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Getting Started / How to report spam or inappropriate posts
« Last post by Sydney on December 14, 2020, 11:17:17 PM »
Hi everyone. Thanks for being a member of the Financial Samurai forum! Let's all work together to keep spammers out and maintain a positive community.

If you ever see a thread or a post that is flat out spam, looks suspicious in any way, or is just completely inappropriate, please click on the "Report to Moderator" link at the bottom of that specific post.

We'll look into it promptly and remove it if necessary.


Hello Everyone

Some updates : 

FG : Like most of you I too am wandering in the wilderness on FG. Not a lot of response from RS. Ian from the Law Firm has been responsive but that does not put any coin in my pocket. My FG investment was / is Church's Chicken in Orlando FL.  How you could screw up a fast food place in the heart of one of the biggest tourist places on the planet ( pre Covid) is beyond me. It IS in a good location, there should be at least some return of principal. Maybe 50% or slightly more.

Duval Way:  As I mentioned prior I spoke to one lawyer who is currently suing the developer of Duval . He was not optimistic. I tried reaching another lawyer who is ALSO currently suing the developer of Duval Way.  He did not even bother to return my calls or emails.   The fact that 2 different attorneys in the Bay Area where / are suing the developer of that property proves beyond any doubt that RS was writing loans with their eyes closed. 

According to RS Duval Way was sold last month for well below asking price. Further more the are Millions $ in liens. The thief that these idiots gave our money to has pledged that he will pay up $300,000 in one years time.  Good luck with that. I have better chance of being elected Governor of CA.   IF ( unlikely) that happens I MIGHT get some pennies on my dollar. After the RS people have wet their beaks of course.

As I saw someone prior comment ; I got into this because it was supposed to be " safe" as opposed to snake oil like TESLA.

So much for that.

Make sure you tell your tax preparer about this fiasco. Get what you can against other income.

Also make sure that you tell any elected official that you know and or more importantly any law enforcement persons that you know. Regardless of jurisdiction. Its quite probably the case that only when a US Attorney or District Attorney with a guy with a gun in tow shows us up will we get any answers.
Current Events / The Great Barrinton Declaration
« Last post by lgdelvalle on December 06, 2020, 11:19:30 AM »

I just read this speech given by a Stanford MD today when I received FS's latest newsletter.

Let's hope this is the beginning of the end of all things COVID.  If so, 2021 can be a banner year.

Semper FI,
I hope all is well. I have posted a number of times in the past about our financial situation, but would be sincerely appreciate of of any feedback or guidance regarding our first home purchase.

My wife and I have two young kids and live in an extremely high cost of living area. Our combined income is about $460K, which does not include annual bonuses. There is a reasonable likelihood it will not go down at all and a decent likelihood it will go up over time as we are both relatively youngish for our career.

Additionally, we have just over 2.9Mish in savings, of which only about $600K is in retirement accounts. The bulk (80%)  is invested in equities.

We pay NY state income taxes and our annual expenses outside of real estate will be about 120Kish (aggressive estimate and likely closer to $100K) for next few years and go down to 85Kish (more like $70akish) annually outside of housing once the kids are out of daycare. However, I imagine other expenses will inevitably come up.

Any feedback would be great in terms of how much we can allocate to housing. We are thinking of spending around $2M-2.3M with just 20Kish of annual property taxes.

I just don’t want to stretch too much as $2M seems like a lot relative to just sub $500K of gross income. However, having nearly $3M in savings gives me some peace of mind. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!  🙏

An update since my last post.

I found an attorney who is currently suing the developer of the Duval Way project. He is suing him for something else. That by itself speaks volumes to the lack of due diligence shown by RS. Stated another way, they blindly invested our money with crooks.

The first lawyer sent me to another lawyer.  The second attorney told me that : 1) He was not really interested in contingency.
 2) That I needed to think long and hard about spending $5,000 to sue over a $10,000 loss. Further because I would so far down the food chain, behind mechanics liens etc, that I would get pennies. If that.

As such I am in a holding pattern.

 If anyone has any additional comments or thoughts please share.


I invested in DuVal Way and extremely frustrated with the outcome. Didn't get much from the new management when I asked what are they going to do about this disastrous scam.
Financial Advice From The Community / Reader Profiles / Everything is Negotiable
« Last post by mike_imm on December 01, 2020, 12:38:13 PM »
   Throughout my time working at a New York based Private Equity firm, the angriest my boss (one of the Managing Partners at the firm) ever got at me had nothing to do with my job performance. Instead, he was disappointed with the steep rent price I was paying for my NYC studio. I explained to him it was the cheapest option within walking distance of the office. He immediately questioned me, “Did you negotiate the price?” I shook my head no. He responded with three words that have forever changed my perception, “Everything is negotiable”, then walked away.
   I know he did not invent this quote, I had heard it before. However, I always attached “Everything is negotiable” to a used car salesman or Antique Roadshow, thinking it was just a corny sales line more than anything else. It was not until my Managing Partner, someone who I deeply respect, recited this quote to me that I took it heart, and began to really analyze why “Everything is negotiable”.

Why is “Everything is negotiable”
   The main reason “everything is negotiable” is because marketplaces are inherently inefficient. In a marketplace where a product is priced to maximize profits, a company forgoes potential profits on customers who are only willing to buy the product for a cheaper price. For example, picture the following conditions for a T-shirt company:

Cost of T-Shirt Production: $9.00
Number of Customers if T-Shirt Price is $20.00= 20 customers
Number of Customers if T-Shirt price is $10.00= 30 customers.

In this scenario, the T-shirt company company will make a larger profit listing its T-shirts for $20.00 ($220.00 profit), than $10.00 ($30.00 profit), and thus list the shirt for $20.00.

However, if the T-shirt company could price discriminate (charge different prices to different people based on their demand for the product), they would sell their T-shirts for $20.00 to the 20 customers ($11.00 profit per customer), then sell 10 shirts for $10.00 to the customers who are only willing to pay $10.00 for the shirt ($1.00 profit per customer). When price discriminating, as long as the company is making a profit (total revenue> total cost), it always makes sense to sell a t-shirt at the price.

Use Negotiation to Allow Price Discrimination:
   Two examples of price discrimination are age-based discounts (Senior Citizen or Children discounts) and time of week price cuts (gas stations will cut prices on specific week days, where only price sensitive customers will realize the discount). However, as you can likely tell, the problem with price discrimination is it's almost impossible to market. Both these examples capture some price discrimination, but do not come close to fully realizing potential discrimination. Thus, most companies will not price discriminate their products, and will find a single price that optimizes their profits.
   The moral of the story is that companies want to price discriminate, but they are unable to. However, through effective negotiation, we (the customer) are able to expose the minimum price a company will be able to sell a product at. While in reality it is likely impossible to try to negotiate “everything” (I do not think you are going to be able to negotiate the price of a bag of Cheetos at a Walmart), there are many products you can negotiate which you may not have known are possible.

A few examples:
Hotel/ AirBnB prices: If a hotel is in off-season, or simply has excess rooms, they will likely be able to give you a discount. This is especially apparent during COVID, where the hospitality industry has been struggling. At the very least, you may be able to get some added benefit or a better room for the same price.

Media Subscriptions: Subscription based media companies (Netflix, Xfinity etc.) often charge a monthly postpay. However, they would prefer their users to prepay an annual subscription, as it guarantees customer retention and increases their cash flow immediately (to reinvest into the company). Thus, media providers will often provide a significant discount if you are willing to commit to an annual prepayment. The best part: you do NOT even have to negotiate. Third party platforms like Ubund will negotiate a 30%+ discount to your media subscription for you if you commit to a 1 or 2 year prepayment.

Furniture: Furniture showroom price is often much higher than its manufactured price. It is always worth attempting to negotiate on furniture before you purchase.

Gym Memberships


Medical Bills

Tip for Negotiation: Increase Your Bargaining Power
   Before you negotiate, always do your research to figure out how you can incentivize the seller to sell to you for less. Bullet 2 above is a great example of using research to increase bargaining power. These third party negotiation platforms understand that media companies prefer being paid upfront for a longer commitment, so they leverage the preference for an added discount for their customers. You can apply a similar negotiation tactic to anything you want a discount on. If you want a discount on a long-term stay on an Airbnb, explain to the Airbnb owner the benefits of your long term commitment (increased customer retention), then tell the owner you will only stay for an additional discount. Even if you do not have a bargaining angle, use the power of time. Tell the furniture salesperson that a couch you want is slightly over budget, but you are willing to purchase it immediately if provided a reasonable discount. Even if a negotiation attempt does not work, you will see over time that “negotiating everything” will consistently save you money.

Comment below where you like to negotiate or any other negotiation tips you may have!
I am creating a new investment plan for our assets but, I have one sticking point: assessing the relative risk of syndications versus traditional investments.   

I have not been able to find any meaningful information or discussion on this topic within the interwebs.  Strangely, despite glowing reviews of the many benefits of real estate investing (namely on platforms like CrowdStreet), it seems many investors still lean heavily on stocks versus alternative investments within their overall asset portfolio, and I can't determine why.  Perhaps they don't understand the relative risk of stocks versus real estate?  Perhaps they desire liquidity?  Or maybe they can't create a diversified portfolio of syndicated deals, as one can with stock index funds that would greatly mitigate one's overall risk? 

Being able to have a reasonably accurate assessment of relative risk of various investments is key (at least for me) to confidently determine how I want my resulting overall asset allocations to look today, and in the future.  While one's choice of allocations will differ with age and financial considerations, the relative risk of any given asset should be relatively stable over time.  The exception being long versus short term volatility and recovery of stocks and inflation (ie risk over a 5-year versus 25-year timeline).

To clarify, risk for me means the likelihood and severity of irrevocable capital loss over any given 5-year period. 

Where would you place investing in a reputable, vetted, and diversified real-estate based syndication fund (both growth/value-add and income type funds) along the overall spectrum of risk?   At this point in time, I am excluding distressed market classes like retail and hospitality from the umbrella group of "real estate".

I have placed asset groups as follows from lowest to greatest risk relative to each other (at this point in time, and according to my definition of risk.  Clearly relative risk will be different for different people and/or time periods). This is better in graphic form, but I don't see how to insert that...

  • Index Bond Fund (Least risk)
  • Cash
  • Syndicated Notes & Income Funds
  • Self-Owned Real Estate (this is based on my personal experience and performance, not the general public)
  • US Stocks Index Fund
  • International Stocks Index Fund
  • Syndicated Growth Funds
  • Any Individual stock/company/project (Highest Risk)
Appreciate folks' thoughts on this one!
Stocks And Index Funds / Re: Motley Fool
« Last post by Jbinjville on November 28, 2020, 11:06:41 AM »
It seems like there is a lot of interest in MF  so i'll give anther quick update. i've only added a little position bringing my stock purchase cost up to $330,284 in the MF picks with a current value of $509,138 for an after expense PM of 51%.  MF is going to provide some new picks after year end and i've got $50K budgeted for them so I'll  update again in a few months. Good luck in your investing everybody.
Real Estate Crowdfunding / Fundrise:Direct Investment Strategy
« Last post by jimmoney on November 26, 2020, 12:34:16 PM »
Hello Folks,

Is there anyone out there investing directly into specific Fundrise eREITs as opposed to letting one of the three Fundrise plans (Supplemental, Balance, Growth) do it for you automatically?

I believe there is a post somewhere on this forum explaining what I mean by "investing directly." So, I won't spend much time explaining it, but I do want to provide some quick context. For those of you unaware, Fundrise allows investors who have an account level of at least advanced ($10,000 min account balance), to directly invest in their funds rather than adding funds and letting Fundrise decide where to allocate them. You can do so by going to and clicking on "view details" where you may see a link to make a direct investment. I say may because only a subset of all their funds will be available for this. When I questioned Fundrise about this their response was:
Pursuant to SEC regulations, our funds are limited to raising $50 million per 12-month rolling period. To comply with regulations, we may periodically suspend investing in funds that are nearing their limit.

Until recently, I let Fundrise allocate my funds. After seeing where funds were being allocated for a while, and after feeling for too long that they were putting too much into funds that were "ramping up," I pulled the plug on automatic monthly investments. Their "ramping up" funds produce little to no growth or dividends and who wants that? So, last month I made direct investments into available funds I felt would produce more growth/dividends. At that time the funds available were Income eREITs 1 & 2, Growth eREITs 1, 2, & 2019, West Coast eREIT, and eREIT XIV. I think that remains true today but haven't checked again so it could have changed. Based on my purpose for investing with Fundrise (grow my recurring passive income) I chose to invest as follows:
  • 40%: Income eREIT
  • 30%: Growth eREIT
  • 20%: Income II eREIT
  • 10%: Growth II eREIT
I have three questions for anyone interested in responding:
  • If you regularly invest with Fundrise, are you letting them allocate your funds or do you directly invest?
  • What is your rationale for doing whatever your answer to the first question is?
  • If you do invest directly or just have an opinion based on your sage wisdom :D, what do you or would you invest in and why?
Through reading Sam's blog and forum posts I know he is keen on the Heartland. I agree that is a good place to invest and would have liked to include their Heartland eREIT but unfortunately, right now they don't allow direct investment into that fund. The limitation on available funds gave me pause on taking this approach but obviously I decided it was worth it anyway and pulled the trigger.

I hope it has been worth your time reading this post and I look forward to hearing from all the savvy investors I know take part in this forum!

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving for those of you out there celebrating it!


After the 10+ months of COVID 19 impact, finally the vaccine ready for public use. It is impacting on international share market and gold price. Last few days the share market goes up and gold price also goes down. It's positive changes in international trading and investment. Economic stability goes well.
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