It is a good rule of thumb when investing to watch what the pros do. Warren Buffet comes to mind. So does Carl Icahn who, according to today's Wall Street Journal, is making the ultimate contrarian play: He is trying to buy WCI, a builder and owner of hundreds of Florida condominiums, many of which are stuck in development and/or facing defaults by over-extended owners who, frankly, followed the advice of Mammon, the god of greed, not any expert.
Icahn believes that the baby boomer generation is coming into its peak retirement years and that Florida still holds an attraction for them. After all, you can't argue about the climate, unless you are in Miami in July, and many boomers feel the pull of nostalgia for the Sunshine State since that is where their parents retired. My folks spent a part of their retirement years in Lauderdale Lakes, and sitting in traffic trying to get back to their condo has caused me to have a different opinion of Florida.
But if Carl Icahn is betting on Florida's condo market, who are we to argue?