Karen Williams (00:00):
You can’t really use debt in Latin. America just doesn’t exist. It’s unless you want to pay like 25% interest rates, you know, have fun with that. Yeah. So, so that’s why, so that’s why it’s interesting. Cause it’s basically all equity. Right. And, um, yeah. And then again, depending on that crop, we’ll tell you how quickly you’re going to get to a cashflow cashflow and kind of position. But the beauty of it is if you can have a bit of patient capital and you wait that four or five years, it starts printing out money and literally for like 60 years without quitting, without putting on new roofs or boiling or
Reed Goossens (00:48):
Welcome to investing in the U S a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the U S market join Reed, as he interviews go getters risk takers and the best in the business about their journey towards financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing
Reed Goossens (01:08):
G’day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the U S podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host, Rick, Goossens good as always every with us on the show. Now I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into learn from my incredible guests and each and every one of them are the cream of the crop here in the United States. When it comes to real estate, investing, business, investing and entrepreneurship, each show, I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created the businesses here in the U S how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cashflow, and ultimately create extraordinary lives for themselves and their families life by design. As I like to say, hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action.
Reed Goossens (01:55):
If these guys can do it. So can you now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys, and there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bolts. Now, if you do like to show the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes and you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed Goossens. You can find the show, every podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but you can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to Reed goossens.com, click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video recordings of these podcasts. You can see my ugly mug or the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough of me let’s get cracking. And indeed, a days [inaudible]
Reed Goossens (02:42):
Did on the show pleasure of speaking with Karen Williams. Now, Karen is a real estate goddess and has been a full-time entrepreneur since 2008 first in the healthcare industry. And now in the real estate industry, Karen now runs global investor Alliance, a platform that educates other passive corporate and passive investors. I should say about the power of developing multiple income streams that create independence, resilience, and true lifestyle. Freedom. Karen is so passionate about controlling the limited time she has on this planet, and she wants to empower other like-minded humans to follow in her footsteps. So I’m really pumped and excited to have her on the show today to share her incredible knowledge and experience, but definitely let’s get her out of here. Get I Karen, welcome to the show.
Karen Williams (03:25):
Get a nice to see you and read. I love, I love that welcome. It always makes me smile.
Reed Goossens (03:32):
Well, Karen, great to have you here. Um, I just interviewed your other half and your episode will be coming out after this episode, your episode, this episode can be off to after his. So, um, with that being said, we’ve already heard enough about him. Let’s talk about you. Uh, and when he you’re your, your you’re the better half, we always know that. Um, but let’s rewind the clock and tell me how you met your first ever dollar as a kid.
Karen Williams (03:57):
Oh, okay. Yeah. First ever dollar as a kid. Um, I started working early. I think the first time I was paid for work, I was 12. Um, I actually inherited my older sister’s job. And so we sort of lived out on a farm and it was kind of a hobby farm. My dad was an engineer, but we lived out on this farm and we had 25 acres of beautiful land. And it was literally like over the streams and through the woods to my neighbor’s house. And he was the vet for the racetrack, the horse racing track in the area. So they had this big, beautiful property and his wife would come work with him as an assistant during the summers. And they had three little kids in this beautiful property with horses, terrorize, a pool to be in. And I’m 12 watching, like, I don’t know, oh, a one three, and five-year old $2 an hour. I did that job for, I know, right. I did that job for ’em and basically I was paid to play with kids and then feed them some SpaghettiOs. You know what I mean? It was great. And then, uh, yeah, and I did that for three years until I could like legally get a job at 15 where, you know, you can get a real paycheck and uncle Sam takes his piece. I discovered that wasn’t that great. That’s,
Reed Goossens (05:13):
That’s a, it’s actually interesting. You mentioned rice track and a hobby farm. I grew up in the same way. I actually had horses growing up and one of my, the first, no, it wasn’t first, but I remember working on a third spelling complex sounds very similar to the, the, the, the vet and actually following a vet around once a couple of summers actually, and impregnating all the race horses and being there. And, and so had very, probably similar things that what the wife was too, that your next door neighbor that supporting him. But that was, it was all about, uh, insemination. And if, for people who don’t know fun fact, at least in Australia, you can only have live insemination. You can’t do frozen AI. And I’m getting really nerdy here in agriculture. And I know this is going to be, you can’t have frozen because apparently that, that in the racing industry is illegal and can doping and all that sort of stuff. Anyway, we very much digress, but it was, I just wanted to, to mention very similar upbringings, but it’s not about me. It’s about you. So talk to me about the growth of, of you as a human and into becoming the world of becoming an entrepreneur. And, and what, where did it start?
Karen Williams (06:20):
Um, well, um, I would say it is kind of interesting how, um, I couldn’t wait to get off the farm in my sort of early upbringing. By the time I got to high school, I was like, I’m really over the chores and having to do all that before I can even see my friends and then having to beg a friend to drive 15, 20 extra minutes to the boonies to come pick me up because I was the fourth kid. So I was not getting a car that was for sure, but, you know, I mean, it definitely drove me, um, that, that wanting to control, um, my own destiny, um, not to be stuck in a place I didn’t want to be, definitely drove me. Um, I mean, sports as well, a huge discipline, and that discipline kind of drives you right. To succeed, instills habits and things that do last a lifetime.
Karen Williams (07:09):
I mean, I have my issues with sports and stuff these days with kids, but I will say, right, those things have served me well. I see it with my kids and serving them well also, I mean, right. The discipline is a key part, I think, to success. And then when I went, um, it was kind of a interesting thing. When I started college, I started as an English major. I always loved to write I’m a good writer. I can make a good persuasive argument. So I, I wanted to be a lawyer and, but I was paying my way through. And my dad, who was my biological dad, my banker dad, he was like, what the hell, kind of a job are you going to get with an English degree? You’ll never make any money, let alone pay off your loans. Yada, yada, you should get a finance degree because he was a banker.
Karen Williams (07:54):
So I switched and I got a finance degree and I sort of forced it myself into this mold because, you know, you’re sort of, if you’re disciplined, if you have some intelligence, you can force yourself to be good at anything, but it can be working in against the grain. And it’s not really until later in life, I think that you really realize you got to stop pleasing and, and just kind of go with your flow. Cause everybody has their own flow around their own things. Right. And kind of go with that. But at this point I was still pliable. So I kind of went down that track, but in the end, everything happens for a reason. Cause I mean, it has come full circle. The first time I’ve really liked using finance was in real estate. But I started as a commercial lender, actually the financial analyst who put together the loan packages for the credit officer to approve or not.
Karen Williams (08:39):
And I was lending to small and medium-sized companies. So I was always dealing with the entrepreneur or his executive team, you know, and I’m actually sitting there at like, you know, 23, getting to interview and ask all these intense questions and getting to understand businesses and just totally geeked out on it. I was, I just thought this is awesome. It’s fascinating to like understand what drives an entrepreneur to understand what makes different businesses work and you know, how you, as the lender, you know, help, help support that in a lot of different creative ways. And as soon as you get out of the bank, you can get a lot more creative about how you do that. You know, but real estate finance is creative in its, in its nature. It’s, it’s never say die. There’s always a way to structure it where all parties can feel safe enough and feel that they have a win.
Karen Williams (09:28):
And, and this is one of the things that I really love about it. It’s always like a sort of evolutionary thing and it’s always different. It’s never the same banking was always the same to some degree, just the political nature of that environment. So I hated it, but I got to, I went through their kind of management training program thing to be the big lender. It was a lender for a little while. It was like no way. So I got out of there and it was also east coast. So it was very stuffy, very uptight had a like pantyhose and like be all buttoned up and was like, um, so I got out of there though and went into, um, consulting and I was like, I think what attracted, um, them and what it would track both sides of that party really was the fact of this kind of foundational knowledge of how to understand a business and how it works and how to break it down.
Karen Williams (10:15):
You understand this as an engineer, basically, how can you deconstruct it and then reconstruct it and in a better way. And, and really, as a, as a consultant, again, I was in that place where I had to come in, quickly understand an industry. I had to understand the business itself in that industry and where they fit against their competition and stuff. Right. And then you have to understand the management and the executive management risk and can they make it happen? Whatever is going to be the plan. And so, so parlaying that from lending into management consulting was actually pretty easy. Um, and then I kind of got into that phase, cause this was like, um, I don’t know, nineties through the nineties. So the whole kind of enterprise resource planning, data warehouse houses, right? Decision, support systems, you know? Yeah. All the ERP systems, um, that kind of stuff, all sort of come into place.
Karen Williams (11:06):
So I ended up being sort of the business person who understood the business and what the business needed. And at this point, technology departments were not very customer friendly. Let’s say they did not see the business people as their client that they were serving. They saw them as an annoyance, a thorn in their side that would make them make these stupid changes to systems and stuff like that. Right. And so I ended up sort of being the facilitator of the communication in between. So cause I can understand the business requirements. I understood enough of the conceptual technology to be able to break it down to a level that then the more technical project manager could kind of take things from there. Um, but I have learned a ton from those experiences and I just got thrown into tons of different environments, some government work too, which was brutal, um, boring. I mean, right. If you’re brought in as a change agent, you know, when people are completely opposed to change, it’s like this isn’t really going to go well with it.
Karen Williams (12:07):
It’s quite frankly frustrating for everyone. So learning the power of leadership and coaching leadership, um, in how to lead their people through change, how to, first of all, believe in the change themselves, if they don’t already, which is commonly a problem, um, cause people will do what you do now you say right. And that sort of often happens, but it does have to be driven down from the top, right. To be successful basically. And um, so lots of, I mean there was like a decade of fascinating experience there. And um, I had done a lot in the pharmaceutical and medical space in terms of the types of clients I had. Cause I was in the Philadelphia area, you know why they are SmithKline Beecham, bunch of them were there. Um, and so I then took that and I had moved out to California, had had my kids and I was like, Hmm, okay.
Karen Williams (13:00):
I’d been doing the consulting part-time but now I was working like doing government jobs in Sacramento. And I was like, so I was, I gotta get out of here. And so I kind of kept in contact cause you know, you know how you, because you work with clients that sometimes over multi-year projects in and out and in and out a few times as a consultant, if they can keep that continuity. And so then it was like, oh, okay, well this is great. I still have lots of friends in that space. Why don’t I just start kind of searching that route. And so I went into pharma, um, and did corporate sales and marketing for them. And from there I went up into devices and started being in the O R and I am kind of like a geek about weird things like the farming. I can tell you have that too, but you know, like I like to watch those gross shows where you cut things open or whatever, you know, Peter hates it, he hates it.
Karen Williams (13:44):
But, um, but yeah, so I, so I just really kind of in raising my kids as a single mom, I kind of was like, okay, I just need a steady healthcare covered my car payment covered because you’re driving all over the place and this and that. And just like some stability. Right. And so really through the bulk of their growing up years, it was probably when they were junior senior in high school that I started to, although when I was still with her dad, we fixed and flipped houses because that’s how you survive in San Francisco. Yeah. He was the tech guy. I was a sales girl and we would buy a house. We lived through we’d house hack with toddlers and we put in sweat, sweat equity ourselves. We were good at this, this one thing we were good at together, boys, you know?
Karen Williams (14:27):
And um, yeah, we would just kind of go through and we did that two or three times over and it’s, you know, it’s, it’s really what helps you get ahead in when you’re living in that kind of a high pasta environment. Cause even though you paid a ton, as you know, in LA it costs a ton to live. So, um, yeah, kind of had done so real estate had kind of always stayed there. We fixed our old farm house when I was five, literally swinging a hammer, anything we could learn. So it’s kind of like always come back to this real estate thing I did get, I did get my license in California when I was like a mommy at home. And then I was like, nah, I’m going to get this job. It seems more stable right now. I don’t want to wait for the, you know, the lead time to build up the business.
Karen Williams (15:08):
And um, yeah. Then it was like, okay, my kids are nearing the end of high school. I had, I had taken a, uh, I’d left the devices and I started running somebody else’s medical company and took it from a single surgeon and he has one part-time aesthetician and just blew it out so that he could be hired. Laser nurses bought a laser, had them doing like their injections and all this stuff. Cause it was like a cosmetic practice. And he was already working for the hospital as a throat head and neck cancer surgeon. So that was kind of this part-time thing. And then his other thing, well, he didn’t really have time to develop that business. I’m like, dude, you really should do this. Like you would not have to be working so hard. This is passive income. That was like, my, this was me trying to teach doctor passive income of like, okay, you don’t want to buy a surgery center.
Karen Williams (15:55):
I get it. It’s, you know, there’s all this overhead, this that, but seriously just hire these nurses. Even if you hired them as 10 90 nines invest in this laser, that’s it that’s it, it was letting go of the control. This is the heart, this is the heart. But you, cause you can imagine, right. A surgeon you’re holding life and death in your hands. You feel like that. So, um, but you know, I, it was the first time I really taught somebody the passive income thing to like, okay, start making changes in your life. And I knew it on the real estate side, I just never, I was nervous about putting too much capital that wasn’t, um, Jerry immediately liquid for me because I had those two boys and I was raising them full on, on my own in terms of finances and all that sort of stuff.
Karen Williams (16:35):
And so that’s when it was like to the end of their rope, they’re almost done. They’re almost done. And I’m like, okay. So I started fixing flipping homes in Southern California actually in, um, orange county, Costa Mesa, um, Torrance rail married. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, um, so cause it was close enough that I could go down and come back and go down and come back as I needed. And I had a partner and friends down there and so that was helping me and, but I still need to kind of tend to my kids finishing and that kind of got me through. And then as soon as they were through, I was like, okay. And I went, um, that’s when Peter and I started, um, my partner, Peter Wright started, um, um, co-investing instead of parallel investing. So we invested in our first multi-families together in, uh, Florida in Tampa, Florida. And uh, yeah, so we did a couple of value add smaller scale multi-family projects ourselves. And that’s when we said, okay, want to be syndicators?
Karen Williams (17:36):
It was, it was, um, yeah, there are lots of nightmares, um, and lots of blessings and lots of learnings. And we ended up thank God, coming out, smelling like a rose. And I know how we pulled that one out, but you know, I mean, look at the market. I mean, let’s be real, you know, and uh, we thought when we were getting out, we were getting out of it’s off like laughing at ourselves now, but Hey, it’s good not to be greedy. And we just, and we put that money to work and other things and so forth as well. But, but you know, so that’s the kind of long sorted. My life is a long and winding road read long
Reed Goossens (18:10):
And windy road, but I appreciate the, the, the, not the clarity, but the inside look at how you’ve evolved over that period of time. Everything from your finance background into, or even pivoting from the ma the English major way back at the university into finance, and then going through the years in the corporate world and understanding by just coincidence of consulting that you could help a surgeon grow a small business on the side and then getting the confidence to go use your own money, having the kids, you know, like sounds like your wealth of knowledge. And it’s just part and parcel why I’ve loved having you on the show here. Um, but I do want to pivot into more of what you’re doing today and in and around some of your, I guess, passions, uh, I don’t know if that’s the right word, but in your introduction, I spoke a little bit about living their best life whilst being on the planet and human beings and all that type of stuff. And it seems like the energy coming through the zoom here is that you do value your time. You do value the time that you had, the limited time we all have on this planet. And so you want to live it to the best of your ability. Do you want to talk to me a little bit?
Karen Williams (19:18):
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think honestly that the, the passion behind living our, our best life, living our most authentic life to who we are really, um, contributing from our area of strengths, rather than being pigeonholed into what society or parents, whoever tells us we should be and kind of going down and following the herd, you know, we want people to be sort of independent thinkers and, um, you know, we love to explore and travel because it does grow your mind. It grows your perspective, right? You learn, learn so much and you, and you learn a lot. You learn a lot about the world. I think you gain a lot of tolerance and openness for other people, but you also learn a lot about yourself and sort of, and what you mean to feel grounded no matter where you are and things like that. And you know, I mean, Peter and I met at a time, we were actually going to business school late in life and it was all about people, planet profit and um, so MBA school, but focused more towards private and public partnerships of how do we really fix these world’s problems together using business to do so and government to support it because we saw like ourselves approaching, like we’re now 52 and you know, you are just grinding and out through your forties.
Karen Williams (20:39):
Usually when you’re raising kids and stuff like that. And you’re starting to feel the burn of like, oh my God, you’re starting to feel usually your drift towards unhealthiness because you’re working too much. We still have the same biological stress responses of fight or flight, even though we’re chronically, um, being exposed to that level of stress. And so your body cannot let me thus all the auto-immune diseases and all these other things. So we’re super passionate about helping other people find a way out of that corporate rat race, because the weight, the way you live the life you want is to buy back your time essentially. And the way you buy back your time is by P it creating multiple streams of income. And as many of them passive as possible. Right? And so a lot of, I think a lot of our corporate friends feel trapped, but they don’t, they can’t see a way out.
Karen Williams (21:35):
They th they don’t think they have choices. Um, and so that’s, you know, one of the things we’re really passionate about helping people take their, you know, income, rich time, poor status, cause it’s usually tech people, it’s engineers, it’s finance people, they’re all grind in and out, but all their time is in that their marriages are falling apart. Their health is falling apart and we’re like, this is not what people want. We don’t want this, you know, but we all do want to feel safe and secure. Like we know where our next meal is coming from. Right. We do all want to feel in control of our lives and our time. Um, we all do, I think, want to make a difference in other people’s lives, you know? And so that’s why we just you’re like, okay, how, how can, what can we do on some small scale that makes other people’s lives better? And this is it. And we get so much from it ourselves.
Reed Goossens (22:33):
I was just wanting to jump in there. And I think one of the big things that particularly on this podcast, interviewing so many people and through having personal loss in my own life and, you know, and different struggles we all have, right. We realize life is short, right? And, and you spoke, you hit the nail. You briefly touched on it where I’ve interviewed successful business owners, but they have relationships with their kids. They have, or they’re unhealthy, they’re in their third marriage and the different pillars in life that, you know, we’re all supporting want great pillars in our life. Right? We want the personal pillars. We want the health pillars. We want the wealth pillars, but sometimes we put too much emphasis on that wealth pillar and everything else crumbles away. I know so many guys who are great at business, but they, this is life outside of that.
Reed Goossens (23:15):
And when the business goes away or it could crumble with the only place to go is down, right. So making sure that as, as we are so important as entrepreneurs to enjoy the journey, and I think that’s really, you know, what I’m hearing from you and the energy that knowing you, uh, yourself personally, is that that’s what you bring to the table in your business and how you try and help lead others. Because it isn’t about the destination. It’s about ultimately enjoying the time you have right now. And that’s, and that’s being self-aware that I don’t need to grind out 17 hours a day, seven days a week, uh, and not have any rest for yourself because you, you, you, you mentioned auto immune diseases as well. Free stress, stress is worse leads to can lead to cancer. You know, like it’s, it’s the worst thing we can have in our lives. So I love that. And just wonder to acknowledge that before we now pivot into what you’ve created, which is the global investor Alliance. I want to talk to me a little bit about that and how you are giving back in, around the educating those other people to live their best lives through multiple income streams.
Karen Williams (24:18):
Yeah. Yeah. Well, so we’ve been asked this, um, I guess it’s just about two years now that we’ve been formally at it. Right. And informally before that, because we were just like, no, nobody really wants to learn about this. It’s just our friends and family kind of thing. Um, but we have found that, um, it’s been actually hugely impactful and we’re super excited now that we see the impact of growing it. But, you know, we’re on version four of our portal. So we have, you know, just like somebody who invests with you, uh, with you and Andrew Reed, you would have, you know, their investor portal, right. One third investor, they get to, they get to have access to what’s happening. They get your updates on what’s happening in the deal and so forth. Well, we have a similar portal, but it’s all for the education.
Karen Williams (25:04):
So it really starts from a conceptual foundation stamp point. And here’s the thing, whether you’re an experienced, um, a real estate investor, or you’re not, you will find something of value in this that you have not touched before. I would promise you that if somebody, you know, became a member of our program and they were like, I went through that entire thing and I didn’t learn one thing new, I’d be like, all right, here you go, man, here’s your money back. And can you write the next thing? Because, um, I mean, honestly, there’s been so much that’s gone into it. Um, but what we found, that’s kind of interesting that we’ve taken a little twist in how we approach people is what’s first of all, very, very important to us as fit because we, as you know, um, we’re teaching people the foundation of how to invest in real estate, how they can leverage their current strengths.
Karen Williams (25:55):
Particularly if they’re a corporate professional business owner, an entrepreneur who’s already full-time in their active income. So they want to be fairly passive, but they know they want to be in real estate. Like those are the people we know we can really help. So if we have somebody who’s kind of like, oh, you know, whatever, but then we have a conversation and it’s really not. We’re going to say that because we don’t want to pull people into the group that aren’t going to be well-served. Um, and we really want our group to be, become so enormously successful that all of our growth literally comes from, uh, from, within sharing with their own friends and family. You’ve got to do this. It is like, look what it’s doing to our portfolio, or what have you, you know, we’re look how it’s changing our life. I’m leaving my corporate jobs, you know, five years earlier than I expected.
Karen Williams (26:41):
And we’re going to be doing this new pool wa business or whatever, you know what I mean? Whatever it might be, the stories are so varied and so different. And that’s, what’s really cool too. Cause we’re bringing in people that are, I mean, okay. The youngest, I think is a software engineer, wonder where he came from at like 27. And, um, you know, and the oldest is probably right around 62. So we have quite a span. Right. And just think about how different people’s lives are during that time. Think about their sort of financial Weir, wheelhouse, the things that are important to them, the things that are worrying them. Right. And so this is why we take a very personal approach to first, just let’s just have a conversation, let’s understand where you’re at in life, let’s understand, um, where you’d like to be. And by when and what do you like about your life now?
Karen Williams (27:33):
Not we literally start with people right there, nothing to do even really with money. Um, right. It’s more about your life. Um, because the money is just the means to end to support the life that you want to live and to be able to do good things for other people with that. Right. So you can have impact and change and, and, and positive influence on the world. But, um, you know, so that’s, you know, so people are like, wow, it’s like, you have like the first three weeks of, if you get into our intense two month, two month program, the first three weeks, we don’t even talk about real estate. We start getting into analyzing real estate and week four. So we explore through eight. And then another aspect on the backend is, you know, once we go through and we call ourselves the Maslow’s investors, the Maslow’s hierarchy investors.
Karen Williams (28:20):
And, um, and, um, it served us well. I mean, right. Like I grew up, as you can tell, like, my dad was an engineer for DuPont, but we had this 25 acre farm and we had our own chickens and pigs and cows and had lots of chores and whatever, but it was like this little hobby farm that fed the family, my mom candor foods. And she was a teacher and all this, like, but be having those humble beginnings and having to stretch a book, it’s made me tremendously resourceful in life. And I’m, you know, I’m not afraid of jumping in and doing a, do it yourself project that I’ve never done before. I’m like, well, I guess we’ll YouTube that we go a home Depot class. You know what I mean? Like, so whatever, whatever it is that you need to do. And that even goes like for Peter and I, in terms of the real estate education for ourselves, I mean, we have easily invested easily more than a hundred thousand dollars in real estate education.
Karen Williams (29:12):
Because even though we haven’t gone deep and then executed in a large scale, as you have, like in that multifamily space where you’re 1, 2, 300 unit places we’ve gone deep enough in each, because we want to fully understand it. Cause that’s the nerds that we are. Right. So then we can teach other people how to look at it, to try to keep them safe. Right. You need mostly, I mean, think about this. And even in corporate business world, it’s like, you mostly need to just know the right questions to ask. You need to always be intellectually curious and ask from a standpoint of curiosity and then people are more open and willing with their answers and the honesty of those answers as well. I think so. Um, yeah,
Reed Goossens (29:57):
I completely agree. I just want to jump in, I completely, the curiosity of everyone and I think that’s a no harnessing that curiosity is one thing, but also then understanding where you put that curiosity in terms of time, best spent most valuable fo focus, right? Yeah, exactly. Like you mentioned, you might not necessarily be the best syndicators, but you are really good in what makes you drive, makes you tick, is helping other people be educated about something that’s not talked a lot about it, which is alternative assets, real estate, thus being curious about that. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert, but you can be enough to be dangerous enough to ask the right questions. And that’s so important as we grow as entrepreneurs to keep being curious, keep understanding. And as you’re saying YouTube something and figure it out like ignorance is not an excuse anymore.
Reed Goossens (30:46):
And that’s why the benefits of, of having online platforms like yourself is that you get access to a community that not only like-minded around and around travel and, and fit, you mentioned earlier, but also around the, the time value. And then looking at what different investment classes you can put your money to work at, whilst being curious and knowledgeable to ask the right questions, to know that you are making the right investment decision, which I think is hugely powerful and it’s a skill in itself, right? It’s, it’s, it’s a niche that you guys are really good at. And that’s what you’ve, you’ve doubled down
Karen Williams (31:16):
How they talk about, you know, using other people’s money, right? I mean, in some senses we use other people’s syndications. We hate, we help syndicators raise money based upon the fact that we’ve already studied it. We’ve done our due diligence. We’re confident we’re investing in it. Okay. Hey, let’s study this as a group in our essentially mastermind of the Alliance members and elevate everybody up, let’s find out our blind spots, right? I mean, it’s learning really is a social process. This is, this is why people struggle with zoom. And I thank God for zoom because we wouldn’t have a business without it. Right. Because we do everything pretty much online. Although if we run through a city that we know we have investors in and we always try and meet up with them, but I mean, nonetheless, it’s still true that, that, that true, that true collaborative work session, white boarding out something and whatever is really awkward to do in zoom.
Karen Williams (32:13):
It, do you just can’t, you can’t reach the same flow. Right? It’s just a weird thing. So that’s one part of this, I think, work from home aspect. That’s gonna, that’s gonna change a little bit, I think Reed, speaking of multifamily, as that thought comes to my mind that you may start reorienting amenities to have maybe a workroom in, instead of like else that they’re no longer using in your multifamily amenities and things like that. And I’m sure, um, Eric has already thought in those designs about little workspace in, you know what I mean? Because people are having to work from their homes now. It’s not just like, oh, I need two bedrooms. Two adults probably need to work from there. What have you? And that kind of thing, you know? So, um, yeah. Yeah.
Reed Goossens (33:00):
I completely agree on that and how we all evolve and COVID making us be more smart without, without the tools that we have, we’ll create new tools in which we can work better from home. But just pivoting back to the Alliance. I know you don’t, we spoke a lot about you too, talking a lot about multi-family, but also know that you talk about other investment classes and in the green room, before we press record here, you mentioned agriculture, obviously growing up a little hobby farm, you guys invest in agriculture and I’ve never spoken to anyone do over 250 episodes on this show and only five and a half years of doing it. I’ve never spoken to anyone about investing in agricultural land. So let’s get into the meat and potatoes of today’s show and in the last sort of 10, 15 minutes here, and let’s talk about the benefits, all that grit, cultural investing, and how, how does one even go about doing
Karen Williams (33:50):
That eight? I know this is, you know, ag is so fascinating right now because it’s at a such a, I guess, point of inflection where so many things are changing and things you never expected to have an impact on farm land and ag are. Um, so I said, we’re we call ourselves the Maslow’s hierarchy investors. So shelter multifamily is number one. And the second pillar is agribusiness. So what we’re actually doing is most times most structures are investing just like you would, um, in the LLC for a multifamily deal. And you have an operating agreement and so forth, same sort of thing on, um, the agricultural development side. You’re just a developer, you’re developing different kind of asset. Oftentimes these are farms that are in Latin America. Why Latin America close to the Panama canal, easy point of trade and distribution to the rest of the world.
Karen Williams (34:41):
Um, cheap land, cheap labor, and enormous sources of fresh water and multiple sources of it, rivers, lakes, a lot of rainy season, that sort of thing. Right? So it’s, it’s conducive from a climate standpoint. Um, there’s a lot of different things that can be grown and they can be grown year round. So that’s kind of how, um, you know, Latin America became kind of a hotbed for us as well. We do look at things like India or warehouse growing and stuff like that in the states, like in urban places to solve food deserts. I do like that concept just haven’t found one yet that we’re willing to invest in where the numbers seem. Right. And all that. So, um, but yeah, so you invest in the syndication, you own shares in a syndication and just like you guys have a business plan and timelines, so to these guys, um, so it’s been everything from like we’ve had row crops, like pineapples and Panama. And so
Reed Goossens (35:35):
What did you say row grow crops row. Yeah. So what does that w why is it a road literally
Karen Williams (35:46):
Literally planted in rows, but they’re also, they’re also harvested and turned like they’re not treats. Right. And so, and so it’s about, I think every 13 and a half, 14 months is when they, when they make the turn on the pineapples. So that is a good, um, you know, think of like the single family home rental portfolio, good cheap cash generator, teaching king, just rental income. That’s kind of the same thing on the farmland side, right? Because you keep in any, and all these hectares, you know, you have like a hundred hectares and of course you’re rotating based upon what makes sense so that you always cause because as a distributor, you always want to have food coming to market, right. Because the grocery stores, the middlemen whoever’s buying from you. And of course the further you can get down the value chain and sell direct the better, but they want to have a steady supply because that’s what their customers want, you know? Um, and so, so, so we’ve done that and the pineapple has, so they grow and they have their own pack house. That’s a Cindy, a syndicated investment. Yeah. They actually pack for other pineapple growers in the area who are smaller, less sophisticated and don’t have their own pack house. So it’s like, you know, um, and then you get a slice of that revenue. So you basically have multiple income streams right. On the farm because of that. And they, okay.
Reed Goossens (37:05):
Sorry to interrupt. I’ve got so many questions here is like eight, my mind’s running, but what’s, what’s the type of crops that you invest in. And what, from a risk point of view, do you look at, from a crop type, because there’s everything from citrus fruits to apples, to knots, to vegetables, root vegetables, like what is the best type of investment for the long-term. And maybe you could walk us through a timeline of how a deal would work, uh, and how you find the partner in, in, in, in Latin America. And what does it take to get to cash flow or profit?
Karen Williams (37:37):
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So, um, so we have a couple of providers in, uh, Latin America and, um, we have one that we’ve done several projects with and, uh, we continue to work and they continue to expand and they are actually run by an American and Canadian. Who’s also Colombian. So that’s kind of helpful to see, we have part of these. So just like you meet your partners and investors and other people at conferences and such, we do the same thing, but for us, if we’d gone to Berlin has a big food show every year, all these people are there. Um, there’s one in Paris, you know, so there’s same sort of, you know, think of the same sort of like networking type of thing, um, where you’re going in, you’re kind of learning about what’s available and then you end up making partnerships there. And so then we go out and then we start to vet them and we say, what other projects they’ve been in?
Karen Williams (38:26):
And we find out from other people that we know invest in this space, you know, so we kind of go through just like we did with you and Andrew, the vetting for, uh, asset managers of multifamily. We’ll go through a whole series of kind of trying to dig out the background, basically these people as well, and make sure they’re legit because people, as long, as soon as you say, Columbia, people get nervous and it’s like, dude, it’s been 25 years since, but still, but you know, it’s actually a really thriving country right now. And part of the reason being the agriculture and the influx of technology, so what’s happening is you’re finding a lot of monitoring of crops and things like that. This is one of the plays in the ag space where you have sensors and such, it becomes less labor-intensive, you’re able to use big data to better manage your crop, harvesting cycle, any disease or any problem. Right? So these are all different parts of the cycle as well. So there’s a technology company that provides that actually what’s in Israel. And we were thinking about that, but we haven’t gone there on that one, but we have done the growing of these kind of row crops that you’re turning every year,
Reed Goossens (39:33):
We’ve got citrus, or what type of crop is it a pineapple
Karen Williams (39:38):
Pineapple? Um, because pineapple yeah. Is really high value, especially if you can get it air freight, which is this golden pineapple. Um, first of all, the people that we, uh, joined with in Panama have been doing this their second generation and Wellins well into the second generation. The matriarch was the head of, um, like agricultural representatives, the farmers association of Panama. So wields a lot of influence. And, um, that was obviously beneficial in, uh, in upping and ramping up this, uh, facility. And basically they took what already existed and ramped it up a notch, incorporated, more technology, um, are shipping air freight to places like Dubai for their high end hotels. Um, South Korea loves it, uh, you know, Paris, um, Milan, you know, so, and then, and then also, and then also shipping as well. But that’s just one crop, right? I mean, we’ve done coconuts, we’ve done farmings, we’ve done limes, we’re starting avocados, Peter and I have also directly invested into, um, direct titled farmland.
Karen Williams (40:52):
So we have all the Kado and mango. And then we have a farm management contract to run that you asked about, you asked about how long it takes. It really depends on the project, right? Because these are so different, obviously a pineapple farm. It’s not going to take that long to get to cashflow because you’re turning the crop and selling it so quickly. When you’re talking about planting trees, like the coconuts, it’s four years, we have coconuts like real coconuts on our trees now. So we’re super excited. Um, but are they at commercial grade yet? You know what I mean? You kind of go through that first two, three years, they’re growing, they’re getting huge. And then, oh my God, now they’re seeing fruit, but then it’s kind of like that first cycle of fruit, isn’t really commercial grade. And so you’re of just dealing with it locally.
Karen Williams (41:34):
You’re experimenting a little bit on your packing, on your packing process and all that sort of stuff. So these guys are into building the entire chain. That’s why you involve, that’s why you invest like in a syndication, in an LLC kind of thing, because they’re trying to own the process from the initial development, raising the equity. You can’t really use debt in Latin. America just doesn’t exist. It’s unless you want to pay like 25% interest rates, you know, have fun with that. Yeah. So, so that’s why, so that’s why it’s interesting because it’s basically all equity. Right. And, um, yeah. And then again, depending on that crop, we’ll tell you how quickly you’re going to get to a cashflow cashflow and kind of position. But the beauty of it is if you can have a bit of patient capital and you wait that four or five years, it starts print out money and literally for like 60 years without quitting, without putting on new roofs or [inaudible],
Reed Goossens (42:31):
That’s the question, [inaudible] the timeline point of view? You mentioned that obviously it’s a longer timeframe. Um, how do you, how do you mitigate the downside risk, which is one becoming obsolete in terms of you think about avocados, right? 25 years ago, 30 years ago. I remember being fed avocados as a kid, but it was a little bit like avocados was, we’re not around, we’re not around in, um, in the, in the mid, early nineties on, on avocado smashed toast. You know what I mean? Like there’s, there’s definitely things that come into boutique. So like how do you mitigate against that? And then how do you make sure what’s the timeline that you’re looking for a good, if you’re ever looking for an exit or you’re really just buying to holding cashflow. So
Karen Williams (43:15):
We have bought titled farmland, which is like kind of yours in perpetuity. Right? So Peter and I have done that. That is not something we would recommend to do it in the way that we did. Um, it was one of the first things we did. We didn’t really fully vet it. Um, we’re finding another, uh, uh, there’s a number of investors like ourselves who keep finding each other and we’re like, okay, well, how do we fix this? So we’re kind of working on that right now, outside of that, the syndications has been a really great vehicle. We are in some syndications, which are basically yes, in perpetuity. They don’t actually have a defined end date. Um, now if I worked with the asset manager and said, I’d really like to get my money out, would he swap out with another investor or whatever? Yes. I’m sure they would, you know, right.
Karen Williams (44:00):
You guys are smart. You understand your business, you’ll do what you can do, but it is by nature, less liquid than even a multifamily. Right? However, so we’ve got a couple of asset managers. I like how they structure this because they basically stopped her. It’s an equity investment, but it kind of pays like a bond. Let’s say you put 50 or a hundred thousand in, you’re going to make, you’re like 12, 15, whatever percent return it is, you make that return. And then at the end you get your capital back. It’s like a bond instrument, 10 years going to get it back and you’ve made and you’ve made your money on, you know, on the interim. And so a lot of people like that, especially if they are maybe like 60 and they want to sort of have a sense of what their defined end date is.
Karen Williams (44:43):
They’re not really sure about, okay. I don’t know if I’m gonna pass this on to my heirs because they might not want it. You know what I mean? But it is just a shares in a investment. Um, now we are working on things, um, with one of our partners, like I think we’ll ultimately get, you know, how they have the whole crowdfunding for commercial real estate. I think there’s going to be crowdfunding around this, around, around investment in agriculture. Um, because I’m getting more and more things that cross across my plate now. And I kind of seek it out, right? Cause I like this stuff, but I’m getting more and more things that cross my plate about different ways to invest in different areas of ag everything’s from the supplies that grow it to, you know, the pack house and the distribution of it to the actual growing of it and so forth.
Karen Williams (45:28):
But we have found that we liked the pack, cause it’s kind of the sweet spot. You don’t take on the climate and environmental risk and stuff like that, of the actual growing yet. You’re like the in between, and you’re the channel. You usually sit in a free trade zone, you know, there’s lots of advantages and you kind of lock in your supply with the farmers and they’re happy cause you’re exporting it for them. They don’t have the sophistication to do the exporting and build the channel. And so now they’re really high quality product that nobody knows about. It’s like all of a sudden you get to kind of push that out to the world, which is really cool. Like, like I love it goes back to read to that sort of people, planet profit thing. This is good for the people in that country. It’s good for the healthy people that are being fed, healthy food, healthy food. And it’s, you know, and I think it’s good. I think it’s good for the planet as, as well, you know, because we’re not raping and pillaging, they’re not, um, pesticides to death and all that sort of stuff.
Reed Goossens (46:24):
How do you protect against geopolitical risk?
Karen Williams (46:27):
Well, I mean, you do your due diligence. We have, um, just like Peter and I have a process we go through for multifamily, we have a process. We didn’t really know anybody who was doing it. So we built this kind of like ag risk evaluation matrix, and it kind of goes back to those banker days of evaluating industry, business and management risk. Um, but, um, yeah, I mean we just go through, we have, we tap into our asset managers and their, um, their local knowledge. Um, we tap into some of their resources and speak to their resources. We tap into some of the data they buy, like you buy the CoStar data, there’s other data and stuff. They get, we also do our own, you know, research and stuff outside of that to just basically try and understand, okay, who’s in charge there. How are the politics?
Karen Williams (47:12):
Is it, you know, are we having appeal or not? You know, are we, is the middle-class growing near the same things that we would kind of look at for investing in multifamily to some degree we’re looking at now, they’re not going to be at that same level, but it’s like, okay, is it, are the trends moving in a positive direction? Are there more people employed? Are they making greater income? Are they, is there more housing available? These kinds of things because when there’s a stability in that, then usually the politics and the economics that surround it is stable too. Right. Um, and, um, yeah, and I, and, and you know, and so really the two that we’re in, in Latin America right now are Columbia and, um, Panama, well, I mean, we’re in Mexico, but that’s not a lot of America. So, but nonetheless, um, yeah, I feel really, I feel as good or not better about those places.
Karen Williams (48:01):
I do my own country, so yeah. Um, but it is interesting. We’re coming up with new things now. I love the, sort of, again, the creative finance of when you’re trying to accomplish something that’s using real estate and that real estate can be used as essentially collateral to help bring security to the person who’s putting money on the table. So there’s another thing that’s coming up now that we’re doing with these groups, it’s called canes, they’re convertible agriculture notes. So think of private lending. Cause when I started, I started fixing, flipping and private lending to other big developers. That’s kind of how I started. And so with these guys are doing, is they’re taking like for example, in Panama. So the Panamanian government, once their farmers to be exporting to the world, it’s good for society. It’s good for their economy, whatever. Right. And so to encourage that they pay you tax credits based upon your bills of lading, that show how much you’ve shipped out and stuff.
Karen Williams (48:58):
Right. So, but they have to wait like 12, 18 months to 24 months maybe to get that money from the government yet. It’s one of those things you need new seed to put in the ground to get the grit next crop growing and that sort of thing. So it’s, it’s the working capital crunch. Right? And so I’m not sure if you’re familiar with like factor based lending lending against accounts receivable and inventory. And so this is essentially like a factor based lending they’re lending against the tax credit. And um, so investors are coming in and saying, okay, I believe in that debt, you know what, all, aren’t 7% to just sit my money somewhere quiet. It’s just cranking out food right now. And the Panamanian government who just raised this huge sovereign bond ground during the beginning of the pandemic. And it was oversubscribed. So clearly people believe in the stability there right now.
Karen Williams (49:45):
And so it’s like, okay, I threw some money in there to be like, okay, I think I’ll have a little [inaudible] for example, the counter right over here and do there. So N it comes back to me. Um, so what happens is basically the farmer sells that tax credit and you give them 90% or whatever, like you take the breast spread or whatever, or whatever 93% and take the spread. Um, so that’s how that works. And you’re guaranteed to be out within 12 to 24 months because they’re running the government’s running pretty consistently on it. And, um, yeah, like what a good little placeholder for people who would have ever thought, right?
Reed Goossens (50:26):
Um, this is
Karen Williams (50:30):
Reed Goossens (50:30):
You have got a lot of tools in your tool belt that you can call upon now, uh, over the years of experience, I’m sure the next 20 or 30 years that keeping up with Kara is going to be pretty tough.
Karen Williams (50:44):
It’s that thing, you know, this is what I tell my sons who are 20 and 22 now is don’t think that when you’re done with school, you’re done, life is, you know, it’s lifelong learning. It has to be perpetual learning because you won’t have the jobs anymore. It’s not what skills you have is what skills you can learn and keep up to date. Yup.
Reed Goossens (51:07):
A hundred percent. Couldn’t agree more with you, Karen. I love it too. And I want to be very respectful of your time. But at the end of every show, we like to get into the top five investing tips, which is a lightning round of five questions that I ask all my guests. Are you ready to dive into it? I’m ready. All right. So what question number one is, what is the daily habit you practice to keep on track towards your goals? Hm,
Karen Williams (51:31):
Well, I would say, um, I don’t know if it’s, I mean, it’s kind of daily, it’s daily and weekly, like, so I am a visual person I’m in, I need like a tactile, so I either have my flip charts on my wall and I’ve written down each day of the week. Like kind of, I like break it down into two buckets. It’s like calls or contacts or emails, the things like the reaching people or the doing like the doing content work kind of thing. So I kind of break it down into those buckets and I just do that like a day for each week. And then I feel great satisfaction when I can like check it off. Um, you know, I mean not, not flashy or whatever, but it’s like simple. That’s, that’s what I do. Yeah. Awesome.
Reed Goossens (52:11):
Question number two is who’s been the most influential person in your career to date,
Karen Williams (52:16):
Most influential person in my career today. Um, Hmm. That’s kind of a difficult question to answer because my career, as you can see has been a long and winding road, but I would say the most influential kind of in my real estate career, like coming back full circle to this is definitely my dad, like my stepdad for sure. And my mom, because he was my builder. He was my builder coach. Um, so I would say that in terms of helping me recognize, there’s a reason this keeps coming back to you and you need to just get into it and do it. Um, and then really my partner, Peter, in being the one to, to be like, push full-time sink or slim, you’re going to do it. You know, me trying to be like, you know, mama bear safe and him going, he’ll do fine.
Reed Goossens (53:07):
Uh, question number three is what is the most influential tool in your business on a, that you use on a daily basis? And when I say tool, it could be a physical tool, like a notebook or a phone, or it could be a space of software that you use it. You just can’t run the business without what is it? Well, certainly our spreadsheets,
Karen Williams (53:26):
Right? Um, so the zoom, I mean, right. And everybody feels that way these days, but it really is all our private coaching, all our classes, everything’s zoom. Um, that’s hard to have just one, right, but WhatsApp and slack, WhatsApp and slack would be the other two WhatsApp. Cause we talked to anybody across the world, whether it’s message, video message, live chatting, and it’s free. And everybody, and we started this business when we were on the other side of the world in Europe. So it’s, that’s awesome. I love that. And slack, we moved, we moved our investors off of Facebook group and onto slack and they allowed it. Perfect. Love it.
Reed Goossens (54:01):
Question number four in one sentence, what has been the biggest failure in your career? What’d you learn from that failure?
Karen Williams (54:10):
I would say, um, just kind of being a late bloomer in seeing my own worth of what I, cause I feel like it’s very amoeba. Like it’s hard to define and um, and so I questioned the value I could command for it. And, and so it took me a while to, to, you know, and I was always taught to, I was raised with more girls would be humble, be like, you know, demure or whatever, rather than ballsy and like, whatever. But, um, so I would say that, yeah, the real lesson I learned from that is that if you devalue yourself, everyone else will too. So that’s a certainty. It’s like, you draw it to you. So you need to settle that in yourself and just yeah, go for it.
Speaker 4 (54:58):
Awesome. Awesome. Final
Reed Goossens (55:00):
Question is where can people reach you to continue the conversation they want to be in your sphere? Where do they go? Um,
Karen Williams (55:06):
Tell him to go to go global investor alliance.com, uh, right there on the front page. You can, um, push the button to have a chat with us. You’ll see my calendar. You can schedule 15 minutes. I love to chat with people live the first time. Um, just because it’s nice to, you know, whatever here, a real live voice, all this, everybody in their homes. It’s right. It’s nice to have live interaction. So I’d say global and blessed alliance.com and click that button let’s chat. Um, you can find me on LinkedIn, Karen Williams. My parents gave me the plaintiff’s name you could possibly have. So you might find Peter Badger, my partner first, and then you’ll find me connected to him.
Reed Goossens (55:42):
Awesome stuff. Well, look out. I want to thank you so much for jumping on today’s show. I just want to reflect some of the things I took away from today’s show. I think first and foremost, your incredible life story today. Like it’s just been, it has been a windy road, but it, but a really interesting windy road and, and you’ve, you’ve, you’ve always learned to pivot, right? You’ve always learned to roll with the punches and I think that’s really built some awesome resilience within yourself, uh, into what you’re building your brand around with a global investor launch today about making sure you’re valuing, valuing the time that you spend on this planet and that it isn’t all about stress and working huge hours and, and making sure you’re, you’re gaining some control and, and through a path less traveled, um, in your life. And that’s important to how you go out and make sure you’re, you’re teaching other people in, in the global investor Alliance. And then obviously the final thing we spoke about today was, was investing in ag and how it’s got such a booming industry for it coming up here in the future. And right now, and maybe something that a lot of people don’t talk about on these investing shows is the importance of agriculture investing it and what, how much returns you can get through, you know, really simple crops like avocados and pineapples. So did I leave anything? Yeah, no,
Karen Williams (56:48):
I don’t think so. Boy, read. You’ve got good retention. It’s good for, you know, it was always a pleasure chatting with you a read. So really it’s been an honor to join you. I listened to your, to your show a lot. I really do. And you have fantastic guests, so I’m, I feel like grateful to be among them. Thank you so
Reed Goossens (57:08):
Much. Well, again, thank you for taking some time out of your day, enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll catch up very, very soon. Thanks for you. Well, there you have it. Another cracking episode jam back with some incredible advice from Karen. Karen is really a wealth of knowledge and I do encourage everyone to get onto the global investor alliance.com website and meet Karen and Peter. They are just bubbling with life and full of energy and will help you harness your inner entrepreneur. If that’s what you’re looking for in terms of the passive side, in, in, in across many different asset classes, which is really, really intriguing, particularly in around agriculture, definitely got me thinking about my future investments in, for my family and where I want to place that cash flowing money in maybe in Latin America, maybe a pineapple fund. I want to thank you all again for taking some time out of your day to tune in, to continue to grow your financial IQ, because that’s where all about here on this show. Easiest way to give back is to give us a five-star review on iTunes and we’re going to do it all again. Next week’s remember, be bold, be brave and go give life a crack.