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Maintain Control for Investing Success

If you want something done right, do it yourself.

That old saying rings especially true in income property investing. It’s even the subject of Commandment number three of Jason Hartman’s 10 commandments of Successful Investing: “Thou shalt maintain control.”

It’s tempting to put your investments in the hands of so-called professionals who make the day-to-day decisions and send you the check every month. The list of services and experts promising to make investing so effortless, you never have to think about it. Financial advisors, investment counselors, property management services and investing groups all claiming to know the answers are eager to take your money and time.

Most are legitimate – but many are not. Handing the reins of your investing future to others leaves you vulnerable – at the mercy of “experts” who could be incompetent at best, scammers at worst, and happy to take your money whatever the case.

You might be investing with a crook.
The world of real estate investing is full of scammers and shady characters, often masquerading as investment counselors or financial managers. They’ll offer a full range of investment management services, collect their (usually hefty) fees or raid an investor’s portfolio and disappear. Or, they’ll offer to perform services that an investor can easily do with a little investment of time and learning.

Scammers can be hard to identify. In general, anyone can claim to be an investment counselor or financial manager, or any of the other titles relating to handling investments. Though there are professional societies with their own certification and competency guidelines, they aren’t mandatory.

You might be investing with an idiot.
Incompetent investment managers and counselors nay not be crooked, but they can still compromise an investor’s success. Leaving your investing decisions in the hands of someone who makes bad ones is a prescription for losing money.

It can be hard to spot an idiot. They may look and sound sharp and professional. But since there’s not much quality control for investing expertise, they may also exercise stunningly bad judgment and lack the knowledge to manage your investments wisely. Either way, you may end up losing money and/or time – the two commodities every investor needs.

You might lose a lot of money.
Losing money is an obvious risk when your investments are in the hands of either crooks or incompetents. But even legitimate, qualified investment and property managers and other professionals can make a sizable dent in your wallet. Fees, many of them considerable3, pertain to all aspects of managing your investments and property, and the more services and experts you use, the higher your outlay for those services.

There are times when it’s necessary to rely on the expertise of an expert in the field. Even investors who diligently follow Jason Hartman’s first commandment, “thou shalt get educated,” recognize that there are areas they don’t know about and that it’s time to get help from those who do. But getting the expert advice you need to make your own investing decisions isn’t the same as turning over all those decisions to someone else.

Hands-on, or direct investing of the kind Jason Hartman recommends can mean many things, from taking charge of everything right down to collecting rents and taking care of upkeep on investment properties. Or it might involve finding and working closely with a trusted property manager who carries out an investor’s direction on day-to-day tenant issues.

Keeping control of your investments also involves taking a good look at yourself and your situation and abilities, and finding the help you need to make things run smoothly. An introvert may not do well handling tenant problems – and a landlord/investor who’s working full time you might not be available to deal with every problem that pops up.

The key, though, is to keep control of the process – and be proactive in making decisions that affect the future of your investments. Be wary of those who promise to take care of everything for you and just send a check every month. Question “experts” who seem to good to be true. Check the credentials of those experts you do need to consult. Find out if what they’re offering is something you could do yourself – for free.

Investing is not without risks. But investors who maintain control of their investments can reduce those risks – and keep their money.

Read more from Heroic Investing:

HOAs Beat Lenders To The Punch

Buy Cheap Real Estate? Strings Are Attached

The Heroic Investing Team

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