RG 194 – Understanding the Power of Becoming Your Own Bank w/ Mark Willis

Mark is a certified financial planner and a best selling author. He is the owner of Lake Growth financial services in Chicago. Mark has also just started a podcast called Not Your Average Financial Podcast where he talks about becoming your own bank. Mark made his first dollar doing winter jobs for his neighbours moving snow and gritting paths.

Mark graduated in 2008 with a few degrees but he had to work hard to find his employee mindset to get him out of his student debt. He and his wife found jobs and mini side-businesses so they could start putting money away for their loans. During this time he learned about personal debt finance. They went o see a financial adviser who advised them to pay off the smallest debt first, they did this and lived a very frugal life eating rice and beans for every meal. At this time a college professor helped them realise that one dollar given to debt services will only ever be one dollar, whereas one dollar elsewhere could grow to do more than one thing. This was especially true for them because they were only 22 years old and had plenty of time to make their money work for them.

Mark asked the question – if you could wave a wand and create your own financial vehicle what characteristics would it have? When he asks other people they often say things like; easy access to cash for real estate investment, good returns, tax advantages, privacy and no government limits. What many people don’t know is that there’s a product out there already that offers all of these features; whole life insurance. If it’s properly designed it can be used like a bank. This is sometimes called the infinite banking system and it’s had a resurgence in the last 5 years. Everyone tried the Wall Street game and failed so they’ve started looking into the past for an alternative option so what was old is new again. A life insurance company has to keep quite a bit of their savings in cash in case of sudden death so whatever isn’t in cash is invested in mostly fixed income assets. If you combine your life insurance savings with other savings into an investment then the different sets of money are all earning interest separately. This means that you’re getting two functions from the same dollar.

Top tips

  • Most influential habit – A full focus planner – writing down goals everyday
  • Most influential tool – Zoom
  • Most important person – wife
  • Most important failure – not thinking critically
  • Contact – growmorewealth.com

Listen to Podcast