Episode 308

Life and Wealth Management for Business Owners with Rocco Carriero

Rocco A. Carriero is a comprehensive Wealth Advisor specializing in working with Business Owners, CEO’s and Entrepreneurs. He is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, Accredited Portfolio Manager Advisor and holds an MBA in Banking & Finance with over 20 years of experience. Rocco has appeared on Fox, NBC and his financial insights have been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Wealth Management Magazine as well as many other local and regional publications. Rocco is a member of the Columbus Citizens Foundation and has served on the board of directors of The American Heart Association, Southampton Business Alliance, East End Hospice, and Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center and serves as the Vice President of Integrated Medical Foundation.

We chat about:

  • Why Rocco wrote his book Three Cords Approach to Life and Wealth Management for Business Owners
  • The “three cords” to life: business, family, and yourself.
  • The first step to interweaving all three braids into one strong cord
  • Attaining work-life balance
  • Prioritizing one’s own health
  • Risks to wealth
  • Building a retirement portfolio for personal fulfillment
  • What does retirement look like for a business owner?
  • How soon should people be considering eldercare?
  • Legacy and estate planning

Connect with Rocco Carriero!



"You can invest 10,000 hours and become an expert or learn from those who have already made that investment." - JD


Announcer 0:00

Welcome to the REI Mastermind Network, where host Jack Hoss gathers amazing stories from leaders in real estate investing. In each episode, our guests will tell you what they're doing that works, what they've tried that failed. And best of all, you'll learn actionable steps to take your real estate investing to the next level. Now, here's Jack with another value packed episode.

Jack Hoss 0:26

We have Rocco Carriero on Rocco, I really appreciate your time. And we this is going to be a slightly different conversation. Because like I've mentioned in the past, we really want to treat this as a business, and we are entrepreneurs when you are in real estate investing. So Rocco has a book out, I'm going to point everybody to your web, your website, Rocco, because I think that's probably where they can download a free chapter and get some additional information on it. But the book is called three chords approach to life, and wealth management for business owners. And you can see that at Rocco a korero.com. And I'll make sure to have that that link in the show notes. Because the the last name is spelt a little different. And I want to make sure everybody has that. So check your show notes. If you go into your podcasting app, it'll be an easily easy one touch to get over to Rocco's website. Really appreciate your time, Rocco.

Rocco Carriero 1:26

Thank you, Jack for having me.

Jack Hoss 1:28

So get Let's start things off. Like what what caused you to write this book?

Rocco Carriero 1:33

Oh, Jack? Well, you know, for about, I've been working with business owners now for about 25 years specializing working with business owners, CEOs and entrepreneurs. And so, you know, for the past 25 years, I really got to see what were you know, who were the really successful people who were the ones that were financially successful, but they have a lot of trouble with their family or personal relationships, or they had trouble with their, their health. And I also got to see super successful people that were had really had true wealth. And those are the ones that, that were financially successful. They were they had a successful personal personal relationships with their family and their friends. And they also were in great shape, they took really good care of themselves, and, and they were mentally fit as well as physically fit. And I decided to come up with this book called The three chords approach to life in wealth management for business owners that looked at all three areas of a business owners life.

Jack Hoss 2:37

Sure, you know, and it's kind of a neat analogy that you have there because you know, each string of your life, intertwined together to essentially make a rope it makes it makes that the situation stronger. How did you come up with that concept or that analogy?

Rocco Carriero 2:53

You know, I, I was talking with a, with a friend and about the concept. And he had said, Well, that sounds like a, a biblical phrase, something in the Bible that that spoke about three chords, and that each of the chords tied together, basically made it not breakable. And I thought that was really interesting. And I think in the Bible, it looks at it differently than the way that we're looking at it in the book. And so I decided to go with it and say, you know, the three chords approach, through three strands, tied together was much stronger than if each one was laid out individually. So if you think about it, the three areas that we just spoke about separate, are not as strong in all three areas and working together.

Jack Hoss 3:41

Hmm, you know, this, this concept now, you know, really what you're talking about, to a certain extent is this, this whole concept of work life balance, and, and sometimes it almost seems out of reach, how have you found to be able to advise some people on how to how to achieve that,

Rocco Carriero 3:59

it's really hard, you think that work life balance is easy, it's really hard. And the way that we've been able to advise people is, is in doing it, the way that I do it. And I really kind of plan these things out. I mean, I operate a very busy, professional life with with my wealth management practice and my old writing the books and all the things that I do on the publishing side. And I have two kids that love my kids love my spouse, and I want to be there and I want to do just as good of a job with them. And there's myself as an individual, you know, I'd like to be able to go play golf and go fishing and hang out with my friends and and take care of my health. And so all three are only possible to do at a very high level. If you plan them out, you know, pen, the paper, have a strategic plan, model calendar when you're going to do when you're actually going to operate in those three different areas.

Jack Hoss 4:56

So is this something that you learned as you progressed in your professional career? Or is there like a background story of when you were growing up?

Rocco Carriero 5:05

hrough, you know, I, I sit in:

Jack Hoss 6:14

Mm hmm. You know, that's, that's really interesting that, you know, we have, through networking, and people that we know, and a few other things, I think it's rare for somebody to take a moment and look at those people that you that surround you, and actually learn those type of lessons, right there in such an intimate fashion like that.

Rocco Carriero 6:38

I sit around, you know, we sit around the conference table, and I get this opportunity to learn from so many from so many different people. I mean, you know, a lot of the clients that we work with are, you know, basically age 57 Plus, so, I'm getting lots of feedback from people in their 50s 60s 70s 80s, and even their 90s. And we got to hear all kinds of stories, and, and real life situations of do's and don'ts. And if you keep hearing the same don't do in multiple meetings, you might want to say to yourself yet what if you come to that fork in the road, don't take that path of the don't do situation.

Jack Hoss 7:15

Right. So you know, another thing that you brought about talked about is, is taking care of yourself, and especially regarding your health. And that reminds me of a phrase I've seen, you know, shared around the internet and social media quite a bit, is the concept of, if you don't take care of your health, now you'll be forced to later

Rocco Carriero 7:37

is, it's so true, I you know, that is an area that I'm always working on, right. So um, when I think about always working on I'm either working on it mentally, or I'm working on it actually doing things, it's, it's hard. I am because I'm active with my family, and I'm active with my business, the area that tends to suffer the most is myself. And, and I really come to learn that, you know, me personally, I don't exercise and I don't eat well and take good care of myself for the reason of being a super fit Ironman, I do it to make sure that I have longevity, and that I can be the best person I could be for my family and for my clients. So we all have different motivations, but the the piece of self, if you don't take care of yourself, you're not going to be here to take care of your clients, your business or your family.

Jack Hoss 8:33

You know, and I think there's a big impact to your, well, your mental health as well, when it comes when when you're physically in better condition, you typically it starts to remove that brain fog and you start to think a lot more clearly and, and be able to make some of those decisions in a in a in a better mindset.

Rocco Carriero 8:54

100% You know, I just started rebounding, you know, there's like a little mini trampoline, and I'm going to tell you just to 15 minutes a day of that opens the farm, I love the flume. Foamex system increases energy. I mean, you don't have to exercise two hours a day, 15 minutes on that on that little rebounder crease energy and it carries through the whole entire day. I think that NASA has done studies on that and shows that rebounding is one of the most effective efficient forms of exercise.

Jack Hoss 9:27

So and you know, we talked about the business business aspect to like, what are some of those steps that you've noticed from some of those those people in, in your, in your network and that you know, that inspired this book? That what are some of those pieces of business exercise that people are doing to become successful?

Rocco Carriero 9:49

I would say multi well so you know if you talk about on the business side and on the financial side, a lot of the business owners they own their own real estate right so they they they have their Business. Many of these are really successful businesses that they build underlying equity in their companies, but they also own the underlying real estate that their businesses are housed in. And so they get the equity component there. So worst case scenario, if they can't sell their company, they're usually coming out with a few million dollars worth of real estate that they have their house their business in, which allows them to enter into retirement and go through a liquidity event. So whether they rent out the building, or they sell it, and invest the dollars differently. That's one of the things that I've seen. Also, a lot of successful business owners they set up, they, you know, they, they make sure that they're going to have different buckets of dollars to tap into, at some point down the road. So whether it's real estate income, portfolio income, whether they do private lending on other interest in other businesses, whether they keep their business and they just become like a passive business owner, these successful business owners have multi multiple sources of income. So if one area doesn't work out, the there's usually another 234 other areas that they're that they're generating income to cover their expenses.

Jack Hoss:

Sure. So just a reminder, everybody head over to Rocco a korero.com, for some additional information and, and to check out that book. So Rocco, you know, one of the things you know, I keep picturing these three chords, and now you've built this rope, you found that balance, and I can kind of see it, you've, you've kind of threw it over that tree limb, and you're using it now to climb your way up into some into a wealthier lifestyle and a healthier, healthier situation. What are some of those things that you've been advising those entrepreneurs and CEOs, on how to manage their money and their wealth as they're, as they're progressing?

Rocco Carriero:

You know, I, this morning had a conversation with a client that has a goal of accumulating about $150 million, by the time he passes on. So pretty ambitious goal 150 million. And I said, you know, by going through the planning process, he's already done really well. And he's in his early 50s, by the time he you know, by the time he gets to 85, or 90, I'm going to show him, Okay, this is this is how this is how much your assets will appreciate to and in order to get to this 100 and $50 million number, this is what this is how many properties you're gonna have to accumulate, there's so much at the saving investments. And so through going through the planning process, that that one step of doing your real plan and getting very clear as what are the key requirements, what exactly is it that you need to do in order to achieve the goal of the objective is the number one thing that if somebody is interested in achieving that financial success, what they what they need to do?

Jack Hoss:

You know, this goes back to something that I know, my listeners are probably tired of hearing me say, but it's, it's much like when we're doing real estate investing, I really am a strong believer of writing things down and actually making your plan and, and because until it's on a piece of paper, that's, that's when it becomes a target versus a dream, you know, so when you when you actually sit down with somebody like you and actually make a plan, and execute it, that's when things can become achievable.

Rocco Carriero:

You know, you go from a dream in being intangible to something written down, at least you have something tangible. And there's something real powerful about that. If listeners haven't actually tried it, they should do it. And and they should revisit that it's amazing what you can accomplish by doing that one step that you had suggested. Sure.

Jack Hoss:

So let's talk about some of the risks, what are some of the risks to wealth that people should be aware of?

Rocco Carriero:

You know, this, there are the first you know, if it's a young listener who's listening in and they have a young family, it's the the risk of premature death or premature disability, you know, making sure that they take a look at their risk management part of their life. That's, that's some of the risks. Another risk is leverage and my liabilities taking on too much risk and not really understanding the risk and also not understanding that okay, well, if you're a if you're if you're overstretch yourself, you may run the risk of getting yourself into serious financial trouble. That's another another risk. You know, other risks are sector related, right? So you know, just focusing in one area, and if that area goes bad, not really having any other types of investments or income sources than in just one area, so Those are just three, three potential risks that you see there. So whether it's you can't, you know, premature death, you know, credit related, and also just being heavily focused in one sector.

Jack Hoss:

So, you know, I have to go down this road, because I'm sure people are thinking of it is that we're kind of seeing a little uncertainty in the market and a few other things right now. Whether it's due to COVID or a few, you know, whatever else is going on right now. Are there any things that anything you've been advising people to do in order to prepare for a possible downturn or, or a few in this uncertain times?

Rocco Carriero:

You know, one of the key things that we do for people's we help them help them prepare for the certainty of uncertainty. And I mean, nobody saw COVID Coming. Nobody, you know, I mean, there's so many different things that we don't know what's actually happening. But if a person is prepared, no matter what gets thrown your way, you're going to be able to deal with it, I'll give you a here's the example our whole my whole office team, our corporate corporate offices based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, they get up, they get a lot of snow, they a lot of snow there. And they're fully they were prepared for the snow. And the because based upon being prepared for the snow and the ice, they were able to transition to a work from home environment do COVID. Same thing with our office, our whole whole team here has laptops, and we prepared we're in the northeast, so when there's snow, everybody works from home, when COVID rolled out that happened was very easy for us to transition to work from home for a couple months. While while we wait until we felt it was safe to come back.

Jack Hoss:

You know, it's kind of interesting what the situation has as done because it forced me to take a look at the business and, and adapt to the situation, everything from showing rental units to to taking a look at properties to purchase. I mean, everything, everything changed. And actually, even though we might be coming out of the backside of the whole COVID, lock downs and everything else, some of those processes are going to remain in place, because it just frankly, is made things easier.

Rocco Carriero:

Yeah, there's been a lot of learn business lessons that came as a result of COVID, unfortunately, but fortunately, but unfortunately. And there are, you know, many companies that set up new processes, and they're not going to go back to doing things the way that they did. I know like some people like to believe that we're going to go back to the way that things were prior to COVID. But I don't I'm not in the camp that believes that, you know, I believe the world has shifted, part of COVID has propelled things basically 10 years into the future with specifically with technology, and the way that people are doing things. So, you know, we'll, we'll see. But um, you know, as you talk about real estate, and real estate type investing, you know, people are always going to need a place to live. And people are always going to need places to where there's things and, and so there may be certain aspects of the of the real estate world that I think are terrific. And there's certain areas I think that people probably need to be more cautious about as well, just like anything,

Jack Hoss:

right? Well, you know, a lot of people who get into real estate investing we are one of our focuses is is the concept of generational wealth. Can you talk a little bit to what, how you help people plan for that, and how to pass this on to the next generation?

Rocco Carriero:

Yeah, I think that's a that's in the book, we talk about transition, transitioning assets from one generation to the next in, you know, in real estate is a long term investment, for the most part, right, and so those are assets that can be improved, and then transition from one generation to the next. And we work with people on that, you know, the, you know, first generation wealth creators, which are our favorite people to work with. They work real hard at trying real hard to set up their family so you know, set up their families and themselves for financial independence. And many times if it's a real estate, those that's that creates multi generational wealth transition, those assets that have been improved, and then their family that can help provide income from their families. And I, I think about that, myself, the business, the building that I'm in here, I think about you know, eventually my kids, but you know, whether they'll keep it or they'll sell it. And then you know, as we as I do other real estate projects, I think about that, you know, as well, as well too. So real estate is a is a great tool for multi generational wealth. I mean, there's probably like seven families that own all the real estate in New York City basically.

Jack Hoss:

You know that all So brings me to to another question like I, when we started this conversation off, I mentioned that a lot of real estate investors, you know, I really keep pushing the conch concept that we need to treat this like a business. And we are entrepreneurs. With that, you know, just like when we review properties, we're always looking for that exit strategy, whether it's wholesaling the property fix and flipping it or holding it as a rental, that type of thing. But we're always looking at that exit strategy on a building level. But we rarely talk about that on a business level. Because that that actually could be a possibility as well. How can you help some entrepreneurs with essentially an exit strategy for their business?

Rocco Carriero:

Well, you know, I know business owners that that sell their businesses and they decide to develop real estate companies and they're going out there and buying strip mall type businesses place that you might have a deli nail salon three or four pizzeria a couple different things. And we work with business owners on that, and it's a great, it, but you're right, they have to treat it as a business. And, you know, with collecting the rent and property manager and putting money back into the business, one of the, you know, one of the things that, that I have, so as I do my own personal planning for my own wealth management practice, aside from that, is that I do have a vision to have kind of like a small real estate company, I've accumulated some different properties over the years. And, you know, you go from having clients, like we work with to, you know, your tenants, or your or your clients as well, and you got to, you know, treat your clients well. Right. That's, that's part of it. So. Yeah, that's, that's kind of the thought,

Jack Hoss:

you know, with being an entrepreneur to the you know, you there are things that probably, you're so focused on your day to day operations and trying to get the next deal done, or, or you're trying to keep all the balls in the one of the things that I think is is important is for us to make sure that we are planning for retirement, and unfortunately, part of that is considering elder care eventually. Talk a little bit about how important that might be.

Rocco Carriero:

Yeah, um, elder care, really important topic. At some point, we're all gonna get older. I think the statistics show that one out of two people are going to need some type of whether it's nursing home care or assisted living. And that costs a lot of money. And, and there's different ways that people can self insure that, whether they buy long term care insurance, whether they use their own liquid investable assets, but I've also seen people earmark a piece of real estate where they say, You know what, hopefully I'm not going to need extended care, but they circle a property and they say, say they own multiple properties and say, You know what, rather than buy, you know, rather than put the money into some type of insurance product or something like that, they buy another piece of real estate, and they say, if I need care, this property is going to get sold, and it's going to fund my care, which I thought was, you know, it's really kind of interesting, it's a different way to look at it from a long term care perspective.

Jack Hoss:

Sure. Well, just to remind everybody, head over to Rocco Crary career pro.com, we'll make sure to have that link in the show notes. This has been a great conversation. I really appreciate your time again. But before I let you go, is there a question you wish I would have asked you here today?

Rocco Carriero:

Um, I have a question for you. I you know, my searching around was around real estate. You know, what, when you look at all the different sectors of the real estate market, which which area? Which area? Do you think for somebody that wants to be kind of like a passive real estate investor? What, what areas should people be kind of looking at?

Jack Hoss:

Well, you know, I always say is that if you're getting into rental properties, you may, you should always run your numbers so that it includes property management. So that that is a way for you to be more passive. There's a lot of great turnkey providers that are available as well, that will actually go as far as find the property, rehab it and even put in a resident so that you can just buy it from there, and then they'll manage it going forward. You got to do your due diligence on those turnkey providers. Well, that's a great way in which to get into real estate investing and then then generate that passive income.

Rocco Carriero:

Terrific. Well, thanks for that advice, Jack.

Jack Hoss:

Well, I really appreciate your time in this was this great conversation. Again, I'll make sure to have those links in the show notes. I really like the concept of the three chords. That's I haven't heard that analogy before, and I really see how that is could be better. offical.

Rocco Carriero:

I hope glad you enjoyed the book and, and all the best to you as you close out calendar year 2021.

Jack Hoss:

Well, thank you, sir, you have a great day.

Rocco Carriero:

Thank you so much


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Transcribed by https://otter.ai