Episode 3: Main Street vs Wall Street Investing – What is the Difference?

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Episode 3 – Main Street Investing vs Wall Street Investing – What is the Difference?

Show #3 - Rajan Gupta - Episode Art

Summary

In this episode, real estate investors and friends, Pancham and Rajan reveal why Main Street Investing, and not Wall Street Investing is a more lucrative strategy for long term wealth creation.
We kick off this show by sharing some little known facts about different Wall Street instruments. From stocks to bonds to mutual funds, you will learn the Pros & Cons of each financial instrument.
Next, we segue into the virtues of Main Street investing. Why do some of the wealthiest people prefer Main Street investing? Will you end up earning higher returns due to lower taxes and depreciation? What are some of the drawbacks of real estate investing?
PanchamHeadshotTGCI
Pancham Gupta
TGCI 3 - Rajan Gupta
Rajan Gupta

This show will be particularly interesting to folks who are actively looking for an alternative to Wall Street investing. Tune in for some excellent nuggets!

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Show #3 - Quote Art

Timestamped Shownotes:

  • 00:52 – Fresh out of school, Pancham starts off by investing in the stocks and funds
  • 02:33 – Pancham welcomes Rajan to the show
  • 03:00 – What are the two primary motivators for making investments?
  • 03:20 – Are you investing for appreciation or cash flow? Rajan explains the differences in simple terms
  • 04:33 – Are you taking into consideration tax implications BEFORE making an investment?
  • 05:16 – How much are capital gains costing you?
  • 06:06 – Will you end up paying taxes on your cash flow investments?
  • 06:47 – Wall Street Investing vs Main Street Investing – What is the difference?
  • 08:38 – Overview of different Wall street Instruments, their Pros & Cons
    • 08:51 – What is a stock? Can you generate guaranteed returns by investing in stocks?
    • 10:04 – Overview of the US bond market; how does the bond market compare to the stock market?
    • 11:30 – Did the Fed’s strategy to lower interest rates give a boost to the economy?
    • 12:00 – What are the Pros & Cons of investing in the mutual fund?
    • 12:55 – Are you better off investing in index funds?
    • 14:41 – How much are you really making from your Wall Street investments?
    • 15:08 – Is the bond market really safe? Is it possible to lose your entire investment in the bond market?
  • 16:47 – Why do some of the wealthiest people prefer Main Street Investing over Wall Street Investing?
  • 18:47 – Is Real Estate investing more lucrative than stock market investing? Learn how depreciation and tax benefits will result in a higher ROI
  • 21:45 – Can you become a real estate investor if you are too busy to manage your real estate investments?
  • 23:42 – How can you find success in Main Street Investing?
  • 24:52 – Should the illiquid nature of real estate dissuade you?
  • 26:09 – Taking the Leap
    • 26:18 – When was the first time you invested outside of the Wall Street?
    • 27:25 – What fears had to overcome when you made your first investment property?
    • 28:44 – Can you share one investment that did not go as expected?
    • 30:42 – What is one piece of advice that you should give to people thinking of investing in the Wall Street?
  • 32:59 – Discover SIX Solid Reasons for investing in Real Estate

3 Key Points:

  1. Pros & Cons of different Wall Street Investments
  2. Why do some of the wealthiest men prefer Main Street investing over Wall Street investing?
  3. How depreciations and tax savings increases returns on your real estate investments
Read Full Transcript

Introduction

Welcome to The Gold Collar Investor podcast with your host Pancham Gupta. This podcast is dedicated to helping the high paid professionals to break out of the Wall Street investments and create multiple income streams. 00:52

Here’s your host, Pancham Gupta.

Pancham: Welcome to The Gold Collar Investor podcast show#3. This is Pancham.

If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming. The Gold Collar Investor podcast is produced every week for your learning and enjoyment. Show Notes can be found at thegoldcollarinvestor.com/show3. All links are in the show notes.

Now, let’s get into the show. When I graduated from school and started working full time, I knew nothing about investing. I knew there are stocks and bonds that you can buy with your money. If you buy the stocks right, and the price goes up, you can make money if you sell them while the price is still up. You may end up sharing your profits with Uncle Sam depending on whether it’s a long term hold that is more than one year, or a short term hold. On the other hand, I knew nothing about bonds. I did not know how they really worked. A few years go by and I started investing in the stock market and saving money in my 401k which again invested in these so called funds.

Funds is a fancy word that basically means a pool of money invested in something by the fund manager who manages the fund. At the end of the day, when I drill down into these funds, it was some combination of bonds, stocks, mutual funds, etc. Everyone I talked to was doing the same thing. So, at the time I thought that this is the only way to invest money until I found this whole new world of Main Street investing.

Today, my friend Rajan will discuss the differences between the Wall Street investing and the Main Street investing. Rajan has been the Main Street investor for about 7 to 8 years. Just like me, he started his career as a computer science engineer at one of the FinTech companies in the New York City.

Rajan, welcome to the show!

Rajan: Hey, thanks for having me!

Pancham: So Rajan, are you ready to fire up my listeners to break out Wall Street investments?

Rajan: Absolutely!

Pancham: Before we go into the difference between Main Street investing and Wall Street investing, I would like to go over the primary motivations or expectations that people have when we talk about investing money. At a very high level, people are either looking for capital gains, or in other words, appreciation, or they are looking for cash flow, or in other words, income. These are the only two primary motivations. Can you discuss what is the difference between these two?

Rajan: Sure. So, when people invest for appreciation, what they are hoping for is the price of the asset – real estate, stock, or anything else goes up over time. When they sell the asset, it’s more than what they actually paid for it minus their closing cost and minus their carrying cost. They might be riding the economy, they might have job growth, they might have asset bubbles or anything. But the primary way to make money in such an investment is, you buy something, you sell something. The difference between the two points is your gains. This is also known as capital gains to many people. Cash Flow, on the other hand is money generated by the asset itself over time, preferably periodically.

Let’s say you buy a dividend generating stock – Microsoft, IBM. If the stock is paying a 3% dividend that is called cash flow. That is the cash flow generated by your asset or the company after paying all the expenses that they can level out to the investors.

Another example would be rental real estate. The cash flow leftover after paying your mortgage, taxes, reserves, everything; it is the money in your bank every day, every month. That’s the primary difference between appreciation and cash flows.

Pancham: The most wealthy people I know, look for both of these when they invest. One thing that a lot of people do not realize is the tax implications of both of them. Investing is one side of the equation and tax implication is a different side. You need to consider both when you are investing. Robert Kiyosaki says, “It’s not what you make, but what you keep.” I know that you’re not a CPA, but can you discuss why that is important?

Rajan: This is very, very important. At the end of the day, taxes define what you keep. The most important expense in any investment, or the income you make, be it from your job, be it from the stocks, be it from real estate, taxes are a major part of the expense. When people book a profit on appreciation, they have to pay the capital gain tax. Capital gains are initially short term, if you hold the asset less than one year or long term if it’s over one year. Short term capital gains are horrible. They get added into your normal ordinary income and then you pay a significant portion of the gains to Uncle Sam based on your income bracket.

Considering that most of the investors are well to do or are above middle class, that number can really high, as high as 30% or 35%. I am only talking about federal taxes here. On top of that, many people pay state taxes, Medicare taxes. So, all that adds up. If it’s a long term investment gain, you have a little bit of relief, but not a lot. You will pay 0%, 15% or 20% tax depending on which income tax bracket you fall in.

Similarly, for cash flows, which includes dividend or rental income, you will pay some taxes. With rental real estate it becomes a little tricky, but you get the benefit of appreciation. So, you may not pay any taxes on the income that you generate. Some people, however, are even able to deduct the taxes on their other income, but that’s a totally whole different game, totally whole different show. I don’t think we have the bandwidth to go over that here.

Pancham: That’s very interesting! We will definitely get a certified accountant on the show who is qualified to talk about these things. Let’s move on to the differences between the Wall Street investing and the Main Street investing. What would you say is the main difference?

Rajan: Wall Street is a collective name for a bunch of financial investments, investment community, which includes stock exchanges, large banks, insurance companies, brokerage, securities, underwriting forms and big businesses. So these people, they need money to run their operations. They need money for the economy to grow. So, anytime you invest in the products offered by these institutes, you are basically investing in a Wall Street instrument. Some of the most commonly known Wall Street instruments are stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETF’s, index funds, REIT’s, etc.

On the other hand, Main Street is a term used to refer to individual investors. Individuals or a group of individuals, employees, the overall larger economy. It collectively refers to the members of the general population who invest in the market. Investing in the Main Street means like investing by individual investors or a group of investors into instruments that are not directly controlled by Wall Street. But you will have ups and downs with the economy, you will have to view all that stuff but you control the investment. For example, if you buy an apartment, investment property, and you rent it out. You have put your money towards the equity in the house. You are using that equity, to generate money through rental income. Hopefully, after paying your investment, your expenses, your mortgage, your reserves everything, you’ll get some cash flow. And that’s like real money in your hand every month. Yes, these assets are also tied to the general economy broadly, but they are not impacted by the Wall Street. And at the end of the day, you have certain control over things like how things are moving, and you can be smart about it and give some direction to your investment.

Pancham: To make sure that we have no listener left behind, I would like to go over what is the difference between various Wall Street instruments? Can you expand on them a little bit?

Rajan: Pancham, Wall Street is a broad term. We have thousands of instruments offered by banks, brokerages, insurance companies.

Let’s start with the two basic ones. We will talk about stocks. We will talk about bonds. A stock is simply a unit of ownership in a company, which is also known as equity. The value of the company is basically the number of the stocks issued by the company times the value of each stock. Private companies can also have a stock, which is owned by private investors. They don’t trade on exchanges, but eventually they decide to go public, and the stock starts trading on a stock exchange. At that point, it becomes a publicly traded company, it’s open to everybody they can buy, sell, trade those instruments called stock or equity. How you make money here, it’s all dependent on like how the company does broadly. There are other factors, the economy, interest rates, but primarily you are investing in the company and the management. The company generates profit, the stock does well. The company does poor, the prospects are poor, the stock goes down. Investing in stock is not bad – if you know what you’re doing, if you can educate how the company operations, their filings, their balance sheets. It’s very complicated. Their plan customers… And most of all, at the top of it, you trust the board and the integrity and the capability of the management. So, when you invest in a company more than investing in the company, you are investing in the people as well.

Bond on the other hand, is simply a debt security. In simple language, it’s the way company raises a bunch of cash from investors, or institutes and promises an interest on that, on their debt with a promise to pay back the principal. It’s basically the companies need money, need cash to operate. At the maturity of the bond, the company pays back the principal with square hands and that’s it. How much the company pays interest, how much is the price of the bond depends on the company’s ability to pay back. Solid companies – Apple, IBM, they’re very trusted companies, they don’t have to pay a lot of interest on the money they borrow. You are pretty much guaranteed if you lend your money to Apple to get it back. So, the interest that you get on that investment is really very low. On the other hand, a little known company or a company in a growth phase, something like Tesla, would need to pay a large interest on the money that they raise. Well, it’s all dependent on your perception of the risk about getting your capital back. It’s not just the companies that raise trade. Governments also raise trade. Our treasury bonds, T bills are a perfect example of how the US government raises money. People don’t realize the debt market is much, much, much bigger than the equity market. The bond market in the US is like roughly about 40 trillion. The US stock market has a value of less than 20 trillion.

Pancham: Got it. I fully agree with you on that. It’s very difficult to see how big the debt market is. When the Federal Reserve lowered the interest rates in the hope that the corporations would borrow the money at a lower rate and invest that money in infrastructure to increase the productivity and create jobs. However, the reverse happened. Because the rates were so low, the companies raised heaps of debt at a cheap rate and bought back their stocks or paid dividends. That money went right back into the Wall Street with equity market reaching all-time high. Thanks for explaining that. What are mutual funds? Let’s get into that.

Rajan: Mutual fund as the name suggests is a mutual investment. It’s a fund where a bunch of people come together to pull a bunch of money and invest in something. That something most likely is a bond, stock, or some tradable asset. The key piece to know here is like this fund is professionally managed by a fund manager. You have the expertise, but they charge a fee to the people who are invested in the fund, and typically have no risk of their own. The fee is basically a management fee on top of like a performance fee. Whether the fund makes money or not, the management fee would always kick in.

Pancham: Got it. These fees can be so deceiving at times that most lay man investors do not understand that. And the fact that drives me nuts is that 80% to 90% of the mutual funds do not even beat the market. What are your thoughts on the index funds instead?

Rajan: Well Pancham, that’s a good point that you raised about the performance of the funds relative to S&P, about 90% of the funds over a five year period never beat the S&P. Index funds are similar to mutual funds. But instead of putting money in the securities and at the wish of the manager, you put the money in a security that’s tied to the index on the market. We have trillions of indexes right now on the market. The S&P 500 is the most common index, which tracks the 500 companies of the Index every second. The fund that mimics the performance of the S&P will be called an S&P 500 index funds. Different brokerages have different funds, the expense ratio might be different, but they are typically very, very, very low. And the objective is to mimic the performance of S&P 500. They are linked to the market. The companies in the S&P 500 goes up, the fund goes up, and otherwise they go down. The good thing is that you are paying like close to zero fee. ETF’s are like index funds, but they are exchange traded. As the name suggests, they are traded on the stock exchange like individual stocks. You can mimic the performance of a fund or S&P 500 second by second and trade those things.

Pancham: Okay, so if you have noticed, other than bonds, the most of these instruments that you mentioned are the appreciation play. That is you put your money in one of these assets, and you hope that the company does well. Mutual fund managers does the job well, index fund does well, etc. But like you said, this is not the full story. You have to consider the tax implications of it. If you adjust your returns for taxes and inflation, you will get a true measure of what you actually keep. If you do the math properly, it’s not what people feel that they made.

Now, let’s talk about bond investing. People invest in bonds for the interest that they pay, and hope that they will get their principal back in the end. I have always been told by these financial advisors that bonds are safe. As people go near the retirement age, more and more of these advisors start suggesting bonds. Are bonds really safe?

Rajan: It all depends on your definition of safe. There is risk in everything you do. By safe do you mean that people won’t lose their principal?

Pancham: Let’s start with that. Yes. You know, I think that’s what most people mean, by safe?

Rajan It again, depends. It depends on when you bought the bond, how long you are planning to keep it. For example, let’s say a person invests in a government treasury bond issued at $100 a bond, paying 5% interest for 10 years. If the person was planning to hold the bond in maturity, you are most sure that the US government would not go bankrupt and the person would get 5% for 10 years and at the end of 10 years he will get his principal back.

Pancham: I don’t know about US government not going bankrupt. The way the debt is rising, I do not know about that. But let’s continue.

Rajan: I don’t want to get started on this. I don’t think the motive of the call is that. But going back to example. The investor will get like $5 every year, year by year. However, if any of the assumptions here are violated, the person can even lose part of the principal.

Pancham: Interesting! Also, many people think that you cannot lose what you have invested in bonds?

Rajan: It again depends on your horizon. The market is changing all the time. Interest rates are very, very important. Rates go up, rates go down, sentiment goes up, sentiment goes down. The price of a bond in a most basic form is tied to the interest rate. If the rate rises, the market value of the bond will go down. It will go down below hundred, what you paid for. If the rates go lower, which I really don’t see from here, the price of the bond will go up. So, if for some reason the person has to sell a bond before the maturity, and rates keep on rising, the bond can lose value and you will you will come out negative on that investment. So, inflation and interest rates pay a big, big, big part in the value of bonds. In that matter for stocks as well.

Pancham: Very, very, interesting. Thanks for clarifying that. You won’t believe it took me so long to understand that part that you have to hold the bond until the maturity to really get your principal back. And that too if the counter party does not go bankrupt. Anyways, people think that bonds are very safe. But when you start peeling the onion, it’s more and more clear that it’s not the case. Now, let’s spend some time on the Main Street investing. Most of the wealthy people I know invest for the cash flow. They do love appreciation, but that is a bonus. They do not just bank on the fact that the assets will go up in value without any cash flow. The best part is that they choose to invest in real estate and do not pay any taxes on the cash flow. Imagine, getting 8% to 10% income every year and not paying taxes on it. If you compare it to the investment where you have to pay taxes, the effective return is actually higher if adjust for taxes. Can you discuss some of the examples of this?

Rajan: Absolutely Pancham. Taxes really define, how I invest. That’s the most important thing that comes to my mind when I am putting my money anywhere. Like Tom Wheelwright says, “The amount of taxes that you pay is purely defined by how you make your money.”

Pancham: Sorry to interrupt. But, by Tom Wheelwright, you mean the most famous CPA, Robert Kiyosaki’s CPA?

Rajan: Yes. Tom Wheelwright – Robert Kiyosaki’s CPA, hundreds of people’s CPA, who has enabled people to pay close to zero taxes after making so much money.

Pancham: Right. Sorry to interrupt you. Carry on.

Rajan: To talk about instruments, real estate investment is the simplest one that comes to my mind. I have been a real estate investor for many years. I will give you an example here. Let’s say you buy a house for $100,000. You put down 20%, which is 20k, your closing costs is about another $5,000 to $6,000. You have about $25,000 – $26,000 out of pocket. You take a debt of 80% – $80,000 that you will be paying monthly. Hopefully, you take a long term financing 30 year loan. You are $26,000 down out of pocket, you have a loan of $80,000, and now you have this house which you can rent out and collect rent every month. You do your numbers right. The way I would get into this kind of asset is it has to give me about $1200 to $1400 rent per month. Believe me, if you do your research, you can find these things in the market.

Your debt service, which is the mortgage you pay to the bank, insurance, taxes would come to about $800 – $850 a month. Your net cash flow would range from somewhere between 4 to $550 a month after paying everything. You are making like $5,000 – $6,000 a year from this rental property, which is real cash.

This is real cash in your pocket. You can spend it. You can spend it on your family. You can reinvest it. That’s giving you close to a 20% return on a cash on cash basis. When I say cash on cash, it means your total returns could be higher, because the asset price can go up, you are paying down your debt over time. But this is like real cash in your pocket. So, I talk about cash on cash. That’s coming to close to 20%, which is really amazing.

In case of real estate, you have the advantage of depreciation. Your property depreciates over time, because its real estate. It’s a real asset. The IRS of the government allows you to depreciate that asset over 27.5 years. What that means is, when you buy something, let’s say this building, which is $100,000. You allocate some amount to the land, which probably would be 20k – 25k. The rest is the cost to build the building on the value of the building which is $80,000. That $80,000, you get to depreciate over 27.5 years. It doesn’t mean you’re losing that money. It’s a tax advantage you have. You can fight off about $3000 to $3500 from your taxable income, which puts you to if your if your if your profit on the property was $5,000, it puts you at a taxable income of $1500. You only pay tax on $1500 when you made $5,000. This to me is really amazing. Again, on the other side…I didn’t even talk about the leverage you are taking on the appreciation. You are buying $100,000 asset by putting only $20,000 – $25,000 down. Making 20% cash on cash on that asset, you would recoup your money back in 4 – 4.5 years. To me this is really amazing. Making money, making cash, taking the leverage, and not paying any taxes.

Pancham: Nice! I am already excited. You know I am motivated to do more deals by listening to that again. I know a few listeners right now must be thinking that this is a lot of work. I would agree with them. In the example that you gave, it is a lot of work. You have to study the market, find a good deal, close it, find good tenants, manage it, and manage it well.

I do not want listeners to get discouraged. There are many different ways of achieving the same goal, where you don’t have to do a lot of work. If you say that once you buy the property, and then you don’t want to spend time on it, that’s fine. You can hire a property manager to manage your properties. You have to work those numbers out before you buy the property.

If you say that you want someone else to do all the work, including fixing up the property, then you can buy something called a Turnkey Real Estate, where the properties are fully renovated and pre-vetted for you. The returns could be potentially lower, but you will still receive all the benefits of owning a real estate.

The next level would be to buy a fractional ownership in a much, much bigger property. A lot of these bigger properties are bought and sold via mechanism of syndication. Syndication is where a bunch of people come together to do a project. In case of an apartment building or a hotel building, it would be pooling the money together to buy an apartment building. People who know how to run it well and execute the business plan will generate money from it and return it to the investors. Let’s say, you have 50k to invest, you can use that money to find people who are syndicators and invest with them. They will run the project for you, and you will enjoy the benefits of real estate ownership, including a healthy stream of income, and you would not have to spend any time or energy on running the project. What are your thoughts on that?

Rajan: Pancham, I think this is a good point. I want to bring up that for Main Street investing, the biggest and the most important thing is knowing what you want and educating yourself. Main Street investing is not for everyone. It could be the easiest way to make money or it could be very frustrating. In order to invest in the mainstream, you would have to spend some time, first introspecting, getting to know what you exactly want, and then educating yourself. If you are investing in single family homes, duplexes, small properties, you want to manage yourself, you need to know about the numbers, you need to know about the market, you need to know about your tenant class, all those kind of things. If you are investing in…Syndication is a great example that you put for busy investors who don’t have time to do all this. But again, you need to educate yourself, invest in yourself to know about what exactly it is? How to vet out a deal? How to read a prospect? You are investing with people. You need to know about their capabilities, trust. So, the only way, solid way out of Main Street investing is that you need to educate yourself about the topic, about your market, and about what you are investing in.

Pancham: Right. That’s why we are doing this show. One final point that I would like to add on this is that the Main Street investing is not as liquid as stocks. You cannot sit at home, go on your computer, and by a click of a button, and suddenly, all of the assets that you own, the paper assets are converted to cash. It’s not as liquid. When you buy a real estate, you would have to…it takes time. It’s not as liquid. So, this is one downside I see of the real estate investing. But to me, I think it’s totally, totally well worth your time. To learn about it and not be tied to the Wall Street, casinos to invest your hard earned money.

Pancham: Rajan, would you have anything else to add before we go to the final section of the show?

Rajan: You brought up a good point. It’s not paper cash. You are investing in real assets. You are investing in hard assets. You are investing in cash flowing assets. Yes, you lose that ability of a click of a button and your money moves from paper cash into real cash in your bank. But paper is as vapor as paper. You have the disadvantage of real estate or some of these assets being illiquid. But that’s where the real value comes in. These are not paper assets. These are real assets.

Pancham: Right. You know, I am a big, big fan of real assets. So with that, let’s go to the final section of the show, which we are going to call Taking The Leap section.

Taking The Leap

Pancham: I ask each of the guests these four questions at the end of each episode.

Here is the question number one.

When was the first time you invested outside of the Wall Street?

Rajan: Well, my encounter with the Main Street was not by choice. As with many people, got married, and my family grew over the period of time. We live close to New York City or in the city. Over a period of time, the places I was living in, were smaller for my family, and we kept on moving, but I could see with skyrocketing rents, the rents were paying up by mortgages at that point. And this was an easy way to build equity in the apartments. So, I kept on renting them. The work involved was very little. They were apartment buildings. They were managed by the property managers or the building management and I give them an HOA. I thought that this is a really good way to build equity. Now that perception has changed drastically over the years. But that’s how I started investing in Main Street.

Pancham: That’s how most of the investors start. It’s just you were diligent enough to really pay attention to what was happening and did not choose to sell and kind of got the bug – Real Estate bug.

Second Question: What fears did you have to overcome when you first invested outside of the Wall Street? Let’s talk about the real investment you did not your personal home.

Rajan: As we mentioned, on the surface of it, it sounds like a lot of work. I have a full time job. When I went to buy my first investment property, which was a duplex in a very hot area, the rents were skyrocketing, and the numbers seemed really, really good. But going against conventional wisdom, all my friends, everybody I knew said, “Why are you going in Real Estate? It’s going to be a lot of work. Finding tenants, managing the property…” And then just the fear of 2008, which I think is not unique to me. All of us that started investing around that time or after that, I had that monster at the back of our mind that real estate can be really scary, it can rip you off, you don’t have an exit, and all those kind of things. Those were the two biggest fears in my mind when I started investing as an investor. One was that I was doing things which a lot of my other friends did not do, and the second was the fear of the market because we were coming outside 2008

Pancham: Yah. With the benefit of hind sight which I say its 2020, I think 2010 to 2012 was one of the best times in the history to kind of invest your money, whether it was stock market or real estate.

Anyway, moving on to the third question, can you share with us your one investment that did not go as expected?

Rajan: Yeah, sure. As we discussed in the podcast earlier, you need to know exactly what you are doing. You need to know your wants. If you cover that part very well, you probably won’t go bad. I have made a lot of investments over the years – real estate, commercials, syndications. A whole bunch of things. Few things did not go as well. I’ll pick up two here. One was a mix commercial that I bought very close to my house, a commercial district really in the heart of everything. The numbers were too good to ignore that. It was an off market deal. So, I was too lured into it to buy that. The numbers were great. Don’t get me wrong on that. But I didn’t have an exit strategy. So, it’s a mixed commercial, lending becomes a little difficult. We are making close to 25% cash on cash, but refinancing is not easy on those things. I really don’t want to sell. So, the fact that I did not plan my exit, to me that’s one thing which I feel I am getting stuck with. So, I have to think about that. The second thing is an investment I made in India. It was an appreciation play that we discussed earlier. I was hoping that the price in an emerging market keeps going up and up and up.

Pancham: I know all about that.

Rajan: I ignored some of the political risks. I ignored the currency risk. I ignored the most important fundamental part of my investing today which is my exit as well as my monthly cash flows that come from that property. So, I’m losing both of them. I didn’t had a plan there. Luckily for me, the investment was small. I was starting with that. So, I did not get hurt by it. Those I would say are the two investments where they did not go as expected as I wanted them to.

Pancham: But that’s okay. You do these mistakes and I feel that without doing mistakes you cannot really learn.

Rajan: Absolutely!

Pancham: So, I think those give you good experiences and you learn from them.

My final question for you: What is one piece of advice that you would give to people who are thinking of investing in the Main Street?

Rajan: The most important thing is educating yourself. You should know what you’re doing. You should read a lot. You need to understand what the market is. And the second thing is you need to understand your needs and your wants. Everybody has a different want. Some people are in the game for the long run. Some people have a higher risk appetite and want to play the short run. You basically need to understand what your wants are. Main Street investing, Real Estate investing, Syndications or any kind of stuff can be the easiest way to make money if you know what you want, and you have educated yourself. Or it can be very frustrating. If you end up in a wrong deal by yourself or if you end up with the wrong people investing for you. Once you know what you want from investments, you need to find the right product. You need to find the right people. You need to build a team over time.

Real estate is all about teams and relationships. It’s all about network. One thing can work beautifully for you Pancham but it does not work for me. Because you have a nice team you have a good plan. But do your research. Make sure your bases are covered. And as I always say, think about taxes. Taxes will eventually determine how much money or how well your investment is doing. Take a long term debt. The market moves but eventually you will come out good if you are not forced to sell at a wrong price. Invest in solid assets. Look for cash flows. And always, always, always, that one thing in the whole midst of cash flow, some people forget is, do not miss the growth part. If you have to leave a little bit of cash flows to play a growth part, you should go for that. Growth is what will make you rich eventually. Cash flow will get the boat going, would keep your ship sailing, but you should look for growth and again know your exit.

Pancham: Wow! Lot of value bombs over there in that little talk. Thanks for answering all these questions, Rajan. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule. I would like to thank Rajan for joining us today.

Rajan: Thanks Pancham. Thanks for having me.

Pancham: I will leave you guys with this: “It’s not what you make, but it’s what you keep.”

If you want to know the top six reasons on why you should consider diversifying outside of the Wall Street then you are in the right place. I have written a free report for you. It goes into not just the top six reasons why investing in stocks, 401k’s may not be the sound strategy, but also what are the alternatives. Get your free report today on thegoldcollarinvestor.com/download.

Thanks for listening. If you have questions? Email me at p@thegoldcollarinvestor.com. That’s p as in Paul @thegoldcollarinvestor.com. This is Pancham… Signing off… until next time… Take care!

Thank you for listening to The Gold Collar Investor podcast. If you love what you’ve heard and you want more of Pancham Gupta visit us at www.thegoldcollarinvestor.com and follow us on Facebook at @thegoldcollarinvestor. The information on this podcast or opinions. As always. Please consult with your own financial team before investing.

Show #3 - Rajan Gupta - Episode Art

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