In the first presidential debate at Hofstra University on Monday, Hillary Clinton made the charge that Donald Trump cheered for the housing and financial system meltdown so that he could buy properties ‘for cheap.’
She continued that “millions of people lost their homes, their jobs” and suffered a loss of their life savings.
I’m one of Clinton’s ‘poor people’ who Trump apparently wanted to ‘take advantage of.’ I didn’t have a personal foreclosure, but I lost a fortune. Not only did I have to short sale several homes, my retirement account plummeted, friendships were lost and business deals went south. It was, to say the least, traumatic.
Given the trauma resulting from two years of tension and lack of focus, my marriage almost collapsed as well. Sound familiar? Millions of people faced these circumstances.
Since I'm one of the people Clinton is describing, I should agree with her right? Wrong!
Instead of blaming everyone else, finding a villain in the mix (like a Trump), I blame myself. I looked at every decision I had made, every moment I allowed people to take advantage of me and every bit of disastrous financial leverage as my own fault. As a result, I learned valuable lessons that a ‘PhD at Harvard’ could never teach me.
Trump is right. As an investor, you wait for the day that assets plummet in value, under duress, from a crisis, and that is when you buy. Clinton operates on a much different philosophy. At the surface, it may appear that she's appealing to the majority of Americans who buy when prices are high and sell when prices are low, then wonder why they never amass any wealth, regardless of their income.
Clinton uses these attacks to appeal to people who don't know how to succeed and are looking for someone to blame for their own failures. She neither has the intelligence to buy low and sell high nor play the market and win. She simply enriches herself through illicit use of her government office(s) and ill-gained insider knowledge. In other words, she actually does what she wants you to believe Trump does.
She cheats the market. He finds opportunity in the market.
We are becoming a country that celebrates failure-mentality. We find fault in the people and methods of success and we elevate irresponsibility, crookedness and stupidity as acceptable.
Because of my humbling moments nearly a decade ago, I was able to pivot from trauma to success by helping hundreds of people avoid foreclosure. I was paid handsomely for my newfound expertise in handling distress. I quickly returned to the market and began investing again. I stopped allowing people to take advantage of me and I became a much tougher fighter in my business and overall in life.
I've written dozens of articles and hosted hours of radio shows defending Trump for his smart, and aggressive business abilities. Let's face it, we lead the world in business. However, precipitously, we are losing our senses on what created such leadership.
Every failure Trump has experienced in business has been amplified a thousand times by the media. Every success has been minimized as cheating and taking advantage of people. Nearly every comment has been conflated as racist. This is a direct result of a mainstream media that doesn't understand business and is completely ignorant of what happens to people who don’t fight for their interests.
Running a business (especially in real estate) teaches you that allowing a problem to continue unfettered will result in devastation. You learn to push back at people and situations the moment they appear. You learn to quickly silence ‘know-nothings’ who attempt to destroy your goodwill out of their own ignorant desperation.
The most successful business people find it more challenging to compete with ignorant people than their most competent rivals. In essence, in order to persevere in time and maintain success you have to find a balance between being very abrasive and having a good heart.
Many of the people who were supposedly taken advantaged of by Trump are thankful for it. Can you imagine what would've happened to the housing market in 2009 through 2011 if investors weren’t acting as opportunists and buying the distressed-properties? Prices would have collapsed even further and many people would've been stuck in homes that would have become a lifelong financial ‘boat anchor.’
Most of the people who lost their homes in foreclosure or at deeply discounted sale prices were relieved to put that situation behind them. The ‘opportunists’ like Trump (even me) were doing them a favor both emotionally and financially. Many of the people so outraged by ‘opportunists’ are still living in homes that are underwater with horrible credit eight years later.
The others? They are recovered.
Mrs. Clinton: when you decide to take cause with people like me in order to win a debate, please get at least one minute of experience. Buying when the market needs buyers and selling when the market needs sellers is the type of experience we need managing our country’s finances. As a country, we are ‘buying high and selling low,’ and it must stop now.
Most people who lost their homes paid too much, borrowed too much, use their home as a piggy bank and expected market appreciation to correct their financial stupidity. Of course, if more voters would learn from their own mistakes, reject the government as a solution to their problems, they would vote for successful people (instead of being angry at them).
Please spare me the ‘better than thou’ attitude. On the next market crash, I’m going to buy all I can. Human behavior ensures there will be another big opportunity around the corner. I’m patiently waiting.
If you find this statement ‘deplorable,’ then so be it. But I warn you, it will be difficult to continue enjoying your life as people like Clinton lead you to financial and cultural slaughter.