Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm officially a renter

I’ve been off line for a while as I sold my house here in southern Norway and moved into a rental.

Reports on the housing market here last week had local pundits speculating on a 20 to 30% drop in home prices in 2007. That is a big change from the cheerleading of August with projected gains of 10 to 12%.

I got out of housing at around the top I guess, which is about all one can ask. Now the big question: how to invest the proceeds. It seems that even though I have dodged the housing bullet there are still financial landmines to negotiate. I imagine that even though gold is my favorite bet, there is much risk there to be considered. There are foreign currency plays, but who knows how 2007 will unwind? The U.S. stock market is too risky now with pricing fundamentals no longer reflecting reality so no dice there.

Parking cash in a bank here in Norway is no more attractive with state taxation on ownership of money, adjustments for inflation and low interest rates it just doesn’t pencil out. I’m at a bit of a loss.
Vern

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