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079: Self Directed IRAs and Solo 401ks with Theresa Fette

Last summer I learned how to swim for the first time. I was an athletic kid but somehow missed that window in my life when it was ok to not know how. After all, when you are two or three years old, not knowing how to swim is par for the course–but not when you are a teenager! By that time, it became too embarrassing to go to a swim class–especially when you have a huge ego like mine anchoring you down in the water.

The funny thing is that, despite not being able to swim, I really was not afraid of the water. You might even say that I had an irrational LACK of fear when it came to water. I went snorkeling all the time and loved being in the ocean. Talk about a sitting duck for an undercurrent!

Now, I am 44 years old and I am at that stage in my life where I am trying to make up for some of the things that I didn’t do when I was younger. So, last summer, I decided that enough was enough. I needed to get this swimming monkey off my back.

After expressing my frustrations to my friend Zed Williamson, he fortuitously sent me a video of Tim Ferris talking about the Total Immersion technique created by Terry Laughlin, a legendary swim teacher. Tim, too, had struggled with swimming and despite having tried harder than me with multiple coaches and even Olympians, had failed miserably. That is, until he found Terry. Terry taught Tim Ferris to swim and Tim Ferris seemed like he was a tougher case than me.

So, it became clear to me that I needed Terry to teach me how to swim. I headed out to upstate New York for 2 days of intensive training with him. Remarkably, In just 3 half day sessions over two days, Terry taught me how to swim. The way he did it was masterful. It was like Mr. Miyagi training the Karate Kid.

Terry was a master who dissected out the intricacies of swimming to its basic components and that made it possible for him to teach his art to even the most hopeless of cases–Tim Ferris and me for example.

I was so excited about my new skills that I asked Terry if he knew a coach in Santa Barbara that could continue to help develop my skills. As it turned out, he was planning to spend the winter in Santa Barbara anyway which was great for me. He was planning to come out in November. I couldn’t wait to work with him and also have him teach my daughters the Total Immersion Technique.

So, last month (October 2017), I emailed Terry to check in when he was coming to town. There had been a change of plans. Unfortunately, Terry had been fighting aggressive prostate cancer for some time and it had spread to his bone marrow. My last email correspondence with him was October 9th. He still seemed very optimistic.

Sadly, I learned this week from Tim Ferris’ updates that Terry passed away just 11 days after that email he sent me. Tim had recorded an interview with him just two weeks before his passing and it is the most current episode on his podcast. I encourage you to check it out. This was an amazing guy and I feel lucky to have gotten to know him.

Terry was a true teacher and a master. Swimming was his art but his methodology and philosophy could be applied to just about any field–even money and investing.

In some ways, I’m trying to emulate Terry. I’m trying to take something that is seemingly complex as growing financial wealth and trying to “master” it. I’m ahead of many people but I still have a great deal to learn. I’m also doing my best to teach you what I know because that is my mission.

Listen, I know there are A LOT of highly educated people out there who haven’t a clue about money and investing but, like me with swimming, feel embarrassed to admit it. Ego is a terrible thing–can make you drown and it can make you broke.

So, if you are one of those people who feels like they ought to know more than they should at this point in their life about money–I’ve got great news. You don’t need to get in the pool with a bunch of youngsters and admit your weaknesses. Just listen to my podcast!

In fact, this week’s episode of Wealth Formula Podcast is about something that VERY FEW people in the general public even know is possible–investing in real assets like real estate with your retirement account.

Don’t miss this episode. Start putting your money to work for you!