Too many of us struggle with anxiety over money. Income, debt, career, lifestyle, taxes, and so much more put pressure on your dollars. The good news is that author Scott Jarred is here to help. In his new book, FutureHack! he shows you how to achieve your goals and dreams and hack your financial future to reach your full potential.
The book is a roadmap to give you more protection, improve your cash flow, and help you define rules for your money. You can live the life you want to live and reach financial independence. Are you ready to future hack your financial life?
Drew Appelbaum: Hey Listeners, my name is Drew Applebaum and I’m excited to be here today with Scott Jarred, author of FutureHack! How To Reach Your Full Financial Potential. Scott, thank you for joining, welcome to The Author Hour Podcast.
Scott Jarred: Thanks Drew, thanks for having me.
Drew Appelbaum: Let’s kick this off, can you give us a rundown of your professional background?
Scott Jarred: Yes, we started our company INVST, which was formerly Jarred Bunch, back in 2003. We created a financial company. I really started before that, at the age of 12, I had a paper route, and I started my business acumen then and then kind of evolved from there.
I finished grad school, went to work in Pie Tech America, a technology business helping them decide on the best way to grow and scale. Then we realized that wasn’t our path, that wasn’t the right path for me, and we created this financial company to offer consultative solutions to entrepreneurs, business owners, and people that wanted to grow.
Fast forward to now, we’re a large, registered investment advisory firm. We have over 50 employees and about 20 different advisors that work with us that help people, ‘future hack’ their lives to live the life they want.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, why was now the time to share these stories in the book? Did you have an “Aha!” moment? Was there something inspiring out there? Was there something as simple as you had a little bit more time on your hands because of COVID?
Scott Jarred: Yeah, definitely not any free time on my hands. Things have been crazy, especially with COVID and all that. It was actually a great time to be able to work closely with your clients because you could do it more in a virtual format. It became more of normal communication, working through Zoom and all that.
What triggered it was really that you have all this industry knowledge, you have all these life experiences, you’ve learned from so many different people, and most of the time when I meet with people, they never really get to work with other people in the same way I do, so they don’t get to see inside what families do, what family offices do, what decisions that they make because everyone’s working in their unique business.
I have a very unique perspective because I get to see the other side of what’s happening. So, I’ve learned all these frameworks and all the strategies, and what I would call ‘hacks’–these simple solutions to get to where you want to go. Through just spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on personal coaching and development, and professional designations, and being in the industry, working with top financial advisors, working inside family offices, and with really wealthy, successful people, in general, I realized, “Man, I have to get this information out there.”
So, I wanted to write a book to say, “Look, what’s possible! How do you think about it? How do you grow? How do you have these four freedoms we talk about? How to free up your money, how to free up your time, have freedom with the relationships with the people you want to be with, and then have freedom with your purpose. How do we give you these four freedoms and really live this life that you want and completely hack your future?”
I started putting the framework together, I said, “Hey, there are 10 things, and this is what it looks like,” and it’s literally a different way of thinking, it’s a new opportunity, it’s a new path, and I never saw anything like it in the industry out there today.
Communicating in a Clearer Way
Drew Appelbaum: Now, a lot of authors have the idea for their book rattling around in their head, you might even have an outline, but during the writing process and sometimes by digging deeper into some of the subjects, you come to some major breakthroughs and learnings, did you have any of these breakthroughs and learnings on your writing journey?
Scott Jarred: Yeah, you know, what’s funny is when you start to put pen to paper and then communicate about it, what happens is you get clearer on what you are doing. I thought that was interesting, as I was going through actually putting it together. I never realized how much clearer my thoughts became, and how much clearer the messaging became, and what it was we were doing, when you actually have to put it to paper, in a process, and then in a framework that works.
When you do a book, you had to have some form of a big idea or something that’s different because there are so many things out there. So, why is your thing different than someone else? We end up turning it around and saying, “Hey, it’s this thing–How do you reach your full financial potential? How do you hack your future? What are the things that people do that are systematized and process-based that get them to where they need to go?”
For me, that was the biggest thing. Every time we came up with a new concept–I wouldn’t say a new concept, these are actually lifelong old concepts–but how do you communicate it in a better way? What’s the story that gets someone to understand it clearer, to be able to help them move forward and live the life that they want?
As you write the book and you start to get clearer in that thought, you become a better communicator at explaining how you do a certain skill or certain framework that other people have done, and then help them be able to realize it, own it, and then actually execute it.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, when you were writing the book, in your mind, who are you writing this book for? Were you writing it for business owners only, were you writing for maybe the average investor out there?
Scott Jarred: I was really toying with that, it was very tough to come up with who my audience was because, just for me personally, I never had anything growing up as a kid. I was just trying to figure it out, get into college, get out, get a job, or whatever that looked like. But I always had something in me that was different. I was always abundant-minded, not always, but it started coming to me.
I thought that if we could write this thing for people that want to grow, they have a different mindset, but they need help developing it and growing it, that really was the audience. What I found is I’m really talking to that person that wants to become an entrepreneurial business owner or someone who wants to go next level within their financial journey, as they start to understand how their money works and create new things and create new assets and new process and products for themselves.
It became clearer that it was not only people that were abundant-minded, that love their family, that were trying to grow, it’s also they want to do things differently for themselves. It became this new class of clientele for us where they were entrepreneurial business owners that were looking for a new opportunity for themselves.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, in the book, you talk about your childhood, and you brought it up, so I want to ask you, what was young Scott like?
Scott Jarred: The young Scott was very timid, was just trying to survive, really. It was tough, it wasn’t necessarily something that was fun, but it was definitely the best experience that I’ve ever had that’s made me who I am today.
When you get thrown into an environment where you’ve got scarcity all around you, where people are just struggling to get by, and you’re trying to figure things out with very little resources, it takes your confidence away, or wrecks it, really. You try to get out of it, but you just can’t because everyone that surrounds you is holding you down or it’s just not possible because you can’t even think through what that looks like on the other side.
Young Scott was very trapped and that definitely had to be a transition point–how do you get out of this thing? How do you better your surroundings, better your environment, think differently than the people that you’re surrounded with at the time?
Drew Appelbaum: You graduate college, you go on to higher education, and you get a really good job but you end up leaving and creating your own firm, Jarred Bunch Consulting. What did it take and what was the mindset to say, “I’m not in the right place, I’m going to go out on my own.”
Scott Jarred: It’s interesting because I remember in college and working my way up through grad school. I played sports and I was able to get so many credit hours, I just maximized everything I could. I bounced around from major to major and degree to degree and just got as much knowledge as I could.
Really, when I got out of school, there was nothing there. It was September 11th and the whole financial crisis. The tech sector really wasn’t very good at the time. It’s funny because I was spending my whole time trying to find a job, just looking hours and hours for a job, versus, “What opportunities are in the world today that I can go out and do something with?”
It was funny because I was not trained that way, the whole university and all that was to train you to go get a job. So, once I actually got that job, I was super excited. I was like, “Man, I’m going to take over the world, this is great! I’m going to go into corporate America and we’re going to crush it!” I was fortunate that a group of us got this job in this consulting program, and if you don’t hit your numbers or you don’t develop within six months, you’re basically fired, and we all just dominated it.
We did really well and then we got these opportunities to move. Then the company bought another division of another company and they fired all these people. We were supposed to be getting rid of them, and then rolling in new technology. Then you take a break and realize, “Man, that was a lot of work to get to this point, and now I just let go of all these people, where am I going to be from this point on? What skills have I really developed, have I really changed the world? Am I adding purpose?”
It’s very eye-opening to me that, man, you’ve been entrepreneurial this whole time, from the age of 12, you got to fend for yourself, and you got to do these different things to get through college, and you just always had been that way. Then you switch this whole time to go get a degree and to get a job that I literally had for, like a year and a half, two years, and realized I was completely unemployable and I really needed to create something that was different.
I realized, “Why don’t we do what we do for technology companies for real people and then help them deliver this better way of thinking? And get them to the place that I was always striving to get?” And, that for me, was the biggest transition point, I realized, “We have to do this!”
So, at the time, my roommate was in the financial business and I said, “Look, you quit your job first, let’s split my paycheck–because I was making good money–and let’s start this thing.” Eyes wide opened, not realizing how hard that actually was, but it worked out. We got through it and got stressed out a few times, and then I got shingles, but we got through it.
That entrepreneurial journey is, “Bet on yourself, do these things!” That’s the mind shift that I keep talking about is, “I did this when I was a kid, I did it again, I’m doing it again, my gosh, there’s a pattern here! This is how you literally hack your future to start doing things you really want to do.” For me, it was big.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, not to give away too much but fast forward to today, what is your investment philosophy and/or your secret sauce as you call it?
Scott Jarred: Yeah, the book talks about a lot of different things, and investments are definitely a piece of it for sure. Our tag line now is, “Making money work for people, if your money doesn’t work for you then what is it doing?” I find people working harder for their money than their money working for them.
I never had this because no one in my family had any money so I didn’t know what that meant. Matter of fact, when a financial advisor called me when I got my job, I was scared to death that they were going to take my money. I didn’t know what they were going to do with it. I didn’t really understand. Really, what’s interesting is it’s I didn’t even know what the difference was between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, let alone buying something inside of it, that was how unknowledgeable I was about the industry, which actually was a benefit to me.
From everyone that I’ve ever talked to and anything I’ve ever read or looked at, you need to think about how many hours–if you’re putting in 10,000 hours into something, you’re working really hard on something. What I’ve uncovered is that when people don’t have some type of evidence or rules around their money, then they are not going to be able to put an agenda to program those dollars to do what they want.
My philosophy has always been, “Help other people identify what evidence-based, rules-based strategies that they need to apply to their dollars to make it work.” We’ve created tools and processes to help them identify their investor DNA, understand how evidence-based strategies work, and which ones are important to them, versus speculating, gambling with your money, or trying to time the market, or doing things that put them in more jeopardy than having a proven rules-based scenario.
You look at very successful investors over time–like Warren Buffett uses the value-based approach, Ray Dalio who built Bridgewater or the largest, most successful hedge funds, has a certain set of principles and rules–they all have evidence and rules about how their money is managed. We started to look at all the ones that are out there, what our job is, and what I’ve identified is, “Well, it’s not my financial plan, it’s always the clients, how do I get them the knowledge to be able to identify which one of those evidence-based strategies make the most sense for them and their money?”
The basis of the philosophy is that the goal of investing is to take the least amount of risk for the best result. When you invest always think about what’s your risk of loss first before you look at the return because it’s ROI. ‘Return of your investment’ not a ‘return on your investment’.
That’s the second piece you look at. So, I thought that was an interesting way that very successful, sophisticated investors look at their money and that is also the way that we try to deliver that approach to our clients.
A Personal Investment Philosophy
Drew Appelbaum: Is really just putting together your own personal investment philosophy the way to stop gambling on the market, and the way to stop speculating?
Scott Jarred: You know, people will go out and they will say–especially right now with the whole thing that’s happening with the pandemic. The market is going very, very fast and I’ve had people call and say, “Oh my gosh, I got to get in the market because Biden’s getting elected.” And, I said, “You know, the presidents don’t really matter much at all to the market because you did the same thing when Trump got elected, now it’s Biden, and that’s a different thing. So, now you got another president so let’s get out.” So, people are cashing out.
Or, “Scott, I made all of this money in buying Bitcoin.” I said, “Okay, well, have you realized your gain yet?” And they said, “No.” I said, “Well, that means you’re going to be right twice, right? So, you’ve got to buy it right and sell it right? So, you are trying to figure out how to do these things, do you have a rule of when you’re going to exit it? Or are you going to exit it? Or what is the play there?”
In the meantime, while you’re sitting on this cash, waiting for the next opportunity, your actual rate of return is much lower because you don’t have any rules or evidence for all of your money. You just have speculation that you are going to make it on this, and you’re probably right because there is some value in that at that time, but then you have to be right again. And then you’ve got another issue because when you get that money back, now what are you going to do with it? I find that’s more where the problems lie.
As a convicted stock picker myself, oftentimes just trying to beat it–because smart people are always trying to beat it–what happens is you almost did more harm to yourself over the long haul because now you’ve got cash drag and none of these are happening versus having an overarching strategy.
The reality is if you look at a large endowment, or you’re looking at a big hedge fund, or a big private equity family office, they have investment policy statements. They have rules for their money, they’ve got an agenda for those dollars and they’ve got that built out very clearly. So, when they do make, maybe it is a speculative play, there is a percentage on that amount of money that is going in. There is a rule on why they’re doing that. If they are getting some of the money for a business, or they’re doing a real estate transaction or doing private equity type of stuff, there is a percentage of allocation to that asset class and there is a rule for how they do it, what the expected results are going to be, and they have it laid out very clearly.
If you as a family or an investor have an investment policy, statements state out the rules and, “This is how my money is going to go.” Now you’ve got a framework of how to deal with it, and yeah, I got 10% of my money is going to be speculation. “Man, we’re buying Bitcoin, we’re getting some draft teams when it’s down,” or whatever it is, that’s on you. That’s how you’re going to develop it, let’s lay that out, let’s be smart with that, and let’s figure out what’s the best way to approach it if that is part of the investment strategy.
When sometimes you’re making an investment decision over here, but your best and most important assets to you and your business is, “You tell me your values are growing this empire, this business, it’s going to be cash flow, and you are going to be independently wealthy, and it is going to be a self-sustaining business, but you’re taking all of your money and going over here and doing something that doesn’t really equate to your values. Your true ‘why’ for money that you said that you want over here, so the two don’t really align.” Until you build that together, then it’s very hard to do. That’s what hacking your future is all about, it is making it clear and intent-full of making that money work for you.
Drew Appelbaum: Yeah, can you talk more about the mindset factor and how someone really understands their full financial potential?
Scott Jarred: You know, that’s funny that you ask that. It’s like you start talking about when I got my CFP. You’re going to be a certified financial planner. Okay, what are we planning for? What’s the whole goal of this? They never talk about, “What’s your mind over your money?” They never talked about, “Tell us about your goals,” and while that is okay, well, “What is my minimum need? How much is my minimum need to get by?”
I thought, “Well, you know Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you basically need food and shelter, right?” That doesn’t really help you reach your full financial potential. It was a very antiquated process of building a strategic plan for somebody that will be static, never adapt to life events, and how and where you’re going, which is why it was very interesting the way that whole process started out.
For us, reaching your full financial potential is all about what is possible, but if your mind isn’t right, and you don’t have your decisions about your money, then it is very hard to move forward. Simon Sinek says, “At best, start out with ‘why’.” So, we said, “Well, yeah, it’s obvious. So ‘why’ do you work? ‘Why’ do you do what you do? Your true ‘why’ for money is more important than money itself. What are your values around money? And your actions and values, do they align?” Once you get clear on what your mindset is, then anything is possible.
If you study anyone that’s been successful in sport or any other business endeavor, they’re so strong willed in what they want. Like Steve Jobs, “Man, fit it in a box like this. It needs to be like this. If you can’t do this then you need to go find another job. This is how it is going to look.” Or Michael Jordan, “You know, we’re going to win the game, you’re either with me or not.” They’ve got a mindset of what they are doing.
I found that there are really two types of people–people who live in scarcity, or people who live in abundance where all resources are plentiful, versus the scarcity mindset which would say that there are very limited resources and there aren’t possibilities. Once you can open up the possibility and what is possible, then you can start to reach and reach higher levels, just like I was able to, I keep evolving and keep doing 10X stuff up to where I am now.
What’s funny for me is I only knew that because I had experiences of seeing other people do it, and luckily, I was able to peek through the window and say, “Oh my gosh that is how you do it.” But it started, for all of these people, it wasn’t about the money, it was all about their head.
So, that’s why we start with the head games, such as, ‘mind over money,’ what does that look like? And that’s much more important than actually the money itself because if that is not right then it doesn’t work. If you look at lottery ticket winners and professional athletes, they usually lose it. They don’t really keep it. For the most part, they go bankrupt, something like 90% of them, very quickly.
The Next Evolution of Investing
Drew Appelbaum: Towards the end of the book, you talk about investing and you say it’s an evolution, so what do you see the next evolution of investing being?
Scott Jarred: Oh man, you know I’ll tell you, tomorrow coin base comes out on IPL. It is the largest crypto exchange that’s out there. Well, you can’t go on Charles Schwab today and buy crypto. You can’t do these things. Well, if I even brought that up, it wasn’t even an option. No one even thought of that 20 years ago, so that’s an evolution, right? It is a new way and really all it is, is a commodity. It’s just another currency, it is another way to trade assets. It’s a new thing, so there’s this evolution.
We trade a lot of ETF’s today, well, those weren’t even thought of before. It used to be mutual funds, right? It was these different things, or now they’re doing private equity that you can have access to, and there’s crowd funding, and there’s international. We have a global landscape now where you can trade across the world and now you can do it in different coins and currencies. That evolution is changing very fast.
It used to be you would pick up the phone and call in a trade or a stock pick or whatever you are trying to do and they would process it. It didn’t happen like the flash boys overnight. Bam! You know it’s done. Exchanges, and the technology, and the information, and these are so much faster than they ever have been, that’s evolution. Now, if your money making decisions stay static and they’re not evolving with the times, then you’ll be left behind.
I’ve been to so many different family office forums and met with and saw the way that the experts are trying to advise these families. Saying things like, “Look, if you’re not staying evolved with the times, you’re going to be left behind, and you will also not be able to pass your wealth onto the next generation and the next generations.” This whole business in the world is changing so fast with technology, how fast the microchip evolves, and all of that stuff that’s happening, that there are new industries, new technologies, new ways to invest that happen, and you have to be able to stay on top of that.
Even in my short career, 17 years in this career, it’s just completely evolving so fast. If you don’t keep up with it, you’re going to be left behind.
Drew Appelbaum: Besides the book, you actually offer more resources to readers on your website. Can you talk about what someone can expect to find there?
Scott Jarred: The book is really a great framework to start thinking about the process of these different hacks and these different processes that you can do. Then we created this new Invest for Life program. The problem with the book is it’s not executable. You can read all of the stuff in it but how are you going to implement it? I realized, “You know, this is good stuff, you can self-implement, you can do things but what if you have an expert that can actually take you through it?”
Do you have something that can actually build and make sure this thing actually executes for yourself? That’s what I’ve always found is very difficult to do in the execution. A vision without execution is nothing, so what we thought really hard about is, “How do we help someone actually execute a process?” We said, “Well, let’s just build an Invest for Life process where you can actually execute the steps in the book for yourself. You can have a coach or a personal CFO as we call them, walk you through that process to help you get to that end result that you are really striving for.” That would be on the website.
Then we also have Invest IQ, which is an online program where you can go through and learn some of the same things, which may not require having a one-on-one with a personal CFO. Maybe that’s something you want to do on your own. Then some people don’t know what their investor DNA is. They don’t know what their risk tolerances are, and their investor IQ, which is how savvy they are.
We have a nice profile questionnaire that gives them all of these different things about their cognitive ability is and what their financial behaviors are. It helps them really identify what that is and it’s a proprietary tool that we built that helps them put their money in the right place for them.
Then, we’ve got our wealth builder that will literally pull in all of your financial information, build out your net worth statements, your cash flows, your protection analysis, so you can see your entire financial life on one page. What we call that is our virtual game board. It will help you in a way that will measure financial decisions.
Those are some of the tools that we use daily as well.
Drew Appelbaum: Scott, we just touched on the surface of the book here, but I just want to say that writing a book that’s really going to help a lot of people reach their full financial potential is no small feat, so congratulations on being published.
Scott Jarred: Thank you.
Mindset is First
Drew Appelbaum: I do have one question left and it is the hot seat question: If readers could take away only one thing from the book, what would you want it to be?
Scott Jarred: If you really want freedom of your money, of your time, freedom through relationships, freedom of your purpose, it is not about the money really. You’ve got to get your mind very clear on what you want, and if you can get the mindset part right, the mind over money game right and really understand why you work, why you do what you do, discover for yourself what your true ‘why’ is for money, which is more important than the money itself, then that will help you start the journey. Really think about, “Okay, what does that potentially mean for me?” Because it means something for everybody in a different way.
You know, some people don’t want to have all of that stuff because it is not what’s important to them, they want to have the experiences or something else. How do we understand clearly what that is for you and then put your abilities and your skills and your talents to work to put you in a position where those resources are creating new streams of income for you, and profitability that will allow you to live the life that you want that will get you closer and closer to reaching your full financial potential.
Because the reality is that’s why it’s ‘Invest for Life’. That’s why it’s ‘Future hack’, it’s something that never stops. It is something that evolves and continues on and then it could and should continue on for multiple generations to come. Because as you learn, then you should pass this down to your next generation, and it stays within the family and it continues to evolve. That’s what I see the wealthiest people do and families that can really take it to the next level. If you get the mind right, then everything else usually should fall in its place.
Drew Appelbaum: Scott, this has been a pleasure and I’m excited for people to check out the book. Everyone, the book is called “Futurehack!” and you can find it on Amazon. Scott, besides checking out the book, where can people connect with you?
Scott Jarred: invst.com, that is our website and then we also have Future Hack My Life, actually, it’s probably a better place but that’s where you get the book, and you can put in your information there, we’ll give you a free copy. It is a great way to engage with us and definitely, I’m available. So, those are the two best ways to connect, and all of my contact information is there as well.
Drew Appelbaum: Well Scott, thank you so much for giving us some of your time and coming on the show today, and best of luck with your new book.
Scott Jarred: I appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me.