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CarlCarl Johnston, Advisory Board Member

Mr. Johnston credits much of his career success to his supervisor in his first civilian job after his Navy service, who instilled in him during his early ’20’s:  “Plan your work, then work your plan”.Early in his career, Carl recognized that he wanted his money to work for him, vs. continually working for new money, and the value of combining formal education with “hands-on experience” to achieve his objectives.  Shortly after joining Union Bank’s HQ office in Los Angeles after Navy service, he began night school at UCLA focused on investment real property operations and MBA work at the University of So. California.  With “dirty shoes” experience in construction inspection, income property appraisal and construction lending at Union Bank, he joined Coldwell Banker’s Investment Property Financing group, where he arranged both construction & long-term financing for shopping centers, office buildings/parks and industrial properties in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles and all of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties to the west and north. After several years of successful brokering of investment property financing, he re-directed his interests to personal financial management & commercial property brokerage in Silicon Valley.  He completed requirements to earn the CFP designation, registered with the SEC as a Securities Representative, Principal, and Investment Advisor and gained licensing to sell life & disability insurance while remaining active in commercial property design, leasing, and sales in the Greater San Franciso Bay area.  He developed and managed commercial properties until he shifted focus to manage only his own properties, thru a real estate limited partnership [RELP], at age 52.

Mr. Johnston achieved Accredited status in his mid-40’s, long before he closed his Financial Management practice, mainly through combining the benefits of tax deferral through real property depreciation, financial leverage and the wonder of recurring monthly income from commercial property development and management activities.  With the predictable monthly renewal of his cash reserves, he has expanded his investment activities into Direct Working Interests in Oil & Gas properties and Private Placement interests in quality real property syndications and a broad range of natural resource and private equity deals in Silicon Valley technology and medical research efforts.  Carl’s institutional education includes a BS degree in Hotel Management from Cornell University, 19 University of California Extension certificates in Real Estate, MBA in Finance from University of Southern California, Certified Financial Planner [“CFP”] from the College for Financial Planning and a Lifetime Teaching Credential in Real Estate & Finance subjects at the University of California.  Since re-directing his investment activities in his early 50’s he has discovered an interest in “early stage” investments in natural resource-related private placement opportunities.  Carl attributes most of his financial achievements to his early decision to seek success in investment real property operations and his willingness to “pay the price required” to gain both formal education and practical experience his preferred career.   He and his beautiful wife VSL Judy divide their time between homes in Victoria, BC and Northern California.

Amanda Han, CPA

Amanda has over 18 years of experience as a CPA  with special emphasis in real estate, self-directed investing, and individual tax planning. Amanda has extensive “Big Four” public accounting experience in the Lead Tax Group servicing clients in the real estate industry. She provided tax consulting and tax compliance for companies engaged in land development, residential development, medical facilities, and conglomerate shopping malls. Subsequent to her work at Deloitte, Amanda served in the Corporate Tax Department for an international Fortune 500 Company in the high tech industry and was responsible for quarterly provisions and various aspects of SEC reporting. Amanda has numerous years of experience in working with international companies in terms of federal and multi-state tax planning as well as audit representation and resolution.

Amanda is a frequent contributor and educator to some of the nation’s top investment companies and is a leading expert on retirement investing.  Amanda’s cutting-edge tax strategies have been featured in prominent publications including TIME Magazine Online, Bigger, Realtor Magazine, and, a Dunn & Bradstreet Company. She is certified by the CA State Board of Accountancy and is a member of the prestigious American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) practicing in all 50 U.S. States.

Matt McFarland,  CPA

Matt has over 20 years of experience in public accounting as a CPA & Tax Strategist. He has worked for both the “Big 4” and regional CPA firms. While at Deloitte, Matt served as a Tax Manager in their Private Client Advisor (PCA) group where he focused his expertise in tax planning and compliance for high net worth individuals, business owners, commercial real estate investors, and professional athletes. His diverse portfolio of clients included real estate, manufacturing, retail, technology, and professional services industries.  In addition to his experience at Deloitte, Matt furthered his career with 3 years at a regional CPA firm affiliated with world-renowned authors and speakers Diane Kennedy and Robert Kiyosaki.  As a Managing Director at Keystone CPA, Matt provides consulting and strategic planning services specifically developed for real estate investors, small business owners, and wealthy individuals.

Matt teaches creative tax saving strategies to taxpayers and other CPAs nation-wide and is a frequent tax contributor to NBC News Radio’s Smart Money Show. Matt is a graduate of UCLA and received his Master’s Degree in Business Taxation from USC. He is certified by the CA State Board of Accountancy and is a member of the prestigious American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).


Helping Investors Work Less, Earn More, and Reduce Their Taxes.




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