Payback Time Podcast
Payback Time is a podcast for investors. The goal of this podcast is to help make investing approachable and easy to understand. We will interview beginner and experienced investors and ask them to share stories on how they got started, what challenges they faced, what mistakes they made, and what strategy works for them today. The overall objective is to provide you with a roadmap that helps you become a better investor.
My next guest shares her story of transitioning from $60K in debt in her early 30s to achieving financial independence in her early 50s by cutting down expenses and investing in the stock market. In this episode, we talk about how she paid off her debt, how she got started with investing, what investing strategies she uses today, and some of her best-performing stocks. Please welcome Alissa Locke.
01:05 – Background history
04:00 – Investment strategies
07:12 – Deep into her history
08:14 – Reducing expenses without giving up life
11:40 – The importance of studying personal finance
14:00 – Investing journey
17:56 – What she looks for in business
19:52 – The specific stocks that she holds
21:58 – Conclusive comments about her strategy
23:08 – Number of stocks on her portfolio
23:52 – Her insight into the right time to buy and sell
25:16 – The percentage of income she invests
27:37 – Her average returns in the last few years
29:20 – “Extremes are never good”: the balance between saving and living
33:15 – Her biggest investment success
36:52 – How she manages her emotions in investing
38:54 – Rapid fire round with personal questions
40:26 – The best investment advice she ever received
40:37 – The worst investment advice she ever received
41:30 – A bit about her business and how to reach her
[00:00:03.230] – 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. My next guest shares are stored transitioning from $60,000 in debt in her early thirty s to achieving financial independence in her early 50s by cutting down expenses and investing in the stock market. In this episode, we talk about how she paid off her debt, how she got started with investing, what investing strategies she uses today, and some of her best performing stocks. Please welcome Alisa Locke. Alisa, welcome to the show.
[00:00:59.630] – Alissa
Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here.
[00:01:01.880] – Sean
Why don’t you go ahead and tell us a little bit about your background.
[00:01:05.880] – Alissa
Sure. I grew up in a very wealthy area, Stanford, Connecticut. And we were the poor folks in town, so to speak. Now, we weren’t actually poor, I just felt poor because in relation to everybody else, it seemed that way. And my parents were really big savers. So when I became an adult and I was earning my own money, the first thing I did was spend, because I had felt kind of deprived and restricted. And now I have this power, I had this money. So I bought a brand new beautiful car, we bought a brand new beautiful home. I spent, spent, did not invest, did not save for the future. And unfortunately, in my early thirty s I found myself a divorced single mom who left that marriage with $60,000 of debt and nothing in savings, no emergency fund, nothing save for retirement, nothing safe for a rainy day. And it was a really scary time for me. I can remember it like it was yesterday, frankly. I was in this apartment with my daughter and I’d be staring at the ceiling at night going, I know better. How did I get myself in this situation?
[00:02:33.990] – Alissa
And I realized that if I didn’t change both my mindset around money and my behavior around money, I was never going to be able to fulfill my dreams, not only for myself, but for my daughter. I’d never be able to send her to college, I’d never be able to give her a nice wedding. Heck, I wouldn’t even be able to afford gymnastics classes. So I realized that I really needed to change that relationship. And I did. So fast forward to my early 50s. My portfolio was large enough where I was able to retire, and I am now semiretired because I didn’t really like retirement, to be honest. Sure. And I’m now a financial coach. My company is Money Mentor Group and I work with people who are struggling in some way with their relationship, with their money.
[00:03:35.220] – Sean
Sure. Well, thanks for the high level. What I like to do from here is jump into some of the details on this journey. And then for the listeners out there, of course, we like to talk about what you invest in, what your strategy is. We’re going to get to all that in a little bit. So first off, you have the 60 plus K in debt. You’re living in an apartment. What actions did you take next? Did you focus on a savings rate or did you focus on increasing income? Or both?
[00:04:01.470] – Alissa
So the first thing that I did was realize that I had to reduce what I was spending every month in order to do something else with my money, whether that was investing it or saving it or whether it was using it to pay off debt. But there was a finite amount of money coming in. And at the time, one of the debts that I had was a car payment. People sometimes don’t think of that as a debt, but it is. You owe money. It’s a debt. And at that time, I was driving this beautiful white load sedan. I loved that car. But I realized that that payment, even way back when, 20 years ago, it was like $453 a month. It was a lot of money, right? So at the time, my parents were actually donating this beat up old car that had like, 180,000 miles on it. They were donating it. It was so bad. And I said, I’m going to drive that car instead. Would you donate it to me? So I sold my beautiful white Volvo and I drove the Ugliest Clunker. And in my mind, I said, I’m going to make a bargain with myself, and I’m going to do this for one year.
[00:05:21.170] – Alissa
I can do anything for one year, right? Even though it was embarrassing. And I’m like, One year. So I did, and I took that money and I was able to pay off some of the debt. I didn’t pay it off, all of it in one year and to build a little bit of an emergency fund. And I didn’t even start investing yet in that first year. Sure. But what it did was it taught me two things. It taught me that I’m empowered to kind of make these money decisions. And sometimes it’s hard, but I realized as I was driving that old Clunker, I wasn’t any less successful. I wasn’t a worse mother. I wasn’t any less attractive. We so often associate the house we live in, the car we drive with our value. And I came to realize that, you know what? I’m still okay driving this car. And after the year I had accomplished so much financially, I had paid off a good chunk of the debt. I had this little emergency fund built up. And I said, you know what? I’m on the right track. I’m going to drive it another year. And so I said, Okay, one more year.
[00:06:39.880] – Alissa
I’m like, Can I do this right. And again, because it was a finite period of time, it didn’t seem so bad. And then I started investing and I got that debt paid off and I basically drove that really ugly car until I had paid off all the debt.
[00:06:57.880] – Sean
Good for you. Nice. So it sounds like your strategy wasn’t a focus on increasing your income, it was just reducing your overhead, correct?
[00:07:06.310] – Alissa
At that time, yes.
[00:07:08.610] – Sean
And I’m curious, what did you do for work at that time?
[00:07:11.170] – Alissa
I was in sales. Okay. I sold outsourced, staffing services, but I only did that for like the first, I think, two years after I divorced. And it’s funny that you mentioned about income, because one of the other kind of AHA moments that I had was I had had a business earlier in my career. I owned a collection agency, of all things. Yeah, it was pretty lucrative. I enjoyed it, and because I was a single mother with a young daughter, and I felt like I wanted to have the salary and the benefits and all that, but I got that itch after a while to be entrepreneurial again. So I did switch careers. And certainly making those career decisions as I think back was a smart thing for me because over time, it did increase my income. And that certainly helped.
[00:08:14.280] – Sean
Yes. The reason I go towards that, as I hear a lot of people out there who focus on the Dave Ramses of the world, who I like some of the things he teaches, but I don’t align with everything. And he’s into this extremely frugal lifestyle. No dinners, no vacations, no fun, no living. I’m being a little extreme of my descriptions there, but I agree with your strategy of reducing your income, but don’t give up life.
[00:08:43.020] – Alissa
I agree. Yes, I totally agree. For me, I couldn’t live an extremely frugal lifestyle. It just would not make me happy. And so the one choice I made, which was a frugal choice about that car right. But there were things that I did not want to give up because again, it’s all about figuring out your priorities, right?
[00:09:10.430] – Sean
Yes. Well, I’m curious here. What did you say? No, I will not give this up. This could be fun.
[00:09:19.930] – Alissa
I did not give up some of my retail therapy. I still love to go to TJ. Maxx or Marshalls and treat myself to a new shirt or a new pair of shoes. That was still something that I really wanted to do. And my daughter was a competitive gymnast.
[00:09:39.630] – Sean
[00:09:40.050] – Alissa
And that was expensive. There were not only the kind of lessons and coaching, but there was travel to competitions. And she really enjoyed that, and I really enjoyed doing that with her. And it was very much our social circle too. And so that was not something that I wanted to give up either.
[00:10:00.850] – Sean
That’s like a multifaceted win, because it’s the time between you and your daughter. It’s that relationship there. As you say, you’ve got your social circle. It’s a physical activity. She’s learning the importance of team and work ethic at the same time. I mean, the list goes on here.
[00:10:17.400] – Alissa
You know better than that, right? Exactly. So it’s all about just making the choices that are right for you. I also believe, like you believe and agree with many of the things that Dave Ramsey promotes, but not all of them. I use credit cards every single day. In fact, I use credit cards for anything I can use a credit card for so that I get the benefits, which are the points and the miles and whatever. But I do pay them off every month.
[00:10:52.600] – Sean
Yes. I’m the same way. I definitely use credit cards a lot, pay it off as fast as possible. Every month you get those points, which you can use to apply to trips. I like traveling and whatnot, but I like this a lot because I hear people who they get into this extreme Dave Ramsey mindset, and they go years without treating themselves to a vacation or new clothes or even new shoes for the gym or something. They’ll be wearing shoes to the gym and be like, I just can’t I just can’t spend money on anything. And they’re ingrained in this life. So I’m like, well, how much debt do you have? Well, I have, like, five grand. I’m like, Why don’t you polish your resume, go get a salary bump. And they’ll look at me like cockhead. Like, what? Like that thing? Yeah. It’s not hard.
[00:11:39.910] – Alissa
Yeah. Well, one of the lessons that I learned because you had asked me what did I do to kind of make some changes? And one of the things that I did pretty early on was really become a student of money and become a student of personal finance. I would go to the library every Saturday, and I would check out any book that I could find on investing, on real estate, on the stock market, on mindset, on credit. Like, I just learned everything that I could because I felt like knowledge is power, right? Sure. And one of the things that I learned or read early on was this concept by David Bach called The Latte Factor. Have you heard of this? Okay, so he wrote this book called The Automatic Millionaire. And in this book, he talked about what he called the Latte Factor, which is, if you skip your two point 50 cent latte every day multiplied times 350 days a year, this is what you would have said. Okay, whatever. And so it’s called The Latte Factor. And there’s two sides to that coin, I think. On the one side, it’s true, right? If you skip this latte and bring your coffee and your mug yourself, you’re still drinking coffee or whatever.
[00:13:08.590] – Alissa
It adds up over time. Right? So that’s the concept of making small sacrifices. But the other side of that coin is, is that really going to make that big of a dent in your financial picture? The other side of the coin is maybe be frugal in some of the big things. And there are three biggies if you really want to make an impact, take a look at your housing, take a look at your transportation, and take a look at your food.
[00:13:41.610] – Sean
[00:13:42.120] – Alissa
And I don’t mean going to the grocery store. I mean dining out. Right. Although going to the grocery store is part of it. So for me, I reduced my expenses by $453 a month, and that had a big impact, so I didn’t have to go without the $20 shirt.
[00:14:01.990] – Sean
I like it. Thanks for sharing that. Let’s transition into your investing journey a little bit. This is what our audience really loves to hear about. So when did you first start investing? Around what year was this?
[00:14:14.220] – Alissa
Well, let me think here. So it was about 23 years ago.
[00:14:21.630] – Sean
Okay. So just before the.com bubble, that was $99?
[00:14:25.960] – Alissa
[00:14:26.750] – Sean
[00:14:27.210] – Alissa
Yes. And I really didn’t know much about investing other than what I had read. My parents never talked about investing or saving. My parents were not financial people. All I knew was they were always saying, we can’t afford it, we can’t afford it, we can’t afford it, which I thought that meant we can’t afford it. But really, they were just big savers, but they didn’t tell me how they were investing or anything like that. So I had read that you need to save money for retirement, and one of the biggest concepts that I understood was the rule of 72 and compounding interest, right. And how that works. So I thought, Well, I’m going to win this game by being the turtle, so to speak, as opposed to the hair. So I’m not going to try to time the market. I’m not going to try to buy whatever’s flashy. I’m going to look for solid blue chip kind of companies that I understand what they do. It’s something that I would buy myself. Right. So it has for me some connections, quality, and I’m going to take advantage of whatever tax free or tax advantage investing I can do out there.
[00:15:50.560] – Alissa
So during my career, when there were times that I was eligible to contribute to our 401K plan because I was an employee, my commitment to myself was max it out every year, so max it out every year. Diversified portfolio. It ain’t sexy at all. It’s just tried and true, right? Yes. And for me, the concept of putting it on automatic pilot comes out of my paycheck. I just live on less. That’s how it goes. Max it out. So boom. And then, in addition, an IRA, there were some years where, because I did end up getting remarried, there were some years where I could contribute to a Roth IRA. There were other years we earned too much, so we put money in a traditional IRA, so we always maxed out the IRAs, and then in addition, we bought individual stocks.
[00:16:47.610] – Sean
Got it. So it sounds like you started with your 401K. Did you buy any, like, index funds or ETFs or mutual funds at that time, too, or just the 401K?
[00:16:57.670] – Alissa
Just the 401K. Because that’s okay. I didn’t know. I wasn’t really knowledgeable. All I knew was enough, like, I got to stock the money away. I got to put the money in. Right.
[00:17:09.990] – Sean
[00:17:10.360] – Alissa
And on the company website, there was this handy dandy little risk tolerance tool and the Handy Dandy little calculator, and I filled it out. Right. And it said, this is how you should invest based on your risk tolerance. And that’s what I did. And it really wasn’t until a couple of years later when I started seeing the power of that compounding growth over time right. That I just started realizing, oh, my God, this is so amazing. And so then I started really learning more, buying individual stocks, because again, I felt more confident in my knowledge and my investing.
[00:17:55.720] – Sean
Sure. Well, you mentioned that a few times, individual stocks. And that’s what Tykrs beg on, is we like investing in individual businesses. So what is your strategy there? What do you look for in businesses?
[00:18:07.810] – Alissa
I look for companies that I understand what they do that may sound silly that I use.
[00:18:18.910] – Sean
[00:18:19.350] – Alissa
Exactly right. And I look for companies that have been around for some time, and so there’s some history there.
[00:18:28.080] – Sean
[00:18:29.090] – Alissa
I also, for me personally, don’t like the retail sector because I feel like especially starting about ten years ago when so many people were shopping online and I just wasn’t my favorite thing. So looked for other companies, and I always tried to again, they say, always have a diversified portfolio. Right. So I always wanted to make sure that my individual stacks I had some in healthcare, some in technology, some in different sectors, some in energy. Again, because I felt like if one sector kind of goes through a period of time and also for me, even though I know the concept of you should buy stocks when the stock is down, I like the concept of dollar cost averaging because I was a busy working mother. My husband and I had four children. They were all doing different activities. I just didn’t have the time to really read up on it as I should and follow things as I should. And so for me, I just did the dollar cost averaging and had it automatic, and that worked for my life.
[00:19:51.310] – Sean
Got it. Thank you for sharing your strategy there. Can you share with us what specific stocks did you invest in?
[00:19:58.030] – Alissa
Well, my number one holding is Apple. Okay. Yeah, it’s done really well for us over the years. Do you want me to tell you what we own?
[00:20:10.870] – Sean
[00:20:13.290] – Alissa
Okay, let’s see. So our biggest holding is Apple. We also own Starbucks, we own Amazon, we own Madurna. I’m just trying to think of some of the bigger holdings. So as you can see, they’re well known names. Right. And again, the least sexiest strategy ever. I feel like your listeners are not going to find this very exciting.
[00:20:44.190] – Sean
Well, we’ll get into that, they will.
[00:20:46.420] – Alissa
But I will say that about a couple of years ago, we did dip our toe into crypto. Okay. Which is kind of out of our comfort zone, but my husband and I had the conversation that we always felt in our portfolio. We wanted a small portion of it. We were okay with a small portion being something that was very volatile or very risky. Right. And cryptocurrency certainly seems like it is here to stay. What form it will take and what it will do, who knows? And so our strategy was let’s take somewhere between 2% of our portfolio and get into the crypto space. So if we lose it all, so be it. But it has the potential to really add a nice chunk. So we’ll see what happens. And we do dollar cost averaging.
[00:21:51.820] – Sean
Nice. We do what coins did you invest in?
[00:21:55.720] – Alissa
[00:21:56.520] – Sean
Bitcoin. There you go.
[00:21:57.850] – Alissa
[00:21:58.950] – Sean
Now to circle back, our platform looks for those boring businesses because boring is good, it’s stable. There’s a lot of boring businesses out there that have made people very wealthy. You have a great income statement, a great cash flow statement, great balance sheet, especially. They’ve been around for a long time. They’re proven to increase revenue year over year. That’s not overly exciting, but that’s what builds well. And that’s what you do.
[00:22:26.900] – Alissa
Yeah, we definitely did the buy and hold. I mean, we are retired now. We’re living off of our investments for the most part. Like I said, I’m a financial coach that brings in revenue. My husband does some consulting that brings in revenue. And we have a property at the beach which we don’t rent out, but we could if we wanted to. We just enjoy it. So we always have that revenue stream in our back pocket if we decide to use it. And so we view the real estate as another asset class. Right. So again, that diversified portfolio theory.
[00:23:08.320] – Sean
Right. And then how many stocks would you say you hold total? Are we talking ten or less?
[00:23:14.370] – Alissa
No, we own more than ten. More than ten? Probably close to 30.
[00:23:21.580] – Sean
Okay, got you. In our platform, we try to be more focused. 30 is probably on the high end, but ten on the low end.
[00:23:30.640] – Alissa
But you do have five? Yeah, some of them we don’t own that much of, but yeah, it’s probably we need to streamline things a little bit.
[00:23:44.190] – Sean
That’s okay. Right now, of course, with everything being.
[00:23:47.360] – Alissa
Done, we don’t want to sell right now. Exactly.
[00:23:52.590] – Sean
Right. When this market starts to rally, or really does rally, that might be the opportunity to be like, all right, time to trim the portfolio down a little bit.
[00:24:02.040] – Alissa
Yeah, exactly. And some of them that we own just a little bit, there were different periods of time where, again, our thought process was, we’re going to stick to our plan and write, this is how much we’re buying of this. This is how much we’re buying of this. But there are times in our life where I made a really big sale and I got a really huge commission check, and we had that extra money. Right. Or my business, because, again, I had several businesses. I was in the insurance, and I was a state farm agent for a while. It was a business that I did for a long time. So if I had, like, a really good year, got a really good bonus, we would say, let’s take a couple of instead of, again, personal choice, instead of whatever, remodeling our house or taking a trip or whatever, we would buy stock and we would kind of say, okay, what would be a stock? We kind of always wish we had and we didn’t. Let’s play a little and buy some shares.
[00:25:02.190] – Sean
There you go. Smart. And what percentage when you and your husband were really full time, you running your business, did he run a business.
[00:25:12.480] – Alissa
Or he worked yeah, he worked for someone.
[00:25:16.240] – Sean
What percentage of your income did you invest, would you say? Approximately.
[00:25:19.960] – Alissa
So not only were we investing for ourselves, but we have four children, and we put all four children through college with no student loans for them because education was really important to us. It was a priority. So part of our savings was also putting money in 529 plans. Our baby is going into his senior year of college, so we’re almost done, but we’ve got the money in his 529 plan. It’s sitting there. So, I mean, there were years where we were saving 40% of our income.
[00:25:58.050] – Sean
Got you. Nice.
[00:25:59.200] – Alissa
Yeah. We were two income family, and we both did well, and we were self disciplined. We bought a house in 1999, and we lived in the same house for a long time and again, didn’t really upgrade it very much. I mean, it was an okay house, but again, it was just personal priorities.
[00:26:22.260] – Sean
Yes. You guys are big on saving and investing. That’s awesome. Let’s take a quick commercial break. Do you wish you would have bought some stocks earlier? Imagine you had $5,000 to invest. Let’s say you bought Amazon stock in 2010. That $5,000 would now be worth over $95,000 today. Let’s say you bought Tesla stock in 2013. That $5,000 would now be worth over $220,000 today. And let’s say you bought Netflix stock back in 2012. That $5,000 would now be worth over $245,000 today. Do you feel like you find out about opportunities like this? Way too late. What if you could find great stocks before they become mainstream news? And what if a software found those stocks for you with Tykr, you can find great stocks before what feels like the rest of the world finds out. No matter if you’re a beginner or experienced investor, Tykr will help you find great buying opportunities and get a head start on your wealth building journey. Get started today with a free trial. Visit Tykr.com. That’s Tykr.com again. Tykr.com, can you share with us? Do you know what your average returns were over the last few years with your stocks?
[00:27:44.740] – Alissa
Yeah, I’m not talking now.
[00:27:48.360] – Sean
Correct. Go back.
[00:27:52.250] – Alissa
Because we don’t want to talk about that. No.
[00:27:56.200] – Sean
Do I? Although I have quite a bit.
[00:27:59.070] – Alissa
Yes. So I wouldn’t say a year, but there was a certain period of time I remember like five or six months where we were earning like 30%. I mean, we were like, Oh my God. But I would say on average, if we look past a couple of years, probably around 13%.
[00:28:23.390] – Sean
That’s great. I think that SMP. The last ten years is around 14%. So you’re right on par there with the market.
[00:28:31.380] – Alissa
[00:28:32.340] – Sean
Can you share with us your biggest investment challenge or maybe a regret or a mistake?
[00:28:40.010] – Alissa
Yeah. For me, my biggest regret is not understanding the importance of this and not making the changes that I need to earlier in my life. I really didn’t get started until my thirty s. And of course we know that time is your best friend when it comes to investing, so my biggest regret is not getting started earlier.
[00:29:03.570] – Sean
[00:29:04.270] – Alissa
Yeah. My biggest challenge is sometimes we were saving too much. Then that may sound crazy, but we could have in hindsight, and we sometimes say this to each other, we kind of relaxed a little bit. Yeah, sure.
[00:29:21.580] – Sean
That’s encouraging to hear because there’s so many people who are hoarding every penny and they’re thinking about it and they’re emotional. You’re a financial coach, so you get this more than most. But all this emotion and then the sleepless nights and thinking your bed like, okay, I got to save this much, I got to do this, and I got to do this and then this, and I can just drive you nuts. Just step back and enjoy life a little bit, it sounds like, from your perspective.
[00:29:47.450] – Alissa
Yeah, I really agree. I think the reality of it is that extremes are never good. Right. And so if you’re an extreme spender and you’re not saving anything, not a good way to be. If you’re an extreme money hoarder right. Or really on this super frugal kind of path, the fire community sometimes gets into that mindset. Financial independence, retire early. Either extreme is probably, in my opinion, just my opinion, not a great way to be.
[00:30:25.400] – Sean
I would agree. Yeah, I would agree. I remember in the last two weeks, I read an article on Cora where a woman who I think she was in her upper forty s, and she spent her entire working life post college savings, she almost was not pregadocious, but kind of prideful in the fact she never took a vacation. She never spent any money. She just saved and saved and saved with this goal to retire about ten years early. And what ended up happening is she got sick. She didn’t provide details, but she got sick. And unfortunately, the US healthcare system is not perfect, and there are a lot of out of pocket expenses that over the duration of her sickness, drained her account completely. And she was asking what to do. And I left the comment, and most of my audience doesn’t know this, but my dad, before he passed younger, he struggled with cancer and a similar situation. There’s a lot of out of pocket expenses not covered by the healthcare system, and it didn’t drain his account completely, but it did whittle it down over a few years. And what he learned from that time period is he’s going to live every day to his fullest, and he’s not going to worry about how much money in his account.
[00:31:42.230] – Sean
Instead of going back full time, he got a part time job he liked, but he traveled a lot. He lived. And my response to this woman is I left my two cent. We’ll see if she even read it. But I said, if I were you, hopefully you can get through this, whatever illness you’re dealing with, and just do something you love, don’t care about how much it makes, and just go live every day.
[00:32:03.710] – Alissa
Yeah, I mean, you hear that story fairly frequently of people who are really extreme savers. And I think on the one hand, it makes people feel really good to save. It’s very empowering. And when they do spend, they spend with guilt. I know that. I struggle with that myself. I’ll buy a $20 shirt at TJ. Maxx, and I don’t wear it for two weeks because I’m looking at it feeling guilty. Right. So now I do get over it. Good to hear. I love to stop at Starbucks, and when I stop at Starbucks, I have to be conscious of the fact that I feel guilty buying myself that cup of coffee, and am I fully enjoying that cup of coffee or am I feeling guilty? So it’s something I’m cognizant of because I’ve done so much of that mindset work, and so I have to be very intentional about, oh, for God’s sake, enjoy it. Right?
[00:33:11.300] – Sean
[00:33:11.550] – Alissa
So you have to find that balance.
[00:33:13.740] – Sean
Yes. I love it. Thank you for sharing. What I like to do is flip that equation to your biggest investment success.
[00:33:22.130] – Alissa
Probably that Apple stock.
[00:33:23.830] – Sean
I was going to say I was leaning towards Apple. What year, I’m curious, did you start investing in Apple? Was that the 2000s?
[00:33:30.660] – Alissa
[00:33:31.320] – Sean
Was it early, like.com bubble?
[00:33:33.550] – Alissa
I’m trying to remember. I want to say yes.
[00:33:37.150] – Sean
That’s incredible. I love stores like that because I have heard people that started buying Apple around that 20 00, 20 01 20 02 and I’m just going back in time here. So the listeners know there are stock splits, of course, over time, but today Apple is at $134. And back in 2001, it was $35.
[00:33:59.470] – Alissa
Yeah. We’re actually watching the Apple stock really carefully because at one point, it represented so much of our portfolio, it made us nervous. So it really wasn’t balanced the way we wanted it to be. So for us, when it hits a certain dollar amount, our plan is to sell some of it. Sure, we may have to wait for it to hit that in this market, but it’s not going anywhere, hopefully.
[00:34:33.390] – Sean
No. I invest in Apple, too, and a lot of our customers do. And it’s one of those stocks that like within I’ll give you a little context here what Tykr does. So Tykr looks at the financials, looks for safer businesses, really strong financials overall. But then we also look at the meaning mode and management. Meaning you got to know the business. So you’re doing that. The moat is the competitive advantage. I like what you said about retail. If you got too many competitors out there, that’s a bad thing. So you like businesses that are hard to duplicate. So you’re doing that already. And then management can be fun because that’s the CEO. Do they have a track record of building great companies, whether it’s the current CEO for somebody that’s going to jump from another company to this new company? Yeah. And Apple checks all those boxes. Tim Cook on the leadership side has done great work there, and they’ve got all these revenue streams within the same business model. So is Apple going away? No.
[00:35:31.340] – Alissa
[00:35:32.110] – Sean
[00:35:32.940] – Alissa
Right. I will say the one we do own one retail stock, and that’s Walmart.
[00:35:38.550] – Sean
That’s not bad.
[00:35:39.230] – Alissa
Yeah, because we feel like that is such a giant of a company, and they do so many things. So that’s kind of the one big retail holding that we have.
[00:35:53.320] – Sean
Yeah. I was actually looking at Walmart. I try to do a stock review once a week, like a review I write, and then sometimes I’ll do a video. And Walmart has so many brands that are under its umbrella in different countries, and I try to talk to our customers about someone only invest in stocks from their country. And that’s fine, but you limit yourself. Whereas a Walmart has all the supply chain in place, all the distribution plants all over the globe. So whether you’re selling food or T shirts or hardware here in the US. There’s all these super Walmarts, you could say, right. They’ve got everything in them. And it’s like they get all those products from a nearby location, and you can get them really fast and sell them fast, and that’s what keeps that revenue going. Whereas if you got a local retailer that’s just based in, let’s say, your own country, they’re going to be limited to scale and limited right. To increase their share price, right? Yeah. Walmart’s good. All right, let me keep going here. This is a fun one. How do you manage your emotions, especially not with the market as volatile and down as it is right now.
[00:37:03.150] – Alissa
So here’s what’s really interesting about this question. So my husband and I talk about this all the time. We have completely different kind of almost polar opposite money personalities. So thank goodness we work well together. We’ve been married well over 20 years now. So for me, I don’t look at it very often. I look at my holdings probably once a quarter because the reality of it is I’m not going to change anything.
[00:37:30.960] – Sean
[00:37:31.900] – Alissa
So why spend my time? I’m not going to change anything. I’m not going to be selling anything. And I’m big on this, like, dollar cost averaging. So for me, stress free because my husband, on the other hand, looks at it much more frequently. Right, buddy?
[00:37:55.080] – Sean
[00:37:55.660] – Alissa
He drives himself crazy. So it’s interesting, right, how we’re just so different.
[00:38:05.670] – Sean
I have to side with your strategy a lot more. That’s the way to do it. What I like is what you’re doing from the foundation up is you’re investing in strong businesses. You don’t have to worry about if they’re going to file bankruptcy tomorrow. They’re not. These are strong companies are going to be around, so why stress?
[00:38:24.750] – Alissa
Exactly. And I really kind of adopted this strategy out of necessity because I was a busy working mum with four children. I mean, I didn’t have time to make sure my socks matched, let alone look at my holdings. Right. I mean, I was, like, barely getting through the day when they were young, right. So for me, that worked well over the years.
[00:38:47.570] – Sean
Nice. Well, thank you. I really loved hearing about your investment strategy and what you’re doing, especially in times like this. What I’d like to do next is go into the Rapid Fire round. We’ll get to learn a little bit more about you.
[00:38:59.740] – Alissa
[00:39:00.160] – Sean
And then since you’re a financial coach, at the end, I’d like you to give, like, a minute or two, talk about what you do for your customers and where they can reach you. So first off, Rapid Fire around. If you could try to answer each question in 15 seconds.
[00:39:14.190] – Alissa
Okay, here we go.
[00:39:16.890] – Sean
What is your favorite podcast that you listen to?
[00:39:20.640] – Alissa
How I Built This from NPR.
[00:39:22.990] – Sean
Got it. I’ve heard of it. What is the recent book you read and would recommend?
[00:39:27.810] – Alissa
I just read The Energy Bus. Great book.
[00:39:30.950] – Sean
All right. I’ll put it on the list. This is a fun one. What’s your favorite movie?
[00:39:40.810] – Alissa
I was going to say Top Gun, because that’s all we’ve been talking about now because this new movie came out, top Gun. So we’ll go with Top Gun because.
[00:39:48.970] – Sean
This new one, correct?
[00:39:49.910] – Alissa
The old one. The old one.
[00:39:51.280] – Sean
Oh, you’re going with the original?
[00:39:52.650] – Alissa
[00:39:53.710] – Sean
Did you see the new one?
[00:39:54.840] – Alissa
I have not yet, but I heard it’s great.
[00:39:57.150] – Sean
And I’m not a hype guy. It is incredible movie, very good story. And it’s not like the first one. I have to say that it’s a little more serious. It has its moments of fun, like the first one, but this is a little more grounded to reality, I would say.
[00:40:14.830] – Alissa
And my number two would be Far Scomp.
[00:40:17.120] – Sean
[00:40:18.140] – Alissa
[00:40:21.010] – Sean
Redemption for the Oscar.
[00:40:23.710] – Alissa
[00:40:24.560] – Sean
Yeah. Anyway, all right, what is the best investment advice you ever received?
[00:40:31.100] – Alissa
Slow and steady wins the race.
[00:40:33.170] – Sean
Yes. The tortoise. Tortoise versus hair, as you mentioned earlier. I will flip that equation. What is the worst investment advice you ever received?
[00:40:45.050] – Alissa
Invest heavily in cryptocurrency.
[00:40:48.830] – Sean
I will say you mentioned 2% to 3%. We actually do recommend 5% or less. And we are hearing that consistency with a lot of the large financial institutions are starting to offer crypto. But they like to say hey, 5% or less, folks. All right, good. And last question here is the time machine question. If you could go back in time to give your younger self advice, what age would you visit and what would you say?
[00:41:16.370] – Alissa
I’d visit my early twenty s and I would say to stop equating my net worth with my self worth.
[00:41:29.330] – Sean
Great advice. I love it. All right, so why don’t you tell us a little bit about your financial coaching practice and where people can reach you.
[00:41:36.490] – Alissa
Sure. The name of the practice is Money Mentor Group. I have a business partner, her name is Jane Helm. Together we do financial coaching. We provide oneonone financial coaching anywhere in the country for people who are struggling with any kind of issue in their relationship with money and their behavior with money. So it could be struggling with debt, it could be struggling with overspending. It can be couples who are just not on the same page, or people who know that they should in some way, shape or form stick to a budget but really struggle to do that. We also do group coaching and we have a number of on our website, we have a number of online offerings. One is a course on how to get rid of debt, which is very popular. One is on kind of mastering Your Money Management, which is all about money management fundamentals. Not investing, but daily money management. We also have a money personality assessment that people can take. It’s a fun, quick little assessment and it tells you what your money personality is and what that means for you in terms of your relationship with money.
[00:42:51.820] – Sean
That sounds awesome. Well, we’ll make sure to promote your link when this goes live.
[00:42:56.110] – Alissa
[00:42:56.560] – Sean
I really appreciate your time, Alisa. Thank you.
[00:42:59.160] – Alissa
My pleasure. Thank you.
[00:43:06.210] – 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 any buy or sell recommendations, please don’t make those decisions based solely on what you hear. Alright, thanks a lot. See you.