The Perfect Investment is a book about multifamily real estate, written by our co-founder Paul Moore. We wanted to share the introduction with you…
I never planned to be a commercial real estate investor. As a matter of fact, I hated the thought of it.
I remember the first mall in my town growing up. It was a bustling hub of activity during my childhood. (It was said they had 29 shoe stores!) I used to walk its wide corridors as a child at Christmastime. I couldn’t wait to see Santa and give him my wish list.
Fast-forward 20 years…
I drove by that same mall during grad school. It looked more like a war zone. One anchor store was replaced with a flea market, and the DMV occupied another. Most of the stores were shut down, and the parking lot was filled with weeds, broken lights, and teenagers revving their muscle cars. Not a place I’d let my wife and daughters go near today.
The nice stores had moved to a new mall on the leading edge of town, and it appeared this formerly bustling mall was struggling to stay afloat.
I remember wondering about the fate of that poor guy who plowed millions into this sprawling complex.
I noticed the same thing at retail centers and office buildings. When I left Ford Motor Company to make my first run as an entrepreneur in Detroit, I excitedly clipped discounted office listings out of the newspaper. (For you Millennials, that was an antiquated form of communicating news using paper and ink.)
When I drove up, my heart sank. Another building that was sleek and modern in the 60s, now worn and mostly unoccupied in the 90s. “How do these building owners keep the lights on?” I wondered.
Certainly you’ve noticed the same phenomenon during the recent recession. How many half-finished subdivisions and condo projects graced the edge of your city? There were quite a few here. The most promising development in the region still sits mostly idle only two miles from my home.
So staking my fortune and future on commercial real estate is obviously not something I ever considered…
…Until I learned the truth about commercial multifamily investing.
When I left Ford Motor Company, I expected to run my HR outsourcing firm (a Professional Employer Organization – aka PEO) for the next several decades. I was a Finalist for Ernst and Young’s Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year two years in a row, and I was making as much money as I thought my wife and I could reasonably spend.
Five years in to our startup turned successful venture, Wall Street got unexpectedly enamored with our business. PEOs were going public left and right, and achieving outrageous valuations along the way. A public company in Columbus, Ohio had tens of millions of cash on hand, and decided they wanted to expand into neighboring states.
We were their first acquisition, and I suddenly found myself with a few million dollars in cash and a cushy sales job working for the firm who acquired us.
Now it’s nothing personal against my friends in Metro Detroit, but my wife and I had two young children and expected more (we added two more later), and we asked ourselves if this was the place we really wanted to raise them. My partner had already moved to Colorado Springs, and had a straight-on view of Pikes Peak. Another friend had moved to Charlotte and was loving it.
We ended up purchasing 120 acres in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains south of Roanoke Virginia. We built our dream home there on a mountaintop, complete with a huge stocked pond, walking trails through thick woods, an old tobacco barn, and old-fashioned cattle fencing.
We established a non-profit organization to reach out to international college students studying in the US and our children got the experience of having people from all over the world share our home and land. It was fun, but…
…I got bored pretty quickly.
Going into semi-retirement in your late 30’s sounds exciting, but I was a high-energy entrepreneur and I couldn’t sit still. I got involved in all types of investing, and I have to tell you that I essentially went back to school again for the next 17 years. I learned things I never learned in engineering school or my MBA. Though I had a lot of fun and made a lot of friends, it’s really not a school I’d ever want to repeat.
That’s one of the main reasons I wrote this guide.
I learned a lot about investing over the past few decades. I made a lot of money, but honestly, I lost a lot, too. More than I care to recount here. Some I can’t recall (or choose not to).
Through this process, I’ve learned some lessons that can save you years of hard knocks… and a huge mound of cash. I’ve said this over and over to friends and investors, and I’ll tell you straight…
You don’t have to re-learn what I’ve learned. This guide will help you pave a safe and profitable path to passively achieve multi-generational wealth through fractional multifamily investing.
Oh, and a note on the title…
With dozens of asset classes, and thousands of investment types in the world, you may think it’s a pretty bold claim to call one “The Perfect Investment.” I agree.
Perhaps you think I’m arrogant at this point. I apologize in advance to those who maintain that conclusion after reading on.
If you’ll give me a chance, however, I plan to prove my assertion to the majority of you. I’m not the only one who sees the world this way, and I believe you will join me in my conclusion within the first 50 pages.