Different risks certainly, not so sure regarding "far less risk". Risk is in the future so we can only speculateI think borrowing a million dollars or so and operating a highly leveraged business will always be more risky than selling you labor. You only have to look at personal vs small business bankruptcy rates to see that. Certainly, real estate can be an excellent way to make your fortune. My beef was more with John's naive (in my opinion) assumptions regarding everything from appreciation rates to the effort involved. You have to make conservative assumptions when modelling something like this- otherwise you end up with negative cash flow properties.Quality is a relative term. The "value" of features and benefits are in the eyes of the beholder. Some will value air conditioning more than others. Others will prefer independence more than others. Ok, that's true. Some people enjoy working outdoors, or with their hands more than office work. If you are saying that over the next x years, an engineering skillset will trade at a premium to real estate values, maybe soOn a risk adjusted basis, an engineering job should pay more than acquiring cheap houses and renting them, since it requires more education/skill. Given the best possible outcome (high rents, high property appreciation, low interest rates, no vacancies, low maintenance) the real estate investor should wind up with more money. But I think the expected (average) outcome should be lower. More sophisticated real estate investing, like starting a REIT, might pay better. Nick
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