This is a question that many new investors ask themselves and I have asked myself this many times also. This of course must be answered individually, however below are some things to consider prior to taking that much desired step as an investor.
My first year I used my job earnings to put money back in building my business. Prudent investors do not open a business without a cash flow coming in regularly, or 3-6 months reserves. Disclaimer: Steve Cook did, but most of us may not be the next Steve Cook of investing, shucks anyway! For the rest of us, this article may be of help. How do we know what a prudent reserve is? We have not run this type of business before, thus, costs are unknown! Well some of these expenses are: Car signs, gasoline, business cards, newspaper and Nifty Nickel ads, more gas, tires, lunches networking with investors, earnest monies, computers, printers, did I mention gas, desks, paper, ink, lock boxes, small tools, more ads, high speed cable, stamps, investor club fees, course fees, boot camp fees, copies, and bandit signs. Keeping the full time job helps pay for these unseen and unknown expenses for a while.
That is only the first year of business, starting the second year new expenses rear their ugly head. CPA, Attorney fees, bigger printers, the second computer so you can take your laptop to with you and comp. properties on the spot, and if one crashes you are still functional. Now the long term investor will purchase computer programs, that will make your business efficient thus saving your most precious commodity- your time. Virus protection is a must there's fifty bucks. No one can do what you do as good as you and that's find the deals. So better equipment and programs will help free you up to do what you do best. You say “wait a minute, I am no computer guru.” Neither was I, that's why I contract one! Once you have computers you have computer problems! Another unseen but real expense. This is long term thinking.
Hiring out services in the second year is a must for time management, but you are able to because you are now making money investing and have a job to pay for expenses. This exponentially increases your business success. It may help to, every 4 months cut one day out a week at a time from your job.
Now I am making good money so its time tell the boss “take that job and shove it”. Maybe; maybe not! February and March can be very slow months, but the bills continue to come in like clockwork. Then there are the expenses that being new you occur simply because you don't know any better and buy stuff you don't need or find out you can get it cheaper else where! Yes that was the voice of experience talking. LOL! Health insurance is an expense that is a must, no one expects a hospital visit but it can ruin your finances, so the long term investor will calculate that in your monthly expenses.
Credit is always an excellent investment in our business. To keep good credit monthly bills must be paid on time. Which won't occur waiting for a deal to close that you did not expect to have liens on it, or a lien put on it even after you checked title, or any other hidden problems that arise. Why? Because again, you are a new investor. A year or two in the business will uncover a lot of these hidden expenses.
Hopefully this has given you some ideas as to whether or not its time to go full time or not. I have gotten conservative over the years; I have felt the pain of poor decision making, it's not fun. So now if I must err, I will err on the side of safety. I have seen guys blow in and out of this business because they tried to go full time too quick. Its okay to still work until it is ridiculous to continue, oh and in case you're wondering I still work two days a week.