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Aug. 14, 2022

113. Financial Literacy for Gen Z with James Bowman

113. Financial Literacy for Gen Z with James Bowman

Join Mike Cavaggioni with James Bowman on the 113th episode of the Average Joe Finances Podcast. James shares how and why he offers his Financial Coaching services to help people pay down bad debt, begin investing, and ultimately reach financial peace.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How he started with Gen-Z Mon-E
  • The discovery of his own financial literacy
  • Putting your savings into investments
  • Resources to take note on learning financial literacy
  • And much more!

About James Bowman:
James is a 23-year-old veteran who is the host of the Gen-Z Mon-E Podcast.

Find James Bowman on:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GenzMone
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/genzmone/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GenzMone/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8uJ1ZjByDu5IQVWVG7GfiQ

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Transcript
Mike Cavaggioni:

Hey, welcome back to the Average Joe Finances Podcast everybody. I'm your host, Mike Cavaggioni and today's guest is James Bowman with Gen Z money. I was a guest on James's podcast not too long ago, absolutely enjoyed the conversation with him. I am super excited to have him on our show to share his story. James, thank you so much for joining me.

James Bowman:

No Mike man, the pleasure is all mine. I really enjoyed our last conversation. So I'm really excited to be here, man.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah, absolutely. So again, thank you so much now I'd like to go straight into it with asking you this first question. It's same question I ask everybody that comes on the show, but we wanna know about you. So can you share a little bit about yourself, share your story, your background, whatever, as far as you wanna go, but let's talk about James Bowman, who you are and how you started Gen Z

James Bowman:

So, Mike, I consider myself an Average Joe. At the age of 17, I joined the military, the army. I served five years and ended up getting out after, completing my contract and finances has growing up. No one ever taught me anything about finances. And after learning a little bit of hard lessons, making mistakes, like buying a car and not knowing about insurance, I somehow found myself down a rabbit hole of learning about finances. And it got to the point where I got a little bit obsessed about it, and I thought two things, one, there's no way that I can absorb all of this knowledge and not put it back out for other people to enjoy. But it's another thing that Gen Z is looked at as the entitled generation some would call it. And so that's why I really made the show about them. Is to teach them the things that were not taught in school about insurance, about investing index funds, real estate and things like that. And that's how Gen Z Money was born. It's all about putting out the education and putting out the things that I personally do. And I personally believe in, and having people on who either agree or disagree in having a conversation

Mike Cavaggioni:

Wow man. I really appreciate that and I appreciate when you talk about Gen Z and you're talking about them specifically and how a lot of people think that, they're the quote unquote entitled generation. I caught a lot of that too. As a millennial, they all thought millennials were entitled as well, but what's funny is at this point, as boomers start dying off and all that stuff and all their properties get passed down or all that other side, you're gonna see a huge generational shift to the millennial and gen Z generations. I think it's gonna skip gen X, because I think at that point they're like, pushing that same spot. But yeah man, I really appreciate that where your target market is too, because I think a lot of younger people today find themselves in situations where they're not learning these type of things. They're not learning financial literacy. And I know when I was on your show, that was one of the things we talked about too. So I'd like to dive a little bit deeper into that, and thank you for your service especially like with your time in the army, joining the army, I'm sure you saw many soldiers out there that I guess there's no kind way to put it, but they were financially illiterate, right? There's not a lot of training on that that you even get even in the military. And Hey, I also wanna point out too. I joined at 17 years old as well. I haven't met too many other people that joined at 17 and had to have their parents sign that waiver. I'm in the 17 club with you, but yeah. So could you share a little bit more about that? Like some of the experiences you've had just in your time in the army and what that was like, especially when you started discovering financial literacy.

James Bowman:

Mike, that's such a great topic that I actually don't think gets discussed enough. So first of all, I had one finance class while in the army. I had it during my, it was after basic, but before I got to my unit in our additional training and it was one finance class and the big takeaway from that was don't buy a new car. Buy a cash car and you're gonna be perfectly fine financially. And that was it. And it was about an hour long briefing. Along those times, a lot of things go in one ear and out the. But one thing that I noticed immediately when I got into the military was that regardless of how much, or regardless of the rank, regardless of how much people were making, There were people struggling at every single level. So the E-1s who just got in, they're struggling to save money and live. And then, but you also have E-7s, first classes who are also struggling in their own ways, and they have their own financial issues. It brought me to a realization it's okay, these two people are making wildly different amounts of money and they're both in the same spot. So obviously, it's not how much they're earning, that's the problem. And that is when I realized it's about how much you're spending. You would see, I'm not sure in the Navy if you saw this, but it was and indoc duration into the next rank that every time you got promoted, you bought a new car. Your paycheck went up $400 a month or whatever. So guess what? You need to fill that up with a $400 car payment. So people would pull up in brand new trucks, brand new Jeeps, Teslas and all these things that they could not afford at the time. And that was the reason why the problem never changed regardless of the rank. So that's, I think that's where it really started.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah. There's a famous saying that goes with that, more money, more problems. And that saying only applies to those people that are not educated. They're not financially literate, because it should be more money, more investments, less problems. You should get that promotion. That $400 should go to buying an asset. That's gonna pay you back. But not a lot of people think like that. So having that perspective and at least having that mindset for you while you were in the military, that kind of set you apart from everyone else. Now, when was it that it clicked for you? Did you join and immediately figure out, Hey, like this is not the right way to do things or did it take some time after being in, maybe for a few years and you're like, Hey, what am I doing with my money? What, why there's gotta be a better way? Like, how did you discover that? How did you take that next step?

James Bowman:

Okay. So I'll say when I started, I got my first credit card and from the time I got that, I was never the guy to hold a balance. I don't know. And I didn't learn that holding a balance was a bad thing. It just ended up being how it was as I would spend money on the credit card and I'd pay it off every single paycheck. And I didn't realize how beneficial that was. And then of course, I get to my unit, I need a car, I get my tax refund. And the same day I get my tax refund I go to the car dealership and I end up purchasing a vehicle, but I put every single dime I had, they talked me into putting every single dime I had into a down payment. And I ended up having to put the insurance on my credit card. I didn't even realize you needed insurance at the dealership. I'm 17. I think I might have been 18 at the time, but these are all things that nobody taught me. And the first insurance payment is a big one so I have to end up putting that $500 on my credit card, and that freaked me out because that was the only time up to that point where I had to balance on my credit card. And I had less than a hundred dollars in my checking account. And then they taught me about a deductible, I had no idea what that was. So it's raining outside of the dealership. So I'm like, man, if I crash this car on the way home, I can't even cover the deductible. I'm panicking internally, I'm outside. I'm cool though. You know what I mean? I'm. I'm looking at my guys. They're like, yeah, I'm the first one buying the car. And I was terrified, man. And it was at that moment I knew I messed up in that moment and I needed to fix it. And so that's where the journey started. So I saved that thousand dollars. First thing I did was pay off that credit card, the next paycheck. Then I saved that first thousand dollars. And I remember when I got paid and that thousand dollars hit my savings, there was just a weight that was completely lifted off my shoulders. Okay, I don't have to be terrified about driving this car anymore, cause I can at least cover my deductible.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah, no that's fantastic. You got yourself to the point where you had, some type of a rainy day emergency fund there for you to use in case something was to happen and doing that at the age of 18 is phenomenal. I don't think I've actually had a guest on yet that has actually started their financial journey at the age of 18. And that is absolutely amazing because the way I look at it is, that's the target we wanna try to hit. We wanna try to teach the younger generation to get to that point to where their financially limited enough to start off at, in a good spot. So you're already, you're what, 23 years old, right?

James Bowman:

Yes, 23.

Mike Cavaggioni:

So 23 years old right now, you've already got yourself in such a good spot because of simple decisions you made when you were 18 years old, and we're gonna get into that. Cause I know you own some rental properties and stuff, and I want to get into all of that and the fact that, at the age of 23, you own more homes than a large majority of the population in America. Because, I think it's what, I think 60% of the country actually owns a home. And that's just one home. When you get down to who owns two or more homes, that number goes way, way down. And I don't know it off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure it's less than 10% or something like that. You're already in a super good spot and this is something else I want to ask you too. As you were 18 years old, you bought that first car. You freaked out cause you didn't have the money for deductible. If something happened, I know that was the trigger that got you to rethink your finances, but what was like the resources? What did you find as you were looking up ways to make yourself better at this? Was there any particular book or program or anything that you read that helped you.

James Bowman:

Yeah. Yeah. Mike. Once I save that thousand dollars and I realized okay, wait a minute, saving is easy, so I'm gonna keep doing it. And I'm saving, my wife and I get married. I move out of the barracks, we get a super duper small two bed, one bath apartment and let's just say the housing allowance was $1,200 at the time. Our apartment was 700. So now we got to the point where our housing allowance was paying for my car payment, my rent and my insurance. And as you can see, it ends up snowballing into a massive savings rate. And it got to the point where I wanna say, I had maybe let's just call it $10,000 saved up. And my wife looked at me one day and she's what are you saving for? And I had absolutely no idea what to tell her, man. I was just like, I'm just save it for a rainy day. And so that triggered me to, okay, I need to figure out what am I saving for? And so I go to YouTube, I don't even remember what I typed in or how I ended up, but the first person that I came across was Graham Stephan. He has a YouTube channel. Very successful man. And he, he broke down index funds, you know how to get started investing. That's where I heard about real estate and started dabbling and hearing about that. And then that kind of triggered me snowballing into finding Dave Ramsey's content where, and I'm start consuming his stuff. I end up finding bigger pockets, which I'm sure you're familiar with. And it was just as soon as I hit one, my YouTube was like, I got you, and it gave me everything that I needed. And luckily it didn't give me anything I didn't. So what I mean by that is I didn't get any of the get rich quick, guru stuff coming up. I didn't get any of the get rich on crypto or investment NFTs things, at least at that time. So I think, shout out to YouTube for giving me the right content or at least content that I think was right. So those are some of the things that really, shifted my focus and taught me how to start investing.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah, James, that is super awesome, man. The YouTube algorithm in a good way this time. So that's good to hear, man. . So I just wanna point something out, man. Even before you knew what was going on, you were already at, at a point where you were telling yourself to not keep a balance on your credit card. So even before you knew it, you already had a good head on your shoulders when it came to what to do with your finances. Okay, now, as you, you discovered Graham Stephan, you discovered Dave Ramsey and then bigger pockets. I know once you found bigger pockets, especially so you were talking to, about Graham Stephan, you started digesting and got the bug in your ear about real estate, but I know once you started looking at bigger pockets, that probably blew up in your head and you were like, dude, I need to get into real estate. James, how did that work for you? Like how did you get into your first real estate? Cuz you said you were saving up for a rainy day. You didn't know what you were saving for then you started consuming this content. How what's the story for you buying your first property?

James Bowman:

So the way it started, of course it started with bigger pockets, right? And I'm learning how to analyze deals. And I'm looking in, I was stationed at Fort Stewart living in Hinesville, so I'm like, okay, cuz bigger pockets preaches, listen, you need to be analyzing 10 deals a day just to get that skill down to a T. And now I can look at asking price probably shouldn't know if it's gonna cash flow in certain markets because I've analyzed so many deals, but yeah, and I'm analyzing deals, just getting that muscle. And I'm like, any of these houses will cash flow any of them. And so I get to the point where I'm like, we're six months into our lease, of course two and a half years, but we're six months into our renewed lease and I end up just sent a message. I'm like, I'm gonna ask, I sent a message to my property manager. I said, Hey, look, if my wife and I use an agent from your brokerage to purchase a home, will you guys allow us out of our lease early, with no penalties and I and that was something I picked up on the bigger pockets, and I asked and I got a message back yeah, let's go, of course, and that's where I realized I figured out how I was going to fund it and things like that. I knew I had the VA home loan that I had available so I knew I could get in 0% down and we went house hunting and we were gonna live there for one year to fulfill that primary residence requirement and then move out and rent it out and brings and repeat. And that's what we ended up doing, except my calculations were way off man, way off. So we purchased a home, we purchased it for 116, we move in, we got in $0 out of pocket, 0% down, seller paid all the closing costs. And so all we paid for was the home inspection. We got the appraisal back, the seller pay for the appraisal and we got our earnest back. We were completely in zero down. It was crazy. I didn't even know that my realtor put in the contract that the seller was gonna pay codes and glove. Cause I didn't know that much. So we move in and this is January of 2022. So you know what came in March? So I'm panicking. I know we're gonna live there for the year, and so I'm panicking. I'm like, man, I don't know what's gonna happen, I don't know if everything's gonna come crashing down. Did I just do something stupid? And as you know what happened in 2022 prices continued to rise. Rents continued to rise. And by the time we moved out of that property, I projected that we were gonna get $1,100 in rent. And it was gonna cash flow about 150 a month. And that was good enough for me because I was in zero down and I was good. And when I called the property manager, the same one who let me outta my lease early, the same one who my agent worked for their brokerage. I called 'em, I'm like, Hey, I would like you guys to manage your property. They come in and they're like, okay you'll be getting 1475 for rent. And I was like, it went from 1100 to 1475 in the matter of a year. And yeah, It completely blew my mind. And now it is cash flowing like a cow giving milk.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Ah, I love it man. What's awesome is, when you put your numbers together and you look at what the fair market value for rent was then versus what it became after, the quote unquote world ended, you know that's an extra $300 more over $300 more then what you initially calculated. So now instead of cash flowing, 150 a month, you're cash flowing almost 500 a month. So that is super awesome. And how old were you when you started renting out this property?

James Bowman:

We started renting it in July of last year. So I was 22.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Okay. So 22 years old, got your first rental property already cash flowing almost $500 a month. You wanna go buy a new car? There you go. You have an asset that's making that car payment for you done, free. So like right there, like that's the spot you want to be in. Okay. So after you bought that property, then you started renting it out and then you, did you go and buy another property right away? Or what was the next step to the property that you're in?

James Bowman:

Yeah. So we ended up, my wife ended up accepting a job in Savannah an hour away from Hinesville. For the listeners who's not aware, the VA has certain stipulations. You can actually use your VA home loan more than once, as long as you have some entitlement left, which of course a loan officer can explain to you. And we had entitlement left and we had a reason to move. And so we ended up purchasing another primary home in Savannah, which is where we live now. And again, we got in zero down, but of course I paid closing costs and that's how we ended up in this home. And the long term play for this is we're going to turn it into a short term rental because Savannah has a very diverse tourist attraction, because of its historic values and I haven't narrowed down the numbers yet on what it's gonna be because of all of the unknown, but that's how we ended up here. And then of course, In November, we purchased our second rental property. This is the only time we've ever put a down payment because of course I'm still stacking money over these years. I'm not putting anything, any down payments in the homes I'm buying.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Still saving for that rainy day

James Bowman:

Exactly. If it rains, I'm ready for a hurricane. Mike, I tell you that, man, but yeah, and that's how this is the first property that we purchased in November straight rental, 20% down. And that one is cash flowing 350 per month after all expenses, property management and things like that.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah, very nice, man. What a good spot to be in. So just two rental properties right now, currently cash flowing for what? 850 a month right now, the two of them combined. That is super awesome. And now you're talking about turning the one that you're in right now into a short term rental. That will probably cash flow better than both of your other rentals combined. Have you looked at AirDNA as a way to run the numbers on what you would get for that as a short term rental?

James Bowman:

No, I haven't. What I did was I looked at the occupants or I looked at surrounding homes that are already listed on Airbnb. And then I plugged in that nightly rate with I think I used like a 65% occupancy rate just to be conservative and it was cash flowing. Again I did it very quickly because we're still going to be here at least for another six months to a year. So I don't need to absolutely narrow down the numbers, but it gave me peace of mind to know all we can take off and this is going to become an asset.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Absolutely. One of the things as you are getting closer to do that, definitely check out AirDNA. I know a bunch of people that do short term rentals and they swear by AirDNA. It's so, it's very, so close to being like a hundred percent accurate with what your numbers are gonna look like. So it's definitely something to look at as you move into the future, man, that's James, this is awesome, dude. You're killing the game right now at 23 years old. I mean, to have even just two properties that are cash flowing this much is significant. That right there is someone's paycheck, which you're getting in rental. And of course as years go by, you've got somebody else paying your mortgage down, so you have an asset that's appreciating value, the principal and the mortgage is going down and, in the future, you can always borrow from those assets to go buy more assets. You've got yourself set up in a really good spot. So I just wanted to point that out for the people that are listening. He's 23 years old guys, he's 23 years old, and this is what he's doing. So you can want a hundred percent do it too. All right. So James. As you're trucking along in your own personal journey to financial freedom. What other types of assets do you play around with? Or are you sticking with just real estate right now? Or do you maybe play with cryptocurrency or do you invest in the stock market at all?

James Bowman:

So I do invest in the stock market, but I'm a very lazy investor, as you could probably tell by my real estate, I buy and I've rent and that's it, I got the same thing with the stock market. I buy my index funds using tax advantaged accounts and that's my retirement. So I consider my retirement as my Roth IRA, 401k, things like that. And I kind of use real estate as my retire early. So even though I do, some in the stock market and buy index, I would say there's probably an 85% into real estate and 15% into index funds, but that's all I really touch. I've had some business opportunities come up that could use investing, but I didn't feel comfortable enough in the business plans, that's always something I'm looking into, I'm always open to doing private lending. So I'm open to a bunch of things, but, right now my bread and butter has been between index funds in the stock market and real estate, as we talked about. And I just wanna point out something real quick, just to give the listener something to chew on the first property I bought for 116, it's ended up since 2020, and this isn't a hundred percent accurate, but it's going off of appraised properties in the area. So it's gone from 116 to 170. And that has added to my net worth. And that's how I'm tracking if I'm heading in the right direction, is I like to look at my net worth every six months or so. So just for the listeners out there, this is just for my philosophy. It's always time in the market, beats timing the market. And I just so happen to time the market, with that purchase buying right before Corona, but I always encourage people to get out there and get it. Get the asset under management.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah, that sounds about right. And that. 100% true, time in the market is better than trying to time the market. You can't sit here and just wait. There's a lot of people that are saying that right now, too oh, I'm waiting for it to crash, waiting for the real estate market to crash. You can be waiting a long time, man. You're gonna be waiting a long time because a lot of experts are still talking about this, that the fact that inventory is still so super low. Sure, interest rates are really shooting up right now and it makes it so the affordability is more difficult, right? So it's harder to afford homes right now, but at the same time, inventory's still low enough that people are still trying to snatch these properties up. So we're still at a point where I don't know if we're gonna see it coming down anytime soon and if it does, it's not gonna be like 2008, 2009. It's not gonna be like something crazy, where you're gonna see like this 40% drop. I just don't see that happening because these assets still, even before pre pandemic, were still appreciating 3-5% every year, they probably would've gone up 10% on their own. And to say that they would drop like another 40. I just, I don't see that happening. But yeah, man, that's, that is super awesome. So normally I would ask you like how long you've been doing this stuff, but it's not that long of a time and you've already gotten yourself to a point. Where you're cash flowing your cash flow, positive things are working out pretty good. Now you did mention that, like your, you have like your retirement accounts, right? The stuff that you're investing in the stock market, you have a, I believe you said a Roth IRA account, or you had a 401k or something, right? So you have that going on, but at the same time, you're looking at real estate as you retire early mechanism. Now I I love the fire movement, but I don't know. I, it's hard for me to follow because sure, I wanna be financially independent and retire early, but at the same time that R word, I just don't like it, retire. I just, I feel like I'm gonna keep going till the wheels fall off, man. I'm actually at the point where I'm gonna be hitting financial independence this year, at the age of 38 and it's I'm not 38 yet, but I will be when it happens. But anyway, it's. Looking at that, I don't see myself stopping and just stopping what I'm doing to just retire, because I feel like at that point, I still have so much more to give back and still so much more to do as you do as well. And I'm sure you're gonna hit that FI number at a much younger age than I or many other people are doing it. Cuz you've already, you started off early man. You started off at a very good point. Hats off to you, brother. You just keep that going. Now I want to ask you, because you also have a podcast where you talk about this stuff, right? And you're trying to get this message out to other people. Now, as you are sitting here teaching others you're also a finance coach too.

James Bowman:

Yep. I do finance coaching too.

Mike Cavaggioni:

I love that, man. I do that as well. I think what I like best about you James, is that, you served in the army, so thank you for your service. But even after getting out, you still find a way to serve others, and this is what you're doing with your podcast and being a financial coach, you're still serving others. And that just shows just how genuine you are as a person in general. So thank you for that. But now as you're going through all this, like you've learned so much and you're already giving back so much. What is it that you enjoy the most? Whether it's about doing your podcast or the coaching or investing what do you enjoy about all this?

James Bowman:

Mike, it's crazy that you asked this question because just today I was working on, posting more content on my Instagram and I was going through the testimonials that I've collected over the last six months. And I'm having conversations with people who are actively, doing this thing, trying to get financially independent and going through the messages. There are people that are paying off thousands and thousands of dollars in debt and getting outta cars that they knew they couldn't afford. And so really, seeing the hope that fixing finances when you see that hope in someone's eyes, like first of all, the American dream is still alive. I can do this regardless of X, Y, or Z. That's what really gives me the will to keep going. And one of the biggest difficulties I have, and I'm not sure if you've experienced it too, but the people who need financial literacy and financial coaching the most, they cannot afford it. Let's just, let's call, a spade. That's why I love the podcast because I am making it as I can't make it more affordable. I can't, I can't. So I'm putting the education out there for free, and that's why I do so much coaching even for free. If I see someone really like really in a hard spot, like it's really not about the money at the end of the day, it's really about restoring hope and just inspiring people and letting 'em know that it's still possible. It's hard to explain if you haven't felt it. You know what I mean?

Mike Cavaggioni:

James, I'm gonna tell you right now, I get it. Cuz I have done quite a few free coaching for some people that, they just were in a spot and they couldn't afford, to pay for anything but I have found that a lot of people that I've helped for free don't take the necessary follow up actions, which kind sucks. And I hate when that happens. But I think the people that actually do pay for the coaching feel more committed because they felt like they've obligated something to it. Sometimes it could be really tough to do that, but the fact that you do that too, man, I think is just awesome because it's an act of service that you're providing your podcast too. It's an active service that you're providing to try to help educate, other people in financial literacy and be able to get that message out even on social media with some of the short clips that you've been doing. I've seen some of your most recent Instagram posts, man. I've been sitting there clicking the little hearts and stuff because it's a good message, and that's the type of stuff that I wanna see on my feed. That's the type of stuff that, I think needs to be shared to other people's feed as well. Yeah, man, I, the fact that you do that I definitely appreciate that. And I feel some people might not understand that, cuz they're not in, in, I guess in our shoes or whatever. But at the same time, the fact that you can actually give back so much is what matters most. And again, it's not about the money, right? It's about the service. It's about providing the tools and giving people. So again, I just wanna say thank you for that James man. That's awesome.

James Bowman:

Mike. I really want to hit on something because you spoke volumes into it. The only reason, and I'm saying this live on the air. The only reason that I charge people is so they will take my time serious. If every person that I scheduled a meeting with, if I had a hundred percent, if I knew a hundred percent, they were gonna show up and, embrace the advice I'm giving them and take actionable steps, I would a hundred percent do this for free. The problem is, especially when I was doing, I was promoting a bunch of free free sit downs, free coaching, free full sessions, just to perfect my craft to make sure what I'm giving is the best. The people would schedule and then they just wouldn't show up. And it was like you're taking a spot from someone else who could have actually taken the advice and really benefit from it. And that is the only reason that I truly started charging is just because I want people to take my time seriously. And don't take an opportunity away from someone else.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah. It's an accountability thing too, cause people will hold themselves accountable. If they spent money on a product versus getting it for free. I've even seen it myself, all the time I have T-Mobile right. So every Tuesday you get the stuff, right? Oh, I got like free whatever. I never, I redeemed these coupons. I never use 'em. I never use 'em they just sit there and then I'm like, oh my. $3 at dunking donuts expired. Darn I, I can't go get my coffee for free that I wanted, and the funny thing is because I didn't pay for it. There was no accountability there. Yeah that's huge, man. So I'm glad to see, I'm not the only person that's had that happen. Where, people that you're working with for free, just don't take it seriously. But yeah, man, you're doing some really awesome things and I can tell that you enjoy, you genuinely enjoy what you're doing when you do your podcast. When you put out the products that you put out, also in you're coaching, and for those of you that haven't listened to as podcast, go give it a listen. He's gonna talk about it probably at the end here, but gen Z money podcast. It's awesome. Episode 14, I think was his best one yet. Cuz that's the one I was a guest on. I'm just saying, throwing it out there. Kidding. But but yeah, man. James I'd like to go into something right now that we started doing called the final round. Okay. And these are gonna be like four kind of hard-hitting questions. Really three hard hitting questions and then an opinion question. And this is to get to the core of who you are and how you got to where you are, which I think our listeners get it right now with you because you're just that genuine man. So if you're ready, We'll we'll get this party started and go right into the final round.

James Bowman:

I am just as ready as you are, man. Let's do it.

Mike Cavaggioni:

All right fantastic. I didn't even realize man, as we're talking, like how much time's going by. Cause I just love chopping it up with you because when you have two like-minded people that are doing like similar things, man, we could sit here and talk about this stuff for days. I'm not talking about hours days. Okay. All right, here we go. First question. It's probably not a lot of time in this right. Between 18 and 23. However, what would you say is the biggest mistake you've ever made?

James Bowman:

The biggest mistake I've ever made and we're talking financial mistake, right?

Mike Cavaggioni:

Correct.

James Bowman:

Yeah, that's an easy one, man. It was purchasing the car because it showed me that I had no discipline and I was letting someone else dictate. What I needed to do, my friends were telling me, Hey, you just got your tax fund. I'm like, why don't you just go buy a car? You need a car. So they're dictating my actions. And then I get to the dealership and the car salesman is telling me what I'm gonna pay. I'm not doing any negotiating. I'm just like, Hey, I got preapproved for this, I have this much in my bank account. And I gave them free range. And so they were telling me what to do. And I had absolutely no control over anything in that situation. And I vowed from that day to never let it happen again. So that is my biggest financial mistake.

Mike Cavaggioni:

I appreciate that. And I figured that's what it was gonna be, but, going a little more in depth to it there too. Like really shows the vulnerability that you had there, right? Because you were letting all the outside entities influence your decision instead of making that decision for yourself. Got peer pressured by all your other, peers. They're saying, come on, man, you need a car, you just got to the unit. And then showing up there. And thinking you're doing the right thing by saying, Hey, yeah, I've got this much to put down I'm preapproved for this much. The car salesman was like, okay buddy, then you can afford this and let's get the paperwork done. So yeah I could see that, man, cuz there's again, there are people out there that are not genuine. And no, no hating on car dealers. There's some really good people out there that do that as a profession, but man, a lot of times you hear about this all the time, people getting taken advantage of. Yeah. Yeah. I feel that. Alright Hey, next question, James. What is something that you've learned that you wish you knew when you first got started? I'm talking about whether you, when you first got started real estate investing or when you first started your financial journey.

James Bowman:

Yeah, that Mike, that I think that's a hard one. So something I wish I learned. And my first instinct is to say the power of compound interest, but I think I still am pretty darn close to maximizing that. So I would probably, I would say the power of real estate. And what I mean by that is even when I purchased my first home, I didn't know about appreciation. I did not know about depreciation. I did not know about any of these things that make real estate such a good investment. So knowing that earlier, I may have bought a home a lot earlier. And I remember, just real quick story, I went to go renew my lease and I just sent my wife into the property management office to renew it. And an agent ended up coming out with her. And then he pulled us both into the office. He's telling us how good of an investment real estate is in. And I just was not hearing it, man. I was like, look, I'm just trying to rent my apartment. And I wish I would've taken that. I would've taken that more, strongly, but again, I don't wanna, I don't wanna be like a poor little birdie because I still got the privilege to start as early as I.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah, absolutely. And the opportunity's always gonna be there. It's gonna be when you actually take the action and start acting on those opportunities. And I'm a firm believer and everything happens for a reason, James. So you know, that just wasn't the right time for you. You mentally just weren't ready yet to get started. And when you did start, you started at the right time. That was right for you and your wife. Again, congratulations, because you still started at a very young age and you're getting yourself to the point where, people in my generation and my age will be very envious of the position you're in right now. I wish at the age of 23, I wasn't messing around and doing stupid things with what I was spending my money on and purchase like that. I did purchase my first home at 22. And I did rent it out eventually, but that was an accidental landlord and I was losing like $400 a month on it. So a little bit different than cash flowing, $400 a month. But yeah, the fact that you're doing it now and got yourself in the position that you're in, it all happened when it was supposed to happen. Just keep crushing it with that. All the next question I have, and this is, This is probably gonna, again, these all kind of tie into each other, but this will tie in probably more to what it is that you do right now with your acts of service with your podcast and coaching. But do you have any tips or tricks that you would recommend to someone that is just getting started today? That's actually a really easy one for me, Mike. A lot of my content is based around taking accountability. So oftentimes, and I'm not just gonna say it's gen Z because I think it is every generation. It is very easy to blame someone else for you not taking action or you not being able to take action and things like that. And it's a different level of maturity when you can put the accountability on yourself. I am the reason that I'm not taking action. I am the reason that I'm $50,000 in credit card debt. And I can't qualify for a mortgage or, all of these crazy things that go on. So I always say that is the first step for anybody when you're gonna do anything. If you want to get started in finance, you need to take accountability of the choices you've made and make better choices and not blame other people. And it's the same thing for fitness. If you want to get into the gym, you need to take accountability of your time and. Say like I was, I did this. I, and that's not to say that other people do not have some type of influence over your decisions, but you still have to, you have to hold yourself accountable. That takes a different level of maturity. And once you start doing that, you're much, much more likely to take action in. Oh, that is a fantastic response, James. Fantastic. And I get it fine. I'm gonna go work out after the podcast. I fine. All right. But yeah, no, man. You have to hold yourself accountable. You have to take the action, you can't just sit here and expect the world to just hand you whatever it is that you're looking for. And you're right. It's not just, it's not just gen Z. I've seen it in my generation as well in my parents' generation. And even later generations than that, you're gonna see there's always gonna be somebody that's woe is me. The world is ending and nobody helps me. You know what the first person that needs to help you is you need to help yourself, right? You gotta get out of this victim mentality and get yourself to a point where you can take accountability for your own actions and continue to move forward and move on. Cuz no, one's gonna do that for you. It's just not gonna happen. Okay. Awesome, man. So I have one final question for you in the final round and this is, I have an idea of what some of these might be for you, but we'll see, cuz I'd like to go off of what you, what is your current but do you have a favorite business investing or real estate related book or podcast or both?

James Bowman:

So Mike, this would actually, it might surprise you. But it does go back. It does lurk back a little bit of what we talked about earlier, but I'm gonna say. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and The Ramsey Show, the podcast and his book. And I'll tell you why. Even though I do not agree with everything that Dave Ramsey says, I disagree with some things I take a little bit more risk than he does, or he suggests his viewers do. The fundamentals that he teaches are unstoppable. The first three baby steps. Almost non-negotiable. The only one I maybe even put a caveat on the student loans and that's even in, but he has nailed those first three and that's what I take clients through when we're conversing. Like you need a starter emergency fund, you need to get out of debt. I don't want you talking about investing in index funds, making 10% a year. If you're paying the credit card company, 22%, I don't wanna talk. So those are that's it, man. And it's really all about the fundamental.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah, no I definitely appreciate that. And I will say that I am surprised I am. I'm taken back. I thought you could say like bigger pockets or something. So yeah, I'm very surprised that you said The Ramsey Show and his book Total Money Makeover. That is good because, when I first started doing this myself too, same thing, when I first started my journey into financial freedom, I started with his baby steps. And again, I did steps one through three, and then I stepped back and reevaluated and said, I'd like to do something different as I move on here. I didn't wanna come to Hawaii and, pay cash for my house out here. Cause I'll never, I would've never afforded it. So I use my VA loan, the product that he hates the most and I use that to buy a home out here. But at the same time, like you said, I feel like steps one through three too also, non-negotiable. I had to get there. I had to get out of consumer debt. I had to get to the point where I had an emergency fund, and I had saving a savings account to cover three to six months at the time. Now I talk more about having six to 12 months of living expenses, because of just the environment that we live in today. But even back then, it was like, I needed to have three to six months of living expenses as well as my emergency fund. You know that before I can go and buy this home. So I got myself to that point before I moved out here to Hawaii to buy this home. Again, like I said, did not expect that answer, but I respect it. So that's awesome.

James Bowman:

But Mike I just wanna just, I wanna justify, because I don't wanna take any flowers away from bigger pockets and all the things they've done, but bigger pockets is for the top 10%, meaning people who want to build generational wealth and who want to, retire early and reach financial independence that way. And they are phenomenal at that. And I think Dave Ramsey is for that other 90%. The 90% who are struggling, 47% of Americans can't afford a $400 emergency, and so, the reason that I recommend his book the most and his content the most is because the mass majority of the population will benefit more from it.

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah. It'll help the most people when you look at that. Cause if you look at the audience of bigger pocket too, it's 2 million people right. On their form and everything. And you look at how many people do we actually have in America, like over 340 million. So that is a very small percentage of people that are following that. But again, there, there are a lot of people out that build their wealth in real estate myself being one of 'em, you being one of them. But at the same time the impact when it comes to just the people that get stuck in consumer debt, this is one of the ways that will help them get out of it quickly, efficiently, safely, and comfortably. Yeah I fully support that as well, man. So I'm not knocking on any of them. I'm just saying I was surprised with you being a real estate investor. And I appreciate you being open kimono about all this stuff and your reasons why. Now I do have one more question for you. And this is probably the most important question of all James, because people that have been listening to this episode are like, man, James is spitting out some good information, his answers to these questions have been on point he's 23 years old. He's killing the game. I'm 20 years old and I wanna get to the point where he's at, so where can I find more information about James? Where can I find more information about the gen Z money podcast? So if you could share that with us, man you got a website you could share what are your social media handles that people could follow? Let us have it all.

James Bowman:

So by the time this episode comes out, hopefully our website will be done. And it'll be www.genzmone.com. No Y so G E N Z M O N E. But of course we're on all socials. We're on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and it's just genzmone, no y, And yeah, you can hear the Gen-Z Mon-E podcast on anywhere you listen to podcast we're on Apple, Google, Spotify, you name it. We're there. Really it's all about, bringing on guests and it's not all about me. This episode might be all about me, but I don't like to be the smartest person in the room, and so I love listening to people, even if I different opinion. And that's what it's, that's what it's mainly about is bringing on people who are have more wisdom to and I can take nuggets and hopefully the viewers can take nuggets and put 'em in their back pocket and use 'em for later. You know what I mean?

Mike Cavaggioni:

Yeah. Love it, man. I do the same thing with this podcast. I bring on these experts and I learn as much as I can from them. As you were sitting here talking, I'm sitting here taking notes on the stuff that you're doing. I got my little black book of knowledge here. With every guest that I've had on the show, I've got a page of notes or two pages of notes on them and just everything that they've been doing. And that's what it's all about, man. And getting this message out there to the masses and educating people and giving them the tools that they need to reach financial freedom, which is what we're all about. Building wealth, getting rid of your debt. And then, and controlling your future. So I said that out of order for the way that I normally say these things, but that's okay. James, I really wanna say that I appreciate you taking the time to come on my show today. And just taking the the time to talk to all of us and sharing your story with what you're doing and sharing with with us, what Gen-Z Mon-E is all about, and I'm really excited to get this one out there, for everybody to take a listen to, we're gonna, we're gonna have all your links in the show notes, all your social media profiles, everything will be in the show notes, make it easier for people to find. They can either click it or copy and paste, but either way it's gonna be there. So guys, go check out James, go check out his podcast, check out his social media, go follow him. All right. Show him some love because he definitely deserves it. Cuz he's out there killing the game. Go follow him and enjoy his content. So James again, brother. Appreciate it. Thanks for joining me today.

James Bowman:

Mike, the pleasure's all mine, man. Thanks for having me.

Mike Cavaggioni:

All right. Aloha from Hawaii.