- After losing thousands of dollars day-trading, Michael Zuber decided to try real-estate investing.
- He and his wife, Olivia, bought their first rental property in Fresno, California, in 2002.
- Over the past 20 years, they’ve built a real-estate portfolio that brings in over $100,000 a month.
After graduating from college, Michael and Olivia Zuber thought they were doing everything right.
“We got advanced degrees, we got good jobs, and we put money away in a 401(k),” Michael, 49, told Insider. “And we thought we were supposed to save a little bit extra and put it in the stock market.”
He started day-trading stocks in his 20s. It worked for a couple of years — he turned $7,000 into nearly $200,000, he said — but he lost the majority of his money, about 80%, when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.
“It was a very eye-opening and disheartening moment,” he recalled. “You go from feeling like you’re able to take care of your family and you’re going to have a good future to realizing that you’re not as smart as you think you are.”
Down but not out, Michael decided to explore alternative ways to invest his money. He went to a bookstore to look for investment books and was drawn to “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. “It stood out on the shelf because it’s purple,” said Michael, who has since read the personal-finance classic more than 10 times.
Kiyosaki introduced him to the concept of “having money make money,” he said. “I’d never really had a conversation about how money works — and how the rich get richer by owning assets.” With that in mind, he and Olivia decided to try real-estate investing.
It started as a way for them to get back on track financially and rebuild their nest egg. Their goal was simple: Live below their means, save enough to buy one rental property, and start earning passive income. Executing these principles turned into a path to financial freedom. Today, the Bay Area-based couple owns over 100 units in Fresno, California, and earns over $100,0000 a month in rental income. Insider reviewed their real-estate portfolio summaries that showed these details.
Their success didn’t happen overnight: The Zubers have been investing in real estate for the past 20 years. For the first decade, “I wasn’t even thinking about financial freedom,” Michael noted. It wasn’t until the 10-year mark that they realized the rental income they were earning could eventually exceed their day job income and even lead to early retirement.
And that’s exactly what happened. In 2015, Olivia quit her 9-to-5. Michael followed suit in 2018 and left his software job.
“I’m lucky enough to say that every day is Saturday,” said …….