use a silicone spray on the hinges of the doors and on the drawer tracks. Silicone works well because it does not attract dirt like W-D40 or other oil based products. I then move to the appliances where everything gets cleaned and inspected. It is key to clean the grease screen in the hood vent at least twice a year depending on how much you cook. Remove the screen and soak them is hot soapy water for an hour. While they are soaking, I use 409 or something similar to clean up inside the hood vent. This is where most people fail. Get it good because most kitchen fires involve the stove and you don’t want all of the added fuel right there. This will also help keep the kitchen smelling fresh and clean. Follow the same process for the stove. Completely de grease the inside and if you have a pull out move it out several inches to clean behind the unit, especially the back and wall area. Most people miss this area as well. Dish washers need attention as well. Clean out the screen in the bottom and then run the complete cycle using only citric acid (you can get this at the grocery store). Add the crystals to the soap dispenser in the same quantity as your normal soap. Run the washer on full cycle to clean out all of the drain hoses etc. If you can’t find citric acid you may also use Tang or lemonade (use a little more). Next we look at the refrigerator. I take everything out of the refrigerator and freezer, unplug the unit (yes, even if it is frost free) so I can clean every nook and cranny with a good bleach/water solution. I throw out all of the ice and give the ice reservoir a good cleaning as well. Make sure to check the rotating parts for wear and see that everything fits well together. Once I have sanitized everything, I dry the compartments out so that I start with no moisture in the unit. This is now the time to service the water filters as well. Now is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. Toss anything that has sat in the freezer for more than a couple of months. I usually defrost the older items and prepare the food for my dogs. Freezer burned steak is much better than kibble. Last but not least I change out the filters on my reverse osmosis system. Fresh water, fresh Ice and a clean refrigerator are one of the nicest ways to kick off your summer!

When searching for home services in Scottsdale, Arizona Visit you will be pleased, that you did.