WS1576: Creating Passive Income to Secure Your Future | David McIlwaine

Are you prepared should your company encounter a downturn? Today’s guest knows how to beat the odds and has made it his mission to help employees secure their financial future.

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Passive investing is second nature to David McIlwaine who started investing in duplex properties more than 25 years ago. Today, after setting up a multifamily syndication company, his team manages more than 30 LP investments, across 11 different asset classes. This episode takes listeners to his journey from a Fortune 500 executive to one of Denver’s most successful real estate investors.

Key Points From This Episode:  

  • What are the ways that employees can be prepared during business downturns?
  • How can employees educate themselves better to learn how to make a plan for passive investing? 
  • How can employees make the best use of their IRA?
  • How soon should they start financial planning using their IRA?
  • What are his predictions for the real estate market over the next 6, 12 and 18 months?
  • What is his best source for meeting new investors right now?
  • What’s a syndication struggle that he encountered before?
  • What is his best piece of advice for passive investors?
  • What are some of the most important metrics that he tracks?
  • How does he give back to the community?

Tweet This! 

“I chose to leave corporate America, and I got into real estate because I had built a nest egg from my golden handcuffs.”

“My objective is to teach people how they can take their golden handcuffs and actually make them a golden feather.”

“Corporate America looks out for itself and they never look out for you — the top performing employee.”

“In real estate, you can create tax strategies to defer tax, to reduce your W2 tax burden, to actually lower your effective tax rate.”

“In real estate, we create some diversification. So you can put money into self-directed IRAs and buy real estate in a self-directed IRA, or in a solo 401K.”

“For people above 30 and older, we are now the first and second generations that have to provide our own nest egg for retirement. There is no pension. There is no safety net.”

“I did a side company that immediately allowed me to have a series of deductions for legitimate business expenses that I couldn’t maximize.”

“The objective when you’re working in corporate America is to build yourself not a golden parachute, but a safe place to enjoy life.” 

“Planning starts with talking to three professionals: your trust attorney, your accountant, and your financial consultant.”

“There is no time that’s better for anybody than anything else.”

“And so if you can’t buy real estate yet, you can’t start waiting. If you’re waiting to take action, inherently, you’re losing something.”

“I keep reminding people that fortunes are made when people are scared and the biggest most successful investors have been contrarian.”

“We need more immigrants here that are willing to do jobs that I can’t hire for. It’s been a real challenge being able to find employees.” 

“In passive investing, you still need to dollar-cost average investments, you need to diversify, and you need to do your own due diligence.”

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

About David McIlwaine

David McIlwaine established MAC Assets in 2019 to help investors create passive income and generational wealth through facilitating strategic multifamily investment assets. His first foray in investing began with duplex properties more than 25 years ago. He then grew the portfolio to four duplex properties then reinvested the capital from the sale into a syndication as an LP. Currently, his company manages more than 30 LP investments, across 11 different asset classes.

David earned a degree in Journalism and Advertising from The University of Kansas. He held top positions in Total Traffic & Weather Network and SpyderLynk prior to building Colorado Realty Experts and MAC Assets.

Full Transcript



David McIlwaine (DM): When I was dollar cost averaging stocks in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, my broker would say, “Man, it’s great. You’re actually he built the plan and you’re executing your plan.” Passive investing is the same. You still need to dollar cost average investments, you need to diversify, and you need to do your own due diligence.”


Whitney Sewell (WS): This is your Daily Real Estate Syndication Show. I’m your host, Whitney Sewell. Today, our guest is David McIlwaine. He has a vast experience spanning over 20 years of knowledge, understanding the industry gained firsthand either by owning and having own multifamily units, commercial real estate developments, single family, vacation rental properties, second homes, and custom builds. He’s done a lot of different things in real estate, but many of you are going to connect with his story today. And in being that say a high-paid executive or the high-paid salesperson who you know what that position may not always be there. 

And I think that’s like, often in the back of our minds, right? Well, you know, we’ll always have this j-o-b or not. And as to whether you think you will or not, you better be planning to not, right? And our guest today, David, is going to help you with just that and thinking through man, how can you use that income today to be prepared for when that j-o-b is no longer there? And maybe there’s a time you don’t want it to be there. Right? 

And maybe you want to leave that j-o-b. Well, that’s going to help you do that with the information he’s going to share with you today. 


WS: David, welcome to the show, honored to have you on because I know many of our listeners are going to relate to your story today and are going to learn a lot. Tell us a little bit about that story. Let’s dive in about who you are.

DM: Well, thanks, Whitney. Great to be here. You know, I’m a recovering Fortune 500 sales executive who got into the real estate world, I had golden handcuffs. And I use them to parlay that into a successful career in real estate. Short answer is I was laid off twice in 18 months after having hit deliverables and through no fault of performance or reality. 

And I’ve come to realize that I have a story to share with people. It’s not a matter of, if you lose your job in a high-performance sales world, it’s when. And my objective here is to teach people how you can take your golden handcuffs and actually make them a golden feather so you can build net wealth for your family. When it’s all said and done. I ended up on the general partner in a thousand doors, and I’m based in Denver.


WS: Awesome. Well, you mentioned, you know, it’s not a matter of if but when, you know, if I was in that position, that might make me a little nervous to hear that, potentially, I don’t know. But you know, speak to that person a little bit who’s thinking about, hey, you know, maybe this is me, maybe it’s not, maybe describe that individual a little bit that you’re speaking to when you say that.


 DM: Yeah, and that individual is who I was. I was Seat 1D on the airplane. I like it on the aisle on the right-hand side, because I’m left-handed so that I can write and not hit anybody. And I cross my legs that way. So you know, that was my chair. We’re the guys that get up on a Monday morning at 6 am. We go to the office for five, seven hours, catch a 3 pm flight. We come back Thursday night at 5 pm. And we hit one, two, maybe three cities. We’ve got teams that we work with, we have pressure to hit SOX compliance issues, we have pressure to hit all those. 

Now with technology the way it is we have pressure to put everything we do want a CRM that allows us and our management teams to maximize performance through dashboards. And the reality is that we make great money because we’re under great stress. 

And we get paid to survive that stress. However, the world is such that corporate America looks out for itself and they never look out for you as the top-performing employee. I literally made a budget for the ninth consecutive quarter in a row the day before the quarter started. And I got laid off the next day. And then everybody else at my level got laid off that same day because of a merger. And the new company decided that they didn’t need the executives that were doing what we were doing.

So I’ve been there. I’ve done startups with tech companies, came in one day got a series B funding around secured, and I actually met with a VC guy yesterday who was telling a story and he totally understood it. And I came in and I said to my CEO, okay, we got a business plan to hire 35 sales executives, let’s go. She said I paid off all my debt. I said what debt? 

The next week I was laid off because I had reversed five quarters of negative revenue decline. However, we couldn’t get the needle fast enough to keep the doors open. And if you’re in the startup world, this is a very familiar story.


WS: Yeah.


DM: If you look at Amazon, or you look at Twitter, or you look at anybody in the news, right now we’re recording this in the first quarter of 23 and layoffs are prevalent. It’s the same thing that happened in 2000. Same thing that happened in ’92. Same thing that happened in 2008. 

We go through cycles, and if you’re a high-performance sales guy, you’re gonna lose your job. It’s just a matter of when and if you don’t, you are a unicorn. I can’t tell you the number of friends I’ve had that have gone through this. Unfortunately, none of us have horns on our heads. So we’re not really unicorns.


WS: Yeah, I have seen numerous ads where Google, Facebook, I mean, just tens of thousands of layoffs, you know, as we speak, I would mention that Life Bridge is hiring, which, maybe that seems odd. But we are for a few positions, maybe I’ll reach out to Google. But anyway, no doubt, David. I mean, it’s like with the W2, and I wasn’t a high-paid sales guy by any means. However, even when I had a W2, it was just something I knew that I couldn’t see myself doing forever. But everybody in my, you know, family and sphere of influence at the time, did see that as this quote, you know, secure position, right? 

You had benefits and it was the golden handcuffs like you’re talking about, it was like, oh, man, what are you doing well, you can’t quit that? It’s so good, right? But man, it was exactly what you’re talking about. But I would love for us to dive in to help those individuals to be prepared for this when this happens, right? Like you say, how can you help them to be prepared for that?


DM: Well, the first thing you gotta do is you got to make a plan. Right? And you got to look at your taxes. There’s an old adage that it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep. I remember, during the first Gulf War, I was learning about my tax burden, and I was buying a missile every year for the US government. And I remember I was at my grandfather’s funeral, actually, in Virginia, as it were, and we were laughing about this. And that’s when I really got to pay attention to the tax structures. 

And one of the benefits of real estate you can make a plan is that you can create tax strategies to defer tax, to reduce your W2 tax burden, to actually lower your effective tax rate. One of the things as a W2 employee is that you don’t have a whole lot of deductions and what the Tax Act changed in ’07, we really changed it out. But one of the things that I did was I opened a side hustle company, which wasn’t called a side hustle back then. 

But it allowed me to create a different stream for some revenue. Was it legitimate? Absolutely, that I have a legitimate offering. Absolutely. Did it affect my W2 effective tax rate? It dropped by about nine points, which might not sound like much. But if it’s 100 grand, that’s $9,000. And if it’s 500, grand, nine times five is $45,000. That’s a new Mercedes.


WS: Somebody doesn’t think that that’s much I’ll you know, just call me I’ll be glad to take that off your hands.


DM: Yeah, you can write a check. It’s David M-C-I-L, right? No problem. Yeah. And so first is to build a plan. Second, you have to look at your retirement structures. One of the things that just drives me crazy was when I worked for – I  was in the advertising business. So I worked for a division of Viacom, and they had a very poor 401(k) match. And as a highly compensated employee, I couldn’t contribute to Roth. I couldn’t contribute more than the 2% average above the company norm. 

So I think I was capped at 7% contribution levels. And so I had to go find other alternatives. And the rules have changed since then. And now you can do things with Roth that are bigger, you can do things with self-directed IRAs that really were not germane at that point in time. And if you don’t have a self-directed IRA, and you have all of your money in your company 401(k) plan, you’re sitting on a block of dynamite. 

If you’re a General Motors employee, and GM goes bankrupt, like they did in ’08, what happens? If you’re an Amazon guy, and let’s say that Bezos figures out a way to monetize the next magic, and Amazon falls in value with all your eggs in that W2 employment basket, you’re not diversified. And one of the things that we do with alternative investments in the real estate field is we create some diversification. 

So putting money into self-directed IRAs and buying real estate in a self-directed IRA, or in a solo 401(k), if you are eligible to buy one, or a self-employed IRA, a SEP, is another great way to do this. So that you actually structure things in a way that you have a tax difference. It’s not avoidance, because you’re gonna pay the man at some point in time. But the less you have to pay, the better. I don’t know, I’m kind of talking at a high level. But if you think about it from a, how did Mitt Romney run for president, and he had a $100 million IRA?

It’s one of the questions my father asked me back and I think he ran in 2012. I don’t remember the exact year. But the reality is that he had a self-directed IRA, and he put compensation in there and let it ride. If you put compensation in or if you roll over when you’re changing employers, and you roll the money over from your previous 401(k) to a self-directed IRA, there’s no contribution requirement that says you’ve only got five grand, you can roll over an entire process when you change employers. If you’re not doing that, you’re leaving money on the table. 

Or if your 401(k) is too high. You can roll over a percentage of it. The ultimate question is for people that are in, you know, anywhere above 30 and older is that we are now these first and second generations that have to provide our own nest egg for retirement. There is no pension, there is a safety net, right?


WS: You better be thinking about it, that’s for sure. early as possible.


DM: Right. Like my dad was a 28-year vet. And so he’s got a military retirement, he’s got an American Airlines pension. And he’s got four streams of income. If I don’t use my handcuffs to build other income streams, I am living only off my principal. And as a highly effective sales rep, that’s like living off of the current client base with no pipeline for new biz. It’s a kiss of death. But I think it’s crucial that people investigate that stuff.


WS: I wanted to just back up just a little bit, though, because when the first thing you said was make a plan, and this can, this can seem pretty overwhelming, right? Especially, you know, are already pretty scared because they think we’re gonna lose her job, or we know, we’re gonna lose our job. But you know, who we’re talking about IRAs and Roth, and you know, the self-employed IRA and some of those things. 

Who should we talk to to figure some of this out, or any recommendations on where to educate ourselves a little bit better on what path or even how to make a plan? Because it can seem daunting, like if I don’t even know what I should consider? Like, I just hear it often, right? Well, I don’t even like when I even talk to you to figure out what my plan should be.


DM: So let me walk you through what my experience was. And I’m not gonna give any names for anybody specifically, because I think everybody has their own situation, I will tell you, I’m gonna launch my own podcast focused on this called, “Break Your Golden Handcuffs.” And I will dive into this in depth. But the basic thing is, I started talking to my accountant, I started talking to my financial planner, I started talking to my trust estate attorney, I started talking to my human resources department. And then I started really researching what the options were. 

My accountant said to me, you gotta have some deductions, go build a company. So I did a side company that immediately allowed me to have a series of deductions for legitimate business expenses that I couldn’t maximize, because I was at a compensation level where the deductions were capped. 

But in a business, you can have ordinary expenses that aren’t capped, because they’re not capped. It’s a one-on-one deferral versus ordinary income. So that’s a big part of it. The second thing was that I was able to build a structure where instead of getting income paid for my business, I got paid dividends. 

So I talked with my accountant to work through how you get paid in different systems. A dividend is paid once, maybe twice a constant paycheck, is pretty self-explanatory. And the difference in tax rate is one that is the normal tax burden. And one is that a 15%, capital gains structure. Big difference, short term, long term, depends on their situation. And so you start to think about what can I do to add to my tax complications, to add to my picture to make it more complicated, in essence, but it actually simplifies it? 

So if you’re a passive investor in a real estate business, and we go through cost segregation, and you get a loss of $25,000 a year to use, that devalues over time as you make more income. But there are ways to carry that forward. If you talk with an accountant. I’m not a CPA, I just did this by myself, because I had to learn it. And what I learned allowed me to, to have commissions from 2000, still making me money today. 

Bonuses from 2012 are still making me money today. And the objective when you’re working with those people, and you’re in corporate America is to build yourself, not a golden parachute, but a safe place to enjoy life. And I think a plan starts with those three professionals, your trust attorney, your accountant, and your financial consultant. 

And then I would spend a lot of time looking at guys like myself, or guys like you who make our living helping people build their net worth. Yeah, for sure. I don’t make any money unless somebody else makes money first.


WS: That’s right. That’s right. You know, it’s interesting, when we started this business, and all this stuff, you know, we’re having to learn all that stuff as well. Right? But for me, too, right? I mean, as far as IRAs and whatnot, and leaving a W2 position and thinking about what do I do with this? 

You know, now that I’m, I’m self employed, and maybe speak to that transition a little bit, and what that looked like for you, but then also, what does this look like, as far as you know, this IRA? Do we have to do that immediately, you know, that transition can sit there for a while? How urgent should they feel about making this happen?


DM: Well, I never want to put somebody in a sense of urgency around their own retirement structures. I have a quote on my wall from Marcus Aurelius, that reads, no theft of Free Will reported. So everybody has the choice of how they want to do these things. 

What I would say is it doesn’t take long, I was able to open my solo 401(k) and my self-directed IRA, each of them in about 15 minutes, I found a third-party bank, I fill out the forms, I then ordered my (actually I have Schwab, so I guess they’d be my brokerage) to transfer money as a lot I forgot the word, as an approved transfer from fund A to fund B.

There’s no difference in the mechanics, except that you can’t hold it yourself. And you can’t personally benefit from it yourself. But if your IRA or your 401(k) is funded by your earnings, the IRS views those as separate entities. So imagine that, I’ll just talk in first person, there’s David, then there’s David’s 401(k), then there’s David’s IRA to the IRS, I’m three different people.


WS: Yeah.


DM: And when you get that hurdle in your plan, you can understand the difference. And as far as my transition goes, I was in corporate America, that second laid off with a tech company, I was in the middle of a divorce, and I couldn’t travel anymore. So I became a single dad of kids that were in middle school, and elementary school. So I chose to leave corporate America at that point in time. And I got into real estate, because I had built a nest egg from my golden handcuffs. 

And I decided I couldn’t live on a plane and be in debt. I could, but I chose what was valuable for me and my family, and I will never regret it. So that’s how I got to this world. I didn’t want to leave corporate America, just life happened. And it put me on a path. And as far as moving, the timing on this kind of stuff, I’ve got a friend who is a high level insurance guy. And he and I have been talking about it for 18 months. 

So at some point, they’ll see the returns from one of our offerings, and he’ll decide, oh, that really was good. And until that time, we keep talking about it. Because the reality is that there is no time that’s better for anybody than anything else. There is a hypothesis, you buy real estate, and you wait. And so if you can’t buy the real estate yet, you can’t start waiting. If you’re waiting to take action, inherently, you’re losing something.


WS: If you wait till you need the funds, you don’t have time to wait.


DM: Right? And it takes about 45 days to do the whole thing. When it’s all said and done, depending on who your providers are, some providers are faster. Some providers are slower. Some take 90, some take two weeks. Yeah, so it’s like everything else in America, everybody’s got their processes in their system.


WS: And most people don’t realize, and you I’m glad you brought it up that, you know, you can’t benefit from these funds, right? So you can’t do certain things. But you know, I mean, like you want to go buy a rental property, you could use this for that. However, you can’t go work on it right? Or somebody else has to do all the work or, you know, it has to be your own. They can’t live in it.


WS: Right? That’s right, that would be beneficial, right or your child or whatever.


DM: That’s an arm’s length transaction from anybody, right? And the thing that’s fascinating about these people I’m talking about is, if you own it free and clear for 306 days, there’s no boot. So there’s no unrelated business income tax, or you bid. So one of the models that I’ve had people work with is that when you go out you buy a rental property, I asked a residential brokerage in Denver, but you buy a rental property, you put it on a 15-year mortgage, and you buy in your IRA. So your IRA could actually incur debt. 

From that debt, you can pay it off in 15 years, you hold it for 16 years, you want a free and clear no tax benefit. Your IRA has this thing you bought for 200. You sell it for 400. You got a $200,000 gain that’s free and clear. Sixteen years in the making, right?


WS: Yeah. Wow. Yeah, what if you paid it off, like you just paid cash for it now and owned it for a year?


DM: Well, great, more power to you. But if you pay cash for it, you got to have enough money in your IRA to do it. In Denver, the average cost of a rental property is 450. The mean house is 550 in Denver, so most folks don’t have half a mil sitting in their IRA.


WS: Yeah, and you wouldn’t want to put it in one property if you did.


DM: No, you want to diversify right out of class.


WS: Of course. David, leave us or I guess any other like just steps that somebody should know or that maybe you know, is going to hold them up when they start this process or frequently asked question that, you know, holds everybody up as well as they’re like, looking forward to this from this position.


DM: How do you provide providers? How do you vet the providers? So from that point of view, it’s pretty easy to do that research online. If you have questions, you can always ask me, I’m happy to help you. I use solo 401(k). I use a local bank in Colorado. For the self directed IRA, there are a whole bunch of IRA companies out there, that makes a lot of sense. And the reason I talk about this is that you can also buy multifamily or commercial syndications inside of IRAs. So you can still do the same thing without having to take on that burden of toilets, tenants and termites. 

And it’s easy to go through that process. So I guess the question is, if you really are curious, and you need some vendors, send me an email and let’s have a dialogue around what you specifically need. And I’ll point you in the right direction. I don’t know if that answers your question or not.


WS: Yeah, no, that’s helpful. I just know when somebody thinks they’re going to start this process, there’s always like, speed bumps, right? That, you know, kind of knocks you off track and then you spend another, you know, you forget about it for a bit, and then you come back a week later. And, you know, so it’s helpful for listeners to have a place to go to figure out, Hey, you want to hit that hurdle or whatever it may be, you know, I can get some help.


DM: One of the things I wanted to interject on that was the big boys Schwab, Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, Chase, those guys don’t want you doing this. Because intrinsically, you’re taking money that’s under management outside of their purview, right. 

So you’re gonna have to look at the smaller fellas, the smaller intermediaries. And those are the ones like in Denver, we’ve got a local first local bank called First Bank, and they do a ton of self directed IRA work. I’ve got another bank, I can’t remember the name right now.

It’s where I actually think my stuff and I’ve studied tell you if I do, but don’t go to Schwab and say, hey, I want this. They do have some of them, but it’s harder to get to it. Yeah. And that’s important to know,


WS: David, do you have any predictions for the real estate market over the next 612 18 months that you could share?


DM: Yeah, it’s gonna get ugly. What does that mean? Yeah, I think there’s an awful lot of operators that have very risky debt that’s going to come due. The Fed changed the interest rates seven times by what 400 basis points, I don’t remember the exact number. But it’s an obscene number, right? The highest Fed rate in 40 years. 

So what that means is, if you had a variable rate mortgage, your costs have skyrocketed. And even if you have a rate cap, depending on what your rate cap is, and a rate cap, obviously is an insurance policy that you buy to protect yourself from that variability, you got to get to that strike point to get that rate cap in place. 

So there’s going to be a lot of operators that have been over-leveraged because of FinTech. And commercial banks are on five year notes. So a lot of this stuff cycles through so if you bought something three years ago, your count to renewal, you might not have the process in place to actually generate a renewal on your new debt. And now you’re in a forced liquidation. So I see that as a possibility. 

I see from the residential side, a flatline in certain major metros. I don’t think we’re gonna decrease in some metros, but will flatline and our growth, which has been double digit, is going to sink to very low single digits. The consumer wants to get their head around the idea that they got to pay a 5% mortgage and can live with that. 

But for a whole generation of Americans, we’ve never seen debt that high. And they have to get their head around that. And housing prices will fluctuate a little bit to get to that stasis. But I see a lot of opportunities to buy distressed assets.


WS: What about any thoughts preparing for a downturn like that? If you’re buying an asset now or maybe bought one, you know, a year ago? How would you suggest you know, being prepared for a downturn like this?


DM: Yeah, great question. So if you bought something a year ago, you’re already committed. And the best thing you can do is focus on operations, right? Focused on keeping operations high and tight, as I say, in the service, and make sure that your PM’s on the ball, keep your occupancy up. If you’re acquiring right now. 

As a broker says, there’s a disconnect between the ask and the bid. And right now the spread between buyers and sellers is not normalized. It’s starting to. And I think the key there so look at this from a whole, from a longevity hold, real estate was typically a seven to 10-year play until the last cycle the last four or five years. It’s just become a three-to-five year play. So if you go back in and you re-change your thought process to a 5- to 7- to 10-year hold, the cycle is going to normalize. 

You know, I’ve seen stats say that when the Fed starts raising rates about 18 to 24 months later, they start dropping him. People are talking about a drop in the fourth quarter of this year. We had some good news earlier in January on some financial stats, unemployment and jobs. 

So people are talking about it, the Fed supposed to when this thing comes out, this interview comes out, the Fed shall have had their next raise. And hopefully it’s 25 basis points now indicate to the economy that there may be hope for soft landing. It’s possible you gotta have hope for.


WS: Yeah, yeah, it is possible. I don’t think anybody knows exactly what’s going to happen, right? I asked all kinds of people but David, what is your best source for meeting new investors right now?


DM: My best source is really in podcast talking and then conferences. And what I have found is that people are scared, and they’re skittish. And I keep reminding people that fortunes are made when people are scared and the biggest most successful investors have been contrarian. Warren Buffett says when people are giddy at selling people are scared by, and I think that we’re right in that cycle. I remember in 2008, If you waited a couple months, the dominoes fell pretty fast. 

You buy in the beginning of 2009, you’re pretty happy because Lehman went belly up in the fourth quarter of oh eight right? Yeah. And then if you’re gonna if you’re not quite sure how to time the market, and I don’t suggest time in the market. Remember that the 2008 drop was neutralized by 2010. In some markets, it wasn’t. But across the US as a macro, it was neutralized. So we’re going to have these drops. And it’s like buying the dip. To prep for buying on the dip is my process.


WS: What’s a syndication struggle that you’ve had in business?


DM: Yeah, there’s a bunch. The number one struggle right now is debt. Debt, right? Finding the right debt, the debt markets have not ceased, they’ve definitely become tighter. And the biggest thing to underwriting right now is to get stable debt. If you don’t have stable debt, you’re really banking on some big risk unless you’re an institutional guy, and you have the liquidity to play that game. I’m not an institutional guy. I don’t play that game. I think the other thing is there’s this disconnect between the sellers and the buyers, the sellers are still thinking that the first quarter is the fourth quarter of 2021. 

When it was a go-go time for your listeners, if they are not familiar with it. And it’s not the same environment, markets change really quickly and people’s brains lag, the reality of what the economics state. And those are some of the biggest disconnects I’ve seen today. And then we’ve also got another problem, which is employment. And this might be a little controversial, but I think that we have a tremendous problem with immigration. 

We need more immigrants here that are willing to do jobs that I can’t hire for. It’s been a real challenge being able to find employees, because we’ve got this shrinkage of the employee workforce. And people say the immigration is a problem. I’m like, yeah, we need more people to come do jobs that we have vacant. I can’t keep it full staff because people are deciding they don’t want to work. It’s a problem.


WS: Yeah, yeah. We’ve been in a number of hiring processes, it is difficult to find people and no doubt about it. What about your best advice for passive investors?


DM: I suggest to take action, and continue to execute your plan. When I was dollar cost averaging stocks in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, our broker would say, “Man, it’s great. You’re actually building the plan and you’re executing your plan.” Passive investing is the same. You still need to dollar cost average investments, you need to diversify. And you need to do your own due diligence.


WS: What are the most important metrics that you track personally or professionally?


DM: Great question. So I track several metrics. I’m tracking impressions on LinkedIn posts and impressions on podcasts and downloads, and those things. Those are all KPIs from a marketing structure. I track, analyze, versus for underwriting is executed, I track raises dollars achieved by partners versus dollars committed for all kinds of simple things. 

And then on a personal level, I track exercise days, I track meditation days, I track my weight. I’m working with a health coach right now. And I’ve lost about 25 pounds. And so for me, it’s become almost obsessive. And I’m tracking every day, what’s happening. I also track calories and a bunch of other stuff.


WS: At least you track it. So at least you know, right? Yeah. What about how you like to give back?


DM: I love to swing a hammer with Habitat for Humanity. I love to work with kids. So I’ve been very involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver for years and years and years, and helped found their associate board which raises six figures a year for technology investments, and to provide some operational cash flow for the companies. I know you’re a big adoption guy. And you know, I think it’s crucial that we all find some way to support our community.


WS: Awesome. David, I’m grateful for your give back to us today and in helping us to think through how you know that that job may not always be there, and I hope that you’re preparing especially somebody like that, that you know, you got a great income right now. But you better be prepared for when that income is not there. 

And so it is on our back, right, you know, to ensure we’re doing that and prepare for the future when we don’t have those handcuffs anymore. So, David, how can listeners get in touch with you and learn more about you?


DM: is the best way and you can connect with me there. Reach out and start a dialogue.




Whitney Sewell: 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 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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