Sunday, April 26, 2009

The 16% Solution by Joel S Moskowitz, JD

The original 16% Solution came out in 1994. I just finished the 2009 edition, which has been updated in many ways. The 16% Solution is about investing in tax lien certificates, which is something that I had never heard of before. Basically it involves buying tax liens from county governments, and then rather than the county earning the interest, you now earn the interest. Only 23 states sell their tax liens in this way, but Moskowitz includes all of this information for you.
The major differences between this edition and the first one is the fact that many counties now do their auctions online, or at least have websites that have very detailed information about the procedure. Moskowitz includes web addresses for all of the relevant counties. He also includes advice that is based on the current economic situation, rather than what the economy looked like back in 1994. The world is a different place now.
At first I was wary of tax liens - I felt that it must be in some way bad for the person whose lien is being sold, the person who has been unable to pay their property taxes. I would hate to participate in a system that made it easier for people to lose their homes because I bought the lien on their unpaid property tax. But in many states, it's actually better for the property owner - at the auction, the person who wins the bid is the one who will take the lien at the lowest rate of interest. Granted, some states seem to make it very easy to foreclose on someone, but I was interested in the states that seemed to be the most fair to the property-holder. All-in-all, this book makes tax lien investing sound like a really good deal. I plan on checking it out when I have the extra money ready to invest. And I will have this book read for when I need it.
I am glad I actually own this book, because then I can hang on to it until I am ready to use the information in it. So of course this counts for the RYOB Challenge. As a non-fiction book, it also gets a Dewey Decimal Number, making it work for the Dewey Decimal Challenge. I mostly tend to read history, so I already have my 900's book. The number for this one is 332.6324, so I actually get a 300's book now. And we can't forget about the Pub 2009 Challenge!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the thoughtful review. I am pleased that my book acheived what I wanted it to. I would be grateful if you could re-post your review on Amazon. - Joel S. Moskowitz