I would love to learn more about the Collier Company and listen to any advice you might have about getting started in real estate investing.  I’m interested in multi-family apartments from everything that I’ve been researching, but I’m looking to learn as much as I can about all different aspects of real estate investing. 

Investing at one level is pretty simple; Revenue – Expenses = Profit (or Loss). Is the answer to the equation positive or negative? How can you impact the 1st two numbers to create prosperity? How great is the risk? How sure are you of the numbers? What is your exit strategy? What will you do if you are wrong? Is this the best deal you’ve seen in the last few months and/or can reasonably expect to see in the next few months? Do you have the resources to pull it off? Why is the other side selling? Can you add value? What do you see that others don’t; what do they see that you don’t? i.e. When you win an auction, are you the smartest guy in the room or the dumbest? 

As the comic Will Rogers said a long time ago, “The way to make money is to buy stocks that go up and if they don’t go up, don’t buy them.”

For reading I’d recommend my book, Construction Funding available on Amazon and as a post script I’ve included 15 of my favorite books; most are related to EQ and Life Management Skills, only the last three are directly related to business. That is because math in business is pretty simple (if it isn’t, be wary; like Buffet I do not invest in business I don’t understand). The keys to good investment are wisdom and execution. Execution is usually a team effort, hence the need to have strong life management skills. Strong is he who masters others, greatest of all is he who masters himself. 

Below is a link to memos by a hedge fund manager that I admire. I enjoy them and agree with them but they are very 50,000 feet; hard to get much ground level guidance:

Principles are simple, application is challenging/confusing at times i.e. simple is not the same as easy. Plus markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay liquid. Alan Greenspan (b. 1926, Fed Chair back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth i.e. 1987-2006) gave an “Irrational Exuberance” speech warning about an Internet bubble 3 years before it burst. It takes a lot of courage to stick to your guns when everyone around you seems to be getting rich chasing short term profits i.e. picking up nickels in front of a bulldozer, read “When Genus Failed”.  If they get out in time, they will be rich but the nature of human nature is to always try for one last score.

The Collier Companies rarely does interns. This is because we expect our interns to perform actual work and contribute to the team effort and it takes a decent background of work experience, good IQ and EQ, and showing up regularly on a scheduled basis and a fair amount of energy on our part to train people to that level. Plus our vetting process is rigorous, we require a significant time commitment (12 to 18 hours, 3 to 4 month min) and they are unpaid. The flip side is we’ve ended up hiring many of our interns.

I suggest you take a college level personal income tax course; it can be discouraging to work long hours, driving yourself hard to create prosperity only to distribute 43.8% of it to a “partner” who has spendthrift ways, a tendency to reward those who don’t work, much less work the long hours you have.  There are legal ways to keep your capital intact and working hard to create jobs and make this country prosperous, learn them! 

Good luck! Too much money chasing too few deals out there at all levels so be careful but not so careful you never leap!

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

Recommended reading: