In this episode, host Ben Fraser is joined by Dr. Christopher Loo, founder, CEO and host of Financial Freedom for Physicians with Dr. Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD podcast. Dr. Loo shares his inspiring journey from being an MD to achieving financial freedom through real estate investing. We delve into his personal story, exploring how he transitioned from a medical career to early retirement and financial independence through strategic investments. Dr. Loo provides insights into his current investment portfolio, identifies potential opportunities, and sheds light on the mindsets that have propelled him to his current success. Tune in to be inspired by Dr. Christopher Loo’s path to financial freedom.
Connect with Dr. Christopher Loo on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/drchrisloomdphd/
Connect with Ben Fraser on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/benwfraser/
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Ben Fraser: Hello, Future Billionaires! Welcome back to another episode of your favorite podcast, the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast. Today, we had a really fun conversation with Dr. Chris Loo. So he runs a podcast called Passive Investing for Physicians and really shared a lot of his story of how he went from being an MD to retiring and becoming financially free through real estate investing.
And so we actually took a fun approach on this podcast. interview where we do our passive investor spotlight series. So we asked him questions. He shares his story, but then really gets into how he’s currently investing in his portfolio and where he sees some potential opportunities, shares of some of the mindsets that helped him get to where he is.
So definitely you gotta check this episode out. Always fun to hear from fellow passive investors of what they’re doing. And if you are enjoying this podcast, I would definitely encourage you to appreciate it if you would subscribe to the podcast on any platform you like, and leave us a review if you don’t mind.
That really helps us get the word out and gives us the credibility to continue to get the message to more and more people. So if you don’t mind doing that, appreciate that on Apple or Spotify, wherever you listen. I’ll leave a review and hope you enjoy this episode.
This is the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast, where we uncover the alternative investments and strategies that billionaires use to grow wealth. The tools and tactics you’ll learn from this podcast will make you a better investor. and help you build legacy wealth. Join us as we dive into the world of alternative investments, uncover strategies of the ultra wealthy, discuss economics, and interview successful investors.
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Welcome back to the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast. I am your host today, Ben Fraser, and very excited to be bringing on Chris Loo onto the podcast.
And I was actually just recently a guest on Chris podcast, which is… A great podcast to go check out and he’s got a really cool story as we were talking, I was like, Hey, we’ve got to have you on our podcast and kind of share some of the things you’re dealing with, share your story. And so we’re going to take a fun angle on more of our segment, our show.
We have a segment called passive investor spotlight and really trying to understand more of the nuances. So I want to hear the story. I want to hear. How you got to where you were. And you said you have a lot of different consulting and mindset shifts and things that you feel are really helpful for investors, but then we’d love to the tail end of the interview, go into more specifics of allocation strategy where you see opportunities, et cetera, et cetera.
But before we do that, Chris, welcome to the podcast and share a little bit about your story.
Christopher Loo: Yeah I’m really happy to be on your podcast, Ben, and, and I’m really happy to offer a lot of value. So I’m a physician by training trained in orthopedic surgery from 2000 all the way up to 2016 and babe.
And essentially transitioned, I was able to gain my financial freedom by investing in real estate from 2008 to 2016 retired early. And I felt that there was a need for financial literacy and financial freedom and financial independence in the physician community. Physicians were getting ripped off, scammed, didn’t really understand the dynamics of debt and they were getting themselves in trouble and they were tied to a single income, which during COVID really exploded.
I started Financial Freedom for Physicians in 2016, which is a media and consulting company dedicated to financial literacy for physicians, high income earners, and professionals, so that they can create Time, wealth, location, and health freedom in their lives and have more control. And so that’s essentially my story.
And the interesting story, which I think a lot of listeners will be surprised by, is that I had the traditional career all the way up. I followed all the rules, I took all the exams, got all the good grades, and got admitted. And, essentially everything came to a standstill in September of 2008 because I got fed up with the way the system was set up and the system was set up to benefit a few, only a few and leave everybody else behind.
So I turned in my keys, badge and pager, and quit my lucrative medical career. The day Lehman Brothers collapsed and set out and I was going to create a life independent of the current system so that I can create my own time, health, wealth, vocation, freedom. And since then, it’s been a wild ride.
It’s been a wild journey, tremendous success, tremendous failures. And I’m happy to share all of that on the show.
Ben Fraser: Man. Yeah, you just shared a lot. There’s lots to unpack. So yeah, rewind the clock a little bit. So share the first aha moment maybe of when I saw the light of, Hey, this is actually could be a possibility that I could go and do this, create the time freedom through investing.
And it sounds like that was contrary to maybe the way you were raised or that maybe the schooling and the path that had been forged for you and probably a lot of other people that were in that position,
Christopher Loo: right? Yeah, my aha moment really came especially when it was first 2000, after the tech bubble and then especially after.
9 11 and Enron WorldCom scandals. So that was really my aha moment. Really the world was changing and I was fortunate to come across a book called rich dad, poor dad. I’m sure the majority of listeners have read that, but if you haven’t really read it, it’s got a lot of the fundamental concepts of where our financial system is today.
and how to protect yourself. So that was my aha moment. And luckily, when I started medical school, Houston real estate was really cheap. It was actually cheaper to own a piece of real estate as opposed to rent. Rent two bed, two bath, 1500 square feet was, back then was 1500.
And then you can actually Buy a condo, a decent condo for 50, 60 K. You’re actually saving money by owning. That, so that sent me ahead a little bit. And my first success was when I rented out the other room to, to, a fellow classmate. So I was basically living rent free and studying to become a doctor and all of that. So I was like, Oh wow, this is a, this is a good source of alternative income. And from there I just got hooked because real estate is a hard asset. If I could rent out these rooms, I could rent out more, the problem was with just finding funding.
And from there I got house hacking and I expanded from there.
Ben Fraser: Wow. So you were doing this on the side while I was still working full time as a physician. And so did you start buying rentals? Did you start investing passively in syndications? Or that kind of happened later on? Or what was the?
The journey there on the investing side.
Christopher Loo: Yeah. So I really, I got my second property back in 2004. My first condo was 90, 1999, 2000, when I started med school. And then back then, 2004 banks were really lending. It was really easy to get a loan. And, on a property of 50k, that was a low risk bet.
It wasn’t like a 300, 400k that got a lot of people into trouble. So that was my second unit. But during the, during that Process. I also devoted a lot of time to studying equities. And this was, from Oh two to Oh six was a huge bull market, fed lowered interest rates.
There was a lot of speculation, especially in tech. And I got in at the right time and everything just went up. So I was buying call options and, I could, make 2k, 10K, 20K and by the, by, over a four year period, I had amassed several hundred K in liquidity.
So that was my second income stream, buying and selling call options and stocks as well. Caveat is that, during these times you have to. The trend is your friend, but if you go against the trend, like 2008, 2009, you’re going to get wrecked. I was fortunate.
Bought my second condo, did the same thing, and rented it out. And so
Ben Fraser: did you pull your money out of the markets before 08, 09? Or are you saying you went up and then had a little bit of a crash too?
Christopher Loo: Luckily, I, So during this time I learned about risk management and I learned that, during this time, I took out 70 percent of my profits and I let the rest of the 30 percent ride.
That 30%, probably dwindled down to 10 percent or so. So I, I took that loss, I took it as a learning, really knowing that markets can turn if nothing is forever. And in these markets, you have to be more strategic. So you have to have a long term allocation.
Short term allocation, take your profits, have short term positions, it’s more of a nimble and more of a trading mindset as well as a long term investing mindset.
Ben Fraser: Yeah. But thankfully you pulled out 70 percent of it and then used that to go and buy more real estate.
Was that kind of the next step there?
Christopher Loo: Okay. Yeah. And I was really in a good position in 2008. I really, so there was another crisis looming, which was the healthcare crisis. And basically private equity was coming in. Government mandates, they were basically tearing the whole healthcare system apart.
And I saw a lot of my colleagues really struggled during these times. And I started looking for the exits and I was always finding a way to fire my job and how I could quit my job and set out on my own. This was always in my mind, my passion and my goal. And luckily 2008 I was so sick of the system, I saw all the executives just take out huge Bonuses from the bailout money, you know funded by the taxpayers and that really irritated me I turned in my keys badge and pager and I was like, I don’t want to be a part of this I don’t want to be a part of the healthcare system and I started investing in single family Rentals throughout the Houston area and back by then there was like a 20, 30 percent correction.
Ben Fraser: Yeah, that was a great time to be buying, man.
Christopher Loo: Oh man. It’s like 2008 all the way up to about 2018 was the best time now is like more. I think there’s a lot of interest and there’s more buyers and it’s a more competitive market. I was able to buy my financial freedom by 2016.
Multi millionaire, retired early and dedicated to helping physicians.
Ben Fraser: That’s awesome. So in 2008, when you decided to walk away from, medical practice, did, were you at a point where you would say you were financially free or you made a, you’d done enough to where you’re having success, the trajectory was on the right direction, but you needed to Go all in to go to that next level or what was, where were you at that point?
Cause that’s an interesting timeframe and understanding, if you’re already fully said, you felt like there’s no real risk doing this or it was a risk to, to jump off.
Christopher Loo: Yeah, it was actually so it was a, it was one of the biggest gambles I’ve ever made, but it’s one of the biggest gambles that’s really paid off in terms of, how.
Much value I’ve been able to create. By then I was 29 years old, I was financially free. So I wasn’t really tied to a job or an income. And it, so basically in order to get to the next level to become financially free, I had to sever those ties and basically go all in. And that’s been one of them.
Hardest decisions, but it’s one of the best decisions. And one of the decisions that’s really come under criticism from my family, friends, colleagues, they call me a traitor. They call me I, I wasted a lot of time. Of course, I paid for everything, I didn’t take any money from anybody.
And that was my decision and I have to live with myself. And it’s one of the best decisions. So fast forward to today, 15 years later, all of my friends. Colleagues who really questioned me back then. They’re now asking me like, how did I do it? Can I help them?
Ben Fraser: They’re all listening to your podcast now, right?
How did Chris do this?
Christopher Loo: I gotta figure it out. Yeah, so yeah, and it’s just it’s incredible because you know when you do something against the grain people are just like you know when something just so Against the grain, people think you’re either crazy or you’re nuts or you’re just something or you’re just going to be a tremendous success.
So it’s either you’re going to be a tremendous failure or tremendous success when you take these risks of YAML.
Ben Fraser: Yeah thankfully it paid off. Talk a little bit about kind of mindsets. You said, you are right now, what you do a lot of times is speaking, right? You’re training. People through your podcast, through other events of just financial literacy.
And what do you find are like the biggest roadblocks for people to make the jump. And maybe it’s not even full, like I’m going all in actively to do real estate full time, but it’s even just. I want to go more passively, like in syndications or funds or other things. What do you find the biggest roadblocks mentally people have in
Christopher Loo: this journey?
So one thing is I separated between internal and external roadblocks. So one thing is external roadblocks are, those are your spouse.
Society and those are in the media as well. And that’s really hard. So that’s one of the things where you have to do is you really have to be careful who you associate yourself with, who you’re spending your time with, who you’re influenced by, because in today there’s no, in the past, there was like this one path where you had to follow it and if you got off of it and you were in trouble, now we have the internet, we have social media, we have.
We can do a lot of different things, we have more options. So that’s one thing. Be careful whose advice you listen to, a lot of friends are well intentioned, but really don’t listen to them. I have a really great phrase: listen to those who have done what you want to accomplish.
And a lot of the haters, Yeah. And a lot of the haters and naysayers are such because they haven’t done what they say can’t be done. So it can be well intentioned or not. So that’s
Ben Fraser: one thing. It sounds like that was a challenge for you with some of the family expectations and friends of Hey, what are you doing?
And so you really, yeah. How did you overcome that block by just finding the people, the mentors, whether they were, in person or you just listened to your Robert Kiyosaki and his book or what was, how did you overcome that? Cause it’s easy to say, but it’s one thing to do it versus to say
Christopher Loo: it.
Yeah. And yeah, that, which, the internal is really hard. It’s super hard because society is designed to keep everybody in conformity and really nobody should stand out. And so really, for a period of around eight years, Before I started to really get traction and success, I literally, it was just me and my room was basically all med school mode.
And I basically executed, I networked with entrepreneurs, people like that were like minded doing things that I wanted to do. And I really just basically shunned. mainstream. So I turned off the TV. All my old friends and colleagues thought I had died or dropped off the face of the earth.
And that basically, family meetings and outings, I really kept to a minimum. And, if I had to spend time with family with the naysayers, I would really mentally prepare myself to Understand where they were coming from. So that was huge. Just basically shutting out all of the noise and just executing.
So that was the biggest thing, it was the hardest thing, but now today when I get haters and naysayers does not affect me at all because I know where they’re coming from and I’ve been able to see that success. So the one thing is just turn off the noise, really focus on who you associate yourself with.
Ben Fraser: Yeah, no, I love that. I think it’s so simple, but it’s so powerful. Turning out all the noise, the distractions, the negatives and focusing on the people that you want to emulate and that you want to model, right? Finding the people that have what they want to go for and modeling that and listening to the advice that, maybe they share or the path that they forged.
And I remember doing that when I was back in commercial banking and it was a great experience. Learned a lot, of how to underwrite deals and about real estate and business. But. I looked at the people that were 10 years ahead of me and I was like, that is not where I want to be.
It’s a very different path and you had to make some changes to get to where I wanted to be. And I think that takes courage. It takes going against the grain a lot of times, but obviously very paid off. For you, it’s paid off well for me and I’m sure everyone else that, that, has a similar
Christopher Loo: story.
Yeah, it’s, yeah, it’s been tremendous, and really it’s just a story of growth and kind of just, knowing who you are and just setting out on your path. Like
Ben Fraser: said so what was the, you mentioned with the financial industry piece, you write the Rich Dad Poor Dad book, and that’s a great book.
It creates some really powerful concepts for people who aren’t familiar with buying assets to generate income to create this virtuous cycle. But what else did you do to really educate yourself? Because a lot of the things that we’re taught in the financial world are this.
Just invest your 401k, set it and forget it, wait until you can retire it, in your sixties and hopefully you have enough that have, can live off of for the rest of your life. It’s a very different mindset, a very different path, but what did you do?
Because there is a lot of just education needed as you’re making the transition more into, especially alternatives and real estate. Even if you’re not going full active as an investor, you want to go more passive. What do you recommend for people to level up their financial literacy?
Christopher Loo: Oh man, so much has progressed these days. My base is basically a reading base, but also now they have YouTube and podcasts. So everywhere I go, I’m always listening. One, the other thing is to plug yourself into the community. So it can be either masterminds like physical masterminds.
I knew. You pay for value, very valuable, of course you have to beat these masterminds but there’s something surrounding yourself with a mastermind that really, that’s really powerful. It can motivate you. You can get additional resources that you can’t find in books. So the networking as well.
So I’d always go in person. Now I can go on the zoom as well. Facebook communities. There’s a lot of digital communities. When I first started out. All I did was get into my car, drive to the library, read for an hour, write down some action steps, and really think about those.
But now it’s exploded. So now you can surround yourself. You’re
Ben Fraser: old school going to the library too, that’s some commitment right there. You’re right. There’s so much available at your fingertips right now. It’s incredible.
Christopher Loo: Yeah, but I really think working in masterminds are those things that can really set yourself up for the next level.
Ben Fraser: I love that. I agree. I’ve been several masterminds myself, and it’s not only can you rub shoulders with people, maybe you couldn’t otherwise, but you’re also just, having something that’s maybe a step or two ahead of you and seeing what’s possible, right? Just even that awareness of that is really.
Really powerful to let’s go back to more of the investing. I want to get more into the nitty gritty here as always, the fun part and how has your strategy evolved because it’s early on, it sounds like you’re doing the house hacking. You started buying some rentals, obviously great timing to be doing that.
And it never hurts to have some luck on your side when you’re investing, right? And timing things well, but how has it shifted over time? Are you still actively involved in a lot of your deals or are you more passive now? Have you invested more in syndications and diversified other asset classes?
Talk a little bit about how your strategy has evolved and what your portfolio
Christopher Loo: looks like now. Yeah. So my strategy has really transitioned from more of an active approach to more of a passive approach. And the reason why I advocate passive is because it, I, now I’ve spent a lot of time, speaking and doing consulting and building out my brand and helping other clients.
So that’s one of the reasons. And really the active part really taught me the business skills to really succeed, in, in my current, but I. Allocation wise, it’s always been around 45 percent real estate, 5 percent equities, and then the rest, the 10 percent are what I call alternative asset class.
It could be syndications, could be digital assets, different opportunities just increased upside, so that’s how it’s. Transition for the real estate side, for the listeners it’s always been, my bread and butter has always been a single family. Having gone into multifamily or apartments, I’ve invested some into syndications, not a lot, but that’s just more to get exposure to the upside as well as the tax deductions.
So it’s always been single about my last final property in 2018. And now I’m just, because of the interest rate variability, the economics, COVID, all of that, I’m waiting for everything to settle down before, diving in again, sitting on, a cash cushion all my rental properties are managed either passively and that’s given me the free time to actually, do The, my passion work, which is to help others, achieve financial freedom as well equity wise I’ve always been buying the dips, 2022, 2020, and basically dollar cost averaging as well.
I was looking at the new opportunities and then also the digital asset space, which is a really exciting space. Some. I’m carefully looking at that, delving into that, again, these are more riskier, but they have potentially more upside if you can afford the downside risk.
Ben Fraser: Yeah. Awesome.
Thanks for sharing that. So on the 45 percent of real estate, these are just the historical rentals that you’ve purchased over time and continue to hold on to. So you’re still, you don’t own those through a syndication, you own those directly and you probably have property managers and others that run those for you on a day to day basis.
Is that accurate?
Christopher Loo: Yeah. Okay. It’s all directly active, but it’s part, it’s managed by property managers. So it’s more passive. And then yeah. And then go ahead on
Ben Fraser: the equities. Are you buying broad based ETFs? What’s your breakdown strategy there a little bit on if using an advisor to do that or you just dollar cost averaging is pretty simple.
So you’re just keeping it simple and, just having, buying when the, when it dips a little bit. So talk about that strategy a little bit.
Christopher Loo: Yeah. So essentially I have it, I’m a little bit more aggressive. My portfolio, my equity portfolio, is more heavily weighted towards the tech side.
Amazon, Apple, Google, the reason I think so is because of the rate of inflation, as well as the rate of debt, as well as the interest rate, as well as declining GDP. So the reason why a declining GDP is important is because in order to service the debt, the country has to produce something to pay off that debt.
But if your GDP is declining along with rising interest rates, more of that’s going to be serving the interest rate. Tech is in a great position. I think Apple, Amazon, these companies are in great positions. They’re using artificial intelligence, blockchain, they’re doing a lot of things.
So the next wave of productivity will be in, in technology. It has to be. So that’s, I’m more weighted towards that. But again, I, again, I’m broadly diversified. I have S P Y, that’s the E T F for the Ss and p. The QQQ, NASDAQ, as well as the Dow Jones. Again, broadly diversified, get your base footing, get your safety, and then you can go out and take more riskier bets.
Ben Fraser: Yeah, makes sense. And just by, by function of the tech companies or the big ones Apple, Amazon et cetera, et cetera, the size of the market caps, they already are pretty heavily weighted in the broad based exposure as well anyway. But yeah, that makes sense. And I probably agree with that.
As we continue to have GDP growth, I think most of that growth is probably going to come from productivity versus population because population, they were still in the positive barely, but most other countries are on the decline. And so to continue to grow, we need to have more productivity, more technology advancements.
And I think that’s smart. And then on the other 10%, break that down a little bit. So obviously a small portion is probably like you said, a little more of the riskier. You’ve got digital assets. Cryptocurrencies are that, break it, break down some of what that 10 percent is.
Christopher Loo: So 10%, so approximately so of that 10% three to 4% syndications, that’s more to get the active side or sorry, passive side. And then 4% is actually not in cryptocurrency per se, but it’s in Bitcoin. So I always like to distinguish Bitcoin from cryptocurrency.
And so the reason why. Bitcoin is extremely popular these days because it’s a decentralized digital asset with no counterparty. So it’s basically, with governments printing money. Excessive debt, bank failures in the past, gold was a safe haven. Now countries are looking at Bitcoin because it’s non sovereign and it can’t be manipulated.
I distinguish that from cryptocurrency because cryptocurrency is centralized and there’s people behind it and it can be manipulated. There’s, rug pulls, there’s fraud, there’s scams, the, all the headlines. So the reason why I really like Bitcoin is because it is a hedge against Sovereign.
Defaults currency debasement and all that. So that’s one of my plays. And we’ll see where it goes. Awesome.
Ben Fraser: Awesome. Let’s talk a little bit about just some of the macro trends. So this is where you’ve built the portfolio to this point. Where are you seeing opportunities?
What are you interested in right now? And, you said you haven’t really bought any new rentals for a while. So what’s your go forward strategy just from an investment standpoint? And where are you seeing opportunities?
Christopher Loo: Yeah, right now is a great way, great time to be in cash right now 4 to 5%, T bills a lot of banks are offering, accounts offering that.
So if you basically want to sit in cash on the sidelines, 5%, the risk free rate would be for doing nothing, that’s that’s my default, but then again, again, where I’m looking at is, the next trend. For example we have. And we talked about demographics, we talked about debt, we talked about aging infrastructure.
So political, financial, healthcare, transportation, and education. All these are really in desperate need of a massive upgrade. And in that macro environment, we have declining GDP, rising interest rates, cost of living, and increasing taxes as well. My, what I’m looking at is these early stage companies blockchain, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, the Silicon industry, web3 and blockchain.
So that’s where I’m positioning myself, but right now is a great time to be in cash. And then, when you see opportunities, especially in real estate, if the numbers work out, be careful not to buy at the top and you make sure that the debt service, especially, with these interest rates, the numbers make sense.
So that’s where I’m positioning myself.
Ben Fraser: Yeah, got it. Yeah, it’s interesting. I might push a little bit on the cash piece because I think you have conflicting challenges with inflation, right? Because inflation is eroding the value of cash and obviously with the risk free rate going up, it makes it less erosive.
But. Depending on how you measure inflation and where you think it’s going. I think it’s good to have cash because one, you, if we’re going into some hiccups and some bumps here economically, which, we’ll see I’m still not convinced we are going to have a recession if we are, it’s going to be very deep, but it was good to have buffers.
It’s good to have cash, but you also don’t want to sit on too much cash, right? Because the future value of your purchasing power is eroded, right? And so I favor more, you obviously are pretty heavy into real estate already, that single family especially correlates with inflation pretty well as pretty inflation protective.
But for those that are not as heavily into real estate, not as inflation protected, I would say you probably want to be, have a decent percentage of cash, but also have lines of credit, right? For me, cash and cash equivalents, where if you have lines of credit open where you can.
Have those available. Obviously, there’s a chance that banks can take those away if things get really bad, so you don’t want to overly rely on that, but have access to cash where you can, and I would, push a little bit more on the investment side of getting into inflation protected investments that, are conservative if you are more risk averse, but, inflation is enemy of savers right now.
Christopher Loo: Yeah, I totally agree. And then, basically you’re sitting on cash and it’s like a short term holding in when you see, for example, dips in the market or you see a great investment, especially single families. It’s a great time. And again, they say always, they say cash is king.
Like as long as in lines of credit as well. That’s always helpful.
Ben Fraser: Yeah. Awesome. So what are you positioning it for? Man? I know a lot of people are. Have lots of different opinions about where we’re at, right? We have high inflation and we have higher interest rates, maybe it’s going to last a little longer than people would want originally.
But it’s funny too, like all these different headlines of, Oh, we’re about to have this huge crash and it just happened yesterday. As we’re at this recording, we hit 1 trillion of credit card debt. We’re about to just implode as a country, but you have to look at the whole picture, right?
So many times, like the headlines are just looking at one data point and not looking at it relative to other data points. It’s sure that’s a big number, but it’s actually as a percent of total savings of a consumer. It’s the lowest it has been in 20 years. So even though we have higher credit card debt, we actually, it’s only 20 percent of total savings of consumers.
And so we actually have 5 trillion of excess savings on consumer’s balance sheets. So it’s, to me, there’s these, we’re hitting some speed bumps, but we’ve got a lot of strength in the underlying economy. And a lot of cash on the sidelines. What’s your expectation? If there are deals to be had, are you expecting a correction or what’s your thought from jumping back in and buying more single family?
Christopher Loo: Yeah, it’s a really fine line. It’s a really fine balance because there’s so much conflicting data. My, after talking to individuals such as yourself and other investors is so from 2009 to around. Yeah, 2022, basically it was basically Bernanke, they reset the interest rates to zero, basically.
And basically we’re in a zero interest rate environment. And now I think that now that’s done, they’re going back to this 5%. So a lot of people say the fed is going to cut. I personally think that they’re going to keep interest rates in that ballpark for a much longer time, unless we have something like a Lehman or another COVID or some big crisis. They’re always talking about the unemployment numbers and the economy is strong. We know they talked about why the Fed is raising rates with, with, consumer spending. So I think people are going to adjust to this new environment. One thing that’s on my radar is basically with real estate, which is why I’m a little bit more cautious because with single families, everybody’s going to buy a home, you have to, Avoid over inflated, overheated markets.
But with this work from home and this remote work, I think commercial real estate is something to keep an eye on and a lot of spaces in San Francisco and New York city or their offices are empty, and so that’s something to keep an eye on. And especially in this.
That could be the next domino to fall on I’m not sure, but that’s something to keep an eye on.
Ben Fraser: Yeah, absolutely. I think commercial real estate has some headwinds. It’s important to distinguish what asset classes of commercial real estate, right?
Cause people lump it all together, but. The real big challenging one is going to be in the office, right? People just don’t know where that’s going to land. And especially in these big metros on the coasts that people largely have migrated to more Southern states and other places. Maybe, yeah, we’re going back to the work movement, but most estimates are saying that.
We’re only 50 percent of where we were pre pandemic right from an office occupancy standpoint. And so I think the big question is what happens right, what happens to the office, I saw an article today. Some initiatives where they’re trying to create some incentives like in San Francisco is a great example of converting some of these offices into multifamily housing.
And they’re in great areas a lot of times close to good jobs. And so it could be a use for that, but it’s still early still remains to be seen. But, multifamily I think has some headwinds, but more of the headwinds I think are going to be related to some of the debt challenges, maturing debt that enabled a lot of these properties to be purchased a little too aggressively.
But at the same time, we have a huge housing shortage that’s not being solved anytime soon. Long term trends are very supportive of anything housing related. So yeah it’s going to be interesting. I’m not as thankful as you. As bearish as some people are and I just, because I know how much is on the sidelines, both from consumers and from a lot of these big REITs and some of the biggest funds I’ve ever raised for real estate, right?
So there’s still a lot of pressure on the demand side from an investment standpoint and we still have a pretty strong economy, right? I’m with you. I think there’s going to be this muddled through where we have, these two competing forces, we have higher interest rates, we’re putting pressure on asset prices, we have a little bit higher inflation and it’s just threading the needle here to, make it through, but yeah, we’re still looking for opportunities cause it’s, I think there’s going to be some good opportunities over the next 12 to 18 months for sure.
Christopher Loo: Yeah. Yeah. Especially the investors that got in, got in at the peak and then now they’re Now they’re not getting cash flow and their valuations are down. They can’t refinance, those of a couple of my investor friends, they’ve picked up some properties from there.
I was talking with another investor on my podcast the other day, and he was basically saying, the numbers still work out, the cap rates are a little bit less, than 10 percent or. Whatnot, but as long as he’s holding it for a long term, he’s, he’s quote, not concerned, but again, that’s not advice, your margins may be less, but as long as you’re investing for cashflow and for long term, you should be okay.
So there’s always opportunities yet to just be more strategic and, fight your, pick your fights in your battles appropriately.
Ben Fraser: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Chris, this has been really fun. Thanks for sharing some of the nitty gritty and all that. And just like what would be your final advice for those that are on the sidelines, whether they want to best passively or actively and, just.
Can’t make the leap yet. What would you say is that first step to take?
Christopher Loo: Oh man, just start listening to podcasts and start listening to YouTube, watching YouTube channels, picking up books and start asking questions, start plugging yourself into networks, go to conferences, investor conferences.
Spend, invest in yourself and then spend the time to learn it. And that way, when the time comes, you can, when the right opportunity comes, you can pounce on it. So really invest yourself during this time, investing your education. The internet is basically now. It’s not at the age where we have to enter in the age of transformation.
So you basically take the knowledge and information and assimilate it and apply it and use it appropriately. Information’s everywhere these days.
Ben Fraser: Yeah, I love it. What’s the best way for folks to get connected with you? What’s to tell ’em about the podcast and other things that they can do to learn more about what you’re doing?
Christopher Loo: Yeah, they can check out my podcast. It’s on apple, Spotify. It’s on all major platforms. It’s Financial Freedom for Physicians with Dr. Christopher Lou. It’s there. I’m on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok as well as Facebook. And we have a growing community. You can email me at email@example.com.
Ben Fraser: Awesome. Thanks so much, Chris. It’s really fun having you on and sharing your wisdom.
Christopher Loo: Thanks, man. I really enjoyed it.