The Buy And Hold Mindset

This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC

When markets are in turmoil, like they have been for most of this year, I like to have a buy-and-hold mindset when it comes to making new investments. It is hard to know when you’ve reached the bottom and can start buying again, but if you think about a ten or twenty-year hold, then it becomes a bit easier.

The Gotham Gal and I buy and build a fair bit of real estate on the side and we generally use a “cap rate” of between 5 and 10 when we acquire and develop real estate. That means we want to generate an annual yield on our total investment (acquisition cost plus construction cost) of between 5% and 10%. If you think of those numbers as price/earnings ratios, then we are paying a PE of between 10 and 20 times earnings.

It is true that PEs and cap rates and most other “investment ratios” are impacted by current interest rates. When rates go up, like they have been for the last year, the value of capital assets goes down. That’s what we have been seeing this year, among other things.

But if you think about holding an asset over a very long time, like a building, then you will likely hold it through a number of different interest rate environments. And so what I like to think about is what a reasonable return is for a very long-term hold. And in real estate, that is between 5% and 10% per year (Read more...)