One of the big questions we’re always hearing is, “Chris, where do you like to invest? And where do you see the best opportunities right now in property investment?” In this episode, you’re going to get those answers. Tune in to find out what property investments Chris Miles is focusing on to make most of his real estate income.
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Where Does Chris Miles Invest?
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I want to talk about a question that many times I get asked by my own clients and by the people that come through with Money Ripples, which is, “Chris, where are you investing?” Disclaimer I’m putting this here. We are giving no investment advice at all. Secondly, just because I have done this doesn’t mean you should do it. Thirdly, just because I’m not doing it, it doesn’t mean there is not an option that is good for you.
I want to go into what those investments are. I’m going to try to bring up some general stuff because there is a lot, but also some specifics too. I share that with you because what I’m investing in, many of our clients do, is if they are not the same, they will be doing something similar. I want to talk about where I’m investing my own money and how that applies to me, my situation, and my family, but as a warning, a disclaimer, this is not investment advice for you. This is to give you an example of where I’m putting my money, and I will bring up some other places that our clients are putting money into.
First and foremost are investments I have done in the past. Maybe I’m not doing it currently, but I have done it before. I have done some actual active real estate investing, flips, and things like that. I have gone and flipped my own property and bought it back again or leased it back and rented it out. I have done things like that. I don’t necessarily recommend it. That strategy doesn’t always work. It didn’t work great for me, either. I have done things almost like a casual version of wholesaling I have done before. I have even done lending as well. Lending is another fun one that could be good. I haven’t done that as much lately, but it is a great option for some people depending on the situation.
Things I do invest in right now, I still have turnkey properties. I haven’t bought a lot, especially as interest rates have risen. I have been seeing some good turnkey opportunities, especially as interest rates have come back down here in the last few months. It has been nice to see that softened towards the end of 2022 when interest rates were much higher before, and now prices are coming down, and sellers are becoming nicer about it. The sellers aren’t all ego-driven, thinking they are going to be able to sell for whatever price. They want buyers. It has become a better buyer’s market since the end of 2022.
Turnkey rentals have been a good staple. It doesn’t mean they are always perfect. It doesn’t mean that they always pay out and nothing ever happens. We have some properties that are boring. We were like, “Do we stuff renters in there? They pay on time. Nothing ever happens. The property manager takes care of it all.” When I do turnkey rentals, I used to do my own active rentals. I don’t like that anymore. Turnkey rentals have been more of a fun thing to do when somebody else manages it.
That is the warning. If you have a bad property manager, it can create a bad taste in your mouth. There could be vacancies, and people could end up not paying their rent. There might be involvement where your property manager has to evict them. There could be some maintenance issues too. There could be some repairs you have to do. We have had a few properties that weren’t great in 2022 because there were maintenance issues, and there is an issue with a tenant, specifically.
If someone is looking to do turnkey rentals, like what I’m doing, I would recommend that you buy at least 2 or 3. Don’t buy the one because even if you get a good turnkey rental or it looks like it should be, things can happen, and if that is your only experience, that puts you at risk. Someone might say, “What about duplexes or fourplexes?” It could be great. Even though that is good, it is still in the same geographic region.
If you are starting out, you might look at single-family homes and get them in multiple locations. You might have them in 2 or 3 different states, depending on what is going on, to give yourself a little bit of extra protection there. That is the one that not only pays decent cashflow but also there is that element of growth that is possible, especially if there is appreciation and great tax benefits where you get to keep most of your money.
Even if it is apples to apples, what it looks like the on cash-on-cash return between a turnkey rental and lending your money, the thing with lending your money is you are going to pay full taxes on that. Where with the turnkey rental, because of depreciation, you might pay little to no tax on that property, depending on the situation. That is one place that I still like and would still talk to people about. Even though you do it more cautiously today, that could be a place to look for a good asset that you can invest in.
Another place is syndications. I mentioned that many times before, where you pull your money with other investors and go into deals. I have been in multiple apartment syndications, which have been great. I’m also in syndication that deals with oil and gas. In the oil and gas industry, with getting mineral rights and things like that. That has been a great investment for us. That is even one we did more in the last year to two years, especially as the oil prices have come back up. That has been a great one.
Syndications are great, but I will tell you this as a warning for that. It is about whom you invest with more so than what you invest in. I can’t stress that enough. The operator, the person doing the deal, is the person you are investing with. You have to have a lot of trust in them. You have to make sure they have a good track record. We like the track record to be at least for the last 12 to 15 years. It is a good decent track record, where they have at least had some experience with the last recession moving into times like now. It is important you have good operators that do good work.
You want somebody who has not good investments that it looks like, and the numbers will look all great because anybody can make their numbers look great. It is about that person. What is their integrity or character like when there is a lot of pressure? When they are under pressure, what do they do? It is hard to know that unless they have been through hard times.
That is why it is good if you have somebody who has been through at least the last Great Recession of 2008, 2009, and 2010. It is much easier to trust them, especially if they had harder times and they were still able to weather that storm and come out stronger. That is my warning about that. Syndication is another place that is easy. Especially with those of our clients that have a lot of money, they will tend to do that.
If our clients might have maybe $250,000 to invest, they might buy a couple of rental properties and do syndication. They may split it 60/40, 67/33, or 50/50, depending on the situation. If you are $250,000 or less in cash, those two options I mentioned are the go-to. I will go to lending as well. Lending is something you can do directly.
If you got investors that are looking to maybe fix and flip a property, it is risky right now. They have to be good with their numbers or be in a market that has not been impacted as much by the way that we are seeing right now with the investments and property values even decreasing. Flipping properties can be dangerous, but if they get it with enough equity in the property, even based on current values, it could still work out in your favor.
Lending can be a great option and a good short-term option. When I have clients that think they only want to have their money out for maybe 6 to 12 months max, that could be a great way to go because they know they can get their money back. Go and invest it. Anything can happen. There is a risk with any of these investments. There is a risk in keeping your money in the crappy stock market. There are plenty of risks there, and you can do nothing about it, but at least here, you know who you are investing with. You can see them, you know who they are, and you build that relationship with them again. That relationship is key if you are going to do lending as well.
The last one I’m going to talk about is business partnerships. I have my business, Money Ripples, which is my number one investment. That is something I have put a lot more money, time, and energy into in the last few years than I ever have, other than the startup time. I have put a lot more focus into scaling this and making it bigger so we can impact more of your lives and make it grow beyond me. I have a team to support me and make sure that this grows. We can serve people the quality that I expect. I’m anal about people having good quality and communication with their people. Our clients are getting the best possible service possible. For that reason, I put a lot of money into this business.
There are also other business partnerships you can do. Some of these partnerships could be going into real estate. It might be that you partner with one person to go put money together in a real estate deal. I’m not talking about franchises, although that could be a great option, and we have had clients do that. This is putting your money with another partner, going in as a partner instead of putting it into an investment. You are pulling your money together. It is two of you.
I have done the same thing. I have done this by buying and selling raw land. I have several friends in this space. It is an exciting time to do that, where raw land is cheap. It is not recession-proof by no means, but the payments are low for people. If they want to have land, it is great. It is legit. I’m not claiming I have assets, and I don’t, but this one in particular, I’m not doing any of the active investing. I have a partner doing that. They are doing the investing. They are the ones finding the properties and helping to buy this raw land for cheap. They turn around and sell to somebody for a higher price. We become the bank. We sell or finance these properties.
Whether they are investors that are buying the properties or people that want land for recreational vehicles, sometimes these people want to expand their current land. They have a farm or a ranch. It allows them to expand more. They could be developers too. We turn it around and sell it to them, but we sell it to them on terms. They pay us like we are the bank. They pay us a mortgage payment even if it’s over the next 5 or 10 years.
These are the properties that we have and the people we have sold them to. The buyers are the people we’ve sold these properties to. In this case, we bought it for $2,500 but sold it to them for $5,500. The monthly income is $100 a month. If I got a turnkey property that I bought for $12,000 down, I would hope for at least $100 a month for a $12,000 down payment if you found something that low. I’m not saying you would. I’m trying to do apples-to-apples here. That is hard to find.
There are some others as we go along this list here, and a lot of these are low prices. I got lost in all those numbers again. We bought one for $7,885. We sold it for over $35,000. We are getting a payment of $422 a month. That is a ten-year term. We have invested about $250,000. That includes the business startup costs and everything else. The land is already worth over $400,000. This is after about a year and a half at this point. It is now over $7,000 a month of passive income. It is not bad for $250,000 to be invested.
That is one of those things that we have loved. We will never bring this person on the show. This is only reserved for our own clients that hire us on the one-on-one consulting side. Why? It is because there is a wait list already a couple of years long. Many of our clients that are waiting on this waitlist are saying, “Let’s do some short-term lending or something like that. In the meantime, make some money with our money before we can go and make this investment.”
I’m excited about it, but we only connect the clients that hire us for one-on-one consulting. It is great. We have had a lot of people get good results as we have, and we enjoyed it. We have been looking to put more money in this week to even boost those numbers up more to break it over $10,000 a month. We are taking the proceeds. We have been reinvesting it. Eventually, we try to get to about $20,000 a month or so after about three years.
There are lots of different ways you can do this. Future opportunities that we might be looking at. I know self-storage is one. I’m starting to see it come back with a vengeance here in late 2022, now going to 2023. That is one that we are starting to look more intently at with some of our deal operators that are in that space. You have to make sure you are with somebody that does it right, but that is another space where there is some great potential.
Even the apartment space, even though it has cooled off a bit, and I haven’t been putting much money in much into apartments. That is something we are going to start seeing a comeback, whether it is apartments, retail space, or whatever it might be. It is not about what you are investing in, as it is who you are investing with. That is important. That is what is critical. That is key.It’s not just about what you’re investing in. It’s more about whom you’re investing with. Click To Tweet
My advice is if you got $100,000 or less, the best thing you can do is look at infinite banking. I have a lot of money in infinite banking that I store and put money in. I live the same thing. Anything that I’m teaching about here, I’m doing too. I can’t teach something that I don’t do because I sound like an idiot when I try to do it.
Infinite banking is another one if you got $100,000 or less, even if you have more too, but if that is all you have, I wouldn’t even worry so much about passive income right now. Don’t even try to go into that space yet. If you get over $100,000, maybe we should be chatting more, but when you are about $100,000 or less, that is where infinite banking is a great place to keep storing that money, building it up, and there are ways to use it.
We got a sponsor for the show. You could technically go and invest with a minimum of $1,000, and that is fantastic if you can do that and make some good returns on that. I don’t want you to throw every dollar you have, especially your emergency fund money, into an investment. If anything bad were to happen, you would be up the creek. You are broke. We don’t want that.
You want to protect any of those cash reserves that you have. That is where infinite banking can be great to help diversify your cash reserves and savings. You are earning better than 0.0% in your bank earnings better than online savings accounts even. You have that option, and you get tax advantages too, where there are no taxes taken out. It grows tax-free and comes out tax-free. That is what I recommend there.
If you got between $100,000 plus, especially when you get up towards $200,000 plus, this is when we should start talking because now there are more options. That is when I mentioned turnkey rentals could be good and have some syndications mixed in there. If I were to default to anything, turnkey rentals, at least you own the property, it is yours, you control it, and it is a real asset. Even if renters stop paying you, you can turn around and sell it. You have real assets. It is much easier to deal with.
Syndications can work depending on the amount of money you have. If you have over $250,000 to $500,000, you can start looking at doing a few more deals. Maybe you might be looking at something like that partnership like I did, that could be an option where you still get other investments too, but you have something like that to help you grow and increase your cashflow. You can even do some lending and other syndications. If you are $500,000, $1 million, or more, there is so much there. This is where we talk about diversifying more.
I have some of those clients who have that much money. They are trying to put a bunch of money into one of our oil and mineral rights investments. We say, “Don’t put everything in that one basket, especially with that one operator. Let’s diversify a little bit.” If you put some money there, that is great. Some of them had to talk back, like, “I can’t give you investment advice, but that is a big risky position, especially when they go above like a third of their money into one deal.” That is risky. I don’t know if I would feel comfortable doing that, but it is up to them. That is one thing we can do.
Having rentals part of your portfolio is a must. You should have at least some properties in your portfolio. It can even be short-term rentals. You can do some of those things, but you start mixing more of the syndications and things like that. You can get creative and do a lot of different things with your money.
Depending on how active you want to be with it, you might put it into something that pays you more in the longer term. Some of our clients will focus and say, “That 10% or 11% fund, I will put money there because it is stable income that comes in. We can reinvest it every five years. We don’t have to keep managing it.” That could be a great option for you.
I’m not giving you any investment advice, nor do we give our clients specific investment advice. We stay away from being investment advisors. We don’t cross that line, but depending on your goals and what you are trying to do, if you are trying to grow your money, we might connect you with different people and operators saying, “These investments are more growth-oriented. These investments are more cashflow-oriented. They are creating passive income in the near future versus the long run. You might want to look at that.”
With the way the markets have been, I personally have been doing this, and I would see that there is less risk this way. You focus on cashflow, not on investments that might grow or have a big payout down the road. Those can be risky. We don’t know what values will be like down the road. We can’t guess anything because markets can change. Things can change, and that can throw off those projections, even if its growth down the road has good strong cashflow today too.
Cashflow is the number one thing I try to teach our clients to look for. It doesn’t mean you have to have something that is paying you cashflow right now, but it is nice to know that you have some of that money coming back that you can turn around, reinvest and make more money with it. My advice to you is nothing. If you guys are in this situation where you say, “I’ve got $200,000 or more, what do I do with this?” Reach out to us at MoneyRipples.com and see what we can do for you there. That is something where there could be some good stuff that you could be investing in.
Going for people that not just what you are investing in but who you are investing with. Make sure you are going with people that have been vetted well. Every deal is different. You have to vet every deal, but we have tried to provide the education that supports and walks with you side by side so that you can find those right deals. We are not on those people’s payrolls. We can say honestly, “There are some risks with this. Here are the pros and cons of what you’re looking at here.”
It gives you a little bit more guidance and direction on what investments you are looking for and who would be a person that has been in that field and doing this for maybe the last 12 to 15 plus years, that had a great track record. We are not giving investment advice at all. We are not investment advisors, but we are here to support you in any way possible.
If you want greater support and be able to help shorten those timeframes to get to your goals faster than you are right now, reach out to us at MoneyRipples.com. Make it a wonderful and prosperous week, and we love to keep serving you and make 1,000 of you financially independent by the year 2030, if not more. I love it to be you too. Make it a great day.