Category: Investments

On today’s episode of #RitterOnRealEstate, we get together with Mark Willis to learn all about his extensive expertise in financial planning and wealth management. Mark is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, a THREE TIME #1 Best Selling Author and the Owner of Lake Growth Financial Services, a financial firm in Chicago, Illinois. Over the years, Mark has helped hundreds of his clients take back control of their financial future and build their businesses with proven, tax-efficient financial solutions. He specializes in building custom-tailored financial strategies that are unknown to typical stock-jockeys, attorneys, or other financial gurus.

Key Points From This Episode: 

  • Introduction of today’s guest Mark Willis.
  • Mark’s first memories of money as a child.
  • Fractional reserve banking and why it’s important to the everyday Joe.
  • Being a new financial planner in 2008.
  • How reserve requirements changed for banks in the 2020 Pandemic.
  • The poor rate of return that comes with banking.
  • How the contract is the bed of civilization.
  • Building relationships= building contracts= building wealth.
  • How to define what our money should be doing for us.
  • What is Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance?
  • Whole life insurance banking on yourself.
  • Some of the downsides to Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance.
  • How using cash breaks compound growth.
  • Questions investors should ask their deal sponsor.

Books Mentioned:

-Bank On Yourself: The Life-Changing Secret to Protecting Your Financial Future By Pamela Yellen

-The Road Less Stupid: Advice from the Chairman of the Board by Keith J. Cunningham

-Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki



[00:00] MW:

Key piece to this, the alternative way to look at finances is where are your contracts, who is paying you something you can count on, that will last the rest of your life or that will build on a predictable schedule the rest of your life where you can control the outcome before you even begin. I mean, how many? How many parts of our life? Can we control the outcome before we even begin our marriage, our health? You know, our kids, you know, our investments, a lot of things we can’t control, right? You want some kind of manner of control. The contract is the pathway to get you there. 

[00:00:36] KR: 

Welcome to Ritter on Real Estate, the show about how to passively invest like a pro. On each episode, I interview real estate experts who give their top investing advice, strategies, and tools that break down the insights into practical steps to avoid the pitfalls and make better investments. I want to help you passively invest like a pro. This is Ritter on Real Estate, and I’m your host, Kent Ritter.

[01:00] KR:

Hello, fellow investors. Welcome to another episode of Ritter on Real Estate, where we teach you how to passively invest like a pro.

Today, my guest is Mark Willis. And Mark is a man on a mission to help you think differently about your money, your economy and your future. After graduating with six figures of student loan debt and discovering a way to turn his debt into real wealth, as he watched everybody lose their retirement savings and home equity in 2008. He knew that he needed to find a more predictable way to meet his financial objectives. And those of his clients. Mark is a certified financial planner. He’s a three-time number one best-selling author, and He’s the owner of late growth Financial Services is a financial services firm based in Chicago, Illinois. He specializes in building custom tailored financial strategies that are unknown to typical stock jockeys’ attorneys and other financial gurus. That’s great. I’m excited to dig into this. And then lastly, as the co-host of the not your average financial podcast, Mark, share some of his strategies for investing in real estate paying for college without going broke and creating an income in retirement that you won’t outlive. Awesome, Mark. Thanks for being on the show today. 

[00:02:10] MW:

Yeah, thanks, Kent. Thanks for having me on. 

[00:02:13] KR:

Man, the I think these are all super relevant topics. I’m gonna have to hit you up on the side for how to how to send my three kids through college without going broke. Yeah, and, and, and yeah, and we’ll just go from there. We’ll dig into some of this stuff. So before co-host we get to the nitty gritty mark, why don’t you give our audience a sense of you know, your background and who you are, and how you’ve got to be where you are today? 

[00:2:35] MW:

Well, I’m definitely not your average financial planner, I didn’t, you know, I wasn’t born with these concepts, or any kind of equations of calculus in my mind. You know, I grew up in Indianapolis, wonderful town, we just were talking before record about that. And my, my first memories of money, were and this is relevant for your listeners, I promise, was taking my little paper bag of allowance cash of about 50 bucks into a bank, and the job, my little job as a six-year-old or whatever, was to hand all of my money over to the stranger. And he was going to go take it away and put it somewhere where I couldn’t get it. And you know, likely, of course, I was being taught by you know, well-meaning parents that checking accounts, savings accounts are good things to have. But little did I know how, how right on the money I was as a six-year-old that the bank’s vault was not as safe as that little paper bag in my, you know, sock drawer. As it turns out, as it turns out, we’ve gone through a couple of major market crashes since that little paper bag memory. And banks included have gone through incredible gyrations and something called fractional reserve banking, entered my six-year-old vocabulary at some point after 2008. So, in 2008, I was working for a CPA firm at the time helping her with some tax, clients and so forth investments. And I overheard the CPA who was nationally recognized very intelligent, very incredible, capable CPA, making those phone calls can to clients saying I’m sorry, Mr. client, you’re 62 years old, but I just lost you half of your life savings in the stock market. And that kind of call shook me to my core, you know, I’m a brand-new financial planner, green under the under my under my, you know, under my gills or whatever. And I don’t want my career to be filled with conversations like that, you know, where if this whole thing this whole financial universe is just a bunch of a house of cards waiting to be tumbled over by somebody sneezed in the wrong way on Wall Street. I don’t want that to be. That’s no way to build a life. That’s no way to talk to people that have entrusted their life savings to you. Nothing wrong with her. She’s just part of the CPAs just doing what she’s been taught to do, which is what we all do, Kent! you know we all are doing what we’re taught to do. We bring our paper bags to our bank, we bring our money into a 401k and we just hope and pray don’t we just hope and pray but as it turns out in 2020, and during the pandemic, the reserve requirements of banks, and that would include credit unions went from 10% down to 0%. So let me say this in plain English, null hash . If I put 10 grand into a bank, in good times, in good times, I’d have $1,000 in the vault with my name on it, the other $9,000 is loaned out to the guy behind me in line. And I’m being paid a whopping 0.1% interest for the privilege of that experience. And the guy behind me is getting charged 10%. Now, right, banks are making off like bandits there, I don’t care whose calculator you use, that’s an infinite rate of return, isn’t it? If their money is not in the game there, that’s an infinite return. That’s why banks have the biggest building in town. So, you know, my background is the wakeup call, I guess you might say, of my life was realizing that banks are not safe. Wall Street is not, you know, it’s not written in stone that I must put my money into Wall Street just to meet my financial goals. So that left me with where do we turn next? What can we do to truly build a financial strategy for my wife and I, how do we pay off our student loans? Because we walked out of there with $120,000 of student loan debt between our degrees and you know, we had to find a plan. And I think clients today still do. 

[00:6:25] KR: 

Yeah, absolutely and I think that’s, I think that’s really fascinating the way that you put that in, and just this this idea that, yeah, I mean, there’s a rate of return on your money in a savings account. And we all know is if it is my small, but so, I think a lot of us don’t think about the fact that the bank is taking that money and loaning it out to others, right and use it using your money as their leverage. So, what’s the other way to approach this? 

[00:6:53] MW: 

Well, there’s obviously the So, old quote by Mark Twain kind of fills my mind right now. The quote is a banker is a fellow who will lend you his umbrella when the sun is shining. But once it back as soon as it starts to rain, and in in real estate, I think obviously, real estate has been an asset class that has outlasted Wall Street. Certainly, it’s outlasted virtually anything else in human civilization. I mean, it goes clear back to the pyramids, and your listeners know very well the power of real estate. But I’d like to, I’d like to kind of twist the red pill just a little bit here and say, all right, what is it really that we have if we own real estate? Okay, all we really have folks look at the bricks, we look at the plywood, we look at the you know, the nails and lumber and all that. And it feels real. I had a call with a guy the other day he had 10 properties. He had passive income. He was literally working on the grout / tile. Whenever I was talking to him on the phone, we were going over a financial consultation that we do over zoom or over the phone with clients. And he was remarking on his portfolio, his literal Empire bricks and stone, right. But all you really have with real estate, all you really have is a contract. A contract. The contract itself can’t is the bedrock of civilization. If we don’t have a contract with our real estate properties, all we really have is squatters’ rights. And everything else is just you know, trust and hope. Right? whoever’s got the bigger shotgun keeps the property without the contract. So, I deal and believe that contract law is the foundation of a financial future. Everything else is paper wealth. Right? My 401k feels great today. When it’s up. It feels terrible when it’s down. My Zillow appreciation is up great. I feel great. Zillow is down, it feels terrible. You know, the contract is what we can rely on. And I was going through a museum here in Chicago the other day, it’s downtown near Hyde Park near a University of Chicago. There’s a little tiny museum it’s called the Ancient Oriental Institute and I was walking down the hallway of this old museum it held all this ancient biblical archaeology, old tablets, you know, mummies fun stuff for like me. And, and I’m looking at the wall of this museum and along the walls like this 20-foot-long parchment paper underneath it was a placard, Kent and it said annuity contract. A contract for probably a Roman soldier, the date was 300 BC. 

[00:09:26] KR: 


[00:09:27] MW: 

And so, this is a guy getting paid for the rest of his life, a pension from probably the Roman army or Alexander the Great or somebody. I mean, that’s incredible, right? That, you know, he, as long as he lives, him and his wife and his kids, whatever, they’re going to get paid a rent cheque, you know, from the largest empire in the world at that time. So, anyway, whatever that’s worth, I think the key piece to this the alternative way to look at finances is where your contracts who is paying you something that you can count on that will last the rest of your life or that will build on a predictable schedule the rest of your life where you can control the outcome before you even begin, I mean, how many, how many parts of our life? Can we control the outcome before we even begin our marriage, our health? You know, our kids, you know, our investments, a lot of things we can’t control. All right, you want some kind of manner of control, the contract is the pathway to get you there. And real estate is a is a key symptom of the contract that under undergirds at all. 

[00:10:31] KR: 

Gotcha. Okay. So, this idea of, of contracts right into these contracts that pay you, but you know, how do you make it more and more real for me? So how do we set up the system? What is the system look like that we’re developing with these contracts? 

[00:10:47] MW: 

Yeah, yeah, you’re right, man, we got to come down the ladder a little bit. This idea of contract law, it’s, it’s pretty ethereal. How do we have a count? Who do we have a contract with? You know, Jim Carrey, he wrote, he wrote himself a note, or he wrote a check to himself, you know, 10 years in the future $10 million, signed Jim Carrey, you know, for acting for acting. But it took him getting out into the world and like doing deals and signing, you know, contracts and getting into movies to make that check a reality. So, you got to do the same, you know, you got to get out there, you got to find syndications. Like, can’t you offer real estate opportunities, you got to find real life, people in relationships to build those real-life contracts, where you can build real life wealth. You know, one of the interesting features of going through the CFP process, the (Certified Financial Planning) process is they put you through, I mean, it’s like, it’s like, deep and wide, you know, the stuff they make you learn. And I kept track up to a point of about 450, places, financial vehicles, where you could keep your cash 450 places. And, you know, the average Joe, or Jane is just trying to make it through life, we got kids, we got soccer practice, I don’t have time to learn 450 places to park my money, right? That’s everything from, you know, mutual funds to an IRA to a dynastic trust to a read two syndication deal, you know, the list goes on new cities, you know, insurance, whatever it all is, it’s so overwhelming that a lot of us just sign on the dotted line when we are handed that 401k. And we never really stopped to ask ourselves, what do we truly want our money doing for us? So, getting clear on that piece first, is new cities crucial. So, let’s bring it down the ladder, what are some things that you want, what I want what other people want? What do we really want our money doing for us. And to be honest, I can only speak for myself. 

So, I’ll, I’ll say a few things here can’t but I’d love your feedback to like, if I’m if I’m creating my little list of a perfect financial vehicle, if I could just wave my magic wand, and like, just come up with a brand new, you know, creation and brand-new financial instrument. 

Here’s some of the things I’d want. I’d be curious your thoughts here, too. So, if I could just, you know, creatively, you know, if this thing has to exist, I want it to be pretty awesome, right? I want a sizable rate of return. I want, you know, instant liquid access to the money without any penalties or taxes, do I want to be able to put whatever much money I want to put in there, you know, I want flexible contributions, where I’m not going to be penalized by the government or limited by the government, you know, on how much I could put in there. I’d want it to be protected from lawsuits. Because you know, if we’re owning real estate, that’s just a matter of when not if that’s going to be in our future, unfortunately. Can you think of anything else? Like what else strikes your fancy, man? If you’re, you know, well, magic one. 

[00:13:46] KR: 

Yeah, I’d love I’d love to have some tax advantages. 

[00:13:49] MW: 

Yep. There you go. Right. 

[00:13:50] KR: 

Yeah, and I’d like to have Yeah, I’d like to have access to cash flow along the way not just not just have to wait for appreciation. 

[14:00] MW: 

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Some kind of stream of income. 

Massively. I’d like to use it as collateral, you know, without having to go through a bunch of bank underwriting. 

[14:10] KR: 


[14:11] MW: 

So funny enough, I was going through my CFP learning all these different vehicles that are out there and of all things can dividend paying whole life insurance meets everything you and I just said 

[14:25] KR: 


[14:26] MW: 

which kind of shocked me and so, it took me a while It took me a good year when I first heard about this thing, they call it a bank on yourself designed whole life insurance. So, there’s a whatever there’s 400,000 life insurance agents in the United States. I’m gonna go ahead and say that your insurance guy or girl doesn’t know how to do this or engineer a bank on yourself type policy. And there’s other groups out there that call it things you know, infinite this banking that? Yeah, but I will say the only credential training program that has a long-lasting effect. And, and forces, the financial professional to design this correctly, is what’s called a bank on yourself professional. So, I’ll get into this a little bit. But what is whole life insurance designed the bank on yourself way? Yeah, it grows on a predictable schedule every single year outside of the stock market. It’s available to you at any time, for any reason. It’s totally liquid cash, you can get the money out of the policy in about a week or so you don’t have to die to get the money out. You know, I always say it’s more fun to spend money while I’m alive. It’s designing totally income tax free. The tax law says we can get the principle and the gains out of this policy without taxes do if we do it right. And maybe most importantly, for our talk today, when I use the cash in this policy, design, mostly for cash and not death benefit, we cut the Commission’s out of the thing so it grows more effectively. But if I designed this correctly, the bank on yourself way and let’s say I have 200,000 bucks, sitting in this policy, I can use this money, I can borrow against the policy like a bank. And the policy will continue to earn interest for me as if I hadn’t touched the money. Hmm. So, if I’ve got 200 grand in cash value, and let’s say I borrow out 150 grand to invest with Kent or some syndication or real estate, that year, my policy will also receive guaranteed growth plus dividends on the entire 200 grand as if I hadn’t touched a dime of it. And I’ve got my money invested in the syndication deal. Tony is a CFP that blows my mind. 

[00:16:37] KR: 

Yeah, that almost seems too good to be true. You’re able to have, you’re able to, you know, really leverage your money and to double down have your money in two places at that at that point. 

[00:16:46] MW: 

That’s a good way to put that. Yeah, instead of having just one asset, the syndication deal, you can have the syndication deal, and you get to have your policy earning at the same time. You’re right. It does sound too good to be true. It really shook me, kind of to my core again, post-recession, financial planner, sick and tired of watching people lose money. So, I love the guarantees piece of this policy. I love the tax-free piece because I just think over your So, lifetime my lifetime taxes are going up. So, I’m putting money into this, like a Roth IRA is tax-free sort of how it’s taxed. But the thing that almost made me go well, I got a, you know, you know, I gotta investigate this further. Is that hole collateralization. And that’s really what it is. There’s no magic here. Can’t if you if you have a mortgage or if anybody has a HELOC listening, you probably understand how this works. If your home let’s say your home is worth 500 grand. And let’s say your HELOC, you have a HELOC for 200. Grand, the home still grows on the full value, right? Yeah, even though you borrowed against it, 

[00:17:52] KR:


[00:17:53] MW:

That’s how the policy works. You’ve used your asset, your whole life cash value as collateral. And the loan is coming from the insurance company that you Oh, 

[00:18:02] KR:


[00:18:03] MW:

This is this is the best part when it’s a mutually owned life insurance company. You and I and the rest of the policyholders participate in the profits of the policies and the insurance company. So, what does all this mean for investing in real estate? Yeah, why are we talking about life insurance. So, I use my policies and our clients oftentimes will use their policies for making smart investment choices. You know, if you think about it, every time I pay cash, whether it’s a car, or my daughter’s college, or a syndication deal, every time I hand over money to the tax man, or any other major purchase, I no longer earn interest on those dollars, they’re gone, right? But also gone is whatever that money might have grown to had I not bought the car, or whatever, or the kids college. So, the power here is not only do we get the kids college paid for without going broke. But we also get the asset earning interest for us at the same time, the policy itself. 

[00:19:13] KR: 

Gotcha. So, for example, if I wanted to go buy a car, traditionally, I would go to a bank and get a car loan, right? In your model, I could actually take the money out of my life insurance policy and give a loan to myself. And then instead of paying the bank interest, I’m paying my policy back and with a principal and interest but it but it’s going back to me it’s So, building up the capital in that policy. Right. 

[00:19:43] MW: 

That’s it. You got it. Yeah. And unlike a bank, you get to decide your repayment schedule. You could skip a payment, you could skip a year, I had a guy who uses his policy to flip real estate, so he’ll borrow from his real estate, 100 grand or whatever. Invest in his real estate deal, and no required repayment plan for six months, 18 months, however long it takes him to flip that property. And then when he finally does flip the property and it sells it, he just repays the loan recycles the money back into the policy, so he can flip the next deal. And the next and the next. 

[00:20:19] KR: 

Gotcha. So, I know with you know, when so, people invest with into deals like ours, or any deal that has a lot of leverage, right deal that has debt associated with it. And they’re investing from a, you know, like a tax advantage type plan, they’re there they can run into, like UBIT taxes and things unrelated business taxes, right. And people get hit with those and they don’t expect it right. Is that something that you’re you have to worry about with a universal life policy like this? 

[00:20:48] MW: 

No, no, with a with a bank on yourself type whole life policy, there’s no UBIT tax, there’s no prohibited transaction expense, there’s no penalty, if you take the money out and spend it on Disney World, or on real estate, you can fix your own kitchen, or you can invest in somebody else’s property, it’s your cash, you know, it’s a private contract with a private insurance company. 

[00:21:12] KR: 

And at what point does it have to be paid back? 

[00:21:15] MW: 

Never, you know, if you if I would recommend you pay it back. If you never pay it back during your life, I’ll clarify what I mean by never sure. If you don’t ever pay that off over your lifetime, then as long as the policy is still around, when you pass away, they just deduct it from your death benefit of it.

[00:21:33] KR: 

Gotcha. Gotcha. And, yeah, this is a this is a fascinating concept. It sounds like a great way to become your own bank, like you said, you really are right so

[00:21:45] MW: 

Yeah, it’s a simple, simple, you don’t need an FDIC insured bank, you don’t need a bank charter, it’s something you can set up for a couple 100 bucks a month or a couple 100,000 a year or anywhere in between, you know, the concept holds true. I wouldn’t say everyone should go run out and get this though. We can chat about that. But 

[00:22:03] KR: 

Yeah, that’s what I was gonna ask because I mean, it does sound too good to be true, right? It sounds like I need to set these up right away. But there’s got to be a downside to everything. So, like, what are what’s the downside? What’s, what’s the gotcha the risks that we need to know about? 

[00:22:16] MW: 

Yep, yep. Well, you know, I admittedly, whole life insurance has been around for 200 years, and it’s had all of these features. But again, very few surprisingly few agents or financial advisors have any experience designing the policies correctly. You know, my smartphone has a couple of cameras on it. And you know, I get GPS, somebody had to engineer that. And you don’t just one anybody engineering your smartphone or the elevator you’re about to get on. You don’t want just anybody designing the policy. So, one of the gotchas is people get these policies, and they show them to me, like, hey, Mark, I got bank on yourself, check it out. And it’s a universal life policy, or it’s a variable life policy tied to the stock market little bit fees are taxable to them, and they don’t even realize. So, two thirds of the time, at least it’s and maybe more it’s, it’s really the design of the policy or it’s with the wrong company. So, or it’s growing way too slow. I just had a guy today. He said he started his policy 12 years ago, putting in 1300 bucks a month, and it hasn’t even broke even yet. hasn’t even broken even yet that’s very slow. Right? We typically cut the Commission’s out. So that’s one of the big gotchas is you got to work with it’s just like USDA Organic, produce, you know, okay, it went through a number of different steps to earn that label only work with advisors that have that label, think on yourself professionals. If you don’t, you could be in a mess. Okay, so that’s the first gotcha guy. 

Second, and I’ll just keep these briefs. It does grow slow, you know, for what you can offer through your syndication, I’m sure. A syndication deal on its own would be a whole life policy, especially in the first few years’ big time. Heck, a savings account would be your whole life policies returns in the first two or three years, usually around your three or four, it should be starting to break even year over year in terms of cost allocation and increase, but those first few years, you’re bright, you’re paying for the death benefit, and that costs money. So don’t do this strategy. If you got to have overnight success. You know, this is a long-term financial parking spot and a place to grow your wealth long term not get rich overnight. So that’s another gotcha. The other piece, I guess I’ll say and briefly say this, you do have to save it still. It still means capitalizing, you know what bank what bank opens its doors without having money in the vault. And the same is true with a policy. It’s got to be your own capital; you’re dumping money into it to make this worthwhile. So those are some gotchas or considerations for the 

[00:24:50] KR: 

Yeah, no, thank you for sharing that. That’s, I mean, still sounds like an overwhelmingly positive way to approach things. I love the idea that you can be your own bank, you can you can, you know, you can leverage your own money, right to make investments they’re generating return at the same time you’re generating a return offers your, your policies. So, you’re getting double the benefits there, right? 

[00:25:15] MW: 

Yep, yep. 

[00:25:16] KR: 

And in avoiding some of the UBIT, taxes and other things that that can come if you’re investing through a 401k or other sources. So, I think that’s all very positive. 

[00:25:25] MW: 

If we’ve got three minutes, I could give a quick case study. 

[00:25:30] KR: 

Please do, please do 

[00:25:32] MW: 

So. Um, so this is for the for the number’s geeks out there, I’m gonna read a few numbers. You know, forgive me guys, if this is not your, if you’re not the engineer, just skip ahead, hopefully 60 seconds, and I’ll be done. But here’s a guy who put in 32 grand a year into a policy by year 10. He’s got 400,000 bucks in cash. And, and by year 15, he’s got 515 grand, that’s what I really want you to remember. 515 grand, by your 10. He’s, he’s number’s done paying premiums, and he’s already got 400 grand. So, from year 11 through year 15. He grows his money by 115,000 actually closer to 119,000 bucks as I’m looking at it here. So, on its own, it grows 119 grant, he borrows from the policy in year 11. Okay, he sends it to Kent. Or in this case, he sends it to another syndication but he should have sent it to Kent. 

[00:26:25] KR: 

That’s right. 

[00:26:26] MW: 

All right. And $350,000 gets borrowed out of this policy. And the wealth in the policy is going to keep earning that same earned interest, topping up to 515 grand while we wait for the syndication deal to ripen and mature and pay off. So, the real estate deal, the syndication did its thing 12% whatever preferred rate, and the policy itself got its own yield on its own, you can do the math on that no one, no contributions grows from 400,000 to 515,000. Just over those four years there, that’s an incredible way to increase your yield, you know, you were going to invest in the real estate deal anyway. Right, it’s a great way to get the yield increase without any additional market risk. Yeah, I can’t find any 401k that lets us do that. 

[00:27:13] KR 

Yeah, absolutely. And instead of just keeping the money set aside, you know, for grow the next deal. If you if you just if you’re putting the money into this vehicle, instead, it sounds like that money is always working for you now. And then as the next deal comes, you can take the money out and put it into it, but at least that money is working somewhere. It’s not just sitting in a savings account, or somewhere else, right? 

[00:27:34] MW: 

Or a cash allocation in your self-directed IRA or any other non interest earning account. You’re exactly right. What’s the concept? Einstein says, you know, uninterrupted compound growth is the eighth wonder of the world is the most powerful concept in your financial portfolio is uninterrupted compound growth. What’s the problem with self-directed our regular average way of doing things? The problem is we continuously break compound growth every time I buy a cup of coffee or a car or a college education. I’m breaking compound growth if I pay cash, that’s why cash is not the answer here. You know, paying cash is just financing it for my future self. You know, you finance everything you buy if you don’t use something that continuously grows. Right, So, I’m off my soapbox, Kent I promise. 

[00:28:25] KR: 

No, I love it marketing. It’s a really interesting concept. It’s not something that I’ve heard explained. I’ve heard universal banking kind of these terms before conferences and things and not something I’ve heard explained in this way, not something I’ve heard explained in the way to be able to really leverage your own money to invest in other investments, while also still getting a return. Right. And I think that that’s fantastic. I think about it, as you know, that’s like with my brokerage account, you know, you can you can, you can take margin off of that, and I’ve used that at times to, to do a down payment or other things on an investment. And, and this is real, but you’re at paying, you’re paying interest on that you’re paying it to someone else, right? I really think this is the same way, except you’re paying that interest back to yourself. And I think that’s really powerful. 

[00:29:13] MW: 

Yeah, there’s a lot of commonality, I mean, he locks are great corollary there a margin account. What’s the difference? Well, whole life is the only one in that in the brokerage account and the house in both of those scenarios, there’s no guarantee, you know, and there’s something called a margin call that we’ve all been made aware of, and, and he locks are callable to, but whole life policies a bit again, back to contract law, that the loan provision, the right to that loan is baked right into your contract, they cannot take that away from you. And that grows the policy does on a guaranteed basis every single year for the rest of my life. So, I know, at age 65, you know, this policy, all of our policies are going to be worth x, and there’s really nothing I can do to stop it at this point. It’s just going to keep going on its own. And that’s a I mean, what else can I say that sounds like a financial plan when my future outcome is determined, you know, in advance. I mean, that’s what a contract should be all about. Right? 

[00:30:13] KR: 

Yeah. And I think I mean, I think that’s a great way to kind of put a bow on this mark is I mean, it’s a great, it’s it an enlightening financial strategy, it’s, it’s a way to continue to, you know, it’s a great strategy to build wealth, it sounds like so definitely, I’m gonna look into it more and see how I can make that work for myself and, and fund those future investments. That’s exciting. 

[00:30:34] MW: 

And I hope, I hope that some folks on this show, figure out or have some of this or set up some of these, and then they’re more ready and willing to invest with you. Because, you know, when my money over here, and my policy is doing middle single digit returns, nothing fancy, but I’ll keep it, you know, I’ll take it, it beats inflation. And now I’m more ready to invest in the syndication offerings that you provide. Because I know I’ve got this backstop over here, my policy over here, so I’m more ready to give more money to syndications or other, you know, more aggressive instruments. Because I’ve got my, I’ve got my risk-free asset and my risk asset on both sides of the barbell, and I can start doing some heavy lifting. 

[00:31:15] KR: 

I love it, it sounds like we’re finally starting to work the system in our advantage if just even a little bit. And so that’s great. Well, thank you, Mark, for coming on and sharing this with us and enlightening us. And before I let you go, you know, I want to walk you through our keys to success. I got four questions I want to ask you. 

First one is what is one question that every investor, every investor should be asking their deal sponsor, you know, someone’s going to make an investment? What do you tell them as their financial planner, they should be asking? 

[00:31:50] MW: 

I think the asking? some of the questions you asked today were great, you know, what’s the downside? What’s the worst that could happen? You know, what is? What is the time? And also, so what’s the worst that could happen here? And are you willing to put any of your guarantees in writing? That’s a key question. Okay. And third, when was the last time you lost someone’s money? And how did you react? 

[00:32:14] KR:

Yeah, that’s a really good one. That’s a really good one. 

[00:32:17] MW:

That’s so that’s all three of those, I think speaks to the personality of the person you’re speaking with, you know, if they hide from those questions you might want to hide from them. 

[00:32:24] KR: 

Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s the most important thing, right? It gets the integrity of the person; I think those are great questions that start to fish that out. Next question is what are you most proud of in your career? 

[00:32:36] MW: 

Oh, man, I mean, come on our kiddos, you know, before long, we got to find a way to get our you’ve got kids young, I’ve got a five-year-old daughter, let’s find a way to get them on the payroll, then we can start. here’s the neat thing, I could start a little, you know, little employment for my daughter, because I’m most proud of her work, you know, and then my, my artwork for her over here, she could be the artist of our company, I could, you know, pay her a salary of some sort, it can go into up to a certain limit, there’s no taxes due for her. And I get a payroll deduction as the employer and then so she gets a tax free, she puts it into a Roth IRA, or even more one of these whole life policies, it’s never taxed for her. And then she leaves it to her my grandkids, someday, generations from now, income tax free. So that’s a way to never pay taxes on some money that you give your children and you teach them more importantly than the money is you teach the kids the principles of wealth. 

So, I’m so proud when I see my daughter, and I’ve tried to teach her that money is only paid when you’re solving someone else’s problem. It’s not an it’s not a right, you don’t just get paid, because you’re breathing. You know, you don’t just get an allowance because you an kept alive another week, you’re being paid because you help solve someone’s problem. That’s what an economy is all about. So that’s what I’m most proud of. 

[00:33:56] KR: 

I like that perspective. I think that’s a good way to communicate to kids. Like what money is and why you get money. Because yeah, it can be a difficult concept. And, and yeah, I mean, the it’s just like the multiple layers of the different ways you talked about it, make him an employee and being able to say those taxes all the way through. I think that that’s awesome. And getting your kids involved early. I’m excited for my kids to reach that age where they can start to be a part of the business. I think that’s going to be a lot of fun Absolutely

[00:34:25] MW: 

Not to use a stapler, you know, or paperclips and yeah, do you know? 

[00:34:30] KR: 

Yeah, right on. What books should everybody read? 

[00:34:35] MW: 

You know, we’ve been talking enough about this bank on yourself thing. So, I mentioned the bank on yourself revolution. It’s right behind me here. But you know, I’d say that’s a great one. Another one I’ve been really hooked on lately is called the road less stupid by Keith Cunningham. Great book, lots of wisdom, how to build your business. Keith Cunningham was kind of the rich dad Robert Kiyosaki. So, the road less stupid. 

[00:34:55] KR: 

Oh, gotcha. Very cool. I haven’t heard of that one. I’ll have to check that out. 

[00:35:02] MW: 

Got a great voice, you know, great Text an accent So yeah. 

[00:35:06] KR: 

Lastly, what is your number one key to success? 

[00:35:11] MW: 

I think one of my So, favorite things, I heard somebody else say this is Roger Roger Blankenship. He runs a real estate investment Association national; I think it’s called flipping America. He said he wants on his tombstone. He was getting better at this. I think that’d be a cool way to have that on my tombstone. He was getting better at this. So, the key to success is avoid the poison of the arrival syndrome. That is a real poison or virus or whatever. Don’t get trapped and thinking you already got it all figured out? I certainly don’t. No one’s got a corner on truth in the financial world or business world. So, find the truth, take the nugget, and never get caught up in the arrival syndrome. 

[00:35:56] KR: 

Awesome. Great words of wisdom. appreciate everything you’ve shared with us today, Mark. And if folks want to learn more about, about your business and banking on yourself, you know, how can they get ahold of you? 

[00:36:08] MW: 

You can go to bitly/markbanking, that’s m a r k banking, b a n k i n g. So bitly/markbanking will get you there. You can also check us out at not your average financial podcast where we’re talking more about this concept and other similar ways to build contracts for your future. 

[00:36:30] KR: 

Very good. Well, Mark, thank you so much for being here today and enlightening us and giving us some mark banking food for thought on how we approach our financial planning. And it’s just such a such a more productive way than mark banking socking money away and that savings account so thanks again. 

[00:36:46] MW: 

Yeah, no problem. Hey, everybody, don’t, don’t delay, get out and leave a five-star review for Kent. He works hard on this podcast. So, it’s awesome. It’s a great show. You might as well do, it’s free for you to do it. So go out and give him that 5-star review. He’ll really appreciate it. 

[00:37:02] KR: 

Yeah, I appreciate the plug now. Thanks, everybody for listening, and we’ll see you again on the next episode. 

[00:37:08] KR:

Thanks for listening to another great episode of Ritter on Real Estate. Hit the subscribe button to make sure you don’t miss out on the content that will make you a better investor. Also visit for articles, videos and tools curated just for passive investors from next time. This is Kent Ritter with Ritter on Real Estate and go out and invest like a pro.