What Results Are Our Clients Getting With Guest Craig Feldmeier | 744

MORI 744 | Current Economic Climate


What are our clients experiencing right now with the current economic climate? How are they investing differently? And what is REALLY driving them to create freedom right now?

Tune into this episode. Chris Miles invites Money Ripples coach, Craig Feldmeier, to share personal and client stories, and what they seem to have in common.

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What Results Are Our Clients Getting With Guest Craig Feldmeier

Welcome to the show that’s for you, those of you who work so hard for your money and you’re ready for your money to start working harder for you right now. You’re sick and tired of waiting for someday. You want someday to be today because you want to do what you love with those you love. Most importantly, it’s not just getting rich but because of that ripple effect, you know you can create a rich life. As you are blessed financially, you have a greater capacity to bless the lives of those around you. That is the community we’re here to create at the show.

Thank you so much for reading and binging on our episodes. I know some of you guys have been reaching out. Shout out to my buddy here in Mapleton. You know who you are. I know you’ve been starting to binge on this so shout out to you especially. Your questions have been great and have inspired our conversations for shows like this. If you guys want to have more shows or read other topics, feel free to shoot us an email at Info@MoneyRipples.com. Let us know some of those.

As a reminder, if you’re now ready and you are sick and tired of sitting around waiting for your life to change, you want that passive income coming in now, and you don’t want to wait for someday retirement that may never come but want something to happen now because you have money and want to know what to do with it, go to MoneyRipples.com. Try the Passive Income Calculator. If that number’s greater than $15,000, you’ll have an opportunity to book a call right there. Do that today.

I’ve got here as a special guest, Craig Feldmeier. If you haven’t been binging on these episodes, you should know who Craig is because Craig is the one who coaches all of our clients. I know some of you guys might say, “It was Chris doing this all.” That was several years ago. Craig has come into our fold here within the last 2 to 3 years. He has been coaching our clients. He has been helping and guiding them and getting them the results that you’re reading when you read their stories.

I want to invite Craig on because although it’s great to hear our clients, it’s also good to hear the coach’s perspective and hear it from the horse’s mouth first of who’s talking to these people. I want to talk about the current marketplace and what’s going on right now. What are those fears that might be not just holding you back but might even be holding our clients back? What are they doing to overcome those fears? What are they doing now that maybe is something that you haven’t considered doing yourself? That’s what I want to talk about with Craig today. Craig, welcome back.

Thanks, Chris. It’s been a while since I’ve been on the show. I’ve been busy coaching our clients. We’re developing a nice community at Money Ripples. For people who haven’t met me before, I am classically trained in traditional finance. I worked on Wall Street for a number of years, helping ultra-wealthy people invest and build portfolios through the stock market and fixed-income products.

I was working on my mindset. I hired you 5 or 6 years ago. I was trained by you in more of the Money Ripples alternative asset way of thinking. What happens to many of our clients happened to me. You have those light bulb moments that click off. I was ready to jump into the deep end myself, which I did. I’m blessed and fortunate enough to coach our clients and continue to spread the message.

You’re creating a massive ripple effect for us, for sure. We appreciate that. Tell us about your experience with your investing. First off, what were some of the things that helped transition your mindset from Wall Street to this Main Street real estate investing? What happened there?

A lot of it is thinking of your portfolio. When you look at your balance sheet or investments, you want to map those to what are your specific goals. You want to get detailed on what those goals are. That’s where a lot of people go wrong. They have that set-it-and-forget-it 401(k) mentality. They’ve got this “goal of retirement” 34 years down the road. They have the company match, which everyone on paper loves but they don’t have a plan as to how much money are they going to have in retirement.

One of the big drawbacks of the stock market is we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s tough. We can say we’ve got average returns of the S&P 500 over the last 30 years but if you’re going to retire and it’s 2007, and then the market drops 40% overnight, as I’m sure many of our audience experienced, what do you do in that situation?

When you’re looking at your investments, you want to have a very specific plan in terms of, “What do I do with the money that I have?” This is a pretty common theme throughout the Money Ripples community. I didn’t feel like I had a lot of control over the assets that I was building. I was doing everything “the right way” but was nervous that there were too many variables out of my control in regard to “retirement.”

That’s what a lot of people feel and probably a lot of our clients too. They come in and say, “Things are great in the market now or have been but what if it isn’t? What happens then? What if I get to the end of this and then all of a sudden, the market tanks 50% right when I was about to quit my job? I may have to keep working for another 5 or 10 years. What happens?” I know that’s a common theme.

We work with a lot of clients that have current 401(k)s and old 401(k)s that they can roll over to what’s called self-directed accounts. They open up a whole new world of investing they never knew existed. Even talking to people about the types of funds they’re invested in, most people have no idea. The target date fund is a popular option. Most people have no idea how it works. They think, “I’m in a 2050 target date fund.” That does not necessarily mean you’re going to have enough money in 2050 to retire. It means their portfolio is going to shift more towards fixed-income products as opposed to equities. Does that work for you? Maybe not.

When you start to draw on that money, most people don’t even know how that works. Do they pay taxes? Do they not pay taxes? These are questions that you need to be asking yourself now. If you have a 401(k) withdrawal strategy, is it going to be the 4% rule? That’s been debunked over and over. Even on a $1 million 401(k), that’s only $40,000 a year that you have to pay taxes on when you take the money out anyways. Is that going to be enough for people? In many cases, the answer is no. You want to think, “What are the assets that I have? How can I best put those to use? What’s going to be best for me and my family?” Oftentimes, that’s through untraditional methods.

That’s one thing I was going to mention too. I saw recent stats from Fidelity. I mentioned them before about their 401(k) millionaires. They came out with their second-quarter results. With the market getting close to almost all-time highs, the 401(k) millionaires and the IRA millionaires came up. Out of Fidelity, there are 45 million clients in total. Between the 401(k)s and the IRAs, there are only about 700,000 people who had at least $1 million in those accounts.

You do the math. With 45 million and you got 700,000 people, you’ve got roughly about 1.5% of people that are considered successful. We talk about the old 4% rule but that’s already been debunked. It’s 3% that people are recommended to take. If you have $1 a million, that is only 30,000 a year. That’s why 1/3 of those people, which would be over 250,000 of those people at least or maybe 300,000 or so of those 700,000 say it will still take them a miracle to retire. That’s scary if you think about it.

Now is the time to think about you and your situation. What are you going to do? What plan do you have in place? That’s the key. You need to have a plan for what you’re going to do with your assets and how much control you have. We help a lot of people with that. There are a lot of light bulb moments in terms of, “There are other opportunities that can get me more cashflow than I thought was possible where I have more control over how those assets operate.” The Money Ripples mindset is we’re fairly conservative as well. The investments that we educate our clients on are more on the spectrum of conservatism, for sure. These aren’t big risky assets we’re educating people about.

Tell us the top two reasons why you’re seeing people lately reaching out. What have people been looking for lately in this market condition?

There are so many. As I talk to and coach people, personal finance is very personal to you. We’re seeing recently a lot of younger people joining our community, which has been nice to see. I don’t know if it’s social media awakening the possibilities earlier in life. We’re seeing a lot of people in their late 20s and early 30s still happy with that corporate W-2 lifestyle. They are making good money but they want the ability to retire before they’re 60 or 70 years old. They’re reaching out to us to say, “I want to start building cashflow now so that work can be optional 10 to 20 years down the road.”

We’re also seeing people maybe a little bit later in life who have worked for decades who are tired. They’re exhausted and frustrated with their current financial advisor or financial plan. They want a better way to plan for retirement. They want something that’s more in their control and that’s more tangible. The overall theme is people want that mental clarity and freedom to say, “Someday, I will be able to retire. Work can be an option for me as opposed to something that I’m going to have to do until the day I die.” That’s the overarching theme. It depends on the individual’s what’s driving them.

Why do they want it? Are they all saying they still want to keep working? Are they saying that they want to have more time off or the option to take more time off? Is it for the family? Is it for hobbies or relaxation? What’s the main driver that you’re starting to see and the why behind it?

I’m happy you asked me that because I ask our clients that question frequently. Many people want the idea of being “financially free” but don’t even take it to the next level. The general sense is at least the people that we attract to our community want more time with family, friends, and their kids. They want to be in control over how their day and week are structured. They don’t want to have to go into an office from 7:30 to 6:00, working for a boss that they hate when they feel that they want to be spending more time on projects that are passionate to them and important.

We are seeing a lot of clients who don’t even necessarily want to retire. Many people that we work with give back to the communities, whether it’s through children’s school, a religious organization, sports, or some type of general activity. People like to give back to the community. People like to educate. When we’ve been educating them on a topic or talking about different investments, they want to tell their friends and family about what they’re learning here. That’s how we get a lot of referrals and grow our community. It’s nice to be able to work with people who share similar core values.

They’re ripplers.

The name resonates. That’s for sure.

Off of Facebook, we have our online community. We’re in there. Many times, people will say, “I’ve been reading this show for a while now and here I am.” It’s cool to see that. It’s almost like you graduate from shows to, “I’m going from show and education to now results.” It’s cool to see that transition phase.

There are so many different types of investments out there. Oftentimes, people right away say, “I want cashflow in the door now.” We have plenty of options to create cashflow now but sometimes, there are opportunities to go into growth assets. I’ll talk to people and say everything is personal. You can make an investment. You can get $1,000 a month and pass a cashflow but you need that money right now. You seem to love your job. You’ve got a great boss. Your work-life balance is very reasonable. Maybe there are other opportunities where you’re giving up $1,000 now because, in 5 years, you might be getting $5,000 a month in income.

What are some things that surprise our clients? We’re talking about real estate investing and people who might be reading this show think, “You’re buying rentals.” Sometimes, it’s never the case with some of our clients. Are there any things you’re noticing with clients that surprise them? They’re getting one thing upfront. Maybe they’re getting it because we’re trying to get the results. They’re surprised because they get something different down the road. Have you seen that happen?

We look at somebody’s financial picture very holistically. It’s not just about your balance sheet, assets, income, or expenses. We want to take a look at your situation from a tax perspective, an insurance perspective, and a trust and estate planning perspective. It’s a very important puzzle that we like to put together.

Taxes are one big area where clients can make a big difference in terms of their ability to use tax strategy to their advantage, especially if we have clients who are business owners or who are interested in real estate. I’ll say this. It’s very difficult for straight W-2 employees to save thousands in taxes. The tax code is designed to help business owners and real estate investors.

Oftentimes, if you are a W-2 employee, there are certain real estate strategies that we can discuss that can save you a lot in taxes. We’re not CPAs. We can’t do the tax filings but we have, within our network, people you can work with. I’m very well-versed in a lot of different tax-saving strategies. We can brainstorm. I can identify, “This is a great opportunity. This would work well for your family. Let’s talk to the CPA to see if, in practice, it will work. We’ll talk to them about what are the potential tax savings you could achieve.”

MORI 744 | Current Economic Climate
Current Economic Climate: The tax code helps business owners and real estate investors. If you are a W2 employee, there are real estate strategies that we can discuss that can save you a lot in taxes.


There are a lot of light bulb moments for clients where they didn’t realize that those possibilities even existed. We had one client for whom we saved over $30,000 in taxes. They will be in a refund position where they otherwise would not have been through a tax strategy that I recognized in their situation. I said, “They would be perfect for this.” They had no idea it even existed. We connected them with the CPA within our network and then they told me fairly what the results were. It was exciting for them. There are a lot of opportunities out there that people don’t even know about.

Tell us more about that. Give an example of a client that’s top of mind. It might’ve been somebody who recently was able to hit that freedom number where they could work optional or even if they’re on their way there. Walk us through the journey. What started in the process? You don’t have to give names because it’s confidential. We take that seriously with our clients unless they share it. What were some of the transitions that went through that story, even maybe some mental shifts they had to have? All of a sudden, they started to do the investments and now, they’re starting to see the fruit of those labors so to speak. Give us an example of that.

We have one couple who had a lot of money going to 401(k) accounts. Between the 2 of them, 7-figure 401(k)s.

They’re one of the few percent.

They’ve been contributing for decades. They had healthy balances. They also had some money outside of their 401(k)s. We put that to work and they saw results fairly quickly. They said, “We want cashflow now. What are some options for us?” Investment operators talked about doing the due diligence, risks, and return potentials.

They invested some of the money they had saved themselves and saw the results themselves. They said, “This is powerful.” The wife of the couple is very adamant about not contributing to her 401(k). She told me on our first meeting, “I want that match. This is going to be a piece of my portfolio that I want.” I don’t tell people what to do. I educate them on possibilities. They graduated from our program and now, they are one of our alumni.

She has not only stopped her 401(k) contributions but she’s working on a fairly advanced tax strategist to pull money out of her 401(k) and avoid the taxes and penalties. There’s a lot of pre-planning that goes into that. We want to get the CPA on board. The investment operator has to be on board. I quarterback everything. It was so interesting to see her mindset shift from, “For me, this is going to be my plan. Let’s see what Money Ripples can help me with some of this other side money I have,” to now, she has seen proof of concept and is now ready to jump in with both feet into some other opportunities she never would’ve envisioned she’d be doing a year ago.

That matches free money. Why would she give that up?

It’s all about opportunity cost. She’s seen that her dollars are going towards investments that she has more control over. She wants to take the $1,500 a month she was giving to the 401(k) and funnel that into other areas. Since she knows she can plan where that money goes, she has a pretty good sense of what the returns are going to be. For her, that makes the most sense.

How about you give us a story of somebody who maybe had a rough time? It might’ve been, for example, distributions froze for a time, which can happen especially after 2022. There have even been people in our group who said, “We’re going to have to stop paying for a few months or so. We’ll start up payments later,” because of outside conditions in the markets or whatever it might be. Give us a story about that.

As most people in the alternative asset space are aware, interest rates have caused a lot of problems for a lot of investment operators, especially some people who are more aggressive in the market, not understanding how interest rate caps are. There were issues in refinancing variable-rate loans. If you’re a fund operator running into some of those problems, you may have had to stop paying investors their quarterly or monthly dividends while you’re shoring up your balance sheet. As the investor, it is not fun to get that email or phone call to say, “We have to haul distributions right now. This is why.”

The big thing here too is diversification. Not having all your eggs in one basket is very important. I’m preaching on due diligence right now. What does that mean? Due diligence is if you’re going to purchase an investment property, you are flying out to see it. A lot of people don’t want to do that. It’s doing things you don’t want to do to protect your portfolio and nest egg. It’s getting on the phone with investment operators, asking them difficult questions, and asking them to see their books and records almost as if you were doing an audit. It’s taking that extra step.

We’ve seen people run into issues or some investment operators. There were some clients who haven’t been happy but they’ve also said, “I didn’t do the best due diligence. I was too greedy. I was chasing returns that I thought would never stop.” With finance, in every investment, there are risks. At Money Ripples, we try to identify what those risks are. We try to get comfortable with them and then educate people.

MORI 744 | Current Economic Climate
Current Economic Climate: In every investment, there is risk. At Money Ripples, we try to identify those risks, get comfortable with them, and educate people.


I’ll even share my story because I’m a client of myself. I’ve had a rental property in particular that had more repairs than we’d like to see because the rent has trashed it. We’re going back trying to get money from them. Granted, I’m having the property manager quarterback that but I’m having to talk to the property manager quite a bit.

We made money still and we’re going to sell the property and make even more money than would be paid even after two and a half years but it wasn’t as much cashflow as we had hoped either. I’ve even had some deals where distribution stopped for six months straight and then all of a sudden, I got my March distribution recently. I’m like, “They’re trying to catch up. They hadn’t paid me for five months straight.” Those kinds of things can come up.

You’re right. Diversification does help. That’s the power of the community too. One client reached out about a property, a spec home that they’re working on. You had a similar situation so I have you to relate to that and say, “I get where you’re coming from. I know that area because I live in that area. Don’t worry. This is still a pretty good property. You can do these options. I’m in this deal too. I can tell you what my experience is.” I know that’s powerful for people because you’re not in it alone.

Maybe I shouldn’t say this because if your wife, Amy, reads this interview, she might freak out. Have you had a situation where maybe Amy says something to you or maybe she texts you something and you hear it, and your mind starts coming up with all kinds of reasoning or what it might be of what that interpretation of what she said was but then, you find out later it wasn’t even anywhere close to what you were thinking? Your mind almost created fake scenarios because of that. Even if somebody says, “We need to talk,” you start wondering, “What do you want to talk about?” You start creating the scenarios in your head.

I realize investing is not much different. Sometimes, if someone says, “We need to pause distributions for now,” someone might be thinking, “Are they going to go bankrupt? Is it going to shut down? Is everything going to fall apart? I’m going to lose all my money.” A lot of times, they’ve reached out to you or they’ve even reached out to me. Especially if we’re in the deal, we say, “We know the backstory on this. Here’s what’s happening. You still have an asset. This is not a stock where it’s Enron. It’s not like Bear Stearns that all sudden, you watch it crash to zero necessarily.” In many cases, it doesn’t necessarily mean that.

It is having that team where even though you’re working on your plan and making the decisions, still, you’re not alone. You still have other people. It is not just us as coaches but you even got other clients as well you could talk to and bounce ideas off of or even your concerns. That can often give you a better perspective too.

The community is important to our entire mission of what we’re working on. To get 1,000 people financially free by 2030, the community aspect is huge. We have masterminds that meet frequently that all of our clients are a part of. Those masterminds are designed to discuss your portfolio with the wins and the challenges you’re having. We ask people frequently, “What do you need help with?” Our community is a bunch of Type A, very successful, smart individuals at different stages in their careers and journey to financial freedom. It’s so nice to be able to have that cohesive culture of people looking to help each other out.

This could be maybe your darkest days when you’re feeling down but what is it that inspires you to want to keep moving? What is that story or hope? Maybe it could be that one person’s experience that you reflect on that gives you that pick-me-up. Maybe it inspires you to say, “It’s another week I get more people to serve.” What is it that inspires you and gets you out of that slump or even makes your week perfect?

I don’t have too many dark days, which is nice. My personality, in general, is pretty positive but we all experience those dips, for sure. What I love is when I get an email or a text from somebody who has a win, whether it be big or small. It’s something we’ve talked about and something that makes a difference to them, whether it’s to them personally or their family.

Knowing that the Money Ripples team has impacted their life in a positive way is my why of what drives me, keeps me going, and then keeps me wanting our clients to continue to succeed. Those are the types of things that are important to me. It’s those small little wins. I love looking at the big picture but then I love getting down into the details to say, “You want $10,000 a month in income? Great. What are we going to do today and tomorrow to build those small wins to get to that big ultimate goal?” When I see people make progress, that’s the types of activities and things that resonate with me.

What we do today and tomorrow will build those small wins to ultimately get to the big goal. Click To Tweet

When they get results, that’s like your fuel or gasoline that keeps you going.

I’m a people guy in general. I’m very extroverted. When we do the Predictive Index, which we won’t go down that rabbit hole today, my PI score is very aligned with working with people and understanding the struggles people go through and inherently caring about that. This is a perfect role for me within the company. I love seeing people win and succeed. It’s helpful because people that we attract, that’s the type of stuff they want to do too. They want to win. They’re Type A go-getters. I love going along the ride with them too.

They’re Type A but they’re down-to-earth real people too. They’re not ultra-machismo lions. I’m not saying we don’t get those people because there are some cool people there too. It’s not always the people that are like, “I’m going to run over the world.” It’s people who want to work together, collaborate, and what we talked about at the beginning of the show, bless people’s lives. They were serious about that. They truly have a heart of gold that way.

I appreciate you joining us. I know this is a longer discussion but I wanted to delve into the psyche of what we’re seeing right now. We always talk about the strategies and how there are things you can do like real estate investing that even go beyond rentals. It’s even things in the oil and gas space. We’ve talked about even lending money to real estate investors so then you don’t have to be in the real estate deals.

There are so many different ways to do it but at the end of the day, it comes down to that individualized or personalized type of goal for that family or that individual or individuals in that family that help them get to where they want to go. They can craft the life that they want and ultimately take control in their hands. They can take their life into their own hands and live life on their own terms. I appreciate you sharing that today. It’s been a pleasure. Our clients love working with you. We get rave reviews from you that way. I appreciate that.

The feeling is mutual.

For everybody else, if you have questions, you can always shoot us an email. If you’re curious to figure out how much passive income you could be creating in the next twelve months or so, go to that calculator on MoneyRipples.com. Try it out and see what your number is. Everybody, make this a wonderful and prosperous week. We’ll see you later.


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About Craig Feldmeier

MORI 744 | Current Economic ClimateCraig Feldmeier began his journey on Wall Street as a broker, but realized something was missing. Craig eventually hired Chris Miles to help him escape his personal rat race, and then decided to help others do the same. He has now coached over 100 clients in the Money Ripples system, creating stellar results towards their financial freedom goals.