The S.A.F.E. System and Alternative Investment Strategies

Investing your money is a great way to grow it, but we all know investing carries risks. If you aren’t careful, you can make bad investments that fail to grow your wealth or can even wipe out your investments. With the countless opportunities to invest that are available to you, how do you know which investments are risky and which are smart moves?

That’s where Tom Dunkel comes in. Tom is an expert in investing in alternative assets such as distressed mortgages, tax liens, multi-family real estate, construction financing and other types of alternative investments. Tom is the president of US Mortgage Resolution and the co-founder of Belrose Asset Management, where he employs his more than 25 years of real estate and investment experience to manage more than $30 million in client investments in alternative assets like distressed mortgages.

Tom has built a thriving business through his entrepreneurial spirit and smart thinking, but he has had his share of challenges and roadblocks in his career too. In this episode of the Progressive Dentist podcast, Tom shared his secrets for turning a startup business into an industry juggernaut, and he discussed his S.A.F.E. system for evaluating investment opportunities for their risks.

Building a Great Business

In Tom’s experience as an entrepreneur, he learned the critical importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. After his first entrepreneurial effort failed, he realized that the major contributor for its failure was surrounding himself with the wrong people. That’s why Tom is very particular about the kinds of people he brings into Belrose Asset Management.

Tom believes that it is important that everyone who is a part of a team continues to grow, both personally and as a group. He is always pushing his team to the next level of success, by giving them the time and freedom to network, go to conferences, learn new skills, and run with their ideas without micromanaging them. By doing so, he is showing the members of his team that he trusts them. Tom also believes strongly in finding solid business mentors and in managing your time effectively. These have been vital cornerstones to Tom’s success and to the success of his business.

The S.A.F.E. Method of Investing

Belrose Asset Management has developed a system for helping people evaluate an investment opportunity, which they call the S.A.F.E. method. S.A.F.E. stands for Sponsor, Asset, Financials, and Exit, and these represent the four key points that you should be looking at and the critical questions you should be asking yourself when evaluating an investment. The first step is to consider the Sponsor; who is running the deal? What is their track record? Are they honest and ethical? Then you should look at the Asset; what are you investing in? Are you going to be able to sleep at night knowing that your money is tied up into this asset?

The third step is to consider the Financials; will this investment fit in your portfolio? Is it going to tie up too much of your money? Is the investment making or losing money? What are the tax implications of investing in this? The last step to consider is your Exit; how are you going to get out of the investment? When and how are you going to be paid back?

By considering these four key areas of interest, you can better evaluate the level of risk associated with the investment and you can insure that it is (or isn’t) right for your portfolio. Tom and his team have created a free PDF download of this system, including other key questions you should ask yourself at each step. You can access the PDF file by visiting That’s also where you can get more information about Belrose Asset Management and the kind of investment opportunities they provide.

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