Earlier this week I had a meeting with one of the local startups that I am mentoring. Over the last year his company’s bank account has been reaping the rewards of their hard work and so he has been considering his best option to invest the returns from his compounding successes.
Knowing that I am an active real estate investor he wanted to learn about how real estate makes money. He had performed a number of cashflow analyses, but, was failing to find lucrative returns. I could sense his frustration mounting in each additional word that he was saying. “The best cashflow I’ve been able to find is approximately 8% on a real estate investment and that’s just… well average”. He frowned. I smiled and excitedly said “That’s fantastic, you should put in an offer, do your due diligence and buy this property if everything checks out.”
Over the last few years I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to mentor dozens of small business owners. Helping entrepreneurs to monetize their passions is extremely exciting. I learn a lot about various industries while helping entrepreneurs leverage their strengths and recognize their weaknesses.
One of the most troubling weaknesses that I’ve been helping entrepreneurs with is their lack of personal financial awareness. Most entrepreneurs have very little savings and no idea how to get started. This creates a significant risk for the majority of our small businesses, which more than 77% of all businesses fail due to lack of financial responsibility and awareness*.
Why should I start now?
Every business owner I’ve ever met has numerous tales of seemingly insurmountable challenges. These challenges typically share a common theme, one of a financial nature. This is one of the most difficult challenges to deal with – it causes stress, challenges…
A solid start to learning about real estate investing starts with attending courses and events, reading books and building a network of experienced colleagues who have already succeeded in real estate investing through reputable and trusted organizations.
Although people often confuse the two, financial freedom isn’t the same as being rich. One individual could be completely financially free earning just $20,000 annually, while another could be trapped even with millions of dollars of annual income.
So then, what is financial freedom? Financial freedom is a state of mind achieved within an individual by no longer needing to worry about money. Money is no longer the dominating force behind the personal or professional decisions within an individuals’ life.
Why is financial freedom more important than wealth?
While many individuals can consume a limited amount of food, once they’ve reached their limits, individuals will discontinue eating and their thoughts will no longer be occupied with eating.
Today I had an interesting call with a colleague of mine, a friend that I hadn’t talked to since college. She called me up because she was flustered, clearly aggravated and there was an easily detectable amount of sarcasm in her voice. The first words that I could understand while trying to read between the lines of her rant-like statement were “Why are you looking for venture partners? If I was going to invest in real estate, I would do it on my own! In fact I’ve been saving and saving and have a wonderful nest egg built up and I’m going to do exactly that when I find the right deal”
Typically I wouldn’t even bother getting immersed into a debate of this type or even take the time to explain myself for that matter. If I spent every day trying to convince people to do business with me; I wouldn’t be an effective leader. I’d spend the majority of my time talking instead of actually creating deals and working towards financial freedom for both my investors and myself. But, she was a friend, so I bit the bullet and decided I’d at least try to extend her the courtesy of explaining myself.
Last night, my business partner Reid and I attended the Ontario Real Estate Investors Organization (OREIO) monthly event at the Travelodge Hotel on Carling in Ottawa. This month I was very excited, because this month the presenter was one of my mentors and educators and the catalyst which brought me out of the phase that many investors get into known as “analysis paralysis”. The presenter was none other than Don Campbell himself!
For those of you who don’t know Don Campbell, he is one of Canada’s most experienced real estate investors. He wasn’t born into riches, didn’t have a silver spoon, he started when he was working at a customer service desk at Sears and worked his way to where he is today, one accomplishment at a time. It wasn’t an easy ride, there’s no such thing as easy money, but he worked through the challenges as he faced them and any real estate investor can save themselves thousands or even millions in mistakes learning from his experience. He is a realist at heart, and isn’t afraid to share both the successes and challenges he’s been through.
Last night, my business partner Reid and I attended the Ontario Real Estate Investors Organization (OREIO) monthly event at the Travelodge Hotel on Carling in Ottawa. While we’ve been to events in the past, we hadn’t been to one recently. This evening’s presentation took on a slightly different format, leveraging a panel of experts in different fields and it made for both a very interesting and informative evening.
Most people think their house is an asset. I disagree. One of the reasons that most people are struggling these days is because they’re identifying their liabilities as assets. They’ve been programmed by traditional financial and investment companies to think they’re richer than they are and to over-invest in their own personal liabilities (most would call them “personal assets”).
Why is that? Why would the banks and the government do this? It’s simple, in order for them to make money they need to charge you interest, the more liabilities that you have, the higher their income!
So what’s my definition of an asset versus a liability then? It’s quite simple actually… an asset puts money into your pocket and a liability takes money out of it. Even if your house is paid off, it still remains a liability – you still have insurance, property taxes, maintenance, etc. Based on my definition, even when investing in real estate, an asset can quickly become a liability when the property becomes vacant or is not collecting rent.