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Show Description

At Mynd Property Management, our aim is to offer unique perspectives of both property managers and investors. And when it comes to the investing world, there are so many different ways to make money.

Today on the show we have Jim Maffuccio from Aspen Funds, an expert in alternative real estate investments. He and his partner founded a company that purchases both distressed and performing mortgages. He will offer insight into this industry and share his view of the future, based on 30+ years of experience in the real estate market.

What We Cover

01:53 - How Jim and his partner founded Aspen Funds and what they do.
09:39 - Why banks sell their debts and why it makes sense for Aspen Funds to purchase them.
11:38 - Jim’s view of the 2008 crisis and whether he sees any signs of history repeating today.
18:22 - Market trends we’re seeing and where the next big opportunities can be found.
22:56 - How to become an investor and learn more about purchasing mortgages.
27:15 - Jim’s prediction of the market trends and real estate opportunities in the next year.

Watch the Podcast

Read the Transcript

Steve Rozenberg  00:02
I believe we are live because the button says we're live. And we all know that doesn't lie on the internet, right? Everything's true. All right, Facebook, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of The Myndful Investor Podcast Show. I'm your host, Steve Rozenberg, and I'm the head of investor education at Mynd Property Management. And the whole reason we created this show is not just to take the perspective of property managers, but also to talk to investors, and see all the different facets of what goes on in the investing world. And anyone who's been in the investing world long enough knows that there is probably millions of ways to not only make money but lose money. And unfortunately, I've been on both sides of that pendulum many times. But I have learned as I kind of go deeper into the investing world, is that there's so many different layers of information and data and things that you can extrapolate out from the investing world, it just never ceases to amaze me and I and I get the opportunity to talk with so many people that have such different revenue streams that kind of make this whole thing go around that you would never even think would be not only just a business but a huge revenue-generating business of all kinds. And, you know, it could be from self-storage to multifamily to purchasing assets, and not just in this country, but in you know, all over the world. And the guest I have on today, we're going to talk about what he does, and how he has not only solidified his position in this industry but has made it a huge, huge revenue generator for him and his company. Jim, I'm going to do my best to get this. So if I butcher it, tell me if I got it wrong. But Jim Mafuccio? How's that? How did I do that?

Jim Mafuccio  01:48
That's perfect. Man, you even did it with a little Italian? A little?

Steve Rozenberg  01:53
I even had my hand up a little bit when I said it. So. So Jim is with Aspen funds, and they deal with notes. And I think it's so interesting. I've done a little bit in this industry just really touched my toe in the water, if you will of this industry. And I know it is a huge, huge model. And I'm curious if it's going to get bigger or shrink and what's you know, what's coming in the industry. So, first of all, Jim, thank you so much for being on the show with me today. I appreciate it.

Jim Mafuccio  02:23
Hey, thanks for having me, Steve. It's a pleasure and honor to be here with you.

Steve Rozenberg  02:27
So tell us a little bit kind of about Aspen Funds and what you do. And more importantly, how did you get into this world of buying notes?

Jim Mafuccio  02:35
Yeah, how did I get into this anyway? Actually, I mean, we've just been having the time in my life. It's been a great ride with Aspen. So what Aspen Funds that we are a fund management company, and we actually run various mortgage funds and, and we have two sides of our business one side is that the distressed side where we actually purchase nonperforming mortgages, and then we have a whole, you know, a whole team that does workouts with the borrowers, our main goal there, our objective is to create a win win really a win win win situation, we're buying these loans from institutions for, you know, at a deep discount, let's just say that, and then we're also, you know, we're also creating a situation for homeowners where, where the vast majority of the time, they're able to stay in their home at a lower payment, and affordable payment, have some equity in their property. And then of course, we're, you know, we're serving our investors and generating some great returns, great secured returns for them. And then we have an income side of our business where we buy re-performing and performing mortgages. And it's really just a cash flow play. Because there's a lot of investors out there that are trying to figure out a way to get some decent cash flow and, you know, and secure cash flow. So, we have the, you know, the core competencies of being able to fix loans when they break. So we buy loans that a lot of institutions maybe wouldn't buy, but they have typically plenty of equity so we're able to just kind of their high touch but we like doing that we like touching them and fixing them and working with borrowers and keeping everybody on track. So it's been you know, honestly, I started this as my beta test was me and my son in the basement of our home in Kansas City. And I bought my first notes in 2011 and they were non performing second mortgages behind performing first mortgages and you know, really saw early on that: man I can make fantastic returns on these if I can get them worked out and then, you know, beta test was a success and so I actually, my next step was to go start raising money to do this thing and I ran into a guy who's not my business partner, I've we had a kind of a casual friendship, knew of each other. And we had coffee one day and he asked me what I did. And I explained it to him. And he thought I was insane. And then I said, Well, let me just let me put it on paper for you and show you how this works. And he about flipped. And he's a gentleman that was a tech guy. He had started a tech company in the mid 90s, actually the fastest growing company in the Midwest at the time, tech company. And so anyway, said, Hey, I'm looking for my next rodeo, and why don't we partner up, I'll go raise capital and do all the business financial side of the business, the back backside, and you just go do deals. And I said, Hey, man, that that works for me. So we started in 2012. And now we're, you know, we have 25 employees, and we're, I think we're on our sixth fund. And we actually made the Inc 5000, fastest growing private, you know, privately held companies, and, you know, so we're, I honestly, it's just been, it's been phenomenal for the last, you know, eight years in this thing.

Steve Rozenberg  05:54
That, that's great. Um, now, let me see if we can put this in third grader terms. So I've had notes before that I've owner finance and then I've had people come and purchase them at a discount. So I, I understand that I'm probably a micro level of what you do. I've done that several times. And I understand the value. Can you explain to the guests, first of all, why would a bank because I'm sure they're saying why would a bank want to sell a note? Right? Because you're buying it at a discount? I'm assuming if unless I have this wrong? Can you explain why does this make sense for a bank to shed that debt? And why does it make sense for you to buy it?

Jim Mafuccio  06:33
Yeah, well, it makes sense for a bank to shed the debt because at the time, you know, a lot of this debt was with bad debt was created, let's just say, when it started going bad, these institutions had to get, they have to get non performing debt off their books, or their reserves or requirements, shrink or increase tremendously. And they fled, they go out of business, they, you know, they're highly regulated. So that's when I saw this model. Just to give you a really quick background, I've been full time employed as a real estate entrepreneur, self employed as a real estate entrepreneur since 1986. So mostly, as a small developer in Southern California of residential properties. And I've gotten my butt handed to me twice. And both times it was because of the mortgage financing situation, the most recent being the mortgage crisis of 2008, we call it. I knew a little bit about debt, and how it can work against you. And I learned also realize that, you know, I mean, that kind of makes the real estate world go round. But I saw this, you know, I'm sitting in 2010, I mean, broke, I mean, I got zero, I've got five teenagers, I'm in my mid 50s. And it's like, Okay, I gotta take the raw knowledge that I've accumulated over 30 years and figure out a way to retool myself and get back on a winning track here. And, you know, I quickly realized that, you know, every single one of these loans that where the people stopped paying, this is an asset that this bank has to get off their books, absolutely has to get off their books. So in some cases, they foreclose. And then, of course, everybody's buying the ROs and fix and flipping them. And I did some of that. But I started looking upstream and saying, Well, what if I could get to these assets before they become an reo for the bank, because banks can't, they can't afford to take on the much or they go out of business. So there's a real super simplistic terms, but I realized that this is the money is going to be, and the opportunity is going to be. So I went to my first conference in 2010, in Denver, and listen to some guys that have been in the debt space, talk about how they're buying these non performing mortgages for, you know, at a high discount, and then doing workouts with the borrowers and creating a profit because they're turning a non performing asset into a re-performing asset. And so to answer your question, the institutions will discount these things as much as they have to to get it sold and get it off their books. Now, I decided to jump in going after defaulted second mortgages, which obviously scares the heck out of most people. And these are these are at the bottom of the totem pole for the institutional lenders, they're treated differently, they charge them off after 90 days, and they pretty much go in the dirty underwear drawer never to be you know, see the light of day. So we buy these that are at a really deep discount. And anyway, there's dynamics involved that allow us to make really nice multiples for our investors and again, keep people in the homes with an affordable payment.

Steve Rozenberg  09:39
Maybe you can kind of shed some light on this from what I remember is learned when I learned about this is that banks have to keep I believe it was like four times the amount or something four to eight times the amount in reserve of the note that they have it there's a multiplier right and maybe there is a changes.

Jim Mafuccio  09:59
Yeah, yeah. There's a multiplier and it's based on a risk evaluation of their whole portfolio, how much of its performing how much of its sub performing, how much is what they would call scratch and dent, and then how much of it's in default or in a cruel, and yeah, they have to manage that portfolio. Because for the loans that are perfectly performing, there's a lot less a lot lower reserve requirement, but when they when their loans start breaking, the reserves that they're required to keep on on their books are go through the roof. And if they don't have those reserves, they're out of compliance, and they can get shut down. That's why you had all of these institutions get gobbled up and some of them went south during the mortgage crisis.

Steve Rozenberg  10:43
Just like we have credit scores, banks have credit scores, and their lending institutions are, you know, their requirements to hold reserves are just as much. So let me ask you this. Jim, you had mentioned the 2008 recession, which I very clearly remember. And, you know, some I've always believed and been taught that real estate is in cycles. And normally, I've been taught, it's about a seven year cycle, maybe, you know, I'm sure everyone has a different opinion. But it's, you know, we had the 2008, then we kind of went into the 2014. With high oil, this is in Houston, at least in Texas. And now we're in 2020. So it's about another six, seven years. Do you see any remnants of the mortgage industry replicating what you saw maybe in 2008, when you were on the other side of it, but do you see any rippling effects? You know, reminiscent of that?

Jim Mafuccio  11:38
You mean, do I see another situation like that occur? You know, I hate to be the guy that says it's different this time, you've probably heard that phrase. It's what us real estate guys tell ourselves to keep us sane, you know, whenever there's trouble brewing, but honestly, the amount of equity that people have in their properties today, the loans that have been created, post 2010 or 11 are really were underwritten better. And so we don't really have a lot of really bad paper out there. So the dynamics that created that, that blow up that train wreck in that, you know, if you saw the movie, The Big Short, you know, I mean, there's so much truth in that movie, I mean, you could get alone if you could fog a mirror, and then you could go get five more loans, you know. And so that was just a bug looking for a windshield in every in every sense of the word. So I don't see that now. I mean, we're, if you look at the big picture, we are extremely underbuilt as a nation in real estate and the markets that people are moving to, you can't build houses fast enough to keep people you know, to keep people sheltered. So we're making people faster than we're making houses. And so if you just do the simple supply demand equation there... now are there, are there sub markets and specific locales that can get overheated? And where things are overpriced? Absolutely. You know, we're not, you know, we're not afraid of the coasts, but we've been trying to... of our portfolios pretty much diversified geographically, we love the Midwest, we love the boring middle, you know, the flyover country where, you know, real working people that, you know, the only way they're not going to pay their mortgages, if they absolutely lose their job and can't get reemployed. And, you know, that's just not the reality of our economy right now. So, I don't see, honestly, I don't see any bubbles there, you know, and especially with today's interest rates, so not to say something couldn't happen, it couldn't be some correct... COVID is certainly caused a little a wave of drama to come into the system, there's some people that are gonna, you know, I hate to say it, it's kind of like the physical body, it's like people that were maybe hanging by a string to begin with, or maybe we're in a little bit over their head. That event is going to be enough to take them out, which basically means they just got to maybe downsize and find another way place to live, but I don't see it. Steve, I think we're, I think real estate in general is a great investment, you know, for the foreseeable future.

Steve Rozenberg  14:26
So well, and I think that what we saw back in 2008, that was systemic, right, that was that we caused that to happen in general. Absolutely. This I don't think is systemic, I think. I think we'll see it, there will be a correction. I don't think it'll be a spectacular and as large scale as what we saw. So, you know, I mean, look, since if you study real estate, there's always market corrections and cycles, right? They're not all this grand, you know, like we saw in 2008, or even after 9/11. There are always going to be corrections. It's never static. And I think that, you know, to me a perfect example was, and I'm curious if you have noticed it on your side, but the short term rental industry, I think that while it's, you know, kind of has corrected, I think it also showed a bit of a kryptonite, where maybe they need to look at maybe having another exit strategy or something else. So it showed a weakness in the model and some people that, you know, kind of were a little sloppy and lazy with their numbers probably got corrected, and maybe are no longer in that world anymore, because they couldn't afford it. But I think all in all, the nucleus of it is solid. Are you seeing any anything from that regard? Like? Are you seeing a certain industry starting to spit off more distressed notes than another?

Jim Mafuccio  15:40
Well, not so much seeing the seeing it on a personal level. I mean, I read a lot, I keep up with newsletters and different feeds. And in our business, we're not seeing it, because again, we're focused on, you know, residential, most of our paper is secured by workforce housing, and honestly, we just didn't have much drama. We didn't have a lot of defaults. We didn't even have a lot of people asking for forbearance, you brought up the short term rental deal. I mean, I really had my eyes on that. Because right, right from the beginning, I thought, wow, there's gonna be I'm gonna go pick up a couple condos up in Breckenridge because there's going to be people that are counting on that, you know, that short term rental income coming in, you know, if they're over leveraged, you know, that market has done nothing but go up. It, we just didn't see it, we didn't see all this distress. If anything, I think it created a better opportunity for short term rental players, because if you're in these areas that are accessible to a large metropolitan area, then you had people that instead of going on the vacation, they might have gone on, you know, a year of pre COVID. Now they're like, Hey, why don't we just go get a, an Airbnb and go hang out in the mountains and get away from the crowds. And so really, it's now the one area where I do think we're in, this isn't so much a cyclical thing. But it's, it's kind of a paradigm shift. I mean, you're looking at us both, we're sitting here, you know, I got all my cluttered stuff in the back behind me, I've worked out in my home since 1986. So it's not a big deal to me. But we close down our offer. We have six employees in Maryland, that, you know, we had an office out there. And, you know, they all had to go home because of COVID. And, you know, they made the adjustment really, you know, stellar the way they adjusted to it. And we, me and my business partner, we interviewed each one of them and said, Well, what do you think about returning to the office? And are you anxious to do that? And they all started talking about? Well, you know, really, it's a 45 minute drive. It's East Coast drive. And it's, you know, it's really working out working from home. And, you know, the bottom line is, Steve, we let the office go. We our lease was up in October, we said the heck with it. We don't need an office out there. It was an aha moment for me, because I realized, you know, we're a small company, we're discovering this. I think employers are discovering this across the country, I think there's gonna be a bunch of office space, it's not going to be refilled. And so there's going to be repurposing of that space. I think there's going to be a lot of even retail space that's going to be repurposed. So I do think there's some big sea change type things that will happen as a result of COVID. But not the cyclical stuff. It's not, you know, so anyway, if that makes sense. For opportunity, I'm always looking for opportunities.

Steve Rozenberg  18:22
It's interesting you say that, because my next question, I had a gentleman on the podcast show, he was a real estate attorney in the Bay Area. And we got into the discussion of I had a question I said, if, let's say, let's talk about some of the tech companies, they’ve listed the Googles and Netflix, whatever. And now they're saying, okay, you don't need to live here anymore. And you could still work here, just like you said, and you can move back to Tulsa, Oklahoma, or Monument, Colorado, wherever you want to live, and you can live with family, but they're still employing that person. Right now, that revenue is now not going back into the city of San Francisco. It's now going to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hello. And the person that was renting the three-bedroom studio, or I'm sorry, $3,000 a month studio in the Bay Area is no longer renting it. So my question was, is who rents that now? And is that the next downturn that's gonna happen?

Jim Mafuccio  19:17
Yeah, I think he nailed a that's and this is something again, that I it's been one of those little areas of study for me And ever since I moved from the from Southern California to Kansas City, and my eyes were really open to, you know, what, you know, it's just a different way of looking at real estate, you know, and I, you know, the quality of life where we lived, I loved it, my inherent money, but I feel like I'm in heaven. And you mentioned Tulsa, Oklahoma. What happens is when these young people, you know, get over their California thing, right? And they move to a community like that, and they realize, man, instead of renting and sharing a place for $3,000 a month, I can buy a home where my money mortgage payment is, you know, $1200. I mean, that's like, that's a castle in Tulsa, or Kansas City, or, you know, so many other heartland markets in the quality of life is phenomenal. I mean, there's their sports teams, their cities, there's, you know, it's so, you know, yeah, you don't have the ocean view. But you know, and you live in a place like Colorado, you have the mountains to run to. So I think there's gonna be a big exodus of people from those coastal high pressure kind of fast moving, squeeze the last dime out of your markets into these more, you know, Americana type places.

Steve Rozenberg  20:36
And I think that the main point here is they still have their jobs. There are jobs on the West Coast, and wherever even on the East Coast, they still are getting that revenue. So the companies are not missing a beat, the one who's missing a beat are, you know, the landlords, as you said, in the commercial owners now, that's right for you, for you as someone who buys distressed notes, do you look at that and say not sure that that's something that I want to go into? When you looking at a note, I guess my question is, are you looking at what your exit strategy is on the note, and thinking this could be too dangerous, like commercial or these high end residential is that you may not see the exit?

Jim Mafuccio  21:15
Yeah, well, first of all, we're our business model right now is laser focused. And the models that we build our funds around are very narrow, focused, because we're very good at, you know, be really good at one thing, and then if you want to add other things later, so we're in the, you know, on our non performing side, we buy non performing second mortgages, period. And we've done thousands of them. And we know what our what our multiples are going to be, we know what our exits are going to be, not on an individual note basis. We don't know how that specific notes going to exit. But there's, you know, we start going down the road in the logic diagram. Now, as far as looking at other pursuits, like other types of debt. Yeah, absolutely. I'm interested in the commercial debt. I think there, it's going to be more of a question of networking with commercial developers and commercial entrepreneurs. And I mean, obviously want to get a handle on what are some of these repurposed things that you can do with properties? But I mean, obviously, if there's a distressed note on an apartment building, well, you know, you're not going to convert the apartments to anything, you might change, you might do a value add play, but on the other hand, if there's a failed, you know, shopping mall, you know, I mean, there's people turning those into storage, you know, and flex space and things like that. So that's kind of a one off deal. You know you find a deal here and a deal there. So I don't think it scales as well, for us, whenever asset you buy is a project in and of itself, but there's ways of doing it. There's there's ways of working that, we just haven't stepped into it yet. But I'm watching it, Steve, I'm, I'm keeping an eye on those kind of opportunities. So, I don't know if that answers your question.

Steve Rozenberg  22:56
No, it does. It does. Now, if I was up, you know, obviously, if I'm not a gym, and I don't have an Aspen Funds, and I'm watching this show, and I'm thinking, How do I even get into this world? Because I mean, I know some people obviously, on a much smaller scale that do this. What are some things that someone if they want to even learn a little bit more about this and understand it? How does someone educate themselves in this?

Jim Mafuccio  23:18
Okay, well, first of all, you can't get any smaller scale than where I started eight years ago. And that's just I hope that's meant to be an encouragement. I mean, yeah, it was literally, me and my son and buying three notes for an average of about $4,000 each guys. And so I mean, and that money was raised from outside because I didn't have the $12,000 to buy them with. So I literally was zero in 2010, and even an 11. And then in 12, I started gaining traction. So what I did, and built the whole company based on initially was conferences. And so obviously, right now conferences are virtual. I like the live ones better because I like hanging out with people and getting to know people. But there is so much information out there. And if you know if people want to visit our website,  we don't do training, or educating but I can point people to people that actually do that. I trust that I know and trust in the industry. But there's some really good conferences, there's some really good mentors out there. And you really just start learning it you start reading their stuff, you start joining, you know, joining the groups online and going to watch their YouTube channels and you can get up to speed. Anybody that's been in and around real estate to make the transition over to the debt side. You know way more than you think you do already about mortgage debt because you've had to apply for a bunch of it. So he really just kind of put yourself in the position of the lender, that's all you're doing. So there's great resources for a person to get involved either buying one note at a time or wholesaling and brokering notes between buyers and sellers or raising funds and becoming your own, you know, do what we're doing. So, yeah, it's out there.

Steve Rozenberg  25:05
Yeah, I think that, you know, at the end of the day, you have to be able to solve a problem. And I think at the end, you know, you've got it. Is there a problem in this industry? I think inevitably, yes, there is a challenge that you can solve. So you have to sit there and ask, okay, how do you solve that problem? That's the basic sales concept of anything. So I think the answer is yes, you definitely can. But you've got to go in with the knowledge. And that's why I think it's smart. Like you're saying, Go in, educate yourself, go online, learn all this stuff, so that you can, you know, know what you're doing, you can create your business model with a, you know, you got to get the front end the back end done before you actually start business in my opinion to so right to have a successful outcome.

Jim Mafuccio  25:44
Yeah, it's so and I'll say this, too, it's so much a relationship business. I met people, the very first conference, I went to two of them ended up coming to work for me, once I've, you know, partnered up with my partner, and we started raising some decent money, it could start paying people. And so I mean, I've got lifelong relationships that I've met, going to these conferences that are in our industry. And here's the thing, what I like about it, you know, in a lot of the areas of real estate, you know, you're out looking for a deal, if you find a deal, you know, you find a distressed seller or don't want or that's a deal, and you buy that deal. And you probably never see or talk to that person, again, in our space. When you make a connection with somebody, say somebody that's larger than you in the space, they can become a source, you know, forever, you keep going better, they always have product. And likewise, there's people we always sell to, so I like not having to go out and find the next deal, it's more like I it's more like are my acquisitions, Director contacts, the dozen or so people that we do regular business with? This is, Hey, have you got anything on your books that you want to sell? Well, you know, we're getting ready to buy this big pool, and we don't quite have enough capital, we'll take the whole thing down. Why don't you guys come in with some of your capital, and we'll split them up. And I mean, we do stuff like this all the time. So again, it's very relational. And you don't want to do is be a yo yo in this business and burn and burn people, you want to do what you say you're going to do and, you know, operate with integrity.

Steve Rozenberg  27:15
Yeah, and again, I mean, you know, from a business perspective, it's the lifetime of the client, the acquisition costs, the recurring costs, and so that that's another conversation. But yeah, um, let me ask you this, and I'll ask you to pull out your crystal ball here. 2021, what are your thinking is going to happen with interest rates? Where do you see things going? In the next year from your Monument, Colorado window perspective of life?

Jim Mafuccio  27:44
Yeah, man, I just, that's probably a question. It would be great if my business partner were on or on the call, because he's, he's a bit of a hobbyist economist, but he's super smart with this stuff. So I talked to him and ask him, but I think we're in a low-interest rate environment for quite some time. I don't see, you know, I don't see interest rates getting I mean, they might adjust upward, some, but I mean, come on, we're in the mid twos now, for 30-year mortgage for so that has obviously created a lot of potential buyers out there. I think some of them still don't know that, still on the sidelines, I think the markets gonna I think hard assets, I think real estate, you know, is where people want to be. So they're going to buy property, you know, they're going to buy stocks, you know, they're going to invest in our alternative investments. So, you know, you don't want to invest in debt on the retail side, you know, you don't want to be, you know, you don't want to buy bonds, when the yields are as low as they are, when you can, you know when you can put that money to work in equities or real estate. So now, when I say, you know, buying distressed debt is a different deal. The stuff we're buying is, you know like I said, institutions wouldn't touch it, but I think 2021 and beyond looks really good. And I'm super bullish. I think we have steady, you know, appreciation, I know that cap rates have gotten crunched down to the, to the bone, like in the multifamily space, but, you know, again, people have to put their money somewhere. So, you know, I think there's still plenty of play there.

Steve Rozenberg  29:22
Yeah, I agree. And I think that there's a-gonna be you know, I think like anything, there's gonna be some people that get crushed. And I think there are some people that get have a lot of opportunities, depending on you know, how you run your business up until this point and how you see the market. Do you see any opportunities that are, you know, whether it's a note buying or anything, do you see any blatant opportunities in your mind that you're thinking that's something I'm going to watch in the next, you know, 12 months?

Jim Mafuccio  29:50
You know, as I said, I think in the commercial world, there's going to be some optimism behind the highly specialized opportunities. Some of the repositionings, I do believe that you know, you touched on it, Steve, I think there is going to be, I think there are and will continue to be some great opportunities to become a landlord, to acquire rental properties in these markets, where they're actually pretty attractive for people to move to. You know, I think that's always been a good opportunity. But I think it's kind of exaggerated now, look, you can buy rental, you can buy single-family properties, and even as an investor get significantly lower than then, you know, historical interest rates on your money. So you can get a 30 year fixed mortgage, and then put a renter in there. And rents are only going to go up as we do hit some level of inflation that, you know, that'll drive rents up. And, you know, you'll be sitting on a fixed money. So right now, I think the opportunities, get as much of this low interest fixed money as you can, as long as the underlying asset makes sense, you know, and cash flows, but I think there is there are going to be people moving out of the cities because of some of the drama that we've seen. And I think we're in for some more drama for the next few months here in the cities. Yeah, but I think people are like, Okay, that was kind of fun. We all did the urban thing. And, you know, it's kind of cool. But, you know, I want to have a family now. And, you know, Tulsa is not looking too bad. You know, we're not North Nora's monument, or I could have 15 other markets. So I think that's, I think that is an opportunity, it's, it's a, it's a long term growing opportunity, frankly, to be in that end of the business.

Steve Rozenberg  31:28
Yeah, I think you're gonna see a lot of secondary and tertiary markets, really see the benefit of the upswing of this whole, you know, pandemic, working from home people not having to live in the city, I think you're gonna see that flood of that. And I think the cities themselves are going to see the anemic, you know, money revenue, creep out of it, they're still gonna have the businesses there. And then eventually, the businesses may say, why are we paying these high costs of, you know, California or whatever, when we can go relocate too in this virtual world? So I think, I think you're gonna see a lot of these overpriced markets really, kind of, you know, that pendulum, I think is gonna swing back. That's my opinion, for what it's worth.

Jim Mafuccio  32:08
You're right. And honestly, if the political landscape changes significantly, you know, here's the bottom line, you know, I'm a business owner, we've employed six people that were put it in perspective, like I said, we're a 25 person company. And we've employed we've added six new jobs that are a little bit and they're high paying jobs since COVID. began, okay. So if you, if businesses are disincentivized, to remain in a location, they're going to go we're businesses are welcome. Where the tax structure, you know, where people can see past this, you know, the rich are getting richer, No, honestly, the wealthy, wealthy people, and successful people create jobs, they create economy. And at the end of the day, everybody wants to work and everybody wants to be able to raise their family in an environment where the tax structure isn't, you know, sucking the last dime out of their pockets. So, again, I think the more fiscally conservative business friendly areas are really going to be attractive. And, you know, you mentioned that, you know, let's say the company in Silicon Valley that suddenly their people don't have to come to an office. And so their are people can work remotely. And you mentioned, you know, the revenues continue, that, you know, the paychecks keep going to the people, well, they actually over time can afford to pay people less. So they're sitting there and you know, Silicon Valley saying, well, this is where all of our, you know, VC, and Angel money is but goodness gracious, why does my operation have to be sitting in, you know, in San Jose, I don't need it to be there. It's you know, have a bunch of really happy people working in working in the office and tolls are working from their homes. They're happy, we're happy. And now I'm not subject to California's crazy taxation and business unfriendliness. So sorry for you California listeners. I lived in California for 27 years, and I love it. I think it's a great state. But honestly, I mean, you know, there's some people that seem to be pretty intent on killing it for business.

Steve Rozenberg  34:10
Yeah, I don't get it. But again, they don't call me and ask me so I don't know.

Jim Mafuccio  34:15
Yeah, I'm not I'm not. I'm not in charge of that. So. Yeah.

Steve Rozenberg  34:20
Yeah, exactly. I will. Jim, thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate it. I think a note buying is such an interesting model. And I mean, I I've been looking at what Aspen Fund does, and I mean, definitely, you guys are, you know, looks like you're blazing the trail there. If somebody wanted to talk to you, you know more about Aspen Fund and being involved or just talking to you, how would they get ahold of you?

Jim Mafuccio  34:43
Yeah, best thing would be to just visit our website, which is And just, you know, just ping us and say, Hey, I'd like to talk with Jim or I'd like some more information on XYZ not soliciting Investors here where we do have funds where we raise money from, from accredited investors. But really, it would be more of an issue of, you know, if somebody wants to get involved in note investing or doing it themselves. You know, I can point you to some, as I said, some trainers, some conferences, some online materials, and you know, we'll help you out in any way that we can. So that's the best thing to do right there.

Steve Rozenberg  35:26
All right. Well, Jim, again, thank you so much for your time, I learned a little bit about funds and notes and everything. So that was interesting to me. So I do thank you for your time. And for those of you watching, again, Mynd Property Management, if you're looking for any of your property management needs, Mynd is in over 19 markets nationwide, I believe we may be in 21. Now, most investable markets in the country. So again, to me, it's all about having that team and that strategy, we talked about living remote, working remote, investing remote is the same thing. So having that team in place being able to invest, you don't have to invest where you live, you invest where your money is best utilized. And that's about having the team on your side. So if you'd like to know more, you can go to our website at And again, we're back every week, we have guests, just like Jim and other rock star people to kind of, you know, fill our brains with information. And again, as investors, this is what we should be doing educating ourselves learning, and then go and explore and see if it's something for us. So, again, on behalf of Jim, myself, Aspen Funds, and Mynd Property Management. I want to thank everyone for watching. We will be back next week with a whole new episode and we will talk to you then. Bye.

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James Maffuccio is the Co-Founder and CIO of Aspen Funds. He is a 30-year real estate veteran and an expert in mortgage notes. He is deeply networked in the secondary mortgage industry and is responsible for acquisitions and underwriting as well as relationships with primary sources and key vendors.

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