How Do You Build Your Confidence to Invest with Our Client, Christopher Stevens

Not every client that comes to us is new to the alternative investing world. In fact, quite a few have rentals before they join and are looking for guidance on how to do alternative investing better and be confident with their investments.

Chris is one of those clients. Listen as he talks about his experience investing before and after he started working with us, and hear why having a community and coach behind his decisions was the key to true financial success.

Make your money work better for you, just like Chris did!

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

What kind of advice would you give them?

Speaker 2 (00:02):

Take action. I mean, research is great, research is fine, but at some point you need to take action. That’s where you really learn.

Speaker 1 (00:09):

Why is passive income so important to you?

Speaker 2 (00:12):

I was really scared and I was really completely uncertain about doing that as an option, but I’m really happy that I made that choice. And then going forward, it’s just going to kind of compound even more.

Speaker 1 (00:23):

Action is what really breeds confidence and wisdom.

Speaker 3 (00:28):

Chris Miles was able to retire twice by the time he was 39 years old, but he’s not content to just enjoy his own financial freedom and peace of mind. Chris wants you to have your own ripple effect so you can live free today. He’s not the financial advisor you expected. He’s the non-financial advisor you deserve. He’s jumping behind the mic right now, ready to make waves. Here’s Chris Miles.

Speaker 1 (00:59):

Hello my fellow Ripples. This is Chris Miles, your cashflow expert and anti financianal advisor. Well, Schultz for you, those you that work so hard for your money. In fact, you’re sick and tired of working so hard for your money that you now want your money to start working harder for you today. You want that freedom and cashflow right now, not 30 or 40 years, but you want it today so you can live that life that you love with those that you love. But I know it’s not just about getting rich because although that’s awesome, it’s about creating a rich life because the more blessed you are financially, the greater you have the capacity to bless the lives of those around you and create that ripple effect. That’s exactly what we’re here to talk about today, guys. Thank if tuning in, allowing me to create that ripple effect through you.

Hey, as a reminder, if you haven’t done so already, go ahead and check out our two YouTube channels, right? You’ve got our Money Ripples channel, but there’s also the Money Ripples podcast channel that has a lot of our shorts, if you like, short videos. It’s perfect for consuming a lot of content really fast, so check that out now. Alright guys, so I’m actually bringing on a cool guest here today that not just because he has the same name as me, we’re both Christopher’s, but Christopher Stevens here is a guy that one, he’s been a digital marketing professional. He’s got a great profession there. He has been very successful as well, but he’s also gone into real estate investing and done a lot of stuff there that I want to talk about today. I know many of you will ask say, well, okay, Chris, we’ve heard from you, but what about somebody who’s actually in the process of doing this and starting to build up that cashflow? How does that look? Because that’s my next step, and so that’s why I invited Christopher to be with us today. So Christopher, welcome to our show.

Speaker 2 (02:28):

Thanks, Chris. Happy to be here.

Speaker 1 (02:30):

Yeah, I’m glad, at least right now, the jackhammers have stopped with the water pipe busting outside, so it’s nice to know we got a quiet moment together.

Speaker 2 (02:38):

Yes, yes. Lunchtime is here.

Speaker 1 (02:42):

Well give us more of your background. Tell us where you’re from and also just kind of led you to where you are today.

Speaker 2 (02:48):

Well, I’m from California, California, native, fourth generation through my family. So growing up didn’t have a whole heck of a lot, and just as I’ve got older, I’ve saved and done a lot of the things that, like the Ramsey rules where it’s like don’t spend too much but put it into mutual funds and things like that. I’d buy some stocks and things like that. We’ve had conversations about some of the investments that I’ve done throughout the years, but I’ve always loved the investing world in real estate too. And then I got to a point to where I started buying some real estate. I bought some condos and bought and sold and stuff like that. That wasn’t the plan. It wasn’t like a quick flip or anything like that. It’s just kind of what happened. And then I’ve gone through some bumpy times too, but recently I came across your channel and a lot of the things resonated with me.

I asked some funds from just constantly saving and when the times weren’t going so well with the stock market, I’d lean into it and buy more. And so fortunately, if you stay into it long enough, sometimes it can pan out for you. But now I’m at a point to where I need to work on capital preservation, cash flow options, and the stock market just doesn’t going to work for me anymore at this point. So I started researching a lot of the options and working with Craig and you and thought it made sense to go into getting more real estate. And so I started researching areas and finding my sort of own way of finding properties. So I opted to go turnkey. I did do have some assets to apply money towards as opposed to a burn method or something like that, which obviously creates much, much bigger margins, but has tons more work and I don’t have the time for the tons of work.

So I went with turnkey properties and I’m early in the stages of the turnkey, but I have another property that I’ve purchased and that I’ve held for a while, and I’ve bought another property that I just recently sold. I was working the numbers. I had one in Vegas and I sold it and I bought two other properties in Arkansas because the cashflow almost tripled, and I actually had some money leftover from that deal anyway, so I was kind of already sort of doing a lot of this stuff, but I didn’t know what I was doing. I was just like, you know what? I think now might be a good time to buy some properties. Rates are low. Properties in Vegas weren’t that expensive. So I bought that and it worked out really well for me to where I could turn that into something bigger through a lot of the just, sometimes you just need someone like you and the group, the VIP group, to spark some ideas that really get your mind working and thinking differently.

And that’s sort of what I did, and I got very lucky that I had things kind of already established. So yeah, my goal is to have about 10. I’ll probably be at 10. Within about two to three years I gave myself a five year plan, but I want to be a little more aggressive because I do need the cash flow more than I need anything else. So that’s kind of my focus right now is just building that portfolio, building my business and trying to help people. Also, I kind of want to take the experiences that I’ve had with looking for properties. You really don’t, I mean, it’s going to work over time, just so many different levels to real estate investing and so many benefits to it that kind of just made sense after hearing it so much from you guys. And it’s like there’s all these things and I’m like, yeah, I know all that stuff.

But it really resonated more when I was working, speaking with people that were like-minded and that were already doing these things and seeing that five years prior when you were doing things, it’s like even your worst real estate and investing option was still better than anything that we could typically experience. So many levels to it and so many layers. The depreciation, the cashflow, everything. All of the ones that I have right now are cash flowing with not a lot, but a little bit of cashflow. And then the plan is possibly refinance because rates are high right now and they’re projected to go down, but you don’t ever want to assume that there’s going to be appreciation necessarily or assume that there’s going to be a rate drop. Those things you can’t control either. But if you’re at least getting some cashflow, you have a little bit of money coming in over time.

The longer, I mean the industry has showed that over time there will be appreciation and the rates probably will drop or level off, and so just by doing a refinance and a one or two point drop on one of my deals, I’ll be able to cashflow almost double that. So looking at things like that and just looking at over time, I think five years from now I’m going to look back and I’m really happy that I made that choice. And then going forward, it’s just going to compound even more significantly over time, which will then create enough cashflow for maybe convince my wife to retire a little bit earlier than what she wants to. So that’s the hard part right there. But yeah, I’m excited to be working with individuals like you and everybody else that’s in the VIP group to help spark ideas. That’s really what it’s all about.

Speaker 1 (07:23):

Yeah, that’s one of the reasons I like having you on because I know you have that servant heart. You really do want to give back and yeah, I definitely appreciate you being here. A quick question for you. I mean, I’m wearing my special little, I love passive income today, right? Why is passive income so important to you?

Speaker 2 (07:43):

Passive income to me just means that kind of what I alluded to, it’s it shows, it can help to show my wife. It’s like, Hey, I’m working through that. We’ve had conversations about having an abundant mindset as opposed to a, what’s the other word that you say that what’s the opposite?

Speaker 1 (08:00):

Like a creator mindset, you mean? Or

Speaker 2 (08:01):

No, no, no, not the abundance, but not having

Speaker 1 (08:04):

Enough. Oh, scarcity.

Speaker 2 (08:05):

Scarcity. Thank you. Scarcity mindset. And so we both have kind of lived that way. All our lives we just saved, saved and stuff like that. And so she’s got a really great job and she’s going to have a really good pension. So trying to, I’m show that we can create all these different forms of cash flow that will make it so that she’s not so nervous about retiring essentially. That’s sort of what it’s about for me is all of us having time. I have more time right now, but I’m taking that time and I’m putting into building the business and finding ways to create more different levels of cashflow too. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket too. You don’t want to just have, I mean, I should say I don’t, I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there that do just have real estate, which is a really great option.

So I still really love the stock market because it’s exciting for me. But I’m scaling back from that because of, I’ve gone through lots of waves, as you know, have too of, there’s in bus, there was the 2007, eight, the housing, all those cycles. And you look at Japan, they just went through 34 years before they finally got back to square one, the econ market, and I don’t want to get stuck where we’re in a 34 year cycle, even a 10 or 20 year cycle. It’s like I’m 54. It’s like I don’t have that much more time in my life to make up for things. So I got to find ways for capital preservation, but I’ll always probably have a little bit in the stock market because that’s kind of my first love, but it’s more, I just got to find ways to create more cashflow so that we can not have to worry about things so much.

It just creates a lot of pressure off. It takes a lot of pressure out when you know that you have all these different levels and layers of cashflow coming in from all the different options that are out there. I’m just learning about, I think they’re called not syndications. I think there are syndications through, there are all these different companies that, and Craig and all the other VIP individuals that I’ve worked with. And it’s really cool to, I feel like we’re kind of all a team and people will ask, have you had an experience with this company? And there’d be a lot of people that’ll chime in. It’s like, yeah, they’ve been great. Well, this has happened. And then the majority of times we probably can’t work with those individuals where there’s an instance where they don’t make their payments and things like that. So it’s really great to have a group that has kind of been tried and tested and true and just sort of figured some things out.

Like you say, there’s never any guarantees. Things can go south, but the more that somebody has a long track record and that has a history of things and that has real estate backing whatever asset is that they’re providing to a promissory note or whatever, then there’s a lot more security with that asset and that cashflow that’s coming in. But to answer your question, just cash cashflow equals just time. And that pressure off your back of, oh man, I got to get a job. It’s like I got to start bringing in some income. The cashflow is the income. So at some point, but that’s sort of where I’m striving towards right now is just trying to find the multilayers and levels of that cash flow through real estate, first of all. Secondly, I’m looking at promissory notes. I invested with Ecker to my self-directed ira, which I got some great guidance from you guys on helping build.

I was really terrified about doing it. Self-directed ira. And also I do have a small whole life policy through Parker, and I’m working on probably going to open up one for my kids for college. They still got a little ways to go five to eight years. So figure if we start now, even if get maybe, I know student loans are usually bad, but I thought if we’ve got student loans, we can maybe push it back and you don’t have to pay anything, any interest at all. And then when they finish school, just path to student loans, I don’t know, I’m just kind of trying to come up with ideas. I know you have all these really cool ideas about auto loans, but then you know can make more than 3.9% on your auto loan. And I love doing videos on the simple interest and really explaining things really clearly on how simple interest works and ideas and thoughts and ways to find to where you can make more money on your money.

Instead of paying $20,000 for a vehicle 3.9, taking that $20,000 and putting into something that’s going to generate maybe 10 or 12%. So it’s kind of a no brainer. Why wouldn’t you take that gap? That’s kind of how banks work. They have, I come from a credit union bank background, and they work on the weighted average rates and essentially they know how it works. They lend the money out, but then they also take in the money from their customers and pay ’em 0.05% some ridiculous number. And it’s, I’ve been in the game before and being in Credit Union world, we pay a little bit more, 1% maybe. It’s like, come on. Obviously rates are higher now, but just two years ago if you could find a 1% rate, it was like, that was a good deal. Yeah, 1%. That’s insane. It’s true. Not even inflation. Not even inflation. So yeah, so cashflow is big. I’m excited

Speaker 1 (13:21):

For sure. What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned maybe just the last several months that maybe it was a surprise to you? Maybe you weren’t expecting it or maybe you thought you believed it to be a certain way when it came to investing or passive income, but then as you started to act upon it and start to see the reality of it, what surprised you the most?

Speaker 2 (13:40):

I guess just seeing those first dollars coming in. I mean, they’re going to come, but still it’s scary to do things differently and I never did a self-directed either I or anything like that. And so a lot of the things, anything that you do is new people buying into mutual funds can be scary when all they’ve ever had as a certificate or savings account. So probably the most, it wasn’t surprising, it was just educational, informative and just kind of learning about all this stuff and seeing how it fits with what my goals are. I think you talk about that a lot too. It’s really important to have a plan and have goals and everybody’s goals are different, timelines are different. Where’s age is different, different. If you still have a W2 job, start starting to plan for cashflow now means five, 10 years down the road, it’s like, oh shoot, I’m making enough money, making more money than my regular day job.

Do I like my job enough? And if you do, yeah, it’s even better because then you have a double cashflow can grow faster. But those are all the things that I already knew about because I’ve experienced it and I’ve been doing it for a really long time, opening my eyes to different options and opportunities. It was really sort of probably been the most eyeopening thing to me. I didn’t really, like I said, know anything or much about how all that sort of worked. And so it’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of learning and it’s a lot of trust and faith, but that’s the growth process of trying to figure things out through the financial world and finding ways to create those cash flowing opportunities.

Speaker 1 (15:30):

I just spoke with someone just the other day really recently, and they of course found our podcast just like you did, and they’ve been listening this guy, and it’s not just our podcast, he’s been listening to other podcasts too and very excited about the whole world out there. And he just told me, he said, it’s scary for me. He’s like, I just started learning about this world six months ago. He’s like, I knew it existed, but now I’m starting to get in. He’s like, all the things I’m talking to you about. And even he went and did some of his own investments just kind of haphazardly. And he’s like, I’ve just did that. I never thought I would do it. And he’s kind of scared because he’s like, I don’t know. I dunno, maybe I need more time. My wife doesn’t know anything about this. I’ve been going down this rabbit hole. And he’s like, I don’t know. I’ll probably be somebody that will drag you down. I’ll probably won’t take action quickly. I’ll probably research a lot. So to that point, can you relate to that at all? What kind of advice would you give him?

Speaker 2 (16:29):

Definitely, probably. That just reminded me of the investing into the whole life policy. So it wasn’t even a lot of money, but in comparison to my overall portfolio, but you still don’t want to find ways that that’s going to help lift you up and not get knocked backwards. And so I was a licensed life agent. I never sold it, but I given the opportunity when I was doing marketing for a bank that they wanted me to know that information. So I got my license. I understand it probably a little bit better than most people and all the things that I’ve ever heard from most people are not to get those and that they’re not good options. But yours is very different in the sense that I’m getting off topic here. But the point is is that I was really scared and I was really completely uncertain about doing that as an option.

But after a little bit more time, I started thinking about it and I’ve talked to you and Craig about it a little bit through emails and things like that. I decided it was worth with giving you a shot and trying, it feels like it’s going to be one of those things where you don’t really see much until year two or three where you can then take that money and then get that double, not double compounding, I guess the double earnings you’re talking about from it. But to answer your question regarding not to tell him, it’s like I think it’s important that people do their due diligence and research, but at some point you do have to pull the trigger. You have to make some decisions and they’re not going to always necessarily be the right decisions. But you can always, if you end up buying properties two or three, four or five properties and you’re like, I hate this.

This is horrible. This is not what I wanted or signed up for, you can always sell the properties. There’s still an asset. You have money that you put into it, it might’ve had some appreciation and definitely going to be some capital pay down. So you can take all that money that you put into it, sell the properties and put it into something else, put it into a promissory note instead. But you don’t get all the tax benefits and all the appreciation, all the other great things that come with real estate. But real estate, it scares my wife. It’s like we signed for all these properties and she’s like, I think we might be going too fast. And it’s like, I’m telling her we’re going to be all right. So it’s scary for a lot of people. Scary for me, it’s scary for somebody myself. I’ve bought and sold many, many properties throughout my life. And so even for somebody with a lot of experience, it can be a little scary and daunting. So I think the main thing for that person to do is just to continue to do the research and when they see opportunities that make sense to them, go for it. And you can always get out of it. It’s like even a promising note. It only lasts what, two years, two, three years. So yeah, it’s not like it’s a forever thing. You can always get out of things if you don’t like it.

Speaker 1 (19:19):

Do you feel like the guidance you receive from Craig, did they help you hash things out and speed up your process a little bit too?

Speaker 2 (19:25):

I think a little bit, yeah. Just the conversations that we had I think helped me out a little bit. Like I said, there was a lot of things that I was already sort of doing. Having a professional like him and other people once again in the VIP group, I think really helped me to build a little bit more confidence and having

Speaker 1 (19:45):

That peer support,

Speaker 2 (19:47):

Just the support, yeah, I’m sure I’m going to probably do some things wrong. I think it really goes perfectly. There’s going to be tough times, but you work through it and you figure it out and you keep pushing forward and excuse me, our other property in perfect that we have, my wife wanted to keep it, and it was really difficult. The kitchen made to redo the kitchen and there was weekends where me, the kids, my wife were sleeping in there cleaning, we’re fixing things up and just trying to get it ready for the tenants that are supposed to be living in. And it was horrible. It was really, really tough. But I look back and I’m like, oh, I’m so glad we did that. I’m so glad we did that because now we’re looking at almost half a million and total this total asset. If we wouldn’t have kept it, we would’ve lost out on hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And for the amount of lack of a better word, pain or the challenges that we faced at the time. And when you face challenges always, it’s painful at the time, but when you get through it, it’s like in the movie, the Shaw Shank redemption, he climbed through one a mile of sewage, but he came out at the other end and was on a beach. But it’s like, yeah, those were hard times. But I look back and I am really happy and proud that we sort of worked through it and that we made it work. And so I think I’m going to feel the same way with all these actions and steps that I’m taking right now through the help and guidance of Craig and other VIP members and yourself and Money Ripples, just being good support and seeing that other people have had success with that really makes a big difference.

Speaker 1 (21:40):

Absolutely. Well, I mean, time’s flying by. I can’t even believe how fast it’s been. But really just last question is, what would be your final parting thoughts or advice that you’d give anybody who’s on this path that’s looking for that freedom, that’s essentially looking for what you’ve already started to create? What kind of advice would you give them?

Speaker 2 (21:57):

Take action. I think that’s one of the hardest things for a lot of people. I like to read and do due diligence and research, and I’m researching properties and I’m doing this and I’m doing that. I’m spending hours and hours a day, months and months sometimes. And it’s like people can do that for decades and they won’t ever purchase a property or they won’t ever make the move. And if they would’ve done something, even if it wasn’t the perfect thing, and even if it didn’t go perfectly, like your property, that was still one of your greater investments, that wasn’t your best investment, it still was a great investment. So it’s like the point is pull the trigger, do something, move in that direction. Don’t stop. I mean, research is great, research is fine, but at some point you need to take action. That’s where you really learn.

It’s the difference between going to school and learning something and actually doing the job. It’s like you can read about the job all your life, but then when you actually go do the job, that’s when you really get the experience and you understand and learn and know. It’s like, oh, okay, well that was school, but this is really what it’s about. And you need to get into that point of being about what it’s really all about, and that’s actually taking action. And I think sometimes that’s really, really difficult for people. And so that would be my advice to anybody that’s going to be part of this book that I’m writing about is just take action. The turnkey properties I feel like are good opportunities for people that are in a situation where they have some assets take action and move forward. And once again, like I said, if it doesn’t work out and you don’t like it in a couple of years, you could always sell the property. You can get out of things. It’s not up for everything where you have to keep it forever. But I think that’s how people feel. It’s like, oh, if I buy this, I can never get rid of it. And that’s not what it’s about. That would be my advice is to take action.

Speaker 1 (23:40):

Yeah, wise is advice. In fact, that’s where wisdom comes from. It’s that real gain of wisdom from that instead of moving beyond knowledge. Well, I know we can go. I mean, there’s a lot of things that we say about you. I mean, I know you’re definitely a guy that has faith. You are willing to take action. I know you persevere too. I know that’s something that we even have time to get into. You have lots of experience there, but I know that you live and breathe it. That’s who you are, and that’s why we really respect about you, Christopher. So really appreciate you being on today.

Speaker 2 (24:10):

I appreciate being on Chris. It’s really nice talking to you. Thank you so much for your time.

Speaker 1 (24:14):

Yeah, same here. Everybody else there it is. You can learn all day. But as you hear Christopher say, and you’ve heard me say on other weeks too, is that action is what really breeds confidence and wisdom. So if you want to gain confidence in something and gain wisdom, if it’s just a small little action, starting small, that small step can lead you to the next step, to the next step. And that is when your life begins to change. So guys, that’s my challenge to you, is to take those small little bits of action, small steps so that you can make a big difference in your life to make it a wonderful and prosperous week as well as a life ahead. We’ll see you later. What kind of advice would you give them?

Speaker 2 (24:52):

Take action. Pull the trigger, do something, move in that direction. I mean, research is great. Research is fine, but It’s like you can read about the job all your life, but then when you actually go do the job, that’s when you really get the experience and you understand and learn and know. It’s like, oh, okay, well that was school, but this is really what it’s about.