The Leo Yockey Show

Financial Decisions (Lucas Casarez)

May 18, 2021 Lucas Casarez Season 1 Episode 3
The Leo Yockey Show
Financial Decisions (Lucas Casarez)
Chapters
The Leo Yockey Show
Financial Decisions (Lucas Casarez)
May 18, 2021 Season 1 Episode 3
Lucas Casarez

Financial advisor Lucas Casarez talks to Leo about money! He debunks common misconceptions about finance and demonstrates how living his truth has helped his decision-making, as well as the decision-making of his clients.

Receive a journaling prompt every Friday morning:  leoyockey.com

Lucas: levelupfinancialplanning.com; twitter.com/LukeCFPLevelUp; instagram.com/casarezlucas

Leo: instagram.com/leoyockey; twitter.com/leovolving; tiktok.com/@leoyockey

By: Leo Yockey

Show Notes Transcript

Financial advisor Lucas Casarez talks to Leo about money! He debunks common misconceptions about finance and demonstrates how living his truth has helped his decision-making, as well as the decision-making of his clients.

Receive a journaling prompt every Friday morning:  leoyockey.com

Lucas: levelupfinancialplanning.com; twitter.com/LukeCFPLevelUp; instagram.com/casarezlucas

Leo: instagram.com/leoyockey; twitter.com/leovolving; tiktok.com/@leoyockey

By: Leo Yockey

Welcome to Episode Three of the Leo Yockey. Show. I'm your host, Leo Yockey. How are you doing today? Actually, wait, no, don't answer that. I don't I don't have time. I'm sorry. I got to keep this brief because this week's interview goes a little bit longer. And I want to make sure that just in case you have somewhere to be because, you know, it's, it's people are fully vaccinated. Now we have places to go. I don't, I don't want to hold you up for too long. My guest this week is Lucas casarez, my friend and financial advisor. And it feels so weird to even say that he's my financial advisor that I have a financial advisor. But we'll kind of go into why it's important to have one and to have someone on your team when you make that transition from surviving to thriving financially. But anyway, before we get into that conversation, what did you think of the journal prompts this week? I feel like this was a really interesting one. I always love hearing about rich people who are like miserable after they get a whole ton of money. Because I feel like it's this weird thing where we just assume we're so focused on money in our culture here in America, that I feel like we just assume that if we have it, everything else is going to be fixed, right. But the reality is that most of the time, we're just not even prepared for the goals that we want. Like, for example, with me right now, the thing that I want more than anything else, it was my new year's resolution for 2021 was, I wanted to surround myself with friends that would help me grow both spiritually. And financially. You know, I wanted that that village who was going to really elevate me, right. And you know what, it's the damnedest thing. I've been meeting people like that all year long. And yet, I still feel like I need that support, and I'm not getting it. It's almost like there's something within me, that's making it difficult to acknowledge and appreciate the friendships that I have more than it is an issue with the friendships themselves. And so I'm realizing now, even though I have these new friends, I still feel lonely, there's work that I have to do on the inside, to really be able to appreciate these friendships the way that they deserve to be appreciated. And that's something that I've always done. I have friendships that are over a decade old that I'm constantly having to remind myself that like, hey, this takes work, I have to actually show up to get what I need out of these friendships. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're probably not on my email list yet. But that's okay, we can get you signed up. So every Friday, I send out an email with a favorite book quote of mine, as well as a journal prompts some great way to kind of just get started with getting to know yourself, if you're on any kind of self discovery journey. I send it out on Friday. So you have all weekend long to work on the journaling. And it's a good time. So if you want to get signed up, you can head to my website, Leo yockey.com. That's leoyocky.com. And you can be on this Friday's email. I believe this Friday is going to be daymond john, so yeah, yeah, two sharks in a row cuz we had Barbara Corcoran this week. daymond john next week. Yeah, it's gonna be a good time. All right. Well, here's Lucas. Lucas, how's it going? Hey, Leo. Jason interesting day but mostly pretty good. Yeah, yeah. I feel Yeah, man. You know, I'm glad that we were getting a chance to chat and you know, catch up a little bit and just put our brains on the shelf for a little bit and not think about the real world we're in our little bubble here where the only thing that exists is you me and and Roger the cat. Yeah, hanging out over here next. I definitely enjoy like that tunnel vision I kind of get when I focus on something like this. Yeah, me too. Me too. Yeah, we'll talk about your your podcasts probably at some point and and how that's helped you. Yeah, I connected with you on Twitter because you're a financial advisor and you specifically cater or I don't know if caters right word but your your main clientele are people who work in tech. You know, I just think that that's pretty cool. Because, you know, everyone likes money. But I think that for for a lot of people on an end Particularly a lot of my listeners, they hear the term financial advisor, it's a term that gets tossed around a lot, that they don't really know what that means. So can you explain in your own words exactly what it is that you do for your clients? Yeah, I'll try to be brief with this kind of explanation. But what I do is pretty different than most financial advisors that you kind of hear and see out in the wild, I was just explaining this to the new intern coming on that eight this Wait, you're an experienced with me, is gonna be drastically different if you end up going out into the workforce, at some point working somewhere else. And the biggest difference between me and my company that I created just over three years ago, is I don't care if you don't have any money at all, I don't care if you don't have any investments. Because what I want to get to is kind of the root of the life and the person you want to become, and how we can start to make better financial decisions and kind of aligned your finances with that. And that's not what most financial advisors do. Most financial advisors are like, you need to have $500,000, which is what my original minimum was, before I started my own company, when I was an employee, I can only work with rich, and quite honestly wait rich, white old people in tech. And that meant that there wasn't a lot of big, massive life changes and value I could provide for them. Yep, as helping them be efficient with their taxes, I was making sure they felt comfortable with how they were invested in how those things were all going to help them never run out of money. But by flipping the script and not being based off of how much money you have, already, I'm able to help people, my youngest clients were have been as young as 22, and 23. And I still have a few traditional clients that are in their 60s and retired. But that's a huge difference than who I could have served before. And the type of impact the conversations I'm having with people in their 20s and 30s and 40s. They're like, man, I don't know if I'm ever gonna be on track. I've missed out on so much opportunity, or some of those younger people where you're not taught this stuff in school. So like, how do you get a credit card certain building credit scores? How do you apply for that first mortgage? How do you do all these things, so you don't end up in financial ruin, which is, I would say about a coin flip of if you don't seek this out. And if you're not skilled with just financial literacy, a lot of people end up making a huge mistakes. And it's hard to come out of if you don't kind of get that course direction early on. So to be clear, when you say that it's a coin flip whether or not people head into financial ruin without a plan, you're saying this regardless of salary level, right? Yeah, definitely. And then obviously, things are trickier if you're at poverty level, but one can have poverty level, quite a few of my clients honestly, are setting themselves up financially to be just as fine office on my clients that are making $200,000 a year. And a lot of it just kind of comes down to resources, prioritizing, and just knowing what you want, and not caring about all the miscellaneous things that don't actually matter to you. And so yeah, I'd say anyone making even 70 $80,000 a year, I know, that's not even kind of the average income. But if you're making about that amount, you should be able to save a decent amount and kind of live a comfortable life, do whatever you want to do. Once things get a little bit tricker and reason why those higher earners sometimes have just as much of a chance of kind of financial ruin is lifestyle creep. So if you're used to living off 200,000, all of a sudden, that pandemic hits, sure there's unemployment, but that only covers a fraction of your lifestyle, and right, if you're not able to land something quick, you're gonna go into credit card debt and really start a negative avalanche for yourself financially. Yeah, that totally makes sense. And I think that it's, it's important for people to hear that like, Hey, you know, more money by itself can you know, it can solve a lot of problems, but without that proper plan, you can still end up in a bad position. I mean, I've heard of, you know, some actors and comedians out here in LA, who have had pretty high levels of success, who once they stopped working in the after the pandemic are homeless now, you know, and, you know, we think that these entertainers, like they're all up here on high and they're, you know, they can't be touched and all they make all these millions of dollars to be this than the other and it's like, you know, debt debt is something that can come for anyone. And I think a lot of people kind of, don't want to think about that. What's interesting to me, is, you have a business that's going well, you what exactly is the minimum is there a minimum that someone needs to have as far as like net worth or assets or salary to be able to with you. So I have some early projects that I opened up a couple times throughout the year that ones, there's not really a minimum income or minimum asset level. But it's also a little bit harder to kind of find the window of time in the year where I'm kind of opening that up, the more kind of ongoing service and easier to access is, currently, it's $150, for a single individual a month event, $200 a month for someone that's a couple are kind of planning together. So I don't necessarily put like a hard stance on Hey, you need to make X amount, but usually somewhere on the single side, it's probably like around 75,000 or above of income, and you should be able to afford this. And so do the things you need to do and enjoy life and save and those types of things. And then for that higher costs for the couple, it would be probably like around 100 $110,000 joint income. So yeah, I've seen people at those income levels just be super happy with the value they get out of working with me, I imagine income levels below that might be a little bit trickier. But if you're kind of around that range, and you just really need a lot of help, let me know I can make some adjustments on my own business owners, I can kind of make calls and things like that with right one of the side benefits. So if you're in a hardship and just need some help, we might be able to figure out something that that works. Because I that's one of the whole points of Laval financial planners, I wanted to create access to it, then the tricky part is, well, I need to make sure my family's not living on the street, because I'm not charging enough. We're trying to balance that. So every now and then I'm able to do like pro bono things or discounted things to make sure that the people that need my help and services, they're still able to access it. That's great. So okay, so it sounds so it's available to generally speaking, it's available to anyone who can afford the $150 a month fee. So that begs the question, why doesn't everybody do that? Because I think that you know, what you were saying before, most people, you know, need a $500,000 net worth minimum or acid minimum. And that's what, that's what the condition was at your last job that you left, which we'll talk about a little bit later, you're leaving that job, because I love that story. But um, why? Why is it that all of these, you know, traditional institutions have that have that limit or not that limit that minimum? Why don't they all do what you do? Yeah, the biggest thing is money, then the second biggest thing is difficulty. So quite honestly, because of what I knew, like just knowledge and expertise wise, I could be charging easily double for what my minimums are. And if money was all I cared about, that's what I would be doing. So that's one of the biggest things, obviously, if you're able to get a minimum of 5000 versus a minimum of $2,000 a year, that's a big difference. And financial planners and financial advisors, even the ones that don't do as much as I do, they still have a capacity, they can probably only serve 100 clients in some form or fashion, the less value they provide, they might be able to serve like three or 400. And at the end of the day, if they can only serve 100 people, and they can find 100 people that are going to pay them $5,000 a year. Well, why why go down here and serve anyone else, if money is really the focal point of the business, so that that's really the biggest piece, then also working with younger people that need this education and kind of need the course, direction and guidance, that's a whole heck of a lot more active than I need to be with some of my older clients who already have things figured out, they already have the investments I pray, spends five or 10 times the amount of time I spend with my younger clients than I do with my older clients, even though my older clients may be paying me a little bit more. So it's kind of something that economically, there's a lot of reasons to support, make a minimum of $5,000, or of income or revenue or $500,000 for investable assets, because that's usually pretty similar. But then you have to do way a heck of a lot less work. And that was part of my process and thinking when I was going through the gymnastics of Hey, should I start my own company, obviously, I'm going to be making it a little bit more affordable. And I'm going to be working a lot more than I probably need to. But as like, if I don't do it now, I'm probably not going to have that energy to do what I'm doing when I'm in my 40s or when I'm in my 50s and so there's no better time to take that chance and do something that I feel adds a ton of value than right now when I do have all this energy I'm eager to provide value and I'm going to kind of work as hard as I possibly can to make sure I'm providing value for my clients. And that was something as as truly and I just say worried that maybe I would age and start to become a little bit lazier, and start to care more about the money and the easy money. And so I just kind of forced myself to off the cliff in and have to fly before I ever got to that point. That's awesome. And you touched on something very interesting. So I asked you, you know, why, why don't the other companies do what you do? And you said, pretty bluntly, because you make less money this way? Yeah. And, you know, so so for them, mate, you know, making money is the primary objective, I think, is the exact wording that you used. So, for you and starting your business, making money was not the primary objective. And so for the listeners, I think what's really cool about this is that, you know, Lucas understood, that he wanted, he wanted to be able to help facilitate lifestyle changes, you know, that's what she said, initially, when I asked you, you know, like, what you do, you say, you know, you help people kind of transition into new phases of their life, you knew that would be impossible, if someone already has, you know, $500,000 in the bank, is they're already, you know, living this lifestyle. And, you know, because you knew that, and because you knew that this was important to you, you know, I think we get so caught up in how much money we could be making this, that or the other, without really knowing exactly how much money we need. I mean, I did that. I was like, I think I need $20 million. And you're like, for what, and I was like, it just sounds like a skill to kind of know, like, what you need what you can afford, you have a lot more room to play around and figure out exactly what it is that you want to do. Did you ever think or hope when you started that job, that you could still get that fulfillment of helping people? Even if you were only helping people who are already wealthy? Yeah, I, that's the hope. Right? I went to college, it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do. I was working in community banks and credit unions finally found out financial planning existed, went to school and moved out to Colorado did all these life changes myself, then yeah, financial planning was going to be the thing I was going to impact people and make a huge difference in their life. And, and I, quite honestly was, but then I started seeing it. And just hearing a lot of the things like just common questions people would ask me, and obviously I know the answer. And I'm able to help my friends and family a lot easier than I'm able to help just random people just kind of based off of time and commitments and things like that. And yeah, there was just one of the final straws was one of my new workers, co workers that came in work at that same last company I was at, he had $100,000 in student loan debt. And here's some ridiculous interest rates, he had no clue what was going on, or how to kind of fix that. And that was kind of like a push for me to be like, Alright, there's people that definitely need help. And I actually, we had a program in place at my employer as able to convince some halfway convince some to put something in place. We did it, we got some people on boarded. It wasn't necessarily like the younger millennial clients. But even though that was kind of the original expectation, it was pre retirees who made like late career changes, and they're finally on track, they're finally making the six figures are able to catch up. But they didn't have the minimum requirements. So we did have something in place. But the thing that really frustrated me with that is the numbers, the monthly numbers are higher than what they are that I stated for my own business right now. And also that basically, was specifically told to me is spend as little as little time as possible with these clients. Because we brought it on, I think it was 250 a month minimum and then being told to perform that minimal services for them. That was just another kind of push in this direction, where, hey, I can do this. And quite honestly, I had no clue. I thought this would add a lot of value for people, but the clients that seek me out and who I've been able to help it's been pretty incredible, like way, way, way more than I could have ever imagined just the impact I'm having. And it's crazy. Yeah, totally. So I mean, that must have been such an interesting experience to realize that one you saw a need that you can help with, that you can provide services for and your bosses are basically saying no, in a way they're they're they're kind of allowing it, they're humoring you and yes, they're either humoring you and so you're you're you're innovative ideas are kind of getting stifled. So you have that end of it. That's always very frustrating, especially for ambitious people like you. But you also have coworkers, like you said, who have all their student loan debt, they have no idea how they're going to get out of it. And I think it just goes to show right there just how insidious financial trouble can be that even financial advisors can can find themselves in this in this situation. So yeah, it seems like more and more than anything else, just about, you know, it's really important that you know, who you're getting financial advice from, because there's a whole lot of people out there, I think, that are that are giving advice and don't know what they're talking about. Yeah, one of the worst ones are like, Twitter and tic tocs, and things like that. Sometimes, sometimes there's really gold gems, and those are gonna be like, the most basic things that everyone knows anyways. Right? But then yeah, then they're kind of they blow up for some reason. But I see so many horrible takes. And those are the ones that are the most shared the most light or whatever. And it's like, no, like this, this is even close to being accurate. This is gonna hurt a lot of people. And I think early on, I would like jump in here and try to like help like, No, no, don't, this is crazy. Yeah, it's like, man, I don't really have the capacity to monitor everyone on Twitter providing bad advice, I just need to make sure that people are more aware of me and others like me, like, luckily, there's other financial planners that have been doing something similar now and a few, a few 100. That got out ahead of me a few 100 that have since followed in the last three and a half years. And but in the grand scheme of things, it's probably like a very small, like maybe 5% or less of financial advisors are going to help the same way that I'm able to do so in any kind of competitive conversation with with any situation I just now I'm out work and out service anyone else that they could potentially be talking to? Yeah, hell yeah. Remember to tell me or to tell you after this recording about a strategy that you could probably really easily implement it to further your social media reach and respond directly to that stuff. But just in case, there's other financial advisors that are listening, I'm not gonna say it on the air, because this advice is for you, Lucas, not for them? For sure, so out of out of all that bad advice, what is there one piece? Is there one bad take in particular that you think you see photos on the internet a lot that like really grinds your gears, and you're just like, if I can just eradicate this one piece of ignorance from the world, it would be such a better place. Yeah, I think probably one of the biggest ones is just around credit cards, like credit cards. And I know you're really great at this, actually, Leo. But credit cards are like one of the greatest financial tools ever invented, you just need to know how to use them. And there's a huge fear of credit cards being the devil or like, there's nothing positive about them at all. And really, all it comes down is to the basic financial literacy of how to use them. So they work for you. I just kind of personally I remember last year, and I'm getting up to this point, again this year where I can kind of cash in some of my rewards, but probably for my family's expenses, everything we can we run through credit cards, and we earn about $1,000 a year and free money just by doing that. And we pay zero interest because we pay it off every single month. And so that's one of the biggest things is when when people are jumping in saying like, oh, avoid credit cards. And that's, maybe if you're not disciplined, you need to avoid them. Or until you get some additional education, you should definitely avoid those things. Don't write, don't use things you don't understand. But the first step I would say is well start understanding these things. And you can actually make them work. There's a lot of people that think capitalism, and the stock market is a scam. And I would say no, no, it's not not a scam, there's definitely things that are in favor of kind of supporting that. And unfortunately, only people that have discretionary income are able to participate in it. So it's not, it's not as accessible as we'd kind of like to see but if you have a 401k you're invested in the stock market and that's, that's gonna be a good vast majority of people. So I see a lot of times people saying things like that is the stock market isn't real or it's a scam. You're gonna lose all your money in the stock market. Oh, and I'm probably giving you too many but this this is great. This one's a big one that's super popular now and in it might have more validity, validity now than it ever has, but trying to time the real estate market. So home prices have been skyrocketing, lots of demand low supply So the the values and costs are going up. And it's a common to think that you can time a bubble or predict a bubble. And if you look at the historical prices of home values, at least over like the average of the US and not like specific to you like, Oh, this town that got massacred, because of the Detroit situation, and some of those things, if you just look on a US base, it's very rare that a home value will drop, like more than a couple percent in a given year. And so people trying to time a bubble thinking that things are gonna fall 10 20%, well, that is only really happened like twice in the last 100 years, I was in 2008 2009 of them, like back in the 1930s. And that's, that's really it any other time it's dropped 1% or 2%? Well, you're not really going to be able to time that it's gonna be so subtle, that in a majority of time, it's been clicking up, it grows at about six or 7% a year, on average. So you're gonna find yourself shocked if you're trying to wait for the housing bubble to pop, and it just keeps running away from you. And you're just gonna end up making a bad financial decision trying to make a good one, basically. Yeah, definitely. And I think I think you touched on something that can can is really important for finance, but can probably be applied to a lot of other things, too, that are especially things that are percentage based based off averages. You say the stock market goes up on average, six to 7%, a year, which I've I've heard, you know, in a lot of different places. But I'm reading this book right now called fact fulness. And it talks about how numbers can sometimes be misleading. And when we're talking about an average, you know, it seems like this single fixed point, and it seems like, okay, you put money into the stock market, for example, or real estate, or whatever the case may be, and you'll get X percent out, because that's the average. But the reality of the lived experience is that everybody is on a spectrum. And so if six or 7% is the average, there's people who are getting 1%, there's people who are losing, there's people who are doing better than six or 7%, I think I ended up being up something like 15% for 2020. But I was also, you know, but do I think that that's going to last all the time? Yeah, because it's also 25 is just a weird year for the stock market. So, you know, there's, there's all this everywhere in between? And, you know, my opinion, is that where you're going to end up on that has a lot to do with, you know, how much homework, you're dealing like you You said at one point, like, you know, don't use things you don't understand. And do you think that, you know, in a lot of cases, well, no, I'm not gonna make you answer. I'm gonna make you go on the record and be like, do you think that people who lose money aren't doing their homework? Because I'm sure there's all kinds of factors. But, you know, it's it's one of those things where I keep thinking back to this analogy about jumping off of a cliff, and how scary like an actual, like a cliff that, you know, goes into water. Right? Yeah, you It seems really scary. And it could be really foolish to just see a cliff, jump off it. But you've done research about a particular Cliff at like a resort or something and or on a hiking trail or something. And, you know, you've seen that other people have jumped you seen that, that geologists have have measured how deep the water is, and you know that there's no random gust they're gonna, it's still technically a risk to take that jump, but you have a better idea of what's going to happen once you hit that water, then someone who just like stumbles upon the cliff and says, Let me just jump and see what happens. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like in a movie when you're running away from something and you're like, uh, obviously, these people have never been to this area, and they just jump in. Usually, because it's a movie that they end up being fine. But Hollywood misleading us about the all that cliff jumping? Exactly. Yep. Yeah, I want it. So okay, so we're somehow already running a little bit short on time. So I want to let you talk a little bit about the actual journey of jumping into that business. So we're, I want to I want to talk mostly about that space in between. So let's fast forward all the way to the point where you've, you've just realized that it's not gonna work, you know, at this company, you're not happy you you want to give it a go yourself. You all set the whole stage, you've talked to your wife, you know, you've already figured out that this is what's happening. Whatever money needed to be saved or your plant you either have saved it or there's a plan to save it. Take me to the day that you put notice in at work, and how long how long of notice Did you attempt to get attempt to get Oh, that's a spoiler already. So even even just one step behind That, like things were bad. I worked at a company for three and a half years, things are bad, maybe two, two and a half years a lot of interesting like kind of crazy drama that someone could probably write up a book about. Luckily, none of it involves me, but like the owner and his situation, so there was a lot of frustration, I was actually looking at other jobs. And I was given a couple of different opportunities. And right before I gave my notice, I was offered this ridiculous job where like, basically, they were making a position for me, I knew more than what all these like senior financial advisors knew about Social Security, which crazy I was like 28 or 29, at the time, and I knew more than these, like 50 and 60 year olds about financial advisors and financial planning, like all they knew how to do is manage investments, all that Oh, yeah, we were gonna bring you in here and have your own office. And they, they made me an offer. And I was supposed to take that offer is ridiculous. And I just couldn't do it. And the only thing I could come to you is like, you know what, I can't take this because I'm afraid again, that I'd be too cushy, too lazy in the future to ever take this chance on love what financial planning. And I think by that point, me and my wife had worked out the name. And we've kind of worked out all these kind of game plans and did our research, like you were mentioned, jumping off the cliff, like this is definitely jumping off a cliff. But it was calculated risk. As far as how many months I could go in and things like that, before I'd had to consider getting a new job. So that all happened, I turned them down. And then when I gave notice, I gave them two months notice because I want him to be able to help with onboarding and training, whatever they need to do. I did like 90% of the financial planning and financial advising because I was just me, the owner, then we had the supporting staff for like paperwork and different miscellaneous things. And so I thought I was doing the right thing. And then things got a little goofy as far as they the off board. And it definitely didn't go two months, it was about two days. The owner did not want to tell the rest of the team what was going on. And when I kind of pinned him down as far as Hey, what's what's the steps gonna look like? There's a couple of clients, I wanted to talk to you and see if they'd be willing to join me. And I'd already signed things previously non compete non solicit. And basically, he said, No, you got to pay me like $250,000 to talk to these five clients. And that doesn't mean they're coming with you. That's just a talk to them. So go go take out a loan. And I was like, dude, I've been holding this business for you for like the last three years. I got super heat. I'm feeling heated right now just thinking about it. And yeah, obviously, to make sure I didn't get arrested or fired or whatever. I actually I got so mad, like I was freaking crying and bawling, walking out and say, dude, I cannot believe right now. And I went grab my stuff. deck, cried all the way home Washington door, I was probably done kind of time. As soon as I saw my wife started crying because it was early is like a few hours earlier than I was supposed to be home, right. And then like the craziness just got even worse. So one of the reasons behind the two months, I'm just too is for financial planning and financial like practices. There's a lot of paperwork and legal stuff. And that takes two months. So I was like, Oh, this is what I'm doing. I'm committed to it, I'm given the two months notice that's how long till my paperwork is done. And so as just kind of twiddling my thumbs for two months lost out on about $12,000 of income over that two month time period, I was expecting to have a job and still be getting paid. And so I was like, well, that cuts like a few months out of our runway, we had just had a baby. Baby was six months old. Now. He's just over four. And we have a bunch of other kids too. So we're three kids total now. But yeah, like that was a crazy ridiculous time. And I didn't know if this is gonna work is awesome. My wife to let me do this. We ran our runway and had about three years from adding clients in gradually starting from zero. And kind of like my projection of that kind of playing down being three years. We made the three years and it was almost to a tee. Obviously, it wasn't that smooth, even ride. It was kind of like the stock market like on average, we ended up hitting right where we're expecting to implant into. But it was I got four clients right out of the gate. Some of them were friends and family. One of them was like perfect 30 year old two were bad just wanted to do the right things. And that was kind of my first target clients. Then it was like a four or five minute gap. We're like no clients, I was totally my thumb's not knowing what the heck is going on. Looking at jobs and things like that is pretty crazy. Then Then all of a sudden, I was like, You know what, I'm gonna start focusing on tech because that's who I was serving at the previous institution. I worked at a credit union called FIRST Tech credit union because we served engineers and things like that. So very tech, focused background. I was familiar with stock options and the Texas The complications there. And so once I decided to niche and really focus on what I was going to add the most value in bessette, things really started taking off from there. And so it's still chaotic. Three clients in one month, no clients for four months, things like that. And one thing I've wanted to tell you, Leo, I've actually written you a message multiple times. And I always deleted it. But since you brought me on to this podcast, I think I should tell you, so you reached out to me at the end of November. Yeah. And prior to that local financial pioneer, here's like, Hey, I see you hustling. I know, you're, like, you're a good guy. And you're doing good work. How about I buy level financial planning, I buy your clients, you come in work for me do financial planning for us. And I was thinking about it very, very intensely. But then sure enough, when I was kind of getting to that final part of that thinking process, and it wasn't because business wasn't working, things went mostly as planned. But it was still stressful for me to like think, well, I still need to grow and keep growing. And all these things. It's I don't know what was going through my mind at the time. But yeah, next thing I know, Leo reaches out and just kind of reminds me of what level of financial planning is all about kind of aligning, like who you want to be. And I receive, we don't know all these things just yet. It's a journey and path. But I decided, Nope, that's not for me, I'm gonna keep doing my level up thing I rely on creating the content. Within the following five or six weeks after I've talked to you, Leo, I got six clients, I don't like the following eight or nine. Like all together, I got like, I grew more and a month and a half time period than I did all of 2020. Like it was ridiculous. And it was like you started that. So I really was messages multiple times. As I do this feels too weird to like sign like over a message. But it just kind of lines up perfectly with what this podcast is about. And just that little bit of like timing, and then just kind of persistence and pushing past like some of that uncomfortable stuff. I don't know what it was. But yeah, because I decided to just say, you know what, like, I think I'm onto something I didn't like I am on the right path, even though it hasn't felt the greatest all the way through, I think what I'm doing is adding value, and that there's a need in for that. And so, yeah, I just want to thank you for for kind of reaching out when you did, because everything could be tied to that specific encounter, where we started talking a little bit more intensely about those types of things. That's amazing. I was so glad that you told me that and what a man, I swear, it seems like when we're feeling uncertain about what we want to do, it seems like there's like a temptation. That's always the temptation shows up, like you're questioning what you want to do. And here's this, here's this offer being dangled in front of you, Hey, I'll buy you out. Here's security again, you get to help your clients. And then as soon as you said, No, it was like the floodgates open, man, I don't, I don't know why it is that that happens. But I swear it's like, it's like you're saying to the universe? Like No, I wasn't kidding. Did I stutter when I said this is what I wanted to do. Like, I'm serious. So that's, that's really amazing. So like, okay, so even before that, though, like when you were going through like your three, three clients here, three clients there, you're kind of looking at jobs on the side, like What kept you going in those in those earlier days? What kept you from just applying, it was just kind of add those client interactions and just knowing that like anything else I do, unless there was a financial plan for almost exactly like mine, and that was one of the things that made it kind of tempting, they had a monthly kind of thing, but a little bit higher, a little bit, kind of more out of reach, wasn't tech focused. And yeah, just just a lot of the things about it, like it was the closest thing to what I was doing without totally go into the dark side, which is kind of what I consider the 500,000 minimum and stuff like that. And so that's what made it tenten is that it was kind of like that hybrid just one step further from what I was doing and right it was it can be easier for me and it was super tempting, but it was the the different client interactions and knowing that hey, there's going to be another Leo that would want to reach out to me but all of a sudden I'm not there. Yeah, in that same form and fashion I would have been able to all these other clients that I know I've made huge differences for like there's people out there that kind of need this and and yeah, just kind of somehow the universe showed me and reminds me enough when I need that little push, because it feels weird when you're not growing as an individual kind of business on your on your own. Like it feels like well, crap, like no one needs me like, but and it's easy to forget to have this happens. I don't know if this happens to you on different stuff that you run into Leo. But I get so focused on a particular day or a particular week, I totally forget about the previous week, just before I could have had, like a brand new client and an awesome client like a week ago. But in my mind when I get so focused on these negative things, and kind of feeling like an imposter, it feels like though that's happened a year ago when it was just last week, like, nope, yeah, my wife had to remind me that was kind of in that November timeframe. She's like, what? Like, didn't you just bring down like three clients? Yeah. But there's a couple of those clients weren't like my tech clients like us and kind of in our age range, like they were the more traditional like, yep, I'm managing investments, mostly for them. Right. And I was like, if, if that's where I'm heading anyways, if those people want to work with me, then then I don't know. And that was kind of all that frustration. But yeah, there's been if you're open to looking at it, there's a lot of reasons to support why we take these chances on ourselves, and other people are willing to bet on us too, because I have crazy, crazy support from friends and family. So yeah, just those little, little pushes and surges of energy. And every time after I pushed through that, I get like a new pocket of kind of the floodgates. And nothing's been crazier than this last one, I actually put a waitlist, I wouldn't even let new clients potential new clients schedule anything with me until after tax season, because it was too, too insane. I didn't want to drop the ball on my existing clients. And I didn't want to give a bad experience for my new clients coming on board. So just in case for the people who who aren't keeping up, let me let me tally off the score. So in the five months later, since saying, you know, I might have to sell my business, you now have a waitlist for new guys. I mean, that that's really that's, that's incredible. And again, like it all comes back to, you know, you, you knew yourself, so I'm making an executive decision on the fly, you are going to be episode number three, because the person that I interviewed yesterday, and I wasn't sure which order I want to draw in. He talks about the importance of like, knowing yourself to be able to, like, pursue the right goals. And it really seems like from really early on, you didn't want to use your financial skills to help people who just just to help people like manage their taxes better, you wanted to help people facilitate real lifestyle changes. And that Northstar allowed you to say no to your job and quit and allowed you to say no to that offer to buy. It allows you to continue on even when things were looking rough. And you were looking at other jobs, because you were searching that this is what was most important to you. And again, you'd measure the water you knew that when you took this bleep even those risky, even though their earning potential wasn't as high like you knew what your goals were financially, emotionally like all these things. So you were able to to stay on that path. So listeners if you don't if you don't feel like it's important to know yourself yet, what are you doing? What Who else do I need on here? What do you need to hear still, to get that you got to know yourself? You got to know yourself? Got to know yourself? Got to know yourself? Got to know yourself? Yeah, that couldn't agree more. And yeah, I'm sure the previous guest previous episode is more spot on. But that's the only thing I can kind of tie into how I'm able to make my financial decisions, as well as like any other life decision is just somewhere along the way, I've been very focused on like, what I know, I want and need then much at the beginning of this podcast, even just like getting these pockets of time, I'll get tunnel vision. And then there's not too much that will knock me off that because I knew myself and in what it is that I want to achieve. And or at least experience and make sure that hey, this is in fact, a goal that's worthy of pursuing. Yeah, definitely. Before before we run out of time, I said, I'll give you a chance to talk about your podcast. So you have a podcast where if I remember correctly, the format is you know, one week could be you kind of sharing financial tips. It's a solo episode. And then the next week or the next episode, you'd be interviewing someone in tech, you know, talking a little bit about finances, but mostly about, you know, how they got into tech, their tech career and all that stuff. And I met you, you know, through through the tech network, you know, actually took a long time before I realized that you yourself, were not a developer, I thought that you were I thought that you did both. Like I thought that like I thought that you'd like kind of knew how to code like I obviously wasn't your career but like I you were You're so plugged into the tech community that I did not realize that you're not In the tech industry, and so can you share with us a little bit? How, how that podcast both helped your business? And yeah, how it helped your business? Yeah, so techie personal finance boot camp, it's was made just as another way for me to create content prior to that as writing strategy guides, which are my blog posts, recording video bytes, which are like my videos, I create, like little cheat sheets, which are infographs. And that was fine, I got really good at doing all those things. But one of the things I noticed, and it's part of knowing myself too, is I'll get like really focused and really creative in one aspect, and I'll get burnt on up on it or just not be inspired. And so I kind of needed to be able to shift to different things. And the exciting thing a couple summers ago or springs ago, was the potential do a podcast. And yeah, it's just kind of helped me embed myself even more and just be more aware of kind of the tech scene, I focus a lot on people that have gone through boot camps, because that's like crazy, life changing opportunities that I I didn't even know about until I decided to start my business. And then all of a sudden, it kind of lends itself perfectly to people that weren't making that much. And then all of a sudden, in their late 20s, early 30s are making a ton of money. And now they have to kind of recover from their financial situation. And I love talking to people and hearing about their stories and journeys to find out what those things are that they had to overcome and remind people that no one's no one's path is a straight line to their success. And that you're kind of getting to that, on my side of things, too, is that it wasn't straightforward or easy. So I like highlighting those because I know a lot of people have these goals, or they think that they want to improve their life. But then it's really easy to think like, at the first sign of hardship or trouble that they just give up were like, No, these people are successful, they're happy with the direction they're moving, because they didn't give up on on those things. They they overcame these challenges. Yeah, absolutely. And like you said that, you know, no one's path is a straight line. And you know, here you are someone who gets to see deep into the bowels of people's financial situation. And when you say that no one's path is a straight line. You know, there's, there's a little bit of extra weight that comes with it, because you've you've seen it, you've seen the bank statements, you've seen the tax statements you've seen, you know, the investment portfolios, and, you know, it is all an up and down. So, you know, the the know, knowing where we're going makes makes those downs a lot easier, I think. Yeah, yeah. And being excited about potential. being excited about the future. Like those have always been something that's been ingrained in me since I was a little kid is just like, potential and future opportunities. And just being aware of what those are and being able to win when you do see them act on those. your finances help with a lot of I wouldn't have been able to start a business, and you wouldn't be able to do some of the things you're doing if we didn't do some of the things right, financially leading up to this point in time. Because we just wouldn't have had the opportunity. Absolutely, absolutely. So I mean, you know, yeah, God, financial health is so important. And I really think that people, there's there's this misconception that financial health comes automatically at a specific salary. And that's not the case. I mean, there's definitely a a minimum, where if you're below that minimum is going to be very hard to survive. But there's also, you know, an upper limit where anything beyond that isn't going to fix anything. And I think that that upper limit is, is a lot lower than people think probably closer to that 70 80k. Mark, like you were mentioning. Yeah, yeah. binhai, obviously, very in the Bay Area that numbers higher. Sure. It just takes things for your location, but in some areas that might be lowered to you. So it's, it's not too far beyond people's reach. Like if you're listening this and your incomes not there. We've talked about coding a little bit, we talked about boot camps very briefly, but like, these are very real paths that you can jump into. If you're you need to find a way to make that type of income. And, and there's other paths here, there's you can become a financial planner that the income would be above that too, pretty quickly. There's just so many routes in ways that people can make a reality of what they want. But again, those challenges or obstacles in our way are not, not knowing if that's even accessible to us, is why I enjoy podcasts like yours. And that's why I highlight people on my podcast for that same reason, like, definitely doable. Now, now find your path, your path is going to be different than mine is to be different than Leo's and to be different than any of the other guests on the show. But the whole key point is finding that guidance started like you mentioned. Exactly, exactly. So we've come to the end of our show. We've got Do you have anything that you'd like to promote our plug? No, I'd say check out the podcasts. level of financial planning is the financial planning side of things. And I create a ton of content I haven't the first quarter of 2021, because too busy with the new clients, which is kind of crazy to say, like, I still don't feel like that's real saying that out loud. But I will be getting back to content creation. So there's a ton of free resources just on my site, if you just need general like, hey, how does a Roth work? How does the traditional IRA work? So there's lots of free resources there, even if working together doesn't make sense right now? Yeah, definitely. And since you didn't do it, I'll go ahead and plug your Twitter because you're pretty active on there. And I enjoy the you know, financial tidbits, and like you said, he likes to debunk things. So I think I think I've seen you in the replies or, quote, tweeting people who have bad takes, and you know, you're really friendly, really approachable. So if you're, if you're already active on Twitter, definitely give him a follow and, you know, see, you know, you'll you'll learn a thing or two, and, yeah, he's good people. What's your what's your handle on Twitter? Again, I will have to plug that into the show notes. I couldn't drop and drop my handles. No, no worries, no worries. And, you know, I would hate for this happiness to be one sided. So I will say, I'm not sure if I already told you this, but just just further record, from throwing sappy shit at the end of a lot of these episodes, but well, it doesn't matter. One point, back in February, you know, when I was really going through it, and not sure what I was going to do with my job again, you know, kind of going back to the, I think I need $20 million. I was like, you know, I'm making six figures for the first time in my life. And I'm like, I can't go back from that, like, I'm living in the most expensive apartment I've ever lived in, in my life. Like, I can't, I can't do this. And but at the same time, you know, I'm like, I'm on Twitter just tweeting out into the ether. The good thing about having only 200 followers is that, you know, you can say things with very little consequences. So I was just talking about how my body was breaking down on me again, how is it that these jobs keep trying to kill me what's going on? So my man, Lucas over here, you you, you send me an email about something, I think unrelated. And you're like, oh, by the way, it looks like you're having a rough time at work. You do know you can afford to quit, right? Anyway, see you later. And when I tell you that it was just like, this black shattering moment, like light bulb, like, whatever you want to call it, I was just like, Wait a second. I think he's right. What am I doing here? So, you know, again, you know, it's like this, the lifestyle creep happens in multiple ways. You know, I know you were mentioning that lifestyle creep was, you know, when you keep spending more as you earn more, but also, I think that lifestyle can creep up to you. And you don't even know that it's there. So even though I had you know, money in the bank, I was so used to my hustle mode of making $12 an hour or less, that the idea of quitting in and living off of savings for a while living off of that runway seemed unfathomable. And so to kind of give me that wake up, call and be like, yeah, you can do this. And every once in a while, you're just like, hey, just pay someone to do that thing. You keep putting off and I'm like, Oh, yeah, that's right. I can't do that. So I really appreciate it because that job was killing me. quicker, quicker than I then I want to admit, and I don't know if I ever would have got to now without your support. So if anybody has been thinking about you know, I need someone to help me with my finances. I Why do I still feel like I'm broke and hustling? Like, why don't I feel more relaxed about my finances now that my salary has gone up? You know, consider consider having someone on your side, it makes a big difference. Yeah, I appreciate that. And, yeah, it's kind of one of the things is like, it helps that I feel like we have that type of relationship where I can kind of just throw that out there. And that's, quite honestly, I'd say it not all my clients but I'd say like a good 75% of my clients like I feel like I could say those types of things if that apply to their situation and and that's really what is important to me is like, live your best life dude. Like we don't, we don't need to diet or table diet or work or office or anything like that. Like you've you have a good grasp on your financial stuff. And so why why torture yourself if you don't need to? Why torture yourself if you don't need to? That that mic drop. That's it right there. Moral of the story. I love that. Thank you for coming on. I hope that people got something out of both your story and all the financial advice and wisdom that you dropped. So so thank you for both. Thank you for spending this hour with me. Yeah, I really appreciate it. Really appreciate this. And you guys want to hear more of Leo's story I'm sure he's already talked about he sprinkled it in in the previous interviews, but he was on Season Two of the tech your personal finance boot camp, so you should be able to find him and, and give some backstory on him too. And great person know and follow Him or as well, if you're not already. Yeah, if you want to go back in time and hear what I sounded like when I enjoyed being in tech, it's a good it's a good record of that. Because I will probably never talk on this podcast to that length as far as like how I got into tech what I was doing. So it's a it's a it's like a time capsule. All right, well by Lucas. So you're saying? That was Lucas casarez. Thank you again, Lucas, for being on the show. It's always man, it's always a good time talking to Lucas. Seriously, if you're active on Twitter. He's a great follow. He's a great person to have in your network, I highly suggest checking him out. And thanks for listening. I'm assuming you like the show because you're still here. So hey, you know, if you haven't done it already, a five star review would go a long way to help the show out. You know, actually writing a review along with it is even more helpful. And hey, if you really love this episode, just take a screenshot and make it your Instagram story. You can tag me at Leo evolving LOVO l VI, n g. And you know, I'll reply. Like I said, it might take me a little while because I'm not a big social media person. But I also really like all of you. And if this is where most people are, then I'm I'm down to hang out. Anyway, if you want to interact with me a little bit more, or if you want to get to know yourself a little bit more, be sure to sign up for my journal prompt on Leo yockey.com. This week, we're gonna have a book quote from daymond. JOHN, the people shark himself. So I'm really looking forward to that. Make sure you get signed up before Friday morning to be a part of that one. I'll see you next week when we have ron johnson on this show. Stay robbing