[00:00:28] Hugh: Hey, everybody, thanks for listening to another episode of Thoughts of a Random Citizen. Today, we have Part 2 of This isn't Capitalism Anymore, an amazing interview with Zac Juergensen. If you haven't listened to Part 1, it's just the previous episode. Check that out before you listen to this episode. However, we cover things such as augmented reality, virtual reality, Web3, and a bit of a world perspective view that we just go off on a tangent with. I really enjoyed this interview and hope you guys do too. Without further ado, here's Part 2 of my interview with Zac Juergensen.
Moving back to the virtual and augmented reality, one of the really cool things that I was thinking would be a really good implementation for augmented reality, again, this is going to be when self-driving cars are out, that's another 10 to 15 years, which might be a more accurate timeline of when augmented reality is implemented, but you're driving in your car and you look out your window, if you just want to flip on something, you're at a stoplight in a city or you're just driving through a city, and you can flip through menus of these buildings.
All of these brick and mortar stores that you're passing, you essentially can use that augmented reality to almost open up that brick and mortar and view inside those individual stores. I think that's a really cool potential implementation of it.
[00:01:45] Zac Juergensen: I got one better for you. Are you ready?
[00:01:47] Hugh: Do it.
[00:01:48] Zac: Augmented reality. For people that are tuning in and just starting to learn this space, virtual reality would mean me putting on a headset that completely-- What's the word I'm looking for? Dese-- What's the word I'm looking for?
[00:02:05] Hugh: Desensitizes?
[00:02:06] Zac: Yes. Desensitizes, desensitizes, whatever it may be. You're putting this on and you no longer see any of the real world. You are immersing yourself in a completely different reality. This living room you were just in, you are no longer in it. You are flying around somewhere. The living room you are in does not exist anymore. That's virtual reality. Augmented reality is I'm walking around, whereas you said, I'm sitting in my car and I'm putting on a pair of glasses, and it might even get to a point where you have eye implants, looking decades and decades and decades out into the future.
Yes, I am physically walking down the sidewalk, but because I have these augmented reality glasses on, there are pieces of virtual reality that exist in tandem with the real world I am still walking around in. Here is my big play or my big thought on augmented reality. Let's say you purchase the augmented reality digital rights to a sports stadium. Right now, not really relevant, but as these augmented reality glasses become virtually available and you have all these people sitting in a football stadium, let's say, for instance, the coach calls a timeout. For 30 seconds, there is a timeout.
All of the air that exists right above the stadium was never able to be advertisable. You only had a billboard on the left side and a billboard on the right side. All of a sudden, it pauses, Nike, Adidas, Apple, Facebook, they want to get advertisements in front of people's eyes. If we're paused here for 30 seconds, why can't I just light up the entire space above the stadium with billboards for Nike ads, for Facebook ads, for Adidas ads? If that converts into a revenue or a sale for Facebook or whoever, which that's what they ultimately want because that's literally what they do to survive as a business in a "capitalistic society." They need revenue.
If I can create more revenue by floating billboards over a stadium, I want to do that. In order for us to do that, who owns that? Zac owns that, Hugh owns that. We need to come up with a revenue-sharing ad agreement for using their digital real estate space. Now, take that and apply it anywhere with high traffic, by a highway system, digital real estate. Have billboards hovering 50, 100 feet above the actual highway. It's no different than a billboard physically staked in the ground on the side of the highway. Start applying, that's where I see the real big play of augmented reality happening in the very, very near future.
[00:04:44] Hugh: God. Side note, I absolutely hate advertising.
[00:04:48] Hugh: God. It's everything that's wrong with everything, man. I agree though. I agree with everything that you're saying.
[00:04:55] Zac: That's where I see the big play. Again, because of that, I do own digital real estate. It might not be worth a lot right now, but it's a call option. It's a risky gamble that I'm willing to bet on, and if I am right and I own all of X, Y, Z shopping center and all of X, Y, Z speedway and all of X, Y, Z stadium, and I called this right, I'm going to be richer than anyone that owns any type of physical real estate.
[00:05:26] Hugh: Oh, yes, 100%.
[00:05:28] Zac: That's not the end goal. The end goal isn't to just be this rich miser that's miserable and just worried about building stuff, but again, I'm trying to think, "How can I get ahead?" If I can get ahead and I can have enough, now what can I do to pour back into society, to pour back into other people less fortunate, to give other people a better chance in life or a more equal playing ground instead of just this fucking individual that's just sitting on billions and billions of dollars and buys a $400 million yacht?
There's too much excess with that stuff. The world needs people that can ground themselves in enough and be good stewards of money. I think it's the only way we get around the current environment and framework we're operating in.
[00:06:12] Hugh: Yes. A $400 million yacht that they only to use twice a year with [crosstalk].
[00:06:18] Zac: Might not even use it. It might have just been for simply a tax write-off. They're not even using it. Like, "What are you doing, bro?"
[00:06:25] Hugh: Just help build a village in a third-world country with that $400 [crosstalk].
[00:06:31] Zac: Provide an energy grid.
[00:06:32] Hugh: Do you know what you could provide with $400 million?
[00:06:36] Zac: Dude, you could change so many lives.
[00:06:37] Hugh: Do yachts cost $400 million? Probably some of them, yes.
[00:06:40] Zac: Oh, yes. Bezos has bought one. Bezos has bought one.
[00:06:42] Hugh: Oh, fantastic.
[00:06:42] Zac: He bought a $400 million yacht. He probably doesn't even fucking use it. "I could solve world hunger. No, I'm going to make a fucking spaceship shaped like a dick and launch it into space so I can get the title of astronaut." "Who are you, dude? Get out of here. Leave. No one wants you."
[00:06:58] Hugh: "You're not an astronaut. You're a space passenger, dickhead."
[00:07:00] Zac: [laughs]
[00:07:01] Hugh: Anyways, moving on from that. Dude, one of the huge applications that I see for virtual reality is, and I was hearing this actually from one of the Microsoft C-- Not CFO. I don't know.
[00:07:15] Zac: Someone up there.
[00:07:15] Hugh: Some guy with investing.
[00:07:16] Zac: Sure.
[00:07:17] Hugh: He was saying that at one of the main applications that they're looking at right now for virtual reality is that almost Star Wars-like hologram, where they pop up and you see a virtual image of me and you right now interviewing, and obviously, I'm not in Arizona, I'm in Barcelona. I could see you virtually in front of me.
[00:07:36] Zac: Correct.
[00:07:37] Hugh: That's what they're doing. I guess that's along that augmented reality, but it wouldn't be so portable, it would be more stationary. That's what they're really seeing as applications for virtual reality, which I think is sweet. I'd love to have Obi-Wan pop up and be like, "What's up, man?" [laughs]
[00:07:54] Zac: Right. Again, just how would that provide value in another person's world? For instance, I have tons of Marine Corps brothers all across the country. It'd be great if all of us had enough money to constantly fly to each other and see each other, but that's just not the reality we live in. Imagine getting to a point like this where we have Obi-Wan shit and so, "Hey, do you guys want to head to metaverse brunch ABC in this world?" and we can go grab brunch together. If you physically want to eat brunch with these people while you're in the virtual world, fine, or if you don't, you just want to play along or whatever like that.
[00:08:32] Hugh: That's where we're just meeting for drinks because everyone can get drunk.
[00:08:36] Zac: Yes, dude. I don't really know how that works 100% yet, but if you could just jack in and have brunch with your buddy from Florida, your buddy from New York, your buddy from Spain, and all of you could sit at a table and the virtual reality or the augmented reality, whatever this is going to look like, has enough processing power to track your eye movements, track your hand movements. Can you tell, I'm flipping you off? Can you tell I'm making eye contact at you and not at you and you can tell I'm only talking to you?
Once it gets to a point where it can very well replicate real-world communication as a human being, I can totally say-- Imagine doing a surprise birthday party and some people couldn't make it because they live in a different country or they live across the United States. Now, you build in like the brunch example, let's say to enhance the experience, you have an actual waiter and that waiter is actually getting paid by this metaverse to act as a waiter to serve your table to create the total experience of what is being a human being going to brunch.
[00:09:38] Hugh: Yes. You can also move that into education as well, like operating, I guess, on human bodies without having somebody just get thrust in there. I was actually going to use a car example, but I like the operating example better. It's probably more applicable.
[00:09:54] Zac: I like higher stakes.
[00:09:55] Hugh: Yes, exactly. Again, that higher stakes, you'd be educating and learning through doing with that intricate slicing and cutting and understanding virtually how to do surgery.
[00:10:08] Zac: I was in the medical device space and I did orthopedics implants for a couple of years, dude, we would have to do these like labs where we would have people come in and we had a freezer and there were legs and arms and hands. You would just bring them out and put them on a clamp and then you would do the surgical technique with the doctor. It was fucking gnarly, bro.
[00:10:32] Hugh: When was that? What was that for?
[00:10:34] Zac: Orthopedic implants, so medical device sales. When someone breaks a leg, you've got to cut them open, you've got to go in there, you've got to align the bone back up, you've got to put a plate on and screw the screws in and stuff like that. You had all these surgical techniques with different stuff, and there was soft tissue repair and bone repair and stuff like that, but that was something we would have to do.
We would have lab days with doctors that wanted to improve a surgical technique or understand a product better in order to use it better in real-time with a real patient and so you'd just go into the back and grab human feet from dead people and just clamp them. Yes, dude, it was fucking gnarly. [laughs]
[00:11:10] Hugh: That's nasty, dude. That's nasty. All right. Moving back to what we were talking about and full circling here a bit, I know we were talking about how we print a shit ton of money and you're more involved in cryptocurrency and real estate. What is your current view of the market conditions as they exist today inside the US specifically?
[00:11:36] Zac: Boy.
[00:11:37] Hugh: [laughs]
[00:11:39] Zac: Here's my thing that I always tell everyone when it comes to wealth building and not focusing so much on trying to predict things. I don't know what can happen over the next year. I don't know what can happen over the next three years, over the next five years. If I look at a trend line of the S&P 500 since inception, it's up. Whether we're talking about depression, World War II, World War I, Volker in the 1980s with all the high interest rates to eat out inflation. Regardless of the trials and tribulations that may or may not exist in the near future, the mid future, the far future, the trend is always up.
Don't get emotional, hold on to your shit. That's something I actually just helped a client, and we can get into my Patreon and stuff like that later at the end of the episode, but this is a good time to talk about one of my clients. She didn't know anything about cryptocurrencies. I told her, "Okay, you're going to go buy $100 of Bitcoin and $100 of Ethereum right now," and she did.
She ended up messaging me the next day, and she's like, "Oh my God, I'm down $20, what do I do? Should I sell blah, blah, blah?" and I was like, "This is why I had you do this." It's important to understand and harness your emotions in the event of watching your money go down. If you can master it at $100, keep going, master it at $500, now master it at $1,000, now master it at $10,000, now master it at $100,000. If you're managing your own net worth and your own wealth-building expertise, that is something you 100% need to master. Again, it's not timing the market, it's time in the market. That's all that matters.
The real estate market is pretty crazy out here in Phoenix right now too, and I have people going, "Yes, I'm going to wait a year. I'm going to wait two years." I have people that have been waiting 4, 5, 6 years. What I tell people that are interested in getting into the investment game, whether it's real estate, whether it's the stock market, "If you have a 401(k), are you putting money into it every paycheck?" Most people say yes.
"Do you know if the market is going to go up? Do you know if it's going to go down? Do you know if it's going to go sideways, but do you keep investing?" "Yes." "Apply that same logic to everything else you invest in. Whether it's cryptocurrencies or whether it's real estate." I personally, I'm trying to commit to acquiring a piece of real estate every two to three years. Am I going to get some really smoking deals? Yes. Am I going to get some not-so-good deals? Yes. Am I going to get some that are right in between? Yes.
Am I further ahead of the person that said I'm going to wait for the deal of a lifetime and waited 10 years to get that deal of a lifetime? Yes. Because I've dollar-cost averaged my situation in my real estate portfolio, in my stock market portfolio, and in my cryptocurrency portfolio. You can make investing as complex or as simple as you want. I like to make it as simple as I want because I don't want to spend a bunch of time doing it.
If you're someone that wants to try and stock pick, that's not my investment strategy and I don't advocate for it because you're just sitting in front of a computer all day analyzing shit trying to day trade and shit like that. The whole purpose of having enough financial wealth is to get all of your time back. If you're back sitting in front of a computer all day doing shit you don't really want to do, you didn't really win there.
[00:14:53] Hugh: 100%. Speaking really quickly on that trend line going up since World War I pretty much, I had a recent episode about global reserve currencies, that the global reserve status of any global reserve currency, the one today being the US dollar, is about 95 years give or take.
[00:15:17] Zac: Wait, hold on. Run that by me one more time. What's the 95-year lifespan?
[00:15:21] Hugh: The 95-year lifespan is the average lifespan of a global reserve currency since global trade was started during the Spanish--
[00:15:31] Zac: Oh, interesting. Okay.
[00:15:32] Hugh: Yes. It goes back to 1400. Essentially, it started with the Portuguese dollar, but essentially what would happen is via war via debt or printing too much--
[00:15:47] Zac: Something would become a crux and destroy that currency.
[00:15:51] Hugh: After about 95 years on average.
[00:15:54] Zac: This is new information.
[00:15:56] Hugh: Yes. Essentially, it went from Portugal to Spain to Dutch to France to England and then to us after the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944, and so we're at like 87 years. Again, the episode is proper, but I don't know exactly right. I can't remember.
[00:16:15] Zac: You're saying we're right on the cusp of that 95-year mark for the US dollar.
[00:16:19] Hugh: I am simply bringing light to the fact that we must be aware from history that we are getting close to a time in which whether it be via war or debt, we are getting close to a time in which maybe the global reserve currency might change. I totally agree with you because I'm invested heavily in the stock market. I invest all my money, and I do think that it will go up, but I also think that people should be aware that it's not forever and always.
[00:16:53] Zac: I agree with that 100%. With everything you just stated and everyone that gives me the argument of like, "Oh, I don't know if I want to invest in the stock market." Your alternative is working the rest of your life.
[00:17:03] Hugh: Yes, exactly.
[00:17:05] Zac: That's one of the alternatives I give someone, like, "That's your alternative? What do you want to do? You want to roll the dice a little bit or do you want to work your whole life?" The second option I also give them is, "Let's assume the S&P 500 falls to zero, the value of a dollar falls to zero. Do you think investments matter anymore? No. Bullets, beans, and water are going to be way more valuable than anything, any gold, any type of financial asset, any type of real estate, all of it."
If the S&P 500 fell to zero and you had some mortgage notes out and you had some money in the stock market, the banks ain't going to be coming and collecting. The society is collapsing at that point. Those are your two options other than just not investing. Literally, if you can't get behind those other two options, okay, then you're working the rest of your life. That's the path you're choosing.
[00:18:00] Hugh: Yes. Just positioning your money appropriately is really what it comes down to in knowing where you're going with it. Speaking of real estate, because you just mentioned it and also I'm curious and that's what you are heavily involved in. I know you talked about buying real estate in other countries, is that something that you are actively seeking? Is that something that you'd recommend? Because I'm all about it but-- [chuckles]
[00:18:26] Zac: Yes, it is something I am looking at. One of the biggest things I'm doing to identify what's going to be a worthwhile investment for me is, does the country have English common law? That's the biggest thing for me because would I like to branch out maybe to some other countries that don't have English common law? Yes, but I think for me to start stepping into that space, I need to start with a country that has English common law.
What do I mean by that? There are countries that had been colonized by the Brits hundreds of years ago and they have the same real estate laws and regulations as America or Britain does. For example, one of the countries I am looking at is Belize. Belize has English common law when it comes to real estate. You purchase it no differently than you would purchase a piece of real estate in America or in London or whatever. Permitting a couple, maybe, different things here and there, but overarchingly, the process, the system, the ownership is all the same.
Whereas I think Thailand, if you're not a citizen, you can't be an owner but you can purchase something with a 99-year lease on it or something to that effect.
[00:19:39] Hugh: In Bali, for sure, I know that that is true-- [crosstalk]
[00:19:41] Zac: Bali. Okay, so that's another area, Bali, where you can't. I get why they're doing that. They don't want super-rich Americans doing a bum rush on things and then basically creating slavery 2.0 in their country. I definitely think we operate in a financial system that is slavery 2.0 if you're not meticulously careful and determined to position yourself in a place of financial independence. I think it can become very easy to just become an indentured servant to the financial system.
Yes, I am interested in doing that. I am probably looking at starting in a place with English common law. Maybe Mexico, but they don't have English common law. It's close enough to Arizona where I know enough people that reside there and I can pick their brain enough to understand it. If you were like, "I'm not going to go to Serbia or Croatia," that's definitely not within my circle of competence to start with.
Ultimately, if I could get there, yes, absolutely. I think it's a good-- Build a base with the market you're comfortable in, ie me, Phoenix, I got my five properties. From there, expand to more ambitious dreams and ideas that allow you to go circumvent or to circle the world and still leverage pieces of real estate.
[00:21:03] Hugh: Yes. Well, speaking of English common law, I love that you took that there because I am currently living not in English common law. I'm living in the Latin areas, the past six months, I guess now, from Italy, and currently in Spain. In very different societies, 100%. I wanted to bring this over into the Web3, which we can talk about for a bit. Before I get there, I want to talk about privacy, and it talks into that common law. One reason that I think privacy is so important, and all full circle this at the end here. The other day I googled "What is the jail time for murder in Spain?" I know you're like-
[00:21:48] Zac: Nice.
[00:21:49] Hugh: -"Why the hell would--" [crosstalk]
[00:21:49] Zac: That's not a red flag.
[00:21:51] Hugh: Exactly, but this is where it's going to full circle. I was told a story the other day that a Spanish couple who lives in the exact same area that I'm currently living in, from a friend who I know in Spain, said that there was right before COVID happened a double homicide, double murder, and rape from three Moroccan gang members. Morocco and Spain are really close to each other. Obviously, I'm freaking out because I have a girlfriend, and I'm like, "Okay, that's not great to know." They were only in jail for six months and have since been released.
[00:22:25] Zac: Damn, that's it.
[00:22:26] Hugh: First off, there's a lot of injustice around the world and that's not a slight on any specific anyone but just a reminder that we should all be friends and talk. It's also wildly important to how Web 3.0 can go one of two directions because if I googled "What is the jail time for murder in Spain?" and I'm in a country, say, like the CCP or a future Web 3.0 scenario, and by country in CCP, I mean China, they'd probably just knock down my door, throw me in jail, lock me up and murder me just for having googled that while not even remotely knowing what the hell--
"Excuse me, am I not allowed to google to see if this is absolutely fucked and corrupt so then I can try to change it on a back end because I'm living and a citizen here now?" Excuse me, but that's the danger of what Web 3.0 could be. I wanted to give you the opportunity to talk about your knowledge of Web3 and where decentralization can take it.
[00:23:22] Zac: I really like you bringing this to the forefront of my mind because historically, I definitely sit in the camp of, "Fuck the top, power to the people." I'm tired of just watching people just hoard and hoard and hoard and people so dis-attached and disassociated with the general populace that can't just walk into a store and pay cash for a Lamborghini. There are people like that that exist, and I don't think they're part of the solution. I just don't. The way you position that definitely makes me wonder.
I think ultimately, a few people are always going to ruin it for everyone. A few people are always going to abuse gun laws and it's going to create hardships, it's going to create deaths, it's going to create violence, anger, hate. From a few people, all of this has been generated from. Whether we're looking at things like Web 3.0, or gun rights, or abortion, or whatever the touchy topic is.
Even if we don't know how it's going to play out, I think overarchingly, the idea of Web 3.0 and the "second chance" it's giving to a majority of the population with the autonomous sense of it and the decentralization aspect of it, because we've been playing on that playground for so long, I think it's going to be a breath of fresh air for a majority of people. Are there going to be a few people that really ruin it and the government is going to try and rake in more power and wrench down on people and try and create more power consolidation, which ultimately is just going to result in just this greed struggle? I think it is.
Man, that was a really good question. With that said, there's going to be a portion of innocence lost in Web 3.0 based on what you just provided with me perspective-wise.
[00:25:32] Hugh: Yes. Obviously, we were talking about this a bit before, and hopefully, we can move from Web3 to a decentralized aspect of anonymity. [chuckles]
[00:25:45] Zac: Oh, yes. We struggled with that one before we came on the episode.
[00:25:49] Hugh: I struggled with that one.
[00:25:51] Zac: I was trying to make you feel better but if you want to do that to yourself on your own episode, that's completely fine.
[00:25:55] Hugh: Cheers, man. I hope that we can be active and thoughtful in our approach to Web3 because obviously, as there are dangers with everything, as we rapidly develop this technology, as we're finding out today, it might not be as beneficial for us as individuals as we had anticipated because obviously, everyone, especially entrepreneurs and innovators build, unless you're building for World War III, build in a manner to best serve everyone, it's just what those few individuals who ruin it for everyone does. I also-- [crosstalk] No, go on.
[00:26:31] Zac: Parlaying off of your thought, again, the only devil's advocate I ever thought about when it came to Web 3.0 is if basically people start leaning more towards the centralized aspect of it rather than the decentralized aspect. They start leaning back to Google and Facebook, which ultimately they're going to have better products initially because they're working with way more resources.
[00:26:51] Hugh: All of the resources.
[00:26:54] Zac: You're not kidding. One of the things I had thought about too that was a little bit scary, not too far on the dystopian future or whatever, let's say this "capitalistic system" keeps continuing the way it's going and we have 66% of the population that is worse off financially than their parents are and that trend line continues and keeps getting worse. Now we're at a point where we exist in a world where my life sucks so much in reality, I don't want to live in it anymore. I just want to jack in or plug into the metaverse.
For a decentralized aspect, is that scary? Is that not scary? One could argue both sides of the argument. If we lean towards the centralized one, if you have a majority of the population that says, "My life sucks so much. I have no future. I have so much debt. I'm not making enough money. I can barely get by on rent. I don't want to live in this world anymore and Google and Facebook are providing a better world for me right now," and you see a majority of the population jack into that aspect of Web 3.0, that's a scary concept.
[00:28:00] Hugh: Yes. Back to that rollercoaster ride, right? Didn't we-- Anyways.
[00:28:05] Zac: Sorry.
[00:28:05] Hugh: No, 100%, you've just got to sit and think because patience is such a valuable trait that I feel like has just gotten thrown by the wayside today. You had said--
[00:28:16] Zac: Yes. Patient and perspective. You've got to look at everything from all the angles possible. Quit assuming best-case scenario. Don't assume worst-case scenario either though, and look at everything in between.
[00:28:28] Hugh: I'm glad that you just said perspective because I was actually going to draw to the fact you were saying that gun law example earlier and how there's a few bad eggs and everything. It's funny to me that in the US today, and sorry to the US homies, I am American; I love my country but I've been outside for such a long time that I have gained a bit of perspective, especially looking back in, and missing home, but it's funny that we absolutely hate and freak out about what goes on, whether it be Missouri to Arizona or California to Oregon or Texas to New York.
We absolutely cannot stand the fact that they have different laws than us. Then you go right up to Canada or right across the boat to the UK or down to Australia, the English common law countries, and they have vastly different laws and we're okay with it. We go to Latin, Europe, or Africa, or Russia, and they have different laws and we're okay with it. We have to stop the whole, "I hate the fact that you came about something in a different way," especially when it's very easy to hop on a train or a bus and go to another area. In the US, it's easier than any other place in the world.
It's crazy to me that our closest neighbors upset us more than our distant neighbors. I don't know. We're getting away from-- [crosstalk]
[00:29:58] Zac: No, no, no. To the point you're making, for as great as America is, it has tons of problems. I think it's really starting to start stress fractures. I think one of the reasons there is an inability to proceed, move forward, progress in America is because you have 50 states with 50 different ideals and 50 different values and no one can come to an agreement on anything.
Whereas you have countries like, again, I'm not saying I want to live there, I'm not saying it's better to live there, but you have economic models in places like China, which almost operates a bit as an autocratic capitalism society. Again, you and I are using this term "capitalism" loosely, again, just to make people wrap their head around it more. In China, which is a much, much, much, much larger country, if they want to build a bullet train from point A to point B, it just gets done. It gets executed on.
Whereas if I want to build a bullet train across four different states in the United States, if Arizona starts throwing a shit fit, if California starts throwing a shit fit, if Nevada is mad because they're not getting as much of the tax revenue because of certain population balancing metrics that they're using in order to give California more money or Arizona more money, if any one of those things go wrong across this imaginary border within the same nation, it doesn't get done.
The United States of America is struggling greatly, is there's such a lack of unity on the ability to get things done at a state level, even at a federal level, that we're starting to fall behind a little bit relative to more progressive countries like Denmark, Finland, what's the other one, Sweden, China. Again, each one of the countries I just named aren't comparable, but they have a different approach that helps with the execution and the comradery behind the thoughts and ideas that go with it. Is China a little bit more of a forced hand? Obviously. I'm not refuting that.
[00:32:16] Hugh: Well, I was just about to say that. [laughs]
[00:32:19] Zac: Compared to Denmark and stuff like that. Again, Denmark, higher tax rates and things like that but everyone's general overall happiness is better. There's more job security, people have better work-life balances, people have longer vacation times. There are so many benefits to paying a little bit more in taxes, but obviously in America, what's the end goal? "Fuck you. I'm going to step on your neck. I don't care what it takes. If I'm a big company, I want to pay as little as much as possible to not only the taxes but to my employees."
One of the examples I give people, Walmart is lauded and praised. It's an amazing stock on the market. The reality is, it is a company that has failed because it requires to subsidize its own employees through government programs because they don't pay them enough. How the fuck is that a successful business in a truly capitalist society? It's not. We live in this society, an arena where if I get big enough, you can't afford to lose me, so, "Let me suck on your tit, government."
[00:33:22] Hugh: Don't even get me started on Amtrak. It's funny that you said that because something that we really do forget is countries like Sweden, Denmark, all of Europe, because of that interstate issues that the US have, they don't have that. Sweden, Denmark, all those smaller countries, it's so much easier to get stuff done because they're more unified.
It's not like if you're from Missouri, you can easily just go down to Arkansas or go over to Kentucky and then you can talk to them easily, but if you're from Germany, you feel more unified because if you go down to Switzerland, although that's more similar, or Italy, it's a completely different culture. You feel more home; you feel a bit more nationalized, and it's easier to get stuff done in a smaller area. If Missouri wanted to build a train from one spot to another, they could easily do that. Again, when you bring it across 50 states, it's more difficult. Sweden can get those things done, but the US, not so much.
I thought it was funny that you were mentioning the 50 states because while there is such a cross between 50 states and 50 ideals between these imaginary borders, or a road if you call it, there's one Google and there's one Facebook. You have all of this difference of opinion for state to state but then you have this interlocking interconnect. I'm going to promote this to you for these specific reasons with Google and Facebook. It's just--
[00:34:53] Zac: Yes. When you said that I had a lot of things run through my mind. One of them that immediately came to the front of my head was, "Look at how much Facebook gets done and look at how much Google gets done," because it's unified. It's one. There's one mission. There's not 50 different missions. It's just, we need to learn to apply that better in America.
We need to learn to understand you're my neighbor, I'm your neighbor. We might not agree on everything, but there are certain things unarguably we need to get done. Education reform, a fair justice system, a reformed justice system on how people are appropriately punished, not just locking them in cages like animals. You look at our prison systems, the way they operate out here, it's archaic compared to--
If you lock a dog in a cage and not have it act with other dogs and consistently reprimand it, it becomes a terrible dog. We're going to justify and continue doing that to human beings, which have a higher thought and higher consciousness and the ability to think and be self-aware? Once again, revenue-driven prison systems are privatized. They need bed space.
[00:36:02] Hugh: At what point, whose fucking thought was it to, "Let's make money from a prison"? What the actual-- I'll just--
[00:36:11] Zac: Dark. Very dark. Anyway, we need to get back to more positive things. [chuckles]
[00:36:15] Hugh: Yes. Anyways, pretty much other than that, man, we're getting close to the end here. These are just going to be the advices here. What advice would you give to a nine-to-five worker, something that you apparently were just doing to take that leap into entrepreneurship?
[00:36:33] Zac: Find some type of side hustle and just run with it. Again, even if it's not maybe what you want to do 100% with your life or whatever it may be, if it's bringing in an extra $500, $600, $700 a month and you can push that into saving for a down payment on a piece of real estate, push it into the stock market, it's creating one step closer of that financial freedom.
One thing, I'll cap on to the end of your episode, and we'll talk about the value proposition I have with my Patreon account, but my podcast is called DIY Wealth. If you look at the definition of what wealth is on Google, it says it's an abundance of resources. We've perverted the idea of what that means and we've tied wealth and an abundance of resources to money, paper, coin, a number in an account.
An abundance of resources. Is love a resource? Is contentment a resource? Is happiness a resource? Is having enough a resource? An abundance of resources, which is the definition of wealth, are things all seen and unseen. It is not just money. It is time wealth; it is social wealth; it is physical health; it is financial wealth. These are all-encompassing that create a richer life for you and you can live by your standards, not what societal norms are or what economic norms tell you to do.
Overarchingly, the economic and societal norm of what wealth is, is buy a flashy car, buy a more expensive house, buy something, buy a pool, build a pool. Now do that. Now go on three vacations and tell everyone how great your life is on social media. Do, do, do, more, more, more, achieve, achieve, achieve, consume, consume, consume. If you don't want to do all that, if that narrative doesn't fit into the way you want to live life in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s start tuning into my podcast. I pair deeper, philosophical thought with reasonable financial freedom in order to live your wealthiest life.
[00:38:36] Hugh: Man, I'm so glad you said that. I couldn't agree more. That is one of the main reasons actually wanted to have you on the show because we have similar ideals in that mindset. Having said that, obviously, you have your podcast, DIY Wealth, is there any other place where people can find you?
[00:38:53] Zac: Yes. Instagram. I'm going to spell my name once and then I'll give you guys all my stuff. It's Zac Juergensen. It's Z-A-C J-U-E-R-G E-N-S-E-N. You can follow me on Instagram @zacjuergensen. You can record questions. I also have blog posts on my website, zacjuergensen.com. You can head over to Wisdom App or Clubhouse. Again, Zac Juergensen. Finally, I have two tiers for my Patreon account.
[00:39:26] Hugh: I'll throw all those in the show notes, as well as Instagram, website, and all of that. If you guys are interested in that, it'll be in the show notes below. Quickly, before we go, I ask this to everyone, what is the best advice you could give that you've learned from your entire life? If you could narrow it down to one thing, what would it be?
[00:39:45] Zac: Ooh, one thing. Well, I generally like to run with whatever comes to my mind, but I had two of them that need to go together. Never stop learning. Never stop trying to educate yourself on something because it'll ultimately create some type of skill set or some type of value that makes you more valuable or marketable. Again, If you want to work in a corporate world, that's fine, but eventually, those skill sets can transfer into stuff like I'm doing right now building this podcast, storytelling, learning how to do the audio stuff.
The other thing is, you don't need $10,000 to start getting ahead in life or $1,000. Start with something. I ran out some numbers for a buddy of mine that still hasn't invested in anything right now, and I showed him at his age at the age of 60, if he would just start committing $25 a week into a Roth IRA, which is $100 a month, the guy was 26 and I did it till 60 and I assumed a 12% return, which is pretty conservative, that's generally what the average S&P 500, he'd be sitting on around $750,000 tax-free. You're telling me that that's not worth $25 a week right now.
Start with something. Never stop learning and start investing with something, even if it's $5, even if it's $10, even if it's $100, $200, don't think you need tons of money to get started because if you can start at an early age, the amount of heavy lifting you'll have to do on the back end will be so light, you'll end up getting to unplug like me in my 30s or someone that's looking at their mid-30s or their 40s.
You're living your wealthiest life right now, too. We talked offline, you were talking about the amazing places you've gotten to go to and backpack and do. That's something I'm definitely looking forward to in the coming year. You aren't able to do those things unfortunately unless you create a financial house where you can navigate and operate freely within the system that exists, which is "capitalism."
[00:41:49] Hugh: Having said that, we also talked about how I am currently learning coding right now.
[00:41:56] Zac: Yes.
[00:42:22] Zac: Absolutely. You're doing the coding stuff, I'm learning more about the crypto space. Regardless, even though we're both on completely different learning branches, we're still trying to learn.
[00:42:34] Hugh: Yes, exactly. Trying to learn is the crucial part because as an entrepreneurial consultant, do I need to learn coding? No, not necessarily, but when I have two extra hours a day and I want to fill it with learning something I'm interested in, why not pursue that? Why hinder my growth as an individual to stop, especially when I have the financial knowledge, the crypto knowledge? Keep learning. Keep doing stuff. Get better at tech. Learn, learn, learn.
[00:43:04] Zac: Yes.
[00:43:04] Hugh: Amazing advice. Something everyone should remember. Zac, thank you so much for your time, man. I think my listeners are going to absolutely love this. Hopefully, they'll come and find your podcast as well if they need more wealth knowledge.
[00:43:16] Zac: I'm looking forward. I'm actually going to listen to this one. Not that I don't listen to other people's, but you and I have had a great conversation back and forth, and I will definitely be in communication with you post podcast episode. Again, we'll figure out a time to get you over to mine, have you talk and share some of your perspectives to my audience because I was definitely enriched by your thoughts as well.
[00:43:39] Hugh: I absolutely will do. Cheers, man.
That wraps up another episode of Thoughts of a Random Citizen. If you guys have a question for the podcast, head over to toarcunited.com. It's in the show notes, and you can record a question. Feel free to email us if you don't want to record a question. On there, you'll also find information about financial advice, travel tips and destinations, broad market analysis, and there's a whole heap of stuff on there for you guys.
If you like the show, please review, like, subscribe, share with a friend. It goes a long way. As always, these are thoughts of a random citizen for citizens. There are experts that do come on the show, and I always do my best to research before each show. However, do your own research. This isn't advice, this is generalizations. There is your free disclaimer. Enjoy your week, and I'll talk to you next week on Thoughts of a Random Citizen. Cheers.
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