Becoming A 1st-Gen Millionaire At Age 31

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Steven Stack is a millennial, yet, he is only 3 generations removed from slavery.

In this episode we cover:

  • his family history
  • how slavery, Jim Crow, etc affected generational wealth
  • bad investments and what he learned from them
  • deciding to pay off his house
  • and practical steps to becoming a millionaire

Check out the full episode below.

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Michael Lacy 0:00

You're listening to Episode 53 of the winning to wealth podcast, becoming a first generation millionaire in your 30s.

Unknown Speaker 0:10

You're listening to the winning to wealth podcast where you'll hear real stories from real people who are on the path to building real wealth. These stories will show you how to earn more money, pay off debt, start investing, and make better money choices so you can build wealth for your future. Now, here's your host, Michael Lacy, what is up

Michael Lacy 0:33

with the fam, this is Episode 53, of the winning to wealth podcast. And I'm so glad you're here with me to learn more about money from the just great, great guests that I have lined up for you all today. So growing up, I was never really the fastest kid in my age group. But don't get me wrong, like I had some wheels. But there were always just a few kids that were a little bit faster than me. Now, when I was in about the fourth grade, there was this kid named rich, who was just always the fastest kid in our apartment complex. And being fast was a really huge deal in the hood that I grew up in. And not for like any stereotypical reasons or anything like that. But because they were grown me and they used to have this race for money, like every Saturday. Now looking back on it, this was a terrible example for us. But as a kid, I mean, I got to make a few bucks just racing my friends in a field of grass. So sign me up, like I'm all for that. And I guess I had been on a roll because I remember one day I decided to challenge rich to a race. And I will never, ever forget him looking me right in the eyes and saying, Man, I'll give you a head start and I'll still win. Now my little fourth grade self was like, cool. I feel like I can beat you with a head start. And so I took the bet. And I just knew that this was my chance to beat him and go down in like what was like our little Hall of Fame or whatever. And so we lined up me a few steps ahead of him. We get the signal. And we just take off running as hard as we can down this field. Yeah, I got smoked. And I mean, rich smoked, everybody. But it was embarrassing for me. Because I had the head start. And I just remember like everybody clowning me extra hard and saying stuff like man, just imagine how far ahead rich would have been. If you didn't get that Head Start. Today's guest is Steven stack. He's a man of faith, a husband of 10 years, a father of three, and the founder of the financial education platform stacking with stack. Steven is also a millionaire who paid off his house at age 32 to become 100% debt free. But as you're about to see, in this interview, Stephen didn't have anything close to a head start. And yet he still found a way to win. Stephen stack first, thank you for accepting my random invite onto the show from Instagram. But I'm glad to have you here my brother, and I'm excited to talk a little bit about your family history and how you were able to become a millionaire in your early 30s. So again, just Welcome to the show, man. I'm excited to have you.

Steven Stack 3:35

Yeah, yeah. Well, no, I'm, I'm happy to be here. And it did go down into DMS. Man, it happened.

Michael Lacy 3:45

Wait, I want to kick this off. Because when we talked on the phone before this interview, you really you shared like a really interesting story about just your lineage like your family's heritage, going back to like your grandparents being born in the late 1800s. Is that correct? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So let's talk about that a little bit.

Steven Stack 4:05

So the thing that really would have stood out to you and probably even to the listeners is, even though I am I'm a millennial. I'm in my mid 30s. I am only three generations removed from slavery. And for those who are listening, Yes, you heard that right. I am only three generations removed from slavery. And a big part of that is because my, my mom was number 12 out of 12 kids, and my dad was actually number 10 out of 12. So she's she's literally got nieces and nephews that are older than she is. And her. Her father, my grandfather was born in 1897. And my grandmother, her mom was born in 1900. And to take that third generation back. My grandfather's father, so my great grandfather was born in 1859, as a slave, like he actually was a full blown, outright slave and lived on that plantation until 1871. So, so yeah, a lot of history that spans across just that little bit of time or a little bit of generations. Let me say,

Michael Lacy 5:34

yeah, and you know, this is a money show. So we, you know, we talked about how life intersects with money. And so at that time, with your great grandparents and your grandparents, there's a lot going on in America, in terms of being black, right? Like, you've got, obviously great grandparents slave, but then post slavery, you've got Civil War, so you've got the Homestead Act that comes with that. You've got sharecropping, that's probably still going on around that time. So talk a little bit about just kind of how those things affected those generations in your family.

Steven Stack 6:08

Oh, yeah. So so just just For the uninitiated, the Homestead Act of 1862. And the southern Homestead Act of 1866, they actually gave more than 200 and 70 million acres of land, which would be approximately 10%, of the entire US landmass, to 1.6 million white families, and that was between American born and European immigrants. So we've got all kinds of history that's happening at that time, which even just to kind of stretch that out even further. It was estimated that about 46 million American adults that were living in the year 2000, were descendants of the descendants of recipients of those two homestead acts. So what what does that mean, you know, that's a lot of numbers, is that that would be roughly a quarter of all American adults, being direct descendants from those two acts. And also it would be more than the African American population in the US currently, if you're if you're looking at 46 million people. So it very much matters, these things that were happening in that time, or things like sharecropping, and convict leasing, which we're not that far removed from stuff like that.

Michael Lacy 7:46

But for the people who are listening who don't understand sharecropping and convict leasing, can you kind of break those down, so that they have kind of the full context of really what was happening with black people and money around that time.

Steven Stack 7:59

So what what was supposed to happen with things like sharecropping is that you would have people who were working, working a field or you know, plot of land, and that they were supposed to get a share of the crop that they were harvesting. But it was very exploitative. The system, in which what would end up happening is, you'd always end up falling short of, of what it would take for you to turn a profit, you'd get charged for the tools and the things that you would use to actually be able to harvest the crop. And somehow, some way, the math would always come together to where you owed and had to continue working the land and you never got to own or get out of that hole. And then when you think around things like convict leasing, you would have people who were in prison, who were doing work that was bolstering the economy. But these people were being arrested for literally existing. Without getting into all of the nitty gritty details, I tell people to look at things like the vagrancy laws or black codes, were to give some examples. Like it was illegal for a black pastor to preach to a black congregation without getting written consent from the president of the local police, which you can see how problematic something like that would be, or vagrancy is just you're outside, you're just outside quote unquote, loitering, and you could be arrested for that.

Michael Lacy 9:56

Yeah, essentially. I mean, this is like an extension of Slavery just as a different name. And so, at that time, I also know that it was illegal really, for black citizens or black Americans to purchase land. And I understand that your family has kind of some history with that. So can you talk a little about what happened with your, in your family tree with purchasing land around that time.

Steven Stack 10:23

So my, my grandfather wanted to purchase land for, you know, for his family, and there were white people, they wouldn't, they wouldn't allow him to purchase land, they wouldn't, they wouldn't sell it to them. And he was a person of faith. He was a Christian. And there actually was a white gentleman that was also a person of faith that agreed to buy the land, like my grandfather had the money, but he bought the land on behalf of my grandfather, and then turned it over to him.

Michael Lacy 10:59

Okay, and so just for understanding, like, so around what timeframe was was this happening? Like, again, you've got the Homestead Act, and all those sort of things. So what about when was this going on?

Steven Stack 11:14

So you're this would be before the Great Depression? So we're thinking like, somewhere around, you know, like, 1919 ish, 1920s, somewhere in in in that ballpark? So early, early 1920s, what would be some of the timeframe?

Michael Lacy 11:34

Okay. And so and you mentioned that your parents were actually like the youngest of all the children. So around when were your parents born trying to kind of establish a timeline here to kind of keep the picture in people's heads of kind of what's going on?

Steven Stack 11:48

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Yeah. So my, my grandfather, he was actually, in his 50s, when he had my mom. She was born in 1949. And my dad was born in 46. So for them, they would have been very aware. And, and just just in understanding what was going on in America, when you start thinking about like, civil rights movement, they remember where they were, when JFK was assassinated, when Martin Luther King was assassinated, these these weren't, these aren't things that you just read in history books they lived it,

Michael Lacy 12:29

right? Well, as we talk about this in the context of wealth, right, like, I guess I kind of want to make this a little more tangible for the people who are listening, right. So what's happening here is you've got stacks, grandfather, not able to buy land, right. And he's got to kind of maneuver his way around that. And the reason for that, again, it's it's illegal for black citizens to buy land. But you've got something like the GI Bill that comes along shortly after that, that builds suburban areas, and they put in the deeds that you can't sell to black people, black people cannot buy. Like, for instance, one specific example that comes to mind is Levittown, right. And so you've got the area of Levittown where all these soldiers are trying to buy land, and they're, they're being locked out. And then you've got a guy like Bill O'Reilly, who grows up and live in town and benefits from this, who then turns around and makes millions on a career telling people to bootstrap themselves. So like, as you can see, there is a direct correlation between like the history of race in this country, and the ability to build generational wealth up to this point. So it does matter. And I'm trying to bring this conversation to the forefront with this episode. Because so many people think that it is about bootstrapping, and there is a personal responsibility component to personal finance. But that's not to say that these things that have happened, don't still have an effect today. And so as we go into the rest of this episode, like, I really want you to look at this from the context of like, Oh, this guy made it. So everybody else should be able to do it. I don't want you to kind of take that perspective. What I want you to do is think about it like, wow, okay, look at all the barriers that his parents his grandparents had to overcome to set him up. And had they not had to go through that had they had access to suburban areas, had they had access to similar education and all those things, how much further stack could be right now that he is already and so that's really the focus of that, but not to really get on my soapbox too much. Like, I want to, I want to talk a little bit about like your parents experience with because again, like you said, they're going through the civil rights movement, there's redlining, there's all this segregation, like all these other things are happening. what's what's that experience, like from your understanding?

Steven Stack 14:55

So I'll tell you just kind of an anecdotal story. worry that I know really shaped my dad's viewpoint on a lot of things. He, he told me about when he was a young person that he remembered going to the market with his dad to buy, like some grain and some rice. And he saw how his father was put in a space where he had to pay more, for the same grain as some of the white people that were actually going to that same market. And that really left an imprint on my dad of saying, Man, I want to do everything in my power to be in a good financial space, in the midst of what is a broken society or system. And so that between seeing his parents work hard, and his siblings work hard, and then seeing things like that, he it gave him a resiliency to say, I want to do all that I can to be in the best spot that I can be in. And for those that come after me,

Michael Lacy 16:18

I want to kind of move forward and kind of transition more into your story now. So like, when we talk about your parents, your grandparents that legacy? Did your parents really sit down and instill a good financial foundation in you? Or was that something that you had to kind of seek out and really educate yourself on?

Steven Stack 16:38

So they did, and yet I still had to go seek and so I'll try to explain that. They instilled in me this idea of living within my means. So you can't, you can't spend more than than what you make than what you have coming in. So they taught me that and the the importance of saving for a rainy day. And they also taught me the importance of giving being generous to others. You just never know what people may be going through and wanting to help people out. So for that very, that was a very rich foundation for me to see that from them. Now, on the other side of things, they they were Savers, but not necessarily investors. So for my parents, the idea of investing would be more like getting a CD or a certificate of deposit from a bank, where you know, you put put some money in, you lock it in for whether it's you know, 12 months or 60 months, and you just get that rate over that stretch of time. But this idea of investing, whether it be in the stock market or real estate that wasn't really top of mind for them. So I did have to go out to learn more about things like that.

Michael Lacy 18:01

I want to ask you, and I mean, this is for you to speculate on. I don't know if you've had this conversation. But why do you think that is that your parents were more so savers than investors? Do you? I mean, have you had that conversation? Do you have a reason for that?

Steven Stack 18:16

I mean, they didn't get a whole lot of exposure to it. And not from from there, folks. I mean, they were just trying to live. I mean, again, we got to think about what the times were, like, we had complete outright, Jim Crow and segregation that they were living through, it's like, Hey, man, like you can get hosed down in the street dogs sicked on you, someone can just say, you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. And there be absolutely no justice whatsoever. That was going to happen. So there there were just a lot more things on their plate.

Michael Lacy 18:56

When did you start to take an interest in wealth building for yourself because you get this background. And that teaches you to live below your means. And most people don't even get that. So I'm sure like, as a result, you you know, you kind of come out a little bit ahead of your peers in that regard. But when for you didn't click that, hey, I really want to learn about investing and start going this route.

Steven Stack 19:17

in some regards, like I had a different mentality from early age. So when when I was eight years old, we I can remember clearly going to a motel on on vacation, which you know, motels are where you literally are outside, right. If you open up your room door, you're outside you can park your car right next to it. And I can remember thinking man, I wonder who owns this place. And how much money are they making, you know, we're paying, you know, $60 a night or $90 at night to stay here. But, but I wonder how much the people who own this place are making and so you know, I would think along the Those lines and things like that from an early age, as well as I would see my dad work hard, and I'm so thankful for his diligence. And it given me a work ethic to want to work hard, but also would just sit back and say, Man, do I want to have to work hard, like this my entire life to get to where I am in my 60s, and then start to peel back some on the act of working or and say, Man, how can I make my money work just as hard as me, if not harder? So I would say I started having that transition of thought around, I'd say around like 13 or 14 years old, of, of, you know, putting money doing the CD thing and seeing how cool it was that, hey, the bank is just paying me money for for having it be in here. And it's FDIC insured, you know, so that means up to at that point, you know, a quarter of a million dollars was insured by by the government. And I'm like, What are other things that I can do that make me money while I'm just chillin? Right?

Michael Lacy 21:17

So okay, so when did you really start investing? Like, did you start? Maybe right after high school after college? Kind of when did it When did you start taking those action steps for yourself?

Steven Stack 21:29

So I would say, in high school, so around like 1516, is when I started to get pretty excited about at least just doing the bank stuff, like just looking in newspapers, what has the best rates for the banks, and doing things like that? I didn't start to do investing beyond that, though, until college, I did like a little real estate deal, which I really didn't make any money from it. But I learned a lot and said, Okay, I want to keep at this thing of doing investing.

Michael Lacy 22:09

So and I'm curious about that, like, what, what didn't go well for you in that? And what lesson Did you take away that made you a better investor later.

Steven Stack 22:18

So so the first thing that I would say, and this is still true today is I would tell anybody, if you do not know how it works, do not invest in it. So for, for me, I invested, you know, maybe about 1500 dollars. And just on the strength of me knowing this person, they paid me back what I invested, but it was not from the investment itself. It was just Hey, I know, Steven step personally. And he's my friend, I'm going to pay him back. But I had no understanding really of the investment. It was it was all kinds of complex stuff with with real estate and, and there was some things around trying to flip notes and things of that sort, that it sounded good. But I didn't know really what was going on.

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Michael Lacy 23:19

You know, it's interesting that you bring that up, because it makes me think about when we had our conversation the other day, and I told you the story of how like, I started investing in the stock market right before the recession hit. And I didn't know you know, what was going on. And so I'm seeing like, the little bit of money that I put in there kind of go down, and I just pull it out. I was like, I don't know what's going on. Let me just get out of this. And I look back on that now. And I'm like, oh, my goodness, what, you know, reading one book, what if and how much of a different place I would be in if I had just read one simple investing book and understand that these things happen, and they're just cyclical. But then you shared how you went in a different direction around that time. And since we're living in this pandemic, and things are volatile, like I do want to talk about kind of how you navigated that last recession, and kind of what have been some of the benefits of the choices you made during that time.

Steven Stack 24:17

So that was a great time in life, in that I was for many people wasn't good. So let me let me start by saying that it wasn't good for a lot of people with the great recession and the housing market crisis, crisis, subprime lending, lending all those things. For me, I was just getting into the professional working world, in the thick of the Great Recession. And so I'm seeing all these people be impacted. And by this point, you know, I had a little bit more knowledge about investing in the stock market. And so I'm hearing people say, Oh, man, my portfolio is just been trashed. It's gone. so far. Down, people have seen their value cut in half, in some cases. And so for me, I remembered a quote that I want to say was attributed to Warren Buffett, and I'll just give it kind of a paraphrase of saying when people are greedy, be fearful, and when people are fearful, be greedy. And the thought behind it was to make the moves in the rough times. And so for me, I didn't know a whole lot about investing. But I knew enough to say, I'm going to put as much money as I can into like my work 401k at that time, because if things are really as bad as what people are saying, this is probably a really good time to buy. And so that's just what I did, is just did that and figured, hey, even if things get worse, I'm in my early 20s, I've got time to ride the wave out.

Michael Lacy 26:02

Another thing that we talked about was was your decision to become mortgage free. Like, that's actually why I reached out to you is because I wanted to focus specifically on your mortgage freedom journey. But the more we talked, the more I learned, and the more I wanted to share. So can you talk about like when, and why you decided to pay off your home.

Steven Stack 26:22

So paid off the house, at the end of November, November 30, of 2018, went ahead and knock the mortgage out, purchased the house in May of 2015. And actually put a plan together to try to pay it off in five years, had some investments go extremely well, to the point that just my wife, and I just said, Hey, we're gonna go ahead and knock this thing out. And so we paid it off early, at the end of November of 2018. And the why behind doing it is it gave me leverage flexibility, just incredible freedom to do whatever it is that I want to do, because the home is the biggest expense, and everything else is already paid for. And so I'll even kind of further this point on this question. You may not even asked it. But let me just say what it means that my mortgage is paid off. What it means is that I could get a job at a fast food restaurant and pay all of my expenses, and have some money left over for saving. That's what paying off my house means to me, then, and now is just an incredible amount of flexibility in the financial decisions that make the life decisions I make. And so that was really the reason behind wanting to do that. And I mean, I knew I could have gotten a better return and some in some other areas. But I couldn't really put a price tag on the the freedom that has come with paying off the house,

Michael Lacy 28:11

you mentioned that, like when you bought the house, you had kind of put together a plan to have it done in five years. I know for us, like when we bought our house, we went into it kind of with the same thing like okay, we want to pay off our house, we we gave a goal of 10 years, and we set a budget we knew like okay, this is how much we can afford based on this goal. And when we got to the mortgage lender, like they get they doubled what we said that we could afford to spend and it was like what this, this just doesn't make any sense. So I want to talk about just kind of some of the decisions you had to make on the buy, that really set you up to be able to pay off the mortgage in that amount of time.

Steven Stack 28:52

Right. So I love that you asked me this question. So many times when people buy a home, which by the way is generally the biggest purchase that a person's going to make in their life. They look at it and say, How much can I afford? Or you know, what, what can I get? You know, what's, what's the kitchen setup going to be? You know, what kind of space is in the master bedroom? And what is the master bathroom look like? For me, you know, those things have some important, but for me I was looking at how will this shape the trajectory of the rest of my life. So I came in saying hey, how much how much do we want us to spend towards our place of residence, and we based our budget off of that, as well as if we did a 15 year mortgage versus a 30 year which would allow more money to go to the principal Right out of the gate with the property. So So we actually reverse engineered it of saying, How much money do we want to pay per month towards our place of residence. And that will determine our budget, not how much we are approved for in a home and how nice the kitchen looks.

Michael Lacy 30:20

Right? And I love that I do. So can you talk a little bit about what the what the price was, if you comfortable talking about it, what the price was of the home, and then what your income range was around that time.

Steven Stack 30:33

So the home was on the brink of being foreclosed on, we paid $193,000 for for the house back in 2015. And today, it's worth over $300,000. So it's it's appreciated significantly. But even when we bought it, it had some equity in it. Because I had a real estate investing background, I wasn't too concerned about some of the repairs, and just some of the aesthetic things that needed to be done with the purchase of the house.

Michael Lacy 31:14

So and you mentioned your income range around the time when you were paying it off.

Steven Stack 31:18

So I'll at least give you this we at that point, we were definitely in the in the six figures on on income.

Michael Lacy 31:27

So six figure income and $193,000 house, it's gone in in like three years. Right? That's incredible, right? I mean, and I really want you guys to catch how awesome that is like, it wasn't like, you know, you're making some million dollar income a year to pay off your house like this is just everyday people sharing everyday stories about what they're doing to build wealth. So and So I love that. But so once you paid off the house, what was the next goal on your list once you were mortgage free.

Steven Stack 32:01

So there were three areas that we look to invest in are currently doing it. The first was, we did want to invest more just again, like in the in the market, and real estate with the extra funds. So that was that was number one. Number two, was that we want it to invest that much more in others, which What I mean by that is giving, being generous, helping others out along the way, and giving to different organizations and nonprofits and ministries and things like that, with some of the extra funds that were going to our lender, which we let go. And then the third was investing in us. And so doing that much more traveling, so we were already doing traveling where we've been all over, not only the US but all over the world, but being more frequent with that, and just doing doing different things. So I'm a father of three. So investing in doing fun things with, with my wife and children as well. So those those were the three areas investing again, like just traditionally speaking, investing in assets, then investing in others giving and then also investing in ourselves as far as from an experiences standpoint, you

Michael Lacy 33:37

know, something that's something that we hadn't talked about the the the giving component of wealth building, and it's something that's important to me. And so can you explain why that was important to you and your family to add that in? Instead of just using all of that to invest and build wealth at a more explosive rate? or putting that money back into your family? Like what made you stop and say, you know, it's important that we do this that we provide our help others in our community and abroad?

Steven Stack 34:04

Well, part of it is just even even how I define wealth is not only limited to finances, right? So So for me, the biggest part of wealth for me is my relationships, the people that I get the the honor to just live life with and being able to see others do well. So this this may be a money quote for you Pun intended in the saying that, just when in this space, you hear people talk about being self made something you will even though we haven't known each other long, something you'll never hear me say is that I'm self made. I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me and those who are And have walked alongside me. And so I don't want to forget that. Just because I may be doing well, I still want to be helping others along the way, just as others helped me along the way.

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Michael Lacy 35:15

That man, that's that incredible answer. I kind of agree with that, like my wife and I, we kind of have a very similar structure where we've have this family financial mission statement, where, you know, our top three priorities are honor God with our resources, serve others well, and you know, do for our family, create time, create memories, and all those things where our family and so it's good to hear like, your priorities are almost exactly in line with kind of the things that we've said, as someone who is aspiring to be where you are. That's, it's awesome to hear you say that. So I appreciate you sharing. But I know that on this journey as well, you also became a millionaire. So I can't let you go without talking about that, right? Like, when did that happen? Was that like, pre or post mortgage payoff? For you,

Steven Stack 36:06

it was pre, so hit the hit the millionaire mark, around the age of 30 to 31, somewhere in there. I mean, and you can understand this, especially when you start talking about net worth, and having funds be in investments, you know, things kind of move, move up and down. Just as you know, as, as the days, weeks and months go by, but I'd say somewhere in that area would be when when it hit that it was like, Okay, I'm I'm at seven figures, and it is steadily above that, and just continues to rock it up.

Michael Lacy 36:47

Wow. Okay, so looking back, just kind of own the totality of your journey, right from, you know, learning about being a saver as a child to becoming an investor to paying off your house, and just really doing all these incredible things like becoming a millionaire in your early 30s. What would you say are just like the two or three action steps that really made the biggest difference for you getting where you are now.

Steven Stack 37:13

What what I would say to those listening is, is first you're gonna have to take action. So this, this didn't happen, necessarily by chance. I mean, there, there were willful decisions that had to be made. And I'm a big believer of time in the market is greater than timing the market. Now granted, there were some things that worked extremely well on the timing side. But I'm a huge fan of dollar cost averaging of just consistently putting money aside over time. So want to take action. And that action should be around figuring figuring out your financial landscape. So if you have more money going out than coming in, we got to solve that, like yesterday. We need to we need to assess what's going on there. But then we got to figure out things as far as having an appropriate amount of money say, just so when when bad times come because they will that it doesn't destabilize you. And we've got to figure out investing, you got to invest.

Michael Lacy 38:24

Simple, simple, simple stuff. Nothing that's like excruciating Lee painful things we talk about on the podcast every single week. I mean, this is just simple stuff. So for all of you guys listening who've been following along and you've been taking action every week, like we talked about, that should be encouraging to hear from a millionaire, that you're making the right choices, you're building the right habits, just keep plugging away at it. But to kind of wrap the episode up like there's, there's one thing I want to discuss with you. I did this solo episode, and I think this is going to kind of tie this whole episode together. I did this solo episode shortly after George Floyd was murdered, in which I talked about how financial independence and building wealth can and should be considered a form of social activism for black Americans living today. Because when you have that financial cushion, like you said, you can go get a job at McDonald's and be straight. Like I don't have to worry about dealing with workplace harassment, toxic workplace environments. That's not to say that will shields you from racism, right? But it does kind of allow you to pick and choose certain environments that you can be in. And to your point about your your top three priorities like it does allow you to give right and help out in those situations to organizations that are on that fight. So I just want to kind of get your thoughts around that idea of financial independence being a form of social activism for our community. Oh, yeah.

Steven Stack 39:57

Oh, I mean, so I mean, that is That is the reason why I do financial coaching, like in helping others, and especially if we're just talking about black people and just people of color is it's incredibly important. Now, I'm going to say what I'm going to say, even if I'm not in the greatest spot financially, but it doesn't hurt the case, then I'm also in a space where I can literally say, hey, if I go without a paycheck, for the next five years, I still have years left of funds, and I wouldn't, I wouldn't stop working for five years. So but it helps in having some of that conviction, to speak to the things that are happening in in society, in the culture, in our nation, and even even around the world to have that financial independence. And let me say this other thing real quick. So there's a lot of truth to the statement of working twice as hard for half as much. And there's so many, there's so many instances that show when you just start looking at a wealth gap of African Americans doing the same things as other groups or the majority, or, you know, majority with Caucasians. And yet the results are vastly different. Here's what I'll say to that. Yes, we should do or take action to try to remedy that. But you know, what I also want, I want us to make excellent financial decisions. In the meantime. So yes, should I be further ahead? If there weren't some societal things at work? Yes, you can make that argument for sure. And yet, I also still want to make the best financial decisions that I can make in what the context is right now. And so for those listening, it's Hey, yes, you can bemoan what's going on. But also, let's try to make those awesome decisions. In the meantime, until the change comes,

Michael Lacy 42:18

I love it. I love it. And I couldn't agree more. So as we wrap this up, I do want to give you the opportunity to share where people can find you. If they want to connect with you follow you follow along as you continue to educate people about personal finance.

Steven Stack 42:32

Yes, so you can find me on Instagram. I'm on Instagram at stacking with stack and again, that stacking with stack if you also want to connect on any kind of financial coaching, types of things, obviously you can reach me through there but you can also email me directly at Stephen dot L

dot [email protected].

Michael Lacy 43:00

Well, Stephen, man, I appreciate you sharing your journey, man. And all you listeners, definitely be sure to go connect with Steven on Instagram. If you already forgot his ID handle, you can head over to winning to wealth comm slash Episode 53 for the show notes because I've got everything he mentioned linked right there. All right, now it's time for this week's win of the week. Now, as I mentioned earlier in the episode, I don't want you to use this episode as a weapon to downplay the struggles of other marginalized people in this country. Like it's easy to say, oh, stack made it so everybody else should be able to. There are steel to this very day. very real barriers at play that make this journey just that much harder for certain sectors of our population. However, if you're in one of those sections of the population, I want to echo what stack said, Be diligent about your finances until those barriers are removed. Don't sit idly by just waiting on somebody to come save the day for you. In the same way that rich wasn't held back by my head, start in our race. Don't let somebody else's Head Start keep you from giving this wealth building journey, everything that you've got. So do the simple things that stack mentioned. And if you do that it is inevitable that you'll find yourself having way more than enough because one thing I've learned about this journey is that wealth is more about time. It's not about being the smartest, being the most sophisticated or even having all the answers. If you just start with one small step, whether it's getting caught up on your bills, building a budget, opening a brokerage account, or whatever that next step is for you. And you're just consistent over time, take one step and then another and then another until you've reached your biggest goals. You will win because this stuff we talked about every week. It really does. Work. These are actual real life examples of people who are just sharing the things that they've done that works. But it's up to you to do the work, even when things are stacked against you. Now, if you need a place to vent or to even get help or insight while you're on a journey, join my facebook group with almost 15,000 people that are just like you trying to figure it all out. You can find that group over at winning to wealth.com slash teammates that is winning to wealth.com slash teammates. But hey, that's all the time I have for this week. So until we talk again, keep racking up those wins one at a time. Take care.

Unknown Speaker 45:46

You've wrapped up another episode of the winning to wealth podcast. To learn more about how you can start making winning money decisions head over to winning to wealth.com

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