Enriching your life through passive real estate investing with Todd Miller

Enriching your life through passive real estate investing with Todd Miller

Todd Miller is originally from Hollywood and he took Hollywood over to Asia. And then he decided to make a shift. And this shift is focused on helping people create and preserve their wealth through investment, real estate. And he is on a mission to enrich people’s lives by trading financial insecurity for financial security and perhaps even doing it through virtual ways.

Todd Miller is a Hollywood executive by profession. But he realized that the entertainment business is not so entertaining as a place to have a career. After 25 years of doing the professional thing, he decided that he wanted to maximize his time. And so he became an early retiree. He lives on the beach and in tropical Thailand. And over the past five years, He developed a US property portfolio that finances his lifestyle. And he wrote a best-selling book on wealth, creating wealth and time, money and meaning.

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Enriching your life through passive real estate investing with Todd Miller

Brett:

I am excited about our next guest. He is originally from Hollywood and he took Hollywood over to Asia. And then he decided to make a shift. And this shift is focused on helping people create and preserve their wealth through investment, real estate. And he is on a mission to enrich people’s lives by trading financial insecurity for financial security and perhaps even doing it through virtual ways. And he’s going to teach us how to do that. In this episode. Please welcome shortly Todd Miller. Hey, Todd, how are you doing?

Todd:

Hey, Brett, good morning.

Brett:

What do you have our listeners a little bit about your background and current focus?

Todd:

Sure. So I am a Hollywood executive by profession. But I realized that the entertainment business is not so entertaining as a place to have a career. And after 25 years of doing the professional thing, I decided that I wanted to maximize my time. And so I’m an early retiree. I live on the beach and tropical Thailand. And over the past five years, I’ve developed a US property portfolio, that finances my lifestyle. And I’ve also written a best-selling book Enrich: Create Wealth and Time, Money and Meaning. And this passion project really is about trying to make life delicious. And it recognizes that financial security is foundational upon which then one can create optionality in work and in life and live on your own terms.

Brett:

Amazing love that we’re gonna dive into that here in a minute. But I want to take one more step back and help our listeners to get to know a little bit more Todd. So I believe we’ve all been given certain gifts, I believe these gifts in life or some people call them superpowers, I believe their God-given gifts, but I believe these gifts have been given to us as a way to be a blessing and help others. So I’m curious, I want you to take a step back maybe your high school days, early Hollywood days, what was the one or two gifts that you believe you were given? And how does that help how you help others today?

Todd:

So I’ve had an innate curiosity about the world. And I’ve had that from the earliest stages. But after graduating from college, I knew what I didn’t want to do, which is going down a crude conventional career path in the United States. And so I set off the ratio, and it was curiosity. That led me to age. And it’s really, it has propelled me to always try to investigate and research and go beyond my comfort zone. And I think that really, it’s that curiosity, which is my largest superpower, and one that I hope to share with others.

Brett:

How have you developed that curiosity? Or what? along the journey, right? I mean, what did you do to encourage that in yourself?

Todd:

I indulged, so we all wonder about the world. But I did more than wonder. I acted upon it. And I’ve never hesitated to indulge in interest. And, and so I think it’s that willingness to explore. It’s that willingness to step beyond what might be comfortable, which has led me to have what has been a very colorful business career. But it’s also just led me in so many unforeseen directions that one might never have imagined for a kid from Kentucky. I mean, at this point in my life, I’ve spent more than half of my life outside of my home country. I traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents. I am more comfortable and At home, in many countries, I am around the world that I am back in the United States. And so I’m truly a multicultural kind of guy. And for guys growing up in Western Kentucky, you know, that’s just these things don’t happen very, very frequently. But the reason is, I explored, I wondered, I requested, and I gave myself permission at the earliest age to do so. And I would encourage that among everyone who is listening.

Brett:

Absolutely love it. That’s gold, your curiosity outside of the US and to take that curiosity and take action. So would you talk about the moment when you became you know, fascinated, or obsessed with helping others to achieve financial freedom through investment, real estate?

Todd:

Sure. So I became obsessed personally, with issues of work-life integration. When I was in my mid-20s, I was hired by a Hollywood studio to help open up the vast markets of Asia. I was a newly minted MBA, and I basically had a dream job. I thought I had won the lottery when it comes to jobs. And I was fortunate to also learn a couple of lessons very early in those days. And one of those lessons was to never confuse my identity and self-worth with my job. And another lesson that I learned very early on, is to always stay grounded and to never allow work, to overflow, and to pollute life. And because I had that obsession with work-life integration, I started researching, probing, really investigating best practices around all the domains related to this topic, over a number of years. And along the way, I realized that I wasn’t the only one who struggled with issues of work and life and trying to thread it all. And so the more that I discovered that my, my peers had the same questions and the same frustrations, I began giving advice. Frequently, and that advice was career advice. It was financial advice, it was life advice. And at times, it was even parenting advice. And this was, even before I became a parent, and ultimately, all that advice has morphed into this little book called and rich. But that’s how it happened. It was very organic. And it all stemmed really, from an obsessive curiosity about making work and life work together. And that cultivated from my mid-20s. Amazing. So

Brett:

let’s dive into that right now. What are the maybe that one, two, or even three secrets you found to making work in life balance meaningful? And I love the way you said it never confusing your identity and self-worth with your job?

Todd:

I think in terms of identity, one of the most difficult tasks for professionals is that we are, who the business card says that we are. And so what I resolve to myself, is, whenever I’m at a cocktail party, and someone says, what do you do, I’m ready for that person. Because I vowed, and I would challenge this to all your readers define who you are as something else than what you do. And if you can manage to do that, if you can respond to that proverbial cocktail party conversation, then that’s a really, really good beginning for helping to build that identity. But back in my mid-20s, as much as I focused on work-life issues, I failed to grasp one very important point. And that is the urgency of accelerating financial security. And for many years, my life was rocking. My career was rocking. Life is going swimmingly? Well. I never even thought about five financial security, I thought it didn’t have any reason to any, you know, because everything was just humming along. And then years later, as I became more disengaged and more disillusioned with work, and with a big corporate system, I was miserable at work by my financial insecurity, and that, for me is the key insight is that financial security is foundational. It’s not, it’s not the end goal. It’s the starting point. And once one can establish some foundation of financial security, then it’s much easier to scaffold a life of meaning and relevance and all the things that really matter upon that, and it took me 25 years to figure that out. And what I’m hoping to do is to help people take the shortcut.

Brett:

Excellent. So now I want to shift it a bit. Now a lot of our listeners are, have achieved a lot of financial success, high net worth individuals, or their business professionals who help others who do that, that’s kind of a mix here. But once you achieve that financial security. Now, what’s the next best secret to that work-life balance, because what I find, to be honest, odd is a lot of my clients, especially before they meet us, they’re kind of drowning in the toilets, trash liability. They’re drowning in the employees, the ever-changing laws for California, for example, it’s not only rent control, but it’s eviction control. And it’s, so walks us through that next step of what you’ve been able to do there.

Todd:

I am well aware of all those issues. And for this book, I interviewed scores of professionals around the world. And I asked everyone, some similar questions. And I’m almost without exception, every very high achievement professional whom I interviewed, said that control over their calendar, control of their time is for them, the ultimate expression of success. And I think that’s actually very insightful. And so when I, when I realized that I needed to prioritize FBI, financial security, and fast track my independence, I also wanted to do so in a way that is passive, because I already had a full-time job. And I didn’t want to create another full-time job managing my investments. And so, I was looking for cash flow, that is, of course passive, but that is predictable, that is recurring, that is tax efficient. And ultimately, that is diversified. Because through diversification, you build true security. And after looking at a lot of different asset classes, as well as my strengths, I concluded that if I continue to use expensive private bankers, and try to buy and sell stocks the way most people are, are accustomed to, I’m never going to generate wealth, at least real wealth. And so for me, I had to do something different. And real estate was the solution. And so I started buying single-family homes. And I actually worked backward to determine which sector of real estate that I wanted to invest in. And a lot of people chase the highest yield, the highest cash on cash returns. But for me, passive 80 is hugely important, because I value my time. And so I seek out tenants who are reliable, who have long stable employment histories, who have good credit profiles. And I then asked myself, if that’s the kind of tenant that I’m seeking, what kind of property with such a tenant want to rent? And, my answer to that question is very solid if not upper-middle-class single-family homes. And so I focused on that profile of a single-family home. And I at first built a portfolio in Southern California once. Once that market just seems saturated with investors, I developed us secondary market in the American southeast. Again, I looked at locations where there is very steady population growth, job growth, rental demand, and areas where I could develop some geographic expertise. And so I really did this on an accelerated basis, I developed these dual port portfolios, and I did so while living in Asia. And because I believe in diversification, though, I don’t have all my assets in single-family homes. So for diversification, I also invest in multifamily through private equity, I invest in private debt, both real estate as well as nonreal estate. And for liquidity, I have some portion of my assets and the public capital markets, traditional stocks, and bonds, and the combination of all those different pillars and all those different portfolios, that gives me one the past activity that I seek, it also gives me the diversification so that if one stream blows up is not catastrophic. In fact, it’s fairly. And that allows me to do what I enjoy doing best, which is not having to worry about my money.

Brett:

Very well said, Todd, and so much, then I love that you focus on passive beauty, right? Because you’re essentially designing your wealth plan around your time, energy, and your life, not the other way around. This is, which is part of the premise of my initial question that folks too often, don’t mean to write, and they’re going out with good intentions. But perhaps they don’t have the systems, they don’t have the, I always say, finding the who versus being the how, right. To find who can you add to your dream team, that rock star commercial real estate broker, the Rockstar, realtor insurance professional financial advisor, so would you walk us through now because this is the part where I think is really going to be valuable for our listeners. And I mean, the fact that you are in Southeast Asia, you’re in Thailand, and you’re doing this so far remote, okay? Walk us through your top-secret to being able to build those systems and teams on a remote basis to be so passive.

Todd:

So it was an organic process. But I was determined to move quickly. And so on a series of family visits, and for about five years, literally, I didn’t take a trip to the United States without going property shopping. And, and when my family is along with me, you know, we did the family stuff. And by the way, we visited 15 homes, and we buy one or two, and it was just, it was just a souvenir from a trip. But the point was that it was all part of an overall strategy. And I made the time to get the initial fundamentals, right. I networked extensively, and mostly use referrals to help me identify the key business partners. And I’ve actually made very few tweaks to those business ecosystems that I’ve put into place. And I start small, and I’ll do one property and then if that works another and then in success and with a track record that I get more aggressive, and that’s exactly how I’ve done it with eight with that’s exactly how I’ve done it in California. And that’s exactly how I built it in the southeastern us as well. And so when I recently did 1031 to convert one of my California properties into three properties in Southeast Asia. I had such a proven and reliable support team in place that I was able to Identify and acquire three replacement properties all on a virtual and remote basis from Thailand. You know, in a, in a market that is tied inventory and fast-moving. And so the right support team really is the key in that passivity and enable and being able to manage your business effectively.

Enriching your life through passive real estate investing with Todd Miller

Brett:

Amazing absolutely love that by the way for the listeners who are wondering where they could you can find more about Todd Miller here, you can go to enrich101.com. That’s enrich101.com. And he has an Amazon best seller book called Enrich: Create Wealth in Time, Money, and Meaning. So that is his book. So Todd. That being said, we are running out of time. Are you ready for the lightning round?

Todd:

I am. 

 

 

Brett:

Here we go. So knowing what you know, now, Todd, if you go back to your 25-year-old self, what’s the one Golden Nugget that you would tell yourself to enrich your life?

Todd:

I would have prioritized financial security as quickly as possible.

Brett:

What’s some of the best advice you ever received from someone else?

Todd:

Never let work pollute life? Was the word? No. And the way to do that is to have so much going on so much robustness in your personal life, that there’s no room for work to crowd itself in.

Brett:

Because that’s truly what’s most meaningful, right? our friends, our family, the relationships, the hobbies that we just love. For me it’s playing basketball, right? And exactly, or some folks might be surfing going to the beach, traveling, whatever that might be. Have that so robust that work? I’ll get to that.

Todd:

Does work have its rightful place?

Brett:

Yeah. And it does. Yes, I love that my little slight mind ship mindset shift. But it makes all the difference. I love that. So next question, what is the one book you’ve recommended or gifted the most in the past year?

Todd:

Dare I say my book? It actually is true. Because I find myself talking about these issues so much. The best way for me to express it is you know, I spent hours and hours laboring over how to make these thoughts concise. And so the book says at all.

Brett:

Beautiful and that by the way. It’s enrich101.com. Give me mobile or digital resources you recommend for your business?

Todd:

Well, Zillow for me is indispensable. And when I do research, I mean it’s I I spend so much time on Zillow.

Brett:

Beautiful, it’s a great, favorite leadership, quote, or theme that you strive to live by.

Todd:

So my father has this motto called purple, push up the right people, and lead everyone. And I think that’s a good way to think about these things. Push out the right people push up, push up, push up the right people, and lead everyone.

Brett:

And lead everyone.

Todd:

And that was for me as I manage companies. That was the principle that I tried to govern by.

Brett:

Beautiful. What are you curious about right now?

Todd:

I am curious about how our lives are gonna change on a permanent basis. After the pandemic, I think that we’re at a fantastic inflection point. And it’s very clear that our lifestyles are not going to go back to the same. But it’s unclear at this point, in terms of how exactly we will change. And to give you a great example of this. Many people thought that business travel is a prerequisite for getting business done. In fact, yesterday, I was talking to a good friend who typically would make one international trip every week. And he hasn’t done that in the past nine months. And he realized that the business still operates and so I think in The new normal 2020 we’ve learned that perhaps we don’t need all the things that we thought that we needed. And I am fascinated by how we’re going to adapt and evolve as a society as individuals, as professionals, as investors, as a response to that, you know, and there’s going to be huge implications. And that’s what I’m most curious about at the moment.

Enriching your life through passive real estate investing with Todd Miller

Enriching your life through passive real estate investing: “Financial freedom is available to all those who learn about it and work for it.” – Robert Kiyosaki

 

Brett:

So well said, Todd, and likewise, so mine this thing, what we’re doing right now, we’re on the Zoom call, you’re in Thailand, I’m in California. And we have the ability to connect right in our audience to on the podcast as well. So yeah, I think forever business travel will change. I think that’s a good thing, right? Because now we can spend more time with our families with their friends, right with the hobbies.

Todd:

Absolutely.

Brett:

That’s a real positive. So love that. So last question. And this is my favorite question because it helps to kind of encapsulate what we talked about, but also helps us to get to know you a little bit better, too. After all of your success after reading the Amazon number one best-selling book for helping countless people achieve financial freedom through real estate investment. How do you stay centered taught in your values? And how do you stay encouraged to charge forward to reach new goals?

Todd:

I have this innate curiosity as we discussed, and I always find new things to grab my attention. And my and my and my focus. And it’s that freshness. And it’s that deliberate introduction of new ideas, new concepts, just wanting to go where I haven’t been before. That keeps me fresh. I’d like to say it keeps me young. But it most definitely keeps me energized and motivated. And so all in where we started, I think that curiosity is a superpower. And I would encourage all your listeners to cultivate that as a superpower. Because it can take you to places that you never anticipated. And that’s a wonderful thing.

Brett:

It is a wonderful thing. And you’ve been a wonderful guest and I want to thank you for sharing your ideas, your stories, right, your inspiration, your wisdom with us, we are better for it and hopefully more curious and more willing to take some action here to create a lifestyle with real estate and also work-life balance, so that we could live a more enriched life. And for our listeners, again, you can find Todd Miller at enrich101.com. That’s enrich101.com. And with that, I want to thank our listeners for listening to another episode of the Capital gains tax solutions podcast. As always, we believe the highest net worth individuals and those who helped them, struggled clarifying their capital gains tax deferral options, not having a clear plan is the enemy, and using a proven tax deferral strategy, such as the deferred sales trust, perhaps even 1031 exchange, or perhaps connecting with Todd Miller to map out how to have a work-life balance in a way that’s meaningful for you is the best way for you to grow your wealth. Please rate review and subscribe. We so appreciate you if we can help you with clarifying any of your capital gains tax deferral leads go to capital gains tax solutions. com that’s capitalgainstaxsolutions.com. Thank you, everybody. Have a great day.

 

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About Todd Miller

Enriching your life through passive real estate investing with Todd Miller

An entertainment executive who has extensively researched and aggressively experimented with the work-life equation for over a quarter-century. While scaling the corporate ladder, Miller skillfully structured two sabbaticals, intentionally created a family through adoption, cycled coast to coast across two continents in support of children’s charities, and explored more than 100 countries on all seven continents. Drawing on ENRICH principles, Miller built time wealth and passive income while working full time. At age 53, the American-born author has retired on the Andaman Sea in Thailand, where he devotes his time to enriching connections with people and projects.

Entrepreneur magazine recognized ENRICH as one of “8 Books to Help You Find Financial Bliss.”

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