PRUDENCE & DIVERSIFICATION: KEYS TO SAFE, PROFITABLE INVESTING

Apartment For Rent Sign

Well, it finally happened.  I had to evict a tenant at one of my duplexes due to their violation of their lease terms.  As a result, I now have a vacant unit in the real estate component of my Pay Me Plan. Because I typically buy my investment properties occupied so I receive cash flow from the moment I take ownership, this is the first time I’ve had a vacancy.  This gives me an opportunity to secure some new, long-term, quality tenants and gauge my property manager’s proficiency at renting a vacant unit.  To be honest, I’m actually pretty excited Continue reading

THE UNSETTLING ECONOMIC HISTORY BEHIND OUR BAD NEIGHBORHOODS

Rough American Neighborhood

I’ve done my fair share of traveling around this country. Indiana, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, Virginia, Arizona, Washington, Ohio, California, Texas, etc… And one of the things I’ve noticed is that financially challenged communities are prevalent in nearly every major metropolitan area.  In fact, I can say with confidence that practically every big city has a “rough” part of town.  In the more extreme cases, drugs and gangs emerge, which can often lead to violent crimes.  It’s really quite tragic, and I know we’ve all seen it. What accompanies these struggling parts of American cities is an equally disturbing economic Continue reading

HOW TO BEAT THE 1% AT THEIR OWN GAME (LEGALLY AND ETHICALLY)

The One Percent

Is it just me, or is vilifying affluent members of society really in style right now?  The media would have us believe that the economy is a finite pie and if one person has a bit more, then that means someone else has to settle for less.  I’m sorry, but that’s economically backward. If Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle and multi-billionaire) moves into your town, is your town in better shape or worse shape?  It’s in better shape by a long shot.  Just the drippings from his proverbial plate would greatly benefit numerous aspects of your community’s economy.  It could Continue reading

WHAT THE HECK… IS A CAP RATE?

Commercial Real Estate Buildings

“WHAT THE HECK…” is an ongoing series within The Pay Me Plan Blog for Investing Novices where I dissect a financial concept or principle, and explain how it can apply to your investing activities.  In this post, we’ll be covering cap rates. A couple weeks ago, I was speaking with the Vice President of Acquisitions at a large, publicly traded real estate company with a national presence.  He’s a tenured employee with a respected track record in the industry, and he’s played a key role in some massive transactions over the years.  We were engrossed in a discussion regarding some Continue reading

INVESTING IN LAS VEGAS? NOPE.

LasVegasNevada

On a recent flight back to California, I struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler.  Turns out we actually went to the same middle school even though we were a few years apart in age.  Small world, huh?  Eventually we started chatting about why we were on a flight.  He told me that he was heading out to a friend’s wedding, and I explained that I had just spent a few days in the Midwest visiting some of my rental properties.   That captured his interest, and he asked if I was planning to invest in Las Vegas since it’s Continue reading

CONSUMER DEBT & INVESTMENT DEBT

Credit cards are one of the most common forms of consumer debt

We’ve been conditioned to think that debt is bad – and in many cases, it is. Whether you blame peer pressure or clever marketing campaigns, I think we can all agree that the pursuit of status symbols and instant gratification has come to define our modern culture.  When we want something, we want it NOW.  And we don’t just want it, we NEED it. Something about the phrase “low monthly payments” has a tendency to overwhelm logic and reason.   Our rational, objective side gets trampled by emotion as we thumb passed the cash in our wallet in search of plastic.  Continue reading