In this episode of the Truly Passive Income Podcast, hosts Neil Henderson and Clint Harris are joined by the insightful Chad Ackerman, co-founder of Left Field Investors. Diving into a captivating discussion, they reminisce about their recent encounter at the ‘best ever conference’ in Salt Lake City and delve deep into the world of passive investing. From market nuances to community building, this episode promises a treasure trove of knowledge for every passive income enthusiast.

Timestamps:

[00:01:25] – Introduction and Chad’s initial journey into passive investing

[00:11:37] – Strategic approaches to passive investing

[00:15:07] – The rapid growth of Left Field Investors

[00:17:50] – Incorporating financial education into daily life

[00:20:20] – Chad’s decision to leave the corporate world

[00:23:02] – The intricacies of underwriting deals

[00:25:57] – Diverse investment opportunities across locations

[00:28:44] – Chad’s affinity for unique investment ventures

[00:31:03] – Balancing investment strategies with personal life stages

[00:34:06] – Realizations and reflections on passive income

Key Takeaways:

  • Chad Ackerman’s introduction and his role as the co-founder of Left Field Investors.
  • The importance of passive investing and the journey to understand its potential.
  • The transformative power of self-investment and the role of podcasts in personal growth.
  • Different paths in the real estate trajectory and its varied experiences.

Resources and Social Media

Website: LeftFieldInvestors

Email: Chad@leftfieldinvestors.com

YouTube: Left Field Investors

Books Mentioned: Anti-Fragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Transcript
Neil Henderson:

In this episode of truly passive income. We sit down with Chad Ackerman co-founder of left-field investors. We talk about his journey into passive real estate investing and building a thriving community of passive investors. We discussed. Chad's transitioned from corporate HR to becoming a full-time real estate investor, the importance of education and networking, and Chad's advice for new investors. Welcome to the Truly Passive Income Podcast. I'm Neil Henderson.

Clint Harris:

And I'm Clint Harris. Today we have Chad Ackerman with us today. Chad Ackerman is one of the co founders of Left Field Investors. Chad, how are you, sir?

Chad Ackerman:

I'm doing great. Appreciate you guys having me on. Really excited about this.

Clint Harris:

Yeah, absolutely. Happy for you to be here. Um, so I was, Neil and I were talking earlier, we met at the, the best ever conference in Salt Lake City and of everybody there, it's my second year at the conference. Very pessimistic feel to the whole thing this year compared to the year before, just because of the current market, the variable rate debt and things like that. The most exciting thing for me, Coming out of that conference was meeting up with you guys with, with what you guys are doing with left field, the community that you put together, uh, you know, 1300 active members that for me was, I think the coolest thing. So I'm really excited to have you on.

Chad Ackerman:

Well, I'm glad you didn't just say the happy hour we threw. So I'm glad it was more content than entertainment.

Neil Henderson:

What happy hour? I didn't get to see a happy hour. There was a happy hour?

Clint Harris:

Neil got stuck in the elevator for an hour and missed the first half of the happy hour.

Chad Ackerman:

Oh, that's great.

Neil Henderson:

I heard the food was amazing, but it was all gone.

Chad Ackerman:

The food was fantastic. Yes, but no, we, we really loved hearing your guys story too and meeting Nomad and, and understanding your guys strategy and we look for a lot of diverse asset class and operators to bring to our community and you guys are unique by all means. So we were excited to meet you guys too and get you engaged with the community as well. So.

Clint Harris:

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for being here. I want to talk a little bit about, obviously give you a platform to talk about what you guys are doing at left field, but on top of that, um, you've got a banking background. I know you worked in HR for a long time. You have a, uh, you're a data analytics guy, which speaks to my heart. I've got a background investing in short term rental and multi family conversions, and that certainly helped me have some success there. So, but, uh, you know, Your story that I've, I've been listening to your content and things like that, and you kind of, you sat on the sidelines for quite a while, and then you really turned it on, and you got aggressive, you know, I guess maybe five or seven years ago. So kind of tell us about your story a little bit.

Chad Ackerman:

No, that's fair. I don't, I don't know if I was sitting on the sidelines or just ignorant to what was available out there. I think it's probably a better way to say it, but I was a career corporate guy. You know, I, I done the HR thing for, 30 plus years and just thought that was the way it's what I was taught, you know, do the 401k, set up a Roth, you know, go through that process. And I was following that to a T and I switched jobs in, uh, 2015 and I used to live. Two miles from where I worked and this new job, I had a commute and somebody at the new job said something about getting multiple income streams and talked about real estate. And I was like, well, that, you know, real estate's always been something that's been intriguing to me. I'll go out and start finding some podcasts and started listening to Bigger Pockets and, and then started reading their books or listening to their books on my commute. And, uh, yeah, I got bit by the bug bad that it, it really fired me up to want to look into this. And I was chasing the shiny object syndrome bad of not sure what I wanted to do was in a full time W 2 didn't really think I could replace my income or I, everything I looked at, I just needed to scale like crazy that I was like, I just, I. I wasn't comfortable with making it work. I didn't know how I'd be able to get there. And I had found a local meetup group here in Columbus, Ohio, through BiggerPockets, that was called Coin, that I went to four or five of those. And the last one that I went to, uh, Jim Pfeifer got up and talked about how he left his. corporate job to, um, pursue other things because of his passive income from investing in syndications. And I'm like, this, this sounds like the thing. This is what I've been looking for. I don't have to worry about the scale as bad. I don't have to worry about tenants. I don't have to worry about construction or rehab or whatever, but I can scale still. And so I reached out to him after the meeting, found out we live in the same suburb of Columbus. So we got together for a drink and, you know, I'll cut out a lot of the middle story, but. Yada, yada, yada. Here we are, uh, several years later, we've started a whole community of like minded passive investors to educate, network together and grow. And that's allowed me to be able to leave my corporate job and retire from the corporate world, if you will. And, uh, doing the left field thing full time, as well as my own passive investing and so forth. So I skipped over a lot there, but you know, you got the, the beginning is, uh, kind of interesting, I think and you don't want to hear about all my shiny object chasing probably, uh, so...

Clint Harris:

Neil and I have the same disease, I can promise you that. And, you know, one thing that you said that I don't want to pontificate here, but the same, something as small as you changing jobs, and having a commute, and having windshield time. And using that time and investing in yourself completely changed the financial trajectory of the rest of your life and where you are right now. The same thing happened to me.

Chad Ackerman:

And I, I started, well, I wasn't a big podcast guy before that, but once I got into it, I thought, okay, you're blessed with this time. I can listen to the, you know, true crimes kind of things that entertain me, or I could try to better myself. And that was really the approach. And then I, I kind of even paused after I'd been doing it for several months and I'd read like 12 books in the car or listened to 12 books and umpteen podcasts, I'm like, well, maybe I need to focus on being a better parent. And so I started. trading out like business podcasts and books for self help or betterment kind of things too. Just to like, again, take advantage of what time I had available to me to really turn this into something profitable personally, spiritually, you know, the whole ball of wax for me. That was really my take on this, uh, when I had that time available to me.

Clint Harris:

So, Chad, the exact same thing happened to me when my wife and I relocated. I had a 16 year career in medical sales, 11 years before we moved to Wilmington. I took a promotion. We moved to Wilmington, North Carolina in 2017. And my wife was in medical sales as well. She was going back and forth a couple times a week. Uh, to Columbia, which is about a three hour drive. And she started telling me about some podcasts, some Pockets podcast. And I was like, okay, well, I have no interest in making pants or anything. So I didn't really understand what it was about. And over a period of a couple months, we always talked about real estate. We had invested, we had a small portfolio of nine single family homes. We did most of it wrong, but we didn't know. Um. Her vocabulary changed and the way that she was talking about what we were doing and forced appreciation and leverage She started using different words and having different conversations and looking at things with the goal in mind And I was like, what is going on? And then that's when she turned me on to the world of podcasts. And I just want to say that no matter what it is, um, if you don't know how to do something or, you know, you have questions about your future and the answer is, I don't know, that's okay. Because that just implies ambiguity. Ambiguity is a lack of education and education is free. We have more available right now than we ever have in the entire world. So whether it's real estate, self help, raising kids, better marriage, whatever it is, having that time and investing that time in yourself, uh, is, is monumental. If you add up the amount of windshield time that you have, there's a good chance that in just a couple years, it's enough hours for a master's program. So anyway, that's my soapbox. That's my soapbox on that. But good for you, man. I'm proud of you.

Neil Henderson:

Chad, you had a little bit different real estate trajectory than the average passive investor is that you never invested in real estate actively other than perhaps buying your own personal residence. Is that correct?

Chad Ackerman:

That's correct. Yep.

Neil Henderson:

So what was it that You, you'd mentioned coin. What was it that spurred you to take an interest in investing in real estate in the first place?

Chad Ackerman:

I actually have a, um, a minor degree in real estate. So I had been in real estate, uh, during college, I was going to school at night, putting myself through college, working, uh, for a civil engineer firm of all things. We were the right of way department. So we went in and bought all the real estate. or signed all the contracts to be able to go do road work, utility work, whatever, that got me interested in it. And I'd gotten my real estate license in Ohio, never sold a house, but the project we were on, we bought 250 homes and relocated people out of it. So I said, I never, never bought it or never sold a house, but I bought an awful lot of houses with my short year that are two years that I was doing this. So I'd always kind of had that inkling, but I left it for. 25 years or so before this person that I work with kind of dropped the hint of about a second income stream. I, I'd had buddies that had done flips and some buying holds and stuff, single family work. Um, so I, I'd seen it and you know, what always irked me is like, Hey, I'd call them up, but you want to go golf on Saturday? Well, I can't, I got to go to the rental and what can I got to go, you know, move a person out or get them evicted or whatever. And I'm like, Oh, you know, that just, it never really. Rung through with me, especially while I was in a W 2 to dedicate that much time to it. And so the only reason I probably didn't pull a trigger was just, it just never seemed to fit to be like, is this really a path I can take and scale and be comfortable doing it. And in that conversation with Jim, he's kind of the first one that broke it down and said, well, you know, let's say you had 50 grand to go buy a distressed single family home and you had to put another 25 grand into it. and you flip it over and maybe you make 125 on it. He said, what if I told you you could do that exact same thing in the syndication world without having to lift a hammer or vet a tenant or whatever the case was. And I was like, I'm intrigued. I liked that a lot. And so I, I never got comfortable enough to pull the trigger on a single family thing, but once he kind of walked me through that logic, and then when he told me about the tax advantages, and I really started to understand that in my math. Uh, I was, I was bit by the bug again. You know, that's when I, I got really excited. And, uh, Clint, as you had said, the first deal then that I got into, you know, forget about single family. I jumped to a 17 story building in downtown Cleveland, uh, that I got involved with instead. And I haven't looked back since I've, I've loved the space ever since then.

Clint Harris:

Yeah, that was a conversion on a, an old existing building, I believe. And I've, I've heard some of your content on that in the past. Tell me a little bit about when you got started, you know, I heard you mentioned before that, that maybe you wouldn't have done that as your first deal, I believe you said that somewhere just from the cashflow standpoint. So in terms of when you made the decision that you're aggressively going to pursue a strategy that could get you out of your W 2 job, that clearly comes with defined goals. And a timeline and probably a diversification strategy. So walk us through kind of where your head was at as you made that decision and how you've honed in on that.

Chad Ackerman:

Yeah, no, that's, that's very fair. I, and I'd like to tell you, I had that all worked out when I started and the, the 17 story building was strategic. But it was, it was a shiny object syndrome it was, it was neat. It was, Ooh, this is cool. It's a Rockefeller building. Rockefeller built it back in the day. They're rehabbing it to micro apartments from office space and Sherman Williams bought the office, the, the surface lot right next door. And they're going to build their corporate global headquarters there. And so it was great location. So yeah, it was, it was a lot of luck and a lot of shiny object syndrome that made me pick that one. The reason why I say I probably shouldn't have gotten into it is that my goal, once I finally got to that point and wrote it down and defined it was to get out of my W 2 and that particular investment, though it will be a, I think a good investment. I'm happy I'm in it. It hasn't cashflowed in three years because it's a major rehab. It's tied up in a lot of paperwork still. So it's done nothing for my immediate goals of needing cashflow to get out of my W 2, if you will. Um, so it, that one, it's, it wasn't a mistake. It's not like some guy ran off with my money and I went broke on that deal. Nobody's going to have empathy for me over that deal. I think by the end of the day, which is okay, it's just, it did teach me a lot of, Hey, really understand what you're getting into. There are, many different aspects of these deals that can get very almost customizable that really needs to align to your goals. If you're going to be, you know, strategically looking at this, uh, and it's easy to get lost in some of that. It's not rocket science, but you need to understand it to be sure that you aren't buying a whole bunch of Ground up builds or full rehabs if you need cashflow, which was really what I was ultimately trying to look for and just didn't realize it at the time. So, so it helped me learn a lot because it was the first deal. Once you get in, just taking action to get into that first deal teaches you so much, but it really then let me regroup and define my goals and then I could be better about picking and choosing what I got into next.

Neil Henderson:

Well, you really discovered that there are, you know, two primary types of investments in syndication. There's growth or equity, equity growth and cashflow. And, and then, and then there's a blend of both. And, and that's really what you need to be clear about going in very clear about is what is the short term goal? What are the short term distributions of the syndication and what's the long term timeline and how does that fit in with your, your investing goals?

Chad Ackerman:

Like that's well said. Yep. Uh, that's what I try to preach in my podcast as well of like, I don't have, thank goodness, you know, that terrible deal that went sour kind of example to give to people, but I can give them that, Hey, you know, I got excited. I jumped in, which isn't the worst thing to do as long as, you know, you did pick a right deal, but I've done much better since I've known my goals better and could really understand what those asset types are and how they're going to help my goals in the long run. Um, and then, and then, you know, go forward from there. So it was helpful. Luckily, it wasn't a total bust kind of thing. If anything, you know, it'll, it'll, it may be a home run one day, you know, honestly, so, so I say nobody will feel sorry for me for picking the wrong one there.

Clint Harris:

Yeah, I'm sure that it will be. I think that when it comes to the idea of. Um, either figuring out writing and verbalizing your own goals or picking operators, picking asset classes, picking deals. I think the, um, that's really where the value and importance of left field investors shines to me. Because that community. That comes out of that, you know, if I'm looking at a deal, it's one thing versus if you have 500 sets of eyes looking at that deal and the conversation that comes up and hearing other people's goals and what they're trying to achieve in their timeline, it rubs off on me and that affects me and I'm like, Oh, I want to do that the same way that that Jim had a conversation with you and you're like, That's what I want for my future. That's what I want that to look like. That's where the reality of, um, I think that real estate investing has changed so much just in the last 10, 15, 20 years because of our ability to network, uh, ability to network. Obviously locally, we all have a computer in our pocket now. Podcast. Uh, forums and things of that nature that the community that you guys are building and the scale that you have, you guys have 1300 members. And so there's so many different goals. There's so many different deals out there that you put all that together. It's really powerful and it helps you sharpen kind of what you're, what you're aiming after.

Chad Ackerman:

Yeah. And it, I mean, it's a funny story. You talk about the luck of the, of discovering the windshield time and starting into the podcast world and how that changed my trajectory. Left field is the exact same kind of. I, the idea there that we opened it up in March of 2020 with the intent that it was going to be a 10 to 15 person meetup and COVID hit right before our first meeting that we never got to have that first meetup. And we got put on zoom like everybody else in the world got put on to collaborate and organically. It snowballed on us then to where three years later, we've got 1300 people, like you say, in the community that we never would have been here talking to you from a left field perspective had COVID not happened and put us onto Zoom. And it, and it took off from there, uh, which I think is just call it fate, call it, you know, divine intervention, whatever it is. It gives me goosebumps half the time when I think about it of how close we could have been to not coming here, being here at the time, but enough dominoes fell at the right order at the right time that it really put it together. And now, to your point, in the economy we are in right now, I don't think there's anything better than to be a part of a community to kind of make sure you're educated before you pull the trigger on things because it's getting tighter. It, it, we're seeing more and more operators that maybe weren't ready for these kinds of environments being exposed now. And so having that community to kind of bounce off of and feel, you know, a little better about getting into this, I think is, A huge asset at this point that I've been, you know, I'm, I'm 10 times a better investor today than I was when I got in that first deal. Just, you know, what got me excited about that first deal was the multiplier they had on it and the cashflow, you know, the, the, uh, preferred cash they had on it. Well, I didn't pay attention to capital stack. I didn't pay attention to the debt. I didn't pay attention to most of the metrics. And, you know, I've gotten so much more educated through my time developing left field and being a part of this. As well as all the interactions I've had with the community members that, uh, you know, I, I couldn't have paid for, um, any better education than what I've gotten by doing all this stuff. So, uh, it's been a neat journey.

Neil Henderson:

Well, talk to us a little bit about some of the education that you've gotten after that first deal, some of the lessons learned. You talked about, uh, understanding the capital stack, understanding when the distributions are gonna go out, things like that. You've obviously, uh, do you mind telling us how many deals you're in LPN now?

Chad Ackerman:

Uh, I'm up to, I think it's 18 deals now that I'm in between directly investing them. And then, um, we've partnered with a company called Tribevest that allows you to group invest as limited partners. I'm in four different tribes, um, investing in different deals with them now. One of those tribes, I always like to share, I've put my two teenage kids in with me and we invest together so I could start teaching them about it and getting them, show them tangible stuff. They're helping me vet deals. They're helping, you know, they're learning as they go along then. Um, so that's been another avenue that I've tacked on as I've been doing this so they can, 40 something like I did to figure this stuff out. They're learning about it as teenagers that they can make hopefully better decisions or good decisions along the way, better than I did.

Clint Harris:

I love that. So I've got a, I've got a three and a half year old and a seven week old. Um, with the three and a half year old, we, we do chores around the house so that he can get his allowance. And, uh, his allowance is 5 a week, right? Five ones. And it's One is for saving, one is for giving, and three are for him. And we're working towards getting to the point where we can find a long term goal that he wants to save money for. It's a little bit of a struggle right now, but uh, we're getting there, yeah. And then we've got a deal starting next year.

Neil Henderson:

It doesn't get easier at eight.

Clint Harris:

Starting next year, he has to start a business that we're going down to the little local farmer's market. I think he's going to like grow some little basil plants and try to sell them for a dollar or something. But, um, you can't start that young enough, especially, you know, you got teenagers and you know, the moment they can sign legal documents, you, you're, they're invested in something like that, that it creates that dialogue and that conversation. I mean, I don't know how you got started. I remember. When and where I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, that was the first thing that, you know, everybody's got that moment, whether it's Bigger Pockets or Rich Dad, Poor Dad, or whatever it is, everybody's got that light bulb moment. And that was for me. And, um, at a fairly young age, and then I kind of took a long time to really learn what I was doing, but, um, man, that's so awesome. I'm that I'm excited. I'm, I'm stealing that. I'm, I'm doing that with my boy.

Chad Ackerman:

No, please do. I think it's been great. It, it was helpful with the teenagers that I had been in enough deals and I had my track excel spreadsheets and I could sit them in and I'd had enough cashflow coming in. I could sit them down and start to show them. And I had my first deal go full cycle. So I could walk them all the way through that. And that really helped, um, pull the whole process together for them that it started clicking. And then they, the interest was there then. And once they were interested, then that made it all easier to say, Hey, let me put you in a tribe and let's let's invest in this together and so forth. So it, I don't know, it's, it's one way to go about it. That's for sure. I don't know if it's the right way or not, but they're, they're getting into it at the very least. So.

Clint Harris:

Well, we know, we all understand if in real estate investing, we all understand the value of time, especially with, with equity growth and cashflow over time. We all, you know, everybody at some point wishes, man, I wish I got in five years earlier or 10 years earlier or whatever. Like these are the first real estate investors people are ever going to meet. They can't say that. They're going to have been in it for so long and you've got the benefit of time. So I'll be honest with you, Chad, I think you might need to update your bio on left field investors because it still says that you have a full time job and I know you to be a full time investor. You left your job. I left my job, um, November of 2022, and, uh, I think that you were not, you were around the same time that you were full time, uh, real estate investor.

Chad Ackerman:

March of 23 is when I left, yeah. So, not very far off from that.

Clint Harris:

Fantastic. Well, it's, uh, welcome to the, the other side. So, um, tell me about the goals that you guys have for Left Field, for what you're accomplishing, um, the, the growth rate, what you guys are looking at, and what you guys are doing to educate your, your community.

Chad Ackerman:

Yeah. So I think where our emphasis is, it's great timing. We were just in Minnesota, our operations team in person last week, kind of having a strategy meeting. We sat together in a conference room for 12 hours one day and six hours another day, hashing out kind of what direction we, we just did a website update. So we've been really bunkered in on that lately and we wanted to kind of. build out our direction going forward now. And I feel like we're really trying to peel back and put an emphasis on education and build out a lot more material for that, for the community. Um, one of the main things we want to do is get a bunch of masterclass. Videos put together and build out a library from, I think we've run into, um, kind of just running with kind of where we are in the, in the industry that gets pretty thick into some heavy material that we need to peel back and, and hit material for the newbie a lot too, to help educate them and get them started as well. that we want to put an emphasis on that. Also, um, we've got so many things that we want to build some new tools. Um, we want to get more feedback from the community. That's how we've done a lot of the change that we've done is relying on what the community feels like they're missing and trying to find a way to build that for them. Um, so it's, we want to kind of get back to that nitty gritty that we started left field out with that made the culture, what it is, which is the biggest thing we're trying to protect in everything we do with left field. You know, we. We went about. building left field as a hobby, which allowed us to build a culture because that's all we thought it was. And then a year and a half into it, we realized, you know, Hey, wait, there's a business in here too. Let's build a business around this now, but let's not upset the apple cart. That is the culture that we built because we think it's a pretty good thing. And that's, Ultimately, our biggest asset, I think, is the, the community really seems to thrive because the way the interactions that we keep having and so forth. So, so we've got some ideas in mind, we've got, you know, some plans to move forward and we're just trying not to, you know, disrupt anything that we've built so far, because that's what's made it work so well so far.

Clint Harris:

Well, I know that you won't, you, you guys have, you said the same thing and Jim said the same thing as well. Like you just want to stick true to your roots and be education first and education at the end of the day is, uh, it's, you know, within the foundation of who you are. Creating some really powerful investors that together are going to be able to accomplish some really, really big things and keep each other from stepping on landmines too, right? Like we've all had those deals when you're underwriting yourself early on, they never turn out the way that you hope that they're going to. And a lot of times you just need somebody smarter or more experienced than you to keep you from blowing your foot off. And that's kind of. That's, that's one of the things that you guys have the ability to do for your community.

Chad Ackerman:

Yeah. Well, and I, I say we, we have that group think or we can lean on one another and help educate each other. I said, we may all be wrong on certain deals sometimes, and we may all go down together, but at least we have a group to go down with kind of thing. Cause you know, there's risk, there's inevitable risk that we can't see a lot of times too, that something may just go sideways on us. But... You've at least educated yourself as good as you could by being part of a community and asking the questions and having other eyes on it that, uh, it gives me some comfort anyway, put it that way.

Neil Henderson:

Chad, can you tell me a situation where the community has maybe discovered that either discovered a really good operator or discovered an operator that they want to stay away with and stay away from? And you don't need to maybe, we don't need to trash any operators here, but maybe, you know, stalking general, generalities.

Chad Ackerman:

Yeah, no, I definitely we've, um, we'll, I'll give props to the one we had, we had not met, uh, Rise48 and Zach Happenstall prior to being involved in the community. And we had, after we had done a few deal webinars, had a few operators come in and talk, we had several community members come to us and say, Hey, We've been investing with this guy in Phoenix and he's been doing really great. We think you ought to meet him and he's one of our preferred partners now. Uh, we've had a great relationship with him. He's brought a lot of deals that the people in the community have been very excited about. That's been a great connection that was brought to us by the community members. Um, I think maybe one of the bigger stories of what's come out of the community that has turned into something. We're now starting to see clubs pop up, subgroups pop up in our community. That it started the first thing that really splintered off from left field. was a crypto focus group that the community came to us and said, Hey, we'd like to, we see chatter in the forums about crypto. We'd like to learn more. Is there any experts in the group? And we had a guy raise his hand that had been doing it for several years. And he started off a subgroup still under the left field umbrella. but crypto focused and we call it the crypto bullpen and that is spiraled. Now we see we have a women's group that started up that we think is fantastic. We've got a group called NextGen that's kind of the 35 and younger. So people that are starting out, uh, gives them an avenue to get started in it. Um, and now we're starting to see regional. left field meetups occur locally where people can get face to face. So we, we, when we open our new site, we put a club section up and allow people to open their clubs up and boom, boom, boom. We're starting to see these regional ones pop up that I think is awesome. And then we were like, well, shame on us that we haven't done one here in Columbus, Ohio yet that, uh, we got to lead by example a little better sometimes, but. Uh, we've got five or six that are up already. And you know, the website's only been up for two weeks that I have a feeling it's going to keep revolving around that. Charlotte's the closest one I've seen to you guys so far, FYI. So, but, but that's, that's all been community based.

Clint Harris:

That's amazing. We've got four real estate meetups here in town. I host a commercial real estate meetup, but there's always room for one more. And this is the kind of thing that I could see. It's obviously organic, right? You guys tapped into something you didn't even know was there. Now, I think that the hunger was always there. That hunger for education and alternative investment strategies was always there. The thing that you got lucky with a little bit is that you timed it right with COVID when everybody... Like me that's not tech savvy was forced to learn how to use zoom and forced to get online because that's just where the world shifted to. But that hunger was always there. And so you guys have just tapped into something that's organic and it's growing like wildfire on your, your site. There's no reason it shouldn't grow organically in physical locations as well. So.

Neil Henderson:

Chad, so it's called left field investors. It's not called passive real estate investors. And I want to make that clear. We, you know, we talk about real estate all the time. As you said, it's crypto, it's, uh, it's ATMs, it's multifamily, it's storage. Is there anything in the community that you were like, wow, that's way out in left field. I never like, I never thought of that.

Chad Ackerman:

Uh, um, I think the one I heard hit BEC that I'd never thought of was, um, there was a guy there that is syndicating laundromats. That I thought

Neil Henderson:

Sam Wilson,

Chad Ackerman:

Sam Wilson. Yes. Uh, then I'm like, well, that's interesting. I'd never thought about the cashflow going through that thing. I'm like, well, it's no different than a car wash. If car washes work, why wouldn't laundromats work? So, um, but you know, honestly, we've seen some odd things that, um, what we flagged them as we, we kind of, you know, we're in this whole syndication world, we call the alternative investing world. Well, when you get into the, these, outside of the, you know, the multifamily, the self storage, the mobile home park, we call that other, the alternative alternative investments that you could get into. Um, honestly, we love finding this stuff because the fact that the community has grown to the size it has, we feel like we potentially have people looking for anything. They want to diversify their portfolios. They're looking for that. odd thing or something different to put in just to hedge or diversify a little further. So I almost feel like that's our job is to go find operators that are doing something slightly different, which honestly is what got me so excited about Nomad and your guys strategy, because I'm like, that's, that's in something that they feel comfortable with from a self stare storage standpoint, but it's a different take on it that I, we hadn't seen in the community yet that I think they'll get very excited about. Um, what you guys are offering, the deals you structure and so forth. And that's what I view like we need to do. We get plenty of multifamily operators, you know, we don't have to look for that as much. I like looking for something that's a little different to give that option to our community. It may only be a small population of it, but we're at least offering them an avenue that maybe they haven't thought of before. So I love finding stuff that's just off the wall. Uh, I don't, I don't know if we have any like super strange, um, you know, we've gotten into the death benefits a little bit. We've seen some of that stuff. Um, I'm trying to think of some other ones that are just kind of out of the norm, but I don't know it. We're on the hunt for them. So if there are any out there, feel free to reach out to left field and let us know.

Clint Harris:

I know you guys have done, uh, it was a coffee farm. I think a chocolate farm or something. Uh, there's a, there's a little bit of agricultural. There's crypto, obviously real estate. Um, the ones to me that are interesting, like you said, laundromats and car washes, that it is the real estate, but then it's the operation on top. So you got to make sure and vet the operators. But, um, yeah, it's, uh, it's, uh, it's very entertaining getting in that group. Your forum has got a lot of interesting content in a good way.

Chad Ackerman:

Well, in the entertainment business, we've got Broadway plays that have popped up as well, just to give you another curveball one, too. So, uh, yeah, it's, you name it, if they need to raise money for it and syndicate it, you know, it shows up at some point in time, it seems like.

Neil Henderson:

Well, I'm a big, I'm a big follower of, uh, Author by the name of Nicholas Nassim Tlaib, who wrote a book called Anti Fragile. And he has a strategy, his investing strategy, he has what's called the Barbell Strategy. Which is that 90 percent of your investments should be in things that are nicely risk adjusted, stuff that you really understand that you're probably pretty sure is going to pay out. And, you know, index funds. So, you know, pretty normal average syndications, things like that. And then you should reserve 10 percent for that pie in the sky, like possible home run. Um, you know, death benefits, crypto, uh, whatever it is. Have you, have you followed that strategy at all or are you mostly in real estate?

Chad Ackerman:

Uh, well, so, um, I followed that strategy in the real estate side. How about that? Um, so, I, uh, I haven't shared this with you yet, but I, because I got bit by the bug. Shortly after I did the 17 story building, I'd done a couple more deals by then. I, I took a look around, knowing my goal was to get out of my W 2, um, I took a look around at where I had capital sitting, which was my 401k. So I actually liquidated my 401k, took everything out, paid the taxes, paid the penalty, and moved it all into real estate or into syndication business then, uh, because I had bought into it. And it, it, It was based on where I was in my life. My kids were getting grown. I'd had college figured out for them that I was going to do. I was comfortable in my W 2 for a while that I knew that, you know, worst case scenario, I was 50 years old at the time. I thought, well, I could always start saving again if I, something went totally wrong, but I knew I'd diversify in real estate as well that I never felt truly like I was going to lose everything. So I, I, Pulled the trigger on, on moving it all out of right field as we call it and put it into left field instead and then try to diversify in the left field side of things. So went with multifamily as the majority of my portfolio, but then got into mobile home parks, self storage, some, crypto. Um, just kind of did that smaller mad money and, uh, some other things I've turned away from a lot of things. I think one of the other big lessons I've learned is to be disciplined and stay in my lanes. Uh, because we see so many different asset classes come through. There's a big shiny object syndrome in this business too of, wow, you know, this car washes do sound neat. Let me go try that. But I've, I've pulled back on investing in them personally, just because. I've tried to discipline myself to stick with my four or five asset classes that I want to get to know even better and feel really comfortable with. Then if I've got, you know, an extra 25 laying around or something, I can maybe go put that in a tribe and take some riskier investments with it possibly as one strategy. Um, but I've really tried to stay focused in, like I said, mobile home or a multifamily. Mobile Home Park, Self Storage, and then Triple Net Lease. I like a lot of Triple Net Lease. I've got some industrial and some commercial Triple Net Lease that I've done too. So, um, I've tried to just, you know, for the, for a little while, I want to just stick in those asset classes and learn them better. And then as I get more comfortable with them, start looking for maybe the next two or three asset classes that I'm interested in. That's been my approach.

Clint Harris:

So, that's a, that's a big action step. Big time. Like at that point in your career to, to realize that you're betting on, you're betting on you, right? You're betting on your ability, obviously you're betting on operators, but you're betting on your ability to pick deals, to pick operators, to diversify. across the board. I know you to be a banking and a data analytics guy. So obviously there was a, there was a conversation there about opportunity costs, about what your 401k was doing and leaving it in there for another 15 years versus pulling it out, paying the penalties, paying the taxes, converting it and what that difference was going to be. So what did that look like when you sat down with pen and paper and you're, you're making that decision? Of like, what do I do? Do I play it safe or do I bet on everything that I believe in here? So what did that analysis look like for you?

Chad Ackerman:

Uh, it was, it was payable. I am a, I'm a data collector, so I will sit and analyze and analyze and analyze and analyze, and then I'll analyze it again, just to be sure. Um, but then once I've, once I've. Kind of felt like I've ran my course and I feel comfortable with it. Then I'm a buyer and I'm an action guy at that point in time. And I made it to that point. Um, it was easy. One of the things that helped as I was talking to Jim, Jim mentored me through a lot of that. He used to be a financial advisor. He boiled it down to a little bit of a realization of like, well, you're going to pay the tax on it no matter when you do it, so you almost have to take the tax. situation out of it. Other than the fact, had I waited and spreaded that out longer, I probably could have lowered my tax burden on that as opposed to taking it all at once and paying a huge chunk. But I also knew, you know, I looked at the self directed IRAs and I was like, well, I still can't use that to get out of my W 2 though. So that was like the biggest hiccup of all of it was If I want to get out of my W 2, there's only one option then that's left. If the taxes aren't going to be as big of a concern because I'm going to pay them either way, then it boiled down to my analysis was, well, you're really only worried about 10%. And if I was 50, I thought, well, in 15 years, when I could actually touch that 401k money for the first time. I can make a lot more up, up on that, you know, what I lose in that 10 percent doing what I'm doing in real estate. I felt then it would be if I left it in and I watched it go up and down for another 15 years. And hopefully it's on the upcycle when I'm ready to take it out kind of thing that it just, I, I, what I did and I, I set a goal, a number and I'm like, well, if my 401k gets to this number, then I'm going to take it out and I'm not going to have buyer's remorse on it. You know, it's like, be happy that you got this. Uh, don't think back about, you know, gosh, if I would have waited another two months, would have gone up more, you know, in another day, it could have gone down quite a bit. So I was, I was happy to just draw the line in the sand, take what I got. And, uh, you know, I jokingly I said, ask me, you know, in, in another three years, if it worked out all right, but so far I, you know, I was able to leave my W2. So it's worked out so far, uh, that I, I don't have any regrets over doing it at this point. So hopefully that stays that way.

Clint Harris:

So I hadn't thought about it that way. You know, essentially it just boils down to 10%. Like you said, you're paying the taxes at some point either way. It's very interesting because I'm, I'm 40 years old. I'm sitting on an IRA and a 401k and trying to figure out what to do with them. The IRA, I'm turning self directed and that's going into syndication. I'm trying to decide what to do with the 401k. And, uh, I thought I had my mind made up until you and I talked today. So maybe I'm trying to go back to the drawing board. If that's a more,

Chad Ackerman:

sorry, you're welcome. I don't know what,

Clint Harris:

yeah, I think so. I think so. That's a, it's a really interesting way of, of framing that.

Neil Henderson:

All right, Chad, here's my last question. We try to ask every one of our guests this with the caveat that this is not investing advice. This is for informational purposes and entertainment purposes only. It's. May of 2023, you have 100, 000 that you have to invest within the next 90 days. What is your thought process on where you would invest that?

Chad Ackerman:

In this economy? Or in an ideal economy?

Neil Henderson:

In this economy, I said it's May of 2023.

Chad Ackerman:

Yup. So in, in my situation where I am, I'm actually dealing, I have a, I have a deal that's going full cycle next week, actually. So I'm, I'm living what you're asking right now, to be honest with you. Um, where I am today, because I'm out of the W2, I'm looking at cashflow. So I've got a, a CRE fund that I'm looking at. The cashflow is really well that I'm excited about. I'm in his third fund. I'm looking to get in his fourth fund, um, that I'm probably going to put a lot of it in there. I'm actually, this sounds like a total plug, I want to put a chunk of that in with Nomad, because I'm really excited about the situations you guys are developing too. So I'm earmarking some of that money for it, uh, because you guys cashflow as well. So it kind of fits that same model for me that I'm looking for at this current time. But, but that cashflow is the biggest thing I'm looking at right now. I, because I got into that 17 story building, that's going to be a big equity thing. I'm in some multifamilies that are going to have some good equity. I'm leaning more to the cashflow side of things just to help with not having that steady paycheck that I used to have, uh, just to balance it out a little bit more. So that's where my head is personally these days.

Clint Harris:

Great answer, Chad. Especially, like I said, I'm, I'm out of the W2 steady income world as well. So full time investors. So I think there's a lot of importance there of looking at like a lot of the deals that we do are those conversion deals. And even though they have a preferred return, they may not pay out for sometimes two years. If we buy an old Kmart, we're converting it for a year. It takes a year to fill it up. There's other deals you can buy that are cash flowing day one. Multifamily, where it's a performance improvement plan, their cash flowing right off the bat. So the importance of making sure that you clearly define those goals, whether they're cash flow, equity growth in the back end, or whatever they may be. Uh, and make sure and plug that in. That's something that, that resonates with me right now too, cause I'm in the same boat. So completely understand that.

Neil Henderson:

Chad Ackerman, thank you so much for sharing with our audience today. We've so enjoyed talking to you. If any of our audience wants to reach out to you and find out more of what you're about and what Left Field Investors is about, where would be the best place for them to go?

Chad Ackerman:

Yeah. Easiest places to our website at, uh, leftfieldinvestors.com. Uh, or you can reach out to me directly at Chad@leftfieldinvestors.Com as well. Always happy to meet some new people. So, but I appreciate the time today. This was great. Really enjoyed talking to you guys.

Neil Henderson:

You too, Chad. Thank you very much.

Clint Harris:

Sounds great. Thanks, Chad. Appreciate your time.

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.