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Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

May 5th, 2019 Comments off

 

WarrenBuffettsProfitableLessonsforManufacturedHousing

“”We can afford to lose money – even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation – even a shred of reputation,” wrote Warren Buffett to managers,” according to a post on the Wall Street Journal’s Facebook page.

 

Now contrast that with the investment-focused Motley Fool’s citation of the famous Buffett quote: “Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Don’t forget rule No. 1.

Do these two fabled Buffett quotes complement or contradict each other?

We deliberately avoid answering that today.

Ladies and gentlemen professionally involved in manufactured housing land – what we lovingly refer to here on MHProNews as MHVille – those Buffett quotes bear close scrutiny.

Beyond the words, so too does the actual behavior of Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway’s brands.

It is not that Mr. Buffett is necessarily wrong.  As one of the top four wealthiest people in the world, he’s proven his ability to attract investment capital and make money for the long term.

The question is, how has Buffett achieved that wealth in recent years? Say the last two decades?

No two people agree on everything. We need others in our lives as reality checks. If Marty Lavin never gave MHProNews any more on-the-record quotes than those already given, the ones we have from him are highly valuable to those wise enough to grasp and apply them routinely. It isn’t that Marty invented these sayings; he did not. But as a significantly successful person in manufactured home financing – with real manufactured home (MH) community and high-volume MH retail experience –  what he said is as useful – perhaps more so – as those Buffett quotes are.  Once more, with gusto…

  • Pay more attention to what people do than what they say.
  • Follow the money.

These Lavin tips have been used by detectives, serious reporters, and other researchers for decades.

What they point to, without saying it, is the value of authentic history.

Let’s pair that with what pro-manufactured housing investor Robert Robotti said about investing. “In order to outperform the market, you have to have a contrarian point of view,” Robotti said to the Motley Fool investment media.

 

“Out-Performing the Market” Robert Robotti, Value Investing, and Manufactured Housing

 

In an organization, one needs a significant degree of compliance by team members. No factory could function successfully without team members doing their jobs well. No financing operation could profit, unless team members do their jobs well.  I know, because I’ve seen and experienced these things first hand.

But in order to achieve a breakthrough, one has to be able to step out of the box. If someone stays only inside the box, by definition, no progress is ever made.

We need to be able to celebrate the good that someone has done, while recognizing that they are bound to have flaws. Let’s give some examples, and then return to the profitable MH theme.

We like many of the quotes that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. has given us to ponder. He was surprisingly successful, but that success was not overnight. It took time, persistence, a kind of urgent patience. King was wise, but he was reputedly also a womanizer. Can’t imagine that his wife liked that reputation, can you?

A couple in the White House today have a similar challenge. But unlike the defense that much of the mainstream media gave Bill Clinton while he was president, or the cover for womanizing given to John F. Kennedy while he was president, Donald J. Trump’s past womanizing is treated quite differently. Before he ran for  president, Mr. Trump was celebrated for the same thing he is now denigrated for doing. What’s up with that? That’s not to attack the other 2, nor to defend the 45th president on that score. It is only to reflect that a double standard exists.  It is also to reflect how helpful history is.  Now, let’s take that back to MHVille.

People have to be able to discern reality, to find what is true, and separate the ‘wheat from the chaff.’  There are things Mr. Buffett has said that are insightful, useful, and true.  That doesn’t mean I have to agree with Buffett’s reputed business practices. Wheat from chaff.  Discern what is useful, then act upon that, and your odds for success go up.

Before diving into our weekly headline review, and we have some doozies for you, let me make one more observation. There have been some famous – but later convicted – con men in our nation’s history. People who were so respected, until they were found out.  Once exposed, they where then reviled. Let’s mention only one to make the point.

Bernie Madoff is described like this by Wikipedia, “Description: Bernard Lawrence Madoff is an American former market maker, investment advisor, financier, fraudster, and convicted felon, who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to a massive Ponzi scheme.”

Madoff was celebrated, until he was vilified.  By the way, not all cons are alike.

 

BernieMadoffWikiManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Now will the day may come that fans of Buffett — or an infinitely lesser light in MHVille, part-time magician George F. Allen — feel the same about them as they do now about Madoff?

Some sing the praises of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). But look at the fact that every one of the corporate industry embarrassments in MHVille named by John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” video was connected to a firm connected to MHI. Pray tell. What exactly are the leaders at MHI being celebrated for accomplishing?  Other than the increasing consolidation occurring in MHVille?

Cons are often celebrated, until they are finally understood, and then they are fully exposed. Some cons, like Madoff, go to prison.

To grasp those highly profitable lessons, one needs the perspective of history. That requires real history, not fake history. Discerning the truth requires real analysis, not fake analysis.

To be sustainably successful in MHVille, one needs to know when to duplicate – as in a training the line workers in a factory – and when to innovate. The later – innovation – means you have to be willing to be a contrarian at the proper times.

Before closing, let me tip the hat to Jim Ayotte for a statement he made that applies to everyone, not just top-tier association executives. “As an association executive, my job is to assess the situation and seek the best possible outcome based on the facts as I know them.”  Publishers, writers, sales professionals, business owners, line workers – everyone could apply this principle Ayotte made to themselves.

None of us don’t know what we don’t know.  That’s why we need others! But once we begin to suspect something different than what we thought we knew, it becomes parament to pivot to whatever that liberating – and often profitable – truth is.  Albert Einstein was right in saying you don’t keep repeating the same mistakes over and over if you plan to progress.

The reason that a con like Madoff’s or others arguably succeeds for as along as they do is because people are not willing to admit that they have been conned.  They are in denial. They may be embarrassed. Or they may have some other fear.

But the mature, secure adult admits an error.  If the error is that they were conned, one must make that admission, but then the solution is to move beyond the error.  That’s how profitable learning is done.  Objective history is a vital part of that process.

To my knowledge, there is no other manufactured home industry publisher that has the degree of historic and practical insights into manufactured housing reality than we do.  Not bragging, it is what it is.

 

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Wheat and chaff. Take the good insights someone offers, the useful lessons, and ignore whatever may be problematic. Designs by MHProNews.

 

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Danny Glover quote from the fascinating video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page here.

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Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

 

IfMHProNewsIswritingAboutItIWantToKnowAboutItQuoteMaybe those fact-checks and historic insights are why we are the runaway

most-read in MHVille – by fans, foes, and profitable truth-seekers alike?  People put up with our typos because we have something worth putting up with.

We are getting a growing number of calls and messages from investors and their representatives.  They don’t buy the Arlington line.  If those outside looking in don’t buy it, why should you?  Folks, the industry is about to go through a shakeup. I’m not predicting a date, but don’t just mark your calendar. prepare for it yourself.  Start with staying truly informed, and avoid the deceptions that profit others but are costing independents, perhaps like you.

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Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

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With no further adieu, let’s dive into the headlines from the varied corners of MHVille during the week that just was.

 

What’s New on the Masthead

TheMastheadCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNews

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

Multibillion Dollar Opportunities Knock in Solving Affordable Housing Crisis

 

What’s New in Washington, D.C. From MHARR

MHARRlogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews324

MHCC Addresses Multiple Issues, HUD Secretary Carson Praises Manufactured Homes at Meeting

MHCC Addresses Multiple Issues, HUD Secretary Carson Praises Manufactured Homes at Meeting

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

MHLivingNewsImprovedLivingForLe$$taglinedropshadow

MHLivingNews features lifestyle and living news on prefab housing, with a focus on manufactured homes.

Conventional or Manufactured Housing – Facts Matter, and Public Engagement Matters Too

Ultimate Reporters, Researchers, Affordable Housing Advocates, or Shoppers 3’rd Party Research 

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos 

Saturday 5.4.2019

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

 

Friday 5.3.2019 

Jobs Surge in April, Unemployment Rate Falls to the Lowest Since 1969, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

Jobs Surge in April, Unemployment Rate Falls to the Lowest Since 1969, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

HUD Secretary Carson on National TV, Touting Manufactured Housing, More Jobs & Investment Opportunities

HUD Secretary Carson on National TV, Touting Manufactured Housing, More Jobs & Investment Opportunities

Governor Signs 18’ Wide Single-Section Bill

Governor Signs 18’ Wide Single-Section Bill

Cowards, How Winning Is Done, and Manufactured Housing

Cowards, How Winning Is Done, and Manufactured Housing

 

Thursday 5.2.2019 

Holocaust Remembrance Day, You Don’t Know What Tough Is, and Ramadan

Holocaust Remembrance Day, You Don’t Know What Tough Is, and Ramadan

Top Ten Smaller Cities Millennials Moving to For Lower Housing Cost, Plus Stock Updates

Top Ten Smaller Cities Millennials Moving to For Lower Housing Cost, Plus Stock Updates

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Surprise Appearance at Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Exclusive Quotes – Addressing Manufactured Home Industry

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Surprise Appearance at Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Exclusive Quotes – Addressing Manufactured Home Industry

Warning – Number 1 Manufactured Housing State, Texas – Reports Month Over Month Rise, Year over Year Shipment Decline Continues

Warning – Number 1 Manufactured Housing State, Texas – Reports Month Over Month Rise, Year over Year Shipment Decline Continues

 

Wednesday 5.1.2019

Newly Published Regional State Data Reflects Gainers, Losers in New Manufactured Homes Shipped

Newly Published Regional State Data Reflects Gainers, Losers in New Manufactured Homes Shipped

One Word From Fed’s Jerome Powell Sent Stocks Lower, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates  

Skyline Champion (SKY) Hedge Fund Dumps Shares, Value Declines

Skyline Champion (SKY) Hedge Fund Dumps Shares, Value Declines

MHARR Weighs in, HUD Secretary Carson Letter – “Discriminatory…Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes”

MHARR Weighs in, HUD Secretary Carson Letter – “Discriminatory…Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes”

 

Tuesday 4.30.2019 

New Manufactured Home Community Research Data – Site Fees, Occupancy Survey, YoY Changes, 20 Top U.S. Markets

New Manufactured Home Community Research Data – Site Fees, Occupancy Survey, YoY Changes, 20 Top U.S. Markets

Barron’s Big Money Manager Survey Democratic, Trump, Congress Result$, plus MH Stock Updates

Barron’s Big Money Manager Survey Democratic, Trump, Congress Result$, plus MH Stock Updates

National Association of Home Builders Co-Hosting HUD Innovative Housing Showcase

National Association of Home Builders Co-Hosting HUD Innovative Housing Showcase

Wall Street Expects POTUS Trump Reelection in 2020, MHVille First Looks

Wall Street Expects POTUS Trump Reelection in 2020, MHVille First Looks

 

Monday 4.29.2019

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

Cruise Ship Retiring at Sea? Will it Eat Into 55 Plus Community or Assisted Living? Plus, Manufactured Home Market Updates

Cruise Ship Retiring at Sea? Will it Eat Into 55 Plus Community or Assisted Living? Plus, Manufactured Home Market Updates

New Investigation, Insider Trades, Hedge Fund Dumps Cavco Industries (CVCO)

New Investigation, Insider Trades, Hedge Fund Dumps Cavco Industries (CVCO)

Secretary Carson Letter Lights Fuse for Explosive Change, Obliquely Addresses Manufactured Housing Action Concerns

Secretary Carson Letter Lights Fuse for Explosive Change, Obliquely Addresses Manufactured Housing Action Concerns

 

Sunday 4.28.2019 

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

Time is money. Knowledge is potential power.  When you slow down enough to learn what you need to know, to read what you need to know, the odds go up that you’ll advance faster. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

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Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Related References:

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The Two Gardens, America, and Manufactured Housing

Profiting & Correcting – Manufactured Housing Traps, Pitfalls and Swindles

Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’

Manufactured Housing Institute Members Defending MHI, Great Debate About Manufactured Home Industry Progress, Problems, and Profits

God’s Sense of Humor, Tilting After Windmills, Manufactured Housing – Merchants or Crusaders?

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats