With the launch of Robinhood just a few years back, millennials have become more involved in stock investing than ever before. With a desire to increase net worth, be fiscally responsible, and also take a little risk while utilizing personal knowledge, these people demonstrate how stocks and Robinhood are allowing millennials to access their dreams all through their cell phones.
The only problem with stocks is that not only are the returns extremely variable and risky, but realistically lay-men do not know how to do them successfully. So if a millennial is trying to establish an investment portfolio with safe large returns, where should they turn?
If you ask Ross Alex, the obvious answer is real estate.
Ross was a typical rowdy high schooler and dropped out of community college twice. During this time, he bounced between jobs at his local mall, bars, etc. in New York. Eventually, Ross knew he had enough, he wanted to be successful and take his life by the reigns. Reaching out to his uncle who was an established investor in Texas, Ross borrowed money and found himself in Las Vegas at a life changing conference and one week later in Houston, Texas pursuing a real estate business.
Real estate is a stable asset. While markets vary, a house has a fairly standard value and when rented can give fixed income each month. These qualities are what make the industry a much better alternative to stocks which can easily go up or down and sometimes both 10%+ during a year. However, most people view real estate as an unobtainable desire, since houses all cost over $100,000 typically right? Wrong.
After sitting down to talk with Ross, he shed light on his investment strategies, which focuses on real estate wholesaling, rehabbing, and owner financing. The wholesale practice means that before you close escrow on a house (the time between signing a contract and actually transferring ownership, you find a buyer to pay more than what you need to pay to the seller. For example, if I contract a house for $100k I then find a cash buyer for let's say $110k within my option period days. The fee you make after assigning your interest in the deal is called an assignment fee. He started making 10-20K per deal with just a few hours of work.
Over the course of a couple years Ross used this methodology in addition to rehabbing (fixing and flipping) to make generate multiple six figures in real estate in his first year and is now focusing on teaching others how to find the same level of success as he has. His advice to all aspiring entrepreneurs, dreamers, and people who know they could be making more with their life is as follows.
1) Take Massive Action
Sitting in College one day before he had dropped out, rather than crafting out a resume and joining corporate America, he talked to the one man he knew had the right mindset and later that week found himself flying to Vegas to go to a seminar with that man, his Uncle Alan. A few weeks later he packed up his life into a single bag and moved from New York to Houston. Within two months he closed his first real estate deal and launched his company ChristianRoss Property Solutions, LLC.
While massive action takes massive commitment and risk, the only way to pick yourself up from a bad situation and completely change your life is to ditch your old mentality and adopt a winning mindset. It is easy to succumb to the pressures and belief that you will always be in the same tax bracket, that rich people get rich and poor people get poor, and that you have to play with the cards you are dealt, but if you take the time to say "No" you no longer need to abide by these rules.
The second you acknowledge that you can act and perform at the same caliber or higher than the people making a million bucks is the second you grab your life and make of it what you want. Look to those who are succeeding and follow in their footsteps. Ross chose real estate and has never looked back, whether you do the same or use a different industry, figure out what needs to be done to make your life better and do it.
2) Never Quit
Whether due to an increase in laziness, the effects of video games and social media, or some other force of nature, people just do not have the attention spans that they used to have. But as the old adage goes 'Rome was not built in a day'. If you ever want to see a substantial change in your life you need to focus so hard on making that change a reality that you are willing to commit 5, 10, 20 years towards that goal even if you do not start seeing immediate results. How would the world be different if Steve Jobs spent 6-12 months trying to launch Apple and then since it did not blow up instantly he just dropped it and moved onto something else? Never take no for answer and never let doubt get in the way of your success.
The truth is massive success comes with massive responsibility. The life of an entrepreneur will be a challenging one. It will come with failure. Learn to embrace it and learn from it. Quitting won't solve anything. As the quote from "Three Feet From Gold" goes "Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit." Ross says he sees far too many aspiring entrepreneurs quit and give up before they have given it enough time and put in enough work. "There is no such thing as overnight success" he says. It just doesn't work like that. Success takes time and it loves preparation. 80% of your success is simply showing up. Make sure you are showing up every day and giving it your all. It is either all or nothing.
3) Align Yourself with the Right People
Throughout my lengthy talk with Alex, one phrase stuck with me, "You are an average of the five people who you associate with." Since humans naturally pick up the mannerisms, actions, mentalities, ambitions, etc. of those around them, it is your most important mission to only associate with people who will help you achieve your goals and make a better life for yourself. Sometimes confuse networking with simply getting to 500+ on LinkedIn, but real networking requires you to be prolific in your connections and deep in relationships. Your network is only as good as its usefulness to you, which comes from providing real value to those around you.
As Ross put it to me, "a baseball team has lots of players, but only a few are starters that impact the team's performance regularly." Rather than worrying about filling up your network with benchwarmers who will maybe catch a pop-fly or hit a homer once in a blue moon, focus on those starters that will directly translate to a better life for you. Similarly, to a baseball team, you need diversity in your main group. The Cubs would not have won if they only had pitchers or second-basemen. Understand the people you need in your life and the different skillsets they need to have, then go out and find them!