RG 315 – How to Work Less Without Sacrificing Your Wealth Potential with Billy Keels
Our guest for this week’s episode is fellow ex-pat Billy Keels. But instead of the US, Billy is operating his business all the way over in Barcelona, Spain.
Billy Keels is a seasoned traveler, real estate investor, podcast host (Going Long), and the Strategic Advisor of First Generation Capital Partners, an investment group that helps high-wage earners build their wealth without working more.
Like many real estate investors, Billy started out working a 9-5 before getting into the real estate space. Along the way, he learned the value of investing time in a way that produces the most returns. Billy takes great joy in taking as much knowledge as possible, be it about European culture or commercial real estate, and we can all take a page from his book.
We cannot take wealth to our grave, but we can rest easy leaving a life well-lived. Listen to Billy’s story as we talk about his travel experiences, his opinions about investing in the US real estate space as an ex-pat, and how he reinvented himself into the man he is now.
You can’t take control of your outcomes until you take action.
Traveling is an amazing way to build knowledge, street smarts, experience, and real-world principles that can help you later on in business.
Real estate can allow you to leverage other people’s talents and maximize your passive income.
- Continuous learning is key to finding the best vehicles to reach your destination.
Be Bold, Be Brave and Go Give Life a Crack!
Listen to Podcast
Reed Goossens (00:00):
Good day Good day guys. Now, before we dive into today’s show, I want you to let you know that some of you may be aware that over the past eight years, I have built a substantial multi-family real estate portfolio here in the us worth over half a billion dollars. And in that time, my passive investors have received fantastic double digit returns, and now you too can invest directly into my deals for as little as $50,000. So if you’re an interested investor, head over to Reedgoossens.com to find out more that’s reedgoossens.com. Now back into the show,
Billy Keels (00:40):
One of the reasons that I really, really love real estate is because number one, it helped to open my eyes to not just depending on the stock market, because that you have absolutely no control over. And it helped me to get into the world of passive investing as well, because I didn’t realize that I could leverage other people’s talents. And then once I started realizing how I could also start to save some of the, the 45 plus percent that I was paying to uncle Sam, when I could actually keep some of that and then redeploy that back into other real estate investments and other passive investments, it was really that point that I started realizing it’s okay. I know the destination that I want to get to. And it’s a matter of how do I effectively utilize the different, the different vehicles that are there to be able to get to the destination in a way that feels comfortable for me. And so now the way that, well, I continue to do, I continue to invest in, in real assets and our company today has focused a lot more on helping those high wage earners that have specific issues with earned income. So W2 income in terms of the, the tax obligation that most of us have. So always in the real asset world, uh, and always continuing to educate and learn, which is the right vehicle to get to the destination.
Speaker 3 (02:04):
Welcome to investing in the US, a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the US market, join Reed as he interviews go-geters 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 (02:24):
Good day good day, a ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another cracking edition of investing in the US podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host reedgoossens good as always Abby with us on the show. Now I’m glad that you’ve all tuned into it to 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 their businesses here in the us, how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cash flow, and ultimately created 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 (03:11):
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 bots. Now, if you do like this 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 wherever you podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but you can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to reedgoossens.com, Click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video recordings of these podcasts, but you can see my ugly mug, but the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough outta me, let’s get cracky and into days show,
Reed Goossens (03:59):
Turn the show. I, the pleasure of speaking with Billy keels now, Billy is the founder of first generational capital partners. He formed this company off the back of his success, investing in real estate and being able to produce consistent passive income that has allowed him to achieve financial freedom, but it took Billy over eight years to hit his target. And now he’s in a position to help others to achieve the same success he has with his proven system of investing in real estate. Now to top it all off, Billy is the opposite of me. He is an expat living in Spain, but he’s an American, um, by nature. And you’ll get to hear him in a little bit, but he’s got an incredible story. He’s been in Europe since 2001. So over 20 years living abroad as an expat, I really resonate with that. And he’s also in real estate investing back here in the United States. So I’m really pumped and excited to have him on the show today to share he’s incredible insight with me, but enough me let’s get him out here. Okay, Billy, welcome to the show. Hey didn. So mate,
Billy Keels (04:51):
Reed. You absolutely rock, man. I just, I love being, being able to hang out with you, uh, listen to the things that you’re talking about. And I was like, is that really me? And you said over 20 years in Europe, and yes, it has been over 20 years in Europe and I’m super excited to, to have another conversation with you. A lot of people are gonna be listening to us this time. So, um, I’m sorry.
Reed Goossens (05:09):
Billy Keels (05:09):
And keep it, uh, try and keep it clean.
Reed Goossens (05:11):
We, well, we’ve been, I’ve known, we’ve been connected for a little while now. I wanna say probably at least four to five years, we’ve least known about each other through, I think when, when I first got started in the space, you know, attracting international investors to the us, you are obviously abroad. You were trying to attract, you know, friends and family that you were doing in your corporate, you know, formal corporate world. But with that being said, I wanna get into that. I want to use today. As you know, clearly we got similar paths, you know, just in different countries. Um, but before we do, I, I want you to rewind the clock and tell me how you made your first ever dollar as a kid.
Billy Keels (05:43):
Well, the very first dollar, that’s a, that’s a great question. The very first dollar I made was watch, I guess, cause I watched my parents, neither one of my parents, um, had a college education or they never finished. And so, um, they always said work, work, work. And I remember at 12, I think it was 12, 11 or 12. I, um, I had a paper route, uh, where we were living in Texas and I used to get the local newspaper and they would show up at the house and we’d have to put ’em all these plastic bags. But yeah, that was the first, that was the first dollar I made work working, working like as a job. So that was, uh, pretty interesting.
Reed Goossens (06:17):
How, how, how was the, your upbringing, uh, in America, American kid doing the, the paper route? What, what was, what was your relationship with money and, and in really entrepreneurship?
Billy Keels (06:27):
Yeah, I mean, so a couple things. So, um, having parents that didn’t have a college education, which they thought that that was super important and they both worked two jobs. I watched them make some very, very difficult decisions read like at the end of the month, if they were gonna pay this bill or that bill, I always said, you know, we always had food in our home, so it was never a challenge, but I just watched the challenges and the arguments that happened around money. So when I grew up money was, it was a, it wasn’t really a subject that I like talking about because when you don’t have it, it’s usually a source of tension. And so on the same, at the same on the same note, because it was such a sore spot, I guess it’s one of the things that has really driven me as well in the beginning was to actually have money.
Billy Keels (07:16):
And, and part of the reason was when my parents, they didn’t because they didn’t have money. And they thought education was really, really important, like formal education. They worked really hard to make sure that we were in the quote unquote good school districts. And so I had the good fortune of being able to see a lot of friends of mine, whose parents were able to provide them all this kind of really cool stuff, great cars and all this stuff, great, you know, clothes. And my parents couldn’t do that. And so it also made it a little difficult, right? Because I’m seeing all these kids around me than my friends. And it seems like they have extra money doing this and doing that. And my parents really struggled so early on having the exposure to those things was really good. Cause I knew I had to work hard to be able to get those. And at the same time it was, you know, kind of challenging cuz my parents were working like, you know, four or five times what some of my other friends, at least my perception was at that time. Um, it just didn’t seem like it was a didn’t seem like it was right, but
Reed Goossens (08:10):
Is what its no, it’s, it’s an interesting question to, to bring up around how people have, you know, relationships with money. Definitely does a lot of people in this show that I’ve interviewed including myself, you know, I didn’t come from means I, you know, very, very blue, not blue collar, but very middle of the road type of stuff and, and resonate with the same sort of, not necessarily arguments, but, but there was a, an underlying tension there, you know, growing up that, that you, you, you know, you could feel as a kid, you just didn’t know. Yeah. Okay. We, we, we got the secondhand car and I’ll, you know, my mates had got the, the brand new one come to school, you know, like I, I never went without either, but you know, you felt as you know, in the, in the working class that you, it was just a, a different,
Billy Keels (08:49):
Reed Goossens (08:50):
There was a sense of like there wasn’t just money to burn and, and, and, you know, had to work for chores and you, you were being, you know, very conscious of, of, you know, hand me downs and stuff like that, you know? So yeah, yeah. Um, yeah, no, I, I, I it’s, it’s, it’s interesting, but, but it also helps pave the path for where you’re coming to today. So walk us through the early career of, of Billy and, and, you know, we spoke a little bit about this offline in the green room, but, but what you’ve been doing over the last 20 years and, you know, traveling the world and, and being the opposite of me and now living in another country.
Billy Keels (09:21):
Yeah. So it’s, it’s pretty interesting. So, and I kind of, I think of myself as some, I was a, I got really good grades in school, so I worked really hard. I was that like classic a student, right. I did everything I was supposed to do. And, and, um, and I got good grades. And as a result, every time I thought, if I studied and I worked really hard, then I was gonna get the, the good grade, the a and I was gonna get that smile. And that, that pat on the back, and I did that through college. And one of the things where I went to college, like the dream job at my college was to work for Proctor and gamble because I was a marketing major. That was my first major. Well, I did everything that I was supposed to do. I got all the good grades.
Billy Keels (09:57):
And then I got into this process and guess what, Reed, I started the process, but I got rejected. I got rejected from the job and I didn’t really know how to handle that. So that was kind of like terrible. And so I decided to go back and get a second degree. And I went overseas for the very first time in my life. And when I came back, I had this overseas experience. I was not really speaking a new language, but I kind of was, it was Spanish by the way, I was went to Valencia and, and I was for sure, I was like, wow. Now is the time like I’ve got fifth, fifth year, second degree, I’ve this extra experience. And so it was time to go back and get my dream job. And when I went through the process again, I got booted from the process, so rejected twice.
Billy Keels (10:39):
And that just like really crushed me. Cause I didn’t know, I didn’t, I wasn’t used to dealing with this kind of rejection, but it was like the single biggest thing that changed my life to answer your question. Because when I got rejected the second time, a really good friend of mine, I was a co co-chair of a student body, uh, organization. Uh, he was from St. Louis, Missouri. And he told me about this group of people that worked and traveled around the world. They, they traveled with fortune 500 CEOs and things like that on business meetings, pleasure trip, leisure trips. And so I had the good fortune of out of about 6,000 candidates. I was one of 26 people that was able to start working at this company. And the reason that the rejection was one of the best things that ever happened to me, um, Reed, and some of the things we talked about, and that next five years, I had the opportunity to experience things that I’d never, ever imagined.
Billy Keels (11:27):
Cause I’m from Columbus, Ohio, right. Blue collar family. Um, and I worked and traveled throughout 58 countries. Wow. And it just absolutely changed the way that I saw the world. Uh, the things that I thought were, uh, reality. Sometimes it was just, that’s the way that I was taught. It wasn’t necessarily the way that it happened everywhere else. So it was a real growth experience. And after that five years and 58 countries, I didn’t see myself going back to a normal nine to five job. So I took a one year sabbatical, uh, that one year sabbatical, uh, was accepted at university in, in Paris. Uh, so I was in Paris. I wanted to learn French language and culture. I wanted to learn more about, uh, wine and I wanted to learn how to salsa dance. Cause I’m very like, uh, objectives, gold driven. Right. I don’t know how these three things worked, but I can’t tell you that the wine helped myself to dancing that’s for sure.
Billy Keels (12:13):
. Um, but, but anyway, so I, I got into the it space while I was there. Cuz I decided I didn’t wanna go back to the us cuz I was having such an amazing experience. And this was right after 2001, uh, the, the, the, the twin towers. Right. And so I was in France at a time. That was the tensions between the, the us and the French were, were pretty high. Right. And so I realized like living through that situation and being able to talk to people and challenge the way that I was thought about the world and, and saw things I really wanted to stay. I started speaking the language and, and so as I stayed, um, I moved from Paris. I went down to the south and I started getting into the, uh, the, it, the it space. I was in hardware and then I moved to software.
Billy Keels (12:54):
And, uh, eventually while I was in the south of France, I ended up meeting this really, uh, cool person, this nice woman from, uh, from Spain. Uh, they sent me to Italy. So I actually started a sales team in Italy for a while. And she and I stayed in touch. I went back to France and eventually moved to Barcelona, Spain. And so that’s actually how I ended up here in Spain. Uh, we got married in September of 2008. Our first child was born in, in may of 2009. And our second in, uh, sorry, October of 2009 and our second in may of 2011. And so I always kind of tell people, you know, when, when you’re going after things or you’ve been rejected and you want to take that one year sabbatical, that you have to be careful, cause that could turn into three countries, four additional languages that I’ve learned.
Billy Keels (13:34):
It could be a marriage and two additional kids. So , so you know, that, that has been, um, something that’s really, uh, been, been, been a big impact and it all started from points of rejection. Right? Mm-hmm because I didn’t think that that, uh, well I was a, a student and I thought that only thing that was really gonna be the next path was going into that, that corporate job. And, and when that rejected it, you know, it’s turned to so many different things since then. Uh, and also now I’ve also had a chance to work and travel throughout 86 countries. So it’s, uh, it’s wow. Changed quite a bit. Yeah. It’s been, I’ve been very fortunate.
Reed Goossens (14:08):
Well, I, I think it also a good lesson and, and I am a proponent of this, you know, one of the biggest things I will tell young people, particularly I want young entrepreneurs, if they’re really young in the twenties, uh, well, like what do you recommend when I get into real estate, you know, want to wanna get a hustle? And I actually said, go traveling, get, get out, get out of the us and go traveling and go get some bit of street smarts, see how other people live their life. You will be a lot better for it and you can come back and you’ll still be here. They’ll still always be here. You can still start, but, but having that ability to go and chase, not chase, but be curious around other things in other cultures is really important as not only is it important in, in entrepreneurship and business, but it also broadens the mind in terms of how impact around the world.
Reed Goossens (14:52):
Not only from an eco, an economics point of view, but how traders done, how international business has done, how money is transferred across the globe, how other people see opportunities. Unlike other people like for me, you know, I see opportunities in the United States that maybe the average person who’s been living here forever. Doesn’t see it. Yeah. Right. So you have the same experience living abroad in, in other countries. And that’s what it, that’s what that’s what travel does. So I’m a huge proponent of it. And I, I, I could talk all day about that. I don’t wanna but tell me how you get involved in the real estate space, because that’s obviously where you’ve the story. Now, you, you you’ve come through 20 years of being abroad. Uh you’ve you’ve been successfully investing in real estate for the last eight or nine years. You’ve built up a really good, nice nest egg, which is it allowed you now to exit the day job, which must be feel incredible, but also, you know, how was that journey and what had you get started?
Billy Keels (15:45):
Yeah. So, you know, one of the things that happened and just getting it start getting started in real estate and it’s changed my life because it’s, it’s actually helping to open my mind to new opportunities just to your point. Right. But, but it all started as someone who is a, a really great student once again, cuz it comes back to the things that you learned when you were little. Right. Um, as I was going through my, my career, I told myself that I, I really wanted to have as much control over my financial life. Well, things happened in 2000. I’d been working for like five or six years. I the two dot.com bubble happened that didn’t work out so well, uh, in my portfolio suffered. Uh, and then the same thing happened about eight years later. And so the same thing happening twice was not a good thing cuz my parents always said, Billy, if something happens once, shame on them, if it happens twice, shame on you.
Billy Keels (16:32):
And so I had to realize that not coming for money, that I couldn’t put my financial life, IE retirement and things like that and someone else’s hands. So I needed something that I had more control over and good fortune had. I was in the states and I’d come across this little purple book, rich dad, poor dad, which I know everybody talks about and I started reading it, but I didn’t finish it. And so it took me about two years, I, I was back stateside and then this time I picked the book up and I actually read it and I was like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. Hang on a second. So I read the whole thing and like most people, I went down the rabbit hole, I read every single rich dad book, all the advisors, all this and that. I started watching, you know, uh, videos.
Billy Keels (17:07):
I was listening to podcasts and things like that. And I became a theoretical ninja. Like I knew everything. I could tell you, every single thing that was gonna happen, that you needed to happen and, and how much money you were gonna get and your CADs and your net profit and all that stuff. Well, that was going really, really well. And I knew all of the theory and I was also a young father and it actually took me from going from the theory of knowing things to actually getting into action for something that was that up until recently, I was not very comfortable sharing, um, because it happened to do with me as a young father and, and wanting to be there for my, for my wife and for my kids and be present. And I’ll never forget the night before my oldest child’s third birthday re I, I didn’t sleep very well.
Billy Keels (17:55):
It, it wasn’t a, a good time, uh, because I knew that the next morning I had to leave. And so, because I had to leave on my oldest, son’s third birthday, I, I woke my wife up really, really early. It’s like 5 45 and our one year old woke them up. And, you know, you can imagine at that time of the morning, they’re all kind of all over the place I went and, you know, I got outta the shower and I, I was ready to have my suit and tie on, was ready to get out the door. And I woke up our three year old and we sang happy birthday and I gave him a hug and kiss and I left. And so as I left, it was one of those things where I just literally was sick to my stomach because I knew I was out of alignment because one of the things that I really wanted to do is be present for special events.
Billy Keels (18:32):
And so I remember being at the business meeting all day in Frankfurt, Germany, after that, you know, that night, my wife, my one year old and our three year old for his birthday, they were with my in-laws, they were singing happy birthday and blowing out the candles. And I was at some business meeting that I don’t even remember what it was. Right. And so the reason I tell you that is because that it took that moment for me to go from the theoretical ninja on all the stuff that I was learning about real estate to actually taking action, because I couldn’t take control. I couldn’t actually take control of any of the outcomes unless I actually started doing it. And so it took about eight months, but I bought my very first property, eight months after that, uh, my wife and I were in Cairo Egypt, and we bought our very first small duplex in New Jersey.
Billy Keels (19:18):
And that was one of the things that, that, that got me started. And then I had the five year goals and like many people. And I’m sure, you know, this sounds very familiar once you write it down and you start taking action, it only took 18 months to get to the five year goals. Right. And it was like, I should have thought much, much bigger than that. And that helped me. And I started in, in real estate and have, have since done a number of other things, but I kept being in my corporate role for similar kind of reason. And I was, I enjoyed it. Like, I think most people, when they saw me on LinkedIn, like I had for a while read, I was the happy corporate employee because I enjoyed what I was doing. And then it sales leadership across Europe, middle east, and Africa.
Billy Keels (19:57):
Uh, then over the last couple years, I was here locally in Spain, um, as a senior executive and being able to do things and, and, and being recognized as I was in trips to Hawaii or top achievers and all this kind of stuff and top talent program. But in the last quarter of 2021, my dad started having some, some challenges, health wise. And it really took me being, traveling back and forth from Spain to the us to, to visit him and see him. And he was actually in the ICU. And I just remember being there with him, thinking to myself, you know, what this whole thing is pretty finite. Like I’d lost family and friends before, but that was the thing that really made me realize like, Hey, you’ve been doing this work for the last nine and a half years. You’ve been living two lives during the day.
Billy Keels (20:43):
You’re in this like early morning, you’re doing, you’re building your business and you’re talking to your investors. And then you go for a whole portion of the day from like eight 30 in the morning until late at night, and you’re doing your corporate job. And then you start again, uh, building your business. And I realized that it’s about time. It’s not about continuing to just have more and more and more money cuz you can’t take it with you. And that was the thing that has really like kind of like the two major things that helped me realize I gotta take action. I can’t just be a theoretical ninja and win is enough enough. And so now I’m at the point where it’s about how do I spend my time and in, in being able to invest my time is probably a better way to stay. How do I invest my time in the way that gives me the best return and the best feeling. Um, and that’s, that’s really where I am right now, man, in terms of, uh, in terms of, in terms of life,
Reed Goossens (21:33):
For those of you who are interested in staying up to date with all the latest happenings in my business, or to learn more about passively investing directly into my multifamily value, add deals, then head over to Reedgoossens.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter by signing up, you’ll automatically be notified about my new up and coming investment opportunities. You’ll be able to stay up to date with all the latest real estate news here in the United States and much, much more. So head over to reedgoossens.com and sign up today. Now back into the show.
Reed Goossens (22:09):
Yeah, not look, I appreciate that you sharing that and the vulnerabilities in and around that. And again, I can, I can resonate with you cuz I had chasing my goals. Uh, five years ago, my mum passed away. Uh, and leading up to that, I was working still working full time as a dev with the developer here in LA and, and traveling back and forth to Australia. And I remember getting home, you know, three days before she passed and you know, being really devastated. And when I got back to the states back to the day job, it, you know, I was in a day job that I was learning a lot and I was doing side hustles and I’d already done a bunch of syndications, but I said to myself like, you know, and mom, my mom would never have said to me, stop chasing your dream. But I had that selfishness
Reed Goossens (22:51):
Know like shadow, if that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. And um, I’m sure you probably felt the same, right? Where you, you, you you’re faced with a reality that this is gonna be finite and people aren’t gonna stick around. So what the, and what the am I doing this? Playing this halfass game? Yep. You know, I’m either put a big boy pants on and this is not for those people listening to this. I will preface probably both Billy and I were at stages in our lives. We’ve been working on it for a long period of time. Yeah. You know, I, I, you know, I know you would’ve, you would’ve been investing for a long period of time and you got to that point, I’d done force indications on as a side hustle, like lead syndications. Like it wasn’t, we weren’t just like, ah, screw the day job.
Reed Goossens (23:28):
Let’s get going, you know yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But it was, it was those moments in life that really, and I did a sh I did a podcast on this show back after she passed called priorities versus goals. And you should go back and listen to it. Not you Billy, but the, the listeners. Yeah. Yeah. Um, where talk a little bit about, you know, you gotta have the, you know, a goal has a target against it. Right. And, and, and I remember hearing this, this incredible entrepreneur, um, Dan Priestley and, and he he’s an Australian and he wrote the book key person of influence and he says, does it? And I sort of re took the words. And I, and I sort of said to myself, does it matter if I have 2000 units in, in, in 2018, you know, when I’m sitting with my grandkids in when I’m 80 years old, does it matter if I have 20 yeah.
Reed Goossens (24:14):
2000 units in 2018 or 2000 units in 2021? And the answer is it doesn’t. Yeah. But you have to in the same breath, you have to also enjoy the journey because why are you on this path if you don’t go out and take yourself seriously. So I think, and I just share that with you, because I want to mirror, you know, back to you and say, thank you for, for being vulnerable. Because I think that is these moments in life. So many people can resonate with on listening that they get to that point and like, what the hell am I doing? Yeah. You know, like get off the pot.
Billy Keels (24:44):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I know we talk about with people all the time. And I used to, like I said, I was really ashamed to talk about the thing that happened with my son that I missed his birthday cuz I felt like I was like, I was not aligned. Right. And so I felt shame about that. And, and I didn’t used to share that, but what I’ve realized is that I’m not alone. There are a lot of people that go through that. The difference is that made me go from theory to action. Because if I would’ve just kept going around and around, I would’ve gone. I would’ve missed more special things. Things that were special for me. Right. And from that moment I never missed another one. Right. I didn’t mean that I didn’t work a lot. Cause I did work a lot by the way.
Billy Keels (25:27):
And like you said, I was, it took me nine and a half years. This was not something that happened overnight. And along the way I found out I was things like an accredited investor. I didn’t know what that meant at the time cuz I was just, you know, head down and all this kind of stuff. And then I realized that it wasn’t about just the money that I was making, but it was about the time that I had, how was I using it? And how was I deploying the capital in a way that made the most sense for me? So yes, to reiterate it did not happen over overnight. It did not happen perfectly. I made many mistakes along the way, but what I realized is it is not just about making money. And I don’t say that lightly because I don’t come from money. I know that it takes money to, to be able to pay your bills, to be able to do the things that you, that you want to be able to do. But you start to realize that. Yeah. I mean the, the most important thing is how are you investing your time ultimately is what it comes down to.
Reed Goossens (26:20):
No, and that’s, and I now wanna pivot and get into what you’re building now, but, but it is important to come from those positions. And you say it’s really the alignment, the self awareness. Where are you? I’m sure. I’m sure a lot of us, if we sat down and thought about the, the times in our lives, where they were pivotal, it was because you weren’t in alignment because you had an internal feeling that you didn’t know, it didn’t seem right. And you had to react to that. And sometimes you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re in a subconscious is already telling your stuff and, and, and sending alarm bells before you even know, know what you’re doing. So again, moving away from that pain into something that is, you know, creating a life that you wanna live. So talk to me about what, what, what is, what is Billy 2.0, looking like, how is the business going? You know, what, what, what, what are you, what are you out there to
Billy Keels (27:03):
Achieve? Yeah, man. So the, so as it relates to, uh, where we are now. So the thing about that I loved and love about real estate is the fact that it’s something that has a POC, a proof of concept. So it is not very difficult to understand people need a place to live. And if you provide that service, then people in exchange will be willing to pay you for that. And, and the fact that you can have much more control over that versus the stock market was like, oh my gosh, this is awesome. And so continue to build out personal portfolio. Um, one of the things I mentioned before, like I didn’t even know that I was an, a credit investor, right. Because I didn’t come from a family of credit investors and I wasn’t really talking about it. And it took me into the point that I had in my own personal portfolio.
Billy Keels (27:46):
I think it was about 30, 30 units, something like that. And of course I’m doing all this from Barcelona, Spain, cuz everything that I do is back in the United States. And it was along the way that I found out about this thing called passive investing. I didn’t even know that it existed Reto. I was like, hang on a second. I’m doing all this work and I can actually give somebody else two or $300,000 and they will actually do all of the work for me. I can keep doing my job and they, they will do the work and, and, and pass they returns my way. Okay, cool. That sounds good. So then I started investing passively with other people in large multi-family complexes, much like the ones you do. I got into ATM machines. And at the same time I started realizing like, Hey, this is really cool.
Billy Keels (28:24):
And over a couple of years I started realizing that I had these passive losses. And so I didn’t understand that. And so I invested in understood more with my, with my tax team and what that meant. And then I also started figuring out how I could stop or I shouldn’t say stop, but how I could also start to mitigate some of the W2 income that I was paying, cuz I was still paying like 45% in my W2 wages, which was, didn’t really feel what didn’t feel too good. So, um, I started investing also too in the energy space. And so what I’ve realized is as all of these vehicles and one of the reasons that I really, really love real estate is because number one, it helped to open my eyes to not just depending on the stock market because that you have absolutely no control over.
Billy Keels (29:11):
And it helped me to get into the world of passive investing as well, because I didn’t realize that I could leverage other people’s talents. And then once I started realizing how I could also start to save some of the, the 45 plus percent that I was paying to uncle Sam when I could actually keep some of that and then redeploy that back into other real estate investments and other passive investments, it was really that point that I started realizing it’s okay. I know the destination that I want to get to. And it’s a matter of how do I effectively utilize the different, the different vehicles that are there to be able to get to the destination in a way that feels comfortable for me. And so now the way that, well, I continue to do, I continue to invest in, in real assets and our company today is focused a lot more on helping those high wage earners that have specific issues with earned income. So W2 income in terms of the, the tax obligation that most of us have. So always in the real asset world, uh, and always continuing to educate and learn, which is the right vehicle to get to the destination.
Reed Goossens (30:13):
Love it. And, and so how are you, is it the international folks you’re talking to or are you also talking to us based folks as well?
Billy Keels (30:19):
Well, you know what, so talking to many people, but the people that we’re really focused on helping today are credit investors in the United States. Um, and the reason for that is because what we’re doing focusing a lot on in the energy sector with, uh, carbon capture equipment. And so that’s helping there’s specific tax benefits that help us based, uh, either residents or citizens. So although we’re speaking to a number of people where we’re really focused today is, uh, on that accredited investor that lives in the United States or as a us, uh, citizen living abroad.
Reed Goossens (30:51):
Mm-hmm, talk to us a bit, a little bit about the energy capture stuff. I, I love it. I, I, I, I’m a big proponent of it. I don’t do enough of it, but I, you know, the little things I can try to do on my properties, like low flow toilets and, and, and, you know, solar screens and, you know, new, new, new thermal energy stuff with regards to the HVAC, but I try to do, but what are you, what are you doing in the, the carbon capture space?
Billy Keels (31:12):
Yeah. So in carbon capture, it’s a little bit, so it’s a little bit different than, than, than that. So, um, with the carbon capture specifically, what we’re doing is helping the, the government produce more energy, right. And as a result of helping them to produce more energy and helping large companies to be able to do that, and we’re, they’re using our pieces of equipment, which are carbon capture equipment and they’re using that equipment to increase production of energy. And so we, is it, uh, it’s it’s carbon capture equipment. Yeah. So the, so the, so the equipment is actually carbon capture and they’re attached to, um, large, large pipelines typically, um, sometimes to, uh, well BOS and as we’re capturing CO2 from pipelines or from well BOS, they then use that to, to then increase the, the overall energy production. And so that’s where, that’s where we’re focused so that the accredited investors we’re actually purchasing large pieces of equipment.
Billy Keels (32:10):
We then, as those pieces of equipment are being utilized, we’re able to use very similar to what we’re doing in real estate as well with the bonus depreciation rules, um, being able to, to use those, to, to help, to mitigate on the, on the tax portion. And I guess I should probably take a step back as you know, this already, and I know your audience knows this, not giving anybody tax advice. Of course, you need to speak to your tax, uh, advisors and understand more about specific type of investment opportunities. So Reed and I are just talking about what we’re doing specifically, so I hope that’s okay. That, that, that, that, that’s fine. Okay. All right. Cool. So, um, and yeah, so that is, those are the, that’s the equipment that’s the, the use that we’re doing with for that. And, and as a result, um, you can, because of the structure of the, of the different funds that we’re using, or the fund that we’re using, the investors are able to help to relief some of the, uh, the W2 tax obligation, which actually is which actually one of the things that we’ve found is pretty interesting because when you’re able to do that, um, you’re, you’re then able to the, from, from a tax perspective, from the examples that we’ve seen, right.
Billy Keels (33:13):
When you’re able to, to have that, that tax obligation, uh, lifted a bit, then that frees up capital to be able to do other things like invest in other types of passive investments, uh, IE real estate, etcetera. So, uh, what we’re finding is that it, it really helps to relieve one of the main challenges for a lot of accredited investors. I mean, it, that was my situation, very specific situation. I was looking for, uh, a solution found that solution and now, uh, talk to others, uh, about it. And I, what we’re seeing is that yeah, they’re, they’re when they’re able to have more control over their capital or keep more of their money, um, they’re then able to redeploy that into the most efficient type of investments, which typically are those that are passive.
Reed Goossens (33:56):
Yeah. No, I love it. Are you just getting, is it just a tax benefit from this particular investment? Are you getting any cash flow, any appreciation over
Billy Keels (34:03):
Time? Yeah. There’s yeah. There’s, there’s the there’s consistent cash flow, uh, over time as well. And
Reed Goossens (34:07):
Awesome, awesome. I’d love to love to get on your email list and I’m sure ask, uh, at the end where people will reach you if they want to get on that email list for that particular type of investment, cuz it is a very interesting, um, carbon capture is very important. Um, and being able to utilize that in, in, in, in a safe, in good, a good space. Yeah. So where does the company going to now? What’s the goal over the next five years? You’ve achieved financial freedom. You’ve outta the day job. Where are you headed? And what’s the goal for, for your company today?
Billy Keels (34:34):
Yeah, so the, the real goal of what we want to be able to do is the, the next goal is to be able to serve 200 accredited investors. That’s what we want to be able to do. Um, it’s and I guess it’s, this is probably a little bit specific because of the place where, and I love how you said this earlier. Like the place where I was in my corporate role, I liked it. I was having a good time and like I said, it took something else to, to make me wanna do something else. And so right now it’s really about helping the next 200, uh, accredited investors, being able to deepen those relationships, um, and, and be able to, to, to provide value in that way. Once we’re serving 200 accredited investors, then we’ll see what the, what the next uh, frontier is and, and where we go from there.
Billy Keels (35:23):
But that’s the next, uh, that’s really the next goal. And so working on making sure that we have the right infrastructure, that we have the right team members on board, really focusing on who is on the team versus one of the things that I kept trying to do all the time, cuz this is what happens sometimes when you’re an a student, is you try to do things yourself. Yes. Not a good way to make sure that you can serve people in the scalable way. Yes, exactly. That’s exactly. So that, that is really, the focus now is making sure, uh, the right people are on board and the right infrastructure is on board to be able to deepen the relationships for those, uh, 200 investors that we wanna be able to serve.
Reed Goossens (35:59):
Awesome. Are you getting any interest from the locals in Spain, Europeans, about money coming to the us and, and investing in, you know, cause I say to a lot of people when I pitch, um, you know, in my mind my view, my, again, just IMO, um, that us commercial real estate is the most yield is the best yielding product in the Western world. Yeah. And I, you compare it to Australia compared to Europe, you compare it to France, you compare it to, you know, the Asian countries, you know, I, I don’t think you can find commercial real estate with, with all the financing that comes along with U the us here and the growth of the GDP that it just it’s, it’s a, it’s an ideal world. I don’t know if that’s the same sentiment you have living in Spain.
Billy Keels (36:45):
Yes. Without a doubt, which is one of the reasons that I live in Spain, but invest exclusively in the us. Um, because I, I think when you look at things, not even just thinking, but if you think about the, the political environment, uh, in the us, in terms of how things are organized and the ability to, uh, control property, uh, you look at the economic factors. Um, you talked about the growth of GDP. Um, you look at the number of fortune 500 companies that are based there, the, the, the job growth. And then you look just culturally in the way, people in the us move from one place to the, another, to the next, where you have large metropolitan statistical areas, uh, where people are used to moving from LA to Boston, from Boston to Chicago and in between the, the political environment, the economic environment and the cultural environment, it really makes the us extremely, uh, unique. And one of the main reasons that so much capital continues to go there. Right? I mean, I, I love living in Europe, right. I love living here. That’s why I stay here. And I love, love, love investing, uh, in us based assets, just because there’s, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s hard to beat that.
Reed Goossens (37:56):
Do you look around in the backyard in Spain at anything like any Europe, uh, any commercial stuff over there?
Billy Keels (38:02):
I mean, so I’ll tell you what, and this is, this happened early on. Cause I didn’t know what, I didn’t know when I got started. Right. Because you don’t have the education and you don’t have the, the network. And so when I read rich dead port, one of the things that happened when I read through that whole series, I was like, oh my gosh, this is gonna be so awesome. You know, I’m gonna be able to find this and I’m gonna get two, $300 a door. Cause that’s what I was thinking at the time. Right. I was like, this is gonna be fantastic. And I just need to go buy a place. And so I went out and I was all excited and I went to these places and I was looking, I’d start penciling things out. And I was like, oh, that’s minus 50 year olds.
Billy Keels (38:33):
Um, well hang on a second, um, minus 250 euros a month. And when I would talk to my friends, my friends were like, oh yeah, but that’s fine. You know, if you’re only paying 50, if you’re only paying 50 euros a month, a hundred euros a month, no big deal. You’ll get that all back. And I was like, well, hang on a second. I don’t understand this. You’re telling me that you want me to pay for something that I then have to continue to pay for every month. I’m like, that’s not an investment I’m paying for it. And so I realized pretty quickly that it just didn’t work. And so, but what I didn’t realize is because I didn’t know the difference between a location that is more cash flow based versus a location that is more appreciation based. Right. What I got started. And so I, and I didn’t have a network. I didn’t have anybody that I could talk to. And once I started to build process and systems and teams that were back in the United States, I, I just haven’t really even spent time, uh, looking. And when I, the few times that I have looked, there’s still pretty much negative return in the area where, um, where I am here
Reed Goossens (39:30):
In the, in the reir in the residential space, right?
Billy Keels (39:33):
Yeah, yeah. In residential.
Reed Goossens (39:33):
Yeah. No, it’s always interesting. I always try to keep a, a pulse on what my, my buddies are doing back in Australia, uh, in the commercial space, you know, just to see, trying to compare the apples, apples on say, you know, an industrial deal or, you know, uh, a petrol station with a retail strip, you know, strip center ground up. How, how do those returns compare to what I can find here in the us? And it’s always, it just keeps me sharp. So I just, it was just
Billy Keels (39:57):
Curious. No, and even with the, like, if you think about the commercial residential, right. It’s, it’s even different. And this is the cultural understanding that, that, that you and I have had when you’re living in a different place. Like here, the, the concept of buying a 250 unit apartment complex or 300 unit, it
Reed Goossens (40:11):
Doesn’t, it doesn’t exist.
Billy Keels (40:12):
It doesn’t exist. Right. right, right. I mean, you, you can live in a building, but it’s very much like in New York where you, the building each floor is owned by a different person. So just the whole concept of being able to yeah. I mean, you, can’t, it’s difficult to compare. It’s difficult to compare.
Reed Goossens (40:29):
Yeah. Yeah. No, I love it. Well, mate, look at the end of every show, we’d love to dive into the top five investing tips. You ready to get into it?
Billy Keels (40:34):
Yeah. I’m ready, man.
Reed Goossens (40:35):
Mate, what is a daily habit? You practice to keep on track towards your goals?
Billy Keels (40:39):
Without a doubt is, well, it’s it’s to start my day off in the right way for, for me in the way that I start off every day is through, is with savers. So Hal Elrod, and being able to just make sure that I’m mentally starting in the right way. And then after that, one of the things that I’ve been focused on now is not necessarily goals. I like what you said earlier. It’s kind of like, what are my big three priorities, uh, for the day. And a lot of that comes through free to focus and, um, that’s, that’s how I stay on top of what the priorities that I have, uh, for that day. Are you, I try to make a maximum of three.
Reed Goossens (41:09):
Yeah. More than three. You just, you’re doing just too much on the do versus you get nothing done. Yeah. So, no, I completely agree. All right. Question number two is who’s been the most influential person in your career to date?
Billy Keels (41:20):
This it’s is it’s, it’s both of my parents because I just, I, I, I have things about me that I notice that are, yeah, it’s the, it’s the two of them in terms of the way that I work the motivators for me though, without a dad or my wife and my kids. I know it’s not one person, but it’s kind of the things that, that motivate me and the things awesome where I, where I’ve learned from man that’s. Yeah,
Reed Goossens (41:41):
No. And I think, you know, with, with your, your story, you shared earlier about growing up and your relationship with money, um, but how your parents didn’t go to school, go to university. And the big push to go there is, is really been, uh, probably a good launching pad for you and, and appreciating what they did teach you in terms of around your hustle. And, and you go the, go get your type of attitude. So it’s awesome stuff. Um, in the business question, number three is what’s the most influential tool in that business. Like it could be a piece of software that you can’t run the business without, or it could be something physical, like a, a journal or a, or a phone that you just can’t run that business without. What is it
Billy Keels (42:15):
I don’t think I could run it without my, I don’t think I could run it without my phone, but where I find that the most magic happens, because once again, I’ve been doing this long distance thing for 10 years and I was using zoom before people realized like zoom was a thing. Mm. And so many of the relationships where we are initiating and deepening the relationships today, um, take place specifically over, over zoom for me. So I think that’s the, the thing that is the, the relationship initiator and, uh, and also enhancer.
Reed Goossens (42:49):
Yep. Love it. Love it, mate. Uh, question number four in one sentence, what’s been the biggest failure in your career. What’d you learn from that failure?
Billy Keels (42:57):
Trying to be perfect. That’s the biggest failure because you realize that, um, I was trying to do, because this goes back to early on and you realize that it’s about taking action on imperfect information. And once I started doing that consistently and realizing, Hey, listen, even as an a student, I’m gonna make mistakes, I’m gonna course correct. And when I allowed myself to realize like, you don’t have to get this right. It’s not gonna be perfect. Anyway, just, just go, just get started, make sure you have enough information to get started. Don’t overanalyze things and then course correct. Like that’s when I realized, just, just do that, get outta my own way. That’s when the results really started taking off.
Reed Goossens (43:36):
Love it. Love it, man. Last question is where can people reach you to continue the conversation they wanna be in your sphere? Where do they go?
Billy Keels (43:42):
Yeah. So if it’s all right, I’ll give ’em a couple different places. Yeah. One, uh, for those credit investors that are interested in finding out more, especially if you’re getting crushed by W2 taxes, you can go to firstgencp.com/invest. I’d love to have a conversation with you. Um, that the website is firstgencp.com. Uh, I have a podcast and by the way, and I meant to say this in the very beginning, but I, I can’t thank you enough for being guest number 106. So episode 106 of the going long podcast read. Absolutely crushed it. Uh, so you can check us out over there. And, uh, I also like connecting with people on LinkedIn. Uh, I share a lot of the things that I’m thinking doing. Um, so, and I think I’m the only Billy keels in here in Barcelona, Spain. So yeah. So it’d be pretty easy to find me
Reed Goossens (44:25):
Awesome stuff, mate. Well, look, I wanna thank you for coming on the show today. I want to just reflect some of the things that I took away from the today show, I think, yeah, your, your inquisitive nature to go out and, and try something. A lot of, probably a lot of Americans don’t do that. Don’t go and take that year sabbatical abroad and, and, and, you know, try and become a, a wine Concure and learn new languages. So kudos to you for doing that. That’s then led you down this path of being abroad for the last 20 years. I can definitely resonate with that because when I first went abroad, it was just like, wow, the world is, is a fricking cool place. And it’s only the world is your oyster. As they say, you can make it what you want. And I think through that curiosity, you are able to get better jobs because you, you weren’t defined by your borders.
Reed Goossens (45:06):
You, you, you got out and you, and you got amongst it. So that helped you into becoming the person you are today, and then realizing having those self-aware moments with your dad and with your son saying, you know, I know I need to do more with my w two income, but I need to also be there for, for, for the special moments. Right. And, and, and thank you for being very vulnerable, uh, with, with me on that. And I just, man, I, I admire what you do. I think we get on like a house on fire, even though we haven’t even met each other in person. Um, but I’m sure we will one day and, uh, we’ll be able to share a beer, but I, but did I leave anything out, mate?
Billy Keels (45:37):
No, man. You said a beer, but hopefully it’ll be more than one, but uh, yeah,
Reed Goossens (45:42):
Sang right? The sang you, there you go. You mentioned Valencia earlier. And I was like, I remember Valencia, I went, uh, to the running on the bulls. Oh, sorry. Laton Tina festival, which was in, uh, LA LA, which is just outside Valencia. Yeah. And I remember camping on the beach, uh, as a young 22 year old, uh, backpacker and having the incredible time going through the streets of, uh, the little town of Valencia, um, with, with a truck full loads of tomatoes, which was freaking freaking cool, man. That’s a, that’s a 2000. That was a long that few moons ago, but yeah. Yeah dude, thank you so much for coming on the show. Really enjoyed your company and we’ll cut very, very soon. Thanks reed
Billy Keels (46:17):
Appreciate it, man.
Reed Goossens (46:18):
We’re there having another cracking episode jam pack with some incredible information. If you do wanna check out what Billy’s going on, head over to firstgencp.com. That’s firstgencp.com. You can also go to the going long podcast, uh, which I’ve been a guest on, um, and check him out, make sure you subscribe to his podcast and just get involved with what he’s doing, uh, in his world. He’s an incredible guy, sharing some incredible information and I’m very interested in that carbon capture myself personally. So if you, if you are interested in learning more about the carbon capture programs, uh, how they, they can help you with your two income for those accredited investors, definitely check it out. I wanna thank you all for taking some time outta the day to tune in, to continue to grow your financial IQ because that’s, we’re all about here on this show. If you do like this show, the easiest way to give back is to give it a five star review on iTunes. And all the show notes from today will be up on my email@example.com. Don’t forget. We also help investors invest in real estates, syndications. Uh, we’re gonna do this all again. Next week’s remember be bold, be brave and go give life a crack.