Many of us have put 2020 in our rearview, but for some, it has been more difficult than others. I am a firm believer that we must evaluate and seek to understand the past so we can be more conscious of our present state and make more intentional plans for our desired future. Over the past 12 months, we have experienced our economy stall its upward trajectory, millions of Americans forced to work from home, or worse, lose their jobs entirely. I am naturally an optimist and believe that through all the hardships our country endured, we have been resilient and emerged into 2021 from our Pandemic cocoon with an optimistic energy to improve our lives.

The chaos that 2020 brought was not only frightening but eye-opening as well. In March of last year, I noticed investors go from extremely worried and panicked to aggressively bullish and opportunistic in a matter of days. The silver lining from that type of disarray is that it seems to have triggered behavior which is helping to turn the entire financial system on its head, especially in the world of investing. Many investors began to break the shackles of financial dependency from the stock market in search of alternative investment strategies, such as real estate, to mitigate their losses and maximize their gains with the non-correlated and less volatile private market. They questioned if the system was designed for them to succeed and began taking matters into their own hands and desiring more control over their hard-earned retirement savings. This could be viewed as investment radicalism incited by droves of individuals proclaiming themselves as financial revolutionaries, or my favorite, Financial Freedom Fighters. Ultimately, any individual that has the conviction to question and challenge the status quo projects the spirit of a revolutionary. In fact, the Self-Directed IRA investors we serve identify very closely with this. They believe in the freedom of choice. They stand up against institutions that restrict them from directing their retirement savings exactly where they want, misinform them, and lead them to incorrectly believe that only Wall Street-based options are permissible within retirement accounts. Who decided that investing in real estate is “non-traditional” and the stock market is “traditional” anyways? Oh yeah, the companies and professionals that have a vested monetary interest in selling those products did.

Who would have predicted that the global pandemic could serve as a catalyst for a dramatic shift on investor’s appetite towards alternative asset strategies?

Some call that The Butterfly Effect, which is defined as:

A small change that can make a much bigger change happen; one small incident that can have a big impact on the future.

Right now, over 10 million Americans are unemployed. Adding insult to injury, the vast majority are not aware that they can roll their old 401K funds into a Self-Directed IRA which allows them to purchase real estate along with a virtually endless array of options beyond the stock market. I will not allow AZREIA members to be misinformed or unaware of the investment choices truly available inside their retirement account. As real estate investors, I want you to know that any amount of money inside your retirement account can be used as a funding source for your next real estate deal!

COVID-19 will be the single most memorable moment of the 21st century. Unfortunately, for many Americans, the financial hardships, instability and decline in retirement savings has swept our nation with a massive wave of anxiety, dissatisfaction, and frustration. However, these emotions breed introspective curiosity and help challenge the status quo. When people hit their limit and feel they have had enough, it forces transformation through intentional action in pursuit of an improved condition. Just like when a caterpillar has endured enough suffering inside its cocoon, it fights its way out to become a beautiful butterfly. I encourage you to take stock of your current financial reality and question if your retirement account’s investment strategy needs transformation.

How will the experiences and lessons of 2020 help you evolve and improve your financial condition? Will they ignite the revolutionary spirit within you and call you to action?

Lastly, if you are one of the lucky few that already knew about Self-Directed IRAs, perhaps I can implore you to join my effort to proactively broadcast this important information, so that together, we can magnify the amount of positive change we can make in the financial lives of those we care about.

To learn more about Real Estate IRAs, please visit

by J.P. Dahdah, Vantage Self-Directed IRAs