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Chris Miles: Retired Twice By Age 39

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Imagine being able to retire, losing it all, building your wealth back again and are able to retire (AGAIN) by the age of 39 years old. Meet Chris Miles of Money Ripples and host of The Chris Miles Money Show. Chris is a leading authority on creating wealth through increasing your monthly cash flow and creating passive income. In fact, he's been able to increase his personal clients cash flow by over $200 Million over the past 10 years! Hear him share his mindset, tips, and best practices on how you can escape the rat race and build your wealth.

 

In this episode, hosted by Mike Swenson, we discussed:

  • Chris really is an expert on what it takes to gain financial freedom.
  • Chris is a cashflow expert financial advisor, leading authority on teaching entrepreneurs and professionals, author podcast hosts of the Chris Myles money show, you've been featured on US News, CNN Money.
  • Chris retired twice by the age of 39.
  • In 2006, Chris quit being a financial advisor and became mortgage broker & real estate investor.
  • Chris discussed about max ROI and the risk in investing.
  • Lastly, people can visit moneyripples.com if they wish to reach out to Chris.

Timestamps:

00:00 - Intro and overview on Chris career.
01:35 - Chris background and how he started for being an entrepreneur and real estate investor.
3:13 - How his friend opened his eyes about real estate.
09:01 - How to build a momentum in real estate.
12:33 - Discussion about max ROI.
18:51 - Talking about risk in investment.
24:31 - How to reach out to Chris.

 

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Full transcript here:

Mike Swenson 

Welcome to The REL freedom podcast where we inspire you to pursue your passion to gain time and financial freedom through opportunities in real estate. I'm your host, Mike Swenson. Let's get some real freedom together.

 

Mike Swenson 

Welcome everybody to another episode of The Rel freedom podcast. And I'm so excited today to have Chris Miles. You know, we talk a lot about building wealth, gaining financial freedom. And Chris really is an expert on what it takes to gain financial freedom. So quick, quick background about Chris. Chris is actually cashflow expert financial advisor, leading authority on teaching entrepreneurs and professionals how to get their money working for them today, author podcast hosts of the Chris Myles money show, you've been featured on US News, CNN Money, and you have a great reputation for getting your clients life altering financial results. In fact, your personal clients have increased their cash flow by over $200 million in the last 10 years. And you've actually retired twice by the age of 39. And so that is a topic that people will love to hear about is how do you do that? I'm still scrambling, I'm still trying to work hard to retire once. And to be able to do it twice by 39. You just have a wealth of information. So welcome to the show. Chris, we're so excited to have you. Why don't you just lead off and share a little bit more about you and kind of your story and how you got to where you're at?

 

Chris Miles 

Yeah, pleasure to be here, Mike. Yeah, I mean, get my story kind of starts out differently than you'd expect, right? I mean, I went to college, I suppose to be the first person, my family to go to college, right? Yeah. And I did. And with one class scope, before I got my bachelor's, I took a sabbatical to become a business owner, right to be an entrepreneur, because I was intending to go into business consulting, that was my whole goal, right, I was gonna become a business consultant by figure out how to have real life business experience before just trying to go get an MBA, and just have this degree with no experience behind it. Well, flash forward, the first opportunity that comes along for me to become an entrepreneur is being a financial advisor. Right? And I'm gonna talk about the mainstream traditional, aka salesman in a suit crappy kind of financial advisor. Right?

 

Mike Swenson 

That was gonna be how I started out of college, too.

 

Chris Miles 

Is it really?

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, that's, that's kind of where I was first pursuing before a different opportunity came up. So yeah.

 

Chris Miles 

That's interesting. Well, I never realized it was so easy to get in, right, I didn't realize that you just had to pass a test and have a heartbeat and you can become a financial advisor. Right. And it wasn't like you had to have any real life. But you know, financial experience or anything like that. Unlike, you know, being a realtor, you guys have way more hours, you'd have to spend time in the classroom and study and things like that, even to become a realtor. It's not that bad for a financial advisor, you can literally get it, you can get licensed within a week or two. I mean, it's that easy, you know, and so anyways, I mean, but I love being entrepreneur, I loved having control, my destiny, my time, my freedom, and everything else and money. And but the problem is, is that as I was doing that for about three, then going on four years is the end of 2005. Right?

 

Chris Miles 

I got to the end of that point. And, and I and one of my friends who was a real estate investor, brought up some really good points to me, he said, You know, I call them up at the after Christmas time of 2005 devotion, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. And it was kind of wondering how he's doing because he left being a financial advisor to go do real estate investing. So I figured a course like everybody who goes and try to do their own thing, they're probably gonna be broke. So maybe I can get him to come work for my agency again, right? Well, I was I get the exact opposite response. When I asked him how he's doing. He's like, man, things are awesome. He's like, my dad and I, we partner together on these real estate deals, and we've doubled his income as a professor at the local university. And I said, come on for months. That's too good to be true, you know?

 

Chris Miles 

And he's like, No, man, it works. And so we got this debate about what's better stocks or real estate. And finally, he stopped me say, Chris, how many of your clients are actually financially free, where they don't worry about money? And I said, Well, none, because even the retire ones, like the physicians and people like that, still wonder if they're gonna run out of money. Right. And they're not even in the stock market. Some of them have guaranteed income, but again, will it be enough, right? And so he said, well, good job, Chris. Way to help nobody. All right, how about this? How many of you guys as financial advisors are financially free, not off the Commission's run off the trails and renewals and all that stuff, but actually doing the mutual fund investments? How many of you guys are financially free? And I thought about even the guys have been in the office working since the late 70s. I said, Well, none. None of them are. He said, There is your problem. I said, well give me the answer.

 

Chris Miles 

Then he's like, I'm not gonna give you the answer. You just got then argued to me about stocks been better. I'm like, Listen, you got me I'm open. Let's do this. Let's you know, give me something he's All right, well if you're really serious, I don't think you are best takeaway sale ever, I guess you know, and he was even selling anything he just was pissed. But he said, if you're really serious good this book by Robert Kiyosaki called who took my money, which basically says mutual funds suck, right? And then go listen these these local, this local am talk radio show with a real estate investors. And so I did and flash for you know 2006 By March of oh six I quit being a financial visor couldn't do it because I realized it didn't work, I was already seeing it, right. But again, your pocketbooks tied to it. You don't want to admit you're wrong. But at some point, you have to say, well, am I going to stay in integrity or, and or I'm going to quit and quit teaching this crap, right? So I stopped that I became a mortgage broker. And and eventually, later on, as I started to get to know these guys in the real estate game, I only need to meet make 3500 a month to get out of the rat race.

 

Chris Miles 

But later that summer, I was out of the rat race, you know, doing things whether it's like, you know, things have died joint ventures, I was doing some things with with, you know, real estate, of course, and things like that, between the two of them. I was making like four or 5000 a month, I thought, holy cow at 20 years old. This is easy, you know, what am I gonna do? I'm 20, almost 29 All my friends are working now what am I gonna do with my life? Right? So 2007 actually came out of retirement teach people how to do it. And like you mentioned, I retired twice, that's not a good thing. Because I started a you know, gambling more I started doing what you see a lot of people doing real estate game right now, which is doing a lot of flipping, or they're just very transactional, like the just wholesaling, or whatever it might be. And the problem is they don't have passive income, I started going away from the passive income going for the transactional income, and then got hosed in 2007 to 2009. Right. And went from millionaire to upside down millionaire didn't file for bankruptcy, but I would have been better off if I did, I would have a million dollars more if I did. But I was able to dig out of that hole eventually, with no money, no credit to the point where 2016 I was able to gather at least the second time, this time a lot wiser and smarter than I was back then.

 

Mike Swenson 

So talk to people then, you know, what are some of those basic principles that are really important for folks? You know, like, because because in real estate, right, like, yeah, so many times people are chasing the transaction. And that's actually why I started this podcast was I got into real estate seven ish years ago. And I just assumed that people are making money hand over fist. And what I saw so many people struggling, right, because it's, it's a commission sales job, you know, they they've, they've done a closing, maybe there's 3060 90 days before their next closing.

 

Mike Swenson 

And they're trying to figure out how to get by. And I said, how can people get where they've got the wind behind them, instead of feeling like they're running into the wind? Because in real estate, you're really only as good as your last 90 days? And how many closings did I have? And then you know, the slate, you know, if we look here to 2022 the slate starts clean. Now what transactions do I have to put on the board to make my income and so it's about building wealth, gaining financial freedom, and yeah, not having to just be a sales job where it's just a commission commission commission. And now I've done the same thing for 20 years and I've got nothing to show for it. So so how do you help people kind of walk through that to where we can start building momentum instead of feeling like I'm just running into the wind all the time?

 

Chris Miles 

You know, you bring up some good points and actually they kind of brought up some bonus points my head too, they go beyond that. But you know, I'll tell you like there's there's a great book out there that's called The Richest Man in Babylon. Right? And if you're to put it in layman's terms, because you know sometimes you some language a little bit confusing there. I mean, the one the hard things is that as you're getting started that business and this doesn't matter if you're a real estate agent doesn't matter if you're an investor even it doesn't matter if you're even in business you know, business owner or whatever, like if you're doing any kind of job where you could have you know, flexible you know, or you know varying types of income coming in from month to month could be great one month bad the next and I've been there right especially being an entrepreneur for last 20 years, I've been in those those positions.

 

Chris Miles 

The best thing I'd say is first foremost, get a good foundation. One of the hardest things to do as entrepreneur is not reinvest every dollar or as they say, "reinvest" which really means you spend every dollar. It's good invest in your business, your business should be the number one investment that you put money into, especially as you're getting started that should be the case but you got to be very careful not to put every dollar in, there always should be money coming out and you should start building up some cash reserves. And it could just start small you might just say hey, you know what, I've got enough for a car payment Hey, now we got enough for house payment now we've got enough for one month reserve right? I mean, you want to get his entrepreneur way, way beyond even the six months reserves, even 612 months of reserves in place.

 

Chris Miles 

But COVID has shown us too that you know what what we've learned you know what I learned as an entrepreneurship major in college about cash reserves you know, like yeah, this is this is a an instance where yeah, like you said, you know, three to six months reserves fantastic. But yeah, an incident like COVID where, gosh, that could take 612 18 months. It definitely challenged what we know about stocking up cash reserves for a rainy day.

 

Chris Miles 

Yeah it's amazing what becoming a non essential business Dolson did everybody, you know, like, it should have been the wake up call like that should be the the little, you know, earthquake warning you might get or tornado warning you might get that says, hey, get under your desk or whatever, go hide, you know, this, that should have been the call for us to all wake up and get this crap in order now, especially when things are so good when things are so abundant. And so yeah, getting that cash reserves. And here's the key psychological thing with that, too, when you have cash savings, even if you just say it's a you know, just say it's just, you know, a car payment or house payment that you've got maybe got a few 1000 bucks, right? Use that and say, You know what, I don't need this one client, I don't need that one person to do this deal, right?

 

Chris Miles 

 I don't need that one transaction, like I don't have to be desperate and do something I don't want to do or have to do because of the money. Like, I've got cash. And if you come to that mindset, you come from a place of, I don't need you. But hey, if this is right, I can serve you I can do great job for you, and it's an OB awesome watch will happen to your business, I guarantee he'll start exploding. Because when you come from a place of desperation, where you're flinging up business cards, like Chinese stars, slicing people up, you know, and things like that, that kind of desperation just drives people away, and you work three to five times harder for the money than you would if you just relax. And again, relax doesn't mean you're apathetic doesn't mean you're not doing anything. But it means that when you're in that opportunity to present yourself, you'll show up more powerful because you don't need the money. Because you can say your you legitimately honestly say to yourself, I don't need this one person, because I've got that reserves there. And eventually you do build it up, right.

 

Chris Miles 

But that's where you start, you start there because that having those reserves will build your business, boosting your income, which will allow you to put away more money to invest, right. So that first step has to be in place, you got to make sure your cash flows under control, make sure you're tracking your money. That's another key thing that so many people miss out on. Anytime I've seen an entrepreneur tell me, they're too busy to check their money, guaranteed every single time, right? Out of those 11 years, like you say like $250 million of cash are freed up every single time entrepreneurs too, there's too busy, they find at least 500 a month, just by tracking their money. They don't have to do anything cheaper. Just by track your money becoming more intentional, you find more money that you end up just being wiser, and how you spend it. And so your lifestyle. So the same, you don't feel any different. But you find you have an extra 6000 or more a year in your back in your pocket.

 

Chris Miles 

I have one person they found 1800 a month, you know, like, they're just like, oh my gosh, like this, this was huge for me, because this is more than a client for me. Right? So those kinds of things, you know, that's the kind of thing you need to look for. Then as you start to build up savings. One thing I like to do, like some people are like, Well, I hate the fact that it's burning a hole in my pocket like, oh, the banks Piney Point, nothing percent. What I do with it? Well, one of the strategies I use I employ myself and I even teach people how to do is like create what's called a max ROI, like infinite banking type of savings account, right? You know, where I use whole life insurance specifically. But you got to get the right type and design just the right way. So you're not paying a whole crapload of cost, because most insurance products are just a waste of money, right. But if you do it right, I actually keep two thirds of my cash reserves inside that plan, because I'm making four or 5% tax free, and it's creditor proof and lawsuit proof. So if somebody sues me and wins, they can't get to that money, I can have millions in there and they can't touch it.

 

Chris Miles 

So one of the key is not only just a protection strategy, but it also at least I'm making more than point nothing percent in my bank account, right, I'm at least earning some money on that money. If it's gonna sit there, then what we do is take that profit, then we start investing, and it could be using that lifestyle, you can actually double dip, you can actually make your money to pay you twice if you use your life insurance instead of your savings account. But again, if you start building up cash in your savings account, then we go and invest it and you should be especially if you're in real estate game, you should be buying real estate. If you're a wholesaler great cherry pick the best deals, keep them for yourself and start building a portfolio. I saw this happen two, three years ago, I mean, you know, some big matchmakers with a lot of wholesalers and flippers. And I tell you majority of them had no passive income. And that is a huge mistake. That's a mistake.

 

Chris Miles 

I made the last recession, right because I had passive income. But then when I went and I came out of retirement, I partnered these other guys who were also financially independent like I was, they said, You know what, Chris, we want you to be 100% on board, like fully focused on this mission. We're gonna help people we're gonna save lives, right? All this kind of stuff. So get rid of all these other income streams. stupidest thing ever that I listened to them. I'm like, man, we're telling them to become financially dependent. Why would I do that? That would be like, That's against integrity right there. So I did that. And of course, when we were focusing on real estate investors, funny enough, but there were more flippers that we're focusing on, right? They weren't making money in the recession. As a result, we were in a paid plus. You know, my real estate was doing great because I took my focus away from cash. flows are trying to focus on appreciation.

 

Chris Miles 

Another big no no do not bank on appreciation, bank on cash flow. Like I might my mantra is boring a sexy, right? Right, the more boring the deal, the more well almost like I know it like the back of my hand, right? Like I've done it many times. Those are the cool deals, I don't care about going for the bright shiny objects and things I haven't any experience doing. I over the things I actually have done over and over and over, I feel comfortable doing. And you just do it, you know, just like, it's like if you ever watched a movie, Remember the Titans? And you know, he only had six plays? And they're saying, Well, should we throw in some trick plays? He's like, it's just like, No, it can't, you just got to give it time. Right? It's kind of same thing with investing is like you got to go with your, your just your stable steady plays that you know, like the back of your hand. And you do that, especially if it's cash flow focused, you'll make so much more money and keep it then you would have just tried to gamble, trying these new little things and chasing whatever and going after crypto because hey, your real estate investor, but I'm a crypto expert, too. It's like no, you're not, you're not like stay in your lane, do your thing, and it'll be way better off.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, well, especially being in real estate, you know, as an agent working with investors. You know, we we hunt deals all day long, we're finding the best deals. And so I think that's for people who are plugged in a wholesaler or flipper, you can also benefit because you're you're finding these great deals. And what I love is, you know, when when you find that deal, just ask yourself, Is this something I should invest in first, and if not, maybe I expose it to my buyers list, because you get you do get a chance to cherry pick those top deals. And so yeah, for those folks who are in real estate, you've, you've been given a good opportunity, I often tell people, you know, when you're, when you're in the stock market, and you're investing inside knowledge is insider trading, then you can go to jail. You know, in real estate, you've got all the inside knowledge and you can use it utilize it for your own benefit to help grow your own wealth. Because if I find a great deal, I can go buy it myself, and I get to be the one to reap that reward. So so we do sit in a good opportunity here in real estate, because we are analyzing the market everyday we are analyzing those investments for folks.

 

Chris Miles 

That's so true. I'll tell you it I get a lot of times people that their investors or their agents out like in the western half the US like I'm in right, and the deals are suck. I mean, even if you find a decent deal, it's really hard to cash flow well. Don't be afraid to go invest outside of your state or your area, you know, like, don't be afraid to like go invest like like I look out in the Midwest or southeast because there's way better cash flowing deals out there with way better price with great rents in ratios and stuff like that, than I would ever get out here in like Utah or anywhere on the west on the Pacific side. Right? Like, if you ever hear people in Oregon, Washington, California, they say they have a rental, my automatic response is sell it. Like you haven't seen the numbers. I don't have to I already know your play have equity in it. And your cash flow sucks, like, you know, look at out east, like there's way better deals out there. And if you don't have those connections, leave find those connections if you don't have somebody that's already inside there. You know, there's turnkey companies, there's good quality turnkey companies, you can go and find the deal. You don't have to properly manage it yourself and and still reap all the benefits of ownership and cash flow from that.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, yeah, we actually just closed I came from a closing this morning. And the it's a duplex, it's got seven bedrooms. And the rents coming in are 2895 a month, and the purchase price was 235. And so a lot of people like to follow that 1% rule, right. And, and so this happened to be their first investment that they've ever done. It was their their first dip in investing. And she was talking about how she was so nervous, you know, this morning, because it was her first investment ready to sign on the dotted line. And I said, Look, you've got great cash flow. Both tenants actually recently signed one year leases. And so in terms of risk, there's, there's always risks with investments.

 

Mike Swenson 

But at the same time, you've kind of hedged your bet quite a bit. And you know, I'm excited. There's there's deals that are better than others. And this was certainly one of the top deals that I've seen in a while because she she kind of walked into a great cash flow, great property. And so yeah, this is going to be one that's going to pay her very well moving forward. So yeah, I agree that the cash flow is key, because once you start dipping on cash flow, and here, you're burning a hole in your pocket out the back door, you're you got to find a way to get that cash flow. So So focusing on that is is crucial.

 

Chris Miles 

Yeah, yeah, I love that dude. Because that's, that's an amazing deal. Maybe even when I go for mine, I usually go for the 1% cash on cash return, right? Like, if I'm going to use leverage these banks, I can at least make 12% a year. I'm happy. You know, like, I think that's great. If you can make in the teens to 20s Even better, right. But yeah, I mean, it's so great when you find those deals and, and yeah, don't be afraid to do that. Even if it's not in your backyard, because sometimes the backyard doesn't always have the greatest deals. Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side.

 

Mike Swenson 

And we find to you know, we work with a lot of people on the coasts, particularly on the West Coast, and they do like the Midwest, right? It's, it's stable, it's consistent. It's maybe not as sexy as what you'd find out in California or Seattle or things like that. But at the same time, you know, there's there's good opportunity, there's good cash flow, and there's good appreciation that can happen. And so it's kind of that nice, stable Midwest piece that we we love. That's, that's why we live here in the Midwest, right?

 

Chris Miles 

Yeah. Well, I mean, there's like, I have a Memphis property about three and a half years ago, or, you know, and I mean, that thing, I mean, with the cash on cash returns, plus, you know, the fact that the renter has been paying down my mortgage for me, not including any tax benefits. And then of course, depreciation has been nice the last few years, right? I mean, I've had about 300% return on my money. You know, that is huge. I mean, that's just incredible. We need to really think about that. There's no financial advisor, though, ever promised that. And that's the thing that really blew my mind, right, because I thought, you know, financial advisors had all figured out, I thought we were the geniuses.

 

Chris Miles 

But the truth is, financial visors don't know squat. Because if you're, here's the one thing the s&p 500 only averaged last 30 years a real rate of return of about 8.4% from 30 years, and this includes the last 13 years in a row up. I mean, think about that 13 years a row of uptrend, we have never had that in stock market history that I've ever seen, even going back in the 1800s. We've never heard that before. And still, it's only 8.4%. And even then if you get 8.4%, let's say you happen to save up to a million bucks, then you're only spending maybe 3% of your money, that's 30,000 a year of cash flow, that sucks and they pay taxes on 30,000 a year. Versus if I have a million bucks, like you said, anybody use that 1% rule.

 

Chris Miles 

That million dollars makes me $10,000 A month passively that I don't pay taxes on because I get all the depreciation the write offs from real estate. I mean, when I got that vision in 2006, that's what blew my mind as like, why would I dare want to be a financial advisor? When I already know it doesn't work. People aren't retiring, including financial advisors. But here on the real estate side, people are so why not go that route? You know, and that's what's worked. You know, we've been proving it millions of millions times over the look in the financial advising, and people are not retiring on the financial visor side, but yet that is considered mainstream, conventional. And that's not the way to go. That's the way to become broke the rest of your life.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, and I think unfortunately, so many times people just think that that's what I'm supposed to do, right? Because my my parents or a friend or family member, like, oh, they put their money with that person. So let's just use that person. And you kind of have to stop and ask some more questions, and dig a little bit deeper and see like, okay, let's play this path forward. If I if I do this path, like you said, you're just basically trying to build as big a pot of money that you can just slowly take from, and people always have to ask, like, what if I outlive my funds? Where if you go back, and you focus on building that cash flow, now, it doesn't matter how long that you live, because you've got that cash flow, month in and month out. And you don't have to worry about outliving your money or living as conservatively as possible because I don't want to take too much of my money. So

 

Chris Miles 

Exactly. I've actually seen people get burned by the whole fire movement that's going on the financially independent retire early movement, because they'll say live on 4%. And they're all about seeing the stock market stuff, and even find real estate investors, it boggles my mind when they say, Well, I want to diversify into stocks, like why there's nothing that stocks give you that you don't already have the real estate, and if anything, it just gives you more risk and mediocre returns, right? Why would you go that route to diversify? That's stupid. And in fact, even Mark Cuban a quote from him, you know, from if you see Shark Tank is diversification is for idiots, right? You know, like, it's dumb, like, or as Warren Buffett say, diversification is admission of ignorance, you know, like it, you have no clue what's going on.

 

Chris Miles 

That's why you diversify. He's just throwing everything everywhere. And you don't want to be that kind of, that's a gambler, not investor, right? And so you don't want to get caught up in that kind of junk. You know, you really want to get focused on what is real. And I'm telling you like the stock market is not the place to be is not the place, you're going to get that kind of thing. And that whole 4% rule. I just saw Wall Street Journal article come out recently saying those numbers don't work in today's markets. That's so and even 20 years ago, when I was a financial visor, we were questioning the 4% rule. They're saying now No, no more than 3% I say even two or 3% is a matches you look at and you start to run those numbers. It looks dismal. There are people that think they're going to be financially independent, that are going to be shocked and appalled once the market turns and they're going to say, Oh, I thought it was going to be this year, and now it's going to be 20 3040 years from now instead. You do not get caught in that trap.

 

Mike Swenson 

Well, Chris, I really do appreciate you coming on and thank you so much for the wisdom that we shared I feel like we could continue to talk more and do another episode at some point too, because there's there's so much that we can cover so yeah, so for folks that you know, love what you're saying and want to learn more about you Where can they find you?

 

Chris Miles 

Yeah, you can go to our website moneyripples.com You can go check out some more information and stuff there. You can also go follow my own podcast, the Chris Miles money show you can find on iTunes YouTube or wherever you listen to podcasts.

 

Mike Swenson 

Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Chris, for coming on. Check out Chris's stuff, a wealth of information, and you got the people to back it up the people that are making money, living financially free lives as the result of what you're teaching that just go put money in stocks and see what happens. So, really appreciate it. Chris, thanks so much for coming on. And we'll talk to you soon/

 

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