Heartland Investment Partners - March 2020



MARCH 2020

DARINGARMAN.COM 319-350-5378

We all have that one friend, colleague, or mentor in our lives who inspires us to push ourselves. Maybe it’s your brother, or your best friend, or your old boss. For me, it’s Oprah Winfrey. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know Oprah personally. But she’s been motivating and inspiring me from afar since I first got into the real estate business. Because International Women’s Day is this month, I thought it was only appropriate to give Oprah a shoutout for being the incredible entrepreneurial role model she is. Anyone who has ever started their own business knows the first few years are rough. Real estate is a tough business on a good day, but when you’re just starting out, there are so many roadblocks and challenges thrown at you that you inevitably start to wonder if you’ve made the right decision. At least, that’s the way it was for me! I had a lot of “What the hell was I thinking?” moments getting Heartland off the ground. Luckily, that was around the same time Oprah really came onto my radar screen. On more than one occasion when I was having a moment, I flipped open a magazine or turned on the TV and saw Oprah. Being reminded of her story always galvanized me, and I thought, “If Oprah could do all of that with the whole world against her, I can get this little real estate investment company off the ground.” If you’re not familiar with Oprah’s story, it goes like this: In 1954, Oprah was born on a farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her parents weren’t married, and they left her with her grandmother. Starting at age 9, she was sexually abused and ended up a rebellious teen bouncing back and forth between households. Eventually she turned things around, got a college scholarship, and at age 19, she was hired as a news anchor at CBS. A few years later, after some corporate reshuffling, she ended up the anchor on A.M. Chicago, a show at the very bottom of the ratings barrel. But that didn’t stop Oprah! She revamped A.M. Chicago, and a year later it was renamed the Oprah Winfrey Show. The rest — founding her production company, starting the most powerful book club in America, and more — is history. According to Forbes, today Oprah is worth $2.6 billion. HOW OPRAH’S ENTREPRENEURIAL RISE INSPIRED ME TO WORK HARDER ‘IF OPRAH CAN DO IT, YOU CAN, TOO’

To do all of this is an amazing accomplishment in itself, but to do it as an African American woman in the 1980s, with all of the barriers that entails, is nothing short of incredible. Despite setback after setback and roadblock after roadblock, Oprah kept striving to achieve all her dreams. How many people do you know — men or women, black or white — who could overcome that much adversity? I don’t know many! That’s why Oprah is so inspiring to me. Knowing she’s been through 100 times the amount of crap I’ve been through and came out stronger made it easier to buckle down and keep going. If she could succeed back then, there’s no reason a white guy like me can’t succeed today. If I can raise my daughters to be as strong-willed, independent, and determined as Oprah, I’ll die a happy dad. The No. 1 thing I’ve tried to teach my girls is life is going to punch them in the face when they try to achieve things, and they shouldn’t let that stop them. I’ve also encouraged them to have goals and aspirations that really push them out of their comfort zones. I’m not going to tell them what those goals should be — whatever they want to do with their lives, I say God bless them and go for it — but I hope they won’t be afraid to push the envelope, take their dreams to the next level, and be uncomfortable. Ultimately, those “What the hell was I thinking?” moments are worth the discomfort. And as historian Laurel Ulrich put it: “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! If you have daughters, go give them a high-five for me.

–Darin Garman

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Even if you’ve always planned for a comfortable retirement in the United States, choosing to live internationally could be a smart alternative to improve your standard of living in retirement. International Living Magazine’s Retirement Index has tracked objective retirement metrics — like the cost of living, democratic stability, and health care — for the last 40 years. They also take into account reports of correspondents actively living abroad. Here are some of their top picks for international retirement destinations. PANAMA Panama ranks No. 2 in International Living Magazine’s list of best places to retire internationally. With its tropical climate, proximity to the United States, excellent health care, and low tax burden, it’s easy to see why. In Panama City, you can expect to pay at least $2,600 a month in living expenses, but housing costs are substantially lower outside of major metropolitan markets. Panama also offers excellent discounts, up to 25% off of things like airline tickets, hotels, and energy costs through its Pensionado program. COSTA RICA If it’s a textbook paradise you’re looking for, look no further than Costa Rica. Thanks to a 1948 decision to abolish their military and direct all of those funds to health care and education, Costa Rica is often referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America.” Known for its stable democracy, safety, and socialized health care that’s only available once you’ve obtained residency, Costa Rica also offers climates for just about everybody — from the lush

jungles of the south to the hot, dry beaches of Guanacaste in the northwest. Expect to find large communities of expats to help you acclimate.

MEXICO The first things that come to mind for most people when you mention Mexico are margaritas and beach umbrellas, but this country offers a lot more than that. For starters, Mexico features an enticingly low cost of living. International Living estimates a couple could live in Mexico on anywhere from $1,500–$3,000 per month, depending on location, including health care expenses. Once you’ve obtained residency status, you can sign up for national health care plans that offer full coverage for just a few hundred dollars annually.



into our 72-unit Raintree Apartment community. There isn’t — and there never will be — an algorithm for breaking into a physical property. All the cyberthieves can work overtime trying to hack into our property holdings for all we care. They’ll never get anything, not a cent!

It’s impossible to go online these days without seeing articles that would make any investor’s blood run cold. Companies having their data stolen, people being scammed out of thousands, and business and personal bank accounts being drained are common, terrifying themes. Often, these horror stories sit right next to articles about the deep political divide. One day, the Republicans are killing our country’s economy, the next day, it’s the Democrats, and Russia, China, and North Korea are always involved in the volatility somehow. On top of that, we have social unrest making headlines. Racial disputes, religious arguments, violent attacks, protests, and more are happening every day. The worst thing is that all of this information, real or fake, moves the conventional financial markets. The January attacks in Iran, for example, pushed the markets downward. Stocks, bonds, and even bank CDs are impacted. Even when these things happen outside of the U.S., our investments aren’t immune to their effects. But there is ONE investment that’s immune: multifamily apartment communities.

The other thing to remember is no matter what happens with politics, wars, or social unrest, everyone still needs a roof over their head. The markets can crash, the wars can happen, and the protests can continue, but everyone will still need a place to live. Multifamily communities are simply immune to market forces. The bottom line is that when it comes to things like rate of return, income, and cash flow, multifamily investing is a solid bet. But, arguably the more important point is multifamily communities provide a safe place to invest. The more turbulent the times, the better off our investors will be. Email Darin at darin.garman@gmail.com to start safeguarding your money today.

Besides being a great investment for income and returns, multifamily real estate is the SAFEST investment on the planet. Why? Well, no one can hack


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Check out this bald eagle photo we received from a reader! Can you count the eagles?

March is officially designated Iowa History Month, and since we love any excuse to talk about our beautiful state, we’ve decided to celebrate with 10 fun facts only an Iowa native would know! Try your hand at checking off the tidbits on the list below. If you already knew more than five of them, you’re either an actual Iowan or a true Iowan at heart. • Iowa is nicknamed the Hawkeye State after the character Hawkeye in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel, “The Last of the Mohicans.” • Snake Alley, a road in Burlington, Iowa, was named the oddest spot in the U.S. by “Ripley’s Guide to the Curious Corners of America.” The street is incredibly crooked, packing five half-curves and two quarter- curves into just 275 feet. • Remember that one time when Ozzy Osbourne bit into a live bat someone had thrown on stage at a Black Sabbath concert? Well, that happened in Des Moines, Iowa. • In the 1830s, Iowa almost went to war with Missouri over the surveying of state lines. Mental Floss reports that no shots were fired, but a stand of trees was destroyed during the conflict. • There are more pigs than people in Iowa! The latest numbers put our hog population at over 23 million, and our human population at just under 3.2 million. • The first-ever Red Delicious apple tree grew in Peru, Iowa, in 1875. Its owner tried to chop it down three times, but it refused to die. • Iowa was the 29th state to join the union. Its statehood became official on Dec. 28, 1864. • One-tenth of America’s food supply is grown in Iowa! Our two biggest crops, which we rank No. 1 in the nation for, are corn and soybeans. • The Iowa state motto is “Our liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.” • The inventor of the sliced bread machine, Otto Frederick Rohwedder, was born in Iowa! That means our state indirectly brought you the phrase “the best thing since sliced bread.”






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Darin Garman: Heartland’s Most Trusted Multi-Family Investment Advisor 2505 Silver Oak Trail Marion, IA 52302 DarinGarman.com 319-350-5378


WWOD: What Would Oprah Do?

Page 2 3 Places to Retire Internationally The Secret to Protecting Your Money From Thieves, Politics, and Social Unrest Page 3 10 Things You Might Not Know About Iowa Page 4 The Science Behind Gut Feelings

You have two options in front of you. They both sound great, are backed by research, and could transform your business for the better, but you can only choose one. Which do you commit to? When you’re faced with two equally worthwhile options, science says the best way to make a decision is to flip a coin. When you flip a coin, you’re not really leaving the decision up to chance; you’re actually calling on your intuition to guide you. The practice is often regarded as unscientific, but there’s a lot of research to support making intuitive decisions. Friederike Fabritius and Hans W. Hagemann, authors of “The Leading Brain: Neuroscience Hacks to Work Smarter, Better, Happier,” explain how we develop that “gut feeling.” Intuitive decisions are driven by two structures in your brain: the basal ganglia and the insula. The basal ganglia are connected to movement and building habits. The insula, part of the cerebral cortex, becomes engaged when you experience pain, feel love, listen to music, or even enjoy a piece of chocolate. Neuroscientists believe the insula is responsible for self-awareness, particularly for recognizing changes in your body. When you have to solve a problem, your basal ganglia start working on a solution, even if you aren’t consciously thinking about it. If you make a conscious decision that agrees with the subconscious solution of your basal ganglia, your brain gives off a subtle reward. The decision doesn’t have to be logical to feel right — that’s your gut feeling. However, if the conscious and subconscious parts of your brain don’t agree, your insula detects the discrepancy and registers a threat. It’s the “I have a bad feeling about this” response. THE SCIENTIFICALLY SMARTER WAY TO MAKE BUSINESS DECISIONS HEADS OR TAILS?

Fabritius and Hagemann note that gut feelings “represent the most efficient use of your accumulated experience.” According to the authors, flipping a coin is the best way to really listen to your basal ganglia and insula. Your subconscious brain has already made a decision; flipping a coin helps you test your intuition about each option. If the coin lands on heads and you feel relieved, then heads is the right choice. However, if the coin lands on tails and you’re uncertain or want to flip again, then that’s your intuition saying the other option is the better choice. So, the next time you’re caught in a pickle, grab the nearest quarter and put your intuition to the test.


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