When it comes to investing, the more conservative partner in a marriage has an easier argument: “We’re not putting all our money into some pipe dream!”

This, in turn, is why I hear married people ask over and over in my real estate investing Facebook group about how they can get their spouse on board with real estate investing.

It’s amazing how often spouses have vastly different visions for their finances. My wife Katie wishes I had a regular nine-to-five job. I wish she’d spend less on coffee and clothes. And believe me, that’s a mere scratch on the surface of our financial differences.

It’s no wonder a quarter of married couples lie to each other about money.

Real estate investing feels higher risk to people without real estate experience. And I’ll be the first to admit I’ve lost plenty of money in real estate. Then again, compared to stocks, real estate investing is often lower risk!

Of course, your spouse won’t take your word for it. Or mine, for that matter. They won’t even take the word of joint researchers from the University of California, the University of Bonn, and the German central bank, who found that real estate offered the highest returns over the last 145 years, with far lower risk than stocks.

You’re going to need to make an organized, persuasive case for why real estate investing can offer both high returns and low risk. I’m going to use rental investing as the example, but the same principles apply to convincing your spouse to embrace flipping, commercial real estate, land, or any other form of real estate investing.


Related: Investing With Your Spouse? STOP and Read These 4 Survival Tips!

Part I of Your Devious Conversion Scheme: Reframing

The first thing you have to do is reframe the conversation.

Your spouse is apprehensive about the idea of “spending” and “risking” and “losing” money on a real estate deal. Shift the conversation toward the income you’re going to earn.

“Hey honey, the property I’ve been looking at produces around $500/month in income. If we had an extra $500/month, where would you like to put it? I have some ideas, of course—you know I’ve always wanted to visit South Africa—but I know you’ve been talking about doing a more regular date night. What are your thoughts?”

Get them envisioning the tangible, life-improving benefits of real estate investments. Set the hook.

The second way you need to reframe the conversation is away from “Here’s why we should invest in real estate” and toward “Let’s discuss our target asset allocation and how much of our portfolio we want in stocks, real estate, and bonds.” Who can argue with diversification? Not me.

Besides, real estate serves many of the same functions as bonds: income, diversification from stocks, low volatility. And it comes with an innate advantage in that rental income rises alongside inflation.

Finally, frame the conversation in terms of creating multiple income streams, for safety and security, to protect against the risk of job loss. After all, passive income is how you scale the ladder from middle-class to financially independent!

Suddenly real estate isn’t about taking risks; it’s about reducing risk through diversification of assets and income.

Part II of the Plan: Inviting Them into the World of Real Estate

Your spouse will never feel comfortable with real estate investing if they remain an outsider. You need to…