The Rewards of Development

March 14, 2021 by  
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In last week’s post, I shared parts of a bio of mine written years ago. Part of what that bio recounted was how I got into real estate. I started with small properties at first, but later on I gravitated into a much more profitable part of real estate known as development. Looking back, some projects I did really surprise me. I find myself thinking, “Wow, little ole me did all that!”

My work in the development side of real estate has been some of the most profitable of my entire career in investing. I’ll never forget getting a call from a guy in Pennsylvania telling me about a 77-unit apartment building that was for sale at a great low price. Shortly after that I heard, for the first time, about people converting apartment units into condos. After a lot of red tape with the local authorities of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, I got the go-ahead to convert all 77 units into condos and, wow, what a quick 2.7-million-dollar profit I made. It was so easy because most of the renters bought their own unit.

I followed that up with a 44-unit condo development in Mississippi and walked with 1.3-million-dollars in profit from that. After those great successes, I developed a 13.3-acre commercial development right here in Salt Lake City and made 1.1-million-dollars in profit there.

I was on a real roll when my Kauai attorney called me and told me of a great plot of land on which I could develop a bunch of condos. I was skeptical at first, but after I drove by the golf course that was next door to it, I forged ahead and laid out plans to build 68 condo’s right near beautiful Princeville, Hawaii. Wow, was I super surprised when I sold all 68 condo lots before we even broke ground.

Timing is so very important with development. You sure don’t want to get into a big development when the real estate market is at the top and there are reasons to believe that the market is turning and heading down. You also don’t want to get into a market that is oversupplied in the type of real estate that you want to buy into. That’s when you need to be patient or need to look at another city or state where the market is already down but looks like it’s picking up.

I continue, to this day, looking for the right and best real estate, whether it’s dirt to be developed or apartments and commercial developments. In August 2003, I hired an office manager (Kimberly Wangsgard), because, wow, did I need help with all my properties. Ms. Wangsgard had, in her former job, played a critical role in development for S-DEVCORP, a company that had developments ranging from 1.5 million dollars to 30 million dollars.

She helped me so much that I eventually had her change her last name to HAROLDSEN. Yes, I married that very beautiful, brilliant, and kind woman and it’s been an absolutely wonderful and happy marriage. An excellent development indeed!

First Step to Making Your Fortune

December 21, 2012 by  
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Last week I promised that I would show you an almost fool proof path to your own financial fortune.  I said that I would lay out a step by step formula that you could follow, so that’s what I am going to do now.

First a few comments about timing as it is very important that you understand how your timing can impact your success. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers he talks about research done on young hockey players and how the timing of their birth dates made all the difference as to who went on to play at a professional level. This might sound a bit odd but if you read the book you’ll see why their birth dates were so important to their success. The timing issue is about being at the right place at the right time but it’s not just about luck. Right now the timing for someone who wants to make a fortune in the USA is near perfect but it won’t matter one bit if you don’t take advantage of it.

So let’s talk about step number 1, that first step you need to take on your way to building a fortune.

Step 1: Work on accumulating some beginning capital.

Okay, you may rightfully be thinking “Easier said than done!” But it’s not about easy; it’s about what is possible. Just about anyone can do this and there is more than one way to get the job done.

The slow but sure way is to consistently set aside at least 10% of your income. 20% is even better if you can do it. That’s the way I started and yes it took years before I had enough capital to begin to get started on amassing my fortune. However, if you want to jump start you growth of capital there is a way to dramatically speed up the process. It’s called “Partners Capital”.

In my book How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You I tell the story of a guy that now has over a half a billion dollars of income producing property and he did it quickly because he did it primarily with “Partners Capital”. When he was in college he came across my book, followed the formulas I had outlined in it but also added the “Partners Capital” thing to the mix. With this combination he passed my success level by a huge margin, which of course makes me very proud.

If you choose to go the “partner” path there is a way to do it that can bring in not just one or two partners but multiple partners to join you. This is really is part of step number two which we will get to next week. But as part of your first step, I suggest you read my updated book now called  The Next Step to Waking up the Financial Genius Inside You. I very much want you to succeed so I am giving the first 50 people who email me a free copy of the book. Just cover the $5 cost of shipping to show you are serious about amassing your fortune and I’ll get the book right out to you. Email me at  to get started.