CHRIS MILES | From Money Ripples

· Podcast Episodes
One million dollars in debt and back again. Chris Smith from Money Ripples

What's a financial advisor and how can they help us? What can a ballroom dancer teach us about financial freedom? Chris Miles is the CEO and founder of Money Ripples. He's a cash flow expert and anti-financial advisor, and he's a leading authority teaching entrepreneurs and professionals how to get their money working for them today.

Here's some more information about Chris' CASHFLOW SECRETS COURSE:

Cashflow Secrets. Money Ripples. Creat Freedom & Prosperity Today


You hear the word financial freedom and you think, “that’s cool, maybe I’ll get there one day…” STOP with the maybe and start paying attention to make this your NOW!

Education is the first step in any journey, but it is especially important in the finance world. So Many people have their ideas of what is the “best way” to get rich and live easy, but over half of those strategies depend on timing and luck or are simply flat-out lies.

Isn’t it time you stop working so darn hard for every nickel you earn only to see it fly out the window to your expenses?

The way to start working right is to understand what that means. This course will help you discover what is truly the “right” action to start building your wealth and making your way toward financial freedom.

There are no extremes! You will NEVER be told to stop living a normal life and eating potatoes and rice to become wealthy. That diet will only make you fat, unhealthy, and depressed and most likely cause you to hate money.

Money Ripples will show you the right way to track money and save where you need to without sacrificing your life and happiness. We are focused on increasing the money you have at the end of the month in your bank account. That is step one in the financial freedom journey.

Disclosure: The links provided are affiliate links. I will be paid a commission if you use this link to make a purchase. You will also usually receive a discount by using these links/coupon codes. I only recommend products and services that I use and trust myself or where I have interviewed and/or met the founders and have assured myself that they’re offering something of value.


Chloe (1s):
Stocks for beginners. Phil Muscatello and Fin Pods are authorized reps of Money Sherpa. The information in this podcast is general in nature and doesn't take into account your personal situation.

Chris Miles (12s):
I'll tell you the number one factor I, I learned was the ones that actually kept being successful were the ones that traded regardless of the money, they just thought it was fun. The ones that just enjoyed it, that just had so much fun with it were the ones that ended up becoming better and better traders over time. The ones that would always tell me and this is the majority, I would say this is probably 1% of people actually were really enjoying it and having fun. And I would teach 'em all the same things. It wasn't about the strategy, it was really about their motivation, their why.

Phil (45s):
Hi, and welcome back to Stocks for Beginners. I'm Phil Muscatello. What's a financial advisor and how can they help us? What's a ballroom dancer and what can they teach us about financial freedom? Today we're going strictly financial with Chris Miles. Hello Chris.

Chris Miles (1m 2s):
Hey, good to be on the show today.

Phil (1m 4s):
Yeah, thanks very much for coming on. Chris Miles is the CEO and founder of Money Ripples. He's a cash flow expert and anti-financial advisor, and he's a leading authority teaching entrepreneurs and professionals how to get their money working for them. So tell me, going back to the dim dark past, when did you start becoming interested in finance?

Chris Miles (1m 25s):
Well, definitely not as much as I was a child. I actually started out, you know, I was raised by good parents, taught me good values, but the one thing they didn't know a lot about was money. The one thing that I was taught about money, especially for my dad, was that there wasn't enough of it. Cuz he'd always say things like, well, we can't afford this. What do you think? I am made of money. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know? And even worse, he would even say, I wanna work at this job until I'm dead. In fact, my job will, will kill me. And I thought, Hmm, I don't think I want that life. So,

Phil (1m 56s):
But that's very common, isn't it, with parents that Well, oh yeah, that is one kind of set of parents. I mean, you know, you could have had much worse parents, I'm sure, but I mean, it's almost like where the mindset gets really stuck into you from a very early age, isn't it?

Chris Miles (2m 10s):
It is. It's really that scarcity mindset and, and it was taught to me very young and that, so money was painful. It was something that there wasn't never enough of. And so my tat my dad taught me to save everything, right? To save everything you can. You know, he even talked about paying off his debt and he paid it off early. He was very proud of that. So, you know, going into my adulthood, I was actually the first kid to go to college in my family. But partway into my college, actually almost finishing my college, I decided to drop out because I was gonna become a business consultant. But as a business consultant, I figured wouldn't it be more valuable if I had real life business experience versus just, you know, book smarts. So I dropped out with one class to go, I thought it would only be a one year temporary sabbatical.

Chris Miles (2m 54s):
And, and I said, all right, I better find a business. And the first one that came my way that intrigued me, me was becoming a financial advisor. You know, it was commission only. You know, there was no base pay or salary or anything like that. And, and the great thing was, if I could learn about money and if I even give my dad some freedom too, if I could learn something that helped me and my dad, I thought that would be worthwhile. So I did that and I actually stayed, dropped outta college, never went back and was going to the entrepreneur path as a financial advisor. Well, about three, almost four years into it, my dad started asking me for advice. And so the tables turned a little bit and as we sat down at the same kitchen table he used to give me advice at, and now he's asking for my help, he said, okay Chris, I'm 61 years old.

Chris Miles (3m 38s):
I want to retire someday. How can I do it? I looked over his finances and I said, dad, well you've done a great job. You've, you've saved in your retirement plans for many, many years, for decades, literally, you've also paid off all your debt, but I'm gonna be honest with you, you better hope that you die in five years because that's how much money you have left. He said, that's not what I wanna hear, Chris. I want to stop at some point. And I said, well, I don't know. He said, well, what can I do? Like, what's the answer? I said, I don't know. You've done everything right according to, you know, financial advice, the traditional mainstream advice you always get. He was investing in those mutual funds and those retirement plans.

Chris Miles (4m 20s):
He was doing everything yet it wasn't enough. And, and that put a chink in my armor a little bit, actually. There's a chink that came before. We'll talk about that in a bit. But that's what really got me wondering about, is there something outside of what the traditional financial advice has always been the mainstream of financial advice, the Wall Street advice. Is there something that's different? And that's where I started looking down more the main street path, which is more alternative investments. You know, that's where I started doing things like real, real estate investing, for example. I actually did stock trading and options trading. I even taught people how to trade stocks and options myself. I did that and, and I started doing a lot of variety of things. And the next thing I know when I was 28, almost 29 years old, I was in a place where I had enough passive income where I could quit myself.

Chris Miles (5m 3s):
I had already quit being a financial advisor by that point, cuz I realized I couldn't stand integrity and keep teaching the same lies that really had been taught to me. Because the truth is, it wasn't just my dad when I looked at all of my clients, all of them, even the ones that were retired, still worried about running out of money. And then I looked at financial advisors.

Phil (5m 20s):
Can I, can I just interrupt there just for a moment because Yeah. You, you were talking about the integrity of it. Was it because of the conflict that you were actually making money from commissions from your clients? Absolutely. And giving them products weren't going to achieve the results that they were hoping for.

Chris Miles (5m 34s):
Yeah, I'm, I'm a horrible BSer, I'm a horrible liar. You know, I, I, you know, it's, that's why I don't play poker. I just, I just don't do well at it. And I have to do something that works and I have to believe in it. And when I started to realize, especially as I met people that were financially free, people that were out of the quote unquote rat race as Robert Kiyosaki would call it, when I started to really get to know, know those people and what they were doing and how they would make fun of the traditional mainstream advice that was out there for finances, I realized I couldn't keep doing that either. I could try to keep doing it, I could put blinders on. And I have friends that have done that. They've admitted it to me. They said, Chris, the only reason I'm doing this, even though one, I can't retire myself, but the only reason I'm doing it is because I make 500,000 a year or millions per year of my a with the fees I make from assets under management.

Chris Miles (6m 24s):
Mm. And so I feel like I'm handcuffed. Like I can't leave because I would lose all my income. So even financial advisors aren't financially free either. And for me, integrity is a really, like, it's a, it's a non-negotiable, right? I can't do something that doesn't, you know, doesn't align with truth, you know? And so that's why I had to quit. That's why I stopped being a financial advisor and went more the alternative path instead.

Phil (6m 46s):
So if someone is listening, and this is the first time they've heard that there might be a problem with a financial advisor, what would you ask them to do? What questions would they, should they be asking a financial advisor to make sure that they're getting the best possible advice?

Chris Miles (7m 0s):
Well ask them if, if they didn't have commissions coming in from their financial advising, could they retire on their mutual funds? Mm. I mean that's, that's really what it comes down to, right? Like, can they actually live what they've been preaching? And, and most financial advisors, I'll tell you from experience, they would get offended by that. But having been behind the curtain myself and been there, I couldn't find one. I could not find a single financial advisor who was truly financially free. Not off the commissions they were earning, but actually off the investments they've been recommending. Cuz in reality, I mean even I was trying to do this myself is my goal. When I was in my twenties back in the early two thousands around y2k, my goal was to save up 2 million in the, in the mutual fund stock market and then live on the 3%.

Chris Miles (7m 45s):
Cuz really, you can't live on more than 3% for mutual funds if you don't wanna run outta money. Hmm. Maybe 2% if you're trying to do it when you're younger. So you do the math. I was trying to live on 60,000 a year because 20 plus years ago, I thought 60,000 a year was amazing. Hmm. And, and American dollars, even then, I mean, no matter actually, no matter what currency you're looking at, 60,000 just doesn't buy you much unless you're in Bali. You know, and that's pretty decent. But here in the United States, I mean, really if you're not making at least 60 to a hundred thousand dollars a year, you're barely middle class. Right? You're barely living a middle class lifestyle. So that was, that was a problem for me. And, and again, I've, I've seen it time and time again.

Chris Miles (8m 25s):
There are some advisors, if you look at 'em, if they've been doing it long enough and they've made enough in commissions to be able to pump money into those retirement plans, sure they can do it. But you have to really question their integrity to say, well, did you make money in your retirement plans because of the compounding interest at the whopping 7.7% of the spider average? Or are you actually truly, is it just because you just pumped a bunch of money in, right. Where did you really make the money? And, and it's always gonna be where they had their income source that just fed into it.

Phil (9m 2s):
So we've reached the point in your life where you're 28, 29 years old and you've got enough money to live on, but you went broke and you got into a million dollars worth of debt. How did that happen

Chris Miles (9m 12s):
When you're young and dumb? Right? And I think, you know, being in my late twenties was still young and dumb. I still view myself as a kid back then, you know, you, you get arrogant, you get cocky because I mean, I did it so quickly, you know, because I was able to take very little money and be able to create leverage with that to be able to pay myself like $4,000 a month. Right? And so, and then I had all the other income streams coming in. I was making usually at least 10,000 plus a month. Well, naturally I thought I should take more risk.

Phil (9m 40s):
You're a genius.

Chris Miles (9m 42s):
I'm a genius. Everything I touch turns the gold, right? And you think you have that Midas touch. And in truth, it, you know, once the, you know, once the, the markets got back into balance and, and the infl, you know, all the over-inflated markets, especially the real estate market calmed down. Then I found myself holding the bag. Now granted, if we were just the real estate market, I would've been hurting, but I would've been in, in a bad shape. But right at the beginning of 2007, I decided to come outta retirement to partner up with some people and teach people how to get outta the rat race. So we were pumping money into a new business. I cut off income streams, which I should never have done in the first place. And the next thing I know as a recession hits, it hits our company very, very quickly and very hard because we were focusing towards real estate investors that were more flippers.

Chris Miles (10m 29s):
They were flipping properties, you know, fixing and flipping or, or even us not even fixing, just trying to flip 'em. And, and as a result, they didn't have money, therefore they weren't paying us. So we weren't getting paid from our company. I cut off other income streams, so I wasn't getting as much passive income as I used to have. And I ran up expenses both personally and within our business. So as a result, I was in the whole $16,000 a month and with deflating values of, of market conditions, especially with the real estate and everything else, I went from literally like millionaire to an upside down million dollars in debt type millionaire or upside down millionaire. Right? And it did not take long. It took a good year or so. I mean, by 2008 I was hurting, hurting really badly.

Chris Miles (11m 11s):
So I had to really get serious. I had to really focus on getting lean with my expenses, focusing on what actually produced good returns and good income. I actually sold off pretty much everything. I owned nearly, nearly everything I owned. I didn't go bankrupt, but man, if I went bankrupt, it would've been so much easier because, yeah, I don't think, I didn't think I realized at the time, but you know, when I was a million dollars in debt, I was a million dollars more broke than the homeless person on the street, you know, because at least they have zero, I had negative 1 million, you know, I had nothing in savings or credit or anything I can leverage. But I had all this debt and I had collectors calling multiple times a day. It was a very stressful time.

Chris Miles (11m 52s):
Hmm. But it, it also taught me how to be resourceful. And in fact, the funny thing is, a lot of the things that we teach now in our process about finding and freeing up cash and getting creative with money came from those experiences that I had was just, how do you make as much as you can with very little, you know? And, and then as you get a lot more, then you can make a lot more with it too. And so that's what really happened. I had to really dig outta that hole. I had to start creating more income naturally. And I stopped teaching people how to get outta the rat race. Cuz again, integrity came into question, right? If I can't teach people to get outta the rat race when I'm back in it. So I started teaching people how to get resourceful, how to how to make the most of the money that they did have, especially during the recession. I even created ways to pay off their debt.

Chris Miles (12m 33s):
Things like that is what we did to help really get myself more income coming in while I'm also, you know, using those same strategies to help pay down my debt, selling off assets, just doing everything I can to the point where finally, I mean, it took a good decade, but by the end of 2016, I was able to be out of the rat race having more passive income than my expenses by that period of time.

Phil (12m 55s):
So describe to us what being resourceful is about. I mean, you, you, you mentioned a 10 year journey. Yeah. Where did you start, where did you end up and what were some of the main lessons that you learned that you've been able to teach other people?

Chris Miles (13m 7s):
Yeah, I mean obviously you heard some of the start, you know, I had to start getting lean and mean, right? I was just reducing expenses both in my business. I, I, I realized that there was things I was paying for that just weren't creating returns personally as well. I, I ended up having to lose my house. It actually got foreclosed upon. We tried to sell it, but the, the bank was Lehman Brothers and if you remember them, you know, the, the chaos is going with them. They, they wouldn't accept me. I

Phil (13m 32s):
Think they were the only, that were the only bank that collapsed during the gfc, weren't they?

Chris Miles (13m 35s):
Yeah. They were kinda like the beginning of the end for banks, right. They were the ones that were kinda like the, the the canary and the coal mine, so to speak. Yeah. Yeah. And so, yeah, as a result, I mean, and we, by the way, I did get a $300 settlement from them.

Phil (13m 48s):

Chris Miles (13m 48s):
For lending, for lending practices that they did illegally. But, but yeah, I ended up losing the house. So I sold off everything we had. I became non-attached to my stuff. You know, it was like we, we kept our family vehicle and, and we went and rented a house and it was like a quarter of the house payment that what we had when we had a mortgage. And we just got lean and mean on the debt. So the debt was really overwhelming for me, obviously. So one thing I did with the debt is I used an equation that I call a cash flow index. And what do you do is you take the balance of that loan and you divide it by the minimum monthly payment. So for example, if you have a $10,000 credit card that you pay $200 a month, 10,000 divided by 200 gives you an index of 50.

Chris Miles (14m 35s):
But if you have a $10,000 car loan that you're paying $500 a month on, which is obviously a higher payment than the credit card, you divide those into each other, you get 20, the lowest index you wanna pay off first. And so I started doing that. I ignored the, the interest rate, unless it was a tie on the index, I would go for the highest interest rate. But I just told people, ignore the interest rate. It doesn't matter because in truth you can always take that money and then roll it to the next loan to pay that one off. Right? And so I was going, really what I was doing is I was trying to find the highest ROI for my money. Cuz I knew if that $500 car payment would be $6,000 a year of payments investing 10,000 to pay off that debt investing, right.

Chris Miles (15m 15s):
Using that to pay off the debt, that's a 60% rate of return. Heck, even, even in my best stock trading days, consistently I was not doing 60%. I had some good, good moments of time like that, but I wasn't consistently doing 60%. Hmm. So that debt, I knew I could free up that cash flow and that's what I was trying to do is how can I make more with less. So I would use strategies like that and I started teaching people how to do the same thing. And I mean, we help people free up literally hundreds of thousands of dollars, you know, sometimes tens of thousands a year, but sometimes even more than that. I had one couple that they actually freed up $6,000 a month, both between their practice, their, their chiropractic practice, as well as their, their personal income and their finances.

Chris Miles (15m 56s):
And the cool thing was, the first thing they did is they actually bought a $6,000 four-wheeler. And, and of course someone who was be like someone who was very big on the traditional financial vice would say, oh, they, they were horrible. They just blew their money. Hmm. But the wife had a very different perspective because that 6,000 a month allowed him to stop working six days a week he came home. Now he just took off the entire weekend and he would go with his family four-wheeling every single weekend

Phil (16m 23s):
And have some real fun.

Chris Miles (16m 24s):
Yeah. Real fun. And actually the wife was in tears. She said, Chris, you don't understand. I got my husband back and my kids got their father back. Hmm. That $6,000 was so much more than just $6,000. And, and that's, and that's what's really about, right? It's about creating that freedom when you have more cash flow, the difference between your income and expenses when there's a big gap there where you have a lot more income than expenses, that creates more options and more as a result, more freedom. So that's what I really focus on doing. Even if I had collector calls, if it wasn't gonna free up monthly cash flow, I would actually not pay off those collections. I would let them keep ringing my phone, I would let them send letters. They would ask me, when are you gonna pay it off? I said, I don't know, but I'm gonna pay you.

Chris Miles (17m 5s):
It's just not today. Hmm. Some of, in some of those cases I actually negotiated them down. I remember with my car, my car, I had a Mercedes that I had, they sold it at auction for about $30,000 less than what I owed. So of course they wanted to come back for that $30,000. And I said, I can't do it. You know, if I had $30,000 I wouldn't have turned in my car. Right. And so eventually what happened is I got 'em to negotiate down to about 7,000 bucks. And

Phil (17m 32s):
That's something that you can do with debts, isn't it? You can negotiate once it gets, because isn't the process that the bank sells the debt to someone else That's right. For a fraction of what it's worth. Exactly. And so anything that they make the the collection agency makes is basically sheer profit for them compared to what they've paid their bank for that that loan.

Chris Miles (17m 53s):
That's right.

Phil (17m 54s):
Yeah. And people don't, oh, people don't often know that. Do they?

Chris Miles (17m 56s):
They don't. They, they think they have to pay off every dollar. Now if it's a medical collection, yeah, you get less wiggle room usually with, with hospitals and you know, there could be big bills in that regard and you can't negotiate 'em as easily. And I had those because I had, I have eight kids, so eight kids, you know. Yeah. Six of my own. But my wife brought two from our blended family marriage that we have. So, but yeah, I mean we had medical bills from that too and had to nego, you know, try to negotiate or eventually pay those down and pay 'em off too. Yeah. But in any case, I mean, yeah, we negotiate some of those debts. Other ones who just paid off. Actually just a few years ago I had forgotten about an old credit card debt that really was beyond the point that they could collect from me.

Chris Miles (18m 36s):
And they called up, they said, Hey, we have this old debt. And I said, oh my goodness, are you sure I still own this? Cuz I thought I paid everything off. And, and, and as they started talking to me, I realized, wait, I don't think I did. And as I checked my records, so I told 'em, I said, legally I don't have to pay you anything. Mm. But tell you what, I'll pay you a thousand bucks right now. And they said, we'll take it. And I did. You know, and, and that's the thing, it's, it's true because those companies, they would much rather have you pay them something than nothing. So, so yeah, I knew how to work that game, built my credit back up and so I was able to buy real estate properties again and do things and, and build myself back up. I mean I just had to start from getting from negative to at least zero and then from zero to a positive number to eventually, again always that cash flow.

Chris Miles (19m 22s):
And what ultimately creates more income, especially passive income, is the end game. Right.

Phil (19m 28s):
Where did the name Money Ripples come from?

Chris Miles (19m 32s):
It was actually, when I was working with that company, I had started with a guy named Garrett Gunderson. If people may have read his book Killing Sacred Cows. We had started a company together and I brought that whole cash flow process to his company. But I felt like, I just felt like the winds were changing. I was gonna be going out on my own and I was trying to come up with some creative company name of cash flow in it or something. Couldn't even find a website that wasn't for less than $10,000 if you used the words cash flow. So I was out for a run, I'm actually a runner, I'm now a marathoner. I do a lot of marathons now, starting to do worldwide marathons. And as I was doing, as I was out for a run one morning, I remember just thinking, Chris, why don't you go back to what your real vision is here?

Chris Miles (20m 14s):
And the vision was really like that couple I mentioned that freed up 6,000 a month, right? Like it made such an impression on me. And I talked about how, and I really, what I was thinking about in that vision was how much it blessed their lives. Like how much it helped not just the couple, but it helped the children and it's creating a new legacy for the children's. So it's creating this new generational pattern of abundance versus scarcity. And then I thought about what does that do for his community? How does that allow him to be a better servant to show up and be able to help and be someone of service versus someone who just focused on their own survival. And then I thought about how that ultimately benefit the country and ultimately across the world and create that ripple effect. And that's when it hit me.

Chris Miles (20m 53s):
Money ripples. And immediately I ran home, I went and checked online to see if the website was there. I bought it for eight bucks from GoDaddy. And that's the beginning of, of Money Ripples.

Phil (21m 4s):
So I was looking at a recent video on YouTube because you've got a YouTube channel where you teach a lot of your techniques and ideas and it was about the stock market. Yeah. And what are the questions people should be asking themselves? Because people sort of think of the stock market as a place to find passive income from, or one of the sources. So what are these questions people should ask themselves before putting money into the stock market?

Chris Miles (21m 28s):
I'll tell you, I, when I coach people in the stock market, like trading stocks and options specifically, I found a pattern after coaching about 200 people. The ones that kept making money in the stock market that made great, great returns, right? And usually the best investors long-term will make at least 20% give or take. I mean even Buffet and Soros are right around 24, 25% over their lifetime. Hmm. If you can do at least 20%, you are in the top fraction of 1% of stock traders right there. And so, and I know there's like different things have bells and whistles and programs you can use and whatnot, but, but the truth is it really comes down to how well you do it. So one, do you follow your trading rules, right?

Chris Miles (22m 8s):
Trading rules are a must, you know, do you put in your stop losses? Do you keep emotions outta it? Do you stop worrying about what the news and the, and the hot tips are because that's what's gonna cause cost you more money? But I'll tell you the number one factor I, I learned was the ones that actually kept being successful were the ones that traded regardless of the money. They just thought it was fun. The ones that just enjoyed it, that just had so much fun with it were the ones that ended up becoming better and better traders over time. The ones that would always tell me and Mo, this is the majority, I would say this is probably 1% of people actually were really enjoying it and having fun. And I would teach 'em all the same things. It wasn't about the strategy, it was really about their motivation, their why.

Chris Miles (22m 52s):
Because the ones that said, Ugh, I'm just so tired of my job are, ugh, I'm sick of people. I don't wanna deal with people anymore. I wanna sit behind a computer. Those people were the ones that usually did not make a lot of money, especially when I wasn't holding their hands anymore. You know, once they're on their own, they kind of either dwindled in their returns and or they lost interest and just went back to whatever they were doing. But the ones that enjoyed the game, they en they loved the hunt, they thought it was just fun. Those are the ones that kept making money. Even if they started out not doing great over time they would become better and better traders because they wanted to master it. They just had fun. So it was a passion of theirs. I think that's the number one thing you should ask yourself is do you have a passion for it beyond just making money?

Chris Miles (23m 34s):
If it's just about making money, ironically you probably won't. But if you really enjoy it, and those of us that have taught it, and I know you're this case too, cuz obviously you do a whole podcast on this, right? You do it because you love it and those are the people that actually make the money.

Phil (23m 50s):
And in fact, another guest said to me, you can't teach passion.

Chris Miles (23m 54s):
That's true. It's so true. You really can't. And that was, that was the one thing I learned. I couldn't teach either. I think that's the real X factor for, for people there. But I'll tell you this, like I rip on the stock market on my show all the time. Usually what I'm ripping on, it's usually ripping on mutual funds because, you know, I learned that from my, the, my very first stock mentor, cuz I was a financial advisor at the time. And he was telling me he is like, Ugh, mutual funds are stupid for, you know, the retirement plans are dumb. You, it's, you're much better just trading. Trading and doing your own thing. And I would bring up arguments saying, but yeah, but not everybody's meant to trade. Like you don't have the, what we taught as financial advisors, we were scripted to say this, you lack the three Ts. You lack the time, the training and the temperament to do your own trading.

Chris Miles (24m 36s):
So therefore you should just invest your money with us. Right? Which is not investing, it's just saving and hoping you make something and you really make lack lesser returns with high risks. Hmm. But I mean, he pointed out, he's like, look at it like we can do be better, much better than mutual funds. And I couldn't argue with evidence. That's the thing is that this always comes back to evidence. What's the true evidence here? And you really can't argue with it. You can do way better on your own in the stock market. So if you're gonna do anything in the stock market and you think, and especially if you love it, ugh, this could be the best thing for you. Like that could be the best investment for you to do. If you're uneducated, you don't know what you're doing and you hate it anyways. And you would don't even want to do anything with sitting behind a computer or doing anything with, you know, putting in your trading rules, well then don't do it.

Chris Miles (25m 22s):
You're just gonna mess it up and you're gonna lose. And then you're gonna reinforce that belief that stocks are risky and there is risk. I mean, no matter how good of a trader you think you are, I used to do a lot of married puts, you know, as, as a strategy just to reduce risk but maximize some gains. But even then you, you're gonna be wrong, right? You're gonna call it wrong and you just gotta figure out ways to minimize losses while maximizing gains. Hmm.

Phil (25m 44s):
Because that is one of the strategies I hear a lot about is just minimizing the losses so that you know, when you do lose, you're not losing too much money. Yeah. And that, you know, if you write six out of every 10 times you're actually doing really well. That's a really good hit rate.

Chris Miles (25m 60s):
Yeah. Oh, if you do six out of 10, I mean, that's the thing I would teach people all the time is you could get write two or three times out of 10 and still make money if you, if you really run with the run with your gains, run with your profits while cutting off your losses. I mean, I've even done it more recently even though I don't really trade in the market anymore. Cause I get kind of bored with it nowadays. But I'll tell you like I did it with Bitcoin even like I, you know, I saw the opportunity after 2017, I saw it crash. In fact I called it, I even called BS on my podcast about it and then it crashed, then all my friends were all Bitcoin fans went quiet. And then when it got down around $6,000 or less, I was buying some. Yep. And then when it ran up, I sold it off, I took my gains and ran, and then it went up up higher and I even bought in, scaled in after it pulled back a little bit and then I, I let it run up.

Chris Miles (26m 48s):
And then when it got up around 60,000, I said, is this gonna keep going up? I hope so. And then, and then of course I heard a Bitcoin guy talking about how the fed the, the Federal Reserve board in the United States is controlling Bitcoin and they're been buying it up secretly. I said, oh crap, okay, I'm getting out. I sold out about $48,000 and now it's like 22,000. Right? So luck it in, you can, you can apply these strategies in so many ways, in so many places. Heck, even a real estate to some level, if you're trying to play the value game, you could do that. Although it's a very different game with real estate. I just recommend people focus on creating profit and cash flow versus just trying to gamble on values and things like that. It's a slower moving animal.

Phil (27m 29s):
So I like to explore in this podcast, a lot of people, you know, they come thinking about the stock market, but there's so many other areas for investing and so many other areas of finding passive income flows. And I've seen you mention annuities. What are annuities and why don't you like 'em?

Chris Miles (27m 45s):
Yeah, annuities, they're, they're basically set up by insurance companies, life insurance companies specifically. They're very similar to almost like a a a locked up bank savings account. In some ways. They can be tied to the stock market. They could be tied to an index like the s and p 500 for example. But, but often a lot of the annuities might be tied to other types of, of ways to get returns. The the benefit is that they can become like a pension, right? You can use them to where when you annuitize 'em, they can give you an income stream for a period of time or even for life. The downfall is, is that those of us that do alternative investments know we can make way more money than that.

Chris Miles (28m 25s):
Maybe five or 6% a year. It kicks off. It's good for some people where they do, if they don't wanna educate themselves or do anything outside the norm, yeah, that could be a way to create some actual income for them. But, but in truth it's really nothing. It's really not that special. It's not much different than having your own mutual funds, but at least it's somewhere where it could be stabilized. It may not have all the risk and the ups and the downs, you know, if you're just sitting on it, you're more of a saver than an investor. You know, it might be a better option to generate some income streams for you.

Phil (28m 55s):
You refer to alternative investments in that answer. What sort of alternative investments do you find interesting?

Chris Miles (29m 1s):
You know, almost anything outs in the alternative space, which is anything outside of mutual funds primarily, right? Anything offered by a financial advisor is, is is more Wall Street based, where Main Street is more what we talk about with alternative investments and that includes stock market, right? Stocks and options and, and currencies, four x, you name it. That's all there. Often when we talk about on our show, we're talking a lot more about like asset backed type of investments like real estate, oil and gas for example. You know, those kind of things. Things that actually have value there. But the key thing not just investing in those, which is great to have asset backed type of investments, but more importantly is what kind of income stream is it generating for you.

Chris Miles (29m 45s):
So like for example, I mean going beyond just rental properties, which you can do, there are rental properties you can buy that you don't manage. I actually have rental properties not anywhere near me. In fact, the closest rental property to me is over a thousand miles away. Most of 'em about 2000 miles away because the market here, like in the western half of the United States is not great. But if I go out to the, like the southeastern United States or the Midwest places like, you know, like around Arkansas, you know, so somewhere un presuming, you know, or, or Tennessee or North Carolina or you know, Alabama, places like that, I can find properties where I can make at least a 10% what they call a cash on cash return, which is after all my expenses are paid, you know, mortgage payments, insurances, taxes, even property management fees after everything's paid, my money's still paying me about a 10% return.

Chris Miles (30m 37s):
Not including anything to do with appreciation, tax benefits, things like that. So I even have, I even have clients in Australia for example, where, you know, they, they actually come out here because they know in Australia you're lucky to make one two, 3%.

Phil (30m 52s):
That's right. That's very difficult. Property prices here are so high.

Chris Miles (30m 55s):
Yeah. Very different than California actually. It's similar. So, so we look for those kind of things. Things are paid double digit at least, but it's very passive, hands off. There's even things referred to as syndications where you pull your money with other people and invest maybe in a particular type of, of asset or investment. It could be, like I mentioned like oil, like oil and gas investment that I have. It's, we get paid two ways. We get paid from the oil companies leasing the land. So they're paying us rent essentially for the land and they pay us royalties from the drilling. So we get paid two ways. Drilling pays at least 10, 20 plus percent returns passively. You can invest in apartment buildings, you can invest in self-storage facilities.

Chris Miles (31m 37s):
That's becoming a better thing this year in the United States where price value, price prices have come down, but the, the profits are still up. You know, land investing, I actually have a land investment that pays me net about 48, 40 9% returns. It's a partnership I'm doing with the guys that are actually doing all the land investing. I'm just putting up the cash and they're investing it. And so, you know, we had a hundred thousand we invested over a year ago, almost a year and a half ago. That now is kicking off over $4,000 a month. You know, so, you know, things like that you can do to, to really go outside of the, the traditional ways that financial advisors will tell you to do. In fact, when you look at what financial advisors offer, you kinda laugh at it and say, that's a joke.

Chris Miles (32m 19s):
Why would I take high risk for these mediocre lackluster returns? Hmm.

Phil (32m 22s):
We should define the term alternative investment because financial advisors will use the term alternative investments, but not in the same sense that you are using the term.

Chris Miles (32m 31s):
Yeah. Most of the time alternative investments are anything other than buying typical stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurances, you know, like, you know, tech types of life insurance products or annuities like we mentioned. Those are more the the main things that financial advisors offer and that's all they're allowed to legally offer depending on their licensing, right? Everything else that people do. I mean, heck, even if you do have a real estate property, if even if it's in your backyard or it's your basement, right? That's considered an alternative investment because it's something that's alternative to the mainstream that's offered by financial advisors.

Phil (33m 8s):
What are the seven secrets to freeing up cash?

Chris Miles (33m 11s):
Yeah, so those are the things I learned when I was broke, when I was at upside down millionaire. So like one, tracking your money is so important. This is not living in a budget, right? Budget is actually step two of, of that tracking process, you know, but tracking your money, how much money's coming in, how much is going out, knowing those numbers always, it's always about knowing your numbers. Whatever you put your attention to towards will expand and grow. Well, whatever you ignore will leave you. It's kinda like if you ignore your teeth, you're gonna lose them, right? You ignore your spouse, you'll lose them. You ignore your money, you'll lose it too. Same thing. And so really tracking your money, I use different tools.

Chris Miles (33m 51s):
It can be different depending on where you live. I like using Mint as an M I N T, I've used that one. There's other programs out there you could just track on a spreadsheet. But really understanding where your money is coming from, like how much is actually coming in, how much is going out, and trying to figure out where are those destructive expenses. Expenses that really aren't serving you. You know, consumptive expenses, you know are okay as long as this within reason, but the goal is to try to get as much cash you have available so you can take that money and invest it. Especially if you can ultimately create income for yourself. That's number one. You know, number two, you know I mentioned about debt, right? And, and that strategy of paying off debt. My big advice there is don't fear debt.

Chris Miles (34m 33s):
Debt is not to be fear, but it is to be respected. If you're a wise steward through money, you don't mind debt. If you're a spender where you just blow money, debt is your, your enemy. If you're even a hyper saver, almost a hoarder debt is also bad because it just freaks you out. You just get panicked. But someone who's an investor or a wise steward of their money, they love debt, they know that they can use debt to their advantage. Again, it just depends on how you're using it and what you're using it for. But ultimately comes down to who are you and what are you using that money for to ultimately create more money than what it costs to use that debt, right? So that's one thing, way to use debt, but also just paying off debt, you know, like I mentioned like going for that cashflow index where the lowest index numbers the one you wanna pay off first.

Chris Miles (35m 18s):
Mm. Other things like taxes, although I know that varies in country by country, but definitely looking at ways to be creative with your taxes. Sometimes having your own, your own business or a side business, and it could be investing too, is one way you could be reducing your tax burden. Hmm. Other ways could be as well. Just like I mentioned, even just passive income, right? Like how can you take your money in savings that's doing nothing. Or even equity that could be like in a property. Turning that around to creating more income for you, again always comes back to ultimately what's the best way to use that money, how to get it outta prison. Another thing to look at that can actually free up cash is also looking at different types of insurances that you might have.

Chris Miles (35m 59s):
Many times with insurance companies, you can actually reduce the premium by raising deductibles. And the way you can raise deductibles is of course raising your cash reserves. You know, if you have more cash reserves to cover the deductible, raise those deductibles, you can still raise your coverages for the catastrophic. But for the small stuff, those deductibles that you have on insurances, you can actually help reduce your premium and your costs on those while still being covered for the catastrophic events. So there's a lot of different ways you can actually do it, but ultimately it really comes down to cash flow, right? Like what is it that helps me free up cash and or create more income?

Phil (36m 32s):
Okay. Chris, tell us a bit more about Money Ripples and how people can find you and learn more about what you're, what you're offering. And I believe across all the socials, we've checked this out, money Ripples is your tag across everything, but you've got a podcast as well and yeah, tell us about it all.

Chris Miles (36m 48s):
Yeah, we're definitely all over, all over social media with TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, all that stuff. Yeah, we even have our podcast, the Money Ripples

Phil (36m 57s):
MySpace Got your own MySpace page.

Chris Miles (36m 59s):
Oh, okay. I I quit the MySpace thing, but on Tinder, no, I'm just kidding. But yeah, so yeah with with definitely with our, our company, like the Money Ripples podcast you can find on YouTube or even on Apple Podcasts, our big focus really, you know, with money is, is that education, right? Getting people to break away from that traditional advice and finding those alternative investments really about how you can get outta the rat race. If you put in this term it's, it's really like this many people's complain about Rich Dad Poor Dad, you know, the book is that he never gives you the how to. The difference is we actually do the how to. And so even with our clients, we help them to one, figure out what to do with your money and your finances, how to free up that cash to then invest to turn it into passive income.

Chris Miles (37m 45s):
And we even have our own network of people too, of different investments and operators and people like that. We vetted. It doesn't mean it's guaranteed by any way, shape, or form, but I mean these people, many of them survived the recession and even thrived during the recession. They kept paying their investors no matter what. And so we have a lot of investments that are often, if not high single digits, at least double digit type of returns that they've been getting and giving their clients and again, giving 'em consistent passive income. And that's the goal is really getting you to the place where you work because you want to, not because you have to.

Phil (38m 16s):
So this podcast, 80% of the listeners are in the United States, but is Money Ripples available internationally as well?

Chris Miles (38m 23s):
It is, yeah. Anywhere where I can speak the language.

Phil (38m 27s):

Chris Miles (38m 27s):
Yes, so Australia has been great Canada, we've had clients from Canada as well as as Australia. I don't think we've had any from New Zealand, but, but yeah, uk, Canada, Australia, those are common places. It's different, a little bit different and we always have to worry about, you know, taxes and things like that. But you know, depending on your country and the circumstances Yeah, there's even things that can be applied to what you're doing over there too.

Phil (38m 49s):
Hmm. And we did start talking about ballroom dancing at the beginning of the podcast. What can ballroom dancing teach you about your finances? I suppose it's about finessing what you're doing. It would be part of it.

Chris Miles (39m 2s):
Yeah, it's essentially you bring up that fact cuz little known fact I was one of the nation's top amateur ballroom dancers back in the day, you know, 20 years and about 20 pounds ago, right? Music compete even in like with Blackpool England's, you know, team competed over there and you know, won, you know, won the world championship for Latin and, and standard dance formations and things like that. I learned one thing in, when, when I mo first moved to Utah, I actually came here because of ballroom, funny enough. And the one thing I learned was actually from a coach that I had, I had learned the steps, right? I'd, I'd quickly picked it up and, and got onto that team. I was only, I only danced for about two years and was able to get on that, that world championship team.

Chris Miles (39m 43s):
And so I was thinking I was pretty amazing. And then I talked to an instructor and she said, Chris, you're good, but you're not great. She's like, and I mean she's like, you're working hard at this, you're even working smart. You know how people always say it's not about working harder, it's about working smarter. That's false because I even knew the steps. I was very methodical about it. She's like, but Chris, you're missing one thing. And what she had taught me is that it's not about working harder or smarter, it's about working. Right? And so what it was is it was about learning the steps. It's about learning, in this case my core, my center, how to use that center of gravity, which actually allowed me to be more crisp and clean. Allowed me to do moves I was never able to do before with my body.

Chris Miles (40m 24s):
And, and it actually looked better. So that judges got me to the point where I start winning competitions. Hmm. And and that's the same thing with money is that it's not about working harder or even smarter. There's a lot of people studying up stuff, watching YouTube, Googling, doing whatever they can to be smarter. But if you're not working right, you're not gonna get the results you want. This is why there's a lot of broke financial advisors, you know, gray make, make great income, but if it weren't for their income, their business, they would not be financially free to work. Right. You gotta do it right. And that's the key thing with money too.

Phil (40m 54s):
Chris Miles, thank you very much for joining me today.

Chris Miles (40m 57s):
Absolutely. It's been such an honor.

Chloe (40m 59s):
Thanks for listening to Stocks for Beginners. If you enjoy listening, please take a moment to rate a review in your podcast player or tell a friend who might want to learn more about investing for their future.

Any advice in this email is general financial advice only which does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs, before acting on the information. If you do choose to buy a financial product read the PDS and TMD and obtain appropriate financial advice tailored to your needs. Finpods Pty Ltd the publisher of this email & Philip Muscatello are authorised representatives of MoneySherpa Pty Ltd which holds Australian Financial Services Licence 451289.