282: The Cash Flow Ninja!
Buck: Welcome back to the show, everyone. Today, my guest on Wealth Formula podcast, well, a lot of people probably already know him. He’s got one of the biggest podcasts in the personal financial space investment space. MC Laubscher, aka the Cash Flow Ninja himself, who is also a friend and a really good guy. MC, welcome back to Wealth Formula podcast.
MC: Thank you so much for having me Buck, right, to connect again.
Buck: Yeah, man. So for people who don’t know you, I just want to kind of get a little bit of a background. So who’s MC Laubscher? That accent that you’re not from Texas, right?
MC: It’s not a Pennsylvania one. So I’m originally from South Africa, and I actually came to the US 20 years ago. It’s, wow, time flies when you’re having fun. My wife and I just realized that the other day we were chatting and she’s like, when did you come again? I said, 2001, and I’m like, wow, that’s 20 years, but I grew up in South Africa. Born and raised over there and after University sort of traveling a little bit around the world. I played sports at a pretty high level, had a College scholarship and a full ride in College for rugby. So I traveled quite a bit. And I ended up in the United States, and I ended up playing in a League here and ended up being part of the men’s national squad for a couple of years in the United States. And Besides the sports, one of the things that really struck me when I came to the United States and having traveled quite a bit was just, you know, I was just blown away by the upward mobility available to anyone that’s willing to work their butt off in the US, right? It just blew me away. And I was pretty excited to see what I can build and what I can produce over here. While I was traveling for sports, a lot of guys who picked up habits, not necessarily good habits. But there’s a lot of downtime for guys when you’re traveling and flying and so forth. So some guys plugged into video games, other guys plugged into other stuff. I picked up some books and started reading on economics and finance and came across a book that many of your listeners and viewers will be familiar with. So Robert Kiyosaki, and I kind of went down the rabbit hole and took action right away. I bought my first property. This is now 20 years ago, too. And, you know, that opened the doors for me for cash flow investing because I really just had this light bulb moment after I bought my first property. It was a single family condominium at that stage. And after I paid all the bills associated with that. there was money left over, and I’m like, wait a second. Oh, yeah, there is cash. How many times can I do this? How many properties can I buy? So then it really started that cash flow journey for me. And I really just pursued cash flow investing since then, right up to about almost six years ago. I started the Cashflow Ninja Podcast to accelerate my learning curve. I figured if I speak to the best in business and investing once a week, this is going to accelerate my learning. And I’m going to pick up new things, which it definitely has. And, you know, I started that show five, six years ago, and now we’ve been listening to and downloaded in 180 countries and millions of downloads around the world. And it’s turned into an educational platform, which we built out significantly over the past year. And then I’m also invested in a lot of other different businesses and investments and so forth. So, yeah, it’s been a fun ride.
Buck: A couple of things that you say really stick out to me. One is the idea of upward mobility. And I’m always shocked when you hear from people who’ve been in the US for a long time about how there’s a lack of upward mobility. But when you compare it to other countries, there is no other country like the US. I mean, I’m one generation from a poor family in the Third World, right? Not enough to eat. And here I am doing a personal finance podcast talking about people making millions of dollars and stuff like that. It’s just insane. I’m glad you talked about that. The other thing that occurs to me is I think you were on a couple of years ago. It’s been a little bit of time, but just hearing about how much you’ve done, even in that short period of time, it goes back to that idea that people grossly overestimate what they can do in a year and grossly underestimate what they can do in three, four or five years. It’s just so good for you on that part. I want to talk to you a little bit about, obviously, your podcast. First, I want to ask you in terms of the podcast, when you started versus now, how long has it been?
MC: Almost six years.
Buck: Six years. So it’s a lot. What have you, in your own sort of philosophy, you and I have talked offline about how mine has changed since taking the purple pill. How has yours morphed during that period of time, as you’ve talked to a lot of successful investors and sort of changed your own philosophy. How has that morphed?
MC: Yeah. It’s a great question. And I just want to touch on one thing that you mentioned, too. You know, it’s quite incredible. Sometimes when I speak to folks in the United States and I see their response when I talk about upward mobility and I literally, you won a lottery ticket by being born there as opposed to everywhere else, because there’s such an abundance of opportunities. And then from the podcast, too. You know, the Podcast is kind of growing significantly because essentially, you know, I love learning, and I’m a student, and I’m doing that too. And I’m still learning. But I’m also starting to teach more and more and more and stepping into that role, which has been a lot of fun, because when you teach something, really, I mean, that’s when you actually learn right and you learn even the topic and the subject matter even better and get to understand it, and it increases your understanding. So that’s been a lot of fun. And you’ve heard the cliche or you’ve heard people say, if you want to understand something teaches and it definitely definitely rings true. But yeah, I went pretty broad with it, and went pretty broad with business. Real estate, commodities, cryptocurrencies and blockchain investing paper assets and so forth. And we’ve stayed pretty broad and we’ve talked about different trains and so forth. But, yeah, we have spent a lot of time focusing on specific niches where there’s opportunities now, real estate obviously being one of them and so forth. But it’s been a lot of fun. I continue to learn. I continue to pick up something every single time I speak with someone. Yeah, it’s been an incredible ride. And also, as you said, I couldn’t have my wildest imagination of thoughts five, six years into it. It’s grown into what it is, and it’s just doing something consistently over and over. I still reflect back and I smile at it. Six months into this, you’re like it’s only my mom and my sister listening.
Buck: Oh, yeah. I had to actually quit my podcast after the first few episodes for a year because I was like, Why am I doing it as no one’s listening? This is silly. Then I took it back up. Luckily. But during that time, though, like, give me one thing that you used to think. But now you don’t think that that’s the case and you think totally differently. I’m putting you on the spot because that’s a tough one. Right? But what did you used to think that you think differently about now because of this journey?
MC: I used to have a mindset of having to think that I have to figure everything out myself and know that I know everything about a specific topic matter. And what I came to realize is, look, I need to have a certain level of understanding and a certain level of competency. But then I only have to partner with the best person and or have team members to fill in the rest so I can focus on my skill set in my capabilities and bring in the other folks we always earned. And in sports that I played, they were always like, well, you have to focus on your weaknesses. Well, essentially, that was kind of the mindset that I had with the show and just in my business and in the other investments, too. It’s like, no, no, no. I need to focus on what I’m good at because that’s gonna be a multiplier for me. And then I need to partner with a relationship that has complementary skill setting capabilities. And that’ll be another multiplier. So I always talked about, you know, my Lane because people are like, MC, you’re involved in so many things. What’s your lane, right? You can’t possibly have all these lanes. You’re human. You’re not a robot. And I said, no, my lane is people. People are what I’m focusing on and investing in people. And I’ve vet people because I know if I can find the cash flow Ninja in the space that is an absolute monster in the state that you or she is in, and I can partner with them, I know that. Then I can capitalize on opportunities in that space. So I don’t need to be the person that has every single thing down. But I need to have a certain level of understanding, a certain knowledge base, and then I can find the best folks to do that.
Buck: Yeah, I’m with you there. It’s all about finding the right people. And this whole business is certainly in the real asset space is really about, you know, operations, and it’s about the people. Mcdonald’s doesn’t make the best burger. I happen to like McDonald’s a lot, but it’s hard to argue that they are the best burger in the world. But yet they are the best selling burger. And there’s a reason for that. It’s because it’s the best run company in that space. You have a book coming out. Tell us a little bit about the book.
MC: So the book is called the 21 Best Cash Flow Niches, and this will be available October 1. But essentially, the question that I get asked more than any other question. Besides, where I’m from, when I hear my voice is MC, you’ve interviewed over 700 people on your show. You have had folks talking about different businesses and commodities and paper assets and real estate, all these different niches in real estate and blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. And this kept coming up over and over and over. So I figured, you know what? I think I’m going to go ahead and put it all together in a book for folks to share the 21 Best Cash Flow Niches and also throw in some bonus niches in there because it was tough to narrow it down. And I have to overdeliver, of course. But, yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s been a lot of fun actually reflecting because I work through you go back through your library of all the interviews that you’ve done and all the interesting folks that you’ve had on, and you revisit all of that. But it’s been a lot of fun doing it. A book is a different thing, you know? I know you’ve been down that road. It’s a different animal. So if you give me a microphone or tell me to speak somewhere, I can do that. But a book is a different animal.
Buck: So let’s kind of drill down on that. All right. So we’re not going to give them all away here. All right. Give me a few that we might not think about and why you think they’re good opportunities.
MC: You know, there’s a couple of ones that play into trains now that’s pretty interesting. So yeah, of course, there’s going to be certain businesses and there are certain real estate, different types of real estate in there. There’s two asset classes that you know very well in their multifamily real estate and also self storage. But there’s some interesting niches where if you think about it, that plays into big trends. So I’ll give an example, one of the asset classes that I cover in their cell tower investments. That’s a very interesting business. And if you think about it, we all know when we’re not near a cell tower or we’re running out of reception, and then the next thing becomes, we never think about it as a cash flow potential opportunity or a business. But essentially, there’s so much growth in that industry. There’s a significant amount of development going into cell phone tower infrastructure, and there’s a massive business opportunity because of this, we’ve driven around them. We’ve seen them. It’s real estate that has a cell phone tower on it. There’s tenants of that cell phone tower. They’re usually carriers with pretty big bank accounts. So it’s secured by good, solid carriers. So there’s a huge opportunity to either develop a cell phone tower, project yourself, sign the carriers up the leases of your tenants, and then sell it to a group of investors for the cash flow. So there’s folks that do that. And then there’s a group of investors that can actually buy that cell phone tower and then collect the cash flow from it. I thought it was pretty interesting and especially, I mean, as we’re going from 4G into 5G and the Internet of things and so forth, you’re just going to see more and more of those opportunities. So I found that that was a very, very interesting one. One thing that’s very interesting, too. And it’s playing into another trend is agriculture and the niches within agriculture. We all think of farmland, food, livestock. But there’s also some great niches within that. So, for example, timber and tie is an investment that I found pretty interesting. It caught my attention. And then I looked into this and then I’m like, Wait, wait a sec. Wow. Like Ted Turner. And it’s like, how many acres of teak? The Harvard Endowment. Now these are like mega money management teams. They’re invested in this. What am I missing something here? It stabilizes these portfolios pretty well. Again, it’s not sexy. It’s not a great cocktail party conversation to say that I’ve got a bunch of land with trees on them.
Buck: But it’s better than saying you own a bunch of ugly apartments.
MC: Yeah. But the last time I checked, even if there’s an economy that crashes, if there’s a pandemic, trees still grow. So it was very interesting to learn more about that investment and different investments in agriculture. And obviously doing research for the book, you start to see the numbers of the demand that they will be for certain niches, even with agriculture. I think Jim Rogers is pretty famous for talking about that and the opportunity that will have four investors in the next coming year. So that was very, very interesting stuff. Obviously, music royalties is also very interesting. That was a very interesting topic where if you think about it, every time you hear a song plays, somebody’s getting paid. And it was interesting to learn more about that business, too. You know, it might be a partial royalty on a song. It might be full royalty. It might be one song out of an album. Michael Jackson, for example, just his estate has been paid, like over a billion dollars just on royalties. So there was a fascinating, fascinating industry to learn about, too. There’s a lot of interesting niches. I mean, one thing that I’ve learned, there’s different niches, but you really realize there’s so many ways to do this. There are folks, there’s just so many different ways to build businesses to create wealth, to invest in different asset classes, right?
Buck: Yeah, for sure. And I’m curious along those lines because obviously my philosophy has been always about, or not always, but certainly in recent years, especially after maybe chasing some shiny objects, so to speak, that I’m going to keep it boring. How do you balance sort of having these different types of investments? And I don’t know if you’ve invested in all these things or not. But for me, one of the most time consuming and difficult things is learning about a new area and then probably even harder than that, finding the right people and the teams and all that stuff. How do you balance it? What’s your philosophy on that?
MC: That’s a great question. And I’ve not invested in all of these. So I’m invested in some of them, and my philosophy is very similar to yours. Like I invest in things that I know and understand, and I immerse myself in them. So I’m invested in a couple of asset classes. Obviously, I’m invested in real estate, I’m invested in energy, I’m invested in commodities. I’m invested in crypto and blockchain, but also not just in the coins, in businesses, too. And maybe that’s a good starting point. So one of the asset classes, obviously, I talked a little bit about crypto and blocks and technologies. So we’ve had conversations in the past, around 2016 or 2017. We were dabbling in it and getting involved with it. So one of the things that I really immersed myself in in the past 18 months, probably twelve months of it. I really, really, really immersed myself into it was the on blockchain, and it wasn’t necessarily the coins, but it was more of the industry, the businesses that are being built in the industry. So I did the same thing where I found the top people in the industry. I studied everything that I could that they put out, whether it be books, whether it be bought cars, whether it be videos and so forth. Then I looked at other things that they offered, whether it be, you know, of course, which is an intellectual shortcut these days. One of the programs that I enrolled in, could I have learned everything, probably by myself and did I know some stuff of that already? Yes. But it probably would have taken me. But I could tap into that person’s intellectual shortcut. So I joined a mastermind group, which I’m still in to learn. And why I wanted to do that was I wanted to again, sticking with the big piece, which is the nonsexy part is I wanted to implement a strategy similar to the California gold rush strategy during the California gold rush in 1849. And so the folks that really made fortunes wasn’t necessarily the folks that panned for gold, but it was the folks selling the shovels and picks, the equipment and the clothes, the Levy Straus, the boots, the housing, the financial services like Wells Fargo and so forth. So I wanted to see, how do I do this in that space? And it was interesting to see that there’s a lot of ways to do that already. And there’s a certain type of approach as an vase store. There’s obviously an approach as a speculator, which huge upside potential. But I wanted to learn more of that. So that’s kind of my philosophy in my approach and how I approach these things is I have certain asset classes that I know, and I understand, and then I look for the best folks in them. But I really deep dive and immerse myself in an asset class if I’m going to invest in that asset clause, even though I’m partnering with someone, whether I’m putting up the capital or I’m bringing something else to the table, that’s kind of all. I approach that. But yeah, because otherwise, like you mentioned earlier, the shiny object stuff. And the other thing that I would also say strategically, from a strategy point of view, is, what is it? What is the asset cost? What is it supposed to be doing, and why would you own it? I keep asking myself those questions, too. So I know exactly what it is, what it’s supposed to do and why I would have it included in my strategy. We talk about apartments in there. It’s apartments. It’s affordable living for folks, right? It’s not going to go away. People are still going to need a place to live. Five, ten, 15, 20 years from now, 100 years from now. The same thing with cell storage. People are going to need a place to park stuff. So a lot of these things I ask, why am I doing this? Why am I investing in this? What is it supposed to do? What does it do for me? And that’s why, for example, I have real estate. But I also have some energy stuff because there’s some tax advantages in that show. And when it comes to the crypto and the blockchain is like, what is it? Well, it’s cryptocurrencies is blockchain technologies. Even the technology will roll into industries. It’s very new. It’s very volatile. It’s very small. What is it supposed to be in my strategy? Well, as an investor, I can position myself where in businesses that eventually will provide a ton of value to cryptocurrency and blockchain investors, tax services, planning or acid protection. That kind of stuff. You’re going to need all that stuff in that industry anyway, as it’s growing and growing.
Buck: Yeah, that’s great. So before I let you go, I want to obviously, you’re pretty involved with digital currencies and stuff like that. I want to make sure I get your read on where we are in this market. How long is this Bull market going to go? What do you think is going to happen? Obviously, I can’t predict the future, but you’re probably more ingrained in this than by far, in a way more than I am. Tell us about your forecast for the digital currency market here.
MC: Yeah. It’s an interesting time when there was the crypto winter. Some of the folks that I were talking to at that stage were just sharing with me the innovation that’s coming in there. You think about the industries that the smartest folks are going into right now. They’re going into biotech. They’re going into crypto and blockchain. I mean, the smartest folks on the planet, because that’s where all the innovation is. They’re running into those industries. So I think you’re going to keep seeing a ton of innovation in a lot of the projects. I think you’re going to see a ton of new types of businesses being built. There are ancillary and complementary businesses to what’s already developing in that ecosystem, whether it be the coins, whether it be the blockchain projects, whether it be decentralized finance. So that’s only one element, for example, in that ecosystem. I think you’re going to see a lot of businesses that are going to position themselves to figure out how they can plug in to, for example, the decentralized finance place and provide products and services to that. So I think you’re going to see innovation, as I mentioned, with tax companies. There legal companies, trust and estate planning companies, insurance companies. You’re going to see all those types of companies coming up. So there’s going to be a lot of innovation in there from a price perspective. I think that yeah. I think that we still have a little bit of legs on this one. Of course, you know, buyer beware. It’s a bumpy road in your soul. I think there’s still a leg up on this one. If you look at, you know, the Bitcoin, which is kind of like the biggest of them. And if you look at what’s going on there and how it is essentially coded to provide a certain amount of coins and a lot of folks are entering into it exciting stuff going on. Right. So you’ve got payment process is incorporating, but going into what they’re currently doing, and we’ve got companies positioning capital reserves. I mean, I know you’re smiling. I mean, the two of us were talking, did you ever imagine that happening? I mean, we thought it was gonna happen, right. But it’s still like seeing it happening is kind of crazy. And then also you’ve got essentially a country that now I needed legal tender. El Salvador. Now other countries are interested, too. So from a price action perspective, it’s going to be a roller coach to ride up and down sideways and so forth. But the ecosystem will grow. The adoption will grow because more and more folks are realizing and recognizing, especially in a time like today, globally, that Fiat currencies are being devalued in the workplace. So I was just speaking to someone the other day. That’s from Bob with a friend of mine, and they have to validate their currencies and blew it up twice. Now I take hyperinflation basically twice. Right. So it’s like if you’re there, what are your options? Well, if you have access to a smartphone and you can plug into the worldwide web, you can buy some Bitcoin. So I think more and more people in those countries are going to realize it. So it’s going to be interesting. There’s a lot of exciting things there, but you have to understand your listeners, too. It’s always important to understand when you’re saving or when you’re investing or when you’re speculating. So know what you’re doing when you’re doing it. Don’t think you’re investing, but you’re speculating and then all of a sudden, you know, right? I have a heart attack when you look at the price movement or action on your smartphone.
Buck: Yeah, that’s the important part. I think you’ve said it a few times and I think it is a good point. If you’re starting to have some sort of visceral reaction to the losses, probably you have too much exposure. So you just got to be careful and focus on that. Your asymmetric portfolio. It could add zeros to your net worth, or it could be gone. And you just have to know that that’s what the deal is when you go in the first place, right. Listen, it’s been really great talking to you. Tell us a little bit. Obviously, you can find the Cash Flow Ninja podcast everywhere, but tell us how we can tune in and some of your things that you got going and even find your new book.
MC: Oh, thank you. Yeah. CashflowNinja.com is where everything’s at over 750 episodes now, podcast interviews there. And I’ve got two shows that’s on there and all the tools and resources that we have on there in the book. You can find that at cashflowninja.com/21niches. That’s two, one and then the word niches, and that will get you to the Amazon page. And if you buy the book on Amazon and you screenshot us just a copy of your receipt and send it over to us, we’ll give you access to the audio book, a digital version of the book. I actually curated a ton of interviews of covering the niches. And then there’s some bonus videos just covering the niches in there, too, for folks that are interested. That’s cashflowninja.com/21niches.
Buck: You are a seriously high tech dude, man. I’m like, sort of the old man’s podcast. I just pretty much had the audio and I went video and I thought it was a big deal, but this guy’s got audio books. I got to take some lessons. I need a book on that. But hey, listen, MC is absolutely great seeing you again. Catching up. And let’s do it again in the next year when you take over the world.
MC: Thanks for having me on. This has been a lot of fun, my friend.
Buck: We’ll be right back.