This week on The Millionaire Choice Show, Tony talks with Jerry Fetta, CEO and Founder of Wealth DynamX, about his journey from homelessness to wealth expert and multi-millionaire at age 30. They discuss Jerry’s life as a financial advisor and how a parents’ financial habits, good or bad, can affect their childrens’ financial outlook and future.
About Jerry Fetta
Jerry Fetta grew up in a three-times divorced household finding himself homeless by age eight. At age 19 and just out of high school, Jerry was homeless yet again, but this time with a newlywed wife. Working their way up from the bottom; he and his wife are now 10 years still married and multi-millionaires.
CEO and Founder of Wealth DynamX, Jerry is a published author, successful entrepreneur, investor, and a nationally recognized financial expert featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Fox, Chicago Weekly News, New York Finance, earning endorsements and affiliations throughout his career with names like Grant Cardone, Dave Ramsey, and Pamela Yellen. Jerry’s mission in life is to help create millions of financially educated and solvent families achieving greater financial freedom and sharing the truth about money with those around them.
Learn more about Jerry Fetta, https://jerryfetta.com/freechapter
Tony (00:00 ):
Welcome back to the millionaire choice show. Today, I guarantee you're gonna have a good time listening to Jerry Fetta. He's the founder and owner of Wealth DynamX. He's specialized in financial education and services, especially with alternative assets. You guys know that, I like you to spread your money around. I like to spread my money around. I don't like to keep it all in 401ks and mutual funds. They're probably not the best idea, especially in the season of life that we're living in economically. He's also the author of Blueprint to Financial Freedom, How to Create Wealth, and the Daily Financial Journal, Big Three Challenge Journal. Thanks for coming on the show, Jerry.
Jerry Fetta (00:37):
Thanks so much for having me on, Tony. I'm excited for it.
In the pre-show, you shared with me- I gotta say; I've done 75 of these now and I've talked to a lot of different people. All of our stories have a lot of patterns and similarities, but yours has a lot of barriers. Like, if anybody had an excuse not to build wealth and become a millionaire, I think you would be one of the poster children for that.
Jerry Fetta (01:04):
Yeah, totally. I think, if I go back to where I grew up from, a lot of people have that same type of story and that's the environment, unfortunately is, "we can't make it. We're not supposed to. Wealth is for other people."
And, that's just a lie. That's one of those lies that keeps us held down, keeps us stuck where we are. Stuck in the system, but it is the farthest thing from the truth. I'm a story like that. Your story is like that. Well, let's get into it. Share it with the future millionaires listening.
Jerry Fetta (01:31):
So, I own a company called wealth dynamics, and our whole thing is helping families achieve financial education. Like, real financial literacy, not financial consumerism and marketing dressed up like education. We go back- and this is part of my story- I went back- at one point I was a mainstream financial advisor, actually with Dave Ramsey. In your neck of the woods; I was a Dave Ramsey client and then also an endorsed local provider in eight states for investing. I started studying like, "what do the wealthy actually do with their money?" And it turned out it wasn't mutual funds and 401ks and annuities; like you'd mentioned.
Imagine that right?
Jerry Fetta (02:12):
Exactly. We teach, "where do you actually invest in what's fun and unique?" Because I've been on both sides of it. Now I was really good at telling you why you needed to buy my mutual funds and my investments. So, that's an area where we focus on, and then we also focus on solvency. You'd mentioned how we are in some interesting times right now, the families that have made it, the individuals that have made it, they had very high reserves, they were properly protected. They didn't have a bunch of consumer debt and outflow. They had a lot of income coming in. And so, there's a solvency aspect that we cover. Then really it's about financial freedom. We believe financial freedom happens at the point of financial independence. I have passive income that exceeds my savings expenses and taxes. Then we just continue building towards that, and I relate it, and this is part of my backstory. I relate it to having the ability to treat money like oxygen. When we breathe, we don't think about how many breaths we have. We don't live breath-to-breath like we live paycheck-to-paycheck. And then we also don't hold our breath. We're afraid to let it go and get rid of it. We just take in what we need and get rid of it as we don't need it anymore. So, that's a little bit about me, a little bit about my company, and what we do.
Awesome. Now, you didn't grow up with money a lot of times, you mentioned, being stuck in the mindset. That's where we were born into poverty or born into low income, and we think that's where we stay. That's a lie. It's not true. Especially in America, I quote this stat all the time; roughly 40% of millionaires in the whole world live in America. When you look at the numbers, statistically, by population, America should have no more than about like 3% of the world's millionaires, but yet we have 40%. So, the reason for that is because of America's economy and financial system. There is so much opportunity here where other countries don't have that. They don't have the laws, the protections, the systems, the ability to build wealth in those countries, like they like exist here in America. Also, the barriers. And so, it's not to dismiss that people have problems, and there's barriers to it that make it more difficult, for some people it's easier for some people it's not. You still all have to go through the same challenges. But, of everybody I've had on the show, you had some of the most difficult things to overcome in your childhood. What did that look like?
Jerry Fetta (04:34):
You told me about the guy in the Chinese concentration camp, it wasn't anything that big, but I think for me it was consistent. It was one challenge after the next. And so, that kind of just became my life. For me, I think I was telling you around age four or five, I started noticing my parents fought a lot. It wasn't uncommon to hear shouting and swearing and things breaking in the house. It was usually over finances. Long story short, my mom and dad got divorced and remarried to and from each other, like two or three different times. It was always about money at the end of the day. My dad's name was William, so my mom would call him Bill like, "here's the bills."
Jerry Fetta (05:18):
So, when I was eight or nine; this was all in the same summer. It was a grand slam, house got foreclosed on. We lost it. Mom and dad got divorced again. We had the car repossesed. Then on top of that, we were splitting time between mom and dad. So, we were homeless on both sides with my dad. We were living in a tent for, the summer. I was eight, so I thought we were camping. It didn't feel like we were homeless, but we didn't have an apartment or a house to go back to. Then on my mom's side, we were living in a camper trailer behind somebody's house. So again, I just thought we were camping out in the backyard, but we didn't have somewhere else we could go.
Jerry Fetta (05:58):
That was my early upbringing with money, needless to say, it was already kind of taboo. And on top of that, it was an area for me that had a lot of negativity associated with it. A lot of painful emotion, memories that were- I was a tough kid, so I wouldn't say they were traumatic. I turned fine. It wasn't something I dwelled upon, but it definitely wasn't like I got the warm and fuzzies when I thought about money. It was like, "why would I want anything to do with that?" So, that was my upbringing. And then as I started growing up and I started working, I had someone share with me. I think it was maybe my older brother had told me that the dollar wasn't backed by anything.
Jerry Fetta (06:38):
I knew that there was the concept that there's supposed to be gold behind the dollar. That wasn't the case anymore, and I made the decision. This was like 17 years old. I made the decision that I was not going to live my life working for monopoly money. I watched it destroy my parents' life, my family. So, I was like, "man, I'm not gonna play that game." And on top of that, if it's not even valuable, why would I want it? Why would I work for it? So, I basically just said, "I'm gonna have fun. I'm gonna enjoy life. I'll work when I need it so I can buy the things that I want, then that's it. I'm not gonna save.
Jerry Fetta (07:12):
I'm not gonna invest. I'm not gonna try and build a business or any of that." I didn't realize at the time; everyone has the same three options with finances. We can choose poverty, like I did. At the time I chose poverty, I was like, "I'm opting out of the financial system." We can choose denial. "I'm gonna, pretend like everything's peachy. And I'm gonna just contribute to the 401k account and try and pay the house down and go to Olive Gardens on the weekend and drive a German vehicle if I can," or we can choose wealth. "I'm gonna have so much of it that, that it doesn't matter." Like I said, it's treating money like oxygen. I take in what I need. I let go of it when I don't need it anymore.
Jerry Fetta (07:51):
And I don't even think about it because it's just there. I don't think about breathing. It's just, when I breathe, I breathe. And so that was the decision I made was poverty. Which, fast forward a couple years later, I got married to my wife, Lexi, which was my high school sweetheart. We ended up homeless within the first six months of being married. I don't know what it was with the homeless trend, cuz I didn't enjoy it, but I kept going back to situations where I was like that. And so, we ended up living in an abandoned house for a couple of months, squatting. The owner's kids came in one day cuz they sold the house and didn't know we were there. So they actually caught us like sleeping on a mattress on the floor in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
Jerry Fetta (08:29):
And they're like, "who the hell are you guys?" So, that was a little bit about my upbringing and backstory. For me, there was a turning point when I started my business, ironically, I got into financial services. At a certain point, I was like, "okay, I need to learn about money. Like this is not working. The idea that I'm just not gonna be involved. It dragged me along kicking and screaming." And so I was like, "okay, well what better way to figure this out than to be a professional in that arena." And so there was a moment when I was working, I was actually commuting from Alaska where I lived down to Minnesota and I was doing that about every two weeks. And there was a moment where I went down there. I spent my last dime on a credit card to buy my plane ticket.
Jerry Fetta (09:10):
The idea was I was gonna go do some business down there, close some sales, get the money to come back up. None of that happened. I ended up in the hotel room with, I think one day left in the hotel. It's February in Minnesota. The rental car had expired, but I didn't return it because otherwise I'd have no way home, and I didn't have the money to buy the one-way ticket back to Alaska. So, I was like one day away from being homeless again. But this time in Minnesota, in February where I didn't know anyone, and I made the decision at that point in my time in my life. "I'll never let this happen to me again. This is it. This is the last time." And from there I turned the corner, but everything up till then was that type of story and that type of experience. So, like I said, I was Mr. Consistent just somehow I kept on pulling in bad financial situations.
Wow. You gloss over a lot of that, man. You delivered it. We're gonna have to park on that for a little bit, but I think the biggest thing there, when you hear that, and I think you're talking about breaking free. Some of that came from your parents. Some of it came from you. I call those "ungodly beliefs." It's like self-fulfilling prophecies. You think your life is like that. So, you almost create it unknowingly or unconsciously or even if some people might say on a spiritual realm, but you broke free from that. Let's rewind the tape a little bit and talk about some of that stuff you hit because you were young; you said it. I think the first thing I wanna touch on is your parents going through divorce. You said again, how many times did your parents break up and get back together? Cause that's a lot of trauma in that for a kid.
Jerry Fetta (10:40):
It was at least three times; one for sure when I was little, then they got back together again and then there was another one when I was little. And then it was another one when we moved to Alaska and then the final one, it was actually maybe four times. The final one- I was a teenager in high school, and at that point it was traumatic, but it's kind of like when a painful thing keeps happening, at a certain point, it just feels normal. So, at that point in time, I didn't like that they were getting back together. I was like, "guys, we tried this. We already know it doesn't work. Let's just not."
Jerry Fetta (11:15):
And so by that point, I think I had built a tough skin where it wasn't this, traumatic thing in my life. But growing up, it definitely was a point of pain. There was a lot of, as a kid, having to choose between mom and dad, it's not like you're picking what's your favorite flavor of ice cream. It's like, "which parents do I wanna live with?" A lot of times they're asking you to side with them against the other one. That was definitely very hard early on. As it happened more and more, I was just like, "okay, I'm tired of this."
I think over the years- I've been married 23 years- there were, on my wife's side, a few hard fought years. We're in a tremendously great place today, on Valentine's day, no less, we're recording this. The interesting thing I think is; I've grown up and gotten a little bit older. I just start to realize, even in your parents' story, that there's a lot of pain that they had before they ever got together that caused that pain. And, I think a lot of people- the reason I'm parking on this is cause a lot of people that might be listening to the podcast today might be going through some pain, even in their own marriage and not realizing why things are like the way they are.
What I've learned is, you can get stuck in that. Even as a married couple, nomatter your best intentions- no one gets married, planning on getting divorced. It just doesn't work that way. You think you don't get married and say, "Hey, in 10 years we're gonna get split up." Or, "we've got some friends that are 36 years married and split up." And what happens is you just bring in your baggage, your life baggage. It can be baggage that you didn't even create. It could be baggage from your parents' baggage, from your grandparents and you just gotta be willing to tackle it. So, we went, my wife and I actually went through and got a lot of help. And, that helped us get over the hump. it was a little bit scary going and admitting your flaws and your problems, but getting past it. I can't imagine what that was like for you, man. That's gotta be tough. Now with that, you went through that, and you mentioned being in middle of being homeless at age eight. So, you said you lived in a tent, but how long were you in that tent and how long were you in that trailer without hookups? You didn't have power on the trailer, did you, or water?
Jerry Fetta (13:29):
No. It was just in someone's backyard unhooked. I think we tent-camped for six or eight weeks and I was eight, so I thought we were camping. It was great. It was sleep outside. We don't shower. We go fishing every day. So, on my dad's side, that was brilliant.
That is some man's dream right there.
Jerry Fetta (13:54):
As an adult, when I looked back and I'm like, "Hey, what if the tent broke? We didn't have anywhere else to sleep that night," and then it's like, "I see what was going on there" On my mom's side, we were sleeping in a camper behind someone's house. So, there wasn't any hookups there. I forget how long we were there. It didn't have running water or septic. So we were going to the bathroom in a Folgers coffee can. That came to an end, kind of comedically where I went number one in the can one morning, and I was tired and I dropped it on the floor in the trailer. It spilled my number one all over the carpet. And then, the owner of the trailer didn't wanna clean it or deal with it. So, I think at that point they let us sleep in their living room. That one kind of wrapped up nicely where it's like, "okay, cool. We can't sleep in the trailer anymore. Now we're gonna sleep in this person's living room."
Wow. And as a kid, I mean, kids are so resilient. Just the problems you roll with it. You don't really understand, even how that stuff affects you until later. Do you think, through all that, in that time, did you feel very insecure? Did you have a brother and sister? Obviously dealing with a lot of insecurities because things that you need there for a foundation of a family, those things aren't there, you didn't have them, your parents were separated and you didn't have a house or a place to call home.
Jerry Fetta (15:19):
I had two brothers at the time. My family's really big. My mom and dad were both married before they met each other. All in all, there's 16 or 18 of them. Which is lot. But I had two full brothers, like my mom and dad had three boys. So, me and my two brothers, one older, one younger. With brothers, we're not sharing our feelings with each other, but we're there. We keep each other entertained, we fight, we do whatever and it kind of keeps things fun and interesting. Like you said, as a kid, you can turn almost anything into a game. As an adult it's like, if you're sleeping in a trailer, you're kind of down in the dumps mentally, you're probably not at a good place. As a kid, you can wake up and be like, "this is great!"
Jerry Fetta (16:02):
And then you go play with your toys and you have a great day and you don't think about that. It was helpful that I had siblings, and as I turned into a teenager, I think that, from an insecurity standpoint, I was kind of a quiet kid, but also popular. So, I could have a lot of friends, but I didn't hang out with a lot of people. Everyone liked me, but I kept to myself a little bit. I think maybe that had something to do with it. I was kind of to myself already. I didn't have a lot of people in my family that got along. It was very dysfunctional. I think there's maybe an element to that, on just focusing on my own thing, keeping myself busy, whether that was getting good grades or doing sports.
Jerry Fetta (16:44):
I later got into body building. That was something that nobody could ruin. It wasn't like someone else could not do my diet or someone else could skip the gym for me. It was all within my control. So, I think there was an element to that where I really stuck to things that I could do by myself. There wasn't other people that could come in and mess it up. If I put in the work, I would see the result. And, that's probably where some of that came from.
You're exactly right. Like just being able to get by with the distractions, I think help a lot, even the hardships that I went through, I don't think I really saw 'em as hardships, not until I got older. It's like, "oh, there were a couple that were that way. But, I had to figure that out later, how they really played out. Now, you said you got married, what was it? 19?
Jerry Fetta (17:31):
I was 19 and she was 18. We started dating, I think she was in 9th grade and I was in 10th grade and, we dated through high school and got married right after.
And then, how long did you have stability in your marriage before you ended up being homeless again?
Jerry Fetta (17:49):
Now, I can tell you, when I was getting married, I was living with my mom and dad paying studio bedroom apartment rent to my parents, which was a great deal. I was paying off debt and putting money in investments at 25 and then, outta college. Anyway, I was getting married and found a house, but I tried to do it the cheapest way possible. Cause I was a "no debt" guy. That's where my head was at. It's like, "no debt. I don't want debt." And, trying to get her to move into a trailer. Cause I'm like, "shoot, I can buy some land and a trailer for 40 grand. Get that thing in there, pay it off in about five years, be done." And my wife was like, "no, I'm not doing the trailer thing." So, we had to find another place, but I can't imagine what the stress in the marriage from being homeless with your wife, what was that like?
Jerry Fetta (18:40):
It was interesting. We couched surf for a little while and that wasn't as bad, cuz there were these people we knew and loved and trusted and stuff, even though wasn't our house, they were letting us stay with them. There were a couple of months where couch surfed, but we eventually moved into an abandoned house. Kind of a weird story. My mom knew this guy. He said that we could stay at his place, but then he had some kind of- I don't know if it was a heart attack or a stroke- But, he went totally incapacitated. They didn't say anything about how, we couldn't stay there. So, we went ahead and did anyways, without anyone really knowing we were doing that. And so, we were squatting there, for a couple of months and the first night I remember my wife cried herself to sleep.
Jerry Fetta (19:27):
It was definitely a time at the bottom. There was no other option. We were in Alaska. So, it's not like we were gonna sleep on the sidewalk or in the woods. The bottom of where we would potentially ever possibly be would be sleeping in an abandoned house without someone's permission. That was kind of weird. That was definitely a stressful time. We were there for a couple of months. I had the same mindset as you though. I had that experience already growing up, she didn't. Her mom was always there; they always had a good place to stay, all of those things. For me, I was like, "this is great. We don't have rent. Like, there's one less expense we have because we're squatting in this house."
Jerry Fetta (20:09):
But, we were there for a couple of months, and the kids that actually were the trustees and owners of the house at the time, they had no idea where we were at. So, they came in one day to sell it and we were sleeping in the bedroom upstairs. And I remember the guy that lived there before he had a Jack Russell terrier, little dog. And I remember there was this giant hole in the floor. Like, I didn't know how or why it got there, but it was big enough that that Jack Russell terrier could have fallen in the hole. So, we had the mattress on the floor, the wood flooring near the mattress was this giant hole. If you woke up in the middle of the night, you had to make sure you didn't like, fall in the hole yourself with your leg. But then, basically one morning I wake up on a Sunday and there's this lady peeking through the crack in the door and I'm like, sleeping on the mattress with my wife. And I hear her say, "guys, there's people in here." And so, I put some pants and stuff on go downstairs and there's like this whole family there, like packing boxes and like just probably the most awkward moment I've ever been in. They didn't know I was there. I didn't know who they were. I knew I wasn't supposed to be there. And like, when something's so awkward, you can't confront it. Like you just like you try and pretend like something is not happening and you distract it with whatever. So, I start cooking breakfast. I'm just like, "I don't know what to do.
Jerry Fetta (21:30):
I'm just gonna start cooking some eggs." I offered them some breakfast. I was like, do you guys want any? And they were like, "no." And then finally, the lady was like, "who the hell are you? Like, why are you here?" And like, I didn't really have a good answer for them because I knew like they didn't know who I was. We had permission to stay there at one point. And then that guy couldn't back himself up on that permission. So, she's like, "regardless, you guys have seven days to be out. The house is sold. You're not supposed to be here. We didn't invite you. We don't even know who you are. You need to be out by Friday." And, that was definitely like a stressful time for my marriage; for Lexy. I wouldn't say it was as much for me cuz that was kind of what I grew up with. It was just another day at the office.
Thanks for sharing that. I came to the realization a few months ago. Our past, sometimes it scares us, but I think being vulnerable allows us to give other people power who might be struggling or going through things. So, thanks for sharing. But, I was thinking, growing up my house, this is not too embarrass my family or my parents, but and I've just come to come kinda come to this conclusion.
The things we went through, even to the point- my dad was a carpenter. He didn't take really good care of a house, but he grew up without a dad in his life, no family. Both my parents grew up in very broken homes. And so I count myself very blessed just that my parents were able to stay together. That part of life was a little bit more stable than my parents had had. My dad dropped out of school in 9th or 10th grade to support himself cuz he didn't have a family that would support him. And, he really never learned to take care of a house, but we had a house, it was a nice house when they bought it.
Over the years though, it continued to get run down. And I think the discipline of just going, "Hey, take care of your stuff," wasn't there. I once had a friend come through the back door and the floor had been rotten out a little bit and the guy weighed about 350 pounds was about 6' 6" and fell through the floor of our house. Luckily it was only about an 18 inch drop, because there was dirt below there, but he dropped 18 inches solid on his knee at 350 pounds. You can imagine how much that hurt, and he limped for a while after that. It was pretty bad. And, I could just tell story after story, but what hit me is; I had to really slow down a couple of months ago.
Cause I've put my wife through a lot of issues. We've had to do a lot of hard work mostly because of me. And, I just told her one day; I say, "honey, you know what, thank you for marrying me because I was a train wreck." The house I grew up in, the way things were taken care of, the neighborhood I grew up in. She grew up- her dad was a police officer. Her mom worked on trains for the railroad. Both, middle class, lower income kind of families. Not wealthy or anything, but put together, and I think that's what hit me. And I think I'm hearing a lot of that from you. Your wife came from a stable background, there were certain things that she just kinda came to appreciate about life. She probably took them for granted, and then she got married to Jerry.
And she's like, "I did not sign up for this." But, you said she went to bed crying that night. What was that like? Obviously you're getting transformed as a man becoming the best version of yourself. It looks like you've obviously turned everything around as far as the trajectory you're on. You're like, "Hey, I don't wanna be on that train. Let me get on a different train," and you jump tracks. How did that work for you and her? Cause that sounds like some of the most marital stress she probably could have gone through.
Jerry Fetta (25:36):
I mean, for us, being younger, I think, we still had a little bit of that resilience. Like, "you know sure. It sucks, but we're together, and we can have fun and do different things."
The honeymoon phase.
Jerry Fetta (25:51):
Yes, exactly. So, I think there was an element of that and neither of us grew up with money. So, I think we were in a stage where we still could appreciate the simple things. One night we found shrimp in the guys' freezer and we're like, "Hey, we're having shrimp for dinner." Like it was awesome. So, we could like celebrate those little wins. so I think that was part of it. Once we moved out, because we had to move out, her mom ended up helping us get into an apartment. And I think that was a moment for us where we both realized like, "okay, like it's fine for us to be irresponsible, but it just costed someone money and stress for her mom now, too." That was an area where we both made the agreement that, "okay, we needed to both around," and I don't think she needed to turn around. It was me, but I kind of saw eye to eye with where she was at on, "Okay. We need to, have a stable place. We need to be earning income. We need to be saving money. We need to be doing a lot of the basic things that most would do. Instead of just, living on a prayer and sleeping from couch to couch and not really thinking about the future."
Yeah, absolutely. So now how long have you guys been married now?
Jerry Fetta (26:55):
This August, it'll be 10 years.
Congratulations man. That's awesome. I think most people would've looked at what you went through early on and probably said, you guys are never gonna make it.
Jerry Fetta (27:05):
We had a lot of that from friends and family. When we got together, they were like, "don't do it. This is a bad idea. It's not gonna last," that type of thing.
Well I imagine, especially on her side that her friends and family were probably trying to discourage her, early on. I would think if you were going through all the instability that you seem to have had. Would you say that's true?
Jerry Fetta (27:26):
Actually funny story is, when I proposed to her, she said, "yes." And then, I went to ask for her mom's permission and her mom straight up said, "no." She's like, "NO." And then, the day of the wedding, she was trying not to come to the wedding. She was like trying to convince my wife to go garage sailing instead. And, I don't blame her. I was a wild cannon, and she saw that, and knew that about me. I don't think a lot of people saw that because I was, church kid, good grades, all that other stuff. There was still this underlying, messiness and turmoil. That's definitely something that her mom spotted. My, I had some friends and family too that were like, "Hey, don't do it." Most of them were trying to look out for what was best for us, and trying to prevent any heartache or turmoil, but everything we went through, especially early on, we grew from. And that's the important thing. It's that we didn't take it as a loss. We didn't look at this and say, "it's not working." We're like, "okay, great. We're claiming this was a tough spot. And if we keep going up higher, it's probably gonna get easier."
Well, the beautiful thing is you've probably hit rock bottom. I mean, there are a few things that can happen. Just, just be aware, after being married 23 years, I think, and all the people we talked to, and friends, that break up- I always thought there would be a place where you'd get safe. Where your marriage would be safe and you didn't have to worry about getting divorced or breaking up or anything like that. What I found is that's an illusion. Nobody gets married wanting to be divorced or thinking they're gonna get divorced, but because they're not prepared or they're not preparing their marriage for the rainy day, it ends coming and happening to them anyway. And I got dangerously close. It is a miracle that we're still together, but I've been on good behavior for a while now and things are in a lot better place. But so, you turned the corner, man. And then, you started getting into the financial world. Let's talk about that. Cause I wanna leave the future millionaires, listening to the show, a little bit of wisdom from you. You've definitely turned your life around and gotten on the right track.
Jerry Fetta (29:31):
I got into finances at 19, so around when I got married. I was a personal trainer. I was a body builder. And so, I thought that was what I was gonna do for the rest of my life; compete as a body builder. I wanted to win Mr. Olympia. I was gonna own a gym. And so, I got a job as a personal trainer. Within six months, I got promoted to the lead personal trainer of the entire gym thought it was awesome. And then, I started to get burnt out on it, I realized that if I'm gonna advance, someone's either gotta quit, retire, or die. There's just not another spot for me on the ladder until that happens.
Jerry Fetta (30:10):
And so, I had a friend that got into financial services and he was a mentor of mine. He's actually the guy that got me into body building. He was basically telling me like, "Hey, you need to check this out." I don't think he knew my financial background, but he knew that I liked to help people, and he knew that I was smart. Somehow, he saw that I would have a knack for finances. He saw something in me that I didn't know I had. If I were to look at my resume financially at the time, I'd be like, "I'm the last person that should ever be involved with a financial services industry position of any sort." But, I got involved. I went and I saw kind of what it was about and what really rung for me was help.
Jerry Fetta (30:49):
I saw the statistics. I saw, paycheck to paycheck. People are swimming in debt, they've got no savings and number one, I realized that's how I grew up. And for the first time someone showed me solutions. It's kind of like one of those moments where you're like, "if I would've known this, or my parents would've known this at the time when it happened so much, it would've been different." And so there was a passion and an urgency of like, "I need to do this. And also I need to tell other people about this, so they don't go through the same thing I went through." And then, I also saw a lot of parallel between fitness and finances. It's a lot of the same stuff.
Jerry Fetta (31:26):
You gotta burn more than you eat. You gotta earn more than you spend. You've gotta understand finances, just like you have to understand your body and exercise and all these different things. So, I saw some parallels there and I also saw a similarity in the amount of personal responsibility and self discipline that has to occur for someone to be successful with finances, just like in the gym. Like, no one can do my finances for me. No one can go to the gym for me, I've gotta be dedicated and consistent. So, I saw all of that and I was like, "okay, I'm gonna give this a shot." I started with a pretty large agency. I did that for a couple of years, got licenced, got trained.
Jerry Fetta (32:05):
I got the opportunity to partner up with Dave Ramsey down in the Nashville area. So, I worked with Dave as an endorsed local provider, for investing. I did that for a number of years. I think we expanded to eight states at the time. And, all of it was what I would consider mainstream and financial services. They weren't investments, they were products. Like if someone in a board room got together with their board members and said, "what can we sell to the consumer in the financial world that makes us the most money without us going to prison?" And that's, how these products exist.
Say it one more time.
Jerry Fetta (32:45):
"What can we make? What can we make and sell to the consumer that makes us the most amount of money without going to prison." And, if you think about it, that's how financial service, products and services work. A lot of times the only guarantee is the fee in the commission. The consumer doesn't have any downside protection. There's no promise of anything. a lot of times it is a giant social experience experiment. For example, the 401k we've never had a full generation of people successfully contribute to withdraw from and, and die having used the 401k for the retirement. So we don't know how that's gonna turn out.
You mean the 401k prop up? The thing that props up the stock market because you have an endless flow of dollars going into the stock market?
Jerry Fetta (33:31):
It just causes massive market displacement. For them, it's a genius tool. Everything that Wall Street built is brilliant for them.
Well, you know what? I'm gonna sidetrack you just for a minute, cuz that's a wonderful piece. I probably ought to write a book or get on the show. There's a few books out there, but what everything you've described once you really clarify is that the entire system is designed that way. The entire system, when you go, "no one ever taught my parents how to manage money, no one ever taught me how to manage money." Of all the things that somebody should be taught. When you talk about 300 million Americans. That should be the number one thing; you should spend 12 years learning about money. Not math that you'll never use. It's ridiculous. So, then you have to ask the question. "Why would these smart people," cause they're not dumb people, "why would these smart people not teach Americans and the world the most basic thing that should be taught and learned by everyone?" The answer's really simple; because wealthy people are not controllable. Wealthy people will not be controlled the way that poor people can be controlled. And, that's where you really get to it. The stock market is full of what I call 'fake money.' But, you can use the system if you understand it. So, I've got some friends that would laugh at me for saying that because they have made millions and millions of dollars in the stock market. But, the reality is it's still fake money because when everybody tries to pull it out, it doesn't really exist. It's not there. It's all based on market capitalization, which is, "if I buy it for more than you bought it for, then it drives the price up on Tesla, Google, etc."
But, if everybody starts trying to sell it at the same time, it's a bank-run. It's back to zero. So, the only real money is in land and real estate business, gold, and silver. And so, when you look at JP Morgan chase bank, they own over 600 million ounces of, silver today. You have to go, "why have they been buying up silver for the last decade?" Well, because they know that there's gonna be a bank run on the stock market at some point in the future and you're gonna see it drop. And so they use the system to prop up and create fake money, which is the dollar. You said, it isn't backed by gold. It's only backed by belief right now.
We're seeing that erode very quickly with inflation. They're using that money to build up a system and they're taking that money right now. They're the ones that are buying gold and silver. They're buying the real assets, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos. They're buying up all the land. They're using the fake money to buy the land, gold, and silver.I'm gonna step on some toes right quick. But, I just saw that, Moderna's CEO, one of the vaxine guys. He just sold like over a hundred million worth of stock outta Moderna. And, he erased his Twitter account. So, it's like, "what's that guy doing?" Well, they know something's up. But anyway, back to what you were saying; you spent all this time learning about the products. You said they were things that they could do without getting arrested.
Jerry Fetta (36:40):
Yes, and that's where I started turning a corner. I had a friend, my best friend throughout middle school, actually, his dad never worked and they always had money. I would go to his house after school, and he's sitting in the hot tub, reading a book, or putting around his house. I didn't quite get, like, "what was it that he did?" Cause, I knew when my dad didn't work, it wasn't a chill atmosphere. It was like very stressful. You could tell like things weren't going well when my parents weren't working, but that wasn't the case here. And so, when I was doing the financial services thing, he was one of my first appointments- my friend's dad- and I was brand new.
Jerry Fetta (37:20):
You're supposed to go see your warm market and your friends and your family. I was like, "this guy guaranteed. I am best friends with his son go to his church. I am basically they're adopted kid; he'll definitely buy what I have." And so, I sat down and I showed him the deal and did the little presentation. He regurgitated back to me exactly what I told him, but he simplified to where it sounded like he understood what I said better than I did. And, when he explained it back to me, it did not sound like a good idea anymore. It kind of threw me. I was like, "whoa, should I be selling this? Is he gonna buy for me?" I was torn. I didn't know what to do.
Jerry Fetta (37:57):
And at the end of that meeting, I was 19 or 20 years old, he says, "Jerry, when you are ready to learn how money really works, I want you to come talk to me." And I didn't talk to him for years. I was burnt that he didn't buy from em. I was like, "I need to go to the next person," cause that's what it is; you've gotta earn just like anyone else. You've gotta earn your commissions and grow your income. Just like a realtor or a mortgage broker or anyone. So, as a financial professional or advisor, "I just gotta go make the next sale." So, I was doing that for years, and I got very successful at it. And, at the time- I think this was in like 2016 or 2015- the movie, The Big Short, came out.
Haven't seen it, but I've seen lots of clips.
Jerry Fetta (38:38):
Awesome movie. It's based on a book, which is based on a real story. My best friend has been a day trader since we were in high school. And when I got involved in finances, his name's Garrett, he kept telling me two things: He's like, "read, The Big Short, and read a book called, The Creature from Jekyll Island." And, I blew him off. I was like, "I don't have time. I've gotta build my business. I've gotta market prospect, sell whatever." So, I watched the movie finally, cuz it's shorter than the book. And, if you haven't seen; it basically tells you what 2008 was all about. It was intentional. The people who caused it didn't even get in trouble. They gave themselves bonus.
Jerry Fetta (39:15):
In the movie there's a character played by Ryan Gosling, and he's the broker. He just goes around, pitching this deal to everybody, getting commissions out of it. And, I watched that movie at the end of the movie, I was sick to my stomach. I realized I was Ryan Gosling. I was a broker. I didn't have any skin in the game. I was pitching whatever my managers and wholesale relationships were telling me to pitch. I didn't know if they were good products or not. And, if my clients got burned, it wasn't gonna impact me at all. I was basically gonna be just the scumbag that sold it to them. And so, that kind of put me on a little bit of a soul searching path. Then I reached for that book, The Creature from Jekyll Island, and I don't know if you have you read that one by G Edward Griffin.
I've got it. I'm going through it in audible right now, and I've talked about that book on the show quite a few times. It's a 24-hour audible book. So, you gotta work hard to get through that even in audio format.
Jerry Fetta (40:08):
It gives you the business on what's actually happening with the economy, with politics, with all of it. I remember when I read that book, cause I didn't know about any of the solutions yet. I remember being depressed for like a week cuz it's heavy. Life As we know it is a scam, and at the time, I didn't know like, "okay, well here's what I should do about it." So, I was just like, "everything I taught was wrong. There's no way out of this kind of stuff." But then, I watched a docu-series called, The Hidden Secrets of Money," by Mike Maloney. It was a lot of the same stuff, but he started getting into some of the solutions; buying gold and silver. I started looking at investing in real estate, and at that moment I called my best friend's dad, and this was like probably, five, maybe six years later.
Jerry Fetta (40:57):
I call him and I say, "Hey, do you remember when I was 19? And we met and you said, 'call me when you're ready to learn about what money really is.'" And, I was like, "I'm ready to have that conversation." We were on the phone for about two hours, and he basically reiterated everything I had seen on The Big Short, The Creature from Jekyll Island, The Hidden Secrets of Money, all of these different things I started learning about. In that moment, I realized I can't be a financial advisor anymore. I don't believe in it. It's not good for people. And, I gave that business away. I built it up to again, eight states, we were doing a decent amount of revenue for just being me and my team. And so, we basically gave that business away to a colleague and started up what Wealth Dynamics is today.
Jerry Fetta (41:38):
But, at the time, we didn't even know what to sell. We didn't know what to offer. We just knew, "what's the problem?" And, I think that's a great place for anyone that wants to be a millionaire, figure out "what's the problem? What's the problem everyone is struggling with?" Especially, if it's a problem they don't know about. Cause if they knew about it, they would already be solving it. So, I figured out this whole system of economic manipulation and retail financial products and the federal reserve system, and it's all intertwined. That's a problem that literally impacts every man, woman, and child, regardless of race, gender, upbringing. It doesn't matter. I know people that are making millions of dollars a year that aren't educated on this. And, they're at the effect of this system. Like you said, your buddies in the stock market; at some point, that game will end. And if you didn't withdraw more than you put in, you didn't make anything in the system. So, that was where I built my business and what we built it on today was helping people solve that problem. Helping them break free from it, and to be independent in their lives financially.
I love how eloquently you put all that because it is a wake up call for people, especially right now. The stock markets are at record highs. Is it really gonna stay that way? I personally don't think so. I think it's gonna head south, and I think gonna head south in a big way. I don't know exactly when. Robert Kiyosaki's a big gold guy. He doesn't have anything in the stock market. Currently, I don't have anything in the stock market. I haven't had for about four years. So, right before president Trump went in, I pulled pretty much everything out. But, learning about the real system of money, and that's what's been very interesting. The people that run the system- when you look at the federal reserve bank, which is not a federal bank and it's not a reserve. It's not part of the U.S. government- it's exists outside the U.S. Government.
So do all the other central banks all across the planet- they all exist outside of the government. It's a separate entity, and people don't really realize that. That's a very interesting thing. When you start to realize that you're like, "oh my God, why is our government in debt to an entity outside of our country and outside of our system? Why do our banks borrow money from that system? And why do they charge us 30% interest," which some of my customers have. And, you go, "well, it's because the system is all connected. It's all designed to flow all the wealth, or at least the majority of the wealth, up to these very few people." It's a very diabolical system once you get to the bottom of it. And, how long did it take you to get through The Creature from Jekyll Island?
Jerry Fetta (44:19):
I binge listened to that one. So, I think a couple of weeks, anytime I was driving. I did pizza delivery when I was like 17 or 18. So, I was used to listening stuff in the car, and I just put that on audible, like you did, and started listening through it. The one thing I would say, and I would recommend especially for those listening, that it is actually like a very hard book to fully digest on audible. I've had to go back with the hard cover and actually like study it, cuz there's just so much there. So, audible was great for me to intro on it. And then it was almost, it was almost like a Bible. Like you have get into the verses and really get, "what does this mean and how does it apply?"
It's one of those books. It's like if you were to take like finance 101, like it's almost like a four year college course to really get through that book and understand the implication, especially if you're not in the financial world and you don't know some of that stuff already. So, if you're, if you're hearing it for the first time, it's probably gonna be something you gotta work through, but I'm a big believer that you need to do it because if you're gonna exist in a system and be successful in a system, it's best to understand the system. I think that's where a lot of people fall short. Well, Gerry it has been a great call. I'd love to have you back on, let's go a little bit deeper into that because you're definitely somebody who understands a lot of these things that I'm looking into these days and trying to get people ready.
For what's coming and what's already here, the Great Reset following up on the Great Depression. So many similarities between the two. It's crazy how it almost looks like a blueprint from the 1920s to what we're going through today. And, that can be a very scary thing for a lot of people. As you mentioned people with disposable income, people that were prepared, did a lot better with the shutdowns than people who were not prepared, that had high debt ratios and things like that. But, how can people find out about you and Wealth Dynamics and your Blueprint to Financial Freedom? Those things that you have available for the listeners.
Jerry Fetta (46:18):
First, if you, wanna get a free copy of a chapter of my book, Blueprint of Financial Freedom, you can go to jerryfetta.com/freechapter. I'm sure Tony can put that in the show notes. But, this basically is the blueprint. Like we talked about today; we really just scratched the surface. We could do a whole nother couple of episodes, and dive into it all. But, I basically outlined everything here that I did, and this is not stuff I came up with. This is stuff where I went back and I studied the wealthy. What are the top 1% actually doing? What have they done historically? Where do they invest? What have they stay away from? It's all here. I wrote this in a way where it really is a blueprint.
Jerry Fetta (46:55):
Someone can without any help start in the book and just follow the steps. And if they just do exactly what the book says, they're gonna be fine. They're gonna build wealth. So, again, that's jerryfetta.com/freechapter. You can also go to our website; wealthdynamics.com, and we have a ton of articles, videos, podcasts, just free financial education. And, I would say the hardest part for me when I started learning about this was- it was before podcasting and social media were huge. It was back in like 2016. I had to go blaze the trail for myself. There was no resource I could plug into and just start learning all of this. So, our website has a lot of the hard work done for you. You can just dive into these resources and start learning what you need to know right away. Then for social media, if you follow me, Instagram is probably my most active account @jerryfetta. Connect with me there; send me a DM if you wanna connect. We always message everyone back. We'd love to have you there being part of our community.
That's wonderful, Jerry. Thanks for being on the show, and I'm sure I'll be following up with you.