Mercurio Coral Bay Casa – masonry construction, water view.  Only $875,000.

Someone asked me recently, “which is a better investment, stocks or real estate?”  I have money in both.  As they say, ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’  If you need liquidity and have the stomach to ride out the gyrations of the stock market the long term returns are historically better.  Of course, like everything in life, timing is everything.  On the other hand when you sell a stock you may be subject to taxes on the gain unless the portfolio is sheltered in a qualified retirement account.   Sale of real estate may also involve writing a check to Uncle Sam but there are perfectly legitimate ways to ‘roll over’ a real estate investment and defer the taxes.  Your accountant can explain 1031 exchanges further.

And there is joy and sorrow in both types of investments – especially in the last couple years.  As far as I’m concerned though, buying a home, land, condo or commercial property in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a good idea.  Unlike your stock certificate, you can visit your investment here which might be an attractive alternative to shoveling snow.  And when you are not visiting your St. John holdings you might be able to collect some rent if you own a home or condo here.  Wherever you put your hard earned money, do your homework and be sure you understand the pros and cons and the risk involved.  If you ask me I’ll tell you I have money in both but I am rather partial towards owning a piece of St. John.  Look at it this way, you can either try to shelter your investment or better yet, let your investment shelter you!