The Campbell Method - Posted by Johnson

Posted by Willie on October 10, 2003 at 11:39:38:

Amen. Thats what I learned also and I learn as I go and never stop learning. But all these great theories do little if anything to really get the job done. All the time spent theorizing and discussing the probabilities and possibilities, could be better spent just getting out and doing it and learning what actually works as you go. The school of hard knocks, so to speak which is the best teacher. Too many of these theories just don’t hold water when you put them into practice. That is what I have found and my experience has been better than any of the theories that I have come across and I have been doing it for quite awhile, probably longer than both of you, more than 20.

The Campbell Method - Posted by Johnson

Posted by Johnson on October 09, 2003 at 16:02:58:

Has anyone used the Campbell Method? If you follow it exactly, what signals have you been getting and have those signals been accurate?


Re: The Campbell Method - Posted by Robert Campbell

Posted by Robert Campbell on October 09, 2003 at 16:26:46:

Go to and look at the arrows on the chart.

For the last 21 years, my Vital Sign indicators have accurately predicted the direction of the San Diego (and Los Angeles) real estate markets 78 percent of the time.

Not rocket science. Just common sense. All you do is follow key indicators that are highly correlated with trend direction.

Go look at the chart I mentioned above.

By the way, Timing the Real Estate Market is being used in a real estate class at the University of San Diego right now.

So it appears at least a few of the academics are impressed.

Robert Campbell

Re: The Campbell Method - Posted by Willie

Posted by Willie on October 10, 2003 at 07:24:47:

Thats a lot of huey and hogwash. In any market the average guestimate should be right 50% of the time. In the very volitle CA market you can ad another 25%. Academics are impressed with a lot of things, but that doesn’t make them right. The old axiom usually rings true " If you can’t do, teach". Predicting R.E. trends is a lot like predicting the stock market, or going to Vegas, it’s a crap shoot most of the time. Instead of predicting trends and philosophying about it, get out and do, and use your common sense.

Re: The Campbell Method - Posted by Robert Campbell

Posted by Robert Campbell on October 10, 2003 at 10:41:42:

Hi Willie,

Thanks for sharing a few of your opinions, even though I would have been impressed far more if you provided me with data that supported your opinions.

You made this comment (kind of a criticism, actually) on the academics: “If you can’t do, teach.”

It’s funny you should say that becaise when I opened up The San Diego Union Tribune this morning, guess what story made a front-page headline?

“Two Former UCSD Professors Win Nobel Award in Economics.”

UCSD, in case you are not familiar with the college system in California, is an abbreviation for University of California at San Diego.

The story told how Clive W. J. Granger and Robert F. Engle developed a breakthrough technique for figuring out how interest rates, stock prices, and other economic variables inter-relate.

While this kind of brainy stuff may bore you (a doer, I assume) to tears, central banks all over the world are now using this technique of Engle and Granger to manage risk and manage money.

By the way, this Nobel award carries a cash prize of $1.3 million, which will be shared equally between the two recipients.

Don’t discount brains, Willie. Good brains - when coupled with ambition and some good luck along the way - is always a winning combination that gives you an advantage in life.

I don’t know how old your are but do you remember (or have you ever heard of) the TV serial Sanford and Son? One of my favorite lines from Redd Fox (the star of the TV program) was:

“Life is hard, but it’s really hard when you’re stupid.”

Best wishes,

Robert Campbell

Re: The Campbell Method - Posted by Allan

Posted by Allan on October 10, 2003 at 07:55:59:

Good answer.

If you are a “Rehabber” or “Flipper” and are buying right, you don’t much care what the market is doing at any particular moment. You aren’t going to hold on long enough for that to make any difference.

If you are a buy and hold person, you buy based on the cash flow the property is throwing off, or some of you buy for appreciation or maybe both. you don’t much care what the market is doing, you are in for the long haul anyway.

Re: The Campbell Method - Posted by Gary (VA)

Posted by Gary (VA) on October 12, 2003 at 14:46:33:

Robert Cambell writes:

. . .I would have been impressed far more if you provided me with data that supported your opinions.

I agree. Which reminds me that you are a little short in the data department yourself. You still have not come clean on the sources you used to track the movements of real estate sales prices in San Diego. If I recall, the closest we got was “the real world”. Boy, hard to argue with that. On your website you point out the advantages of comparing your timing signals to the price movements of luxury homes. Ostensibly because such homes (according to you) are a bellweather for the median-priced market. Well perhaps, but it might also be because the luxury home market is much more volatile than that for more moderately priced homes. Obviously for you to sell a timing strategy, you need volatility to make any point whatsoever. The market for more moderately priced homes doesn’t even lend itself to your methods. It isn’t volatile enough.

I will take this opportunity to ask again (since you ignored me the first time) . . . when did you first advise your clients that your indicators said to get out of the recent San Diego market?

Also, I see you use Wade Cook as a reference on your website. How much do you know about Mr. Cook?

Robert, it took me 20+ years to - Posted by Houserookie

Posted by Houserookie on October 10, 2003 at 11:13:52:

learn this but I’ll share with you in a few sentences.

Most people are not necessarily stupid or lazy, although I admit many are slow at learning and
they don’t share the same goals that you do.

People live on a total different schedule than yours and age plays almost no role in progression.

They speak a different language almost. You cant speak to people with dreams of 50,000 a year about business models or systems. You can speak to people that want to make 10 an hour about leverage. You can’t discuss stats, models, and fundamentals to those that paralyze themselves with current news.

When the students are ready, he’ll come find the teacher.

“Those that can’t do, teach?”

I often questioned what justification there might be
when dealing with those that teach and successful at what they teach.

People will pick and choose what they want to decipher in life. If they’re nice about it I’ll help them.
If not I let them win and take home the money.

You wouldn’t want everyone to use your model, would you?


The Campbell Method vs Willie - Posted by John V, FL

Posted by John V, FL on October 10, 2003 at 12:27:18:

You both make vary good points. Anyone with the mentality to look at it from different viewpoints and understanding risks, rewards, timing, hard work and refining your methods with changing times will always succeed behond his wildest imagination. Willie to some extent theories from academia can be thrown out the window. I took several classes in grad school and was constantly told you cannot time the stock market because all information is readily available and markets are always efficient. To a lesser extent a real estate professor said the same thing about real estate being essentially a buy and hold for the long run business. Now 13 years later I can say for certain they were all way off from reality as I am living proof turning nothing into seven figures. As Alan points out for those in the quick flip business (such as many on this board including yours truly) it is irrelevant to timing real estate markets. However, for everyone else it is very relevant especially those highly leveraged. Robert C is doing a great thing by studying, refining and backtesting data over time in a San Diego market that is in a bubble that could be the greatest of our lifetimes with risks most people don’t comprehend. Somehow the masses always get sucked in from software engineers, to school teachers to construction workers. So isn’t not just the blue collar crowd dismissing the message Robert preaches. People perceive they are in total control with housing these days as opposed to other investments and the arrogance I see out there is astounding. Worse than the internet and telecom revolution of the late 90’s, commercial real estate syndicators in the late 80’s and precious metals during the the inflationary late 70’s.