My Journey From Reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad to Generating Multiple Streams of Income

I started down the path of passive investing as many of us did, after I picked up a little purple book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. After reading that book and doing a little networking, I teamed up with a local real estate investor in Phoenix where I lived at the time. I ended up trading a lot of free time and labor for lessons in real estate and investing that I still carry with me today. The realities of the real world and needing money to get by took over so I didn’t take action related to real estate and instead took a job in a related career in the mortgage industry. 

This would lead me down the traditional road of investing through a 401(k) at work, and I didn’t really think twice about real estate for a few years. Because I worked in the mortgage industry and became known as the “money guy” who had an interest in investing, real estate, and personal finance, I started to get questions from friends and family about how to budget, what to think about when buying a house, and other financial questions. I really didn’t feel like I was an expert by any means and wanted to be a better resource in those areas so I started to dig in a bit more into financial coaching and understanding more about investing and personal finance. This was around the time that podcasts and the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement were growing simultaneously. Many of you understand how quickly a combination of podcasts, Google searches, and the FIRE movement can lead you into spending hours taking a deep dive into these topics. This is where the thoughts and ideas from Rich Dad, Poor Dad were reignited and led me down the path that I’ve been on since those days in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. 

After spending a few more years listening and reading, I finally overcame my analysis paralysis and jumped into turnkey real estate investing through a podcast resource, Real Wealth Network, that I had been listening to for some time. Real Wealth Network is an online educational resource and turnkey broker geared specifically toward building passive income through purchasing rental properties from experienced, vetted turnkey providers throughout the U.S. In 2016 I purchased my first duplex, sight unseen, in Indianapolis by using money from a home equity line of credit backed by the equity in our personal residence. Like eating just one Pringles chip or getting a first tattoo, I could not buy just one. Within the next year and half, my wife and I used the combination of cash flow from real estate, more HELOC funds, and diverted money from traditional retirement options to purchase three more turnkey rentals in Kansas City, Memphis, and Cincinnati. As of the writing of this blog, we own ten doors across seven units with one more single family purchase under contract. We own one additional unit in Cincinnati and one triplex in Ocala, Florida. After purchasing my first few turnkey properties, I realized the number of properties that I would need to reach financial independence would be difficult to reach with a full-time job while managing all of the properties and property managers. I needed a more scalable solution.

My investment bug got bigger in late 2017 when our second-generation family insurance business, that I operated as CEO, was sold. Because of this, my path widened over the following years with regard to investment strategies due to my growing passion for investing, but it spread a bit too wide due to my growing shiny object syndrome. The path varied a bit from turnkeys to dabbling with investments in several different areas, such as P2P (peer-to-peer) lending (doing micro-loans to individuals), real estate crowdfunding, note lending, life insurance settlements, mobile home park investing, start-up companies, new development projects (raw land to developed land), cryptocurrencies, options trading, oil and gas, high cash value life insurance, a franchise investment, and a large focus on multifamily syndications. In one way or another, each of those different strategies ties back to an article, networking group, or podcast host or guest that introduced why each was the next best shiny object, and I followed along.

Within this time, I came across Buck Joffrey’s podcast, Wealth Formula, that had a different spin on real estate and investing. Through his podcast and content, I learned more about wealth in general, and I was also introduced to a multi-family real estate syndicator that I researched and became comfortable enough with to invest. That syndication has come full cycle and exited successfully, reinforcing my belief in that syndicator and the importance of the syndicator in the due diligence process. Through all my syndication experiences so far, I have learned that the syndicator is most important, followed by the market, and finally, followed by the deal itself. I’ve also learned I can use each of those factors to diversify or concentrate my syndication investment portfolio to tailor it to my goals and risk tolerance. 

You might be thinking that this guy is all over the place, and you’d be right! I enjoy learning about and investing/dabbling in different areas. However, at the end of the day, my focus is to shift away from the old mantra of accumulating a pile of cash and withdrawing no more than 4% per year in retirement, to my new philosophy of building diversified streams of income that are sustainable and passive. Those streams of income, when built properly, will eventually become the sole source of income to give my family the financial independence and freedom to live life more on our terms rather than having to trade time for dollars in a one-to-one ratio. Looking back at starting with the FIRE movement, I don’t ever see myself retiring in the traditional sense, but the goal is definitely to get to the point where our passive investment income exceeds our monthly living expenses. I really enjoy working toward this goal, and now through Left Field Investors (which came about as a result of a connection with Jim Pfeifer through the Wealth Formula networking group), I hope that we, as a group of like-minded individuals, will help one another achieve our financial goals.        


Ryan’s work life resides in the transportation insurance industry. When he’s not working or attending one of his boys’ sporting events, he’s working on passive investing of some sort that currently includes nearly twenty real estate syndications and a handful of rental properties across the country, among some other past endeavors.

Nothing on this website should be considered financial advice. Investing involves risks which you assume. It is your duty to do your own due diligence. Read all documents and agreements before signing or investing in anything. It is your duty to consult with your own legal, financial and tax advisors regarding any investment.

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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