WS1563: Passive Investing for Couples | Joe & Robin Giuliacci

If it takes two to tango, then this certainly holds true when it comes to real estate investing when you’re a couple. By securing your financial future together, not only will you enjoy the benefits of passive investing but also learn to keep your relationship much stronger.

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Passive investors Joe and Robin Giuliacci have been married for more than 25 years now and have already retired from their engineering and education careers, respectively. Learn how this power couple has grown their portfolio of multifamily and self-storage units through syndications.

Key Points From This Episode: 

  • What got them started into becoming passive investors as a couple?
  • What were some of the tools that are helpful in tracking some of their passive investments?
  • How old were they when they purchased their first investment property?
  • How do they make financial decisions together?
  • How do they vet syndicators? How do they find syndicators that are within the realm of who they would want to invest with?
  • What strategy did they use when talking with other people who were investing with operators? 
  • What red flags made them walk away from suspicious deals?
  • What type of portfolio do they have?
  • Why have they ventured into self-storage units aside from multifamily properties?
  • How do they diversify with operators?
  • What do they expect in the real estate market in 2023?
  • What type of contingency planning do they have during market downturns?
  • What are some of the things that they look forward to now that they are both retired? 
  • What are some of the purpose-driven goals they have set for their family and marriage?
  • What is their strategy in terms of stewardship?
  • What kind of advice did their parents give them when they were growing up?

Tweet This!

“There’s a rich environment out there of really free resources for educating yourself, and that’s what I bring to play here for us.”

“I needed the support that came along with it with our relationship. We both had the same objectives and goals down the road. And so it was how we’re going to make that play out.”

“We bring God and our faith into the equation as well. And that’s the other secret sauce that we bring to play as we make decisions.”

“We needed to be hooked up with people that were like-minded, and that we could really trust, we’re authentic, and we’re transparent.

“Most of our portfolio is in the multifamily space. That’s kind of where we came from. For us, we understand that business model, just at scale.”

Links Mentioned:

Joe Giuliacci on LinkedIn

About Joe & Robin Giuliacci

Joe and Robin Giuliacci are a retired couple that owns and manages a portfolio of multifamily properties and self-storage units. Joe spent 31 years of his career as an engineer designing commercial airplanes. Robin came from the education sector, teaching students at the elementary level.

The Giuliaccis started investing in duplex properties more than 25 years ago and grew the portfolio to four duplex properties that were eventually sold. They reinvested the capital into syndication as an LP. They now have more than 30 LP investments, across 11 different asset classes.

Full Transcript


Joe Giuliacci (JG): That’s stood the test of time for us. That started day one really when we first started getting into real estate investment. Our initial holdings were really the partnership. And that’s how we came about it. It wasn’t my thing. I mean, it was more maybe my thing in certain aspects, but I needed the support that came along with it, with our relationship. We both had the same objectives and goals down the road.

Deana Berg (DB): This is your Daily Real Estate Syndication Show. And this is Deana Berg, investor relations specialist at Life Bridge Capital. I work with Whitney and I’m going to be starting to host some podcast shows for him. I’m going to be focusing on passive investors, what they’ve learned and how you can benefit from lessons learned both good and bad. Today, our show’s guests, Joe and Robin, Giuliacci. 

They are investors in many syndications. Joe’s superpower is really the data and the analytics, and trusting his gut. Robin really brings a sense of unity with the family. And they talk today about what it’s like investing as a married couple, and how they make those decisions. 

Well, I am here today with our guests for the Daily Real Estate Syndication Show, Joe and Robin Giuliacci. Joe and Robin are from Washington State. And I know that they have a lot of both active and passive investment experience. Welcome to the show, guys.

JG: Thanks. Thank you very much. We’re excited to be here and share some of our experiences.

DB: That’s great. I first met Joe and was just so excited to hear about his experience. I mean, he was very generous with his experience and the way that he keeps information. So I’m confident that Joe, you’re gonna have a lot of helpful things for our listeners today. So why don’t you just give us a flyover of your work experience and how you got to where you are now. I’d love to hear from both of you.

JG: Yeah, all right, I’ll jump in first. So my career, I spent over 30 years in engineering, and most of it up here in the Washington State area, designing airplanes. But we always had a desire to get into real estate early on. And we were able to employ that early on actually, right, right when we were getting married. In fact, that was our entrance. 

And so we always kind of had this, this little bit of a side hustle, I guess she has, as it’s called, you know, running some real estate and using that are looking forward to that as contributing to our down the road and college education, retirement and that matter of business. But my career, like I said, just thirty years and and just exited that career earlier or last year. 

So anyway, that’s just kind of a quick summary of my career. And so we can dive into the real estate side of things as you want to, maybe I’ll let Robin talk a little bit about her career.

RG: So I was in education. I taught school for over 20 years and just recently left my position as well, taught elementary education, and loved it, loved every part of teaching. And what we’re dabbling in now has afforded us both the opportunity to leave our careers and feel comfortable leaving our careers and knowing that our future is solidified by that.

DB: That is great. I think it is so powerful to tell the story from the vantage point that you’re at, as we’re talking about passive investments and how you both got there. So Joe, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out as an airplane engineer what some of your superpowers might be?

I would love to hear you just touch on some of the areas that you enjoy most about being a passive investor and also maybe even get into some of the tools that you have found helpful in tracking some of your passive investments.

JG: As you say, yeah, being an engineer, I’m a numbers guy. And so spreadsheets, I’ve had a long, rich history of dealing, dabbling with spreadsheets. And so, I like the analytics side of things. And so that’s played well for me for being able to just get my head into what an investment might offer us. And so it’s basic spreadsheet math and educating myself in that space of how do I look at real estate opportunities and returns and whatnot. 

And fortunately, especially as podcasts and whatnot have bloomed over the last number of years, you know, there’s a rich environment out there of really free resources for educating yourself, and so that’s the power that I bring to play here for us.

DB: That’s amazing. Let’s talk a little bit about the kinds of investments that you guys have been attracted to. I know that you had mentioned you started doing active, you started buying homes. First of all, how old were you guys when you purchased your first investment property?

RG: Thirty and 32?

JG: Yeah, yeah. So, you know, I, as I mentioned a few minutes ago, was really the onset. And what triggered what started for us was as we got married, and we each had houses that we bought separately, and then we were moving up to Washington State as we were getting married. 

And so we were selling off mine and Robin’s property, it was a half-plex. And due to market conditions at the time, it just didn’t make sense to sell. And so we became instant real estate investors, essentially by just turning that into a rental, and then operating that for about a half a dozen years as a rental in a California market. And so we benefited from that pre-bubble days of real estate. 

But before we then, you know, turn that into something more local here that we can dive into too. But that was kind of the kernel for us.

DB: So what did the kernel then grow into as you relocated to Washington? Tell me about the other properties that you acquired. And then I want to hear what the breaking point is. Maybe that’s not the right word. 

But the turning point was to move from active into passive investment, because I know you were very active. And now I know you are very passive and have a number on that spreadsheet of yours.

JG: Yeah, so the transition for us was at a certain point, we decided to sell that property in California. And fortunately for us at the timing, it was that pre bubble stage. And so we were able to get a pretty good yield off of that sale. 

And we ended up flipping that into two duplex properties up really in our backyard here up in Washington State. And we got those into operation. And then a couple of years later, we ended up getting two more. And so we had a total of four in our portfolio.

DB: You acquired two at the same time?

JG: We acquired two at the same time.

DB: Okay. 

JG: And we were doing a 1031 out of the California property. That’s kind of how it worked out that we were able to get that reinvested, according to the rules of 1031. And so we’re using the term active, we really considered ourselves passive. But we can talk a little bit about that as the story moves on here. Because I call it passive at the time, because we got a property manager, we both had full time day jobs, we had careers and so we did not have time to take care of daily operations on a property.

And so you know, suffered the cost of getting a property manager in place and just let those operate for us. They were cash flowing, or I should say they were paying the bills, but they were just net cash flow and for us, so nothing really in our pocket, but we’re okay with that. At the time, we knew that these were long term investment holds for us. And that’s how we treated it going in.

DB: So is this where the majority of what you would say your retirement funds were headed towards? Or were you allocating it across the board where you put you, you hedging your bets on real estate?

JG: Initially, in those early days, for us, I was hedging our bets, really and it was a higher proportion in that sector than our 401k opportunity. 

DB: Interesting. 

JG: And then, with the whole crash, the bubble burst as it were. And during that time, we were in our four hold duplex property hold. You know, it made us a little nervous. And so then we kind of retracted. I was envisioning getting more duplex properties or more properties. And we just simply pulled back. And we started going a little stronger on the 401ks and kind of rebalancing that a little bit in that particular year’s sector.

DB: Gotcha. So let’s fast forward to the turning point where you said, I don’t want to do single family anymore. What went into the decision? Was it spreadsheet and numbers-based? Was it bandwidth-based? Or was it future planning and passive income-based?

JG: Yeah, I’d like to tell you that we had this really great strategy, but it was a set of circumstances that really set it up, that opened up some things for us. And so it’s just interesting how things work out over time. So we ended up selling. And this was just about three or four years ago, we ended up selling two of those duplex properties to the reason for that was just kind of restructuring some things on our financial position personally. 

And that created some cash coming out of those sales that allowed us to go and explore syndicated investments. And it was something I was learning through some of the podcasts listening and learning that, oh, I can actually participate in a bigger multifamily property purchase, just as a limited partner as just a fractional entry. And so it intrigued me. And it allowed us to put to play some capital that we had, in actually a number of deals. 

And so we got to take, you know, kind of a sale of one duplex property, or really, it was two duplex properties, and actually splintered that into some different syndicated investments, and kind of approached it in a risk-balanced manner. And so that was kind of our first foray into that space. And then they started performing. And so anyway, we can take the story from there. But let me just pause there for a minute. I mean,

DB: Yeah, I want to kind of give Robin a chance to give some thoughts. So you’ve been managing, you know, hard assets, things you can see, touch, taste, feel, well, you don’t want to taste those things. Use your senses, and what’s the conversation at the dinner table like Joe comes home? Hey, honey, I’ve been listening to these podcasts, I think we should write these checks and just give them over to these operators and we’ll be getting passive investment in the mail. It’s going to be amazing. 

There’s profit sharing at the end. What do you think? I mean, number one, what was the conversation like? What was your response to that? And then how as a couple do you guys and did you come to make these financial decisions together? I think that could be helpful for other listeners as well.

DB: Yeah, that was a surprise, right? It was, whoa, slow, slow down a little bit. It was one of those things that I wasn’t prepared for at the time, as Joe was the numbers guy, I ran by my heart. I was an educator, you know, I ran by faith and by my heart, and he could see the numbers. And so for me, it was scary. It was a really scary conversation. We had operated with these duplexes, and that was a comfortable risk. For me, it was risk, but it was risk. I knew that was a risk that I could touch, I knew that we might have to replace carpeting or, or painting. And so we took care of that by budgeting for that, preparing for that. 

And so to move over to a syndication that I didn’t know, that I didn’t understand, was hard in the beginning for me to understand the risks that I could touch and knew. And then to drop into something that I didn’t understand at all as far as risks, it was out of our control, at least I thought it was. The risks that I knew I could control. I can control that by budgeting, by planning. 

But the syndication was a risk that at the time, I thought I was out of my control. And I soon learned that it wasn’t out of my control. But I have full control, full control and who I signed up with, the syndicators that I went with, full control into looking at the underwriting and understanding the underwriting and the numbers of with Joe’s help and full control in where we wanted to put our money. 

And so for me it was once I understood that it was an easy job to the syndication, still within trepidation at first because it was something that was what we didn’t know, what I didn’t understand and know.

JG: If I can just interject I mean, one key component, I think that’s stood the test of time for us. That started day one, really, when we first started getting into real estate investment, our initial holdings were really the partnership. And that’s how we came about it. It wasn’t my thing. I mean, it was more maybe my thing in certain aspects, but I needed the support that came along with it with our relationship. 

We both had the same objectives and goals down the road. And so it was how we’re going to make that play out. And so it’s really just having those conversations. I think that’s what I would offer for anybody else that’s kind of in a similar situation. 

Listening is just that partnering piece is so important in a relationship with all matters of relationship, but this is certainly the financial side, one of those, as well as we bring, you know God in our faith into the equation as well. And that’s the other maybe secret sauce, if you will, that we bring to play as we make decisions.

RG: You know going on that there were three things that I really looked for and or trusted in and one Joe touched on was our faith. We prayed about everything that we took on, you know, before we signed the paper, so to speak, handed over the check we prayed about it. We prayed about it as a couple, we prayed about it individually. And I probably prayed when he didn’t know I was praying because I was worried. And so I prayed a lot during those times, and that God would steer us in the direction of syndicators that we could trust. 

And that was the second thing, you know, we needed to be hooked up with people that were like-minded, and that we could really trust, were authentic, and were transparent. And we were really lucky with who we hooked up with Life Bridge, you know, being one that we just felt that transparency and that connection, that relationship right away. And then the second probably, you know, God, and then the second thing was my trust. And Joe, you know, like I told you earlier, I’m not a numbers person. 

That wasn’t something that I was good at, that wasn’t something that I dwelt on. And so I have a lot of faith knowing he knew where I fit in the box. He knew how far to push me and he knew how far I would go over the edge if he went, you know, a certain way that would take me over the cliff. And so in the deals that he brought, to me, he knew I could handle he knew that they were within my comfort zone. 

And then we moved beyond that. And so knowing a partner that knows you, I trusted him and trusted what deals he was going to bring to me, and he trusted the deals that he knew I could handle and that were within my comfort zone. And then those were the deals we went with.

DB: It’s so great. You know, we touched on this before the interview, but I think it’s something that’s really significant to me when I think about my experience. So I was an adult when I grew up and my dad was a commercial real estate developer. And he had all kinds of different asset classes. He did strip malls, office buildings, car dealerships, warehouses, whatever he came across. He did deals. And so he was always doing his deals. And as his family, we were always reaping the benefits of those deals, you know, for Christmas trees at Christmas, we never paid for our car, we had dealer plates. 

That was my dad’s kind of thing. He wouldn’t buy a car, he went by the dealership, and then really cut the deal with the owner of the dealership. But I think that our family learned the hard way, that when you don’t have a connection with your spouse about a lot of these decisions, it’s really hard. So my dad passed away unexpectedly. I mean, it’s been 20 years now. But my mom was left with massive decisions to make. 

So I love the fact that you’re talking about it. I mean, I’ve learned this from my husband and I. And it’s something that we want to practice as well. So I’d love to hear how you guys vet syndicators? How do you find syndicators that are within the realm of who you would want to invest with?

JG: And that’s an area and I’ll say, in the artsy side of things rather than the analytical side of things.

DB: That is so well put, I’m going to quote you on that: finding a syndicator and operator is on the artsy side of things, as opposed to the analytics. That is so good.

JG: Yeah, I mean, it’s like any other relationship that we are encountering and growing, you know, in our lifetime. It is built on time, trust, and a deep down sense of your guttural instincts. You know, and so that’s something I can’t do on my spreadsheet. And so my initial days, as I mentioned, was exploring this space through podcasts. 

And, you know, I was curating some of these folks through that means and then from podcasts, taking that to the direct phone call, and starting those relationship conversations. And then also hearing maybe what other people said about a particular syndicator sponsor was really powerful. So those are just some of the intangible I guess, components that go into that vetting process.

DB: You would start with the podcast, you would gauge how you felt about this person, then you would book a call with them. Did you ever do any kind of references or talk to other people who were investing with operators? How did you kind of check what your conversation was like with the operator?

JG: It was trying to get to some referential pieces of information. The big thing for me too, that I, again, it says goes back to how well you can, I guess, trust your instincts to evaluate another person is, I would hear, you know, maybe it’s a syndicator, that operated podcast, hearing them get interviewed from on another podcast was super powerful, you get to learn a different side of that person. Interesting. And so that was just another component that I brought to play.

DB: Very good. So tell me about an encounter that maybe you had with this syndicator where you walked away, and your gut said, don’t do it?

JG: Yeah, I’ve got a couple of those. And I’m glad I do. And it’s a good day, it’s good, really good exercise that night could have, you know, who knows over my shoulder, I may have made the wrong decision, I may have walked away from a super great deal, but I’m okay with that. So there’s one example that I can talk to where the underwriting, what was being presented in the pitch deck, as, as it’s, you know, called in terms of the proforma of what is in a particular investment going to do. comparing that with my own kind of spreadsheet numbers and play, things weren’t checking, and asking questions. 

I wasn’t getting answers that made sense. Or I kept getting, in some cases, would get responses like, well, let me let me check. And let me get back to you. And there was a middle person there that was kind of interfering with the flow of information, and it just didn’t feel right. And so it was just I got to a point where I said, Yeah, this one is just not for me.

DB: Have you been in touch and circled around with how those investments are doing? Or kind of moved on?

JG: No, I, I’m going to pay attention to at least one of these, this one example that I’m thinking about? And just because I might learn something from it. I don’t want to have the revelation one day that Aha, told you I was right about it, you know, that isn’t sure what’s powerful. For me. It’s just okay, you know, what did I not know at the time? Or what could I have asked for, maybe better or, you know, acquired better information or what have you. So, for me, it’s just a learning experience that I, you know, enjoy walking through. 

DB: Yeah, it’s hard sometimes to delineate trusting your body’s reaction. I remember the first passive investment. And I think, Robin, you kind of alluded to this, the first passive investment you do, you’re writing this massive check you, you know, this person like a tiny bit, and the private placement memorandum for me not helpful, like even more anxiety producing 90 pages of sheer riveting content that you have to slog your way through, so that you feel better about the fact that this is a legal document. 

But I do recall one conversation I had with you, Joe, because you are very up to date on what’s happening in this world. And unfortunately, there are some operators that are bad actors. And I remember I asked you, did you ever you said, I had talked to this person, I would love for you to kind of relive the way that that interaction made you feel while you were on the phone call with their team. Yeah, right.

JG: So in this one case, I had a series of conversations where they were essentially courting me in terms of pursuing me as an investor on a particular deal. And, again, this goes to my own kind of guttural level instincts where it got to be where it felt too salesy. And that’s where all of a sudden it just felt wrong. And I just politely declined and didn’t continue having conversations with them and, you know, opened the door for down-the-road conversations politely and you know, and who knows, because I may have made an incorrect pre-judgment. 

You know, you don’t know what you don’t know at the time. And that’s what my instincts were telling me is to pull back. And so looking back, that’s kind of what I’ve thought about is what caused me to make that decision. And it really was just that overly sales position that they were too aggressive.

DB: I think that we should feel thankful for those things. Not like Oh, I’m so glad I didn’t invest. Yes, of course, you’re glad you didn’t invest. But I think when we can look back like you were saying and review what was it that caused me to do that then it causes us to trust those gut reactions or instincts you know, in our future. 

So tell me a little bit about your current portfolio. Are you only multifamily? Do you invest in other asset classes break down? Tell me how many investments you’re in and what kind of asset classes they come from.

JG: Yeah. Okay. So overall, we’re in over 30, I’ll just say, a little bit over 30 different investments. And just to give some context, I mean, I like doing a lot of investments at kind of that 50k level. And that’s how we got comfort getting into this space. And it was kind of that lower entry level that allowed us to diversify. And so most of our portfolio is in the multifamily space. That’s kind of where we came from. We came from duplexes. And so that’s really comfortable. 

Again, for us, we understand that business model, just at scale. And the second thing, the second place that we’re heavily in is self-storage. I’ve always loved that asset class, and it’s running a box. And those have done really well for us over time, triple net lease investments, and kind of two aspects. They’re both commercial. So kind of like your, say, your Walgreens that’s renting out space, and maybe a strip mall, that type of commercial triple net lease, and then industrial, maybe a manufacturing facility in an industrial environment. And that’s another avenue. Those have performed very well for us. Car washes have been a new one for us since last year, that also people like to keep their car really spiffy, shiny, and clean. 

And that works really well for us. Explored RV resorts, which is kind of a new, have kind of boomed out of the space of really the whole pandemic, people wanting, looking for places to go with their family, and they can travel and work. And so that’s opened up a new kind of almost asset class and in and of itself, let’s see, what am I forgetting? ATM, there’s been a few business ones, too, that we’ve done that in the private equity space that are non-real estate related. 

There’s one specifically that’s around promoting evangelical-related material, and connecting people with evangelical-related material that again, so that just goes to our passion and where we like to contribute and invest, as we give, if you will.

DB: Amazing. So is that a for profit or nonprofit investment? 

JG: It’s actually a for-profit. So the way I like to look at that kind of sector is it really delivers multiple different lines of return, not only just financial, but there’s some, you know, God given returns that also I think, play out in that type of investment model.

DB: It’s so true. There’s a whole world, I mean, of Kingdom-driven investments, values and purpose-driven investments. There’s just a ton there. So I think that’s really exciting. So out of your 35 investments, do you hyper diversify with operators? Or do you try to stick to like, how many different groups do you invest with out of those 35 investments?

JG: As our journey has taken us? I mean, we’re in over just about 15 different operators or so, which seems to me, it seems like a lot, and it is to some measure of the numbers. But most of, by value of our investments, are in a much smaller, probably half a dozen set a group.

DB: Gotcha. So you have a bird’s eye view with 15 different operators. And so from an investor’s standpoint, you are really able to say, Man, this is a good practice that I see across the board. I’d love to hear a couple of the things that you appreciate most that operators provide in terms of services and communication to investors, and what is something that would cause you not to invest with them again?

JG: Communication, communication, communication? Yeah, I mean, that is first and foremost. Now, there’s different forms of that. Many operators tend to be pretty good at giving monthly reports or maybe it’s a quarterly report, quite honestly, I mean, even the operators that are operating on the quarterly distribution, I have found that they’ve aligned their communication on that level. 

And I would almost prefer, I think it’s almost better that they should be communicating at least monthly on how our investment is doing and so we’re not waiting for You know, three months to go by before we all of a sudden get to hear, you know what happened three months ago. So that’s one example that would give feedback towards improving in that particular case, we’ve had a couple in our short-lived time of some of these investments. We’ve had some flip, go full cycle gets sold in about a year and a half. 

And which, again, is really short in this in most projections of syndicated investments, and haven’t done any communication, when that happens of why they’re their disposition in the property. And so that’s another piece of feedback that, you know, I think it’s good to take your investors along. I mean, I recognize my position, I don’t have a voice, I don’t get to say, Yeah, let’s sell, or let’s hold, I waive that. 

But I think there’s still that communication piece that you should take, once you take their investors just through that journey a little closer. So that’s just another realization that I’ve come to as I’ve experienced some of these different investors and the different styles of communication.

DB: Would you say that your expectations have shifted over the course of 2022? As we look into 2023? Or how are you feeling about things now?

JG: Well, my expectations have clearly shifted. Yeah, like, like I mentioned, I gave some examples where we’ve had some go full cycle, really, really quickly. My expectations are completely swung into a different end, I’m expecting the investments to run their full course, that they were originally advertised at, because I have, you know, a reality sense to where this economic market is today. 

And, and we’re okay with that. I mean, fortunately, all these are still performing, they’re still issuing cash distributions, some of them have slowed. And, you know, in other words, they have maybe gone to a quarterly distribution instead of a monthly. The one I’m thinking of on that front, though, they’re still reporting, again, communicating monthly. 

And I think that’s really good. I’ve had a couple that have paused for said, they’ve declared a pause for a couple of months. Fortunately, we’re also in a position since we have such a number of them, that we’re not relying on one that maybe our livelihood, if you will have a source of income we can, we can handle kind of the ebb and flow of some of these as they happen.

DB: That’s so important, I think a lot about retired investors who depend on cash flow. And I’d love to hear like a budgeting conversation, perhaps that you guys have had in terms of we have all these passive investments, do you guys have a 12-month reserve? Do you have I mean, if you’re comfortable breaking down for us how you set that up, I think, where you get practicals, really what’s applicable, helpful for listeners at large. 

JG: There’s a couple of different levels of contingencies that we view our position, and one of them is having that 12 month kind of reserve that we can lean into if we need to the other places, I mean, if things got really dire, if you held, we can always tap into our market securities, our you know, 401k, if you will, yeah, we’re at an age where we’d suffer a little bit of an extra penalty in doing that, but we can’t access cash if we need to. And so some of those things are in our kind of contingency planning, as we go forward.

DB: That’s great. That’s helpful. So Robin, I’d love to hear from you. When you think about the future. And you think about investing and having passive investments. What are some of the things that you look forward to being able to do now that you are retired? What are some of the purpose driven goals in your life for your family, for your marriage, that you guys have discussed?

DB: Going back to our own days, you know, when we were investing on our own properties and holding those, you know, we were tied to them. We were tied to being local, we were tied to fix things up or to at least be available. And so now with syndication, it’s opened up a whole new venue for us where we’re able to not be as tied to our investments and we can have more freedom. 

We have two boys; one’s going to college this upcoming year, he’s just graduating and one that’s in his senior year in college and so hoping to be able to be more actively involved with them where they’re at, or they land with college. And then we have two mothers that are ailing. So you know in California so being able this affords us that opportunity to to be more available to them, to travel more often to where they are. 

And so that’s a plus for us, as well as just being able to start venturing out and traveling together and having this whole new empty nesters part of our life and being able to grow together. And then I think lastly, you know, we’re both wanting to be good stewards over the money that we invest. And that’s been one of our prayer is that God provides opportunities for us, and therefore we can turn it over and, and give it back to Him because it’s all his, you know, in the end, it’s all His and so being able to be profitable is not only just for selfish reasons, but it’s also that we can give back to areas that are important to us. 

And that’s to prosper the Kingdom and to, to help in areas that you know, lifts him out. And so for us to be able to do that, and to be good stewards over the money He gives us, is probably our primary focus and what gives us the most joy.

DB: That’s beautiful. Do you guys have a strategy in terms of how you give and how you want to scale in that area of stewardship?

JG: I want to talk a little bit about that’s actually been a bit of a study for us right now that we’re kind of going through and trying to develop that now, as we find ourselves in this position right now in life. And so we’ve largely just kind of looking back over our shoulder for a little bit largely given through our church. And last year, we ended up committing to supporting a missionary couple that’s doing Bible translation work and North Africa. And so we were able to orient one of our investments to support them directly. 

And so that was kind of the tip of the iceberg, if you will. And right now we’re kind of been studying a couple of books. One is by David Greene, Hobby Lobby founder that talks about, you know, giving money. And then another one that comes across as a steward investor is its title, and talks about that impact investing, and how we can not only invest for a financial return, but there’s other benefits that come with it. And so we’re kind of doing some homework right now in this place of time, and try to develop that strategy for us going forward.

DB: And I want to circle around at some point and hear what you come up with, what are you going to say, Robin?

DB: Well, I was just going to piggyback on that a little bit, we have two boys, and we talk about legacy and leaving money to them. And as we acquire wealth, and as we acquire properties, one of our big things is that, you know, they also want to give back and that they can invest this money wisely. And so thinking about our legacy, and what we’re going to teach our boys through our modeling, and so that they continue this legacy of giving back to God is really important to us as well.

DB: That’s so important you think about so often in life, we become very goal focused and destination oriented in terms of acquiring wealth, and generating wealth and being good stewards of investments. But when you think about the here, and now sometimes you miss the entire point. So when you talk about even stewarding our kids parenting our kids in such a way that orients them to true north, that orients them in a way that they will be able to navigate investing or inheriting a significant amount of wealth. Nobody has any guarantees, right in terms of timing or anything like that. 

And so I think that investing in our kids, as we invest in finances, that has a dual purpose, if our kids are just left to kind of parent themselves, which clearly yours or not, it can be so damaging for, you know, generational wealth to be passed along, if it doesn’t attach to the vision of legacy and stewardship that you’re talking about. So I appreciate that. And I, we implement that in our family as well. One tool I love — it’s called a giving strategy comes from the National Christian Foundation, which is a donor-advised fund. But man, my husband and I went through it, it took us about a year. And we definitely took our sweet time. 

But it’s a very intensive process that leaves you thinking about what I created for what is my purpose? And how do I want my generosity to actually leave a mark and imprint through financial giving. And so sometimes I think I used to think about it, I want to help as many people as possible. One thing that I’ve been challenged to think about is to kind of create that funnel so that it’s much narrower. Many fewer things can fit through it, but the impact is far greater. So you’re thinking that through and is something that we want to grow in as well. Yeah, so we’re kind of coming to the close. 

A couple of questions, you know, seems like you guys have been very successful. IT investment? What kind of advice did your parents give you when you were growing up? Or what did you take? Or not? Is this the new trail that you’re blazing?

JG: For me and my family are trying to? Yeah, kind of almost operating to an antithesis of what I experienced growing up. My parents didn’t talk about money. And so we didn’t have that modeling piece that I came into early adulthood with. And I mean, even from the standpoint of just basic, you know, 401k investing, I mean, that was just, I had to learn that my own, really, and much the same with giving, you know, I mean, I knew my parents gave to the church, but didn’t know, you know, anything else about that.

And the same, you know, it’s probably the only thing that I guess, or the one significant thing that I brought out of my family roots was my grandfather did, as an Italian immigrant, he found himself at a position, he picked up a couple of duplex properties. And that is what put him into a position where I saw what it did for him as I got into my early youth. And that’s what put the aspiration of getting into real estate for me. 

So that’s kind of a little bit about where I’ve been and what we’re trying to do and promote differently with our kids to make it a conversation that’s open and transparent, even to the point where we’ve shared what we earned in our income jobs, what we earned, you know, told telling them, it’s private, but, you know, we want to give you a sense of what it takes to run this household, for instance, anyway, I’ll let you speak a little bit.

DB: Yeah, so my mind was a hard work ethic, you know, my parents really, really instilled that hard work ethic and you work and you, you reap what you work and you put in, my dad was in big in the stock market. 

And that’s what he dealt with. And even in that era, he gave so early on in my career and working, I had a joint profit sharing, and I put my money back into the stock market, but that’s where that’s where I came from. Investment wasn’t really an opportunity, it wasn’t something that my parents did or knew about, we always gave back to the church and the Lord blessed. 

And so, you know, that was where I came from. And then when we had the opportunities to take my property and turn it into an investment, that was the first real taste of investing that I had, had ever had.

DB: That was young. That’s great. It sounds like there is already momentum in the generational legacy started for you, by your grandfather and your parents work ethic, moving down and into your family. So congratulations. That’s wonderful.

RG: And one note, you know, Joe’s been able to get our older son really into the investment has gone on to some deals with Joe and at a small fraction of a percentage. But that’s been great for him to just get in on it early. And he was able to look at the performance and all of that information and Joe could talk him through why we were making these decisions. And so to have that at 19. You know, we didn’t have that at 19. But for him to be able to teach that way has just been encouraging to our youngest. He can’t wait until you know dad will let him go in on a deal with him.

DB: That is so great. The things that your family makes cool, you know, like when you get this milestone, you’re gonna get to participate now. So I love family traditions that revolve around growth increase and also education, and generosity. So it sounds like you guys are hitting on all of those cylinders. Good job. 

Well, thank you guys so much for your time today. I really appreciate what you offer. Love the story and how you operate as a couple in investments and do Family and I hope to continue the conversation so thank you so much for being with us here on the show today. Thank you. We enjoyed it.

Whitney Sewell (WS): Thank you for being with us again today. I hope that you have learned a lot from the show. Don’t forget to like and subscribe. I hope you’re telling your friends about the Real Estate Syndication Show and how they can also build wealth in real estate. You can also go to and start investing today


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