What does it mean to achieve financial freedom? Is it being able to provide for our families and not worry about making our next rent or mortgage payment? Is it having sources of passive income that pay the bills whether you work or not ? Is it the ability to focus solely on what you want to do in life, as opposed to what you need to do?
If you’re Justin Donald, it’s all of the above. In addition to being a personal friend of mine for over a decade, Justin is the author of the new book, The Lifestyle Investor: The 10 Commandments of Cash Flow Investing for Passive Income and Financial Freedom, where he introduces readers to a paradigm-shifting mindset when it comes to earning money. He empowers people to stop thinking that money can only come from stress, toil, and time, and shares strategies and principles designed to create real, tangible passive cash flow streams.
If you value building, growing, and protecting your wealth, today’s episode is for you. Justin isn’t just sharing his philosophy when it comes to money, but real-world advice that you can immediately implement to improve your financial situation.
- How lifestyle investing uses money as a vehicle for freedom.
- The steps Justin took while working full-time to create passive income streams.
- How Justin chooses and structures investments to maximize returns and minimize risk.
- Why anyone can become a lifestyle investor.
- The traditional investment advice that Justin finds risky.
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Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. I am your host, Hal Elrod. And today's podcast episode is being released as a bonus episode. It was originally recorded as a regular weekly, Wednesday episode, but given the events of the world right now, given some of the division that we're all facing, I had a message on my heart this morning that I recorded and decided that I wanted to put that in place of the episode tomorrow. So, this is a special bonus episode.
And tomorrow, I'll release that episode on one thing you can do to heal the world. It's really one thing that all of us can do to heal the world, but today, you're going to hear a conversation between me and my good friend, Justin Donald, his new book, The Lifestyle Investor: The 10 Commandments of Cash Flow Investing for Passive Income and Financial Freedom comes out today on Amazon. So, I highly encourage you to check out that book.
If building your wealth, growing your wealth, protecting your wealth is important to you, then I really think you will get a lot out of the episode today and head over to justindonald.com/freebook, that is justindonald.com/freebook to pick up a copy of Justin's book and I guess he's given away for free. He's doing some special promotions and bonuses and incentives. So, you want to take advantage of that.
And then be sure to tune back in tomorrow for the episode on one thing you can do to heal the world, but until then, I introduce you to my good friend, the one and only author of The Lifestyle Investor, Justin Donald. Enjoy.
Hal Elrod: Justin Donald, long time, no see, brother.
Justin Donald: I know, we actually were just hanging out last night with Dave Chappelle.
Hal Elrod: I don't know that I can say we were hanging out with Dave Chappelle, we were at his show.
Justin Donald: Yeah, right.
Hal Elrod: I like the way it sounds better though to be hanging out with Dave Chappelle.
Justin Donald: Well, I'll tell you what, I laughed about as hard as I have in a really long time.
Hal Elrod: Dave actually has a unique ability to make you feel like you are hanging out with him when you're watching his show, right? It doesn't feel like he's projecting comedy onto you as the audience. It's like he's having a conversation with you.
Justin Donald: Totally. We just had a blast, man.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, good times with him. So, you've got a new book coming out, The Lifestyle Investor: The 10 Commandments of Cash Flow Investing for Passive Income and Financial Freedom, and I want to be very transparent for you and for my audience that I do not consider myself to be a very financially savvy individual. I've got the basics down, but nowhere near the realm that you're in and I think I speak for a good amount of my audience, this is not a financial focus podcast.
So, with that, today's going to be as much for me as it is for the audience. And what I really want, Justin, is for people listening, including me to walk away today with advice that we can immediately implement to improve our financial situation.
Justin Donald: I love it. I think that's fantastic.
Hal Elrod: All right. So, your book is called The Lifestyle Investor, let's start there, I like the sound of that, but what in the heck is a lifestyle investor? And how do you become one?
Justin Donald: Yeah, so lifestyle investor is just someone that makes a conscious effort to stop living a life based on the demands of wants or income that's earned from a job, but it comes from a place where income is derived from investments. So, instead of having to work, someone has that choice of getting to work or having the opportunity to work, but it's on the things that they want to work on and it's being able to take time off whenever they want to take time off. It's truly the idea, when I coined that term, it was I wanted the income to encapsulate so much more than just money or financial, I wanted it to be true wealth, meaning touching other aspects of health and relationships and family.
And to me, having the lifestyle I desire means I can put my time and energy into the people and the experiences that are most meaningful in my life. And I just don't want to be held back by a job because of the financial aspect of it or because of the time aspect of it. I just wanted independence of my time and I wanted to buy my time back and truly have freedom.
Hal Elrod: Got it. I love the definition. So, it's really using money as a vehicle for freedom.
Justin Donald: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: I think a lot of us get caught up in making money for the sake of making money and how much do I make? And is it enough? And do I find it right? And I think it becomes a really stressful pursuit. We've known each other for over a decade and become really close in the last couple years since we moved to Austin. Talk about how you made the transition because of your background, you rose up as one of the top managers, not just managers, but you were a division manager?
Justin Donald: Correct, yeah.
Hal Elrod: So, you were operating, running an organization with a bunch of other managers that you were leading, you were leading sales organizations in the Cutco company. How did you transition? Like just talk about kind of how you went from, because you had a job essentially and maybe, that was part of the transition is turning that job into more of a passive pursuit, I don't know. So, talk about what was that like? What world did you come from? And how did you transition into what you're doing now?
Justin Donald: Yeah, great question, Hal, and obviously, you and I had a great experience with the Cutco organization and we just learned some fundamental skills and foundational principles that have helped us really excel in other areas of our life and even professionally when we are ready to kind of move to that next chapter. And for me, I knew that it was a placeholder. It was great while it was great. And when it wasn't great, I knew that a transition needed to take place.
And so, I always envisioned a situation where I would work hard, I would make the income that I could make, I would live a lifestyle that was beneath my means or beneath what I could afford to live. So, I had extra money that I was saving every single week, every single month, that could then go into investments that produce cash flow. And slowly but surely, that cash flow just kind of grew and grew. It grew, one, because I helped the investment get better. I added value to it. And secondly, it grew because every time I made more money from my job, I would invest a portion of that into another income generating asset.
And so, over time, the passive income was able to first, cover my bare minimum expenses, mortgage, utilities, food, all the things that we needed as a family to survive. Then, eventually, it covered, I mean, even before that, it covered my wife's salary. So, as a teacher, she was making about $36,000 a year. So, step one was, how do I cover that with passive income? Step two, then was, how do I cover my bare necessities for us as a family? And then, step number three was really, how do I create and cover the current lifestyle that I have today with passive income, so they don't have to work, I get to work, I can choose where to work, and how long to work? And what are the topics that I'm most interested in? And who are the people I'm most interested in working with?
Hal Elrod: Beautiful. So, I want to ask in a second what your, or actually, let's do it right now. What was the first income stream that you brought into your world when you were working?
Justin Donald: Well, the first one that I brought in, was not a successful one. The first one was my primary residence. I bought a condo in Chicago in Lincoln Park and it was a great place to live. Well, fortunately and unfortunately, I had an opportunity within a couple of months of buying the place to have a promotion and move to another state for the Cutco organization. And so, what ended up happening is I had this great place that I loved, I had a roommate and between what I was earning and what my roommate was paying, it wasn't too much of an out of pocket. Now, once I moved out and I had to have two renters originally and then eventually, I ended up just getting one renter in there, it was really hard to cash flow that thing.
So, the bottom line is it didn't cash flow, it didn't make money. I bought it in the peak at about the time where prices were the highest. [inaudible 07:05]. So, there was an HOA, condo fee, I had another crazy situation, I was the top unit of this midrise building and the roof leaked and just totally damaged my unit, but because of the rules and the bylaws and a bunch of different things, insurance and how that works, I ended up being out of pocket on that. My insurance didn't cover it, the homeowners association didn't cover it, so I had to pay for it.
And so, that was an experience where I said, Okay, this didn't work out as planned. I think that if I'm going to have rental property, it needs to be from the standpoint of it being rental property from day one, not from it being a place that I was going to live in, and then turn into a rental property. So, I learned a tough lesson there, but that lesson ultimately ended up being one of the best things that ever happened because I didn't dabble anymore with assets, they don't cash flow. I knew that day one, they needed to cash flow. And I then invested in my very first mobile home park and that cash flowed day one and it replaced my wife's income day one, or just, I mean, barely, basically, her after-tax income, it almost covered that.
Hal Elrod: Got it. I love hearing, by the way, it's so great. You see someone that's financially free and you go, Oh, you didn't just get it right the first time, right? You tried and you failed and you had to figure it out and pivot and keep going forward. So, the first was you had your residence that you tried to rent out wasn't successful. So, then the first profitable passive cash flowing investment was a mobile home park, yes?
Justin Donald: Correct, yeah. And it was funny because at first, I had a friend, we have a mutual friend, actually, who introduced me to this whole idea. And I remember thinking to myself, that does not sound like a good investment. I don't know why he's doing that, but I watched him and I'm a real good copycat, Hal. I mean, there's a lot of stuff I don't come up with myself because that's not my strength, my strength is to take a program or an idea and just totally mimic and copy whoever is best in class at it, until I feel like I've got a good foundation. And once I have a good foundation, then I feel like I can have a little bit of nuance or I can innovate in areas where I feel like it might make sense to innovate.
And so, that's what I did. I modeled my friend, I saw he had success. And I said, Well, if he can do it, I can do it. There's nothing about him that makes him special to the point that I couldn't replicate it. He's a hard worker, I can be a hard worker. He learned the numbers. I could learn the numbers. He set a criteria for what it would need to look like for him to be able to purchase one of these properties and I could do that and I could just model his.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, I love that. I think it's one of the most important strategies for success, is just to model, is just to look at, hey, if another human being has achieved a result, that's evidence that I can achieve it, too, if I simply follow in their footsteps and do what they do, which is what I love about books, is that you can take someone's decades of experience that they spent a lot of time condensing into a couple 100 pages that you can read in a few weeks. I love that.
So, your first was going to a mobile home, buying a mobile home park. And by the way, if somebody wants to, like go down, well, two questions for you, one, why? What is appealing about mobile home parks? And this is one answer I kind of know because I've talked to you about this, but what's appealing about mobile home parks? And if somebody's interested now, where would they go to learn how to buy a mobile home park, if they don't, other than working with you, obviously, or reading your book?
Justin Donald: Sure, yeah, mobile home parks are probably the easiest asset class cash flowing real estate asset class to own because the amount of time that you spend actively doing that business is much less than everything else because it's just a low maintenance business. Generally, the residents own their own home or you buy properties if that is the case. And so, they are in charge of maintaining it. And all you really have to do is maintain the utilities to their home. So, making sure that there's water and sewer and electric, that all goes to the home, but from there, it's just not a high cost type of real estate asset class, it's a low time intensive real estate asset class, you can hire an onsite manager to do most of the work in terms of rent collecting or you can even just automate it based on today's technology.
Additionally, you can buy them at the highest cap rate. I'm still buying parks that are 10, 11, 12, 13 caps. And what that means for those that don't understand a cap rate or a capitalization rate, the best way to describe it is, let's say that you are buying a property in 100% cash, a cap rate would be your return on that money in a year. So, if I buy something at a 10 cap, it means I'm going to earn a 10% return if I had bought it in cash, in full. And it's one of the most important metrics to measure in investment, the two main ones that you would use for real estate would be a cap rate and a cash-on-cash return.
And a cash-on-cash return just simply measures, what is the return that I got on my investment of just the dollars I put in? Meaning, if you're going to use a bank, and you only have to put 20% down, well, that 20%, whatever that dollar amount is, 10,000, 50,000, 100,000, it's the return on those dollars. So, those are kind of your two big numbers that you make most real estate decisions on and if you understand those, I mean, that's real estate for you. There's a lot of other details you could get into, but those are the two most important details.
Hal Elrod: And so, I'm curious, how old were you when you bought that first park? And how much did it cost? And we won't go too deep into this but a couple more questions on it.
Justin Donald: Yeah, sure. So, the first park that I bought, let's see, it ended up being a 15% down payment. So, that first park was, I believe $425,000 and I put down $65,000 to buy it. And I did that, I believe, at 27 years old.
Hal Elrod: Wow. And so, that cash flowed roughly 36 grand a year, is that right?
Justin Donald: Well, 36 grand is what my wife made prior, that was her gross income. So, once you take taxes out, it’s probably closer to like 28,000.
Hal Elrod: But it was enough to replace her income?
Justin Donald: It was. It was just under that that we returned… So, we got a 36% cash-on-cash return which is really exciting. I mean, most people are excited with like a 10% or 15% cash-on-cash return. And so, we're getting over double, maybe triple what a real estate investor would be excited about and right out of the gates, right on our first real investment.
Hal Elrod: Fantastic. And you’re on how many parks now?
Justin Donald: So, now, we own five parks. So, we've bought and sold parks and we've bought and held parks but currently, we have five in our portfolio, about 500 units.
Hal Elrod: Got it, okay. And just to be clear, give us a high-level overview real quick because, for someone that's listening that this isn't your one deal, you're not just a mobile home park investor, that's one of your avenues, what else do you invest in?
Justin Donald: Well, what happened with the mobile home parks, I'm so glad I started there because it created so much cash flow, that not only was I able to cover my lifestyle expenses, but it gave me additional cash flow above and beyond it that I was able to reinvest into other opportunities. And so, some of the things that I love to invest in are operating companies. If I believe that a company has a strategic advantage or I can negotiate a really good set of terms that is a win-win for both me as an investor, but also the owner of the business, then there are really cool ways to be able to earn cash flow on a business to be able to earn a percentage of the revenue that comes in or a percentage of profit that comes in or just loan a company money with an interest rate that you're going to get for a set period of time.
And that brings me to another type of investment that I love which would be debt investing. So, instead of investing in equity, where you own shares or equity in a company, you would instead be a debt investor and you'd basically have a debt obligation that they would have to fulfill that becomes the priority. In a case where a company doesn't do well, it becomes the first priority to get paid back before the equity investors. So, there's incentive being on the debt side because if anything goes wrong, you're first to get paid and if you structure it the right way, you really shouldn't lose money. So, those are a couple of great ways that I've been able to build my wealth and create more cash flow, just from the cash flow that I already started with.
Hal Elrod: Beautiful. I want to mention a couple things and then, I want to break it down to, can anybody do this? Can anybody become a lifestyle investor? But what I want to mention is just tying in my own experience, so I've said this for a while, no, I don't say it often on the podcast, but I bring this up occasionally, I've written about it on entrepreneur.com, that creating multiple sources of income and ideally, multiple sources of passive income is arguably the single most important thing that you can do in your life to be a lifestyle investor for financial freedom. And you and I have done that in very different ways. We have different light.
And now, actually, you're modeling a lot of the ways. Now, you've got a book coming out, you've got an online course coming out, you had a coaching program coming out, but for me, my passive income sources are, I've got 13 books and each book is like owning a property. Actually, I had this conversation with a friend David Osborn. I'm like, hey, I don't really want to invest in real estate, like, I'm just not interested in it. I go, can I just keep writing books, and each book is basically like having a rental property and you looked at the numbers, he was like, wow, I never thought of it that way. That's a good way to look at it.
And then doing online courses and we've done live events and different things, so having multiple streams of income so that you're never dependent on a single source. And to me and I don't mean this to come off the wrong way, but in some ways, I felt like that was even irresponsible because in 2008, when I had one source of income, I was coaching, the economy crashed, lost over half my clients, couldn't pay the mortgage. And I went, never again, like never again will I rely on one source of income because then, I'm exposed. If you have a job and that's all your income comes from your job and then you get laid off, like millions of Americans have been in the last six months, well, now you're in trouble, but if you get laid off, but you've got three other things going on the side, now you can pour more time and energy into those things, grow those as sources of income, and now you're okay.
So, with that, I just want people to understand that it's not right, you invest in a lot of different things that I know nothing about, like I don't know your world. And then, I have my way of doing it. So, I want to ask just a real simple question, but for anybody listening, can anyone become a lifestyle investor? Or do they need to come from like, your background and my background? We both came from a sales background. Is that necessary? Or can anybody listening become a lifestyle investor?
Justin Donald: Anyone listening can become a lifestyle investor. It's funny, you brought up David Osborn because I literally just interviewed him, like just this last hour, before we started talking on my podcast, in The Lifestyle Investor. And we were talking about this exact topic of what it takes to be successful as an investor and what the nuance of lifestyle investor really means. And so, the answer is for sure, yes. The people that can succeed at this or people that choose to be a student of whatever it is that they need to learn to do it.
So, you don't have to have a certain background. I don't know that being a sales guy, like that, helped me be a better investor. Did it help me have confidence in talking to people? Sure. I don't know that you need that to be a good investor, I think that there are ways that that can make you a good investor. It's not like my background is all this financial stuff, either. I mean, I studied finance in school, but I don't use anything that I’d studied. I mean, it's almost like it was a foreign subject. It's just what I learned and what I do today, they're two different things, not to mention, a lot of what I learned is conditioned by what Wall Street wants to feed the education system. And the people that are in positions of power and influence have a message that they send, where they say, Hey, we want your money, we're going to give you this good return and we're going to sell you on why you should invest your money with us.
And I actually don't think that that in most cases, serves people really well, especially when it's high-fee products and especially when it's a nest egg approach of having all of your assets accumulate in one place in the stock market, where an advisor who's not even a fiduciary, meaning he doesn't have to have your best interest in mind, he or she, and they can make decisions based on the commissions that they make and what's best for them, that this is kind of the norm. And that, to me, is really risky.
I think the ups and downs of the stock market is risky in its own because let's say that you want to retire and you wanted to retire in March of this year when the stock market crashed, that would have been a really painful time to retire and not enough time to be able to earn your money back. And people think that just because the stock market returned to the number that it was at before, that you've made all your money back, but if you run the math and run the numbers, that's not how it works. So, if you have $100,000 in the stock market and the stock market goes down by 30% and then it comes back up by 30%, it doesn't mean that you're back to a net zero, you lost money. So, there are some manipulations out there that I think most people fall in the trap of, because they've never learned or had a financial education to say anything other than the conventional way of investing.
Hal Elrod: I want to break down those numbers real quick for anybody listening, so what example Justin just gave, if you lose 30% in the stock market, now you're at $70,000. If you make 30% on that $70,000 which is $21,000, so now you're at $91,000, just for people to really get that math, because you're absolutely right. And I want to ask you that, what are some of the other issues with conventional investing? What most popular 401(k)’s in the stock market in general, qualified plans, these traditional investment products that like you said are, if you're going to financial education school, traditional education, you're being taught to sold these products that benefit the guys that are funding the school much like Big Pharma in the medical system which is another conversation, so what are some of the issues with some of these conventional investing strategies?
Justin Donald: Well, one of them is the example you just gave, there's something called an average rate of return and this is what your advisors typically share. And by the way, not all advisors are bad. There are plenty of advisors out there that care about their clients and do what's best for them, but there are also plenty that don't. And so, I think it's important to double check that and to really ask the tough questions, but the example you just gave would be an example of an average rate of return. Someone might say, Oh, yeah, on average, your return was 10%. Well, that doesn't mean that you earn 10% because if the market’s high and the market’s low, it doesn't balance out, like the average could be 10%, but your actual return is different.
So, I don't care about an average rate of return because that's not going to produce the real dollar amount that exists. So, in the example that Hal just gave, where it was $100,000 down to 70,000, so it was 30%, but then you grew 30% more, so you had a negative 30 and a plus 30. So, the average rate of return is 0%, but the actual rate of return is negative 9%, it’s 91,000 of 100,000. So, that's an example where it looks like on average, you broke even, no big deal, but you didn't, you lost money. Also, that I have big issues with the fees that exist in a 401(k) or the highest fees out there. I mean, I would ask today, whoever your employer is, like what is your fee structure because most are 3% to 4% which is abnormally high. Even mutual funds are generally like 2.5% to 3.5%, they're a little bit less, they can be the same, but they're often a little less, but even that's really high.
And then, here's another crazy stat for you. So, the SPIVA, let's call it a data driven capture of kind of what's happened over the last 15 years, it's one resource you can use to find out what really happened over the last 15 years. And the newest report that came out for a year-end 2019 said that in the last 15 years, 95% of financial advisors who make a fee on their client’s money, so 95% of managed accounts did worse than if you just invested in an index, like the S&P 500 which are the collection of the 500 biggest companies. So, not only did they perform worse, but you paid 2%, 3%, 4% in fees, whereas if you did it yourself and you just went to TD Ameritrade or any of these other brokerage sites, you could buy into these indexes at the lowest cost possible, 0.5%, 0.6%, the lowest amount to have access to this type of exposure and you're going to get better results.
So, it's absolutely crazy and most people don't know that. So, these are just a few examples of following traditional investment advice and, Hal, I don't think that it is best for most people, I also don't know that you want all your eggs in one basket. I think that's risky. I think there should be exposure in a lot of different asset classes.
Hal Elrod: What about timing the market? Right now, the market is the highest it's ever been in the history of the market and that is what they would call a bubble and leads itself to burst. And so, any thoughts you have on the stock market, like if somebody has money right now in a 401(k), so for me, for example, I realize the market’s going crazy, this can't last forever. And then, actually, when COVID hit and it started to burst, I went shoot because I hadn't taken it out yet and I was kicking myself and then I got proactive right away, but so right now, I'm in most of the cash, I've taken most of it, my risk is very limited, wait for the market to crash again.
If somebody has a 401(k) or they've got money in stocks or they're trying to time the market, like what are your thoughts on where the market’s at right now? And I know you're not giving, this isn't certified financial advice [inaudible 27:34] do this or do that, but what are your general thoughts on timing the market, specific to where we're at right now?
Justin Donald: Well, I think since we're all emotional creatures, human beings are just not good at making these types of decisions. And generally, when things are high, people want to buy more, when things are low, people are scared to buy. And so, you actually want to do the opposite of what your intuition tells you or what your gut, what your feelings tell you. So, a lot of people don't know that you can actually take your money that's in qualified plans and you can self-direct it and you can invest it yourself and other things. You don't have to have it managed by people that are charging really high fees.
So, could it make sense to take some exposure off the table? Sure. And are there other things that you can invest it in? Without a doubt. Any time that the market is at a high, I like to capitalize on the profits that I've made and any time that it's at a low, I like to be able to edge in. And when I invest in the market, I'm not a day trader, I'm not trying to make money on this one exchange over a short period of time. I'm going to invest over the long haul, I do think over the long haul. The stock market is a good place to invest, I just think it would be better to do it with a smaller percentage or smaller allocation of someone's total net worth. And I also think it's better to do once you have cash flow covering your expenses and then you can take the additional cash flow as investment for it. So, that to me, just feels a lot better, a lot safer, a lot more de-risk. So, I think that there are a lot of different ways to skin a cat, but that would be one of them and that's kind of how I subscribe to it personally.
Hal Elrod: Gotcha. I know you're working with a lot of clients right now, in groups, one on one, helping them invest, become a “lifestyle investor.” Now, give like a story, tell us about one or two of your clients and how you've helped them to become a lifestyle investor.
Justin Donald: Yeah, so I've got different tiers. So, I take on anywhere from four to six kind of high net worth individuals on a one-on-one basis and we do a deep dive. And the goal is to help create a situation where they have really a good cash flow coming and that they have some good diversification. And I love alternative investments. And so, I spent a lot of my time learning and exploring that. So, that would be investments other than stocks and bonds. And so, I'm a big fan of real estate, I'm a big fan of these debt instruments that I've talked about, I'm a big fan of operating companies and private equity. And so, these are just some examples of things that I would go through with them.
And from there, it's such a small group that I work with because my goal is not to scale that business, I just love it and I love helping people that can play the game of investing at a high level. And so, I'm going to spend some time with them. Then, I've got a mastermind and the mastermind is more geared towards a group approach. So, I'm not getting into everyone's numbers and financials and kind of wealth on a detailed level, but I am giving overall strategies and philosophies to investing and offering different investments that I have exposure to, that most people don't have exposure to. I've got an investor's club that we do regular calls with, and that's fun. And then, we've got an online course for people that are maybe just trying to get their foot in the door and say, Hey, I don't know all the details. I'm still new, I'm learning, but I want to learn, I'm eager to learn. And so, that's at a much lower price point that I think most people could pull the trigger on if they were in a place where they wanted to do that.
Hal Elrod: Got it. All right. And any specific stories of clients that you've helped to become a lifestyle investor?
Justin Donald: Sure. Yeah, I mean, one of my favorite clients that I work with came to me. At first, he was kind of apprehensive, he's like, I know I need to learn, I know I need to be educated on exactly what to do here. He's a very successful entrepreneur, had a big exit, sold his company, has an investment in another company that is likely going to be even bigger, but he has a pretty expensive lifestyle. And it's expensive because he had a business that cash flowed a lot and allowed him to afford that lifestyle, but the moment he sold that business, all that income went away.
And so, now, to afford his lifestyle, he would have to be drawing upon the principle. And if he keeps drawing down the principle of what he made selling his business, he's eventually going to go to zero. And he recognizes that. And so, we are working together, it's a year-long agreement and my goal is to teach him how to fish. My goal isn't to just help people invest money, my goal is to help them understand what they should be looking for.
And so, this private client of mine, he and I have become great friends and the banter that we have back and forth is just so fun and it's spectacular, but he's done double-digit deals and has easily made back what it costs him to invest with me. And he did so in a really quick period of time. And so, everything from here now is gravy, he's making extra returns on each investment, he's able to do stuff long term, he's got some short-term protections, but he's got the education for the rest of his life. And I love that he was able to see the big picture. Because if you're going to coach with me one on one, that's not cheap, but the value of it long term is tremendous.
Hal Elrod: Gotcha. All right. So, I know you have your first book coming out, this is a long-term dream. I have seen you over the past 6 to 12 months just writing, writing, writing nonstop. I'm pumped for this. So, the book is The Lifestyle Investor, can you tell us what's the book about? Who's it for? And what's it about?
Justin Donald: Yeah, so the subtitle of it really sums it up. It's the 10 Commandments of Cash Flow Investing for Passive Income and Financial Freedom. And so, what are the 10 commandments? The 10 commandments are my 10 criteria that I have for whether or not I make an investment. So, it's kind of like my guiding principles of, do I invest or do I not? My goal was to get out of a place of making emotional investments and saying, Oh, this sounds good, this feels good. Oh, I really like this person, I think they're going to do a good job. I don't want to make decisions like that. It's too subjective.
So, I created this core criteria based on over 100 different investments that I've done that model these and I was able to kind of extrapolate that this is what I look for. And so, at first, it was more at a subconscious level and then, in the process of writing this book, it's kind of like what you've said, you just have all these realizations and so, I mean, I'm modeling you here, I've seen you for years writing a book and the process that you've done to do it and some of the major ahas that you've had because of self-discovery and I feel like I'm on that journey. Thanks to a lot of your leadership there, Hal.
And so, it's been neat, just kind of laying out what it really looks like inside of a book and I'm really proud of the work that I've done and I know that it can do a lot to help people, especially those that are kind of tired of a rigged game. The current way of investing, it's a rigged system, Wall Street wins and then you may or may not win. And that's just unacceptable to me. I want to create something that is not based on how to help others win, but it's how to help individual investors prosper and flourish because they're taking care of their own financial needs in a more safe and secure way.
Hal Elrod: I love that man. I can't wait to read this book personally. I know you, you're one of my best friends. And I know, first of all, your heart, I know how spiritual you are. I know your dedication to your family and your dedication to integrity. And so, that one beautiful thing is that when you're reading a financial book, sometimes you don't know who's this really for? Is it really for me? Is it really for the guy that wrote it?
And I know this comes from a really pure place and I love it because you're at such a high level now of investing. And I know this is designed to take the average person or someone who is, that's the beauty of this, is I think that, we've had a lot of conversations about what's in this book and knowing that whether you are literally a novice and just want to become a lifestyle investor or you're already an investor and you want to take it to the next level, I think this book is for you. So, I know you're giving away the book, you're doing like a free plus shipping deal, where do people get the book from?
Justin Donald: Yeah, so they can go to justindonald.com. There's a pretty link for it, but just to keep it all simple, just justindonald.com and you can kind of navigate to the book tab on there. And yeah, there's definitely a bunch of different opportunities there. There's a ton of free resources on the website, as well. You can get added to my email list if you'd like, I've got all kinds of fun things that I send out, an investor's club, but even something as simple as an online course, if you're really serious about growing your own financial education, that's available as well, but yeah, we're doing a nice giveaway on the book, they're at justindonald.com.
Hal Elrod: Awesome, brother. Well, everybody listening, the book is The Lifestyle Investor: The 10 Commandments of Cash Flow Investing for Passive Income and Financial Freedom. And I don't know about you, but having the freedom to live your life on your terms and not be restricted by your financial situation to where you can't spend as much time with your family or you can't focus on your health or you can't enjoy your life the way that I think we all deserve to, those barriers, I think Justin's book will help remove those for you and for all of us. So, Justin, thanks for the work you're doing, man. I really appreciate you.
Justin Donald: Oh, thanks, Hal. Thanks for having me on. Thanks for your friendship and your support. And I'm just excited to get this out in the world because I think it can make a huge change and impact for the better.
Hal Elrod: Awesome, everybody go to justindonald.com, get the book. And I love you all. I'll see you next week.
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