If you listened to episode 81, How to Make Smart Financial Decisions and Investments, you heard financial wiz Tiffany Aliche (aka “The Budgetnista”) share her profound wisdom on how to invest your money and build wealth.
She shared why it’s so important to empower and educate women with their finances and that amazing conversation inspired me to bring you more information on this topic. So, today, I’m sharing with you my personal finance story and investment journey.
My journey just began 4 years ago. Honestly, the reason I waited so long to start investing is because it all just felt so complicated. I didn’t have a retirement account and I didn’t know how to invest in stocks. I didn’t know where to start and I just kept putting it off because it seemed like something really difficult to figure out.
So, this episode is a deep dive into all the things I’ve done over the last four years to educate myself, invest my money, and grow my wealth — the good, the bad, and the cryptocurrency!
Although I’ve tried a lot of different ways to invest, I have to give a disclaimer that I am not a financial expert and everything in this episode is my own personal experience. Hopefully, the information I talk about can help you start your own journey of learning and building wealth.
Let’s dive in!
Listen to the episode below:
This episode discusses topics like…
- What I believe money can (and can’t) buy
- How my investing journey began 4 years ago – and why I put it off for so long
- The important lessons I learned from my experiences with cryptocurrency
- How buying my own home literally changed my life
- How I got started investing in real estate and owning rental property
- Why I believe you should start investing now, no matter where you are in life
Links from the episode:
- Register for the free, at-home Limitless Entrepreneur retreat here!
- Follow me (Melyssa Griffin) on Instagram for honest conversations about business, mindset, and my life.
- Follow the Limitless Life™ Podcast on Instagram for new episode releases and wisdom on how to live a life with no limits.
- How to Make Smart Financial Decisions and Investments (Episode 81) with Tiffany Aliche: https://www.melyssagriffin.com/make-smarter-financial-decisions/
- Tiffany’s Website
- Tiffany’s Live Richer Challenges
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I’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode. How have you invested your money? What tips would you give to a newbie on their investment journey?
Thank you SO much for being here, sweet friend. I’m honored to walk this journey with you. See you in the next episode!
What is up, Limitless Life? So last week’s episode was with Tiffany Aliche who is from The Budgetnista. And we talked all about how to invest your money, how to build wealth, why it’s important to empower and educate women on their finances so that they can build more money and wealth as well. And I thought, well, wouldn’t it be fun if I shared more of my own story when it came to investing? Because I sure as heck did not come out of the womb just knowing what to do with my money. I feel like this is such an underrepresented topic in today’s education system, at least in the United States, where I literally didn’t learn anything about finances until I decided to go out there and figure it out myself. So, it was about four years ago that I even started thinking, “Maybe I should do something with the money that I have in the savings account.” Because that’s what I was doing. I was earning money, and whatever I earned, I just put into this savings account. And that was the end of that. I didn’t even have a retirement account. I didn’t know how to invest money in stocks, it all just seemed so complicated and so difficult. It seemed like this whole thing that I would need to learn. And so I just kept putting it off. And I never really put in the time or investment into figuring out what can I do with my money in order to build real wealth in order to grow the money that I have, instead of just putting it into a savings account. So this episode is a deep dive into all of the things I’ve done over the last four years to invest my money and grow it and I’m happy to tell you that I’ve now tried a lot of different ways to invest my money. So I actually have a lot of topics that I’m going to be covering in today’s episode from opening a retirement account to opening a stock account, to investing in real estate, to investing in cryptocurrency and also investing in other businesses. So we’ve got a lot that we’re going to cover and I’ll give you kind of the lowdown and my honest opinions on the journey that I’ve been on to understanding the financial world, and just investing my money in different ways. And of course, I will be giving you tips along the way too, in terms of how you can make your money go further, too, and how you can start to get into this world of investing, where to Google things and what to understand in case this is a totally new topic for you as well. Now, I do just also want to say that I am not a financial advisor. I’m going to tell you about my personal experience with getting involved with investing my money, but by no means is this the gospel on what you should do with investing your own money. So these are just the chronicles of somebody who went from having no idea how to invest her money to now having some experience in different realms of investing and hopefully by sharing my own story and my own experiences, it will help you as well. And let’s just back up for a second. Why are we talking about this on this particular podcast? Because most of the episodes that I have on this podcast are me coaching people on their mindset. So you may have seen some other episodes where I talk about money mindset, and abundance-thinking and scarcity-thinking and really how it informs all of the decisions that we make in our lives. So I believe that virtually every decision we make is coming from either a scarcity-minded place, or an abundantly-minded place. And this informs how we show up in order to earn and build money and wealth. I also believe that if we shy away from talking about money, then we are shying away from talking about this topic that literally governs so much of the world that creates possibility and freedom that allows you to dream up an idea and actually execute it that allows you to make big change in the world through financial donations and building organizations and giving to causes that matter to you. So money is really important. And the more that we shy away from talking about it because it feels taboo or kind of icky, then the harder it will be to create and sustain real wealth. And when we create and sustain real wealth, then like I said, there’s so many things that we can use that money for in order to create a better world, to dream up ideas and actually make them come true. So this podcast is all about helping you create a life of pure freedom and authenticity. And I think that money is one of the best tools to help you do that. So you may have heard that money buys happiness. I don’t think that’s true. But I absolutely do believe that money buys freedom, that money buys possibility. And the more that we’re able to get money into the hands of people who have historically been underpaid and had less opportunity for financial freedom, the more change you’re able to create on a systemic level. So let’s talk, I’m going to share my journey with you on the ways that I’ve invested my money: the good, the bad, the ugly. You will get it all. And I will, of course, be sharing some tips with you along the way for how you can get started with investing as well. So let’s backtrack four years ago, like I said, anytime I earned money that was mine, I would put it into a savings account. And I didn’t do anything else with it. I didn’t know how to invest it. I didn’t really know what to do to get involved with real estate investing, it seemed really expensive too. And so I kind of just put it all off for a really long time. And then eventually, I was working with a bookkeeper who I still work with today. He’s awesome. And he told me that I should get in touch with a financial planner and that he had just seen this woman who is a financial planner, and that she was really helpful. And so he gave me the recommendation. So I met with her and she gave me a lot of different suggestions. It’s actually really helpful. I think what her role is called is a financial planner, because she basically just gave me this vision of what is possible, what options are out there. Some of the things that she recommended to me were opening a retirement account, or getting involved in stocks. She talked to me about life insurance, which isn’t something that I have pursued, but it’s something that she talked about. And by the way, you probably know this, but I didn’t know maybe it’s because I’ve watched too many crime and murder documentaries. But I thought life insurance was just something that you got or your your family got if you died, or subsequently, if someone murdered you. If you’re watching a crime documentary, but life insurance is actually something where you put money in, it’s kind of like stocks, and then your money grows and you eventually earn more I’m not entirely sure because I didn’t follow that path. But it does seem like another tool that you can use that you can actually collect money while you’re still alive, as silly as that sounds. So what I ended up doing was I got connected to a financial advisor. So somebody different than the woman who helped me kind of just give me the vision of what I can do with my money. So she connected me to this financial advisor. And he helped me to open a retirement account. And that’s something that I’ve been putting money into for the past three to four years. And it’s funny because I’ve never had a retirement account before. The only other job that I had that was a full time job, aside from being an entrepreneur, was when I was living in Japan. And so I didn’t have a 401k when I lived there, because it was a totally different country. So I’ve never had a retirement account, but I opened one and that’s something that I now just put money into every year and he manages that account. There’s not a whole lot to say about the retirement account. I feel like it’s quite seamless, especially working with a financial advisor. So I just decide how much I want to put in each year. He takes that money. He and I meet, and we talk about which stocks or which companies I’m interested in investing into. And this is actually something that I think is important is knowing that when you’re investing in stocks, or you’re investing in the stock market, when you choose companies to invest into, you are essentially deciding how your money represents your values. Because there might be an industry or a company that’s doing really well on the stock market that you could invest into. But maybe they do something, maybe they have a practice or some sort of value system or something that they contribute to the world that you just don’t agree with. And so I think that when you invest in the stock market, or you open a retirement account, that’s really on you to do research on the companies that you’re putting money into, because when you invest into a company, you are helping that company, and if you don’t believe in the values that they have, then maybe you shouldn’t invest in those companies. And likewise, there might be companies that you really do agree with their values or their contributions to the world. And so you might look into those companies more than other companies or industries. So, I’ll give you two examples on that. One is that my financial advisor told me that these laboratories — there’s a lot of different types of things that you can invest into more than just Adidas, or something like that. There’s little known companies, at least to you and I, that you can invest into. So he told me about these laboratories or something in the health sector that he said were doing really well. And he suggested I invest into them. And it immediately didn’t feel great to me, because a lot of laboratories, though helpful in many ways, test on animals. And that doesn’t feel very good to me to invest in companies that do that. So we looked it up and the companies he was suggesting do test on animals, so I eventually decided I don’t want to invest in those companies. I’d rather just invest in something else. And likewise, some of the other companies that I’ve invested in are ones that create things like solar panels, or alternative forms of energy because that vibes with my value system and feels good to invest in. So just a little side note there for when you do get started with the stock market or opening a retirement account to remember that this is a form of activism. This is a form of standing firmly in your values, which companies you choose to invest in says a lot about how you choose to show up in the world. So that’s just my little aside for you on investing, but anyways, opened the retirement account, and he has been managing that for me. Now, if you did listen to last week’s episode with Tiffany, who is a finance expert, she suggests that you don’t work with a financial advisor. I believe she actually did say that once you get to a certain amount of money in your account and your stock portfolio then it makes sense to work with a financial advisor and I think she said it was about $250,000 and if you have less than that, she said that you should do it yourself, because you do have to pay fees to whoever is managing your account, and buying and selling stocks and all of those things for you. So I always have worked with a financial advisor. And the main reason why I’ve done that is because I didn’t want to have to learn all of this stuff myself. That’s the main thing. It feels like a lot of work to me. I think there’s a lot of research that can go into researching both the companies you’re investing into and the stocks themselves. Are they good? How do you know? How do you know that they’re going to be good and a year from now, you know. He does a lot of research, my financial advisor does a lot of research about just how the news will affect the stocks, right. I’m sure you hear that all the time that when something happens in the world, that’s devastating, the stock market goes down. And so he’s doing research all the time on these different industries and companies. So he’ll come to our meetings and say, “Because XYZ thing happened in the world. I think we should invest In this stock, or I think we should sell this stock because of this thing that’s happening that’s not even really connected to the stock market, but affects the stock market.” And so I don’t want to have to do that. I don’t really have time to do that. It feels like a lot of work to me, and working with him, and I do think that you need to find a good financial adviser, but working with him, my portfolio has grown more than the average amount. I don’t know the exact numbers that it’s grown. But I can tell you that at all of our meetings, it’s usually up 10 to 15%. So that is really good. For a stock account. As far as I know, I think the average is more like 7 to 8%. And so I feel like it’s worth it to have somebody manage it both for the time that it saves me and for the level of skill and expertise that he brings to the table. So is it something that you could get started with yourself? Absolutely. I think that you could do some research, and you could figure out how to start getting involved in stocks and investing yourself. Is it also something you could hire somebody to support you with? Yes. So totally your call on that one. Now after I opened my retirement account in 2017, I was feeling good. I was like, Yeah, I know what I’m doing now. I have a retirement account. Look at me, finance expert in the house. So that was when the cryptocurrency market started taking off. And I was in a mastermind at the time with somebody who’s very involved in the crypto world. And he was telling all of us about cryptocurrency, because in 2017, it was like just starting to become mainstream. And he knew a lot about which ones were taking off and which ones to invest into. And it kind of seemed like, I should just do it, why not? I should just try it. And of course, I was coming off of this high of like my retirement account growing and thinking that I knew all the things about investing. And so I started investing in cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin ethereum and litecoin. So I invested some money into crypto in early to mid 2017. Right before it started to just skyrocket. And so I was up maybe 200% at one point, maybe even more than that. I was up a lot when I had invested in crypto because I invested right before it just started to take off. And then it just grew and grew and grew because 2017 was this just Rockstar year for crypto, and then everything crashed. I believe it was around December of 2017, maybe early 2018. But if you followed cryptocurrency at all, it just like all went down. It reached this really high peak, and then it just crashed. And for the last three years, I have just kept that money in that account hoping that eventually crypto would go up again and that I could just sell and maybe break even because at this point I had actually lost money in my crypto account. It wasn’t a ton but definitely wasn’t up 200% anymore. Let me just put it that way. So I was just waiting for it to go back up. And actually, in the last couple of months, it has gone up again, I haven’t checked it recently. But it was starting to go up again, I would check this app every once in a while to see where things were at. And I just ended up selling everything and basically breaking even this year in 2020. So that is just an aside for you, to encourage you to not follow trends in terms of investing. And I don’t regret doing that whatsoever. I think that was a really great experience to just understand what it’s like to invest in something that’s a little bit more trendy, a little bit more hyped up, something that’s not really proven like the stock market or real estate investing. And something that does come with more risk because it’s a newer concept, a newer industry. So I don’t regret it. I learned something from that experience and it was fun to learn, I think I learn best through experiencing things versus like reading them in the textbook or something like that. So that’s cool with me. But I do have more knowledge now around not investing in things that feel kind of trendy or feel like a fad. So I would encourage you too to think about am I investing in something because my cousin’s uncle told me that it’s a sure thing, or am I investing in something because I actually understand it, and it’s proven and I feel good about it. So that’s the other thing too is that I barely even know what cryptocurrency is. Like, I have read the articles. I have talked to the people who know about Bitcoin and all the things and they’ve explained it to me what it is what it does, and I like kind of get it but I also don’t really get it at all. And so I think that investing in things that you actually understand and that make sense to you is probably a good idea when it comes to investing your money. Warren Buffett has actually said, “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.” And he advises you to invest in simple businesses that make sense to you. So there’s that on that.
Hey, Limitless Listener. We’ll get back to the show in just a moment. But I wanted to take 20 seconds to invite you to the free, at-home, digital retreat that I created just for you. It’s called Limitless Entrepreneur and it’s all about helping you create an abundant, fearless mindset all while growing your online business. You want to join, just visit limitlessentrepreneurretreat.com to register. It’s totally free. That’s limitlessentrepreneurretreat.com. All right, friend, back to the show.
Now, the next thing that I did in 2018, I started getting involved in real estate investing. So I got connected to a realtor who also does some real estate investing and he works with investors to help them buy a home. And so I got connected to him and basically just started having some conversations about “What is this? How do you get involved in real estate investing? How much money do I need to spend on this? And what do I stand to gain?” That type of thing. And so we ended up working together and found a property in San Diego, and I’m from San Diego, so, good to buy property in my hometown. And since this was my first time buying a home, I was really at the mercy of all the people that I was working with to guide me in the process: my realtor, my mortgage lender, all the people that were part of this project because I really had no idea about anything. I didn’t know that there were different types of mortgages. I didn’t know the process for getting a loan. I didn’t know how renovations worked. So I was lucky in that I got connected with people like my realtor, who really helped me in that capacity who gave me a lot of guidance and to have their own systems in place. That really helps me a lot. For example, after purchasing the property, my realtor was connected to this contracting company who was able to go in and renovate the property. And what was great about that is that this contracting company had renovated a lot of properties in the area, and they had kind of this system of here are the fixtures that we tend to use, here’s what we’re going to make it look like. And that worked great for me because this was going to be a rental property. And so it didn’t need to be perfect for my own tastes. It really just needed to be perfect to market it and get somebody who wanted to rent it. So I pretty much just put my trust into this company to renovate it in a way that would appeal to a renter. And that made sense for updating the house with some newer fixtures without like breaking the bank or adding tons of really expensive things. Right. So he did a wonderful job, him and his team did a wonderful job of renovating the property, updating things so it felt more modern, but keeping things more of a budget-friendly renovation price. So overall, I believe the renovation was about 8% of the purchase price. So if I took the purchase price, about 8% of that was how much I put into renovating the property. Now I could have just rented the property without renovating it. I’m sure that would have been an option. But the reasoning behind renovating it was because a lot of the things inside of the home were pretty outdated. There was like old carpet, the old rundown brown cabinets, just things that felt quite outdated. And so we just went in and made it feel more modern. And so now I’m able to charge a more competitive price for it as a rental property. Now my experience with having a rental property has honestly been really good. I know that there are people out there who have had some terrible renters or have had issue after issue with their homes. And I’m grateful that I haven’t really had anything like that at all. I’ve had really wonderful renters and there hasn’t been any major issues with the home. I’ve had to do some simple things like replacing a dishwasher, fixing a sprinkler, those types of things, but nothing too drastic. And because my mom lives in San Diego, and she’s got some spare time I pay her to be the property manager. So if there is an issue that comes up, they’re able to call her instead of me. So you, of course, could save money there by managing the property yourself. But that was just another thing where I was able to delegate something to save me some time. So you can kind of tell at this point that this is sort of my system, where I will find ways to invest my money and then delegate the management of that investment to somebody else who maybe has more experience or time in order to put into that investment. And that has worked really well. But again, you don’t need somebody to manage it. If you have some spare time or you want to learn this stuff yourself, that is totally cool. And you could absolutely do it yourself. Now another thing with investing in real estate, and I’m not super well versed on this, but you don’t necessarily have to purchase a property all by yourself. As far as I know, there are funds that you can contribute to. So if you were part of this fund, you’d put in some money, and other people would also put in some money. And then depending on how much you contributed is how much you would own of the property. So it’s kind of like stocks where you put money into a fund, you buy properties with that. And then you have some equity in the property. And as the value increases, and that type of thing, then you will have more when the property sells. So those things are options as well. Now, another thing that I didn’t mention is that the home that I bought is a single family residence, meaning that it’s just one house. What other people will do is you could buy things like apartment complexes or bigger properties where you can have more tenants and people who are living there. So that’s something that’s on the horizon for one day, I assume. But for now, I’m happy with the one family home that I have. And a cool little fun fact about that is that that home closed on my birthday. So my very first home that I purchased closed on my birthday, which was kind of a cool experience. And then later in 2018, I decided to buy a home for myself. So I had been renting up until that point for my whole life. And I’d been living in Los Angeles for about three years. So I knew that I liked it. I knew that I liked the area that I lived in. And so I worked with the same realtor that I had worked with previously. And he helped me to find the home that I live in now in Los Angeles. And to give you a little Cliff Notes on that experience. So I had made a list of some homes that were in the area that I wanted to look in that were in my budget, and that seemed good. So I gave him this list of homes and we had set up this day where we were going to tour around to some of these different homes that we were looking at. And we had made appointments with all these homes. And then the day before, I was looking on Zillow, and I saw this home pop up and it didn’t have any photos yet. All I saw was where it was the price and the description and based on that information, I was like, “Oh, this would be perfect. It’s in my budget range. It sounds good. It’s in an area that I like.” So I texted my realtor and asked, “Can we add this to the schedule?” And so he weaselled his way in with the reseller, and we were able to see the home as the very last one, on the day that we were looking at all these other places. So I had looked at maybe seven or eight different places that day, and none of them really spoke to me. There was just something about each of them that was kind of a dealbreaker. And so when I eventually, in the evening, got to this last house that I didn’t even know what it would look like because it didn’t have photos in the listing. I was a little bit discouraged, a little bit tired. But as soon as we pulled up to the home, I was impressed. And, as we were walking through it, I remember this one moment, I was actually walking into a closet, of all things. I was walking into this closet, and I just got this jolt in my body where I felt like, “This is my home.” It almost felt like the home was communicating with me, as strange as that sounds. Felt like the home and I were having a conversation. And it was telling me, “You are home. This is your place now.” And so because the home was just recently put on the market literally hours ago, I was obviously enchanted by it and wanted to buy it. And when we contacted them and said, Hey, we want to put in an offer. They said, well, it’s not really on the market yet. So we’re going to do an open house and see how it goes. And so now I’m getting like jealous-ex-girlfriend syndrome, right where this house that I want to marry, I want to put a ring on it, is now being shown to anyone who wants to come from the neighborhood to check it out. And I know that people are going to want to put in an offer on this home because it’s really cute and it has an amazing backyard, which is not something that’s very common in my area. So I came to the open house kind of scoping out all the other people who were there, obviously being total creepy weirdo. And then I put in my offer and hoped that it would go through. And then I heard back that five other people had put in offers on the same day. And so now I’m like sweating and don’t really know what’s going to happen. I’m generally an optimistic person. But I just felt really connected to this home and the thought of losing it really bummed me out. And this was all happening during my sabbatical, by the way, where I was physically and mentally and emotionally, extremely burnt out. I eventually took a sabbatical from my company for six months, because I just needed time to heal and time to come back to myself. So this was like month two of my sabbatical, maybe month three, so I was really still in it. And now this feeling of fighting for this house was something that like recharged me and kind of brought me back to myself. Back to the self that I felt like I hadn’t connected with in a long time. And so when I discovered there were five other offers – two of them, by the way, we’re all cash. So, I was not paying all cash for this house, let me tell you, but these other two people said, we will just give you a suitcase full of cash, and we will pay for the house. And I thought like that seems pretty enticing, they probably are going to pick one of those two people. And so anyways, eventually people started bidding over the asking price for this home to compete in order to be considered as buyer, so I was part of that as well. And eventually it got down to me and one other person, and this other person was one of the all cash people so I was gearing up to go up head-to-head with one of these people. So I put my graphic design skills — I used to be a graphic designer — and this recharged feeling that I had into creating a pitch deck and a letter to the homeowner. And I designed this whole deck and talked about me and why I think it would be a great fit for me to live in this house, what I love about this house, who I am as a person, who Monja is as a dog, all the things that you could imagine, as a way to, hopefully persuade them into connecting with me and wanting to sell me this house. And I was actually at Lewis Howes’ Summit of Greatness Conference in Columbus, Ohio. And my realtor called me or we were on a break from the sessions at this conference, and my realtor called me and I knew that it was around the time when the owner would be deciding on who they were going to pick of me and this other person, and he called me and I ran out to this like alley during this break at the conference, and I answered the phone. And the first thing that my realtor says is, “You just bought a house,” and I have chills even remembering that moment. Because that house, this house, the one that I’m recording this episode in right now has just changed my life in a lot of ways, especially because I purchased it when I was going through this period of intense burnout. It just instantly made me feel a lot more grounded. And because it does have a big backyard, it just gave me this sense of peace and calm and gave me a place to be outside every day, especially when I was healing from burnout. So there are a lot of things during that stage in my life where this house just helped me to heal in a lot of ways, and has been a source of creativity and community for me. So I just am really grateful that I ended up getting this house and they actually said that that letter that I wrote in the pitch deck that I created was the reason why they selected me. So, if there’s a home that you want to purchase, that you just feel totally connected to, then write a letter, make a video, do something to show why you are the best person for that home. It worked for me and I’m sure it could work for you, too.
Now, in terms of purchasing a home for your personal property as an investment. So some people will say that buying a home as your personal property, not a rental property, is not an investment, because you are still the one that’s paying the mortgage. Now, the rental property that I have is basically like somebody else is putting in the money to pay off the mortgage that’s building equity for me, right? With this personal property that I have, I’m the one that’s putting in money for the mortgage. So I am building equity in the property. And the goal is that I’ll keep the property for quite some time and eventually it’ll go up in value. So that will also be building my wealth in terms of investing, but it is different from having a rental property because you are the one that’s making the payments. So, that’s something to consider as well that if you are buying a home for your own personal use, it’s like kind of gray area on if it’s fully an investment, if that makes sense.
So if you wanted to get involved with purchasing property, what I would suggest is reaching out to some realtors in your area, seeing if they have worked specifically with investors before and can help you to find a property that you could use as a rental property or I mean if you want to buy a property for your own personal use, then obviously there are plenty of realtors who can help you with that, too. But when you’re looking for a rental property and finding a realtor who has experience working with investors in that capacity, if there are any renovations that need to happen, I would ask them, too, for any advice or support or connections with contractors that they know because realtors tend to be quite connected in that world. They are connected to designers and contractors and people who do renovations so they probably have some really great contacts. What I’ve learned just from investing in general and you may already be picking this up from this episode, but a lot of the decisions that I’ve made have been because of connections I’ve made with people. Where somebody referred me to somebody else who referred me to this idea with somebody else that I worked with. And none of it was really me like googling how to get started with investing. A lot of it was me connecting with the right people who then connected me with other right people. And so that would be my advice to you too, is start asking people, ask people that you know, who invest their money, ask friends, ask other entrepreneurs that, you know, what are they doing with their money? Who are they using in terms of people who manage their money, realtors, contractors, that type of thing, and start building some connections with people that could support you in this goal of building long term wealth and investing your money.
Now, a couple more things. So eventually, in I think 2019 I opened another stock portfolio. So the one that I had was just a retirement account. And retirement accounts, as you might know, are things where you can put money in but you can’t really pull money out until your mid 60s. So if you pull money out early, I think you get a big penalty fee that you have to pay. So it’s, it’s really just not worth it unless it’s an emergency. So I wanted to have another stock account because my retirement account was doing well. And I trust my financial advisor. So I wanted to have another account where I could grow and invest my money, but I could pull it out whenever I wanted to. So that’s the difference between having a retirement account and having just a regular portfolio where you can invest in stocks and mutual funds and all the things. And so I ended up opening one of those. And that account has been doing really well, as well, even during the whole COVID experience. I think that account is up about 20% since I opened it maybe a year, year and a half ago. So it’s doing quite well too. And I mean that again is all thanks to my financial advisor who is the one that’s generally picking all the things that I invest in, knowing when to sell, all that kind of stuff. So again, being connected to the right people who know their stuff, who you can delegate things to and who will manage your accounts with knowledge and skill. So that is something else that I’ve been using as another investment platform.
And then the last thing that I’m just starting to dip my toe into is investing in businesses. So I feel like I’ve got the other areas down, I’ve got the investing in the stock market and retirement account covered. I’ve got real estate investing covered. Of course, the goal is to eventually buy more properties that I can use as rental properties. But for now, I feel good about that. And as an enneagram seven, who loves novelty, and basically trying everything at least once, I now want to get involved in investing in businesses.
So this is something that I’ve started looking into more talking to some business owners about coming into their company as an investor and somebody who would take an active role in helping them to grow the company. And so this is not something that I have tons of, or really much of any experience in right now, but it’s something that I am looking into and learning more about. So again, I got connected to somebody who is very skilled in investing in companies. It’s something that he does frequently. And so he’s kind of walking me through the process of how to get involved with investing in companies. So I will share more with you on that once I’ve actually made some progress on that side of things. Right now, I’m kind of just in the research and investigation stage. But I will share more on that once I have some investments and companies under my belt that I can share more of that experience with you.
So in general, I think there are some themes that again, stand out to me. One is just invest your money in something. Invest it in something, especially when you’re starting out, that does have some longevity, that isn’t super risky, you know, like the stock market is probably going to be around for a long time. Real estate is probably going to be around for a long time. And if you look at historical trends, the stock market and real estate tends to go up. So if you hold on to stocks and you hold on to property that you purchase, chances are even if there are years where it goes down in value, you probably stand to increase your investment over time. So starting with something like that, where it is less risky, it is something that you can invest in. It’s kind of more of a sure thing over time, and never investing more than you’re willing to lose. That is a great piece of advice that was given to me too in my investment journey and specifically when I was investing in cryptocurrency, so that was definitely top of mind for me of thinking about, you know, if I lost all of this investment, would I be okay? And so that was really important to me to make sure that I was never investing money that either I didn’t have or that would put me into a sticky situation, if that investment didn’t work out. So, when you’re getting involved with investing to making sure that you know that you’re not investing in things that could put you into a bad place financially, if that investment is like crashed and burned, for whatever reason. And then another thing, again, is to start getting connected to people who are in this world, and learning from the conversations you have with them, learning from the connections that they make for you, and just starting to meet other people who are involved in the stock market, investing real estate, all of those different types of things that you can learn and start to basically seep knowledge into yourself through osmosis, and through the conversations you’re able to have with them.
So made a lot of progress over the last four years coming from somebody who barely knew what a retirement account was in 2016. to somebody who feels pretty educated on the different forms of investing and what’s out there and how to really just grow your money. I feel a lot more confident now. So it took time to learn all of these things to get connected to the right people. But if you put the intention out there and you start to ease your way into investing, then I think you’ll find the same thing that there’s a lot of opportunity to grow your money to not just have it, sit in a savings account, and to ultimately, create more freedom, create more possibility, create more wealth that you can use to change the world, to live your dreams, to be and do exactly what it is that you want to do in the world. So I hope that this was helpful. And again, this is just my personal experience. So this isn’t like financial advice that you should go out and do exactly what I’ve done. This is just my own experience, because I feel like we don’t hear enough from other people about how they got started with investing. And it is a complex world when you are just getting started. And so I hope this was helpful and just understanding sort of the journey that’s available and the options out there that exist and, you know one more thing that I will say, before I go, is that I also had this image in my mind that I should only get involved with investing if I had a lot of money. That was like, I should just wait until I have this stockpile of money. And my advice to you would be – start now. You don’t need to have tons of money to get involved with investing, especially if we’re talking about something like the stock market or opening a retirement account. That’s something that you could start with a few hundred dollars, right. So you don’t have to have this stockpile of money to get involved with investing, that is totally incorrect. And actually, the earlier that you start, the more you stand to gain because your investments are growing over time. So if you start earlier, then in 5, 10, 20 years, those investments are going to be more than if you waited 5, 10, or 20 years to get started. So start now, pick your path. Start with one path. You don’t have to do all of the things at once. If you know throughout this episode, I kind of picked one new path every year. And just pick your path, pick the thing that you’re going to look into, that you’re going to get started with.
So I hope this was helpful. I appreciate you and here’s to living a limitless life of financial freedom. See you next time.