I just met a quiet, wicked-smart lady at the notes conference I was at last week.  She is American, but grew up in Vietnam before being sent by the Communists to study in Russia.  She didn’t speak any Russian at the time, so her studies were challenging. Once she graduated, she was was fortunate enough to be able to come to the U.S.

What an interesting story she told Steve and me about how she made it here and her success.  She is an electrical engineer living in California, and she owns about 40 notes on her own.  How cool is that?!  And she continues to improve herself every day by finding opportunities to gain more knowledge.  One of those opportunities was attending this notes conference called Paper Source, where we met her.

yacht club

Would you like to invest in our East Coast Yacht Club?

Somehow, Americans wanting to travel came up in our conversation and this lady said, “Let them travel all they want.  I know what it is like out there by living in Vietnam and Russia.  I am sticking in California.”  Gosh, even California is more attractive than those places!  (Sorry to pick on your state, Californians.)

The diverse crowd we found at this conference was truly amazing.  We all had our home towns and states on our name badges, which made for great conversation starters.  One man walked past me with Singapore on his badge.  I had to talk to him.  Sure enough, he traveled all the way to this conference from Singapore.  I am sure he would have received the furthest travel award, if there was one.

I asked him how he heard about this conference, and why he thought it was worth coming all that way.  First, he said he had been attending these types of events since the 80s.  There isn’t anything like this in Singapore so he travels to the U.S. almost every year to be able to invest his money how he sees fit.  Apparently, from our conversation, that’s not easy to do over there.

I must say, the conference was a success for Steve and me, even if you counted nothing more than the people we were able to meet.  This year, we knew a whole lot more than last year and I think that helped us to learn more.  The notes business is extremely diverse.  Even more so than real estate.

At one point, we walked up and introduced ourselves to two older gentlemen and started to find out what they did and why they were involved in notes.  As the conversation started to draw to a close, I could tell one of them was itching to tell us something.

He said, “I have something that could be a real winner, but I don’t want you two clowns to steal my idea.”

“Okay”, I said “Tell us and we promise not cut you out of it.”  He was killing me with suspense.  He said that back east, where he lives, people donate their yachts to non-profits all the time for write-offs.  However, the non-profits have to hold on to the yachts for three years before they can sell them.  During that time, they will usually lease them out.

He said we could go in there and place a note on a yacht for the three years that the non-profit has it.  Then, he would buy out the note at a discount, giving the non-profit a legal way to gain the cash, and him a way to make money on the note.  Now that is one interesting way to make money! You see why I say the notes business is so diverse?

I think he is safe for now; we don’t plan on starting our East Coast Yacht Fund anytime soon.