BTM 93: Bank On Yourself Not Your 401K with Mark Willis
Let's say you work for the next thirty years. So you work from the age of twenty five to the age of fifty five will you have enough money saved up for retirement for the next thirty years after that from fifty five to eighty five so in essence, are you saving half of your income now so that you can live the second half of your life. The way you wanna live if not don't worry. None of us are, and it may not even be required. But we're going to talk about some of these things on today's episode. So stay tuned. Welcome back to the before the man's podcast. My name is doray al-ali. I may former financial professional turned lifestyle. Entrepreneur every week. Entrepreneurs and millionaires have strategic conversations on this show to help you design and build your lifestyle business through real estate for the BTM tribe. This is kind of a special place as such new listeners ten to bench content. So you've been warned let's get started. Sir. What's going on VTAM tribe? We're back for another installment. Another episode of the before the millions podcast Nasim super excited for brand new week with you guys and sell first and foremost, I've been recording a few of these episodes back to back, so I'm currently recording this episode Tuesday morning, January twenty ninth twenty nineteen and the episode right before this episode ninety two which is titled the mastermind blueprint growing your real estate business that's gonna release here in the next few minutes. So I'm super excited for the episode to come out because as you guys know, I am officially launching my before the millions mastermind group, and the initial idea for this mastermind group was because as I started growing, my real estate portfolio in more and more people wanted my help in coaching and guidance and things of that nature. I realized very quickly that I had a solid business idea. On my hands. Right. So for the next few years. I started building my business started building before the millions. And it's come with lots of ups in lots of downs. And quite frankly, the my first year as a fulltime entrepreneur not just like before the millions being the side gig, which it was for so long. But my first full years a fulltime entrepreneur was probably the hardest year ever. And I recently wrote a blog article on this cover this in depth on ninety two. But there've been so many things that I've picked up along the way so many people I've met so many people that have been able to pour into me and not only just people that come on this show, but mentors in different fields and sectors. And I've been able to garner so much value over the past few years, and I love being able to help people get started on their real estate journey. I love people I love to help people grow and built up our folio, but had the secondary need want desire to help people. Who were also in the position that I was in a few years ago when I first started for the millions when I first started figuring out. Well, how am I gonna build a business around? My real estate investing efforts and for you. You don't have to even be a culture until you can have a totally different business model. But one thing I picked up is that the essentials the skeleton the framework is always the same in any in every business and in this day and age for businesses. You can operate location independent like my business like any other online business. There are certain key metrics that you wanna pay attention to. And there are lots of different avenues that you can take to monetize your business, and I've experienced so many of these businesses, and I've tried so many of these strategies to where I'm at a point now where I know that I can have a profound effect on somebody's business just by being in their vicinity just by having a weekly call just by keeping them accountable. So that was kind of the four I guess into the BTM mastermind since. I'm actually recording this on January twenty ninth. This episode is not gonna release until February fifth. So at the time that this episode releases you will have six days six days to apply for the before the Maine's mastermind in get in at our grandfathered rate of five hundred dollars per month. So before we even get to the amount of days left before a possible price change a want you to know that a few pieces of marketing material, including this morning's episode episode ninety two which is the primary marketing tool for this mastermind to let people know that my mastermind is the fishery launching on the eleventh of February. So that piece of material is going to garner a whole lot of traffic and probably a whole lot of applications. They're going to be a few more emails that are going to be sent out this week. I'm going to personally contact a few people that I know are and should in the mastermind group. So what I'm telling you is that not only do you want to apply for this masterminded? As possible because spots may fill up before or right around when this episode what leases, but also because the price may just chain. So once the eleventh hits, I'm contemplating are raising the price to one thousand dollars per month. Because I am confident that at one thousand dollars per month. I am going to not just me because this is not a coaching course, these are might you guys you guys that are part of my mastermind group. You guys are my peers. So as much as I'm pouring into you and your point in me were pointing to each other. So I'm excited for the growth that I'm going to get out of this mastermind group as well selfishly. Right. But you guys have just a few days from the time of this recording. Or I guess from the time of this release to get in at grandfathered right of five hundred dollars a month. And if you get in now five hundred dollars a month. No matter where the price goes from here because I plan on making this better and better in better in bigger embattled, right? So no matter where the price goes from here. You are locked in regardless of whenever you're listening to this episode. This mastermind is powerful at its current. Right. This mastermind is powerful. So if you are Willis that entrepreneur, and you have a proven business model you've gotten paid for your services, right? We've gotten paid for your product. And things are not quite where you believe they can be. You feel like there are a few levers that you can turn a few switches as you can flip. You'll start seeing more consistency. Or maybe you have that full-time job in right now, your real estate business is on the side. And this is actually my primary target that Willis businesses on the side like it was for me two years ago, and you want to eventually leverage your real estate business. So that you can be one hundred percent, self employed. But you need help you need guidance. You need a structure new system you need to figure out if you're even taking the right steps at the right time you want accountability. This is at the top of the list of one of my favorite products, guys and Holum. Our products are quite frankly, my favorite products. It's crazy because I only have two paid products which is the before the man's mastermind and the before the man's workshop. I do have this free product as you guys know the BTM five K challenge. And even though it's a free product, man. It's it's it's amazing. It's so amazing. And so many people are getting spectacular results. And I'm excited that that I actually came out with this product because it's changing so many people's perception, and what they think is possible for them real estate, and it's been amazing. So that's over right before the millions dot com for slash five K, but my primary products, my two main products my workshop on my mastermind the workshop is for investors who are wet behind the ear. Stay don't know. What to do how to get started worth? How even get in there? I investment property or maybe they have one. But they now can't figure out how to get the second and third one ins, it's driving them. Crazy, right? There's no system there's no guidance. There's no count ability. There's no money. That's who this week workshop is for mastermind, although we may get into some real estate. We may talk about growing up folio because some of us will be investors, and we may end up doing deals together. Because again, this is a close knit circle of trusted advisors. Friends, the primary focus is that real estate business that you have the one that's causing all the overwhelm. Because you believe that there's so many things that you need to do right now in your business for to take off. So I invite you to participate. I invite you to apply just apply. I mean, even even just taking that first step, and we may get on the phone conversation. They may quite frankly, change your life, even if we decide not to work together. So if this is something that you're considering head over to before the maintenance dot com forward slash mastermind man that was a long winded way to let you guys know that hey last week's episode was powerful. I'm so ninety two when I really really enjoyed that. And that was one of our longer episodes, and then you have ninety one ninety one go back to that one as well. It was just a random Friday episode where I was just like, hey, let me just give a bonus to my listeners and was full of so much content. Like in that episode. We're talking about changing our beliefs about money, so many people do not talk about money. I mean, we don't talk about it in a corporate America. You don't talk about it amongst your family. You don't talk about it with your friends, but on the before the millions podcast. We will talk about money guys. So head over to before the beans dot com for slash episode ninety one that was owed is amazing. You know, another. Episode that came out this year episode eighty seven which is titled I'm quitting building my lifestyle. Business men last year in two thousand eighteen is a had so many revelations going back to this mastermind. How I want it to help so many people overcome in bypass some of the things that have to spend days weeks months agonizing over but absorb eighty seven. I am laying out for you, all of my lessons learned in twenty eighteen the things I'm quitting the things. I'm starting things on focused on because for me. Twenty nineteen is a year of execution. I thought twenty seventeen was like a year of discovery. And then twenty eighteen was the year of like planning like the prelaunch phase. And then twenty nineteen I'm like full throttle ahead. Execute execute execute this. I should tell you guys. Who's on today's episode? I mean, that's something that you guys may possibly just wanna know. So today's episode we're speaking to Mr. Mark Willis, and I had a really fun conversation. With mark. I mean guys were throwing now, and this is not like heavy math while we're throwing out a lot of statistics where you're just like, I didn't know that. Or I think about that. Or is that is that really true? Statistically like that. Is that what it comes out to be? I mean think about guys have you have you already created or have you thought about creating or in the process of creating income for retirement that you cannot outlive? Many of you may say yes today me and Mark are going to break down some of the myths that were we've been told about retirement because we actually want to help you grow your wealth to we're gonna talk about creating tax free income in retirement ruins talk about emotions and financial intelligence in how your emotions play a big part in the way, you handle your finances. I wanna talk about how Dave Ramsey influence Mark in his financial decisions earlier on. But then he quickly realized that maybe Dave Ramsey wasn't the person he should be listening to it. When it came to his financial decisions. A lot of us are depending on our 4._0._1._K for retirement. And hopefully this episode puts things in perspective about how little your 4._0._1._K really is going to help you when it comes to that portion of your life, and my favorite thing that we're going to talk about which I haven't gotten into yet. But every time I has money on the show. I talked about it sounds so captivating, and my everything we're gonna talk about are the benefits of dividend pain. Whole life insurance. So does without any further do because you guys have enjoyed the intro enough already without any further ado, let's let's get to the tip of the week. So we can get into the show to raise of the week. Okay. So here's your quick tip. And this is coming from somebody who prior to two thousand sixteen did not read a single book. I not one throughout my whole adult life, maybe in high school, maybe a middle school. Yes. But as an adult I didn't read a single book so coming from me who's now read over one hundred books I read about a book a week. And I am just so fascinated by the content that I read in these books, and I'm going to do the rest of my life. Right. But. One thing about my new found habit. Does not newfound anymore. I've been doing it for over two years now. But one thing about my newfound habit is it I get so wrapped up in the idea of these books in the concepts. And then I'm so ready for the for the next one in the knowledge because I love I love learning, but often forget to go back and actually implement some of the concepts that I've learned some of the strategies that I've picked up some of the insights that I've acquired, and that's quite frankly, ninety nine percent of the reason why you're reading the book right on the last episode of the before the means podcasts. Our guest was telling us that Napoleon hill died a poor, man. I was just like wow knowledge is is not power knowledge acted upon is power though. Right. So one thing I've been doing this year is I decided that I was not gonna read a new book a single new book for. The whole first month of January now today is Tuesday January twenty nine I have two more days, and I have been reading books than the actually did raid a one single new book. But for the most part what I've been doing is. I've been going back to read books the classics now taking one or two major key concepts in those books have chosen to implement those immediately. So like, I came into the house reading this book called the twelve week year, which is a new book, but that was kind of like my book coming into the new year because I wanted to start New York right since then the three books that I've read are reported a wreath at every year than I read it for step porta guide to investing. I read that every year, and then I read grant Cardoen's 10x for the second time. And man when I read this book the second time, it was a game changer for me college, just like me. And the first time it was it was it was nice. It was powerful. Like, I liked it. Right. But how is it different? I was in a different place in life in text the second time, I'm just like I'm implementing this starting this doing this. And then the new book, I read which I wasn't supposed to do is called the surrender experiment. And that was actually the recommended to me by a member of my mastermind, and yeah that book is that because nice. It may challenge a lot of your beliefs. But because it's a very good book. So that comes highly recommended, but again, the tip of the week this week is to just kind of rehash go back in pick up some some of your favorite books. I'm not talking about these fictional books and things like that. I mean books that are gonna push you for pusher business for go pick up some of those books that you really enjoyed. But maybe they were short-lived because you didn't execute on the concepts of the strategies that you learned in that book just moved on to the next or you just put it down right till take some time. Again, I'm doing I may I may I may extend this process into February just all like go back and rehash some all some really really good old books that I need to soak in a little bit more. Right. I mean, while you're added that with some podcasts episodes as well. I know I do XM episodes have so much content. I'm like catechal back in. I gotta get that again. All right. I gotta go. Listen to that now based on where I am in life. And maybe I'll make some new connections. Like, that's how I. I think so hopefully, you've enjoyed this tip of the week. Now, let's get to the show. And now your feature presentation. I have today on the show, Mr. Mark, Willis, Mark. How's it going to great can't complain, man? How are you? I'm doing amazing Mark and really quick for our listeners. Where are we talking to you today, Chicago, Illinois? Nice nice. Nice. Nice. I love it. I love it. So again, guys Mark is a certified financial planner, and he is the co host of the not your average financial podcasts. Talk about all things finance today. Because I think that this is a subject matter that we haven't really touched on the way that we're going to touch on today. We're gonna talk about emotions finance. We're gonna talk about how to actually get started on your financial freedom. Jeremy we're gonna talk about what the banks aren't telling you will all street isn't telling you about your financial picture. So before we do any of that, Mark. Let's let's kinda give the listeners some concepts as to who you are. And where your frontal may be second back in the time. She takes us all the way back to a time of your life. Where this wasn't your life. You want? The Mark will issue out today. And you were maybe coming from humble beginnings and kind of talk about your entrepreneurial, Pat, and you know, kinda start painting that picture for us more work our way up to present day. All right, cool. Well, I'll I'll try to keep it brief. But my story with money really started with a paper bag we had an allowance, and like many kids you had to kind of earn it through chores and so forth. So I I really put all my money, you know, in this little paper bag, and once we reached I think it was fifty bucks. My mom said it was time to put that money in the Bank in a checking account at the local Bank. And I was like this is so cool. I feel like such a big kid. And so she takes me to the Bank and some stranger at the Bank said, okay, give me all your money. And I didn't want to. I felt like it was safer in that paper bag than in that big vault over there little Divino how much truth there was to that belief that there was more reality to the money in my paper bag more security in that they bagged on. There would have been had given it to the Bank, and I did end up opening that checking account, but fast forward a few more years in going through graduate school, and my wife, and I now have three degrees between us and we left school with six figures in student loan debt in two thousand eight with zero way to pay that off no job, no plan. But we faithfully listen to Dave Ramsey every single day, certainly. So we moved to an expensive city here. Chicago's not exactly cheap and started working various streams of income multiple side hustles during what turned out to be the greatest recession since the great depression, and then not long after that started working for a CPA firm trying to get my own finances ride. I got really passionate about money and how it works and what it does. So all of my training top me that you know. Traditional retirement, planning top may to buy term and invest the rest atop me that mutual funds were the pathway to you know, guaranteed financial freedom. I mean, all that average financial advice was the only way to get out of the rat race. I mean, why not right? If Ramsey says, it must be true. So that was sort of the pathway that I started out on. But to be honest. It was right around that same time that kind of the web of of mainstream financial planning was starting to be ripped apart. I mean, the the housing crash the financial meltdown kind of laid bare the fact that prices in homes, don't always go up in the stock market doesn't always go up. And so I started my financial firm helping other folks find ways that could help break them free from traditional financial planning and give them a pathway that give them some predictability and security that that they could really count. And that's where I guess we started our firm here in Chicago. I love the love before you started or from. Steppers pursue back. You were working for a CPA firm. And some of the things that you started to discover during that time were not in alignment with your beliefs before that talk about some of those things because I think that's really important. And I I come from a CPA firm background is while I work for big four accounting firm for for years. And I kind of you know, people would come to me, and they ask me potential bias in things like that. Now had no idea. Like, I mean, we're not trained in that subject matter. So kind of talk about some of the things you started no unraveling. Yeah. Well, I was working for an accountant a CPA who was helping with the tax preparation. She did do investments in mutual funds stocks bonds and so forth for clients. And so, you know, this was in two thousand eight nine win the meltdown was just getting started. And so I was overhearing conversations about how she unfortunately had lost her sixty two year old clients half half their money right right before they're gonna retire in half of the money as. Gone that was a huge wakeup call to me as someone who wanted to get into financial planning as a fulltime. Like, this is my passion. This is what I'm excited about. And here I am seeing the end of the rainbow is, unfortunately, it's a bucket of broken dreams. If it's tied to something that folks can't control. And that's what Wall Street really sells us is. You know? Hey, just stick with it. Hang in there. You know, buying hold. Don't look at your account when the market is crashing. It's all it's all designed to keep the money over on Wall Street, not necessarily keep it in your pocket. So that was really the wakeup call for me Duran. I was just really troubled when I saw the I kept asking myself is this all there is this the only way that can get us from where we are financially to where we wanna go. Thank goodness, I've had some mentors that came along right around that same time that wanted us to something that several different strategies that got us out of that sort of fixed mindset into that as as we've you know, what's the name of that book that growth. Mindset mindset by. Yeah. The from fixed mindset to a growth mindset in it just really kind of helped me start thinking critically about where my money is where I wanted to go in. I remember once the mentor that that I worked with said Mark is it and he was an old college. Professor, you know, he's just a good friend of ours. So when the best for me and saw a struggling to pay our giant student loan payments. And he said to me Mark is it possible? Is it possible that Dave Ramsey could be wrong about something? And he does let that question sit there, and I had never really pondered that I'd never really considered. Is it possible that Dave Ramsey is not Moses, you know, he didn't bring those ten baby steps down from amount, you know, or whatever. And that was just a lightbulb moment for me. So anyway, that's sort of where I fell off the train tracks traditional financial planning in ended up getting my CFP in the process. So go figure. I love that. And I thought we were going to butt heads on this show Mark because we often talk about Dave Ramsey on the show, and I love what he does. I've read it. I've actually recently read one of his books just because I didn't want to be so biased against him. When I only understand some of his viewpoints. But like route reading that because that's wrong. That's wrong. Why you telling people this? But I don't think the Lucians there different solutions for different types of people. Now, let's talk about the academic no way of doing this. Let's talk about the traditional system. What system? I mean. Even the even the stock market, even not even must not summer. Even Wall Street, your 4._0._1._K plan, the 4._0._1._K has been around for less than fifty years. Not even old enough to retire. So let's talk about the traditional systems what people expect to happen and what actually happens. That's great. Great. Well, I mean how much did the traditional financial plan really do for us over the last three four decades. The results are in. And we can now take a look we've moved from a pension based system to a risk is all back on our shoulders system. I mean, that's what the 4._0._1._K really has been for us since it started nineteen one. And by the way, the guy who started the 4._0._1._K Ted bene- has recently come out and said that it should be abolished should be destroyed and got rid of he wishes. He had never started the 4._0._1._K. So anyway, how is it done? Right. The basic change that happened in the late seventies early eighties for a number of reasons is that we've moved from a employer based system where the employer owns all the risk on your pension. Right. He or she the employer has to come up with that monthly paycheck for you to assist them where all of the money and all the risk is back on your shoulders. So who bears the risks when the 4._0._1._K becomes a to a one K? Well, the person who owns the 4._0._1._K does. Right. So let's talk about what was the real return of real investors in the Wall Street casino over the last three decades, your I am a certified financial planner trying to to get to the bottom of the truth of real returns. Because you're right. Dave Ramsey has plenty of good work that he does he gets people passionate about paying off their debts. He gets people passionate about creating a cash flow budget, which is super awesome. Where I think we really need to call them to task is some of the claims he makes about what we can expect from Wall Street. So according to real third parties. Okay. So not may not you Dave but third party analysts third party research firms like Dell bar right up. An annual report to disclose. Here's what the real return of actual investors have been over the last ten twenty thirty years. So I'll ask you this is a pop quiz about that over the last thirty years the average investor in abroad, diversified portfolio mutual funds. What was their actual return over the last three decades? Oh, let me guess like five percent. Yeah. Yeah. What before I answer that question? How much would you require that your return be in order to stomach? The tech wreck of two thousand one the financial meltdown of two thousand eight and some people don't want to have that want to be sure that they could get at least seven sometimes ten sometimes even twelve percent to stomach what they remember feeling in two thousand eight right? It's not a pretty picture in it while it was ten years ago. It was only ten years ago that that happened. So anyway, the real return of actual, investors and mutual funds over the last thirty years if they're all in on stock stocks, right? No bonds in their portfolio was three point nine eight percent. And that's before fees and before tax. That's only beating inflation by less than one percent. Oh my goodness. Oh, was that even worth the rollercoaster? So how is it possible? Right. The stock jockeys will tell you that the average return of the stock market is ten percent a year. You know, they'll say, hey, look, here's the stock market index. If you just bought nineteen twenty whatever you'd have ten percent average a year, but the truth is we don't operate that way. We're not infinite people we have to get on and get off that roller coaster various points in our life. If nothing else just for retirement, you know, we got to spend that money at the grocery store. So the truth is average rates return are not the same as real rates of return. I'm gonna give another quick little thought experiment. And I promise I'll try to keep this as brief as I can let's say you got one hundred bucks. Anyone put it in the market. All right, now, let's say that whoever's managing your money does awesome. And they double your money that your that's one hundred percent ready to retire. So you're. Dollars just got doubled to two hundred bucks. All right. The next year. Let's say that whoever was managing your money. Just totally flunked and they lost half of your money. Your two hundred dollars win all the way down to one hundred dollars. You know, the same number. You started with make sense of. All right. So you have one hundred dollars when you start in two years later, you got one hundred bucks. Well, what was the return of that money while zero right? Yup. Which put in there. But the honest truth is the average return of that money was twenty five percent. Twenty five percent one hundred plus a negative fifty divided by two is an average of twenty five and mutual funds are allowed to advertise. Average returns not real returns. There's a huge difference between what's known as the earth Matic average in the geometric mean, and what you want to look for is. What was the true cumulative rate of return of my money? Over such and such period of time. Because with that kind of all Attila be you have to get even higher rates return. Just to keep up with your with the volatility the returns that we're seeing that are being advertised are not the actual returns. Ryan that that is crazy. So that's the baby boomers who are getting ready to retire. I mean, what do they have at their disposal? Do they have security? Do they have a pension? Do they have a 4._0._1._K Howard? How is their outlook? Right. Well, you know, it's not a hate to be the bearer bad news. But it's not pretty I mean the results are in on how people are doing and boomers just don't have enough ready to go for retirement. I think we can talk about statistics. But the average person has less than one year saved one year's income saved for retirement and fifty two percent of all American households will not be able to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement. That's according to the center for retirement research, Austin college. So it's it's not it's not gonna be like, you know, just choosing one day to stop working. You know, people are gonna have to make hard decisions about groceries or prescriptions, you know, to ply toilet paper one plan to the paper. I mean, those are silly ideas. But that's the real truth is that we're faced with hard reality that it's not going to be easy to get out of, you know, without making some hard choices. I mean, even even the 4._0._1._K how much how much are you put you on this average person putting their 4._0._1._K year? A why I'd have to get back down that I don't know. But I know that the average person they've less than three percent of their income for all sources. So three percent of your money is the average savings rate of Americans right now, and that's including your savings account for flat tires, that's including your HSA health insurance contributions, that's including paying down debt or college savings and retirement planning. So is three percent of your income going to cover everything. Most of the start working. Around age twenty two twenty three in the retirement age is what fifty nine and a half or even sixty five and these days were living until seventy eighty ninety years old and think about the fact that you're saving three percent of your yearly salary. So let's say you're working until h fifty five so twenty five to fifty five thirty years, and you're expected to live until any five you're saving three percent of your yearly salary. So even if you were to save for the next thirty years three percent of your yearly salary. You wouldn't you wouldn't have even been able to save one year's worth of salary. Not even when year, but you have another thirty years left like you've been working for thirty years to save up half of a years worth of salary to live another thirty years. Does that make sense it does? And let me put it to you this way. If if you could just imagine if you couldn't work if the average Joe working. A wage job. Let's say, okay. So folks that haven't yet chief financial independence before the millions. Right. If you all of a sudden couldn't work for thirty years with that negatively impact your financial future. Of course, isn't that the same thing as retirement? Right. And if all I had to my name was one year salary, and I had to make that one year last thirty years would I have to make some hard choices about what I was going to buy that week for groceries. So what I hear with most of my clients is hit Mark. I got all these bills to pay. I got free kids or whatever I got to car payments. I got a giant mortgage. I got a boat that I'm still paying off. I got some credit card bills. I can't save more than three percent of my money. So I'm gonna have to risk more on casino and lottery tickets and Wall Street and hope that my return will be higher. That's the underlying premise of most people's financial plans. I'm going to have to save less and risk more in hope that my rate of return will be higher. Unfortunately, that hope is not a strategy for sure. And that goes back to just I mean, I think about the average person, and they don't want to get into all of this. I mean, this is this is complex stuff for the average person. They're just like, hey, like, basically that there's this planet where NF I follow this all of the planets. Follow the system, I'm gonna be okay. During retirement, we just like you said, we hope that that happens without actually doing the man and that goes back. So laziness that goes back to not living for the future. Maybe just living out of the right now that goes back to what we're going to touch on Nixon's, maybe even some emotions and know the emotional aspect of having to figure things out emotional aspect of how somebody spends their money. Let's Valiants them. So let's maybe talk about emotions in money. You know, I think that emotions by a large part in our day to day, everything that we but most Pacific more specific Greenland because you think about the fact that every single purchase I think every single purchases isn't emotional. Choose. Now, I want you to kind of clarify because you talk about this vastly. So when you think about emotions and money, how do they how do they correlate? Well, you know, I I do think that there's a deep connection with money. I mean, we learned from studies and from my own personal experience that, you know, sadness, for example, makes you spend more money the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of health said so in a recent study, they did also arrogance ingred come into play when it comes to speculations with like jumping into the bubble just before the burst, right? Then we sell at the worst possible time because of fear. I'm so glad the bitcoin crisis over. Was probably I'm guessing they'll be another tulip bubble. You know, whether it's bitcoin or whatever it is. In fact, it's just kind of the mentality of most people we jump on at the wrong time. We hop off at the wrong time. I mean, look up tulip mania from the sixteen hundreds in Holland where a single tulip bulb of selling for more than the price of an entire house. If you can imagine that right? So it's it's not always been bitcoin before that it was being babies and tickle me. Elmo? I mean, the list goes on and on right? One time I stood in line at a target slept outside of target to buy a PlayStation three. I think it was at the time. And then I saw EBay was like ten thousand dollars for PlayStation three, and I'm like we can retire like next Tuesday. And then I waited right jumping on the bubble. And then twenty four forty eight hours later, the price of the PlayStation three was you know, whatever you could buy at the store, and I just ended up returning the thing and dejected dejected, right? So you know, there's shame around not understanding money. There's fear. I think the biggest thing that I see. The Ray is the this fear of not wanting to make another mistake with my money. I don't want to part with my money because I'm afraid I might make another mistake. Like all the ones I made before. I mean, there can be anger when your boss passes you up for raise you. I mean, there's so many emotions around money. It's one of the most like I think tightly bound concepts to our emotions that there is right for sure. So I feel like we've painted the perfect picture for the audience showing them or kind of just highlighting the fact that the systems that were in their flawed. We're in a rat race that most of us are never going to escape maximalists have no plan for retirement. And if we do we probably don't understand that plans to the fullest now for those of us out here, which are one hundred percent of my listeners. Hopefully, we're looking for financial freedom. We want to find a way to go against the grain and start making our money work for a so but transition now to a solution. I mean, where does one start to begin just a mean be? I think the first episode Chikatilo where does win even even start looking when you start reading how you start just kind of getting into this. Maybe again, most people I want to make it as simple as possible because most people are not financial experts. Most people do not want to go on in really managed finances super tightly. So how can how can is there like a sweet spot to kinda start in a sweet spot to kind of manage it over time? I just want to walk walk us through the first few steps that you think I should take to start kinda sticky financial freedom. Well, I know you're. Episodes are Chuck full of awesome material on this one of my favorite things to think about is. What is what what do I want my money to do for me? That's probably the best first question to ask more. So than any label, you might put on your money. You know, if I if I had the choice between picking a golfer, Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods, whoever. If I had a choice between Tiger Woods golf clubs, and Tiger Woods golf swing. I'm gonna take swing every time. It's all year long. I want the I want the skill and went the strategy. I want the mindset I want the capacity more than I want his particular product. I want Stephen Curry's free throw shot more than I want his shoes. You know, if I could do that one is worth way more than the other. So why do I want my money to do for me is the best question? I think you could start with because in the sound it'll sound so obvious. I think just saying the words, but most people don't ask this question. Which is what do I want my money to do for me? Because where I put my money will make it do different things aware you put your money. We'll make do different things. A hedge fund is different than a savings account in terms of its risk and taxes and so much so much else. So, you know, one question I like to think through is if I only had one dollar put somewhere okay for all of life's needs. Whether it's an emergency or investing or retirement. What would I want that single dollar to do for me? And then I've got a list of about twenty four questions twenty five questions that I'll ask my clients. And it just helps us all kind of get on the same page. What do I want? If this make super-duper simple before we go jumping into real estate or before we go jumping into a mutual fund or anything else. What do I want my one dollar to do for me? And it'll help us know quite a bit about your risk tolerance. Your goals, your dreams, your emotions and so much else. So we could do that. If you want or you know, just if not on this episode take a few moments after this episode try that out for yourself do want risk with that dollar. Do you want penalties to access it? Do you want it to be protected? If you go through a God forbid a lawsuit. Do you wanna use it as collateral and leverage you want it to be tax free in retirement? Those are important questions to ask. And if you just kinda look at it from a one dollars perspective can be a helpful thought exercise if nothing else I love. So let me speak to the subset of listeners who are like derive. Mark all this is good and dandy. If I had some money, and I would start thinking about ways to invest that money and spend that money, but me personally, I'm in debt through the roof yet. What do how can I start? Or should I focus on paying off my debt? I what is your answer for those people. You know, someone asked me what was my biggest money mistake. And I guess my biggest money mistake was not realizing two things one. I am my own. Life's greatest asset you d'auray in every listener, you are your greatest asset in your portfolio. So if you're in debt up your eyeballs, the first thing to do is take your asset seriously. And do do what's right by educating and investing in yourself? And if you can do that, maybe that means getting a better income, maybe that means getting aside income for awhile. Maybe that means reading a book or listening to awesome podcast like before the millions. You know, whatever it is build up your own greatest asset. So that's the internal side of the equation on the financial planner side of the equation anew. Have a ton of debt. One of my biggest mistakes was just thinking that I could follow. Dave Ramsey snowball method and just pay those suckers off, and you lose all that money to the win for the rest of my life. So very very quickly. My story includes having a hundred twenty thousand dollars of student loan debt and no way to pay it off while the best thing we had, and it's better than no plan was snowball method, and that was just wiping out those debts throw an extra payments on the smallest one and then about halfway through that Durant. I started realizing will hey, I just. Through seventy thousand dollars into the wind that I'll never never see again. Not only will. I not see that seventy grand. But I'll never see all that money might have grown to had I invested or put it to work elsewhere. So that that's an expensive education. I love. I love bit. And I think I went through the exact same process a few years ago. I was like, okay. I was at a crossroads. I was like, okay. Do I pay off all of my debt now and have nothing to show for it? But have a clear conscience, which goes back to our emotional decisions. You know, some of us. I mean, that's what we need going back to pay off your house or going back to buying property free and clear that's an emotional decision. Right. So do I do that. So suffice. I mean, emotions in some cases, not a cases are going to Trump the financial decision that may make more sense just because you're comfortable with that. So I get that. Right. But in my position, I'll just like especially because I'm a numbers person. I was like why pay off all this debt and this debt has low interest or why invest at a higher interest rate and eventually come back to the set, and maybe even wipe it off in one fail swoop. And that's something that some people may be going through today right now. So I love the dry, but a touch on that because you're looking at it is that how you looking at it, basically. What what the interest on the debt is that that kind of where he warm with this. Yeah. Yeah. That and, you know, the long term overall financial picture, so the interest on the debt, and what you can get elsewhere in the arbitrage between them the way, we like to say, it is it's all one wallet. You know, meta guy wants to he made, you know, good money quarter million a year doctor, and he was very proud of his eight percent on his mutual funds. Okay. But he was spending. He he was spending almost a third of his income almost eighty thousand bucks a year on not just the principal. Only the interest on all of his debts was eighty grand a year. So, you know, think about number. So it's a one wallet. It's all one while we have we have one rate of return, and, you know, more important than just write a return as the control and the access and the use of the money. So we were putting all that money into a debt, and it's not like we could called up Sallie Mae and said, hey, can I have some of that back, please? I just had a flat tire or just had a medical emergency. I guess one of the things we really have learned lately is how important liquidity is like having a big bucket of money ready to go for emergencies and also opportunities like real estate purchases. So fall. My money is being thrown toward my debts. Those are dollars. I won't be able to access again. So goes back to what do I want my money to do for me for us from my wife, and I it was having a big bucket of cash that we could then fro at opportunities. Like starting this business, a real estate investing that sort of thing almost no that we've kind of covered this question in detail. But I know that they're probably so some listeners out there that are like, but I still wanna know like money what to do. And we'll get to that before that. Let's talk about the concept of banking on yourself. And I think you may have touched on this a little bit already. But I wanna kinda kinda open this up really quick. What's what's banking are yourself? How can one begin to back on themselves? Now ask you a secondary question. How do we involve real estate in that? But I what is banking on yourself. Yeah. Well, that it's essentially it's a concept. It's a mindset, first and foremost, so we use a particular mindset, and then apply it to certain tools in the financial universe. 'cause you know, you can't just have a mindset in chop down a tree need next to get the job done. Right. So the concept of Bank on yourself is learning to become your own source of financing. So what is better than Dave Ramsey's being debt free? You know, what's better than the snowball method will be in the banker is better than being debt free. You know, if I could collect interest rather than just not pay any. That's even better than paying everything cash. Right. If you think about it for just a minute and most people, including myself, don't everything you buy you, finance, whether you pay interest to a credit card or car loan or you pass up interest. You could run on the money because you paid cash and didn't give it invested, you know, few. If you've got ten grand in your savings account or hedge fund or 4._0._1._K or wherever and you withdraw that money out to go buy a car, or whatever how much interest is now earning on that money. Oh, it's not nothing. Right. It's gone. That was our problem with paying off our student loans the deal fashioned ways. I call it. The snowball method every dollar we sent to them was gone forever. And also gone was all the money could grown too. So by banking on ourselves. What we did. Instead was what what I affectionately call the snowbank method. All right. So, you know, plow a bunch of money into your own snow Bank. Right. And then take that money as alone to yourself and wipe out those Heskey student loans or credit cards or mortgage, even one by one. And all of a sudden, you're collecting the interests that you would have otherwise paid to banks credit cards finance companies, literally firing your banker and becoming your own source of financing one dead at a time this flips that dynamic on its head. And I know a lot of people are probably like, John, John like this all my goodness. This is amazing. And I've had a previous Gus on the shot to know if you're familiar with MC lobster. Yeah. Yeah. He he. Talks about some of these concepts in I mean, sometimes it goes over people's heads. But I listened to it. I was like this. This is a nice people to get this stuff this lowly. I'd appreciate another previous. That's her name is gentlemen, often going back to and I don't want to get it go down this path. But I want to so much to talk about the Federal Reserve the banking system how they may need what I mean is just so much. So for this episode because we're almost at the end, I just wanna keep it high level. Now, we talk about banking and yourself in doing some of the things that you're able to do once you start banking on yourself. I look at well, how can I put real estate amid equation and Emma? My my earlier early opinions are what I do. Now, like owner financing. That's being the Bank, you know, maybe things like like lease options or maybe private lending for fixers flippers and things like that. That is how you start being the banking start correcting interest. But I wanna get your point of view. What how how can we incorporate real estate in banking on yourself while sure out like I said it takes tool, and I think actually it takes a combination of tools. You know, a good golfer has a whole set. Club's not just one. So if you combine to financial products together, they sometimes don't work, but other times, it's like nitro glycerine, you know, when they're put together they're stronger than they would be alone. So real estate is strong. But when you tie it with other financial vehicles, you can get even stronger for number reasons. You know, what's the downsides to real estate's real estate investing? Well, there's problems with tenants not paying rent. There's a lot of costly HOA specials or the water heater blows or taxes going up. There's no guarantee that equity will be there. So how can we solve some of the problems with real estate make it even better and one of the things of of all financial vehicles. I've come across one of my favorites us with real estate is a little known variation on dividend pain whole life insurance of all things. So it's where you're using dividend paying whole life as your big cash. Reserve your warehouse of wealth, Mark, we might have to we may have to put this up out of out in. In charge for this episode because visit some good stuff like we might not have that we may not be able to relieve release district. But no, go ahead. Yeah. Yeah. Good. But yeah, I think the world needs to at least know that this is an option, you know. But yeah, the the point is if you put all this cash inside a contract, it's a business contract with the life insurance companies life insurance, but it's a business model rather than a Wall Street model, you know, if you put that money into a cash value policy that's designed correctly. It'll grow guaranteed on an annual precept basis it'll fro dividends on top of that every year the company's profitable. It gives you liquid access to that cash. Any reason there's no government restrictions. There's no, you know, it's not like you have to fill out a bunch of paperwork. It's your money. You get that money out. You can use it for real estate one of my favorite things to do is to use the cash value in the policy to pay property taxes to pay HOA specials to even buy properties as cash buyers. You can do that. I have a number of clients that use their cash value life insurance for bridge loves and get chrome. Just crazy. Just bonkers return. Earns because their policy is is liquid predictable cash is valuable no matter what the banks are doing. And then they just pull that money out in about three to five days, and they've got money ready to go for the cash purchase on that real estate or the bridge loan or owner financing. I mean, the list goes on and on so folks, take policy loans against their policy and then let the tenants back alone. Meanwhile, the policy keeps growing even on the money you take out. It's while it's like letting your money do two things at once. That's how we paid off our student loans. We're like heck, you know, we're gonna throw another six seventy grand at our student loan dead bite as well plough that money into a policy. I then Morrow against it. Bank on ourselves wipe out deli mate stuff. And now, we're repaying our policy loan to ourselves and get known as that is beautiful guys. I hope you're listening because this is fascinating stuff. And March we're going to have to probably bring bringing back on the kind of explain this. Give us one cherry on top to kind of have listeners walkway with an action item for this. Sure. I'll say one thing, and maybe one resource, you know, if you wanna learn more go to you know, there's tons of good and bad information out there. So, you know, I'll be shameless plug and say go check out our podcast, not your average financial podcast, they go. But if you just wanted to make sure that you're going in the right direction, the best quality standard, the stamp of approval that I've found because there's a lot of people out there with you know, they call it. Different things, and it can mean different things. Have you even seen people use like stock market than variable? Life insurance products calling it, you know, this product. But if it's built and designed by Bank on yourself authorized adviser, you know, that that adviser is working with the right company and designed it correctly. So you want to look for that quality standard like getting USDA organic on your food. You just kinda know that they've met all the requirements and it's done. It's being built the correct way. That's may be one resource and then one action item to check out is at the actual terminology Bank on yourself at the rised advisor. That's what they're really called. Yeah. Literally, that's what they're called. I next to my certified financial planner professional designation. It's the most intense training I've ever gone through took me about three and a half years to get that credential myself, and yeah, they put you through literally thousands of different scenarios, they put you under mentoring and tons of training. So, you know, if you're working with a Bank on yourself, author as visor, you know, that they've done enough work to. To build the policies correctly for folks. I love it. Well, Mark there's been simply spectacular. There's so many more questions that I have in my head. And I know the lifts wanna get to as well. So again, we'll have to bring you back on. But this is the last question in this round. But I want to end with I got this question from Tony Robbins book, many master the game. I just recently read it, and he asked this question to every single person he interviewed including right Allio. And the question is this all you could pass down to your kids was a concept. One single concept strategy to ensure that they will be financially. Okay. They will be financially wealthy. What would that concept? Be. Wow. It. I'd say that's a great question. But what I would say is hell, many friends could you call on at three AM, maybe not friends, but associates right people that you could call on at three AM when you were really truly in need because the person that has a number of people. He he or she could call on. On in need is directly determined on. How successful you'll be in business. So show me a person that has a number of people who are true confidence crew, you know, partners advocates people promoting you, and I'll show you someone who's going to be successful. No matter what they put their mind or life to lifestyle design, acceleration eggs. What is your favorite before the millions book, you know, one of my one of my favorites for before the millions is the fine year y book by Simon Sinek great book on getting past the what getting to the Y? So find your Y by Simon Sinek, what is your favorite lifestyle design app. This can be a business app or tool. I'll say the app calm. Great little app free. I think for it's been free for years to help you just think clearly and meditate if you need to and little thoughts and quotes to kind of get your heart mind, right? Love it. What do you enjoy? Most about the way your lifestyle is currently designed recently, I took off for a few weeks and came back in the business was more profitable than before I left, and that was a really good sign for me. Yeah. I want to see that continue where I'm actually slowing things down when I'm around here. Beautiful. I love it and talk about lifestyle design in general, just how you interact with your family, your kids amount of time and freedom that you have. Because of what you've created. You know, get say, you know, if you can find a new way to retire. I mean, Moses never retired. So where did that even come from the idea of retirement sounds like I'm being put up on the shelf somewhere? And I I really do. I think it came from the new deal, and I think it came from post World War Two, and we needed somewhere to to put all these out of place that factory workers. So I think we're living in an age where we can start rethinking what life looks like after the daily grind. And that might come as early as. Your early thirties. Maybe that's it fifty five years old or maybe that's still at sixty five or seventy if you need to. But I think the mindset of retirement is is taking many retirements in in. I lots of little one month here one month there and trying it out. I have so many people who say, well, I'm gonna move to Florida when I retire. Well, have you ever been to Florida? No, not really. So maybe try it out for a few months. Go live in Bolivia. If you wanna live there in retirement, see, how it feels and have those ally wait until this magical day if you can retire now, why not take advantage. That's what I love about financial independence and getting out of the rat race and using real estate to help with them. So and it's crazy because I mean, you'd think about the fact that the even the concept of retirement is a brand new concept like that just blows me. I'm just like, man. And then you think about the fact that the average person that goes into retirement or retires like hits. No, they're passing is not not too long after they retired. But you see these people that work through their senior years, and they are lively they are healthy. And they are I mean, they can't even tell like there's no they're all, but it's based on this concept, and I I used to tell me blast outgoing vice Tobin like, oh, like, I'm retired. You know, and it always put a bad taste like how are you retired? Like, you shouldn't be retired. And as making sense, I'm like, well, I mean, I work I work alive. But I don't consider what I do work. You know, I'm talking to people. I'm encouraging people on helping people. I'm getting you know, sellers out of bad situations. I'm helping tenants. Find homes like I'm having fun. I retired as soon as I left corporate America. But I still work. So I think about the fact that retire me and not doing anything, you will slowly you will live wither away as fast as possible, not even slowly you will whether ROY awful the minute you retire. So when my my version of retirement is doing what you must of us guys, you know, not not not working but doing what you love. Okay. That's great. What were the sacrifices that? You knew you had to make before the millions to get to where you are today to be honest. I had to sacrifice my own ego that this business had to rely on me is long as the ego is the driving force of your business or your your financial plan. If it's all about you. It'll never be much as hard truth. I had to learn for myself, and that's probably. Keep learning the best lessons you have to keep learning over and over and over again, but I'd say if I got to financial independence, but my wife and daughter didn't want to hang around me. That's not truly free. You know, I want to be the kind of person that not only are we out of the rat race. But we actually enjoy being around each other at the same time. So it's not just about the number of your Bank account. It's about the kind of person are becoming all along the way. And I guess that's the the biggest realization and the biggest I guess the hurdle that we had to I had to jump over was that. Yeah. If I make my business all about me and dependent on me. It's it's about my ego. It's not about becoming financially free. Even just thinking about that statement in certain scenarios, and this is just me I would make so whenever there's something wrong in my business. I put one hundred percent onus on me. One hundred percent. Like, it doesn't matter. What it was? It was a matter of had nothing to do with the situation. And that's why I am. We're not gonna go into and that, but that's just primarily because you can do something about it. If you're the ones to buy you can immediately take action, if if you if you put the blame on somebody else, there's there's nothing you can do because you're not in control. And I love that now fit things that happened when my teen could stuff they get all the price. You know? So that's the that's the entrepreneurial journey here. You're going to have to all the bad. But the good you give it away as soon as possible right up froze up hill. That's the that's the truth. I'll just call it stuff. Right. Okay. Okay last. This is not the last one. But seconds alas who was essential to your growth for the millions of my wife. I mean, I hate to be cliche there. But she got me out of my employees mindset, and even helped me out of the small business. Sooner mindset, she's constantly helping me think different about life money what we wanna do our future. So she she brought the courage. She brought the the sea legs to walk out of, you know, corporate America and out of your typical nine to five and into something much better. So got to give up her. You know, I'm a go wife. She sounds last. But not least why do you think so many of us are stuck before the millions even though we have every intention of getting to the millions? Well, yeah, the fish is the last to notice the water. The fish is the last to notice the water, meaning everyone else can see that that fish is wet. But the fish itself, we grow up in it. We think about it. You know, we just got to always be this way. You know, we've been talking about how retirements at new idea the 4._0._1._K hasn't even got it's, you know, it's golden watch retirement yet. So where do we get the idea that it's always been this way? Well, it's because the fish is the last notice the water you can if you can raise your level. You know, there's a there's an old story where I actually it's it's a video on YouTube. Check this out it's called escaping the lid, I think it's on YouTube. And if you watch it, it's like a minute long video of experiment where this the scientists throws a bunch of fleas in a jar. Then puts a lid on the jar. Later that take away the jar and the fleas are still jumping in that jar shape. Even though there's no jar there anymore. The fleas are still there and when the fleas reproduce, even their offspring will never jump beyond the confines lid and the jar. That's what gets me. I mean, I'm like, wow. Get get me free break me out of that jar. And so I guess that's what keeps us from breaking through before millions love. And that's that's I mean, I heard that story before that's that's the perfect parallel to just kind of show what we're in. I mean again, reiterate what you said because I don't know if a lot of everybody was able to catch that. But you have a jar that has laid and the fleas are in that jar and they're fighting to get out of that jar. They're hitting the top of that lead constantly, and eventually they just give up so think about your life think about what you're doing. Eventually they're just like this is not working. I can't get out. I can't break free. So when you remove that laid because their use of this lifestyle, and this is really good because there. A used to those confinements. Ever to try to break out of that lit again. And then their children who have never had that experience. See what mom and dad does. And they're not even going to attempt to go that high right? Okay. Listen, this has been amazing Mark. And I've had a whole lot of fun on this episode. If the listeners wanted to get a hold learn a little bit more about you plug in some every information where can we find you? Well, I'll give a resource again. It's not your average financial podcast. If anybody wants to learn more about the work with you check the couple of those episodes down if you want to chat with me, add be very honored and happy to chat with anyone from your audience. And if you click request a meeting and just make a mention in your appointment there. I'll I'll do a fifteen minute phone consultation with you. And if you'd like to be happy to chat with anyone here, and those that do if you make sure to right before the millions or right to raise name in the notes of the appointment, then I'll be sure to send a free copy of my most recent book that we just published over the summer. But which is about how to fire your banker so happy to send that hump laments of trae. Nice nice. I love it. And thank you so much for that for my audience. We appreciate that. And that will be in the show notes as well. So definitely take advantage of that. Well, Mark like, I said this has been phenomenal LaSalle great to have you on the show, and we will talk to you, Gary very soon. My pleasure, man. Thanks for having me on.