It’s an old but true saying: if you want something done well, do it yourself. Those are words worth remembering in the world of income property investing, where putting your investments in the hands of others leaves you vulnerable to fraud, bad decisions and an empty wallet.
For Christian investors who know that in all their investing endeavors, they’re acting as the stewards of the Lord, it’s especially important to make the right decisions for success. And making those right decisions depends on staying in control of the process.
That’s the subject of Commandment Number Three of Jason Hartman’s 10 Commandments for Investing Success: “Thou Shalt Maintain Control.” It’s an approach to investing that’s both prudent and wise – the two qualities that, according to King Solomon, are essential for making successful decisions.
The real estate world is full of investing counselors and financial advisors, property managers and other individuals and companies promising to handle your investments for you so that you don’t have to do a thing except collect your checks. While that seems tempting, it puts an investor at the mercy of those other parties – not all of whom may be legitimate or qualified
In most states, there are no required professional qualifications for people professing to be financial advisors or other kinds of money managers. Though voluntary certification from professional organizations is available, just about anyone can offer investing or management services, which allows for incompetence, shady dealings and outright scams.
You might be investing your money with crooks
Because just about anyone can claim to be a financial manager, the field is ripe for fraud and manipulation. Investors who turn over all their investments and the day to day decisions about managing them to one of these third parties risk losing big, if that “counselor” takes the money and runs.
Real estate transactions are prime targets for scammers of all kinds. Be wary of those who promise big results without any effort, or who pressure investors to leave everything up to them. They may even resort to scare tactics to persuade inexperienced investors to hand over the reins of their investing career.
You might be investing your money with incompetents
For the same reasons that the world of financial advising can be full of scam artists and manipulators, it can also be home to honest but incompetent professionals as well. These advisors may not have the experience or the knowledge to make smart decisions with your money or your assets. While they aren’t likely to abscond with your investment money, they may end up losing it on your behalf with bad choices and ill-advised risks.
You could lose a lot of money.
Even if you’re turning over your investments to a skilled, honest advisor or management company, you’ll still lose money in fees charged by those professionals by taking on the management of your investments yourself as far as possible. And if you’ve left the future of your investments in the hands of the shady or the incompetent, you stand to lose a lot more –not just in the fees they charge, but also in losses on your investments themselves.
Hands-on, or direct investing of the kind Jason Hartman recommends, doesn’t mean that you have to be available round the clock for tenant problems, or that all the daily management and maintenance has to fall on your shoulders. Maintaining control of your investments means making smart informed decisions, knowing when to consult experts, and being able to evaluate what those expert helpers are offering.
Maintaining control of investments starts with learning and setting goals. As the first of Jason Hartman’s 10 Commandments tells us, the smart investor gets educated. That means learning everything possible about real estate investing and property management, and it’s the first step toward figuring out your investment goals – and just what you are and aren’t interested in doing.
Not everyone is comfortable dealing with the day-to-day running of rental properties, or with tracking and evaluating market trends. Part of maintaining control also entails figuring out what you do best and what others can do for you, as well as how to find those people and make the best use of their services.
It’s often said in real estate investing: “don’t wait to buy real estate. Buy real estate and wait.” Building wealth through income property investing is an enterprise for the long term. Taking control of your investments for those long-term gains is the best way to protect yourself – and your wallet. (Featured image:jasonhartman.com)
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The Solomon Success Team