Do you remember the article in 2015 called, “What Type Of People Spend Over $100,000 A Year On Rent?” I decided to document all of the open house prospects this time around to see who would be crazy enough to spend that much on rent instead of buy. It turns out plenty of people!
One of those prospects was professional baseball player Ben Zobrist, who was just named the World Series MVP after winning the title with the Chicago Cubs!
It’s kind of nuts because in January 2015, Ben was traded to the Oakland Athletics from Tampa Bay. He was not a household name like Lebron James or Buster Posey. Then midway through the 2015 season, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals, a team that ended up winning the World Series! To then win another World Series with a different team and be named the MVP the following year is unheard of.
I thought I’d share with you some lessons from this curious open house.
1) Life can change quickly. You may feel like your life isn’t going anywhere. You may feel like there’s an insurmountable mountain to climb. You may feel like giving up. Just know that anything can happen if you put yourself in the right position. Do not give up! When we chatted, Ben said he was surprised by the trade as he loved Tampa Bay and he felt the people loved him too. But he just chalked the trade up to business instead of anything personal. I’m sure he can’t thank his lucky stars enough that he was traded.
2) Parlay your winnings. After winning the World Series with the Kansas City Royals, Ben went from earning $7.5 million to signing a 4-year, $56 million contract with the Chicago Cubs. Kansas City got the most out of him, so now it was time for Ben to get the most out of another organization. Being a loyal soldier like me for 11 years at one firm is no longer optimal for your finances. Seize your fortune when you’re at the peak of your game.
Related: Make Millions With Arbitrage Opportunities
3) Practice stealth wealth. Ben mentioned he and his family live in Franklin, Tennessee during the off-season. The family loves Franklin because it’s away from the spotlight. They like small town living, despite being able to live anywhere. Although I was asking $8,800 a month to rent my house at the time, $105,600 a year in rent is nothing to a family that was earning $625,000 a month gross. I could tell he was just a nice, humble, down to Earth guy. I don’t think his ego will grow any larger now that he’s the most famous baseball player in the world.
Related: The Rise Of Stealth Wealth
4) Stay in shape. Because most of us are not professional athletes, our perception of what is fit and healthy has warped for the worse because most of us are out of shape! It’s understandably hard to stay fit working as a desk jockey. I was shocked that my Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor told me at the beginning of the year I should consider losing 17 lbs to ~150 lbs to help treat my sleep apnea. All this time I thought I was in relatively OK shape for a 5’10” male who plays tennis 3X a week. But my doctor was basically telling me I was overweight in a nice way because she then told me to not worry too much about my weight. The people you see on TV really are much leaner in person. Ben, at 6’3″, looked pretty thin in real life for a guy who looks jacked on TV.
Related: Track Everything! We Are Eating And Spending Way Too Much
5) Don’t host an open house when there are tenants. One of the things that prevented me from locking in Ben and his family was that the house still had four tenants. I asked them to clean up after themselves, but not matter how much they cleaned, the house would never look as good as if it were staged or empty. Ben’s wife asked me if she could use one of the bathrooms upstairs and then made a “yick” remark afterward. The higher your rental asking price, the more you’re going to have to make your house look amazing because people are naturally pickier.
6) Owning property is powerful. Property really is the main asset class that allowed me to be financially independent with over $200,000 a year in gross rent. I’m talking good financial independence living where you can rent to Ben Zobrist and not “ramen noodle” financial independence living where you’ve got to live in a shack or a lower cost area out of necessity. The combination of inflation, leverage, and time creates a tremendous amount of wealth. Every dollar you are wastefully spending today could go to building a future fortune. Don’t be at inflation’s mercy.
Related: The Inflation Interest Rate Paradox: Why You Must Continuously Invest
7) The world is small, be nice. What are the chances a personal finance blogger in San Francisco would host an open house to a baseball player who just won back-to-back World Series championships? Maybe 1 in a billion? Yet it happened, which means the odds probably aren’t that low. Given the world is small, it’s important for everybody to be respectful of others because you never know when you’ll need some help or meet someone who could make or break you. The last thing you want to do is insult a relatively large blogger who doesn’t rely on anybody to live.
Related: The Key To An Easier Life Is To Have High Emotional Intelligence
It’s crazy to hear stories about regular people who start companies and sell them for a billion dollars in several years e.g. Instagram and Cruise Automation. Thanks to technology, you don’t have to spend decades to accumulate a fortune anymore. You can instantly compete with Facebook or some well-funded startup in under an hour!
Everything has accelerated in life, which is why you are seeing a growing movement towards early retirement. It is absolutely amazing to be able to do whatever you want while you can still bend your knees with relative ease.
The key is to just STICK WITH THINGS long enough to give yourself a chance at good fortune. The Cubs waited for over 100 years, and now are World Series Champs for 2016. I know the longer I keep ONIG Financial Blog up and running, the higher the chance a reader will treat me to an amazing steak dinner without asking for anything in return.
Once you get your process down, creating enough wealth for financial independence is an inevitability. Just don’t forget to always enjoy the moments along the way!
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Shop around for a mortgage: Check the latest mortgage rates online through LendingTree. They’ve got one of the largest networks of lenders that compete for your business. Your goal should be to get as many written offers as possible and then use the offers as leverage to get the lowest interest rate possible. Interest rates have finally started to tick higher post election.
Congrats to Ben for winning a World Series again!