Skip to content

Active Duty Passive Income arms service members with investment opportunities

Jun Shin realized he needed to secure his financial future shortly after his battle with testicular cancer began.

At the time, Shin was a senior at the Naval Academy and did not have time to waste.

“I really started to think about what’s really important in my life,’’ said Shin, an ensign stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. “For me, that was the freedom, the freedom to spend, freedom of money, freedom of financial burden, freedom of time most importantly to do what you want with who you love.’’

Shin’s pursuit led him to Active Duty Passive Income, a financial program founded by Marine Capt. Markian Sich in 2017 to help service members build nest eggs through real estate as they serve.

The ADPI community has grown to nearly 12,000 people and has netted investors profits registering in the millions of dollars, Sich said. He currently owns private properties in California and Louisiana, where he serves as a communication strategy and operations officer in the Marine Reserve in New Orleans. Sich also is involved with three large multifamily complexes, totaling more than 200 units, in Indiana.

“The road to passive income is not passive,’’ Sich said. “It’s very much an active process. It’s a tough road, but it is very achievable — or a large degree of passivity is achievable. I don’t think anything will ever be completely passive unless you’re getting royalties from the ‘Lion King’ soundtrack.’’

ADPI offers a variety of investing options at online, along with a blog, podcast and other resources. Some material is free, but registering for an academy teaching basic real-estate investing principles costs $397. Educational tools about larger, potentially more lucrative models, such as commercial real estate and multifamily investing, begin at $1,500, Sich said.

Sich is originally from Ukraine.

“Dad was a diplomat,’’ Sich said. “He was making good money, but everything was all about saving, saving, saving, storing away, a very different mindset than taking advantage of the entrepreneurial and capitalistic functions that America provides.’’

Chasity Rosales, an ADPI-certified, real-estate agent in El Paso, Texas, sold about 180 homes last year. Most were to military members.

“They teach you, ‘What is your financial freedom number? What number do you need to quit work today?’’’ said Rosales, a command sergeant major in the Army Reserve. “Then they work backward to teach them to buy properties, buy multi-units, buy duplexes.’’

To begin the process, investors can take out a VA loan, dip into personal savings or money-market accounts, or consider a home-equity loan or line of credit. Like with any business venture, risk can’t be eliminated totally — “some people have a different financial temperature,’’ Rosales said — but it can be mitigated through education and learning from others’ experiences, according to Sich.

“I would say the biggest mistake is not putting enough on the line to really take action,’’ Sich said. “I know that’s a little vague, but the best way to distill it is not going into the trenches, not sacrificing enough to really figure it out.’’

Shin, 24, was willing to try anything after his cancer diagnosis.

He was in debt, had no savings and lived far from his native Guam, where his parents reside. Shin said he used to lack financial savvy but downloaded ADPI’s 110-page book on house hacking, which involves buying a property, living in it and renting out the remaining units to offset the cost of a mortgage.

Shin purchased a duplex through a VA loan and said he makes $600 in profit a month through house hacking. He does not intend to stop there.

“You don’t have to wait until you’re 60 to retire,’’ Shin said. “I have a goal to be financially free in five years, so this changed my life.’’

Shin, whose cancer is in remission, has a plan if and when he achieves financial freedom, and it’s not to bask in the size of his bank account.

He wants to help one million children with cancer.



Start reading now!

Get instant access to the latest magazine.