This week’s blog is being taken over by the SAO team — sorry, Ross!
It’s time for our Employee of the Month post and we’re spotlighting someone you might recognize: Dr. Ross Stryker, himself!
Where to even begin… it’s hard to describe what Ross does, because it would actually be a shorter list to explain what he doesn’t do. He’s writing our blogs and overseeing the SAO site to traveling far and wide across the country for meetings and conferences. Plus, he is a guest speaker on several podcasts. All the while, he’s putting together multi-million dollar opportunities for our investors. He’s got a hefty workload.
But let’s back up a bit to remind ourselves of why SAO even came to be and how Ross started out on this crazy journey.
How It All Started
Ross was a dentist at his own practice for over 35 years, with 12 of those years spent in the military. At heart, he is a dentist and part of the medical profession community. Like many others in the field, Ross came to a point where he was confused and stuck. He didn’t know how to transition out of the daily W-2 practice environment.
And traditional financial wisdom was failing him.
Sure, he had advice from financial planners and advisors. But they all had a product to sell and that product just didn’t work for Ross and his vision of financial freedom.
It’s at this point where many people get stuck, and understandably so.
For many, Ross included, you’ve probably been shown returns from Wall Street over time that look really great. Your financial advisor has probably told you to be “conservative” with your investments and expected returns, especially if you want those funds to last through your retirement.
Why Ross Chose Alternative Investing
This is something Ross talks about a lot with investors because he was in exactly the same position as many people find themselves now.
Take a good look at traditional financial wisdom as if it were the only way to financial freedom. With this idea, even doctors and other small business owners making well over 6 figures a year would need to retire with several million dollars in the bank just to maintain their current lifestyle. When you get to a point where you need to rely on a passive income after retirement, Wall Street just doesn’t cut it.
For Ross, it didn’t seem right that a lifetime of working and running a business could amount to settling into a retirement below the standard of your working lifestyle.
So you can see Ross started with a big WHY. After running on the financial treadmill for decades and making all the “right” decisions with his money, he and his wife, Mary, still felt like they would have to forgo retirement if they wanted to maintain their lifestyle. Working ’til the end of his rope seemed like the only way. Financial freedom felt like a long shot.
How Ross Ditched the Wall Street Game and Found New Opportunities
So to make a long story short, thus came about Smart Asset Opportunities. Instead of exchanging hours for dollars, Ross relies on passive income from his investments for his livelihood and through SAO, he helps other investors do the same.
Ross’s knowledge of the alternative investment industry spans in breadth and depth. In just four short years, Ross has owned 40+ single family homes and written two books. Not to mention, all of the conferences, seminars and meetings he has attended with elite real estate investors.
More recently, Ross has expanded into commercial real estate.
He has a particular affinity for:
- Storage unit facilities
- Mobile home parks
- Office parks
- A coffee farm in Panama
- A resort in Belize
- Apartment complexes
- Areas dubbed “opportunity zones” by the U.S. government
With all this, he has completed transactions in the 10’s of millions of dollars and isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
What Motivates Ross?
What Ross is most passionate about and what we most admire him for is his dedication to helping people get educated. SAO has never been about giving people all the answers. It’s about steering folks in the right direction. He wants to give them the tools to discover more on their own while providing information to help them make informed, educated decisions.
When Ross looks for new investor opportunities, he looks for assets which can provide continuous, passive cash flow, lucrative tax advantages, and safe exit strategies. And all of these reach far and above traditional Wall Street investments.
Ross is a dentist at heart. So he knows that medical professionals are prone to wanting to do everything on their own. When it comes to real estate investing, sure, you could do it on your own. You could try to become an expert in mobile home parks, or whatever else, and juggle all the odds and ends, bits and pieces that keep the wheels turning.
But the real truth is: doing it alone is a disaster waiting to happen.
The greatest fallacy of real estate investing is that you can do it all on your own — that you can become a solo expert.
Be Like Ross – Find Your Tribe
Ross has truly built a “tribe” through his multiple masterminds, networking groups, and of course the SAO team. And he knows there is immense power in numbers.
He’s made a name for himself through his passion, compassion and commitment to helping people:
- Get out of the rat race
- Gain financial freedom
- Gain more time to spend with their family, friends and for causes they care about
What more could you want?
The real takeaway here with Ross is that he understands where you’re at. He understands that if you have certain pain points or roadblocks, he’s probably been there, too. He’s been in exactly your shoes. And it’s this experience that has allowed him to connect with so many and continue to share what he’s learned.
Ross, thank you for all you do! And thank you for letting us hijack your blog so we can brag on you!
It’s not too late to start your own journey to financial freedom. We can help.