Finding Harmony: How My Son Yousuf Taught Me to Realign My Investing Priorities

As the founder of Pyramine Investments, I was always driven to grow the business as much as possible. I took great pride in expanding our portfolio and delivering strong returns for investors year after year. However, this relentless focus on work came at a cost I didn’t fully realize until my young son Yousuf pointed it out.

One evening as I was packing up to head back to the office after dinner, Yousuf looked up at me with sadness in his big brown eyes and asked “Daddy, why do you have to go to work again? Can’t you stay and play with me?” His innocent question stopped me in my tracks. As much as I told myself I was working hard to support our family, in that moment I knew my son didn’t care about financial success – he simply wanted time with his father.

Over the next few weeks, similar interactions with Yousuf kept sticking in my mind. He would ask me to read him a bedtime story only to be interrupted by work calls. At his football games on Saturdays, I found myself distracted checking emails on my phone instead of fully paying attention to watch him play. I realized with a sinking feeling that my relentless focus on growing Pyramine was threatening the very thing that mattered most – my relationship with my son.

That’s when I began exploring new investment strategies that would enable me to achieve strong returns without requiring all of my time and energy. I wanted an approach that facilitated work-life balance so I wouldn’t continue missing out on critical moments with Yousuf as he grew up. After careful research and analysis, I settled on shifting Pyramine’s focus towards passive real estate investing through rental properties.

Ontario’s housing market offers powerful vehicles for generating income through rental properties with minimal ongoing management and labor. Tenants provide monthly rent payments whether an owner is actively involved day-to-day or not. Targeting well-positioned single-family homes and small apartment buildings close to major employment centers helps ensure consistent rental demand. While rents cover the mortgage and operating expenses, the properties also benefit from long-term capital appreciation as real estate values rise steadily over decades.

Through leveraging financing programs and initially focusing on moderately-priced properties in the $300,000-$600,000 range, new investors can enter the market with as little as 5-10% down. By acquiring a diversified portfolio of 5-10 such properties, it is quite achievable to generate 18% average annual returns through a combination of rental growth outpacing inflation each year as well as long-term equity buildup.

A key factor in hitting target rates of return is identifying neighborhoods primed for renewal and revitalization where rents can be increased every 12-24 months to maximize cash flow yields. However, an equally important consideration is to outsource daily operations and repairs to experienced property managers. This hands-off approach minimizes the time commitment needed from investors.

With revenue coming in consistently from rented units and an expert team handling issues like maintenance requests, renovations, tenant turnover, and financial reporting, the role of a Pyramine passive investor becomes primarily focused on evaluating portfolio performance and potential expansion opportunities on a quarterly basis versus micromanaging day-to-day activities. This empowered me to rebalance my schedule to spend far fewer evenings and weekends tied up with work responsibilities.

Instead, I was able to attend more of Yousuf’s tee-ball games, join him at the local splash pad on summer afternoons, help with homework after school most nights, and even carve out weekend trips together just for fun. Our father-son bond strengthened immeasurably as quality time replaced the number of hours I used to devote to Pyramine. Most rewarding of all, the passive income strategy succeeded in delivering investment returns at or exceeding targeted rates without compromising work-life balance – a true win-win.

Over the past five years, I’ve scaled this diversified real estate portfolio across Ontario’s notable cities and seen substantial capital appreciation in addition to robust annual rental growth upwards of 10% on average which generates solid cash yields. By empowering other individuals and families to participate through fractional property investments from as little as $10,000, my goal is to positively impact both their finances as well as relationships through a truly hands-off approach. As Yousuf showed me so clearly, time nurturing loved ones simply cannot be quantified or replaced by money alone. I’m proud Pyramine now enables others to achieve both through passive real estate investing.