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Steve started Anchor Loans in 1998. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Anchor Loans?
In college, I studied psychobiology and optometry—and I had no idea I would eventually find my calling in the real estate or finance industries. After completing my doctorate degree in optometry at UC Berkeley I ran a successful optometry practice for ten years, but I found that I was not as passionate about the career path I had chosen as I was expecting. I sold my practice and while investing in rental properties, I started buying and fixing properties for sale. Shortly thereafter, I became a professional poker player, which I did for the next seven years. During my time in poker, I met Anchor Loans co-founder Jeff Lipton and he later introduced me to his friend Dan Harrington who had recently won the 1995 World Series of Poker. Dan would also become a co-founder and Anchor’s first CEO.
Along with our success playing professional poker, Jeff, Dan and I had all discovered a passion for real estate investing. Although you might not think cards and real estate are related in any way, we found that poker was an excellent training ground for real estate investing because consistently winning at either of them requires a strict reliance on numbers (never luck), a keen ability to analyze all of the available data and a firm understanding of game theory. In poker, the data are subtle cues from your opponents, their playing styles, and body language, which you must accurately read before making an educated decision. In real estate, it’s housing costs, rehab expenses, and borrower demographics. To be successful at either endeavor, whether cards or properties, you must know when to bet or fold, and you can never rely on chance. The better you are at data analysis, the better the decisions and outcomes.
Many entrepreneurs don’t take advantage of is learning from people who have done it successfully. Even if they are not in your specific business niche, successful entrepreneurs can offer a wealth of experience and insight.
After a few years of successful real estate investing, we realized that local fix and flip entrepreneurs needed access to capital to grow their businesses, so Anchor Loans had its humble beginnings in a spare bedroom with two computers and one dial-up modem. Within a few months, our operations grew, so we rented commercial office space in Santa Monica. Today, Anchor Loans is headquartered in Calabasas, California, and employs a staff of about 200.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater