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275: What’s a Left Field Investor?

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“Coming out of left field” is a slang derived from baseball which basically references something unexpected. What does that equate to in personal finance?

Well, the opposite of something unexpected would be something expected or… conventional. Conventional financial wisdom includes stocks, bonds, and mutual funds as the foundation of a solid, responsible portfolio.

Conventional finance has even labeled investments out of this core set of products as alternative. I wonder why?

Well, when you think alternative, what kinds of images pop up in your mind? Purple hair? Nose rings? Well, that’s not by accident.

The conventional financial apparatus would like investors to think of investing in real estate and other non-paper assets the same way you might think of those alternative images: unstable, unsafe?

It’s a rather clever use of language for marketing purposes I must say. But it’s disingenuous all the same. After all, how could real estate be an alternative investment? 

The ownership of real estate and other real assets far outdate the more modern phenomenon of paper assets and certainly any kind of public equity market. Owning stuff is the only way investing existed just a few hundred years ago!

Nevertheless, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve witnessed genuine anxiety from investors first realizing that they ought to be investing another way other than the way they had been conditioned their whole life.

I get it. That’s what our alternative investing communities, like Wealth Formula Network are for. We are kind of like support groups for recovering paper asset investors and we provide each other the support and courage to do what is in our own financial interests.

Of course, ours isn’t the only support group (or cult) out there. Jim Pfeifer’s Left Field Investors is another one. It just so happens that he’s part of our community as well.

Listen to this week’s episode Wealth Formula Podcast to learn how Jim’s journey from high school teacher to financial advisor ended up leading him into podcasting and a career as a full-time investor.

These intra-community shows are a great chance to reflect on your own financial journey. Make sure to listen NOW.

Jim Pfeifer is one of the founders of Left Field Investors and the host of the Passive Investing from Left Field podcast. Left Field Investors is a group dedicated to educating and assisting like-minded investors negotiate the nuances of the passive investing landscape and world of syndications. Jim is a former financial advisor who became frustrated with the one-path-fits-all approach of the standard financial services industry. Jim now concentrates on investing in real assets that produce cash flow and is committed to sharing his knowledge with others who are interested in learning a different way to grow wealth. Jim not only advises and helps people get started in passive real estate syndications, he also invests alongside them in small groups to allow for diversification among multiple investments and syndication sponsors. Jim believes the most important factor in a successful syndication is finding a sponsor that he knows, likes and trusts. He has invested in over 45 passive syndications including apartments, mobile homes, self-storage, private lending and notes, ATMs, commercial and industrial triple net leases, assisted living facilities and international coffee farms and cacao producers. Jim is constantly looking for new investment ideas that match his philosophy of real assets producing cash flow as well as looking for new sponsors with whom he can build quality, long-term relationships.

Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.


  • What Jim thinks about “Alternative Investments”
  • Managing property managers
  • Are Alternative Investments safe?
  • Left Field Investors