Monthly Archives: November 2010

Listen To Everyone; Follow No One; Avoid Unquestioning Belief In ‘Experts’

From 21 Oct 2010 [hat-tip ‘timbo’ at] –
“Even financial gurus like Tom Sullivan aren’t immune to the foreclosure mess. The longtime Sacramento investment adviser and commentator, who now works for Fox Business Network, is attempting to unload his former Granite Bay [Sacramento] home in a short sale after being threatened with foreclosure. Sullivan and his wife, Caroline, have listed his five-bedroom, Mediterranean-style house on Wexford Circle for $1.15 million. They paid $2.5 million for the home in 2004 and took out a $1.6 million mortgage.”

“The Sullivans missed their first mortgage payment last October, according to The research firm says Chase Home Finance issued a default notice on the 8,200-square-foot home four months later, in February. The default notice was the first step toward foreclosure. The Sullivans would avoid foreclosure if the short sale goes through, but all the proceeds from the sale would go to the lender, and the Sullivans would get nothing.”

“The market is the market,” said Linda Friery, a Lyon Real Estate agent who is attempting to sell Sullivan’s home. “The property has gone down 50 percent,” she said. “He’s no different than anybody else.” [If they are able to sell, they will have lost $1.35 M in after tax dollars. – ed.]

Sullivan made his early reputation in Sacramento as founder of the Sullivan Group financial-planning firm 26 years ago. He hosted a popular financial and general news show on radio station KFBK (1530 AM), provided financial commentary on KCRA-Channel 3 and wrote an investment advice column for The Bee. Besides anchoring a TV show for Fox Business, he hosts a weekday Fox radio program.” [Be sure to tune in! -ed.]

Magazine Covers As Indicators – And Yet Another Time RE Cover

By now, everybody knows how the Business Week ‘Death Of Equities’ Cover in the early 80’s marked the beginning of the most powerful 20 year equity bull market in history. Since then it’s been fun to play the ‘spot the contrarian indicator cover’ game. Look further down the right sidebar for examples of classic top of the RE bubble covers, in the US and Vancouver. The above illustration is from a very cute analysis of cartoons of bulls and bears on Barron’s covers over the last 2 years, as contrarian indicators, from Serge Farra,, 31 Oct 2010.

This recent Time magazine cover is emotionally complex and doesn’t easily act as a predictor either way. But still, perhaps that sad fence predicts a mild bounce in US RE (though we believe the ultimate US RE lows are still further ahead).

A handmade “For Sale” sign on Number 4 Road in Richmond

NO-LYMPICS at 1 Nov 2010 10.06am“Noticed an interesting hand made “For Sale” sign down Number 4 Road in Richmond, South of Westminster Highway, near Ferndale Rd. A hand painted sign in Red Letters, approx 5ft X 4 ft. in size about 10 ft off the ground, that effectively says ‘5 properties for sale, total of almost one acre. Best Offer’, with a telephone number. The area is zoned for condos.”