Thankful and blessed. No other way to describe the most fun I’ve had to date putting a post together. Very exciting to converse with folks that I admire, have learned from and continue to be inspired by as we stay in pursuit of our financial freedom through real estate investing.
A personal thank you to each of these superstars for taking time out of their schedules to work with me on this post and provide us with their answer to the ever motivating question:
What does it mean to be financially free?
I know you’ll find this list of people and the content they represent just as valuable a resource as I have in the recent years as you continue your journey to financial freedom. Without further ado, let’s move to the 12 Sites Every Financial Freedom Seeker Should Know About:
Cardone Acquisitions // Grant Cardone
Grant Cardone is a New York Times bestselling author, the #1 sales trainer in the world, and an internationally renowned speaker on leadership, real estate investing, entrepreneurship, social media, and finance. His 5 privately held companies have annual revenues exceeding $100 million. Forbes named Mr. Cardone #1 of the “25 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2017”. Grant’s straight-shooting viewpoints on the economy, the middle class, and business have made him a valuable resource for media seeking commentary and insights on real topics that matter. He regularly appears on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, and MSNBC, and writes for Forbes, Success Magazine, Business Insider, Entrepreneur.com and the Huffington Post. He urges his followers and clients to make success their duty, responsibility, and obligation. He currently resides in South Florida with his wife and two daughters. Cardone Acquisition‘s mission is to identify, acquire and manage income producing properties that provide opportunities for investors to preserve capital investments, collect consistent cash distributions while waiting for future capital appreciation of the assets.
I grew up middle class, dad died when I was 10, watched my mom suffer, watch my mom terrified every day because she didn’t know if we had enough money to make it through. I grew up in the middle class, was told to get a good job, make money save money, create a retirement account. I went the other way…One thing has allowed me in my lifetime to do what I’m doing today. Some of you watch my life, you see us travel, you see me bring my family around. You see all of a sudden in the last 3 to 4 to 5 years my life has like, reached another level. I didn’t have an IPO, no technology, it’s one thing. That one thing has operated and worked for people for hundreds of years…it’s real estate man. That thing is real estate.– Grant Cardone
Coach Carson // Chad Carson
When I graduated from college I decided to skip out on a normal job, a steady salary, and climbing career ladders. Instead, I began as a real estate entrepreneur who flipped houses and eventually started keeping some as rentals. It was the best decision I could have made. It certainly had its ups and downs, but overall I’ve had more freedom, flexibility and fun (!!!) that I could have imagined.
Today I use rental income to pay my bills, and my wife, two young kids, and I are wrapping up a 15 month trip living abroad in Cuenca, Ecuador. It’s been an amazing experience that enriched our lives and brought us closer as a family. In addition to investing, I also enjoy sharing what I’ve learned about financial independence and real estate at my blog at coachcarson.com . It’s fun to help other people gain some of the freedom and autonomy that real estate has given me.
To be financially free is a combination of the external and internal. Externally you need assets that provide income and financial stability without you having to work. Internally you need the attitude, confidence, and skills to know that you have what it takes to adjust and survive no matter what life throws at you. Combined, those two give you the ultimate financial freedom.– Chad Carson
Goodegg Investments // Annie Dickerson
I started investing in real estate over ten years ago and never planned for it to amount to much; it was just something my husband and I did on the side. However, over the years, as real estate has helped us build wealth for our family and given us the opportunity to make a positive impact on families and communities, we’ve fallen in love with real estate investing.
I founded Goodegg Investments to allow others to build wealth and attain financial freedom through investing in real estate. Goodegg Investments helps people invest for good. We connect our investors with investment opportunities that have a positive impact on communities and the environment, while also providing our investors higher returns than they’d receive from more traditional investments. Through the Goodegg journey, we help people attain financial freedom, while simultaneously making a difference in the world.
Growing up, we never had a lot of money. In fact, I remember a time when my father had to sell his beloved camera just to have money for dinner that night. To me, being financially free means more than just having enough money to buy the things that you want, or even generating enough passive income so you don’t have to work. To me, financial freedom is a state of mind. Being financially free means you no longer have to worry about money and that you can be free to live your life to the fullest, on your own terms. – Annie Dickerson
JoeFairless // Joe Fairless
I spent my post-college years successfully climbing the corporate ladder at a NYC advertising company, going from a junior project manager to becoming a Vice President before my 30th birthday. That sounds great on paper, but I was working pay check to pay check and – more importantly – I was unfulfilled. So, I decided to leave the industry in December 2012 and pursue a career as an apartment syndicator. Fortunately, while ascending the corporate ladder, I created a real estate foundation so I wasn’t starting from scratch. Education wise, I went to seminars (including a Rich Dad, Poor Dad seminar, where I was told that one of the only ways to create a massive real estate business is through apartments), read books and received mentorship from active investors. Experience wise, I purchased four single family homes in Texas, which produced a small income that wasn’t enough to live off of, but it sure helped considering I no longer had a W2 income.
After six months of an intense, fun, challenging and emotional rollercoaster ride, I closed on a 168-unit apartment community for which I raised over $1,000,000. Fast forward to today and my company controls over $300,000,000 in apartment communities. Between then and now, I launched my website, JoeFairless.com, which is the home of the world’s longest running daily real estate investing podcast with over 1300 podcast episodes, three books, two Best Ever conferences, over 350 blog posts, an apartment syndication consulting program, a passive investor FAQ page and much more, all with the purpose of helping people like YOU achieve success in real estate.
Being financially free is about freeing up your most valuable resource – your time – so you can spend it however you wish. My life’s purpose is to help people achieve financial freedom and financial success. I believe when I help you achieve financial freedom, you can use your time to pursue your passions and purpose. Whether it’s spending more time with your kids, starting a non-profit, pursing a career that’s more fulfilling or any number of things.
I believe that the majority of people are inherently good. And if they had more free time, they would do more good things. Therefore, helping others become financially free will result in more good in the world. So ultimately, to me, financial freedom means more positive energy being produced in the world.
– Joe Fairless
Financial Mentor // Todd Tresidder
Todd has maintained his wealth by remaining an active investor and utilizing statistical and mathematical risk management systems for investing. Through his website FinancialMentor.com, he teaches advanced investing and advanced retirement planning principles. In short, we exist to satisfy the unmet need for accurate, actionable, unbiased financial education that can help real people like you achieve financial freedom in this lifetime.
In a literal sense, it means your combined cash flow from your portfolio of holdings in all three asset classes (business, real estate, paper assets) exceeds your spending required to support your lifestyle. Stated more simply, your cash flow from investments exceeds expenses. On a personal level, it means the many hours most people spend working for money and managing their affairs gets repurposed with a focus on fulfillment, rather than survival. It means you can do what you want, with whom you want, when you want. You face fewer limitations and live with greater freedom. You’re free to choose your path in life without regard to how much it costs or how much it earns. – Todd Tresidder
Park Street Partners // Jefferson Lilly
I worked most of my 20s behind a spreadsheet being a financial analyst, and I worked most of my 30s as an enterprise software salesman for a few startups in Silicon Valley. I purchased my first mobile home park as a side investment. After a year of overlap between my day job and my real estate, I could see my real estate was doing better than that last startup..(!) I made a career switch into real estate and haven’t looked back in 11 years. My journey has been to specialize in a niche I enjoy and to invest my own capital, and then to scale up by raising outside capital based on my track record investing my own capital. This would be my advice for others seeking financial independence.
While raising funds at Park Street Partners for his next aquisition, Jefferson also hosts the Mobile Home Investors Podcast.
I can spend more time with my family and that time is more flexible than when I was working a day job. – Jefferson Lilly
REtipster // Seth Williams
I am a land investor and residential income property owner, with nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. I’m also the Founder of REtipster.com – a massive library of content that offers real world guidance for real estate investors. The site is filled with in-depth video tutorials, comprehensive reviews on the industry’s most well-known software and online tools, interviews with other active real estate investors and a lot of other niche specific education for aspiring land investors, landlords and wholesalers and more.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. – Henry David Thoreau
Morris Invest // Clayton Morris
Clayton Morris is the former weekend anchor of Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel. He left his 20-year career in broadcast news in 2017 after he met his “Freedom Number” as a real estate investor. He now spends his time helping other people do the same, teaching people to become real estate investors and invest in turnkey properties.
Morris co-founded Morris Invest with his wife Natali, also a former broadcast news anchor. They use their broadcasting, speaking, and writing skills to produce a podcast, YouTube channel, and blog to spread their message of financial empowerment.
As a news anchor, I spent my career at the mercy of TV studios. I worked a great job for a great salary but I was always employed on a 2 or 3-year contract. And then what? Every time contract negotiations time rolled around I was a nervous wreck. Then one day while I’m waiting on word from my agent about my next contract, my wife and I had an epiphany. My wife said: “What if we owned enough in real estate to match your salary now so that the next time contract negotiation rolls around, we don’t need it?” I leapt up from my chair and started furiously trying to figure out how to calculate that on my white board. That is how the “Freedom Number” was born. That is how we figured out how to stop being a slave to our paycheck jobs and TV contracts. It was amazing to leave the TV studio for the last time on Labor Day 2017 knowing that I would never have to worry about being at the whim of an employer again. That is true freedom!
– Clayton Morris
Financial Nirvana Mama // Tracy Ma
Tracy is a ‘retired’ Environmental Engineer who has Batman abilities because she’s multi-passionate and loves acting as multiple characters 🙂 She’s either acting as a mom, as a consultant, as a real estate investor, or as a blogger at financialnirvanamama.com. Her favorite addiction is fitness. Endorphins are her drug of choice.
She started Financial Nirvana Mama in her desire to make a difference, help you stop settling in life, take action to do what you love to do, and inspire you to kick ass and make your life amazing.
Her ‘aha moment’ came during a quarter life crisis, when she conquered her student loan debt after slaving away at three jobs, working 70+ hour work weeks and realizing there’s a smarter way to make money. Diving into real estate investing and surviving 11 years, she’s built a multimillion dollar legacy that gave her the lady balls to quit engineering and fulfill her dream as a multi-passionate entrepreneur.
Being ‘financially free’ means building enough money so that you have the financial confidence to not settle in life and live a life of no regrets. You have the courage and financial means to change directions in life, if you choose to do so. You make important life decisions based solely on your vision, like deciding to take a sabbatical from work, going on extended adventures, embarking on a completely new direction whenever you want or starting a new business. In the book, ‘The top Top Five Regrets of the Dying’ by Bronnie Ware, the number one regret of elderly patients in their last few weeks of their lives was ‘I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself…not the life expected of me’. Which side do you want to be on?
– Tracy Ma
RodKhleif // Rod Khleif
Rod Khleif is a passionate real estate investor, consultant, high-performance coach and the host of the number one ranked real estate podcast on iTunes with 3,000,000 downloads to date. He has personally owned and managed over 2000 apartments and homes. As one of the country’s top real estate, business, and peak performance luminaries, Rod has built over 22 businesses in his 40 year business career several which have been worth tens of millions of dollars. A compelling rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches story, Khleif soared from humble beginnings as a young, impoverished Dutch immigrant to incredible success. Rod’s experience involves both remarkable triumphs, and spectacular failures, which he affectionately calls “seminars”. Rod brings incredible authenticity and insight to his approach to business, success and life. A true American Dream story.
To have complete freedom. To be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whoever you want.
Financial freedom must also be coupled with fulfillment and balance in your life, or it really is not freedom. Fulfillment by contributing beyond yourself and being a force for good in your family, community and the world. And then balance by maintaining your health and your important relationships. When that is in complete alignment and you are operating from a foundation of gratitude…That is a life. – Rod Khleif
BiggerPockets // Mindy Jensen
My name is Mindy Jensen. I’ve always been frugal, having grown up as a grandchild of The Great Depression. I discovered the concept of financial independence when my husband, frustrated by a horrid day at work, banged into his computer “how do I quit my job early?”
Through a combination of live-in flipping, stock investing and frugality, my husband and I saved and invested and grew our retirement account to the point where he quit formal work a year ago.
Real estate has always been my favorite investment, and 3 years ago, a position opened at BiggerPockets.com that pulled all my skills together. Every day, I help people learn the proper way to invest in real estate so they make money. I routinely receive notes of thanks for the hope the site has given them in their quest for financial freedom.
To me, Financial Freedom doesn’t necessarily mean quitting your job. It means you now have the freedom to pursue your passions, even if those passions pay you little to nothing. I am financially free, and I work because I choose to, because my company is truly changing lives every day and it’s powerful to be a part of that.
– Mindy Jensen
HelmsREI // Jay Helms
Yes, this is a shameless plug 🙂 You see my family and I documenting our real estate investing experiences here on the HelmsREI blog, and I want to take this opportunity to let you know about the Facebook group I’ve started called “Real Estate Investing for the W2 Employee“.
The purpose of our Facebook Group is to help address the gap that exists between having a successful / fulfilling W2 job AND building financial wealth for yourself and your family.
I’ve spent the last 20 yrs climbing the IT corporate ladder with growing compensation and responsibilities, but the reasons I’m starting the Real Estate Investing for the W2 Employee Facebook group is because:
#1 – it wasn’t until my wife and I started investing in buy & hold real estate did we start to see our annual income and net worth exponentially grow.
#2 – migrating the task of financial wealth building off to secondary, more passive, income sources has allowed me to be happier with career, more focused on my job and overall serve my customers better.
We are not financially free yet, so it’s not fair for me to answer the question, ‘What does it mean to be financially free?’ What I can tell you is the closer we move toward financial freedom and further understanding our true passion in life, the more my mind-set is driven by those passions and not by the worries and stress that accompany financial burdens.
– Jay Helms