Most of us dream of retirement because we’ll FINALLY have the time freedom to do things that interest us and spend time with the people we love. But what if you didn’t have to wait until you turned 65 to live that dream? What if you could retire early? Better yet, what if you could retire in the next few years? Passive investing in multifamily syndications helped Travis Watts do just that, and you could be next!

Travis is an experienced passive investor and Director of Investor Relations at Ashcroft Capital, a national multifamily investment firm with more than $820M in assets under management. Prior to pursuing real estate full-time, Travis worked a grueling job in the oil industry, spending 14-hour days outside in extreme weather while saving money to invest in single-family rentals and apartment building syndications.

On this episode of Apartment Building Investing, Travis joins me to discuss the time freedom he enjoys now as a passive investor in multifamily real estate. He explains how he saved the money to invest via extreme budgeting and what made SFH investing unsustainable. Listen in for Travis’ insight around where to find a good syndication team and learn how YOU can follow in his footsteps and quit your W-2 with passive investing!

Key Takeaways

Travis’ path to full-time passive investing

  • Demanding job in oil industry
  • Laid off in oil downturn but already financially independent

How Travis’ life is different now

  • Unhappy as W-2 employee, everyday struggle
  • Now pursues things interested in (personal growth)

How Travis saved money to invest

  • Brought up with conservative parents, extreme budgeters
  • Didn’t change lifestyle as income grew from $20K to six figures

How Travis invested his money before multifamily

  • Pulled money from stock market after Rich Dad’s Prophecy
  • House hacking strategy (first-time home buyer tax credit)
  • Sought high-paying job to continue buying SFH
  • Buy-and-hold, fix-and-flip as well as vacation rentals

What inspired Travis’ transition to multifamily

  • SFH strategies had become job on top of W-2
  • Single-family not scalable, sustainable or passive

The FIRE movement 4% rule

  • Passive income goal x 25 = amount to invest
  • EX: 30K x 25 = $750K investment

What kind of income you can generate as a passive investor

  • 7% to 10% cashflow
  • Equity upside upon sale or refinance

Travis’ insight on the tax benefits of multifamily

  • Use bonus depreciation for tax-free distributions
  • Capital gains upon sale (usually offset by gains)

The beauty of the infinite return model

  • Refinance after 5 years to return most of capital
  • Continue to earn returns, no money in deal

Travis’ top investing AHA moments

Travis’ advice for aspiring passive investors

  1. Start with WHY
  2. Create a budget (know where money going)

How to vet a syndication team

  • Ensure strategy aligns with personal philosophy
  • Track record, markets you believe in

Where to find a good syndication team

  • Go to seminars and local meetups for networking
  • Start with world-of-mouth referral, follow up with due diligence

Connect with Travis Watts

Ashcroft Capital

Email [email protected]

Travis on LinkedIn

Travis on Facebook


Spencer Hilligoss on ABI EP186

Jan Larson on ABI EP181

Ryan McKenna on ABI EP174

Rich Dad’s Prophecy: Why the Biggest Stock Market Crash in History Is Still Coming … And How You Can Prepare Yourself and Profit from It! by Robert T. Kiyosaki

The FIRE Movement

Tax-Free Wealth: How to Build Massive Wealth by Permanently Lowering Your Taxes by Tom Wheelwright

Work with Tom Wheelwright

Join the Nighthawk Equity Investor Club

Podcast Show Notes

Review the Podcast on iTunes

Michael’s Website

Michael on Facebook

Michael on Instagram

Michael on YouTube

Apartment Investor Network Facebook Group

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