This story has been updated from 01:56 PM EDT.
SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Let's put this in the "bubble alert" file:
We either are or are not in a bubble. I'll let the experts debate that one. But when I read this piece on MSN Money (which was later deleted), written by someone at Benzinga (where the article is still available) I stopped in my tracks.
The headline: "3 Reasons to Tap Home Equity to Buy Stocks." Subhead: "Here's why leveraging your house to scoop up deals in the stock market might pay off big."
Holy fill-in-the-blank, Batman.
The story points out that "there are many stocks that have dividend yields higher than mortgage rates," and concludes: "Using the proceeds from a mortgage to buy equities can monetize a holding, increase the investment income and raise the level of liquidity for a portfolio. For long-term investing, there is nothing better."
Reality: Nothing could be further from the truth. If you're a sophisticated rich investor and you want to take out a loan to buy stocks -- sure, go ahead, especially if you think there's a runway ahead of you. I suppose you can afford the risk.
But if you're the average investor, don't even go there. If we've learned nothing else over the last stock and mortgage crashes it's that home equity loans are best used for one thing: Improving the value of your home, and even there they can hold risk. It's a source of funding of last resort for any other uses, especially gambling.