I recently had a very interesting conversation with a friend of mine who invests heavily in real estate around the world and so I’d like to share some thoughts on this subject.
We discussed the concept of property and to me, the point is essentially this: it’s one thing to have your own house and build a home where you feel comfort and security, and where you know your family won’t miss a thing; and it’s another thing to look at that property purely as an investment. Is this really the best investment we can make for the future?
On my travels all over the world I’ve been noticing that, unlike what happens in Portugal in urban areas, construction remains a strong feature elsewhere, especially in touristic and paradisiacal areas. I see great bulks of cement and concrete become huge hotels and resorts, and I see threatened resources being relocated to those buildings, turning into delight and entertainment.
However, if we go to the Algarve, in Portugal, or to the Brazilian Coast or the Caribbean, for instance, during the off-season, we realize these destinations are empty for most of the year. Therefore, prices are really high. Thus, I ask myself: all that money that’s being used to build those spaces which are empty most of the year, should it not be applied elsewhere instead? On an investor’s point of view, wouldn’t it be wiser and more interesting to apply those resources in education, in think tanks, and invest in people instead? All this money being invested in empty spaces that people aren’t using could be used for things people really need and use!
Anyway, somehow I think things are changing in this very direction. We are increasingly realizing that intellectual property is as valuable and as a driving force as physical property. Still, I believe we need to change the way we perceive the concept of property so that we may truly have a paradigm shift. And even if I’m not exactly a finance expert, it is my opinion that it’s far more worth it to invest in people and the potential they hold in themselves, rather than invest in things that have no practical application or real influence upon people’s lives or even the world.