Financial Advice from an STR host CPA

Follow our guest

In this podcast, Liam interviews Ryan Bakey, a CPA and short-term rental investor. Ryan emphasizes the need for a well-planned approach to real estate investing and avoiding lifestyle creep.

He defines a CPA as a licensed professional with expertise in tax, auditing, financial statements, and economics.

To learn more about Ryan and his services, you can visit his website at

Subscribe & Listen Below


Or... Watch the Video Replay

Play Video

Key Takeaways

Timestamps (audio)



[00:00:00] Liam: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Boostly podcast. This is the podcast that gives hosts all over the world the tools, the tactics, the training, and most importantly, the confidence. So you can go out there and get more direct bookings. My name's Liam Carolan. And today we're on the Spotlight series on the Boostly podcast.

[00:00:14] This is where we look at people, businesses, and services that you need to know about as a short-term rental host. And, uh. Also, people who are involved in short-term rental in general. So we've got a, um, special guest about to tell us his story and share some tips with us. And, um, the cool thing is, uh, about this guest is that he is the go-to guy for tax advice.

[00:00:41] He's based he's a CPA. Um, the cool thing is he doesn't just advise on tax, but actually, he's a short-term rental investor himself. Um, And quite a varied kind of investor, not just your traditional short-term rental, but, um, a few other cool things, which we'll dive into. So we're going to welcome along Ryan Bakey.

[00:01:01] He is known, um, or his business is called Learn like CPA. And, uh, yeah, we're going to get his story and, uh, and see his tips. So welcome along Ryan. Thank you for joining us today.

[00:01:12] Ryan: Awesome. Excited to be here. Thank you.

[00:01:14] Liam: Um, for those who may not be familiar with yourself, can you give yourself an introduction and share anything that you'd like to share with the audience?

A bit about Ryan

[00:01:23] Ryan: Yeah, so my name is Ryan. I have, uh, I went to school for accounting and finance. Uh, accounting and finance were my first love when it came to diving into what my genius zone is. And it's funny cause I'm not the best at math. I almost failed my senior year math class because it was so, it was so hard, but I did understand the basics.

[00:01:43] addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. And if you can understand that, then you can understand real estate investing. So I tell people all the time, uh, outside of school or after school, I went to work at Deloitte. So Deloitte's a huge consulting firm. They have offices nationwide, you know, worldwide, a large consulting firm.

[00:02:00] I helped a lot of, uh, investment management banks. Hedge funds, syndications, real estate syndications, basically people who are already wealthy help them become even more wealthy. And I decided that I wanted to help not the everyday person, but the person in their family that was going to change their family tree.

[00:02:17] So that's when I started my brand, learned like a CPA and then, my consulting firm that focuses on. Uh, small mom-and-pop investors help them, you know, acquire short-term rentals, help them analyze tax benefits, tax savings, help them make decisions about their portfolio. Should they exit?

[00:02:34] Should they, you know, refinance all these, all these good things and just be that a good third party advice? Because what I like to do is I like to help people, um, alleviate the emotion from the equation, because oftentimes a lot of short-term investors, they, they. They have a lot of time in these projects and they have a lot of emotion and I try to be that, you know, sounding voice to, to say, Hey, here's what makes sense numbers-wise and remove that emotion from the equation.

[00:03:00] So,

Short-term rentals at the moment

[00:03:00] Liam: what does the short-term rental side of your business look like at the moment?

[00:03:07] Ryan: Yeah, I mean, most of our clients now are primarily short-term investors. It's just becoming so popular, you know, within the last couple of years, I think, you know, COVID was the catalyst for short-term rental real estate investing, in my opinion, because.

[00:03:21] You had a bunch of people who, you know, they didn't, you know, maybe they didn't want to have to listen to a company or a boss or be tied down to their place of employment. I think that's when a lot of people started investing. And then, you know, in America, we had super-low interest rates. So that made it enticing for somebody to be able to buy a property.

[00:03:40] I, you know, manage it, use the income to help replace their W 2s. And, you know, I, myself kind of left my W 2 job to go into real estate full time, you know, half. Half c p a consultant and half investor, you know, but I've also helped guide tons of people and, and seen tons of people make the transition from full-time W two to full-time real estate in a matter of, you know, sometimes less than, you know, a year, year and a half maybe.

[00:04:03] Liam: What would you say are some of the challenges that you've seen, I guess, or some of the ones that you've gone through yourself, but also some of the ones that you've seen some of these investors have? What are the challenges when they're trying to move from their W two job to, um, you know, to create a successful?

[00:04:19] Portfolio that cash flows to allow them out of their job. I think that I'll say

[00:04:23] Ryan: two things. Number one is you have to have a plan. Uh, when you go into this space, you have to have a, you know, not just a, okay, here's what I want to do, but you know, a one-year, three-year, five-year, you know, even 10-year timeline of what it is that you want out of real estate investing.

[00:04:38] You know, is it too? Is it to leave your job full-time? You know, is it to leave your W2 job so you don't have to listen to a boss? Or is it, hey, I just want some supplemental income, maybe I want to diversify my retirement, you know, my stocks. You see, you see a huge shift to real estate investing anytime the stock market plummets.

[00:04:54] All right. So you, is it, is it that you need to have that plan? Because what I've seen, especially in America, so we're, we can buy houses based off, you know, what's called our debt to income. And so if you don't have enough, basically in reoccurring income, whether that's through your W2 or rental properties, the bank's not going to give you a loan.

[00:05:12] And oftentimes I see investors get capped out on being able to scale their portfolio because they're not balancing what's called their debt to income very healthy. Um, The number, the number two thing that I would say that is really important is to avoid lifestyle creep. And so lifestyle creep, I learned when I originally was taught personal finance, lifestyle creep is anytime you have a change to your situation, typically for the better, you know, you either make more money or you have a huge windfall or whatever it is, you start to outspend what you've earned.

[00:05:41] And so, you know, if I'm, let's say I, let's say I'm making 60 grand a year and my budget, you know, I need 40 grand a year to live. Okay. So I have a 20, 000 a year surplus. So then what happens when I make 80, 000 says 60, 000? What am I doing with that additional 20, 000? The sad part is a lot of times I see short-term investors, they take that surplus income and the cash flow that they made from their short-term rentals.

[00:06:03] And instead of using that to go back into their situation, they paid off some of their debt. They're using it on lifestyle assets, like vacations, travel, and new cars. And so you'll never actually get out of your W2 job if you're just taking what you're making on the side or in short-term rentals and not redeploying it into your business.

What are CPAs?

[00:06:19] Liam: Some people are based in the US, some people are based in the UK. I feel I should just clarify CPA. Can you just tell us what that means? Because from my understanding, I understand it's tax based, but is it kind of attorney based as well? Like just, uh, just to clarify what CPA is in the UK listeners.

[00:06:37] Ryan: So the CPA in the United States is a designation that, so all account, you know, all CPAs are accountants, but not all accountants can be CPAs.

[00:06:45] It's kind of, is that graduating. So, you know, once you go to accounting school and you, and you learn, you're going to learn a little bit of tax, what's called auditing. You're going to learn consulting, financial statements. You're going to learn basic economic principles. But to get your CPA license, you have to take a very rigorous exam that is a combination of all those.

[00:07:05] So, to get your CPA license, you have to be very proficient in tax. You have to understand, uh, financial statements. You have to understand auditing, like if you were to go audit a company, a company's financial statements. And you also have to understand, you know, really good economics. What, what incentivizes people to act a certain way?

[00:07:24] How can the government, you know, in the United States, have a really good monetary fiscal policy? That's at least most of the time we try to anyway, that the government can kind of pull a lever or push down the lever to make, you know, the economy does what it wants to do. If, if the economy is spending rapidly and inflation is running up, you know, we need to get money out of the market.

[00:07:44] And so you have to understand that to get your CPA license. Um, but as a CPA though, to be honest, You know, I think they're very similar to doctors. So not all CPAs are going to understand real estate. Not all CPAs are going to understand cryptocurrency or small businesses or, you know, I get a lot of inquiries a lot recently about farming, you know, I know nothing about farming.

[00:08:05] Well, in fact, I know, I knew just a little bit to be dangerous to be able to help this guy, but I don't I don't know about farming. It's almost similar to doctors. You're not going to the same guy. That's a paediatrician or a child doctor. You know, he may or may not be the guy that's going to fix your heart or fix your foot, right?

[00:08:21] So it's the same thing with CPAs in America. You know, you want to find a CPA that focuses on what you're doing.

[00:08:27] Liam: Awesome. Thank you so much for your time. And again, thank you. If you listen to this on the Boosty podcast, we know there are a lot of places you can put your attention and I appreciate you putting it with us here at Boostly.

[00:08:36] Thanks very much. Bye for now. Having a blast.

[00:08:39] Ryan: Gonna get it on the Boostly podcast. Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee 'cause it's so hard on the teas, loosely, making up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.