Top 3 Lessons I Learnt from Meeting Kevin O’Leary & Canada’s Top Cities to Invest

Kevin O’Leary, if you haven’t heard, is a Canadian born entrepreneur and TV personality famous for his controversial comments on the Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank.  His direct and cold attitude on television have earned him the fond nickname of Mr. Wonderful!

I read Kevin’s first book “Cold Hard Truth” a few years ago and gained tremendous respect for the guy.  On TV he can be perceived as a total arrogant jerk but I had the pleasure to meet him and hear him speak, and in person, he definitely did not seem that way.

When I heard Kevin speak at an event, he shared some of his key lessons in business and life – here are 3 that I took away:

1) Money = Freedom

Kevin talked about what motivates successful people – and concludes that those who are pursuing freedom will find success!  He talked about accumulating wealth through investing in assets (such as real estate) to get to that ultimate goal.

So the question is – how do you define freedom?  For me – it is living life on my terms (doing what I want, when I want – even if that what is working really hard towards my goals!)

2)  Opportunity comes fast

Kevin has a quote on Shark’s Tank that goes “opportunity knocked, nobody was home”, Kevin talked about how opportunity comes fast – and leaves just as quickly.  He emphasizes that you need to think fast, and make quick decisions under pressure.

In the real estate industry – especially in today’s hot market – timing is everything.  Hesitating on a deal means you have lost it.  And to me – that is a lost opportunity cost.

3)  The price of success is high

“Working 24 hours a day isn’t enough anymore. You have to be willing to sacrifice everything to be successful, including your personal life, your family life, maybe more. If people think it’s any less, they’re wrong, and they will fail.”

Now I’m not a proponent of doing this forever – but especially in the early stages of building something, there is no balance.  Having a hard-core work ethic is what most successful people will tell you set them apart.

I remember the days when we started investing – my wife and I held full time jobs and spent all our evenings and weekends travelling to scope out and manage properties.  We missed the parties and social things all our friend were doing.



I have had a ton of articles pop on my news feed the last couple weeks about the Toronto Real Estate Market – with headlines about Toronto home prices increasing by $300-$550/day!  But Toronto is un-affordable from an investors perspective, and house prices vs market rents just don’t make sense for someone like me!

As many of you know, I primarily invest in Durham (Particularly Oshawa) and Hamilton.  This recent article published my Money Sense Magazine ranked Canada’s Top Cities to Buy Real Estate.  They compiled data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; Canadian Real Estate Association; Environics Analytics: WealthScapes 2015 and Statistics Canada to come up with the following Top 10 Cities!

Top 10 Cities to Buy Real Estate in Canada

As you can see – the top 4 cities are in Ontario with Hamilton ranking # 2.  According to the article, Hamilton, Brantford and Guelph all have high average household incomes in common ranging from $78,000 to just over $95,000—while unemployment ranges from 4% to 5.7%, significantly lower than the current national average of 7.2%.

And if you look at the average 5 year appreciation, you can see that both Durham and Hamilton have done extremely well with 7-8% appreciation.

The average home prices in both these areas are still affordable and the rental demand continues to be high.

Economic fundamentals are such an important part of deciding where to buy real estate as an investment.  I am not saying these are the only places where opportunity exists, in fact there are lots of others that haven’t made this list!

So until next time…………….!







0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *