Just like Billy Joel sang back in 1986 – It truly is a matter of trust! I attended the local Pittsburgh REIA (Real Estate Investors Association) monthly meeting at the Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center on February 20, 2018. It was my first experience with this club or any real estate investor club. On this night the key note speaker was Mr. Lou Brown of streetsmartinvestor.com. His topic for the evening was about asset protection – specifically the power of trusts. Lou spoke at length about Land Trusts and Personal Property Trusts and how they can be leveraged by real estate investors. The key points I took away from his presentation were:
- Privacy of Ownership – It is really hard and expensive to find out who the beneficiary of a trust is. So, it offers great protection from frivolous law suits
- He recommends using one trust for every property you own.
- A trust provides transactional privacy. While it appears on the tax rolls and real estate transactions, no one knows who that trust is owned by (and name them creatively, don’t use your actual name or company or address in the trust name. Lou joked that you should call it the little sisters of the poor trust because no one would sue the little sisters of the poor).
- It is a federal government construct with limited government control and oversight. And the states have no relationship or oversight of the trusts.
- Probate avoidance. Lou mentioned this several times. There is no probate process with a trust. The beneficiary is the beneficiary and no one else is getting a piece of the action.
Overall it was a great night. Lou is a wonderful pitch man with his trademark saying “Yeah Baby”. His end game is to sign you up for one of his seminars or webinars to learn about his programs in more detail. He tells you just enough to get you interested so you sign up for a seminar. Like the great PT Barnum said, “Always leave them wanting more.” And Lou does!!
Its was a great group of people and I signed up as a vendor and sponsor, so look for us at next months meeting at the vendor tables. We will also be running an ad in their monthly newsletter. I encourage anyone interested in real estate investing to sign up. There is a wealth of information available and great networking opportunities.
Owner, Fort Pitt Property Management