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Find real estate stocks and do short selling. Well managed this can be an effective strategy.
If real estate values continue to climb you still own your property and continue to accumulate capital gains.
If real estate values begin to fall you sell short selected stocks and profit from decline, which balances loss in value of your real estate. You protect your real estate gain... and maybe even come out ahead on strategy.
An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund. That's a basket of stocks that trade under one symbol just like a stock. You can quickly buy, sell or short an ETF through an online broker in seconds. You have instant liquidly... something you don't have with real estate.
Two ETF's that you could be ready to short sell would be:
IYR - A basket of real estate stocks
IYF - A basket of financial stocks.
Lots of areas would be hard hit by a down turn in real estate including: banks, mortgage lenders, utility companies, materials suppliers and especially home builders.
The stocks of leading home builders that would suffer during a real estate bust include:
Brookfield Homes - BHS Beazer Homse - BZH Centex Corp - CTX D R Horton - DHI K B Home - KBH
Yes, short selling is a radical strategy for smaller investor, but aren't you one who needs gain protection most?
You may find a local stock broker that would give you some help, but you should understand some basics about stock market and trend following.
You can easily learn that here... http://digbig.com/4dxys
Mark Walters is an investor-entrepreneur helping other investors from his Web pages at http://www.Lease-Option-Sub2.com