Back when I weighed one-hundred and wet sponge pounds, I ran 3 miles, 3 times per week.
All that running made me tired, but not stronger.
One day, I decided I wanted to be stronger so… I went to a local gym.
Found a bunch of people in said gym running on a treadmill with hardly a barbell (or free weight) in sight.
Oh sure there were machines but… machines are incapable of doing compound lifts, which is what forces you to coordinate all your muscles together while lifting so you develop nice, balanced, strength.
And so… the search continued.
Today, my wife and I lift weights at one of the only (in fact, it might be the only) black iron gym in the Raleigh-Durham area.
A black iron gym is filled with free weights and barbells and… hadrly any treadmills.
Obviously it caters to a certain demographic: people who want to get really strong and already understand the benefits of doing so with barbells.
And, just as importantly, it does not cater to other demographics: people who aren’t interested in general strength training or power lifting or bodybuilding. It doesn’t cater to amateur or professional marathon runners and it does not cater to people who want to “exercise” and get sweaty without really accomplishing much.
There’s nothing wrong with runners.
And there’s nothing wrong with exercise enthusiasts.
They’re not bad people.
But, as they say in the professional wrestling bid’niz, they’re “marks.”
A “mark” is someone who believes they have a handle on things… believes they know what’s going on around them when… the reality is… they DON’T have a clue. Other people on the “inside” are the ones who REALLY know what’s going on and so they’re always outmaneuvering the “marks.”
For example, pro wrestling fans who believe the outcome of the wrestling matches are 100% legit and not fixed… those people are “marks.”
… wrestling promoters who don’t know that their own wrestlers will go “off script” and do their own thing are also “marks.”
Another more “real world” example: long-distance runners, for example, have been told running 15 miles is good for the joints (it’s not).
Runners are “marks” for the commercial gym industry and fitness mags.
Bodybuilders also tend to be marks for the muscle mags and supplement industry.
General strength trainees tend not to be marks. They’ve “smartened up.”
A similar thing happens in the financial industry.
Lots of marks.
Hundreds of thousands of people have “smartened up,” but most investors are still marks for the investment, insurance, and investing newsletter industries.
I don’t like doing biz with marks or “insiders” who manipulate them so I choose to run my practice differently.
Here’s what I mean:
Occasionally, I’ll have someone contact me wanting me to give them general or conventional financial advice.
“What should I do with my 401(k)?”
“I just need somewhere to stash this $xx,xxx. What can you do for me?”
“I want to rollover my IRA. Can you help me do that?”
Not my bag, baby.
That stuff didn’t work very well 40 years ago and it don’t work well today.
Everything I do is customized and geared toward a a specific purpose, with a specific kind of demographic in mind.
If you fit into that demographic, you probably already know it.
You sense something is terribly wrong with the conventional approach to financial planning but maybe a little fuzzy on the details.
If you want to get clear on those details, join my email list.