Catch the full episode: https://www.wealthformula.com/podcast/254-what-just-happened-and-what-next
Buck: Welcome back to the show everyone today my guest on Wealth Formula Podcast is one half of the dynamic duo that makes up the Real Estate Guys Radio, Russell Gray. And Russ was on the show actually not too long before Covid started so it’s an interesting perspective and at that time he was telling us a little bit about life after loss as he had a major change in his life and then Covid hit shortly thereafter. But Russ, welcome back to Wealth Formula Podcast.
Russ: Thanks for having me Buck, it’s good to be back and congratulations on your show and your success. I’m very proud of you.
Buck: Thank you. I appreciate that very much and you know it’s been fun to share that with you and you know you and Robert had a lot of a lot to do with me sort of starting out in the podcast world ultimately getting involved with real estate in the way I am now and I definitely appreciate that. Listen I want to you know it’s so interesting to me, we were talking offline here. You commented that you were old enough to see a lot of these things happen in this country and I always look at you and I’m like you’re not that old but I think you aged really, really well in the context of what you were telling me. So I want to put this Covid pandemic into the context of all the things you’ve seen in your life and I’m sure you’ve done that yourself in a way is to look at you know your life and what’s happened in this country and all these things that you remember how do you think about this right now?
Russ: It’s interesting you know we’re mutual friends with Chris Martinson and Adam Taggart over at peak prosperity and Chris was really on the front end of paying attention to this he had a list of almost a dozen different things that he was tracking and he would one of which he felt could trigger a chain of events and I think he said number five on his list was a pandemic well it was never on my list and so when he called me and said hey are you tracking this coronavirus thing, that’s what they were calling it back then and I said well I’ve heard a little bit about it but I’m not paying attention. He goes well you need to pay attention because it’s going to be big and I said okay well at that time I was one month removed from my wife dying and I was planning her funeral arrangements and I had a lot of other things on my mind besides that but in the back of my mind I was kind of paying attention to it and then I remember got another phone call and somebody said hey I think it’s time to start stocking up and I waited just two weeks from the time I was told that and then I ended up going into a grocery store. I was married for 41 years my shadow never darkened the door of a grocery store so I kind of was surviving on what was in the house and what my kids had bought taking care of me when they were here and so I ventured out and the cupboards were bare for a lot of things and it was really quite amazing to me and so then I thought well either this thing is very very real which I need to take seriously. So I got serious about my health. I was already serious about it I got even more serious when my wife got sick and then when Covid hit I got even more serious through that and started really paying attention to building my immune system but I also started you know working on developing a deep pantry and then developing a real understanding. So one of the first things Robert and I did was we pulled in some cards that we have because over the years have built some really great relationships as you know and we put together a Covid 19 panel and we interviewed Richard Duncan who you know as a Ph.D. economist former advisor to the IMF, Danielle Dimartino Booth former fed insider Art Berman oil guy who really isn’t trying to pitch oil or defend oil but just get you to understand what oil is and what it means to the economy and the dynamics that really drive the price and supply and demand and all that kind of stuff we had Peter Schiff of course who was our most popular guest by far I mean nearly 900,000 views on his video it was insane. So we put together this whole group of folks and we just asked them you know what do you see what are you hearing what do you think what should we be watching for and we put all that up on our youtube channel so it’s still there and a lot of it is still very, very valid but to me the first thing was just to start to listen to people and get a 360 on people that were qualified to have opinions from maybe different perspectives and it wasn’t consensus necessarily there was some but but it was just that beginning of getting your eyes open so it kind of started with that and then you know from there it was about the reaction is this reaction that we’re getting from the authorities is this valid is this normal this isn’t the first time we’ve had threats of diseases and then the question is you know not so much from a policy perspective I learned a long time ago that politics and investing don’t mix because you have your political preferences your political opinions your coulda woulda shoulda’s of what you think they should do but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because they’re not asking you you just have to look at what they’re doing and ask yourself okay based on what they’re doing what’s likely to happen next and how can I position myself and so we put a lot of our emphasis on that and I think we may have talked about some of that the first time I don’t know but I’m still pretty much just watching that roll out you know it’s a slow-motion train wreck it doesn’t mean they won’t save it but there’s still a lot of wheels in motion right now that I think any investor needs to be paying attention to.
Buck: How do you think that this, in terms of real estate obviously you’re real estate guys, what surprised you during this last year if it did and why and what do you think happens next?
Russ: Well I think one of the things that maybe was surprising was how strong the real estate market especially the housing market was. It wasn’t surprising to see retail implode that was happening before this just accelerated. It wasn’t surprising to see industrial do well that was already happening I think that seeing the shift in out of going to work in the offices with the lockdown and the I think the move to remote working and that that eventually became fairly permanent I think a lot of companies have really embraced that as part of their permanent go forward plan absent disease or not I think they just realized boy we can offer our people a lot better lifestyle we can have more affordable payroll people can live really where they want to live which is more affordable than these expensive urban areas. So I think how badly some of the real major downtowns like a San Francisco or a Manhattan got hit was probably a little surprising but how really really strong the housing market turned out to be and there’s a lot of factors there but I think that was a little surprising you’d think with all of the uncertainty in the economy all of the shutdowns and layoffs and business closures and failures you would have thought that it probably would have been a little bit tighter than it’s been so that was a little bit of a surprise.
Buck: Yeah no doubt I think that was one of the things that when it all started I think everybody was worried and you know we’ve got in our investor club gosh now half-billion dollars of multi-family real estate under management and it was a little bit scary at first but what was interesting is by you know I’d say you know a few months into it it was pretty clear that this thing was a lot more robust than we thought it would be in the multi-family sector and I think part of the fortune that we had in our group was because of where our real estate was too right I mean it was working-class Texas and working-class Arizona you know I kept hearing because I live in California as you know about people who owned real estate in Los Angeles where people were just refusing to pay rent. We didn’t have that. We didn’t have people refusing to pay rent you know they just did you know and did whatever they could to make it happen. Swe did have maybe a month or two off of some challenges but man it came back and it’s been extremely robust and I think it’s surprised you know even you know guys like Kenny McElroy and stuff like that were really thinking this was gonna be doom gloom you know defaults and well it seemed like it was for retail it was for office but it wasn’t for us and the curious thing that we’re seeing right now on you know on the multi-family side Russ and I’m sure you can talk to this too is that a lot of that big money that was focused on you know office and hotels and in retail, they’re trying to find a new home and they’re headed toward us.
Russ: Well yeah I mean and you know any time there’s trauma in financial markets money looks for a safe haven right and real estate the right real estate in the right markets is that safe haven you know and I think that if you go back even just in stock trading the basic premise in stock trading is when things get choppy focus on consumer staples focus on the basics focus on the things that people absolutely need in good times and bad well obviously housing fits into that so there may not be home building going on although there is but certainly existing stock is gonna have demand especially if you get the market right and so I think that that that natural gravitation of trying to figure out okay what is the sweet spot in housing well it’s affordable housing and I think that we’ve all seen a a pretty big spike in demand for mobile homes and mobile homes is kind of a fixed commodity it isn’t something that they’re building a lot more new of basically what’s out there is what’s out there and people are competing over it and so I think there’s a lot of competition for that but multifamily is something that can be built to add demand. It’s something that you know institutional investors like it’s bread and butter and the other part of it is that it’s got great governmental support in terms of subsidized financing Fannie Freddie you know that type of financing is available. So when you’re interested in being in an essential asset class and you’re trying to find a space in real estate multifamily is the natural place to land and it’s not surprising at all that institutional money would flood into it which you know is good and bad. It creates opportunities for some people it creates difficulties if you’re out there looking for deals but there’s always there’s always crevices you know places to fit in so it’s you have to work harder in a market like that.
Buck: Yeah definitely I mean as it’s up, it’s good things and it’s bad things I mean it’s great for the real estate that we already own I mean the value has gone way up but it is harder to find new opportunities that work and that pencil out so now you know I’m perhaps being optimistic but I will say that I do think you know it looks like vaccinations at least will be you know available to everybody by the end of May, the end result being that mostly I see this pandemic largely becoming something that we can start you know sing an end to hopefully by the fall is my guess and you know for me when I look at you know all of the money that’s coming into the economy right now in in terms of QE in terms of government spend you know government helicopter money etc and then you put that into context of incredible built up demand for you know doing stuff you know to me it looks like the economy is gonna boom right it just looks like you’re gonna have a serious boom probably a bubblish boom but you know there’s another possibility there and and because of the incredible amounts of money going in which is inflation with with basically on higher unemployment which is known as stagflation and I know that’s something you’ve been concerned about do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Russ: Yeah stagflation is a concatenated word that has kind of made its way back into the lexicon these days and it just means stagnant economy with inflation and normally inflation is a byproduct of a robust economy you know and you hear Jim Rickards talk a lot about velocity although I’ve heard people in the mises institute say that velocity it doesn’t really drive pricing, I don’t know it kind of makes sense to me that it would Jim’s a pretty smart guy and so when he talks I listen but he thinks velocity is a big deal and that’s just how fast does money change hands so I think of currency which is what you know what we call money but currency the medium of exchange dollars in an economy is like blood and if you can think of the economy as an organism like a human body and of course you have that background much better than me but you know that the blood carries the nutrition the nutrients the oxygen to all of the cells if you look at cells as individuals and you look at organs as organizations collections of individuals then that blood better be flowing and if it’s not flowing then things start to die they grow weak and so when you lock down everything it’s like having a heart attack the heart’s not beating the blood’s not pumping and you know you can maybe give some strategic injections and things that they’ve been doing with stimulus but at the end of the day you’ve got to get things moving again, you’ve got to get people trading with each other buying and selling and money moving around the concern is is that when you’ve been injecting through artificial means a lot of stimulus in order to prop things up well the heart’s not beating the minute the heart stops beating you might have like too much in the system and so you’ve got to deal with the threat of inflation at the same time that things are slow and then you got to try to figure out a way to work yourself out of that in the 1980s you know coming out of the 70s Paul Volcker who was a fed chair appointed by Jimmy Carter but actually did the work with Ronald Reagan and sometimes you know presidents get credit or blame for things that the fed is doing and so you know I always look at things from the fed perspective a lot less than the political party perspective but at the end of the day they jacked interest rates all the way up as you may recall to over 21 prime rate it was it was basically a great reset. The dollar failed began failing in the 60s and you know we’re talking working now with my grandson one of my grandchildren teaching him coin collecting and when I was coin collecting when I was a boy I watched the silver come out of the coins and so I remember that in the 60s and so the dollar was already failing because of over printing in the 60s and so they kind of stole all the silver the way they had stolen the gold prior in the 30s they did a little bit of a reset in 45 with Bretton Woods they did another reset in the 60s with the coinage act but the big big reset was in 1971 when Nixon finally defaulted on the gold standard and all those dollars came home to roost that’s where we had really bad inflation Nixon instituted price wage controls and so if you’re not old enough to remember this the president of the united states by decree made made it illegal for any private citizen private business to raise their prices of their products or give any of their employees price or wage increases in the United States of America in the land of the free right this is what happened right and so now you look at Covid 19 and you see the same draconian type of dictates coming from people where they’re shutting down businesses and they’re telling you you don’t have the right to conduct business and make a living and and it you know I mean may agree that the price is worth it that the risk is worth it but at the end of the day you know and you can debate whether they have the authority to do that or not but the fact of the matter is they did it the same way Nixon did it so there’s some parallels and that’s the point that I’m making there’s some parallels you know he sent Kissinger off to saudi arabia and they cut the deal with the petrodollar what became the petrodollar which is basically all oil worldwide now largest commodity in the world being settled in dollars to create demand to soak up some of that excess with the float you get all the worldwide float now occupying dollars that took some of the excess off we also had to raise the price of oil to so that it would suck up more dollars and this is where you know I call into question some of the things that I was told in the 70s about we were going to run out of fossil fuels by the year 2000 which obviously is ridiculous we had such an abundance of fossil fuels just last year that the price of oil dropped to negative so much for big oil right but so if it wasn’t true at the time then then maybe it was contrived in order to create a siphon for all those excess dollars and so that’s that’s something that has to happen from time to time my point is there was a great reset then it wasn’t called that but today there’s been some talk about from the world economic forum and davos and klaus schwab talking about this great reset this this idea that you know the dollar has reached the end of its shelf life and it’s near near failure and there needs to be some type of a reset either to take the world off of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency something I’ve been watching since 2013 or they need to find a way to reset it. Rickard says hey it’s simple just reprice gold at fifteen thousand dollars and do what you did before okay well maybe that’s what they’re going to do maybe they’re going to introduce SDRs which is something Richards has talked about and use that for international trade and the dollar will just become like any sovereign currency for a specific country but not the world’s reserve currency maybe that’ll happen I can’t imagine a scenario where they’re going to jack interest rates up to try to reset the dollar there’s just way too much debt it would implode right so I don’t exactly know how it’s all going to end but I know that rising interest rates is probably not going to be the formula for containing inflation and so my thesis and that’s all it is is that perhaps some of the slowdown is designed to reduce velocity to hide the inflation due to all the money they’ve printed and there’s no question about how much money they printed since 2008 in order to buy a little time to execute this great reset. So that’s what I’m watching you know I can’t say that I have a even a preference about how things happen but I’m still remain very concerned about the dollar in the long term and I think people have to have hedges against that I think being short the dollar is probably better than being along the dollar real estate is a great way to do that because you can acquire the best debt there is which is the best way to short the dollar and then acquire the income streams and the tax breaks to service it if you pick the right market and the right property and then you just have to kind of take a wait and see approach and be a little bit nimble and see what they’re going to do and you know now we’ve got a new administration and so there’s a new sheriff in town that’s driving some energy policies which are causing the price of oil to go up and oil and the economy are interlinked I mean it takes energy to do business and it’s a cost of every product every service that is offered so when oil prices go up that’s built into everything and and then you know when you get specific to things like building lumber I think is at an all-time high or it’s it’s it’s experience of you know substantial inflation if you will part of that is supply and demand part of that is just good old-fashioned inflation but it’s a major component of home building and so you’ve got those components of cost in addition to the energy and so you’ve got to say well you know that that’s bullish for housing prices long term because you can’t get a new house out of the ground for anywhere near what you you know use you know based on the existing inventory it’s going to pull the existing inventory up.
Buck: Yeah you know it’s interesting and if you listen to some of the others in the space who are very concerned about what’s going to happen various different projections on how the proverbial hits the fan you know whether it’s some kind of Bretton Woods reset whether you know some sort of gold standard etc you know a lot of times that leaves investors you know mom and pop investors just people are listening to this show it leaves them in a situation going okay well that sounds like a bad thing what do I do about it and so you know my philosophy on that has been you know what we’re really talking about most of the time here is debt in the dollar and so the best thing to do is as much as possible probably stay out of the dollar and be in hard assets as much as possible. What do you make of that?
Russ: Yes absolutely in fact you know I’m working on a series of video series right now I call precious equity and it’s you know based on a basic very simple investment strategy and an investment thesis which is that real estate is perhaps in a bit of a bubble you’ve got interest rates maybe as low as they’re ever going to be and the opportunity to go short the dollar by taking out debt and harvesting that equity and then the arbitraging it and then trying to you know in this case convert the equity into gold. If I’m going to have equity on my balance sheet would I rather have it in the form of equity in real estate or equity in gold well I’d rather have the gold personally I think you know based on where the gold price is relative to how everything else has moved and its history as a hedge against a falling currency and I think there’s a real opportunity there so either just to kind of state it simply it’s you’ll get it right away you borrow a couple hundred thousand dollars out of a property this equity rich at four percent you take half the proceeds and invest it at eight percent now your cash flow neutral you’ve basically straddled I took a loan and made a loan and then I take the other hundred thousand that’s free and clear take fifty thousand of it open up a qualified retirement plan and drop it in there and then purchase precious metals with it and put those precious metals in my safe now those precious metals that gold and silver and I guess let’s just call it gold for now is owned by my qualified retirement plan which is a pretty strong asset protection ownership structure in my physical possession I have no counterparty risk and it’s completely outside the system which means even if the system fails I still have that gold that was my real estate equity but now it’s my gold and I picked up a tax break along the way I’ll wait till the calendar rolls over I do it again with the other fifty thousand and now I’ve picked up forty thousand dollars in tax breaks I’ve got a hundred thousand dollars of gold in my qualified retirement plan in my safe that used to be on my balance sheet in my real estate and I’m cash flow neutral on the whole trade.
Buck: So this is basically that’s the strategy this is based on the idea your your your idea that real estate’s in a bubble right because I think my question would be well how is owning real estate necessarily going to be different than owning gold to the extent that I think of gold as a hedge to the dollar and to inflation but in that regard so I think of real estate the same way.
Russ: Well so real estate is a hedge against inflation in other words when you own anything real it’s going to retain its relative value no matter what the currency is right and it’s going to have real-world utility no matter what’s going on that’s why you want to own things that are real and essential so that’s number one when you add leverage to the mix debt puts you short the dollar because you’re borrowing future dollars and buying today’s assets. So real estate allows you to own something real and go short the dollar so adding debt is what I want to do and then I use the income and the tax breaks from the real estate to service the debt if it’s a little tight then I can actually buy debt or make loans high-yield mortgages in order to supplement some of that income without any of the the the same types of risks that I have the capital risk. In other words I’m not having to go all in if I arbit true arbitrage is where you’re you take two sides of a position and you make money on the spread you know it’s like a bank you go into the bank and you make a deposit they pay you one percent and then they loan it back to you at six and they make five percent on the spread and then you add in fractional reserve they probably make sixty percent on your savings or whatever the number is I mean they do well doing that you can do similar things you don’t get the benefit of fractional reserve but you get the ability to do that the thing about gold. Gold is without leverage gold is just a hedge it retains value but if you want to make a profit without having to get the supply and demand and timing and imbalances right then you have to add debt to the mix and see that’s where that’s where I say real estate is the best vehicle for acquiring debt and then if you can use the equity in the real estate to acquire gold now if you get a currency collapse it’s going to be reflected more in the gold because gold doesn’t have leverage built into the pricing and so then you can use a portion of that appreciated gold to settle that debt if you wanted to in other words if I took 50,000 of gold out or equity out of a property and bought gold at fifteen hundred dollars an ounce and it’s more than that today it’s eighteen hundred and it were to go to say three thousand dollars an ounce which is what Bank of America last year projected it would be maybe by the end of this year we’ll see but let’s say that happens now that 50 000 of gold would actually convert back into a hundred thousand dollars of dollars that you could use to retire the debt and and that’s profit that’s real profit because now you own more of the real estate but you use the appreciation on the gold to pay for it and you still got the appreciation on the real estate you got to appreciate both assets at the same time right if I leave the equity in the real estate I only get the appreciation on the real estate but if I pull the equity out and either buy another piece of real estate which you can do except usually the best time to pull the equity out is not always the best time to buy the real estate although you can find deals you just have to work harder for them but you know then you’re also all exposed to real estate whereas maybe you want to diversify so gold would be another way to hold equity but the point is now I get the upside if you will in terms of dollars the inflation hedging power of the gold and of the real estate for the same equity yeah and that’s the key is you have to find a way to outpace the inflation not just hedge against it and stay even if you want to grow your wealth you got to outpace it.
Buck: Right yeah definitely I think the thing I was trying to get at was really the gold aspect of this for me. I’m not as much of a gold bug. I’d rather buy more real estate but it all functionally it’s doing sort of the same thing. I think your point is that you know if you want to get exposure to something else that also has resistance to inflation and you know the potential for the dollar to crash.
Russ: Well Buck let me give you one minute of the case for gold in this case all right and the reason is because real estate is not liquid gold is real estate equity is you have to qualify to get the loan and it has to be a positive lending environment whereas it’s easy to borrow against gold because you’re lending against an asset but and the other thing is real estate is often only going to trade in whatever currency you the dollar it’s either going to be the dollar or whatever currency where the real estate is located for most people investing in the US it’s only going to be dollars whereas if you have it in gold you can pivot into any currency you want right I could sell gold and get yuan I could sell gold and get yen I could sell gold and get you know whatever sure so there’s a case to be made and it’s portable and it’s and you can hide it there’s some asset protection some counterparty risk there’s some advantages to it. I’m not saying that you want to it’s the only thing you want to have in your portfolio but I do think that a lot of real estate investors you know are so all in on real estate that they don’t understand that these other real assets have a place and it’s not a lot of people just look at gold as insurance but if you combine gold with real estate it actually can grow wealth so anyway that’s my 28 cents on that.
Buck: Yeah no it makes sense and it’s a reasonable you know way to go let me pivot back to the idea of you know stagflation now so now let’s look at the next year or two because I think what you’re talking about when you presumably when you’re talking about some of the reset things happening I would guess that you’re thinking of that as something in more over five years from now what happens in the next year or two?
Russ: Well so I don’t believe that they can allow interest rates to rise to any significance and but the problem is to try to keep the interest rates down they have to print dollars and buy treasuries which exacerbates the inflation. So if they leave the economy locked down you continue to have stagnation and so I think they’re going to try to open the economy up slowly so that it doesn’t take off I believe the only other tool left in their toolbox that the one that we’re likely to see is going to be high energy costs which they’re driving towards now I think energy policy is partly not driven by environmental concerns but by dictating the impact on the economy and protecting the dollar and that’s just my paradigm just the way I look at the world I just look at you know I just look at the money and I think the money tells maybe not the whole story but a big big chunk of it and then the other thing is taxes so high energy costs and taxes are two things that I would see coming as a way to slow hide the inflation and it will have a metering effect on an economy that’s trying to open up and go gangbusters so I go back to the idea that if you have real estate and as long as these tax breaks as long as the best tax breaks are found in real estate I think when people go looking for tax shelters more money is going to find its way into real estate as more people are out there making the case. You’re a syndicator you know some of your offerings are structured primarily with the benefit of offering tax breaks. Your high tax professional investors they have a tax problem you know they’re not even trying to build wealth as much as they’re just trying not to be bled out on their incomes and so I think that taxes I think you can expect higher taxes and then and then you know higher energy costs will have a drag on the economy they will drive people they will make working-class people poorer because prices of goods will go up and the cost of their gas and their you know energy heating transportation all that will go up which will drive them more and more into affordable housing so if you’re focused in the affordable housing space in affordable markets especially markets that have low taxes and you know landlord tenant-friendly all the basic stuff business-friendly all the basic stuff that you look for in real estate investing you get to go short the dollar take advantage of the low interest rates you get your disproportionate share of people who are moving down because they’re being pressured by the taxes and the insurance costs. You get to pick up the tax I mean not taxes and energy costs you get to pick up the tax breaks and you’re probably going to be the recipient of an influx of capital other people who are seeking to do the same thing so if you get in early you’re probably going to see some appreciation the risk of course that you run is that they do let interest rates run or they lose control now if that happens then you just have to make sure I’m still a big fan of locking in the longest possible you know terms you can 10 20 30 years if you can on your loans and not in doing everything you can you know to get interest only and not prepay anything keep the equity out of the property you know so that that’s kind of you know what I’m watching for is energy policy and tax policy out of this new administration a combination of you know what the fed is going to do to try to let the economy restart without overheating.
Buck: Yeah so speaking of the new administration some of the legislation that well hasn’t really been introduced yet but has been suggested include things like you know getting rid of the 1031 exchange and that kind of thing these things you know and talking to Tom Wheelwright who you and I both know, he’s my CPA but you know Tom has said about this before and that this has been introduced multiple times and it always fails for one reason or another and it relates to the fact that there’s a lot of implications to eliminating 1031 exchanges what do you make of this I mean is this just another round of you know trying to attack some of the real estate benefits that really you know are not going to stick?
Russ: Yeah I think any time you go into a negotiation you put a bunch of stuff on the table and then you have a handful of things that you’re willing to take back to give away in order to get the other side. Now you know the the way the congress is set up right now you know they don’t need to give away a lot so I would say that there’s a chance that you know this particular congress might actually take away some of those benefits but I would say they would be the last to go because the constituencies that are affected by that are wealthy and they have a lot of influence right and so I just don’t think I think those are things that get talked about in order to get people to the table in order to have things to talk about when everybody’s paying attention and then when the thing actually gets passed a lot of these things you know just just end up on the cutting room floor so that’s been history that’s the way it’s pretty much always worked I can’t say just because it always has it always will but you know and again that I go back to this idea that as long as you understand the debt side it’s still possible to move equity around you just can do it through debt you don’t need to do the 1031 tax deferred exchange and you can still acquire new depreciation schedules by using the harvested equity for down payments on new properties I think the biggest thing is you want to be really really thoughtful about the markets you invest in and the properties you invest in and just be prepared to be in them for a long time.
Buck: Yeah will be interesting too is the other thing that I had been thinking about is if there was an end to 1031 exchanges imminent it would probably create some significant movement even within the real estate market people trying to you know get their last 10 31 in before the laws take effect and all that it would be kind of crazy to see but anyway listen Russ it’s been really fun to catch up and talk tell us a little bit about what you guys are doing you know you guys have got tons of events all the time and obviously those have changed substantially I remember a real estate guys having some kind of live event like almost every month or two and so how’s that going and what are the plans moving forward here in the next year?
Russ: Well 2021 was the year of or 2020 was the year of learning how to do virtual events and we did it and we did it fairly successfully. We did our two secrets of successful syndication seminars and all of our club meetups which you’re familiar with we did our annual investor summit on the screen it was good people enjoyed it I think that we got a lot out of it definitely not the same. We opened up this year with our create your future goals retreat live in Dallas we had 150 people it was great very successful we are doing our secrets of successful syndication event at the end of March we’re sold out. Robert has been back doing his Belize field trip so he’s done one or two this year. He’s got another one on the books we are doing our investor summit this year not on a cruise ship but live at our resort property in Belize and so you have to get a Covid test coming in and out of the country
Buck: When is that?
Russ: That’s in June. So Peter Schiff is coming Kenny McElroy you mentioned is coming Tommy Hopkins I believe is confirmed we still have a few people we’re working on we’re hoping you know with the way states are opening up that you know some of the restrictions but you know belize was closed for eight or nine months the borders you couldn’t even get in or out I don’t think they can do that again they just can’t afford to so I think that the financial realities of these lockdowns even if they are medically justified I think at the end of the day you’re going to have to pick which devil you want to dance with and I think at this point people are willing to risk getting sick or at least you know letting people make the choice and people who are at risk and people who you know have you know whatever preferences they have they can choose to stay home but there’s going to be other folks a little bit more intrepid more adventurous we got we got a lot of people signed up to come do that so we’re we’re running our life right now in 2021 the way we always did before so texas is just open for business so there’s no mask mandate there’s no restrictions the hotels are still having some precautions but I think that those are going to unwind pretty quickly now based on on this the state’s leadership in that regard so again you may agree or disagree I’m not saying it’s right or wrong I’m just saying it is what it is we like getting together with people I’ve been doing it since last october and it’s been been a lot of fun I probably I don’t enjoy traveling as much I try to curtail my travel I used to really look forward to it but I’m not a fan of what you have to go through to get on a plane and be on a plane and especially to cross borders so but other than that yeah we’re doing that we are more active we’re continuing to do virtual type things more often where we we get people together and we talk we you know built out our youtube channel to capture some of that and so you know we added so you know all in all I think 2020 as challenging as it was was was good because it forced us to to learn to do some new things and branch out in some new areas and reach some people that we wouldn’t have otherwise reached and you know 2021 we’re going to keep all that and and add or go back to the things that we were doing before so we’re busy and having a good time.
Buck: That’s great. Russell Gray everyone with the Real Estate Guys Radio check out the podcast also it’s the real estate guys radio?
Russ: No it’s right, realestateguysradio.com
Buck: realestateguysradio.com I know we had to get this right because there’s lots of copycats out there.
Russ: Yeah well we’re the old guys.
Buck: Yeah look for the old guys, the originals, the oldest guys you can find and it’ll be the right one. That’s it. Anyway, thanks again Russ. We’ll look forward to having you on again sometime.
Russ: Thanks for having me, Buck. It was awesome.