2015年11月28日Oasis案例研究:如何从200万到350万美金

在本周末的案例研究中,我们将回顾我们的投资合伙人通过购置土地增持美国资产配额的过程。

从2009至2013年,我们的投资团队专注于美国西南地区住宅类房产的投资。我们的首选城市是菲尼克斯和拉斯维加斯,因为它们不仅有收益最稳定的市场,而且投资环境比那些知名城市要简单得多。

US-Heat-Map-April-2015

上图:颜色越深的地区法拍房的数量越多

这份案例研究不会过多关注我们是如何在超过25个亲历调研的城市中筛选出菲尼克斯和拉斯维加斯作为我们的主攻城市。但是考虑到我们至少一半的收益表现是由选择正确的城市投资所决定的,我们将选择投资地区的过程归纳为以下几点,需要考虑的条件和因素按照自上而下的顺序排列:

  1. 我们必须决定这个国家本身与其他国际投资机遇相比是否值得进入。(2008年美国遭遇了自1929年以来最严重的金融危机,致使所有类型的资产都出现了崩盘。)
  2. 我们必须决定参与哪种类型的投资:是积极地运营一些生意、房地产、还是投资金融产品?所有这些资产的价格都已经到了超跌的范围。考虑到投资的推进速度和其他一些因素,我们最终选择了房地产。
  3. 我们从客观的角度对美国所有主要房地产市场进行了调研,从而对地区间的相对价格以及价格和地区增长、个人收入等因素之间的关系。我们还仔细考虑了一个经常被忽视的因素,就是来自于本地的竞争者。换句话说,海外或者非居民投资者是否可以获得关于这座城市的透明的信息?我们不想在一座城市花费数年时间,得到的却是那些资金充沛或是关系雄厚的本地人遗弃的残骸。
  4. 对于房产拥有者的法律保护是我们做出投资决定的另一个重要因素,因为法律是解决租客问题最有效的力量和途径。菲尼克斯和拉斯维加斯的法律都有对房东更加保护,这也使我们放弃了迈阿密、洛杉矶或纽约这样的知名城市,优先对这两个市场进行了试水。
  5. 对于租金收入和资产升值部分的税收也是菲尼克斯和拉斯维加斯的优势之一,这两座城市所在的州都对公司实行零州税(联邦税率依旧有效)。
  6. 其他选择因素和条件包括:城市增长速度和周边地理环境,例如拉斯维加斯四面环山,大大限制了可供开发的土地数量。

现在让我们回到这份案例研究的正题,首先看一下2014年1月一宗交易背后的决策和执行。从价格图表上看,市场复苏周期刚刚进入下半场,但依旧处于正常商业周期的早期,因为我们知道主流投资者还没有正式进场。case schiller截止2013年底,我们的团队已经完成了数十件居住类房产交易,并立即在公开市场转手,成功获得了25%甚至更高的利润。值得注意的是,当时我们已经在每座城市组建了非常高效的本地团队并在圈内获得了良好的信誉,所以我们总是能够早于那些本地的竞争者在邮箱或手机上收到那些好的交易信息。

Al Auction

上图:政府组织的土地拍卖会现场,正在竞拍一块非常优质的土地。

作为第一批进入该市场的外国投资者,我们和一小部分美国的投资基金证明了通过私人股权结构购置和管理多处房产并实现盈利的可能性。在此之前,专业房地产圈的传统思维是无法使购买大量房产变成具有规模效应的商业模式,并且不会像住宅公寓楼的管理那样高效。我们探究了过去的趋势和行为科学,得到的结论是金融危机时期的传统思维并不是最赚钱或风险最低的策略。

我们早期的下注带来了收益,也让我们意识到我们已经处于了市场领先的位置。所以我们决定在竞争者和大众有足够信心带着资本进场前,开始新一轮更有侵略性的行动。我们想要在我们已经取得成功并足够熟悉的住宅类房产投资领域扩大规模和降低风险。于是我们开始搜索位于优质区域可以建造很多别墅的土地。DSC08114

上图:鸟瞰拉斯维加斯西南部一块出售中的未开发土地。Mountains Edge上图:同样的位置,与前一块未开发土地紧邻的便是一片已经成熟的社区。

在一个刚刚从谷底开始上升的房地产市场,购置土地允许我们在获得诸多房产上方潜在利润空间的同时,也能够有效控制下方的潜在损失空间,因为我们可以选择一直持有直到土地价格达到对我们有利的区间。在股票交易领域,我们相当于购买了房地产市场的看涨期权,控制下行风险的前提下拥有无限的上行获利空间。

DSC06777

上图:我们的SUV停靠的位置是两块地的分界线,照片中的石头是别墅区的起始点并一直向照片外很远的距离延伸。

在实际操作中,我们购买的第一块土地可以建造35栋大型别墅,每栋别墅占地约2000平米。当时,每栋别墅的平均售价为65万美金。建造35栋别墅将会花费2300万美金,20英亩土地的成本是200万美金。现在我们可以选择把土地转手卖出,或是建造基础设施后将待建土地按块卖出,还可以由我们自己完成全部别墅的开发项目。拥有灵活的套现方案对于任何专业的投资者都是至关重要的。我们以200万美金获得了价值2300万美金资产所拥有的上行利润空间。如果市场下跌了20%,我们的损失将远远低于2300万美金的20%。我们在这里不再赘述其中关于数学和金融情景分析的细节。

至此我们得出以下几点结论:

  1. 当市场因为你所预期的原因向你所预期的方向移动,一定要比其他竞争对手先启动。在这个阶段,你会预期主流的投资团体和公众依旧表现犹豫和持有怀疑态度,我们称此为“孤独的交易”。
  2. 寻求加大上行杠杆的同时最小化下行可控风险的方法。风险可划分为价格风险和流动性风险。
  3. 大跌结束后,一定要在趋势方向证明你的资产配置是正确的之后再大规模进场。这就意味着你永远不会拿到最低的理论价格。不可否认的是当决定市场行情何时结束时“艺术派”和“科学派”总是存在分歧,但是我们不会在这里讨论更多细节,因为这个话题本身足以作为另一个案例研究。但是当你发现流动性消失,见证了每类资产和房产在市场冻结期的表现时,探明一桩交易的下行风险就变得容易的多了。
  4. 寻找拥有多种套现方式的资产。这种灵活性不仅可以帮助降低下行风险,还经常可以帮助获得更高的收益。

到了一年后的2015年初,当地政府的土地拍卖表明我们购置的第一块土地的市值已经约为320万美金了。当我写这篇案例研究的时候(2015年11月),这块地的市值已经介于380到420万美元之间。当地的房屋开发商已经向我们开出了相似的报价,由于自大跌以来所有人手里的土地都一直处于紧缺状态,所以他们急于购置新的土地。这样的开发商通常可以在每栋别墅上盈利10万美元,而通过他们的努力,建造35栋别墅将为他们带来大约300万美金的利润。而且他们只需要大约300万的营运资本来实现这样的计划,相当于实现了100%的收益率。实为双赢之举。

同样,我们自己的团队也可以选择开发别墅,获取那额外的300万美元利润(除了土地升值带来的150-200万美元的利润)来奖励我们的投资合伙人们。

这就是我们在现实生活中如何将200万变成350万美金甚至更多。

 

附录:

Oasis全球合伙人公司一直在持续购置更多土地,现在我们已经拥有足够建造超过250栋别墅的土地和一个小型零售市场。一直以来,我们都以股东利益最大化为己任。

Turning $2,000,000 USD into $3,500,000 USD.

2015-11-28  Turning $2,000,000 USD into $3,500,000 USD

In this weekend’s case study, we will walk through process we went through to when we our investment partnership started to increase its asset allocation in the U.S. by buying raw land.

From 2009 through 2013, our group was focusing on residential property throughout the southwest United States, principally in Phoenix and Las Vegas as these were  in our view not only the most consistent markets, but also far simpler than some of the more well known cities.  We won’t focus too much in this case study on how we shortlisted Phoenix and Las Vegas as our prime target areas out of more than 25 cities we researched and visited often multiple times.  But given we can attribute at least half (50%) of our performance to choosing the right cities to allocate capital to, we can abbreviate our investment process regarding geographic markets into point form.  In short, the criteria and factors we considered were as follows from top down:

  1. We had to decide whether the country itself was worth entering in comparison to other international opportunities. (In 2008, the biggest financial crisis since 1929 caused collapses in all asset  categories in the U.S. )
  2. We had to decide what asset category we wanted to invest in:  Actively run businesses? Real Estate? Financial instruments? All of the above at distressed prices?  We chose real estate for collateral reasons and for speed of entry.
  3. We objectively searched all major real estate markets in the country to understand relative market pricing between regions, and pricing relative to geographic growth, personal income among many other factors.  One often overlooked factor we consider carefully, was whether we could seriously compete against local incumbents in a given city.  Or in another words, how transparent and accessible was a particular city for foreign or non-resident investor?  We were not interested in committing years to a market where we would only end up with scraps that other well funded and well connected locals did not want.
  4. Legal protections for Property Owners played an important part in our decision making since the power to remove tenants quickly can solve problems efficiently.  Both Phoenix and Las Vegas have laws that are friendly to landlords, and played a strong role in motivating us to test these markets sooner than more well known cities such as Miami, Los Angeles or New York.
  5. Tax on income and capital gains was also considered and both Phoenix and Las Vegas are located in states that have zero corporate tax rates.  (though US Federal taxes still apply)
  6. Other factors and criteria include ….growth rate of the city, physical geographic constraints such as finding out Las Vegas is surrounded on 4 sides by mountains, limiting the amount of prime land available for future development.

 

Now to the real essence of this case study, we look at the decision and execution behind a transaction executed on January 2014, arguably more than halfway into the market recovery cycle if strictly looking at price graphs, but early enough in normal business cycle because we knew that major players had not yet started playing too seriously yet.  By the end of 2013, our group had conducted dozens of residential property transactions, half of them held for rental income and appreciation, and half of them rehabilitated and flipped onto the open market for 25% or more profit right away.  It should be noted that at this point we had built up effective local teams in each city and developed a good reputation among our networks so that good deals usually landed in our email boxes or mobile phones sooner than our competition.  We were among the first foreign investors to enter these markets and together with a handful of other US investment funds, we collectively proved that it was possible to use a private equity fund structure to acquire many single family homes and manage them profitably.  Prior to this, conventional thinking in professional real estate circles was that buying many houses was not a scaleable venture and certainly not as efficient as multi-family housing units.  We leaned more on past trends and behavioral science to conclude that conventional wisdom during this crisis period was not the most profitable or least risky strategy.

As our early bets paid off, and knowing that we were “ahead of the pack”, we decided to press a bit more aggressively before the competing investors and the public had enough confidence and capital to crowd our market.  We wanted to keep doing something similar to where we experienced success (residential property), but scale it up while minimizing risk.  We started looking for land in prime locations that had space for many residential homes.

In a rising property market coming off of a crash, being able to secure land allowed us to buy the upside of many housing units, while allowing us to be exposed on the downside to manageable losses so long as we had the power to hold onto the parcels until prices were in our favour.  In trading terms, we were buying a “call option” on the real estate market, allowing for lots of upside and limited downside.  In actual terms, our first purchase was a parcel that could fit 35 large homes, each with 3 Chinese Mo of land.  At that time, each home would have an average selling price of $650,000.  If we owned 35 finished homes, this would cost us almost $23 million USD.   We bought the nearly 20 acre parcel for just $2,000,000 USD and now had the flexibility to flip it as-is later on, develop the infrastructure and sell the finished lots, or build the complete houses ourselves.  Having flexible exit options is critical for any professional investor.  And so with just $2,000,000 USD we have claim to the upside of a $23,000,000 USD asset.  On the downside if say the market fell 20%, we would lose far less than 20% of $23,000,000 USD.  For simplicity sake, we will not go into detailed mathematics or financing scenarios.  The summary up to this point is:

  1. When the market is moving in your direction for the ‘right’ reasons…meaning the reasons you anticipated, press your bets before the rest of the herd shows up to compete.  At this stage, you can expect the mainstream investment community and public to be hesitant and skeptical, we call these ‘lonely’ trades.
  2. Look for ways to get more upside leverage with minimized or manageable risk. And risk can be broken down into pricing risk and liquidity risk.
  3. Coming off any serious crash, press your bets AFTER prices are moving in the right direction to prove your positioning is correct. This means you will never achieve the lowest theoretical price.  Admittedly, there is quite a degree of “art” vs “science” in identifying when market capitulations are over, but we won’t go into detail here since that is a case study all to itself.  But ascertaining a transaction’s downside risk is much easier when you have seen liquidity disappear and have observed how each category of asset or property has behaved when the market is frozen.
  4. Look for assets and strategies that allow for multiple exit options. This flexibility not only helps to lower your downside risk, but can often help enable the opportunity to earn much higher profits.

By early 2015, just one year later, local government auctions indicated that our first parcel of land had an approximate market value of $3,200,000.  At the time of this writing (November 2015) the market value is in the range of $3,800,000 to $4,200,000.  Local homebuilders have presented us with similar offers, anxious to secure land as they are all short on inventory since the crash.  Such builders stand to make about $100,000 of profit on each house they build, thus for their efforts, they would earn approximately $3,000,000 or profit for the 35 homes they would build on our parcel.  And they would only need about $3,000,000 USD of working capital to execute such a project thus they would be making a return of 100% on their working capital.  Everybody wins.

Alternately, our own group could build the homes and earn that extra $3,000,000 USD (on top of the $1.5M~2M profit on the land price) to return to our investment partnership.

And so concludes our real life case study of how to turn $2,000,000 USD into $3,500,000 or more.

 

Addendum:

Oasis Global Partners continued to accumulate more parcels of land and now owns enough area to build more than 250 single family homes and a small shopping market.  As always, we are driven to maximize shareholder value.

Doctors Without Borders

China Currency Peg Likely to become divorced from USD

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG LINK 2015-11-23

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Bank of America: The ‘Great Divorce’ Between the World’s Two Largest Economies Will Drive Currency and Rates Markets in 2016

The “marriage of convenience” is over.

Don’t sleep on the prospect of more currency depreciation from the People’s Bank of China, warns Bank of America Merrill Lynch, calling for a “great divorce” between the U.S. and the world’s second-largest economy in the coming year.

David Woo, head of global rates and currencies research, laid out the case for the team’s favorite trade of 2016—buy USDCNH six-month forwards—in his preview for the year ahead:

“On the eve of the December FOMC meeting, we think the question is not whether the U.S. economy can live with higher interest rates and a higher U.S. dollar. The question is, given the semi USD/RMB peg and China’s increasing open capital account (which come at the expense of China’s monetary independence), whether China can live with higher U.S. interest rates and a higher U.S. dollar. We are skeptical. This is why we think the USD/RMB peg, a marriage of convenience that has been the anchor for the global growth model for the better part of the last 15 years, is headed for a divorce, and we think the RMB devaluation on Aug. 11 was a first small step in this direction.”

The strategist doesn’t think the motive for depreciation is to put Chinese exporters in a position to seize a larger share of global demand by improving their competitiveness. Rather, this is all about allowing the People’s Bank of China enough room to enact easier monetary policy in the face of an economy whose growth is moderating.

“We believe the RMB will weaken further because, given the increased openness of China’s capital account, Beijing will not be able to lower interest rates and defend the RMB at the same time,” wrote Woo, reiterating his longstanding call.

Bank of America developed a monetary conditions index for China, which tracks the real effective exchange rate and real interest rates, and it concludes that the policy has become too tight:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

“We forecast USD/CNY to rise to 7.0, which would represent 9 percent depreciation from the current level, compared with 3 percent depreciation implied by the forwards right now,” wrote Woo. “We could see renewed decline of the RMB as early as the first quarter, as the combination of the inclusion of the RMB in the SDR and a December Fed hike (both of which are our central scenario) could turn out to be a perfect storm for the RMB.”

The surprise depreciation in August was an attempt to reduce the extent to which the People’s Bank of China would be forced to intervene in currency markets to prop up the value of the currency—a process that drained domestic liquidity.

However, the ensuing market panic exacerbated the flow of funds out of the country, as investors and companies began to worry about the potential for subsequent devaluations that would erode the value of their yuan-denominated assets and raise the cost of servicing U.S. dollar-denominated debt.

Woo acknowledged that the consensus view on Wall Street has shifted away from the notion that another large-scale devaluation is imminent and toward the idea that the People’s Bank of China was “one-and-done,” in part because of the magnitude of the reaction to August’s move.

Barclays, for instance, recently pushed back its call for further declines in the yuan.

“We acknowledge the strong resolve of the authorities to deter speculation and to maintain currency stability in the near term,” wrote Jose Wynne, head of FX research.

Like Woo, however, Barclays’s strategists recommend being long USDCNH forwards to capitalize on any additional weakness in the Chinese currency.

Woo believes that once China’s quest to have its currency included in the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights basket has concluded—whether in success or failure—the authorities in Beijing will lose the desire to backstop the yuan.

This looming Chinese devaluation will be driving price action across rates and foreign exchange markets in 2016, according to Bank of America:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

As such, Woo is also keen on a trade that’s closely linked to Bank of America’s top idea. The second trade on that list is a long position in 30-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. The strategist believes that the Federal Reserve’s terminal rate—the ceiling for how high its policy rate will go—will be dragged down by the decline in China’s currency.

“Further monetary easing by Beijing resulting in a shallower Fed cycle would go a long way in convincing investors that the Fed will likely keep real interest rates much lower than in prior cycles,” explained Woo.