10 March 2021

On today’s show, Robert Leonard chats with Jose Hernandez and Alan Angeloni about their journey into entrepreneurship, becoming social media gurus, building a successful financial education platform, and ultimately escaping Wall Street. Jose Hernandez is a former wealth manager for one of the largest firms in the world, who left that career behind to pursue his dream and passion. Alan Angeloni has built one of the largest financial social media accounts on Instagram, Financial Professional, and turned it into a successful and growing business.



  • How you can meet potential business partners.
  • How to determine if someone is right for a partnership.
  • The challenges of working with a business partner.
  • How to build a large social media following.
  • How to turn a social media following into a business.
  • Mistakes to avoid on social media.
  • How to deal with imposter syndrome.
  • And much, much more!


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Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

Robert Leonard (00:00:02):
On today’s show, I chat with Jose Hernandez and Alan Angeloni about their journey into entrepreneurship, becoming social media gurus, building a successful financial education platform and ultimately escaping Wall Street. Jose Hernandez is a former wealth manager for one of the largest firms in the world, who left that career behind to pursue his dream and passion. Alan has built one of the largest financial social media accounts on Instagram, Financial Professional, and turned it into a successful and growing business.

Robert Leonard (00:00:35):
Millennials often get a bad reputation, but I’ve always known that that reputation doesn’t represent the entire generation. When I started this podcast, I wanted to show people that millennials are doing great things and are interested in bettering themselves. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Jose and Alan a bit over the past few months, and they are both perfect examples of how millennials can and are doing great things. We talk a lot about social media in this episode, so be sure to follow me on Instagram. My username is therobertleonard. That’s spelled out as T-H-E-R-O-B-E-R-T-L-E-O-N-A-R-D. And Jose is @themillennialmoneymentor and Alan is @financialprofessional. These are all on Instagram. Now let’s get into this week’s episode with Jose Hernandez and Alan Angeloni.

Intro (00:01:29):
You’re listening to Millennial Investing by The Investor’s Podcast Network, where your host, Robert Leonard, interviews successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors to help educate and inspire the millennial generation.

Robert Leonard (00:01:51):
Hey everyone. Welcome back to the Millennial Investing Podcast. As always, I’m your host, Robert Leonard. And today we have two guests with me, Jose Hernandez, and Alan Angeloni. Welcome to the show, guys.

Jose Hernandez (00:02:03):
Great to be here.

Alan Angeloni (00:02:04):
Thank you for having us.

Robert Leonard (00:02:06):
For those listening today that aren’t familiar with how you guys escaped Wall Street to take a more unconventional approach, tell us a bit about your individual backgrounds and how you each got to where you are today. And then, we’ll talk about how you guys met and started working together.

Jose Hernandez (00:02:21):
I always like to start my story with the fact that the reason why I am the way I am and a lot of my story has to do with a lot of adversity. And I think that’s really important for me to talk about because I’m publicly talking to other people about money and wealth creation and all these things. And I know on social media, it’s really easy to see someone talking about that and it’s easy to say, man or nice for him to say is some finance guy, what does he know about me? Well, in reality, it’s been a really big uphill climb basically my entire life up to this point because I am not the conventional finance guy. Me and my family were immigrants to the United States.

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Jose Hernandez (00:02:59):
I was born in Venezuela and I have grown up in the United States, but as an immigrant to this country with parents that you would consider to be unskilled and with no resources behind them. When they made that move and brought me and my brother here, the socio economic environment that I came up in, it was very difficult. And I saw a lot of things that really put a massive chip on my shoulder about a lot of different things. And I say that because I want it people to know that part of my story, and I love my parents to death, and I know that they gave everything that they could and they’re doing the best they could. But I saw a lot of things about money in the way that it was talked about in the household that as I was lucky enough to get educated and become a professional in the industry, I started learning those things were not correct, backward or even damaging ways of thinking about money.

Jose Hernandez (00:03:45):
But the way that I was able to get out of that environment was really just by developing a savage work ethic. And thanks to baseball, that was really kind of my way out because I was an athlete my entire life. I know people follow me on social media for finance stuff, which is great, I appreciate that. But I had entire past life as an athlete, baseball was everything that I dedicated my life to for whatever, 20 plus years. And I always tell the story about when I was in high school, I had to pay for my own tournaments for exposure to college scouts. And I had a part-Time job at McDonald’s. I would always keep my uniform in my car and I would actually drive up to the restaurant after varsity baseball games to get a couple extra hours in and close out at 9:00. That was just minimum that was required in terms of work ethic.

Jose Hernandez (00:04:30):
And that’s really when I started developing what I call just having some dog in me, having the experience as an athlete that taught me how to compete and how to work hard and all these different things that transition to professional world has really helped me, but how I got into finance, I had to choose something in school when I was a student athlete. And like I mentioned, things that I saw about money growing up, I knew money was important. And I figured that I was somewhat decent in math and finance was something that wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I can help other people with it and I could do well for myself. So I figured that’s something that I can manage as an athlete. And I studied finance, played two years of junior college baseball first and then earned a scholarship to play division one baseball at a Mid-Major here in Georgia, where I studied finance.

Jose Hernandez (00:05:16):
And again, I was given baseball 100%, but was hedging my bets and networking as well and was able to line up an opportunity with the investment advisory firm that I was a part of after my athletic career ended. And that’s really how I got my start in wealth management. And when I got in the industry, of course, you go in, you have to get your licenses. I got seven and the 66 and a couple of other licenses I required to just do the work. And I was under two CFPs, directly two certified financial planners, learned a ton under them. They taught me a lot. They worked me a ton and I ran a lot of financial plans for their clients, their prospects and of course my own as well. Just so many prospecting conversations, so many financial planning conversations. And that’s really where I started developing an actual working knowledge of finance, not just reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, like actually doing the work in real life and serving people that have spent their entire lives accumulating assets to eventually retire on.

Jose Hernandez (00:06:15):
And the role I was into, I did a lot of traveling. I would travel to companies and the team that I was with within the firm, they actually specialized in equity compensation and were sponsored plans 401ks. So I knew a ton about equity compensation stock options, equity awards and of course the retirement planning. And here I was a kid right out of school, flying all over, talking to people that are twice my age, if not more, sometimes executives or senior kinds of compensation, answering questions about their money and their wealth and that’s how I got the real world reps in.

Jose Hernandez (00:06:49):
And I consider my time with the firm really kind of like my apprenticeship, working on other CFDs, running all these financial plans, talking to people and actually managing their assets and talking them through things like in 2018, when we saw some volatility in the market. Those types of things will actually give you the experience and the ability to go on social media and actually talk to people and say, I’ve actually done this work in my life and that’s of people. Am I Ray Dalio? No, but for someone my age, I’ve gotten a ton of reps in.

Jose Hernandez (00:07:17):
So when my athletic career ended, I was in a really bad place in my life because I saw baseball is really all that I ever knew and who I was. The finance stuff, I just worked hard at it in school and I figured I’d have some opportunities there, but I did not expect my career to end as soon as it did. And we’re all told that we can’t play eventually. So I was glad that I had the opportunity with the firm that I was with and everything, but I was really, really struggling with some serious depression. And like I mentioned, the environment that I came up in, a lot of that played out my mental health and I was struggling with some serious anxiety and I was not in a good place in my life. And I used the firm that I was with as a way to try to fill that void of, well, I didn’t make it to the big leagues, here’s this big, bad investment advisory firm that is the closest thing. And of course it was not that.

Jose Hernandez (00:08:05):
And after a couple of years of doing the work, I started having to ask myself the question, is this something that I want to do? Yes, I can make a ton of money doing it and that’s always the thing that they tell you about, but is this really what I want to do or is there something that I can do more? And I was doing a lot of inner work searching inside trying to figure out what it is I’m trying to do with my career and my life and all that. And I started learning about social media, like actually learning about social media, not just posting pictures of your friends or vacation or anything. And one of the bigger influences early on for me was Gary V, Gary Vaynerchuk. And I read his book, Crushing It, where he talks about all these other people that use social media for good and building businesses and serving other people. And I just got the crazy idea of, hey, I’m just going to… Let me try this thing.

Jose Hernandez (00:08:51):
The thing is when you work for a very, very strict corporate wealth management firm, compliance is I don’t want to say an issue, it’s just the way it is. I had a crazy idea putting out my first video. Yeah, I go back and watch it every once in a while. It’s a very harmless video. I was just talking about maybe some ideas that you could use for your tax return. It was right around two years ago, actually because I just saw it on my Instagram come up in my memories. And the next day Compliance called me. I was on a trip speaking to a corporation about a pension event that they were having and they said, “We’re going to pull you from the next trip that you’re having. And we need you to come to Atlanta on Monday in the office and we need to talk to you about this Millennial Money Mentor thing.”

Jose Hernandez (00:09:32):
And at that point in time, I was like, well, I got to make a decision here. And they sat me down. They said, “You can’t do this here. We’re going to ask you to either stop that and take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity you have here, or you can leave and do your own thing.” And they gave me a couple of days to think about it. And I thought about it and I said, you know what? I’m young. I know that I’m going to work extremely hard to make up this opportunity costs because they kept talking about how much money I was leaving on the table and I saw my partners and how much money they were making and I said, I can do something bigger than this and be more fulfilled. And I talked to them, the Compliance people a couple of days later and said, “Guys, I really appreciate the opportunity. Statistically, I have no reason to be in this room doing this type of work. I don’t have the dad or the uncle that works in finance, but I’m going to take a chance on myself.”

Jose Hernandez (00:10:19):
And that was big for me as an individual because my whole life, I was always so worried about making other people upset or them not liking me or letting me down. And there’s some people that stuck their neck out for me to even get the opportunity and I kind of felt like I let them down at that point in time. But that was a big thing for me as a person, because I decided no, I’m going to have some dog in me. I’m going to figure this thing out. And I’m going to work extremely hard and I’m going to make sure that it happens. And that was two years ago. The anniversary is coming up here and I’ve worked extremely hard to get my personal brand on social media to where it is today.

Alan Angeloni (00:10:50):
I’m fortunate enough to be have come from a background where I never struggled. My family has never struggled. And I’m blessed. Money has always been a topic that was always talked about. My first recollection of learning about stock market was Thanksgiving. I was 11 years old. My dad and uncle were talking about dividends. Going into seventh grade, I went to a private grade school and everything, we actively learned about stocks and everything in our math class. And I had a real interest going from there, like downloading stocks simulators and everything, and trying to learn. And I’m over here thinking like, oh, I’m making money. I started reds, started to read. Really like just getting my feet wet, having no idea what I’m doing. And then gradually over the years learning a little bit more online. Like I remember watching the Tim Sykes videos and everything and thinking like day trading is the way to go and everything.

Alan Angeloni (00:11:40):
And I started reading more. I read the Intelligent Investor in my oceanography class two years of high school. I went to college at La Salle University. I majored in finance. I was the vice president of the Investment Club, treasurer of my fraternity. I represented my school in multiple trading competitions in the CFA research challenge. I got a lot of hands-on experience there. Then out of college, went into banking. I worked in loan syndication, got a lot of experience about debt markets and everything, learned about how you’re supposed to operate in the corporate world. But what really got me started on social media was in college. I had a friend who built a massive audience called Bodybuilding Nation. He was making a 100 grand as a senior. And he’s like, “Yeah, I think I’m going to drop out.” And I was like, “Dude, you’re doing this posting pictures on Instagram, like what? This is nuts.”

Alan Angeloni (00:12:29):
And he’s just like, “You got to try it, just start posting something.” So I did the whole like, oh, I’m going to be a motivator, like nothing to motivate people about. So it was basically like a dream board and I’m posting pictures like labor DDs of quotes and everything. And then it was just like I’m wasting my time. I hated making pictures about motivation and everything. It’s just like, I’m over here, scraping together money to go buy dinner. I’m in college. I mean, I did manage money and everything. I had my own investment portfolio in college as well, still it was not in the position to be a motivator and it wasn’t that interesting.

Alan Angeloni (00:13:05):
I didn’t like posting and everything. I loved concept building an audience and having something to talk about. So it was really reflecting like what do a lot of my friends ask me? And mostly the common question I got a lot of from my friends is how do I go about investing? You’ve been doing this. Because I was trading stocks since I was in high school. My senior year I made my first investment mankind [inaudible 00:13:27] blew up in my face, but still I was putting money to work and everything.

Alan Angeloni (00:13:32):
So I was kind of the go-to person at college. But so this is what’s going on in the market and everything. I’m going to make the transition. I’m going to start talking about this online. And like our original content was just reposting CNBC articles and Bloomberg articles and everything. And it was like, nobody likes this. It’s like how do I go about it? Then it got more into posting infographics. How can I go about building an audience and educating, but coming up with time management and everything. Like on in college, I went and enjoyed myself like this is just the thought. And to be honest, I never really thought it would be what it is now. And bless that it is, it has even gone on to every day is we’re learning something new. We learn more about our audience. We learn about different products that we should be building, tools that they could utilize.

Alan Angeloni (00:14:22):
You get a lot of information when you look at the data and you actually build a product that people want and everything. Like originally my end goal with this was I always wanted to start my own investment firm. As you’re building an audience and everything, you started thinking like do I want to turn around and convince everybody to let me manage their money? And when that’s not the questions that they’re asking, the most common question that I’m getting is what should I be putting my money in? How do I start investing and what firms do I invest with? So it just kind of turned around and building products and tools that answered these everyday questions that they have.

Robert Leonard (00:14:59):
So for everybody listening, I just want to mention that Jose was the one that spoke first and then Alan is the one that spoke second. So as we work through the rest of the episode, you’ll be able to recognize those two voices. Jose was first, Alan was second. It’s interesting. I’m excited to have these two guys here on the show, because I’ve heard from you guys that you want more relatable guests. It’s great to have guests like Kevin O’Leary and Jesse Itzler and Lewis Howes on the show. These guys that are ultra successful. It’s great to learn from them, but it’s also nice to hear from people that are just everyday people that are doing what we all have as listeners and me as the host have as goals. And these two Jose and Alan have both done what I think a lot of people listening to the show have for goals.

Robert Leonard (00:15:41):
So I think it’s going to be relatable for you. So I’m excited to have these two guys here on the show with me. Jose, I want to talk about your background a little bit really quick. And then a couple of points you made Alan that I didn’t realize how similar a lot of us are. We’re spread off across the world, but we’re all actually pretty similar. And Jose, you probably don’t know this, but I have a similar background with sports. So I raced Motocross starting at four. I raced till I was 14. So I raced for about 10 years. I was ranked number two in the world in my age group. I was about a year and a half out from going professional. And it was a very real dream for me. A lot of people want to go professional, but it’s often a pipe dream. For me it was reality. We had, the pros were ready for me and a couple of other people that were my age to come into the pro class.

Robert Leonard (00:16:29):
And what ended up happening was my dad ended up saying I was done racing because somebody our age passed away racing. And so that hit him really hard. And ultimately I was done racing at 14. And up until that point, I had no backup plan. I didn’t need to, I was going professional. Like I didn’t need to do anything else. And people that are listening to the show for a while know this about me and I didn’t plan on going to college. Nobody in my family has ever gone to college, we’re all blue collar. So I didn’t plan on doing that. I was just going to ride race squads forever.

Robert Leonard (00:16:59):
Then when that happened, when I was 14, I was just going into my freshman year of high school, I was like, well, I guess I should probably figure something out now. And similar to what you said, you were good at money, you were good at math and it was the same for me. I was good at math and I liked money. So I said, well, why don’t I put the two together and study finance. And tying it together with what you said, Alan, I actually got into investing because of Tim Sykes.

Robert Leonard (00:17:20):
I saw a Facebook ad for his penny stock pitching basically. And that’s what got me interested in investing. And I started to look into him. Thankfully, I quickly realized that that wasn’t really a viable strategy. I didn’t lose any money day trading or penny stocks or anything with him but what it did do is it led me to Warren Buffet. And that’s when I really started to learn about investing. And Jose, you mentioned that you were managing money for people that were significantly older than you and that was the same for me. I was actually a loan officer throughout collage and I was underwriting loans for people that were 40s and 50s, like my parents’ age and I’m telling them whether they can get this car loan or this credit card or personal loan, whatever it is, I’m deciding that for them.

Robert Leonard (00:18:01):
And so that gave me a lot of grit as well. And it taught me a lot and it still impacts me to this day. And you mentioned just basically the ultimate decision that the corporate job that you had gave you. It said which path do you want to go down? And I haven’t talked about this much on the show because I was working a corporate job. And so I didn’t want to talk about it, but now that I’m not, it’s something that I do want to talk about. And I was faced with the same dilemma. They basically said, “Do you want to do this podcasting or do you want to work your corporate job?” And up until then, nobody had ever had a problem with it until I had just gotten a new boss and they had a problem with it.

Robert Leonard (00:18:34):
She called me into her office one day and said, “I see you’re posting on LinkedIn during office hours when you’re supposed to be working.” And I said, “With all due respect, I’m actually not. We use a software that schedules these posts. They go out at any time. These were scheduled months ago and they’re just going out now. So I’m not.” And she basically said, “You need to stop doing this. You can’t. Even if you’re not wasting time during work, posting these things, it doesn’t look good. Optically, it doesn’t look good. And you need to make a decision, are you going to continue to do this content creation thing or are you going to pursue your corporate job?” And so for me I wasn’t in the position, the podcast wasn’t at a spot where I was able to do it full-time yet. So I stopped. I just stopped posting on LinkedIn and continued putting out content in other places.

Robert Leonard (00:19:17):
But that similar to you, it really lit a fire under me. And I said, I need to get this to a point where I can do it full-time so I can leave the corporate world. And that’s exactly what I did. It took about nine months from there, but nine months I left my six-figure corporate career. And that piece of it, that ultimatum that they gave me was really what kickstarted it for me to get the podcast where it is today.

Jose Hernandez (00:19:37):
That’s awesome, man. Congrats. And I don’t have anything bad to say about the financial institution I was a part of. I try to look at it at least with some perspective, Wall Street is Wall Street. There’s a lot of things that are not great about it. And I saw a lot of those things and I understand that their securities also have securities licenses. I took the exams. I understand there are things that are regulated and there’s a reason why compliance is there. And I understand that. I just think it’s unfortunate that the industry is so reluctant to change, especially with the power of social media. And we’re still continuing to see how powerful it is. And I wasn’t trying to make a business of it at the beginning. I was just trying to share what I’ve actually learned through doing the work in real life and trying to share it to an audience that was younger like myself and or minorities that had similar types of adversity to me growing up that just didn’t have the access or resources to learn about how to manage their finances.

Jose Hernandez (00:20:37):
So it didn’t start off as a business venture for me, but I quickly saw the way that the Wall Street world operates from me absolutely busting there. I was one of the hardest working people there. And I put in a lot of time and hours for the firm and the team I was a part of. And the exit meeting, if you want to call it, that was a little bit aggressive. So I just saw it for what it was. Again, I don’t have any hard feelings. I’m incredibly grateful for that experience because like I mentioned, I consider it to be my apprenticeship and I still stay in touch with the two senior partners I was still working with directly under, they’re no longer with that firm, but great guys, taught me a lot, cracked me very, very hard, but I think in life you have to really understand that you have number one, only one life.

Jose Hernandez (00:21:23):
And when you’re young… And we talk about risk capacity and financial planning and investing everything, you have the ability to take risks while you’re still young. And I know a lot of younger people are listening to this. I’m not saying be reckless, but I want you to understand that you have one life. And I prefer people to be able to look back one day when they’re 60, 70, 80, whatever, and at least be able to say for once stood up for myself, or I took a chance to myself and I believed in myself and I did something that I was proud of. And I’m extremely proud of the fact that I decided to make that decision. As hard as it was, I didn’t get any support from people. I mean, it was basically you’re a fool, what are you doing? You’re leaving this opportunity to post on Instagram. Like they obviously didn’t get it.

Jose Hernandez (00:22:08):
And I wasn’t at the point where I’m at now on Instagram, I had like a 1000 followers and it was my personal page, right? I just decided to just continue to run with it. So I mean, it was a massive decision and people that don’t work in finance don’t understand the scope of it, but sometimes they’ll get a financial advisor who reaches out and he’s like, “Dude, you have some you know whats to do that. And I appreciate that because that’s what it took. And I told my family about it. And they’re just like we support you, but didn’t know what to say. My parents don’t know the difference between a stock or a bond. They don’t know any of that. So they’re just kind of like best of luck type of thing. So it’s been a big male toughness test these past two years, building what we’ve built and I’m still learning a lot, but I’m really glad that I made that decision.

Robert Leonard (00:22:51):
It’s literally the exact same thing for me. My family supports me 100%, but they don’t understand podcasting. They see me throwing away a six figure career and they just say, well, you’ve done well so far. So they assume I know what I’m doing, but they don’t know. They’re like you make money from podcasts, how does that even work? I 110% understand where you’re coming from. A common topic I get asked about whether it be real estate or starting a side hustle or a business is partnerships. Do you need one who you should partner with, how to find them, there are always a lot of questions around the idea of a partnership. Tell us a bit about how you two met and how you became partners.

Alan Angeloni (00:23:31):
For the general question like do you need a partner? No, you don’t need a partner, but I think it’s really coming to the realization that if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together. You look at these fortune 500 companies, they have 50,000 employees, a 100,000 employees. They’re not one man shows. And once you come to the realization that you can’t really build gigantic ecosystem or organization without the help of other people. So it’s really like going about finding like-minded people. I guess, before I go into partnering with Jose, how I went about finding my co-founder at Finance Professional, Nick, I wasn’t searching for a co-founder like somebody to partner with. I was actively building a website. He was coming over and building out a side course and wanted to make money online. And he was coming over three times a week, working at my house until two o’clock in the morning.

Alan Angeloni (00:24:23):
And one day I just turned around at the website and I was like, “What are your thoughts on this? I need your help.” And he immediately jumped at it and has been able to provide an insane amount of information. And one of the reasons why I knew I had to partner with him immediately was because he showed that he cared about the goal that we were trying to achieve just as much as I did. He has no problem turning around and say, “You literally sound ridiculous. Why would you want to build that?” And it’s just that brutal honesty is great. In terms of how we went about partnering with Jose, he was posting by far the best and most informative content on Instagram. So as somebody who had a larger audience than Jose, it’s my goal to give the most insightful content to the audience in a way that they’re learning and everything. So it was just a no brainer to partner with Jose because it’s just a steady stream of amazingly informational content that is explained in under 30 seconds.

Alan Angeloni (00:25:24):
And then I also feel like there’s a lot of synergy with Jose than me because he gets the traffic. One way we started working together was I had reached out asking if he was interested in doing shout outs for blog articles and everything. And the blog articles in my mind was a good way for him to also develop, be known as a thought leader like putting his thoughts and opinions online and Web and everything, and gets to leverage the pre-existing audience and everything. And in the meantime building his own brand.

Jose Hernandez (00:25:55):
I think partnerships are huge like Alan mentioned, there are ventures where you can do it alone. And I think the personal brand space does allow you that, but when it comes to a platform like Instagram, I would consider Instagram to be prime time real estate right now because it’s where all the attention is. Everyone’s on Instagram. People just don’t realize how difficult it is to grow on Instagram, especially just posting content. I mean, I spent so much time putting out content and this is a part of it. You have to put out content in one way or another, but I just went about it continuing to post out and grinding it out. And I was getting some traction, but I just realized that if I’m going to grow this thing to the point where I want to grow it and serve as many people and create the brand that I want to, I can’t do this alone.

Jose Hernandez (00:26:36):
And it’s just kind of funny how me and Alan met and lined up. And we had conversations about our mutual goals and our backgrounds, and the firms we’re with and all that. And I just think when it comes to a relationship and a partnership, whether it’s business or not, it’s so important to be able to exchange value. And that’s exactly what we did. We trusted each other and we were determined to provide each other with value. He was going to provide me with value by exposing my content and my brain and my story to his massive existing audience. And I would put in hard work to provide him with assets to Financial Professional, which is his website in the form of a blog content. And over the past year, we would continue to exchange me writing articles for his website, providing him with assets, him sharing my posts with his community and his audience.

Jose Hernandez (00:27:25):
And that’s definitely paid off for me in terms of building my audience and my brand. And I just think that again, you don’t have to do it alone, but if you can find someone that has similar values, similar work ethic, that’s the main thing about Alan. I just noticed how much of a savage work ethic this man had. And I respected that immediately and we’ve trusted each other with money and effort and contracts and all these things. And we’ve just been able to work together. We’ll meet up soon but the crazy thing about it is we say this all the time, Alan, I talk to you more than the people I know in real life, but we talk for hours on the phone sometimes.

Jose Hernandez (00:28:01):
And I don’t talk to people in my life like that much. And the funny thing about social media is you are going to get the most support, funny enough from the people that you don’t even know in real life. And that’s the crazy thing about social media is you can use it as a platform to network and build opportunities. And like I said, I’m going to meet Alan in-person eventually, but we still to this day have not met in-person, but that’s just how much trust we have in each other and how committed we are to building what we’re building.

Robert Leonard (00:28:29):
It’s funny because the podcast company, The Investor’s Podcast was founded by two guys Preston and Stig. They had never met. They just kind of met online through a forum and they decided to launch TIP together. And still to this day, it’s been six, seven years a massive podcast company. And I think they’ve only met a couple of times, just a handful, maybe two, three times if that even in-person, but they talk a lot via video or phone calls and it’s the same way for me and Stig. We chat all the time. Before this call, I had a two-hour meeting with him this morning and he and I have actually never met in person, but we talk all the time. And I talk with him more than I talk to, like you said, a lot of people in real life.

Robert Leonard (00:29:05):
How did you guys know that trust piece? How did you know you could trust each other? It sounds like you both had something that the other person wanted. That you were a good team in that way that somebody could provide something that the other person didn’t have. But how did you know that you could actually trust each other before you started working together?

Alan Angeloni (00:29:21):
We were going back and forth for a little bit, reposting content in a couple of group chats with a bunch of people for first couple of months where it was just like Jose would do an article, I would then shout them out. When we were able to do that back and forth, we were able to build out the relationship more and create Financial University, trust each other with running, trust each other with different business goals and objectives that we have to do.

Jose Hernandez (00:29:46):
Yeah. So I think that just having some skin in the game and it started off with small things like for example, he would own the rights to the blog articles that I would spend some time creating on my own. And I would honor that and say, “Hey, this belongs to Financial Professional, I just wrote it.” And he was nice enough to put my name on it, but things like that and just contractually, we have things together with our respective businesses and we’re filing taxes right now. So of course, we’re going to be transparent about that because his LLC has an interest in Financial University. So just upholding our end of the bargain. And I think that’s a good way that you can see if you can trust someone. Of course, you never know a 100%, but I know the type of person Alan is, but just having conversations, seeing if people are holding their end of the bargain, seeing if they have the kind of character and goals and work ethic that you do, that’s typically a good indicator in my book.

Robert Leonard (00:30:39):
Obviously it’s been going well since you two are still working together and you’re here on the show together, but no relationship is perfect, whether it’s business or not. Tell us a bit about some of the challenges that you guys have faced as partners, whether it’s because of who you are individually or just sometimes the difficulty of having a partner.

Alan Angeloni (00:30:59):
Nothing’s perfect. But I would say we haven’t had any really big issues. I would definitely say with us both working full time and then building our own businesses on our own spare time out of that, scheduling meetings and everything establishing times together to do stuff and everything was a hassle at first. It’s like you need to be lenient of the other person’s time as well. Our marketing plan at first, it was like, this is what we’re going to do. We have these audiences now, we’re just going to push it out there. It’s not how things really work but other than that, I have no complaints on this and I’m very excited to see everything continues to blossom.

Jose Hernandez (00:31:35):
Yeah. I agree. I think we’re just getting started working together, even if it’s been almost two years now and you have to understand when you have two people that expect a lot about themselves and have a lot on the plate, it can be difficult. But one thing that I appreciate about Alan is he’s always telling me, “Please take a break.” He texted me on Christmas, he’s like, “Dude, please take some time today. You’ve burned it,” that sort of thing. So I appreciate him for that, but I do want to talk a little bit more about what he mentioned with the marketing plan for Finance University, which is our educational platform. Me and Alan, we are lucky enough to know something about finance because of our background and what we’ve done, but marketing is just another animal. And we, as people that believe in ourselves and work really hard, we were just like yeah, it’s easy.

Jose Hernandez (00:32:19):
We just put out a couple of posts about it and tell people about it. And then all of a sudden it’s a successful business and it’s not. And we had to kind of learn that the hard way and invest some time and energy, and probably would have been better if we just went with the plan that we went with eventually. But yeah, I mean, that’s part of learning, part of working with someone else, part of building something of your own. There’s going to be a learning curve. There’s going to be things that don’t go perfectly. But I trust Alan very much. If I didn’t, he wouldn’t be a good friend and business partner of mine. So I’m sure there are going to be things that come up in the future like in any relationship, whether it’s a marriage or a friendship or business partnership, it’s just part of relationships. And you have to be able to understand where the other party is coming from. You have to be able to communicate where you’re coming from and be able to just have some emotional intelligence about it.

Alan Angeloni (00:33:04):
I feel like the one thing that makes the partnership key is definitely passion for the same topic and everything. Like Jose works like a dog. I don’t know anybody that works harder than Jose. I mean, I’d like to say that I work hard, I’m notorious for the 3:00 AM email to Jose because he is the type of guy that will text me at like 11 o’clock and just like be, “Hey man, I’m sorry, I didn’t email you back.” I’m like, “Jose, I didn’t expect you to respond at 3:00 o’clock in the morning.” That’s something that you need to be building. They have a strong desire to get to the same destination as you. And at the end of the day, they’re going to be relentless in that journey to get there.

Robert Leonard (00:33:38):
Before I had the podcast, I didn’t really have any social media. I only had a small personal Facebook page for some friends and family. But other than that, I pretty much avoided social media. Now that I have the podcast, I’ve been trying to get more involved with it, but I have to admit that I really haven’t done a great job. The podcasts are much, much bigger than my following is on social. You two are on the other end of the spectrum. You’ve both been very successful on social media and even built your businesses on the back of social media. What made you both want to focus on social media as your main marketing channel? What have you done that has been most successful in growing your social following?

Alan Angeloni (00:34:18):
So the one thing that really made me want to focus on social media heavy is like, that’s where all the attention is. When I say I started this with the attentions of eventually starting my own investment firm, my idea was whose money am I going to be managing, right? 74% of my audience is between the ages of 20 and 35, right? So they don’t consume media on other outlets. I don’t know a ton of people that are reading articles every single day, that would sit there and watch the news all day long and everything. In order to grow a financial services business in the future, the best way to go about it is being on the platforms where there’s attention such as Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn. You need to be out there.

Alan Angeloni (00:34:58):
And personally, that’s one big thing that I think that these financial planners have been leaving on the table. Like they don’t do a lot of social media. And I understand the compliance issue is that, but at the end of the day, you need to get with the times like this is the way that you go about marketing and everything. The creator is not going away. And I can tell you that there’s only going to be more and more financial influencers on this platform.

Jose Hernandez (00:35:20):
So for me, when I was looking at social media, it was two years ago, I just noticed that there was a lot of opportunity. The thing about the other niches in social media, beauty, fitness, motivation, all these other niches, they’re great but they’re saturated. And it’s really, really hard to get into that and be different. It’s not impossible, but it’s hard. The thing about the financial space is because of things like compliance and because of things like securities laws, there was a barrier to entry and there still is now. And I saw that as a way that I could really start carving my own lane. And we talk in stocks, total addressable market. There’s a lot of opportunity there because of the massive barrier to entry.

Jose Hernandez (00:36:06):
And one of the people that I really enjoy following on social media, other than Gary V. that’s helped me with the content stuff but one of the things that’s really helped me is mindset and Jack Butcher who runs the brand Visualize Values. Incredible. I really appreciate what he does for people that want to leverage the internet to serve others. It’s just the idea of scale because when you are a traditional financial advisor or consultant or educator, whatever you want to call it, you are basically limited to the people in contact normally. When I put out a post and I still have a long way to go, but today on my Instagram, I have around 113,000 followers, which is awesome. I really appreciate it. I have more reach than some financial institutions and that’s not to brag. It’s just reality. There are in full service financial institutions that don’t have that kind of reach on social media. And that’s the power of leverage.

Jose Hernandez (00:37:01):
Now, of course not all 113,000 followers are going to see it, but I have the ability to amplify my message to thousands of people with one post. And that’s the beauty of leverage, especially with what I’m trying to do, which is promote financial literacy, promote financial education, promote people living their best financial lives, that to me was the most attractive thing about social media. To that point, I always tell people, yes, all this stuff is awesome. It’s really cool to read the books and see how people are successful on social media but please understand if you’re starting from the very beginning, it is a grind and I hope you’re ready for what it takes to build a real legitimate brand, just to even have a chance to have the opportunity to have that kind of scale and voice and everything. And you have to really lead with value and you have to really lead with trying to serve the audience. And even if there aren’t business intentions behind it, people still want to follow people that they feel are worth following, and that’s not easy.

Alan Angeloni (00:37:57):
So when you go about growing your audience and everything, one of the things that you really want to be doing is willing to test new content and you need to be consistent. The more content you can put it out the better, because that’s another chance for somebody else to stumble across your content and learn about your business and value or learn about you and value. The more the merrier, you definitely need to be willing to try new things all the time. One thing in particular, I know that a lot of business pages, they stick to a uniform theme. I have myself, but I’m also always throwing out different styles of content. One day you’ll see a post that has 15,000 likes and the next post that I’ll put up, it’ll have 900. I’m testing different types of contents to see what the audience wants. You really need to be focused on the data that you’re collecting.

Alan Angeloni (00:38:41):
What are the impressions that you’re getting compared to the other posts? What’s the reach? How many saves? You don’t need to overdo the whole like following the whole Instagram analytical whole, that more so comes down to how are you engaging with your audience? What is the message that you’re putting out at the end of the day and being willing to try new things. And by far, the best thing you can do to grow your audience on social media is be willing to network. I might send out like 25 messages a day to people that I’ve never talked to you before, just because I want to learn more about them. That’s how you build new things. You need to build relationships with people. And if you’re not being social on social media, you’re doing it the wrong way.

Jose Hernandez (00:39:20):
I just wanted to talk more about content strategy too, because content is the engine that builds your brand, that gets you in front of other people, that gets people to share the content, which is how you grow and so on. When I first started, I had no clue how social media actually worked, right? It’s so funny, I think there’s such a veil behind the people that kind of use every day just like go on Instagram and like posts and stuff, and the people that are actually creating people don’t understand what’s on the other side. So I was on the first side of that. I was just like, okay, I think there’s some kind of strategy here, but I’m just going to figure it out as I go and I have. There are different types of content. There are the types of content that get shared the most, that is the ones that are very, very simple. They’re easy to digest and are shareable. That’s what we can call scalable content, high velocity content, whatever.

Jose Hernandez (00:40:06):
And one of the biggest things that Instagram has done is of course, Mark Zuckerberg is always trying to one up any new technology and TikTok is something that’s been very successful. They’ve come out with Reels, which is basically TikTok for Instagram. And anytime a social media platform comes out with a new feature, especially Instagram, they’re going to prioritize that type of content and put it out and push it out to more users that don’t follow you and it gives you more exposure. And one thing that I’ve doubled down on is just putting together really short bite sized Reels, explaining things that may or may not consider to be a little bit more obscure, but breaking it down to where, “Man, that made sense and I’m going to share this with a friend and I’m going to send this to someone else.”

Jose Hernandez (00:40:49):
But sometimes I post some content that’s not designed to be viral. It’s supposed to be me explaining something. I might share a Zoom clip for me in the Financial University Community Zoom calls that we have some time explaining something, just so people could see there’s actually someone behind this. They actually know what they’re talking about. It’s not just a viral meme page because when I first got on social media, right after leaving the corporate world, I just saw so much content on there that was considered good and viral and I was like, man, people need to want better content. And it’s taken some time for that paradigm shift, that curve. But I think people are now starting to demand better and more useful content from financial pages or whatever.

Jose Hernandez (00:41:30):
So content strategy is huge. And like Alan said, you have to be willing to try different things and you can’t take it personally if one piece of content didn’t do well or another. Instagram especially, I call it a hamster wheel because… And it’s kind of like baseball too or you had a good post, you had a good day, but guess what? You show up the next day and put out and produce and add value and that sort of thing. So yeah, content strategy is huge.

Robert Leonard (00:41:54):
What have been some of the biggest mistakes that you guys have made when trying to grow social?

Alan Angeloni (00:41:59):
To me personally, not throwing my face out there soon enough. This podcast will actually be the first time I put my face out of the account. But as you’re talking I’m putting my face out there now at 900,000 followers, I personally wished that I was able to have done it a lot sooner and built that relationship. But luckily, you do have the Instagram questions feature and everything. So you’re still able to engage with the audience and get an idea of who’s behind it. One thing that I’m definitely concerned about is how are they going to perceive me on this platform? How are they going to react when they know like, oh, this is the person that’s behind it.

Alan Angeloni (00:42:32):
I don’t really think it’s going to be detrimental to the brand or anything but at the same time, it is something to think about because I neglected to put my face on the account thus far. But then it’s like you’re comparing personal brand to a FinTech company. Like it’s not necessarily parably. Jose is the millennial money mentor, I’m not Financial Professional, but I am Financial Professional, if you get that. Financial professional is a brand and regardless of if it’s a personal brand or regular brand, people want to know who’s behind your organization.

Jose Hernandez (00:43:06):
I think there are several things that I can think about. I’ll be honest. There’s a lot of things that I hate about social media. That’s just me being straight up, honest with you. It’s not the best place to be all the time for your mental health. There’s a lot of things, again, that I do not like about it. There’s a lot of great things about social media, especially if you use it for the right things, you connect with people, you follow great people, that sort of thing. But there are definitely some things that are not great about it. And the number one issue that I have with social media is it romanticizes everything. And it’s not just the financial space, it’s the fitness space, it’s the dating space. It’s all these different niches. It’s just human nature to where we want to kind of have like this not real reality, but we want it to be looked at as like it’s our reality and it’s perfect. And the financial space is so bad about that because there’s such a massive lack of context on your social media platforms.

Jose Hernandez (00:43:55):
And I think that it’s great that people, especially younger people go to social media to start learning about investing and financial planning and money management that is, but you just don’t know what’s real. You don’t know what’s noise because anyone can post anything they want, especially if they’re not an actual financial professional, there’s really no entity stopping them from doing that. So for me, it’s really just managing people’s expectations. And sometimes I feel like I’m pressured to try to tell people what they want to hear, because I’m so focused on trying to build this brand and visibility and everything. But then I have remember, man, I need to actually share what actually works in real life and what’s actually helpful because social media and real life are not the same thing. And it’s funny that I have to say that, but it’s true because when you spend so much time on these platforms, you kind of think like, man, the social media is the real life and I’m a super competitive person. I hate to lose and I love to win.

Jose Hernandez (00:44:48):
And I see other people in the space, whether or not they’ve had actual professional experience and I’m looking at the successes they’re having and some of the things they’re doing like, man, that’s great. But one thing that I need to continue to work on is just focusing on being a creator and focusing on the quality of what I can control because people ask me, how does Financial University compare to such and such program such and such course, whatever. I don’t know what to tell them other than I’m sure what they have going on is fantastic. I’m sure it’s helped a lot of people. I can’t speak to it. I just speak to what I’ve actually done in real life and what I’ve learned in real life and have actually applied in real life. And I can speak to the quality and thought process that goes into anything I personally create.

Jose Hernandez (00:45:28):
That being said, I see other people that are having success in this space and I have to think, man, well maybe they’ve been doing this for longer than I have. Maybe they’re 10 years older than I have, or maybe they’ve had other connections. So it’s so easy to get caught up in… It’s funny because on social media, they called nine to five, the rat race. Well, social media can be a rat race too. And you get so caught up in it. I mean, man, I see this person winning and I don’t hate that they’re winning, but I know that I can be better than that and I know I’m better than them. And that competitive drive in me just kind of keeps me up at night sometimes. So trying to find some balance and just not caring about what other people say, especially as a personal brand. And I’m sure Alan gets a lot of not great stuff too.

Jose Hernandez (00:46:05):
And I don’t get a lot of hate on my social media because I think the majority of people get it, they understand what I’m trying to do. I don’t put out very controversial content. That’s not who I am. That’s not my brand. That’s not how I am as a person. But the thing about social media is if you’re going to put yourself out there publicly, and this is required if you’re going to put out content, you’re putting yourself out there in front of other people that don’t know you in real life. Every once in a while, you’ll get someone that says something that you prefer they actually not say to you.

Jose Hernandez (00:46:32):
I am a very confident person because of the things that I’ve gone through in my life. And I know who I am and I know what I am deep down inside, but I’m the candlelight. Sometimes those things kind of gets me like, man, why would someone say something like that? Like how was I even warranted? But that’s part of this game. And that’s why I have to continue to just know who I am, what I am as a person, know what my vision and my mission is and not let that detract me. So yeah, I mean, a lot of those things.

Robert Leonard (00:46:57):
The negative feedback pieces is so difficult and it’s something you really can’t prepare for until you actually become a content creator, right? Like when I started the podcast, I had no idea. I figured I’d probably get some negative feedback or some hate here and there, but how do you prepare for that? You can’t. And when you have a podcast that reaches millions and millions of people, there’s obviously going to be some people that don’t necessarily agree with what you have to say. And that feedback is hard. It’s crazy because you’ll hear hundreds and hundreds of people that reach out to you and say amazing things about how you’re changing their lives and then you get one person that has negative feedback and that erases everything else. And so that piece of being a content creator and whether that’s podcasting, Instagram, whatever it is, however you’re putting content out there, even just a side hustle or a business owner, whatever you’re putting out into the world, negative feedback is hard. And it’s probably one of the hardest pieces for me at least.

Jose Hernandez (00:47:48):
Yeah. And it’s all part of it. And I think there are some times where the feedback, it actually can be beneficial. Maybe someone’s trying to tell you something and they’re not good about wording it. I kind of compare it sometimes to when you have some coaches in your athletic career that they weren’t great with words and they weren’t great at expressing what they were trying to say but what they’re actually trying to say if you took it the right way actually it could have maybe helped you become a better athlete or could help me in terms of social media to be a better content, creator, educator, consultant, whatever you want to label me as.

Jose Hernandez (00:48:18):
So there’s that part of it. But I also think that if someone takes time out of their day to post some kind of content or comment, rather on my content, that is in no way helpful, is only attacking me or someone that’s commenting, that sort of thing, that tells me everything that I need to know about you as an individual, that tells me everything that I need to know about you as a man, because you can’t be a savage and a keyboard warrior at the same time.

Jose Hernandez (00:48:42):
That’s really the mentality I have about it because no one that’s really secure enough in who they are as an individual is going to take time and energy out of their day to just be negative towards somebody else. So that’s just part of this game. And again, I have to continue to work on it, find some peace in it. But I do think this is really important to talk about for people to know if they are going to get into the social media game or any kind of public display of who they are and what they’re trying to do because you need to be ready for it.

Alan Angeloni (00:49:10):
Well, alpha-beta of what Jose said, when becoming a content creator, I think, and dealing with the hate, the negative feedback that everybody gives and everything, I just think pay no attention, pay it no mind. As long as you’re focused on putting the message out there that you want to put out and getting to the destination that you want to get to, you’re already halfway there basically. It’s all mindset. Once you’re there in your mind, you can start taking the necessary actions and everything to get to where you want to be. Negative feedback is a part of social media’s game. Say, for example, like friends from home or something like anybody, you start a business or people pay for it because you came from the same background as them and they didn’t do anything with it. And at the end of the day, pay it no mind.

Robert Leonard (00:49:56):
Jose, you mentioned that Gary V. is a big impact on you and you listen to a lot of his content and I could tell by your response to negative feedback that you’re influenced by Gary V. because that’s exactly how he thinks about it in what people say on your content is a reflection on them than it is of the person receiving the negative feedback. So if somebody is leaving a negative comment on your posts, it’s more about them than it is about you. And I know Gary V. talks about that a lot. So I could definitely see how you’ve been impacted by what Gary has said. One of the things I want to ask you both about is you’ve both talked quite a bit about compliance and how it’s impacted kind of how you approach social and just putting out content in general, a lot of people listening to the show are working professionals, not necessarily in finance, maybe they’re engineers, maybe they’re teachers. There’s millions of careers that they could be. They could be anything, but they all have a passion for finance.

Robert Leonard (00:50:46):
And a lot of them actually want to put content out. But what I hear from a lot of people is they’re not sure if they can get in trouble for what they’re putting out there, not necessarily with their corporate job, that aside, they’re worried about, am I giving financial advice? And if somebody takes this, am I going to be liable for the repercussions of what this decision is? Or am I giving information that I’m not legally supposed to give is a big question a lot of people have that want to put out content. It’s a little bit different than the compliance you guys are talking about, but I’m sure you’ve given this consideration given how big your audiences are, how do you think about this piece of it?

Alan Angeloni (00:51:18):
Legal structure and very, very clear disclaimers. So the one way that I like to look at it a lot is these stock group chat people basically giving you free advice. Like they’re telling you, this is good stock, you should be valued right now. This is stock you should be doing it. And they’re getting away with it, right? They don’t have licenses, but they have very clear disclaimers and say like, this is what this is. This is what that is. You need to basically say, this is my opinion. This isn’t a perfect plan. Everybody has a different angle in terms of what they want their financial picture to look like. So when you speak about investing topics and everything, you more so want to speak in a light of your own personal situation, because that’s not how you’re going to get in trouble, but you kind of want to phrase it in a way that people can also take action from listening to what you have to say. Like if it’s informative, they’re digesting the information.

Jose Hernandez (00:52:18):
It’s a really good question and it’s something I have to think about every single day, because I’m trying to position myself as a thought leader and educator and put out content on investing and wealth creation and wealth management. So it’s natural for people to reach out and say, “Man, should I buy this stock? Or should I buy this fund? Or should I get into this cryptocurrency?” And the people that have been following me long enough know that I just either respectfully say I can’t give them the investment advice on here. Some people take that the wrong way, but they clearly have never been a part of the industry. And I try to have some empathy for that. Or sometimes I just don’t respond in the comments that have their own types of opinions on what’s the best of it in pain stock or what’s the best growth stock right now.

Jose Hernandez (00:52:59):
So I try to be as clear as possible in anything I do on social media. And even within Financial University, I’m always telling our members, I’m always happy to talk on a high level what you should be considering in an investment and putting together your portfolio and putting together your financial plan, but just understand as someone that’s has their securities licenses, I don’t plan on having them forever, but someone that understands the rules behind this game, I’m not going to give you a direct recommendation to buy or sell a security because that’s against the law. And I think there’s people on social media right now that haven’t been a part of the industry that are giving actual securities recommendations and they may be putting themselves in jeopardy because of it.

Jose Hernandez (00:53:38):
And the people that I network with and try to help out, I let them know, hey, you got to have some disclaimers and understand that anything you put out, whether it’s a comment or a post that could potentially be used against you if the stock turns round 20, 30% because they missed out on earnings. So you got to be very, very careful as someone that puts yourself in this space because you can do great work, but there are some serious laws around this type of stuff. And people may get upset with you because they’re like, well, why am I going to follow you if you’re not going to tell me what to pick? Well, because there’s rules around this and I’ve actually done this for life and I understand that.

Robert Leonard (00:54:09):
I’ve had some guests on the show who I have a relationship with off of the show that I’ve built from being guests on the show. And they had their social media accounts, specifically Instagram, which is what you both focus on, deleted without any warning or reason. They were ultimately able to get it back, but it took them a while. And if that was their main source of traffic, that could be detrimental to a business. I also had the same thing happen to a friend’s YouTube account. How concerned are you both with having a major traffic source of yours tied to one third party platform?

Alan Angeloni (00:54:42):
Definitely a concern. And the only way to really counteract that is to build on other platforms. Instagram could be deleted. Even like you look at traditional media, newspapers and everything are disappearing. So just as the times go, you should be building on what’s not as current in terms of like how to hedge the risk of getting your account deleted. Obviously don’t violate Instagram’s terms and conditions. They’re very clear, you can Google that. Even stuff in there it’s like, don’t send so many messages a day. Don’t comment so many times. Don’t send so many pictures. Don’t spam. Don’t use bots. They’re clear. Now in terms of people getting their account deleted, there have been a ton of occasions with the posters. People have sort of spam reporting accounts.

Alan Angeloni (00:55:25):
It’s just, you need to take into account you can’t be building on one platform. And this also goes into content creation. With your content, you should be making it so that it can be distributed on other platforms. If you’re making a video, you can also post it on TikTok, post it on Instagram. You can post it on Facebook, even YouTube, if it’s long enough, but it’s just being aware of that these platforms are not always going to be here and anything can happen.

Jose Hernandez (00:55:54):
It’s very true. And it is a concern of mine, especially with how much time and effort I’ve put into Instagram and Alan hit on it. I think it’s good to diversify a little bit, just like you want to diversify your portfolio a bit from the risk of the primary stock that you own dropping in value. It’s the same thing with your traffic channels. And I think another important thing to take out of that, and this is something that we’re going to implement aggressively this year is having ownership in your traffic. So of course, with our educational platform of Financial University, we have ownership over that. People can see what we post because it’s much less congested, much less saturated, where on Instagram maybe 5% of my audience sees the posts. I have people all the time telling me, “Hey, I haven’t seen your posts in days.”

Jose Hernandez (00:56:35):
And I post basically every single day, sometimes multiple times a day. So I think there is power in having ownership in your own traffic. I know email lists are the biggest thing that marketers talk about. We’re working on that this year a lot. And then also having your own platform where you can’t get kicked out of it because you own it. I am starting to build a little bit on TikTok just really repurposing my Reels to TikTok, a little bit on Twitter and potentially with more time it may get on YouTube. But I do think it is smart to have one primary source just like it’s smart to have one primary strong source of income and then diversify that. It’s the same thing with a traffic source because you got to pick one, you got to crush it on there and then use that to lead people to other places where they can find you as well.

Robert Leonard (00:57:19):
You’ve both set out to change financial education, what’s wrong with the current financial education solutions and systems that’s out there.

Alan Angeloni (00:57:28):
I feel like the biggest thing stems from what’s being taught in schools. People aren’t taught finance early enough. One of the best resources I had was the fact that money was always talked about. I had a seat at the table. One of the things that I like to look at is for our platforms that we’re building everything is giving people a seat at the table. Every day we’re talking on providing free content on social media, like explaining different financial concepts. And we have the blogs that are way more in depth. We have Financial University where you get basically hands-on like education as if you were to be enrolled in college essentially without the 25 grand a semester you’re paying.

Alan Angeloni (00:58:07):
We’ve developed tools that match people with investment firms based off of their risk preferences and everything. It’s not taught to students enough essentially. Like I’ve known way too many 25 year olds, 30 year olds that don’t even know how to do their taxes. I know people that haven’t even opened up an investment account and they’re in their 40s and it’s really just having these conversations early on will make all of the difference in somebody’s life.

Jose Hernandez (00:58:29):
I think it is a tricky subject. I think the easiest thing is to blame school. And I think that in a lot of ways, school doesn’t prepare you for life. And I don’t even think that’s why it’s designed. And I do appreciate the hard work that teachers do. I know a lot of great teachers, but I just don’t know if it’s something that we can put on teachers as a responsibility. I think that teachers are great teachers for what they teach, but unless they have actually been a financial professional, unless they’ve actually worked in the industry and have done it and I know there are professors that are in college, but talking about the public education system, I mean, it’s really hard to put that kind of responsibility on teachers, I think. And especially if they themselves don’t really understand wealth creation and money management and investing in that sort of thing so they can do their best.

Jose Hernandez (00:59:13):
But I just almost kind of think it may not even be something that we can rely fully on the public system unless they come up with solutions of their own or they rely on educational institutions that specialize in financial education to provide that coursework and lessons to younger people. But definitely with what Alan said, it’s a shame that it’s not taught earlier. I think there’s a lot that goes into that. And like I said, in my household growing up, money was only talked about in the sense that there just wasn’t enough of it and that there’s always something wrong, but it was never how do we start accumulating assets and building wealth for retirement or entrepreneurship or whatever.

Jose Hernandez (00:59:48):
So I think it’s such a tricky, tricky problem. And that’s why it is a problem because there’s no clear solution, but with what we’re doing with our social media brands and Financial University, we hope to be some sort of a solution in that. But I know that there’s a long way that we could all go with our public education system and a lot of different areas, but especially of finances.

Robert Leonard (01:00:08):
What are some of the most common mistakes that you guys are seeing new investors make? It could be from your friends that are your age, your family members, or from both of your communities, you both have massive communities. What are some of the mistakes you see newer investors in your community making?

Alan Angeloni (01:00:22):
Definitely following, not necessarily like, I don’t want to take any deals in people that have like purchased Game Stop and AMC as their first investments. Like just the fact that you got invested is gold in and of itself, kudos to you. I’m glad that you put your money to work. I’m glad that you even had enough money saved to even get invested. But I definitely feel like in terms of following the hype like you have people that are day trading. My big thing, I was chasing penny stocks when I first got started investing like blew up my account faster than I could put the money in. So just like you’re watching people do that, you’re watching people fall into these forex scams and everything, personally, my personal opinion, unless you are a manager corporate treasury, where you’re a trader at an investment bank, there’s no purpose to have leveraged currencies in your portfolio for a retail investor.

Alan Angeloni (01:01:10):
And you have all of these people just following these trading group chats, they’re trading on leverage and they have absolutely no idea what they’re doing. That’s what I think is like the biggest issue in terms of new investors. There’s no issue in getting invested. It just you shouldn’t be day trading full time unless you’ve been trading for like five years and I’ve seen people make money in 2020 and quit their jobs to be a full-time day trader. And it’s like, I know 14 year olds that have been day trader managers.

Jose Hernandez (01:01:40):
My issues is very, very similar to that. Again, I was kind of ranting earlier about a lot of the things I don’t like about social media. And again, I think it’s great that people go to social media to learn these things because we can’t go to school for it like we just talked about. But again, it goes back to the lack of context. I think that I like the expression game porn where someone made this one trade and they became a millionaire. That’s fantastic. I’m never going to hate on anyone for doing that. That’s awesome. What people don’t understand is that is not common and the odds are stacked against you for that to happen. And what also I think is an issue is people that do start off with the really, really risky trading strategies or whatever, they make some money, which is again great, but they don’t understand that there’s a lot risk involved with that and they can just lose that as quickly as possible.

Jose Hernandez (01:02:27):
So it kind of just becomes almost a hamster wheel, just trying to find the next hot stock, try to find the next hot trend when in reality, what I prefer people to see investing as it’s a way to leverage the capital markets to acquire assets in the form of shares that can appreciate in value, pay you in dividends and that will compound over time so you can accumulate that wealth to meet future financial goals. That is in my book, the true definition of investing. And when we have things like TikTok, where they push the viral content and Instagram pushes the viral content, what do you think is going to go viral? The person that took out a loan from their mortgage and they bought some crazy cryptocurrency and made a lot of money overnight, or the person telling people to understand asset allocation, dollar cost averaging, financial planning, and all these other things that go into a true financial plan?

Jose Hernandez (01:03:20):
The first one. And that’s exactly how the social media algorithms work. They push the sexy, the attractive, the get rich quick, the six-minute six pack all of these different types of things, because that’s how we are as people as human beings. We want that exciting quick thing. And when your only exposure to investing and learning about investing has been just social media, that’s an issue. And frankly, it’s seeing things like that get rewarded on things like YouTube, where it’s always like this is going to be the next hot stock and you’ll be a millionaire if you invest in it, if you watch this video, things of that kind make me not even want to go on YouTube if that’s the expectation. So I don’t think that should stop me, but again, it’s just a lack of context. It’s a lack of true understanding of what goes into wealth creation and financial planning and just the whole get rich quick instead of acquire assets over time mentality that I think a lot of people get burned by it.

Robert Leonard (01:04:14):
I’ve actually had quite a few guests on the show that have said that one of the worst things that can happen to a new investor is for them to actually make money. And it’s one of the worst things, because then they think they’re a special investor. They think they’re Warren buffet. They think they can replicate it, especially if it was a risky trade. If you’re making money in an index fund because your dollar cost averaging in for the longterm, that’s different. But if you’re making a trading game stop or something else and it actually hits for you and you actually do make some money, a lot of very successful investors that I’ve had on the show have said that that’s probably one of the worst things that can actually happen to you as a new investor. Because if you lost money, you probably didn’t have a lot to start with. So that’s probably a relatively cheap education, whereas you make money, that’s a reinforcement that is not really reinforcing the right idea.

Alan Angeloni (01:04:56):
I couldn’t agree more with that. The best amount of money that I have spent was losing all that money when I first started investing. That’s what makes you want to research and learn more about investing. That’s how you establish your foundation and everything. The way that I look at it was like yeah, sure it was a couple of grand and everything, but in the grand scheme of things I’m going to make so much more now because I took that loss. I wouldn’t be where I am today essentially if I didn’t lose that money. The worst thing that could have happened was it played off and then I just kept rolling it. And then what if I did have a substantial amount of money and then blew it, you lose 50 grand, a 100 grand in the stock market, early on trends start, you’re not coming back. You’re going to be very deterred from wanting to put your money to work.

Robert Leonard (01:05:40):
That’s exactly right. So if you make that mistake with a small amount of money, you hopefully learn from it. So like going forward when you have a lot of money, you don’t lose it like you could if you didn’t learn that mistake early on. And the way I like to think about it, Alan earlier you mentioned the cost of college and I mean, hey, you lose a couple thousand bucks in the market, it sucks at the time, but that’s a really, really cheap education in terms of college and how it relates. And Jose, you mentioned how different types of content go viral. And of course I’ve noticed that as well. I think it’s pretty obvious. And it’s tough as content creators. All three of us are content creators. We’re slightly different. You guys are mostly on social. I’m predominantly on podcasts.

Robert Leonard (01:06:14):
I’m trying to get into social more, but even in the podcast world, it’s the same way. People who talk about the flashy type things tend to get more downloads. And so I fall, I don’t want to say, jealous of growth, but you fall victim of wanting to get that growth. You’re trying to be pulled towards creating the content that people appear to want because of how the algorithms work. But for me, there’s a quote from Warren Buffet and I don’t remember it exactly word for word, but he basically says your reputation is the most important thing you have. And for me, that is always the thing that I go back to when I’m thinking about the type of content that I’m going to create. I’m thinking, am I creating a piece of content that’s pure height just to get the downloads, the views, whatever it may be, whatever that vanity metric is or is this truly something that I want my name tied to, that I want my reputation tied to. And for me, that pulls me back into reality and the type of content that I actually want to create.

Alan Angeloni (01:07:03):
I love that you touched on that. So one of the things having like the audience, we get asked all the time like we advertise this, we advertise this, we advertise this and it’s just like, no, no, no, no, no, no, don’t get me wrong. The money would be great but at the same time, it’s like at what cost? At what cost is killing our relationship with our audience. Money’s great and all, but I would much rather have a way better relationship with the audience than to spew some product onto them that’s not going to provide them any value.

Robert Leonard (01:07:37):
I’m a big proponent of actually taking action on the information that you learn, not just learning loads of information. The reason I believe in this so strongly is because I actually did this for way, way too long. I was reading as many books as I could, pretty much as fast as I could without actually applying anything that I was learning. And I realized that thankfully and I started to slow down, take my time and actually apply what I learned, made a big, big difference since I started to do that. So when someone is done listening to this episode, I want them to turn off their podcast app, turn off their phone, put their phone away and actually go take action. What is that one action that they should go take when they’re done with the show?

Alan Angeloni (01:08:18):
If you want to build a brand on social media, the first thing you should do after this is to figure out what do you want to talk about? Don’t go to thinking into brand names or anything, at the end of the day, you can always change a company name. Think about what do you have a passion for? What are you willing to talk about and what’s going to make you jump out of bed every single day. Talk about that. Don’t care about the opinions of others and what they’re going to say. Everybody’s going to have their own opinions. At the end of the day, it really comes down to where do you want to be?

Jose Hernandez (01:08:46):
The former financial advisor and planner in me, I just want people to be very, very clear on what their financial goals are. I should have added that in the prior commentary about what people make the mistake of early on is that’s one of the biggest ones, not having clearly defined financial goals, not understanding what you’re actually investing for because when you have clearly defined financial goals or even semi clearly defined financial goals, you at least have a target that you’re aiming at? And when you have a target that you can aim at, what that gives you is it gives you context and it gives you a framework to make decisions with your hard-earned money. It lets you know do I have the ability to be aggressive in this account? Or should I not be aggressive because I don’t have as much time. And once you really understand what you’re trying to accomplish financially, like I said, you have framework to make decisions.

Jose Hernandez (01:09:32):
And one of the things about social media is you almost feel like you’re losing if you’re not a millionaire by 30 or whatever, and it is what it is. But what I want people to understand is I have no problem with people getting wealthy quicker than waiting until you’re 60. If you’re the type of person that’s like, “What? 50, that’s way too late for me, I can’t do that.” Well, I challenge you to figure out what it is that you can deliver to other people in terms of value and value is subjective. You can be a very funny person, comedians, the ones that are good make a lot of money. It could be education. It could be consulting. It could be a number of different things, but I’m a true believer in the fact that your income, your compensation is directly tied to your ability to render service to others and how many people you can serve with it.

Jose Hernandez (01:10:20):
If you are a niche and you can serve corporations and you only need to have five clients and they pay you a ton of money, that’s great. But going back to the power of social media, you can use your social media as leverage to create a great business that serves literally thousands of people which can change their lives. It can also change your life as well. So I think you need to have clearly defined goals from an investing perspective, but if you are extremely serious about changing the quality of your life financially in a shorter period of time, I challenge you to understand what it is you can provide to other people. And if you’re not at a place where you can, then I challenge you to learn something that you can provide to other people, either teach them, deliver a certain good or service to them, because that is how life is going to compensate you and understand again, back to a lot of the things I dislike about social media, it is hard and I hope you’re ready to fight.

Jose Hernandez (01:11:09):
And I hope you’re ready to grind to get to the point to even have an opportunity to be successful because people see these posts on social media about Jeff Bezos or Warren Buffet or whatever, again, back to the lack of context, they don’t talk about the type of fight that person had to have throughout their career and the things they had to go through and the things they had to sacrifice and the losses they had. So please understand when you’re looking at someone’s social media profile and you see them being so successful at their age and be like, man, I wish I was them, ask yourself, assuming that that person didn’t have handouts in their life, am I willing to go through what that person had to go through?

Jose Hernandez (01:11:41):
Am I willing to put the skin in the game that that person had put in the game in order to even have a chance to be where they are today? That’s what I want people to be thinking about. Because again, I have no problem with you getting rich quick, that’s great. I want you to do it responsibly, but understand the odds are much greater that it will happen if you go about it by trying to build great enterprise that serves other people versus trying to find the next Amazon.

Robert Leonard (01:12:04):
The hard work goes to so many different things, whether it’s social media, any type of content creation, building a business, a side hustle. For me, when I started podcasting, I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be. I’ve mentioned in the show I don’t have a great social media presence yet, it’s something I’m working on. It is very hard work like you’ve mentioned but for me what I have experienced is the podcast side, putting out a high quality hour piece of audio content every single week for almost two years now is extremely, extremely difficult. And there’s times where I’m ready to go to bed, it’s 11:30 at night, I just have to get it done. I have an episode that has to go out tomorrow morning and it’s not done yet. And I have to stay awake to get that done. And I haven’t missed a single episode in nearly two years.

Robert Leonard (01:12:42):
And that’s not to give myself a pat on the back. It’s just to give people some perspective on how hard it truly is to consistently put out good content, whether it’s podcasts, social media, building a side hustle, a business, whatever it is, it’s going to be a lot harder than you expect it to be. Jose, Alan, thank you both so much for joining me today. You both are prime examples of people our age, millennials, who didn’t start with a massive advantage who are just normal everyday people doing big things and building and creating their own success. I think you were both great examples for everyone listening to the show and you guys are proof that it’s possible. For those listening today that want to connect with you after the show, where’s the best place for them to go?

Alan Angeloni (01:13:25):
You can reach us at financialprofessional.com. If you have any questions regarding business or finance, feel free to just shoot us a message on the live chat, or you can contact us on @financialprofessional on Instagram.

Jose Hernandez (01:13:40):
So I’m most active on Instagram. My handle on there is themillennialmoneymentor. I am on Twitter as well a little bit the handle there’s Jose-tmmm. It’s the same for TikTok as well. I’m posting a little bit on there. And if you want to learn more about Financial University, which is our online educational platform, URL for that is myfinancialu.com. And again, I’m most active on social media. I get a lot of DMs and whatnot, but I always do my best to try to get back to everybody. So if you have questions on anything, feel free to let me know and always happy to help however I can.

Robert Leonard (01:14:15):
I will put a link to Alan’s resources that he mentioned in the show notes below as well as all of Jose’s below as well. I’ll put some links to other related content that we talked about throughout the show so you guys can dive a little deeper into that if you’re interested. Guys, thanks so much for joining me.

Alan Angeloni (01:14:31):
Thank you for having us. I really appreciate it.

Jose Hernandez (01:14:33):
And a pleasure, man. Thank you.

Robert Leonard (01:14:35):
All right, guys. That’s all I had for this week’s episode of Millennial Investing. I’ll see you again next week.

Outro (01:14:41):
Thank you for listening to TIP. Make sure to subscribe to We Study Billionaires by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Every Wednesday, we teach you about Bitcoin and every Saturday, we study billionaires and the financial markets. To access our show notes, transcripts or courses, go to theinvestorspodcast.com. This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any decision, consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by The Investor’s Podcast Network, written permission must be granted before syndication or rebroadcasting.


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