This week, Dr. Forrest Bryant interviews Carl Fischer of CAMAPLAN.
Books mentioned in this Podcast:
The following is a transcript of the podcast audio.
FB: Hello everybody this is Dr. Forrest Bryant with the High Speed podcast and we are very excited today to have our special guest on, Carl Fisher with CAMAPLAN. How are you doing today, Carl?
CF: Hey! I’m doing great, Forrest! Thanks a lot for inviting me.
FB: Well I’m so excited about having you on. We’re going to talk about one of my favorite things and I think it’s one of your favorite things. We’re going to hit self-directed IRA accounts and some other pearls and tips and gems along the way but if you are tuning in, thank you for listening to the High Speed podcast sponsored by High Speed Alliance. We are doing this to help our members and listeners gain freedom and legacy through mastering their business, finances, lifestyle and family. Thank you for listening, we’ve got a lot of really, really good stuff for you today. Let’s just jump right on into it, Carl. Give us a little bit of your background and tell us a little bit about CAMAPLAN.
CF: Sure! I’m the oldest of 12 kids. I used to launch rockets at Kennedy Space Center. I went to Cornell University and met my wife at the Space Center. We went on to have 4 children and I’ve got 4 grandkids right now and a 5th too at the end of the month, you know in 2 weeks, another grandson. So I’m pretty excited about that. I like to hunt, fish, and have a good time as you well know doing those things as well as helping people increase their net worth and cash flow now and in the future.
FB: We’ve got a lot in common don’t we, Carl?
CF: We do and that’s probably why we’re together you know
FB: Love it!
CF: So I’ll tell you a little bit about CAMAPLAN and you know Self Directed IRA Company and how it happened and also it ties in a little bit with the family. My mom and dad were in Real Estate. Their moms and dads were in real estate. So it’s kind of been a family heirloom or in the family DNA if you want to talk about it. My dad died fairly young at 60 years old. I took a leave of absence from my job at the Space Center and went down and helped my mom. I found out there was a note that had defaulted and was sitting there 28% return I needed to pay it off so I went on into the newspaper and found the classifieds. Because the estate wasn’t settled at this point so it’s a little bit tough to get a loan and I found a piece of property that he had, you know it’s a nice property. It was a 30% loan devalue and the guy put the mortgage on it a couple of days and charged me 12% so I brought the rate down from 28% to 12% felt really good about that, stop the bleeding. I finish off the estate paper work, got everything under control, called him back up in about 11 months and said “hey I’ll let you keep this loan if you drop the rate from 12% to 7% because I could refinance it at 6%. I just don’t want to go through the hassle.” He said “no I get 12% – 18%, you only got 12% because it was a great help at the time” and I said “yeah I know but now you have to find somebody else to put in there, you have to make sure he’s going to pay and you won’t foreclose you know”, he says “no I was hoping to foreclose on you, that was the main reason I gave the loan, I wanted the property and it would have been a great return so and it’s only going to take me a few minutes to get another loan out there on the street that’s going to be higher than 12% so go ahead and pay me off”. That kind of opened up my eyes. I was taught the worse thing is you should have to foreclose on somebody and he taught me “hey, the best thing you can do is foreclose on somebody” and the reason I say that it’s because he lent that money from his IRA so I said “that’s interesting I paid him back.” I called the people up then when I called them they said “you can’t call here this isn’t for you” and I said “you don’t even know me you know except for the fact that I borrowed money” and he said “yeah, but we don’t do this for everybody please don’t call back” so you know then I called the IRS and find out a little story up there and I heard one of them said “yeah, there’s something about it but we don’t know much about it” so now it’s really got me intrigued I figured out I could make a lot more money doing that than working at the Space Center and man Space Launch was going down and as that happened I came upon the internet, was coming in then when it was all getting started you know in the mid 90’s and found out about self directed IRAs. I started dealing it like I said large family had lot of friends at the Space Center so I started dealing it there then they said open up a company and I couldn’t do the back and finance staff in the website but my sister just graduated college and like she was doing the investing too and so she said well I’ll help you do it so CAMAPLAN was born at that point in time and we’ve never look back and you know like I said I’m an engineer and scientist, I’m not very good at selling but it’s a great product so we’re successful in spite of ourselves.
FB: Carl, I love that story I’ve heard it a few times and it just there’s so many lessons that you can take from your acuity and seeing and having open eyes and realizing just the serendipity that happened to you and that you were able to look at that situation and see this private lender who’s lending out of his IRA and say I wanna learn how to do that and not only learn how to do it but it change the trajectory of your life and created a company that you are able to help so many people with now so it’s I love it. What year approximately was that when you kind of had that “Eureka! Aha! Moment”?
CF: Well that was around 1995 when that happened and I started trying to find out a lot of information and everybody I talk to basically said “hey, you don’t want to do this to run off with your money” and they’ll do you know “it’s hard to go to Aruba you can’t protect it, you know it’s complicated, I’m not even sure it’s legal” so it did take me a couple of 2 years to really get into it then I ran a test case I called it toe dipping and I lent some money to my friend and he built a bay onto his shop and then paid me back.
FB: Wow! so some of those stereotypes are still out there, aren’t they? Yeah, this is not what we are talking about, the mainstream investor out there still doesn’t know about this things, right?
CF: Right! Hey, Forrest can we take one break here? I’ve got a flood at my house.
FB: Yes, hang on a second. Let me… I can pause the recording for just a second. Alright, let’s see…
FB: Okay, we are recording we are back online and here we go. Okay Carl so let’s just talk about you know so many people still don’t know about self direction so you know let’s kind of go from a high level view here. Tell us a little bit about what is self direction and what types of accounts can you have in a self directed IRA custodian like yourself a company that does what you do. You know how does it differ from a traditional IRA, for instance a traditional type of retirement plan and what types of accounts can you open there?
CF: Yeah I know, that’s a great question. Self direction the way we understand it really has two diversity and gives you more robust plan but the difference between us and let’s say vanguard or fidelity is that we allow you to invest in anything that you want, they allow you to invest in anything they sell okay CAMAPLAN doesn’t sell any assets and primarily their assets are stocks, bonds, mutual funds and CDs which basically paints you into a corner in my opinion. They have accounts that you can self direct the same as we do the IRS doesn’t make any distinction between accounts that can be self directed and which ones can’t but Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, Simple Business IRAs, Sep IRAs can all be self directed, of course I like the tax free accounts versus the tax deferred accounts, 401 case, they can have solo 401 case, they can have 4 solo 401 case.
FB: Okay so Carl, you know a lot of those misconceptions, they’re still out there, a lot of people… really on mainstream investors they still don’t… you know they still don’t know about some of this self direction and how it differs from traditional investing so you know just on a high level how does Camaplan or self directed custodian how does it differ from you know any of the other retirement plans or IRA types of they can be set up?
CF: Great question Forrest, I appreciate that. The main thing that makes Camaplan different is we don’t sell any assets and we allow individuals to buy pretty much anything that they want except life insurance and collectibles. If you talk about self direction to the people you’re talking about, the brokerage houses, fidelity, vanguards and all else etc., they let you self direct but only self direct into what they sell so they make a really nice niche for us anybody that wants to buy real estate or other alternative assets have that capability to do that with us you know including real precious metals of those the ETFs and things like that so self direction is great from a robust strong IRA and the fact that you can really diversify it and you can pick things that you’re good at investing where your knowledge is and not everybody is good in stocks and bonds you know and I’m one like I said a little earlier I have real estate in my DNA so when I can get tax free or tax deferred real estate it’s a real boon to my net worth. You can have Roth accounts or Traditional IRAs that can be self directed. You can have business IRAs such as Seps and Samples be self directed. You can have Spousal IRAs or Children Custodial IRAs that can be self directed. Solo 401 Case, Group 401 Case, Defined Benefit Plans, my favorite out there is Health Savings Accounts and those are the only ones that are tax deductable going in and tax free coming out from medical expenses and they can be used at anytime in your life when you need them so there’s quite a few things that you, quite a few accounts you can utilize for self direction and even put together and join together to make a larger investment as an example and bring smaller accounts into different investments that require additional money.
FB: Yeah, that’s fantastic and I love the distinction you made you know there’s such a misperception a lot of people say when you bring out self direction, “oh yeah I’m self directed I can pick whatever stock or whatever mutual fund, it’s self directed but we’re talking about something totally different here
CF: so I call that “you got to pick from the menu”
FB: yeah exactly, exactly! Well as you know I’m a big fan and so let’s go a little bit deeper on that so what types of investments do you see, we talked about, no collectibles, no life insurance and we said real estate and metals but let’s go down a little bit deeper on there so what do you see some of your investors in Camaplan, what types of investments do you see them holding?
CF: Well you know when you say real estate, there’s residential, there’s single family homes, there’s apartments, there’s condominiums, there’s commercial real estate, industrial real estate, office space, retail space even raw land instead of putting them on a CD, people buy land thinking the appreciation is going to be better on that so you have that the other one that I really like are notes and mortgages you know first and seconds or thirds, secured or unsecured notes they can be new ones if somebody’s buying a house, they can be discounted notes from the bank you know back in 2008 – 9 the banks ended up with all these defaulted loans that they were selling at penny’s on the dollar and people turn those around. They have balloon notes, they have interest only notes, advertising notes, they really you know I think that’s one of the places that people like today because it’s easy and they don’t have the tenants and the toilets associated with them but then the other thing too is a lot of people from what we call private place and speed that unlimited partnership or an LLC or joint venture and if they don’t have enough money or if they want to minimize their risk, memorize talking to you about the toe dipping when I first got into self direction. A lot of times 4, 5 or 10 people would get together and then put a little bit of money in there and invest in one asset just to see how they like it and not risk it and that’s another way that people do toe dipping but then they’re also learning from the rest of the group so the learning curve is a little bit faster that way and a lot of times they have a mentor or somebody that helps them and then of course we have precious metals, gold, silver, we have some people that sold eagle’s tickets and llamas and gas and oil rights and you know pretty much anything that’s out there that isn’t life insurance or collectible that’s going to make money for them so just makes the world available too.
FB: I love it! I love it! so you know if we’ve got a listener out there who is just getting started with their self directed IRA what are some real easy things to kind of toe dip into what would you advise somebody that’s new to this what are some of the really easy things to get started with
CF: Well I think simple note you know secured by mortgage I’m not a big fan of unsecured notes but you can do a short term note you know 6 months to a year look at the interest rate that you are getting on it compare that to a CD and then decide if that’s the business that you want to get into. There’s probate housing you know that you get after if you want to move up and you know buy an old rental property you can do that, you know pretty much anything but stocks bonds and mutual funds. I do a lot with tax lanes, you know you can buy one of those for 10 dollars or less in some states but you know you got a bunch of them for under 300$ so you can buy 1 or 2 of those and just give it a try you know and see if this cause you know so many people have their advisers telling them this isn’t legal you know that it’s risky and that it’s complex if they still are still saying it’s not legal after reading about Mitt Romney’s “Hundred Million Dollar IRA” and all the books and IRS publications that are available out there today and the “Bloomberg” and the television shows that talk about this stuff if you just google it, you know their way off space but is it risky? I’m not sure if it’s risky or not I think risk is a result of lack of knowledge so I think it is less risky because as I told you my knowledge on real estate is high there’s not as many variables for me as in the stock market so I don’t think it’s risky and if people think it’s complex you know we’re here to help them step right through the paperwork to you know to buy one of these different assets and most people find it gratifying to buy something that’s tangible and ensurable and that they can kind of count on the return to be a little bit more reliable than the ups and downs of the stock market
FB: Yeah, that’s just excellent and I know you and I are going to have a little discussion of tax lanes on the members only session on the background we won’t go any deeper on that right now but I’m really interested in learning some more about that from you so that will be for members only on the back end but let’s talk about leverage, it’s very controversial about using leverage inside an IRA, what are your thoughts on purchasing properties like a rental property or business property with leverage inside of IRA
CF: You bring up the word, you’ve been on there, if you have to pay your bid to me it’s a good thing because you’re making a good return in most cases, I don’t let it concern me I gave it to the accountants and it’s very very minimal in most cases to none so don’t let that bother you especially if you are already in the high techs bracket you know, the 35% or 40% tax brackets but then it’s a no concern at all but you really want to look at it what you return and what are you getting on your chest and cash or IRR after the taxes and all the cases I’ve seen that’s far, it’s definitely better than other investments that people were thinking about investing into so I think using leverage just like you use leverage on the outside world is great, now, I was out on the west coast and I see a lot of people on the west coast buying property without any leverage even their homes and their rental properties etc., and their paying you know 3 quarters of a million dollars. I was talking to one guy he had close to 4 million dollars tied up in real estate with no loans and I’m sitting there going if you took 4 million and just gave out you know took mortgages on that then found somebody that you know could lend money out at 10% for a rehab or something like that how much money you are leaving on the table by doing that, that equity in that house is not money working for you. I want money working for me and I ike to use the leverage because I am getting better return and it’s pretty much that simple even with your bid.
FB: I agree 100% that’s just dead money and lazy money that’s not working for you so I’m with you there so you mention risk, what are your thoughts on you know a lot of people say that real estate is riskier than the stock market and you mentioned your knowledge based and your history, you know what are your thoughts on that?
CF: Well my thoughts on that is to invest on what you know and understand where your experience is and your wisdom is right I want you to take control yourself. So many people leave their financial goals up to somebody else to achieve. I think you need to build a team, I’m not saying that your professionals but you know get involved, build a team around yourself don’t leave it to others and learn from the successful people and the people that make money if that’s your goal to give you financial freedom that’s you know where I think you need to be with it. I think that if you get on with the learning curve in a group and especially if it has a mentor and a plan and it’s pretty much proven you can grow well faster, build more cash flow and minimize risk
FB: I love it! so you know if we’ve got listeners out there how do they find those mentors? How do they find these types of deals? Where do they find you know how they can lend out there money? Who’s going to borrow that money? How does somebody get in touch with those pieces?
CF: There’s definitely groups out there that do this. You know I’ve been to a couple of your meetings Forrest and I think you put together the High Speed Alliance as point people gather together with similar backgrounds, similar understandings of what’s been brainwashed into us, from the TV and the big companies and they’ve got some pretty successful people on there so I think find yourself a group that you want to go to that will help you learn minimize your risk, you know you are talking about risk on the earlier questions, you know is real estate risk here for some people that might be riskier but for me I grew up around it I feel it’s in my DNA so when people ask me on real estate I’m pretty good about it, now so if they ask I am going to pull a tooth you know in the back of your mouth, you know I’ve got the pliers and the hammer and that’s as good as I got or doorknob or a string, you know so everybody has their different experiences when they want to get in with the group of people that know this and can teach you where you want to go and how to get there with a proven path and there’s lots of groups around but I’m going to be at your meeting you know in 2 weeks and I enjoy that and I enjoy the learning that went on there.
FB: Well I appreciate the plug and I appreciate you being one of our advisers and supporter so you know what if somebody’s listening and somebody says “I dont want to do that I just want to figure this stuff on my own” I mean would you recommend somebody just trying to figure out how to do this on their own?
CF: Okay so if somebody wanted to do that you know I mean how much time do they have?
CF: and why don’t you just figure out dentistry on your own why go to college? you know
FB: Oh love it! Okay so do you have a favorite quote Carl? or do you have a favorite book? give us you know give us a favorite
CF: Well one of my favorite books is “Keep It” by Joe Luby and the reason it’s one of my favorite is I spent $20 and it save me tens of thousands. I know that’s tied into the financials and I should probably be a little bit more philosophical but that’s one of the ways I think that’s one of my favorite books as a result to that the quote I like is a and my father used to use it when I was growing up it says “think and grow rich” that not only meant from a monetary standpoint but he pushed down into his kids that your brain is one of the best assets that you have so use it in your life you know think things through and make your decisions and that is one of the books that I also read “Think and Grow Rich” I just use that as one of my anchors when I thank for yourself and see if it makes sense and always you know don’t get too drawn up in all the media and the hype around you so not always always right.
FB: Yeah, I love it! Love the quote and I love the book you recommended that to me and I devoured it and i’ve recommended it to a ton of people so can’t underestimate the power of that book, has a lot of really great tips in there for tax strategies for converting IRAs to Roth IRAs through discounting and leverage. This really fantastic I appreciate you recommending it to me and if you’re listening and you don’t have it you need to order it right now so alright what’s your definition of “freedom” Carl? What’s that mean to you?
CF: I’ll define a little bit more financial freedom I can talk about it you know, if anybody taking an e-mail a day and living in America I really feel like I’ve been blessed to live in America and had the freedom to choose my course of actions, say what I want to say, and do what I wanted to do but you know I was having to work for a living for a long time and so financial freedom to me is basically passive income that surpasses my expenses and allows me to have time. Time is what I can’t get back I can always make more money but it’s the time that I can’t get back so you know interest works 24/7 365 days you know I can meet with one tenant you know you and he may stay 1 year 5 years or 10 years plus out there so those are pretty good returns on of my time for the money so that’s what I’m looking for is I don’t want to trade dollars for time working for business, I want it to be more passive in that aspect and let me live and do the things I want spend time with my kids and family and of course hunting fish.
FB: I love it! I was going to make sure I brought that up if you didn’t. I love what family and legacy means to you and the way that you enjoy life and the way that you helped people so I’m a big fan so if our listeners want to get in touch with you if they want to know more about Camaplan or Carl Fisher, you know how would you like them to reach out to you?
CF: I really like them to reach out at the meeting on the 28th and 29th that you have down in Alabama in Huntsville but if they can’t make that and if they just want to touch me by e-mail they can hit me at firstname.lastname@example.org or they can schedule a meeting with us by going to our website camaplan.com or they can call our phone number direct line is 215 – 283 – 2868 and I also have a toll-free number which is 866 – 559 – 4430 I don’t even know do they even have toll-free cost anymore?
FB: I don’t even know. Long distance is free now just about everywhere so I don’t even know if it’s that may be a thing in the past eventually but we’ll see and we’ll put all your contact information in the show notes so if you’re listening and if you miss that, we’ll have that transcribed on the website so if you’d like to know more if you’d like to meet Carl he’s going to be he’s a regular at our meeting so you can go to our website at highspeedalliance.com to find out the dates of our upcoming meeting if you want to hear more of our podcast from the High Speed podcast you can go to highspeedpodcast.com and if you’re interested in going further than you think you can and getting there faster than you think you can just you know please contact me and email@example.com and love to help you. Carl, thank you so much we’re going to flip over to our members only session here in just a second so don’t go anywhere but if you’ve been listening thank you and Carl thank you so much for being with us and sharing some light.
CF: I appreciate it thank you very much Forrest, look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.
FB: Alright fantastic! Thank you for listening to the High Speed podcast