Real Estate: The Ultimate Wealth Building Weapon

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Today I'd like to talk about the amazing wealth building power of real estate.

First, let me tell you a little story about a guy named Peter. If he were still around today, he could tell you all about the astounding value of savvy real estate investment.

Peter was born in Germany in 1594, and was a diamond cutter and broker. He was forced to flee home one step ahead of the occupying Spanish army.

He ended up in Holland -- then one of the world's economic superpowers. He joined the Dutch West India Company as a trader, and soon was shipped off to the new world.

Peter proved highly capable in his new position. After a successful voyage, the Dutch appointed him director of their New Netherland colony.

This was to be Peter's 15-minutes of fame. His signature moment. His one chance at glory.

And it all involved real estate.

Peter, being an experienced trader and broker, was an astute negotiator. In 1626, he had his eye on a particular piece of land.

Today we call it Manhattan.

Determined to drive a hard bargain, Peter made the local Native American chief an offer for Manhattan.

A handful of trinkets valued at 60 Dutch guilders.

Amazingly, the chief accepted. Peter made the real estate deal of the millennium.

Except for one little detail -- that chief didn't actually own Manhattan. Another tribe controlled most of the island. So from that perspective, Peter probably got the short end of the deal.

Still, the tale of Peter Minuit makes for a good story. And an instructive one -- even the best deals can fall apart if you don't examine the fine print.

Now let's talk about why real estate is a great asset.

The wealth building power of property

Real estate has always been a proven path to wealth creation. In fact, it's so effective, a decade ago many people were convinced home prices never go down. Everyone was flipping homes like mad. Many Americans figured they could get rich by selling homes to each ...

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