Financial Freedom: The Finish Line Of Success With Gena Lofton
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Financial Freedom: The Finish Line Of Success With Gena Lofton

MCFA 1 | Financial Freedom Shortcut

 

The ultimate goal of anybody working is to someday attain financial freedom and independence and do what makes you happy. There might not be predetermined shortcuts, but understanding the industry can speed things up significantly. Investor, author, and speaker, Gina Lofton, join Athena Paquette Cormier to share her story of resilience and dedication that led to her success. She explains the importance of understanding even the little things in your niche. Gina also gives her insight on why debt isn’t such a bad thing and how it’s actually a tool that you can use in your goals in real estate. Learn the strategies that she implemented in her career in order to attain her own financial freedom.

Listen to the podcast here:

Financial Freedom: The Finish Line Of Success With Gena Lofton

I’m here with the fabulous Gena Lofton. We’re here to talk to Gena about her process and her path towards financial independence. Welcome, Gena. Thank you for taking the time out.

Thank you. It’s awesome to spread the word. I love what you’re doing and keep it up.

Thank you. I wanted to start a little bit talking about your personal background. Who is Gena?

I grew up in South Central Los Angeles and I was born and raised here in Inglewood, California. I was homeless. My parents were unable to take care of any of their children. I was raised in foster care, ironically. I grew up in foster care and was a bad kid. I ran away from the foster home and dropped out of high school and did all of those horrible things and was off to a bad start. That was my background. I did go back to school and got my high school diploma and then went to college because that’s what everyone told you should do back then. It was the ‘80s, ‘90s, and got a job. That’s how I started the traditional route that they teach us all to do.

Do you have brothers or sisters?

I do. There are eight kids, all by the same parents. My parents were not drug addicts or on any type of substance, they were just unable to take care of their kids financially. As a result of that, we were homeless. There are eight kids all together. I’m 1 of 8. I’m the second to the youngest. I have a younger sister that’s about seven years younger than I am. She and I were always in the same foster home. We probably developed a better bond than the other siblings because we were always together.

Did you graduate high school?

I graduated from high school. My three oldest siblings, more emancipated by this time since they’re older, what that means is that when you turn eighteen years old, you are no longer a ward of the court here. It’s how it works in the United States. I don’t know if any of your followers are from some other country. Here in the United States, if you’re eighteen, you are no longer a ward of the court. When that happens, you’re out there on your own. My three older siblings were emancipated. They got jobs. They saved their money and then they bought a house.

Fortunately for me, they found where I was, which was in a suburb of Los Angeles and came and asked me did I want to come to live with them. At first, I didn’t want to and I said, “No,” because I didn’t have any fond memories. My parents were around and my upbringing was not that positive, but then again, I said, “If I stay in the foster care system, I had already dropped out of high school, I was either going to go to jail or I would have been dead,” which most people that I grew up with are. I selected to go and live with them because I wanted to stay alive and not go to jail or not be dead. It was like, if you have A, B and C and A and B is bad then by default, you have to like, “I better go do that because these other two are going to be horrible.”

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Did you do high school the traditional way? You moved to your siblings or one of your siblings and then you got back into high school or GED, what did you do to finish?

I owe it a lot to the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. I was such a bad kid and I needed self-discipline. We worked out something with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and I was able to go to Catholic School all paid. It’s amazing. I went to Catholic School. I finished Catholic School in 10th, 11th and 12th grade here in Los Angeles, Bishop Conaty High School. It’s the oldest Catholic School in the city of LA. It used to be called Catholic Girls High School. Now it’s called Our Lady of Loretto Bishop Conaty High School.

I finished high school and made up the units from me dropping out of high school at Los Angeles High School. I made up my units and then I graduated on time. I went to college because that’s what you were supposed to do, but I was never an academic person. I would go to a test having read the introduction and the conclusion. I didn’t have any time. I was never academic. I’m probably the worst student ever, but I know I needed to do it. I needed that piece of paper.

I went straight to college to Cal State Northridge and got my degree in Pre-Law and Finance. I thought I wanted to go into law and protect kids like who I was. I was a foster kid. I was like, “There are many different foster kids. They need somebody who was a foster kid to help them through the system and all that stuff.” I didn’t know anything. There was no internet back then either. You don’t have any guidance. My career advice was, “Go work someplace and put resistors on a circuit breaker in a manufacturing facility.” That was my career aspiration and guidance from the foster homes. I didn’t have a whole lot of guidance. I figured it out. I went to college and I had no money. What is somebody with no money do? They go and figure out how to get the money. I applied for financial aid. They gave me a Pell Grant. I didn’t know the difference between loans and grants, and most people don’t at that age. I see them and I was one of them.

When they gave me a college work-study and then they showed me all of the places I could work as the library, the cafeteria, all these places and there was one down the list that says, “Financial aid office.” I said, “I want that position and that department.” I don’t know anything about how it works. I got a college work-study and worked in the financial aid office for one year and figured out everything about how things work about loans and grants. From that point on, I made sure to get all grants and never get loans because I knew the difference by that time from working in the financial aid office. To anyone reading this, if you don’t know something, the best way for you to figure it out is to become an apprentice. I do that a lot. When I don’t know something, I go and volunteer or get into that circle and then figure it out. I went to college and got my degree and worked in Corporate America and had amazing jobs from aerospace and defense such as Lockheed, Aeronautical Systems Company and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I got my MBA. Who would have thought that from a high school dropout? I got my MBA primarily because it was free.

Who paid for it?

Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a quasi NASA center. They’re part of Caltech, California Institute of Technology. It’s federally funded but operated by Caltech. It’s all these scientists and the spacecraft stuff. You probably have heard about all these amazing things that go on in the NASA centers. It was great. Because of Caltech, they will finance a secondary degree. As long as it wasn’t anything that I can go out and do independent stuff. A doctor or lawyer, they wouldn’t finance that. They would pay for me to get any other secondary degree. I said, “A free degree? Sign me up.” I went and got my MBA and graduated and then went over to Ernst & Young. It’s a cool story.

It’s all kinds of different industries. You’ve gotten out of the rat race, and I don’t want to skip ahead, but what was the last job that you had?

I don’t consider it a job, although it was. It was at DirecTV. Some of you might have heard of that company. It’s the largest pay-TV company in the world. That was my last job working for a company. I was there for almost a decade. Because I was compensated, as a salary and then a bonus and stock, I was a shareholder, I had always looked at it as I was building an asset that happened to be called DirecTV.

MCFA 1 | Financial Freedom Shortcut
Financial Freedom Shortcut: There are some things that you can do with land where it becomes an asset, but in reality, it’s a liability.

 

You were having fun building the excitement of the technology and helping them build up. Is that what you’re meaning?

My role was strategy, technology for digital, website, advertising, sales and engineering, which all those things that make the TV come on. Instead of field services like someone going out and doing an installation or call center agent, it was more on the other side of the business, which was great. What I mean by that is because I was being compensated in stock, I was an owner. I was a shareholder. Unlike having a job, I was building an asset that happened to be called DirecTV.

Let me take a step back because there’s a step that happened before Direct TV. I was reading this book by Robert Kiyosaki called Rich Dad Poor Dad. I read this book called Rich Dad Poor Dad when I was at Ernst & Young and it talks about an asset versus a liability. Your house is not an asset, an asset feeds you and a liability eats you. I began getting smart at what the difference was. I began building assets, not just DirecTV. I was at the same time building a number of different assets. Real estate and oil and gas and DirecTV, that was one of them, but they’re all assets. That was my last role as an employee.

I went there to hide out from the recession that I knew was coming like the financial collapse. In 2007, no one knew that it was coming. That’s when Ben Bernanke said, “The subprime crisis is contained. Nothing’s going to happen.” I’m like, “Either he’s an idiot or he is a liar.” Neither of which is safe for me because I saw what was happening, I’m like, “Which industry is going to withstand the collapse?” I had closed up mortgage and I was even telling Fannie Mae like, “What?” I knew banking, mortgages and all that stuff, and no one knew.

I remember my tenants always have a TV. I said, “That’s a bill that’s going to get paid.” It’s like a utility company. That’s how I looked at it. Also, it was fascinating. I like to do things that are different like transformational. I knew that it was going through a technological change because of the way that it was distributed. Remember, you go into Blockbuster and be able to get a DVD? That’s what it was. I’m there to do digital. I’m like, “I could put nails on the coffin of DVDs. This is great.” That’s what’s going to happen. I had already done it with music. I did that. It was a match made in heaven. That was years ago. It’s unbelievable. 2007 is when I started that.

When Lehman Brothers collapsed, it was 2008. Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the whole cast of characters. I’m in my office and I’m watching this on TV. I’m at DirecTV so there’s always a TV in my office. I’m watching this whole thing collapse and then that guy, Hank Paulson gets up there and he’s asking Congress for the $700 billion bailout. I remember that time and then Congress gets up and then they vote no, and the market collapsed 700 points. It was the largest collapse ever. I’m like, “They don’t know either.”

To get back to the personal investment part and your path to financial freedom, what was the first piece of property that you bought or the first investment if it wasn’t property? Besides, we don’t like to talk about 401(k) or SEPs or those kinds of stock stuff. What was the first investment that you chose on your own?

My first was a piece of land when I was 21 years old, which I still own.

Few people start there.

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That’s all I can afford. I didn’t know a whole lot. That was the first piece of property ever.

Where was the land?

In California City, which is a desert here. It’s a small parcel and I still own it. I’ve done nothing with it. It’s just on my balance sheet. I keep it to remember that that was the first one. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. It was not the smartest thing to do because it doesn’t give you anything. There’s no cashflow. It’s a liability. At least it was for me. There are some things that you can do with land where it becomes an asset. For me it was a liability and it still is but it’s not a big deal. I bought a townhouse and then I went from that townhouse to a house.

That’s for your own self. A house to live in for you.

I would rent them out because I would live in it. I didn’t sell it. I didn’t do it that way. I would live there and then rent it out. That’s how I started, with a townhouse and then a house. I graduated to bigger properties like a two-units which is a duplex and then I went from that to a fourplex. I went from that to much larger, then you’re into the commercial. They’ve been five units and above and then I started doing bigger deals.

Did you ever sell any of those duplexes? Did you sell any of the properties along the way or do an exchange? Did you cash out? What did you do with those properties as you were going along and building bigger and bigger?

Some of those small things like the townhouse or the houses, I sold those. I do not own them anymore. The ones that I do own are the two units and the four units and everything above that. I like debt. Here’s the thing, if money is free, which it is and it has been for a decade, then you want to get rich with debt. That’s where I was taking that Hank Paulson story about him going and printing all this money. I knew then that I must use debt because they’re going to be using a lot of debt which is going to devalue the currency.

I would buy a piece of property and then I rehab it and then I would increase the value because that’s how I do it. That’s value-added real estate. For any of you that don’t know what this means, I have a specific definition of what value-added real estate is for me. It means I want my money back out of the asset as fast as possible but I want to keep the property. Therefore, my returns are infinite. If you have no money, which I didn’t, you need to work backward. Let’s say your passive income number is $100,000 a year, you need $1 million making 10%. Let’s use those for easy math. If you don’t have either, you’re going to have to improvise.

MCFA 1 | Financial Freedom Shortcut
The Creature from Jekyll Island

You don’t want to save up $1 million.

The probability of me saving up $1 million on 0% in the bank was slim to none. The probability of me making 10% on my money was probably not that easy either. I put them together. I did another thing too, which was taxes. I understood taxes. Between taxes and debt, using both of them combined, enabled me to get out of the rat race quickly, 2 or 3 years. It was fast.

Gena, some gurus out there, they should buy property for cash only or you should put it on a fifteen-year fixed so it’s paid off quickly. Those are the big ones. What do you say to the gurus that say, “Only when you can buy it for cash should you buy an investment property.”

I don’t have that same philosophy. If money is free at 0%, then I want to use as much of it as I can to generate as much income. Therefore, if I use all my cash, it makes no sense because I can borrow from the bank to buy that asset. Debt is a double-edged sword. It could be dangerous. What bothers me sometimes is that I see people using debt to buy liabilities instead of using debt to buy an asset. That’s a huge problem. You’re never going to over-leverage the property. Anyone that’s in the lending environment, especially not in the last few years because they’re not even going to allow you to do that. If I could borrow at 1%, 2%, 4% or 5% and then go make 8%, 9%, 10% or whatever the number is, it’s arbitrage. That’s all I’m doing. I’m borrowing it 4% or 5% and as long as you’re making more than the cost of money, then you’re good.

Where could it go wrong?

Paying something off in fifteen years doesn’t make any sense. It’s a personal investment philosophy too. Some people come from that old school of thought that debt is bad. Some people still don’t like debt. They’re like, “Let’s pay off this mortgage and let’s get a fifteen-year loan.” It’s like, “Give me a 30-fixed at 3%, 4%. I’m fine. I don’t want to pay that off. I have no incentive to pay that off quickly.”

Thanks for clarifying that one. As you think back, what was your best deal? I will ask you about your worst deal. That’s more fun.

My best deal was at the time that the market went down in 2008 or 2009, and everything was on sale. I bought some apartment in Inglewood out of bankruptcy. I bought it and then I rehabbed it. I got all my money back in six months and I still have the property.

Your down payment came back out through maybe a refinance. You put your down payment back into your own pocket. If I understand you right, then you had cashflow with no investment. No money of your own in this property. Is that what you were talking about earlier about the infinite return? If you have nothing, you invest zero and you get money, that’s infinite.

That’s exactly what I mean. I’m printing money. I only do that. I don’t do anything else but that. If it does not have the potential to do that, I won’t do it.

It’s not a good enough deal for you in that case. That was 2009. Everyone was scared of the market going down, “You shouldn’t buy. It’s going to go more down.” Do you still own that property, the fourplex?

Correct.

Do you have a guess at what that might be worth?

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At least three times the amount.

It’s $1.5 million maybe.

Yeah. The Inglewood at that time was called Inglewatts. It happens to be where I was born. I was homeless there.

How cool is it that you own property? That is awesome. Looking back, if you could press the delete button or as some people say, “Erase the past,” what deal would you erase? What has the most potential for being erased?

I made a bad investment and it was close to $500,000 during 2006 or 2007. It was right before the crash. Let’s back up because I own 4,000 units now. Some of them I own myself. Some of them I own with other people. Does that make sense? I do that all the time even back then. That someone else didn’t know what he was doing. He was a criminal so I lost all my investment, everything. It was significant for me. That was the worst deal.

In 2006, you were still working for DirectTV.

I was doing some independent stuff at that time like in the banks and consulting.

Had you invested with this gentleman and other people or just this one guy?

He and this one gentleman were in a real estate investment company. What’s surreal about now is I see a lot of the things that I saw back then.

MCFA 1 | Financial Freedom Shortcut
Financial Freedom Shortcut: Real estate is a byproduct of money.

 

Me too and that’s scary. Where was the property? What kind of project was it? Besides the guy’s criminality, what was bad about the dealer? Some criminals do great deals and make people a lot of money. What was wrong with the deal?

It was vaporware. I hate to say that but it ended up being a Ponzi scheme. He had a lot of investors. It was chaos. The reason why I did the deal, let’s go back to that question first. At that time, the real estate market here in LA, Southern California was high. It peaked out. There was nothing to buy. I continued investing with someone that was able to go and source deals someplace else.

Where was that someplace else?

It was in Texas and New Mexico and other asset classes that were still here, office buildings. I don’t do all asset classes nor do I do all geographies. It was appealing to me that I can continue to invest. I still do that. I’m selective about who that partner is. I made that investment and that ended up going downhill. I lost all of my investment. I had to go and start all over again. It blows your mind. It knocked me completely out. I was devastated.

How much money was it?

It was $500,000.

The whole thing was gone.

Yeah. I’m like, “I’m not even 40 yet. It took me a long time to build this.” It was a significant piece of my net worth. I’m thinking, “I thought everybody knew what I know.” There are a lot of people who say that they know but they don’t know. This was an example of that same situation.

It sounds like you trusted someone and didn’t verify it for your own self. He seemed to know and you delegated that to him. You did not micromanage him or check up on him.

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I did some checking up and all of that. There are other things that I could have done which I do now. That was a much more thorough analysis of who I’m doing business with. I didn’t ask the right questions. Whatever the checking out that I did was insufficient.

That’s the lesson learned, even if you’re smart and the other person is smart, I’m assuming he was probably a smart guy because he got away with a good scheme, it sounds like.

It was millions of dollars.

He was able to build trust. Your lessons learned may be to be more thorough in checking these people out.

It’s being more thorough in checking these people out. Real estate is a byproduct of money. Most people that I do business with, if not all of them, have intimate knowledge of money. I don’t mean cash. They understand where it comes from and how it works. They understand debt and they understand taxes. That’s my requirement. They understand the economy. They have a deep understanding of all of these various factors. That’s my expectation. The building is only going to be as valuable as what the economy is. You got cap rates which are derivative of interest rates in the bond market and all of this other fundamental stuff. It comes from understanding money.

I love that point because many people ask me, “Should I invest in Florida or Pennsylvania? Ohio is a hot thing and Indiana is hot.” I tell them, “What’s the economy is supporting where you’re going to go?” It’s not like somehow this town is magically good. There’s got to be some underpinning to it. That’s what you’re saying. If you’re going to invest with someone, they have to prove to me why it’s a good investment and it better be based on economics and not the latest trend or some website that says, “This is great.”

For anyone that’s reading, I’ll even dumb it down. When I send $1 off the door in the morning, I want it to go out with the round-trip ticket. Do you fly in here and get a one-way ticket out of LAX? No, you get a round trip. I want to know what the round-trip plan is, what day it’s coming back and I want to make that timeline as short as possible.

It’s how fast you’re getting your money back. If you’re going to invest with someone, they’ve got to talk to you about how fast that money is coming back on its round trip ticket. I like calling that the velocity of money too. The faster you get your money back, the faster you redeploy it, the faster it comes back and that kind of thing.

What I see many times is its one-way tickets and many lost things.

MCFA 1 | Financial Freedom Shortcut
Financial Freedom Shortcut: When you keep a group of people not knowledgeable on how something works and the benefits of it, by default, you are excluding.

 

It’s undetermined when that dollar is coming back.

I don’t send them out without a round-trip ticket.

With all my friends, I have the isms because there are certain things that you say that remind me of you as a friend. My favorite Gena-ism is you say you don’t discriminate, which is lovely of you. In what way do you not discriminate besides the obvious ways?

I am an equal opportunity lover of all asset classes. I love them all. What I mean by that is as long as it’s producing income, which is an asset, I love them all. It can be oil and gas. It could be businesses. It could be real estate. It could be assisted living facilities. It could be royalties in IP, technology, natural resources. The only underlying thing I like to do is that they must be on sale.

How big of a sale does it have to be, Gena?

I want it to be heavily discounted where no one else is there. Either you are a contrarian or you are a victim. Repeat that a few times because it means a lot. When I was doing real estate, nobody liked it in 2010 and then it was in Inglewatts. I was a huge contrarian. People were telling me, “You’re going to lose.” All of this fear.

Those are the experts around you telling you that.

If there are too many people in something, I’m out because it is a bubble. I’m gone.

Same here. In 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, I took two months to decide if I was going to buy one apartment building. Nowadays, I take 2 hours and they’d beat you out. In 2001, it was the same thing, remember? People thought the world was coming to an end because of the World Trade Center situation. No one wanted to buy and I figured, “I might as well follow through. If I’m dead, it’s the same outcome.” No one wanted real estate back then because of stocks, the dot-com. If you put an E in front of something or you put a .com on the end of something, that’s what people were chasing. I get that contrarian thing. You were mentioning oil and gas. Are you a real estate investor or you love all assets so you own all kinds of other assets?

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That’s correct because I am in the equal opportunity lover of all assets, I own them all. I have real estate apartments. I have oil and gas investments, telecommunications, media and entertainment. I’m a shareholder of AT&T. I own natural resources and junior mining and assisted living facilities and some other technology companies. I have a little bit of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as well to begin learning that space. I’m in all asset classes.

Going back to the worst deal ever and the lack of checking it out or not as well as you’d like. You shared with me when you went into the assisted living space, you went and took a three-day course on how they are run and how they’re built and what the pros and cons. You took a trip to go do that three-day class to go and learn the asset.

Before I ever go into anything, I start studying it way before I go into it. Usually it’s some class or maybe I’m researching it online. There are all ways to begin learning something. I call them the LeBron Jameses. I’m not a big basketball person. He’s a big basketball guy, as far as being able to play well. I find the LeBron Jameses of that particular niche. Whether it’s oil and gas, assisted living facilities, value-added apartment complexes, junior mining, that’s TV, it’s DirecTV, I find that LeBron James in that industry. There may be more than one. I study them for a while. I know that I could be LeBron James, but that’s not my goal. My goal is to be able to play on their team. That’s my goal and that’s how I invest. My team is everything. There’s no way that I could do what I do without my team. That’s all of those various asset classes. They run. I don’t get involved. I buy and build assets that generate income. They come on to my balance sheet and then the income comes in and then I’m building. That’s how I do. I’m an investor in private placements.

Do you want to tell people briefly what a private placement is?

When you are an accredited investor, which is defined by the SEC, you earn over $200,000 a year if you’re single or $300,000 if you’re married or you have a net worth over $1 million, you are able to participate as an investor in various opportunities and those opportunities are private placements. They are these deals like oil and gas or mining companies or assisted living facilities and all of these things which ironically no one knows about because mainstream media doesn’t share this information with anyone. There’s a whole group of people and that’s how these deals work. I figured it out.

Private placement like IPOs are things that the regular public doesn’t have access to because they’re not labeled accredited investors. They don’t fit the definition of people who are able to take higher risks because of their income, their paycheck or because of their networks. The reason we probably don’t hear about it when we’re not accredited investors is probably that a typical stockbroker or mutual fund company is selling to the masses. That’s where they make most of their money probably. These things are not worth advertising for them out there on TV or in the general public. That’s what it is. You’re saying your accredited investors have access to investments that the general public is not going to hear about until way further down the chain.

Any building or any company, it doesn’t matter. That was funded via money. There was someone who made that risk capital available. It could be one or many people, depending on what it is. It came from somewhere. Everything that you see and do was funded by some people.

People may have heard of Angel investors. That’s what you do, you’re an Angel investor for some projects that you choose to be part of. Some people might have seen Shark Tank or those TV shows. It’s like that. Those people invest in startup things. People can relate to that thing and that’s what an accredited investor is I think is. Those guys are big.

That’s all I do, the same exact thing. I make sure to only do it with those types of companies that don’t require a lot of my time. That’s also key. Granted, I can go out and build my own assisted living facility, but I don’t want to do it that way. I’d rather find that LeBron James and then participate and endow with.

MCFA 1 | Financial Freedom Shortcut
Financial Freedom Shortcut: People come from that old school of thought that debt is bad. Some people still don’t like debt.

 

Because you don’t have a job, you’re able to investigate, learn, spend time as you’re doing here with me. What’s a typical day for you? Is there even a typical day?

There is no typical day because I manage my assets. I get up and I do whatever I want to do. I have no schedule whatsoever. I go to the movies at least once or twice a week. I don’t have a typical day.

I wanted to talk to you about your newest adventure. Your new website and your new TV show, but interview series. Do you want to tell us a little bit about A2A?

I had to kiss a lot of frogs over the years by the examples that I’ve shared already. This whole world is unknown to other people. I said, “I have the most amazing groups of people around me that know this stuff.” They’ve been doing it and I said, “What better way for me to add value?” A lot of people asked me a lot of questions and this and that. I said, “Let me create a digital platform in order to provide everyone the same type of information.” It’s like democratizing of the economics of it. When you keep a group of people not knowledgeable about how this works and the benefits of it, by default, you are excluding.

I’m an equal opportunity lover of assets and people. I was in foster care because of financial illiteracy and lack of knowledge. For me not to know this and not to share it with others then I’m as guilty as the guy. The name of my show is Accredited to Accredited. It’s for anyone to be able to gain knowledge on all of these different topics from operators that I deal with and do business with and some I may not do business with, service providers, accountants, attorneys, and all of the other service providers that we do business with. Everyone can see how this works. I call it edutainment for accredited investors. That’s it in a nutshell.

What I love is you don’t have to be an accredited investor to go on and learn. You’re learning and seeing how that world turns and helps you to understand. If people see where they could be or what they could do, they’re more likely to learn a lot of basics off of that website towards becoming a smarter investor.

There was a book that was written called CASHFLOW Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki. If no one’s read the book, I strongly suggest that they do. It’s about the different types of income. Accredited investors, some of them make their money in different ways. I’ll be talking about a lot of these different asset classes. The reason why we invest in them is that they are the most tax-efficient. Because tax reform is happening. Those people who live in high-tax states like California, New York, New Jersey, etc., they’re going to get hurt badly, unless they learn this. I’m going to provide that level of education for them to learn it and it’s all about providing jobs and providing housing and doing this, then you’re rewarded.

It’s a weekly interview that you’re doing. Who have you interviewed so far to give people a flavor of what’s been done.

The first episode was with Ed Griffin. He wrote The Creature from Jekyll Island. You cannot have a show about investing or money or anything without starting at the beginning. That book, the author is my first episode after my introduction. I’m beginning with money because to invest in any of these things, if you don’t have an intimate understanding of that, you’re going to miss a lot. That’s one of the interviews then I have a gentleman by the name of Dave Zook that does ATMs. There’s a huge tax advantage for that type of investing. He does real estate, hotel property, self-directed IRAs, lending and the whole gamut, oil and gas. I know you are Canadian. I do a lot of business with my brother up north a lot. Me being an American, I was completely ignorant of natural resource investing. I’m going to be bringing that to people here in the US that have been either kept stupid about it. For what reasons, we don’t know. We’re going to be talking about it.

Many cities in the US are developed. There are 360 million people here in the US and there are 36 million in Canada. There’s a lot of open lands. Canada is a little more connected to their natural resources and more environmentally conscientious.

There are two things. One is we would not be talking on any of this, we wouldn’t be using our phone, we wouldn’t be eating, nothing would work without natural resources. That’s the first thing. It is a raw material in everything. For us not to know it is sad. Secondly, Jim Rickards has written a couple of books for you that understand the monetary world. I want to leave you with this quote that I heard him say. He said, “The only people who know the money are his age or they’re self-taught or they know mining.” I’m like, “He’s right.” That was a huge revelation for me. It’s a sad thing for Americans that are not 70 and didn’t teach themselves. If that tells you anything, then take it as it is.

When I was fourteen, I went up to the top of the province of Ontario. They have nickel mines there and I was fascinated. My dad worked for energy mines and resources. He’d bring home rocks and he talked about metals. As a teenage girl, it wasn’t that interesting but then you start going, “Look at this metal.” He’d tell me what they’re doing with it. If people saw things like a field trip for real, they would get it.

You’re going to be seeing a lot of that on my show.  I’m going to be talking gold, uranium, and I’m bringing all that down south. LeBron Jameses are up there.

You’re going to make it. From all my experience with you, you have the ability to bring it to plain language. I hate that word dumb it down because it’s not dumbing it down, it’s making things that people talk over your head bringing that down to plain language. I love that about you. I’m sure it’s going to be rich for people to learn from. I’m excited to get your next show. Did you have anything else to add? Maybe some people like to talk about their charities.

I am passionate about the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and always give anything to them because of what it’s done for my life. That’s always near and dear to my heart for saving my life.

That’s awesome and a great education for free. They found someone or maybe they waive the fee for you. That’s amazing to make sure you got an education in a safe environment and certainly with discipline.

It gave me self-discipline and washed my mouth out from talking a sailor. I still do that sometimes.

What’s the website address for your new website?

It’s Accredited2Accredited.com. For short it’s A2AInvestors.com. I do welcome everyone to come to the website and you will be getting a lot of information for free about all these different asset classes and people and the shows. If I could be of any other assistance to anyone, send me a question either via email or through the website. I read all of them and will make sure to answer all of the questions.

Thank you for joining me, Gena. It was a pleasure speaking with you again. To tell people the synchronicity of things, I was upset that I wasn’t able to go to Freedom Fest. If you want to know about Freedom Fest, Google it. It’s a great gathering of free minds but also an economics-driven conference and great thinkers from across the country. I was upset that I missed it. To make myself feel better and for those who know me, they know that this is who I am. I go on the website and I read all the bios of the people who are speaking there and imagining what it would be like. I fall upon your bio in the financial section and I thought, “A lady investor.” I Googled you and I thought, “I’ve got to have this lady on Women In Investing.”

You answered me even though you were at Freedom Fest as one of the speakers. You answered me in a day that you would come speak at one of my engagements, Women In Investing. It turns out, you’re right here in Los Angeles. It blew my mind. These speakers are from all around the world, country. I thought, “I’m probably going to have to fly this woman in.” I thought, “It’s worth it. Let’s get her in here.” It turns out you’re right here in Los Angeles. The kismet of things is interesting.

There’s a reason for it. It’s something bigger that makes those things happen. No matter what you believe in, it is a reason for it. We can’t dictate what it is. We’re actors in someone else’s script. That’s it. We don’t know the script. We try to drive the script and the characters and that’s when you get in trouble.

I heard about that through the Grapevine. If you’re a type-A control freak, it’s a little upsetting that you’re not in control, but that’s the way it is. Thanks for joining me, Gena. For those of you who want to read more interviews like this, go to AthenaPaquette.com or follow us on this Facebook page and there’ll be more to come. That’s it for our interview. Thank you again, Gena. I appreciate you being here.

Thank you for having me and I love seeing you as always.

About Gena Lofton

MCFA 1 | Financial Freedom ShortcutGena is an Investor, Author, and Speaker. Homeless and Abandoned at the age of 2, her primary goal was Financial Freedom. Within a few short years, she achieved Financial Freedom by acquiring over 4k apartment units and other income-producing assets, while simultaneously on the management team of the World’s Largest Pay TV Company, DIRECTV, until the sale to AT&T.

Today, she helps others achieve Financial Freedom Quickly with assets which generate tax-efficient passive income with her proprietary methodology, the Financial Freedom Formula™ which can be easily implemented by following the steps in her book Escape the Madness: The 10 Steps to Get Out of the Rat Race. She is a featured speaker at many global conferences such as Freedomfest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, etc.

She is a featured speaker at many global conferences such as Freedomfest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, etc.

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