Episode 167 | JL Collins | Military Millionaire

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JL Collins on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00

David:

What's up Military Millionaires! I'm your host, David Pere. And today I am here with my lovely co host, Alex Felice, and a special guest, JL Collins, which I'm super stoked to bring this episode to you. Because, well, if you've been around the community for a little while, you've probably heard me mentioned The Simple Path to Wealth, like 100 times, pretty much anytime somebody asks about what fund their thrift savings plan should be in or how to use their thrift savings plan, I tell them to either just leave it in the lifecycle fund, or to read this book and do your own due diligence. Don't just trust people on Facebook randomly talking about it. And this book, Simple Path to Wealth has just been awesome for me. And then he also recently wrote how he lost money in real estate before it was fashionable. So we'll probably touch on that a little bit. Because I know most of our shows touch on real estate and I think index fund investing is an incredibly passive and productive way to invest. And so we wanted to bring that side of this. I know Alex and I both dabble in that. And really, as you said, before we started recording why I didn't reach out to you sooner. I have no idea.

Intro:

Welcome to the Military Millionaire podcast where we teach service members, veterans and their families how to build wealth through personal finance, entrepreneurship and real estate investing. I'm your host, David Pere. And together with my co host, Alex Felice, we're here to be your no BS Guides along the most important mission, you'll ever embark on your finances.

David:

What's up military millionaires! I wanted to briefly talk about a service I offer that a whole lot of people don't seem to know about. And I guess that's a failure on my part for not having discussed it enough. So look, finding a realtor that understands investing and or the VA loan or both, is not always the easiest thing in the world and finding a lender, same thing! So what I have started doing is I've built a well, I have a large network, but I've started to compile it all together finally, as a legitimate Excel document driven, location driven list for you guys, essentially. So what it is, is basically just my way of helping connect you with a realtor or a lender that I know personally and have vetted and talked to and understand that they're not going to screw you. And what I do is like, for example, I had a market where I had two or three agents that I all sent. The same person who has a connection said, Hey, man, you know, I trust I know all of these, let me know what you think. And they also have the same agent. And the same thing. So what I've done is if there's multiple agents in the same market, I choose the best one. And that's what I'm going to hook you up with. But the whole point of this is just to help ensure that you get connected to the best agents.

So if that is something that you would like, just go to the website, go to frommilitarytomillionaire.com/va-realtor/ or just reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook, whatever, I'll send you the link, or you can find it on the resources page of the website. But look, all it is is a way to help connect you with an agent who's gonna hook you up. No, I don't charge a fee for you know, I don't charge a fee for the agent. It's just a way to hook you guys up at the end of the day as a buyer, you're not going to pay for a realtor anyway. So Tada, it's magic, you might as well use one. As far as a VA lender, I've got a really good one that I work with, and know very well, there's several others that are pretty good. And I'll probably try to steer you away from some companies that I just don't think are very reputable or have been very helpful. So you know, if this is a service that sounds good to you for free 99 then reach out. And if not, then enjoy the show right now.

David:

JL thanks for joining us today.

JL:

Well, I'm glad you reached out when you did. I'm delighted to be with you.

David:

Why don't you, can you give a little bit of your backstory for the audience just so they can get to know you.

JL

Sure, as you mentioned, my name is JL Collins, I started a blog with the highly creative name of JLCollinsnh.com. And there's a reason for that. I look at my blogging buddies who have actually creative names for their blog, and I look at that with envy. But when I started mine in 2011 it was simply a way to archive information that I was writing down for my daughter who was then in college and I had managed to turn her off to all things financial by pushing it too hard. And so I was faced with the task of writing this stuff down. So that would be available in case I wasn't around. In fact, she likes to tease me now and you know, says Dad, if I'd listened to you, there would be no blog, there would be no book there would be no Chautauqua, which is the annual events that we take people on so, so I guess sometimes if you have a kid who doesn't listen to you, it can turn out alright.

Alex:

You owe her now.

JL:

I owe her big time. And she's not shy about reminding me.

Alex:

I'm curious how long was the blog going on before it turned into a book? What's that? What was that like?

05:00 - 10:00

JL:

Yeah, so I started the blog in 2011. And the book came out in 2016. And that's a little misleading because I spent three years on the blog. So I really started pulling the book together, I guess about two years into the blog. And the reason the book took so long was, I don't like writing. I mean, that sounds odd. And then now that I'm an author of two books, and in a blog that's been around for a decade, but it's a big chore. And I kept my editor Tim, at the time, he was a much bigger believer in The Simple Path to Wealth book than I was, you know, I thought that was gonna care. And it's all blogs anyway. And he kept, I kept throwing it down and discussing it and walking away for months at a time. And Tim would grab me by the scruff of the neck and drag me back to the computer and figuratively and so finally, the book came out in 2016.

David:

That's a very relatable story. I took probably a year and a half or two to get my book out. And, and I feel like I somewhat enjoy writing. I feel like it's somewhat therapeutic, but having to do it consistently. It becomes, yeah, yeah, it was..

JL:

Gloria Steinem, she was a very prolific, prolific author. And during an interview, she was asked if she liked to write. And I think this is a great quote, her response was, I like having written. And that's exactly how I feel about it. I love the fact that I've written all these blog posts, and these two books, and I'm about to start on a third. But the press process is just, for me, at least brutal. When I hear people say they like to write it's yeah, that's a tough thing to relate to. But I love having the end product. You know.

Alex:

That's weird. I really enjoy writing. I have not written a book yet. And it feels very daunting. I watched David do it. So I know I can do it. But I. But I love writing, I just got done writing something 5000 words, just kind of casually, I love it.

JL:

Yeah, I mean, you should definitely write a book, then it is daunting, because but you break it up in pieces, right? You do it and you do it one piece at a time. And if you're a writer, you're probably a reader. And when I started writing on a regular basis with the blog, I started paying more attention to the structure of the books that I was reading. Because before that, when I was just reading them casually, you know, it just seemed that they were one out of a whole cloth unified. But when you really start thinking about the books that you're reading, you can see how they're organized, and how the bits and pieces were probably put together. And that's how you do it. It's, you know, what's a Chinese proverb, a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. So, yeah.

Alex:

I sort of do that now when I write, I get an idea. And then I'm like, Okay, how can I break this up into five or six ideas? And then I elaborate from them.

JL

Then you break your book into five or six parts, and then you break those parts into chapters and next thing you already made a book.

Alex:

So let me ask a question about debt, you have a sort of opposite viewpoint about debt, then a lot of, you know, our listener base, a lot of people are interested in real estate, which is very debt enthusiasts enthusiastic, let's say, especially with, you know, with a lot of 30 year fixed, which reduces some of the risks. And a lot of it is historically low rates, which I don't know that reduces risk, but it makes it very appealing. But you don't seem that keen on it. And I sort of like that, because I think people underestimate the risk of debt considerably. So I'd like to hear your thoughts about it.

JL:

Yeah, I think people definitely under underestimate the risk of debt. And anybody who was around for the debacle in, 07-08 when the real estate market came crashing down, along with the stock market can appreciate how debt is very much a two edged sword. It's leveraged, right? So it works for you. It's a beautiful thing. And that's what attracts people to it. If you buy $100,000 property as an example, and you pay cash, and it goes up to $110,000 will you make 10% on your investment, if you leverage it, which is to say if you put say $10,000 down, and you borrow $90,000, will now your $10,000 investment has gone up under percent, it's doubled. So that's the appeal. But that's fine and as long as people understand that, if it goes down 10% If you've lost 100%, and if it goes down more than 10%, you're underwater, which, of course, is what happened in 07-08. This is also what happened, by the way in the great depression, because it was very easy then, and it is kind of now to margin stocks margin is just a fancy word for borrowing against your stock portfolio. And so the stock market started plunging, and in 1929, the thing that exacerbated that and made the drop ultimately go to 90% was margin calls, people had bought all the stock on one margin with debt. And then of course, the brokers were calling in that debt, which forced the sale of that stock, which of course drove it down further and further. So, you know, leverage is a very powerful tool. And when it's working for you, that's a beautiful thing when it's working against you. That's how people wind up bankrupt.

10:00 - 15:00

Alex:

Yeah.

JL:

Strong opinions.

Alex:

I mean, that's it, though. I mean, it just, you know, I'm just, we're in this really unique kind of part of the market cycle where and I feel like because we've been on this bull run for so long, I feel like we've gathered along all of these younger, kind of new investors that weren't around for 08, and they haven't seen a correction and now a historically long period of time. And so I don't know, I was barely around in 08, wait, I certainly wasn't investing yet. So I don't know. I'm just curious. I always, whenever we have an investor here, who's been through at least one or two market cycles, I always like to ask their perspective, because it's generally different from the people who've been doing it for three to five years.

JL:

You know, it is Alex, it's a great point, because and I think about this a lot, I started my blog in 2011. Well, there really hasn't been a major decline since then. It's the markets done, almost nothing but marching up. But you know, when COVID, hit a couple of years ago, in America it dropped 30 or 35%. But that was over a month. I mean, that's incredibly brief. I've never, I've been investing since 1975, I've never seen a market decline and recovery, that quick. And then of course, you know, we're going through a little bit of a correction now. And that seems to be recovering. I think we got down about 12%, or something, and now it's down 6%. And who knows where it's gonna go from here, but your points will take and we haven't had a serious bear market for over a decade. And not since I started writing my blog. And I wonder if, you know, my readers take away the fact that the stock market is the most powerful tool for building wealth that's ever been created. And that's absolutely true. But it's also a very dangerous and volatile thing. And you have to be willing to understand that it will correct, which is a 10% drop in there'll be bear markets, which is a 20% drop, and there'll be crashes. And all of these things are perfectly normal. But for anybody who started investing in the say, 2010 or later, that's only theoretical, that's only in their mind, and whether they can really appreciate how gut wrenching it is, is another frame of reference and, and several put that in a frame of reference in 07-08, when the market had plunged, I think 50% at this point, and it was down to about 60. So I'm talking about the s&p now it was down around 650, something like that it had been cut in half.

And in retrospect, that was the bottom. But what people need to appreciate is nobody knew at that point that that was the bottom. And in fact, all the smart people I knew and that I was talking to, were predicting that it was going to go much, much lower, they were saying it was going to be cut by two thirds from there. Which means that, let's say you had a portfolio that at the start of that there was 1,200,00, you had $1,200,000 well, you know, you're 18 months later, whatever it was, the markets been cut in half, you're sitting on $600,000. And all the smart money is saying in the not too distant future that's going to be $200,000. That's what I tell people you've got to stay the course you can if you're gonna follow my advice, which is to invest in the market. You can't try to dance in and out because it doesn't work. And you have to ask yourself, are you willing to see your investment be cut in half and then to have the prospect of it being cut by two thirds more. And that's the kind of intestinal fortitude it takes.

15:00 - 20:00

JL:

Now, I had that intestinal fortitude in 07-08. And not to say I wasn't very, very nervous and having doubts. But the reason I had it was in 87, when we had Black Monday, and the market dropped 25% in a day, I tolerated that I knew the right thing to do was stay the course. But then the market kept grinding down lower and lower. And then finally, if not, three or four months later, whatever it was, I threw in the towel, because I just didn't have the intestinal fortitude, maybe didn't have the experience. And then of course, the moment I threw in the towel, the market started to go back up again. And when I bought it back in it is, you know, it exceeded where it started, before its collapse. And so that's how I had the fortitude to endure 07,08,09. But I don't know, I hope the people who read my stuff can have a just by reading it, that they don't have to actually get their nose bloody.

Alex:

Let me ask you one more question while we're on this topic. I know that you are a big proponent of v tax, Vanguard Total index. Is that still correct?

JL:

Yes.

Alex:

Are you worried that the fifth largest holding of the Vanguard Total Index is Tesla?

JL:

No.

Alex:

No? I mean, as somebody who is somebody who, I'm kind of hot in this, Tesla is a grossly hilariously overpriced thing. I feel like they have, I feel like they have smuggled in a risk portfolio into these total, these larger indexes that are not representative of what I think an ETF should be.

JL:

Yeah, Alex, that's a great question. And I've never had it asked quite that way.

So the beauty of an index fund, and in this case, whether it's an s&p 500 fund, which owns the 500 largest companies, which would include Tesla cars, or the total stock market index fund, which owns them all.

And also, of course, Tesla, the beauty of that is, it's self-cleaning, the beauty is that I don't have to worry about or care whether any individual company is overpriced or not. So if Tesla continues to outperform and, and do beautifully, well, I will benefit from that. If it doesn't, in some companies, whether it's Tesla or some other companies, not all companies do, it will slowly drift down the index and eventually will drift off. And that's a process that I referred to as being self cleansing.

So the market is always self cleansing. And the market is cap weighted, which means you're always going to own the most successful companies of the moment, which is why Tesla is the fifth, I'll take your word for it. I didn't know where it ranks with. It's the fifth largest holding in the total stock market, because right now, you know, Tesla's is killing it as a stock.

Is that going to continue? I don't know. And I don't have to know and I don't care. And some other stock. If it doesn't, it'll fade from view and some other stock will take its place. So you think about this, and you say, well, what's the worst that can happen to any given stock, the worst that can happen is that it'll go to zero, it'll drop 100%.

Now, it will fall off the index long before it gets there. But let's just say that's, that's going to happen. Maybe Tesla is gonna go to zero. Okay, well, what's the best that can happen in any individual stock? Well, it can certainly go up 100%. And it can certainly do well, but it can go up to 100%, 300%, 10,000% and some companies do. So it's a rigged game in that sense. The worst I can lose on any given company is 100%. But the upside is almost unlimited. And that's why the stock market, while it's very volatile, as we talked about a moment ago, continues to always go up. And as long as the US remains a capitalist economy, that stock market will continue and investors will benefit.

But yeah, if I were holding a collection of individual stocks, and Tesla was one of them. Well, I've got to be thinking about the prospects of all of those companies all the time. And wondering, you know, is this recent pullback that Tesla's had just because the market in general has gone back or is the world catching up with Tesla? Or is this pullback the biggest opportunity you will ever see in Tesla? And you should be dumping all your money in it? I don't know the answer to either one of those questions. I don't have to know the answer.

20:00 - 25:00

David:

And that's why we call it the simple path.

JL:

Exactly David, I should have had that line.

David:

Well, so I want to back it up for just a second.

So for one thing, to validate everything you've said, not that it needs it. In my Facebook group, in March of 2020, and last month, I saw a massive influx of oh my gosh, I should move my thrift savings plan to the G fund. It was like clockwork, like the market dips, people freak. And they're like, well put it all in bonds.

JL:

You have to refresh my memory a little bit. The G funds the money market fund, right?

David:

The G fund is the government backed securities bond, the one that never loses money and never really gains value, either.

JL:

Right. Okay.

David:

So people immediately when the market drops, they're like, Oh, let me just move everything into this thing that won't lose money. And so, you know, just to validate what we were saying. But so the reason I like your strategy, and I think it's, it's just so simple. I mean, it's literally set it, forget it, pick a fund, or funds, put money in it consistently. And I mean, so prior to when I first joined the military, I knew nothing about finances. And when I first joined, the money that you invested in the Thrift Savings Plan started in the G fund. And that was it. And I didn't know that I didn't know any different. So my money just sat there from 2008.

JL:

Those guys put you on automatically.

David:

Yeah.

And so now it goes into our lifecycle fund, which is good, because , it's not, I think you can do better on your own fund choice if you know what you're doing. But the lifecycle fund is way better than bonds.

And so, you know, I didn't know any better. And so I did that for 2008 to 2015-2016. So, you know, through a great time that I would have earned a lot of money if I had it sitting somewhere else. But now, so now I'm currently in, my allocation is like 75% C fund and 25% S Fund, which pretty much mirrors the s&p 500, which is great.

JL:

Small cap rate for those funds.

David:

Correct.

And I think I check my account twice a year. I mean, I look at the balance every month when I calculate net worth, but I think like once or twice a year I rebalance it. And that's it. And it's great. And so I guess I'm just kind of curious if you could give like a 20 second or two minute overview on kind of the basics, you know, if you're a young service member, and you're like, wow, what is the Simple Path to Wealth? Like? What's the strategy?

JL:

Yeah, so first of all, let me say that while I don't remember, you know, that the TSP funds all have letters associated with them, and I, my memory is not good enough to remember which letter is which portfolio. So help me out as we go along with that, but I will say that when I was reading the book and looking more deeply and the whole TPS thing, and I've never had access to it myself, but it's a wonderful way to invest. I mean, it's ultra low cost, as I recall, and you're basically investing in index funds.

David:

Expense Ratio is .043.

JL:

Yeah, that's pretty amazing.

So by all means, if you have access to these things, you should definitely invest in them. For instance, I tell people who, in the private sector, your work related investment option, their 401k programs, and those are okay. But I usually tell people, when you leave that job, roll that into your personal IRA and go into a, you know, an index fund because you'll have lower, you won't have all the costs associated with the program. But if you're in a TSP, just stay in your TSP. I mean, it's really a wonderful investment.

And now I have answered a question you didn't ask and I forgot the question you did ask. So my apologies.

David:

No, no, I just, I guess just asking if you wanted to give a quick overview of The Simple Path to Wealth strategy in general, as far as we can kind of dig into that a little bit more.

JL:

Yeah. So The Simple Path to Wealth. The basic idea is that Wall Street comes up with all of these products and it makes investing seem impossibly complex. Because if you try to absorb all these products, it is impossibly complex.

25:00 - 30:00

JL:

I mean when we had the crash in 07-08, you know, the financial instruments that had been created to trigger that even Wall Street didn't understand how they were operating. So that's a very intimidating kind of thing. And that drives a lot of investors to throw up their hands and say, you know what this is beyond me. And I'm going to turn it over to a professional well, all due respect to professionals, they don't have the best record either.

My attitude is, if you take a little bit of time to learn some very simple basics, you can do it for less money yourself, because the truth is, you don't need all these exotic products, you need just simple basic index funds that Jack Bogle originally created back in 1975 with the idea being, you're not trying to outperform the market, because the truth is, most funds don't outperform the market. I think the numbers are something like in any given year, maybe 25% will outperform the basic index, when you have five years it's down to 10 or 15%. When you get 10 years, it's five or 10% when you get 30 years is less than 1%.

So, outperformance is very difficult to achieve. Not the least of all the reasons for that not the least is that those funds are expensive because they employ professional managers who are supposed to outperform the market. The brilliance of Jack Bogle was he said, You know what, if you just buy the market, it's low cost, it'll have this process where you will always be invested in the companies that are doing well. And the companies that aren't doing well are gonna kind of drift away. And it was beautiful in its simplicity and low cost. And it was met with enormous resistance by the financial community because it cut into their fees. And for a long time, you know, that it was people said, well, this can't possibly work and, over time, the research is piled up that it works phenomenally well.

So The Simple Path to Wealth simply says, when you're working and you have cash flow that is going in on a regular basis, that smooths the volatility of the stock market and make no mistake, the stock market is very volatile. So the market plunges. And you're still putting in that money every month, you're buying those shares on sale. So that works to your advantage. And you're putting it in, my favorite is the total stock market index fund. I'm partial to Vanguard, but other investment companies offer total stock market funds as well. And a total stock market fund is basically the same no matter what company you buy it from. The s&p 500 index funds are also excellent. They're, as you might guess, the top 500 US companies. And the truth is that because these things are cap weighted, as we talked a little bit earlier, regarding Tesla, that the total stock market index fund and the s&p index fund are very, very close, I think, I think gets 80% of the total stock market is in the s&p 500. And the other 20% are in the smaller companies. I like having that extra 20% there. But the truth is, if you track the performance, they're almost in lockstep. So either one works just fine. And if you invest in that on a regular basis and stay the course, basically you're betting on the United States of America. And if you don't think our country has a viable future going forward, and not everybody does, then this is probably not what you want to do. But if you think about it, it does have a viable future going forward, and it's going to remain a capitalist country. That's what I happen to believe, then this is the best way to participate. And then before I jump off my soapbox, if you would forgive me, some people say, well, what about adding international funds? And because that's what most people who write about this suggest, though, even if they're suggesting index funds, I'll say, well, you know, have a US index fund but also an international index fund.

I don't feel the need, because the top US companies are international companies. And so yes, the world in general is increasing in prosperity. But if you own the top US companies, you are benefiting not only from the vitality of the US economy, but from the vitality of the world as it continues to expand, and you get to own it in. While it's not perfect in the stock market, it is the best and most transparent and honest in the world.

30:00 - 35:00

JL:

So now at some point, you know, maybe the US share of the economy will get small enough that I'll say going to a World Fund makes sense. And in fact, when I'm talking to European audiences, I'm certainly not telling them to invest everything in their own countries, because those economies are just not that large. So I'm already telling them to go to a World Fund. So I think that's in the future. But for right now, I'm strictly in the US index funds. And that's where my daughter is. And that would be my recommendation.

David:

I was actually glad you said that one of the questions that I had from the Facebook group was asking, with China's economy growing, would you look into Chinese index funds, but clearly, we already got an answer and an explanation. So I'm going to just delete that one. But thank you very much for the soapbox. That was a great overview. I could not have said it better myself. And I have one question just to kind of drive home. And I've not asked you this. But I feel like this will probably drive home to some people why this strategy is so awesome. How much time do you spend worrying and or managing your stock market on a daily basis?

JL:

Well, I spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff. Because I love it. You know, I mean, this is my, you know, I take a lot of pleasure out of doing it. But I'm the odd one out, right? So I created this strategy, primarily for my daughter, and my daughter could care less about this stuff.

Now she knows that it's important. You know, she knows that. If you get money, right, if you get investing, right? Life is really easy, at least financially, if you don't understand money, and you don't get it right, financially life is very, very difficult. So she understands that. But I remember she said to me, at one point, she said, Dad, you know, I get it. I just don't want to have to think about this stuff all the time, like you do. And that's the way most people are. I'm the weirdo here, most people have better things to do with their time than to think about investing in money. And that's who I wrote The Simple Path to Wealth for.

The biggest compliment I get from people who read my blog, or the book is when they say no, I've never really understood this financial stuff. I'm not really interested in it. But I read your book. And suddenly, it made sense. Suddenly, it was accessible to me, because that's the kind of people I'm writing to. By the same token, you know, not surprisingly, my writing attracts a lot of people who, like me, are really into this stuff. And of course, they're like, Well, yeah, but what if we didn't you know, what, if you just tinkered with this, what have you added a little bit of leverage? What if you, you know, what have you done with more small caps? Maybe you shouldn't, you know, overweight and small cap index, because small caps tend to perform over time. And it's, you know, they always want to tinker. And, you know, you're never going to convince somebody who's really into this stuff, not to tinker. So I don't cry. But I think you will get a less good result by tinkering, and my daughter's superpower. And by extension, anybody who really doesn't care about this stuff, but chooses to embrace the simple bath, the superpower is that once she sets this up, and starts putting money in on a regular basis, the fact that she's not going to be inclined to pay attention is she's not going to notice when the market drops, so she's not going to be inclined to panic and sell. And as Warren Buffett famously said, and I'm gonna get the numbers wrong, but at the start of the last century, the 1900s, the market was 660. And it ended at 14,500. And rhetorically, Buffett said, how do you lose money in a market that does that? And he answers his own question saying, you lose money by trying to dance in and out of it. By trying to time it.

Well, my daughter will never be tempted to dance in and out of it, because she doesn't care. I mean, that's a temptation I have to fight all the time. That's the, you know, my readers who are into this stuff and want to tinker, that's the temptation that they succumb to. And I'd be willing to bet that if you took all those people who read my stuff, that are inclined, that are really interested in this and really inclined to tinker, and then you took all the people who read my stuff like my daughter who just want to understand and a few basic things they need to know and then set it let it run. There's no question that's the group that's gonna outperform in 20, 30, 40 years, in my mind.

35:00 - 40:00

Alex:

Yeah, Buffett, pretty much, I think he proved it, you know, he said, let's take a 20 year ETF versus, you know, the market managers of the world, and the ETF beats them at no cost. And the market managers are really the only one kind of winning, not the, not the funds themselves. And I find it so fascinating the market, that, you know, the simple like, set it and forget it, don't think about it, like, it makes more money. And it really does, and maybe not over the last few years. But in a larger, you know, if you're tinkering and you're buying crypto, you're buying these high risk assets, when the markets up, you can have these big returns, but then when the market crashes, that's where everybody rushes out of the high volatility. And then over time, it all washes out. And you know, the market averages the market average, and it's incredibly difficult to beat that market average. And then on top of that, it takes an immense amount of labor. And so it's an emotional kind of. It's difficult to fight those emotions where you're like, Well, I want to make more, and I want to invest my labor in this, and I can get good at this. And the reality is almost like the overwhelming majority of people can't get better than this. They can't beat it. And then it sucks the life out of them, and the timeout of them trying. And it's like, you know, if you just did, what jail is saying you actually be less stressed out and you'd make more. It's really, really mental. I don't know if you guys have this thing I have. It's called ego, ego mania, right? And I gotta get that thing out of the way. It's like literally getting in my own way and taking up my time and stress.

JL:

Yeah, I couldn't agree more, Alex with what you just said it's, and it's so tempting. And this is the reason that, I mean it took me a long time to embrace indexing.

Jack Bogle came out with the first index fund and 75, which happens to be the first year I started investing. I didn't learn about index funds for a decade. So say 85. And then when I learned about him, it just seemed so counterintuitive to me. And again, I was somebody who liked doing this stuff, right? And I would say to myself, well, you know, if I can just avoid the bad companies, I'm gonna outperform the index or if I just focus on a handful of really good companies I can outperform? Well, the problem is that they're really good companies today are tomorrow's Enron's, if anybody, you know Google Enron, if you've if that doesn't resonate with you.

And tomorrow's laggards or you know today's laggards might be tomorrow's exciting turnaround story, you don't know. And it takes in as you point out, so well, it takes an enormous amount of effort. And the the the compliment I get that I like least I like all the compliments I get for the government, I get that I like least because I think it's so off target is when people are talking about my work, usually not to me, but they'll say, you know, The Simple Path to Wealth is great for people who don't want to put in any effort. You know, and that's most people so most people should read this book. The Simple Path to Wealth is the most powerful way. If I thought there was a, I'm greedy enough that if I thought there was a more powerful way to invest, then with the simple strategy I lay out, that would give me a better return over time. That's what I would have written about.

So investing in index funds, the simple path is not only has the virtue of simplicity, which you've described so well, but it has the virtue of being the most powerful way you can invest.

David:

It's got such a low barrier to entry at Vanguard, it is still 2000 is the minimum to get into VTSAX?

JL:

You know, I haven't looked for a long time. Last time I looked I think it was three. You might be more in tune with that than I am.

David:

Well, let's say it's 3000. I mean, and then from there on, you could put $5 I mean the barrier to entry to get into index funds, or Vanguard specifically is, it's so low.

JL:

When you can, you can buy, you know, David VTI, which is the exchange traded fund, VTF version of the portfolio for the cost of a single share, which was a couple 100 bucks. So you can actually access the portfolio for a lot less with the ETF version, which is VTI.

So it's even better than you're describing, but even with $3,000 I mean, that's a pretty low barrier to entry.

David:

Yeah. And then you just gotta be consistent

40:00 - 45:00

JL:

And not pay attention to the market. Don't try to, you know.. The worst thing you can do is invest when everything's going well and then say, Oh, I'm not going to invest this month because the markets are down. No, that's exactly when you want to invest. In fact, I tell young people, that the I had this conversation with a young friend of mine just the other day that the single best thing that could happen to you is for the market to take a major crash and stay down for the next decade while you're adding money, buying shares on sale will be wouldn't be so great for me at my age, but that'd be that'd be great for anybody in their their 20s.

So yeah, you shouldn't be, when you take the simple path, you don't have to be afraid of market drops, you know, you're just going to look at him and say, Well, okay, the market is doing what the market does, this is a natural part of the process. And oh, by the way, that money I'm putting in every month, I get more shares for it than I did before. That's a beautiful thing.

David:

Yeah.

Alex:

My girlfriend doesn't invest. She doesn't know anything about it. She knows she has to do it. She doesn't want to spend a lot of time learning on it. She has no emotional attachment, really to money at all, right? She does not, she doesn't want to run out. And so I'm like, This is what you do, you stick a stick of the same amount of money every week in the same fund, and then you never look at it. And then in 20 years, when you look at it, you'll figure out you're fine.

JL:

She sounds a lot like my daughter. And the same attitude. And I would say to your girlfriend, the same thing I say to my daughter, that disinterest is your superpower. I mean, if you just take the time to get a couple of basics right, and put this in motion and set up, you know, automatic investments. And then you can forget about, Jack Bogle used to say, you know, and this is in the days when, when everything wasn't on computers, and you actually got paper statements in the mail of your accounts, you say don't even open your statements, you know, just let them accumulate for the next 20 years. And then 20 years from now open one, and you will be dumbstruck at what it's grown to. When you pay attention to all the little ups and downs of the market, you'll drive yourself crazy. And you'll probably drive yourself to make some stupid mistakes. At least I know I did.

Alex:

So I kind of want to ask a little bit of off the wall question with this.

I think in 2001, the tech bubble. I don't know if this is actually true. But the narrative that I've convinced myself of is that a lot of it was caused by the you could trade on the internet for the first time cheaply, the cheap $7 Scottrade, e trade that was all new. And I wonder if now and so you had all this new liquidity that you didn't have, right? And so I wonder if now we're seeing something similar with you can go on Robin Hood on your cell phone, and you can trade for free? Or, you know, in practice free. And so I wonder if that messes with the liquidity and the volatility because people can rush in and they can rush out faster than ever before?

JL:

Yeah, so that's an interesting question. I don't know if I have the answer for it. The other element that you go to throw in there is may want to say about a decade or decade ago when they had when programmed trading became very popular. And there were a couple of times where the market would just take incredibly wild swings because the computer programs were reacting to things they've been programmed to react to and and you know, things called flash crashes, which I haven't heard about for a while. So maybe they've ironed that out of the system. All of that in my world is noise. I mean, there is a lot of volatility in the market. That certainly, you know, with Robin Hood and the ease of investing. And it becomes almost a video game, I think for some investors know that's, that's noise and we're in favor if you're following my path, we're in it for the long term in my book, and also in the blog. I describe it as a glass of beer, right? So let's suppose that you order a beer in your local tavern and, and the bartender brings it to you and in a mug, then it's you know, it's not transparent. So you're looking at this nice foamy head of the beer and you have no idea how much of the beer is foam and how much is the actual beer because it depends on how he drew it right. So if he drew it down on the side of the mug, you know, you've got relatively little foam and a lot of beer but at any given point in time in the stock market that foam is the volatility and the act of trading that you're describing, right. It's people you know on Robinhood and buying and selling quickly and you know back in the tech crash the same kind of thing. Underneath that is the act Beer and the actual beer in our analogy here are the actual companies you're buying. Because when you buy the index fund, you are in a very, very real sense, you are buying a piece of every publicly traded company, United States. You own a piece, a very small piece, but you own a piece of every one of those businesses. And those businesses are very tangible things. And that's the beer.

45:00 - 50:00

And the foam in that class is all that trading that's going on. And you can never be quite sure, at any given moment. How much of the price of your portfolio is foam and how much of it is beer. But you do know that there is a core of beer. And over time, the foam will dissipate and the beer will be left. And that's what you're really investing in.

Now, if you're trading, then you're focused on the foam, but I'm not an advocate of trading.

David:

I like beer. So that's a great analogy for me.

JL:

Yeah, it appeals to a lot of people I found. I came up with an analogy years ago when I was writing the blog post about this. And I said, I must have been drinking a beer at the time. And is this kind of a good way to illustrate it. And it's become one of the more famous and I guess, well liked analogies in the blog. So little did I know.

Alex:

I love this, you know, ideology about investing, because this is how I started investing because I was, you know, 30 and broke and had been broke for a long time and didn't know anything about money. And I was scared of the market. I'm a fairly risk averse guy in general. And I was like, I gotta get something that works. And I gotta get something that will for sure work. I need a process that will work. And so I was like, oh, ETFs, right. And it seems simple now. But when you're new, you're like, Okay, what is that? And like you said, you gotta learn a few things. And then you like, Okay, this works. And you just, you start buying now I learned real estate. And you know, I was glad I did. Because I bought real estate at the bottom of the face of the bottom of the crash. And I bought a bunch of now I'm Yeah, it makes it look like I really knew what I was doing. But it was the same idea, right? It's all buy and hold investing. It wasn't a business. It was like, Look, if you can buy this thing and half of what it's worth, like real estate in real estate, like the market is gonna go up in the long run, despite volatility in the short run, but I'm always playing for the long run. And I just, I say all that to say like, I really love hearing this perspective, because I feel like nowadays, again, I think it's because we've had 12 years of market mania. Everybody's overconfident and they're like, Here's how you make all these outsized gains. And I don't get to hear very many people say, Don't worry about outsized gains, like just bet. Steady, reliably, and take your emotion out of it, take all the labor out of it, and just do the reliably smart thing. And it'll work out. And I miss this kind of mentality, because it's very, it's very refreshing.

JL:

Yeah, you know, I am, I am certainly guilty as guilty as anybody of this, but the idea of easy and large investment returns is enormously seductive. And as I mentioned a little bit ago, you know, it took me a decade or maybe more to embrace indexing. Because, you know, I had been somewhat successful picking individual stocks and actively managed funds. That's actually how I achieved financial independence. But it's just a lot more work. And it's not as powerful as indexing over time. But you read the stories of, you know, people who bought Bitcoin when it was 30 cents or $1. And, now it's trading at $40,000 or more this Gamestop that was popular about a year ago, I don't know where that's gone. But, you know, you read all the stories of instant wealth, and that's very intoxicating. But it's also very elusive, and it disappears pretty quickly. There was like, I don't know, I can't remember there was an article I was reading about these two guys who, who made millions in Bitcoin and they're trying to replicate that and that's slowly frittering it away. So you know, this, The Simple Path to Wealth is not a get rich quick scheme. It's something that will make you wealthy over time, but it will work for everybody. Whereas, you know, being lucky enough to get into Bitcoin at the right time, which is probably that now, we're lucky enough to get into Gamestop just before the Robinhood people drive it to nonsensical levels. You know, that's a take that takes a lot of luck, and I would love to have been on the ground floor of any of those myself. But I spend enough years looking for those kinds of things to know just how hard it is.

50:00 - 55:00

David:

Well, this is one reason I love the Thrift Savings Plan, especially for young service members. Because the way it's set up is you go into your My pay like your salary direct deposit to the same spot, you choose what bank your money goes to. And you just click on a percentage. And then once you go in and you change, even if you don't, if you don't change it, now it goes to life cycle. But once you change your fund allocation, if you don't want to literally just contribute out of your paycheck, you never see it, it's totally passive. It's completely hands off. They match 5%. It's great. But you did mention something, I had two questions left from the Facebook group. And then you mentioned one of them. So we're gonna ask that one real quick and that I know, we want to be respectful of your time.

But so the question, obviously, I had like four or five people asking about your thoughts on crypto? And I know that's a really broad question. So I'm going to narrow it down more to do you think that or maybe you personally, but what are your thoughts on like the crypto index funds? Do you think there's a spot in a portfolio for that? Or is the jury still out because of how new it is?

JL:

I'm not knowledgeable about crypto index funds. If I were inclined to invest in crypto, it would probably be with the index funds.

Lucas, who is the guy who does the tech support on my blog, is an investor in crypto. And back in 2017 at my request, he wrote a guest post for me about the subject because I don't really know very much about crypto, and he's a big fan. And of course, if anybody had invested in crypto in 2017, they would have done very well. Then a year ago, I began to say maybe May or June of last year. I asked Lucas to revisit the subject. So he wrote another guest post. And I also wrote a post immediately before his my thoughts on crypto, which in a nutshell, is crypto in my view is not an investment. And it's not at this point really a currency either, because it's too volatile to serve as a currency in most situations. And of course, it was created to be a currency. So it's very volatile, it's a speculation. It's something that you buy, hoping and assuming that somebody else will be willing to pay more money for it in the future.

So in that sense, it is like gold or silver, although gold and silver have some tangible value underlying them that maybe crypto doesn't. Now, clearly, if I had dumped everything I owned in 2017 and put it in, in Bitcoin. And I can't think of what the other one was that Lucas was mentioning, when he wrote that blog post, I would be ahead of where I am now. But that's a speculation, sometimes speculations turned out spectacularly well. Sometimes they don't, I mean, it's kind of like saying, if I'd gone to the horse track and put all my net worth on one, one of the horses and it happened to win 40 to one, they'd be a lot better off, but they don't always win. In that case, it did.

So to me, crypto is not a currency yet, maybe it will be someday. And is that really an investment? It's a speculation, so I'm not a speculator. I'm an investor, I want to invest in productive assets, which are businesses that actually create products or services that they sell, and that can grow in that way. And of course, real estate also falls into that category. So that's the kind of investment as opposed to gold, which is speculation in crypto.

David:

I like that answer. I don't know that I've publicly put too much information out there about my crypto gambling, which is literally what it is. I took like a couple 100 bucks gambled one and then started like, buy like 20 different coins at like $100. And whichever one skyrocketed I sold all my principal out and whatever. But I mean, it's like 1%. And I acknowledged that is gambling. And it's, you know, 1% of my portfolio. And it's fun, but it's, you know, it is what it is. So I agree with the speculation.

The one other question I had on here, which I think is interesting. How are you factoring? Or are you inflation when calculating, like your amount needed for retirement, like the 4% rule and stuff like that? So I guess that's really just more of a, does inflation bother you or worry you with this strategy at all? Seems to be kind of a current theme of events.
55:00 - 1:00:00

JL:

Yeah, so that's, that's kind of a two part question about inflation and then you know, as it pertains, maybe the 4% rule.

So starting with inflation, you know, we were talking earlier about how a lot of young investors have never experienced a bear market. And you got to be pretty old to have experienced an inflationary economy in this country, I am pretty old. So I remember the stagflation years, which ran from the early 70s, into the early 80s. And it's an ugly time. And I am a little bit concerned that maybe we are entering into another period of inflation. And stagflation, by the way, simply meant a stagnant economy, and we had inflation on top of it, which is kind of the worst of all worlds in the stock market and suffered for that decade, it kind of bounced up and down. Now, if you'd followed the simple path, and you were investing continually in it, you would have been okay, and then when the stock market suddenly turned on a dime in around 82, then you would have done extraordinarily well.

You know, there was a, I think it was the 1979, which was sort of late into the stagflation time, what I want to say was Time Magazine ran a cover story, called the death of equities, when they were basically predicting that, you know, stocks were going to cease to exist or something. And that was a signal for a market bottom. I don't know what is because, as Warren Buffett, I think, has famously said you had time to be buying when there's blood in the streets, and everybody's pessimistic.

So I am very concerned about inflation, I think the simple path will be the best way to navigate through it. If we were to go into hyperinflation, which is just inflation on steroids, the kind that you see in Venezuela at the moment, the kind that you see in Russia at the moment with their invasion of Ukraine, I don't think there's any defense against that, I think you're just you're done. I don't see our country, I think our country is far more economically sound, I don't see that as a threat in the United States. But the kind of inflation that we could very well have is reminiscent of the 70s. I think The Simple Path to Wealth, you'll do fine remembering this as a long term strategy.

Now, will the 4% rule hold up?

A couple of things to think about and remember, and you might want to go to my blog, I've written about the 4% rule in some depth, and it's also in my book, can I reproduce the charts from the Trinity study, which looked at it in depth, and the Trinity study looked at all kinds of portfolio percentages, everything from 100%, stocks to 100% bonds. So 100, you know, 80:20, 70:30, 50:50, you know, on down, and then they looked at different percentage withdrawal rates, everything, probably 2% to maybe 10%. And then they looked over a period of 30, actual years, 30 year periods. And they basically tabulated all this data. And so what would happen in those scenarios, and if you were withdrawing, if you had, I think they used a 50:50 stock combined portfolio and you were withdrawing 4% a year, and you adjusted it every year for inflation, that at the end of 30 years, and 96% of the time, you would still have money left over.

What goes unsaid in that is that, you know, the 4% of the time, you would have run out of money. And that's the scary thing. But of the 96% of time, when you would have had money leftover, you would have had a spectacular amount of money left over. The point being I mean, it would have grown your portfolio pooling only 4% would have grown enormously. The point being that the 4% withdrawal rate is really a very conservative withdrawal rate. And there's a lot of discussion over whether it's too high or whatever. I think it's pretty conservative. The guy who originally came up with the ideas on record of actually recommending like 6,7% I think that was a little high, that would make me uncomfortable. But the most important factor to consider is it's not, don't think of it as a rule. Think of it as a guideline. I think 4% even if we go into a period of Stagflation is a brilliant guideline.

And what's the difference between a rule and a guideline while the rule says you're gonna withdraw your 4% adjust for inflation every year and damn the torpedoes full speed ahead. I'm not gonna pay any attention anymore.

1:00:00 - 1:05:00

JL:

Well, you don't want to do that. You don't want to do that for two reasons. One is you might run out of money and you certainly don't want that. But equally important, your portfolio might be while you're pulling 4% might be growing to these extraordinary levels where you could be enjoying much more of that money. So it's a great guideline to say, you know, start with 4%. And pay attention in, like 2010. My whole withdrawal rate was around 5%. So I was a little bit over that. And, you know, I had some extra expenses going on. But I was comfortable with 5%. Because 5% works most of the time, and the market was rising. Now you can be sure I was paying pretty close attention to the market. At that turn that had gone against me, then I would have adjusted my spending, and I wouldn't have been pulling automatically 5%. So that's how I look at that.

David:

Man, that's a phenomenal answer. And I appreciate it.

I wish I could take credit for it. But that was from the Facebook group. And that actually wraps up our Facebook group questions. And I don't I don't know that there's anything. Is there anything we missed? I guess that would be my final question, is if there's anything we missed, or parting shots, you'd like to get out?

Alex:

Yeah!

David:

Well, of course.

Alex:

What's up with a new book?

David:

The goal of getting him on the show was to talk about something other than real estate, Alex, and you kind of drag us back into real estate.

Alex:

You know what, I'm here to help. You're welcome.

JL:

I do have a new point. Actually, it's not that new. It's been out for about six months now. And it's called how I lost money in real estate before it was fashionable, very different from the Simple Path to Wealth much shorter. It's, it's the sad, tragic, hopefully, informative tale of, of the first piece of real estate I ever bought. And if somebody came up with a list of all the mistakes you could make buying real estate. I just like I went down that list and checked them all off and made sure I did, I did everything wrong. So the subtitle is a cautionary tale. It's very short. It's illustrated, I found it wonderful as an illustrator. So it's, it's kind of a fun, amusing story with, I think, a hopefully a sobering message for anybody who's investing in real estate. I used to invest in real estate, for me, and it's a great way to make money. If you go in wide open and you've done your homework, there's no question you make money investing in real estate. I didn't do that. Initially, I did so later. But for me, it just became too much like work. And it was not the kind of work I personally enjoyed. But, but yeah, for anybody who's thinking about investing in real estate, I'm going to selfishly say read my book first. And then you will know what not to do. And that's frequently even more important than knowing what to do.

Alex:

I gotta check this out, because I was under the impression that real estate only goes up.

JL:

You must have been born in 2010.

David:

Wait, I thought the simple path was daytrading.

JL:

Yeah, you must have just not been paying attention at all.

David:

Oh, my gosh.

Well, sir, thank you so much for joining us today. This is so different from the normal topics that we cover, and something that I love. And personally, I would say not enough of my portfolio is in index funds, but probably like 15%. And the remaining 80 to 83% is probably real estate and cash. But you know, I'm working more and more towards it. I've got index funds set up for both of my kids. Almost all the stimuluses from last year went into accounts for the kids and you know, trying to set that up and I love it, so I really appreciate having you.

JL:

I just lost you.

Alex:

Yeah, he stopped paying his internet bill. They just turned it off right now.

David:

Well, that's really weird. I can hear you guys fine.

JL:

Yeah, I lost the last few things you said but one of the things that I've got a lot of friends who invest in real estate and one of the strategies that and of course they know you know what, what my approach is one of the strategies a few of them have engaged in as they've gotten older and they don't want to put in the effort that real estate takes is they're starting to channel some of their profits from real estate and index funds and so to make that transition so that when they're older and and want to take you know, have a little easier life than they can slowly transition out of it. So they will have benefited from it, because real estate's really two things, it's an investment, but it's also a job, right. And so when they want to transition away from the work that real estate takes, you know, they can do it slowly over time and move into next ones. I think that's a pretty good strategy if you're a real estate investor, and, but see a time when you don't want to put in that kind of effort.

1:05:00 - 1:09:41

Alex:

I love it.

I love the overall passive approach. I think it's undervalued right now, I think, you know, the mania, and all the wins are convincing people, you know, everybody's a genius in the market, that kind of thing. And, and I think there's a whole generation of investors who are, you know, the joke I say, is, there's people who are up to 18% in a market that's up 20. And they're feeling really good about themselves. And I think there's been a whole generation of people who, I don't know what's going to happen, maybe it is an inflationary environment. And, you know, I know that I'm fairly convinced that it won't be as the market won't stay as lucrative as it has been for this bull run forever, there'll be a correction of some sort. And when people lick their wounds, they're gonna say, Okay, I don't want that stress ever again. And things like, you know, this Simple Path to Wealth, a very, you know, Buffett style, simple, but basically guaranteed to work, will, will rise back, I don't know, I don't want to say it will rise back in popularity, I just mean, like, in my social circle, you know, everybody's chasing these big wins and seemingly easy, easy money. And there's not a lot of multi-cycle wisdom in my peer group right now. And so I think that will come to fruition with much more and much more popularity, as we see more as we see the next cycle.

JL:

You know, that's a great point, Alex. And it leads me to one other point that I'd like to make is, you guys, I forget which one of you but observed that, you know, we haven't had a crash or even a major correction for a long time. But those are perfect, that is coming, I have no idea when it's coming. I'm not predicting it for any given period of time. But those are a perfectly natural part of the process. So I don't believe for a moment, and I don't think anybody should be silly enough to believe that we're never going to see that again, we're absolutely going to see, well, we've already seen what's called a correction, which is a 10% drop. And technically 20% is what they call bear market and you get up 30 plus percent drop, and you're into crash territory, all of those things are perfectly normal, all of those things will continue to happen in the future. None of them are predictable. So you just have to stay the course stay invested, keep investing to take advantage of those drops, and not worry about it not paying on the rest of the world would be panicking, you know that when the market does finally, plunge 30 or 40%, that some someday will, you know, the media will be going berserk and people will be headed for the exits, including those people who maybe enjoyed easy money gains. But people on the simple path will shrug their shoulders, turn over and go back to sleep knowing their investments are automated, and they'll be taking care of it and the market will always recover. Because it always does. And the day that it doesn't and none of this will matter won't matter where your money is, because that'll be the end of our society.

Alex:

I love it.

Alex:

All right. Well, sir, where is the best place for people to get a hold of you if they'd like to reach out?

JL:

Yeah, probably the best place to start is the blog and that's JLCollins.com. You know, you'll have access to my Twitter and Facebook and yeah, I hope people do reach out.

David:

Absolutely. Thank you very much for joining us today. This is a phenomenal episode.

JL:

Thank you so much for the invitation. It's been fun hanging out with you guys.

David:

Absolutely.

End:

Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey from military to millionaire. If you liked it, be sure to visit frommilitarytomillionaire.com/podcast to subscribe to future podcasts. While you're there. We'd love for you to rate the show. Give us a review on iTunes. Now get out there and take action.

JL Collins Quote about Beer Froth!

Episode: 167

JL Collins

Join your host David Pere and Alex Felice in this episode with guest JL Collins as they talk about how investing in index funds reward those who are disinterested and don’t want to put in too much effort in investing.

When the topic on fast investing and market volatility was discussed, JL used a mug of beer as an analogy to illustrate index funds and investing in assets that quickly dissipates after a hype dies down. His analogy raises the question: “How much of your portfolio is beer and how much is foam?”

In this episode, JL helps us easily understand the self-cleansing properties of index funds, why index funds are simply the most powerful way to invest, and an overview of The Simple Path to Wealth and why the effortless investor loves it.

About JL Collins:

JL is the author of The Simple Path to Wealth. It has sold over 400,000 copies and has been published in Korean, Japanese and German. Deals are signed to publish it in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Russia, Poland, Spain, Brazil and in Arabic.

His second book, How I Lost Money in Real Estate Before it was Fashionable, is due out in October 2021.

JL and his wife Jane have been married since 1982. Their daughter Jessica graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Rhode Island, served in the Philippines with the Peace Corp and is well established in her business career.

JL’s blog, as with everything he does, is dedicated to them.

Outline of the episode:

  • [03:41] From writing blogs to turning them to books
  • [09:01] Debt is a double-edged sword
  • [13:19] JL Collins – on developing intestinal fortitude in investing
  • [20:27] Should you move to G funds?
  • [24:27] The Simple Path to Wealth
  • [31:45] Financial life is easy when you understand investing
  • [37:53] Why JL wrote The Simple Path to Wealth
  • [44:00] Market volatility is like beer foam
  • [50:57] Crypto – not an investment nor a currency yet
  • [55:00] The 4% Rule and The Trinity Study

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https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Path-Wealth-financial-independence/dp/1533667926

 

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My name is David Pere, I am an active duty Marine, and have realized that service members and the working class use the phrase “I don’t get paid enough” entirely too often. The reality is that most often our financial situation is self-inflicted. After having success with real estate investing, I started From Military to Millionaire to teach personal finance and real estate investing to service members and the working class. As a result, I have helped many of my readers increase their savings gap, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom! – Click here to SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/2Q3EvfE to the channel for more awesome videos!

THIS SITE IS INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE MY OWN. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS SITE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR OR THE AUTHOR’S INVITED GUEST POSTERS, AND MAY NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE US GOVERNMENT, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, OR THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS.

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David Pere

David Pere

David is an active duty Marine, who devotes his free time to helping service members, veterans, and their families learn how to build wealth through real estate investing, entrepreneurship, and personal finance!

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