I finally stopped feeling perpetually anxious. The heavy weight on my shoulders has lifted. Thoughts of uncertainty dissipated almost all at once. The combination of being vaccinated and attending my EO forum retreat were a one-two punch to knock out the dreadful overcast Covid thrust upon me.
My day to day life was turned totally upside down for 16 months. I knew I was not alone. That didn’t make things easier on me, but it did drive me to succeed. There an adage that the best place to close the gap in a race is up the hills. This was a mountain. It felt like my opportunity.
Looking back, I feel good about the decisions I made to manage through this crisis. I lost 20 pounds, transformed our family office, acquired over 1,000 apartment units, took FIGI public, and renewed my passion for teaching. The results doubled our net worth and income. I unapologetically made a conscious decision to focus on my role as our family’s sole breadwinner.
I tried to be a supportive husband and father to a family that struggled with everyone at home 24/7. Frankly, I am better at measuring performance in the boardroom, since I’m not sure how to monitor my results at home.
One thing is clear, though. I am more excited for this summer than any I can remember. Everyone in our family needs a break. The kids are spending 6 weeks at sleep away camp for the first time. That leaves Amanda and me alone for more time than we have had in 15 summers.
We are set to explore a lot of the natural beauty of the north east, many parts for the first time. I can’t wait. We are just kicking off our adventure!
What’s you life looking like now that summer is here?
Freedom Family Office continues to scale. We added Jenna Kozodoy as our Chief Experience Officer to create exciting and memorable experiences for Freedom’s diverse clientele. Jenna came to us from Goldman Sachs, where she helped manage over $500 million. Before that, she led a frontline team of 19 Customer Experience Associates at the largest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater Associates.
We also built a relationship with a boutique tax consultancy that developed a proprietary strategy for entrepreneurs selling their company – which represents about half of Freedom’s new clients. Through this unique structure, families can protect their assets from creditor claims and reduce estate taxes, but perhaps most importantly avoid essentially all of the capital gains tax resulting from their transaction. If you know someone planning to sell their company, please be sure to introduce us.
We acquired two apartment complexes this quarter – 165 units in College Park, Georgia and 419 units in West Columbia, South Carolina. Acquisition prices are rising everywhere. So are rents. As someone that has to allocate capital for a living, I still find the risk/reward ratio compelling for value-add multi family. Apparently so do many others since we have grown our investor base by 20% this quarter alone! However, looking forward I see us building single family rental communities as our construction team has grown quite sizable and our cost to build may be lower than the cost to acquire and improve.
FIGI filed another 10-Q and our process is getting more streamlined as we all get comfortable in our reporting roles. We disclosed the acquisition of two additional royalties – both in artistic companies – one that teaches people to rap and the other helping to sell fine art. We look forward to celebrating our next big milestone – becoming publicly traded!
I’ve continued to volunteer time speaking with EO chapters, including some forums. I also had a chance to share my story at EO’s Global Leadership Conference (via zoom). EO has had some amazing learning opportunities but I haven’t prioritized them. I am hopeful after the summer I’ll be able to get back to live events to learn from my peers.
I have two EO forums, and both had their retreat this quarter. It was my first time getting back to “normal” with friends, and it felt great. I played pickle ball for the first time and was surprised by how enjoyable it was.
Our BIG Breakfast virtual events this quarter included Steven Kotler talking about performance, Andre Norman on negotiations, and Judy Cornish on dealing with dementia. If you’re not getting invited, please email me and I’ll add you to the list.
The second quarter typically includes Jared’s basketball season and Eden’s dance recital. Thankfully both continued despite Covid. Jared also joined a Futsal soccer league which got him more time on the field. Most fun was watching him play for his middle school team, which made it all the way to the semi-finals in our county tournament.
Mother’s Day marked our first dinner out in 15 months. Amanda and I were both vaccinated, but we have still been somewhat cautious because of the kids. Jared ended up getting vaccinated, too, since his school will require masks for those that opt not to get the vaccine.
My birthday was special because Amanda had a little surprise get together at our place with a few families. We hadn’t had anyone over during Covid either, so that felt like a “first” worth remembering. Then for Father’s Day we got to see Amanda’s parents and celebrate their birthday’s and anniversary which are all in June.
Our drive north was uneventful, as was camp drop off (though Eden wanted to jump out of the car - she was so excited). We spent a few days in Manhattan and enjoyed seeing my parents in person. Now we are in New Paltz, NY to hike some trails, enjoy the outdoors, and recharge.
Wishing you a wonderful summer!
With love, Noah