An Interview with Robert Campbell

By Christina Suter on Apr 29, 2017 at 03:25 PM in Real Estate Issues
An Interview with Robert Campbell

Agent, investor, and speaker Robert Campbell started investing in real estate at age 24 and has enjoyed a multifaceted 46-year real estate career. The Campbell Real Estate Timing Letter is a letter Robert has been producing since 2002 because he believes "a data-driven, trend-following system is the best solution for making superior investment decisions." Robert has decades of experience under his belt and he likes to share that if you're going to be successful in the market and be a superior (not average or inferior) investor, you need a system and one that is driven by data. Using data to follow trends helps you get out of falling trends and capitalize on rising trends.

As a person who has invested in stocks and bonds and lost a million dollars in them, I was able to gain a million dollars in real estate and was sold on real estate from there, forward. Robert has worked out a system where his data-driven approach lets him excel across different forms of investment. Robert says about 40 years ago he was taking a course on how to trade commodities under a very successful investor and he learned then to study under someone who is the best. Robert learned to use the principles in commodities in real estate because markets, are markets

One of Robert's mantras is, "Goals are for Dreamers, Systems are for Winners".

Robert says you learn by making mistakes but he tries not to repeat his mistakes and uses his data to guide is decisions and therefore his mistakes are small when he makes them. He says the name of the game is to avoid bad markets and he still trades the market until this day using his short-term trading system. Robert says based on his current data he wouldn't touch real estate in the San Francisco Bay area right now because it's so overvalued.  

I asked him to go more into that statement and he expounded and shared that Warren Buffet has two rules about making money, 1. Don't lose it and 2. Never forget rule number 1. Robert says our natural tendency to be greedy, fearful, and hopeful will sabotage all investors. Within the San Francisco market specifically, housing prices went up 100% in a 4-year period; the median price home trades for 1.4 million dollars and it is extremely overvalued and poised for a downturn. Anyone considering buying in that market should avoid doing so right now. The weakest market he follows and the San Jose/Santa Clara market is in the process of rolling over and he thinks there will be significant losses in the next down cycle of between 20-40%.

Studying human behavior and psychology as well as having an understanding of what the real estate cycles are doing, has helped Richard understand what's going on in the heads of people and what they're going through. He says he is as mechanical as you can get when it comes to him trading to market to invest; he is logical more than emotional and doesn't function on wishes, but instead looks at reality. Understanding human nature helps you take the emotion out of your investments and helps you avoid substandard returns. Robert says that people who've made millions made the biggest profits because of timing; they got in at the right time and out at the right time. 

In his Real Estate Timing Letter, Robert, using the real estate timing model, market time's 19 cities throughout the US and 5 cities in California for people who want the comfort of knowing which way the trends are going. He says he feels the next real estate downturn could be as bad as the last one because the economy is so weak. A failing economy will always take the real estate market down with it. 

You can find out more about Robert's Real Estate Timing Letter on his website and buy his book there as well.