What is the Best Way For Average Person To Invest $100,000 Today?

This post is from mymoneyblog.com which I subscribed to educate myself on savings and investments.

Bloomberg has an interview transcript with investor John Paulson, and it has the catchy headline Billionaire Paulson Who Shorted Subprime Calls Crypto ‘Worthless’ Bubble. He does say that, but the interview also includes some insights on many other topics like asymmetrical trades, gold, the highly-limited supply of crypto leading to high volatility, interest rates, and controlling how you spend your time.

If you are having trouble getting around the paywall, let me include this quote:

If somebody came to you and asked how they should invest $100,000, what would you tell them?

I always say the best investment for an average individual is to buy their own home. So if you take that $100,000, put 10% down, get a $900,000 mortgage, you can buy a home for a $1 million. It was just reported that home prices were up 20% in the last month. So if you bought a home for a $1 million with $100,000 down and the home was up 20%, that’s $200,000 on a $100,000 investment. The longer you wait, the more the house is going to appreciate and the greater return you’ll have on your equity investment. So I think the single best investment for anyone with that type of money would be to buy their own house or apartment.

Basically, mortgages offer cheap leverage to average people, on an asset that he things will keep going up for a while. You can take $50,000 and control a $500,000 asset. If it goes up 10%, you just made another $50,000 and doubled your initial $50,000.

Yes, we learned that leverage works both ways in the 2008 Financial Crisis, meaning that if that $500,000 drops by 10%, you just lost your $50,000 downpayment. That’s what Paulson is most well-known for – making $20 billion betting against subprime mortgages during that crisis. In fact, I recall Paulson saying something very similar back in 2014 or so, that housing prices are going to keep going up. Here is the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index chart from Calculated Risk:

With this interview, I guess he doesn’t see this trend ending soon. I’m not saying I necessarily agree with this answer, but it is an interesting one when you consider all of the possible options.

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