73. Take Control of Your Money Through Passive Investing with Camilla Jeffs


Camilla Jeffs had limiting beliefs that resulted in her thinking small and then she learned about passive investing. She found that she was able to stop trading time for money and started thinking big – resulting in the growth of her business and allowed her to ditch her W2 job.

Join Jim Pfeifer as he talks to Camilla Jeffs about how she exited her W2 job and created a business to help others start the passive investing cashflow snowball. Camilla is the Founder and CEO of Steady Stream Investments and teaches investors how to create multiple streams of income while also having positive social and environmental impact on the Community. Listen in to learn more about passive investing today!

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Take Control of Your Money Through Passive Investing with Camilla Jeffs

I’m very pleased to have Camilla Jeffs with me. She’s the Founder and CEO of Steady Stream Investments, an education company, teaching people how to add passive income streams to the lives via apartment investing. She’s also a general partner in over 1,000 multifamily units and a 65-bed assisted living community. Camilla, welcome to the show.

Thanks so much, Jim. I’m excited to spend this time with you.

The way we usually start is if you could give your financial journey where you started, how you got into real estate, how you ditched the W-2 and became a syndicator. If you can give us your story, we’d love to start that way.

I started quite young. I was 22 when I got my first investment property. I was married and we were both working on our Bachelor’s Degree and living in a garage apartment because that’s all we could afford. We were young, married, and poor. The land lady came around and she was asking to collect the rent. I asked her, “You have lots of rentals. How did you do that? How did you get there?” She told me about her journey and then she said, “You should buy a house.” I was like, “Do you realize I’m living in your garage apartment? We have no money. We can’t buy a house.”

She said, “You could buy a house that has a basement apartment in it. You rent out the basement and then you can live there for cheap or free.” I was like, “You could do that?” She said, “Yes.” That’s exactly what we did. We went from living in a garage apartment to a six-bedroom home with a pool in the backyard, which was totally awesome and exciting. We only paid $150 a month to live there. That was amazing. That’s what got me excited about real estate.

I started reading every book that I could find on the topic. I started diving into how to build a real estate portfolio. One book in particular that we decided to follow the strategy was called One House at A Time. The strategy is you buy a house every 2 years, you live in it for 2 years, you move out, and then you rent it for 3 because you avoid taxes if you do that. You sell it at year five. That’s how we started doing it. Every two years, we’d buy a fixer-upper to be able to add value to it as well. We’d go in, fix them up, move out, and rent them.

We acquired many properties that way. Fast forward several years, we had acquired several single-family homes and a fourplex. I’d launched my own property management company and have my W-2. I’m like, “This is a lot of work.” I was hitting the burnout point that this is a lot. I wanted to continue to invest in real estate, but I had capped out. I had tapped out on my time. We had used all of our time, muscles, and money to invest in real estate for that whole time.

[bctt tweet=”You could buy a house with a basement apartment, then rent out the basement and live there for a cheaper price.” via=”no”]

I’m thinking about, “What can we do that’s different and doesn’t require so much time and effort?” I knew about apartment investing, but not very much. I started looking into investing in apartments because I thought, “If we bought an apartment complex instead of having all these single-families, that would be better.” I quickly realized the apartment complex has cost millions of dollars. We did not have millions of dollars in our bank account and went, “We can’t do that.”

I had very small thinking at the time. As I looked more into apartments, I realized it’s group investing. Few people buy an apartment complex on their own. Most people joined a group. I was looking at the group investing and realized that I could invest my money and come in as a passive investor. The returns that they were projecting were better than some of the returns I got on some of my single-family homes. I was like, “Are you kidding me? I could invest my money over here in this group investment, earn better returns, and I don’t have to do any of the work? Sign me up. I’m ready.”

That’s what I did. It wasn’t that easy. I had to do some work to find the right property and team to feel comfortable doing it because I was giving up the control, but that’s exactly what I did. I got so excited and passionate about passive investing that I launched Steady Stream Investments and said, “Other people like me need to know about this strategy. I wish I had known about it way earlier, so I could have participated much earlier but that’s okay. Everybody’s journey happens for a reason.” That’s what I do. I educate others. I did leave my W-2 in October 2021. That was very exciting to be a full-time investor.

I love hearing that journey. Everyone’s journey is a little bit different, but a lot of us seem to start single-family homes, then small multis, and then, “There are passive investing things and syndications. That’s where it takes off. At least it did for me. It seems like it did for you as well. When you talk about your W-2, how did you get to the point that you made that optional or obsolete? How did you prepare financially and mentally? How did you tell your employer? Was that a big deal or was it, “I’m leaving. See you later?”

That’s always a big deal for me. It’s funny because in my job, it was a good job. I worked in HR, supporting tech companies and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed working with software developers and data scientists. That whole tech scene was fun. As my business, Steady Stream Investments, started growing, I realized, “Working for this corporation is not going to make me $1 million. The only way that I can earn more income is move up the corporate ladder in this place.” What does that mean when you move up the corporate ladder? More income, but also more responsibility, stress, and time.

I was trying to think to myself, “Am I willing to trade my time for more money?” I was like, “I am not. That’s not the way I want to live my life.” I was also approaching a time in my life when most of my five children are teenagers. I have very few years left with them. I was thinking I got to do something to get my time freedom back. That was the whole motivating factor. That’s the thing that still motivates me to this day to continue to maintain this time freedom. I can go attend the all-day tennis tournaments. I can take my children on a humanitarian trip for three weeks at a time in a foreign country. Those are things I couldn’t do in my corporate job. That was important.

You asked about the transition. I stressed about it for a long time. “When should I tell my boss?” I was looking at the projects that I had coming up, what are the big things? I’m trying to find a lull in time but there’s never a lull. There is never a good time to say, “I’m going to exit.” Finally, I got to the point where I knew I needed to go for it. I set the appointment with my boss and I told her that, “I’ve been doing real estate and it’s going well. I need to exit.” She was supportive and said, “I want you to follow your passion. If that’s your passion, go for it.” That was good.

PILF 73 | Passive Investing
Passive Investing: Apartment complexes cost millions of dollars. That is why people do group investing. Very few people buy an apartment complex on their own. So you could come in as a passive investor and still get good returns.


The transition was a little bit rocky because you go from having back-to-back meetings on your calendar and being needed all the time. People pinging you like, “Camilla, I need you to do this. You need to do that,” to white space, no noise, and nobody needs you for anything. You’re like, “What do I do with my time? What do I do with my calendar?” It’s a bit jarring to go through that transition and be fully on your own. It sounds so amazing and cool, but when you’re a super high productive person and all of a sudden, you have nothing on your calendar, it’s like, “What do I do?”

How did you handle the financial part of it? Did you have enough passive income from the investments that you’d made to cover your salary? Did that you know that, “I started a little snowball. I’m going to push it down the hill and run alongside of it and hope it keeps growing?” Which way did you go? How did you evaluate that situation?

For me, I’m super conservative. Remember, I have a big family. We got a lot of expenses. I was evaluating this and I told myself, “Camilla, if you can replace 70% of your corporate salary, then that will be the time when you can exit. You’ve proven to yourself that you can do it, and then you can continue the momentum.” Investing is a momentum game. 70% was my number. Once I hit that, that’s what gave me the confidence to feel like I could do it. I also have money also in the bank account.

I had at least a year’s worth of savings sitting in my bank account. People will argue that that’s a bad move. “You’re an investor, Camilla. Why would you just have money in a bank account?” I need that for my peace of mind. That gives me the peace of mind to feel I can go for it. If it doesn’t work out, I can always go back to my job if I need to but I’m committed to making it work. That was how I felt comfortable and safe leaving from a financial standpoint.

Why did you pick 70%? Is that because you’re not going to pay as much tax? Was it you wanted to get close but you didn’t need to replace 100%? Were you downsizing your lifestyle or were you doing some calculations on the back?

It was not downsizing the lifestyle. 50% felt too precarious. I wanted to be on the healthy side of above 50%. I didn’t want to go all the way because I knew that I didn’t need to go all the way to 100% to be able to step fully into this.

When people look at real estate investors, they look at it as, “It’s an alternative investment, which means it’s super risky.” Other people look at the W-2 as one income stream that’s super risky. Where do you come down on that?

[bctt tweet=”Moving up the corporate ladder means more income, but it also means more responsibility, more stress, and less time.” via=”no”]

I worked at HR. One of the unpleasant tasks in HR is layoffs. We get to tell people that their jobs have been lost. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had grown men crying in my office because their job was suddenly eliminated. They were the sole income earner for their family. They had not put in place financial measures. It is heartbreaking to tell someone that your job’s done. In that company at the time, we would walk them out immediately right away. There were no two weeks or a month or transition. It was, “Come see me in my office. You’re done,” out the door, and kick them out. It’s brutal.

That was a situation I never wanted to be in myself. That’s where I think one stream of income is riskier than investing in real estate. I even named my company Steady Stream Investments because I want to create steady streams of income for thousands of other people. My goal with my investing business is to help other people get in passively and create their own streams of income. Let’s talk about the risks of real estate. It’s funny that it’s called alternative investment.

I’ll tell you a story. I had a financial advisor. We had been investing in real estate but we also did what our parents told us to do. “Go see a financial advisor. They’re going to set you up and do your 401(k) and all the things.” We’re doing all the things that worked well for my parents. It did not work so well for us. We live in a different time and era. I can’t rely on Social Security. The 401(k) is not what it’s all cracked up to be.

We hit an income threshold where we could no longer contribute to Roth IRAs. I’m looking at my financial advisor saying, “What do we do now?” He’s like, “You could open a regular brokerage account and invest in the stock market. You’re probably better off doing real estate.” I said, “Do you have any guidance on that?” “No.” The problem is that everybody’s been told, “Go see a financial advisor,” but financial advisors don’t know anything about investing in real estate. The only thing they know is investing in stocks.

They’re going to tell you that it’s risky because they don’t know anything about it. They’re not comfortable with it. It’s not a strategy that they know. The craziest thing about it is that real estate always goes up in value over time. Think about over time, even during there’s crashes. In 2008 and 2009, the real estate crashed. Single-family crashed hard. In places like Phoenix, for example, it took over ten years to recover the equity, but the equity is recovered.

What is it worth now? Several years later after that, it’s worth double, triple, quadruple whatever you had bought it for in 2008, if you had bought one. That’s the interesting thing about real estate. The stock market is so volatile, up and down, and all around. It makes me crazy. It makes me feel like I’m on a rollercoaster ride. I don’t always like rollercoaster rides.

As a former financial advisor, I think you nailed it there. The reason why I got out of being a financial advisor was that I was getting into real estate. My clients would come to me and I’d say, “Paper assets,” because that’s all I had. I was already doing real estate. Unlike most financial advisors, I understood real estate, but I couldn’t recommend it because I’m not licensed for that, number one.

PILF 73 | Passive Investing
Passive Investing: Investing in the stock market is so volatile. It goes up, down, and all around. While in real estate, it always goes up in value over time. Even during the crashes, it will go up.


Number two, I wouldn’t get paid. There’s no way to get paid that way. There’s no incentive for advisors to learn about that. I always recommend to people, “You have to use your network and your community.” Financial advisors can still be helpful, but you have to find some that understand that you’re in real estate, are willing to maybe incorporate your real estate in the plan, and understand what you’re doing. They’re not going to help you with that or recommend necessarily. That’s why I use my community to find experts and a financial advisor who would help on that.

Your company seems to focus on education a lot. That is not typical for a syndication or sponsor. They all have some education, but it’s right there in the overall description of your company, an education company. Why the focus on education? Why do you call yourself an education company? Can you talk a little bit about that? It’s so unique. Our whole community is here at Left Field Investors for education. We’re all in. We love it, but I want to understand the philosophy there.

Fifteen years into my journey, I had no clue that this was an option. That’s because of lack of education. There’s not enough education resources out there. My goal is to educate thousands of investors with the hope that they will take action on that education. That’s where I come from. I spent a lot of time working hard on simplifying complex topics so that everybody can understand. I don’t even like to use the term syndication because the first time I heard the term syndication, I felt stupid.

I’ve been an investor for several years. I felt like, “What is that? I have no idea what that means.” Google didn’t have a very good answer either. I don’t even get it. I don’t want other people to feel that investing is so overwhelming and hard. That’s a lot of people’s perception and that’s why they use financial advisors. They’re like, “I can’t figure this out on my own. I’m going to go. They’re going to tell me what to do and I’ll just do it.” That’s the wrong approach.

You need to take control of your finances because, who cares the most about your finances? You. It’s not your financial advisor, your mother, or your kids. It’s you. You are the one that needs to take control of your destiny. That comes through education. You have to take it upon yourself to educate and to learn. I did this early on in my marriage, too. I decided that I’d become the CFO of my family. You need to be the CFO of your own life, too.

I read books on investing in stocks and on investing in real estate. I eventually decided that I liked the tangible stuff. I like to be able to see it, touch it, and feel it. It’s much easier for my brain to even understand than investing in the stock market. That’s the path that I went. I’m pro-education. Educated people can make better decisions. If you have the education to make that better decision, your life is going to be so much better.

You have five kids. How are you teaching them about finance? I’m always curious about that. I feel like I haven’t done a great job with my kids other than maybe they get some from us. How do you teach your kids about finance, given that everything they’re seeing, even though they’re younger, they’re still seeing the same stuff that’s on TV, in radio, or TikTok? It’s all financial advising and stuff. Maybe not TikTok, but how do you educate them on finance and what you’re doing?

[bctt tweet=”Who cares the most about your finances? Not your financial advisor or your mother; it’s you. Take control of your finances.” via=”no”]

I’ve been intentional about that, too, through all of their years growing up. In their younger years, when they turned at the age of five, they were invited to invest in the family bank. We created a family bank that paid 10% interest per month. Wouldn’t you like that? I got them invested in it. That’s super inflated but we did that on purpose because kids needed to have something inflated for it to be meaningful to them. They were only investing $1 at a time. They invest $1. All of a sudden, their $1 turns into $1.10, and then in 10 months’ time, it’s $2. It was important for them to learn about investing.

As they earned money, then we taught them about giving, investing, saving, and then spending, too. We were intentional in the early years. When they turn twelve, they got kicked out of the family bank because I couldn’t afford to pay that interest anymore because then they had hundreds of dollars in there. They went to a regular bank. We’re learning about how regular banks work, how to use a debit card, how to check your balance, how to transfer money to savings, and things like that.

We also started learning about budgeting. We would give the kids a yearly clothing budget where we would deposit a certain amount of money into their account in August. They will have to use that to buy their clothes for the rest of the year. They learn about budgeting. As they got older and into their teenage years, we started including them in our real estate. We still continue to do that strategy. We buy a fixer-upper house, move in, fix it, and we move out.

COVID struck and we were in the middle of a remodel. It was a blessing in disguise because we couldn’t go anywhere. You couldn’t leave the house. I was the only one allowed to leave the house in our city to go get groceries. Everybody else had to stay in the house. We had this big project that the kids could work on. We threw ourselves into it. We did a full gut rehab of the property. When we sold it, we made good money. We used a tax strategy. It is called income shifting where you shift income to your children.

You can do $12,000 per child, depending on what year it is. It might change every year, but that’s what we could do at the time. We did that. We shifted about $60,000 to our children. That’s a lot of money for a kid to get $12,000 but they worked for it. With this money, we told them, “You have to give first. We give 10%. About $2,000 of it, you can use to buy something fun for you. The other $10,000, we’re going to keep in your account until we buy our next investment.”

“We’re all going to go in together on a short-term rental. That’s going to be a cabin, one that we can use as a family, but also, we’ll rent out and make money on.” That’s what we did. My kids are passive investors into a short-term rental. What’s so funny about this, Jim, is that my daughter came home. She said that her friend’s dad was asking her if she has a job. She’s like, “I don’t have a job.” He said, “Do your parents give you money?” She’s like, “No. I own real estate.”

It’s neat how you were consistent. We did some things as the kids were little. We had three jars, the giving jar, saving jar, and spending jar, and then life happens. I admire and respect the fact that you kept doing it until teenage years. Now they own real estate. I’m constantly thinking about ways to help my kids take that jump. I have some plans there. Maybe after they graduate college, invest in a syndication on their behalf, let them own it, and see how that goes.

PILF 73 | Passive Investing
Passive Investing: Income shifting is where you shift income to your children. You can do $12,000 per child. Maybe give 10% that they could spend on anything. But the other 10,000, keep it until you buy your next investment.


There are a lot of ways but it’s important for people like us to share this knowledge with our kids so they don’t get caught in the Wall Street vortex that was the first 30 years of my employee career. You do talk about giving. I want to talk about the purposeful investing and the impact investing. You talk about three types of returns, financial, environmental, and social. What does that mean? Is that what you’re looking for when you’re a GP on the deal, you’re trying to provide three types of returns to investors?

As I got deeper into investing, I realized that this is so much bigger than just trying to get dollars. When we invest in real estate, especially in housing, we’re providing a basic necessity of life for people. I don’t take that lightly. It’s an honorable way to not only increase your own income and help others people to increase their income, but also to build a community and make that community safer, more pleasant to live there, with better neighbors, and things like that. It’s like kicking out all the criminals. People drive up to flowers instead of garbage. That’s important because that’s where they live and build their memories in their lives.

I wanted to make sure that we were thinking about more than just dollars whenever we invest. What impact can we create? I love that real estate can provide three different kinds of impact. It provides the financial impact that will impact every family that chooses to invest passively. It will help you to increase your own wealth and income and create generational wealth and all those things that are amazing for families. It creates social impact by building the communities, partnering with nonprofits to set aside maybe one apartment for disabled veterans or women in transition. We actively look for nonprofit partners to do that with.

Environmentally, if you think about our environmental footprint, we’re buying some of the older buildings. A lot of them are wasting a lot of water and energy. We’ll go in and put in low flow toilets, faucets, and things to reduce that water consumption. We’ll go in and do all the energy efficiencies that we can do to reduce our carbon footprint that’s happening. Doing this one apartment unit at a time can create some nice impact. That’s what we are looking to do in every deal that I joined as a general partner.

How did the social and environmental part of that affect the financial part? If you’re doing the water and stuff, that probably flows your bottom line and increases the value of the property. If you’re giving away an apartment to somebody, that’s fantastic, but that affects the financial. I’m curious how you square that.

If we think about the social, what we’re doing is we’re going into these apartments, kicking out the criminals, and putting in a better-quality tenant. We’re creating a much better quality of life for all the tenants that are there. They’re usually paying a little bit more in rent than they would be in a dilapidated, nasty place. It completely offsets. Our income does increase and our expenses decrease by building community.

With the environmental stuff, that’s directly to the bottom line there with reducing the expenses on the property. The cool thing about apartments that I love investing in apartments is that anything you do to increase that income or decrease that expenses makes the value of that building so much bigger. It’s not like single-family where it’s whatever Susie sold her house for down the street, that’s what yours is worth. We can control the value of the building. I believe in karma. If we are setting aside an apartment unit and we are doing our best to help those in need, we get helped in return.

[bctt tweet=”When investing in real estate, you’re providing a basic necessity of life for people. You’re creating an impact.” via=”no”]

Earlier you had talked about the importance of finding the right team and deal in group investing which is what you call syndication investing. How do I find quality sponsors? What are some of the things you look for when you’re looking for the right team, both as a passive investor and then also as a co-GP?

One of the most important things is track record. I want to know, “Have you done this before? How many times have you done it? When are the times that it did not go well?” Those are a few of my favorite questions to ask a potential general partnership team. “Tell me about a time that things did not go well. What did you do about it?” If somebody says, “I haven’t had any trouble,” run away from them because that tells you right away that they’re not experienced enough. All of us who are experienced, who have been in the industry for a long time have had trouble. We’ve lived through challenging times.

You want to find the people who have lived through those challenging times, did not give up, kept going, and still made profit for their investors, even though there was a challenging economic time especially now. We’re in this weirdness. We’ve been in weirdness for a few years. It’s getting weirder as life keeps going. Look for that. Look for people who have a handle on what they’re doing. That’s important to me.

Another thing that’s important to me is communication. Are they excellent communicators? Are they going to keep you informed? Are they going to be transparent about what’s going on? Are they going to hide it and to be like, “We had a fire, but don’t tell our investors?” You need to let everybody know that we had this challenge. We had a challenge in one of our new construction ones.

There was a spotted owl, which is a protected species, nested in one of the trees that we were trying to clear. They shut us down for months. We could not do anything for months. Are we going to hide that from our investors? Are we going to tell them exactly what happened? We have a delayed timeline because the owl needs to have babies. There are things like that.

You also asked, “How do you find them?” That’s a good question. It’s not a good thing to google. The best way to find them is to listen to podcasts and read shows like this. We get on shows because we want to find you as well. We’re trying to find you. You’re trying to find us. We all need to meet together. This is a great way to do it. The way I found my first sponsor was by attending a meetup. I did google multifamily meetup in my area. I found a couple of meetups. I went to them and started to getting to know people.

Eventually, I got to know this one who had a deal. I took a look at it, took the leap and, and did my first investment. Those are some ways that you can find good sponsors. Good sponsors will have good deals. I don’t think you need to worry as much about the market or the actual deal itself. A team will make or break a deal. That’s the most important. You can dig into the numbers and things like that, but you got to trust the team.

PILF 73 | Passive Investing
Passive Investing: The track record is the most important thing you need to look at when doing syndications. Ask if they’ve done this before and how many times they’ve done it. And, when it did not go well, what did they do?


This is a little bit off of the multifamily topic. You have a 65-bed assisted living community on your list of investments. Can you tell us about that? That’s something that I’m interested in. You don’t find a whole lot of syndication or group investing options for that. Talk a little bit about that asset.

Assisted living and senior housing in general are great assets. Assisted living is a real estate transaction, but also a healthcare company on top of it. We do have doctors and nurses who are there, assisting and helping the residents. It brings in a little bit more of a risk factor in that there are those two elements at play. You have to get them both right for the investment to go well. If you study what’s happening in the market, by 2030, there will be many more million people who are 85 plus, and 85 because the Boomers are aging. The Baby Boomer Generation is aging. They are soon going to be in a situation where they need a lot more help.

We are building an assisted living. We chose to go with a more niche boutique style rather than build a giant hospital type complex. We’re building smaller homes. They’re big homes. They’re 10 to 15-bedroom homes but they are actual homes that have a kitchen, a library, a dining area, and bedrooms for the residents. It feels a lot more like homes. We can put your mom when mom has to leave her own home. It’s a hard transition for when your parents need more help and they have to move out of their comfort zone where they’ve lived their whole lives, because a lot of them live in the same place their whole lives. We don’t do that. That generation sure did.

It’s interesting. It’s fun to work on that project. We also have one of the home set aside for memory care. Alzheimer’s is a disease that keeps growing, the number of people who have it. One of my grandmas suffered from Alzheimer’s. It was a hard thing to go through with her and watching my parents take care of her. It’s nice to be able to provide that type of investment for other people and provide a need for the community as well.

I’m in one investment, but I haven’t found someone syndicating it. I’m always interested in where people find that. The last question I always ask is, what is a great podcast that you listen to?

I like Ed Mylett’s podcast. It’s a great inspirational one. He interviews lots of different successful people. It’s like a success podcast. It’s a good one. He’s one of my go-tos that I’ll listen to quite often.

Finally, if readers want to get in touch with you, what’s the best way to do that?

The best way is to go to my website, SteadyStreamInvestments.com. On the front page, there’s a free course called Passive Investing Made Easy. It’s a series of videos that will help you to understand the process from A to Z. I’ve also mapped out a ten-year plan. If you were to invest $50,000 every year for ten years, what does that look like? You’ll be surprised by the results. They are pretty exciting. Grab that course and then you’ll start receiving all my education. You can always reply to any of those. It comes directly to my inbox. I’d be happy to connect with anybody.

Thank you very much, Camilla. It’s been a great episode. I appreciate you being on with us.

Thanks so much, Jim. It’s been great.

I enjoyed my conversation with Camilla, the way she talked about the small thinking and how that limited her. When she decided, “I don’t need to think small,” that allowed her to expand and grow her business and financial life. She did not want to trade time for money. We hear that a lot. People talk about trading time for money. She realized that promotion or in order to earn more money, she would have to give more time.

She wasn’t willing to do that. She found a different way. She found something else to do that did not involve trading time for money, and that you could make as much as you want to make in her new job as a group investor syndicator. That was great. She took the jump out of her W-2 when she only had 70% covered. That’s also interesting. She had started the snowball. She had confidence that the snowball would continue to roll down that hill and grow as it does for most of us.

She also mentioned having a full year of cash in the bank. A lot of people recommend that when you ditch the W-2, have a bunch of cash to the bank. A lot of people also say cash is trash. You can’t have that cash. What I think about all of that is you need to have as much cash as you need to have peace of mind. She had a year’s worth of cash. That gave her peace of mind. If you’re losing to inflation or whatever, that’s fine if you could sleep at night.

It is important to sleep at night. If you’re so concerned about your money that you can’t sleep, then you need to make some adjustments. Peace of mind was critical. She also mentioned, “Who cares most about your money?” It’s not your financial advisor. It’s not your family. It’s you. If you’re the one that cares the most about your money, you should care the most about managing it. She does that through education.

I love how she talked about all the stuff she has for kids for education. We tried a lot of that in my family, and we were not consistent. That consistency is the hard part. It’s easy to start a program. It’s hard to stay consistent, especially with your kids. I admire how she did that. Purposeful investing, she’s investing for financial rewards, but also for social and environmental impact.

When I can find an operator that does both, that makes me money but does it in a good way. I love that. There are a couple of pointers for how to find or vet a sponsor. She talked about track record and making sure that they’ve made some mistakes, but overcame them. That is one of the ways she finds out about that. Communication is key. That’s one of my important parts. She finds a sponsor through using meetups and podcasts. The only thing I would add to that is community. That’s where it helps, a community.

For the last thing, she didn’t say this specifically, but this is what I got out of it. She didn’t use the word problems when she was talking about anything difficult. She used the word challenges and changing that frame changes everything. If you see something as a problem, you have that feeling. If you see it as a challenge, “Let’s go. Let’s do it.” You’re ready to go. That struck me how she uses phrases like challenges. She doesn’t like the word syndicator. She uses group investing. I love when people do that because it changes a little bit, but it changes a lot. I appreciate Camilla being here.


Important Links


About Camilla Jeffs

PILF 73 | Passive InvestingCamilla Jeffs is the Founder and CEO of Steady Stream Investments, an education company teaching people how to add passive income streams to their lives via apartment group investing. Camilla is a general partner in over 1,000 multifamily units and a 65-bed assisted living community. In addition to her 20 years of experience investing in real estate, she holds an MBA and was known as an innovative HR leader for tech companies. Camilla has started four successful businesses and is the mother of five amazing children. She loves to play soccer and tennis and raise farm animals.



Our sponsor, Tribevest provides the easiest way to form, fund, and manage your Investor Tribe with people you know, like, and trust. Tribevest is the Investor Tribe management platform of choice for Jim Pfeifer and the Left Field Investors’ Community.

Tribevest is a strategic partner and sponsor of Passive Investing from Left Field.

Chris Franckhauser

Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner

Chris Franckhauser, Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner for Left Field Investors, has been involved in real estate since 2008. He started with one single-family fix and flip, and he was hooked. He then scaled, completing five more over a brief period. While he enjoyed the journey and the financial tailwinds that came with each completed project, being an active investor with a W2 at the time, became too much to manage with a young and growing family. Seeing this was not easily scalable or sustainable long term, he searched for alternative ideas on where to invest. He explored other passive income streams but kept coming back to his two passions; real estate and time with his family. He discovered syndications after reconnecting with a former colleague and LFI Founder. He joined Left Field Investors in 2023 and has quickly immersed himself into the community and as a key member of our team.  

Chris earned a B.S. from The Ohio State University. After years in healthcare technology and medical devices, from startups to Fortune 15 companies, Chris shifted his efforts to consulting and owning a small apparel business when he is not working with LFI (Left Field Investors) or on his personal passive investments. A few years ago, Chris and his family left the cold life in Ohio for lake life in the Carolinas. Chris lives in Tega Cay, South Carolina with his wife and two kids. In his free time, he enjoys exploring all the things the Carolinas offer, from the beaches to the mountains and everywhere in between, volunteering at the school, coaching his kids’ sports teams and cheering on the Buckeyes from afar.  

Chris knows investing is a team sport. Being a strategic thinker and analytical by nature, the ability to collaborate with like-minded individuals in the Left Field Community and other communities is invaluable.  

Jim Pfeifer

President, Chief Executive Officer, Founder

Jim Pfeifer is one of the founders of Left Field Investors and the host of the Passive Investing from Left Field podcast. Left Field Investors is a group dedicated to educating and assisting like-minded investors negotiate the nuances of the passive investing landscape and world of syndications. Jim is a former financial advisor who became frustrated with the one-path-fits-all approach of the standard financial services industry. Jim now concentrates on investing in real assets that produce cash flow and is committed to sharing his knowledge with others who are interested in learning a different way to grow wealth.

Jim not only advises and helps people get started in passive real estate syndications, he also invests alongside them in small groups to allow for diversification among multiple investments and syndication sponsors. Jim believes the most important factor in a successful syndication is finding a sponsor that he knows, likes and trusts.

He has invested in over 100 passive syndications including apartments, mobile homes, self-storage, private lending and notes, ATM’s, commercial and industrial triple net leases, assisted living facilities and international coffee farms and cacao producers. Jim is constantly looking for new investment ideas that match his philosophy of real assets producing cash flow as well as looking for new sponsors with whom he can build quality, long-term relationships. Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.

Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.

Chad Ackerman

Chief Operating Officer, Founder

Chad is the Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Left Field Investors and the host of the LFI Spotlight podcast. Chad was in banking most of his career with a focus on data analytics, but in March of 2023 he left his W2 to become LFI’s second full time employee.

Chad always had a passion for real estate, so his analytics skills translated well into the deal analyzer side of the business. Through his training, education and networking Chad was able to align his passive investing to compliment his involvement with LFI while allowing him to grow his wealth and take steps towards financial freedom. He has appreciated the help he’s received from others along his journey which is why he is excited to host the LFI Spotlight podcast and share the experience of other investors and industry experts to assist those that are looking for education for their own journey.

Chad has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a Minor in Real Estate from the University of Cincinnati. He is working to educate his two teenagers in the passive investing world. In his spare time he likes to golf, kayak, and check out the local brewery scene.

Ryan Steig

Chief Financial Officer, Founder

Ryan Stieg started down the path of passive investing like many of us did, after he picked up a little purple book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The problem was that he did that in college and didn’t take action to start investing passively until many years later when that itch to invest passively crept back up.

Ryan became an accidental landlord after moving from Phoenix back to Montana in 2007, a rental he kept until 2016 when he started investing more intentionally. Since 2016, Ryan has focused (or should we say lack thereof) on all different kinds of investing, always returning to real estate and business as his mainstay. Ryan has a small portfolio of one-to-three-unit rentals across four different markets in the US. He has also invested in over fifty real estate syndication investments individually or with an investment group or tribe. Working to diversify in multiple asset classes, Ryan invests in multi-family, note funds, NNN industrial, retail, office, self-storage, online businesses, start-ups, and several other asset classes that further cement his self-diagnosis of “shiny object syndrome”.

However, with all of those reaches over the years, Ryan still believes in the long-term success and tenets of passive, cash-flow-focused investing with proven syndicators and shared knowledge in investing.

When he’s not working with LFI or on his personal passive investments, he recently opened a new Club Pilates franchise studio after an insurance career. Outside of that, he can be found with his wife watching whatever sport one of their two boys is involved in during that particular season.

Steve Suh

Chief Content Officer, Founder

Steve Suh, one of the founders of Left Field Investors and its Chief Content Officer, has been involved with real estate and alternative assets since 2005. Like many, he saw his net worth plummet during the two major stock market crashes in the early 2000s. Since then, he vowed to find other ways to invest his money. Reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad gave Steve the impetus to learn about real estate investing. He first became a landlord after purchasing his office condo. He then invested passively as a limited partner in oil and gas drilling syndications but quickly learned the importance of scrutinizing sponsors when he stopped getting returns after only a few months. Steve came back to real estate by buying a few small residential rentals. Seeing that this was not easily scalable, he searched for alternative ideas. After listening to hundreds of podcasts and attending numerous real estate investing meetings, he determined that passively investing in real estate syndications was the best avenue to get great, risk-adjusted returns. He has invested in dozens of syndications involving apartment buildings, self-storage facilities, resort properties, ATMs, Bitcoin mining funds, car washes, a coffee farm, and even a Broadway show.

When Steve is not vetting commercial real estate syndications in the evenings, he is stomping out eye diseases and improving vision during the day as an ophthalmologist. He enjoys playing in his tennis and pickleball leagues and rooting for his Buckeyes and Steelers football teams. In the past several years, he took up running and has completed three full marathons, including the New York City Marathon. He is always on a quest to find great pizza, BBQ brisket, and bourbon. He enjoys traveling with his wife and their three adult kids. They usually go on a medical mission trip once a year to southern Mexico to provide eye surgeries and glasses to the residents. Steve has enjoyed being a part of Left Field Investors to help others learn about the merits of passive, real asset investments.

Sean Donnelly

Chief Culture Officer, Founder

Sean holds a W2 job in the finance sector and began his real estate investing journey shortly after earning his MBA. Unfortunately, it could not have begun at a worse time … anyone remember 2007 … but even the recession provided worthy lessons. Sean stayed in the game continuing to find his place, progressing from flipping to owning single and multi-family rentals to now funding opportunities through syndications. While Sean is still heavily invested in the equities market and holds a small portfolio of rentals, he strongly believes passive investing is the best way to offset the cyclical nature of traditional investment vehicles as well as avoid the headaches of direct property ownership. Through consistent cash flow, long term yield and available tax benefits, the diversification offered with passive investing brings a welcomed balance to an otherwise turbulent investing scheme. What Sean likes most about the syndication space is that the investment opportunities are not “one size fits all” and the community of investors genuinely want to help.

He earned a B.S. in Finance from Iowa State University in 1995 and a MBA from Otterbein University in 2007. Sean has lived in eight states but has called Ohio home for the last 20+.  When not attending his children’s various school/sporting events, Sean can be found running, golfing, shooting or fly-fishing.

Patrick Wills

Chief Information Officer, Advisory Partner

An active real estate investor since 2017, Patrick Wills’ investing journey began like many others – after reading the “purple book” by Robert Kiyosaki. Patrick started with single family rentals, and while they performed well, he quickly realized their inability to scale efficiently while remaining passive. He discovered syndications via podcasts and local meetups and never looked back. He joined Left Field Investors in 2022 as a member and has quickly become an integral part of the team as Vice President of Technology.

An I.T. Systems Engineer by trade, he experienced the limitations of traditional Wall Street investing firsthand in his career and knew there had to be a better way to truly have financial freedom.

Unfortunately, that better way is inaccessible to those who need it most. His mission is to make alternative investments accessible to everyone who seeks to take control of their financial future and to pursue their passions in life.

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