New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

New book from NYT bestselling author Lewis Howes is now available!

Summit of Greatness 2024 | September 13-14 | Los Angeles, CA


David Bach

Be Financially Free and Pay Yourself First


This one is all about how to become an automatic millionaire… how to live rich and be rich and finish rich. Learn more from David Bach himself.

Finances are a huge source of stress for a lot of us. We worry about paying the bills on time, and that worry can be really crippling. We’re constantly striving just to feel financially stable, let alone have money in savings.

My own mom is facing real difficulty with this right now. She’s ready to retire, but unfortunately she went through a divorce 20 years ago and has expenses without much in savings. I’m glad I’m in a position to help her, but many people don’t have the support they need.

And what about our goals? We’ve all imagined our ideal lifestyle. We want to be able to retire, to take trips, to drink tasty lattes — more on that later. And we all have dreams too. Maybe we want to open up a business, move to a better apartment or house, or finally make that big purchase — you know the one.

But most of us aren’t sure how to get there. We try to plan and budget, but we never seem to make more than enough to get by. And maybe we’ve heard about investing our money… but we’re just not sure how to get started.

Fortunately, my guest today has exactly the advice we’re looking for.

Who Is David Bach?

David Bach is an expert financial analyst and advisor, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and TV personality. Ever heard of a little show called The Oprah Winfrey Show? David Bach has appeared on Oprah’s show not just once but 6 times to share his tips and tricks for living rich. He’s also appeared on the Today Show over a 100 times, each time offering some great financial advice.

Additionally, David Bach is the author of 10 consecutive New York Times bestseller books. In fact, he is one of only a very few authors to have four books simultaneously on the bestseller lists for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and USA Today. David Bach’s new book, The Latte Factor, which we talk about in our interview, tells you all about why “you don’t have to be rich to live rich.” It’s a quick read, written as a parable, and just full of financial wisdom.

Interested? For more information, you can also check out David Bach’s podcast, The Latte Factor Podcast. There, David reads the first three chapters of his book… and that’s just the first episode. Seriously, it’s worth checking out.

On top of his many books, television appearances, and podcast episodes, David Bach has given numerous speeches and seminars, published letters, and made thousands of other media appearances. His wisdom has impacted over 100 million people. Truly, he’s America’s most trusted financial expert.

He’s also just an all-around great person. David loves to serve others. He has so much advice and wisdom to share, and he loves to help people overcome their financial anxiety. He’s got a real child-like joy inside him that motivates him to continue creating a meaningful impact on people’s lives, and he’s a great inspiration to me personally.

And today, David Bach is in the house to share some of his financial wisdom with all you School of Greatness listeners.

“You’re richer than you think.” @AuthorDavidBach  

“You Have to Take Charge of Your Financial Life”

One of David’s biggest pieces of financial advice may really surprise you. He wants you to throw your budget away. It sounds crazy, I know! But it makes sense. Here’s what he told me:

“What most people hope through budgeting is that somehow they’re gonna have a little money left at the end of the day to save — completely wrong philosophy.” – David Bach

This is key. You can’t expect to save whatever money you have left over at the end of the day and have enough money for the lifestyle you hope for!

But what should we do instead? If we don’t start off by paying our bills and our taxes, how should we plan to spend our money each payday?

“Number 1 thing: Make a decision today to become financially selfish, and here’s what I mean by that. Decide today to pay yourself. The formula to pay yourself first is 1 hour a day of your income. … your first-hour-of-your-day income , especially in your 20’s, you’d have financial security by the time you reach retirement.” – David Bach

Pay yourself first. What that means is, before you even start figuring out how you’re gonna pay your bills this week, set aside one hour’s worth of your daily income. Make $10 dollars an hour? Set aside $10 a day. $15 an hour? Save $15 a day. $100 an hour? Same deal. Just one hour’s worth of your income per day is enough to make the difference, because you’re gonna start putting that money to work.

Now, David wants to make this very clear: it’s about creating systems for your money, not about budgeting. These systems require discipline, just like budgets — you have to be responsible and, as David says, “track where your money is going.” But the real key is that you also have to find ways to make sure your money is growing. That’s how you save up enough money to achieve your dreams.

In David Bach’s new book, The Latte Factor, one character says, “You have to take charge of your financial life.” By paying yourself first, you can truly make your money work for you.

So how exactly can we do that? I’m glad you asked…

“Invest Where You Spend Money”: How to Make Your Money Multiply

David told me an interesting story from his childhood that really serves as the basis for his financial philosophy. He told me about his grandmother, and how one day when he was little she took him to McDonald’s.

“You can get rich at McDonalds,” she told David. She explained to him that there are people who go to McDonalds to buy food, and they’re called spenders. But then there are the owners… the people who actually own the company. Then, when David was 7 years old, she bought him his very first stock in McDonalds. Two years later, when David was 9, she helped him buy his second stock, in Disneyland.

Investing money in stock doesn’t have to be difficult. I asked David for the best piece of money advice he’s ever heard from someone else, and he had an interesting phrase he’d heard from a top business leader:

“‘Benign neglect’ … And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said, ‘Buy quality investments, and leave them alone. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve sold in my lifetime that went higher.” – David Bach

It doesn’t matter so much where you invest. What’s important is that you buy that stock and just let it sit. The longer you hold on to it, the more money you’ll make. It’s as simple as that.

And if you’re intimidated by the actual process of investing, don’t be! You don’t have to call somebody on Wall Street and spend a lot of money paying someone to help you invest your money anymore. Today, there are plenty of apps that can help you invest in the companies you care about and track how those investments are doing.

Now, the point of all this is not that you should buy stock in McDonalds and Disneyland. In fact, today, David’s kids own stock in Shake Shack, instead. The key is that they invest their money in what they care about.

“So, I always say, like, if you don’t want to give something up like that $5 at Starbucks over your coffee then buy the company stock. Invest where you spend money.” – David Bach

Invest where you spend money. Invest in things you care about! If you care about a company, chances are, other people care about it too! That means the company will grow, and over time your investment will grow too.

The Latte Factor: It Doesn’t Take Much

You may be wondering, though, how much money you need to invest. This is where “the latte factor” comes in. In his book The Latte Factor, David Bach uses the example of a simple latte. Say that the latte you like to get at your favorite coffee shop every day costs about $5. Now, you could continue to spend that $5 dollars a day on lattes. Or, you could invest that money in the coffee shop.

And it doesn’t take much. Just $5 dollars a day — just the cost of a latte — can make a huge difference over time. That’s why you don’t have to be rich to live right — just by investing small amounts, you can really grow your personal wealth.

“We put out a little meme yesterday saying that, ‘You say you don’t have enough money to go on a trip, but if you just made your lunch at home for the next 90 days you’ have enough money.’” – David Bach

And this is where David’s point about paying yourself comes back into play. Remember that great tip he had? “The formula to pay yourself first is 1 hour a day of your income.” Say you’re making $15 an hour, and you’re following David’s advice by setting aside $15 a day to work for you. David says that if you invest that money at a 10% rate of return, in just 10 years, you’ll have $92,000. In 30 years, that’ll be up to $1,017,000, and in 40 years it’ll be $2.8 million.

That’s a lot of money.

Maybe you’re like David’s kids, and you really love Shake Shack. David’s advice would be to buy yourself some stock in Shake Shack and hold onto it for two or three decades or more. That way, your investment will have plenty of time to grow into thousands or even millions of dollars.

Listen to the Little Boy (or Girl!)

David told me one other story about his grandmother that I think is really inspirational here. He told me about how his grandmother shared one more really important lesson with him before she passed away, and it’s absolute gold:

“She said, ‘… I came to a fork in the road and there was one road which had more risk which is where the gold was at the end of the road. It was what I really wanted to do.’ And then there’s a safe route and she said ‘Every regret [I have was when] I took the safe route.’” – David Bach

Take big risks. I know the idea of throwing out your budget sounds scary, but taking a risk and choosing to pay yourself first can have a huge payoff, literally. And don’t be afraid to invest your money in something you’re passionate about!

Now, that’s not to say you should be financially irresponsible. David had another great piece of wisdom that had been passed down to him about how we should think about investing:

“‘If you invest for yourself the way you invest for your clients [as a financial advisor] you will be extraordinarily wealthy.’” – David Bach

So don’t throw all of your money into a random investment and forget all about it. Invest small amounts of your money. Invest it intentionally in companies you care about. Keep track of where

your money is going and how much it’s growing. If you follow those rules, you’ll set yourself up to live rich and finish rich.

David continued on with his story, and shared more wisdom from his grandmother:

“‘Like you’re gonna get into this fork[ed] road, and there’s gonna be a little boy inside you [that] wants to take this risk. And then there’s a big boy inside of you that doesn’t. Listen to the little boy and let him come out and play so that you don’t turn around at 86 and wonder what you should have done with your life.’” – David Bach

Listen to that little boy (or girl!) inside you. Take risks, and make the life you’ve dreamed for yourself a reality!

Why You Should Listen Right Now

Let’s be honest — we all want financial freedom in our lives. We all want to stop worrying about making rent payments, paying off our student loans, and keeping track of tight budgets. And we all want to be able to live the rich, comfortable lifestyles we dream about.

Those dreams really can become real, and America’s most trusted financial advisor can teach us how to get there.

As usual, I asked David for his definition of greatness. Here’s his answer:

“So, I think greatness is listening to your soul, not your head, whatever it is. … It’s very hard to hear your soul and hear a higher power if you’re worried about money and how you pay the bills. … I think greatness is listening to your soul consciously as much as you can throughout your life and make space for that.” – David Bach

Those are some inspiring words. It’s so important to pay attention to the dreams and aspirations we have in our souls. After that, all we have to do is follow David’s advice for being wise with our money.

You, too, can learn how to live rich and pursue the dreams in your soul. If you’re ready to learn the rest of David’s tips and tricks to do that, check out Episode 791. You won’t regret it.


To Greatness,

Lewis Howes - Signature

“A dream without a payment plan is a wish.” @AuthorDavidBach  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • How much should someone put down on a home? (29:00)
  • What is missing in my personal financial portfolio? (32:00)
  • What are three steps that people can do right now? (53:00)
  • What’s the best money advice you’ve ever heard? (1:04:00)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why you don’t need a budget (8:00)
  • The three lessons about money David’s grandma taught him (11:00)
  • The three secrets to financial freedom (19:00)
  • The “rule of 72” (40:00)
  • The dangers of subscription services (56:00)
  • Plus much more…
Connect with
David Bach

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis: This is episode number 791 with 9 time New York Times best-selling author David Bach. Welcome to the school of greatness my name is Lewis Howes, a former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today now let the class begin.

Confucius said “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” This one is all about how to become an automatic millionaire. How to live rich and be rich and finish rich.

So many people talked about their financial pain, the struggle they have with their finances and really how to earn the type of money they want, how to invest their money, how to save their money, how to automate their money so they can live rich and finish rich.

David Bach is the financial author 9 time New York Times best-selling author consecutively, huge TV personality, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and founder of Over the past 2 decades he has impacted over 100 million people through his books, seminars, speeches, letters, and thousands of media appearances. He’s been a contributor on the today show more than a hundred times and a regular on the Oprah Winfrey show where he appeared 6 times to share his strategies for living and finishing rich. He’s America’s most trusted financial expert and he is here to reveal some powerful strategies for you on ‘why people who try to get rich quick they end up staying broke long.’ How to create systems versus budgets for your money to grow.

The first lesson of David’s book which is to pay yourself first always. Always pay yourself first and the importance of doing that. The 3 things people can do to get started with being wealthy right now that action steps you can do doesn’t matter if you feel broke or making money.

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Welcome everyone to the school of greatness podcast we’ve got the inspirational David Bach in the house.

David: Good to be here thank you.

Lewis: I’ve heard your names for many years you’ve written 9 New York Times best-selling books back to back to back. You’ve been on the New York Times best-selling list for 50, 60 weeks. You’ve been on Oprah 6 times and today’s show a hundred times. So you’re here now and.

David: I’m here now and so by the way I’m a fan of yours so it’s a mutual lovefest. I’ve watched all of this by the way as cool as you imagine it to be.

Lewis: It’s fun. You live in Florence now in Italy?

David: Going to live after July 22nd and go live in Florence for a year.

Lewis: You got this new book out, I mean you’ve written a number of books you’ve got a number of books out called the latte factor and why don’t have to be rich to live rich. Now, we were just talking before this started and you were saying that you’ve got some controversial things that you do with money that other influencers or thought leaders do differently.

For example you said that there were 2 things that everyone needs to be doing at a young age if you want to generate more wealth.

David: Completely.

Lewis: 2 things are investing in stocks and real estate is that right?

David: Yeah, it’s the 2 primary escalators to wealth.

Lewis: Escalators where you can grow your investment, your money can work for you as opposed to just sitting in the bank.

David: Completely it’s like the game of monopoly. On the game of monopoly you go pass go and you get a paycheck and if you just go around the properties and you land on them you pay that and you can’t win the game of monopoly unless you buy one green home then two then 3. The ironic thing is the game of monopoly is a great lesson for all of us for life. You have to own assets that make you money while you sleep. The challenge for most Americans is the stuff is not taught in school. Most people won’t read a financial book, so if I thought if I write it as a story you can read in less than 90 minutes and I can teach these life lessons. You try to go on a budget and you’re married and you will fight about those budgets.

Lewis: Do you believe in budgets or no?

David: I don’t. What you need is you need to have a system that does require discipline, does not take time. The secret to everything I’ve taught like you’ve got my other book here ‘the automatic millionaire’ is the real secret to building wealth. How ordinary people in this country built real wealth is automation. They’re saving money automatically.

Lewis: Not even thinking about it.

David: They’re not stressing about it they’re not writing checks.

Lewis: Little buckets and envelopes.

David: My grandmother when she started at 30 she had nothing and she used to literally save 50 cents a week and put it in a coffee can. And at the end of the year she took that coffee can down to a brokerage firm and start investing in stocks. That’s what change the entire destiny of my family was that my grandmother, who has no college education working in [?] department store Milwaukee, Wisconsin got tired of being poor.

There’s some people watching this that are there, they are watching to this and listening to this and they are tired of being poor and my grandmother was frustrated and she came home and said to my grandfather on her 30th birthday “Jack, this is not working.” And when you’re the guy and you hear that my grandfather was like “What’s not working?” And she said “We’re broke.” And to my grandmother’s credit she decided to do something about it and so she literally brown bag her lunch. My first book ‘smart women getting rich’ was dedicated to her. She didn’t become rich overnight, she built wealth over her lifetime. I always say its decades not days. People who try to get rich quick stay broke long.

Lewis: True.

David: So my grandmother realize like you invest in great American companies and you just keep investing and you leave it and leave it, and she helped me buy my first stock at age 7 at McDonalds. She taught me 3 things about money at 7 that to this day I still teach.

So at 7 we were sitting at McDonalds and she says “You know David you can rich at McDonalds.” She said “It’s very hard to make a living on minimum wage.” She said then there’s people like you right now like all these people are coming here and eating and they’re spending money, that’s called the spender. And she said then there’s some people who owns this place. She took me home that day and she open up the wall street journal and circled MCD, that’s the symbol to this day for McDonalds and she said “Here’s how much McDonalds is.” It’s funny because I’m here now with you but I just went to Disneyland 2 days ago with my son who is 9 and Disneyland that was my second stock. So, literally at 9 I’m at Disney with my grandma and she taught me to think as child like an investor.

Now, I’m doing the same thing with my kids, my kids don’t want to own McDonalds they want to own Shake Shack.

Lewis: Right.

David: So my son own Shake Shack. My younger after Disneyland said ‘I want to own Disney.’ So, they’re learning like I learned. Now, this stuff should be taught in school today this is the school, today what we do is another way to teach people. So, those are just simple lessons I just gave you that where passed to me and we just did that in a matter of minutes.

So, I always say like if you don’t want to give something up like that 5 dollars at Starbucks over your coffee then buy the company stock. Invest where you spend money.

Lewis: That’s interesting.

David: And now there’s so many companies that make this easy, like I’m an investor in a company called acorns. You can open up an app and then in less than 10 minutes opening an account and be saving change and do I diverse portfolio. So, technologies making it all much easier for everybody.

Lewis: With a few clicks you can be investing in stocks. I just heard Robin Hood app.

David: Fastest growing companies they now have a market valuation of like 5 billion dollars. There’s so many great resources like 20 years ago this was complicated.

Lewis: It’s all paperwork.

David: 11 pages of paperwork to save 50 dollars automatic. To tell you again you open up an app and you go click and it’s done, and it’s all automated. Going back to this idea like you don’t have to do it manually like you’ve got your pad of paper and I always tell people to the back of this book, but there’s also a lot of websites and apps that can help you do that too.

Lewis: I love these lessons about your grandmother early on investing in the places that you’re spending money at all already. I think of 2 influencers so you say there’s 2 things that really generate wealth and that’s real-estate and stocks.

David: And we haven’t gone to the real-estate part yet.

Lewis: It’s funny because my friend always says like ‘don’t give up your lattes.’

David: We put out a little meme yesterday saying that “You say you don’t have enough money to go on a trip but if you just made your lunch at home for the next 90 days you’d have enough money.” The way you get your freedom and your dreams is you buy them.

Lewis: Exactly,

David: What too many people do is they borrow them.

Lewis: So, we got the latte and we got first stocks and real-estates as well, and I’ve heard I’ve seen so many studies online and like the pros and cons of buying real-estate for people that own real-estate great, but what if those renters leave and you have to fix it up and all these cost and taxes and fees. These things that you have to pay at real-estate that you’re not really aware of until after the fact.

David: Let’s go back to the core concept, I’ll go back to the latte book. I wrote this book as a parable, because my 15 year old read this book cover to cover in 2 hours and was like “You know dad I actually need to do this.” We got this chart of a young person on how they save $2,000 at the age of 19.

Lewis: If you started at 27 $2,000 a year for.

David: All the way to 65, that person saved way more money because they save their entire lifetime they end up with $805,000. My 15 year old son looked to this chart and goes “Dad, I’m 15 if [?] I’ll have more than a million dollars.” And then he takes his calculator on his phone and goes “5 dollars and 41 cents a day.” That’s why your dad had the free water and you bought the stupid water and that’s enough money to do every day to have an IRA account, and he’s like “We need to do that.” So you know these lessons are so critical and when I deal with this book is that I wanted to teach these core lessons that there are 3 secrets to financial freedom in this book. Pay yourself first, first person to get paid is you.

Lewis: So don’t pay the bills first?

David: Don’t pay the bills first don’t pay taxes first. What most people hope through budgeting is that somehow they’re gonna have a little money left at the end of the day to save, completely wrong philosophy. So in this book Zoey Daniel the main character she’s living paycheck to paycheck, she lives in Brooklyn, she’s travelling to New York City on a subway and she’s working in the freedom tower. She’s an editor of a travel magazine but she never travels.

Lewis: She makes no money and working 7 hours a week.

David: Exactly, and what happens to her is what happens to so many big cities. She’s making more money but she’s not saving more, her expenses just keep going up. So 6 years in she’s totally depressed and she’s goes to this building called ‘the oculus’ she sees LCD screen that’s a football field long and it says on the LCD screen “If you don’t know where you are going you might like not where you end up.” And this is all underground and she takes this escalator to her office which is the freedom tower and she’s thinking about this. And she comes up she’s by the [?] memorial.

Lewis: I know this place very well.

David: And so she comes up and for the first time in 6 years she actually sits down and looks at the memorial because she always turn right and gone to her office. And then through the book she gets these mentors and she learns about paying herself first and the magic and miracle compound interest $10 a day could start to free her. One of the mentors Henry teaches her the amount of money that you’re spending on [?] you can make work payment and you can own an asset. And she has critics in her life. But then she is surrounded by people who are older and wealthier and wiser and they show her how to get there. So when I go to homeownership which I took a way to teach her question, the book of wealth is in real-estate. So you can own it and eventually freeing clear and have [?] next to nothing besides taxes and maintenance fee or you could rent for the rest of your life and never have your expenses go lower.

The myth is that you want to rent because you don’t want to pay maintenance and insurance and taxes, guess what? They’re all passed on to you. The landlord passes those fees on, the landlord charges you by escalating the rents. I used to live in L.A in 1985 to 1990.

Lewis: Much cheaper then.

David: I went to UST all the real-estate here was like 1/5th of what it is today. So I’m in a friend’s house in Hollywood hills she bought it in 1994. I don’t know what the worth today but I bet it is 5 million and I bet it’s gone up 3 to 4 million since she bought it, and you only have to do that once in a lifetime to build wealth forever. So, if you don’t own real-estate you don’t get in the game of building wealth. I believe in the stock market I give examples of earning 7, 8 or 9 and 10% and I know stat wise meaning statistically the rates of the stock market have been higher than the real-estate but it’s misleading. The reason it’s misleading is because if you give me $100,000 and you put it in mutual funds and I earn 10% my hundred thousand grew to hundred and ten.

Lewis: And the next year.

David: But if I put hundred thousand dollars into real-estate I didn’t put hundred thousand dollars in real-estate I put in probably twenty thousand, the bank loaned me 80. So when that $100,000 grows to 110 I just made profit on 20,000 investments, that’s a 50% rate in return.

Lewis: You don’t have to pay taxes from selling a home?

David: On the first quarter of million dollars if I’m single.

Lewis: Why the first quarter?

David: That’s just the government law right now.

Lewis: The first quarter of million in profit?

David: No, you don’t have to pay taxes.

Lewis: Wow.

David: If I’m married half a million.

Lewis: How much do you pay taxes on the other profit?

David: Then you play the long capital game. So, I had a home in San Francisco same moved to New York and sold it. Bought my first home in New York sold it and bought a bigger New York, third home I’ve just sold got that money tax free. I can never do that in mutual funds unless it’s an IRA account. If you have those 2 vehicles you pay yourself first and automatically and you own real-estate, by the way I want people to own rental properties too I own rental property.

Lewis: It’s like monopoly.

David: In the automatic millionaire I say 3 homes for a lifetime and you’re done financially.

Lewis: Those 2 homes should be paid off by then and then they’re just paying you every month.

David: And we get people posting on our website all the time. 10 years ago I had nothing and now I have 5 rental homes and exactly what we talked about. So, these are not pie in the sky ideas. I’m just talking about basic simple stuff pay yourself 1 hour a day of your income, don’t budget and save automatically and get yourself a piece of property and pay the debt down.

Lewis: So buy a home as early as you can?

David: And the thing is when you’re young what happens is a lot of times you’ll come to this place like L.A or San Francisco. And you go I can’t afford it and you go buy something and 2 or 3 of your friends the one’s that rent from you. My first home I bought with my best friend from growing up is a complete dump, we put every dollar that we had into it. I had less than 6 months to set aside and I was in real-estate. I remember calling my dad “I don’t have enough money after 6 months to pay more of these payments. What am I gonna do if I don’t make money in my job?” And he’s like “Well son nothing motivates you like that.”

Lewis: True.

David: And as I am cold going he was right and we rented bedrooms to friends to help us with these payments.

Lewis: Do what you got to do. So how much does someone put down on a home?

David: The most important thing to buy a home is make sure you can afford to buy the home, whatever the bank will loan you borrow less. One thing is you need to have 6 months to a year for mortgage payment set aside, I would not recommend do what I did which was only like little window. I think if you can have years’ worth of expenses aside you’re better, you’re more prepared to buy your home.

But I will say one thing people think buying a home is risky so is renting. So, I’m not suggesting people buy homes and not make bank payments what I am suggesting is the same discipline it takes to pay rent is discipline to make mortgage payment. But owning real-estate long term is easier, especially when you’re lucky enough the markets are going up.

Lewis: Now, I feel like I’ve been doing everything I can maybe not yet because I don’t own real-estate, but I’ve invested at a young age and maxing out my whole life insurance policies for the tax deferred and all those things. What would you say that is missing for me, I mean I put a lot of way every month.

David: Well first of all you’re doing everything right and a lot of things you said so quickly that people don’t know what you’re talking about. The single greatest vehicle ever for a self-employed person who doesn’t have a bunch employed, because you can put up to a hundred thousand dollars tax deductible into that retirement vehicle. Now, most people don’t set this up until in their 50’s and a lot of people say ‘you can’t do this’ you can go and max out a [?] plan for 2 or 3 or 4 years then shut the plan down. If your income stays the same then roll that into an IRA account then you can get a fortune away, it’s all about taxes. I don’t want to pay taxes if I don’t have to legally.

Lewis: Being smart.

David: But that’s what people who become wealthy do they focus on not paying taxes legally. So when you put a hundred thousand or 2 hundred thousand dollars into a define benefit plan.

Lewis: The last 4 years.

David: You didn’t pay taxes on that money.

Lewis: Eventually you’re gonna pay taxes.

David: Eventually when you’re gonna take this money from the retirement accounts you’ll pay taxes on it. I’d rather pay taxes later than now. Now, you mentioned rotary. I love rotaries for people who can fund them because you pay taxes going in but it goes tax free coming out.

I like insurance for the right person. Usually insurance is designed to be a death benefit, it can also be an investment vehicle which is how you’re using it as a sophisticated investor. So with everything that you just said to me and you’re probably invested in private companies too.

Lewis: Of course.

David: What I would say is not knowing how you organize everything because it seems to me you’re doing everything right, it’s all about having this on a dashboard because as you start to have all the stuff what happens is we’re all busy, and if you’re not tracking everything that’s the big thing.

Lewis: I just started doing that like 7 or 8 months ago because I was like I don’t even know where all these accounts are and all in different portfolios and plans and companies.

David: So also God forbids something happens to you your family would know where everything is, because if you die and your family doesn’t know where the stuff is they may never get it.

Lewis: Really?

David: Because using example in investing in a start-up God forbid something happens to you tomorrow and your family doesn’t know that you have private equity in a start-up. They’re not coming looking for you. So having it all like it’s all sitting there and organize.

Lewis: 2 sisters and a brother.

David: So many in your family that you trust.

Lewis: So have it organize and would you recommend me in investing in real-estate funds? Because I don’t want to manage a property, I don’t want to deal with this but I know I am investing in real-estate.

David: First of all you are renting this apartment. So buy a place and by the way I’d rent like this is an office here I’d have your company. I’d buy a condo in a separate LLC and then I’ll have your business rent to condo.

Lewis: And pay the business? That’s legal?

David: Totally. Your business is paying the rent to another piece of property that you own. Most business owners don’t have define benefit plan, don’t save money automatically and aren’t actually investing.

I spent 9 years in mortgage dealing and my clients became the wealthiest. They own a business and they bought real-estate and the business was in. And 20 or 30 years it was worth millions. The business wasn’t worth anything the building was. If the business worth something and you can sell the business you can make the buyer turn around and have to do a 10 year lease in a building that you own and rent and sell the building you still have the asset.

Lewis: It’s always about I don’t want to pay the logistics so I have to pay a premium to have freedom of peace of mind and like someone can fix this and take care of this.

David: There’s no logistics, I’ve had a condo for most of my time in New York like I don’t do anything.

Lewis: So there’s 2 things that you need to be doing real-estate stocks and I have been doing index funds for everything that I’ve been doing, because I tried individuals slides and betting and guessing.

David: It’s a great way, by the way I invested in Warren Buffet too. So invested more on Buffet and I own [?] in the index funds. I run a register investment advisory I think I was telling you that earlier. I am a co-founder of a firm that literally day [?], so I sit on invest committee. If you’re not excited to buy individual stocks like we already talked about how excited I was when we bought stocks at McDonalds and Disney. If that doesn’t excite you then put in an index fund. Warren Buffet told his wife “When I die take the money and put it in this index fund.” That was his advice to her and like you know what because you can’t really go wrong owning an index fund. I think the real key to managing money is purification. You shouldn’t have all your money in the SP500, it shouldn’t be all stocks even though I told you to own stocks in real-estate.

My goal with my money is somewhere between 7, 8 and 9% and the reason that is I am not looking for homeruns, I’m looking double my money every 10 years. There’s a rule called ‘the rule 72’ it’s a great formula to learn, the rule 72 you take the number 72 you divide it by the rate that you’re earning and it will tell you how long it takes to double your money.

Lewis: So if you’re getting 7% or 10% you divide that by 72 and it will give you the number.

David: If you’re in a bank account 1% you’re gonna double your money in 72 years.

Lewis: So get your money out of bank account, savings account Asap?

David: Only emergency money should be in the bank account and even then it needs to be at least 2%.

Lewis: What’s an emergency fund?

David: So, I would ask you personally what is the amount of money. I would ask you personally what’s the amount of money.

Lewis: Probably $100,000

David: I wasn’t even asking the dollar amount. How many months?

Lewis: 6 months or something.

David: So for you, if I was your advisor I would probably like maybe have more than that. Everybody is different in terms of how they sleep at night, like for me I want 2 years of expenses in cash I sleep better. Most Americans don’t even have 3 months of expenses. About 3 years ago the Federal Reserve came out and said that 4 out of 10 Americans can’t get their hands on $400 in case of an emergency. 6 out of 10 Americans can’t get their hands on $1,000 in case of emergency, 7 out of 10 are living paycheck to paycheck men and 8 out of 10 women are living paycheck to paycheck. If you save 10 bucks a day in a hundred days you’ve got more than 6 out of 10 Americans. So when I go back to the latte metaphor like you know what yes 5, 10, 15 or 20 dollars a day can change your life, because in a hundred days you can have more money than the average person walking down the street.

Lewis: In 40 years you got a million bucks.

David: Most people will in 40 years a million bucks won’t be worth a lot, guess what? A million dollars more than 0, which is what the average Americans are working towards.

The dumbest thing Americans spend money on are new cars. So when you borrow money you borrow money to buy assets that can go up in value like a home. You don’t borrow money to buy assets that go down in value like a car. So the average American buys a new car constantly like the car industry is just starting to see [?], the car industry is getting nervous that people will buy less cars. The average Americans car payment right now is $533 a month, when you factor in insurance and God forbid you have to pay for parking and gas.

Lewis: thousand bucks a month almost.

David: The average American is spending 3 months a year to make their car payments, and when you think about it that way and you’re buying an asset that goes down in value the moment you drive it a lot it’s just the wrong place to put your money. So we’ve done for a lot of young people we’ve got them, but like Zoey Daniels got student loans in this book. We’re trapping an entire generation with student debt that they will never pay off. And it’s sad because if you go to college, first of all you don’t even know better and you take out $100,000 in student loans it could take you 20 years to pay those loans off if you’re lucky, and you can’t walk away from the student loans. Literally the laws are set up that you can’t get away from student loans.

Lewis: How do you afford to pay that off?

David: It’s just so hard and I think you know I would tell young today don’t get trap by these debts, like go to junior college for 2 years take on as little debt as possible. We’re just not preparing people properly how, we’re not explaining correctly that these are handcuffs. And so people are getting out of school with these handcuffs that are a year too long, it’s now decades long.

Lewis: Unless you can learn how to build wealth fast you’re not gonna pay that off.

David: Imagine if you and I are on online course and said ‘it’s a hundred thousand dollars to join, we have absolutely no way to guarantee you that you’ll ever make money, we’re not even sure it will improve your life.’ By the way and we know you don’t have a hundred grand so borrow.

Lewis: And then massive interest.

David: But that’s what the university system is like. So, I’m not against college I just don’t want people to get these debts.

Lewis: It’s interesting my dad never bought new cars, he would have like 10 year old cars. He would run his business and drive that thing and just save his money and invest it. The challenging thing is I look at my mom and she’s gonna be 68 this year and she went through divorce 20 years ago with my dad and she bought some real-estate properties and made some money renting them out, but she had a lot of expenses on her own and she didn’t have a lot of savings. I looked at it now she’s gonna have her social security that she can take out now or if she waits a couple of years and then she’s gonna get a retirement from working at a company she’s working on. The challenge is what do you do then? Like you can’t save anything and keep working.

David: This is why like 80% of poverty stricken elderly are women. What you just describe is the single biggest financial, these what women face. 80% of women die widowed, 80% of men die married.

So what happens in marriage is that a lot of times the wife has delegated the financial well-being to the husband.

Lewis: She’s not educated then when he’s gone.

David: She hasn’t learned like I tell on this book. In this book the mentor who is also like one of her mentors turned out to be extremely wealthy, and she had no idea. And she says to Zoey “You need to be in charge of your finances I don’t care who you marry. You have to take charge of your financial life.” You don’t want to turn out 68 and figure this out because at 68 like you said she doesn’t want to work anymore. A lot of people work on their 60’s because they don’t have enough money.

Lewis: I want to say a family that can support them and pay for them but you can’t rely on that for everyone. She’s fine but if she didn’t have me or someone in the family that can help out it’s like then what?

David: This little book which I hope would go worldwide, I was inspired to write by [?], I went to Geneva to meet him and have dinner with him.

Lewis: I want to meet him someday.

David: Brendan and I went to dinner with him and my wife goes “You’re gonna go to Geneva to have dinner?”

Lewis: I would.

David: When you get a chance to be in front of somebody that you respect, admire, and want to learn from yeah you’re not playing ego. We go out and he closes his restaurant down we have drinks and we basically stay out, Paul likes to stay out. At 2 or 3 in the morning we got to get going and he says “Let me ask you a question David before I leave. What’s the book that you haven’t written yet that your soul desires to write?” And I go “Paul I want to write this book like you’ve written like a parable.” And he goes “Then David you must write this book.” And then he leaves.

Lewis: And then he walks away.

David: Brendan is like “What did he say?” So, we’re leaving this restaurant pitch blackout and I’m like ‘he said I should write the book.’ So you know that was at the end of 2012 and I’ve been wanting this book for 14 years and finally I partnered with John [?] who wrote this great book the go giver, and said let’s try to run this parable let’s write it until it’s perfect and then we’ll sell it. It’s the first time I wrote a book without a deadline and I spent 2 years working on it and spent a year getting ready to market it. I hope this will reach some people and I plan to come and see you because you’ve got 1 of my favorite podcast in the world.

Lewis: Appreciate it man. What are 3 steps that people should do right now whether they get this book or not that they can start doing today?

David: Number 1 thing make a decision today to become financially selfish and here’s what I mean by that. Decide today to pay yourself. The formula to pay yourself first is 1 hour a day of your income. If we could get everyone watching to make it a goal 1 hour of their income to save.

Lewis: 15 dollars a day.

David: Your first hour of your day income especially in your 20’s you’d have financial security by the time you reach retirement.

Lewis: 15 bucks a day for 7 years?

David: In 30 years 10% 1,017,000.

Lewis: So 15 dollars in 30 years?

David: In 40 years it’s 2.8 million. In 10 years its $92,000 still a lot by the way. Here’s the thing these decades go by like this.

Lewis: And if it’s automatic you don’t have to think about it.

David: If you don’t have a 401K plan, go open up an IRA account or if you’re self-employed do [?]. Secondly I would say track where your money is going but don’t budget. So, I would use like an app that when I was an investor and we sold the company Goldman Sachs it’s called ‘clarity money.’ Clarity money is my favorite app you can, it’s like mint on steroids but mint is good too.

Lewis: Similar stuff?

David: Because better mint is for investing. You hook up a thing like clarity money and in minutes you will see where all of your money are being spent. So one of the great features of app like clarity money is that it’ll show you not just where you are spending money, but it’ll show you where you’re spending money automatically monthly.

Lewis: On all your things?

David: All your subscription fees and there’s a cancellation button in the app.

Lewis: Oh my gosh it’s like ‘I’ve been spending this much every month for years.’

David: You don’t realize it because we didn’t used to have all these subscription services. So when they are summarize in your phone and you’re like “I’m spending 3 or 400 dollars in this and I’m not using a lot of the stuff.” Fastest way to fix your financial life is get rid of these expenses. So the way to do it use an app like clarity money then I would go back to this idea of saving money automatically, because besides your 401K plan there’s other things to save for like your dreams.

Lewis: Whatever it is.

David: So, I would use another app like acorns, I got invested in acorns 3 years ago.

Lewis: Robin Hood.

David: Acorns, Robin Hood, stash, you talked about better mint. These are some of the bigger players in automation investing.

In the book Zoey Daniels one of her mentors says “Zoey, you know how to get your dreams? You buy them.” So like having a dream with a payment plan is a wish. Having a dream where you are saving for it automatically, that’s how it becomes real.

The thing is you have such great audience and people because they’re great and they want to get greater. Someone said to me yesterday ‘is there ever a point at which you feel like you don’t need to grow anymore?’ And I’m like ‘no’ because what got us to where we are is we’re curious and we’re growers. So there’s no finish line in [?], I think that’s a big thing that I try to convey in this book is that it’s about living rich but there’s no finish line.

Lewis: We can start planning for it and saving for it.

David: Go take a trip with your mom. My mom told me she wanted to go on a safari and my mom is getting worse because she’s 76, her dream trip was a safari which we went on last summer.

Lewis: That’s good advice. What’s missing in your life right now?

David: Probably at the very moment because I am on tour is sleeping routine and exercise. But you know I actually have routines and one of those is get up very early, meditate. But I’m living a pretty unbelievably [?] life right now.

Lewis: Yeah.

David: And also I know when you put out a book, look I’ll do 100 podcast and I’ll be on the road for 2 months almost we’re doing a nationwide tour with this book but then I’ll be [?]. You do all these work and the message out you got to do the work.

Lewis: There’s a finish line.

David: And then I’m gonna go to Florence, Italy and spend a year like.

Lewis: Amazing you got a guest room for me?

David: You know what I will find a guest room. The reason I’m taking a year to Florence right now even though I’m the co-founder of a big business and other businesses, I’ve got a 15 year old son who’s going to be a sophomore and what’s about to be missing in my life is this kid is gonna go to college in 3 years. So, because I want to live my, I said to my wife “You know what the last year I can take this kid abroad as a family is his sophomore year. So let’s go live abroad for a year.” A lot of work to pull this all off but we’re almost there like we’re living in 92 days.

Lewis: Crazy.

David: It’s exciting so I feel blessed that we’ve been able to do it but we didn’t just snap our fingers and do this. It was like a 2 year plan and I just say that to anybody too and like see the greatness, like this incredible wall over here. All of these people amazing things, they work there for over years. Most people when they end up on the school of greatness podcast they’ve been doing it for decades or longer. How many years did you work before like people know who you are?

Lewis: Probably like 10 years of working hard, I mean it depends on the industry I was in. I was playing sport my whole life and mastering myself in a craft to be great as an athlete then transitioned and in 2007 got injured playing professional football and now 2019.

David: 12 years.

Lewis: It wasn’t really until a couple of years ago, 2 years ago I got called in and that kind of helped more and more. So, you know I wrote a New York Times best-seller 10 years ago, it took a lot of time.

David: It was easy right?

Lewis: And this is 6 years now but it’s like 3 times a week every week for 6 years, almost 800 episodes every day showing up and not every day is fun. You know you go through weeks and months and years where you are like you know it started as one episode and one listener.

David: And the one listener was your mom right?

Lewis: Exactly and it was like. So, and I didn’t know what I was doing I didn’t have any skills as an interviewer or doing a show. So, I’m curious for you what’s the best money advice you can give? One piece of advice you ever heard.

David: [?] “Buy and neglect.” And I said “What do you mean?” And he said “Buy quality investments and leave them alone. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve sold in my life time that went higher.” I’ll give you 2.

The second thing was [?] I had all these financial advisors who I ask for mentorships. And these financial advisors said to me “If you invest for yourself the way you invest for your clients you will be extraordinary wealthy.” The problem and they’re all joking.

When you’re in the business of managing money you think you’re so smart that you take a risk with your own money that you wouldn’t take for a client. But like when you’re a producer it’s a massive responsibility you cannot put the clients interest first. But a lot of people when they become wealthier and more sophisticated and the income starts to roll and so keeping it simple behind quality, leaving it alone, and not going off and doing a bunch of crazy try to get rich quick.

Lewis: I tried all these stuff and I lost all my money.

David: So, I’ll give you one more nugget people call it play money, like I put my play money in a bitcoin and my play money into this cryptocurrency and I go “did you play that money?” Because if you didn’t that is called work money, never refer to your money as play money it is work money.

Lewis: Interesting.

David: You just talked about it you did 3 podcast a week, you worked for your money and then we turn it over to somebody else and plays with it and it goes away. One thing you said earlier in the show is that you invested in you which is by the way why you are so successful. You have one of the greatest websites, one of the greatest podcast you put money into your brand your business to invest it in you. The next thing you know you see a great idea and like ‘oh here’s 50 grand.’ It doesn’t matter until it comes back and then you do 10 of those and you’re like “50 grand a pop is just like a million dollars and then it didn’t come back.”

Lewis: Right and make all our money back.

David: I can sell it tomorrow or [?] one more condo.

Lewis: This is called the 3 truths I ask it at the end. Imagine it’s your last day on earth as long as you want to live but at some point you have to die. You’ve written multiple more books and you’ve done everything you want to do. You’ve live your dreams, you’ve seen your kids do what they want to do whatever you want you create it. But it’s time to go and everything you got to take with you, but you get to leave behind a piece of paper and you can write down 3 things you know to be true about all the lessons you’ve learned in your life and this would be kind of your commandments to the world and this is all we have to remember you by. What would be your 3 truths to the world?

David: That’s deep. My first truth would be to love fully, don’t hold back on love.

Lewis: Being vulnerable.

David: Sometimes when you’re young you might be in love but you’re afraid to tell them. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you love them, love fully in the relationships that you’re in. I was in a hospital last week with my wife thinking that she’s having a stroke and 8 doctors around her in the emergency room. And then she had to go have an MRI and I’m waiting in the waiting room for hours and this is Wednesday, and I’m like “Oh my God, my whole life has just change.” And I started thinking about our last 11 years together and it’s amazing because I told my wife I love her and wanted to marry    her and I want to have children with her before I kiss her, which is insane but it is true. And you know we had an amazing 11 years together and I had not done that fully in the past like ‘this is the girl I got to love fully.’ But sitting on the emergency room I was like ‘What do we focus on that doesn’t really matter?’ like I got to keep going back to the love fully. So that would be number 1.

Lewis: Is she doing okay?

David: She is doing okay and I think it was stress related. By the way sometimes going for your dreams is sometimes stressful. The 2nd thing I would say is actually the core of this book. The very back of this book is a lesson from my grandmother that my grandmother shared on her deathbed. She knew I was dedicated in the book tour, I said “Grandma do you have any regrets in your life?” and she proceeded to go through [?] back to being teenager and she wanted 5 of them.

Lewis: Oh my gosh.

David: In those regrets she said “It’s not about the individual thing. My regrets were I came to a fork in the road and there was one road that had more risk which is where the gold was at the end of the road. It was what I really wanted to do.” And then there’s a safe route and she said “Every regret I took the safe route.”

Lewis: Wow.

David: And she said “I’m sitting here now at 86 and I’m gonna die and I’m not gonna leave this bed.” And I said “No, grandma I’m gonna get married in 90 days and you’re totally gonna get out of here and come to the wedding.” And she’s like ‘no I’m not.’ And she said to me “I’m here to tell you you’re young” she said “If I can give you one last lesson in gift and you should share with other people that I do a lot. Tell people to get a fork in the road. Like you’re gonna get into this fork road and there’s gonna be a little boy inside you that’s wants to take this risk and then there’s a big boy inside of you that doesn’t. Listen to the little boy and let him come out and play so that you don’t turn around in 86 and wonder what you should have done with your life.” So that would be lesson number 2 which would be like listen to your little boy or girl and it’s hard to take the extra risk in life, but I’ll go back again to my wife. I am sitting in the emergency room last Wednesday and I’m thinking to myself ‘God willing she’s okay this is why we are going to Florence.’ So we got to go and take a risk and live life now about living rich.

The third thing I would say this is probably the hardest one which is ‘forgive the people you are mad at.’

Lewis: That is so true.

David: And if you need to say you’re sorry just say you’re sorry. There’s so many things below that but right now everybody watches us and for most part somebody in your life that you’re not talking to. You had a fallout and it hurts you, still like it could’ve been 10 years ago and a lot of times it’s family which is the saddest thing. People wait typically until the person is dying where they show up at the hospital and try to say ‘I’m sorry or I love you.’ And they’ve left out on the 10, 20 or 30 years of lifetime together. I saw this as a financial advisor. The thing that was insane to me being a financial adviser because you get to know clients better than a therapist knows them, it is how many clients we had that aren’t talking to their kids. They’ve got all these money and falling out to their children or the children don’t speak to each other way more often than not, and we would try to help these clients make up.

What happens is the person gets sick then it’s like an [?] room and dad is dying so I would just say ‘forgive and say you’re sorry’ and if you’re not gonna actually bring this person back into your life then figure out a way to forgive them on your own so that the pain that is causing you can go away, because if we hold on to that resentment that pain eats at us, that’s where disease come from. That’s where the pain of life comes from that’s why a lot of people get sick and die it’s because there’s a spot that they’re holding onto that they’re so angry at somebody that did them wrong.

Dean and I were together and you had Dean here too. Dean and I were together in Tony Robbins event and we both have our journals and writings or whatever it was because everybody got this right? Then we wrote our big thing like ‘this is what I gain from it’ like there’s always something positive that can come from the pain, but if you keep holding that person or that business or that thing inside of you and you don’t let it go, then the person who you, you’re making yourself continue suffering.

Lewis: It’s like drinking poison. It’s like trying to poison someone else but you’re drinking the poison, you’re mad at someone and you’re feeling the pain.

David: I like these 3 questions.

Lewis: Powerful huh?

David: Yeah.

Lewis: Make sure you guys get this book this is really gonna be powerful.

David: We also got a website called and we’ve got a bunch of bonus. When you buy the book on our website our classic, we got 19 video classics that’s free when you buy the book from us. People are loving the book so I just thank you for having me on.

Lewis: Before I ask the final question I want to acknowledge you David for showing up with a lot of energy in your life at 52. You’ve a childlike joy inside of you that radiates and the fact that you keep showing up and create meaningful, you don’t have to write any of these books you don’t have to keep serving people to help them heal the pain and the stress anxiety of finances but you’re doing it in such a powerful way and you’re being innovative to reach different people and ways that resonates for them. So, I really acknowledge you for taking the time to go on a 2 month book tour even when your wife is going through some health challenge and just show up to people I think that’s the greatest thing you can do. So, I appreciate you man.

Final question is what’s your definition of greatness?

David: I believe in God I believe in higher power and I believe that everybody has been given God given gifts that we’re all given whoever your God is. We’re given these gifts and they’re inside of us and the most important thing to do while we’re on this planet is listen to what those gifts are and then go use them like bring the gift out. So, I think greatness is listening to your soul not your head, whatever it is. We’re all given these gifts but when I think about what I’ve done for 26 years I think what my gift was I was given this talent to try and free people financially and to use our God given gifts. It’s actually not about the latte, it’s not about the million dollars, not about the real estate, it’s about the financial freedom to use your God given gifts, and I think what happens is we become trap financially when I tell you that 6 or 7 people in America are living paycheck to paycheck on every 10. It’s very hard to hear your soul and hear a higher power if you’re worried about money and how you pay the bills. And so I think the way you get your greatness is for yourself but you got to listen to your soul and we do a lot to not listen. You got to listen to your soul and if you don’t listen to your soul the thing about the soul conversation is that it doesn’t go away. It’s just weird thing that’s because it’s a higher power that said “I gave you this and you’re not listening to it.” I think greatness is listening to your soul consciously as much as you can throughout your life and make space for that.

Lewis: David Bach appreciate it man.

David: Thank you.

Lewis: There you have it my friends I hope you enjoyed this episode. I’m always looking for the best and brightest in the world to help you unlock your potential and reach greatness in your life. Financial freedom is one of those things that you want to master in your life, it’s a thing that we all need to handle and deal with living in the modern world with the economy and expenses. But once you to have a handle on this you can peace of mind and peace in your heart and allow yourself to take on life’s greatest challenge and optimize every area of your life. So, I’m super excited about this one, be a hero for someone today just take the link for this. You get to be the hero for someone in your life.

Again, tag me @lewishowes you can tag David Bach as well over on Instagram, twitter, and everywhere online.

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As Confucius said “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Your goals are not too big it’s the actions you’re taking every single day. It’s the way you think about your actions, the way you think about everything and when you can start to automate things with your finances you can start really seeing the goals come true. That’s what I love about this episode with David he really unlocks a lot of that for you by automating and creating systems. So make sure to become financially free, automate your money and pay yourself first always. I love you guys so very much I hope this was a helpful one, make sure to share with your friends, and you know what time it is it’s time to go out there and do something great.

Music Credits:

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Joyride by Aarre & Kedam

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