Investing

Armchair investment ideas

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 30th, 2019 9:56 am
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 4, 2014
29 posts
9 upvotes
London, ON

Armchair investment ideas

I sold my investment property; it was a duplex converted to two units became too much work and stress mostly due to the complications of managing two sets of tenants in an aging home that needed a lot of maintenance. It was stressful at the end and it was hard to find turn key property management.

I made a decent amount of money and I'm now looking for other alternatives (real estate or otherwise) to provide growth and preferably even passive income with minimal work. I have two ideas: investing in apartments geared towards senior citizens and purpose built student residential properties. My father purchased some units near UOIT that are basically student condos with a full management company behind them. They find the tenants, sign all the contracts, and pay a fixed amount of $$ each month regardless of what the student is paying for rent. You just get a check every month.

I know the old adage that making money isn't easy and requires some work and effort but I'm looking for opportunities with the lowest personal effort vs highest potential reward. Lets say I have up to $400,000 I can leverage to invest with. Anybody have any ideas they want to share?
9 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2007
4372 posts
2797 upvotes
I don't know. Perhaps I've just been lucky so far, but I don't find making money all that difficult and I don't spend a lot of time and effort at it. It's not fast money though, but very slow. I just use the stock market to buy Canadian stocks with rising dividends and that's about it. No financial analysis at all, on my part. Back in 1990 one of my earlier mentor's, Edmund Faltermayer wrote an article In Fortune Magazine called "Lessons From A Lazy Amateur" and I had to hone my skills over the years in doing so. Aside from an occasional pruning in the portfolio every so often, I found the less I did, the better I got at it. I'm lucky that I'm still in a financial position in retirement where I can take my investment dividend income and a little savings and either add to or buy new shares of a few companies. Each and every year, my dividend income keeps going up.

Aside from own house we own outright, I'm totally debt averse, so I keep far away from leverage though. I saw too many investors over the decades lose everything and more when using margin in the stock market. Perhaps watching the movie "The Grapes Of Wrath" had a lingering effect on me, whether it's real estate investing or the stock market.
Newbie
Sep 18, 2017
84 posts
86 upvotes
I own some commercial real estate that has been very low stress and churns $144k gross rent a year on an initial $400k investment plus tenant paying utilities and maintenance. Property was $1.4 million, borrowed $1m and that will be paid off in a total of 12 years. Will create some nice income in retirement.
Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2012
2437 posts
1718 upvotes
Calgary
FUMONEY wrote: I own some commercial real estate that has been very low stress and churns $144k gross rent a year on an initial $400k investment plus tenant paying utilities and maintenance. Property was $1.4 million, borrowed $1m and that will be paid off in a total of 12 years. Will create some nice income in retirement.
I wish I knew how to do what you’ve done. Any recommended reading you’d suggest on the topic of an “everyday person” investing in commercial real estate?
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2010
3028 posts
898 upvotes
FUMONEY wrote: I own some commercial real estate that has been very low stress and churns $144k gross rent a year on an initial $400k investment plus tenant paying utilities and maintenance. Property was $1.4 million, borrowed $1m and that will be paid off in a total of 12 years. Will create some nice income in retirement.
Borrowing $1M... not a lot of folks can do I guess. Good job.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8860 posts
3356 upvotes
Toronto
rapashoo wrote: Borrowing $1M... not a lot of folks can do I guess. Good job.
Many people nowadays own homes way over $1M, especially in GTA and GVA. Many of them can easily get a HELOC that would allow borrowing of $1M or close to that. Open a margin account at a discount brokerage, and you can borrow more.

Not saying people should do that, but there do exist a large number of people who can borrow $1M these days.
Member
Nov 24, 2016
485 posts
568 upvotes
I also don't think borrowing is the hard part... educating yourself and finding the right commercial property will be the hard part. I don't know the first thing about picking commercial property for example and don't know how to start. A few years ago I knew a guy that wanted to partner up and buy a commercial property and I immediately said no (I hate partnerships). But I've always liked the idea.
Newbie
Sep 18, 2017
84 posts
86 upvotes
I took three years and looked at at least 40 commercial properties before buying one. It was less than 10 years old and in immaculate condition in a great area. Bought the property inside of a newly created corporation and the bank was pretty good about the mortgage due to $400k down but wanted a personal guarantee and every year they ask for updated financials, etc.
Newbie
Sep 18, 2017
84 posts
86 upvotes
jarfgames wrote: I wish I knew how to do what you’ve done. Any recommended reading you’d suggest on the topic of an “everyday person” investing in commercial real estate?
I honestly didn't read much but spent 5 years saving the $400k specifically with the goal of buying a commercial property. Then when I was ready took another 3 years to find the right place. I got very educated on the market and looked at all kinds of properties. By the time I found the right one it was a no brainer.
Deal Addict
Nov 10, 2012
2437 posts
1718 upvotes
Calgary
FUMONEY wrote: I honestly didn't read much but spent 5 years saving the $400k specifically with the goal of buying a commercial property. Then when I was ready took another 3 years to find the right place. I got very educated on the market and looked at all kinds of properties. By the time I found the right one it was a no brainer.
That’s awesome that you were able to do it. And good on you for having the discipline to save like that.

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