THEY’RE just 10 and 12 years old but David and Zach Tanner have already done what many adults now struggle to do by age 40 — buy real estate with their own hard-earned cash.
The American brothers, who are currently in Sydney for a talk with Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki, could easily have smashed the record books for youngest self-funded investors.
They recently financed their first real estate deal in Texas with profits from a neighbourhood lemonade stand they started seven years ago, along with savvy investments in shares.
The kids are now dreaming big. Older brother Zach, 12, said his goal was to become financially free when he is older and not work a job. “I want to be on the fast track,” he said.
Brother David, 10, has a similar goal. “I’d like to keep investing in the stock market and get lots of cash flow.”
They added that other kids their ages were often bewildered by their mindset. “Other kids are very surprised we are doing this,” Zach said.
Dad Andy Tanner, a share investor, said his children were regular kids who were not “smarter than anyone else”, but simply had a strong drive to invest.
Their appetite for investing began when they were aged five and three and approached their dad wanting to start a business.
They settled on the idea of a lemonade stand because it would be easy for the kids to operate.
The family also already had a wealth of scrap materials left over from a fence construction, which meant they could build a “better stand” than the other kids, Mr Tanner said.
“I told the kids they have to be better and build a brand,” he said. With heavy promotion on social media, the brothers’ business soon began pulling in hundreds of dollars a day and the Tanner brothers began pumping the profits into high-performing shares they liked.
They then turned their attention to other asset classes. Zach said he liked the idea of buying real estate because of the chance to attain financial freedom.
“I don’t want to live with my parents when I’m older … so I wanted to learn about real estate,” he said.
With a new goal, Zach and David recently bought into a joint venture to construct about 450 apartments in Houston, Texas, using their own cash raised from selling options on their shares.
Mr Tanner said he was adamant his children only used their own money to invest and that he didn’t fund their purchase so that it would be a learning experience for them.
The children said they weren’t tempted to spend any of their money on themselves because they realised the value of investing early in life.
“I like investing,” Zach said. “I like how you can just make money without working.”
Their mentor Robert Kiyosaki, who shot to fame after penning the bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad, said more families would benefit from following the Tanners’ approach.
“The world has changed,” he said. “Going to school for job security is obsolete. In 10 years there may be fewer meaningful jobs … but by age 18, these kids may not even need a job.”
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Mr Kiyosaki added that children were unlikely to learn about how to make money at school and were best off looking at how “rich guys” invested and replicating their approaches.
Having purchased investment properties in Rushcutters Bay and the Kings Cross area, he said the Australian housing market presented families a rare opportunity to make money because it is a “safe haven” for investing.
“Real estate gives you more of an opportunity to be entrepreneurial,” he said. “You can’t fix a stock, you can’t renovate Apple, but you can do that to (property).”
Robert Kiyosaki’s Wealth Masters Tour kicks off in Sydney tonight and moves to Brisbane August 25 and Melbourne August 29. More information is available at event.kiyosakilive.com.au