A hearty welcome to “Grandma’s Wealth Wisdom” with your neighborly hosts, Brandon and Amanda Neely. This is the only podcast that helps you take charge of your cash flow and leverage your assets, simply and sustainably, the way Grandma used to.
Brandon: Hey, I’m Amanda Neely, and welcome to our Grandma's Wealth Wisdom, where we help you break through to a smart, stable financial future, with the tried and true wisdom Grandma used.
Brandon: And I’m Brandon, and this is Episode 99. Can you believe it, Amanda? Today, we're going to be sharing some of the most important things we've learned in over four years within the financial industry, and in 99 episodes of the show. [00:49.7]
I mean, we've learned a ton before we even started in this industry by having already started and selling a business, and just in life, in general. But, today, we're focus thing on those tiny four years that surprised us over these last four years, some things that just caught us … I don't know, caught us off guard, right? We're calling these pivotal lessons because they have literally changed the direction of not only our professional career, but also our personal lives.
Amanda: Yeah, these are the top five lessons that we're going to share today from a list of about a million things that we could share. But I want to give everyone a quick warning. Number five is also a big spoiler for a major announcement and change that we're revealing in the next episode, which is Episode 100. That's going to air on February 11, 2022. Be sure to listen all the way to the end of this episode to get the heads up and the insider insight that's coming two weeks from the airing of this episode. [02:00.0]
Brandon: By way of a refresher for our loyal listeners and to catch up on our new listeners, we started in the financial sector in January 2018, having actually had no experience working in the financial sector. I mean, literally, we had no idea. We just knew it affected our lives and made a big difference.
Amanda: Actually, the closest we probably got was you did work for some major financial institutions and--
Brandon: Oh, yeah, you're right. I did work for a couple big banks and one of them isn't around anymore.
Amanda: Right, and you helped the bankers fix their BlackBerrys and make sure their computers worked and things like that. For some perspective there, that's our very limited experience in the financial sector.
Brandon: That tells them how old I am because of BlackBerrys.
Amanda: I know, I know.
Brandon: They don't even build those anymore. They stopped supporting them. Anyway, we knew how to start and run a business because we did that, and we knew how much working with a financial professional helped us to better our path with money now and in the future that had improved our lives, so we jumped in head first into this whole thing, which was … I don't know, crazy. [03:16.3]
Amanda: Naïve. “Naïve” is the better word than crazy, for sure. Over the past four years, we've invested in learning as much as we can from conversations with real normal Americans. Many of you listening to this show, right? You've talked with us. We've reflected on our own story. We've read books. We've kept up on the news. We've gone through training courses and training sessions. We've researched episodes, and so on and so forth.
Brandon: It's been a good growing four years for us. I mean, we can honestly say we're different people from 2018 when we just started this new business, while also having our first human child, by the way. We never mentioned him. We did have a child at the same time, and if you've ever started a business, you know just how much personal development happens in the first few years there as well. [04:14.8]
If you have children, you know how much they develop just in those four years as well, but also the parents in those early years really develop, too, imagining having a business that's starting and a baby growing at the same time.
Amanda: We’d better have some lessons learned that could change other people's lives and we hope these top five change your trajectory as they have ours.
Brandon: Well said. Learning these pieces of wisdom have totally made our lives better, more impactful on others, and a higher quality of lives for ourselves, too. Without further ado, let's jump into what we've learned.
Amanda: The first pivotal lesson is all about fragility. We've learned a lot about just how fragile American people's finances really are. [05:07.8]
Brandon: Now, we've experienced fragility. If you know our story, back in 2012, we were on the edge of a financial cliff that could have toppled out from under us at any moment. We were upside down and clueless about just how much risk we were actually taking.
We woke up to reality and righted our ship, thanks to the help of some amazing mentors and friends, and we had no clue just how many others are in a similar situation. We thought we were different and unique.
Amanda: Yeah, and if we weren't all alone, we thought it was really just business owners like us that had so much risk and were on such a cliff, because the rest of the world thinks small-business owners make a ton of money. We had totally already learned that most are struggling just to get by. Many are going further and further into debt and hardly any are profitable. [06:00.8]
Brandon: What we learned over the last four years is that it's W-2 employees, it's 1099 and independent contractors, and retirees as well, who are just as fragile. For a vast majority of Americans, their financial lives are more fragile than they realize. You might have heard the stats, like over half of Americans don't have enough in savings to cover a $400 emergency. That's scary.
What we've found even more concerning from our perspective is that many are in fragile financial states no matter how much money they have, because they've given over control of their money to financial professionals and institutions, or they've blindly followed what everyone else is doing. They've decided not to learn how to make decisions for themselves or carve their own path. [06:57.1]
Amanda: Yeah, Brandon. We've both heard so many stories of individuals who had a significant amount of money saved her retirement, but now they're struggling paying for debt, or figuring out how to protect those funds or what exactly things are going to look like, because they didn't learn enough for themselves and they trusted the wrong people or something didn't go according to plans or according to what someone said they should, the way that they should go, which is really about Pivotal Lesson No. 2.
Brandon: Yeah, the second pivotal lesson we've learned is all about “the” system or rather systems that are really behind money and how it moves.
Amanda: Now, back in 2013, when we still owned the coffee shop and it was a little over two years old, we were starting to improve our financial path and we learned a ton about how the systems really work. It confirmed a lot of what we believed could be true based on living through the Great Recession, and so we already felt like, Oh, we know about how the industry works coming into this industry. We thought we knew. [08:07.0]
Brandon: Yeah. In the past four years, we've learned so much more about debt, the Federal Reserve System, the banking and investment industries, both the history of these systems and their current states.
Amanda: We can't get into all the things we've learned, but we do want to say this. Could the system be rigged in such a way that it keeps people in a fragile state? Whether intentionally or unintentionally, it doesn't matter. Could the system be rigged?
Brandon: We'll come back to this concept and future episodes, so be excited about that because there’s so much to learn from countless stories of how and when the systems were set up and how they've evolved over the years. I mean, it can get depressing, but it's also important to look into and understand so we know where to go ourselves.
Amanda: Yeah. From Alexander Hamilton and really learning the part of the story that wasn't on the stage, right, some of the history and what's really going on. There's so much to learn there. I’m super-excited about sharing some of those things that we haven't really shared yet on this show with people. [09:16.5]
I do want to move along because I don't want to sound too doom and gloom with too much fragility or too much conspiracy theorizing with “the system is rigged.” We have to move onto what we've learned about finding a better way. These next three are all about what it looks like to break through to a smart, stable financial future, and the first we've learned a lot about health and how it goes along with wealth.
Brandon: Yeah, we've always said the best way to approach life is holistically. We're entire humans, right? Entire human beings, and all our parts relate with one another. The physical part, the mental part, the emotional, the relational, the spiritual, the financial, and the cultural, are all interconnected and make us who we are. [10:05.0]
In fact, we believe the reason we’re ready to conquer our own financial concerns is because we have tackled some of the more mental, emotional and relational, and even physical matters that were addressed that were issues in our own lives.
Amanda: Yeah. We kind of knew that's how it worked for us, right? We tackled some other areas and then tackled money later. The difference is that, in the last four years, we've literally been eyewitnesses to seeing transformation in so many other people and we see the same development time and time again. Those who have already made or are currently making progress in other areas of their lives, like their physical or relational paths, they're often more ready for financial progress as well. [10:57.6]
Brandon: Now, there are totally exceptions to this experience. Yet we'd like to put forward the idea that if you don't feel ready to make a financial decision, perhaps it could be that an improvement step in another area of life might bring you a fresh insight or confidence for your financial realm as well.
Grandma always said, “Eat your vegetables. Look both ways before crossing the road, and never risk your financial future on elements of the market you can’t control.” That Grandma, always good for some tried-and-true advice, and although some of her wisdom seems to have skipped a generation, you don't have to be left behind.
Download “Grandma's Top Tips for an Independent Financial Future” absolutely free, when you visit Grandma’sWealthWisdom.com. Don't wait. Get Grandma's best tips today.
Amanda: I think the bottom line here is this. If you're feeling fragile financially and/or you're looking for a way to beat a system that's keeping you down, looking at your overall health and starting with what's going to have the biggest impact on your current stress levels and fulfillment in life might just be the best way forward. It might give you better results than thinking, If I just fix my money problems, then it'll solve everything else. [12:23.0]
Brandon: Yeah. Over the last four years, I’ve never seen fixing only money concerns solve everything else in life. Yet, so many people believe that's how it works, or that once they get that figured out, then everything else will fix itself.
Amanda: Yeah. Wouldn't you say, Brandon, that we have people reach out to us all the time, wanting to fix their money problems because there's actually something else they're trying to fix, and they think that if they solve money, it'll solve that and it hardly ever works out?
Brandon: Yeah, yeah. It's all interconnected.
Amanda: Right, which leads to the fourth piece of wisdom that we've picked up. It's just how frustrating the mainstream regurgitation is because they just keep saying the same thing over and over again, no matter the results for real people, or if it's not actually financial advice they need. [13:12.1]
Brandon: Yeah. Amanda, this was you back in the day. I remember you actually pulling out stuff and pointing things to me.
Amanda: Yeah, I have to fully admit that when we first got married, I bought a big Suze Orman book and it was my financial bible. There were highlights, flags, all the things, and whenever we had a financial decision to make, I’d grab the book and we’d try to get Brandon to do whatever Suze said we should do.
She didn't have that much to say, though, about starting a business, so I got other books about writing business plans and how to start a business and all that, and I followed the scripts, the to-do lists in those books to a tee, and yet we ended up on shaky ground. [13:56.5]
Brandon: Over the last four years, we've met person after person who has followed the mainstream advice and ended up in a totally different place than they thought or didn't make the progress that they thought they would because they followed that guru's advice.
Amanda: Yeah, we've talked a lot about why this is true in the last 98 episodes, but it really boils down to discovering that the mainstream gurus keep telling people what to do and they don't swerve from it. They've been saying the same thing for 30 years—spend less than you earn. Max out your retirement accounts, but don't look at the balances of those retirement accounts. Start an HSA for some sweet tax advantages. 529s are the place to set aside funds for your kids to go to college. Make sure you write a business plan, and so on and so forth. Sound familiar?
Brandon: Yet if you're experiencing fragility and you start seeing the cracks in the system, then taking steps towards finding your unique path toward a better future is what you need to do. Then that type of one-size-fits-all advice becomes also very frustrating because you know that you are unique. [15:08.4]
Amanda: Plus, even if the “what” that these gurus share is trueish, where are the people you can trust with the “how”? Knowing what to do isn't worth anything, unless you know how to do it. I can learn and study all the music theory I want, but that doesn't mean I actually know how to play an instrument.
Brandon: A hundred percent. Now, before we go to Pivotal Lesson No. 5, let's recap one through four.
Number one was all about fragility.
Number two, all about the rigged system.
Number three, what we learned was all about financial progress and how it's tied to other areas of our personal development.
The number four thing we learned highlights the holes in conventional thinking.
What you might notice about all these is exactly where we're going with number five. [16:01.2]
Number five. Our pivotal lesson is this. People don't care about history, but we've found that history is a surprising thing that can teach us wisdom beyond our own experience, especially when we look back over 100 or even 300 years or more.
Amanda: Yeah, we've always loved learning more about history. When we were going to start a coffee shop, we read so many books about the dark history of coffee and how the history had shaped the present.
As we ventured into the financial sector, learning about the history of money has been very fascinating, sometimes dark, but always a good reminder that there's nothing new under the sun and it's always been a super-helpful perspective on what's actually become the conventional thinking, which is really only about 30 years old. But when you see that, where it has come from over the last 100 to 300 years, it gives you a totally different slant on conventional thinking. [17:03.8]
Brandon: Yeah, if you need an example of how it's helpful to know, there's nothing new under the sun. Check out our latest episode or the last episode, titled, “Is 2022 the new 1922?” and looking at 1922 and how it's very similar to what we're experiencing today.
Besides looking at just historical stories, there's a lot to be said of knowing the backstory of what brought people to what we know of them today. For example, we did a little episode about Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman and Robert Kiosaki back in 2022, just learning their back stories.
Amanda: Brandon, it's currently 2022.
Brandon: Oh, yeah.
Amanda: Those episodes were back in good old 2020, I think. They were a long time ago.
Brandon: There you go. Sorry. I don't even know what year it is anymore. [17:58.0]
Amanda: I know, right? We've been so into history. But, yeah, I agree with that. There are so many powerful stories throughout history that you and I have read about in books that go deeper—I mentioned Alexander Hamilton before, right? Like stories about him that are more than just what he's popular for, what you see on a Broadway show. Love that show. But I was like, But you forgot a big piece of his story?
We’re going to start bringing some of those kinds of things to you and help translate them into refreshing and inspiring wealth wisdom that you can apply to your present and your future. We're going to share more in the next episode about that future direction of this show, and an exciting new opportunity to also go deeper in relationship with us and with your fellow listeners where we can interact other than just in these podcast episodes.
Brandon: My hope, too, is that by us learning this, people will be telling stories about us in 100 years. That would be really cool.
Amanda: Ah, I'm not going to … I don't know if I’m going to hope for that. [19:01.7]
Brandon: In a good way. Not the bad stuff, but the good stuff.
Amanda: We'll see. We’ll see. Why don't you conclude for us, Brandon?
Brandon: For now, we want to conclude by saying, if you're feeling the fragility of a rigged system, if you're ready to make personal progress in wealth areas beyond finance, if you're tired of the conventional thinking and ready for real wealth wisdom, if you want to use powerful lessons from history to change your future, then you're in the right place. We've got some amazing things in store, so make sure you subscribe and tune in to the next episode. If you liked this episode, also write a review, love it, to make sure you hear about the next things.
Amanda: Yeah, and it gets it out to more people. Thanks so much in advance for your review and your rating. Until next time, keep building your wealth simply and sustainably, so you can break through to a smart, stable financial future. [19:55.0]
The topics presented in this podcast are for general information only and not for the purposes of providing legal, accounting or investment advice. On such matters, please consult a professional who knows your specific situation.
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