What are you doing with your money? Bryan Kuderna is a financial advisor and author whose main goal is to help people make financial decisions for their lives. In this episode, we talk about the financial market, the best tips to retire the right way, and why young people should do a personality assessment before investing their money.

πŸŽ™οΈTalking Points:

(2:53) Wealth and well-being

(6:47) How is the financial market today?

(10:00) How to prepare for retirement

(13:40) REIT vs. real state

(20:34) What Should I Do With My Money?

(28:14) Predictability in the stock market

(31:10) Startup life vs. big corporate life

Tom Finn:

Welcome, welcome, welcome. And thanks for tuning into the Talent Empowerment Podcast. We are here to help you find happiness and we are gonna unpack the tools and tactics of successful humans to help you guide towards your own empowerment in your career. I am your host today, Tom Finn, and on the show today we have a financial wizard, bryan Kuderna. bryan, welcome to the show.

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Bryan Kuderna:

Thanks for having me, Tom. I don't think I've been called a wizard yet, so that is a good title, I like that.

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Tom Finn:

Well, it just sort of hit me as I was getting to know you through your background-

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Bryan Kuderna:

I hope it sticks.

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Tom Finn:

Well, we got a lot of wizardry questions to ask you about the financial world. And as a certified financial planner and the founder of Kuderna financial team, you are the expert in this space. So we're going to dig into all of those things. Um, if you don't know, uh, bryan, he's been named one of New Jersey's top 10 financial professionals in 2021 by New Jersey biz. He also hosts a popular finance and business podcast. So check out the Kuderna podcast when you get a chance. This will be a little appetizer, but the main course is certainly with bryan on his podcast. He's a regular contributor to CNBC, Newsmax, Yahoo Finance, and AARP of all places as well. His first book, Millennial Millionaire was launched in 2016, and that launched him into a speaker role. speaking at colleges, hospitals, corporations, financial institutions, and also paved the way for his second book, which I want to get into as well, What Should I Do With My Money? Economic Insights to Build Wealth Amid Chaos. So let's get right to it. How is this discussion gonna make me rich today?

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yeah, that's the million dollar question right there Tom so one thing just to set some context like I always tell people that there's rich people that work really hard to make a lot Of money and then there's wealthy people who work really hard and then their money makes a lot of money So when we look at those two categories, I think most want to be in the wealthy category and Another thing I often say is that wealth I don't just look at it in the monetary sense I look at it from where the etymology of the word wealth comes from weal, an old English word, which actually translates to a state of well-being. So when I counsel clients and everything, of course we're talking about money and their financial plan, but I think that well-being, if we think of that as the true definition of wealth, that that's what we're all after. And we can certainly dive into the how-to of financial planning today as well.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, so what does well-being mean to you? Because for me, it means happiness, love, balance, money. It's probably all of those things, spirit, health, you know, those type of areas. What does it mean to you? Yep.

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yep. So, you know, I would. So what is one of the things I do in my book? I reference when I read a book about the CIA way back when, when I was in college and they actually teach their spies when they're going behind enemy lines to be what we call moles. And you may be wondering where I'm going with this. I'll explain. So when they teach these guys like how to be the best spies in the world, they say chase the mice and mice stands for money, ideology, compromise and ego. So these four motives are something that are inherent to all of us as human beings. And one may kind of trump the other, you know, as life goes on and the ebbs and flows. But that's the way that I view wealth is, you know, what does it mean to me in the context of money, ideology, compromise and ego? And for me, it's all about balance. You know, money is just one spoke of that wheel. You know, for me, going back to that state of wellbeing, it's about being happy with my family, being comfortable where we're not in a state of stress. We know that. We have a process that we're following and just kind of removing a lot of the what ifs so we can focus on the important things, which to me are faith, family, and just going out and having fun and traveling and seeing the world and helping my clients, of course. That's kind of the win-win that I get to enjoy.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, that makes all the sense in the world, but I imagine that most people come to you for the fiscal component of it first, and then the other pieces make sense because they're derivatives of the fiscal component. So how do people that you work with make money?

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yep. Yeah. So that's a great question. And that's true. They see me as the financial advisor. That's obviously where it all begins. That's kind of my domain that I get to help with in mice, if you will. So when we're talking about money, I essentially have a five-step process that I use with my clients, and it goes protection first. That domain is speaking to insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, group benefits, understanding all those things so that come hell or high water, we know that their family or their business is going to be okay. All right, so that's number one. We want to, you're only strong as your weakest link. Let's protect everything first. The second is going to be liquidity. So cash is king. How do we set up a budget? How do we make sure we have the right amount of money in the bank, our checking or savings, et cetera? I know I sometimes tell clients, they're like, wait, that doesn't sound like a real investment piece of advice, which it's not, but cash is an asset class of its own. And I sometimes say it's like a necessary evil. Yeah, it doesn't keep up with inflation, doesn't do anything fancy, but if we need it, we know it's there and that's the value it brings. So protection first, build liquidity. Third one is debt management. All right. You know, we can only do so well if we can kill it and get a 10% return, but then we have, you know, a line of credit or a credit card at 18% that's dragging us down. It's like we're trying to swim up river and those headwinds or currents are just too strong. Just to recap, protection first, build liquidity, manage our debt, then build wealth, which is starting to create the plan and the accounts that we're going to utilize. Then the last one is growth. I think that's the one that gets the most attention of what are the ingredients that go in the recipe as far as the stocks, the bonds, the funds that we're going to use, the real estate. That's all well and good, but we need to set that foundation. And then once we know that's all in good order, that's when we go to that last one where we really get to kind of play with some levers there, which is on the growth side of things.

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Tom Finn:

Do you feel like people have shifted away from stocks and bonds over the last 20 years, or is this still a mover and shaker market that people are interested in?

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Bryan Kuderna:

No, without a doubt. I mean, if you look at just the volume that's in the stock market, it's as high as it's ever been. And I think one of the reasons you see that, and I talk a lot in my new book about this, is the entitlement programs that folks have relied on for so long, be it Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, under a lot of downward pressure just because of the population dynamics that we're living through right now. And what was kind of the precursor to that was defined benefit pensions. So back in the day, people could retire and say, all right, I got a big pension from the government or my big company I worked for, I'm going to collect social security and now I'll kind of sail off into the sunset and, you know, do whatever I want to do. As social security faces, you know, certain solvency issues as pensions have kind of faded away in the past 20 years, more of the emphasis has been driven towards, you know, people having their own responsibility to kind of create their own plan, hence the rise of the 401k, the IRAs and such. And so where that money is going, where it's guided to is, of course, the stock market through mutual funds and so forth. So I think the stock market, it's huge. It's as big as it's ever been. It's the ultimate measure of liquidity in our economy. Bond market, a little bit different. That's had quite a history in the past decade, which we could talk about. They're definitely two critical components of a financial plan.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, I love that you talked about pensions because this is like, it's like an old world, you know, pensions. I think there's still some public sector employees and some labor unions that have pensions, but for the most part, we're on our own these days, right?

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Bryan Kuderna:

that's right. I mean, unless you're the police officer, the teacher, you know, there's hardly any private companies, frankly, that have true pensions anymore. So the ones that do they should be very grateful for them. They are a great financial vehicle, very difficult to fund, especially with people living longer and longer in inflation adjustments being included in a lot of them. So if you have one, that's awesome. You know, to replicate that. It's a tall order and that's what I spend a lot of my time advising my clients on is how can we kind of fill that void, which is doable. It just requires a little bit more creativity and discipline on the part of the individual.

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Tom Finn:

So for most of us, we have a 401k, an IRA, something of that nature that helps us for retirement. And we take money out of our paycheck at some percentage, and we dump it into this vehicle that should be, at some point, tax efficient for us. And ultimately, we want to watch that thing grow. There's an alternative view that I've heard from many entrepreneurs. entrepreneurs that say you're wasting your time. You should take that money invested in either a singular stock, not diversify or invest in real estate and have the capital asset watch that grow. Uh, in a different way. What's your take on how to, how to retire the right.

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yeah, it's a good question, Tom. And I just want to preface, you know, that I'm not giving any particular advice today. You know, every situation for everybody listening is, I'm sure, unique and they need to seek their own advisors and such. But with that said, you know, I think the 401k, the IRAs, they still have a place within a plan where in that regard, I really advise my clients a lot to consider, you know, Roth IRAs or even Roth 401ks. which is an option that's become very popular within 401k plans. Because I always say not only do we want to diversify our assets, we also want to diversify our tax bill. The last thing we want is to retire 20 years from now and say, okay, I got close to my mark with building my portfolio, but the way in which it's structured, maybe it's all tax deferred. And so we have an investment partner in that plan, which is Uncle Sam. And he gets to call the shots the whole way. And we don't know what taxes will be in three years with a new administration, let alone in 20 years, depending on what's going on in the economy. So you have to take a lot of things into account, you know, besides just the actual investment, but the vehicles that are holding, you know, these, these investments. So that's one thing that I always try and make people aware of. The second to your question about the entrepreneur, you know, if it's investing in themselves and their company. I agree wholeheartedly that they know themselves better than anyone else. So that's the beauty of being an entrepreneur is that you can control your actual investment. So I would agree with that. Now if it's just saying I want to invest in a stock, just a Johnson & Johnson or a Nike or whatever because I have stock options there and that's 80% of my portfolio, those are some things you have to sometimes be careful of. Because when we're all in on one individual security, that does bring about a lot of risk in the sense that maybe we're saying, hey, I like the tech sector, but if we just have one stock within the tech sector, and then they have a bad thing in the news or a bad quarter, now our whole portfolio could take a dramatic turn. So that's where diversification still certainly plays a role. And then the third thing I think he asked was in regards to real estate. I love real estate. I'm a real estate investor myself. If you're going to go it alone, like outside of a REIT, you know, real estate investment trust where you're actually going to be the holder or the landlord. There's, there's just a lot of added layers to that versus just managing a traditional investment, which I'm happy to talk about, but I like real estate. One thing a very big client of mine that has a lot of properties had told me early on, he said real estate is a patient way to get wealthy. I think he hit the nail on the head with that. You've got to be able to ride it out. You need to have a certain level of liquidity to be successful in real estate. If you just look apples to apples at the appreciation in real estate versus say the S&P 500 over the past 40 years. the S&P blows it out of the water. So there's different ways to make money in real estate, but if you're just looking at appreciation, the stock market is probably still tops over time.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, so let's go back to this idea of REIT versus owning real estate. So talk about maybe some advantages that people think about when they're looking at a REIT, kind of what they might be thinking about or looking for.

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yep. Yeah. So again, it's a real estate investment trust and it's a way to invest in real estate without getting your hands dirty per se. So you can be actually a little more specific, kind of like you would with mutual funds where you say, Hey, I don't want to just invest in the stock market. I want to invest in biomedical devices or something. You can pick a fund that caters to that. Similar with REITs, you could say, okay, I want to invest in commercial real estate. That's in, you know, urban areas. Or you could say, I want to invest in real estate that holds cell phone towers. You can do things like that where you can pick something where if you said, hey, I'm just an average Joe out there. I've got $10,000 of extra money I could work with. I'm not going to go out buying cell phone towers or some huge corporate park in Manhattan, but I could do that through participating in a REIT. Now, what are the downfalls versus if you actually own the real estate? When you're a real estate owner, you have all the benefits of whatever the profits are within that. So, there's not fees and things like dragging you down. When you say to a tenant, this is what the rent payment is, and you know what your mortgage and your carrying costs are, you could see exactly what your profit is and have a lot more control of the situation. So that's what's great. I mean, like I said, I have a lot of rentals, you know, when somebody calls Friday night saying the water main just broke or whatever, now you've got a problem to deal with where you're never ever going to get that call. So that's where there's some differences.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, and real estate has made a lot of people in this country very, very wealthy over a period of time. But I love the way that you said it's a patient man and woman's game, right? You've got to chill and sit on real estate for a while. The other thing that maybe people think about is selling and gaining access to that capital again or that cash taking a profit or a loss on the real estate or you can always refinance in certain markets. But a lot of people thought that for a long time, and now with 7% plus interest rates, little harder to refi.

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Bryan Kuderna:

That's exactly right. And that's what I often tell people is, when real estate's working well, it's awesome. I mean, I could just rattle off the benefits. When real estate's not working well, it can be almost like a nightmare sometimes. And you saw a little bit of that right now with the hike in interest rates. You really saw it come to light in 2008 where it was actually a true real estate driven crisis. So you gotta keep those things in mind. I mean, one of the great benefits to investing in real estate There's a whole host of tax advantages that are unique to real estate. And it's also a great way to get leverage. You know, when you look at, you know, good debt and bad debt and everything, most financial experts will say, you know, the best debt you could carry is going to be a mortgage. It's a secure debt, usually with a lower interest rate and some tax advantages available in certain cases. And so it can get you, you can go buy a half a million dollar house and say, all right, I'm going to put, you know, $80,000 down. and have a half a million dollar asset that you're able to work with. So, you know, you can't really do that in the stock market. So there's a way to get really nice leverage there, but you got to be careful and that leverage can work both ways. When it's going up, it's like a supplement, like a steroid that's enhancing your gains. When the market turns, it's the exact opposite where now it can accelerate your downfall. And that's why I keep going back to liquidity and patience because Yes, real estate over time usually goes up, but that doesn't mean that there's not gonna be cycles and downturns. And if we ever have to liquidate in any downturn, that's the worst case scenario. So you just, you gotta keep that in mind.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, and you use this word patience, bryan, which I feel like, I feel like as a market, as an economy, as a culture, certainly in the United States, I feel like most have lost patience in terms of their wealth accumulation, in terms of what they expect, um, to receive as a salary, what benefits they expect to receive from their employer. I think people want more and more and more and more. Maybe that's my cockeyed view of the world, but, but for now that's the way I feel. Um, what, what's your take on investing and patients? Do you feel like people are less patient?

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Bryan Kuderna:

I was out of doubt and I think you can almost say it factually at this point. And I don't want to go so far as to say like we want instant gratification. Um, but I think what drives a lot of that and I talk and I write a lot on this is, you know, back in the day when, when mom or dad or grandma or grandpa said, you know what, I'm going to go make an investment. They had to go through the process of finding their broker, calling their broker, placing a trade. They got that one security. They got a certificate in the mail. They see maybe two weeks later in a quarterly report or in the Wall Street Journal, okay, it's at that price. You had to do a lot just to kind of keep up with it. But the good thing was that kind of being numb to it allowed the product or the investment to do its work without your interference. Now all of a sudden, I can go right on my phone. I can check up to this second, my account balances, my stock, what's going on. I can turn on the TV behind you and I can see 10 different channels shouting at me, what's doing good, what's crashing. As you take in all this noise, it plays with our psyche and you start to see like, oh, I'm up today. Oh my gosh, I'm down today. What am I going to do? This emotion gets involved. I always tell people emotion and finance never, ever mix. That's why I have a job. That's why the financial advising market is as strong as it is. I can sit here and write this book that I have called What Should I Do With My Money and lay out exactly what to do, but it's the human nature to kind of get pulled away and then that's what complicates matters and that's what takes something that can be kind of simple and make it just all these added layers of complexity that then we have to kind of bring it back home. So yeah, I think there's just so much out there in the media and social media that It's everything happens at breakneck speed and you expect that of your financial plan. And that's not always realistic.

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Tom Finn:

All right, so you went there, so we'll go there together. You talked about your book, What Should I Do With My Money, which is out and available now. What should we do with our money? What is the book gonna tell us?

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yep. So what the book tells us, and I'm very clear right up front with the intro and the author's note, is it's more of an economic literacy than a financial literacy book. My first book, Millennial Millionaire, was a little bit more of kind of the memoir, the how-to, this is what to do with the money. This one, What Should I Do With My Money? It's answering a lot of the whys of, you know, why does the construct that we live in today, how did we get here? How is it working? And what's the future of it look like? And then where do we fit into that? So I think when you answer those whys in economics, it gives us the conviction and the understanding to say, okay, I'm designing a plan and now I'm going to stick to it because I know why I should stick to it. And so that's what's so key is the discipline. And that's why I talk about, you know, entitlements, education, big tech, economic philosophy, the environment, all these hot button issues and how they kind of come together. And then the last chapter is financial literacy. And that's when we say, all right, now that you understand what's going on out there, and now that you're kind of in the know, what's bring it back to you and what you're actually going to do with your money and create a plan and then you can identify. So it's a way of thinking so that in the future, now we can identify where the opportunities are.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, I like the way you explain that. So you're really going into the macro economic components of the markets and what moves and what shakes and how this all works together. What's, what's your take on some of these other asset classes like Bitcoin?

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yeah, so I get a lot of questions on that, not as many as I did two years ago, I will say. But with cryptocurrency, I actually wrote a paper when I was at the University of Economics in Prague, this was in 2008, I wrote a paper in which I said that at some point, the world will speak two languages and have two currencies. I said we'll speak English and we'll speak Mandarin. This is just as a kid, I'm just writing this. the Chinese currency. Just because I felt like with globalization, the world was becoming so much smaller. As we fast forward now, 15 years later, I think cryptocurrency is almost like an iteration of that where it's like, all right, we have this one universe that we're living in, that we're transacting in. What it's doing is it's kind of in theory, it's giving all those countries that are not the US or China or that maybe don't have such a strong economy. an opportunity to partake in just a level playing field with a level currency. So I think cryptocurrency as a whole is kind of here to stay. Which is going to be the winner? Which ones are going to survive, I think is a story still to be told. You see there's just so many out there. And it's no different than when we had the dot com bubble. We said, wow, the internet, this thing's crazy, but I think it's going to work. And then everybody and the brother threw a dot com after their name and it blew up and then it contracted. And I think you're seeing the same with cryptocurrency. I think you're going to see the same with AI. Um, but with crypto, the thing I'm a little bit averse to, uh, it's still very much unregulated. Uh, if you see, you know, in my book, when I get into the tech sector and, uh, in war, and we talk a lot about cyber warfare and stuff like that. Um, a lot of the nefarious actors on the internet, almost everything that they do is to be redeemed in crypto. That's done on purpose because there are so many different layers to it. It's hard to see and identify these people. So I think there's a lot to still get straightened out there before it becomes mainstream. And then the other thing on crypto too is I think when people invest, Warren Buffett always said invest in what you know. And a quick story, when he invested in American Express, at the time people said, I don't know about this credit card thing. I think it's going to pass on. He famously went to a department store and he asked one of the people at the counter, one of the clerks, can I just stand here and just, I'm an investor, can I watch how things transpire throughout the day? He said everybody and their brother was swiping their credit card. He said, all right, some of this fear out there, it's not founded. The credit card is here to stay. You could see the people using it left and right. They like it. He continued to invest heavily in Amex and did very well with it. crypto, I'm not seeing that yet. I hear a ton about it, but my buddies, my friend, my mom, my aunt, I'm not seeing them transact daily with crypto. And that's what gives me a little bit of pause at this stage.

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Tom Finn:

That is a beautiful explanation of the difference between credit card and crypto. I think the other piece of crypto is this dark universe for many that they don't understand what's behind it. A credit card, in some form, there's a bank system behind it that we do or don't understand at some deep level, but there is a monetary system behind it that makes sense to people. I think when you see so much wealth being created in the crypto market... And then you see that wealth disappear overnight for many, right? Uh, it, it can feel a little bit like a yo-yo and, and you use this word and you only used it once or twice. You said regulation. So there's, there's a lack of regulation in the space that for me feels uncomfortable when people are saying, I want everything in crypto because I don't want anybody to find out what I'm doing and I don't want to pay taxes. Uh, That to me goes, OK, we're probably not there yet.

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Bryan Kuderna:

Correct.

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Tom Finn:

If that's the model that's become the underpinning for this type of model.

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yeah, it's still very speculative. It doesn't have a strong footing yet. I think it needs to get there. And when you see when crypto explodes, and I ask people, even other folks in the media, I'm like, why crypto go up so much this month? I don't get a uniform answer of this was the appreciation of the asset class. Why did crypto crash this month? Again, it's just this emotional thing where people are almost gambling on it. and then panicking and pulling out of it. And you're not seeing like an exact tie to an asset that is, oh, this is its balance sheet. This is its worth. That's going up or down. So just by nature, I would still say that that's speculative.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, I think you're right on, man. And there's more creative ways to make money, although it is hard when we have short attention spans and we see everybody else getting rich, right, with air quotes, off of crypto at some point, and they're driving around in their fast car saying, you know, all I did was invest 10 grand in crypto and now I'm rich, right? I mean, it sort of hits you in the stomach.

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yeah. An it’s funny because even on my podcast, like sometimes I'll ask the guys that come on, I'm like, what's the best investment you ever made? What's the worst investment you ever made? And you would be surprised of very smart, very wealthy people have said crypto on both sides. So it's like, all right, how is this thing the best investment you ever made for this guy in the worst for that guy when it's the same exact thing? It's because of those timeframes that you know, we're holding it in.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, it's timing, right? It's I've got to get in at the right time and then somehow I got to get a little bit lucky and get out at the right time, which has not necessarily been the case in the stock market. I think if we look at it over a hundred year span, right? If we start to go back, there's more predictability in the stock market, but you tell me, is there more predictability in the stock market?

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Bryan Kuderna:

Without question, especially if you're comparing it to crypto, I see I think Steve Jobs on your shelf back there and a huge Apple fan. You think about it, if I pulled 1,000 people that knew of or invested in Apple, I bet I'd find a big swath of people that say, hey, Apple is my best investment I made. Very strong company, long standing history. I'd probably find very few that would say Apple is the worst investment I ever made. That I think is what you can see a little bit more out of the stock market, especially when you're dealing with the blue chips or, you know, the S and P 500. So I think that's where it has a place. Now, what I often tell my clients is like, if we had point a and point B and, you know, here you are at a and here's B, you know, when the kids are going to college or when you're retiring or whatever that, that timeframe may be. If I said that, you know, we can get from a to B And B is satisfying that goal that you want and you could just kind of close your eyes from now until then could you do it? And no, nobody can they're like, well, where's it gonna go? I want to be able to see it I want to be able to feel it. I want I want those statements I want to look at it and that's what's so tricky about the stock market is it's not just this linear path and And I think frankly if you ask a lot of people we could go from A to B and it'll just be a linear path But then there's this alternative where we can go up and down and you might way overshoot B, but you might fall under it. A lot of people are going to be lured into that. That's what the stock market is. It's this thing that's constantly promising big gains, but then news that is whatever sells maybe some fear in there. It's like the guy that wins is the one that could say, you know what, I got a plan. I'm going to let it do its thing. And those are usually where you see successful investors.

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Tom Finn:

You know, you're so funny when I'm listening to this, I'm hearing this model and I'm thinking, is that the model for entrepreneurs? Is that what they think? I'm gonna go get this big return, you know, I'm gonna be an overnight success after a decade, by the way. You're an overnight success after a decade.

And so you do this decade of work and then boom, the big money comes in and you're retired early and you have the freedom to do what you want versus I'm climbing the corporate ladder, I'm investing appropriately. I'm gaining big chunks of income as I get promoted, I move around the country, whatever it is, to make a little more dough, I start getting into the stock option pool, where I'm at the executive level and I'm ripping stock options off the table. Is there one way there that's better to make money than you've seen? So I'm sort of comparing and contrasting startup life for entrepreneurs versus a traditional big corporation role equivalent.

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yeah, there's plenty of opportunity in both Tom. And that's what I tell people, especially like sometimes when I'm brought into colleges and I do a talk or whatever and you know, you get these young guys, go getters, young guys and gals. And they're like, I just don't know really where I want to go. I don't have that direction yet. And what I like to see them do is like a personality assessment. And if you're the person that, that up and down, like we were just talking about the stock market, where that would just start to make you sick to your stomach. And you're like, there's no way I could do that. And you just want that stability. As you go through that, you're going to start to see that you may be a better employee and we need really good employees and employees can climb really, really high. So know who you are. And if that's your role, then go there and be the best you can at it. And all along the way, keep that, that 20% savings rate that I always preach, you know, invest, have a plan, stick to it. and know that you're going to be the best version of you and it's going to work. Now, if you're the other person that says, you know, I want that, I want bigger and better and I want control. I don't want to just kind of leave it out there and not have a say in the matter and you're that type a personality and everything else. It's not all about money. You're going to know you want to be able to wake up and kind of control your own destiny a little more. Then that's sort of person is speaking more to the entrepreneur. the commission based, someone that has more eat what you kill type of mentality, then that's the route that they should go. So both of them can be fantastic. It's just kind of knowing yourself and then where to really put yourself in the best environment.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense. So where do you fit on that equilibrium or that scale?

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Bryan Kuderna:

I'm a hundred percent on the entrepreneur side And you know when I was growing up, you know, my dad worked for the army My brother followed suit and I kind of saw where it was like this environment where you could work your tail off But like oh, you know Joe over there. He's not quite ready to retire So but hang on another six years you might be able to apply for that position and I'm like no way I'm like that's not me if I can work my butt off and prove. I'm killing it versus Joe then how am I not getting that job or moving up? And that's where I'm much more in kind of the entrepreneurial realm, where I wear a lot of different hats from being the author, the financial advisor, the investor, and I like that. I don't fit into just like a small box. I knew that there's a lot of different things that I wanna do. So I could be a good employee, but I might not be happy. And that's where I knew that I had to kind of go that route where I have more independence. I could... build my own practice and then pursue other things that I want to do.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah. So I want to touch on that just for a second. Having a diversified portfolio of things that you do doesn't just have to be money based is really important for people. And I think what I'm hearing you say is part of the value you place on your life is being able to do different things and explore different areas of your brain and your soul and be able to contribute to society in different ways. Would you agree?

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yeah, yeah, without a doubt. I mean, there's so much more to the world than work and money, you know, again, that's it's one critical thing money is involved in every decision out there. That's why I wrote this book on it. That's what I try and help people with is to kind of remove that so you truly are financially free. And then once you are, that's where I you know, me personally, I have plenty of other pursuits from my family through sports. And, you know, I like to have different goals out there and different things to do and That's to me, that's like the spice of life is being able to constantly keep things exciting and not feel that sense of kind of like boredom or complacency. Uh, not everybody's different, but that's, that's kind of, you know, what gets me going.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, well said. bryan, this has been a fantastic discussion. If people wanna get to know you a little bit further, maybe they wanna work with you, they wanna check out your book, they wanna listen to your podcast. Where do we find all that information?

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Bryan Kuderna:

Sure. So you can follow me on social media on Twitter and Instagram. It's just be Kuderna If you go to my website Bryan Kuderna comm and that's Bryan with a lie You can find out a lot of like my latest findings You know what I got going on sign up for my newsletter weekly wealthy wisdoms Just a short newsletter where I kind of share all this of how I think and how I think people can better their lives And then lastly, I think my book encapsulates everything. I'm really happy how this book came out Again, it's what should I do with my money? I promise it's, I have a lot of takeaways there, a few years of research in it that I try and make very digestible and entertaining. So check all that out and probably social media, contact me and I like to try and keep it back and forth with everybody too.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah, beautifully said my man. We will put all of that in the show notes so that those of you driving don't have to try and write down what he just said. Uh, you can go into the show notes, uh, click away and get in touch with Bryan. This has been an awesome discussion, man. Thank you for your thoughts. Thank you for the good work that you're doing in the financial realm and also in other areas of literature and education, uh, for our communities and our country.

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Bryan Kuderna:

Yeah, thank you for having me, Tom. This was fun.

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Tom Finn:

Yeah. And thank you for joining the Talent Empowerment Podcast. We hope you've discovered perhaps your true calling, learned about some investments, understood yourself a little bit better. We'll see you on the next episode of the Talent Empowerment podcast.

Tom Finn
Podcaster & Co-Founder

Tom Finn (he/him) is an InsurTech strategist, host of the Talent Empowerment podcast, and co-founder and CEO of an inclusive people development platform.

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