RISE EARLY. RETIRE EARLY.

Just an average guy, living an above-average life!

Fourplex investment property

4 x Fourplexes – Emergency Funds and Recession Planning

Every real estate investor has their own risk tolerance, and as such, plans for emergencies differently. I like to think I’ve got a pretty good emergency plan, but honestly, it’s never been truly put to the test. When I started buying investment real estate ~6 years ago, I tried to adapt a conservative mindset and Read more about 4 x Fourplexes – Emergency Funds and Recession Planning[…]

Wild Kangaroos in the bush

Your “prison” ain’t that bad

I have 2 pen-pals, both are serving time in prison. Real prison. (I started writing inmates last year after listening to the podcast Ear Hustle, and I found my pen pals at WriteAPrisoner.com.) One of my pals, James, is 24 years old and has been incarcerated since he was 15. Despite spending his entire adult life behind bars (and he Read more about Your “prison” ain’t that bad[…]

Prius with dog

Stay at home = lower car insurance?

Yesterday I got thinking… Now that my wife and I are stuck at home, I wonder if my car insurance company will lower my rate? (Based on the logic that we can’t drive our cars right now, and if quarantine continues into the year, we will be putting way less miles on our cars than Read more about Stay at home = lower car insurance?[…]

Disasters: Human Behaviour

How Do People Behave During a Disaster?   Chatting with a friend last week, he told me he was stocking up on guns, ammo, and weapons… He said he’s planning for “when people start to turn on each other”. Maybe he’s seen too many doomsday movies. During a crisis, do humans really turn to theft, Read more about Disasters: Human Behaviour[…]

disaster or opportunity?

Hang in there! – You are not alone in this!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to about 10 people who were either turned down for jobs they applied for, missed out on promotions, or got let go from their jobs. 🙁 So I wanted to write a quick note for anyone else out there that might be currently going through the same… Rejection Read more about Hang in there! – You are not alone in this![…]

Let’s play a game… Can you predict the stock market?

This is a simulation game to test whether you can predict the timing of the stock market… Try it: Market Timing Game All you do is click the [Start/Pause] button, and the graph will start moving. Then, use the [SELL] and [BUY] buttons to move your money in and out of the stock market. Goal is obviously Read more about Let’s play a game… Can you predict the stock market?[…]

Gratitude Garden

Little Unknown Facts About Gratitude…

  Little unknown facts about gratitude: These are scientifically proven (by real scientists)… – Gratitude makes you happier in the mornings when your alarm goes off. – Gratitude makes you live longer… it extends your life span by up to 243% – Gratitude makes you better at playing sports. – Gratitude makes you a better dancer. Read more about Little Unknown Facts About Gratitude…[…]

Dog park, things to do at 5am

101 Things to do at 5am!

Here’s a list of 101 things you can do when you wake up at 5am. I’ve tried to categorize them, so you can choose based on whatever mood you’re feeling that morning. Try some out, and let me know what you like or don’t like! Personally, I’ve tried almost all of these things over the Read more about 101 Things to do at 5am![…]

The compound effect flight example

A One Degree difference – The Compound Effect

Imagine an airplane leaving from Los Angeles flying direct to Rome, Italy. The flight will take about 12 hours if the plane goes in a direct and straight line. But, if the nose of the airplane is pointed just 1 degree off course to the south, after 12 hours the plane will land somewhere in Read more about A One Degree difference – The Compound Effect[…]

Time to celebrate

It’s the 1st of the Month – Time to Celebrate!

About 5 years ago, my wife and I started a tradition of celebrating the 1st of every month. It sounds silly, but we love it. We do this because: 1) It began when we bought our first rental property together. Rent checks come in on the 1st of each month, and even though most (sometimes Read more about It’s the 1st of the Month – Time to Celebrate![…]

Legacy Graph

Your 200 Year Plan: Your Legacy

  The presenter asked, “By show of hands, who out there has a 5 year plan?” About 200 of us were all packed inside a mid-sized training room at my company headquarters. I raised my hand. Looking around it surprised me that most of the audience had their hand up also. Apparently everyone these days Read more about Your 200 Year Plan: Your Legacy[…]

Dog in the snow

Today Statistics – Pre-Christmas…

  Did you know, today…   – You’re probably going to get richer! Because statistically, Monday is the most likely day of the week that the US stock market will rise, rather than fall. – We’re probably in for good weather, too… Mondays have the least chance of rain! – There will be 384,701 babies born today. Read more about Today Statistics – Pre-Christmas…[…]

Financial FOMO draw

Financial FOMO: What, Why and How To Avoid It.

What is Financial FOMO? You’ve probably heard of regular FOMO, which is the fear of missing out. It’s when you worry or have anxiety about missing out on fun and memorable experiences in life. What about Financial FOMO? Financial FOMO is a little more specific. It’s when you worry about missing out on financial success Read more about Financial FOMO: What, Why and How To Avoid It.[…]

Meals on Wheels volunteering

More fun volunteering stories!

Good morning! Here’s 5 quick stories from my recent Meals on Wheels adventures… – Last week I delivered to an old lady, and when she answered the door she had no pants on. Instead of acting shy or apologizing, she just smiled and shrugged her shoulders as if to say, “I don’t really feel like Read more about More fun volunteering stories![…]

Pumpkin keg with spigot

Halloween – Statistics in the USA – 2019

  Today is Halloween! And there’s some weird stuff going on tonight… – Americans will spend about $8.8 billion in preparation for Halloween tonight 🤮. – 22% of Americans will go to a haunted house attraction. – And 80% of those haunted houses are operated by charities! (It’s a good thing, because they generate ~$300mil Read more about Halloween – Statistics in the USA – 2019[…]

Pessimists are right too!

The Pessimists are Always Right (In the Short Term)

  The Pessimists are always right! (in the short term) – Guest post written by Joel’s Dad! –   Do you ever get tempted to divide everyone up into optimists and pessimists? Optimists are always looking on the bright side; “glass half full”, ready to accept even the smallest chance of success against the odds. Read more about The Pessimists are Always Right (In the Short Term)[…]

Dumping Amazon PRIME

  Earlier this year I cancelled my Amazon PRIME membership. It’s not because I’m disgruntled or didn’t enjoy their service. I’m actually a huge fan of Amazon. My reasons for cancelling were: I realized the “benefits” of PRIME membership can easily be found elsewhere – free shipping, fast shipping, convenience, streaming, etc. is not unique Read more about Dumping Amazon PRIME[…]

I hate leaf blowers

Don’t be a leaf blower!

I hate leaf blowers. Every Monday my gardeners come and fire up 2 loud leaf blowers. They circle around my house blowing all the leaves, dust, sticks and rocks away from my yard and straight into my neighbors yards. A couple days later, my neighbor’s gardeners come. They fire up their leaf blowers and blow Read more about Don’t be a leaf blower![…]

Down tree at fourplex

Hiring a Property Manager? – Ask These Questions…

  Property Managers are the backbone of your buy & hold rental business. While you’re sitting back and counting your money, they are watching over your affairs and handling all the dirty tasks that you don’t want to do. Finding a good property manager however, can be a hard task. There are hundreds of management Read more about Hiring a Property Manager? – Ask These Questions…[…]

Financial Independence Sunset

What does Financial Independence mean to you?

  Beyond the literal definition of Financial Independence, there’s a deep and personal meaning this term holds. Every time I ask someone “What does FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) mean to you?” I hear a unique and individual answer. It’s interesting hearing everyone else’s response. Most people describe freedom, flexibility and custom lifestyles, but no Read more about What does Financial Independence mean to you?[…]

Real Estate Syndication Complex

Syndications for Beginners: How to Vet Sponsors & Deals

  OK, so you’ve read about these so called ‘syndications’ and think you may want to give it a try… You’ve got a spare $50k in your checking account and feel bad that it’s just sitting there not earning any interest. Your friend one day says “hey, I know a guy that’s buying a mobile Read more about Syndications for Beginners: How to Vet Sponsors & Deals[…]

Toilets aka Rental Properties

How Many Toilets Do You Own?

Newbie: “Real estate investing sounds so cool! How many rental properties do you own?” Me: I own 22 toilets. Newbie: “Huh? I was asking about your rental houses.” Me: I know. Let me tell you. Somewhere in Texas, there are 22 toilets that I own. Right now, and throughout the day, people are shitting in Read more about How Many Toilets Do You Own?[…]

Credit Card Hacking Photo

Credit Card Hacking – Personal Summary, Timeline & Notes

SUMMARY: It’s been 16 months We’ve opened 8 new credit cards Received $6,565 in signup bonuses and rewards travel We paid $457 in membership fees so far A whopping $149,000 in total available credit lines Starting credit score = 764 Current credit score = 810 I’ve been taking notes every time I applied for a Read more about Credit Card Hacking – Personal Summary, Timeline & Notes[…]

USA statistics

4th of July – Statistics for 2019

  🇺🇸 Today is Independence Day! 🇺🇸 Here is what we crazy American’s will get up to… – We will eat A LOT of hot dots today… About 150 million. – 37 million hot dogs will have come from Iowa. – And 70% of the lettuce in our salads was grown in California! – 26% Read more about 4th of July – Statistics for 2019[…]

Downsides to out of state rental properties

The Downsides to Owning Out of State Rental Properties (And How to Deal With Them)

There are downsides to owning out of state rental properties. Some of them can be combated with careful planning and extra ongoing efforts, while others are simply unavoidable. None of my rental properties are even remotely close to where I live. (In fact, the closest property I own is 1,463 miles away – just a Read more about The Downsides to Owning Out of State Rental Properties (And How to Deal With Them)[…]

How to stand out on Monday

How to STAND OUT on Mondays

Standing out on Mondays is easy!… (Just do the complete opposite of what all the regular people do) – Be alert while others are sleepy – Smile and be happy while others are grumpy – Get stuff done while others are procrastinating – Work hard while others are hoping and wishing life will magically get Read more about How to STAND OUT on Mondays[…]

Fourplex Saga Part 3

4 x Fourplex Saga – (Part 3) – Property Management & Accounting

  It’s now been a full 12 months since purchasing the last fourplex property, and I’ve learned a TON of stuff during this time. The buildings have mostly stabilized, and my personal involvement has shrunken down to just a few hours of work per month. In this post I talk about property management, and share Read more about 4 x Fourplex Saga – (Part 3) – Property Management & Accounting[…]

Real Estate Syndication Complex

Syndications for Beginners: What is a Real Estate Syndication?

  In late 2018, I changed my primary investment strategy to real estate syndications. I’ve invested $100k so far across 2 different apartment complex deals, and plan to fund another 2-3 syndication projects in 2019 also. What the heck is a real estate syndication anyway??? To help answer this question I’ve asked Michael Bishop from Read more about Syndications for Beginners: What is a Real Estate Syndication?[…]

making mistakes real estate

Making Mistakes in Real Estate – We All Do It

  Sometimes I feel like the world‘s worst real estate investor. Even with all the books, podcasts, and knowledge I’ve consumed over the years, I still regularly screw up, waste time, lose money, and make rookie mistakes. I’m not alone…   Perfect Investors: – don’t lose money, – don’t make mistakes – don’t need help Read more about Making Mistakes in Real Estate – We All Do It[…]

5am agenda

5AM Activities – What Do You Do at 5AM Every Day?

Here’s a common question I get asked when people learn about my 5AM activities.   What the heck do you do at 5AM every morning?   The short answer is: Whatever I want! And the longer, more annoying answer is: It depends on the day. My morning routine and 5am activities change depending on what Read more about 5AM Activities – What Do You Do at 5AM Every Day?[…]

I Lava You!

2019 Valentines Day Statistics

  Here are some interesting statistics for you this Valentines Day: 72% of millennials say they would break up with their partner if they forgot Valentine’s Day. The average millennial spends $182 and over 27 hours planning their Valentines Day gifts for their sig-nif other. 54% of men in Italy dress up as Saint Valentine Read more about 2019 Valentines Day Statistics[…]

monday is hard

Motivation vs. Discipline

“Waaaah, my life is so hard. I wish I had more motivation to do my stuff.” Have you ever heard someone say this? Or have you said it yourself? Well instead of motivation, what might be needed is just a little discipline. There’s a big difference between motivation and discipline. – Motivation is fleeting – Read more about Motivation vs. Discipline[…]

How to Start Big Fights with Your Partner About Money

  I don’t mean to brag… but back in the day I used to be pretty awesome at starting fights about money. My expert skills earned me 7 messy break-ups, 3 National Asshole Awards, and countless nights sleeping on the couch! Unfortunately, I’ve lost my touch over the years, and my wife and I barely Read more about How to Start Big Fights with Your Partner About Money[…]

Prostitute High Heels

There’s a Prostitute in My Rental Property!

  There’s a Prostitute in My Rental Property!     You’ve probably heard the saying… “Pimpin’ aint easy”… And after my recent experience I can verify that this is 100% true. Especially when you don’t even know you’ve been pimpin’ to begin with! I’ve been a real estate investor (please note this is just a Read more about There’s a Prostitute in My Rental Property![…]

Strategy Change

Changing Real Estate Investing Strategies

Earlier this year I found myself in a rut. A real estate investing rut. I had my head down focusing on buy/hold rental properties for so many years, I never really took a step back to consider my overall strategy and general position as an investor. In addition to this rut, a couple new factors Read more about Changing Real Estate Investing Strategies[…]

FinCon 2018 Reviews and Highlights

FinCon 2018 – Recap & Highlights from a First-Timer

  I just returned home from FinCon 2018 held in Orlando, Florida. This was my first time attending the conference, and it won’t be my last. The conference itself was educational, professional, and I came home with a lot of practical action items to help with my blogging. What happened outside conference hours, however, is Read more about FinCon 2018 – Recap & Highlights from a First-Timer[…]

Pay Yourself First Square Head

Is it Selfish to Pay Yourself First?

  When you hear “Pay Yourself First” what do you think of? It sounds like something a rich and greedy person would say… Let’s break it down:   Pay = something money related. Yourself First = something selfish. The complete opposite of what our parents taught us.   OK now let’s see what happens if Read more about Is it Selfish to Pay Yourself First?[…]

House Flip Case Study

Funding a House Flip – Numbers, Notes, and Q&A!

  Investing in a House Flip   For a long time my investment strategy has been “buy and hold” rentals. Specifically, small multi-family properties. This has been a slow and conservative way to building wealth through real estate. I’ve read about people that “flip” houses for quick profits, and it never really interested me in Read more about Funding a House Flip – Numbers, Notes, and Q&A![…]

motivation for me?

Need Motivation?… BE the Motivation!

  Need motivation? BE the motivation!   When I was younger, I got turned down for a job promotion at work. When I asked the hiring manager for reasons why I didn’t get the job, he said that something during my interview worried him. Apparently, when he asked me about teamwork, I told him: “My teammates Read more about Need Motivation?… BE the Motivation![…]

500 days

500 days left… until Year 2020!!

If you were going to start a 500 day challenge, this coming Sunday would be the perfect day to start. Because:   Exactly 500 days from Sunday it will be January 1st, 2020.   Even the tiniest positive change added into your daily routine, done consistently for 500 days in a row, could have you Read more about 500 days left… until Year 2020!![…]

Daily Date – How waking at 5am boosts my performance

  I’m very excited to share a guest post from another 5am Rockstar, Jemma Martin. Jemma is KILLING IT in both her business and personal life. She goes on a daily date – with herself – each morning that helps her plan, execute, and live life by her own design.    Daily Date – How Read more about Daily Date – How waking at 5am boosts my performance[…]

Just do it title

Financial Independence via JUST DO IT!

“What do you think sets apart successful people from those who give up, fail, or never even get started?” This is the final question at the end of every episode of my favorite podcast, BiggerPockets. It has been asked nearly 300 times to successful investors, business experts, and entrepreneurs who are guests on the show. Read more about Financial Independence via JUST DO IT![…]

Personal QBR

It’s Time for Your QBR: Quarterly Business Review

  It’s July 1st and time for your QBR!   What’s a QBR?   The last company I worked for had a grueling ritual at the beginning of each new sales quarter. Each sales rep had to prepare a detailed powerpoint presentation and deliver it to a room full of peers, managers, and executives from Read more about It’s Time for Your QBR: Quarterly Business Review[…]

Mondays don't suck

Mondays don’t suck. My attitude does.

Mondays don’t suck. – My attitude does – Today, a lot of people will be looking for excuses to be grumpy. They will blame Monday, their jobs, managers, commute time, workload, etc. I’m not gonna join them. It’s easier to adjust my attitude in the morning. I will find my morning bliss, and enjoy the Read more about Mondays don’t suck. My attitude does.[…]

More equals less ROE

When More Equity = Less Return

  Congratulations! Your investment property has risen in value!   Before we go out celebrating, let’s talk quickly about return on equity. Having more equity doesn’t necessarily mean that you have more money working for you.   In fact, as your property value increases, your return on equity decreases.   Wait a sec… What the Read more about When More Equity = Less Return[…]

Cyril Parkinson

Retire Early with Parkinson’s Law

    “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”     A dude named Cyril Parkinson wrote this phrase in the opening sentence of an essay published in 1955. (Original article here)   From what I gather, Parkinson was basically making fun of the government for wasting time and money. Read more about Retire Early with Parkinson’s Law[…]

4 x Fourplexes (Part 2): Investment Timeline and Numbers

  4 x Fourplexes… Part 2: Investment Timeline and Numbers   Finding The Fourplexes: Probably the coolest part of this story is that these Fourplexes were found and purchased off-market. Meaning, nothing was listed for sale publicly on the MLS, and I was the only investor who knew about it. No competition, no worries. One Read more about 4 x Fourplexes (Part 2): Investment Timeline and Numbers[…]

4 fourplexes

How I Bought 4 x Fourplexes in 12 Months – (Part 1)

How I Bought 4 x Fourplex Investment Properties in 12 Months – (Part 1)   In the last 12 months my brother and I purchased 4 x fourplex rental properties in a small town in Texas. These were all off market properties (not listed publicly for sale on the MLS), all purchased from the same Read more about How I Bought 4 x Fourplexes in 12 Months – (Part 1)[…]

First Investment Property

My First Investment Property, Age 18

15 Years Ago…   I was 18 years old and barely out of high school when I bought my first investment property. Actually, I should really say “stumbled upon” my first investment property. It was a family deal, driven mostly by my parents. Now before you go thinking that I was born with a silver Read more about My First Investment Property, Age 18[…]

Tracking My Savings Rate as a Young Kid

It all started with Mom…   I think about my savings rate in a different way than most people. It’s because of my Mom.   When I was a young kid, my Mom paid me and my siblings to do chores around the house. Pretty standard chores like doing the family laundry, vacuuming/mopping, dishes, yard Read more about Tracking My Savings Rate as a Young Kid[…]