206: Recovering From A Financially Devasting Divorce Through Alternative Investments With Chris Odegard

Chris Odegard is Dr. Brad Miller’s guest on Episode 206 of “The Beyond Adversity Podcast.”

Chris grew up in a family of employees like most people. All he knew was that you went to school, you go to college, you get a job and then work and hopefully you get a pension by the end.

That’s all he did in his life until he went through a divorce with a 19-year marriage and lost 55% of his assets because of it.

He changed the way he invested his money and moved away from conventional investments like stocks, bonds and mutual funds to investments that are not publicly traded.

Nine years later, he made back the assets he lost and multiplied it many times over. Because of this, he never had to work for anybody ever again.

Chris believes that yes, money can’t buy you happiness but neither can poverty. Having money makes a lot of things easier for you. That life is so much easier with it than without it.

It’s not the money itself that is loved but the things it can do for yourself, your family, and your community.

He also believes in a study that up to a certain point and amount, money increases your quality of life and happiness but once you go beyond that point then there is no correlation anymore.

One time, his friend Bill told him about a book that he should read. It was “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. It took him a long time before he started reading it but when he did, he was inspired to change how invested.

Because of that, he went to a free seminar of Robert Kiyosaki’s company. His car won’t start when he was trying to go but he managed to find a way to go anyway. By finding a car rental company that would drop a car off. He was really motivated to go to the seminar which is why he did that.

He always thinks about how if he was still married, he wouldn’t be where he is now. Because his wife would always talk him down on things he wanted to do. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.

Episode 206 of The Beyond Adversity Podcast is a must listen for anyone who’s trying to invest while going through adversity, whether it’s depression, a divorce, a massive debt, etc. You should not give up hope just because of a few bumps along the road. Persevering towards your dreams regardless of adversity is key to having a happy and hopeful life.

“The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller is published weekly with the mission of helping people “Grow Through What They Go Through” as they navigate adversity and discover their promised life of peace, prosperity, and purpose. 

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Transcript
Dr. Brad Miller:

Our guest today is Chris Odegard.

Dr. Brad Miller:

He has a story of having some success and some challenges in his life.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And he has some lessons to teach us in the area of investing.

Dr. Brad Miller:

His website is a prolific investor. And his book is Get off your asset manage your money,

Dr. Brad Miller:

while you need alternative investments. We welcome to the podcast today, Chris Odegard.

Chris Odegard:

Hey, Brad, thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it. Looking forward.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Pretty awesome, thank you so much for joining us and

Dr. Brad Miller:

you're sharing with our audience some of your insights.

Dr. Brad Miller:

You were in your life kind of cook along okay in the corporate world and doing okay.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And then ran into some challenges in life.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And you kind of had to make some, some pivots.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So, tell us a little bit about your story, some of the things you had to face,

Dr. Brad Miller:

and then how you will we'll take it from there.

Chris Odegard:

Yeah, well, I was, you know, I was raised. If you've ever read Robert Kiyosaki's Cashflow Quadrant,

Chris Odegard:

I was raised in a family of E’s: employees. And that's all.

Chris Odegard:

That's all I knew, you went to school, you got a college education, you got a job,

Chris Odegard:

and you work for the man and hopefully had a pension and 401k.

Chris Odegard:

And so that's what I knew. And that's what I did.

Chris Odegard:

And it was going about, as well as that path goes for anybody until about my mid-40s.

Chris Odegard:

And then my adversity was the end of my 19-year marriage,

Chris Odegard:

which probably hits on about three of your, you know, divorce, depression and debt, or finances.

Chris Odegard:

And I don't know that I did very well with the depression, and the divorce part of it.

Chris Odegard:

But I managed to come out pretty good on the finances.

Chris Odegard:% of all my assets and:Chris Odegard:

And, of course, it could be you know, people have those kind of situations

Chris Odegard:

for all kinds of reasons, mine just happened to be a divorce.

Chris Odegard:

And I changed the way I invested and moved from conventional investments,

Chris Odegard:

stocks, bonds, and mutual funds over to alternatives, which is pretty much everything that's not publicly traded.

Chris Odegard:

And lo and behold, nine years later, I had made up that 55%

Chris Odegard:

and multiplied it many times over and I did what I affectionately call fire the man

Chris Odegard:

and I never have to work again, if I don't want to.

Dr. Brad Miller:

I want to get into some of the details of that in just a second here.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But just the reality is whether, you know, especially the last few years,

Dr. Brad Miller:

we've had a time when people have been challenged not only in their relationships,

Dr. Brad Miller:

but also on their financial situations, businesses have closed or shifted,

Dr. Brad Miller:

and all kinds of ways and therefore people's and you know, in the last 10 years or so,

Dr. Brad Miller:

we've had several ups and downs in the market and things of that nature.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So, people have lost their fortunes or filed their fortunes,

Dr. Brad Miller:

or had devastation and certainly debit divorce is one of those things

Dr. Brad Miller:

that can just knock people on their rear end, financial, among other things.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But I do my acknowledge when you have issues in life,

Dr. Brad Miller:

whether it's mental health issues, emotional relationship issues.

Dr. Brad Miller:

If you got financial problems, it just magnifies them.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Don't you think if whatever issues you have, if you don't have money,

Dr. Brad Miller:

if you're struggling in there, it just compounds do you agree?

Chris Odegard:

I totally agree. And you know, Americans have some weird concepts about money,

Chris Odegard:

you know, people will say, well, money can't buy you happiness.

Chris Odegard:

And I remember Zig Ziglar saying, well, you know, money can't buy you happiness,

Chris Odegard:

but neither can poverty. You know, so if you can take, you know that one thing off the table,

Chris Odegard:

it makes a lot of things easier. And you can do incredible things with money, whatever that may be.

Chris Odegard:

Life is just easier with it than without it. So, I agree completely,

Chris Odegard:

that if you add that into the mix of other problems,

Chris Odegard:

it's just a huge multiplier in a negative way.

Dr. Brad Miller:

If you're obsessed with money, then you have a value system that's not complete.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And yet there are people who can be obsessed with money who have no money, right?

Dr. Brad Miller:

You know, you can be poor, and you can be the person who's standing in line at the convenience store,

Dr. Brad Miller:

trying to get the hit the big time in a lottery ticket.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And that's your financial plan. You're still obsessed with money,

Dr. Brad Miller:

but you don't have any what you're sharing here is that you can have prosperity in your life,

Dr. Brad Miller:

and still have, you know, keep your values and keep things right side up and other aspects of your life.

Dr. Brad Miller:

You believe that's the case?

Chris Odegard:

No, I don't think this way. Nobody loves money. You know, you're holding a piece of paper in your hand.

Chris Odegard:

It's what money can do for you or what you can do with money for yourself and for your family in your community.

Chris Odegard:

There was a study one time that I read that said, you know, up to a certain point,

Chris Odegard:

and I don't know what the exact number is, but up until a certain point, let's just call it $75,000.

Chris Odegard:

Every dollar that you make, you know up to $75,000 proportionally increases your quality of life and your happiness,

Chris Odegard:

but once you get beyond a certain dollar point, there's no direct correlation ship anymore.

Chris Odegard:

Most of your things are taken care of, and happiness doesn't grow proportionally above $75,000, or whatever.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So, I think what I'm hearing you say, and I have heard that said before, as well,

Dr. Brad Miller:

Chris is to use with Maslow's hierarchy thing, your basic needs are met.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Your food, and your shelter and your transportation are basically at a certain level.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And after that, you're just kind of adding to it, you're expanding things.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And so, what they do matter, it does matter.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And I've been privileged to travel in some pretty poor areas of the world.

Dr. Brad Miller:

I've done some mission work and some pretty better as world included in our country.

Dr. Brad Miller:

In terms of their economic deals and their situations, and seeing people in just abject poverty,

Dr. Brad Miller:

still have a good attitude. But I've also seen some people who have a lot who are pretty miserable.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So, what I want to talk to you about here today is how we can kind of turn things around

Dr. Brad Miller:

in our financial picture and start to move things

Dr. Brad Miller:

and still maintain a little integrity to still have some value driven things in our life.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And you went to some alternative matters of investment and so on.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And so, I'm interested here, you mentioned how you set aside some kind of traditional aspects of financing.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So, let's talk specifically for a few minutes, Chris,

Dr. Brad Miller:

about where you were when you were kind of at your worst place?

Dr. Brad Miller:

And what were some of the actions that you took on river action by us and what I like to teach?

Dr. Brad Miller:

What are some of the actions that you took to turn things around?

Chris Odegard:

I was like most Americans that conventional investor stocks, bonds and mutual funds through four, that's where I was.

Chris Odegard:

And over the history of the s&p 500, the average annual return of the s&p 500 is somewhere around 9.8%.

Chris Odegard:

But studies have been done and investors only get somewhere less than 6%.

Chris Odegard:

In today's inflationary environment, if you're only making 6% annual returns on your investment,

Chris Odegard:

you're not even keeping up, you know, maintaining bought buying power.

Chris Odegard:

So, I switch to alternatives, which is pretty much everything that's not publicly traded.

Chris Odegard:

I mean, that could be anything from real estate to precious metals,

Chris Odegard:

and in all aspects of real estate, private shares of small businesses.

Chris Odegard:

But I guess in terms of action, there were a handful of things that kind of happened to me.

Chris Odegard:

And I think the thing I could, as I look back, is that I continue to say yes to everything

Chris Odegard:

that kind of kind of came across my path.

Chris Odegard:

Around the time that I got divorced, a friend of mine, his name's Bill, he said:

Chris Odegard:

'Chris, there's this book you ought to read.'

Chris Odegard:

And I bought the book and I promptly set it on my nightstand

Chris Odegard:

and it sat there way too longer than it should have.

Chris Odegard:

But the book was Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Chris Odegard:

And like millions of others, I read that book and I was inspired to move investing in a different direction.

Chris Odegard:

And then one day, so I read that book, I was really excited.

Chris Odegard:

And I was sitting in my "van down by the river post-divorce condo" if you've ever seen one.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Chris, living in a van down by the river, and he's the inspirational speaker, motivational speaker.

Dr. Brad Miller:

He was homeless, basically.

Chris Odegard:

So, I was living in that kind of a situation.

Chris Odegard:

And an ad came on the radio, and it was it was Robert Kiyosaki's company.

Chris Odegard:

And they were having a free seminar some week, and I was like,

Chris Odegard:

Okay, I got to go to that I registered for that.

Chris Odegard:

And the day that I was to drive 25 miles north, to go to this thing.

Chris Odegard:

My car wouldn't start, I have a thing for a certain vintage of pickup trucks.

Chris Odegard:

It's a '92 F150. I still had it, but that day, it wouldn't start.

Chris Odegard:

And so, I managed to find a rental car company that would drop a car off.

Chris Odegard:

This was way before Uber existed.

Chris Odegard:

And I managed to get to that, that seminar, and there were others.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Just a second, you see that you were really motivated to do this.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Because a lot of people when the car would start, they would say,

Dr. Brad Miller:

Okay, that's it. You know, I'm just here that would be in a store,

Dr. Brad Miller:

but you really wanted it. So, I think that kind of goes to motivation.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Oh, yeah. That leads to the action. So, I'm sorry to hit the pause button there on you but I wanted to touch on that.

Chris Odegard:

Yeah. And then they talked about going to REIA, which stands for Real Estate Investor Association.

Chris Odegard:

And these are just real estate investment clubs all over the country.

Chris Odegard:

And there's one in just about every town I said,

Chris Odegard:

Okay, well, they said, I should do that. I'll go do that.

Chris Odegard:

And from that point, I started to meet people, you know, and I met a guy and he said,

Chris Odegard:

Hey, Chris, you do would you like to work with me? And we could do some things together.

Chris Odegard:

And he said, you should listen to the real estate guys podcast.

Chris Odegard:

And my first question was, what's a podcast?

Chris Odegard:

And this was quite a quite a while back.

Chris Odegard:

I mean, and so I figured out what a podcast was and got it on my phone,

Chris Odegard:

and I started listening to that, and it just was one thing after another,

Chris Odegard:

that led me down this path of learning and growing.

Chris Odegard:

And I can actually, I actually wrote an article where I did a family tree of all the different people

Chris Odegard:

and things that I met. And on one side, you have time on the one.

Chris Odegard:

On the other hand, you have net worth growth, which went 5.6 times over this nine-year period.

Chris Odegard:

And so every time somebody said, Hey, you should try something, or you should listen to this,

Chris Odegard:

or you should read that I said, Okay.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So here's what a couple of things I heard.

Dr. Brad Miller:

What you're saying there, in terms of your action points here,

Dr. Brad Miller:

Chris help me out, if you see if I'm right or wrong here.

Dr. Brad Miller:

You were, you were motivated a little bit about your pain that you felt in it,

Dr. Brad Miller:

you've gone through the divorce, and you were way behind in your finances, you're in the hole there.

Dr. Brad Miller:

You're motivated by that. But there were also some emotional elements going on here.

Dr. Brad Miller:

I take it, you read the book, you somebody suggested read the book, you read,

Dr. Brad Miller:

Kiyosaki his book, and you went to a seminar, and you started meeting and networking with people.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Is that some of the things that you did there? Yep. And then you applied what you learned, right?

Chris Odegard:

Yes, I did. I tried to, you know, I tried a whole, you know, I went down a whole bunch of different investing paths.

Chris Odegard:

And most of them were paths where I thought, I tried that, I never want to do that, again, that doesn't suit me.

Chris Odegard:

And, you know, today I'm at the place where, after going down all these dead ends,

Chris Odegard:

I finally found the kind of the, the, the alternative investments that I like

Chris Odegard:

and work best for me and my time and my skill set.

Chris Odegard:

So there might be another thing in there that people have said to me,

Chris Odegard:

Well, Chris, if you were still married, would you be where you are today?

Chris Odegard:

And I thought about that. And my ex-wife was one of the types of people if I said

Chris Odegard:

Hey, I just read this Robert Kiyosaki book, look at all this, this stuff that he talks about,

Chris Odegard:

she would have told me the 53 things that could possibly go wrong.

Chris Odegard:

So she kind of rained on the parade and not only did I have all these new people coming into my life,

Chris Odegard:

but I had kind of this in one-way, mental boat anchor removed from my life as well.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Yeah, it's interesting how we have this yin and yang in terms of relationships.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And, you know, there's, I think your seasons for certain relationships.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And there's, sometimes people just don't get it.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And sometimes we do need to listen to people come from a really pragmatic standpoint.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But there come times for a leap of faith.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And I'm going to go with you here, maybe a little different place here.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But it seems to me you had some fortuitous relationships happen.

Dr. Brad Miller:

You went with your gut your intuition; you did some things.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Do you think there is any aspect of this, Chris?

Dr. Brad Miller:

And if you don't have to answer if you're not comfortable about it,

Dr. Brad Miller:

that was kind of a bigger than yourself type of thing.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Whatever you want to say, I got a connection, bigger than yourself that was going on here.

Chris Odegard:

Yeah, I didn't think about that. You know, my friend, recommending this book, the ad coming on the radio,

Chris Odegard:

the car not starting. I do think about that.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Because I think there is something to be said here in terms of being a good listener in a discerner.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Of what higher power does say to us, and my particular case, I'm a Christian, and I believe in God.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And I believe that if we, I sometimes call those holy moments or God moments when you kind of listen.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And if you don't feel comfortable with it, if you do it any most time, many times it works out well.

Dr. Brad Miller:

We need to be a good listener there as well.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But I want to go with you just for a second about these relationships that you began to generate here, as well,

Dr. Brad Miller:

as it sounds like these relationships, regenerating both interpersonally

Dr. Brad Miller:

and people in the real estate world and other aspects and in kind of alternative financing.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And also, virtually or, or kind of mentorship stuff to talk about the books and tapes and events,

Dr. Brad Miller:

you're going to tell me about how that some momentum, or some energy was generated

Dr. Brad Miller:

by developing this kind of new set of relationships and how has that helped you in terms of succeeding yourself?

Dr. Brad Miller:

Maybe teaching others?

Chris Odegard:

Well, I'll give you I'll give you an example.

Chris Odegard:

So through some of this networking, I joined some investment kind of mastermind groups.

Chris Odegard:

And one of the guys said to me, and as a conventional investor,

Chris Odegard:

most people have a lot of their money wrapped up in their employer's 401k.

Chris Odegard:

So and that's stocks, bonds, mutual funds, so if you decide

Chris Odegard:

Hey, I want to go start acquiring rental real estate or, you know, precious metals, or shares of private businesses.

Chris Odegard:

You typically can't do that because your money is locked inside these plans, and you can't move it

Chris Odegard:

because there's all kinds of restrictions, and they only let you invest in a handful of things.

Chris Odegard:

And this, this guy who ran this group said to me,

Chris Odegard:

Hey, Chris, can you do an in-service transfer with your employer's 401k?

Chris Odegard:

And like the podcast, I said, What's it in service transfer?

Chris Odegard:

They said, well, that's where your employer will let you take money and

Chris Odegard:

move it out of their 401 K plan that administrator and move it to an outside administrator,

Chris Odegard:

and we can move it someplace where you can invest that 401 K money in real estate.

Chris Odegard:

And at this point, I had worked for my employer for probably 25 years,

Chris Odegard:

and I kind of went, if that was possible, certainly, I would have heard about that before.

Chris Odegard:

And so you know, I go up on my merry business and kind of push that off to the side.

Chris Odegard:

And then one day, I checked into it, and I'll be darn,

Chris Odegard:

my employer would let me transfer out all of their matching contributions over the years,

Chris Odegard:

which was in the six-figure number.

Chris Odegard:

And that gave me a jumpstart, on moving in the investing direction.

Chris Odegard:

And so, you know, I kind of say, you need to have a childlike curiosity.

Chris Odegard:

And when something sounds, Mike, it might be too good to be true.

Chris Odegard:

If I had walked away from all those, you know, those ideas that were brought to me,

Chris Odegard:

that sounded too good to be true, I would have left a ton of money on the table and

Chris Odegard:

I wouldn't be where I am today. So those type of things.

Dr. Brad Miller:

You wouldn't have known about that if you weren't in this network of people

Dr. Brad Miller:

and to kind of make you aware of it and you learning from different ways

Dr. Brad Miller:

rather than the kind of traditional way and it's awesome that you're able to do that.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Just curious, are you still an employed personnel? Are you on your own? Are you self-employed?

Chris Odegard:

No, I'm semi-retired, I write my blog and try to educate people about how to improve their financial situation.

Chris Odegard:

I don't work for anybody; my schedule is my own.

Dr. Brad Miller:

You made these changes here, you took some action, you made some changes,

Dr. Brad Miller:

and you were being in the net network and make some shifts over.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And I'm going to talk to you in a minute about some specifics about investments here

Dr. Brad Miller:

about how you when you shift some money over, but let's talk about disciplines now.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But I like to call this the cognitive part to help you apply things.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So what are some disciplines maybe that you do now that you didn't do before,

Dr. Brad Miller:

maybe you teach in your book, and so on.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So in different disciplines or habits, rituals, things like this people can do to be helpful in their life.

Chris Odegard:

So the one that's kind of a recent newcomer, and it doesn't apply, it applies to anything.

Chris Odegard:

There's a book called The One Thing, and it was written by CO written by Gary Keller,

Chris Odegard:

who started Keller Williams real estate.

Chris Odegard:

And I actually heard an interview with a co-author on the podcast.

Chris Odegard:

And before I even read the book, I was impacted and started doing

Chris Odegard:

and I have heard many people say that to do lists are just a waste of time, that you really need to schedule things.

Chris Odegard:

So he said, every day, you need to work on the one thing, and I have an action item list,

Chris Odegard:

that's probably 20 things long. And every day, five of them get knocked off.

Chris Odegard:

And some of them are important, some of them are art.

Chris Odegard:

But without even looking at that list. I already know what the one thing is.

Chris Odegard:

So and I know probably what the second one thing is after that.

Chris Odegard:

So that has really increased my productivity by not spending time on what I call the administrative BS,

Chris Odegard:

and really just going, the one thing is the thing that's going to make everything that you're trying to do easier,

Chris Odegard:

or even eliminate some things that you were going to do, or thought you needed to do.

Chris Odegard:

So that's one of the things and I guess another one is just continuous learning, you know,

Chris Odegard:

I think people are, are designed for, you know, productivity and improvement.

Chris Odegard:

And it's interesting that so many people leave formal education, whether that be high school,

Chris Odegard:

or some level of college, and then, you know, their learning is kind of over.

Chris Odegard:s of:Chris Odegard:

or even more than that, that I spent on seminars and training classes,

Chris Odegard:

they wouldn't consider that real education because it doesn't come with a diploma from some university,

Chris Odegard:

but I never would have learned the stuff that I learned. It's not taught in any university.

Dr. Brad Miller:

You learn certain things in school, you'll know how to apply them in seminars and other things like that.

Chris Odegard:

Now that's not true. I have to say, you know, that's not true with all you know, degrees.

Chris Odegard:

If you're going to be a medical doctor or a counselor or a lawyer.

Chris Odegard:

There are some places where that college education is very, very specific

Chris Odegard:

and you need that, but that's kind of not most of.

Dr. Brad Miller:

The things that you can certainly get your degrees medical degrees

Dr. Brad Miller:

and I got a doctoral degree on the well behind me here from the work I've done,

Dr. Brad Miller:

but you certainly don't have to stop learning and you can apply even if you have formal education,

Dr. Brad Miller:

you can apply non-formal education to your life to enhance everything I believe,

Dr. Brad Miller:

and you just don't stop learning, I believe that you learned and also you learned from

Dr. Brad Miller:

all kinds of folks and situations, you know, you can, you know,

Dr. Brad Miller:

I've learned from my I learned from the 16-year-old kid who's out shoveling my driveway right now,

Dr. Brad Miller:

it'd be in a little bit of an entrepreneur making some money because I'm in a head, right seven is snowfall.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Were here yesterday. And you know, learning from him with just a little bit about some financial being a go getter,

Dr. Brad Miller:

and that kind of thing. Let's talk about your book a little bit now and about what people can learn in your book.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And particularly, I'm interested here, Chris, and how what you teach can serve others,

Dr. Brad Miller:

particularly as someone who's kind of wanting to break the pattern in their life,

Dr. Brad Miller:

if somebody's kind of wanting to not invest conventionally,

Dr. Brad Miller:

or they want to have some creative way to do this.

Dr. Brad Miller:

They want to make a dent in their life.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Maybe there's somebody you know, you said, you're semi-retired,

Dr. Brad Miller:

I'm semi-retired as well, maybe someone who's approaching retirement,

Dr. Brad Miller:

it's thinking they're looking at that 401k or they're looking at that pension plan, they're gone.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Okay, that's okay. But man, I would like to do a lot better.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Or they're in a situation where they have medical expenses, or they have a kid in college, whatever it is, I'm okay.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But I could do a lot better. So what are folks going to learn in your book, how you serve others with your book here.

Chris Odegard:

So I mean, if you there, there are numerous statistics out there about the financial health of the country.

Chris Odegard:

And I'll just give you a couple, you know, 34% of Americans have zero savings 69% have less than 10,000.

Chris Odegard:

You know, 46% of Americans have zero retirement savings.

Chris Odegard:

So you don't have to go very far to see that.

Chris Odegard:

The average Americans finances is just not good at all.

Chris Odegard:

And everybody has subscribed to this, what I call the 401 K path to mediocrity

Chris Odegard:

to invest for your employer's 401 K.

Chris Odegard:

And then someday you're going to have this big, this big mountain of money.

Chris Odegard:

But it's with the average investor earning somewhere under 6%, before taxes and inflation,

Chris Odegard:

they're just never going to get there. And so in the alternative world,

Chris Odegard:

it's common to routinely to get annual returns above 20%,

Chris Odegard:

before you even consider the tax advantages that some of these investments come with.

Chris Odegard:

And so in the book, I tried to show people the difference between the conventional investments and the alternatives.

Chris Odegard:

And I've created, you mentioned Maslow's hierarchy of needs,

Chris Odegard:

I created something called the prolific investors hierarchy of investors,

Chris Odegard:

where I have the conventional investments down in the shadow of the pyramid.

Chris Odegard:

And then once you get on the pyramid, there are all these different types of alternative investments.

Chris Odegard:

And I compare the conventional investments against alternatives in 13 different categories.

Chris Odegard:

And the alternatives are better in 11 of the 13 categories.

Chris Odegard:

And so I go, why would anybody be on this 401 K Highway to mediocrity,

Chris Odegard:

because it's so inferior in 11 of these 13 different ways.

Chris Odegard:

And I give a real-life exam, I give real life examples of investments that I do and how they perform.

Chris Odegard:

So that I'm not just using some kind of, you know, kind of a book research kind of thing.

Chris Odegard:

Like, here's an example. And I use that example, across all these different categories

Chris Odegard:

and show how the alternatives are better.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And let's be specific about some of the alternatives.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Right now you're talking about real estate and some of the things as well,

Dr. Brad Miller:

what are some of the alternatives that are out there?

Chris Odegard:

So everything that's not publicly traded, so that's all that's every category of real estate.

Chris Odegard:

Single family, multifamily, you know, apartments, warehouse centers, precious metals,

Chris Odegard:

cryptocurrency, business equipment. One of my investments is ATM machines, I own ATM machines.

Chris Odegard:

And I make, you know, make money on every month on those, and you could be a private lender.

Chris Odegard:

And believe it or not a specifically type of cash value life insurance

Chris Odegard:

is what I believe should be the foundation of every serious investor’s portfolio in the air

Chris Odegard:

that you didn't hear any stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs,

Dr. Brad Miller:

All this stuff that would normally be in your 401 K or in your pension plan, that kind of thing.

Dr. Brad Miller:

I'm not hearing you go on there so much.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And yet, so it sounds like it's not just a theoretical or not just an academic exercise.

Dr. Brad Miller:

It's out of your life and the life of people you've encountered and that type of thing.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So it is a hot topic and lots of ways, but you mentioned crypto

Dr. Brad Miller:

and there I know there's NFT's out there that type of thing.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Just give us your take on, that seems like a very volatile thing to do.

Dr. Brad Miller:

I'm involved with a little bit and but what's your take on that to help people to understand that aspect,

Dr. Brad Miller:

some people have a basic handle of real estate and some other things like it? I'd like your take on those,

Chris Odegard:

I like to invest in things that are mostly relatively stable.

Chris Odegard:

So just yesterday, you know, the down was down 400 points,

Chris Odegard:

and there's 24/7 talking heads about what's happening with the stock market,

Chris Odegard:

how much it went down what the earnings per share was, and you know, what?

Chris Odegard:

The ATM machines that I own, and the apartment buildings that I own?

Chris Odegard:

They just keep putting money in my bank account every month.

Chris Odegard:

And does the value of them go up or down?

Chris Odegard:

I don't know, maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.

Chris Odegard:

But it doesn't make any difference to me that the only time the price of the asset matters is

Chris Odegard:

when you buy it or when you sell it.

Chris Odegard:

And because my investments produce cash flow.

Chris Odegard:

I don't like stocks, bonds and mutual funds,

Chris Odegard:

I don't have to sell a piece of my portfolio to generate cash,

Chris Odegard:

I have an asset that's growing in value and generating cash.

Dr. Brad Miller:

In a pretty steady and reliable, I assume from your apartments and from your ATM machines and so on.

Chris Odegard:

Yes, exactly. And so I look at that, and I go

Chris Odegard:

God, these poor people that are you know, they're watching this stuff and wondering about their return.

Chris Odegard:

It's an anxiety producing way to invest.

Chris Odegard:

But sorry, you mentioned crypto, so I like to invest in things are relatively stable for the most part.

Chris Odegard:

And day trading and buying and selling all kinds of these different alt coins is not investing, it's speculating.

Chris Odegard:

And it's a job. And as soon as you stop trading, you stop making money.

Chris Odegard:

So that's not investing. And there's nothing wrong with that people can do that.

Chris Odegard:

And I piddled, around with some of the altcoins for a while,

Chris Odegard:

and then I kind of stopped and I'm very bullish on Bitcoin.

Chris Odegard:

That it's here. And it's going to be kind of changed the world in a lot of different ways.

Chris Odegard:

And so every Monday, I buy a set dollar amount of bitcoin, regardless of the price.

Chris Odegard:

And so I just think it's, you know, it's kind of like the advent of the Internet.

Chris Odegard:

It's something it's a life changing kind of thing, I believe. So we'll see

Dr. Brad Miller:

I do as well have some experience with it.

Dr. Brad Miller:

But I'm hearing you say stuff that I find very interesting.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And I think it can be applicable to our audience, we're looking to break out of adverse life conditions,

Dr. Brad Miller:

you have a system, and then you're trying to avoid speculation and you more about investing.

Dr. Brad Miller:

And that kind of put the nuances of those terminologies out there,

Dr. Brad Miller:

you're investing with kind of a thinking process here, and with a plan a strategy,

Dr. Brad Miller:

in terms of just speculation, and I love that.

Chris Odegard:

You know, everybody should have an investment crisis,

Chris Odegard:

because there are so many things to invest in, right?

Chris Odegard:

So here's mine is something like this,

Chris Odegard:

I mean, you could drive yourself. It's the shiny object syndrome, so everybody should have an investment criterion.

Chris Odegard:

I like appreciating assets that have a built-in tax advantage in case of real estate, that's depreciation.

Chris Odegard:

And that I can use leverage on are the words I can borrow money against

Chris Odegard:

and provide a decent ROI somewhere north of 15%.

Chris Odegard:

So, but I do also, but there's a couple of exceptions.

Chris Odegard:

Well, sometimes you got to take a small amount of your money and swing for the fences, the home run.

Chris Odegard:

And that would be, you know, the Bitcoin, or maybe I do some small, publicly traded stocks,

Chris Odegard:

or some pre-IPO type stocks with small amounts of money, because one of those that hits,

Chris Odegard:

it's not going to take a lot of money to make a big difference in your life.

Chris Odegard:

But it could also go to zero. So you have to do that in a measured fashion.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Let me ask you this Chris, risk tolerance and that type of thing.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Let's just say that there's a person or situation who comes to you with basically this kind of deal, Chris,

Dr. Brad Miller:

I love what you're saying. Makes a lot of sense to me, but I don't have any money.

Dr. Brad Miller:

All my money is wrapped up in my 401 K are my pension plan, or there's too much month at the end of my money.

Dr. Brad Miller:

How am I going to save us money? What did realistically, Chris, what does somebody need to find?

Dr. Brad Miller:

What does somebody could somebody get started in the things you're talking about?

Dr. Brad Miller:, a couple:Dr. Brad Miller:

can you really legitimately do that? Or what?

Dr. Brad Miller:

Just give me your kind of your scenario on this. So that person who says I can't do this.

Chris Odegard:

You can, and we all have to start where we are, right?

Chris Odegard:

So if I was going back to my 20s when I first came across the 401 K,

Chris Odegard:

and if I had known back then what I know now I wouldn't have put a dime in the traditional pretax IRA.

Chris Odegard:

Well, real estate seems like it's a really high barrier to entry.

Chris Odegard:

And when you own rental real estate, you've pretty much, especially if you're managing yourself,

Chris Odegard:

you've pretty much taken on another job.

Chris Odegard:

So there are what are called turnkey housing providers across the country.

Chris Odegard:

This is a company that works in specializes in a single-family rental in a particular market.

Chris Odegard:

And they buy or build houses where the end uses are to go to a landlord.

Chris Odegard:

And they also have a property management company and a construction company.

Chris Odegard:

So they go find a house, they buy it, they fix it up, make it durable for renters, they screen the tenants,

Chris Odegard:

they put some good quality paying tenants in there, and then they turn around and sell it to you.

Chris Odegard:

And all you have to do is show up with your down payment in your bank loan.

Chris Odegard:

And now you've got what's called a loaded rental.

Chris Odegard:

And, you know, for, you know, in some places that country, you can buy houses for under $100,000.

Chris Odegard:

So a down payment, you could get into some of these houses for, you know, maybe $20,000, or something like that.

Chris Odegard:

And, you know, if you didn't have $20,000, you could do it with a friend or a relative, so but it you know,

Chris Odegard:

I mean, people start, you know, making these contributions to their 401k, I would say,

Chris Odegard:

don't even do those, right, until you can, you know, get to this, this hurdle.

Chris Odegard:

So it's possible to do and the other thing is that we all only,

Chris Odegard:

the only money each of us has to invest is the money that exceeds our living expenses.

Chris Odegard:

So if you make $70,000 a year, and your living expenses are $70,000 a year, you've got no money to invest.

Chris Odegard:

So everybody needs to be the best at whatever they do.

Chris Odegard:

So they're the person that gets the raises, just promote promotion,

Chris Odegard:

and the more money that they have above their living expenses, the more the better their off going to be.

Chris Odegard:

So you got to focus on what you're currently doing, maximize that.

Chris Odegard:

So you've got more money to invest and maximize the investing.

Chris Odegard:

And sometimes somebody can leave that job behind and do whatever you want

Dr. Brad Miller:

Excellent advice. Now let's apply it more directly to somebody else.

Dr. Brad Miller:

One of the things I love to do is, you know, what you teach can be applied to someone's life and change their life,

Dr. Brad Miller:

sort of in people who have been impacted by your book,

Dr. Brad Miller:

or by your teaching or by something, you know, the network that you're in,

Dr. Brad Miller:

that you've seen some change happen. Tell us about that.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Give us kind of a testimonial, as someone who's been influenced by your teaching,

Chris Odegard:

I guess most recently, I first of all, the reviews of the book are just very flattering, I'm humbled.

Chris Odegard:

They're just over the top positive except for one scathing review. So I'm not sure what I did to that guy.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Always one in there. There's always one.

Chris Odegard:

It's almost like I don't know. Well, I had a guy who worked for the same company that I did,

Chris Odegard:

and retired and he had a pension. And he took the lump sum instead of the pension.

Chris Odegard:

And he found himself with a whole bunch of money, and no cash flow.

Chris Odegard:

And so I've been working with him on a regular basis to try and help him figure this out.

Chris Odegard:

And we're working through a process to take all this cash and some home equity,

Chris Odegard:

and move it into these cash flowing investments.

Chris Odegard:

In this case, it's apartments syndications, which is my main thing, so we're just working through that.

Dr. Brad Miller:

So yeah, he's seen some progress and sounds like that's good.

Chris Odegard:

He's just at the very beginning, but he sees what I'm doing.

Chris Odegard:

And it's not just me, it's other investors in some of these mastermind groups,

Chris Odegard:

and we're all kind of doing the same thing.

Chris Odegard:

And we're learning from each other.

Chris Odegard:

I can give you an example, one of the one of the apartment buildings that I'm a part owner in Atlanta, Georgia

Chris Odegard:

is going to sell this year. And I think we've owned it for maybe about three years.

Chris Odegard:

And the average annual return on that apartment building is 24%.

Chris Odegard:

And then there'll be no taxes on those earnings

Chris Odegard:

because of the depreciation that came with that apartment building and others.

Chris Odegard:

So you look at 24% annual return that's tax free compared to the stock market investor

Chris Odegard:

who's getting somewhere in the 6% range. I mean, it's life changing stuff, not comparison.

Chris Odegard:

And it's not in, you know, I was going to say, I happen to have seen this apartment building

Chris Odegard:

because I was in Atlanta, and I went and checked it out.

Chris Odegard:

But most of these places I've never seen, you know, I've never seen him, I'll never see him.

Chris Odegard:

They're all managed by other people.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Well, Chris, some fascinating things here that we've learned a lot here today on our podcast episode.

Dr. Brad Miller:

If folks want to get a hold of you, or more about your website or about your book,

Dr. Brad Miller:

or about your conventional wisdom quiz,

Dr. Brad Miller:

how can people get connected with you and learn more about your get your book?

Chris Odegard:

The website is theprolificinvestor.net and there's a number of ways you can interact with me there.

Chris Odegard:

All the social media links are there.

Chris Odegard:

There are some YouTube videos that go along with some of my articles.

Chris Odegard:

There's a 10-question conventional wisdom quiz that people can take,

Chris Odegard:

and it'll give you my answers versus what your answers were.

Chris Odegard:

There's a coffee cup right there on the homepage.

Chris Odegard:

And for anybody who wants to have a conversation with me about personal financing or investing,

Chris Odegard:

they can schedule a free 30-minute virtual coffee with me. I do those on Thursdays.

Chris Odegard:

So, there's a link there, and you can pick up a place on my calendar that works with you.

Chris Odegard:

And of course, there's a big flashing star right there.

Chris Odegard:

That'll link you to an Amazon place where you can get the book.

Chris Odegard:

You could go directly to Amazon as well and you'll get to the book faster

Chris Odegard:

if you just type in my name Chris Odegard, rather than the title.

Chris Odegard:

If you type in the title, you it'll be down there but if you type Chris Odegard in, you can find it.

Chris Odegard:

Yeah, so the website, theprolificinvestor.net is the place

Dr. Brad Miller:

We'll put connections to all of that on our website, drbradmiller.com.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Thank you for being with us today. Some good stuff here from Chris Odegard, theprolificinvestor.net.

Dr. Brad Miller:

Thank you for being our guest today on the Beyond Adversity Podcast