The latest issue of Street Freak came out on Tuesday. Street Freak is a bit of an aggressive stock-picking newsletter, where we come up with a new idea every month. I try to keep the ideas a secret—if you want them, you have to subscribe! But I’m going to let you in on this month’s idea for free. Are you ready? Here it is:
Pay down your mortgage.
Yes, that’s a bit unorthodox for a financial newsletter. But people spend too much time thinking about the next get-rich-quick idea and not enough time thinking about their overall financial well-being. I’m willing to bet that in addition to having a successful portfolio, many investors reading this also have a lot of debt.
Going into what might be a downturn, I’m uncomfortable having a lot of financial leverage. If you think the market is going to go down, then you should stop thinking about buying inverse VIX ETNs and start thinking about how to deleverage in a smart fashion.
Paying down your mortgage is part of that. It is part of an overall exercise in balance sheet repair, which includes—
- Building a cash position
- Paying off debt:
- Margin debt
- Credit card debt
- Car loans
- Mortgage debt
Financial leverage cuts both ways. It can help you on the way up, and it can hurt you on the way down.