March 22, 2024

JF3487: Paused Distributions, Bottlenecks, and the Power of Diversification ft. Andrew McNair




Andrew McNair, president and founder of Swan Capital, joins host Ash Patel on the Best Ever Show. In this episode, Andrew discusses the danger of investing with syndicators with short track records, working with (and marketing to) retirees, and the power of diversification. He goes on to discuss how, as a fund manager, he’s vetted syndicators in the past, and how that process has changed over time during a challenging economic climate.

Andrew McNair | Real Estate Background

  • President & Founder of SWAN Capital
  • Portfolio:
    • Mutli-Family, RV Parks, Storage, Short Term, Industrial.
  • Based in:  Pensacola, FL & Daphne, AL
  • Say hi to him at: 

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Ash Patel (00:02.606)
Hello, best ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I'm Ash Patel and I'm with today's guest, Andrew McNair. Andrew is joining us from Pensacola, Florida. He is the president and founder of Swan Capital, where his goal is to help families not spend their retirement worrying about money and help families sleep well at night. And that is what Swan Capital stands for. Andrew's portfolio consists of multifamily, RV parks, storage, short-term rentals, and industrial.

Andrew, thank you for joining us today, and how are you?

Andrew McNair (00:39.234)
I'm so good. I'm so excited to be on the show today.

Ash Patel (00:41.918)
It's our pleasure to have you. Andrew, if you would, can you share with the best ever listeners a little bit more about your background and what you're focused on now?

Andrew McNair (00:49.873)
Absolutely. So a few years ago, we had the dream of starting the Signet Fund. So Signet, C-Y-G, N-E-T, Baby Swan. You know, my background was in multifamily, duplexes, triplex, and quadplexes. And so I started accruing houses and I thought I wanted to get up to 200 houses. And the problem was I started losing my hair. Now, I don't know if those are correlated, but that's what happened.

And so I thought if I get up to 200 houses, by the time I hit 54, the just the stress of managing the property managers, having people actually burn my house down intentionally, accidentally burning my house down, all of those true stories. And I thought, I don't think I could do it. And so that's when I said, you know what, my clients who I'm giving advice to buy, assets are, you know, buy assets under management in equities to invest in fixed investments. They need to have real estate a part of their portfolio too. And so that's why we went and built our own private equity fund that invests in all those asset classes you just talked about.

Ash Patel (01:55.796)
On the road to 200 houses that could be a book title.

Andrew McNair (02:01.246)
Yeah, I mean, I, you know, fire by 25 on my everyday philanthropist YouTube channel. I talk about like, um, at 25, I had over 25 houses, never had to work again, but I wanted to keep on growing and see how large I could grow this portfolio.

Ash Patel (02:17.214)
What did that transition look like when you decided I'm no longer doing single-family houses? What did you start buying and how did you buy them?

Andrew McNair (02:25.737)
Yeah, so, you know, when I started selling, I've actually unloaded most of those 54 houses now. And so when we went to build Signet, I wanted to think very methodically about our buy box. So our buy box consists of Midwest properties, Southwest and West Coast friendly states to owners. And we want to invest in things like short term rentals slash RV parks. We want to be invested in multifamily storage units and flex industrial just because our client's avatar is invested in real, is invested as a retiree for income. And so if we invest in real estate that produces cashflow versus maybe cannabis farms that don't always produce cashflow, that's why I picked those areas to invest in for our clients.

Ash Patel (03:14.754)
Do you source the deals and take them down or do you partner with syndicators?

Andrew McNair (03:20.013)
We partner with syndicators. So we have some operators that we've really enjoyed doing business with, and we have a lengthy two-page due diligence questionnaire that Lucas, my portfolio manager in my office runs through. And so we want to be very thorough and we want to see their track record. We want to see their business plan. I want to see people saying, I just didn't start this, you know, a year ago, like I want to see your track record where you not only had a business plan, you had an IRR, but here's your underwritten IRR, what your actual IRR is. We do a background check. We pay thoroughly for that to do a good background check. So you gotta do that due diligence, especially when you're an RIA like myself, where you want to make sure that you're protecting your clients as best as possible.

Ash Patel (04:09.782)
What is an RIA?

Andrew McNair (04:12.345)
So a registered investment advisor, so a lot of people refer to themselves as financial advisors. I have what's called a total wealth management firm. So we have an estate planning attorney, a CPA, and I've always believed that you should have truly comprehensive planning. Like you should have an attorney and a CPA in your corner. But when you're an RIA like myself, and we're given advice to clients that they should be invested in our SWAN ETF portfolios, or invest in the stock market.

When I go and speak to them about real estate, I need to make sure that they're accredited, they're a qualified client, but also that it fits their investment objectives. If you're not an RIA, you might not be held to such a high accountability. You're not operating always at a fiduciary standard. And so as a fiduciary, I have to always put their best interests above my own, even if I was not a nice guy.

Ash Patel (05:06.266)
Andrew, I've interviewed a number of financial planners, financial analysts who used to be in this industry placing their clients' money mostly in equities. They have left to start investing in real estate or they're still in the industry, but they invest their personal funds in real estate. I've often asked the question, if you believe in real estate so much, you put your own money in real estate.

Why don't you put your client's money in real estate as well? And most of them will be honest and say, because I can't get a kickback, I can't get paid for placing my client's money in some of these syndications because you know, the rules, you can't make money for bringing capital. Um, but for you, you guys have your own fund, so you're allowed to put your client's money in a fund and essentially give your clients exposure to real estate. Is that how that works?

Andrew McNair (06:05.713)
Absolutely. You know, I believe, you know, that you should practice what you preach. You know, again, I've built most of my net worth through real estate. But of course, I do have a Roth IRA that I maximize for me and my wife. I do have a Roth 401k that I maximize. And I do believe that all of your assets shouldn't be in real estate. I know that's controversial, but I'll get in any room at any time in any ring talking about true diversification means you need to have some safe investments. You need to have investments in the stock market because every decade is cyclical.

Every asset class will have its heyday and then it'll have a famine. And so true good financial planning and personal financial planning involves diversification. And it's a shame when people say, hey, I'm a fiduciary, I'm a financial advisor. And just because I don't get a kickback, I'm not even going to talk about an entire asset class that has minted more millionaires than nearly any other asset class. I think that wouldn't be prudent, wise and I wouldn't say it's unethical, it's just we're only restricted to what we can offer.

So if I work for a big brokerage house, they may not allow me to offer that. And so that's why many years ago I went out and became my own RIA so that I would have my own compliance, I would have my own rules to abide by according to the SEC. And that's a lot of work. And so I totally respect those advisors that they don't want to go through all the hassle of doing that.

But they are limiting their clients, you know, maybe a syndicator or if they work, you know, and have maybe a real estate fund set aside in their financial plan, they're still providing really good financial advice for their clients. But if you don't allocate some towards real estate, 10 to 20% of your portfolio, I don't think that's true diversification in my opinion.

Ash Patel (07:52.57)
Andrew, your client success in this fund hinges on your ability to do adequate due diligence. What are some factors that most syndicators don't see and it gets them kicked out of your DD bucket?

Andrew McNair (08:10.393)
Who, I mean, I mean, what can you do? What I'm about to say, how do you fix this? But some, some people just have short track records. They want to be raising large sums of money, but they haven't proven themselves. And they're asking for me to write a million to $5 million of clients funds that I take very careful, sacred attention to that, because this is all of their money.

Potentially they've worked a lifetime to accrue and this person's, you know, two years ago, three years ago, they were a medical salesperson. It's like, no, I mean, I'm sorry, but we're not gonna give you institutional money until you've proven yourself. And so you're gonna have to work through your network, friends and family to build up a track record. The second is just making sure that you've built out your processes and client communication. There's some firms that are best in class. They're constantly having open books, and they say, here's the Chase credit card on that property that we just purchased.

You can see all of the books. We're gonna give you an executive summary. We're gonna show you the good parts of the plan, but we're also gonna show you the bad parts of the plan, some of the unknowns of the plan that we haven't figured out yet. And that's full transparency. And so many times we wanna, you know, we think that they wanna see us as the operator with our big chest out that we have all the answers. A lot of times, some investments, you don't have all the answers.

Um, so I would say that is, you know, people are not shining a light on the cons of the deal and number one is track record. And so those are the two that come to mind immediately.

Ash Patel (09:50.638)
Do you have a preference in a particular asset class or do you just look for high returns, safe margins? What is the driving factor to get you to invest with a syndicator?

Andrew McNair (10:02.417)
Hmm. Yeah. I think it's making sure that we have some experience in those markets. That's one of the things I'm relying on the person that lives and breathes that market. And it is kind of worrisome when someone is so scattered all over the country, but they have no experience like I know in the hometown of Pensacola, Florida, I know what streets you probably wouldn't wanna build on and maybe ones you would wanna build on 10 years from now, but not today.

And if you're from out of town, like you can use the demographic studies, you can use CoStar, you can use some of these resources, but then at the end of the day, you also need to have boots on the ground that have went into that market, have surveyed the market, solved the employers firsthand, talked with the local citizens, know where each neighborhood is headed.

Without that, you might be flying as blind as the investor that's giving you the money. I think that's scary for me as the institutional investor coming to invest capital.

Ash Patel (11:04.69)
There's been an epic rise in the Sunbelt states. There was a hay day where we made a lot of money and now things are a bit of a reckoning going on. Have you had exposure to any multifamily or any deals that are not going so well?

Andrew McNair (11:22.017)
You know, again, I'm sure it will happen when you're buying 35, 40 different properties, you're going to have some that don't work out as planned. That's why diversification. I mean, it's age old for a reason. I keep on saying it because it works. I know some of those deals are not going to work out. Luckily, we haven't been getting any capital calls yet, but I'm sure that it will happen. You know, there are some distributions that have been paused.

And that's also to be expected, some of their underwriting was a little too, I don't know, hopeful and optimistic. And that's where I will tell you if an operator has not had contingencies in the business plan, what's the likelihood as me as the investor that is looking over all of my clients' funds to invest a second time around? And here they are coming back asking about the next deal, asking for the next check, and they haven't fulfilled their promises.

They haven't followed their own business plan on the first deal. And so I think it's really important. So many times we wanna grow, grow. We wanna do how much mini doors that I have under management, how many assets under management I have under portfolio. I love the Chick-fil-A founder's quote. I'm either gonna give David Green from Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A the credit for this, is he says, we're not trying to get bigger, we're trying to get better.

And if you grow your business focused on getting better over time, that is a great business that will probably grow bigger based on osmosis that the clients are going to ask to invest more. You don't have to keep on raising and aggressively trying to push the raise because you have the track record and you've fulfilled the promises that you made. And so I would encourage you don't be short-sighted. Do what you say you're going to do on time when you say you're going to do it, and the referrals will come, the additional checks will come if you do that.

Ash Patel (13:23.494)
Your investors exposure, I'm assuming is limited because they're not investing in individual deals, they're investing in a fund, which is a multitude of deals. Is that right? Okay. So the deals that you have pause distributions on, investors aren't disproportionately getting hurt on that. It's mixed with a pool of other investments that are doing well. On those deals where you have pause distributions, what could you have done differently to have seen this coming or to have asked better questions?

Andrew McNair (13:57.505)
Yeah, I think it's really important for us who's doing the due diligence on these operators is, is asking the tough question like, is what do you not see? What do you think you don't have a full grasp of? What could go wrong in this plan? What could go wrong with the renovations? What could go wrong with purchase in this property? Is there any unknowns that are out there? And if someone just easy answer, no, there isn't.

That's a step as a pause that I need to step back and say, that person answered way too quickly to be so confident that they're going to purchase a $25 million property and they don't have any unknowns. I mean, that's unrealistic. I mean, anytime I bought a quadplex, I knew that you never knew what was behind door number three could be some issues. And you have to factor that into the renovation plan that there's some unknowns.

Ash Patel (14:54.286)
Do you ask them about their past failures?

Andrew McNair (14:58.349)
You know, we didn't at first and we're doing a lot better at that. Um, but we could definitely do better saying, you know, what didn't go right. Don't tell me about your successes. Tell me about your failures.

Ash Patel (15:10.806)
What if somebody says, I've never lost money on a deal, everything I touch turns, well, if they just say, I've never lost money on a deal.

Andrew McNair (15:19.749)
Sure. Yeah, you know, that's like my mom always said, my mama said, if you live long enough, it'll happen to you. And so for someone that says that they either haven't lived long enough or they're lying. I mean, that's one of the other, that's the only two options, right? Because I have had failures in my own life. I've made failures with my investments. And so someone that tries to hide from their failures is sadly missing out on future success.

Ash Patel (15:45.642)
Yeah, and I think a lot of people when they start out, they have great success. And the problem with that is it can go to their head a little bit, and they assume everything they touch turns to gold, and they can get a little bit careless. So we all, I think, need to get our knees chopped out at some point to learn those hard lessons and be a little bit more cautious.

Andrew McNair (16:08.845)
Yeah, I think you go back to who you're serving. Like, if we go back to say, you know, I'm serving an actual family, like who's my end consumer? Sometimes it is a retiree that is relying on this income, a part of their overall retirement income. And if I make a mistake, yes, it'll look bad. It'll affect my future raises. I might have to do capital calls. That'll be embarrassing.

But if we actually take the weight of the responsibility of those who are investing with us, then you will spend extra time in the due diligence. You will spend extra time at the negotiation table. And that's why it's so important for GPs to put their money where their mouth is and put their money in there. Like I got 1.8 million of my own money in Cigna. Like if things don't work out, I lose money. And that's how it should be. And that's where I think sadly in the financial advisor space as well as in many different investment classes, people just don't practice what they preach. They don't have a lot at stake. So if it doesn't work out, they forget.

They say, oh, those are family, you know, they use things like those are leads, those are investors. And I always like to say, no, these are families. So in our office, we tried not to call them, you know, A, investors, B, investors, or C, investors. No, these are families at the end of the day.

Ash Patel (17:21.402)
Do your investors have a return expectation?

Andrew McNair (17:25.665)
Oh, absolutely. Now, I mean, as dealing with retirees day in and day out, I mean, their expectations are typically a lot lower than someone in their 30s and 40s, of course. But absolutely. I mean, who doesn't want to stay one, two, three, four points minimally above inflation? And I think that's where expectations are, is a lot of clients are concerned about inflation because of the result of the last three years of this compounded inflation that's affecting them at the grocery store.

Of course, I mean expected returns above inflation or the minimum expectation.

Ash Patel (18:02.442)
Yeah, so a few points above what they're getting in their current savings account.

Andrew McNair (18:07.118)
Ideally, minimally that.

Ash Patel (18:08.738)
You have a fair amount of competition from capital raisers where they don't have to pass an exam. They don't have to be registered with the SEC. What are your thoughts on that? Because anybody can become a capital raiser, right?

Andrew McNair (18:26.913)
Yeah, you know, and it's above my prey grade if that should change or if that should stay that way. That's that's a whole nother podcast. My belief is, is even if you don't have a license, you should consider yourself as a fiduciary to have anytime you're dealing with other people's money, you're being a steward of their money. And you should take that responsibility very seriously. And you may, you know, just move on and say, Hey, I was a capital raiser for a little while and then I got a different business or a different job, 
but these people live with those consequences. And so don't be a part of the problem.

There's plenty of schemes and Ponzi schemes and bad investments that went belly up. And I hear those stories. And so you don't wanna be that's your legacy. At the end of the day, the impression that we leave on our life is gonna be our legacy. So I would just tell you, if you're not licensed, that's okay. Just act better and actually hold yourself to a higher standard than those people that are licensed and you'll never have a problem.

Because if someone ever does add licensing requirements to what you do, that's okay, because you're already doing that. When people said, are you a fiduciary? I was like, we're a fiduciary before it was popular. We were acting as a fiduciary before it was required, because it's common sense. As Zig Ziglar said, you just help enough people get what they want in life, and you'll have everything you want in life.

Ash Patel (19:49.03)
And you're the majority of your clientele elderly folks.

Andrew McNair (19:53.545)
Yeah. So the average client is probably 65. Um, so in that age range, you know, plus or minus five years, usually five years out from retirement. So anytime I'm on a radio show, I'm saying if you're five years out from retirement, you're five years in retirement, you know, hopefully they've heard of swan capital of helping them sleep well at night here in the Gulf coast area.

Ash Patel (20:17.098)
The marketing towards elderly folks has got to be completely different than the email blasts that fill up yours in my mailbox every day. How do you build trust with that age group?

Andrew McNair (20:30.265)
Yeah, I think it's understanding what they're, you've got to understand your avatar, right? If I was marketing to 30s and 40 year olds, I would speak a completely different language. And that's what marketing is about. You know, if I go out to the, to my lake right in front of my house and I start throwing out bait and if I start throwing out the wrong type of bait, I'm going to attract the wrong kind of species.

And I don't want to do that. I'm trying to get tiger bass right here. And so it's important to understand your client avatar. And it's who you, again, you can go after the wrong client avatar. If you don't understand them, you don't appreciate them, you don't connect with them. Like I've always been an old soul. Like all my friends, like when we were growing up, I was always at the parents' dinner table. That's always where I was. I was always an old soul having, you know, older conversations.

I just didn't have to complain about my joint pain. I didn't have that in common with them, but I related to them. I understood them. I understand where their values were, what their goals were. And when you do, you know that at such a deep level, you speak their language. It's like a dog whistle. People hear that because they know you understand them.

Ash Patel (21:41.926)
What's your method of communication? Is it email? Phone calls?

Andrew McNair (21:46.833)
I'd like to say that we're omnipresent for the retirement community here on the Gulf Coast. I mean, so we have a radio show, we do live events where I speak to them. I have live events specifically designed to federal retirees, to state retirees. We have a good Google presence. If someone Googles us, we have four times more Google reviews than the next advisor.

And we are very intentional about referrals and introductions to friends that may need our help too. And so we're always just trying to compare like, hey, you had a great experience. You thought you had a financial advisor, then you met us. And that was a different experience. And your friends should know about that.

Ash Patel (22:27.378)
You mentioned that you added to your due diligence list greatly. What are some of the key factors that you added?

Andrew McNair (22:36.165)
Who are due diligence. We have probably got at least 2830 questions. All of them are some of the typical ones you would see in any due diligence questionnaire. But some of the things that we have added alludes to what you were asking before is like, tell me what has gone wrong. Tell me what's not gone well. Tell me what have you maybe not thought of in this deal.

And then we're making sure that they've also got to a point of scale that makes sense for us to invest in. Like again, if they've only raised $5 million, it's just too risky for us to write large checks to an institution that has no experience. If they've raised 50, 100, multiple hundreds of millions of dollars, sadly, I understand that's like, how do you get there without the other, what comes first, the chicken or the egg? I understand that. But when it comes to institutional money, you have to prove yourself.

And so I don't have the list in front of me. I wish I did. I'd tell you some of them. But we've continued to try to improve. And also, we've went back to some of the due diligence questionnaires and said, all right, this one paused distributions. Is there anything that we noticed? And sadly, we didn't catch anything when we've looked back. But we're going to keep on trying to get a better, better due diligence process over time to eliminate those investments that don't work out.

Ash Patel (24:07.15)
Do you look at the personal financial sheet or statement for the actual syndicator as well? Look at their balance sheet.

Andrew McNair (24:14.567)
We don't. I love the idea of doing that though.

Ash Patel (24:21.802)
You know, so we've been approached a lot by capital raisers who want to bring their investors money into our deals. And we've never taken and we've never accepted capital that way. But I was shocked in that no one's ever asked me to do a background check. No one's ever looked at my balance sheet. And a lot of times they don't even dive into the deal. They just want to know the returns and the rip that they can get on these deals, right? But yeah, man, like, I would.

Andrew McNair (24:56.865)
Yeah, I mean, yeah, we, I mean, we pay justice solutions group. I mean, mega money, in my opinion, for as many operators that we interview. I mean, we're running through those operators through that third party vendor to look for bad actors to look. And we've, I've been shocked on the, some of the things that people sadly have a really bad background. I'm shocked that they're trying to raise money with, I mean, financial crimes, you know, things like that. It's like, wow, pretty, pretty scary.

Um, so we, we definitely want to look at that. I like the idea of adding it. I mean, I'm an open book. If a client asks me what my balance sheet is, I'm happy to share. I mean, if you take advice from someone, you're in essence trading places with them. So I always tell every client, like, be careful who you take advice from because you're trading places with them. That's, that's what happens when you take advice from someone.

Ash Patel (25:46.938)
Yeah, I think looking at someone's balance sheet, as well as their liquidity, are they down to their last dollar? Right? And, you know, just looking at their balance sheet, I think gives you a better big picture. Do they have a half a million dollars in cars, but no liquidity? Right? A lot of toys, not a lot of investments.

Andrew McNair (26:12.069)
Because when you need to sell them, they're not very liquid.

Ash Patel (26:15.656)
Yeah. What do you use for background checks? What was it that you mentioned?

Andrew McNair (26:19.765)
Justice Solutions Group. We've interviewed a few firms, and I think that's the one we currently use.

Ash Patel (26:26.87)
and they do a comprehensive background check.

Andrew McNair (26:29.689)
They do. And they do it for what I feel like is a fair price. I think, you know, again, I don't run them, but I thought it was like, gosh, I hate to quote it. Is it $1,500? Lucas says it's $1,500.

Ash Patel (26:31.242)
What does that typically cost?

Ash Patel (26:43.913)
If a syndicator had done a background check themselves and presented it to you, would that fly or would you be worried?

Andrew McNair (26:53.817)
I don't know if I'd be worried, but I would definitely still like to do my own. You know, I think trust but verify. I mean, Reagan said it for a reason.

Ash Patel (27:02.494)
Yeah, I'm just curious if somebody can get ahead of the ball and rather than having

Andrew McNair (27:06.709)
Yeah, I think it should be a part of it. Like I would I would put it apart. Like if I was a capital raiser, I would put that out there. Absolutely. Like when you're registered, like my ADV part two A and two B is on our website. It tells you like, you know, my speeding tickets and that I paid them and stuff. Like it tells you. So it's public knowledge.

It's not if you're a capital raiser. So if you like, like I said earlier, like if you operate like someone that is licensed, if you ever are potentially needing to be licensed, it's not going to be very hard for you. And so I would say absolutely go ahead and do that. But I mean, I wouldn't, you know, I wouldn't be worried by any means if someone said, Hey, here's a background check if you want to check into that if you want to do your own independent one that we recommend that, but here's mine. I think that's really nice. I mean, that adds a lot of credibility. I mean, institutional money is going to require that.

Ash Patel (27:56.086)
Got it. What is your bottleneck today? Is it deals? Is it capital?

Andrew McNair (28:32.585)
So the bottleneck is making sure that we have true diversification So we would love to see some more properties in certain areas of the country that we're just not represented in so that that's one item for us and then I Need a couple more me's besides that we'd be fine

Ash Patel (28:52.294)
Have you ever been to the best ever conference out west?

Andrew McNair (28:55.769)
I heard so many good things. I wish I could say I've already been there and it's amazing. I just heard so many good things about it. And if it lined up with my calendar, I'd be there.

Ash Patel (29:07.082)
Yeah, look at going in the future because you will meet everybody from just people that want to passively invest to syndicators, operators in every asset class there is. Great networking. I think you'd benefit a lot from meeting some of these operators.

Andrew McNair (29:25.957)
Sounds like it. I've heard so many good testimonies about how great it was.

Ash Patel (29:30.27)
Yeah, and we get to hang out. What is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Andrew McNair (29:32.289)
Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew McNair (29:39.409)
Oh, it's I would I would say that for someone that's a passive investor that I believe that you should have passive and active real estate. If you're a real estate investor, you need to prioritize having a blend of active and passive real estate like passive real estate is fantastic. I mean, I'm glad, you know, Tim Cook doesn't ask me what do you think about the new vision pro like I'm glad he's not asking me that I'm hoping he's going to figure out all the issues.

You know, I love active real estate too, because I can use my creative ability, but it requires blood sweat and tears. So that would be my real estate advice. And you know, to every business owner who hopefully looks at their capital raising business as a business is the title gives you everything you need to know. But the book's good too is, you know, who not how, and you have to have who's in your business. And so I want to know hows. I'm interested, but I need a who to carry it out.

And so making sure that you, you pick the right team, you know, at Swan Capital, we have an amazing team, but that's not by, you know, just chance. I mean, we work really hard to find the best people and the best people want to work with the best people. And so find you a who.

Ash Patel (30:53.67)
Andrew, what's the hardest lesson you've learned in this industry, whether it's about friends, partners, investors, deals? What's one that just hit you in the gut pretty hard?

Andrew McNair (31:06.709)
Um, I'm going to allude to, uh, another book. Um, the lesson I learned is, you know, I'm, I'm pretty hard headed. And so, uh, trial and error is not the best way to learn, but man, I've used that one a lot. Uh, trial and error will really age you over time and you don't have to do that. You know, you can take advice from other people. You can look and look at a mentor that's five years ahead of you that's already gone through the pain and suffering.

And you can say, wow, I will shorten that gap. You can't eliminate like, you know, we try to do that for kids and nephews and nieces is try to get rid of all difficulty for them. Well, that removes all gravity and bones don't grow without gravity. So, you know, we have to have some pain and suffering, but we don't have to go through all the trial and error. So a book I would recommend to everybody is the road less stupid. I mean, Keith Cunningham's book is just amazing.

The road less stupid is so good because I know as simple as this is going to sound, and if you're not careful, because it's so simple you'll miss it, is I never really thought about my business. No one ever taught me how to think. And so I love the questions in the Road Less Stupid because I actually can take a step back, start asking questions like, what am I not thinking about? What could derail our business? What would I do if I only could operate on referrals?

And some of these questions that I've created my own questions now that I like to come back to and ask myself again. And when you build this, basically this repository, this big deposit of great questions that you can continually ask yourself from time to time as you mature in business, those are going to be valuable questions because the answers you're going to get are so incredibly important to the next stage of growth in your business.

So I would recommend those two books.

Ash Patel (33:04.166)
What is your approach when you're seeking a mentor?

Andrew McNair (33:10.409)
Well, I think you have to be careful every time you pick a mentor, just like when you take advice from someone you're trading places with them. Like, I'm not going to take marriage advice from someone that's been divorced two times. I'm not going to do it. I'll take advice from them about different things. So I want to be close-minded. People say you should be more open-minded. I say, well, that's the problem with this generation is we're so open-minded our brains fall out. I actually want to be close-minded on some things.

And I want to be open-minded to the mentors that can speak wisdom into my life. And I can tell you, I had someone that said, you should not do that project. You should not build that event venue on your property. And I was like, well, I really want to do it. They were right. I was wrong. And I should have listened to them because if I would have loved to trade places with them, I mean, they're worth a half a billion dollars. That's pretty cool. So they know something about business.

And I should have listened, but you know, just like Solomon tries to tell us that in Ecclesiastes is like, you could continue to test this out and do this experiment we called life and you'll find out that it was unfulfilling. You'll find out that I was right. That's why the beauty of wisdom is so great is you can try to, you know, hit your head against sheetrock, or you could just listen to the advice.

Ash Patel (34:28.63)
That very wealthy individual, how did you ask them for advice? Or how did you get in front of them?

Andrew McNair (34:35.701)
Yeah, I think you got to pay people. I mean, people are busy. And so there was a charity event, and it offered a lunch with this, one of the richest people in our towns. And I was like, that's cheap. And so I was the number one bidder at that silent auction. And so I look for ways where I can pay people for their time.

And I want to, you know, give experts their time and, you know, and value their time, either by giving back to them in some way, or actually literally paying them for it. And I think a lot of people that want to leapfrog should do the same. You need to understand that they don't have just a bunch of free time. They have a family of their own. So you either need to give back to them in some way or you need to pay them for their time.

Ash Patel (35:24.006)
Andrew, what's the best ever way you like to give back?

Andrew McNair (35:28.693)
Well, I try to stay, I try to give in a diversified fashion. You know, if someone reads my book, the giving crisis or watches our YouTube channel, the everyday philanthropists, they know how important giving is to me. Um, and people would think, well, you give away, you know, half the business profits. Obviously you're going to say money. Well, not necessarily. I would say your time, your talent are also very equal. I mean, that's why we shut down the office four times a year and invite our clients to come volunteer their time to worthy charities.

And so I would say, you know, how I like to give back is my time, my treasure, my talent. And so I try to use those three and I try to give in all three of those categories because it's too, it's almost too easy just to write a check sometimes. And you can say, I gave a check, I was a giver. And it's like, no, you got to give your time and your treasure because if you do that, it's the trifecta of saying, I know what this charity's going through because I've spent time in it.

And I know how I can give financially because I have time in it. And oh, I got these talents that I've been entrusted and I can use those too.

Ash Patel (36:37.138)
And Andrew, how can the best ever listeners reach out to you?

Andrew McNair (36:41.237)
Yeah. So the first way is check out my book, the rich, young and slash book. You can get my books and with some extras, the book's called the giving crisis. It just shares my journey of being greedy, degenerate from, you know, crewing, you know, what, uh, over $10 million and giving all of it mostly away, which is an interesting story to go from greedy to generous. And then you can check out the Everyday Philanthropist channel on YouTube.

And my wealth management firm is called Swan Capital, which is always easy to remember sleep well at night dash capital.

Ash Patel (37:16.826)
Andrew, I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation, man. This was a lot of fun. Thank you for your time today.

Andrew McNair (37:20.697)
Thank you. Absolutely happy to do it anytime.

Ash Patel (37:25.378)
Best ever listeners, thank you as well for joining us. If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a five star review, share this podcast with someone you think can benefit from it. Also, if you are in real estate, consider going to the best ever conference. For 2024, I have a discount code. It will give you 15% off. The discount code is connect. And that's what you're gonna do at the best ever conference. It is, in my opinion, the best networking I've ever been to. So thank you again for joining us.

Have a great day.

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