Craig Cecilio – Real estate investing for retail investors

Craig Cecilio – Real estate investing for retail investors
Are you looking to diversify your investment portfolio outside the stock market? Maybe you’re looking for a way to hedge against the volatility we’re facing right now? One asset class that will never go away is multi-family real estate. People will always need homes. My next guest created a company that allows you to buy real estate very similar to how you buy stocks. Simply -create a profile, connect your bank account, and pick your investment. In this episode, we talk about the minimum investment size, how easy it is to get started, and why you may want to show interest in this asset class. Please welcome Craig Cecilio.   Website   LinkedIn  Transcription
[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 Pepper is your host. Are you ready? It’s Payback Time.
[00:00:33.390] – Sean
Are you looking to diversify your investment portfolio outside the stock market? Maybe you’re looking for a way to hedge against the volatility we’re facing right now. One asset class that will never go away is multifamily real estate. People will always need homes. My next guest created a company that allows you to buy real estate very similar to how you buy stocks. Simply create a profile, connect your bank account and pick your investment. In this episode, we talk about the minimum investment size, how easy it is to get started, and why you may want to show interest in this asset class. Please welcome Craig Cecilio. Craig, welcome to the show.
[00:01:09.770] – Craig
Sean, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
[00:01:11.510] – Sean
All right, so why don’t you kick us off and tell us a little bit about your backgrounds?
[00:01:15.960] – Craig
Well, Sean, I’ve been probably in the syndication world since the late ninety s. I think it was about 1997 is when I arrived in California and some circumstances fell in my lap, where I started learning how to syndicate deals right away, met a real estate developer and a solvency attorney, two different people, and they opened me up to the opaque private markets world. It was pretty fortunate, I guess they just saw my work ethic, what I was doing out here and being friends with them, and they started teaching me about real estate development, how to structure deals, how to raise capital for deals. And I was hooked. He’s a young kid in my early twenty? S. And I was just like, this is fascinating. Nothing was taught to me growing up about this. Nothing was taught to me about College, about this. I went to a prep high school. None of that stuff was talked to me about this, and I was hooked right away. And I was fascinated. And they’re like, this is what I’m going to do. And that’s kind of led me into the journey where I am today because of that beginning of that exposure to those people.
[00:02:17.850] – Sean
So the audience may not know what syndication means. Can you define that real quick?
[00:02:22.130] – Craig
Yeah, syndication today. I think a lot of people would see syndication as crowdfunding is a popular word, is really kind of raising capital from a bunch of people. I’d say around more than five. You could say syndication, you could say syndicated deal with three people. But usually it’s quite a bit. And with the advent of more and more technology and crowdfunding, it’s a lot. It’s like thousands of people instead of just as much as single digits back in the day.
[00:02:49.600] – Sean
Got it? Okay. Yeah. Thanks for that. So why did you create your business, which is diversity fund? Why did you create it?
[00:02:56.750] – Craig
Well, I created first. I read something in the Jobs back in 2012, and I started reading some the laws guide and acted. And one of them had to do with being able to allow access to these private markets, to retail investors, to non accredited investors. You didn’t have to qualify for that. So for me, someone who is serving accredited investors and institutional investors for about 20 years, it kind of caught my eye and a little bit to my background is kind of growing up in a middle class family. I kind of had that. Okay, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m supposed to open up these markets, these opportunities to everybody. And it kind of hit home for me. And it kind of got that kind of fire inside of me. This is what I have to do. And for people who have kind of served and worked with high net worth individuals and institutional investors, you kind of know what I mean. They kind of don’t say thank you too often. They’re always kind of calling you up about returns and all the business side of things. And to be able to kind of and deal with them, they’re pretty aggressive in what they want with things and to be able to give back to everybody and create a win win scenario I found fascinating.
[00:04:05.530] – Craig
And also I kind of had a little bit of how do I say it? An interest in technology and marking all that stuff as I was building my companies up. And it was kind of a natural step for me to get into something that was more tech focused as well. So it was an easy journey for me, easy process to get going. It was a natural fit. So I had that AHA moment. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is how I’m going to do it. And I kind of just stuck my head down and I got started. And here we are today.
[00:04:31.910] – Sean
So let’s dive into the business model a little bit. Of course, our listeners want to know, how can they make money working with you?
[00:04:38.380] – Craig
Well, first of all, we have a platform that’s set up that’s fully automated. We leverage technology to allow someone to invest as little as $500. So you could put $500 in and participate in an asset class that’s usually, in our case, around $25 million, the purchase price of our assets, more or less. And that usually means you need anywhere from seven to $10 million of equity or money to participate. Most of those assets are done by institutional investors or high net worth syndicated groups that come together to purchase those assets. So now we are able to leverage the power of the crowd, get people involved as low as $500, and you can participate and get those returns just like those institutions.
[00:05:23.460] – Sean
Got it. What kind of returns are we looking at here?
[00:05:27.450] – Craig
Well, right now we’re in a frothy market. So the returns are really good and there’s a lot of compliance involved. So I can’t exactly say the returns. But you look at historically how these asset classes have done. Look at the historical information they have outformed, they have outperformed the stock market. So it’s a great alternative stock market. I still believe in the stock market long term with things, but it should be part of your portfolio. And that’s another fascinating thing is with our low minimums, you can add this to your portfolio. You don’t have to have this take up your entire portfolio. And so I find that is something that we set up is another reason we’re doing this for people who may be already investing this stuff maybe a little too much money into it because the minimums are kind of high. A lot of these investments, the minimums are at $250,000. Now you can come in a little less and have a better opportunity to diversify your portfolio.
[00:06:22.530] – Sean
Got it. One question here is liquidity. If somebody were to put their let’s say it’s $500 in, could they take it out like tomorrow or is there like a holding period?
[00:06:32.280] – Craig
Yeah. Well, we’re working on some liquidity options. Really. This is the other day. Technically you should look at this as a growth opportunity, that your money is going to make money with time. And I really do believe with our minimums being so low, look at your personalized portfolio, look at what your portfolio looks like. There is no reason why if you stuck $500 or fifteen hundred dollars and you need to pull it out unless you’re kind of not mentioning portfolio properly. So that’s what the name was allowed to do, not stick all your eggs in one basket. So for instance, let’s say you just have $15,000 to invest and you’re just kind of okay, what happens if a rainy day I need to take it out. We’ll just put a little less in, maybe put $1,500 in, maybe put $1,000 in. Really kind of understand your circumstances where you are today. I look at this as kind of what some of the options we have is kind of this is a growth investment. It’s grows with time. So if I’m really pulling my money out, I’m pulling away from my future savings, my future wealth.
[00:07:28.630] – Craig
Of course, that’s where the minimum. So you really kind of understand your own portfolio and that’s the big thing. What’s your personalized approach to your financial planning with our customers at Ticker.
[00:07:41.730] – Sean
We really teach people try to think it can be somewhat short term. We’re not talking tomorrow, but you want to hold for at least a few months, a few quarters on up to years. Like there are certain people who are investing in stocks. I’ve been investing in stocks that I will hold them probably for as long as I live just because they’ve been doing so well through the decades. I’ll list the stock here like Apple. So with your model, can you give us a timeline? I’ll give you an example here. I’ve talked to people who have sent me REIT investment opportunities that are like 25 grand minimum. Ten year minimum. Like, you got to put in 25 grand. You got to hold it for ten years. You don’t get it back. Do you have anything like that? I know 500 is the low is the minimum, but is there like a timeline minimum?
[00:08:29.340] – Craig
I think that’s a great question. I think it depends on your product. So our product today is four to six years, and I say four to six years. We want to time the market. The market is hot. Like today. The market is hot, right? If we started four years ago, I wouldn’t wait 200 years. I would sell all the assets today because we’re at the peak of the market. Right. So that’s why you say four to six years. You want to be selling when it drops, you want to kind of make sure you get the benefits of the market being up. So generally speaking, four to six years with this specific asset that we have, which is multifamily real estate.
[00:08:59.500] – Sean
Got it. Okay. So that’s the expectation. Those listening, it’s like, okay, you’re committing here for four to six years. It’s not like you can put it in tomorrow. They’re like, oh, shoot, I want to go put a down payment on a Tesla. I need that money back. You’re not getting back.
[00:09:13.250] – Craig
Yeah. You want to time it. So you want to time it like, okay, I need that money in four to six years. But this is about well built. I savings account on steroids is a good analogy. And you don’t want to really go into your savings account unless, oh, my God, something seriously happens, right? I hate to God, the older I get, I’m becoming my parents. It’s like the habit of saving. And really, that’s what you want to get into doing, right?
[00:09:39.590] – Sean
And as we teach with Tickers, like be a net buyer of assets or as we call it, stocks, you want to always be buying more than you’re selling. There’s people who are out there who do come to us and they’re like, all right, we want to start trading. We want to buy stocks today and sell them tomorrow. It’s like we don’t do that. So this is very much in line with the ticker philosophy, which is long term buy and hold. I want to talk a little bit about diversification your product and your model is a little different than buying stocks. Is there a good opportunity to get in? Is there a good hedging opportunity? Like now, for example, when the market is really beat down.
[00:10:20.310] – Craig
There is always opportunity out there. We did something impressive during the pandemic. We are buyers. You’re aggressively buying. So we kind of reach the benefits of that. We do have a lot of experience in this asset class, so there’s always opportunities out there. Of course, when you get into a frothy market, your selections are less and you have to be more careful with your underwriting and you have to lessen the mistakes you have. It is real estate. The other day, things don’t always go to coordinate plan, but we’re pretty bullish on our asset class. No matter what happens, there is a lot of opportunities out there still and especially seeing what’s going on in the economy on a larger scale with all the shortest housing everywhere, it’s a high barrier to entry to buy a house today. So it’s really difficult. Multifamily is a hot asset class. It is.
[00:11:10.200] – Sean
And I agree with you. Can you tell us a little bit about the properties you have in your portfolio? Are these in the States? Are they outside the States? Are they like four unit, eight unit, maybe large? Like 100 unit plus?
[00:11:22.650] – Craig
Yeah. They’re generally speaking, our sweet spot between 153 hundred units. They’re predominantly throughout the whole US. We have a high concentration. I mean, this doesn’t come surprising when a real estate in Southeast US a lot in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, a few in Texas. Most people in real estate are probably in the same markets in the top markets as well. Surprisingly, we don’t have anything really in California. If you’re in California.
[00:11:50.610] – Sean
Nothing in California. Interesting. I could see being hot in Florida. A lot of people are moving there. You get to a certain age and you get these large, I think of like condo or complexes and then apartment complexes with 200, 300 plus units.
[00:12:05.850] – Craig
Yes. Carolinas are hot. They’re on fire. A lot of people move down to Carolinas. A lot of people just we have a mass migration into these other States from the Northern States, even from California. Everyone’s moving out to these other areas. So those are the hot markets right now.
[00:12:24.210] – Sean
Let’s talk about the payback time. So four to six years is how long you want to be invested. When do you get your money back? Are you paying like a dividend every year or do you get your money back plus your returns after the timeline is up?
[00:12:41.680] – Craig
Yeah. Typically the whole portfolio usually needs to be performing. So it takes anyways, when you deploy the capital in the whole portfolio, around two to three year Mark is when you’re going to start receiving real cash. Dividends on that. That’s typical with any kind of renovation, you have to renovate it to really get that increased income is a good way to say that from those properties and then the income outweighs expenses and then anything that’s left over get dispersed to particular customers.
[00:13:09.390] – Sean
And those dividends, just to clarify, are they quarterly or yearly?
[00:13:13.360] – Craig
Oh, they’d be quarterly.
[00:13:14.920] – Sean
They are. Nice. Okay. All right. Great. I want to transition here a little bit, too. You’ve built a pretty decent audience here over the last few years. When did you start the business? I’m just curious, what year was this?
[00:13:28.830] – Craig
We formed the Corporation in 16. We got SEC qualified in late 18. And really the technology got into play. Probably, I would say 19. I would say the technology I thought was up to par. That’s when we lowered the minimum of $500 in June of 19, 2019. So fairly young company and Pandemic came around and we had about a couple of thousand customers prepandemic. And today we’re at 30,000 customers.
[00:13:57.990] – Sean
Yeah, let’s talk about that. How did you go from a small number to up to 30,000 plus?
[00:14:04.440] – Craig
Well, we had a plan in 19, December 19. I kind of read a book by who wrote it? Reid Hoffman and Christopher Yee was called Blitz Scaling and had a circumstance to meet Chris and talked to once in a while. And it was great talking to him, which is you just kind of basically, it’s just you want to spend money and acquire as many customers as possible. So I put together a plan, raise some capital. It’s like, hey, we’re going to go five extra marketing budget in 2020, and then all of a sudden our launch date was March 1. And all of a sudden March, everyone cannot go to the office. And then everyone’s staring at me going, hey, what are you guys going to do? And I’m like, what do you mean we’re going to spend the money? They’re like, well, we don’t even know what’s going to happen in the world. I was like, yeah, that’s why we’re spending, because no one else is going to spend right now. And so we spent a lot of money on marketing to acquire customers. And we were able to build a lot of relationships during that time period when a lot of people didn’t know what they were doing.
[00:15:01.420] – Craig
And I think taking that Proactive approach really built our customer base up because we’re being able to negotiate better deals with our marketing partners. And we are buyers with media placements where everyone else stand on the sidelines. And so that allowed our ads to get out and acquire a customer. So, yeah, that was a great call on us. Yes, it was chaotic. Of course, no one knew what was going on. You’re like, we’re going back to the office next week. Here we are a couple of years later. We’re completely work from home environment. But it is a decision that I was glad I made, and I would definitely make that same decision again.
[00:15:35.780] – Sean
This is a short transition from the retail investing side of the podcast. We’re going to transition to the entrepreneurial side. So those who are looking to start businesses, you are spending money on ads, it sounds like, in placement and media. Is that right?
[00:15:49.080] – Craig
Yeah.
[00:15:50.130] – Sean
All right, let’s break that down a little more. Were you doing Facebook ads, Google ads, YouTube ads. How did it break down?
[00:15:56.980] – Craig
We did everything in the beginning. Yeah. He wanted to do as much as possible and then be able to look at what works the best and make it more efficient time. That’s where today, based on gathering that information, I call it based on gathering that data, looking at what channels are the best channels by doing that and then optimize your channels to optimize your cost. Lack of a better word, like a land grab. You want to go out there and grab as many customers as possible. Look at those customers where they all came from and just, okay, these are the channels that work best for us. And then hyper focus on those channels. Yes. Some people do it that way. That’s the way we took that approach, and it worked out for us.
[00:16:35.970] – Sean
So I want to break this down a little more. This was really helpful, by the way, is you’re attracting retail investors. That’s who you’re targeting, is that correct?
[00:16:43.440] – Craig
Yes.
[00:16:44.490] – Sean
And break down the ad a little bit here. Opaque is how you phrased it before. Opaque investment opportunity. Or maybe you’re using something a little more common, like real estate or something like that. Like what kind of language do you use? And did you drive into, like a lead magnet or what does that look like?
[00:17:03.640] – Craig
It’s a lot of different things. It was constantly testing and fine tuning, really talking about historically that asset class, how it performs. This is how generation wealth is made. This is what it looks like. This is how institutional investors do it. This is the barrier to entry. This is how you can enter with this. Just kind of constantly kind of getting that message out there and breaking that down in components and just really creating a lot of awareness. What we’ve learned in the process is that not a lot of people knew this existed. And so it was a lot of content. We had to do a lot of content, a lot of education. Most people, this was something that they never knew existed. So we had to really focus a lot on a lot of content, writing, a lot of education. And then we also people come from different walks of life, and so each person just understanding their background so we could personalize the message to them. And that took a pretty significant amount of resources to invest in their education and personalizing those messages to everybody.
[00:18:05.590] – Sean
Got you now that’s helpful there with this business model, can you tell us what were you doing before? Because I know one thing we’re talking about offline is why did you shut down a previous business? Sounds like you had something successful going to start this business, which is more tech focused.
[00:18:21.530] – Craig
Yeah. Well, I kind of asked myself that question was how it is. I mean, the fascination with the tech, and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do was grow myself. It’s more than about making money for myself. It’s building something for other people. Honestly, I think I made more money doing my other job in the past, but that was all about making money for myself. This is about helping people. This is kind of got me going. Wakes me up each day, the passion, the fire. And I always came from that background. If you serve other people and you treat them well and you help them out, then the universe will pay you back in kind. And that’s why I’m doing that. This is something that I was able to give back to people, especially growing up and seeing how my family never knew about this stuff. They never had the ability to do this or go up the wealth ladder. I came from an affluent area, but my parents were affluent. They were middle class, both hard working. And to be able to give back really hit home for me. Sure. And let that fire to do it.
[00:19:24.500] – Craig
And that fire and that passion is still within me to do this.
[00:19:28.750] – Sean
That’s inspiring. Thanks for sharing that. I know from my perspective, there have been people, again, that approached me with REIT opportunities, and they’re only approaching accredited investors. And in that regard, you leave a lot of people out. And so in this case, to approach the retail investor, the everyday John and Jane Doe, give them an opportunity to get into real estate investing pretty easily, $500 minimum. A question I did not ask is, what kind of timeline are we looking at? Like, if they reach out to you and want to invest, could they invest the same day? Do you have like an onboarding period? How does that work?
[00:20:02.500] – Craig
It could take seconds. I mean, it’s a platform. Yes. Online. We have an app now, apps on iOS. We’ve been upgrading the app consistently. User experience as well. It connects directly to your bank account, everything. Just download the app. Boom, boom, boom. It could take less than a minute. You could go to a browser to your phone. You can do it that way. You can go on your desktop to transact. We’re constantly improving that process. We’re constantly making it easier for you to transact.
[00:20:32.600] – Sean
Sure.
[00:20:33.120] – Craig
It’s a pretty simple process.
[00:20:34.840] – Sean
It feels like a broker platform. Like I use Tdmar, Trade or ETrade and Robinhood, those are some of the big players here in the States. Create a login and password, connect your bank account, buy what you want to buy. That’s it.
[00:20:48.870] – Craig
Yeah. And that’s what the consumer wants. They want to keep things simple. They want it very easy to do. And again, you look at that, too. There’s no kind of sizing you up because I came from the money raised in the world and they taught you all the tricks of the trade and how to do that. And a lot of that stereotyping people because they teach you don’t waste your time with people who can’t qualify for this. So you develop all these kind of archaic stereotypes is a good way to put it. And that kind of warps you a little bit, too. And this is just, hey, that’s just an app. That’s just a platform. It doesn’t ask me those questions. So really, it allows everybody to look at that. No one’s judging this process. It’s just boom, boom, boom.
[00:21:26.650] – Sean
Yeah. Get in super easy. You put the service on the tool like we’re big on SAS here at Ticker. We love software as a service products. It feels like that you empower the end user to really take control of their own investment opportunity with your platform. They don’t need somebody on a call guiding them through every step. Your platform is probably super intuitive from the sound of it, right? Yeah, that’s great. Let’s take a quick commercial break. Have you ever lost money in the stock market? Maybe you heard or saw comments on YouTube, TikTok Reddit or another social platform? Or maybe you just received bad advice from a friend. Yeah, I think we’ve all been there. Most people lose money in the stock market because they make decisions based on emotions. What if you could remove emotions from investing? What if you could make consistent returns in the stock market based solely on logic? And what if there’s a software that handled that logic for you? Introducing Ticker, a platform that helps you manage your own investments with confidence. Get started today with a free trial visit Ticker.com. That’s tykr.com again. Ticker.com. I got to ask a question here about balance.
[00:22:44.750] – Sean
It sounds like you’re a big family man, and you’ve been there and done that with business before. How do you balance running a business? Managing employees, having a family, and growing a company like a new company like this?
[00:22:57.600] – Craig
How do you do it all, man? Last couple of years, it’s kind of been nuts, right? I did have a third child, right when the pandemic started in February, and that was great. It really was comforting to be around here that often because I wasn’t around the other two that much, because just going to work. But now you’re working from home, so there’s pros and cons. It’s like you’re in either there and your wife goes, okay, hey, you have a second? Well, you wouldn’t have a second if you’re at the office, right? But you just learned to do it. I’m big into personal development, taking care of myself, making sure I’m exercising an hour a day, eating healthy, spending some time on my spiritual development. I do the breathing stuff, and I’m diving into that and make sure I’m consistent with that. Making sure I turn things off and have family time. And always getting better with that open communication dialogue with my wife, of course, and making sure I’m helping her out with things. Being there for my kids somewhat. It’s always a juggling act to how much can you attend and how much you work?
[00:24:03.170] – Craig
But it’s a process, and I’ve been able to do it, I believe, pretty well. And at the same time, given 110% of the business at the same time, I never turned off. It’s always on 24/7, so my wife’s not looking them in the cell phone. Sure. But it doesn’t stress me out at all. I don’t get anxiety or stress from working a lot. I enjoy it. And I have enough time to spend on myself and my family. And I am constantly optimizing that. Though I’m not satisfied with what I’m doing, I constantly receive feedback. I kind of have a meeting with myself to make sure that, hey, what did I learn? How am I doing across all spectrums of my life? Where do I need improvements there? And the other thing I think is tough for a lot of people to do. I do mentor a lot of younger people, and I’m an advisor in a couple of groups is learning how to delegate and trust is a big thing. And there’s no way you could do that without learning how to delegate and building the right team around you. It’s too much to do on your own.
[00:25:06.420] – Craig
So that is something that I would recommend people, if you’re trying to build something is understand how to build a team and how to understand how to delegate for your time up and put yourself in a position to do what you do best.
[00:25:18.640] – Sean
Right on. How big is your team today?
[00:25:22.350] – Craig
We got quite a bit of people to include everybody, but we’re about 30 employees today currently. But more importantly, with all the contracts we have, we’re well into the hundreds of people working on projects.
[00:25:33.150] – Sean
Sure.
[00:25:33.710] – Craig
Wow.
[00:25:34.370] – Sean
That’s amazing. Awesome. And I did ask this question before, but how many different properties are in your portfolio today?
[00:25:45.630] – Craig
I think we’re close to 15 properties in the portfolio, two to 300 million in value, I would say. Wow. Right now. Yeah. Getting there.
[00:25:54.930] – Sean
That’s great. And all accessible right through that app.
[00:25:58.740] – Craig
Yeah, right on.
[00:26:00.060] – Sean
Sweet.
[00:26:00.490] – Craig
It’s almost like, wow, it’s kind of going to pinch yourself to have that happen overnight.
[00:26:05.560] – Sean
No, I like your business model here, and I think it’s awesome. Serving the retail investor, creating something that’s really easy, something accessible, something anybody can really do, $500 minimum, and you’re in. So that’s great. What I’d like to do next is jump into the rapid fire round. If you can try to answer each question in roughly 15 seconds or less. If you go a little over, that’s fine. But this is a good little round here. Are you ready?
[00:26:31.200] – Craig
Yeah.
[00:26:31.850] – Sean
All right. What is your favorite podcast that you listen to?
[00:26:36.450] – Craig
Favorite podcast? There’s a variety podcast. I think the last one I’m starting to get into is like the Knowledge Project. I started listening to that one. That one was pretty good. They’ve had some good guests on it. It kind of changes from time to time. That one lately has been pretty good.
[00:26:52.440] – Sean
I’ve never listened to that. I’ll put it on the list. Nice.
[00:26:55.380] – Craig
Yeah.
[00:26:56.060] – Sean
What’s a recent book you read and would recommend that?
[00:27:00.440] – Craig
I would recommend gosh, I like a lot of Robert Green stuff, so I’m not sure if you guys read the 48 Laws of Power, The Laws of Human Nature. You’ve also got one about every 365 days. I forget the title, but every day you could read a little excerpt from this book and it gives you a little one page of stuff. So that’s one for each day of the week. So I read that every morning. I read one page like today there’s something on May 5. So I read something on May 5. I can see a little insight on some of his philosophies.
[00:27:33.130] – Sean
Nice. All right. What’s the best business advice or investment advice you ever received?
[00:27:41.010] – Craig
Gosh, the best business advice I ever received. I don’t know if I have one bit of business advice that I could say is the best, but I can say is that just don’t tell me I can’t do something because that just makes me want to do it.
[00:28:01.550] – Sean
That’s right.
[00:28:02.110] – Craig
It’s more of like what people say, hey, you can’t do this, Craig. And that advice makes me do it. It’s the opposite.
[00:28:10.560] – Sean
Yes. That’s the moment when you discover a true entrepreneur. Tell me I can’t do something. Stand back and watch.
[00:28:19.290] – Craig
Yeah. Because a lot of people, when I first mentioned this idea, they’re like, you’re crazy. You shouldn’t do it.
[00:28:24.940] – Sean
Of course they did that. All right. We’re going to flip the coin here. What is the worst business or investment advice you ever received?
[00:28:33.270] – Craig
The worst business. That’s a good question. The worst business advice I’ve ever received. I mean, that’s probably a lot stuff over the years. I can’t recall, like one statement per se. So I could summarize it’s kind of, hey, they’re not like us.
[00:28:53.610] – Sean
Let’s break that down a little bit. Are they referring to the customer base or you as an entrepreneur?
[00:29:00.750] – Craig
I would say in how we view things are that they’re not like us. And I would say there’s some undertones to that, of course. And I would say that we’re almost from a privilege point of view. And this is the case. I was serving a wealthy person and he was wealthy. I wasn’t wealthy at that point in time.
[00:29:22.720] – Sean
Right. Yeah, I can see that.
[00:29:25.150] – Craig
And it was more than once that was said. It wasn’t just one time.
[00:29:29.350] – Sean
I get the attitude. Yeah, for sure. And the undertones with it. But jump back to your business model. You really keep it open for everybody. You completely opposite attitude then? Something like that. Here’s a fun one. This is the time machine question. We’re going to hop in the DeLorean here. Go back in time. So if you could go back in time to give your younger self advice. What age would you visit and what would you say?
[00:29:55.150] – Craig
I was thinking about that so that’s one I could go back to, I would say almost College. I would say think bigger and go faster and start doing it now. And I would say when I probably was a freshman College when I was 18. And I would say that because the reason I think at that mindset was I had to wait until after College to do things. I think that was what I was thinking and I would have done that during College. And I have a story to say that, too. I was thinking of buying a condo, and I was going to College, Boulder, Colorado, on Broadway. And I was a freshman. And I told my dad, it’s only $90,000 for a condo. We should buy it. I’ll rent one of the rooms out and that will cover the mortgage. And he said, no, I’m like $90,000 for a condo on Broadway. Every city has a Broadway, right? It’s kind of like The Simpsons. Every city in Springfield. And Broadway is usually a good part of good real estate. And in this case, that’s probably worth a couple of million Bucks today. But if I started then and just did it and just went beyond my parents and kind of just figured out on my own, which I didn’t know at that age how to do that.
[00:31:07.900] – Craig
Yeah, that would have built an Empire, make it a little bit earlier.
[00:31:12.010] – Sean
I tell you what, every investor I’ve had on, whether it’s stocks or real estate, it’s always I shouldn’t say always, but usually I should have started earlier. No investor says, Man, I’m glad I waited this long to not use compound interest in my favor. It doesn’t make sense. But anyway, great advice. I love that. Take action now, don’t wait, because we do see a lot of people who are investing and their entrepreneurs. It goes both ways and they wait, I’m going to do this, then I’m going to do this when it’s that type of attitude. Not that let’s do this. Let’s take action right now. So that’s great advice.
[00:31:49.240] – Craig
Yeah, I got a saying it’s do learn and grow, because by doing, you’re going to get the feedback and that’s where the learning comes in and you got to take the feedback to learn. And then with that comes growth. And if you could do that with everything Sky’s limit.
[00:32:02.840] – Sean
Right on. Well, last question here is where can the audience reach you?
[00:32:07.370] – Craig
Very easy. If you want to know more about the companies diversityfund.com, you can find me on my social handles, Craig sicilios. I go by CXC as well. There’s not a lot of me out there, so I’m pretty easy to follow. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, many places I am. Awesome.
[00:32:22.340] – Sean
Well, thanks a lot for your time here. This is great.
[00:32:24.410] – Craig
Thanks, Sean.
[00:32:24.910] – Sean
I appreciate it. Greg. 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 do not make those decisions based solely on what you hear. Alright thanks a lot. See you.