Episode 1: Moving From Uninvested Towards Financial Freedom
In this inaugural episode of the Invested Teacher Podcast the hosts Jon, Kyle, and Matt discuss mindsets, beliefs, and goals of planning for their financial freedom.
Stick around and you’ll hear what you didn’t learn in school that you should have, how your parents may have influenced your financial decisions in a positive or negative way, and how you can start your journey to becoming financially free.
What you’ll learn:
- How we can move toward financial freedom
- How can we help people discover what they really want?
- How to start your wealth building journey.
- How your parents may have positively or negatively influenced your financial decisions.
Kyle Pearce: Welcome to the Invested Teacher Podcast with Kyle Pierce, Matt Biggley and Jon Orr.
Matt Biggley: Get ready to be taught as we share our successes and failures encountered during our real life lessons, learning how to build generational wealth from the ground up.
Jon Orr: Welcome, invested students to our first episode of the Invested Teacher Podcast.
Kyle Pearce: Oh my gosh, I am so excited. Gentlemen, this has been a long time coming, and something that's super, super exciting is that I get to hang out with two of my favorite people on this planet, and we're going to get to chat each and every week about all things investing. And today, I think we're going to dig into some of the myths, maybe some of the worries that have been instilled in us by parents, by teachers, and we're going to dig into some of those and maybe even talk about how each of these ideas has influenced us and maybe affected us and each of our journeys here as we are now engaging in this wealth building journey.
Jon Orr: Yeah, I'm excited to dive into each of these, Kyle, as I think we all are on different journeys towards what we want our financial future to look like. And there are a lot of ideas that are passed down to us through education, through parental involvement or parental guidance that can be quite helpful, and it also could be quite hurtful. And so, I think what we want to do in this episode is go through some of these very common passing down ideas about their finances in your financial future, to go through those and go, what were we taught, and what were we not taught, and what maybe should shift?
Matt Biggley: I love that, Jon. I think that what's so interesting for the listener is maybe right now they're reflecting on what have they been taught by their parents, by the education system in their own learning, and then what have they not been taught? I think part of the excitement in this journey for me has been some of those epiphanies, some of those almost counterintuitive or counterculture ideas that have really been perspective changing. And I think our perspective as teachers in those very solid, very predictable jobs who've now ventured out into this world of investing and entrepreneurship, I think it makes it a fascinating perspective for us and something that will be very relatable to listeners in so many different careers and so many different trajectories that they might be on financially.
Kyle Pearce: I love it. I love it. So we are going to dig in and we're going to start chatting about some of these things. So I mean, there's something that I think is common, regardless of where you're from, whether you're here in Ontario. We are in Ontario, Canada, whether you're other parts of Canada, other parts of the United States or maybe around the world is, go to school and get good grades so that you can find a good paying job. And I think each of us heard that loud and clear. All three of us ended up becoming educators, two math teachers, myself teaching math, Jon teaching math, and then Matt doing the whole history gig and guidance counselor role for a number of years.
That provided us with that security, that safety. We weren't getting gold bars each week for the amount of work we were doing, but we were getting paid a nice solid salary, a great pension. So no complaints on that front, but ultimately, there were some things that we feel like, even though we heard that message loud and clear, that we heard some other messages that may have actually hindered us maybe in terms of our own wealth building journeys.
Jon Orr: Yeah, Kyle, thanks for bringing that into focus, for sure. And think about us being teachers, I think one of the big things that we assume when we go to school, especially when we get into high school, that a lot of us reflect back on our high school experiences. And especially when we get into managing our own finances, and I know I did this, is reflect going, "You know what? I was not taught the skills I need to effectively manage my personal finances, and especially my future finances or my retirement finances from school."
When you think about your math classes, you think math class should be a place where we teach that to our students. And in the classes that I went through in school, we weren't taught personal finance or how to think about planning for your financial future. I think what school does is, assume that if you go and you finish high school and you go to your college or your university, you're going to figure that out on your own.
I feel like that's why it's missing from a big chunk of the curriculum, especially on a university pathway or a student who's on their way to that post-secondary pathway. Because I know that, Kyle, we teach that in certain classes that are on their way to the workplace pathway. We have classes that teach kids how to manage their budgets and plan for their finances and talk a little bit about planning for the future, but there's a huge part missing about planning with your pension in mind, or planning for investing in the stock market, or planning for investing with your tax-free savings accounts or your equivalent if you're in the United States.
But there's that big chunk missing about how much is enough when I go to retire, or how do I get my money to build its wealth on its own, which is what we want this podcast to teach you. I think that's where it's missing. We don't have this educational basis to help our generations learn about how to build wealth on their own. I think we need to bring that into focus here, and we are missing that in our own education.
Matt Biggley: I love that, Jon. And I think the other place we obviously learn a lot of our financial lessons is at home, from our childhood, from the way we're raised, from our families, from our parents. And reflecting on my own childhood, my own experience growing up, for me, I became a teacher in part so that I could feel safe and secure. My dad worked in retail, worked incredibly long hours, worked so, so hard, but had absolutely no security. And I remember multiple times where he was between jobs or lost a job, and that was devastating on my family.
Sure, it scarred me to a deep, deep level just enduring that unemployment. And so for me, going into teaching was about safety and security foremost. And I think the change, the interesting enlightening moment was when you achieve that safety and security and then you say like, "What's next?" And you begin to question some of those lessons and how they've served you. And then, once you've checked those boxes or achieved those things, what's next? And for me, in my journey, it's now been about questioning these golden handcuffs that teaching has brought, and what other opportunities might be out there to really truly change your life and change your wealth trajectory.
Kyle Pearce: I love it. And you've highlighted, I think Matt, exactly who I think the invested teacher podcast listener is. These people who are in a job, they have some form of safety, because let's be honest, if you're struggling to make ends meet week-to-week, you're not listening to an investing podcast, so to speak. Unless you're looking to do something super ambitious and completely change your life, you're probably sitting there listening, because you are maybe one of us, or maybe exactly like us, where you wanted some sort of safety. You've achieved some sort of safety in terms of, you're obviously putting food on the table each week, you're paying the bills, things are happening, but you just don't feel like you're getting ahead. My experience, I remember in school thinking, okay, I understand how a budget works, Jon, you referenced this in some of the high school math classes where you're teaching this idea of budgeting.
And it's like, okay, that's great. That makes sense. But then, for what? And it's almost in some ways, whether it's explicit or implicit, it's almost as if when you balance a budget, the whole goal is to make sure that you're left with nothing. It's almost assumed that it's like, "Well, as long as you aren't spending more than you have, everything's okay." When in reality it's like, well, wait a second. No, no. They might have even had a budget line where it was savings. They were like save 10% of your-
Matt Biggley: Right, every dollar was going somewhere.
Kyle Pearce: Right, but then what? And you might have had the compound interest lesson where they show what compound interest does, but it was like, what does that really look like? And do I have to really wait 30 years for this money to happen to grow into something meaningful? For me, in my experience, my parents both had, I wouldn't necessarily say super safe jobs, but it turned out that way. My dad being an autoworker, so they had strikes and they had layoffs, and they had all those things. And my mom worked for a telephone company, a very popular one in Canada that a lot of people would know the name of, and they did well, but they were definitely, I would say, pretty frugal.
When the neighbors all got new cars, we didn't get new cars, and I learned so much of value from that. And my parents were just like, "Well, you can't run out of money if you're not spending a lot of it." And it's a good mentality to have. But then on the other hand, they weren't necessarily actively, or aggressive is the wrong word, because I don't want us to be aggressive about investing, but they weren't actively out there seeking opportunities to better their financial situation. They were just very responsible.
And again, we're not knocking any of these places. I'm super happy that all three of us are in a place where we felt like we had enough safety, and now we're looking for more. So if that's you sitting there at home, you're thinking to yourself, you're like, I could just keep doing what I'm doing and everything's going to be okay, awesome. Rock and roll. There's people that are going to take that path. But I got a funny feeling like those people didn't find this podcast. The people who are listening are the people like us who are thinking, I want to turn this up a little bit, and I actually want to do more than the average thing that I've been doing head down for five, 10, 15, maybe 25 years of your career.
Jon Orr: Yeah. And it's quite possible that the listeners of this podcast are where I was on a trajectory for a long time. If you had told me probably four years ago that I would be talking about how to build your wealth outside of the traditional ways of building wealth, I would've thought you were crazy, because we're all teachers. This is what the Invested Teacher is about, is teaching you how to build your wealth. But I got into teaching because my father was a teacher, and just goes to Matt's idea about, we learned how to think about our money mostly from our parents, because the school system didn't do that. Our school system did not help us think about financial wealth building or planning. So I watched my dad, I watched him build and save, like you did Kyle and you did Matt.
And I think, my dad being a teacher as well, he also a math teacher, my dad was a very traditional math teacher, but also a very traditional investor. I never heard my father or my mother speak about stock investing. That was too risky. That's not a thing that they did. My dad had a pension from teaching. Being an Ontario teacher, we have a very strong pension fund that basically has taught my dad and myself that the pension is your financial future and you don't need to do anything else, because that's going to be fine for you. If you just keep doing your 30 plus years, get your 85 factor in education, the day you retire, you don't have to do anything else money wise. You're going to be set for life. And so, that's what my dad did and that's what I did when I became a teacher. Because what Matt, and you also said, there was this safety in knowing that if you put your time in to finish your teaching career, you could provide for your family.
And I was in that, and I never thought about investing my money once in all of that time. It was, "Hey, I'm just going to make sure I get my pension." We planned a little bit for my wife, because she didn't have that pension. We had to think about investing in her registered accounts. But those investments were like, "Let me go to the bank and ask the bank for some mutual funds. Where do you think we should...? Oh, you're my financial advisor bank person. Oh, thanks, and show me where I should be putting my money so that she's set for her retirement." But not once did we think about doing anything outside of that norm, it was the safety of having that.
And I think in this podcast, we want to help you go, look, some of these ways that we invested or thought about our money, like me, I thought, "Hey, I was fine", but it wasn't going to build my wealth. I was going to be fine, but not the way I think I wanted to spend my time, which was financially free. So I think what we want to teach here in this podcast is that we don't have to assume, or we don't have to use these ideas that we learn from our parents or from our schooling. We can learn more about what's available for us. We can build our wealth in these safe ways that are going to help you achieve the financial future you're after.
Kyle Pearce: I love it. I love it. You said something in there about we don't want to move away from what our parents and our teachers have set us up to do. Because again, I feel like if we didn't get into this safe place that we're in, we may not be having this conversation. So it's one of those things I tell my parents all the time, I learn so much from them in terms of not overspending or not living outside of my means and all of those things. So there's so many good things that we're getting. So we don't want you to walk away thinking like, wow, we shouldn't have a safe job or a safe start. You certainly want to get yourself in a place where you're feeling comfortable, but I guess what we're trying to do is, take one more step, take that extra step and start learning a little bit more about what can we do now that we're in this position.
Matt, you've mentioned the golden handcuffs. All three of us have this golden handcuff situation, which provides its own challenges, but it's like, I guess it's a good challenge to have. It's a good problem to have that you're like, wow, we are in positions where you feel like you have a good solid income, you have a good pension there. And now it's like we want to push that a little bit and we want to push to do maybe more. Jon, you had mentioned financially free to push ourselves to a place where we can do exactly what we want to do each and every day. And I know Jon, you and I, for those who don't know Jon and I outside of this podcast, we host a math educator podcast, and we have a whole online business where we love teaching other educators how to do math education better.
And in my mind, I'm like, imagine a world where we could just do that anytime of the day that we want. We don't have to go here or there anywhere. We could just do that, just because we want to. So we're not suggesting that we don't want safety or any sort of safety, we just want to push it a little bit to go, you know what? What else can be done here? So what we're going to do as we wrap up this first episode, we've given you a big, high level understanding of what we're going to try to achieve here on this podcast.
I think it's a good idea for each of us to maybe go through and share just who you were before you became an invested teacher. Now, how would you describe yourself as an invested teacher, and what's your biggest hope for the invested students, the listeners of this podcast? I'm going to hand it over to Matt. Matt, who were you before? What would you say you are now, and what's your biggest hope for the invested students of this podcast?
Matt Biggley: I love that prompt, Kyle. I love that prompt. And I want to make it clear, I was a passionate teacher. I loved teaching, I loved the students and really, really loved that career. I think that I was safe, I was secure, I was predictable. I think that all of those things that I sought, I achieved. And as I got to the second half of my career, when I'd gotten to a point of deciding whether or not to become a principal and go that route, I hit the brakes. And I think that I began to become all the things we would hope for our students. I began to question, I began to become more curious. I began to leverage that learner that all of us as teachers are to go into a different place. And so I'd say that I've gone from that place of safety and security to one of abundance.
I'm having so much fun. My growth now and my learning is just on hyper speed all the time. And I'm having these just massive life epiphanies that are changing the trajectory for my family and I in terms of our wealth and building generational wealth, but I'm just having such a good time doing it. And so, I think my biggest hope for invested students would be to help guide them along that journey. To go from safe and secure to abundant, from maybe being used to being the expert as the teacher in the classroom, to be embracing that role as a learner and a student themselves. And along the way, maybe saving them from some common mistakes or some common pitfalls so that we can help jumpstart their own journey to creating generational wealth and to discovering a level of abundance that maybe they didn't think possible.
Kyle Pearce: Jon, I don't know how you're going to follow that up with something better. We might have to-
Jon Orr: Who said I had to be better?
Kyle Pearce: ... shuffle Matt's to the bottom to end the episode, but good luck. Jon, how about you?
Jon Orr: Yeah. No, it doesn't have to be better. We're all equals here, guys. We're all equals here. Yeah, so I would say, similar to Matt, I think I view myself as the non investor, I was the uninvested. I was the person who, like I said before, I never thought about investing. I thought it was way too risky to take my money and do something else with it to build wealth. I always thought it was like, I don't need to be wealthy. I don't need to be financially free. I'm fine with my pension that's sitting over here. Eventually I will retire, then I can do all the things I want to do once I'm retired. That was my mindset. But now, I would say that I've progressed down a path that said, you know what? I always viewed these ideas to become more wealthy or financially free, as way too risky.
But right now, I'm seeing this pathway where I can achieve that without being risky. And I think that's what I want to help the students here on this podcast, is that we can transition from this, I need to make sure I'm safe for my financial future and my family, but I can do that safely and become financially free, say before retirement. I can retire early, because I went down this pathway and it was safe. And I want to do that with our community, with the listeners of this podcast, is how do we get there safely and achieve all of those goals that we want, say before we retire?
Matt Biggley: I love it. I love it. So there you've got two different angles, but similar. Similar but different, which is what I love about the dynamic that all three of us get to gain.
Jon Orr: Similar, but different.
Kyle Pearce: Yes, same, but different, how we get to bring these three different perspectives. We're talking about something very common, but coming at it from very different experiences. And for me, I think about myself, I mentioned it a little bit earlier, but I'm definitely the safe person when it came to finances. Followed in my parents' footprints or footsteps, that rule follower, the mortgage payer downer, I would call myself. That guy that would always be like, "Well, if I just put this little extra bit of money towards the mortgage, it'll pay down in..." I was on track to pay it down in 11 years in our first home and was doing all the, quote, unquote, right things.
But in reality it was like, again, penny pincher mindset, I don't think that'll ever change, but my wife, Chantel, helps me to push that a little bit. I was complacent. That's who I was before starting to see that something could be different. My head was down, I wasn't looking around. And now that I've become this invested teacher, I would say that it's almost brought out the lifelong learner in myself, not only in this world, but I realize how creative that all of us can be. And I know that for me now, one of the things I'm so passionate about, is getting to the bottom of trying to figure out what does everybody want in a deal? I never thought about that before. It was always about how do I get what I want in life, and not about the other person.
Now, I realize that we're in this world and we do creative financing deals, and we do creative real estate deals and even business transactions, that if you can get to the bottom and figure out what does the other person want, what do you want, and then how do we come together to make both of those things happen? So many more deals happen that way, and that is where my head is at, and that's who I feel I've become, and that's what I get excited about. It's less about the deal and more about making both sides feel good about it.
It's like you've created another relationship, another happy person on the planet, because everybody got what they wanted. And I guess what I'm hoping that this audience takes away, I want the invested students of this podcast to realize that regardless of where they're coming from, whose perspective that maybe more aligns with them, or maybe there's someone completely different, they're not hearing their own journey, that there is a way for you to get into this journey to get on your wealth building journey and to figure it out.
A lot of people come to me and say, that's easy for you, Kyle, because you're a math teacher, so you must have been good with numbers. Well, guess what? Matt never felt like he was a numbers guy. And Matt's kicking it, just rocking it, knocking it out of the park. Everybody can do this. And it's the same mindset that we like to bring into the classroom with our students, that every student can achieve at high levels. You're at a different place, maybe your journey might be longer or shorter depending on where you are, but the reality is that everyone can do this. You just have to want to. And if you want to, or willing to put in that work, this is going to be an amazing, amazing journey and we hope that this podcast is going to serve as one of the ways that you can grow and build along that wealth building journey.
Jon Orr: Awesome there, Kyle. Thanks for adding that in, and I think that's a great way for us to end this episode and thinking about what are the ways that we want to help the listener, the person who's listening right now. I think we've got a great pathway forward, and we're super excited to be with you on this pathway. So if you have not yet done so already, hey, what you need to do, here's your action item for today. You need to click a button in your podcast by right now. You need to click subscribe. Clicking subscribe right now is going to notify you of the next episode so that when they come out, you can also continue your wealth building journey. So hit subscribe right now so that you can keep that going, that's our action item to you. We are on all social media right now. You can also follow us over on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. I don't know, Kyle, are we on TikTok as well? I'm not sure.
Kyle Pearce: Not YouTube.
Jon Orr: Yeah, but I feel like you probably know more about this than we do.
Kyle Pearce: This is a Matt thing. I bet. Yeah, Matt would be superb over there. But hey, at Invested Teacher, you can follow us on all of those platforms if you just do @InvestedTeacher. So please subscribe here in your podcast player, but also over on social media where we share nuggets, ideas, tips, suggestions, clips from the podcast over there as well.
Jon Orr: Thanks so much for listening to this first episode of The Invested Teacher Podcast. You can find all links, resources, and transcripts for this episode over at our website. That's investedteacher.com/episode1. Again, that is investedteacher.com/episode1.
Kyle Pearce: That's right, my friend. So head on over to that website. And remember, don't be shy, reach out to us over on the website, say hello. Hey, maybe, maybe there's an opportunity for us to do some investing together. All right, invested students, class dismissed.
Matt Biggley: See you.
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