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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!

4 Responses to Death … by pre-conceived ideas

  • Eddie Buli says:

    Hello Alex in 2017,

    It has given me some food for thought in relation to the consumer and financial literacy training I have developed for our Indigenous Communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands. (Queensland, Australia)


    Regards Eddie

  • Bnmtz66 says:

    I comletely concur. I have a story of a family member via marriage. My step grandfather. An immigrant from Portugal with a fourth grade education.
    He came to America directly before the end of world war two. He was employed as a stevedore, a dock worker, at the Richmond, California shipyard. He met a woman, an immigrant from Mexico who was working as a welder at the shipyard.
    They married and bought a small house in Richmond. It was Grandmothers dream to open and operate a “taco cart” as Mexican food was not available at the time.
    The house directly next to theirs came up for sale, it was a little bigger. They used the equity built to aquire the second house, and use the first one as a rental. They continued working in the shipyard. A parcel on a busy road came available. It was a five acre lot. They leveraged the equities of the two properties and purchased the lot, it was there that the “taco cart” came to life.
    He had a restaurant/bar built.
    They both quit working at the shipyard and invested themselves in the business. They operated this business for almost five years, then something happened…….
    A Supermarket chain store prospector came to them and offered to buy the property as it was a good location to open a market.
    Granpa declined the sale. However he negotiate to split the property, and lease it to the chain for 50 years. With conditions…
    1)They had to rebuild his restaurant.
    2) They had to maintain the property. ( lighting, sinage, parking lot etc.)
    3) 20 years of the fifty year lease had to paid up front.
    ………….. drum roll prease……
    They accepted!
    Grampa hated the idea of paying the government capitol gains tax. An easy way to avoid this 50% tax is to reinvest the capitol gain.
    Hotels, development propertiesl, apartments, condominiums, the list went on and on……
    Before the dot com boom in san jose. Antonio Augusto Carrico, the immigrant with a dream and a fourth grade education, was the single largest land holder in California.
    My Mother passed the day i graduated high school in 1986. My step Father passed 6 years ago. His mother, Gramma, passed five years ago. Grampa passed 4 years ago. My Aunt has control of Carrico enterprises, and she told me she is selling everything. Complete liquidation. She hated the business, grampa was always at work. He had properties we never knew about. Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Mexico, California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico. Investment Properties that others had developed and sit on 50 and 100 year leases.
    I went to my Grand Father once….. imasked him for a loan to start a business. Long and short of it….. he told me, ” look kid, i made mine, now go make yours, What do i look like a bank?”
    Anyway….. ive worked my ass off my entire life. Im 51. This is not a game. Ive seen what my Dad did, ive seen what my grandfather did. I know what ive done…… grampa didnt do all the work, he shopped and had other shopping as well. Sometimes he did do the architecture and design build things, like apartment complexes. Or one of his ‘toys’ the peninsula of Emeryville in the San Francisco Bay. Currently home of Pixar Studios. (Yes they too signed a 50 year lease and built on His land.)
    I was involved in a very serious accident which left me pretty well next to disabled. Shortly before that i had worked to attain my liscensing as a California General Contractor. Ive pretty well recovered. However the down time cost me everything. Im starting over and financially broke.
    So do tell…… can you…. are you willing to help, to give a leg up? Certainly the contract would yeild you profit. Residuals…… i know what Grandpa did. Although my Aunt does not ever need to work again. I do. Id rather repeat my Grandfathers path. Helping get me started now, will definately help you later…… for life.
    Rent in California is the highest in the Nation. I know where the migration is headed here. Ive lived here my entire life. I see the furure properties, and i see the current vacant apartment buildings needing remodel…….. i simply do not have the credit or capitol to kick it off.
    I look foreward to your reply…..
    Thank you for your time….
    Brendan Ferrel