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Sarry Ibrahim – Financial Asset Protection
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You have found
Authentic Business Adventures,
the business program that brings you
stories and triumphant successes
of business owners across
the land. Coming to you.
Well, we’re just wherever we are,
right? Sarry, I don’t even know where
you are today. Where are you at?
Hey, James, I’m actually
in Chicago, Illinois.
OK, well, you’re not that far
just by Madison here.
So we’re we’re both
in the somewhat frozen tundra.
of the Authentic Business Adventures
podcast, just as a reminder can be found at
My name is James Kademan, entrepreneur,
author, speaker and helpful coach to small
business owners across the country.
And today we are welcoming/preparing
to learn from Sarry Ibrahim,
a financial professional,
a member of the Bank on Yourself
organization and the owner
of Financial Asset Protection.
So, Sarry, how are you doing today?
How are you?
I’m doing very well.
I’m doing very well.
And I guess I’d be lying if I said
I wasn’t a little bit curious.
So let’s just dig right into it.
What is Financial Asset Protection?
So we are a financial services
firm located in Chicago, Illinois.
Pretty much what we do is we help
clients build safe, predictable wealth.
A lot of our clients are business
owners and real estate investors.
We don’t typically work with mutual funds
or index funds or the stock market.
We typically work with a little known
strategy that is secure and has
guaranteed and predictable growth.
So pretty much kind of started.
This company has been around for about five
years, but during that time, actually,
the way I got into this whole
organization and everything was through
Medicare, I was a Medicare consultant
and I was working with a lot of retirees,
people who were like 64,
65 years old and pretty
much merging onto their own plans.
And I was there consultant at that time
and one of my clients asked
me about life insurance.
He’s like, hey, you’re a broker, right?
Could you help me with life insurance?
And I told him I had my license,
but I wasn’t really sure exactly
of the intricate parts of life insurance.
It is like he wanted life insurance
that also had cash value in it, like
a savings account that grew over time.
And I wasn’t really sure
of what he was referring to.
So I told him I would do research for him.
I get back to him and I did.
And I went to Amazon and I searched
for books about life insurance.
And then came across this book called
The Bank On Yourself Revolution
by Pamela Yellen and pretty much talks
about this strategy called the Bank
on Yourself Strategy or the bank on yourself concept.
It’s also similar to the
infinite banking concept.
Pretty much it’s using an insurance
product to build up wealth over time
and to not have to worry about the stock
market, to not have to rely on banks.
And also, while you’re doing this, you
can become your own source of financing.
So that’s what we do and that’s
what we help clients do.
So you’re dealing with Medicare
at the time you were how old is this guy?
He was like seventy
around seventy years old.
And he’s coming to you
looking for a whole life policy.
So that’s a good question, actually.
So it’s hard to do that when you’re around
seventy years old, but it’s still possible
you can still underwriting is a little bit
less strict when it’s when you’re
working with single premium cases.
That’s where it’s like a lump sum case
into a life insurance policy,
like somebody is rolling over a 401k IRA.
The underwriting behind that seems to be
could be a little bit less strict.
But yeah, typically life insurance,
you want to get that when you’re
younger years to get better rates on it.
Sure, because I imagine
a policy for 70 year old guy is ten
thousand dollars a month or something
like a 70 year old guy dying isn’t like,
oh my gosh, get the front
page of the newspaper ready.
I don’t know what the average lifespan is,
but I imagine for a guy, it’s in the
neighborhood of seventy two seventy four.
Typically in that situation they would be
doing like a single premium case,
like rolling over like four hundred
thousand dollars and he would instantly
have like six hundred thousand
dollars life insurance.
That’s, that’s a typical case
with somebody over the age of 70 or even
over the age of sixty five
doing one of these policies.
And then is he at that point,
is he also receiving a monthly nut?
So no it’s actually at that point he’d
be paying up the whole policy.
It’s like buying a house in cash.
He’d be pretty much buying it all up
and then not have to pay
anything on top of that.
But he would have liquidity.
He’d be able to borrow against that cash
value at any time and then still
have it grow, still have it grow
even when he borrowed that money.
Imagine you have a savings account
that’s earning you five percent interest
on it and then you want
it to access that money.
If you access from it,
you would interrupt the growth of it.
But if you borrow against it,
let’s say you could borrow against it
and then pay like two percent interest
on that loan that you borrow against it.
You can still get the growth in the policy
while being able to use that money.
That’s kind of what this
whole strategy is about.
It’s about growing the wealth.
And then when you want to access it,
you borrow against it
from a different source.
So that way you’re not interrupting
the growth of the of your money.
We just you brought up a couple of things.
I’m like, wait, what? First of all,
what a savings account that’s paying
five percent because I want to find that one.
The one that I have is like point zero one percent.
That’s pretty typical.
Yeah, I don’t think there’s any savings
account that’s paying five percent
interest right now. And then,
yeah, and then you mentioned that you can
essentially borrow against your
investment without losing.
So let’s just say just for easy numbers,
I say I got a five hundred
thousand dollar investment,
I want to buy a boat, whatever.
So I pull a hundred thousand
dollars out of that.
I’m not reducing the interest earning
power of my five hundred thousand.
You’re borrowing against it.
So tell me, I guess just help
me understand how that works.
So we are
pretty much what we’re talking about here
is using a whole life insurance
policy we’re not talking about.
So pretty much whole life
insurance has two aspects.
There are two parts to it.
One part is the life insurance part, and
the second part is the cash value part.
That’s like a savings
account in the policy.
And then as you’re building up the cash
in the savings account part of the policy,
you’re earning interest
and dividends on that money.
It’s growing over time, it’s compounding.
And then when you want to access that,
you would ask the insurance
company for a loan.
It’s like a personal loan between
you and the insurance company.
And then when they give you that loan
that you borrow, you’re not
subtracting from the balance.
You’re borrowing against it.
So they’re pretty much
They’re collateralized in the deposits of
the loan that they’re giving you.
So the money itself is essentially coming
from two different places exactly as
collateral of the money that you have
in this policy.
And then the insurance company
essentially lending to you gogia.
That makes sense that it’s
much more you explain that so
much faster than a lot of other
The other thing I want to ask you about is
this guy, the 70 year old guy is going
to pull his photo ID card
to throw it in this policy.
I imagine there’s some tax excuse
me, ramifications for doing that.
Is it safe to say,
yeah, typically with life insurance,
when you’re funding it,
you’re using after tax dollars.
So pretty much if you in this example,
let’s say that somebody has five hundred
thousand dollars in a 401K and they
want to move five hundred thousand
into a life insurance policy,
they can’t just roll five hundred thousand
from the forward into the life insurance
policy and completely dodge taxes they
would have to use after tax dollars
to fund the life insurance policy.
So let’s say, for example,
20 percent went to taxes.
So five hundred thousand take
off one hundred thousand taxes.
They would’ve been four
hundred thousand dollar.
Or what they could do is take five hundred
thousand dollars from the 401K,
put the entire amount in the life
but then pay the tax liability,
the tax bill from the insurance policy so
that when you take the money out,
they essentially ask you,
do you want taxes to be withheld or do
you want to pay the taxes on your own?
You could do it that way.
You could use a policy to pretty much
finance your tax liability the other way.
And then pretty much the growth
of the policy as it’s as it’s earning
compound interest and growing.
It’s growing tax deferred.
So you don’t have to claim those
on your taxes as it’s growing.
And then, of course,
the death benefit is tax free, too.
So there are tax benefits or tax
advantages using the strategy as well.
And I really want to share this on your
podcast, because a lot of business owners
could use a strategy, you know,
while they’re still, you know,
in their 30s or 40s.
They could still use a strategy.
To be able to recoup
a lot of their profits.
You know, for example,
let’s say you have a business and you’re
pretty much earning like, let’s say just
rough numbers of fifty thousand dollars
a month in revenue and then you
have your expenses after that.
What you could do is you can have some
of those dollars go into a whole life
policy, build up the cash value, and then
you use the policy to pay your expenses.
Some businesses have like 30 or 60 days
or 90 days to pay off their bills.
They could use this policy in between,
you know, exchanging hands so that they
could earn interest on their money
and kind of have cash reserves in their
business growing and compounding
while they’re running their business.
Interest in that, that’s a life insurance
policy, that the business would then hold
on the owner so you
could do it either way.
So we always do a financial analysis
with clients to kind
of figure these things out.
You could do it both ways.
You could personally own a life insurance
policy and then loan the money to your
business and have your
business pay yourself back.
Kind of you’re pretty much
becoming your own lender.
Or you can have the business own the life
insurance policy as an asset
on its balance sheet.
And it pretty much be like a cash reserve
in place for the business to restore its
cash and kind of have
an internal line of credit.
And what a typical.
Account like this, how much are we talking
from an interest point of view
so the cash does grow two ways,
it grows from interest and dividends,
and then you can kind of see with both
of those compounded with each other,
you can kind of see between five
and six percent growth every year.
And what are my favorite things about this
is that it’s not like
an either or approach.
It’s not either.
I put money into this whole, like,
policy or I invest in my business
or I do real estate.
It’s a way we can kind of do all
these things at the same time.
You could fund it, grow the cash value,
borrow against it, and then use
that money to invest in different places.
There’s no restrictions on what
you could use the money for.
You can kind of have your dollars
working for you in numerous places.
Interesting. Is that a one to one ratio,
like if I throw one hundred thousand
dollars in there, then borrow one hundred
thousand dollars against the policy?
Typically, no, because there’s going to be
some fees involved with the
with the with the product.
And then also the insurance company can
give you like one hundred
They need some collateral.
So they usually give like
a 10 percent cushion.
So they’ll give you like 90 percent
of your current cash value
with a lot of single premium cases.
That’s where you just do like a lump sum
transaction with a lot of those cases.
If somebody puts in one hundred thousand,
they’re cash value might be ninety five
thousand and then they can borrow up to 90
percent of the ninety five thousand.
So they could they’d have to leave some
room in there to account
for the collateral.
And you raise an interesting point
here with the term cash value.
Does I mean, if I throw my hundred
thousand dollars in there and if I ever
want to pull out,
I can get ninety five back?
Yes, that’s in the first year.
And then after that,
it grows about five to six percent every
year after that year,
even without any more dollars going into,
it’s still going to grow.
So typically the first year you’ll see
about ninety five thousand in cash value.
The next year, you know,
five to six percent growth on that.
And then the death benefit, of course,
the life insurance that also
grows every year, too.
So do you find most people give a lump sum
or do you find most people just try to do
or feels like with a whole life policy
you’re trying to play catch up
for the first 10 or 15 years?
Typically, you’re right.
Typically with whole life insurance,
a lot of the traditional old school life
insurance policies, it takes about
15 years just to break even.
We we only use companies that have
a proven track record of paying dividends
and interest for over
one hundred sixty years.
We also structure
a little bit differently.
Instead of doing one hundred percent life
insurance, we’ll do like
50 percent life insurance.
And then 50 percent of this thing called
the paid up additions rider that the rider
is something you add onto the policy
that helps turbo charge the cash value.
So we’ve worked on cases where like year
three that could break even and then
start getting gains after year three.
Can you explain that last
part that you mentioned?
So pretty much.
Let’s say somebody puts in ten thousand
dollars a year, year one, they might
have a slight dip in their cash value.
So they pay ten thousand
dollars into the policy.
They’ll have like six or seven thousand
dollars in cash value a year or two.
They put another ten thousand.
Now they’re cash value is they’re like
twenty, twenty three thousand,
twenty four thousand.
And then the third year now they’ve
exceeded their cash value might be thirty
two thousand or thirty three thousand.
So they’re already kind of on the
upward trend after year three.
And we typically that’s what we aim for.
We aim for the break even point to be
around year three and year four and then
after that to start seeing that
compounding growth afterwards
throughout the years.
Now, to answer the other question
you had about what do we do?
Do we do a single premium
cases or do we do monthly?
It all comes down
to the financial analysis.
You know, this helps us determine how much
cash the client has, cash flow,
income, other sources of income.
And we pretty much put it all together.
And then to come up with a strategy
that helps them, you know,
advance their financial situation.
So in some situations,
if it’s a real estate investor,
they have like three properties and are
expecting to sell them and they’re
expected to sell each one for like
four hundred thousand in cash.
A single premium case might be good
for that person because they have large
amounts of large amounts of cash and it
might be some delays between them finding
their next property so they can have
that money sitting in the whole policy
in between find the next property.
Now, if it’s somebody who’s younger,
they’re like twenty five or thirty years
old, they’re still
starting up their lives.
You know, we could do a policy that’s
a three hundred or five hundred dollars
a month and then that would grow and earn
interest over time and still be
liquidity, still have liquidity.
And it’s awesome.
You know, it doesn’t just
end there with one policy.
We always do a six month
review with clients.
We show them how we test
out their cash value.
We see we run that alongside
We see what’s happening.
Like, is this all this working?
Are there any improvements?
And then we might add new
policies as as we’re going along.
So it’s very common to see a client have,
you know, a single premium case
and monthly payment case
of both both situations.
So I guess the main advantage that I can
see of this, since five percent is decent,
but it’s not stellar,
the main advantage is that you can
essentially use the money in two ways.
One is it’s growing at five percent or
whatever, and then you can also borrow
against it to use it as
an investment somewhere else.
Yeah, you could take that money out
and put it somewhere that could
potentially early, you know,
10 or 12 percent that way.
And then if something happens
to that investment you have.
Your original cash value to fall back on,
it’s almost like a hedge
against that risk.
What the insurance company is charging you
for essentially lending you that money
that’s low, I guess, as far as it goes,
are fairly inexpensive.
Is that the idea?
Typically, it’s five percent simple
interest, so five percent simple interest.
When you compare that, for example,
on a four year run, it comes out
to about two percent approve.
So a lot of times what happens is people,
for example, will borrow
from their policy at five percent.
Simple interest earn five to six percent
compound interest on their money.
Eventually, the growth of their money
outpaces what the cost of capital was.
So it ends up being almost like a negative
like imagine buying property and then five
years later, you have the property paid up
through the insurance
company that you use.
You have the appreciation in the policy
and you have the appreciation in
the property that you finance.
So your cash grew two ways and actually
the growth of the cash over time outpaces
what you paid in capital
to use that money.
So this I can’t help but ask this then.
The insurance company
is making money and they’re not
doing this out of charity
or kindness or anything.
So how do they make their money if
everyone is just throwing their money
in their policy and then turning
around to borrow it again?
So the insurance company
has some banking functions.
They’re pretty much investing
their money in different places.
Like, for example, when you go to a bank
and you deposit a hundred bucks in a bank,
you’re pretty much loaning a bank money.
You’re loaning them one hundred dollars.
Now the bank is in debt to you.
One hundred dollars.
They’re taking that money and they’re
investing in different places.
They’re earning interest on it,
but yet they don’t give you
anything back on your money.
The only thing the bank is giving you is
a guarantee that you could pull one
hundred dollars out any time you want.
That’s kind of a tradeoff
with using a bank.
Insurance companies are the same way.
You’re giving them premium dollars.
They’re guaranteeing you a life insurance
or other cases, other types of insurance.
But on the back end,
they’re using those premium dollars and
they’re investing it in different places.
The difference between what banks do
with their money and insurance
companies is about risk management.
Banks can kind of invest
more on riskier sides.
They can loan money out via
credit cards, mortgages.
They could do riskier investments
and earn higher rates of return.
Whereas insurance companies
have to be very cautious with where
they invest their money.
They can only typically invest in the bond
market about 60 to 80 percent of their
portfolios in the bond market.
And the 20 the other 20 to 40 percent are
in loans to other financial
institutions and to their customers.
So when you go to an insurance company,
you have your whole life policy with them
and then you borrow the money from them.
You’re paying the interest
back to the insurance company.
That’s one of their sources of income.
That’s kind of how they make money.
And again, it comes down
to the risk part of it.
The insurance companies we work with,
they’ve been around for over
one hundred and sixty years.
They have a proven track record of paying
dividends and interest,
unlike a lot of banks who kind of come
and go, especially after 2008.
You know, I remember like I can’t even
remember the names of the banks before
2008 because they’re kind of, you know,
they’ve kind of like vanished
by that time, during that time.
Whereas insurance companies
have a very long track record.
They have very solid names because of what
they’re doing there with their dollars.
So we always tell clients,
I think about like you’re going into when
you’re when you’re passively investing
somewhere, passively saving your money
somewhere, you’re essentially going
into business with that
company or that person.
And you want to go into business
with somebody who’s been around
for a really long time and who has a track
record of paying out dividends
and interest for a really long time.
And insurance companies are
typically really good at doing that.
so just I guess for the people listening
here, this is not something that’s
federally insured or something like that.
It’s not it’s not FDIC insured.
So if this business
if the insurance company goes belly up,
you could have a bad day,
just like a stock market investments
or something like that, right?
And there is something called a guaranteed
association with insurance companies
that guarantee the claims
that the insurance company signed into.
So, for example, if an insurance company
agreed to pay out all these claims
and they went out of business,
there is a government entity on a state
level that get those claims.
I’ll tell you, man,
the whole insurance world is just
something that I have never really
poked around much on on so many levels.
I’ll giving just really quick example.
I don’t know how relevant it is,
but we had
I had done my garage years ago and the
contractor that I had is like, hey, man,
you’re going to have to do the roof.
And it looks like your
roof has hail damage.
So just submit a claim
with your insurance company and they’ll
essentially end up paying for part
of the roof and you’ll be
stuck paying for the new roof.
I’m like, OK, I’m not a roofing guy.
So I called the insurance company.
They send out a person and that person
says there’s a little bit of damage,
but not enough to justify a claim
like go back to the contractor.
And I’m like,
OK, the insurance company said, no, you’re
saying yes, I don’t know what to do.
And he’s like, call him again.
So I call them again.
And they send somebody else out and they
essentially say the same thing.
He’s a guy, your insurance
company is crap.
They’re no good.
Later, we’re talking four.
It was four years and 10 months later,
I got to change my homeowner’s policy,
the homeowner’s policy,
the quote comes back and I’m like,
all right, rock and roll.
Here we go.
And about three days later,
I get a letter.
Now, this is the broker,
the insurance broker, just someone
I know from networking, whatever.
And she’s like, hey, James, funny story.
You remember that quote that I gave you?
It’s actually five hundred
dollars more a year.
I’m like, well, that’s kind of a big jump.
She’s like, well, you got a claim on your
roof here, but and I’m like, no, no.
We tried to get a claim on the roof,
but they told us to go pound sand.
Yeah, and she’s like, well,
it doesn’t matter if you make a claim,
regardless of what the claim was paid,
the insurance companies
consider that a claim.
I’m like, wait what?
And that led me to this whole rabbit hole
of finding out there’s some company
that keeps track of all this kind of stuff
and they keep track of this
claim thing for five years.
And I’m like, wait,
we’re just like I think by the time all is
said and done, it was less than a month
away from the five year window.
Someday you’re going to charge me five
hundred dollars extra for this one month.
And she’s like, them’s the rules.
OK, so I walked away.
I just kept what I had.
Yeah, that’s unfortunate.
But I worked in with a lot of homeowners
insurance companies before I worked
at Allstate and we typically calculate
how much was paid out during that time.
If it’s zero,
then we go to the underwriters,
we tell the underwriters, take the claim
off because it was a zero hour payout.
I think the broker could have done that.
It depends on the company, though.
This is more like Allstate,
State Farm Farmers Insurance.
Yeah, this was this was one of those
that I was going to go to.
And they had she had her
rule book that said that.
And she she is kind of funny.
This is where, like,
Sarcastic James kicks in.
She’s like, it’s just five hundred
dollars is not the end of the world.
And I’m like, well, you’re
a billion dollar company.
Probably not the end of the world for you.
It was not the end of the world for me.
It’s certainly not the end
of the world for you.
So I told her to pound sand.
But it was interesting just going down
that rabbit hole to see who’s keeping
track of all the stuff where there’s
not even a no payment was made.
Yeah, it’s kind of like a catch 22 kind
of thing where it’s like technically it is
a claim made, but then zero dollars
payout, meaning that if you look back
at that record from the same
company would show they paid zero.
So then the insurance company could then
remove that claim because it’s paid out.
And yeah, you’re right,
insurance companies do hold this data.
They hold this information so that they
can kind of protect each other.
And people don’t go to like one company,
you know, take a whole claim.
They go to another company
to get taken on a claim.
And then you just kind of keep
doing that over and over again.
You get to keep people honest and stuff
like that, like I just did
with my contractor said it wasn’t
like I was up there with a hammer.
And I feel
like I’m just like, OK,
I felt like such a pawn because I’m
like I’m the one paying for all this.
And I don’t like what
the insurance companies say.
And I owe more on that side.
And the contractor guy saying that I owe
more on that side, like, wait a second.
This is I feel like I was just less
educated than I should have been
and I didn’t even know where
to get the education I had.
I really had to press
this woman that was trying
to sell me insurance.
I can’t even think
of the name of the company
that keeps track of all this.
But I’m like, that’s your job.
That’s your business.
This is keep track of claims.
Nationally, for all these insurance
companies, what a crazy business.
But it’s just one of those.
Like, you’re not making
the world a better place at all.
Yes, I try to do that with my businesses,
maybe I’m just kind of a rainbows
and unicorns kind of guy,
you serve in the zombie apocalypse.
No one’s going to be like,
quick, we need another director.
Yeah, that’s true.
It’s kind of there’s some things I don’t
like about, you know, like it’s definitely
a very heavily capitalized thing.
You know, you’re holding all these dollars
and then you’re trying your hardest
to retain these dollars right.
Before paying them out to people.
Yeah, I get I guess in the end,
insurance is just a promise that you pay
for that you hope the insurance company
doesn’t have to keep
or you don’t have to ask them to keep
is essentially what it comes down to.
So, yeah, at any rate,
let’s talk about you and your business
specifically. How did you get
involved in the Medicare thing?
so I kind of just kind of word of mouth
where I was actually working
at Allstate before that.
And that really
kind of word was when around between
my colleagues there,
like you could make a big difference
with Medicare. And I actually like I was
kind of confused when I first did it,
but then when I started to actually do it
and going out to people’s homes
and sitting with them and showing them
like, you know, this is how
I would do an analysis with the clients
to look where your doctors what kind
of prescription drugs are you taking it?
We try to match that with the right plan
to make sure that they were
going to be taken care of.
And then people start appreciating this
a lot like, hey, this is a big deal,
what you’re doing.
You’re coming out here,
you’re doing all this work for us.
And people would always say,
look how much I owe you.
And I would say, I don’t charge any fees.
I get paid directly
from the insurance company.
You know, I’m like a broker.
I get paid from the insurance company.
I don’t charge any fees.
And they’d be shocked like that.
I’m not charging them
a fee from from all this.
So I saw a lot of gratitude
from doing this.
And it was kind of it became like and I
still do Medicare, I still do it.
I still have my clients.
I still prospect.
So I kind of it was kind of unintended.
But after I did it,
I kind of state and of course it led
me to the bank on yourself concept.
And so it kind of goes it kind of goes
hand in hand,
has a lot to do with retirement planning
and just planning for the future
and pretty much overall helping people.
And I think that one thing is really cool
about entrepreneurship is that it’s
more of like Problem-Solving, right?
It’s you’re finding a problem and you’re
connecting the solution and you get a fee
for collecting connecting people together,
either directly or indirectly, somehow,
some way you would get
paid for doing that.
Tell me you raise
an interesting point here.
I guess I don’t want to get too far off
topic, but let’s just talk about how you
get paid, because the commission world,
especially when it comes to financial
products that can be there
can be a shady area.
So can you just talk about
that a little bit? Yeah, definitely.
And I like to be as transparent as
possible with this with clients,
because typically in the financial
there’s kind of for the most part,
not every part, but for the most part,
that’s kind of two different avenues.
One is like our fees are assets under
management, where, for example,
you go to a financial advisor,
you park one hundred thousand dollars
a year with one hundred
thousand dollars with them.
They get paid, you know,
one to two percent every year for the life
of as long as with that advisor.
That’s how a lot of financial
advisors make money.
They charge portfolio management fees.
They charge, you know, one percent up
to two percent something between there.
And then there’s the commission world.
This is more on the insurance side.
This is you go to your financial advisor,
who is also a licensed insurance agent,
and then you would take, for example,
one hundred thousand dollars,
put it in an annuity or life insurance
product, and then that broker advisor
would get paid commission
from an insurance company that they used
for that transaction and then
they would get paid commission.
We are on the commission side now.
This is also you mentioned a good point,
too, that it can kind
of get a little bit shady.
Right, because me talking to a client,
they might think that the only reason why
I’m recommending this specific company is
because I’m essentially going
to get commission from them.
And that is true.
The good thing, though,
is I am an independent broker.
We’re an independent agency.
That means that we’re not captive to one
company we don’t have to sell for.
You know, we work with typically three
companies. Lafayette insurance company,
Security Mutual and Foresters Financial.
We’re not captive to each one.
We’re only doing this because we feel
that these products can best fit the bank
on yourself strategy,
which could best fit the client.
And if the client, for example,
just somehow we find another company,
a fourth company that could do all
of these things better,
I’m in no situation or I’m not
held captive to these companies.
So I could balance it and pivot
and do the fourth company.
If there was a fourth company,
that is always better.
So pretty much we’ve kind of positioned
our agency to represent the clients first
and then represent
the insurance companies.
Another good thing,
too, about commission only is that we only
get paid from the first year commission.
So that means, for example,
if somebody is putting in four hundred
thousand dollars into a policy and their
cash value in year one is three seventy
five, the twenty five thousand dollar
difference, a part of that comes to us,
not the entire amount,
but a part of it comes to us.
The other part goes to the underwriters,
actuaries, the medical company that does
the lab testing and all that.
It gets kind of broken down into all those
places, but we get paid
a percentage of that.
And then as a client now is earning
dividends and interest
and growing their their policy.
We’re managing their policy with them.
We’re growing at.
We’re not charged a recurring one or two
percent fees every single year,
we get paid a first year and then after
that we still manage it the same way how
we started the policy,
but it keeps growing.
Now, this means that the client doesn’t
have to consider us as an expense
when we’re working with us.
We don’t charge hourly rate.
We don’t charge service fees.
We only get paid from the first year
and then eventually to the client ends
up recouping the cost of insurance.
So from three seventy five, for example,
and the example of putting it four
thousand eventually break even
and then plus you get more interest.
And on top of that,
without subtracting out for fees,
unlike other investments,
as your portfolio is growing,
you have to pay out one or two
percent every single year.
Whether it goes up or whether it goes
down, you still have to pay that fee.
So it’s kind of a long answer.
That’s how we get paid.
So just so I understand this,
someone like you is getting a nut
at the first sale first year,
but you don’t get residuals
every year as renewals go on.
The residuals are like I
don’t even consider them.
a fraction of a percent that just for have
been the client on your book of business.
It’s really tiny.
It’s very tiny.
And if it’s a check for thirty
seven cents or something,
something like that.
Yeah, I always just say, you know,
initial commissions because the residuals
on the back end are so tiny.
OK, all right.
What do you think that is?
Because the insurance company
is collecting a lot of it.
So with life insurance,
this is how usually is the insurance
company is giving out the commissions
mostly in the first year because most
people don’t die in the first year of life
insurance or pay a ninety nine point
probably ninety nine point nine
percent of insurance policies.
You know, I don’t know what the numbers
are, but it’s for sure not
in the first year, you know.
Ninety nine percent of term life insurance
policies don’t even make
it to a death claim.
You know, if 100 people buy a term life
insurance policy, ninety nine
of them will outlive that policy.
That’s one of the main
reasons I bought it.
Just because I figured
this way, I don’t die
at least that over the next
30 years I’m safe.
So that’s typically why now on what other
types of insurance, like auto insurance,
home business, those brokers and agents
get paid every single year like 10 percent
or 12 percent every single year
as long as you’re with that broker,
because it’s a smaller amount,
but it’s every single year.
And there’s also marketing
purposes for that.
So that way you can help
retain that customer.
Was life insurance, though,
once a client typically enrolls,
they’re pretty much staying
in a policy for 30 years with you.
They can’t really change that company.
So that’s how that’s why the insurance
company gives you a large lump sum
in the initial year,
as opposed to 10 percent every
year after that at that point.
OK, very cool.
Do you have employees?
Yeah, I have two assistants.
They help me with marketing and they help
me with getting on the podcast and pretty
much communicating with clients
and podcast host and doing a lot
of email marketing and things like that.
So are they the subcontractors or
the employees like you just hire them for
project stuff or they’re they’re hourly.
I pay them hourly rate.
And they also had a couple of contractors.
I have a concentrator.
I have like a digital marketing company
that I pay out to,
like on retainer and they help
with my website and digital
marketing and things like that.
And hopefully my goal is to kind of grow
the company to the point where I have
agents within my agency that are actually
selling as I’m doing all the selling
right now and the prospecting.
But I but I would plan on kind of stepping
back and having agents who can actually
close the business and I
just support them that way.
So one thing I always like to ask business
owners that have employees is can
you tell me about your first hire?
When did you decide to hire them and what
did you decide they were going to do?
And just tell me a story about
if it was easy or tough.
Yes, so pretty much I, yeah.
So pretty much what I did was I made
a list of all the things I needed to do
and I and then after that,
I kind of figured out or thought of a way
that I could kind of subtract off my list,
like shorten my list and focus my list
on more of things that have a bigger
impact on my business, like,
for example, being on podcast.
I can only do that myself for sure.
And then also closing deals with clients.
For now, I can only do
that everything else.
I can kind of outsource that out.
And I started by list.
And then another thing to I did was I
didn’t just bring somebody on and then
just take everything that I’m doing
and put it put on their
plate because it’s too much.
And they don’t they don’t see
the same vision that I see.
So I kind of have
to translate that vision.
I have to kind of show them what what I’m
seeing by continuously training them
and then by giving them a small tasks
first, because I want them to, like,
conquer those tasks and then, like,
eat it up and then come back for more.
And then eventually this is how I think
companies have like really good employees.
I could pretty much duplicate the owners
because they kind of just had like small
bits and then they got really good at it
through practice and through
coaching and mentoring.
And then they have the ability now
to almost like duplicate the owner
without the owner even being there.
And that’s, of course,
that’s the best business to be in is where
you don’t have to necessarily be in your
job or in your company
and your business can keep moving.
That’s think the ultimate
goal of entrepreneurship.
If it’s not, it should be very,very true.
I want to ask you a little bit about
how Covid has affected your business,
because I imagine before you’re able
to get in front of people, say, hey,
shake hands, kiss babies, whatever.
And now you’re like
email or video or whatever.
Yeah, good, yeah, good question.
So I essentially got into this business
because it was it’s
a very remote business.
You can entirely do this
over the phone and online.
So even before Covid,
I still had like appointments
over Zoom and over the phone.
And a lot of my clients
are not even in Chicago.
They’re all over the country,
you know, in different states.
So so even before Kobie, that’s how I
kind of the business was structured.
But there are some things that are
affected, like, for example,
when covid first hit,
a lot of insurance companies up their like
requirements, like medical requirements,
because it is a pandemic and a virus.
Insurance companies had their antennas up
when it came to this
and then they kind of were denying a lot
of cases or postponing a lot
of cases for at least a year.
Yeah, that affected our business slightly.
And then after that, once they got more,
I guess once they got more medical
information, more medical data from third
party researchers and from doctors,
then they loosened up their underwriting
because if they became more
familiar with the virus.
And then also, as far as networking,
my goal was to keep going
to like networking events.
But that’s obviously changed
this any networking events nowadays.
And that’s why I kind of replaced it
with podcasting to go out and meet
people and talk to people virtually.
All right, nice.
So did you guys ever have an office or
were you all just working remotely?
We were always working remotely, actually.
And I that’s that was one of the things
that attracted me to this job to begin
with, are this industry is that even
before, like even before technology,
insurance agents were always
like virtual financial advisors.
They just needed a phone
and their computer.
It was always a kind of a remote position.
There are people that have
offices that clients can go to.
I’ve considered that.
I’ve thought about having it like
a storefront office or in the future
or even maybe an office building where
clients or employees can go to and we
can still do everything remote.
But it’d be more for employees.
And I might and I might
consider that I might do that.
The problem is in Chicago,
rent is really expensive for offices,
so maybe that’ll change.
It’s tough to say,
but covid changing a lot of things and
office space is definitely one of them.
Yeah, a lot of places downtown are
converting from office buildings
to apartment buildings and condos because
really this empty room now and they might
as well change that expensive real estate
from offices to residential places.
It’s interesting because I look
at my business, the call answering
service of Calls On Call.
And we’re paying for an empty office,
and I don’t see us coming back.
Yeah, it’s just it’s been working
despite me thinking that it
would never work remotely.
The crew that I have a salad.
So I’m like, we don’t need the space.
And I’m I’m certain that if I think
that way, that there are
businesses on a much larger scale
that are thinking the same thing.
And my in my building where I live,
I’m always talking to people
in the elevator and they’re like, oh yeah,
I’m not going back to the office anymore
with we’re permanently
working from home now.
You know, a lot of companies are doing
that because think about it,
they don’t have to pay rent anymore.
Even if even if they were allowed to go
back to the office,
they don’t want to pay their rent.
They don’t have to pay Internet there.
They don’t have to pay for insurance
that protects the employees
while they’re there.
They could just save all this money
by having people work from home.
So I guess it doesn’t make the only
downside is that I could think about
working from home is just kind
of the vibe of working with other people.
That’s the only downside.
You kind of lose that.
That’s a big one.
Yes, definitely a big one.
Yeah, that’s I guess that was the main
concern that I had was just there was.
the culture of the business, I didn’t
know that we could survive that remotely
with instant messaging and generally
speaking, a somewhat younger
workforce younger than me.
For the most part,
they thrive in that in that world.
I would have a hard time with it
because I just need to see people,
I guess, and not not on a two
dimensional zoom level.
I mean, like.
Dimensional shake hands
high five, whatever.
I just need that energy from people.
Yeah, you’re right,
and I think more things get done when
you’re actually in front
of people talking to them.
More things get done.
Especially from a sales
and marketing perspective.
You know, you’re more
likely to close more deals.
You’re more likely to get referrals when
you’re touching people and shaking their
hands, you know, as opposed
to everything, virtually.
Not that it’s impossible,
of course, virtually.
We just I think, look, one step
a little bit better to do things right.
I just I have this theory and I don’t have
any math to back it up, but I’m like,
OK, you don’t pay rent.
That’s 20 percent of your
revenue or whatever
that means, essentially,
that your workforce can either be 20
percent lazier than they are
or and it’s break even
or they can be 10 percent lazier.
And then you come out ahead 10 percent
rough back of the napkin math kind
of thing, because I’m under the impression
I don’t know this for sure.
I don’t have any data to back this up.
I don’t even know how
you measure it as far as
quality or quantity or volume of work
that is done for give an hour of working
from home versus working
in an office like this.
There’s water coolers and coffee makers
and offices anyway,
so they’re not exactly working.
One hundred percent.
That’s a percentage that
they’re working at home.
Maybe, maybe it’s a higher
percentage for some people.
Maybe it’s lower.
But I feel like there’s
I would guess that it’s a little bit less
than at work because you don’t have
someone breathing over your neck.
You’re saying, hey, Rodney,
get back to work, you slacker.
Yeah, that plus I imagine if you have
to commute to work, you have
to drive like thirty minutes.
you have to get up in the morning
and the second you wake up you’re
thinking about not being late to work.
That’s your job.
Your first thought.
Are you getting ready.
You take a shower, you get ready, you get,
you get your car,
you’re driving the highway,
you get to work by time, you get to work.
You’ve committed so much
of your life already.
Are there done that day for work
and you’re probably going to produce much
higher results because
you’re not going to do anything else.
You’re not going to drive
to work and then not at work.
You’re very committed.
You already put in the commitment.
Yeah, definitely zone.
I never thought about that.
How you spending the time before you get
to work preparing yourself
to actually be at work.
I probably explains why some people just
get to work and then they
start searching for it.
They’re going to eat for lunch.
Yeah, because they’re probably
their primary thought.
Waking up was just work that’s just now
hearing the boss saying why are you late
you know, just avoiding that for them.
So you why did you just out of curiosity,
what made you decide to go off on your own
versus just becoming
an employee of someone else?
Or you could be making commission and.
They sales, essentially without
the risk are presumably less risk.
Yeah, definitely it would be more risk.
There’s a couple of downsides.
So as mentioned already,
with the financial services world in those
two avenues, we’re currently
only our commission.
Only if I’m an employee on one of those
sites, I can I have to stay
on that side, for example.
So, for example,
if I’m a fee only advisor,
number one, I could only be fee only.
And then number two,
let’s say, for example, I’m representing,
you know, ABC Mutual Fund.
That’s what I’m here for.
I can only represent ABC Mutual Fund.
I have to have their business cards.
I have to have that email address.
I can’t do anything else
but ABC Mutual Fund.
I’m a captive agent or
a captive advisers to them.
That means if a client comes to me, says,
hey, I want to get into real estate
investing, either have to turn them
down or convince them otherwise.
You know, real estate investing is
too risky to insurance instead.
And that’s how that’s one problem
with the industry is the captive part
of it is that it’s too sales-y in the sense
that you kind of have to pull people away
from what they’re doing and push them more
to the product that you’re going to sell.
And now let’s say I was independent
only or I was on the commission side.
I was working for one company as
an independent whole life
insurance agent, for example.
Same kind of idea I could only
sell for that one company.
I can’t sell for four different companies.
So I kind of wanted to put the agency
in a position where it can pivot
into different areas and do
different services if needed.
So we’re our primary niche is the bank
on yourself strategy and using whole life
insurance for small business
owners and real investors.
But if needed to if we if I, for example,
wanted to partner up with a mortgage
lender and then get fees from that,
I could do that if I wanted to partner
with a real estate brokerage company
and then kind of partner with business
there, we could do that, too.
We can kind of pivot and move around.
That’s one of the main reasons why I want
to be independent and self-employed.
And that also, of course,
with uncapped earnings, you know,
if I were an employee somewhere,
W2 employee, they’re going to they’re
going to, I think, structure my pay.
So that way it’s kind of a little bit
more than starting a business pay.
But it’s going to have caps
even if they don’t say it
has caps, it’s like, for example,
they’ll say we don’t cap your earnings.
You’re still going to be capped
in the sense of logistics and time
and what you what you could do during your
workday and how many people you could see.
So you’re going to be stuck in this
in this point of like
you’re you’re you’re making enough money
to support your family,
pay all your bills,
have a little bit extra for vacations
and for future savings.
But you’re not going to have enough
to the point where you can kind
of retire at the age of 50.
If you wanted to,
you’d have to keep working.
So I wanted that uncapped earning
potential interestingness you.
So you thought this through?
So tell me from a from a legal standpoint,
I’m just curious,
are you considered a financial planner,
life insurance salesperson,
fiduciary? Like what do they
pigeonhole you as from a
legality standpoint? I guess, yes.
So legally, I’m not a fiduciary.
I’m not part of a broker dealer.
And I’m a financial technical I’m
a financial planner and an insurance
agent, kind of both of those combined.
And also sometimes I’ll throw in like
a financial consultant just to kind of
consult on different financial matters.
So it’s kind of those three guys got
a lawyer or an accountant or a fiduciary.
So you tell me about the tests that you
had to take in order to be
able to sell these products.
So typically, it’s usually
life and health only.
I have life, health, property
and casualty insurance licenses for me.
And there was for exams for those.
And then after that,
when I became a Medicare consultant,
I had to do an exam through
that to become Medicare certified.
And then when I got into the bank
on yourself organization,
they have a week like training
program with the final exam.
So I have to go through that.
And then I also have like a long term care
certificate, professional certificate
to how people manage or
plan for a long term care.
So it’s kind of like seven exams so far
that have taken to help position this.
And then I’m working on the I’m going
to start taking courses for the certified
financial planner, the CFP courses.
Those are that’s like the the next level
to my business is the CFP part, OK?
And that’s where you get
into the mutual fund stuff or.
That’s what I pretty much
I’m still going to be
doing what I’m doing now.
But I just have I guess the only benefit
is just being able to put CFP on my resume
and LinkedIn and business cards.
it’s just kind of like I’m taking
everything I know and then just
on steroids kind of and
more and more thoroughly more advanced
and financial analysis
and financial planning.
Were these tests stuff
like people just walking off the street
and take home, or do you have to study
night and day for fifty years to get
them or they’re not they’re not tough.
You don’t have anybody could take them,
even if you just kind
of graduate high school.
But it does take practice.
I’d say the average one that I took
takes about twenty hours of prep.
Thirty hours of prep maybe.
I’ve seen people fail,
I’ve seen a lot of people fail them
and I’ve seen a lot of people pass them.
Who don’t even have college degrees,
so it’s possible, it’s very manageable,
but you just have to put in the time,
like some of my colleagues and friends
will call me and say, hey, I want to take
the life and health insurance license.
What are some things to know?
And I tell them,
devote at least 30 full hours to it,
have a set schedule,
and then you don’t try to do the entire
pre training in one day or a few hours.
Let’s split it up like three or four hours
every day for a whole week and then make
it more of a rhythm,
because it is if you don’t do that, you
probably will fail. Gotcha, interesting.
And then I know we don’t have a ton
of time left, but I do want to talk about
the bank on yourself organization.
Is it a franchise or how did
you get involved with it?
So it’s pretty much it’s
a concept and it’s a trademark.
And it’s also part of something called
like an insurance marketing
organization where it’s like an upline.
So, for example, let’s say that Lafayette
Insurance Company is one of our carriers.
When I go through
Lafayette Insurance Company,
I go through an applied marketing channel
and then that marketing channel
gets a piece of my commission.
In exchange, they provide me with support
and training and other things like that.
So the bank or some organization is kind
of like an HMO or insurance
And it’s also a trademark on a concept.
So pretty much they have the book,
they have the training material.
I have a mentor.
They train me and then the business
I write goes through them.
OK, so you didn’t have to call these
insurance companies individually and say,
hey, trust me, I’m super
awesome at what I do.
Let me sell your product.
Bank on yourself organization.
Who essentially vetted you.
I wondered how you did that.
Because you call it an insurance or I
would call up an insurance company
and they’d say, who are you?
Sometimes the insurance companies
who actually call you and ask
you to sell their product.
So yeah, sometimes it depends.
Some insurance companies don’t
accept people just off the street.
They needed to come from an upline.
So that way they have the trust.
They did the the vetting.
And then sometimes insurance
companies like don’t really care.
This is more about
the financial planning side.
This is more of like you want to sell,
for example, dental products,
dental insurance products
or like vision insurance.
You can call those companies and just sell
through them because they’re kind
of they’re looking for business.
And every broker is essentially
a money maker for them.
Gotcher But other companies that are
dealing with more of people’s lives
and cash flow and cash savings accounts,
they want people to come
through like a vetted network.
That makes sense.
I got a couple more questions
for you before we wrap up here,
can you just give the Cliffs Notes version
of term versus whole life
and anything in between there?
So pretty much term is
a set period of time.
It’s either ten years, 20 years, 30 years.
It’s life insurance only.
There’s no cash value in it.
So for example, somebody to get a life
insurance policy for twenty years,
pay one hundred bucks a month if and then
if they pass away the insurance company
will pay out a million dollars.
And if they don’t,
if they have twenty years goes by,
the insurance companies are off the hook.
You don’t have to pay any more money,
but you don’t have any.
There’s no equity, no cash value
and you can renew it for another
twenty years if you wanted to.
It’s for your whole life.
Once you start the policy,
it’s a permanent form of life insurance.
There’s no underwriting again,
there’s no end date.
It only ends when you pass away.
And then the other difference is it
is it has equity in it or cash value.
It’s like buying a house.
You buy the house, you have
the market value and you have equity.
Whereas term is more like renting
and at a set period of time,
and it’s only life insurance.
Those are the differences
between terminal life.
And then pros cons.
So term is it’s since it’s only life
insurance and as I mentioned,
ninety nine percent of cases don’t
even make it to a death benefit.
It’s fairly cheap.
You know, somebody who’s 40 years old can
pay 100 bucks a month for a million
dollars in life insurance.
Whole life insurance is going to cost more
because there’s more risk
on the insurance company side.
It’s for your whole life.
They have to they have to keep you
on their books for your whole life.
They really made that commitment.
So that means if you get into the policy,
Then 10 years later,
you’re diagnosed with cancer
that insurance company can’t reject.
You know, they have to keep you.
They can rerate you know, you’ve already
locked in the rates at at a lower rate.
So they have to keep and they have
to add in that risk when evaluating you.
And then, of course,
there’s a cash value component to the fact
that you have the ability to borrow
against your money and use it
for retirement or use it
for whatever you want.
The insurance company also has to has
the loan parts of that policy using you,
which costs money, of course, typically
what to do with whole life insurance.
The fees are high as
in the first two years.
And then after that, as mentioned,
there’s a break even point in the end
up getting your money back.
So I kind of a lot of clients would
they would prefer a whole life because
you would recoup the cost of insurance.
Eventually you recoup the cost
of insurance, whereas with term you would
never recoup it because either you would
have the policy right now or you would
pass away and you get the life insurance.
But now sometimes it’s not
it’s it could do both.
A lot of times we do both with the term
and we do hope for the cash savings
part and the self making part.
And then we do term only if something
happens to them in a 30 year time period,
although debts are paid off.
clever, cool theory,
how can people find you?
Yeah, so they can go
to our company website.
There’s a link you can schedule a free
appointment for a conversation.
There’s also a link to my LinkedIn if you
want to connect there and you
get to know me first.
Also very cool.
Do you have any questions for me, I guess,
before you wrap this up or anything
else that I should have asked you?
No, I really appreciate
the questions you asked.
And I really appreciate
being on your show, James.
Yeah, this has been super cool.
This has been insightful.
I guess just I want to ask one more
question here, just for the listeners.
We’ve got a pretty wide ranging audience,
entrepreneurs that are just starting out
and entrepreneurs that have
been entrepreneurs for.
Well, decades, really.
So is there a.
I don’t know how to ask this without
sounding rude to the to the person,
let’s just say, is there a.
A personal value or
asset value and not necessarily the person
that mean something like that,
but an asset value where it makes sense
to look at something like this,
a product like this versus term
like if they’re making more than
X dollar amount got you here
with their business.
I mean, like, if someone’s like, hey,
I’m bringing in 50 bucks a year
from a business, I think whole
life is the right policy.
Probably going to be like maybe not yet.
Yeah, that’s a that’s a good question.
I get it.
So pretty much like the financial
brackets people are in and yeah.
There’s got be a point I guess.
I imagine and correct me if I’m wrong,
but there’s a point or there’s a rough
gray ish area where once you hit
that number, then it starts making
sense to look at something like this.
So definitely so pretty much as I
mentioned, we can do policies that are
like three hundred and five hundred
dollars a month and then we can do
policies all the way up to a million
dollars and it comes down to our
a year even or our single premium.
There’s no caps to how much whole life
insurance you can get from an underwriting
perspective or from
from a tax perspective.
There’s no there’s no limits on it.
Now, let’s say, for example,
somebody is 30 years older listening
to this or, you know, should I do this?
Is this a good idea?
My question to you would be, is,
do you have like three hundred or five hundred
dollars a month that you can save extra
that just sitting in a boring business,
a boring checking account. Instead, could
you have that sitting a whole life policy,
earning you more interest while still
giving you liquidity to use for other
investments that you want?
Now, if you’re completely, you know,
your W2 employee and every check you
get completely goes to bills for now.
I wouldn’t recommend this because it does
take a commitment
to commit to three hundred to five hundred
dollars a month to this
every single month.
So if you’re if you’re in that situation
like paycheck to paycheck,
I wouldn’t do that right now.
But I would definitely if you have,
you know, three hundred five hundred extra
after paying all your expenses,
all your bills, why not have it sitting
somewhere that will earn you
a compound interest also.
And all the really thing I like about this
is that it almost it almost forces you
to save your money, because if you commit
to 500 bucks a month for 30 years,
you ought to have this bill almost every
month that you’re paying into,
as you’re paying into it,
it’s building up cash somewhere.
And then when you want to access
that cash, you can at any time you could
borrow up to 90 percent of the cash
value you borrow from that.
You use it for whatever you want.
You pay it back into the policy.
So now what’s happening is you’re creating
obstacles around your money that you’re
in control of, of course,
but you have these obstacles around your
money and allows you to save
more money over time.
Because think about how many people do you
know, take money from the checking
account, put in their savings one month
later, go to a savings,
take it from the savings,
put it back into their checking,
you know, and then they wonder
why they can’t save money.
Now, the same way you would
before I started all this.
I always wonder why can’t I see my money?
And it’s because of the liquidity
part of your money.
It’s too liquid.
If you can access your money over your
phone, chances are you
can be able to save it.
Oh, I love that.
I love that.
You make it too easy.
So add some boundaries.
Some barriers are on you and your money.
Let’s not I’m not talking about locking
up your money for thirty years.
I’m talking about locking it up.
And when you want to access it,
you have to wait three to five business
days and it makes you really think about
using your money you’re more
likely to save for the future.
I love that.
That is impressive.
That alone was worth it for
the people listening to this right there,
because you’re totally right, man.
Essentially, too much,
easy access to money,
I suppose you could argue the whole
credit card thing for a lot of people.
Yeah, yeah, definitely.
It’s too easy to spend
or to access their money.
And so, therefore,
even though it was saved maybe a month or
two before it’s gone this month,
Well, sir, thanks for being on the show.
This is super cool.
Thank you, James.
Thank you for having me on.
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Sarry, can you tell us your
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Asset is plural or singular.
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Enjoy your business.