My father was once a top salesman for World Book Encyclopedia, and that meant I always got a new set of encyclopedias. Before the internet, books served as a valuable source of information for me to explore the world, and my passion has always been real estate.
I would flip through countless pages of information, paying close attention to the skyscrapers, and dreaming that one day I would visit the “trophy” properties seen around the globe. As I got older, my passion for real estate grew, and I wanted to soak up everything I could to become successful as a real estate investor.
In college, I majored in business, eager to carve a niche in real estate investing. I took every course I could – in the subjects of finance, economics, and real estate, always pushing myself to learn the secrets of compounding and wealth creation.
My first job out of college was in commercial leasing, and I learned very quickly that the way to build wealth in real estate was by owning it. But I needed to learn all the tricks of the trade. So I spent a few years in the trenches, learning how to buy, sell, lease, finance, and most importantly, suffer a few bruising losses.
If I had to sum up the definition of “investing” in a few words, it would be “learning from your mistakes.” As I’ve encountered the roadblocks to get to my current destination, the true secret has been to always learn from the mistakes, and of course, not repeat them again.
Life is a journey, and there are many second-level thinkers who have inspired me to win the race. As one of my mentors, Benjamin Graham said, “the most durable education is self-education.” In real estate, the most important words are location, location, location – and one of the best ways to become an expert in any field, is to always, learn, learn, learn.
Brad Thomas has more than 25 years’ experience in commercial real estate, where he’s formulated a deep understanding of development, finance, and securities analysis. His experience is rooted in value investing thanks to his background as a developer and his continuing career as an investor and advisor.
As CEO and Senior Analyst for Wide Moat Research, and host of The Ground Up podcast, Thomas researches and writes on a variety of real estate-based income alternatives, with a primary focus on publicly-traded REITs. His broad understanding of capital markets in general has given him a particularly strong track record when it comes to evaluating the most intelligent companies out there – with a keen eye on distinguishing between solid investment operations and speculative ones.
Thomas, who received his bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from Presbyterian College, is editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor newsletter and The Property Chronicle North America. He writes weekly for Forbes.com and The Property Chronicle, as well as Seeking Alpha, where he’s the #1 analyst on REITs and Finance.
He is also the author of The Intelligent REIT Investor Guide and he’s been featured in Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger’s, U.S. News & World Report, and Money. NPR, Institutional Investor, and GlobeStreet have also published his work, and he is a frequent contributor at Fox & Friends and Fox Business.
In addition to his real estate interests, Thomas is an accomplished and sought-after speaker throughout the U.S. and on the international stage. When he’s not working, he enjoys writing books (with one underway right now) as well as being a devoted father to his five wonderful children.