TGCI 156: Electrical engineers turned real estate investors.

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Episode 156: Electrical engineers turned real estate investors.

Copy of EP #18 - 2 Guests


In today’s show, Pancham interviews Stony Stonebraker and Lennon Lee – real estate investors and founders of Passivo Real Estate Investments.

Stony started his investing career after he retired from being an electrical engineer. Lennon jumped straight ahead into real estate investing as he started to manage properties as soon as he settled in the US. They’re indeed the epitome of “Opposites attract” as they have partnered and founded an investment firm that helps investors with generational wealth and passive income!

In this episode, Stony and Lennon will join us as they share how they came to become real estate partners and their vision as they started Passivo. We’ll also look at their mindset as they’ll share the challenge in analysis paralysis, the importance of building relationships, and working their way towards financial and time freedom!


Listen and enjoy the show!

Pancham Gupta
Screen Shot 2021-09-07 at 4.33.21 PM
Stony Stonebraker
Screen Shot 2021-09-07 at 4.34.00 PM
Lennon Lee

Tune in to this show and enjoy!

Copy of Quote #00 - 1 Guest

Timestamped Shownotes:

  • 0:35 – Pancham introduces Stony and Lennon to the show
  • 3:11 – Their different backgrounds and how they got into investing
  • 6:29 – Lennon’s mindset on investing right after coming to the US
  • 8:41 – Why Stony decided to start investing after retirement
  • 11:34 – Their goals with Passivo and why they focus on passive investments
  • 14:08 – Giving up control and building trust as the first step to passive investing
  • 19:23 – On their investing strategy to provide diversification and capital growth
  • 23:29 – Their uncomfortable goals that they’re working towards to
  • 26:56 – Taking the Leap Round
  • 26:56 – Their first investments outside of Wall Street
  • 28:26 – Overcoming their mental hurdles when they started investing
  • 30:49 – Why their investments in real estate and cryptocurrency didn’t work out
  • 33:15 – Why investors should know their goals and to start investing now
  • 35:16 – Where you can get a copy of their free eBook

3 Key Points:

  1. You would never be 100% ready in investing thus investors should take action first and create changes along the way instead of overanalyzing things. 
  2. Some investors wouldn’t have the time to fully understand investing. It all comes down to trusting the real professionals to do their work and be able to learn from them.
  3. Mitigate your investment risks by having any sort of diversification – whether in terms of your investments or in terms of the team.

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, this is Joe Fairless.  If you want to diversify out of Wall Street investments, then listen to 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. Today, I have two electrical engineers on the show. One of them actually retired from electrical engineering job and uh, you know, was set for life, and then came back into real estate. The other one right after the degree got jumped into real estate right away. So, the totally two different personalities and different career paths and then they both ended up in being real estate investors. So, I have Tony, who started his career with NASA in the Apollo space program working on the instrument unit of the Saturn Five Rocket. Later, he was with Florida Power and Light company managing telecommunications and winning network world’s national user Excellence Award. During his career in technologies, Tony invested in income producing vacation condos, land and single family homes in Florida and North Carolina. He is currently full time commercial real estate investor and real estate professional with investments over thousand units of multifamily property properties in Florida and Texas. And Lennon Lee, on the other hand came to United States with his family in 2009 due to the unrest in his home country of Venezuela. He took responsibility of investing his family’s life savings in real estate to build a solid future of for his parents and siblings alongside his investing partners. He has been involved both as an LP and GP general partner in acquisitions of over 2000 units of multifamily real estate with an approximate market value of $200 million. Lennon is also a host of Se Habla Real Estate, the first podcast in Spanish about real estate investing in the US, Lennon, and Stoney, welcome to the show.


Stoney  Pancham, thank you for having us, man. Thank you.


Pancham Gupta  No, it’s great to have you both on the show. I know we connected long time back at bunch of different conferences separately. And over the years, I’ve connected many different times and really glad to have you on and talk about your journey. I’m very excited to talk about it, especially Len and you. Your story is something that will resonate with many of the listeners here. So super excited. Before we get started, are you ready to fire up my Listener break out of Wall Street investments? 


Stoney  That’s what we’re here for man. Absolutely. Really, let’s do it. 


Pancham Gupta  Awesome. Let’s bring it. So, you know, Lennon and Stoney, I’m sure people would love to know what your background is how you actually got into this business where you are today and talk about that. And also, you know, more importantly, you know, the person behind that background


Stoney  My story. I’ll let you Okay. Well, I started out many years ago in I was an electrical engineer and worked in the space program many years ago. And then I got into a W2 job in technology in the telecommunications field and worked in that for many years and did the traditional, you know growing up at that time with you know, getting a job and put your money away and then work your jobs and then retire. And I finally got into real estate full time a few years ago when I retired. But I had been interested for a long time, I just was so busy with my job that I couldn’t take advantage of some of the things that we have. Today, the information is available widely, but if I wanted to, but I did do some minor investing in them single family homes and land and so forth. But then about six years ago really got interested and got into it then and so I’ve been in full time ever since.


Pancham Gupta  Great. So, Stoney, I, you mentioned something very, very interesting, which I want to get into later on once Lennon gets a chance to talk. That’s really, you actually retired and then you got back into this and there must be some trigger there. I want to talk about that mindset when we get into it. So, Lennon, take it away.


Lennon  Sir. Yeah, so I’m also an engineer by education and haven’t really worked as an engineer but yeah, I have that title. I’m from Venezuela originally, off to the United States in 2010. I have been in real estate since that, actually since 2009 when me and my family we bought a small portfolio properties here in Miami. And I was always managing the portfolio, taking care of the boat, basically doing property management across the portfolio for a few years. Later, when it made sense around 2015, I started looking for avenues to get better return on that equity that we had seen in there and we were looking for passive opportunities. My family had moved to Panama. And, you know, we wanted that money to work with them and generate cash flow for them. And we’ve figured commercial real estate and especially multifamily, and we started investing as passive investors in real estate syndications and that’s when Stoney and I kind of basically met, I started also working on the active side of things and trying to raise capital and be in the operations and everything. I had a deal that I was raising capital for eventually, and Stoney and I partner up for that deal.  He invested with us and since then he got more active on his side, and we basically ended up building a partnership. We did a few deals together for like three years or so and then we ultimately, last year, we launched Passivo, which is our new company, where we’re basically offering investors the opportunity to generate cash flow and build a legacy through multifamily investing as passive investors that is


Pancham Gupta  Great. So, Lennon, actually one follow up there is that you said that you came in 2009 from Venezuela, right? And right away, you bought a portfolio of property, that is something totally unheard of. I actually didn’t know that. And you know, I came to this country in 2003. It’s not like 2011 or 2012, I started buying to have a mindset of coming here. First, you come in two totally different country, unless you already had people here, like, tell us about that. Like, how did that happen and how did you think about buying something right after coming here?


Lennon  Yeah, I think well, I’m gonna give all the credit to my mom on that side, is because she always had the mindset of and she always liked real estate, we actually developed like a few townhouses in our small town in Venezuela. So, we always had some real estate investments, but we never called ourselves like, hey, I’m a real estate investor, anything like we never saw it that way. But one thing, I think the main reason is because she always had the mindset of eventually, he wanted, what he want to do is live up the rent, what that meant for her and where that came from, is like my grandfather, who I never met, but he when she was little, he always told her that the goal, like you want to be able to eventually retire and live up the rent, whatever that meant, right? And in his case, he had like commercial properties and stuff. So, my family, we did well, in Venezuela, we made a little bit of money and ultimately we knew, and we wanted to be in the United States, just because of the safety of this country in terms of well, no one’s gonna come and take your money here


Pancham Gupta  Or take your property,


Lennon  Not legally. Yeah, yeah, or your properties or anything. So, we wanted to park our money in a safe haven, United States made a lot of sense. And yeah, we knew since we got here, we knew that we wanted to invest that money and real estate was where we wanted to have it and rentals made a lot of sense. But that came with a lot of work. And that’s when I came in and Okay, I had to do all the renting or the property management and all that. But yeah, that’s kind of the reason why we are right off the bat. We bought a, you know, some properties here.


Pancham Gupta  Wow, pretty awesome. Kudos to you and your mom. So, Stoney. And going back to your story. You said that you had retired being an electrical engineer, right? Like my background is engineering too. And you both are engineers, my wife is an electrical engineer, it’s, you know, it’s, it feels like your family here. And I know for engineers, like we do have this thing of analysis and paralysis, right? Like we think a lot, we analyze things a lot. So, for you, you actually retired, right? And you were doing your thing, and then you retired. And what made you come back to real estate like and what was the mindset?


Stoney  Well, early in my career, I’d read a book called How I Turned $1,000 into 3 million in real estate in my spare time. And the author was William Nickerson. It was I think there’s three different versions of it. But I read that, and it was kind of like, Rich Dad, Poor Dad before that one came out. But it was not just a mindset change, it was how to do it. And it was explaining the advantages of income producing real estate, to the income itself and through the amortization of the loan, so forth, and all the advantages that we know about. And so, I was interested in real estate early on, but I was so wrapped up in my career and so focused on that and so consumed by all the work that I kept busy with As I mentioned before, I did do a few investments, bought some vacation condos in Florida and in North Carolina, and in Boston laws and so forth. But it was very minor. Also, some people that I talked to at my job, had some small commercial properties. And like one fella had a liquor store and a bar over us  and Monday morning, he would come in and he would be loaning and groaning about the fight he had to break up and the police he had to deal with over the weekend, and so forth like that. So, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about some commercial with that. But then, when I retired, I actually retired to help my son be when he was growing up and to be involved with him during summers sometime too. So, I enjoy that. And then, in later on, I actually my wife brought up the idea to me, I was thinking of doing something else and getting back into work because I really wanted to be busy. And she suggested real estate, and but she was thinking more about selling real estate. And I kind of liked the idea of investing. So, I started reading and getting involved, like we many of us do, and watching podcasts at a time and really got interested in the commercial side at that point, including when I was talking to friends who were in the commercial real estate side. So, it ultimately ended up with that kind of an interest.


Pancham Gupta  Wow. You know, it’s small little things it takes you like one little book can change your life, right. So cool. Cool. So, you know, now you both are partners, and you started Passivo  a year and a half ago, and I’m sure there were ups and downs. They’re there for everybody and tell us like where you are today and what’s the goal and the focus of the company?


Lennon  Yeah. So yeah, definitely, definitely a challenge, especially because what you said before, we’re both engineers, very analytical, and, you know, perfectionist, and that has taken a toll on the on the growth really the company, we’re working on it, as we, you know, move forward. But yeah, that’s been one of the challenges. So, whoever’s listening out there, you know, you should just action is all that really matters. You can tweak it along the way you’ll get there anyway. So yeah, that’s, that was one of the challenges. We were always over analyzing things we wanted to have, you know, we till we didn’t take action, because it wasn’t ready. It wasn’t ready. It wasn’t ready, but never really 100%. ready, right. So that’s part of it. That being said, we will under Placebo itself, we actually just closed a deal in Houston, in partnership with a, you know, a great group out of Texas as well. And 262 unit apartment complex, we’re very happy about the deal. That’s the first deal that we do under the Placebo brand. Before that, it had done a few projects and we had invested on I think around 10 different syndications ourselves as passive investors. Stoney and I have like, the reason why we became partners is because we share the vision of achieving that financial or time freedom rather than we just decided that this is the vehicle. Cash flowing real estate is the vehicle that we selected and the vision for our company is to well obviously continue to invest in this type of deals, and multifamily is acid that we like the most. But ultimately, the idea is to build a community and provide the tools to our investors and build a network where people can come and ultimately become better passive investors. That’s our goal. Again, like I mentioned before, syndications, and passive investing in commercial real estate is just the vehicle that we’re using. It’s not the only one, that actually it probably shouldn’t be the only one. But it’s super powerful, right? So, we just think that our investors and ourselves, we’re trying to become better and learn every day to ultimately have a very well balanced portfolio that’s going to allow us to achieve that goal of financial freedom for our families, of course, and for ourselves. And that’s kind of what we’re working on. That’s kind of what we want to do.


Pancham Gupta  No, that’s great. So, let me ask you this, you mentioned that you’re being engineers being over analyzing things, you know, was kind of a hindrance to in your growth of the company, right? And add to truly agree with that, and I can totally resonate with me, but to the same effect, right, people who are listening right now, and they’re engineers, they also have a similar roadblock or mental block in their mind when it comes to passive investing, right? For example, someone who’s working at Facebook or Microsoft right now, right? Like, they’re making very good money, right? They’re spending time they’re working for money, they’re trading hours for dollars, right? So, they’re invested mainly in stock market and Wall Street. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you know, just having all your eggs in one asset class, I feel it’s very risky. Just like having one place where you work being the source of your income. So, my question for you is that these guys, right, when they’re evaluating these opportunities, right when the passive opportunities outside of Wall Street, like the apartment complex you mentioned, or there might be a mobile home park or self-storage or whatever, right? It is very hard as an engineer to take that step, to take the first step and the first one is the hardest right to trust someone else with your money and actually invest in it. And so, being an engineer on top of that is even more painful, because now you’re analyzing everything to the last little, tiny little detail, right? And so, what advice would you have for someone like that who understands the benefits, but just cannot take the first step?


Lennon  Yeah, well, I’m gonna get started on that one, and then it’s done it, you can provide your comments. To me, it’s very straightforward. There’s two main things right? Or actually, there’s one thing, you need to have your priorities in order, you need to really understand what’s your priority? What is it that you want? What’s your goal, if your goal is time freedom, to not continue to exchange your time for money, so basically, have your money work for you, if that’s the actual goal, then that comes at a cost? The main one is control, you need to give up control, like you don’t, I mean, obviously, I’m not comparing ourselves and the type of companies that we have to Facebook or Amazon, right, like in terms of building a brand and building trust people already be invest in them in the stock market, and you invest in the S&P 500, or whatever you do, you’re ultimately trusting that the CEOs and that these managers are actually capable of executing the plan. And you’re, you’re trusting them with your money. That’s what you’re doing. So basically, you’re giving up control, right? That’s passive investing, what you have there is that you have liquidity. So maybe if something happens today, maybe tomorrow, you have your money. Okay, well, that’s awesome. In the case of something outside of Wall Street, like investing in a mobile home park syndication or something like that, as a passive investor, you need to, of course, build that trust with the operator or the sponsor to that you eventually decide to invest, that’s the main thing. But you also need to understand the benefits that it has beyond or compare it actually with it, you know, like a pros and cons list, right? Do you have the pros and the cons, one of them is going to be, it’s just not as liquid. But if your priority is to achieve time freedom, then you probably won’t have a long term vision. And you probably want to look at cash flow, you know, generates cash flow. And on this side, which you don’t necessarily have on Wall Street might be one of the reasons why you want to do that. But bottom line is trust, you know, you have to be doing business and focus on building a relationship first, with people like us, that are ultimately going to be taken care of, of your of your money you know, so that’s the way I see it.


Stoney  If I could add a little bit, I agree with Lennon wholeheartedly. And I think that just like we need to hire professionals for certain functions, whether it’s a CPA or attorney to do there and be professional about what they’re doing, and then have them advise us on that, I think you want to have somebody who can be professional in the real estate arena, to be the professional to be the full time person that’s focused on those investments, where most of the time, just like in my career, I didn’t have the time to be involved in that full time or really understand all the nuances. And if we are trying to say compete with our stock investments with people who are in that full time and having computers that are doing transactions in milliseconds, it’s going to be tough to beat them. Although we can, you know, try to and we might think we can as engineers A lot of times, and we can learn enough about it. But I think it comes down again, to the same thing that Lennon said, which is trust and making sure that you’re working with the real professionals in that field that know the business itself, and that you can really trust them.


Pancham Gupta  All right.  Yeah, I know 100% agree. So, piggybacking on that, right, let’s say, can you talk about what is different for your company? What’s your commercial real estate investing strategy as a company?


Lennon  Yeah, basically, ultimately, we’re a real estate investment company, and we’re raising private equity, to deploy it into cash flow and commercial real estate, specifically multifamily properties, right. We are the sponsors of this deals. And we’re, you know, bringing the opportunity to our investor network. So that’s what we do, but we’re a little bit different than from your, I would say your regular investment company in the sense that before anything else, Tony and I were passive investors, right? We’re limited partners, we look at everything that we do. And then you know, we’re building the company with that in mind. And basically, the way we see it is, if you want to be in the work for real estate, and you want to be a passive investor, again, it comes down to building relationships with people that you trust. And more than that, I mean, I think if you look at it in terms of Okay, how do I, if I want to be in this space? How do I mitigate my risk and how do I protect my downside? Well, you do you want to have some sort of diversification? It’s easy for everyone basically, to diversify across markets, right? That’s kind of a good idea. But then the way we see it the biggest risk in the type of deals that we do, anyway, is the execution risk. Who’s the team behind it? How well prepared? Are they what was their track record and how well can they execute? So, if the execution and the team is the biggest risk, then it only makes sense that you diversify as well across different teams, meaning you don’t want to invest only with financial modeling with Lennon or like, you want to ultimately have different teams that you invest with? Well, that’s what we believe in. And that’s why we, our model is we not only do our deals that we find ourselves and put it in front of our investors. But actually, mainly, we partner up with different sponsors across the different markets that we want to be in, we look and focus on building relationships with them, when they source a deal that they find out a good opportunity, they put it in front of us, we analyze it with our team, at a level that normally no other investor or vendor, like everyday investor is going to be able to do it at that same level, because again, we’re doing it you know, with our team, and we have a team of professionals to do all the due diligence ourselves, and like a third party underwriting and looking at like, every detail of these deals, if they make sense for us, as investors as passive investors that at that point, we become one with that other sponsor. And at that point, we, that’s when we put those deals in front of our investors, okay. And that allows us and our investors to have not only more quantity, but it’s also easier for us to find more deals, if the deals are coming from, you know, we have all these other partners looking for deals instead of only us. But also, it’s a better quality deal flow, because again, it’s providing our investors diversification across different teams. That’s basically the bulk of it. And, yeah, we’re ultimately investing in multifamily growing markets, typically in the southeast. And our core philosophy is about capital preservation. We really want to we do our deals, that the markets that we invest in the way the deals are structured legally, the way we underwrite the deals and everything. It’s very focused and the type of debt that we use everything it’s focused on. We how do we don’t lose money, especially if something like COVID comes like a pandemic, right? And then if there’s cashflow, well there has to be cash flow. That’s one of our main things. But the second priority, and then the third priority, we look at Okay, growth and how to build a legacy. So capital preservation, cash flow and growth of that capital. That’s what we basically offer our investors and that’s what we’re where we are invest in ourselves as well.


Pancham Gupta  Thank you for that explanation. Lennon. Stoney, do you have anything to add? Otherwise, I want to switch gears and talk about a little bit about the future?


Stoney  No, I think Lennon did a fine job there.


Pancham Gupta  Great. So, let me ask you this right, as a company or as individuals, both you Lennon, Stoney, like what is one thing that you are working towards now that is making you extremely uncomfortable? It’s Tony, you can start and then we can go to Lennon.


Stoney  I think one of the things for me Pancham is that I am more of an engineer go through engineer and like to work on the spreadsheets and kind of the overall management of our company, and linens more of the face of our company. So, one idea I did come up with which I’ve want to do is record a series of videos a maybe a little vignettes of a minute or two about real estate, investing lessons from walking my dog, actually, because I thought about that when I was out on many of these walks. And I haven’t started that up. But I want to post that, and I want to get over just trying to where I should start on that. And once I get started, I’ll be fine.


Pancham Gupta  Absolutely. Now that you’ve announced it to the universe, it will make it happen for you, man. 


Lennon  It has to.  Yeah it has to happen.  


Stoney  That’s right. I’m gonna have to come through now. 


Pancham Gupta  Yeah, exactly. That said it’s on tape. All right, Lennon you go ahead.


Lennon  Yeah, for me, I think it’s probably we’re planning on going back to buying smaller properties in partnership with some of our a few specific investors that are interested in doing like deals on their own and obviously in partnership with us so we can manage them and all And I think that’s going to come with a lot of asset management. Obviously, the responsibility is like trying to do day to day operations being on top of that, we’ve done it in the past, we’ve done it successfully. But there’s a reason why we actually went with the model of partnering up with top other sponsors so that they can tackle that side of the business. And we can focus on the capital raising and building, you know, educating investors and you know, taking care of communications with investors and all that, which is the bar that I enjoy that I like, but I think we’re going to have to put ourselves in a position where we’re going to do those uncomfortable tasks that again, we’ve done it, we’ve done it, well, we know how to do it, but we just bought for myself, I just I hate it, man. But you know, it’s part of the part of the grind. So yeah,


Pancham Gupta  That’s how you grow, right? That’s great. Thank you, Lennon, and Stoney for sharing all of that. We’ll go on to the second round of the show. We’ll be back after this message… Have you ever wondered why the rich keep getting richer? What is the secret that they know but you do not? What if I told you that wealthy people make their money work for them in two different places? Yes, the same dollars invested into different places and working hard for them while they sleep. They utilize these special accounts that have been in existence for more than 100 years. Do you want to learn more about these accounts? Then you are in the right place? Listen to the episode number five by going to show.  I repeat, thegoldcollarinvestor show or visit….All right. So, Stoney, Lennon let’s move on to the second round. It’s called taking the leap round, I asked these four questions to every guest on my show. My first question is for both of you separately, actually because it would be different for both of you. When was the first time you invested outside of Wall Street, says Tony, you can go ahead,


Stoney  Okay. I invested in a vacation condo in Sarasota, right on the beach at Siesta Key, which is a beautiful beach, they’re friends of mine, his uncle actually was one of the financers and developers of this brand new condominium building. And we bought that and had it managed by a local onsite management company. And we rented it out. And we could go visit and we went to take our 14 days there during the year and use it as a nice vacation course. And it broke even. And it over many years is appreciated. So, it was a good investment. Although I in looking in hindsight, we probably could have refinanced it sometime during the road, and really use that to invest in other things. So that was one of the lessons that I learned from that.


Pancham Gupta  Great. Thank you and Lennon, for you?


Lennon  I’ve always been outside of Wall Street. I actually got into Wall Street recently. So yeah, I’ve always been in real estate yeah.. 


Pancham Gupta  So, when was the first time ?


Lennon  In real estate? I mean, I would say formally 2009 when we bought the portfolio. Yeah, but yeah, before that, I was a bit younger, and I was in Venezuela, but we did some invest in there as a family. Yeah, 


Pancham Gupta  You’re still younger. All right, my second question, Lennon, you can go first on this fun, what fears did you have to overcome in 2009 when you did that?


Lennon  Yeah, that’s a good question for us and then obviously, this is very related to what we do, which is more focused on the capital raising, and you know, and equity is just basically getting over the, what is it called, like the Imposter syndrome. You know, I’ve never really I’ve never really had like a track record in real estate. And that’s not what I went to school for. And I, you know, I’m an engineer. And when I started going out and investing in real estate, with, with my family, and then trying to raise capital for our deals and all that, that was a bit of a challenge. So being young, typically, real estate, and especially in commercial real estate, and this is a huge deal. There’s more like a conversation of, first of all the suit and tie and, you know, older people and like super corporate environment to talk about these deals, and that was my approach. It’s not who I am. It’s not my identity. So, building the confidence of Okay, listen, this is about trust, this is who I am, and I need to show myself genuinely, as a man as a person. And that’s what I worked on. And it was a challenge initially, you know, I didn’t believe that I could do it. And I always believed that people were going to judge me or were not going to trust me because I’m whatever younger or I don’t dress in a suit and tie or you know, all those mental hurdles that you put yourself through kind of you know, yeah, we’re challenged but yeah, ultimately, here we are. So yeah,


Pancham Gupta  Yeah. Thanks, man.  So, Stoney, for you put that vacation rental?


Stoney  Right, it was it was exactly that because my parents had never invested in real estate. I mean, they did buy a summer house in the mountains where our family got together. But it wasn’t like it was a commercial rental kind of a property. And so, my parents also never really taught me a whole lot about finance and what I had to do and no, and so this investment was through this other friend, I was trusting him for everything. And frankly, it was early in my career, I had to borrow money from my father to help buy it, you know, but in my 50% of the ownership of it, and I sure didn’t want to lose that money. It’s kind of like Lennon says bout his mom when he came here to invest, and so I was really concerned about that. And fortunately, it turned out to be a good investment.


Pancham Gupta  Cool. Cool. So, my third question for you Stoney, you can go first on this one, can you share with us one investment that did not go as expected?


Stoney  Yes, I was brilliant enough to invest in a five acre lot. It was here in Florida, but it wasn’t near anything, you know, you wanted to be around. It was out in the in the boondocks. And so, I held it for about 10 years. And I sold it for about the same price as I bought it, and just pay the property taxes and so forth over the years and, and the interest on a small loan on the property. And the next person probably did very well, because it’s now part of a big horse farm, a horse area where people do keep their horses on it, and so forth. But that wasn’t exactly how I would hope it would go. 


Pancham Gupta  Got it. Thank you for sharing, and so Lennon for you?


Lennon  Yeah, well outside of real estate, that was in 17 or so I actually got into Bitcoin and Crypto, it went as expected. And what’s actually pretty cheap, I think I bought like 1000 or 4000, Bitcoin was at 3000 or something like that. Yeah, but then it went up. Awesome. But, but I didn’t know what I was doing. I was just following the hype, you know, that, which is the word that you want to do, and try to find myself trading and day trading and try to, you know, looking at all these projects and stuff in which it at the end of the day, it didn’t go as planned, because I ended up committing the biggest mistake in investing, which is I bought I so low. So, because of fear, you know, again, following the hype, so that didn’t go as expected. I’m still in Crypto, I’m doing okay, it’s fine. But you know, and in real estate, at the end of the day, the projects that we have are performing as expected. But during COVID For a second there, it wasn’t going as expected. And we had to adjust our strategy. And we had to adjust the way we would distribute capital and manage our cash flow, to be able to ultimately go through these challenging times. So yeah, this, I don’t think anyone was expecting this global pandemic to happen. So that was unexpected. And we will, again, thankfully, were able to navigate it successfully, not without challenges, not without sweating him, you know, being worried about our investors and our deals and everything. But thankfully, we’re very good now.


Pancham Gupta  Cool. So, my final question is, what is one piece of advice would you give to people who are thinking of investing outside of Wall Street that is in the main street? So, Lennon, you can go first?


Lennon  Yeah, well, I would go back to what I said at the beginning, have a clear understanding of what you want to do, what your goals are, you know, you want to be a passive investor, because you value time more than anything else. Well, then that means that I mean, you can have the best of both worlds, right? Do you have to understand that you have to give up control If you want to be a passive investor and you value your time more than maximizing profits. That’s what you need to understand. And yeah, that was pretty first to four, that’s it.  


Pancham Gupta  Good for you. Stoney any different?


Stoney  Yes, absolutely. Start. Now, immediately yesterday, if you can, I did the usual traditional investing, saving, you know, in old employee stock option plans, and then the IRAs, 401, Ks and so forth. But those aren’t the only investment tools, and I would say educate yourself. Not only start now, but just you know, educate yourself about what’s available. The things that you have on your program. Pancham are excellent. We try to do similar things with our investors and educate them, bring them open their eyes to things that they should be asking. They’re professionals. Making sure that they’re professionals are also real estate investors themselves because I’ve had advisors in the past who don’t understand real estate very well. And so, they’re giving me advice. It’s not the best for people like us who wants to have a diverse and a growing portfolio and investment portfolio like that. So, I’d say start early and make sure you’re educated along the way.


Pancham Gupta  Yeah, I mean, you’re speaking from experience, right? Like you retired once, and you can speak from all the things you saw during your career. So, thank you for sharing that. So great. Thank you Lennon and Stoney for your time. I’m sure a lot of people would connect with this. And I know you do have a report for the listeners of the show you put together for A New American Dream, Four Investing Rules for The New American Dream, tell our listeners about how they can get that, and you know if there’s anything else you want to share?


Lennon  Yes, yes, definitely. So yeah, this is short eBook that we put together. Obviously, it’s free, like you said, Four Investing Rules for The New American Dream. And it really talks about our investment philosophy and obviously a little bit about what we do and why we believe wholeheartedly in the way we are investing and how we’re looking at our opportunities and everything. So yeah, and again, it’s free. You can find it by just send an email at and you’ll get a copy.


Pancham Gupta  Great. Thank you, Stoney. Thank you, Lennon for your time here. 


Stoney  Great to be with you today. Awesome fans. Thank you for having us, man.  


Lennon  Appreciate it. 


Pancham Gupta  Thank you. I hope you learn something new from both Stoney and Lennon on the show. If you really need their Four Investing Rules for The New American Dream, email at Passivo p a s s i v o Thanks for listening. I appreciate you tuning in today. If you have questions email me at 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 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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