After spending six and half years working in banking, I was burnt out. I had a boss I hated, a horrible commute, and a job I didn’t enjoy. I was making good money, but not happy with life. After a fateful volunteer trip to help clean up flood damaged homes in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I knew it was time for a change. It was at this point I decided to leave behind my corporate job and dive head first into the nonprofit realm. While I was enjoying this newfound career, and lifestyle, the starting salary of $24,000 a year with no benefits made me miss the financial security I had in the corporate world. It was a toss-up between working a job with a six figure income that you hate for financial security, or doing what you love but struggling financially. I knew there had to be a different way, a way to live a fulfilled life and not just have financial security but have financial independence.
That was the start of my real estate investing career. Over the years I have: bought property, sold property, raised money from investors, flipped homes, dealt with two different property fires, handled at least a dozen plus evictions (almost all without a lawyer), done joint ventures with partners, invested in multiple states and have had multiple successful exits with double-digit returns.
In 2018 FI by REI was created with the purpose of helping individuals that want a better life. A life where you:
- don’t have to worry about paying the bills.
- choose a career because you love it and not because you need an income.
- leave a job when you no longer find it enjoyable, or because you want to spend time traveling.
- can spend time with your kids, your romantic partner, your family, and friends without restrictions.
- choose to spend your time how you want, and when you want.
- choose early retirement through real estate investing.
Fi by REI is broken down into a couple main parts, all of which were designed to help you achieve financial independence through real estate investing. Those are:
- Financial Foundation – If your financial house is not in order, it makes life challenging. We cover personal finance, savings, earning more, budgeting and improving your credit to help you build your financial foundation and to make real estate investing easier.
- Book Smarts – This is all about the theoretical. We cover real estate analysis, terminology, formulas, and best practices. You need the book smarts to get you to financial independence.
- Street Smarts – I don’t know about you; but I learn better by seeing a process in action! This section is all about the practical application. I share the details on deals I have done, the deals I am analyzing and currently working on, and the challenges I face while investing. Occasionally I will have a friend stop by to share the deals they are working too. There is no better way to learn real estate investing than seeing it in action.
- Fun – What is life without a bit, or a lot of fun? Here you will see how REI can have a positive impact on your life, and the freedom it can give you. You also learn fun tips, tricks and life hacks like how you can combine credit card hacking and rehabbing to pay for a two-week Europe vacation!
As you read about the deals I do, and how I spend my time, it might give you more clarity if you know what I am personally trying to work towards. Here are my immediate goals and how I am doing at accomplishing them:
- Be invested in 3-5 MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area)
- Produce target returns of 12.5% (double money every 6 years)
- Produce enough cash flow to have early retirement overseas (low-cost area like Central America or SE Asia)
- Produce enough cash flow to have early retirement in the US or overseas (High-cost area like Western Europe)
- Start a Donor Advised Fund or Family Foundation
- Raise $25,000,000 for charity
I hope you enjoy the site.