In today’s episode, Trevor Oldham and Jim Pfeifer discuss their experiences as passive real estate investors. They cover topics such as the different asset classes they have invested in, the importance of cash flow, the need for effective communication with sponsors, and the benefits of investing in a community like Left Field Investors (LFI). They also touch on the challenges faced by non-accredited investors and the value of learning from others’ experiences.

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What’s Covered In This Episode

  • In this episode we’ll cover:
    • Passive investing allows for diversification across different asset classes, such as multi-family apartments, single-family rentals, Airbnbs, car washes, and even unique investments like life insurance policies.
    • Cash flow is a crucial consideration for passive investors, as it provides stability and de-risks investments. However, there can be a balance between cash flow and equity growth.
    • Effective communication with sponsors is essential for passive investors. Timely responses, transparency, and a dedicated investor relations team are indicators of a reliable sponsor.
    • Joining a community like Left Field Investors (LFI) can provide valuable education, support, and opportunities for collaboration with other passive investors.
    • Non-accredited investors face challenges in finding investment opportunities, but there are sponsors and communities that cater to their needs.
    • Reading and understanding the Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) is crucial for passive investors to assess the risks and terms of a deal.
    • Investing in a tribe or group can provide opportunities for diversification, shared due diligence, and a supportive learning environment.
    • Learning from others’ experiences and mistakes can help passive investors make informed decisions and avoid common pitfalls.
    • The growth of passive investing is driven by the desire for greater control over investments, better tax benefits, and higher returns compared to traditional investment options like 401(k)s and IRAs.

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Read The Transcript Here

Trevor Oldham (00:04.462)
Now you went from your portfolio where you were in single family, you’re into your multi -family and then now you went more of that passive investor. When you were becoming that passive investor and you were making those first investments, were you going into investing in multi -family apartments? Were you going through and investing with syndicators that had single family rentals or were there other asset classes? I mean, for me, when I started to discover passive investing, I was like, okay, I can invest in apartments. And then I realized, I could.

invest in single -family rentals than there’s Airbnbs and then car washes. I think you’ve had folks on your podcast where, I don’t know if you had them on your podcast, but I’ve heard through the Al -Fi where you invest like people’s life insurance policies where they have a million dollar policy and you know that you pay them $600 ,000 now and then when they die, unfortunately for them, but you get a nice payment on the back end and that’s unique investment. It’s no different than the commercials that you see.

on TV with the cash settlements and different things like that. But just curious what sort of asset classes you started investing in once you started to move your money over into passive. Yeah, that’s a good question. I wish I could say I had this grand plan. But really what happened was, you know, I think in my story, I kind of omitted one little section where I thought I wanted to be a syndicator. So I went to a conference. It was the first conference ever went to.

where I paid my own way. You know, I was used to working for a business where they would send you places. But so it was a big step for me. And I’m really glad I did it. And I went there thinking I’m going to be a syndicator. And about the first five minutes of the meeting or the conference, I realized, my gosh, I want to be what this other thing is, this passive thing, the passive investor, not a syndicator. And so what I did was I just assumed that everybody at this conference must be just the top line syndicators, right? Because why else would they be invited to this conference? Which

I’ve since learned anyone can go to a conference. So it’s really bad, assumption that I made, but I had a, you know, an old 401k rollover and, and so it felt like a little less risky to use that money because it wasn’t money I needed to live on. And so I just kind of went up and met a syndicator and said, Hey, can I give you my money? I wasn’t really paying attention to asset class. I didn’t have a strategy. I didn’t have an idea. I wasn’t vetting operators. I was terrible at it, all of it. so I got into some really weird asset classes to start. I.

Trevor Oldham (02:23.918)
I still own some of these deals. Like I’m in a coffee farm in Belize, a chocolate farm in Panama, or maybe those are reversed. But, you know, so weird stuff like that. I got into a mobile home park, which is something that I, you know, it was a really bad deal, but I liked the asset class. So I got into some really weird stuff at first. And then I kind of realized I wasn’t being effective, right? And I needed to find a better way to find deals and find operators.

But initially it was just, I mean, I’m, I like to chase the shiny object. That’s why, you know, when you’re part of our community, you know, that we have the life settlements that you talked about. We have all kinds of just everything you can think of, because there’s a lot of, you know, you want to diversify, but there’s a lot of different asset classes out there. And so I needed to rein that in and eventually I came up with a plan, but to start, it was just like, Hey, you, you have an, a syndication opportunity. Here’s my money. Bad idea.

Yeah, I definitely feel that. I think when I was first started investing and I try to do my due diligence, but then you get you got on their email list and then you get the emails from them. this property looks really cool. Maybe I want to invest in this asset class. Yes. I can invest in car washes. All that. That makes sense. That’s a super profitable niche. I can invest in any teams. I can invest. Like you mentioned, mobile home parks and all these different asset classes. Now, not today that you’ve had a little bit more time to to refine your strategy.

when you’re investing in these deals, are you looking more of a pure cashflow play? Like I know for me, like I invest with seven E where it’s just, it’s pure cashflow. You know, there’s, there’s no appreciation or anything like that. But then I’m in like a self storage deal where no cashflow for the first couple of years, pure appreciation. And for yourself, are you having a mixture of those two asset classes or those two types of investments where I sort of look at it as cashflow equity, or is it more of a mixture of both where you get that nice stable income? You know, again, is it.

like a 70 where you’re investing in mortgage notes or a triple net lease. And then obviously multifamily value add more. You know, you might get a three equity multiple over five years where right now am I tripling at least? I’ll probably just get comparative to the market, but at least I get that cashflow coming in where I can live off of it today. Yeah. So I am, I don’t have a W two income, right? So I need cashflow. So I invest for cashflow, but I recently had,

Trevor Oldham (04:43.822)
Russell Gray from the real estate guys on the podcast and he had a I’m not going to say it the way he said it because he’s he’s brilliant. But he basically said cash flow is equity. Right. So you want to have cash flow from all of your investments now. Clearly development, like you said, in your self -storage deal. That’s that’s different. And there there should be a part of your portfolio that is focused on, you know, kind of the riskier side and maybe the higher upside. But for me, I’m all about cash flow and.

It doesn’t have to be immediate cashflow, right? Everyone, people get upset. Well, cashflow starts in three months instead of two or six months. You know, I just want them to be cash flowing fairly quickly. Now the debt things that you were talking to talking about, I love those. Those are, especially now in this market, I think debt is a really smart place to be, but the downside is, well, the downside is there’s no upside, right? And there’s also no tax benefit there. So what I try to do is really effectively diversify. Now I have a strategy.

When I, when I have some capital that I want to allocate, I look at the rest of my portfolio, I look at my cashflow and I kind of say, okay, no, I, right now what I need is, is some extra cashflow. So then maybe I will do something like a debt, but if I have a feel like my cashflow is going pretty well, then maybe I’ll, I’ll try to find a multifamily or self storage or something that will cashflow within, you know, six months or so that’s a value add that you can start getting cash from pretty quickly. But.

My focus is cashflow because as Russell Gray says, that turns in to equity, right? Cashflow is equity. And, you know, I think what we’ve kind of come to think is a lot of the people in our community, if they have a W -2, then they’re just, they don’t even think about cashflow and all they want to do is development or appreciation or heavy value add. And I think they’re missing the boat. And the same point, you know, people like me who don’t have a W -2 just think all cashflow, all cashflow.

And I think what you want, you want to have a balance, but I think the balance has to be very much on the cashflow heavy side because cashflow de -risks the investment immediately. As soon as the cash starts rolling in, you know, your investment is de -risked where development, so many different things can go wrong. Heavy value add. So many different things can go wrong that even if you have a W -2, you should be focused on mainly cashflow and, you know, making up the numbers. But if someone had a W -2, maybe they do 70 % cashflow.

Trevor Oldham (07:05.23)
and 30 % other where somebody like me who relies on cashflow for our income, maybe I’m 85 or 90 % cashflow and 10 % the other stuff. But especially after talking to Russell Gray, I think that cashflow is equity and you want to be heavy, heavy on the cashflow. Yeah, I can’t, I can’t agree more with that. And that’s really how I feel right now. It was almost like in the beginning, I was just investing. Just, I just wanted to see the different asset classes and the deals. And then I started to realize, I like this cashflow coming in, like the self storage development deal.

where I’ve been in it probably about a year and a half now coming up and then I won’t get that first distribution until January 25. So I’m kind of bummed out. Now I know what I know now I probably should have looked into it deeper, but at least basically looking at the pro forma and talking to the sponsors, at least I should be able to get my return of principal back by year three. So like, okay, at least I get that aspect of it. Maybe I would have liked it a little bit sooner, but I definitely think that’s an important part. And I think too many people…

don’t really go into it with a strategy. They sort of just talk to different sponsors and they invest sort of like how I was in the beginning, similar how you were where I just in this deal. I mean, I think it’s going to be a success, but knowing what I know now, I can’t pull my money out. Obviously it’s a liquid I can’t put into a cash -filling asset. But talking about these different asset classes, are there any ones that you’re staying away from? I know for me, like, I just don’t know anything about the oil and gas space. I’m just, I just get too scared. I’ve heard of too many bad things.

happened I think I was talking to Steve, one of the co -founders at LFI. I actually got to meet him in Boston a couple years back and he was talking about he had a really bad experience in oil and gas deal and I don’t know if that spooked me. I remember looking at them too much deeper but curious and not to say that isn’t an area where you can invest in but are there any certain asset classes that you’re staying away from? Is it maybe multifamily just given what we’ve seen? I mean I’m sure there’s still deals to be had but just curious on your end or if you’re still just you know being extra due diligent.

you’re looking at these deals that are out there. Yeah, I don’t necessarily have any asset classes that I avoid other than I agree with you. Oil and gas. I think you have to be really, really careful. And, you know, even even some really smart people who went and visited the locations and thought they had everything nailed down in there and they find out it’s a Ponzi scheme. I think you need to be really, really careful with that and, you know, restrict the amount of capital you put in that. And I think a lot of people get

Trevor Oldham (09:27.022)
I’m excited about it because the tax benefits, especially if you have a W -2. So certainly that that’s where it worked in my favor. I didn’t have a W -2, so I didn’t think I needed to take that extra risk. That’s one that I would be super cautious about. But as far as other asset classes, I can’t think of any that I’m just an automatic no when they come across my desk. But as you said, yes, I’m doing a lot more due diligence than than I did previously. And, you know, it’s kind of one of those things where you know when you see it. And I think it’s more.

having faith in the operator than, than the asset class. And there’s some asset classes where we’ve made investments that haven’t worked out. And that doesn’t mean I’ll never do that asset class again. It just means that I need to dig into and understand it more. And, you know, sometimes you have a trusted operator who might be a calculator that gets into a bunch of different asset classes. That doesn’t mean you have to jump in and get in all of them with that person. Right. You can, you can say, no, I’m going to pass on this one. But I think the key is finding operators that you.

that you know, like, and trust that have experience that have a track record. And, you know, I think now the thing I’m really trying to do is I’m going to put small amounts of capital with a lot of different people. And the only time I’m going to put a larger amount of capital is if it’s somebody that I’ve already invested with and I’ve had success and they’ve been around through multiple up and down markets. Right. So I’m talking, they probably have been doing this since before 2008.

Right. That is the kind of person that I want. Then I’ll put a little bit more and I’ll be able to take a bigger swing. But I think two years from now, it’s going to be a lot easier to vet an operator and select deals because the operators that make it through, especially multifamily, but really any asset class, the operators that make it through what we’re going through right now, this huge interest rate spike with the, the, the quickness that that happened. If they make it through this, then that

that tells you something, right? So it’s not going to be like, okay, now I can invest with anybody who made it through, but that will be a qualifier. There’ll be a lot less people to invest with. And you can say, okay, you, you made it through this. How did you do it? What, what did you do differently? What did you learn? Even if they had some deals that had capital calls or, or lost money that that’s okay. That’s happens. It’s investing. It’s not winning, right? They don’t call it making money all the time. It’s investing. And that means there’s some risk and you’re going to lose some money. But did that operator learn something? Did they?

Trevor Oldham (11:53.294)
Did they, were they able to fix their errors and how did they handle it with investors? So I just think there’s going to be so much more information because as you said, anybody could make money, you know, the last eight years, right? I did a terrible job as an asset manager and I made a bunch of money on those properties, none of it from cashflow, almost all of it from appreciation. And it was just fortunate. I got lucky with the timing, but.

you know, had that happened over these past few years, I would have taken a beating and I’d probably be done with real estate right now because I would have lost so much money. So I think that better times are coming for the results, but also I think it’s going to be a lot easier to be a passive investor because we’ve learned a lot of lessons and also the operators will have to, and you can ask them, Hey, what lessons have you learned? And if they don’t have any lessons that they’ve learned, that’s a huge red flag right there. Yeah. I think there’s so much value, valuable information there. I think one thing.

I wanted to mention that I thought it was great was not putting too much of your capital in one sponsor. And I’ve just seen different folks where they put maybe 50 % of their other investable cash into one sponsor. And then maybe that sponsor doesn’t work out or they put it into one specific deal. I know for me personally, I try to put no more than 10 % of my money into any one sponsor. Unless like, it’s like, I know I talked about 70, I invested with them October 22, consistent distributions, no problems with them. So I doubled my investment with them this past February because I’ve

proven that track record to me. And there’s a triple net lease folk that I’ve invested with. Same thing. I think I got in with them. I think it was an October 22, great track record. Like what they do. I feel comfortable with them. Now I’m ready to maybe make another investment with them. So I like that aspect of it, just in so someone doesn’t get burned, putting all their money into one sort of syndicator in case that happens, unless they, you know, they do have proven results. And like you mentioned, even if it is a successful syndicator, sometimes the deal doesn’t work out. Maybe just something that happens. Like you mentioned,

where all of a sudden everyone’s getting variable rates and then the interest rates spike. And then now they go to get those fixed rates and the numbers don’t make sense. And I think it’s a good point where in the future there’s going to be, we’re going to really see the good sponsors that came out of us and these good syndicators and the ones that didn’t over leverage themselves, the ones that were more conservative. And I like to think of, I’m not sure if you had them on your podcast, but I think it was like Joel Friedland from Brit Properties where you know, super conservative.

Trevor Oldham (14:11.598)
you know, where some of those properties, you know, 0 % LTV, all cash on commercial properties where sometimes you may go up to 30 % LTV, not saying the multifamily folks have to go that, you know, that smaller, but are they being a little more conservative, you know, maybe 60 % LTV, more fixed rate, you know, maybe not projecting as great returns, you know, taking a little skin off that, but, you know, being able to survive the space. But with all that said, just curious, when you’re…

talking to these new sponsors, before you say you even invest with them, are there certain red flags they look out for? I know for me, when I’m talking to a sponsor, I’m just having that very first phone call. One, maybe if they show up late to the call, if they promise certain things to me that just sound unrealistic, like I had a sponsor promise me Christmas bonuses for all of his sponsors. And I’m like, I’m not your employee. And that’s not what I really care about. Yeah, that sounds great. And depending on the asset class, projecting unreasonable IRR.

And this is before I even dive into the numbers. Are there any things on the surface level where you’re just talking to a sponsor and you’re like, Hey, you know, I just don’t feel comfortable with this person just based on what they’re talking about. Cause I find, I know I find in the first five minutes of talking to a sponsor, I’m like, yeah, I’ll dig deeper into their numbers, but just to try to get a read on them. Because I mean, there’s so many different sponsors and, and operators out there. I mean, I could be talking to eight to 10 of them a day and not get through all the ones that are out there. So just curious how you vet them. And if there’s certain red flags that you look for when you’re talking to them.

Yeah, so I mean, the one thing is I really don’t invest with the sponsors anymore unless they’re introduced to me by somebody I know I can trust from my community who’s already invested with them. That’s like step one. Now, if it’s a new operator that nobody knows, it’ll take me just a long time to get comfortable. But really, the main thing I’m looking for is communication, because these are long term illiquid investments, right? They’re out of your control. You can’t.

you know, go back and say, Hey, I’d like my money back. It just, it’s not possible. So it’s so out of your control. So I want to know that if I’m going to send you an email, make a phone call, write you a letter, whatever that you’re going to respond in a timely fashion. And if you don’t, I’m, I’m not going to invest. And I, I work very hard to find that out before I make the investment. So like you said, are they going to show up on time to a phone call? Because that means they value my time as much as, as their time, right?

Trevor Oldham (16:35.182)
So that’s an important first step. But then, you know, I’ll send them a ton of follow -up emails. Even if I don’t have questions, I’ll make something up just to see, are they going to get tired of me hassling them? I might ask the same question twice or I’ll dig into the bottom of their website and find something obscure to ask them about. And, you know, the ones I like are the ones that say, man, you got some great questions. Can we get on a phone call and talk about this? And, you know, what I want to see is…

two things, the quality of response and the timeliness of response. If it takes you a few days to get back to me and you don’t have a reason why, then I’m moving on. There are so many sponsors out there. There’s great sponsors out there. I don’t need to chase them down. I want to have someone who values my time or at least has systems in place so that they can handle it. I understand these are busy people. I might not always get to talk to the principal, but I want to at least have the investor relations person. I mean,

Relations investor relations. That’s their entire job. If they can’t get back to me within 24 hours, then there’s a problem. I mean, you know, if weekday workday kind of stuff, I’m not saying I’m sending something on a Friday night at midnight and expect something back, but I cannot overestimate the, or overstress the, the, the importance of communication because now people are finding this out, right? There’s a particular sponsor in our, in our community that, you know, everyone was very high on.

a few years ago and put a lot of money into them. And he was just bad at communication. So bad that, you know, I, we had conversations with them and said, look, you need to improve or we’re, we’re not going to be, want to be involved with you anymore. And he ended up finally hiring an investor relations person. That person was also terrible at communication. And, but we still thought the deals were good. And so some, you know, we still invested, which, you know, looking back, we shouldn’t have. And now some of those deals are not working out. Some are.

but some aren’t, but the communication has gotten worse and worse. So now if a deal is going bad and you can’t get any information on it, I mean, that’s just, there’s no excuse for that. And you don’t want to be in that situation because already, like if I’m in a deal and I think I’m going to lose money or there might be a capital call, I’m already getting stressed out. I’m already upset. But if you’re communicating with me every step of the way and saying, here’s exactly what happened. Here’s what we’re trying to do.

Trevor Oldham (18:55.854)
You know, we’re doing our best. We understand you might lose money on this. We’re being transparent. That’s an operator. Why might invest with again? Because it might, it might be as long as it’s something that wasn’t operational and they didn’t, you know, wasn’t their fault. If it’s interest rates spiked and it was a risky business plan, like flipping apartments. And I knew it ahead of time. Okay. That, that risk, I took it. It didn’t work out. Okay. But you, you walked me through every step of the way I might consider investing with you again. But if it’s somebody who just.

never responds and says, we need a capital call. And they say, it’s mandatory. When the, when the PPM says it’s not or things like that. I mean, you got to find all that out ahead of time. So I think part of the thing is people think they’re being a burden asking all these questions or, you know, bothering the operator, you’re going to give them 25 or $50 ,000. You, you earn the right to ask as many questions as you want. And when they stop answering them,

That’s when you go find someone who will answer your question. So all I do is vet that all the vetting is just communication based or not all of it, but most of it is just making sure that they’re going to communicate with me because that is super important to me. Yeah. I can’t agree with you more there. And that’s how I feel where I’ll talk to a sponsor and if I like the conversation and I’ll go into the next step, I’ll have them send me a deal and then I’ll start asking the questions about the deal. And sometimes they’ll get back and like, again, like you’re like, I don’t need them to get back to me. Like, and.

if I’m setting it out on a Friday night, but hey, can you get back to me within three business days? You know, maybe five is pushing it. If I send it to you on a Monday, can you at least get it back to me by the middle of the weekend? And like you mentioned, I’ve had sponsors where I keep asking them questions or I’m like, why does, you know, I’m running, I’m underwriting the project myself and I’m not, I’m, I think you’re overinflating where you’re going to be paying for the property. Can you explain to me why you think this is the justified purchase prices, different things like that? And then you never get an email back from them. And like, well, that saved me.

my money, because like you mentioned, if I’m putting 25, 50K into your deal, and you can’t even respond to me in a timely manner now, what’s going to happen once I do invest that money with you? And now it’s almost like you make the sale, there’s no obligation for them to really communicate with me anymore. You know, you hope that you do, that’s why you vet these sponsors, but it is that little terrifying spot. Especially I think for those newer investors. I know for me, like when I was wiring over that first 25K to get into the deal, it was…

Trevor Oldham (21:14.862)
nerve -racking, you know, is the money going to the right spot? Is this is the sponsor going to do what they say they’re going to do? And luckily it’s all worked out. But like you mentioned, it’s funny because we’re passive investors, but there’s so much active part of it where, yeah, obviously we’re not managing the property, but we still got to vet the sponsor. We got to vet the deal. We got to make sure that, you know, we’re not just blindly giving our money away to someone just because, you know, they sound good. They’re slick talking salesmen on the phone call. So I really liked that. And like you mentioned also the PPM.

I think that’s a very important document to go through and read. And I think for me, it was eye opening. And I’ve seen through the LFI group where folks haven’t gone through and read it and all of a sudden there’s a capital call and it might be a mandatory capital call or their shares are going to get diluted. Sometimes even down to zero, not even down to like 80 or 60%. So that was eye opening for me was to go through and read it. And I wish I think of like Jeremy Roller, he can go through and I think he has the power now, how successful he is to have them rewrite the PPM.

or a little bit better for him. I don’t know if I could do that as a single investor, but it is interesting to go through and be like, like if something goes wrong in this deal and there’s a capital call, either I participate in it or I lose all my money. Is that something that I’m going to want to do where I don’t have any control over that? So I think you mentioned, you know, even though it might be 50 pages and it’s a slog to get through, you know, if you’re investing so much of your money, you kind of have to go through it. And that’s your part of the job being a passive investor is to go through those documents and.

and to check them out. So I think that’s really, really all helpful information. And I want to talk about, and it’s been great being a part of LFI. I found a tribe through LFI. So we’re all non -accredited investors. We each put like 4K into a deal and you know, the minimum was 50K. So it was great to diversify and get into a new sponsor where I might have not been able to get into on my own or maybe would have to save up for a year or two to invest with that sponsor. But just curious on year end.

Do you prefer investing together as a tribe? Do you prefer to just get into deals on your own or maybe just a mixture of both just because when you’re getting into it as a tribe, sometimes the minimum, it might be 5K or 10K versus your standard 25, 50, and then even 100K. Just curious how your investment works through that one. Again, whether you prefer going through a tribe or whether you’d prefer going just solo into the deal on your own or just, again, that mixture of both of them. Yeah, I think it really depends. We started a tribe from a few LFI people.

Trevor Oldham (23:35.598)
And it’s kind of a test tribe, right? So none of us have invested in car washes before. So none of us wanted to put in 25 or 50 grand into a car wash. So we said, why don’t we start this tribe and we’ll do, invest in new operators, new asset classes to us, and just anything kind of out of the ordinary that maybe you’re okay taking a fly on and putting five grand in, but you didn’t want to put 50 in. And so that’s a perfect use case for a tribe. Another great use case for a tribe.

is, you know, I have a tribe where there’s five people who are really into passive investing. And so what we do is it’s like a little mini mastermind, right? We allocate capital that tribe and then we all talk about it. And when you learn so much, because if you bring a deal to the tribe, you now are the person that has to defend that. And so they’re asking you the questions. And so then you go and ask the operator and bring back. And so you learn so much more. So I think especially when you’re starting out,

I think tribes are just a great way to learn and grow and find, you know, some other people that you can talk to because this is, it’s a difficult thing. This is why left field investors exists is to, to give people a place to go, to be able to learn and learn from others mistakes, right? You were talking earlier about experience and you know, there’s you, you can’t do any of this without experience. And there’s two different kinds of experience. There’s, there’s the experience you have.

And there’s the experience you can get from others, right? Steve Su just wrote a great book. You know, the avoiding whatever avoiding rookie errors is a left field investor, right? That whole book is a list of 20 errors mistakes that Steve made in his 14 year investing career. Well, if you read a book like that, then you know, you don’t have to make those mistakes that Steve did. And you know, a lot of those mistakes, I made the same ones. And Steve was one of the first people I met who was a passive investor like me.

And we both learned a ton from each other and saved each other probably tens of thousands of dollars by now. And that’s the value of community. So when I look at a tribe, that’s what I’m getting out of it. Also for things that I’m new to, you know, lower minimum, that’s nice. But, you know, I’m to the point now where, you know, it doesn’t move the needle to invest $5 ,000 in one particular deal, but is it someone starting out or someone younger? Absolutely. That’s, that’s the purpose of those tribes. The reason I still get in tribes.

Trevor Oldham (26:03.118)
is maybe I want to be in a bunch of deals from an operator and I, but I want to de -risk it a little bit. Or like I said, I want my own mini mastermind. So I do both. you know, I, I really think there is a place for try best in, in anyone, in anyone’s portfolio to, to invest in groups. I think you get so much out of it, but now, you know, I also do, probably most of my investing is, is on my own. Yeah. I think that’s, that’s super helpful. Like you mentioned for the newer investor, like, like,

For myself, I found it super beneficial where having the folks where it was me and like, I think we might’ve slumped down a little bit over the time. I think it started off as like 13 and then we started to get down. Maybe there was like seven or eight of us guys, but I would bring a deal to the table one week and we would review it and then maybe bring the sponsor on to talk about it. And we did this for about, well, about six to nine months before we pulled the trigger and got into a deal. But just that learning experience where I think of the deal one way and I don’t like it. And then another guy, he does like it and this is why he likes it. And then.

We can argue, but we can go back and forth on each other’s opinion. But it’s more of a learning opportunity more than anything else. And then you also mentioned the LFI community. I mean, that was instrumental for me for coming through and just poring over the forums and learning about all the different sponsors and operators. And I find it’s very beneficial when I come to the forum. And let’s say I do want to invest with the new sponsor. Maybe I heard them on a podcast and they sounded very interesting and I want to know, hey, has anyone invested with them? More often than not, someone in the LFI community either one.

has invested with them or if they had no one’s invested with them, someone else has spoken to them and they’ll give their opinion. Yes, this is why I like them. Or I think there was one, there was one recently where I had never heard of them before. And some, someone in the group, they did a ton of due diligence on the group, you know, and they laid it all out there and it’s like, well, that just saves me so much time on my end of having to go through and do this all due diligence. Cause he was going through and he pulled all the numbers. So I think that community is super helpful. But just speaking of LFI, did you guys ever expect it to be?

as successful as it is to grow as much as it is. Cause I feel like, you know, like you mentioned, I left field investing. The majority of folks today still think 401k IRAs. And I think it’s now finally starting to catch on that there are different asset classes that you can invest. I know for me, I always, always just put my money in index fund. I’ll retire at 60, whatever 59 and a half where I can access my money. Like, well, that’s a long time for now. I don’t want to be waiting. I don’t want to be waiting that far. So just curious how it’s been growing the group and how.

Trevor Oldham (28:29.71)
Your experience has been just seeing it flourish from, you know, when you guys first started it. Yeah. Well, it was not intentional to grow it like this. In fact, I spent the first year telling people, no, they couldn’t join. We started, it was going to be 12 person dinner club in Columbus where I live. And the first meeting was going to be March 18th, 2020, which is when Ohio, you know, shut down for the pandemic. So we had to go online and that allowed some of my former financial advising clients to jump on some calls.

there are people from out of town that could jump on some calls. And we also were able to get some pretty big operators like Brian Burke was one of our first guests, because he was sitting around with nothing to do, just like we all were during those months. But what I wanted was a little mastermind for myself. I was very selfish. I wanted 12 people. Then, OK, fine. We had 20. And at the end of 2020, nine months in, I think we had 50 people. And that’s because I’d probably turned away twice as many people that wanted to join, because I just wanted it to be a small community.

But about that time, we realized what you just said. There are so many people now that are learning about this and interested in, and just really want to understand how to become a passive investor in real estate syndications. It’s really difficult because as you said, it’s 401k is easy stock market. Everyone does it. You just, you know, put your money in index funds. You don’t have to learn anything. You don’t have to know anything. And it’s not scary because everyone does it. The, you know, tax treatments, terrible. The returns aren’t that great.

But there’s nothing scary about it. But you mentioned earlier sending a wire. That’s terrifying. Right. Most people only do that when they buy a house. So sending one for your investments, that’s really scary. And a lot of these investments are hidden. Right. The SEC doesn’t even allow you to advertise them, especially for non -accredited. So there’s all kinds of rules and regulations for this type of investing. So it’s scary. It’s difficult, hard to find investments, but the tax treatment is phenomenal. The returns are great. You make a whole lot more money. You pay a whole lot less tax. So.

when we finally realized that that people really want to do this, but they need help. And so at left field investors, there’s other communities too. But we became a community and we decided, yeah, you know what we want to try to grow because our passion is showing people that you can do this, right? You don’t have to, if you want to get into real estate, you don’t have to be active and go do a house hack or flip a house or do all this other stuff that, you know, people are doing when they think of real estate, you can actually be a W2 worker who does.

Trevor Oldham (30:54.766)
on the side. And as you said, it’s called passive investing, but it’s extremely active until you send that wire, right? Then it becomes very passive. But the education is the key. And that’s why we started the community selfishly for ourselves. And then we realized, hey, we can expand this and share it. And that’s why we’re so excited about the culture that our community is built. You know, we don’t take responsibility for the for the culture. But that’s the that is the most that’s the best thing about left field investors is is people like you that can go on and and

and share what you’ve learned in the forum and then learn something from others. And that is the key to this type of investing, I think, until it becomes something as natural as putting money into your 401k. People are going to need communities like this to be able to understand how to do this. And that’s what we’re passionate about at Left Field Investors. Yeah, I think that’s that’s phenomenal. And not to get too far off on tangent, but thinking of like you have your 401k and then I like you start to learn about like you can invest through like a self -directed IRA and then you have your solo 401k.

That never gets talked about in school. It’s always just, obviously when you’re working a W -2 job, you can’t get your solo 401k, but maybe you have an IRA and you can roll it over and it’s self -directed. But that’s not like taught that’s out there. And it’s because, you know, if you’re a fidelity, if you’re a Vanguard, you know, and you can’t invest in real estate other than if you’re going through like REITs through their platform, you know, why would you want to promote that? Or why would you even talk about it? Because it doesn’t make sense because you’re not going to make any money on it at the end of the day. And I thought it was funny you mentioned the…

being non -accredited definitely has its challenges trying to find those 506B deals because you can’t get advertised to and I’m always having to go out there and find sponsors. I can’t tell you how many things, how many asset classes I want to invest in and I can’t. You know, just being a non -accredited sort of has that extra challenge. But I mean, for those listening that are non -accredited, it’s definitely possible. There are sponsors out there that are available to non -accredited. And I think even through L5, there’s a whole forum dedicated to non -accredited sponsors. And I think there’s maybe like 50 or so, there’s a ton of them.

in there. So there’s definitely the ones that are out there. But Jim, I want to be respectful of our time and for our audience out there that wants to learn more about yourself or more about LFI, where should they go to? Yeah, you can go to our website, leftfieldinvestors .com. You know, you can join now. We have a just now we started a free trial so you can kind of jump into the community, I think at seven or 10 days to test it out, see if you like it, see if it’s for you. And then then you can you can join the community.

Trevor Oldham (33:18.382)
You can also reach out to me. My email address is jim and leftfield investors .com. You know, I love talking to investors and sharing what I know. And, you know, I’m probably the luckiest person in the group because I talked to so many people I learned from every single person, whether they’re brand new and ask the question that hasn’t been asked yet that they think is a stupid question. And I think, my gosh, no one’s ever asked that. That’s brilliant. You know, to talk to super experienced people. So I love connecting with people and, and talking about our community and how you can really,

you know, achieve financial freedom through, through passive investing. I’ll make sure to include that in the show and so today’s episode and Jim, again, thank you so much for coming on to the show today. Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure.