My Worst Investment Ever Podcast

By Dr. Andrew Stotz

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The mission of My Worst Investment Ever Podcast is to share stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.  Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research, a company that provides institutional and high net worth investors with ready-to-invest stock portfolios that aim to beat the benchmark through superior stock selection. To find more stories like this, previous episodes, and resources to help you reduce your risk visit

Episode Date
Shan Saeed – Start Investing as Early as You Can
18:57 (Shan Saeed) is Chief Economist at Juwai IQI, a leading property, technology, and investment company operating and advising clients in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, Makati, Toronto, and Dubai. He has 20 years of financial market experience in private banking, risk and compliance management, commodity investments, global economy, and brand and business strategy. Based in Kuala Lumpur, he is a financial market commentator cited in various news outlets around the world. Shan graduated from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and got his first MBA from IBA Pakistan in collaboration with the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also trained in Alternative Banking/Strategies from Harvard Business School.   “In order to be successful in your life, you need to work hard, have an abiding faith in Almighty God, and lastly, which I strongly believe in, your mother’s blessing.” Shan Saeed   Worst investment everShan was always impressed by his mom’s investing acumen. She had started investing in gold from the time when Shan was a kid. When Shan finished his first MBA in 1999, his mom encouraged him to read about gold and oil. However, Shan was not interested. At the time, Shan was focusing on his career and getting his second MBA. So he was saving money for that. Finally getting round to investingThe price of gold had been going up steadily since 1971. In 1971 gold prices were trading at $35 per troy ounce, and in 1980 it was $850. The price went down in 2001 to $257 per ounce. But in 2011, the price hit $1,923. Even though Shan had been keeping an eye on gold and knew how lucrative it was, he did not start investing until 2007. That was pretty late, and he was indeed behind the curve. Shan’s worst investment was the ignorance that saw him miss out on some good returns from gold for at least six to seven years. Lessons learnedSave to investAs soon as you start working, you should allocate 10 to 20% of your saving to investing. Cut down your expenses and save that money. Understand the market before you start investingBefore you start investing, you must first understand the market. So do your homework and get your market intelligence report. When you get to know the market well, you will be able to choose your investments wisely. Understand your risk profile and have an exit strategyUnderstand your risk profile and your risk-reward ratio. And most importantly, you need to have an exit strategy. Andrew’s takeawaysPut aside a specific amount of money for investingYou have to be very intentional with your investment plan. Make it a habit to save by putting aside a certain amount. Do not use it for anything else other than investing. Whether it is 5% or 10%, or 20% of your salary, allocate it to investing in stocks, gold, property, or bonds. Then manage your portfolio slowly and steadily over time. Actionable adviceBe aggressive, gather as much information about the financial market as you can. Listen to people’s ( advice about investing), but make your own decision. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsShan’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to take a long position in gold and silver, be very aggressive in the market, and keep himself up to date.   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Shan Saeed (LinkedIn) (Twitter) (Website) Andrew’s books (How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing
Jan 14, 2021
Jonathan Palmar – The Reward of Seeking Approval Is Zero
26:01 (Jonathan Palmar) makes videos.   “People will always disappoint you because your expectations will never match what they provide you with.” Jonathan Palmar   Worst investment everEver seeking approvalLike most people, Jonathan grew up believing that he needed to trust in the constant search for other people’s approval. As is human nature, Jonathan wanted to fit into the pack. He found himself often wanting people to give him the validation that he was going on the right path. The nagging need to be validatedJonathan’s need for approval sometimes got pretty dramatic. He would often put himself in gravely uncomfortable situations. There was this one time that Jonathan wanted to complete this project so badly. He put his heart and soul into this project because he wanted his boss to be happy. When he finally went to present it, his boss responded nonchalantly and tossed it to the side. Getting to his breaking pointJonathan was devastated by the reaction he received from his boss so much that it threw him to his breaking point. He realized that he had put all this time into the project, and he ought to be proud of himself. Jonathan also admitted that he would always get disappointed if he kept trying to get people to validate him. Adjusting his expectations of othersAfter this incident, Jonathan learned that he had wasted so much money and time ( searching for validation from people). Now he has stepped out of this kind of thinking. He lives his life without seeking approval from anyone, including his friends, family, coworkers, and audience. Lessons learnedOutward approval brings you zero rewardThere is no reward in searching for approval or doing things to get acceptance from other people. Stop seeking validation from others and be your number one cheerleader. You need to invest more in yourself and not other peopleWe need to focus more on building ourselves up and investing in ourselves instead of on building others. Partner with someone who gives as much as they takeFind somebody you can work with within a balanced partnership in which the give and take are equal. If you find yourself in a situation where the amount of effort that you are putting to get validation is not equal to the outcome that your partner provides you with, then you need to leave. Andrew’s takeawaysWhat other people think of you is none of your businessBe comfortable with the fact that this is your life, your decision, and your thinking. Some people are going to like it, and some won’t. But that is their problem. So have the courage to live your life, and do your things without getting concerned with what people think about you. Actionable adviceYou have to polish your diamond. Nurture yourself as an investment. Take the time to look introspectively and figure out what is important to you, and then have the courage to act on it. You cannot start to love and care for people until you begin to love and care for yourself. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsJonathan’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to live a day at a time and not plan a single moment. Parting words  “This wasn’t the worst podcast I’ve ever been on. So I consider this a success story.” Jonathan Palmar   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Jonathan Palmar (LinkedIn) Andrew’s books (How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market) (My Worst Investment...
Jan 13, 2021
Dale Dupree – Do Not Be Tricked Into Taking Shortcuts to Riches
26:23 (Dale Dupree) is leading a sales rebellion against the mediocre ways of the status quo in order to put people over products, community over commissions, experiences over performing a pitch, and fellowship over negotiations.   “If you miss it at 30, and you don’t find it until 60, it’s okay. Being patient with your outcomes is what’s most important instead of trying to force them.” Dale Dupree   Worst investment everWhen Dale was 23 years old, he had ambitions to become a rockstar. He rubbed elbows with big names in the industry, such as Lou Pearlman, a well-known record producer. Meet the who is who in the music industryOne day, Dale got invited to Pearlman’s mansion for a hangout with the who is who in the industry. He was elated to receive the invite because this was his chance to network with the music industry big wigs. The enticing investment opportunityWhile at the mansion, Pearlman and other big wigs from Warner Brothers, Sony, and Universal Records did a video presentation of a product similar to Spotify where a user could access any album they wanted at a subsidized rate. Now in 2007, this was huge. The big wigs invited those in attendance to invest in the product. One could choose to invest $50,000, $20,000 or $10,000. Dale liked the idea. Here comes the pyramid schemeAfter signing up for the investment, Dale got informed that he had to get 10 of his friends to sign up underneath him, and all their sales would level him up. Then came the wait for returns. A year later, Dale had made nothing. Two years later, he still had not seen any return on his investment. Eventually, in 2012 the scheme was shut down by the government. Dale never made anything from this investment. Lessons learnedJust because someone has a big name does not mean that they are credibleBe careful when investing in something just because someone famous has endorsed it. Just because a big wig has put their name on something does not give it credibility. Just because a celebrity says you should do something does not mean that you should. Always do your due diligence. We control our outcomes much better than other people canNever believe in a scheme that tells you to sit back, relax, and have other people make you money. If you want to be rich, you have to work hard. Do not depend on luck. Making smart, intentional decisions and being very aware of what you are doing will create the wealth you desire, not joining pyramid schemes. Andrew’s takeawaysKnow the difference between multi-level marketing and Ponzi schemesThere is a fine line between multi-level marketing and pyramid/Ponzi schemes. A Ponzi scheme involves getting paid out from what other people are paying, while multi-level marketing involves real products and services. There are legitimate multi-level marketing methods of distributing products. However, a pyramid scheme is illegal. It is, therefore, vital that you know the difference between the two. You do not want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law. There is no legal fast way of making moneyIt takes time to make money. You have to invest it and let it grow slowly and compound. Do not go looking for shortcuts. Question the motivation behind every opportunity offered to youEverybody who is approaching you with an opportunity is doing so from a financial incentive perspective. Nothing wrong with that as it is just business. Whether they are a salesperson, or an entrepreneur selling a dream, they will be motivated by some financial incentive. Understand that incentive so that you can make a better decision. If those incentives are not stated clearly or are hard to figure out, or someone denies that they have some financial incentive, then take that as a warning sign. Actionable adviceThere is so much fakeness out there, be very careful about what you perceive to be real. If you cannot touch it, feel it, see it, or believe it, it is not real. Make the right...
Jan 12, 2021
Chris Tate – Time Is Precious, Invest It
26:42 (Chris Tate) is one of the first people to ever release a share trading book in Australia. He is the best-selling author of ( The Art of Trading) and ( The Art of Options Trading in Australia). He’s been running the 6-month repeat-for-free ( Mentor Program) since the year 2000, and he’s also the founder of the ( Talking Trading podcast), a free weekly trading podcast. With a background as an immunologist and his previous work as a bouncer, Chris’s life experiences will amaze you. When he’s not hanging out with his traders, he can be seen lifting weights at the gym, enjoying yoga, and trying to get a personal best time on his rowing machine in his garage.   “Time is more important than money because money can be replaced; time cannot.” Chris Tate   Worst investment everChris began his career as an immunologist and had a profession in academia mapped out for himself. However, he started to trade in the 80s bull market in Australia. Chris made the mistake of thinking that because everything he bought succeeded, he was somewhat a genius. When his luck stopped, Chris thought he should learn about trading. He figured stockbrokers know best about stocks. Joining a broking firmChris conned his way into a broking firm based on the fact that his background is reasonably quantitative. Derivatives were beginning to take off in Australia, and he seemed to have an affinity for understanding them. Stockbrokers know squat about tradingAs soon as Chris joined the broking firm, he learned that stockbrokers knew nothing about trading. He found out the person sitting opposite him had been selling shoes two weeks beforehand, and the person sitting next to him had been selling carpets. Chris quickly learned that broking was a sales profession and not of analysis and execution. Making the best of what he had learnedNow that Chris had realized that brokers would never teach him how to trade, he had to make the most of his situation. He was still working for a brokerage anyway. Chris noted that being in a dealing room gave him access to information he did not have before. It also gave him access to a trading floor that helped him understand ebbs and flows very quickly. Chris also got to understand the cyclical nature of emotion that drives price. And so he thought he could marry his access to information and the trading floor together. Chris spent many years as a broker taking the opportunities presented to him to hone his skills. There was an easy and quick way to learn about tradingIn hindsight, working in the brokerage for so long was his worst investment ever because he just burned time, not knowing that time is precious. He now realizes that he did not think through the problem well. Chris’s problem was his desire to learn how to trade, and instead of going back to school and take a degree in Finance, he went to ( work for a brokerage). A Master’s degree would have taken him between 18 months and two years, and it would have given him different connections within the industry. Lessons learnedTime is precious invest it wiselyTime, unlike money, cannot be replaced. Therefore invest your time wisely. You can make more money should you lose it, but once your time is gone, that is it. There are many opportunities to make money. But no option or scheme grants you time. Take risks when you are youngIt is best to take risks and make mistakes when you are young because you still have time to recover and learn from your mistakes. Andrew’s takeawaysIf you want to learn about trading, go to a trader, not a brokerBrokers are simply salespeople who package ideas for...
Jan 11, 2021
Benjamin Quinlan – Investing in Cryptocurrency? Do Your Research First
20:51 (Benjamin Quinlan) is the CEO and Managing Partner of ( Quinlan & Associates). He is also the Chairman of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong, an Adjunct Professor at the AIT School of Management, a Mentor for PingAn’s Cloud Accelerator, a Guest Contributor for eFinancialCareers and Regulation Asia, and a Senior Advisor to many leading startups in the region. He was previously the Head of Strategy for Deutsche Bank’s equities business in the Asia Pacific and its Investment Bank in Greater China. He has also worked at UBS, Oliver Wyman, and PwC.   “You’ve got to be in the game and not on the sidelines; otherwise, you are never going to get involved to the degree you need to make things work for you.” Benjamin Quinlan   Worst investment everInvesting in cryptocurrency with all the hypeIn 2017, there was all this hype going on around cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin was literally on the financial news headlines every day. As a strategic consultant, Benjamin likes to put a lot of data and thought behind how he looks at new opportunities and new developments, particularly in the financial services industry. So Benjamin deployed his team and tasked them with cracking this new cryptocurrency. His focus was on learning what this ecosystem was all about and the real value of this very elusive Bitcoin that everyone kept referring to. Finding a way to value BitcoinAs Benjamin and his team tried to crack Bitcoin, they realized that nobody knew its worth. Analysts in the market said it was worth zero, while the people ( rushing to invest in Bitcoin) were saying it was worth a million. But they were all in agreement about one thing; there were zero methodologies and approaches to valuing Bitcoin. The team sat down and worked out how to value this new currency. The team came up with four different methodologies. Every single method pointed to the fact that this was a massive speculative bubble. Sharing his report with the marketBenjamin and his team concluded that Bitcoin was just a speculative investment that would plummet in no time. At the time of Benjamin’s research, the price of Bitcoin was around $20,000. In Benjamin’s report, he predicted that the price of Bitcoin at the end of 2018 would be $1,800. By the end of the year, it hit $3,100. Claim to fameBloomberg cited Benjamin’s report as the most accurate crypto forecaster in the world. The report got so much coverage around the world and even made it into Quora and Reddit. The advice he had but never tookOne day, Benjamin was on international TV, CNBC, and the anchor asked him, “So Benjamin, given all of your research and analysis and thought process, are you shorting Bitcoin?” He said, “No, we do not. Because as an independent consulting firm, we do not get involved in the investment side.” Benjamin watched as Bitcoin continued to plummet throughout the year and could not help but think about the amount of money he could have made from backing the advice he and his team were so confident of. But alas, he did not do it. It would have been great to put his money where his mouth is. Lessons learnedThe success of any investment lies in thorough researchWhen considering an investment, including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, do thorough research first. Do not just look at technicals and theories. You need to look at what is going on in the broader market too. Back your thought process with convictionYou will not always get everything you do right but no matter what happens, always back up your decisions with conviction. If you strongly believe that your decision is right, then stick by it. Andrew’s takeawaysTake a small position and grow it over timeJust because your gut tells you to do something does not mean you have to go all in. Invest just a little
Jan 10, 2021
Ric Franzi – Always Invest in Appreciating Assets
Born and bred in a small coal mining and steel mill town in Western Pennsylvania, ( Ric Franzi) moved to California after graduating with a B.A. in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh. While in Southern California, he continued his education by attaining his MBA from Pepperdine University. Ric is the host of the ( Critical Mass Radio Show & Podcast) and an author of ( three books) and frequently speaks to CEOs and business owners. He has been featured on Forbes, INC, CNBC, and many others.   “When you emotionally want something, it is amazing how you can mentally rationalize that it makes sense.” Ric Franzi   Worst investment everRic and his wife had family friends whom they had known for a very long time. The friends had a son, Henry, who was one of two co-founders of the company Broadcom. The company is a very well recognized chip manufacturer. The couple has known Henry forever, and they trusted him. Henry had started other successful businesses, and so they knew him to be a successful entrepreneur. Getting the first chance to invest in their friend’s startup companyRic and his wife got a chance to buy shares into Broadcom at a family and friends rate. Being the cautious investor he is, Ric called his broker and talked to him about the idea of investing in Broadcom. The broker told him that he did not have to but that the shares were three times higher than the price he could buy them. With that advice, he made up his mind to purchase the shares. Selling their shares to build a poolBroadcom was doing well, and so Ric was quite delighted with the decision they had made. After a while, the couple decided to build a pool and do some modernization to their house. Since the couple had made enough money on the Broadcom stock, they decided to sell it and use that money to finance the project rather than getting a second mortgage. So they took the gains off the table and spent it on something that they wanted. The couple spent tons of time in that pool with their growing children and made lots of family memories. Leaving money on the tableWhile building a pool and improving their house was a fantastic personal decision, selling their stock too early saw the couple lose a lot of money. The Broadcom shares continued to appreciate. Ric was pained to realize that they had made a very foolish financial decision by selling an appreciating asset to get a depreciating one. Lessons learnedDo not sell an appreciating asset to buy a depreciating oneDo not buy depreciating assets, especially if you have to sell an appreciating asset. It never works out well. Also, do not overbuy depreciating assets. Seek the assistance of a financial advisor whenever you need to sell your investmentsIf you have an urgent need for cash and the only way to raise it is to sell your investments, then ( consult a financial advisor) and figure out how to minimize the drain on your finances. Do not let emotions take control of your decisions. Have someone who can offer you uncompromised adviceHave someone trusted who will advise and reason with you without any emotions involved whenever you want to make financial and investment decisions. Andrew’s takeawaysPeople miss opportunities every day. So do not beat yourself upIt is painful to look back at the opportunities that we miss. The best way to deal with the emotion of that is to remember that everyone has missed many other opportunities. Test things out with a small positionWhen you encounter a stock whose price goes up or down, take a small amount of that stock and sell it or buy it depending on the price’s direction. Actionable adviceSolicit outside advice from people who have no vested interest
Jan 07, 2021
Pete Lonton – Stick With Your Successful Property Investment Model
34:34 (Mighty Pete Lonton) from the ( Fire In The Belly) show is an author, soon to be TEDx speaker (Jan 2021), podcast host, mentor, entrepreneur, property investor, husband, and father of three beautiful girls. Pete’s background is in project management and property, but his true passion is the ‘Fire In The Belly’ show and project. His mission is to help others find their potential and become the mightiest version of themselves. Pete openly talks about losing both of his parents, suffering periods of depression, business downturn, burn-out, and ultimately his years spent not stoking ‘Fire In The Belly.’ In 2017, at 37.5 years of age, that changed, and he is now on a journey of learning, growing, accepting, and inspiring others.   “Not everything that shimmers is gold. Just because it looks good and it smells good doesn’t mean it is good.” Pete Lonton   Worst investment everPete started investing in property 20 years ago in his early 20s. It has always been something that has worked for him in the background. Pete, over time, came up with a very successful ( property investment model) that was super simple. The model looked for a 10% growth yield that brought a return on investment in three years. Pete retained the asset but would add value to it or buy an undervalued property and get it back up to value. Exploring new opportunitiesPete had the opportunity to meet somebody who was a much bigger investor than him. The man was heading towards retirement, and his portfolio was about ten times the size of Pete’s portfolio. The man wanted to offload his portfolio, and Pete saw an opportunity to grow his portfolio. The two gentlemen quickly grew on each other and had a good rapport. Sizing up the opportunityPete got invited to go and take a look at the properties with a view of potentially doing a deal. One particular property stood out as a good investment opportunity. The Gulf Open was coming to a location in Northern Ireland, and as a result, accommodation was under severe demand. The property could be developed into a guest house, or it could be knocked down and built into ten apartments. The property, therefore, had both short term and long term potential. The universe bending to make this happenThe deal was a five-year lease, with an agreement to buy. So that gave Pete five years of a head start on the lease agreement. The sale price to be paid in five years was pre-agreed on the commitment to sell and for Pete to buy. With this kind of arrangement, financing the deal would not be a problem for Pete. Contracts were drawn in just a matter of days, and everything seemed to be moving along pretty fast. The pressure to close the deal was on. One little issueEverything seemed to be right with this deal except one thing—it went against his property investment model. Pete started feeling off about the whole deal, and he decided to run it through someone else who would look at it with fresh eyes. Pete assembled his family, friends, and colleagues, took them to the property, and asked them for their feedback. They were all against the deal. Their reaction came as a huge shocker for Pete but was also a big wake up call. Backing out of an agreementFortunately, Pete had not signed the deal yet though they had had a gentleman’s handshake. Pete felt guilty about having to back out of the deal, but he had to protect himself from making his worst investment ever. Lessons learnedStick to your investment modelDo not let anyone rush you into a deal, especially if it goes against your investment model. Take time to make significant decisionsBefore you make a major decision, sleep on it, and give it some more thought. You never have to make a decision right away. Not everything that shimmers is goldJust because it looks good and it smells good does not...
Jan 06, 2021
Andrew Stotz - 49 Incredible Life Lessons I learned in 2020 from 26 Extraordinary People
Best of 2020 Podcast Episodes Roundup“Hello, fellow risk-takers, and welcome to My Worst Investment Ever,” that’s how I start every one of the 300+ My Worst Investment Ever Podcast episodes I have recorded. Below are some of the highlights from the 170 people I interviewed in 2020. One of the things that makes the investors, businessmen and women, and experts who come on the show extraordinary is their willingness to share their worst investment with the world. Most people I ask to go on the show say, “No, thank you.” The good news for you is that you don’t have to experience their loss. Listen and absorb the lessons they teach. Whether you’re an experienced investor or just starting your investment journey, these podcasts can give you a different investment perspective and expand your knowledge. To get straight to the lessons, just click here and download my one-page cheat sheet. (Ep250: Stephen Kalayjian – The Key to Success in Trading Is to Have Discipline) (Stephen Kalayjian) is a Chief Market Strategist and co-founder of ( Ticker Tocker). He has decades of experience trading stocks, futures, currencies and has traded nearly 2 billion shares. Steve shared how, in his youth, he used his hard-earned money to buy 550 calls and assumed that stocks only went higher (they don’t). Key takeawaysDiscipline is the key to success It’s better to admit you are wrong; than to lose all your money Know when to continue or quit a specific investment (Ep248: Karen Foo – Risk Management Is the Key to Success in Forex) (Karen Foo) is a motivational speaker, financial trainer, and author. She has ranked #1 in a Singapore nationwide Forex trading competition. You can find her on her ( YouTube channel). Karen shared how she lost her savings when she invested in forex and unit trusts without guidance and research. Key takeawaysRisk management is the key to long-term success Seek out mentors who are experts in what you want to learn Write out your investment plan before investing Do your research, ask more questions than you answer (Ep279: James Jani – You May Gain the Right Skills From the Wrong Path) (James Jani) is a YouTube Expert and Vlogger, who creates thought-provoking documentaries on ( YouTube) about Business, Money, and Life. James shared his story of investing years of his life into acting without success, only to realize later acting wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Key takeawaysBe brave to follow your purpose in life, no matter what. The skills you gain from every experience combine to help you create value in the future. (Ep249: Chris Mayer – Build a List of 5 Quality Companies and Enter at the Next Market Fall) (Chris Mayer) is the co-founder and portfolio manager of the ( Woodlock House Family Capital fund). He has authored four books, including ( 100 Baggers: Stocks that Return 100-to-1 and How to Find Them), ranked 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon with 290 reviews. You can follow him on ( Twitter). Chris’s worst investment story happened when he bought cheap companies while disregarding what
Jan 05, 2021
Larry Levine – Your Tragedy Could Be the Story That Brings You Success
42:55 (Larry Levine) is the best-selling author of ( Selling from the Heart) and the co-host of the ( Selling from the Heart Podcast). In a post trust sales world, Larry Levine helps sales teams leverage the power of authenticity to grow revenue, grow themselves, and enhance their clients’ lives. Larry has coached sales professionals across the world, from tenured reps to new millennials entering the salesforce. They all appreciate the practical, real, raw, relevant, relatable, and “street-savvy” nature of his coaching. Larry is not shy when it comes to delivering his message. In a world full of empty suits, Larry is passionate about helping sales reps succeed by helping them to uncover their true value before they get visible. Larry is leading a revolution of authenticity, integrity, and substance in the sales profession.   “If you can self reflect, become self-aware of who you are, and work on the inner part of who you are, you, it fills your outer success.” Larry Levine   Worst investment everLarry helped start a company in LA in 1994. In 2000 he bought into the company that went on to expand rapidly. Wanting to explore more optionsIn 2012, Larry started feeling that it was time for him to move on. His work environment had become too toxic and dysfunctional. It was time for Larry to explore other options. In 2013, Larry sold his shares of the company, and after about eight months, he left the company for good. Starting afreshAfter working for almost 20 years with the same company where he poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, Larry made a career decision to go somewhere else. This time he decided to go to a large corporation. He was now a newbie in one of the biggest corporate firms in LA. Larry was number 18 on an 18 person corporate account team. To prove himself, Larry got an exorbitantly high quota for the year. For 90 days, it was a rough roller coaster for him but, Larry took everything he had learned, put his best foot forward, and rose in one year from number 18 to number two. He managed to bring in a million and a half dollars of brand new business. The biggest let down of his lifeIn the spring of 2015, at 50 years old, Larry was fired. For the first time, he found himself without a job. Losing his job was the worst rejection Larry had ever had in his whole life, and it hit him so bad. He cried for days. Now he had to figure out what to do with himself at 50 years old. Trusting himself to start his own businessLarry had to figure out what to do next because he had a family to take care of. He started tapping into his networks right away. A few days later, Larry’s close friend called him and suggested that he becomes a sales coach and trainer. Larry thought about his friend’s advice and realized that he could do it. But he was afraid of disappointing his dad. However, Larry decided to give it a shot. The plan was to be the best coach ever and make his dad proud. Building a successful coaching businessLarry started to coach office technology reps. He wore his emotions on his sleeves, connected deeply, and built meaningful relationships with his clients. He built a successful coaching business based on everything he had learned over the years. Lessons learnedReinvent yourself and learn from your mistakesWhether you made a horrible career investment or a bad financial investment, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep pushing forward. You are capable of doing a lot more than you think; just believe in yourselfIf you believe in yourself, you will see that you can do a lot more than you ever thought you could. Trust yourself to be great. Andrew’s takeawaysBe comfortable with facing resistance. It will propel you to greatnessEmbrace resistance, disasters, frustration, and emotions. It is this resistance that forces you to change and...
Jan 04, 2021
Robert Ramos – There Is More to a Good Stock Than Just Numbers
19:22 (Dr. Robert B. Ramos, CFA, CAIA, CIPM), completed his undergraduate degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. He finished one master’s degree in Business Management from the Asian Institute of Management and the second one in Business Economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific. And to top that off completed his doctoral degree from De La Salle University. Robert has more than 20 years of banking and finance experience working for both Philippine and foreign institutions. He has experience in the fields of trust and asset management, product development, treasury trading, fund management, marketing, and relationship management. He is currently the First Senior Vice-President and Group Head of RCBC Trust and Investments Group. Robert is a CFA Charterholder, a CAIA Charterholder, a CIPM Certificant, and the current President of the ( CFA Society of the Philippines).   “The thing that made you a star may not work in the next few years. So be ready to adapt, not only from a firm management standpoint but also from a people management standpoint.” Robert Ramos   Worst investment everAround 2013 Robert was promoted to the head of investments and business development. He took pride in being able to select undervalued stocks. Robert would choose firms that had a good story and a massive upside. For the past seven years, this had worked very well to the point where many of the funds managed by the firm were in the upper tier. In a continued effort to grow the fundOne of Robert’s best analysts brought a good stock in the power industry to his attention. The stock was undervalued and had fantastic growth potential. Robert looked at the numbers, and he was impressed. This firm was just the best. Not only did they have great numbers, but good management too. Having a piece of the pieRobert was satisfied that this was the best stock to buy. So the firm went ahead and decided to buy a 13% stake. Watching the stockThe stock was performing well a few days after buying it. But after about three months, it started slowing down. In about six months, the stock started dipping. Initially, the decline in value of the stock was not so much that it would cause panic, but it was enough for Robert to notice. However, he believed that the numbers he had seen when evaluating the stock would save it once people saw its value. A downward spiralIn the eighth month, the stock started dipping more and more. Now everyone, including fund managers, was taking notice. In the ninth month, clients started calling because this fund that was doing so well for them suddenly was not doing well. Now the tables had turned. The stock expected to outperform the rest was the one bringing the fund down. Eventually, Robert had to sell that position. That stock remains as Robert’s worst investment ever. Lessons learnedNumbers are not the only thing that determines the value of a good stockNumbers are great, but sometimes they will lie to you. Go beyond numbers when evaluating a good stock. Check out other factors too, including management, illiquidity, the number of analysts covering the stock, and the number of people looking at the stock daily. Selling your underperforming position does not mean you are a failureUnderstand that selling a poorly performing position does not make you a failure. You have to be able to separate yourself and your actions to be able to move accordingly. If you fall in love with your position, then you fall into the trap of throwing in good money into bad money and making a problem even worse than it is. Andrew’s takeawaysBuild a position slowly, over timeBuilding a position over time is an exceptional risk management tool because it removes the excitement of owning it all. You can put your emotions aside and observe how the position performs over time, and you can increase it when you deem...
Jan 03, 2021
Kevin Maloney – You Don’t Have a Product Until You Get Paying Customers
43:21 (Kevin Maloney) is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience in business development, marketing, operations, and finance with early to the mid-stage consumer, media, technology, and real estate companies. He has led more than 1,000+ early mid-stage investor presentations, conducted 100+ corporate and institutional roadshows, and raised more than $90M+ in capital for a dozen early-stage companies.   “It doesn’t matter what you or your science team think. Just innovate and iterate quickly based on customer feedback.” Kevin Maloney   Worst investment everAt the age of 29, Kevin connected with some scientists working on a process to produce nanomaterials. These are very tiny metallic powders. Kevin saw the potential this technology had, so he raised $100,000 to support the development of this technology. Building one of a kind productKevin gathered the best of the best people in the industry to work on this product that would be a gamechanger. He also surrounded himself with the best mentors. The team went on to develop a high-class product. Kevin raised the first amount of capital, proved the concept, filed patents, and launched his product in 2003. Then he started engaging with a few large potential partners and potential early customers. Struggling to get paying customers for his incredible productKevin believed that if you build an incredible product, then customers will come. He was so wrong. It was an uphill task to get customers to buy his product. Kevin had wanted to start engaging customers while the product was still an idea, but his scientists insisted that he waits until they had a finished product. Kevin missed Energizer’s opportunity to engage and commit to his project because he waited to have a finished product. No money, no businessKevin’s product was not bringing in any substantial income, and he could barely raise enough capital to continue working on it. He was technically running an R&D company with great technology, looking for applications. Eventually, Kevin ran out of money. He had spent over $35 million on this project. He ended up selling the technology to a public company and got an offer for about $10 million in equity. Lessons learnedEngage customers as early as possibleEngage customers and get them to buy in as early as when your product is just a vision. Do not wait for a finished product to start engaging customers. The earlier you start doing it in your product development cycle, the better. It is easier to raise money on a passionate visionStart selling your product as soon as it is a vision; do not wait until you have a finished product. Selling a passionate vision that could change the world is less complicated than selling a ready product. When you have a ready product, people will only give you their money when they see you have paying customers. So sell your vision first to investors before you even come up with the product. You don’t have a business unless you start selling somethingServe your customer well with a great product or service, and they will pay you for it. If you want your business to be successful, make creating a sustainable customer base your focal focus. Andrew’s takeawaysGetting people to pay for your product is the hardest part of entrepreneurshipYou may have a perfect idea, employ the best team that develops the best product, but you cannot count yourself as a successful entrepreneur until you convince people to pay for your product. Actionable adviceWhen the opportunity to take your company public and raise money comes, take it. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsKevin’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to launch an indoor air quality, IoT sensor, and monitoring platform. He is also launching a program with his son to motivate kids, students, athletes, and entrepreneurs worldwide to hustle with grit. Parting words  “Have fun, fail quickly and often. Engage your customer and
Dec 31, 2020
Armand Rosamilia – You Will Never Regret Pursuing Your Passion
26:24 (Armand Rosamilia) is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life. He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers, and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels. He not only runs two successful podcasts but also owns the network they’re on, Project Entertainment Network. His two podcasts are ( Arm Cast Podcast) that interviews other authors, filmmakers, musicians, etc., and ( The Mando Method Podcast), with co-host Chuck Buda. The podcast talks about writing and publishing. You can find him at ( Armand Rosamilia) for his latest releases and interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes.   “When I look back on my life, at least I can say I tried, and it failed. I gave it a shot.” Armand Rosamilia   Worst investment everArmand wanted to become a writer ever since he was 12 years old. However, he was now in his 40s and was yet to muster the courage to do what he wanted to do most—write. Living a life of obligationEverything that Armand did in his life was out of obligation. He got a job to be able to pay bills and take care of his family. He hated his job so much, but he couldn’t stop working. His ex-wife would not let him quit. Armand had to continue meeting his obligation to his wife and kids. Sneaking out to pursue his passionThe dream of becoming a writer never left Armand. Every night he would sneak out of bed and stay up to write. This habit annoyed his ex-wife so much, but he kept doing it. Hitting rock bottom and rising to his dreamOne day, Armand found himself jobless, and even though his ex-wife was pushing him to get another job, he spent the time writing. He managed to finish his first story. He could not be happier even though he was dead broke. At this point, Armand’s ex-wife was tired of pushing him to get a job and decided to leave him. Armand was devastated. His life was a complete mess, and he could barely take care of his family. He was ready to take on any job to make ends meet. However, Armand’s day of becoming a writer had come. The breakthroughUnbeknownst to Armand, a publisher had picked up his book, read it, and loved it. As his wife walked out of the door and left him for good, his phone rang. It was the publisher. He said he would love to have a conversation with him about a deal he had struck with a movie company in Hollywood. The company wanted to turn Armand’s book into a movie. This opportunity catapulted Armand’s career as a full-time author. He has not looked back since. Lessons learnedYour dreams are valid even if other people do not believe in themDo not stop chasing your dreams just because other people do not believe in them. You are the only one who can make your dreams come true. Do not let anyone tell you that you are not worth dreaming. Andrew’s takeawaysPursuing your dreams will not be easy, but you have to do itIf you have a passion, go for it. The world is not just going to open up for you. You have to do it yourself. People are going to resist and doubt you. They are going to challenge you and even discourage you. But, there is a point in your life when you have to decide to make your passion work. If you do that, hopefully, if you are good at it, then you will get your breakthrough. Your dreams will not always be validated, and that is okIt feels nice to be validated but don’t chase your dreams because you want validation from other people. External validation is not a guarantee. Pursue your dreams for yourself. Actionable advicePursue your dreams. Strive for what you believe in and...
Dec 29, 2020
Natalia Wiechowski – Your Dream Job Only Exists When You Create It
At the age of 29, and the peak of her corporate career and deep unhappiness, ( Dr. Natalia Wiechowski) quit her job and started from scratch. She took a nine-month sabbatical, during which she changed the way she thinks, speaks, and acts. From that moment, she committed to designing her purposeful dream life and founded ( Think Natalia). Her obsession is “coachsulting” people who have left the corporate rat race to do their own thing. These people all have one thing in common; they want to build an international, sustainable, and purposeful thought leadership personal brand on LinkedIn. They want to use that brand to become the voice of their niche, get more clients, and positively impact the world. She started as a Social Scientist, turned into a Dr. of Philosophy, a “LinkedIn Marketing Unicorn” (Inc. magazine), a Forbes Coaches Council Member, a LinkedIn Learning author, and the Middle East’s leading Edutainer.   “If you don’t take calculated risks, then you’re going to live a boring, mediocre life. That’s my biggest nightmare.” Natalia Wiechowski   Worst investment everNatalia invested a lot of time, energy, and resources into becoming the model successful woman. She finished her studies, made her parents proud, worked her way up the career ladder, and even was a competitive athlete with tons of awards. All her peers admired her. All looking good from the outside but not from the insideThis kind of life that Natalia had built for herself looked phenomenal from the outside. Everyone thought that she was very happy. This is precisely the kind of life she imagined having when she was a teenager. But deep down, Natalia was unhappy. She didn’t think of herself as successful. She felt like a complete mess. Yearning for more from lifeNatalia went through a phase of confusion. She had a seemingly successful career, but inside she felt like a mess. She wanted more from life. The confusion left Natalia in a lot of physical pain that nobody could figure out the cause. She slowly realized that the pain was self-created. Getting herself out of a rutWhen it dawned on Natalia that she was causing herself physical and emotional pain, she committed to finding healing. Natalia talked about what she was going through with her friends, mentor, and parents. They all advised her to quit her job and go on a sabbatical. During that sabbatical, she went on a journey to define what happiness, success, money, time, and work meant to her. Natalia also tried to figure out how she wanted to live and whom she wants to work with. Natalia’s sabbatical leads her to her dream life and a career of purpose. She understood that your dream job only exists when you create it, and if you believe that you have what it takes, just go for it. Lessons learnedFollow your heart and live your true purposeWhen that inner voice asks you to follow your heart, listen to it and go on that journey that leads you to your true purpose. Invest in yourself and live the life you’ve always wantedDesign a lifestyle around your dreams and passions. Go out there, sharpen that skill that fuels your dreams, master it, and share it with the world. That’s the way to live a healthy balanced life without any regrets. Don’t fear changing direction just because you have invested time in somethingMost people refuse to change because they have invested so much invest time, love, energy, and money into something. So they keep holding onto it even long after it has stopped serving them. The truth is that you will always invest and lose but learn in the process. Andrew’s takeawaysDon’t listen to the naysayersIf you want to do something, forget what other people say. Just go on and do it. Ultimately, it’s about your own satisfaction and pursuing your dreams. Learn how to quit the things that don’t workWhen you realize that a relationship, a job, or whatever, is not working for you, you better quit it.
Dec 27, 2020
Ari Gunzburg – Persistence Cannot Solve All Your Challenges
39:04 (Ari Gunzburg) is a rising new star in personal growth after experiencing trauma as a child and then extreme volatility as a teenager. As an award-winning international speaker, Ari motivates people using personal stories filled with triumph, tragedy, and transformation. Ari also helps inspire people using one-on-one coaching and his books for both children and adults. New in 2020 is his debut non-fiction title, ( The Little Book of Greatness).   “If something truly isn’t working, the sooner you realize it, the better off you are.” Ari Gunzburg   Worst investment everAri used to deliver a book called The Advertiser while growing, a small book full of advertisements from the community businesses and delivered to every home in Baltimore. Starting his own book of advertisementsAs a young man, Ari had a dream to start a similar book, and the opportunity came when he moved to Cleveland. He reached out to the people running it originally and made an offer, and they accepted. Ari started working on the book, and he put everything into it. He went knocking on business owners’ doors, trying to sell them to the idea of advertising in the book. In Baltimore, all the business owners believed that they needed to be in the book because that’s where people look to find out what is going on. In Cleveland, though, things were different, and the business owners needed some convincing. A poor startThe book’s uptake was not encouraging, but Ari persisted and kept trying everything he could to make it work. Things didn’t get better; in fact, they got worse. Simultaneously, a website that many people in Cleveland went to for information and news was also running an advertising section and charging low advertising prices. The website was giving Ari real competition. Doing the math and cutting his lossesAfter three years of giving this book his best and still barely making any money, Ari started thinking about closing it down, but he didn’t have the courage to do it. One day, Ari spoke with a business coach who asked him to consider a scenario in which his book suddenly became wildly successful, and every single business in town started advertising with him. What’s the maximum amount of dollars that he could make? Ari ran the numbers quickly in his head and realized that that number was about half a million a year before taking out expenses. This number made Ari realize that it was time to close shop. It was just not enough to keep him afloat. Lessons learnedPersistence is not about persevering in every situation at all costsPersistence is about recognizing when you should stick it out and when you should throw in the towel. Being persistent with things that you don’t want to be doing, or that are not working for you, or an investment that’s just losing money is pointless. Be aware of the advice you’re getting and where it’s coming fromIt is good to have sounding boards that can help you process your advice and decide if it is in line with where you truly see yourself going. Always feel free to say no to advice if it does not suit you. Andrew’s takeawaysUnderstand the actual market size and potentialAs you are researching your business, make sure you calculate your actual market size and income potential. This will guide you on whether you should invest your money and time in that business. Advice is good, but you must process itIt is good to receive all advice, but you must process that advice and identify what part of it is right for you and which one is not. Welcome advice, but accept that not all of it will come from a place of genuine understanding. Consider external factors that might affect your businessWhen starting a business, you must consider external factors that might affect your business. External factors can easily crush your business if you are not aware of them...
Dec 24, 2020
Sanjeev Chitre – You Need to Pivot Your Business, Not Change the Direction
31:43 (Sanjeev Chitre) is the Managing Partner at ( U-Group) and a four-time successful entrepreneur. Sanjeev has 30+ years of starting, growing, and executing the liquidity of several major small and medium-sized companies. He brings together an integrated team of industry and growth partners to creatively build value for The U-Group clients. Sanjeev earned his MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US, and a BS in Electronics & Telecommunications from the University of Pune, India.   “When you make a mistake, accept that it was not the right thing to do and make an effort never to do it again. That allows the world around you to change.” Sanjeev Chitre   Worst investment everSanjeev’s worst investment ever happened when he was building his first public company. The company had five people only and had less than a million dollars in revenues. The company was in one of the not so desired spaces of the venture capital space, semiconductor and semiconductor chip-making equipment. At the time, the company was worth $25 million. Growing his portfolio of companiesAfter taking his first company public, he bought another company that was 30 times bigger than the first one but was illiquid. However, this acquisition made Sanjeev very confident, and he went on to acquire more companies, and now he had five companies in total. Two were performing well, two were average, and one was simply horrible. Letting his ego beat his business acumenEven though that one company was a poor performer, Sanjeev went ahead and outbid another buyer for it. He could have paid $12 million, but he paid $30 million for it. Sanjeev’s ego led him to believe that he could pivot the company and make money from him. He had this big plan to reduce the cost of materials by reprocessing them in real-time. This plan, however, was not risk mitigated and was purely led by ego. Losing the investmentSanjeev spent the next three years trying to prove that his plan was a good one. He ended up decimating the value of the shareholders and lost over $100 million as he tried to build that investment. Lessons learnedMitigate your risk before investing in somethingThere are so many revolutionary disruptive changes that all entrepreneurs want to make. Do not do it unless you have a risk mitigated path of execution. Listen to the people you work withListen to what the overall team is saying, respect their decisions, and their feedback. Know the expected outcome first before getting into any businessDon’t get involved in a competitive landscape where you do not know what that outcome is going to be. Cut your losses as soon as possibleIt is vital to cut your losses early enough and move on. Do not change direction pivot your business insteadThere is a difference between changing the entire direction of your business and pivoting it. Pivoting your business involves changing your vision to align with the reality of the marketplace. Changing direction entails exploring an entirely new market with a new product. Andrew’s takeawaysTake it easy on yourself; mistakes are part of lifeDo not beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Remember that you made the best decision at the time, with the knowledge and tools you had. Diversify your portfolio to manage riskHave a diversified portfolio to manage your risk. While you will never get all your investments right, at least the good performing ones will cover the poorly performing ones. Have an exit plan for all your investmentsWhat is your plan for cutting loss? One good exit plan is to have a ( stop loss) for all your investments. Actionable adviceLook at where solutions exist and bring them into your business to create a much more workable solution. If the model has worked in other...
Dec 22, 2020
Kathleen Ann – Think Twice Before Leaving Your 9 to 5 Job
25:57 (Kathleen Ann), a corporate escapee, is known as the “Money & Marketing Champion” for heart-centered women entrepreneurs (and enlightened men!). She is the Founder of ‘ (Power Up Your Marketing)’ and holds multiple Money and Marketing Coach certifications. Kathleen works with service-based women business owners to help them create and grow financially successful businesses based on their passion and unique brilliance. Her marketing expertise and insight have helped women around the world to stand out and position themselves as experts in their field. As well as move away from charging by the hour and package and price their services instead, so they can charge what they’re worth and get it.   “If you are not prepared to invest in yourself, then don’t quit your job.” Kathleen Ann   Worst investment everKathleen had been working in a corporate role, had a good position, and had built a great career in direct response marketing. Everything was going great until she got laid off. And just like that, she was jobless. Starting her own businessKathleen had 20 years in the direct response marketing industry. It happens that Kathleen had started losing interest in the corporate arena, and so when she got laid off, she decided not to go back to another corporate job. Instead, she started her own business doing the same thing she had been doing in her 9 to 5 job. The challenging journey of a solopreneurThings were working out for Kathleen at first. She managed to get a few clients, and she was making money here and there. The excitement of working for herself got the best of her. Kathleen just went in without much thought about her solopreneurship and the journey with time became tough for her. There were times when she could barely make any income. Rethinking her business modelKathleen started rethinking her business model as it was not working well for her. She found a lady who was running a three-day course on rebranding. Kathleen attended the training, and after that, she rebranded her business, refocused her niche, and the business has taken off since. Lessons learnedBe in the right mindset before leaving your 9 to 5 jobUnderstand ( what it takes to run a business). Research your market, and be sure that it is indeed what you want to do. Be prepared for the risks that come with running a business and once you are sure you can handle it, then quit. To be a successful business owner, you must invest in yourselfTake entrepreneurial courses to learn how to run your business. By investing in your growth, you will be investing in your business and your future. Andrew’s takeawaysYour business won’t have the same infrastructure as your employerWhen you start your own business, you won’t have the same resources you had in your employment. You won’t have staff in various departments to help you out, and you won’t have all the technology you need or even a lot of working capital. So embrace yourself because running your business is a different ball game. As a business owner, you bear all the riskAs an employee, you bear no risk should anything happen to the company. However, as a business owner, all risk is on you. Actionable adviceFind somebody who has done what you want to do, have the type of business you want to have, and hire them to help you with your business. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsKathleen’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to launch an online program that will help people learn from her over 12 years of experience running her business as a solopreneur.   Parting words  “Good luck with your endeavors.” Kathleen Ann    Connect with Kathleen Ann (LinkedIn) (Twitter)
Dec 20, 2020
Scott Eddy – Face Tragedy Head-on
After 10 years in investment banking, ( Scott Eddy) moved overseas and lived in Europe and Asia for 17 years. While living in Bangkok, he started the first digital agency in Southeast Asia, and it remained the biggest in the region for five years. After selling the agency and spending some time in Europe while building his personal brand, he now travels full-time while building social media strategies, speaking at conferences, creating video marketing packages, and consulting for the world of luxury travel. He is also the TV host for the new travel series on Lifetime Television called ( Video Globetrotter).   “The one skill that you need no matter what industry you’re in is sales.” Scott Eddy   Worst investment everScott comes from a police background. His father was a Fort Lauderdale cop. Just like everybody on his dad’s side, Scott’s plan in life was to graduate high school, join the police academy, become a cop, get married, have kids, retire, and die. Getting ready to be a copScott spent every day after school in the police department, where he learned everything about being a cop. He watched an autopsy when he was 13, saw interrogations, and went on ride alongs. That was Scott’s whole life. The dream turns to dustThree weeks before Scott graduated high school, and just a few months before he joined the police, his father was killed in a plane crash in the line of duty. This turned Scott’s whole world upside down and killed his dream to become a police officer. Lessons learnedFace tragedy head-onWhen tragedy strikes, you could stick your head in the sand, pity yourself, allow yourself to get crushed every time you think about it, and prevent you from moving forward. Or you could stare it in the face and move on with your life. Choose your friends wiselyContinually reevaluate and look at who you surround yourself with. If it’s the wrong people block them, unfollow them and just immediately cut them out of your life. Always have people that uplift you. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Manage your time wellTime management is your best friend or your worst enemy. You have to be religiously strict with your time. Andrew’s takeawaysPut your life into perspectiveOne of the tools to ( put your life into perspective) is to look at it from the outside in. Talk to people and get other views. Use this tool to move through tragedy. Tragedies are not always mistakesSometimes a tragedy can be a mistake; sometimes, it’s just a simple tragedy. How we handle the bad things that come into our life is what matters. Take tragedies head-on and allow yourself to grow from that experience. Actionable adviceBefore you make any big decision, take a step back, take an extra day, and look at it from the outside looking in. If you have people you trust in your inner circle, ask for their opinion. By looking at things from the outside in, you’re always going to have a clearer mind. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsScott’s goal is to make his personal brand continue to grow. Parting words  “Stay positive, go big, or go home.” Scott Eddy   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Scott Eddy (LinkedIn) (Twitter) (Facebook) (Instagram) (Website) Andrew’s books (How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market)...
Dec 17, 2020
James Mulvany – Angel Investors Should Invest in What They Know
29:58 (James Mulvany) is a successful entrepreneur, and over the past 10 years, has built multiple internet companies (including & plus a property portfolio and has made a range of angel investments in startups! Having actually never had a job in his life, he started his first business when leaving school.   “Business is never plain sailing. You have your ups and downs, you have good years and bad years, just like any job.” James Mulvany   Worst investment everAbout a year after launching and experiencing a great first year, James started thinking of ways to invest the profit he made. James had been very much engaged with the local area’s startup scene, and he figured he could invest in one. So he started going to various angel pitching events. Joining an angel investors syndicateThe more James attended the pitching events, the more his angel investment network expanded. One of the things that were quite common in the angel circus was the idea of having a syndicate. A syndicate is made of five or six investors who invest together. James found himself involved in a syndicate with some top-notch guys interested in making a few investments. The other members of the syndicate saw James as the lead to any IT related investment. They looked up to him to decide whether to invest in IT-related companies or not. Picking a startupThey found a few good pitches, and one concept for an augmented reality computer game stood out. At the time, there was so much hype around these gaming goggles. James’ syndicate saw this as an opportunity to make massive returns on their ( angel investment) at that early stage. The team invested around £25,000 each. James was 29 years old at the time, so this was a considerable investment for him. The problems start trickling inThe concept James and his team invested in was good, but a couple of months into it, the startup realized that augmented reality wasn’t necessarily going to work out. They wanted to pivot to a regular computer game. As if that was not enough, one of the startup guys fell out with the other two guys. He moved to another country, and no one could get in touch with him. The two other partners tried to get him to resign as a director of the company and forfeit his shareholding, but he just went off the radar. Unfortunately, the main director became quite ill and at this point, the problems were just too many to handle. The startup ran out of money, and they had very little to show for the money the investors had put in. James was left with a loss of £25,000. Lessons learnedInvest in an industry you understandIf you’re going to make an angel investment, it needs to be in an industry where you’re entirely convinced that your money is in good hands. Be sure that the business owners do not need any mentoring or hand-holding from you. So it’s very much, just like a hands-off investment. If you’re going to make a hands-on investment, it needs to be something that you understand for sure. Be careful of investing in new shiny thingsMost novel ideas tend to be volatile. If you are going to invest in new cutting-edge ideas, be prepared to lose. Stay togetherIf you want to be successful, you need to stay together. You don’t need to be amazing because the amazing guys crash and burn, and they quit. So keep the team together and treat each other well, and you will succeed. Andrew’s takeawaysIf the company starts to pivot, stop the businessIf you end up chasing the revenue, you’ve lost what you originally planned to do, and you are likely going to let your investors down. There’s a difference between starting a new business and a never before seen businessInvesting in completely new things brings on a considerable level of risk. It will occasionally be successful, but it brings in a lot more...
Dec 15, 2020
Jim O’Shaughnessy – Have the Discipline to Stick With Your Investment Process
47:07 (Jim O’Shaughnessy) is the Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer of ( O’Shaughnessy Asset Management) (OSAM). He is the author of four books on investing, and his book ( What Works on Wall Street) is a BusinessWeek and New York Times Business bestseller. Jim is the former Chairman of the Board of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and currently serves as the Chairman of the Capital Campaign for CMS. Jim is married with three children and two grandchildren and lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.   “You got to have the ability to stick with the process. Trust the process.” Jim O’Shaughnessy   Worst investment everJim started investing when he was 20. Back then, he was doing a lot of mathematical modeling. Jim concentrated on the ( Black Scholes option pricing) model that was a pretty good ( investing model) with about 70% accuracy. The downside of the model was that it was about singles and doubles. There were no home runs. Jim craved for home runs. Experimenting with other investment modelsJim was having a lot of fun with his model of choice, and his investments were doing well. Then he started experimenting with another model that was more focused on the market and not individual companies. The model would look at whether the market was fairly priced, overpriced, or underpriced. Riding on a highFor a moment, the model worked pretty well. According to this model, the market was very overpriced, and so Jim started accumulating put options. By early October of 1987, Jim had acquired the largest put position in his life. Selling it allIn 1987 the market experienced the biggest, on a percentage basis, crash ever. Though, Jim had ignored his model and sold all his puts the day before the crash! He made a small amount of money because the markets were gyrating all over the place. Jim would have made so much more money after the crash had he stuck with his model and held onto his investment. Lessons learnedAnyone can make a poor investment decision. You are not an exceptionWe all think we are exceptions, that because we study a lot, do a lot of research, and we are smart, we cannot make poor investment decisions. The truth is that if you are smart, you are probably more likely to fail because you create narratives about how good you are that you believe them, and then you convince other people of them. In the process, you let your guard down and end up making the wrong choice. For your investment model to work, you must be consistently consistentYou may have this great model that you believe will help you soar as an investor, but it does not work. And not because you are not smart enough to figure it out, but because you are incredibly consistently inconsistent. To make a model work, you must have the discipline to use it consistently. You must trust your investment processThe vast majority of successful investors who beat the market over time have rigorously researched investment processes they religiously adhere to. Their secret lies in trusting their processes. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, but they stick with the process regardless. Andrew’s takeawaysDon’t sell everything, size yourself insteadOne of the biggest mistakes people make is to jump into something 100% instead of sizing themselves into that position. If you want to get out of an investment, the best way to prevent yourself from overreacting is to sell X amount, not everything. No investment model will work all the timeThe whole concept of an investment model is that no model will work every year. But what keeps you winning is your discipline to stick to your model even when it does not work. Actionable adviceFind an...
Dec 13, 2020
John North – Know Your Customers, Know Your Suppliers
24:58 (John North) is a Seven-Time #1 International Selling Author about business strategy and internet marketing and his passion for squash. John is CEO of Evolve Systems Group and has created many products and services designed to empower business owners, including (, (, and ( Evolve Global Publishing). John’s passion is to help business owners become more strategic and smarter about their marketing efforts. He continually pushes the envelope of what’s possible in this modern era and is widely regarded among his peers as very innovative and highly creative in his approach.   “Own your brand, own your customers.” John North   Worst investment everJohn had a software distribution company on one side of Australia, and his competitor had a similar company on the other side. The two had healthy competition, each with their customers. The mergerJohn and his competitor decided that it was a good idea for the two businesses to merge and distribute their products together. So they did a 50/50 partner split. The merger seemed good and legit to John. Jumping the gunThe two soon-to-be partners set a date to sign the merger documents in Sydney. Even before the ink could dry on the signed papers, his former competitor had announced the merger to everyone without John’s consent. This move severed relationships with some of their customers. John had to do a lot of damage control. The competition withinWithin six months, John found out that his new business partner had set up another business inside their business. He was trading with this other company. He also put all the good employees and programs in his side of the business, instead of the partnership. Parting waysThe partnership was quickly going south. John decided to buy out his business partner. He offered him $500,000, which he promptly accepted. The supplier from hellJohn’s supplier decided to bring someone else into the country to distribute the same stuff and steal all his customers. John and his supplier had a war over customers for a whole year. John’s business was losing money due to this trade war. John’s last option was to sell the company and start something different. He found a buyer, but he never recovered the money he lost in the merger. Lessons learnedNever trust your supplierSuppliers are smarter than you think. So be careful not to let them outsmart you. Own your stuffBe careful about being the distributor because it is easy to get screwed when you are the middleman. Andrew’s takeawaysBusinesses are about trust and personalitiesYour product is a secondary item. The people that you work with and the trust that you have are what make your business. A lot of young people overlook the trust element. Don’t let fear blind youTake a step back from the deals you’re doing right now and assess whether you are doing them because of fear. Sometimes fear is very healthy, but other times it drives us to consider doing something that may not make sense. It drives us to do things too quickly and not pay attention to the details. Actionable adviceDon’t ( make business decisions) out of fear. Step back and think things through. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsJohn’s number one goal is to get his software off the ground, particularly in the area of podcasting. Parting words  “Own your stuff. And always be looking at the big picture.” John North Connect with John North (LinkedIn) (Twitter) (Facebook) (Website) (Blog) Andrew’s...
Dec 10, 2020
Frank Agin – Get to Know Your Customers and Your Vendors
23:09 (Frank Agin) works to empower small businesses to achieve more by helping them create dynamic professional relationships. He does this by operating a membership-based referral program called ( AmSpirit Business Connection) and shares insightful content via his ( Networking RX podcast), articles, and books. Learn all about Frank ( here).   “Everybody I know can benefit from somebody else I know.” Frank Agin   Worst investment everFrank worked for a while as a tax consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the most prestigious public accounting firms. He left the job and got paid his pension. Frank decided to invest that pension and 401k. Working with the familiarFrank approached a financial advisor he had met at PricewaterhouseCoopers. The man was on the board of some of the clients Frank had worked with. Frank, therefore, trusted him and chose him to be his financial advisor. Frank didn’t bother to find out more about him. Working for his former firm was enough credibility for Frank to trust him with his money. The advisor with no adviceThis was Frank’s first investment, and he didn’t know much about investing. He thus just went with the flow. The financial advisor would call Frank once every six months with a few updates on how the stocks were performing. He never gave Frank advice on how to improve his portfolio. Whenever Frank would make suggestions, the financial advisor would brush them off. Frank ended up missing out on so many investment opportunities. The financial advisor didn’t seem to have time for Frank and wasn’t too bothered about getting to know him and what he truly needed as an investor. Going for some who truly caredWhen he left his previous job, Frank ended up in a smaller investment firm where he occasionally engaged with one of the financial advisors. This advisor would randomly offer Frank advice on how to best invest his money even though he was still working with his old financial advisor. Frank grew to like the new financial advisor as he seemed to care more about his financial well being. Eventually, Frank decided to drop his old financial advisor and started working with the new one, who continues to be his advisor to date. Lessons learnedKnow your customers by building relationships with themYou need to ( know your customers) and have a relationship with them and your vendors. We do business with those we know, like, and trust. Andrew’s takeawaysCheap is expensiveGoing with the lowest cost supplier is probably the most expensive thing you can do. You may think you’re cutting corners, and you’re getting something cheap, but chances are, you’re getting it super expensive. Actionable adviceYou need to get to know whoever is in your world. Engage with people whenever you have the opportunity. When you’re vetting vendors or looking to hire somebody, make sure you engage with them to know them better. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsFrank’s number one goal is to keep meeting people and grow his networks. Parting words  “Find something you’re passionate about and volunteer. It’s a wonderful thing that will make you feel good and connect you to people that you didn’t even know existed.” Frank Agin   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Frank Agin (LinkedIn) (Twitter) (Facebook) (Website) Andrew’s books (How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock...
Dec 08, 2020
Hala Taha – Invest Your Time Into Something That You Own
29:01 (Hala Taha) is the host of ( Young and Profiting Podcast), a top 10 Self-Improvement podcast on Apple with over 1 million downloads. She recently launched YAP Media, a full-service podcast production and marketing agency for top podcasters, celebrities and CEOs projected to generate over $2M in revenue in its first year. Hala is also known for her engaged following and influence on LinkedIn.   “It’s always great to evolve your dream.” Hala Taha   Worst investment everHala is a natural-born leader. So it was no surprise that when she joined Hewlett-Packard (HP) as an intern, she was burning to take on some leadership role. Previous to joining HP, Hala was the CEO of a company of 50 girls. She also was the President of her Alumni Association. Jumping heart in into a leadership opportunityHala saw an opportunity to start the young employee network chapter in New Jersey, where she was stationed. She went around the office, got signatures, and started the network from scratch. At the time, Hala’s company office had no culture. She went in there and infused everything with culture. She started the company holiday party and did a fantastic company summer picnic every year, which the company still does. Putting her soul into itHala put a lot of time into the young employee network. She would work full time during the day, and then at night, she would be working on the young employee network. She was so passionate about it and loved being a leader. Getting the recognitionHala quickly became the face of the young employee network. She was the President of her chapter for two years. Her hard work at the network got her great visibility with the CEO. Going higherHala wanted to keep growing and take her leadership skills to the next level. The next logical phase for her was the global young employee network. Here, the leaders from all the chapters around the world run all of the young employee networks and set the global strategy. Hala had her foot in the door as the recruitment director for the young employee network globally. She took advantage of this role and started a global event for Hewlett-Packard called HP Spirit Week. This is a week-long themed event. It became a huge event that they still do. The letdownStarting this event made Hala stand out in the entire company. All her peers agreed she was doing the President’s job. In her fourth year in the young employee network, she vied to be President. She had earned it. Hala had done everything right. She was President of her chapter for two years; she did the HP Spirit Week and knocked that out of the park. She had like 50 people that wanted her to be president record video nominations. Her board wanted her to be President. But the ultimate decision-maker was this lady who was the HR director, and she didn’t like Hala. When it was time for Hala to become President, she gave it to somebody else who had zero experience. Hala was crushed. She was so confused. She had put in almost four years, that she could have worked on a side hustle, into this young employee network thing. Hala felt so devastated to have made her worst investment ever by investing all her time into something she was never rewarded for. She left HP and went to Disney after that because she felt burned. Lessons learnedInvest your time in an asset that you ownInvest your time in something that you can take with you wherever you go, no matter what job you’re in and where you are in life. Do this instead of investing in a company that you will leave behind. You’ll always have your brandYour brand never leaves you, your network never leaves you, but your job can leave you at any time. Job security is no security, so invest in your brand. Andrew’s takeawaysWhat is your differentiating point?To be successful in anything you’re doing, you’ve got to figure out your differentiating point. A...
Dec 06, 2020
Rune Sovndahl – A Business Is Only as Strong as Its Weakest Link
28:53 (Rune Sovndahl) is the co-founder of ( Fantastic Services) – an international brand with 10+ years of experience that combines technological innovations with bespoke customer care to deliver services for the home, office, and garden. Rune is Danish but moved to London 20 years ago to study for a BA (Hons) in Business Information Systems Design at South Bank University. Following the completion of his degree, he was accepted into a graduate program with British Telecom. In 2003 he also established the European Young Professionals committee in London and was involved in its website’s creation and the recruitment of more than 200 new members. Most recently, he worked for as Head of SEO.   “For any investment that you get into, be prepared to lose it all.” Rune Sovndahl   Worst investment everRune was running a successful business, and he had managed to put aside some good savings for 12 years. He decided that he wanted to invest this money in something that would make him a good return. So he started researching possible investment ideas. Getting some of the Amazon pieRune came across Fulfillment by Amazon, something he found quite fascinating, and after he did his math, he saw that he could make some pretty good money. So he got into this. Mixing business with friendshipAt the time, Rune had a friend he had worked with for a couple of years on many other things. Rune spoke to his friend about his new investment, and they agreed to run it together. They signed a contract, got the paperwork in order, and the partnership was good on paper. Return on investmentThe business picked up, and Rune started getting good returns. It grew into something useful, and there was money continually going into their Amazon account. Though Rune was busy with his other businesses, he would occasionally check on the account and confirm that everything was ok. Getting blockedRune’s account got blocked at some point, so they had to set up another one with a different company name and details. In the process, the money in the previous account was moved to the new one. Suddenly, Rune’s login details would not work for the new account. But since he still had access to the spreadsheet with the money details, he didn’t pay much attention to the logins. Bleeding dryMoney over time stopped going into the Amazon account, and when it came back, it was transferred to another account, which wasn’t Rune’s bank account. Suddenly there was no more money in the Amazon account. Rune was notified that the account was shut down. He found this strange because, as far as he knew, they were still in business. He tried to log in, but it said the account was shut down. That’s when Rune found out that all the money they had made was gone. His trusted friend had siphoned all of it. Lessons learnedPartner with people who have something of vested interestWhen partnering with people, even if you have the correct paperwork in place, these people should have assets or anything else that is of value. This makes it easy for you to recover your investment should the deal go sour. Don’t let past success blind youMost investors think that because they’re successful and what they want to invest in somehow seems easy, they can do it. You realize later that that’s not true. Be careful who you trustWhen getting into partnerships, most people trust blindly. They believe their partners have the same integrity as them and, therefore, expect them to deliver the end of their bargain faithfully. Be prepared for lossesFor any investment that you go into, be prepared to lose it all. Have a stop loss for all your investments to ( protect your downside). Andrew’s takeawaysThere’s a difference between a business operator and an investorThere are so many people who are very...
Dec 03, 2020
Pete Alexander – If the Real Estate Deal Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Is
A recovering, hard-driving leader with over 35 years of sales, marketing, educational and entrepreneurial experience, ( Professor Pete Alexander) successfully battled the negative effects of stress head-on and developed the LIGHTEN™ stress management model that will motivate you and your team to take action in only a few minutes per day. After learning the stress management techniques, participants can better become leaders teams want to follow rather than hide from. Professor Pete has an Amazon best-selling book titled ( LIGHTEN Your Day) and hosts a popular 7-minute podcast on LinkedIn titled ( Winning at Business and Life).   “Not all stress is bad. There’s good stress, and there is negative stress.” Pete Alexander   Worst investment everPete was interested in investing in real estate and happened to have a friend living in California who knew a real estate agent who could help him find a property to invest in. Pete’s friend made arrangements for the agent to come from Arizona and talk to Pete and other friends interested in real estate investing. Cheap government housesThe agent told them that the federal government was offering houses for 1% down because these houses were mortgaged to military personnel who got moved, and now they were open and vacant, and they had to get rid of them. The agent gave them brochures on the different houses and information about how much cash they stood to make. There was also the added benefit of, besides being a real estate agent, the gentleman was also a property manager, and his company would be able to get renters for the investors. Additionally, Pete and his friends would not have to put a lot of money down, and the renters would pay the mortgage for them. The deal was a no brainer. They were sold on the idea. Real estate investment deal too good to say no toPete and his wife went ahead and took a second mortgage out on their house and invested $100,000 into this opportunity. Lo and behold, they ended up with three houses in Phoenix and two houses in Las Vegas because there was a mixup in what the agent said they thought Pete wanted and what they bid on for him. So now he had five houses. Interestingly, Pete and his wife only physically saw one of those five houses, and that one house was the only one that they didn’t lose money on. The other four were an absolute disaster. The property manager who couldn’t do his jobThree of the four houses were almost impossible to rent because the property manager’s office was so far away that people who wanted to look at the houses couldn’t manage to drive to him and then go to the house. So logistically, it didn’t work. The property manager would also not respond to renters who were having issues with the homes. So people would get fed up and leave the houses in a mess. Cash flow nightmareSo here was Pete with five full-price mortgages that had turned into a cash flow nightmare. It took him years to recover from that disaster. Lessons learnedIf it sounds too good to be true, it isFor any kind of investing, if it seems too good to be true, it is. Hire the right property managerIf you’re planning to have investment properties where people lease your houses, make sure you hire a property manager that has excellent reviews, is proactive, and operates close to your property. Research the markets you’re investing inBefore you invest in any market, find out what it is all about. What are the trends? What is the situation in terms of landlord versus renters? Consider all the costs incurredWhen you calculate how much you’re going to get in rent versus the mortgage cost and taxes, factor in a higher cost for maintenance because there will always be unexpected things happening. Andrew’s takeawaysReal estate investment needs...
Dec 01, 2020
Marcia Daszko – Question Everything to Bring the Joy Back
41:54 (Marcia Daszko) is one of the world’s leading business strategists and catalysts for leadership and organizational transformation. She believes and teaches innovation in leadership thinking. She has 25 years of proven success as a Founder and CEO of a consulting firm, ( Marcia Daszko & Associates), and is an executive team workshop facilitator. She is also a researcher and graduate-level teacher, a keynote speaker, an award-winning writer and communicator, and an executive advisor to Fortune 500 corporations, private companies, government agencies; educational institutions; and global non-profit organizations. She is most recently the author of ( Pivot, Disrupt, Transform: How Leaders Beat the Odds and Survive).   “Break down the barriers, silos, and hierarchies. Get out of the traditional mindsets that you have created, and instead ask yourself if you’re getting the results that you want.” Marcia Daszko   Worst investment everMarcia was a stickler to societal norms. She went to school, got good grades, made it to the dean’s list, and went on to get a good job. Never questioning the systemThroughout her career, Marcia’s goal was to do the right thing and be the best employee possible. She concentrated on performing well in her performance appraisals, so she followed the rules. She was ok with the way her life was going and never questioned the system. Forming her way of thinkingOne day, Marcia’s boss sent her to attend Dr. Edward Deming’s four-day seminar in San Diego. She got to interact with Dr. Deming even after the workshop. Dr. Deming became Marcia’s mentor and taught her his concepts. Over time, Marcia started questioning the status quo and what society had taught her was the way to build her life and be successful. She started questioning things and thinking more about what success truly meant to her. Lessons learnedIt’s not all about good grades and being the best employeeLet go of things like grades and performance appraisals. But more importantly, think about what you are trying to accomplish before you let all of those things get in your way. Andrew’s takeawaysBe wary of internal competitionInternal competition is one of the things that we think is good but takes away the joy of learning. This kills the massive potential we have because you just concentrate on hitting targets and numbers, not on self-improvement. Be an independent thinkerTrue independence is the independence of thinking. It doesn’t mean you have to oppose every idea, just form your independent way of thinking. Allow yourself to think and question things. Actionable adviceIt’s essential to question. But use ( strategic thinking and questioning). Don’t just go out and question everything for the heck of it; understand where you’re coming from and where you want to go. Parting words  “Reach out, ask questions.” Marcia Daszko   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Marcia Daszko (LinkedIn) (Twitter) (Facebook) (Website) Andrew’s books (How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market) (My Worst Investment Ever)...
Nov 29, 2020
Julian Hosp – Learn to Win by Focusing on How Not to Lose
21:34 (Dr. Julian Hosp) is the largest crypto influencer in the German-speaking world, with over 90,000 followers on YouTube. He has written many articles and spoken at many blockchain conferences. He is a medical doctor and ex-professional athlete, and CEO co-founder of Cake, and chairman of DeFiChain Foundation. His vision is to bring blockchain awareness and understanding to a billion more people by 2025. You can find a large collection of his articles on his ( blog).   “It’s way easier to invest by trying not to be wrong, rather than by trying to be right.” Julian Hosp   Worst investment everAt 22, Julian was a successful professional athlete living his best life. He had about $100,000 in savings that was just sitting in the bank. Julian had no intention of investing the money as he knew nothing about investing. Pressured into his first investmentJulian happened to go to Brazil for training, where he met a fellow Austrian named Ralph. Ralph was a super friendly dude, and Julian got along with him just fine. Ralph told Julian about this fantastic investment opportunity that he wanted him to invest in. It was a new lot right at the beach that would get converted into actual construction land. He was looking for people to buy parcels of this land because he could split this up, and it would be easier to develop. Ralph made the investment look super exclusive and such a no brainer deal that was going to make Julian a millionaire. Putting in his entire savingsEven though Julian had no clue about ( real estate investing), Ralph was compelling and made him feel like he had to move fast else he’d miss out on the deal of a lifetime. Julian decided to invest and handed Ralph $80,000. Here come the cricketsJulian left Brazil a month later, and that was the last he heard of Ralph and his investment. After weeks of trying to reach Ralph endlessly without any success, it dawned on Julian that he had been duped into making his worst investment ever. Lessons learnedTake your time to recover an investment lossWhen you lose money, don’t try to get it back straight away. You might end up retaking the same stupid risks. Take some time to let the emotions cool down before you try something else. Learn to win by knowing when to exitIf you want to ( learn to win in investing), you must know when to quit. Have an exit plan, and make sure you understand how it works. You need to have a plan for when things are not working out. This prevents emotions from getting in the way of deciding to exit an investment. Don’t be pressured into investingWhenever you feel pressured by someone to make an investment, step away immediately and take time to think about it on your own. Become a strong diversifierFocus on diversification because out of 10 to 15 investments, probably just a couple will fail, and the rest will cover the loss. Andrew’s takeawaysTake your emotions out of investingLosing is two and a half times more emotionally painful than the joy of winning. You must take emotion out of investing. Build trust firstBuild trust with the people you want to make a financial investment with before you seal the deal. Actionable adviceLimit your access or the speed of access to making investment decisions. If possible, have strategies and tools in place that slow you down from buying and selling something to give you time to think about it. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsJulian just became a father and so his number one goal for the next 12 months is to spend more time with his son and provide him with a successful first year. Parting words  “Try not to be wrong instead of trying to be right. It’s hard trying to be right all the time.”...
Nov 26, 2020
Shana Sissel – Take Action on Your Good Ideas
As the CIO of Spotlight Asset Group, ( Shana Sissel) oversees all aspects of the investment platform ranging from overall strategy, implementation, and communication to clients and prospects. Shana has nearly two decades of industry experience at leading investment firms, primarily in Boston and Chicago. She previously served as Director of Investment Due Diligence & a Senior Portfolio Manager with Orion Advisor Solutions. Shana is a sought-after speaker & media contributor, frequently appearing at industry events and major financial news outlets like CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business News. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from the UMass-Amherst and a Master of Business Administration Degree from Bentley University’s McCallum School of Business. Shana is a proud holder of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation.   “If you have an idea, the knowledge, and you’ve done the work, then don’t be afraid to go out and talk about it or have a differentiated viewpoint.” Shana Sissel   Worst investment everLate 2006 or early 2007, Shana was interviewing for an equity research analyst position at a major global asset manager. Part of the interview process was to pitch a stock that you believed in and do the work and have enough conviction. A stock that you would put your own money in. Banking on AppleShana did a write up on Apple. She believed that this was it. It was an excellent choice. Shana’s pitch was based on the fact that Apple was just about to launch the very first iPhone. At the time, the stock was probably trading at $3 a share. She had done her research well and believed that the iPhone was going to be a complete game-changer. Trying to sell a newcomerApple, at the time, had no market share. Blackberry ruled the world when it came to smartphones. Shana’s selling point was that it would develop this ecosystem because Apple had such a brand commitment from the people who used it. A generation of students was coming up that would prefer Apple to the larger brands at the time. Laughed out of the roomSo Shana went in and pitched the iPhone as a game-changer. She projected the stock would grow to $150. She got laughed out of the room and was told to pick a different career. Shana was unable to convince the portfolio manager that she was interviewing with to purchase Apple. Losing confidence in her ideaWhen Shana got laughed at, her confidence completely left her. Shana stopped trusting her instincts, and in all the work she had put into her pitch. She believed the portfolio manager who told her that she was wrong simply because he was in a position of power and had more experience than her. Failing to invest in her ideaThe worst part of it all was not that nobody believed her, but that Shana didn’t believe in herself enough to invest in Apple. This missed opportunity went down to be her worst investment ever because the iPhone went on to be a game-changer just as she had predicted, and she missed out on the returns it has made over the years. Lessons learnedIt’s ok to think differentlyIt’s ok to have different views from other people. Just because others disagree with you doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Thinking differently is a positive thing. When it comes to investing, that’s how you win. Following the crowd is never how you win. You win by being different, thinking different, and seeing things differently. Do your homeworkIf you have an investment opportunity, but you don’t trust your judgment, do your research so that you can be sure it’s worth investing in. You can’t convince somebody else if you can’t convince yourself. As long as you’re making good, thoughtful investments and doing the work, and you are confident in your investment, even if it turns out you were wrong, you win because it’s always about learning something new. Andrew’s takeawaysBeware of shortfall riskPutting your retirement savings in a bank and...
Nov 24, 2020
Wes Schaeffer – Do Your Research and Trust Your Gut
28:53 (Wes Schaeffer) is The Sales Whisperer®, a pigheaded entrepreneur who rehabilitates salespeople and trains their managers. He’s a reassuringly expensive copywriter, sought-after speaker, and marketing automation expert. He is the author of 2.5 books on sales, marketing, and CRMs, host of ( The Sales Podcast), host of ( The CRM Sushi Podcast), and he will help you grow by mastering the overlooked truth in life that to make any sale, you must make every sale.   “It’s our job to change how we sell to match how the prospect wants to buy.” Wes Schaeffer   Worst investment everWes, though an avid investor, always doubted his ability to invest on his own. He thought that other people had more knowledge, wisdom, insight, and skills to be better stewards of his money than he was. Trusting his boss with his moneyIn 2002, his boss at the time had a lot of real estate properties. He wanted to invest in an apartment complex, and he asked Wes to buy into the investment. Wes just trusted him because he was older, more successful, had made money in the Dotcom run-up in the late 90s, and was a high-flyer salesperson. Wes got his mom and college friend to join in the investment. Investing from a distanceWes had no idea how apartment complexes work as he’d never invested in one before and so he left all the responsibilities of running the investment to his boss. Things then started going sideways, and Wes’s boss was making excuses about why they were losing money in the investment. He then came up with this idea that he made look like it was to Wes’s advantage. He told Wes that he would give him 50% ownership in the apartment to have a bigger write-off and at least maybe recoup some of the losses in taxes. The con game unfoldsOne day Wes got a call from the IRS telling him he owed them $86,000 in late fees. Wes was shocked at how he could be owing money on something that lost money. However, he was informed that the investment had made over $450,000, and now that he was a 50% owner, he had to pay the late fees. His boss had kept all the money and tricked him into taking responsibility for 50% of his taxes. Deal goes sourWes was angry that his boss, a man he respected and trusted, had tricked him into making his worst investment ever. Now he had to reimburse his mom and friend using his own money. Lessons learnedTrust yourselfTrust that you can do it. The only way to truly trust in yourself is to do thorough research to understand your investment entirely. If you don’t know your investment well, don’t invest in it. Trust your gutIf you feel something is not right about the investment you’re making or the person you’re working with, take some time, and investigate the issue. Don’t make excuses; ( trust your gut), and look into it. Andrew’s takeawaysStart with the simpleDon’t take yourself into complex areas that you don’t understand. There are some simple ways to invest, such as an ETF or a fund that invests in every company. So consider simple investments to kick off your investment venture before you start getting into something complicated. Be wary of misplaced trustFinding people to trust is one of the hardest things in business because trust is only built over time. Monitor your investmentPeople often get busy and put their investment documents in a drawer and not look at them again. But you need to look at your investments once a month. Just pop in and get the necessary numbers of what’s happening with that investment. Actionable adviceInvest in yourself and apply what you learn. Don’t just study for the sake of studying. Make good use of what you learn. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsWes’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to make more money this year. He’s tightening up his website and offers....
Nov 22, 2020
James Jani – You May Gain the Right Skills From the Wrong Path
49:16 (James Jani) is a YouTube Expert and Vlogger, who creates thought-provoking documentaries on YouTube about Business, Money, and Life. He’s been running a YouTube channel since January of 2020 that has now grown to 422k+ subscribers, with an average of 2 million views a month! His “The Untold Truth About Money” has had 3.8m views, and he first went down his rabbit hole watching “The Rise of Fake Gurus...” James now wants to share his methods with other people interested in growing their YouTube channel to expand their audience reach and engagement massively.   “Just to go in and dive into more stuff. And even if it doesn’t turn out into a career, there are tasks in there that might be useful in finding out what exactly you want to do.” James Jani   Worst investment everJames had always had a knack for acting, and he loved the validation that came from acting. Everyone knew him as James the actor. He had built a massive reputation behind his desire to be an actor. Trying to get into drama schoolJames tried to get into drama school, but he didn’t get in. He decided to join his friends for a trip to Portugal during his gap year. He came back home broke. Money for survivalJames had already resigned himself to living the life of a poor actor. He didn’t have so much desire for money because he knew he would only be rich once he made it as an actor. However, now that he had come home broke and didn’t make it into drama school, James decided to make some money to survive. James learned about selling second-hand stuff on eBay and decided to try it. He scouted his room for things he could sell and found some old video games. He sold all of them. James then hit garage sales and got a few more items and sold all of them. The fire of entrepreneurship sparksIt was while selling stuff on eBay that James had this huge desire to become an entrepreneur. After trying and failing to get into drama school for the second time, he realized that he didn’t want to be an actor after all. However, he couldn’t admit this to himself, his friends, or his parents. James had grown to identify himself as an actor, and he just couldn’t let it go. James continued to research on making money as the fire to become an entrepreneur kept burning in him as his passion for acting kept waning. However, he still kept trying to become an actor instead of putting more effort into ( becoming an entrepreneur). Nobody caresEventually, James figured that nobody cared that he didn’t want to become an actor anymore. He stopped worrying about what people would say and finally paid attention to his love for entrepreneurship, and finally made something big out of this passion. Lessons learnedLearn from your failuresYou will make lots of mistakes in life as you try to find your true north. Don’t let these mistakes hold you back. Instead, learn from your failures and let them propel you to greatness. Andrew’s takeawaysLet value be your motivatorBusiness is about bringing value and not about money. Money is just validation. Every job is the sameJust throw yourself into the work in front of you, and learn the tasks involved with that work. That work may not be where you end up, but the tasks and the skills you acquire will be applied elsewhere. Identify the tasks that you love to do the most, and then find a job that allows you to do these tasks. Actionable adviceDo as much as you can, and learn from each of those experiences. The best thing that will happen is that you may learn that you weren’t interested in that job in the first place. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsJames’ number one goal for the next 12 months is to bring in video editors, people to help him with the research side of things, and a manager to run the day to day activities. He hopes that with this team, he will create even better content...
Nov 19, 2020
Daniel St-Jean – Decide on Your Investing System and Follow It
22:31 (Daniel St-Jean) was born and raised in Montreal. Still, he has also lived in Whitehorse Yukon Territory, Vancouver BC, Ottawa, and now home is in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. He is an entrepreneur to the core, and the last time he received a paycheck as an employee was in 1986. Over the 34 years since, he has owned several businesses, including an art gallery and framing shop and a publishing company. As well, he wrote and published two Canadian bestsellers. He started investing in real estate in 2010 with his wife Laurel because they needed a source of income that was not tied to them living in Ottawa, where they were working as consultants. They wanted to move to Ontario’s wine region, so Laurel could pursue a life-long dream of becoming a winemaker. It took them only four years to be in a position to kiss Ottawa goodbye and move to Niagara-on-the-Lake. In their 11 years in the real estate investing business, they have acquired 62 properties worth over $25 million. The fantastic part is that to date; they are yet to invest one dollar in that portfolio—100% financed with OPM–Other People’s Money. How to do that is one of the many things they teach the members of ( The REITE Club) that they co-founded in March 2017.   “We are now following our investing system to the letter, no exception for any reason whatsoever. Now we’re successful.” Daniel St-Jean   Worst investment everDaniel and his wife kicked off their real estate investing career with the ( rent-to-own strategy). They built on it slowly and got some real success out of it. In 2012, they went to Nova Scotia to expand their market. They found some cool people who wanted to do a rent-to-own deal, and they decided to get into business with them. Breaking their own rulesDaniel and his wife had a couple of rules that they followed when looking for property to invest in. One was to pick a house that they could quickly sell should the people renting it walk away. The second rule was always to take a deposit. However, they broke these two crucial real estate investing rules. Facing the consequencesAfter two months of renting the house, the people moved out unbeknownst to Daniel and his wife. They were now stuck with a house in the middle of nowhere with snowbanks so high. It wasn’t the easiest house to sell, but they managed to, albeit making a loss of $25,000. Putting in place a reliable investing systemAfter that loss, Daniel spent the next three or four months, setting up an investing system. This system had about 52 points, and this was the system he would always stick to when making investment decisions. Breaking the rules againIn the Fall of 2013, Daniel did a refinancing deal with a family that he felt needed his help. He didn’t like the house much, and he also didn’t take a deposit, but he went ahead and bought the house because he wanted to help this lovely family. The family, however, panicked and moved out just as the purchase was being closed. Now Daniel had this rundown empty massive house in a little town outside of Ottawa. The empty house cost Daniel $2,500 every month to maintain. Finding the elusive buyerIn the Spring of 2014, someone approached Daniel and told him that he’d want to rent the house and turn it into a daycare. He would be paying $4,500 in rent. Daniel got excited about the prospect of finally making some money from this property. However, after a year of waiting for the guy to get approval for his daycare, they found out that the water supply on that side of the street was insufficient for them to run a daycare, and so the client slowly walked away. Finally, Daniel could rent it out to a tenant paying $2,500 just enough to
Nov 16, 2020
Rhonadale Florentino – To Succeed in Startups, Don’t Just Do it
30:33 (Rhonadale Florentino) has been an HR practitioner for around 19 years. She is the CEO and President of ( UpRush Social Geekers), an HR solutions and services provider located in the Philippines. She has held various director-level positions and has worked on the Gamification Framework to gamify human resources and the Digital 201, which helped her company digitize its human resources operations. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and has been quite active in improving the standards of HR in the Philippines through programs like UpRush’s HR Boot Camp, which provides the necessary competencies for up-and-coming HR practitioners who would like to become professionals someday.   “Don’t just start a small business blindly. Do your due diligence first.” Rhonadale Florentino   Worst investment everRhonadale got into an accident and was bedridden for about two months. She’s not the type of person who can just sit down and not do anything. So during those two months, she was thinking of how she could earn money as she recuperated. Doing online jobsRhonadale decided to look for online platforms where she could get a job, and then she came across oDesk (currently Upwork). She applied for jobs and got hired. But it was not for HR work but a writing job. Rhonadale wrote articles and blogs, and in the process, she got to understand what SEO is. Starting a small businessRhonadale enjoyed working online, and by the time she was going back to work, she was toying with the idea of doing a consultancy in internet marketing, which at that point, she thought was something that she could manage. Let’s start doing businessRhonadale wasted no time trying to analyze the business idea. Instead, she registered the business, came up with a catchy business name, and just started. Rhonadale felt very proud of herself. She was in her late 20s at the time, enjoying being the president of her own company. Off to a good startRhonadale started tapping into her previous internet marketing clients and subscribed them to her business instead of going through oDesk. She looked for connections from her last bosses and got some excellent referrals. The first few months were the best for her. Money was coming in, and she was getting a lot of clients. Building a teamRhonadale’s clients were too many for her to handle them alone. She decided to hire a team. Rhonadale started looking for people that she had an emotional connection with even though this goes against all of the things she’d learned as an HR professional. Instead of looking into competencies and skills, she was looking at the emotional connection. Rhonadale got people that were part of her life. Not up to the taskSince the team she built didn’t share the same vision as her, nor the skills needed to do the job, she started getting many complaints because the quality of the services that they were putting out was not the same as before. Trying to run the business while training her team put so much strain on Rhonadale. So she reduced the number of clients she was taking in, and so the income decreased. Losing sight of the financesRhonadale did not have anyone monitoring her finances. Her idea of finances at the time was that money coming in was more than what she was spending. But because no one was watching her expenses, Rhonadale spent so much on things that were not important to the business. She was also spending so much of her personal finances as part of the company’s finances. Rhonadale got someone to help her with the finances, and that’s when she figured out that she was losing so much money and had to cut down on costs and let go of some people. So, where was the problem?While going through her finances and trying to get her business back on track, Rhonadale realized that how she started that business was wrong right from the start. Rhonadale didn’t do any research, and she hired the
Nov 15, 2020
Jim Rembach – Some Risks Just Can’t Be Avoided
26:38 (Jim Rembach) is a Customer Experience Authority and President of ( Influence to Action), which operates several entities, including CX Global Media, Call Center Coach Virtual Leadership Academy, Contact Center Virtual Summit, and Customer Service Weekly. He’s the host of the ( Fast Leader Show), ( B2B Digital Marketer), and ( Customer Service Weekly) podcasts. Jim is a Certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Community Specialist, Employee Retention Specialist, and Digital Marketer. His work as a digital business development expert enables organizations to deliver on the needs of the new digital business development imperative.   “Do it again even after losing because there are opportunities existing out there, and you’ve got to make those moves.” Jim Rembach   Worst investment everTime for some riskJim had some money that he was willing to risk in a new investment, so he started looking around for risk opportunities. Finding the right fitJim picked about five different companies to look at. He did his research and ensured that he had marked off all the checkboxes. Then he decided on a female apparel company that seemed promising. Even though the company had some short term debt issues, it got refinanced for favorable rates. Staying down underJim had hoped that the company would pick up, and the stock starts performing well. However, they went down further. Jim stayed hopeful. He did more research, and all indications showed that the company would pick up. Jim decided to double his investment in the company. The unavoidable lossRoughly four or five months after he doubled down, the company declared bankruptcy, and just like that, Jim lost his entire investment. Lessons learnedKeep taking risksContinue taking risks even when you lose. Don’t have your emotions tied so profoundly in the loss and make it stop you from trying again. Do your due diligence (Do your due diligence) and research, look at fundamental elements before you make a move. Andrew’s takeawaysPlay with money that you can loseInvest money that you can afford to lose to avoid losing all your wealth. Be aware of event riskEvent risk happens very suddenly. It could be bankruptcy, a corporate governance event where the owner did something benefiting themselves and harming others. With event risk, when it is announced, either trading stops immediately, or the stock price falls 30%, and you can’t execute that stop loss. Apply rules of risk managementRisk assessment is critical when getting into investment. Size your position and go into a position slowly. Actionable adviceHave an active pool of funds that you’re looking at doing some speculating with. Also, learn how to become better at your research from a human perspective. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsJim’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to look at the permanent shifts that people think are temporary and make some investments because he believes wealth is made in downturns, not upswings. Parting words  “Move forward. Even if you end up taking two steps back from one step forward, it’s just temporary.” Jim Rembach   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Jim Rembach (LinkedIn) (Twitter) (Facebook) (Website) Andrew’s books (How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market)...
Nov 12, 2020
Michelle Connell – Long-Term Gains Come From Protecting the Downside
18:59 (Michelle Connell), CFA, owns Portia Capital Management, LLC, a registered Investment Advisory firm specializing in the investments of foundations, charities, and high net worth individuals. Portia Capital Management is the only investment management firm in the Dallas-Fort Worth area owned by a female CFA charterholder-an important resource in a world where 60% of women retire in poverty. Michelle’s expertise is backed by more than 20 years of financial experience in management positions with large investment boutiques and private banks. She is also one of the highest-rated finance professors in the U.S., currently serving as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Dallas. She works with her students and clients to understand the value of crafting a portfolio that includes conventional products as well as alternative assets. In addition to her work with students and clients, Michelle teaches the CFA Review through the DFW CFA Society. She also founded “ (Portia’s Children),” through which up to 10 percent of her company’s profits are donated to the North Texas Charity, Educational First Steps.   “The only way that you’re going to have any security is by understanding money and finance.” Michelle Connell   Worst investment everMichelle got a job analyzing semiconductor stocks for a private boutique in San Diego in the late 90s. She didn’t have a background in engineering, and because technology stocks can be extremely volatile, it was a struggle for her to handle these stocks. No choice but to learnTo save her job and prevent losing too much on the stocks, Michelle quickly learned ( how to understand any investment's downside), whether it’s a stock, a bond, a private investment, etc. This way, she could tell when to let go of an investment. Though this was tough, this knowledge worked to Michelle’s advantage as a few years later; she got to use it as the head of the tech sector for Wells Fargo, right before the tech bubble burst. Lessons learnedAlways look at the downsideLook at the downside of your stocks, and if possible, have your analyst hold back on what you own. And if you don’t understand the downside, be willing to sidestep the upside. Actionable adviceYou need to evaluate the upside and downside in the different investments you hold. That doesn’t just mean the individual securities, but also those within a particular style or market cap. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsFor the next 12 months, Michelle's goal is to concentrate on her investment reallocations and take advantage of her portfolio's fixed income side. Parting words  “Keep reading and looking at the downside as well as the upside. Think of investing as a long-term game. That’s the way you should approach your retirement and your assets.” Michelle Connell   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Michelle Connell (LinkedIn) (Instagram) (Website) Andrew’s books (How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market) (My Worst Investment Ever) (9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them)...
Nov 10, 2020
Jordan Paris – Do What You Want to Do
16:11 (Jordan Paris) is an author, podcast host, and entrepreneur featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Men’s Health, Yahoo! Finance, and Market Watch. Jordan’s podcast, ( Growth Mindset University), was ranked #6 in Apple’s Self-Improvement category, #3 in the Training category, and #5 in the How-to category. In Education, one of Apple’s most competitive categories, the show was ranked #15. The show has also rated highly in 40+ countries worldwide. On the show, Jordan interviews his heroes, including James Altucher, Grant Cardone, Robert Greene, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, Ryan Serhant, Dean Graziosi, and Naveen Jain. Jordan is the founder of ( Trend Up Media), a one-stop podcast agency that produces podcasts to help businesses grow in profit and influence. His life and business approach is simple yet powerful: Don’t make a living, design a life. With this creator’s mentality, Jordan has produced outstanding results for himself and challenges others to rise above circumstances, break the mold of society, and take control of their lives.   “If you are thinking of starting a podcast, I say just start because it’s something that you honestly want to and do not because other people are doing it.” Jordan Paris   Worst investment everJordan got wrapped up in the fact that he wasn’t cool in high school, and so for the better part of his life, he just wanted to prove everyone wrong. He wanted to prove to everyone that he could be famous. Using his podcast to fuel his desire for validationThe only way Jordan could attain fame and credibility over the past few years was to surround himself with other famous people. And so his podcast, for the most part, has been a show where people can have a front-row seat to his narcissism. A platform where he would talk with famous people, laughing along with them, sucking up to them, and not asking the tough questions. The epiphanyJordan recently had an epiphany where he realized that he’s been doing life the wrong way. Now, if he’s going to be known, he wants to be known for having something important to say and having actually done something. Jordan does not want to be famous just for the sake of being famous. Lessons learnedDo it for you, not othersMany people do things they don’t want to do and buy things they don’t want or need to impress people who don’t care. They’re then forced to do more things that they don’t want to do to keep up that lifestyle and keep up with that image. Don’t join that rat race. Realize it is enoughAwareness is almost always the first step to dealing with every hurdle you face. Andrew’s takeawaysJust do itDo what you want to do, even if it is not necessarily what you’re good at. Don’t get caught up with what people thinkPeople don’t care that much about you, so don’t get caught up with what people think about you. Embrace your problemsWhat is that thing in your life that you’ve been running away from or you haven’t been aware of? Stop running, turn around, and embrace it. Actionable adviceLearn to question yourself and everything. Scrutinize yourself. This leads to good things. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsJordan’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to achieve the revenue goal he set at the beginning of the year.   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Jordan Paris (LinkedIn) (Twitter) (Facebook) (Instagram) (YouTube) (Website) Andrew’s...
Nov 08, 2020
Luke Fenwick – What Is Your Legacy in Life?
28:28 (Luke Fenwick) has had a corporate career spanning over 20 years across numerous industries, including luxury goods and professional sports at organizations such as Louis Vuitton Moet, Hennessy, and Melbourne United Basketball Club. He is a father and husband and chose to follow his purpose and become a life impact coach to help people gain awareness of their vision and goals and their deeply held beliefs to create a positive impact in their lives. His official teaching is derived from the Jay Shetty Genius School for Life Coaches; however, his approach with clients has been shaped by coaching and mentoring people over 20 years and studying experts.   “If you don’t have a strong handle on your beliefs, the things that shape your life, and what you believe around yourself, then that will impact your goals and your ability to get there.” Luke Fenwick   Worst investment everChasing the money Luke was working for the Melbourne United Basketball Club when he got a job opportunity in Australia. The new position offered more money, and even though he found joy in working for the club, he liked the idea of making more money. Luke could now afford to do property development and other investments, so he took the job. Regretting his decisionLuke had thought that the new job was something that he would do for 10 or more years. However, all of a sudden, he started feeling that this was not it for him. Every day, for six months, he would wake up at 4 am dreading to go to work. The job didn’t align with his passion and purpose, and he hated it. Walking awayAfter months of anxiety and hating his job, Luke spoke to his wife about how he felt and why this job would not be long-term. They decided that he should quit and follow his passion. After so much reflection, Luke decided that this was enough, and things needed to change, and he left the job. Lessons learnedSelf-validation is importantMost people look for validation from others and not from within. They look for that praise or that pat on the back from their peers and friends so that they can feel confident. Real confidence, though, comes from self-validation. This is especially important if you’re looking to do challenging things outside of the box. Pause, reflect and ask yourself what is your legacyTake time to understand what’s happening in your life. Ask yourself how your life impacts other people in your life, what your legacy is, and do you like how things are turning out. Enjoy the journeyTake a pause and enjoy the journey. Be grateful for the far that you’ve come no matter what’s going on in your life. Don’t get stuck on always focusing on what was further down the road. No one is perfectFailure is part of life. Don’t dwell on the times life is imperfect. Andrew’s takeawaysBe ready to quit oftenWhen you find something that’s not working for you, don’t be afraid to leave it. Often, people don’t leave things because they fear the unknown, but it’s ok to walk away and say it wasn’t for me. Be gratefulLearn how to step back and count your blessings, especially in times of crisis. Actionable adviceWhether life is good or you’re struggling, take the opportunity to pause, reflect, and look at the legacy and life you’re creating. If you’re not satisfied with what you think life will be in 10, 20, 30, or 40 years from now, then start to make some changes now. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsLuke has a vision that by 2025, he will have impacted one million lives. His goal for the next 12 months is to continue engaging with people, get in front of many businesses, and do as much coaching as he can. Luke also wants to keep learning, growing, getting better every day, being more mindful and aware of what he needs to work on. If he does all of those things, he’ll become a better dad, better husband, and better coach and impact more lives. Parting words  “Don’t let those weeks, months, and years pass you by...
Nov 05, 2020
Josh Steimle – Get Your Priorities Straight and Remarkable Things Can Happen
34:41 (Josh Steimle) is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker, best known for his framework ( The 7 Systems of Influence) and the 300+ articles he’s published in more than two dozen publications like Time, Forbes, Fortune, Mashable, and TechCrunch. Get started on writing your book with Josh at (   “Business should never be your highest priority. If it is, you will lose the business along with everything else.” Josh Steimle   Worst investment everWanting to be like the greatsJosh was a college student when he made his worst investment ever. At the time, he had what he thought was a great job making $13 an hour. The company Josh was working for was growing like crazy. And so he thought he should leave and start his own business. Josh would look at the company executives flying around, meeting with venture capitalists, having all the fun and making all the money, and think to himself, “I could do that too.” So he quit his job and started his own business. Doing what he knew bestJosh knew how to design websites and hence started a web design business. He thought this would be as easy as ( launching a business), and then people line up and hire him. But nobody lined up. Soon enough, Josh had no money to pay rent and sold everything he owned on eBay to pay the rent. Things start to looking upAfter a while, Josh got a few clients and was able to survive. The business continued to grow steadily. Then he brought on a partner and then another, and the company grew a little bit more. It was tough, but he made it along. Heading separate waysJosh and the partners kept fighting and disagreeing on how to run the business. Eventually, things got so bad that they had to sell the business. Josh restarted over again in 2003. Things went back to being tough. Because of the bad experience he had with his partners, Josh decided to do this by himself. Giving business his allJosh went out and got a $100,000 loan from the bank. He also borrowed money from family and friends. He invested all the money in his new business, and for the next four years, he drowned himself in work. Josh would work 100 hours a week. He would go to sleep at three am on his office floor, wake up at 6 am and go right back to work six days a week. Josh didn’t take holidays; he worked Christmases and birthdays. He missed weddings and family reunions. Josh thought he was investing in himself, the business, and his family’s future. He believed that everything was going to pay off eventually, someday. Four years of nothingFor the next four years, Josh immersed himself in his business, but he made absolutely no profit. He didn’t pay himself a dime all this while because he couldn’t afford it and was drowning in about $500,000 of debt. Josh’s family had gained nothing from all the time and energy he put into the business. He was now at risk of losing his wife and family if he kept going down this path. It took Josh four years to realize that this was not working; it was not a good investment, and that he was losing everything. Taking it a notch downJosh decided that he would not continue working like this anymore. He started working 40 hours a week, spent more time with his wife, and didn’t work weekends anymore. A funny thing happened once Josh set those boundaries and said no more. Within two months, he was paying himself for the first time in four years. He was able to pay off 10 or 20 grand in debt every month, and his wife could quit her job. She had been supporting the family for the previous four years, and she hated it. Everything turned around as soon as Josh set those boundaries. Lessons learnedSet your own boundariesDon’t let life set the boundaries for you, do it yourself. If you leave it
Nov 03, 2020
Oluwatosin Olaseinde – Africa’s Financial Literacy Queen Says Be Careful Who You Trust
21:40 (Oluwatosin Olaseinde) is a professional accountant with over 10 years of experience spanning across accounting, audit, financial management, and taxation. She is the Founder and CEO of ( Money Africa), an ed-tech platform that enhances financial literacy and investments leveraging technology. Oluwatosin is a Washington Mandela Fellow, and she was a finalist for The Future Awards. In 2019, she was selected as one of the top 100 women by The Leading Ladies Africa. She was awarded one of the top 8 traders by CNBC Africa in 2012 and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Oluwatosin has spoken at TedX and has been featured on BBC UK, Al Jazeera, Guardian, and other outlets.   “Be comfortable with having money conversations. It’s your money, and you have every right to know where it goes and how it works.” Oluwatosin Olaseinde   Worst investment everThe one with the winnersOluwatosin had this friend who was always talking about how well his investments were performing and would always entice her to join him. In 2017 the Bitcoin craze was gaining so much momentum. At the beginning of the year, it was at $2,000, then $3,000, and it kept growing. Her friend was ( investing in Bitcoin) and would constantly tell Oluwatosin about all the profits he was making. Oluwatosin now wanted a piece of the pie. Investment out of her reachBeing an account, Oluwatosin knew about the stock market, mutual funds, and all these other things, but Bitcoin sounded very futuristic. It sounded very abstract, and she didn’t understand it. So she was relying on her friend’s knowledge. When ( the price of Bitcoin) hit $10,000, Oluwatosin decided she could not wait anymore. She reached out to her friend, and because she didn’t bother to learn about Bitcoin, she entrusted her friend to invest on her behalf. At this point, the price was about $18,000. Oluwatosin handed her friend a large amount of money, and he promised to invest it. Time to cash outOluwatosin’s friend created an account on some Bitcoin platform and told her that he had invested her money on that platform. He would continuously give her updates on WhatsApp. Oluwatosin trusted these updates and, therefore, never concerned herself with learning how the platform worked. The next year, the Bitcoin market stagnated, and Oluwatosin knew it was time to get out. The price was at $20,000, and she felt she’d made enough profit, and it was better to get out when the market was still high. Cat and mouse gamesOluwatosin told her friend that she wanted to sell, and he tried to convince her otherwise, but she stood her ground. Then the games began. Oluwatosin would message him, and he would not respond. She even reached out to mutual friends for help, but nothing worked. Eventually, she got to learn that her friend had never invested her money, and he’d basically stolen all her money in the name of investing in Bitcoin. Lessons learnedFinancial literacy is criticalFinancial literacy is excellent. However, when it comes to particular sectors, people tend to feel they are too technology-driven. And, therefore, do not educate themselves in these sectors. The truth is that the concept is the same across the field. So whether you are investing in a savings account, shares, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, etc. the rule is the same, you have to understand how the investment works and how to access it. Always own your assetIf you do not own your asset, you cannot control the resources. Should you outsource the ownership to other people, always document it as proof of ownership. Even the best investors make mistakesMany times people think they are too intelligent ever to make
Oct 29, 2020
Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya – You Need All Types to Build a Successful Business
26:04 (Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya) is a Sports & Entertainment lawyer and Entrepreneur. She is an accredited mediator with the Lagos High Court Multi Door Centre and a member of the panel of neutrals at the Lagos Court of Arbitration. She has years of experience in the banking and capital markets in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. She is a Nigeria SEC-registered compliance officer, providing regional compliance, risk management, and financial crime prevention advisory support. Her broad experience in the compliance industry covers investment banking, brokerage, and fund management sectors. Additionally, she is passionate about sports and youth development and founded the ( Lagos Tigers Football Club) in 2012, the Little Tigers Football Foundation in 2017, and a social network for women called GFC.   “Delay is not denial. Things do not have to run at top speed to indicate that you’re on the right path.” Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya   Worst investment everIn 2015 Beverley and her good friend were talking about doing something to better their lives. They explored different things, and her friend suggested that they get into the peanut butter packaging business. Beverley did some research and realized that there was such a massive market for peanut butter in the US, and so she paid the suggestion more attention. Jumping right into itThe two friends jumped right into business. They did a bit of research, came up with a name and branding. They were reeling to go. The friend even suggested that they not only do peanut butter but cashew nut butter too. They went all out with different flavors. They received an incredible reception when the butter went on sale. The clashing of two personalitiesThe butter was selling in their hundreds, and everything was going great except for the two business partners’ personalities. Beverley is brash and rash, while her friend is very detailed and a risk manager. And so the two kept clashing whenever they would have different business ideas. Beverley, especially wouldn’t take feedback well. Things turn uglyBeverley wanted things done in a rush, while her friend would instead take things slow. Beverley was also very emotionally driven and would often react irrationally during disagreements. Things got so bad that one morning Beverley woke up and changed all the factory locks locking her friend out. This was the last straw that brought the butter business to its premature end. Lessons learnedSolve problems rationallyYou don’t have to react immediately every time you are confronted with a problem or a misunderstanding. You don’t need to act on whatever comes to your mind first because sometimes the first thing you think of doing could put you in jail. Develop emotional intelligencePeople who have high ( emotional intelligence) tend to be better leaders, teammates, and colleagues. You can have the best skills, you can be the best, but what is the point if your emotional intelligence is so low? Draw the line between emotions and businessIt is unnatural to expect your business partner to agree with everything you say and vice versa. You will often disagree, but it doesn’t mean that you should take it personally. Meet people halfwayEverybody has their reference point, so meet them where they are and find ways to complement each other. Everyone has something unique to offerEverybody has different skill sets that add value to your business. If you keep measuring other people by your standards, you’ll never be satisfied. Andrew’s takeawaysThe ugly side of businessWhen books talk about building a successful business, they never talk about the ugly side of the hustle. It takes blood and sweat to build a business. Most books won’t tell you this. Slow and steady wins the raceDon’t be in a rush...
Oct 27, 2020
Steve Anderson – Make Successful Failures Like Amazon and Protect the Downside
33:07 (Steve Anderson) is an expert in strategic risk and business growth. Drawing on decades of experience in the insurance industry, he wrote ( The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon), a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and international bestseller. With hundreds of thousands of followers, Steve has been handpicked by LinkedIn as one of the world’s most influential thought leaders.   “Measure what matters, question what was measured, and trust your gut.” Steve Anderson   Worst investment everIn 2007, Steve inherited a pretty good amount of money from his sister, who died from breast cancer. He wanted to invest this money in the smartest way possible. So he went to an investment advisor who advised him to invest in REITs and Class A office buildings, which he did. Here comes the recessionA year later, the recession hit the US real estate market, and Steve lost his entire investment. He knew that he should have pulled out his investment as soon as things started to take a turn, but he opted to hold on for a year hoping for the best. Unfortunately, this turned out to be his worst investment decision ever. His one mistakeWhile he had the right intentions and was even smartly investing his inheritance, Steve made the one mistake not to put measures in place to protect the downside. Lessons learnedThink more about downside protectionSomething will always happen that is outside your control. So think about what you’re going to do in case of uncertainties. Protect your assetsConcentrate more on protecting your assets than growing them. Andrew’s takeawaysFocus on the long termA lot of times, we get caught up in the short term. Instead, focus on the things that will make money over a long period, such as stocks and bonds. Shortfall risk is a huge riskVery few people ever think about ( shortfall risk). Most people take comfort in putting all their money in the bank, thinking that it’s low risk. No, that’s high risk because your money will never grow. Actionable adviceDo a better job than I did to protect the downside. No. 1 goal for the next 12 monthsFor the next 12 months, Steve’s goal is to keep the book alive and keep the buzz going. Hopefully, this will lead to live in-person events. Parting words  “Obsess over your customers. Think about that more because you’re probably not.” Steve Anderson   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Steve Anderson (LinkedIn) (Facebook) (Twitter) (Instagram) (Blog) (Website) Andrew’s books (How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market) (My Worst Investment Ever) (9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them) (Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points) Andrew’s online...
Oct 25, 2020
Ela Staniak Leaupepe – Use Multiple Lead Generation Platforms to Have a Safety Net
33:21 (Ela Staniak Leaupepe) was born in Poland, and her challenging upbringing was a speed lesson in life. At 21, she moved to Australia and began working first in the fitness industry before embarking on a journey through online and corporate coaching. She studied Fitness, Sports Coaching, Neurolinguistic Programming, Hypnotherapy, Public Speaking, Intuitive Coaching, and attended countless professional development events. Ela is the Founder and CEO of ( Feminine Leaders)–which creates a pathway for women to rise and find their place as true leaders. Ela partners with CEOs, Executives & Business Owners to produce high caliber business results and access their creative genius.   “Always have multiple lead generation platforms to serve your network and clientele.” Ela Staniak Leaupepe   Worst investment everEla had, for the longest time, wanted to expand her fitness career into something bigger that could empower women all over the world. She took the bold step to learn about business coaching and hired a coach. Finding her sweet spotEla invested over $100,000 in various personal development programs and business coaching programs. She also invested about $10,000 in Facebook marketing and used it as her primary lead generation platform. Finally, this year, she found her sweet spot in the business and had a formidable social media presence on Facebook. Ela had created a name for herself and was now the go-to person for women empowerment, weight loss, and hypnotherapy. Rug pulled out from under herUnfortunately for Ela, the sweet spot didn’t last very long. In June this year, Ela woke up one morning and found an email notifying her of suspicious login activity on her Facebook account and was asked to verify her identity. That verification was rejected, and her accounts got deleted entirely and disabled. Ela had 5,000 connections on her personal profile, nearly 11,000 connections on her business page, and almost 6,000 connections on Instagram. She was also running two different Facebook groups; one of them had 1,600 women in there. Shock, disbelief, and denialAt first, Ela went into shock, disbelief, and complete denial. She convinced herself that there must be a way to get her accounts back. She hadn’t done anything wrong anyway. Ela tried to contact Facebook several times, pleading her case. She eventually heard back from Facebook but not with the kind of news she was hoping for. Ela was informed that the decision to close her Facebook accounts had been reviewed and that her application to have the decision reversed had been rejected. She couldn’t believe that all the years of work, sleepless nights, 18 hour days, moments of tears, moments of giving up, and continuously pursuing and persisting in building her business on Facebook and Instagram had gone down the drain. One too fewUnfortunately, other than her email list Ela did not have any other lead generation platform, so she had to rebuild her audience from scratch. While running her business on Facebook and Instagram alone had been fruitful for a moment, it turned out to be her worst investment ever because she abandoned other platforms, and now she had nothing to work with. Lessons learnedHave multiple lead generation platformsWhen you are creating a business, have multiple lead generation platforms that you can use to serve your network and your clientele. This ensures that you still have a soft spot to fall onto should any of the platforms fail. Be flexible and adaptableIf you want to run a business or organization or be in a managerial position, practice flexibility and adaptation. Challenges, whether it’s in business or personal life, never end. So always be flexible enough to adapt to change. Andrew’s takeawaysEmbrace changeWhen things are falling apart, acknowledge that change is inevitable and embrace it. Find new ways to make the change work. Be more of...
Oct 22, 2020
John Pastor – Ask the Right Questions When Finding a Job
27:26 (John Pastor) has close to two decades of leadership experience in the business process industry in the Philippines. He has numerous years of exposure in both the in-house and outsourced areas of the industry and has had the opportunity to work with top tier multinational organizations since 2001. Aside from operations, he is also well-versed in the business’s different areas, such as continuous improvement, quality, sales, business development, workforce management, facilities management, training, human resources, and recruitment. He has had the opportunity to either oversee these areas directly and indirectly or collaborate with their respective department heads. John is passionate about people development, creating a positive culture and working environment, client and stakeholder relations, customer advocacy, and running day to day operations.   “If you’re unemployed, don’t just grab the first thing that’s out there. Look for something that you truly want to be a part of.” John Pastor   Worst investment everIn early 2001, John discovered the Business Process Outsourcing industry, and he felt right at home. He worked for different multinationals within the industry and built a budding career. A gloomy ChristmasThings were going pretty well for John until December 15, 2015. This is a date he remembers very well because, on that day, darkness entered his life. John received a redundancy letter. The company he was working for at the time no longer needed his services. The company was trying to reduce costs, so they made a few roles in their Philippines office redundant. And just like that, John lost his job two weeks before Christmas. Back to job huntingSearching for a job during Christmas and New Year was a futile attempt for John. It took him 10 months to get his first job offer. It had been a difficult 10 months, and John had grown desperate. No questions askedThe inability to provide financially for his family took a toll on John mentally, physically, and emotionally. When the first job offer came, he took it, no questions asked. After a few months, John was laid off again. His company decided to move all their business from the Philippines to India because it was a lot cheaper from a back-office work perspective. Two times wiserLuckily, this time around, the job search didn’t take John too long. In about two months, he had another job. This time though, he was smart enough to dig deeper during the interviews to make sure that he got himself a job that was the right fit for him and that he would not find himself jobless just a few months in. Lessons learnedTake your time when finding a jobDon’t be in a rush when ( finding a job). Ask many questions whenever you go for interviews to open up conversations about the role being offered. You want to make sure that the position and company is the right fit for you. Stay positiveRemain positive even when things are bad because holding onto negative ideas will only beat you up and make you give up. Andrew’s takeawaysAdapt to changeWhen things change, you also have to change the circumstances a bit to break the cycle of the emotions you’re going through. Don’t be too hard on yourselfThings go wrong in life all the time. It’s not always that it’s your fault that things don’t work out. There are times in life where circumstances are a significant factor, and so when things go south, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just know that this too shall pass. Actionable adviceIf you’re unemployed and job hunting, do not just grab the first opportunity that comes up. Take your time and ask as many questions as possible during the interview process. Make sure that you’re getting into something that you truly love and that the role is something that would align with your core competencies. No. 1 goal for the next 12...
Oct 20, 2020
Cameron Herold – Don’t Let Your Mindset Block Your Next $108-Million Investment
Cameron Herold is the founder of the COO Alliance & Second In Command Podcast. He is known worldwide as THE CEO Whisperer and is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth. Cameron has built a dynamic consultancy by speaking, not from theory, but experience. He earned his reputation as the business growth guru by guiding his clients to double their profit and double their revenue in just three years or less. Cameron was an entrepreneur from day 1. At age 21, he had 14 employees. By 35, he’d help build his first two $100 million companies. By the age of 42, Cameron engineered 1-800-GOT-JUNK?’s spectacular growth from $2 million to $106 million in revenue and 3,100 employees—and he did that in just six years. Not only does Cameron know how to grow businesses, but the current publisher of Forbes magazine called him “The best speaker I’ve ever heard...”. Cameron is the author of the global best-selling business book Double Double, which is in its 7th printing and multiple translations around the world, as well as Meetings Suck and The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs. Look for all of Cameron’s five business books on Amazon today.   “Working hard isn’t the path to success, but working smart is.” Cameron Herold   Worst investment ever Cameron used to judge people based on the way they looked. He naturally gravitated to the good looking guy, the woman who looked successful, people who dressed and carried themselves well. In his mind, those were successful people. He would not give a thought to people who didn’t look successful, dressed more casually, who didn’t shave, probably overweight, and weren’t attractive. Cameron judged them as not being successful. He would avoid spending time getting to know them. Because he would judge very quickly, he would often miss out on opportunities. Snobbing the outsiders In the summer of 2008, Cameron invited (Tim Ferriss) to come to his first time at Burning Man; it would be Cameron’s second time. Tim said yes and brought two friends with him. One of Tim’s friends was an entrepreneur. At Burning Man, Tim and his timid friends didn’t quite fit in with Cameron’s group. Cameron’s friends did not embrace them, so they became the outsiders to his group. Being his usual judgy self, Cameron spent more time with his group than Tim and his friends. The missed opportunity of a lifetime One night, very late, Tim’s friend, the entrepreneur, wanted to pitch Cameron and his friends on a business that he was starting and had an investment opportunity. Cameron, however, did not give him any credit when he pitched his idea. He just brushed him off, thinking that because his first business was such a silly one, his second business wouldn’t be very successful. Tim’s friend explained his idea of pressing a button on an app, and a taxi or limousine would come to you. Apps at the time were a new and unpopular phenomenon. Cameron and his friends thought that this was the stupidest idea they’d ever heard. Cameron and his friends refused to invest in the business. Tim, however, put in $25,000 into the business. This business turned out to be Uber. The guy that Cameron judged as weird and not worth his time was Garrett Camp, the original CEO and founder of Uber. By saying no to him, Cameron missed out on $108 million, considering the company’s valuation the day of its IPO. Lessons learned Do not judge a book by its cover Do not judge people at face value. Take your time and get to know people before you judge them. When you go to conferences and other events, sit with people who don’t necessarily fit in. Get out of your comfort zone, meet new people, get to know them, and connect with them. Andrew’s takeaways Opportunities are all around us Often, we look at the opportunities that we miss and feel bad about it. But it’s always important to remember that there are millions of opportunities that we’re missing every single day. So don’t beat...
Oct 15, 2020
Avelo Roy – Don’t Let Investors Force You Into Something You Don’t Believe In
27:46 (Avelo Roy) is a serial tech entrepreneur, investor, and TV host, who started his first startup at the age of 19 around his patent-pending technology while still studying as a computer engineer at Illinois Institute of Technology. He built that company up to a multi-million dollar valuation by the age of 22. Over the years, he has built eight businesses in the US and India with millions of dollars’ worth of products and services ranging from consumer electronics, artificial intelligence systems, healthcare process automation, food science, wireless communications, wearable technology, and graphical password applications. As the great-great-grandson of the first female governor of India, a Gandhi-protégé (Sarojini Naidu), Avelo continues the legacy forward by tirelessly serving the Indian youth through entrepreneurship education using lean startup methodology and principles of Bhagavad Gita. His efforts through (Kolkata Ventures) in the past three years have resulted in 400+ revenue-generating startups responsible for around 4,500 new jobs created in 10 states of East India.   “Your investors should not have the right to tell you what to do, but they can advise.” Avelo Roy   Worst investment ever Avelo came across this fantastic well-respected venture capitalist who kept asking him to join a company that he wanted to buy from the current co-founders. The venture capitalist nagged Avelo for six months, but he kept saying no to his request. At the time, Avelo was running his business in Kolkata while the venture capitalist was in Delhi. The venture capitalist was so interested in hiring Avelo that he flew down to Kolkata. He told Avelo in two hours, everything that he was doing wrong with Kolkata Ventures. The guy knew what he was talking about. Getting a local mentor Avelo grew quite interested in the venture capitalist, especially because he needed a mentor in India. At the end of their discussion, Avelo decided to take up his offer. So he flew down to Delhi. He looked at the team and the business to see what was possible. The warning he should have heed The founder of the company told Avelo not to take the deal. He said to him that he’d been unable to run the company. The venture capitalist told Avelo to ignore the founder. The reason why they were getting rid of him was that he was very arrogant. He convinced Avelo to come on board and buy the founder out together. It took six months to get the papers in order and finally get access to the product. Working with the best The product the founder had built was the best in its category in the UK. But then the investors purposely let the founder “die”; they stopped investing. People came in with money and saw his arrogance, and would back off. When Avelo got the product, it was just buggy, irrelevant, and had many problems. The biggest hurdle, though, was that the payment gateway was not working. There was no way for customers to pay for the product. Trying to get things back on track Once Avelo had the team ready, he proposed to rebuild the product to the investors. They refused and said that the product was known for its intelligence built with so many data sets, and had hundreds of thousands of users. He couldn’t get rid of it, create something in six months, and expect it to work. They insisted that Avelo work with the product as it was and make it work. Avelo was getting quite frustrated with this decision. Having built eight businesses, gone through a product development life cycle over and over again, he knew that when you deal with somebody else’s code, it takes a long time to learn it. It is far easier and smarter to rebuild from scratch than take somebody else’s mess and try to make sense of it. But the investors disagreed with Avelo on that. All gateways shut The product was not making money as the payment gateway was still not working. To make matters worse, when the...
Oct 13, 2020
Todd Dewett – How the Pain of Failure Can Inspire You to Become an Expert
26:21 (Dr. Todd Dewett) is a best-selling leadership author, educator, and professional speaker. After beginning his career with Andersen Consulting and Ernst & Young, he completed his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior at Texas A&M University and enjoyed a career as an award-winning professor. Today he speaks, writes, coaches, and has created an educational library of courses at LinkedIn Learning that is enjoyed by millions of professionals in nearly every country in the world. Visit him online at (   “Hard work always pays, but it’s not always in money. Sometimes it’s in growth and learning, and sometimes that ends up making you more money in the long term.” Todd Dewett   Worst investment ever The successful young professor Todd was a young professor teaching classes and writing papers. His little fledging side career of speaking at conferences started to grow. Todd was getting more and more calls to speak at conferences. He was now feeling happy, grateful, and entirely too full of himself. Jumping on a trend Todd was doing an ancient podcast back then when no one was doing them when he noticed an obvious trend or what he thought was an obvious trend. He noticed that that microlearning,  shorter focused videos from YouTube were becoming popular. Todd kept getting feedback from students and people in the community and businesses about his talks. And so he figured well if he’s that good, then people would pay for his advice. Investing his inheritance Todd’s mother, unfortunately, passed and left him a small amount of money. He decided to do something he’d been thinking about for several years at that point, which was launching a business to monetize the advice he loved to give. And so he jumped onto the micro-video trend. Todd hired a video director who came with a lighting person and a hair and makeup person. Todd wrote scripts for over 100 initial mini-courses, three to five-minute advice oriented bits that he was going to do. Then he scouted the city where he lived, got 10 different locations, and started shooting the videos. Lights, cameras Todd was having a blast creating this database. He also hired a firm to build a subscription-based website in readiness for all the people he knew who would love his videos and pay top dollar, no doubt. And so he took over $100,000 and created all of this content over many hours, working alone to write and working with his team to shoot videos, have them edited, and loaded onto the website. Action The day to launch the videos finally came. Todd hit up his list and told them the videos were live. He went onto social media and made a huge announcement. Then he waited for the money to start rolling in. Crickets chirped. On the first day, only two people signed up. Then one person the next day. That’s almost all he ever got. Todd called his clients, and they said they were not sure the videos were what they needed. He heard many other statements about why the videos weren’t the right thing for so and so. Admitting he had failed Todd had this beautiful product. He had told so many people about it publicly through every microphone he could get his hands on, but no one cared. Six or seven months into this, Todd made a public announcement that this thing he was so proud of working very hard on and that had cost him more than any single investment he’d ever made in his entire life, was an absolute failure. He admitted that it was indeed his worst investment ever. It didn’t come close to breakeven; frankly, it just failed. Lessons learned To become an expert, you must learn Don’t be blinded by what you know, and thus less capable of seeing what you should learn. At the very least, build a team to help you understand what you don’t know. To become an expert, talk to smart people who know what you don’t and build a team that knows things you don’t. Andrew’s takeaways It’s not only about...
Oct 11, 2020
Nathanial Bibby – Growth Happens When Only You Can Help Yourself
Nathanial Bibby ranks number one in the Asia Pacific region on the Social Media Marketing Institute’s top LinkedIn marketers list, and he won Best Use of LinkedIn at the Social Media Marketing Awards 2019. He is a two-time finalist for the 2020 Social Media Marketing Awards for his campaigns “Monday Night Live” and “LinkedIn vs. Instagram.” (Bibby Consulting Group) has generated over $400 million in sales through LinkedIn lead generation.   “If you’re basing what you do in life on other people’s opinions of you, you will never be fulfilled.” Nathanial Bibby   Worst investment ever Ever since Nathanial started going to school, everything he did was geared towards seeking his family’s attention, especially his father. A lot of what he did at university and early on in his career was geared towards other people’s opinions. He always thought it was his responsibility to solve all of his father’s problems. It came as no surprise that after completing university, Nathanial went to work with his father in Phuket doing property development. A father-son duo Nathanial and his father were very successful in terms of sales, and the business was booming. Soon enough, his dad bought more land and developments that only caused trouble in their business. Spreading his wings Nathanial left Phuket and moved to Hong Kong, where he worked a job that he hated but kept doing it because his family thought it was the right job for him. Nathaniel tried several other things that he thought would please his family. It took him about six or seven years to do something that he wanted to do. Standing on his own Nathanial finally dared to do what he truly wanted. He quit his job and started a company, to the dismay of his family and friends. They all thought that he was insane and did not talk to him for six months. But, this was the most fulfilling decision Nathanial has ever made. Lessons learned Start listening to yourself If you’re basing what you do in life on other people’s opinions of you, you will never be fulfilled. Ignore the views of others, and listen to yourself. Start doing what you are most passionate about. Follow your passions It might be hard to say no to people and go out on your own. People will judge you and resist you changing altogether. But, when you succeed, they will respect you. Andrew’s takeaways Be more of you Often, the challenge is not to be like someone else; the challenge is to be more of you. Ultimately, you are unique, you are the only one, and you are your uniqueness. So be more of you. You can make it through the bad times Things don’t bring happiness. What brings joy is peace with yourself and having good people around you. With these two things, you can make it through anything. You can make it through losing everything, losing all the money that you have, if you have yourself, and good people around you. Actionable advice Find what you’re passionate about because if you’re a business owner, you’re going to run into some big challenges. If you’re not passionate about your business, you’ll probably give up, and the passionate people will outwork you. Secondly, start adding value without expectation, and all the things you need will get taken care of. The world will find a way to meet your human needs, whether it be your financial needs and your business, or relationships or what have you. All you need to do is get out of your head and focus on giving and helping other people. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Nathanial’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to simply turn 36 years old. Parting words   “Andrew, keep doing what you’re doing. I love seeing people adding value. It’s fantastic.” Nathanial Bibby   [spp-transcript]   Connect with Nathanial Bibby LinkedIn Twitter YouTube Website Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9...
Oct 06, 2020
Greg Au-Yeung – Debt Management Tip: Only Invest What You Can Afford to Lose
35:51 (Greg Au-Yeung) has held senior executive positions at various global banks in China, including Saxo, UBS, ANZ, Morgan Stanley, and State Street Bank. He has a solid track record pioneering, building, and managing technology centers in China that deliver innovative solutions and support digital transformation programs for incumbent banks and FinTech. Greg is currently Senior Advisor for Shanghai Fudan University, specializing in FinTech, and the Co-founder of the Financial Technology Talent Standardization Committee. He was also the China columnist for Shanghai Daily, ComputerWorld, and various newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and China. He graduated with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Westminster (UK), completed the Executive MBA program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and certified from MIT (Artificial Intelligence), Harvard University (FinTech), and Copenhagen Business School (Digital Transformation-Financial Services). He is also a Chartered Information Technology Professional, a Fellow of the Hong Kong Computer Society, a member of the British Computer Society, the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce (Shanghai), and the American Chamber of Commerce (Shanghai).   “I do speculate sometimes, but only when I can afford it.” Greg Au-Yeung   Worst investment ever Around 1995, Greg’s parents decided to invest in additional property when prices were on a record high. Because they could not raise funding, they had to remortgage their current properties and borrow money from the bank. Due to the high property prices, the interest on the bank loan was high too. Here comes the Asian financial crisis For one year, everything was good, and the investments were making good returns. Then boom! The bubble burst and the property market crashed. In just two years, property prices went down by 50% and continued to go down for almost eight years. The banks still wanted their money Greg’s parents still owed money to the bank. The bank came knocking on their door, wanting to get paid. So they had to start selling the properties at much lower prices than before, including some of the properties they held before just to pay off the debt. They experienced a substantial loss in the family’s assets. Lessons learned Always know what you can afford Make sure that you always understand what you can and cannot afford. Before you leverage or borrow money, know that you have to pay it back and with interest. You cannot live on credit Don’t hide under the comfort of a paycheck and think that you can live on credit; you can’t. The world is not the same anymore. That comfort can be taken away from you anytime. Make debt management a priority To make debt management possible, always live within your means because you don’t know what will happen next year. Your job could be lost tomorrow. The economy could go down the drain tomorrow; just see what COVID-19 has done. Andrew’s takeaways Expect economic crashes Crashes in the economy happen. They can be massive and can take years for them to recover. Almost every economic crisis is a property market crisis An economic crisis starts with the property. Part of the reason is that property is the ultimate collateral that backs the loans. Debt is the number one risk in business and life Debt can take you down just when you don’t expect it. There are other risks, such as foreign exchange, but ultimately, the number one risk is debt. To manage your debt, do not get overextended. If you’re going to borrow money for yourself or business, borrow a small amount. You may have slower growth, but you will protect your wealth over the long term. The free market should set interest rates The free market should set interest rates because interest is the price of risk. And when you distort the price of risk, you cause tremendous distortions in your country’s economy and the global economy. Actionable advice Afford what you can
Oct 04, 2020
Tony Fish – CEOs Can Defraud a Business in Very Hard to Detect Ways
42:29 (Tony Fish) thrives in complex, ground-breaking, and uncertain environments, bringing proven judgment and decision-making skills with cross-sectorial experience. He has a track record of sense-making and foresight, with enthusiasm and drive that is contagious. Tony is a maverick and (un)intentional rule breaker. His focus is on how the future of corporate governance, decision making, and judgment will be affected by complex data at the corporate board level. This focus leads him to speak about what board meetings will look like in 2025, and the implications and unintended consequences. Tony has founded, co-founded, sold, and listed many businesses and remains deeply passionate about new ways of creating value, inspiring, and supporting the next generation of thinkers and doers.   “You learn the most from the worst and the toughest times. There is no doubt that you go into your worst investment to learn more.” Tony Fish   Worst investment ever Tony made his worst investment ever as a board chairman. His company had a simple idea to deliver a product to three million captive customers in the UK market. Those customers had already fairly much adopted the product, but they were particularly sensitive to price. For this reason, all of the existing players, because of their large infrastructures, could not offer the price that would see the customers carry on being incredibly loyal. Getting it right from the start With this advantage, Tony’s company started from scratch with a different philosophy and different economics and got price efficiency from day one. The company wanted to create something which was highly efficient, effective, and built from the ground up. They identified a power player, which was a company that had access to their market and utter control over the digital channels to this market. They did a cross-shareholding with this supplier to get a deal, which gave them access to that market in terms they could not get in any other way. The supplier offered a superior product with a subscription model, which they could now offer to this captive audience. Capturing the customer The company raised Series A, which was just short of 10 million pounds in about four months. So basically, they were swapping existing customers from one platform to another platform with a much better cost advantage. In less than six months, they had a significant customer base, and each subscriber was paying about 20 pounds per month. After just less than six months, they were making five million pounds a month in income. Scaling the business The company needed to raise more capital for cash flow, and before they could do it, they had to go back to the supplier and get better terms because the terms they had would not go to a large scale. At the point, they had committed about 20 million pounds in debt and equity. Tony believed that the supplier would buy the business themselves because the company had built a substantial new customer base. With the supplier’s new platform, they would be able to offer something they hadn’t done before. So it was a pretty obvious strategic exit. Tony set up a meeting with them. He went as chair of the board and took one of the other major shareholders and the CEO. They went into the meeting with high expectations of getting a better deal or, better still, opening up the conversation of the supplier, becoming either a strategic funder or taking the business out when it passes a specific number. Here comes the shocker So after the pleasantries and Tony presenting their proposal, the supplier asked them how many verified customers they had. Tony was feeling quite proud of the company’s success, given the high numbers that the CEO had been giving the board. So he goes through the numbers, ready to provide them with an impressive figure. But shock on him, there was an enormous gap between the data the board had and the data the supplier had. Tony
Oct 01, 2020
Edmund Lowell – Great Angel Investors Know When to Keep Their Distance
Graduating from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied law, finance, and technology, Edmund Lowell is a serial entrepreneur living in Asia since 2011, innovating at the crossroads of finance, technology, and legal fields. Edmund has built several Fintech and RegTech products during this time, including,, and The SelfKey Foundation raised US$21 million, selling out in just 11 minutes for the crypto utility token, called KEY, now listed on Binance.   “Focus on the most important things that have the biggest impact.” Edmund Lowell   Worst investment ever Edmund got his first job as a real estate agent selling property in the United States. Though this was a job that he loved, his timing was just wrong. In 2008, the global financial markets had a massive crisis led by the US housing market. The crisis rendered Edmund jobless. Finding something more marketable to do Edmund took a look at his skill set as a college-trained individual and realized that he didn’t have much to offer the real job world yet. But, he knew how to file paperwork. And so he started setting up LLCs and corporations in the United States. His first start in business What started as a means to stay afloat amid a crisis went on to become a successful business. After graduating from undergrad, he deferred going to law school and moved to Thailand full time and continued running this business. Becoming an angel investor After a few years, as most entrepreneurs do, Edmund had a little extra capital and was interested in making some angel investments. At the time, he had a good friend who was starting up a business, and he made an angel investment into his company. Giving more than money The business was not doing so well, but Edmund believed that he could make a difference as an investor. At first, he gave money to the company and, after a while, started spending a significant amount of time working on it. Eight months later, the business had not picked up, and the opportunity costs of going into it were weighing on Edmund. So he decided to stop working for this angel investment and move on to new businesses and cut his losses. Lessons learned Don’t do it unless your heart is in it If there’s going to be a business you’re working on seven days a week, it’s got to be something that you enjoy. If it’s a business that you care deeply about, on an intrinsic level, it’s going to be easier to stay motivated through the ups and the downs. You learn so much more from the failures It’s just unbelievable the number of insights that you get from failure as compared to success. Most times, success only feeds your ego, and you think that you’re impervious, making you more likely to make a bigger mistake in the future. So it’s crucial to study where things went wrong, where others went wrong, as opposed to glorifying your successes. Andrew’s takeaways Don’t be afraid to get out of a falling market It is harder to succeed in a market that is falling or has slow growth. Top angel investors know that it’s not worth making it hard on themselves. So when it makes sense to get out of an industry that will be a grind for a long time to come, they are not afraid to do it. The zero-based thinking concept Zero-based thinking involves asking yourself if an opportunity came along, would you take it up right away. If the answer is yes, then double down. But if the answer is no, walk away. Learn to walk away If you want to get success and happiness, you’ve got to walk away from things you know aren’t working. There’s no guarantee that you’re going to end up at something better or something amazing, but you at least know that you’re getting away from what’s not working. Actionable advice If you make an angel investment in a business and it’s going to be your business, then your heart has to be in it. You have to be willing to run that business for a long time. Connect with Edmund Lowell...
Sep 29, 2020
Gillian Perkins – Patience Is Critical to Growing Your Business
Gillian Perkins is the founder of Startup Society and the host of the Earn More, Work Less podcast. She also hosts a popular entrepreneurship-focused YouTube channel that has received over 20 million views to date. Gillian teaches people how to start and build profitable online businesses that allow them to earn passive income and live a flexible lifestyle. She runs her company with a primarily remote team, enabling her to travel the world with her family and homeschool her four young children.   “Focus on the most important things that have the biggest impact.” Gillian Perkins   Worst investment ever Gillian’s worst investment happened a few years back when she started an online business. At the time, she was running a local business and wanted more flexibility and freedom. So she thought an online business was the way to go. She started tinkering around, created a website for her business, and got heavy into that online marketing world. Getting help from the gurus In a bid to grow her online business, Gillian watched a webinar about growing an email list. The coach promised that by growing an email list, one would have a machine that can produce cash at any point in time. You can just tell your email list about whatever you’re selling, and they will buy it with no questions asked. Gillian thought that this sounded pretty good and precisely because she already knew that she wanted to sell online courses. Gillian is a teacher at heart. So she felt this was a good fit for her and was pretty much sold on that idea. The course cost $2,000, and at the time, Gillian was living paycheck to paycheck. But, she spent $2,000 that she didn’t have because this sounded like a good and helpful thing to have in her business. Getting ahead of herself Now the course wasn’t bad at all. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, it was a good course. The problem was simple; Gillian didn’t understand what she was buying. She did not know anything about building an online following or marketing her business, two things that were paramount for the course to work. The course was mainly about optimizing her email list, yet she didn’t have an email list to begin with. She had bought a tool for her tool belt when she didn’t know how to build things yet. Needless to say, Gillian didn’t get much of a return on investment, and her $2,000 went down the drain. Lessons learned Don’t commit too fast Try to fully understand what you are getting yourself into before you sign up or commit to anything. Don’t let the scarcity mindset make you think that you must have it right now. There is going to be another opportunity so take your time to think things through. So be patient, take it slow, take it easy, and keep doing some research. Growing your business require you to take action Moving forward and taking action is a crucial part of growing your business. You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row; just move forward. Andrew’s takeaways Listen with care Be careful when listening to people’s advice. Before you act, step back, and don’t let your emotions go out of control. Evaluate everything before you allow people to influence your decision. Look at the big picture Any business is a series of processes, from marketing to sales to operations to finance. Sometimes we get excited about one part of that process and neglect the rest. When you decide to start an online business or any other business, you have to realize that you have to do all of those parts. It can’t just be one part of it. Actionable advice Be patient and do your research. Always know that there’s going to be another opportunity out there. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Gillian’s number one goal is to grow her membership program, Startup Society, that teaches people how to start online businesses, to 1,000 members. She’s passionate about sharing this opportunity with as many people as possible. Parting words   “Be patient; there’s going to be another...
Sep 27, 2020
Charoenjit Chantarasiri – Use Asset Allocation Framework to Overcome Your Behavioral Biases
Charoenjit Chantarasiri has been an investment consultant at Kasikorn Securities in Thailand for the past 10 years. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in finance from Thammasat Business School. As an investment consultant, Charoenjit advises retail investors in various equities, fixed-income, derivatives, and mutual funds products. He also runs Charoenjit’s Podcast, which he started in 2019 to help retail investors in Thailand. He podcasts in Thai and covers everything there is to know about Thai listed companies. His podcast is climbing the charts because of the value he adds.   “Be a confident investor. Don’t let today’s price scare you from buying an asset.” Charoenjit Chantarasiri   Worst investment ever Charoenjit started his career as an investment consultant in 2010, two years after the global financial crisis. He would advise his clients to forget about equity and try to make the most profit. The gold trend At that time, gold was one of the assets whose price was on an uptrend. Many of Charoenjit’s clients were interested in investing in gold, and so he had to monitor the gold market as well. Failing to take his advice Charoenjit saved his money in a savings account and equity. He watched as the gold price continued to go up as his clients kept investing in it. Charoenjit remained hesitant to invest in gold. In no time, the price of gold was at a record high of 26,000 baht from 17,000 baht. For a short period, the price went down to 23,000 baht. Charoenjit still didn’t bulge. Jumping onto the bandwagon, albeit too late When the price of gold moved up to 25,000 baht, Charoenjit now felt afraid of missing the train and decided to buy it at nearly the peak price. Soon after he purchased gold, the price ran a little bit more to around 26,000 baht. But after a while, the price dropped sharply. The price remained between 18,000 baht and 22,000 baht for about four years. Throwing in the towel In early 2018 Charoenjit decided to sell his gold and look for another investment choice. He sold it for only 19,000 baht. In 2019, just a year later, gold prices went back to an upward trend rocketing to a record high of 30,000 baht in 2020. If only Charoenjit had been patient and confident in his decision to invest in gold, he would not have missed the opportunity to make huge returns. Lessons learned Use the asset allocation concept When getting into an investment, look at it as a part of your portfolio and not as a separate entity. Don’t invest in something just for the sake of it or just because it is the new trend. Ask yourself if the new investment will improve or ruin your portfolio. Consider investing in gold Consider having a small portion of gold in your portfolio. This could be between 5% to 30%. Holding gold could help your portfolio be well-diversified and protect its value. Be a confident investor If you are a confident investor, you are more likely not to miss out on good investment opportunities. Andrew’s takeaways There are no rules in finance There are no laws or rules in finance, so you can never be sure. Today, you may confidently say gold is not a good long term investment. But then tomorrow things change. The truth is that it is tough for all of us to detect when that change is happening. Unrealized losses are real A lot of times, we say that unrealized losses are not real. But the fact is that the best way to look at a portfolio is to use zero-based thinking that lets you ask the question, “If I didn’t own anything, what would I allocate to this today?” It’s a tool that will help you let go of the past. Don’t let emotions get in the way It’s easy for us to get emotionally attached to an investment. Always try to let go of the feelings you have about your winners and losers. Actionable advice Diversify your portfolio using the asset allocation concept. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Charoenjit’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to create more quality...
Sep 22, 2020
Justin Christianson – Listen to Your Intuition and Take It Slow to Enter a Partnership
Justin Christianson is a self-proclaimed number junky and a digital marketing veteran. Father, husband, and #1 Bestselling author of Conversion Fanatic: How to double your customers, sales, and profits with A/B testing. He is also the co-founder and President of Conversion Fanatics, a full-service conversion rate optimization company, helping companies like Burt’s Bees, Dr. Axe, and many others improve their results.   “When it comes to conversion optimization funnels, start small. Test the biggest leverage points, and don’t overcomplicate it.” Justin Christianson   Worst investment ever Helping a client out At the end of last year, Justin got a call from an e-commerce business owner who was freaking out because his business was falling apart. Justin and his partner had a meeting with him, and they soon realized that they could help him out. I want a piece of the pie The business was something that Justin could relate to, and so he got quite excited about it. He wanted a piece of it, and he proposed to the owner to help him grow his business, and in return, Justin would buy a 30% stake in the company. They shook on it. Justin and his partner invested a bit of money into this business. What mess did I get myself into? As Justin was doing a background check on the company, he found out that the books were a mess and even had receivable loans. Though this was a red flag, he dismissed it. He figured his accountant would sort it out. What attracted Justin to this partnership was the fact that there was a huge fanbase, and he knew the business had the potential to make huge profits. It’s a deal The trio signed the deal, created a new LLC, and pulled over the assets making the partnership official. They set up new bank accounts and tried to do everything the right way. Justin went all in and started humming along and focused on sales. He spent a bunch of money on advertising and dialing things in. He increased the average order value by about 40% in a short amount of time. Deal goes sour After some time, the partner went back to his old ways and started spending company money on personal stuff. At first, $2,000 went missing from the business account, then $2,500, and then $4,000. To make matters worse, all of a sudden, two more receivables loans popped up. So now the company was triple-dipping before they even got to make any profits. Every sale they made had to be channeled to repay the loans. Soon enough, Justin realized that this partnership would not be beneficial to him. His partner’s spending and the loans would cripple the business. Justin tried to have a conversation with him about his spending, but he just scoffed at him. Calling it quits One day while at his son’s football game, Justin got a notification on his phone that he had a change in his access to the bank account. He tried logging in but had no access to anything, the bank account, the PayPal account, the website, nothing. He has been locked out of everything. Justin sent a group text to the business partner, and he made up some big story about how he didn’t want to burden him with his debt, and because he started the company, he wanted to take care of it alone. Justin decided not to fight him or even take him to court as it would not be worth it, and he might just end up losing more money than he had already invested. He decided to write the investment off as a bad debt. Lessons learned Do not get emotions involved when entering a partnership When you see something exciting that you can relate to, and you want in, be careful not to let your feelings guide your decisions. Do your due diligence Do your due diligence before entering into a partnership, look out for red flags such as commingling of funds, lack of books, lack of true expenses, and P&L balance sheet. Do not rush Do not be in a rush to enter into a business partnership. The timing will come when the right time comes. Andrew’s takeaways Think the red flags...
Sep 20, 2020
Andrew Pierce – Stay Within Your Circle of Competence and Do Your Due Diligence
Andrew Pierce is an independent asset protection consultant and the creator of ( He helps business owners from nearly every industry and with almost any size company to effectively protect their assets through forming LLCs.   “The best neighbors are the ones with good boundaries, where you delineate the responsibilities and the rights from the beginning.” Andrew Pierce   Worst investment ever Andrew had an equipment leasing company in South Florida. He would lease out tractors and trailers to moving and storage companies; he started the company in college to make some extra money. The business, interestingly, turned out pretty well. Getting sucked in by overconfidence Seeing that his first business had gone so well, Andrew felt that he was now an astute businessman. He sold the business and moved to the Caribbean, at a large undeveloped Bay in St. Maarten on the Dutch side–it was about 150 acres. Falling in love and business Andrew loved the island and had a good time there. He reasoned that the island would be a great place to do business. He considered starting a jet ski and water sports rental company. He had a good friend who grew up on the island, and they decided to get into a partnership. The friend would secure the contracts and local licensing because he understood the island. Andrew would provide the capital. So, Andrew bought a few jet skis, but it turns out they couldn’t get the permit to run the jet skis because it’s an unprotected Bay. Trying his luck at something else Andrew didn’t lose hope. He came up with another business idea; landscaping. There were 160 acres at the island that needed to be landscaped. He sold the jet skis for liquidation value and added in more money to ship a bunch of plants. The business failed before it started. He tried to salvage the situation by putting up a community center, park, and restaurant on an oceanfront piece of land his friend had. Death of friend and partnership Andrew’s friend passed away unexpectedly. The business couldn’t take off because Andrew and his friend’s dad couldn’t come to a fair agreement on ownership. Andrew and his friend had never signed a single agreement throughout their partnership. They would shake on it. This made it difficult for Andrew to prove how much he had invested in the restaurant business. After three years of unsuccessfully trying to get a business take off in the Caribbean, Andrew was left with over $100,000 in credit card debt. Lessons learned Stay within your circle of competence If you’re doing moving and storage, don’t try to go start doing plastics, manufacturing, or something different. Stay inside your circle of competence. Perform your due diligence Do your due diligence before you commit to starting a business, especially if it is in a field or a location that you are not familiar with. Have contracts with people Whether it’s your best friend or someone you don’t know, the best neighbors are the ones with good boundaries, where you delineate the responsibilities and the rights from the beginning. So do your due diligence and have contracts with your business partners. This reduces the chances of having misunderstandings. Have exit points If you’re are going into a capital intensive industry, look at the liquidation values of the assets. Play out those worst-case scenarios, so you know where your exit point is. If you are already in business or trading in the markets, remember the reason you got into an investment, then list the reasons that make you’ll get out. That way, when you hit those reasons, you will know it is time to wrap it up. Andrew’s takeaways Don’t be fooled by overconfidence bias Many times when people are in business, and they are doing well in that particular area, they start to think that that could carry over into another space and expect the same success. So instead of getting yourself into a new area, double...
Sep 17, 2020
Morgan Housel – A Successful Value Investor Focuses on Why a Stock Is Cheap
Morgan Housel is a partner at (The Collaborative Fund) and a former columnist at The Motley Fool and The Wall Street Journal. He is a two-time winner of the Best in Business Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, winner of the New York Times Sidney Award, and a two-time finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. His book The Psychology of Money, was just released and is available here.   “Investing is not like physics where the laws of gravity were the same in Newton’s days, and they are in our days. Investing strategies evolve overtime to get to the point where they don’t work anymore.” Morgan Housel   Worst investment ever One of the first investment books that Morgan read was the Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, written over 50 years ago. The book talks about all these practical strategies that value investors can use to pick stocks. One of them that Graham goes into great detail about is buying stocks for less than the book value. Unpacking Graham’s strategy Graham’s strategy was to calculate what a business is worth. That is its assets minus its liabilities. That gives you the book value of the company. So your goal is to buy stocks that are less than the book value. For instance, if a company is worth a million dollars, and you buy its stock at the point where the company is worth, let’s say $800,000, according to Graham, you are making a good investment because you’re buying the stock for less than the company’s worth. Borrowing from the greats So after reading that strategy from Graham, Morgan started doing that. He looked for companies that were trading for less than their book value. This was around 2006-2007. He found a furniture company, a mortgage company, and several banks that were selling for less than their book value. Old is not always gold Morgan invested in these cheap stocks, confident that he would make a killing. Unfortunately, almost all of them went out of business. Morgan wondered what he had done wrong. Did he get unlucky? Did he not follow Benjamin Graham’s advice correctly? What happened here? Morgan soon realized that the reason why this happened is that the investment world had changed since the 1970s. It was true that in the 1970s, in the 1960s, the 1950s, and 1940s, stocks trading for less than their book value were probably good investments. That was true back then. However, things changed over time, and that strategy does not work anymore. Lessons learned There’s a reason why a stock is cheap If a stock is cheap, you need to know why it’s cheap. Almost always, say 99% of the time, the reason a stock is cheap is that the business is not performing well. It is probably burning money or has enormous liabilities. Andrew’s takeaways A cheap stock is the market’s way of warning you As a value investor, when you see a company that’s trading at a price that’s lower than the book value, know that the market is telling you that there is no future value in that stock. Separate your investment strategy and risk strategy Make sure that you have an investment strategy as well as a risk management strategy to keep you covered should your investment strategy fail. Actionable advice Try to become more attuned with your behaviors, your ability to be swayed by new ideas and new opinions. Become more attuned with your risk tolerances, comfort zones, and ability to sleep well at night. Move away from the finance textbooks that are written to apply to everyone and think about your own goals, personality, philosophies about money. You will then start making better decisions because it’s less about your intelligence and the formulas that you know, and more about becoming attuned with yourself and your own goals. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Morgan’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to keep his expectations low while hoping for the best with his...
Sep 08, 2020
Paul M. Neuberger – Sales Passion Does Not Always Overcome the Burden of High Costs
Paul M. Neuberger (New Berber) is also known as The Cold Call Coach, and he believes in making the impossible possible. A masterful speaker and trainer, he challenges people to dig deep and discover talents they never knew they had. Whether it’s working hands-on with small teams or presenting in front of hundreds of people, Paul is adept at genuinely connecting with his audience and getting to the heart of important issues. He has worked with leading organizations around the world to help improve effectiveness, performance, and cultivate a stronger sense of passion in the workplace. He has taught thousands of students in more than a hundred countries through his Cold Call University program, helping sales professionals in a range of industries close more business in less time than ever before.   “I believe in life; nothing happens to you. Everything happens for you.” Paul M. Neuberger   Worst investment ever Switching careers on a whim Paul was a 30-year-old vice president of a major university in the state of Wisconsin when his father-in-law died suddenly. His mother-in-law’s financial life became complicated after her husband’s death. Paul wished he’d been able to save his mother-in-law from her financial problems. He was so devastated to be helpless that he decided to become a financial advisor. Going in big Paul became successful quite fast, and so he got over his head that starting a business in the finance industry was going to be easy. He’d always been a good salesperson, and his passion was over the roof, so being a financial advisor came easy for him. When Paul saw how quickly he was growing, he decided to take it up a notch. He wanted to look a little bit more prestigious, to look more successful. He believed that this would land him big clients. Paul signed a 30-year lease for a huge office space and hired four people. He invested heavily in technology and marketing and was hemorrhaging cash faster than he was making it. The high costs nightmare Soon enough, the bills started piling up. Paul had to pay rent and make payroll. Within no time, he was missing payroll and having to ask for rent extensions. After a couple of missed payrolls and rent extensions, Paul realized he was in over his head, so he decided this wasn’t the path for him. Lessons learned Be aware of who you are It’s good to have self-confidence. But you also need an awareness of self. Don’t let your self-confidence cloud your self-awareness. Surround yourself with smart people Surround yourself with people whose advice you can rely on, people who can be your sounding board when you need help in making business decisions. Have a strategic plan You can’t just sell your way out of a problem. You need to be strategic. You need to figure out what’s the end game. Think about where you want to be in the next couple of months, what you need to do to get there, and what success looks like. Also, think about the risks of what you’re trying to do. Have healthy outlets As an entrepreneur and business owner, there’s only so much you can do. You need healthy outlets. You need that one person that you can talk to, vent with, and seek both personal and professional advice from. Andrew’s takeaways Costs are the only thing we can truly control When starting a business, or if your business is in trouble, the one thing you can do quickly is cut costs. Don’t burden yourself with unnecessary expenses. Take pride in the fact that you’ve got your costs down to a minimum. A business with low startup costs will be profitable from day one. Don’t be a one-hit-wonder Don’t just think about that next shot, think about the next three to five shots, and therefore you won’t be a one-hit-wonder. Actionable advice Identify what your passions are. A lot of us know what we like, what we’re good at, our strengths and skillsets, but never take time to think about how to make good use of these things. Identify your strong points, then think about how you...
Sep 03, 2020
Patrice Washington – Prepare for the Worst and Don’t Get Caught up in the Pretty
In 2020, Success Magazine named Patrice Washington, one of 12 Inspiring Black Voices in Personal Development. As an award-winning author, transformational speaker, hope-restoring coach, and media personality, Patrice is committed to redefining the term “wealth” using its original meaning, “well-being.” Patrice started as your favorite personal finance expert, “America’s Money Maven,” but has since expanded her brand and mission to encourage women to chase purpose, not money. She uses her Certification in Financial Psychology to help the masses get beyond budgets and credit reports and dive into the heart of why we behave the way we do with money. She encourages women to have “wealth” in all aspects of their lives by pursuing their purpose, being fulfilled, and earning more without ever chasing money. Through her teachings, Patrice empowers women to look at life through the lens of abundance and opportunity, instead of lack and scarcity. As host of The Redefining Wealth Podcast, Patrice has built a thriving international community of high-achieving women committed to creating a powerful life vision--in their careers, home, health, and personal finances. Featured on as one of “15 Inspiring Podcasts for Professionals of Every Stripe” and highlighted by The Redefining Wealth Podcast boasts over 2 million downloads and counting!   “Don’t get caught up in the pretty, in what looks good and what looks like money. Focus on the nitty-gritty of the numbers and what you can sustain even in your worst month.” Patrice Washington   Worst investment ever Early real estate mogul Patrice was 19 years old when she got licensed as a real estate agent in California and quickly fell in love with the industry. During her senior year in college at the University of Southern California, Patrice got her broker’s license and became a real estate and mortgage broker. Her real estate business quickly took off and became a seven-figure business by the time Patrice was 25 years old. Riding on cloud nine Patrice was on top of the world. She and her now-husband and then-boyfriend were driving matching Range Rovers and owned almost 13 pieces of property collectively. They had 16 loan officers and real estate agents on their roster. They had all these things going for them, and they thought they ran the world, and it was a beautiful time. The one mistake that undid it all Around 2006 Patrice’s staff insisted on having an office to work from and fancy technology that would help them land more clients. She listened to them, and so they moved from the coworking space they were using to a larger office, almost 2,000 square feet, which they fully furnished. All these new changes took their overhead from about $2,000 to $14,000 a month. In 2007 the recession started to rear its ugly face. People were talking about the real estate bubble bursting. Other mortgage brokers in Patrice’s building were talking about giving up their office space and work from home. Patrice felt sorry for them, still oblivious of the looming crisis. The bubble bust In 2008 banks started closing down, and things got terrible at Patrice’s real estate business. At the time, Patrice was in hospital admitted because of a complicated pregnancy. She was so helpless and could only watch from her hospital bed as things went from bad to worse. There was no money coming in, and Patrice had to use their life savings to keep the company going. They exhausted their savings within a year. Within about 15 months, Patrice and her husband lost everything. They went from a 6,000 square foot home in Southern California to live in a 600 square foot tiny apartment. Lessons learned Prepare for the worst As an entrepreneur, you have to be prepared for the worst. Don’t plan your personal and professional life based on your top months, but your worst months. Your business and personal budget should be based on your worst performing months. Andrew’s...
Sep 01, 2020
Avi Liran – Invest in Startups With Strong Company Values
Avi Liran is on a mission to delight the world; one person, one workplace, one community at a time. He was made in Tel Aviv in 1962 and came to Singapore in 1992 as the trade and tourism commissioner of Israel. He holds an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. He is a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) who consults and trains leadership teams of top fortune 500 companies on how to cultivate delightful leadership that empowers a culture that delivers delight to the employees and customers. He was the Chief Marketing Officer of two software companies. As a diplomat and economist, he had initiated two funds between Israel and Singapore that now manage more than a billion dollars. As a VC strategist, he facilitated nine investments in startup companies in Israel for Singapore Telecom, which bought two companies in Israel for half a billion dollars. In the past decade, he has been researching values, welling, and appreciation. He is writing the Delivering Delight book that will be published next year after the book “First Time Leadership.” He is co-writing and researching now with Daniel Lee.   “There’s no half full or half empty. There is a glass issue to be grateful for, and there is an effort to go and fill the glass.” Avi Liran   Worst investment ever Putting his money where his mouth is Avi was working for Singapore telecom investing in Israel when he came across a startup company doing IP PBX over the internet. The company had the best technology at the time and was worth billions of dollars. Avi realized that the company was a goldmine and so he invested in it. Ego too big to say yes The company received an offer to sell for about $30 million; the CEO refused the offer. They got a second offer from Cisco. The proposal was much more than what the first company had offered. The CEO said no to Cisco, insisting that the company was going to be a billion-dollar company. Pride comes before a fall After the two offers, people in the company became arrogant. The CTO went to Boston simply because he decided he wants to go to Boston. Everyone was thinking about their own needs, and just because the company had the potential to make billions, people thought they had made it. The CEO kept refusing to sell while still operating with an air of arrogance. Then the dotcom crisis came, and the company evaporated. Unfortunately, Avi lost everything he had invested in that startup. Lessons learned People are the secret sauce to successful startups When investing in startups, remember that it’s all about the people and their ability to work together, put their ego at bay, and not be arrogant or cocky but be very prudent. Arrogance and lousy working relationships can kill any investment, especially startups. Company values are everything in a startup The most valuable companies have company values in place. If you don’t work on the company’s core values, people will stray from the company’s vision and goals. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses A common mistake that people make is to focus on correcting their weaknesses. You waste so much time trying to work on your flaws when you should be optimizing your strengths. Andrew’s takeaways Lead by example When it comes down to company values, it is the values that the company owners and the managers convey to their workforce that ultimately become the company values. So be what you want your workforce to be. Partner with the right people Think about what you need to be successful. Then find the people with what you need and be friends with them. You don’t have to become them, use the energy, and share your strengths with them. Actionable advice Lead with your values even when you have to make difficult decisions. Values are what you do when nobody is watching. A company with values has the greatest potential to be successful. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Avi’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to finish his book Procrastinating by...
Aug 30, 2020
Mike Ciorrocco – Use Your Setbacks As Rocket Fuel For Your Success
Mike Ciorrocco, aka Mike C-Roc, is the CEO of People Building, Inc. He is a performance coach, author, dynamic public speaker, visionary, and thought leader. He has been featured by Yahoo! Finance as one of the Top Business Leaders to Follow in 2020 and is on a mission to build people. At his core, he’s obsessed with success and helping others achieve greatness. C-Roc is a guy who had a fire lit in him at an early age. That fire has led him to inspire others to see the greatness inside of themselves using past life events to fuel their fire.   “Accept and acknowledge the setback as soon as possible, so that you can prepare and launch for your next takeoff." Mike Ciorrocco   Worst investment ever Mike and his partner run a profit and loss company. A few years ago, when the P&L company was still new, it started to have some success and money was coming in. Mike and his partner planned to keep the money in the business to help scale it. So they kept the money in a company account. Not so much their money There was a catch, though. The company where Mike’s money was kept was not his company. The two partners weren’t the owners of the company. The owner of the company was Mike’s buddy’s uncle-in-law. So even though the money was theirs, officially, it belonged to the owner of the company account. All along, Mike assumed that their money was safe. The assumption got Mike in big trouble. Money goes missing Mike and his partner had built the company for 12 years and had about one million dollars in the account. The money was to be used to scale the business. The two partners had big plans. After a while, they found out that their money was missing. At the time, the company had 22 employees. Mike felt responsible for those 22 employees and their families. These employees had bought into Mike’s vision and were working hard every single day to achieve this vision. He had to make sure that they were taken care of and not affected by the mess. Getting out of the entanglement Mike had to create an exit strategy that was not going to get him in trouble, which would protect their investment and take care of the employees that were relying on him. So this happened over a few months. Luckily, they still had contracts and deals that they had to get paid. Mike and his partner founded another company, and the transition happened. During the transition, the two partners lived off minimum wage to sure everybody was getting paid so that the business could keep running. Unfortunately, they lost all the money they had previously made and saved. However, with the new strategy, they were able to recover and get the company back to its feet. Lessons learned Don’t mix business with friends and family Don’t trust family and friends as far as business goes, and just leave it to that. Make sure you have an ironclad contract or any written agreement that shows that the money is yours. Work on your company culture When you have a great company culture, individuals will look out for the greater good first, and then themselves. Build a culture in your business to give it a firm foundation. If you can start a big company with a great culture from the start, you’ll be unstoppable. Employee goals need to align with company goals Your employees’ individual goals need to align with the company goals. If they don’t, you’re going to have conflict, and it’s not going to work, no matter how much they produce. They may be good employees, but as long as their goals don’t align with the company goals, they’ll end up causing problems that are going to cost more than the revenue they’re bringing into the company. Your employees are your greatest investment Very many business owners think of their employees as just workers. In a business sense, you’re investing in these people, and they should give you a return on your investment. So build your employees by treating them well so that they can provide you the most return on investment. Think of
Aug 25, 2020
Stephen Kalayjian – The Key to Success in Trading Is to Have Discipline
Stephen Kalayjian, Chief Market Strategist and Co-Founder of Ticker Tocker, has over 30 years of experience in the industry trading stocks, futures, and currencies, having begun his career at the American Stock Exchange in 1983. In 2005, Stephen founded his firm to research and develop software to help identify trends, reversals, patterns, and divergences in the marketplace for all asset classes and time frames. Stephen seeks to generate high alpha trading ideas throughout the day. He and his team employ technical analysis through utilizing the proprietary charting software he developed on Ticker Tocker to forecast the market. Stephen has traded nearly 2 billion shares over his career.   “If you’re gonna invest or trade, you got to have discipline.” Stephen Kalayjian   Worst investment ever Thirty-seven years ago, before Stephen started working at the American Stock Exchange, he was making $2.10 per hour cutting grass, cleaning windows, washing cars, cleaning basements, and garages. He just did whatever he needed to do to survive. After about 1,500 hours of work, Stephen had a little over $3,000 saved up, and he wanted to invest it. It was while working at the floor of the American Stock Exchange when Stephen opened an account at his father’s friend’s brokerage and bought 550 calls, i.e., he bet that the stock was going to go higher. The novice trader Stephen only focused on the assumption that the stock could go higher, but he never knew about premium depreciation. He had no idea that if the stock went down, the call option would go down too. Over the next couple of weeks, the stock started to drift lower, and right before Thanksgiving, the stock got worse. Right around Christmas, Stephen was broke beyond broke. His entire investment had gone down to zero. Lessons learned It’s ok to be wrong Nobody wants to admit when they’re wrong. What they don’t realize is that it’s ok to be wrong because we are all human. We learn from the mistakes we make. No one’s bigger than the market Adhere to the preservation of capital and discipline. Andrew’s takeaways Take risk management seriously If you cannot afford to lose money, then you should not gamble. Be more careful and take risk management seriously. Discipline is a critical thing You cannot just roll the dice when you feel like it. Have discipline when trading to avoid losing your money. Actionable advice The key to success when trading is discipline. Just as you employ discipline in other areas of your life, you need to have discipline when trading so that you know when to keep going and when to quit. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Stephen’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to inspire people to learn the right way with Ticker Tocker. His goal is to help people change their lives. Connect with Stephen Kalayjian LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Instagram Website Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market Finance Made Ridiculously Simple Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Andrew Stotz: LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube My Worst Investment Ever Podcast  
Aug 23, 2020
Chris Mayer – Build a List of 5 Quality Companies and Enter at the Next Market Fall
25:59 (Chris Mayer) is co-founder and Portfolio Manager of the Woodlock House Family Capital fund. He also blogs about the thing he loves the most, investing. He started his career as a corporate lender, which taught him about managing risk and how business works. Next, he started his newsletter, called Capital & Crisis, which led him into 15 years of writing investment newsletters. Chris has written four books: Invest Like a Dealmaker: Secrets from a Former Banking Insider; The World Right side up: Investing Across Six Continents; 100 Baggers: Stocks That Return 100-to-1 and How To Find Them; How Do You Know? A Guide to Investing, Wall Street, and Life.   “Valuation is important, but it’s secondary to quality. I won’t buy something just because it’s super cheap if it doesn’t have all the other quality aspects that I like.” Chris Mayer   Worst investment ever Taking advantage of the 2008 financial crisis When the financial crisis hit the US in 2008, Chris reasoned that it would be an excellent time to start investing in the stock market. His strategy was to buy the cheapest available businesses and ignore the expensive ones. So he went ahead and found a couple of inexpensive companies. Cheap is just cheap The businesses that Chris bought into were not necessarily good businesses with a promising future; they were just cheap. But he knew he could easily sell them off later. After the crisis, Chris sold off the companies here and there once they started appreciating or reaching his target price. He, however, didn’t make so much money to write home about. He should have gone with the expensive options The companies that Chris ignored because they were expensive at the time went on to recover after the market fall and continue to thrive. Had Chris paid attention to such companies and probably invested in just one or two instead of a handful cheap ones, he’d still be making money from that investment. Lessons learned Buy the best not the cheapest When looking for stocks to invest in, go for the very best companies. They may seem expensive, but in the long-term, these are the companies that are going to bring you the best return. Go for quality over price. Investing is a long-term game When it comes to investing, you have to think long-term. Most of the best performing businesses today were not built in a day. They have about 20-25 years backing their success. Andrew’s takeaways Don’t be lured by a low price Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Actionable advice Find five businesses that you would love to own and put them on a wishlist. Follow and keep an eye on them. Wait until you see a 20%-fall in the stock market and then go ahead and pick one and buy it. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Chris’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to find one high-value investor. Parting words   “Don’t give up. Be patient. It’s a tough game. Everyone makes mistakes, so you just got to keep soldiering on.” Chris Mayer   Connect with Chris Mayer Twitter Website Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market Finance Made Ridiculously Simple Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Andrew Stotz: LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube My Worst Investment Ever Podcast  
Aug 20, 2020
Karen Foo – Risk Management Is the Key to Success in Forex
Karen Foo is actively involved in speaking at various conferences, seminars, expos, workshops, toastmasters clubs, and publicly held events. Having overcome numerous setbacks in her life, she has gone on to inspire thousands of young people, executives, and leaders to REALIZE THEIR ABSOLUTE WILDEST DREAMS through her INTERACTIVE, INSPIRING, AND ENGAGING TALKS. Karen has been ranked #1 in a Singapore nationwide Forex trading competition, competing with over 200 traders and has shared the stage with top investment gurus and CEOs. You can find her on her YouTube channel and join 94,000 other people who are gaining from her videos about forex, stocks, markets, and much more!   “In any failure in life, there’s a good side to it.” Karen Foo   Worst investment ever Case of the curious intern Karen’s parents are full-time stock investors, and they exposed her to stock investing since she was young. That’s what sparked Karen’s interest in the financial markets. When she was on internship, she took her salary and put it into the Forex market, not knowing what she was doing. She thought she was smart back then, but it turns out that she wasn’t so smart and so she lost the $1,500 she’d invested. Once bitten twice not shy As if the loss was not enough, Karen went on to lose $6,000 of her mom’s savings. Karen believed that she’d make money by investing in unit trusts. Again, she thought she was smart enough to get a win, and so she went in blindly. No research, no guidance, nothing. Needless to say, she lost $8,000, part of which was her mom’s savings. Karen was broke, angry, and embarrassed. She’d assured her mom that she knew what she was doing, but now she’d lost all the money. Asking for guidance After losing money twice, Karen admitted that she needed help making the right moves. Now she works with various mentors, something that has seen her become #1 Singapore Forex trader. Lessons learned Forget get rich quick schemes Forex trading is not a get rich quick scheme, so don’t take shortcuts. Don’t ignore risk management One of the main reasons why a lot of traders lose money is because they don’t care about money management and risk management, which contributes to about 40% of your success as a trader. You don’t have to figure out everything on your own It’s ok to try and learn everything on your own, but you will be more successful if you work with a mentor. Mentors can teach you a lot more than you can learn on your own. Focus on your risk to reward ratio Don’t focus too much on the win rate; instead, focus on risk-to-reward ratio because forex trading is not about returns; it is about risk-adjusted returns. Andrew’s takeaways The best fund managers are risk managers The best fund managers are not the ones that hit the home runs, but the ones that never strikeout. These are the ones who avoid massive losses and know about risk management. Plan your success If you want to see success in forex trading, have a plan and strategy that fits your personality in place. Do this before you commit a lot of money. Listen to the losers There’s always going to be winners and losers in the stock market. However, people talk only about the winners. Listen to losers, and you’ll learn a thing or two from them. Actionable advice Find out how credible a coach is before you work with them. You can ask them a couple of questions or look at their content. Don’t fall prey to the kind of YouTubers who like to flex their lifestyle instead of teaching. You won’t learn anything from them. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Karen’s goal for the next 12 months is to grow her YouTube channel. She also hopes to get back to speaking on stage and also publish a book she recently wrote. Parting words   “Trading and investing is not a get rich quick scheme you’ve got to work hard, be patient, and you will get there. So for those people who preach to you get rich quick, just use that as entertainment.” Karen Foo...
Aug 18, 2020
Marcia Reynolds – Do Proper Research When Writing and Publishing Your First Book
Dr. Marcia (Marsha) Reynolds, Master Certified Coach, is fascinated by the brain, especially what triggers feelings of connection and possibility. She draws on her research and life events as she helps coaches and leaders make conversations into transformational experiences. She has provided executive coaching, training programs, and keynote speaking in 41 countries. Interviews and excerpts from Marcia’s books Outsmart Your Brain; The Discomfort Zone: How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations into Breakthrough; and Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction, have appeared in many places including Fast Company, Psychology Today, and The Wall Street Journal. Her latest book, Coach the Person, Not the Problem, became a bestseller the day it was released this past June. Marcia’s doctoral degree is in organizational psychology, and she has two master’s degrees in education and communications. She also feels she gained an invaluable education when she turned 20 in jail. With the support of her cellmates, she chose to rise back up and show the world she could succeed even when she was told she would fail. She went on to accumulate degrees, rise in male-dominated corporations, and now teaches leadership and coaching classes worldwide. She is recognized by the Global Gurus as the #5 coach in the world.   “Easy usually is a bad investment. You have to take your time and research your book well.” Marcia Reynolds   Worst investment ever Marcia always saw herself as a writer, and so when she left her last corporate job and had time, she wrote her first book. A friend insisted that she works with a certain woman to publish her book. She said that she would make life so easy for Marcia. The said publisher would make all the decisions, find all the people Marcia needed, do layout and covers, and anything else necessary to publish her book. Marcia would not have to worry about a thing. Hearing this made her quite excited since she had no experience. How nice it was to have someone do everything for her. A costly affair The publisher seemed a little expensive and kept charging her for stuff, but Marcia thought that meant she’d produce high-quality work and make her book a bestseller. She ended up spending $40,000, which she never made back. The biggest flop ever Marcia’s book was a colossal flop all because of the title the publisher chose. The publisher went with a title that Marcia thought was catchy. However, this title was the reason why Marcia’s book never got reviews and into bookstores. The title was The Rapture. Marcia had no idea that the word rapture had anything to do with any religion. Every bookstore thought the book was a Christian book. Marcia still has books sitting in her garage after losing a cool $40,000 to an inexperienced publicist. Lessons learned Always get references Before you hire people to work with, look at past experiences and what other people have said about them. If possible, talk to references to find the expertise of the person. Run your titles by your target audience Ask your audience what they think about your titles. You could do a survey monkey and have your fans help you choose the best titles. Be careful of the wow factor Be careful of people who make it sound like it’s going to be easy for you. Publishing your first book is not easy, so don’t let anyone tell you that it. If they do, then you shouldn’t work with them. Andrew’s takeaways Go for experience When looking for a publisher for your first book, go for people with proven expertise and experience. Check out their references to ascertain their expertise. You’ve got to put in the work If you want good results as you write your first book, you’ve got to work for it. Once you put in the work and the time you’ll give your book value and make it a bestseller. Work with people’s strengths It’s hard to find one person with all the strengths that are useful for your book. So when looking for...
Aug 16, 2020
Mike Meissner – Stop, Think, and Listen to Avoid Losses in Your Start-Up
Mike Meissner is an entrepreneur, a people-oriented leader, and an industry expert in logistics and supply chain management as well as biological and environmental testing. He proudly wears 20 years of professional experience in many countries across Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific, where he built several successful businesses “just for pleasure really.”   “We now invest in better quality and higher prices, and we shorten times. This means fewer headaches and issues. We provide what we promise.” Mike Meissner   Worst investment ever Barbeque, wine, business idea Mike and a friend had a barbecue a few months ago. After the second bottle of wine, they joked about inventing a digital container that would keep the required transportation temperature throughout the journey. The next morning, when sober, Mike and his friend researched their idea intensively. They found out that this kind of box doesn’t exist. So they started developing it from a design and an engineering point. Eventually, they came up with a fantastic container in different sizes for different commodities. The novel box The box is charged like a mobile phone for four and a half hours, you set your desired temperature, you lock it and the box guarantees to maintain this very same temperature for the next 72 hours. It has an integrated SIM card and sends push notifications with details such as the patient file, the box’s current location, who’s handling your product, at what humidity, luminosity, and at what temperature. Such details create transparency. So essentially, no more dry ice, ice packages that you freeze, and put on top of your package for your shipment. It doesn’t matter if your flight is delayed because 72 hours is plenty of time from anywhere in the world to reach its destination. What could go wrong? Nine months later, Mike’s box went into patenting and had a successful pilot with his clients. Everybody was happy. Mike was receiving compliments for a noble and promising idea. This box was going to be a hit. Nothing could go wrong. Or so he thought. However, the beginning has been terrible. Mike made a lot of silly decisions that cost them money and time. Once they had the box designed and assembled and the design documents approved by authorities, they started to source for components. Mike had two component suppliers. The first one was a friend who was selling the parts for $509. The second supplier was very far away, and Mike had no personal relationship with him. However, he sold the components for $240. Choosing the cheaper option So out of Mike’s nature of not being a big fan of finance and administration, he just wanted to get his box done. He wanted to touch it and was eager to put it on the table of the FDA for approval. So Mike chose the second supplier and placed an order for $25,000. Quite a considerable amount for a start-up. The components arrived six weeks later but got stuck in customs because wrong customs clearance codes had been used. They had to pay hefty fines for this. To make matters worse, the components turned out to be of the lowest quality possible. Mike had ordered for eco-friendly components because he didn’t want to be testing the environment with harmful materials or components. So when they sent the parts to an independent testing facility, just to give them the confidence of the materials used, they ended up having the worst PVC materials that you can launch in the market. So nobody would have ever approved this to be eco-friendly. It also cost him another $600 to recycle the components that they couldn’t use. So far, they’ve lost a lot of production time, and Mike ended up paying one and a half times as much as the first supplier. But, he’s glad he was able to learn how to avoid losing money on investments thanks to this experience. Lessons learned Find people who compliment you You will never have all the qualities needed to set up a successful...
Aug 13, 2020
Mark Moss – Diversify Your Profits to Protect Your Wealth
31:38 (Mark Moss) has been a full-time investor for 25 years and has invested in businesses, real estate, stocks, gold, and crypto. He is a market analyst on (YouTube) and newsletter publisher.   “We don’t learn from our successes, we learn from our failures.” Mark Moss   Worst investment ever The young entrepreneur Mark was just 18 when he started buying real estate. He was buying and fixing properties. Then he started building from the ground up, doing mixed-use buildings and commercial buildings. Mark knew how to make a lot of money. But could he keep the money? Turning everything into gold Mark was enjoying success. Every real estate project he touched thrived. He was steadily building his real estate portfolio, built himself a mansion, got married, had a kid, everything was great. What he didn’t understand is what got him in trouble Mark was smart enough to see the 2008 Real Estate crash coming. He had read a book, The Next Great Bubble Boom, by Harry Dent in which Dent kind of forecasted the crash. Mark knew he needed to get out and started selling every real estate that he had. But since he was doing development and these products took years, he got stuck with a couple of properties. Mark had put his entire energy into building his real estate portfolio. His investments started losing value first by 6%, then by 18% and in no time by 60%. All along, Mark thought he would ride the tide, and so he kept pushing. However, when the drop hit 60%, he ended up losing everything. And it was because Mark didn’t understand that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Mark went from having a $20 million real estate portfolio to being millions of dollars in debt. Helping others invest the right way Mark prides himself on being good at making money. So after his worst investment ever, he dusted himself off and got up again. Mark was able to make money again. This time, he had to learn how to do it the right way. Today, his mission is to make sure other people don’t repeat his same mistake. Lessons learned Diversify your portfolio Never put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your portfolio by reinvesting your profits into different investments. Most people tend to put back profits into their initial investments. While this is ok, if your investment tanks, you lose everything. Understand the basics of investing If you’re starting to invest, be sure to understand the basics of investing so that you’re able to make sound decisions, and protect your wealth. You have to create wealth first to invest Investing is what you do with your money after you make it. You have to create wealth first, and then you invest what’s leftover. Then you protect your wealth through risk management. Andrew’s takeaways Creating, growing and protecting wealth are different things One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to confuse, creating, growing, and protecting wealth. We create wealth through business. We grow wealth by investing what we’ve created, and we protect wealth through risk management measures such as a stop-loss, asset allocation, and diversifying your portfolio. Actionable advice Sit down and think about what you’re trying to do and where exactly you want to be. Then make a plan to get there because nobody is going to be able to tell that to you. You have to figure it out on your own. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Mark’s goal for the next 12 months is to build cash flow and grow his wealth. Connect with Mark Moss LinkedIn Twitter Facebook YouTube Website Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market Finance Made Ridiculously Simple...
Aug 09, 2020
Mark Pierce – Set a Stop Loss With Your Startup to Protect Your Downside
Mark Pierce is an attorney, an accountant, and the owner of Cloud Peak Law. With over three decades of experience, Mark has truly “seen it all” - at least from a legal perspective, from bankruptcy and estate planning to oil/gas and securities. He’s not only a lawyer but also a CPA and a serial entrepreneur.   “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging because it never gets better.” Mark Pierce   Worst investment ever Looking for a new venture In 2004 Mark was living in Florida when he felt that he needed a break from practicing law. So he looked around for his next venture. Considering the aftermath of 911, Mark felt that anything involving military or government services was going to be a booming business. So he bought into this trucking company that provided moving services primarily to the military in Florida. Gold turns into dust Mark grew the company from $4 million to $20 million in a little over six years. And just as he was getting the hang of it, the world was hit by the financial crisis of 2008. Additionally, the US was hit by government shutdowns that were perpetrated by the tea party movement that went on at the time. Mark believed that his business could power through the crises, and so he kept soldiering on. Unfortunately, the company could not beat the two disasters. What had turned out as a smart investment went on to become Mark’s worst investment ever. He went from having a net worth of around $9 million to have a net worth of about one million dollars. Lessons learned Have a stop loss Always have your stop loss. Have a mark by which if your investment goes below that mark, you sell it no matter what and then reassess. Having a stop-loss order in place makes sure that you don’t lose too much should there be a downturn in your investment. Andrew’s takeaways Question your decisions If you’re in trouble or dealing with a struggle right now, whether that’s a personal or a professional fight, ask yourself, knowing what you know now, would you make the same decision? Let’s say this person walked up to you today, knowing what you know about them, would you start a relationship with them? Would you start this business if this opportunity appeared? If the answer is no, then you’ve got to get out. If the answer is yes, double down and make it work. Appreciate times of discomforts We must take some discomfort now and then to prepare ourselves for the worst. This makes recovering from the worst easier. Actionable advice Have people around you to give you advice. People who are disinterested in your business from a monetary investment standpoint, or they don’t have a family relationship. People who can look at you and say, “You know what, here’s what’s going on. This is what’s happening. I think you should consider these things.” If you get that, you’ll be able to make those calls because psychologically, you’ll have the backup, and you’ll know you’ve got that independent corroboration that allows you to think you’re right. So surround yourself with people who can give you harsh advice. Mark calls it the Dutch uncle syndrome. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Mark’s goal for the next 12 months is to begin rolling out several new products into additional states and possibly raise a bit of money in a private equity function. This will allow him to build a bigger team than what he’s got right now. Rob has proven his business concept in four states, and it’s working very steadily. Now he’d like to bring some more people to take those products out and drive them in other states. Parting words   “Be optimistic, but be cautious and realistic. Surround yourself with good advisors. And when you get a good advisor, shut up and take their advice.” Mark Pierce   Connect with Mark Pierce LinkedIn Facebook Website Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform...
Aug 05, 2020
Rob Angel – When You Feel Overpowered by Emotion Listen to Your Intuition
35:35 (Rob Angel) is a speaker, author, and entrepreneur. He recently published his book, Game Changer: The Story of Pictionary and How I Turned a Simple Idea into the Bestselling Board Game in the World. In 1985, using a few simple tools, a Webster’s paperback dictionary, a No.2 pencil, and a yellow legal pad, he created the phenomenally successful and iconic board game Pictionary®. Putting together the first 1,000 games by hand in his tiny apartment, Rob mastered all the needed business skills, including sales, marketing, and distribution, before selling the game to Mattel in 2001. Today, he makes his home in Seattle where he is involved in philanthropy and mentors young entrepreneurs.   “It’s ok to miss an investment. I’d rather miss 10 great investments than go into one bad.” Rob Angel   Worst investment ever What do I do with all this money? When Pictionary® became a worldwide bestseller, Rob made a lot of money. He was about 28 years old at the time, and he had no idea what to do with the money. He reached out to a couple of friends who also had a lot of money and asked them for advice. Every one of them told him first to figure out what he wants for his life. So Rob took time and thought about it. He decided that what he wanted most was freedom. So every investment he made from then on was focused on giving him financial independence and freedom of time. Going against his investment vision About four years ago, Rob received a call from a friend with an investment idea that would make him 56X his investment in four months. Of course, it sounded too good to be true to Rob, but the guy spun him a story that captured his imagination, and also, he trusted this friend. Rob looked at the paperwork, and it didn’t make sense to him, but he just couldn’t help himself. His gut feeling pointed Rob at all the red flags, but his ego made him go ahead and invest in the idea. It was just a scam Rob gave his friend a check and sat back, waiting for his investment to kick in. When the day that Rob was to get paid came, he got nothing. He waited a couple of days, still nothing. After a few weeks, Rob went looking for his friend, but he was nowhere to be found. It was now quite clear that he had been scammed. Rob wasn’t too concerned with the money that he lost, but he was angry with himself for going against everything that he knows about himself and investing. He was mad that he had let greed lead him to make his worst investment ever. Lessons learned Listen to your intuition Listen to yourself and your gut instinct. Don’t let your brain and your ego override your intuition. Trusting your gut will save you from making your worst investment ever. Stay true to your vision When investing, stay true to your vision. Don’t let the excitement of the moment distract you from what you want to achieve. Plan for your success Don’t plan to fail; instead, prepare for your success. It’s ok to have a plan B, but plan for your success and what that looks like. Doing so will help dictate your business, your growth, and your investment strategy. Andrew’s takeaways Be open, aware and present Usually, we’re caught up in all of the excitement of the day, and we miss out on the opportunities around us because we’re not present and living in the moment. Look for inspiration around you We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants, and we get ideas from other people all the time. So be open to learning and drawing inspiration from people surrounding you. You might just get your next big idea from them. Invest for the long term Warren Buffett’s success in investing stems from his ability to watch grass grow. When investing, go in for the long term. Careful, thoughtful investing is just a simple long-term waiting game. It is not a game of excitement or buying and selling. Start investing early enough and let that grass grow. Learn to move on When you make a mistake, no matter what you’re
Aug 03, 2020
Don Moore – Beat Overconfidence Bias by Considering What You’re Neglecting
Don Moore holds the Lorraine Tyson Mitchell Chair in Leadership at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. His research interests include overconfidence, including when people think they are better than they are, when people think they are better than others, and when they are too sure they know the truth. He is only occasionally overconfident. He is the author of (Perfectly Confident: How to Calibrate Your Decisions Wisely).   “We let ourselves get carried away when we think that somehow believing in ourselves is enough to ensure success. It’s not.” Don Moore   Worst investment ever Unleash the power within Don found himself at a Tony Robbins course, Unleash the Power Within that he believed would change his life. The life coach had been enormously influential in lots of people’s lives. Don had read his books as a young man and was thoroughly inspired. The four-day course challenges those in attendance to think big about their goals and their lives, to confront the challenges that are holding them back. To help them figure out how to break through those challenges so they can live their highest ideals and the best life that they could imagine for themselves. Walking on fire At the end of the course is the famous final firewalk. Before it started, Tony Robbins whipped the crowd into such a frenzy. The people in attendance were practically exploding out of the convention center, ready to walk across hot coals. They marched outside to find these huge burning pyres and embers laid with glowing coals that they were to walk on. Blinded by overconfidence In his enthusiasm, Don somehow failed to take account of the cautionary safety warnings that Tony Robbins had offered. Don was confident and ready to prove to himself and the world just how brave I was. So he marched bravely across the bed of hot coals. At that moment, overcome by enthusiasm and overconfidence, Don burned the hell out of the soles of his feet. It turns out that those glowing embers stick to the tender flesh. Tony Robbins had instructed them to get their feet hosed down and wipe them off thoroughly. But in his bravado, Don felt that he didn’t need to do all that. And so he suffered for his overconfidence. Lessons learned The time to take a pause is when everything is going right Whenever you find yourself feeling ready to cross the finish line victoriously, and you feel sure that success is guaranteed, that’s the time to take a pause and ask yourself, how might this go wrong? How might I fail, and is there anything I can do to protect myself now against those risks? What are the other competitors thinking about their chances? Learn to imagine failure When you’re confident that you can do it, that you can succeed, stop for a moment, and imagine failure. Imagine your investment has turned out to be a catastrophe, you’ve lost money, you’ve disappointed your investors, you’ve lost credibility in the markets, etc. Imagining failure can help you identify risks, and maybe help you think about ways that you can hedge those risks and avoid the full exposure of to those dangers. Have an accurate sense of what you can achieve Yes, it can feel good to be overconfident, but it can get you into a whole bunch of trouble. How confident should you be? You should be as confident as the truth can justify. Don’t be underconfident either Managing your confidence doesn’t mean you should sell yourself short or lower your aspirations. Many times people are underconfident, they decline to take risks, they fail to initiate relationships, to try new products, or take risky job positions because they’re afraid that they’ll fail. The imposter syndrome is all about underconfidence, the belief that we can’t do it when, in fact, we can. Andrew’s takeaways It won’t always be mind over matter Our mind is mighty, but there are times when the mind doesn’t help our body. Sometimes the mind will give the...
Jul 28, 2020
Christopher D. Connors – We Can Develop Our Emotional Intelligence Through Adversity
Christopher D. Connors is the bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Leader and The Value of You. He is an author, executive coach, and keynote speaker who helps leaders increase their emotional intelligence, prioritize goals, and build thriving organizations. He works with executives and leaders at Fortune 500 companies, sports organizations, schools, and universities. His writing has appeared in CNBC, World Economic Forum, Quartz, CEO World, Virgin Media, Thrive Global, and Medium, and he’s been a guest on FOX and ABC TV programs. Christopher is happily married to his beautiful wife and is the proud father of three amazing, rambunctious baseball-loving boys. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina.   “Adversity is your best friend. In every adversity, there is always an opportunity that is going to come out of that.” Christopher Connors   Worst investment ever The big move Christopher grew up just outside New York City on Long Island while his wife grew up in South Carolina. They had been living in New York when the wife said she wanted to leave. And so they decided to relocate to Atlanta. Christopher wasn’t emotionally or mentally prepared to make a move, but he did it anyway as it was the right move for his family. Physically, Christopher was in Atlanta, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, he was still in New York. He was living this life where he was just struggling to put the pieces together. A thriving career While Christopher was struggling to adjust to the new life, career-wise, he was thriving. Christopher landed the most prestigious job opportunity he’s ever had. The job was very high paying, and he got to work with some of the top corporate clients in all of Atlanta, including Coca Cola, Delta, UPS, and the Home Depot. His head was just not in the game Despite having landed the job of his dreams, Christopher was still not settled and was struggling to adapt. He was still trying to figure out a little bit more about himself in terms of what he truly wanted to do. Even though on paper, this opportunity looked like a dream job, the more he went through it, the more he realized it wasn’t. Getting booted Christopher tried out a couple of different assignments that didn’t work. He just wasn’t able to employ emotional intelligence to be able to separate his personal life from his work life. About 10 months into it,  he was fired. Here he was less than a year into a move with a young son and a wife, and all of a sudden, he didn’t have an income coming in. It was a big blow to his ego because he had been successful in all of the other previous jobs that he had been in. Figuring his next move Getting fired was entirely unexpected for Christopher, but with a family to take care of, he had to bounce back soon. Christopher had always had this burning desire to write and coach just lying underneath the surface. He had treated them as hobbies for so long and just doing it a little bit of on the side. Now that Christopher had time on his hands, he started to build up a little bit more, and with time he turned it into a fulltime venture. Christopher admits that his poor performance in this lifetime job opportunity remains his worst investment ever; however, he’s thankful that it happened because he mustered the courage to kick the fear of venturing out entrepreneurially in the butt. Lessons learned Adversity is your best friend Don’t fear pain and failure. With every adversity, there’s the opportunity or the equivalent seed of an advantage. Learn to see opportunities within your adversities, and you will thrive. Developing emotional intelligence Life will always have its shortcomings. By developing emotional intelligence, you will be able to turn every weakness into a win. Without emotional intelligence, you will always let pain, failure, loss, and other adversities hold you back. Be proactive Start taking the initiative to go after the things that you have the...
Jul 26, 2020
Libby Gill – A Business Vision without Hope is Lost
Libby Gill is an executive coach, leadership expert, and best-selling author. She guides emerging and established leaders to inspire purpose and drive performance. She is the former head of communications for Sony, Universal, and Turner Broadcasting, and her clients include Bank of America, Capital One, Disney, Ernst & Young, Intel, Microsoft, and many more. She has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, NPR, the Today Show and in the New York Times, Time Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. She’s the author of six books, including the award-winning You Unstuck. Libby’s latest book is The Hope-Driven Leader: Harness the Power of Positivity.   “Leaders ask questions that propel them into new opportunities. Managers answer questions and get the job done for those who have the vision.” Libby Gill   We’re going to change the format a little bit today because Libby has gained a lot of experience as a leadership expert through coaching, working with teams, and writing books about it. Since we’re at a critical time for every leader out there to figure out how to survive and thrive, we’ll jump straight to the lessons and nuggets of wisdom that Libby has collected along her career path. Libby started her career in communications working for various entertainment studios. In the process, she grew up the rank to become a young leader. After a while, Libby realized what she wanted to do was to continue to grow teams, which she had done a lot as a leader. She read an article in Newsweek about executive coaching and took great interest in it. Libby then started working with people in executive coaching, then she went on to writing books and speaking in big forums. Her career in executive coaching just continued to grow. It’ll be 20 years this fall since Libby started. Lessons learned A business needs both leaders and managers to succeed You need people at different levels in your business. Leaders and managers play different roles in the success of a business. Leaders ask the questions that get the business new opportunities, while managers answer the questions. Leaders provide the business vision, and managers get the job done. Business vision, passion, and drive will get you to success You can win a battle even when you are outnumbered as long as you have a vision, the drive, and the passion for winning. As a business leader, beat your competitors by looking for gaps where you might have slipped off the market and create your competitive edge. If you’re just starting, figure out the most important thing and focus on that. But remember not to spread yourself too thin. The curse of the visionary Most leaders tend to have a hard time focusing on one area, so they find themselves with too many ideas and too little time. Try and focus on one area. Before you think of implementing more than one idea, first ask yourself if you have a financial base under you. Then, how long can you play this out and how long can you get away with trying out your many ideas without your business collapsing or depleting your funds. The hope theory Hope theory is all about having a vision of the future that may be wildly ambitious but is attainable. So to achieve this vision first, have clarity around it. Second, simplify the path to getting there. Consider what you must get out of the way, such as false hope or wrong ideas, bad habits, the wrong people. Third, execute the plan. We can all have our visionary ideas all day long, but it comes down to who’s going to get it done. Effective leadership is, therefore, about having a clear vision, perseverance, correcting the course, and continuing to move towards your vision as long as it stays true to what’s in your heart, your mind, and your gut. Have a fundamental belief that change is possible Not everybody believes that change is possible. There are plenty of people who are always justifying their defense of the status quo, and they’re going to stay exactly where they are...
Jul 23, 2020
E.B. Tucker – Go With Your Gut and Consider Starting Small
E.B. Tucker is the former editor of The Casey Report, Strategic Investor, and Strategic Trader. He is a board director and major shareholder of Metalla Royalty & Streaming (NYSE:MTA), a gold royalty company. He is the author of Why Gold? Why Now? The War Against Your Wealth and How to Win It and has more than two decades active in capital markets.   “It’s okay to get a bruise, but don’t get completely broken.” E.B. Tucker   Worst investment ever About 17 years ago, E.B. was trying to get into the world of finance, but he kept hitting walls. Everyone wanted to hire him as a sales rep because of his charismatic nature. However, E.B. wanted to manage money not to be a salesman all his life. So he kept trying. Lady luck came calling Finally, in 2006, one of E.B.’s friends told him about a guy he’d met playing golf, who was trying to restructure his company. The guy was looking for a sales V.P. The position came with an equity position right away. To E.B., this sounded like a winner. What the heck did he get himself into? E.B. got to learn that the company was not trading on the primary exchange and wasn’t compliant with its filings. Therefore, people could buy stock in it, but they’d not be buying the stock in the New York Stock Exchange. They’d just be buying it on an off-market. Getting his friends to invest in the company The company claimed to have natural pest control and was raising money to get the product off the ground. E.B. introduced some of his friends who invested about $150,000. He then went out to meet the CEO at their facility, and this was a disaster. E.B. found the CEO strange and was like some kind of cartoon character. He came back a little bit put off by this, and his gut feeling told him that this CEO was not straight. He’d been scammed A week later, he found out that the company didn’t have the federal EPA licenses that they claimed to have in the presentation to investors. Worse still, E.B. found out that the permit they claimed to have did not even exist, so the whole thing was made up. On top of that, they had already spent the money that E.B. had raised. He couldn’t tell how it had been spent to help the business, though. When he realized that the company had real issues, E.B. went to the guy who got him in and told him about the problems he’d noticed. The guy dismissed him and didn’t want to have that conversation with him. It seemed apparent that the guy knew what was going on. Making things right The company stopped paying E.B. when he brought these issues up. He was there only two weeks before they cut him off. E.B. decided to hire a lawyer to represent him in documenting all these issues. The lawyer wrote a letter documenting all the fraud that E.B. had found and sent it to the board’s certified mail. This cost him about $10,000. Next, E.B. hired another lawyer who was excellent at figuring out how to get his friend’s money back in about six months. This was quite a tough time for E.B. because he had the best of intentions and was just trying to break into the finance field. Lessons learned Go with your gut When people are pitching all sorts of ideas to you, do your research, ask questions, but don’t forget to listen to your instincts. Invest small at first If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you, but you want to try it anyway, go in small. If things work out, you can always invest more later. Don’t feel pressured to invest all of your money, especially when your gut feeling tells you that there could be a problem. Don’t let people intimidate you Let go of the investment whenever you feel intimidated by someone that’s pressing you to invest. Don’t be afraid to take risks Take risks. You have to be in the game to win. But pull back, especially if your instinct tells you there could be something wrong. Andrew’s takeaways Do your research BEFORE you invest Most people fail to do their research before investing and, oftentimes, do it after...
Jul 20, 2020
Laura Cho – Do Your Research Before Buying Online Courses
Laura Cho is an International Certified Coach and Founder at Laura Cho Intl. coaching millennial talents to build a successful career by unleashing their full potential with her HR expertise. She is a public speaker sharing HR and career topics on various stages in Hong Kong, Singapore, Cambodia, and Myanmar at universities, radio shows, online platforms, journals, and public seminars. She has been featured in Stories of Asia, The Myanmar Times, Human Resources Magazine (Hong Kong), and 7Day TV.   “The best investment you can make is investing in yourself in the right way.” Laura Cho   Worst investment ever A hunger to be good at what she does Three and a half years ago, Laura started a side hustle as a career coach. To do it successfully, she had to pick up several skills. She was eager to learn anything that would help her. Buying her first online course Laura came across a Facebook ad by a lady living in Hong Kong. The online coach was offering a free business plan. Laura was impressed by the lady’s copywriting in the ad and by what she was promising. Being from Myanmar, Laura believed that the lady from Hong Kong had more knowledge and, therefore, the right person to learn from. So without taking some time to think about it, she invested in the lady’s course. The credit card privilege The course was quite expensive, especially since she had to pay in USD. But because she had a credit card, she spent anyway. All talk no action After Laura started the online course, she soon realized that the coach was just full of air and wasn’t walking the talk. The course offered Laura zero value. She did not learn a single new thing in that class. Whenever she tried to ask questions, the coach would dismiss them as stupid questions. Laura was devasted. And to imagine all the money she had paid! Freeing herself from the guilt Laura couldn’t help but feel angry for allowing herself to make the worst investment ever. She was mad at herself for not taking the time to research the course. Or at the very least see what other people were saying about the course and the trainer. She carried this anger for a while, and it prevented her from trying out any other courses. She realized that she was shortchanging herself and so she forgave herself and moved on from the terrible experience. Lessons learned Get to know the trainer before buying an online course There are very many coaches and trainers today. So, before you invest in someone, take some time to learn about that person. Follow the trainer for some time and interact with any free content they share and read reviews from their past clients. This will let you know if you can trust the trainer or not. Calculate the return on investment Before you invest in an online course, ask yourself what will be the return on investment. How will the course benefit your career or your side hustle? Not all ‘good’ trainers are good for you People have different levels of experience. Just because an advanced student says a trainer is good doesn’t mean the trainer will help you too. Understand your needs first Why do you want to buy an online course? What do you hope to achieve from taking an online course? You have to know your needs first before you invest in your personal development. Andrew’s takeaways Do your research The number one mistake people make when investing, whether in business or themselves, is failing to do their research. Don’t buy online courses blindly, research them first to make sure you invest in the right ones only. Build trust You’ve got to build trust first before buying that online course. You can do so by engaging in the trainer’s free content first and see if they offer you any value. If yes, then go ahead and buy the course. Get the money-back guarantee Only buy courses that have a no questions asked 100% money-back guarantee. Make sure that guarantee is clearly stated. This gives you a chance to get your money back should you not be...
Jul 15, 2020
Darin Kidd – Losing Everything Compelled Him to Build a Better Life
30:19 (Darin Kidd) is an entrepreneur who has achieved success in various arenas. He was a leader and multiple-seven-figure earner in the network marketing profession, building massive teams all over the world. He has owned profitable franchises and has built his online digital brand, which is now consumed by hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. He has been featured in various magazines and books, was on an advisory council with John Maxwell, and has been interviewed by Grant Cardone on Grant Cardone TV. Currently, he is a speaker, trainer, and mentor for others. However, he was not always a successful businessman. Over 20 years ago, he was bankrupt and felt like a failure. He managed to emerge from that experience with a unique perspective and an “I Will Until” attitude on life. He genuinely wants to help people “be more, do more, and have more” in their life.   “It’s about progress, not perfection. Just get a little bit better every single day.” Darin Kidd   Worst investment ever From debt-free to bankruptcy Darin got successful in his early 20s. Everything was going superbly well. He was debt-free, had money in the bank, 401k, some investments, and more. One day someone moved into Darin’s town, and after some time, he convinced Darin that if he paid him up front, he could build his dream home for him for a lower price. The deal sounds too good to be true? It was. The dude walked off in the middle of the construction, and everything he had done to the house was off. And just like that, Darin went from debt-free, perfect credit, money in the bank, 401k, and new cars to bankruptcy and a repossessed car. He couldn’t feed his kids or support his wife. Darin’s family was now on government assistance, Medicaid, and applying for food stamps. Darin went from a successful businessman to a depressed man. The turning point Darin’s family had this big Coca-Cola plastic piggy bank, which they were putting change in. Darin had promised his daughter that someday they’d go to Disney World. One night, after losing everything, Darin and his wife were in their bedroom when the daughter walked in. They had dumped out the piggy bank and were going through the change to try to get enough to buy something to eat. The daughter ran out of the room, crying and saying dad had taken her money for Disney World. Darin was so devastated and couldn’t believe how low he’d gone to the point of stealing money from his kids’ piggy bank. It was at this moment that he decided it was about time he took action and start building a better life for his family. This was when he took on the “I Will Until” attitude on life, which helped him rebuild his life and become the now-renowned successful businessman he is. Lessons learned Obstacles lead to elevation It’s not the easy times that make us grow but the difficult times. There’s no elevation without obstacles. So appreciate the challenges and learn and draw strength from them. Learn the compound effect Practice getting a little bit better today than you were yesterday because the simple things you do daily that seem insignificant compound over several years and completely change you. Do what others are not willing to do Do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Do today what others want to do tomorrow, and success will follow you. You become who you hang out with Your associations, like an elevator, either let you up or bring you down. So always ask yourself what your associations do or are doing for you. Andrew’s takeaways Never compare your insides to other people’s outsides Always remember that people are suffering inside, no matter how successful they seem. They are in pain and facing one issue or another. People, however, tend to see their own pain more clearly but don’t see other people’s pain because you only see their outsides and not their insides. So don’t let what you think you know about people intimidate you or hold
Jul 13, 2020
Chris J Reed – LinkedIn Marketing Lesson: Bounce Your Idea Off Other Entrepreneurs
Chris J Reed loves to share his uncensored, polarizing, and authentic thoughts on a variety of business topics on LinkedIn and for Forbes, where he is an Official Forbes Business Council Member. He is a quadruple international best-selling author on the subjects of LinkedIn, Personal Branding, and Social Selling, and he is infamously known as “The Only CEO With A Mohawk,” recognized globally by his notorious pink mohawk!   “You gotta have some kind of elevator pitch or icebreaker on LinkedIn, just like in real life.” Chris J Reed   Worst investment ever Replicating success Chris created Black Marketing, which became an instant success. With this successful experience, he believed that he could do it again, so he started another marketing company. However, it wasn’t as successful, but luckily he was able to sell it off after a couple of years. Believing in his hype After selling his second company and making money off it, Chris had it over his head that he could start a third company. He created another company, The Dark Art of Marketing, that was linked to LinkedIn marketing focusing on PR. He employed people and invested in office space, branding, marketing websites, the whole nine yards. For the first couple of years, it worked to a degree, but then the revenue dwindled. Chris decided that the solution to the now not so successful company was to create another company aimed at bringing female keynote speakers to the fore. Too much to handle What Chris didn’t realize was how challenging the market he had entered was. No one wanted to pay him for his services, but he managed to negotiate for commissions. He also, soon enough, realized that he had hired the wrong people who could barely deliver on promises. After six months, Chris figured this business was a sinking ship and closed it down after investing a million dollars. He went back to the basics and put his focus on Black Market that was still successful. Lessons learned Double-check your ideas Every single thing you do bounce it off to about 10 entrepreneurs before you start it. Don’t listen only to your instincts; listen to the right people too. Be a more cautious entrepreneur Practice being more conservative and calculating in terms of what you can win and what you can lose. Always weigh up the pros and cons. be much more conservative and calculating Andrew’s takeaways Powerful personal branding gives you a powerful platform Personal branding makes a lot of difference in your business success. You have more power if you have a strong brand. Go back to the fundamentals When looking to expand or start a business, go back to where you add the most value, and refocus on that and build on that. Actionable advice Do a better analysis of the markets. Ask for advice from people in those markets, but not people who are competitors. Then decide how much money you can lose on the venture, be prepared to lose it all and then ask yourself if it is worth it. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Chris’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to focus on his company Black Marketing. He’s been streamlining the business and is now looking at how he can help entrepreneurs grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, to see it as an opportunity. Parting words   “Go for your personal branding. Go for your LinkedIn marketing. Don’t underestimate branding yourself; do it for free. 95% of people can do it for free. If you don’t have time to do it, turn to us. Find me on LinkedIn with a Mohawk.” Chris J Reed   Connect with Chris J Reed LinkedIn Facebook YouTube Website Blog Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market Finance Made Ridiculously Simple Become a
Jul 09, 2020
Rand Fishkin – Don’t Be Afraid to Stand up Against the Growth-at-All-Cost Venture Capital Model
34:37 (Rand Fishkin) is CEO & co-founder of (SparkToro), author of Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World, and previously co-founded and ran (Moz). Since publishing his book in 2018, he has earned 4.7 stars out of 5 from 170 reviews, a remarkable achievement!   “Find something you’re passionate about, where you can add unique value, and where your audience wants to pay attention. Nail those three, and you’ll do great marketing.” Rand Fishkin   Worst investment ever Time to grow business funds Rand’s worst investment ever happened when he was the CEO of Moz. In 2011, the company turned down an acquisition offer from HubSpot, a very well known marketing platform. At the time, Moz had been growing at 100% year-on-year for about six years in a row and producing about $11 million in revenue. In 2012, Moz sought to increase funding and got $18 million, of which $15 million came from a new investor, Foundry group, and $3 million of it came from a previous investor Ignition Partners. Venturing into more forms of marketing Rand’s company used the Venture Capital (VC) funding ostensibly to grow the business from just providing search engine optimization tools and software to providing different aspects of web marketing, email marketing, content marketing, PR, and social media marketing. Essentially, all of the new forms of marketing that Moz had not served previously. Cutting off what was working Over the next few years, the company cut off all growth of its software platform. As a result, existing products stopped improving and staggered. While their competitors kept making investments, Rand was pouring all of his new money into hiring a huge team, trying to figure out the new management structures, growing his offices, and acquiring other companies. Rand thought that by putting on hold what was previously working and putting all his energy into launching his new idea, the new venture would propel Moz into superstardom with this exciting and incredibly broad software suite. The horrific failure The new venture fell flat on Rand’s face. Moz’s growth rate fell from 100% year-on-year to 50% and then from 50% to 25%. Over the years, Moz continued to plateau in terms of growth and was surpassed by two direct competitors – (SEMrush) and Ahrefs. Over the last few years, Moz has tried to recover and refocused on SEO after a big round of layoffs in 2016. Stepping aside While the company was still profitable, the failure put a massive strain on the company and Rand. He was not able to handle it well and had an emotional breakdown. Rand ended up stepping down from the company, replacing himself with the chief operating officer who’s still the CEO today at Moz. The myth that leads even the best of us to failure Rand’s biggest driver to his failure was believing in the myth that once you have invested, made a decision, and gone down a path, you have to keep pursuing that path until you see it through to determine whether it was the right decision or the wrong decision. In reality, the right thing to do is to release one small thing that puts you in this direction and see if that works. And then another little thing in the same direction and if it also works launch another. Don’t do anything big until you’ve released a small series of things and validate that your market wants this. Lessons learned Have structure and incentives in place Structure and incentives matter more than almost everything else when it comes to business success. Know what you’re signing up for before accepting venture capital VC financing comes with a lot of glitz and glamor, and you get a lot of media attention. Don’t fall into the trap of chasing the glamor at the expense of serving your customers, your employees, and your happiness. Find the in-between financing model Today, there are financing models in...
Jul 07, 2020
John Lee Dumas – Avoid the Sunk Cost Fallacy by Testing Your Idea in the Market
16:07 (John Lee Dumas) (JLD) is the host of (Entrepreneurs on Fire), an award-winning podcast where he has been interviewing the world’s most inspiring Entrepreneurs. With more than 2,000 episodes, one million-plus listens a month, and seven-figures in annual revenue, JLD has learned a thing or two about podcasting. I learned about podcasting from John and joined his podcaster’s paradise in 2014. It is a community of more than 2,500 people and is the place to go to if you want to become a podcaster. I highly advise those who wish to become podcasters to go to the Apple Podcast called “Free Podcast Course” and listen up.   “I never have since then created something that I didn’t first get proof of concept by actual people investing actual dollars into that offer.” John Lee Dumas   Worst investment ever Clueless college investor When JLD was in college, he found this penny stock after reading some guy’s website. The stock was six cents at the time. JLD invested $1,000 instantly and planned to sell when the stock got to eight cents. He left it at that and went to class. Rich in 45 minutes JLD came back 45 minutes later, and the stock was at 12 cents. In literally 45 minutes, he’d made 1,000 dollars, which for a college student was a big deal. So he thought this is the best way ever to make money. So he cashed out immediately and sold his stock. Then the stock went up to 18 cents as he watched. JLD regretted selling and so out of guilt, he bought the stock at 18 cents and went to bed. He woke up the next morning and logged in around 11 am and the stock was down at 3 cents. JLD experienced first initial luck to double his money and then lost it all, and all this within 24 hours. Fast forward to 2013 In 2013, JLD was one year into (Entrepreneurs on Fire) when he thought it would be a good idea to come out with a course with an offering. He’d built an audience through his podcast and understood what it means to generate revenue online. So he sat down and came up with this great business idea. JLD’s idea was going to be this podcast platform where customers would simply record their episode, send JLD the mp3, he would edit it, add the intro and the outro, upload it to Libsyn and distribute it out to all the podcast directories. Putting his heart and soul to his offer JLD invested heavily in this idea. He hired about 10 people to work with the clients he had hopes of getting. He invested a ton of money, time, and bandwidth into it. And then he opened the doors. He couldn’t have failed faster Upon launching the offer, JLD got just two clients. One of them asked for a refund within 24 hours. The second one ended up being a nightmare client. He quickly learned that this was an incredibly lousy investment and decided to call it quits. Despite the offer being his worst investment ever because it costs a lot of time and took a lot of money, he was glad to have walked away and not let the sunk cost fallacy take him down. JLD went on to create another offer, after proper planning, and it remains a massive success to date. Lessons learned Listen to your audience Before you create an offer, ask your audience what they want. Find out what’s their most pressing need and the most suitable solution, then offer them that. Listening to your audience will guide you in creating an offer they will want to pay for. Get proof of concept first Before you create something, get proof of concept by getting a few people to invest actual dollars into that offer. Your timing could be everything Just because your offer doesn’t work the first time doesn’t mean that it’s a bad offer. The timing could be the reason. Your offer could be something that works down the road when the time is right. Don’t let the sunk cost fallacy take you down If your offer fails, don’t keep pushing it just because you invested your money, time, and energy in it. You’ll...
Jul 05, 2020
Dennis Mortensen – One Signature Away From Riches but Wanted Just a Bit More
Dennis Mortensen is an expert in leveraging data to deliver business insights. A serial entrepreneur, Dennis built and successfully exited several companies before founding in 2014, a company that is solving a painful problem—scheduling meetings—through a sophisticated AI platform that saves people time and effort. Dennis is a recognized leader, author, and university instructor in the field of digital data and analytics. Originally from Denmark, Dennis lives in New York with his family.   “Any startup is just the class of bad decisions. And the danger is that one of them might just be so bad that it kills the company. You just don’t know which one it is; you’ll know when it’s done.” Dennis Mortensen   Worst investment ever Dennis ventured into his first successful venture in 1996 when he started an internet company. He was the sole investor financing the startup on cashflow. He ran the startup for four years, and in 2000 he sold it for $11 million. At 27 years of age, $11 million was undoubtedly quite a kill. Moving onto the next successful venture Excited to have hit huge success with his first venture, Dennis took all the money he got from selling the company and invested it in another startup, a food delivery service this time around. From his projections, this was going to be an excellent investment. So Dennis jumped in the deep end, money in both hands, and started to build up the team. Soon enough, the company was driving up revenue. Doing things a bit different Dennis decided that he would run his business model a bit different from other similar services. He charged slightly higher for the service; however, if the customer had any complaints about their orders, Dennis’s company would shoulder the blame and not the food vendors. Slowly but surely, this business model started eating up his cashflow and affecting revenue. Pride comes before a fall As fate would have it, Dennis got the opportunity to turn things around for his business. Another delivery service that grew to become the most prominent food delivery service company in the world approached Dennis with a merger proposal. Dennis did his research and learned that indeed this would be a great merger. He got into negotiations with the company. The company offered him an 18% stake, but he negotiated to 23%. The company was adamant about offering him no more than 18%, which was still a staggering amount as Dennis would be the single biggest shareholder in that company. In his delirious optimism, Dennis declined the offer and opted to keep running his business on his own. Three months later, this decision came to haunt him when he had to fold his business as he had no cash flow left. The delivery company he walked away from is now worth 10s of billions of dollars. Lessons learned You win some you lose some Entrepreneurship is just a game you play to win, and sometimes you will lose. But there’s a game tomorrow as well. Don’t attach your life’s worth to the success of your company. Don’t dwell on the losers If you invest in a startup company or start a business and it doesn’t work, don’t dwell on it. Dust yourself up, learn from the loss, and move on to the next winner. Andrew’s takeaways Don’t make the wrong mistake You can make many mistakes, but don’t make that one wrong mistake that’s going to kill your business. Don’t be afraid to think differently When you find an entrepreneurial space that’s yet to be explored, no matter how crazy it seems, if it’s viable, go for it. Actionable advice Think of entrepreneurship as a career, not a moment in time where you must try a venture out, and once done, you’ll go back to your day job. This way, you dedicate your life and not just a moment in starting ventures that work and move on from those that fail. You’re not in some kind of hurry to get it done. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Dennis’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to send his lastborn daughter to college, and
Jul 02, 2020
Ranveer Brar – Deepen Your Relationship with What You Love and Be a Good Businessman
Ranveer Brar is a television celebrity, Masterchef India judge, author, restaurateur, food film producer, and benefactor. To put it simply, chef Ranveer is one of the most celebrated chefs in India. His popularity on television is matched by his tremendous fan following on social media as well. Getting the basics right and revering the kitchen as an artist would his/her studio, are mantras he lives by and propagates to others as well. With a bestseller in his kitty, a popular host, and judge on television and an artist both in and out of the kitchen, chef Ranveer calls himself a food-Sufi on a constant culinary quest.   “Failure is a part of your journey. It’s the outcome of the journey that matters. You can’t choose to end the journey when you want to; the journey will end when it wants to. You have to get up and play along.” Ranveer Brar   Worst investment ever Ranveer got success very young. He was an executive chef at 25, an age when a lot of people would be at least four levels below the post of an executive chef. Ranveer had met and been mentored by the right people. Nothing would stop him at this point. Chasing his passion Even though Ranveer was excited to be an executive chef earning a considerable salary, a year or so later, he got bored. Executive chefs in hotels in India don’t get to cook. And at 25, all he wanted was to use his hands to cook. A bunch of friends that Ranveer met on a trip to the US told him about someone who wanted to start a restaurant. They encouraged him to talk to him and partner up, and he figured why not. One day Ranveer was constructing a pizza oven in his hotel and had his head inside the oven when he got a call. The guy said, “Well, here we are, you want to do a restaurant, want to team up?”. Without a second thought, or asking him what the restaurant would be about or what the plans were, Ranveer said yes. So the same day, Ranveer typed his resignation, gave it to his general manager, and a month later, without much forethought, flew to the US to start a restaurant. The ceiling that kept the restaurant doors shut The restaurant was extremely design-driven. So the investment both in terms of time and money on the design was huge. The restaurant had a million-dollar ceiling that caused delays because the designers couldn’t get it right. They kept breaking and rebuilding the ceiling. Being a hotel chef, Ranveer did not bother about such things; he was simply focused on getting stuff for his kitchen. He just wasn’t an entrepreneur in the sense of the word. Shifting gears Gradually, the restaurant was ready to open its doors. The partner decided that they shouldn’t do Indian food but modern Asian cuisine instead. He argued that Indian food was overrated. Ranveer didn’t question the decision. He just went with the flow, something he came to regret later. The wrong business model Ranveer and his partner also decided to make the restaurant a small plate restaurant. Ranveer didn’t know much about business models, so again he just went with the flow. Unfortunately, the model didn’t bring them much revenue given the investment put in and the effort made to run the restaurant. Losing connection with food While Ranveer is a talented chef, he just couldn’t connect with the Asian menu. His cooking techniques were perfect, and he was making great food, but he wasn’t enjoying the job as he had hoped he would. Ranveer couldn’t help but wonder if entering this partnership was the right move. Going on a downward spiral Given his lack of connection with food and the low revenue, things between Ranveer and his partner became bad, leading to deliberate discontent. One day, as Ranveer was having a beer with his friend on his day off, the partner called him to his office. He told him that since he was running an Asian restaurant, he might as well hire an Asian chef. He then handed Ranveer a $5,000 check and thanked him for his services. And just like that, he found himself...
Jun 29, 2020
Neil Patel – Fail Your Way to Success by Practicing the 3Es: Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
18:55 (Neil Patel) is a New York Times Bestselling author. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.   “Have the mindset of testing. What works today may not work a year from now. If you don’t keep testing, you’re not going to thrive and succeed.” Neil Patel   Worst investment ever Creating a business to solve his own problem About 10 years ago, Neil’s website, at the time, was doing pretty well, so much so that sometimes he’d get a flood of traffic from social media. This upsurge in traffic would cause his servers to go down. This sounds like a good problem to have, right? While Neil appreciated the tremendous traffic, he had to pay for more and more servers. But then, in most cases, he would never use the extra resources. He thought to himself that it would be a good idea to be able to pay for the resources when he needed them, and not pay for them when he didn’t. Taking matters into his own hands Neil figured that there must be other people who were in a similar situation paying for all these resources and not using most of them. “What if we combine all our servers and have one big infrastructure, and we can each scale up and down as we want?” he thought to himself. Right there and then, a business idea hatched. Neil went to work to start Vision Web Hosting. The multibillion idea that sucked While Neil’s idea was a good one and would have seen him make millions of dollars, a few things turned it into his worst investment ever. First, Neil had no experience in hosting. Second, he picked partners that had no experience either and just paid them because they told him they could do it. Third, hosting was just not Neil’s core focus. He was doing many other things that had him distracted, and so he wasn’t focusing on it. Essentially, Neil ended up spending over a million dollars to start a business that wasn’t generating any revenue. He didn’t even get to launch it. His partners couldn’t figure out how to execute his idea. Eventually, Neil folded the business and had to figure out how to repay all the money that he borrowed to start the business. Lessons learned Ideas are worthless if not executed right Ideas are a dime a dozen. They are worthless unless you pick and execute the right ones. Partner with experienced people Pick business partners who have done it before because they come with learnings instead of starting from scratch and having to learn on the job. Start a business with a minimum viable product If you’re going to start a business, start with a minimum viable product and get it out there. You are never going to have a perfect product. It’s never going to be amazing. Just get something out there and improve it over time. Andrew’s takeaways Sometimes you’re just not ready to join the big leagues You may have a great idea that you want to launch in the global market, but before you go competing in the big leagues, ask yourself if you’re ready to do it. Do you have confidence in your operations? Do you have the money to do it? Do you have the right workforce? If not, accept, pull the plug and wait until you’re ready. Four main things to look for when investing in a startup 1. Trust Do you trust the team that you’re investing in? Usually, there’s no hack to trust. Trust comes over time. 2. The idea What’s the startup’s idea, and is it a viable one? 3. Execution Is the team able to execute on this idea? If the answer is no, it doesn’t matter that the idea is excellent, it doesn’t matter that you trust the team, the idea won’t work. 4. Money Ultimately, you never want to be the only one providing money to any startup that you’re involved in. The...
Jun 24, 2020
Howard Whiteson – Financial Literacy Was a Pathway out of Pain
Howard Whiteson’s economist father made him familiar with financial principles from a very young age. As a teenager, however, Howard rebelled and suffered deep debt and economic chaos. Having journeyed from that low point to master his finances, Howard has spent some 20 years as an expat, the last six in Shanghai, China. He uses a proven 5-part process to empower executive expats at such corporations as Apple, Coca-Cola, and Gucci to create, transfer, and protect their wealth internationally. To find out more, visit Wealth Without Borders.   “Rather than trying to conquer the entire world of finance, gently take small steps into that world.” Howard Whiteson   Worst investment ever Driving his way into debt It’s a bright summer’s day in Rolling English countryside, and Howard is in his hybrid sports car, with the sunroof down the music going, feeling like a million bucks. He’d just recently bought that car. It was one of the first hybrid cars made by Honda. He was very proud of all the gadgets and gizmos. Howard had spent 28,000 pounds on it, about 40,000 dollars. Riding on a promise Howard had just had two CEOs tell him that they wanted to work with him on a retainer basis. He was proud, confident, and dashing. What better way to celebrate than to spend all his money on the car of his dreams. He was going to be rich soon, anyway. His dreams turn to dust So in his sports car, Howard drove to one of the CEO’s offices in a farmhouse in the middle of Essex countryside, got out of the car, and walked in to see the CEO. The CEO told Howard that the company was letting him go. He’d worked for the company for about 12 years. The news was a huge shocker. As if that was not a blow huge enough, within a few weeks, the second CEO had the same story to tell Howard. He also let him go. So Howard went from being very comfortable and very well off into deep debt and a lot of darkness. He was now tens of thousands of pounds in debt. Letting rebellion rule over him Howard’s father was an economist, and so he grew up learning all about the stock markets, about bull and bear markets. But as an adult, he chose to rebel and ignore all the knowledge he had gained. Howard’s attitude towards money was that it was the root of all evil. It was all a capitalist plot. He believed one should live for today and forget about tomorrow. This kind of attitude led him directly into that dark abyss of financial chaos, debt, and struggling to make ends meet. Hitting a brick wall and making a turnaround Howard was now scrambling for a job. Luckily he had some close friends who managed to connect him to a job soon enough. He enjoyed the new job, but it was tough work and unrewarding. Howard was still struggling to pay off his massive debt. This remains the lowest point in his life where he felt he’d hit a brick wall. What pulled Howard out of this rut was the deeply rooted financial awareness that his father had implanted within him. He finally realized that if he continued along on this trajectory of debt and chaos, he would end up in a very sad place. So Howard dusted himself up, started applying the knowledge he’d learned from his father, and managed to pull himself out of the worst investment ever. Lessons learned Art and finance jell perfectly Art and creativity and maths and finance are not opposites. They overlap and inform one another. There’s a sense of discipline within creativity, and there’s creativity within the world of finance. Acknowledge you’ve made a financial mistake If you ever find yourself in a financial crisis, stop the denial, the rebellion, and just acknowledge that you’re in a dark place, and you’ve got to do something about it. Most importantly, work on gaining financial literacy to avoid future mistakes. Andrew’s takeaways Don’t be afraid of learning about money and investing For a lot of people, money and investing are painful topics mostly because they feel overwhelmed, trying to understand the...
Jun 11, 2020
Nicholas Hinrichsen – If You Aren’t Suited for Picking Stocks Build a Diversified Portfolio
Nicholas Hinrichsen was born and raised in Germany and played on the German National Golf Team and studied Computer Science and Finance in Germany, Chile, and Australia. At the start of his career, he looked into consulting and investment banking but instead joined a renewable energy startup that invested in projects in China and India. In 2011, he moved to the US to get his MBA at Stanford Business School, and by 2013 he started a company called Carlypso. He brought that startup through YCombinator in 2014, raised $10 million in venture funding by 2015, and sold the company to in 2017. Carvana went public at a market cap of $2.5B and is now the most valuable used car retailer in the US. Nicholas and his co-founder, Chris Coleman, recently left Carvana to start, a fully digital platform that lets car owners refinance auto loans from the comfort of their own home. The team at has seen that in the US, only 5% of auto loan applications were refinancing, yet 47% of all funded mortgage applications were refinancing. So, they are going to change that!   “To succeed as a startup, all you need to do at the very beginning is to leave the building and talk to customers.” Nicholas Hinrichsen   Worst investment ever Young investor When Nicholas was 16, the only thing he knew how to do well back then was playing golf. Then all of a sudden, his friends in school, even some golfers, started talking about investing in technology companies. Nicholas had about $2,000, which was a lot of money for him at the time. His friends told him to invest the money because he could easily 10x that money. Afraid to miss out As everyone around him continued to invest in the tech companies, Nicholas decided to look into it because he felt like he was missing out. He signed up for an account online, went to the physical branch to verify his identity, and then eventually got access to the stock market. Now with an account, Nicholas could shop around for a company to invest in. But with so many options, he was baffled. One of his friends advised him to buy some magazines and then just read about the stocks in these magazines because the magazines wouldn’t recommend buying those stocks if they weren’t the best. And that’s precisely what Nicholas did. Making his first investment and mistake Nicholas didn’t know any of the companies in the magazines, but one resonated with him because that happened to be Germany’s biggest telecom. He felt that this would be a good choice. Nicholas took the money he had and used it all to buy the stock at $120 per share. Sadly, that remains the highest price the stock has ever traded. The stock price went downhill a few months after Nicholas bought it. First slowly, then rapidly, to a point where Nicholas was just watching from the sidelines as the price went down to zero. Finally letting go of his worst investment Nicholas somehow held onto his stock for years, even though he wasn’t making any returns on it. A few years later, he moved to the US for work. He wasn’t allowed to hold a foreign account, and so he was forced to transfer his portfolio in Germany to his US bank. However, he decided that the lousy stock was not worth the effort and so he sold it and counted his losses. Lessons learned The stock market is tricky Succeeding in the stock market is harder than winning the gold medal at the Olympics, so brace yourself and go ready to give it your all. Don’t hold onto cash Cash is not as great as people think it is, especially if there’s inflation. You lose money in the long run by keeping cash in the bank. Invest in a diversified portfolio Manage risk by investing in a diversified portfolio and hire a fund manager to manage this portfolio. This removes emotions out of the investment. Invest for the long term You can only make or preserve your wealth if you’re investing for the long term. Humans act either out of fear or out of greed When it...
Jun 09, 2020
Wim Steemers – Overcome Behavioral Biases with the Help of a Good Team
36:47 (Wim Steemers) has a 30-year career working in over 40 countries around the world, of which the last 20 years were spent in funds management at AllianceBernstein, Macquarie, Colonial First State, and AL Capital. While educated at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, he always had his doubts about the Efficient Market Hypothesis, and he followed the development of Behavioral Finance over the years with keen interest. While he has a traditional fund management role at AL Capital, he spends his free time with his (Rosevalley Funds), where he puts into action what he suspected for a long time: there has to be a way to take advantage of the systematic biases that exist in human behavior.   “People do not always behave rationally. They make errors in a particular direction, and if you’re aware of these behavioral biases, you’re gonna make money.” Wim Steemers   Worst investment ever New technology rouses his curiosity In 1999, a new technology of doing laser operations on eyes to correct vision piqued Wim’s interest. Wim had been wearing glasses since he was four years old, so anything to correct his vision was bound to interest him. Though the technology was relatively new, it had been proven to work, but it was still quite rare and expensive. Wim, however, decided to do it. Falling in love with the product The laser procedure took about 15 minutes, and voila Wim had perfect vision. For 30 years, Wim had not been able to see further than a meter ahead without glasses. When he walked out of the room, and he could see perfectly. It was literally as if the sun had risen for the first time in his life. The machine used for the laser procedure was big and cost a million dollars at the time. It was made by a Canadian company that was listed in the stock exchange. When Wim walked out of that operation, he was so impressed and believed that this machine was going to take the world by storm. So he bought shares in the company that made that laser equipment. The company wasn’t as good as the product Within about a year, Wim lost all his money after the company went bankrupt. Wim had done no research and simply thought that the laser machine was so great the company must be doing well. So it turned out that there were competitors that had cheaper products and better laser machines. So the company just couldn’t compete, and that’s how Wim lost all his money. Delving into the Korean investment market In the year 2000, while working as a junior analyst, Wim got a chance to delve into the Korean stock exchange. At the time, Asia was just getting out of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The crisis caused widespread bankruptcies as banks in Asia continued to fail. Banks now had to find new ways to attract customers. The credit card revolution Banks in Korea discovered credit cards. Credit cards hadn’t existed in Korea before, and the only credit card as we understand it, which means you can rollover the balance and borrow money, was Citibank’s. What existed were charged cards that were automatically debited at the end of each cycle. You couldn’t use them to borrow money, so they weren’t actual credit cards. Credit cards hence became a nice source of income for the banks. The government loved the idea too The Korean government saw this as an opportunity to stimulate the economy. But more importantly, when people pay with credit cards, the government could track those transactions making it easier for taxation purposes. So the government put in measures to promote the credit card idea. The government made it mandatory for businesses to accept credit cards. Also, every credit card receipt was automatically a lottery ticket. So numbers on each credit card receipt were put in a draw, and a car would be won every Friday. Also, for people paying taxes, they could deduct 10% of all their credit card receipts from their taxes....
Jun 07, 2020
Oladipupo Ehindero – Make Sure You Trust the Management of the Banks You Invest In
Oladipupo “Dipo” Ehindero is an independent analyst and was Head of Research of a mid-size asset manager before pursuing his Master’s degree. He has been in the research and investment banking space for over 10 years. He also has a passion for human resource management, having previously worked in that area.   “Never play with your documentation. Make sure you keep personal records of every single transaction.” Oladipupo Ehindero   Worst investment ever Oladipupo was on an internship with an asset manager in Lagos when the federal government of Nigeria made law through the central bank that all the banks in Nigeria should recapitalize. So he was told to also participate in bringing clients and advise them on what to buy and what to sell. Oladipupo went out and began making cold calls, meeting high net worth individuals, and trying to build his network. Landing his first client Oladipupo finally met a lady who was looking to invest her money in a bid to raise college money for her two daughters. The lady didn’t have a lot of money; nonetheless, it was a substantial amount to invest. Oladipupo advised her to split her investment money into two, and they invested one half in bank stocks and the other half in a medical diagnostic company. Ignoring his senior’s advice Oladipupo was feeling quite excited after landing this client as he was now more confident about his career growth. One of the senior managers got to know about Oladipupo’s client and the investments they had settled on. While he was proud of Oladipupo’s effort, he advised him not to invest in the bank he had chosen because the president of that bank didn’t have a good reputation. The manager suggested another bank whose MD was a better person than the president of the bank he had invested in. Oladipupo, however, felt that all the banks were the same, and thus he trusted that his choice was good enough for his client. Time to cash out A few years later, Oladipupo received a call from his client, who informed him that one of her daughters had been accepted into a medical school in Hungary and wanted to know how her investment was doing. At this point, her portfolio had grown from $10,000 to $57,000. This was enough to kickstart her daughter’s education in a year. Tragedy strikes Three months after Oladipupo talked to his client, the president of Nigeria died, and the vice president became the president. A new bank governor also came in, and the first thing he did was to say that some banks had been using the recapitalization money for illegal purposes, such as investing in the oil and gas sector. So he removed the bank MDs from the opposition and nationalized the banks. The bank that Oladipupo had invested in for his client issued a profit warning saying that it wasn’t going to make as much money again because they had a lot of bad debt to figure out. Stocks that were roughly selling for 60 Naira per share were now selling for approximately 10 Naira per share, an 80% drop! The client wants her money now Oladipupo’s client came to his office in tears; she desperately needed the money for her daughter’s tuition because turning down or defaulting the medical school admission was not an option. But no one was willing to buy stock from the bank that was practically on its knees. His parents come to the rescue Oladipupo talked to his parents about the situation with the client, and they committed to helping him out. His parents decided to take up the investment and had the stocks crossed into their account. They took out a loan and paid the woman off by the sum of $5,000 equivalent to what she had initially invested three years ago. His woes were not yet over Unfortunately, the stocks kept losing value to a point where Oladipupo’s parents had to sell some of their properties to pay off the bank loan they used to pay the client. The stock prices fell from 60 Naira to 3 Naira per share. Oladipupo’s parents consequently lost a lot of money...
Jun 04, 2020
Tom Libelt – When You Face the Choice of the Easy or Hard Way Take the Hard Way
21:50 (Tom Libelt) was born in Communist Poland and escaped to the US when he was 11 in the early ’90s. At 9, his father sold products at soccer stadiums in Eastern Europe, where he learned the hard way how to sell and how not to be hustled. He is hyper-focused on helping course creators market their online courses.   “Becoming a big fish in a smaller pond often is not only more profitable but will make your life easier.” Tom Libelt   Worst investment ever In his early 30s, Tom was running a reasonably successful SEO business. Back then, it was easy to rank on Google using what people today consider as blackhat methods. Tom would pay bloggers to get backlinks. Tom had a team of 14 writers at the time, spending a lot of time, money, and effort getting into these blogs. Their goal was to get 50 backlinks pointing to a website every month to keep it ranking higher. While he had other tactics, this model worked the best. Google gets smart After riding the wave for a long while, Google smartened up and was out for businesses doing shady stuff. Google destroyed almost all the blackhat networks. They looked at IP addresses and de-indexed them. Thousands of SEO companies were pretty much back to square one. Tom now had a massive team of writers with nowhere to put the blog posts. Trying option B Tom learned about ( Amazon Kindle) (e-books) at around this time and decided to see if he could make a business out of it. He had a ready team of writers anyway. Tom told his team to pick topics of their choice, do keyword research and write up short books of about 30 to 40 pages, then use images to fill in some gaps and just publish them on Kindle. Competition at the time was little and so getting into Kindle was pretty easy. Striking gold About three months later, Tom’s writers broke even. So he thought this could work. Tom would now sit down with the team for two days, go over hundreds of topics and then pick the best to run with. Eventually, the team was pumping out about 250 books per month, and for about four or five years, the money coming in was quite good. Kindle shakes things up Making money on Kindle was pretty straightforward. You’d get 70% of sales made, and $1 for every book rented. Tom’s business was making a killing by pushing rentals. One day, out of the blues, Kindle killed the rental payment model. Now they would focus on pages read. Turning to blackhat tactics again After the new payment model, Tom turned to a blackhat marketing tactic where he told people in the introduction of the books to skip to the end to get the “Golden Nugget” and then come back to the beginning of the book. So everyone would just go straight up to the end of the book, and Tom would get paid. While this still got him money, it just wasn’t as lucrative. Closing the doors for good Tom’s marketing tactic worked for a while then one day, without any notice, his Kindle accounts got shut down. There was no explanation given, and he was not allowed to appeal the decision. Since Tom had no control over Kindle, there was nothing much he could do than accept the loss and move on. Tom had invested so much in the Kindle business just to have it go away overnight simply because his business model relied entirely on someone else’s business. Lessons learned Easy come, easy go Taking the easier way out may bear you fruit, but it won’t last long. You are better off working hard so that you can reap the fruits longer. Have control over your business Have your own business structure. Don’t depend on other people’s infrastructure. Always ask yourself where the control is? Who owns the control in the situation? If you don’t have control, then it’s not a good business idea. Andrew’s takeaways Build your own assets You have to build your assets instead of relying on others. It’s hard to do this, but it makes your business idea more...
May 31, 2020
Wilbert Wynnberg – The Value of a Hedge Fund When an Oil Investment Goes Wrong
Wilbert Wynnberg is an international speaker, award-winning author, and founder of the (Think Act Prosper (TAP) Growth Conference). Since 2015, Wilbert has touched the lives of over 100,000 people in more than 20 countries through his seminars, live programs, and award-winning book, ( THINK. ACT. PROSPER.: How Small Habits Can Lead to Massive Success).   “If you want to stay in the investment game for the long term, sometimes you just have to take a short break so that you can enjoy the game.” Wilbert Wynnberg   Worst investment ever Wilbert’s worst investment ever happened just a few weeks ago. As a prolific investor, Wilbert has been following the business cycles since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted. He’s been tracking a lot of different indicators, data, and the underlying numbers. He felt that in 2018, a lot of things had kind of picked up, but there wasn’t any reason for him to go in and take any action, whether it be long or short. So he kept watching the market. Ignoring Coronavirus At the start of the year, when Coronavirus started hitting the news, Wilbert at first wasn’t paying much attention to it. He thought it was the US probably overplaying the whole situation. Wilbert decided not to do anything about it unless he had further confirmation. Getting ready to beat the market By February, it was almost inevitable that the market was going to be shaken up. Wilbert could foresee a bear market. And so he started raising money so that he could pounce on the market. As he was raising money, Wilbert was also tracking things like insider trading, whether CEOs were buying or selling companies, what hedge funds were doing, and more. At that point, his research showed him that it was not the right time to buy equities and go into the stock market. So Wilbert waited it out. Taking the market head-on Eventually, Wilbert found out that with this virus and a high unemployment rate, governments will have to start printing money. So he began to look at commodities. Oil prices started coming down as well. Now Wilbert was very confident it was time to invest. At this point, he had raised a decent few million dollars. Oil stocks seemed like a good option, or was it? Brent oil was at about $25, and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at about $22. This was a two-decade low. However, everybody believed that oil, unlike Bitcoin, would never go to zero because people need it for everyday stuff. So, Wilbert and his investment team were quite confident and stoked. They thought that this was going to be the trade of the lifetime. So without much further ado, Wilbert entered the position and started buying oil stocks. Falling flat on their faces At some point, Wilbert received an alert saying that Saudi Arabia and Russia were going to cut oil production. So they started buying in. Little did they know that actually, it was just a tweet from President Donald Trump. Oil prices at the time were $22. Prices went up to $32 before coming back down. By April 22nd, prices had plummeted and at some point were at a low of $8 while the oil futures contract went to negative 37 (Yes, people would actually pay you to take delivery on oil). Wilbert decided to count his losses and stopped investing in oil. Lessons learned Everybody is in it for themselves Don’t ever think that there will be a time that you’re genuinely safe, and nothing terrible will happen to your investment. Always make sure you keep checking on how things are going. Everyone else is looking out for their interests. You won’t get the whole picture You’ll never understand everything, no matter how long you’ve been an investor. Be careful about overconfidence bias. The moment you feel that you’ve understood the game in and out, that you know every single ounce of the game, that’s when you have to double-check things. Admit when you’re wrong Most...
May 28, 2020
Kavee Chukitkasem – Gain Knowledge Before You Start Investing
Kavee Chukitkasem is the Deputy Managing Director of Kasikorn Securities and completed his Master of Finance from The University of Toledo, Ohio. Kavee is also a TEDx speaker and is the author of a popular investing book on how to identify great stocks and how to sow the seeds for sustainable long-term results (original title:เพาะหุ้นเป็น เห็นผลยั่งยืน).   “It doesn’t matter if you give your money to a fund manager; you still have to know about investing.” Kavee Chukitkasem   Worst investment ever Kavee’s worst investment to date happened during the first year of his career. He had just received his first bonus, and all he wanted to do with the money was to invest it. While it wasn’t so much money, Kavee was excited to be able to enter the investment world. At the time, Thailand’s stock index was at 1,700 points, almost the highest it has ever been. A bubble near to burst Around the same time, the Tom Yum Goong Crisis (the Thai name for the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, and also a delicious soup with prawns) was building up in Thailand. Even though the signs were all over, nobody saw the crisis coming. Someone advised Kavee that this was the best time to invest, and he blindly believed him. Even though he was a finance graduate already working as a financial analyst, he put his trust in someone else. He never thought of researching the company he was putting his hard-earned bonus into. All Kavee knew was that he was buying at a high and was convinced the stock would keep going up. He never saw that burst coming Kavee bought stocks at 300 Baht each, but thanks to the Asian Financial Crisis the shares fell to a whopping low of 20 Baht in just three months. Kavee was utterly disappointed in himself because, as an analyst, he should have known better than to invest in a company he knew nothing about. Lessons learned What kind of investor are you? The first thing you need to do before you start investing is to know the kind of investor you want to be. What is your long-term investment goal? Before you start investing learn how it works Whether you’re interested in a long or short investment, you have to know how investing works. You don’t need to understand finance deeply but learn the basics and understand the market. Even if you choose to work with a fund manager, you still have to know about investing. Don’t expect to be an overnight millionaire Investing money for beginners can be exciting. Don’t get too excited and expect a hundred percent return in one year, that hardly ever happens. Give your portfolio time to grow. Don’t follow every investing advice you get There’s always someone out there wanting to force tips on investing for beginners down your throat. You don’t have to follow every piece of advice. Just listen and take into account and think about it by yourself. Andrew’s takeaways People fail to do their research, especially when starting to invest. They just pick the company, invest right away, even though they don’t know much about it. People fail to properly assess and manage risk. Look at your investment before you buy it and evaluate the risk and how to manage it. To reduce risk, you need to have a more diversified portfolio. People are driven by money, emotion, and flawed thinking. Many people lose their money because they trust the wrong people. People fail to monitor their investment. Many people just put their money in something, and then they don’t even look at it ever again. Don’t invest in a startup company, blindly. Actionable advice Get to know the investment first before you invest. It doesn’t matter how much you have to invest, keep your money safe first before you sign to invest anything. Whatever you want to invest in, you have to know it very well. Knowledge is essential before you get in because you can learn a lot, and you’ll invest from the point of knowledge and not ignorance. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months For the next 12 months and beyond,...
May 26, 2020
Robert Seawright – Avoid Overconfidence Bias by Remembering That Randomness Is Everywhere
18:41 (Robert “Bob“ Seawright) is the Chief Investment & Information Officer for Madison Avenue Securities, LLC, an investment advisory firm and broker-dealer headquartered in San Diego, California. Bob’s blog, Above the Market, has received “best of” recognition from a wide variety of sources, including The Wall Street Journal and the CFA Institute, and is the #7 rated advisor blog in the country based upon readership, linkage, and influence. And don’t’ miss The Better Letter Newsletter that he writes about markets and life and comes out every Friday morning.   “Good advice wrongly applied isn’t any better than bad advice.” Robert Seawright   Worst investment ever Beginner’s luck Bob’s worst investment ever, like for most investors, was when he was starting as an investor. At the time, Bob was working on the fixed income trading floor for a big Wall Street investment house trading bonds all day every day. So what he knew and understood was bonds. Bod had learned from the bigwigs of investing, such as Peter Lynch, to invest in what you know. So Bob allocated his investment money heavily toward bonds. Thanks to beginner’s luck, he did just fine with his bond investments. Missing out on higher returns While Bob never lost any money for investing in bonds, he played too safe and missed out on other investments that he should have made early in his life. Such investments, with compounding they could have had a lot more returns. Luck and randomness have always been his saving grace In the course of his life, Bob has made a few more bad investments that somehow have turned out well for him, thanks to luck. For instance, he bought a house at the wrong time, but as random as this decision was, it turned out great for him. Bob also went against financial planning advice and paid for his kids’ education. Bob had not been able to go to college, where he wanted because his parents didn’t have the money. So it was a very important value for Bob to provide the best education possible for his kids. This is even though he knew that would mean working longer and having less in retirement. Bob knew from an investment standpoint, it was foolish, but he did it anyway. Lessons learned What are you trying to accomplish? Before you start investing, be sure to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. This is important because every investment, even the best investment in the world, has cons as well as pros. So when inevitably, a con period shows up, you’ll be ready and able to handle it. Randomness in investment is more important than you think If you think about your biggest successes, they all happened with a lot of randomness involved. While they almost always happen because you worked hard, and you made good decisions, there’s also randomness playing a big part. It always helps to remember that when things turn out right, there’s always luck involved. A natural love for new shiny things We tend to jump on what we’ve just seen, and we latch hold of what’s available. When someone mentions something new, they’ve primed the pump, and you’re going to respond with what they’ve mentioned way more often than not. So be careful of investing in something just because it’s new and recent to you. Andrew’s takeaways Familiarity bias versus shortfall risk Investors, especially beginners, tend to play it safe by putting their money in something they are familiar with, such as the bank, or maybe bonds. However, there’s a hidden risk associated with playing safe – the shortfall risk. For instance, if you’re going to need $3 million in cash to retire at age 60, and you put your money into bonds, you’re going to feel like you’ve reduced your risk, but in fact, you’ve increased it on the other end through shortfall risk. Everything is a balance When it comes to investing, you can’t have it all. You think you’re safe by doing X, but what you don’t know is that there’s a balance. So while
May 21, 2020
Inspiration in Times of Crisis from Dan Gramza, David Keller & Dustin Mathews
Current times might be difficult, and the future may seem bleak, but we will make it through. We will survive and thrive. Our past guests share more advice to help us navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Dan Gramza from Ep43 Don’t Let Overconfidence Ruin Your Trading Strategy Dan Gramza is the President of (Gramza Capital Management, Inc). He is a trader, consultant to domestic and international clients, an advisor to hedge funds, a developer of ETF/ETC securities, and co-inventor of two issued security patents. He has published works and has appeared on numerous media outlets around the world. We cannot control the social and economic impact of the virus, but we do have total control over how we react to these changes. Your focus should be on your reaction to thrive. Appreciate the restrictions that have come with this virus because they are causing hidden positive changes. This global pandemic has created a common cause that has brought people together locally and globally. This is an opportunity for us to do the things that we’ve wanted to do, but we always put aside for various reasons. If you’re feeling depressed, and you can’t seem to shake it, it may be time to seek professional help, or your spiritual leader or a good friend to express how you’re feeling. Sometimes just talking about it can put things into perspective. It is also important to relax. Take a break once in a while to relax your mind and body. Take care, and stay well as we go through this unique time in our lives. David Keller from Ep111 It’s OK to be wrong, It’s not OK to Stay Wrong David Keller, CMT, is the President and Chief Strategist of, where he helps investors minimize behavioral biases through technical analysis. He is the author of the blog, Market Misbehavior, and most recently served as a subject matter expert for Behavioral Finance. Use this period as a learning curve. Keep an accurate record of your decisions and a good trading journal. This will help you to make informed trading decisions in the future. Whatever platform you use, make sure you keep notes of what you did and at what point so that you have a beautiful historical record of your actions once this is all over and we’re through this challenging bear market period. You will learn way more in this bear market phase than in a bull market phase. So keep your eyes open. Dustin Mathews from Ep151 Even if You Are An Expert in Investing in Real Estate, You Must Do Your Homework Dustin Mathews is the co-founder and Chief Education Officer of, an online learning startup focused on teaching all the stuff you never learned in school about money investing and entrepreneurship. He’s also the host of the Get Wealth Fit podcast where he’s had the chance to get inside the heads of top investors and famous people like Rich Dad Robert Kiyosaki, racing legend Danica Patrick, Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank and many more. This is not the time to try and control the situation. With so much chaos going on, sit back and take it all in. Don’t pressure yourself to control an outcome or have an action plan. Take the time to internalize; give yourself time and space to think. It’s not always easy, but it helps. Talk to people that you respect that you trust and are part of your inner circle, and then put together a loose action plan and be fluid. Be willing to go to wherever this opportunity takes you. Connect with Dan Gramza: LinkedIn YouTube Connect with David Keller  LinkedIn Twitter Email Connect with Dustin Mathews LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Instagram Website Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth
May 19, 2020
Inspiration in Times of Crisis from Philipp Kristian Diekhöner, Dante Vitoria & Vikas Gupta
Our past podcast guests continue to share with us little pieces of advice that we can all try to maintain and do daily to keep ourselves on an even keel. Hopefully, with this wisdom, we’ll ultimately create a brighter future out of this situation. Philipp Kristian Diekhöner from Ep61 The Impact of Foreign Currency on a Managed Fund Philipp Kristian Diekhöner is a keynote TEDx speaker, global innovation strategist, and author of The Trust Economy, published in English (2017), German (2018), and Simplified Chinese (2019). Philipp has spoken at prominent global organizations such as (Facebook), P&G, Microsoft, Turner, Munich Re, Zillow, Globe Telecom, CPA Australia, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy, the (Economist Intelligence Unit) and many others. We need to understand how we can make agility sustainable. We’re currently experiencing an exciting surge in agility in business. Organizations that are not usually very agile are developing quality responses and solutions to the current situation very rapidly and very effectively. We need to move from compliance measures to proactive ways of addressing the current issue and future issues to come. Let’s encourage more of the community spirit because the collective action to fight a common enemy is a powerful way. For that to happen, everyone must care about the situation, and we must feel in control of actually doing our bit. Think about sustainability in urgency. Use the current urgency for change and use it as an opportunity to create sustainable transformation, future of work, and digital transformation in your organizations, businesses, and governments. Understand that by using new tools and ways of working, we’re going to form habits that will sustain us even after the current times have improved and move to greener pastures. There’s a massive opportunity in adversity, and we can make the most of the current situation by coming out stronger and more capable as humanity and as the business world overall. Dante Vitoria from Ep178 When an FBI Agent Tells You to Go to Breakfast, Do It For over 30 years, Dante Vitoria has been running his firm the Vitoria Group, which has broad experience working with companies of various sizes to fulfill its client’s financial needs. The group provides a vast array of financial services specifically tailored to enable clients to meet their goals, the assistance direction, and access to professional banking and other facilities. We all are working from home because of the global pandemic, be diligent about that. Form continuous habits to keep you productive. Remember to follow advice from the government and health officials. If you do get to go out, wear a mask and keep a distance. We are all at home and stressed about this crisis, so be kind, patient, and gentle with everyone; we all cope with stress differently. So try to understand everyone. Vikas Gupta from Ep156 Always Remember that the Unexpected Can Happen Even with Value Investing Vikas Gupta founded (OmniScience Capital) to provide a scientific approach to global and India-listed equity investments. Together with his team, he formulated the Proprietary Scientific Investing Framework, which stands on the strong foundations of nearly 100 years of investment research and practice. During this COVID-19 pandemic, we ought to think about our personal life, investment life, and business life. When it comes to our personal life, this is the time to ask ourselves if we are on the path that we want. The lockdown is the best time to build a new habit that you could use for the rest of your life. Review your investment critically so that you can be able to see whether there are any flaws in it. Regarding your business, go back to your vision. Have you reached your set target? How is your progress qualitatively and quantitatively? What can be changed? Connect
May 14, 2020
Inspiration in Times of Crisis from Sal Daher, Joe Saul-Sehy & Jack Thomas
Here a few tips from some of our past podcast guests that will help you get through this COVID-19 crisis. These uplifting words of wisdom will help give you a positive mindset and come out of this pandemic stronger. Sal Daher from Ep152 To Win Big as an Angel Investor, You Have to Look at All Angles Sal Daher is an angel investor who invests in technologies that set Boston apart. He is a member of (Walnut Ventures) and MIT Angels. Sal is a syndicate lead and podcast host at (Angel Invest Boston Podcast). Be very careful with your cash, renegotiate your rents, and consider the cost of your headcount. This thing is going to be here for a while; we’re not going to have vibrant economic activity anytime soon. So you have to think long term in terms of preserving your resources. Use the limited resources that you have, in a way that’s economical for you. This will help others and also help your long term survival. Think creatively; you might be able to build value in your enterprise. But remember to be very careful with your scarce resources. Joe Saul-Sehy from Ep155 Financial Risk Management Lies in Diversification across Industries Joe Saul-Sehy is the co-host of the award-winning Stacking Benjamins podcast, which focuses on earning, saving, and spending with a plan. He was the “Money Man” at Detroit television WXYZ-TV, appearing twice weekly. During this COVID-19 crisis, realize that there are things you can control and influence, and things you can neither control nor influence. Most people dwell on the things that they can neither control nor influence. Focus on your community and on the things that you can control, like, getting better at the things that you do. Even if your job is gone, your skills are not gone, you’re still the same person that you were before. Spend time not only growing yourself but also growing your community or keeping the people around you safe. Such are some of the things that you can control and influence. Jack Thomas from Ep176 Successful Entrepreneurs Focus on Hiring Right Jack Thomas is the founder and CEO of (BASE), which was voted as Asia’s Gym of the Year 2018 at the Fitness Best Awards. With eight years of experience in Asia’s fitness industry. Jack also hosts the Fitness Business Asia Podcast, a weekly show with a mission to raise the standards of Asia’s fitness industry. You now have more time to do the things that you want to do, whether it’s writing a book, or working on something in your business that you’ve had to put on hold recently. Stay connected with your team. This is a great chance to show your team that you are there for them, and you will see how your business will bounce back with an even stronger team before the pandemic. Adversity breeds resilience. It’s during these tough times that we have to rise to the challenge to develop our offerings and grow. As a business owner, make sure every day you are working towards capitalizing on the opportunities available and continue to serve your clients. Connect with Sal Daher LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Website Connect with Joe Saul-Sehy LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Instagram Website Connect with Jack Thomas LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Instagram Podcast Website Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Andrew Stotz: LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube My Worst Investment Ever Podcast  
May 11, 2020
Scott Beebe – Write It Down to Gain Clarity and Business Results
30:51 (Scott Beebe) is the founder and head coach of and author of Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters. Scott hosts the Business On Purpose podcast sharing real stories of how he and the team are working with business owners and their key leaders. They’re building systems, process, and purpose using the Business On Purpose Roadmap to liberate businesses from the chaos of working in their business and help them get their lives back.    “Where there is no vision, people become detached, people then scatter, and eventually people die.” Scott Beebe   Worst investment ever Success as he knew it comes tumbling down in an instant One snowy Friday morning in February 2015, Scott walked into work and walked back home unemployed. He went home, ready to count his losses and figure out how to bounce back. Married with three kids, Scott needed to find his footing again and fast. Taking his side hustle more seriously At this point, Scott had already started Business on Purpose podcast. He figured he could take it a notch higher now that he had more time. Scott called up two of his friends and asked them if he would coach them on how to create visions, missions, and values for their companies. The two friends accepted, and that’s how My Business on Purpose was born. Instant business results In just a few months, the business grew locally through word of mouth. Scott realized that the business had potential and so he decided to invest in marketing it. He hired someone to run Facebook ads for him. Flushing money down the toilet Excited to do more with his business, Scott forgot the tenets of what he was teaching other business owners, having a vision for your business. Scott left the Facebook manager to run things without a clear direction, and as expected, the marketing failed. The business never got any leads from this marketing effort. Yep, $30,000 later, Scott never got a single lead from the Facebook ads. It was devastating, but he picked himself up and decided to follow his advice. He went back to the drawing board and drew up a master plan for his business, which is what he’s continued to use up to now with a lot of success. Lessons learned Vision is the most important thing in business Vision is the most important thing in business. It’s not your financial health. It’s not making sure that you’ve got the right employees, it’s a vision. Without a vision, people scatter, and businesses die. Have a business marketing master plan Before you start marketing a business, have a master plan. Create everything from front to back. This is what people call a funnel, or a sequence or a campaign. Have a simple visual map so that you can see everything, then start plugging the parts and pieces in so that you can unleash it all together and make sure that you have everything. Tune in and listen to your teammates Your teammates have valuable ideas too. Learn how to drill down and listen to your teammates; they may just save you from making your worst investment ever. Andrew’s takeaways Have a sounding board Make sure that you have some people around you that you can bounce ideas off each other. Put that can help you put your resources together in a way that produces maximum value for your business. Make your message clear Make your message very clear for all your advertising and marketing. Let your target audience know how they will benefit. What’s the next step in the process for them if they’re interested in going to that next step? Make this information clear. Niche down It’s essential to identify your target market, but also, try to move down into a persona. This will help you come up with a clear marketing message. Actionable advice Whether you’re doing things for Facebook ads, or family situations or business in general, write it down and map it out. Because when you write it down,...
May 07, 2020
Daniel Gomez – Forgiveness Is Your Key to Success in Life and Business
Daniel Gomez is an Award-Winning Business Strategist, Corporate Trainer, and Confidence Architect and is the President/Founder of Daniel Gomez Enterprises. Daniel speaks and coaches at events all over the world! His passion is to elevate businesses and entrepreneurs to achieve their true potential through their training and coaching programs. Daniel has empowered his clients to build epic success in their personal and professional lives. He is the international best-selling author of “You Were Born to Fly,” a book written to inspire and give people the high-performance habits and confidence needed to be the leaders of their destiny.    “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself.” Daniel Gomez   Worst investment ever When anger impedes your success in life Daniel had been living with a lot of anger. This anger saw him sabotage himself and his business. He was full of hate and would barely bring himself to trust anyone, including his clients. This affected his personal and business growth. Daniel was hot-tempered and would quickly go from zero to 100. This strained his relationships and caused him so much anxiety. His biggest problem was that he couldn’t understand where all this anger was stemming from. Getting to the root of the problem One day Daniel had had it. The anger was consuming him, and he wanted things to change. Daniel turned to God and prayed without ceasing. He looked into his heart, thinking hard on the cause of this anger that had plagued him all his life. Daniel finally realized that he still harbored a lot of anger towards his dad. Life growing up wasn’t the best. Daniel’s parents moved a lot, and in the process, they had numerous disagreements and would separate a couple of times. One day, Daniel watched as his dad left and asked if he could go with him. His dad promised that he’d be back the next day, but he never did. From this day, Daniel never trusted his dad again, and he carried this anger to his adulthood. Learning forgiveness Once Daniel found the root cause of his anger, he realized that he had to forgive his dad to have any success in business and life in general. Lessons learned Forgiveness frees you When you don’t forgive somebody, the only person you’re hurting is yourself. The anger eats you up, and you end up adding more damage to your life and to whatever you’re doing. Be ready to go through the motions to find forgiveness Unfortunately, you usually have to go through trauma and pain before you see that the emotion is there. So feel the anger, release it, find the root cause, and then let go. Who do I need to forgive? Forgiveness is the key to success in life, and in life, there will always be someone that you need to forgive. So always ask yourself, “Who do I need to forgive?”. This will help you release any feelings of anger as you go on with your life. Andrew’s takeaways Look into the cause of your anger People rarely look at the cause of their anger. Instead, they focus on the effects of anger. To heal, you need to look at the cause first. Anger is not a feeling Anytime you have anger, look beneath it. Anger is a defense that is defending you against a painful feeling. It could be a feeling of abandonment, a feeling of lack of trust, a feeling of fear, a feeling of uncertainty. For example, right now with COVID-19, most people are angry due to the anxiety and uncertainty the virus is causing. Resentment rots the container it’s in Resentment is replaying the negative emotions that you’re feeling over and over. In doing so, you continue causing yourself harm sometimes even healthwise. To deal with your negative emotions write them down Sit down and write down all the things that you feel bad about. Everything that you feel ashamed about. This will be your private list and it will help you to start to overcome those feelings. Actionable advice Talk to somebody about your anger or resentment. You release...
May 03, 2020
Inspiration in Times of Crisis from Giacomo Arcaro, Johnny FD & Nicolas Rabener
Three more of our past podcast guests graciously shared some words of advice to help us cope and make the most out of the COVID-19 epidemic. Giacomo Arcaro from Ep113 Don’t Chase the Money Giacomo Arcaro is one of the most important European growth hackers, with more than 140,000 “crypto-followers” and has been featured in the Financial Times,  Forbes, Wired, and the Los Angeles Times. He’s had 2-million-euro exits with two start-ups, and, and is the founder of Black Marketing Guru. We need to understand that during the COVID-19 crisis, we are going to face a low touch economy where you have to consider a lot of factors. If you have a business based in a small area with a lot of people, you need to reconsider reinventing your business so that it remains standing if this crisis goes for a year or two. One way of reinventing your business, for example, is running it on social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook Live. COVID-19 has not changed our lives; instead, it has anticipated the digital revolution. Johnny FD from Ep134 Stay on Track Johnny FD (Fighter-Divemaster) quit his job at corporate giant Honeywell in 2007 to move to Thailand, travel the world, and work as a professional scuba diver. He has since written two books: 12 Weeks in Thailand: The Good Life on the Cheap and Life Changes Quick (both on Amazon), started multiple six-figure online businesses, and since has been interviewed and featured in (Forbes), Business Insider, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and the BBC. If you don't get out of this quarantine with new skills, new knowledge, a side business or side hustle started, then you never lacked the time you lacked discipline. But if you were working hard and didn’t have enough time to rest and you really need to, take a break. Lay around, do nothing, and relax. But if you are only laying on your bed scrolling through your smartphone and just eating and complaining, you need to get out of bed and make some changes and money. You can start by treating your stay at home as the standard working days; the only difference is that you are not getting outside. Now is the time to do things that you usually don’t have time to do, for example, learning a foreign language, reading, learning a new skill, etc. There's going to be a lot of money to be made and a lot of money to be lost. Make your decisions wisely so that you’re on the money-making side. Nicolas Rabener from Ep55 Diversification: An Easy Way to Reduce Your Investing Risk Nicolas Rabener is the founder of (FactorResearch), which provides quantitative solutions for factor investing. Previously he created Jackdaw Capital, an award-winning quantitative investment manager focused on equity market neutral strategies. Unlike the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, low volatility smart beta ETFs in the US have declined as much as the stock market and therefore failed to provide the desired downside protection. Tail risk strategies are currently attractive because some of them generated outsized returns in March when the stock markets crash. If you’re considering buying portfolio protection, it’s going to be very expensive because, just like insurance, portfolio protection is best purchased when it is not required. Connect with Giacomo Arcaro LinkedIn (English) LinkedIn (Italian) Twitter Instagram Website Facebook Connect with Johnny FD Website 1 Website 2 LinkedIn Invest Like a Boss summit 2019 The Nomad Summit 2019 The Nomad Summit 2020 Email Connect with Nicolas Rabener: LinkedIn Twitter Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth
Apr 29, 2020
Inspiration in Times of Crisis from Dan Passarelli, David Stein & Dustin Heiner
In times of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety, a word of encouragement goes a long way to help cope with the situation. A few of our past podcast guests graciously sent us a few words of wisdom to help all of us stay hopeful for a brighter future after we beat the COVID-19 pandemic. Dan Passarelli from Ep 42 Struck by an Anomaly in Options It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay in your trading account, your IRA, in your career, in your personal life, and most likely with your health. You lived through the financial crisis, through the feeling of despair back in 2008. That was temporary, and then it had been good for a long time since then. You’ll still get through the current pandemic. The markets may be low now, but they won’t stay there forever. If you buy stocks now, at some point, those are going to be a loser, but five years from now they will be winners.   David Stein from Ep127 Trading Currencies and Commodities Is Harder Than You Think We are in times of radical uncertainty, and there is no way to accurately forecast what will happen or determine the optimal asset mix to position your portfolio for what lies ahead. The best thing to do right now for your portfolio is to choose an asset allocation that you’re comfortable with considering that the stock market falls significantly, or it rebounds significantly in due time because a vaccine is discovered. Remember that comfort means we will not be personally harmed and overly regretful if either of those financial scenarios takes place. Right now there is no right answer based on the numbers. It’s based on your level of comfort and your level of regret.   Dustin Heiner from Ep144 His Life Went From Loss to Success When He Mastered Passive Income Tough times will always come, markets will go up, markets will go down. We need to focus on what is important in our lives. If you were to lose everything right now, what would you not do without? Focus on that. Serve as many people as possible and take good care of them. If you help more people, you’ll get something in return, not just monetary, but you also feel so much better. When you’re preparing for your future, start by saving for an emergency. Buy income-producing assets such as rental property or anything that makes you money. Connect with Dan Passarelli: LinkedIn Twitter Connect with David Stein  LinkedIn Twitter Website Podcast Book Connect with Dustin Heiner  LinkedIn Twitter Facebook YouTube Website Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Andrew Stotz: LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube My Worst Investment Ever Podcast  
Apr 28, 2020
Inspiration in Times of Crisis from from Beth Azor, Chance Glenn & Christopher Salem
This is an all hands on deck moment. We all need each other in one way or another. Our past podcast guests sent us some inspirational thoughts to give you hope and keep you going through this challenging period. Beth Azor from Ep74 Keep Your Arrogance and Overconfidence in Check If you’re trying to work from home successfully, focus on time management. Identify the three critical things that you have to get done tomorrow. Take 50% of your day and focus on today, and 50% of your day and think about a year from now. Delegate and also ask for help. Use organizations such as Upwork and Fiverr to get some inexpensive help. It’s time to redo our 2020 goals. Allow time for distractions and interruptions in your day; they’re going to happen. Learn to say no. No is a complete sentence. It’s essential to have a morning routine that you do every morning. Time blocking is a good exercise. Also, batch calls and try to do all your calls in a two-hour setting. Get outside to get some fresh air, take a walk, and exercise. Create one place in your house for your workspace and clear out any clutter in your workplace. It’s a crazy time right now, so give yourself a break, but at the same time, don’t look back 30 or 60 days from now, and the only thing that you could be proud to say that you did was watch four seasons of a Netflix series. There are lots of ways you can still move your career forward. Chance Glenn from Ep135 Have the Courage to Stick with It The COVID-19 crisis is exposing our strengths. People are coming together, working together, being creative, and innovative to help their fellow neighbors out there. There’s something that you can do, even if it is just an encouraging word to somebody. Christopher Salem from Ep99 Meditate and Journal to Overcome Pain of Losing Don’t get sucked into problems. Not only the problem of the Coronavirus but also in other issues that were affecting you before this crisis. This is the time to reflect on where you are and where you want to go. We have the opportunity now to get in tune with who we are, what our purpose is, our core values and principles. It is the time to be a better example for other people that are important to us, our families, our colleagues, our business partners, or people in general. Use this time wisely to build your foundation so that when we get out of this pandemic, you’re going to be in a place where you can serve others through your example. This is a golden opportunity to be grateful and to fulfill your purpose to help others at a higher level. Give without expectation; receive without resistance. Connect with Beth Azor Beth Azor LinkedIn Twitter Connect with Chance Glenn LinkedIn Twitter Website Electronic Alchemy Email Connect with Christopher Salem LinkedIn  Twitter Website Email Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Andrew Stotz: LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube My Worst Investment Ever Podcast  
Apr 27, 2020
Inspiration in Times of Crisis from from Mohd Sedek Jantan, Azran Osman-Rani, & Lasse-Peter Pestel
Today we bring you more messages of hope from our past podcast guests. We are all feeling the pressure and anxiety from the COVID-19 pandemic. But together, we can beat this crisis and thrive in it. Mohd Sedek Jantan from Ep44 Panic Selling When Stocks Fall is Usually a Terrible Idea If you have invested for more than three years, but are only now experiencing short-term losses, do not obsess about the reduction in value. Losses of 20% to 30% are normal. Understand that equity volatility is the price you pay for capital appreciation over the long term. Now is the time to differentiate between income and wealth. During this COVID-19 pandemic, wealth that investors have accumulated over a lifetime has eroded in value as the market has crashed. But were you making good returns before? If yes, take this opportunity to top up your investment. Set up an automatic investment schedule. This removes the emotion from the process. If the market sinks further, do not fret, most of us are investing for the long term anyway. Azran Osman-Rani from Ep76 From Zero to a Billion Dollar IPO One thing that’s holding us back from dealing with this crisis even with excellent advice is acceptance. We subconsciously hope that after COVID-19, things will return to how they used to be, and so we are not living in the reality of the situation. The tension between the logical part of knowing what we have to do to change and adapt, and the emotional part yearning for the stability of the past is what is causing pressure, anxiety, and even depression. When we accept, we can move on and do what we need to do to move ahead and let go of that yearning for the good old days, and we will be able to cope better with the current situation. Lasse-Peter Pestel from Ep7 Eurozone Bailout Fund: Considering Risk over Return A crisis can be an opportunity for your company to thrive just look at delivery companies such as DHL or UPS. They are reporting figures which are the same as the pre-Christmas times, and these are the busiest times of the year. Don’t break the law even during holidays. Staying at home, it will calm you down and give you peace of mind. The current situation is a bit tense. Nonetheless, let’s do what we can to cope with the situation and hope that it will be over soon. Connect with Mohd Sedek Jantan: LinkedIn Connect with Azran Osman-Rani LinkedIn Twitter Azran Osman-Rani Instagram Connect with Lasse-Peter Pestel: Linkedin Xing Book Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Andrew Stotz: LinkedIn Facebook Instagram
Apr 23, 2020
Inspiration in Times of Crisis from David Barnett, Andrew Sherman, & Erik Bergman
We are living through the COVID-19 Coronavirus times. Times of fear, despair, and anxiety. We all need words of hope and encouragement to keep us going. Andrew reached out to our past podcast guests who took a few minutes to share nuggets of wisdom on how to survive and thrive through this epidemic. David Barnett from Ep136: Always Have a Clear Path to Plan B You are not your business. You, as a person, are a wholly distinct and separate thing from your business. There are going to be many businesses that will no longer be viable and will end up closing. That’s not a reflection upon the business owners; it’s just a function of the time that we’re in. There is going to be a long and protracted recession; people need to think about themselves as individuals ahead of their businesses. If your business survives this, that’s great. But if you don’t see a way out, then you need to look for the path to extricate yourself from the situation, while retaining as many resources as you can so you create opportunities for yourself once this thing winds up and is over. When a business starts to head downhill for whatever reason, cut your losses, and don’t put your resources into the business to try to help it survive. Your survival has to be paramount in a situation like this. Andrew Sherman from Ep133: Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Business Now’s the time to retool, repurpose, reevaluate your business and your value proposition. It’s also a time to look at the future of work and the future of the workplace. Will working from home be the new normal? How will that affect staffing, teamwork, engagement issues, and even innovation and creativity? It’s also an excellent time to be sure that you stay close to your customers. The small businesses and entrepreneurs that really stay close to their customers are being rewarded now with alternative business models. Erik Bergman from Ep112: Keep Empathy in the Start-Up War Room Lower the amount of media exposure, so you don’t get stressed out by watching the news and watching the numbers all the time. Focus on other, less stressful things. Use this as an opportunity to create new habits. You don’t get new results by setting new goals; you get new results by creating new habits. Habits are everything. Many of us are working from home and meeting fewer people, meaning that we have more time on our hands to create new habits. Use this time to learn about different ways to make money online. Google and search on YouTube for various business ideas and guides. Explore these things and see if you can find something that sparks your curiosity and can be turned into a money-making opportunity. Connect with David Barnett LinkedIn Email Website Connect with Andrew Sherman LinkedIn Twitter Complete bio Amazon author’s page Connect with Erik Bergman LinkedIn Twitter Instagram Website Podcast YouTube Blog Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Andrew Stotz: LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube My Worst Investment Ever Podcast  
Apr 22, 2020
Henry Briffel – If They Aren’t Willing to Sign an NDA Something Is Probably Wrong
A management consultant and venture capital professional, Henry Briffel advocates for the highest ethical standards, value of a secure and diversified supply chain, and the power of people and technology to bring innovation to the marketplace. Henry helps clients raise capital, operationalize their ideas into businesses, and monetize their products and services for the benefit of all stakeholders.   “Most people are good, but they are frequently influenced by money.” Henry Briffel   Worst investment ever Even veterans make poor investments Henry’s worst investment came just recently after working for years and moving on to entrepreneurship. Henry, over time, had made valuable business contacts and resources. He met a businessman who made him an offer to join his business as a partner. He offered Henry a 50% business deal. With Henry’s connections, together, they could build a successful business. Henry saw this as an excellent business opportunity. Working with blind trust Henry and his partner agreed on a temporary partnership. Henry gave everything he had into the partnership from the start. He brought on valuable venture deals and even put his resources into the business for several months. Soon enough, they had deals on the table from major tech companies. The cracks start to show As they got close to closing one of the significant deals, Henry started noticing behavior change in his partner. He brushed it off as two strangers getting to know each other. But, as more deals came in, his partner kept pulling away. Henry questioned him about it, but he convinced him that he was genuinely vested in the business. True colors are finally revealed Soon enough, Henry found out that his partner had been using all the deals Henry had worked hard to benefit himself. His partner had been going behind his back, lying to all the clients trying to snatch them from Henry. Eventually, on Christmas Eve, Henry’s partner informed him that he was never part of the deals that he had brought. He had managed to sideline Henry in all the deals he worked so hard to bring. Unfortunately, there was nothing Henry could do because they had not signed any contracts or NDA. Lessons learned Question people who refuse to sign an NDA are questionable Always question whether someone wants to sign an NDA or not. Make sure that you insist upon a mutual NDA; don’t make it one-sided. Temporary contracts only benefit one party over another If someone doesn’t want to sign a permanent deal, it’s because they don’t believe in you. Deal with that early into the partnership because it could get in the way of valuation. Everyone should be on the same page Everyone along the value chain should be on the same page and working towards the same goal. They should all be aligned for the business to work. Andrew’s takeaways There’s no shortcut to trust Occasionally, you could get lucky and meet someone that you don’t know well, but that person is trustworthy. But the reality is that you get to know who you can trust over time through difficult times. A non-disclosure agreement takes away excuses Once an NDA is signed, then it makes it a little bit more of a level playing field. It makes it difficult for any of the parties to hide something. Actionable advice Never be a sole proprietor or the only person with information about your deal. Always have people around you that you can trust. That allows you to have an outside view of what’s happening. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Henry’s number one goal is to take the deals that he and his venture capital partner have done and make them successful. He wants to help other people be successful because that exponential growth of both financial security and productivity breeds other exponentially growing scenarios. Such growth will be essential to get through the current difficult financial times. Parting words   “Just keep going.” Henry Briffel   Connect with Henry Briffel LinkedIn
Apr 20, 2020
Inspiration in Times of Crisis from Shaun Rein, Nick Bradley & Josiah Smelser
In this challenging time of COVID-19 outbreak and economic shutdown, people need inspiration and hope that they will make it through. This is the time to rely on your family friends and the network you have built. Andrew reached out to his network of podcast guests and asked each to share their best advice on how to survive and thrive during these difficult times. Shaun Rein from Ep118: You Can’t Win Unless You Know How to Lose In times of panic, investors and business people should look at facts and remain calm to find opportunities to grow. Stay focused on data, not rumors. Stay patient and calm, and don’t let fear overwhelm you. Focus on your workforce because not long into the future, business is going to get good, and you’ll need them. Nick Bradley from Ep169: Buying a Business Based Purely on Emotions Rarely Works We’re in a state of fear and overwhelm, and people want to have some perspective just to get through it, and therefore, we are all allowed to react differently without any judgment. It’s ok to take this time to hibernate and try to work out what’s going on. It’s also ok to use this as an opportunity to build and grow. It’s ok if you want to slow down so you can speed up when this is all over because this is going to end at some point. Try and manage your emotions. Don’t let uncertainty and fear rule you because you won’t be able to see the things that you can be doing to make the most of the situation. Now more than ever is the time to be a leader for yourself, your family, your business, the community at large, and the world. As a leader, show empathy and capability. Demonstrate that you have the confidence needed to push through this. In times of uncertainty, people need that confidence. Be grateful, be brave, have faith, and show up. Josiah Smelser from Ep83: Push Through When Everything Goes Wrong This is a time to be very thankful and cognizant of the blessings that we have. It’s a time to press into our faith. Be aware of what matters in life. Don’t be so focused on the things that you can’t take with you, such as money and wealth. The things that matter are our friendships, our faith, and our family. For the entrepreneurs, focus on a strategy to get you through, because this is a temporary problem that we will survive and pass through. If you’re in the real estate business, focus on the rental property right now. The rental market has a strong demand right now because people don’t want to buy at this moment they want to rent. Connect with Shaun Rein LinkedIn Twitter Website Email Connect with Nick Bradley LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Website Connect with Josiah Smelser LinkedIn Website Email Instagram Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr.Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Andrew Stotz: LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube My Worst Investment Ever Podcast  
Apr 15, 2020
Samuel Kamugisha – Constant Frustrations Selling SMS Messages Killed The Business
19:09 (Samuel Kamugisha) is a brand and growth strategist hailing from Uganda in East Africa but has been in Malaysia for the past five years, where he completed his Master’s degree. He is skilled in marketing, creative strategy, brand development, and project management that he attained from various fields. Samuel has over 11 years of work experience in Africa and Asia. Currently, he works in the strategy department at the prestigious iProspect Malaysia and Lemonade Agency that are Dentsu Aegis Network Companies. Finally, he is the host of the Wow Factor Podcast.   “Loss is just an investment in knowledge.” Samuel Kamugisha   Worst investment ever Chasing the excitement of being his own boss After working for about six years, Samuel quit his job and decided to open a business and be his own boss. He partnered with his friend, and together they started a business in Uganda focusing on bulk SMS. The idea was to offer SMS services to people who wanted to send bulk SMS messages. Raising capital for his business Samuel approached his sister with his business idea and requested her for a loan to set up the business. He showed her the valuation of the business, and she agreed to loan him the money. Excited to get started right away Happy to finally have the capital he needed, Samuel went to his partner, and they decided to hit the ground running. They were too excited to get started that they never bothered to do any kind of research to validate their business idea. First, they hired a developer to set up a website where they would host the SMS service. Next, they scouted for an SMS provider and found a gentleman whose rates seemed to be very good. They spent half of the seed money on buying the SMS:s. Tragedy strikes Things were going pretty well, and the business was starting to gain some ground. Unfortunately, the gentleman who sold the SMS:s to them suddenly died. His system went offline, and they no longer had access to the SMS:s they had bought. The gentleman operated his business alone, and so Samuel had no one to consult once the gentleman died. Seeking a second option Samuel and his partner decided to look for another SMS service provider. This time they chose to go with a company as opposed to an individual. They found a company in India and used the remaining half of the seed money to buy more SMS:s. Tragedy strikes again After about four months of successfully working with the Indian company, another crisis happened. The telcos in Uganda were blocking any SMS messages from entering into their network because they were not originating from their system. So now they had clients complaining that their SMS:s were not being delivered. Whenever they’d complain to the company in India, the company would say that there was nothing they could do as the SMS messages were being blocked from Uganda and not India. Trying to salvage the situation When Samual realized that there was not much the Indian company would do to help, he decided to find a way to salvage the situation to avoid losing all his investment money. The only way to do it was to sell the bulk SMS:s they had already bought to another entity. He approached a local bank pitched his idea, and they seemed to like it. Before he could sell off the SMS:s there were minor changes that needed to be made on their website. He called the developer and told him about the changes he needed. That was the last Samuel heard of the developer. He never made the changes, and he went missing. Needless to say, Samuel missed his window of opportunity as the bank got tired of waiting for him to deliver the SMS:s. Accepting the inevitable At this point, there was no other way to save the business, and so Samuel accepted his fate. He made peace with the fact that his business idea turned into a failed venture, becoming one of his worst investments. Lessons learned Do your groundwork Don’t just jump into a business because...
Apr 13, 2020
Mei Phing – To Make The Change You Want You Must Take Action
16:39 (Mei Phing) is the founder of Got A Phing and a passionate advocate of youth leadership. She has been recognized as a high performer and was fast-tracked to senior positions in multiple global multi-national companies whilst only in her 20’s. Nowadays, Mei coaches high-performing young executives and entrepreneurs to level-up future-ready skills to navigate complexity and thrive in tomorrow’s world. She regularly speaks about the skills of the future, youth engagement, and multigenerational workforce inclusion–as a TEDx Speaker and featured speaker for international events, conferences, and podcasts. Mei Phing is a culture enthusiast and has traveled to 37 countries and counting.   “Leadership is self-management. Before you lead and manage other people, you need to learn and be yourself.” Mei Phing   Worst investment ever For the love of helping people For Mei, her worst investment ever was investing time and energy, trying to convince people to take actions that they weren’t ready to take. Mei has done very well in her corporate career over the years and always been one of the fastest rising stars in whichever company she was in. It’s, therefore, not surprising that she regularly get questions from people looking to also advance their careers. For the love of helping people, she’d spend hours giving them advice. Just in need of a sounding board After doing this for so long, she noticed a pattern. No matter how good her advice was or how much time she spent talking to these people, they wouldn’t take any actions to change the situations they were in. They would just continue to whine and complain. She realized that all they wanted was a listening ear and a sounding board for their frustrations. Learning from her bad investment Giving her time to people who never quite needed it got Mei quite frustrated because, as an introvert, she’s very protective of her energy and time. She regrets having wasted all that time on people who didn’t see the importance of taking action. Mei wishes that she could take back all that time and do something more magnificent. Fortunately, this came with lessons on how to handle people, and it has helped her run a successful leadership company. Lessons learned You can’t force someone to take action A person is only ready to take action when they want to. No external advice or motivation will make them make changes in life if they don’t want to. They’ve got to want change badly For someone to take action, they’ve got to want to achieve their goals and be passionate about it. If they’re not, all the motivation and advice given will be a waste as it will wither off at some point. Understand yourself first before you help others You need to understand yourself first so that you can better understand someone else and help them understand themselves. Andrew’s takeaways You only have four productive hours in a day We only have a certain amount of concentrated energy in a day. You’re most productive for only two to four hours a day, and it’s impossible to expand that amount of creative time. So make sure you maximize it. Confirm that people need your advice before you give it Before you give any advice, always ask your recipient what they want. Get people to confirm that they’re asking for advice. This permits you to give it hard and fast. Quit complaining and take action One of the best ways to take action is to quit complaining about your situation and do something about it. Actionable advice You need to develop self-awareness, and the first step is to take a personality test. Then have a look at the result and ask yourself, is this you and to what extent? What are some of the strengths that you see, and how can you work on them one by one? No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Mei’s number one goal is to spread more awareness and impact on future-ready skills because we’re in the era of digitizing, and the world of tomorrow is pretty...
Apr 07, 2020
Amar Deshpande – A Strong Network Will Help You in Difficult Times
21:33 (Amresh "Amar" Deshpande) is a skilled communicator with a background in marketing, consulting, and sustainability. He is a public speaker and podcaster. He is the co-founder of Gaatha story, a podcasting company he founded with his wife in 2016. Amar is the creator and host of (MyKitaab), a podcast on how to publish and market your book. He is also the creator of Baalgatha, Fairytales of India, and Veergatha Podcasts. He is a published author and blogger and has been featured in the Financial Times and Entrepreneur India. Amar has over 17 years’ experience in program management, construction, and communication with organizations such as Amazon, Schneider Electric, and Jones Lang LaSalle. He is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, India and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in the US.  He is passionate about sustainability and is a USGBC-LEED Accredited Professional.   “If you know you’re going to dive into the deep end right away, either have a lifeguard around or wear a floater so that you don’t sink.” Amar Deshpande   Worst investment ever Uprooting his life on a whim Eleven years ago, Amar found himself in a situation that demanded him to eradicate his life from the US and back to his home town in India. His parents were getting old and in need of care. At the time, Amar was supposed to go to Canada for business school, but without giving it a second thought, he put everything on hold and went to India. Amar planned to give everything a break for a year and then go back to the United States. He figured that the life he had built for himself would still be there after a year, but his parents might not live for long. So for an entire year, he gave his all to his parents. Putting his career on the back burner Unfortunately, life didn’t play out as Amar had planned. After the year was over, the situation with his parents hadn’t improved. Even though his senses told him to leave India for the sake of his career, Amar ignored his feelings and continued his stay in India. His love for his parents clouded his judgment. Since Amar had planned to stay in India for a year then head back to the United States, he never networked with people in India nor got in touch with his colleagues back in the States. Amar should have probably spent that year networking and cultivating relationships with his co-workers, his clients, and customers. Instead, he completely put everything concerning his career on hold. Now here he was a year later in need of a job in India with no idea where to start. Setting root in India Fortunately, Amar got a job consulting for construction companies, but he had to move from his hometown to Mumbai, where everything was super expensive. On top of that, India was going through the economic effects of the Lehman crisis, and businesses were suffering. While he had a few dollars saved, the exchange rate was pretty low, and so he ended up losing 20% of his savings. Things go from bad to worse As if losing his savings was not enough, the Monsoon hit, and everything came to a standstill. He was no longer getting a salary as the construction industry was dead. Before long, Amar found himself completely broke and had to sleep in the streets because he couldn’t afford to pay rent. Sleeping in the streets was the wake-up call that he needed. He made a resolve to turn his life around. Amar realized that he was still living in the glory of his past life. He decided to let that go and start again. The next day he quit his job, moved back with his parents, and began rebuilding his life in India. Amar went on to build a successful entrepreneurial life in India, where he lives to date. Lessons learned Think things through before making significant decisions Take time to think things through before making a drastic change in your life. This will help you see things clearly and avoid making an emotional decision. Have a strong network...
Apr 02, 2020
Jonathan Slain – Plan for a Recession So That You Can Survive and Thrive From It
26:31 (Jonathan Slain)’s book, Rock the Recession: How Successful Leaders Prepare For, Thrive During, and Create Wealth After Downturns came out in September 2019 and is a #1 Amazon Best Seller. Jonathan coaches high growth leadership teams across the United States to implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, also known as "Traction". He focuses on working with entrepreneurial niche/specialty firms and large corporations, spending over 100 days per year working with teams just like yours. Jonathan was Valedictorian of his graduating class and had the highest GPA ever in the history of Shaker Heights High School, where he was also voted “Next Bill Gates and Least Likely to Lose his Virginity.”    “There’s always going to be a disruption. Embrace it, and have a plan for everything.” Jonathan Slain   Worst investment ever Forging a business partnership Jonathan was working as an investment banker when he received a call from his brother-in-law asking him to help evaluate gym franchises that he wanted to invest in. Jonathan agreed to accompany him to Denver, where the franchises were. On the flight home from Denver to Cleveland, Jonathan, on a whim, suggested to his brother that they open the gyms together. His brother-in-law agreed, and Jonathan left his job at the bank and began working with his brother-in-law. Up to a good start Jonathan didn’t bother to do any research and had total trust in his brother-in-law. He believed that the business was going to work. They opened up their first gym in Hudson, Ohio, and went on to scale the business pretty fast. Indeed, the franchise was thriving. In less than five years, they had five units operating, all one-on-one personal training studios. The branches were in five locations across Cleveland, with 25 employees. They broke franchise records by recording the most personal training sessions in the year, the most locations, and the most revenue of any group. The great recession they never saw coming At 25, Jonathan was a thriving franchise owner and was riding the wave of success. Then the great recession hit out of nowhere. They had no plan on what to do at a time of such a crisis. Amid the panic, he came up with a plan to borrow a quarter of a million dollars from his mother-in-law. The business went on to barely survive the recession, but he had to live with the shame of having to borrow from his mother-in-law. Lessons learned You’ve got to have a plan Be sure to have a plan for what you would do if you ever hit an economic downturn. Have a plan for what you’re going to do to reduce expenses, cut overhead, do layoffs, etc. and survive a recession. Create your plan when you’re not stressed out Figure out your plan when things are calm, not when you’re in the middle of a crisis. People tend to make bad decisions when they’re stressed out and emotional. A recession can be an opportunity Not every recession has to be bad for your business. If you’re an entrepreneur and once every couple of years, there’s a significant disruption in your industry, figure out what opportunities come with the disruption. Pounce on these opportunities so that you can benefit from the disruption. Andrew’s takeaways Use stop losses for your stocks Use stop losses when investing in the stock market, especially if you’re a first-time investor. This allows you to predetermine future actions in case of an economic downturn. Don’t wait for an economic downturn, get your plan ready now Don’t wait until everything starts to crumble to come up with a contingency plan. Do it when times are good because then you will be in the right headspace to come up with an airtight plan because you are not panicking. Have both an upside and a downside plan Separate your research into the upside and the downside. By looking at an idea from both angles, you give yourself a chance to step away from the excitement of having an idea and see...
Mar 29, 2020
Joel Ong – The Secret of Success: There’s No Shortcut You Have to Do the Work
20:42 (Joel Ong) is the creator of the Expert to Authority coaching program for business owners to use their smartphones to make videos work for their business in 90 days (without having to hire a professional costing thousands of dollars).   “We have more processing power in our mobile devices than what Armstrong had in his spacecraft the first time he went to the moon.” Joel Ong   Worst investment ever Fueling his Instagram influencer dream Joel wanted to be like the travel influencers on Instagram and wealthy business owners that he saw traveling the world first class. However, he didn’t have the money or the influence to do it. He just didn’t have the confidence to be an influencer of any sort. But, Joel truly wanted this life, so he thought of all the ways he could achieve this. He figured that he could pick up the camera and influence from behind it instead of in front of the camera like the other Instagram influencer. This started Joel’s journey into travel videography. A humble beginning Joel started with a very cheap imitation of a GoPro camera that he borrowed from a friend in China. Slowly he started living his dream to be a travel influencer by collaborating with models and travel photographers. Doing it as the stars do As Joel interacted with famous influencers in the industry, the pressure to get sophisticated video equipment got real. He wanted to be like the rest of them, and so he invested thousands of dollars in video equipment. Joel bought better lenses, better lighting, a stabilizer gimbal, and more. His travel backpack got heavier and heavier. As Joel continued to travel the world more with his new equipment, he realized that something was still missing. Now he needed to improve his skills as well. So Joel paid a lot of money for several online courses. He thought that this would get him fame and glory quickly. In the end, after spending so much money, it didn’t work. Joel learned that besides proper equipment and courses, he needed to put in the work to get to the success he wanted. Lessons learned The key to success is to focus on simplicity Everything that works is simple, but it takes execution and work. Simple is not necessarily easy. Don’t expect a magic formula to find success; you’ve got to put in the work, trust the process, and go through it. Shift your thinking If you do not see any success, then you need to start doing things differently because, like Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” So shift your thinking. Decide what you’re prepared to lose Before you invest, think of the worst-case scenario. If it doesn’t work out or it underdelivers, what’s the most that you can afford to lose? When you think of investing in that way, then it makes everything very clear. Invest in your skills too People who are very good at their craft have a very high level of expertise that allows them to get a lot of returns from it. If you don’t practice your skills consistently, you’ll become poor in your craft. Andrew’s takeaways Keep it simple It’s easy for anyone to complicate things, but not everybody can make things simple. Things tend to move towards complexity, particularly in business, and it takes a lot of effort to keep things simple. But make an effort, because simple works. Successful people know there’s no magic formula There is no shortcut to success. The secret of success is to go through the work. If you take shortcuts, you will pay for it in some way. Actionable advice Decide if you are going to be 100% transparent, honest, and accountable with yourself. The key to success is to commit to put in the work and get it done regardless of any circumstances or challenges. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Joel’s goal for the next 12 months is to get his private coaching program Expert to Authority out to the market and more people. The program is...
Mar 26, 2020
Andrew Stotz – Don’t Let Panic Drive You Into the Ground During the COVID-19 Crisis
With the novel coronavirus spreading like bushfire all over the world, it is a terrifying time for both individuals and businesses. The future is indeed uncertain, and the anxiety is setting in. (Andrew Stotz) has lived through many different personal and financial crises over the years. Today he shares his story of loss. It’s not his worst investment but his worst personal moment, and it came with lots of lessons that we can all borrow from to carry us through the current COVID-19 pandemic and the looming economic crisis.   “Stay calm, and look forward to a great future because things will turn around.” Andrew Stotz   Worst moment ever The calm before the storm It was around 1995, and I was riding high as a stock market analyst in Thailand. I had been promoted to be the head of research of W.I. Carr, which was the number one foreign broker in Thailand at the time. All was going well. My best friend Dale came to visit and suggested we set up a coffee business in Thailand. Initially, we were going to buy coffee from other roasting companies, package it, and then sell it. However, we couldn’t find companies that would be able to produce the coffee to our standard, so we decided to build a coffee factory. Well, no problem. I was making good money and had already saved a lot. Dale moved to Thailand, and we set up CoffeeWORKS. We started our sales in 1996. Riding my first wave of a financial crisis In 1997, the Asian financial crisis happened. I remember walking into work in July, and the news was that the Thai government could no longer defend its currency, the Thai Baht, and it was going to collapse. The collapse soon started. The Baht at that time was 25 to the US dollar. By the end of 1997, it was at 60 Baht to the US dollar. Companies that had US dollar debt were in serious trouble because they didn’t have enough money to pay it back. The economy started to collapse, and everything got worse. Our plans for our business soon disappeared. We had plans to sell coffee to many companies as the economy was expanding in Thailand before the financial crisis. But instead, our sales dried up to almost nothing. Every day, we saw no new customers come in, and existing customers disappeared. And of course, no income. Yet we still had a factory and people working in it. Gloom was setting in fast. Riding my second wave of loss As if the poor launch of our coffee business was not enough, in April of 1998, I lost my job working in an investment bank. All of a sudden, we had a business and a factory, and a lot of costs, but no revenue, and no employment for me to feed the cash needs of the company. There was very little hope that I would get a job again in the financial industry because everything seemed to be decimated by the collapse that had now hit Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and later on many other countries in Asia. Time to scale down Dale and I had lived together in a house in Bangkok. We decided to move out to cut down costs. So we moved into the coffee factory. We moved the sales team out of one of the rooms that had air conditioning, put two beds in it, and it became our new home. It was like going back to college days, two beds, one room, and a bathroom outside of that room. The angel of doom visits again One day in August of 1998, Dale and I had woken up to an empty factory. No workers, nothing going on, it was raining heavily outside, and it was just a depressing day. I got a call from my sister Kelly, and she said that her cancer had come back. The doctor said she had only one month to live. She asked me to go home to see her. When I hung up the phone, Dale and I looked at each other and just cried. We were at the absolute bottom that August Sunday of 1998. A professional bottom and a personal bottom. Within one week of arriving in America, my sister passed away. I got one week to spend with her. I stayed for a couple more weeks with her family, and...
Mar 19, 2020
Yasmine Khater – Start Investing Now to Avoid This Big Mistake
Yasmine Khater is the founder of the Sales Story Method and the Host of the Sales Story Podcast. For the past five years, she’s been helping senior leaders in over 75 MNCs, governments, and entrepreneurs use stories to stand out, attract more customers, inspire their team, and grow their business (and careers). Armed with a degree in psychology, Yasmine is an aspiring “armchair” neuroscientist who loves to study how to improve sales by applying discoveries about the brain. She comes from a mixed heritage, having lived in seven countries and traveled to nearly a quarter of the world. Crafting and sharing stories have helped her sell her ideas, crowdfund, land speaking engagements, and press appearances.   “You can do so much more if you just work in small challenges and constantly stretch yourself to get a little bit more uncomfortable every single day.” Yasmine Khater   Worst investment ever What do I do with all this money? When Yasmine started working, she suddenly found herself with more money than she knew what to do with. She just couldn’t spend it all, so she figured she could invest it. Admittedly, she was clueless about investing. This was something she had always figured was supposed to be done by a man. So she never bothered to learn how it worked. Now here she was with lots of money that she wanted to invest but no man in her life to handle it for her. Letting others decide her investment move for her Yasmine did what she thought was best. She walked to her bank and went straight to the first bank teller that she saw. The bank teller talked her into buying a mutual trust. Four years into it, Yasmine realized that the trust was making money, but she wasn’t because of the high bank fees she was being charged. Even though she kept investing a chunk of her change into the trust every month, she just kept losing her money. Yasmine decided she was done and stopped investing in the mutual trust. Ignorance makes her lose again Around the same time, she was traveling in Bali and went to this event where they were talking about Bitcoin. Attendants were asked to invest $100 to buy Bitcoin. At the time, each Bitcoin was less than $1. Yasmine, still ignorant towards investing, decided Bitcoin was not for her. Fast forward to a few years later, and Bitcoin was selling at $20,000. Imagine how much Yasmine would have made had she invested the $100 to buy Bitcoin! Well, her ignorance saw her make her worst investment ever. She, however, figured it was about time to learn how investing works. Lessons learned Learn how to do the things you avoid doing The same way you learned how to deal with challenges in your life and to overcome something, is the same way you can learn how to do the things you avoid doing. If you avoid investing, learn about it, and you won’t have to avoid doing it. Success starts with believing that you can do it If you keep telling yourself that you can’t do something, then you’re just going to keep finding ways to prove yourself right. You don’t need to be a math guru to start investing You don’t have to breathe math to begin investing your money. Simply understand the mechanics of business, profit versus loss, and you’re good to go. Andrew’s takeaways Investment doesn’t have to be overwhelming For many people out there, the concept of learning how to invest is just overwhelming. However, there are simple ways to understand investing for beginners. Find these simple courses and start learning. Let go of the phobia of numbers Most people, women, in particular, are incredibly negative about numbers. The phobia of numbers is what holds most people from investing. Invest a little over time. Investing in stocks for beginners can be scary, especially when the stock market seems to be crashing. The truth is that the market won’t stay down. Get started by putting in a small monthly contribution and build wealth over time. Actionable advice Commit to learning about investing....
Mar 18, 2020
Bijay Gautam – Take Your Career Advice From People Who Know the Industry
Bijay Gautam is the Co-founder of (WYN Studio), a company that creates podcasts for brands. He hosts one of the top podcasts in India, The Inspiring Talk. On this podcast, he chats with top entrepreneurs, best-selling authors, thought leaders, and celebrities about their journey. As India’s first Podcast Coach and Consultant, he has coached over 100 people and helped over five organizations launch their podcasts. He has conducted podcast workshops and training across the country, reaching over 2,000 participants. Bijay has been featured in various media and is a frequent speaker at conferences and events. Before all this began, Bijay was working as a Research Scientist in a leading Pharmaceutical Company. He was losing motivation and drive in his life, and that’s when he started The Inspiring Talk. Within 15 months of starting his podcast, he quit his job to follow his passion for podcasting and inspiring people through his podcast.   “Don’t take advice from someone who has not walked the path that you want to walk.” Bijay Gautam   Worst investment ever A natural orator Bijay was always that guy who loved talking and being in front of people. He’s the guy every club in high school wanted to emcee their event. Debate and public speaking clubs were his favorite. And so, naturally, Bijay knew that he needed to study communication and media and become a radio jockey, television presenter, or anything to do with putting his face out there and talking. Seeking the best career advice When Bijay completed high school and was preparing to join college, he spoke to a couple of people asking what they thought about media as a career. They advised him against it, claiming that media was going down and would have no secure career options. They told him that he’d not make a lot of money from it and he was better off picking a more popular course. The interesting thing is that these people had no background in media and had no idea what they were talking about. But, Bijay looked up to them, and so he took their advice and enrolled for a course in pharmacy. The ever-rising star Bijay invested four years studying pharmacy. Even though he was doing well topping his class, getting scholarships, and also being awarded as the best student of pharmacy, in the back of his mind, he hated the choice he made. But he kept at it. He finished at the top of his class, and in the final year, he got placed at the top pharmaceutical company in India. To the outside world, this was a huge success. Bijay had made it. His stellar performance continued even at his job. In the first year, he got recognized as the most promising candidate for his organization. Quitting the act and staying true to his dreams But even though he was a success, Bijay hated his job. After three years of working in a pharmaceutical company, he realized he was running a race and winning that race, but he wasn’t sure that was the race he wanted to be running. After investing lots of tuition money, four years of college and three years of working, Bijay realized that he had made his worst investment by going into pharmacy instead of following his heart and getting into media. And so he quit, started a podcast, and he hasn’t looked back since. Lessons learned Take career advice from the right people Your best career advice will come from someone who has walked the path that you want to walk. Follow your gut For the jobseeker choosing a career path, follow your gut without thinking about if you’re going to make a lot of money or if you’re going to make it big in this or not. You need to listen to your own heart and just go with it without listening to a lot of people. Andrew’s takeaways Break free from the sunk cost fallacy Just because you’ve sunk time, money, and energy into something doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing it. To manage your risk, stop sinking further immediately. The reality is what is gone and done is...
Mar 16, 2020
Michael Michelini – Do Detailed Market Research Before Creating a Product
Michael Michelini is an American social media, e-commerce, and SEO Specialist who has lived in China since 2007. He is a passionate business connector who helps companies do business in China as well as Chinese companies to work in overseas markets. Michael built Global From Asia, a cross-border e-commerce community, to help cross border business owners learn, network, make business partnerships, and grow global businesses. Most recently, he has joined as a partner at Alpha Rock Capital, which is an Amazon FBA investment company.   “Don’t get caught up in patents if you’re entrepreneur and investor. Of course, it’s important to have your IP, but I think the most important one is a brand trademark.” Michael Michelini   Worst investment ever Setting sail in China Michael moved to China in late 2007 with interest in living and doing business there. A few months later, he met a businessman, Andrew, who was all too willing to take him under his wing. Andrew was a sourcing agency and a product specialist who had been in China for 10 years already. He took Michael through the backstreets of China, and in the process, Michael got to learn all the insights of Chinese business. It’s in these backstreets that Michael got to know where the best deals happen, the inside scoop about manufacturing, who is who in business, and so much more information that helped him build on to his business plans. Forging a business partnership Andrew was impressed by Michael’s internet marketing skills and abilities. He had so many product ideas which he shared with Michael. One of the ideas that got Michael very excited about was a light-up, pour spout. This is a bottle top that you put on top of a vodka bottle or any kind of liquid, and when you pour, it lights up the stream of alcohol to the color of the LED. Michael was already selling bar supplies through his e-commerce business and had customers and distribution pipelines. Andrew would help engineer it, and together they would produce and market it from China. From an idea to a real product They embarked on the journey to get the product ready. First, they brought on a partner with a legal background. Then they found the guy who had a patent to the product idea but had never made a product. Hurdle after hurdle Getting the patent was the first hurdle. They spent so much time going back and forth without reaching a compromise. The patent owner wanted more money than Michael was willing to pay to transfer the patent. Eventually, after months of arguing, Michael put his foot down and told the patent owner to take his offer or forget the whole deal. He accepted the offer. The second hardball Michael faced was that his friend Andrew wanted him to use his friend’s factory. But he quoted an upfront fee of about $20,000 for the manufacturing of the product. This is not to make the product but just the setup fee. Michael asked around and got a few other factories that gave him  $3,000-$5,000 quotes for the same thing. So he refused to use Andrew’s friend’s factory, and Andrew was extremely mad with him. Being young and naive, Michael still kept Andrew in the deal. Michael went ahead and paid $5,000 to the factory that he chose and went ahead with the manufacturing. Marketing hard Michael started sending samples to his friends and business partners back in the US, who all got excited about the product. Everyone called it the million-dollar product. One of his friends got in touch with Bacardi, who loved the product and was interested in having exclusive rights in the US. The problems just won’t go away Michael ran into manufacturing issues with the production time taking forever. At one point, the LED wasn’t bright enough and had to source for LEDs from a different supplier. Bacardi kept asking for changes to make the product better. Then they insisted on buying the product at $1 per piece because they’d use it as a promotional item and offer it to its customers for free. All...
Mar 12, 2020
Somdutta Sarkar – Look for the Hidden Meaning in the Problems That You Face
16:21 (Somdutta Sarkar) is the host of Intensify Humanity Podcast, a bestselling author, an NLP practitioner, a thought leader, a passionpreneur, and an Intensifier Mentor. Her book is called 7 STEPS from SHAME to being BACK IN THE GAME.   “Ignorance is not bliss; it’s a disease.” Somdutta Sarkar   Worst investment ever Living in the city of dreams Somdutta moved to Mumbai, known as the city of dreams in India, where she got a job after finishing college. She was working a job that she loved and making a decent income. She was indeed settled in life. A friendly soul Somdutta is naturally a friendly person, so she made so many friends while living and working in Mumbai. She was always kind enough to help anyone who came to her in need of help, no matter what day or time they came calling. This happened over and over again. Her kindness leaves her in debt Somdutta’s friendly nature soon enough landed her into trouble. One day a friend came to her in need of financial help, and in her true nature, she accepted to help him. She took a bank loan in her name and gave the money to her friend. When the time to pay the loan came, her friend went quiet. He blocked her, making it impossible to reach him. She tried all possible ways to get him to pay the loan, but he never did. Somdutta’s worst mistake was trusting her friend, who left her with a debt of $35,000. Rebuilding herself Somdutta suffered greatly mentally and emotionally. She felt enormous shame for having made what she thought was the most stupid decision of her life. During this phase of her life, she lost so many friends. After a few months of suffering, she decided to work on herself, her mind, her awareness about society, psychology, finance, everything. She worked on her self-development, and she was able to pull herself out of that phase. Now she is helping people who are stuck in that kind of stage in life to revive and relive their life again and gain back the freedom and power they never had. Lessons learned Ignorance is part of our system Ignorance is a disease in our society these days. We are taught from childhood that ignorance is bliss. Every problem has a hidden meaning in it Through self-development, you’ll be able to find this hidden meaning, and in return, you will be able to solve the problem. Sometimes you have to jump in the deep end You’ll never know your full potential until to jump into the waters. Avoid the shortfall risk If you are not taking calculated risks, you’re putting yourself at risk. There is simply no way to exist without taking on risk. Andrew’s takeaways High risk is not always equal to high return There are certain risks that you take that you’re not compensated for. These kinds of risks can be mitigated. For instance, in investing, if you only buy one stock, instead of diversifying across maybe 10 or 20 stocks, you increase your risk. Risk management is one of the essential things that that you can learn as a young person. Get yourself out of your framework We all have a framework, a kind of lense through which we see the world. One of the hardest things that someone can do is to get themselves out of their framework. The majority of people never do. But when you move beyond your framework, you have true freedom. Actionable advice Focus on self-development. If you don’t invest in yourself and your mind, you are taking the most significant risk in your life. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Somdutta has set a target of interviewing 200 people for her podcast Intensify Humanity. She also plans to launch her online program this year. The program will be an entirely unconventional education system, everything that is not taught in schools and colleges. Parting words   “If you feel stuck and you do not see any kind of light at the end of the tunnel, know that there is a hidden meaning out there, and it is trying to tell you something. Start investing in...
Mar 10, 2020
Simon de Raadt – Success in Small Business Comes from a Clear Structure
With a background in Business Economics, IT, and Logistics, Simon de Raadt has been living in Asia since 2011. He is now Managing Partner of MAiNS International, Co-Founder of DigiDutch, and investor in Cross-Border solutions. He helps companies understand the whole supply chain, from beginning to end, so that they can add more value in that supply chain. The starting point of his entrepreneurial success in China has been building an outbound mail solution for one of his customers from scratch. This led him into various businesses related to inbound trading.   “Be more flexible and accepting of whatever comes on the way. It might not go as planned. But you know, that’s part of the journey.” Simon de Raadt   Worst investment ever His heart has always been in China Simon had always dreamt of living and working in China. While still working a corporate job, he went to China, and the country completely stole his heart. While on holiday, he decided to look for a job. He was fortunate to get one in no time. Becoming a small business owner in a foreign country In just six months, Simon found himself jobless. The company he was working for closed down. He knew he was meant to stay in China, so he put on a brave face and started job hunting again. Simon tapped into his networks, and soon enough, he got introduced to someone at  MAiNS International, where he went on to become a co-founder. Starting from scratch When Simon joined MAiNS International, the existing business was all gone. It was now just him and his Chinese partner, and they had to start from scratch. Given that it was just the two of them, Simon and his partner ignored lots of business frameworks and just focused on growing their business. Hiring people the old school way In about a year or so, Simon’s business had taken ground and was recruiting people, and suddenly the company had 12 people. While the growth was good, Simon and his partner were hiring all these people, not because there were positions to be filled as there were no existing jobs. Jobs were created and filled based on opportunity. They had no structured way of recruitment. In came the chaos With no formal work structures, chaos hit the company. People were working independently with no clear vision. Everyone was on their own little island, and this started affecting the business. While everyone was hard at work, running in different directions was hurting the business’s bottom line. Most of Simon’s best employees left the company as they no longer saw the company’s vision. This was a huge blow on Simon as these were people he had fought for to get them to work for him, he’d groomed them and worked hard to get them excited. Simon realized that his worst investment was not investing in proper business structures. Without structures, his people couldn’t work as a team, and in the process, they lost the company’s vision and confidence in the success of the company. Lessons learned Define your company roles Even if it’s just you, when starting your own business, define all the roles that you might have in your company, and then assign these roles to a person. In doing so, you get clearer on where you want to go and what every person’s task and responsibilities are without creating any confusion. Put structures in place first For successful operations management, put structures in place. Once you create your structure, let the people grow within the structure. Let your team develop themselves and give them freedom within the structure. But if there are no boundaries to that freedom, things will get out of hand. Apply knowledge from books in real life You can read a textbook, but to be able to learn, you must experience it yourself. Books have a lot of wisdom in it. But reading a book is one thing, and applying it is another. Andrew’s takeaways Get your people to work together as a team You can take some of the best people and put them together, but without some concerted...
Mar 08, 2020
Nicholas Patrick – Seek Out the People Who Care and Know How to Help
26:12 (Nicholas Patrick) is the Founder of Ekho Academy, a media platform dedicated to helping you enhance the quality of your career. After overcoming a decade long battle with clinical depression, Nic’s mission is to help working professionals stay mentally healthy and strong. Nic is most active on LinkedIn and Instagram, where you can find him using his full name Nicholas Patrick.   “If you don’t have to rush it, don’t rush it.” Nicholas Patrick   Worst investment ever Coping with mental health issues Nic’s symptoms started around 2007/8. His mood started being affected, and he could no longer cope with the everyday stresses and challenges of life. He, however, chose to ignore these symptoms. He thought it was one of those things that eventually would go away on its own. Nic decided to do nothing and wait it out. Unfortunately, things got really bad to the point where sometimes he couldn’t get out of bed and missed so many days of school. Divine Intervention Things got so bad that Nic thought about suicide. He was standing on the ledge, ready to take his own life when his phone vibrated. He paused to check his phone when he saw an email from a university. The subject of that email was Ways of Managing Depression. This email knocked him out of his trance and helped him understand that he wasn’t trying to deal with his mental issues. He realized that his worst investment was not taking care of his mental health. He took his power back, and from then on, he committed to get well. Which he did, and went on to form his academy with the vision to help other people going through a similar situation. Lessons learned Be patient with yourself Patience is a really easy concept, but something that people constantly forget and don’t pay attention to. Sometimes you might have to go slow and achieve your goals later than you planned. That’s ok; be patient with yourself. You will get there no need to put pressure on yourself. Build your support system When building your support system, there are three categories that people fall into: the outermost circle, people who don’t care, the middle circle, people who care about you but don’t know how to help you, the innermost circle, people who care and know how to help you. Categorize your support system accordingly to receive the most appropriate mental health solution. Mental health recovery is not time-bound When you’re recovering from anything, including mental health issues, don’t work with a clock. Instead, have milestones and work through them one by one and take as much time as it takes. So don’t say you’re going to give yourself five years to overcome depression. Andrew’s takeaways Don’t be afraid to miss out on life your recovery matters more Don’t refuse to work through your problems for fear of missing out on life while you’re doing it. Take the time to take care of yourself; life will be better when you get back. Don’t compare yourself to others Take a good look at your weaknesses, your pains, and the ways you’ve been hurt. You’re the only one who can see those things clearly. Be brave to bring these things out as a first step to dealing with them. Don’t let other people’s seemingly perfect lives cause you to hide your problems and allow them to keep harming you. Actionable advice Learn about yourself, feed your mind and your body. But, don’t focus just on the information out there because it’s easy to get lost in it. Instead, seek professional mental health services, whether it’s from a therapist or licensed psychiatrist. Because their main function is not to prescribe solutions but to work with you to get to your ideal way of recovery. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Nic’s goal for the next 12 months is to make Ekho Academy a place that enhances everyone’s quality of career by addressing all the topics that people have about their careers. Issues they find challenging, the stress in their workplaces,...
Mar 05, 2020
Ling Ling Tai – What Do You Value Most in Life? Invest in It
As an Intercultural Strategist, Ling Ling Tai helps people and organizations develop intercultural skills to foster successful collaboration and build important relationships to ensure continued business success in a globalized environment. She is a podcaster for the Leaders of Learning podcast, and she offers her insights through her website   “If it’s a problem that can be solved with money, it’s not a problem at all. If it’s a problem that cannot be solved with money, then it’s something you have to look into.” Ling Ling Tai   Worst investment ever Inheriting her parents’ attitude towards risk Ling Ling and her siblings grew up in a traditional Chinese family and were taught the value of being prudent and frugal from a very early age. According to her parents, when it comes to taking risk, it’s either low risk or no risk at all. This shaped the decisions in her life and the things that she chose to do. Chasing independence Throughout her life, Ling Ling wanted to be independent, self-sufficient, and be able to rely on herself. She didn’t want to be a housewife and rely on a rich man, even though that’s what most Chinese parents want for their daughters. So she invested all her time in building up her career. Sacrificing her relationships Ling Ling had no time to invest in relationships as her focus was on building a career that would help her become financially independent. So she ended up spending very little time on people who mattered to her, including her parents and siblings. When death shakes your value system Ling Ling’s mom got sick in 2016 and died three months after she was diagnosed. Her death hit Ling Ling quite hard as it was fast and unexpected. During the time her mom was sick, her mindset changed about life. Seeing death right in front of her changed her whole outlook on life. Life stopped being about money and accumulating material wealth. She started evaluating what values are important to her. She realized that her worst investment was not investing enough time on the things that mattered to her, and instead, she was just chasing dollar signs, neglecting the people important to her, her well being, and the things that gave her joy. Lessons learned Money is not everything What do you value most in life besides money and wealth? Start looking into things that are not monetary, such as your wellbeing, health, relationship with your family, the kind of impact that you want to make on the world, etc. You may have a flourishing career and amass wealth, but when death comes knocking on your door, you can’t bring it with you anymore. So ask yourself, what values are important to you, and what do you want to leave behind? There is a downside to low risk and no risk If you avoid taking any risk, you will be so afraid of investing in anything, so you miss the opportunity to invest in things that matter to you. Andrew’s takeaways Think about your legacy What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Let that guide the way you live your life. Live in a way that when you die, you live on in the spirit of others. By touching the lives of others, there will be something that lives on from you. What do you value and are most passionate about? Find what you’re passionate about and do it. Passion and energy for what you’re doing can change the world and your life. Actionable advice It’s okay to take time and reflect on what values are important to you. Because when we’re too busy with our day to day life, we don’t sit to think whether what we are doing means anything in the long run. What impact will what you’re doing have on you in one year, or five, or 10 years? If the impact is not significant, then then it’s okay not to do it. Sit and reflect, because everyone has a time limit, we just don’t know when that limit is. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Ling Ling’s goal for the next 12 months is to produce two more seasons for her podcast and get more...
Mar 03, 2020
Ziv Nakajima-Magen – When Investing in Asia Listen Much More Closely
19:35 (Ziv Nakajima-Magen) was born in Israel, migrated first to Australia, then finally to Japan, where he and his wife run a buyers’ agency and portfolio management company, helping foreigners invest in Japanese property and manage their investments.   “When investing away from home, choose the right people to work with, and learn how to trust and listen to them.” Ziv Nakajima-Magen   Worst investment ever Investing in Asia for the first time When Ziv and his wife moved to Japan, having some experience with real estate property investment in Australia, he decided to get into the Japanese real estate industry. Ziv felt that he knew what property investment is all about. How to price rent for rental property, what’s a good or bad property, locations, and so forth. Cash flow investments Ziv looked for the highest rental income that they could find in areas that they were comfortable with. He found a bulk purchase of three condo units in a city not too far from Fukuoka, where the couple lives. The units came at a discounted price because the seller wanted to get rid of all three of them and was happy to discount the price if it was all to the same buyer. The tenants had been in place for like 15 years, so it was quite a good investment, tenancy wise and return was through the roof at about 15-16%. Coming in guns blazing While doing the math, Excel sheet style, the couple realized that one of the units had slightly lower rent than the others, about $20 or $30 a month. Ziv, thinking that he knew what they were doing as they’d been in the property market for a while now and knew all about globalization, decided that when that tenancy lease was about to be renewed, they should raise the rent to bring it up to the same level as the other two units. It was just a small amount anyway, the tenant wouldn’t mind, or so they thought. In Japan, you don’t increase the rent When they told the property manager to increase the rent for that lease, he asked them if they were sure about it, and they said yes without giving it much thought. What they didn’t realize was that you don’t raise rents in Japan. A tenant would be paying the same rent that they paid when they moved into the property say eight, 10 or even 20 years ago. And they wouldn’t ask you to reduce the rent when the contract is renewed because for them any negotiation is considered and feels like a conflict. The Japanese tend to avoid conflict at any cost. Ziv’s tenant did not renew the lease; instead, they moved to another vacant unit in the very same building that was renting for about half the rent. Ziv stayed with a vacant unit for about a year and a half, losing a third of their income stream. When they got another tenant, they had to rent it at a much lower amount. Eventually, they sold it at about 20 or 30% loss compared to when they bought it. Had they just taken time to learn this new market, they would have known about the Japanese culture regarding raising and lowering rent, and it would have saved them from making their worst investment. Lessons learned Consider cultural and emotional differences when doing your due diligence In our minds, due diligence tends to be a very practical sort of numbers related matter. So we look at income streams and risk factors in the sense that something might suddenly happen. But we don’t think about cultural and emotional differences when we’re dealing in another country. So, yes, the numbers probably apply the same anywhere you go. But there are a lot of other factors that you need to take into account. Not all real estate locations are the same Relying on your knowledge that was gained in another location when you’ve been investing in a familiar market might not be applicable. Your market might be the stark opposite of the one that you’re going into next. Learn about the professionals that you’re dealing with Understand how professionals in the new location you want to...
Mar 01, 2020
Brendan Davis – Investigate Your Foreign Investment Carefully, Appearances Can Be Deceiving
21:03 (Brendan Davis) is a writer-director-producer working internationally in film & TV. He began his entertainment career in Atlanta in 1990, moved to Los Angeles in 2002, and has split his time between Beijing and Los Angeles since 2013. In December 2019, Davis was recognized for his cross-cultural leadership by being appointed to serve as a Distinguished Special Foreign Expert with the Beijing Global Talent Exchange Association. His appointment as an advisor runs through 2024.   “Pick your battles carefully. Set yourself up for success as much as possible.” Brendan Davis   Worst investment ever Exploring an international investment opportunity In 2013/14, China was wide open to foreign investment co-productions trying to work with other treaty partners. One of the countries the Chinese were the keenest to work with was New Zealand. Brendan happened to have two partners in New Zealand and a Chinese partner in Los Angeles. The partners had been working on a project together for a while now. He figured that this project would be a good co-production with China. And so he decided to explore this international partnership. Changing the script The project was initially developed as a Western New Zealand Hollywood type of project. So the first step was to change the script to fit the co-production requirements of New Zealand and China. Due to cultural differences, censorship, and sensitivities in China, they had to re-examine and rebuild the whole story and characters. Finding a Chinese financier For the project to receive the co-production incentives, Brendan had to find a Chinese financier. Through former colleagues and his Chinese partner, he found someone who fit the bill. The gentleman was a second-generation wealthy guy in China and a Vice President of a big studio film finance entity. He was one of the guys deciding where to spend money. The gentleman had been rewarded for his success so far, with a few 50% government investments in a new firm all his own to develop and produce projects. So he was just getting going with this new company when Brendan and his project came along. And it seemed like they were the answer to each other’s dreams. Sealing the deal Because Brendan at the time barely spoke any Chinese and the gentleman spoke zero English, they each got an interpreter. Brendan and his team went to Beijing, met him, liked each other, and things got onto a great start. The gentleman had very fancy offices. He was seemingly very rich and powerful. Everything about him validated that he would be the guy to do this. He even gave them a suite of offices in his fancy custom design, new headquarters building. The business plan seemed to be coming together very smoothly. After a couple of back and forth trips between Beijing and LA, and discussions, they signed a deal that detailed everything about how Brendan and his team were supposed to operate, and it also spelled out exactly what the financier was committing to do as the executive producer and a financier. Introducing the human speed bump As Brendan and his partner were preparing to leave China to start pre-production, the gentleman told them that they would appear at the 2014 Beijing Film Festival to make the big announcement of their partnership together. The gentleman built for his company a very fancy booth. They did dozens of interviews in English and Chinese, took many photos, and told many stories. There were about 80 photographers at their press conference. It was a pretty big public deal. But the troubles started immediately after that press conference. They were sitting at their booth just catching their breath when this angry, short little woman who they’d never met, never heard of, and had no idea who she was appeared out of nowhere. She introduced herself as a friend of the gentleman. She was freaking out and grilling Brendan with creative issues she had with the story. Brendan was shocked to...
Feb 27, 2020
Daniel Blue – Do Your Research Before Investing Your Money
Daniel Blue is the owner of Quest Education in the US. He educates business owners on self-directed retirement accounts to help them accomplish their financial goals. He teaches financial education to business owners to help them understand how to: save for the future, protect their assets, save money on taxes, get the funding they need, and eliminate debt. Daniel has worked with over 1,200 business owners and is a contributor to Forbes magazine. He is driven by his passion for helping people shape their retirement dreams into reality.   “To invest money wisely, know your options, and use less emotions and more logic.” Daniel Blue   Worst investment ever Making it in life at just 18 years Daniel got a sales job when he was 18, a job that he was quite good at. He was doing well right off the bat, making about $10,000 a month. He was ecstatic and on top of the world. Time to become a homeowner Daniel was feeling good about his success, and he figured it was time to live as the rich do. He was feeling invincible and knew that he deserved all the nice things in the world. First, he bought a Range Rover; next, he went shopping for a house. He decided to get a mortgage. He was approved for a loan, put a down payment, and bought a house in Utah for $260,000. Life was perfect for this rich 19-year-old. What could go wrong? Fighting demons inside While everything seemed perfect on the outside, on the inside, he was a wreck. He was a 19-year-old dad addicted to OxyContin. He was spending thousands of dollars every month to fuel his addiction. On top of that, he was still living a larger-than-life lifestyle spending more than he was making. Eventually, he had to get clean, which meant leaving Utah. His investment mistakes come to haunt him It was first when he had to sell the house after moving to Nevada that he realized the costly mistake he had made when buying his home. Daniel had put zero thought into his home purchase. He did not do any research. He just went on to buy the first house that looked good to him. When selling his home, he realized that he had bought a home in a bull market, and now the market had turned. Daniel ended up losing the house to a short sale losing all the money he had put into the house. Had he done his research, he’d known to rent instead of buying and would have avoided making his worst investment mistake ever. Lessons learned Understand your investment before you invest Do your research before buying a house. Understand the interest, the current market, and future market projections. This kind of information will let you know whether your investment is viable or not. Have an exit strategy When investing your money in a house, think about how long you intend to stay in your new home and how moving in the future will affect your selling price. Andrew’s takeaways Forget the keeping up with the Joneses idea Keeping up with the Joneses is a fallacy that needs to be thrown out the window and instead create sustainable success. Create your own success; that’s based upon what works for you. Don’t be driven by what society defines as success, because, if you get caught up in that, you’ll be chasing a dream that leads you to emptiness or disaster. Don’t compare other people’s outsides to your inside Everybody is messed up, even the people that appear to have it all together. So when thinking about how to invest your money, don’t fall for what you see when you look at other people; focus on what you have. Try to overcome your addiction If you have an addiction, and you don’t overcome it, your problems will only get worse. Actionable advice Do more research and know your options before you buy a house. Don’t buy without putting thought into it. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Daniel’s goal for the next 12 months is to get his book out there. The book is about the power of self-directed retirement accounts and how people could get more creative and access money in their IRAs and 401
Feb 25, 2020
Rayson Choo – Learn About the Product First, That’s Your Insurance
37:26 (Rayson Choo) is a Transformation Catalyst. What he does for a living is pick the brains of the best entrepreneurs in this world such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, and others to find out simple and effective steps that millennials can take to experience success in the swiftest and most effective way possible. He does this through (podcasting), where he helps millennials to experience personal transformation from the tips that they need to move forward.   “Just being friends with multi-millionaires won’t make you successful. What makes you successful is applying the knowledge that they have imparted to you.” Rayson Choo   Worst investment ever Starting his entrepreneurship journey Rayson met a gentleman about three years ago, and they quickly became friends. Rayson found the friendship quite beneficial as they got along pretty well. They would attend all these seminars and conferences together. Often, they would discuss business and future projects and help each other out with the brainstorming. A caring friend lends a hand The gentleman happened to be a financial service provider, and so one day he sat Rayson down and they discussed his financial plans. They also talked about the kind of insurance coverage that he had. It so happened that Rayson didn’t have any insurance. His friend told him that it was best he considered investing in insurance. He recommended an Investment-linked Insurance Policy (ILP). He explained to him that if he invests X amount, he will get a certain amount of money back. He promised that the monthly payment would increase in a couple of years, and the investment returns would come in as well. Trusting his good friend Because Rayson didn’t have any insurance at the moment, he thought, this could be a good thing. Having been good friends for a couple of years, Rayson put his trust in his friend and signed up right away without giving it much thought. His friend knew him well so definitely he was recommending something good for him. Rayson even went on to recommend him to his other friends, some who also signed up for the insurance policy. Never mix business with friendship Rayson was excited about his new investment and he would talk about it with his friends and podcast listeners. After a while, another friend, who is also a financial consultant, told him that the kind of insurance he’d signed up for wasn’t making financial sense. Rayson, confident in the friend who sold him the policy, rubbed this off as a case of one consultant being jealous of the other. One day he met up with a listener, and as they were talking about the podcast they happened to also talk about affordable insurance. Rayson told the listener about his, and the doubts his friend has been having about it. The listener drew the insurance plan down for him and it all made sense now. It became clear that his friend had duped him into signing up for a policy that would see himself benefit more than Rayson would. It made the most sense to cancel the insurance policy right away even though the friendship was, obviously, not salvaged. At this point, Rayson had already made thousands of dollars in payments, and all he could get back was 1,000 Singapore dollars. To add salt into injury, he had to use that money to pay the remaining term of the insurance policy. Lessons learned Never allow your emotions to affect your buying power Don’t use your emotions to buy anything as it affects your buying power. Investing in anything to blindly support a friend is a no-no. Treat this investment with caution just as you would any other. Ask yourself, why do you need that product? Is it only to support the person selling it? Or is it because that product is really useful to you? Educate yourself about the product first Before you go and sign up for anything, do your research and learn as much as you can about the product you’re about to invest in.
Feb 23, 2020
Danielle Rocco – Find Your Place in Life and Know Your Self Worth
19:00 (Danielle “Dani” Rocco) is a mother, wife, and lifelong entrepreneur. Growing up as a professional ballerina developed her commitment and dedication to everything that life has to offer. As an adult, her athletic skills transferred and assisted in her becoming a successful business owner. At the age of 18, she started working for her family's gymnastics school and took the company from bankruptcy to financial abundance. After 23 years of being the CEO, Dani left her family business to follow her passion as a life coach and relationship expert. She started working with CEOs but soon realized her heart and mission was serving the US military and veterans. She is the author of Devoted to a Soldier & co-author with Les Brown of Own Your Dreams, co-author of 1 Habit. She created an Academy called Next Level of You, is a TV show host, a documentary producer of the documentary (Devoted to a Soldier), speaker, and Life Insurance Specialist specializing in serving veterans and military.   “You can't create abundance when you're living for somebody else, and somebody else's dreams.” Dani Rocco   Worst investment ever Starting her entrepreneurial journey Dani’s journey to entrepreneurship started when she was 16 after she got pregnant with her son. Being a teenage mother created a mindset that she wasn’t valuable enough. For this reason, she was always trying to be better. This way, she felt less judged. At the time, she was living alone with her son and worked hard to make it in life. Pledging her loyalty to her family When she was 18, her father asked her to work for the family business and she agreed. It sounded like a good plan. She could take her son with her to work and also manage to go to college. Dani comes from a strong Italian family, where loyalty is a lifelong requirement. Family comes first, no questions asked. So for 23 years, she ran the family business together with her brother. It was her duty and honor to serve and be everything for her father. Losing her identity Dani and her brother went on to work their tails off and did everything they could so that her dad could have the life that he had worked for. Along the way, she lost her identity while trying to be of service to her family. At one time, she was involved in a terrible car accident and was paralyzed in bed. She would go in and out of consciousness but she still kept working even when bedridden. Rethinking her purpose During the time she was bedridden, she’d often think about her life wondering whether she was happy. She loved having money, loved taking care of her dad in his old age, and running a successful family business. However, she felt dead inside, like she was just walking through this earth. She, however, didn’t do anything about it. Realizing her self worth About two years after the accident, Dani and her brother finally left the family business. At this point, she didn’t know her self-value. She had never learned to figure out her value. All her life, all she did was to take care of her son, her parents and the family business. She’d never worked for anybody her whole life, and now she had to start her life over again. She started coaching CEOs, and it was great. She was making good money and getting offered to travel all over the world. She loved it! But, at the time, she was married and had six children. Her new job didn't quite align with being married and having six children. But she kept going and ignored herself and what’s truly important to her. Her marriage fell apart. Time to choose Dani loved her husband very much, and soon enough, she realized that she was throwing her relationship away by choosing money over her husband. That was her biggest mistake ever. Luckily, she had a little bit of foresight and when she realized what was important to her, she picked her husband. She just had to pick herself and their relationship....
Feb 20, 2020
Sampath Mallidi – Your Startup Should Always Have Paying Customers
26:22 (Sampath Mallidi) is the Founder and CEO of (Intandemly), a successful startup that helps organizations execute Account-based Sales through their software. Bootstrapped and formed in 2017, Intandemly has been profitable since year 1. Today, more than 200 organizations from 10+ countries use Intandemly to generate sales in the five figures! Sampath is an MBA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with an obsession for entrepreneurship, sales, and salsa.   “Cash is not the king. Cash flow is the king, so always have paying customers.” Sampath Mallidi   Worst investment ever The aha moment Before starting, Intandemly, Sampath worked two jobs, both in sales. But it was in the second job that he got his aha moment. Having been in B2B sales for all this time, he felt there was a need for an affordable account-based sales software for Small and Medium-sized Businesses. And if he could help them execute high quality targeted outreach to customers, he would be making an impact. So together with his then-boss, they formed Intandemly. They felt great about the new startup company, but they had no money. Knocking hard on doors Sampath went out knocking on doors, speaking to lots of potential prospects pitching his new platform and showing them how his platform would give them a higher ROI. He met about 20 companies and three of these loved his idea. Wearing his heart on his sleeve Sampath went out on a limb and told the three companies interested in his software that he had no money to develop the software for them. He asked them to pay him upfront. He used the money as his starting capital and put together a team of developers that started working on his idea. Soon enough, he delivered the software to the three customers who had put their faith in him. From there on, he continued meeting as many customers as possible. That’s how he was able to fund the company and in exactly a year and a half after starting the startup, they were at a pretty comfortable stage with roughly 50 to 70 customers. The startup becomes a household name The startup was now performing well, and he had investors interested in investing in startups approaching him. He got the company valued and got a $9 million valuation. From not having any funds to come into a $9 million valuation that was huge for Sampath. One gentleman that comes from a pretty big background took notice of the company and wanted to take a little stake in the company. And he was ready to invest immediately. So the deal was that he would be pumping in money two months after giving him the go-ahead. Thinking big With the anticipation of getting good funding from the gentleman, the company changed its entire strategy and started thinking very big. They had all these huge strategies that they were going to implement with the money. They spent all the money they had in the bank because they knew a lot of funds were coming. They even had a grand party with all the employees. The deal that never was One day as Sampath was coming back from the temple, he got a message from the gentleman saying that he was ill and would not invest in the company. Sampath went numb. He was in total shock and didn’t know how to react for a day. It took him a day before he could try connecting back with the gentleman. However, after a lot of thought, he decided that he would not try to convince the investor to give him money. Instead, he decided to go out and look for customers just as he had done in the past, something that had brought him huge success. So he wore his shoes, got into his car, and started meeting as many people as possible. This was Sampath’s worst phase and the worst investment in terms of time. For the three months, he was in talks with the ‘investor’ he had stopped looking out for customers. Instead, he was more focused on restructuring the organization and lost his original focus. Now he had to...
Feb 18, 2020
Adam Dollner – Don’t Be Afraid to Cancel a Project If It’s Not Going to Plan
19:27 (Adam Dollner) is a skillful international tech & travel/tourism specialist, speaker, and possibility creator with an entrepreneurial mindset. He has visited more than 70 countries and contributed his tech skills to more than 850 small or medium-sized businesses worldwide. His passion is to create opportunities, moving people and improving lives around the world by leveraging the latest technology. He is also the CEO/Founder of (HubLearn). He is passionate about using innovation and the technology of tomorrow to make people’s lives easier. Before leaving his corporate job and starting HubLearn, Adam had a lead role in building streaming services such as HBO Nordic, Blockbuster, and others in Denmark’s biggest telco company the (TDC Group). Adam has spent the last two years in Thailand & East Africa, sharing knowledge on the use of technology in various industries. Now he is based in Bangkok.   “Don’t listen to too many people. You're the one who lives with the consequences of your actions. So believe in yourself.” Adam Dollner   Worst investment ever Giving up the corporate world to be an entrepreneur After many years of working in the corporate world, Adam decided to quit and start his current company LearnHub. HubLearn was an idea that came up to him while in Africa. His goal was to create a hub that would guide people towards learning possibilities such as online education and help them step into the future of social learning. So he started doing some research and went further to contact some developers. He got in touch with a couple of them, and there was this one consultancy that caught his eye. It was a team of 16 developers with a point of contact who said all the magical words. Adam was blown away and decided to work with them. Getting the idea off the ground Adam was careful to make sure that the new team of developers clearly understood his idea, so they had back and forth discussions about the project. They discussed the idea of having a platform that allowed online, offline, and in-person development. A platform that could also allow someone to sponsor a learner while being able to track their funding. Where they can see the person, they’re sponsoring and be fully aware of what they would do with the funding received. So together, they developed all that on the paper. After about half a year of finetuning the project requirements, the point man told him that the team was ready to get started. However, they needed some money upfront. Because he had confidence in his idea and the team, he transferred US$10,000 to the consultancy. Adam couldn’t help but envision all the people whose lives he was going to change. His BS radar wasn’t so strong after all Adam’s earlier position in the corporate job was that of the Bulldog that usually challenges salespeople and calls them out on their BS. So he could easily filter out rogue salespeople, or so he believed. Somehow this one consultancy passed right through his filter. As soon as the money hit their bank account, they went quiet. Eventually, they got back to him with the shoddiest work he’d ever seen. All they presented him was a one-page website. Their excuse; they didn't understand the project as he envisioned it and, therefore, couldn't do it in that way. They claimed that he’d said something different at certain times. Adam was confused because all the drawings were there and they’d spoken about it for a year. He decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and waited for them to give them another go. They asked for more money which he sent. One and a half years later, he still had nothing. Eventually, he cut them off and nearly had to close HubLearn and go bankrupt. And so his worst investment was not to cut them off straight away as well as transferring money before seeing a product which saw him over US$10,000. He had options all along After he
Feb 13, 2020
Ed Latimore – Well Begun is Half Done – Get Your Relationships Right from the Start
50:50 (Ed Latimore) is a former professional boxer and a veteran of the United States Army National Guard. He holds a B.A. in Physics from Duquesne University and has written two Amazon Best Selling books. Millions of people have learned from Ed's insights and experiences through his writing. He teaches the lessons he has learned via his unique path through life at his blog, "The Mind and Fist" at He also delivers daily wisdom and observations on Twitter (@EdLatimore).   “If you just work and gradually improve and you're not afraid to take criticism and suffer, you're eventually going to get better.” Ed Latimore   Worst investment ever Blinded by heartbreak At 22 years of age, Ed found himself out of the longest relationship in his life. He was a mess, and without much thought, he found himself in the arms of another woman. Blinded by the emotional loss, he felt from the broken relationship, Ed jumped right into another relationship without getting to know the woman first. It didn’t matter to him that she was dating someone else when they met. It didn’t matter to him that her attitude seemed off. All he cared about was that he found her attractive. He just wanted to be with someone who wanted him. Her true colors start to show A few weeks into the relationship, Ed realized that his girlfriend was emotionally manipulative and did her best to isolate him from his friends. They would get into constant arguments but he kept going back to her because he found her attractive. Here comes the bombshell Not too long after they started dating, Ed’s girlfriend dropped the bomb on him; she was pregnant. Ed was distraught! Not only did he doubt the child was his because he came to learn that she had other partners, but also, he was not in a position to raise a child. He was just 22, broke, and living with his mum. Living in misery Ed being the good guy he is, didn’t abandon his girlfriend. She moved in with him at his mum’s house. Things, however, got worse. She was cheating on him, was always criticizing him and continued to manipulate him emotionally. Ed was so miserable and emotionally drained but he stayed and hoped things would get better but they only got worse. Having the guts to leave Ed wanted to leave the situation, but he felt trapped. His poor financial status made him feel useless and worthless. He didn’t have much to offer, financially, so he stayed so that he could continue living with his mom. It was a miserable situation. One day he woke up and realized that he was either going to lose his mind or do something that he’d live to regret for the rest of his life. After the worst fight with his girlfriend, he mastered the courage to leave the toxic relationship eventually. He vowed that with his next relationship, he would take his time to choose right and not let heartbreak lead him to another bad relationship. Lessons learned Vet the people you get into a relationship with Get your relationships right from the very beginning. You’ve got to make sure you pick people the right way. Ensure that you have a vetting process. Don’t date people just because the opportunity presents itself. Be observant You can learn quite a lot about a person by simply observing the little things once you know how to connect them and what they mean. Don’t be afraid to have high standards It's better to have high standards and lose a few potentially good people but block out all the bad ones than to lower your standards and have way too many bad ones. Be discerning Don’t ever be willing to stay in a situation any longer than you have to. Never get attached to something you can’t walk away from. Andrew’s takeaways Breakups are ugly for everybody Make a list of what you want in a partner and follow your list When the writing is on the wall, read it Actionable advice Get a monetizable skill set. You may go hard at the gym, look as good...
Feb 06, 2020
Ryan Roghaar – Develop an Onboarding Process and Follow up to Avoid Losses
26:41 (Ryan Roghaar) (Ro gar) is a serial entrepreneur, award-winning creative director, podcaster, author, and a business owner committed to building authentic end-to-end relationships for his clients—top management to the top consumer. His unique philosophy puts specific importance on human relationships and their inherent value in both business and in life. He believes that as a society, we are reaching a kind of technological saturation point which is leaving consumers anxious and yearning for tactile human experiences, and it is that core ethic that fuels his purpose—to bring people together. ‍From his office in Salt Lake City, Utah, or occasionally from his office-away-from-home in Barcelona, Spain, Ryan will offer enlightening insights on a huge range of topics in his humorous and engaging style. Relationships, business, design, art, creativity, marketing, podcasting, remote work, coworking, the music business, travel and the life of a digital nomad—Ryan has lived and studied them all—and he is happy to share his insights and experiences to help others explore fresh perspectives on business, lifestyle and new ways of working.   “As a contractor, not having the safety of contracts, agreements, a client onboarding process, you are wide open for abuse, and there's very little you can do about it.” Ryan Roghaar   Worst investment ever Delving into a new space Ryan’s marketing and advertising company deals with different clients in different industries. Finding new work is the norm for the company. So when a friend referred a client to them in need of their services, it was nothing new. The client, however, was in Cannabidiol (CBD) and medical marijuana, a market the company had never dealt with. Nevertheless, they were quite excited to try this market. Going against his intuition and better judgment Ryan did a couple of sales interviews with stakeholders in the company, and it was all going well until, eventually, he met the CEO. He immediately had a bad gut feeling about the guy's character. His intuition made him doubt the CEO but he looked the other way. Ryan went against what nature was telling him and pursued the relationship anyway. Blinded by desperation At the time, Ryan’s company was in great need of a win so they were a little bit blinded by some desperation. They had bills to pay, people to pay, and other business operating costs that had to be taken care of. So, this one time Ryan decided to overlook his intuition because the company needed the money. Unlike with other clients, they jumped right into work without dealing with the legal nitty-gritty first. They didn't follow their client onboarding process and had no agreements or contracts in place. So even though they had rules when signing up a new client, they didn't follow them, they just quickly jumped on their projects and went right to work. But, everything seemed to be working out fine. The client didn’t complain about their rates and was paying on time. Changing the project midway At some point, they decided to make a big packaging change. They were up against a deadline, as the client was going to pitch some large pharmacies and other pharmaceutical companies to try and get their new CBD products out on the market. They had just a few days until this pitch and had to get everything done. At this point, they had a great relationship with the client. So they threw everything at it. They hired copywriters, designers, web developers, and marketers to try and build up this whole campaign and be prepared for this multi-million dollar sale. They used all the resources they had to run this project, running up the bill while at it. A job well done After significant investment and throwing many hands at it, they got the job done on time. The client went ahead to do the pitch as planned, and it went well, they won the business. Here come the crickets After getting the work done, which was...
Jan 30, 2020
Joachim Klement – 7 Mistakes Every Investor Makes (And How to Avoid Them)
For the first time in this podcast's history, we’re having a guest come on the show a second time! For the long-time listener, you may remember today’s guest’s story of loss in episode 41 Diversification: The Best Insurance Against any Investment Burst. (Joachim Klement) experienced his worst investment in the early 2000s during the Dotcom bubble after investing in a tech fund. Sharing his story on our podcast inspired him to write the book (7 Mistakes Every Investor Makes (And How to Avoid Them): A Manifesto for Smarter Investing). It’s a huge pleasure to have him back on the show. In this episode, he will walk through the 7 mistakes he talks about in his book. Guest profile Joachim Klement is a research analyst and former Chief Investment Officer with 20 years’ experience in financial markets. He spent most of his career working with wealthy individuals and family offices, advising them on investments and helping them manage their portfolios. Joachim studied mathematics and physics at the (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, and graduated with a master’s degree in mathematics. During his time at ETH, Joachim experienced the technology bubble of the late 1990s firsthand. Through this work, he became interested in finance and investments and studied business administration at the Universities of Zurich and Hagen, Germany, graduating with a master’s degree in economics and finance and switching into the financial services industry in time for the run-up to the financial crisis. 7 Mistakes Every Investor Makes (And How to Avoid Them): A Manifesto for Smarter Investing (Seven Mistakes Every Investor Makes (And How to Avoid Them)) calls upon years of experience and scientific research to deliver expert insight into the most common mistakes plaguing investors. From there, Klement outlines his personal tools and techniques, developed, refined, and successfully implemented over many years in the finance industry, to help avoid and mitigate such mistakes. His ultimate aim: to help you help yourself. The mistakes covered include forecasting, short- and long-term orientation, repeating past errors, confirmation bias, not delegating to experts, and blind trust of traditional assumptions. Seven Mistakes Every Investor Makes (And How to Avoid Them) is a must-have guide for every investor. Packed with scientific research and personal wisdom, this book draws together the most common investing mistakes to practically revealing how to overcome and eliminate them. Don’t make another avoidable mistake by missing out on this book.   “I think artificial intelligence and other new tools built on big data analysis will help us get better, but they're not gonna make us redundant. And they're not going to end finance.” Joachim Klement   Mistake No. 1: Forecasting Forecasting is an exercise in futility. One technique to improve your forecasting is just to assume that the dollar will be in one year where it is today. There is lots of empirical evidence out there that this “forecast” is better than the consensus forecast and better than about 95% of all analysts in this world. The same thing is true of interest rates and stock markets. Joachim presents a few techniques on how to get better when it comes to your investment forecasts, which eventually you have to make because investing is not about the past but the future. Mistake No. 2: Short-termism People are too short-term oriented in their investment decisions. They chase performance. They go in and out of stocks constantly. This results in a lot of transaction costs, even in the world of discount brokerages. The transaction costs accumulate and the performance gets worse. Just the very fact that you go from A to B and back to A and then to C and then to D and then to another stock cost you a lot of money and...
Jan 28, 2020
Jim Maffuccio – Forget Location, in Real Estate Timing Is Everything
32:09 (Jim Maffuccio) (Ma fuchi oh) has enjoyed a long and successful career in real estate and has some battle scars to prove it. Today, as Founder and Principal of Aspen Funds, he’s drawing on his over 30 years of real estate experience in a way that many haven't discovered. Jim has become an expert on mortgage notes and is helping investors earn high yields every month without the built-in volatility of traditional investment options.   “If you launch off on a cockeyed idea that you haven't gotten counsel from others, haven't done your homework and the timing is bad, you can persist all you want but I'm sorry, it's not going to work.” Jim Maffuccio   Worst investment ever Thrice a fool Jim was sitting at his kitchen table in Ventura, still working for a big oil company that gave him job security and a huge salary. He had just got his real estate license and started putting together deals for a couple of friends. He did some real quick math and said, “Man, I'm gonna make more money on these two real estate deals when they close than I'm making in a quarter of a year working.” Too fast too soon Without any more research or experience, Jim pulled the ripcord and bailed out the corporation. Within a week, both of those deals went south. He made nothing, and now he was jobless. Not one to give up easily Jim found another way to get a few more deals in his pipeline. He started doing transactional real estate helping buyers and sellers find and sell their homes. He hooked up with a friend who had some experience in real estate. They decided to delve into land development. The timing was just right They started subdividing some land, did their first home project, and hit the 1988/89 cycle right. The prices were going up and they ended up doing well with that first project. Full of vigor, they went out and acquired a bunch of other lands and started their next projects. Forgot to keep up with the current affairs Jim and his partner were so excited about their success that they forgot to keep up with current affairs. The S&L crisis hit them unawares. They had bought all this land, and just as the market had gone up pretty rapidly, now it was turning a corner pretty fast. Time wasn’t on their side anymore The problem with a development project is that it takes a long time to get your approvals, and you don't have any control over that timeline. Jim and his partner were raising money pulling the land together, putting all the pieces together, designing the project, hiring architects and land planners, and working hard to present their product to a market that they didn’t even know if it would exist by the time they were finished. Rethinking the plan They had to redesign the project to an affordable housing situation. They broke ground in their project in 1994 just after the recession. It was terrible timing for them. They had this beautiful, wonderful little development of homes but couldn’t help but watch the ship go down. The other production builders that had much deeper pockets came in and slashed their prices by $40,000 a house. Jim and his partner couldn't make money at that rate, so they ended up closing up shop. He lost everything including investors’ money, time and some friendships. Oh boy, he never learns Jim and his partner decided to jump back in the ring and try to fight the battle again. This time around, they aimed at affordable housing. They leveraged up again and got tons of land and had projects going in Southern California. Then the subprime crisis hit in 2008, but they kept going. This time the crisis sunk them twice as deep and it went down as Jim’s worst investment ever. He lost everything and found himself bankrupt in 2009. He had just moved to the Midwest, had five teenagers living at home and was in his mid-50s. Time to retool, finally! He finally decided to play it smart, which resulted in (Aspen Funds),...
Jan 26, 2020
Whitney Hansen – Do Your Own Research to Gain a Basic Understanding
21:27 (Whitney Hansen) teaches millennials how to pay off debt and gain financial independence. She gives them the tools to have more fun with money while sprinkling in a little silliness. She’s got a Master’s in Business, a Bachelor’s in Accounting, experienced paying off debt ($30,000 in 10 months), and a true “started from the bottom” story. When she is not writing about money and creating financial plans for others, she can be found taking spontaneous road trips, reading in coffee shops, or mentoring other entrepreneurs. She is also a podcast host for (The Money Nerds Podcast), where she gets to interview cool people and hear their secrets to financial success.   “Never, ever make any decisions in your financial life until you do your own research and try to get a basic understanding. I think that is rule number one for any financial decision.” Whitney Hansen   Worst investment ever Blindly trusting others did not serve her well At an early age of 18, Whitney opened up her investing account and hired a big broker firm. As she was looking at her statement one year, she noticed that she was in the hole. Not because her stocks had gone down. They were higher, but because the fees were getting so high, and she didn't even realize that she was paying a 7% fee! She admitted that when she first started investing, she had no idea about these fees and how it affected her investment. Ignorance did not serve her well either Whitney also shared that during her early years, she had financed a family car. Without any knowledge about cars, she, of course, trusted the car dealer and bought one. She did the best she could to make the monthly payments. After a couple of months, the engine blew and the car could not be used anymore. That’s when she realized that people would sometimes lie to make a sale and her ignorance did not serve her well. The common denominator to her failures Whitney realized that all those lessons combined taught her to not blindly trust professionals. Now, before making big financial decisions, she always does her homework diligently and to lean into her intuition. Lessons learned Do your own research and try to get a basic understanding Never, ever make any decisions in your financial life until you do your own research and try to get a basic understanding. I think that is rule number one for any financial decision. Andrew’s takeaways Compound interest is all about getting your money in and keeping it in We’ve all seen that chart that shows the exponential rise caused by compound interest. Always remember that the exponential rise doesn't start occurring until around year 20. So, one of the highest priorities when it comes to investing is getting your money in and keeping it in. One of the six key ways that people make mistakes or lose money is a misplaced trust When you trust the wrong people, your investment will likely fail. Don’t try to close the knowledge gap As an investor, you don’t need to close that gap but to understand that the knowledge gap exists and look for an ethical person that's not going to take advantage of it. It is the investor’s right to ask and get an answer that you can understand You have a right to understand the fees that you're being charged. And if you do not understand that, you have a right to ask for an explanation that you can understand. Actionable advice Do your own research and make sure you understand what you're getting into. But do not over research because even if there are mistakes that you’ll make, being in the financial game, investing, and taking those risks, that's where you're going to find success. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Whitney excitedly shared that she’s dying to build a cabin in the mountains of Idaho and rent it on Airbnb when it's officially ready. Parting words   “Just take action and stay on your budget when you're with your big...
Jan 19, 2020
Justin Tamsett – Take Care of Your Health First to Not Lose Your Business
33:13 (Justin Tamsett) is Australia’s most awarded fitness business speaker and is recognized internationally as a thought leader who delivers in a unique style and with quality content. He will have you challenge how you do things as he believes we should #thinkanddodifferent to grow the fitness industry. After 30 years in the amazing fitness industry, he shares practical ideas from inside and outside the industry with a focus on ideas that can be implemented immediately. He has trained in over 400 fitness facilities since 2015 as a casual visitor to get the true consumer experience. Justin has delivered over 353 presentations since 1999 across 21 countries and to over 210,300 fitness business owners, managers, team members, and entrepreneurs. He is the only speaker to speak 20 consecutive years at Filex in Australia and for 15 consecutive years at (IHRSA) in the USA. The people who attend his sessions help him achieve his why: To have more people move and move more often to reduce the health care costs across the globe.   “You can still be an entrepreneur, be successful. But that success will be a whole lot more enjoyable when you’re alive and healthy.” Justin Tamsett   Worst investment ever Doing what he loves and loving what he does As an entrepreneur, Justin always wanted to own a business, specifically a gym. He started as a personal trainer but had a goal to have his gym before he was 25. His determination and focus also saw him open his first gym when he was 25. One thing about Justin that stood out is that he loved what he did. He loved working in a gym and owning a gym. He loved it so much that he would get there at the crack of dawn and leave after the sun had gone down. Some days he was the first person in the gym and the last one out. He never considered it work. He went on to open a second gym. The gym owner who never worked out The irony of it all was that even though he owned two gyms, he never worked out. He never took time for himself; he was always working. Because he loved working so much, he never realized that he was pushing himself too much. His body didn’t love his job as much At some point, he started getting some really bad abdominal pain, but he didn’t worry about it or thought it was anything serious. The abdominal pain also came with some fairly unpleasant toilet visits. Again, he didn't think it was anything serious. And being a man, he decided to keep it secret thinking this was just something that would pass shortly. The toil took him down Despite the pain, he kept working hard every day doing what he loved most. However, he couldn’t keep it together for long. One day when he was on holiday with his wife, he had a strong urge to use the toilet. He just had to go. Fortunately, there was a toilet nearby. His whole insides almost exploded in the toilet bowl. His wife insisted that he had to get checked as soon as they got back home from the holidays. He finally went to the doctors and was diagnosed with a chronic illness called ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis is similar to an ulcer or abrasion you would get in your mouth but on your colon. So every time you go to the toilet, it takes a layer of your colon, and so you pass blood. In the 1940s and 50s, ulcerative colitis was one of the biggest killers in Australia. Not because there was no cure but because people would bleed to death. They were too embarrassed to talk about it or see a doctor about it. The healing and learning process Lucky for Justin, he was able to get medical assistance before the disease could get any worse. However, he had to stay away from a business that he thought was everything to regain his health. It was during the healing process that he learned that while he had invested everything in running a successful business, his worst investment that could have cost him everything he’d worked so hard for, was taking his...
Jan 16, 2020
Erik Seversen – In Startup Investing Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
“Ordinary to Extraordinary” is something Erik Seversen lives by, and he’s been pretty successful at it. Born into an average, lower-middle-class family, Erik received no support from school counselors and others, but he didn’t let them crush his desire to accomplish amazing things. Erik also took life experiences, like rejection from his dream school, UCLA, and turned them into challenges to overcome. He eventually did get into UCLA. Erik studied Anthropology and used it in business to help the company he works grow from a value of $7 million to over $100 million in 10 years. He also taught English as a Second Language for 10 years in Japan, France, Thailand, and universities within the US. He has traveled to over 80 countries around the world and 49 states in the US. He has ridden a motorcycle on six continents and crossed the US on one twice. Erik also climbs mountains, having summited the highest peak of eight countries and five states. He even once had a machine gun stuck in his mouth in Nigeria.   “You can have the best of the best working together, but to create that right thing and that recipe that really creates the right taste and the right success, there has to be synergy.” Erik Seversen   Worst investment ever The perfect ingredients for a perfect business Erik knew a friend who was putting an idea of a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles into action. Since this friend had been working with a lot of restaurant projects before, Erik was very excited about the concept. When his friend was looking for a head chef, Erik referred someone he knew who has published a best-selling book on cooking vegan. With the perfect duo working on the restaurant, things started happening. They raised enough money to take the project off the ground and started running it. The investors were really happy to see the business moving forward. The clash of the flavors Suddenly, the business was not making the numbers they’d projected. The perfect team which Erik helped create didn’t mix. And the supposed wonders that were expected from the dream team didn’t happen as planned. What happened was that their financial guy who was supposed to be in charge of the money and finances started making creative decisions that were supposed to be the job of the head chef. The head chef, on the other hand, wanted to make financial decisions. So, all of these things that each of them knew how to do, when they couldn't stick to what they know and just let things happen, things went south. The second wave of failure There was a second round of funding that Erik and his team used to keep the restaurant alive for a little longer. They invested the money into a new location in a prime location. They went for it because they thought that there was going to be 1,600 units of prime customers living in the same building as their restaurant. In the end, over half of the units were bought as a secondary home. So rather than having 1,600 units, half stood empty. In the end, Erik left and was shocked that with all of the ingredients - some of the smartest people and the best chefs he knew, they couldn't make a go of this restaurant. Lessons learned Having a bigger role in the business can prevent conflicts By having a bigger role in the business, rather than being a spectator, you will probably notice immediately the personality conflicts and prevent any impending clash that will take a toll on the business. Do your homework diligently Doing your due diligence is a basic tenet in investment. Failing to do it diligently will always get you into trouble. Synergy is a key to success You can have the best of the best working together, but to be successful, there has to be synergy. Andrew’s takeaways Bring your team together to achieve a common goal You can have the best of the best on a team, but you will never win unless they are given the direction and the support to work together to achieve a common goal. Find the right location for...
Jan 14, 2020
Mathew Frederick – Learn to Say No to Investment Opportunities that Don’t Feel Right
With 28 years of experience in real estate investing, there is not a strategy that Mathew Frederick has not executed, which includes residential, commercial, new development, raising capital, offshore, and coaching. Mathew started in residential income property then expanded to buy-fix-sell, lease option, commercial buildings, and new development projects. Mathew has had the lead on renovating 50 plus properties, has experience with building 240 houses, and 3 low-rise condo buildings. He now focuses on teaching people how to manage commercial portfolios, including plazas and multi-family buildings, plus coaching investors in real estate and business acquisition. Mathew’s mindset is one of always learning. This has resulted in him being able to develop alternative and creative approaches while mentoring investors.   “Sometimes, you have to learn to say no. I knew that it was not the right deal. I knew I couldn't oversee it. It was not the right time. I knew he was not the right person. But I did it to try to rescue him.” Mathew Frederick   Worst investment ever An investment to save a friend Mathew bought five properties as his friend who needed capital promised him that he would do the necessary renovations to resell these properties for a larger amount in the market. The friend ensured Mathew that he had the resources to make these renovations and that they would make good money from it. Unfortunately, once things started, Mathew immediately realized that his friend lied about the resources he had, and things got a little out of hand. In the end, when there was no money in it for his friend, he walked away. A mistake made by an expert Mathew’s intuition was telling him that there was something off with this investment, but abandoning the basics of investment, he still went through with it. True enough, when the US markets fell, and the economy collapsed, Mathew’s properties were greatly affected. This included the five properties he invested in with his friend. Fortunately, he was able to sell three properties out of the five. The two remaining were being rented out because he couldn’t sell them at that time. All the greatest renovations for resale ended up being tarnished because he didn't harden them for rental. So, by the time he did sell the properties, all that extra value was not there anymore. Lessons learned Surround yourself with people who are responsible If you are a responsible person and you circle yourself with people who are not, they will pull you down. Always monitor if your people are doing their jobs If you know already that there are jobs not done right or not done on time, do not waste time and correct it immediately. Do not compensate for people’s shortfalls just because you have lots of experience Even though you are an expert in that field or industry, do not forget to go back to the basics. Andrew’s takeaways Remember all the elements in investing with other people The first element is that if you don’t trust the person, walk away. The second element is that the idea must be something that excites you. The third element is that the person you trusted must be able to execute such an idea. Lastly, always avoid being the only money provider. Experts diversify One of the biggest mistakes amateur investors commit is that they put all their money into one basket. If you’re experienced enough in the business, you know the importance of diversification. Always keep your cool When you are in a mess, try to keep a peaceful mind before making a decision. Actionable advice Sometimes you have to learn to say no. If your intuition is telling you that it’s not the right deal and it’s not the right person to oversee such a project, you can always politely decline. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Mathew wants to spend time educating people. His number one goal is to help people to forgive themselves for their failures, learn to appreciate their successes without feeling guilty,
Jan 12, 2020
Roger Dooley – Ask for Feedback to Avoid the Sunk Cost Fallacy
30:16 (Roger Dooley) is an author and international keynote speaker. His books include FRICTION – The Untapped Force That Can Be Your Most Powerful Advantage and Brainfluence: 100 Ways To Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing. He writes the popular blog Neuromarketing as well as a columnist at Forbes. He is the founder of (Dooley Direct), a marketing consultancy, and co-founded College Confidential, the leading college-bound website. He's been a serial entrepreneur since he left a senior strategy position at a Fortune 1000 company to enter the then-nascent home computer market. Also, you can check his podcast entitled The Brainfluence Podcast.   “We all have a tendency that if we're in a situation that is somewhat comfortable, we keep investing our time in that when we really shouldn't. We should say, ‘Okay, a year from now, this is not going to be any better; it is time to pull the plug and do something else.’” Roger Dooley   Worst investment ever Investing in a company that does not want to be obsolete Way back in the early days of home computers, Roger co-founded a business that focused on getting software, accessories and other products to the early owners of home computers. For years, Roger grew the business to a quite substantial size. But for the last five years, they began to level out and saw that the market was changing which made some of their original product areas defunct. Instead of looking for an exit before becoming obsolete, Roger stayed with the business and managed to run it for a couple more years. And in those years, the business never grew nor had experienced big financial losses. It just existed in the market in comfortable inertia. Money can be recovered but time can’t After 13 years, Roger realized that it was time to exit. Although he had no substantial losses from that investment, he felt like he was trapped for years in a situation that never paid off long term. This was for him his worst investment as it took so much of his time, which he can never get back. Yes, he invested money in that business, but for him, money lost can always be recovered. Lessons learned Treat time as money The same attitude you put in investing your money applies to time. If you are putting so much time and money into a business to keep it going and you realized at some point that it is not working, do not be afraid to pull the plug and exit. Find a way to exit it and keep yourself whole Ask yourself what to do to change the trajectory of the situation you are currently on. Even if it’s risky, maybe breaking it is better than just limping along for another few years. Andrew’s takeaways A strong company can die slowly Always be careful because you may be going down a slope and not even noticing it. Time lost can never be retrieved Time may be more precious than money because one can always recover from a financial loss but one cannot retrieve the time lost. Actionable advice Evaluate where you are periodically and take stock of where you are investing your time now. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Roger will continue to keep promoting the ideas in his book FRICTION. He’s already booked for speeches around the world and workshops focused on the idea of how you can improve customer experience and employee experience by focusing on friction and making things easier. Parting words   “Just keep evaluating where you are and try and be as dispassionate as possible. You can never eliminate all your biases, but do your best.” Roger Dooley   Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence...
Jan 09, 2020
Peter Sainsbury – Use a Journal to Stay Self-aware When Making a Contrarian Investment
22:29 (Peter Sainsbury) is an investor in resource stocks and is also a commodity futures trader. In an attempt to help others, he wrote two books aimed at investors - Commodities: 50 Things You Really Need To Know and Crude Forecasts: Predictions, Pundits & Profits In The Commodity Casino. At Materials Risk, he writes about what he observes in the world of markets, economics, and investing.   “I thought I was clever, but in many ways, I was making it much more complicated than it than it needed to be.” Peter Sainsbury   Worst investment ever Making a contrarian investment is exciting Peter always had an interest in gold and after his previous success, in early 2014, he bought shares in a mining company. He was very excited to have potentially found something that was being underappreciated by the broader market. During that time, he thought it would be interesting to make a contrarian investment. He took a position that went against the trend of the market, hopeful of gaining a comfortable leveraged exposure to gold and providing limited downside as well. Going for the kill With that play in mind, Peter was searching around different ways to apply it. While reading through various articles, one company kept on coming up and was making a buzz in social media. After making enough research of this company – looking at how it performed in the past years and the different gold price environments in the past, Peter decided to make a contrarian investment. Getting out of a position is harder than getting in However, the excitement didn’t last long because one problem after another started to pile up. First of all, the gold price kept on falling. Second, the company was based in a country where a change in political regime meant that the attitude towards mining became increasingly negative. In effect, the share price of the company was down around about 70%. Even with all these issues, it still took Peter quite a while to realize that he just made his worst investment ever. He admitted that getting out of a bad position and moving on was really hard. Lesson learned Do not put all your eggs in one basket Investing without diversification is like throwing money away. Diversification is beneficial as it reduces the risk and probably will bring you greater results. Avoid being pushed into action by the noise in the marketplace Learn how to be more critical of the articles and influences you get from social media and just financial media in general. Do your own research. Finding a simple way is the clever thing to do In the financial world, investors tend to make it complicated. However, keeping it simple may sometimes be a greater strategy. Andrew’s takeaways Always keep in mind liquidity because it is a major risk Don’t forget that sometimes, something may be liquid, and then when you need to sell it, it is not as liquid as it was in the past. Do not resist diversification Diversification is a better position than concentration. It is the simplest way to preserve and build wealth. When you feel like there is something wrong, get out immediately Knowing when there is something wrong and getting out of that bad position will save you from heartaches in the future. Actionable advice Make your own decisions, and don’t be swayed by what you read or see on financial TV. Do your own research and do it well. Make sure that what you're investing in is aligned to what you expect to see happen. Lastly, Peter suggests trying the tool he’s been using which is to keep a decision-making journal to track the actual process over time and keeps you aware when you deviate from the process. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Peter hopes to finish writing his new book, which will help one to be a critical media consumer and understanding those narratives that affect one’s decision making. Parting words   “It's never too late to try new things. Mistakes are inevitable but make...
Jan 07, 2020
Dante Vitoria – When an FBI Agent Tells You to Go to Breakfast, Do It
For over 30 years, (Dante Vitoria) has been running his firm the (Vitoria Group), which has broad experience working with companies of various sizes to fulfill its client's financial needs. The client base is extremely diverse, ranging from international money centers, domestic banks, insurance companies, and financial firms. The group provides a vast array of financial services specifically tailored to enable clients to meet their goals, the assistance direction and access to professional banking and other facilities.   “Know when to get in, but more importantly know when you're going to get out.” Dante Vitoria   Worst investment ever Getting into Wall Street After college, the dad to one of Dante’s friends asked him to come work for him at a small but very successful investment banking firm. Though he’d never thought about getting into finance he said yes. Experiencing his first stock investment About a month and a half into his first job a doctor in Florida named Stanley Chase came up with this idea where he’d take your blood test and pronounce you AIDS-free then give you a credit card to show your AIDS-free status. A lot of brokers were interested in the idea and even tried it out. They figured they could take the doctor’s idea public. The whole firm was behind the stock. Every broker from the rookie, to the 75-year-old retired guy who'd come every day and have a cup of coffee, was buying the stock. It was the greatest stock since IBM. Getting into everyone’s favorite stock Dante, not wanting to be left behind, took all the savings he had, about $50,000 and bought the stock which was selling below $12 a share. After about a month and a half, the stock was selling at double what Dante had bought it for. Playing sheep with his investment After he had doubled his money, Dante went to a stockbroker with a ticket to sell. The trader looked at him and said, “What's wrong with you? It doesn't get any better than this. Don't do this. Let's keep it. If anything happens I will tell you to get out.” Dante listened to the trader and kept his stock. A week later the stock was trading at $31. He still doesn’t sell it. Well, the trader had not yet called to advise time to sell, so he still held onto the stock. Here comes the FBI One Monday morning, Dante stepped off his office elevator and was met by a huge guy wearing a brown polyester suit with slicked black hair. The guy asked him if he was Vitoria to which he answered in the affirmative. The guy said he was the FBI and told him to go have breakfast they had no interest in him. Confused, Dante showed him the breakfast he was carrying and said he was good. The FBI told him to leave immediately and come back after lunch. So off he went. The office building was now full of cops, plainclothes detectives and the FBI. When he came back later, the firm had four people in it. Two secretaries, the chairman, and Dante. And just like that, he becomes the vice-chairman of a brokerage firm The chairman informed him that he was now the second most senior person in the firm. This automatically made him the vice-chairman of the firm, at 22 years. The stock goes bust Before he could get excited about being a vice-chairman, he remembered his investment portfolio. He asked the chairman about it and all he could tell him was to forget it. The stock he’d bought for $50,000 was now worth about 50 cents. This was certainly by far the worst investment Dante has ever made. Lessons learned Not every stock is good for you Just because a stock is great for your friend doesn't mean it's great for you. The reverse is also true. A stock might just be horrible for someone else but great for you. So do your homework and take the time to find out how good a stock is for your portfolio. Andrew’s takeaways Don’t bet on one stock Always be wary of betting on just one stock because you increase your chances...
Jan 05, 2020
Sarah Larbi – Build a Network of Successful Role Models to Avoid this Real Estate Investing Mistake
29:00 (Sarah Larbi) specializes in helping take the mystery out of homeownership for Canadians who thought real estate investing was out of reach. She has earned their trust and respect by having the drive and focus to embark, build and grow a seven-figure, 10 property investment portfolio by her early 30’s. Sarah’s goal is to inspire and train other fellow Canadian’s to realize their property-owning dreams by sharing her 7-step investing process through her online training programs. Her results-oriented approach has been featured in The Toronto Star, 1010 News Talk Radio, and Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine as well as numerous online media. She is an invited speaker at the Canadian Real Estate Wealth Investor Forum and is often a guest on numerous North American finance-focused podcasts. Sarah is the co-host of two podcasts related to the Canadian real estate market.   “In this real estate game, it is about time in the market, not timing the market. So just do your research, jump in and keep learning along the way.” Sarah Larbi   Worst investment ever Desire to be wealthy Sarah had a great desire to be wealthy and she wanted to find out how she could retire at 40 while still enjoying financial freedom. So she did some research and real estate investing kept coming back over and over and over. While she came across other ways of creating wealth, she was drawn to real estate. She managed to convince her boyfriend to join her and buy real estate property. She took a second job and cashed in some of her vacation money to be able to have enough downpayment to buy the cheapest house that they could afford. Mistake no.1: Renting to family At the time Sarah and her boyfriend were looking to buy their first rental property her sister needed a place to live closer to her daughter's school. So they decided to look for property in that area with plans to rent out the house to her sister. They didn’t do any kind of research they simply asked the sister what kind of house she wanted and could afford. That’s the only information they worked with to buy their first rental property. They didn’t research the location or make any price and property comparisons. Mistake no.2: Not using a local realtor Sarah used the realtor that was originally helping them in a town about an hour away to find their rental property. They kept going back and forth because the realtor didn't know the market and neither did they. Mistake no.3: Borrowing from the bank instead of a mortgage broker Once they got a property they went to their bank for financing. The bank wanted 35% downpayment forcing her to look for a mortgage broker but at this point, she’d wasted a lot of time trying to negotiate with the bank. Making the math work Luckily, Sarah happened to listen to several real estate investing podcasts and she learned that she needed to figure out how to at least break even or make some cash flow from her real estate property. She worked out that she needed to collect $800 in rent per month to break even. What she didn’t know, because she had done zero market research, was that the actual market rent was about $1100. While they didn’t lose any money from buying the property, it remains her worst investment because they didn’t make the money that they should have been making had they looked and seen the comparables of what the rent go for in the first place. Lessons learned Use local agents Sarah has learned to only use realtors that are local in areas she’s looking to invest in because the local realtors know where the best deals are. They’re also likely to have a team of electricians, plumbers, paralegals, etc. so that you don't have to go and source from scratch. Don’t be too analytical Be careful that you don't spend all your time doing research. Do your research but make sure that you're not sitting on your butt five years from now, still doing research. Do enough research, feel comfortable, get the...
Dec 31, 2019
Jack Thomas – Successful Entrepreneurs Focus on Hiring Right
23:33 (Jack Thomas) is the founder and CEO of (BASE), which was voted as Asia's Gym of the Year 2018 at the Fitness Best Awards. With eight years of experience in Asia's fitness industry, he runs a multiple seven-figure fitness business in Bangkok with a team of over 30 coaches. Jack also hosts the (Fitness Business Asia Podcast), a weekly show with a mission to raise the standards of Asia's fitness industry. He regularly speaks at leading fitness industry events in Asia such as the FIT Summit, Asia Fitness Convention, and ExPro Fitness Convention.   “If you do the right things during the recruitment process and probation period, by the end of that, you should really know if they're the right fit for your company or not.” Jack Thomas   Worst investment ever The difficulty of launching a business Jack admitted that the first six months after they opened in August 2016 was the toughest. Although he had experience in running a business, launching one was different. He said that not focusing properly in sales and marketing was his biggest regret. Instead of consulting marketing agencies, they decided to do it internally. With little knowledge in sales and marketing, he interviewed someone who he thought was the right person for the job. Bringing in the wrong people One moment he was launching a business, the next thing Jack knew, he hit rock bottom. Yes, he had clients coming in and did some free trial runs but they were never converted to fully-paying clients. The manager he hired whose job was to introduce packages that catered to their clients’ needs was letting these clients walk out the door without offering them products of the gym. It was not until they were pretty low on funds that Jack discovered how wrong that person was for the job. Lessons learned Tidy up your recruitment process Every time something goes right or something goes wrong, look back, and analyze what went right and what went wrong. Incorporate the things you have learned when updating your recruitment process to make things better later. Get people who are excited with sales If they are allergic to sales and they do not want to do it, it's going to be hard to turn that person around. Don't tell your employees that the products will sell itself When your employees stop selling and expect your products to do all the work, sales don’t happen. Andrew’s takeaways Entrepreneurs are risk managers A lot of people call entrepreneurs risk-takers, but truthfully, they're risk managers. It is important to manage risks so carefully especially if you have a very limited amount of resources. The beginning stage is not the right time to take risks When you're in the beginning stage or the vulnerable stage of your business, it's not the time to take risks on your staff. You've got to get someone experienced in that line of business. The role of intuition Always listen to your intuition and don't be afraid to raise its voice and follow it. Actionable advice Nail your recruitment process and use the probation period well. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Jack is now focusing on building new technology called Baseline that will help people record their fitness results as they go through a group fitness class. In the next couple of months, he is looking forward to launching Baseline in Singapore. Parting words   “The bigger the loss, the bigger the lesson.” Jack Thomas   Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Jack Thomas LinkedIn
Dec 30, 2019
Michael Lebowitz – Follow Your Intuition and Stand Up for Yourself to Avoid Loss
Michael Lebowitz brings more than 25 years of financial markets and risk management experience as a portfolio manager at (RIA Advisors). Throughout his career, Michael has been involved in trading portfolio construction and risk management, involving some of the largest and most active portfolios in the world. In addition to broad institutional experience, he has also built a successful independent investment advisory, which allowed him to further extend his experience into the realm of investment management for individuals and family offices. Michael's background and experience are the product of a diverse career path that affords him a unique investment and economic perspective, grounded in logic and common sense. He blends his vast trading and investment experience with economic viewpoints that deliver pragmatic and actionable thought leadership to clients.   “You just got to say no. It's okay to say no, and even if whatever you're going to buy goes up a lot, that's fine. Just think about tomorrow, stop thinking about the past.” Michael Lebowitz   Worst investment ever Lose a client or invest in a tech company Back in 2012, when Michael and his partner started their management firm, one of their biggest clients approached them to invest in a computer chips company. And because this client was putting in a huge amount of money to their firm, they could not say no to him. Although the pitch was decent because it promised them great potential and even greater results, Michael admitted that he and his partner did not have any idea what they just had gotten themselves into. However, they were pretty convinced that if they didn’t put a decent amount of money into this tech company, they might lose their client. All is not well in the end Michael and his partner thought the payout would be in two or three years. As it turns out, they invested in 2012, it’s now 2019, and they still haven’t gotten any returns from that investment. Not to mention the problems piling up with the development of the chips and constantly raising more money and diluting Michael. To make matters worse, that particular client left his firm a year and a half later for other reasons. Lessons learned Stay in your lane, do what you know best Even if the promise is great and the returns are said to be unbelievable. Getting into something that you don't know will never bring you good results. It’s ok to say no to an opportunity Not all opportunities are to be taken. Some are traps. And to avoid them, one has to learn the art of saying no. Andrew’s takeaways Startup investing is so much about burning money You're either going to lose all the money you have invested, or they're going to come back to you and ask for more money. If you do not have that money to put into it, then you're going to be diluted. It’s difficult to exit with startup investing It's not impossible, and sometimes it works. But the reality is that illiquidity can crush you for years, in the hopes that someday, you'll get some liquidity and be able to exit. Always have a risk management strategy If you want to invest in a startup, don't invest in one invest in ten. This allows you to not get so intensely dependent on one investment. Actionable advice If you don’t know what you are doing and you are about to give a large sum of money, follow your intuition and stand up for yourself to avoid losses. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Michael believes that the Fed is the driver of markets, and he wants to survive another year of the Fed dictating to some degree, the terms of the market. Parting words   “Just be ready and be aware of what can happen so that you have the parachute to land safely. Because you want to be the one buying when stocks go on sale. You want to sell at their highs.” Michael Lebowitz   Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes
Dec 29, 2019
Joel Comm and Travis Wright – Crypto Curious Futurists Become Free by Letting Go
46:53 (Joel Comm) is a New York Times bestselling author, blockchain enthusiast, professional keynote speaker, social media marketing strategist, live video expert, technologist, brand influencer, futurist, and eternal 12-year-old. With over two decades of experience harnessing the power of the web, publishing, social media and mobile applications to expand reach and engage in active relationship marketing, Joel is a sought-after public speaker who leaves his audiences inspired, entertained, and armed with strategic tools to create highly effective new media campaigns. (Travis Wright) is a top marketing technologist, author, keynote speaker, blockchain advisor, tech journalist, and podcast host. He is the former global digital and social strategist at Symantec (Sa man tic) for the Norton brand. Wright is the co-founder & CMO of (CCP Digital), a Kansas City & SF-based digital ad & content agency. Wright is the author of Wiley & Sons, Digital Sense, The Common Sense Approach to Social Business Strategy, Marketing Technologies, Customer Experience and Emerging Technologies, which was published in January 2017. These two gentlemen are the hosts of the podcast (Crypto Curious and Crypto Serious).   “The current paper currency model is going to go away. A big shift is going to happen. The paper money system is going to crumble.”  Travis Wright   Worst investment ever – Joel’s story of loss The big idea 2009 was a good year for Joel. He had a staff of about 38 people running several successful projects. The money was flowing, the business was good. So together with his team, Joel came up with one of the first pieces of technology that would bring email marketing type of delivery to mobile. Think of Constant Contact and (AWeber), where you can send bulk emails to people that have subscribed to your list. They came up with technology that would allow you to do that to mobile phones. Blood, sweat, and money Joel put a lot into this project spending somewhere in the low six figures of his money. They did everything they could to promote the system. They showed up at trade shows and demonstrated it, but people didn't respond. He tried to raise venture capital to grow it but didn't get the response that he wanted. He even tried looking for partnerships, but no one was interested. Meanwhile, every month, he was pouring more money into it because once you set up shortcodes with the mobile services, you have to pay monthly to maintain them. Otherwise, you lose them. Hitting a wall Joel realized soon enough that what seemed like an opportunity and a cool idea had hit a wall. He then tried to sell the software that he had invested a lot of money into to somebody who could pick it up and run with it. But that too didn’t happen. So now he was left with a failed project, emotionally bruised, and six figures less. But he still held onto the system. Letting go The failure to successfully launch his system was hanging on him and crushing him. One day in 2013, he saw the bill for what it cost him to keep this thing running and was faced with the challenge of what to do. Does he keep paying for this, hoping he could salvage it and get something out of it and turn it around? Or does he pull the plug and flush the whole thing down the drain? Joel pulled the plug and thought that he would feel these waves of crushing defeat because he had made the worst investment of his life, and that loss had cost him a lot. But he experienced something different. When he pulled the plug, he felt this release like the burden was just instantly lifted. Now he could focus his attention and energy on things that he was far more passionate about. Letting go allowed him to put this failure in the past. Lessons learned Don’t do it just for the money If you're not passionate about something and...
Dec 24, 2019
Niels Kaastrup-Larsen – There Is Always so Much We Don’t Know
Niels Kaastrup-Larsen is the managing director of (DUNN Capital (Europe)) and heads up the business development in Europe and Asia. Niels has been in the managed futures business since 1990. Holding management positions at several leading commodity trader advisors and has helped investors place more than $2 billion in trend following strategies. Niels is the founder and host of the world's leading podcast within quant-based investment strategies, Top Traders Unplugged as well as the host of CME Group Managed Futures Podcast.   “I certainly had to realize that to overcome emotions in the investment world and be rational and critical and to preserve those kinds of thinking. Then becoming a quant or a rules-based investor was the way to go to automate things. So you’ll know exactly what you want to do and have a plan.” Niels Kaastrup-Larsen   Worst investment ever Doing what he was trained to do When Niels started as a young trader, his job was partly to provide liquidity to the clients of the bank he was working for. He would inherently be speculating during the day or even during the week by holding positions in bonds that his bank was making markets in. And so, the mantra that many people know as buying low and selling high was really what he was trained to do, but on a discretionary basis. The fear of the unknown When there were big changes, Niels found out very quickly how difficult it was to figure out where the low was because the low may be very different in reality to what he thought. So, because of not knowing what he did not know, he certainly had quite a few very painful days during that time. The power of momentum What he did not know at the time when he was just a young trader was the power of momentum and how important it is to follow the overall trend in the market, not trying to go against the market trend. Lesson learned Do not listen to your gut feeling Our gut feeling is more of a warning system to keep us safe. But cannot be used as a guide or measure for making financial decisions. Do not be guided by your emotions These emotions would sometimes lead us doing the opposite of what we should. We end up becoming more risk-seeking towards the end of a bull market and be very conservative just before the bear market is coming to an end. So we end up being guided by emotions, which are complete disasters when it comes to making financial decisions. Actionable advice Be open-minded and trust the evidence. Do proper research. Niels has advised watching some Ray Dalio videos. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Niels’s focus will be continued education, helping investors build safer and better performing portfolios through his work at DUNN Capital and his podcast, Top Traders Unplugged. Parting words   “We should all remain students of life and keep expanding our knowledge.” Niels Kaastrup-Larsen   Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Niels Kaastrup-Larsen LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Podcast (Website) Connect with Andrew Stotz ( LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube My Worst Investment Ever Podcast  
Dec 22, 2019
Angela Zeigerbacher – Don't Look at Buying a Home as an Investment
24:47 (Angela Zeigerbacher) has always been interested in the personal finance realm, from hoarding cash in her sock drawer as a kid to paying off her student loan debt in one year after college. After countless conversations with friends, she realized not everyone had the same level of personal finance education, which prompted her to launch the Money in the Bank podcast, a personal finance podcast for the average Joe or Jane. On top of this, Angela has taught personal finance to teenagers in high school as well as hosted “lunch and learn” at several companies. She recently started a food channel on YouTube, Foogality, where she cooks and bakes frugal type of meals.   “Things can always break when you buy a house. So going in without a maintenance fund is a really bad idea.” Angela Zeigerbacher   Worst investment ever Young, debt-free and proud Angela finished paying off her student loan in just a year after college. She was on top of the world. At 22 and having paid off her student loan debt that fast, she felt she was doing a lot of things right. So what's next? Interestingly, nobody talks about what you should do once you pay off your debt, especially to young people. So after working so hard to pay off her debt, she didn’t know what to do now that she was debt-free. All her friends advised her to treat herself, go on nice vacations, and buy things she wanted. Angela had never really been a spendthrift. So she didn't take the advice completely to heart, but she started thinking about it. Desire to live the American dream Everyone kept telling her to buy a house, so she figured the American dream sounded good. It would be nice to have a house and have a boyfriend, two cars in the garage, and a white picket fence. Her American dream started with a new car. She didn’t put much thought behind it. She just went to the dealership and picked a car that she thought was good for her; a brand new Ford Escape for $35,000. Let’s buy a home Next on her American dream list was a house. After buying the car, her lease came up for renewal. At the time, she was living with her boyfriend and they decided that renting was just throwing away money, especially now that the lease was going to increase by $250 a month. So they decided that buying a house was the right thing to do. Again no thought was given to this decision as she was just too excited to get something she wanted and could afford. Oh, damn the closing costs! Even though they went for a house, they could easily pay for, one huge factor, prompted by the hasty decision making, was ignored. They never factored in the closing costs which was about 3% of the buying price. Now they were draining their emergency funds and savings accounts scraping this money together to fulfill their dream of buying a home. Now we hate the house The couple bought a house that they could afford, but they didn't spend enough time looking and ended up just quick buying the first house they saw. After living there for just a year, they hated it. There was no insulation in the bedroom, so it was freezing in the winter. Their bills were super high. They went from paying about $50 a month in an apartment for heating and cooling to about $200 a month. Don’t forget the taxes Another thing that they forgot to factor in was property taxes, and they can be quite expensive. They were paying about $350 a month in property taxes, as well as a Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) of about $100 per month as well. In hindsight, even though Angela thought renting was throwing all this money out the window, they could have rented a two-bedroom, which would have been more than enough for their needs at the time, for probably about $875 a month. Poor investment choice Buying a house ended up being Angela’s worst investment ever. Even though she made about $19,000 worth of principal, it still cost her in total $30,000 because closing costs on both ends were...
Dec 19, 2019
Tobias Carlisle – Assets are Valuable, but Cash Flow Is King
Tobias Carlisle is the founder of (The Acquirer’s Multiple). He's also the founder of the (Acquirers Funds). He is best known as the author of the number one new release in Amazon, Business and Finance, The Acquirer’s Multiple: How the Billionaire Contrarians of Deep Value Beat the Market. He has also authored several Amazon best-sellers - Deep Value: Why Activist Investors and Other Contrarians Battle for Control of Losing Corporations, Quantitative Value: A Practitioner’s Guide to Automating Intelligent Investment and Eliminating Behavioral Errors, and Concentrated Investing: Strategies of the World's Greatest Concentrated Value Investors. Tobias has extensive experience in investment management, business valuation of public companies, corporate governance, and corporate law. Before founding the forerunner to acquirers fund in 2010, Tobias was an analyst at an activist hedge fund, general counsel of a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and a corporate advisory lawyer. As a lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions, he has advised on transactions across a variety of industries in the United States, the UK, China, Australia, Singapore, Bermuda, Papa New Guinea, New Zealand, and Guam. He is a graduate of the University of Queensland in Australia with degrees in Law and Business. Currently, Tobias is a portfolio manager of the Acquirers Fund, which is an ETF listed on the New York Stock Exchange.   “You can have a good thesis, but you have to be very careful about the cash flow.” Tobias Carlisle   Worst investment ever Started out investing in asset-heavy business When the BP oil spill happened, many oil and gas companies got in a lot of trouble. One of which was the Seahawk Drilling. As soon as the drilling stops, they didn’t get a lot of cash flow but they were very asset-heavy. So, when they were trading at around $0.10, Tobias took the offer to invest in those jackup rigs as he was promised that there has never been an opportunity like that. To capitalize and become one of the big drillers in the area through these undervalued assets was exactly what Tobias was looking for. You can have a good thesis but be very careful about the cash flow Tobias learned that when companies are losing money, that’s the time to buy, and when they are making a lot of money, it’s the best opportunity to sell. However, he missed the important factor and that was cash flow. The issue with Seahawk drilling was they ran out of cash, so they kept on selling these undervalued jackup rigs. They ended up in bankruptcy because they were taken advantage of instead of the other way around. Tobias was down 80% or 90% on his investment. Lessons learned Look at the company in its totality When you are buying, you think like an acquirer, think like a buyout firm and think like an activist. When you do that, you are not only buying the equity, the market capitalization, but you think about the debt and other debt-like security. Valuation will help you beat the market One of the hardest decisions is deciding whether to exit or add to a position when a stock goes down. A big part of becoming comfortable with the position is doing the valuation. Andrew’s takeaways Assets are valuable, but cash is king There's a lot of people that are asset rich and cash poor. And the problem with that is that when you can't meet your bills, because the cash flow is not there, the consequences are massive. When you buy something, you’re buying everything It is important when you’re buying that you look at it from an acquirer’s perspective, which means you think about the debt, and you think about that preferred shares. Actionable advice The most important thing is not so much stock selection but portfolio management. This means, provided that you don't put too much into any given position; you can't lose everything. So, you only need to be sufficiently diversified.
Dec 17, 2019
Andy Hill – Avoid the Trap of Homeownership and Build a Realistic Budget
Guest profile Andy Hill is the award-winning blogger and podcaster behind Marriage, Kids and Money Podcast His podcast and blog are dedicated to helping young families build wealth and thrive. His advice and personal finance experience have been featured in major media outlets like Business Insider, Market Watch, and NBC News. Trusted as a personal finance influencer by National Financial brands like Quicken Loans, his message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers, and viewers across the US. When he's not talking money, he enjoys wrestling with his two kids and singing karaoke with his wife.   “I made a promise after that home purchase that I would never buy a home that took up more than 25% of my after-tax income.” Andy Hill   Worst investment ever Excited to be a young homeowner When he was 22, Andy decided to invest in his first investment, buying his first house. He had saved $20,000 working odd jobs and couldn’t be more proud of himself. All along, he had heard that the best thing one could do with money is to buy a home and become a homeowner. So this was a big deal for him because he had worked hard and felt proud of that. Andy ended up looking in a great suburb where a lot of young people lived after they graduated college and found a $200,000 house. He put 10% down and bought the home. He was excited; it was going to be his bachelor pad close to downtown where he could hang out with friends. The bills start trickling in Once he got the keys, he started to get the bills. He quickly realized that this mortgage was going to take up about 70% of his income. As if the mortgage was not enough, things started breaking. The roof needed replacing, and the kitchen needed some work. Andy didn’t have the income or the funds to properly fund this investment that he had plunged all his savings into. He ended up taking out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) on his home to keep up with his living expenses. Shacking up to pay up The bills started to rack up, and he got into debt. This was not the investment that he thought it was going to be. So he ended up getting some roommates to help him pay for his living expenses. Some of them worked out; some of them didn't. Getting out of his worst investment ever To get out of that mess, he worked harder to grow his income to pay his mortgage. Eventually, he just had to sell the house. At this point, he had done some updates to the kitchen and the backyard. And all in all, when he sold the house, he barely broke even. He sold it for $225,000.  But he had spent more than $25,000 in repairs. Lessons learned Don't buy more house than you can afford While it was commendable that he could get a loan at 22 years of age, at the time, he was making $28,000 a year, meaning that he would have to cough up almost all of his income to pay the loan. Keep your mortgage payments below 25% of your income Andy made a promise that he would never buy a home that took up more than 25% of his after-tax income. Andrew’s takeaways The homeownership trap Buying a house can be a trap, so be prepared to be trapped for the next five years if you're lucky, or 10 if you're not so lucky. And if you're very unlucky, you might lose it all. Widen the gap between your income and your expenses The creation of wealth happens at the gap between income and expense. Wealth is not the amount of income. It's not even that you own a business. If you want wealth, make sure that the gap between your income and your expense is as wide as possible. Homeownership isn’t necessarily the best investment Homeownership, unless you do your research very well and get the right place, is not the best investment out there. Don’t take homeownership advice from just anyone. Do thorough research before you take the first steps to homeownership. Actionable advice Before you jump into homeownership, plan out a budget beforehand that showcases your entire living costs or your...
Dec 15, 2019
Nick Bradley – Buying a Business Based Purely on Emotions Rarely Works
Nick Bradley is a business scale up specialist helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses to create freedom, build wealth, achieve their mission, and live life more on their terms. He is the founder of the Fielding Group, a growth accelerator that helps companies improve business performance. He works with private equity firms across the UK and the US, leading business turnarounds, mergers, acquisitions, and scale-ups. Over the last decade, he has bought, built, and sold multiple businesses creating significant value for shareholders. Nick is also the host of UK’s number one business podcast on iTunes, Scale Up Your Business. His mission is to help bring an entrepreneurial skillset and mindset to people all over the world as a driving force of progression and prosperity. Originally from Australia, Nick is a dedicated family man who has a strong background in physical fitness, having completed 67 marathons and 24 ultramarathons worldwide. He's also a qualified personal trainer and performance coach.   “The worst time to make an investment decision is when it's based purely on emotions because you're not seeing the bigger picture, and you're not being objective.” Nick Bradley   Worst investment ever Starting his entrepreneurial journey Nick’s entrepreneurial journey started when he was 18 years old when he started a gym. Personal training back in the late 80s was still a new idea, so in some ways, he was innovating, but he felt the need to get out of the environment. So he sold that business to a friend for a little bit of cash, packed up all his belongings, and left the little town of Adelaide, South Australia. He ended up in Sydney with about a month's worth of cash. Jumping into the corporate world Left with barely any money to survive on and about to move back to Adelaide, he was lucky enough to bag a job as marketing manager of Men's Health magazine. His new job earned him some good money. He loved his job and did everything he could to get ahead in his career as quickly as possible. Sometimes he had to step on people to get to where he needed to get. Board member before he was 30 Nick’s drive to succeed saw him become a board director of a company in the UK before he was 30. So he left Sydney and moved to the UK after he got transferred there by one of the media companies he was working for. Grinding his teeth, literally All this corporate work was stressing him up. One night he was quite stressed and wasn't feeling great. He was taking some of that stress out on his young family as well. So this night, he had a whole heap of stuff going on with the company he was working in. The stress had him grinding his teeth in his sleep. He woke up and realized that he had cracked all his back teeth on the right side. He had ground his teeth right down to the point where the pressure of the clinch broke his teeth. This woke Nick up to the reality that he couldn’t continue working his job. He wasn’t feeling fulfilled, and he was not the person he wanted to be. He went for a long run, and when he got back home, he had made up his mind to stop working for the private equity firm and instead buy a business. Excited to buy a business There was someone who Nick knew by association, who was trying to retire from their business, and they and their business partner offered him to buy into the business as a management buy-in (MBI). The stress of his corporate job had him looking for something where he could jump ship. So buying an existing business was a decision he made because, at the time, he badly wanted to get out of what he was doing. The six-figure decision He invested a six-figure sum of money in buying the business. The sellers decided to do a seller-financed agreement so that he’d be paying off the remainder over three years. His ownership stake would increase over time as he continued to pay the price of the business. He was too excited to get out of the corporate world that he never thought of the...
Dec 12, 2019
Frank Paiano – Whether You Like it or Not, You Need to Invest
Frank Paiano is a retired professor from Southwestern Community College, where he was teaching his favorite course Introduction to Investments. He started as a computer programming teacher and mathematician but then moved his way into investments in finance after working at a brokerage firm as a programmer for a while. He’d been a broker now for over 20 years. Aside from that, he is also an insurance agent. He plans on getting right back to teaching and helping young people to improve their financial lives.   “You need to make a choice, and you need to invest. The world doesn't end if you choose carefully and wisely. You are going to do well.” Frank Paiano   Worst investment ever Losing a tremendous opportunity for not doing anything Frank’s worst investment was an investment he never made. At that time, Frank was putting as much as he could into stocks through 403b, which is like a 401k, an employer-sponsored retirement plan. One day, a duplex became available for a fairly reasonable price, just down the street from Frank. He thought it was a pretty great deal. And now, he was torn between focusing on investing through his 403b, which would suffer if he invested in the property. In the end, he did not buy the property at $250,000. Eight years later, at the peak of the market in 2007, that same property sold for $765,000. Lessons learned Make a choice, but do your research first If you are not sure about what investment to choose, do your research, find someone you trust, get a good referral, or take a course and learn how to value individual securities, how to research mutual funds, how to look for real estate, and make your choice. Do not give up You’ll probably mess up the first time but learn from it and do it again successfully the second time. Andrew’s takeaways The concept of alternative outcomes There are many possible alternative outcomes to an investment story. Always remember them when you look back from that investment you did not do. Do not fixate on one thing There are so many things happening around us. Just accept the fact that you’re missing something every single day. Actionable advice You need to get in the game. Do your research or find a competent advisor that you can trust. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Frank is hoping to join a subscription service where he can travel to Mexico at very low fare so that he can have a vacation there every month. Parting words   “Best of luck and success to all the listeners!” Frank Paiano   Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and Increase Your Influence Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Connect with Frank Paiano LinkedIn Twitter (Website) Connect with Andrew Stotz ( LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube My Worst Investment Ever Podcast  
Dec 11, 2019
Michelle Russell – Never Skip Your Due Diligence
Michelle Russell is an author, speaker, and an amazing host of the Short-Term Rental Revenue podcast. She has a history of successful investments in a wide variety of markets and has learned only from some of the best real estate gurus. Her experiences from investing in real estate have taught her the value of short-term rentals and getting the most out of your properties. Now, she wants to share her knowledge with other people and teach them how to rent or buy a property to turn it into a short-term rental and create a profitable residual income, one that keeps coming in month after month, to build your wealth and create a healthy retirement.   “It’s all about business. You need to be rational. Don’t think with your heart and feel that you need to help people out. You are not their savior.” Michelle Russell   Worst investment ever Don’t let pity cloud your judgment Michelle bought a property for $100,000 and had it rented to a couple for three years. Unfortunately, the man died leaving his mourning fiancé with nothing. She told Michelle that they were planning to buy the house after their wedding, if not for the tragedy. Feeling obligated to help, she sold the house to the woman. A year after, she got a call from the same woman and asked if she could lend her some money to pay for the mortgage of the house. Instead of lending her money, Michelle bought the house again and planned on renting the house again to the woman. While she was processing the papers for the house, she lost contact with the woman, so she decided to give her a visit. The price you pay for bad decisions To Michelle’s surprise, the once immaculate house a year ago had turned into a horror house. As she described it, 40 animals were in the house and feces were everywhere. Black molds were seen on the wall and not to mention the bad smell that was pungent inside the house. It turned out, the woman, after the tragedy, never recovered. She got depressed and was fired from her job. Left with no choice, she evicted the woman and had to spend $185,000 to renovate the whole property. Don’t try to wait until you recover the cost spent After getting the appraisal, instead of selling the property, Michelle let her emotions decide again and let her daughter move into the house and stay there for a couple of years until she finished school. However, the economy crashed, and the value of the property decreased until it was too late for her to recover the costs. It took her a decade to get a reasonable price and sell it eventually. Lesson learned Due diligence is a very important step yet people tend to skip it Michelle was not new in real estate when she dealt with this property, yet she forgot to do all the due diligence that she knew necessary with buying a property. People who do not do their due diligence are bound to make bad decisions. Never let your emotions decide for you Always work with your brain and not your heart when it comes to investments. Try not to mix up helping people and your business It is great to help people, but you can always do that in many other ways. Don’t let it entangle with your business. Andrew’s takeaways Never ever skip due diligence You can save yourself from all the trouble if you will diligently research a prospective venture and gather enough information to make a justified decision. Never let things go too far If it is going too far, stop and plan your next calculated move. Don’t wait until you get back your cost because you may never recover it. Help other people with your profit Don’t aim for your business to do charitable work. You can donate money when you make a profit, and that will be better for everyone. Actionable advice Create a set of standard operating procedures (SOP), which will consist of all the steps of due diligence you need before going through with an acquisition. Even if for a moment, you get swayed by somebody else’s story, if you have your SOP, you will never miss a...
Dec 10, 2019
Otavio Costa – Build a Strong Framework and Respect Liquidity in Any Business Cycle
Otavio “Tavi” Costa is the portfolio manager at (Crescat Capital) and has been with the firm for six years. Tavi built Crescat’s macro model that identifies the current stage of the US economic cycle through a combination of 16 factors. His research has been featured in financial publications such as Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Financial Post, The Globe and Mail, Real Vision, and Reuters. Tavi is a native of São Paulo, Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. Before joining Crescat, he worked with the underwriting of financial products and in international business at Braservice, a large logistics company in Brazil. Tavi graduated cum laude from Lindenwood University in St. Louis with a B.A. degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and a minor in Spanish. Tavi played NCAA Division 1 tennis for Liberty University.   “We all need to be able to respect and apply risk and uncertainty. You know the changes in probabilities.” Otavio Costa   Worst investment ever Bearish and bullish are terms that Tavi understands, like the back of his hand, given his background in business model analysis and macro investing. Tavi is an expert in analyzing and predicting business cycles. The expert is tested The period between 2014 and 2018, however, put his expertise into a real test. Between 2014 and 2015, the market experienced a global GDP decline of 6%, almost as significant as the global financial crisis. There were a lot of reasons for that. Oil prices were collapsing, the dollar was strong, and other commodities were collapsing. Also, China was going through a turmoil with Chinese stocks going from a boom to bust in less than a year. And then investors were pulling money out of China. Capital flows started picking up, and businesses started doing well. Boom! Here comes an unexpected wave Then came the elections that changed everything. Nobody saw a republican sweep coming. A synchronized growth environment came up, and China printed more money, increasing liquidity. This completely shifted the narrative. Tavi and his team thought that China was on the brink of a credit collapse and would get a lot worse in the short term. However, this business cycle extended for a couple of years. Things get bearish In 2017 the market became pretty bearish, and so the team started to do a lot of research and focused on what other indicators they may have missed in terms of liquidity. They created different macro models that revealed that liquidity was still growing in 2016 and 2017. Not so perfect model However, their models missed the fact that liquidity wasn't growing in 2018 and so they ended up missing a bullish moment in 2017. To deal with this, the company had to shrink its positions. They also had to apply new forms of risk metrics to be able to trend those positions and be able to stay in the game. Lessons learned Respect uncertainties You never know the probabilities of when a business cycle could extend for whatever reason.  Being aware of the shifts in the narrative is, therefore, very important. Be open-minded The world will always look vastly different, than most people expect, five years from now. So stay open-minded to change and apply that to your investment process. Refresh your portfolio Work intensely in terms of refreshing your portfolio positions. You want to take a directional position in terms of your trade so that you’re still diversified and not just taking one concentrated position. Andrew’s takeaways Have a framework to be able to deal with inevitable change Change in any investment is inevitable. Have a framework to help you deal with change and manage your risk. Always question, always learn Don’t just be curious about your investment always question your thesis and be sure to move into a thesis a bit more careful. You don’t want to go all-in on one thesis. Instead, do your research so that you can expect the outcome,...
Dec 09, 2019
Meb Faber – Avoid the Physical Pain of Loss by Sticking to Your Investment Plan
Meb Faber is co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Cambria Investment Management and manages Cambria’s ETFs and separate accounts. He is the host of the Meb Faber Show and has authored numerous white papers and leather-bound books. He is a frequent speaker and writer on investment strategies and has been featured in (Barron's), (The New York Times), and (The New Yorker). Meb graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in engineering, science, and biology.   “The funny thing about investing in the computer age is we can now rely on an enormous library of investing ideas and concepts.” Meb Faber   Worst investment ever The young investor with a chip on his shoulder Like many young investors, when Meb got into investing as a young biotech engineering graduate in the 90s, he was full of vigor, overconfidence, and believed that he was the best investor on the planet. At the time, the US was hit by the Dotcom bubble and US stocks were the most expensive they've ever been. And so, it was a wild time that made crypto look basic. Wild times for investors It was a pretty wild time to be investing, but also, biotech was a big deal. The human genome was getting sequenced by the government as well as the company (Celera,) and so biotech stocks were also going crazy. Amid this madness, Meb identified a good stock to invest in, Biogen. This was in the early 2000s when biotech and pharma stocks were extremely volatile creating a lot of investment opportunities. The storm that is biotech stocks In most cases, biotech stocks, unless it's a monster like Pfizer, will have these binary events where they have a drug that's either going to get approved or not, in which case the shares will go 100% up or down. The whole company is leveraged to one outcome. And so that creates a lot of opportunity and volatility. So with Biogen, everyone knew there was a date in the future where the company would announce whether the drug was approved or not. Meb believed that the drug was not going to get approved. Choosing his best investment options Meb decided that he was going to balance his equity investment in Biogen and build a trade so that in the off chance it does get approved, he wouldn’t lose all his money. He bought both puts and calls with the understanding that there would be a very large market move. Now, if the drug did not get approved, he would make an enormous amount of money. If it did get approved, he would probably break even. By the time the day came to announce the decision, the options had doubled in value because the volatility had increased. Had he taken off a half or a quarter of his position at this point, as it was already making money, and sold it off he’d have doubled his money. He could even have sold his entire position and be done with it without having to wait for the event to happen. Too overconfident to think straight Meb was, however, overconfident and wanted to make tons of money. He waited for the results to be announced. The drug got approved. And as he had predicted, his position broke even, but he did not make a ton of money as he wanted. Now, if he had been thinking straight, he would have stuck with his original investment plan to exit the trade and move on. But his overconfidence led him to a decision that saw him make his worst investment. Meb decided to let the stock drift for a day or two and watch the market, hoping the stock would go up, and he’d squeeze out a little more profit. Well, what happened was the company decided for no known reason other than to themselves, that they should pre-announce earnings. This caused the stock to drop all the way right back down to where it was trading before the announcement. Suddenly, this made both sides of his positions completely worthless. So instead of making a fair amount of money before...
Dec 08, 2019
Richard Flint – To Win in Life Learn to Find, Face, and Control Your Biggest Fear
Richard Flint has been speaking and changing lives for over 30 years. His staying power comes from a strong following of corporate clients and associations that invite him back year after year. As one of America’s top personal development speakers and coaches, he travels and speaks over 175 times per year and personally coaches businesses and individuals while on the road. Considered a well-guarded secret by many, Richard Flint inspires, teaches, and helps people and companies to transform into their Power To Be, so they can do or have anything they want. Interestingly, he does it without you having to set goals. Richard is on a mission, which he calls a crusade, to help people have their Best Life Possible. He knows how through his own experience.   “Smarter is not being the most knowledgeable person. But it's being able to use life's experiences because I think life is just a library of experiences.” Richard Flint   Worst investment ever Born into a world where love did not exist Richard was born in New Orleans. He never got to know who his dad is and his birth mother was a prostitute and so he was the result of a one night stand. When he was two weeks old, he was given into a family where the man wanted a son but the wife didn't want him. She found every opportunity to prove to him that he was unloved, unwanted. From when he was six, he would repeatedly tell him that he was the stupidest kid she’d ever met, that he was never going to amount to anything in life and that she was sorry they adopted him. Out in the cold alone at a tender age When he was 15 his adoptive mother told him that he had to get a job and pay room and board to live in her house. A year later, at 16, she threw him out. He was working at an IGA grocery store in Ardmore, Oklahoma, when his dad brought him his suitcase and informed him that his mother had decided, Richard could no longer live in her house. Defeated, Richard walked into downtown Ardmore, Oklahoma and checked into hotel Ardmore. The staff looked at him funny but he had the cash to pay for the room. To live or to die? When he walked into his room on the seventh floor, he walked straight to the window. He didn’t even turn the light on. He sat on the ledge and for three hours he tried to decide whether to live or die. After three hours, he figured out on that ledge that if he jumped his adoptive mother would win and he wasn't going to give that lady that kind of victory. Richard called his best friend’s dad who helped him decide the next course of his life. He decided he was never going back home. So he helped him find a room with a lady who was the editor of The Daily newspaper in Ardmore, he paid her $5 a week to live in her house. Facing his fears head-on After some years Richard realized that he had believed all the things that his adoptive mother had told him. His worst investment was accepting what his mother said as truth because parents don't lie. This held him back from his true success. Eventually, he decided to confront his adoptive mom because the more he refused to confront her the more he validated her. He was extremely afraid of doing it but he chose to face his fears. He never got to talk to his mom because she couldn’t face him but he made peace with his past and it’s all behind him now. Lessons learned Not everyone who says they love you loves you Don’t believe everyone who says they love you and want the best for you. Observe their behavior because behavior never lies. Hear everything people say to you, but study what they do because trust is built on behavior. The greatest strength you have is your belief Trust and have faith in yourself because that's what allows you to be an original and not a carbon copy. Don't be fearful of today Living and hiding in yesterday makes you fearful of today. When you bring the fear of yesterday to today, you don't have today but an extension of yesterday. So let go of and face your fears from yesterday so...
Dec 05, 2019
Scott Smith – Launching a Business? Find Your Future You and Listen to Them First
Scott Royal Smith, Esquire, founder, and CEO of Royal Legal Solutions prides himself on successfully conveying the essentials in asset protection to audiences nationwide. Scott is no stranger to high stakes litigation and has spent his career deconstructing asset protection structures and developing strategies that serve both to protect what you own as well as leverage your income and maximize your tax savings. With experience in entrepreneurship, starting several successful companies in owning real estate in 10 states in America, Scott pulls from his experience as a lawyer to put a new and valuable perspective on business ownership. No one wants to get sued. But if you plan to start a business, the question isn't if, but when you’ll get sued. Scott is the attorney who will have your back. He's smart, savvy, and he's got a great sense of humor. And he has a gift for simplifying the complex.   “Try to find someone like you businesswise and ask that person a bunch of questions about what you should be doing because they've already gone through it all once.” Scott Smith   Worst investment ever Launching his business idea Driven by a sense to help people with things that he had already figured out, things he had spent the time to figure it out, he started to teach and do it for others. His law degree also came in handy, especially when advising people on how to launch a new business or choose investments. Letting excitement get to him People wanted his services. Within no time he had a really popular podcast. Then pretty soon he had a rapidly growing business. Everything was going too fast and was way beyond what he understood regarding the business. But the growth got him all excited and he felt pretty confident that he now knew just about everything and that whatever he touched would turn to gold. So he kept things moving fast. Fast and big is not always good His business continued growing fast and he got to a point where he realized he did not know what to do with all of that growth. He found himself having to solve problems that he didn't understand. He was forced to hire people to solve the problems for him. Because he didn’t understand what the problems that needed solving were, he ended up hiring people that weren’t that great. He was hiring and firing people so fast. He should have outsourced It was only after he had spent over a quarter-million dollars that he realized that he was struggling to create a system or a solution to something that someone else already had out there. He realized that had he taken a pause, slowed things down with the business, he’d have been able to figure out what the business needed and then hire an agency and offload things on them. But no, his excitement to keep things on a high saw him make his worst investment ever. Lessons learned Delay launching a new business Yes, you have an awesome idea. Yes, you feel ready for a business launch. Delay that launch by at least three months. Take those three months to learn. Take a course on how to launch a business online, get someone to mentor you, get a good framework first and then go ahead and launch your business idea. Ask the right questions The thing that ruins your business is being overconfident. Overconfidence kills your curiosity. It stops you from asking questions. And that's where you always get beaten. Asking the right questions is extremely important. Andrew’s takeaways You don’t know everything Often, we think that we know everything about our businesses and we get overconfident only to realize we know nothing. Be open to learn no matter how long you’ve been in business. If you’re feeling overconfident, then you’ve learned nothing. Slow down, maintain your cool Slow down, take it easy, because if you are a person with a lot of ideas, you want to go big and want to get there fast. But sometimes you've got to go slowly to be able to maintain your position at the top. It's no good to get there and not be...
Dec 04, 2019
Tristan Wright – Being Authentic Means Living Life According to Your Goal Plan
Tristan Wright is the rock star Business Sherpa from down under. He is based in Melbourne, Australia and has a background in leadership coaching and applied business. He studied engineering and industrial design. He worked in that space for a couple of years but decided to start his own cycling clothing company, Seight, at the age of 24. Presently, his company, (evolve to GROW) gives business owners and entrepreneurs the tools and support they need to simplify their workload, grow their profits, and reclaim their time.   “At the end of the day, I'm not responsible for how they feel and disconnected myself from that outcome. So, I have my own goal plan and I know what I want to achieve. People can see that I'm driven with where I want to get and they can see that I'm congruent with what I want to achieve, and how my actions align with that.” Tristan Wright   Worst investment ever It is not always great to be at the top of the world At a very young age, Tristan Wright had already made a lot of money from his successful sportswear business. He started across Australia and ventured into different countries across the world. He was indeed feeling on top of the world for owning a seven-figure business at the age of 26. However, because of his initial success, he thought that he needed no one’s advice. He felt invincible and believed that if he has achieved something others could not, what was stopping him from doing more? Woke up with debt One day, Tristan was this successful businessman from Australia dominating the sportswear industry, the next day, he woke up with a quarter-million dollars of debt and a wife who told him that they were over. For six months, everything just went from bad to worse. The Australian dollar dropped against US dollar just at the time he was investing in growing his business. Mindset investment is equally important as monetary investment What Tristan means by mindset investment is investing in yourself before investing in others. Earlier, he thought that making other people happy, would make him happy as well. He was living a life according to what society wanted him to be and how they perceived him to be. He was so focused on making other people happy, putting up a show for them by looking nice and successful that he forgot his own goal plans. He disconnected himself from what truly made him happy. Yes, he was successful on the outside, but he felt empty and inauthentic inside which made him really unhappy. Personal development includes minding your own business When Tristan hit rock bottom, he realized that he had no one to turn to. Those people who he invested so much in were never there to support him. With that, he realized that he needed to put an end to the show and live his true self. He started investing in himself by following what his goal plans were. Little by little, he saw improvement in his personal life. He was able to recover from his losses, grew the business again and eventually sold it. Lessons learned Live your own goal plan Your goal plan should reflect who you are and not what others perceive you to be. What you want to do and not what others expect you to do. And how you want to achieve that without losing yourself in the process. Take ownership and responsibility for all your actions Anything that happens to you is the product of your own doing. If the results are great, then you only have yourself to be grateful to. If it’s not, then reflect and move forward. Work on yourself first To be able to be successful not just in business but in life as general, people need to continue to invest in themselves. If they want to go to the next level, they need to explore who they are as a person to be able to continue to move forward and grow. Surround yourself with people who are ahead of you It is important to surround yourself with people who you want to be surrounded with. To be able to learn, choose the people who are...
Dec 03, 2019
Pete Matthew – Personal Finance Advice: Make it Your Responsibility to Become Financially Literate
Pete Matthew is a 21-year veteran financial planner, based in Penzance in the far southwest of the UK. In 2010, he began shooting a series of short videos explaining how money works in simple everyday language. This hobby became (Meaningful Money), which is now UK’s biggest independent personal finance podcast with over 3 million downloads, a YouTube channel, a book deal and an online Academy teaching people how to beat debt and build wealth. Pete is also the Managing Director of (Jackson's Wealth Management), which can trace its roots back nearly 100 years in Penzance. He’s married and has two daughters age 19 and 16. And a Jack Russell Terrier called Maisie.   “We should be intentional with our finances because nothing good happens by mistake. Anything good takes work and intention” Pete Matthew   Worst investment ever Zero financial training Pete grew up in a home where money was an absolute taboo subject. His parents, like many others of their time, didn’t know how to talk to him about money. So he grew up with zero financial training. And thus he never knew how to engage with money, well not until he met his fiancé. Learning how to manage personal finances with his tail between his legs Pete came to learn how to manage his finances in the most embarrassing way. One weekend, he was heading for a weekend getaway with his fiancé, and his brother and his wife. During the car ride, they were talking about paying for the weekend. Pete was filled with fear because he had zero money. He was worse than zero. He had overdrawn his overdraft. He had no choice but to admit to his fiancé that he had no money and there was no way that he would be able to pay for the weekend. The embarrassing part was that they were driving in her car that she had saved for because she had all the financial discipline that he didn't. Right there and then Pete had a life-defining moment where he thought he might lose his fiancé over this because how could she marry such a mess? He had student loans, but no degree to show for it and an overdraft with the bank. Fortunately, she stuck with him and she paid for the weekend, and he eventually paid her back. Money lessons from his fiancé His fiancé and that vulnerable moment taught him a great deal about how to manage personal finances as well as day-to-day expenditures. He realized that his worst investment ever was a complete lack of investment in his ability to cope with day-to-day finances. Lessons learned Don’t self-sabotage yourself When it comes to financial planning we are our own worst enemies. Many times we tell ourselves incredible lies that lead to self-sabotage. We tell ourselves that we can’t do anything about the financial mess we are in and we believe it. So instead of learning about personal finances, we continue being passive about it. Don’t let bills surprise you Practice automatic bills payment with a two account approach. It's very simple. You get paid into one account and process all your bills from that account every month through direct debit or standing order. This ensures that you never get surprised by a bill. Andrew’s takeaways Stop self-sabotaging yourself Most people hate finance, and that’s ok but, don’t keep saying that to yourself because if you do it will cause self-sabotage. Take a moment, stop and let that go. Find a way to start loving finance. Personal finance doesn't have to be complicated and overwhelming Learning about finances and managing your money can be very simple these days compared to a few years back. So go out and learn how to do it and start doing it. Actionable advice Educate yourself, learn about personal finances and don't accept ignorance. The financial services industry may make it look so complicated that you think you need an expert to train you. But take it from an expert, anybody can do it on their own. Personal financial planning comes down to three things.
Dec 02, 2019
Gabriel Abed – Think Long-term and Do Research to Overcome FOMO
Gabriel Abed is the founder of ( A FinTech enterprise established to offer financial solutions to the world's unbanked communities. He is also the founder of the Digital Asset Fund, the first regulated digital asset mutual fund in the Caribbean region. The Barbados-based entrepreneur is internationally acknowledged as a pioneer in the digital currency evolution having initiated the first global movement to encourage the use of central bank digital currencies to stop these politicians from printing money.   “I knew better and I knew that the price would stabilize once the sufficient supply hit the market but I bought into the FOMO. And it was that FOMO buying that I got burnt on. So, the lesson learned is to avoid FOMO, don't be an emotional trader and stick to the fundamentals.” Gabriel Abed   Worst investment ever A new privacy coin that gets everyone excited Back in 2016, Gabriel heard a rumor about a new privacy coin coming to the market called Zcash. The need for privacy in the cryptocurrency sector got everyone excited, thinking it would be a lucrative investment. Rumors had it that the team behind it was great and that the legendary tennis player Roger Federer was one of the big backers of the project. Gabriel, just like many others, was at the front row ready to see this thing unravel. It went down as fast as it went up When Zcash hit the exchange and the buy orders were climbing into the thousands. Gabriel was in one of their staff houses in Barbados, opening up his trading engine and buying himself some Zcash. When he saw how it skyrocketed, he thought this was going to be a special one. And just as fast it went up, Gabriel saw the price of Zcash crash. He continued to buy on the way down. He was still hopeful and kept buying to increase his position. Unfortunately, it never recovered. Lessons learned Never get too excited and abandon the fundamentals If you don’t want to crash and burn, stick to the fundamentals of a good and prudent investor. They are there for a reason and that is to guide investors not to make mistakes especially in high-risk investments. You are not missing anything if you overcome FOMO Just because, everyone is buying it, doesn't mean you have to. A good investor knows the right thing to do is to research and examine the information gathered in order to come up with an investment decision, not base it on FOMO. Always go for the long-term play Short-term investments rarely pay off. If it’s a good investment, it’s not going to go away in one day. You just need to be patient. Andrew’s takeaways Don’t try to catch a falling knife Don’t jump into an investment when the price is falling sharply. Wait until the price has bottomed out. Do your research When you forget the basic principle to always do your research, then something bad is usually going to happen sooner or later. Gather sufficient information so you can justify your decision. Do not make decisions when you are excited When you get excited about something, there is a thin line separating good decisions from bad ones. Try to break them apart once everything clears out. Actionable advice Educate oneself before investing. Don't allow the upfront FOMO to get you and pull you into the fold. Take your time when investing. No. 1 goal for the next 12 months Gabriel wants to recalibrate his life and look for the next big thing on where the market is going to go. He wants to discover, explore and get excited again about a new subject. Parting words   “Invest wisely and only invest what you can afford to lose.” Gabriel Abed   Andrew’s books How to Start Building Your Wealth Investing in the Stock Market My Worst Investment Ever 9 Valuation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Transform Your Business with Dr. Deming’s 14 Points Andrew’s online programs Valuation Master Class Women Building Wealth The Build Your Wealth Membership Group Become a Great Presenter and...
Dec 01, 2019
Daniel Ramsey – When Investing in Real Estate Take Your Time to Remove the Unknowns
Daniel Ramsey is the founder & CEO of (MyOutDesk), the highest-rated Virtual Assistant company in the marketplace with over hundreds of 5-star reviews, and over 10 years of experience, serving more than 5,000 clients – including over half of the RealTrends™ Top 10 teams. Daniel is a long-time licensed real estate broker, mortgage broker, and general contractor who’s sold hundreds of homes and made millions in commissions, and built real estate’s #1 staffing company. Back in 2008, he was inspired by his own time-management struggles to find a better way to help agents leverage their time & energy, and created MyOutDesk to provide a trusted, reliable solution to the office administration, marketing & prospecting tasks that every agent has – but most lack the time to focus on. In 12 years with MyOutDesk, Daniel has helped thousands of clients scale their businesses & grow profitability. He’s worked with some of the top clients in the industry – from sales organizations like the Mark Spain Team and Ben Kinney to tech providers like the Zillow Group, Keller Williams, and RE/MAX.   “When you know the markets are down, go all in and triple or quadruple your net worth. But it takes guts, and I'm all about that. I cannot wait for the next downturn to come around.” Daniel Ramsey   Worst investment ever Experiencing an economic downturn Things were quite tough for real estate companies during the economic recession, and it was exceptionally horrible in California, which was one of the top 10 markets to be cut in half. If you bought a house for $400,000, two years later, it was worth $200,000. The sky was falling, and people were running away from real estate investing. Daniel experienced a 90% drop in revenue forcing him to close his office. He went from having three offices and more than 30 licensed people to working out of his back bedroom. Weathering the economic recession Daniel decided to reinvent himself in 2007 and started learning about short sales, foreclosures, and what's a deed in lieu. He realized that the financial meltdown had opened up an entire industry. He traveled around the country, went to New York, Dallas, and Boston and met huge institutional lenders who had thousands of homes in Sacramento that were for sale. He offered to sell these homes. Riding the downturn to double his wealth Daniel realized that he could make a profit by buying homes during the recession and sell them off for a profit. He decided to explore markets outside of Sacramento. That’s when he found this beautiful condo on the hills in San Francisco, in the city of San Anselmo. It had one of those driveways that have a little hill on the top. The owner had bought it for 1.5 million dollars and was selling it for $650,000. It was quite a steal for Daniel. However, the previous owner had decided to convert the garage into a master bedroom. That was not a problem for Daniel as he doubled up as a developer and a contractor. Or so he thought. Climbing the financial hill Daniel met the inspector and the city engineer and submitted his plans. What he thought would be an easy task became an uphill climb. Turned out, this house had a hill behind it, and the soil composition in San was prone to mudslides and earthquakes. And so the city council was not excited about a renovation. First, he was asked for a soils report. He figured how hard can it be to get a report? So he got a soils engineer who informed him that the hill would come down any second and needed to be mitigated. Again, he thought to himself that this would be a child’s play; he can do it. Oh no, it was nothing near a child’s play. He was informed that he had to drill 25 feet down into the ground, put a metal t bar then pour concrete down the 25-foot hole within the whole circumference of the circle. This whole process saw him lose more than $200,000 on the beautiful condo that turned into his worst investment ever. Lessons learned...
Nov 28, 2019
Kornel Szrejber – Paying off a Low-Cost Mortgage Can Increase Your Opportunity Cost
Kornel Szrejber is the host of the Build Wealth Canada Show. He has been featured for paying off his mortgage in only six years while still in his 20s and becoming one of Canada's youngest retirees at the age of 32. He now runs his popular personal finance and investing podcast created specifically for Canadians. Kornel interviews top personal finance experts to share their best practices, tips, and tactics when it comes to investing and personal financial planning in Canada. He also runs Canada's largest personal finance and investing conference.   “We sort of just, got scared, let fear take control, buried our heads in the sand, and said, let's just pretty much ignore the stock market and go for this short thing of paying off a mortgage.” Kornel Szrejber   Worst investment ever Ready to be financially independent Kornel and his wife set out to be financially independent straight out of university. They were smart about their money right off the bat. While other young couples were enjoying the benefits of having well-paying jobs straight from college, Kornel and his wife decided to live off one of their salaries and use the other one to pay off their mortgage quicker. Fear got the best of them They were also considering to save for retirement, but before they could make a decision the 2008 financial crisis hit. Investors were freaking out because they were losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in their investment accounts. As young graduates, they didn't know much about investing in public markets or opportunity costs. And so they got completely scared off from the markets and decided to go for the sure thing, which was paying off their mortgage. When one good decision leads to a missed opportunity They did manage to impressively fully pay off their mortgage within six years, something that is rare in Canada. They even got featured in both of the major personal finance magazines in Canada, some large blogs and podcasts, and in a book. But despite this nice milestone, they missed out on an important investment opportunity. At the time they were getting the mortgage, interest rates were at historic lows, and therefore, they had a guaranteed rate of return. On the other hand, the markets went incredibly up after recovering from the 2008 financial crisis. Getting rid of their mortgage debt gave them good peace of mind. But by ignoring other investment opportunities, they increased their opportunity cost. Had they put some of the money they used to pay off their mortgage in the stock market, it would have far exceeded the interest payments that they were paying. Lessons learned The best time to invest is when the market is at the bottom When the 2008 financial crisis hit and the markets were really low, that was a really good time to invest and make profits as the markets recovered. Diversify your investments While paying off a mortgage fast has its benefits, reducing the payments and investing some of the money in stock markets instead, could get you a much higher return while still enjoying the appreciation of your house. Don’t let fear drive your decisions Don’t let fear make you run for what seems safe. Instead, learn more about the risk you’re afraid of taking. After that, you’ll be less afraid and more confident to make a decision. Andrew’s takeaways Low levels of debt can be good for you Generally, debt is bad, but super low levels of debt could be beneficial. For instance, instead of buying a house with cash, you can take a low-cost mortgage and use that cash to invest in other investments with higher returns. Sometimes our biggest strength becomes our weakness Even the smartest investors make poor judgment calls, and being a rookie investor doesn’t mean that you can’t win big. Kornel’s worst investment also opened up all sorts of opportunities for him. Actionable advice Don’t take the fear or ignorance is bliss approach. Instead, at least learn about DIY (do-it-yourself) investing,
Nov 27, 2019
Gary Wilson – Always Be Open to Your Intuition
At the age of 40, Gary Wilson retired as a corporate Vice President in a nationwide bank. Since then, he has traded over 3,000 investment properties in less than five years. He has developed five real estate holding companies owning more than 250 rental units. He has built five businesses, including brokerage rental management, investment services, settlement services, and appraisal services. He has been accepted into the Andron Apiphenon Order of Excellence for Real Estate. With his experience, he has authored seven books. He is also the founder, trainer, and coach of the Path to Profit System, teaching more than 20,000 agents and investors. Finally, he has appeared on over 100 national and local media outlets, including CBS, Fox News, NBC, ABC, and Business Week   “A lot of stuff is going to happen when you’re buying properties. You're going to get involved with some drama and grief that you get unintentionally tied into that trauma. So, figure out how to be a good business person and how to be a compassionate human being at the same time.” Gary Wilson   Worst investment ever A deal that couldn’t have gone any worse Gary Wilson has always loved closing deals. He could not forget his first experience at the closing table, negotiating his way out of that 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house. When the deal was done, that’s when he realized he’s born to close. A couple of years after, he was on his third property investment when he encountered his worst investment experience. The owner of a three-unit property he was looking at buying was a seasoned veteran investor and also a real estate broker. Gary was at the closing table with a lot of people pressuring him to buy the property. With little to no due diligence on his part, he ended up buying the property. It turned out; the owner had not pay the $500 water bill. The drama he wished he was never a part of Gary had hoped that after a bad start, he would start to reap his profits out of that deal. However, he got unlucky with his tenants. Two of his tenants could not pay the rent because their money was used to buy drugs. The crazy stuff is, Gary had to go through the whole drama of personally demanding them to pay the rent and almost forcibly threw them out of his property. He got tired of it, and because he did not want to go through the whole eviction process again, he offered them money and paid them to leave. When it rains, it pours One problem after another and Gary at this point was fairly certain that nothing worse could have come after what happened. But as the famous saying goes, “when it rains, it pours.” And literally and figuratively, a perfect storm and two hurricanes flooded and damaged his property. He asked everybody to vacate the place temporarily. While no rents were coming in, he had to shell out some cash for the renovation for it to be livable again. Finally, after a couple of years, he sold it and never looked back. Lesson learned Follow your intuition If Gary had followed the inner voice telling him not to buy the property, he could have saved himself from the aggravation and losses. You need to develop your intuition. When you do that, then you put your mind to work, and it goes into action to help you figure out the best way when stuck in a difficult situation. It pays to be vigilant Before going to the closing table, make sure you armed yourself with all the data and information you can get about the deal. If you get your facts straight, it will create a reasonable certainty in your mind on what your decision will be. Three important things you need when buying a rental property First, always get the last three years of the tax return that applies to the property. Second, get the rent rolls for the last three years and have it certified with the owner to ascertain the accuracy of the information. Lastly, look at the owner’s record of the property with the profit loss details for the past three years so that you will see...
Nov 26, 2019
Vikas Gupta – Always Remember that the Unexpected Can Happen Even with Value Investing
Vikas Gupta founded OmniScience Capital to provide a scientific approach to global and India-listed equity investments. Together with his team, he formulated the Proprietary Scientific Investing Framework which stands on the strong foundations of nearly 100 years of investment research and practice. While his exposure to the capital market can be traced back to the 1990s. He has a long track record of investing since 2003 onwards, based on the value investing philosophy developed by Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett. The practical experience of investing over the various ups and downs of the markets was supplemented by a relentless thirst for learning from other investment greats. Scientific investing is the result of this trial by fire over the decades. Vikas has earlier incubated the global equities vertical at ArthVeda Capital, which won international awards and rankings. Besides, he successfully obtained a US SEC license for the firm with a vision of operating in the US markets. He led advanced discussions and/or inked agreements with leading stock exchanges, asset management firms and research firms across the globe, including from the US and Europe. He has a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and has earned his Masters and Doctorate from an Ivy League University—Columbia University, New York.   “Listen to everyone, even the greats, but make up your mind on your own.” Vikas Gupta   Worst investment ever Imitating the value investing greats Vikas started his investment journey by following the ways of some of the top investment maestros such as Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, Franklin Templeton, Peter Lynch, Philip Arthur Fisher, among others. By doing so, he was exposed to different investment philosophies, including value investing, investing in monopolies, concentrated focus investing, diversification and so on. But what attracted him the most was looking for monopolistic growth companies. Vikas decided that he was going to have a 10 stock portfolio and so he went out looking for stocks worth investing in. He would find what was the best stock and then allocate 10%. This is when he landed on his worst investment. Finding the perfect investment As he was looking for investments to fill up his portfolio, he came across a great investment, what he calls a classic Buffett playbook. It was a media company with the only available channel for other companies to reach their target segment. Being a near monopoly, the companies would have to pay whatever the media company asked. And so, this was a classic Buffett investment media company with complete dominance. The company ticked off all the right boxes for the perfect investment. One of the few English speaking media companies in India, in a highly concentrated region and with a huge expansion possibility in the neighboring states, high returns on capital and had all the indicators of a strong monopoly. No doubt, it was one of the best value stocks available. Not so perfect after all The red flags started when the next annual report was not available. Vikas, however, was optimistic and so he waited it out. Finally, several months down the line after regulators came in and forced the company to file a balance sheet, a report was released. It was then that Vikas and other investors found out that the huge cash-rich company was saddled with a billion dollars of debt. The company had used its assets and many other assets, which were not even part of the company to borrow from top-class lenders, public sector banks, private sector banks, and non-banking financial institutions. They even securitized the same assets twice or thrice to different lenders. The shares were pledged to various lenders. It was a total disaster that suddenly left shareholders loaded with as much debt as the valuation of the company leaving them at nil of what they invested. So Vikas lost everything he had invested in this stock. Lessons learned...
Nov 25, 2019
Joe Saul-Sehy – Financial Risk Management Lies in Diversification across Industries
Joe Saul-Sehy is the co-host of the award-winning Stacking Benjamins podcast, which focuses on earning, saving, and spending with a plan. Joe is a former financial advisor (16 years) and represented American Express and Ameriprise in the media. He was the “Money Man” at Detroit television WXYZ-TV, appearing twice weekly. He’s appeared in Bride, Best Life, and Child magazines, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit News and Baltimore Sun newspapers. He’s also appeared online in more than 200 different places, including ( and   “If you think you’re smart enough to know where the market is, you don't understand the risk of investing.” Joe Saul-Sehy   Worst investment ever A walk into Best Buy leads to buying a stock Joe has always been the guy who loves experimenting with different investment philosophies and investment strategies. He has also been a forward thinker in technology, and that’s what led him to his worst investment ever. One day he walked into a (Best Buy) and saw this miracle called (XM Radio) and thought it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen. This satellite radio had hundreds of channels, and he could now listen to all his favorite sports, business news, comedy, and much more, all in one place. That was phenomenal! He thought to himself that this was the future, and it was going to be amazing. But, being the financial risk guru he is, he didn’t buy the satellite radio that day. It took him a good nine or ten months of research as he considered if he needed it and if a subscription for his radio was necessary. Buying the company because you love the product So he did all kinds of research. He finally bought one, and he loved it. He loved the radio so much that he bought 1,000 XM stocks for $2.85 each. That’s how much he loved the product! XM satellite radio was indeed a great product, and the shares rose up to $30 a share. XM was doing phenomenally well, and Joe couldn’t help pat himself on the back for being such a smart investor. Investing in the competition is a BAD idea He decided it was time to diversify his portfolio, so he sold half of his XM shares at $30.25 making some pretty good profit. He found XM’s competitor Sirius Satellite Radio and invested in it with the money that he took out of XM. He figured that since XM was doing so well, the competition would perform as well. While he knew the product inside and out, his love for the product blinded him to buy the stock without researching the company itself. He had no idea how XM and Sirius do business, what was their structure or any other fundamental analysis. He just went and bought the stocks. So now he had two companies doing the same thing with pretty much the same product. Sirius was in this war for dominance and also struggling with debt. When XM went up, Sirius went up. When XM went down, Sirius would go down too. Not only that, the fact was that one of them was going to fail. The logical thing for the other one to do was to merge the two companies. So he ended up with a single stock, that was Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Performance after the merge continued on a downhill. Joe rode the shares back down to his original buying price, so he lost what his second half had gained as well as the investment he had bought in Sirius. Lessons learned Diversify your portfolio the right way To truly diversify your portfolio, you need to get into different industries. It’s a financial risk to invest in two stocks within the same industry. Competitors will often have similar results. When one wins, the other one wins too, and if one loses, the other one loses too. The time to buy is now If you've done your homework, and you like a position, you have to like it at the price it's at, because that price may never go down as you expect. The best risk mitigation strategy is to get out when you can Pay close
Nov 24, 2019
Jonathan Jay – When Buying a Business Understand That Due Diligence Won’t Reveal Everything
Jonathan Jay has bought and sold businesses for over 20 years, buying from private equity firms and selling to them as well and has also done numerous trade deals. In the last few years, he has brought his knowledge to the world through The Dealmakers Academy, which is a UK leader in training people to buy and sell businesses without risking their own capital. For the first time, he is now teaching dealmakers how to source and negotiate deals to generate cash flow and exit opportunities without them having to work in the business day-to-day and as a bolt on to an existing business. You can gain free access to Jonathan's webinars and latest book, “Business Buying Strategies - The Solution to Your Business Growth Problem” and attend one of his low-cost discovery sessions. Each year he manages a select group of dealmakers through their first acquisition and in some cases, partners with them to create a powerful deal team.   “Some businesses are too perfect that there isn’t any value to be added by the new owner. What I look for is a business with enough headroom for myself and my team to actually add value to it. With the value that we add, comes the growth of the business.” Jonathan Jay   Worst investment ever The rough acquisition Jonathan was told to approach a certain company in a sector that he already had invested in before and did well. Since he did not want to let an opportunity pass, he met with the owners of the company and discovered that they wanted to sell the business. They were open about the finances of the business, and Jonathan could see that it had done better in the past year or so. Jonathan and his team spent a couple of months doing their due diligence with intensive research and crunching some numbers. Although they had discovered some things that were not particularly good, they had expected these kinds of things in the business of buying businesses. “It’s not all going to be a bed of roses,” Jonathan reminded himself. He dived into that acquisition with his eyes opened. But the reality was just terrible. A stressful transition Nothing seemed to be right after the acquisition. The business had every problem and every issue Jonathan could ever imagine. The staff, the delivery, the supplies, and the finances just all went south. The next six or seven months were a total nightmare because all they did was putting out one fire after another. The only incentive Jonathan had to continue was that at least the company was making money despite being terribly managed. However, that little profit won’t compare to how stressed Jonathan was for that whole seven months. Indeed, after eleven months of firefighting, he sold the company. You don’t get the culture during due diligence Jonathan believed that the people in the company caused one of the main issues of that acquisition. Up to that point, these people were all just names in the spreadsheet with their salaries and starting dates. However, when he met these people, he discovered the level of training they had, their work ethics, and their company culture. These things did not reveal themselves during due diligence. And due diligence is all that he relied on. Lesson learned Resilience is overcoming the unexpected In a very stressful world of buying businesses, if one can get easily stressed by very small things, then the industry is not for you. Resilience only comes from having been given a chance to work through difficult situations. The future can never be certain If you are aiming for something big, then you have to expect that there will be lots of uncertainty. But most of the remarkable lessons you will learn in life comes from uncertainty and disorientation. Never rely on just due diligence Do not believe in everything, including due diligence. People can look great in the report, but in reality, they do not know about the business. Andrew’s takeaways Due diligence doesn’t reveal the culture of the company People as a...
Nov 21, 2019
John Swolfs – Never Be Afraid to Ask a Financial Advisor When It Comes to Your Money
19:00 (John Swolfs) is CEO at Inside ETFs. Previously, he worked at BlackRock’s, one of the world’s largest asset managers, iShares team as a business development associate. In his previous role, Swolfs worked closely with both the Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and Independent Advisor community to help promote the use of ETFs and index investing. Before joining iShares, he worked as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch. Swolfs is a graduate of SUNY Albany, where he majored in U.S. history. And a little bit of trivia, John worked for two years for the (New York Mets).   “Before you invest, get professional help. It's out there, it's accessible, take advantage of it.” John Swolfs   Worst investment ever John’s worst investment happened when, despite being an expert in investing, he started believing that he could time the market. The financial advisor who wouldn’t listen to his advice John is always talking to his clients about thinking long-term and investing for the future. He has always advised them to do what's right for their portfolio and not to worry about what's happening in the market. He, however, took all of that knowledge and information and said that it was not for him. He ditched his thinking and decided to get tactical. He believed that he was smarter than anyone, i.e., that he was smarter than the market. To his clients, he would have told them that they can't do that, that that's foolish. That they need to build a position that allows them to be diversified and ride the markets out. But when it came to himself making the investment move, he thought he didn’t need to follow his own advice. Buying gold in a murky market John invested in gold in 2012, a time when there were a lot of concerns about inflation as the world was still not out of the global financial crisis. Against his better judgment, he bought $15,000 worth of gold, believing that the market would eventually pick up. The price of this investment has been going down since the day he bought it. It still pains him to have foolishly lost all that money. Lessons learned Stick with your allocations If you are building a strategic plan for your asset allocation, stick with it. Avoid personal bias Don’t let personal bias or emotional attachment get you stuck with an investment for too long. Diversify your portfolio Opportunity cost is real when it comes to investing. Build an allocation that allows you to be diversified and ride the markets out. Don't ever think that you're smarter than the market You’ll never be smarter than the market, so always do your homework, and don’t forget your risk management lessons. Andrew’s takeaways Fear is dangerous when it comes to investing Fear can be very dangerous and can hold you back from making solid investment decisions. When you start building a scary scenario of what could be happening in the markets, you start getting confirmation bias. You only find research and people talking about the bad scenario. You’ll keep building upon this fear, and you can easily get caught up in it and end up being driven by emotion or flawed thinking. Equity should be your core asset Build up your investment account over 20, 30, or 40 years and diversify across asset classes, such as commodities, fixed income, etc. This way you’ll be able to manage your cash flow as well as the movement of your overall portfolio. Actionable advice Get help from a financial advisor. Go to a professional who will keep you on track and guide you on the best way to invest your money. No. 1 goal for next the 12 months John’s main goal for the next 12 months is to get all his asset allocations consolidated. He wants to hire a wealth management advisor or a Robo advisor, who will get him back on the right path. Currently, his assets are scattered all over the place. Parting words   “You can't control the market. So control what you can, and...
Nov 20, 2019
Sal Daher – To Win Big as an Angel Investor, You Have to Look at All Angles
Sal Daher is an angel investor who invests in technologies that set Boston apart. He is a member of Walnut Ventures and MIT Angels. Sal is a syndicate lead and podcast host at (Angel Invest Boston Podcast).   “The market does not pay you for taking an idiosyncratic or company-specific risk. The market pays you for data.” Sal Daher   Worst investment ever Not so much love for the pop Sal as an angel investor is always looking for startups to invest in. it’s no surprise that his worst investment ever was missing out on a good deal. Sal got to learn about a company called Love Pop that makes greeting cards that open up and a magnificent sailing ship or airplane pops out. In his mind, this was one hell of a business idea that was never going to take off. I don’t need my mentor on this one He was smart enough though, to tell his mentor, who has invested in hundreds of startups, about the company. His mentor advised him to meet the founding team. His stubbornness would not allow him to listen to his mentor. He complained that he knew nothing about consumer business and his stronghold was in B2Bs such as biotech companies. He went against his mentor’s advice and didn't take the meeting. A foolish move that he still regrets to date. But why was this a foolish move yet his reasoning was valid? While his excuse for not investing in the startup was valid, it was a wrong move because his number one strategy as a successful angel investor is to invest in teams. He doesn’t invest in ideas or markets, he invests in teams. So at the very least, he should have met the startup’s founding team. It turns out that the two founders are extremely smart entrepreneurs who if put in any situation, they'll figure it out. They went on to figure out their stores, they got VC funding and became a huge success. A success that Sal missed out on. Lessons learned When investing in early-stage companies you have no data for your research. It’s just an idea that the founding team has. To get the best return on your investment you need to invest in the right founding team. Are they excited about their idea? Do they work well together? Find out as much as you can about the team. To you, it may sound like a stupid idea. But, when a bunch of really clever people come to you and say they think they can make tons of money with that idea, don’t dismiss them just yet, give them a hearing. It's a constant temptation to think that you know more than the startup founders but, remember that these guys are out exploring the unknown. So allow experimentation. Don't do it alone. Find angel investor groups near you, join an angel investment network, work with somebody who knows what they're doing. Just don’t work alone. Andrew’s takeaways To win big you must be an open-minded angel investor Good ideas and good money-making opportunities come from many different angles. If you want to become an angel investor you must allow yourself to be open to all types of business ideas. You may just stumble upon a unicorn startup. Invest in teams not ideas It is the teams that are going to turn an idea into a multibillion-dollar investment or a huge loss. So invest in great teams that can overcome various business challenges and build successful startups. Actionable advice Start early, start small, start slow and pay attention because you will learn after a handful of investments. Returns can't be rushed. This idea of FOMO (fear of missing out), forget about that. If somebody is giving you FOMO in a startup, give it a miss. No. 1 goal for next the 12 months Sal’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to increase the number of people in his angel investors list to five times more than he currently has. Parting words   “You must have a great deal of discipline if you want to invest in startups. Okay. I say start small, start slow, and don't do it alone.” Sal Daher   Andrew’s books How to Start Building
Nov 19, 2019
Dustin Mathews – Even if You Are An Expert in Investing in Real Estate, You Must Do Your Homework
19:49 (Dustin Mathews) is the co-founder and Chief Education Officer of; an online learning startup focused on teaching all the stuff you never learned in school about money investing and entrepreneurship. He's also the host of the Get Wealth Fit podcast where he's had the chance to get inside the heads of top investors and famous people like Rich Dad Robert Kiyosaki, racing legend Danica Patrick, Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank, Marquis Jets founder, Jesse, Olympic medalists Shannon Miller, and Seal Team six leader Rob O'Neill.   “Whatever your goal is, whether it’s investing, do one small action a day to build momentum, and you'll surprise yourself at what you can achieve.” Dustin Mathews   Worst investment ever It helps to follow your own investing in real estate advice Dustin’s worst investment ever was his first home, a condo in Florida. In Florida, back in 2007/2008, you literally could buy a piece of property, and it would go up by $100,000 or $50,000, depending on where it was. The condo he bought was on the water and seemed to be a smart move. The reason why he didn't think that it would be a bad investment was that he had a mentor who was running a company, ironically called Foreclosures Daily. The mentor was teaching him how to buy and sell real estate, and together they were teaching others how to buy and sell foreclosure properties. He felt confident that he knew enough to invest in real estate. So he bought a condo on the water without doing any background research or any of the things that he advised his students to do before investing in real estate. What could go wrong anyway? Buying on an interest-only mortgage Now the big mistake was not buying the condo but buying it on an interest-only mortgage. He never planned to stay in the condo. He was going to do what everyone was saying to do. Buy it, live in it for two years, and then move out and buy a new property and trade up. So he figured that because he was only looking to invest in real estate, he would do an adjustable-rate mortgage interest only. Unfortunately, the market turned in 2008 and property values dropped. His mortgage payment became more than what the condo was worth. Eventually, the bubble burst, and now he was facing foreclosure. While he had always taught people not to walk away from foreclosed homes, he walked away from his condo, gave up on it, and gave it back to the bank. Lessons learned Do your due diligence It's so easy to get excited about whatever investment that is currently hot and that everyone is talking about. Don’t get caught up in the hype. Take time to do your due diligence to confirm that, indeed, the investment is good for you too. You may realize that despite the hype, this isn’t the right time or investment for you. Educate yourself Even though Dustin was working in a real estate company, teaching real estate investing, he was so caught up in the job, the KPIs and the metrics that he wasn't absorbing that education for himself. So even if you’re an experienced investor, make the time to educate yourself about every piece of investment you set your eyes on. If possible, consult other people that don't have a vested interest in your stake. Andrew’s takeaways Don’t get overhyped You may get caught up in the hype. Slow down, stay cool and take time to observe and understand things. This will help you make informed decisions. Experts are the worst Many people have probably lost more than they have made in the stock market over a long period, because of overconfidence. Being seasoned investors, being in the market, and on top of it, they assume their investments will be safe, so they go in blindly. It’s okay to feel shameful of your loss People, even experts, will always make mistakes when investing. It’s okay to feel embarrassed about your investment decisions that go wrong. Face it, and move on. Actionable advice The next hot company...
Nov 18, 2019
John Pugliano – Diversify Your Portfolio to Beat Overconfidence and Use a Put to Avoid Regrets
John Pugliano is the author of The Robots are Coming: A Human's Survival Guide to Profiting in the Age of Automation. He is the host of Wealthsteading Podcast as well as the founder and money manager at Investable Wealth LLC. John’s circuitous career path includes military services, both enlisted and officer, corporate career in industrial sales, and finally, a late-blooming entrepreneur. John has an MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor's of Science and Environmental Science and Engineering from Penn State. In a nutshell, John is the quintessential Millionaire Next Door.   “First, learn how to earn, then you have to save, and then and only then you invest.” John Pugliano   Worst investment ever John found himself in the middle of the internet bubble in the 90s. Being a smart investor, he’d seen the internet bubble coming, and so he got out of technology stocks. This saved his wealth and so he was sitting on his high horse as he watched others lose their investments. The arrogant and overconfident investor Having escaped the internet bubble unscathed, John became arrogant and overconfident. With so much confidence, he invested a very large percentage of his portfolio in a brick and mortar, retail type of service company. He invested in Boston Market, a concept restaurant that served good healthy, home-cooked kind of meals. But the big concept of it was you didn't have to eat there. You could take it at home. Take out was a new thing, and this made the company all the rage. His entrepreneurial instinct told him that the technology stocks would go down, but the brick and mortar type of restaurants would always be there. And besides, the company had great reviews. Everybody loved it. So feeling all smug and overconfident, he put a large portion of his portfolio that he'd already made a profit on from getting out of the internet bubble into Boston Market. Falling off the high horse The Boston Market stock listed at about $20 and was selling at around $45 when John decided to invest in the company. Within a short 18 months, the stock went to zero, and the company went bankrupt. So John didn't lose 10% or 20% or even 50%, he lost a whopping 100% of a large portion of his overall investing portfolio. John was overconfident in his investment plan so much so that he didn’t even consider diversified investments. He put all the money he had in one stock. Lessons learned Diversify your portfolio John learned the hard way that you don’t have to believe in the rich man’s hype. You don’t have to take big risks to win. The way to win is through portfolio diversification. So instead of investing in one stock, diversify your portfolio by investing in many different stocks. This cushions you from making your worst investment should one of your stocks go bankrupt. John’s style now is to have very large diversification. He prefers to have a minimum of 30 stocks at a time, which gives him roughly a 3% position in any one stock. Now even if another disaster happened and one stock went to zero, he’ll only have lost 3% of his overall portfolio. He now believes that if you can't have a diversified portfolio, you're not an investor, and you shouldn't be doing it. Ignore the hype Ignoring the hype is especially an important lesson for people who are interested in how to start investing in stocks. Forget the people on Wall Street; they’re simply interested in getting your money, so don’t take them at face value. Being cynical when getting into the stock market will save you from losing your wealth. Ask the hard questions before you get sold. Don’t be a conformist Don’t fall for fear of missing out, aka FOMO. Just because everybody else is investing in a particular stock, you don’t have to do it. Whenever you conform you risk getting mediocre performance. Protect yourself with a put If you want to buy into one stock, you can protect your wealth with a protective put
Nov 17, 2019
Geoff Gannon – Watch the Weight of High Debt And Operating Leverage
Geoff Gannon is a portfolio manager, podcaster, and investment writer. He manages accounts at (Focus Compounding Capital Management), and he co-hosts the Focus Compounding Podcast with Andrew Kuhn. He started writing and podcasting about value investing in 2005, at the ripe young age of 19. Since then, Geoff has written hundreds of articles for (Seeking Alpha) and Guru Focus. He wrote the Gannon On Investing newsletter in 2006 and two GuruFocus newsletters from 2010-2012. In 2013, he co-founded Singular Diligence (a monthly investment newsletter) with Quan Hoang and authored all issues from 2013-2016. In 2017, he co-founded the Focused Compounding member website (with Andrew Kuhn). In 2018, he co-founded Focused Compounding Capital Management, where he manages client accounts. Lastly, in September of 2019, Geoff Gannon and Andrew Kuhn announced their partnership with Willow Oak Asset Management, a subsidiary of Enterprise Diversified Inc (SYTE US), to launch a hedge fund with a target launch date of January 1, 2020.   “If you have a monopoly or something like that, it’s okay to have a lot of operating leverage and a lot of debt.” Geoff Gannon   Worst investment ever Geoff got into investing as a teenager when he dropped out of college after one semester. He figured college wasn’t his thing. Instead, he wanted to do something related to investing as well as writing. So by the time he made his worst investment, he’d packed some good years of experience in investment and risk management. Even the most experienced investors make blunders Geoff’s worst investment ever was a personal investment. He’d been interested in the Weight Watchers stock for a long time but didn’t buy it as the price was always too high for his liking. He’s a value investor and likes to pay a low price for things. The lucky star shines on the seasoned investor As luck would have it, a couple of factors affected the price of the stock. The controlling shareholder decided that they should take on a lot of debt and buy back a lot of stock, which caused the stock price to shoot up. However, the price got so high that nobody wanted to buy it, which then caused the price to drop more than it should. Suddenly he was looking at the cheapest stock amongst its competitors, some that he never thought were as good as Weight Watchers. Now he got pretty interested in the stock. He goes against his better judgment Weight Watchers was a controversial stock at that point. But he liked the price, and it had all the things about a business that he liked as well. However, Weight Watchers had more debt than companies that he’d normally buy. The $33 per share stock price got him to ignore the debt and its possible consequences. Over the next year or so, the stock declined to the lowest price it has ever hit—$4. The price did increase after an announcement by Weight Watchers that Oprah was partnering with them. He ended up selling his shares at $17, making a 50% loss. Lessons learned Don’t invest in a high debt stock Geoff’s biggest lesson was that when buying stocks with high debt, you ought to consider the type of product or service the company is trading in. When a predictable company, for instance, an airport or any monopoly, take on an excessive amount of debt, the stock remains safe. However, a company like Weight Watchers is less predictable because they offer products that people will not hold onto for long. The average Weight Watchers member only stays with the diet for about nine months, meaning customers decline if they don’t get to sign up new ones. If the company had not taken on an excessive amount of debt, if they'd kept it pretty reasonable and low, that would probably have changed the trajectory of the performance of that stock. Think about fads too Before Geoff bought into the Weight Watchers stock, there was a buzz around the Atkins diet. It became...
Nov 14, 2019
Barbara Friedberg – You Don’t Need to Rush to Buy that Expensive Home
20:33 (Barbara Friedberg) has an MBA and a Master's in Science. She is a veteran Portfolio Manager, FinTech consultant, expert investor, and former university finance instructor. She is editor-author of Personal Finance: An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management, Invest in Beat the Pros and How to Get Rich. She is CEO of Robo-Advisor Pros, a Robo advisor review and information website. Additionally, she is the publisher of the well-regarded investment website Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance. Her work is found on U.S. News & World Report, Business Daily, Investopedia, Go Banking Rates, Investor Place, MSNBC and MSN Money, Entrepreneur, and many other places.   “Buying, although it's got a certain psychological benefit of owning your own home, financially, it may not be the best way to build wealth.” Barbara Friedberg   Worst investment ever Barbara and her husband are not newbies to the real estate market, having bought their first home in their 20s and 30s. It was while living in California and after having their daughter that they decided to move to another cheaper region. The couple realized that their lifestyle would be crazy trying to work and raise a family in California, so they decided to move to the Midwest. Even the most experienced make the worst investment decisions After selling their home for a tidy sum, they went house shopping in Indianapolis. To their delight, homes in Indianapolis were much cheaper than in California. Excited, they forgot the most important rule of buying a home: do your research. Struck by the relatively low real estate prices, they went all in and bought a beautiful four-bedroom home in a brand new community. The investment wasn’t so good after all After two years, Barbara’s husband had to change jobs, which meant they had to move. Selling the home was not as smooth as they expected. No one wanted to buy the house. What they would have realized had they done their research is that locals preferred houses with a basement, and theirs didn’t have one. The other problem they didn’t anticipate was Barbara’s decoration. See, she loves modern style decorations, so she’d decorated every room to her taste. Not to say, her taste is poor, but the decorating style in Indiana leans more towards traditional than modern. So her house was not the plum that she thought, given the area of the country they were living. When they listed their house on the market, it did not get a lot of traction. Ultimately, they did end up selling the house two years after they’d bought it for a loss of $25,000. Lessons learned Know your neighborhood before buying your first home Before you buy a home, do your research and understand the neighborhood well. Find out what are the must-haves for local home buyers. If everyone wants a house with a basement, buy a house with a basement. This will help sell the house faster when the time to sell comes. If you're going to sell in a certain region, you want to make sure the house fits in with the norms of the region. Buy a home only if you’re sure you’ll live in it for at least five years Buying a home is an expensive venture, and so is moving. Don’t buy a home unless you are pretty certain that you're going to stay in that property or hang on to that property for five to seven years. Real estate investments appreciate slowly Unlike the stock market, which is quite volatile, the real estate market is much more stable and moves slowly. So unless you are planning on staying in a house for five to seven years, don't buy, rent instead. Buying a house and expect to sell it for profit in the next one or two years is very difficult. Andrew’s takeaways Just because it's cheap doesn't mean you have to buy it Just because a house is cheaper than you expected it to be, does not mean that you should buy it. Consider all other factors of buying a home on top of the price. You may realize that it’s not a worthy...
Nov 13, 2019
Buck Joffrey – This Doctor Lost in His First Real Estate Deal Even Though the Math Looked Good
Buck Joffrey is a physician turned entrepreneur and professional investor. He is also the host of The Wealth Formula® Podcast and author of an international best-selling book, 7 Secrets of Eternal Wealth, which focuses on financial education for high paid professionals.   “At the end of the day, I just came into a realization that I really made a big mistake. I can sit here, chase it, spend money to save it, or I can give it up, cut my losses, sell it to somebody, learn to take the loss and move on. And so I did the latter.” Buck Joffrey   My Worst Investment Ever Story Surgeon turned real asset investor Buck finished surgical training in 2008. Having his own practice and doing a few other things, he started to have a little money to invest. He got interested in real estate primarily because of his family’s influence but mostly because of Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the best-selling book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. “It’s just math, and I’m good with math” Buck got addicted to the idea of cash flows and multifamily real estate, and he went on and read two of Ken McElroy’s books, The ABC of Real Estate Investing and The Advanced Guide to Real Estate Investing. Armed with advice from all the books he read, he concluded that it's all just math, and he knew he’s good at it. With no help from anyone, he started looking for properties. The deal that spiraled out of control For his first venture into the real estate world, Buck thought that it was a good idea to go to an online site to look for properties. He eventually found a deal, did the math, and saw a great opportunity–or so he thought it was. He went down to the place where the property was, ticked all the boxes, and bought the building. Just as quickly as he had made the deal, he started realizing that nothing on his spreadsheet seemed to be working. All of a sudden, everybody stopped paying their rent, and a bunch of people was creating more problems than he could handle. Buying something that you think you know and realizing that it was not after It turned out that Buck’s first deal was a fraud. The previous owner, to be able to convince people to buy his properties, would let people live there for free for a while. This was just to put on a show that the building was performing well and that buyers could expect to receive rent from the fake tenants. And so, the whole thing was a mess. Buck, with no one to turn to and with little to no experience in property management, had to sell the building after a year later for a loss. It’s one thing to know what you think you are buying and another thing when you realize that it’s not what you thought. It was a tough way to learn but a good lesson nevertheless. Lessons learned Real estate is more than just numbers The heart of real estate is operations. It’s a combination of finding an asset and good property management to squeeze out those high returns and get the most out of it. Build a great team and find the right people If you plan to venture into real estate on your own, don’t. Buck has learned it the hard way. It is very important to create a team with the skills and experiences in real estate. Don’t underestimate the potential gains from being a “passive” investor Over time, Buck learned that there are two sides of real estate. Some people are doing it full time, which brings a decent amount of cash. Others, on the other hand, are investing as passive investors who are only limited partners with operators. With zero work, they get to earn a lot more than those who are full time in real estate. Andrew’s takeaways Do your research properly The number one common mistake is the failure to do research properly. Research is beyond numbers. When doing your research, investigate, check, and test those numbers if they’re real. Your team is your asset Getting the right people on the bus will shape the strategy of how you invest, where you invest and how you will manage. So, it’s a great reminder to...
Nov 12, 2019
Deacon Hayes – Nearly Lost it All Buying Two Condos
Deacon Hayes is the founder of (, which reaches over 1,000,000 people per month. He has been a contributor for the US News & World Report, (Investopedia), Clark Howard and more. He is also the author of the book, You Can Retire Early! Everything You Need to Achieve Financial Independence When You Want It.   “Opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” Deacon Hayes   My Worst Investment Ever Life before the devastating investment Hayes lived and worked in Phoenix, Arizona before his big fall and his subsequent rise from the ashes. Like most Americans, he had his fair share of debt but had so far managed to find a balance with his income. However, he loved his job and his life and lived by his philosophy of following his passions. Until he came across the opportunity that changed his whole life. Real estate fad covers country in early 2000s The early 2000s were times of great financial stability. It was a time of prosperity and growth in the world of finance with all markets from the stock market to currency exchange achieving record highs. The real estate market, in particular, was doing really well, with that being described as the age of the real estate boom. With emotions running high, Hayes decided to take a risk on the market. Investing for him meant the possibility of having a debt-free life, and it was too good an opportunity to pass. So having done his homework he decided to buy not one but two condos. Investor gives in to ARM loans’ allure The first mistake that Hayes made was taking a huge risk on multiple investments without being fully informed about the real estate market. He had a payment option ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) plan. In a nutshell, this would allow him to make a small minimum investment with variable interests which seemed like a good idea. In retrospect, giving in to this allure is the worst mistake he made given how much he ended up losing. Financial crisis begins in 2007, put all his net worth at risk Between 2007 and 2008, half of the U.S. suffered the worst market crash in real estate history. For a number of reasons, property values plummeted while interest rates shot through the roof. Hayes, alongside many other Americans, felt this major blow. And as a result of his poor risk management, he was at risk of losing not just his two condos but a majority of his net worth. When it rains, it pours So here was Hayes, in his early 20s, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and had lost up to 95% of his net worth. Sounds pretty bad huh? Well, it got worse for him. See the land that his two troubled condos were built on was on a lease that ran out soon after the market crash. This meant that his Homeowners Associated (HOA) fee payments would go up. And boy did they go up; by more than 300% to be exact. Struggling to stay afloat while drowning in debt For the next several years (a decade to be exact), it was an uphill battle to keep financially afloat. Despite having double income through his wife and some investments in the stock market, he did not have enough money to rescue let alone sustain his properties. He was also in constant conflict between dumping the seemingly rotten investments and finding ways to save them. He tried everything from cutting costs to paying off the loans to finding multiple tenants for the property. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. He lost one condo a few years after the crash through foreclosure after failing to find someone to buy it. The other one went soon after, and despite finding a buyer and escaping bankruptcy, he ended up selling it at a loss of $40,000. Ten years later, Hayes is finally free. It was a rough several years, and he lost a lot; there is no doubt. But he also learned a lot from his experiences on risk management and how to avoid loss. Lessons learned Here are some of his lessons so you too can avoid making bad
Nov 11, 2019
Aaron Walker – Your Worst Moments Can Focus You on Creating Your Legacy
Aaron Walker has founded more than a dozen companies over the past 41 years. He attributed much of his success to having surrounded himself with his Mastermind counterparts. Aaron spent a decade meeting weekly with Dave Ramsey, Dan Miller, Ken Abraham, and five other amazing entrepreneurs. Aaron is the founder of (Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind Group) that now hosts 15 groups with national and international members. Aaron is the author of View From The Top: Living A Life Of Significance, a must-read book to fully understand how to live a life of success and significance. He is also a founder of the Mastermind Playbook which is an incredible resource for starting, running and scaling masterminds. Aaron lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Robin, his lovely wife of 40 years. He has two incredible daughters and five beautiful grandchildren. When time allows, Aaron enjoys hunting, fishing, golf, and is an avid reader.   “We have all these plans, yet we're not promised tomorrow. I encourage you to live today like there is no tomorrow in a good way. Surround yourself with honorable, trustworthy people.” Aaron Walker   My Worst Investment Ever Story It started as a success story At a young age, Aaron Walker wanted better for himself. He came from a family of six and grew up in about 600 square foot house with barely little to survive. While still in night school, he was working during the days and never stopped. When he turned 18 years old, he impressed one of the largest insurance agencies in the country at that time to invest with him. After signing a $150,000 loan, Aaron opened up his first retail outlet. It became a success, and in 36 months, he was able to pay off a 10-year loan. He kept doing what he had been doing, and soon young Aaron Walker had already opened four stores in Nashville. He got a call from a Fortune 500 company, and they made an offer he couldn’t refuse. At the age of 27, Aaron Walker had made enough money to retire. A tragedy turned his life upside down After 18 months of doing nothing, Aaron had come to a reality that he needed to get back in there, lose some weight and find a new job. So he went back to the company he started with when he was 13 years old. Now, at the age of 40, the company had grown four times bigger than it was 20 years ago. Aaron never stopped working from then on. He thought his life couldn’t get any better. He had his beautiful family, a steady job, vacation home and a big house on the hill. Until a tragedy turned his life upside down. While he was headed to his office, he ran over a pedestrian, and eventually, the head trauma killed the man. Even though it was not his fault, Aaron suffered anxieties because of stress and pressure after the accident. He took a break for five years. The painful realization For more than 20 years, Aaron wanted nothing more than a better life. But sometimes, life slips through a backdoor, and had it not been for that ugly turn in his life; he would not have realized what had been missing–a legacy. Would he want to be just another rags to riches story? No, Aaron wanted more than that. He wanted to have an impact on other people’s lives. So, he changed his focus and started thinking and looking outward rather than inward. He wanted to help people accomplish their goals and dreams. Ultimately, he wanted to transform lives. Lessons learned Build relationships intentionally In today’s society, people hide behind the screens and completely obliterating the importance of human connection. These intentional relationships we create every day gets us out of our own head and lets us focus outward instead of inward. Success comes after gratitude When you are grateful, you build good relationships with the people around you. As a result, natural reciprocity comes back to you. Learn to prioritize A lot of people try to live a balanced life, which is a myth. What needs to be done is to be very out of...
Nov 10, 2019
Dustin Heiner – His Life Went From Loss to Success When He Mastered Passive Income
Dustin Heiner is the founder of and the host of the Master Passive Income Podcast. Dustin is a real estate rental property investor, who was able to make enough passive income from his business to quit his job when he was 37 years old. With his podcast, books, courses, and coaching, he now helps other people quit their job by investing in real estate rental properties to live the dream life. Now, Dustin is living his dream life alongside his wife and four kids while traveling and exploring the world.    “If somebody asked me before, ‘Hey, Dustin, what do you do?’, I used to say that I work for the IT for this department in the government. Now if somebody asks me, ‘Hey, Dustin, what do you do?’ I don’t say I’m an author or a real estate person, I would say, I am an investor.”  Dustin Heiner   Worst investment ever Being laid off from a job was not that bad at all Before becoming a master of passive income, Dustin Heiner worked as a government employee for years. As he was going about his daily grind, he received a phone call from his boss who summoned him to her office. At that very moment, Dustin thought of all the worst-case scenarios. While he was walking to his boss’s office, he could not shake the bad feeling that he would lose his job that day since rumors had it that the department had been cutting people off.  He was given a two-week notice Then came the blow when his boss confirmed that he had been laid off. Losing a job while trying to provide for your family is a scary thing. But Dustin had to do something. First things first, he had to get a new job quickly. Good thing is, he’s got good connections from his previous jobs and luckily, he got hired a week after losing his job. One word sums up everything he was talking about – network. Planning for some backup Dustin learned his lesson and started to think forward. Being just an employee would not work for him and he needed a way out from his job. His back-up plan—investments. So, he started investing in stocks but turned out, he was losing far more money from it. He then stumbled on real estate which taught him great lessons. Location-based businesses are not for everybody Not all beginnings are great, and Dustin could attest to that when he invested in a retail establishment in 2007. It was a combination of a convenience store and a pizzeria, a market that is heavily dependent on the people around the area which is very promising. And the results for the first 2 years were great.  However, the economy crashed and the working population in that area was greatly affected. Consequently, Dustin’s retail busin