Episode 130: Discussing Rennie’s Wealth On Any Income Journey with SK – Transcript
Rennie Gabriel 00:09
Hi folks, welcome to Episode 130 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information and provide inspiration around your business, and your money. I'm your host, Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to understand the numbers from your business, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 to 10 seconds, what determines how close you are to Complete Financial Choice®, and how to run your business without being in your business. And last week, we had Jeni Holla, who, with her husband are traveling digital nomads, running their businesses as they travel around the world. Today's episode is a little unusual. I received a LinkedIn request from someone who said in her message, and I quote, "I'd love to learn your money secrets, and the keys to making money, peace and happiness." I thought she was looking for a free consultation. But that was not the case. She explained her situation, and I set up a time for us to chat. And I wasn't going to charge her for that. As it turns out, she wanted me to be a guest on her podcast, which was not clear until we got on Zoom and spoke. It turned out to be a good interview for me. So you'll get to listen to that broadcast with Satwinder Khater, or as she prefers to be called, SK.
Lovely to meet you, and thank you for taking the time out to meet with myself and answer some questions. We've got half an hour on this call. So I thought I'd do a quick intro. And so I didn't get any sort of key things that you wanted me to say. So I've put something together and just let me know if it needs any corrections or anything so so I want to say firstly, thank you for joining SK from White Ivy Hub. I'm a personal financial corporate coach. I would like to introduce you to Rennie Gabriel, who had a very interesting journey from being broke to becoming a multimillionaire. He's a financial coach and provides online training, and is an expert on wealth creation. Last but not least, he's a TEDx speaker, as well. At the age of 50, Rennie became a multimillionaire and a philanthropist and donates 100% of his profits to his nominated charity. You're an author, and have a best-selling book called, Wealth On Any Income, which will go into a little bit more detail later on in this interview. Anything else that you would like to add?
Rennie Gabriel 03:04
No, other than it's funny, because I thought we were just going to have a chat. And I didn't know we were actually doing a podcast interview. So this will be a lot of fun.
Sorry, yeah, I should've make it clearer. Apologies. Yeah, that's my fault.
Rennie Gabriel 03:21
No problem, SK. I am ready.
Brilliant. Okay, I've got a couple of questions and I hope I can get them squeezed into this half hour. So one of the questions is tell us about your journey and the challenges that you've faced up until you became a multimillionaire?
Rennie Gabriel 03:40
That's easy. Well, the reality is, since almost no one is taught by their parents how to handle money powerfully, because parents can't teach what they don't know, and the school system doesn't provide any of that information. It gets worse, because if you go to a Certified Public Accountant, or a Certified Financial Planner, they have not been taught how to teach their clients how to handle money powerfully. I mean, like, I'm certified as a financial planner - so I know, it's not in my coursework. I've spoken to hundreds of CPAs and asked them if this was in their coursework, and it was not. I don't know how different it may be in the UK, but it's non-existent in the United States. Well, there are 11 states now out of 50 that do require some financial education prior to graduating high school, but I have no idea of what the content of that education may be. And so I struggled with money all my life - bottom line. Even as a certified financial planner, I didn't know the basics, but I researched and I read, and I looked and I found them in the most unusual places. Everything from a book called Rich on any Income, to a 12-Step program called Debtors Anonymous.
Rennie Gabriel 05:09
So eventually, I was able to put it all together. And by age 50, after a couple divorces, and a business failure, I'm remarried for the third, last, final, best time. And I started putting into practice the things that I had learned and the most important is called pay yourself first. Now, SK, can I put you a little bit on the spot?
Rennie Gabriel 05:38
Okay. Could you explain, because a lot of people have heard the expression, pay yourself first, and on the summit I was just on earlier today, I asked the host if he could explain it and he almost did. Most people are aware of it, but can't explain what it means.
You're right, because the book, I think it was The Richest Man in Babylon.
Rennie Gabriel 06:02
It is. That's correct.
Yeah. And you've taken the three steps from there, and one of them is pay yourself first. And I really don't know, if I'm honest with you, what the deep meaning to that is. I don't know if it's about mindset, or I don't know.
Rennie Gabriel 06:20
Yeah, perfect. So I'll tell you. The way I say it is that you treat yourself like you deserve to own some of the money you're earning. And how you practice that is you take a certain percentage, and it doesn't matter where you start, could be 1%, 3, 5, whatever. The Richest Man in Babylon says 10%. So that's a good goal. And you set aside from whatever you're earning, 10% of the money that's coming in, doesn't matter if it's from your business, doesn't matter if it's from consulting, doesn't matter if it's from your paycheck, doesn't make any difference. And you set that aside to keep for the rest of your life. And that money is only used to invest to create the income so you don't have to work if you choose not to.
It's an amazing fact, though, isn't it? I mean, and it's worked throughout the 500 years...
Rennie Gabriel 07:20
Rennie Gabriel 07:24
And you know, that concept will be working when you and I are dust. If it's worked for 5000 years, it's not going to stop working tomorrow?
Well, I've got to say that one of my downfalls is when I started a business. Like for example, consultancy, and you look at the profit that you make and you think, Okay, you take on a larger amount than 10% sometimes. It's just psychological behavior. Psychologically, you think, Oh, I've got a lot more money, then that means I can spend it.
Rennie Gabriel 07:53
Right. Exactly. And the cure to that is that you set up a separate account and put 10% there to actually spend later. And if the car breaks down, the water heater bursts, you want to go on a vacation, you're short the money to pay taxes, you've got it in that other account. Bottom line is, if someone just lives on 80% of what they're earning, it works out beautifully for their whole life.
Rennie Gabriel 08:25
It took me . . . I was going to say it took me 30 years to discover that.
Yeah. I mean, yeah, I mean, this is something really new to me as well, if I'm honest with you. And what I find is that a majority of people are paying, are getting paid paycheck to paycheck.
Rennie Gabriel 08:44
SK 08:45Then they're making it work. But a lot of their money is going on expenses. So how, what would you say to those people?
Rennie Gabriel 08:54
Well, there are three areas that people can look at where they're spending their money, so that they can make choices. The first are the discretionary expenses. Like how much they're paying for satellite TV or screening, streaming services, or entertainment, meals out. They have complete control and choice in the discretionary category. The second are the variable expenses. Utilities can go up and down, petrol, gasoline goes up and down. And the final are the fixed expenses. And people say, I've got my mortgage, I've got my rent. I've got my car payment. These are fixed expenses. Yes, they are. And they can also be changed if someone has the willpower to do it. As an example, I had an assistant many years ago, now many years ago, she was paying $600 a month rent for her apartment. And I said, Well, you should get a two bedroom instead of a one bedroom. She said, That doesn't make any sense. That's 800 a month. I can't afford the 600 a month. Yes. But if you get a roommate, now it's only 400 a month. So even the fixed expenses can be changed. People could sell a larger home and move to a smaller home. It's just the willingness that has to be looked at.
Yeah. And there's, I would say, a mental shift to this.
Rennie Gabriel 10:30
Yeah. And you help with that, don't you with your present courses?
Rennie Gabriel 10:37
Absolutely. I say there are three secrets to the wealthy. And the first one is attitude. And until that is dealt with, then people aren't even going to take advantage of all the knowledge that they have, if their attitude is in the way. And as a matter of fact, I did my TEDx talk, is based on the programming on how we are led to believe it's better to be poor than it is to be wealthy. You get that from the Scripture. You get that from fairy tales. You get that from Hollywood movies. You get that from books. But it's subliminal, people don't realize that's what they're being told.
Yeah, I mean, I did read up on that. I've been doing a lot of research on your website and stuff and the rich and the poor. You know, Robin Hood? Yeah. You've mentioned. Yeah. The thing is, you don't think of yourself as taking it in subconsciously. That's the thing is until you mentioned it, you start thinking, Ah, okay. It just makes you stop all of a sudden.
Rennie Gabriel 11:52
You're being more self-aware.
Rennie Gabriel 11:55
Until it's brought to your awareness, you don't know it's happening. But once it's brought to your awareness, you can see it everywhere. A good example are Hollywood movies. I'll take one of the most popular - Titanic. You've got Jack, who's poor, who's living in the bowels of the ship. And you've got Mary, who's up in the penthouse cabin with her fiance. He's very wealthy. And he's just a horrible person. So people look at, Well wait a second. Jack is poor, but he's happy. The wealthy person has all this money, but he's miserable. He's mean. He's insecure. And people think, Oh, well, I don't want to be wealthy. I don't want to be like him. I don't want to be a nasty person. And I think Warren Buffett said it so well. He says, money just brings out the basic traits in people. If they were jerks before they had money, now they were simply jerks with a billion dollars.
Rennie Gabriel 13:03
And the opposite is true. A good person who becomes wealthy is still a good person. And a jerk who becomes wealthy is still a jerk.
Yeah. So how did you come about discovering your money purpose?
Rennie Gabriel 13:21
By accident. I've always been, you know, charitably-inclined, I just feel, you know, I've always had enough to take care of myself. And even when I wasn't doing well and struggling, we could still give blankets to the poor, or go to a homeless shelter and feed people in a soup kitchen. We could still do those things, even if I didn't have the money to donate to charities.
Yeah. It's very humbling.
Rennie Gabriel 13:54
So now that I have the money, I can do so much more.
Yeah. I think it's amazing what you do. And, you know, especially with the dogs are concerned, you know, you save two lives, like you've mentioned behind you. Yeah. I know that you were in debt at one point in your life.
Rennie Gabriel 14:14
Yes. Several times.
Yeah. Really? So name me one experience where you kind of clawed your way out of that experience.
Rennie Gabriel 14:26
Okay. I'll give you the most recent, which happened 25 years ago. And that was, I'm 50 years of age, divorced for the second time. I have no money, and I'm dating this very lovely woman. And I'm broke. What I did is I used the concept, pay yourself first. I was only earning 5000 a month so I'm not making a lot of money. But I set aside $500 a month. Now, in three years, I saved up $18,000. I'm 53 years of age, and you know, that's really kind of a disappointing savings account for someone at 53. I had credit card debt. And this is very important. Too many people are told, pay off your debt before you invest. And that is the most damaging advice to creating wealth. If I'd have taken that $18,000 and paid off my credit card debt, yes, I would have been debt free. But let me ask you a question, SK. Can I put you on the spot?
Yeah, yeah, go ahead.
Rennie Gabriel 15:35
Okay. Let's make believe you had no debt. You had no credit card debt. You had no mortgages. You had no car loans. No taxes, nothing. You owed no money to anybody. You are completely debt free. That's all I'm telling you. If you had absolutely no debt, would you have financial freedom or would you still have to work for a living?
I still have to work. Absolutely. I still got to live.
Rennie Gabriel 16:04
Yeah, exactly. You still have to buy food, pay utilities. And people think, Oh, if I'm debt free, I have had financial freedom. No. You need to have an income. And the only way the income comes to you is two ways. Either you work for it. Or you have assets that are working for you generating that income.
Rennie Gabriel 16:27
Getting back to what I was saying, if I took that $18,000, and instead of paying off my credit cards with it, my wife had this realtor who said, Rennie you should buy this little piece of income property. It was three units. I said, Robert, I don't have a down payment. AlI I have is $18,000. We're in Los Angeles, that doesn't buy anything. But the realtor said, you know, this is such a good deal, I'll come up with half the downpayment.
Rennie Gabriel 16:55
And my wife said, you know, what, Rennie? I'll come up with 25%. I had 25%. So the three of us bought that property. So I say, wealth creation is a team sport, not a solo sport. So the three of us bought that property. And within a few years, my $18,000 was worth 125,000.
That's significant in four years. Did you know that the property prices were going to go up in that area by that percentage?
Rennie Gabriel 17:28
No, no. But we took action to improve. We bought a property that was mismanaged and had deferred maintenance. But we cleaned it up. We re-landscaped it. We put in new tenants. We increased the rents. And we increased the value of the property. We weren't just looking to, for the values around us to go up. We bought something that we could add value to. And we did that multiple times. And what I did is I borrowed money to make down payments on more apartment buildings. I use debt to create wealth.
Yeah. So you took out the equity from your apartment and then moved it into buying another apartment.
Rennie Gabriel 18:12
Exactly. In the United States, we have a thing called tax deferred exchange. It's section 1031 of the IRS code. And it allows you to, if you sell something and buy something like what you sold, like real estate for real estate, you can move all the money and not pay the taxes.
Yeah, that's really lucky. And it doesn't matter the value of the property that you buy?
Rennie Gabriel 18:40
No, no. Well, it does have to exceed what you're selling. You have to be moving up. And that's what we did. We sold the 3-unit and purchased a 15-unit with all the capital gains. We have a half a million dollar profit on that property. My 18,000 turned into a half a million dollar profit. And now it got rolled into a 15-unit building.
Wow. No, it's amazing. Yeah. So how come everyone else isn't doing it then?
Rennie Gabriel 19:13
Well fear, lack of knowledge, not knowing someone who could do that with them. But like I said, we were doing it with a realtor. He found a good property. He found multiple good properties that had deferred maintenance, and were mismanaged. And I had taken a class at UCLA like 15 years earlier, on how to manage multi-unit properties. And now I'm finally 15 years later able to put it into practice.
Oh, wow. Wow. Okay. That's really great that you like trained yourself and educated yourself.
Rennie Gabriel 19:51
In a field that...
Rennie Gabriel 19:53
So I was, like I said, I was always struggling with money. So I was always looking to how do I do better? I just didn't have the money to do it with.
Yeah, I think the interesting part to this is when the economy goes up and down, and you know, like you've got this cycle when you're going into a recession. Now, no one's saying that we're in a recession. But you could say that we are. And that's when the interest rates are going up. And you know, the mortgage payments are going up.
Rennie Gabriel 20:23
And obviously, back in the 80s, you know, there was a real slump.
Rennie Gabriel 20:28
The banks were bailed out, certainly here by the government.
Rennie Gabriel 20:34
Same thing here.
Same thing there. Okay. Did that affect you at all in any way?
Rennie Gabriel 20:40
No, I'm so glad you asked that. Because in 2008, when the mortgage meltdown occurred, and we had a worldwide recession, we had just purchased this 14-unit building. And it didn't impact us at all, because we weren't over-leveraged, and we had a relationship with our tenants, so they all continued to pay rent. And even if the value of the real estate declined, our rents didn't go down.
Oh, wow. Okay.
Rennie Gabriel 21:15
And everyone could still pay their rent. The only difference that I recall from well, let's see thats, 14 years, 15 years ago, was that instead of renting an apartment that came available within a day or two, it would take two or three weeks.
Rennie Gabriel 21:33
That was the only difference for us.
Yeah, that's amazing. Is it about finding the right area or?
Rennie Gabriel 21:42
Yes. Yes. Always buying in a quality area, and always having tenants who we qualified as being quality people.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting. Yeah. Thanks a lot for sharing that. So really sweet of you to do that. Yeah.
Rennie Gabriel 22:01
You're welcome. So, the backstory is I struggled with money all my life. I spent 30 years trying to figure out how to do things correctly. I finally figured it out, and was able to put it into practice. And so now what I do, is I show other people the same concepts that I applied. And I donate 100% of the profits to charities, because I created a passive income from my investments. Upped my standard of living, our standard of living, my wife and myself, and I can donate the profits to charity.
Yeah, you know, well done. Well done, Rennie. And it's, you know, you're a true testament to people that can have a chance to do what you've done. And, you know, it's great that you're sharing this knowledge out, especially at these times when people are kind of struggling in the economy now. So, what led you to choose the path you ended up taking? Where you solved the debt problem? And why did you go through eight - you mentioned, you were in debt eight times. Why did it take several times?
Rennie Gabriel 23:10
You came out of debt, and then you went back into debt?
Rennie Gabriel 23:13
Yes. Right, exactly. Because I wasn't able to and didn't know the basic principles to handling money effectively, that gets back to what I said is that wealth creation is a team sport. And I'll give you the first example. I was in my 30s. I understood the principle of pay yourself first. I began to do it. In 10 months, I was earning 3000 a month at the time, in 10 months, I saved up $3,000. I'm thinking, Wow, this is so great. And then when it was time to file my taxes, the Internal Revenue Service said I owed $3,000.
Rennie Gabriel 23:52
And all the money I'd just saved for those 10 months, went to the IRS. And I was so dejected, and so down, I stopped paying myself first. Had I been willing to talk to other people and say, Oh, I'm so upset. And this is what happened. Someone could have said to me, Well, yeah, Rennie. If you hadn't saved that money, you'd have had to borrow it to pay the IRS, and then paid interest on top of it. Why not just save more money? And so you're ready for your taxes. But the point is, I was trying to do everything all by myself. Had I been sharing with other people, I would have probably been far better off far younger.
I mean, we've all had, I'm sure we've all had an nasty tax bill come in not expecting it to be so large. Yeah, I have. I have, Rennie. So I totally understand how you feel. But it almost feels like you're on this wheel. Just turning, just running around, running around. To go through it eight times...
Rennie Gabriel 24:59
No, no, three, three.
Rennie Gabriel 25:01
Yeah. Eight years apart. That's where you got the . . .
Eight years apart . . . Okay, fair enough. Yeah. Yeah. When you look back at your goals, for example, who would you say, and if you don't mind sharing this? Do you write down your goals? And, and you know, do you actually achieve your vision? So forth? Or your secret sauce, as they say...
Rennie Gabriel 25:24
Yes, I absolutely did write down my goals. I had a specific process for writing them down. They were written in the present tense, five years in the future, as though that occurred right now. Like, I am doing this. I do have this. I am being interviewed on this program. That is how I wrote the goals. So they were in present tense, five years out in the future.
Yeah. How do you do that though? I mean, you're not there yet. You're not doing the interviews. You're not. But you said, Yeah, I'm doing it. I'm doing it.
Rennie Gabriel 26:00
I'm doing it right now.
Rennie Gabriel 26:02
Because that is how it works. That has your mind follow in lockstep with what you're writing down. It's not like because if you say, I will have, I will have, then it's always in the future that you, you will, have you will, and it never shows up. But if you say I have, that means it's arrived. That means you've accomplished it. And that's what . . . Your mind will believe whatever you tell it. If you tell it I am successful it will believe it. If you tell it, Oh, nothing ever works out for me. It'll make sure that's how things show up.
Yeah, yeah. And then what motivates you throughout the whole process? Are there books that you read? I mean, I think you shared . . .
Rennie Gabriel 26:53
Yes, there are books I read, everything from Napoleon Hill's, Think and Grow Rich, to The Richest Man in Babylon, to Barbara Sher's work, Wishcraft. I mean, yeah, constantly reading books, listening to tape cassette programs, speaking to other people. As an example, I talk about how great my book is. And my book really is great. It's been translated into eight languages. However, I don't care what book it is. There is no book that can do two vital things that are crucial to success. One of them is, it can't interrupt you if you have faulty thinking.
Rennie Gabriel 27:36
If I'm reading a book, and I tell myself, I can't do this, the book can't smack me in the face. That's not true, you can. A book can't do that. A person can. But a book can't do that.
It's how truthful you want to be to yourself, I suppose, yeah.
Rennie Gabriel 27:54
Yeah. And so that requires a human being. And the second thing the book can't do is it can't hold you accountable to what you say you want to accomplish, or what actions you're going to take. So if I write down, I'm going to begin paying myself tomorrow, you know, $10, and you don't do it. The book isn't going to say, Rennie, you said you're going to pay yourself $10 today. Did you do it? No. But a person can do that. So that's why I continue to say wealth creation is a team sport, not a solo sport. I don't care how good the book is. It can't do those two vital things.
Yeah. Yeah. And did you have any mentors or coaches or guides on your journey as well?
Rennie Gabriel 28:40
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I had business coaches. I had coaches in mastermind programs. I had a mentor, who I was with for 10, 12 years till she passed away.
How valuable were they for you in your journey?
Rennie Gabriel 28:59
I don't think I could measure the value. It's been enormous. These are the things, these are the people who held me accountable. These are the people who made me think bigger. These are the people who asked me what my goals were and how I was going to accomplish them.
Wow. Wow. That's a real inspiration, isn't it, that? I mean America is pretty good at, you know, with all these mentoring. It's quite an acceptable thing in your culture, isn't it?
Rennie Gabriel 29:26|
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's really refreshing to hear that, but actually, it's a brilliant investment if you were to take that one. Yeah. Yeah. So we're coming up to a half hour and I wanted to find out, you know, how can people buy your book and, you know, what do you have to offer, you know, anyone out there trying to seek some advice around, you know, handling their finances? Where do they go? Where's your website?
Rennie Gabriel 29:57
I'll make it real easy. The book title is, Wealth On Any Income. The website is wealthonanyincome, and if they put /TEDx, they'll hear my TEDx talk about how we've been programmed to believe it's better to be poor. And the cure is a free gift, which is a 9-Step Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice®, and an explanation of all those 9 steps. And if they want to hear me and me interview guests and talk about business growth, I have a podcast called, Wealth On Any Income.
Rennie Gabriel 30:37
I keep it simple.
Yeah. So you can join that podcast through your website?
Rennie Gabriel 30:44
Yes, it's on my website. It's on Apple, Stitcher, most platforms that people listen to.
Yeah. That's brilliant.
Rennie Gabriel 30:53
But, SK, I really want to thank you for this opportunity. And by the way, the charity that gets the donations and the profits from the work I do, there's a link at the top of my homepage at wealthonanyincome. They can find out more about that specific charity.
Perfect. Yeah, that's great. It's been a pleasure to talk to you. I've got, that's only, I've come to my last question now. So you know, it's been a pleasure. So thanks a lot for taking the time out to meet me. And, you know, to answer all these questions. It's been a real privilege.
Rennie Gabriel 31:26
Thank you, SK.
I admire you the way that you've, you've handled your journey, and the best of luck.
Rennie Gabriel 31:33
Thank you so much, SK. Thank you for the opportunity to be on the show.
Rennie Gabriel 31:40
To all of those who are still listening. If you'd like to know how books, movies and Society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. You'll hear my TEDx talk and can request a free 9-Step Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice® and Philanthropy, and receive a weekly email with tips, techniques, or inspiration around your business or your money. And if you'd like to see how you can increase your wealth, and donate to the causes that touch your heart, please check out our affordable program, Wealth with Purpose. To my listeners, thank you for tuning in. You can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform, and please rate, review and subscribe. And until next week, be prosperous. Bye for now.