Financial freedom is a dream for most. The question is, how do you arrive there the fastest? My next guest shares his story of climbing the corporate ladder and achieving financial freedom about 10 years early. In this episode, he shares savings and investing tips you can apply right away. Please welcome Gordon Stein.
[00:00:03.430] – Intro
Payback Time is a podcast about building businesses, wealth and financial freedom. We try to uncover the challenges our guests faced, the mistakes they made, and the steps they took to achieve their goals. The overall objective is to provide you with a roadmap that leads to your own success. Sean Tepper is your host. Are you ready? It’s Payback Time.
[00:00:33.210] – Sean
Financial freedom is a dream for most. The question is, how do you arrive there the fastest? My next guest shares the story of climbing the corporate ladder and achieving financial freedom about ten years early. In this episode, he shares savings and investing tips you can apply right away. Please welcome Gordon Stein.
[00:00:52.410] – Sean
Gordon, welcome to the show.
[00:00:54.180] – Gordon
It’s great to be here. Sean, thanks so much.
[00:00:56.260] – Sean
Yeah, thanks for joining me.
[00:00:57.440] – Sean
So why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about your background?
[00:01:00.600] – Gordon
Well, I was a high tech sales, marketing and operations executive for about 35 years. High tech companies like Apple and Dell and enjoy that experience. And then I had a book idea a few years ago that kind of captured my imagination. So I left the corporate world early, and I’ve been pursuing speaking and writing ever since about personal finance.
[00:01:24.030] – Sean
When you say early, I assume you thought about a plan well in advance to make sure you had enough of investments and savings. You could just jump away from the corporate grind, if you will, and just live off that work on stuff you want to work on. Is that correct?
[00:01:39.100] – Gordon
That’s exactly right. And people say to me all the time, well, how are you able to retire early? And I say I followed with my own book. So it works. That’s exactly right.
[00:01:49.760] – Sean
So let’s dive right into that right away. What is your book about? And let’s see what kind of principles we’re going to apply to our day to day lives here for the audience.
[00:01:59.190] – Gordon
Sure. My book is called Cash Flow Cookbook. It’s done as both a Canadian and a US edition. And the premise behind the book is usually there’s a tug of war on personal finance and half the people say, well, you’ve got a budget and you’ve got to save carefully and you got to give up the things you love so you have a better future. And none of that really is appealing. The other group would say, no, you got to live for today, and then you’ll figure it out at retirement somehow and ending up a Walmart reader or something. That’s also not very appealing. But what I discovered in doing the research on the book is there’s all kinds of hacks, and these are ways of freeing up cash flow across every kind of thing that we buy that lets you save dramatically. In fact, the book totals $13,000 a monthly savings ideas. And the whole idea is giving up nothing. So if I was able to reduce my gas bill by half or lower my electricity bill or save on my car insurance or any of these things. Minimal effort, minimal sacrifice that’s freed up cash.
[00:03:01.190] – Gordon
And I gave up exactly nothing.
[00:03:04.530] – Sean
Okay, let’s drill into this. Give us examples of what you did.
[00:03:11.430] – Gordon
Yeah, there’s all kinds of them. I can start with something that’s fairly simple and relatively obvious. So I did some car and home insurance comparisons online. And by doing that, I saved about $1,000 a month. And then I went one step further. I spoke with a local insurance broker who’s got a really innovative business model. I literally just signed this up yesterday because I’m always looking at these things saved an incremental $2,000 a year on my car and home insurance. So this is a process took about an hour. And to spend 1 hour if we have $2,000 a year of incremental cash flow, I think it’s really quite remarkable. And again, my lifestyle didn’t change, not one bit, but there’s $2,000 for incremental investment or for debt pay down. So that’s one quick one. The book has 60 more.
[00:04:02.680] – Sean
Okay, so insurance to me right away. What comes to mind is you’re kind of moving the dials based on your risk tolerance and other variables that can allow you to realize either a different monthly or annual premium. I assume that’s what you did.
[00:04:16.250] – Gordon
Well, not really, because what’s different now is I didn’t increase my risk, not one bit. In fact, I ended up with five times the liability coverage that I had before and chopping my costs down by about half, saving $2,000 a year, but with five times the liability coverage. Right. So this is the kind of thing the whole concept is. It’s elegant. It’s not like, oh, do without insurance and you’ll save money. And it’s not about haggling. And it’s not about yelling at people. There’s no coupon clipping or putting tin foil on my windows to save on air conditioning. These are all things, Sean, that you and I would be happy to do. And they’re easy.
[00:04:57.210] – Sean
What I’m doing is I’m asking questions that audiences can take action on right away. So this insurance one, I want to go a little deeper. So what did you specifically do to reduce that premium?
[00:05:07.900] – Gordon
So there’s some different ways you can do it. One is there’s some online engines that are great zebra. And sure, if I would be examples. You can go to the website, you can enter all of your data. Probably take about 15 to 20 minutes. This is on both home and car insurance as an example. If you do something similar on life insurance, if you have term life insurance and just take a look and see where you’re at, I typically find there’s about two or $300 a month that people are able to save between their car and home insurance in a 15 minutes exercise online. That’s one route to go. Another is to talk to a licensed insurance broker. And I would get their numbers as well, give them all the same data and then you got something to compare. But there’s so many of these things that are worth two or $300 a month that are there for the asking. So that would just be one example that we’ve used around insurance. Perfect.
[00:06:00.900] – Sean
Let’s jump to another category. What other areas or where else can people save money?
[00:06:06.150] – Gordon
There’s all kinds in the book. I went through six categories and I did them in order of expenditure. So housing tends to be number one, about 29% of our expenses. Transportation tends to be the second one, and then food at number three. And then from there I went onto lifestyle, household and financial kinds of things. So there’s examples right across the board if you take, for example, within the food category. So a lot of people are coupon clipping or they’re driving around to three different grocery stores to get the best deal on this. I couldn’t begin to bother doing any of that. But in most cities to sign up for the loyalty program at your grocery store, there’s a good $100 a month of savings there. It takes about ten minutes. And where we shop here in the Midwest, the Giant Eagle. I don’t know where you are, Sean.
[00:06:56.760] – Sean
We have Piggly Wiggly is one of my favorites. People probably laugh, but Midwesterners, we love our Piggly Wiggly.
[00:07:04.650] – Gordon
Okay. Well, anyway, it shows a running total of what you saved by being a loyalty member. And all we’re doing is splashing our card to the checkout. So ours is about $1250 over the last twelve months. It’s $100 a month, ten minutes. Sign up. Real easy to do. Okay. If we added up what we’ve saved just in this conversation, there’s a quick $400 on those two kinds of insurance and signing up for a loyalty card, some quick examples. Lots more. We can do it. Yeah.
[00:07:32.350] – Sean
Give us one more solid example. People can apply today to save some money.
[00:07:36.710] – Gordon
Yeah. There’s so many. Another one that’s quite interesting is clothing. So I do a lot of public speaking on the book, obviously, and financial wellness. And when I talk about saving on clothing, a lot of people, particularly women, for coil and horror. No, no. I like having nice clothes. But what’s interesting is what the research says. This has been done over and over again is that we only ever wear a quarter of the clothing that we buy, which is hard to believe. But then when you think about when you go into your closet and you’ve got an important meeting, what outfit are you going to get? You’re not going to get the one that was on sale with the sleeves that are just a little bit too short. Sure. You’re not going to get the one that makes you look too boxy. You’re going to get your best open. What happens to the second stringers? They live at the back of the closet. If you’ve ever done a clothing drive for a company or whatever. Every year, what you find is you pull out bags and bags of clothes, particularly if you have some children in the house.
[00:08:33.000] – Gordon
So there’s overspending, not on nice clothing items that you use, but on clothing that you’re never going to wear. So this is one that’s a little bit sort of softer, but it’s really quite material. So if you take a case of, let’s say I’ve got a household spending $10,000 a year on clothing, which wouldn’t be remarkable if you had, say, three children. That means that $7,500 of it is never going to be worn and it’s going to end up getting given away every year. That’s what it looks like as a national average. So there’s a way you can actually save money. You could actually increase your spend on nice clothing that you’re going to wear, but drastically reduce your overall spending on clothing. So that’s worth a few thousand dollars a year. Do you ever watch Marie Kondo in her Netflix program on decluttering houses? She was quite popular for a while.
[00:09:18.830] – Sean
I heard of the show, never watched it, though.
[00:09:21.470] – Gordon
She’ll go tidying up with her book, she’ll go into homes and she pulls up garbage bags of stuff. I mean, dozens of garbage bags and most of its clothing.
[00:09:30.630] – Sean
Interesting. I know part of the process is exciting, especially for people who like to shop. So what you’re talking about, what I immediately think about is higher quality, less.
[00:09:41.640] – Gordon
Volume, a little more mindfully. That’s really the key, right?
[00:09:47.550] – Sean
Don’t walk out the store all the time with something in your hands. Maybe right.
[00:09:51.910] – Gordon
A good example. We’ve all done this. If you’re out shopping somewhere and you see an amazing deal on a really nice blue sweater and it’s on sale, designer brand, everything. So you grab it and you bring it home and you put it in your closet and you go to put it where your sweaters are and you end up putting it right next to the perfectly good blue sweater that’s almost identical to the one that has gone on sale. So getting a little bit more mindful on clothing is another great example.
[00:10:16.490] – Sean
That’s excellent. We’ll definitely place a link in the show notes when this goes live so people can check out your book. And I like this subject. This is all about saving money, but I also think about there are two other categories that I really focus on, and that is earning money, increasing your earning potential. And the third category is investing money work for you. Now, knowing that, I’d like to touch on the subject a little bit about cash flow generation, not just savings. Now you achieved a point in your life where you are years ahead of probably the average individual, especially here in the States, to retire, it sounds like, or achieve financial independence. How many years ahead did you achieve that? We’re talking a decade longer.
[00:11:05.000] – Gordon
Yeah, I would say ten years ahead of the average. I could have done it sooner, sure, but a good ten years.
[00:11:12.450] – Sean
So it sounds like the discipline of saving is a factor. But you had good jobs executive level, in large corporations, which increases your earnings, which is great. But you also invested, I imagine. Right. Were you investing in mutual funds or index funds or individual stocks? Can you talk about that a little bit?
[00:11:32.830] – Gordon
Yeah, I think that’s a really important one. And I think whatever people are investing in, study after study says we’re our own worst enemy. So where do people lose money? And there’s been a few studies. There’s one that’s quite interesting in that people tend to earn less than the returns of the funds that they invest in. So you take an example of Vanguard’s DTI, which is abroad, essentially the S 500, let’s say, for argument’s sake, gets earned 10% total return over the last few decades. That’s pretty close to what it’s earned. The people who invest in the fund, they’re typically getting something like 7%. And so how is that even possible? It’s not fees because the fees are minuscule in that particular fund. What happens is people want to outsmart the market. You take a situation like the last election and people say go back to elections ago. People say, oh, Donald Trump got in and the people who weren’t fans, they say, oh, no, the market is going to crash now. And of course, the market went up. And then Joe Biden gets in and people say, oh, you’re going to have a Democrat Congression, no, fabulous turn of the market, where people say, oh, my goodness, Kobe is here, the world’s going to come to and I need to pull out of the market.
[00:12:52.080] – Gordon
And yes, indeed, it did fall 30%, but really hard to time both away on the way down when you get out and when you get back in. So what happened? Well, Coba came and Covet will probably be around in some form. There’s a 30% drop, but then it went way past that. So it’s people being their own worst enemy. So I think that’s the first and most important thing. And then I think in general, the winners tend to be the broad exchange traded funds. The data says that over and over again, you want to go to Warren Buffett. What does he say? He says if you’re not Warren Buffett, you invest in a broad ETF that covers the US with 95% of your money. You put 5% in government bonds.
[00:13:38.310] – Sean
So it sounds like in your case you were investing in ETS index funds. Is that right?
[00:13:42.670] – Gordon
Principally ETS, in my case, because I’ve been around the high tech industry as long as I had, I have quite a bit of knowledge of how high tech works and how disruptive and how powerful it can be. So in addition to those broad ETFs, I would also hold quite a number of high tech companies, because if you look at what’s happened in the high tech, they have outsized returns because they’re doing things that are so disruptive and so powerfully changing the economy. It’s my belief that they’re going to generate outsized returns, and that’s been the case. So I was an early Apple investor, early Amazon investor. All these things that are going to really have changed and continue to change the economy. Those are the kinds of things I’ve invested in.
[00:14:29.720] – Sean
Sure. For context here, you may not know this, but with tykr we serve the retail investors, so we help people manage their own investments. And that principle you just explained there is right in line as the warm buffet strategy and buying really good businesses. You can buy ETFs or index funds, which is fine, but where you make your biggest returns is buying great businesses because they’re going to beat the market statistically year over year. So in your case, it sounds like you have some really solid companies. I’d like to ask a few more questions around your strategy. What percentage would you say of your monthly income where you investing per month? This is important because there are some people out there who are investing 2%, and there’s other people who are trying to get to that much bigger numbers, like 50% or more.
[00:15:19.750] – Gordon
Where were you in terms of savings rate? Yeah. Yeah. I think 10% is really a minimum that people should look at of their gross income. And there are tables you can look at that say, hey, at a given savings rate, how many years is it going to take you to retire? Because it’s really just pretty simple math, assuming your burn rate looks something consistent to your earning years, so below that. And I think it’s a really key number to track. I would say I probably averaged more like 15% or 20% over my career and really steady, long term investing in the kinds of great companies that you’re talking about, no tips from Uber drivers and stuff, none of that. And then I think if you do that, you’re really going to get to those kinds of outsized returns.
[00:16:07.950] – Sean
And how many stocks would you say you were holding or are holding in your portfolio at a time?
[00:16:14.020] – Gordon
I would say about 20. I think you want to be in a position and people should get their own independent financial advice. I can talk a little bit about what I’ve done, but I think it’s important that they work with a financial professional. For me, I hold about 20 stocks, and that’s important because then it enables you to get some diversification. And it also means that you have no greater than 5% exposure on any one given stock, because one of the things with individual stocks is you can have a great stock and then all of a sudden the CEO gets investigated by the SEC. Yes. There’s so many things that you can’t put a handle on. And that’s a big reason why you’ve got to have that diversification. Even though you’ve done the research on the numbers look great, the company looks great and the management looks great.
[00:16:57.920] – Sean
You’ve got to understand that right now. That’s great advice. I know some people want to hold 50, 75, 100, sometimes more stocks, and it’s just you’re essentially creating your own index fund and you’re not going to see some solid returns. That’s great to hear. Can you share with us what stocks you’ve held? I know you mentioned Apple is right. You held Apple for the years and Amazon.
[00:17:19.140] – Gordon
Yeah. I think those are great building blocks. And once again, people have to do their own research. I’m happy to use examples. And I think you want to look at some of the key trends of what’s going to be important over time, aging population. So I think there’s a world of healthcare that’s really important as the population ages. What are some of those key drugs companies like Abd that are right in the middle of that market? That’s a key thing to earn. I think the world isn’t going to become less peaceful. I think we’ve got some conflict on the go right now. Obviously in Russia, those things aren’t going to change. Having some exposure to the defense industry, I think is almost forgiven. They have a captive audience of people buying those kinds of weaponry. Companies like Lockheed Martin, history of growing dividends, solid blue chip company. Those are the kinds of things that people should do their own research on them individually. So those are the infrastructure things. Warren Buffett and others talk about being the bridge keeper, sitting atop the bridge and taking a toll, whoever is driving, I don’t care who’s on the bridge.
[00:18:27.220] – Gordon
I like the idea of collecting a toll as people go by. So you look at companies like Brookfield infrastructure that have a terrific track record, bridges and roads and all of these kinds of infrastructure things, they’re not going away. They have to be there. Rising dividends, rising results, well managed companies. So if you think about what are those macro, long term trends that are going to be here, who are the best players in each of those, and then comes a strong balance sheet so they can withstand recessions and ones with rising dividends. And I think having a good basket of those kinds of companies well researched and then carefully monitored and you’re in for the long haul. And that’s I think the kinds of recipes. And I think for most people, I think having some sort of a financial adviser or someone who’s going to help them with this, if for no other reason to stop them from selling pre or post election pre or post war pre or postcodet, it’s a huge temptation for people.
[00:19:25.840] – Sean
Great advice on your strategy there. It definitely sounds like value investing, right? You’re investing in really strong businesses with great fundamentals, but you’re also looking past the numbers. We always tell people it’s good to look at the numbers. Our platform here, tykr, does that for us. But look past that. Look at the type of business you mentioned some great examples there. And look at the moat and then the management. I heard you say that once or twice here is pay attention to who’s leading the ship.
[00:19:53.790] – Gordon
Yeah. And the moat is really important if you look at a company, just as an example, if you look at Amazon so early in the game, there was very clearly this ecommerce world, unbelievably efficient in terms of what they can do, delivered right to the door. And there’s no question that trend is going to continue. You look at that rise of ecommerce shopping, you look at the dominance of a company like Amazon, and then you look at all these other things, Amazon Web services. So cloud, there’s a huge category. Cloud isn’t going away. So the way I like to think of it is cloud is not going away. More and more companies move into the cloud, small business moving to the cloud. It just makes sense to have someone else manage all that. So who are the Domino players? Microsoft and Amazon. So if somebody’s buying cloud, they are probably buying it through Microsoft or Amazon. So you hold both of them. You’re kind of the ultimate bridge keeper. So if someone wants cloud as an investor, I’d say to myself, well, they have to buy it through me. Yes, I’m not Amazon. I’m not Microsoft.
[00:20:53.320] – Gordon
I just have the teenager slices of those two companies just as an example, and then all of that revenue coming in as the category grows and as those companies continue to execute in a really strong way.
[00:21:05.970] – Sean
Smart strategy. Let’s take a quick commercial break.
[00:21:12.910] – Sean
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[00:22:20.760] – Sean
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[00:22:52.820] – Sean
Was there maybe a poor investment decision or investment decision you regret over the last 30 years or so?
[00:23:00.440] – Gordon
Yeah, I would say most of them are ones that came earlier. So it’s a lot of things we’ve talked about, Sean. It’s picking up on a hot tip from somebody buying things that I didn’t really understand. In one case, there was a poor investment adviser that I had managing part of my money. And even though I said blue chip, I mean, lots of these things, there were complicated schemes, tax avoidance kinds of things that were really poor underlying investments. So there’s no substitute. I think it’s a good idea to have some help, a financial advisor of some sort. But there’s no limit. You have to really understand something of what you’re owning and keep an eye on that. And timing, the temptation to say, oh, no, there’s 911 just happened. I better get out of the stock market has resolved. America’s going to come back. And if you look at the history, look at the overall stock market, if you go back to its beginnings, it’s average about a 10% total return. And remember that’s through wars and through 911 covet and every possible kind of American President, every possible kind of world leader, it keeps marching on because human nature is to build bigger and better and stronger and faster and the poor companies die off and then new ones come on.
[00:24:17.290] – Gordon
So this long term vision is what I’ve missed in my youth, but I get it now.
[00:24:22.760] – Sean
I love that. I know when I talk to people and they ask questions about conflicts like we’re dealing with right now. And you look through history, there have been dozens of conflicts in the stock market. It maybe takes a small hit, but it always recovers. Like when fear hits the market. There are, unfortunately, people who believe it’s going to be fearful. Inevitably, it’s going to sustain. The market is going down. It’s going down forever. That is never the case. It always recovers. It’s just a matter of when. I like your comment on presidents earlier, because I’ve heard that from people like, oh, so and so is coming to office, I need to exit the market. And my response there is we’re not investing in presidents of the United States. My money is not going towards them. I invest in businesses and the businesses I invest in will outlive their term. And when I usually say that, they’re like, oh, that’s a good point. Like yeah, Apple is definitely going to outlive the next four years.
[00:25:18.810] – Gordon
I’m pretty sure that’s exactly people they may favor one party over the other. And absolutely, that’s the prerogative. They can vote that way. But to assume that the other party gets in the one they don’t like, that the world’s going to come crashing down. It’s not reflective of reality. And if you look at either individual stocks, quality individual stocks, or the market as a whole, it’s interesting exercise. If you go on Apple stocks or whatever platform it is used and take a look at a one day trading curve of a particular stock. And then if you look at a week and then a year and then five years and ten years, something really interesting happens because often in the short run, it’s like a random number generator. What’s Apple going to do next week, I have no idea. But over the long haul, those are a couple of quality companies that we just mentioned. My bet is they’re going to be going up over time. And when you look at the stock market itself for, let’s say, two years and three weeks ago, when Coba really started, what’s the market look like? Well, it’s horrific.
[00:26:24.650] – Gordon
It’s falling like a rock and causing panic. People without financial advisors or better, I got to sell, I got to get out. And then if you look at it now, you can still see it. But I bet you ten years from now we have to Zoom in to find that covet drop. Go back to 2011 on a stock chart. If you’re looking at a ten year stock chart, try and find 911 on there. It was a huge drop at the time. It was calamitous. Radio stations stopped playing music. It was a horrific event. But it’s almost forgotten on a stock chart now, right?
[00:26:57.540] – Sean
It really is.
[00:26:58.480] – Gordon
[00:26:58.800] – Sean
Good point. Can you share with us one of your biggest investment successes over the last few decades?
[00:27:05.680] – Gordon
Oh, boy. There’d be so many of them. One that was interesting with Shopify, okay. Which is an e commerce company. And it was quite interesting because I actually interviewed with the company and doing extensive research when I interviewed myself. Wow, this is going to be a great company. And sadly, I came in second job that I was interested in, which would have been millions and millions. But I really liked the company and it had all the right things. I had a great management because I interviewed them. I got to see some of the people firsthand, spent a lot of time looking at their financials and so many small businesses out there who have to go and manually build their shopping cart and all these and the fulfillment and the returns, reverse and forward logistics and pricing and taxes and all this stuff, there’s a platform that lets you do that in a minute. So I thought this is really a great thing. And so I bought the stock at $20.
[00:28:05.420] – Sean
[00:28:05.920] – Gordon
And it soared to 180%, which is unbelievable. And then I made a mistake that I’ve just talked about. I thought, she’s 180, you sold it. That’s awfully high. And it was an unbelievable return. It was a really great windfall. And I had the right idea. I totally have the right idea. And I thought, the multiple on this thing is huge. Now the PE is really high, and I got out of that. Good news is that’s a big run. That’s a nine bagger of my investment. If it would have stayed on, I think it’s $1,400 or something. Now just imagine, right. And I think with many investors, they get the right idea and they lack the fortitude to stay with it. It’s a long term haul. Did anything materially change in the company over that time? Nothing did. The thesis didn’t change. The market didn’t change. They had a teeny penetration. Even today, they still have a teeny penetration. Lots of people build their own engines and so on. But I think that’s a great example of doing extensive research. I had an inside opportunity to understand the company. I wasn’t an insider of the company, but the research I did said, hey, this looks really promising.
[00:29:21.210] – Sean
No to echoing that comment, the insider comment isn’t like you just alluded to not insider trading, but you’re inside this industry. And I’m the same way. My background is very similar. It’s very tech focused. If you were to go to you or me about like pharmaceutical businesses or maybe food industry, probably not nearly as knowledgeable. Right, right. Not my area of expertise. I stick to what I know. And that sounds like you’ve certainly done that through the years of stick to what you know.
[00:29:50.400] – Gordon
Yeah. And I think it’s the combination of all these things that we’re talking about. So high savings rate being really prudent in your expenditure, and that really shocked me just how powerful that is, because I could really change the situation. And then this long term, high quality, well researched approach to investment, it makes a huge difference. I want to give you one more quick example of the savings, if I can. This is a relatively recent one as well. And this just goes to show you how it’s everywhere. And you want to be thinking, all the time I was at my doctor’s office, I had to get a prescription for some pills, lifelong prescription. And I do what most people did. I walked out of the doctor’s office and there was a big chain pharmacy company of the Walgreens, CVS, something like that. And when I said, here’s my prescription, and my mind is a million miles away, I’m looking at my phone or whatever, well, they’re filling it. I said, how much is it? $106 a month. And I thought, I got to pay this thing for the rest of my life, $106 a month.
[00:30:52.800] – Gordon
It’s not a massive amount of money, but that’s quite expensive. That’s a little high. So why don’t you get one of our prescription cards? I said, what would that do? She said, well, then it goes from 106 to 62. So how much is the card? $20 a year. Well, this is the biggest no brainer. I’m pleased to myself. So I was telling my brother in law the story over dinner. A couple of nice ladies said, no. He says, you don’t do it that way. You want to go to Good RX, which is an online pharmacy company. I thought, oh, that’s interesting. So I checked it out and the prices and all these things vary. So you got to look out of that particular drug in that particular day. I think it was something like twelve or $13 through Good RX. I’m going from 106 to 62 to 13. Clearly, I’m not done here. So I did some more research and ended up getting it from Blank Health, $7 a month delivered to my door. So here’s half an hour of research. I did a blog post on cashflowcookbook.com. I saved 96% of my Pharmaceuticals prescription drugs for the rest of my life, $100 of cash flow.
[00:32:01.210] – Gordon
Now if you take that $100 over 40 years, invested at 7% in one of our ETFs or whatever we’re talking about, that’s over a quarter of a million dollars, right? 62% of Americans retire with less than $10,000. We did a quick switch on our prescription drugs here, and we’ve got a quarter of a million dollars. And that’s just one thing. This is why I think there’s such an opportunity for people to really change their finances. A handful of easy steps.
[00:32:32.190] – Sean
I totally agree. I think a lot of people have a lot of control over what you spend. You look at again, going back to those three pillars, how much you save, how much you earn, how much you invest, the savings when you really can control a lot. Your book, I think, is going to help a lot of people. But yeah, that is great information, really. Thanks for sharing this background. Not only savings, but your investing journey, because that’s really important to our audience. What I’d like to do next is transition to a fun little round we call the Rapid Fire Round, where we could find out who Gordon really is. If you can try to answer each question in 15 seconds or less. Are you ready? Okay, here we go. What is your favorite podcast, yours Besides mine? Is there one you listen to, like, every day?
[00:33:19.640] – Gordon
I like the Side Hustle Show. I think it’s really great. I mean, they’ve got great examples. The information is fascinating. But these are people who really soared with all kinds of online businesses and different things like that.
[00:33:32.000] – Sean
Got you. Okay. What is the recent book you read and would recommend?
[00:33:37.770] – Gordon
Exactly what to say it’s called.
[00:33:40.380] – Sean
[00:33:40.840] – Gordon
It’s a fascinating book, and it breaks down kind of human communication and what patterns are most important and what makes the biggest difference.
[00:33:49.410] – Sean
[00:33:50.100] – Gordon
[00:33:50.480] – Sean
What’s your favorite movie?
[00:33:52.530] – Gordon
You know what? I just saw Koda, and I don’t know if it’s my all time favorite, but I just thought it was fabulous. It was well acted, it was well directed. I think it was well deserving of the honor that I got. And it broke into sort of a hearing disability, which I have myself with that I thought it was just great. It was heartwarming and had all the right pieces.
[00:34:17.370] – Sean
Ever since the Oscars, more and more people have been talking about that. And this is just another reminder. Move that up on the watch list, Sean. So I want to check it out.
[00:34:25.870] – Gordon
Yeah. Really worthwhile.
[00:34:27.460] – Sean
All right, next question. What is your favorite food?
[00:34:30.330] – Gordon
Favorite food? That’s a good question. This will be crazy. I can say avocados. I sort of eat what I need. I’m not a foodie in the sense of, oh, I was at this amazing restaurant. I really try to focus on healthy eating. And the avocado is almost a perfect food. It has everything you need, all one food. In fact, you could live just on avocados, from what I understand. So I put them into smoothies. Sure. A bit of olive and vinegar and vinegar degrees.
[00:34:58.740] – Sean
Healthy fats, for sure. Now you’re technically retired, but you’re also you’re doing something fun. You got your book, you do public speaking. I’m curious. How many hours are you working now.
[00:35:10.260] – Gordon
Per week right now? A lot. I’m in the midst of getting the US edition done, which is a massive rewrite.
[00:35:18.550] – Sean
[00:35:19.470] – Gordon
I think once I’m through with that blip, then I would focus on doing kind of maybe four speaking events a month and some blog posts so I could do as much or as little as I want. I really do this because I’m passionate about it. The state of people’s personal finance is huge. American Psychological Association says that it’s the number one stress of Americans. And whoever you look at the stats in terms of car loans and total debt and savings rate, all of these things need so much help. And there’s such simple ways that people can fix it, which is what I wrote about in Cash Flow Cookbook. And I want to get that out there. So for me, that’s really fun. And so I can do as little or as much as I want. But I would say maybe, let’s say 20 hours a week once I’ve got that done.
[00:36:07.040] – Sean
[00:36:07.910] – Sean
Good for you.
[00:36:08.650] – Gordon
It is. There’s so many other things to do. We both have guitars behind us here, which is a lot of fun. With great Rivers here in Cleveland. For Kayaking, there’s fabric family time, living the good life.
[00:36:21.880] – Sean
Yeah, I know. People working corporate jobs are putting in 20 hours by midday Tuesday, right?
[00:36:28.950] – Gordon
Yeah. All right.
[00:36:30.290] – Sean
Good for you. Next question here is how many hours do you sleep each night?
[00:36:35.020] – Gordon
I would say 7 hours.
[00:36:36.680] – Sean
[00:36:37.800] – Gordon
Yeah, 7 hours. Good. I think that’s really important. I think getting in exercise and as often as a ship of medication, really powerful and eating well. I think you put those things together and you have a passion for something you’re doing in life. You have hobbies that you enjoy. I think when you get all those things firing properly, then the sleep falls from that seven or 8 hours or whatever it is you need and you’re so much more productive and life becomes a lot more fun. Yeah.
[00:37:09.200] – Sean
I was going to say you’re having fun every day. It sounds like this is great. You mentioned exercise, because that’s the next question. What’s your workout regimen?
[00:37:18.030] – Gordon
I’ve got a spin bike and some of those adjustable dumbbells and a bench, so that’s typically my go to. I do the Apple fitness app so you can get in spin classes. And more recently, I’ve gotten into a Bit Gym, which is a really low cost subscription, and put your iPad up on the spin bike or your treadmill. It takes you wherever you want to go in the world. So you can be in Greece or Turkey or Paris or whatever. And you pick a bike or running path or kayaking path. And it’s very clever because it sees your movement on the treadmill or the bike and it reduces your Rpm. So as it sees your head moving more through the camera, it speeds up. And so your scenery goes by faster. But it’s a wonderful way to tour the world. It’s a great break and you get in a great workout. And I tie that in with my Apple Watch so I can track my movement of my calories and heart rate and all those kinds of things.
[00:38:16.270] – Sean
That’s pretty cool. What you just described there is a great example of AR advances of augmented reality and simple things like fitness apps.
[00:38:24.450] – Gordon
That’s so cool and it ties in goes back to the investing world. The whole Metaverse, I think, is another massive trend coming. These are early days, things like the gym, but it starts to give you a sense of how powerful that will be. I think it’s great for lifestyle kinds of things, but it’s also going to be, I think, a really powerful investing theme.
[00:38:45.390] – Sean
Totally. We’ll be watching. And the last question here is the time of machine questions. So if you could go back in time to give your younger self advice, what age would you visit and what would you say?
[00:38:56.550] – Gordon
I would say figuring out that underlying passion, it’s cliche and really put the focus and effort in that. And people tend to not want to do that. What if I’m not successful? But when you really go for it, the results are amazing. We can all do so much more than any of us would have thought. Quick example. I went to high school with a guy his name is David, older brother of my best friend in high school and he became a lawyer because his parents wanted to be a lawyer. But he always had this passion for doing stand up comedy and the theater and arts and finally I don’t know how old he was but well into his law career he dropped it and he went up to La and he started writing and he ended up creating house, the TV series.
[00:39:44.310] – Sean
[00:39:46.650] – Gordon
And I wrote a lot of Ontario in Canada and this is one of my friends from back then and completely hit it out of the park. But you know what? He pursued his heart and he was true to that and you’ll never know how you do until you really try.
[00:39:59.950] – Sean
That very inspirational. Thanks for sharing that.
[00:40:03.040] – Gordon
Yeah, well, this is great.
[00:40:04.660] – Sean
I’d like to turn it over to you and why don’t you tell the audience where can they reach you?
[00:40:09.300] – Gordon
So best place is to go to my website which is cashflowcookbook.com and on there there’s blog posts which I do whatever the spirit moves me. So I’m probably not as organized as I could be. You can find out how to reach me on there. If you want to bring me on board as a speaker to your company, talk about financial wellness, that’d be great. Or just send me some comments or let me know where you’re struggling with your finances and you can get a copy of my book on Amazon. It’s available as a Canadian edition and as a US edition. Awesome.
[00:40:42.240] – Sean
Thanks a lot for your time, Gordon. It’s great.
[00:40:44.290] – Gordon
Real pleasure. Thanks so much. Sean.
[00:40:51.730] – Sean
Hey, I just want to say thanks for checking out this podcast. I know your time is valuable and there’s a lot of other podcasts out there you could be listening to so thanks for taking the time to listen to my guest story. If you did enjoy this podcast episode, could you head over to itunes and leave a five star review? That would be much appreciated. Thank you. And last but not least on this podcast, some episodes we do talk about stocks and please keep in mind this podcast is for entertainment purposes only. So if you did hear anything, buy or sell recommendations, please don’t make those decisions based solely on what you hear.
[00:41:26.740] – Sean
Right. Thanks a lot.
[00:41:27.830] – Sean