John Soforic

Does the fear of losing money stop you from investing?

About the Speaker

John Soforic, author of The Wealthy Gardener, a book of 100 life lessons he wrote for his son, and has since become an Amazon bestseller. Its being published in China, South Korea, and has recently been bought by Penguin.

  • Hometown: Mount Pleasant, PA, a rural town of 5,000 just East of Pittsburgh. Worked for decades in nearby Latrobe, home of Arnold Palmer, Mr. Rogers, and the first recorded banana split Sunday.
  • Family: My one grandfather was a farmer, the other was a coal miner. My dad started as a maintenance man in a publishing house of local newspapers. My parents moved into a half trailer after marriage. The trailer was in a family member’s back yard. My dad grew into a millionaire.
  • Youth.  Went to a Catholic grade school, got into fights every week. Went to a Catholic high school and became popular through sports. Was the basketball star and quarterback of football team, and the lucky guy who dated the homecoming queen. Also learned many misguided ideas about money that I later had to unlearn if I wanted to be financial independent.
  • Choice of my career. At the age of 20 I went with my dad for a chiropractic visit. I saw a nice boat in the back yard sitting on a trailer. I saw the chiropractor’s part-time office hours. That was enough for me- I decided to become a chiropractor. Twenty years later I had my own boat on a trailer in my yard- worst investment of my life.

The 20s decade . . . financial struggles.

  • College Graduation. I graduated with a chiropractic degree at age 24. $80,000 in student debt. Married a month later. Opened a clinic in Chicago suburbs. Wife became pregnant. Within a year almost went broke.
  • Mental practices. In my 2nd year of practice, an elderly man (former minister) coached me using affirmations, visualizations, and deep concentration. Long story short, my clinic exploded as a result.
  • Sold and moved.  At 27, my wife and I had no savings. We lived frugally in an expensive area. Many people say they’re trapped. Well, we moved 500 miles and I set up a new practice in Latrobe, PA (not far from my hometown). In this location, I could begin to work on wealth.
  • Career Misstep (drug-dealing boss). Against my inner voice, I signed a contract to associate with a local chiropractor. Great money. Part-time offer. Something felt wrong. I walked into it anyway. Turns out he was arrested within a month for dealing drugs and I was stuck.
  • Self-employed again. Transitioned into my own clinic during the next year.  Started from scratch a second time as a chiropractor.

The 30s decade . . . financial competence.

  • Depressed at 30. Two kids now. I had paid back $70,000 in student loans. But I had nothing in the bank- I was back to being broke (same position I was in as a high school graduate 12 years ago).  I then made a goal to be financially free at age 50. I wrote a figure of $220,000 in residual income for this age. I still have this check on a vision board today.
  • First Investment Disaster. During the next 5 years, I saved over $70,000. I worked until 9 every night. I sacrificed my time and energy. I finally had financial direction. I invested in the stock market in 2000. The internet bubble burst, and I suddenly had less than 25,000.
  • Shift to Real Estate Investments. I chose rental real estate as my vehicle to gain freedom. Why? I didn’t think it was possible with my salary to gain residual income of $220,000  from stock market (it would require 7 million). But it was possible through rentals.

The 40’s decade. . . financial freedom . . . (and then writing the book The Wealthy Gardener).

  • Rental business. I increased my rentals up to 73 total during this time. I worked at my clinic, oversaw the flipping business of 5 houses per year, managed the rental business… all profits from all businesses went into the cash fund so that I could expand the rental business.
  • Just before my 50th birthday. I reached a residual income of $220,000. This was the goal I’d set at the age of 30.  I was free to stop the flipping business, and retire from chiropractic practice.
  • My son approaching graduation.  My son was going to graduate, and I wanted to spare him the same learning curve that I had to experience. I considered how to do this...
  • My brother’s sudden death. My brother (and only sibling) was run over by a car at this exact time. His death, reminding me of the shortness of my own, prompted me to write the book for my son.
  • Three-year book project. Every week I’d write 2 lessons and email them to my son at college. Every Sunday, we’d discuss the life lessons. I spent 40-50 hours a week on this book. And it took 3 years to complete. This includes the many revisions for self-publishing.

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