I used leverage to invest in 27 home sites in Belize. Let me tell you why I’m super optimistic about this real estate investment and why I think it makes sense for others to consider alternative investments, too.

There’s a long story behind my logic of investing. I’ll start with the bullet points and you can determine whether you want the back story.

I invested in Belize:

  1. To avoid stock-market volatility.
  2. To earn a great income from my investment, which would be far better than the bond market could provide.
  3. To move some assets outside of the United States and minimize exposure to the crisis that could follow with the growing U.S. debt obligations.
  4. To prepare for retirement by owning property in a beautiful piece of paradise that my wife and I could also enjoy.
  5. To earn a higher return on investment, with more protection against downside, than other opportunities offered.

 

Here’s the back story:

My wife and I became real estate investors back in 2012. I document that entire story in my book, which you can get for free by clicking the following link:

Prison to Paradise: How I Built Assets Worth More than $5 Million Within Five Years of Getting Out of Prison—And How You Can Succeed, Too!

I finished serving my prison term in August of 2013 and I really wanted to start preparing for our retirement. I’d been incarcerated for 26 years. I didn’t have credit, a work history, or any savings for retirement.

When I got out of prison, I was 49 years old and I placed a high priority on sowing seeds for the future.

Investing became the best strategy for me. I wanted to use leverage to acquire assets that I expected would appreciate in value. I always work on five-year plans. If I could acquire a portfolio of assets that would grow in value over time, I could advance my prospects for success. With that goal in mind, I used unconventional means to raise capital and I used that capital to begin investing in real estate.

 

With real estate, as with any investment, timing is essential.

The right investment at the wrong time is the wrong investment! But the timing in 2012 was really good. We were coming out of the recession. Property values had decreased significantly since the start of the recession. Yet when I got out of prison, I saw signs suggesting that we were about to begin an economic recovery. So I was in hurry to invest.

After making my first successful investment in the San Francisco Bay area, I could start building a case study. As property values began to appreciate, I could show others the plan I had in place and show why it made sense.

I built credibility. That credibility allowed me to repeat the process.

During the first five years of my liberty, I conducted more than $10 million worth of real estate and other investment transactions. Those transactions led to an income of more than $30,000 each month. I used that income to service the debt on the properties I maintained under ownership.

You can read about each real estate transaction by clicking this link:

At the start of 2018, I realized that the market had changed. Real estate values had been rising.

Responding to change and protecting against downside should be a part of every investment strategy.

Rising real estate values brought both advantages and disadvantages. The rising value of my equity in the properties I owned was an obvious advantage. Yet the rising property values meant that acquisitions in California would no longer provide the amazing returns I earned between 2012 and 2017.

I had to look elsewhere to generate those types of returns.

 

Why Belize?

I travelled to Belize to visit The Reserve in early 2018. I had a connection to members of the development team and they told me about the 14,000-acre development. When I heard that the property was about the same size as Manhattan, in New York City, I really wanted to see it.

The more I learned about the history of the development, the more convinced I became that investing in Belize presented an awesome opportunity for the following reasons:

Reasons to Invest in Belize:

Belize is an English-speaking country, which suggests property values will increase as more Americans look for places to retire in paradise. Belize….

  1. Offers some amazing opportunities for investors looking for strategic asset diversification.
  2. Offers tax advantages that may appeal to investors, like no capital-gains tax or income tax for retirees.
  3.  Has amazing beauty and that will appeal to investors who want to live an active lifestyle.
  4. Welcomes retirees with its friendly and welcoming immigration program for Americans.
  5. Offers skilled laborers that work for about $20 per day, which makes for lower building costs on home construction.
  6. Offers beautiful white-sand beaches, world-class diving, amazing fishing, great sight-seeing and clean living.

 

Reasons to Invest at The Reserve

The Reserve Marina can accommodate yachts of more than 150-feet in length, which brings many high net-worth people into the development.

The Reserve spans 14,000 acres, but with only 4,000 acres for home sites, there is an abundance of green space, making for a Jurassic-park like environment.

Owning property at The Reserve includes access to amazing amenities that include a private island, two beach clubs, restaurants, bars, organic gardens, an equestrian center, and some of the most beautiful real estate on the planet.

More than 1,000 people have purchased home sites at The Reserve, which validates the investment.

All of the people who purchased home sites will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars more to build their dream homes on the property.

The investment to build those houses, together with the developer’s investment, lift the total cumulative investment to more than $1 billion at The Reserve. That substantial investment lifts the property value for all owners.

The property is held without debt, which protects valuations for all owners.

The developers financing terms align his interest with the interest of all owners.

For the reasons, cited above, I made a commitment to leverage other assets I owned so that I could make a bigger investment at The Reserve.

I purchased 27 home sites in a pre-construction section of the Laguna Palms section of The Reserve.

You may find interest in some of my other articles about my Belize investment, including:

Why You Should Consider Investing in Belize

How I Negotiated My Acquisition at The Reserve
How I Can Finance You For No-Money Down