The Charm of "Charm City"
Never was working-class Baltimore happier with its lot in life. Yesterday, neighbors greeted each other with a smile. Co-workers exchanged stories…laughed…and slapped each other on the backs.
No one seemed to care about crime or trash…or corruption…or school teachers who can’t read…or acres of boarded-up houses. Baltimore may be a dump. But no one complained yesterday.
It was pandemonium on Sunday night. Fireworks, horns, street parties, accidents…the drunks poured out of bars and basements…eager to give each other high fives and find their cars. Old timers said they couldn’t recall so much merriment — ever. Even when WWII was over.
But this is a sports town. Football is more important to Baltimoreans than warfare. The typical resident of the Hampden or Dundalk neighborhoods would sooner lose a major war than lose the Super Bowl.
But the Ravens came through. They got so far ahead in the first half we worried that the refs would have to stop the game…out of pity for the opposing side. Instead, a cunning 49er fan must have thrown the switch and stopped the game. When the power came back on, the birds couldn’t find their mojo. But they didn’t need it. They had enough of a cushion accumulated to protect their lead. And this morning a parade will take the team from City Hall to the stadium. Woe to uninformed travelers in the downtown area: you shall not pass!
Meanwhile, over in the stock market, the Dow fell 129 points yesterday. And here is some advice, worth every penny you pay for it:
Yes, dear reader, get out of the US stock market. Stocks are near an all-time high. Barron’s tells readers to prepare to break the record this week.
Maybe. But when you are near the top you have more to lose than to gain.
Besides, we have a better idea.
“I took my money out of the stock market,” said a friend over the weekend. “I figure stocks went up…they can go down. And I’m too old for that. So, I used the money to buy two new houses down by the military base at Solomon’s Island. I paid only $160,000 for each. And they’re new. And I’m renting them for $1,900 a month to soldiers with families. You can do the math yourself, but I figure I’m netting about 10%. And I don’t think they’re going to go down from here. I think they’re going up.”
We gave our friend some advice too:
“Want to do even better? Get the biggest mortgage you can. You can get 30 year financing for…what…about 3.5%? And the real inflation rate is probably about 10%. So, you’re making about 6.5% on borrowed money…plus the rental income. Let’s see, that’s about 16.5%… With very low risk. That’s a lot better than the stock market.”
Try it. Let us know how it works out for you. Just send your ‘thank you’ notes to our email address.