February 28, 2023

How an Alternative Investment Database is The Key to Your Investing Success - Andy Hagans

In the conversation with today’s guest, Andy Hagans, you’ll learn the benefits of private equity and alternative investments. Andy also shares some real life stories and examples of successful lead generation. He also explains all about his business and passion project, The Alternative Investment Database.
Billy Keels
CEO and Founder FGCP

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Going Long Podcast Episode 294: How an Alternative Investment Database is The Key to Your Investing Success - Andy Hagans

( To see the Video Version of today’s conversation just CLICK HERE. )

In the conversation with today’s guest, Andy Hagans, you’ll learn the following:

  • [00:30 - 03:07] Show introduction with comments from Billy.
  • [03:07 - 07:37] Guest introduction and first questions.
  • [07:37 - 12:50] The backstory and decisions made that led Andy to this point in his journey.
  • [12:50 - 19:08] What Andy saw that was different about Private Equity which accelerated paths to achieving higher returns.
  • [19:08 - 24:01] Andy shares some real life stories and examples of successful lead generation.
  • [24:01 - 26:59] Andy defines what alternative investments actually are.
  • [26:59 - 32:32] Andy takes a look at what elements of risk there are in alternative investments. 
  • [32:32 - 38:26] Diversification vs specification in investing.
  • [38:26 - 43:05] Andy explains all about his business and passion project, The Alternative Investment Database.

Here’s what Andy shared with us during today’s conversation: 

  • Where in the world Andy is currently based: Holland, Michigan.
  • The most positive thing to happen in the past 24 hours: Andy just appreciates waking up next to his wife every morning, and that’s the most positive thing that happens every day!
  • Favourite city in Europe: Lourdes, France.
  • A mistake that Andy would like you to learn from so that you don’t have to pay full price: Don’t hold back from dreaming big and just going for it!
  • Book Recommendation: 10X, by Grant Cardone - https://www.amazon.co.uk/10X-Rule-Difference-Between-Success/dp/0470627603 


Be sure to reach out and connect with Andy Hagans by using the info below:  


To see the Video Version of today’s conversation just CLICK HERE.

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Episode Transcript


Today's conversation is sponsored by first generation Capital Partners. If you're an accredited investor and you want to know about how we're helping other accredited investors keep more of their income, go to firstgencp.com forward slash going long.


Focus on what you're good at trying to scale that and really crush one channel once you've been crashing that channel for six months, okay? Now go ahead and add that second channel. You're listening to the going long podcast with Billy keels, the number one podcast for long distance real asset investing.


Welcome to the Golang podcast, we're back once again to continue to help to educate you so you feel much more comfortable as well as confident investing beyond your backyard. I'm your host, Billy keels. And guess what, I am super excited to welcome you back to another conversation because it's awesome. Listen, for those of you who want to find out more about the podcast, you want to check out the things that we've been doing from the very beginning, go to first ncp.com forward slash podcast and you can find every single episode from the very beginning first gen cpe.com forward slash podcast, find every single episode ever. Also, if you have already left us an honest written review, as well as weight rating. Thank you so much. If you're still thinking about doing it, there's a little video here that's going to help you do that. And for those of you helping to share this across social media, we really appreciate you thank you so much. So today's conversation, listen, honestly get a pen and paper out because this guy is going to share so much with you. He's done it from startup days early on out of college to continue to get better. He is someone who is bringing people together from private equity from limited partners. He's really focused on alternative investments. And even as a podcast by that same name. You're going to get to learn so much from Andy Hagen's. And we're going to get to that just after this.


Are you a busy high paid professional, someone that in the previous two years has earned $200,000 and is expected to earn $200,000 this year. Or maybe if you file jointly, previously, you've earned $300,000 The previous two years and you're also expected to do that this year. Or maybe if not, either individually or jointly, you have a million dollars in net worth not including your primary residence. If you meet any of these criteria, then you're someone that the IRS considers to be an accredited investor, that probably means you're someone like an enterprise software sales executive, you may be an executive in a major corporation, you may be a doctor, you may be a lawyer, maybe a high paid consultant, you may have even worked for a major sports franchise, the thing I know you have in common is that you continue to do the hard work like you're doing 100% of the work. And you're only bringing home 50% of the reward because you continue to get crushed by your income taxes. If you're tired of this situation, and you're looking for a new solution, then go to first gen cp.com forward slash going long. When you get there, that's going to help you to start the journey so that you can begin to take back control of your taxes take control of your time. And then also that means you're going to be able to spend more of the time that you want with the people that you love the most. And that is the way that you're going to get the personal freedom that you're looking for. So if you're looking to take back control, go ahead and go to first ncp.com forward slash going long, and see how we can help you today.


So if you've ever wanted to understand how having an alternative investment database can be the key to your long distance investing success, then guess what? Today's the conversation that you're going to want to listen to, until the bear re last word. Very last word I promise. You know why? Because today's guest not only started his career managing strategies, as well as online lead generation. This guy, he also co founded various startup from 2005 to 2012. And if that wasn't enough, he's also a CEO for an opportunity for opportunity b which I'm sure he's going to find out more. You're gonna find out more about that today. But also, he is also the co founder of the alternative investment database, and the host of the super popular podcast, the alternative investing podcast. It gives me great pleasure to welcome to today's conversation, Mr. Andy Hagen's. Andy. Welcome to show man. Thanks for having me, Billy. I'm excited. This is fun. Oh, man, I cannot wait. This is gonna be I just I love their pre conversation. I love just the ability to connect with you. I love the things that you're doing on your podcast already the way that you are helping to build education, exposure, and also the real life experience that you had. And I'm sure that the entire going long family is going to learn loads from this conversation today. So I'm super excited to jump into it. Andy, you're ready to get started? Let's do it. I love to talk. My team's always telling me that love to talk and I'm like, well, that's why I need to be on podcast. Right? I can get paid to talk.


Yeah, that's exactly it. Oh, that's another thing that we haven't covered. Let me make sure that I add that to the notes here.


Listen, as you know, Andy, you're gonna get five questions from me at least five questions. I'm gonna give you two in the beginning here in just a second. You're gonna get three in the very end and then in the middle. Well, we're gonna get a bunch of questions. I just


Don't know what those are yet because they're gonna be based on the answers and stuff like that. So you'd like to talk I like to talk. Let's work on helping the entire going on family get to know more about you. So help us understand. Where is it did you call home today in the US?


I live in Holland, Michigan, it's a town in the southwest corner of the state about a couple of hours, two hours outside of Chicago. The town is called Holland. And we do have lots of tulips here. We have the Tulip Festival every year. So it's not just the name. It's very, very Dutch where we live here. Okay, well, very fantastic. You know, I was just gonna say, Man, that's like the perfect combination. Like with me being in Europe right now you being in the States, Midwest to Midwest guys in Holland, Michigan. Wow. It's fantastic. Awesome. So appreciate you sharing that with us. And then also one of the other things, Andy, I really love positivity. Right. It's one of the cornerstones and I think it's one of the things that helps us everyday to continue to progress just a little bit forward faster. So I would love for you to share with me and the entire goal long family, what is the most positive thing that's happened to you, or Let's even say for you, in the last 24 hours.


I gotta be honest, the most positive thing that happens to me every day is waking up next to my bride, Diana. I love business. I love the game. I love investing. I love startups, all that stuff. But at the end of the day, I'm a family man.


And, you know, business, I have up days and down days and good days and bad days, right? Like we run in a business, there's always ups and downs. But my wife, she always brightens my day. So I gotta be honest, that's the most positive thing that happens to me every day. You know. And I absolutely love that you share that, that you share that perspective and the importance of being able to have that because as you know, it goes beyond money. And then being able to have that person that brightens your day that makes your day even that much brighter, happier. In just adds that little extra warmth is fantastic. So thank you so much for sharing that with us helping to get things started off in the positive direction. And,


Andy, do you mind if I share a little something with you? No, no, go ahead. All right, well, here's the thing. I'm a recovering perfectionist. And what that means is sometimes I try to do things that are well, almost impossible, right. And what I mean by that is trying to do things like telling your entire backstory in like one and a half seconds. Or maybe I gave myself two seconds today, I don't know. But whatever it was, it was like impossible, you can't do that kind of stuff. So I put my hand up, I let you know, I'm a recovering perfectionist. But most importantly, I really am going to ask you for your help. Because here, I would love for you to share your backstory in your own words. And because you're our guest today, you can take a lot more than two seconds, you take the time that you need to tell your backstory, so that we get a chance to know more about you. And then also to Andy, if you could share some of the major decisions that you've made to get to this point in your journey. And then we'll see where you and I take the conversation from there.


Yeah, love it. So I think I'm going to I'm going to start at age 21. Right. So I won't go way back, I'll start kind of with my professional story. So I went to the University of Notre Dame,


and my roommate, Jimmy Atkinson, he's now my business partner. We hit it off, we became, you know, great friends. And we both had, it's funny, I think it's is it a gene, maybe it's not a gene, maybe it's a gene that some it activates. We both have the entrepreneurship gene. And I say gene, because my dad is a business owner, his dad as a business owner. So sometimes, you know, people will go into entrepreneurship and their parents were not entrepreneurs. But I do think that sometimes it is kind of, you know, you kind of you kind of have that gene. So we ended up starting a business in our dorm room, which I know sounds incredibly cliche, right, but it's true. We did. And we all go in too much into that first business. It didn't, it did not really click, but it led to our next business, which was a marketing business and lead generation. So we built that business up, and we ended up selling it to private equity buyers. And then, believe it or not, so that was age shoot, that was like age 2425. When we sold that first one, over the next 678 years, we built three more businesses. And we ended up selling them all to private equity buyers. One of those businesses that we built, by the way was ETF database, or etfdb. Some people might if you're into exchange traded fund investing, some people have heard of that. It's now part of a much bigger company called verify which is a really cool company. But we sold that so we're no longer involved with that. But we built these for businesses. And I just I love startups like I'm




have that creative phase of building something, you know that feeling you have of kind of starting from nothing clean slate, like I can wake up, hit the day hard, do whatever I want, you know, but but obviously trying to create value in the business. But this kind of gets me to my first mistake. realisation or whatever you want to call it is Jimmy and I, we kept building these businesses and selling them to either strategic strategic buyers that were backed by private equity, or to private equity buyers. And their liquidity is great, right? Like when you're in your 20s, and you have the ability to, you know, sell your business and then you know, go go buy a house, you know, and I was starting a family at that time, you know, so it's, I don't have any regrets. Like, don't get me wrong, I don't have any regrets. Like, sometimes there are very good reasons to exit a business to have that liquidity event. But I realised over a period of time, it wasn't like one aha moment. But it kind of gradually dawned on me that the private equity buyers, that side of all these deals, they were actually doing better on the deals than we were. And again, I'm not, I'm not bitter that we sold these businesses. But it kind of dawned on me like, oh, wow, we're building these businesses and selling them to these private equity folks. And then these private equity buyers, they're taking something that we build up to be big, you know, not huge, but significant. And then I watched them grow at 3x or 10x 25x. Bigger. And I'm going, Oh, wow, that's, that's where the real money is made, you know, in a way. So that's kind of when it clicked for me. I actually want to be on the private equity side. And that was that was kind of a turning point in my career, I would say.


Well, you know what, that so that's really interesting. So you and Jimmy at 21, you go through this point where well, you would kind of seen this because you both had seen this from dad, and you go out there and you're probably ready to get out there and make your very first big big, build your business and sell it off. And guess what didn't kind of work out that way. But one of the things that's really interesting is through this iteration, right? Because I've been living in Europe for a really, really long time. And sometimes there's this, there's this concept of, hey, listen, if you fail, then that's not a good thing. Right? But what I've just heard you talk about is, well, you learned through that first event, right? And that first event led to the second which led to the third, which led to a what sound like a rinse and repeatable process.


But you also talked about


realising Hang on a second, we're on one side of the fence or the other. And maybe I kind of like what's going on on the other side of the fence? The very first question


that comes to my mind, and you want to hear you talk about that, right? Because you talked about this, like they're doing something different on the private equity side of things they're going through to 25 times is, what was it that you recognise that they were doing differently? Right to the, to the, to the extent that you could have been exposed? That really made you say, not just because it was the three to 25x, but you're the startup person, right? You like being able to fix build things? And so what was it that you were noticing that they were doing differently? That were it's taking something that you had built, done really well with your team? But then they took it three to 25 times even further beyond what it was worth?


Yeah, well, I guess, to use the economic or political terms, you have labour, and you have capital. And as an entrepreneur, as a startup person, as a business owner,


a huge part of your value, maybe the the main part of your value, at least you think is your labour, right? Like if you're really good at something like a, you know, you're very good at podcasting, you're very good. And this passive and you know, syndication side, that's really labour, right? That's a skill set that you have that creates economic value. So I already you know, already knew, well, I have a skill set. And most people have a skill set that's economically valuable. But at a certain point, when you exit a business, well, now you have capital.


And what the what the private equity folks were doing, what these groups were doing, by the way, they they're very talented, they're entrepreneurs in their in their own right, right. It's not that they're not startup guys, it's not that they're not entrepreneurs. What they're doing differently is they're leveraging their labour and their capital like they're because I was just putting my labour to work. And honestly the businesses that we built, one of them was kind of a roll up where we were we were putting capital to work will be raised money from other investors. But


Two of them. Yeah, at least two of them were just like pure labour plays like, you know, the kind of thing you bootstrapped. Yeah. You start the business with $10,000 I use is totally bootstrapped. So what, you know, what I saw them doing was, they'd already had these successful careers, where they've been able to, you know, earn capital save a bunch of money, they're managing their own private portfolios, private wealth. And what they're doing is they're combining their expertise, their value, add their talents, with their capital. And so if you're going to 3x something, or 10x, something, do you want to start with that $10,000 startup, and then 10x, that will like, that's, that's cool. But what these guys were doing is they were acquiring businesses, for 2 million, 4 million 10 million $15 million, or in the private equity world, you know, sometimes they're buying business for a billion dollars or whatever. If you 3x, that if you 10x, that if you 25x, that.


You know, you can do the math, right, like it's way higher returns


in so the returns are higher at the end of the day, in so this talks to the person as well, that is listening to what you're saying and saying, Well, yeah, Billy, but one is 10,000. The other is, you know, a million or 3 million. But I think what is really important to understand what Andy is saying is the mechanics, right? The mechanics are very similar, I won't dare not say that they're the same, but they're very similar. However, it's just you're attacking different problems at different at different phases, which therefore, also creates different multiples in terms of what the returns are. Would that would that be accurate? That's totally true, Billy. And like, I want to be clear, I encourage anyone with any amount of savings, to think about investing and putting their capital to work, because it's almost, it's almost like you want to form that habit. That's like a success habit. Put your money to work, let your money earn you more money, right. But the fact of the matter is, there are different phases. If you're at a point in your life, where you're in just an entry level job, and you're barely earning any money, that advice to save 10% of what you earn. It's like that's, that's you should get you absolutely should. But honestly, the main thing is you should concentrate on earning more. If you want to be successful, that's really step one is to play offence is to be able to save some significant money, right? Yeah, absolutely. Can you repeat that just because I want to make sure that people actually understood what you said there, because that was like super powerful. Would you mind repeating that? Well, I guess which I'm going to repeat kind of at all, it's important to save and invest no matter where you are. So even if you're like, literally, I mean, unless you're literally hand to mouth, if you can save anything 5% of your paycheck, start investing to form the habit, but also realise if you want to follow this kind of path of private equity, that you need to basically focus on your career, start earning money, so you can save a significant amount of capital, then the numbers get a lot more exciting. Yeah, and that's, and that's the point there, and I appreciate you repeating it, because it's one number one understanding that you need to understand your individual context, number one, number two, is being able to save is something that's important. But if that is not where you are, today, make sure that you are doing everything that you can to generate income, right, and when you're able to generate income, and then you're able to syphon a portion of that, then you can get into a different game. And the reason I say that is, you know, I grew up and you know, I watched both of my parents worked two jobs most of their lives. And so they worked harder and harder and harder, but that syphoning off, to be able to actually have savings to then get into another game. That part was one of the things that I didn't see, right, I didn't see I it took me quite later to realise like, okay, yeah, go out and earn a lot. But then I also realised, okay, earning a lot is one thing, keeping a lot is another thing, right? Because the more that you can keep that it allows you to play in different games. So here's one of the things like it, and we talked about this before. And you know, where you kind of started was in an area of, of leads and the importance of leads and those types of things. I would like for you to talk about that just because for anyone who is a,


an aspiring business owner, for someone who really wants to be able to create a future for themselves, the importance of being able to generate


awareness of what it is that you're doing. Can you talk to us a little bit about that? Because that's probably one of the things that you and Jimmy were doing way back in the day.


And it's something that's still relevant today. And I know you've also learned a lot from that. So maybe you could share some of your past experiences with us.


That's a great question.


And I'm gonna do my best to tell you the truth and it may be something totally different from what most people will tell you, okay.


came to me I look at marketing leads sales, you have two ends of the spectrum. And by the way, this is a lesson that took me like 20 years to learn. So trippin, get your pens and paper out everyone Yes, um, did say pen and paper because he's getting ready to share some knowledge get ready?


Well, you have direct marketing on one end, and I love direct marketing. Direct marketing is the thing where maybe it's on Google AdWords or Facebook ads or whatever channel, if you can put $1 into spend on that channel and get back $1.10, then you recycle the next dollar into the channel, you get out dollar and 10. That's direct marketing, where you're looking for sales. As quick as you can you put you put money time into a marketing channel, you get those sales back, and that allows you to invest more money into that sales channel. So that's direct marketing. And I love direct marketing. And so everybody should concentrate on a channel that can grow immediate sales. But, but the real money is made in the branding. And that's a long term game. So what I've kind of learned is, ultimately, if you have to choose one, well, I think I would choose branding, but But normally, branding takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of money takes consistent effort. And so if it's like I'm focused, right now, I'm building a 10 year brand. Okay, that's, that's a long time, well, I need to make sure I have enough cash coming into my company, and my company is succeeding for 10 years even have the ability to do that. So you need to focus on the short term. And you need to also focus on the long term, that branding is super important. But now on the short term for a second. Okay, this is another thing, that this is something that I have learned, again, from that school of hard knocks of entrepreneurship, which is, when Jimmy and I got started in lead generation, we were honestly good at like one thing, which was SEO, search engine optimization. So we were getting like all of our leads off of Google.


And by the way, we weren't necessarily doing a great job of building a brand, like maybe one of our businesses did a really good job of that. But the other three, were more just direct marketing. Well,


the way that we actually had success with those businesses was getting good at one thing, and just scaling the living heck out of that one thing. And that's like a big, that's a big tip that I still live by. So to be transparent where we are right now. Is is like, basically a month ago, I woke up and I was like, you know, I'm getting a lot of traction, and audience and engagement and leads off of LinkedIn. And I was like, let's just not even bother with all those other social sites. Let's just focus on LinkedIn for six months. And we literally, we kind of teed it up and got started yesterday. So my secret weapon, Scott, He's on our team. He's really driving that forward. And like, even right away, we're like, literally in one day, I'm like, Well, we already have more traction. So right now, we're just focusing on that one channel. So my advice, if you're in sales, if you're building a business, you probably already kind of have a sense of which channel you're good at. And so rather than say I need to be on Twitter, I need to be on Facebook, I need to be on LinkedIn, I need to do this, I need to do that. Well, everybody needs an email list. But aside from that, focus on what you're good at, try and scale that and really crush one channel once you've been crushing that channel for six months. Okay? Now go ahead and add that second channel. Absolutely love that. Just to talk to the importance of


leads, being able to build business, understanding the importance between where they're where it's coming from direct or that direct marketing space, which is something that's going to be a shorter timeframe versus the longer timeframe love how you frame that with the brand.


And so appreciate that insight. I want to pivot a little bit because I know even your as you're talking today, and it's one of the things that you are passionate about, right? And you're so passionate about it. You even have a podcast about it, right? The alternative investment podcast. So I'm a big fan of alternative investments. People throw the word around all over the place. That means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Mr. Hagen's I want to ask you help us understand what in the world when you say an alternative investment. How do you define that?


Bill you just asked like the heart it's should be the simplest question ever. It's actually the hardest question ever. In fact, I have. I literally have experts in the adult industry on my show, and I asked them the same question. Everybody like sighs when you ask that question, because it can be a little complicated, but I'm gonna do my best to give the simple answer which is traditional investments.


stocks, bonds, and cash. And if you have something like a mutual fund or an index fund or ETF that's holding stocks, or bonds, we can kind of squint and say, Well, those are stocks and bonds. Right? Those are traditional investments, alternative investments is anything else. So a private any kind of a private fund that's not publicly traded, multifamily fund, multifamily syndication deal, any kind of real estate, private equity, you know, buying businesses, venture capital, angel investing, farmland, commodities, just really anything that's not stocks, bonds, or cash is an alternative investment.


Thank you for simplifying that, by the way.


And as you explain, right, it's sometimes it makes me laugh, because it's really the exception are the things that were sold on Wall Street, it seems like the rest of the world is what we call alternative, which is sort of, I guess, misnomer, you know, the alternatives are actually pretty much anything and everything that is not directly related to, to Wall Street. So anyway, I just thought I would ask that, yes, you're right. But I know it's one that because I didn't even know this, I didn't even know the world existed. Now, you know, growing up the way that I did, but then later, you realise that there is a whole world out there, there's the world of private placements, there's the different types of exemptions, and whether you're an accredited investor or whether you're a qualified investor, and I'm our professional, qualified professional, and in these different types of terms that provide you access to other types of investments.


Trusting that you enjoyed today's conversation. And you know, if you're tired of getting crushed by taxes, and you're looking for greater freedom, to be able to choose what you want to do, when you want to do it, make sure that you go to first ncp.com forward slash going long, and see how we can help you today. Let's get back to the conversation.


These types of sometimes alternative investments nd


my belief or understand what I think but there's there tends to be if it comes from Wall Street, there seems to be this idea that there's so much risk related to alternative investments. I know that risk and like risk adjusted returns in these types of things are something that you're even smiling about now, right?


Talk to us about when we're looking in the alternative investment space, and this whole concept of risk, and how we should be evaluating risk. Can you talk to us, just enlighten us a little bit about what your thoughts are around that?


Well, that's a great question. And I guess why I was smiling was because when people say alternative investments are risky.


I, I agree. Like I actually, I think that's right, in the sense that when you're investing in anything, you have to understand what you're investing in, or you're going to be in for a hard time. But the way I smile, that's also true of stocks and bonds, like did did invent like, did everyday investors know that you can lose 20% of your capital in bonds in a year or, you know, in 2008. And investors know that the stock market can just literally drop down by 50%. And then you might say, well, but then it went back up. And I'm like, well, the stock market did, but a lot of investors actually sold at the bottom. So no, they didn't really write it back up, they actually did take that permanent hit to their portfolio. So there's risk in any type of investment, especially the biggest risks number one, if you don't understand it, if you're not willing to put in the time to research it and understand it. And then number two behavioural risk. I think this is the risk that is talked about the least. But it's probably the most important behavioural risk is, you know, you're your own worst enemy as an investor. 99 times out of 100. And maybe if you're, if you're listening to this, there's one person in the world it's going to be the world's next Warren Buffett, but it probably isn't you I know. It's not me. I'm not the world's next Warren Buffett. So I mean, you're Yep. So you're probably prone to the same behavioural traps that the rest of us are. And so a big behavioural trap that people have in the traditional markets, is they buy high and they sell low, because those assets because they're liquid, they're being repriced in real time, day in and day out, Mr. Markets repricing every stock at you know, every index fund every ETF and a lot of investors, when they see those numbers go down, they panic, they sell at the bottom, that's a huge drag on returns. So when you see that graph of the s&p, and you say, Oh, the s&p returns 8% a year in the long run, well, that's not what it returns to the typical investor, the typical investor actually trails that return because of that behavioural risk. So with alternatives now, by contrast, you know, when people talk about risks, one of the first things they go to is these are illiquid and


that, that is a type of risk in a way, like if you need cash and your investments not liquid, you may not be able to access it at all. Or if you access it, you have to sell it like at a deep discount or pay a penalty. So sure that's a risk. But on the other hand, I'm like, well, that can also be a protection. Because some of these alternatives the fact that they're illiquid, I look at it like, it's a feature, not a bug, because, like the market, you know, the real estate market, all these REITs are down, right. And so a lot of folks who own publicly traded REITs, they're tempted to sell out because the markets down, well, if you're in a private placement, owning real estate through an alternative investment, maybe you can't sell right now. And that might end up being a really good thing, because those investments may be worth way more in five years. And so the fact that you were illiquid may end up being a good thing. So, you know, the risks, there are risks and all of this stuff. But my thing is, you know, sometimes the risks of these publicly traded markets aren't really talked about, and they're really hurting a lot of investors. And when you have that, that, that impact, that negative impact on investors that you're you, you bring to light, two things that I believe are extremely important, right, because as you talk about risk, and I want you as a as is going along family to understand what Andy's saying. He said, first, it's education, it's knowledge, right? If you don't have the knowledge, of course, everything is risky, because you don't even know what you're doing. So at least start there. But then also recognise who you are as an investor. What are the things that you feel comfortable one educated around? And to that you feel comfortable investing us a perfect example, Andy, the liquidity versus being illiquid? Well, you know, what, sometimes when when you have the right team in place, you have the right knowledge, you've asked the right questions, you've gotten all of the things that internally would have kept you from making, taking and making a decision. You started with the knowledge, you got the behavioural stuff out, and then it's time to move forward. And then being able to understand what are some of the potential impacts that could happen over the next month, three years, five years, 10 years, right? Because the time horizons are different for every one of these different investments, you have to feel comfortable with that, from an education and knowledge base, as well as from a behavioural base. I love how you how you broke that down for us, Andy, thanks. Thanks so much.


Nothing I didn't want to ask you. And it goes to this, this concept of because because you've seen a lot, right, you've invested in and have been exposed to the gamut as it relates to investments. There's always this question of portfolio diversification or portfolio specification, right?


Can you talk to us a little bit about what your what your thoughts are also, too, as you interact with other thought leaders on this kind of concept of diversification versus specification and kind of how we can be thinking about that, to better move forward towards our life goals or our life priorities?


Well, that's a great question. I mean, I think it has to start from the premise that every investor is unique. Every investors goal situation is unique. Also, every investors liquidity needs are unique. So back to that last point about liquidity versus illiquidity. And this was, this is back to the mistake that I realised I was making when I was scaling businesses and selling them. I was selling these privately owned businesses, taking the proceeds, and and largely investing them in liquid assets. You know, stocks, bonds, ETFs index funds, and by the way, I still own plenty of traditional investments. So I do have a very diversified portfolio, that's, that's what's right for me. But I realised, like I had, like, liquidity is expensive, you know, in the in the sense that the typical bond fund a typical stock fund, they actually don't generate very much income, like the the fact that they're liquid, essentially, you know, on a conceptual basis means that they trade at a premium that they have a higher multiple. So if you don't, the concept is if you don't need the liquidity,


then generally, I think you're better off investing in illiquid investments, if they're right for you if you're willing to research them. You know, again, this is personal. If you can't live with illiquidity. If you can't sleep at night being illiquid, then don't do it is to your portfolio's got to fit you but in general, again, on conceptual basis. I've noticed with my investments, the illiquid investments, the private equity, the private stuff, the angel investments, those types of things. They're generate much higher returns than what I have in traditional investments. That being said, what helps me sleep at night is that diversified portfolio? So that's what I it fits me. It's what I want. I'm a personal you know,


it's personal to me, that's what I'm comfortable with. So that's what I do. And I'm a big alternatives believer. But I still own those traditional investments because I like the diversified portfolio. And so understanding that you have a strong focus on alternative type of investments, you're also invested in what people would say, quote, unquote, traditional, one of the things that what I, what I'm taking away from, what you're saying is that it's about understanding yourself, right? And so you've been in a different place. I mean, I've gone through this, but what what would you say to that person who's the, they're the busy, high paid, professional, high income earner today? They're super busy, they're listening to you and I and thinking ourselves, well, wow, that sounds really great. And he knows himself. And he knows that he's focused on his liquidity goals, but he also knows for his situation, he feels that it's the right thing to have a diversified portfolio. Billy knows where he's focused. And I'm just so busy. I don't even know how to figure out what is the right thing for me. But what do you say to that person that knows that what they're doing today? That there's not even almost a strategy there, they're just doing they're setting it and forgetting it, because that's what they were taught. They were so busy now in their job, or whatever is going on in life. They just need maybe some direction to say, how do I even figure out what's the right thing for me? What what do you say to that person? nd?


That's a good question. I would say, step one, take out your phone. Okay, open up your calendar,


schedule out time to even think of this, address it, brainstorm it, because they think Oh, amazing. This is that this is literally your future. Or, you know, if you're like me, you're a married man or married woman, if you have kids, maybe a parents you take care of not only your futures might be other people's future, and you're not even thinking about it, you're not and you haven't even scheduled out any time, by the way, an hour a year, I schedule out literally an hour a year, just kind of an annual portfolio checkup, you know, it's barely any time. But even just that, putting it on my calendar. And having that accountability, like this is important enough that I need to schedule a little bit of time to think about it and address it. That's literally step one. If you're not even willing to block out an hour to think about this, then what can I really do to help you you have to That's step one is just like decide that, decide that you're worth it that your family is worth it. To figure this out, that would be step one.


Love it. And keep it simple, right? In typically, and I love that you use the example of the of taking out your phone, because the things that are in your phone, usually in your calendar are the things that are the priorities. And so you must make that time for those things in your life that are priorities. And if this is important, moving forward towards your life goals and your life priorities. Listen to what Andy just said, literally, make an hour for yourself, start jotting this down, get in touch. And he's got an amazing podcast, he will give you wonderful ideas. We already talked about the alternative investment podcast, I'm you're here listening to going long podcast, you've got Google, you've got a number of different things that can help at least help you get started and then reach out to people who are actually doing that will help you move forward faster as well.


So before we get into the going on final three, and I know we talked about this in the beginning, but I do want you to tell us a little bit about what you've got going on at the alternative investment database, because I know that that's something also too that's, that's helping people to get their life goals and priorities in order and in shape. We didn't really talk about it talk to me a little bit about what's going on. So yeah, so my partner Jimmy and I, we both have podcasts, he has the opportunity zones podcast, which is also it's a really cool podcast on the covers is really niche type of private equity fund. I have the alternative investment podcast that covers it mainly covers private equity, but but it also covered you know, venture capital, private credit, really any type of alternative investment. And what our goal is, you kind of talked about education being step one,


with alternative investments, there really is a lack of information, a lack of understanding. It's just opaque. Opaque is the word my business partner Jimmy always uses it's it's relatively opaque. I mean, if you want to learn about index funds, stocks and bonds, there are like 1 million books you can buy, right? And they're just, they're just more approachable. There's also books about alts. But they're, they're honestly just less approachable. So what our goal is, is we're educating folks and we're covering, we're covering these products, the strategies and tactics for investors. And I think here's the important part and why it's kind of working is at the end of the day. We're investors you know, I'm an investor I'm an LP you know, funds like like your funds similar


Types of private equity investments I invest in them. So actually I live it, I have that experience. So does Jimmy. And so we,


I guess, I don't want to say our objective, but we kind of see the market from the eyes of the investor, right? Like, at the end of the day, I'm not really any different from your listener, because I'm not a financial industry professional. I'm an LP investor. So we cover all these products and strategies. And I mean, we have great guests on our show. I'm hoping to get Billy on the show soon. You know, folks like him just talking about their strategies, how they generate offer for investors. And 578 times a year, we're scaling up this year, we hold events. So that's actually that's, that's our main thing, like the podcasts, bring in the audience. And they do a good job at that. But our events like those are where the real magic happens. So you know, you kind of mentioned you kind of alluded to this, there's a lot of LPs, or even potential LPS that are like, I want to invest. I want to learn more about this. I don't like where do I start? Where do I begin? So I got good news for you. We run these events, investor events, and they bring together leading private funds, leading managers on the one hand, on the other side, we invite High Net Worth accredited investors, and it's free for the investors, it's free, their online events. And so they're basically jam packed all day. And it's a combination of educational content, and fun presentations, where these managers are talking about their funds. And you know, there's other conferences and things in the industry. They're more like b2b, where, like, professionals are getting together talking to other professionals. And I'm like, No, I want to see action happen, I want to see like, people decide, like, get hooked into a strategy, and learn about that strategy, and then decide, literally tomorrow, I'm placing 250k in capital into that fund, because I just connected with this manager. And so it's all live, it's real time. And we allow people to kind of engage with each other. And then we also we also do educational segments. So it's not just transactional, it's kind of a combination, they've been super successful. Investors love them.


And fund managers love them, because, you know, they'll try and run webinars on their own. And like, sometimes it can be hard to get even 50 people to show up for a webinar, right. And we're like, will come presented our show, we have like 1000 Plus LP investors that register that, that want to know more about funds. So those are, those are really the main parts of our business. But honestly, the most fun I have is with my podcast, because as you know, I love to talk. So yeah, we've got that in common. And I appreciate you helping us understand a bit more about what you're what you're doing helping us understand not just your podcast, but also Jimmy's podcast, and, and also how you are continuing to help to educate as well as bring people together, right? Because at the end of the day, this is a lot of what what it's about. And so here's the other thing, though, I know you and I love to talk, Andy but it's kind of a gotta get in, get us into the going long, final three. But the thing is, I never get us into the going long. Final three unless you tell us because you're a special guest today that you're ready. Are you ready? I'm ready for the final three. Let's do it. I knew you'd be ready, man. You were born ready. I knew that about you. So here we go. So we started with you over in Holland, Michigan. I want to bring it back. Even though I'm from Columbus, Ohio. I want to bring things back to this side of the pond because it's what I've been calling home for the last 22 years. Help us understand Andy, what is your favourite European city that you've either visited or still on your bucket list to visit.


So I'm going to give you my bucket list. city in Europe, which is I'd really love to go to Lourdes in France. So if any listeners are Catholic, you probably know the story of Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes. Well, my favourite saint is St. zayley. Martin. She's French, right. So she lived in France. And when she was sick, she went on a pilgrimage to Lourdes for healing. And I find saints daily story just like so meaningful inspirational to me. And so I really want to follow in her footsteps. I want to go to Lourdes. I'd love to bring my family with me. That's probably I have to wait a few years because we have a literally we have a baby. So I'm not into flying to Europe, baby. Don't do that. Yeah. Just wait. That's my bucket list, though. I want to go to France. I want to go to Lourdes. Okay, well, that's fantastic. Well, my 22 year, one year sabbatical that started 22 years ago started in France as well. So absolutely fantastic. Question number two has a lot to do with successful people. And I know you know a lot about people that are successful, being a successful person yourself. I have. I have also been exposed to lots of people that are extremely successful. And I've noticed a couple of traits. And so I'd really love for you to help me here. But like one of the things in your startup guy, so you've done this. We've seen this over and over and over again. Right? The thing that people that are very successful do differently than


Most nd is that they typically have a plan, right? And one of the things that they do differently is with that plan, they get the plan. No matter how many different plans they have each one of those plans they get them done in they are done perfectly every time the first time, which allows successful people to go on if


he's kind of smiling at me. I don't even know what he's smiling about.


Now, you know, this is my show. I do it all the time. I get all excited. I think that's about figures. This is no I just I love I love this reveal. On everything go on perfectly. That just makes me laugh. It's a Yeah, it's it's of course, it's a yeah, it's just me having my show I'm usually like, are people paying attention and the smile on Andy's face. If you guys are not watching the video version, you need to check out the video version because the smile just went from like literally ear to ear. Of course, Andy, you know how it goes, man. People have this idea that successful people get things right every time the first time. And it's just simply not true. The reality is the most successful people usually make 20 to 50 times more mistakes than anybody else. Because they're always trying new things. But here's the thing. The first part was a joke, right? Just me having fun. But this is the this is real. The idea is


those people that are really successful every single time they make a relevant mistake, a relevant mistake, or learning opportunity, or call it whatever you want to call it every single time they learn from that mistake, but more importantly, what they do after it's amazing. They put different strategies, tactics and actions in place to minimise the probability of that exact same thing happening again.


So you're someone who's successful, I don't want you to think about the learning opportunities, I don't want you to think about the mistakes that were made. But more importantly, what were the lessons in more importantly, for the going long family today? What is the one lesson that you want to share with us that, you know, we need to hear to be able to get closer to our life goals and priorities and minimise the probability of making that same type of mistake?




two, they're really the same thing. But


earlier, I talked about how we, you know, when Jimmy and I were in our 20s, early 30s, we built these businesses, we sold them, and I realised, you know, the private equity side, they were doing well on these deals, I was like, okay, that's the game I want to play. I want to stop building and selling businesses, I want to start, you know, investing on the private equity side, leveraging my capital, along with leveraging, you know, my time and my talents. But that's, that's, that's kind of the lesson on the first level. But I think the deeper lesson is, I was thinking too small.


And so now,


my best advice is to think big, if you have a big dream, it probably scares you a little bit. Because it's like, well, if I say that dream out, if I tell somebody that dream, well, that's already really scary. I don't even want to say this out loud. What if they laugh at me? Or even if I admit to myself, that I really want this dream? Well, now I've just raised the stakes. Because what if I don't achieve that dream? Now, you know, now I feel like a failure because I failed. So it's like, I don't even want to, I don't even want to identify this dream.


But I believe most people are capable of way more than they know that they're capable of.


And so my best advice, and what I'm trying to do is think big, because you're probably capable of like 10 times more than you think you're capable of. So don't settle. Don't settle for the half dream. Like whatever it is you really want. Take that risk, to say it out loud and say that's what I really want and then go after it. Love it. Absolutely love it. So think big, think bigger, and go after it. Love that. His last question, Andy. I would love for us to fill our brains with knowledge. You shared a number of different things with this already. But what is one book that you would recommend to the going long family today?


10x by Grant Cardone it. It is absolute fire. I mean, my thing is, is if you can get inspired, and take action, you don't need the perfect plan, you can make plenty of mistakes. But if you can get motivated, you know if you can, can you identify that big dream, and then find a way to keep yourself motivated to hit it hard? I think that's when people become unstoppable. And you know, I think Grant Cardone he's just a great, really inspirational guy and you gotta fill your life with things that inspire you to take action and inspire you to success. So I definitely would recommend that one. I'm having my whole team read it and they're loving it too. We're just soaking it up. All right, fantastic. So to next and don't worry, everybody for running on the treadmill. We're going


Gonna have links in the show notes. So all you need to do is click a link, don't stop. Don't worry, if you're cooking dinner or all that kind of stuff, we'll make it really, really simple for you. So, you know, in the end, this is just one of these things, right? You and I both like talk, I can't even believe this conversation. Like, it's just gone by so fast. And I'm thinking to myself, well, you and Jimmy at Notre Dame, and you're figuring out, you guys want to go out and you want to do something, you want to set the world on fire, you've got these father entrepreneurs, these role models, so you guys go out, you're ready to set the world on fire. And the very first thing you do well, it doesn't work out exactly like you thought. But you know what, you gained a lot of experience. And you started to recognise that there's certain patterns that you could do. And so from, by the time you were 2425, not only had you started to repeat, but you recognise that there was a process, you rinse and repeat, rinsed and repeated the process a number of times to you got to the point to realise, like, wow, we're so good at this. But then I'm looking on the other side, the people that are actually taking what we've created from scratch, are then three to 25 times doing this. And so hang on a second, this whole labour versus capital thing, how can we figure this out so that I can you can get to the life that you really want to live. And so as you start putting these things together, you realise that you also want where you want to be that you want to continue to have your capital work harder. You understand yourself, because you've sat down, you've prioritised your time you built your life goals and priorities, understood the type of portfolio that you want to be able to have to get you to the lifestyle that you want to lead. And along the way, you continue to make the focus of your world the alternative investment space, even have a podcast named after it. And you're bringing people together so that they can take theory and put it into practice. And so the entire going long families thinking to myself the ability to get over it just asking the question, please. So here's what everybody really wants to know, Andy, what is the best way for the grown love family to find out more about what it is that you're doing? And also how we can find out more about what you're doing at the alternative investment database? Over to you Coronavirus? Yeah, 100% Connect with me on LinkedIn, we love LinkedIn, there's a lot of social platforms, some of them, you know, I don't care to to spend my time, necessarily, but there's a lot of good stuff on LinkedIn. So all your listeners, if you want to connect with me just look up Andy Hagen's on LinkedIn, send me a request. I'll accept it. So I want to hear from you guys. And you know, I'm just happy to connect there. All right, one other plug. If I can make one other point. Go ahead. Good to your listeners. Okay, I know that your show has helped a tonne of people, right. And I've watched some of these up before I came on and watch some episodes only this guy's really good. I love this show. And my team said the same thing. They're like, this guy is really good. I'm like I know. So if you're listening to this right now, and this show has helped you, please pay it forward. And give Billy, go open up here. Don't wait and say I'll do this later. Get your phone out right now. Open it up, go to Apple podcasts, go to Spotify, leave a rating and review because not only does that help Billy, but that's going to help the next investor, the next person that needs this message that needs all the other episodes, all those messages, you're paying it forward to help spread the word. So that's my plug is I'm asking your audience to rate and review this because I'm a podcast host. I know how much that means how much that helps us. So I appreciate that. nd that really, really thank you very much. And yes, definitely, everyone want to leave that honest, written review, as well as reading, feel free to do that. And the one thing I would also to say is go along family. Remember when you reach out to Andy on LinkedIn, the one rule that we have here is make your request a personalised request on LinkedIn because we also like LinkedIn, and let Andy know that you've already invested your most valuable asset, which is your time to get to know him, make it a personalised invitation that's going to help the two of you continue the conversation is going to be much more meaningful. And it's going to let him know that you've already invested your time together. And guess what he's got. He's already said he's going to connect with you. But it's going to give him even more incentive to want to do that. So


yeah. So listen, Andy. Yeah, thank you. Definitely. And when you when you send requests say that you found me through this show, that's how I'll definitely connect with Yeah, exactly. Yeah, let them know. You've already listened to them here on the go. Long Podcast, and you're reaching out love the conversation, and Yemen. So listen, and I can't thank you enough for deciding to invest your time with me and the entire going long family today, man, thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart. Really appreciate it.


Thanks, Billy. I had a lot of fun. All right. Awesome. And if you give me 10 seconds, I'm going to wrap things up really, really quickly. And then I'll get you out of here. Go along family. I mean, what else can I say? I mean, they were like dropped the mic moments here with Andy. He's telling you about all of his experience, the things that he's done. Well, that things that he's learned from not doing things well, take today's conversation, share it with one or two people take the theory, talk about it. Heck, reach out to me, he's giving you the opportunity to do


Do that. And so while you're going from theory to practice, I'll be here preparing for the very next conversation. So until then go out and make it a great day. And thank you very much.


Trust that you enjoy today's conversation and once again today's conversation was sponsored by first generation Capital Partners. If you're an accredited investor want to find out more about how we're helping accredited investors to gain their personal freedom even faster. Go to firstgencp.com forward slash going long.

Billy Keels
Founder & CEO of FGCP
Billy is on a mission to share a roadmap and opportunities with other extremely busy, high-paid professionals on how to find financial freedom through investments. Listen in to learn how!
Guest speaker
Andy Hagans
Co-Founder at WealthChannel
Andy Hagans is a two-decade serial entrepreneur who helps High Net Worth Investors (HNWIs) protect and grow their wealth with alternative investments. Andy is a co-founder of WealthChannel, the leading community for HNWIs who are placing capital in alternative investments. Andy also hosts The Alternative Investment Podcast, the #1 alts podcast reaching RIAs, family offices, and High Net Worth Investors. In the show, he interviews asset managers, family offices, and industry thought leaders, as they discuss the most effective strategies to grow generational wealth.

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