Catching a falling knife?

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Q: A friend of mine advised me not to invest in real estate. He thinks real estate prices will be depressed for many, many years. The stock market scares me and I don't understand it. In the past, I've bought and sold several houses and know how to fix them up. Is investing in real estate a good thing? A: I mean no disrespect to your friend, but I wouldn't place much value on his opinion unless he's been involved in and has expertise with the real estate market and economy in general. The other problem that I have with his opinion is that he is forecasting what he believes will happen with real estate prices many years into the future. I say that real estate investing is worthwhile, especially for an experienced property buyer like yourself, but not for all investors. Inexperienced real estate investors often are not aware of all the time and energy required to buy, improve and manage property. Of course, just because someone hasn't bought an investment property before does...