ARMs, Your Closest Five, and Zero Sum Games | PPhREI Network Roundup | 9-16-2023

by The Darwinian Doctor

In this PPhREI Network Roundup, we review zero sum games, your closest five people, and the danger of adjustable rate mortgages.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Carpe Diem MD

In this post, Dr. Cook examines the assertion that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. This is the battle cry of every unabashed striver hoping to upgrade their friend circle. But is it legit? I’ve found it to be very true!

While I love having lots of acquaintances, I’m fairly picky about my close friends, because I’ve found that my friends readily affect how I think and feel. There’s actually pretty good evidence that your friend group also affects your actions and choices, as evidenced by this study that shows that obesity is contagious.

I should really write up a post about this phenomenon. I’ll put it on the list.

Until then, please enjoy this introduction to the concept on the Carpe Diem MD blog: 5 people… is it really that simple?

The Darwinian Doctor

In this post, I examine the concept of zero sum games. Most people think life itself is a zero sum game (whenever I gain, you lose). But I argue that thankfully, society has evolved to where this is not the case. When it comes to wealth in particular, people assume the worst. One of the reasons why people often hate the wealthy is that they assume that they made money by taking it from others.

I argue that this is not always the case. In fact, when it comes to businesses like real estate, it can truly be a win-win-win.

Curious to read my argument? Check it out here on the Darwinian Doctor blog: Wealth Is Not a Zero Sum Game

The Prudent Plastic Surgeon

Last but not least, Dr. Frey looks into the reason why tons of real estate investors are in hot water right now: variable rate mortgages, also known as ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages). In this aptly titled post, he looks into the problem with ARMs and how they can easily spell trouble for an otherwise sound real estate deal.

Why would anyone pick an ARM? Jordan looks into this topic in this post. One thing I would add is that when it comes to financing certain things like construction, banks usually will not offer fixed rate debt. This leaves only two options to fund renovation: cash or variable rate (or bridge) debt. If rates stay low, financing construction can lead to significantly increased returns. But if rates rise, this can easily lead to disaster.

Read more here at the Prudent Plastic Surgeon blog: ARM & a Leg: Why So Many Passive Real Estate Deals Got into Trouble with Variable Rate Mortgages


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Since everyone is different, it may not be appropriate to generalize my doctorly advice to your own situation. Please run all medical, life, and financial advice by your own physician or financial professionals before applying it to your own life! Consider all information for your entertainment only!

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