A young person reads Rich Dad Poor Dad. Inspired, they buy their first rental property with little to no money down and start earning cash flow.
They replicate this investment strategy a few more times in the next year, proudly investing with other people’s money and owning multiple “doors”.
Business is great, and ambitions grow. So they borrow more money to buy more properties. Each time they hit a property goal, they move the goalposts of success.
Now they own twenty or more units but owe banks and private investors a lot of money.
Macroeconomic conditions evolve. Tenants inevitably become more problematic, and ill-selected properties become money pits. Interest rates rise, and cash flow tightens. They scaled too quickly — managing the business now requires 60 hours per week.
The investor may appear to be successful and wealthy. But life is stressful, and the business teeters between prosperity when conditions are perfect and collapse when conditions are less than ideal.
Is that success?
I did my first RBD book giveaway nearly five years ago when my friend Chad Carson published his first book, Retire Early with Real Estate. I’ve done three others since then, and today marks the fifth.
Chad is back with a new book called The Small and Mighty Real Estate Investor – How to Reach Financial Freedom with Fewer Rental Properties.
I’m giving away four paperback copies.
Read to the end to find out how to put your name into the hat to win a free book.
The book is available exclusively at the BiggerPockets bookstore, with lots of bonus content.
It will go on sale on Amazon and other major booksellers on August 22nd.
About the Author
Chad Carson is a Dad, real estate investor, author, former Clemson middle linebacker, and online content creator.
He and I met at a blogging conference several years back. In 2017, Chad wrote a guest post on RBD about moving his family to Ecuador for 17 months. Around that time, he interviewed me for a real estate investing series on his site, where you can still find a few vintage pictures of my old rental property.
His family recently spent another year abroad in Grenada, Spain, paid for by rental properties.
I’ve always admired Chad’s ability to teach real estate investing strategies through his writing, podcast, courses, and YouTube channel. His motto, “Do what matters”, steers his path as an investor and entrepreneur.
He’s the only online real estate investing educator that I trust. Whenever I’m curious about a real estate topic, I go to Chad.
Chad started his real estate investing career similarly to the intro to today’s post, chasing the “manic, never-ending pursuit of more”.
But we got into trouble by blindly following the “go big” real estate philosophy. We copied big real estate goals from “successful” investors, and we thought achieving those goals would lead to all our dreams. But as we grew fast and made progress, we experienced the negative side effects of the “go big” real estate model, like financial risk, stress, and lack of free time. We decided to pivot and do something different. — Excerpt from The Small and Mighty Real Estate Investor
The different approach was finding “enough” rental properties to support his ideal lifestyle, enabling him to spend time with his family, build an online business, and write books.
The Small and Mighty Real Estate Investor is the blueprint for achieving a similar lifestyle — owning quality investments over quantity, using smarter and less debt (sometimes zero), and building slowly and steadily.
Many of the book’s ideas transcend real estate applying to stock investing, entrepreneurship, and life.
The Small and Mighty Real Estate Investor Review
The Small and Mighty Real Estate Investor book is mighty in content but not small.
The book is six parts long and nearly 400 pages. It’s filled with Chad’s personal experiences and “real” success stories of other like-minded investors. Illustrations, diagrams, tables, and examples simplify complex concepts.
The primary topic is real estate, but it’s also about financial independence and building your ideal life. What good is owning a sizable real estate portfolio if it owns all of your time?
Parts I and II lay the groundwork for what makes a small and mighty real estate investor. It’s about owning enough properties to support your desired lifestyle without taking over your life.
Parts III through VI focus on the tactics to be a successful real estate investor while adhering to the small and mighty philosophies. I’ll highlight three Chapters where this book stands out.
Here’s a high-level book outline:
- Part I — The Small and Mighty Manifesto
- Part II — The Journey of a Small and Mighty Real Estate Investor
- Part III — How to Buy Profitable Investment Properties
- Part IV — Funding Your Properties
- Part V — Guide to Rental Property Ownership
- Part VI — How to Win The Real Estate Game
The Deal Funnel (Part III, Chapter 14)
The tactics portion of this book is where Coach Carson — the educator — really shines. I consider Chad Carson to be the leading online expert on the topic of finding real estate deals.
Online “gurus” and real estate influencers mostly talk about the benefits of real estate investing (cash flow, passive income, tax benefits, etc.). But they skip over the most important aspect of investing — finding profitable deals.
Chad has never taken shortcuts around the craft of real estate property selection. Finding good deals is challenging, especially in high-cost-of-living cities in the U.S.
Realistically, acquiring one excellent rental property may take 100 leads and 10 offers (“The Deal Funnel“).
The book lays out several strategies to find good deals but doesn’t ignore the challenges. It could even deter many readers from buying investment properties.
Aspiring investors need to put in the work, and I suspect the book would be a rude awakening to people watching 60-second TikTok videos about how to get rich with real estate.
Be Careful with Power Tools (Part IV, Chapter 18)
You’ve heard about good debt vs. bad debt. Good debt buys appreciating assets and cash flow (e.g., homes, investment properties), and bad debt buys depreciating assets (e.g., clothing, cars).
But the real danger is when bad debt looks like good debt.
The antidote to avoid the illusion of good debt is Coach Carson’s 7 Safe Debt Rules:
- Own quality properties
- Use positive leverage
- Avoid balloons
- Fix your interest and payments
- Hold healthy cash reserves
- Avoid personal guarantees
- Only work with friendly lenders
Some vocal investors glorify debt as an aggressive path to achieving real estate wealth. This book highlights the benefits of intelligent leverage but insists “debt is not a religion” for the small and mighty real estate investor.
Debt-Free Rental Properties (Part VI, Chapter 25)
Prominent real estate investors love to boast about getting rich using “other people’s money”. Debt is a foundation for building real estate empires, but even professionals must beware of shaky ground.
The small and mighty real estate investor uses debt wisely but looks for opportunities to increase income with fewer properties, reduce risk, and sleep well at night.
The book outlines the positive aspects of paying off properties altogether, how and when to do it, and when not to. This is a rare topic in real estate books because many investors never get there, leveraging equity to buy more properties.
Chad rebukes the common objections to paying off real estate debt early (e.g., tax benefits, inflation risk), putting forth a pragmatic argument for debt-free rentals when the time is right and why they help investors adhere to the small and mighty manifesto.
Debt-free rental properties may seem like a pipe dream for some. But it’s an option for patient portfolio builders and high-net-worth investors.
Who is this Book For?
If you’re an aspiring real estate investor or a landlord looking to improve your business, this book is for you.
Read it to understand what it takes to be an astute investment property owner without rentals becoming a lifestyle burden.
The realities of real estate investing highlighted in this book may turn some people off. Others will finish it feeling empowered.
How to Win a Copy of the Book
There are four copies of The Small and Mighty Real Estate Investor to give away. These are paperback books, not emailed PDFs or Kindle bytes. The winners will receive a snail-mailed book copy and a handwritten note from me.
In previous giveaways, I received about 100 entries. That’s a 1:25 chance of winning if there’s a similar response. Buy the book to significantly improve your chances of receiving it!If you want to win a book copy, fill out the form below. I’ll randomly choose four winners (using the RANDBETWEEN function in Excel).
A few rules:
- Winners must reside in the United States to maintain reasonable shipping costs.
- Previous book winners will not be selected.
- Please check your email Monday morning and respond if you win.
- Submissions will be accepted between Thursday, July 27th, at 6:30 am ET and Sunday evening, July 30th, at 11:59 pm ET.
I’ll contact the winners MONDAY MORNING (July 31st). You’ll have three days to respond with your full name and physical mailing address.
If I don’t hear back, I’ll pick another winner. Once all winners are confirmed, I’ll update this page to let everyone know.
Please only submit a response if you plan to check your email to see if you won. In previous giveaways, readers ghosted me, delaying shipment for everyone. Please allow a few weeks for delivery.
Fill out this form to win a copy. Please include a topic of interest for future article topics on RBD. Your answers won’t influence the random winner outcomes but will help me with future content ideas. Thanks!
Craig is a former IT professional who left his 20-year career to be a full-time finance writer. A DIY investor since 1995, he started Retire Before Dad in 2013 as a creative outlet to share his investment portfolios. Craig studied Finance at Michigan State University and lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and three children. Read more HERE.
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