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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 2, 2010/ 16 Adar 5770

The real value of ‘expert’ advice?

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's frightening, if you want to know the truth.


I speak of the reversal of fortunes in the housing market.


Research firm First American CoreLogic reported last week that 24 percent of all homes with mortgages — some 11.3 million — are "underwater," worth less than what their owners owe on them.


Home sales are tanking, too. New home sales plummeted unexpectedly in January to their lowest level in 50 years.


I witnessed — and successfully avoided — the housing bubble firsthand. In 2001, before the 9/11 tragedy, I nearly bought a half-duplex just outside Old Town, Alexandria, Va., for $165,000.


The owner was eager to sell — there were no lines of people outbidding each other yet — but I wasn't sure if I'd be staying in the D.C. area, so I passed.


I had no idea that just a few years later, interest rates would rocket downward — that the Federal Reserve would pump an unimaginable amount of dough into the economy to stave off recession.


I had no idea that aggressive mortgage firms would use interest-only gimmicks and all kinds of tricks to qualify anyone for a massive loan.


Boy, did the easy money cause housing prices to soar. A property nearly identical to the one I almost bought for $165,000 in 2001 sold for $465,000 in 2005 — an increase of $300,000 in only four years!

Letter from JWR publisher


The Washington Post reported on a new phenomenon that year: housing envy.


Suddenly, people who worked side by side, making the same incomes, became envious of those who had bought homes early in the bubble. Suddenly, one person was $300,000 richer — on paper, anyhow — than his co-worker who'd bought at the peak of the bubble or was still renting.


Pretty soon, all kinds of "smart," educated people were jumping into the housing market. I knew one couple of modest means who borrowed $400,000 to buy a dump of a home in a rough area, convinced they'd make a $100,000 profit in only one year.


My gut told me the end of the boom was near. I knew this because I'd done some research into the D.C. housing market.


Much to my surprise, I discovered a bubble had formed and burst there only one decade before.


I spoke with one retired fellow who'd been burned in that 1980s frenzy. He saw the cost of condos soaring at the time. In 1987, he and his wife tapped their life savings to take out mortgages on five units.


He paid $115,000 for each — unaware he'd bought at the bubble's peak. In 1999, years after the bubble had burst, each unit was worth only $90,000. More than a decade after his initial investment, he was underwater by some $125,000 on all five mortgages.


I decided to flee the insanity of the D.C. market and head back to Pittsburgh, a much smaller, slower-growing market that was not experiencing an irrational housing boom.


I bought a modest condo, my second property here, for less than it was worth. I knew it would make a good rental unit in time. I took on a mortgage I could comfortably pay off in 15 years.


A few years later, I rented it out and bought a third property, applying the same strategy.


When the housing bubble burst in D.C. and across the country, I was sitting pretty in Pittsburgh. All three properties were worth more than I owed on them.


And I am well-poised now to weather an inflationary cycle that will likely be brought on by out-of-control government spending.


In any event, if my story doesn't frighten you, it should.


If I, a lousy English major, predicted the housing bust well before most experts did, what does that tell you about our experts?

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