Alex Szepietowski

Safe, secure and substantial investment returns

Download Free Report

The 2 Golden Rules of Property (and life!)

Download Free Report

Connect With Me On

Death … by pre-conceived ideas

Is this what springs to mind when you think of being a landlord? :)

Is this what springs to mind when you think of being a landlord? 🙂

“I could think of a lot easier ways to make a living than being a landlord….”

This statement made last night by a friend, who works 50 hours a week as a lawyer, completely shocked me. After leaving me deep in thought, it had me running for the laptop …

The purpose of this blog is to clear up the fog that surrounds getting off the beaten track and doing something different. It is intended to help others, especially those who don’t know a huge amount about passive income or investing, to overcome the obstacles which pre-conceived ideas and ‘common thought’ provide. They prevent people from having more income, quitting a job they don’t enjoy, retiring early if they want to and living the life they dream of.

Working once and being paid forever more for it, is passive income. The rental income from property is one way of achieving this, but network marketing, stocks and shares, affiliate marketing and owning a business are other ways of achieving this. Property is the route I chose, which enabled me, aged 23, to have the option of retiring and never working again. My mission now is to help others do the same (but younger where possible!).

preconceivedThere are two main points I would love to get clear:

  1. Pre-conceived ideas are DANGEROUS. Racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, classism… these are the common ones, and we (nearly) all agree that judging someone based on the colour of their skin, sex, sexuality, age or class actually says a lot more about the person doing the judging than the person in question. However, pre-conceived ideas come in many other forms and I am confronted with them almost every day in my line of ‘work.’ My friend’s statement:

“I could think of a lot easier ways to make a living than being a landlord… dealing with all those nasty students, all that hard work, I couldn’t think of anything worse…”

What stopped me laughing, and left me speechless was the fact that the gentleman works nearly 60 hours a week, and has said that having worked for over 20 years, he is only halfway to retirement – but most importantly, he does not enjoy his job!

I know people who, with no prior knowledge about property investment, and no cash, became financially free so that they can retire if they choose within 1 year. Of course this wasn’t achieved without putting in any work, however to say that 45 years of work is “easier” than 1 year is a BIG statement, which needs looking at.

“Challenge your pre-conceptions or they will challenge you.”

Let me make it clear that I am not having a go at my friend, or being rude, because I am sure that I had similar views – that investing in property is extremely difficult, time consuming, or risky not so long ago. His view does not say much about him as an individual, but is says a huge amount about the society we live in. We are all led to drink from the same well, and that well is “common knowledge” where unfortunately we naturally react negatively to a path different to the norm. We have a lot of baggage that we carry around with us and all too often we deride others for seeking “get rich quick schemes” or for being naïve.

What is your point Alex?

My point is simple- it is natural and in fact probably wise to be wary of opportunities that seem too good to be true, BUT please don’t make the mistake of rejecting something just because it is different to the norm. The most successful people I know are very open minded, and whilst it is only natural to have pre-conceived ideas, jump to conclusions, or be fearful of the unknown, they try their best to put these to one side and assess situations objectively.


Make sure your safety net doesn’t have any holes!

Property isn’t for everyone, I completely understand that – some prefer different methods of bringing in passive income. But even if someone loves their job, and wouldn’t quit even if they were bringing in a shed load of cash each year without working, I find it difficult to get my head around why someone wouldn’t want to be able to have the choice to not work. That is all a pension is, but property is a better, more secure (Equitable Life?), more profitable (definitely!) version of a pension (see later blog to examine this further!). The security – what if you lose your job? What if you want to look after your children? What if you were to be in an accident that left you unable to work? But unfortunately most people do not enjoy their job and would choose to do many different things from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday without needing to think about pay cheques. Would you go on holiday? Spend more time with your children? Look after your health? Play more golf? Do more charity work?

So – if you catch yourself reacting negatively to a situation and you don’t know why, just wonder if that genuinely is you doing the thinking! You never know, you might just be snubbing an opportunity that would completely change your life.

  1. Doing the work is very different to having the work done!

Leverage is at the heart of any successful business, and my friend unfortunately demonstrated his ill grasp of this concept by saying that property is a difficult job. My friend and mentor, Rob Moore, says that “property isn’t easy, but it is simple.” There can be many tasks, but if the business is running successfully, then many of these are outsourced, or leveraged, so that other people are performing them. If someone spends all their time sourcing discounted properties, doing the refurbishment themselves, finding the tenants, and then managing the property (and that’s the simple version of the list!), my friend would be completely right – that would be a difficult job and probably not that well paid as you could only be working on one project at a time.

The smart investor however, makes other choices- being a full time landlord is old school! They might hire someone to source them properties at a greater discount than they could achieve by themselves because that person has the time, expertise and contacts to do so; they would certainly hire a building team to perform the refurbishment and maybe even a project manager so they don’t have to manage the builders; and they might hire someone to find and manage their tenants. Yes, these things cost money, but getting experts to perform tasks not only enables the job to get done very efficiently (maybe even better than they can do themselves), but it buys them time, so that they can take on more projects and generate more income or alternatively have less stress and more leisure time.


Leveraging other people to get the job done so much easier, quicker and better!

So, in conclusion – a business is what you make of it. I know and work with many people who have no desire or interest in actually being hands on investors. They simply like the rewards from investing in property. If, like my friend, you think being a full time landlord, managing “nasty students”, is hard – don’t be that guy! If you want to be a hands-free, arm-chair investor, where your only responsibility is to check that your bank account hasn’t overflowed 😉 then choose this route. Reaping the rewards from a business or property does not have to be a whole load of hard work!!

So, if you like the idea of benefiting from passive income, and generating income with very little work then I urge you to think about how you can materialise this goal. As I said earlier, having been lucky enough to achieve my goals, my mission is to help others achieve their financial dreams. If I can be of any assistance – either through guiding you on how to invest safely and securely, or through working with you to generate substantial investment returns or build a portfolio, then please don’t hesitate to contact me now. I offer free initial consultations which can be booked through my website on

I wish you all the best of luck!

Why (some) footballers and lottery winners should rip up their cheques!

Being catapulted to stardom on a sports pitch, or via some lucky numbers on a ticket may not be all it’s cracked up to be…

Did you know that over 30% of lottery winners go bankrupt, and many more go back to living on the breadline after burning their cash on living the high life. They unfortunately don’t plan ahead and focus purely on the now, seeking instant gratification through the purchase of 6* holidays, fancy cars, and jewellery.

Many top professional footballers do exactly the same thing- earning up to £150,000 per week  – excluding: bonuses, advertising and sponsorship deals! The likes of 22 year old Mario Balotelli buy the same super cars in 3 different colours, wardrobes of designer clothes, more bling than P Diddy, and live the life of a Prince. Many decide to employ one of their mates as their financial advisor, and if they do invest in anything it is typically a club or a restaurant so they can go there “for free” … but this inevitably goes bust due to mismanagement. To top it off, when their playing days are over, they fail to reassess their lifestyle and keep spending as if they were still on the same income…


Lara Griffiths life fell apart after her jackpot win – unfortunately this is far too common

NICE... :D


Big names- George Best, Tony Adams (Arsenal and England), John Barnes (Liverpool & England), Paul Merson (Arsenal & England), Paul Gascoigne (Lazio & England), Keith Gillespie (Man U &

Ireland) and most recently Lee Hendrie (Aston Villa and England)… to name but a few have all declared bankruptcy. This list extends to all sports –  tennis (Bjorn Borg), athletics (Marion Jones), even boxing’s Mike Tyson who managed to lose $400m…

These internationally acclaimed sports stars are no different to many of us however – they simply do not plan ahead for their futures, don’t know how to make their money work harder for them, or don’t understand the importance of investing. All too often we don’t think through what I call the “what if” scenario.

What if I can’t play football anymore? What if my job position/industry becomes redundant? What if I became ill? What if I died? What if I spend this month’s income and no more comes in next month? What

if my pension company goes bust? What if my company goes bust? What if, at the time of purchasing my pension annuity, I am given a disgraceful return?  Ultimately – am I too focused on w

orking harder, not smarter? And am I sufficiently planning ahead for my financial future?

In the world of Lehman crashes, bank bailouts, redundancies, pension companies going bust and state pensions  disintegrating – these “what if” questions are becoming very important.



Even those at the top of their ladder aren’t safe from the unexpected


There are many routes you can take to avoid having your financial future determined by factors which are ultimately out of your hands. Each one of these strategies however has the same fundamental concept. They all generate passive income.  Instead of trading your time for money (employment or even self-employed) … you should invest some of your time and/or money into investing in something that generates you a monthly passive income for little or no work.  Robert Kiyosaki, the most influential personal finance author of our time, says that the goal is for our passive income to overtake our active earned income, so that we can safeguard our financial future and we have the freedom to choose how we work and the lifestyle we want to lead.

Now, I discuss the options for creating passive income in another of my blogs and soon to be my first book, but each of these is a viable choice. Whatever vehicle you choose, as long as you choose one, you can avoid the problems of not planni

ng ahead for the unexpected!

In one sentence, the reason I chose property is because I scrolled down the “Rich List”, and I realised that nearly every single one of the top 500 wealthiest people on the planet, had either property as their primary or their secondary income generating strategy. The moral of the story is, I had to think very carefully about not having property as income stream!

If  you are interested in the security and very handsome returns of large positive cashflow each month, as well as future long term capital growth, then you have two choices:

1) Educate yourself on the best way to invest. People quite happily spend up to £200,000 on private education, and another £40,000 on university, but won’t even contemplating investing  0.1% of that on training that would enable them to become financially free (where the income you have coming in passively exceeds all your costs of living).

2) The number one rule of business – leverage. Leverage the knowledge, time, experience, strategy, and skills of someone else to help do it for with/for you. Bill Gates amassed $67bn as a result of hiring the right people to do the right job for him- he didn’t do it by trying to work harder and harder himself. You simply cannot amass substantial wealth all by yo

urself. Think about whose knowledge you want to leverage. Does this person actively invest themselves? Do I like the business model this person has? Do they have a track record? Do I trust them?

Whichever option you choose – whether it be educating yourself or leveraging the time and experience of someone else, I really hope you make one of the choices. If you do, you will avoid the danger of ending up like the string of ex footballers, lottery winners and high earners who find normal life unpalatable after having lived the high life, and wishing that they had “torn up the tiby buying up whole streets in Manchester. Eventually the chant “We all live in a Robbie Fowler house” echoed around the terraces of Anfield. It is reported that towards the end of his career, he was making mocket” (Jack Whittaker, won $315m but went

passive income pic

But despite the myths, you really don’t need massive amounts of capital to invest in property and if you invest wisely, then you can make sure that you are in full control of your financial future, and ultimately that you can lead the lifestyle you want to!re each month from his substantial property portfolio than his footballing abilities!bankrupt a few years later) as they couldn’t forgive themselves for not planning for the future. Ex Liverpool and England footballer, Robbie Fowler, decided to buck the trend and take charge of his financial future

I wish you the best of luck on your journey!