There has been an enormous amount of chatter, prognostications and articles written about the cause, effect and the long and short term fallout of the current economic downturn. The slippery slide into recession lead by the housing market continues to raise havoc on Wall Street and on Main Street. Even with the bailout approved by Congress to the tune of billions of dollars to prop up the mortgage industry and now the auto industry, one cannot help but question if we have yet to experience the “eye of the storm”. The question haunting the minds of everyone and anyone experiencing the day to day challenges surrounding the credit crunch and lack of liquidity is: “How do I and my family survive the ravages of this Financial Storm and can our business emerge successfully from this economic environment?”

Fortunately, we have available a perspective enabling us to not only survive in the midst of the storm, but to soar on the wings of opportunity rising above the storm and landing safely at the Port of financial prosperity. As a Real Estate Broker, Developer and Entrepreneur, allow me to encourage you by sharing my perspective and experience of living above two significant recessions (and a child of the 1930 depression) to show that not only can you survive this downturn but you CAN COME OUT STRONGER THAN EVER BEFORE. Opportunities await you even while those around you remain focused on doom and gloom. You may be asking, “How do I find opportunity?” The answer is quite simple – You relentlessly and consistently seek it out like you would a lost coin. Be aware of it at every turn instead of being frozen by fear and anxiety expecting a bogie man around every corner.

Tom recently bought me a 2008 bright red Cadillac CTS. Except for the one as shown in the TV Commercial where the girl says, “When you turn your car on, does it return the favor”, Tom said he had never seen one and questioned if GM actually had any in production. But, guess what? In my zeal to show him they actually did exist, I spotted one at the next stop sign and then another on the Freeway and before we reached home, I had seen a dozen, although not all were red. Why? You may be asking. They were there all the time, but he just wasn’t looking for one (and maybe were hoping it didn’t exist). One of my favorite quotes was authored by Dr. Paul Chappell, Pastor of the Lancaster Baptist Church, “Opportunity often swings on the hinges of Adversity”. And there you have it, the key to wild success even in this most difficult financial crisis is the unwavering understanding that Opportunity does in fact exist and the sensitivity to recognize opportunity and then search for it with diligence and muster the courage and confidence to seize it when you find it.

Without getting into detail, let me touch upon just a few wealth building opportunities that by necessity is an expression or symptom of the tough times we are experiencing. First, in financially troubled times, real estate investors often fail to pay property taxes. With cash flows drying up they put off paying the taxes recognizing they have up to five years to redeem the property. Tax Certificates are typically a sure fire way to invest fairly risk free for a respectable return typically in excess of 10%. There are publications, books and Seminars available on this subject.

Here’s another opportunity: The difficulty for buyers to find financing especially for loans of over Five Hundred Thousand has motivated many sellers to offer Owner Financing even though they would really rather not. Did you know that many sellers would welcome the chance to sell that loan to an investor at a significant discount often resulting in a yield in excess of 12%? Did you know you can purchase “a portion” of that note if you don’t have the cash to buy the entire note? There exists an entire cash flow industry specializing in the buying and selling of many varieties private cash flows and debt instruments.

The opportunity to Lease/Option so prevalent during the 1980’s recession has somewhat lost its’ luster based on the issue of “equitable interest” in some States. This strategy still remains a somewhat viable method of “laying away” property with the right to purchase or assign the option at a profit. Classes, seminars and workshop opportunities for this methodology are all over the internet.

The participation by purchasing a beneficial interest in an Illinois Type Land Trust as an Investor Beneficiary still excites me as a strategy to build wealth. Sometimes used as an alternative to the Lease/Option or Option Agreement, the strategy of using a Beneficiary directed Land Trust to acquire property with little money down is a unique opportunity that exists around almost every single corner in the USA. Information on this type of investment can be found at

In closing, let me share with you my formula for success to soaring above this Economic Storm. You must make an investment in capital to get the traction you need to move your business out of a rut; invest in knowledge by reading books and articles and attending carefully selected seminars on the subject you want to specialize in and then do not fail to invest time in “networking” with associates, entrepreneurs and successful business people who are not afraid of taking risk and moving forward. You will emerge strong, blessed and thankful for the experience of surviving and thriving in the face of adversity and most of all you will be able to encourage others with your first hand experience of surviving one of the toughest perfect economic storms in recent history and have lived to soar above it and tell about it.