079: What is the Best Way to Invest for Retirement with M.C. Laubscher

I have many strong beliefs about retirement and why the traditional model comes up short for many people. On today’s episode of the InvestFourMore Real Estate Podcast I talk to M.C Laubscher who has a similar viewpoint about the best way to retire. Saving money, investing in the stock market, and slowly pulling out that money tends to be risky and not work as well as advertised. M.C. was born in South Africa and came to the United States in 2001 with about $500. He became a real estate investor, rugby player, and huge proponent of cash flow.

How did M.C. become involved in real estate?

In 2001 M.C. came from South Africa to the US with almost no money. He started playing rugby and earning enough money to live on. While playing rugby he learned about real estate and was actually able to buy his first investment property in 2001 as well. Shortly after buying that investment property he happened to meet a mentor in Chicago who was a big time investor. M.C. started out painting houses and learning how to do simple maintenance. Eventually he moved into the leasing aspect of real estate, and became a real estate broker. M.C. still loves real estate, but has shifted his focus to all things that provide cash flow and passive income.

Why does M.C. believe cash flow is so important?

M.C. and I share similar viewpoints on retirement. The traditional model tells us to save money, and invest it in the stock market. Hopefully at some point we save enough money that we can retire and start using that money to live on. The problem with traditional retirement models is that we have to guess when we are going to die so we do not run out of money. Swings in the stock market can also add years to how long you have to save before you can retire. Retiring using the stock market is very unpredictable, and that is why I started to invest in rental properties. Rentals were awesome, because it took less money to produce the same returns as the stock market and you never have to eat into your principal investment.

M.C. has the same ideas about retirement and loves real estate for the same reasons. In 2015 he started Shoreline Financial Services, which specializes in retirement planing and investments.

What are M.C.’s feelings on the current real estate market?

On this episode M.C. and I talk a lot about the current real estate market. Prices are extremely high in many areas of the country and M.C. has stopped buying rentals just as I have. The rents have not kept up with the prices and it has made it very hard to cash flow. He sees the same problems as I do with low inventory causing the house prices to rise. This is great for those of us who already own real estate, but it makes it tough for people trying to buy a house to live in or use as an investment. I think we are going to see a problem with home affordability soon as well. Wages have not kept up with housing prices either, and I think that will cause the real estate market to calm down a little bit.

What does M.C. specialize in now?

M.C. created Valhalla Wealth to help people manage their cash flow as efficiently as possible. He uses what is commonly called infinite banking, which is whole life insurance policies set up in a way that people can borrow from their own policy and grow retirement funds tax free. The nice thing about the policies is you get guaranteed returns, and know exactly how much money you will have based on how much you invest. There are some downfalls to the infinite banking system as well. You will not be able to borrow as much as you invest for a couple of years and you have to pay interest on the loans you take out. For me, I want to invest as much as I can right now, so I don’t use the system, but it may work great for others. You can learn more about it by emailing M.C. at [email protected] and he will send you a free book on the concept.

You can also check out M.C.’s podcast at cashflowninja.com.

[0:00:59.0].MF: Hey everyone, it’s Mark Ferguson with InvestFourMore. Welcome to another episode of the InvestFourMore real estate podcast. On today’s show, I have M.C. Laubscher with Valhalla Wealth Financial, and he also is a host of Cashflow Ninjas, which fits perfectly with our show. M.C. does not just focus on real estate cash flow, but all types of commodities from gold, silver, coffee, farms. He’s got a wide range of topics he talks about on his show, and it’s all about building passive income. M.C., thank you for being on the show, how are you doing today?

[0:01:34.5] MCL: Fantastic, thank you so much for having me on. I’m honored to be on your show.

[0:01:38.6] MF: No, I appreciate it. You had me on your show, so I appreciate that, and glad to have you on. I love to start the show from the very beginning on how people got to where they are now. What got you interested in the financial wealth building industry and how did you get started?

[0:01:55.8] MCL: Yeah, I’m originally from South Africa. Some of your listeners might detect an accent. I grew up in South Africa during an incredibly interesting time in the country’s history. While I was in high school, the country had moved from the apartheid form of government that we have there, up until our first democratically elected leader, Mr. Nelson Mandela. It was quite an experience growing up there during that time, and then went to University, after University traveled quite a bit, and I came to the United States in 2001 with a backpack, one suitcase, a sense of humor, a sense of adventure, and about $500 in cash.

I traveled a little, but I ended up playing in a national rugby league, a city based league in the United States, which was a fantastic experience, and I ended up playing representative rugby till 2007. During that time, I actually got my feet wet in the investing side, purchased my first real estate investment property right out of University in 2001, and when I landed in Chicago through one of my rugby network and communities, I became really good friends with a private real estate investor that was doing amazing things in the Chicago market.

I wasn’t really looking for mentorship, because I wasn’t smart enough at that stage to look for that, but fell into it, and it was an amazing experience. I basically got to learn the real estate business from the ground up. Started from basically painting and doing maintenance on some of the large multi-family unit properties, turning over units, becoming part of the maintenance and turnover crew, then I did some leasing, structured leases, negotiated, they had some commercial real estate too, up until eventually I got my real estate broker’s license and was part of their acquisitions team.

We looked at a ton of real estate properties, we bought and sold properties, we prepared properties to be sold, so it was a fantastic experience in that sense, and then I spent some time in corporate consulting. A couple of years ago, I came across an amazing wealth building strategy being part of a mastermind group that I was in, an investor’s mastermind group, and completely changed the way that I looked at wealth, building wealth, and investing in general.

Two years ago, I started my own financial wealth management firm teaching the strategy, big part of what would use education as well, and as you mentioned, I have my own podcast as well, the Cashflow Ninjas, which is all about cash flow and creating income streams in this new economy and the information age. I have guests on there as you mentioned.

I’ve been honored to have you on the show, talking about real estate investing, businesses, online businesses, how to cash flow commodities from oil, coffee farms, gold and silver, we look at other paper assets, we even look at some digital assets, blockchain technologies, Bitcoin, and all the other crypto currencies. A very wide range just of sharing ideas of how to create multiple income streams in this new economy, and this exciting information age we live in.

[0:05:11.2] MF: That’s quite a story. You came from very interesting on that. I’m curious, what are some of the most interesting or unusual cash flow ideas you’ve come across?

[0:05:22.1] MCL: I would say that the fruit and coffee farms offshore in other countries have been very interesting to take a look at. The models are amazing. I’ve had some folks on there sharing strategies about how to create passive income through land flipping. I’ve had some folks on there trading digital currencies, and then even there’s a new social network, which, I mean, there’s incredible things going on in the digital space, and blockchain technology space, there’s actually this new social network, which is decentralized and based on block chain technology that hasn’t really — it’s very new. It was only, I think, started this year, so it’s slowly gaining in popularity, it’s called Steemit.

You can actually blog, and create content, and post it on there, and through people up-voting you is what they call it on this and commenting on it. you actually earn income by blogging on this site. There’s some really interesting stuff on there, but I would say that is one of the most interesting ones that I’ve come across this year.

[0:06:31:2] MF: I have not heard of that, so that is interesting on how they do that. I may have to check that one out.

[0:06:36.9] MCL: Yeah, I know, it’s very new, and to make it even more interesting and more complicated, Steemit actually is more than — it’s a couple of things. It’s a decentralized social media platform, which you can earn by creating content and putting it on there, and the more, the better the content is, obviously, and the more interesting it is, the more you’ll earn but, Steemit is also then a crypto currency. There is many different things going on there. If your listeners are interested, I would highly recommend they check it out. These things have been extremely intriguing. A lot of very exciting things going on in this time that we’re living in.

[0:07:21.9] MF: Yes, I think the Bitcoin, all the new currency things are above my understanding on the financial markets. I’m sticking to real estate for now.

[0:07:33.5] MCL: You know, I try to see — obviously, the trend is accelerating when it comes to that kind of stuff, and that’s one of the things that I love to do. I love to look at where we are, and why we are here, and where are we going, and what are some of the emerging trends. I definitely see this accelerating, so I’ve just tried to read a little bit wide on it and educate myself, but as you mentioned, it is over my head too. I think I’m getting a little bit to the point where I realize how much I don’t know. Which is interesting.

[0:08:06.6] MF: Yeah, it’s crazy all the different things that you think you know. We’ve had an amazing technology, and advances, and then something new is always coming up, that’s for sure. M.C., are you still investing in real estate at all, or are you just focused more on the podcast and the other company you have?

[0:08:23.2] MCL: Yeah, I still have real estate interests, but my main focus this year has been my business, Valhalla Wealth Financial, and growing that, and then the podcast, which kind of dovetails really nicely with it, because in the wealth management side of this business, it’s a little bit different than your traditional one. We help individuals, families, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors grow their wealth outside of Wall Street, and provide a nice solid firm foundation that they can then leverage to invest in cash flow businesses and investments. My main focus has been those two areas.

[0:09:03.3] MF: Okay, cool. We will definitely talk about that for sure, and where are you located right now? Are you in Pennsylvania, is that right?

[0:09:09.8] MCL: Yeah, I actually live in a pretty interesting area. It’s called Box County, it’s on the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border about 45 minutes from Philadelphia, about an hour and a half from New York City. For some of those listeners that might be interested, about an hour and a half from the Jersey shore.

It’s a very historic area. I’m actually five minutes away from Washington Crossing, where on Christmas day, George Washington crossed the Delaware River and marched on Trenton. So it’s a pretty historic area here, very neat. There’s actually a really cool look out point here too called Bowman’s Peak, where George Washington’s, some of his advisers and enlisted men were just looking at the British movements on the other side of the Delaware River, so yeah, it’s really fascinating.

I’m a little bit of a history nerd when it comes to that kind of stuff. It’s been fascinating to live in a place which has been pretty historic as far as the history of the United States.

[0:10:09.1] MF: Very cool. The reason I ask is because just the markets in real estate are going crazy in so many parts of the country, and I try and get a feel about where different guests are. Are you seeing that in your area, where prices are going up, or has it been not quite as crazy as some other areas?

[0:10:22.1] MCL: It is, too. It’s really frothy, New York, especially at the high end, can definitely see it’s extremely overheated there. It’s going to be interesting to see what’s going to happen in the next couple of years, next six months, but in the area that I live in, the same thing, it’s become a little bit unaffordable. Philadelphia still, there’s still some areas, but there’s been some increases over there as well. We’re seeing that things are becoming less and less affordable in all these areas that are around me.

[0:10:55.0] MF: Yup, I’m seeing the same thing here, and I was just in the IMN Investment Forum, which is a conference for single family rental properties, and they had some of the biggest hedge funds in the country there. Colony Homes, American Homes for Rent, a guy from the federal bank in Atlanta as well, and they all just kind of thought you know, there’s not enough inventory, they’re not building enough houses.

They don’t really see how we’re going to fix that affordability program or problem without more inventory. Everyone I talk to seems to have the same story. Prices going up, affordability is tough, and it’s hard to know what’s going to happen in the future with that.

[0:11:30.3] MCL: Yeah it is, and especially in the interest rate environment that we’re at as well. Historically low. It will be interesting to see what’s going to happen with that. That’s going to put some more pressure on the affordability. It’s going to be interesting to see where this is going in the next six months.

[0:11:48.5] MF: Yes, for sure. Cool, transitioning from that to what you’re doing now, do you advise people on buying real estate or rentals? Do you have any advice on with prices so high, is it still wise to invest in real estate?

[0:12:03.0] MCL: You know, as far as what we do from my wealth management firm, that’s not something that I tell my clients, but what I do try to do is I try to provide as much content and information on market conditions for them, having guests on my podcast, for instance, such as yourself and other experts, so that they can make their own decision on whether or not what they want to do.

What I’m doing personally, I’m not investing right now. I’m kind of on the sidelines just yeah, trying to build a cash possession and focusing on my business, but I figure you know, I try to bring the information to them and make it accessible, and then encourage them to research further on their own, read widely from all aspects and all different perspectives, and then think for themselves and form their own opinion on it.

[0:12:54.2] MF: Yeah, I always find that’s good advice. I think anybody who is investing or trying to build wealth for themselves should be figuring out their own strategy, what they want to do, because we’re all different. We all have different goals in life, and we’re all more comfortable with different investments than our neighbors next door.

Yeah, usually not any magic formula that works for everybody the same.

[0:13:15.8] MCL: Exactly, and I think that’s a big problem just in general from the financial industry. There’s not a big emphasis on educating people, and giving people the tools to empower themselves, and make smart financial decisions on their own. It’s kind of just you know, here’s what you need to do, basically, which doesn’t empower people at all.

You need to constantly challenge people to think. I share a lot of controversial information on my show as well, because I do want to challenge people to think, and on my show, we challenge existing beliefs that are out there. Societal beliefs, because there’s a lot of sacred cows that are untouchable, but really, if you really break it down and think about it, the information that’s out there, everybody’s just doing the same thing over and over.

It’s based on a false premise. I’ve always asked myself the question, why, if there’s only a small group of really wealthy, successful people, are we following the advice that 99% of the people are following that’s not wealthy and successful?

I think a good example is savings, right? We keep hearing this over and over in mainstream financial sources. You know, you got to save for retirement, and save in qualified retirement plans. Well, the definition of savings, my definition at least, is a difference between what we produce and what we consume. That difference we put in a safe secure vehicle that earns predictable and certain interests.

Just on that definition, you have to ask yourself the question, are we saving in this by, in mutual funds in the stock markets? We do try to provoke as much thinking from our clients, and from everyone that comes across our content and our material.

[0:15:03.1] MF: I can tell you exactly how much I’ve invested in retirement accounts the last two years, and that would be zero dollars. I have nothing against them, they work great for some people, but for me, for one thing I don’t want to have to wait 20 years to be able to touch that money, and another thing is like you said, you can use those to invest in real estate, which I have a property I bought in my IRA.

You know, I just like having control, and that money available to invest and build my business the way I want to, without being restricted by all those rules. I know exactly what you’re saying on that front.

[0:15:38.7] MCL: Yeah, you just touched on a couple of points, this is very important. First of all, control, and then it’s your money. And if you look at the Wall Street financial model, and what the big banks and financial institutions do, the first thing all of the models contain the following. They want your money. They make no secret about it.

They want it on a regular consistent basis, and when they have your money, they want to keep it for as long as they possibly can, and then when they need to get it back to you, they want to give it to you back as slowly as possible as they can. I share the same sentiment and view as you do where it’s your money number one.

You should be able to access it, and have control over it, and determine what is the best use and what’s the best way to position your money, right? A lot of these vehicles, they kind of — they’re very easy to get into, and they’re extremely hard to get out of, which is already a red flag for me in any area of my life.

[0:16:42.1] MF: Yes, for sure. Then there’s so many costs associated with those funds and accounts that aren’t really disclosed well, or you don’t realize until you’re in to it and wondering, “Why aren’t my returns as high as they should be?” The Tony Robbins book, Money: Master the Game is a great book on that whole — I don’t know what you want to call it, but the traditional retirement model and what’s wrong with it.

[0:17:05.0] MCL: Yeah, you know, Mark, it’s failed people. I see it, what we do in working with clients, I see it this traditional model of wealth accumulation, or just saving and eventually putting it in extremely risky and volatile vehicles, that’s where you’re putting it, and you’re “saving it,” and then hoping that it’s going to be there when you’re ready to retire, and then draw from it.

I’ve just seen the folks that have followed the traditional advice and have done that, they’re not going to have the end of life or the final chapter of their life that was advertised on television, to be frank. Folks that do are people that focused on investing, and their number one and greatest asset’s themselves and their financial education, and their human life value to be able to produce value for others through product and services, and investing in cash flow businesses and assets like, such as real estate.

From just personal experience, those are the individuals and families that are truly positioned, that’s going to have that life that they envisioned and saw for themselves when they started this process of creating and building assets.

[0:18:22.2] MF: Yeah, I completely agree. The biggest thing that always bugged me about the traditional retirement model was, you pretty much have to guess when you’re going to die, because you're drawing off your money like you said. You have three million dollars built up, well, the retirement model is assuming you’re going to start eating into that three million dollars, and hopefully you pick the right time for when you’re going to die and you don’t live too long.

Yeah, the awesome thing about real estate, other cash flow producing assets is you’re’ living off the cash flow, you're not eating into that investment. You're not slowly selling off a house in retirement, you're just using the income it produces, and it’s so much more clear on how much that income is going to be when you have those assets as well, which is a huge — if the stock market jumps up 10% or jumps down 10%, it’s going to affect your retirement income greatly, whereas with housing or something else, it might affect it a little bit. It’s going to be much more secure and predictable.

[0:19:21.7] MCL: Yeah, the one thing that you keep hearing too, and again, back to the financial model that they have on Wall Street, they want to keep your money for as long as possible. They’re telling you, “You can’t time the market,” which no one can time the market, they’re 100% correct, but what in effect they’re doing if you are investing in following their advice, you’re forced to time the market.

Unfortunately, as folks have found out during the last financial crisis, there was a ton of people ready to retire that saved this money in these vehicles that couldn’t, and they found out after that they were at the wrong place at the wrong time as far as exiting the markets.

It’s just so crystal clear in that sense, because you know, as you know, markets go up, down and sideways. You know, we can try to look and see where we’re at in asset cycles, but still, there is a lot of unknown variables and factors that influences this, so nobody really knows where we’re going and what’s going to happen in the next year or two, three, four, five years again.

We can guess to look and see where we are in market cycles, but it’s very hard. Focusing on income streams that, regardless of what markets do, regardless of what the economy does, if we have assets that produce value for others, that provide us income streams, I mean, that’s the only security in my opinion that we’re going to have moving forward, and as you mentioned, you have to time when you're going to die.

We live in amazing times right now, and the technology is just accelerating and accelerating, which I’m an extremely optimistic person just with technology, so I can see that people are going to be able to live longer just through all of the technologies that are going to be available through us in the medical field.

Having income streams that provides consistency, predictability, and certainty for you is going to be the only way that you're going to have financial security in this information age.

[0:21:31.4] MF: Yup, I completely agree and I’m very — just on a little small tangent here, there’s a lot of doom and gloom and, you know, the world is falling apart talk out there. We live in one of the most amazing times, in one of the safest times ever if you look at the overall statistics, and yeah, I think if people can kind of block out all the doom and gloom and realize how awesome it is right now, it’s a pretty amazing time to be alive, that’s for sure.

[0:21:55.6] MCL: Absolutely. Again, I try to look at things for what they are. Yes, there are existing systems that are outdated, and they are slowly deteriorating, and they’re falling apart. That’s going to happen, it’s been happening through our time for many years, and it will continue to happen as we evolve and technology increases. Sometimes, when I do talk and put out content there that sounds doomy and gloomy, it’s not because I am. I’m extremely optimistic. I think there’s amazing opportunities for us all in this time.

We just have to be cognizant that yes, there are outdated systems that’s going to fade away, but there will be new, better, more efficient systems replacing these, and that’s why we should always be studying, always look at updating our skillsets to provide value for others, because that’s our biggest asset, right? People are always looking for that golden lottery ticket, where can I put my money to double it, or you know, to 10x it or 200x it, or who can I give my money to, to make magic happen? Well that doesn’t happen, guys.

The ability for yourself to produce and provide value for others, that’s your greatest asset. Just in my opinion from what I’ve seen with other folks and with me personally, the biggest return on investment has always been in myself.

[0:23:26.3] MF: Yes, for sure and I would completely agree with that and there is, you know, you talk about, you know, people looking for the golden goose, for that magic thing to invest in, and there’s a lot of investments out there that will give you great returns that aren’t too risky, there’s a lot of investments that will give you awesome returns that are risky, a lot of investments that will give you horrible returns that are risky, too.

The one thing that will always give you a good return is investing in yourself, your attitude, educating yourself. You know, you're not relying on something else to make you money. You’re relying on yourself. You know, I could go on a lot on that subject. Tell me more about what your company does, and how you help people achieve that steady passive income?

[00:24:04.9] MCL: Yes, so what we do is we actually specialize in a wealth building strategy that’s called the Infinite Banking Concept. It’s been around for a very, very long time. It was popularized by Mr. Nelson Nash that wrote the book Becoming Your Own Banker, and Mr. Nelson Nash has been quoted saying that we all should be in two businesses. The first business is the business that we’re in of how we provide value for others through our products and services, and then the second business is the banking business.

Now what he wasn’t saying is you have to start your own bank, because that’s a little bit hard to do, but what he was saying is you have to reclaim the banking function within your own life. So we structure a cash flow management system for people to help them achieve this, and actually one of the vehicles that we use is a specialized insurance vehicle that’s based on dividend-paying whole life insurance. Now when I say that I’m sure if you are listening to this, you’re probably rolling your eyes, because that’s what I did too the first time somebody said that.

The way that it’s structured is not as cookie cutter as some of the insurance products that are sold out there. It’s very specialized with different riders and contracts attached to it, to actually enhance the cash value growth. Insurance is just another vehicle, like real estate, like businesses, like commodities, like other paper assets. So it all depends on the investor, or the person, or the strategies used to invest, or that’s utilizing these vehicles. So the reason why we use it, the first thing is it’s a private contract between you and the insurance company.

It has some asset protection in most states, please check with your legal advisor, but we live in an extremely litigious society, and it’s only going to increase in the future. So a very important aspect to that is that then, the money that you put inside this specially designed vehicle actually is safe. The principle is guaranteed, and you’re also guaranteed interest on top of that for your money. It’s structured with mutual insurance companies. So as a policy holder, you are a shareholder in a mutual insurance company, and you get to participate in the profits of the mutual insurance company through dividends.

Most of these mutual insurance companies have been around for over hundreds of years, since the mid 1800s, some of them have been around for, they’re not listed in the stock markets, they’ve managed extremely conservatively with a very long term view and range for the shareholders. So there’s a huge difference with that. They’re extremely well capitalized. Some of these institutions have millions, others billions in excess reserves, and I think institutional risk moving forward in this new economy is going to be a very big risk that needs to be managed.

Not only in what currency or money is, and what vehicles it is, but where it’s kept, and where you warehouse your money. So that’s why I prefer mutual insurance companies to a lot of other vehicles that’s out there. The growth inside this is tax free. The withdrawals inside this is tax free. Taxes, obviously, being one of the biggest wealth destroyers that is out there, and our philosophy in the way that we approach it is we would never advise anybody not to pay taxes, please pay your taxes, but you don’t have to leave Uncle Sam a tip.

By saying that too, we like to pay taxes on the seed, not the harvest. So this is after tax dollars going into these vehicles through the strategy, but I think, Mark, one of the most important things is now, you’ve set up a vehicle for yourself. You funded it just like you would fund a bank account. You have safety, you have predictability of certainty and guarantees as per contract from the insurance company.

But what it really makes very, very powerful of anybody’s foundation for their wealth plan is, when you borrow money from an insurance company, you actually don’t borrow from your plan, like a 401(k) or an IRA. You actually borrow it from the general account from the insurance company on the side as a separate transaction. So if you can imagine the banking model, you have a deposit side, and then you have a lending side, and the bank owns that entire system.

So this banking function, because you are not creating a bank, you are reclaiming the banking function. You have a deposit side, where you deposit the money, but there’s also a lending side, in which you can leverage your deposits and your cash value inside your vehicle to then go and invest in real estate in businesses and other assets. So your money is essentially working in two places simultaneously for you. So your money is growing predictably on the one side as if you’ve never touched it on the other side.

You’ve been able to leverage it to go and create more wealth, invest in more businesses and more real estate properties, that then produces more passive income or cash flow for you, that can be redirected back into the system for you. So this is just one of the things that we teach. It’s the Infinite Banking Concept, and what it does is a really nice cash flow management system, which keeps your wealth all inside of your personal, or your family, or your business economy.

[00:29:32.0] MF: Right, and I have heard of the Infinite Banking Concept. I know there are some downsides to it as well. I’m not going to be totally peachy and happy on everything, but what are some of those downsides that people should know about, because like you said, it can be predictable and tax free, which is awesome, but what are the things they should watch out for?

[00:29:51.3] MCL: Yeah, and again, I would just like to state this too is this is not a get rich quick scheme. There is a ton of information out there on the internet, please research this thoroughly, so number one: This is an insurance product. So when you put money into these vehicles you’re not going to have a dollar for dollar in this vehicle. So hypothetically, if you put $10,000 in there and you fund that annually, you’re not going to have $10,000 readily available, because it is an insurance policy and vehicle that you’re using.

So there’s an insurance component to that. So in the beginning of these plans too, it takes a little bit of time to capitalize these plans, as I would call it. So it may take a couple of years, and again, this is all relative depending on how you structure this to break even, where you’ve put the same amount of money in that’s now in these plans for you, and then it actually really becomes powerful, because then you’ll see your money growing over the years.

So not a get rich quick scheme number one. It does take some time, because it is a strategy, and a system, so this isn’t something that you can just stick your toe in the water to try and test it, and then stop it if it doesn’t work for you. The plan is detailed and nicely laid out for you through the years with cost included in this, and I just also want to say when it comes to that, the cost, how we get paid is, and this is very important to know too, is it’s based on a commission on the plan that’s structured for you.

It’s not the assets-under-management model that Wall Street has, where a percentage of the money is taken from you. So it’s a commission that is based on the plan. The way that these plans are structured too, they’re trying to get you the maximum amount of cash value. So if you are looking into these, please make sure that the person that you are looking into one of these strategies for is an Infinite Banking Practitioner, because I say that they’ve been very well-vetted, interviewed, their principles and values are aligned, because the way that these plans are structured, they actually reduces the commission of the agent.

So you don’t just want to go to any insurance guy to try and structure these for you. Number one, they might not set it up the proper way to do what you intended to do, and number two, there’s obviously — interests are definitely not aligned in that way. Why people are doing it this way, the Infinite Banking Practitioners?

Obviously, they’re mission driven, they’re purpose driven, and for me and my business personally, I get a lot of referrals from people to set these policies up for folks where they have max cash value. The other thing too, I think, Mark, that people do have to understand and know about too is that it’s liquid. Your cash is available, but it’s not ATM liquid. So it could be 48 hours liquid, and when you borrow money from the general account from the insurance company, there’s an interest payment.

And some of these interest payments, it varies and it ranges, but say for instance, some of them right now, and it’s all relative again, all institutions are different, but it’s around 4% to 5%. So can you get a cheaper loan somewhere else? Yes, you can. But can you leverage your existing wealth, okay, and pay that interest back into your own system, which you indirectly participate through the profits from that system, that’s what makes it powerful.

I usually look at the banking model and say, “You’re not necessarily the same way going to build a long-lasting wealth by putting it and just depositing it into a bank.” The same way with these insurance policies and these infinite banking policies. Can you leverage debt on the other side, and build very long-lasting wealth? I would say for the average person, not necessarily, probably not. It takes an extreme level of financial IQ to do that. We’re now looking at a different level of this game.

There are guys doing it out there, the Robert Kiyosakis, and the Donald Trumps, and those guys, they really know how to leverage debt, and they play at a very, very high level, but what I would say is can you build long lasting sustainable wealth by owning the system that includes both the deposit and the lending side of it, and that’s what makes the strategy very, very powerful. So look at all aspects of it, really educate yourself, know all your options.

This might not be the best fit for everyone, too. So look at your goals, what you’re trying to achieve, where you want to go, and then take it from there and then do your own diligence. Wherever you are, wherever you’re listening, and whatever professional you’re working with.

[00:34:45.0] MF: Yeah, no I appreciate that, and that explanation. I’ve heard a few different people explain Infinite Banking Concept, and they make it sound very much a rosy situation with no downside, and a little bit too rosy than what it actually is. So that always sends up some red flags, where you’re making all this money on every side of it.

There is no downside, and nothing bad ever happens, and wherever you hear that, warning flags go up. So I appreciate that explanation, and that you are paying interest, but there are some benefits as well, especially with the tax free growth.

[00:35:21.4] MCL: Exactly, and I’ll just use myself as an example. So I have a couple of these plans. I have three right now, and what it’s done for me, if I look at the wealth pyramid, the bottom of the wealth pyramid, how we teach our clients is our own human live value, as I described earlier. We’re our own greatest asset, with our biggest returns always going to be by developing ourselves. Then on top of that, you have six to two years. It’s all relative of this security that certain people need.

But of savings of living expenses, and then you have protective strategy, such as your home insurance, your car insurance, life insurance, and then you also have text planning strategies. You have strategies to protect the home. You’re on the east coast, we’ve had a couple of hurricanes. So there is some preparedness strategies as far as generators, some freeze dried food, because when hurricane Sandy went through here, there were people that went maybe a week, some two weeks without electricity and couldn’t even get to a store.

So something like that to protect your home. That’s on the conservative side. I would put the Infinite Banking Strategy on that level as well, because it’s a “savings mechanism” that then can be leveraged to go to the next level, which is cash flow businesses and investments. For me, I’ve used one of my plans to actually build my financial firm and education company, so this has been a baseline and a foundation for my personal wealth plan that I am now leveraging to build a business from.

And I have also used it to invest in other investments. One of my policies I am using for specifically real estate investments, where I am personally using the one as a reserve account right now, because as real estate investors know, when it rains it pours, right? So last year, we’re still in 2016 as we’re recording it, I am already jumping ahead. I had a lot of things break down. I had to do some upgrades to one of the properties, some plumbing, some electricity, and I could access the money to do it from that.

The increase rent that I then got from the property after fixing all of this blew back into that policy. So it definitely has to be looked at holistically. It’s not a get rich quick scheme, it’s part of an overall strategy that can really help you accelerate growth in different areas. Not a magic bullet as many products are advertised. So I definitely agree with you 100%.

[00:37:51.5] MF: Right, yes very good stuff. So if people are interested in talking to you more about these products, what’s the best way for them to reach you?

[00:37:59.1] MCL: Yeah, so my primary platform that I direct people too is the Cashflow Ninjasninja.com. That’s where my podcast is on. If you’re interested in ideas about creating income streams and cash flow, my wealth firm is valhallawealth.com. I have a ton of resources on there about the strategy, and Mark, if any of your listeners is interested in educating themselves more on this strategy, they can email me, actually, at [email protected] Ninjasninja.com, and I’ll send them a copy of Mr. Nelson Nash’s book, Becoming Your Own Banker. So that will really help them to understand the concept, and an overview of the strategy, so I’ll make that available if there’s anyone interested in exploring this further and taking a look at it.

[00:38:46.4] MF: Very cool, no thank you for that. I appreciate it. Well, awesome job on the show, before we head out of here I want to get one last question out to you. If someone is looking for the best way to invest their money, building a retirement plan, and they don’t really know where to start, what’s one thing they can do now to begin the process of figuring out how to invest, maybe the best ways to invest, things of that nature?

[00:39:09.3] MCL: You know, obviously, I am going to say the self-education and financial education, but I would also say this, regardless of where you are in the country. If you do find an advisor that — or even someone that’s helping you to invest, make sure that they educate you as well, and help you understand the full picture, and all of your options. That’s one thing that I have seen that’s out there is sometimes, because there are a ton of sales people out there, they’re just trying to basically put you in a vehicle that they are selling.

And there’s not necessarily a ton of education around that vehicle, and what impacts it will be. So if you’re looking to start investing, I would say look at the wealth pyramid, start by saving first, putting away money, and investing it in yourself, build up a nice foundational piece for yourself, at least six months of living expenses before you put your money into anything else, and educate yourself in the meantime. This does take time.

We live in an instant gratification world, but to build long and sustaining wealth, we have to be very, very diligent, and we have to be disciplined, and know that it’s a journey. It’s going to take time. Not many of us will jump in a computer and design something that’s going to turn into the next Facebook in one or two years so the diligent approach to wealth is having a plan and following it, keep investing in yourself along the way, but definitely build up that foundation first and education.

[00:40:45.9] MF: Yep, great advice and yep, completely agree. Whatever you’re investing in, whatever you’re putting your money into, you should understand it. You shouldn’t just blindly trust someone to invest it for you, so awesome advice. M.C. great to have you on the show, I really appreciate your time, your insights, lots of great information. I’m sure it will be a great help to a lot of people out there.

[00:41:07.9] MCL: Thank you so much for having me on Mark. It was fantastic experience, adn thank you for your listeners out there too for listening.

[00:41:14.1] MF: Yeah, no I’m sure they will enjoy it, and yeah, I hope you have enjoy the end of the year here and have a fantastic 2017.

[00:41:21.1] MCL: You as well, thank you.

[00:41:22.6] MF: Alright, take care.