Financial pundits tend to see market tops as occurring when the whole world realizes that people have been making money off a particular investment. In a column at SeekingAlpha.com, Yoni Jacobs looks back at the housing market of the early 2000s, at a point when people began to buy up additional properties with the intention of spiffing them up and then quickly "flipping" them for, ideally, tens of thousands of dollars in profits. This was the province of real estate insiders for a while, but the idea eventually went mainstream.
Jacobs argues that the notion of flipping one's house reached its zenith when we suddenly had two separate TV shows devoted to the idea: "Flip That House" on the Discovery Channel and "Flip That House" on A&E, both of which debuted in July 2005. The very week the first of this shows had its premiere, Jacobs has been able to determine, was the day the American housing market reached its top.
Why is this relevant now? Because there's a show that debuted last week on the Discovery Channel called "Gold Rush Alaska," just as the price of gold reached new modern highs. Will history repeat itself? One historic data point does not signal a trend, but it's something to keep in mind.