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We’ve all read articles that tell us how much money we would have made if we had invested in a major stock when it first became public. If we would have invested $100,000 in Apple in 2009, it would be worth over $1 million today. However, if you waited and invested that same $100,000 in Apple in 2014, you would have only made a little over $130,000. Obviously that’s nothing to snub your nose at but, the point is, in order to make huge gains in the stock market, you must “time the market” or, in other words, speculate.

That is one of the major advantages that real estate investing, and multifamily investing in particular, has over investing in the stock market. As long as you follow our Three Immutable Laws of Real Estate Investing, you will make consistent cash flow without having to time the market.

And as evidence to support this claim, here is how much money you would have made if you invested $100,000 into a multifamily building every five years starting in 1985, according to the NCREIF Property Index:

If you invested $100,000 in 1985, you would have made $43,370 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
1985 11.14% $11,140
1986 6.93% $6,930
1987 6.78% $6,780
1988 9.97% $9,970
1989 8.55% $8,550
Total 43.37% $43,370

If you invested $100,000 in 1990, you would have made $26,130 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
1990 5.69% $5,690
1991 -1.31% -$1,310
1992 1.71% $1,710
1993 8.47% $8,470
1994 11.57% $11,570
Total 26.13% $26,130

If you invested $100,000 in 1995, you would have made $59,260 in five years.

Year NPI (%) Cash Flow
1995 11.19% $11,190
1996 11.07% $11,070
1997 12.33% $12,330
1998 13.43% $13,430
1999 11.24% $11,240
Total 59.26% $59,260

If you invested $100,000 in 2000, you would have made $51,020 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
2000 12.41% $12,410
2001 9.06% $9,060
2002 8.48% $8,480
2003 8.62% $8,620
2004 12.45% $12,450
Total 51.02% $51,020

If you invested $100,000 in 2005, you would have made $18,640 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
2005 19.68% $19,680
2006 13.89% $13,890
2007 10.91% $10,910
2008 -7.20% -$7,200
2009 -18.64% -$18,640
Total 18.64% $18,640

If you invested $100,000 in 2010, you would have made $62,570 in five years.

Year NPI Cash Flow
2010 17.19% $17,190
2011 14.63% $14,630
2012 10.80% $10,800
2013 10.03% $10,030
2014 9.92% $9,920
Total 62.57% $62,570