Public baths, rice pillows, & vending machines… The Hughes fam goes to Japan

Public baths, rice pillows, & vending machines… The Hughes fam goes to Japan

I spent half of September in Japan with my family. My oldest son, Hayden, and his wife, Taylor, have already been living there for a year and a half. Hayden is stationed at the Yakota Air Force base, which is an hour and a half train ride from Tokyo. He is about halfway through his service there and is hoping to get stationed in Germany next.
6 Things I Didn’t Know About Hiroshima

6 Things I Didn’t Know About Hiroshima

My family visited Hiroshima in September and we spent a couple hours at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.  These experiences are always hard to put into words.  It was very emotional to see the photos and stories of those who suffered from the bomb either immediately after, or years afterwards.  I’d heard stories about what radiation could do to people, but to see the effects and hear the heartbreaking stories really brought it home for me.
The silent nest egg robber

The silent nest egg robber

What is silent and robs your bank account every day, 24 hours a day? You can’t see it but you know that it’s there. You can’t hear it but you have heard others talk about it. You can’t taste it but if you could, it would taste awful.
Lollipops Tainted with Chickenpox for Halloween

Lollipops Tainted with Chickenpox for Halloween

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, this pops up. I have a daily Google alert set up that searches for my name. I’ve had this alert for about seven years now and never once has, me, the Greg Hughes, come up in the search. That does seem a little strange now that I have written it out here, but that is the case.
A Friend’s “Coming Out” Letter Inspires Us All

A Friend’s “Coming Out” Letter Inspires Us All

He is a fearless leader of exceptional character, and for the past two years, he’s been hiding something that few of us can understand. At a recent semi-annual business networking group meeting, H. Quincy Long, one of the group leaders, “came out of the closet,” as he...
The Good Old Days

The Good Old Days

This is an advertisement from the The Owosso Argus-Press - Jan 26, 1970. Look at those prices! A pound of bacon for just $0.67.
The 48 Hours that Changes Thousands of Lives

The 48 Hours that Changes Thousands of Lives

My daughter, Kayla, is the guest writer for this month’s newsletter article.  I hope you enjoy reading a 27-year-old’s perspective on Honor Flight, an organization that takes veterans to Washington, D.C. — at zero cost to them — and tours them around their own war...

How To Tell When Someone Is Lying

How To Tell When Someone Is Lying

How can you tell when a teenager is lying to you?  The article below by Dr. Travis Bradberry, best-selling author and expert in emotional intelligence tests and training, offers eight practical insights to help us spot when someone is lying.
3 Ways to Make (and Measure) Money with Real Estate

3 Ways to Make (and Measure) Money with Real Estate

We all know that income-producing real estate (think rental properties) can be a lucrative investment.  But one of the big advantages of owning rental properties over other types of investments is that it allows you to receive a return (or make money) from a variety of sources.  Let’s look at three of them.
You Are a Survivor

You Are a Survivor

Here’s a little bit of fun this Saturday: a look back for those of us who can remember the good ol’ days when we didn’t wear seatbelts or have Xboxes and spent all day outside, running around the neighborhood.
My Friend Debt

My Friend Debt

Like a great spouse, the “good” kind of debt can be your best friend when it comes to investing.  Debt can be used to increase your returns, and it can be the product itself for making money.  Many people have become fabulously wealthy by successfully leveraging...

Why Do YOU Get Up Every Morning?

Why Do YOU Get Up Every Morning?

This strategic planning exercise keeps our team motivated to get up every morning and fight the good fight for our investors. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend it!
Do You Want to See Something Really Scary?

Do You Want to See Something Really Scary?

Remember the opening scene from "Twilight Zone: The Movie" with Dan Aykroyd? The scary music starts.  Aykroyd turns his head away from the driver, then turns back around—but it’s no longer Aykroyd’s face.  It’s now the face of a horrifying, demonic creature. Welcome to the 2019 Nevada State Bank Small Business Survey. 
One Million Kids Later… a Controversial Myth Debunked

One Million Kids Later… a Controversial Myth Debunked

I recently listened to a podcast interview with Dr. Peter Hotez, a pediatrician, vaccine scientist, and father of an autistic child, who puts everything about vaccines into perspective. The #1 thing Hotez PROVES is that vaccines do NOT cause autism.
From Dream to Lie to Fraud: A True Story

From Dream to Lie to Fraud: A True Story

She was the new health-tech start-up wizard with investors in the palm of her hand, and she deceived every last one of them. The book, "Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup" is a page-turner!
Rent Control Coming to the Golden State?

Rent Control Coming to the Golden State?

If you own rental property in California, look out.  The same old bad ideas of rent control are coming your way.  California governor Gavin Newsom says he will support a rent control bill to help make sure people have affordable housing options.  The problem is, rent control does exactly the opposite.
Which Is Better—Owning or Renting?

Which Is Better—Owning or Renting?

Tradition says, “Own your home and don’t throw money down the drain on rent.”  You will have the pride of homeownership, and your home will become a valuable asset for you in the future. But is buying always the smarter way to go? Here's the advice I gave my 27-year old daughter, Kayla.
‘Just Like That,’ this Family Lost $123,000 to Wire Fraud

‘Just Like That,’ this Family Lost $123,000 to Wire Fraud

Wire fraud is a very real thing, and it happens to smart people like you and me every day. In most cases, when the money is gone, it’s gone. Find out how you can protect yourself and what to do if it happens to you. Share this with everyone you know. It's the only way to catch these bad guys!
Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House!

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House!

Think a few inches of grass could never make the difference between keeping and losing your home? This is one story you won't believe. (P.S. If you're a little lazy when it comes to mowing your lawn, don't move to Dunedin, Florida.)
You Need to Get Some “R & R” (Recession Resistance)

You Need to Get Some “R & R” (Recession Resistance)

No matter how you slice and dice the figures, affordable housing is almost always in demand. This is why our buy and hold fund purchases homes in the affordable housing category, and it’s what makes the buy and hold fund a recession-resistant investment. (And recession-resistance CAN mean more R & R for investors!)
Save Today Johnny, Not Tomorrow

Save Today Johnny, Not Tomorrow

We talk about compounding often in our newsletter because it is so powerful. I was reminded the other day by a friend of mine about the difference between saving and investing your money early in life as compared to later.
How to Avoid Early Death for 10 Cents a Day

How to Avoid Early Death for 10 Cents a Day

What if I told you that by taking two pills every day that cost about $0.05 a piece — a simple nickel — we could all live healthier lives, prevent serious or even fatal conditions, and increase our life spans?  Read more to find out what they are.
Stop Pinching Pennies: Earn $33,316/Hr.  Here’s How!

Stop Pinching Pennies: Earn $33,316/Hr. Here’s How!

If you made $33,316/hr doing due diligence, would it be worth it? Last week, we talked about 3 key components to having a strong portfolio during retirement and the fact that you don’t have to give up your lattes to save big!  This week, we’ll go over 3 more ways to 80/20 (aka leverage) your money.
Focus on the Vital 20% to Create Exponential Results

Focus on the Vital 20% to Create Exponential Results

How can we do something different in our lives that will produce the biggest return for our efforts? In this article, I share a foundational mental model that can help frame the way you think. It lets you "hack" the system many of us follow today and start doing more with less.
Are You Making These 3 Decision Mistakes?

Are You Making These 3 Decision Mistakes?

We make millions of decisions over our lifetime, and just like investing a dollar today, even small decisions can compound into hugely positive or negative results. I ran across some interesting ideas on the decision-making process and wanted to share. After reading this, you may never make a decision the same way again!
My Interview by an Aussie Wealth Expert

My Interview by an Aussie Wealth Expert

I was recently interviewed by wealth advisor, author, and real estate investor, Salena Kulkarni.  Salena is an international celebrity from Australia, so it was fun to know that our conversation would be heard by audiences thousands of miles across the Pacific. Salena asked some really good, insightful questions about our chosen market and the way the fund operates. 
This One Word Will Make People Respond to Your Emails

This One Word Will Make People Respond to Your Emails

Who would have thought that the language you use to end your emails has an effect on whether or not you will receive a response?  For example, signing off with “talk soon” can result in a very different response rate than closing with a simple “thanks.”
The Murder of Progress and Improvement

The Murder of Progress and Improvement

Any time the government intervenes with the free market, things get off-kilter.  Rent control is no exception. Under rent control, the government tells a product provider how much to charge for their product, while at the same time restricting its production. How does that solve any problems? Basic economics shows that it does not. Instead, it messes up the delicate chain of supply and demand, resulting in more than a few ramifications.
Charlie Munger’s Secrets to Successful Investing (and a Successful Life)

Charlie Munger’s Secrets to Successful Investing (and a Successful Life)

I’ve said it before: “Investing – particularly successful investing – is hard.” There’s a lot going on in a person’s brain that can sometimes make investment decisions more complex than they need to be. Charlie Munger — attorney, investor, multi-billionaire, and Warren Buffett's business partner — came up with this brilliant checklist we can use when faced with tough decisions.
Why We Should Be More Like Trader Joe’s

Why We Should Be More Like Trader Joe’s

If you're a Trader Joe's shopper, it's probably because you love all the cool, unique stuff you can't find anywhere else, usually at a fair price. But there's much more going on than meets the eye. We'll take a closer look at the underpinnings of Trader Joe's mass appeal, as told by a former advertising exec who went undercover as a crew mate.
Why Having Our Cities on this List Is Good for Our Investors

Why Having Our Cities on this List Is Good for Our Investors

It's no accident that six of our buy and hold fund's portfolio cities made it to Inc. magazine's "Top 50 Surge Cities" list. A few might come as a surprise — like the city that was ranked as the biggest new agtech start-up. (Hint: it's nowhere near Silicon Valley.) Read why this is good for our investors, and how you can get a piece of the pie.
The Truth About How the Government Spends Your Tax Dollars

The Truth About How the Government Spends Your Tax Dollars

Do you know where your tax money goes? This article provides a clear breakdown of government spending and the effects it could have a few years down the road. Fair warning: it's not all roses, especially if programs like defense, infrastructure, and education are important to you.
Is This Really Happening in America?

Is This Really Happening in America?

If you think your assets can only be taken from you through due process of being convicted of a crime, think again. This article from The New Yorker is a gripping account of civil asset forfeitures being abused in a big way. Although it was written in 2013, the article is just as relevant and powerful today.
Which State Has the Most Freedom?  (It Might Not Be the One You Think)

Which State Has the Most Freedom? (It Might Not Be the One You Think)

"Freedom" can be a tricky word. It's hard to pin down the true definition, and it means something different to each of us. Still, this article does a great job of showing which states have the most and least personal and economic freedoms, with one overall winner you'll read about at the end of the article.
When Will Our Leaders Take Responsibility?

When Will Our Leaders Take Responsibility?

Nevada state workers earn 149% the salaries of their private sector counterparts. Now, the governor is promising state workers the ability to collectively bargain already inflated pay packages... compliments of Nevada taxpayers.
Are Your Investments Prepared for the Next Recession?

Are Your Investments Prepared for the Next Recession?

It’s pretty tough to find the right answer when you’re asking the wrong question.  The other day, I received an email from an investment fund asking if I was prepared for the next recession.  Shouldn’t the question really be, “Are your investments prepared, and how...

The $3.1M “VaPooRizing” of San Francisco

The $3.1M “VaPooRizing” of San Francisco

The city of San Francisco launched a $3.1 million task force to rid the city of a foul issue that keeps piling up and needs to be flushed out. They’ve hired a “poop patrol” to clean up the streets, and the workers are making bank.
Here’s Some Trivia for You

Here’s Some Trivia for You

You’ll be the envy of your friends the next time you get together to play some trivia game about yard sizes because you’ll know all the answers. You’re welcome.
What Would a Rockefeller Do?

What Would a Rockefeller Do?

What will your legacy be? I don’t know about you, but until recently, I hadn’t thought much about the impact I could actually have on future generations past my kids and grandkids. It’s one thing to set up a trust (the importance of which I can’t emphasize enough, even if you mistakenly think it’s only for the wealthy!), but it’s another thing entirely to have it set up so that it continues to generate opportunities rather than simply distribute wealth.
I Dare You to Eat Ethiopian Food

I Dare You to Eat Ethiopian Food

I want to tell you the story of an impressive entrepreneur who owns a heck of a little restaurant named Zagol, located in the business center on Mira Loma and South McCarran in Reno. Zagol is an Ethiopian restaurant that offers incredibly mouthwatering food. I kid you not — every time I’ve eaten there, it has turned out to be an unforgettable taste experience with the first bite always being a big explosion of flavor.
How to Leverage Debt to Get a Free Car

How to Leverage Debt to Get a Free Car

Here is a cool financial trick: If you took out a loan with a 5.0% simple interest rate (the interest does not compound) and you were able to write off the interest as a tax deduction, you could offset the cost of your interest payments by putting the borrowed money (or an equivalent amount) in an investment with only a 2.5% compounded after-tax net return.
I Get It.  Investing is Hard.

I Get It. Investing is Hard.

As I continue to get smarter in my investing career, there is one thing that keeps jumping out at me. I see it everywhere: the conferences I attend, the podcasts I listen to, the people I meet with, the books I read, and so on. What is this one thing?
Affordable Housing with an Oceanfront View

Affordable Housing with an Oceanfront View

I have to hand it to this guy, Kenneth A. Capron, for thinking outside of the (housing) box. Kenneth runs a nonprofit and is trying to get a grant to park an obsolete cruise ship in the port of Portland, Maine to provide affordable housing to people who need it.
A Tiny Investment with a Big Payoff

A Tiny Investment with a Big Payoff

It’s common around the holidays to be giving toward those in need, but a charitable act that can promise longevity is much more impactful than a one-time donation. This year, consider loaning just $25 to a small business owner or ambitious young adult through a service called Kiva.
A Look Back at 2018: A Conversation Between the Co-Founders

A Look Back at 2018: A Conversation Between the Co-Founders

As we’re wrapping up 2018, we thought it would be a good time to stop and reflect on our busy and productive year. I sat down with Hughes Private Capital co-founder Steve Sixberry to chat about what we learned and experienced, and what we’re looking forward to in 2019. Enjoy! — Greg
Make Security a Priority

Make Security a Priority

I’ll admit, this isn’t our most exciting Saturday email, but it is important. Great Basin Federal Credit Union sent me this resource about scams and fraud, and I thought it was worth passing on to all of you. When it comes to security, it seems the crooks come at us from all directions.
Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything

In a Hughesletter from earlier this year, Hughes Private Capital co-founder Steve Sixberry shared the story of his unconventional career trajectory. This month, he writes about the intense process of selling his cellular network company to Sprint/Nextel in 2006. Hope you enjoy!
The Most Important $4.54 You’ll Ever Spend

The Most Important $4.54 You’ll Ever Spend

I’ve never seen anything that has a greater return on investment than this financial literacy class, provided to Washoe County high schools through generous local donors, organized by The Hayek Group.
American Greed

American Greed

Have you ever watched the television show called American Greed? I like to record it and watch it when I have time. If you’re not familiar with it, the show highlights people or companies who are unethical and take other peoples’ money.
Rental Prices in Big Cities Can Be Volatile

Rental Prices in Big Cities Can Be Volatile

Is the rental market cooling down or heating up? It depends on how you interpret the Bloomberg Weekly article below. According to the figures in the article, there is no doubt that rental prices are losing their steam in rent increases overall, compared to recent years.
7 of Our Cities are in the Top 13 (out of 50)

7 of Our Cities are in the Top 13 (out of 50)

A recent article by HouseCanary reported on the top 50 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) for price growth in Q1 of this year. Seven cities where Guardian Fund purchases homes (in the Heartland of America) made the list. That is good news, but not what we are really interested in since our properties don’t go up or down much in value.
In 3 Minutes… See How Much You Could Save in Taxes

In 3 Minutes… See How Much You Could Save in Taxes

If you were to sell your investment property tomorrow, do you know how much you would owe in taxes? The answer might surprise you. We built a 1031 Exchange Tax Savings Calculator that helps you answer this question. After feedback from some trusted investors, we’ve simplified and improved the calculator, so it’s something you can easily do on your own – no CPA required.
I Need a Raise.  I Only Make $117,000!

I Need a Raise. I Only Make $117,000!

Did you know that in San Francisco, if you make $117,000 a year as a family of four, you are considered low income? It might be time to get out of Dodge when the Department of Housing and Urban Development makes that claim for your city. Imagine making $117,000 and qualifying for affordable housing developments!
Stop Beating Around the Bush. Tariffs = Taxes

Stop Beating Around the Bush. Tariffs = Taxes

Tariffs might not be the most interesting topic, but it’s certainly timely (you might remember that I recently wrote about the trade war). No matter how much I know or continue to read about tariffs, it’s a complex topic and I’m always learning more.
Why Investors Fail

Why Investors Fail

Recently, a friend sent me an article about “why investors fail.”  The article was specific to real estate, so of course I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any of the negative tendencies it mentioned.  But, darn it, I didn’t want to admit it — but I do!...

My Life as a High-Tech Cowboy

My Life as a High-Tech Cowboy

This is a guest article from Hughes Private Capital Fund Manager and COO, Steve Sixberry. You may have met Steve at one of our events or seen his face on some of our marketing materials. We thought it was time for Steve to share some of his interesting...

One More Check Off the Bucket List

One More Check Off the Bucket List

A friend of mine named Gene used to fly Cobras — attack helicopters used by the United States Marine Corps.  While he was flying Hueys (another prestigious helicopter used by the US Army) during the Vietnam War, he was shot through the calf and the knee...

Unbelievable & Unlimited New Tax Break for Investors

Unbelievable & Unlimited New Tax Break for Investors

What if companies and investors were incentivized to invest in the American cities that need it most, but are often overlooked because of poverty and unemployment? A group of billionaires and politicians may have a creative solution to make this a reality.
Movin’ on Up… (you know the rest!)

Movin’ on Up… (you know the rest!)

Go ahead and finish the title of this article with the theme song to The Jefferson’s. I know it’s already in your head. “Well we're movin’ on up, to the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky..."
Draining the Swamp, One Bureaucrat at a Time

Draining the Swamp, One Bureaucrat at a Time

1984 was a notable year for two reasons: It was the year I graduated from high school and the year Congress failed to drain the swamp. That’s right—Trump wasn’t the first politician to have the idea, but I’m hoping that with a little bit of persistence, and some good guys on our side, the idea can finally be successfully executed.
A Primer to Understanding “Stepped-Up Basis”

A Primer to Understanding “Stepped-Up Basis”

Cindy Armentrout, Esq. has been practicing law for nearly ten years and specializes in tax planning, asset protection, and wills. Cindy kindly provided this primer on how the step-up in basis works for surviving spouses, including ways that they can receive the full stepped-up amount even if they live in a non-community property state.
The Lingering Consequences of Greece’s Big Fat Lie

The Lingering Consequences of Greece’s Big Fat Lie

Greece may seem like a dream place to live, but I’d tell you to thank your lucky stars that you’re an American citizen.  The people of Greece face shockingly low wages, high unemployment rates, and get around by scooter.  Scarily, they only have two main industries keeping their economy from totally collapsing.  The challenge they are facing as a country is mostly of their own making and stems out of their big fat lie. 
The Baby Carrot Boom

The Baby Carrot Boom

Do you know the history behind baby carrots? This is one of my favorite stories about industry disruptors and changers. Baby carrots haven’t been around all that long. In fact, baby carrots have only existed since 1989. How is that possible? You would think they would have been around ever since the first carrot was grown.
Trump is Wrong to Start a Trade War

Trump is Wrong to Start a Trade War

I don’t think a trade deficit is bad. In fact, it really is the other way around. The greater the deficit, the more prosperous we are as a nation and as the world’s super economic power. In my opinion, President Trump is making a mistake by turning trade into a political issue.
Think You’re Diversified? The Most Common Mistake Investors Make

Think You’re Diversified? The Most Common Mistake Investors Make

Sir John Templeton, respected investor, banker, and fund manager was on the right track when he said, “Diversify. In stocks and bonds, as in much else, there is safety in numbers.” From companies diversifying a product line to investors diversifying a portfolio, there is not only safety, but a much greater likelihood of growth when you have your money, assets, products – whatever – strategically allocated among different pieces of the pie.
My Kids Said the Darndest Things

My Kids Said the Darndest Things

Remember the show “Kids Say the Darndest Things” with Art Linkletter? I stumbled upon some of the darndest things that my four kids said growing up. Since Father’s Day was this month, I thought it would be fun to share with all of you fellow parents.
8 Days in China: Eating Frog and the Capitalist Front

8 Days in China: Eating Frog and the Capitalist Front

I recently returned from an eight-day trip to China with seven of my “forum” group members, and boy am I still jet-lagged. The other day, I woke up at 1:30 in the afternoon after having gone to bed at 11:00 the night before. But the jet lag has been well worth the experiences I had in Beijing and Shanghai.
Adios to a Few Dodd-Frank Regulations (We Won’t Miss Ya!)

Adios to a Few Dodd-Frank Regulations (We Won’t Miss Ya!)

I was hoping to see this happen: Just last month, Congress voted to significantly roll back many of the Dodd-Frank regulations. Of course, not everyone is in agreement as to what should be kept and what should be rolled back, because, like always, there are at least two sides to every story.
Can You Guess Which City Has the Best Rental ROI?

Can You Guess Which City Has the Best Rental ROI?

We often say that we invest in the “most profitable housing market in the country.” This means that we buy affordable homes, valued between $25,000 and $60,000, in the heartland of America. We’re not the only ones who know that this is the best market to be in.
The Lonely Life of a Real Estate Stock

The Lonely Life of a Real Estate Stock

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Real Estate Stocks Are on Sale, but No One Is Buying,” WSJ reporter Ken Brown discusses the underlying love-hate relationship investors have with real estate and the fact that real estate stocks are a lonely asset right now, waiting and hoping to be scooped up, in spite of the fact that they’re more affordable than ever.  What gives?
Start Them Early

Start Them Early

It’s indisputable: children are the future. If we don’t teach our youngest how to earn, save, and invest money, our future (and theirs!) could be in a boatload of trouble. What are you doing to help teach your kids, grandkids, or even great-grandkids about money?
What Losing $250,000 Taught Me — Part 3

What Losing $250,000 Taught Me — Part 3

This is conclusion to my three-part saga about how I lost money in a bad investment.  (This was before Steve and I met and founded Hughes Capital.  It was a painful experience, but of course, the greatest learning experiences usually are.)  Be sure to read parts 1 and 2 before continuing with part 3.
Finland’s Test

Finland’s Test

I believe that most people are charitable.  If we have the resources, and if we believe that our charity will make a difference, most of us don’t think twice about helping another person or family in need. 
What Losing $250,000 Taught Me — Part 2

What Losing $250,000 Taught Me — Part 2

No one in their right mind enjoys feeling like they’ve been duped — or, worse yet, actually being duped. But, I’m here to tell you that it happens to the best of us, sometimes even after doing our due diligence and checking all the right boxes. This is the second article in a 3-part series in which I share my experiences and invaluable lessons learned as a result of having invested in a seemingly-profitable, winner-of-an-investment-deal gone bad.
What Losing $250,000 Taught Me — Part 1

What Losing $250,000 Taught Me — Part 1

Whenever I speak at an event, I often include the story of how I lost a big chunk of money in a bad investment. Why do I share this, when it could potentially cause people to doubt my judgement and skill as an investor?