It’s difficult for the sophisticated investor in the current markets. All things being equal, which they never are, it should be expected that good economic numbers will boost stocks and negative economic news traditionally pulls money out of stocks and into bonds. But there are too many unpredictable,stocks bonds mutual funds real estate external influences that are driving today’s markets.

Take today’s economic reports for instance. Both new home sales and consumer confidence came in way higher than expected, with numbers not seen since 2008. The Commerce Department reported that new home sales rose 18.6 percent to an annualized rate of 504,000 homes. Likewise, economists anticipated an increase in Consumer Confidence with an 83.5 reading yet the number came in higher at 85.2. This too was the highest since January 2008. So what’s happening?

Contrary to traditional thought stocks fell while bonds and Treasuries rose. The problem isn’t as much the economic reports but rather the events beyond Wall Street, particularly the news coming out of Iraq. There is no real way to predict any outcome as it currently stands and investors seem to be more concerned with preserving assets instead of looking for equity gains. The Dow lost 119 points and the S&P finished up another day of losses, down 12.

The accredited investor should consider exploring real estate investments. Not necessarily a REIT but investing in single family and small commercial. Such transactions provide returns based upon a buy price, cost to repair and final sales price, all determined by existing real estate data. A four-unit rental won’t lose 10 percent of its value overnight due to geopolitical events elsewhere. Properly analyzed, such opportunities are easy to understand with a straightforward approach. Invest in properties that are undervalued, repair when needed then sell at market value or hold for longer term appreciation. No unpredictable, external influences required.