My Investment Journey (Part 2)
Updated: Feb 18
The Early Stage
In early 2010, Wesley, a close USA friend of mine who also a seasoned real estate investor called me and asked if I was keen to do some large property deals with him for the depressed USA real estate market.
Of course, I was excited and immediately sensed it was one of those rare opportunities that you can’t missed in life. USA markets was barely recovering from the recent mortgage crisis of 2008 and property prices were at their all-time low since the 1930s depression.
For our first deal, we brought in a seasoned US residential real estate investor named Adi, who is a close friend of Wesley. Adi owns hundreds of residential properties in the USA and has structured many large profitable investment deals. We could tap on his investment expertise and knowledge as strategic partners.
But, on one condition.
The investment consortium was to consist primarily Singaporean investors, Adi, Wesley, myself with a pool of US$1million and equal profit sharing for all investors. (It was US$2million initially but we decided to lower it at later stage.)
So, I had to find 10 friends or investors with at least US$100,000 each to raise the entire US$1 million.
You can hardly imagine unlike the typical millionaire, I had a limited network. How laughable but not surprising if you remember I’m an introvert by choice and over the years, I’ve discovered networking is never my strength.
I detest attending those ‘pretentious’ network sessions where you’re forced into saying hellos to people you’re not comfortable with, collect a bunch of useless name cards and leave them rotting somewhere in your drawer without ever a second look.
An Initial Tough One-Man Show
I could have easily invested the entire US$1 million dollars into the deal myself and save all the troubles of raising hard equity. But in terms of using other people’s money for leverage, I thought it would have make better investment sense.
Key Challenges I faced:
No network of investors with a minimum US$100,000 per investor
No investors & friends of the right ‘fit’ for reliable co-partners
No credibility or trust with anyone as I was an unknown and a private individual.
In 2010, rising Asia was a preferred investment region than crisis USA
I love the challenge of raising equity, but believe me, the hardest part of all is yet to come.