I'd never done it before… But a few weeks ago, I MADE my first mortgage loan.
I'll safely earn a double-digit interest rate in this zero-percent world.
The mortgage loan I made will pay me 12% interest, plus a "point" (1%) up front. It's a first mortgage on a home, and it's well-secured by a 40% down payment.
I never intended to make a mortgage loan. I never intended to "be the bank." But these days, banks won't make this particular loan…
What happens when a loaf of bread costs $23?
In the past year, the price of coffee has more than doubled. Since 2009, sugar prices have jumped as much as 200%.
What's going on here?
Recently, the Federal Government has intervened in America's food supply, setting off a chain reaction which is already affecting prices as well as the amount of food we receive. The worst has yet to trickle down.
For more information on this situation, click here.
Banks are perfectly willing to make loans that conform to certain government guidelines. The typical "conforming" loan is to a middle-class couple buying a middle-class house for their primary residence, with a decent down payment and decent credit.
Banks want to make conforming loans because they know they can immediately turn around and "sell" that loan to the government.
But the loan I made is lower risk, I think, than many conforming loans.
You see, the homebuyer – a friend of a friend – is in the real estate business. He's not buying this as a "primary residence." He's speculating. He's buying the property dirt-cheap. And he believes he already has it sold for a much higher price.
Whether he has it sold or not, I'm not that worried. The collateral is there for the loan. So I'm secured. But because it doesn't conform to the government standard, banks don't want it. And I get to safely pocket 13% over the next year. I'll take it!
I don't expect you to do exactly what I'm doing. But today, you can make a similar investment in the stock market…
The company is called Chimera. It's a sister business to our favorite mortgage traders – the guys behind Annaly.
Right now, roughly 20% of Chimera's capital is invested exactly as Annaly invests: with leverage in government-guaranteed mortgages. But the rest is invested in non-conforming loans, like the one I wrote… non-conforming loans paying double-digit interest rates. (These are not sub-prime loans.)
Unlike a bank, which uses a large amount of leverage (borrowing money), Chimera's current business model is to hold mortgages mostly without leverage. Just like me, it's resisting the temptation to borrow money at a low interest rate to invest it in these mortgages at a higher rate.
Even without all that leverage, the business earns a mid-teens yield on its portfolio. And it distributes nearly all those profits to shareholders through dividends. Chimera yields nearly 18%.
It's also incredibly cheap. It sells for just 0.85 times book value. And with a business like Chimera, book value IS liquidation value. So we have an opportunity to buy $1 for just $0.85 cents… and collect 18% dividends along the way.
With my own money, I'm personally doing what Chimera is doing. You can do the same through the stock market… with less hassle… and you'll get paid even more interest.