A book review with some insights for investors

Among the first rules you learn when you become an author are these:

  1. Don’t get upset when you get a bad review;
  2. Don’t get too excited or too full of yourself when you get a good review.

I believe I am about to sneak up to the very edge of violating rule #2.  That is because my book, What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow…, recently received a customer review on Amazon that was not only lavish and humbling, but which also identified what I had hoped my readers would discover as the key “deliverables” in this book. I want to thank the reader — unknown to me, I promise, but who signs the review as “J. Newman” — for the kind words. I also want to reinforce some important observations made in that review; and so, please permit me a few quotes from the review along with my comments:

“If you think you can get rich investing in real estate in your spare time, with no money down– you are fooling yourself.”

FG: A basic premise of all my writing, and of this book in particular, is that real estate investing is really about building wealth over the long term, and about a realistic commitment of time, effort and resources.

“If you are already a pro– this book will hone your skills and refresh your memory on what is important.

But let me be clear— this is not just a book for the experts– it is a book that will teach a beginner, advance a professional…”

FG: Another bullseye. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an expert; there is always something more that you can learn, and I wrote the book with the intention of helping both novice and experienced investors. When I teach my grad students at Columbia, I am supposed to be the expert. Still, every year, without fail, I find that I learn something from them.

“Now– this is not brain surgery— but ANY investment— (stocks, bonds, real estate etc…) to be successful, requires thoughtful analysis on the front end. This book explains how to properly analyze a real estate investment. This is what all the pros do. This is what the successful guys do. This what the guys who fail do not know how to do.”

FG: This comment speaks for itself. There are no shortcuts. Success in any endeavor requires the mastery of certain critical skills.

“But beware…..the calculations can be done by machine— but you still have to understand how to interpret the answers. And you still need to understand what information to “plug” in—, where to find it and why its important.”

FG: Yes, my company provides software that can do a spectacular job of analyzing an income-property investment. But that doesn’t exempt you from understanding what kind of source data you need or how to interpret the results of an analysis. That’s why investor education is so important. It is a central part of our mission, and always will be.

“This book explains all of that– with wit and wisdom and in a way that makes it fun and understandable.”

FG: A book filled with formulas and numbers could turn out to be truly mind-numbing – then no reader would get anything out of it and the book would be a waste of glue, paper, and space. Fun is good; we should have more of it. I tried to make this book enjoyable to read, and I’m glad you found it so.

And again – thank you J. Newman for your comments and your insights.

—Frank Gallinelli

You can read the complete review here on Amazon.

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