Invest Like a Billionaire, Best of 2023 | A Recap Special | Aspen Funds
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Invest Like a Billionaire, Best of 2023 | A Recap Special

Here is our reflective recap journey through 2023, highlighting remarkable guests, best moments and invaluable insights.

79. Roth Conversion Secrets: Maximizing Your Retirement Savings feat. Craig Wear ⁠⁠

91. How to Build Your Own Virtual Family Office feat. Jim Dew ⁠⁠

89. Oil & Gas Masterclass: How to Evaluate Energy Investments – Part 1 ⁠⁠

90. Oil & Gas Masterclass: How to Evaluate Energy Investments – Part 2 ⁠⁠

134. Advanced Tax Saving Strategies feat. Keystone CPA ⁠⁠

133. Overview of Real Estate & Economic Updates feat. John Chang ⁠⁠

65. Real Estate Tax Shelters for Passive Investors feat. Erik Oliver ⁠⁠

95. Passive Investor Spotlight #9: Becoming a Lifestyle Investor feat. Justin Donald ⁠⁠

131. Investing Like the Ultra Wealthy Ft. Tiger 21 Founder Michael Sonnenfeldt ⁠⁠

106. State of the Multifamily Market: Rents, Supply, Markets & More feat. Jay Parsons ⁠

Suggest a guest, topic, or simply ask anything ⁠

Connect with Ben Fraser on LinkedIn

Invest Like a Billionaire podcast is sponsored by Aspen Funds which focuses on macro-driven alternative investments for accredited investors.
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Introduction and Recap of 2023

Ben Fraser: Hello, future billionaires. Welcome to another episode of your favorite podcast, the Invest Like a Billionaire podcast. Today is a little bit of a different episode. This is out of my end of the year recap and just reflecting back on 2023 and really some of the amazing guests that we had, some of the amazing content that we were able to share.

And just, it’s always fun to take a step back and reflect on really what was accomplished and share some of our favorite insights. And they really look ahead. So this is a really big part of what we do here with the invest like a billionaire podcast is one of our main focuses and put a lot of effort behind it.

And so it’s so awesome just to see the reception we’ve had from listeners. And we’re just so grateful. So we just want to take a moment too, and just really thank all our listeners for making this. And the fact that we’ve had such incredible growth last year of our listener base and our goal is just to continue to put out more content.

That’s helpful, right? And so the more feedback we get and the more that it grows, the easier it is for us to dedicate resources to make it even better. And so that’s really our goal here and we want to make it the best it can be for investors. And again, our goal is to help. 

Invest Like a Billionaire Podcast: Our Mission and Goals

Ben Fraser: Passive investors level up in their education on learning, the best tactics and strategies that the ultra wealthy are using and apply those into our own personal financial situations, how we can level up just with our own mindsets.

We can use better strategies. We can grow our wealth. I can preserve it and really look forward to what is happening in the economy. This is the invest like a billionaire podcast, where we uncover the alternative investments and strategies that billionaires use to grow wealth. The tools and tactics you’ll learn from this podcast will make you a better investor and help you build legacy wealth.

Join us as we dive into the world of alternative investments, uncover strategies of the ultra wealthy, discuss economics and interview successful investors looking for passive investments done for you.

Aspen Funds: Your Partner in Alternative Investments

Ben Fraser: With Aspen funds, we help accredited investors that are looking for higher yields and diversification from the stock market as a passive investor. We do all the work for you, making sure your money is working hard for you and alternative investments. In fact, our team invests alongside you in every deal. So our interests are aligned. We focus on macro driven alternative investments. So your portfolio is best positioned for this economic environment, get started and download your free economic report today. 

Reflecting on Podcast Growth and Listener Engagement

Ben Fraser: And so just to take a step back, it is pretty cool to look at the growth we’ve had. And if you listen to this on Apple or Spotify or whatever way you listen to it, also encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t already.

And vice versa. If you’re on YouTube, you’re like watching this, be sure to subscribe on Apple and Spotify. And it helps just to get a different experience of the different mediums. It makes it easier to digest wherever you’re at. Pretty cool. Last year, we actually hit the top. 1. 5 percent of all podcasts globally.

So based on the download numbers and the audience size, this has become one of the top podcasts in the world, which is crazy to say, because we really just started this two years ago, just with the goal of, Hey, let’s just put out some content in a way that’s easy for us to do just talking and just to help investors become better investors.

And so it’s been really cool to see that growth, but we’re just getting started. We feel and there’s so many things we’ve learned along the way. And to even look back on some of the top listed episodes and things that we can do more of. I want to share some of those things here in a minute. 

Highlighting Top Episodes and Guests of 2023

Ben Fraser: But before I do, I want to take a minute just to recap some of my favorite moments of 2023.

And if you haven’t listened to all the episodes, I encourage you to go back and listen to some of these because we had some pretty amazing guests last year. On a variety of topics. 

Insights from Top Listened and Watched Episodes

Ben Fraser: And so one of the most listened to actually most watched episodes, this is on YouTube, right? So we have different metrics for different channels and it’s interesting to see which ones pick up on different channels.

Some of them perform better on YouTube for whatever reason, the algorithm is different there, but it’s actually Roth conversion secrets with my good friend, Craig Weir. And he’s talking about maximizing your retirement savings. And that was in April of 23, we released that episode. If you haven’t listened to that, you should definitely go listen to it.

It’s really an insightful episode, just all dialoguing around converting your IRAs to Roth IRAs. And, he’s been doing this a long time. He’s a financial advisor and has a lot of experience doing this. It just creates some great parameters for when you do it. And ultimately the idea is you should do it.

Yesterday was the idea, right? Convert as fast as you can and as much as you can and never put another dime into a tax deferred account unless somebody else is putting another dime with you. What’s your rationale behind that? I’ve just done the math. You take that compound, you pay a little bit of tax today on your seed and you let that grow forever, totally tax free and you continue to fund that seed with more tax free money.

Where do you think tax rates are going to be 10 years from now or 15 years from now? They’re going to be lower than today or higher. If you can grow something tax free, it’s one of the most powerful ways to build compound wealth over time, even if you’re older or so. Yeah, go check that out.

That was a great episode. Craig’s awesome. We’ve since worked with him a little bit, in other ways outside of the podcast since that episode has been really cool to see the growth that he’s had another one of our top watched episodes is another one of my good friends, Jim Dew, and he talked about how to build your own virtual family office, and that was released in July.

And it’s a cool concept because we’ve all heard of family offices, right? And most of the time I think that this concept is reserved for ultra wealthy investors that can hire a full time staff that are dedicated to helping them manage their investment portfolio. But there’s a lot of things you can do at a much smaller scale that you can build the resources around you.

You get the same kind of outcomes as these family offices, but do it in a way that is for someone that does not have a hundred or 200 and so he talks a lot about the strategies really focused on maximizing your tax savings, thinking about the holistic picture from estate planning to, transitioning your assets over time.

Lots of different cool stuff there. So definitely encourage you to listen to that episode. 

Exploring the World of Oil and Gas Investments

Ben Fraser: Another one of our most top watched episodes on YouTube are our oil and gas masterclass. So we have a two part series on that one episode in 90. Those were in June. I think we are moving towards an electric or a power driven.

But what most people don’t think about is how do you generate power? I think I’ve told you the story, maybe, and I have a great friend who lives down the street from me, bought one of these beautiful electric Mustang SUVs and he came and picked me up and it’s great. And he said, touting some of the green energy and I told him, I said, I’m a little upset with you.

And he said, why? And I said you’ve just increased our carbon footprint on our block. And he said I bought an electric powered car. And I said you realize that. The majority of power in Kansas City comes from coal. The more you’re plugging into your garage, the more cold generation for power.

There is oil and natural gas. Particularly natural gas on the power side, the more electric cars are, the more batteries there are, it’s going to take more natural gas to generate that power. If you haven’t heard us talk about oil and gas, you’ve probably listened to too many episodes yet because we’ve talked about it a lot.

It’s an asset class in an area that we think there’s a lot of opportunity in, but it’s not well understood, right? There’s a lot of people that I’ve talked with that have had bad experiences investing in this asset class. And there’s a lot of landmines you have to watch out for. And so in these episodes we really designed them to be just education 101.

Here’s what you got to know. Here’s the things to look out for. Here’s the things to pay attention to. Here’s the questions to ask. Here’s just an overview of what it even means, right? So if you’re interested, you’re newer to the podcast and you haven’t heard some of our content on oil and gas, definitely check that out.

It’s going to be very helpful just as a baseline level of information. Some of our most downloaded episodes just through Spotify and Apple. 

Advanced Tax Saving Strategies for Investors

Ben Fraser: We actually just one of our most recent releases was just a few weeks ago, advanced tax saving strategies. This was with Keystone CPA. And, the timing of this just worked out really well, at the very end of the tax year.

And there’s a great insightful episode. We’ve talked a lot about different strategies, in podge way across episodes about, ways for passive investors to save in their taxes. And this is a great episode that kind of consolidates a lot of those thoughts and gives some really practical just ideas and advice for entrepreneurs and working professionals and real estate investors on ways to take advantage legally of the IRS tax code to pay less taxes, right?

This is written into our tax code. These are ways that they have designed it. For you to do so and there are some nuances though, right? We talk about real estate professional status for real estate professionals. I guess we’ll start with the rules first, if you’re someone of higher income that means 150, 000 or more of income in total.

That means your rental loss should you have any from tax strategies are considered passive. If you get passive losses, it doesn’t offset W 2 income, it only offsets other passive income. However, there’s a loophole around that, which is the real estate professional loophole. What that means is if you or your spouse is a real estate professional, then your rental losses doesn’t just offset passive income, but it can also be used to offset W 2 income as well.

And so that’s the benefit.

So there’s nuances you gotta. Be aware of and understand, not just big, the big picture concept of, Oh yeah, I’ll do that. And then not actually do the nuance part of tracking it or whatever it is and actually not get the benefit of it. So you gotta make sure you’re doing it right. And that’s where they come in.

Another one of our most downloaded episodes was right before that, which was one of my favorite episodes of the year. 

Understanding Real Estate Market Trends with John Chang

Ben Fraser: I came at the end of the year with John Chang. So he is the chief economist at Marcus and Millichap really talking about real estate overall, where are. Different asset classes right now.

What are the big academic updates? So John is someone we’ve had on the podcast before, I think probably a year and a half ago was the last time, but we just knew we had to get it back on. We spoke with him at a lot of different conferences and just a wealth of information when you just, when he starts talking, just.

Everything starts to make sense, right? He just has such a great way of explaining things. Industrial, you still have a wave of development that’s in process. 400 million square feet coming online this year. I expect that next year it may come down a little bit and then in 25 we see the pace of construction really drop off, but right now there are some markets that have a lot of development.

I think about half of the total square footage being added is in eight metros. That’s like Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Inland Empire. So there are areas where you can get overdeveloped infill, industrial. It looks great.

This is relevant and recent to right now, right? These are things, this is just a couple weeks ago that we had this conversation. So download that episode, listen to it if you haven’t yet. It’s going to create a really great framework as we go into 2024 here for just understanding the economic landscape of where the opportunities are.

Another great episode that we have is really heavily downloaded earlier in the year at the beginning of 2023. Also focused on taxes. That was at the beginning of last year, right after tax season, and this last was the end of this last year, all around tax season. If people are thinking about taxes right now, you’re probably thinking about taxes.

Go listen to that one as well. Another great episode with Eric Oliver, talks a lot about cost segregation, how you can do that, what that means for past investors. And then one of my favorite episodes, and one of our most downloaded episodes, was a second interview. That we conducted with one of my good friends, Justin Donald, and this is a passive investor spotlight.

So this is one of our segments of our show. We actually interview other passive investors and really drill into what they are doing? How are they finding deals? How are they underwriting them? How are they forming due diligence? How are they tracking their portfolio over time? And then, we called that one becoming a lifestyle investor featuring Justin Donald.

He is known as the Lifestyle Investor. He wrote the book called The Lifestyle Investor, which you should read if you have not, and he’s just such a wealth of information. I really look at investing in two different genres. You have two different sides of the fence. You got side number one is where you buy deeded property.

You’re on the hook for everything. You’re managing that asset. You can hire out a property management team to do it. You’re going to make less profit when you do that. So you can either, really work hard to maximize the profits, or you can go the syndication route. You invest in other people’s deals.

You invest in other people’s funds. You’re going to take a reduced return because you don’t own, or you own a, a percentage, a small percentage of it. But it’s institutionally run. It’s managed by a third party or in house you’re paying people, you’re paying professionals, not people that are learning the job on the job.

These are people that are actually good already with a proven track record. And so I think you’re really weighing and balancing. Are you maximizing the return or are you maximizing your time? He runs different masterminds and investor groups that are. really designed to help people become better investors.

And he’s a very successful investor himself and has been able to design his ideal lifestyle because of the way he’s invested. And so he really opens up the curtain on his own personal portfolio, which he has never done before. He said that in the interview, this was the first time he’d really done that.

And to have someone of his caliber be able to share detailed information of what he’s doing and how he’s performing is very insightful. So definitely encourage you to. Listen to that episode if you haven’t and then some of my favorite episodes, right? And it’s not necessarily the most downloaded, but maybe some of the most impactful for me for a variety of reasons.

Investing Like the Ultra Wealthy with Michael Sonnenfeld

Ben Fraser: And one of them was the one more recent one we’ve had at the end of 2023 was investing like the ultra wealthy featuring our Tiger 21 founder, Michael Sonnenfeld. This guy, great downloads, great feedback. But I definitely encourage you, if you haven’t listened to this one, go listen to that episode. It is so baffling to hear from Michael at his level where he’s been a very successful entrepreneur and has sold next to several businesses very wealthy.

He started a group called Tiger 21. Which you might’ve heard of because we reference it all the time on our podcast because of the information that they publish from their investor group. So they have, I think it’s several thousand investors in their network that pay money to become part of this group and they consolidate their portfolio and kind of an aggregate way to see, what are the different allocations that their investors are making?

These are ultra high net worth investors. And provides a really great insight. So I’ve referred to a lot, but not only is the data really good and just an amazing group to see what they’re doing, but he provides so many amazing insights for entrepreneurs building businesses. And one of the things that has stuck with me ever since that episode.

Some of the unique perspectives he has on why entrepreneurs make terrible investors. Many times the nature of what it takes to be a great entrepreneur and what it takes to be a competent investor turn out to be incredibly different. Many people would say, aren’t they just the same, but it turns out that the skills and very nature of people who are entrepreneurs tend to be ideal people.

They tend to have creative ideas. They tend to get emotionally attached to the best of their ideas, because if they’re really good entrepreneurs, they know every single thing that’s knowable about this little business that they’ve created. So they’re in a unique position to assess risks.

And it’s a little bit weird to think about, but. The skill sets that it takes to be a successful entrepreneur generally are willing to take excessive amounts of risk, but a lot of times those risks are calculated in ways that they have competitive advantages that are unique in their marketplace, and then also an extreme level of concentration and focus in one area that allows them to become an expert and to, produce substantial amounts Of wealth by doing so at most of those concepts, right?

Taking massive risk and being highly concentrated generally are good principles to employ as an investor. That now has a different goal, right? If you’ve built wealth, if you’ve generated a nice nest egg and nice network, then you’re trying to invest it well. You don’t want to take an excessive amount of risk and you don’t want to have high concentrations, right?

You want to have diversification. And so he talks about the kind of struggles between a lot of investors that have since sold businesses or had a liquidity event and. Struggle initially to find their footing there. So definitely really good information. Aside from a lot of other comments and things that he has that they’re really appreciated.

And then another kind of, that Michael Sandoval was a huge guest for me personally. 

Economic Insights with Jay Parsons

Ben Fraser: It’s because of how much I look up to what they’re doing at Tiger 21 and him personally, in his story. I just really love that. And then Jay Parsons was another person that was like. A really big guest for us to have on the podcast.

Really was excited to have him on. And he is the chief economist at RealPage, which is one of the biggest data providers and analytics firms for housing real estate. He is a huge presence on LinkedIn, which is where I eventually found him. We’ve been following him for a long time, posting amazing insights.

And I was like, I got to get this guy to the podcast. It took a long time to get him, but we got him on. And I came ready to go on this episode. I had so many questions. I think I had three or four pages worth of questions and just went through them. And so that one was released in September of 2023. He actually made a lot of predictions that will bear out into early 2024, and I’m excited to bring them back this year to talk about those and see how those panned out.

And so if you like them. The economic stuff, the market stuff, I definitely encourage you to check that one out. So that’s, I could go into more, there’s so many more, we have so many episodes. But those are some of my top ones. Definitely encourage you to go listen to some of those if you haven’t yet.

Looking Forward: Plans for the Podcast in 2024

Ben Fraser: And really, what can we expect going into 2024? This is again, something that we’re really focused on. We’re really committed to continuing to grow this podcast, to really level up ourselves and make this a really world class podcast. And there’s a lot of things we have on the horizon. I can’t share all of them yet because we’re still being played out.

But, out of this podcast, we’ve launched. A separate brand called Legacy Wealth Summit that if you weren’t a part of our last summit in the last quarter, you can get the recordings on that one. It’s pretty incredible. It was a live virtual event. We’re going to be hosting another one in February, another live virtual event, Legacy Wealth Summit.

Definitely register for that. These are more focused kinds of workshop type environments to just level up education. So we partner with our good friends over at Sunrise Capital. And it’s a really cool event. And that’s sponsored by our podcast and by Aspen funds. So our goal is to continue to do more education.

You also notice too, in August of last year, we started doing the top of mind episodes once a week. So those were more intermittent. Scott, thanks came up, but we said, Hey, these are really valuable for our listeners and a little more kind of real time information of what’s going on. And so we started doing those once a week.

So we’ve been releasing two episodes a week for most of the second half of the year and plan to do that all going forward in 2024. And we have other segments that we’re excited to launch over time as continued to. Put out more content and, we have other podcasts that we’re thinking about launching that are under this network.

So there’s a lot of things that we’re working on and just want to continue to probably provide more value for you all. So definitely appreciate you all helping us out, subscribing, and rating this podcast. And to that point, if you guys. An avid listener. We definitely encourage you if you can’t just write us that review on Spotify on Apple.

That really helps us a lot. Just if we can get more reviews, it helps us get bigger guests. Giving us feedback is really helpful so we can continue to improve it and make it a better experience for you all. If you can subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t yet, we’re looking to do a lot more on YouTube and even additional content outside of just the podcast on YouTube to really just continue to bring more value.

And as always, we have this section on our podcast page website, the billionaire podcast. com where you could ask us anything, right? This is where you can just reach out. I see all those emails that kind of get sent to us. So reach out here to suggest content, suggest articles, suggest things that you’re seeing that you want to hear more about.

That’s something that’s really helpful for us. And one of the things that we’ve shifted our approach going into this year because of that feedback is to do more what I’ll call, say, evergreen or educational content, kind of 101 type content. We did one, recently, a few months ago on capital calls, right?

What is a capital call? My investment has, when should I do it? We had a lot of feedback on that. It was really helpful for people just to understand, right? So sometimes we talk about these esoteric concepts and get more into the weeds of economic content, but it’s really helpful to take a step back and just go, let’s explain all these concepts.

Let’s break it down. And we’re going to do more of that. We’ve heard that you guys want more of that. We’re going to do more of that. And we’re also planning on putting out some more webinar content. So you probably got into, if you’re on our email list, you probably saw webinars last year on different topics, a lot of times economic content.

And we’re going to be doing several webinars over the next few months and just additional ways to go dive deeper into one topic. So I encourage you to sign up for those and we’ll be referencing those in the podcast as well. With that. 

Conclusion: Gratitude and Excitement for the Future

Ben Fraser: I want to be done talking in the middle of my monologue here, but just again, so grateful for you all that are listeners here.

And again, give us that feedback really helps us. We’re excited for 2024. We really believe that there’s going to be some amazing opportunities as investors to come into, the opportunity set before us in this year and really believe now is the time to get educated. Now’s the time to get ready to position yourself for a really incredible 2024.

So with that, thank you all. Let’s go on this journey together and be a lot more excited. Thanks for coming to you in 2024 and hope to see you there.


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