Why I Stopped Buying Stocks During the 2021 Mania

In January 2021, I made a dramatic change to my personal investments...

This was a time when seemingly everyone was getting rich on cryptocurrencies. And the riskiest and most volatile parts of the stock market – like tech stocks, "meme stocks," and more – were absolutely soaring.

You could throw a dart at any risky asset in early 2021 and make a lot of money. That kind of environment can sweep up even conservative investors.

It would have been the easiest time in my investment career to join the crowd and dive headfirst into more risk. But I didn't do it.

Instead, I chose to reduce the risk in my portfolio.

I found an obvious, specific trend. It didn't require an impossible "forever boom" in speculative assets to keep going. It could march steadily on for years, potentially even decades...

So I made a massive change to my portfolio. Outside of my retirement accounts, I stopped buying stocks entirely.

Today, I'll share what I started doing instead – and why the trend that caused the shift is nowhere near over...

When I quit stocks in early 2021, it wasn't because I anticipated the coming crash.

Instead, it was because I found something even better for my portfolio at the time. And over the next 18 months or so, I poured several hundred thousand dollars into one type of investment instead...

Real estate.

Specifically, I invested in private real estate deals, namely apartments in Florida and Texas. And it was all because of a trend I've called the "American Migration."

You see, a massive change is happening in America right now. Hundreds of thousands of folks are moving from high-cost cities on the coasts to lower-cost cities, especially in Texas and the Southeast.

The pandemic accelerated the American Migration. But make no mistake – this trend was underway long before anyone had heard of COVID-19.

We can see it in more than a decade of census data...

The U.S. Census Bureau has tracked U.S. population estimates since 2010. It shares the results in the State Population Totals and Components of Change reports. And one part of the country has been the fastest-growing region for the past 13 years... the South. Take a look...

The South has been booming for more than a decade. And as you can see on the right side of the chart, that trend has accelerated in the past few years.

One of the biggest winners of this shift is my home state of Florida. It's a prime example of how much this trend is speeding up...

More and more folks from Northern coastal cities are putting down roots here. In 2021, 61,728 New Yorkers moved to Florida. But that number rose to 64,577 last year... more than any year in history.

It's the same story with transplants from New Jersey. The second-highest number of new Floridians came from that state last year. And, like New York, it set a new record when more of its residents moved to Florida in 2022 than the year before.

While the media coverage of the American Migration has died down, the trend isn't over. Instead, it's picking up speed.

Why are so many Americans flocking to Southern states? It's simple...

This part of the U.S. offers the highest quality of life in exchange for the lowest cost.

Even with a demographic boom and a tight U.S. housing market, the South is still a bargain compared with the rest of the country. Take a look...

Median home prices in the South are 24% lower than in the Northeast... and 35% lower than in the West.

And although the Midwest is the most affordable region in the U.S., you have to give up good weather and a booming economy to live there.

Southern states simply give you the most bang for your buck. And with the ongoing U.S. housing shortage, that leads to an obvious investment...

You really want to own homes or apartments in the South.

That's the bet I've made with my own money. And if you're able to do the same, it's something you should consider too. The American Migration also means that real estate prices in these areas will benefit from a massive long-term tailwind.

Now, to be clear, I didn't give up buying stocks for good. I began buying again during the bear market last year. But I used the American Migration to reshape my personal portfolio...

It's a trend you should consider taking advantage of as well.

Good investing,

Brett Eversole

Further Reading

"Folks are moving away from large metropolitan areas in high-tax states, like New York and California," Brett explains. This shift has been going on for years. And it means certain real estate markets will win out over the rest... Get the full story here.

Housing prices dipped last year, but they didn't crash. Now, sentiment is rising again. In fact, by one measure, it just hit an important level – one that means this boom could last for years... Read more here.