December 8, 2022

JF3017: Double Down on What’s Working | Passive Investor Tips ft. Travis Watts



Passive Investor Tips is a weekly series hosted by full-time passive investor and Best Ever Show host, Travis Watts. In each bite-sized episode, Travis breaks down passive investor topics, simplifying the philosophy and mindset while providing tactical, valuable information on how to be a passive investor.


In this episode, Travis shares an impactful and profound piece of advice he once received from a mentor: Double down on what’s working. He explains why this advice has been so life-changing for him and how to apply it to your own life to help you reach your goals.

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Travis Watts: Welcome back, Best Ever listeners, to another episode of Passive Investor Tips. I'm your host, Travis Watts. Today's episode is something very impactful, very profound... It was some advice given to me years and years ago by one of my mentors, and he told me "Travis, double down on what's working." And at the time, that didn't seem to be just profound advice. I just thought "Yeah, okay, that makes sense." But I'll tell you, years later - that's been so impactful and so life-changing, and I want to share why that is; I want to give you a couple stories in today's episode. Disclaimers, as always, this is never financial advice; not telling you or anyone what to do. Please seek licensed advice.

So here's the deal. Most people are so ADD, right? It's chasing the shiny object, it's switching up strategies all the time, it's just getting bored and trying something new... Or a lot of people are out there, pushing a particular strategy or a career that is not sustainable. It's not getting them to their goals. So one of my friends - I spoke about him here on the show... Boy, if he ever listens to the show, he's gonna hate me; but I use him as a lot of examples here. But about five years ago, this friend of mine started trading stocks, not knowing anything, not coming from any kind of formal programs... And this guy's done everything. This guy has day-traded, swing trades, complex strategies, always trying to tell me what an iron condor is in the stock market... And he's always got some kind of Forex strategy, or something new is going all the time. But the irony is, if you were to look at his brokerage account on December 31st of every single year, he is at a loss. He's not making money, it's not a sustainable strategy for him. But what's interesting about that is probably about three years ago, I proposed this concept - I think it was me that proposed it; or maybe he proposed it, and he says, "Maybe I could just make $100 a day. Let me just focus on that as my objective."

So I revisited that. I was on a phone call with him about three, four weeks ago, something like that... And we're chatting about the markets, and what's going on... And I said, "Do you remember when you set a goal of $100 a day in the stock market?" And he said, "Yeah." And I said, "Did you ever do that?" And he said, "Yeah, I did that." And I said, "Well, did it work?" He said, "Yeah, it worked." I said, "Why did you quit doing it?" He goes, "Well, it's $100 a day. That's not life-changing. I can't live on that kind of income." So he's always out there chasing the big money, but what he forgot was there was something that was working for him.

So what I proposed to him on the phone, again, about roughly a month ago, I said "Why don't you bring that strategy back? Why don't you put some time and effort into strategizing how you could scale that particular strategy?" So you start with $100 a day, if you're consistent, move it to $150 a day, and just make tiny, small tweaks. And I said "With the goal being something like $500 a day. Because if you run the math, $500 per day, the stock market is open Monday through Friday, that's five days a week... It's over six figures; that's $120,000 per year. So I said "That would be an income you could live on, if you can get it to $500. But give it a chance. Give it a try."

So I kid you not - the last month... This has been, to my knowledge, the only consistent month that he has been profitable, probably 80% to 90% of the time, and he has made decent money. So what he did - I won't bore you with all the details, but he figured out a way to have 10 accounts at once, and he could do a trade in one account, and he could replicate that in the other nine. So what's nice about that for him is all he has to effectively do is make $50 per day, in one account. So he can make very short, small conservative trades. And then he times-es that, so ultimately 10x. So that gets him from 50 a day to 500 a day.

So he was sharing with me - he just texted me this morning, which is what prompted this episode to be created in the first place... He just texted me a sheet that shows his daily trades... He's been averaging almost $1,000 per day. Now, obviously, he's not always going to make that kind of money. It's not like five days a week I make exactly $1,000. He's gonna have losses, and some days he might make $2000... But the point is, he's now found a way to build sustainable income for him. So he just had to go back to the drawing board and double down on what's working. That's the topic of today.

Break: [00:06:04.22] to [00:07:09.18]

Travis Watts: I'll highlight some short snippets of my journey with you to help paint this concept in a different way. When I was 15 years old, I had a paper route. But it had a problem. It was one day per week, and I only got paid about $40. So that was in no way shape, or form sustainable. It was nothing I could grow into and live on one day, there was nowhere to promote... So what did I do? I stopped and I made a pivot and I tried something new. So a few years after that, I got into detailing, washing and waxing, exotic cars and small aviation aircraft. We lived in a community, it was a flying community with a little runway down the middle, a lot of affluent customers in that neighborhood... We were the working class, so my parents launched a small aviation repair shop is what we did. So we were small business owners. So what I had planted in my mind at that point is I'm going to be a small business owner, and I'm going to work for myself. But what I learned, from both my parents' experience and my own, was when you are the business, you are the person and the employee, it's really difficult to scale, and sometimes that can be a recipe for burnout, which is what happened to me in no time.

After just a few years of doing that, I realized I can never really get past a certain income level, because I can't charge more than really what I was charging, and I couldn't afford to hire on more people. So what did I do? I quit, and I made a pivot. And that pivot was and - I'm fast-forwarding many years later - I went into oil and gas, because I realized I could work 98 hours per week, and get paid all these overtime, and bonuses, and per diems, and I can save all this money, and stuff... But I had no life. I was living to work. I had no spare time. I couldn't date, I couldn't take any vacations... And in this process, I started experimenting with a lot of other side hustles. I was doing real estate, and fix and flips, and vacation rentals... And all of a sudden, that light bulb moment went off about double down on what's working.

And what was working for me is this came at a time where I started doing passive investing, I started doing real estate private placements syndications, whatever you want to call them; hands-off investing. And it was really cool to watch it grow. I started with just one investment, like we all do, one turned into two, and two turned into five, and five to ten, and ten to twenty... And I don't know, today maybe 50 plus different deals. But I've been able to watch the portfolio grow passively, and it hasn't taken any more time or effort on my part to scale income that way. So the light bulb moment was I found out what was working; it was having my money work for me, effectively.

So you've probably heard that the average millionaire has seven income streams. I've heard six, I've heard eight, but basically, they have many different income streams is the takeaway. I guess I just didn't want to settle for seven. So why not have 50? Or, as Warren Buffett says, never rely on a single income. Create investments to make a second source. Again, why not 50 or 100? I don't know, you do you.

But what I want to encourage you to do as a takeaway here for this episode is think about what is working for you, financially, investing-wise, health-wise, whatever. What could you double down on to get better results? What's worked in the past for you, that for one reason or another, you stopped doing? I promise it's worth taking a few minutes to think that through, write it down, and then expand upon it.

I want to thank you guys for tuning in. This is Passive Investor Tips. I'm Travis watts, your host; you can find me @passiveinvestortips Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, BiggerPockets... Reach out. I'd love to be a resource for you; share these episodes with anyone you think could find value. Have a best ever week, and we'll see you in the next episode.

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