What were you before you started in investing?

76 Replies

@JD Martin , thank you for your service!  :-)  I did 12 years in the Army, myself.  (Got medically retired last year.)

@Kalyanii Kennedy , thank you for your service to veterans.  :-)

I had just graduated from college with a finance degree. I was $110,000 in debt and was working at a hedgefund making decent money for a young kid. I stayed in my corporate job for 2 years, and quit the same day I mailed in my final check to pay off my student loans.

Best decision I ever made.

I was working in corporate as a Senior Aeronautical Engineer (flight test) with a big Department of Defense contractor. Before that, and still on the side, I was a pilot- flight instructing. Wasn't in real estate at all, but was researching business and real estate a lot as potential ways out of corporate life. I ended up doing both- now I own a business (in real estate), am an investor, and still fly some on the side. 

I went the college route plus around 6 years working in big pharma before discovering Rich Dad Poor Dad. I put it another 2 and a half years before calling it quits there and deciding to try to figure out how to make real estate a full-time endeavor.

I'm a big believer that although we're generally taught to decide what we want to be and accumulate the skills and knowledge to attain that career, we tend to be a collections of skills and desires that ultimately define us. Our highest and best use comes from identifying those skills and desires then identifying what career/living best suits us. I'm a problem solver at heart which interested me in science early on. What it really boiled down to for me was that I was attracted to the problems that existed that the field of science could address.

What ended up bringing me to real estate was discovering that the problems that could be addressed in real estate were both within my grasp to address on whatever scale I desired, such that I could create a real estate business whose scale in problem solving could grow as my ability to solve those problems grew. While I knew I liked solving problems, it was embracing how much I valued my freedom that led me to discover working a job where your boss may or may not care about your opinions or what you wanted to do didn't work for me. I find that as I delve deeper and deeper into my skills and desires I align more and more with what I wish to do in life and real estate. There's a particular change in perspective that seems to guide you once you shift from chasing an arbitrary dollar figure to chasing a purpose.

@Amir M. - I am still a teacher supporting my family with that W-2. (Read some more forums as to why this is actually very important. Or ask @Brandon Turner ) Real Estate can change your life (good or bad). Vet every deal and person.

@Austin Fruechting This is such an inspiring story! Are you now pursuing onto real state investing full time now? You guys must be earning a good cash flow! Grats! :))) What do you think of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad? Seems very popular amongst investors.

@MIchael Rickerd I love your journey! From based on what I have read, a lot of people here often worked a good paying job for a couple of years. After they built that enough savings, they left their job and started investing fulltime. Is that something that you are eyeing for? 

@Jack Ni OoOOoo Nice! Does it make an enough living to support yourself? 

@Tony Xu That is a great goal! SF is a tough place to start, no? I am in the same boat as you.. I am from NYC :( 

@Brian Garrett Yayy! I love your story. I am sure those experience that you have started in your previous company will serve you well. What are your goals?

@Doug Pretorius How did you started out with the financing? Did you get the money from a private lender? You have lots of experience in your belt! Thank you for sharing. 

@Mary White This is such a nice goal! Do you have a real estate license? I am curious about online businesses, they seem to make a good decent living as well.  

I am a current full time employee at Garmin International as a Returns Analyst. My first property I bought when I was in the Air Force and I basically live in flipped my house. At the time I was in California making around 3100 a month as an E-3.

@Ian Walsh Nice! working for a painting company, means you would have some knowledge about painting and the cost of paintings! Thank you! 

@Kalyanii Kennedy That is such a cool story and kudos to you for getting back up to your feet! I love nurses (Not in a creepy way), they are such an underrated worker! Thank you for helping the veterans! :))))  You're doing God's work! $3000 out of your pocket on your flip? How did you manage that?

@JD Martin Military -> College -> Executive Management! That is quite a dream! You went up and up and up! I will definitely listen to your story! 

@Sarah Brown Nice! DO you and your husband invest on properties? Seems like a perfect match. You have that business/marketing mind sight and your husband with a good paying job. Best of both worlds !

@Chris Armstrong Mine too! I'm still a college student so I don't have a full time job yet. But I am hoping to grind out 10-15 years, earning stable income while I invest in rentals. And when my properties full support me monthly, I will retire and start off my investment business. Until what amount of cash flow per month will you finally leave your job? 

@Joe Splitrock Do you handle properties now? Yea, I am planning to buy that book now. Seems very popular in this community it seems! 

@Amir M. - Rich Dad Poor Dad is what got me started. Not sure where I'd be if I never read that book. 

Our rentals (156 units) support our lifestyle. I wouldn't say I'm pursuing real estate investing full time. My full time is just whatever I want to do. I look for some deals and enjoy putting together a deal so I spend some time doing that if there's anything of interest. Other than that only I spend about an hour a week on real estate to maintain the books and answer questions from the property managers. 

@Clay Manship Wow! That is so cool! Do you think you wouldve earn more if you have stayed in your old job? 

@Ali Boone I am not going to lie, flying planes and doing rentals! I am so jealous! Congrats for a successful businesses and personal endeavour! :)))  

@Odie Ayaga You could not have said any better! Having that financially freedom is also what really interested me on Real estate investing. And I know that before I start with this, I have to attain skills that will compliment with my investing. 

@Seth Rouch Thank you for sharing! How has real estate been for you? 

@Michael Minor Cool! Do you intend to invest more? 

@Amir M. Yes, I am actually actively hunting my next deal now with a goal of getting one done this month (anyone in the KC area with a deal that I can BRRRR please feel free to contact me). I am obsessed with real estate and I am selling my second primary residence soon, and I am looking to house hack my next residence. Real estate and my kids are the two things that get me fired up the most.

@Amir M. I am sure I would have made plenty of mine. Would I have made more...I can't answer that. But it never mattered to me...my time is my most precious commodity. And I gained so much more time by answering to myself instead of somebody else. So the money was just an afterthought.

@Amir M. My end goal is to have a large cash flowing portfolio of properties.

Thanks! I dig it ;)

@Amir Magar oh, it's a live in flip with a VA loan, So was 0 down, just did earnest money and half of the closing costs. Its a lot cheaper to do a live in flip but your living in a construction zone half the time! Wasn't a complete disaster, as it passed inspection, just was very outdated! Looking better now though...

@Jody Schnurrenberger. Thank you!  I was in the Navy and when I got out, I still wanted to help other veterans.  Thank you for your time as well!!! Love reading your posts! You are very informative!  

@Amir M.

I was an investment banker and prior to that, a management consultant. Spent alot of time working with private equity folks on both the buy and sell side for mid-market companies. I left because the opportunity in real estate syndication was too compelling and the niche I specialize in (debt-free & value add) is completely underserved.

@Kalyanii Kennedy , thank you!  You make me feel special!  :-D  Funny, when I first joined, I was shy about posting because I didn't think I knew enough.  Then I discovered there are a lot of folks who know even less than me, God bless them.  Hahaha!  I'm glad I can help!  :-)

@Jody Schnurrenberger I wish they'd put your quote on the front page of the site. There are so many investors out there that don't realize what they have to offer to the site and its other users because they "feel" like newbies. In reality, there might be a lot of newbie investors here, but there's not so many newbie lifers. So many people have so much to offer just based on what they've accrued in their lives thus far, real estate related or not. You never know what words you put into the blogosphere might end up being integral to the business of someone's real estate business that you never could have imagined!

I was a personal trainer, a baker, labourer and much more lol. Running online business now and a Digital Marketing agency!

A high school teacher that barely made money!

Originally posted by @Amir M. :

@Ian Walsh Nice! working for a painting company, means you would have some knowledge about painting and the cost of paintings! Thank you! 

@Kalyanii Kennedy That is such a cool story and kudos to you for getting back up to your feet! I love nurses (Not in a creepy way), they are such an underrated worker! Thank you for helping the veterans! :))))  You're doing God's work! $3000 out of your pocket on your flip? How did you manage that?

@JD Martin Military -> College -> Executive Management! That is quite a dream! You went up and up and up! I will definitely listen to your story! 

@Sarah Brown Nice! DO you and your husband invest on properties? Seems like a perfect match. You have that business/marketing mind sight and your husband with a good paying job. Best of both worlds !

@Chris Armstrong Mine too! I'm still a college student so I don't have a full time job yet. But I am hoping to grind out 10-15 years, earning stable income while I invest in rentals. And when my properties full support me monthly, I will retire and start off my investment business. Until what amount of cash flow per month will you finally leave your job? 

@Joe Splitrock Do you handle properties now? Yea, I am planning to buy that book now. Seems very popular in this community it seems! 

I manage my own properties and still have my regular 8-5 job. I think people like the book because it changes your mindset. Many of us were taught from a young age to get good grades and go to college. We are taught that starting a business or investing in real estate is risky. The book explains why these are false beliefs that get repeated so much people take them as truths.

Worked for a re developer for 7 years before starting my own company. Got a front row seat to the great recession and came out the other end with a big hat and no cattle but a lot of wisdom! Paid off my debts within a few years and continue to grow a biz based on low downside risk and cash flow.

Originally posted by @Llewelyn A. :

Poor Immigrant family that moved to NYC in the mid-60s.

When through the worst time of times.

Eventually finished College and wound up working for large Investment / Financial firms.

While working as an employee in the Computer field, I decided to become an Entrepreneur. I self taught myself Financial Math, Economics and read a lot of books about Investing, both Real Estate and Stocks.

After 1 year from Graduation, I bought my first investment Property in Brooklyn.

7 years and a few more Investment Properties, I was financially free.

20 years after I bought my first Investment Property, I have almost $20 Million Assets Under Management (AUM) for several Partners and myself, all in Brooklyn.

So pretty much the Rags to Riches story with a NYC flair.

Like Old Blue Eyes said, "If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere..... it's up to you, New York, New York!"

This is incredible

I am currently in the military and looking for a retirement plan that doesn't take 20 years to get mediocre benefits. Making fine money but do not have overall control of where I live and what I do.

@Sean M. , thank you for your service!  I'm an Army vet who just got medically retired last year.  I'm glad you're looking into the future.  Smart!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here