Ever wondered what it's like to work on Wall Street? Then you'll love this episode! I chat with former investment banker Alex Grodnik who worked in the finance industry for almost 10 years, but eventually left to pursue an MBA then become an entrepreneur to live life on his terms.
Beyond sharing what life is like as an investment banker, Alex also shares some great tips on how to invest your money and how to be your authentic self.
I’ve always been curious what it’s like to be an investment banker. I mean, is it really like Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short or the classic Wall Street? Or is that all dramatized and it’s really just another office job?
After talking with Alex Grodnik, host of the Wall Street Oasis podcast, I feel like it might be a mix. Alex worked in investment banking for just under a decade, and left to pursue an MBA and start his own business, a fintech startup in LA called Payclub. But before he transitioned into entrepreneurship, he was an analyst at JPMorgan, then moved onto an advising role at Houlihan Lokey. He pursued a career in investing because he was always interested in investing and finance from an early age. But after working in the industry for several years, he realized it wasn’t something that got him excited anymore.
Luckily, he was one of the smart investment bankers and just saved everything he earned (instead of falling victim to lifestyle inflation). Because he lived fairly frugally and saved the majority of his income, he was able to quit, go back to school and have the financial freedom to become an entrepreneur.
In this episode we talk about what life is like for an investment banker and what some of his tips for investing are for regular people like us. Here are some of my favourite tips he shared.
Buy & Never Sell
This isn’t exactly his, tip, it’s one from Warren Buffet, but he shared it and I liked it. Basically, for anyone who is too afraid to invest because they are really risk averse, this is the secret sauce to not losing all your money in the stock market. Buy and hold. As Alex mentioned, you can’t time the market and you’ll probably never buy at the bottom or sell at the top of the market. But, if you buy and hold onto your investments for the longterm, you really can’t go wrong. It’s only when you sell in a panic because you see the markets dipping that you’ll lose money.
Don’t Borrow Money to Invest
I can’t stand articles out there that encourage people to borrow money to invest with because debt is cheap and it’s a bull market. Hey, if you want to take that chance, go ahead. I hope things work out for you. But for the average investor, the smartest thing to do is invest money you actually have, and invest any excess savings or money that comes your way. You got a tax refund? Awesome, invest it. You got an inheritance? Fabulous, invest it. You got a side hustle and don’t know what to do with that extra cash? Invest it!
Answer Truthfully “When Do You Feel Like You Are Your Most Authentic Self?”
I’m not sure if I got the wording on that exact, but this is something Alex asked himself when he felt like he wanted to make a change in his career. I loved how he put it, because I did the same thing when I was considering leaving my job. I asked myself when I felt the most proud and confident in myself, and the answer wasn’t sitting in a cubicle being told what to do by my boss. It was when I was doing my own thing with the podcast, blog and speaking that I felt I was being the me I always wanted to be. So, if you’re in a rut, ask yourself the same thing. When do you feel you are your most authentic self?
For full episode show notes visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/156
Want to learn how to become debt-free and financially independent? It doesn’t have to be one or the other, you can dig yourself out of debt and retire early. Just take it from Deacon Hayes from Well Kept Wallet who was able to pay of $52,000 in debt in only 18 months, then become financially independent and retire early with his family. If he can do it, why not you?
Deacon Hayes, the blogger and podcaster behind Well Kept Wallet, was knee deep in debt to the tune of $52,000 in 2010. But instead of digging himself further and further into the whole, he decided to take responsibility and dig himself out.
He started by looking to the experts, other bloggers and authors that offered personal finance advice, and was able to implement their strategies to become debt-free in only 18 months!
Now, he’s all about educating others to do the same. But he doesn’t just focus on helping others become debt-free, he also wants to share how they can become financially independent and retire early too.
That’s certainly never something he thought he’d be able to accomplish, but now, in 2018, he is financially independent and technically an early retiree. But instead of drinking Pina Coladas on the beach somewhere, early retirement to him means being able to afford to do what he wants with each day. And what he wants to do is educate and inspire others to take control of their finances so they can live the lives they really want.
How to Become Debt-Free
So, in this episode we talk about a lot of things, but first let’s talk about debt repayment. Honestly, at the end of the day, to get a handle on your spending and debt, there are two simple things you need to do.
If you actually implement both things, you’ll be able to become solvent once again. It may take some time (longer than 18 months), but even if it takes a few years, these two things are key and they work!
Deacon also recommends the cash envelope system for reigning in spending, and having monthly money meetings with yourself or your partner to talk about your budget, your spending and net worth, and your future goals you’re working towards (and I totally agree!).
How to Become Financially Independent
Now, let’s talk early retirement. In order to achieve financial independence, there are three paths you can follow (though technically you don’t have to pick just one, you can do a combination or all three):
And to help guide you and give you examples on how to do this, Deacon share real-life case studies on his website.
Get His Course for Free
Want to take Deacon’s “Debt Free in 18 Months” course for free? It’s valued at $97, but you can sign up for free by going to: wellkeptwallet.com/retire
For full episode show notes visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/155
For this episode of the podcast, I talk with veteran personal finance blogger Jim Wang about how he was able to sell his first blog (Bargaineering) for 6-figures after having it for just 5 years, and what some of his best wallet hacks are that he shares on his current blog, the aptly named Wallet Hacks.
For this episode of the podcast, I talk with veteran personal finance blogger Jim Wang about how he was able to sell his first blog (Bargaineering) for 6-figures after having it for just 5 years, then we dive into some of his top wallet hacks that he now shares on his current website, Wallet Hacks.
First, let’s go back to the part where he shares that he was able to sell his first blog for a million dollars. There aren’t too many bloggers out there that I know have who have been able to do this (aside from JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly), so this is pretty impressive. What’s even more impressive is how frickin’ humble Jim is! You would never know that he’s financially independent and pretty much just living that best life from talking to him. He just comes off as a normal guy who write about money hacks for living at home. Which I guess he is, but still, sold his blog for 6-figures, I still can’t get over that!
Anywho, after selling that blog, he started up a new one called Wallet Hacks, which as you can guess is all about tips, hacks and strategies to optimize your dollars, be smart with your money, and become financial secure. Here are some of the hacks he shared with me in this episode.
The Secret Santa Hack
You may already know about doing a Secret Santa hack. It’s fairly popular in the office during the holidays (also in The Office, one of my favourite shows). This is something I’ve actually been able to take out of the workplace and integrate into my family life. All it requires is instead of buying gifts for everyone, you get assigned a person (in secret), buy them a gift, and then gift it to them on Christmas. Someone else is assigned you, and someone else is assigned that person and so on.
My family has been doing this gift exchange for two years now, and I’ve got to say, it’s amazing. We don’t have any young kids in our family anymore, which makes it easier, but it really is a big financial relief each Christmas. The holidays are an expensive, even without gifts, so this is a huge life saver.
Jim doesn’t just have one hack for Amazon.com, he has 16! But, if you’re Canadian, I can’t confirm if all the hacks work for Amazon.ca, but you never know. You can read about all 16 Amazon hacks on his website, but here are just a few of them:
Track Your Net Worth
This isn’t really a hack, but man is it a good thing to do. I’ve been tracking my net worth as well as my spending for over a year now, and it’s changed the game for me. Jim has been doing it for more than a decade, and he says it’s a big reason he’s been able to stay on track financially all these years. If you want to start tracking your net worth, here’s my free net worth spreadsheet to get started.
Get Credit Card Payment Notifications
Another thing Jim does to curb his spending is getting notifications or emails directly to his phone whenever he makes a credit card purchase. Not only does this help him know instantly if any fraudulent purchases are being made with his card, but it also reminds him of how much he’s spending. This is something I’m going to set up right now, because the one thing I hate about using my credit card is it’s just way to easy to tap and pay and forget about what you just bought.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/154
I chat with HGTV star & host of Buyers Bootcamp Scott McGillivray about how to become a real estate investor in Canada, and how to go against the grain, take risks and go after what you truly want in life.
It’s not every day you get to talk someone you’ve binge-watched on TV before. And man have I binged (okay, now it sounds like I’m a stalker). It’s just that I’m such a huge HGTV fan and have 100% watched every single episode of Scott McGillivray’s Income Property. As I mentioned at the end of the episode, I loved that show so much I even bookmarked a webpage application to be on the show. But I never applied. Partially because I was way too much of a scaredy cat, and partially because I didn’t own a house to transform into an income property (that’s probably the main reason actually).
Although that dream may have gone by the wayside, the dream of one day talking to the one and only host of Income Property, and now Buyers Bootcamp, Scott McGillivray certainly came true! And who better to talk to on the podcast about becoming a real estate investor in Canada.
I know I’ve mentioned a few times on the podcast how I’ve always had dreams of owning a few properties to rent out so I could have some passive income to fall back on in retirement. Well, I’m on my way slowly with owning my first property (my townhouse). Though that’s not really an income property as I currently live in it. Still, it’s a step in the right direction. As for adding on actual income properties, or trying my hand at flipping properties, I unfortunately have to wait a few more years. Since I’ve only been self-employed a year, my mortgage broker informed me I would need at least 3 years of self-employment records on hand when applying for another mortgage. So, I’ve just got a few more years ahead of me, but I’m hoping that in the meantime I can grow my income so my husband and I won’t have as hard of a time getting a good mortgage rate.
But enough about me, let’s talk about Scott, because he’s amazing! Not only did he buy his first income property in his 20s as a university student, he was able to grow his real estate portfolio exponentially in just a few years after that. And fast forward to now, he’s one of the most popular faces on HGTV.
If you wondering how that all happened, it wasn’t luck. It was a ton of hard work and finding people to say “Yes” when everyone around him was saying “No.” That’s the message I think I love the most from this episode. The message that the only way to succeed is just not giving up. As Scott mentioned, we’re trained to be workers in university, not leaders. Which is a big reason I believe that so many of us have trouble fitting in because we’re meant to be leaders or entrepreneurs. That’s definitely my experience, so it was pretty cool hearing Scott’s take on that.
Scott also mentioned three key steps for success that I wanted to reiterate here. They can be used for real estate investing specifically, or achieving any type of goal really.
3 Steps to Achieving Your Goals
1. Gather Information
This means taking the time to gather information for yourself so you have the tools and information to move forward. It could mean reading books or articles about the subject, watching informational shows like those on HGTV, or going to events or conferences.
Once you’ve gathered the information you need, it’s time to educate yourself. You can do this by doing case studies, finding a mentor or instructor, or shadowing someone who is an expert in that field.
Last but not least, you need to take action. As Scott mentioned, this is the step that most people fail at because they expect instant results or don’t fully see it through. You need to try, then try again. And if it’s not working and you keep failing, you need to go back to the first two steps to see what you’re getting wrong, then pivot.
For full episode show notes, visit https://jessicamoorhouse.com/153