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April 18, 2005

Why do fools continue to rush in where angels fear to tread?

Alex_mischiefA Chicago Tribune article yesterday entitled "Pop goes the Market?" made these controversial statements:

"Jeremy J. Siegel, a professor of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, writes that a bubble is created when the rising price of an asset is not related to its true value but is fed by "momentum investors," who buy only with the idea of selling to other investors at a higher price.

"Hal Young, a certified public accountant and a partner with Frank & Co. in McLean, Va., sees big problems on the horizon for individual real estate investors."

"The run-up in housing prices is a prime example of the greater fool theory, Young said: Even if you paid too much you'll make money on any investment if you find a buyer who's a greater fool than you are."

This is not the first time an financial pundit has used the "F" word to describe the irrational exuberance in real estate.  On March 15, 2003 -- more than two years ago -- CNBC's Jim Cramer told a packed audience at The Boston Globe's Money Matters Financial Expo that the "easy money buying and flipping properties is gone.  We're now in a 'greater fool's' market."

If, as the Chicago Tribune article says, "it's a fool's game to try to guess when the bubble will burst" what's your perspective on what a home buyer or seller should do this Spring?  (Special thanks to friend and former client, AlextheJester, for use of the image on this post.  To see why he's a fool even an economist could love, enjoy take five minutes to enjoy his online video clip, "What's this fool going to do next.")

11:24 PM in In the News | Permalink


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