How much do you need to be happy?

December 2019…

I love my job, however, I have always felt there is something more behind the office window and meaningless conversations with your colleagues over lunch. I knew I can do more, I knew I can be more. Not to prove, not to show off, but because I can. 

What happens to a tree when it stops growing?
It dies!
Same with people. 

I discovered this simple truth cycling in Spain, on the hills of Marbella. I always draw the analogy between humans and trees and see it works in every aspect of our lives. The environment we grew up in is the soil. Clay or sandy, low in organic matter soils are the synonyms of the environments filled with drugs and abuse, poverty, fighting parents, tears and pain. Family, friends, our core beliefs and principles – are the roots. Work, relationships, health etc. are the branches of our tree. If we put all ourselves into work and forget about health or relationships with others we are risking to crack the tree. Without a counterbalance, the work branch will grow so big and heavy that it will bend the tree to the side and can even brake it under its weight. Ugly tree. 
If we stop improving spiritually, mentally and physically we degrade, we die. I live by the motto: To be the best myself – To be the most impactful. Only by being the best version of ourselves, striving for excellence and improving, we find peace and happiness. Once we “filled our cup”, we then can give back to the World, create, build and love. Achieving mastery, when we are at our best at whatever we decide to put our minds to, we begin to love ourselves and we spill the love into the world and people around. 

I am searching for freedom. Financial freedom will allow me to do the things I truly enjoy and become an expert in them. I strive for mastery in anything I put my mind to. I am passionate about writing. I enjoy finding a problem other people have and solve it. I enjoy training and seeing my physical body evolve and improve. 
By working at my full-time job I essentially trade my time for money, I sell my life. Again, don’t get me wrong, I love the job! Working with self-driving cars, being in this industry at this amazing time, working with some of the smartest people I ever met, are you kidding me? This is a dream job! I truly believe it is and I am endlessly grateful for doing what I’m doing. However, it’s not about the job, its “coolness” or the money it brings. There is something inside of me that whispers there is something bigger, I can create something that will bring the value to others, there is another path to take, there is a new world to discover… 

There are so many ways I can give back to the world once I am 100% in control of my time. My search for financial freedom led me to real-estate as a vehicle to achieve it. Besides my work and training I ran few side-project businesses. Quickly I discovered that they didn’t make me any happier. I didn’t feel I got the opportunity to give my all and use my mind to its full capacity. My biggest strength is analysis and analytical thinking. That’s why I want to try myself in investing and specifically real-estate investing. Based on my goals I believe that real estate is the perfect vehicle for getting me to destination I travel.

I am looking to create several “passive” streams of income that will generate monthly income of CAD$5,000 (cash flow). I am planning to build a real estate portfolio of several units to achieve my financial goal. 
How did I come up with the number?

Great question! I live a very simple life and try to take from this World only what I need, no more or less. I’ve had luxury cars, I lived in big houses, I stayed at the best 4/5-star hotels and went to fantastic restaurants, I wore nice clothings and traveled to some of the most exotic and expensive destinations in the World. In my short life, I’ve been all over the places just to discover that none of those things or places made me any happier. I realized I don’t need much to be happy and in fact much less than I ever thought. How much is “not much”?
To get the number I did a simple napkin math see how much I need to cover my basic life expenses while staying happy. 

napkin math: 
Nutritious & Clean Food (just for me and my dog) + Shelter (small warm and clean place, where I feel myself comfortable) + Sport (equipment, clothing, racing and coaching fees) + Emergency Fund + Travel + Shopping (pretty much just books and coffee)

I realize that it’s very difficult to achieve great appreciation and a cash flow simultaneously. I use conservative approach and Looking for investment properties that will bring the maximal cash flow. My research has shown that small multifamily houses tend to be the most profitable rental investment in terms of cash flow (please correct me if I’m wrong). I recently got pre-approved for a mortgage and planning on buying a house as soon as I find a good one, ideally sometime this fall (Oct-Nov). I don’t have any personal preference for location, condition or the look of the house, as I am buying it strategically to generate positive cashflow by renting it out. In my research I found that Peterborough is one of the areas that have a strong cash flow potential.Also, I am able to fix minor things around the house as well as to perform minor improvements. I plan on living at the premises full-time half of the year (winter), another half (Mar-Sep) I’ll be in’n’out, still present whenever I need. As I already mentioned before the main thing I care about is monthly cashflow.