Many women feel that they have to choose between making an income and staying at home with their kids. Christina Suter, a real estate investor and founder of Ground Level Consulting seems to have figured out just the formula. By the time Christina had her daughter at the age of 40, she had created a reasonable stable source of passive income allowing her to be a stay-at-home mom. She did this by building a portfolio of investments. Christina’s story made me think, “What if we could teach women how to invest their money so they can be stay-at-home moms?”
I asked Christina if she would offer insight on how she accomplished such a feat as an investor. She was such a wealth of information that this has become a two part series. In Part II of this series, we go into how Christina created this type of lifestyle. I wanted to kick off this series by highlighting a few key points that came up during my conversation with Christina:
Your salary is created from passive income: The thing I like about investing particularly for mothers is that there is consistent passive income when done right. The definition of Passive income is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it. The benefit to investing is that you can live off the money you make through passive income.
Stay-at-Home Mom’s Still Work: Notice that the definition above about passive income mentions that there is “effort required” on the investors part. What I learned about Christina is that she still works. She manages her investments and is advising other investors through her company Ground Level Consulting. However, she is her own boss, which means she works from where ever she wants, makes her own hours, and doesn’t have to answer to anyone (except maybe her 5 year old daughter).
It Takes Time to Get Off the Ground: You can’t wake up tomorrow morning and say, “I’m going to be a stay-at-home mom and live off my passive income starting today.” When you invest money, it takes time to grow. First you have to build your pot of money that you use to invest (called Principal), then after you invest it, you must let your investment grow. The profit you make each month is your passive income.
Christina calls it the “10-year Mommy Plan”. She says it takes about 10 years of successful investing to get to a place where you can live off your passive income. Investing, whether it be real estate or another type of investing (and there are many), is something we can teach girls at a young age. If you start when you’re 17 then you will be up and going by 27. Now that’s not to say all is lost if you’re beyond 30 which leads me to my next point…
It’s Never Too Late to Start: One of my favorite proverbs is “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is today”. This couldn’t be more true with investing. If you start when your child is born then you have the chance to enjoy their childhood. And if you start when they’re a teenager, you have the chance to enjoy other chapters of their lives (and yours), as well.
It Takes Planning: Another thing about this lifestyle is that it requires planning. In Part II of this series, I’ll explain how to create a plan.
You May Want to Consider Hiring a Professional: It’s always important to have professional help to advise you about your money, especially if you’re new to investing. A professional will also help you get to where you need more quickly. Make sure you hire the right person with great qualifications and a strong track record. You may want to take small steps with the professional advisor so you can get to know each other before making any big decisions.
It Takes Education and Practice: More importantly than hiring professional help is to know what your financial advisor is doing. There are a lot of fast talkers and they will show you charts, websites, and research to prove their point. Unless you know what’s happening in the market and how that particular investment works, you’re putting your savings in someone else’s hands. The reason you’re probably hiring a financial advisor is because you don’t have the time to learn all of this on your own, but knowing the basics of your investments is essential.
You don’t need to be a multi-millionaire to have this type of lifestyle: You don’t need to have millions of dollars in the bank to create a lifestyle as an investor. You just need to create enough passive income to cover your expenses each month. Most basic expenses include rent/mortgage/home repairs, transportation, utilities, food, entertainment, clothes, medical, insurance, charity and savings. And if your partner is taking on the responsibility of these expenses with you, these expenses are divided. When you calculate how much you need to make in passive income each month, you just need to calculate how much is needed to cover your expenses.
Investing can be a great way to create a consistent income that offers you the ability to have control over your time. Next week we’ll take a deeper dive into how Christina was able to create this type of lifestyle.
What questions do you have about investing or creating this type of lifestyle? I’ll try to cover it in next week’s article.