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What is your profession/industry?

For five years, I have been dedicating my time to searching for good real estate investment opportunities all over the province and then buying and leasing out said properties, as well as managing the properties and the tenants.

In the course of this endeavour, I also learned about many other investment opportunities that are more passive in nature.  Slowly, I am gravitating more towards such opportunities and I have also had success with this.  Additionally, part of what I do is to share my knowledge with others and hopefully inspire them to think about their retirement goals and about how they can get there ASAP!

What do you do?

I do a tremendous amount of research to understand the real estate market and where the maximum profit can be made.  I also do a tremendous amount of research re taxation treatment of these profits - whether you buy and flip, buy and lease out as a regular rent agreement, buy and lease out on an RTO (rent-to-own) basis as well as the other options available to real estate investors.  In addition, learning how to acquire a good tenant (or deciding to pay someone to do this for you) is also essential.

What skills do you need?

It should be clear that good research skills are a must.  You also have to be able and willing to attend financial presentations (and know how to find out about such events!) and remain in the know and always be talking to the right people and monitoring the real estate market.  You have to have a thirst for information and for expanding your knowledge base.  The more you learn, the more you will find out how much you still have yet to learn and that should not discourage you; rather, it should drive you.

Professional skills

You don't need a degree to do this.  You don't have to have a special type of educational background.  You just have to have the ability to manage difficult tenants and also manage the properties -- whether you learn to do that yourself or hire someone to do it for you.  You have to have the ability to be decisive and to be unafraid of taking risks.  You have to have a keen eye and good instincts.

What inspires you about your work?

I love being able to manage my own time and put in as much or as little work as I wish.  Obviously that will affect how much money I make, but I like having that option.  There are so many careers that are not exactly available in a part-time capacity.

There is a lot of money to be made in the real estate market.  It is wonderful to be open to new things, new opportunities, new ideas.  Generally speaking, when there is a topic that people don't know much about (e.g., investments, or finances in general), they find it intimidating and just automatically conclude that they shouldn't delve into something they barely understand.  This fear is valid but we should not forever remain in the dark about something we don't know or understand.  Do not be afraid.  You will not become an expert overnight but you should be open, you should be willing, you should start somewhere -- baby steps.  It is not rocket science.  Learn.  Educate yourself so that you can then make informed investment decisions re your hard-earned dollars.  It is very unfortunate that we don't learn about finances/money/budgets/taxes/investments in school.  If you are not the type to be able to acquire such information yourself or you don't even know where to begin, then hire a really good financial advisor.  Or talk to me!

What kind of person do you think it takes to do what you do?

Much of the knowledge I acquired was self-taught.  Also, to do this successfully, you must be willing to take risks and know that not all the risks you take will pay off but that that's okay.  All in all, you can never succeed if you don't try.  And real estate investors gain experience quickly and learn from past purchases, past tenants, past contracts, etc. so you will always find yourself improving.  It takes a bold and brave person to do this.  But of course, your risks need to be calculated and carefully studied.  You must strive to gain as much information as possible before you make a decision.  You have to have patience and be thorough but not let fear be your guide.

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  • 8 months later...

Hello, the information you provided is interesting! I was really interested in the career of a financial planner because I was interested in helping and advising people on how to spend their money based on their financial plans and records. However, the education needed in order to become a financial planner is math and I found math difficult, so I decided to pursue the career of a secondary school English and History teacher instead. I hope your future profession treats you well. 

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