4 out of 4 stars
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The Employee Millionaire by H. J. Chammas is a how-to book on getting started in real estate investing. It teaches you how you can leverage your position as an income earning employee to get started on the path to financial freedom. It walks you through the entire process of purchasing an investment property, starting with asking yourself why you want to do this all the way through buying and managing a property.
What sets this book apart from many how-to books is that we follow the author on a retrospective journey through his first purchase of an investment property. Throughout his journey, he is mentored by a charming gentleman named Papa Joe and several of his employees. Papa Joe sounds almost like the Godfather, Santa Claus, and a Zen master rolled into one package. Each week in their mentoring sessions he tackles successive topics on the path to purchasing an investment property.
In addition to Papa Joe, the author is joined by his future wife Joyce via video calls in the evenings. He has the good fortune to fall for an intelligent woman who works as a wealth manager at a bank. During their video calls she is able to further explain and clarify a number of things such as personal financial statements and mortgages.
My favorite thing about this book is that it shows the possibility of investing in real estate is within reach of many who might think it is not possible. Mr. Chammas walks you through three examples of people at very different income levels. I loved these examples because the outcome of each was not quite what you were expecting. Despite having a very high income, one couple didn’t qualify for a loan because of their spending habits. Conversely, the woman with a very modest monthly income was able to qualify for a loan and purchase an income producing property right away. Ultimately, with some discipline and planning both of the other couples were able to qualify for a loan to purchase an investment property.
The section titled “Who Are Your Friends?” was the part that I disliked most in the book. The author does make some excellent points about how the people with whom you spend the most time can have a significant impact on your thoughts, attitudes, and motivation. I think it’s great to be aware of this and do some self-reflection from time to time. However, in his action steps he suggests making a list of the five to ten people you spend the most time with and recording several details about each person, including whether you would consider them to be poor, middle class, or wealthy. While he does specifically state not to share this list with anyone, I think it is a bit crass to distill a person down to these details, especially someone with whom you have a close relationship.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because in addition to being very informative, it also has an enjoyable story that keeps your attention. Many educational books are just dry facts, figures, and calculations, but by walking you through his first year of investing it truly gave a life and personality to the topic. I think this would be a great book for anyone interested in real estate investment especially those who are perhaps just in the dreaming stage of it. This book truly inspires the confidence to get started and keep going. I currently own an investment property and I learned a great deal from this book. I plan to use this as a guide to make excellent, well-informed decisions in the future. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in real estate investment.
The Employee Millionaire
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