A thorough and accessible introduction to the complex world of real estate investments.




A detailed, step-by-step manual focuses on investing in rental properties and becoming a landlord.

Turner (The Book on Managing Rental Properties, 2016, etc.) begins his guide to accumulating wealth through real estate investment with images of relaxing and enjoying incredible success on a beach before he promptly bursts that bubble for readers: “That is not going to happen, at least not anytime soon.” But he also quickly dispels any notion that real estate investments only benefit those who already have plenty of money. Instead, the author encourages readers from the first chapters to think through long-term financial plans in terms of percentages rather than the often staggering costs of homes in expensive areas. Turner explains this idea of “relative pricing” to help anyone apply his methods to all financial situations while also being realistic: “Often certain investments are working in your town, but they are just not working at your financial level.” Along with his own detailed explanations, he includes numerous graphs, tables, and interviews with other successful investors showing different points of view. Turner addresses specific questions, like “five questions to ask before investing in a fixer-upper” and even how to deal with difficult tenants—the solution involves a metaphor featuring his 18-month-old Yorkie. Although he clearly lays out the steps to investing at any level, Turner never shies away from doses of reality. He plainly states: “Rental property investment has a tendency to take over your life.” With this straightforward, but also highly personal tone, he easily invites readers into his own experiences, making even the most technical explanation feel like it comes from a trusted friend. He also finds clever ways to frame more difficult pieces of advice, keeping a very human element prominent through all the business talking points. “Money is by far not the most important thing in life,” he writes, while also delicately encouraging readers to be vigilant of how their social connections might impact their images as businesspeople. This is the kind of friendly but specific advice he weaves into every chapter.

A thorough and accessible introduction to the complex world of real estate investments.

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9907117-9-7

Page Count: 362

Publisher: BiggerPockets

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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