Left Field INvestors Blogs

The Ins and Outs of Ground-Up Development with Andrew Brewer

Learn valuable insights from seasoned developer Andrew Brewer on investing in real estate development deals as a passive investor. Get practical tips on vetting operators, evaluating deals and partners, understanding project timelines and contingencies, structuring phased exits, and aligning interests for successful outcomes.

On Destroying Myths about Hold Times and Risk-Adjusted Returns

Discover the truth behind common misconceptions about hold times and risk-adjusted returns in real estate investments in our latest blog article. Uncover why chasing short-term gains may not always lead to optimal outcomes and how considering factors like taxes, risk, and friction costs can redefine investment strategies. Join us on June 12th for a webinar featuring Paul Moore, where he'll delve deeper into the surprising insights on 5-year versus 10-year hold times in real estate, challenging conventional wisdom with compelling case studies and expert analysis.

The Power of Comprehensive Financial Planning: Insights from Jameson Lett

Discover the importance of comprehensive financial planning, infinite banking, and proactive wealth management strategies in this insightful podcast episode featuring wealth management advisor Jameson Lett. Learn how including real estate and alternative investments in your financial plan can optimize cash flow, protect assets, and build long-term wealth.

Unlocking Financial Freedom: Bala Krishnan’s Investment Journey

Discover Bala Krishnan's 10Y model - a revolutionary real estate investment strategy that prioritizes wealth multiplication through ground-up build-to-rent communities. Learn how discipline, mathematical precision, and an exponential mindset enabled Bala's journey from tech to financial freedom.

The Future of Storage: How Automation is Changing the Game with Cliff Minsley

Join us on the "Passive Investing from Left Field" podcast as we explore the fascinating world of self-storage investing with Cliff Minsley, co-founder of Ten Federal. Discover how embracing technology and innovative strategies can revolutionize your real estate investment approach. Gain valuable insights on navigating market challenges, mitigating risk, and achieving success in the self-storage sector.

Money Myths Busted with a Smile: The Garrett Gunderson Story

Garrett Gunderson, renowned author and financial philosopher, shares his transformative insights on adopting an abundance mindset, building wealth through cash flow and passive income, and debunking traditional financial myths in this enlightening episode of "Passive Investing from Left Field."

Spotlight On: Economic Update with J Scott

Gain valuable insights on navigating the volatile commercial real estate market with seasoned investor J Scott. Learn about the impact of interest rates, the importance of diversification, and strategies for making informed investment decisions in an unstable economic environment. Don't miss this informative episode of the Passive Investing from Left Field podcast.

Interest Rates, Inflation, and Economic Trends: Insights from Peter Linneman

Renowned economist Peter Linneman shares insightful perspectives on the current state of the U.S. economy, inflation, the Federal Reserve's actions, and the resilience of the nation's economic prospects, drawing from his decades of experience and academic background.

From Crisis to Creativity: Real Estate Strategies for the Modern Investor with Neal Bawa

Discover real estate strategies from Neal Bawa, the "Mad Scientist of Multifamily," as he shares insights on navigating the post-COVID landscape, addressing the affordability crisis, leveraging data science for investment decisions, and seizing opportunities in the chaos.

Navigating the Real Estate Market: Insights from Brian Burke

Discover valuable insights from real estate expert Brian Burke on navigating the challenges of the current market. Learn strategies for capital preservation, understanding debt structures, and building a resilient portfolio. Gain a deeper understanding of the importance of patience, discipline, and a long-term perspective in real estate investing.

The Evolution of Real Estate Investing: A Conversation with James Eng

James Eng, a seasoned commercial real estate professional, shares valuable insights from his journey as an underwriter to becoming a successful multifamily investor. He discusses debt structures, sponsor evaluation, market cycles, and risk management strategies for passive investors in the multifamily space.

Insights into Real Estate Market Trends and Forecasts with John Chang from Marcus & Millichap

Dive into the latest real estate market trends and forecasts for 2024 with John Chang from Marcus & Millichap. Discover expert analysis, investment opportunities, and valuable advice for passive investors looking to thrive in today's dynamic market.

Navigating Economic Resets: Insights from Investment Veteran, Russell Gray

Discover valuable insights on navigating economic resets, focusing on cash flow, and the importance of self-education for passive investors in this captivating episode of the Passive Investing from Left Field podcast featuring financial strategist and Real Estate Guys Radio Show co-host, Russell Gray.

Mastering Creative Real Estate with Chris Prefontaine

Discover innovative "creative real estate" strategies with real estate veteran Chris Prefontaine in this insightful podcast episode. Learn how to build wealth through low-cost, passive income streams without banks or excessive personal capital. Join the Left Field Investors community for exclusive resources to advance your real estate investing education.

Essential Due Diligence Questions for Passive Real Estate Investors

This blog outlines 50 essential questions passive investors should ask syndication sponsors to conduct thorough due diligence, ensuring investments align with their risk tolerance. It covers general, deal-level, legal, and team-related inquiries to help investors make informed decisions.

Navigating Syndications: Evan Polaski on Investor Relations and Recession-Resilient Assets

Discover the crucial role of investor relations in real estate syndication with Evan Polaski from Axia Partners. Learn the tough questions to ask, the importance of aligning investment goals, and how to conduct thorough due diligence. Gain insights into Axia's focus on recession-resilient asset classes and practical advice for passive investors navigating the complex world of real estate syndication.

Exploring Branded Hotels as an Asset Class with Matt Faircloth

Discover the key insights and practical advice from seasoned real estate investor Matt Faircloth on navigating today's challenging market. Learn about the importance of transparency, cash flow, and a conservative approach to deal underwriting in this eye-opening episode of Passive Investing from Left Field. Faircloth shares his experience and wisdom on adapting investment strategies, prioritizing liquidity, and building lasting wealth through real estate.

Spotlight Episode: Risk Mitigation Strategies: Insights from Ryan Stieg

Hear LFI co-founder Ryan Stieg transparently discuss a referral deal that failed despite initial positives. He explains leverage risks, operations assessments, communication standards, diversification strategies and ongoing vigilance required when selecting reliable real estate sponsors. Gain insights on precautions for passive investors to avoid losses.

Impact Investing in Workforce Housing with DLP’s Rich Delgado

Go in-depth on affordable housing investments and community impact strategies with DLP Capital's Rich Delgado. Discover how DLP enriches workforce housing through long tenures and sustainability while diversifying into the lucrative RV resort market. Get Rich's outlook on navigating 2024's uncertainties and evaluation tips for passive investors.

Building Holistic Wealth with Dave Wolcott – Strategies Beyond the 401(k)

Join Passive Investing from Left Field host, Jim Pfeifer, in an insightful discussion with Dave Wolcott, real estate veteran and Founder of Pantheon Investments. Dave shares his multifaceted, wealth-building framework, encompassing mindset, relationships, infrastructure, and strategic asset allocation. Gain unconventional perspectives on achieving financial freedom through rethinking retirement accounts, implementing infinite banking, and responsibly utilizing debt. This episode will open your eyes to creative concepts for accelerating passive income.

From High Salary to Higher Stakes: Agostino Pintus On Real Estate Entrepreneurship

Hear the journey of Agostino Pintus as he left a lucrative tech career behind to pursue real estate investing and syndication. Learn his advice on vetting partners, adaptive reuse strategies, outlook for 2024, and more.

Inside Industrial Real Estate: Joel Friedland’s No-Debt Investing Wisdom

Get some of the top insights and key takeaways from 40-year industry veteran, Joel Friedland's recent appearance on Passive Investing from Left Field. Learn why he does all-cash/no-debt deals, his approach to tenant selection, investor communications, and advice for evaluating industrial operators.

Mastering Private Equity with Chihiro Kurokawa

This episode of Passive Investing from Left Field offers an insightful discussion with Chihiro Kurokawa of ZT Corporate. He shares his experience transitioning from a solo real estate syndicator to an institutional private equity firm. Chihiro stresses the importance of audited financials, opportunistic strategies in down markets, and thorough due diligence when assessing complex investments across different asset classes.

Strategies for Thriving in Affordable and Workforce Housing Investments with Ron Lockhart

Investor Ron Lockhart shares how his company acquires distressed rowhomes for rehab in East Coast cities, renting them affordably after renovations. With in-house teams for construction and property management, they operate nimbly to capitalize on value-add opportunities. Their real estate fund leverages this approach to produce excellent annual returns for investors.

CTA, FinCEN, BOI – Why Entity Owners Need to Know These Abbreviations in 2024 to Avoid Big Penalties

  The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) was established by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) as part of the 2020 Anti-Money Laundering Act. If you have an LLC, which many of us do for our real estate investing, then these new guidelines pertain to you. But it is not limited to just LLCs created for […]

5 Steps to Start Earning Passive Income Through Real Estate

Real estate investing can provide consistent passive income, giving you financial freedom. This blog outlines 5 steps to get you started. You’ll learn about the types of real estate investments, benefits of syndications, and where you can find more resources to continue learning.With the proper knowledge, strategy and discipline, real estate can generate passive income and long-term wealth.

Investing in Mobile Home Park Syndications – Tips From an Operator

I have been an active investor in mobile home parks (MHP) for the last five years having bought, operated, and infilled eleven mobile home parks consisting of 700 lots. People often ask me, “Why do you invest in mobile home parks?” Here are my Top 5 reasons: 1.  Sticky resident base – While the average […]

How to Avoid Investment Scams: Lessons Learned

*This was part of a monthly update the blog’s author, Denis Shapiro, provided for his income fund investors. Due to ongoing court matters, he tried to avoid mentioning any names, but he did provide an SEC link to the actual charges.  Before we get into the most recent SEC investigation that has made significant waves […]

Do Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban Really Believe That Diversification Is for Lazy Investors?

Mark Cuban: “Diversification is for Idiots.” Important note: If the headline is changed, and drops the Cuban quote, I am including it in a box here for the article lead. But if the quote is preserved in the article, we can delete it here…   “Diversification is for idiots.” – Mark Cuban “Diversification is protection against […]

Apply the Who Not How Principle to Succeed in Real Estate Syndication Investing

I love when I come home from a long day at work and see that my lawn has been freshly manicured. When I used to do the mowing, I would have to mentally schedule time after work or on the weekends. Of course, I would also have to watch the weather forecast and adjust my […]

A Beginner’s Guide to Passively Investing in Syndications: Thoughts From a Rookie Investor to Get Into your First Deal

It’s hard to believe that just one year ago passive syndication investing was a foreign world to me. Twelve months back, I was nose-deep in a course on active real estate investing, researching markets, contacting various agents, lenders, and contractors, analyzing deal after deal, and wondering how I would ever find a cash-flowing rental property […]

Preferred Returns: The Difference of a Single Letter

Clarifying Return ON Capital vs. Return OF Capital In most passiveinvestments, the sponsor commits to paying the investors a specified percentage of their investment per year before the sponsor can start to collect performance fees. As such, these payments are referred to as “preferred returns” and the payment relative to the investor’s capital is the “preferred […]

Money, Power, and Responsibility: 6 tips to avoid passive investor pitfalls in a commercial real estate syndication

You have evaluated the deal metrics of a prospective commercial real estate syndication and you like the deal. What’s next? Ask the sponsor for the offering documents. The “offering documents” are the instruments that create a legally enforceable contract among the sponsor, the investors, and the business entity (the issuer) that is issuing a passive ownership stake […]

How This Midwest City Can Help You Achieve Better Returns

Indianapolis, Indiana, metro is home to over two million people. It features a growing corporate base, highly educated workforce, world-class sporting events, high-end cultural attractions, as well as a consistently growing list of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Residents benefit from an above-average quality of work-life balance, as reflected by consistently high national rankings and […]

My Journey to a Becoming a Full-Time Passive Investor

Prior to discovering real estate syndications, like many, my idea of passive investing was mutual funds and looking at my statement a few times per year. For most of my professional career, I was a business owner in the IT industry. Working 80-hour weeks left no time for anything other than setting up a monthly […]

The Easy Way to Reduce the Interest Rate on Your Life Insurance Policy Loan

Many real estate investors are aware that high-cash value, or overfunded, life insurance policies are designed to maximize the cash value instead of the death benefit. The cash value growth is typically 5+% tax-free and can have uninterrupted compounding even if policy owners access the cash. It is an ideal place for investors to store […]

Cryptocurrency Investing: A Primer for Non-Crypto People

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is financial or investment advice in any respect. Technical accuracy has intentionally been sacrificed for the sake of simplicity and relatability. One of the biggest news stories over the past few years has been the rise of cryptocurrency and its impact on the economy, technology, and, frankly, all of humanity. […]

13 Lessons Learned From 13 years of Private Syndication Investing

If you talk with me about real estate, you will soon find out that I ama huge fan of passively investing in private syndications. However, my initial investments into syndications didnot go well. You may wonder why I trusted any syndicators after thoseexperiences. After witnessing my net worth plummet after each stock market crash in2000-01 […]

Why Real Estate Investors Need to Pay Attention to Inflation, the Economy, and Yield Curves

About a year ago, I wrote a blog post titled “The Inflation-Deflation Debate and What It Means for Real Estate Investors.”  One of the questions I raised at that time was whether or not consumer price inflation would rise and force the Federal Reserve’s hand in raising interest rates and tightening liquidity.  More importantly, if […]

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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