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What It Takes To Be Successful In Investing with Andy Tanner

I am with Andy Tanner. In this episode, we talk about what it takes to be successful when it comes to investing. If you're that person that is green like I was when it comes to a solid, financial education or maybe you're that someone who is investing like myself as well, and you've got some good level of wins along the way, you've learned a lot, it's always good to go back to the foundation. Plus, it's incredibly humbling to speak with Andy and to have him share his wisdom because he's such a humble guy. This person is incredibly successful in terms of wealth, family, lifestyle and creating the business of his dreams. It's inspiring as well to hear from him.

The other thing that we talk about is the 401(k)aos. If you've got a 401(k) or you're thinking of investing into your 401(k), I want you to pay extra close attention because what I've always been told was traditional information. If you follow what the traditions are, you get a traditional result. Andy challenges the mindset around what it takes to become a steward of your own money versus passively letting other people do it. If that sounds scary, then you better pay extra close attention and filing this episode for my sports fans. We talk a little basketball in this episode. Let's dive in.

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Dustin
Andy, thanks for being here.
Andy
It's awesome to be here. It's great to come down.
Dustin
I know you'll cringe at this, but you're a legend and I should attach this to basketball right away because you're very humble here too. You're a basketball guy, right?
Andy
I was a horrible basketball player. I was big and I was the guy that could foul. I can't jump. I can't shoot. I played at a junior college and did okay. I went up at the University of Utah on the bench for a great coach, Rick Majerus, who passed away and I still stay tight with my teammates. I turned 50 and so I'm eligible for the Huntsman Senior Games. A couple of the guys called and said, "Let's go down." We're going to go play in St. George, Utah. I've got four weeks to lose ten pounds. I still play a little bit. I went back to Duke University for Coach K. My wife gave that to me for my 50th birthday and I said, "If you want the insurance money, lace my food with cyanide.” It would be less painful than running up and down at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Dustin
What was the experience with Coach K like?
Andy
It's amazing. Most of the money goes to charity in the university and Coach K is accessible. All the Duke players come back, Luol Deng, the Plumlees. They're way accessible. They coach you and it's legit. Those games are competitive. I was a horrible basketball player. I sat the pinch in college, but I love to play. I'm big and it's fun. I'm 6'8" and 200 pounds. My wife says, "Andy, there's 50 pounds on you I’m not married to.”
Dustin
When you were in school, did you ever have aspirations? Did you ever think you're going to get up off that bench, you're going to go in, and you're going to go to the NBA?
Andy
I remember one time we were in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament game. We were playing in San Diego State. The coach would use to throw me in when they see that we were so down that we couldn't win. We won a lot, but I was one of those guys like, "We're up.” We had some hurt players and he kept looking down at me on the bench. It was like the first half, that never happens. He was looking down and my teammates said, "I think he's going to put you in." He kept looking down at my team and they say, "Why does he keep looking down here? Why didn't he put you in?" I said, "I don't think he can remember my name," but he put me in and I had a lot of fun. I was okay. I wasn't great. We had a couple of guys who got drafted in the league, but I never had any delusions about the NBA. Those guys are such at a level athletically and genetically. I didn't have any delusions. I was happy to come out in the tunnel to the degree that I could.
Dustin
There are no delusions of grandeur there, but you've got to go on and you've got to make your way into the world. Where did you go next?
Andy
We went to the NCAA Tournament. The thing I took from it is he was the best teacher in college I had. When you start to move into business, it's a team sport and it's a competitive place. There's a little test, too. Everyone says they want to be wealthy. Everyone says they want their own business. Everyone says they want the American dream, but they don't realize that will test you, the invisible hand is real. There's competition out there and you do have to be strong to survive. If you lose games, you lose businesses, too. That was a big point of decision. I went through a bunch of majors. Exercise physiology didn't stick. I went through a bunch of majors and I never found anything I was passionate about that I said, "This is organic chemistry, awesome." There are guys like that, "Physics, let's go," but for me, communication was fun. I went out and I got a chance to do a little speech after college. The speech went well and I felt comfortable on stage. Public speaking is a big fear. 
Dustin
Do you think you were bred with that? Did you get that from home? 
Andy
I got it from my dad. My dad is an insane speaker. He's better than I am, he's a better teacher. He's a school teacher and he taught religion. There's a little bit of that hellfire damnation in there too. He was a great performer and a fabulous teacher. He was loved by his students, just endeared. Growing up in that environment, watching dad both in church and also in his job, it was like the dice was cast. I never thought about being a school teacher though. When I got a chance to be on stage, I would use dad's stuff and there was osmosis. I became a public speaker and as such, I was good at sales. I got that. I would pitch things for different companies starting out and go to the seminar. They'd have the smart guy and then the guy who could sell, bring in Anthony Robbins to teach and then roll Andy who can come up and sell.
I could sell and I would sell everything under the sun. There was a company that Al Gore invented the internet or whatever, people started trading online and they needed a software to do it. There was a company that had a pretty cool software and they said, "You're a good speaker." I said, "Yes, but I don't know anything about trading." They said, "You'll figure it out," so I took their course. That was the first time I'd ever seen technical analysis and heard the word fundamental analysis and options. I was like, "This is either totally illegitimate, but the coolest thing I've ever seen," and it was harder than they made it out to be.
I found that I had a real knack, those are complex topics, options, derivatives. It was my low IQ or I don't know what it is. I would struggle to learn things, but once I learned them, I could teach them to anybody. I have a couple of talents, I can put a star on a Christmas tree, I can change your light bulbs. I'm like the big bumble and Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer. Not a lot of dragging my knuckles on the ground. I have so many talents but for whatever reason, in addition to reaching the light bulb, I've been blessed with the ability to make stuff simple. In a world where there's so much misinformation, we don't live in the information age, we live in the misinformation age because anyone can say anything on YouTube. To have someone who can simplify truth to where it's actionable has been great. That's how I got into trading stocks. I had to teach it. Then learning to teach it where I didn't have a teacher, I had to learn that, I was forced to.
Dustin
I want to add one to your strengths. You're an incredibly humble guy in an arena where you speak a lot and sometimes people on the stage, they have a healthy ego. You are incredibly humble. Is that baked in? Did you learn it? Did you have something that knocked you off your feet?
Andy
I feel humble. I feel that way every day. There's a story in scripture that talks about people that pray all night. Someone said, "How do you pray all night?" He says, "It would be pretty easy. List your blessings, count your blessings or list your cents.” Both of those two things, for me, I feel blessed. I've got an awesome wife and my kids are awesome. I get to hang out with them, Marilyn, you and Robert Kiyosaki who's a great mentor of mine. I feel fortunate and lucky to know the people I know. That's a humbling feeling. Then if I list my shortcomings, that's humbling every day. As I've gone onto my journey of entrepreneurship, you have failures that make you humble.
If there's a person I've met that I wish I could emulate, I'd be a fan, I'm very close to Than Merrill. He probably doesn't know how much he means to me. He does, but maybe not. That guy is like a machine. He was engineered in the lab. I met his mother so I'm sure he wasn't. He keeps you humble because you have your shortcomings. As I've gone through the journey of entrepreneurship, it tests you. You have failures and I've lost a business or two. You get involved in the dispute. People come after you, you write books and they say, "This guy is a horrible person." You have these visions of one star on Amazon. These failures when you lose money and your shortcomings keep you humble.
Dustin
What do you think has been one that rocked you to the core and maybe set you on a different failure or a lawsuit?
Andy
In 1998, I got my business partner who's still with me and a programmer. We had no money and we started a social media site, like Facebook. It failed mostly because I was a bad leader and also because there was no digital photography. It was way too early. I was raising money for it in Phoenix, Arizona. I had a group of about 30 investors and I was shown the social media ideas in 1998. The guy listened and he said, "Why would I want to put a picture of my family on the internet?” I was like, "Either one of us is off here." I quit. It got too hard.
I couldn't convince people that social media was a thing. The term wasn't even coined yet. I don't have any delusions that we could have been big, but we could have not quit. Another one that was rough for me is I put some money in a company that sold recreational equipment. They had a good idea, like a Timeshare concept except for recreational equipment. My instinct told me as the deal was brought to me, it was an existing business and they needed money. The idea was we'll bring in these investors and buy it with the influx of capital then we'll go to the next level. I got in because the two guys that I got in with were smarter than I was, but my intuition said, "This is a bad deal," because I thought, "Why don't you sell more? You have stuff, increase your sales." I thought, "That's just a sales talk.” We lost everything we put into that business.
It hurt me because I'm asked to speak on entrepreneurship a lot. This was years ago, but I was still on the circuit then. To have a failure, it's a lot like how would you ever be a minister to teach people to be good where inside you know you have your flaws always because no one's perfect. It was hard to get on stage and preach entrepreneurship when I was having my own failures. I learned at that point that being more transparent with your failures would make you real. It was better that way. I’ve got a bunch of them, we lost money in business. I lost money in stocks when I first learned to trade. I had gotten selling some options and you make obligations and then when you have to keep them, they charge in.
Dustin
How do you vet deals now?
Andy
There are a lot of things I do when a deal comes in front of me. The most important thing at the beginning is, who's bringing the deal? When Than Merrill comes with the deal, I know his personality. I know I can take a good look at it right there. There are other people who bring the deal. Robert Kiyosaki wrote a book, Rich Dad's Guide to Investing. In that book, he unveils something called the BI triangle and there are several integrities. On the outside, you have mission leadership. With your team, I'll ask, "What's the mission? What's the leadership? Who's your team?" If they don't have a good leadership, a good team, and a good mission then right there, that's a strike. Then on the inside of the triangle, you have cashflow, which is the lifeblood of a business. It's interesting to watch people on Shark Tank pitch and some of them want a salary. I'm like, "Do you want a salary? You're not an entrepreneur if you need a job." Where's the cashflow going to come through? Without cashflow, you've got an hourglass.
Dustin
What do you mean by hourglass?
Andy
It's the same thing as a 401(k). A 401(k) is old money. Let's say you've got a nest egg and you go and start spending your 401(k) money, which is going to run out. You have to have new money come in to beat the hourglass. 
Dustin
The hourglass is ticking down, there's a finite supply.
Andy
If you raise venture capital when you burn through that, at what point do you get the new money coming in to sustain the business? You've got to have a plan for cashflow. Than is big on systems. Michael Gerber talks about systems, McDonaldizing it. How do you systematize this communication both internally and marketing? How are you going to communicate what you're doing? Who's your legal team? Probably the least important one is the product. What's the product? Is it a real estate deal? Is it a widget? That Bi Triangle helps me a little bit and I consult with my team. I go to my attorney, I go to my accountant, Tom Wheelwright, and I say, "What do you think?" Get your good advisors on there.
Dustin
I'm curious what your thought is. I come from selling and marketing and doing it bootstrap, not Silicon Valley essentially. How do you look at some of these companies in Silicon Valley that raise tons of money? Do you choose not to invest or pay attention because you don't run your businesses that way or that's not your model? Do you still take a look at it and understand they need a longer runway to get to the point? You and I both come from like we've had to sell sing for supper.
Andy
In raising money, there are too many problems. They're not having it and then not knowing where to put it. It's funny because the people haven't known where to put it. They usually made it in one area. They're very often not intelligent in other areas and they'll lose money, or they inherited it and they don't know what to do with it. As far as deals like that, I don't know that I'd be pushing off any deal. You're always willing to listen, but it has to cashflow and I'm less impressed with products. 
Everyone's heard this a thousand times. You and I can make better hamburgers than McDonald's, but you can't take down their business. Even if someone brings in better mousetraps and all the world or build a path to our door, if you don't have systems, mission, legal team, it's likely to fail. I've had a Facebook before Facebook, so why didn't that take off? Why did I fail, and Zuckerberg succeeded so much? I wasn't even in his league. Better systems, better team, better timing, maybe tougher.
Dustin
You've traveled the world or more so in your younger years from what I understand. You've been around the world, you've mentored, you've coached a lot of people. What do you say to the person who is the seminar junkie or the acquirer of information? I want to challenge the WealthFit nation to consumer course. All of Andy's courses, consume them, but then to get off of the information acquisition mode and into action mode, there's a switch there that needs to be flipped. What do you coach people on? 
Andy
I have logged a lot of miles. I've taught in Asia Minor, Singapore and Malaysia. I got back from Australia, South America. I've been everywhere. I don't travel anymore because it's family time right now. I travel, maybe take a big trip once or twice a year. That question is something I've asked having spoken to tens of thousands of people and thousands of meetings. They come and what happens is it feels good to have the truth laid in front of you. There's something in the human body or spirit that resonates with truth like, "You should have money work for you instead of working for money," that resonates.
Debts and accelerator are like fire. It could be good or bad. These financial paradigm shifts we have feel good. The learning becomes addictive and becomes edutainment. Whereas going to a movie, they pump you up, there are fireworks and music. You have a vision of tackling the world. The human brain is amazing because it can put you forward in time and you can see yourself ten years in being in a life that you want and that releases a lot of chemicals into the body. That's cool stuff and that's the way evolution has done it for us. It's a good thing. Then in the morning, you get up you're going to say, "I'm going to get up at 6:00 AM." Tali shared it. I interviewed her on my podcast. She has something called the optimism bias. 
We always think we can do more than we can do. There's a gap to answer your question or give at least my institute. There's a gap between ignorance and knowledge and we fill that gap with education. That's the seminar. I don't know if it is like this for you, our audience, but I know it's this way for me. There's also a gap between what I know in my behavior. How do you fill that gap? That's called discipline. You look at Will Smith. Than is like the epitome of this. He's like the poster child for discipline. Discipline is having integrity in moments of choice where we do what's right and let the consequence follow rather than what feels good right now. The problem is our physiology is not wired to do that. We're wired well to respond to education when we see the truth, but the obedience part is tough. To find those laws of the universe, align yourself, and submit to those laws, eat less, move more, it's pretty simple but pretty difficult. We know what we need to do. What helps with that is mindfulness. Stepping back and having mindfulness to take time to figure out what it is that you do want, to get those visions back, and to get that chemistry going again to get back to that place. I'm not perfect in it but hopefully, you can make some decisions and act with integrity in those moments of choice. Discipline is a huge deal.
Dustin
You brought up Kolbe in being a quick start, which goes hand-in-hand. I'm making an assumption here, but it goes hand-in-hand with entrepreneurship and shiny objects syndrome as I know it to be called. You love the start. I'm the same way too. I have the same thing. How do you essentially stop yourself or slow yourself down from being crazy?
Andy
Marcy Tanner would be a good answer. We're a great team. She is on the Kolbe score. For those who aren't familiar, to let you know it's not a personality test. It's how you operate. It's an effectiveness test. I do better cram than studying. I don't prepare speeches; I prepare to speak. My aptitude is a quick start. I say yes to everything. My wife is what's called a factfinder, the bull strengths. She needs to know the facts before she moves forward. Working together is if we didn't have me, we'd never get anything done because we'd say no to everything. With her, she keeps me from saying yes to everything and so we balance each other out pretty well.
Dustin
My wife is like this as well. I want to understand the dynamic between when you're passionate about moving forward and maybe she has a difference of opinion or doesn't have all the facts. How do you work through that?
Andy
Someone does something and I say, "Let's do that." That's how it works. Then she'll say, "Did you think about X, Y and Z?” I'd be like, "That's right." Even on the schedule like, "We're going to do this." I said, "Yes," then she goes, "You realize you have the X, Y and Z on your schedule?" I go, "That's right." I'm a heavy Quick Start score, maxed out and it gets me in trouble a lot. I make mistakes, but it also gets us moving. She's a factfinder, so we bet. I don't always do it. I don't always keep from getting in trouble, I get myself in trouble. I still make mistakes all the time.
Dustin
I want to take us into a hotbed of warning, a controversial subject and it's something that we talk about at WealthFit. You have a course on it. It's this whole idea of the 401(k) myth. You've got a book, 401(k)aos. Most people around the world go on autopilot when it comes to wealth and they think they've been told the media or whoever, parents, "You've got to get your retirement IRA. You've got to get your 401(k)," and they do it. I want you to unpack a little bit and talk about how that might not be the best way to go about things.
Andy
I've heard people on stages and in seminars say, I don't know if this is true but this is what they say, I have the feeling that probably is people spend more time on their Christmas list than they do their retirement planning and their money. It seems that in school we're so obsessed with getting the job, that once we get the job, what to do with the money after we get a job is an afterthought. The way this worked out with 401(k)aos is my wife was a manager at a company that manufactured wire out of Carrollton, Georgia. It's electrical wires. She had a 401(k) and it was about the same time that I was a lecturing on the speaking circuit a little bit. I'd run into that company and said, "We have the software." The first money we applied our skills to is her 401(k). This was back in the '90s before the dot-com bust. When the dot-com bust hit, all her coworkers got killed. We had used the simple moving average to move some of her money to cash and it saved her a boatload. Then I had some stuff we didn't touch, and it got killed.
Dustin
The simple moving average, how did you know? 
Andy
I had been approached by companies that started selling their trading software, so I was learning it. They said, "Here's this cool moving average thing. Let's do that." I thought, "They'd said diversify." This was a systemic risk, meaning that the whole system had been injured and it happened again in 2007 and 2008. As a person in business, I started looking at both sides of the coin. I was like, "What does the employee get out of this? What does Wall Street get out of this? What do the corporations get out of this?" This might be a good way to think about it. Your mortgage is a liability to you, but it's an asset to the bank. If you put those financial statements side by side, your mortgage goes in your liability column, your mortgage goes in their asset column. 
I started doing that with 401(k)s. Who are all the people involved and how does it affect their financial statement? As I looked at it, I saw the worker losing over and over again. The second part of this was that we're coming up on the 40th anniversary of that legislation. It was in the fall of 1978. We've had time to see if this work now. People can have a four-year career and see if it works and it doesn't. Not the minority, but the majority of people are not going to retire in dignity. How much do you need to retire in this day and age? It's a million dollars to live in for 35 years to cut up like that.
Looking at who it serves and who it doesn't was one thing, looking at the actual numbers of whether it works or not is another thing. It's a myth that you can get wealthy without knowledge. It's an ignorance myth. It doesn't fly. There was never a think tank or brain trust of women and men that got together and said, "Let's figure out a cool thing to do in retirement." If you look at the history of the 401(k)s, it's an accident. Speaking of WealthFit, that's one of the classes that I'm more passionate about, other than scream and go crazy. People should get that class not because they should believe what I say is right, so they can get another view and they can make their own choice.
Dustin
One that I don't think they're getting of it before I saw a version of this and got me excited to have you come in is I didn't know. Mom and dad did the best they could, and you model the people around you and your world. Even if you do ask some of your networks, money is one of those weird subjects for people.
Andy
"What's the tradition?" Tradition is like a fiddle on the roof. It is solid, it is big. You're an idiot if you go to your job and you're not contributing your 401(k). Everyone will tell you that you're new. All your friends will say, "You're not contributing, you're an idiot. How will you retire?" They don't know. They're not financially educated.
Dustin
Maybe I'm sitting here as a listener and I'm a little on edge. let's say for the last fifteen years of my life, I've been contributing to this thing. With this information you've given to me, it would be wise to go investigate further and get more information, but let's assume. Andy, he's credible. What do I do?
Andy
I get that a lot. People read my book. The problem is they think that the 401(k) is the problem, it's not ignorance is the problem. Why do you put money in 401(k)? In my book, 401(k)aos, Robert Kiyosaki was kind and he wrote the foreword for me. The answer is very short forward, but he is the reason why he doesn't do it. He says, "The reason I don't do it is I'd reached out of my life that taught me how to invest. I don't need that program. I know how to go and invest on my own. I get better returns, I take less risk and it's a no-brainer for me." He doesn't invest in 401(k) because of what he knows. If a person knew how to invest, they would do it, but the 401(k) is for the ignorant. It's for people who don't know how to invest. If you don't like where you are, why are you there? Ignorance, “I don't know how to invest.” The problem is not the 401(k). The problem is it's not the RSP in Canada, but the problem is in school. We're taught some good things, but we're not taught how to invest. I've been around half a century now. I'm still learning how to invest as the world changes and it's changing for me as I look at things, how I invest.
Dustin
That's very powerful in terms of accepting this. I can still imagine people are on edge. In some ways, one might interpret and saying, "You're ignorant," and that's me. I'm going to own up to that 100%. I was lazy essentially because I didn't go get educated on it and I completely own that. Everyone should adopt that mindset because now you have awareness and it's about getting better. In terms of now, I have this decision to make, I can keep doing it and hope that the people that manage it give me a good return, but that's probably not going to happen. What are my now options in terms of taking the money that I might have set aside and now controlling my destiny a little bit more?
Andy
I do a lot of podcasts and I've invited some guests on my podcasts and sometimes they'll even have asked sessions where people can call in or whatever. It's important to understand the difference between education and advice because most people want advice, not education. They'll say, "Tell me what to do with my money." They might say, "Andy, should I buy gold?" If I say yes or if I say no, they haven't learned anything either way. "Andy, should I get in real estate?" If I say yes or no, the problem with advice is it becomes asset-centered rather than investor-centered. "What do you think a good place to be? Do you think real estate's a good place to be?" As if it was the real estate that was going to make you the money. 
"Andy, do you think the stock market's a good place to be in?" As if the stock market were going to make you the money. The asset doesn't make the money, the investor does. When a person gets to the point where they say, "Look at your statement. Open up your 401(k) and do the math. If the math works for you, congratulations. You're probably rich when you started. You're probably making huge six figures. If you're in that group where you see $70,000 or $100,000 or $250,000 and you realize that $250,000 will not last you, at that point you'll say, "I will invest in other places," and you have four asset classes. You have business, real estate, paper and commodities. The question is, do you want to study those? People always say, "What do you think of Apple? Should I buy Apple?" If I say yes, you don't learn anything.
The idea of a financial advisor driving your ship, as soon as you do that, you're going to be beholden to however smart or dumb they are. There are a lot of conflicts of interest. It takes more time to be a hairstylist than a financial advisor. You have to put in more hours to be a massage therapist than a financial advisor. Who cares more about your money than you? It's like your kids. Is there a daycare that can do a better job with your kids than you can do and that will care about them more than you will? That's what we're doing with our money. 
There are life skills and there are skills for hire. One of the things all of us will decide is, what are the life skills? I can hire someone to tie my shoes, but that's a life skill. There are people who have chauffeurs and drive them around but for me, I like to drive. It's a life skill. Root Canal, for me, it's a skill for hire. The question is when it comes to money, are you going to make that a life skill or a skill for hire? Everyone deals with money and to me, it's a life skill. I might have teachers and people on my team, that's a great decision to make. If you are reading this blog and you did one thing and you decided, "I'm going to make money a life skill for me. It's going to be something I'm going to learn about." I would serve you. It'd be worth it having listened.
Dustin
Andy, I'm super grateful because it's hitting me deeply. I've never heard it put how you put it like this life skill and you're right. We've all heard the financial planner. A lot of people have heard that you are like putting it, hoping, and praying there. When you term it like life skill versus another skill, an outsource skill, it's huge because no one's going to care about my money. No one's going to care about me as much as me. Let's say I'm going to up my game. I feel like it's impossible to understand all four asset classes and all the sub thing. As a wise manager of your own money, your family's money, the steward essentially, do you expand into other areas or don't you? Do you stay in your lane?
Andy
There are a lot of people who will say, "Get good at one thing and stick with it." There are a lot of people who'll say, "Learn all of it." I don't know if I know the answer to that, I don't. I'd ask myself the same question. I do know this, it's hard to master even one asset class. A lot of people go within that. In real estate, some people go with commercial. That's their deal. Some people do residential, that’s their deal. There are even some people who do tax liens and that's their deal. Some people only wholesale, that's their deal. A lot of people do specialize and there's something to say with that laser focused.
I know Tom Wheelwright often says, "Get laser focused to build your wealth and then spread out when you preserve it and use it." I've enjoyed learning about all the asset classes because I love financial education. For example, it's fascinating in paper to look at a PE ratio. Then you flip over to the real estate world and you look at a cap rate and they're essentially the same number. They're inverted. There are a lot of similarities. When you get a basic financial education and you learn how to read a financial statement in even the most basic way, that would be the first step into delving into any asset class because every single deal has a finance. You invest in Apple, they have a financial statement. You invest in an accredited investor type of syndication in a property, they're going to have a financial statement.
Understanding a financial statement is the first step. That's why Rich Dad, Poor Dad was such a watershed book for so many people. He drew it on a picture. As soon as he drew it on the picture, I was like, "That's it. I want assets." When I teach classes, it's almost impossible for me to do it without drawing those because it tells the story of the money. Personally, I'm still learning, but we have real estate that we enjoy. Speaking of Than, we've invested in properties on a commercial level, which is it's nice to get a check from that. We very much like paper and I like business. People ask me this and this is a pointed question people ask me. I'll be speaking about stocks and they say, "Andy, do you make more money in the stock market or do you make more money teaching people about the stock market?" I go, "I make far more money teaching people.”
I can take a book, 401(k)aos. It cost me $1 to print that and it sells for $19 or whatever I sell it for. It is hard to find a stock for $1 and sell it at $18 and you do that over and over again. I love business and people say, "That bothers you." I say my coach, Rick Majerus, was a freaking genius basketball player. I don't know that he ever scored a basket. I know he didn't make his high school team and he was a manager/walk on it Marquette under Alma Choir. He was likable enough to get on the coaching staff. Yet, he was one of the most winningest coaches. He was the fourth active, winningest coach in NCAA history when he died. I make money from stocks. I make money from real estate and I also make money from business. I'm interested in commodities. Gold doesn't cashflow. Gold is the easiest task and you can go buy gold. Don't take a lot of financial education if you find a whole note forever. I'm interested in oil, I don't know much about it. I want to learn about all the asset classes. Some people say, "Stay centered," but I like having real estate. I like having stocks. I like having a business. I like writing books. It's great stuff.
Dustin
I want to ask you about your most worthwhile investment, but first I want to highlight, you go to your team when you vet deals. How do you find reputable people that you trust to add to your team and recruit them to your team?
Andy
When you look at the team, first of all, you have to be willing to make mistakes. There's a mindset of employee and there's a mindset of an entrepreneur. Here's one of the biggest differences I can share. If you were interviewing for a job, you would say, "What are my tasks and how much am I going to get paid?" The guy would say, "Here's your task and here's your salary." You know the future. There are no unknowns there. You'll not guarantee or promise from someone that, "I'm going to get work and you get paid." If you come to me in a stock deal and you say, "How much money are you going to make in this deal?" I'll say, "It's going to be somewhere between a billion dollars and losing everything you have. That's a huge difference.
What I'm talking about is employees are chicken poop. They are chickens when it comes to making mistakes. I had an accountant that is a great guy, but he went to prison. He was reputable, great, fantastic and he never did have any problem, but the guy went and got to prison. He made some mistakes or whatever, I don't know the details. I still think he's a good guy, but he's not my accountant anymore. Don't hire your brother-in-law because he's too hard to fire. You've got to be able to fire these people. If you ask Robert Kiyosaki, he's got a pretty good team he's very proud of. He wrote a book called More Important Than Money: an Entrepreneur's Team. It was more important than having capital was the team you assembled. If you look at the carnage that went through to assemble the team that we have as Rich Dad advisors, not everyone’s there on the team anymore. It was a big process and not everyone will always be on that team. 
For me, there is some trial and error. You have to be willing to make a mistake is what I'm saying. There's no way to guarantee that you have the right team, it's going to evolve. Your bookkeeper will change, your accountant will change as you get bigger, your needs change. In addition to that building a team is you find people that do what you do freaking well. You say, "Who's your accountant? Who's your attorney? Who's your bookkeeper?" When you find the person that is where you want to be, then you go hire their team because their team is hireable. The chances are they have an attorney that will take on a new client and an accountant will take on a new client. There's nothing wrong with finding the person that is exactly where you want to be saying, "Who's on your team?"
Dustin
Let's go to speed round. What has been your most worthwhile investment?
Andy
It's my children.
Dustin
What do you do with them? How are you investing? What's your mindset around investing in your children?
Andy
We put the time in. There is nothing more precious than you can give to your boys and girls. I give them my time and they're studs. Every parent thinks their kids are studs.
Dustin
How old are your kids?
Andy
They're twelve and ten.
Dustin
What are you doing to plant seeds? What are you doing to prep them for life?
Andy
We have very various types of education. We have physical education, we have spiritual education, we have financial education and the schools handle the academic stuff because I'm a moron. For example, they have a financial statement, now they team together. They have a business, they have a real estate, they have stocks and they have commodities. They have all four asset classes that they own. We trade stocks together. From a financial education standpoint, they know everything we do. We share all of our finances with our kids and they know where we're at. They know what we're in, they know the mistakes I make because I want them to see that young.
Dustin
When did you start?
Andy
At three years old. They started their first business at three years old. We started selling lemonade. That's what all kids do. It's not hard to do. You'll learn balance sheet, sales. My kids will throw themselves from a moving bus to sell $0.75 glass of lemonade. Those are great lessons but more importantly than the money stuff has been the time. I coach their basketball team. They're both on the same team. We have a practice every day from 3:30 to 5:15. That time with my boys and their friends at this stage of life, we've been doing it for four years now and we'll do it until they get in high school. Those investments that time with that, not being a dad, but being coach and kind of tough on them. I'm a softie at home but as a coach, I'm pretty hard on them. The time I put into my children has been my greatest investment. I'm very grateful that I have a business that lets me do that from 3:00 to 5:00 every day. I'm not as rich as a guy like Kenny McElroy or some of my mentors, but to be in a situation where you can spend time with your kids, that's a blessing and everyone can get that far.
Dustin
Do you have any special routines or things you do? Maybe you prep early in the morning.
Andy
When I get depressed, I eat. When I'm happy, I celebrate and I eat and then when I'm bored, I’m eating. That's my biggest battle. I do have a ritual that I do with the Rich Dad advisor team that's helped me get somewhat under control. We read a book by Hal Elrod called The Miracle Morning. It's got this thing called SAVERS in it, an essay. SAVERS is the acronym for the book. S is silence, so I meditate a little bit. I have a little meditation cushion chair and I sit there. I'm not very good at it. I'm reading a lot of books on it right now, trying to quiet down the head. If I can get five, ten minutes, I try to do an hour with my headphones or some programs will do an hour. I also try to do about five, ten minutes of silence. 
A is affirmation. I try to tell myself I'm a good guy and affirm what I'm doing in the present tense. V is vision and I have a vision board. It's a PowerPoint. I have pictures of things I'd like to have. I would think about them and I sit there for a few minutes and think, "Am I going to work on this now? What can I do now to bring me that tomorrow and to get centered on what I want? They're not all material stuff. I have a trophy because I'd like to win a championship with my kids. I have things that are very personal, a lot of that is non-materialistic. There's nothing wrong if you want a Ferrari. I don't have a Ferrari on my board. It wouldn't fit in it if I got one. E is exercise. I usually do a little bit of self-imposed yoga. I go to the gym later on and let my trainer beat me up there. We have R, which is reading, so you read something. Then you have S, which is scribing. I type out a few things. It's not journaling as I should, but I type out a thesis. That's my SAVERS. It's The Miracle Morning. I'm not perfect. There are days where I'm like, "Let's go to breakfast.”
Dustin
Are you getting up at 4:00 AM? 
Andy
I don't know that he puts in a time, but my wife grew up on a dairy farm, so she gets up way too early. My son is an early riser so she's usually the one that rises out of the bed. I always try to tell them, "The whole reason to have your own business and get wealthy is sleeping." They haven't bought into that yet. I have not been a morning person. I do a lot of my stuff at night, but I do get up in the morning like everybody else. You have to do that. My wife is a fitness junkie, so she hits the gym way early and all this. I spend time with my son in the morning before school shooting baskets.
Dustin
What do you think is the skill that you've developed that's made a big difference?
Andy
It's not developed yet. I'm working on it. It's mindfulness. Mindfulness in the meditation creates space between your decisions. It was Stephen Covey in one of his books. You can't track down the quote because we don't know who got it. Covey didn't do it but he says, "Between stimulus and response, there's space.” Yes and no. We respond to things subconsciously all the time. The mindfulness allows me to detach or untether. There's a book called The Untethered Soul. It's a little freaky. I've read it. I'm not into that all theorial, spirituality, green crystals stuff. The book was an interesting book because it talked about untethering from things. It's watching out here instead of being consumed by it. My wife and I are working on mindfulness. When something happens, I practice on the freeway mostly that's, “How am I going to react to this?” I try to increase that space before I react and be more mindful of what's going on around me. That's been a skill I've been trying to get to work on.
Dustin
What's the future for you? Outside of kids, family, and you're spending time with them but I guess, entrepreneurial business or maybe investment ventures, what are you working on?
Andy
The future's bright. I'm fortunate to have a passion for teaching and communication and I love to teach. I'm grateful that I'm in an environment where that's what I get to do, is create great courses and to figure out how to help people learn things they care about. Future's bright for that because those Millennials are not stupid. They're getting smart. If I was a college professor, I'd be panicked right now. You look at the Khan Academy. You can learn anything you want online. There's something called obsolescence risk. I know they don't want to hear it and I know that the tenured professors and all this, I would be mortified if I was a teacher in that environment.
The opportunity for guys like us who are in alternative education, stuff that people want to know, we allow them to choose. You go to a university, they'll tell you what you have to learn. You go to a high school, they'll tell you what you have to learn. There are very few electives. When we give people the freedom, “What do you want to learn about?” We can make it simple. We're coming from the world of failure and real-world experience. You want me to show you some money, I'll show you the losses I've had. This is how I don't screw that up again. We have a huge, bright future as educators because this is what people want.
Dustin
How many countless stories have you heard of the person that checked out in high school or if they made it to college? They're fascinated. My big thing was I hated to write. I remember crying to my parents helping me try to write a paper. I was a math and science guy crying and now I write and I create content.
Andy
My company is called The Cashflow Academy. When we got together we said, "What do we value?" We sat down and said, "What do we care about? What's our mission? What's our BI Triangle?" It was simple. It wasn't a big long mission statement, it's five pages long. We said, "Three things we can be good at. Number one, we can have fun. Learning should not be painful. Learning should be an illumination. It should be exciting. To have that resonance that comes when you see a truth and it clicks, that should be fun. We don't guarantee humor. We guarantee failed attempts often, but to have a smile on your face when you learn. We value having fun in learning. 
Number two is simplicity. It is the nomenclature of college and almost like those professors wanted to show me how smart they were. They were there for other reasons, their research grant or whatever they taught classes that are a pain in the rear. I had a chemistry teacher and I don't remember what her face looked like because all I saw was her back and writing on the board. I don't remember what she looked like and I can't remember her name. To make things simple is our talent. Genius is taking complex stuff making it simple, not the other way around.
The rigor of Calculus, the rigor of organic chemistry to weed out the dumb jock and find the doctor baloney you make it simple. Education comes from the word ducere, which means to draw forth what was inside. My job is not to sift through. I was so mad. They came to me when my kid was in kindergarten and said, "Your kid is gifted." I said, "What?" They go, "We need to put him in this magnet program.” They want to pull him out of his school, put him in a special thing. At first, we were as parents like, "We have a genius.” Then we’re like, “What kind of place tells to separate kids at five years old in kindergarten and says this kid is gifted?" That's the problem with it. Everyone is gifted. Everyone is a genius. Our job as teachers is to draw the genius out, not to stifle it. We had fun. We had simplicity and that has to be real. It has to be education that those truths can be used in the real world and then it's up to them with discipline as we talked about, how to discipline and execute.
Dustin
Andy, it's great to be in here. It's great talking with you. Any parting words? What do you have, anything to share speaking your mind?
Andy
There's never been a more important time for what we teach. There are a lot of things I see storm-cloud wise, big things are coming. I've seen a couple of collapses or crashes in the last twenty years. The next one might not be crushed, we could collapse. That's a possibility. There's never been a more important time for podcasts like yours, WealthFit, Fortune Builders, reach out to all of them. The mission is the same to raise the well-being of humanity with financial education to lift. There's never been a more important time to learn than now.
Dustin
Andy, thank you big time. I appreciate you sharing your wisdom and sharing it with the world that helps us with our cause and our mission. It's in alignment. You've educated me a great deal and challenged my thinking. 
Andy
I'm glad to be here with you. Thank you.
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