Monday Night Finance- Volume 111

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The Bottom 50%

Are you feeling the financial squeeze, wondering if the economic system is leaving you behind? It’s easy to feel disheartened when much of the news focuses on how the top 1% is getting richer. But what if the narrative isn’t entirely bleak? Amidst the headlines about the rich getting richer, important information about the entire economy’s progress might have been overlooked. Recent data suggests that there are surprising financial gains being made by those in the lower wealth percentiles, especially since the pandemic. Curious to learn more about this stealth trend and how it might signal a shift in economic dynamics?

The rich are getting richer. That’s a fact. But that doesn’t mean people on the lower end of the wealth spectrum are being completely left behind. In fact, the pandemic gains to lower income and net worth Americans are some of the highest on record.

~Ben Carlson, A Wealth of Common Sense

In “The Bottom 50%,” Ben Carlson explores how Americans, particularly those in the lower income brackets, have seen significant financial improvements in recent years. Despite the wealth concentration among the rich, the bottom 50% experienced the highest net worth growth since 2020, alongside substantial increases in checkable deposits and wages. The article highlights data from the Wall Street Journal and insights from economists showing that tight labor markets have led to faster wage growth for lower-income workers. With a balanced tone, Carlson acknowledges the ongoing challenges but emphasizes the positive trends, offering a hopeful perspective on the evolving economic landscape.

You Don’t Own What You Think You Own

Have you ever considered that the wealth you think you own could be taken from you overnight? While it might seem like a distant nightmare, history shows that financial assets can vanish quickly due to sudden changes in economic policy or crises. As unsettling as it sounds, preparing for such a scenario is crucial. While in general the American economy is built upon strong property rights, in some cases, these rights may change, and you could find yourself in a tough position. If you’re curious about how this could happen and what steps you can take to protect yourself, this article offers a deep dive into the historical precedents and modern risks associated with sudden wealth confiscation.

In early April 1933, Roosevelt announced the next step: criminalizing holding gold bullion. Executive Order 6102 prohibited the hoarding of gold coins, gold bullion and gold certificates by individuals and corporations. It mandated that they turn in their gold for paper currency at a fixed price of $20.67 per troy ounce. Less than a year later, the US government would pass the Gold Reserve Act. This Act revalued the statutory price of gold from $20.67 per troy ounce to $35. In other words, those who had complied with the confiscation law a year earlier had been hustled.


In “You Don’t Own What You Think You Own,” the author explores historical and contemporary examples of abrupt wealth confiscation, such as the US bank holiday and gold confiscation of 1933, and the Cyprus bank bail-ins of 2013. The tone is cautionary and analytical, emphasizing the fragile nature of property rights in the face of systemic financial crises. The article highlights the increasing risk of another such event, as argued by financial voices like David Rogers Webb, and offers practical advice on safeguarding assets. Key suggestions include holding precious metals, reducing property debt, and ensuring independent sources of food, water, and energy. By understanding these lessons from history and recognizing potential future threats, readers can better prepare to protect their wealth.

Navigating the Upside and Risks of Multifamily Real Estate Investments

What does your investment portfolio look like? Do you own all stocks, or do you own real estate as well? While many people think that owning real estate means becoming a landlord, there are a multitude of ways to expand your portfolio into real estate without the hassles of direct property management. Multifamily real estate investments offer an enticing opportunity, but understanding the balance between profit potential and risk management is crucial. If you’re eager to explore the upside and navigate the risks of multifamily investments, this article provides valuable insights and practical strategies to help you succeed.

When it comes to multifamily real estate investments, who you partner with matters just as much as the deal itself if not more. Because when challenges arise, how your partners handle them can make all the difference. In every deal, we team up with an operator who oversees the day-to-day operations while we maintain close oversight. Think about it as a primary care doctor working hand-in-hand with a specialist.

~Pranay Parikh, Physician on Fire

In “Navigating the Upside and Risks of Multifamily Real Estate Investments,” Pranay Parikh delves into the intricacies of balancing profit and risk in the multifamily market. With a cautious yet optimistic tone, Parikh emphasizes the importance of managing debt, selecting fixed over variable interest rates, and maintaining a healthy loan-to-value ratio to ensure financial stability. The article also highlights the significance of partnering with experienced operators and investing in properties that generate immediate cash flow. If these last two sentences make your head spin, don’t worry—the article goes into more detail in a very approachable tone. And if you want to invest in real estate, this article shows investors how to navigate the multifamily real estate market successfully and position themselves for long-term growth.