PHOTO: Investor Sam Gordon quit his job at 28 and used the rental income from his properties to travel the world. Source: Supplied

High school dropout turned real estate investor Sam Gordon owns so many properties he often needs a minute or two to remember exactly where they are.

At 31, the Southern Highlands native owns an impressive 26 properties spread across four capitals, including Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Greater Sydney.

His properties have a combined value of about $9.5 million and generate nearly $540,000 a year in gross rental income – about $200,000 of which he pockets after paying his mortgage bills and other holding costs.

Banks own $5.5 million of his investments, with Mr Gordon revealing he holds about $4 million in equity.

It’s a financial position that’s all the more incredible when considering he purchased his first property as a teenager earning about $35,000 a year from a job at his family farm in NSW’s Southern Highlands.

Sam Gordon bought his first property aged 19.

Sam Gordon bought his first property aged 19. Source: Supplied

He had been working since the age of 16 after dropping out of school midway through year 11.

“I was essentially a labourer,” Mr Gordon said. “It wasn’t a high income.”

He used savings from the job to purchase his first property in 2009: a two-bedroom unit in Wollongong for $275,000.

“There wasn’t a huge strategy to it,” he said. “It was just a unit for myself to live in, which I could renovate. I got a good price.”

The renovation, much of which he did himself, helped increase the value of the unit and by 2012 he held a sizeable amount of equity.

It was at this point that he began to get more serious about his investing and started fine tuning his purchasing strategy.