EAW 1 - THE WEALTH BUILDING PODCAST & OUR INVESTMENT STRATEGY
Updated: Oct 1, 2019
After thinking about it for some time we (Dessi and I) decided to start a podcast. The name of the podcast is Everything About Wealth. We chose the name because our goal is to discuss all areas of wealth building and well, all the other good names were taken. Just kidding but let me backup a little bit and introduce ourselves.
My name is Denny Troncoso and my wife’s name is Dessiree (Dessi) Troncoso. Prior to investing in real estate, I was a financial advisor helping people in areas such as insurance, debt elimination, college and retirement planning. At one point, I built a portfolio of clients that generated $4,500 in passive cash flow. It was great, but it lasted a short time as the company went out of business and with it went most of my cash flow. Around 2005, my parents had started speculating on house flips and holding rentals in the run up to the great recession.
Unfortunately, their timing, as well as others, was not good. They lost their portfolio of homes including their own. It was a humbling experience seeing them grow and then lose everything. Even though these bad things happened, I still believed in real estate. I thought if my parents had the proper education maybe things would have turned out differently. We will never know. Even after their losses, real estate still interested me. However, I knew I needed to get the proper education on buying and selling real estate. I started with the famous book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, written by Robert Kiyosaki. I learned there were multiple ways to invest with less risk. I also learned one of the best moves a newbie investor could make is to join the local real estate investor association or REIA. So, I joined a local Orlando investment club in 2010. I quickly got involved by volunteering at the meetings and later serving on the board of directors for four years.
During the same time, two friends and I started a company to wholesale and flip properties. We thought it was a great fit. We got along well and were all hungry for real estate success. It took us almost a year of putting up marketing signs on the side of the road to close on our first two deals in October 2011. We made a total of $25,000 on those deals. We had broken the barrier of doing our first deal and learned investing success was possible.
After two years and our 4th deal together I learned that partnerships must be about more than motivation and fun. For partnerships to work well long term each partner must also offer different skills that can help the partnership grow more than each partner could grow individually. I felt we did not have that so, we each went our separate ways but most importantly stayed friends.
In 2013, I started a new business marketing for properties with Dessi. Our goal was to continue flipping in addition to acquiring single family rental properties. She has a been a great life partner, but also a great business partner. I am the big picture person and she is the detail oriented one. We make a great team. We did about eight deals together from 2013–2015 including two rental houses that we self-managed. That’s when we decided to go bigger! Why would we make the jump into apartment buildings after two successful years!? It was all Dessi’s idea and I’m glad I listened to my wife!
Dessiree started in real estate in 2009 with an internship at a commercial real estate office. She found commercial real estate was more interesting due to the finance factor and since there is typically less emotion in the decision-making process. People are buying for investment purposes instead of looking for a place to live. After getting hit with the great recession of 2008–2009 and a slow market, she was forced out of real estate.
She worked for a company as an internal auditor something she enjoyed, but the work hours were long and growth opportunities were slim. She wanted more control in how fast she would move up the corporate ladder and she quickly learned the only way to have that is by owning your own company. In 2013, we started working together in real estate. Even though we had success with flipping and holding residential properties, we noticed an increase in competition. Additionally, flipping homes felt like a job because you must constantly look for the next property to flip or you won’t make money. Due to these reasons, Dessi suggested we change our investing focus from houses to apartment buildings.
And in December 2014, we would get our opportunity to transition. A friend from the local real estate club announced he had an extra ticket for a seminar on how to buy apartment buildings. Using the information from the seminar and reading tons of books later, we were involved in two apartment building acquisitions in 2015 for a total of seventy-two units. Currently, we are partnered in about $10 million worth of multifamily properties concentrated in about one hundred and eighteen units. Partnered means we own part of the portfolio with other capital investors.
We plan on sharing parts of those stories and so much more on future podcast episodes and articles. In addition to our stories, we plan to invite different professionals, experts, entrepreneurs, and investors to share their stories and tips in real estate but other opportunistic industries including the stock market, mutual funds, bonds, commodities, and businesses. We hope the podcast helps listeners build their wealth in a faster and safer way. If not, then at least our listeners will enjoy hearing us discuss and debate (we don’t always agree) different topics.
The ideal listeners for the podcast are investors that are looking to: 1. Find ways to diversify their portfolio. 2. Grow their retirement income 401k, IRA, or other alternative investments. 3. Investors who want to earn passive income or higher returns without the daily involvement.
Why is this important? According to the Social Security Administration, starting in 2030, social security will be paying out more in benefits than funds coming in. They recommend having other investments and pensions in addition to social security to secure your financial wealth in the future. The podcast will be reviewing ways to safely and securely invest by following the proper rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The type of questions you should ask and involvement to have to ensure your money is protected and the return on investment is achieved.
One of the keys for success in the pursuit of any goal is to focus on education. Our goal is to expose investors to different ways to invest so they can choose an area that they feel comfortable with and allows them to make better decisions. I’ve learned that from any class, podcast, book or interaction, there is a nugget that we can take to implement and better ourselves.
In our first episode, we discussed our opinions of success with money and the way we lived our lives. We are big believers in living the life you want, but the key is to not overextend financially. If you like traveling find a way to do that. If you like fancy cars like Ferraris, find a way to own it, but don’t do it before you are ready. I would love to own a Ferrari and have other nice things, but I don’t own a car like that because my portfolio does not allow that yet. I’m not going to buy something that I will later regret owning because of the cost. Once my cashflow reaches a certain level such as $30,000 a month I will possibly consider buying my Ferrari! For now, I will keep happily driving my Toyota Camry. As we say, “respect the money”.
We want everyone to live a balanced wealthy life, however, we also want people to know money does not buy happiness. We must be happy with what we have now because money won’t bring happiness. In the end, the key is to find a career and/or investment niche(s) to live the lifestyle you want. Our niche has primarily been multifamily real estate for several years. We like real estate investing because it is fun and, in our opinion, low risk if you buy right. Although, we can always be doing better, we are in the game and competing. As the saying goes “you got to be in it to win it!
Why did we choose multifamily real estate as our investment of choice? 1. Low risk compared to other real estate investments a. Everyone needs a place to live. Compared to other real estate investments like an office building, multifamily is lower risk investment. If the economy slows down, companies may downsize or allow employees to work from home which means less people rent office space. However, middle income apartments typically stay occupied due to downsizing or shared living spaces until the economy returns. b. Multiple tenants paying rent. When an investor has a vacancy in a residential home, the investor is losing money on the entire investment. When you own a 10-unit property and one tenant moves out, you still have nine residents paying rent.
2. Professional Property Management A professional management company handles rent collection, work orders, evictions, customer service, leasing and more. As the owner you still need to be the asset manager and oversee the financial reports and visit the property from time to time, but the day to day work is handed off to a professional.
3. Economies of Scale You can achieve economies of scale with multifamily properties with purchases of certain services in bulk at discounted rates. Discounted items can include insurance, repairs, management, contract services and more. For example, management fees for a house may be 10% in some areas but can range from 6–8% for a 20-unit apartment complex.
4. Tax benefits Depreciation and 1031 exchanges. The government has tax laws that allow real estate owners to delay paying taxes indefinitely by following certain rules. We are not tax experts, but we work to be informed. This allows us to properly evaluate tax saving opportunities with different professionals such as tax accounts and attorneys.
5. Multifamily is Easier to finance There are typically better rates and amortization schedules than other commercial properties. For example, a commercial office building may only be able to get a 25-year amortization when you can get 30 year with a 25-unit apartment building. This puts more cash flow in your pocket every month.
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