Do you have an old 401K laying around making little to no return every year and paying high fees? Ever wonder whether there are other ways that you can invest your retirement funds? Damion Lupo is a renowned financial mentor and author of The QRP Book. Damion joins Lisa Hylton to talk about what you can do with your retirement fund in the future. Having control over your retirement funds is a huge responsibility, but with Damion and Lisa’s help, you’ll know what to do with it in no time at all!
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From Losing $20 million To Helping People Have Control Over Their Retirement Nest Egg With Damion Lupo
What Is The eQRP And How Can It Help You Super Charge You Retirement Investing?
I have a special guest. His name is Damion Lupo. He is a student of martial arts, American sensei, Yokido founder and fifth-degree black belt, financial mentor and host of the Financial Underdogs Podcast. He’s the Creator of the Black Belt Wealth and bestselling author in personal finance, rewriting the rules and plan for retirement. Thank you for coming, Damion. I appreciate it.
It’s my pleasure. I’m happy to be here.
We’re going to be talking about one of your books, The QRP Book. We’re going to first start with his background and the way you played in real estate, then we’ll get into the QRP, EQRPs and the pros and cons about them as well. To get started, can you share with our readers how you got started in real estate?
I was one of these crazy people that read Rich Dad, Poor Dad many years ago. I said, “That’s amazing. I’m going to be the next Donald Trump.” Keep in mind, this is Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate guy. This wasn’t President Trump. I thought, “That sounds good. I want to be a billionaire.” Trump had books. It wasn’t like now where there are eight billion books on real estate. It’s very confusing. Back then, I read a couple of books and wanted to do that. I went and took a cash advance out of my credit card. I bought my first rental house on New Year’s Eve in 1999. There was Y2K. Everybody thought the world was falling apart and I was over there taking a cash advance, buying a house on a credit card. I don’t know if I was crazier than the crazy people or if that makes sense.
That’s what I started with and it was something. I look back and I was dumb and awesome because it got me in motion. I went to some seminars and then I said, “Okay, cool.” I learned something and applied it. I ended up buying 150 houses over the next few years. It was applied education, applied intelligence. Because knowledge isn’t power. That whole saying is truly stupid saying because there’s no power unless you apply it. I applied and I screwed everything up along the way, but that’s good because you learn and then you grow.
Along the way, you’ve experienced some successes and challenges. I don’t want to assume what your successes are. What would you say are some of the things that you’ve learned from your years of investing and how it impacts how you invest?
My biggest success was losing $20 million. I say that because I successfully went through it without dying. I think a lot of times we think something’s going to eat us. There’s some rustling in the bushes. That’s a primal instinct. We tend to be afraid and we think everything is going to cost us our life. By going through the process of building a portfolio, having my ego take over and making all this money and then losing it, I realized, “This is a game. There are rules to the game.” I didn’t know there were rules. One of the rules is don’t be by yourself. Have a group of people. Have your peers, have mentors and people around you that are there to support you and will tell you the truth.
That’s one of the greatest things because we get excited about the deals. We get excited about the opportunity and we get blinded by emotion. Our glands take over. This fear can take over, greed can take over, but these emotions absolutely make us stupid. We get stupider, the more emotional we get. Truly investing should be very boring. It should be a spreadsheet for the most part. I got very excited. I was looking at all these deals and that changed everything. When I lost it, I had to reassess who I was. Because when you lose $20 million worth of assets and you go to a negative $5 million portfolio, it means your broke than the homeless people. The people on the side of the streets that have the little signs, I’m driving by them going, “You have more money in your tin cans than I do a billion times more.” I learned a lot in that process and I learned that I was not my balance sheet.
That’s a big lesson. We tend to want to get more money. We think money is going to make us happy. It’s won’t, but nobody believes it. They all have got to do it for themselves. I was the same way. I kept going and ultimately when I had to do a reset, it gave me a different perspective. It’s very unemotional when I have to say no to a deal or yes to a deal. It’s like walking. I don’t think about it. It’s automatic. I look at things differently. I look at deals with things. I don’t go, “This is my favorite deal. I can’t wait to do this deal.” I go, “That deal makes sense.” Warren Buffett is awesome about this. He’s got $120 billion in cash and he’s saying no. One of the best things we can do is say no to most things in terms of investing so that we can say yes to things that make sense with the right team that’s going to execute.
As people are coming into this industry thinking about investing, making sure that they’re surrounding themselves with the right people and the importance of doing that. You touched on how you want to have people around you who are going to tell you the truth. How have you found discerning that? How do you discern between a negative environment and constructive criticism?Knowledge isn't power. There's no power unless you apply it. Click To Tweet
Usually, when you have a lot of respect for somebody and they tell you the truth, you don’t want to attack them. You appreciate it. You can tell based on your response to people, if you’re around people that are pissing you off because they’re saying something, you’re probably not around people that you’d respect. With a mentor, the reason that you want a mentor that you’re paying because you’ll pay attention and if you respect that mentor, then you’re going to take action on what they say. Because generally, people don’t hate their money. They pay money to somebody to tell them something and then ignore it and tell the person they were wrong. I’ve had plenty of people that were not paying me that I gave suggestions or advice too. They either didn’t do it or they argued with me and I can tell you that was the last conversation we ever had because it’s a complete waste of time. Depending on your reaction and how you engage with it, that’s whether you’re going to do anything with it. I think it’s who you are when you engage somebody. If you’re open and you’re looking for the truth, it’s different than if you’re trying to prove that you’re right.
The importance of finding people that you respect and then also being open to hearing what they say to you.
Whatever the real truth is, we tend to want to ignore the truth. There are two things. It’s important to find people that are actually doing and have done things. I don’t care to listen to somebody that is doing their first house deal and telling me all about how they know everything. I want to see people that have been through hell and gone there and come back. They bled. They have missing appendages. I want to know people who have been out there in the real world. At that point, it’s more interesting to listen to them because there are instincts. When somebody shows me something or they tell me their story, I can tell them generally within seconds or minutes what’s going to happen, ideas and strategies. I don’t need to look at all the details. I can stop somebody and that’s valuable. You don’t get that until you’ve been through it. Instincts are hardwired into your DNA because of emotion. Emotional intelligence is so much faster than intellectual. It’s breathtakingly fast. That happens because you’ve been through it.
One of the things that I know that you do for individuals, which you touched on before, which is coaching and helping people in that way. I know you did a webinar about designing your next decade. I want to talk about what inspires you to share that and maybe how that has also impacted your life, that mindset and thinking?
One of the things that I started that program with was the biggest problem is that there’s untapped potential and that is the biggest sin. People have all this potential and they’re frustrated and they’re playing safe. They’re literally tiptoeing safely to death’s doorstep and they’re not tapping into things because they’re afraid of making a mistake. Part of it is they don’t know where to start. They don’t know where they’re going. They don’t know where they’re at. The idea behind designing your decade is a life by design versus by default. It frustrated me years ago to see my dad spent all of his life going through motions. In the end, when he and I had this conversation a few weeks before he died, he said, “I had so many things that I wanted to do.” I was like, “That is regret. That was somebody that was unconsciously moving through life with first-order consequences.”
What that means is if it feels good, if it tastes good, then I’m going to do it instead of looking at second and third-order, which are longer-term. Decade by Design touches third-order consequences. It touches into why you’re here. It’s not just, “My plan for this month.” It’s literally, “Why my life matters.” A decade is long enough to do anything. You can either accomplish anything or you are way deep into it. A year is not long enough and most people do goals. We think about goals, we get excited. It’s for a year. We try to accomplish a gazillion things. At the end of the year, it’s not enough time and we go, “It didn’t work.”
If you do something where you design a decade, you can do the work where you plant the seeds the first few years, and then nature and the universe takes over. It’s unbelievable because you give it time. That’s what we have to understand, these principles of reaping and sowing. We tend to say, “I’m going to yell at the plant, I’m going to yell at the ground and make it grow faster because I’m in a hurry.” That’s called force. The power is in conspiring with the universe and it conspires with you if you do the things that you need to, which is planting the seed, being a good farmer. Everybody wants to hunt. They’re out there like, “I’m going to kill this deal. I’m going to do this thing.” I’m like, “What are you doing? You’re crazy.” In reality, farming is a very cool thing where you do the work and then you let the universal laws takeover.
I can relate to the farming analogy because I truly believe in it. The number of things that can happen in a decade also as well. I was at a baby shower and there was someone there who started middle school. I was speaking to the parent and the parent was like, “In this decade, my son is going to finish high school and college and be in their early twenties.” When you look at it that way, you’re like, “There’s a lot to take into place for that decade.” Time flies. Before you know it, you’re still doing the same stuff.
It’s going to happen. There is no getting around it. Nobody can stop it. It’s a great equalizer. We all have the same 168 hours. What we do with it is interesting. Somebody said something years ago to me, they said, “I don’t have time to work out.” I read something and at the time, this was when George Bush was president, the second one and he worked out every day. I said, “You’re telling me that you’re busier than the President of the United States? You don’t have time to work out and George Bush has time. I think you’re mistaken.” That was ridiculous. We don’t think about it. We have excuses and our life is a reflection of those excuses or those reasons that determine the actions we take. I laughed at that person, but it’s true.
I want to pivot into the QRPs. I’d to start by covering the difference between the regular IRAs that are out there and then you have the QRP and then diving deeper into the EQRP compared to self-directed.
In broad strokes, so people understand, QRP in the book that I wrote called The QRP Book is about Qualified Retirement Plans. It goes into a specific type, which is the under the 401 section, which is 401(k)s and things. There’s the 408 section, which is the IRAs. What most of us have heard about his IRAs because we think, “I can go put $5,000 or $6,000 into an IRA or I leave my job.” What do they tell me? They say, “Open an IRA and enroll your 401(k) into it.” We do these things because we’re marketed to by an industry that wants to keep us trapped, sell us mutual funds, annuities and all these financial instruments. It doesn’t want us to go do things that we have control of, things that make more sense.
The EQRP, which is the Enhanced Qualified Retirement Plan, is a unique type of retirement plan under the 401 section. What it does is it gives you the ability to invest in real estate, to buy gold and to invest in startups. It’s a cool tool where you actually have control of your money in a checkbook and you can still do all the other stuff. If you happen to stocks and bonds and mutual funds, I don’t know why, but if you do, that’s awesome and you can do those things. You can do all these different things and not only do you have the control, but you have protection against lawsuits. A lot of the stuff out there is limited in terms of protection. IRAs and solo 401(k)s don’t have that type of protection, especially in places like California. You can get destroyed.
You get into a lawsuit because you said hi to somebody and they became offended. They sue you and all of a sudden, you have a judgment. You may lose that retirement money. I’m saying this tongue in cheek, but let’s be real. In California, there are a lot of people and there are a lot of lawsuits. Liability is important. One of the things that changed back in December of 2019 is the retirement rules had the biggest amount of changes in thirteen years. One of the things that happened is if you’ve got a retirement account like an individual 401(k), you’re going to have to recover any part-time employees that you have where that doesn’t work.
The great thing is with an EQRP, you’re good to go because an EQRP covers employees. Anybody can set one up. You have to have a business, which could be you mow lawns, you have a lemonade stand, you have an eBay store, you’re a consultant. It doesn’t matter. You can have a W-2 job and you have some business. Having a business anymore is simple. This is the ultimate in power control and speed. Here’s the biggest thing for people. When we’re thinking about real estate, the coolest part about real estate is debt. It allows us to invest $100,000 and have $1 million worth of something property. The problem is most people mistakenly invest IRA money in real estate. The biggest problem there is that there’s a tax that they don’t even know that it’s coming called the UBIT tax or the Unrelated Business Income Tax. That sucker is 37%, and it means when you get a big windfall your deal works, you’re going to have a big tax bill and that’s terrible. This is not a good experience. When you have a win, but then you have a loss at the same time.
The good news is the EQRP is exempt. The reason that we love it is because we get to keep our money and it’s not given away. What’s the point of having a tax shelter like a retirement account if you’re going to give away a third of your profits while you’re building? That’s stupid, but it’s because we don’t know better. It’s because we’re marketed to by a giant machine called the IRA industry. If you’ve got assets in an IRA and you’re thinking, “This is not good,” you can move those from the IRA to the EQRP and now you’re exempt. It’s all fixable. What you need to remember is that the QRP is the Rolls Royce. It is the premier retirement account to have control to be able to buy what you want quickly and not have somebody telling you what you can or can’t do.
How long have EQRPs been around historically?
To give you a little background, the retirement system was back in the early 1970s when ERISA was founded. It was shifting the liability from companies to people. It used to be we had pensions and then the company said, “This is a big liability. This is a problem. We’ve got to pay people for the rest of their lives.” Because of the companies, Congress created the 401(k)s and the IRAs. These things have been around for a long time. The way that they’re built is different from company to company. We’re talking almost 50 years this has been around. It’s not new, it’s that you’re not going to hear about certain things the EQRP because who has the biggest ad budgets? Wall Street firms. You’re going to see it on the Super Bowl. You’re never going to see the EQRP on the Super Bowl. You’re going to see Fidelity or you’re going to see Merrill Lynch. It makes sense. They have billion-dollar budgets.
I’ve heard of people barring against their 401(k). I also know the EQRP allows you the benefit of loaning. Could you talk on the differences between doing the EQRP method of loaning yourself money as opposed to loaning it via the 401(k) vehicles?
The biggest difference between the two is that when you have an EQRP and you’ve got your checkbook for your money, you can write yourself a check. It takes about three seconds and it’s a very fast process. The rules from the government are the same. You’ve got to pay it back within five years. One of the nice differences is you get to pick what interest rate you’re going to pay back to yourself. It’s not a company telling you. Traditional 401(k)s may or may not have options in there. They are going to tell you what the interest rate is going to be and you get to choose. If it’s for your primary residence, you can pay it back up to 30 years. That’s a nice benefit. It’s about speed and control. You want to borrow $20,000, you can borrow it and you’ve got it in your account.
I also realized that EQRPs allow people to buy life insurance and the plan. I was curious about why they have allowed that perhaps and how you’ve seen that benefits people making that choice of doing something that.Money ultimately won't make us happy, but nobody believes it. Click To Tweet
The IRS is a little interesting. They tell you what you can’t do and then basically anything else you can do, and there are some specific rules around life insurance. While it’s an option, one of the things that Tom Wheelwright, the very smart accountant that works with Robert Kiyosaki, he and I say the same thing about the life insurance. Life insurance and retirement accounts, each one of those is a tax shelter. The problem with putting one tax shelter inside of another tax shelter is that you’re losing the benefit of one of them. I always challenge people to say, “Is there a way for you to use both of these tax shelters instead of losing one of them by merging them?” Even though you can, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. It’s something to think about it. It is an option. It’s looking at it with your team and deciding if it makes sense to do it or if you’re going to lose one of the benefits, which you don’t want to do.
Investing in gold and silver. For people that might be interested, I listen to Robert Kiyosaki all the time and he’s a big proponent of investing in gold, for instance. I never knew where I would go to do that. I know that through doing the EQRP, you can invest in gold. Could you talk about how that process works?
It’s a streamlined process when you want to buy gold and silver, which I happen to love since I was a child. I saw piles of silver floating around my house because my dad had a precious metals company back in the early ‘70s. I was familiar with this. I didn’t know what I was looking at, but at the time it was a lot of silver. It’s simple, you have a checkbook and if you want to buy gold or silver, you pick the dealer that you want to buy it from and you say, “I want to buy,” just like you’d buy anywhere else. You write them a check from your plan and you get to take possession of that gold and silver. This is against the law if you have an IRA and you tried to take possession. You’re violating the rules and the penalties are severe. It is not something you can do with an IRA and take possession.
With an EQRP, you can physically take possession. The dealer sends the gold and silver to you. The biggest thing is you got to make sure you pick the right gold or silver and the right dealer. That’s making sure you have the right information. I wrote a book on gold and silver and it breaks down the questions people have. It’s the top 21 questions people ask about golden silver. It should be fairly simple. The question is what do you know or what do you don’t know? It’s hard to know what you don’t know. This starts you with something, the questions you might want to ask.
On top of that, you would go into how they would store it to the extent that it’s coming to them, they might not necessarily want to have it at their house. Maybe they have a safe at their house and they can put it in it. They might choose to put it somewhere else that they feel is safer than keeping it on themselves.
There are a number of options. You can do whatever you want with it. It’s your responsibility and your choice where you keep it. Generally, Robert and I don’t like putting things at banks because the banks can shut down. The banks can change their rules. There’s not a whole lot you can do if Wells Fargo or Bank of America decided one day to shut their thing down. You’re going to go sue Wells Fargo or another trillion-dollar bank? I don’t think so. Having it at your house or private vault, a lot of our clients, have their gold at private vaults. They’re not governed by the banks. It’s an easy way for them to keep it somewhere when they want to sell it, they can sell it within a day or two. It’s very simple and that’s all over the world.
There’s the value of having it at home because there’s no counterparty. Meaning there’s nobody else that has an impact on your asset. It doesn’t matter what anybody or any government does in the world, your gold, your silver is right there. Nobody knows it’s there except for the dealer. They’re not required to report anything in terms of selling stuff when you wire money to them. It’s incredibly private. I think that’s a great way to go. There’s no risk, as long as you don’t put it on there in the living room with the signs outside that say, “It’s gold.”
Someone who might be thinking, “I’m going to have checkbook control over my QRP, over my retirement money.” What are the key things that they need to think about in terms of being responsible once they institute that perhaps on the admin accounting or anything of that side?
It’s the same as any other business. You’ve got to make sure that you’re keeping track of stuff and playing by the rules. With this, one of the nice things is wherever you have your retirement accounts set up, there should be a team of people that are supporting you to stay within the sidelines, so you’re not going out of bounds. It’s up to you to track what you’re doing because ultimately nobody else is watching over you and telling you what you can or can’t do. If that freaks you out, you may want to stick with an IRA or somebody else’s monitoring your stuff. Truly this is meant for people that are going to own it. They’re not going to be a victim. They’re not going to blame or justify. They’re truly going to be responsible for their money and for their account. If that’s you, then this is what makes sense. If that freaks you out, stick with an IRA and that will be much better because you’ll be able to go to sleep without wondering, “What have I done?”
One thing I will touch on, which I think you’ve spoken about, is the benefit of using these, especially when investing passively into syndications. Because the most indications are going to have that debt component as opposed to if you are investing, using the money to buy single-family homes, then you can take the whole cash and do it if you would like to. That’s also one thing that I would want to touch on for people who are also interested in passively investing.
Probably forever as long as we’re alive, there are going to be tons of opportunities to invest in it. It’s called syndication where a bunch of people gets together and they pull their money. With real estate, there’s a big piece of debt. Usually, that’s about 70% of the purchase price of a property. When you do that, if you use the wrong thing, which is called an IRA, you’re going to have a problem which is the UBIT tax. It’s triggered because of something called UDFI, which is the Unrelated Debt-Financed Income. Your retirement money is getting extra profit because of the debt. The IRS says, “No, it’s not okay.” It is a huge problem. It’s a 37% max tax. The alternative is when you go into the 401 section where the EQRP lives, it’s exempt. There is no tax. It was set up on purpose this way. Whether you have an investment in an IRA already that’s has leveraged, we can fix that. If you’re thinking you want to do real estate and you have retirement money, the only option to even consider is an EQRP because you don’t pay the tax. If you hate your money, an IRA is great. It makes no sense to me if you are trying to create wealth.
I think that’s the bulk of my questions on the EQRP. Is there anything else that I didn’t touch on that you think would be good for the readers to know about from the EQRP side?
Something happened in December of 2019. The rules changed and it allows people to set up a plan. If you’re about to file your taxes and you think, “I made too much money in 2019.” We can set up an EQRP and make it retroactive for 2019. You can make a contribution for 2019 up to $57,000 and deduct that off of your income. This is a big deal because one of the things too if you make a couple hundred-thousand you lose the ability to use that 20% deduction. You have to make under $157,000 or a couple of $315,000. If you say, “I made $200,000.” If we set up a plan and when you make it retroactive, then you could reduce your income below that $157,000. You get the 20% deduction off of that. Potentially this one phone call could save you $20,000 in taxes. Fifteen minutes, $20,000? That’s better than Geico.
That would be for someone who has a business.
You could be a consultant. It’s not going to help you if you’re a W-2 and you and you made too much as the salary.
Even if you are a W-2, you need to also have a business as well in order to be able to open the EQRP and take advantage of this.
You can say, “I’m a consultant and this is my business.” You could be managing your property. You could have an eBay store, you could have a lemonade stand. It’s endless. There are some people that are saying you have to have a business. People say, “I don’t have a company. I don’t have a corporation.” It’s not true. You have to have a business, which could be anything. A lemonade stand in your front yard is a business. If you think, “I can’t have one,” you’re telling yourself you can’t have one because you can’t pour lemonade.
I also want to pivot onto your podcast because I know you are also launching a podcast yourself. I wanted to talk about what is your podcast going to be about?
I came up with this idea while back because I was working with many people and even myself thinking about myself. I’m not Harry or William, I don’t have a silver spoon and then some aristocracy. I don’t have a billionaire as a parent. I’m like most of us. I’m an underdog. I’m not Goliath, I’m David. Most of us look at ourselves that way and we say, “Let’s team together as underdogs and let’s be committed to moving past this place for finance to keeps us trapped. My mission is to free people from the shackles that are on us. As underdogs, we tend to be more committed because we’re not free yet. When you’re not free, it makes you a little bit feisty. We’re going to bring a lot of people that are helping break the shackles. We’re going to have people that are not full of crap.
I think there are a lot of people that unfortunately are teaching that are not doing what they’re teaching. Those people aren’t allowed to be a part of the underdog world. It’s about real people, real underdogs that are making a difference and in helping break those shackles so people can become financially free. You think about for most people and I know this isn’t true for everybody, but most people if you get hungry, you have access. You don’t think, “Am I going to eat?” Even if you’re homeless, you can sit outside in America and people will give you money if you stand on a corner so you’re not going to starve to death.As underdogs, people tend to be committed because they're not free yet. It makes them a little feisty. Click To Tweet
My idea is that we want to get there with money too. Whatever it is we want in our life, we’re not going, “We can’t have it. Don’t have the resources.” Let’s get past that. Being an underdog is about being hungry enough to figure the things out that you’re teaching and other people are teaching that will get them into a place where they can decide based on what they want, not what they’re stuck with or what they’ve been given. That’s it. About abundance and not this scarce. Here’s the class that you’re in. It’s a social caste system. Unfortunately, a lot of people think that they’re supposed to be stuck somewhere for life and it’s not true. It’s a choice. We’re going to be helping people get that choice, the tools, the skills, more design, less fault and give them a plan.
That sounds to me masterminds getting together. I’m curious if you have been a part of masterminds yourself and the impact they’ve had on your life as well.
It’s one of the most powerful things that anybody can do. I’ve been doing masterminds since 2002. I have a couple of them that I’m going to be leading. It’s called 1522.io. It’s a different level. It is extreme accountability around the truth. It’s not a place where we sing Kumbaya and it’s not a place where we go to network. It’s a place where we go to get it done. It’s where we go to be real and share the real numbers. A Decade by Design was about being real and authentic about where we are, what the numbers are. What the numbers look ten years down the road, and then figuring out that gap in between now and the future, that’s what the mastermind is. Except it’s a way to accelerate that and then leveraging off each other and then having the accountability to get it going, so that when you don’t feel doing it, all discipline is doing the things that you don’t want to do, but you should do. That’s what accountability does. It forces you to go, “Somebody going to give me a lot of crap,” and we tend to do stuff. It’s like going to the gym, “I’m going to the gym. I’m going to work ten times harder because there’s somebody looking at me.” That’s crazy but we’re humans, this is what we do.
Thank you so much again for coming on and making the time. I appreciate it. I always learn a lot from my guest and this one was not an exception. I’m continuing to learn more about this process and everything else. If the audience want to learn more about you, how can they go about learning more about you and some of the things that you have going on?
The best thing to do to start is you can google me and find things, but let’s narrowly focus everybody that said, “I want to learn more about the QRP thing.” I want to give you a copy of the book. Grab your phone and text the word, QRP, to the number 72000. I wrote a report. It’s the cliff notes because people don’t like to read anything. They take videos. It’s a ten-minute read. You can read the cliff notes on the QRP stuff. You text it and it will come into your phone and your email. That’s the only thing that is urgent because of the timing where we’re at. Taxes are relentless and the IRS is like, “Now or we’re going to hurt you.” You want to do this stuff immediately.
They don’t have a sense of humor. They like, “Don’t laugh.” It’s the job description. You’re not allowed to laugh. If you don’t pay them on time, they penalize you and the interest and they charge you. If they have your money and they’re going to send it back to you, they don’t give you interest and it takes them months to pay you. If you take months, wait for the bill. It’s ugly. You’ve got to figure out what the rules are. Figuring out how to not pay the taxes and the EQRP as a way to not pay the taxes. Everybody has their opinions about the president. There was a funny thing during the debates with Hillary Clinton where she said, “He doesn’t pay taxes.” Do you know what his response was? “Yes, because I’m smart.” Here’s what that means. He’s following the tax code and everybody reading, we can do the same thing. It’s there for everybody. It’s not for people that have $1 billion, but you’ve got to understand what the government wants. The government is trying to incentivize you to do things and if you do things it wants, you don’t pay taxes because you create more economic benefits for the whole country. Understand what the rules are and that’s what the QRP is.
The beautiful thing about some of that is that some of the things that the government wants you to do are provide housing for people and jobs. You create companies that provide jobs for people and you build places so people can live and these are all good things.
It’s amazing to me how much and how much chatter there is about how the government should do more things. I think the government should be doing fewer things and incentivizing people to do more things because people are better than the government’s ever going to be at about anything.
Thank you so much, Damion. I appreciate it. Thanks for coming on. Thanks for sharing. I love it.
I appreciate it. Thanks for having me, Lisa. It’s been awesome. I enjoyed it.
Thank you, Damion Lupo, for coming. I appreciate it. I enjoyed the episode so much and took away a lot of good information as a result of it. These are some of my insights from this episode. The first thing is he said his biggest success was losing $20 million. How losing that money helped him to think about things differently. Look at his life differently in business, investing and everything. That is very profound to be able to come from that place and not be stuck because you lost $20 million, but instead saying, “How do I learn from that and how do I rebuild to be better, stronger and a better person and everything wrapped up in that?”
There are a couple of the other takeaways which was don’t be by yourself, but not just surround yourself with any and anyone. Surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth. To me, I thought that was also very important. I loved it when he spoke about people that you respect are going to be people that ultimately when they share advice and share feedback with you and you know it’s coming from a place of being constructive. It’s important to understand when someone is giving you that feedback, also thinking within yourself, “Do I respect this person?” Sometimes, maybe you don’t respect that person but are giving you some solid feedback. Understanding and being open to receiving, so that way you can then be able to transform the best you can be. He learned that he was not his balance sheet. It is also very powerful because let’s face it, as we’re out there investing as real estate investors, it becomes very easy for a lot of people to be defined by their financial successes. Understanding that money doesn’t bring you happiness, which is something he also said, which is also very important to remember and to keep close.
The next thing is deals that they’re just things and not to get emotional about them and loving something more than you should. It’s just, “Do the numbers work? Yes or no?” Staying in that area as opposed to getting emotional. Find people who are doing stuff that you want to do. A part of that is what makes it interesting to listen to their stories and about the things that they’re doing. On top of that, they come with that natural instinct. I can relate to the instinct part for sure. In the sense that when things happen to you in life, you’re working, it might not be real estate investing for you or maybe it is. Maybe you’ve been working a job or you’ve had certain situations happen in your life, after many of them happen, you have an instinct.
When you see something or something happens, you know, you start asking certain questions based on what experiences you’ve had in the past. You’re like, “I’m a little bit curious about why you’ve chosen to do that,” because you may have experienced something similar in the past. The last two items that I also thought were an amazing takeaway was untapped potential. There are so many people out there who have amazing things that they want to do. I meet them all the time. They’re like, “Lisa, I want to invest in real estate,” or “I want to do this, I want to do that,” and several months later, they’re still doing the same thing.
As I say this, it makes me think about when I had my review for my job because I work in Corporate America. I remember my boss saying to me because I remember saying to him, I was like, “I don’t see myself working in Corporate America for the rest of my life.” I remember him saying to me, “A lot of people feel that way about Corporate America but then 10, 15, 20 years later, they’re still here and they’re still working here.” I said, “Yes, I got it.” Things like that, untapped potential, it requires a lot of courage and massive action to change your current situation. It requires you to get uncomfortable many times before that happens because sometimes you’re afraid of making mistakes.
I see it for myself like doing this show is like, “Nothing’s perfect.” You eventually have to let go, get on the road, get going and just do it. When you make mistakes, you pick yourself back up and you keep going, which I feel like a lot of this episode is about that as well. That was connected to his course that is free that he does Life By Design, A Decade By Design. It’s amazing. I did the course and I’m continuing to do it because it has a series of emails that come after it. Following up with people about things that they are planning on doing and should be doing to get action and to take action on their goals.
I love the idea of designing a life by design as opposed to life by default. As Damion teaches a life by design, I will say to you that life by design takes work, takes commitment and it takes courage. It’s not for the faint of heart. A life by default is super easy. You get in the boat and you let the water take you wherever. When you are choosing to design your life, it’s for the courageous. I enjoyed this interview for that. It would behoove me not to talk about the EQRP. I’ve personally used the EQP myself. I think it’s an amazing vehicle, especially if you’re someone who’s a passive investor who wants to use your 401(k) money to invest in real estate or you can still use it in the stock market too as he mentioned on the show. You just have more control over your retirement funds under the EQRP. I think with more control comes more responsibility.
You’re reading this blog because you’re not someone who takes life willy-nilly. You are someone who is willing to get educated, spend the time to learn about stuff. With that comes the responsibility, but also the ability to control your future, to design your next decade and to design your life. One more thing that I wanted to share in the EQRP is that when I was trying to roll my funds out of the major custodian, they took so much red tape to process the move. In that, don’t be afraid and don’t be scared because that is a part of their plan trying to stop you from having control over what you want to do with your money. I hope you found this episode to be educational, inspiring and providing you opportunities to level up your real estate investing game. Until next time, keep leveling up.
- Financial Underdogs Podcast
- Black Belt Wealth
- The QRP Book
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad
- Tom Wheelwright
About Damion Lupo
American Sensei. Yokido Founder. 5th Degree Black Belt.
Financial Mentor and host of Financial Underdogs Podcast.
Creator of Black Belt Wealth.
Best selling author in personal finance. Rewriting the rules and plan for retirement.
Damion is on a mission to free 1 million people from financial bondage.
A new 1% in America. I believe you have a right to live free from the financial shackles of uncertainty and bondage that trap most of society by a system of corruption, cronyism and mass marketing lies by the financial institutions who get richer while their customer gets poorer. I believe it is time for honesty, empowered main street, and freedom from the system that feeds on the population. It’s time to choose. It’s time to be FREE.