Frustrated That Your Friends and Family Aren’t Interested in Investing? Read This!

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I remember the moment that I decided to pursue financial freedom. It was like I had been struck by a bolt of lightning. The goal of financial freedom seemed so important, so clear, so obvious to me that I was thunderstruck. I was angry that I hadn’t been able to discover the concept earlier in life. I was frustrated that I had no easy path forward to accelerate toward my goals. I felt obligated to tell everyone I knew about this concept, which surely, they too would understand and immediately begin pursuing with their best efforts.

Except almost nobody cared. And of the few people who seemed to agree with me, only a handful of them took any action. It just didn’t occur to me that folks might not be interested in financial freedom

I remember trying to convince friends, family, and colleagues to go down this route. I thought, truly, that I was doing these people a “favor” by enlightening them! I’d approach them with something more or less like the following:

Great news! Life does NOT have to be spent behind that desk earning a paycheck so that you can invest $5 per day and maybe become a millionaire at 65, just in time to where that is enough to scrape together a passable existence until the end! There is a far superior financial strategy that eliminates the need for work at all much earlier in life and exposes you far less to the whims of the market when you are old and unable to work!

I believe that I am fairly persuasive to some, and I have managed to get multiple people in my life on this train by explaining the benefits and articulating the steps needed to get there articulately and in an easy-to-understand way.

But I’ve also ticked a lot of folks off. Instead of hearing what I’d hoped to be saying to them, they interpreted my words like this:

YOU SUCKER! You are wasting so much money on crap that is not important! You are stuck at that horrible job in your mediocre house, with your mediocre car. You’ll be doing that same old stuff for the next 45 years because your ability to handle money STINKS! Listen to me instead, because I, Scott Trench, Lord of the Universe, am smarter and more happy than you, even though I know very little about you. Change your entire life to be more like me!

When you come off like this (and you do come off like this if you try to tell people how to live their life to pursue early financial freedom in an annoyingly superior tone), you make no friends and win no new converts. Other people do not care about what you think is best. They do not care to hear that they do not know how to manage money. They do not care to revisit what they feel makes them happy. They do not care to be told how to manage material parts of their lives.

And, guess what? They are absolutely, 100 percent correct.

It is not my place or your place to attempt to persuade them otherwise. This is America, and you get to choose your own path in this country. People who are not interested in financial freedom can and should be allowed to run their lives according to their interests, whatever the financial outcome of those decisions.

In this article, I want to cover this topic at length–the topic of discussing financial strategy and financial freedom with family and friends. I want to talk about how to broach the subject and when to back off.

And I’ll start by saying that I believe that it is important that every single person in the world has the opportunity to become aware of the concept financial freedom and viable approaches to attain it early in life. I also believe that folks should be free to reject financial freedom and to pursue their interests freely.

Related: How to Calculate Your Freedom Number by Learning Your “Real” Net Worth

So, it is important to tactfully present the idea as a possibility, yet not ram it down other people’s throats. This is especially important if you wish to develop in the other person an eager want for this important financial goal. It’s also vital to understand that many people will not wish to hear what you have to say, to understand the reasons behind this, and to allow them to live their lives in willful ignorance of sound personal finance or without the goal of financial freedom in prominent position.


How to Broach the Subject of Money with Family and Friends

Remember, in the context of this article we are assuming that you, the reader, wish to persuade someone else that is not necessarily interested in or aware of the concept of financial freedom to begin pursuing that objective. You have good intentions and wish only to share the good news with people who are important to you, yet those people have not asked for your opinion on how to run their lives.

The worst way to broach the subject of financial independence and financial strategy with folks who have not brought up the point on their own is to in any form insinuate that the other person is “doing it wrong.” The pursuit of financial freedom encompasses almost all of the major aspects of an individual’s personal life, including their career, housing/transportation expenses, children, pets, spouse, entertainment, and money/investment management. Telling someone that they are living their life unwisely is not your job and is likely to create an enemy that loses respect for you.

Instead, if I want to share this concept with someone new, someone who has not asked me to talk about this subject, I explain to them what I am doing and why I am doing it, without any reference to what they are doing or what they should be doing in their life. I simply keep my elevator pitch to the following:

“I am house-hacking so that my tenants can cover the rent. I’ve done this a few times, and I have a nice little portfolio of rental properties and plan to continue doing it so that I can keep easily building passive income to supplement my wage income.”

At this point, folks either have their interest piqued and will inquire further about how I’m doing it (at which point I’m only too happy to dive into my favorite subject), or they have no interest and the conversation ends. If interested, I begin giving a how-to, describing what will and what will not produce a result that accelerates one toward early financial freedom.

The worst follow-up to this is something to the effect of, “You know, you should consider this approach as well!” This statement does not help your cause. If they listened to what you said, they will be interested of their own accord and will follow up.

Why Other People Won’t Listen or Aren’t Interested

Look, I get it. I don’t devote my professional (and much of my personal) life to BiggerPockets and to helping others pursue financial freedom because this is just another job. I do it because I love it. I really, truly do NOT understand why every single person that is making a median or higher income in this country is not moving toward financial freedom with a strong sense of urgency, at least when major life obstacles are not in the way like health or family problems. I really don’t understand how a more expensive home, car, vacation destination, or bottle of whisky can possibly lead to more happiness than the freedom to live out one’s waking hours without the need for a paycheck.

Really, I agree with you, dear reader! I don’t get why people aren’t just hustling for the few years needed to get the snowball rolling and live life on the other side with a huge surplus of passive income for the remaining decades of life! Regardless of whether you continue to work hard at your career for many more decades or “retire” and relax at an early age, the benefits to early financial freedom are crystal clear to me. That plan makes so much sense to me that I really am unable to empathize with people that fully understand it and then reject it.

I’m either too zealous or too naïve.

Either way, I can understand why someone might be skeptical of you or I when we are explaining early financial freedom and how to attain it to someone else. I believe there are two primary reasons for this.

  • First, if you are pursuing early financial freedom, then you are living below your means.
  • Second, if you are succeeding in building significant wealth, the scale at which you operate ceases to be comprehensible to your listener.

Reason #1: If you are pursuing financial freedom, you are living below your means.

When I started pursuing financial freedom, I started with just $3,000 in the bank and median salary (and yes, that’s a great head start—better than having significant student loan debt!). I made $48,000 per year. I lived in an apartment with a roommate in a place that could delicately be described as “not cool.” I made lunch. I biked to work. I turned down fancy dinner invitations that might cost money. I didn’t go to Ibiza or Vegas to party. I kept this frugal lifestyle up for four years straight. I still do this.

Don’t get me wrong—I still had and have fun. I still skied the local mountains to Denver, and I still enjoyed moderately expensive nightlife. I still had a great social life, stayed fit, and lived the lifestyle that I hope every young 20-something gets to enjoy. But I accumulated wealth much faster than peers with the same or even greater salaries.

But that’s not what other people saw from the outside looking in on my life. All other people saw was that I lived in a worse apartment in a worse area, drove a worse car, and ate food that took more time to prepare. The fact that I could have spent more money and looked more outwardly successful in all of those categories and chose not to was lost on them.

And if I was living so far below my means, with a lifestyle seemingly beneath my status, then why would others have listened to me? I had nothing to show for all my “sacrifice” at the time except for cash in a bank account at first and then a low-end duplex in a not-so-nice neighborhood. What’s to love about my approach if it means giving up the status symbols and lifestyle habits that are luxury living, driving, eating out, and traveling to exotic places?

Ask yourself the same question: Why should someone else trust your plan when you are encouraging them to cut back on their lifestyle and to do hard things like discipline themselves, set a budget, pay down debt, and read books on investing? It’s not your place or mine to force people to do the things necessary to become successful financially. We can only show them what we are doing and why. Then, we can hope that the merits of our plan will become apparent.


Reason #2: If you pursue financial freedom successfully, you will become unrelatable.

I’m just closed on a quadplex last week. I now own and manage 8 units. Friends are wondering how I was able to purchase so much property. The answer is that I saved my money for years in a row, house-hacked, and have developed passive income. I bought with a partner, and we each brought 50% of the 25% down payment down. That’s around $50,000 each, in this example.

Related: Are Your Children Stopping You From Achieving Financial Freedom?

So, the answer to how I can afford to purchase this property is that I am bringing $50,000 to the table.

Still, $50,000 is a lot of money. It’s unrelatable to many of my peers. It’s also less than half of my liquidity and a sum that I hope to easily be able to save EVERY year by adding this property to my portfolio and supplementing my job income and other rental income with its passive cash flow. It’s a sum that I hope every single person reading this can accumulate on an ongoing annual basis within 3-5 years of aggressively pursuing financial freedom by making the appropriate lifestyle, career, and investment choices.

But it’s a decade (or more) of savings to people saving less than $10,000 per year, compounded by the fact that most of that wealth accumulation is going on inside of a 401(k), where it is less likely to be used toward real estate investing. To folks in this situation, $50,000 is an absurd amount of money, especially in the form of cold, hard cash that they can thrown down on a rental property. It’s so much that they can’t comprehend saving that much in five years, let alone annually.

It’s unrelatable.

In my first year out of college, I saved between $20,000 and $25,000 of my $48,000 per year salary. There was no doubt in my mind that with a house-hack or two and some career progression and moderate income gains, I would be more or less able to bring exactly the amount of cash I brought to the closing table. I’ve been publicly talking about and executing my plan on this blog for several years now. It’s no secret. But other people can’t see this happening in their own lives.

If you succeed in your quest for early financial freedom—or even just the first few hundred thousand dollars in real net worth—you will become unrelatable to many of your peers and family members. That’s part of the deal.


Some people can see the snowball. Some people can’t. Those who can’t won’t believe you or be interested in the struggle to get started and won’t be able to relate to you when you begin dropping tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars to buy truly significant assets.

I’m sure I’ve been a pain in the butt the last few years. I’m sure that proselytizing this goal almost religiously to family, friends, and colleagues has been annoying. I’ve stopped doing that. I’ll continue to write and talk about it with anyone and everyone I meet on BiggerPockets. I’ll continue to discuss the stuff with people who want to talk about it. And when people ask me what I do for a living or about my career, I will continue to share what I’m doing and why.

And I’ll cross my fingers, hoping they will continue the conversation and make changes in their own lives.

But it’s not my place to tell uninterested people how to live their lives. And it’s not yours, either.

Live your own life, pursue your financial goals with a zeal, and watch the benefits pile up as the years go by. Tell others about your goals, plans, hopes and dreams, and do it early and often, but do not attempt to make your goals their goals.

If and when people become interested in pursuing financial freedom, they’ll know who to turn to for help. But until then, live your own life.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

How do you broach the subject of investing and financial freedom with family and friends? What kind of reception have you received?

Leave your comments below!

About Author

Scott Trench

Scott Trench is a perpetual student of personal finance, real estate investing, sales, business, and personal development. He is CEO of, a real estate investor, and author of the best-selling book Set for Life. He hopes to now share the knowledge he has acquired with others so that they will have the tools they need to repeat his results in just 3-5 years, giving them the option to go anywhere they want in the world, work any job, start any business, or finish out the journey to financial independence and retire young. Scott lives in Denver, Colorado and enjoys skiing, rugby, craft beers, and terrible punny jokes. Find out more about Scott’s story at, MadFientist, and ChooseFI.


  1. Nick Leamon

    I feel that I am guilty of this as well, I always tell me friends that when I retire I don’t want to only hang out with 70-year-olds because they are all working, and while they all find it interesting, they seem to be more interested in cars.

    I still feel like it is my duty to inform everyone about the easy possibility of shaving decades off their retirement age, but it does start to get old. I think the older I get the more I start seeing the genius behind the financial samurai’s “Stealth Wealth” Concept.

    I loved the book Scott, if I wrote a book it would be really similar, just not as well thought out or organized as yours was. Keep up the good, inspiring work!

  2. Nathan Richmond

    I can sooooooo relate. I’m a 7th grade math teacher, with 6 units, and I’m always talking to my teachers about investing and gaining financial freedom. Many are nice enough to say, “That’s smart.” But they leave it at that! All of them have dual incomes, while I have just my own. But none of them look any further into it. It blows my mind.

    • Barry H.

      NATHAN – interesting to see you are a teacher. I have friends who are teachers and I also had a muncipal govt job back when I was working. Civil servants are sooo ingrained in the pension mentality just as us entrepreneurs are obsessed with not working “for the man.” My best friend in the whole world is a loving soul and he slaved the last 6-7 years of his teaching job, hating it every day until he turned 51 and thankfully retired with a $3500/Mo “net” pension. ahe lives below his means and is happy – and I am happy for him. We know we are so different in our life view and he truly wishes me the best as my wealth continues to accumulate, but he has no frame of reference for the comfort and leverage that wealth provides.

      • Scott Trench

        Thanks for the comment Barry! I’m glad everyone is happy. I bet, though that one can create $3,500 in net monthly income in just a few years of applied effort. For your friend, maybe that timeline is close. But, many gov’t employees will have to put in decades for that kind of income.

    • Scott Trench

      Sam, it’s awesome to see folks like yourself succeeding in real estate! I think that you will be reaping some big rewards compared to your peers, and hopefully some of them come around to your way of thinking over time as they see the results and become interested!

  3. Good Luck Boys- I am a retired boomer. Owned and ran a commercial plumbing business for thirty six years. I cannot tell you how many young men on the job site that I tried to mentor and help direct in a future of financial freedom. ( same thing as one of the replies- guys 4. dollars a day for 40 yrs at 5% interest makes you a millionaire alone by itself on becoming 65. ) I bought these young guys great books- Like the Millionaire next door and the Millionaire Mind. Another great one was – Rich Dad- Poor Dad. They liked the idea of the reward but only a very few ever took wise counsel and really prospered. The short of it this. (ITS JUST TOO DAMNED HARD ). They would give me excuses like ( I don’t want to be the richest guy in the cemetery. I want to enjoy my life now- Right ! like you don’t waste 5 bucks every day at the 7-11. I will share one last story of mine that I will never forget. A Supervisor on one of our job sites was complaining that he could never get ahead. I bought him several books and spent hours explaining how to become successful -( but it takes todays sacrifice for tomorrows benefit. ). He did not really like that part. We were working out of town so in the evenings- I would ride around looking for properties. I found a great lot in a superb location for about one half of market rate. Upon investigating it out- I learned the owner was fire selling this lot because of personal reasons. I jumped at it. Paid $ 33.500.00. a few weeks later my friend showed up on site driving a brand new ford pickup- I remember say- Larry- what did you do-? He said well my wife wanted a new truck so- oh well- life is short. I asked him if the truck was around $ 33.500.00? He answered- how did you know? Oh just guessing. I never told him ,but I honestly sold that lot 10 months later for $80.000.00 during an up cycle in the market. ( now that was the best return I have ever gotten on an investment- but you get my point. ) I am convinced that those that are self starters- GET IT- and the one’s that don’t get it- will never become anything other than what they are today- Like the Saying goes. ( You just Can’t fix Stupid ). My closing comment would be don’t waste your time and energy on a lost cause- you cannot teach a pig to ice skate- it just irritates the pig and wears out the instructor.

    • Scott Trench

      Thanks for this comment Dennis – very wise. I think that it allludes to another point that many people miss. Many people really badly WANT a mentor like you. And it sounds like you’d have been happy for nothing more than an eager younger worker in your industry that “got it” and wanted to go down the same path as you.

      That’s all it takes! An eagerness to learn from the more experienced, and then the willpower to DO WHAT THEY SUGGEST.

  4. Shawn Ginder

    Thank you for the article! I can identify!
    We live in Europe as a full time missionary, born and raised in PA country side.
    Caught the dream of financial freedom some time in 2015.
    Bought our first three properties in 2016.
    Bought two more in May 2017.
    We are going under contract now on our next purchase right now.
    Will have 11 units, in 6 properties in 14 months.
    All with no money down deals, no equity partners, maintaining 100% ownership on each property, and doing this while living in Europe but buying in PA! This next property will likely close sight unseen from Europe if all goes well!
    When this next purchase happens we will be half way to our 20 year goal for financial freedom that was set in 2015. Have new goals today, but well on the way!
    This passion is hard to contain, and even harder not to talk about, but finding the right audience has been key in my experience. Building a great team to work with has been instrumental, and our mentor has accelerated the growth!

  5. Tom Feret

    Great article Scott.
    If it’s any consolation anyone from the healthcare field could attest to a similar conundrum:

    1) Friends and especially family make the worst “patients”. They’ll come to you for advice, guidance and information but once provided they’ll often not follow it or discount what knowledge you provide. Sometimes even flat out discredit it with, “what do you know?” or “yeah…. But..”
    (Slowly start backing away at this point)

    2) The ever present: “what about living your life NOW if something happens before you get older?”; YOLO; “whatever happens, happens”; or any variant of this thought process.
    Not to spin it into a debate and throw statistics into the mix, but again from a life expectancy perspective you’re drastically LESS likely to have something happen to you in the first decades of your life and actually live to an older age.
    We all know from experience that as you age and your life circumstances change you’re then LESS likely to be able to live under the exact same conditions, work 12-14hr days, have less distractions/priorities, etc.

    Like you and the commenters stated, often it comes down to psychology, motivation, and behavior. Unfortunately in both scenarios (financial dependence & health) most people are reactive when things do go bad as opposed to being proactive when the opportunities presented themselves.

    Keep up the good work and behavioral modeling Scott 🙂

  6. Rodney Miller

    Great Article! It really hit home! When I was younger I used to get soooo pissed off at people around me that “didn’t get it”. I was willing to bring anyone along that wanted to learn this fascinating business but had very few takers. 15 years later I have 100 houses (several million in assetts) and they are still banging away at their jobs. I’m pretty chill about it now. I’m quick to help any one out that asks for help but I don’t waste calories trying to convince people that I have the answers. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear”
    Said one wise man.

  7. Melissa Nichols

    Let’s make a deal: If you don’t want me to talk to you about financial freedom and the steps it takes to get there, don’t talk to me about how you’re so “broke” all the time and how you “can’t adult today” because it surely goes both ways. 😉

  8. Great comment- Melissa- reminds me once when a worker on one of our rental projects asked me if I owned the complex- I said well Yes- Why? He responded- Man it must be nice. Oh – I said its had it’s trials- it sat vacant all during 2008 thur 20013 due to the recession and thats just the fun parts. He stopped me! I don’t want to hear the stories- I am just jealous that you own them and not me. How can you argue with a comment like that?

  9. Chinedu Michael Onuoha

    This is one of the best write ups I have come across on BP. I can absolutely relate with this. I was unable to understand why people were uninterested in becoming financial free. Your two reasons above has finally explained it to me!! I’ll add, I have always wanted to be financial free and I thought I knew how… However, it was only when I joined BP and started reading articles such as this that I finally understood how to be financial free and the reasons why I have been unable to attain my freedom number.

    You guys have no idea how you are changing lives!! Please keep it up!! Many Thanks!!

  10. I felt like this the entire week and your article came at the right time. I also found that people who were interested started making excuses for why they cnt do it.

    This was like de ja vu as i was also readying a book which talks about why people fight their own good ideas and eventually do nothing.

  11. Jose G.

    Amazing! I can relate to the “high income” earner with no urgency..I used to have it last year, but no more!!
    I have an urgency and I will buy a property before 2018! With partner or alone!

  12. We being of the boomer generation have a little bit of hind sight of this topic. I honestly believe that most of the excuses we hear from folks could so in many cases be linked to the fact that both spouses might not be on the same playing field. One might be a saver- the other a spender- ( NOW WE HAVE A PROBLEM HOUSTON ). When my wife and I found a deal- we made a pact between us that it would be RICE & BEANS for a particular period of time util we reached our goal. Its todays sacrifice for tomorrows benefit and in that order. You know what we have learned over the years- You get in the habit of saving for a investment and after a while it just becomes the norm. Life still is great- we still spend money on things we enjoy- but have learned to save 20% on a consistent basis if we can. Now being retired- we are SOOOO- thankful we planned ahead.

  13. Steve Bracero

    Refreshing. Great read. You can’t force others interests on re or financial freedom. If someone is completly happy with their current life… so be it. I do find talking with others who have zero interest in finances or wealth creation shut down any ideas of investments since it’s “too hard” when essentialy they lack the commitment

  14. Marcus Lawson

    So I have a story to go along with exactly what you said. I told my friend about financial freedom and the steps to achieve it and how wonderful it is and that he should pursue it too. I honestly thought I was helping as I don’t want my friend to get stuck in the rat race.

    However, to him it was me being a “know it all” and it became confrontational with him flatly rejecting the idea. We’re still cool, but it just goes to show you that not everyone gets it and it can be perceived in a totally different way that it wasn’t intended to be.

  15. Barry H.

    SCOTT – This is a great article and though I came late to the game (retired from day job at 51), I had been living below my means for awhile, so catapulted quickly in 3-4 years to become a hard money lender (which is what I do now). I did my share of rentals and am making some Cap gains now in selling my last 3 homes, but I think there may be a FOLLOW UP TOPIC for you (or maybe it is already out there).

    My inquiry has to do with “changing your friends.” I believe it is an unavoidable result of attaining financial freedom. As has been stated in your article and in my observations, even if you are reserved in talking about how you got to where you are, the HARDEST part of attaining wealth (in my opinion), is NOW choosing to live in the moment, when you have the financial ability to do so.

    It becomes annoying to friends who see you traveling or living the “high” life at a fairly young age. They are either intimidated (even though I offer to pay for them to join me with no strings attached) or judgmental (envious). In either case, the negativity is unintended and as stated, 19 out of 20 don’t have the willpower or the intelligence to follow your lead. So how do you end up with new friends you can relate to (other than surfing BP all the time – Ha Ha).

    • Scott Trench

      Hi Barry – I think that you make some great points here. I think that telling people that they will have to give up their friends in order to become financially free at an early age is very harsh news, and probably unnecessary. I was able to continue hanging out with my friends who are clearly NOT pursuing early financial freedom, yet still partake in many of the same activities. I just lived closer to work, and biked as my primary means of transportation. I still spent the money on a few trips, skiing, and probably too much on alcohol and bars, but I saved so much in other ways that I could still hang with them.

      However, now I do see myself drifting a bit apart from some of those friends. Not because of anything in particular, just a difference in priorities and interests that are steadily compounding.

      I think that the reason I was able to hang out with them for all those years, however, was becasue of what I read and listened to. When you read books and blogs about EFF every day, and listen to podcasts and audiobooks, then you are constantly “surrounded by people” that think like you. So, it seems less abnormal.

  16. Andrew Fisher

    Barry H, I agree with you as much as Scott. Losing friends because of a misperceived social status gap sucks. As a couple in our lower 30’s with 3 kids, my wife and I were (perhaps naively) astounded at the reaction some of our friends gave us as we cautiously shared our goals and projections in RE. We didn’t have a very big social circle to begin with for a variety of reasons, and we were fine with that- we reasoned the few good friends we hung out with thought as we did and good times were had by all. Apparently intimidated by the mere thought of our goals (we only own 3 rentals so far) our status to our old friends seems to range from skeptical respect to straight up bitter envy. We live our friends but have definitely had to do an inventory and decide who to hang out with NOT based on economic status but on real
    friendship. Having to find new friends may be the part that sucks the most about finding financial freedom- and that is lamentable

  17. Mike Goldenthal

    Great article Scott. As someone who shares your drive to improve everyone’s quality of life, this article was a clear cut and concise dose of reality that helps to put things in perspective. I’m sure you’ve saved at least a few people in my life from being unnecessarily “pestered” with my love of the financial freedom ideology!

  18. Tyler Parish

    Thank you for writing this Scott. I find myself in this very situation! I can’t help but talk about how exciting it is to own real estate and the great benefits it has given me. As you said it does become un-relatable.

    Acquiring five properties, sf/mf, in a hot market where a lot of people my age are completely priced out of the market doesn’t always go over well. Thus my circle of friends certainly is changing as I go through this process.

    Thanks !!

  19. Russell Trench


    As your brother I think your approach to talking about this got a lot better. I remember trying to do whatever it took to get you to change the subject, including saying I’d invest in a couple years with no intention of doing anything.

    I was definitely in the category of people who thought investing was a good idea but were too lazy to do anything.

    As Scott knows, his “rants” paid off on me and I’m a few weeks from settlement on my first house! My current situation is almost exactly the same as Scott’s was almost down to the penny on how much I earned vs saved the year after college.

    • Barry H.

      RUSSELL – So glad to see you accepted conversion !! Teaching your brother how to communiucate looks like it paid off !! This is a great thread. I do not blog, didn’t even know what it meant until about a year ago, but this subject grabbed at me. My siblings are 50’ish and will never drink my kool-aid, so I am just going to pay for their kids’ college tuitions and let them remain in middle-classville – it’s just easier that way. 🙂

      • Russell Trench


        Thanks for the reply! Looks like your investments worked out pretty well if your paying for college for your nieces and nephews! I have a long way to go before getting out of middle-classville myself, but hopefully in a few years I can buy a few more rentals!

    • Scott Trench

      Rusty! Thanks for perfect comment to this post. I am so glad that you are under contract on your first house hack. I think that you did a really good job thinking it through, and not stopping even when you heard “no” from a few lenders. A lot of people on BP can relate to your situation.

  20. Janel Page

    What a great article and comment conversation! I’ve been through this as well. After being way too enthusiastic in the past, I implemented the elevator speech. For those that seem more interested, I’ve had longer conversations, lunch meetings, etc. If they seem interested, I direct them to resources, share or recommend books, or invite them to the local REIA meetings. I also volunteer for the REIA. That’s a great way to find other people who share your passion and want to geek out about real estate and business. I’ve found it’s best to not push too hard. Just mention the elevator speech or maybe a little more based on interest. Then it has to be up to others to want to learn more. They may have a different passion, and that’s ok. Not everyone has the interest or drive to do this.

  21. robert m.

    Mr. Trench, I like you more and more every time I listen or read what you have to say. Its my opinion that you are a practical thinker with a twist of real world reality. I read your book as soon as I could buy it on Audible and loved it. Keep up the good work and be sure to stay grounded once you become the Oracle of Colorado.

    I gave up trying to help my friends and family with financial advice, just tired of being labeled a know it all. All I wanted to do was to help them, I wish someone would have helped me earlier in my life, I would’ve listened.

  22. Honolulu Aunty

    My friends think I’m nuts so I try not to talk about real estate investing. My family tolerates me.

    It’s a lonely journey but is the perfect path for me. Makes me feel worth something and helps my property manager, tenants, and later on, my kids.

    Mahalo for making me feel less alone.

  23. Eddie Lehwald

    Fantastic post, Scott!

    Here’s a question-what do you say to a friend or relative who makes a terrible purchase (like a car/house/tattoo/fancy meals out on a regular basis/brand new iPhone that they can’t afford)? I have a several friends who regularly do this, and I want to shout at them “What’s wrong with you?! Are you crazy?! You absolutely cannot afford that and you’re condemning yourself to years of financial slavery!” but that probably wouldn’t be productive.

    We’d all like to be positive and supportive of our friends, but if they make (or are about to make) an absolutely horrible financial decision, how can we try and steer them in the right direction without seeming like self-righteous jerks?

    Any ideas, BP think tank?

  24. Steve B.

    Great article, it is very difficult for someone to grasp the long term goals and to believe they can attain them based on other people’s experiences. It’s too easy to make excuses. I’ve made plenty of excuses. I now have read a lot and listened to every BP podcast and others. Now I have made some changes and taken action, I’m already seeing positive things come out of it and better things in the future for my family. Keep writing Scott, it is very helpful. Thanks

  25. Brandon isaac

    That was a really great read … I thank you for sharing that and I know how that feels.. I also talk about real estate investing in the many forms that u can benefit, yet only few are acting in a way that shows me they truly heard and understand this passion.. thanks again for sharing….

  26. Jim S.

    Can relate to this completely. When I figured out that the numbers worked out such that I could probably retire by age 33 or so I felt a need to tell all my friends. I figured if I showed them the numbers and the login it would click and they’d do the exact same thing.

    Turns out it’s not so easy to change someone’s mindset. When you start talking about getting returns better than the stock market people immediately shut off and think I’m doing something so risky as to be unthinkable (when it’s probably safer both in terms of volatility + risk of loss of capital than the current stock market).

    Even more difficult is explaining to people why I don’t manage the properties myself or buy properties that are physically close to me, those who can grasp OPM usually still balk at using OPT it seems 🙂

    My immediate family thinks it’s a good idea, extended family thinks I’m crazy, friends are open-ish but want to see a few years of returns before they believe.

  27. Alvir Tanghal

    Hello Scott, my name is Alvir and I am a young university student studying real estate with a passion for real estate investing. I completely relate to your article as I too find discussing real estate investing to be a hit-or-miss topic with my friends, family, and peers. Thank you for the interesting article, I look forward to reading more content like yours from other like-minded individuals passionate about real estate investing and financial freedom.

  28. Andy Jacobsen

    Great article. Gave me some perspective on a very close friend that I have been trying to “convert” or inspire to pursue financial freedom through real estate investing. He and his spouse work more than full time at a jobs that pay well but they dislike, they are living well below their means but simply putting the extra cash into a bank account, they recently had a child, they both express the desire to have more time for family and hobbies, and his spouse has years of experience working as a real estate appraiser. Perfect candidate right?! Well that’s what I thought until I read this article and realized that, although I may have been only trying to help, I may be coming across as arrogant or better than them, which I would never want to do. So I may need to take a step back and lay off the REI sales pitch until someday they come to me with questions. Thanks for the perspective. I would like to keep my friends!

  29. Jack Martin

    Loved your article, when I was in my early 20’s I was a lifeguard at La Jolla Shores. My supervisor was a cool guy and I told him, “Ron, I have enough money now to either buy a Porsche or a condo, what would you do? (As a beach lifeguard I was certain he would say, “buy the Porsche”, instead he told me that he owned 8 units in Phoenix and it was cash flowing well. Huh? What’s cash flow?? Well, although disappointed, I bought the condo and it doubled in value in one year! I could have bought the Porsche with cash now, but I thought, maybe I can do it again! And I did. Recently I, like you, told my friends, relative and realtors about a commercial property I found in Memphis with a crazy cap rate (compared to California). As you said, nobody cared! You need to know that my purpose wasn’t for my own ego or an agenda, I truly like to see people take advantage of opportunities. I no longer go out of my way to educate the ambivalent.

  30. Kat He

    Cool article! Goes into depth on something that happens often but is probably not discussed a lot. I definitely appreciate how there are both explanations AND remedies for this type of situation. I am a recent college graduate so I’m glad I got to read this just as I’m starting my real estate investment journey–will keep these points in mind when I have conversations on investing.

  31. Susan Armstrong Fisher

    This is my husband (not pursuing financial wealth or getting why I do what I do). I used to (and may still be guilty of) trying to argue the benefits of financial freedom and real estate to death, but it falls largely on deaf ears. I’m learning to let go of trying to convince him, but it’s a process for sure.

  32. Farris gosea

    Hey man, totally relate to you and would love to connect. I am 24 with 11 rental units and don’t have anyone my age to discuss or be on this path with. Feel free to reach out to me and would love to talk. I have some partners and we will be getting into larger commercial deals so shoot me a message!

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