TGCI 106: With full-time job and investing as a side hustle with John

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Episode 106: With full-time job and investing as a side hustle with John

Copy of EP #18 - 2 Guests


In today’s show, Pancham interviews John Blanton – sales executive, real estate investor, and host of Contrarian Cashflow.

John has a certain goal: to earn a 6-figure income, to not leave his wife and his 2 daughters, and to be able to travel freely. And he knew that his corporate job won’t be enough to be able to achieve his goals.

With his love for chasing and closing deals, investing in various investments (lending, bitcoin, flipping houses, active deals, passive investments – you named it!) certainly helped him achieve his goals and have a fulfilled life!

In this episode, get inspired by his journey as he shares how he balances his full-time job, his investing hustles, and spending his personal time with his family. He will also share pearls of wisdom from his past 6 years of investing!


So many golden nuggets in this episode so make sure to listen until the end!

Pancham Gupta
John Headshot
John Blanton

Tune in to this show and enjoy!

Copy of Quote #00 - 1 Guest

Timestamped Shownotes:

  • 2:05 – Pancham introduces John to the show
  • 3:38 – How he and his wife discovered real estate investing
  • 8:53 – Lessons learned from his investments gone wrong
  • 13:54 – On transitioning to passive investing
  • 16:19 – How cold storage became his most consistent investment
  • 18:16 – Knowing your career path by defining your priorities
  • 24:55 – Why he doesn’t want to focus on one asset class
  • 28:15 – Taking the Leap Round
  • 28:15 – His first investment outside of Wall Street
  • 29:20 – Overcoming his fear of the unknown
  • 30:46 – Why his Bitcoin investments didn’t go as expected
  • 33:18 – Why investors should educate themselves first
  • 34:38 – John’s contact information

3 Key Points:

  1. Define your personal priorities in order to know the career path that best fits you.
  2. Don’t let other people tell you why you should invest in a deal or what return profiles will be good for you. Invest in your own terms.
  3. Be intentional with your time. Do things that could help you to generate income and to enjoy life at the same time.

Get in Touch:


Read Full Transcript

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. Here’s your host, Pancham Gupta.


Hi there, I’m Robert Helms host of The Real Estate Guys radio program and if you want to have better results in your life you gotta put better ideas in your mind. You’re in the right place. You’re at The Gold Collar Investor podcast.


Pancham Gupta: Welcome to The Gold Collar Investor Podcast.  This is your host, Pancham. Really appreciate you for tuning in today. Investing actively on the side while working a 40 hours plus a week can get quite taxing on your time. It does not matter whether you invest in stocks, crypto, real estate, or businesses. As long as you’re actively investing, researching, reading, and monitoring your portfolio, it starts taking a lot of time out of your schedule. As your portfolio grows, the time starts increasing as well. At some point, it starts to feel overwhelming to many people. I was in that boat, I wouldn’t lie. I was investing in real estate on the side while working a full time job in New York City. But as I grew my portfolio, it started to become really taxing on my time. There were times when I was not sleeping at night, there were times when I would just you know any free time I would get I would just work on this stuff. So, you know I have a lot of respect for people who carve out time to learn about investing and do it on the side doesn’t matter what asset class.  Every time I come across someone like that, I always want to find out how they did it and what kind of mindset they had before they, you know, before they dove deep into that particular asset class. Today, we have one such guest, John Blanton. John, guides people to a life of fulfillment by helping them identify earning opportunities by thinking differently. His contrarian approach to investing has led to numerous highly profitable exits over his decade long career. He credits these large risk adjusted returns to his ability to source deals and his expertise in performing thorough due diligence on real estate and business opportunities. In 2020, he launched his lifestyle by design podcast, contrarian cash flow, to open the dialogue about what it takes to create a fulfilled life while on the investing and entrepreneurship journey. A dedicated father of two and a loving husband, John, welcome to the show.


John: Pancham, what’s going on my man? Happy to be here.


Pancham Gupta: Glad to have you here. I know it’s snowy day here in New York. How’s your speaking, are you right out of Greensboro? Is that right?


John: Just outside of Raleigh? Yeah, just outside of Raleigh. So, you’re not faring as bad as the Northeast right now. You guys are getting crushed. But it’s been pretty dreary. So, you know, as long as it stays above 40. Here, we can survive.


Pancham Gupta: 40 is good. All right. So, before we get started, are you ready to fire up my listeners break out of Wall Street investments?


John: Oh man, Pancham, let’s do this. Let’s go!


Pancham Gupta: I like the energy. So, John, like, tell our listeners what you know about your background? And more importantly, the person behind that background?


John: Yeah, absolutely. So, I started off probably like the majority of your listeners. I had a very fortunate upbringing, upper middle class, my dad had a really successful job, single income household. And that’s what I thought I had aspired to, you know, he was a publicly traded company CFO, made real money. And so, it was like, hey, you know, this is awesome. But later on, in his career, he was living out of state during the week, because there was an acquisition, and he had to really rein in, in that particular company. And, you know, I don’t regret anything or have any disdain about my childhood. But that really stuck with me around wanting to make sure when I had a family that I wasn’t constrained by some of these travel requirements and things, obviously, you know, short term, it was a week, two weeks, you know, no big deal, but obviously, you know, six months, 12 months at a time, you know, it’s just, it’s just a different perspective that you get growing up together. And so, I think, you know, that was always my goal was the six figures and having a job that I didn’t have to travel or be away from my family. So, I actually went to school for premed but realized pretty quickly that I had that I didn’t want to go to school that long. Plus, anyone that follows the healthcare regulations knows that doctors are just getting hammered nowadays. You know, having to chase payments pretty readily. So, it just is like, you know what? think there might be an easier way to a buck. But, you know, because of that I had done some baseball coaching and some personal training early on. And coming out of school, it was really challenging for me to get a job because all my buddies had business, internships and connections at IBM, Raytheon, you know, very, very, you know, substantial and good companies. And I didn’t have any of that. So, it took me about six months to find a career coming out of that, and just stumbled into sales. And that’s where I reside now. And so, you know, I was kind of got into a good spot, took full advantage of the situation. And within a few years, I was pushing six figures pretty readily and consistently, and that’s just kind of what I thought. And so, I thought I had made it, you know, I was putting my max into my 401k, I was, you know, living the good life, you know, we’re fairly conservative, you know, from a spending perspective. But, you know, I felt, hey, I’m packing all this away, I’m putting a ton of money into savings, I’m putting money into my 401k and I thought I was doing all the right things. So that’s kind of that’s kind of how it all started. 


Pancham Gupta: Got it. Got it. So, let’s fast forward a little bit what happened, then, like, you know, you, you were doing all these things and made it at least you thought that you made it. And then you started, what switched your mindset after that? Did something happen?


John: Yeah, honestly, it was nothing that I did intentionally at all. So, what happened was, my wife and I work for the same company, fortunately, totally separate divisions is it’s a giant company. So, you know, we don’t we don’t interact with each other too, too frequently on a daily basis through the business side. But the company we work for, has a lot of lower level employees. And so, we have a nondiscriminatory 401k plan. So, at the time, I was devastated, you could only put in, I think, 2% Delta from the average of the entire company. So, if you think about these people that are working for the company that are in the manufacturing space, or in the distribution, space, logistics, you know, maybe they’re making $10 to $12 an hour, it’s very difficult for them to be able to save anything into their 401k. And so, we can only put 4% maximum into our 401k. And we were really disappointed at the time because we’re just like, oh my gosh, like, that’s what we thought we were striving towards was we got to build up this war chest within a 401k. So, we started having, you know, fairly sizable amounts of cash on the sideline. And so, we’re just like, what are we going to do with this? You know, we know it’s just sitting there in our in our savings account. But at that time, I wasn’t as familiar with dollar cost, dollar cost averaging, not dollar cost ave, what was I gonna say, with the time value, I wasn’t as familiar with the time value of money, right? And honestly, I didn’t really dig into that until recently. But that, you know, we can talk about that later. So, we started looking at different avenues. Right, it seems like, you know, opening up a restaurant, opening up a gym and real estate were kind of the, you know, the main things that sounded exciting. We realized, you know, gym is too risky from my background before, and just knowing how much they make and how quickly they closed and with restaurants, so we just looked at real estate. So, it took us about 12 months, we were playing on the 1% rule. That was kind of what started us down the path. And it took us about 12 months. And we found a few properties in Raleigh, near downtown near NC State, one of the local state universities, and that’s kind of how we got into real estate in the first place.


Pancham Gupta: Nice, nice. So how long ago was that?


John: It’s crazy because it seems like it wasn’t too long ago. But yeah, I guess that was six years ago now that we’ve been doing this for. So, we were fortunate because we got into one and then we bought them real. We brought a couple in secession right there. They were just really close. They were nice. They were almost like mini multifamily. So, they’re kind of like a boarding room style. It’s a four bedroom, four bath condo. And so, each bedroom is self-contained and has its own lease. So, it was nice, because there was a lot of foreign exchange students, there’s a lot of college students and you could get a little bit better margin because you’re charging by the bedroom. They’re all self-contained bath bed, and then a common area. So, we just jumped into those real quick, got a couple, and then all of a sudden, you know, about maybe six or 12 months later the market just started taking off. And since then, obviously it’s been not that it wasn’t on a ride but obviously the last two or three years has been pretty wild from a market real estate perspective.


Pancham Gupta: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you know, John, like you had this amazing job, you and your wife was working for the same company making very good salaries, saving money, and then you were like, you know what? You’re making your 401k you still have this saving you probably thought restaurant business, sorry, gym and then real estate.  You picked real estate; you bought this deal. So, did you get hooked? Like, tell me about the mindset, that journey like, okay, you know, you got this deal, that was great. Then what happened, like, and now from that point on to where you are today?


John: Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, at the time, I think it was almost like a necessary evil, right? We didn’t really think of it as anything grand, it was just like, hey, you know, we’ve got this extra capital, we need to park it somewhere we know that we’re gonna pay down the mortgage, you know, get minimal cash flow. At that time, I didn’t even know some of the tax benefits and some of the other you know, benefits of real estate. I didn’t do the research that I’m sure a lot of your listeners do. And then I would really recommend around the educational side. But being a sales guy, I mean, I’m a deal junkie, right? So, anything I can do to close a deal and chase deals is something that’s extremely exciting and what I’m passionate about So, I think the mindset shift happened when I started making this good salary and this good compensation, so did my wife. And then all of a sudden, I didn’t have the feelings of fulfillment and in gratification that I had for, you know, accomplishing that, you know, I made, you know, whatever, 200 grand, and I thought I was going to be happy, right. And I didn’t, it was really disappointing. The fear I had, especially as a sales rep was, I don’t know, if I’m gonna make that much again next year, or ever again, you know, is that going to be my, my high watermark for my career. And so, it was, you know, a self-limiting belief that I needed to get over was, you know, that I am capable of this, and that the, the abilities were more within me than the job, obviously, the job was a tool and a conduit to be successful. You know, I kind of didn’t take it too seriously for about the next two or three years, you know, and then all of a sudden, same thing, we’re paying down the debt, you know, with all our extra money, we’re just paying down the principal balance on these deal because, again, we thought that was the right thing to do. Right. very conservative. Okay, great. And then that I started realizing what the cashflow difference was, was not very much, right, you pay down a principal balance on a mortgage by $50,000, which, you know, to me, that’s good amount of money. And all of a sudden, you’re making, what, 20-30 bucks extra a month or something like that, you know, and it’s just like, it just doesn’t seem commensurate. And so, from there, I started looking at, you know, different options. And so, I got introduced to someone to do private lending. And so that was exciting. I did that once. I made a couple 1000 I made like five grand in like 60 days. And so that was really cool. When it was like, hey, this is interesting, but I’m a hands dirty kind of guy. And I was like, you know, I got to see it, the guy was a super pro and he let me kind of, you know, tag along and check out what was going on. But so, then I was like, I gotta get in and get my hands dirty. So, then I started trying to do flips myself. And obviously, that was a, that was an experience all within its own self. So, within that, you know, I saw, I was like, hey, let me partner on my first deal. And so, I partnered with this woman, and I didn’t know her very well, she was a referral, but the person that referred her, didn’t really know where he’s like, I can’t vouch for her, but she seems reasonable and good enough. So, this is Fayetteville, North Carolina military town about an hour and a half south of here. And so, the first one, went perfect, but same thing, you know, I put up all the capital, and she had done kind of the heavy lifting on the, the, you know, getting her guides in there and doing the work and all this stuff. But we ended up making like eight grand, right, and that was in like six months or something like that, which, you know, sounds like a good amount of money, but for the amount of risk and the amount of capital at risk that I had. Yeah, it didn’t really seem like it was worth it. But, you know, I was like, you know, how do I build this active site income? So, I was like, you know, let me keep trying it. Maybe that was the first one, you know, I don’t want to, you know, kind of put this down or anything. So, I did my own. And I said, Hey, you know, I’m gonna try to run this one all by myself. And so that was in Durham. And man, yeah, that that definitely wore me down. I mean, it was just extremely taxing and stressful and


Pancham Gupta: it’s a job, right? Like you..


John: I mean, every day, I mean, I was visiting, because I was wanting to learn, I was definitely way too controlling of the situation, you know, I needed to just kind of trust the people that were at work, some of them took advantage of me, I probably lost about $10,000, just to contractors, you know, kind of either doing bad work or pulling one over on me. But thankfully, you know, I made it out. But it was extremely difficult. And I made about 16 grand. And so, it was like, you know, it was like the amount of like risk and you know, amount of hours that I put in it was like that was just a lot of work. Like you said it was like a full time job. And then the last one we had done with the same partner, it just turned into a huge debacle. And it was that was a guy that was the contractor that was working on the house actually broke back in and turned it into a meth lab. And so, he had gone back in and cut some of the plumbing with like a steak knife or something. They found a knife stuck in like the plumbing underneath the house and stuff. And he had gone off to prison afterwards. And so thankfully, I didn’t lose any money. But it was very stressful and harrowing. So, I was just like, you know what, I just don’t think the flipping is for me anymore. After all that work. And you know, such a little output. 


Pancham Gupta: Wow. Okay, so you kind of got done with flipping and you had got your hands dirty with active investing. Did you do any passive investing along the way? Like other than that lending thing that you did. Did you do any passive investments in like, let’s say, private placements?



Yeah, absolutely. So that’s kind of that was like the transition. It was like, Okay, I did the lending. That wasn’t exactly what I wanted, as far as an outcome. And then I did the flipping, and that was obviously way too time consuming. And so, at that point, that was when I started looking at other avenues. And that’s when I started looking at syndications and private placements and things of that sort. So, okay, we had actually sold a property in Raleigh, just because it had gone crazy. And you know, based off the valuation, our return on equity was just, you know, minimal, right, you know, we’re making, we paid the whole thing off. And so, it was making us you know, like, maybe $1,000 a month or you know, $700 a month and it’s like, that’s just not worth it for, you know, owning this thing free and clear. So, we sold it, and I was actually trying to 1031 on another project but ended up falling through on that one. And so, kind of, I guess, like everything in my investing journey. It was kind of happen stance that I fell into this, this passive route. And so, it was the guy that was doing my 1031 introduced me to a DST or Delaware Statutory Trust Broker. And so, you know, I was just like, I’ve never I’ve heard of this mailbox money thing. Let me let me just check it out. Let me see if I even like it. Maybe it’s not something that I would even enjoy. So, he gave me his laundry list of different deals and stuff. And again, me being very naive and uneducated I was like, you know what, okay, let me see these multifamily yields look low. But this industrial deal looks good. I literally knew nothing about industrial like, I mean, you know, looking back, I’m like, that was just kind of luck that I did industrials. So, it was a, I don’t know, 200,000 square foot cold storage facility in the Delaware Valley supporting Philadelphia and other areas. And it’s a distribution facility for chick-fil-a and McDonald’s. And, you know, what, if the economy goes to hell, which we’ve all been predicting for the last six years, which, time will tell,  is true or not, you know, fast food is still going to remain right. I felt good about that. And you know, unbeknownst to me, since then, cold storage is one of the hottest segments within industrial which industrials, extremely hot in and of itself. So that was kind of my first foray into the private, private placement side. And then from there, started doing all the education and looking into on the multifamily side and other avenues as well.


Pancham Gupta: So that goes towards Tell me a little bit more about the deal. Like do you remember the numbers. Like, is the deal done? Are you still in it? Like, what? What’s the status right now?


John: Yeah, yeah. So, I mean, thankfully, that’s been my most consistent private placement so far. So, you know, one of the things for me about investing is I’m looking at it, especially being earlier in my career, I want to look at it as an educational opportunity, too. So, I think that’s one of the areas that I’m missing out on this one is the sponsor is entirely hands off, they send you a quarterly report, you know, if I sent him a message, maybe they’d respond, maybe they wouldn’t. And I’m not saying that’s good or bad. I’m just saying that that’s the way that I think a lot of these DSTs work, you know, it’s almost like buying a stock, you know, you’re not gonna send a message to the CEO, Jeff Bezos, and be like, hey, what are you looking to do with AWS? or whatever? Whatever the case is, right? Well, I guess I know, we know what they’re doing, right? They’re moving him over to CEO, but yeah, so it’s a six and three quarters yield monthly distributions. And like I said, it’s steady, Eddie, I mean, every month, it’s nice, just, you know, it’s nice seeing that money come in, at least, you know, the principal balance that I have in that account is tax deferred. So, you know, instead of having to pay the 20%, capital gains, or 25%, whatever I would have had to pay on the net increase, you know, it was nice to put that in there. And so, it’s, it’s a super low leverage deal. Again, kind of going back to what I’m trying to do is the velocity of the capital, it’s great. And it’s like a bond. You know, that’s kind of how people have described the Delaware Statutory Trust, to me, it’s a bond wrapped in real estate is really what it is. And so, the business plan for that is they said in about five years, so I think I just got in, they just purchased the asset in the end of 2019. And so that’s when I got in, they said, in five years, there’s a plot of land next to it, that they’re going to redevelop and expand the facility, and at that point, they’ll renegotiate the lease, and then they’ll look to sell the asset. So, I think it’ll be, you know, eight to 10% IRR, or something like that, you know, so I mean, you’re not losing out on anything to inflation, but you’re obviously not gaining, you know, kind of those leaps and bounds that 15 plus that a lot of people are looking for. But I mean, as far as from an educational perspective, and you know, getting some type of yield every month for that, it does a great job. 


Pancham Gupta: Got it. So, you know, John, like, looks like you’ve dipped your hands, and so many things like lending, flipping, doing your own activities, doing the passive investments, and you have a great full time career, you and your wife, so anyone my listener who’s listening, who’s making good salary, and obviously they are invested in stock market, and they want to kind of diversify outside of it, what would you say to them, like, you know, given I know, this is your own experience, but you’ve been on both sides, active and passive, and also, you know, making high salary in your full time job. My two questions for you like listeners listening, what advice would you have for them? And second, how do you, you know, suggest that person who has a full time job right to do this on this side?


John: Yeah, no, absolutely. Well, and so I’ve got two daughters as well, you know, so got my wife, two daughters. So that was one of the things that was really important to me. So, I think the biggest thing I would suggest to your listeners is, just make sure to define your priorities, right? And, you know, for me, family and health are first and foremost, above all else, and then how can I fit in my career? And how can I fit into my side hustle, or, you know, my other ways to generate income. And so, I think that’s, you know, really what I looked at, and that’s always what I suggest to people is just to find your priorities, even just write them out, you know, and then consistently be moving them and stuff because maybe, you know, the side hustle is greater than the career sometimes. And then maybe it kind of oscillates back and forth, but really comes down to being intentional with your time. Like I said, you know, being around my kids and my wife, I want to make sure that I’m present around them at all times. So, I’m not just checking stuff, of course I have to and here and there. And I think that’s why the active side, the flipping was tough because on the weekends, I’d have to run over there for a couple hours and then evenings, I’d have to run over there for a couple hours to fix something or do something. And I think that’s why the active side got a little bit of to be a little bit of a strain because I had to physically be away from the family and things that I enjoyed and wanted to be a part of. But yeah, I mean, so for me, I think one of the books that I highly recommend, if your audience hasn’t read it is the Miracle Morning, I just think that it’s so great to be able to get up and squeeze out a couple extra hours in the morning. If you’re like me, and your kids get up early, then maybe you won’t be able to squeeze out as many. But yeah, I’m up at 4:45 every day, and I’m reading, doing my meditation. And then I’m just starting to look through, you know, whatever it is, if I’m looking through deals, I’m looking through emails back from sponsors around deals that they have, or, you know, looking at purchasing deals myself, or whatever I want to align for that day. And so yeah, being intentional with your time is, is the first and foremost, important, especially, you know, so if your kids are down at 8:30, at night, you know, and you’ve got maybe an hour, an hour, and a half, and just you’re bingeing  out on Netflix or whatever, which is needed. You know, don’t get me wrong. I think everybody needs a little bit of time to decompress. But are there other things you can be doing during that time? Again, can you be vetting deals from operators? Or can you one of the books, especially from a passive perspective, that I just think is tremendous. It’s pretty hard to digest is the hands off investor by Brian Burke. But I mean, if anybody’s looking at doing anything from a private placement perspective, they have to pick up that book, it’s a must read. It’s just it’s like a textbook, but, but it’s great. But it put that in this show notes. It’s tremendous. But yeah, so those would be the biggest things is being intentional. And just understanding what your priorities are. And I think, you know, once you can align those, then it’s a lot easier to back into, hey, this is important to me, or it’s not right, because it did take a lot of time trying to network and try to find deal flow from folks. And I think that was that was the interesting part is depending on who you are, and how you can offset that time is really going to determine how active or inactive you can be. Because obviously, the return profiles are going to be different. But depending on what you’re doing verse versus another.


Pancham Gupta: Yeah, no, absolutely the risk can you know, everyone is different. their mindset is different, people enjoy different things. At the end of the day, the goal has to be very clear, like you said, and some of these things like I have follow Miracle Morning, the savers routine myself every morning. And, you know, I actually do the journal action habit right in front of me like, I’m awesome. Yeah, so it is life changing. And it has helped me figure out my own goals. And, you know, things that matter to me the most right, it may not matter, like, for example for you would be different than for me. And that’s what will help people define their own investing philosophy and what they want, right. So great. I think this is awesome. 


John: One thing you just said that I think is really important that I would love to kind of just touch on really quick is around. Like you said, you need to define what your investing priorities are. And it’s easy to get caught up. And this is kind of one of my conflicts with sponsors in general, is you don’t need a sponsor telling you why you should invest in a deal or you know what return profile should be good for you, you need to do that research. And that’s where I say you sit down with your spouse or significant other, whoever it is, or you know, if you’re single, whatever, just to find those priorities. And that’s why it’s so important, because you need to figure out what the velocity of capital is that you need. And you need to understand Are you looking to retire in five years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 30 years, are you looking to stay in your career for a long duration, if you are, your return profiles can be a little bit different, it may be more conservative than somebody that’s looking to get out quickly. And I just think so many people get caught up. And this is the trap that I fell into initially. And I know so many people do is around getting caught up in the hype around, oh my gosh, like, you know, I want to throw this money, you know, 50 grand into this deal and 60 grand into this deal. Because it just seems cool and exciting, right? It’s exciting to buy these apartment, you know, feel like you’re buying these apartment buildings. But the other side of that was that I ran into was just, you know, the timeframe. And the velocity of the capital that I wanted, wasn’t aligning with the outcome. And so, because I’ve faced that struggle and kind of made those mistakes, that would be what I would just caution your audience is making sure that the alignment of their expectations of the return profile is in line with what their expectation of their career or financial journey, whatever the case is, I think that’s such a tremendous point that you made.


Pancham Gupta: Absolutely, there is so much there we can talk about, like, you know, I know a lot of, like the listeners listening, there are people who are who really love what they do, and they’re making great returns and stock market and their job and bonuses and all that they just want a place to diversify their portfolio and they are going to work for a long time. For them, it would be different than the person who is working and wants to create enough income so that he can quit right away versus and have a velocity of money that you are talking about. So, it’s very, very personal. So great. Thank you, John, for sharing your journey and your thought process going to from a job so what’s next for you, you know, given that where you are today, you’ve done a bunch of stuff and you’re doing active stuff, and you’re still working full time. What’s your endgame here? 


John: Oh, so you’re gonna, you’re gonna laugh at this. So, you know, when I, when I kind of talk about myself from an investment perspective, I guess I tried to define myself as an opportunist. And so, I try not to lock into, you know, a certain asset class or whatever, right? If I could have gotten into, you know, Bitcoin, you know, before it went on the tremendous run, you know, I’ve got a couple I’ve got a little bit of coin, but I bought it back in 2018. You know, when it did that pump fake, and I bought it on the upswing. So, I’m up a little bit, but obviously not what I should be because I was buying in like 20K, you know, back in 2018, but


Pancham Gupta: Still double your money.


John: Here we go. So, you know, we actually, my wife actually just purchased a small business. So, I think there’s an area within that. And if you really, if the listeners really wanted to get into the tax strategy perspective, I think, the real estate’s great, but if you’re not a real estate, if you’re not taxed as a real estate professional and deemed as a real estate professional by your by your CPA, then I think the tax benefits aren’t quite as great. But when you do the small businesses, you can increase your lifestyle and be able to, you know, spend things so the CPA was giving me an example, he’s like, hey, if you buy a brand new car, whatever use car, whatever $50,000 car, you can depreciate the whole thing, year one, so you can take $50,000 off of your income. And if you have a small business, then you can put that against your W2 income too, because it’s all holistic, right within it. And so, so I think it’s just interesting, you know, how people want to go. So, we’re looking at the real estate, I think that again, unfortunately, for the folks that are struggling right now, in the small business side, but I think there’s gonna be more opportunities there, because you have to take on more risk. But, you know, I mean, so just to give a rough numbers, you know, she paid like 40 grand for it, but it’s kicking off like 1500 to $2,000 a month in cash flow. And she probably works five hours a week, you know, very basic stuff, you know, that she’s just on the computer doing little minimal stuff as needed. So, you know, I think that’s an opportunity if people have the time and the flexibility within their schedule, you know, I know a lot of developers that I know, keep very strange hours, you know, they maybe work a couple hours first thing in the morning, and then they have a couple hours off during the middle of the day, and then they get back on it in the evenings and stuff. So, depending on your schedule, you know, that’s one. And then, like I said, being a deal junkie, I think that’s just one thing that I’m going to continue to pursue is try to try to take down deals, I’m in a very fertile state in North Carolina. And so, I think, you know, just kind of trying to continue down the path of seeing if I can take down anything more on the multifamily side loves to look at self-storage. And you know, some of those mixed use projects, I just, I haven’t done the due diligence and the research yet to be successful in those.


Pancham Gupta: Got it. Great. Let’s move on to the next section of the show. After this message…

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So John, let’s move on to the next section. I call this taking the leap round, I ask these four questions to every guest on my show. My first question for you is when was the first time you invested outside of Wall Street? Was it that you know would you call that Bitcoin or no, not the Bitcoin? The rally deal that you did?


John: Well, actually, ironically, it was Bitcoin. So, I actually had a customer. So, I’m in the technology space as well. And so, I had a customer that this is 20 Oh my gosh, this is 2012 I think, you know, and he’s telling me about Bitcoin. And he was a really, really interesting guy. He was the CIO of this small local banking firm. And but he also did like horse tracks on the side, I don’t know, he owned like horse tracks and horse racing. And but then he was like, telling me about Bitcoin. And I just thought the guy was crazy. You know, he’s, there’s these algorithms, and they mined for him, and he’s like, hey, here, let me give you a penny. I think either a penny or 10 cents of Bitcoin at the time. You know, so I mean, little, you know, did he know that it was gonna blow up as much as it did, but, but yeah, outside of that, you know, 10 cents, which is probably worth a couple 100 bucks now that he gave me. You know, it was probably the condo outside of that was, in the first time investing outside of mutual funds in my 401k and basic stuff like that.


Pancham Gupta: Got it. Got it. Cool. My second question for you is what fears did you have to overcome when you first invested in that condo? I’m short Bitcoin, you probably didn’t even think but what about the condo?


John: Yeah, I mean, I just think, you know, just fear of the unknown. I think that’s the biggest challenges. You know, it’s easy, everyone, you know, thinks the 401 K’s save different funds and things like that. And so, I think it’s just with the real estate stuff. There’s so many unknowns, and so many things that can happen. You know, we’ve had tenants that have wrecked the rooms on the way out, or, you know, I mean, even crimes can happen on your property. So, I think that’s just the fear of the unknown and the variability of it. We just got very fortunate that again, North Carolina is a very fertile market and so you. Some of those pain I mean, I guess case in point, we had a property manager that stole $10,000 from us, and then he, you know, ended up passing away from a heart attack. So, you know, that was, you know, that was one of the pitfalls from, you know, he had stolen about I think $250,000 and so, didn’t even know it, of course until afterwards. And then I mistakenly filed the claim erroneously. And so, they threw it out. I didn’t get any I didn’t get anything from it. But there was a time to collect, but it would have been something but yeah, I mean, I think that’s the fears that, you know, hey, what’s the worst that can happen? But again, at the end of the day, that’s, that’s within any investment or just in life, right? You know, and I think that’s the thing with all of this is you just learn how to be stronger and deal with adversity, knowing that it’s going to happen, and how are you going to move past it? I think that only makes you stronger.


Pancham Gupta: Got it. Cool. So, my third question for you is, can you share with us one investment that did not go as expected? 


John: Well, I mean, so yeah, it’s probably Bitcoin. I mean, honestly, I mean, obviously, some of the some of the real estate stuff, you know, some of the worst stories I just alluded to, but back in 2018, Litecoin, was really hot, you know, at the time, they were talking about Litecoin, potentially becoming this new currency that Facebook was going to use. And so, I just started pumping money into it, not a ton, but a couple $1,000 into Litecoin. Because again, I hadn’t done a ton of stuff, and we hadn’t seen anything on the real estate side. So, I think, I thought, What’s his face? The guy john McAfee, you know, was talking about Bitcoin going to 200,000, you know, 


Pancham Gupta: They’re still talking about it.


John: Exactly, exactly. So, you know, at the time, I was like, Oh, my gosh, like, I got to buy in, I think I bought in a day, 10, 12. And then it got  20 and I’m like, Oh, my gosh, it’s on its meteoric rise. So, I think the commodity side, I think is interesting, because there’s so many nuances within the industry. You know, the thing about crypto that worries me more than anything, well, first of all, is there’s so many coins now, you know, who knows why one would be deemed valuable versus another. I know, there’s some intrinsic technical values. But, you know, I think the government regulation on some of that stuff is interesting. And, you know, kind of we were talking about it beforehand, with potentially some of the manipulation within the markets, I was looking into silver recently, because everyone is saying, oh, gold is overpriced or not to put down your color. But you know, gold, gold is hot right now. But they were saying that, you know, paper silver is real, you know, they don’t have enough silver reserves. So, I think that’s kind of the interesting thing is, with all these investments, you can do as much research and try to understand the nuances as much as possible. But at the end of the day, it’s still a crapshoot, you know, you don’t know what’s going to happen. A lot of these markets are global. Now, a lot of these impacts that happen are so out of your control. And so, I think, again, going back to just being at peace with hey, you know, I’m going to make the best decision with the information that I have at hand at the time. And if it doesn’t go, right, I can look back in hindsight and say, you know, hey, I should have done this differently, or I should have known this. But at the end of the day, you’re going to make mistakes in investing. And the best thing you can do is learn from them, and then understand what your risk tolerance is. And then you know, understand, hey, I’m going to lose sometimes, nobody’s you know, 10 out of 10, unfortunately, in terms of investing successfully, no matter what the asset is,


Pancham Gupta: Right? Yeah, just, you know, for the Litecoin, if you really look at the price today value, we’re talking I pulled it up, it went up to 360 per coin, and right now it’s at 150 to 360.


John: I think I bought a couple of coins at 360. I was like Facebook’s gonna use it as their currency like this is going to the moon, that’s going – inaudible- to GameStop, right?


Pancham Gupta  

Yeah. All right. So, my final question for you, John, is what is one piece of advice would you give to people who are thinking of investing in main street that is outside of Wall Street? 


John: Yeah, I mean, I think we talked about it before, but better educate yourself. I mean, you’ve really got to get out there. And I think that’s the struggle. And I think that’s what the, you know, the stock market has going for it is it is more mainstream, right. And I think on the main street side, you really gotta go out there and be intentional around, you know, so get your Miracle Morning book, crush that then go by the hands off investor and start checking out, you know, some of these ways to do due diligence on, you know, primarily multifamily, but I’m actually invested in self-storage, as well, as we talked about the industrial stuff as well. So, I think there’s, it’s just, just like with Wall Street, you never want to go fully the way that everybody’s going. And I think that’s why, you know, on the private placement side, multifamily is kind of the leader in the clubhouse right now. But I wouldn’t look past mobile home parks and self-storage and some of the other asset classes that I that I think are tremendous. I mean, the best investors that I know that I have the most respect for on the passive side, they all say mobile home parks, as they love all above all else. So, I’m still I’m still on the hunt. So, if any of your listeners are if you know of a mobile home park fund that you recommend, you know, definitely interested to take a peek at that because you’re just in the land lease business, right. So that’s why everybody loves it.


Pancham Gupta: Great advice. Thank you, John. I know you have this great podcast as well. Why don’t you tell about that? our listeners and also how can they connect with you?


John: Yeah, absolutely. No, I appreciate you giving me the chance to share so yeah, so I’ve got a podcast called Contrarian Cash Flow. And it kind of speaks similar to my journey. You know, one of the challenges that I faced and learn from other some of my other colleagues, be it engineers, data scientists, software developers, they were all having the same feelings about their career that I was, you know, I just thought because I was in sales, sales is tough, right? It’s a grind. 


Pancham Gupta: It’s a grind for sure.


John: Yes. And so, I thought that was just a struggle that I faced. And so, when I was hearing this from others, I really wanted to get into the mindset of what actually ended up being fulfilling because we all in our conversations seemed that the income wasn’t necessarily the fulfilling part. And so, you know, a lot of us are trying to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures outside of our career. And so that was kind of the impetus for the podcast. And so, I’m interviewing a lot of folks that are either entrepreneurs, or that have kind of stepped out and taken on that contrarian mindset to do things differently. Very similar to what you’re talking about investing in mainstream and you know, what they’ve been able to do to reach and you know, levels within their life that they want outside of income. And so that’s kind of it’s think different or different live fulfilled. So yeah,, or any major podcast directory. You know, if you enjoy it, definitely leave a review. I definitely would appreciate that. Outside of that. You can find me on LinkedIn, John Blanton, and then I do have a website as well. still working out to make that a little bit smoother, but anyone to check it out. And if anyone has any questions, I’m always happy to help. Like I said, I’m very interested. I can talk this stuff too. I’m blue in the face. So always happy to chat about it.


Pancham Gupta: I can tell.  Thank you. Thank you, John, for your time today. It’s been awesome. Thank you for coming on the show.


John: Yeah, thanks, man. Appreciate the time looking forward to it.


Pancham Gupta  

So, I hope you learn something from John’s wide variety of experience and short amount of time he’s doing a full time job and doing active investing tried a lot a lot of different things. Do connect with them. Do check out his podcast, Contrarian Cash Flow. Thanks for listening. I appreciate you.  If you have questions email me at be at p@thegoldcollar that’s 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.thegoldcollar and follow us on Facebook@thegoldcollarinvestor. The information on this podcast are opinions as always, please consult your own financial team before investing.

Copy of EP #18 - 2 Guests

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