Passive real estate investing requires education and community. In this episode, Jim Pfeiffer explains how he built Left Field Investors from a small mastermind into a 1300+ member syndication education platform.

Jim started investing in syndications with no clue what he was doing. After losing money and having mixed results, he discovered the power of an engaged community for vetting sponsors and deals. Now Jim uses Left Field Investors to “community” potential investments, transferring trust through member referrals.

Across 90+ LP positions in multifamily, self-storage, mobile homes, and alternative assets like ATMs and bitcoin mining, Jim has invested in nearly every syndication niche imaginable. He shares lessons learned from both successful and failed deals. If you want to take your syndication education and due diligence to the next level, this episode is a must-listen.

Timestamps

[00:31] Jim’s background as a teacher and financial advisor

[01:41] The origins of Left-Field Investors during the pandemic

[02:52] Providing a network, education, and deal flow for members

[04:17] Jim’s journey to becoming an LP investor

[06:52] Using the community to vet sponsors before investing

[10:15] Why real estate investing is better than stock market speculation

[12:34] Jim’s investment portfolio across many alternative assets

[16:05] Communication is the key factor when evaluating sponsors

[19:12] The common denominator of bad deals – lack of sponsor due diligence

[21:26] Using leverage like HELOCs to invest in ATMs

Key Takeaways

  • Left Field Investors started as a small mastermind group and grew into a 1300+ member community providing education and resources for passive real estate investors.
  • Having a community helps vet syndication sponsors before investing since these are long-term illiquid deals. Trust transfers through referrals.
  • Jim transitioned from being a teacher and financial advisor to a full-time LP investor across 90+ deals in multifamily, self-storage, mobile home parks, and alternative assets like ATMs.
  • Strong communication is the number one factor Jim looks for when evaluating potential sponsors to invest with.
  • Bad deals often happen when sponsors pivot to new asset classes without the right experience. Jim avoids being sponsors’ “guinea pigs” in new niches.
  • Leveraging things like HELOCs to invest in short-term alternative assets like ATMs can provide strong returns by having money work double duty.

Resources & Social Media

Website: Left Field Investors

Podcast: Investing from Left Field

Facebook: Left Field Investors

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Instagram: @truly_passive_income

Facebook: Truly Passive Inc

Twitter: @trulypassive

Passive Investor Toolkit

Everything you need to get started in passive investing in real estate syndications – https://trulypassiveincome.com/toolkit/

Transcript
Jim Pfeiffer:

my belief is if you're gonna be successful in passive investing in real estate syndications, you need a community.

Clint Harris:

you're saving people with the education and the opportunity to jump sometimes years ahead in where they would be if they were taking their own lumps.

Jim Pfeiffer:

I invested before I got educated. I was in a bunch of deals that worked out and a bunch of deals that worked out, not so well.

Neil Henderson:

Jim Peiffer is one of the founders of left-field investors and the host of the passive investing from left field podcast. Left-field investors is a group dedicated to educating and assisting like-minded investors negotiate the nuances of the passive investing landscape and the world of syndications.

Clint Harris:

you are probably the most well diversified. LP investor that I've come across. you're invested in coffee farms bitcoin mining, ATMs, multi-family and self storage and what else?

Jim Pfeiffer:

I had much better results than the first try, which is money at anybody you hear as a syndicator, right? Terrible. The podcasts are not the greatest, but better until now. I've found a better way, and this is the best way I've found yet

Neil Henderson:

did you identify a common denominator with the deals that did not turn out quite the way you wanted them to?

Jim Pfeiffer:

It was mostly where I missed something that I could have found in the due diligence with the sponsor. An example that happened a couple of times to me and will not happen again

Neil Henderson:

Welcome to the Truly Passive Income Podcast. I'm Neil Henderson.

Clint Harris:

And I'm Clint Harris. Today we have Jim Pfeiffer with us today. Jim is one of the co-founders of Left Field Investors, a group I'm really excited to talk about today. Jim, how are you man? Thanks for joining us.

Jim Pfeiffer:

I'm doing great. Thanks for having me.

Clint Harris:

Why don't you get started? Tell us a little bit about the group that you founded, how it got started, and how it's evolved and where you are now. Give you a chance to talk about that platform a little bit.

Jim Pfeiffer:

Yeah, sure. We are we're a pandemic baby. Actually. The our, we were supposed to be like a little dinner club in Columbus, Ohio where I live. We got 12 people gonna meet up and talk about passive investing. And our first meeting was scheduled for March 18th, 2020, and that was the week Ohio shut down. So we did not meet, and instead we went online. And that, that really changed everything. And we were, like I said, we're just a little club to talk about passive investing. But the first year, It was kinda like a mastermind and I worked very hard to reduce the number of people and keep it small, but we, everyone's sitting at home with nothing to do and there's a lot of interest in this topic. So we were able to get some pretty good speakers right out of the gates. Brian Burke was one of our first speakers. He's from Praxis, very well known. And because everyone's sitting at home with nothing to do, we were able to get people like him to come onto a Zoom call. Cause we went online because we couldn't meet in person. And the group grew, I think at the end of the first year. We only had 50 people. And that was by design, cuz I was thinking mastermind. But eventually we figured out that there's a real hunger for knowledge in this space, right? Passive investing in real estate. And so more and more people heard about us and we just grew. And now we're up to 1300 members. We have a website, we have a podcast. But really what we are is we're a community. And my belief is if you're gonna be successful in passive investing in real estate syndications, you need a community. These are long term, illiquid deals that are totally outta your control, right? So how do you figure out who to invest with? who are the good operators? what's, what are the good asset classes? What are the good markets? you can't talk to your neighbors and friends, right? If you talk to them about personal finance, they're gonna be talking about. They're 401k and the interest rate on their mortgage. But if you want to talk about, real estate, they're gonna think you're crazy. You go outside and talk to one of your neighbors and say, yeah, I'm, I'm interested in investing in syndications. And be like, what are you talking about? And so that's why we need a community. And so what Leftfield Investors has done is we've come up with, what we think is a new type of finance, community, personal finance. And I, we can talk about that as we go along because it really is different and the results are so much better than what you get in the traditional world. So the three things that left field investors concentrates on for our community is providing a network, providing education, and providing some deal flow for our members.

Clint Harris:

That's fantastic, man. So we connected at the best ever conference in Salt Lake City, and that's the second one that I've been to. I think from that conference your group and what you guys are doing was probably the most exciting thing that I came across because you're empowering a tremendous amount of people, right? There's a lot of operators there syndicators at that group that, that meetup. But essentially what you guys are doing is you're opening things up for the little guy and giving people exposure. To alternative investment strategies that they never even knew were there. And and you know how real estate people are. We love talking about real estate, and you put all those crazies in one room where they can talk to each other. You guys are doing some amazing things. So I'm excited to you on.

Jim Pfeiffer:

Yeah, we're excited about, about our, sorry, our passion is just spreading the word, like you said, not just the little guy who doesn't know what this is or doesn't have a whole lot to invest, but also people who have considerable wealth and they're all just tied up in the stock market and they don't really understand that there's other options out there. So that's what we're passionate about, is just showing, hey, there's this alternative space and it's scary, but we can make it less so, through, through a community.

Neil Henderson:

We bring up such a good point is that we, we are in those circles. We're in real estate. And, but there's a lot of people in real estate who still only think of real estate as long-term rentals, turnkey rentals, short-term rentals small multi-family and things like that. So even in the real estate community, you'll still get people who you'll say syndication to them and they go, what? You go group investments. Oh, so like a joint venture? No, not like a joint venture. And so if you go outside the real estate community, it's even less common that somebody would understand what it is that you're talking about.

Jim Pfeiffer:

Yeah. A absolutely. and that's why I believe a community is so important because the first thing you need before you invest is education. when I started investing passively, I invested before I got educated. And, so I was in a bunch of deals that worked out and a bunch of deals that worked out, not so well. And it was because I had no clue what I was doing. I just knew that I needed to take action and that was my form of education. and so what. Communities, like Left field investors offer is a shortcut, right? So you're not gonna make the same mistake some of our community members made because we're gonna be talking about it and sharing them and educating. And so it really offers a shortcut where you can jump in and your first deal doesn't have to be a deal that doesn't work out, right? and so many of the as you talk to people in our community, the ones that have been doing this for a while, most of us have a few deals that didn't work out right. And. I try to tell the people in the community that's gonna be the case. Everyone's gonna have a deal or two, that doesn't work out to proforma. That's just gonna happen. But we can reduce them. You don't have to have as many in the startup phase as some of us had without the education. So education is key.

Clint Harris:

I absolutely believe that, and the number one thing, especially with passive investing is that you're trying to get back your time. Time is the non-renewable resource, and that's what you're saving people with the education and the opportunity to jump sometimes years ahead in where they would be if they were taking their own lumps. You're really giving people the opportunity to save a lot of time. I think it's really important that people understand why they should listen to you and what your pedigree is. I don't think that, maybe we haven't talked about it yet. You're a former teacher that you taught financial planning and financial literacy. You're a certified financial planner, and you made the jump out of that to be a truly passive investor. I'd love to hear the number. I know you're invested in something like over 90 LP syndication deals, something like that. So tell us a little bit about your background and the evolution of going from teacher financial planner or whatever order that happened in to passive investor.

Jim Pfeiffer:

Yeah, sure. So I was I was always interested in finance. when I graduated college, I had a finance degree and my parents gave me a, present for graduating a couple shares of stock in a beer company. Because I was really interested in that and as soon as I got a job, I was begging them to let me max out my 401k. I was putting money into the stock market, mutual funds, all of that. And because I was confident that's the only way to build wealth, right? That's what you gotta do. You gotta be putting your money in the market. And I did that for years with mixed to poor results. I wasn't good at it. But I was working in business and making pretty good money and, putting money in the 401k eventually things changed. I was in the reinsurance industry, which is ensuring insurance companies, and that all changed after nine 11. And that's when I'd always wanted to be a teacher. And I just didn't do it right outta college because I also like money and I didn't, I wanted to earn money first. So then I became a teacher. I taught finance and accounting to in Columbus City schools, which is, a lot of it was just life skills that I was teaching alongside of the accounting and I love that. But it was tough. It's really tough being a teacher. I admire teachers so much. But I didn't last. I did that for seven years and then I kinda went into financial, being, becoming a financial advisor and in just a small correction, I'm not a certified financial planner. those people work very hard for those designations. So I just wanna be clear. That is not me, but I did, I had all the licenses and everything to be a financial planner and. It's funny, I became an accidental landlord about the same time or a few years before, where we built a house and it was 2008, so we couldn't sell Our old one moved into the new one and I rented it out, and I did that for five years. Absolutely hated it. But as I was, as a financial advisor, they throw you a bunch of education. I thought I already knew everything. I learned a whole bunch more. But the funny thing is, I was just getting into real estate at the same time as this accidental landlord thing changed to being a purposeful landlord. And as they were teaching me about money, it started dawning on me that the real estate that I was doing was making a lot of sense. That's investing, right? But all the stock market stuff I was doing, that's speculation to me. And I, and I learned that. And the reason is speculation is where you're putting money somewhere. and you're hoping to sell it to somebody else for more down the road with no current benefit, right? You're just hoping that someday someone will buy this for more than I paid for it. Yay, I win. Where in real estate you are, you get a current benefit, in the form of cash flow. You're buying an asset that is paying you as you go. Now you can get that with stock dividends a little bit, but not at the degree you get here. Plus, it's tax free if you do it right. So, That's investing. I haven't even talked about appreciation in real estate because that's just the gravy. Love it. You're gonna get it, hopefully. But that's not the main thing. The main thing is the current benefit. So as I was learning this speculation versus investing, I started putting more and more of my money into real estate, and I always prided myself as a financial advisor that I would invest in the same things as my clients and as a financial advisor, I can't put my clients into real estate. And there's two reasons for that. One is I don't get paid for it. And if you're at your job, you gotta be doing stuff you get paid for. That's just the way the world works. And number two, I didn't have the licenses for it. So that's where I, after about seven, eight years of financial advising, I slowly transitioned into being a full-time active investor. Then I realized I wasn't very, I wasn't a good asset manager, and then I found passive investing passive investing in syndications, and then I could hire an asset manager because I made a ton of money. With my active real estate. I owned single family homes. I owned small multis, just like Neil was talking about earlier. That was my real estate experience and I made a bunch of money, but not because I was good at anything. I happened to buy at the right time, 2013 through 14 to 15 and I sold it all. in 2019 and 20 at the peak of the market, that was just, me being lucky, buying at the right time. And then when I sold I was just tired of being a crappy asset manager. None of the deals cash flowed, but they all appreciated. So that was kinda like speculation I was talking about. But then when I found passive investing, I realized I can hire an asset manager and that asset manager's full-time job. Is to manage the asset that they buy. So the passive part is after I send the wire, but it's very active before that to, screen the sponsor and all that stuff. So now I'm a full-time passive investor. I run left field investors with some of my other colleagues and so I'm, I think I have one. One actual property left that we own besides our own house, which is, we rented to my brother-in-law. So we're not selling that one yet. But everything else I liquidated. I'm fully passive now. That's my story.

Clint Harris:

What a great story. That's incredible. So, of everyone that I met in your group and I listen to your content from YouTube and podcast you are probably the most well diversified. LP investor that I've come across. I know you're invested in coffee farms that you got bitcoin mining, you got ATMs, I'm sure you're in multi-family and self storage and what else? So along with that, I'd love to hear about that, but along with that, it means that you're really good at picking operators, or at least I hope you are. I'm sure you are. and it's probably one of the number one questions that you get is. How do you pick an operator and how are you willing to, in the process of being diversified, talk to me about one thing that I've heard you mention before, you're diversified across asset class, geography operators, but time is a big one for you as well, and it gives you the opportunity with syndication to pick different timelines. So I'd love to hear about some of the partnerships that you're in and then how you're choosing these operators and what that diversification means for you.

Jim Pfeiffer:

Yeah, I'll start with the operators because when I first started, And learned about syndications. I still was an active investor and I wasn't sure about it. And so I made the huge leap at least then to pay for it. Cause I, I remember I was a corporate guy for a long time, so when I went to a conference or something, the company paid for it. I made the huge leap of going to a conference. It was the real estate guy's syndication seminar. And I was like, oh my gosh, I'm spending a thousand dollars on this conference and 500 bucks to fly there or whatever. And it was just a big deal. Cause I wasn't sure I needed it and I thought I was going there. I thought, well, maybe I'll learn how to be a syndicator. It seems like, they make money and I like money, so let's do that. And I like real estate. So I went there about five minutes in, Nope, I'm not gonna be a syndicator. I like this passive. They're talking about all these passive guys. That's me. I wanna do that. And so I was super excited and from my old corporate job I had a 401k that I rolled over into a self-directed IRA. And this gets to how I chose sponsors, right? So, The first time when I went there, I had all this money in this 401k and I'm like, let's go. Every person I met, are you an operator? Are you a sponsor? Here's some money, here's some money. I was just passing it out, right? No vetting nothing. And some of those deals worked out fine. Some worked out, not at all. And so I learned that's not the way to do it, right? You just don't show up at a conference. But my thought was the real estate guys, they've screened all these operators. They must be great cuz they're coming to their show. some of them were, some of them weren't. So that's a horrible way to screen for sponsors. But that's how I did it. And so then I figured I gotta do something better. So I dug into podcasts, books, meetings, and I just listened to everybody. And then that helped, right? But it still wasn't perfect because then I'd call up an operator, I'd have a 30 minute call with them, I'd have listened to their podcast, then they send a deal, and now I gotta decide, am I gonna wire? Someone $50,000 who I spent 30 minutes talking to, and they just sent me a deal and maybe they're, I heard 'em on a podcast, so maybe they're a great operator or maybe they're a great marketer, or maybe they're both, but I have no idea which. So I did that for a while and I had much better results than the first try, which is throw money at anybody you hear as a syndicator, right? Terrible. The podcasts are out, not the greatest, but better until now. I've found a better way, and this is the best way I've found yet, and that is to use your community, right? Because trust transfers. So now I only invest with a new operator and there's a couple caveats there, but basically I will invest with a new operator if they are referred to me by somebody I know, like, and trust in my community who has already invested with them. It doesn't have to be. they've gone full cycle, but they've invested with them long enough to see that the documents that they promise get sent, that the distributions that they said would come, actually come, so that they get an idea of, okay, the things they said are actually happening, and this has made a huge difference since I've done that. the deals, the results are so much better because, like I said, trust transfers. And if you trust somebody, and I trust you, Then maybe I can at least trust that person, right? I still do all the same due diligence. I ask all the questions. I have the interview, but at least I'm starting a hundred steps ahead because already I know that, it's scary to send a wire. I've sent hundreds of wires now, but every time I'm terrified. So if I'm sending it to somebody I don't know, that's even more terrifying. But now at least I know that my buddy, who I trust, He sent a wire and it landed, it went to the right spot and something's happening with it. So, it's hard to get comfortable, and part of the problem is these deals last three years, five years, 10 years. I can't invest with someone and wait five years before I invest again to see if it worked out right. That's just not. That's not possible. And that's what I talked about long term illiquid investments. that's what these are and completely outta your control. So that's how I do it now. That's how I vet sponsors, is I let my community do it. And in fact, as part of this community, personal finance I mentioned we're thinking about community as a verb. We're gonna community a sponsor and that's gonna, our community's gonna come together and we're gonna evaluate someone and see if it's, they're worth our money. Then that sponsor's gonna send us a deal. What are we gonna do with the deal? We're gonna community that deal. We're gonna evaluate it together and talk about it. And that's the way we become better investors. And that's the way. we make money and we're not just in this to make piles of money. We're in this for financial freedom, whatever that means to you. To me it means time freedom, meaning I can choose when to work, when not to work. It also is place freedom, or, I can live one place or another. It doesn't matter because I have all of these passive income streams and so that, that's really what financial freedom means to me. So I went all around there, but that's basically how I find sponsors Now, I know you had a couple of other. Questions. With that, maybe you can follow up so I can answer them specifically.

Neil Henderson:

Jim, my first question for you is, what are the questions that you typically ask a sponsor that you're considering?

Jim Pfeiffer:

Number one is I want to know how you communicate. That is critical to me because I'm in some deals that have gone south. And the ones that have gone south where the operator is communicating, explaining, and telling me what's going on are much different than the ones where I'm being ghosted. There's some deals that are performing, I think, okay, that I'm not hearing from the sponsor. And even if they give me a two x return in two years, if I don't know what's going on during those two years, I'm never investing with them again. Now if a deal goes south and the operator is communicating, tell me why, telling me what's happening and really communicating effectively, then I might invest with them again, even though a deal went south. Because what we need to understand is that for the last 10 years, everything was awesome, right? The Lego movie and nothing went down seemingly. But it's not gonna be the same going forward. So we have to expect some deals are gonna go south, but I need communication. So I, I test their communication because I will not invest with somebody who is, who does not respond to an email or a phone call within a reasonable amount of time and quality responses. So that's number one with me. All the rest of it is, I wanted, I, I. How many deals have gone full cycle so you're experienced, but that doesn't exclude new operators. So I have to think about that as well because I don't wanna just say I'm only taking people with experience. Cause I could miss someone young upcoming who, is doing something different. So that's not the only thing, but, you just, I wanna see reports. I wanna see, samples of what you've done before. I wanna hear, this is cliche, I guess a lot of people ask, but I wanna hear how you handled a bad situation, right? Did you just run and hide and change your name and start over? Or did you actually say, here's the mistakes we've made, here's how we're correcting them, cuz right now we're gonna see a lot of deals that aren't working out right and some of those are gonna be the fault of the operator. And that's different than, Hey, interest rates rose 4% in six months, which has never happened before. and some people got caught off guard. Okay, I can understand that and that doesn't mean I'm never gonna invest with you again if you missed that because everybody missed that. The speed. And the uncertainty that it brought. So I understand that. So you have to figure out what is important to you. And the first thing to me is, are you gonna communicate with me and are you gonna do it effectively and in a quality manner? Because if you're not, you're, I'm out. And that's, what you wanna do when you're evaluating a sponsor is find a way to disqualify them. It's not a negative, here's the things that it's a no-go. is the word guarantee in there somewhere? Well, that's probably a no-go for me, right? Just things like that. I send you an email and I don't hear from you for two weeks and you didn't have an out of office saying you're gonna be gone for two weeks. Well, you, if you email me after two weeks, I'm probably just gonna not respond and move on. There are thousands of syndicators. If you see a red flag or you don't feel warm and fuzzy, move on. There's other fish in the sea.

Neil Henderson:

Jim, I have one more question before I let Clint have a chance. Was there, did you identify a common denominator with the deals that did not turn out quite the way you wanted them to?

Jim Pfeiffer:

It was mostly where I missed something that I could have found in the due diligence with the sponsor. An example that happened a couple of times to me and will not happen again is. A sponsor is a multi-family operator, right? And they switch and decide they're gonna go do self-storage Now. I don't wanna be your Guinea pig, right? So I'm not investing with you. I might still invest with you on multi-family, but I'm not investing with you on self-storage. Unless you hire someone who's been in self-storage for 30 years, knows they're doing, knows what they're doing, you hire a full team, that's different. So the example I had one when they were doing a company was doing self not self-storage. Turnkey single family homes in Dallas. and the market had changed and it was no longer profitable to do single family turnkey properties. So naturally they decided to do office and CBD equipment when CBD was going great. And I thought, oh man, they killed turnkey. They'll just be fine doing CBD equipment and this other stuff. They weren't, it was a disaster. I lost money. I was their Guinea pig, right? And now they're out of business, so I'm not doing that anymore. If you're gonna do something new, I'm either gonna make sure that you've hired the right people who have the experience or, and even then I might not invest in your first couple deals. I might watch for a bit, but if you're just switching because you're switching, I'm out. I'll watch and see in a couple years. Maybe I'll jump in, but I don't want somebody to learn on my dime.

Clint Harris:

I love it, man. There's so much to pick apart here. This is this is great stuff, man. I really appreciate it. I'm hung up on, I can't get past, I've underlined this five times, just understanding that trust transfers, like that's not a new concept to me, but the community that you're building and using community as a verb. That, that's a community where trust transfers on a massive scale. You're building a syndication of trust and the ability to pick apart operators and deals very quickly. I still want to circle back. I. Over 95. Sounds like even more LP positions now. What are some of the off, I don't think a lot of people understand how many different options there are in terms of alternative investment strategies. So one of the, what are some of your go-tos and then what are some of the more crazy ones that you're in?

Jim Pfeiffer:

So, the, you mentioned the coffee and And the chocolate. I think I, I wouldn't do those again. They were interesting and fun, but it's, that's not what I'm in. We're not supposed to invest in interesting and fun, right? Sorry. Real estate's boring. Pick boring investments for 90 to 95% of what you do, and then go speculate. Do some angel investing or some wacky stuff on the side. That's fun. But the real estate's boring. I'm in all the standard asset classes, multi-family, self-storage mobile home parks. now that some of the newer ones coming up are car washes. I mean, as you mentioned, Bitcoin mining. So there, there's really some interesting things out there. ATMs I think are fantastic, especially in this market because you de-risk it quickly by the fast return of capital. It's not return of capital return on capital cuz it, it depreciates to nothing. But, you give 'em a $100,000 and you get. $25,000 back in year one, that de-risks the in investment quite a bit. So that, those are some of them. There. There's also some that are, I think we I'm in a tribe, so I use Tribe Vest for a lot of this. And so just, when I, when you say I'm in a hundred investments, I probably am, I haven't counted them, but more than half of those are in a tribe. and that's just a group that invests together. So you get a tribe and you. You get 10 people together and you decide, hey, let's, instead of investing $50,000 in one deal this year, let's put $50,000 in the tribe and invest in 10 deals, right? So then I've effectively reduced the minimum from $50,000 on those deals to $5,000 So that allows me to get into a lot of dif more different deals. And it's funny, last year at this time, I was almost regretting my strategy of investing the minimum in a bunch of different operators in a bunch of different asset classes and using tribes as well. Because you were seeing all these deals go full cycle in 18 months. and I only put $10,000 or $25,000 in, and I was thinking, what happens if I put a $100,000 or $200,000 man I'd be loaded right now. But, That was last year. Now things have changed, right? So now I'm really happy that I'm in all these deals at all these minimums. Cause I'm very diversified. So if one or two deals goes bad, that's $25,000 maybe $10,000 that isn't optimized. Like I don't expect to lose money, but maybe it's just not going to proforma. So now I think the strategy of getting in a bunch of different asset classes, a bunch of different operators is I'm glad I did it. I also think that, after. five or 10 years of doing it that way, I probably will choose my favorite operators and go a little bit bigger with them because I'll have more confidence in them. So I'm not sure if I've answered all of your questions about all the asset classes, cuz there's just so many out there that you keep discovering. RV parks are the new, exciting thing. and I want to get into that. I have the problem of chasing the shiny object and I have to reel myself in. And there's a balance, right? I don't wanna go in too big on any one deal. Because I don't know how it's gonna turn out, but going small into a bunch of deals has served me well so far.

Neil Henderson:

Jim, have you had any issues with some sponsors not being okay with you investing as a tribe?

Jim Pfeiffer:

No, I've never had never had any pushback on investing in Tribe. It's just investing with an LLC. So, and it's a multi-member LLC. But I haven't had any issues with that at all yet. And Mo most operators are pleased because they can get, one check a big check from a bunch of different people rather than a bunch of smaller checks. Especially with the Open Tribe concept, which is new, where, an operator will do with our community, will present a deal to the community and then Tribe Vest will open a tribe right next to it where, let's say the minimum on the deal is $50,000. Well, the minimum on the Tribe Vest deal is $10,000. So now you have some people who are like, well, I don't know this operator so well. I $50,000 a little bit much. Well, now they can jump in for 10. But if you're gonna, if you want, if you wanna invest $50,000, you still do it direct. If you want to invest less than that, you go through the open tribe. And that's been, really popular with operators because they start getting these, 250, 300,000, 500,000 million dollar checks rather than having to get 20, $50,000 checks. It just, it helps 'em out a bit.

Clint Harris:

Yeah, that's a great partnership. Well, we, Tribevest came to us the first time probably a year and a half or so ago. We had a group of physicians who individually invested into it several deals with us until they all basically got to the point that they were ready to start doing smaller chunks, cuz most of 'em were tapped out. And then they brought Tribevest to us. And was real happy with it, and then had a chance to hang out with their CEO at y'all's happy hour at at Best Ever. With Tribevest, I think that their community fits really well with yours. I think it's a beautiful partnership because of the way that they open it up to a lot of people. And you guys have a large community. You got 1300 members right now or last time that we checked, but I know you're still actively growing. So what's the trajectory looking like for left field investors?

Jim Pfeiffer:

Yeah, we are still growing and we've struggled with do we want to grow or not ever since the beginning. Because when we started, as I told you, I tried to keep it small and I'm just constantly surprised by the quality of people in our community. I know I'm biased, being in the community, but really it's a great group of people and mostly we grow from word of mouth and we do want to keep growing, not just for the sake of growing. We want to grow because. We are getting really quality deals from operators that we present to the community. as you just mentioned, people get tapped out of capital. Eventually, right now we partnered with Tribevest on every one of these deals, so that makes it easier, but people still run out of capital. So if we want to continue getting these great deals coming across our desks, we need more LPs so we'll have more capital to invest in the deals to attract new and better deals. And it's like a cycle, we're now attracting some what I call institutional quality operators that only deal with family offices and have minimums of 500 grand or a million dollars. Well without Tribevest, we couldn't do those at all. I'm not gonna invest 500 or million dollars in one deal, and most people in our community won't either. So that's where, now we're getting access to. To new and different sponsors that normally, LPs like us wouldn't have access to. So yeah, we are trying to grow the group, but it's very important to us that we grow with the same type of quality people. We want like-minded individuals and by like-minded, I don't mean we're all robots marching into the same beat. I mean, we all are seeking financial freedom, whatever that means to us. And we're all trying to do it through real estate syndications and similar things like that. So, yes. our goal is growth, but it's not growth at all costs. we now realize that, we need to make money in this community to keep it going as to run it as a business. But we've also made the decision that we will always put our community first, even if it costs us money. And we've made some decisions that we could have hooked up with a certain operator or done a certain deal that we would've made quite a bit of money on, and we just weren't comfortable with it because it wasn't in the best interest of our community. And that's what we need to be. To attract the quality people that we want is we need to be community first. And trying to just help people understand how to do this. That's our passion, and that's what we're gonna keep doing.

Neil Henderson:

Jim, are most of the deals that you're invested in or maybe across. Your whole community, are they mostly 506(c) open only to accredited investors, or are they 506(b) where they're open to both accredited and non-accredited?

Jim Pfeiffer:

Most are for accredited, but we have a 10 to 25% we're not sure of our community are non-accredited. So we work pretty hard to find those deals and help our members that aren't accredited to get into deals. They have a lot fewer choices, but there are deals out there, and so we're always looking, we're looking for those. And Tribevest again, help, helps with that. There's one operator who, that he does non-accredited 506(b) deals. And I think he can allow 35 non-accredited people in it, or I think that was the limit. So he picks them based on how much they invest, right? So the minimum's 50 grand. If you're investing and you're not accredited at 50 grand, you're not getting in this deal, you're not gonna be one of the top 35. So what we do is we do an open tribe and then we invest through Tribevest. Now we're writing checks for 250, 500 grand. And there's some non-accredited people in there. And then our LLC becomes the largest non-accredited investor. And so now these people that couldn't get in the deal because they weren't investing enough at 50 grand and they're non-accredited now, they can get in for 10 or $20,000 and be non-accredited and still get in the deal. So it's really a, it's really a great way to do it. But we're always looking for quality sponsors that allow some of our non -accredited to invest.

Clint Harris:

All right, Jim, follow up question on that. So let's say you're working with TribeVest. You got an open tribe and you've got 15 investors that are, which is the max I believe that can come in on a tribe. And so you got 15 investors that are in for 150 grand. And you get three of those. So that's, 45 investors, but it's invested as three tribes. Are you saying to the operator, the 5 0 6 operator, that shows up for them as instead of 45 investors, which if they're not accredited, would be over the limit that counts as three investors for them?

Jim Pfeiffer:

Well it, so I don't know. It depends on the, it depends on the operator, right? Because they're the one that are registered or not with the SEC and have to comply with all those rules. So we are very open and honest and we say, Hey, here's. Here's a group of 15, 10 of them are non-accredited, five are accredited. we're investing as an LLC. Here you go. And it's up to them to tell us no or yes. and honestly, some operators will say, Hey, we're investing through an LLC. And they won't even ask the question, is it a multi-member? And they'll just, okay, here we go. And others will wanna know. very details about, about every single person. So it, it's not a question I can answer because every operator does it differently, but we, obviously we try to be open and transparent and let them know cause we don't want them getting in trouble or us getting in trouble down the road. But each one has done it differently. We haven't had really any issues on that at all as far as the numbers.

Neil Henderson:

And with the stipulation that Jim is not an SEC attorney.

Jim Pfeiffer:

Thank you. Yes. I'm not a financial advisor, attorney tax guy. I'm not, I'm nothing but a guy who runs a community of investors. That's it.

Clint Harris:

At the end of the day, even if they have that limit of investors there, it still gives people the opportunity to jump on the bandwagon with other accredited investors In a tribe, they can throw 10, 20, 50 grand on top of another investment and get into some of those deals they may not have been able to otherwise. So, and it can raise enough money for the deal as a whole without hitting that limit because you gotta mix right. And you don't have to go find that individually. So I love that. This has been great. Neil, do you have any other questions? I

Neil Henderson:

don't, I think we've covered most of the ones I had.

Clint Harris:

Jim, I really appreciate your interview today. This is probably my favorite one that we've done so far. A lot of great information. I love your background. I love your pedigree. I love your focus on community, especially as a verb. And I love the way that you're so willing to share everything that you're doing with your own portfolio and using other people's. Education and knowledge as well to shape what you're doing, shape what they're doing, because as a whole, the community really is, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And all that knowledge together in one place is very powerful. So as a member of the left field investor community, first of all, thank you for what you've done there and the content that you're putting out. And and thank you for being on our podcast today. I really appreciate your time.

Jim Pfeiffer:

I appreciate being here and looking forward to to, as you said, we met. In March, and I'm really looking forward to a relationship with you guys. This is this is how we do things in the community, and you meet someone and we're just taking our time getting to know each other and I'm sure we'll be doing business in the future, but it's it's great to be on. I appreciate you guys having me.

Neil Henderson:

All right, before you go, Jim, I've got one last question. We're trying to ask this of every guest that we have here. We are in May of 2023. This is not investing advice. This is just for informational purposes only. You've got $50,000 that you need to invest within the next 30 days. Where are you putting it these days?

Jim Pfeiffer:

That's a tough question. There's a lot of deals that come across my desk and I'm still allocating capital. I'm not trying to time the market, so I. I would probably break that up into two chunks of 25 and find, it's hard to say because, I could say, Hey, I do a self-storage deal, or a multifamily, but it depends on what deals available, what operator comes across my desk and where it is. So right now I like debt. I like ATMs, and I'm still doing a little bit in, in multi-family self-storage. So those are the asset classes I would look at. And then it just depends on. What sponsor, comes by because that's the key, right? What deal is available when you have capital for it. And so that, that's why, that's a hard question to ask. But I think, I'm, I like things that are de-risked quickly in, in this market. So that's why maybe ATMs or or debt would be what I'd probably be looking at.

Neil Henderson:

All right, so this is not, it's a real, primarily a real estate show, but I'm just curious cuz you're not the first person that I've heard invest in ATMs. How does an ATM deal typically work and maybe how does it differ from a. Real estate syndication.

Jim Pfeiffer:

So a ATMs, at least the ones I've seen there, there's a bunch of different operators doing 'em, but they all go through the same company. So basically they typically, it's in chunks of either 52,000 or 104,000. So let's just round the numbers. Let's say you invest a hundred thousand dollars. You basically own seven ATMs. But the results of your ATMs are pooled with the thousands of other ATMs that they're buying, and the returns are about 20, 24 and a half percent cash on cash return. So let's round that up to 25 just for fun. So you put in you give 'em a hundred grand. And it's fully it's depreciate a hundred percent depreciation, cuz tho those go to zero. So you get a big passive loss day one, which is a really good thing. And then you're gonna get every month, I think twenty one, a hundred twenty $5 or something like that, which will equal about 25 grand after year one. And that'll go on for seven years. You'll get 25 grand a year for seven years, which is $175,000 on your a hundred thousand dollars investment. And at the end you'll be left with scrap metal that maybe they sell for. Three or $4,000. I haven't gone through the full seven year cycle yet, so I don't know how much you get, but almost nothing. So there's no depreciation, recapture it all depreciates basically to zero. So I don't mean to throw this on a curve ball at you, but what I like to do is I use whole life insurance. Or my heloc, my HELOCs harder now because of interest rates have in increased, but let's use the whole life example. I'll take a hundred thousand dollars loan outta my whole life insurance policy and that policy will perform as if the money's there because I'm it's collateral for the loan and maybe the loan's at 6%. I'll take that a hundred grand invested in ATMs. I'll get my $2,100 a month every month. I'll just throw that right back in the life insurance after about four and a half years, that entire loan and the interest is paid off. And so now for the next three and a half years, I'm collecting basically $65,000. And it's ba gonna be, I'm not gonna pay tax on it. So I essentially given someone a hundred grand, actually a hundred grand's paid back. So I created 65 grand out of thin air, right? Because my whole life insurance policy performed as if I didn't take the money. It has the money back in it now, and I've got 65 grand in my pocket. So that's, I really like those deals where you can use leverage and arbitrage and then you're getting two returns from the same dollar. That was a long way to explain ATMs, but that's how I use them.

Neil Henderson:

I think you finished off there on a high note. That's very interesting. PE people want to dig on into that. They're welcome to, and I think what they should do is, go to left field investors and talk to other investors like yourself who've invested in ATMs and maybe using infinite banking like that as well. Jim, thank you so much for sharing with our audience today. If people wanna reach out to you and find out more about you and left field investors, where would be the best place for them to go?

Jim Pfeiffer:

You can just go to leftfield investors.com or if you wanna reach out to me personally, I talk to investors every day. You can send me an email, jim leftfield investors.com, and also on our website, there's a little button to schedule a call and you'll, you can schedule a call with one of our, one of our founders. So any of those ways would be great. I'm, we love meeting new investors, so if someone's interested, definitely reach out.

Neil Henderson:

Thank you so much for listening and watching the truly passive income podcast. If you liked the show, if you think it would be useful for someone else, the greatest compliment that you could give us would be to share the episode, leave a comment down below. Or leave us an honest review. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to let us know down below and remember with truly passive income comes freedom of time, place and the freedom to pursue your higher purpose.