Throughout history real estate has been used to build and maintain wealth. It’s difficult to think of any other asset class that has been as historically consistent in the generation of wealth as real estate. When we look at some of history’s most prominent societies and individuals we see this. It holds true dating all the way back to the Roman Empire. For example, historic figures such as Marcus Licinius Crassus used real estate to amass wealth and power. From ancient Rome to the industrial revolution here in North America, real estate has always played a unique role in the structure of wealth and civilizations.
At the peak of the Roman Empire, economists believe that the top 1% of roman society controlled merely 16% of the nation’s wealth. The richest class was considered the senatorial class. The wealth of the Senatorial class was based on the ownership of large agricultural estates and by custom did not engage in commercial activity. This shows that the Ancient Romans viewed real estate ownership as the absolute indicator of class and wealth.
John D. Rockefeller, well known oilman, ended up being considered one of the richest men in the world. His wealth was created by controlling huge amounts of real estate and he became the country’s first billionaire with a fortune worth nearly 2% of the national economy. His net worth at its peak was worth $400B (adjusted for today’s dollar).
“We are in the real estate business, not the hamburger business.” Ray Kroc, milkshake machine salesman, who launched the McDonald’s global empire did so through owning real estate. He figured out that by controlling the real estate under each McDonald’s, he would ultimately be able to control his franchisee’s, control the company, and amass enormous wealth. In 1981, when Ray passed away, he was worth an estimated $500M. By that time McDonald’s had 7,500 locations and was worth $8 billion.
Modern Day Celebrities:
It’s not just ancient empires and business moguls that understand the power of real estate. There are countless examples of celebrities that are following suit and building fortunes. Well known NY Yankees legend, Alex Rodriguez, has approximately 10,000 multifamily units across 11 states and has purchased over $400M in real estate. Others, like Taylor Swift have acquired over $80M in real estate across the US. Hall of Fame skateboarder, Tony Hawk, bought his first house when he was just 17 and is quoted as saying it was “one of the smartest things” he ever did. Even Ellen DeGeneres, is in the real estate game and has made millions flipping houses.
The bottom line is that real estate has the ability to build massive wealth for those who understand it and invest wisely. You don’t have to be a celebrity or a millionaire to get started but you do have to get started. Read, study, and then take action. The Corporate Investor Podcast has fifty plus episodes with investors who were just like you when they began investing. Each guest shares their insights, knowledge, and lessons they’ve learned along the way. Listen in, create a plan, and get started, who knows, maybe one day you’ll be on our list of top real estate tycoons.
The Corporate Investor Podcast
Listen in to interviews with successful real estate investors who began investing while working full-time in the corporate world. Hear their tips, success stories, failures, and their best piece of advice on how you can become a successful real estate investor. Click Here to Listen!
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