It’s often said that the best time to plant a tree is sometimes in the past, with the second-best time to do it being – right now. Vince Rodriguez, a real estate investor with AnVi Investments who also has a background in mechanical engineering, would say the same applies to learning about different asset classes and starting to earn by investing money.
“I was 32 when I started, which is better than starting at 62,” he says. “I cannot but think how different my life would have been if I’d learned what I know now earlier.”
Vince, a firm believer in the power of creating passive income streams through investments, thinks that sooner or later, everyone will have to learn to do it. Knowing how and where to invest money will become integral to financial literacy.
Americans most commonly invest in the stock market. According to a Pew report, some 52% of American households have some type of participation in it. However, a survey by Bankrate indicates that real estate takes the cake as the preferred long-term investment, with 28% of responders choosing it over any other type of long-term investment. Both options have their pros and cons. The biggest problem I see with stocks is, the median 401k retirement account balance for an American when they retire is less than 85k and the average is only 256k. Which is not a lot of money.
“You need a lot more understanding of how to do real estate, while with stocks, you just click “buy Apple stock” and then just buy it. It’s even easier with the S&P 500,” Vince explains. “But you can’t control the stock as well as you can real estate, and you can’t leverage your money to buy stocks – banks won’t give you loans. They will, however, for real estate.”
Learning how to do real estate and understanding the bigger economic context in which investing in real estate happens has been an essential part of Vince’s rise to success. Besides helping him get a day job supporting his lifestyle and real estate investments, his engineering knowledge helped him analyze deals and feel comfortable making big real estate moves.
For the bigger picture, Vince has relied on learning from people who know more about it than him. With his business partner Andrew McCormick, he runs a real estate podcast, RE Social Podcast, which is one of the up and coming podcasts in the sphere together with Biggerpockets.
“We just had Kathy Fettke, an industry legend, on the podcast, and we’ve also hosted big industry names such as Gino Barbaro and Neal Bawa,” says Vince. “The idea is to host people much smarter than me and then get their insights on a variety of topics, such as how the market works, how the Federal Reserve works, how the monetary policy works, what’s quantitative easing, what is quantitative tightening?” Through the conversion, both Vince and the listeners get a unique opportunity to educate themselves on these topics that affect not only real estate but everyone’s daily lives and yet are still unfamiliar to many.
The rest of his work as a real estate investor is networking and searching for insights and opportunities by going to various conferences and looking for investors to join in. For the latter, he likes to keep a tight circle of people whom he trusts and who trust him.
As for the conferences and other events, he sees them as crucial not only for leveling up his own real estate game, which is far from that of a rookie, but also for getting into the right mindset. This is one of the reasons Vince and his partner started organizing their own events and publicizing them over their podcast’s Meetup page.
“You want to start going to places where people are doing more than just going to a job and coming back home, the usual grind,” he explains. “You’re not going to grow like that. You’ll get stuck. So you start attending conferences, seeing people doing interesting stuff, and suddenly seeing all these opportunities. And then, suddenly, you’re faced with a question – why not buy a mansion? And you realize there’s no reason why not.”
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