Table of Contents
Erwin Szeto [00:00:06] Hello, fellow hackers. This is the truth about real estate. Best in show. My name is Erwin Szeto and hope you’re all having a great week. Last week my team and I attended to virtual events and missed live events. This is the best we can do though. One of them was Flip Hacker of a Flip Hacker conference, and their plan was to be in Orlando, Florida. Oh, that would be nice. Anyways, so one was a three day conference live hacker event and also rockstars your life, your terms event. Both were excellent. Flip Hacker Event was hosted and presented by Americans, which is not a bad thing. I was able to take away several negative information from the presentations. However, some of the tactical information that I was looking for that was being shared was shared lots of great technical information, but great for Americans. And unfortunately, I didn’t get a lot of the information that I wanted. But that’s okay. No one’s perfect. And they’re sharing what they know and totally okay. Unfortunately, all of these practices that they were teaching don’t apply in Canada. Again, it’s understandable. But attending the key thing, though, is that the attending the conference cued me to reach out to a wholesaler friend of mine who’s one of the best in Canada. And I asked them, where can I learn more about the subject of wholesaling? So my friend connected to me referred me to another American. This American was actually a pair of Americans who are used to working with Canadians. And we’re meeting over Zoom on Thursday with Joel and I and I’m excited about it. This was a reminder of how lucky we are to have Canadian content pertaining to content that we do have a have available to us. I’ve belonged to two real estate networks in Canada for a long, long, long time, working for one of them for over ten years. And I’ve known countless people who’ve been burned investing in U.S. education material and paying for coaches only to have their investments here in Canada go down in flames. Every real estate market is different. Edmonton and Toronto could not be more different. No different than Vancouver is not comparable to any major U.S. city. And I’ll give you a quick example. When I was in Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in February of this year, I went to see an open house for a house that was on the water. The price was cheaper than anything you’d see in the GTA, unlike in Ontario. The house had been listed for 60 days already in the North for conditional periods. You know what it is, and I’m sure you must even know what it is. But the typical is in your local market in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it is 30 days for financing, three years, zero. This was pre-pandemic as well. Add to that the landlord tenant laws are considerably more favorable for landlords in the state of Florida than in most parts of Canada. One local Florida investor told me that if a landlord has to go to court for nonpayment of rent, the tenant does not get a hearing unless they transfer the rent in question to the court’s trust account to prove they have the money. Nonpayment of rent here back home makes up a bit of around 70% of cases of the landlord tenant tribunal. So how much backlog time and resources could be saved if we had a similar process? This would make lives easier for tenants looking for accommodation and for landlords who are not getting their rent. I could call this a win. Do you make sure to ask questions of whatever experts you are following in their local expertize? I will be you and I when I zoom meet with these wholesaling experts on Thursday. Rockstars Your Life, Your Terms event, however, was highly tactical for the Ontario investor. I took a lot of notes and will definitely be applying these lessons to our businesses to best assist our real estate clients and stock community. Speaking of supporting our community. Did anyone take advantage of Amazon’s prime days? This is the first time I’ve done it the way Amazon Prime Day has been explained to me. It’s Amazon’s version of Black Friday. I think they still do Black Friday as well. Anyways, I bought not one but. 240. Inch Samsung TVs and I don’t even watch TV. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? I didn’t keep them. They weren’t shipped to my home. I had them sent to the families that I was supporting as part of the Hamilton Brigade. This was just part of my donation. One family had lost their home as it was condemned for being unsafe, and the other family had lost their home and belongings in a fire. They’ve both since found new homes, but they didn’t have TVs, so I bought them each a TV. I one of the families, the family that had had to leave their home because it was condemned for safety reasons. They have 12 children, 12, the youngest being under one and the oldest being 18. So at the best brigade, we budget based on family size. $100 per member of the family. So in this case, we had budget for a brand new Nintendo and Mario Kart and a new controller for that new version of the Nintendo. You can tell I’m very sophisticated in this technology stuff, but I don’t have any of it myself. I’d love to have one, but I can’t afford to have this stuff for myself. So we buy them for charity. On the mental health front, I’m hearing from many investors, entrepreneurs and friends that the pandemic is getting them down. I hear this once daily from a lot of high achievers. So I thought I’d take a moment to share what has worked for me to keep my weight down. I’ve been fasting after I stopped on a scale back in March and April. Around there somewhere, I was approaching 190. That wasn’t good with either because I wasn’t going to the gym. From then on, about 90% of mornings I don’t eat anything, at least nothing of significant significance until I’m hungry around until around 10 to 11 a.m.. So I stop eating after dinner. I have dinner around five or 6:00 at night and then I don’t eat anything and jam until ten or 11 in the morning. The next day I basically skip breakfast. I’ve done this before. Under the guidance of Dr. Callum Cowan. So please don’t take my advice, go seek professional help. But again, this has helped me with my energy levels and staying higher and also I’ve kept the weight off. Getting back into the gym has helped, helped me a lot personally. I CrossFit in a CrossFit gym under a CrossFit coach. And last week when I looked across the gym, I noticed Coach Amanda, a national weightlifting champion, was also working out, you know, about 30 feet from me. How good is she? She’s a national champion, as I mentioned. And she placed fourth at a recent Pan Am games. So she’s much more talented than I am. She’s also way more hardworking than I am. I think she’s in the gym six days a week. And it was I don’t know what it is, but for me, being around greatness rubs off, doesn’t actually make me any better. But I do get inspired and I raise my game, which isn’t much, but I give an extra 10%, which again isn’t much, but I get a better workout when I’m inspired. When it was time for me to lift weights, as I called across the gym to coach Amanda, I got her attention. I asked her to turn around and not watch, and then I focused on my lift. I took my offer and she didn’t turn around. And she said she said not too loud, but she said I wasn’t that bad. It is part joke. Part yeah, whatever. So in my opinion, getting a not bad feedback from a national champion is pretty good in my books anyways. I’m also still dining out in restaurants for mostly for lunches and sometimes dinner with friends and family. We don’t hug or handshake, but I’m still making the time to hang out with high achievers like Mike Rose Hart, who we had on the podcast last week. We have upcoming guests like Renee Mars. I say Matt PJ Wow, a French Canadians. That sounds like Chris Lewis. So all of these people have a lot of property easier coming up. I know many of you don’t know him, but he’s got a pretty cool story of leaving corporate and owning a lot of property. And we also have this week’s guest and James Moneybags Mags James’s nickname is MBM. Yeah, I think more all investors have a cool nickname. So James or James MDM or Moneybags Marries left his corporate job from a major telecom company. He purchased 17 investment properties. He retired his wife back in 20 something. I forget these are 2013, maybe 2014. So anyways triple of his work income in real estate. By helping folks invest in real estate he learned to stock act for $4,000 cat which is cash 4000 cash per month and he improved his health. He spends more time with his friends and family and more than ever in just ten years. Yeah, he’s had a bit of a transformation. Full disclosure, James and I met about ten years ago and this is his story. So give me a busy these days.
James Maggs [00:08:15] James Well, it’s been quite a year, right? So, you know, between real estate in general, which the market’s been insane for, for anybody that haven’t been paying attention to the headlines is probably one of the hottest years we’ve had in the last three or four years. So real estate in general, real estate in my properties, stock lacking a lot of a lot of things on the go these days. You still coming.
Erwin Szeto [00:08:36] Into the gym, too?
James Maggs [00:08:37] Yes. Yeah. I took you know, everyone joked about they covered 15. So from March and March until probably July, because I think there’s like July was when the gyms opened back out. And then I worked out that I was in 15. It was like 5 to 5 was worked out for the first little while. But I’ve been back at the gym consistently now, not necessarily in the gym, just being active, doing stairs, working at a friend’s garage gym, working at a friend who owns a different private gym. So a little bit here, a little bit of they’re keeping it busy. And it’s interesting.
Erwin Szeto [00:09:10] How is Tammy’s gym doing? And they’re back on their feet.
James Maggs [00:09:13] They’re not open to the public. So it’s not it’s not like a general workout you have to be working out with the trainer. So it’s it falls under the similar rules of some of those other private training gyms where you don’t have to fall in there like the good lifes of the world and stuff like that.
Erwin Szeto [00:09:27] And that’s where you’re splitting time between that and yeah.
James Maggs [00:09:29] Once a week and then gross gym and then good life and then doing the stairs and whatever other cardio comes my way. Just mountain biking over the summer back into that.
Erwin Szeto [00:09:38] Did you buy a bike or you already had a bike?
James Maggs [00:09:40] How to bike that I hadn’t used for about a year. So COVID was good to actually get me out again. And I was doing a trail riding with a friend. We had a couple of 20, 20 kilometer circuits. That was good. Cool.
Erwin Szeto [00:09:52] I covered, I think I was like 12 and then just start fasting again, start basically skipping breakfast. It’s kept pretty easy and getting to the gym nearly as much as. You did. That was more like once a week at best. Mass golfing.
James Maggs [00:10:06] Now. Well, the problem with this summer was that with lack of entertainment and things to do and places to go, there was a lot of pool parties between family members or myself. So there was every time there was a pool party, there was beverages being consumed, a lot of calories in beer. When you put it that way.
Erwin Szeto [00:10:25] And you mentioned it, you were stuck in Costa Rica for a bit. I forgot about that when the pandemic hit.
James Maggs [00:10:30] Yeah, well, it wasn’t stuck. We were there on vacation and we had friends visiting us and then they left just before kind of the state of emergency announcement. And so, you know, as much as I try and was trying to relax there, I wanted to kind of keep an eye on how things were going with the rest of the world. And, you know, every day Facebook had a million different things and how things were starting to get worse. And then slowly but surely I remember it was the 13th, I think, of March when they did the announcement, state of emergency. The airlines were shutting down all the stuff. And then I was like, Well, how bad could it be? What’s the worst thing that can happen if I get stuck here for two or three extra weeks? That was my thought process then, right? I think Costa Rica just opened the borders. I think it was October 1st. So to get people back into the country. Right. So you probably could have left, but we ended up leaving about a week early. So crazy sucks that we had to miss last six days and then, you know, the three or four days before that were pretty stressful trying to figure out what to do. So being stressed by the beach in Costa Rica is not a bad place to be stressed.
Erwin Szeto [00:11:34] And I like being stressed at home and finally stressed.
James Maggs [00:11:38] We’re good company, they’re great neighbors.
Erwin Szeto [00:11:41] And you know where to start. Let’s actually stay on the condo. You own a condo in Costa Rica on how far from the beach?
James Maggs [00:11:48] Three minute walk.
Erwin Szeto [00:11:49] Three minute walk from the beach. How did you get there?
James Maggs [00:11:51] How did we get it? Look, I, like I say, luck, but it was probably opportunity like I’ve mentioned this before and I’m very opportunistic when it comes to investing and things in general. So we were down in there on vacation, were walking by and saw the sign there. And so I called the developer. A developer, invited developer, came out and said he’d spent some time with me and he just.
Erwin Szeto [00:12:15] Happened to be there.
James Maggs [00:12:15] No, he drove an hour from San Jose.
Erwin Szeto [00:12:17] Oh he called the number.
James Maggs [00:12:18] O the number. Yeah. It came out, met with us to bounce back. So they’re just building their, their sites before they saw them. And we were the first ones to close and move in and kind of take possession and now it’s fully occupied.
Erwin Szeto [00:12:31] Sorry, you were the first buyer.
James Maggs [00:12:33] First buyer. All right.
Erwin Szeto [00:12:35] I was just listening to an audio book where they talked about trailblazers. Channel blazers often end up face down with errors in their back.
James Maggs [00:12:44] All right, James.
Erwin Szeto [00:12:45] So how do you buy a property in a foreign country?
James Maggs [00:12:50] That one was is actually pretty easy. So we did I did a lot of research on the different requirements in Costa Rica is pretty unique in that you have, you know, normal land title rights similar to what we have here. It’s not like places like Mexico. I heard you can have your land taken away from you. So I felt pretty safe that way. But we just partnered corporation, so I found a lawyer open in Costa Rica Corporation and then the corporation owns the property. And so now if I ever want to sell the house, I just sell the corp.
Erwin Szeto [00:13:18] What, like taxes and financing.
James Maggs [00:13:20] And so financing is very different there than it is here. Interest rates are nowhere near as favorable. Average interest rates there at the time, I don’t know what they are today with 70% and traditional banks won’t let do financing. So I had in my back pocket from the beginning that the developer was offering a to do financing at 50% down.
Erwin Szeto [00:13:39] Interesting. And what rate did they offer you?
James Maggs [00:13:41] So we kept the I negotiated with them. We kept the 80%. And it was originally I tried to shoot for interest only, but he didn’t want to do that. So there’s a small amount of principle, but payments are actually less than what a standard rental property would be here on a monthly basis.
Erwin Szeto [00:13:58] Very interesting. I don’t know where to go now. Let’s go there.
James Maggs [00:14:03] How did you afford this?
Erwin Szeto [00:14:05] How much was the how much was it?
James Maggs [00:14:06] I it was about 200,000 U.S..
Erwin Szeto [00:14:09] So you have to come with 100 grand, the down payment. So you just have it in your pocket?
James Maggs [00:14:13] Of course. No.
Erwin Szeto [00:14:14] You walk around.
James Maggs [00:14:14] With. No, that was one of the benefits of being a real estate investor for quite a few years before I got to this point. So it’s not something that I would have been able to do if I hadn’t gotten into real estate investing when I did, for sure.
Erwin Szeto [00:14:27] So is your nickname now is Money Bags? Bags.
James Maggs [00:14:31] As you like to call me.
Erwin Szeto [00:14:33] I have nicknames for all my friends, but. And I was joking with you before we start recording with anyone for your money bags in 2014. As you know, we met in 2011.
James Maggs [00:14:43] Right? Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:14:44] When 2011 you started working with me 20 on the team.
James Maggs [00:14:48] 20 1414. Yeah. Okay.
Erwin Szeto [00:14:51] So real estate allowed you to be able to buy. Pretty much most people’s idea of a dream property.
James Maggs [00:14:56] For sure. Well, and that was that was my original goal, right? Like, I mean, you go back to some of the different coaching programs they have. Their philosophy is, what is your what is your dream? What’s your beliefs? Right. And that was kind of one of mine to have a retirement property somewhere hot that I loved. And I didn’t quite expected to do it that early. But, you know, thinking about the advantages it would give me and I did the whole cost benefit analysis and risk analysis like I would do with any other real estate investment. So it just really made sense. Originally, the plan was to rent it out, to cover the costs when we weren’t there. And now it’s really just friends and family and it’s nice to be able to have that option and not have to not have to fill it or be able to afford it. I really just.
James Maggs [00:15:45] It was a while. Yeah. Yeah. So we were first in and then that was in like the November we closed September or October we closed and the start.
Erwin Szeto [00:15:53] Of the year.
James Maggs [00:15:54] 2016 wasn’t that long. Yeah. And then 2017, our neighbor across moved in and they’re actually ex-pats from Australia and now they live there full time. Hmm. And then slowly but surely, the rest of the people come in. But it’s interesting because one of the one of the other units is somebody from their Costa Rica native. But that’s their cottage, right? It’s about an hour from where they live. And so that’s their beach house. And then the rest of them are actually long term rentals.
Erwin Szeto [00:16:20] Fascinating.
James Maggs [00:16:21] Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:16:22] So just to paint a picture for the listener, this is the number one tourist destination.
James Maggs [00:16:25] In.
Erwin Szeto [00:16:27] Costa Rica, isn’t it?
James Maggs [00:16:28] Pretty much from a service perspective, from a safety perspective, from a you know, from a growth perspective, the town has transformed dramatically from the amount of money that’s been poured into it.
Erwin Szeto [00:16:38] But still. Tiny, tiny.
James Maggs [00:16:39] It is.
Erwin Szeto [00:16:39] You know, still tiny, tiny. Like they don’t even have a McDonalds right now.
James Maggs [00:16:43] They have a KFC.
Erwin Szeto [00:16:44] Every case, you know, McDonald’s. No, Starbucks.
James Maggs [00:16:47] No.
Erwin Szeto [00:16:47] No. Starbucks, no. Two mountains, definitely. No. Okay. And one trying to explain to the listeners, for those who don’t know it, it’s a three minute walk to the beach, to the ocean. If you’re a three minute walk to Lake Ontario in the GTA, how long is that piece of real estate last?
James Maggs [00:17:06] Yeah, and it took a while. I mean, that’s the thing, too. So the interesting thing is one of our neighbors is actually a realtor down there, and she’s from Canada originally. She’s from Toronto. She’s been down there 25 years. And she said with 27 2008, that was the first thing to go as those vacation homes rate all the, you know, wealthy us people that had houses just ditch them. All right. So it’s taken a long time to recover and unfortunately, it’s probably taken another hit with pandemic.
Erwin Szeto [00:17:34] Going every time. And also, just to clarify, even though is condo ownership, it’s but.
James Maggs [00:17:40] It’s a semi.
Erwin Szeto [00:17:41] It’s a semi. 1700 square feet.
James Maggs [00:17:43] 4000 square feet, 410 square feet, two bed, two baths. So it’s about three baths on pool.
Erwin Szeto [00:17:48] That’s put the calculator for some quick math because I want to know the square footage. You’re good at math. You know what? Offhand, how much do you pay per square foot?
James Maggs [00:17:55] Oh, I don’t know. Do the math and see it here.
Erwin Szeto [00:17:59] 200 grand. 1400 square feet. 142 U.S. a foot under 43 or foot.
James Maggs [00:18:07] Back compared to the condos and counter that are selling for a thousand square foot.
Erwin Szeto [00:18:10] All right. You said you said condo in Toronto. Now you just how many corners do you own new to? And you don’t live in them?
James Maggs [00:18:16] No.
Erwin Szeto [00:18:17] So I’m type. Sorry. And you mean Canada? You mean Toronto?
James Maggs [00:18:20] Yep. Okay.
Erwin Szeto [00:18:22] You really are all over the place. Yeah.
James Maggs [00:18:24] Opportunistic.
Erwin Szeto [00:18:27] The more recent one. One. Why did you invest in the condo? The cash flow is like crazy, right?
James Maggs [00:18:31] Your Airbnb probably will not cash flow, but actually it might well by the time it’s built. So that when there’s a new purchase. That was in March of this year. Actually, February this year when we got back this year. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:18:43] So you biography painter.
James Maggs [00:18:44] Pre-Pandemic was probably going to be four years before it’s built. So I’ve got a lot of time for the condo market to recover. But I was going through the thought process of my kind of journey from graduating high school, going to university, getting a full time job. And then after university I moved, moved to Toronto and I rented there and then ended up buying a condo. And my thought process as well. I bought my first condo in Toronto a lot of years ago for 150,000. And if condos now are going for 600 to 700000 for shoeboxes, what are they going to be like? By the time my daughter, who’s now ten so another ten years, what are those numbers going to look like? Are they going to be 1.4 million or are they going to be 2 million? And so my thought process was, even if she doesn’t live there ever, at least she had the option. She could refinance it. She can take money out, she can get a lot of credit on it, whatever it is, and use that for other schooling or, you know, a down payment on her home or wherever she chooses to do. So it’s about choice, because I just think that, you know, Toronto real estate, regardless of what happens after the pandemic, is always going to be desirable. And as a world class city and the condo itself is in a prime location where you don’t need card, I mean, anything. It’s kind of right downtown core. Mm hmm.
Erwin Szeto [00:19:53] And we’re just having lunch with someone who has spent a lot of time in the U.S..
James Maggs [00:19:56] Mm hmm.
Erwin Szeto [00:19:57] And even though he has a lot of opportunity in the States, he prefers it here.
James Maggs [00:20:01] Yeah, if it’s interesting, he could be doing really well in the U.S., and he just says just everything else besides what’s going on due to COVID. It’s just people, country, culture and Canada is that much better, at least for him.
Erwin Szeto [00:20:13] It’s funny because I always enjoy when I’m in the States, but I’m always when I’m home, I’m really happy to be home and I don’t see it. I don’t have the experience of being in the States. Of course, him being of color makes a difference, I think maybe.
James Maggs [00:20:26] Well, that and I mean, he’s there for business too. So I think it’s a different where if you’re there for pleasure, you might have a different, different experience. True. Hmm. I see. Okay.
Erwin Szeto [00:20:37] How did you earned the nickname?
James Maggs [00:20:40] Will you give me the nickname? This is interesting enough, but what.
Erwin Szeto [00:20:44] Is the nickname again?
James Maggs [00:20:46] Moneybags Mags. Because it rhymes. Obviously.
Erwin Szeto [00:20:50] I remember the conversation, how it came about. I don’t even remember. Oh, I think you were talking about. We’re in the middle of a discussion about you either needing to buy more gold or you had just bought more gold like physical gold. James is always buying stuff, but he’s got money bag.
James Maggs [00:21:06] So. Well. So anyways.
Erwin Szeto [00:21:10] Let’s say you’re like us.
James Maggs [00:21:11] Agree. Well, my philosophy and I don’t even remember. I don’t even know if this was conscious. But I’m that type of person that if I have available money in the account, I’ll probably spend it. So my whole rationale was, if I can take money that I have and put it in things that I can’t that are easily accessible, like gold, it’s very hard to turn gold into cash and houses. It’s kind of like for savings. I can’t touch that. And it’s going to be invested in it’s going to grow. I did a pretty good job when I was still investing hours of having it automatically withdrawn from my account. But this is a way to add much bigger chunks and not be able to touch them. So that was kind of my big make myself cash for but investment rich very.
Erwin Szeto [00:21:54] Rumor is you have gold Brexit buried under your pool.
James Maggs [00:21:57] To be interesting that it had done it. Actually, no. That’s hard to get to know. I have little bit gold, quite a bit of silver looking to work on that and starting to. I want to learn more about Bitcoin, especially based on what you know, the way the financial system seems to be heading.
Erwin Szeto [00:22:14] Yeah, I’m curious I’m curious about the Bitcoin thing in that because I don’t think anyone would disagree that cash flow is. KING Is there cash in the king? Cash flow is king. And like my physical gold, for example, it’s not making me any money.
James Maggs [00:22:29] No.
Erwin Szeto [00:22:29] I understand what it is for us to be an insurance policy. Just things go to hell and I need some sort of currency that’s accepted. I still don’t know how it’s going to work.
James Maggs [00:22:40] With a.
Erwin Szeto [00:22:40] Coin that’s worth. I don’t even know what. What, what an ounce is worth.
James Maggs [00:22:43] Thousand bucks.
Erwin Szeto [00:22:44] Okay, so I have one coin here. Can you give a knife or something to shave some of this off? I can buy a bag of milk.
James Maggs [00:22:52] Okay.
Erwin Szeto [00:22:53] Bitcoin’s even worse because whatever. I don’t know if I want my money just sitting there, even if it’s appreciating, almost rather have cash flow.
James Maggs [00:23:01] Agreed. I think it’s more of a of a hedge against some uncertain future where, you know, if you have cash, you can either be rapidly devalued or, you know, hyperinflation or something like that. But I think there’ll be enough time to react if that starts to come about. But I don’t know that would ever happen based on the current state of the economy. Government wouldn’t allow it, at least until something drastic changes.
Erwin Szeto [00:23:23] Interesting. Because my thinking was always like the government can always just come up with their own digital currency if they want to. And then why would you ever need one of these things? Unless your purpose is to move money between countries.
James Maggs [00:23:35] Off the radar.
Erwin Szeto [00:23:36] Right off the radar. Yeah. Just try to taxi across the border.
James Maggs [00:23:41] All right. What else?
Erwin Szeto [00:23:41] Okay. I don’t know. Touched. I don’t even know the answer to this. How many properties do you have now?
James Maggs [00:23:47] If you factor in Costa Rica, that 12.
Erwin Szeto [00:23:51] 000 even dozen.
James Maggs [00:23:52] Couple of those are joint ventures, more opportunistic joint ventures than planned joint ventures. But these are for the most part. A couple of them were with a friend and his thought process was he’s a really busy guy. He didn’t do a very good job of managing some of his properties. So any kind of we get together for fun anyway to hang out. So and we’re kind of accountability partners as well in that. So it was kind of just kind of made sense for us to partner up on a few properties, help our capital go a little bit further. And then, you know, it’s nice to have to have somebody else to celebrate success with us.
Erwin Szeto [00:24:24] This friend makes a lot of money already.
James Maggs [00:24:26] He does. Okay. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:24:28] Let’s call it the perfect get to bring up. They kind of look at joint venture partner.
James Maggs [00:24:33] It is sort of like.
Erwin Szeto [00:24:34] A lot of.
James Maggs [00:24:34] Money. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:24:36] Doesn’t that time was far away from the property.
James Maggs [00:24:39] Yeah. And doesn’t know no interest in managing it. No interest in picking tenants dealing with any of that stuff. So you kind of share a couple of the responsibilities, but for the most part, we’re happy to outsource everything and pay a little bit more for it. It’s not like I’m the working partner and he’s the money partner. It’s kind of more of we’re both of that same mindset that, you know, we know that this is going to be a good long term investment. And so, you know, couple hundred bucks here or there per month for having somebody else successfully. Management just makes sense.
Erwin Szeto [00:25:04] And then how the down payment and the budget for a knows and the financing.
James Maggs [00:25:09] Work hundred percent 50 5000.
Erwin Szeto [00:25:12] The way you both applied for the mortgage.
James Maggs [00:25:14] So mortgage well for two properties so one is in his name was in my home was kind of taking turns.
Erwin Szeto [00:25:19] Got it. Yeah because for the beginner investor that makes no sense.
James Maggs [00:25:23] For it.
Erwin Szeto [00:25:24] You can get your own mortgage; you don’t you shouldn’t tie someone else’s credit up.
James Maggs [00:25:28] Exactly. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:25:30] I know. Some of you were laughing and thinking like, oh, that’s such so beginner. But honestly, some people would do that. No, we’ve actually seen it. We’ve actually seen that in our clients.
James Maggs [00:25:37] And the other thing too is at the beginning I was like, Why Joint Venture? Until you’ve tapped out all of your available finances and all your mortgages. Right? Do that later. Right. But for certain people at certain times in their investing for that makes sense.
Erwin Szeto [00:25:49] And we actually had one client to their partners in life and even though we give them the advice, you know, share with me, I would you know you take turns getting mortgages they said no, we both want to be on.
James Maggs [00:26:01] Both on.
Erwin Szeto [00:26:01] Title. It’s like, okay.
James Maggs [00:26:03] Like doesn’t make any sense.
Erwin Szeto [00:26:05] It doesn’t make any sense.
James Maggs [00:26:06] We have trust issues. Yeah, I think it’s more.
Erwin Szeto [00:26:08] I think that, I think that came out of that, which was odd because they’ve been partners in life for like more than a decade. So like right now. Okay, let’s go back to the beginning. Why did you first start buying investment properties and what year was it?
James Maggs [00:26:27] 2010 was the first. 2009 was, I think, when I started seriously looking around at properties. So prior to that, my full time gig, when I saw Bell, I was really bored and I didn’t see myself there for a very long time and I kind of looked at other opportunities and none of the other opportunities gave me. Bell was had teleworking before. Teleworking was cool and remote, working was cool. And so we did everything. We didn’t have video conferencing, but we had teleconferencing. And so I was able to work from home. And so for me, when I was looking at other jobs, it was like, okay, I’m going to need to be get paid at least 15 to 20000 more than what I’m getting paid just to factor in my commute. And I just couldn’t find that out there. So I was looking at other things to do. I started in their business. Do I have a side hustle over the four hour workweek that’s going to be my muse? And what am I going to do to make myself a lot of money and other seemed like a lot of work. So I started I read a little bit about real estate investing dug into that. You know, how hard could it be by just put in a tenant and, you know, take care of some repairs here and there? And so that’s what really drove me down the path of real estate investing. And to start digging into it a little bit more.
Erwin Szeto [00:27:35] Was a bit shepherded.
James Maggs [00:27:36] For separate out as one of them. And then that was kind of early advent of a lot of the Internet training and stuff. And so I was snooping around on a couple of the rich dad, poor dad sites and they signed up for one of their email newsletters and they reached out to me for coaching. So I took their to their coaching program and that’s really what gave me the push to take some action for sure.
Erwin Szeto [00:27:55] Where was the coach? Where were they located?
James Maggs [00:27:57] Yeah, they were based in the States. So they had they had a good idea of generic real estate investing, but from an understanding of the market, it was really all the onus was on me to try and figure stuff out. Interesting. They had a lot of the fundamentals right in that, you know, build your team, you know, going for you lawyers and accountants and all this stuff and try and figure out how to make sure you have support which is which I did luckily because I you know, I didn’t talk to all the right people at the very beginning, but at least I had had the people within trying to do it on their own get to. Yes.
Erwin Szeto [00:28:32] Because a lot of American stuff and you still does and you can see it coming out of Alberta. I like to talk about like agreements for sale, for example, for those who don’t aren’t familiar with agreements for sale, it’s different from agreement of. Purchase and sale. For sale. Let me see if I get this right. You basically take over payments for the owner’s mortgage and you have control of the property. Essentially, the owner of the property still owns the property, its market still in their name. But at least they’re you’re sort of paying them rent, but you have a lot more control than that. Yeah. The basically the rights to sell the property and you have the rights to usually purchase the property in a certain percentage.
James Maggs [00:29:07] It and to rent it out. And most people make their money on the spreads and stuff. Yeah. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:29:12] Like for example, that was big and I thought that was big in terms of being marketed towards real estate investors. But I can personally, I don’t know anyone who stuck with it in Ontario.
James Maggs [00:29:25] You know, so many of the strategies like the tax lien strategies don’t work in Canada the same way they do in the States. Mm hmm.
Erwin Szeto [00:29:31] So just to show to listener one, if I told you this story. I’ve only seen one agreement for sale deal done in Hamilton. And that’s the only deal I’ve seen done. And I remember it was on it was on King Street. So one of the busiest streets in Hamilton, I remember the person who kind of owned it, the investor who had, you know, had the agreement for sale on that property. They asked me to have a look at it, the opinion on it, because they were going to try to sell it. So I remember seeing the property and I walk, you know, I walk by the front of the house to head towards the door and like, hey, do you notice this crack here? And there’s a gigantic crack right in the cornerstone of the property, right on the corner of the property. And for those who don’t know, you call it the cornerstone for a reason. It’s really, really important to the structure of the house. And there’s a gigantic crack on it. And anyone who walks by on the way to the front door would see it. The house needed a ton of work, but then you know anyone who knows a crack in the cornerstone, like it’s a big one, like big red flag.
James Maggs [00:30:38] You know, huge. Could be structural issues, foundation issues, everything, right? Yeah. Yeah, it.
Erwin Szeto [00:30:41] Could be massive foundational issues on a busy street. You wonder why that a homeowner was willing to do it for sale. Exactly. Because no one else probably wanted that house. Couldn’t sell it.
James Maggs [00:30:52] Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:30:53] So here is this person that has the rights to it, or I don’t even know whatever it was a while ago. And that’s the only time I’ve ever seen a deal done. I don’t even know how worked there. I think I did. I think she followed up with her after. I think she might have broken even on that after like two years of dealing with it. So tears in her life in an investment to make no money.
James Maggs [00:31:12] Yeah. So, yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:31:14] Nothing that don’t work. I’m sure this work somewhere. Yeah. It just doesn’t make sense in a market where.
James Maggs [00:31:19] No, and that’s the thing that was I remember back when I first started to me mean, looking at the top investment towns happened to live in Hamilton in that year. Hamilton was like one of the top towns. Just made sense to me as well. Like, you know, in the States, there’s so many markets that you could get into that don’t have the right fundamentals. And, you know, the markets that we invest in and invest in are all our clients. Are those solid, fundamental markets where it’s for investing the right areas in the right properties. It’s hard to make a mistake.
Erwin Szeto [00:31:47] And that kind of leads us to your story is for anyone doesn’t know James there’s his first properties that they bought are like in like the most ghetto.
James Maggs [00:31:55] Area of Hamilton. Just one. Just one.
Erwin Szeto [00:32:00] It was. And that’s when you see like a headline. If there is a shooting.
James Maggs [00:32:03] It’s on 64 point shooting, one stabbing you just at the corner of your corner, the McDonald’s on the corner. Okay.
Erwin Szeto [00:32:14] So how many properties did you buy before you met me? Investment properties are your home.
James Maggs [00:32:18] He was three.
Erwin Szeto [00:32:20] In.
James Maggs [00:32:20] Three. Okay.
Erwin zeto [00:32:21] What were they?
James Maggs [00:32:22] Triplex, two bedroom, two single family.
Erwin Szeto [00:32:25] Okay. And one’s a two bedroom.
James Maggs [00:32:27] What is a two bedroom?
Erwin Szeto [00:32:28] Very good. And then what was that like? Being a first time investor in the very, very northeast of Hamilton was rough.
James Maggs [00:32:39] And I mean, you know, you hear the same story from so many other investors where you look at numbers on a spreadsheet to determine what you’re going to buy. Right. And, you know, those the numbers really worked well. And I was like, if I can make it remember, this was 2009 and I’m like my target cash flow in 2009 was 1000 bucks a month, which was huge. The rents are a lot higher. Analysis led easier to obtain that. I know the prices are higher, but so that was my main factor in each property was how much cash flow could I get? I made tons of mistakes. I inherited other people’s standard, some of them low rents, and the area did support great tenants in the first place. So I inherited some pretty bad tenants and now I’ve had notes. Ten years later. The area has improved a lot as Hamilton as a whole. Numbers all across the board have gone up. For example, like the top floor unit I just renovated, just put somebody in actually September 1st. And when I bought the house, the rent was 450 a month. And for.
Erwin Szeto [00:33:43] One.
James Maggs [00:33:43] Bedroom, one bedroom, and I’m getting 1215. So needless to say, the cash flow numbers have jumped up even from a thousand. Now I have refinanced the property. That’s an infinite return property, as Susan Moore would say. So none of my own money is left in that property. But yeah, the cash flow numbers are still really good.
Erwin Szeto [00:34:02] What did you pay for these properties?
James Maggs [00:34:04] That one was 145. Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:34:07] And the age of the properties.
James Maggs [00:34:10] Everything in the lower city. Hamilton is early 19 figures, so that comes with its own set of problems or potential problems.
Erwin Szeto [00:34:17] So over 100 years.
James Maggs [00:34:18] Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:34:18] And these were all well maintained when you got them.
James Maggs [00:34:21] Most of them. Most of them. No, some of them had full electrical replacements which. Wow. Which was rare back then for sure.
Erwin Szeto [00:34:27] Very rare because people don’t have money for it.
James Maggs [00:34:29] No. And there was no value in it. Like, you know, today you spend ten, $15,000 fixing up at a property. You might actually get 20, 30 back in value. Back then you spend 15 and you get five. I could just wouldn’t appreciate like it like it does today. Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:34:42] Which is why most electrical work was.
James Maggs [00:34:44] Left not done. So if you.
Erwin Szeto [00:34:46] Had a buddy do it.
James Maggs [00:34:47] Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:34:48] Mean there was no there was no permit.
James Maggs [00:34:50] So I mean, over the years I’ve had enough cash flow in the properties to like, you know, one of the panels for the triplex. All three panels were in the basement. So there was ever an issue that upstairs tenant and not going to need for tenants to write stuff like that. So I moved the panel upstairs, had a home inspection when I bought it. No, no, I’m into it was doing renovations and they like, oh, we found them too. So it was just hidden pigtails in the wall, stuff like that you hear. So no fixed, all that stuff fixed a lot of electrical issues over the time as you can renovations and you know now, now they’re all in really good shape. But I mean, I made sure everything was safe and modernized from day one. Anyway, I may not have looked the greatest, but there were good properties he mentioned.
Erwin Szeto [00:35:32] They look good on spreadsheet. What was there anything missing from your spreadsheet from the beginning? Like just consider 100 year old houses. I’m guessing the maintenance.
James Maggs [00:35:42] Means repairs were not something that I had factored in. Right? Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:35:46] What do you remember what you factored versus what works out to roughly?
James Maggs [00:35:50] Yeah. Well, I looked at, you know, hard costs, which is what I tell everybody look at in the first place. Now, property taxes, mortgage insurance. I looked at a little bit of vacancy to figure out what that would look like, though at the time, vacancy rates were still very low as well for Hamilton. And but, you know, maintenance, I really didn’t have a good idea of what to use. And I think that the rule of thumb is, you know, eight or 10% of gross rents. But my goal at the time was to invest every penny that I had into the next property, to the next property, into the next property. So I was going to keep money sitting in account just in case again.
Erwin Szeto [00:36:24] And now I remember you. This is a long time ago. You told me about the agent you were working with. Was that experience like.
James Maggs [00:36:31] Yeah, I think we talked about in the last podcast too, but I mean, it goes to show like, well, yeah, I know if you ask, you ask an agent directly, do you work with investor clients and they say they’ll say yes instead of asking, you know, a more open question, you know, tell me what type of clients you service. Because, you know, by the time I had purchased my first property under the second one, I was realizing that I was teaching her more, more. Every time we went out, I was teaching her stuff about, you know, what are the rents in this area look like? What is the tender profile? What’s the vacancy like? What is repair and maintenance? What are the cash flow numbers? And I remember asking her why she didn’t have any rental properties. I don’t like tenants in there. And I said that was kind of my red flag at the time to that and probably not with the right realtor. Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:37:16] And then I’m at you’re REIN.
James Maggs [00:37:17] You don’t know at the acreage, but.
Erwin Szeto [00:37:21] We’re just looking for more education. Are we just frustrated with where things were going.
James Maggs [00:37:25] More education? So I had it backwards. I remember thinking to myself after the coaching. So I paid a good amount of my. For the coaching. But how much? 3504 grand. That wasn’t too bad compared to some of the stuff you can pay for today. But I remember seeing that I paid this money. They guarantee that I was going to buy a house where they would help me buy a house, bought the first house and I was like, okay, I want the cash flow for my second property to cover what my monthly costs would be for more education instead of looking at the education as an investment like it is. So that’s why I finally joined REIN when my second property had 300 bucks a month cash flow to cover my costs.
Erwin Szeto [00:38:00] It’s funny because like no question will replace a furnace or replace a roof or paint or replace, you know, place a countertop with grand or granite or cords. Yeah. We have trouble paying for education.
James Maggs [00:38:13] Yeah, there was. It was 100 bucks a month, but you’re literally nothing because it’s so stupid in hindsight or anything. Now I realize the value of education and investing in yourself and in how much more I can bring to the table.
Erwin Szeto [00:38:25] And before we move on, I can’t let you off the hook. So you’re doing a lot of the renovation work yourself to save money.
James Maggs [00:38:31] Did you save.
Erwin Szeto [00:38:32] Lots of money?
James Maggs [00:38:32] Well, I didn’t know any contractors. I didn’t have anybody that I can lean on to guide me in the right direction at the time either. So I was trying to figure out myself. I had a few anywhere I could get to do the stuff that I couldn’t figure out. But I’m like, I remember actually going to Home Depot and I bought the Home Depot hardcover book that had the instructions on how to for YouTube, where YouTube itself was online on their how to how to mix grout to lay tiles, how to make sure they were even. So I was doing I was doing tile. My dad was helping me do that. We were doing drywall. Pickering Yeah, he came, came for I think he stayed over at my place one night to help me do some of the renovations.
Erwin Szeto [00:39:09] And your dad’s a big executive.
James Maggs [00:39:11] Oh, he’s retired at the time. Oh, yeah. Okay. Yeah. But, yeah, I was doing drywall, I was doing plumbing, I was doing electrical help, the kitchen installation when the guy was there. So I pretty much did it all and learned it all on investment properties.
Erwin Szeto [00:39:26] What was your lesson from that lesson was end up saving money?
James Maggs [00:39:29] No. So the lesson was because I was working full time and I had a newborn at home and a family and a wife and a busy job. I was I think I was maybe dedicating five, six, seven, 8 hours a week to the renovations and stuff. So it probably took me 5 to 6 months to finish the full renovation. And, you know, you factor that in even at 800 bucks a month, rent times six months for $800. And I, I could have paid a contractor probably three grand to do it for me and had it done in a month. Mm hmm. So.
Erwin Szeto [00:40:01] And a shameless plug. We do have contractors for our clients, right?
James Maggs [00:40:06] Exactly. You know, we’re going through that right now. Or one of our clients, she’s like, you know what? Know, give me give me three contractors. You go interview them, get quotes from them for me, put them in front of me. I’ll pick whichever one you think I should pick. And I think you need to do a little bit of due diligence yourself, but I’ll help you. But, you know, it’s nice that we have those contacts in the team and the resources in place for our clients. Right. All the things that I didn’t have when I was starting off on my own.
Erwin Szeto [00:40:32] So it’s funny because Africa forgot asked you is within an hour or two that I am your coach.
James Maggs [00:40:37] Yes.
Erwin Szeto [00:40:38] Which is weird.
James Maggs [00:40:40] Yeah. Well, you that was a long time ago when it was as a as my investor coach. But yeah, we started off you made me go to Rockstar and took the training there just because you were you wanted to make sure I was legit first and I was actually willing to do it. I love education though. It is good education too. But I think you wanted to put a hurdle in front of me to make sure that I was worth working with. Yeah. So then you’re my coach, and I’m pretty sure I did everything that you told me to do, so. Yeah. All right. I’ve made a few good decisions on my own, but I had a lot of help along the way, so.
Erwin Szeto [00:41:12] So, listen. Doesn’t know. So we met in 2011, and then you already had three houses. And how many have you bought since 2011?
James Maggs [00:41:22] Well, I did start off doing Rent to own as well. So I’ve.
Erwin Szeto [00:41:26] I sold you five houses.
James Maggs [00:41:27] Yeah. So and I’ve done, I’ve done a five rent on, so. And they all I think all of them but one bought out. So for rent on sold. So I probably transacted on 16, 17 houses, I’ve sold two or three as well over time, so. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:41:42] And you’re in the middle of selling one right now.
James Maggs [00:41:44] Yeah. So we’re waiting on my tenants to leave. You know, I kind of did an analysis on my portfolio and looked at, you know, what is the lowest performer? And this one has the least, least potential at all of them. What’s interesting, as you know, right before this, I was looking at our at the numbers. And even though that’s the lowest performing property, it’s still cash flowing about 400 bucks a month, just based on the fact that it’s never been revived, which, you know, because at the time, I think the appreciation was enough to make sense. And so I just left all the money in the property. And now with the market being what it is, yeah, it’s a two bedroom and one of the bedrooms is a loft. So you have to walk past the loft to get to the second bedroom. So it’s really only appropriate for a family with like a young, young child or like a just a single couple, which is you live there now. Right. And so the plan is for them to find a new place and know cash for keys scenario. So. So, listen, if you guys find a place for December 1st, you can offer you this. So they’re actively looking if interestingly enough, I had reference calls from three of my clients that have available rentals that they’ve applied for, which is hilarious and.
Erwin Szeto [00:42:53] Says you get positive.
James Maggs [00:42:54] References. You know, they’re very nice people, but they’ve had some issues with paying their rent on time over the last. They’ve been with me for three years. So they, we had a good LTV. They got fully caught up, they’ll be paid in full. But it’s been up and down over the years for sure. That’s annoying. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:43:09] I don’t like extra admin work, so going to LTV really bothers me.
James Maggs [00:43:13] Luckily that one was handled by my PM, so thanks dave. Yeah. Oh nice.
Erwin Szeto [00:43:19] And we purposely don’t share Dave’s name because he’s asked to not be discussed. Dave works on the referral only basis, so we meaning that we have to directly for him someone he’s not interested in any other business. Sorry folks. You know, it’s better that it’s fair this way versus he has to say, you know Rick same from his perspective he’d rather does not have to say no to so many people. So what do you pay for that house?
James Maggs [00:43:41] That house, the two bedroom? Yeah, because we said just over 150. I’m 56. I think that was the third house that I bought, two on the same street, five houses down from each other.
Erwin Szeto [00:43:53] During the original rent.
James Maggs [00:43:54] Rent was 950. And that’s the rent is three or three years old now, but I think I’m getting 1360 for it. That was when the other reasons too is that if I could incentivizes the tenants to leave the rents, even though they do cashflow well based on a low purchase price, it just makes more sense for me to funnel that capital into other things, one of them being my options trading account.
Erwin Szeto [00:44:16] Look at.
James Maggs [00:44:16] There. Yeah, with the market rent market rents probably 1700 1657 for a two bedroom. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:44:24] What’s the property worth today.
James Maggs [00:44:27] I’m going to say about four, 400. I’m going to do a little bit of a clean up on it, probably do a new kitchen planning on spending about 15 to 20000 just because I think it’s going to be worth it for the right person to come in and buy it and pay me kind of solid market value for it. Right. Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:44:41] And this is the worst deal you’ve done personally.
James Maggs [00:44:44] Yeah, not too bad, considering that’s.
Erwin Szeto [00:44:47] Well more than double and then you’ve got to put down 20%.
James Maggs [00:44:51] Tax. 1%. Yeah. So as I work at two 3000, just.
Erwin Szeto [00:44:55] Over 30,000.
James Maggs [00:44:56] Then.
Erwin Szeto [00:44:57] To do it to renovate.
James Maggs [00:44:57] Much zero turnkey children’s life and because he’s looking at the numbers looks like.
Erwin Szeto [00:45:05] A return of like seven times.
James Maggs [00:45:07] Yeah. Okay.
Erwin Szeto [00:45:08] Worst investment and that’s why you’re selling it.
James Maggs [00:45:12] This is your worst investment? No, I just think that, you know, based on the cash flow and the increased price increase, the appreciation potential of some of the other properties that this one, the funds are probably better. I could probably make substantially higher cash flow off of other things with the funds from this one versus keeping them stuck in the property. I could do a refi. I just I don’t think that this property is suitable to be held long term because I think I could do better with other duplexes or some other stuff that would make me better because.
Erwin Szeto [00:45:41] This property can’t be duplexes or triplex tract severed.
James Maggs [00:45:45] Or no, no breaking the back. I can’t do a granny suite. No parking in general.
Erwin Szeto [00:45:49] Right. So the current purpose is the highest.
James Maggs [00:45:51] It’s highest and best use 100%. Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:45:54] Versus a lot of your mountain properties that you bought with a different agent. Have other opportunities out there for highest and best use for sure.
James Maggs [00:46:03] Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:46:04] Yeah. Shameless plug.
James Maggs [00:46:05] Yeah. Or an urn. Help me buy a one way the shining stars of my portfolio, which I’m excited to duplex. It’s been a single family home since we bought it. 20 was a 2015 2014 I think was right before I got my license and. 60 by one, 20 lot. On the Hamilton Mountain, which is an unheard of. So extra wide, extra deep tosser, an accessory dwelling unit in the back. Eventually when City Hamilton comes around on that, so huge amount of potential for that.
Erwin Szeto [00:46:34] I remember the rufous shot back up inspection just replaced. It wasn’t a shot when you bought it.
James Maggs [00:46:39] It was rough.
Erwin Szeto [00:46:40] Thank you for the inspection.
James Maggs [00:46:42] I know. Came up. Inspector has not been great. Might have another two or three years left. So had seven. Not too bad. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:46:51] The point there is, like, you know, don’t be afraid of interactions. It’s just money. Don’t be fearful.
James Maggs [00:46:58] Wasn’t that the.
Erwin Szeto [00:46:58] House owned by cops.
James Maggs [00:47:00] Next door? Oh, he was cops. Yep. And they crossed out the illegal growth of marijuana in the property closet. They didn’t like that. What year was this? I think it was 2014, 2015, 2014.
Erwin Szeto [00:47:11] So for the listeners benefit, I know a lot of you haven’t been investing since that long, but around that time was the popularity of including clauses that the owner would warrant that the house would never be used as a grow up. And it was the oddest thing that both husband and wife owners of that property were both police officers and they crossed that out.
James Maggs [00:47:30] It was to the best of their knowledge, it’s not like it’s like, you know, if they didn’t know that a previous owner had done it, no one would come chasing them. It’s they purposely crossed it, which was weird. And it was clear that they hadn’t used it for a screw up. But no either lawyer was adamant against it. It’s weird.
Erwin Szeto [00:47:47] I just signed off on one of those just recently.
James Maggs [00:47:50] Hmm.
Erwin Szeto [00:47:51] Totally weird. Eric, where we going? Not to cover MBM. So why do you need a coach?
James Maggs [00:47:57] I don’t need a coach. I think coaching is important for life. I think there’s a point where we all get stuck and whether that’s in business, whether it’s in anything. I think there’s a lot that a coach brings to the table. And so in order for you to get unstuck and keep growing as a person in a business, in whatever aspect it is, I think it’s important that you continue to grow. So for me, education, whether it’s through books or coaching or whatever else is, is really important. It’s kind of in our in our team and in our office, we kind of we surround ourselves with that mentality. And, you know, our book of the mindset, we’re always trying to get something out of somebody else’s material in order to have us all grow together. To start, I think a lot of people would really limit what their, you know, the ceiling is, what their achievements could be without going through coaching.
Erwin Szeto [00:48:49] And so the entire team invests in real estate or will we have some stragglers. Right. And almost the entire team, the stock hacking minus one person. I’ll give Tami credit because she’s making her husband do it. And I believe you’re coaching him.
James Maggs [00:49:04] Yeah, yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:49:08] You’re kind of. We’re kind of a weird group. We’re such a minority.
James Maggs [00:49:11] Sure.
Erwin Szeto [00:49:12] Some of us being minorities in, actually. What are your plans with the money that you’re selling? The house?
James Maggs [00:49:20] Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:49:20] So it’s not like you’re selling all your houses off.
James Maggs [00:49:22] No, just. Just that one.
Erwin Szeto [00:49:24] Thing before we get to that. Yeah. Like I think I mentioned on this podcast or maybe in an intro, intro, this one I forget I talked about somewhere. So I’m one of our clients. Want to talk to me about pre-pandemic. Your client, the one that you’re someone you’re working with directly? I didn’t take notes, but I think if I recall correctly, what he said was his mentor had sold off his entire real estate portfolio. Is that right?
James Maggs [00:49:47] Yep.
Erwin Szeto [00:49:48] Okay. So his mentor sold off his entire real estate portfolio and I think he suggested the same.
James Maggs [00:49:53] He recommended he do this. Okay.
Erwin Szeto [00:49:55] And then so he wanted to go on the phone with me. So if anyone doesn’t know, I don’t practice. I don’t have clients that I work with directly. But you won’t be on the phones. I’m happy to. So I got on the phone with the with our client and he told me the story and he asked me if what I’m doing. So I’m not doing anything that’s going to hold my real estate. The fundamentals, long term fundamentals, solid. Good. It was March was this March was March. It was March.
James Maggs [00:50:21] Was it right at the end of March?
Erwin Szeto [00:50:23] At the end of March.
James Maggs [00:50:24] Okay.
Erwin Szeto [00:50:25] So we’re at the end of March this year. And he asked and I told them, you know, I’m a bit lazy, I don’t want to sell off all my properties. And part of it is what if I was? What if I’m wrong? And what if I’m wrong about selling their properties in the market? Bounce back, bounces back like I expected to. And then if the market gets away, what if I can’t get back in.
James Maggs [00:50:47] And that.
Erwin Szeto [00:50:48] The opportunity loss given to me would have been bigger than the risk at that time. So he didn’t tell me what he decided from that call.
James Maggs [00:50:58] He ended up keeping everything. I think he sold off only one.
Erwin Szeto [00:51:02] And.
James Maggs [00:51:02] That one, he had already planned that to sell that one anyway. And he’s actively looking right now. He sold.
Erwin Szeto [00:51:07] That one. I forget why it took to get this.
James Maggs [00:51:09] Location in ten days.
Erwin Szeto [00:51:10] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He wasn’t a fan of the actual property. It wasn’t more of a market thing. And he kept everything his mentor told to sell.
James Maggs [00:51:18] That for me. Well, I mean, you know, the. It was in the pudding. Right after that conversation, when were still on the fence, everything kind of started to turn a corner and the real estate side and then not.
Erwin Szeto [00:51:29] Into March, we.
James Maggs [00:51:30] Hit. No, no, sorry.
Erwin Szeto [00:51:31] The hard turns of.
James Maggs [00:51:32] No into me. Yeah. You know, even if you decide to list your property right now, it probably takes 2 to 3 weeks before, you know, get pictures, get it cleaned out, minor renovations, stuff like that. So at the time, really, you put some thought into it, you realize that it made that much more sense. And you know, I coached him as well on it after he had talked to you too. So we had that full conversation. I said, it doesn’t make sense for you to sell these properties. And the interesting story is you bought one in Hamilton. I think it was closer to the peak in 2017. And he did have a lot of issues where, you know, he brought in a non-Hamilton contractor and they didn’t realize they needed a contractor’s license from J.D. Hamilton. And he made all these mistakes on the rentals and the management side. He did. Granted, I think his property had been red flagged somehow by the city of Hamilton, so there was like a stop record immediately. But it was nice to have that conversation because I pushed him to keep that house regardless of all the trouble that he went through. And I think he bought it for 500 at the time. You know, it had a second kitchen in it. He was going to duplex it. And, you know, hindsight being 2020, I think his expected renovation cost was like 20,000 and new renovation costs because of the city was going to be 50, which seems quite a bit higher. But, you know, with the duplexes that we see now selling for close to or over 700,000, and he bought that one at five, it’s a steal. And so, you know, I’ve had conversations with the recently and I’m so glad that you kept that property to us because you’re so much better for it in the long run.
Erwin Szeto [00:52:52] So there was some lessons in this client’s challenges with the city. I’ve never seen the city come down on someone so hard. Never for someone who was ready to cooperate. Yeah. Is more from what I could tell. The conversation was more like, how do I do this right correctly? And they’re like, You’re a red flag.
James Maggs [00:53:09] Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:53:11] You’re going to do you’re going to do above and beyond. Everyone else has a right.
James Maggs [00:53:15] And to be fair, I don’t know. He was a new owner. He was. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:53:18] He was the new owner. He wasn’t the person that was flagged originally.
James Maggs [00:53:21] And he got he got all the crap from all the stuff that the previous owner did. You just had to deal with it. So luckily I think it was, it wasn’t that expensive for him to satisfy the city’s requirements. I think he has the highest single family house rent I know of out of any of my clients right now. I think he’s getting 20 $800 a month for that house, single family rent. So he’s getting the equivalent of what people were getting for duplexes anyway and he didn’t have to do all the work.
Erwin Szeto [00:53:45] So and he was one of our most unhappy clients at the time.
James Maggs [00:53:48] He’s pretty happy now. It’s pretty happy now.
Erwin Szeto [00:53:51] It’s funny, too, because the challenge is when clients don’t take our advice, like we have their best interests at heart, we set them up with you, introduce them to our contractors, to Andy train, you know, the city the city knows that Andy trained and he went his own direction to bring his own team from like the east side of.
James Maggs [00:54:10] Toronto, you know.
Erwin Szeto [00:54:12] And they get the book thrown at them. So, you know, I just hope the listener takes away that lesson that you need to use local expertize for sure. And maybe other cities don’t throw the book at them as bad as in this case, Hamilton’s I don’t know where Hamilton fits into, like the spectrum of being cooperative with investors, but it’s not that bad compared to other cities we’ve seen.
James Maggs [00:54:34] I think if I think if you do things right from the very beginning, they’re very nice, but they will come down hard if they think that you’re trying to skirt the rules for. Right.
Erwin Szeto [00:54:42] Again, this was the worst that we’ve seen and he was trying to play ball.
James Maggs [00:54:46] Yeah. Since that has been great though. So weird.
Erwin Szeto [00:54:50] And now he’s looking for another house. Yeah. Okay. We didn’t get to this part. What are you doing with the capital of this house that you’re selling?
James Maggs [00:54:56] Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [00:54:57] So how much are you freeing up? It’s a good.
James Maggs [00:54:58] Question. I should have. I’m hoping for about 200,000. Nice. After all said and done. And I want to put most of it into my stock checking account and then keep the rest as I have. I mean, like most of our clients and investors, I’ve leveraged a lot of my lines of credit to come up with a down payment for a lot of the purchases. So I’m looking at paying down some of those and, you know, keeping some cash reserves inside.
Erwin Szeto [00:55:26] You’ve had so much success with real estate. Why would you do something else not broke?
James Maggs [00:55:30] Why fix it? Right. It’s you know, real estate is one thing. So real estate itself, I’m never going to get away from I’m always going to continue to be a real estate investor. Real estate is where I’m parking my wealth. But from a cash flow standpoint, and I think you’ve covered this on numerous podcasts, I did some analysis myself, like the amount of cash flow I can generate from stock hacking is the equivalent from the same, same amount of money I would need from the down payment on one house. I would need five houses for. So for me to generate additional income that I can actually use and spend and go and do stuff with the income on my properties is great, but it’s stuck in the house. You can’t eat equity and so I.
Erwin Szeto [00:56:10] Hate not using my.
James Maggs [00:56:11] Profits.
Erwin Szeto [00:56:12] I would like to have some profits to eat with.
James Maggs [00:56:14] Yeah. So the cash flow from the stock market has been fantastic now today to haven’t taken any out because I want to try. All my trading account. But with the money in here, my goal is to try and pull a specific amount of out of the accounts on a monthly basis so I can do whatever I want.
Erwin Szeto [00:56:31] So how long you’ve been doing this stock hacking thing?
James Maggs [00:56:34] It’s been just a crazy phase. September 20, I was I was part of the beta class in September 2019.
Erwin Szeto [00:56:42] That’s weird. And how did you learn about this stock hacking?
James Maggs [00:56:45] It seemed to be the talk of the town for the war for a while. Prior to that, of course, the stock hacking course that you hosted back in September and us kind of were the guinea pigs to see how the course material would work out. And then I think I’ve attended actually two additional courses, both the ones with little read the books and it just made sense.
Erwin Szeto [00:57:08] To the pay for any of.
James Maggs [00:57:09] Us.
Erwin Szeto [00:57:10] Then I remember I started serious. I’m seriously don’t know.
James Maggs [00:57:13] Yeah I did. I just.
Erwin Szeto [00:57:15] Reached pay for the first.
James Maggs [00:57:16] One. Yeah. Oh, okay. It was cheap though. It was.
Erwin Szeto [00:57:20] Heck, what you make in a month covers anything you’ve paid.
James Maggs [00:57:23] Well, my goal was to make enough to cover the course in the first three months, which I did, because I was only trading with, I think, 10,000. So I did that. And then I remember sitting with a couple of people in the class saying, you know, if I could make I think it was 3 to 500 a month, I was going to be happy. And yeah, I kind of blew that out of the water and have much bigger goals now to.
Erwin Szeto [00:57:46] Switch to track record now.
James Maggs [00:57:47] So I look back at a whole since the beginning I was I wasn’t tracking as religiously as I am now. I’ve got a spreadsheet that I track everything with. So from September to March, actually, I honestly don’t know that I can run the reports out of interactive brokers to see know that I’m up a certain percentage. But since March, so April 1st onwards, I’m up on average 3000 a month.
Erwin Szeto [00:58:11] U.S. or Canadian. And I was getting confusing. So the natural question that people always ask is what what’s the size of your bank account?
James Maggs [00:58:17] Right. So I started so I used a line of credit for one of my properties, so I keep that separate. And that started at 42. And then I got the I started with about 75 on the other account and I think that’s up to 92 combined.
Erwin Szeto [00:58:32] But one.
James Maggs [00:58:33] 5152 million, I think. Yes, that’s 150 Canadian.
Erwin Szeto [00:58:37] Okay. So that’s annoying. So we are Canadians will convert the U.S. number to Canadian use 1.3 to just to be transparent. I don’t even know what the actual rate is. I think it’s around 1.32 right now, averaging $3,000 U.S. So that’s almost $4,000 Canadian on 150,000 on our Canadian bankroll.
James Maggs [00:58:57] But Jesus.
Erwin Szeto [00:58:59] 2.6%.
James Maggs [00:59:00] That sounds about right. I think I did. If I look at each of the accounts. Actually, even I think it might even be a bit higher. Two and a half and 3% per month, for sure.
Erwin Szeto [00:59:10] You get that in real estate, don’t you?
James Maggs [00:59:11] Cash flow and not a new properties, that’s for sure.
Erwin Szeto [00:59:16] For folks who don’t know James, James has his realtor license as well, so he helps investors buy properties. So say a new investor wants to buy a property. What kind of cash flow expectations should they have?
James Maggs [00:59:27] So if they’re doing single family right now is that the numbers are tough to make cash flow, which is why almost all of our clients have switched to doing duplex conversions, taking a single family house and turning it into two units legally. And so the expectation, if they leave all their capital in the property from the renovation, you’re probably close to a thousand bucks a month. And if you were to refinance here, probably bring that down to about 500. So, you know, that kind of goes in line with that. In order to get 3000, $4,000 of cash flow, you need about four of those in your downpayment wise. That’s a heck of a lot more money than a $140,000.
Erwin Szeto [01:00:05] Okay. I’m surprised you paid for the first course.
James Maggs [01:00:08] I did check the records.
Erwin Szeto [01:00:09] Chirinos is stupid, cheap, so always a buyer.
James Maggs [01:00:13] Yeah, that’s not fair.
Erwin Szeto [01:00:14] As a beta course. It was, like, stupid, cheap. Yeah. I told you to take the course and had nothing really to benefit from it.
James Maggs [01:00:22] Well, that’s kind of the beauty of everything that that you do and we do as a team is we want people to learn stuff that’s going to help them help themselves. Right. So, you know, every person that I’ve told about this, too, is, you know, we’re trying to preach how they can help themselves, how they can do something different to make cash flow, take control of their lives and do something a little bit different, whether it’s through real estate or stock hacking or something else. Right. We’re not pitching it for the sake of pitching it. We’re pushing it cause we want to try and help people.
Erwin Szeto [01:00:50] So we have a number of clients who are we help with their real estate, help them acquire investment property. And we have quite a few clients who have taken stock in our academy. The course with Lee Law. Who would you say? Who would you say surprised you the most.
James Maggs [01:01:04] About how well they’ve done or just in general, in.
Erwin Szeto [01:01:06] General, how well they’ve done? I will say Bill has completely shocked me.
James Maggs [01:01:10] Yeah. So we said to Bill because I’m sure you to listen to this, but Bill and I talk almost every day, so.
Erwin Szeto [01:01:16] Can I see Bill’s last name?
James Maggs [01:01:18] I’ll leave it off just in case. Okay. But, yeah, him and I talk almost every day. Almost all this specifically about stocks, though. He has we’ve done a couple of real estate deals together. So he’s I helped him sell one of his investment properties and he’s now bought a property that is going to duplex. So Bill learns he’s very hands on learner. So you know by helping him and I think that’s this is a true of everything by teaching you learn where your gaps are as well. So for me teaching him when he didn’t understand the concept, I was like, maybe I don’t understand it all that well as well. So I dug deeper into it. So by teaching him, I’ve also learned a lot. So I think that’s actually helped me in my training. So yeah, so you know, he’s a he’s a Tesla junkie, but, but he’s doing really, really well.
Erwin Szeto [01:02:00] Do you know how well.
James Maggs [01:02:01] No, I don’t know his exact numbers. I know he’s working with a little bit larger bankroll, but he’s his numbers are if not the same, although. But surpassing mine for sure are amazing. And, you know, you didn’t ask this question, but neither of us have had any experience in the stock market. Right. So, you know, my only experience was buying when I first started work at Bell, which was right at the beginning of the tech bubble. And I think I put $10,000 in an account. I bought a bunch of different stocks that I really didn’t know much about and ended up losing most of the money on. A couple broke even and a few others. And I said, You know what, I don’t know enough about this. There’s no training out there. This was back in 2001, 2000. So that was that was the extent of my stock market experience and until September of last year.
Erwin Szeto [01:02:51] Crazy. It’s crazy. Did you ever think you’d be here?
James Maggs [01:02:53] Yeah. I told my wife, I’m like, Look, it’s me. $2,000. It’s addictive. It’s like this video game that I’m playing on my phone, but it’s making me money to be strategic with it. But, you know, it’s pretty amazing.
Erwin Szeto [01:03:10] But if you think about this.
James Maggs [01:03:11] She this great.
Erwin Szeto [01:03:13] Is she willing to do it?
James Maggs [01:03:14] No, no. It doesn’t interest her. It’s. It’s not something she’s willing to do, so she’s happy to let me have me do it and have other fun.
Erwin Szeto [01:03:26] You said something at lunch about being lazy. You had a tip about the benefit, the skills that lazy people have.
James Maggs [01:03:33] What was that? No, that’s one of my favorite lines from when I was about to. There was a guy that I worked with, Mike, and he was a senior project manager. So he was my I guess he was my superior because I was just a junior at the time. And one of his best, best lines was that give the laziest guy the most difficult job and I’ll find the easiest way to do it. And that always stuck with me because I’ve always I’ve always kind of taken that to heart rate. There’s a lot of ways you can do things difficult or you can find the easiest way, whether that’s hiring a coach to help you walk through stuff or outsourcing or delegating whatever that is. And part of this stock acting was even if you knew about options before that or even if you knew about real estate, unless you get direction from somebody and have somebody who’s done it before you or it can teach you what to do properly. Like the smart way to learn is from somebody else who’s already made all the mistakes. The difficult way to learn is by making those mistakes yourself, right? So I was the lazy guy that wanted to learn from somebody else’s mistakes in every aspect.
Erwin Szeto [01:04:34] That’s what I’m finding with like following Lee and being Lee Lowell, the bestselling author of Get Rich with Options. He shares. He shared that many times that his you know, his favorite strategies are selling puts or doing pull put spreads. So I’m sorry, we probably lost a whole bunch of people, but what I’m trying to get to is like, you know, I spent a lot of time this summer day trading. I made some good money doing it, but it was really stressful, took a lot of time, took a lot of time, commitment. I’ve come to not enjoy it. So then I’ve just I can see.
James Maggs [01:05:09] How.
Erwin Szeto [01:05:10] Lee is right, cause he’s been there, done that 30 years, full time. Right. And I see how ready is.
James Maggs [01:05:18] And you can make it complicated. Like think it is complicated, too many complicated strategies when it comes to stock options or you can keep it simple. And so that’s been my philosophy is like there’s a couple that I want to even get into. The other stuff that you guys talk about that you’ve learned all the different strategies and I’m like, You know what? I’m just going to focus on really what works. And at the core is the basis of options. Trading, which is naked points and it’s served me very well.
Erwin Szeto [01:05:43] In the scene, is no different than real estate. So we, James and I work together and the number one request from our clients is quote unquote a deal. And that’s from all investors. But it always comes up often with beginner investors. So I don’t know, I’m just going to hand it off to you.
James Maggs [01:06:02] Interesting Segway. So yeah, I mean, and often it kind of blows me away because, you know, I want to know what is your definition of a deal? I just want to deal usually tells me a lot about the investors that they probably don’t know their market, they don’t know what they’re looking for.
Erwin Szeto [01:06:17] And then they prove it to you.
James Maggs [01:06:18] Yeah, because we have Andrew and I were talking about this at lunch and, you know, there’s so many different types of realtors out there and not going to name any names or crap on any of the realtors. But there are a lot of investor realtors who will keep all the deals for themselves. They’ll be the first ones. And then they send the scraps to their clients where, you know, we’re completely different mentality where, you know, you go back to our newsletters that we send out and I’ve sent it out, I think three or four, either off market deals or great cash flowing properties. And I know you do the same thing with one of the properties and you know, clients don’t jump on them. They say they want a deal and you send them a deal and they don’t take action. And so then, you know, we’re not gonna let this deal go to waste. So then we’ve taken advantage of them. I know you bought one of the properties that you showed on your tour. Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [01:07:05] Robbins house. Yeah, my daughter’s house.
James Maggs [01:07:07] Yeah. And so for me.
Erwin Szeto [01:07:09] The agent was just calling me, like, why don’t you bring me an offer? You show this house, like.
James Maggs [01:07:13] Five times. I’m trying to sell it, and I know.
Erwin Szeto [01:07:15] I want the exact same. Here’s the robin pile as a house across the street with the garage for less money with a detached garage so that person is better. We toured it twice, so we put through at least 4550 investors through that house and shown it separately to different investors. No one took it when the house that I ended up being Robbins house. No, I already ran this by all my clients. Yeah, this was my daughter’s take.
James Maggs [01:07:40] Yeah.
Erwin Szeto [01:07:41] I was like, just in case. I don’t know. I think I paid 245 for it. I’ve since duplex did and duplexes are now worth what James.
James Maggs [01:07:49] I’m going to say that one in that location is going to be probably 685 700. That’s it, that’s it. That’s it.
Erwin Szeto [01:07:56] Yeah, that’s my wife’s. That’s my daughter’s RSP.
James Maggs [01:07:59] Yeah. That goes back to, you know, the deal. I mean, the one, the last one that we send out to our clients. I brought two people through it. Nobody took action.
Erwin Szeto [01:08:06] Somebody sent it to even more.
James Maggs [01:08:07] Yeah, I sent it out to my entire list. Only. Only I sent it to over 400 people. All right, burner people passed on it. There are 390.
Erwin Szeto [01:08:15] Eladio.
James Maggs [01:08:16] Two people raise their hands. Wanted to see it, said there’s not enough profit in it for them. So I bought it in between when I bought it. Which was May of 2018, May 2019. It’s only last year and now. So a year and a half and comparables are all 125,000 more.
Erwin Szeto [01:08:35] Right. Even when you bought it and you fix it up, you rented it out like you made money right away in hundred percent on. Remember how much you made right away. Right.
James Maggs [01:08:42] It was easy. We spent 20. It was easily 60 grand. More so made about 40,000 just by doing a small arena.
Erwin Szeto [01:08:48] So how long that take through?
James Maggs [01:08:50] Two and a half weeks.
Erwin Szeto [01:08:51] How much was the house to 75. And you put in how much. 20 grand as your down payment. Yeah. 20, 40 grand into enough weeks and all the deal said no.
James Maggs [01:09:01] It’s a good deal.
Erwin Szeto [01:09:02] Which is odd because most even flippers will say they just want 40, 50 grand. Right. But didn’t want to hold it.
James Maggs [01:09:10] Right.
Erwin Szeto [01:09:11] That number has to be net of cost for sure.
James Maggs [01:09:16] So. So it’s a bit skinny for a flipper. I could see that. But for anybody looking for buy and hold in, that in that.
Erwin Szeto [01:09:22] Area is fantastic.
James Maggs [01:09:23] Just fantastic. And with the change in interest rates like it was, it was cash flowing about 400 bucks a month, as is. And with the drop in interest rates since March, it’s about 650 bucks a month. Right. Single family house, positive cash in.
Erwin Szeto [01:09:38] It’s in. And we knew it at when the opportunity raised itself. It was in one of the hottest neighborhoods kind of proving itself. Hindsight for sure. It’s interesting, a.
James Maggs [01:09:48] Good example to use because I mean, when somebody says they want a deal, I said, I’ll get you a deal like this if we take action on it. If the answer is no, then I’m not going to send you a deal because obviously you don’t know what a deal is, and that’s.
Erwin Szeto [01:09:59] A challenge. I don’t even know what the lesson is because a lot of first time investors asked us like, How do I know that you want to keep all the deals? Or I know you have you have lots of clients just like me, how all the deals get to me.
James Maggs [01:10:13] Right.
Erwin Szeto [01:10:14] So it’s really up to the individual to be able to take action, to know enough to take action for sure. 400 people turn down making 40 grand and two and a half weeks.
James Maggs [01:10:24] So for anyone that’s on my mailing list potentially where I signed a deal.
Erwin Szeto [01:10:27] Right. And we just had one too, didn’t we? Yep. Yeah. And the wholesaler ended up buying, you.
James Maggs [01:10:33] Know.
Erwin Szeto [01:10:33] The wholesaler, that part of the deal ended up buying their own deal. They gave us a fair chance for the.
James Maggs [01:10:38] They did give us two weeks.
Erwin Szeto [01:10:40] So the wholesaler was willing to eat their own cooking. But 400 people weren’t, roughly.
James Maggs [01:10:46] That one didn’t go to the whole list. We were trying to be strategic on that one. Okay. But five just me personally. I had five people. Right.
Erwin Szeto [01:10:54] I don’t know if the lesson is people need to define what a deal is. Part of it also is like after this, for the longest time, maybe not as much on this podcast as just for sharing.
James Maggs [01:11:02] More is.
Erwin Szeto [01:11:04] If you’re a long term investor, more deals makes more sense to you versus if you are a flipper. You have to be extremely selective.
James Maggs [01:11:13] Right.
Erwin Szeto [01:11:13] Right. I understand that. But the long to midterm investor left how much money on the table? So how much money did you make on the one that you did end up buying.
James Maggs [01:11:22] In just over a year? Yeah. And I think we’re here to what, 150?
Erwin Szeto [01:11:25] They made just one over 150. And just over a year and.
James Maggs [01:11:28] Half a year.
Erwin Szeto [01:11:28] And a half when they won 50. I think most people would like to improve their net worth by 150 and 18 months.
James Maggs [01:11:36] Yeah. It’s not like that was all that rare. I mean, yeah, we bought well on that one so that the purchase was a little bit under market. But even if you had just found something similar, even it was a little bit more expensive. The numbers aren’t that dissimilar.
Erwin Szeto [01:11:51] And that’s pre-pandemic. So there was like no real fears. And one of the great best neighbors to invest.
James Maggs [01:11:57] Yeah. Weird.
Erwin Szeto [01:11:59] I don’t get it. Now, what about if I had money.
James Maggs [01:12:02] To go take an action? And like I said, I’m an opportunistic investor, so I see a good opportunity if no one else is going to jump on it, I’m not gonna let it go to waste. Great.
Erwin Szeto [01:12:09] So I noticed that when I became a realtor was I saw way more opportunities once I became a realtor, once I was practicing and I was on the road regularly. So the same in your experience.
James Maggs [01:12:18] For sure? I think the difference is that, you know, personally, because I’m not actively looking to grow my portfolio with other through joint ventures, I’m just fully invested. So all of my capital is deployed into properties or into stocks. So even if a fantastic deal came up, I’m just not in a position to actually take action on it. Yeah, no, there’s we probably come across two or three fantastic deals every month. Luckily, we have a lot of great clients who are picking these up. Right. And jumping on them and taking action. Right. Yeah, we should.
Erwin Szeto [01:12:52] We should probably clarify that. So I think the number is I forget the number is I think last time we checked last year when we checked, I think our clients averaged 400% return or 402% return over six years.
James Maggs [01:13:08] Anything of that sentiment right now?
Erwin Szeto [01:13:09] Yeah. So I think the way it worked was if they bought a property from us with us in 2013 and then we checked the prices in 2019, our average return worked out to roughly 402 percent before mortgage paydown, before cash flow. So it’s not like all of our clients didn’t take action. We have lots of clients to take out very well. But I’ve.
James Maggs [01:13:28] Seen a lot of really good clients.
Erwin Szeto [01:13:30] And I think I have to source the data. So that’s internal client survey. You know, we are realtors, so we know what our clients transacted on and we have a pretty good approximation of what properties are worth.
James Maggs [01:13:44] Emerging as.
Erwin Szeto [01:13:44] We’ve been here for a while. I’m sure we have a lot more to cover too. I don’t know why I wrote down the Vegas trip, but.
James Maggs [01:13:52] Yeah, we.
Erwin Szeto [01:13:52] Want to offer a free up the rule in Vegas. I don’t know why I wrote that down. Any of the lessons. Oh, and just quickly, about stock hacking, are you pretty aggressive with your stuff or you’re doing some?
James Maggs [01:14:02] I’ve been I’m pretty conservative. I like to say there’s a few stocks that.
Erwin Szeto [01:14:08] Keep them.
James Maggs [01:14:09] The same.
Erwin Szeto [01:14:09] As education, folks. Sure, none of us are advisors.
James Maggs [01:14:12] So I’m keeping it very, very generic, very blue chip. So it’s all based on the early learnings and looking at kind of the household name stocks. So I really only been trading like the Apples, Microsoft, Facebook, Zoom when it was actually affordable. It’s not any more so and it doesn’t make sense financially to trade that one. There’s too much risk. Seasonally, I’ll do Nike Bank of America. I stayed away from the stocks just because there’s no volatility and no liquidity. So there’s not a lot of opportunities to make some good money in there and. Because I’m actively trading in not holding the stocks. It doesn’t make sense for me to take the dividends on those ones because I don’t own them. And then there’s just one or two that I’ve stepped outside of that kind of main box of solid companies. But I mean, that’s on like a $50 stock, one contract here or there. So for the listener, that’s probably about the equivalent of a $5,000 investment on a $140,000 bankroll. It’s a very, very low percentage of my portfolio is on those riskier ones. We are just kind of rotating capital on a daily basis, getting in and getting out and really nothing fancy.
Erwin Szeto [01:15:24] And if all these trades I do.
James Maggs [01:15:26] I think I’ve done I’ve done every single one on the regular trades. And now very similar to you. There’s only been one that hasn’t been successful. And I got out of that one and I made a dollar. So that’s still not a loss. Managed to get out without losing any money and made really good returns on the rest of them. Similar to a lot of our other investors. I do them a little bit differently with my own take because we all have our own tolerance for risk. But I’m averaging just on the daily trades probably 14 to 20% on average if you annualize them.
Erwin Szeto [01:16:00] Interesting.
James Maggs [01:16:02] Awesome.
Erwin Szeto [01:16:03] Better than private lending. I always have baselines for returns. And that’s my baseline for a cash flow play, for sure.
James Maggs [01:16:12] It’s probably one of the most passive, definitely, but least control of the less control you have over the investment, the riskier it is usually for me. Awesome.
Erwin Szeto [01:16:22] Can you follow words, James? If you want to talk about.
James Maggs [01:16:25] I think we covered a lot the opportunistic if you’re looking to invest you know now listen to your coach if you’re going jump on opportunities as they come out don’t have analysis paralysis like a lot of people think that they need to know every single number. If you’re buying in the right city, the right type of house that’s in good condition, that meets all your other criteria, really not all that much more analysis you need to do on it. And if you’re not sure of your numbers, that’s what your coach is for, right? So and if you don’t know that and lean on either me or somebody on our team and we can guide you through that process, but it’s just being ready to jump on opportunities when the time comes.
Erwin Szeto [01:17:01] So I looked back at my notes. So I one of the notes, I mean, was you retired your wife? Yes. And I just want to preface that with that’s one of the top goals of new investors when they come to meet with us is to retire their spouse and you’ve achieved it. And what.
James Maggs [01:17:20] Year of this goes way back.
Erwin Szeto [01:17:22] 2015. 2016.
James Maggs [01:17:24] Before that. I think before that, yeah.
Erwin Szeto [01:17:26] Or in 15.
James Maggs [01:17:27] I think my daughter was four or five, so 2014 or 2015 it was like that tossup between. So you know, to put it in context too, she was only working part time, but it was still I think it was the biggest issue was it was weekends, so it was Saturday, Sunday for two weekends a month and then during the week as well. And so it was just shuffling back and forth on, you know, I was I was still working full time at Bell. I was still being I was still real estate agent knew that same year. And I was like, this just doesn’t make sense.
Erwin Szeto [01:18:01] You’re making so much money you didn’t make quite.
James Maggs [01:18:04] But, you know, there was enough income there that I was able to cover her salary. I knew that we were safe.
Erwin Szeto [01:18:11] To do it.
James Maggs [01:18:12] Well, I had at that point probably have the cash flow from the properties. I had my salary, which I knew that was guaranteed. And then I just knew kind of that I would be able to work hard enough to make up the difference if I needed to. Eric came to that.
Erwin Szeto [01:18:29] Teacher this last time and take every good I could ask this, but you shared it last time. How many times more do you make now than your old salary.
James Maggs [01:18:37] Change since last time? Last time it was double and triple.
Erwin Szeto [01:18:42] A, triple.
James Maggs [01:18:43] The setup. So when you factor in inflation, it is still pretty good. No complaints. And you know, that also doesn’t factor in cash flow from properties or stockbroking. So I’m really happy with this kind of how everything is put in. Right.
Erwin Szeto [01:19:02] Save a miserable life, don’t you?
James Maggs [01:19:03] Terrible.
Erwin Szeto [01:19:05] I’m just kidding. But you’re pretty happy, aren’t you?
James Maggs [01:19:07] Yeah. It’s nice to have choice. And I think our friend Bill posted, you know, it’s not about having money, it’s about having choices and real estate and stock. I can really give you the choice to. It’s almost like freedom. What can I do know? What do I want to do? What cause do I want to support? Whether it’s, you know, our charity or whatever it is, it gives you choices.
Erwin Szeto [01:19:31] And what Bill posted was pretty cool. So for listeners, benefit Bill posted his actually wife. His wife posted Instagram pictures. They replaced her front. They had double doors at the front of their house and they since replaced them with brand new, gorgeous double doors. I like the new design and.
James Maggs [01:19:48] That’s going to be.
Erwin Szeto [01:19:50] 3 to $5000 a year, 3 to $5000. And that and Bill paid for it with his stock option trading. So to me, that’s success when your assets pay for your living. Right. And that’s a very nice way to treat the family and his wife because he hustles he hustles hard. He does for. And everything he does in his life is one side hustle, plus his real estate, plus the stock acting, plus his day job.
James Maggs [01:20:13] You know.
Erwin Szeto [01:20:14] And he’s able to reward his family with that. So pretty cool. Happy to see him.
James Maggs [01:20:19] Mm hmm. Awesome.
Erwin Szeto [01:20:20] Very well. Thank you.
James Maggs [01:20:22] MBM Pleasure. Thanks for having me, Gary. Thanks.
Erwin Szeto [01:20:32] Before you go, if you’re interested in being a successful real estate investor, like those who have been featured on this podcast in their hundreds of successful clients, please let us know. It is our honor to give back, to educate others on how we ourselves build cash flowing portfolios using all the best practices shared on this podcast from the lessons of hundreds of clients and of course, our own experience in owning investment real estate. If you didn’t already know, we pride ourselves at being the best of the best in real estate as coaches, having the best property managers, contractors, handy people, cleaners, lawyers, accountants, everyone you need on your power team. We’re happy to share them with our clients to ensure your success. New investors are seasoned investors like we can help anyone by providing our award winning coaching services and the small talk we have been awarded through the year to investors. In 2015 by the Real Estate Investment Network, 2016 the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine, and again in 2017. Because no one told the judges, no one is supposed to win the award twice, but on merit, our peers deemed to be the best. And again, in 2018, we again won the same award by the Real Estate Investment Network. So four years in a row, we collected that award and it’ll never happen again. We will be the only team to ever win these award, collect this number of awards, because the Opportunity Real Estate Wealth magazine doesn’t give out win awards anymore. Hopefully, being the most decorated team of realtors in Ontario will make you consider us for your next or first real estate investment, even if you don’t invest in our areas. There’s a good chance I know who would be ideal for you. I’ve been around for a while. It’s a very small community. Everybody knows everybody. There are some realtors who are talented as servicing investors, and there are a great many with great ethics. Unfortunately, the intersection of the two talent and ethics is actually very limited to only a handful in each city or town. Only work with the best of the best is what my father always taught me. If you’re interested, drop us an email at I win at Infinity Wealth. That’s. That’s. I w i n at Infinity Wealth dossier of to meet you at one of our future meet ups soon. Again, that’s ion at Infinity Wealth Dossier. That’s our email address. Very obviously issue.