Sitting down with Dave Schlabach

Sitting down with Dave Schlabach

I recently sat down with Dave Schlabach, the owner of Dave Schlabach Financial Services — among other businesses. His insight is second to none, and I am hoping his knowledge and the years of experience will help someone start investing or get into real estate.

View on financial risk

“Find the balance you are comfortable with and stick to it. Everyone thinks they are risky until the market goes down 20%. Find a financial advisor you can talk to when things get a bit crazy in the markets or our economy.”

Advice on real estate

“The No. 1 piece of advice is to get involved immediately. For the past 18 months, mineral rights and real estate have garnered a lot of my attention. Time just flies, and it’s the same with real estate. Ten to 15 years from now, you will look up, and that piece of real estate will be paid off. Then the next generation gets cash flow. I’ve done quick flips and things like that, but it’s better to think long term with real estate.

“The other thing is that you must be willing to walk away from a deal. You have to know that. There have been multiple times that I have made an offer, and a year later, I get a call back from the selling wanting to negotiate.

“Like Dave Kaufman always says: ‘Buy some good old American dirt. They aren’t making any more of it.’”

Same view on crypto (2017 to present)?

“It hasn’t changed. It always has been high risk, but you should do your research and be knowledgeable in this area.”

I asked this because I viewed it as making money quick, until I didn’t make money quickly and ended up not making money at all.

Ever a time you thought, “This might not work?”

“In 2008 I thought the world was ending; I thought my business may not make it. Then as I get older, I realize that trends and corrections will happen. Corrections will always be a part of a normal economic cycle. You just need to be prepared. Lots of millionaires are created in recessions.”

Financial advice not to take

“Many people will disagree with this, but using debt is a great way to grow your real estate portfolio. I am comfortable with saying that. There is good debt and bad debt. Good debt is debt someone else is paying off. I would encourage people to read ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ to help understand this.”

Constant principles as multiple business owners

“The three principles that I see work and have success in business in general are work harder than everyone else, make yourself goals that are trackable, surround yourself with good people.”

Asset with biggest return in the next 10 years?

“The three assets I see having the biggest return in the next 10 years are real estate, quality stocks including artificial intelligence stocks and mineral rights in Ohio. I have never lost money in real estate long-term but also see value in investing in the best companies in the U.S.”

Books to read?

“I have a couple of them — ‘Eat That Frog,’ ‘Go-Giver,’ ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ and ‘The Richest Man in Babylon.’”

Schlabach has a library at his office with these books, plus hundreds more. Anyone can stop by and check out a book when finished. I read the “Go-Giver” every year as a reminder of how to do business and live life, so that would be my top recommended book as well.

When reading this, know that Schlabach’s involvement in real estate and mineral rights is separate from Dave Schlabach Financial Services. If you are looking to invest, contact your financial advisor.

Holmes County native BJ Yoder is an insurance agent by day and a finance enthusiast by night. Anything in this column, from the author or Dave Schlabach, is for informational purposes only. He can be emailed at

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