“It doesn’t matter how many times I get bloodied or beaten up or knocked down, I just keep going. I mean, I’ve lost all my money three times, I’ve just been criticized and condemned. And when you start realizing how little it matters of what people think about you, then you start actually showing up completely, versus trying to do a dance to impress somebody.” Damion Lupo is an American Sensei. Yokido Founder. 5th Degree Black Belt.Financial Mentor and host of Financial Underdogs Podcast. Creator of Black Belt Wealth.Best selling author in personal finance. Rewriting the rules and plan for retirement.
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How To Get Your Money Out Of IRA Or 401K Jail With Damion Lupo
I’m excited about our next guest. He is a real estate expert investor himself and has a passion for helping around a million people is his goal, find freedom when it comes to their retirement and also their 401Ks. He’s from the great state of Alaska. I’ve never been there before, but I like to go there someday. And he has a unique tool. And it’s kind of a fusion between financial literacy and a little known strategy called the EQRP that he teaches that allows investors to control their retirement money and get out of the wall street roller coaster. He’s the best-selling author of 12 books on personal finance, investment, retirement planning, and he also hosts the Financial Underdogs podcast. He’s owned more than 50 companies. And he’s also the founder of his own martial art, I believe studio Yokido. He’s also the chief honeybadger at the EQRP company and the lead architect of the EQRP. It’s kind of like the Ferrari of the 401Ks. The EQRP is a unique and powerful system to put individuals in command of their own investments tapping into the 30 trillion locked away in Wall Street controlled retirement programs. He’s also a personal and professional investor with decades of real-world experience that started with his first rental using a Visa card. Can you believe that? A move that snowballed into 150 rental houses in less than five years. But in 2008, he lost it all the whole 20 million out gone only to bounce back and recreate his wealth in five years. Hey, Damion Lupo, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for being here.
Right. Glad to be here, man. Thanks for having me.
Excellent. Would you give our listeners a little bit about your background and your current focus?
Yeah, my background is I kind of tried a lot of things. And ultimately, it’s because I’m an entrepreneur, I’m hardwired that way. And I got frustrated as a kid being told no. So, anybody, that’s ever been told no, and said, I’m going to do it anyway. I can relate because that was me. And, you know, in 1999, when a friend of mine said, hey, I got a deal. And I said, Why are you telling me? He said because I need money. And I said, Well, I don’t have any money. He said, yep, you have a Visa. And so I said, yeah, I guess I have a Visa. And so my cash advance on that thing turned me into a multimillionaire through doing the same kind of thing over and over buying houses. And it made me really rich and really stupid, because I got rich, too fast, too young, and didn’t have any perspective. And I had way too much hair. So now I have less hair, more money, more wealth, and more freedom. Because after losing the entire $20-million-portfolio, I had a reset, where I sat, still kind of for a couple of years saying okay, what was the point? Like, am I just supposed to learn from this and go do it again? Or am I supposed to do something different? And when I really dug deep, what I found was that there was a huge gap, where people don’t really have freedom, they tend to have a pile of money because they maybe got lucky. Maybe they did some things that were smart, but they’re never really free because they’re nervous about losing it. And then the gap was giving people a chance to design a life versus having a default life by using the resources they have, namely their retirement money, which tends to be most of the people’s liquidity. And so the company that I founded that we’ve built around this idea, the EQRP company gives people a chance to control their retirement money so they can actually do something with it and not just ride the roller coaster of Wall Street.
Absolutely love it and am so excited to dive in because I feel like you guys are kind of like a cousin to us. You know, that long-distance cousin that you’d never met you know, maybe have some relatives in Alaska. I have some Native American blood in me. So who knows. But that being said, I’m so passionate about helping people gain freedom, and really through clarity, through education when it comes to tax deferral strategies. And so I want to dive in a little bit of your story here and bring people to that point where, oh my gosh, it’s like you hit the real estate lottery, right? Probably some hard work, some good timing. But really, it’s like he bought a lottery ticket on a Visa card, you know, correct me if I’m wrong. And he took this thing to 20 million bucks. But in a way, he lost it all. But I’m curious about ’05, ’06, ’07, did you know it was a high market as a first question? And number two was, did you feel like maybe it’s a good time to sell? And if so, why didn’t it sell?
So it’s a great question. And in 2004, I started noticing something really weird. It’s called houses were going up to 10 to 15% a month, where a lot of my holdings were in Phoenix. And I said this is crazy. It makes no sense. I’m a student of history and economics. And I was looking at it. And I said this is literally a bubble. And it just didn’t make any sense what was going on. I mean, it made sense why it was happening, but it obviously couldn’t continue. Much like a lot of what’s going on now. We see a lot of projects and things and it’s like, how could this be that these things are up 30, 40, 50% a year, that’s not sustainable. So in, ’04 and ’05, I sold tons of these properties. And I made millions in cash. And I thought I was super smart. I was smart enough to sell, I wasn’t smart enough to stay on the sidelines. And I went right back in. And that’s what got me into trouble. Because my ego said, you’re 10 feet tall and bulletproof. So I went in, and it’s like a lot of people that have made money the last 5, 6, 10 years. And they said, oh, this is so easy. I am so good. Now you got good timing, and you may have taken some action. That’s excellent. The problem is you don’t have any perspective before you’ve gone through a cycle before you’ve lost. And so you think, oh, it just keeps going. It’s a cognitive bias towards the past. And in 2008, I realized that, oh, cycles do happen. And they happen to all of us. And I just I was too leveraged. And I had, I thought I was going to be too, right. And in fact, we’re going to be wrong, more than we’re right. When we’re investing in a business. And that was really how it wasn’t just the 20 million, but it was actually twenty plus five, so I was negative 5 million by the time I got done. See, when you say well, I’ve risked a million dollars maybe? Or maybe you risk 2 million, you just didn’t realize it. So you can actually lose more than you have.
Wow, yeah. So much there to unpack. And I want to dig in even a little bit more. So you actually saw the writing on the wall, you actually took action, you sold. Now when you sold, I’ve got to ask, did you pay the capital gains tax? And what did you do with all that gain?
So yeah, actually, at that point, I did pay capital gains tax on the excess beyond what I had. So when I sold, I ended up going and buying a bunch more stuff. And so when you offset some of that stuff, there was the tax and I paid some tax bills. And I also had a lot of carrying forward stuff that was built up. Because when you’re starting a business, you don’t just make profits, like you put a ton of money in and eventually down the road, the hope is that you make money, and you get to carry forward those losses. And so I had a lot. I had millions of dollars that I had put into the business. So you know, I made millions, but I also had millions that I had borrowed and I’d put in so yeah, there were definitely some taxes.
Did you do any 1031s at that time? Or did you just sell and a lot of houses, it sounds like so maybe it was short term or fix and flips? Walk us through that I want to make sure I captured this well because I have a similar story I’m going to share right after this.
So when I sold my stuff there, some of it was by myself and some of it was with partners and things. And so when I went and bought other stuff, it was in different entities with different people. And so there wasn’t really a way to go 1031 Starker to move from one to the next because it wasn’t the same entity, it was different things. And so I had rules that I was playing by and so you know, that’s why there were capital gains there. And some of the stuff, it was the timing that was challenging, because you have to pick your properties and enclose it within a certain number of days. And that didn’t work for what I was trying to do. And so I just said, okay, I’m selling, and keep in mind when you’re going through things really fast, and there’s a lot of chaos, the last thing that really works sometimes is picking a perfect 45-day or six-month window for things to line up. Sometimes it’s like okay, well I made 100 or 200% on this property, and I’m happy and sometimes that’s the best answer, the problem is when you go, oh I’m so happy and so arrogant enough to think that I can’t be wrong and that was the problem.
Yeah, and so thank you for sharing that and so if I heard you correctly, partnership challenges, entity challenges, you know, the whole entity must move with a 1031 exchange that’s where most of us are at, the people used to do some drop-in swaps or try to do a TIC but I know in California especially the Franchise Tax Board has really locked down on that. But even though it gets complicated, the right partners want to sell, some want to go, some don’t. And so a lot of syndications and a lot of syndicators. They just end up selling and paying all the tax and or just the timing. I call it the 1031 rat race, right? You’re stuck with this 45-day sprint, 180-day close and you know overpaying, generally speaking, more debt, more property because of equal or greater value. And it becomes a situation where a parent’s job is to sell high and buy low. They teach us to sell high and buy higher 180 days later with more debt, right, especially in a highly appreciate market. And so I promise you my story. And so when I was at Marcus and Millichap during ’06 is when I started and, and then everything hit the fan, you know, and oh, wait, everything crashed, and I saw friends, family clients, like some of them lose everything, or lose half or have to battle with the banks or barely scrape by and they worked for 20, 30, 40, 50 years to build up all these. Well, just to see it almost all the House of Cards just evaporate. And the biggest reason we found was people were overpaying in the ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07 market. They were doing the 1031 exchange, taking on too much debt. What I call dumb debt, right? Debt is your friend, when it’s you know, buyers market, lower price, forced appreciation opportunity, you can really add value. It’s not your friend in a highly overpriced market, low inventory, right? Prices are propped up perhaps by lower interest rates. And so that’s exactly what happened. And then when they sold, they owed all this tax, or they would have owed all this tax. So instead, they did the 1031 and overpaid. All that being said, we have a unique solution for that. It’s called the deferred sales trust, which is why we launched our company because we found that this truly could have saved them, they could have paid off all their debt, it could have deferred all the tax, they could have sat on the sidelines, put it back into Wall Street if they wanted to, or out of Wall Street into their own deals or with partners, all tax-deferred without having to take on any more debt. And so I think I bridged the gap. But I’m curious about what you would think because you’re already in this space. And you’re kind of reversing it, you’re taking it from Wall Street back into real estate, you know, for the timing aspect. But what are your thoughts? Have you ever heard of the deferred sales trust? Or what are your thoughts on just that concept I talked about?
I love the concept. And so it’s one of the solutions. It’s really interesting when one of the things that I’ve had this conversation with Tom Wheelwright, the fairly famous accountant, and he goes, you know, one of the things I like about you, Damion is because you don’t think that your thing is like the thing for everybody. And I go, yeah, because it’s the right fit for some people and, and, you know, DST is also a very good thing for certain people. And it depends and if people say, what’s the solution? I’m like, I have no idea. I don’t know all the factors. And so one of the things I like about the EQRP and using this tool is that it gives you flexibility for asset classes that you’re able to switch around. And the problem with like 1031 is even if your timing is perfect, you’re forced to go from real estate to real estate. Well, what if you’re at the top of a market, and you’re so hell-bent on not paying taxes? You go, and you say, oh, I’m buying this property? Well, then nothing drops by 50%. Because you’re into a bear market? Well, what if you just switched asset classes? And you said, Well, you know, what gold has been down, I want to switch from real estate to gold. Well, now you’re paying taxes. Well, if you do it inside of an EQRP, there are no taxes because it’s a shelter. That doesn’t matter about switching asset classes. Huge difference in what most people are using, because they just hear the one thing over and over again, because of big marketing machines.
You nailed it, right. I call it diversification not only within, you know, locations, and maybe operators or property types, but diversification within asset classes. And you’re exactly right, the 1031 forces you typically to trade one asset class, typically, most investors just trade into the same exact asset class in the same city. And they might trade, you know, 50 units for 100 units. And they think they’re diversifying because they’re going from 50 units as a tenant base to 100 units, right? Or even so, they’ll sell their multifamily in California, and they’ll go buy somewhere else. And maybe they got a lower price in a different market, right, or multiple properties, but they’re still within that same asset class and maybe a couple of different locations. But what if you could sell, diversify not only into commercial real estate assets of your own but not have to take on any debt of your own, and also put it back into stocks, bonds, mutual funds, if you want it to, insurance products, fixed instruments, you know, stuff that’s very conservative and just wait on the sidelines. In fact, we just did a deal in Georgia, Damion, it’s a $7.6 million property. And you know, Brian Burke, he just spoke on the Deal Maker Live with you. And this gentleman knew Brian Burke as well. So he sold, we saved his failed 1031 exchange, got him out of four and a half million dollars of debt that he was supposed to replace with 1031 and put it all into the deferred sales trust. And then a week later, he put 2 million of it with Brian Burke in the hard money lending fund. All tax-deferred, we saved 1.1 million in tax. And then he’s gonna also probably put in Brian’s Brian’s deal moving forward. So talk a little bit about the EQRP and the diversification and how important that is, along with also liquidity is in any real estate investor’s strategy.
Well, so there’s a lot of interesting things. And when you start taking all the pieces together, you realize that no one piece is the solution for your entire financial life and you go, oh, so I need to actually know about a lot of different things. And here’s one of the reasons that that’s important because the tax laws change all The time rules where something is available now, next year, it’s not available. The question is, if that’s everything for you, then you’re in trouble. And so one of the things that happened back in December as an example, the ultimate, you know, you have a retirement account, you die and your heirs get this thing, and they get to grow it and spend it the rest of their lives. Well, that’s cool, except they changed it. Now, it’s only 10 years, that’s screwed up a lot of family estate planning and legacy planning. And so one of the things that we have right now, the thing that I really like is that with an EQRP and the retirement space, there’s something called a Roth, which means you can get your taxes down to zero, meaning none, like no capital gains, no income tax, no nothing. And that’s awesome. Because zero is the best number. The problem is, if you wait down the road, you may not have that option. And rules change, you know, we’re going into a very Neo Marxist kind of environment with a lot of socialism. And I don’t think that’s very good for people that are investing in things relying on current stuff, because the current stuff is gonna change. So how do you hedge against that? You have a variety of different tools. And so you have to say, okay, well, one of these may go away. And so I have other options. And with EQRP, you have the ability to get your assets into a zero tax forever, they grow, and they’re taken out tax-free. And that’s, I mean, that’s an ideal scenario. There’s nothing that’s better than that, where you can take your stuff out tax-free. I mean, unless you get paid by the government, I suppose.
Yeah, for sure. So let’s walk through an actual deal, right. So imagine someone has a million dollars sitting in an IRA right now, or 401k. And they form an EQRP. So let’s assume that’s already been done. They get with your team, you walk them through everything, you educate them, get them all comfortable with it. Now it’s sitting there. And let’s say they want to go buy a $3 million apartment complex tomorrow or a year from now when the prices drop, so they can they put like a million dollars down and go and get a note and carry paper, walk us through how that would work, and then walk us through the cash flow, what they can actually receive personally, and or what amount would just have to go back into the EQRP.
So a couple of things, you explained it perfectly, because that’s how simple it is. Once we set up an EQRP, then you can move your cash and or assets over if you’re fully invested with an IRA into real estate, one of the problems you might have right now, well, you are going to have is UBIT tax, meaning you’re going to have a big tax bill, even though it’s a tax shelter. So just think about that for a second. And reach out because we’re going to talk about that it’s a ticking time bomb. Let’s assume that we set up an EQRP, realize this is a good idea. You switch things over, now you’ve got this million bucks. And let’s say it’s cash, it’s sitting in your EQRP, you go buy this property, you’ve got a million dollars you put down and you’ve got this debt. So then this thing starts cash flowing, the owner of the asset is your EQRP at your retirement account. So the money goes back to that. Now what you do with that money is entirely up to you. If your EQRP keeps it, there’s no taxable event, it just stays there. It keeps growing. If you decide that you want to start living on it, then the question is, do you have the ability to pull the money out tax-free or penalty-free or tax, and that’s just a function of how old you are. And if you have other offsetting things, for example, if you’re a real estate professional, you may have some other depreciation that you could offset against your income that’s coming out of your retirement account. So that’s one of the things that you can do. The best one is when you convert that thing to a Roth, and when you convert it to a Roth, as soon as any retirement account is converted to a Roth, that money is eligible to be taken out at any age tax-free penalty-free. So then you say, well, that’s cool, except I heard I have to pay taxes if I convert it. Yeah, you’ve got a taxable event that can be offset by depreciation, if you go buy some real estate. So there are ways right now, because of this, this merging of tax code that’s been changed over the last 30 months to where you can actually take retirement accounts at any age, convert them get the money out, not pay any taxes, end up with real estate, live tax-free, live free period. And it’s one of those things where I think we’re probably in a six to 12 month period until that ends.
Amazing. So I’ll make sure I captured that first year. So he formed the EQRP, he converted over to a Roth EQRP and you might have some liability there. Let’s say it was $100,000. But if you wouldn’t buy a deal that same year, you know, it had some depreciation, you could, you know, perhaps do some cost segregation, and that’s what we’re talking about the merge here. We can wipe that out, right? And so you’re good, you’re good there. So no tax again. You mentioned age, though, give us the age restrictions real fast and what that looks like.
So when you convert, let’s say you convert a million dollars to Roth, and you’ve wiped out your tax because you’ve got an offsetting depreciation and let’s say you’re 40 years old, you convert that million bucks, you can pull that million dollars out that it’s considered Roth basis. So what just happened? You got a million dollars that came out of your retirement account into your account. It’s sitting in your personal account. That’s pretty amazing except for your concern because of the tax, there is no tax because of its basis. So now you’ve got this out, and it doesn’t matter how old you are. So when you have a Roth basis that 59 and a half doesn’t matter anymore. So you can convert it really whenever you want to Roth, and then take it out the next day. It’s all basis. That’s a different thing. Nobody talks about this.
Yeah, nobody talks about it, because a lot of their friends and family have never done it right. Or their advisors don’t know about it. They haven’t connected with Damion to figure out how to do it. And that’s the key, just getting a guide, who’s a few steps ahead of you who’s done these and help people to open your mind. There’s this possibility. So let me make sure I captured again. So a million dollar sitting there, you convert it to a Roth? Oh, no, it’s going to be taxed, let’s say a $200,000. But you use that million in that same year to put a downpayment onto a $3 million property. You do cost segregation on that. And let’s say you get 33% of that value ish. And let’s say it matches up the exact million. Right? Or maybe doesn’t, you have to just have to get the 200,000 I’m not sure. And that’s in the millions. Okay, the full million. Okay. And now, you just basically created a loss here to offset what would have been the realized gain, if that’s a fair way to put it exactly, right? Yeah, great. And now I don’t need to wait till I’m 60, right? So that just blew that false belief out of the water. Right? I can do it at 40. So if you’re listening to this podcast, and you have an IRA, you have a 401k, and you’re looking for solutions to have the freedom and get your money out of jail. You want to get with Damion right away on this. Okay, great. So now what’s the next step? So bringing it together now? So you mentioned your story, your challenges, and how you’re helping people now, I want you to go back, I think we’ve all been given certain gifts, Damion in this life. You know that I call them God-given gifts to us to be able to bless and help others out. So what was that one gift that you were given? Perhaps when you’re a kid, you realize you’re a teenager. And how does that gift help how you help people today?We have to run with what we have. And part of that is disconnecting from caring about what other people think about you, it really will set you free. Click To Tweet
I think it’s one of the four traits of our avatar, the honey badger, and its resilience. There’s a piece of me, that doesn’t matter how many times I get bloodied or beaten up or knocked down, I just keep going. I mean, I’ve lost all my money three times, I’ve just been criticized and condemned. And when you start realizing how little it matters of what people think about you, then you start actually showing up completely, versus trying to do a dance to impress somebody. And, and so it’s really fascinating, especially now, with social media, where if you say something, and it’s not part of the collective consciousness of the, you know, the socialist kind of bent that’s out there. There’s like a Twitter mob that goes after you. And so the God-given gift somewhere was the resiliency around saying, I don’t really care how many times I fall down, I don’t care how many bad things people say about me, it doesn’t make any difference, because it doesn’t change who I am, my mission or why I’m here. So if anything, it was that because I’m not, you know, I’m not a superstar athlete. We have to run with what we have. And part of that is disconnecting from caring about what other people think about you, it really will set you free.
Absolutely love that, right? And I think that there’s so much truth in that, right? I guess when you trade the joy of having other people, you know, thank you looks like the shiny object for the joy of hey, I’m gonna be who I am. And be honest about, you know, what I know. That’s when the shift can happen. And you can be free, I guess, from other people’s judgments. Is that a fair summary?
Yeah, totally. An old chairman of mine, who, you know, I invested $400,000 with him for two years of him working with me. And so people go, Tony Robbins is expensive. I’m like, I get it because I spent a similar type of money with this guy. And he said you’ll never understand how free you can be. Until the moment you disconnect from caring what people think about you. And I just remember thinking about that. He goes, get there, get there as soon as you can. And watch how free you are. And I was like, okay, and it’s hard work. Because we’re so used to wanting to have people look at us and go, yeah, you’re a stud or you know, you’re amazing. We want the accolades, it’s part of our need to be significant. And when you shift, one of the other human needs is a contribution, when you shift from significance to contribution, it’s more fulfilling. Significance is more about success. And so fulfillment is really about the process that you fall in love with. And it’s a deeper mission because it’s spiritual. It’s not just intellectual or emotional.
Absolutely love that. It’s a book in itself, rewind that about 45 seconds and go through that again. I’m curious, how have you learned to disconnect from what others think I mean, besides having that gift of resilience, and maybe being a little more natural for you to do that? I imagine there’s still a part of you that says, yeah, sometimes I get tempted to get reconnected with that. How do you disconnect? Oh, by the way, real quick disclaimer, I just turned off the news about 150 days ago, I’ve never felt so good. Now COVID-19 hit, Damion, I was like, okay, I’m back in a little bit. But I can take it for about 21 days only and I’m gonna lose my mind. And so I just turned it off again. And I’m just like, I get my updates from Melanie, and I’ll get the updates when I go to the grocery store, you know, here and there. And I think that’s plenty. But what is your strategy for disconnecting? And that’s kind of a side thing that’s kind of more of like a distraction with the news. But what’s your strategy to disconnect from what others think?
So there are two things. One, we have to understand and we have to practice stillness. We have to be able to be still without noise or conflict or whatever. And, that’s hard because we’re not meant to sit still, we’re human beings that do things. The way to actually be disconnected from stuff is to be in motion, which is the other side of that, where you’re doing stuff like I don’t have time to be sitting there obsessed with the news because I’m busy serving people. I’m busy building things. I’m busy. I’m just busy. And so some people just like to be busy, because they’re addicted to being busy. And they don’t know how to sit still. So there’s a balance between these two. But when you’re creating and you’re in motion, it’s really hard to just knock you sideways. If you’re sitting still, somebody can push you over. But just think about momentum and trajectory. It’s really hard to push a train left when it’s going forward. Now, if it’s sitting still, you can knock it over with a cat. But it’s really hard because it’s basic physics. And that’s the same thing with humans. If you’re in motion, you’ve got the momentum going in a certain direction. Good luck. I’m trying to knock the person that’s in motion like you can’t even catch him.
I love it. That’s so so wise. It’s just wisdom, Damion, I appreciate that. Wow. I love that. So stay in motion, right? Stay focused, keep striving forward. And when you’re doing that, it’s yeah, it’s difficult to knock you off. I love that. Excellent. So what’s the biggest mistake you, a client, or a partner has ever made when it comes to capital gains tax deferral connect us with either 1031, the EQRP, either not knowing about a strategy or just you know, not preparing in time. Walk us through that, you know, what’s the biggest bad mistake someone’s made that you’ve been a part of or heard of.
I have so many mistakes, and you know, people do, but I’m like, I don’t know, I feel like I’ve made more than everybody combined. Sometimes it just feels like that, because I’ve done so many things wrong, which is how we learned. Probably my biggest mistake and this is kind of the opposite of what you’re teaching people how to do. Because you have better information than I had back then. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they insist on staying in the market and they insist on not paying taxes. And I go, why would you want to force yourself into something instead of paying the taxes and sitting still, and now there are other tools like I didn’t know about what you know, what you share with people back then. And whether or not that was an option doesn’t matter. The point is, my need to not pay taxes was this really big, important thing. So I kept going. And sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing. It’s literally going on vacation when I went from a positive 5 million to a negative 5 million. Part of that was because I was not willing to just sit still and watch because I didn’t understand I thought I was smarter than the market and I can keep going. And I said, well, I need to keep going and not pay taxes, I want to do something else. A really powerful, very profitable strategy would have been to pay some capital gains taxes back then, and then go on vacation for about two years. And that sounds crazy. Because people go I gotta get my money working. Sometimes the best money working is the money that’s sitting idle on vacation.
Absolutely. And as a part of that, I feel like, for myself, I’m such an entrepreneur, you know, driver personality, you know, I want to control everything, but it’s building that dream team around you, right? It’s building that financial advisor, that CPA, you know, that EQRP specialist, that commercial real estate syndicator, that lender. I mean, all of these people around you so you’re not doing all these alone. So speak to like maybe the team or the people you put around you to help, you know, create some boundaries and some space for you to make good decisions.
One of the things that I talked about, I recorded an episode of Financial Underdogs, my podcast and we did it last night and I talked about how people are crackheads where they insist on doing everything, they’re addicted to doing things versus the delegating, and I’m not talking about abdicating. There’s a lot of people that say, and here’s the difference. When you hand your money to somebody on wall street or a financial advisor, and you say, go do your thing. That’s abdicating responsibility. Delegating is where you empower somebody, and you understand what’s going on. And so what I tell people is, look, stop being cheap with the people that you put around, you get the best people you can, and they will make you money. I had a partner back years ago when I was in Alabama. And this clown went out and found the cheapest person, he could and guess what we got from her? We got some work that was average at best. And it was because he was cheap. And I was too weak to say, no, we need a better person, we need a rockstar. People tend to be cheap with their advisors, they tend to be their own advisors, and like, it’s like accounting. Why in the world would you be your own accountant? Even if you’re an accountant. Why would you be your own accountant and do your own bookkeeping and all this stuff? And so building a team is really about going out there figuring out who’s in alignment with you value-wise, and then get the best and if you go, well, I can’t afford the best. You can’t afford to not have the best because you’re going to pay one way or another upfront or in the long run. You just choose, it’s cheaper to pay upfront. I guarantee you, try being your own attorney and getting sued. When you’re not actually an attorney. You watch how much it costs you, it’s way more, it’s like literally 10 to 100 times more to hire the attorney down the road after you’ve made the mistake. They went up front, but we tend to be cheap because we’re trained to spend as little as possible. Doesn’t work. Professionals have professional teams. Professionals have the best. And they don’t try to know everything. They just know enough to be able to have a conversation and they trust they have the best teams.
Got it, yeah. Thanks for sharing. And so looking back on the ’04, ’05 or ’06, you’re thinking if I had to do it over again, sell and pay the tax. Yeah. And if you had a note about the deferred sales, trust, you know, consider that, but at the time, knowing what you knew at the time, and knowing what you know, now, you would have just sold, pay the tax, stuck it in something conservative to wait on the sidelines, go away for two years to distract yourself or be somewhere else and then come back in. Is that a fair summary?
Yeah, it would have been a shift because you and I are the same and that we have to be doing something. We can’t just sit there and own and meditate for two years. Like I think we’d lose our minds. I’m just not that enlightened. I mean, I’m decent, but I’m not that good. And so I think in retrospect, I would have sold and I would have just spent a lot of time developing writing and developing teaching tools until things actually made sense. And it wasn’t about doing nothing. Because I think the idea of like retiring, and then going and doing nothing, doesn’t work for people, especially if you’re a hard-charging personality, there’s no way we can do that. And not lose our minds. So what I would have done, though, is to say, okay, it doesn’t make sense. So let me take a pause. People get so anxious about getting their money working for them. And I say that’s not healthy. It’s not smart. What you’re doing is you’re being an amateur professional. I mean, how much cash does Warren Buffett have right now? $150 billion, or something? And does that make him a dummy? I don’t think he’s that much of a dummy. He’s one of the richest people in the world. He’s a pretty smart cat. So I think we should learn from people that actually have done it versus all the commentary that’s out there saying, keep your money working. It’s always going to be working. If it’s not working. You’re stupid. It’s just wasting. No, it’s not. It’s, it’s called dry powder.
Love it. Absolutely love it. With that being said, Are you ready for the lightning round? Let’s rock and roll, man. All right, knowing what you know. Now, if you could go back to your 25-year-old self, what’s the one Golden Nugget you would make sure you did or knew about?
I would have said keep your mentor and do more things to fail faster because you’ll learn faster and nothing is going to kill you unless you go up and do what you did in Alaska, which is dodge polar bears and you’re not doing that. So you’re fine.
Love that. What’s the one book you’ve recommended or gifted the most in the past year?
The one I’ve gifted and recommended in the past year, there’s actually a two combo, it’s Principles by Ray Dalio, and it’s Mastery by George Leonard, you got to have principles to start with. And if you’re going to go and do something that’s going to lead to fulfillment, you’ve got to focus on some type of mastery in something, not some everything.
Absolutely love that. I’m reading Principles for the first time. And I actually got the children’s book. And if you haven’t got it yet, I encourage you to get it. And if you have kids, but even for yourself, right, it basically is kind of a condensed version of the big one. And the one thing that I’m teaching my daughters right now is trading the joy of being right. For the joy of what’s true, right. And this one like blew my mind, right. And this kind of goes into what you’re talking about before about kind of the joy of like, the attention or the or the approval of others, with the joy of like, hey, this is who I am. And these are the gifts I have. And I’m going to put blinders on and just keep moving forward to serve more people. Right. And so it’s so powerful, right? But it’s so tempting right to fall into. I want to be right. And it’s that pride thing, it’s that ego thing I think that we all struggle with, right? I know, I do. And you go, how do I humble myself enough to say, you know what, I don’t need to be right, right? It doesn’t have to be just one solution. It can be the EQRP, it can be the 1031 exchange, it can be the Delaware Sales Trust, it can be the Deferred Sales Trust, it could be a Charitable Remainder Trust, right. It could be these different things. The key is getting clarity on it, figuring out what your vision is, what your plan is, what you want it to be for your wealth, right, and how that connects in finding out what tool you’re using. I’m doing a deal right now with Kevin Bump in Minnesota. And he’s a gentleman who’s selling his mobile home park and he has a zero basis, this guy’s 85 years old, he’s being crushed under four and a half million of debt. And he has about 2.7 million in liability tax, liability sales. He cannot and does not want to do a 1031 exchange. So that one’s just out because his credit has been shot. And so he’s going to do a partial Delaware Statutory Trust and a partial Deferred Sales Trust, right? It’s, both right, that is the solution for him like we’ve basically narrowed down that if he doesn’t do this, he’s gonna lose everything. And, and also Kevin, on the buy side, he’s been able to make a deal, which otherwise, you know, someone else might come and swoop up at a later date. So that really is what I think the essence of hopefully, what you’re hearing for the audience here right now is to find out what your vision is, and find out which tool, align yourself with professionals and experts who have done that, right and then go execute on. Anything to add on that Damion?
Old wisdom I got from an old guy that’s balder than me, which is really hard to be. And he said, you can be right or you can be happy. And ultimately, righteousness is tied to ego and it’s not going to make you happy. It’s just going to feed that one beast that’s never going to be satisfied. But it’s not really a life well lived when you’re focused on that one thing.
Love it well said. And that could be your favorite leadership or quote or theme that you live by, but are there any other ones you want to add to that? Because that was actually the next question.
Love it well said. And that could be your favorite leadership or quote or theme that you live by, but are there any other ones you want to add to that? Because that was actually the next question.
The question that I asked for two straight years that led to the book Reinvented Life I wrote in 2012 is the question, what is true? And you kind of allude to when you’re talking about Ray Dalio and things. The question for everybody listening and watching is, what is true? And when you have the answer, great. Ask it again. And keep asking it. I asked for it for two straight years. And you’ll find you go deeper into your core, and you’ll actually find the truth because the first thing that comes up is not the truth. It’s just the first shade of the truth. And so asking that one question, you don’t need a guru, you need to go deeper. And really getting to the honest truth is hard work. And it’s the most important work you’d probably ever do.
Love that. There’s so much there. I’d read that book. I want to get that book. What’s the book called? It’s called, What Is True?
Reinvented Life is the book I wrote. And the core premise, the question there is what is true?
Got it. Beautiful. What are you curious about right now?
I’m curious about the ulterior motives and the actual strategies and plans are going on at a global level. And what’s really happening that we’re just not thinking about. And there’s going to be a Netflix documentary on this in three or four or five years, we’re going to be like, oh, shoot, that’s what was happening. I just kind of wish I could go and see that documentary right now. Because there are so many things, I find out about new stuff every day, like the swap lines that the Federal Reserve gave to the Bank of Japan, things I didn’t even know about. And I’m like, how is that happening? And every day, I learned something new from people talking about this stuff, unearthing these things that are manipulating our ability to be free. And so I’m very curious and very frustrated. And I think I’m not the only one.
I couldn’t agree with you more. Our leadership has failed us. And unfortunately, it’s been going on for too long. And now when you have a crisis like this, everything just hits the fan and it makes it that much worse. And they exasperate their ability to grab away the freedom. And really, yeah, manipulate people, right? And that’s unfortunately, the sad truth of what’s happening right now. That being said, after all your success, Damion after your book, after helping a countless number of individuals gain freedom financially through EQRP and retirement planning, and taking control of their wealth, how do you stay centered in your values? And how do you stay encouraged to reach for new goals?
One of the things that I have done this year, and I think this is important for many of us, is to connect back with the purest things. And so for me, that was a garden. And it’s gonna sound a little funny because we’re so used to going to Whole Foods or some grocery store or something when you connect down to something as basic as food, which if you don’t do it, you’re dead inside of a month, for the most part, unless you’re like one of these levitating, you know, Yogi’s or something. But the reality is something that’s simple, just being back in nature and I moved a few months ago to be closer to nature, where it’s calmer, and, and just focusing on that instead of chasing the ever never-ending shiny objects. It’s like we’re a bunch of drunk squirrels chasing, chasing shiny acorns, like what is going on with us. Shifting into a place where you find the stillness in something that you can connect with. It really does start to change what you think about and what matters. You’re like, do I really give a crap about what’s on Facebook right now? And you stop, you’re like, oh, relationships actually matter and the truth about my food and, and just and how you can connect with people. So, I can’t say how valuable that is. Until you do it, you’ll go oh, wow, never done this before it has changed my life.We have to understand and we have to practice stillness. We have to be able to be still without noise or conflict or whatever. And, that's hard because we're not meant to sit still, we're human beings that do things. The way to… Click To Tweet
Love that. Thank you for sharing that. And for our listeners who want to get in touch with you. What’s the best way for them to connect with you?
I think the best thing for people to do is to learn and share about the work we’re doing with EQRP. It’ll be a gateway. It’s kind of like your gateway drug into the Damion, the world of Damion. And so what I want to do is give it to you right now like I don’t want you to have to wait, just give it to you right now. So if you just text the word EQRP to 72000, you’re going to get the report I wrote on EQRP and the Cares Act, which actually has a super important impact on many people because it allows you to pull money out of your retirement account even if you’re still working, but it only lasts the next few months. And so texting EQRP to 72000 is going to give you something you can learn about and also share very easily. Because Brett it’s like love. When you love somebody, it doesn’t take love away from you. It expands the pie, when you get information and you share it with people, it doesn’t take it away from you. It literally empowers other people and you become a superhero. And it’s fulfilling. So that’s what I want you guys to do. Take that and share it.
Beautiful! Thank you Damion for that gift there. And the gift of your time and energy and inspiration, inspirational wisdom you share with us in this last 30 minutes or so. I want to encourage you to keep using the gifts you’ve been given of resilience and empowering people with that resilience and encourage them to take control of their wealth and their retirement. And with that, I want to thank our listeners too for listening to another episode of the Capital Gains Tax Solutions podcast. As always, we believe most high net worth individuals and those who help them struggle with clarifying their capital gains tax deferral options. Not having a clear plan is the enemy and using a proven tax referral strategy, such as the deferred sales trust. Using like the EQRP is one of the best ways to grow your wealth. So please reach out to us at capitalgainstaxsolutions.com if you’re selling anything that’s highly appreciated, a home, primary home, a business, commercial real estate, and check out the deferred sales trust there. And we appreciate it pre-share, rate review, and subscribe to share this message and help hopefully create more freedom for people with their finances. Thank you so much. You have just listened to another information-packed episode of Capital Gains Tax Solutions with Brett Swarts. We hope you enjoyed today’s show and found it helpful. Visit capitalgainstaxsolutions.com to access the show notes and to access more resources. Don’t forget to leave a review and join us again next time.
About Damion Lupo
Damion Lupo is a Best Selling Author in personal finance and money thinking, host of the Transformation Nation podcast, owner of 30+ companies, and founder of his own martial art – Yokido ® Damion outrightly rejects regret and speaks to it as the ultimate life failure. He has a unique approach to living a full-filled life by breaking rules and making more mistakes, faster, than the competition – his key to success.
Playing by a different set of rules, he even bought his first rental house with a VISA, a move that snowballed into owning 150 rental houses in 7 states in less than 5 years. In 2008 he lost the entire $20 million but recreated his wealth and reinvented his life over 4 transformational years. Today he leads 3 global companies with one unified mission – to Free People from Money Bondage.
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