A beginner’s struggle
Recently I was asked about the main struggles that Ashley and I faced when we began our investing journey.
These struggles really boiled down to two things. The first was where to get money for deals. You see, Ashley and I were broke kids with a mountain of student loan debt and no verifiable income when we started out. This meant that we weren’t good candidates to receive investor loans from any banks.
The next struggle was where to find quality education that was affordable. This proved to be very difficult because when we did internet searches for real estate investor training in 2009, all we got was the big name, high-dollar seminars. Ashley and I went to one of those and ended up spending over $12,000 to purchase two classes.
Now, remember I said Ashley and I were broke. We paid for those classes by maxing out two credit cards which carried a 25% APR. This was not a great financial decision. But like I said, we didn’t know where to find affordable education.
Once we did, however, life got a lot better. We found out about good seminars at our local real estate investor association. There, people who were actually doing deals and not just selling seminars for a living were very open with where they received their education and promoted upcoming classes.
As it turns out, a great seminar should cost less than $1,000 for a two-day weekend. That’s a way better deal than the $12,000 Ashley and I had spent in the beginning. And the guys teaching these classes were the real deal.
By real deal, I mean they had been investing for decades and were still actively doing deals. The guys teaching the $12,000 class talked about deals they once did. The affordable guys talked about the deals they were doing. It was night and day both in the tone of the classes as well as the quality of education we were receiving. The expensive class always had a lead-in to the next course. At the end of the affordable classes, we were prepared to go do what was in the manual.
I was at one of those affordable classes this last weekend. It was called What Box, presented by Bill Cook and Peter Fortunato. It was a course on how to do creative deal structuring, and there were 193 investors from across the country in attendance.
It was at classes like these where Ashley and I overcame the other struggle that we had as beginners —– funding. These classes help us learn how to use creative financing to buy houses as well as where to find private money lenders who would lend us money for houses based off the deal and not our personal debt-to-income ratio.
These classes were priceless.
This was the third year in a row that I’ve attended What Box, and a lot of my other teachers were in attendance. I already mentioned Bill and Pete, but Dyches Boddiford and David Tilney were also there. These guys are terrific teachers on multiple subjects, and each possess decades of investing knowledge.
I invited some friends to this course. One in particular came up and said how refreshing What Box was. When I asked why, he said that he had been to some mastermind groups recently where people who had only been investing for two years where trying to sell seminars. “Two years?” I asked, and he confirmed. He noted that the newer guys had had some major success in those two years. But really, their methods hadn’t been tried by fire. They hadn’t been through a recession and it just seemed presumptuous to start teaching at such a young investor age.
My friend said it was great to learn from the guys who are still investing and had been through multiple market shifts in their careers.
I agreed wholeheartedly. All my teachers are in their 60s and 70s. I know some have been in real estate for over 50 years —– That’s half a century of real estate investing knowledge. You just won’t get that level of expertise anywhere else.
That’s why I go to them time and time again and as much as possible.
Pay attention to when I post about these classes. At their age, they won’t be teaching much longer. And you don’t want to miss out the golden opportunity to meet and learn from them.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.