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144: Millennial Money with Grant Sabatier

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Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone. Today my guest and Wealth Formula Podcast is Grant Sabatier. I like the French pronunciation, it’s very cool by the way. In 2010, Grant was 24 years old and was unemployed and he was living at his parents house. He had less than $3 left in his bank account. In other words ladies and gentlemen he’s just like your kids. I’m joking around with but you know it’s funny because it really I mean honestly that’s really not that uncommon these days, right? But unlike most 24 year olds, Grant had a plan and his plan, his goal was making a million bucks and retiring in five years. Well he did that. Then in 2015 he launched a website called MillennialMoney.com which has just taken off like gangbusters and it has like 10 million readers now. He’s been on a zillion different media outlets and now he’s on Wealth Formula Podcast to tell us you know a bunch of Gen X and Baby Boomers a little bit about his perspective on things which we always welcome, a different perspective. So Grant, welcome to Wealth Formula Podcast.

Grant: Hey it’s a real pleasure to be on. I’m looking forward to it.

Buck: So obviously let’s start where you started. I mean obviously we have to you know this is this story or twenty four you also were a graduate of University of Chicago which what I do know about the University of Chicago is it’s a very good school. So you’re a smart guy. So you’re starting out with one advantage over a lot of people, you’re a smart guy, what was going through your head at that time, at that point?

Grant: Yeah so I graduated with a philosophy degree in 2007. I came out, I had a job by the time I graduated, it was a job actually in the northern suburbs of Chicago, we were talking a little bit about that so I commuted over two hours each way to the first job after college and realized that I was making a massive trade off just in the amount of time that I had to trade for money I figured out, you know I ended up getting fired six months in because of the Great Recession and I figured out that I had traded 1500 hours of my life for about fifteen thousand dollars after taxes and ended up bouncing around three different other jobs over the next three years, never found the right fit, tough economy, found myself back home with my parents, no money, and they said that I could crash for three months, but they weren’t going to give me a dime. So square one for me, I sent out over 200 resumes at the beginning of that period, didn’t get a single call back so I didn’t have skills that I felt were marketable and really was not only starting from square one from a money perspective but also from a career perspective and was one of many of my friends who had to move back home but certainly was starting completely from scratch and being the philosophy major that I was, my parents were in their late 50s and I looked at them and they were still working and all their friends were still working they were all still stressed about money, they never knew if they could retire and I was like you know I don’t want to go back into that cubical world that I was previously in. What is money? And I literally asked that question what is money and I started reading about it and quickly realized that money is a human invention and we embed it with so much power and emotion based on how we grew up and how we live and where we’re from and so I started deconstructing money and why we think what we think about money and then just went all-in on studying it from so many different angles, most of what I found was really scammy I was like oh all this stuff that’s written about how to make money is so scammy, clearly someone’s just trying to make a buck off me. What is it like how can I make more money in less time and I set two seemingly impossible goals: to make a million dollars as quickly as possible and then retire as quickly as possible, meaning getting to the point when I didn’t have to work for money. And so that was kind of square one for me and I had to first figure out what I was actually gonna do and I was doing a simple Google search and saw a Google mobile ad and learned that you could make 20% of media spend running Google ad campaigns. Fast-forward 30 days later just off of YouTube videos and free Google resources, I was Google AdWords certified and I can literally trace all the millions of dollars that I’ve made, which is not ten plus but getting close ish all back to a series of free YouTube videos that I watched in my childhood bedroom. And so that was I was off to the races and it took me five years three months and six days to hit my goal and reach financial independence. And it was a crazy ride let me tell you.

Buck: First you know that what comes to mind for me is that I mean what you did was I mean you’re an entrepreneur, I mean that’s really you know we talked about on the show at all the time. I mean if you can be an entrepreneur and if you can be good at it and frankly that was my path and I mean I’m an entrepreneur. I’m an entrepreneur that happens to be a doctor is what my CPA Tom Wheelwright called me. And if you can do that then yeah there’s there’s a lot of opportunity out there. But not everybody’s an entrepreneur right so you think anybody could do what you did?

Grant: It’s a good question. So you have to note that during this five-year period I was working 90 hours a week and this is all I was doing. So people are like how did you do it how did you do it? I was like I didn’t do anything else you know I was barely hanging out with my friends I ended up making a lot of trade-offs that I wouldn’t make in hindsight, with that being said in my book Financial Freedom I write about what I call the enterprise mindset which is simply looking at your life through the lens of how to maximize the value of your time, meaning how to make the most money as you can for your time. That doesn’t mean you have to be an entrepreneur, it simply means even with your full time job that you’re taking every advantage that you can to make sure that you’re making as much money as possible for your time. And then there’s like small steps that you know the sum is much much greater than its part. So if you’re able to negotiate a raise and a bonus and then maximize your benefits and then connect with recruiters and increase your market value and then you’re investing more money and then your side hustling, I talk a lot about side hustling which is really popular amongst Millennials. At one point in 2012 I actually had 13 different income streams and so I was making money so many different ways with the sole goal of investing it and so at this point in 2012 I was saving 82 percent of my income and so all those luxuries like when my friends like bought the new BMW or like the $3,000 luxury apartment downtown in Chicago I was driving an $800 Nissan Maxima that I bought on Craigslist and living in an $800 a month apartment that was really crappy that my wife, then-girlfriend wouldn’t even come over. So I was making certain trade-offs because at this time, and this is important, I figured out that every hundred dollars that I was saving I was buying six days of freedom in the future and so every time I went to buy anything I was just like no the freedom is more more valuable more beneficial and I was totally addicted to making and saving money, I mean without a doubt, but what really surprised people is when I actually got there and I built like a multi-million dollar company that once I hit my number I walked in the next Monday and started dissolving the company that I’d spent so much time building.

Buck: And this is an internet marketing company?

Grant: Yes this is actually to digital marketing companies running Google and Facebook Ads for MBA programs and then one for for lawyers and Realtors. And so that was my primary trade but I owned like a moving company for a while, I like invested in a boat cleaning company, I like did so many different things, flipped Volkswagen camper vans, I was doing anything that I could to get more money to invest so and that since the principles themselves anyone can do. And then the craziest thing this is important, is like I was just addicted to get out addicted to escape. But one of the things I realized is after I did it, and I wrote my book Financial Freedom when I was reflecting I realized that I didn’t even need millions of dollars or to be or financially independent. I already had like 90 percent of the benefits even when I had like a year of expenses, I was just moving so fast that I didn’t realize how much time and freedom and control I actually had, you know we spend on all our life chasing that next dollar amount or the job promotion or the seven-figure salary and in reality you know maybe we’ve already won the game.

Buck: Well that’s true and so you brought up a word I want to I want to explore a little bit. You said you were addicted to you know this idea of the escape. What is the escape? What were you escaping?

Grant: It’s a great question. So I grew up in a household without a lot of money. My parents grew up in rural Indiana and they moved to DC suburbs when I was six months old my mom worked as a secretary, my dad cleaned office buildings and so my parents really kind of started with nothing. Growing up money was something that was always talked about it was very present. I knew that I had the least amount of money on my soccer team, my parents argued about it. And so from a young age money was always something that was stressful to me. I was running from that. I was also running from clearly an incredibly traumatic experience bouncing around a number of jobs, getting laid off twice, you know I spent my whole life doing everything that I was supposed to do and obviously it didn’t guarantee me anything, but you know you’re 24 and you’re like whoa I did everything and now what do I have? And so I was running from that feeling. And then the final thing was you know 24 moving back in my parents, every time I went down to dinner even when they didn’t say anything I could see it in their eyes there was like a worry and a disappointment and a concern and I’d let down the two people who’d given me more opportunity than anything and so I wanted to escape that. And so there was a lot of I think trauma driving my what ended up becoming you know saving 82% of your income can also become money addiction in another form and so I don’t know balance whatsoever.

Buck: Yeah no I get it. Let’s back up a little bit because something else you said kind of resonates a little bit with things that I’ve said in the past, I want to sort of expand on it. You did everything right through college, basically you know you obviously did well, you were not well-to-do, when you manage to end up graduating if you were not well-off to begin with, you didn’t have a bunch of money to begin with, maybe you didn’t come from necessarily a family of highly educated pilot professionals or whatever, you ended up at the University of Chicago, so you did everything right although I will say the University of Chicago as a northwestern grad is also known as the place where fun goes to die, you do understand.

Grant: That’s true.

Buck: But I I’m just joking around with you. But in all seriousness, you got a philosophy degree, okay obviously not the easiest degree and very logical very smart guy. And so you followed the recipe that we’re told to follow. You did everything right, you got good grades, you got a college degree, and then you and then one of the things that people I think have a problem with particularly most people who are in your situation, there are situations like people of my audience who are professionals and smart people, we come out and we say well gosh I and you know I got all the A’s, I did follow all of the curriculum, but wait a second now I’m done there’s no curriculum anymore what do I do? And a lot of times in that situation the only thing we have to rest on is conventional wisdom. And conventional wisdom in the financial world is often influenced significantly by special interests. And so that leads you into a situation where you have a curriculum vis a vis conventional wisdom but it may not be leading you in the right direction. Did you feel like any of that, does any of that resonate for you?

Grant: Yeah absolutely I mean I grew up in a world where everyone was kind of following the same advice, save 5 to 10 percent of your income, cut back those things that actually in reality are the things that make you happiest, budget, you know like people live the American Dream most of its built on debt, you know these are all things that’s just like I was told bigger house bigger car, you know that was the world that I kind of I grew up in and I realized by kind of looking at it very cold eyed that it clearly wasn’t working for people or they’d be happier or they’d be retired or at least they would be enjoying their lives. And one of the things I realized in life it’s so much easier to chase that external thing. It’s so much easier just be a stay asleep and go after whatever that thing is you’re chasing. The much harder work is to actually stop and often we only do this when we’re you know a friend dies or we get diagnosed with cancer or something happens that like we confront death in some way and then that’s when we reflect on oh is this the life I actually want to be living, you know we have to come up to the edge of mortality to have that realization. But the harder thing to do is like to stop and actually ask yourself you know what am I doing all this for? And I felt like that was a question that no one around me was asking because they were just chasing that next thing. And then the other thing is just like what a success mean to you? Like and success was was like you know retirement at the end of the rainbow retirement when years in your sixties you know going out on a golf course that’s what I mean I grew up seeing those commercials on television that was it. It was like when you retire, you know and it was just like wait? Why do I want to wait 40 years to live the life that I want to live. And so I started to like see cracks in what I always viewed as being the traditional path of success and of life. And then the last thing man like I talked to people like you know the UFC you get hooked up you can do internships and you can talk to successful business people and I was like okay I’m gonna be a business person and so I went and chatted with you know a really successful attorney downtown Chicago and successful management consultant. And one of the things they all seemed really really stressed out. And then when I started thinking about it I was like you know these are people who make a lot of money, they probably have partners they like, maybe they have kids they love and friends like what are they chasing so hard? They’ve already won the game. And I talked with one of the CEO of one of the largest SAS companies in the entire world I actually was in Venice a year and a half ago at the Gritti Palace like where all the celebrities goes like have to catch a flight at 6 a.m. I was like alright I might as well stay up all night. And so I went to the Gritti Palace and I was having a drink and I chatted with this guy I recognized him immediately, a really famous COO. And I ask him, he was there and you know he could only meet his wife in Venice for a day and a half because then he had to fly to Japan. And I asked him I said I live in Chicago suburbs and I asked him I said hey man like you know dude you’ve been on the road like 30 years like was it worth it? Like what do you do this for? And his answer was well I worked so hard to get here like now that I’m here you know I’m trying to take advantage of it, you know he’s like he felt like he’d spent his whole life trying to get there even though he had more money than he would ever need because he worked so hard to get there he felt like he had to stay there. And I called him the Lost Road Warrior because he’s like I wish I could spend time with my kids and you know but I’m on the road all the time. I was like dude you have more money than you’ll ever be able to spend

Buck: Those people they don’t want to quit.

Grant: No they totally don’t want to quit.

Buck: Totally the BS that you hear from people who are like that, that they’re doing it because, they’re doing it for their family so that they can have this other future like I know like, you know I know so many people like that. And the truth of the matter is they are addicted to the work mm-hmm and that’s what drives them.

Grant: Yeah they don’t have anything else.

Buck: Right and that is really what it is and so that leads me to my next question in a way is so so what is wealth? I mean to you what is wealth anyway? I mean if you’ve discovered from a financial perspective, when you’re 24 it sounds like a million bucks is a lot, then you’re 44 and you’re like million bucks isn’t very much money. So what is wealth in general?

Grant:  Yeah I mean well if we can define for yourself certainly, but for me I did a simple exercise where I actually wrote down the 10 things that made me happiest. I was like what do I enjoy doing like Who am I? who is Grant? And eight of those ten things were free and the other two were pretty inexpensive and I was like you know what, like I like reading, I like writing, I like walking my dog in the park, I like going out to dinner with my wife you know like all these things that in reality like how can I build my life have more of those things and how much money do I need to do that and so the crazy thing for me is money and I couldn’t have expected this, the more money I made the less I actually spent because simply having the ability to buy something became enough. I no longer had to actually buy it just having enough money to buy it if I wanted to became enough. and that was something that I just could not have ever expected and then so I started trying to maximize those opportunities to do the things that I enjoy and realize that you know when I was 24 I used a retirement calculator and it’s like you need 3.5 million dollars to retire and I was like what’s behind this you know and I actually calculated you know I spend like around $45,000 per year. I live in New York City like I have more money, I could spend more money, but that’s like the amount of money that I’m actually happiest spending. I don’t need a bigger apartment I don’t need you know I Drive like a 15 year old car I don’t need you know and yeah there are some times when like I had to go to Seattle to see a friend a couple weeks ago and I’m gonna drop you know 2 grand on business class ticket because I’m tired and I want to sleep and I want to be comfortable and I’ll do things like that but I spend less than $300 a year on clothes and you know these things just don’t make me happy. And so for you I mean just everyone realize that like it’s just all numbers it’s like the more expense of your lifestyle that more money you’re gonna need and you can control that. And once I realized that I could control that I was like oh dude I’m not gonna work another 20 years to save up an extra two million dollars, forget that. And then the final thing I realized was that I actually needed less money to quote-unquote retire at the age of 30 than I would at 65, because if I could engineer my my life the right way I’d have another 35 years of compounding. And so this is one of the crazy things where I was like instead of saving early and often it was like early often and as much as you can so I could actually accelerate the rate of compounding if I could save a million dollars by the time I turned 30, I would be at a point where the compounding rate would accelerate at an increasing pace over thirty five years so even living off 4% of the money, I would be able to have four or five million dollars and not have had to work at all for the next 35 years. And so I started playing around the numbers and you know I got really crazy and that’s crazy spreadsheets

Buck: What I can tell you is, and and this goes back to sort of your calculations and numbers and we can dive into that later because you know I am the enemy of the retirement calculator. I don’t believe in them and that’s another issue altogether. But when you say retirement in general I mean what are we retiring from? I mean like let me just tell you from my perspective and like you and in a different way you know I hit a point where, and today if I didn’t want to work anymore if I didn’t want to do anything, I wouldn’t have to. But I want to. For some of us particularly and you I mean you strike me as a very entrepreneurial guy, for us entrepreneurs it is in our blood to work, it is in our blood to create enterprise and you know my friend Jorge Newberry who has a fund he’s over there and he’s in Chicago too he and I were talking about this because we share some character personalities and he said something that I think was incredibly powerful. He said it’s the money for me at this point is not important. Money is just a way to keep score. So if you are if you are doing something you are excited about and that could be you know entrepreneurial stuff and in the case of me and Jorge, money then becomes well it’s part of what we do. I mean I don’t know what retirement means. To me retirement means death, right? What am I retiring from? I mean I retired from medicine but I don’t understand the whole notion of retiring it’s really about trying do something now that you want to do for the rest of your life and you know for a lot of doctors for example these you know I’m not one of them I’m a doctor but I’m not one who likes practicing and seeing patients, they want to do this for rest their life, they’re not looking to retire. So what do you mean when you talk about retirement?

Grant: It’s having the ability to live life on your own terms, no matter what that means. And so for me retirement was I’m retiring from the corporate world and having to spend 40 years on the road meeting clients and selling projects and dealing with all the HR issues that my employees always had and dealing with all the management headaches and all the stuff. So it’s shifting from doing what you had to do to now doing what you want to do, massive difference.

Buck: But mastering them from something but absolutely not retiring from being industrious in general.

Grant: No I mean what work makes us happy, it makes us human.

Buck: Exactly and that’s a big point I like to bring because I’m with you, those commercials drive me crazy because to me retirement this idea that you work your ass off for 30 40 years so that you could play golf for the last 10 years of your life, it’s disgusting.

Grant: If you make it. I mean that’s all sham, man.
Buck: Right and the whole point is that that’s it is a whole sham right retirement is this sort of you know something is created by corporate America to show you a light at the end of the tunnel just so you keep working. All right let’s get back into the nuts and bolts of it. You talked a lot about saving. I’m not much in the way of sacrificing lattes myself, but I do drive the same Prius I had when I finished residency even though I’d rather drive a fancy car but every time I’m more interested in buying more real estate or buying something that makes more money because it just brings me more joy. So let’s talk though if I am you know there are there are some Millennials listening this show there are people who are aspirational. So what’s the quickest way to six-figures? What’s the quickest way to seven figures? What is your formula, your retirement formula?

Grant: Yeah great question. So the fastest path to six figures I personally believe especially without having like any skills if you’re starting from scratch, and I tell this to like uber drivers, I tell this to lawyers man I meet so many young lawyers they’re just working like 80 hours a week and making 60 grand and they’re just like stressed out all the time and have all this debt, the fastest path to six figures without a doubt is finding some way to make money in the digital economy. And for me that was running Google ad campaigns. I realized that I could actually make more money running Google ad campaigns than I even could as a financial advisor because I was making twenty percent of media spend. So every brand that I could get to spend a million dollars on Google ads I’d be getting two hundred thousand dollars and I was like wow I only need five of these clients to make a million dollars before taxes. I only need 15 of these clients to make enough after taxes to have them almost as much money as I’ll need. So Google AdWords running Facebook campaigns learning how to build websites. One of the things I believed and still believe is that skills, our future currency. And so most of the jobs in ten years they haven’t even been created yet so how can you best set yourself up for success. And so for example like say I lost all my money tomorrow and I had to start from scratch, I could go become a graphic designer. I know Photoshop, I know InDesign, I could go build websites, I know JavaScript, I know back-end and front-end programming, I could be a designer, I could be I could you know I’m a writer, I could write white papers or corporate white papers, I could be a sales person, I could be so many different things, I could do do business analytics for a company, I could run you know the backend sort of network infrastructure for different IT systems, I could you know just the list goes on and on. And the thing is I’ve insulated myself.

Buck: One is all those things share in common is its entrepreneurial, right?

Grant:  Oh totally I mean it’s the entrepreneurial mindset and then realizing, this is the massive shift for me is that most people think that time is money or that money is time. But that’s like the biggest myth of all. And that’s the biggest thing if you always think you have to trade your time for money, you’ve completely missed the point. Money’s infinite you can always go out and make more money but you can never get back this moment, this moment is really all there is. And so the slight mindset shift is like okay investing as much as you can obviously so you know your money can make money just like you said not buying your car buying income producing assets those make like you’re making probably you know hundreds of dollars in your sleep you know I make about forty five dollars an hour even when I’m sleeping on like just completely passively. And then the other thing is I encourage people to try to become what I call little ubers and you have to realize that like uber or lyft they don’t actually drive cars, all they do is they’re connecting supply and demand, people who need a ride and people who will give them. They don’t actually have to do anything they’re just connecting the people. And so becoming that person in your own life, don’t walk dogs, become the person who connects someone who needs dog walks with dog walkers, you know because then what happens is you no longer have to trade more of your time for money, you’re brokering other people’s time and all of a sudden you know when you can only drive your uber five hours a day, you can’t have 40 hours in a day all of a sudden now you have all these people doing it for you. I mean this is the crazy thing people do this in New York City every single uber driver that you get in New York City is not the person in the app like what people do is they sign up and then they get all these drivers for them and there’s like all these different sub and side economies and you know I mean they’re so creative and so figure out ways to do that in your own life and realizing that time is not money at all time is so much more valuable as you know you can always go out print more money make more money but you can’t get back the time and that holds people back man and that comes down to the vast majority of Americans think they deserve a raise but they don’t ask for it, you know simple things like that.

Buck: When it comes to time it’s funny I used that exact same quote that you used, I’ve used that for years. But then last year I altered it or two or three years ago and I left medicine for good because I had a lot of time right but so I had to alter it because I realized that I wasn’t feeling like I was being productive. It was, you know time and money you have to dissociate the two, right? But once you get the time, the real wealth is time well spent. It’s not just time. Because you can have all the money in the world, you get it all the time in the world, but sometimes that can actually be pretty detrimental. People so well spent in finding what your mission is is kind of what my own discovery along that path has been.

Grant: But you had time and space and money to probably figure out that mission.

Buck: Exactly.

Grant: And that’s the same thing with me man like if you asked me five years ago what your purpose in life was I had no idea, like what’s your why. Like people that ask me like what’s your why? Five years ago you know I just wanted to smack him on the head like I was like I have no. But sometimes you have to open up to life and create space for you know you can’t chase your why sometimes, you have to give yourself time for it to show up.

Buck: So one of the challenges of the audience that you’re speaking to today is we’re you know we’re a little we’re probably a little bit older than a lot of people you’re talking to you and we’re maybe some of us say I just spoke to somebody today was a dentist and she does really well, I mean a few hundred thousand dollars a year etc, and she said I like what I do, here’s the problem I’ve got, I’m developing stress injuries from repetitive motion and I can tell you from a neck surgeon I totally understood that. Her problem is now taking money and deploying it appropriately so that she can maintain some kind of a lifestyle. So a lot of us, and of course when we hear you, when you’re talking about doing Google AdWords and and you know digital businesses and stuff like that, for some people it sounds rather intimidating, right? What do you say to somebody who’s like man I’m working here, sure I’m doing well I’m making a couple hundred thousand dollars a year, but what I’d really like to do is be able to you know slow down and I don’t have another forty hours a week to first of all learn all about this stuff that this kid knows and second of all to actually implement it and create another stream of income. What do you say those people?

Grant: Yeah so first YouTube is your friend. Anything you’re curious about type it in there spend two hours a week just like going down the YouTube rabbit hole I call it and you’re gonna learn more about some things than you’ve ever thought possible. So YouTube is your friend, use it. The other thing is you know there’s multiple kind of paths to financial independence and saving up a ton of money is one, but I actually think the easiest way is to build consistent recurrable income streams and focusing on those instead. And so I often say that real estate is in my opinion the fastest path to financial independence and I’m not talking about, you don’t need like huge apartment buildings and you know I talk to people are like oh yeah my 3,000 unit portfolio, you know it’s like sure if you want to be there, I’m sure like Jorge Newberry has like 10,000 rentals in downtown Chicago and stuff that like, I’m just talking about like even like in Southern Cal anywhere really, get two or three you know places and set it up so they’re good investments and have them put off enough cash you know after expenses to cover your living expenses boom, you’ve won the game. And not only that the rents are gonna go up two to three percent a year the properties are gonna appreciate and all of a sudden you can take we can do a cash out refinance on one and then by a fourth property and all of a sudden you have four properties you don’t have to go crazy but that’s more money than you’ll ever need, put us off more money and you’ll ever need forever and then you can go you have enough money to cover your go do whatever you want, be an artist, be a painter, travel for a while. And this is the thing too we talked about being addicted to work you know often people that are addicted to work whether it’s the status or the success of the money they’re craving, they’ve often never given themselves in their entire life maybe because it’s uncomfortable or they don’t know how, just just space and openness. You know one of the things I try to do is like give myself permission to do nothing and that’s the hardest thing for driven people to do hardest thing it took me like two years to figure this out where every Sunday I just go and lay under a tree for a couple hours expecting nothing and sometimes when you just like open to life in this way just go somewhere cuz you don’t know what’s gonna show up you know just say okay I’m taking six months off and I’m just gonna go you know live and live in you know live in Europe or live in Southeast Asia I don’t know what I’m gonna do like that’s the best most freeing thing not know you have enough money go do this you don’t know what you’re gonna do and all of a sudden you’re gonna be sitting at the bar having a drink and someone’s gonna sit down to uni or strike up a conversation and you’re gonna learn that they’re an art dealer from the Bahamas who knows this person and then they’re gonna you know and all of a sudden just through a series of conversations your life’s gonna be transformed and this whole thing that you never knew is possible or existed or you didn’t know about yourself it’s just gonna show up but we’re so close we try to optimize like every ten minutes of our life but life happens when you like let go and stuff, you know what I mean it’s when you say like forget like number forget how much money you have being the scorecard like choose to just exist, choose to exist and be truly open to the world and meet new people talk like that that’s when life shows up it’s not like chasing that thing that you already know how to do. Like to me there’s this beautiful Alan Watts quote like the British philosopher and he said life is like music it’s meant to be played and when you think about like music being played like it’s just going here it’s going there it’s not knowing what’s going to happen the one thing we think in in life like we always try to control every variables but the thing that actually makes life exciting is not knowing and so the paradox is we try to control everything in our life, when in reality what we really want is excitement and adventure and those things that come from letting go of some of that control and that takes them just like you know especially when you’re successful like people listening to this making you know mid six figures. I mean, yo if you’re if like if you’re happy and you look around and love your life you’ve won the game cool. But like but if you’re making that kind of money and you’re unhappy like you have more advantages than everyone in this entire world to like take two or three steps and this is the final thing, everyone I’ve talked to all over the world about this the people that are unhappy they think it’s an all-or-nothing thing. Oh I need to quit my job or I need to quit this medicine practice whatever it is, often people are like two or three steps away from a life that they’d really really love but we live in such an all-or-nothing world where they’re like if you like to have to jump in the deep end of the pool and in reality just like putting a couple feet in would make them so much happier and often those two or three things have to do with money. Save up six years of expenses and then just quit just to see what happens, you know I mean? Obviously harder to do if you have a family and mortgages.

Buck: Yeah that’s where it gets complicated right?

Grant: But even that even that, maybe the best thing for your family is to take a step back and make you know some type of radical change just mix it up. Mix it. If you’re unhappy just mix up your life a little bit and you’re gonna learn something about yourself man because I can tell you ease and convenience are the enemy. If your life is easy and convenient, like that used to be the goal when we were like living out on the Prairie and living in caves and had to keep roof over my head but that’s not how you grow today. Ease and convenience, if you’re if your life is easy you’re not gonna grow I mean without a doubt 100%.

Buck: So we’ve talked about we’ve talked about obviously real estate, as the audience knows that I’m a huge proponent of real estate has been my you know my focal point as well and that a number of people also invest in real estate through private placements etc. I mean you talked about saving obviously you got to have money to invest so I always I have this equation I always use which you know I’m a math science guy so I ripped off this Newtonian physics momentum thing which wealth equals, so you know mass times velocity its momentum, so momentum of wealth growth I see is mass times velocity and then I also have leverage to that. So mass is how much you invest, velocity is your yield, leverage is other people’s money that’s what I say. Typically do you agree or disagree with that?

Grant: Sure I mean inertia is the driving force in life and it’s hard often if you’ve spent years on a certain stream floating down a river to stop yourself and get off on the shore or walk the other way and so realizing that it’s always easier in life to keep doing what you’re doing you know and having like whether it’s confronting death or whatever it is just realizing like okay am I on the right river that I need to be on and where is this gonna lead and you know everyone listening to this is a smart person, just fast forward like three years and be like okay if I stay on this River where am I gonna get. And often that probably means you’re gonna have more money but are you also gonna be happier? And do that for ten years and then you can do the whole exercise of like you’re at the end of your life looking back.

Buck: But in terms of your actual nuts and bolts, other ideas, you talk about real estate, you’ve talked about, is there anything else that we’re missing?

Grant: Oh totally so I think I mean I’m a huge investor in just a total stock market index fund I’m a huge index fund investor believer. I have no bonds, I’ve never owned any bonds. I think the whole bonds by age is just a full crock and just something we need to get rid of completely, obviously because there’s not sort of a correlation between the two anymore. The other thing is I think just I’m a massive investor, not massive math my relative scale in Amazon. So you know and I think you know sometimes you have come I’m not a huge purchaser of individual equities but sometimes I think there’s a once-in-a-generation type of a company and Amazon is that company. And so for me I’ve been buying Amazon since 2010, you know all the cat like now probably half my net worth is in Amazon stock but I correspondingly just that company is just I don’t actually say buy any stock I’m just saying that company is just so you know it’s just such a not a sure thing that’s the wrong thing to say but it’s like Amazon will be at ten thousand dollars a share it’s not going anywhere is no oh my gosh it’s just the beginning dude the government’s gonna split it up that’s what’s gonna happen and there’s maybe five companies that splits gonna make everyone a lot of money and then I mean they’re just it whether you like it or not. And I actually that’s the tough thing man because the more I read about like you know socially responsible investing and educate myself on you know the fact that there’s a big difference between like not doing bad and doing good when it comes to investing and that’s a whole rabbit hole that I’m going down now. Amazon causes a lot you know it’s tough there’s a lot of pros a lot of tough spots there for a company like that meaning things like that and yeah.

Buck: I get that let me ask you this though. Have you experienced a massive stock market correction yet?

Grant:  I mean I wouldn’t say a massive one no. I mean I’ve been very.

Buck: You were broke in 2010 so…

Grant: Yeah exactly so I’ve been riding, I’ve been riding a pretty fast pretty fast ball. I personally I mean I’ve had you know months where things have dropped like considerably, to me I was able to kind of learn how to check my emotions at the door once I realized that you only lose money when you sell, I mean a loss is only when it’s realized so like you know I even got a message from my dad like called me he’s like oh you know stocks rah rah rah rah and I was like oh they’re down and I was like dude I keep telling you this man like it’s only like you’ve only lost money when you sell and so for me like my portfolio being down you know three hundred thousand dollars five hundred thousand thought it just doesn’t doesn’t faze me at all.

Buck: Well you and I differ there then. So the systemic part of that is what bugs me the lack of it being necessarily in my hands but good. Tell us a little bit about the blog. Tell us in and more importantly perhaps you have a book coming up so tell us about those.

Grant: Yeah so millennialmoney.com is my blog. You know all over the world I get traffic all over the world from not just Millennials a lot of boomers Generation Xers look in being like well what are these kids up to. I mean more and more of my friends or just like choosing to live life in a lot of different ways which is super cool so you can learn a lot about me there but yeah man I had the opportunity to write a book with Penguin Random House and my editor she’s the editor for you know the Dalai Lama and Brene Brown, she’s very famous and she hadn’t done a money book and so I partnered up with them and I spent the last year-and-a-half writing Financial Freedom: A proven path to all the money you’ll ever need coming out in a bunch of languages all over the world February 5th. You can buy it now at a bookstore and online on Amazon FinancialFreedomBook.com, all those places and it’s my journey from $2 and everything we talked about today. It’s 350 pages of pure goodness around all the things I was taught about money and why they were wrong, why most information about money that you’re told is either like damaging or so old school it’s obsolete. Here’s how to think about money and time very differently and you know if you want to no matter where you’re at in your own financial life get to that next level as quickly as possible, you know it’s a really scalable strategy, so everything from you know changing you view money to deconstructing it to I have 11 questions you should ask yourself before you buy anything, I talk a lot about money in units of time not just units of money, I built calculators for the book at FinancialFreedomBook.com/tools you can enter in your own info and determine how much like if I pay a thousand dollars for this thing here’s how much freedom I’m trading for it in the future and then yeah optimize your full-time job, launch a side hustle scale it, become a full company, make more money in less time in literally every single way that I did and then now looking back that I figured out I could have done and wished I could have done and then how to invest that money in the most tax-efficient way so I go into really granular details about how to maximize all of your pre-tax opportunities and then I get all the way to like okay now that you have enough money what’s the withdraw strategy that’s best suited for the type of lifestyle you want to live and so it’s an end-to-end scalable strategy that if you want to do what I did in five years, you can do that if you’re not that crazy you know you you’re you’re gonna learn a lot. The last thing I wanted to make it I’ve read over 400 personal finance and investing books and I wanted to make it in my opinion like one of the highest ROI money books out there so most books are like one or two ideas and then a lot of fluff and padding around it like this thing is just non-stop here’s what you do next you turn your next here’s the trade offs here’s what you can do here’s here’s you know and I’m really excited because early reviews are really solid and I’m really excited so at the end of the day money only matters if it helps you live a life that you love and everyone deserves that and doesn’t matter how much money you’re making you could be making seven figures a year some of the most unhappy people I know are the ones making seven figures a year so even if you’re in that position this book might even be more beneficial for you to help you recontextualize money and what it means to you and your life because life short man life short gotta love it got to enjoy your time and so that’s why I wrote it and I’m really excited.

Buck: It sounds great man. So what was the title again?

Grant: Financial Freedom.

Buck: Financial Freedom and we will put that in the show notes as well. Grant, thanks so much for being on Wealth Formula Podcast today.

Grant: Hey man this is a real pleasure. Thanks for giving me the good questions and it’s a pleasure meeting you and being on the show.

Buck: We’ll be right back.