What does it take to spark your Financial Intelligence? In this episode, Jen Du Plessis welcomes Henry Daas, author of FQ: Financial Intelligence, to allow us to stimulate and kickstart our financial independence. Henry has taken his experience as an entrepreneur and used it as a platform to coach other business owners and founders. He shares how he runs curated masterminds on business and finance. Listen in as Henry shares everything you need to know about how to grow and manage your money.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Financial Intelligence: Henry Daas On Growing Your Business
My guest is Henry Daas. He is a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, serial entrepreneur, author, coach screenwriter, an avid golfer, a biker and international traveler when he’s not in lockdown. He is also a licensed real estate salesperson in the state of Connecticut. More importantly, he is the author of Financial Intelligence. You can get a free copy of his eBook. It’s a lot of pages, so prepare yourself. Welcome to the show, Henry. We’re happy to have you here.
I love being here, Jen. Thank you so much.
Let’s get started. I want to talk about financial intelligence. I had never heard the term until I looked up your information.
That is because I made it up. It’s called FQ, which I thought was very clever like IQ is intelligence. EQ is emotional intelligence. FQ, although some people think FQ sounds a little profane. I said, “No, get your head out of the gutter.” It’s Financial Intelligence.
If you say it too fast, it could sound like that especially coming from a New Yorker. I love everything about IQ and especially EQ. I’ve done a lot of work with EQ through lizard brain work and other things. One of the things that we know, and I know you’re going to talk about this a little bit, some people don’t understand, is that the correlation between EQ to financial growth is exponentially better than the correlation between IQ. You could be the smartest person in the room but not have any money. EQ is something that I purposely wanted to work on and make sure that I was growing EQ so that I could have financial growth in my life. What is FQ? We know that it’s being smart, maybe about finance, but I’m going to let you tell us what it is.
It’s more than that. You hit on something very top of mind. My very first chapter is called The Psychology of Money. When I first started writing this a couple of years ago, I sat down and wrote a table of contents. I thought, “Where do I start?” You’ve got to start with mindset. It’s not about intellect. There are plenty of super brainy people who couldn’t manage their money to save their life. There’s no correlation there. I look at two goalposts. One is scarcity and the other is abundance.
People have a tendency to oscillate between the two depending on environmental circumstances. As soon as the pandemic hit, people immediately went into turtle mode. We’re circling the wagons, but then now, as you’ve seen the stock market run-up, the real estate market and inflation. Inflation is driven by demand. There’s a combination of a constraint supply and demand.
What happened? Everybody went into turtle mode and said, “I’m tired of being a turtle. I’m going to get out and spread my wings.” Understanding where you are, how and when you get triggered because you talked about the lizard brain. I’m not a brain scientist or neuroscientist. My coaching contract says about five times.
If you say something that’s worrisome, I’m a mandatory reporter and I’m going to call 911. I understand the rules of engagement, but let’s hope it doesn’t get crazy like that. You’ve got to think about what is going to trigger you and how are you going to behave? People talk a lot about financial literacy. Literacy is the ability to read and write. I know lots of people who can read and write, but that’s about it. I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog, but they can read and write. We want to take those skills and marry them up with a bunch of other nuts and bolts skills and create a framework whereby you can make intelligent decisions on managing and growing your money. It’s as simple as that.
I love that you said abundance and scarcity. There are a couple of things that I looked at. I’m going to say that a lot of people because I’m a lot of people. For years and years, I thought I was living in abundance from emotional intelligence, EQ perspectives. People would say, “What can I do to help you?” I’d say, “No, I’m fine.” I had a shield on that protected me because I didn’t want them to think I was weak in business. That shield was living in scarcity, not in abundance.
I wanted to bring that up because you happen to mention it. We have to make sure that people reading are not in that scarcity because you have to get yourself into abundance if you’re going to start taking on something like financial intelligence. We have to make sure that people know that they’re not in it and don’t think they’re in it. That brings me to something I look at online all the time is there is a graph called the Greed Index. You can see where greed and scarcity are coming from in several places.
I write a weekly newsletter and put it up.
I’m always looking at that when I’m speaking to realtors or loan officers. I have a class that I teach called By The Numbers. It’s all about mortgage math for real estate agents. Ironically, mortgage math for loan officers because some of them don’t know everything. I’m always going to the Greed Index. I go into the index and say, “Let’s see where the market’s playing right now.” Abundance and scarcity, I don’t want to hang everything on that, but I want to make sure people hear that. If someone thinks they’re living in abundance before they head into FQ when going into there, what are some things they would be saying to themselves to know whether or not they’re in abundance versus scarcity?
Ultimately, it comes down to risk and your ability to assess that. I do this. I have surveys and things that I have concocted for people. I asked them hypothetical questions, “A good friend of yours wants to borrow $25,000. They’re not quite sure when they can pay you back, but they promise they will. What’s your response going to be?” It’s simple things like that. As you drill down, you can start to strip away this veneer of abundance and realize that the underbelly is steeped in scarcity.
My answer would be no.A lot of people live in abundance from an ego perspective and use that as shields because they don't want others to think that they're weak. Click To Tweet
That’s a pretty common answer. I do what they do on these psychological profiles where you ask a similar type of question, 3 or 4 different ways. You look for consistency in the answers. Sometimes you’ll get inconsistent answers depending on how you phrase them. I will tell you that in my experience, probably 8 to 9 out of 10 people are basically living in scarcity. Even guys who are unapologetic gamblers, they’re still living in a bit of scarcity and to some degree, they’re fooling themselves.
We call it above and below the line to abundance and scarcity, looking at and knowing it. You have some ways that people can be asking themselves these questions. If you’re reading this, go look up abundance and scarcity, and above and below the line, you can find all kinds of stuff. There are books and articles on it.
I have a quiz on the Daas FQ website.
Let’s talk about what then you discuss in these 432 pages. Part of it is maybe I’ll be financially astute when I get through the book. That’s the challenge all by itself.
I do the one-on-one coaching with people because I sell a course that goes with the book for $5,000. It’s a lot of work and people have a tough time committing to that. I started coaching people for $500 a month. What I do is I’ll cherry-pick the parts of the book out and rearrange it in a way that works a little better for you than starting at Chapter 1 and going to Chapter 18.
The book is a plan, roadmap and customization. When you’re thinking about your book, tell us a little bit about some of the sections or chapters that you feel are the most pertinent for what we’re all in now. There are a lot of people that are either making a killing, making a ton of money or those that are struggling because they’re trying to figure out what their next move is.
Sometimes people call it transformation, but I call it transportation because you’re moving from here to there. There’s a gap and you’re moving from someplace. What are some of the things that you could pull out of the book for someone who’s reading that says, “If you’re in scarcity and you’re struggling right now, here are some things you want to be thinking about.” Those that are making a lot of money and high on the hog, what do they need to be thinking about?Profit and loss can be fantastic, but if you're not investing that to build up that balance sheet, you have nothing to de-risk yourself with. Click To Tweet
I would say that for every one of the former, the high on the hog, there’s probably 100 or 1,000 of the latter. They are the ones that are struggling. I’m writing a series right now in my other newsletter that I write for FQ. I happened to be writing about wealth inequality in this country. Let’s take on the abundance of people first. You’re killing it. You are out there making money, hand over fist, complaining that taxes are too high, so and so. One of the things I stated in the book is if you’re analyzing a company as a stock trader and I’ve been a stock trader for 40 years. I’m of the opinion that a strong balance sheet and we got people that don’t know what a balance sheet is.
It’s basically your assets and liabilities. Hopefully, that’s a positive seven-figure number and you’re a millionaire versus a P&L, a Profit and Loss, which is a yearly thing. Profit and loss can be fantastic, but if you’re not carving out a bunch of that money and investing it in something else to build up that balance sheet, you have nothing to de-risk yourself when the tide goes out.
When COVID comes along and all of a sudden, a cashflow goes to zero or negative, and you don’t have anything else, you don’t have a bank to put anything away, you are in some trouble. That’s beyond your control. I don’t believe there’s very much in this life that you can control, but certainly, the outside world, the environment and economics, you don’t need to influence that. It happens.
You have to be resilient through the ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys and all of that. It’s very well stated. A lot of people are good at making money but not good at keeping it.
You have the people on the other side who are struggling. What do I have to offer them? The first thing I have to offer them is a little bit of a cold slap in the face time to wake up. I’m a screenwriter writer. I’ve written eleven screenplays. None of them have ever made it to the silver screen, but that doesn’t stop me. The screenwriter’s work is based on a three-act structure, Acts 1, 2, 3. The rising action and then the hard part is the second act. Everything’s got to get wrapped up by the third act.
The first act of my book, the first six chapters, it’s the psychology of money. It’s figuring out your personal balance sheet and P&L. Are you running a positive? Are you living beyond your means? Looking at all of your assets, looking forward, like, what are your “contingent liabilities?” What’s coming down the road? You’re 30 years old. It’s astonishing how much student debt there is. There’s a huge section of this population getting to be 30 years old and they have a net worth of zero. Think about that. You’re going to retire at 65. You’ve got 35 years, about the same amount of time that you’ve lived to make all the money that you’re going to be able to make. That’s a very difficult challenge. We got to get our head out of you know what and look at what it is, what we have and build a plan.
You’re saying it in a different way. It’s not their mom and dad or our spouses yelling at us. It’s somebody else’s perspective.
It’s very nuts and bolts. I don’t think there’s anything particularly revolutionary about what I’m doing, but I try to package it in a way that will speak to people. It’s not technical. I’ve read lots of money books, and some of them are like, “There’s no way you’re going to get through this.” It’s all academic. A lot of it is nonsense because it’s not a life that someone has lived. I called my book a little bit of a money memoir. I talk about the things that I did right, but I also talk a lot about the things that I did wrong. All the things that happened, the stupid mistakes that I made, reversals of fortune and yet here I am, doing quite well, so I must’ve done something right.
I love that you say reversals of fortune because that does happen in our lives. I don’t know of anyone that’s always been up. Everyone’s had a challenge. Even when we look at the people that are billionaires, have multiple companies and flying jets all over the place and whatever. All of those people, no matter who it is. I can’t think of anybody’s name right now. Everybody’s had highs and lows. That’s one thing I think that people want to understand. This wishful thinking or jealousy or, “They got this and they have this.” They might be on their high right now. Don’t think for a minute they haven’t had struggles and the struggles may not be headed there.
They believe in their own headlines too. A lot of these people, you roll your eyes, “You made a trillion dollars in bitcoin.” There are a zillion courses out there that you can find online. If what’s on their landing page is a guy with a beautiful woman standing in front of a fancy car, run for the hills because they’re selling you on the lifestyle. I’ve got to be honest. They are probably much better marketers than I am because they’re selling the dream and I’m not selling the dream. I’m selling a reality. I’ve got to tell you that reality is tough to sell.
It’s funny you say that and I’m going to say it here on this show. Everyone knows that I do not sell, but I coach on lifestyle business mastery. I also speak on living a luxury lifestyle, but I want to preface this to make sure everybody understands. If you look up the word luxury, it means comfort. It’s not financial comfort necessarily, living a luxury style, having the luxury of having money in your bank, and spending time with your grandkids. That’s what I’m about.
It’s about freedom. It’s not about living with massive material possession. My wife calls herself a maximalist. I call her a hoarder. She likes lots of little stuff, but they will relate to something in our lives. We travel a lot. We’re going to Kenya for a safari in January 2022, so hopefully, we can get out of here. We’ve traveled all over and bought little tchotchkes from where we are. There’s a zillion of them, but you can point at them and you could say, “This was when we went to Barcelona and Bangkok,” and that’s cool. I don’t know about anybody else. I can only drive one car at a time. If you have a fleet of cars, it might be fine and dandy, but I have yet to figure out a way to drive more than one at a time.
It’s in the eye of the best holder, which is important. For those that aren’t where they want to be right now, you said it’s a slap in the face. I think it’s important for them to look at expenses. I learned this from Sharon Lechter, who co-wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad. She’s a dear friend of mine now. She said, “Jen, every quarter, print your bank statement.” We get them all digitally now, so we don’t look at them the way we used to write. Print your bank statement, go through it line by line, and see what else you could eliminate on a quarterly basis from your world.
I’m doing it now and looking at subscriptions that I’m not using. People roll their eyes at that. They’re like, “Switching to a cheaper cup of coffee is not going to make you rich.” That’s true. It isn’t going to make you rich, but you will have more money.
It occurred to me. Trim the fat so your wallet can be fat. You’ve got to trim the fat in your expenses so that your wallet can be fat.A lot of people are really good at making money but not really good at keeping it. Click To Tweet
There’s the other side because there’s only so far that you can go to whittle down your expenses. You’re going to have a core number. I talk about that in my book. I don’t remember if it’s Chapter 3 or 4. There is the core expenditure that you’re going to have. You’re going to have rent or mortgage, taxes or insurance. There’s certain stuff that’s table stakes and trying to jump through a lot of hoops to lower that.
People say, “I’ll move to a smaller apartment or whatever, so I can save a few bucks.” You can get back to the idea of luxury. You’re not going to get a second chance to live your life. We’re not going to get back these years of COVID besides all the deaths and everything that’s going on. I look at it and say to myself, “I’m not getting these years back.”
You’ve got to balance that and look at the frivolous and unnecessary stuff. It’s a little eye-opening for people when they look at how much money goes to discretionary food, myself included. That’s an area where it’s like, “Could we cut that back maybe 10% or 15%?” I’m not telling you not to go out with your friends on Friday night, but maybe you don’t want to order the $25 meal on a Tuesday night because you’re too tired or whatever, to go to the fridge and make something or to go to the grocery store. They’re teeny little mini pivots, as I call them. They’re not monstrous, habitual changes. It is being mindful, a little bit of a pivot around it. You start adding it up. All of a sudden, it’s like, “That’s like real money. That’s a car payment.”
Thankfully for me, I don’t eat any fast food. I’ve saved lots and lots of money that way. Henry, where did this all start for you? Why are you compelled to share and help make this impact on other people?
The actual launching point for this was a couple of years ago. I was at a conference in Bangkok. I was at a mastermind table with a whole bunch of other coaches. We talked about Jim Collins’ BHAG, the Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I said, “I want to write a course.” I didn’t say I wanted to write a book. I want to build a course that takes people through everything I’ve learned for many years. Hand them on a silver platter a roadmap. It might work or not work, but there’s a lot of good stuff in there. Not everything’s going to speak to you, but I’m sure that there are some things that are definitely going to speak to you. They were all like half my age. I said, “You’re not getting any younger. You might want to get on that.”
Did you have an experience in your life or a ceiling that you broke through that made this become the coaching topic that you wanted to explore?
I’ve been coaching entrepreneurs for several years because I’m a serial entrepreneur. I was already coaching people, but I was coaching one-on-one with entrepreneurs. I still do that. The original impetus for doing this was to do group coaching, even though I do it in a one-on-one format. I eventually wanted to evolve to Kiyosaki, where he does the weekend things with a whole group of people. That is the ultimate.
It’s individual coaching and then group coaching. The problem with group coaching is I go very deeply into people’s financial affairs. That’s very exposing to them. It’s like a doctor. I have to say, “If you’re not telling me the truth about what your spending habits are and you are hiding stuff, we’re not going to be anywhere. I promise I’m not going to disclose it to anybody or nor am I going to judge you, but it’s garbage in and garbage out. If you only give me part of the story, I’m working with a hand-tied behind my back?” That’s tough to do in a group setting.
It’s tough to do privately, too, if people aren’t being honest.
It is. I do some mastermind groups. I’m starting a new mastermind group now, but we’re niching it down a little bit. It’s not so specific to your income statement, but it’s more about the investment that you make, which is the second act of my book. Once you know where you are, we then talk about all the myriad ways that you can invest your money. How are you going to get maximum return on your money with minimum disruption to your sleep? When you put your head on the pillow, these people, especially the younger types with Bitcoin, I don’t touch crypto, not because of anything being a personal animus. That thing trades 168 hours a week.
It happened where they had a 20% correction while people were sleeping. That’s not for me at this age. You may be able to do that, but there’s no way I can handle that. I take a certain amount of solace in the fact that the New York Stock Exchange is open for 32 and a half hours a week. For the rest of the time, the market is closed. The money might be moving in the background, but it’s not moving right in front. I can’t have my stuff fall apart overnight while I’m sleeping. I’ll wake up in the middle of the night.
What then is Act 3? Once you have determined the options you’re going to take, it’s about scalability.
No. Act 3 is about a lot of the other things. I have a chapter I call Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves. It’s an entire chapter about all the ways that people are trying to steal your money. I have a whole chapter that I call Debtors in Disco, which is Chapter 17, which is all the stuff you don’t want to talk about, which is the last will and testament, estates, and trusts. How do you shelter money? Things like Social Security, if you’re 25, you’re probably not thinking about Social Security. You should at least have more than a passing knowledge because you’re paying money into it.
You’re not going to get much money, but you are paying into it. You’re going to pay it into every single paycheck you get for the rest of your life. That’s your money that they have. At some point in time, you’re entitled to get that back. It’s going to be quite a bit of money by the time you get to be 65 or whatever the retirement age is.
These days people are working longer. You became a real estate agent. Tell me, how are you playing this into the financial quotient?A bad plan is better than no plan at all. Click To Tweet
There are a couple of things. I’ve done a lot of real estate deals. I build spec houses and have done some good deals and some not-so-good deals. I have experience as a buyer and a seller. What I don’t have experience is as a broker. A broker is a different animal. It’s about deal flow. It’s about understanding the market. There is a large measure of psychology in it too. It is the largest financial transaction that most people will ever undertake in their life. That’s the majority of people.
It’s very emotional and fraught with a lot of uncertainty. If it’s a husband and wife, you’ve got competing agendas. It’s very interesting. I’m mostly a stock trader, although I’ve traded lots of other things. The nice thing about stocks is they’re highly liquid. They can be tax disadvantaged a little bit because their taxation system is based on transactions where you can buy an investment in real estate and see essentially tax-free growth out of it. It’s a very illiquid investment. I’m looking at it from a couple of perspectives.
You’re expanding your balance sheet.
I want to be able to write more about it. I write a couple of newsletters and I want to write another book like FQ 2. I like to be able to dive a little bit deeper into it, but I’m also looking for little underserved nooks and crannies. There’s an old saying, “There are riches and niches.” There are definitely underserved avenues of the real estate business where I think that they can be rather lucrative and interesting.
The only way to see that is from the perspective of an insider. I have access to MLS and all the brokers’ tools. I don’t have to go on Zillow, where the information doesn’t mean anything. I can go right to the horses now and craft things in a way that works for me. There’s a lot of opportunities. There wasn’t much to it. I had to do a 60-hour course and pass a test. It did take a bit of a few months of investment. I think it’s worth it.
I’m a real estate investor. I know I was in the mortgage business for years. I still consider myself to be in it because I coach loan officers, and my husband’s still a loan officer. We’re like knee-deep into all of that. It makes sense for me to extend that into getting my real estate license now because it’s not in competition with my real estate agent friends. Not because I’m going to sell it, I’m not going to sell any, but I want the knowledge behind it.
It’s fascinating stuff. You make a small investment in the knowledge base and it’ll pay great rewards.
Henry, it’s been fantastic having you on the show. What do you want to leave people with as it relates to FQ? If there’s something you could pluck out of that book and say, “This is what you would like the readers to hear about how to take the next steps.” Not necessarily go to my website, but something more psychological in the importance of having FQ in your life?
One simple, pithy statement I would say, even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. I hate the way that sounds, but it is true. You have to look yourself in the mirror and say, “This is the way I’m managing things.” Remember, you’re never going to get a break from this. You’re going to be in your 80s and 90s, and you’re still going to be dealing with money every single day. You’re going to eat, bathe, breathe and deal with money. You’ve had very little, if not zero, training, which is a whole other tragedy.
It starts as children. There’s no question about it. Even though you’ll be dealing with it all your life, when you’re on your death bed, you’re not going to be saying, “I wish I had another $300 in my bank account.” You’re going to be saying, “I wish I had spent more time with someone and done something more,” and money can help you do that.
The last check you write should be to the undertaker and it should bounce whether it be my book, which I give away for free. If you go to HenryDaas.com, right there on the first page, even from a mobile device, is a link to download my book for free. It’s 432 pages. It’s a big book. Skip around. Read a couple of different chapters here and there. If you want to skip the chapter on Social Security because you’re 25 years old, feel free to do that. If you want to read about stock trading, read about stock trading. You want to read about gypsies, tramps and thieves and all the things you should avoid that you’ve probably done, including me, do that.
I think I’d go to Act 3 first and learn about all of that again because so many times I’ve been bamboozled. Let me go there and learn it. “That happened to me or that’s good to know,” as I’m thinking about the options that I have.Switching to a cheaper cup of coffee is not going to make you rich, but you will ultimately be able to save and have more money. Click To Tweet
Make the commitment to do something about it, whether it be my book or anybody else’s. Take some action because nothing changes unless something changes.
Henry, thank you again for taking time with us. Congratulations. I’m going to see Sharon. I’m heading to Vegas to speak with her on stage. I can’t wait to ask her if she knows about FQ. That’ll be good. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Everybody, thank you so much for taking the time to read. Please make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, go to Jen Du Plessis and subscribe to the YouTube channel where you will see all of these episodes in video form as much as you are reading them. It’s always good to put a name with a face and, again, write a great five-star review.
Give us five stars, and then write a review. You’ve got to say something in the review, whether it’s something about what you learned with Henry or something you’d like to read or any other comments you want to make. We sure appreciate them. We love reading them. Thanks again for reading. We’ll catch you next time.
- Henry Daas
- Financial Intelligence
- Daas FQ
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad
- Jen Du Plessis – YouTube Channel
About Henry Daas
Henry Daas started his first biz in 1991 selling, installing, servicing and financing computers to large corporations. Since then, he has founded a succession in firms in the e-commerce, finance, real estate and consumer products spaces. For much of the past decade, henry has taken his experience as an entrepreneur and used it as a platform to coach other business owners and founders.
In addition, in 2019, Henry self-published a 432-page book on everything you need to know about how to grow and manage your money. He offers a 20-week course where Henry teaches it one-on-one. He also runs curated masterminds on business and finance.
In Henry’s infinite leisure, he writes screenplays (for fun), play golf, travel (when not on lockdown), play Settlers of Catan with his three boys, and do other fun stuff…