We occasionally seem to get some frustrated folks on BiggerPockets. I know this because I was one of them.
I, like many other newbies, was extremely ambitious, frustrated at my lack of wealth and overly eager to jump into real estate head over heels. I saw the forum contributions of seasoned investors and compared myself to the extraordinarily successful regulars here on BiggerPockets and got super motivated, but I also felt inadequate and so far behind these superstars that I thought I'd never to catch up.
I want to say that as one of those folks that discovered BiggerPockets in a time of frustration, I've now come to realize that comparing myself to these gurus and investors with decades of experience is foolish. It would take an unlikely and unreasonable effort to match their results in very brief amounts of time, though they are the first to tell you that their results can and will be repeated by investors time and again.
But recently, I've come to adopt a more grateful worldview. See, I've got someincredible advantages that I took for granted.
As a volunteer with some local nonprofits, I get to work with, teach, and learn from those with even less experience in money management than myself. There are folks that I've worked with that have never experienced savings, never invested in the stock market, never bought a home, and in the case of some extreme examples, have never even opened up a bank account. Think about that - there are folks out there, and more than you think, that have never had more wealth to their name than the cash they had on their person in their entire lives.
As members of BiggerPockets, many of us have incredible advantages over our peers that we completely take for granted! I was truly unable to appreciate this fully until very recently, and thought I'd share some of the incredible advantages that I once took for granted here today:
- Ability and comfort to open a bank account, write a check, and manage money online
- Ability to obtain a credit card, debit card, and to access ATMs
- Ability to prepare a budget and earn a regular paycheck
- Ability and comfort with discussing the concept of "investing", much less specifics of real estate investments and terms like "ROI"
I'd encourage anyone else who feels frustrated with their current financial position to take a moment and jot down some knowledge or advantages that you've taken for granted.
Remember that no matter how far ahead others seem, the opposite is also true. We are very lucky to be in positions in our lives where we may compare ourselves to BiggerPockets investors with decades of real estate experience and feel inadequate!
Excellent post, @Scott Trench . It's good for us to consider and "check our privilege".
For me, until I read your post, I was taking pretty much everything in your list for granted, but am thinking about it more now. Additional items that are signs of privilege
1 - Stressing over where to invest idle cash
2 - Thinking about efficiencies and economies of scale
I agree that I get frustrated sometimes when I read about the number of units that other folks have and I am so far behind. I just recently purchased my first unit and now I am looking for a second. Privilege related stressors that I take for granted are...
(Whether I should refinance current home, purchasing 2nd rental, whether to pull money out of stock market to invest in more RE ...etc.)
We take I lot of our privileges for granted.
Thanks Linda! I agree - it's a very good thing that idle cash is a stressor to you in the overall scheme of things, a lot of folks would think that is an incredible luxury!
@Rhondalette W. Those are also good frustrations to have haha!
I think the thing I take for granted the most is good credit and a good steady income.
I have been very lucky with my purchases of my homes, but I think I am pretty aware of that.
Great post. Like you said, a lot of times we take our seemingly trivial items for granted. Now these days I worry more about where to buy from an investment perspective instead of where I am going to say next month.
Another one, that in America we all observe, is that we enjoy is the concept of property rights. We have a mature, enforceable judicial system that protects our properties, instead of constantly worrying that our assets will be taken away within the blink of an eye (which in certain countries it can happen).
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