Our Money Master this week is Asset Grinder. Asset Grinder is based out of Victoria BC. His blog is very personal, which is what we find so appealing about it. He regularly shares his personal financial information, both successes and failures. He, also, shares his investment successes and failures, which is even more appealing. We personally use his performance as a benchmark against our performance.
Asset Grinder also shares some of his favorite investing books. One such book is one our favorite, A Random Walk Down Wall Street. It’s a very interesting read and we highly suggest you check it out if for no other reason than historical context.
1. What my story?
I started out as child doing hard labor for my abusive iron fisted dad. I was a roofer for many years working on a hot asphalt roof almost every day in the summer while other kids were out playing. It taught me hard work, saving my money. I started the job when i was very young at around 10 years old and very seriously from 11 onwards. I eventually could not handle the verbal and physical abuse at home and moved out on my own with little savings in my early twenties.
I have always hustled for cash as a kid. Be it selling firecrackers to the local kids, selling cold drinks to golfers at the golf course, selling golf balls I would find in the bushes and very profitably selling trading cards to other kids. I always had some hustle on the go. I would splurge on Candy, The latest Walkman, cassette tapes and clothes with my earnings. I would also hide my earnings in ingenious hiding spots to keep my money away from my sticky hands brothers as thefts were rampant.
In my early twenties I was at a crossroad. I did not pursue any higher education as I had no clue what interested me and my main priority was to move out from home. I tried a few odd jobs but they were barely paying the bills as I moved out on my own. My old friends generally went into a life of crime and sure enough I followed. I remember one time seeing my friends with a huge stack of cash who was showing it off. The image of $30,000 dollars all in twenties wrapped in elastic bands into $10,000 tight stacks burned into my memory. For days I thought about those huge stacks and I thought if this dumb idiot can do it why can’t i? So I dove head first into the life of crime. I took it very seriously and I had such a fire to succeed. I pretty much worked every single day including Christmas to fuel my greed and desire.This went on for years and I developed a reputation as a very serious trustworthy dependable guy and that’s where I get my grinder moniker from. I naturally succeeded due to my hard work and risk taking. They were wild times in my life as I was truly living on the edge. Eventually everything came down like a house of cards and I got busted. Due to the extreme police presence I decided that was it. For my illegal exploits I ended up with around half a million dollars and took a couple years off to enjoy my lost youth.
During my time off I purchased my first property. A lil condo smack dab in the middle of Vancouver’s downtown. I got a good deal on it right before the buying frenzy shot up home prices in Vancouver. I renovated the place into an ultra sleek suite and put it on the market. It sold with multiple over asking offers and it was a big score as I doubled my money pretty much. After that I purchased two more properties and did the same thing with decent gains. Then after that I went into a couple deals building homes. My huge net worth gains were primarily due to real estate. I lived very well and traveled the world collecting as many toys and trinkets as I could. Collecting all these things did not make me happy. In fact I was miserable. My life had no direction and meaning.
Then two things really changed my life. My brother passed away and I got into a horrible car accident. I couldn’t walk for a year and the recovery was tough. Let alone my slightly older brother passed away in a senseless murder and it really shook me up. I decided I needed a change and moved away from Vancouver and started a family with my long time girlfriend. Slowly through my recovery and mourning I realized life is about more than just money. I left behind the cut throat industry of real estate and focused on my recovery and family.
I have now adjusted my views on wealth and taking on less risk risk and focusing on capital preservation and mild appreciation. I now own my million dollar house free and clear, have a good rental income property , $400k+ dividend paying stock portfolio and invested into a new brewery start-up business. I have secured my future and my family’s and I couldn’t be happier.
2. What’s your point of view, as a personal finance blogger?
I primarily just want to put everything out there. Good or bad! I want to be accountable for my own mistakes in life because we all make them. Despite my net worth I am no different than anyone else. I am envious of broke people with more knowledge than I still. This personal finance blog community is great and everyone is there to help each other and educate one another. I would like to show different aspects of making income as there is no right or perfect formula. I dont have all the right answers when it comes to investing as me myself I consider lucky. I am just sharing my path and direction in life. Some nights I stay up and think of crazy investing ideas like selling off all my assets and investing in this next sure thing I have conjured up but the blog keeps me focused to stay on track.
3. In one sentence, what’s one piece of sage advice from your personal finance background that you’d like to share with our readers?
Be BOLD , Nobody is gonna hand you anything in life so you yourself have to go out and Get it, so stop bitching , work hard and make your own things happen in life!
Check out Asset Grinder. Sign up for his RSS feed and newsletter and don’t miss a post. As usual, we’re sure you’ll be glad you did.