- January 2011: Vol. 23 No. 1

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Blame the Caddy: Some Investors Have No Clubs Left in the Bag

by Kevin McTavish

Play it as it lies! A fundamental aspect of golf is realizing which club is appropriate for a particular “lie.” The past two decades of real estate investing can be summarized by stating different times (lies) required different approaches (clubs). As we progressed through the 1990s and up until about mid- to late 2007 — except for a post-dot-com lull — there was always a theme, an approach, that would last for a few years and keep real estate values rising. In golfing terminology, there was always another “club in the bag” available to investors.

These days, with seemingly no clubs left to choose from, do investors take responsibility and admit that they got caught up in the mania that consumed the market? Of course not! Well, since there are no clubs left in the bag, let’s blame the caddy! I mean, it has to be somebody’s fault, and it’s certainly not ours!

A look back at recent history helps explain the current situation. In the early 1990s it was r

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