Alan Olsen on Why Collaboration is Your Ticket to Freedom – EP 54

Interview with Alan Olsen

Alan Olsen

 

Alan Olsen on Why Collaboration is Your Ticket to Freedom

In this episode, I’m speaking to Alan Olsen, who is a tax expert with over 25-years of tax advisory experience serving some of the most influential and successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in the world.

Alan started out as an IRS agent and a CPA, but was destined for something greater. His grit, determination and community involvement brought him early success, and an understanding of the value of relationships. 

As a father of seven, Alan always prioritized family and leaned on his faith, but it wasn’t until his kids went to college that he had an epiphany. He decided to share his wealth with less fortunate families, and virtually bankrupted himself to fund a low-cost college tuition program for disadvantaged children. Despite the uncertainty, following this unconventional path would lead to success far beyond his imagination! 

Today, Alan’s a Managing Partner at GROCO, which is recognized as one of the top Silicon Valley CPA firms, and host of the podcast The American Dreams Show. He’s a master at connecting the right people and telling their stories.

In our discussion, I speak with Alan about the common denominators that make us human, why he believes problem-solving generates true wealth (not just the monetary kind), the power and importance of relationships, and the secret to creating a thriving business during challenging economic times. That, and a whole lot more!

Featured on This Episode: Alan Olsen

✅ What he does: Alan Olsen is a tax strategist, family office advisor, and Managing Partner at GROCO, a tax and financial advisory firm for individuals with high net worths. Alan also hosts the podcast The American Dreams Show.

💬 Words of wisdom: Early in his career, Alan was at work when a major earthquake hit the Bay Area. Unable to reach his family to find out if they were OK, Alan committed to building a new life in which everything he did was within a half-mile radius of home. All of Alan’s subsequent professional decisions have come from this solid family foundation.   

🔎 Where to find Alan Olsen: LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter

Investor Insights

  • Make your journey about problem-solving first, and money will follow. From his early days at a small CPA firm, Alan was determined to build a foundation for his family life alongside his career. He did this by solving problems in his workplace and his larger community. When you see great need and you dedicate your means to meet that need, you will grow richer in spirit. Personal success will follow when you aren’t just looking out for yourself.
  • Look for what we all have in common. Alan once participated in a UN delegation with 87 countries represented. He recognized the common thread among people from so many different backgrounds: the value they placed on home and family. He says this sense of belonging is what we must come back to if we’re to move past the cultural push for polarization. There’s space for everyone if we make a concerted effort to include others and build strong relationships. At the end of your life, you’ll care about people and connections above all.
  • Find ways to collaborate, especially in times of adversity. It used to be possible to make it in business by finding any advantage you could and one-upping the other guy. Alan says that’s no longer the case. Now, collaboration is key. As we face more global trials (e.g. the pandemic), we will have to rely on other, like-minded people. No amount of technology can replace human relationships.

Alan Olsen Clip | Creating A Thriving Business In A Challenging Economy

Episode Highlights

Pay attention to the big reminders of what matters

“I had a strong career but I was putting in 75 hours a week. And then we had the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. The whole infrastructure of the Bay Area went out, and I was down in San Jose, not knowing the security and safety of my family. I said, I don’t ever want to put myself in a situation again where I don’t know. I came back and decided I was going to revamp my career.” – Alan Olsen

No matter where you come from, you’ll find hope and faith in people

“Every one of us is living our own story. Every one of us, as we go through life and we take risks, we’ll learn from the process. It’s never about the money. What I really feel is important for me to understand is that as decisions are made, they need to be made with faith, some hope, some vision.” – Alan Olsen

Social media has polarized the world

“What social media has provided is this polarization between belief systems: Is it government, is it restrictions, or is it free markets and capital? And that polarization has been enhanced by the fact that social media allows us to collaborate with the communities that we agree with. The middle ground is disappearing.” – Alan Olsen

Collaboration is the answer for businesses in adverse times 

“The key is to collaborate. It’s finding the right ‘who.’ Who is needed to pull me through into the next level? We talk about AI, we talk about technology, but ultimately, it’s us having a vision and a foundation and the faith to move forward in the face of this adversity. I remember when the pandemic first came out, it was kind of like deer-in-the-headlights. Some of my employees were stuck: We don’t know what to do. And I said, I’ll tell you what we do. We keep marching up the hill, because no one’s going to do it for you.” – Alan Olsen

True wealth is defined by the ability to share

“I’ll have people say, How do I become wealthy? I say, Hang out with wealthy people. But you measure wealth in different ways. And if you study the life of somebody who has truly been blessed financially, you’ll find that oftentimes they view it as more of a stewardship, of giving money away for causes, and helping others around them.” – Alan Olsen

Multi-family investment setups can grant you precious time

“When I talk about freedom, I’m talking about the only thing that we have finite in life: our time. Say a person has $100 million cash and says, I’m going to put it in the real estate market. It’s going to take time. Time to look at what’s going on. A lot of clients say, I don’t want to put that much time in. I want somebody to do that and return a report for me. That’s basically what a multi-family office does. It’s a well-experienced team helping families to preserve time.” – Alan Olsen

Alan Olsen Tweetables

“We only get one shot at every stage of life, and before we know it we’re through.” – Alan Olsen Click To Tweet “Everyone of us is living our own story. As we go through life and take risks, we’ll learn from the process. It’s never about the money.” – Alan Olsen Click To Tweet

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Read the Full Transcript with Alan Olsen

Justin Donald: All right, Alan. It’s so great to have you on the show. Thank you for making the time to join us today because I know that our audience is just going to be so excited to hear from you and all that you’ve been up to. 

 

Alan Olsen: Thank you, Justin. It’s a pleasure to be here with you. 

 

Justin Donald: Well, you have had quite a career. And I feel like when you have success at a high level, there’s so much where you want to give back. You want to kind of pay it forward and I want to get into that today. And for those that don’t know you, you’ve done very well in a lot of different arenas. You are a high-level CPA for the ultra-wealthy. You have a company called GROCO and you’ve got VCs of very well-known companies, including Oracle and Yahoo! and eBay and Compaq and Google. Your firm is always recognized as one of the top firms in Silicon Valley. And so, you’ve got quite a reputation. You and I were connected through a mutual friend, Mike Koenigs, who we both love dearly and he’s just an absolute blast, just a big ball of energy. And I’m excited to kind of hear how you got your start. 

 

Alan Olsen: Thank you. Thank you, Justin. You know, it’s interesting that I came up through being raised in Montana. My dad was a blue-collar government employee. And when I graduated from school, my dad says, “Alan, if you ever make more than $17,000 a year, I’ll be surprised.” And so, I thought, “Okay. Game on.” I’m always kind of challenged. And my first job, I took down in San Jose. I got started a little late in college for the interview process. The Big Four had already done their hiring for the season so I was interviewing with companies that had three letters in their name, the CIA, FBI, IRS, EDS, and finally, I decided of all those, the IRS says, “Hey, we’ll give you the training for essentially a master’s in tax degree and do it all on the job.” So, I thought, “Well, training and education was important to me,” and I took the job. I took it as a single person, not really thinking about taxes and the taxes, how they impact people’s life because the fact of the matter is, I never really had the money to really worry about that. And so, the first thing that happened when I came down there is within the first week I met the girl that would soon be my wife, and six months later we were married. And so, we talked about this foundation of life and what it is that we really wanted. And I said, “Well, if we start with the end, as Stephen Covey, starting with the end in mind, as you go to the end of life and say, “Okay. So, now that we’ve gone through this whole journey, what’s important to us?” And we both agree we don’t take the U-Haul into our casket, that money would never be a core foundation for us. It would be an enabler of lifestyle but it would not be our foundation. 

 

So, we said it will be about our family and we agreed that we would have seven children. We were living in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most expensive costs-of-living areas. I was making $17,000 a year. I was so proud of myself, I had to prove my dad wrong. I started a good job there. And so, we did this pathway in life that it would be about the family, children, grandchildren, and relationships, that money would be a secondary to us. So, we got married and two-and-a-half years into our marriage my wife comes to me. She had quit her job as a schoolteacher. We were barely making it but she says, “Alan, you need to quit your job.” I said, “Well, first of all, it’s the only job I have, we have, and I’m providing our support.” I said, “What’s the problem?” She says, “Well, when I married you, I wanted friends and I’m learning being married to an IRS agent, I have no friends. So, you have to figure something else out by which you’re going to provide for us so I can have friends.” So, I asked for suggestions, “What do you think I should do?” She goes, “Well, go be a CPA.” And so, I switched over and in my mindset, I am more about strategy and bigger picture where a lot of the traditional CPAs are in compliance, running numbers, and that didn’t resonate with me as much as strategy did. 

 

So, I started at the big four and I went from staff accountant to manager in 18 months just sailed my way through. I think they kept reminding me because they didn’t know what to do with me. And I had a strong career but I was putting 75 hours a week and then what happened is we had the Loma Prieta earthquake, 1989, the time frame where the whole infrastructure of the Bay Area went out. And I was down in San Jose not knowing the security and safety of my family and I said, “I don’t ever want to put myself in a situation again where I don’t know.” So, I came back and decided I was going to revamp my career. I took a piece of paper. I drew a circle. I said, “We live right in the middle of that circle,” and the circle was a half-mile radius. I said, “My whole life, work, church, school, career, community is going to be inside of this circle so I could walk to whatever I needed to do.” So, I set out on this new journey, redeployed myself, and looked at places that I could collaborate with either existing CPA firms, or if I couldn’t find it, I would build it myself. And I happened to find a small firm, been around for a number of years, 30 years, and the original clients of this firm were the families that helped to rebuild the Marshall Plan, World War II, working under President Eisenhower, the economies of Europe and Japan. And I thought, “This is kind of an interesting little firm to be in a sleepy town like Fremont,” and I found that these individuals were building the backbone of Silicon Valley. They helped to give Larry Ellison money to build Oracle. They built National Semiconductor. They took companies like Google, Amazon public and I thought, “This is a good place to be.” 

 

So, I began to work within this firm but I said to myself, I said, “I never want to take away something that someone else has.” And after all, my journey would not be about the money, but I said, “For me, I need to build a foundation of life and a community with people that I want to do business with and help to problem-solve and do strategies.” So, I began to go to work with a phone, a desk, and a chair, and a lot of hard work and determination. And within five years, I have built myself into position of the second-largest partner within the organization with measure by billing base. Within 12 years, I was a 500-pound gorilla. And then the managing partner, there were three of us, goes to Hawaii, he dies of a heart attack. So, that leaves me with a partner 30 years older and then myself. And ironically, all along the way, about that time that he passed away, I had just reached the goal of having my seventh child. I was 43 years old. So, here is the test for me. I was soon to have four kids in college at the same time. A lot of people, they work on college savings and how do we get our kids through. And for me, as I thought through this, I thought, “I’m only going to have in my timeline of life one time, one opportunity to have four kids at the same time in college because of the way the kids were spread out.” And so, I thought about how we’re going to pay for the college education and make all this work. And as I put my daughter up to school one day, I stood out on campus and I had this epiphany. The spiritual foundation is a big part of my foundation and I have this very strong impression. I’ll call this impression coming from God and it said, “Alan, you told me, when you set up your journey, that money would never really matter to you. It would be about the journey. 

 

And along the way you’ve been blessed but there are kids and there are people, there are families with greater needs than yours out there. I want you to do something to help the children of disadvantaged families that would never have opportunity to go to school.” And I found myself in the middle of campus talking through this. “Well, what do you think I should do, God?” and it just stayed quiet. So, I went back to my wife and I explained the experience and she says, “Well, Alan,” she says, “God just gave you an invitation.” She says, “You have to figure out the solution to that problem.” And I said, “Okay. So, if you support me in it, I consecrated everything that I have with all of the money in our bank accounts and any liquidity that I had in the stock market.” And then I wrote a home equity check and I put it into this endowment fund. I basically went broke, bankrupt per se in funding a program for disadvantaged children. I took the money and I gave it to the president of the university who I really didn’t know but I came to find out later that he had just finished a 30-year career at Harvard University. And he flew down, took his whole administration, and says, “Can you tell me why you did that?” I said, “Well,” I said, “I can tell you what led me to doing that decision to consecrate.” I said, “But I don’t know the solution there.” And he says, “Well, I’ve been having the same impression that these kids who are dropping out of school and want to get back into the system need to have help.” And he says, “And so, your money is going to help me to set up a transitional program between  these high school dropouts and bringing the kids back in.” 

 

So, that program is launched into I think it’s now 17 countries, 1,800 sites of helping thousands and thousands of kids transition back. It’s called Pathways. So, we went on and I was excited about that. What I found out along the way is it gave me more courage, gave me hope to have the faith, to do the things that I felt were important with foundations of life. And so, soon after that, I met an individual who, he’s introduced to me by the university to come, and as a thank you, we go snowmobiling with him up in a place called Afton, Wyoming. And so, we had finished this snowmobile trip and after that, in the evening, we were in a large mountain cab and he says, “Well, I’d like to sell you some property up here.” And I looked at this individual, I said, “Didn’t anybody tell you? I am broke. I have no money. I gave it to the philanthropy office to do this endowment fund.” He kind of looked a little dejected. He was appreciative of what I did but I said, “Listen, you got a nice property here. Why can’t you sell this?” And so, we talked about the problem of Afton Star Valley was 40 minutes south of Jackson, Wyoming, and no one knew where it was. And I said, “Let’s create an event by which people can get to know this place.” So, we went out and we decided that we set up an economic summit. I said, “You bring all the locals here and I’ll bring Silicon Valley out to Star Valley, Wyoming, and we’ll put on a real show.” Well, we came in July of 2008 and the banking system had just collapsed in June. The whole town was interested in what was going on. 

 

This guy shows up part of the group, and he says, “Look, I really like what I heard today.” He goes, “I have a fishing property that someone just offered me $7.5 million for.” He says, “I’d like to offer you and your partner a 50% interest in it. Give it to you.” And my partner who would help me with this summit says, “Wow, that’s amazing. Give it?” “Because, yeah, just help bring people up to fish.” And I told my partner on the conference, he said, “I’m not interested because, Alan, it’s free.” I said, “Yeah, but I didn’t do my donation and in my pathway of life, I wasn’t doing what I thought was right to get some type of a big remuneration of a property like that.” I said, “You take it.” I said, “I’ll help to support you on a mission of bringing people into the valley.” And so, from there, it was the seed money for something called the Bronze Buffalo Club. It was a lifestyle club. And when we built this thing, we built it with the understanding that it would be for people who were looking at a different pathway of life, strengthening families, strengthening relationships. And we just finished our 10th year of the club. We usually get about 25 private jets flying in. We have 400 members to the organization. 

 

Justin Donald: That sounds incredible. 

 

Alan Olsen: And the people in there are amazing. We had like this year, we had Paul Ryan on the program, former speaker of the House. We had John Cushman of Cushman & Wakefield and the CEO of Colliers. We had the President of the Federal Reserve Board come speak. And so, it’s a very interesting group. And I kind of pride myself in helping to put the seat together but not taking any economic interests. And so, this network per se has been able to help many, many, many people as they’re searching through their life to get to the next level, understanding foundations of finance and what’s going on in the world today. 

 

Justin Donald: Wow. That is absolutely incredible. And I love your story because there’s just so many like bread crumbs that have led to where you are. And it’s really impressive to see the decisions that you can make in the face of what the cultural norm is. I love that you were able to slow down enough to hear God’s voice in your life because I think most people are so busy that they can’t hear it. And I think it’s just so cool that you were able to honor what you heard and then obviously we see the blessings that have come from that. That is just so cool. You know, it’s interesting. I recently sold my home and so my home studio is no longer and I’ve been searching for a real good studio in the interim before our new place is ready. And I have all these fun ideas on this new studio I’m going to build. But in the interim, this is kind of like my holding pattern and this is actually a pretty cool location right downtown in Austin. And I said for my first episode back in a different place, it’d be really fun to just have an incredible person with such a brilliant story. And that’s you. This is just an unbelievable way to kind of kick my series off at a new location. So, I’m very appreciative of that. There are so many questions I could ask through this because you could have easily stayed at the IRS. You could have easily stayed at one of the big four. You could have started your own practice from scratch. You could have bought out your partner sooner. But timing just seemed to be perfect. I mean, just spot on for you, which is cool. 

 

Alan Olsen: Well, in life, Justin, we only get one shot at every stage of life, 20 years, 30 years old, 40, 50. And before we know it, we’re through life. There is another part of this story that I want to add and that I started in this podcast called American Dreams, and I wanted to talk to people about their life story. So, I began to talk about the people that started this center and built it to 350,000 employees. What inspired you to do this? I talked about one of my other guests, Scott McNealy, who started Sun Microsystems. He was always in competition with Larry Ellison for the dominance of the Internet industry. 

 

Justin Donald: Talked about being in competition where they tell you. 

 

Alan Olsen: And what I found is this. That every one of us is living our own story. Every one of us, as we go through life and we take the risks, we’ll learn from the process. It’s never about the money that foundationally what I really felt was important for me to understand is that as decisions were made, they needed to be made with faith, some hope, some vision. I find that in this pandemic that we’re in and I’ve done over 1,100 podcasts, and the interesting thing is every walks of religion, culture, these people are coming together. And so, we talk, we often get into spirituality and I say to myself, I said, “Here we are going through life.” One of the common threads in spirituality is praying to God. And there are some people that believe through Christianity or the Jewish faith or even the Hindu, the Hindu I found they’re monotheistic and so there’s a lot of misconceptions. But in today’s world, what social media has provided to us is this polarization between a belief system on is it government, is it restrictions, or is it free markets and capital? And that polarization has been enhanced by the fact that social media allows us to collaborate with the communities that we agree with. So, the middle ground is disappearing and our children are caught into the mix of this generation that’s coming up. And what I find here is that for the people that believe in free markets, a lot of these are the capitalist, it has a tremendous opportunity in the market with the disruption. 

 

A few years ago, I launched a lifestyle club and it was helping people take back their freedom. I don’t do investments. I use investment advisors and I collaborate with teams but we try to put people in teams of collaboration with like-mindedness to get them to the next level. And I find that in the society today that we live in, it’s the day of collaboration. It used to be the day of money, leverage, and how do we take advantage. This is a day of collaboration of how do we problem solve and who is needed to get us to the next level. And these pandemics, I guarantee you, these trials are going to become increasingly more intense. 

 

Justin Donald: I was going to say that’s a good point and it’s interesting. I mean, one of the things that I wanted to talk to you about today is exactly that. You know, we’re kind of exiting the tail end of a pandemic. I mean, I guess some people could say we’re still in it. I think some people say we’re out of it. But regardless, it’s been an interesting last year-and-a-half. And I feel like there are different things today that make a business really take off and do well that maybe what there was before. There are certainly some similarities but I’m curious from your perspective, like how do you make a business thrive in challenging economic times where there’s tons of adversity that needs to be overcome? 

 

Alan Olsen: Well, I think that’s an excellent question and the key is to collaborate. It’s finding the right who. Who is needed to pull me through into the next level? We talk about AI, we talk about technology but, ultimately, it’s us having a vision and a foundation and the faith to move forward into the face of this adversity. I remember when the pandemic first came out, it was kind of like deer in the headlights. Some of my employees were stuck. We don’t know what to do. And I said, “I’ll tell you what we do. We keep marching up the hill because no one’s going to do it for you.” And I think that today you are going to draw more. As adversity comes, you can draw more your foundation. For example, the person comes into near-death experience, doesn’t get up, and say, “Now, let me go look at the stock market and see where my portfolio is at.” Additionally, they’re saying, “Is my family…?” Right before Steve Jobs passed away, Steve says, “Here I have billions of dollars, I have all these scientific accomplishments and achievements,” he goes, “And now within a matter of days, I’m going to pass away because all of these things that I focused in on did not have a lot of meaning because they’ll stay behind.” 

 

Because what’s important, though, is my family and my relationships and I think that foundation itself. The money will follow as you solve the problems but the problems are this next generation needing the guidance, the love, love within the households, and I feel that also collaborating with the right friends and helping them out, loving. There is an individual on my show recently. She’s a cancer survivor and she made it her life mission to replace the mine fields with vineyards and she spent over the last 10 years in Afghanistan. And when the recent events for Afghanistan came out, she had 350 employees stuck. So, we talk about it. Every one of us is going to have our story to tell, Justin, and I think finding what our story is, is important and then writing about it. 

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you, Alan, it’s incredible the things that you’ve been able to do, the things that you’ve been able to accomplish. I tell people all the time that the greatest lessons can be learned by people with a lot of wisdom who are close to the end. Maybe they already know it, like in this Steve Jobs scenario, or maybe they’re just older in age. And if you really want to figure out what values matter most, I mean, we all have these values that we think are important at a certain age and then we get a little older and it changes and so on and so forth over the years. But if you take a very wise person, some of that is well-studied that has learned a lot, that has a lot of experiences, and you ask them, what’s the most important thing? What do you regret in life? What do you wish you had done more of? Every single time it is relationship-oriented. It’s, “I wish I had spent more time with my family or my friends,” or, “I’m so glad that I did these things because these are the memories that I have.” It’s not about the money. It’s not about the possessions. It’s not about any of that. It’s something deeper. And a lot of people will say, “Hey, I’m glad that I fulfilled my calling during my time here on Earth or worked hard to really pursue that and being a beacon of light.” So, I love that example with Steve Jobs and I love just the fact that you live this and I hope more people recognize the power and the importance of relationships, and especially in such a polarizing time like we have today. 

 

You’re spot on because the right is getting more far right. The left is getting more far left. There are a lot of people in the middle, but you don’t really hear that voice. You know, the middle disappears. It’s a smaller group that identifies there. But I think the issue that I see is that people put politics over relationships. They put vaccines over relationships. They put COVID protocols over relationships. And to me, I feel like relationships should be number one like that trumps everything. You can disagree on politics. You can disagree on how you run your business. You can disagree on how you invest money. I mean, you’re going to disagree about a ton of stuff. Let’s disagree on what your favorite movie is. So, to me, I feel like too many people are falling into the trap of social media and this cultural move to create polarization in our nation when what people should do is put relationships first. And if you have a disagreement, you say agree to disagree, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends and it doesn’t mean we can’t have civilized, intelligent conversation around important issues. And there are probably more issues that people agree on than disagree on. So, I just love your value of relationships because, to me, that is the greatest treasure that we have here during our time on Earth. 

 

Alan Olsen: You know, I was once a member of a UN delegation and we went to Geneva, Switzerland. We drafted a resolution. We had 87 countries’ representatives. It was in seven different languages. I had an opportunity to meet the ambassador of Sudan and we had delegations from Iran and Iraq. It’s interesting, all these “nations” that were not inside the western bubble, there they were in the same room. And we were drafting a resolution together with every major religion in the world represented, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, atheist, people out of Russia and it was interesting that what we collaborated with is every one of us had a mother and a father that loved us. And it was a family unit that held us together but the relationships within the home and then we expand out to our community inside of that, that’s ultimately that’s what Jobs is trying to bring out is, “Hey, don’t forget the importance of your family and taking time for your spouse and your children.” 

 

Justin Donald: Prioritizing it first, right? So, like spouse, child or children, friends, other family, and then everything else, work, vocation, whatever.

 

Alan Olsen: I’ll have people say, “Well, how do I become wealthy?” and I said, “Well, hang out with wealthy people.” But you measure wealth in different ways. And if you study the life of somebody who has truly been blessed financially, you’ll find that oftentimes they view it more of a stewardship of giving money away for causes and helping others around them. 

 

Justin Donald: There’s no doubt. And another way that you can meet wealthy people so just start a club like you did where you just get all these great successful people to all hang out. I think that’s brilliant. Nicely done. I mean, Alan, you couldn’t have done it better. 

 

Alan Olsen: In a fishing rod. Right. 

 

Justin Donald: That’s right. Well, with as well connected as you are, the high profile people that you know, I mean, you probably have endless stories, but at some point in time, we’ll have to dig into some of these, some of the more fascinating ones. But I wanted to talk with you about family offices because this is kind of like a buzzword or phrase here nowadays, maybe the last three or four years where so many people want to talk about their family office. And number one, I’d love for you to share what a family office is and, number two, I’d love to hear your relationship with family offices and what that looks like. And for those of you who are unfamiliar with this setup, there are multifamily offices where many families can contribute assets to be managed by a team. And then there’s a single-family office where you might be a family that is wealthy enough financially, the financial component of wealth, financially set in a way where you can have a whole team, a whole office dedicated to the investment arm of your estate. And so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that, Alan. 

 

Alan Olsen: Okay. Sure. Well, yes. So, thank you for the introduction. Single-family versus multifamily. We actually run at GROCO a multifamily office. And what it represents is individuals that have substantial means of we started 25 million on up but our core competency is 100 million to over multibillion. And why they use us is basically they’re looking at two things. First of all, the people that have that type of money don’t view themselves as having substantial means and they’re often combated with individuals that when they’re getting close to them, they’re trying to get close to them for the wrong reasons. We want to get close so that you can give us some of what you have. Quite frankly, I don’t care. I really don’t care. I say if you want to use us, I’ll have a team of people come in and we’ll look at your family goals, we’ll look at what you’re trying to accomplish, and then we’ll basically give you a back office so that you can sleep well at night. And then I let you stay in control of your money. I don’t do investments. I use investment advisors, well-vetted investment advisors. And then the other thing a multifamily office will do is we can find access to investment opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be there. And I’m talking about on the venture capital world and so we opened that arm. But what people enjoy is we come in, we’ll put a team of three, five, ten people in place and then we just charge a fixed monthly retainer for providing services in there. 

 

And as people in society today, there’s this thing about the polarization and I don’t mix politics and business together because I have people on both sides of the political arena. But when I talk about freedom, I’m talking about the only thing that we have finite in life is our time. And so, people that have financial means of say that person has $100 million cash and say, “Well, I’m going to go put in the real estate market.” Well, once they start to invest in the real estate market, it’s going to take time, time to look at what’s going on. A lot of clients say, “I don’t want to put that much time in. I want somebody to do that and return a report for me. Our car collection.” And so, that’s basically what a multifamily office does is I’m the voice piece for the team and we come back, we’ll do a reporting. It’s a well-experienced team of helping families to preserve time. 

 

Justin Donald: Well, that’s fantastic. Thank you so much, Alan, for sharing that. I mean, we could probably do a whole episode on just that but we’ve got to wrap things up now, and I just appreciate your time. We’ll be able to share in the show notes just where people can learn more about you. And I want to end this episode the way I end all the episodes and that’s this. Take some form of action today towards living a life with more freedom, a life by design, a life with financial independence so that you can truly live out your life’s desires. And so, I just want to challenge you and ask you, what is the single one step you can take today to moving towards financial freedom and a life by design? Thanks for checking in and we’ll see you next week.

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