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Dollars Make Sense

Posted July 01, 2024

Matt Insley

By Matt Insley

Dollars Make Sense

“Cash for the win,” Ron V. writes, responding to our “Reverse ATM” issue. 

“Where I live In northwest Indiana, it is common to be charged extra to cover credit card fees. Cash is encouraged.” 

Funny our reader mentions that… 

On a trip to my local dry cleaner Saturday, I noticed a sign offering a 15% discount — across the board — for customers who pay in cash. 

And my barber will accept card payments. But when it comes to tips? Straight cash. 

Next, a reader riffs on two recent Rundown themes: “I found and bought a fixer-upper. For cash. 

“Too many have been lured into the ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ vibe, thinking they deserve a million-dollar house when they’re coming straight out of mom's basement. 

“That said, prices are completely out of control with insane valuations. 

“Homeowners are facing an insurance apocalypse plus a real estate crash, this time from the commercial side,” he concludes. 

More readers add their two cents below… 

Send your opinions to,

Your Rundown for Monday, May 29, 2024...

Airbnb Backlash? 

“I'm sensing a downturn in housing,” Fred M. says, “driven by the following variables:

  • Rent serfdom 
  • Airbnb overexpansion 
  • Ballooning payments for recent homebuyers with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM). 

[FYI: Really interesting points our reader makes. For Wednesday’s issue, I’ll do a deeper dive. Be sure to tune in.]

“Given the 28/36 rule cited in your article, the Airbnb property owners who are taking houses off the market may soon face a social backlash. 

“It could be interesting if this spreads to the REIT community, which pays great dividends but by way of ever increasing rents.

“It will unfold,” he concludes ominously. 

Here’s a slightly more optimistic comment on U.S. real estate… 

“I would recommend young would-be buyers (especially those with a tool box and some skills) consider a small multi-family unit, particularly a two to five-family dwelling.

“They can live in one and rent out the other(s)

“It’s a good rental market now, and that should give time for either a salary increase or rental increases, before this strong market pauses.

“Separately, I don’t understand why ‘median’ home prices are used in many stats.

“Certainly, there are many median-income buyers, or ‘move-up’ buyers, but the majority of ‘reachers’ are young, first-time homebuyers. They’re called ‘starter homes’ for a reason. My sense is that more emphasis should be placed upon this cohort of the market.”

Finally, John U. writes: “Thanks for the article updating your readership on MSFT’s undersea data center experiment.

“I’m a bit surprised they continue to pursue this experiment since the organization is highly eco-leaning.

“In other words, if they do believe in the whole climate-change narrative, why would they add to rising sea temperatures?”

For readers today, a question: What do you think about the balance between technological innovation and environmental considerations? 

Once again, thanks to contributors who took the time to drop us a line. I couldn’t include all your feedback today, but I’ll share more Wednesday.

Market Rundown for Monday, May 29, 2024

The S&P 500 is up 0.25% to 5,475. 

Oil is up 0.70% to $82.15 for a barrel of WTI. 

Gold is down 0.10% to $2,337 per ounce. 

Bitcoin is up 1.35% to $62,765 at the time of writing. 

Send your comments and questions to,

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