Before Michael Davidson became a millionaire he struggled through tough times financially, not once, but twice. His first attempt in the investment world, driven by a youthful ambition to “get rich quick,” saw him funneling hard-earned savings into a penny stock. As he told Business Insider, this move led to him losing half of his money, compounded by a taxing blow due to improper tax handling.

Even after this setback, Davidson didn’t quit. He rebuilt his financial reserves, reaching a point where he could put down 5% on a primary residence in Ottawa. But his aspirations soon met another hurdle. Entrusting a supposed real estate developer with the renovation of his new home, Davidson found himself cheated. The renovation was left unfinished which plunged him into the dire situation of an unfinished house and drained savings. At 25, he hit what he describes as “rock bottom.”

Davidson realized the necessity for a radical change through these adversities. His first step was setting a specific goal for himself: earning a million dollars before turning 30. With a clear target in sight, he meticulously evaluated various pathways to success. Despite a lucrative role in a prominent tech company, where he sold software – a fact verified by his letter of employment – Davidson recognized that solely relying on his six-figure income and making usual investments wouldn’t be enough to reach his million-dollar milestone.

He thought about starting his own business, but he already had a full-time job. Growing a business within four years, without quitting his current position, seemed daunting. This realization steered him towards real estate investing – a domain he was already somewhat familiar with given his prior home purchase. Real estate, in Davidson’s view, represented a tried-and-true method for wealth accumulation.

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With his goal defined and path chosen, Davidson’s next step was to immerse himself in learning. He made a list of topics and began reading books and listening to podcasts about real estate. He specifically highlighted “Real Estate Espresso” and “Bigger Pockets” podcasts for their insights into various real estate strategies and success stories. These resources offered him perspectives from different investors, each with unique philosophies, which helped Davidson hone his approach toward real estate development.

This focus worked for him. Shortly before he turned 30, Davidson’s hard work paid off, and he saw his net worth leap over the million-dollar mark. Davidson’s success can be attributed to the completion, permitting, and appraisal of multiple real estate projects. His first significant venture involved transforming his single-family home into a quadplex, yielding about CA$12,000 in montly rental income. He also profited a staggering CA$190,000 by building and selling a cottage in Quebec. Now he’s using that money for another project, a three-unit building in Ottawa.

Today, Davidson’s portfolio extends beyond real estate, including stock market investments and cash savings. As confirmed by Business Insider through property appraisal letters and financial statements, his net worth stands above CA$1.6 million. Still actively engaged in sales, he has already set his sights on a new financial milestone: reaching a net worth of CA$3 million at 32 years, the point at which he considers himself truly financially independent. “It’s a number where I would be comfortable completely quitting my job,” he said.