May 7, 2024

Investor Feature - Retirement - Rob Deits

“We’ve always believed in real estate—always, always, always. Like Mark Twain said, ‘Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.’” 


Building a Retirement Nest Egg Early 

The Deits family has a long history of successful entrepreneurship in business and real estate. Rob Deits, owner of The Hide House in Napa, CA, has worked hard to keep both traditions alive.   

While pursuing a degree in accounting and finance at San Francisco State University, Rob earned money for tuition in an unusual way. “I got a job at a gourmet butcher shop,” he explains. “And I’ve always had an interest in real estate. In fact, my mother became a renowned realtor here in Napa Valley. So, I bought my first condominium when I was 19 years old, with a $3,000 down payment (back when they were selling for $35,000).” 

 Rob Deits and Wife Boating  


Keeping the Family Legacy Alive

As Rob took notes on real estate from his mother, he also learned from his father’s experience in business. “My dad ended up buying an old glove company here in Napa back in 1976 that was going downhill, and he successfully resurrected the company.” The history of the industry, and his father’s success, inspired Rob to also take part.  

“In the early 1900s, there was quite a large leather industry centered on the Napa River and there were several tanneries producing hides,” says Rob. “Back when my dad was ordering leather from one of them, they had a retail store that served as a factory outlet for a couple of tanneries on the river. But they were so busy back then that it was more of a pain for them to operate the store. My dad had a conversation with the president of the tannery and said, before you shut down, my son might be interested.

“I had just gotten my degree, and at age 23, I came out and ran the store for them. I borrowed $5000 dollars on a 90-day note for some reject leather in there, and I said, ‘I don’t know how I’m going to pay you back, but I’ll pay you back!’ That’s how I got into the business.” 

Now The Hide House has 34,000 customers throughout the United States, with over 4,000 kinds of leather that they wholesale to different industries for furniture, equestrian and saddlery goods, motorcycles, footwear, and handbags. “We distribute all kinds of beautiful leathers that we procure from literally around the world,” boasts Rob.  


Developing a Tailor-Made Investment Strategy 

From the butcher shop to the leather business, Rob has never been afraid to get his hands dirty. However, when it comes to real estate, he prefers the passive approach.   

“Real estate has always been in our family. My parents said they always made more money in the real estate game than with the glove company. Over the years, they’ve been able to accumulate some homes, condominiums, and other property. It’s been a big part of our family’s portfolio. But I’m more of a passive investor kind of guy. I don’t want to deal with the broken toilet and the phone calls at three in the morning.” 

This is initially what drew Rob to Ashcroft. “I can get the best of both worlds––be involved in the real estate play without all the pain and aggravation of actually being a landlord,” he says. “I still have my original condo, and I deal with that. But I find Ashcroft to be a much greater vehicle for me personally, because I just don’t have the time to deal with all the chores and responsibilities of owning real estate outright.” 

Now that Rob is an Ashcroft investor, he finds that working with the team is a highlight of the experience. He adds, “I like the areas where you invest, then upgrade the properties. Reading the newsletters and listening to the videos on the website––I like all that.” 

“I like the freedom and flexibility this style of investing gives me without having to be in-the-know with the stock market. I don’t have to think about it every other day: did the Dow hit a new record, or the NASDAQ go down 2.2%?” 


A Retirement Plan to See the World 

Above all, Rob likes that real estate investing suits his lifestyle and future goals. “I have a sizable account with Morgan Stanley, which is vested in different types of income revenue streams, as well as equities, but I always harken back to real estate. And I believe in a balanced portfolio, so if one area of the economy goes down, you don’t get hurt in the other areas,” says Rob of his investment strategy.  

For Rob, this revenue stream is the most important benefit of his investments, especially as he feels the itch to travel more.

“Ashcroft provides a nice vehicle for me to travel on. I’m at an age where I really want to start seeing the world more than I ever have. Any upgrade in the capital value of the accounts is always welcomed, but I like the revenue stream on a timely basis that Ashcroft provides for this stage of my life.” 

As a history buff and museum enthusiast, Rob is planning plenty of things to look forward to with the help of his distribution income. In fact, he’s already packing his bags for Germany. “One of our suppliers is flying me over,” he explains. “We’re going to stay in an old castle by the Rhine River.” It’s the first of many dream trips to come, and Rob is willing to invest to make it happen. “I need revenue to help make those things become a reality!” 

Rob is just one of our 3,000+ investors. Hear what passive income has meant to over 100 of our investors.