Scuba Diving Principles for Real Estate Investors

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This weekend I started my SCUBA training and as an investor couldn’t help but draw a few parallels between the principles of SCUBA and those of real estate investing. Believe it or not, diving and real estate have plenty in common. In fact, the most important rule in scuba diving is very similar to what I feel is the most important rule in real estate.

The Most Important Rule in Scuba Diving

In scuba diving, the most important rule is to breathe continuously and never hold your breath. There are several reasons for this. As a diver it is important to equalize your body air spaces as you descend and ascend (change depths) because the pressure in the water changes, and the pressure in your body must match. Continuous breathing helps with this. More importantly, holding your breath as you ascend can lead to lung over-expansion injuries as the air trapped in your lungs expands as you get closer to the surface which has less pressure.

Cash Flow is the Air an Investor Needs

One of the most important principles in real estate is to invest for cash flow. In real estate, cash flow allows us to continue, it is like oxygen. To continue our parallel with diving, holding your breath in real estate would be like investing without cashflow, or trying to make it a few months without any income. This type of strategy may be dangerous to your financial health, and may cause bank account underexpansion issues.

We should never hold our breath or invest without cash flow unless we have deep pockets that allow us to do so. Equally important, we should breathe continuously. Cash flow should be regular and consistent for optimal financial health as a real estate investor.

There are additional links between other diving principles and real estate investment, but those are for my next post. Until then, keep breathing and focus on keeping your cash flow strong.

Don’t Miss Part II of this series:
Scuba Diving Principles for Real Estate Investors: The Plan

Creative Commons License photo credit: Serge Melki

About Author

Andrew is a Canadian real estate investor and analyst who works with Joint Venture partners to create long-term wealth. With a focus on buying and holding positive cash flow properties in Canada's Technology Triangle, Andrew makes the benefits of real estate investment available to those who lack the time or expertise to buy and manage property themselves.


  1. Bill Patterson on

    As a long time diver and investor, I’m interested to see how you tie them together! This blog is off to a great start! I can see some great parallels with investing and cave or mine diving, night dives or wreck dives! Not to mention pre-dive planning and the constant monitoring of your dive, the changes in your plan as your dive progresses as well as when you “blow an O-ring and need to make an emergency accent! That is when you will appreciate your “buddy”!

    I’m not familiar with Lake Ontario, but Huron, Michigan & Superior have some of the best wreck diving in the World! Have fun!

    • Hi Bill, there are plenty of parallels so I couldn’t resist writing a second article which Josh has added a link for.

      I am looking forward to diving some Ontario wrecks in spots like Brockville and Tobermory. It is nice to know I live so close to some of the best wreck diving in North America.

  2. Jeff Morelock on

    Great idea. I got back into real estate investing so I can afford to go scuba diving. Does that count?

    Seriously though I can wait for more. Being a certified cave diver I can see how our rule of thirds and equipment redundancy rules can also apply to real estate, but I will save that for another reply.

    • Hi Jeff, that counts as a parallel to real estate investing. I think we all want more freedom which is why we choose real estate as our asset class. If we take the proper precautions as we do when scuba diving, the road should be fun and safe even with a few inconveniences along the way.

  3. Andrew,

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Scuba Diving! I got certified shortly before I began my official real estate career (14 years ago) and have been using many of the planning metaphors and actual dive reports in my sales meetings and real estate practice in general. I dive off the coast of New Jersey, in the North Atlantic, and the key to a successful dive out here (as well as a successful business) is being prepared for any and all contingencies.

    I’m looking forward to reading part 2, which is how I found part 1. After you enjoy your “Open Water” certification, get your “Advanced” and come to the Jersey Shore; we’re the best kept diving secret in North America!



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