Diamonds are not forever but Real Estate Is … Make Wise Investing Choices!

Would you ever think to compare diamonds and real estate? At first glance, they seem like two completely different things.  However, they are both hard assets that are cost-prohibitive to acquire for the average US worker.  However, you can sell both “assets” quickly and not realize their full value in the marketplace.    Let’s first compare the similarities and then differences from an investment perspective.

Real Estate is a better long term investment than diamonds


Hard Assets:

  • Both Diamonds and Real Estate are Hard Assets similar to other commodities
  • Negatively correlated with bonds and stocks, so when stocks crash both appreciate in value

Long Term Investments

  • Suitable for investors who are not looking for fast returns on their investment
  • Risk losing money if you try to “flip” your investment too early or didn’t acquire at the right price below market value

Additional Utility

  • Provide the investor with enjoyment and value
    • Diamonds are pretty to look at and make the person or people associated with the diamond have better social value 
    • Real Estate provides rental income and in the case of short-term rentals – owners can enjoy the property and generate revenue when not in use.


As investors, we all know that not all hard assets, such as real estate or diamonds, have the same return on investment.  In fact, ROI performance varies greatly even among real estate classes:  residential property, commercial real estate, agricultural property, etc.  Financial crises prove time and again that real estate is a highly volatile asset.   Diamonds are a closed market that is stable and less risky.  However, there are still differences among the rate of returns on diamonds such as the colored diamonds are less risky.

  • Maintenance Fees
    • Diamonds don’t have a maintenance fee … you’re ROI is based on the price you paid upfront for the diamond
    • Real Estate requires maintenance and repairs and possibly property management fees.  All these factors need to be carefully considered before acquiring property and affect your return on investment.
  • Portability
    • Several millions of dollars can fit in your fist and transport in a pocket … the irony for not being the rarest stone they have the highest size to value ratio of the natural resource category.   This is how historically (since the silk road trail) wealth was transported long distances and across borders.
    • Real estate can’t be moved. Real estate is not physically portable and the value does not transfer easily either.  However, 1031 exchanges are a great way to transfer appreciation as you sell your property.

At REI Capital Resources, we prefer real estate investing to diamonds.  In fact, diamond prices are extremely volatile – shooting up 249% from 1978 to 1980 before falling 77% by early 1986 – but the value of diamonds has also long been propped up by a number of artificial sources.   Real estate can be utilized and provide rental income.  As the number of cloud and work from home startups rise, commercial real estate is increasingly valuable to investors to provide “server farms” to meet bandwidth demands.

We are not saying diamonds aren’t valuable or important – especially as emergency currency and making your future or current spouse a little happier this valentine’s day.  We’re saying don’t buy a diamond as an investment with the idea of retained value.  If you look at diamond prices since the 1970s, there has been “Too Much Price Volatility & Demand Uncertainty To Be Considered Investable” by numerous sources.  Also, the use of diamonds as a symbol of a woman to be married is only about a 100-year-old custom.  There are numerous other stones considered rarer.  Thank you, Madison Avenue for making weddings a thing to save money for and cause the intelligent investor to consider generating a new stream of revenue.

We love this quote by Milton Friedman, “The speculator is looking for hidden weak spots in the market,” and acts as “the advance agent of the investor, seeking always to bring market prices into line with investment values.”   Diamonds don’t provide an adequate hedge against inflation, and most people would be better off with more practical financial planning, than investing for catastrophe purposes.  The diamond while a modern symbol of one’s love and commitment to another is expensive and ranks low when compared to value stability.

Diamonds vs. Gold vs. S&P 500

YearGold ROI  %Diamond ROI  %S&P500 ROI  %

*Data courtesy of the Rappaport Diamond Index, Kitco, the World Gold Council and Yahoo Finance. Diamond prices reflect monthly averages based on a 1-carat diamond. Gold prices are based on average annual London PM fixed prices. S&P 500 prices reflect average monthly adjusted closing prices. ROIs are cumulative.

The chart shows when the stock market suffered historic losses, diamonds at best served as a short-term hedge and very quickly fell behind the returns of alternative investments.

Therefore, I would recommend a 3 bedroom house that generates a positive return on investment that you can set aside the money after a year to buy your sweetie her diamond.  If she loves you, she’ll wait a year knowing a diamond is coming.


Three Experts on Luxury and Amenities

Booth: Light, Space, and Rooftops

In a recent interview with Larry Booth, Lucy Chen Blatter of Mansion Global ask Booth, “What does luxury mean to you?”  He answered, “light and space, particularly in New York, where you don’t have any of it. Chicago has some of it.”

When asked about the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now, he answered, “It’s about Community.  The amenity is the community.”  “We’re finishing a building in Chicago, on Lake Shore Drive, that has an amazing rooftop.  It’s like a country club on your roof.  We didn’t do the balconies because no one uses them.”

“Spend money on the building. Spend as much as you can on architecture and on space and light.  Because it never loses its value.”

Larry Booth of Booth Hansen

Boissier: Freedom, Protection, and Wellness

For Luxury hospitality designer Dorothee Boissier of the firm Gilles & Bossier, Paris, “Luxury is linked to freedom, and feeling protected, too.  It’s also something that brings you wellness. It can be simple, but it makes you feel well.”  (Blatter, Mansion Global, June 10, 2019) Ms. Boissier also says a boat is the most incredible way to be hidden and still in the city, to travel the world, and be able to stay in great luxury.”

In her opinion, the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now is a garden.

Kotchen: WiFi, Wellness, and Comfort

For New York Architect, Andrew Kotchen, also interviewed by Lucy Chen Blatter this month, Luxury is an experience and not an aesthetic, “It’s about comfort.”

When asked what the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now, Kotchen says, “Other than good Wi-Fi, which is the biggest thing people complain about, the most valuable amenity in projects we’re doing now is a wellness component, gyms and light therapy spaces.”

Not everything we do is in the luxury category, but we can still dream and try to add some of these priceless features into our fix-n-flip or fix-n-rent projects, like space, light, wellness, a garden, and a rooftop.

Photo by theformfitness on

REI Capital Resources Long-Term Rental Program

We offer asset-based and experience-based loans for long-term rental projects, including multi-family projects with the following terms: min FICO 650, BPO required, Up to 85% of purchase price, Cashout/Refinance up to 65% LTV (BPO), Max of 80% ARV, Interest rates starting at 6.5%, and points as low as 2.25%.

Give me a call or send an e-mail.

Patrick StCin, 512-213-2271,

e-mail: le 4 Acc

Bridge that Gap

Sometimes there is a gap that needs to be crossed or bridged temporarily between money going out for a new purchase and money coming in from a home sale. The bridge loan is the funding tool that applies in this multiple house situation.


REI Capital Resources is a loan originator for select investor single-family residential projects. Our goal is to provide fast closing loans to fund your investment projects so you don’t lose a good deal.

Enjoy your day!

Patrick St.Cin


Cartoon used with permission


Did I mentioned avoiding termites when buying a house and appealing to the senses when staging your house for sale?  Yummy qualifies.   Looks like that is a tried and true professional fix-n-flip strategy.toon779-1

My I am still focused on funding your success and I have more tools to work with.

Contact me at

Used with permission.





Skin in the Game ♥

Valentines day! ♥ The perfect day to write about commitment, about putting your skin in the game, trusting a corporation, or a business, or your own dream. Falling back in love when your enthusiasm is running thin.

In the “Business Romantic” by Tim Leberecht, the book that I’ve been reading for a while, there is the story about Kay Compton and her husband, who in 2007 sold everything and charted a course that would take them out on the ocean, off the grid, for almost two years. They were both avid sailors. They decided to make the “milk run,” sailing across the Pacific Ocean, hitting all the most beautiful beaches on their way.

They alternated duties, each serving as captain of the watch while the other stayed below. “You have to have the ultimate trust in the other individual. Your life is in their hands and you have to have faith that they will keep you safe,” Compton told Leberecht. Most of the time the sailing was smooth, but they hit a storm with fifty-five-mile-an-hour winds and twenty-five-foot waves. She said that you have to make peace with your situation and realize you cannot walk away.

Compton says she remembers that time when the ocean surrounded them on her daily commute, and the memory keeps her above the fray in her job as an architect and reminds her that there can be only one leader at a time. You must understand your role and the role of others. “When someone is the Captain, you don’t argue. You don’t start an argument in the middle of the ocean.”

In our business lives, there are times when we need to put faith in the leader and not start a fight in the middle of a project. This means you have to crush down your pride and your own know-it-all self and work at the direction of the other, perhaps not to “survive,” but to make it through the crisis. Employees get this wrong when they are always standing on the edges looking for a better deal. But employers get this wrong when they forget that the crisis cannot go on for years.

To keep employees and to keep your own love of your business alive, you have to keep it real. As Matthew Stinchcomb, VP of Etsy, says, “Go for a walk instead of messing around on the internet to look busy.” This is the final value for Etsy, “Keep it real, always.”

Keeping it “real” is part of real estate.

Remember that Real Estate is solid, made of dirt and trees, bricks and mortar, or sand and stone. It has boundaries and doors and windows and homes are made there. A great business for a romantic to be in.

board center chalk chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on

Happy Valentines Day.

Pat St. Cin


Austin, Texas


Reference: Leberecht, Tim. 2015. The Business Romantic, Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself. Harper Collins.



Mystery @ Work

It is a Saturday in January and if you are working and it is like the frozen tundra outside, it might be a good day to smuggle a little piece of poetry into that annual report, feature sheet, or sales brochure. Add a bit of mystery. It’s not February yet, but you can still be a little romantic in your work and outwit the apps.

Don’t make it look like a typo though, but let it open up some space and catch the reader, making them wonder, “What? Where did that come from. I’d better read that again.”

“Net income for the full year was $201 million, and diluted net income per share was $2.63. There were 3 percent fewer average shares outstanding during 2017, reflecting the continuation of our long-standing share repurchase program. And so it goes, He lived the Truth which reconciled The strong man Reason, Faith the child: In him belief and act were one, The homilies of duty done! Last year’s net income was reduced by a non-cash estimated amount of $31 million, or the equivalent of $0.17 per share.”

Have a lovely day. Send me an e-mail if you are working today and need some gap funds or a hard money loan.


Pat St. Cin


Austin, Texas

References: John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Chapel of the Hermits.” 1852 from The Poetical Works of John GreenLeaf Whittier. 1884. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, and Company.


Old Old Rocks

Today is Old Rock Day. Did you know that? If you are a geologist you might have known. Old Rock Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate old rocks and fossils. Perhaps you can start a rock collection. You can go out on a field trip in search of old fossils (the rock kind). Or, if you choose, you can polish them or add them to the window sill where you keep your house plants. You can pick them up in a river and let them dry out, make them into a fence so you will have good neighbors, or climb them and study their striations.

According to there are a lot of fun-filled, yet ill-defined, wild and wacky holidays. This is one of them. There is little information available on what this day was truly meant to mean. So, the interpretation and the means of celebration is left up to you.

By definition, fossils are old rocks. Jewelry stones are old rocks. And, coal is an old rock, too. You can celebrate any or all of these old rocks today.


Austin, Texas



Photo by Sanjay Acharya [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, from Wikimedia Commons

10 Things You Really Need to Know about Poinsettias

At Christmas time, poinsettias make their festive appearance in the flower shops and Christmas stores. When I have time to throw a holiday party, I like to decorate with lots of big poinsettia plants and then give them away to my guests as they head home. A good gift idea for an adult is a poinsettia, a bottle of wine, a bag of cracked pecans, and a pound of fudge, arranged in a basket with or without a bow. You can throw in a Christmas western for good measure and envision them sitting in their favorite chair reading, sipping the wine, and eating pecans and fudge as they gaze at their poinsettia between chapters. Of course, their feet would be propped up and a fire would be crackling in the hearth nearby.

So, what started this daydream? Oh, yes, the poinsettia.

flower-poinsettia-pulcherrima.pngLena Lowis [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know?

  1. Poinsettias came to America from Mexico and Central America?
  2. Poinsettias are named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first Ambassador to Mexico.
  3. Today, December 12, is poinsettia day. Mr. Poinsett died on this day in 1851.
  4. Poinsettias are not poisonous.
  5. The bright colored leaves on the poinsettia are called bracts.
  6. Poinsettias are susceptible to frost.
  7. In the tropics, poinsettias grow to 10 feet tall.
  8. Poinsettias are propagated by seeds.
  9. You can set your poinsettia out in the garden in the spring.
  10. To make a poinsettia bloom for the holiday it needs a strict 12 to 14 hours of dark and 6 hours of light a day, starting in September.

Want to check my facts? Go to the gardener’s network


Austin, Texas


Not Too Late to Make Those Cookies

Grandma Casper’s Old Fashioned Butter Cut Out Cookies Recipe

Here’s a truly old fashioned recipe, straight from Grandma’s kitchen. This cut out cookie recipe is most popular to make Christmas cookies. Try them for cut out cookies for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Val

sweet cookies christmas baking

Photo by Pixabay on

entine’s Day, Easter and any other occasion.

From the Kitchen of: Grandma Casper

Yield: 6-7 dozen cut out cookies

Old Fashioned Butter Cookie Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup margarine, set out to soften

  • 3/4 cups sugar

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1 egg, unbeaten

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla

Old Fashioned Butter Cookie Directions:

  1. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

  2. Cream together well, the margarine and sugar.

  3. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Mix together well.

  4. Gradually add in the flour mixture. Add 1/4 at a time and mix together with a big spoon.

  5. Chill dough overnight.

  6. Preheat oven to 40 degrees.

  7. Take chilled dough from the refrigerator and divide in two.

  8. Roll out the dough to the thickness that you like for your cut out cookies. Use your favorite cutouts.

  9. Put cookies onto ungreased cookie sheets.

  10. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, depending upon thickness.

  11. Allow to cool.

  12. Use your favorite frosting recipe and decorate with colored sugars and candy balls.

Thank you

Fritter Day!

Happy December 2! Today is  National Fritter Day. Aren’t we all lucky that this this special day has finally arrived!? I usually interpret this day to be one that I can fritter away, but really it is a day about food, the fritter.

Before you can begin to celebrate this very important day, you need to know what a “fritter” is. Many people do not know, making it all the more fun to eat your first fritter today. A fritter is a fried cake or dough with fruit or meats inside.

Whatever you do, do not fritter this day away without eating at least one fritter.  You can make one of apples. We have no idea what critter came up with fritter day.  Thank you holiday We really needed that.

Austin, Texas


healthy apple fruits natural

Photo by mali maeder on

Happy National Fritters Day!