Challenging Conventional Wisdom with The Prolific Investor with Chris Odegard

We have the one and only Chris Odegard to talk about alternative investment vehicles you can try over the traditional ones such as the 401(k). Our discussion mostly focused on 401(k) and why he will advise people to NOT put money into it. Instead, he will advise them to invest in real estate, which if done right, can lead to financial freedom and prosperity. 

Tune in now and learn alternative investment secrets from The Prolific Investor! 

[00:01 – 04:22] Opening Segment

  • Let’s get to know  Chris Odegard
  • He talks about alternative investments 

[04:23 – 14:42] Alternative Investment Vehicles

  • How Chris bought his first rental property 
  • Don’t miss this advice from Chris about 401(k)! 
  • Listen to our interesting exchange about taxes 
    • The 2 tax systems

[14:43 – 25:09] How Chris Fired the Man 

  • The power of negotiation in the real estate space 
  • Want some Amazon refunds? Check out Getida
    • Promo code: FTM400
  • How Chris fired the man 
    • Listen to his story 
    • The Hierarchy of Investments 

[25:10 – 35:04] Rentals > 401k

  • Should you drop your 401(k) and buy rentals instead? 
  • If you’re already putting money into 401(k), here’s Chris’ advice for you
  • How to start an alternative investment

[35:05 – 39:25] Closing Segment 

  • Know more about Chris in the Fire Round! 
  • Connect with Chris. Links below
  • Final words

Tweetable Quotes:

“I think you have to have a goal that’s bigger than money because when the money doesn’t come fast enough or gets too hard, people will give up and quit.” – Chris Odegard

“…if I was your age, with this brain, I would have never put any money into that 401k. I would have started acquiring single family rentals.” – Chris Odegard

Resources Mentioned:

Email to connect with Chris or follow him on InstagramYouTubeTwitter, and Facebook. Check out The Prolific Investor to learn more about his services. 


Liked what you’ve heard? Send us a voice message and share your thoughts! 




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David 0:00
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Chris Odegard 0:41
But the downside or the ugly stepchild of liquidity is volatility. That’s what dry you know, the ability for legions of people to sell something instantly is what drives the prices up and down. So, you know, my apartment buildings and other types of real estate investments, the values, they don’t go like this right, because they can’t be sold instantly. Somebody once said, you know, you need three hobbies, you know, one that exercises your creativity, one that keeps you physically fit and one that makes you money. I think you have to have a goal that’s bigger than money. Because when the money doesn’t come fast enough, or gets too hard, people will give up and quit if that’s what you’re looking for.

Intro 1:26
Welcome, everyone to the firing the man podcast a show for anyone who wants to be their own boss. If you sit in a cubicle every day and know you were capable of more than join us, this show will help you build a business and grow your passive income streams in just a few short hours per day. And now your host serial entrepreneurs David Schomer and Ken Wilson.

David 1:50
Welcome everyone to the firing the man podcast on today’s episode, we are joined by Chris odegard, the founder of the prolific investor, a company aimed at challenging conventional investment, wisdom and advice. Well, today’s episode is not necessarily geared specifically towards Amazon or e commerce sales. Chris aims to provide practical advice that, if followed, can lead to a life of financial freedom and prosperity, which is a goal I think we all have in common. Welcome to the show, Chris.

Chris Odegard 2:18
Thanks for having me on. I’m really happy to be here.

David 2:21
Absolutely. So first things first, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Chris Odegard 2:24
Well, I grew up in the Midwest suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio in a middle class family conventional thinking and I went down to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida to get my education in the field that I love aviation, and I moved out to Seattle, and I worked for the Boeing Company for 33 and a half years and and like I said, You know, I knew I know, my parents knew where to get a job with benefits, put your money in a 401k. And someday off in the distant future maybe in your 60s, you’d be financially free and able to retire. And I had a great career. But something happened to me in my mid 40s, I had finally referred to as a liquidity event which in my case was a divorce, I lost 55% of my assets and 1000s of dollars a month in income. And so the conventional plan wasn’t going to work if I will deal with with that loss. And that’s when a friend of mine had recommended a book to me that sat on my nightstand for longer than I care to admit. And it was Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and it just sat there and I was on a business trip on an airplane. So I got time I’m gonna finish this book, start the book and finished it. And I did. And that just turned me on to this whole new world of alternative investments, which includes real estate and a lot of other things. And in the nine short years, I had made up all of that 55% loss, I fired the man, and way early, but then the original plan back when I was doing everything, conventionally. And so about a year before I fired the man, I started writing this blog, and I thought, you know, Americans and even other people around the world, you know, the financial system is just stacked against them. And there are so many benefits to be outside of that system outside of 401 K’s and the stock market and doing other things, but nobody talks about it. So I started a blog, I said, Well, I just want to help other people, you know, get to that financial independence faster. And you know, there’s nothing wrong with working. But I always say you want to get to a place where you can make work of choice instead of a necessity. And what you do every day is what makes you happy and fulfills you and not because you got to do it to pay the bills. So that’s the short story.

David 4:42
Oh, very nice. And before we dive a little deeper on alternative investments and more about the prolific investor, I have to ask you now, both Ken and I love the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad. And we actually have done an entire episode about that. Now I got to ask how long after you read that book did you purchase your first rental property, mine is three months. And I’m curious about that.

Chris Odegard 5:04
You’ve got me you probably got me beat. It was within 24 months. So there was a little bit of a if I can indulge a little bit of a funny story, so I had read that book and, and you know, there was kind of a call to action at the last chapter and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Saturday Night Live episode with Chris Farley, where he’s the motivational speaker and living in a van down by the river. Well, I was living in a van down by the river, sort of in terms of this really dumpy apartment after my illiquidity event. And an advertisement came on the radio for Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad company, they were doing a local seminar in real estate. And so the day that I was to go to that my 92 F150, which I still drive, which is parked right here, wouldn’t start, I was like, Oh, my gosh, I can’t I have got to go to this, I found a rental car company that would drop off a car to my house, like, I went to that seminar. And that was, you know, just the first many classes on real estate investment. So yeah, you’ve got me beat with the 3 month thing. That’s awesome.

Ken 6:15
Yeah, I think the illiquidity event that you speak of is pretty common. and I think that there’s probably a lot of listeners that have had that experience, or have heard of that, uh, oh, yeah. Interesting. So, my background, Chris is in network engineering. And so that’s kind of my, you know, my space. And so investing is, you know, sometimes it’s overwhelming. And not just me, but for a lot of people. So for those that are not financially savvy, or do not have a background in investing, you know, why should they care about investing?

Chris Odegard 6:48
Well, kind of, like I said before, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with work. And, you know, we’ve got to do it. But someday, no matter how much you like your job, you probably want to, you want to call it quits someday, or you just want to do something different, you know, you’ve got this job, and you’re making however many, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars a year you’re making, but at some point in time, say I would rather be doing this over here, and this doesn’t pay much money or any money, but that’s where my passion really lies. And I just want to do that. So, you know, we all have to, I mean, we all have to spend, I think, a certain amount of our efforts toward investing. So we can, you know, get to that point, I wish I could remember where I heard this, but somebody once said, you know, you need three hobbies, you know, one that exercises your creativity, one that keeps you physically fit, and one that makes you money. So I always thought that was a really good thing. And so we should all be spending a little bit of time working on how we’re not going to work anymore. And unfortunately, if you just give your money to, you know, the 401k administrator think you’re gonna get there, you may get there, but it’ll take a long time and in the quality of life, at least financially, will be less, and there’s better ways to go about it.

David 8:02
Chris, I’d like to dive a little bit more into 401k plans. And you know, when I first joined the workforce, it was like, standard, right, you start your 401k plan, if your company makes contributions, great if they match great, but it was just kind of this blanket advice. And the thing that makes me nervous about that is you pay into these things over your lifetime. And then when you’re retired, hopefully things work out, but you do not really get a do over. And so, what are your thoughts on 401k plans? And what would be your advice to people, you know, to be on the lookout for?

Unknown Speaker 8:39
First of all, they’re terrible don’t put your money in them. There is a place for the Roth. But I would say, you know, if I and this is the way I like to answer this question, if I could go back, you know, 30 40 years, you know, knowing what I know, now, I would have never put a dime in a 401k. So think about the why people invest in 401ks, number one, you supposedly you get these tax benefits, right? In terms of deferring your income into the future. Number two, you get this company match, right. And then I don’t know how you guys want to put this I have put together the graphic on this. Because one day I said, Well, let me do the math and compare intuitively, in my mind, I know or at least I thought I knew that buying a single family rental was a better investment than a 401 K. And I’ve done the math on that. So think about this. So again, the two things taxes, and the company match. Those are kind of the big deal. So well, when you buy a single family rental, you get a match also, and it’s called other people’s money in the fact that the tenant is paying off the principal of your mortgage over 30 years and that is better than the average 4% match that comes from the company match across the country. So you’re getting I call it an other people’s money benefit. With a 401k your employer makes a contribution. When you have a rental property, the tenant makes the contribution and the tenant contributions worth more than the average employer match and the strange thing is you get the supposed tax benefit with the 401k. And that’s where you don’t pay money, you don’t pay tax now but you defer them in the future where supposedly you’re going to be in a lower tax bracket. Well, if you had, instead of putting that money in the 401k, and deferred the taxes in the future, if you had invested it in even in the same things, mutual funds in the account, or Charles Schwab, when you took that money out 30 years later, under today’s tax laws, it’d be taxed at 15% long term capital gains rate. When you put it into the 401k, when it comes out, it comes out as ordinary income taxed at the highest rate, just like you were working. So you’ve taken money that you could’ve change to 15% tax bracket and maintain the highest tax bracket. And you only get that tax benefit when you make the contribution. So you make a contribution to your 401k. And that contribution that year is deferred. When you make an investment into single family rental, you get a tax benefit every year for 26 and a half years to this call, you get to depreciate the property, and that tax benefit is worth more than a 401k. So 401k wins hands down. And let’s say in a year, you made a $30,000 contribution to your 401k plan, you buy $30,000 worth of stuff. If you took $30,000 as a down payment on a house, you can buy $100,000 worth of stuff, and you get all the benefits the only $100,000 asset including the $70,000 that the bank put in. So those are my thoughts on that. Hopefully that made some sense.

Ken 11:55
Yeah, that was a really good analogy. I’ve never heard it described like that. But you know, it makes sense. So getting into taxes a little bit more. There’s a saying that Benjamin Franklin has nothing is certain but death and taxes. Do you think that’s true? You kind of alluded to some tax benefits here in real estate, maybe can you dive deeper in there and pull the curtain back on that?

Chris Odegard 12:17
Yeah, well, it’s certainly half true. So you know, today at least everybody’s gonna die someday. But the fact that there’s the taxes are for certain is not true. In 2019 I paid zero federal income taxes. And, you know, we’ve heard if you listen to anything, Robert Kiyosaki says on his podcast or his interviews or read his books, he talks about, you know, paying little or no tax as being an eye quadrant as an investor. And I can now say that little old me I have done that in 2019 I paid no taxes as a matter of fact, I did two blogs on the topic. One was where I talked about kind of how I did it. And then I kind of overachieve. I’m trying to off took a $100,000 401k distribution purposely because I know that the tax benefits are better outside than inside. So I created a $100,000 taxable event. And so I wanted to eliminate that. So I did by making a particular energy investment, but I, I overachieved and not only wiped out that, but all of my ordinary income. And so I talked about that. And then I was really kind of torn about whether to talk about the fact I didn’t pay any taxes, because, you know, some people are gonna, well, that’s unAmerican. And, you know, everybody’s got to pay your fair share, when it was just not a political comment. It doesn’t matter who the President was at the time. But there was a lot of press about Trump about the fact that he paid $750 in taxes. Well, I say he was an underachiever because I paid zero. So, but the point was, you know, everybody, the press things were like, oh, there’s two tax systems, one for the rich and one for the poor is no, there’s two tax systems, one for those who are educated, and those who are uneducated, I don’t have an army of attorneys or CPAs, I do have a CPA. And, you know, I was able to do this because, you know, I just make it my point to, you know, full advantage of the tax code, and when you think about it, but 90 plus percent of the tax code is telling you how to pay less taxes. It’s just the government saying, hey, if you want to do business with me and do things that the government thinks are good for the economy, do these things, and we will reward you so I choose to do those things. The rest of the people that don’t I’m sorry, but they’re making a choice to pay more taxes.

David 14:37
You know, you as we’re talking about taxes and real estate, I forget where this was, I was at a presentation somewhere and someone said Why do people in real estate pay so little taxes? And this was a very simple answer, but I really this, you know, years later, I still remember it. The person said, you know, there are two occupations that the government really favors one is farmers because they provide food, and two is people that invest in real estate because it provides shelter, right food and shelter, that’s like the bare necessities for our country to you know, prosper, right. And so that really stuck with me. And, you know, I come from Iowa from a farming community. And boy, is that true on the farming side of things. And, you know, as a real estate investor, I’ve found the same to be true. And so I really, I really like your comments about taxes. Now, we connected a couple months ago, and since then, I’ve become a pretty big fan of your blog, and wanted to dive into I hope you don’t mind repeating this, but you have a very good negotiation story, when you were the director of contracts at Boeing. You mind if we get into that?

Chris Odegard 15:41
You must have heard that somewhere else. Because that’s not I don’t think that’s on my blog, but I’m happy to listen to it.

David 15:46
Listen, Chris, I’m a fan. I’m a fan. I’ve heard it somewhere. But boy, would I love you to tell that story on this podcast.

Chris Odegard 15:53
Sure. So I did a lot of things at the Boeing Company over 33 and a half years. And it was a, you know, it’s really, you know, I think in anybody’s kind of corporate career, if you had one, you know, there were ups and downs. And it’s, and sometimes the down part is kind of toward the end, and I don’t know whether that’s you know, being older or the job just changed. But anyway, when I look on the career as a whole, it was a great career in the contracts portion of it was most certainly the highlight. So let’s go back to the days before the first 787 ever rolled out in a factory. And it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. And it was a to use a real estate term it was a seller’s market, we couldn’t sell enough of these planes fast enough. And I was the Boeing, the selling team consisted of the contracts director and the sales director of the marketing tricks. And I was the contracts guy, I wrote the contracts, negotiate the details, sign the deal. And then the three of us were over in a, I’ll just say an island, Pacific island nation, in the national airline there. And I believe they were buying three or five 787s. And we had been to this place, you know, a number, it was a really nice place to go to we had been there a number of times. And we went back to just kind of ink the deal. And it was supposed to be all over. And we showed up on a Monday, and me and the sales director and we’ve got the CEO and a handful of his staff there. And they kind of start just renegotiating and they had this long laundry list of stuff. And I was just kind of shocked. And I said, you know, we came here to finish this deal not to renegotiate it. I said, Look, we’re going to go back to the hotel. And we’re out of here on Friday, one way or the other. And you know, we’ll let you know. And so the sales director and I went back to the hotel, we sat at the nice pool for a few days, and we said okay, this is it was kind of ridiculous that they were doing this, but we said okay, we need to, let’s take a look at this list of things and figure out for the sale and the relationship. What is it that we can do here? And so we showed back up on a Friday, you know, few hours before we were supposedly leaving, I don’t remember exactly if we were or not but that was the story we gave. And I sat across the table from these guys and contracts are still done the old fashioned way. I mean, an airplane contract is big, you know, three ring binder this big, you know, I kid you not, there’s probably 50 signatures, you know, and we would do duplicates. And I had this, these binders in front of me and I said okay, I’m gonna go through your list and anything I don’t mention, we’re not doing anything. And I said, Okay, number four. He says number one, two, and three. I said, anything I don’t mention, we’re not doing and so we went through the list of things. And I addressed a handful of things that I thought were appropriate. And I took these two binders, and I pushed them off the table and I said, that’s the deal. It’s good until we leave the room. And he said, Well, no pressure. I said, No. This is the way it is. And he said if you wouldn’t mind going into the room next door for a little while. So me and the sales guy went next door for 30 or 45 minutes, and we came back in and he said a few words. He said well, if you want to give me a signing pen I’ll start signing. And so we started signing these things and while we were doing it, he said to one of those vice presidents he said Hey, remember when Airbus was here, and they gave us that bottle of champagne to sign or to drink when we were signing the contract. We’re signing the contract, so let’s drink their champagne. So it was a very nice, you know, multiple $100 bottle of customized Airbus champagne for the A350 the competitor to the 787. So it was a pretty sweet deal. We drank Airbus’s champagne while we were sitting there signing the Boeing contract 787. So, you know, that’s one of my favorite stories. You don’t get too many, you know, times where you can say you know, take it or leave it like I said it was a seller’s market in those days. Very Different now of course, but anyway, it was a lot of fun.

Ken 20:03
Yeah, I like that story. That’s gutsy. That’s hard nosed. And yeah, sounds like it made it even sweeter to drink that Airbus while you’re inking that deal. That’s top shelf there.

David 20:16
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Ken 21:08
So Chris, I want to switch directions a little bit. Can you explain to the audience, you know, what the hierarchy of investors is and why did you create it?

Chris Odegard 21:16
So as I after I started my blog, you know, a little bit before I fired the man, I’m going to keep throwing that in there. That’s why I fired the man. I hate the word retirement. I’m gonna use your guys’s term, you know, I fired the man. And so people would ask me, well, what’s the purpose of your blog? Chris, what are you trying to do, and you guys already touched about it when you said, you know, food and shelter. I started to think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And, you know, with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you’ve got food, shelter, safety, security, self actualization at the top. So I view conventional investments in investors, which is pretty much everything that’s publicly traded stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, those are conventional investments. Those are not even on the pyramid. I use pyramid and hierarchy interchangeable, they’re like in the shadow of the pyramid in the dark, you know, and then on the hierarchy, or pyramid, are all these various alternative investments, you know, things like real estate, cryptocurrency, Business Machines, energy, cash value, life insurance. And as you move, everything is better on the pyramid, I mean, so I compare conventional investments and alternative investments across 13 different categories, and in 11 of the 13 alternatives have the advantage, one of them is neutral. And conventional investments, their only advantage is liquidity, meaning you can convert your investment into cash instantly. But the downside, or the ugly stepchild of liquidity is volatility, you know, the ability for millions of people to sell something instantly is what drives the prices up and down. So, you know, my apartment buildings and other type of real estate investments, the values they don’t go like this, right, because they can’t be sold instantly. So anyway, the hierarchy of investors is the visual that I created to explain why people need to get out of the shadow, and move up onto the pyramid or the hierarchy.

David 23:17
And we’re gonna post that in the show notes a link to that, because it is a really good visual. Now, Chris, I understand you have a book coming out? Can you go into that at all?

Chris Odegard 23:27
Yeah. It’s called, hopefully, you won’t need the editor on this, it’s called get off your ass and manage your money, why you need alternative investments and A$$. And, I’m just so passionate about this. And so it’s really walking people through the hierarchy of investors. And not only that, but kind of right back to the beginning. You know, there are four main asset classes paper, which is you know, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, real assets, things like real estate, business equipment, commodities, oil, gas, you know, grains, beef, things like that. And then businesses, private shares of smaller businesses. And so when you hand your money over to a financial advisor, and they build you a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, you’re only in one of the asset classes. So you’re diversified within a fraction of the marketplace, and then, and alternatives spread all across all of those assets. So anyway, it’s just kind of an educational process that starts there, and walks you through the hierarchy of investments and why different things are better and I use one particular alternative investment as an example throughout the whole thing. So I will say, Okay, well, here’s why alternatives are better over conventional investments in terms of return on your investments, and then I’ll talk generally about what the s&p 500 has done over its conception since about 1926. And then I’ll use one of my alternatives, which believe it or not, is ATM machines. And the reason I use ATM machines is because they’re very simple. And the math is very evil. Very, excuse me not very evil, but the math is pretty simple and consistent. So that’s the reason I use it. And at the end of the day, I’m like, okay, here it is. And I actually it’s been through one draft with the editor, and I realized I needed a call to action. So if I did my job correctly, you’re like, Oh, my gosh, I need to be in alternate investments. How do I get started? So that’s the final chapter that I had to add, and it’s coming. But you know, I’ve just moved from Seattle to South Carolina. So, trying to find a place to live. So the book will be out sometime this year, for sure.

Ken 25:51
No, that’s great. I’ll be waiting for it. I’ll grab a copy of it and check it out. For sure. So Chris, you alluded to earlier that, you know, the like your analogy of like a 401k, saving for retirement versus a rental property. So do you recommend basically, for you know, someone in their, you know, 20s 30s, that saving for retirement long term, would you recommend not putting money into a 401k. And just taking that same money, and then throughout their, if they choose to work throughout their career, just buying rentals, and then having that income and retirement? Is that what you recommend?

Chris Odegard 26:28
unequivocally, that’s what I wish I would have not, I followed the conventional wisdom, and it worked relatively well for me, but I can tell you that I left millions of dollars on the table, you know, by starting in my early 20s at a job and just putting all this money in a 401k. I actually have a lot of young people that talk to me and follow me. And that’s exactly the way I answered the question. I said, Well, what would you do? So I have to, I have to say, Look, I’m not a financial advisor, I can’t do investment or tax advice. But knowing what I know now, if I was your age, with this brain, I would have never put any money into that 401k, I would have started acquiring single family rentals. And, you know, you could do that it’s a little bit like the Monopoly game, the little houses, and then the hotels, and you just kind of keep building it. And the advantages are just, they’re just overwhelming. Matter of fact, let me pull out a number here from my little sheet here. First year return on a, if you said okay, I’m gonna put $30,000 into my 401k. And assume like an 8% return with a 4% employer match, because of the employer match in the first year you get about a 36% return. Let’s say I don’t put anything in the second year, then you just dropped down to about your 8% return. Single family rental, you put your $30,000 in, that’s the down payment on a loan, and you get 3% appreciation, a minimal cash flow of like $100 a month, you get the depreciation, you’re not getting 36%, the first year you’re getting 45%, the first year, and the second year when you got only 8%, on your 401k you’re getting 28% on the real estate because you continue to get the other people’s money in terms of you’re getting the tenant paying your mortgage, even when you’re not making another investment. And you’re getting depreciation even when you’re not making an investment. So the numbers are huge, they’re overwhelming. Matter of fact, I’ll do this one from memory. If you bought a single family rental, I got to put together this graphing s&p 500 over its history has generated just a little bit less than 10%. But there have been studies done and the average investor because of the way they move money in and out of the market, they only get about 5%. That’s before taxes and inflation. So you know, the average stock investor is not even keeping up with inflation.

Ken 29:02
Yeah, that’s a really good point. I have a kind of a curveball question here. It just kind of came to me. So let’s say they’re someone and you know, that’s in their 30s 40s. They kind of got into the trap of investing into a 401k. And now it’s like, okay, let’s say they have $100,000 in a 401k. Do you think it would be a good time to pivot and then extract money out of that 401k and go into real estate? What do the numbers look like over say, a 20 year period of doing that?

Chris Odegard 29:34
You know, I would say it’s always a good idea to pivot because the benefits are so overwhelming. And the thing that people shouldn’t do is beat themselves up about things that they didn’t know, or they didn’t learn. You know, we all learn what we learn when we learn it because of our family situation or you know, the people that we hung around with. So yeah, pivot and the interesting thing about 401 K’s is that most people think that you can only invest your 401k money in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, that’s only because the big 401k administers, that’s all they let you invest in. There’s only about a handful of things that the IRS says you can’t invest your 401k money. So if you get the right administrator, if you can take your money from, you know, this administrator here and put it over here, you can take 401k money and buy real estate with it. But you got to get the right plan. You’ve probably heard of self direct, you know, you have IRAs, and you might have heard of a self directed IRA, that’s where you take your IRA money, and you put it into with a self directed custodian where you can invest that money in anything, including real estate or cryptocurrency or whatever, you could do the same thing with a 401k. And their employer doesn’t allow them to do something called an in service transfer where they can take their money out and move it to an outside administrator while they’re still working, then you’ve got a little bit of a problem with a penalty and things like that. But you know, I did it in 2019, I took a $100,000 distribution, because I knew it was better and found a way to not do taxes, but you really got to do your homework before you do that. Because you don’t want to pay those penalties and taxes. Yeah, you’d pay if you couldn’t do it, you pay that with the taxes that you pay the penalties if you do it wrong.

David 31:16
So Chris, I’ve got a follow up question to that. So there is probably someone listening right now. And that has money in a 401k. They liked the idea of rolling it into something like a self directed IRA, you had mentioned, do your homework, what would be step one for them? Do they need to talk to their employer? Do they need to talk to their current 401k plan administrator? What would they need to do to put the ball in motion,

Chris Odegard 31:39
if they’re still working? And the key is the term in service transfer? That’s the key you call up, you know, whoever this plan administrator is for your employer, say can I do an in service transfer? In my case, this is not the distribution that I did in 2019. But prior to that, this is kind of a good story, too. When I first got into alternatives, I was part of an investment group, you know, just a networking group. And, I had the exact problem you’re talking about, you know, I’d been employed for a lot of years, and a lot of my money was tied up in a 401k. And there wasn’t a whole lot extra outside, especially after that illiquidity events, you know, to go invest in real estate. And this guy said to me said, Chris call your company plan administrator and ask him if you can do an in service transfer? And I said, well, what’s an in service transfer? He said, Well, that’s where they will let you take some of your money and transfer it to an outside administrator while you’re still working. And I don’t think I laughed out loud. But you know, I had worked at the Boeing Company for decades. By this time, I was like, Look, if that were possible, certainly I would have heard about it. Right? I was wrong. I was dead wrong. And I called and they said, yeah, we will let you take out or transfer all of the company’s contributions, which after a few decades of working was not an insignificant amount of money. And I used that to fund some of my first alternatives. So that’s the key in service transfer, you got to find out what the current administrator will let you do.

David 33:15
So you have a mentoring program? Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Chris Odegard 33:19
Yeah. So on my website, and it’s kind of evolved, I have a thing that says, hey, you know, schedule a free 30 minute, virtual coffee with Chris. And then there’s this kind of awkward silence at the end of those conversations. Well, what’s next, Chris? What if I want to have these conversations more often? And have you help me do this? So I created a program and I thought, well, you know, my journey was, you know, like a lot of people is one step forward, five steps back six steps to the left, eight steps to the right, another half step forward, and I went, you know what, I know how to draw the straight line on this path now, because I’ve done it and I could take somebody through an educational process that would show them why this path is better, and introduce them to all the right resources and the right people in the right groups. And then at the end of this, and maybe this takes a year, they could be an alternative investor and an educated one. And so basically, it’s a process that involves homework on their part. And then we have, depending on which price level they want to choose, then I have regular video conversations with them, because everybody can read books and listen to podcasts, but it’s this. Okay, well, I read this, and I heard this, but I didn’t quite get it. Can we go into a little bit more detail about that. So that’s kind of what that’s all about. And what’s interesting is, it’s a good thing and it’s kind of hard to understand the thing that the people who are most open to this are young people. I mean, I’m talking about kids that are still in college, and most people are under 30. In my job when I was sitting around, you know, three or four other guys that were all my age, and they watched me climb out of this illiquidity event doing what I’m doing, do you think any of them ever looked at what I was doing and said, Well, maybe I should try that. 99% of the people don’t. And I guess it’s this, you know, 50 year old mindset, but the young people are snatching this stuff up, and I’m like, you’re gonna be so much further ahead of the game by doing things differently. So it’s really rewarding to have these conversations with these young people.

Ken 35:26
Yeah, that’s great. You know, I think there’s a, you know, something to be said about mentoring programs and kind of skipping the line, you know, you can kind of pay to get ahead, and I’ve used that in my business career. So yeah, definitely a very valuable program to find someone that’s been there and ask them how they got there. Right. So really cool. Before we wrap up, David, did you have any follow up questions?

David 35:50
I don’t, this has been wonderful. We’re gonna post links to a whole lot down in the show notes on the prolific investor website, got a lot of great graphics, and really looking forward to your book. So be sure to when that goes on sale, send me an email.

Chris Odegard 36:05
Well, there is a little star on the homepage that says no pre orders. So if you go in there and click on that, you can put your name and you’ll be one of the first people, you’ll be the second person that knows right after me.

Ken 36:18

David 36:19

Ken 36:19
So Chris, we have a fire round that we do for every guest. Are you ready?

David 36:23
I’m so ready. Yeah, let’s do it.

Ken 36:24
All right. What is your favorite book?

Chris Odegard 36:26
I have a hard time picking favorites. So I’m gonna I’m gonna break the rules and do three Rich Dad Poor Dad is one. The other one is tax free wealth by Tom wheelwright. And the third one is 401 chaos by Andy Tanner, though I say favorite, those books have really changed my mind and taught me how to look at things differently.

Ken 36:45
Excellent. Yeah, I have not heard of that third one. I’ve read the first two, but I’m gonna check out that third one. Very cool. What are your hobbies?

Chris Odegard 36:52
My hobbies. I like things with motors. So motorcycles, Corvettes, and I like driving them all across the country. That’s one of them behind investing, which I just really get a kick out of finding, you know, the next deal and beyond that I’m a barbershop acapella singer. So I have sang in barbershop choruses and quartets. And matter of fact, I just moved down here to Summerville, South Carolina, and I’ll be looking for a new barbershop group to join to start singing.

Ken 37:22
That’s awesome. Yeah, very cool. Very diverse. Lots of diverse hobbies. Very cool. Okay. What do you think sets apart successful entrepreneurs from those who give up fail or never get started?

Chris Odegard 37:35
I think you have to have a goal that’s bigger than money. Because when the money doesn’t come fast enough, or gets too hard, people will give up and quit. If that’s what you’re looking for. So, you know, even just doing what I’m doing, you know, and money was not the primary motivator it was just to help educate people. But you know, if I could, if it had been, I would have given up quite a long time ago, because it’s been, you know, I don’t know anything about doing this kind of stuff. And I’m learning as I go along, and it’s costing me money to do it. So you got to have a goal that’s bigger than the dollar.

Ken 38:13
Yeah. Excellent advice. Excellent advice. Yeah. Pre revenue ventures are tough. Right. Chris, really appreciate you taking the time come on the show. How can people get a hold of you?

David 38:23
Everything about me, you can find it at And, you know, there’s kind of a three step process to interact with me. There’s a conventional wisdom quiz. It’s a 10 question quiz you could take that it’ll email you what your answer was, and what my answer was, and if there’s a difference why they were different. And then you can schedule a 30 minute free virtual coffee with me. And after that, if you’re interested in the mentoring program that’s there. And of course, you can sign up to be the first to get notified when the book comes out. But everything on all the social media channels, YouTube, everything is that’s the one stop shop.

Excellent. Excellent. Well, we really appreciate you coming on the show. And I look forward to staying in touch. Thank you.

Chris Odegard 39:06
Yeah, thanks for having me. It’s been a lot of fun. I really appreciate you guys having me.

David 39:09
Perfect. Thank you everyone for tuning in to today’s Firing the Man podcast. If you like this episode, head on over to, and check out our resource library for exclusive firing the man discounts on popular e commerce subscription services that is\resource. You can also find a comprehensive library of over 50 books that Ken and I have read in the last few years that have made a meaningful impact on our business, for that head on over to Lastly, check us out on social media at firing the man, and on YouTube at firing the man for exclusive content. This is David Schomer

Ken 39:50
and Ken Wilson. We’re out

David 40:07
Before you go we wanted to share a new service that Ken and I have been using called getida that has made us over $10,000 in Amazon reimbursements. The service requires no monthly subscription and getida collects a small percentage of the money they recover for you. It takes less than five minutes to set up and works on all Amazon marketplaces. Go to and enter promo code FTM 400. That’s FTM for firing the man 400 to get your first $400 in reimbursements commission free. How much money does Amazon owe you?

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