Monday, January 25, 2016

Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion For Sale at $200 Million

Other than President Obama's White House, the Playboy Mansion is the most famous home in
the United States. The dream home for millions of teen boys, their fathers and grandfathers is now for sale at $200 million.
Chicago native and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner bought the 20,000-square-foot Los Angeles mansion on five acres in 1971 for $1.05 million and relocated full time from the original Playboy Mansion in Chicago in 1974. Built in 1927 for the son of Arthur Letts, who was the founder of Los Angeles department stores The Broadway and Bullocks, the home is located in the ritzy Holmby Hills neighborhood, an area that Letts kick-started in 1919 when he bought 400 acres of the Wolfskill Ranch. Neighbors include the Los Angels Country Club, UCLA and Beverly Hills.
Over the years, Hefner and Playboy Enterprises have spent millions of dollars to renovate, update and expand the estate which includes the 29-room mansion with six bedrooms and baths, a four-bedroom guest house, pool, tennis court, koi pond, catering kitchen, wine cellar with a secret door, gym, zoo facilities, theater with a built-in pipe organ, waterfall, four hot tubs, bathhouse and a grotto. Famous for years of celebrity parties, the home was a frequent star for television and movies including “Sex and the City,” “Beverly Hills Cop II,” “Entourage” and “ESPN Friday Night Fights.”
While the mansion may soon have a new owner, Hefner isn't going anywhere as it is being sold as a life estate meaning that Hef, age 89, will be able to continue living at the home for the rest of his life. According to the official listing, “The Playboy Mansion has been a creative center for Hef as his residence and workplace for the past 40 years, as it will continue to be if the property is sold.”
Hef's home has replaced the South Florida mansion Le Palais Royal asking $159 million as the most expensive listed single-family home in the United States. The Playboy Mansion selling agents are Mauricio Umansky of The Agency and Drew Fenton and Gary Gold of Hilton & Hyland.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Billionaire Ken Fisher Speaks about the Stock Market, Annuities, Terrorism, Climate Change, and Debt

(Reprinted courtesy of
The following fascinating interview was provided by Kenneth L. Fisher, head of the money management firm Fisher Investments, long time columnist for Forbes Magazine, billionaire, and author of numerous books. His latest book is Beat the Crowd: How You Can Out-Invest the Herd by Thinking Differently, which I highly recommend.

Ken Fisher
You may have seen him on TV commercials, or you may have spotted his magazine ads. If you are a reader of Forbes, you would definitely find his column. Fisher is on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans and Forbes world billionaires list. According to Investment Advisor magazine, he is one of the 30 most influential people in the investment advisory business over the last 30 years. Fisher is considered to be the largest wealth manager in the United States.

We cover a lot in this interview, including:
  • Whether or not we are still in a bull market
  • What it means to be a true contrarian
  • What the professional forecasters are predicting for the stock market this year (and why they are probably wrong)
  • Using the Leading Economics Index to predict the next few months
  • The concept of "not in the next 30 months"
  • Positive and negative "Elephants in the Room"
  • Concerns about the future consequences of punishing good banks for bailing out bad banks
  • Annuities, terrorism, climate change, debt, and much, much more.
Books by Ken Fisher

Here are some other books by Ken Fisher, which are worth checking out:

The Only Three Questions That Still Count: Investing By Knowing What Others Don't
(A great companion to the Beat the Crowd book.)

The Ten Roads to Riches: The Ways the Wealthy Got There (And How You Can Too!)
(This is actually my favorite book of his, maybe because it is so different from all the other finance books. It basically tells you ten ways, with all the steps, to get really rich, including "marrying a billionaire." Lot's of insight and lots of humor.)

Markets Never Forget (But People Do): How Your Memory Is Costing You Money and Why This Time Isn't Different

The Little Book of Market Myths: How to Profit by Avoiding the Investing Mistakes Everyone Else Makes

Debunkery: Learn It, Do It, and Profit from It-Seeing Through Wall Street's Money-Killing Myths

How to Smell a Rat: The Five Signs of Financial Fraud
(If you want to avoid getting ripped off, you really need to read this book.)

Other Books that Ken Fisher Recommends

In Chapter 8 of his Beat the Crowd book, he recommends several books for additional reading. Here are many of those books:

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Psychological Edge

Where Are the Customers' Yachts?: or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street

That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen: The Unintended Consequences of Government Spending

How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy

Business Cycles

How to Lie with Statistics

A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960

Growth and Welfare in the American Past: A New Economic History
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

Senseless Panic: How Washington Failed America

The Interview

You will certainly enjoy all this great information that Ken Fisher provides.

To stream the interview, click:

You can download as an mp3 by right-clicking here and choosing "save as."

Let us know what you think about this interview by entering your comments in the comment section below.

All opinions are those of Ken Fisher, and do not represent the opinions of or the interviewer. Neither Stockerblog nor the interviewer nor the interviewee are rendering tax, legal, or investment advice in this interview.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Andy Warhol Home Sells for Half the Price of His Expensive Paintings: $50 Million

Andy Warhol's Hamptons' beach home just sold for $50 million - about half the price that Warhol's most famous paintings sell. Warhol's home is featured this week at

“Andy Warhol Home Sells $50 Million”

Montauk, New York is celebrating its biggest estate sale ever after the closing on the 5.7-acre beachfront estate at $50 million that pop artist Andy Warhol bought in 1972 for $225,000.

The most recent owner of the compound was CEO of J. Crew, Mickey Drexler, who bought it in 2007 for $27 million. He listed it in 2015 for $85 million that included a 24-acre horse farm and equine center, which the buyer, Adam Lindemann, opted out of the purchase. Lindemann is the founder of the Venus Over Manhattan Gallery and a major collector of Warhol’s works making the property’s history especially significant for him.
Warhol’s first gig out of art school was as a fashion illustrator for several of the top women’s magazines. With the money acquired from his illustrations, he purchased a large loft on New York’s West Side and opened the Factory, where he turned toward creating industrial art. It wasn’t long before the Factory and Andy were attracting like-minded modernists from hippies to wannabe journalists and actors to drag queens and drug addicts. It was the start of New York’s avant-garde scene where Warhol held court. In addition to his painting, he branched out into music, film and journalism where he met Paul Morrissey who became the director of some of Warhol’s early films.

In 1972 when Warhol’s popularity and success were peaking, he and Morrissey decided to invest in property in the Hamptons and purchased the family fishing camp of the Church family of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda fame. The estate includes a 3,800-square-foot main house and five cottages completely hidden from public view with wide beaches and ocean views. Totaling almost 15,000 square feet with nine bedrooms and twelve baths, Drexler had it all meticulously restored by architect Thierry Despont.

Warhol’s stream of celebrity guests and renters put Montauk on the international map. Frequent guests included Liza Minnelli, Liz Taylor, John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill. The parties were legendary and stories of happy days idled away on the Hamptons' beach are recounted in many celebrity biographies.

Even though the Warhol home sale set a record at $50 million, his most famous paintings such as “Eight Elvises” and “Silver Car Crash” have sold for $100 million and higher. The listing agent was Paul Brennan of Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Montauk, New York.

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