May 4, 2023
“I never have to work again–neither does my wife. If my kids never choose to work, they don’t have to. I don’t want them to live a life based on money like I did. I want them to focus on making the world a better place. I want them to do something they believe in. That’s what I’ve gained through my investments.”
Thirty-four-year-old Samuel Wilkinson followed in his father’s footsteps and became a veterinarian. As he speaks, his gratitude for his father is palpable, but Samuel clearly wanted to make some changes to the model. “What fuels me is setting up generational wealth for my family,” he says. “I have two kids, a wife, five sisters, and two living parents. When I think about everything I do, it’s with them in mind.”
Honoring the family legacy
“I don’t have some childhood sob story, but my dad worked hard…and a lot. He provided for us and gave us vacations, but his work took away from time with us. I respect him for his sacrifice. I know he wanted to be there, but at the time, it was hard not being able to spend time with him. He grew up poor, turned his situation around, and gave his children a leg up by paying for our education–so we all have successful careers. I saw him and decided I don’t want to give everything and all my time to my active source of income.”
For a while, Samuel worried this meant giving up being a vet. At his first practice, he found himself caring for animals all day long and then focusing on business operations after hours. It amounted to 12-hour days with no chance for leisure. That’s when Samuel began exploring investing as a way to get his time back, while still earning money.
“My strategy has been to develop a number of sources of passive income–I personally own two businesses, participate in 8 syndications, invest in nonprofits, and have traditional retirement accounts.” Now, Samuel can balance his veterinary work with the family time he cherishes.
Building wealth with real estate
Samuel is a big believer in real estate investment–and with good reason. “More millionaires have been created with real estate than any other industry in existence. It’s a stable asset, though it does experience ups and downs. But the bottom line is if you want a solid investment over the course of your life, there’s nothing that will perform as consistently as real estate. It’s one of the few things you can completely ignore, treat it poorly, even let it get down to the raw land, and it will still maintain value.”
He also appreciates the tangibility of real estate, noting that his familiarity with the asset class gives him added peace of mind. “I like being able to literally hold my investment. I have a key; I can cut the grass. I needed to be involved in something I understood. If worse came to worst, I know how to manage real estate and the ship would not go down with me at the helm.”
When it came to investing with Ashcroft, Samuel says it wasn’t just his market research that supported his decision, but the warm rapport he developed with the leadership team. “I liked their vision, history, track record, and assets they invested in. I had a great experience with them. They treated me respectfully at a time when they didn’t really have to. I wasn’t quite ready to invest when I first met Travis and Joe.”
“Eventually I wanted to see if I could find anything bad about the company. When I looked, there was nothing. Nothing. And that doesn’t happen.”
Slow and steady wins the race
At 34 and ready to retire his entire family, Samuel is the perfect picture of an investor that has it all figured out–but he’s quick to remind everyone that smart investing doesn’t mean overnight success.
It is his long-term strategy of conserving income and building a diverse portfolio that has led Samuel and his family to a new level of security and financial freedom. “We have not splurged because we have been focusing on reinvesting and growing our wealth.” In fact, Samuel has been living in the same modest ranch home rental since finishing his doctorate in 2017, when he shared a combined $120,000 of student loan debt with his wife.
“Now we’re completely school and consumer debt-free, and I have set up retirements for my mom and dad so they never have to work again.”
Samuel credits his passive income with making these life-changing milestones possible. And he has no plans of stopping, sharing that he invested in multiple syndications in 2022 and will do the same in 2023. “Only now are we really changing our lifestyle, because our past investments are starting to snowball. Our passive income will now help us buy our first home. It’s all about patience. I hope that inspires people.”
With the dream of laying the foundation for generational wealth achieved, Samuel is also starting to relish a few of the finer things in life, thanks to his investments. “We don’t eat crappy cheese anymore! I really enjoy high quality cheese and bread…and I bought a plane.”
Photographed below, Sam Wilkinson, wife Becca Wilkinson and kids