I decided to write a blog revisiting a concept I discussed on one of my podcasts, Episode 11: Why We Don’t Make Financial Decisions called “the raft phenomenon.” For years I have joked about the raft phenomenon when I’d invite friends, family, and clients out on our boat in Lake Tahoe. I would talk about the hesitation to go into the water because it’s capital-C Cold. But once you do, it feels so good.
For those who have not visited Lake Tahoe, I’ll give you a quick summary of the lake. It’s beautiful. It’s over 1,600 feet deep. I believe it’s the second deepest Alpine lake in the United States. It’s crystal clear, and stays cold (typically mid-60’s) through the summer.
My whole concept or idea about the raft phenomenon came to me when I used to lifeguard at Incline Beach in Incline Village, Nevada. It was my summer job for three years while I was earning my Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering at the University of Nevada. I loved that job. I was getting paid to be on the beach, help/save people in the water, teach kids how to swim, and play and train in Lake Tahoe. What a cool job!
On some of my breaks I paddled out into the lake on a rescue board or raft (we’ll go with raft), and float in the water. I would get so hot from the sun, but would hesitate to go into the water. I knew it would feel so good to cool down, but I would hesitate for a long time and then eventually muster up the courage to roll in. The water felt amazing after baking in the sun on that raft, so I became curious about why hesitated for 10-15 minutes to do what I was inevitably going to do anyway? No exaggeration, I would actually feel like I was reborn again (OK maybe the tiniest bit of exaggeration, but then again try for yourself and let me know!) It’s such an incredible feeling, So again, why the hesitation?
Because of the pain!
It’s very uncomfortable and even hurts a little for the first 15 to 60 seconds. Like I said, Tahoe is an Alpine lake so the water is very cold even in the summer. But once you get over the initial discomfort and adapt to the new environment, the water is perfect. You wonder why you hesitated for so long. So every time I am out in the boat and I feel hot and I know that I want to jump in the water, I no longer hesitate to dive head first. Because I know it’s going to feel so good after a short moment and it will make my day.
What’s Your Point, Ken?
I equate this raft phenomenon to making–or more accurately, hesitating to make–financial decisions. Making big decisions on what to do with your hard-earned money can be overwhelming, so much so that you procrastinate dealing with it altogether. There’s so many details to consider!
Where do you save it?
Where should you invest it?
Who do you trust to help that money grow so you have more opportunities?
There’s a valid fear of losing your money. You know you need to make a decision but you avoid it or set a grey deadline to take action. If you’ve ever said, “I’ll eventually get to it or I’ll get to it in the next five years or I’ll get to it when …” then I’m talking to you.
You may understand once you create your wish list (priorities & dreams) that working with the right financial advisor could set you up for a much better financial future. But, you still put it off.
I have become a great observer of my financial habits and others, and what I have found is most responsible people pay their auto insurance, home insurance, and taxes on time. I cannot think of anything more boring (yet important) than auto and home insurance and taxes. But most people get it done on time. My guess is because those deadlines have clear external expectations and subsequent consequences if you pay late. In simpler words: it’s financially painful if you miss the deadline! And the pain of not doing it, is greater than the pain of getting it done.
I hate paying my home, auto, toy insurance, umbrella insurance, business insurance, professional liability insurance, … (insurance rant) every year. I hate dealing with income taxes, unemployment taxes, property taxes, … (my tax rant). Yet it is all done on time because there are huge consequences if I don’t pay my taxes on time. If I don’t pay my insurance on time just like my energy bill, they turn it off, and now I have lost one of my cheapest forms of asset protection. So I pay it on time. I bet every responsible reader does the same thing.
It’s much harder to will yourself to make important decisions if there are no clear expectations or subsequent consequences. It’s the same reason why you meet a deadline at work but keep pushing off “deadlines” for personal projects at home.
The same goes with making smart financial moves, there’s this huge hesitation: the raft phenomenon. You know it’s going to feel so good having more money, and as a result, more options and more freedom than you have today. More available money opens up doors to …
Go on more vacations
Free up your spouse to not work as many hours
Free you up to not work as many hours
Find a different profession that you love but might not pay as well
Give more in charity
Help out a friend or family member
Pay for your children’s education.
And still we hesitate!
Take the Plunge, I’ll Meet You In The Water
Making drastic changes (that after a few months you don’t even notice) to your financial environment can create a world of freedom within years or sooner … sometimes overnight (not kidding). You’ll become empowered.
You have control of your financial environment and your financial future. You will feel reborn once you make those nagging decisions. You will be in a position where opportunities seek you out. All you have to do is overcome the raft phenomenon. Focus on the reward and the feeling by taking action now. You know that it will feel incredibly good. You know you will do it eventually, so why not dive in head first now?
There will be a little pain, but that pain will go away quickly. What is the pain? Making slight changes to how you control, use, and move your money. That’s it! Quite often it can be no out of pocket expense. But once you endure the little bit of pain (change), I always like to tell myself and others, “with a little bit of discipline, comes a world of freedom!”
Overcome the raft phenomenon with some focused help from someone who has done it many times. Join me for a quick 15-minute introductory call, and maybe I am the right person to help.
Ken Greene analyses the phrase “the show must go on”, as he and Tammi discuss the subject of “imagination” and the important role it plays on achieving our own goals.
Ken Greene transitioned from being a professional engineer (P.E.) to the “Engineer of Finance” and now he is dedicated to helping people become financially independent, enabling them to earn better yields with less risk by investing Off Wall Street.
Psychological Resistance: What’s Keeping You From Prosperity
I love what I do. I love educating people about a different way to play the financial game. The challenge is that what I teach is unbelievably simple, which has clients thinking this method is too good to be true. A test is easy once you know the answers, and I have the answers. But before we can get to those, you need to unlearn a lifetime’s worth of standard financial practices.
The Bankosaurus® is contrary to what 99% of the financial industry promotes every day, all day long via its advisors, print, articles, and commercials on business news channels (CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, etc.).
The initial struggle with new clients is undoing all this “one and only way” brainwashing we’ve had since we were kids. I’m no different, in that sense. When I first discovered in 2011 how powerful the Bankosaurus® could be for me, my family, friends, and future clients, I knew I needed to teach this to the world. Yet, it still took me nine months of studying, questioning, and testing different designs and concepts before my first client (me) bought in (doubled down actually) on the financial strategy.
Change can be very uncomfortable. But once you embrace it and remove the financial garbage that has been dumped into our brain most of our lives, amazing things start to happen.
My new clients are always baffled when I explain this new way to play the game. “How come no one’s ever taught this to me before? That’s how banks and Wall Street make so much money!?” Together we walk through the math (which does not lie) and they see the numbers and cannot believe the amount of their wealth taken via taxes, commissions, and money management fees in a 401(k). “This can’t be real!” “Why have we been told to do a 401(k)?
Don’t believe me? Try This 5-Minute Homework Assignment: Get your 401(k) statement from the end of 2017 and your most recent statement, subtract everything you put in for this year and ask if you are happy with the rate of return. Or call me and I can do a quick calculation for you to show the number. Spoiler alert: I have prospective clients do this exercise, and I have yet to witness someone who is happy with the results, even though the market has been on a tear since 2009.
The financial industry promotes tying up your money for a very long time with a lot of market volatility, uncertainty, compounding taxes on your investments, money management fees, and giving it back to you in small doses at retirement.
I promote having control, use, enjoyment of your money today, and strategically changing the flow of YOUR money so you can have a way wealthier tomorrow. It’s simple. And fun.
Let’s Review The Matrix
Making the appropriate changes to build your own Bankosaurus® is simple, but that’s not the problem. The problem lies in our psychological resistance to change. There’s no doubt that change in and of itself can be hard. Change requires us to let go of our old reality in order to step fully into a new one.
For those who have watched The Matrix (my family loves that movie), this psychological resistance to change was how Neo responded when he learned the truth about The Matrix.
The change was hard for me initially in 2011. I knew what I was taught was wrong and faulty. I was craving a different way to play the financial game, and I found it. Everything was true to me. The math made sense. All the economic principles made sense. But it was too simple. How come no one taught this to me before? This is why it still took me nine months to pull the trigger.
I can assure you that once you punch through that mental hurdle of going against the financial norm, profound things will happen for you and your family. Do the mental push-ups. Step back, look at what the norm in this country has accomplished for retirement. The average American family between 32 to 61 have a median retirement savings of only $60,000.
Ask yourself, “Do I want to be the norm? Or do I want to embrace a unique approach? A different approach and become the top 5%?”
A very sharp and motivated new client recently asked me in our Strategy & Design Meeting, “Ken, why do you think we have never been taught about finances and how banks and Wall Street make money in elementary school, high school, or college?” We both had our theories, and I’m not going to share our answers at this time. But it’s a great question? What do you think?
Are you ready to get uncomfortable? Are you ready to punch through the huge resistance of change? Are you ready to become the top 5%? I’m here to help–to give you the answers to the test, so it can become easy. And I will coach and help you along the way.
Part 2 about taxes and the frustrations of a government that keeps on taxing. Ken and Tammi also talk about corporate taxes www.fairtax.org and what would happen if you didn’t pay your taxes.
Ken Greene transitioned from being a Professional Engineer (P.E.) to the “Engineer of Finance.” His goal is to help people become financially independent and to help them earn better yields with less risk by investing Off Wall Street.
When my family and I first moved out from New Jersey to Lake Tahoe, I couldn’t wait to learn how to become a good skier. The best way for me to learn was to ski right behind all my friends and do what they did. Afterward I would ask specific questions about all the cool stuff they could do. What do you focus on in powder? How do you edge on groomed trails? What are you thinking about for your next turn when you’re skiing in the trees? Then I mirrored what they did.
I can’t imagine how long it would’ve taken me to become a proficient skier If I had just tried to teach myself.
What does skiing have to do with finance, Ken?
Hold on, I was getting there.
Over the last 10 years I’ve been approached by numerous life coaches and business coaches that claim they can make me way better at what I do. Life coaches and business coaches–let’s just call them “consultants”, for the sake of this post–sound great in theory, but in the end they’re all talk. (Of course this isn’t true for all “consultants”, some have made huge impacts for me and others).
When you’re choosing a mentor or coach, observe what they do and how they live, not necessarily what they say. If they don’t live and breathe your version of success, then why would you want their advice on how to succeed?
The huge difference between learning from a mentor and learning from someone who calls themselves a life coach or business coach is simple: mentors teach you to do as they do, too many life coaches teach you to do as they say.
Back in 2008 when I was changing careers from a full-time professional engineer (P.E.) to an insurance agent and financial advisor, there was an overwhelming amount to learn. What enabled me to succeed, in such a competitive industry was shadowing and being mentored by the best of the best. I found people that taught me to do as they did, not what they said. Everything I teach my clients and future clients is to do as I do, not what I say.
5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Mentorship
1.Summon Your Do-Whatever-It-Takes Attitude
It was very awkward transitioning from a career in engineering to a career in finance. Two clear goals kept me focused:
I wanted to help people gain financial freedom in ways that the standard approach could not offer.
I knew that to survive and thrive in this industry I had to reach out to the best of the best.
When I wanted to learn more about auto and home insurance and how to educate my clients, I asked one of the top agents in northern Nevada out for lunch. I wanted to learn as much as possible from him, and lunch seemed like a pretty affordable way of making that happen. But I wasn’t going to stop there.
Soon after I rented a room right next to his office so I could literally walk in his footsteps. I paid close attention to the way he communicated with his clients and potential future clients. I attended meetings with him and I soaked it all up. Shadowing this accomplished agent taught me that most leaders love helping others. I learned to do as he did.
Personalize What Your Learn
Once I had worn in his methods enough to feel comfortable, I started to modify a few things to suit my personality. I used lessons and philosophies that resonated with me to create an an approach for educating my clients and potential future clients that I wanted to serve.
Learning from someone that was already incredibly successful for decades allowed me to excel at a rapid rate. I was not reinventing the wheel–I was learning from someone who was already accomplished, which saved me a lot of time and let me get to the fun part paster: fine-tuning my own approach.
Keep Your Pride in Check
One of the hardest parts about shadowing and learning from a mentor is opening yourself up to new ways of thinking so you can reengineer your mindset and habits for success. That takes humility, and humility is a skill in and of itself. I have been humbled many, many times.
A good friend of mine over a decade ago was such a phenomenal athlete that whatever he did he naturally excelled at. However, he never wanted to learn from others, he just wanted to figure it out himself. I never understood that. I felt that if he latched onto some incredible mentors (coaches, former professional athletes) he would have become one of the greats. But he was not humble enough or willing to do that.
Seek Out New Mentors For Every Stage Of Your Growth
When I first discovered how powerful a well-designed, dividend-paying whole life insurance policy (The BankosaurusTM) could be, I knew I had reached the next level of my “engineer of finance” journey … and I was going to need mentorship from the best of the best.
For the last seven to eight years I have traveled to Las Vegas, Houston, Park City, Toronto, and this week, St. Louis to shadow and learn from incredible mentors in the financial industry. Spending high quality time learning and shadowing the best of the best is helping me become one of them. I see my growth in the successes of my clients. I have helped them recapture and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions more for today and their future (typically with no out-of-pocket expense).
The best way to help my clients play the financial game differently is to be the best of the best, so they can learn from what I do, not just what I say.
If you want to be the best of the best in your industry (doctor, engineer, CPA, attorney, nurse, architect, martial artist, carpenter, teacher, or trapeze artist), I recommend that you find great mentors ASAP. When you find them, ask why they do what they do. Shadow them and duplicate their techniques. Over time modify the areas that are specific to you and your personality. Here’s where I plug my company: And to become the best of the best with your personal finances, schedule 15 minutes or more with me. Learn the “why” and determine if I’m the right financial mentor for you. If I am, then do as I do.