165: How 'Finance Ninja" Daniel J. Mills Started at $30k a Year and Grew a US Rental Empire from Japan
Play • 1 hr 20 min

While living abroad, it can be very difficult to invest in assets in your home country, especially if you’re an American. Daniel J. Mills found this out early in his professional career. As a English teacher living in Japan, he had to jump through a sizable amount of hoops to find a way to invest in American stocks, index funds, and later real estate all while overseas. 

Growing up in southern California, Daniel knew that there was money to be made through entrepreneurialism. He saw his father grow a business that was profiting millions each year, only to see it later become liquidated. Daniel didn’t really think too much about money or growing his personal wealth until years later.

After college, Daniel moved to Japan and became an English teacher making a salary of around $30,000 (USD) a year. He met his wife, settled down, and bought an apartment in an appreciating part of the city (contrary to many other parts of Japan). Daniel was saving around $1,000 a month, and realized he didn’t want to be making $30,000 a year forever. So, he started investing in index funds and stocks, which grew his net worth and allowed him to invest in other asset classes, like real estate.

Daniel even shares a tax loophole that allowed him to write off 100% of his 6-figure income while he was in Japan (solely from real estate depreciation)! 

Flash forward to today, Daniel has rental properties in Idaho, Alabama, and Tennessee with partners from Japan and the United States. Daniel agrees with many other real estate professionals in the fact that you need a tried and true team in cities where you’re investing. Living in Japan, he doesn't have much to worry about in the US, thanks to his fantastic property managers, handymen, partners, lenders, and real estate agents.

In This Episode We Cover

  • The challenges and benefits of investing in American assets while abroad
  • Getting rid of debt fast so you’re able to scale your investments 
  • How money is easier to make as you become more educated and experienced 
  • The ins-and-outs of Japanese real estate compared to American real estate 
  • Converting bonus rooms to bedrooms for higher rent 
  • Forming partnerships with real estate professionals who can help you
  • And So Much More!

Check the full show notes here: https://www.biggerpockets.com/moneyshow165

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