|A new theme that makes this time different perhaps adding to the reckless speculative behavior is the internet and the instantaneous access to information. Too many sharp people like these think they'll be able to identify that the market has topped and get out before it is too late.|
And many former stock market enthusiasts are now turning to housing. Douglas Paul, a 46-year-old former analyst, left AT&T in 2002 to buy and sell stocks on his own. But he soon decided that real estate could be another way to make quick profits. Mr. Paul owns two condominium units around Fort Lauderdale and one in Miami Beach, all bought during the last year, in addition to the one where he lives. He plans to sell one of the Fort Lauderdale condos in June for what he believes will be double his investment. "It really is a very hot real estate market, and I don't know how long it's going to continue," he said. "But in the short term, why not profit from it?"
Andrew Farquharson, a member of the class of 1999, said he recently teamed up with a high school friend to buy a home in the Central Valley of California "out of pure speculation." He knows of other classmates who have made similar investments. "I look at this as a short-term investment," said Mr. Farquharson, 36, who works for a venture capital firm, "and plan to unload it as soon as things look dangerous.