Bubble Blogging = Masturbation

Well, I may go down in flames for this one, but here we go.

It’s easy to tell people when things are going to explode, or at least when you think it’s going to explode. It’s the instant way to sales…prey on people’s fear. Exploit their anxiety and uncertainty. Appeal to the mediocre and enhance the safety of inaction. Help them feel superior when there’s nothing to feel superior about.

This is the world of bubble blogging, and it’s Canadian King is probably Garth Turner.

Maybe we’d better call him the Chief Wank.

His posts are a daily exercise in propaganda and self-promotion, aimed only at terrifying people, giving contradictory advice and selling his books. I suspect he became an MP just for the pension, avoiding a retirement of squirrel BBQ. He is a skilled blogger and finds some truly entertaining pictures for his posts, however there’s one big point about why his blog is 100% crap. It’s all about him. There’s not actual desire to help people. There’s nothing about how to move forwards. It’s all about fear, self promotion and selling his books.

That’s essentially how it is with masturbation. It’s the definition of selfish, which is the opposite of loving, of relationship building, of growing.

Which is why when I read a truly rediculous post from VREAA which took the time to transcribe one of Don Cambell’s spots on BNN, I was inspired to write this post.

Just how bored do you have to be to sit and transcribe a BNN interview? Really?

And is Don such a threat to you, Vancouver and investors across the country that you need to try and dismantle his points?

It’s easy to make a list of ’15 fallacies and misconceptions’ with no support, and no concrete advice.

Here’s the point for the bubble bloggers out there, those who write just for the ego boost of an inbox full of comments or seeing a traffic spike.

Guys like Don and I don’t care if prices go up or down, or sideways. What we’re looking for is how can we use it to make money, and improve our families quality of life, plan for our own retirement or help others. You can make money with real estate in any economy, and many of us have done it in the past and will continue to do it in the future. My family has been managing buildings for Don and investors like him since the early 1980’s.

If there’s a bubble blogger out there who would like to see how it works, give me a call. If you’re just wanking to the tune of ‘the sky is falling’, just stay home.

Ed Note for the Turner-ites: Comments are going back on moderation, but only to take out the profanity. Everything rides as it comes.

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  • I am coming straight from Garth’s blog and I agree with some of what yyou have to say..

  • What an Idiot

    “My family has been managing buildings for Don and investors like him since the early 1980?s.”

    So I am assuming that you guys manage a series of properties? Are you actually looking at buying any properties right now…I would hope not. Properties always need managing but I think you shouldn’t confuse your readers with making money in property management versus making money in real estate investing.

    Regardless of what Garth Turners opinions are, you clearly are to arrogant to see the writing on the wall. I don’t even need to start listing off the evidence that supports a real market correction in Canada – it appears that many of your readers already know its coming.

    I hope that you take your head out of your ass and diversify. I will gladly take you up on your comment, “Feel free to return to this comment in 5 years and show me your investments which have outperformed mine.” Owning several businesses (including real estate businesses I might add) I don’t think you would stand a chance.

  • Get ready for a ride. Downhill. 1) if you purchased your home within the last ten years and financed with little downpayment, and took loans against the rising equity, brace yourself 2) seniors relying on their homes as a nest egg and who plan to sell in the next five years may have less money than they anticipated. 3) not exactly a seller’s market .
    Read more here: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/canadas-housing-bubble

  • What you amateur real estate investors are clueless to is that when the market price to income ratios in most major cities are far above record levels, then you can never make a cent off real estate unless you have over 50% down and only then will the rent cover the payments. Which leaves anywhere in Shithole Saskatchewan as a prime place to invest in your hard earned bucks. Any major city is negative equity to rent out with 20% down. This is where all you so called “investors” will have your ass handed to you like generations before you who think the party never ends.

    You may want to study up on demographics and the boomer retirement effect that is now underway, cause you clearly can’t see the train wreck coming up your rear. This was never a part of previous corrections and is a time bomb for even you investor millionaire types.

    • Brett, relax your giving away to much vital information. People have to learn from their mistakes. No mistakes no vultures, predatory practices are used in every aspect of any business, at every level. People will always need a place to live. From your tone it seems as if you wanted to be an investor but couldn’t do it. It’s never to late.

  • ” If however you present a completely rational argument that he disagrees with, no matter how well it is backed up with stats and references, it does not get posted.”

    Please Sara, could you please give a rational argumentation of the current state of the market and where it is heading is the near future, backed with stats and references? I’m definitely in need of a balanced opinion and I would love to hear it from you and/or Chris.


  • Chris,
    Although I agree with you that Garth’s site can become extreme, I totally disagree with most what you have to say about him as a person or the overriding message he conveys on his site. I enjoy reading his posts as they add a different perspective on the current state of affairs with regards to Real Estate. I, for one, have never gone to his site and become “terrified” by all of his “propaganda.” I have never felt compelled to give the man a cent, and I doubt I ever will. Apparently he has been moderating Sara’s comments. That surprises me as I have seen people post some pretty harsh criticisms on his site. I mostly avoid the comment section on his site now, so maybe things have changed. Anyway, just my 2 cents. My advice to you would be to try to not let the “bubble” bloggers get to you. The tone of your post clearly suggests that some of them are getting under your skin. Somehow you managed to sound like an upset realtor and a youth pastor simultaneously. To be honest, it was more than a little bit awkward and a total stretch. I look forward to further input from you on Sara and Sheldon’s blog in the future.

    ps. We have a few things in common: our age, our love of music, and our bias towards success. Good luck with all of your endeavours man.

  • “If however you present a completely rational argument that he disagrees with, no matter how well it is backed up with stats and references, it does not get posted.”

    Garth has a huge ego which thrives on flattery and adulation from his servile followers. Too much truth may not keep his ego inflated. He’s basically an insecure guy and that’s why he requires continual “stroking.”

    Garth is a “master” at something else and that’s manipulation. You’ve got to remember that Turner spent a number of years in politics where controlling the message is paramount.

    I think it’s a shame that his style is so sensationalistic and confrontational(there’s politics again). I’ve always maintained he has an important message, but encouraging people to move to the country and start raising chickens dilutes his credibility. He suggested two years ago that we’d have a run on a major bank. This scaremongering may appeal to the impressionable, but the mentally well-adjusted people will see it for what it is.

    With the comments posted on here today, you can see the intelligence level of his devotees.

    Re: my use of the words “master” and “stroking.” No double-meanings intended. 🙂

    • This is like the pot calling the kettle black, Bob. I’m surprised you can’t tell the difference of what is a joke and what is not. Or maybe not. Easy to tell from your post who’s feeling the heat.

      How can telling someone that they shouldn’t put all their eggs in one basket (like RE, precious metals, or any other asset class) scaremongering? Please, do tell. It seems like sound advice to me.

      You offer no alternatives or insight, just name calling. I guess maturity isn’t your strong suit.

  • "The world is not the way they tell you is it"

    I am curious why the statistics by the Canadian Bankers Association – https://www.cba.ca/contents/files/statistics/stat_mortgage_db050_en.pdf
    shows that approximately 7% on the new mortgages in Alberta in the last few years are in arrears of 3 months or longer.

    Is this related to the big loss by the CMHC ( over 1.1B or 4 times larger than estimated)

    • Duh, I believe that data link you gave shows Alberta mortages more than 3 months in arrears are under 1%…

      Arrears have been remarkable low in all of Canada, under half of one percent on average in Canada

      • "The world is not the way they tell you is it"

        Shawn, I said “from the new mortgages” – the ones from the mortgage orgy with 35 and 40 years and ZERO down available in the last few years only.

        Let’s go over the numbers there:
        Alberta’s mortgages are on page 13 and 14:
        From page 14 – right side:

        # Mortgages as of Jan.2007 – 451,145 with number of arrears – 783

        # Mortgages as of Aug.2010 – 502,223 with number of arrears – 3928

        Now some of these have been discharged, some have been ported but the increase is due to the NEW ones.

        Or we have 51078 new mortgages with 3145 of them been in arrears – and my calculator tells me this is 6.157%

        • WealthyRenter

          Regardless, the overall mortgage arrears rate for Alberta is 0.78%, which is by far the highest in the nation and an all-time record for the Province, and continues to rise rapidly.

          While the Canadian average is 0.42%, this is clearly not “remarkably low,” Shawn. One could argue they were remarkably low in the Summer of 2006, when the national average was 0.24%, almost half of current levels.

          Anyway, the record-setting and rapidly rising Alberta rate of 0.78%, however, certainly conflicts with Don Campbell’s assertion that Edmonton is one of the cities positioned to produce strong real estate price appreciation. Here’s a question for you REALTOR guys and gals…is intentionally induced cognitive dissonance a form of intellectual masturbation?

  • You know what bugs me about his site… not that he only tells one side of the story (that’s his mission and it’s obvious). What really bugs me is the way he moderates comments. You can be as nasty as you want on his site as long as you agree with him. If however you present a completely rational argument that he disagrees with, no matter how well it is backed up with stats and references, it does not get posted. That makes his blog all the more misleading (and quite frankly scary); if you don’t try to comment on his blog you don’t know that the comments are moderated, which leads the average reader to assume that everyone agrees with him when in reality anyone who disagrees is muzzled.

    Now, I’m not trying to say we do a perfect job with moderating comments over at our blog, but at least we let the comments stand whether they agree with our point of view or not (as do you Chris). We have a clear policy on what is allowed and what isn’t (in terms of swearing, name calling etc.), but you are free to post whatever opinion you may have. For the most part only those with the extreme points of view make comments, while the more moderate opinions are kept to themselves, but all in all you end up with a much more balanced perspective instead of a completely lopsided one.

    • WealthyRenter

      I consider Garth’s (and anyone’s) blog moderation irrelevant.

      The reality is that websites like yours present an intellectually disingenuous perspective on real estate, in which buying a principal residence is considered an “investment,” when in reality it is obviously a consumer durable and nothing more. When your starting point is a financially illiterate point of view, I consider it immaterial what follow-up comments you should happen to censor. That said, I give you credit for toning down the garbage as of late, at least from what I have witnessed.

      From an aggregate perspective, I am glad there are blogs like Garth’s out there counter yours, regardless of how he chooses to moderate his comments section.

      And for the record, I have personally posted comments which contain absolutely no name-calling or profanity on your blog, and they have been censored and my IP addy blocked, while I just had a debate with a real estate bull last week on Garth’s blog and the bull’s name-calling and insults were let through just fine by Garth.

    • A

      Thanks Sara, I agree with you about the interesting variety of issues on Garth’s and many other people’s blogs. I’ve left the comments for this thread completely open, including the one or two which are just plain offensive, but I think it’s needed for the dialogue. It has made for some interesting reading though….

    • Sara,

      It doesn’t appear you read much of his blog. Those items that he doesn’t post aligns exactly with the criteria your specifying. There are quite a few posts that oppose his viewpoint in the posts. What are you actually reading?

      It’s the real nutjobs that are filtered out. And yes, there are a lot of whackos, but it’s the real offensive ones that moderated; if you followed more regularly, you would realise that.

      Also, the people that comment on his blog doesn’t minimize the information being presented. He has connections in gov’t (ie. Carney), and you have a circle-jerk of small time Edmonton Real Estate agents calling people masterbators. Who’s the whacko, really?

      Please do a bit more research before making these unbiased claims. Why don’t you experiment and post an opposing viewpoint yourself and see what happens?

      That would be the adult thing to do.

      • A

        Karen, I’m 99% sure Sara’s speaking from personal experience having her own comments removed.

    • Well done Sara.

  • Housing prices since 1890!
    The large dip = The Great Depression.
    We are currently sitting on the top of the spike!



    If your only investment is RE. Hang on to your hats – your in for a wild ride … prices are about to spiral down …

    Average price historically adjusted for inflation sits between $125K-$150K. Standard of living will not double for 70 years, returns on NA stock markets will be tepid for a decade, interest rates guaranteed to go higher and energy prices rising every day. On top of all this sobering news is the fact our incomes are not increasing (for the middle class). All of this spells “Buyers Market”.

    A housing bust looms heavy on the horizon.

    If your in denial you had better strap on a very tight fitting adult diaper because you are going to be in for one very big surprise!

  • Bubbleheads suck(literally)

    Garth doesn’t have to wank. He’s got a few dozen drooling and slobbering bum-kissers willing to do it for him.

  • Jeff Smith

    Chris, dude, all you have to do is look south of the border. Enough said.

  • It’s easy to tell people when things are going to explode, or at least when you think it’s going to explode. – Checked! Garth is predicting the explosion since 3 years ago, and the housing market kept going up. He blamed the government for his inaccurate predictions. Hard to understand this from someone who worked for the gov in such high positions.

    It’s the instant way to sales…prey on people’s fear. Exploit their anxiety and uncertainty. Appeal to the mediocre and enhance the safety of inaction. – Checked! Those people are never bringing into discussion that the housing market was up ~25% since Garth started his predictions. If one looks over his prediction so far, would see that he missed most of them:
    – not to say that he deleted some of his own posts with “too accurate” predictions 🙂

    Help them feel superior when there’s nothing to feel superior about. – Missed! Actually I don’t think it makes any sense.

    His posts are a daily exercise in propaganda and self-promotion, aimed only at terrifying people, giving contradictory advice and selling his books – Checked big time! If one is commenting about two weeks old posts with contradictory advices, he’s deleting the comments. He’s doing a pretty good work (filtering) in keeping his image ‘cool’. I’m not sure about his books though, I think he’s more like into making money out of his shows, which are entertaining.

    I suspect he became an MP just for the pension, avoiding a retirement of squirrel BBQ. Missed. If it was to be for the pension, he wasn’t going for the second round. The ‘squirrel BBQ’ is kind of funny, as it’s from his own repertoire.

  • Thanks Chris for confirming a coming real estate slowdown/correction. During a period in which real estate was expected to go up, there wouldn’t even be a single mention of Turner on your blog.

  • Jiminy Cricket

    “This is the world of bubble blogging, and it’s Canadian King is probably Garth Turner.” An it’s/its mistake – that’s pretty poor performance, sir. At least Mr. Turner is able to use the English language without looking like he stopped going to school in grade 11.

  • Josh Hanna

    prey on people’s fear? How about Real Estate agents and always saying “now’s the time to buy, you might be priced out next year”

  • Garth suggests a balanced portfolio. He does not recommend placing all your faith and retirement in a home.
    Does he criticize marketing practices that suck naive people into buying a home with nothing down and 35 mortgages? Who would support that concept?
    Does he criticize people that use their increased home values to pay off credit card or other debt? Who would support that concept?
    Does he criticize people who use their collateral mortgage to buy fancy new cars? Of course who would endorse that?
    People that are sensitive to Garth’s criticism of the marketing practices that hook people’s envy into debt are the only ones that have a problem with Garth. They have been taking advantage of these people and now feel threatened and caught in their manipulative, dishonest practice and do not wish to admit it. They like suckers…
    Now Chris, I hope you are not one of those people.
    Take a look in the mirror and tell yourself the truth.
    Let your conscious direct you. Not your greed or fear.

  • PatioChef

    The comments on here are indicative of the mentality of those who inhabit Garth’s blog. It’s a ghetto of psychologically damaged bitter people(assistant wankers).

    Garth himself has a history of making bad calls. Google Garth Turner and Nortel.

    • Josh Hanna

      Every financial advisor jumped on the Nortel bandwagen, find an advisor you is right 100% of the time, and keep bbq’ing

  • Chirs, so you believe you are good and have the balls.
    Why dont you tell us the truth of what the future in RE holds for us?
    Oh let me guess, it will go up!
    if you are so sure…give us your PERSONAL GUARANTEE that if a house is bought and the buyer loses on it, you will compensate him/her
    on the other hand, the buyer will PROMISE to give you 50% of CAPITAL GAINS….win win!

    let’s see if you have the balls!
    talk is cheap!

    at least it got some views on your blog!!

    • What an idiotic question, no one knows what the future will be, and Garth has proven that time after time. Is Chris, telling you as an investor to purchase any property with no positive cash flow? in areas where your sure to fail. if your not in it for the long term, listen to your financial consultant, or is that not a gamble?

  • “I’ll be turning 30 shortly, so it sounds like we’re not that far apart.”

    Guess he doesn’t remember the 80’s RE collapse. Hey kid, Garth has forgotten more than you’ll ever know my little buddy.

  • While I agree that real estate will drop, and I have positioned myself as such, I can’t help but agree with you Chris. I followed Garth’s blog for some time, and he is a bit of a long wind, over and over. I agree his continual pump of the negative, while basically correct, is self serving to push his books, (and I bought one). He keeps his analogies simple to appeal to the minds of his followers. Give the people what they want to hear.
    At the end of the day – no one, absolutely no one, knows what is going to happen.

    That said Chris, with all due respect, I don’t know your material from a hole in wall, so please don’t presume I support you work either.

  • Mark in Perth

    Chris, I’ll keep this clean.

    You are at a disadvantage only due to your age. You have not been around long enough to see any significant crashes before. I, on the other, hand can remember 1974, 1980, 1987, 2000, etc. As an adult, you’ve probably only been vaguely aware of the dot.gone era.

    There are plenty of people out there with a lot more market experience, and you might learn something from them. Failing that, you’ll learn it yourself first hand. The hard way.

    There are certainly a lot of idiots in the blogosphere, but Garth Turner isn’t one of them, although I pick up that you disagree with something about what he says. Your attacks lack originality, going at the man (latin, ‘ad hominem’) instead of the message.

    Have you got a Plan B for when things slow down in RE?

  • I would not be surprised to find out that you are dumping all of you real estate to the suckers that read your blog. When the market tanks, again I would not be surprised to see you pick off the sucker at half the cost.

  • If Turner’s is message is starting to spill onto real estate pages he must be doing his job. I don’t agree with all that he preaches, however, he does know real estate.

  • Chris I am a taxpayer who wishes not to have to back CMHC. I believe CMHC should be dismantled because it has been abused. Insurance for home buyers without adequate downpayments need to disappear.
    Alternatively, since I do not believe RE to be the best longterm investment out there and am a stock market investor, what I would like if CMHC is to continue to exist, is for a new organization to commence, let;s call it CSMIC (Canadian stock market insurance corp). We will let people buy stock in major canadian corporations for 5% down , Federal government provides backstop(taxpayer that is) . What are your thoughts ?
    Yahoo Yippie ! TSX 1,000,000 + !!

  • “those who write just for the ego boost of an inbox full of comments or seeing a traffic spike.”

    Wow, hypocrite much?

  • HawkMoon

    … “turning 30 shortly”?

    You’re right! Most bloggers are busy with their member in one hand… & a keyboard in the other. Everyone has a hobby.

    You’re no exception.

    Here’s an alternate activity for you when you can manage to let go:

    1.) Zip up your pants
    2.) Wash your hands
    3.) Buy a calculator (quite a selection at the dollar store)
    4.) Check out Stats Canada for average income info
    5.) Calculate the debt the average Canadian income can carry
    6.) Research what the actual average debt in Canada is

    Pretty simple exercise.

    Put you naivety, prejudices & opinions aside for a minute.

    What should be clear?

    Most people are living far beyond their means.

    We Canadians love to joke about how ignorant our American neighbors are. Really, we have no farther to look then our own backyards, (ie: Edmonton), to find ignorance.

    Most countries & economy around the world has been devastated, (certainly in the first world). The catalyst? NOT real estate per se! But, real estate DEBT!

    You really think our puny, anemic, service based, welfare state economy is immune to this?

    Since you have “…several generations to draw on “ …you should consider their attitude on debt. Those “generations” had no comprehension of the shear magnitude of outstanding debt out there.

    Did your grandfather have a credit card?

    Perhaps you have found the magic formula of real estate investing. We all wish we had your brains.

    However, this isn’t about you.

    This is about the aggregate attitude of our population toward debt, (real estate).

    As Garth says, “… this will not end well.”

    I only visit his site for the squirrel recipes – and pictures.

  • bwahahahahaha

    If you are “biased towards success” then you would probably want to invest in an education. You are making the gross mistake of linking your hate of Garth Turner to the darkness of the Truth that you cannot bear to face. You and your ilk (estate agents) are finished – you are going to have to find a job where you can add some real value, because the housing dream that has kept leeches like you alive has ended – you just haven’t figured it out yet.

  • Chris
    Seems like you do not have any integrity and your full time jobs are just to kiss Don’s ass. Instead of appreciating someones good for charity, you are asking does he donate royalty from his books too, unbeleiveable dude !! please be rue to yourself and at least one day please be able to face yourself in mirror …. Ohh, I forgot you guys do not have any righteousness

    • So Mal, Garth is not pumping his own agenda? What does he do for a living?

  • LOL this guy is just a kid and he’s calling Garth a wanker.

  • Like I thought, you weren’t even born in 1980. Son, you will be learning an important lesson soon, I’ll come back in 5 years and you won’t be here.

    By the way, Garth’s valuable free tax advice just made me $20,000 tax free on my investments in the past month and thats just a start. If thats’t what you call a wanker, you best look in the mirror. Real estate is dead for a very long time.

    • By the way, Garth’s valuable free tax advice just made me $20,000 tax free on my investments in the past month and thats just a start. If thats’t what you call a wanker, you best look in the mirror. Real estate is dead for a very long time.

      Brett, some people are made not to be real estate investors, clearly you are one of those people. Stay away from it and just listen to Garth.

  • Karl Hungus

    Wow Chris, great job, you really struck a chord with the Garth cult following.

    All you Garth lovers need to take a look at how he analysis data. Like Tony La said, he has a conclusion, then he finds data to support it. Do you see the problem with this narrow-mindedness?

    Its not a very unbiased opinion to constantly pound on Vancouver RE when its one of, if not the number 1, unaffordable market in the world. https://www.fcpp.org/files/1/gdhi-final.pdf

    Believe it or not, real estate is local.

    Whether you want to rent or buy, people should be able to have a logical, reasonable discussion about it. Heres a handy tool to see if its a good idea to rent or buy. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/business/buy-rent-calculator.html?_r=2&ref=patrick.net

    Why cant it just be that some people like to rent and invest their savings in ETFs, REITs (which is real estate BTW), mutual funds, stocks or whatever you want, while someone else wants to invest in real estate? Whats the point of getting so uptight about it?

    • Karl,

      I think you’re missing the point here. The issue is that many RE agents are pushing Real Estate as salvation. Garth says it should play a part but not dominate a person’s assets. How can you argue with that?
      your link is to an report over a year old.

      I have used that Buy-Rent calculator many times, and guess what? compared to RE in Calgary, it Always comes out with ‘rent’ over the last 4 years. I would expect an ‘advisor’ on Real Estate would do this same thing and see that RE is very over-priced in Canada and due for a correction. However, that would impact their income.
      Try reading this that hotbed of bubbling froth and anti-RE fanaticism, G&M:


      Highest. Ratio. Ever.

      That’s Garth’s point. You can’t trust RE agents to work in your best interests. And keep your RE exposure to no more than your 72 – your age. And diversify. How is that bad advice?

      Keep in mind, Chris is the one who called Garth’s work masterbatory material. A young pup with significant bias, vs. a tired old hand who’s lived through two Canadian housing bubbles.

    • Very well stated, Karl

  • Paul Beckwith

    Hey Chris, Everyone has something to sell and you could be the next Tom Vu of success. You happen to have a whole lot more to lose from income perspective if real estate dips like almost every other G7 country. I don’t know how you can’t see your bias when your income is so tied to this one asset and Garth is independently wealthy with squirrel pemmiccan donating his pension from publice service to charity. I think you should do some due dil here. Real estate in long run over a 30 year period will do well but in the short term, there are warning signs that are difficult to refute and it is certainly not always a good time to buy real estate. I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember 1989 but if you had invested at that point, you were underwater in Toronto for many, many years and lost other opportunities because of a mad love of one asset class. I believe that Garth is trying to warn folks about being balanced as so many people are far too dependent on real estate and not invested into many other investment portfolio balancing assets. Your comments are sensationalist but not sure if they really drive a point home. I’d say Round 1 goes to Garth unless you come up with a little more substance.

    Best wishes for your future success and learnings from putting this out there,

    • Hi Paul, I do remember 1989, I was much younger and naive. I had a little money saved, a real estate investor friend of the family guided me. At the market bottom I purchased some viable properties. To make a long story short, the holding are in the millions, I never sell anything and they are 90% payed for. If it wasn’t for the elderly friend of the family, some nerve and luck, I would still be waiting to strike it rich. If in 2008 you had listened to Garth and sold your home, you would be much worst off now.

    • A

      Thanks Paul. I didn’t know that Garth donates his pension. Is he donating the revenue from the books as well?

      As I mentioned in another comment, my fundamental problem, and the basis for the admittedly sensationalist title, is there’s a severe lack of clear, useful advice on bubble blogs. There’s lots of stupid real estate investing that goes on, and I don’t think it’s a great time to buy in Vancouver in particular, and many parts of Toronto. Short term real estate investing is usually an oxymoron. It’s speculating.

      The difference I see from guys like Don is a commitment to equipping people to do their own research, and make positive, active decisions.

      • Paul Beckwith

        Thanks for your response, Chris.

        While I do believe that there are plenty of real estate markets to make money on, there are also many diversified assets to invest in which are more sure fire bets than even real estate. Thus, I am not understanding an attack on Garth as someone actually supporting a diversified portfolio and giving warnings where things are too out of whack including the warning of too much money in gold/silver. Fact that you are “all in” in real estate is one of the people he is trying to help so you don’t completely crash and burn. These are warnings and they are actually fairly good rules of thumb. Again, one asset class is not a wealth strategy.

        Good luck and stay diversified. Oh, and throw away the real estate pom poms for now. Real estate has created more millionaires and more bankruptcies than anything else on the planet so it cuts both ways.

  • Boombust

    Give it up, Chris. The RE boom is kaput.

  • You got some balls (nerve) davies, you pump RE a 100 times more then Turner pumps books. The pot calling the kettle black, get over yourself.

    • A

      This is a personal blog, with no point but to share my experiences around real estate (and occasionally some music). I’d expect it’s pretty RE focused. The point of Garth’s site seems to be selling his book, rather than helping people develop a strategy to improve their situation. We’re agreed on the basics, save, use debt appropriately. Garth’s useful advice stops there.

      • https://www.greaterfool.ca/2010/11/07/how-to-invest

        Maybe you should read more than just a couple of lines out of one blog. He is actually quite specific about where people should have their money.

        Not all of us read his blog and are hardcore disciples, but use his advice as another source of information and general sentiment to what is going on out there in the real world. Ole Garth baby has some good points and some reasonable thoughts. His blog is laced with sarcasm and humour and if you take it literally you will come to the wrong conclusion.

        Maybe your dad and grandfather haven’t taught you that lesson yet, to look past the tree line to see into the forest. I would rather take under advisement the opinion of someone who has been in the trenches on their own ( like Garth and I assume your Grandfather), than someone such as yourself that was born into it, given their opinions, and has never themselves lived through a down market. It isn’t pretty and it does, can, and will happen. Your lack of personal fact finding on Garth has proven the point to me that you are still learning how to operate a razor and still looking to someone else to validate yourself, ie refernces to Don and your family.

        Do your own research, stand on your own feet, and the last time I picked up a Don Campbell book it seems to me I had to pay for that one too.

        • A

          Garth’s advice has been contradictory at best, and describing it as ‘helpful’ is a stretch.

          And Don donates all his royalties to charity.

  • Painful Lessons

    Chris, I’m not sure how old you are but I’m betting that you are not old enough to remember the 80’s and the absolute pasting that real estate took during that time here in Edmonton. I was pretty young at that time but I still remember how one of our neighbors who was quite well off thanks to real estate investing got financially wiped out when the market tanked. It’s easy to make money on the way up and it is just as easy or easier to lose everything on the way down. It seems to me it’s only the younger generation that feels bullet proof when it comes to real estate. All they have known are markets going up with the occasional mild pullback. They have not witnessed a market meltdown. How could it meltdown you ask? Many ways from skyrocketing interest rates brought on by soaring government debt to CMHC having to pull the plug or bring in tougher qualifications as government insured mortgages come close to the maximum allowed level. Will they raise that level above 600 Billion? I’m not so sure about that. I could go into the hundreds of reasons of why the economies here in Canada are much sicker than they appear and that we could be in for some really slow or downright poor years ahead but that would take too long.

    Either way, Garth most likely has a ton of more experience than you and a ton of more wisdom and if I was a betting man I would go with the obvious and put my bets on him.

    • A

      I’ll be turning 30 shortly, so it sounds like we’re not that far apart. But like I said above, I have several generations to draw on and I’ve spent a lot of time with smarter and more experienced investors than myself. It’s one of the advantages of having worked in property management, you meet smart investors and also see all the mistakes.

  • Laughing@CanadianRE

    I watched that interview live with Don Cambell. It was a joke. He back peddled all the way through it. The only impression I was left of him was ‘another clown tied deeply into real estate and trying to keep the bubble party going’.

    The RE gig is up in Canada. Canadian are borrowed to the max, HELOC’s maxed, high unemployment, avg home price in Canada 2X that in the US, record gov’t deficit… the list goes on.

    • Total agreement. However for true real estate investors, not someone who is renting his basement, the time to be an educated vulture may be growing nearer.

      • A

        And I agree with you on that one. I suspect I think it’s nearer than you do though.

        • Interesting. Garth does provide suggestions for alternative investments, such as preferreds (shorter term) and energy (longer term).
          Just ‘saying’ that this should be compared 5 years from now means nothing. If you’re up for the challenge, how about putting up a 50/50 ‘basket’ with ETFs for high dividend + energy in Canada, vs. the current avg house value in Edmonton (in = $ amount), and track and update regularly on your site. Of course, dividends need to be reinvested as well.

          That would ‘still’ ignore maintenance costs, property tax, condo fees (where present), and numerous other fees that property entails, but it would still be worthwhile.

    • A

      Same deal as with Brett’s comment. Come back in 5 years and show me your investments which have outperformed mine.

      My problem isn’t with the critique of real estate per se, but more of bloggers who just rant without giving any concrete, consistent advice.

  • Garth is the canary in the coalmine, and if you can’t see the light then God help you. Saw plenty of you shmucks back in the early 80’s and 90’s scraping up the penny collections to pay the gas bills. It was sad to watch families disinegrate all over four walls and a roof like it was some never ending golden egg laying goose.

    BTW, real estate investing only works when you got in at the bottom of a cycle so quit BS’ing people, if you think this market is going up then you need a therapist or are a scam artist. Whose going to buy when most have already bought ? Duh.

    • A

      Feel free to return to this comment in 5 years and show me your investments which have outperformed mine.

      The average family moves ~5 years, which means there’s always a base level of buying and selling, the same as there’s always a base amount of frictional unemployment.

    • Nicely said, davies is pumping his chest after buying into a market that has been going up for almost a decade, a true investor will stay solvent in a big dump as we have seen in the states, I don’t believe that this guy has the know how to keep alive in that environment as he is way overleveraged from what I gather by his smugness.

      • A

        Rico, my family has been involved in Alberta real estate for three generations, including a building we’ve owned since 1973. I’ve spent quite a bit of time sitting around chatting with seniors about just what they experienced and learned. If you have some better suggestions on how one should learn from true investors, feel free to share them.

  • EnglishInCanada

    I don’t know about Garth being the Chief Wank personally I think Chris Davies is the ultimate wank!

    • don’t know about Garth being the Chief Wank personally I think Chris Davies is the ultimate wank!

      You must be the one that always bends over when Garth calls.

    • A

      You get your opinion.

  • I’d rather listen to Garth Turner anytime compared to Chris Davies.
    Anyone making money of selling real estate can not be trusted.
    You need to do your own independent research.

    • Anyone making money of selling real estate can not be trusted.

      Hey charlie, that is a very broad statement. I’m not an agent but this much I know. You can’t paint everyone with the same brush. I guess you would not trust your mother, sister or brother if they sold real estate.

    • A

      Hi Charlie, I do my own research, as well as paying for several sources. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they can’t be trusted, but you have to take it with a grain of salt. REIN doesn’t sell real estate, and I’m really not a fan of those ‘gurus’ who do.

  • Your descriptive handle for the Canadian King of Bubble Blogging is priceless!!

    • A

      I like to think I have a way with words at times like that.

      • Chris, i think your a idiot (or an incredibly greasy salesman).

        knowing that your sales are falling, you latch onto a Blog that actually gets readers and a audience to market too. You are praying to get a writeup on Garths blog to get some ‘exposure’.

        Garth writes to sell $20 books that make people financially wiser (read his latest book before you comment)
        you sell overinflated homes for 3.5% or ~$10,000 in commissions in edm….because you try and “help people” live a better lifestyle.

        you won’t go down in flames for writing about masturbation, you will go down for being a selfish moron who causes a nice family of four to go bankrupt in 3 years, all so you can afford the lease payment on the beamer you shouldn’t afford.

        • A

          I drive a 5 year old VW, so the lease payments are pretty cheap.

          • Fire1,
            nope, i sold in Mid June 2010, wishing i sold in 2008!


            regardless, Units where i sold my investment rentail in June are now asking 5-7% less then when i sold. and thats ASKING price.
            Following Garth’s balanced portfolio advice (more heavily on the Equities side due to inflationary pressure from QE2 and my age), i took my capital gains from my sold home and turned it into a 12% gain over the past 3 months.

            Yeah…Garth is such an idiot for advocating me to make over 20K in a liquid asset with a risk free Stop-loss, when i should be down ~15K on an illiquid rental investment with a Rent to Asset ratio of 1:25, which makes no return outside of capital gains.

        • Garth writes to sell $20 books that make people financially wiser (read his latest book before you comment)

          I Guess, you listened to Garth and sold you home in 2008.
          Good move. Many people did but no one has taken him to task
          for his asinine advise. Fear works both ways.

  • I grow tired of the bubble bloggers. They are as bad as the guys that were/are pumping the pre-sale buy and flip. The people at both polar extremes are equally as bad.

    The common theme with these bubble bloggers is that they have a conclusion and seek out data to support their opinion. Instead of following the scientific process of letting the evidence determine the conclusion.

    And for all their “analysis” and “research”, they never can give a real alternative to real estate investment. Sticking it under a mattress doesn’t count…

    And it is quite comical that they think Don is some kind of used car sales man, looking to make a buck off novice investors. REIN has never tried to sell me anything other than education.

    • A

      Generally I’m in agreement with you Tony, but with one big exception. I think guys like you, me and Don do have a bias, and that’s towards success. I don’t particularly care just where it happens, just that we find the best situation and use it to our advantage. I’m sure you’ll agree.

      Thanks for the comment!

  • Karl Hungus

    Garth is a very skilled blogger – I keep going back to his site and I have no idea why.

    I think the way he analyzes data is terrible. He’ll take data from one market (usually Vancouver – nice unbiased Vancouver, one of the most unaffordable markets in the world), and after a 2% drop in price over 1 month, will annualize to say that its dropping at a rate of 24% per year. Dont try to go the other way though, and say that after a 1 month GAIN of 2% the opposite is true. You will get hammered and called a moron.

    • You guys completely miss the point – when he says things like that it is purposely sarcastic and the claim is so unbelievable as to obviously not be taken seriously.

      He is mocking the realtors who, on a daily basis, use stats just like that to justify just about anything. Reading comprehension, friends.

    • You need to pay closer attention; he’s referring to year-over-year statistics, not month-to-month, as real estate has clear seasonal trends.

    • A

      Garth does have a certain magnetism, that I attribute to a good working knowledge of psychology, probably learned by being a politician. There are also some pretty incredible deductive leaps made in the wide world of bubble blogging that don’t work well in other areas.

  • A

    Yes, but I need to do it by email address manually. Drop me a line through the contact page and I’ll remove it.