I don’t know about you, but 2016 has already been pretty incredible so far. Are you feeling it, too?! I could imagine you’ve all been enjoying time with family & friends, have been receiving some great R&R, and happen to be kick-starting the New Year just as you anticipated.
I’m so excited to give you the first Financially Audacious installment for the year 2016 featuring Alexander from Cash Flow Diaries! First, a little about Alexander:
Alexander created his blog Cash Flow Diaries to track this journey to financial freedom. His primary investment vehicle to reach this independence is through investing in real estate rental properties. Currently averaging about $2,000 in monthly passive income he hopes to at least quadruple that figure so that he can one day surpass his W-2 Income.
You can follow Alexander and his Cash Flow Diaries here:
Check out Alexander’s answers to his Financially Audacious interview & engage in the comments below!
Tell us about where you’re from. What’s it like, do you want to stay there, how does where you live affect your personal finances?
Hi Alyssa, First of all I would like to say thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed as part of the Financially Audacious Interview series. It’s a great idea and view point to see how other financially savvy investors are building the dream to retire early and reach financial independence.
I am originally from the east coast (Washington DC metro area) where i grew up and lived the majority of my life however for the past 12 years I have been living in Austin, TX. Austin is a super cool, vibrant and hip city and moving here was definitely one of the best decisions I have made in my life. When I first moved here, the city was not nearly as vibrant as it is today and more importantly, the real estate market was cheap and very affordable. Opposite of what it is today in fact. I was able to purchase my first primary house at the age of 24 and have since bought 2 more houses in this area. To date I own 3 properties in the Austin, TX area and they have proven to be the foundation to my investment strategy. After realizing that money and more importantly, “cash flow” could be made from investing in these properties I decided to concentrate the majority of my efforts building a mini real estate empire.
Where I live has definitely impacted my strategy because as the city (Austin) and real estate market grew, I could no longer find cash flowing properties to invest in. This problem caused me to switch my strategy which now involves purchasing rental properties out of state where the real estate markets are still very affordable and where there are great cash flow opportunities to be made. The last 4 houses I have purchased have been in the mid western united states, Indianapolis and Kansas City. I find these cities to be great for finding cash flowing properties at very affordable prices. They both have steadily increasing populations, vibrant economies and overall seem to be a great place to live.
I have however fallen in love with Austin so I do not see myself leaving here in the foreseeable future. I really love the music scene and the activities/events that the city has. It’s a never ending supply of entertainment and fun!
Financial freedom is what you’re working towards. Tell us about what financial freedom means to you.
Financial freedom is definitely one of the most important priorities in my life right now outside of building a family and living a great life. To me, financial freedom is about having the means to live my current lifestyle without having the obligation to work a normal job. My dream is to eventually quit my day job and live off of passive income streams. Imagine being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want and where ever you want? Sounds pretty awesome doesn’t it? I think I can pull this off if I continue my path and I look forward to the day I reach my goal. When this will happen I do not know however the sooner the better!!
What are the ways you plan on reaching your financial freedom?
My main strategy to reach financial freedom will be to generate anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 in monthly passive income streams. For now, rental properties seem to give me the most bang for my buck and ultimately I would like to own anywhere between 12 and 15 houses. However if I find other means of generating income or cash flow then I will surely take advantage of that. I have recently been keeping my eye on wall street around what is going on in the precious metals (gold, silver) sector. These metals are currently trading at 5 year lows and on a 30 year chart, they appear to be at or nearing a bottom peak. This is very interesting to me because at some point which I believe will be in 2016 sometime, there will be a bull market rally on this sector in which it will payoff nicely for investors who buy during these peak lows. Buying at peak lows like this and selling at peak highs is what has made people millionaires playing the stock market. Risky yes, but I feel that it is a calculated risk with huge potential. With that being said, I may find myself dabbling in this sector in the near future hoping for big payouts in the years to come. Sounds kind of crazy right? Its definitely a speculation and appreciation play for the not so faint of heart.
But knowing me, I like to think of myself as a bit on the wild side and willing to be risky for high rewards! I would not recommend this to anyone reading this as something you should do to plan for your financial freedom.
Are you on track with your mapped out plan, and what accomplishments have you already made towards your financial freedom goals?
I would say that I am definitely on track with my mapped out plan as I currently have 6 investment properties all generating income for me. In November alone I was able to make $2400 in income from these properties and that is no small feat! One cool thing about my strategy though is that I pretend that money is not even there, I only live off of my day job income and put away all my investment income. Any income received is being used to put right back into my strategy of investment properties whether its using the money to cover vacancies, repairs and any other expenses that may arise from owning rentals. By doing this, it puts me on an aggressive timeline to build as fast as possible and I love the idea of reaching financial freedom as fast as possible. I even save money from my day job to invest which gives it an added boost!
How do you stay motivated to continue towards financial freedom?
Honestly, I created Cash Flow Diaries to keep me motivated and it has been working for me. I publicly disclose all my finances, net worth, rent income and all my accounts on my blog for the world to see. By doing this, it is definitely keeping me motivated to stay on the right track and continue growing. I think its super cool to track it online and see my progress. Before the blog, I was never really keeping track of my finances.
Another huge motivator for me is just the fact that I like to consider myself a free spirit. I have always been one to want to do whatever I want and not have to rely or adhere to anyone. It boggles my mind that the majority of the world has succumbed to living like rats wandering through a never ending maze that leads to no where. Ha! Okay that is a little extreme but Im sure you are well aware of the “rat race” and how most of us are living like this. Waking up at the same time every single day, driving to the same place and doing the same thing over and over again for a lifetime is a nightmare life to me and I want nothing more to get out of this. 🙂 Obviously this can not be achieved unless your finances are in order. Which is where I believe passive income is the way out!
Who have been your biggest supporters/mentors along this journey?
Sadly, I had no one show me the ropes on what I am doing. I started out a scared little boy buying real estate without having a clue what I was doing and got lucky on my first deal. Since then, it has been a matter of just reading and reading and reading on every aspect of real estate investing I could find. As of the past few years though, my lovely girlfriend has been very supportive of what I am doing and she is very happy for me. I have big plans with her for 2016 which could change a few things up regarding my investing strategy. In a good way of course! 😉
Let us in on some of your tips that could help with financial goals.
Ahh, don’t we all love tips! Tips are great and my advice to you would be to stick with it, learn and read everything you possibly can on the endeavor you are looking to get into and then jump in head first! Its a little daunting sometimes when you are just starting out but I can tell you that sitting on the sidelines is not going to let you reach financial freedom. Nothing will be handed to you and you need to go out and grab what you want.
Give us one quote/song lyric/anecdote that you like to live by.
A great quote that sticks out to me is by Dorothy Thompson and it goes:
“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”
It is a great quote because I was afraid to get into real estate investing and sat on the sidelines for a few years before I ever decided to pull the trigger. Now I only wish I jumped on it sooner. Fear is a powerful emotion that could prevent you from falling in love, reaching new heights and even prevent you from personal growth. Don’t let fear hold you down!!
Thanks, Alexander for stopping by! Head on over to Cash Flow Diaries to check out more of Alexander’s story & how he’s accomplishing his financial goals.
Have any questions for Alexander? Ask away in the comments below!