This Flash Back Friday episode comes from show 327 originally published July 2013. Jason Hartman brings guest Phil from Dallas to discuss his journey of entrepreneurship. Jason goes into his backstory and path to success. One of the key lessons is living below your income. The two discuss the internet’s impact on entrepreneurship in America.
Jason Hartman 0:00
Welcome to meet the masters of income property investing. I’m your host Jason Hartman. The 2019 meet the masters of income property March 23, and 24th in Newport Beach, California. What is the sort of the one trick, the hack the secret that really empowers people to success, income property, the most historically proven asset class in the entire world. Register today at Jason hartman.com. forward slash message. Early Bird pricing ends Friday, February 1. Let’s break this down and look at some of the strengths of income property. As an asset class. I found that this
Jason Hartman 0:46
event is really helpful because I am totally a newbie to real estate investment and so I picked up so much information one
Jason Hartman 0:54
of the great things about it is that it’s so fragmented, right? embrace the fragmentation Jason Hartman calm forward slash masters. Welcome to this week’s edition of flashback Friday, your opportunity to get some good review by listening to episodes from the past that Jason is hand picked to help you today in the present and propel you into the future. Enjoy. Welcome to this week’s edition of flashback Friday, your opportunity to get some good review by listening to episodes from the past that Jason is hand picked to help you today in the present and propel you into the future. Enjoy.
Welcome to creating wealth with Jason Hartman. During this program, Jason is going to tell you some really exciting things that you probably haven’t thought of before and a new slant on investing fresh new approaches to America’s best investment that will enable you to create more wealth and happiness than you ever thought possible. Jason is a genuine self made multi millionaire who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. He’s been a successful investor for 20 years and currently owns properties. 11 states and 17 cities this program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to financial freedom. You really can do it. And now here’s your host, Jason Hartman with the complete solution for real estate investors.
Jason Hartman 2:23
Welcome to the creating wealth show. This is your host Jason Hartman. This is episode number 327. It’s my pleasure to welcome Phil from Dallas to the show. He has a question about entrepreneurship and investments. Phil, how are you? Hey, Jason, how you doing? Good. Good. Thanks for calling.
Yeah, so my question comes from those of us who are still transitioning and have the desire to move from the quote unquote working income trap as I believe you’ve called it in the past to a more business slash passive investment type, income, whatever you want to call it, and and I feel like there’s a gap. There’s a lot of information about what to do once you’ve arrived. You know, when you have a good chunk of change to try to do something with you know, this is all kinds of people want to tell you what to do. And there’s a lot of information about the general mindset, you know, you can listen to a Steve Jobs speech, you can listen to a Tony Robbins tape, you know, you can these general but mindsets but on actionable ideas. And so to me, you know, I’m interested in getting into the mindset of somebody who went from there to here and where they were at that that interim period, how you know, how the sort of where your mindset was, how you started thinking about it, where the drive came from, and then the steps you took probably some failures leading to some successes, to get to the point where you really investing on a broad scale and living off that income as opposed to working for someone else. And I think it’s probably relevant to a lot of people in my in my generation, or just at my stage of life. Who are you’re struggling with that.
Jason Hartman 3:46
Right, right. Yeah, good, great question. And it’s one that a lot of people have. So you know, I hate to bring it up almost. But in Robert Kiyosaki is cashflow game, he does a pretty good metaphor of this. He calls that the rat race and When you escape the rat race, it means that your passive income can pay all of your expenses. And most people never get out of the rat race because they never get to the point where they create passive or investment type of income that can pay all their expenses. So the first thing to do is to not to not use all your income to live, okay? Because you’ll never get ahead. If you don’t live below your means you if you make a million dollars a year or 10 million a year, if you spend 1.2 million or 12 million, you know, you’re still you’re still going in the red and that’s not good. So you’ve got to live on about 70% of your income, you’ve got to figure out a way to do that. Because then that other 30% can become investable. And this is an old concept. Also from the book, The Richest Man in Babylon, which is a very short, kind of famous old book and it talks about living on 70% investing 10% saving 10% in giving 10% away. So that’s the that’s the paradigm from that book.
Yes, it’s funny, you mentioned that I just finished I heard just heard about that book and finished reading it a couple months
Jason Hartman 5:08
ago. Great, well, then you then you’ve heard it definitely so. So that’s the first thing you’ve got to do, your income has got to be ahead of your lifestyle, because then you can start to get yourself above water. And it doesn’t really take that long in the broad scheme of things. Most people are too impatient because they, they want everybody wants to instant gratification. But it’s surprising how fast this can start to work out for you in the course of just a few years, which really isn’t a long time in the broad scheme of things. So so that’s the first thing. And then in terms of you if you have a if you have a day job if you as if you will, a normal day job starting a side business will really help in not only the way that it might become a successful business and generate other income for you, but it will reduce your tax bill because a lot The expenses that you have, as an employee, in a normal, everyday job can become deductible as a self employed person. So that’s why having a business on the side becomes a great little tool. Now, of course, I have to give the disclaimer, I’m not a tax professional, check with your tax advisor on this terms, the legalities of it and so forth. But the whole idea being that if you have your own business, you pay taxes, to some extent, on your net income rather than your gross income. Whereas an employee, you’re taxed at the highest rate, because you pay your taxes, then you pay expenses, then you get what’s left over much better to have income, pay expenses, and then pay taxes after the fact. So that’s a much better deal, and that’s what a business can do for you. So did you have a question in terms of what kind of business or what types of investments give me a little more background if you would? Remember, you’re listening to flashback Friday. New episodes are published every Monday and Wednesday.
Yeah, at first first I just want to say that’s that’s great already. I mean, I’d never heard someone specifically say that. And for that reason, and I think that’s, that’s an awesome point. Yeah. I mean, like I what I was thinking is that, you know, not everybody’s gonna have the same road from here to there. So, you know, I wasn’t looking for a formula. But yeah, but I was interested in kind of what you did. And if you have anecdotes from other people that that did certain things that works as well, but I just looking for Yeah, maybe a little bit more than just the general but your own experience. Sure. Sure. What you tried or what’s you know, if you succeeded right away what what that was,
Jason Hartman 7:33
yeah, well, my experience was just like this. I mean, I’ve talked about it on the show before, but basically, I grew up without much in terms of financial resources, and didn’t like that very much. When I when I got to about ninth grade, I realized that money is important and it does matter and it’s better to have it than not. And so I got my real estate license. When I was in college. I was 19 years old, and I hung out with century 21 And I started selling real estate part time. And I did pretty well at it. And the reason I got into real estate though, was because I wanted to be an investor. And I just didn’t know any other way to learn about investing, but to just learn the business, from kind of the typical perspective as a realtor. So I did that I started selling real estate. And then about six months after I started in the business, one of my clients, a guy named Jim purchased a condo from me in Huntington Beach, California. And he came back to me and said, I just don’t like this property very much. I had a bad tenant, and I want to get rid of it. And why don’t you list it for me and put it in the MLS and sell it? And I thought, well, maybe this was the first opportunity to be my first investment property. And it was I ended up buying it from him. And I had a quote unquote, the world would see it as a bad experience, but it was really actually quite a good experience. Because I had a bad tenant. The tenants didn’t pay the rent. It was my very first property and I had to evict these people. And I was managing it myself. And I remember going over to knock on the door and it was this young couple. And they just gave me excuse after excuse after excuse, I remember I took one of my realtor buddies over there. And he was like, a little tougher with them. And excuse after excuse I had to evict them and they left the place a total mess. They really did leave like a broken down motorcycle in the middle of the little living room. And I think I actually heard that story from one of those real estate speakers, but it actually happened to me too, and the place was full of trash when they moved out. So most people would consider that a bad experience. But guess what turned into be a pretty good experience, because I put almost nothing down on that property was a little easier to structure those deals way back then nowadays much harder to do that. And then I ended up cleaning up the property and I sold it to another investor. And then I bought my second property and by the way, I made a nice profit selling it Okay, even though the tenant experience was bad, I had a pretty decent capital gains experience in terms of a profit, okay, like $30,000. And then I bought a condo for myself in Irvine, California, and I didn’t really have much money to do it. So I borrowed some money from my grandmother. And I bought that property. I paid 102,000 for it. And a year later, yeah, I just happened to be lucky and catch luck. I sold it to a guy who would later become a real good buddy of mine, Mike. I sold it to him for $160,000. And then I paid my grandmother back. And because I borrowed the money from her to buy it, I basically put nothing down. So my return was infinite on that property, basically. And that is when I really really got it about real estate. And after that, I just started buying up everything I could. And I bought several different houses in different areas all around Southern California, though, and you know, it all went well until the market crashed. And then I was stuck with one of them for about seven years. And it wasn’t so great. And that’s what I learned another lesson. And the lesson there is part of my 10 commandments of successful investing is number one, thou shalt diversify. Okay. And that’s not the first commandment is just one of the lessons I learned from this experience. And number two, is one of the also commandments is Thou shalt not gamble. And what I was really doing with these properties is that they very rarely made sense from a cash flow perspective in in California, you’re pretty much a speculative investor most of the time, almost all the time, actually. And and so the property’s got to make sense the day you buy it from a cash flow perspective. And if it doesn’t, you just don’t buy it. But I did get lucky on some and I made some money being a speculator or a gambler if you will. But you know, and I always say it’s better to be lucky than good. And this time around back in the early 2000s, I said to myself, you know, I am not going to go through that disaster again, that happened in the 90s. This time, I’m going to diversify. I’m going to have properties in multiple geographical locations. So if one or two of them go back The other two or three might be good. Hopefully they will be. And then I’ll insulate myself from potential downside risk.
Okay. And so what you you were then living off of less than your income you were putting some away, you made your first investment which, though you had basically the worst case scenario at the beginning, it panned out in the end. And then so you were working up until I mean, during the beginning courses, you must have still been working.
Jason Hartman 12:22
Yeah. Oh, well, I’m still working. I mean, I’ve never stopped working. I love to work.
Oh, well, I mean, as far as as far as working for someone else.
Jason Hartman 12:29
Yeah. Right. Well, I mean, I was working as a realtor. So when you know, when you’re a realtor, are you really working for someone else? No, you’re an independent contractor. And you set your own hours you set your own income, because you can work hard and make a lot of money or you can be lazy and not make any money. So you know, I was really always self employed, if you will, even though I didn’t own the company or own the business always. But that’s the that’s the deal.
Okay, so that’s so that pretty much then becomes becomes the path to success as things keep feeding on each other.
Jason Hartman 12:56
Yeah, yeah, definitely. You can and you know, it all really was possible because I lived below my income. Now granted, as a realtor, I had a pretty high income most the time, you know, I did well, and I worked very, very hard. And I was very successful in real estate. So again, that’s a business where there’s a good risk reward ratio. And if you work hard, and you take the risk, you don’t have any security, you can do very well. And, and I did, but not all people have that. So that’s why I say, if if you don’t want to give up the security of a job, if you’re in a position of a job now, start a business on the side and have be diversified. So you’ll have something else going on creating income for you. And nowadays, it’s so easy to start a business. I mean, you just build a website and the world is your oyster. You know what I mean?
Absolutely. Yeah. And I was gonna say that’s a good segue. So I’m one of your last podcasts. You mentioned that people are more entrepreneurial today in today’s generation, and I was your observation and I was going to say that a lot of that is probably due to the internet. And I think a lot of it is also due to instability. I mean, 50 years ago, people probably suspected that they could work for a company or to their whole life, and then retire with some sort of pension or retirement plan and and be okay. And nowadays, I don’t think any of us believe
Jason Hartman 14:14
that. No, fortunately, fortunately, we’ve all learned that that doesn’t work anymore. It is so easy to start a business nowadays, in the internet. There’s certainly lots of options there. But there are even offline options that aren’t internet related. And there’s a great book title that has very good reviews. I have not read this book, but it I love the title, and it’s called the hundred dollar startup, reinvent the way you make a living doing what you love, and create a new future. And it’s by Chris Golub, you I guess I hope I’m pronouncing that correctly. Very good reviews on amazon.com. I would get that book if I were you. There’s another book that’s very popular as well. It’s called the Lean Startup how today’s entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful business. by Eric Reese, again, you can start a business with very little money nowadays in the old days, it used to be a lot more expensive, much bigger barrier to entry than there is nowadays.
Absolutely. So So if the question is how are things changing in in in today’s landscape? Would that change the way you think about anything? Or just what are the differences in how you think about things in today’s landscape versus previously?
Jason Hartman 15:22
Well, let me answer not exactly that question. Because there’s one more thing I wanted to say about my real estate career. And this is this is very important. One lesson that I learned from my mother. I used to manage two small businesses that she owned when I was in high school in college, and one of them was a pioneer chicken franchise, kind of like Kentucky Fried Chicken. Most people have heard of KFC and it was a competitor to KFC and it was in a very bad area of Los Angeles. And I remember how big that investment was for her to own that franchise to buy it. It was $100,000 cash down $100,000 in loans and seven $35,000 in equipment leases for all the chicken cooking equipment, and so that was a $275,000 investment. And I just marveled that I went to real estate school, and it cost me $99 and I was 19 years old. And when I got into my real estate office, century 21 Academy in Anaheim, California, when I when I started working there, I remember noticing that the people in the office were all sitting around complaining about why the company didn’t do enough for them, why their broker was so bad, and why they didn’t want to spend any money to pay for anything. They didn’t want to buy promotional materials, like realtors that have their picture on the notepad and stuff like that. And, and, you know, you could buy 1000 notepads back then for like $180 and I just, I just remember thinking, My gosh, why are these people complaining? I mean, the average commission back then maybe was, I don’t know. $5,000 Okay, or four or five thousand dollars, and they’re complaining about spending $200 on their business, they won’t spend any money. No wonder they’re not making any money. No wonder they’re complaining. And I thought I just remembered my mom’s experience with that terrible pioneer chicken franchise that she had over a quarter million dollars invested in it. She saved and saved for years to do that. And and, you know, people didn’t treat their career with enough respect. So even though it is inexpensive to start a business nowadays, it still requires reinvesting in the business. And so I just wanted to kind of make that distinction between I guess it’s sort of address your question between how it was back then and how it is today
Yeah, I mean, I’d leverage is obviously a big a big part of your formula then as well as now I would say even you know, that’s a little bit a little bit harder. Obviously, things are things are tighter in the credit market, and much more stringent
Jason Hartman 17:51
in some ways, though, that’s a good wholesome discipline you know it because that that really makes you think and innovate more you just throwing money at problems. doesn’t solve them. Thinking solves problems better than the government? Yeah, that’s the government’s problem. They they just throw money at things and don’t think. But does that. Does that help? Does that make sense? Does that address your question?
Yeah, I think I think it absolutely does. And if I’m kind of summarize it, I mean, I think a lot of it comes down to the answers that get rich quick. People don’t want to talk about which is a lot of it comes down to austerity and personal responsibility and living within your means and making the right decisions. And then getting out there and experimenting, investing and learning. All things that are hard to do you know, to a lot of people
want to think about it. So
Jason Hartman 18:36
absolutely. And you know, the other thing I’d like to say, Phil, about that austerity concept is, don’t be too austere. When you have successes, do reward yourself along the way, so that you set up in your mind, you kind of trick your mind into thinking, hey, if I do this, if I work hard, there’s a reward for it. So I don’t believe in like total austerity, and I live a pretty nice life. And I do like to spend money. I’m definite Consumer, okay, but spend your money as much as possible on things that actually create wealth instead of things that give the appearance of wealth. And that’s the mistake most people are making moving almost two years ago to Arizona and living near the ASU campus has been really enlightening for me to see how a lot of these college kids think, because most of them are so anxious to just make money so they can instantly spend money. And and the problem is, that doesn’t create a future. You’ve got it. You’ve got to spend money on the things that are investment grade, the things that create wealth. Most people just buy themselves a bunch of expenses and obligations. And they do that to usually to impress other people. They want to buy nice cars that depreciate in value. These things are are the wealth destroyers, owning things that produce income. That’s impressive. That’s what will create a future for you Justin reminder you’re listening to flashback Friday. Our new episodes are published every Monday and every Wednesday
that’s a big that’s the one thing I distilled from the Robert Kiyosaki book Rich Dad Poor Dad. And that’s the problem that I have with some of these books is I could really distill it down to the one most important idea for me from that entire book was that you know, wealthy people buy assets and people that are broke by debts and liabilities. Yep,
Jason Hartman 20:26
they do they do. They just buy things that cost more money, then create more hassle for them, when they should buy things that produce and build guns and butter theory. That’s that’s really what it’s all about. So, so good. One other part to this discussion that you didn’t necessarily ask, but I think you’re thinking of it from our pre recording conversation here is what do you do? I mean, you know, how much does it take like if you want to start as a real estate investor, it’ll generally take about $20,000 or so to get into the game of buying your first property. And if you want to get into the lending side of the business and do hard money or private lending, that’ll probably take about 50 to $100,000. Because you’re the lender, you can’t use leverage. But if you can’t qualify for a mortgage, then you may need to go that route. But the other thing to explore is the concept of partners. And like I’ve talked about on the show, I’m definitely interested in buying more property and partnering with people and being a cash partner, where I can put up money on a deal and go in with you know, I’ve done this with several of our clients. And so very good deal as long as neither party lives in the property. And it’s an arm’s length transaction for both people. So consider partners, consider investors like my second property, I got my grandmother to basically loan me the down payment. And that was a great deal for both of us. She got paid back, I made a bundle of money. So that’s what really got me started. And I remember thinking when I sold that property, by the way, going back to that guns and butter and liabilities versus assets concept, I used to really really want to own a boat and now I have owned a boat and Now I never want to own a boat again. But I remember thinking at the time I was in my early 20s. And when I sold that property, I remember having that 60,000 bucks in my hand thinking, gosh, I could buy a sailboat. And I’m like, No, I didn’t do that I bought more properties. And then years later, I bought a big yacht. And that was a pretty terrible experience, ultimately, two happiest days of the boat owners life when they buy it, and when they sell it. So that’s, that’s a great example of how things cost a lot more than the initial cost.
And I think that’s a good good pinpoint of divergence point. Whereas if you had made that decision, at that point, you probably be on a very different path. I mean, it would have really stunted your ability to go down the path that you’ve gone down, if you made a decision like that at that time. Yeah. And so I guess a question to as a as a follow up to what you’re saying. So you can get your first property but you still at the cash flow that you get, you still have to bring in the majority of your income even if you get one or even a couple properties. I mean, what do you think is the number of the single family home types that your network sells? You know, how many do you typically need to replace your income
Jason Hartman 23:00
Well, it depends what your plans were, you know, everybody’s different. So that question cannot be answered. But if you, if you look at it like this, if you look at it that each property produces, say $250 a month in income. Now, of course, it depends how much you put down, what market it’s in, there are a lot of variables there. But let’s just use that as a round number $250 in income, which doesn’t seem like much, but it’s the return on investment, that is phenomenal, because maybe you only put $20,000 down on that property. Okay, and I’m just thinking out loud here. I don’t have exact numbers by any means. But for those is $1,000 a month, but you get all sorts of tax benefits, especially if you own several properties, and you qualify as a real estate professional. Okay, which we’ve talked about on the show before. So eight properties $2,000 a month, you can start to see how this works. And then in a couple of years, you’re going to have some rent increases and all those 250 a month may turn into $300 a month each. So four properties is now 1200 dollars and eight properties is now 20 $400. And you can see where really, I mean, most people just they want it all today, you know, I get that it’s that instant gratification mindset that kills most people but but in the matter of a few short years and those, that time will pass Anyway, you might as well make it constructive, you can really get ahead of the game. I mean, it is you know, and keep working, don’t quit your job, because then you’ll have both incomes. When you might have a business on the side you’ll really have multiple streams of income, you have your day job, you have your business and you have your real estate investments, three forms of good income for you. Absolutely.
I want to talk to you about two two smaller issues that are kind of current but I’ll do we have a couple minutes or should we
Jason Hartman 24:42
Yeah, just quickly I gotta go do another interview but just quickly Sure.
Okay, well I just wanted I know your kind of your thoughts on gold so I don’t need to get too much into that but I just thought it might be you might be interested to know that I think gold buggery is very much alive and well. I think the reason the recent plunge, you know, some people are claiming it was a premeditated paperclip. or whatever. But the physical demand has gone through the roof since that happened. So there’s, there’s no, there’s no end in sight. That’s the gold buggery and the recent drop just made people really hit the mints for for everything as far as I can. But it’s just funny to watch all the articles that came out two weeks ago that the gold rush is over and gold is dead and the gold bugs are wrong. And then this week, everybody’s parenting Oh, physical demand is through the roof. And, you know, the media just feeds on these things and
Jason Hartman 25:24
makes it a frenzy. You know what gold bugs are very illogical. Okay. And those people, if gold is up, it’s great. buy more. If gold is down, it’s great buy more that they you know, they just make no sense to me. Gold is totally overrated. It’s okay. But it’s overrated. It’s completely overrated.
The defensive strategy, as you say.
Jason Hartman 25:46
And and the other thing I want to talk about really quickly was Bitcoin and you know, this is such a new thing. I really just wanted to say two things, because I know you talked about it briefly in your last show, but there’s only two things that to me, kind of there’s a lot of misunderstandings and I think a little bit of ignorance about it. And the first point I wanted to make was in regards to the people are comparing to the tulip frenzy. And I’m pretty strongly I mean, there’s lots of things you could say about Bitcoin about why it may or may not work, but I think the tulip frenzy aspect of it is kind of crazy. I mean, you know, a tulip is a tulip and you know, is a degradable substance and it doesn’t have any intrinsic value. Whereas with Bitcoin, you know, I think there is value in a pseudo anonymous currency that can be used worldwide with virtually non existent commissions when you compare it to the current choices. So I have to say that I think people are thinking about it wrong and saying there’s no inherent value in the idea of a Bitcoin but there is inherent value in the network and what you can sort of accomplish with it.
Jason Hartman 26:39
Yeah, the problem with the whole Bitcoin craze, and you know, I’ve really studied this whole Bitcoin thing quite a bit is and I don’t own any Bitcoin, by the way, I’ll just make that disclosure. But I think that the governments and central banks are just going to shut that down there. They’re gonna, they’re going to say it’s used by terrorist. It’s the same way they shut the gift cards down to some extent. They really put a lot of restrictions last year on those gift cards, those Amex, gift cards and Visa gift cards that you can buy at the CVS, or Rite Aid, or Walgreens stores, or any store for that matter. They’ve made those things a lot harder to use. And Bitcoin is even worse. I have a feeling the regulators are going to come down on Bitcoin, they’re going to find an excuse to do it. And they’re going to do it as a coordinated effort with governments around the world and Bitcoin is going to be in the shadows forever. I just Yeah,
I would agree with that. I think if it ever becomes a real threat to future currencies, they’re gonna they’re gonna
Jason Hartman 27:36
destroy and hey, Bitcoin is a fiat currency.
That is true. I know. I think there’s one psychological aspect of it that people aren’t really realizing which is that it’s such a it’s there’s a limited amount and that’s good, but it’s such a limited amount that as it goes up in value, what you’re really using is such a fraction, I don’t even think the person of average mathematical ability can really use it as a as a unit. You know, I played around with it, a couple of bitcoins and I bought an E book and it was such a fraction of Bitcoin to buy it that I had to make the calculation to $1 to figure out what value I was paying and whether you know whether it was worth it
Jason Hartman 28:06
right and then there in herein lies the problem also with gold. That’s one of the problems with it too, is that gold is too big of a chunk. It can’t be. It’s really hard to try to use.
Okay, well, I appreciate you. I appreciate it. That’s a real the topics I had.
Jason Hartman 28:20
All right, Phil. Well, hey, thanks so much for calling. Okay.
Sure, Jason, thanks.
Jason Hartman 28:27
Be sure to call into the creating wealth show and get your real estate investing and economics questions answered by me personally, we’d love to have you call in. Share your experiences, ask your questions, and a lot of other people listening, have those very same questions. So be a participant in the show at 480-788-7823. That’s 480-788-7823 or anywhere in the world via Skype. Jason Hartman ROI that’s it Hartman ROI. For return on investment. Be sure to Call into the show and we are going to enter all of the callers in a drawing for some nice prizes as well so be sure to call into the show and I look forward to talking with you soon.
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