Thursday, April 10, 2014

Goldman Alum Gives Up Funds to Become Trailer-Park Mogul

File under: Smart. Go where the economics make sense and no one else is going.

From Bloomberg:
When Dan Weissman worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and, later, at a hedge fund, he didn’t have to worry about methamphetamine addicts chasing his employees with metal pipes. Or SWAT teams barging into his workplace looking for arsonists.

Both things have happened since he left Wall Street and bought five mobile home parks: four in Texas and one in Indiana. Yet he says he’s never been so relaxed in his life, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its May issue.

Weissman, a University of Michigan economics graduate, attributes his newfound calm to the supply-demand equation in the trailer park industry. With more of the U.S. middle class sliding into poverty and many towns banning new trailer parks, enterprising owners are getting rich renting the concrete pads and surrounding dirt on which residents park their homes.

“The greatest part of the business is that we go to sleep at night not ever worrying about demand for our product,” Weissman, 34, says. “It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Better yet, Weissman says, the field isn’t packed with the hyper-driven geeks and MBAs who crowd technology and finance in the San Francisco Bay area, where he and David Shlachter, his business partner and brother-in-law, both live.

“You’ve got a lot of really smart people trying to come up with a better way to put a calendar on an iPhone,” says Shlachter, 32, who has a master’s degree in development economics from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. “We’d rather sit at a different poker table, where none of those people dare to go because it doesn’t sound good at a cocktail party.”

Read the rest here.

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