A 'Million Dollar Listing' says he learned a life-long lesson from becoming a millionaire at 26 - and losing it all in 6 months
The star of Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" and cofounder of real-estate firm The Altman Brothers has sold over $1.5 billion in real estate, including the most expensive one-bedroom house in history, which sold for over $20 million.
Today, the 37-year-old has an estimated net worth of $10 million - but his journey hasn't been all rainbows and unicorns.
Ironically, it was a highly successful real estate investment - he and his brother put in $5,000 each to buy a house for $400,000 (with 100% financing) and ended up flipping it and making $200,000 - that precipitated the loss.
"We kept enrolling that money into bigger and bigger properties," he explains to Torabi - properties that they couldn't necessarily afford.
When the economy collapsed in 2007 and 2008, "I ended up getting stuck in a house that I couldn't move. I had lost all the money that we kept enrolling into the next one and into the next one."
"I thought that I'd never be able to get back to where I was," he continues. "But now, looking back, it was one of the best learning experiences I could have ever had. I learned I'm never going to be that person who's buying stuff that I can't afford."
Altman learned the consequences of buying more than you can afford the hard way.
Now, he pays himself first: "The second I get a check, I take half of it and put it into a separate account that I can't touch. That's my No. 1 rule. I don't even think I have more money than I have because it's already in a different account that I don't even look at."
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