24 Jul July 24, 2020 – eQRP Damion Lupo and Racial Outsourcing Adia Harvey Wingfield
Most of us don’t want to look at our cash, our credit, or
our calendar, because those three C’s tell us who you are.
Damion Lupo is is a sought-after financial consultant, Founder of Yokido™, Co-Founder of eQRP, and Best-Selling Author of over 10 books on personal finance, investment and retirement strategies. Damion became a multimillionaire by age 25 and then lost his $20 Million empire by age 30. Five years later he was back, reinvented and recharged on a mission. Over the last quarter century, he’s started and owned more than 40 different companies including an insurance agency, precious metals firms, a venture capital company, a coaching and consulting firm, and more than a dozen real estate investment and development companies. Damion Lupo is on a mission to break a million Financial Shackles, and he has developed the ultimate investor retirement tool called the eQRP®. Damion is also the founder of a podcast show Financial Underdogs, ripping conventional wisdom apart for the Main Street investor looking for truth about money and investing. Today, Damion works with change agents to Disrupt Wall Street’s manipulative system of enriching itself at the expense of its client.
Dr. Adia Harvey Wingfield – Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Arts & Sciences, and Professor of Sociology
If organizations are really serious about reaching people of color,
they are doing in a way that is not allowing them to maximize their
scope. They are doing in a way that puts an additional burden on
their black workers.
Adia Harvey Wingfield is Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Arts & Sciences, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, and Professor of Sociology in St. Louis. Dr. Wingfield has long been interested in the ways that race, class and gender influence everyday workplace structures and interactions. Her research examines how and why racial and gender inequality persists in professional occupations. Dr. Wingfield is a founding member of the Sociology Action Network Advisory Board and is serving from 2018 to 2020 as a member of the American Sociological Association Program Committee. She is a former President of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) and President-elect of the Southern Sociological Society (SSS), the largest regional professional sociological association in the US. Dr. Wingfield is the author of several books, including her most recent one, Flatlining: Race, Work, and Health Care in the New Economy, No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men’s Work, and articles in peer-reviewed journals including Social Problems, Gender & Society, and Ethnic and Racial Studies.
Highlights from Damion’s Interview
Millionaire by 25, broke by 30. Let’s rub salt into the wounds, but that’s totally the story. I’m grateful for the experience, it helps form us. It creates the wisdom too, when we actually go through those things. It generally doesn’t kill us, it makes us balder, but baldness is the wisdom. But I think it’s something that we oftentimes become afraid of, making a mistake in finance or business, so we tend to hesitate. People ask me, what would you tell yourself 20 years ago? I say, fail a heck of a lot faster, and move forward. Because I don’t remember the things that I messed up, I remember the things and I regret the things that I didn’t do, that I didn’t start, that I was hesitant around. I go, why wasn’t I moving faster, what was I actually afraid of: losing money, making a mistake, the judgment? The problem is I lost the time. That’s the biggest problem, we’re losing the time because we’re hesitating. We’re waiting for all the lights to turn green before we actually leave the driveway, but all that does is waste the life.
The idea that as entrepreneurs, our job is to push as hard as we can, and if you don’t push really hard, the don’t get a bankruptcy. I love that. If you’re not out on the edge, you’re just taking up too much space. That’s the thing, we’ve got to be willing to go out there. Somebody when I asked him once if he would loan me money for some real estate stuff, he said, how many deals have you done? I said, well, I did my first one. He’s like, come back when you’ve done five or you’ve got bankrupt a couple of times. I thought, what a jerk! Then I realized 20 years later how valuable that information was, that you have to go through it because people don’t know who you are until you actually do things. Talk is easy, doing it, surviving, and learning through the scar tissue is the ultimate thing where people get to know who you are, they understand your value and your virtues. But until you do it, it’s a big unknown and people don’t want to really get involved because they don’t know what to expect.
The first time that I really went out there, I got thrown out of college for starting a bookstore. I was differentiating simply by price-cutting and trying to be the Walmart of the book industry before Amazon took over. Apparently, you’re not supposed to start a business, but Michael Dell did it in his dorm room and I did it. They said, either shut it down because you bankrupted the store, we’re kicking you out. I said, fine. I hurried up, got my school paid for over the next couple of days, and then I left. So that was the first time I differentiated, and it resulted in me freeing myself. It was a blessing because it pushed me to go out there and do something else disruptive. I think the next thing I did that was crazy is I covered my big black truck in yellow letters that said, “We Buy Houses Cash”, and you could see it literally from space. When I was skydiving, I could see my truck from three miles up. So I was just doing things that were bolder, that made people uncomfortable, but it also got them to pay attention. That’s one of the keys, you’ve got to get people to pay attention because everything’s so noisy now.
I think one of the things that’s important is that we don’t have to wear steaks on our clothes like Lady Gaga, we can actually just do something with conviction and do something to solve a pain. That’s one of the things that you have to do with any business, is to figure out what pain is there that you’re solving, and you’re going to be the aspirin. So if you go out there and you have this passion behind the mission that solves a pain, then you can really go out there without the steak on your back and it’s still disrupting the noise. You could be in the pencil business, but if there’s something compelling that can change people’s lives about the pencil thing that you’re doing, it really will break through the noise. If it’s just “Well, I kind of do this”, nobody cares, and you’re going to blend into the fuzz.
Now, let’s talk a little bit about the QRP book. The QRP book is really interesting because there’s a lot of noise about retirement and retirement systems. My parents both played the game and they retired broke, which is really sad, and they just didn’t know any better. They thought they were supposed to go throw their money into the stock market and it would all work itself out. It was a big merry go round roller coaster, they got feed to death. Just to clarify, what I mean by ‘feed to death’ is they got 2% instead of the 8% they were promised because of the excessive fees. They woke up one day with not much money, and not that many years. They compounded into being broke for a lifetime.
John Bogle, who recently died, started Vanguard and he said, there’s something wrong with the system. Vanguard, it’s the biggest mutual fund out there. He said something is wrong in the system when 80% of the profits go to the system that has none of the risk capital, when you only get 20% and you put up all the risk capital. Just think about what I just said, it’s incredibly dangerous to be a part of the system that’s just feeding on you your entire life. That’s what really made me mad, seeing my parents getting screwed over. Because they played by rules, military school teachers type of environments. I said there’s got to be another way. So the QRP book really digs into the tax code and gives people another option, where they can take control of their retirement money, pay no taxes, and direct traffic so that they’re not on a merry-go-round in the dark, but where they can actually say I want to invest in a startup or I want to invest in real estate or I want to invest in gold or whatever it is, not just mutual funds that benefit Wall Street.
Basically, the QRP stands for Qualified Retirement Plan. The Qualified Retirement Plan is basically all these retirement plans, they’re considered tax shelters. So whether it’s an IRA or a 401k, or a 457, or all these different things; it’s like alphabet soup. The IRAs are where people tend to have money that they think they control. That’s interesting, except there’s a custodian who’s also feeing you incessantly, and you really have limits on what you can and can’t do. If you do the wrong type of things like real estate, you’re going to get taxed up to 37% in the dang retirement account. So that’s very bad and it’s mostly not known. The other one is 401k’s that we’re very familiar with. That’s where people tend to say, I’ve got a financial advisor that mixed up my stuff and different mutual funds. What do you have? You have a bunch of the same stuff; stocks and bonds that are in bubbles, and you don’t have any control, other than you’re going to totally get feed to death. So those are the typical things people have: mutual funds and IRAs. Then the alternative is something that’s actually called an EQRP, it’s a very specific type of qualified plan. It’s an Enhanced Qualified Retirement Plan that allows you to invest the way you want to where you have control; you get a checkbook with your money. You get to invest how you want to, you can put like $57,000 a year into it, you can do it tax-free, you can pull the money out tax-free.
So there are ways to use the IRS code and the retirement system to stop paying taxes, if you want. Taxes are an option, it’s totally up to you whether you do it or not. That’s a pretty bold statement to make, but it reminds me of that the debate or argument that Hillary and Trump had in 2016, where she said, he doesn’t want to show his tax returns because he doesn’t pay taxes. He said, that makes me smart, and everybody was like, oh, my gosh. Well, all he’s doing is using the tax code. All I’ve done for the last decade is the EQRP tax code in a very specific part of the code, in the retirement space. So if you use the rules there and you understand how to do it, taxes are optional. When you go and get a job and you have a W-2, you don’t have any choices because the government doesn’t really need more employees, what it needs is more people hiring people. It needs more people that are building real estate starting companies, so it incentivizes. If you’re doing the things that the government wants you to do, then you’re going to go to zero. The wealthiest people don’t generally pay taxes, it’s because they’re doing all the things the government is terrible at. So you have to ask, what do I want to do; pay taxes, or do something that the government wants me to do? It’s a pretty easy choice!
So there’s a lot of ways to take money out. The CARES Act, which just happened in March, allowed everybody that has retirement accounts to pull up to $200,000 out; that was to get money into the system. The other parts of the code that are normal, you can take money out if you have Roth money any time you want; tax-free and penalty-free. So there are all these different little nuances in this space. Why don’t you know about it, why is nobody telling you? Because Wall Street would go broke if they told everybody they could control their own money and not get feed. You’re never going to see that in Money Magazine because Money Magazine is owned by Wall Street. It’s all the advertisers, CNBC, owned by pharma and big wall street, so they’re never going to promote something that’s going to cut off the fees. So it’s simple, follow the money and you’ll follow the information and the narrative. So that’s really important to understand, how’s the money flowing, and to understand what information you’re getting and why?
Now, let’s talk about getting started with EQRP. The basics are that the EQRP company, which is our company, sets up the account. We build everything, and so you end up with a checkbook. It’s not like we’re making that 6% fee from you instead of Wall Street, going back to the 2% and 8% example, I wish that was the case because it’s a better business model. That’s why other people don’t do what we do because we don’t charge any percentage, we don’t charge based on your assets; that’s not our model. I hate that model because there’s no alignment, you win, you lose, but the system always gets paid. So I don’t like that model for retirement accounts. Instead, what we do is we just charge an annual fee, flat $400 a year, and there’s a cost to set up the plan. Then you get to keep your day money, instead of paying it out over and over again and compounding yourself into bankruptcy. It should be higher than $400, but there’s a different philosophy. It’s not just a business model, we start with the philosophy first and build a business model around that, versus having a business model and then adopting a philosophy so that we just keep getting paid more than we should. It’s an appropriate amount for what we do, and I think that that’s the right way to do business.
For the people who have lost their jobs right now, I think we have to reinvent. Because if we don’t reinvent, we’re going to get run over or we’re going to become more dependent, and dependency is slavery. So the question is, do you want to be free? If you want to live free, you have to be willing to step out there and create value. So there’s a huge opportunity for people that are saying, I’m waiting to see what happens. Go make it happen! When I wrote Reinvented Life, it was all about reinvention after I lost $20 million and I had to reinvent everything about my life. That is where people are at right now. Even if you didn’t lose a job, the question is, what are you going to do going forward because everything has changed and everything is going virtual? It’s just that the world is different, so it’s a good time to start asking better questions. Reinvented Life is all about those questions because you have the answers if you know what questions to be asked, this book guides you through those questions.
It’s almost the best time in our lives to start a new business. Because right now, we’ve almost forced a blank slate where we’ve wiped things out, so you don’t have the legacy. You can walk in with so many broken systems and you can say, people still want a, b or c, and I can do that. You’re not sitting there trying to figure out the legacy problems of the past, you can start fresh. It’s the greatest time to go out there, it’s the age of the entrepreneur. It’s the age of people that are providing aspirin for people’s problems; there are so many problems. That’s what entrepreneurialism is, finding problems, and solving them. We’ve got a bucket load of them now, it’s just waiting for you if you’re willing to take action.
Now, I want to go through the steps of reinventing yourself. The first step is asking the right question, and the first question is what is true? Most of us are acting in a way that we don’t actually know what we’re dealing with to start. We say, I’m going to go over there, but we don’t know where we’re starting. So how do you know which direction to go: east, west, left, or right? So the first question I asked when I lost all my money was, what is true: what’s true about who I am and what’s true about my money, what’s true about my behaviors? Once we get clear on that, then we’ve got a baseline. It’s a foundation of truth, not a foundation of quicksand. Most of us don’t want to look at our cash or credit card or calendar because those three C’s tell us who we really are, and it’s embarrassing. We’d rather just pretend that they’re something else. Those three C’s, we’re pretending it’s not real and we’ll figure it out later, but it’s truly telling us a story about where our values are. So when we look at the three C’s, we get the truth, and from there, we can pick a direction based on reality.
It forces you to go to a place of reality when all those bad things happen. I actually look at that as a badge of honor. When somebody says I went bankrupt, I’m like, congratulations, way to go through it! Now, what are you doing? I never look at somebody like it’s a scarlet letter, it’s a badge of honor. It’s very valuable when you’re forced to say, how am I going to bootstrap, how am I going to move forward when I don’t have access to all this crazy credit and things? It forces you to be more creative. Cash can oftentimes make us stupider instead of more creative, so I think that actually can be very valuable to go through crisis situations.
Now for people who have lost their jobs and think it’s time for them to do something, the way you start anything is surrounding yourself by the people that are already doing it. Because you will absorb what’s normal to them, and it’ll become your normal. So if you want to be fit and you tend to be fat, then you go hang out with people in the gym all the time, because you’ll start doing what they do. As entrepreneurs, we think differently and act differently. If you think it’s time to do that, but you’re hanging around with a bunch of people that work at the FAA, you’re not going to naturally adapt into entrepreneurialism, you’re going to be afraid of it because that’s the different psyche of people that work for government employers. It’s about shifting your environment, that’s the first and fastest and the most important thing to do: get around people where they’re just going to be burying you in entrepreneurial thinking and talk and action, and you’ll do it naturally.
So basically, when you’re around people, you start picking up their stuff, you start becoming them. It’s been said by Jim Rohn and many people, it’s most important that you’re conscious to those five people that you spend the most time with because you’ll become the average of them: the money they make their health, their integrity, how much abundance or scarcity they think; all those things, you’re basically just going to be a blend of. It’s like a blended cabernet with a bunch of stuff. What are the ingredients? The ingredients of who you are, is based on the people that are around you: wife/husband, kids, friends, employers, all that stuff, it really matters. Most people go well, it’s my neighbors. I just hang out with them, we do barbecues. Cool, as long as you want to become your neighbors’ barbecue, that’s good. I said become your neighbors’ barbecue because if that’s where you hang out, you’re just going to become grilled.
There’s nothing wrong with having a friend next door, but the thing that’s wrong with it is if that’s the wrong person. If you don’t want to become that person, then you’re basically acting out of integrity. You say one thing, I want to do this thing, and then you spend your time with somebody else, then there’s going to be a conflict. So it’s not wrong unless it’s the wrong place for you to go. People say, but I can’t get rid of my parents, even though my parents make me crazy. I go, you choose how much influence you want to have. If your parents are great or their influence is great, spend more time. If it’s not so great, maybe be conscious about how much time, because you’re going to become more like whoever you’re around. It’s like the big celestial body, the bigger body pulls because of gravity. So you have to decide how strong are you? Are you the biggest gravitational force, are you the smaller one? But when you’re starting out, you’re not the size of Pluto, you’re the size of Mars. So which one has more power? You’re going to get pulled in the direction of the people that are stronger, and if you’re starting out, you don’t have a lot of momentum. That’s why it’s important to be around stronger forces that are pulling you.
Actually, it’s easier to surround yourself with these people now. Every entrepreneur meetup that used to exist is now done online, you can do it 24/7. Because things are happening at three o’clock in the morning, and in some countries, it’s 12 hours away. That’s the thing, it’s really deciding what do I want my life to look like, and then go find people that are already doing it and spending time around them. When I started out, I was the crazy person. Everybody said, go back to college, and I’m like, they kicked me out. So what did I do? I just started listening to tapes when they had tapes until I burned them out. I listened to those tapes and those were my influencers: Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, and people that said things and felt things and live things a different way. So the first step is saying what is it that I want to go after and then being diligent around who you’re going to allow into your life, into your brand, into your heart, into your soul?
Although the reality is, a lot of times if you look behind the curtain or if you’re just close enough to people, you’ll find out that they’re humans and a lot of them are really messed up. That was my experience, I studied with a lot of people listening to them on the tapes and CDs. But then when I got close to them, I realized, wow, some of these people are very different in real life. That’s an unfortunate reality, it does suck, but it also is just the reality that we’re human beings. It’s very rare when somebody says something and they do something, they live things a certain way. If we find that, that’s priceless; those people are gems, they’re angels, they’re very rare. So we just have to be careful about how much we expect from people. Sometimes taking in the message is the most important thing, and then living that and not getting too down into what their poo smells like because it still stinks.
Because of where we are right now, the only safe path or the safest path is some form of entrepreneurship. I think that there isn’t anything safe, AI and robotics and technology are disrupting virtually everything. It doesn’t matter what industry, whether you’re talking about doctors or surgeons or accountants or lawyers, it’s being disrupted. So if you say, my thing is safe, good luck if you’re not adapting. You’ve got to be willing to pivot, that’s the most important thing right now: being willing to pivot and be real about what’s coming, not just what has been happening. Because assumptions always get you in trouble.
To find out more, the best thing for people right now is to text the word ‘EQRP’ to 72000 to get a copy of the report, because right now the big monster is this pile of cash that’s accessible. You not knowing about it is either going to hurt you or it’s going to prevent you from being able to share that information with other people that could change their lives. So if you want to connect with me send a text message to the number 72000 with just one word, EQRP, and that’ll get the ball started. So when you send that over, you’re going to get a 15-page report that covers the book. Then if you say cool, I want to learn more, you just text me and say, please send me the book, here’s my address. I’m going to FedEx a copy of the full book to you. lt has also got the 2020 updates, it’s brand new, even with the stuff that happened in March. So this was literally updated in the last couple of months, so it’s time-sensitive stuff and it’s really important for you guys to get it. Even if you have one from years past, I definitely recommend getting it right now.
The book has got Bitcoin on the cover because I’m 100% certain we’re going to digital space in terms of our money: it’s happening in China, it’s happening everywhere in the world. If you don’t understand that because you’re not involved, you’re probably going to get run over. I’m a big fan of paying attention to things by paying for them, so buying a little bit of Bitcoin will help you understand what’s going on because you’ll get engaged. So I think even if it’s $100, I think everybody should be buying something called Bitcoin right now.
Just to talk quickly about elections, unfortunately, I think we have a whole lot of bad choices. The reality is it’s just sad where we are. But I also think that if you’re relying on your future because of whoever you’re going to vote for, you’re relying on the wrong thing. That’s not self-responsible, that’s being a victim and blaming the system. The truth is, things are always going to change. But the question is, can you change faster than the other stuff that’s external? I think that’s more important.