Would You Invest In Real Estate With Your Friends?

Tonight I had the pleasure of going to a women’s film mentoring group here in LA. It was a laid-back discussion about goal setting between a diverse group of women in the industry, including directors, actors, writers and even a woman who specialized in commercial real estate brokering for the film industry.

My ears perked up when one very accomplished woman talked about how one of her side projects was real estate investing. She talked about how her and a group of friends invested in homes together and then sold them at a profit. The lead mentor chimed in and applauded what a great idea that was, saying that women need to be more assertive in investing; to take more risks. It got me thinking about women and investing and if it’s really true that women are less risk-taking than men. I did some cursory research tonight and came up with a few interesting facts from a recent study from BlackRock, a New York based investment management firm. Here were some takeaways:

  • 61% of women agreed with the statement, “I am not willing to take any risks with my money,” compared to 41%of men.
  • 30% of women considered themselves active investors, compared to 37% of men.
  • 19% of women said they felt comfortable investing in the stock market, compared to 37% of men.
  • 7%  of women said they allocate take-home income to investing, compared to 12% of men.

While investing can take all kinds of forms, I’m curious – would you ever invest in real estate with your friends? Personally, I think I’d be too wary of inter-mixing friendship and money. I like to keep my friendships completely pure and unsullied. This question reminds me of an article from last year in NY Times which profiled groups of couple friends who bought Brooklyn townhouses together because they couldn’t afford the homes on their own. I thought that it sounded like a solid idea in theory, but I think the potential for building resentments between friends could be overwhelming. Maybe that’s my anxiety speaking. What do you think?

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