The Beginning of a Journey Starts with a Step

Realistic and Achievable Goals for Our Readers

Guardrail Finance and its Principals provide real estate investment banking services to clients and high quality real estate investment opportunities for investors.  But it has been a dream of mine for the past four years to become more digital.  Unfortunately, it was a goal that remained in my head.  The time has now come to get words on paper, post videos for our social media accounts (YouTube: Guardrail Finance, Instagram: @guardrailfinance, Facebook: @guardrailfinance, and LinkedIn: @guardrailfinance), and to market our varied real estate investment banking services and real estate investment opportunities. 

We arrange debt and equity financing for multifamily and commercial real estate for real estate owners, operators, investors, and developers.  We also offer opportunities to invest in real estate across various asset types and in a number of geographic locations through Guardrail Finance and other trusted Sponsors who have deals. 

The point of going digital now is that many of our friends and families are doing better since the last economic downturn in 2009, but questions about real estate still arise, and not everyone is doing better since the downturn.  So, we want to rectify that issue by offering real estate ideas, strategies, advice and investment opportunities for our growing client base and our motivated investor base. 

Real estate takes work, but there are ways to increase both your cash flow and net worth through real estate investing.  Most people think that they should or need to invest by themselves, take out mortgages, manage properties, unplug toilets, and the like.  I am here to tell you that investing by yourself is not the only way to invest in real estate – many times it is not even the best way to invest.  My singular goal is to aid friends, families, and millions of readers with the tools and contacts that will help you in retirement by growing both your cash flow and net worth through passive real estate investing.  Whether you are starting with $25,000, $500,000, or $50,000,000 to invest in real estate, there are avenues to invest where you can reduce risk while reaping the rewards of real estate investing.

Difficulties in Investing in Real Estate

The idea of real estate investing is alluring to many.  However, taking action or learning how to take action with real estate investing often passes people by.  I have a singular piece of advice assuming real estate investing is something that you really intend to do and not just dream of.


But before I give you some ideas about how to invest and where to invest, it is beneficial for me to mention what real estate investing is not. 

·       Real estate investing is not purchasing a primary residence.  While purchasing a home certainly adds an asset to your personal balance sheet, a primary residence generally does not provide any income.  As such, a primary residence only has expenses that need to be met from other income sources.  I’ve made money in my personal residences, but I do not bank on that.  I like to know that I cannot only afford the costs of owning my primary residence, but that I can also live comfortably.

·       Real estate investing is not gambling.  While there are risks with real estate investing, real estate that produces income or has the potential to produce income in a relatively short amount of time is an investment.  The test to know whether you are gambling or not is whether you believe the investment is a zero sum game.  Will you lose and someone else win with the real estate investments you have or are contemplating?  If you do your due diligence, then the answer should be “No,” which means that you are actually taking a calculated risk.  If you believe that the seller, attorneys, and/or the brokers are the only ones that will make money, or you do not have a clear path to making money in the investment, then you could be gambling.  We do not gamble and we do not recommend that our clients gamble either.

·       Real estate investing is not all glitz and glamour.  I know that it’s easy to look at the billionaires in the real estate game from Donald Trump to Sam Zell to Donald Bren to John Sobrato to the late Paul Allen and feel that there is an element of celebrity to real estate investing.  The truth of the matter is that most real estate investors are off the radar.  Some investors start with a lot of money and some investors start with almost nothing, but the majority of real estate investors fly way below the radar.  Especially in the beginning, investors can put in a lot of hours to learn their trade, refine processes and procedures to finetune their operations, read through countless articles and market research reports, and get their hands dirty.  Very few people in the business reach the level of billionaire and/or celebrity.  Personally, I do not really care for the glitz and glamour and I do not aspire for that.  I just happen to love the real estate business.  The business is fun, it is rewarding, and the people in the business almost always have an interesting story about how they got to where they are in the business.  Those stories are inspiring, unique, and worth taking the time to listen to.

My Start in the Business

I started in the business unofficially around 1999 after graduating from University.  Hindsight 20/20, I woulda/shoulda/coulda started full-time then.  However, I have always been a bit conservative, so I worked a 9- to 5-job for 4 years.  Then, when I went on to get my MBA in Hawaii in 2003, I officially started in the real estate business.  My first official job was in a boutique finance shop in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The firm acted as a financial intermediary for commercial real estate loans, a merchant bank lending to real estate operators, and a developer on the Big Island.  After that, I worked for GMAC Commercial Mortgage and its successor firm Capmark Finance (now Berkadia), Booz Allen Hamilton, and CBRE Debt & Equity Finance prior to starting my own firm, Guardrail Finance.

Guardrail Finance is both a financial intermediary for multifamily and commercial real estate financing, and an investor and equity syndicator for multifamily and commercial real estate investments across the U.S. 

Over the years, I have heard many concerns about real estate investing especially from neophyte investors.  New real estate investors or those with ambitions of being investors discuss not having enough capital, not having relationships with capital sources, not feeling like they have enough knowledge, not knowing what types of properties to invest in, and not knowing what market or markets to enter.  My goal with Guardrail Finance is to show you that you can continue to increase your cash flow and grow your net worth by diversifying by asset type, geography, and Sponsors while leveraging the equity you have to spread your investment capital over more deals, and by reinvesting cash flow and profits into new deals to grow your net worth over time. 

I started with around $10,000 and I am now involved with 55 investments in over 20 States in the U.S. and in 9 countries.  Getting started can be overwhelming, but the beginning of a journey starts with a step.

I challenge you to do research this week – learn some terminology, understand various property types, and try to learn about cities/markets where you have interest investing in.  Doing research will assist you in your journey to making your first real estate investment.

Let’s grow our cash flow and net worth together through real estate!

Robert Newstead 

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