The One Piece Of Financial Advice I Wish I Knew Sooner

Aaron Hoos

If I could go back in time, that would be shocking.

But assuming I could do it, here’s the one piece of financial advice I wish I knew sooner:

Passive income is king.

I grew up in a household that believed in the value of hard work. My parents worked tirelessly to provide for my sister and I. (Thanks mom and dad!)

I appreciate the many great lessons I learned from them.

Unfortunately, there was one lesson that I wish I’d learned differently and if I could go back in time I’d tell myself this lesson:

(I’m not saying this to disparage my parents or their hard work; they were raised in households that taught them that lesson too.)

So, what is the better way?

THE BIG LESSON…

Your time is the most valuable commodity you have. It’s there one moment and gone the next. And, many people trade their time for dollars in a job. Unfortunately, when you do, that time is lost and you miss out on other ways you could have used that time.

Passive income allows you to continue making money without spending your time to do it, which gives you the freedom to use your time for other things… whether that’s spending time with family or whatever you want.

To illustrate, compare two people:

Person #1 works at a job. For simple math, let’s say they earn $50,000/year by working 40 hours a week. At the end of the year they’ll have “spent” 2,000 hours (40 hours a week for 50 weeks) to make that money.

Person #2 creates passive income. For simple math, let’s say they create something that earns them $10,000/year. They put in some hours and maybe a financial investment early in the year, and then this cash-flowing asset generates them money for the rest of the year with little or no additional input.

Let’s tally their results from the year:

Person #1 invested 2,000 hours and got $50,000 in return. They’ll never get that time back but they have money to spend.

Person #2 gave some up-front value (of time and money) and got $10,000 in return… but they also got 2,000 hours throughout the year.

… and that is the key. Because they can spend those 2,000 hours with family and enjoying life, but also building more passive income assets.

So, at first glance, Person #1 is financially better at the end of the first year but Person #2 has been able to enjoy (not sacrifice) their time PLUS they can use that time to create more cash-flow.

The following years will look much different:

Person #1 will continue to be trapped in a cycle of “spending” 2,000 hours to get $50,000. Although they were ahead in the first year, they are trapped in the same cycle the following years and largely dependent on raises or promotions to increase that annual income.

Person #2 is free. They can spend their free time each year creating assets that generate passive income, for which there is no ceiling; meanwhile, the time they have available can be spent on whatever they want. Simply put, Person #2 has way more options.

And at the end of their life?

Person #1 ends their working years and hopes they have saved up enough to live out their golden years.

Person #2 can retire (actually, they’ve lived a life of near retirement already) and their passive income assets continue to give them money through retirement.

PASSIVE INCOME CREATES FREEDOM AND OPPORTUNITY

That’s the financial lesson I wish I learned when I was younger: many people trade hours for dollars but you don’t get those hours back and you can end up trapped trading hours for dollars. The better choice is to build passive income to create freedom and to create more opportunities.

What kind of passive income can you create? Here are a few ideas:

I’m building all of these now, and I have been for a while. But I wish I’d known about the power and possibility of passive income sooner because it opens so many doors. It also gives options when things change: for example, when I was a lone freelance copywriter and I wanted to take a vacation, I’d put my clients on pause and go on vacation, then feel the financial pinch when I returned (since I didn’t earn any money while away). But now, thanks to passive income generated from the assets I have above, I don’t have to worry and I don’t have to dig into my savings to cover me until I’m generating income from clients again.

Wondering where to start? Start by figuring out something you do really, really well that other people want to know. Then capture that information in some way (such as a book or infoproduct) and make it available for sale, then market it to the right people. You may not make a fortune on that first thing but you’ll get a taste for the life-changing possibilities that come with passive income.

Even if someone else does the same thing you do and sells a solution for it already, you bring your own unique approach and personality to it. Start by building something and selling it for a low amount. Don’t try to get rich in one go. Sell it for a few bucks and learn from those sales; get testimonials and feedback, then improve and raise your prices.

SUMMARY

If you are wondering what the next few years of your life should look like, do yourself a favor and spend some of those years building passive income assets. You’ll get a taste of freedom and you’ll give yourself more options.

My First Facebook Live Video Is In The Books

Hope you’re having a great start to 2018!

One of the things I want to do more of this year is provide more video training content for real estate investors. I already provide some training content… on YouTube, and elsewhere, but I love Facebook Live and I wanted to do some there too.

So here I am getting ready for the video (just testing out the camera position and lighting)…

Aaron Hoos

And here I am practicing…

Aaron Hoos

And practicing some more…

Aaron Hoos

And then I started!

Here’s the video below…

There were some quirks and kinks to work out but I’m happy with that as my first video attempt.

Note for next time:

  • Manage the glare a bit better
  • Avoid wearing a striped shirt maybe?
  • Speak a little more slowly

Here’s what I drew on the board, in case you’re curious…

Aaron Hoos Sales Funnel

And here are the 3 actions that I ended the video with…

Aaron Hoos

Speaking Of Wealth Podcast: Sales Copy With REI Focus

speaking-of-wealth-sales-copy-with-rei-focus

I was booked to to be interviewed by Jason Hartman, a real estate investing expert and a very prolific podcaster. By coincidence, we both ended up at the same conference just a week or two before our podcast interview. It was great to meet Jason in person and it actually helped us have a better podcast because we were more comfortable speaking together, plus he already knew a bit more about what I do.

In his podcast we talked about the importance of copywriting and sales funnels, particularly as they pertain to real estate investors.

Click here to listen to my interview with Jason Hartman about sales copy with an REI focus

Want to interview me on your podcast? Click here to learn how to book me as a guest.

Summary of the real estate investing conference I attended in Columbus Ohio

One of my clients is a turnkey wholesaler who does a lot of deals in a few different states. For the past couple of years, he’s held an event in Columbus Ohio called The Deal-Maker Experience. I’ve attended the event the past couple of years to connect with my client, plus a couple of my other clients attend there, plus it’s a great networking opportunity to meet new clients, plus I learn a lot!

This year, I flew into Columbus on Sunday June 14 and enjoyed the afternoon walking around downtown Columbus.

On Monday morning the event started. Actually, the event is divided into two parts: There’s an invitation-only mastermind of about a dozen people who meet Monday and Tuesday. It’s high level stuff and a lot of fun. I attended it and connected with a few of my clients who also attend.

Tuesday was the same deal. We talk about investing, building a business, long-term legacy planning, outsourcing, etc. The people who attend this portion of the event are doing deals all the time so it’s pretty advanced.

Wednesday was mostly downtime and I caught up on some sleep and a bit of work for other clients. Then Wednesday night people started arriving for the larger event. The larger event had about 200 people and it started with a cocktail meeting Wednesday evening.

On Thursday morning the education piece started. Many of the people in this meeting are new to investing — having never invested or having only done a few irregular deals. So this meeting is far more introductory. The host walked people step-by-step through the investing process, from how to build a buyers list to how to find deals.

Friday was much the same: Education, information, step-by-step strategies.

On Saturday we started the day with some education and I spoke about building marketing funnels. The audience was really receptive and the response to the call to action was great. Then the conference wrapped up and we all got onto buses and drove over to a rehabbed property. My client had bought and rehabbed the property and then he donated the house to a charitable organization that works with disadvantaged people by giving them a place to stay. After the event, we all went out to a local bar for a post-event party.

It was a blast. If my client hosts the event again next year, I’m definitely going!

TAKEAWAYS AND BENEFITS

  • I gained a ton of value from the event and it reaffirmed my belief that conferences are a powerful business-growth strategy.
  • I connected with a bunch of existing clients — some of whom I’d never met face-to-face before — so it was good to sit with them and learn alongside them and to spend some time strategizing with them.
  • I met many, many new people: Folks who became friends (and Facebook friends), potential clients, and joint venture partners. The important thing now is that I need to make sure I follow-up with these folks!
  • Between an increase in work from my existing clients, and the work I know I’m getting from my new clients, this conference had an ROI of 3:1 to 4:1.
  • I got a chance to speak in front of an audience and to sell to them. I speak pretty regularly but I don’t always get to sell from the stage and it was a good low-stakes way to test my skills here (because I didn’t NEED to sell anything to still earn a profit from the event). This has the possibility to boost my ROI by as much as 10:1, although time will tell as I’m still waiting for the orders (versus people who said they were going to order).
  • It was also nice to hang out in Columbus again. When I attended last year, the event was at an airport hotel so I didn’t have a lot of time or transportation to explore Columbus. But this year’s event was held at the really cool Westin Columbus which is in a more downtown-like section of the city.
  • I also pushed my own personal limits of doing work on the road. I tend to write best in a focused room without any distractions. (I’m definitely NOT one of those Starbucks writers — I’d be too busy people-watching). I work in a productivity-tuned environment with an ergonomic chair and an ergonomic keyboard; and when I do I can write A LOT! So I brought my laptop with me to the conference and would spend time writing in my hotel room. That way, I didn’t have to put all of my clients on hold while I attended this event. I can’t produce as much with a laptop keyboard before my wrists start to hurt but I can produce some. This conference helped to raise the bar on how much I can produce in an environment that isn’t my typical working environment.

What is due diligence?

Due diligence is the investigation and research that an investor should conduct prior to making an investment to determine whether that investment is right for them. This is true for any kind of investment — from stocks to real estate to businesses.

It’s technically a legal obligation for some investments but I would argue that it’s essential for any investment and, in fact, for any kind of agreement or acquisition at all, whether it’s your home or car, or even whether you’re thinking about entering into a relationship with someone. (In a way, it’s all an investment — your car is an investment of money into your ability to get around; your new relationship is an investment of time and energy into a friendship or romance).

Ultimately, due diligence should answer the question: “Is this investment right for me at this moment?

Good due diligence should first seek to understand that investment (or whatever) as thoroughly as possible. Then, it should consider what the investment means to you and your own goals and timeline.

HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE INVESTMENT

To understand the investment, you need to explore it thoroughly. If it’s a stock, you need to study the stock itself, the industry, and market trends (and so much more. If it’s a real estate investment, you need to study the marketplace, the tenants and property management company, and the costs of maintaining a home in that area (and so much more). Even if it’s a potential romantic partner, you need to know what they’re hoping for a relationship, how they enjoy spending their time, whether the attraction is mutual, etc.

HOW TO CONSIDER WHAT THIS INVESTMENT MEANS TO YOU

An investment, by its very nature, requires you to trade something of value for the potential of a return. That thing of value could be money, time, effort, or many other things. So it’s important that you know what is required of you (and whether you have that to give) and what you can expect. And perhaps most importantly, you need to decide whether the expected return is what you want. Many investors buy into something without really thinking about whether it’s right for them at this moment in time; they end up putting up too much value and receiving returns that they are disappointed with.

DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE — ALWAYS

Regardless of your investment, it is impossible to perform too much due diligence. However, there comes a point when, practically speaking, you’ve done enough due diligence to move forward. I don’t think people have a problem with the idea of due diligence; rather, I think people do too little due diligence.

(Side note: As a real estate investor, I hear a lot of people say that they’re doing their due diligence but what they’re really doing is being stalled by fear and they are allowing that fear to catch them up into a loop of “analysis paralysis”. Strangely, I only see this in real estate and business investments — never in the stock market.)

Do not leave your due diligence in someone else’s hands. Sure, your financial advisor might help you perform some of your due diligence but don’t think of them as a replacement for due diligence! Do it yourself. Be thorough. Don’t rush.

Check out some of my other writing on due diligence including: