Last May, I had the privilege of speaking with Michael Blank about the type of blueprint a person would want to follow to be able to quit their job. Michael is the leading authority on apartment building investing in the United States, for those who don’t already know. In addition, Michael helps his students purchase units to help them find financial freedom.
Michael feels like I do — you must build your wealth to live a life of significance and purpose where you can help other people. We both want other people to be able to live their best lives through their best efforts.
In the podcast we did together, Michael Blank helps you learn all about multifamily apartments, the power of real estate syndications, and finding and assessing off-market deals.
When You Gain Financial Freedom — It Leads You to Serve Others
You will want to listen to this podcast with Michael Blank as you pursue a life of financial freedom. Michael tells you about the mistakes he made along the way so that you don’t have to make the same ones. Instead, he gives you a blueprint so that you can follow a path. No, it’s not always an easy journey — but it will be easier with someone to guide you — as Michael does.
It’s very difficult to live a life of purpose and significance when you’re working 55 hours a week. — Michael Blank
I loved hearing that Michael’s mission is financial freedom. He has a book out, Financial Freedom With Real Estate. Michael has spent a lot of time figuring out how to help people become financially free through real estate — but he doesn’t teach single-family house investing — he tells you how to do apartment investing.
I’ve Lost My Identity — It’s All Wrapped up in my Job
Michael Blank talks to people everywhere and asks them to think differently than what they have been used to thinking about. So many people are lost in their thinking because they work so hard and put in so many hours. Most people don’t have a spare moment for contemplation. Sometimes it takes going through momentary confusion before getting to the financially free part of your life.
Michael suggests that you take some time and ask yourself questions — like, what is your purpose in life? Everything hasn’t come easy for Michael — he’s crashed and burned a few times, but he got back up and figured it out — and he can help you learn to buy assets and produce income.
Michel tells of a time when he was flipping single-family houses, but he realized that he was treading water and earning no money — it was the worst time of his life. So he’d sell a home, and then the money stopped coming in — get another, flip, no money coming in. During this time, Michael had an apartment building that he called “boring.” Still, there was always money coming in. He then got into raising money in syndications.
Be Still Enough to Listen and Follow What You Hear
When you get these questions answered for yourself, you will naturally fall into serving others somehow. When you get your identity straight in your mind — you’ll be able to help someone else, and then they help others, and on and on it goes.
Michael Blank didn’t find his answers without any effort. He says that hearing what you should do with your life is an acquired skill. You go go go and don’t think — but to find your direction, you must become still and be — and sit within that space to find your purpose.
You Will Be Able to Make Your Blueprint and Find Your Life-Direction
You’ll soon realize that you can’t keep drifting through life — you have to figure it out and get clarity. The way Michael says it is, “You’ve got to create clarity.”
I have always said that your first commandment is getting clarity about the lifestyle you want — and the lifestyle you don’t want, and Michael says the same thing.
You will want to listen to the podcast to learn about the blueprint that is the education space for real estate investing in syndications. Michael Blank talks about recognizing the power of multifamily real estate — and precisely how that space can help someone quit their job — not in five or ten years, but in two years.
Serving People in Syndications
Syndication is an investment vehicle where people can invest in a huge apartment complex and invest lower amounts of cash and have a piece of the equity. As a limited partner, your exposure will be much lower than if you are the general partner. This is because the law protects limited partners. As a result, limited partners will have a limited downside — and these partnerships do much better and are much safer in a recession.
Syndications generate cash flow — and your stocks generally don’t. Michael teaches you that it is kind of crazy to invest the majority or all of your money in the stock market where you can’t use it and it’s tied up.
The Superpower of the Spreadsheet
If you do nothing else today — listen to the podcast down to the part where Michael tells about his spreadsheets or read this. He gives a rundown of his 20+ years — and the revelations that his spreadsheet showed him about investment. Here it is:
One thing you know about me, my secret power, my superpower spreadsheets, I love it. Actually, I find this relaxing. Some people swipe Facebook, I whip out the Excel spreadsheets. So, I actually did and analyze the stock market. And over 20 years, the average annual return was like 7.2%, this is with all the ups and downs in the stock market. And once you take out the fees, the fees which typically range from 0.1 to 0.5, sometimes higher, if you apply capital gains to that, and then you apply inflation to that, because inflation is 2.2%, you apply all those things to the spreadsheet. On the actual average, the end return is like 4.2%. That’s insane to me, okay. And so, the problem I have with is, number one, the returns suck, there’s no cash flow, and the volatility is extraordinary, the biggest frustration that investors have. — Michael Blank
How can you plan for retirement or reliably plan anything when your money is tied up in this way? I loved that Michael gave us so many hints and helps in this podcast, and I’m grateful that we can both help you make better financial decisions and create your best life.
Image Credit: Yehor Andrukhovych; Pexels; Thank you!