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BiggerPockets Money Podcast 257: 20 Year-Old Minimum Wage Marine with $850k in Real Estate

BiggerPockets Money Podcast 257: 20 Year-Old Minimum Wage Marine with $850k in Real Estate

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We have a lot of impressive guests on the show, and they just seem to get younger with every new episode. You’ve heard the stories of people in their twenties buying rentals, people in their thirties hitting coast FI, and people in their forties and beyond making many, many millions. But, what about a marine recruit, making a low salary, buying more than $800k in real estate within his second decade on earth? Now that sounds like an interesting story.

Jabbar Adesada fits the bill exactly! After moving in with his father, he was given strict instruction to read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and Automatic Millionaire. Jabbar decided to put down his NBA/med school dreams and open up a brokerage account. Lucky for him, right around the time he started investing was the 2020 stock market crash, giving him all the discount he needed to make his first profits.

After running some “when will I be a millionaire?” scenarios, Jabbar realized that real estate, and not the stock market, was the best path to financial independence. Jabbar shares the story of how he was able to find funding, a down payment, and a property that would allow him to house hack, Craige Curelop style. Not only that, Jabbar just closed on a short-term rental in the Smoky Mountains, which puts his real estate portfolio north of $800k! Let’s mention this again: He’s twenty years old!

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Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Mindy:
Welcome to The BiggerPockets Money Podcast show number 257 where we interview Jabbar Adesada and talk about pursuing financial independence at a very early age.

Jabbar:
I have an obsession. I have an obsession with becoming wealthy because I want to create a better life for when I eventually have children and then for other people who are underserved in the community with stuff like that. So I think that if I’m able to accomplish that at a younger age, if I do all the hard work now while I have all this energy and I can wake up at four and only get five hours of sleep and do all this stuff, then by the time I’m older, I’m going to be very happy about it. So it’s just the opportunity cost.

Mindy:
Hello, hello, hello. My name is Mindy Jensen and my guest host today is Dan Sheeks, author of First to a Million: A Teenager’s Guide to Achieving Early Financial Independence. We had Dan on as our guest last week, and I liked him so much I brought him back to guest host with me today. Dan, thanks for joining me.

Dan:
Mindy, thanks for having me. So happy to be here and I’m super excited for our interview today. Glad to make it.

Mindy:
Oh, I am too. Dan and I are here to make financial independence less scary, less just for somebody else. To introduce you to every money story, including those that start at age 18, because we truly believe financial freedom is attainable for everyone, even teens, no matter when or where you’re starting.

Dan:
Whether you want to retire early and travel the world, go on to make big time investments in assets like real estate, or start your own business, we’ll help you reach your financial goals and get money out of the way so you can launch yourself towards your dreams.

Mindy:
Dan, I am so excited to talk to Jabbar today. Today’s show is actually probably not for you directly, our loyal listener, rather it’s for your child, your niece or nephew, your nextdoor neighbor, your best friend’s kid. Today’s episode is for the teens in your life. And by introducing them to this concept of early financial freedom, you could very well change the financial trajectory of their entire lives. Jabbar has this excitement and infectious can do attitude. And Dan, I am so thankful that you introduced me to him because holy cow, I think this is my most favorite episode that I have ever recorded.

Dan:
Yeah, he is a thunderbolt of energy and I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him for a year and a half, two years. And from the get go, I was like this guy is going to change the world. And he is proving that just with what he’s accomplished in such a short period of time.

Mindy:
Yeah. He doesn’t take no for an answer. He has never said the words I quit. And he’s just astonishing in his story. I am so excited to share it with you. And if you do have a teen in your life that you would like to help point them in the direction of financial independence, please sit down with them and listen to this episode with them because you really are going to help them see another opportunity, another alternative to working nine to five for 40 years after college graduation. Jabbar Adesada, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. I’m so excited to talk to you today.

Jabbar:
Thank you so much. It’s truly an honor.

Mindy:
I want to jump right into it because we have a lot to cover. Even though you’re only 19, where does your journey with money begin? Oh, oh, oh. Wait, wait, wait. You’re active duty military. So let’s do that I don’t represent the military spiel before we jump in.

Jabbar:
Oh yeah. Okay. To start off, my views and comments and thoughts are my own and do not represent that of United States military or Marine Corps. And I’m actually 20. I just turned 20 two months ago.

Mindy:
Oh, okay. Okay. Oh, well now you’ve got a lot of journey under your belt. So let’s get started.

Jabbar:
I know, right?

Mindy:
Where have you been in your 20 years?

Jabbar:
In my two decades of life … No, I’m just playing. I grew up in a very, I guess really strict education focused household. I’m Nigerian American. I’m first generation Nigerian and education is a really big deal. And obviously for where we come from, money is not much over there. Everyone who comes here, comes here, gets a lot of money and tries to become successful and education’s just a way. So middle class, grew up in Maryland, lived there for about 15 years. And I had a really tough childhood. When I was 15, I had to get taken away from home because mommy wasn’t so nice to me. So I moved in with my dad and I guess I should have mentioned that my parents were divorced. So growing up I lived with my mom and my dad is in Texas.
And so I moved with my dad when I was 15. And so when I was 15, that’s when my entire perspective of life, money, finances, and everything changed because my dad was very big on me doing investments and he would always talk about business and different types of ideas he had. He himself didn’t have a business. He’s in IT. But he would always talk about, “Hey, if you create a software development app, you’ll be a millionaire or something like that.” So I was always intrigued by it, but I really wasn’t paying enough attention and I really didn’t listen because I was 15 and 16 living with him and I always thought I knew everything. So I was really into basketball and sports and things like that. And I just struggled. I struggled at, I guess, being focused on the future.
So one day I guess my dad had had enough of me not listening and paying attention and focused on my future and he took my two basketballs and he popped them in my face. And basketball was my entire life growing up. So I wanted to go to the NBA. That was my dream. I wanted to play basketball professionally, be on TV. I wasn’t really focused on school or anything like that. I just wanted to be an athlete. And so when he did that, it just shook my world. And the reason he did that is because my path pastor had given us an assignment to read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and write a book report on it. And I didn’t do it because I didn’t care. It didn’t have anything to do with basketball.
So he pops my basketballs, he makes me read the books. Or read the book. And I wrote a report on it and I just ate it up. It’s the book you read from cover to cover. I was like, wow. Assets versus liabilities. It just completely changed my mentality, but I just put it away. Because I was 15. I didn’t have any money. But I was like, “Okay, when I start making money, I’m going to start investing. So whenever I start working, I’m going to start investing.” So fast forward a little bit. My dad just banned … I’m not allowed to play basketball anymore. He just wants me to focus on school so I can go the traditional route. Because in my culture, in the Nigerian culture, you’re either a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer, or a disappointment.
So I was like, “All right, we’ll try being a doctor.” So I kind of went on the path of getting back into school, focusing. I went from a C student to an all A student because I was like, “All right, I’m going to be a doctor, make all this money.” I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. They make a lot of money. So I’m in school just grinding it out. Keep in mind, no money. Read Rich Dad Poor Dad and not thinking about money. If I had money, I was going to spend it. That was it. If I had money, I’m going to buy shoes, clothes, jewelry, things to look nice. And then my senior year came and it just dawned on me like, wow, college is expensive and I have … I mean, my grades were good I guess junior and senior year, but before they were terrible.
And I was like, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to get an academic scholarship. I’m not allowed to play basketball so I’m definitely not going to get a sports scholarship. So what exactly am I going to do?” And so I wanted to be a doctor, but I didn’t want to get into all that debt. So I was just thinking, I was like, “Man, how can I do this without coming out with a negative $500,000 net worth?” And so I saw the man with the dress blues passing out pamphlets in the cafeteria and had a Marine with them on the pullup bars. I was like, “Wow, these guys look cool.” So I walked up to them. Just curious. That’s how to get you. You’re just curious. And so I walked up to them and I was like, “Hey, I want to see what’s going on. What’s up with the military?”
Because I heard they had really good benefits. And my dad had mentioned before to me that it might be a good idea to look into it to pay for school and stuff like that. So he talks to me, he tells me, “Hey, we can help you pay for school and everything like that.” And so I was hooked. I was like, “All right. It’s great. Well, if you can pay for my school, that solves my issue. So now I don’t have to go apply for student loans. I’ll have college paid for.” And then my plan was to join the military, get all the education benefits, do college so I can become a doctor debt free and then start investing and making money and stuff like that. So graduate high school, enlist right after high school, go through bootcamp, get out of bootcamp.
And now I have the most money I’ve ever had in my life. I think it was like $2,500. And so now I had read Rich Dad Poor Dad. I know the importance of investing a little bit, not really the power of it. And so the first thing I do is I think I spent $1,000 on clothes, shoes, and devices, like a phone or something like that. And then the remaining $1,000 I gave to my family. So I had $500 left. And so in between training … So from bootcamp you do another training. It’s combat training. And during combat training, I had the opportunity to go off to … I got hosted. Yeah. I got hosted by a family for the holidays. Because we weren’t able to go home and it was in Orange County, California.
And so I got hosted by this family, the Masson’s, and I mean their lives looked amazing. They had a happy family, the beautiful house. They were the type of family to … Phil will come home and he’ll take his wife to Paris for the weekend just randomly. Or he’ll go skydiving in the morning and scuba diving in the afternoon. I was just like, “Wow. What do these people do? Whatever it is, I think I should do that.” And so I spoke to him. I started talking to him and then he told me he does investing. He invests in stocks. So he’s a financial advisor. He does company 401Ks and stuff. And so he gave me a book. He gave me two books actually. He gave me Automatic Millionaire by David Bach.
And then I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi. So these are finance book number two and three. And so I read those cover to cover. And then that’s when I realized I made so many dumb decisions with my money getting out of bootcamp. But yeah, it just changed my life forever because once I’ve read those books, it talks about frugality, saving and investing your money, putting away for retirement so you could be a millionaire automatically. Direct deposit, save first and all that stuff. When I read that, I was just obsessed. Yeah. That’s all I focused on. That’s all I talked about. I started getting really financially savvy and really trying to learn more about how I could live like Phil. But yeah, that’s the long winded story of my money beginnings.

Dan:
Awesome Jabbar. That’s a great story. And thank you for your service in the Marines. Quick question. So that dinner at Thanksgiving, I’ve heard this story before from you, but that dinner at Thanksgiving, up until today, how long ago was that dinner where the two books came your way and you really kind of opened your eyes to early financial independence investing and stuff?

Jabbar:
That was less than two years ago. So two years ago next month.

Dan:
Okay. So we haven’t even gotten into the good stuff, which we will, but the good stuff has happened in the last two years, which I just want everyone to be aware of.

Jabbar:
Yeah.

Dan:
Yeah.

Mindy:
That sounds like foreshadowing. So you mentioned three books. Rich Dad Poor Dad, I Will Teach You to be Rich, and Automatic Millionaire. I have a stack. I have so many books to recommend for you and you might have already read some of them, but there’s more that are going to just resonate with you. The one I’m going to mention right now is The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. It talks from a position of people who are my age. I’m slightly older than you Jabbar. Could be your grandmother. From a position of people my age, here’s the things that they are doing wrong with their money. And by learning these lessons when you’re 19 and … Well, 20. I’m sorry. I have all of this prepared because you’re 19. You’re already 20 now. By learning these lessons when you’re 20, you’re going to not make these mistakes.
I’ve said this before on the show. Sorry for those who have listened and are like, “Oh, we’re tired of hearing this Mindy.” It bears repeating. There was a study done. If you invest $2,000 a year from the time you’re 22 to the time you’re 30 and then you never invest another dime for the rest of your life, you will have more money at age 65 than if you invest $2,000 a year starting at age 30 going all the way to age 65. At age 65, you’ll have more money from those first eight years than you would from the 35 years of investing. And you think to yourself, okay, $2,000 a year times eight years is $16,000. And $2,000 a year times 35 years is $70,000. Your math doesn’t make sense. Compound interest tells me that and I’ve done articles on this, which I will link to in the show notes for this episode.
But you have something like $596,000, assuming 10% interest and blah, blah, blah, with the 35 years of investing. You have $700,000 with the eight years of investing. And that’s only if you never invest another dime. But the power of compound interest is so great. It can’t be said enough. And hopefully people who are listening to this are in their teens. And it sounds kind of silly. $2,000 a year might sound like a lot, but you just had 2,500 and you blew … Well, you gave a thousand to your family. That’s very generous of you, but you blew a $1,000. You were halfway to my 2,000 just on clothes and shoes and devices. And I’m not trying to make you feel bad because you’ve turned it around. There’s some foreshadowing there from Dan. You’ve turned it around and you are crushing it. You are doing way better than I was at age 20. I read that study by the way, when I was 20. Did I invest $2,000 a year from 22 to 30? The answer to that question may shock you. No, I didn’t.

Dan:
So Jabbar, let’s kind of pick up where you left off. You’re 18. You just joined the Marines. You’ve read three finance books. You’re hooked. You’re sold. Take us from that point and get us to where we are today.

Jabbar:
All right, cool. And thank you. And I just want to say, Mindy, the compound interest study, I think that’s what I guess made me want to invest so much more. Because I was like, “Wait a second. I am that 18 year old.” So if I do it from now and then let’s say, I think you said 30 or 35 or something, there’s no way I wouldn’t be a millionaire. I’ll be rich. And just to put some time on it, I started the journey really January of 2020. So January of 2020, I was big into stocks. Because those books, they primarily focus on stock market investing. So I was saving 80% of my income or maybe sometimes … Yeah, let’s just say 80%.
And then I was just trying to learn as much as I can. I was reading all the CNBC articles and reading tons of more finance books. I got into Graham Stephan on YouTube and Meet Kevin and all those guys like that. And I was just really big into saving and investing as much money as possible. People would make fun of me all the time because Marines, we’re notorious for spending money on cars and financing really nice vehicles. And I’m here just … I didn’t want to go out to eat. I would get mad spending 10 cents more on a product that I know I could get for 10 cents less. So I really took it to the extreme. So January, February, March, I’m doing this investment journey and then the market crashes.
And so since I’ve already been investing before, I was like, “Oh my gosh. Everything is on sale right now. I need to find money.” Because I’d already putting all my money in and we don’t make that much money. I was an 18 year old Marine making, I don’t know, like $1,500 a month. So let’s say I was able to put maybe $1,000, $1,200, $1,300 in a month, but I didn’t have that much. So I was thinking, “Man, I’m going to go try and take a loan to buy stocks.” And I was asking people like, “Hey, can you give me your paycheck and I’ll invest it and then I’ll give you my paycheck back later?” Because it was just a once in a lifetime opportunity. And I was just … Oh my God, I was … It was like a kid in the candy store. And I joked that last year you could have tied a monkey onto your shoe and had the monkey pick your investments and you would’ve been up 100% today because it really-

Dan:
Pretty much.

Jabbar:
Yeah, it was greatest time ever. I was so happy, but I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have that much money at least.

Mindy:
I want to jump in here. I want to jump in here really quick. You didn’t have money, but you had a mindset that was far different than adults. And this goes back to your, “Oh, I was 15 and I thought I knew everything.” So did I when I was 15. So did Dan when he was 15. That’s fifteen-itis. You just think you know everything. So I love that your thought was everything is on sale when the market is crashing and wasn’t, “Oh my goodness, I’m going to lose my money. I have to sell.” Because that’s what a lot of adults were doing. “Oh, the market went down. I got to stop my losses and pull all my money out.” And what they missed was the rebound. Yeah, it went down. It went down a lot. We just had a pandemic for the first time in 102 years. So things were kind of freaky, not to use your word incorrectly Dan. Dan’s got a teen mastermind called Sheeks Freaks. Is that a good way to describe it? A teen mastermind?

Dan:
Yeah. Yeah. It’s not just teens. It’s probably 15 to 25 year olds. And that’s where I met Jabbar about a year and a half ago. So right after the crash I’d say is when I started up that mastermind and Jabbar was one of the first members in there. So I’ve been able to follow the journey he’s been on the last year and a half, which has been amazing. And we’re still not to the good stuff, but we’re getting there.

Mindy:
Yeah. Well, what do you mean we’re not to the good stuff? This is all great. You’ve done basically-

Dan:
There’s better stuff. Yeah.

Mindy:
Everybody does. They are 15, they’re 16, they’re 17. They’re making a little bit of money. They’re spending all of it. That’s not unusual. That’s the American way. So to change your mindset, to go into the military, to save 80% of your income is enormous. And I really think we don’t do enough on this show in general of celebrating these wins. That’s huge. You could have very easily gotten your very low interest or no interest loan and gone out and blown it on a car that so many of your other fellow Marines are doing. And yeah, they have nice cars. What kind of car do I drive? Nobody knows. Nobody cares. I drive a minivan because I’m a mom and that’s what we do. And do you think less of me? Well, if you do, I don’t care. Because who are you to think less of whatever kind of car I drive? And don’t you work in the Marines? Where do you go? You have a job, right? Are you on base?

Jabbar:
Exactly.

Mindy:
Look at my nice car sitting in the parking lot. Who cares? Put that money in the stock market. Okay. Sorry. I jumped in there.

Jabbar:
No, trust me. I have these conversations all the time and it’s like talking to a brick wall. It’s crazy. But yeah, I was doing tons of research. Oh. And then I guess one of the mistake … Not mistakes because I did make money, but I was definitely picking individual stocks. I had read all the books about why you shouldn’t and I thought that I was Warren Buffett. So this is where I saw the power of investing. I think it was around June or … No, it was July. So July, 2020, I had been in the military for less than a year and I think the military had paid me $12,000 or $13,000 in total. And so July of 2020 I had 20 or maybe … It was $20,000 or $25,000 in my brokerage account.
So I literally had more money in that month just in my investment account than I had ever had made in my life. So I thought I was rich. I was an 18 a kid with 20, 25 grand and it was amazing. It really showed me the power of what I did or what I was doing and gave me that proof of concept, like this works. And I was trading options like all the cool kids on Robinhood. So not all of that was just me saving and investing. It was me getting lucky on Tesla and different things like that. And then I think that’s when … Yeah, so July, 2020. And so I have a little bit of money. I’m thinking I’m balling. I don’t spend it or anything, but I’m like all right, stocks are fun, but I do all these compound interest calculators and you take the conservative returns of the market, like seven to 10%, depending on how you’re feeling that day and then …
Because people have different opinions on it. And then I said, “Okay, I can invest, let’s say $1,000 to $2,000 a month. And if I do that every single month, I’ll be a millionaire by the time I’m 34 or 35. So that sounds great. And that’s not old or anything, but for me as an 18 year old kid, I do not want to wait that long. So I just was like, “All right, how can I scale this up. I kind of don’t want to …” And then I started getting the 4% rule. So then I was like, okay, a million dollars would be really only $40,000. And I saw all the flaws and things like that. So I was like, “Man, I kind of want to pivot a little bit to something that I can control.” Because just like we can break the record for all time highs in the stock market, I just don’t want to be unlucky in that 15, 20 year time period that we break the record for all time lows.
So that’s when I really started trying to figure other means and I was in all these stock market Discords. And one person … And thank God for that person. I don’t know who they are, but they were like, “Hey …” I asked the question. I was like, “Hey, I’m looking into real estate as an option for investing. Does anyone know where I can learn more?” And then he sends the BiggerPockets podcasts. And that really changed my life. So now my life has changed times two. Because I listened to the podcast. It was Todd Baldwin’s episode. The house hacker. He house hacks in Seattle and he makes hundreds of thousands of dollars just renting by the bedroom over there. And that was the first podcast I ever listened to. And I was like, “Oh my God.” Because he wasn’t getting your seven to 10% returns, he was getting … He was getting like crazy. He was getting like 80% and like 60%. And I know real estate, 12 is good, but when you’re house hacking that low down payment really amplifies and makes your money stretch further. So I was like, “Okay, I need to learn this. I need to learn how to be that guy.”
And he was only 25 he said when he became a millionaire. So I was like, “That’s way younger than 34 so I think that I’m going to just learn.” I was dabbling me my toe into just learning. So I listened. I started at episode one from the OG BiggerPockets podcast. I just went up in four to five hours, maybe even six hours a day. I was just consuming real estate podcasts, googling every single thing I don’t know, and trying to figure out how to be like Todd Baldwin. I heard on the BiggerPockets podcast and that education was really … It really, really helps me now today because I understand things more than the surface level when it comes to real estate investing. At least I think I do.
And then also paired with the fact I already had a little bit of money saved up, I was just like, “All right, I need to figure out how to buy my first deal.” So yeah, I was doing all the education, was against analysis paralysis. I was like, “I’ll figure it out. I don’t care if I lose money. This is my college education here.” So I was like, “I’m going to house hack.” No. No, that’s not what happened. Dan. I was doing networking on BiggerPockets. I had this plan to be financially free by 30 and Dan commented on the post and we talked and that’s how I got into Sheeks Freaks and stuff. And then Dan told me about Craig Curelop, who you guys have had on the show. He’s been on the podcast and he has the house hacking book. And he was like, “Yeah, Craig is … He’s already a millionaire. And he was 25 or something like that. And he just house hacks.” And keep in mind, my thought was BRRRR. I thought BRRRR was the way. I think everybody kind of thinks that because it sounds super sexy. But when I learned you can get that much cashflow out of a house hack possibly and the opportunity that’s there, I was just like, “All right, I’m going to do that.”
So just fast forward a little bit. I went to a field exercise. I read The House Hacking Strategy, the BRRRR book, Long Distance Real Estate Investing and a couple other of the BiggerPockets real estate books. Came back and then I think … So what? August is when I started my education journey and then in February is when I bought the house. My first house. So it was a house hack and I can kind of go in a little bit about that because there’s some funny and cool stories there and learning lessons. But yeah, that first house hack is definitely way better than what I was getting in the stock market.

Mindy:
Okay. Because we are hoping to have a lot of people who this might be their first introduction to financial independence or real estate investing, can you explain really quickly what you mean by house hack and what you mean by BRRRR?

Jabbar:
Oh. Yep. Sorry. A house hack, basically you purchase a property. Typically you’re using owner occupied financing. So there’s different down payment options that you get for primary residence. So you don’t need 20% down. You can get in it for zero to three and a half, 5% down. And then basically you buy a house and then instead of just living in it, you rent out parts of your house. So if it’s a single family home, you’ll rent out bedrooms. Maybe you’ll buy a duplex, a quadplex or a triplex and you rent out the other units or you can do what I do and what Craig did and sleep on a futon and rent out all the rooms and make money. So it’s a really great way to get to financial freedom quickly, depending on your market, obviously, because you can get into it for very little out of pocket and if you do it right, you could make … I don’t know. I’ve seen people make $2,000 a month on house hacks because they put the rooms on Airbnb and stuff like that.
So the possibilities there are endless. It’s just how creative you can be, but you have to live there for the year. So yeah, that’s house hacking. And then BRRRR, it’s a real estate strategy. So you buy a house. You buy it using cash or hard money. Or you can even use a conventional mortgage. I guess I shouldn’t say hard money. But you buy the house with short term financing usually or cash, then you rehab it, you fix it up. So you improve the value so that it’s worth more. And then you rent it out because most of the time you need to rent it out for a certain amount of time to be able to do the next step, which is refinance. And the goal with refinancing is to get as much of your money out of the deal as possible. People aim for 100%. Sometimes people take out more money than they put in. And then you do it again. So you use that same money that you used to buy it because you just got it back out the deal and you put it to the next deal. So for people who don’t make a lot of money, that sounds amazing. I don’t want to make any crude references. It sounds amazing because you can use that same capital over and over and over and over again theoretically.

Dan:
I’ve been asked many times, Jabbar, what BRRRR is, because my wife and I, we do some BRRRRing and your explanation of BRRRR that you just gave is one of the best I’ve ever heard, including what I try to tell people. So good job. Obviously you know a lot about this stuff. You’ve listened to the podcasts, you’ve read books, you’re on the forums, you’re talking to people. My question is, if you go back to when you really started diving into all this information about … And I’m more focused on the real estate investing piece of it. Up until today, I’m sure there was a point where you were kind of by yourself. You mentioned before that you’ve tried to talk to your friends, your fellow Marines about what all this stuff is and why it’s important and they have no interest. And so at one point you were kind of the lone soldier out there, going down this path by yourself. Nobody around you that was really equally as interested. Now I think you’re in a different place. How important has it been to you to be around like-minded people, to know people who have the same aspirations, goals, using the same strategies? How has that played a role in what you’ve done over the last couple years?

Jabbar:
Oh yeah. Dan, it’s fantastic. Because when I started out I would bug my mom to death about just everything I was learning. First it was stocks. Then it became real estate. And I talked to her for hours. And I love my mom to death. And by my mom … It’s my dad’s wife that I live with in Texas or that I lived with in Texas when I left from Maryland. And she would listen to me go on and on but I kind of felt bad because I knew it’s not as important to her. And then when I was living in the barracks, I told my roommate all the time all the things I was learning and doing and he definitely didn’t care. So when I finally got to be in a group of people who actually care and they speak the language, they love the language, they’re obsessed, they have that same obsession, oh my God, it just turned my life around.
Because now I have people who I can collaborate with. I get to see what’s possible. So I see what other people are doing, because you get to watch other people’s journeys. And I really get to kind of just grow. It’s like you’re growing together. So it’s like that saying, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So for me, I was spending my time with my podcast. It was the podcast and books. That was it. Podcast, books, and YouTube. That’s it. I didn’t really have friends because no one wanted to hear me talk about investing all the time. Still now, people hate when I start talking because they know I’m going to talk about money. In the Marines.
But now I can call up Leo, Marcel, Aiden, people in the Sheeks Freaks community and really have a conversation and we can have these high level conversations and gain different perspectives and introduce and keep each other accountable. Because the journey, it can be tough sometimes. There are things that sometimes I want to buy. Like I really want a Tesla. I really, really want a Tesla. It’s such a nice car. And I drive a 2004 Toyota Camry that looks horrible. And so if I was surrounding myself with the Marines all the time … Not the Marines, but some Marines that are my peer group or people my age. They’re going to be like, “Buy the Tesla.” I’m going to have all this outside energy saying, “You should spend your money. Spend your money.” But because I’m in a group where I can have this environment about money saving, financial literacy, and aspiring to be wealthy and leave impact on the world, it holds me accountable and it keeps me committed. So it’s definitely a game changer. And it helped me buy my house because I told everybody I was going to buy a house before I bought the house so now I have to, right? Because otherwise I look stupid.

Dan:
You’re accountable at that point. Yeah. I love this. And I think for anyone, I don’t care how old you are, your journey to your goals becomes so much easier when you surround yourself with people who are on that same journey. I mean, that’s just a fact. It’s that networking effect that catapults you towards your goals. So if you could tell us a little bit more Jabbar, about … You mentioned some guys that you’ve become friends with through the community. What does that relationship look like? How often are you talking to each other? How are you talking? How are you communicating? I think these guys are from all around the country. Have you met them? How do you hold each other accountable? And how important has that been to your progress?

Jabbar:
I have an accountability group. BiggerPockets talks about masterminds and surrounding yourself with people who are going to help you keep accountable towards your goals all the time. So me, Aiden, Leo, Marcel. These are people in the Sheeks Freaks community. We formed our own little accountability group where we meet every single morning and we just go over our commitments. Every morning we have an agenda. “Hey, what are your commitments? Did you meet the mark?” Essentially. It’s like, did you wake up on time? We’re all Miracle Morning guys. So every morning I wake up at four, unless I got less than five hours of sleep. And I do my Miracle Morning for almost … It’s almost two hours. And it’s tough. It’s tough. If left to my own devices, if I have someone to report to every morning I might not do it every day. But because I know I’m going to hear so much from them about how terrible I am if I don’t do it, I do it every morning.
And it helps a lot too with real estate stuff. It’s like, “Al right, hey, you want to get to this point, well, what are you doing to get there?” And it’s like, “All right, well, what are you spending your time doing? Why are you watching YouTube instead of analyzing deals? Or why are you …” It’s that kind of accountability. We meet every day. And I think for me, for my growth, it’s been very, very powerful because they’re just challenging me to think bigger. So my goals keep getting bigger and bigger. Every time I keep on having to expand them, because it’s like, okay, well, are you setting this goal because you’re afraid of a bigger goal or because this is actually what you want? And nine times out of 10 it’s because you’re afraid of the bigger goal.

Mindy:
Yeah. Bill Gates has a quote. “You often overestimate what you can accomplish in one year, but you underestimate what you can accomplish in five or 10.” And that’s huge. He’s right. Think of what you’re setting your goals for in a year. “Oh, I’m going to do X, Y, Z.” And then you get to of the year and you’re like, “Ooh, I did X sort of.” But then you take that and you’re like, “Okay. My 10 year goal is I’m going to do X, Y, Z, and then A.” But you can accomplish X, Y, Z, A, B and C in year three or year eight. So setting realistic goals is really important. And setting goals, keeping track of where you are on your progress is huge. Having an accountability group that meets every single day, to me, that sounds a little daunting because my mornings are kind of crazy, but that is … My life is very different than yours.
I have two kids and I’m trying to get them off to school and that’s like herding cats. So my point that I’m making very poorly is this accountability group and getting in that mindset when you’re 20, when you don’t have two kids that you’re trying to get off to school, when you don’t have other responsibilities and you can get in there and do this is huge. You start setting these habits and then your mornings going forward are always going to be like this. And the way that you structure your life is going to be a little bit different because this is such a priority because it’s such a habit. But also finding people who are in the same mindset. I bet in your life right now you can find 100 people that’ll tell you all the reasons why real estate investing is wrong or share the stories of how people they know lost money in real estate. I got a whole website full of people who have made mistakes. That’s something that makes BiggerPockets so great is you learn from your mistakes, but the people that are telling you it’s not going to work didn’t learn from their mistakes. They didn’t learn from other people’s mistakes. They made the mistake. They’re like, “I’m out.” And quitting is a great way to not accomplish anything. You don’t sound like a quitter.

Jabbar:
Oh. No.

Dan:
No.

Jabbar:
I’m anti quit. Yeah. No way. But-

Dan:
Knowing Jabbar … I have known him for about a year and a half. This guy is one of the most motivated young people I’ve ever met. And I want to get into your mindset later-

Mindy:
I’ve known him for about 30 minutes and I can agree with that.

Dan:
Yes. I want to dive into the house hack. To the first real estate property purchase that you did, which by the way happened at age 19. This is phenomenal. This is so freakish to do it at such a young age. You started learning about real estate. Less than a year later, you’re buying your first property. I think maybe right at about a year, somewhere in there. If I remember right, it was a $300,000 or $400,000 house. You are house hacking it. So tell us, how did that process go? How did that search, the financing? I know it’s a long story, but we’ll try to keep it kind of brief, but walk us through how you got that property and what it looks like today.

Jabbar:
All right. Yeah. I’ll try and keep this one as short as possible. And I think it was six months. So when I started learning from August to February.

Dan:
Oh wow.

Jabbar:
Yeah, six months. Went through the process, was learning as much as possible. And I’m still 19 so I still think I know everything. And I recognize that’s not the case now. But I’m going through trying to figure out how to buy my first property and going through all the steps that BiggerPockets talks about. So first I got pre-approved for a mortgage. It was the most difficult process ever. It was like pulling teeth from a kid. I think that’s the saying. But I talked to 13 different lenders at first and all of them denied me. So I had 13 hard inquiries, 13 denials. And they were just telling me no.
I mean, some of them were telling me there is no way. Because I’d argue with them. I’m like, “There’s got to be a way. There has to be something.” And some of them would tell me, “Yeah, there’s no way. It’s not happening. Wait till you’re 20 or till you make more money or you get basic housing allowance.” So I didn’t have that. And it’s called BAH, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the military stipend that they give service members for housing. It’s tailored to the market so it depends. But because I’m single and I don’t have a wife or family, I don’t get any of that. So I just get my normal pay, which is very small. I don’t know. It was like $18,000 a year at the time. And so I’m talking to all these different banks. 14th bank told me maybe so that opened up the possibility. And then once she told me maybe, I just started reading. I was reading the VA guidelines and the FHA guidelines. So I started figuring out the right questions to ask and what I needed to do to buy a house now. Because I wasn’t taking no for an answer.
Basically, the reason why I was not getting approved for a mortgage is because one, I didn’t have credit. I ended up having credit two weeks into the process of applying for it, but I didn’t have … I got a credit card six months prior. Two was how little my income was. Three was I had 13 months of job history. And then the fourth one … I don’t know the fourth one. But yeah. It just wasn’t happening. So the way that I got around it was for the income part of it, what I was going to do was I was going to get a very close friend of mine and we were going to co-borrow on the mortgage together to buy the property. So that was what I was going to do.
We were both going to be on the loan and then I was going to house hack it and then a year later turn it into an investment property and then we split profits how we agreed upon. And the credit issue obviously. My credit score finally came out. I had 750 in six months, which I don’t understand how that math works. And then what else? And then the job history. I got to around it is because I’m a Marine. I have a five year contract stating I’m going to be employed so they did the workaround and said, “That’s fine.” And I think you can actually do it in six months. That’s actually the guideline. And don’t quote me on this. I’m not a professional or anything like that. But the lender that spoke to me said that yeah, six months is really all I need to qualify to use my VA loan. Eventually when I got to the process of buying the house or of getting the house under contract … What was I going to say? The lender came back to me and said that if I put 5% down, I would be able to buy the property by myself.
So I just did that because it made sense to do so. And so I bought the house. Now I’m a homeowner. And then I got the call that I was getting sent to the middle of the desert for a field exercise for two months. So I had the house, but I didn’t have any tenants and I didn’t want to pay my mortgage. I bought the house to house hack, not to pay my own mortgage. And so I created a system, trained a buddy to do all of it for me, and ended up renting out all the bedrooms while I was gone on that exercise. And it’s a phenomenal deal today. I get, it depends on the month, $1,300 to $1,500 a month in cashflow. Because I rent out all the bedrooms and I sleep on a futon. And I think it works out to a 70% return or something like that. It’s abnormally high because I only had to put 5% down. But that’s the rough breakdown. Oh. Should I go deeper into the numbers, like purchase price and stuff like that?

Mindy:
I want to do that in just a minute. But before we get into that, I want to give a little bit of an explanation. So because you’re active duty you have the option of a VA loan, which typically comes with a 0% down payment. It’s one of two loan programs that I know of that are zero down payment options. A conventional is a 3% down is the lowest you can go. And a FHA loan is a 3.5%. I don’t want to get too far into the weeds because this is aimed at younger listeners, but the VA loan normally comes with a 0% down, but he couldn’t qualify with his current income and all of his situation with the 0% down. But if he could come up with 5% down, then he qualifies by himself. So that’s a very interesting option. I’m so glad your lender told you that because if you have the opportunity to buy a house by yourself, you are ultimately responsible for everything but then also you get all of the sweet, sweet cash flow of what did you say? $1,500 a month?

Jabbar:
Yes.

Mindy:
That doesn’t happen in rental property unless you’re house hacking. I like what you said. I didn’t want to pay my mortgage. I wanted to house hack. I wanted somebody else to pay my mortgage. Good for you.

Dan:
I was going to say just before we get into the numbers of the house hack, Jabbar, I want to take a step back and focus on a couple things you mentioned in that journey of making your first purchase that have to do with mindset, I’ve think. You went to lender number one and said, “I’m a 19 year old Marine. I want to buy a house. I want to live in it.” And maybe you told them about the house hacking strategy. Probably didn’t matter. They said no. Hard no. Jabbar went to lender number two and did the same thing. He went to 13 or 14 lenders I think it was. And I remember as you were going through this process of no after no after no and in my mind I’m thinking this kid will not take no for an answer. He just kept going.
And this all goes back to mindset. And we can get back into this maybe later in the interview. Where does that mindset for you come from? And then the other piece that illustrates that is that … And I remember when Jabbar was going through this too. Because we do a weekly Zoom call on the Sheeks Freaks. And so Jabbar is one of the guys that’s … He does everything he can to be on it. So as soon as he closed on that house, he got … Which is on the east coast. I think you were in the desert in Arizona for that field mission. And he’s logging into the Zoom calls in his fatigues and you can tell he’s in the middle of nowhere in the desert. He’s operating this house hack from probably really spotty wifi in the middle of the desert, on assignment, three timezones away.
He trained his buddy to do it. He was emailing and texting and phone calls as much as he could to get that thing rented while he was across the country. That mindset as well, that fortitude, that perseverance to say, “Whatever roadblocks come at me, I’m going over them. I’m breaking through these brick walls. I’m going to make it happen. It’s going to happen.” Most people after the first lender says no say, “Well, I tried. I guess I’ll just wait until I’m 20 or 21.” Jabbar said, “No. I’m going to go to 13 more lenders until I get a maybe.” And then he made it happen. So we’ll get into mindset later Jabbar. Let’s dive into those numbers a little bit on the house hack. What did you buy it for? What was the negotiation like? What are you getting per room? All that good stuff.

Jabbar:
Yep. Purchased the house for 246,000. They were asking, I think 255. Brought them down a little bit. I think I offered 230, but not in this market. But it was on the market for a little bit. So they came down to 246. And then had all my closing costs paid for and stuff like that so that was good. So I was all into it for 22,000 because I put 5% down. So that’s like 12,000 in plus furniture and then my funding fee. The VA funding fees. That’s something there. And so I get between 732 and 850 per bedroom. The house is in Savannah, Georgia. It’s not a high cost of living area or anything like that. Todd Baldwin, if you listen to his podcast on the OG BiggerPockets podcast, the real estate one, he talks about the different amenities he has like a professional house cleaner, lawn care, and just creating a house hack or a rent by the bedroom business rather than just renting a bedroom to a buddy.
So I just copied that same strategy, employed it, and it worked great. So I get, like I said, $1,300 to $1,500 a month in cashflow. It really varies depending on the level of maintenance that I’m doing or utilities. They fluctuate a little bit. And so I think that works out to 70%. If I was getting … It might be higher than that. And that’s just cash on cash return on investment. So that doesn’t count the other wealth generators that make real estate such an amazing asset class to invest in like the tax benefits, the loan pay down, which really that’s like forced retirement savings, and then your potential appreciation.
So yeah, it’s definitely the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. And then another thing to point out, the reason why I made that pivot into real estate is because with stocks I invest, let’s say $1,000 to $2,000 a month and then I have a million dollars at 35, 4% rule tells you 4% of a million dollars is $40,000 a year. So that’s how I kind of do the comparison in my head. Because what matters to me is cashflow. I want that passive reoccurring income. So with a house hack I’m able to get … I don’t know. That’s almost a third of the way there with $22,000. So I do one this year. Imagine I just do one this year, one next year, and the one the other year and then the fourth year, boom, I’m already greater than that $40,000 mark and I put way less of my personal capital in every month.
So it really, really makes a lot of sense. I think house hacking is … It’s just a way for the little guy to really become the big guy because it just changes everything. And that’s just by buying one a year. So imagine you buy two, then three, four. The stack you exponentially grow. And all of a sudden you’re sitting very happy and in a short amount of time. So that’s why I started focusing on real estate and now I don’t invest every month into the market. So hopefully no one’s mad at me about that. But I save money to invest in more real estate because that’s the goal anyways. To buy more.

Dan:
And that’s a great transition, Jabbar. I would love to spend more time on the house hack, but we want to get to where we are today. So you bought that first house hack, you’re living in it, and you’re renting out the bedrooms and it’s going really well. Between then and now, what have you done with real estate? Where are you at now?

Jabbar:
I just closed on another property about 17 days ago. It’s a 600,000, three bedroom, three bath short term vacation rental in the Smokies. I just partnered on that one. Someone from the Sheeks Freaks. That’s another value of being in a group like that is you guys could kind of solve each other’s problems. Because when I spent that 22 grand on that house hack, I didn’t have enough money to go out and just start deploying capital over and over again. So I kind of just was like, “Hey, I don’t have a lot of money, but I still want to buy more houses.” The way to do that for me was by partnering with somebody else because in real estate you need the time, the expertise, and then the money, I think it is. But you don’t need all of them. You just need maybe one.

Mindy:
Did you say you bought a $600,000 house?

Jabbar:
Yeah. I know it’s crazy, right?

Mindy:
At age 20?

Dan:
Yep.

Mindy:
Okay.

Dan:
Short term rental in the Smokey Mountains.

Mindy:
Which is an excellent-

Dan:
So now you own your second property.

Jabbar:
Yeah. I’m looking at buying the third one. I’m trying to get to a million dollar real estate portfolio before the end of the year. It’s kind of difficult with only two months left.

Mindy:
Well, only two months left, but you have a $600,000 house and a $250,000 house so you only need a $150,000 house to get to a million dollars in real estate by age 20.

Dan:
Yeah.

Mindy:
Okay. I could talk to you all day long, but it sounds like we need to get you on the Real Estate Rookie podcast once you get to that million dollar rental property. What was it? Million dollar rental portfolio. Because that’s … Wow. So sorry you don’t have any confidence in yourself or you don’t have any ambition.

Jabbar:
Yeah. It’s a-

Mindy:
Holy cow.

Jabbar:
I look at it as like forced retirement.

Dan:
Can you speak to that just real quick Jabbar? What is it that you think creates the mindset for you to accomplish these things at such an early age? What is it that … Because it’s different. This is not what the normal 19, 20 year old is doing. Just in a paragraph or two, how do you approach mindset? How do you learn about it? How do you maximize your capability?

Jabbar:
For me personally … And this comes back to … I spoke about it very poorly at the beginning, but I talked about how I was abused essentially when I was younger, growing up. And growing up, I was told I was never going to be anything. I was told I was going to fail. I was told that I was going to be a janitor. She used to tell me to stop doing my homework and to come down and sweep the floor to work on my janitorial skills. And I took that and I didn’t let it … I still had to live life and I was like, I’m not going to be that person. It just kind of lit a fire under my belly to say, “Hey, I’m going to do something with my life and try and be successful. And worst case scenario, I become successful because I’m not going to take no for an answer.”
So that is a little bit that has something to do with it. Another thing is every single day I’m waking up and I have an obsession. I have an obsession with becoming wealthy because I want to create a better life for when I eventually have children and then for other people who are underserved in the community with stuff like that. So I think that if I’m able to accomplish that at a younger age, if I do all the hard work now while I have all this energy and I can wake up at four and only get five hours of sleep and do all this stuff, then by the time I’m older, I’m going to be very happy about it. So it’s just the opportunity cost.
Put in all the time and effort and work now so that in the future … And it could be very quickly if you go hard enough. You can have your cake and eat it too. It’s just delaying the instant gratification. I work on my mindset every single day in the morning. I do affirmations, do the manifestations and all that stuff. And I just don’t like losing or quitting or any of that stuff. I just want to kind of figure out how to make it. You just have to have that mentality. It’s like, I’m not going to fail. I’m going to just succeed.

Dan:
Awesome.

Mindy:
You are going to just succeed. You’re not going to just succeed. You are going to be the manifestation of that Bill Gates quote I said. You’re going to think you can do this much and in 10 years you’re going to be like, “Wow. I thought it would be cool to have a million dollar real estate portfolio but now I have $20 million.”

Dan:
In five years Jabbar will be running the country and in 10 years he’ll be running the world. It’s basically what it comes down to.

Mindy:
I love it. Actually no, in five years he’s not able to run the country. You have to wait until you’re … Is it 35 or 40 to be president?

Jabbar:
Gosh.

Mindy:
So work on other things until you’ve aged into the-

Dan:
You’ll be retired for 10 years by then.

Jabbar:
Yeah. And that’s another thing. Because this is the money podcast, right? With real estate, you can really expedite your way to financial freedom I feel like so much faster. Because we’ve all seen that Instagram post that if you put $200 a month away for 40 years, by the time you’re 65, you’ll have a million dollars. I look at that as loan pay down. Loan pay down is … That’s that. You get a million dollars of real estate and over 30 years it gets paid down. Now you have a million dollars free and clearing in assets. But then the great thing is you get the cashflow that helps you quit your job now. That gives you that passive income to step down and focus on what makes you happy and then your appreciation just makes you rich.
So now you’re just walking around all happy and stuff because you have the trifecta of, I don’t know, financial freedom, personal finance, fire. Because this property I’m buying will put me at … Projected. Projections. Nothing’s sure and free and clear and stuff like that. It’ll put me at $30,000 a year in cashflow. $30,000 a year in cashflow. Now that’s another down payment on I guess cheaper houses. But it just starts to scale up from there. So then you get another one or another two and now you’re at 60,000. And another two and now you’re at … Math. 90,000. And so now, I mean maybe you’re making more money than you were at your job and you can just step away. For me, I can’t step away. I can become financially free you today. I still have three more years left on my contract. But by the time I finish with my contract, I won’t have to work again. That’s the goal. No. I won’t have to work again unless obviously life happens.

Mindy:
Life will happen. Let me just tell you as the voice of experience here, life will happen. Something that Dan mentions in his book. It’s called First to a Million. It’s a really amazing book. You have to read this book if you’re listening to this episode and are at all inspired by Jabbar as I am. I have goosebumps. Your story’s so good and you’re so enthusiastic and numbers don’t lie. But the whole reason that you pursue financial independence is to open up your life options. You’re 20 years old right now. You are most likely going to be financially independent by the time you’re 25 when you get out of the Marine Corps. You could fall in love with the Marines in the next three years and want to renew. That’s the option that you have. But if you took every dime that you made from your salary right now and you weren’t investing in real estate and you weren’t investing in the stock market and you were instead investing in iPhones, which is not an investment, you are spending your money on things that don’t generate money back so it’s not an investment.
You spend money and maybe you look real sharp all the time in those brand new clothes that you have and you’re always going out to dinner and you’re going on a ton of dates and you’re spending every dime you have. Your only option in five years is to either renew and continue on this place where you know, or not renew, go out and get a job to continue generating income so that you can do all of these things that you want to do. But by changing what you’re doing now, these little tiny bits … It’s not like you’re surrounded by millionaires and everybody else is spending all this money and you’re just like, “Oh man, I don’t have anything.” You’re in the Marine Corps. You don’t a lot of free time, right? They kind of tell you what to do.
They run the show. So what good does it do having a $50,000 car sitting in the parking lot all day long? Maybe sometimes you can go and look at it, but you’re not going to be able to drive it because you have to do your work. But in five years you are free, you are open and you can do anything. Which includes continuing to work if you choose. It includes volunteering if you choose. It includes not working for a while, take some time off and travel. Do whatever you want because you’ve gotten your financial situation taken care of. And now the whole world is open to you. And that’s the whole reason we pursue financial independence. That’s the whole reason that we continue to promote this idea. And the younger you start, the less you have to invest because you have the power of compound interest. And I know I sound preachy and lectury and I sound like your mom and that’s okay, because I’m a mom. It’s my job to sound like this.

Dan:
I’ll throw in real quick, the book that I wrote, First to a Million, Jabbar is highlighted in that book as a featured freak. So if people want to learn more about Jabbar’s story, he’s highlighted in the book and it tells more about his journey and where he’s been.

Mindy:
Yeah. This book is … I was reading this book and at first I was just flipping through it to see … First I was fighting Jabbar’s interview here and then I’m flipping through it and I’m like, you know what, you could read this book in several different ways. If you just flip through and find the quotes, there’s a lot of quotes. They’re big print. They’re real easy to see find the quotes first. If you’re thinking, “This sounds interesting, but I’m not sold,” read through the quotes. Just flip through the book and read through the quotes. You’re like, “That makes sense. That makes sense. I can see how that’s … Yep, yep, yep.” And all of a sudden you’re going to be like, “I got to go back to the beginning and read the whole book.” It’s so easy to read. It’s so non preachy. I didn’t write this book. Dan did. It’s so non preachy and it’s just opening your mind up to a different way to think about money and when you get money out of the way you can go on to lead your best life.

Dan:
And that is exact … Knowing Jabbar and knowing his heart, when he reaches early financial independence, he’s going to do exactly that. He’s not going to just be selfish with all of his freedom and time and money. He’s going to be giving back. He’s going to be helping others. He’s going to be mentoring. And that option to help other people much earlier than where most people get it is the reason I wrote the book. Is because I think that if young people can reach early financial independence and then they have options, some of those options are going to be paying it forward, passing it along, mentoring others, helping others, volunteering, donating, et cetera, et cetera. Which I know Jabbar will do.

Jabbar:
Yes sir. And I just want to throw one or two things, but really short though. Just for young people, because this is something I feel like most of us really need to realize is that our real advantage just comes from us being young. The time aspect of it is such a big deal. Because let’s say I go on this journey and then five years I lose everything or something like that. My worst case scenario is I go and get a job. My worst case scenario, I’m like everybody else. I go and get a job and I’m like everybody else. Or I go to school like everybody else went to school. That’s my worst case scenario. My best case scenario is I get to be financially free and getting a job is optional. Because at some point you’re going to long for something. You’re going to long for some type of freedom.
You’re not going to always want to do the same routine or have to. So just give yourself that option. And then the second thing is surround yourself with other like minded individuals who are going to push you and motivate you towards your goal. So I said it before, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Start actively reaching out and connecting with people who are high level. I know people who are my age doing way better than me. Those are the people … I’m chasing them. I know a 25 year old making 140 grand a month. And I’m like, “Wow, I want to make 140 grand a month. How do I do that?” But it shows me that it’s possible. So don’t look at my story, Dan’s story, Mindy’s story, anyone’s story and feel jealous or kind of feel like you can’t do it. Look at the stories of other people and draw inspiration from it because that inspiration can give you an idea of how you can do something with your life. Because I had no idea some things were even possible until I got to hear other people’s stories. So just actively look for that. Actively look for what’s possible because it’ll blow your mind.

Mindy:
Absolutely could not agree more. I have loved spending time with you. This is probably my favorite episode that we have ever recorded. Your enthusiasm, your excitement. I’m so excited that we were able to talk today, but we’re not done. We still have more. We still have our famous four. And I didn’t mean to rhyme like that. It just happened. Jabbar, are you ready?

Jabbar:
Yes, I’m ready.

Mindy:
Okay. Of all the finance books that you have read, what is your favorite finance book?

Jabbar:
Oh, this is a tough one. And I was thinking about this. Everyone cops out at Rich Dad Poor Dad because that’s what started it for me. But I’m going to say, I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi. I think that’s what kind of opened my eyes and I hope I said his name right. But that’s what opened my eyes to what is even possible. And I didn’t know you could almost calculate how you can almost 99% increase the probability that you’ll be a millionaire by investing. And he really gave you that breakdown. So I’d recommend that one. It’s a great personal finance book.

Mindy:
Yeah. That’s an awesome book.

Jabbar:
Oh, Dan’s. Sorry. It’s Dan’s.

Mindy:
It’s Dan’s.

Jabbar:
First to a Million.

Dan:
It’s a tie.

Mindy:
No. That’s okay.

Dan:
We’ll just say it’s a tie.

Mindy:
Yeah.

Jabbar:
Yeah.

Mindy:
It’s tied with Ramit. Wow. That’s good. Okay. So First to a Million is actually available starting today. You can find it at the BiggerPockets bookstore, BiggerPockets.com/store, or wherever books are sold.

Dan:
All right. Next Jabbar, question number two. What is your biggest money mistake?

Jabbar:
Oh. Hmm. I thought about up this one too and on my finance journey … You just kind of want to get there a little bit faster. So I was reaching out to people like social media influencers on Instagram. Maybe this will be a lesson for other people. I reached out to his guy. He has like 30,000 followers on Twitter and had this investment. I mean he looks like he’s making crazy money. He flexes $3 million crypto portfolios and making tens of thousands of dollars a day and all. So basically he does this thing where you give him money, you give him $2,000 and then you put I think $2,000 in the account. He trades for you and then you split it 50/50. And for me, since I’ve been following this guy for so long, I thought it was legit. So I gave the guy my $2,000 to start it up and never heard from him again and lost my $2,000. So that one stung but learning lessons. That was my last scam. I won’t be scammed again.

Dan:
It happens once and then never again.

Mindy:
Hopefully. I am sorry that you lost $2,000. That’s a lot of money. We’re throwing around million dollar sums here like you just are swimming in cash, but $2,000 is still a lot of money. I hope that guy stubs his toe every day for the rest of his life. His baby toe. Just whack that on the table every time you walk past it. And I hope he gets caught. That is awful and he is a terrible person. A good rule of thumb is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Jabbar:
Absolutely.

Mindy:
Dan, you have an amazing bit of advice here in your book about cryptocurrency that is fantastic. You shouldn’t invest in anything you don’t understand. That is a quote from Warren Buffett. And you said, “Cryptocurrency is this hot new thing and everybody wants to …” You can find anybody on the internet saying that they’ve made a billion dollars a minute in cryptocurrency. I am a very savvy investor and I have $0 in cryptocurrency. I don’t understand it. I don’t believe in it. I am not asking anybody to call me up and explain it. Please direct those emails to somebody else. I’m not interested in cryptocurrency. I do just fine in real estate, I do just find in the stock market. I’m good. But there’s this fear of missing out and there’s this shiny new object syndrome. So you say in your book, you say, “Test your knowledge. Go to one of your parents and ask them if they understand how cryptocurrencies work. If they don’t, explain it to them. When you’re done, ask them if they now understand cryptocurrencies. If they still don’t, you probably don’t fully understand them yourself and you should either do more research or stay out of cryptocurrencies altogether.”
Scott is the co-host that helps me with your episode, Dan, last week and Scott has like $5 in cryptocurrency. I can’t remember how much he has, but he has very, very little in regards to his net worth. He could afford to lose it all and he’d be fine. And that’s another rule of thumb for investing. If you’re putting in so much money that you can’t afford to lose it all, you shouldn’t have it in there. And that’s for every single kind of investment. Jabbar, you have this I could never, ever, ever, ever lose attitude, which is awesome. But I also want to encourage you to run your numbers when you’re doing your real estate, just to make sure that it makes sense as the investment that you’re trying for and also does it make sense in a different method?
Like your Smokey Mountain property. You have it as a short-term rental. The Smokey Mountains short-term rental business is almost a can’t lose, but again, I’m not encouraging you to go down to the Smokey Mountains. I’m encouraging you to do your research. But the Smokey Mountains is an established … It’s the number one visited-

Jabbar:
National park. Yeah.

Mindy:
National park in America. So there’s a steady influx. It’s not like everybody goes there today and then next week it’s not going to be cool anymore. It’s been consistently the number one. And if you look at where it’s located, it’s within a day’s drive of 45% of American population or something. There’s a reason that it’s so popular. So that as the short term rental is great. And they just had a fire a few years ago so everything was wiped out. So now that there’s houses again, people are coming back and they’re super excited to go see it. But definitely run your numbers and if you’re going to do short term, does it also work as a long term rental if the short-term rental market dries up? And again, the Smokey Mountain short-term rental market drying up is probably not really going to happen. But multiple exit strategies is another great way to ensure your success in real estate. And I feel like I’m lecturing so I’m going to stop and just ask you the next question.

Jabbar:
Yeah. Well, and then just last thing is just have reserves. Like my friend, Eric, he taught me a lot about real estate when I was first starting out. I met him on BiggerPockets. And he told me, he said, “Cash solves a lot of problems. So if you’re going to make an investment like that, or if you’re going to invest in anything, just have a lot of money set aside to mitigate your risk.” So I have reserves. We have reserves. I have reserves for the two properties that I own. And don’t be a paycheck to paycheck landlord or real estate investor because it will not end well for you.

Mindy:
Oh, so that was my next question. What is your best piece of advice for people who are just starting out? Yes. Have reserves because cash does solve a lot of problems. I like that a lot. I like that quote a lot.

Dan:
All right. Next question Jabbar. What is your favorite joke to tell at parties?

Jabbar:
Oh. See, I spent so much time trying to figure this out and then I memorized the joke because I don’t go to parties and I don’t tell kid friendly jokes because I’m a Marine. And I forgot the joke. So can I get an alibi?

Mindy:
Oh I have a lot of jokes. Oh Dan, do you have a joke? Go ahead.

Dan:
I have a lot of teacher jokes, as we talked about last week. I’ll throw it in there, Jabbar. I’ll ask you why was the math book so sad? Because he had so many problems. Teacher jokes all day long. Teacher joke.

Jabbar:
That was so bad.

Dan:
It is bad, but it made you laugh.

Mindy:
What is the name of the Marine’s favorite book?

Jabbar:
The Marine’s favorite book?

Mindy:
Harry Porter.

Jabbar:
Harry Porter?

Dan:
Porter.

Mindy:
Port.

Dan:
That’s pretty bad too.

Mindy:
It’s a sea joke.

Jabbar:
Oh, okay. Yeah.

Mindy:
Yeah. When you have to explain them they’re really awful. Okay. Jabbar, where can people find out more about you? If you’ve been listening to this episode, I think you should reach out to Jabbar because he’s apparently got nothing better to do than talk about money and real estate all day every day.

Jabbar:
Yeah. I’m on almost everything so you can follow me on Instagram and TikTok at Jabbar_Investar. So it’s J-A-B-B. So there’s two B’s in there. A-R_Investar. So instead of investor, investar. Then BiggerPockets and Sheeks Freaks at Jabbar Adesada.

Mindy:
And we will include links to the episode that you talked about with Todd Baldwin and your social media links in our show notes, which can be found at biggerpockets.com/moneyshow255. Jabbar, I have absolutely loved meeting you and hearing your story. This is one of the most inspirational stories I have heard and your can do attitude and I don’t take no for an answer and I’m never going to quit is just going to propel you to millionaire status way before you’re 34.

Jabbar:
Thank you so much. This was great.

Dan:
I want to throw in just one extra little discount opportunity. Anyone listening to this podcast or a young person, or if you know a young person, we mentioned the Sheeks Freaks community that Jabbar is in. If they want to go to sheeksfreaks.com, there’s a free membership option and there’s also paid. If they want to do the paid membership option into Sheeks Freaks and meet up with people like Jabbar, they can use the discount code jabbar, all lower case, and they’ll get a nice discount on the paid version of the Sheeks Freaks online community. The free version has a lot of value too. Either one is a great option. So discount code jabbar.

Mindy:
That’s awesome. That discount code is J-A-B-B-A-R. Okay. Jabbar, thank you again for your time. This was so much fun and we’ll talk to you soon.
Okay Dan, that was Jabbar Adesada and he has blown my mind. I love his enthusiasm. I love his love of life and his attitude and his just I’m going to do it all. And he was absolutely amazing. I’m so excited to have talked to him today.

Dan:
Yeah. I’m glad it worked out to have him all on the show. He is definitely one of the leaders in the Sheeks Freaks community. He’s on all the Zoom calls. He’s he’s in all the forums and he’s giving advice and he’s a leader. And what he’s accomplished is impressive but I cannot wait to see where he is five years from now. It’s going to be-

Mindy:
Oh, for sure.

Dan:
Mind blowing.

Mindy:
It absolutely is. And I want to highlight something from his story. He is doing it. He is taking action. He is making things happen. He’s not sitting back and waiting for life to drag him along. And we didn’t highlight that enough during the show. You can’t get to where he’s gotten to by doing all the same things that everybody else does. He could very well … It’s easier to spend all your money and do what everybody else is doing and not think outside the box. But when you think outside the box, you can set yourself up for life. He is set for life and now he has to wait those extra three years for the rest of his military contract to be done so he can live his best life. But he’s not waiting. He’s still pushing forward and moving forward.
And I’m so excited for what he’s going to accomplish in two years, three years, five years. When he gets out of the military, he’s going to crush it. He is absolutely crushing life now. And it’s really kind of hard to remember that he’s only 20 years old as he’s telling his story. I’ve heard that same story from people who are starting out at 30, starting out at 40, starting out at 50, 60. He’s figured out the secret to finances at age 18. And it is simply spend less than you earn, invest wisely, and keep pushing forward. And he’s just the embodiment of all of that. And I loved his story.

Dan:
Yeah. He’s in the featured freak interview that’s in the book. He mentions his favorite money technique is just to pay himself first a set amount of money, which I think is, by the way, one of the most important money strategies for anybody is just to pay yourself first. But then he also got into the house hacking. And I also believe that house hacking is one of if not the best way to get into real estate, especially when you’re young. And he’s not going to stop. He’s going to … I call it the Craig Curelop effect. He’s going to take that strategy and do one and then another, and then another. But he didn’t wait another year to get that second house hack. He said, “No, no, no, no. I need my second property.” Now, he bought that short term rental in the Smokey Mountains, but he knew he couldn’t do it by himself so he … Another barrier came him up. He found that way around the barrier. He found a partner who had the money. He had the time and the expertise. He’s a solution finder and he won’t take no for an answer. It’s awesome.

Mindy:
Yeah. Brandon Turner from the real estate podcast has a saying that he says frequently. 50% of a good deal is better than 0% of a deal. Or no, wait. What does he say?

Dan:
0% of no deal. Yeah.

Mindy:
50% of a good deal is better than 100% of no deal. And it’s for people who are like, “Oh, I don’t really want to have a partner.” Having a partner will teach you a lot of things about working with other people and what you can do for someone, what they can do for you. They can fill a gap in your, in this case, in his funding. He didn’t have to wait. And he’s now able to generate income from a property that he otherwise wouldn’t be able to generate income from. So partnership is not always a bad word, and you can learn a lot about a ton of different things. The best partner brings in things that you don’t have. So if you’re really great at finding deals, partnering with somebody who’s really great at finding deals might not be the best partner. But if you’re really great at finding deals, but you don’t have any money, partnering with a money person fills the gap. So you really want a partner that helps you become whole.

Dan:
Yep. And I wouldn’t bet against Jabbar. I mean, he mentioned that he-

Mindy:
That’d be a losing bet.

Dan:
Wants to have, I think, a million dollars in rental portfolio by the end of the year. I think I would not bet against. He’ll find a way to do it. He’ll find a way to do it.

Mindy:
I would not bet against him either. That’s absolutely right. Okay Dan, this episode ran really long today and I could have talked to Jabbar for another five hours. He’s awesome. But we should get out of here. Are you ready?

Dan:
I’m ready.

Mindy:
From episode 255 of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast, he is Dan Sheeks, author of First to a Million, and I am Mindy Jensen, hoping you are the first to a million.

 

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In This Episode We Cover

  • Why early financial education can make or break your child’s path to success
  • The best finance books that you (or your child, cousin, niece, or nephew) should read
  • Why crashes aren’t a sign to panic, but a sign to buy more
  • House hacking at a young age, and how to get pre-approved for loans without an extensive job history
  • Having an “obsessive mindset to be wealthy” and using it to help not only yourself but others
  • Practicing delayed gratification and building a brighter future with each investment
  • And So Much More!

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Books Mentioned in the Show:

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