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Kicking it Off with Crypto ft. CFL Player Courtney Stephen – PB 189

Courtney Stephen is an athlete, father, coach, business owner, and investor. Although he has played over 100 games as a pro in the Canadian Football League (CFL) Courtney is best known for his dedication to helping young athletes in the community.

He has a passion for financial education and empowering people to create generational wealth. Courtney also educates about personal finance on his website, teaching students, athletes, and young professionals how to build wealth for their families.

“You have to learn how money works, and how to work your money in order to stay afloat and stay ahead of any curveballs that you will inevitably be thrown.” – Courtney Stephen

Kicking it Off with Crypto with Courtney Stephen - PB 189

Courtney joins Rich on the show to share why he first took an interest in financial planning and what drew him to find out more about investing in cryptocurrency. He shares how he educates people on putting themselves in a better situation to live the lifestyle they want to live and build wealth for their families.

Courtney also gives us the low-down on what Bitcoin is, why it exists and discusses how to store and manage cryptocurrency.

Kicking it Off with Crypto ft. CFL Player Courtney Stephen - PB 189

Rich: Hey, what's good. This is Rich and you're listening to paychecks and balances, a Gen Y plus podcast at the intersection of work, money, and life. And if you're new to the podcast, welcome. If you've been around for a minute, welcome back. I'm excited about this new season of the show and also this new release day.

So previously it was bi-weekly on Tuesdays and I'm moving to weekly on Thursdays going forward. So super excited about that as well as some of the great guests that you're going to hear from this season, including the guests that you're going to hear from today. So I'm kicking off the new season with Canadian football league player.

Courtney Stephen, you see what I did there? Did you see it? And beyond football, Courtney's always had an entrepreneurial spirit and money inclination, and he's super passionate about personal finance and in particular right now, cryptocurrency. And that's a topic that I stayed away from. For a long time I've had people ask me to talk about it on the podcast.

I know folks in my network who talk about it, who dabble in it and because it wasn't traditional or mainstream, I figured it was something to shy away from because it was super risky. But the more that I've learned as I've dabbled in it, the more I'm seeing the place of this in the future. So crypto is going to be a consistent thread throughout this season and probably going forward, given that I've started investing there.

And I want to be clear, I do say this in the episode. And I'm going to say it again here. This is not investing advice. This is for entertainment purposes only, but the more that I learn, the more that I'm going to share, and Courtney helps us tackle some of the basics when it comes to cryptocurrency and share some pretty compelling reasons why you should at least research it.

And we also spend some time talking about how his athlete mindset translates to his money. And this brother was just generally a delight to talk to. I'm glad that I was able to have him come on the show and he really is someone that I'm looking forward to following going forward. But I'll be back at the end of the episode.

Here's my conversation with Courtney and I hope you enjoy. Courtney welcome to the podcast, man. Hey, it's a

Courtney S: pleasure to be here, Rich. Appreciate it.

Rich: And I've been excited about having this conversation, because we're going to talk about crypto in particular, which is something that has never been discussed on the podcast before something that I've started dabbling in over the past month or so.

And I was not ready at first. And when I say I was not ready. All the market changes and the ups, the downs, I'm also someone who hates roller coasters. So you can probably imagine how that was making me feel internally and we'll get to that. But before getting into all of the tactical stuff, I want people to get to know you because I know you've got an awesome story and I shared a little bit about your background and the intro professional football player, but, uh, tell the P&B family a little bit about yourself a little bit more than probably what you get asked about when it comes to just talking about the sports side of things.

Courtney S: Yeah. So appreciate that really. I'm just, I'm just a guy from suburbs of Toronto, proudly Canadian. You know, there's a lot of people up here in Canada who ventured down to the U S and this mysteriously turned into Americans, but, um, anyways, played professional football in the Canadian football league.

I've been in there since 2013. And, you know, I spend a lot of time working on myself as an entrepreneur, um, just, you know, personal development. So I've always been into reading books and just, you know, watching YouTube and just studying life. Right.

I started a business back in 2014, and really that was the beginning of my journey into the world of finance because when you're running a business, uh, as entrepreneur and at the same time, you're a contract worker, which is what a professional athlete is at the end of the day, the flows of money are not consistent as they would be if you're working a standard salary job. So you have to learn how money works.

And how to work your money in order to stay afloat and stay ahead of any curve balls that you will inevitably be thrown. My, my foray into investing started out as many people's does that, you know, you invest through your employer first. Generally I went to the bank and had somebody put me in some. One size fits all mutual funds, you know, the, the regular stuff.

But as I got older and more experienced, as I made money and lost money in my company, as I read more books and learned about cash flows, learned about balance sheets and income statements learned about building wealth in and just really how to put capital to work. I started to really get deeper into this finance game.

So it all came to, came to a point where. 2020 when the Corona 19 virus really started shifting everybody's lifestyle, you could see it's like what Warren buffet says. When the water goes out, you can see who's swimming with no bathing suit. So it's like you could tell who had been living. A lifestyle that looked good or who had been really good building a foundation financially during all the time, leading up to that, that critical moment where many of our jobs were interrupted.

So having that secondary income source through my business that I run, which is like a youth mentorship program. So it's not like. It's not like a million dollar business, but it's a secondary income stream. Nonetheless, having those certain principles built into my financial strategy, like, you know, emergency fund transition life fund, because a contract athlete.

Is eventually going to have a GoPro in another career, having certain things like my debt under control and, and paid down so that my monthly obligations, if I had to go into shelter and go into it, and my monthly obligations were low, all of those things leading up to a Corona virus, put me in a position where I almost felt like I don't want to say I had like survivor's guilt.

Cause I definitely didn't feel bad for doing the right thing, but I felt an obligation to, uh, reach out to those closest to me who had been impacted so hard and start. Really teaching the lessons of personal finance, because it's not just about, you know, collecting likes on social media and getting views on YouTube.

It was actually, I began this whole personal finance journey to educate people on how they can actually put themselves in a better situation to live the lifestyle they want to live and build wealth for their family. So ultimately, you know, my experience as an athlete, Who is somebody notoriously a career?

A notoriously has an inconsistent income stream with an indefinite length of time that you're going to be earning that money as an entrepreneur with somebody who's used to, uh, going down to the wire on month to month expenses when you're first bootstrapping that, that company rather it's a small company or a large one.

And as a parent who has now, like people who depend on me, I take all those experiences and I wrapped them up in the, in the educational content that I build to. Try and teach people, you know, how you can do a lot with not a lot, right. And how you can build wealth for your family in, in so many different ways, whether it be saving, investing, whether it's the habits you have and the things that you buy on a day-to-day basis, or if it's the long-term investments that you're making.

Rich: Now you said a lot there that I want to touch on because even with, I think being an athlete, there's probably a natural, I'm certain there is a natural competitiveness. There's a natural inclination toward achievement. Uh, there's, uh, all sorts of other stuff. So when you say that you're interested in personal development and you're interested in some of these other topics, that's not surprising to me, but you can be ambitious and all of these other things and still be all sorts of jacked up with your money as you probably also know.

Yeah. And, uh, I, I was curious, was there a book, something you watched, it kind of like gave you that spark and, and particularly at the point where you decided that you wanted to start teaching people? Because I found that there's usually, even if it's something that you've always been interested in, there's usually something that was like the spark that since you down that direction in the first place.

So I was curious if there was something like that for

Courtney S: you. It was like a cascading effect because, uh, each different stage, you know, there was something else that accelerated and probably the very first book that I read that gave me the idea that you can separate time from money. Um, might've been. The four work workweek.

Rich: I knew it, it is on the shelf behind me. I will roll away and get it, but I'm not. Yeah. I knew you were going to say

Courtney S: that. Yeah, that book right there. It was crazy because I'm, um, I'm an entrepreneur and I don't think anybody...if people know that you need money to do things right, you need money to do things, but it's hard to have time.

Things and money. You know what I'm saying? Unless you have a lot of, one of the three, you either gotta sacrifice some of the things. So you can have more money. You gotta sacrifice some time, so you can get more money or, you know what I mean? It's usually a trade off, but I'm in that book, Tim Ferriss, he talks about real systems and how you can automate, you can delegate or eliminate a lot of the different things that you're doing to free up time and to build.

Passive income streams, whether they be big or small. Right? So that was a, probably the first idea I add into really what people call now like financial independence, uh, which is where you separate your, your time from your earning potential. But then as I went down that rabbit hole, then I got to different stages in my life.

There was other books that had a huge influence on me. One of them was. I would say rich dad, poor dad, but not really the book. Cause I'm audio kind of guy. I read a lot of books, but, um, my brother gave me the audio masterclass and it was everything that Robert Kiyosaki ever put out all in one 13 chapters.

And it was a masterclass called you can choose to be rich. So that had everything from the, for the, the what's that thing, the quadrants, the four quadrants, it had the rich dad, poor dad story. It has everything to do with like real estate assets, the true definition of asset as something that puts money in your pocket versus something that just accumulates wealth.

So there was different. Influences along the way, but those were two of the very first ones. I say the info from Robert Kiyosaki and the four hour work week from Tim shirts.

Rich: Got you. Got you. And just, how about your experience growing up with money? Because I know for me, I saw a lot of my parents sitting at the kitchen table paying the minimum on credit card bills.

So by the time I got a credit card, I mean, I was even someone when I was younger, I would take. My credit card to an ATM, not care at all about those freaking fees. When you do a cash withdraw. And I would do stuff like that because to me, seeing my parents carry debt, even though they were responsibly paying it on time, it was still debt.

And it was something that was okay to have. And, you know, we didn't have a whole lot of conversations specifically around money, how to budget. We really didn't have any conversations like that. Whereas I know for other folks that they've had a bit of a different experience. So I was curious about yours.

Courtney S: Well, I come from a modest background. You know, both of my parents worked, my mom worked two jobs. My dad was an entrepreneur too. So he had to work long hours and stuff like that. So at a young age, I realized that, you know, you got go out and get what you want. I think that's one of the main lessons I learned.

And definitely back in the day, I think if you had a skill, you use that skill to earn money, which is what a lot of people do, especially. In an immigrant community. Like my father came from Trinidad and he used the skills that he had to fill voids in the community. I made money. Right. I learned those kinds of lessons, you know, about, you can sacrifice today to have something tomorrow.

And that was something that I learned and it was reinforced through, um, the allowance I earned. By doing work and chores around the house, but not just you sweep up and, and we're going to give you a hundred dollars a month and you can afford to go blow that at the mall. But it was something that was very small so that I would get a nominal amount of money.

And I would, you know, have these conversations with my parents. I remember there was one, there was three items in particular, a bicycle, a basketball net and a super Nintendo. Right. And each of these three items, there were, you know, a couple hundred dollars to buy. Maybe he was like 150 or $200, but I was getting an allowance of anywhere between like three to $5 a week.

So it was going to take me a super long time to save up and get these things. So I would get the occasional windfall on my birthday or whatever at Christmas. And I made a deal with my parents. So it was like, you know, if I can save up 50% of the value of each of these items. Then they would match what I saved because it would take me a long time.

It'd be a bit of a commitment, but they showed me how to use leverage and how to, you know, basically build out a contract, hold up your end of the bargain and how to reap the fruits of your labor. Right? So basically those, those are the kinds of lessons that I received rather than us sitting down and going through, you know, monthly bills and stuff, because we didn't really have those talks, but I understood that.

You know what, sometimes you just got to tighten the belt and you gotta do what you gotta do now. So that later you can do what you want. And, and I carry a lot of those lessons with me to this day.

Rich: I'm glad you, you said it that way at the end, because even that I could hear like the competitive athletic you think about being in the gym, it's not about the pain you're feeling today.

It's about when it's game time and your peak in a load and all of this other stuff. And for those who won't ask who weren't athletes, I'm not going to go off on an athlete. Nerd rant very easily. Yeah. I could, I, I very easily could, but I won't. I was curious, was football always the goal for you now? I know you mentioned you've, you've always had an entrepreneurial inclination, but you don't just end up playing professional football, but there has to come a point in time where you say, you know, I want to go for this goal because that's what I want to do versus.

Maybe if I just keep playing, I'll just get drafted is something you have to be very intentional about. So I was curious if, if football, like that was the goal or if it was one of those things where you were like, oh shoot, I'm kind of nice

Courtney S: to be honest with you. There was one exact play that changed my whole, whole future.

Right. And I think a lot of people can go back and think about this moment. Right. And so I was in the 10th grade. You know, I played football for a long time, but I took some breaks. I did TaeKwonDo, judo, basketball, a whole bunch of other stuff, but you know, I was playing football in high school and, uh, it was a first game of the season.

And I just remember playing corner, which is a defensive position for people who might not be familiar with the game playing coroner in the first game of the season. After coming home from spending the summer with my brother who played college football. And I looked up to him a lot growing up just because he accomplished so much.

And I wanted to kind of emulate that, but I wasn't sure of my own path is yet so spending a summer with him, kind of getting to know like the different things that he did to get to where he was out thinking it was a possibility. And then in our first game I went out and I had three interceptions and I do touchdowns on defense.

And it was one of those things where it's like, all right, I'm going to get a serious. Because if I did this off of just studying a little bit of film, lifting, a couple of weights running up and down the hill, and then you show up and you realize that like literally hard work pays off. That's, that's a hell of an addiction to fall into, to be addicted, to working hard and to be addicted, to setting goals and to be addicted to bed in on yourself because you know, in the long run.

That's the habits that pay off no matter where you're talking about personal finance, you're talking about professional career, or you talking about, you know, sports, it's ultimately about setting clear goals, having the audacity to believe in them and then working super hard to go get them.

Rich: Yeah. You also got to something else I was going to ask you about.

Cause I was curious about how. The sports life has impacted the way that you think about money currently, because there's also the contract part of it. And so, so there's that with like the money to back and forth to agent that the things that people expect, some of the stuff that I kind of jokingly talked about earlier, I'm curious how that athlete mindset is.

And even maybe some of the things that you've experienced as an athlete is impacting the way that you think about and manage your money now.

Courtney S: Yeah. So I think as athlete, you know, that you can't win today's game with the points you scored yesterday. So. In, in terms of personal finance, for example, I could have saved all my money for 29 days.

And then on the 30th day of the month, go to the mall and blow it all. So it was one of those things where each day you got to win the game. You know, you got to put points on the scoreboard every day. So I, I liken it to setting your goals in terms of where do you want to reach in the, in the end of the season?

Like, what's your championship? What's your ultimate? And then you can't win the championship every day. But you can go out and work towards it every day. So you might have a weekly opponent, you might have practice, you might have a workout. Those kinds of things translate over into your financial life.

Like you might not buy a house this week, but if you want to buy a house, you're going to have to build your credit. You're going to have to have savings. You're going to have to handle your, your debt to income ratio, right? And so you can grow and fight the smaller battles and feel good about it because nothing feels better than putting a check.

On the to-do list. Right? But if you curate that to understand how each of these small parts rolls up into the greater championship, then that's really a strategy for success. And you got to learn how to have something to look forward to every single day, because there's a game to be played every single day.

Rich: Bruh, you are speaking my language right now, and people want to hear about this crypto stuff. So, so I'm going to start moving toward that. But I think this mindset part is really important and it's, uh, I actually just, just gave a talk on this, at least as of this recording, I gave a talk on mindset this past week.

And, uh, initially when they wanted me to give this talk, it was, you know, can you come in that actually didn't want me to talk about crypto. And I was like, I've been in crypto for a month. I should not be giving a talk on our crypto beyond that. I was kind of like, yeah, I can come in and give like a, the standard personal finance talk, but I'd much rather like to tell some stories.

And I'd much rather talk about mental wealth, which to me is really the key to all of this because the money to me is just the end result of all of the other work. You know, the, the, the money to me is the chips, the rings to the championships. It's a result of the effort, whether that's on a weekly basis daily basis.

Or even hourly basis if you're dabbling in crypto, right. Actually even minute basis at that point. So yeah, you never know. But, uh, I also think that there's an element of getting to know yourself in terms of, and not even just stuff with like risk tolerance, but like spenders saver. Am I an emotional spender?

Well, when life is going down, you know, when I'm having a personal bear market, you know, do I start spending more money on stuff? Stuff that, you know, I shouldn't be spending as much money on or vice versa. Do you get folks who, who ask you as much about the mindset piece as maybe just kind of like diving in specifically on the personal finance tips?

I think it's

Courtney S: a lot more rare for people to, to have that level of awareness to come in with a question about the mindset, but often, um, you know, an individual question or a specific question, you got to kind of decompose it and take off the top layer and then get to the root of it. And often it is a matter of your time preference or your, um, delaying gratification or, uh, what you're truly after.

Right. And, and for me, a big part of the reason why I'm excited about crypto is because it's apparent to me that there is a widening wealth gap, right. Between the people who have, and the people who don't have. And when I talk about what have, I'm talking about assets, Right. So something we witnessed in the last, you know, year, year and a half is over 30% of all the U S dollars in circulation were printed in just the last year.

Right. So when there's more of a supply of something, naturally the value of that thing goes down. Because there's so much more of it. Right. And that's part of the reason why we saw massive increase in the price of housing. Right? A lot of houses have jumped up in value over the last 18 months, but if you don't own a house, Then you weren't on the benefiting side of that equation.

It actually made it harder for you to get into housing game if you didn't own property before that appreciation. Right. But then again, we see it in the stock market over the last 12 months, S and P 500 plus 40% NASDAQ plus 45% Russell, 2000 over 64% up. Right. But if you don't own equities, then you weren't on the right side of that equation, right?

Yeah. So it's one of these things where. You know, we have to understand how the economy works and we have to understand what ownership means to our future so that we can get excited about making these daily deposits and winning these small battles that will actually lead to us getting that bigger victory down the line, because ultimately the way things are set up.

You are not going to earn your way to wealth. You can't do it. The dollar that you make today is useful today and less useful tomorrow, but it's just a structure of the economy and how, um, you know, the policy, the monetary and fiscal policy without getting too detailed, but how the policies are set up for, you know, that dollar to diminish.

And I'll just say one last thing before I get specifically into the crypto, because it all relates. The price of food is going up. So it's not even about owning a house. It's not even about owning stocks. The price of food is going up. So that means the price of living is going up. The price of meat. For example, um, there was a study by a university in Ontario, uh, in Canada called Dow house is O E and they did a study of some of the inflationary expectations for 2021.

Now the central bank of Canada, which is basically the, the Canadian version of the fed. Yeah. They have set their target inflation rate at 2% right now that only accounts for certain goods and services. But if you look at the day to day value or the day-to-day nominal price of the things that we're trying to buy, because we have to continue living.

Right. The price of meat is going up by four and a half to six and a half percent. The price of baked goods, three and a half to five and a half percent. And the price of vegetables, five and a half to six and a half percent. Now you tell me what's the, what's the yield on your high interest savings account?

I don't even

Rich: is laughable is laughable. It's like 0.0, whatever the heck it is, where it is, is nominal. You've got to have so much money in that account to really start seeing any interest to come back. And that it's actually. Not worth it. And that's, that's actually why I started putting money in to crypto, even though it fluctuates.

And, uh, and we'll talk a little bit about that. I know I sent you a note about that on IgE, where I'm like, if I can earn, and by the way, what we're talking about is not investment advice. This is for entertainment purposes only, but you know, if I'm like, if, if I can earn. 9% interest in us in this stable coin right now, just by letting it just sit there steak or whatever, versus having money sitting in this savings account, earning 0.009.

Like of course, I'm going to go this way now. I didn't just move my whole life over there. I moved a small amount just to like, you know, try it out and see how it works. And again, I'm within the first month. So for you all listen in it, it'll, it'll probably be a few episodes from now where I probably have an update on that, but like, that was a big thing where it's like, yo having, uh, having money sitting in a savings account, I'm like looking at it and I'm like, yo, I feel like this money could be doing so much more for me.

Right.

Courtney S: Absolutely. And that's, that's part of what drew me to cryptocurrency because, um, it's. Apparent everywhere you look that the value of our cash of our dollars is depreciating. And it's not by an accident is by design and over the long run, when you start to look at the macro factors that are playing in on, this is not something that is necessarily sustainable in the long run, right?

So talking about that wealth gap and bringing it full circle to, you know, the pandemic shaking up. A lot of my friends lifestyles, um, seeing them not be able to buy houses and get into housing market, you know, people who I went to school with starting families now trying to buy their first house. And they're like the average price of a home in Toronto, single family home in the city.

The average price is like a million dollars. So you got to think if we can't own some of these real assets, then there has to be an asset class that we can get access to. Now, personally, I come from a world of real estate and stocks, but it's, it's selfish. And it's also minded to think that everything that you know is everything that will be Hmm.

So sometimes when you look at the numbers, you have to, you have to give yourself the opportunity to open your mind and learn something new Bitcoin. Over the past 10 years has grown at a compounded and you will grow three of 200%. Now, as the saying goes, trees don't grow to the sky. So that's not sustainable forever.

Absolutely not. But it is the spark that lights. Uh, a lot of different ideas and questions, like why has it grown that much? Why are people, why did they even create it? You know, how does it work? How does it fit into somebody's investment portfolio? Why is it so volatile? And these are the questions that I have been studying to find answers for for so many months.

And I'm glad that we can actually talk about them and really introduce some people to, um, a topic that in the media you're not really going to get the full picture of. The

Rich: media thing is, has been really interesting. And so I've been also starting to dabble more in active trading swing trading, I think is probably more of what I'm doing.

And I use an app called public primarily for like my traditional stock market, uh, trading I've noticed. That in that world, of course, there's the headlines company. Does this stock tumbling market in disarray. And there've been a couple of times where I'm like, this kind of feels like fake news, but then with, with crypto, it's like eight times that.

So I'm seeing the spikes and peaks and valleys, and then I'm seeing the stories come out like Bitcoin down and, you know, the market coming to a crash. And to me, I'm like, This is just like every day with crypto. Like this is like, this isn't anything new. And so I, I think even before I got into it, because I actually told one of my boys the other day, I was like, man, fam, I wish I listened to you when you first told me about crypto, like a few years ago.

We all have that story almost like, oh, I wish I wish I listened to you. And I didn't because I had that fear of like the unknown looking back, I realized the fear of the unknown and I didn't even want to touch it because it wasn't traditional and it wasn't mainstream. So I wanted nothing to do with it.

But I've since learned that, you know, with great risk also comes great reward, you know?

Courtney S: Right. We'll talk about this, but I think then we'll, we'll, we'll circle back and we'll talk about really what it is and how it works, but some things to understand, first of all, let's talk about volatility, right?

Because you can have volatility in any market, but volatility in itself just is a fancy finance word for the range of prices that asset can move through. Right. So something that is more volatile moves through a wider range of prices, higher and lower, and something is less volatile moves through a more narrow range, right?

So there is many reasons why cryptocurrencies have a greater volatility than traditional assets. One, the market capitalization of the whole entire crypto crypto, every crypto put together is like 1.6 trillion. Okay. Yeah. That's like just over half of apple. Okay. Mm. So you gotta

Rich: put it that way to make.

Yeah, I'm glad you said that to make it, to make it real. Right.

Courtney S: So we're looking at an entire asset class that is in its infancy while Bitcoin is the grandfather of the mall is still not able to see a PG 13 movie, right? Yeah. So a lot of price discovery still happening because first of all, in the stock market, you know, about 60 to 65% of all equities are owned by institutions.

And big institutions when they buy stocks, whether that be a pension fund, a hedge fund, a family office, or an insurance company, an endowment at a university, when they buy securities, they're buying them for the longterm to hold on to them. And in holding those for a longterm, they're adding a certain level of stability and a price floor to those, those securities.

Now, without that same level of institutional adoption in crypto, then we're seeing a lot more. Retail behavior play out on a day to day basis.

Rich: When you say retail be up, you were about to answer it. Go on. Go, sir.

Courtney S: Yes. So an institution is a big corporation that trades for a living, like I said, pension fund, hedge fund, uh, insurance company, but retail.

That's me and you that's the everyday Joe. Right? So institutional and retail. Those are the two categories of investor. Now, like I said, in the crypto markets, it's majority retail and people like us. We may have different time horizons. We may use different, we may have different risk parameters. Did you know that you can make a hundred X leverage trade on Bitcoin?

Which means that if you have one Bitcoin, you can control 100. So if the price goes up by one, two, you would actually goes up by a hundred, right. Uh, which can be extremely, extremely catastrophic if the trade goes against you in the wrong way. So these are a lot of the factors that play into the volatility of the markets in crypto.

One, the lack of institutional adoption. Right, but that is trending upwards. Right? Secondly, the amount of leverage in the crypto markets makes them additionally much more volatile, right? Those are two reasons why it's very, very shaky from day to day. And it's not something that is new, right. In 2016, 17, there was another quote unquote bull market, right?

When the bull market is when the stocks are going up. Consistently over time, both they strike their horns up and a bear he's tall and he strikes down. So a bear market is going down. A bull market is going up. So in 2016 and 17, There was six times when the price of Bitcoin dropped by around 30%. So if an asset is going to grow at a 200% compounded annual growth rate, that line on that chart can not just be straight up into the right.

There has to be room for the volatility in both directions. Right. Right. I think before we get too much into really the behavior of the asset, like many, maybe we should explain. What exactly Bitcoin is and why it exists.

Rich: You've been doing this a bit longer than me. I've been following the content that you've been posting on the gram, and we don't have to define every term because I also want folks to lean in.

And if this is something that they're interested in to actually go out and do some research as well. So maybe we can talk about some, uh, some good resources for people. Uh, if they want to learn more about crypto for as much as people talk about. Coinbase and all the fees I've actually found, just coinbase.com, super helpful, just for learning about all the different cryptos that are out there.

And then Coinbase pro. I know that's more of like the, you're kind of doing more of the daily day trading following as opposed to buying and holding. I know that that has lower fees. So even. Like my conceptions, like before it was Coinbase, it has high fees. Like I don't want to pay high fees. Why would I even look at that?

But then when I, once I actually got into it and I was like, oh, I see why there's higher fees on this side. Because if it's buy and hold, they're going to generate less money off of each individual customer because they're not going to generate as many transactions. So when they do create transactions, they want to get their coin off of them.

And so. I understand that. Absolutely.

Courtney S: And you have to think about it. Like if you have a bank account, um, it's a really good bank account that has no monthly fee, but you can buy crypto and you can custody on your own, whether it be cold storage, which is like a physical device where you can send it off of coin base into a little USB stick, where you, your crypto.

You can keep it in there as an indefinite amount of time and you don't pay any monthly fee for that. Or you can get something that's called a hot wallet, which is like a software version of that, where the assets are under your custody. So nobody is in control of your money. And ultimately say, for example, Coinbase were to shut down, which is, I don't think is going to happen because they're one of the biggest, most reputable brands in all of cryptocurrency.

But unfortunately that hasn't been the case in every situation. There's different, uh, cryptocurrency exchanges in the past before it got so mainstream where people have actually lost their crypto by trusting it to a third party. Right? So that's why the popularity of custodying your own assets is something that is really highly talked about in the cryptocurrency community is because it allows you to be your own bank.

Right. When you put your money in the bank, what they do is they lend it out to other people. And so if I was to walk into a, in Canada, we got bank called Royal bank. Right. I don't know if you guys have Royal bank, but say I walk into Royal bank and I say, Hey, can I have a $20,000, please? They're going to say, wait, hold on 20,000.

What for, we don't have 20,000. And you'd be like, wait, my account says it 50, and you don't even have 20. How is that possible? But that, that's how banking works is because you trust your money to a third party. Then they're going to take that money and make a profit on it. They're going to use that. Money, but in crypto is different.

Um, it gives you opportunity to own your own assets, to own your money and keeping them on an exchange is very it's it's, it's where everybody should start, really, because there are certain responsibilities that come with custody and your own assets. Like, for example, if you were to forget how to log into your wallet, um, there's ways to recover your wallet, but if you are a negligent and you don't take care of your stuff, you could lose it.

Right. So I've

Rich: seen stories. I've seen people like thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars lost on a cold wallet that they.

Courtney S: Right. But luckily you don't have to worry about that. If you're using something like a Coinbase or a crack in, because you have tech support, you can call it because they are custodying the assets for you.

Right. So there's different aspects of crypto to take into consideration. But one of the main reasons why Bitcoin was created was so that you could have the opportunity to be your own bank. So you could have the opportunity to own your own money because ultimately. When the government prints money, what they're doing is they're taking time away from you.

You spent a certain amount of hours to earn your paycheck, and you thought that a hundred dollars was worth a hundred dollars until Corona virus came and now $100 is only worth 85. Yeah.

Rich: Yeah. Well, let me, let me ask you this because there's a lot of talk about the exchanges and a lot of what I've been trying to read about lately too, is what these various crypto technologies actually do.

And then there's almost some what I call exchange inception, where it's like, you know, these, somebody crypto is just like, it's an exchange, which then has an exchange within it. And then there's another exchange inside. And it's like, I don't want to go that far. I don't want to be pancake swapping and all of that stuff trying to get access to crypto.

But yeah. You know, I'm reading things about like the layer one and like the layer two and the, and the side chains. And this is where I think crypto actually starts to become a little exclusive, not, not exclusive in the good way, like, yo I got that exclusive, but in, but in that it starts to get like, Exclusive in a, it gets really technical and now you're kind of an engineering territory and there's already a problem in tech from a diversity and inclusion standpoint.

And so I've been curious how you think about like that, because it's easy to talk about like the, the numbers side of it, but like how you think about like what these technologies are actually doing. Because when I see, you know, stuff about decentralized apps, I'm trying to imagine, like, what does that actually mean in, in the future?

Because there's all these database and I work in Silicon valley today. So there's all of this. There's the internet, as it is today. There's this internet of the future. I don't know if I'll ever actually see this internet of the future that we're talking about in our lifetime. So all I see is the value in the individual coins.

So I'm curious how you think about like the act like what these various technologies are actually doing and, you know, do I have a, a decentralized app on my phone? Like I have no idea. I know there are special browsers for stuff like that. So how do you all that to say, how do you think about the actual tech side of it, right.

With all of these different options that are out there,

Courtney S: ultimately it all stems from this premise that it, you deserve the right to have your own money and you deserve the right to. Use your money, how you see fit. Right? So that was part of the whole impetus of why Bitcoin was created. And then from Bitcoin, because it didn't have the same malleability as other crypto assets.

So that's where a lot of the other crypto assets were born from because they allow for greater flexibility, right? Like a theorem is probably the next, well, it is the next, most popular crypto asset and community now. It allows people to create these things like you're talking about decentralized apps, which you could just think of as a website.

Right. But the difference that makes it decentralized is that it doesn't live on Amazon web services or Azure. It's not in the cloud. It lives on the blockchain. And the blockchain is a peer to peer network of computers that each have a redundant record of the same data. Right? So a blockchain is a secure way to send in store information so that it cannot be tampered with.

And ultimately when you store a decentralized application that allows. That software program to run on its own autonomously without any human oversight. So when you create, say a decentralized application that allows people to exchange one crypto asset for another crypto asset, what you're doing is you're negating the middleman who would be putting a markup.

On that transaction and cutting out their little piece of the pie. Every time you try to, you know, buy and sell, for example, what happens on a Coinbase? Because Coinbase not to say they're bad, everything serves its purpose, but you have to understand why it's created to understand how it works. Best Coinbase gives you.

Well, not just the Coinbase, but all centralized exchanges, meaning all exchanges that are run by a company or a business or somebody who you can point to and, and file a lawsuit against all of those organizations. They offer convenience tech support and the ease of use so that if you forget something and you're not locked, go forever.

But if you want to take advantage of these decentralized apps like you're talking about, they will cut out that middleman and return a lot of that price. That you would've paid back to you now, there is a little bit of a barrier right now because it's so young, right? A theory was really only published, I believe in 2015.

So it's pretty recent, right? It hasn't grand scheme. It hasn't really it's 10th birthday yet, but the decentralized finance, uh, ecosystem is basically the collection of all of these decentralized apps. Working together. So all of these web applications on what they call web three web 3.0, right. Because it's decentralized, it's not in the cloud.

It's on this peer-to-peer network of computers. That's what web three is. So all of these decentralized apps working together allow us to have things like decentralized finance, where you can earn. A greater yield on depositing your assets, or you can borrow against crypto or you can lend your crypto or whatever it is.

But like you said, because it's so young, There's a barrier to entry for people who are not technically savvy. And so not only is there a barrier for entry for people who are not technically savvy, it takes a certain amount of capital to do the more advanced things within a decentralized finance. So you can't just show up with a hundred dollars and expect to, um, take part in some of these, like you're talking about pancake swap.

For example. Yeah, like you could, but it's not going to, it's not going to have nearly the same benefit for you as it would for somebody who's entering the game with 10,000 or 50,000 or a hundred thousand dollars. So in that respect, it does segregate from some people getting access. And so those have a great potential.

If they're able to be proven over a long period of time that they're sustainable, that they're secure because you've got to think the more flexible something is the more vulnerability and a more surfaces for attack, right? Bitcoin is so resilient because it's dead simple. Right. Well, so

Rich: you say resilient, but then if you read the news, you see that it's plummeted down to 38, 30, 7,000, whatever.

It's gone to same thing with the theory and you see that it just went down to 1900, from $4,000. So that doesn't, that doesn't sound that safe at all. So what or that stable at all, but what do you, so what do you say to that?

Courtney S: I would challenge you to zoom out and think about where we were at 12 months ago, because Bitcoin is still up over 300% from the last 12 months.

Right? So in the news they use something that is called and I don't want to get too political, but there's something called, um, fear, uncertainty and doubt. Right?

Rich: You just struck a nerve for me, because I have a manager who used to always talk about when you're trying to close a candidate that you want to instill fear, doubt, and uncertainty. And I'm like, yo, that was like one of like the most manipulative lessons that I've ever learned in my life. So you just, yeah, you just hit on something because

Courtney S: you got to think about it, right?

People are a lot of the people who are investing in crypto fit a certain demographic profile. They tend to be younger and they tend to be people who. You know, the hardcore crypto community tends to have a distrust for the people. Yes. The people who are in charge of our money right now. So if they get older and as they earned money, they transitioned some of that capital from the traditional market through the crypto markets.

Then that's a vulnerability for the people who are legacy traditional finance, making billions of dollars off of, um, you know, what has been to this point, not to mention the government systems that are built on top of it. So there is an incentive for those people to, to push a narrative that deters new investors from getting into to the crypto markets and migrating that capital over.

Right. Right. There's $400 trillion worth of wealth. In the world. Okay. If you take all the assets and add them together, 400 trillion, that's an estimate before Corona virus came at the end of 2019 by credit Swiss. If you look at the crypto market, 1.6 trillion, all right. So like less than 1%, less than 1%, if that were to grow to 1%, then think about.

How big the crypto market is from today. Right? So there's so much room to grow from, from 1 trillion. Today is a baby is so small. So you gotta think the user interfaces are gonna suck. Think about the internet in 2007, right? You, you got on online and you can go and look at the HTML and change the code on a website, probably if you were a savvy.

Right? So you got to think about where we were back when you used to use Yahoo or ask Jeeves. Right. Exactly. Those faded away. My space is dead right now. We're in the MySpace era of crypto. Uh,

Rich: oh, I got you. I got you. And I love again that you you're making it so real because if you just follow the news only, and this isn't a, like the news of the fake news type of compensation for, for sure.

But, but if you don't actually do your own research, And kind of like what you said, if you don't kind of zoom out and look at this for a high level. So for example, the market falling right now is just like one blip in time. But if I also actually zoom out for a chart, because when I'm looking at crypto or any currency, I know even with stock, people tend to look at like the recent pricing Al zoom out to see the whole thing, just to see like what it actually looks like.

So that if we're in a dip, I can be comfortable saying, okay, you know, we might be here for a month or two, or we might be here for a few weeks, but. Every time that this has happened in the past, it has eventually gone back up. And so that creates kind of the mental comfort to, to know that ultimately it's going to pan out if you pulled over long term, right?

Courtney S: So that's why the hardcore crypto community who, the people who look at the underlying fundamentals, people will argue that crypto has no fundamentals, but there are macro fundamentals that you can look at things like institutional adoption. You could look at. How many coins are people putting onto exchanges versus bringing off of exchanges, right?

Because if I'm bringing coins off of an exchange, what does that mean? That means I'm putting them somewhere safe to hold for a long time. If you look at the macro factors, if you look at the long periods of time, that trends. Right. So you go on that chart, you look at the five months chart, or we look at a three month or the three-year chart or the 10 year chart.

You're going to see what the trend truly is. Right? And as I say, an invest in the trend is your friend. So you don't bet against the macro trend. What you do is you try to understand where you are in the cycle and you understand why things. What catalysts are temporary at which catalysts are permanent or long-lasting.

And then that's how you place your that's, how you place your investment thesis. And then ultimately I would say this too, not every asset is for every person, right. And each person needs to consider. Their own time, horizon the rest of their portfolio, how much money they make, um, what vulnerabilities they're exposed to, like for example, losing their job and not being able to continue contributing.

And then they have to make their decisions based on that. I would just caution people to say the more volatile any asset is then the smaller allocation is necessary to get an outsized reward. So if I have an asset that is, you know, moderately volatile compared to something that is very volatile, My portfolio will probably have much less of the asset that has the greater volatility, because it has an asymmetrical relationship or an unbalanced relationship between the potential big reward.

And because it's a small size, the amount that I would lose. Right. So consider all things before you make any decisions, but also continue to do your research. Don't just read one article or watch one video, um, get to understand the environment where we are and where we potentially could go. Yeah.

Rich: Yeah.

The, the research part is, is so important. Yeah. I just want to piggyback on that point of like, you don't, you don't have to be in everything just because something's hot. You don't need to be. And it's part of the recent crashes or why, at least one of them was that retail investors were panic selling.

And that was influencing the market. So these are people who probably gotten in more recently. A lot of them probably jumped in just because they saw that's what everyone else was doing. So they were throwing money at things. They probably had no business throwing money at, but I mentioned that because one that's part of the game, the market is just going to drop.

But to you, you don't need to be part of it. Every single thing that's happening, like crypto is hot and pretty soon that there'll be something else. If that's too too much risk for you. If you're a longterm, you want your investing to be boring. Shout out to Chris Browning from popcorn finance. I know he's making that a thing right now.

If you want your investing to be boring, that's completely fine. This is just another option, right? This is just another option. If it fits where you want to go, what, what your goals are and if it fits kind of like what your values and what your style is for how you want to make money.

Courtney S: Absolutely. And I would suggest too, that like each, each asset class can have a different investing style within it, too.

So as the, as a hardcore Bitcoin community says, um, just hot along H O D L is started as a typo on a forum, and then they spun it into something where it stands for hold on for dear life. And that just means. You buy it and you hold it. It's a great for tax purposes, but ultimately if you believe in the efficiency of, um, the market shaking out the way that they should over time, then in the long run, you'll be glad that you never sold it.

Yeah.

Rich: Yeah. Now that's part that I'm still learning. I'm trying to apply a similar philosophy to how I invest, where, uh, I have sold a couple of times. Like once I, you know, to take my cut out of it, because I made that mistake of like not selling before and then watching it sore, then watching his spike and now fricking light coin, man.

I still hate late corn. I got to get that out of my portfolio. Like is killing me right now. I mean, right now, I think the important takeaway for, for people from this is to look into this and make sure that you're doing what's right for you. When I say this, it can really be anything you can be looking into crypto.

You can be looking into real estate, you can be looking into investing. One thing I did want to ask you about, and then we'll move toward the wrap is there's proof of stake. And I mentioned this cause a lot of people I'm starting to hear more people talking about this. Thanks Elan, where there is like proof of stake and there's proof of what's the other one.

Proof of work. Can you, can you talk real quick about the difference between the two, because let's say someone's walking away from here, they're going to do research. They see all these different cryptocurrencies. They're seeing proof of work, proof of stake. And they're like, what the hell is this?

Courtney S: Yeah. So, um, essentially on the blockchain, like I said, it is a peer-to-peer network where you can securely transfer and store data.

Right. And in order for that data to be considered true, The network has to have a mechanism for coming to that consensus that each new piece of data put onto the network is verified and true. So, um, in proof of work, that is a consensus mechanism used by Bitcoin and currently used by Ethereum. And that basically is where you have a bunch of computers in this peer to peer network, and they're searching for one, one really, really, really long number.

Right. And they're there. Cranking out mad computer energy, doing all of these calculations to try and search for just one number. It's like a needle in a haystack. So it requires you to spend electricity is a physical thing, right? So it requires you to expend physical work, to find this needle in the haystack and finding that number.

It gives you the privilege of. Minting the next block on the blockchain. Right? And that you want to do that because as that minor as that computer, you get paid in Bitcoin. Every time you create the next block. Right? So it's a big race. It's a big race on everybody trying to make that next block.

Rich: Now I might try to simplify this too damn much, but I'm gonna go with it.

I placed the order on I'm going, gonna use food. I'm gonna use door dash. I'm not sure if y'all got DoorDash up there. Okay. Got them all. Yeah. Okay. You got them all. So I submit my food order. It goes out all the people are waiting to all the people who are dashing driving. They're waiting, they see my order.

They're all fighting the claim. I know this isn't exactly how it works, but they're all fighting the claim. My order one person gets to claim it, deliver it, get the fees and everything more or less.

Courtney S: Yeah. Okay. More or less. And if you want to go into more detail, you can search on YouTube and someone will spend 30 minutes explaining it to you, but that's the gist of

Rich: it.

So, and that's the other thing I've found with crypto is like, there's just, there's just so much I can talk. Well, there's a lot of flexing too, which is probably the part that maybe I don't like as much that's proof of work,

Courtney S: proof of stake is where instead of searching for a mathematical number and expanding physical energy, basically the computers.

Are not expending energy. They're actually putting up collateral. Okay. So you have to stake your, your currency, which is putting it up as collateral. And the more that you have, then the greater probability you have of getting the right to create that next block on the blockchain. So the idea there is that, um, you want to.

Put up only transactions and only blocks that are a hundred percent true and verifiable because if you put up one in the network and then the rest of the computers, they analyze that block and they find it to be false. Or maybe there was a double transaction in there where you tried to do something malicious.

Then part of that collateral, you put up. Part of your stake, get it. Proof of stake. Part of your steak will be cut and you'll lose some of your ass. Um, yeah, it becomes expensive for you to try and get over on the network because you're going to lose your assets. Yeah. The best interest is, is something called game theory.

Right. You're incentivized to do the right thing.

Rich: Got you. Gotcha. That makes complete sense. And I knew what it was, but you made it even simpler. That's probably why I made the old sign. I'm like, I'm like, yeah. I'm like that hurts. Yeah. I wouldn't be shady in the first place, but if I was shady, but if I was, what if I was, that would stop me.

So basically with. With proof of work, the cost of doing shady is too high because of all like the computational power and everything else. I think that's, that's part of it. And then, yeah,

Courtney S: because if you want it to, if you want it to do something shady, you would need a computer that is strong enough to write the blockchain faster than the computers that are doing the right thing.

Yes.

Rich: Okay, cool. So these are both mechanisms to ensure that transactions are being done honestly effectively without issues and shady dealings and, uh, in the free web, which sounds shady in itself. There is so much more stuff that we can talk about, but Courtney, it has been. Awesome to have you on for the first conversation where we've talked about crypto on the podcast to also talk a little bit about the athlete mentality.

I love when I have someone on and we can talk about that side of things and we'll definitely have to do this this again, because I'm going to continue to be getting in this space I'm looking for, or to be in, in crypto for the long haul. So tell it a PNB fan where they can find you around the web.

Anything that you might have coming up and, uh, How are you feeling about, uh, the next season? You know?

Courtney S: Yeah. Um, no, thank you, man. You can find me on social media. That's the best place to connect. All my handles are the C Stephen S T E P H E N. Definitely. Check out my YouTube, if you want to find any more detail on some of these subjects, but you can find that just hitting me up on Twitter or on Instagram.

So thus he, Steven, that's the best place to find me and. Yeah, man. I appreciate opportunity to come down here and talk. Cause you know, I, I, it's easy for me to talk football. I can talk. I can talk that all day long. And, um, it's been a long time since we played and I'm looking forward to getting back in and putting the cleats on putting the helmet on and getting back out there.

But you know, this is another one of my passion, so just continue to, to learn. That's what I would, uh, implore people to do is just, don't take things at face value, you know, come to your own conclusions and also don't feel the need to do anything before you understand it fully, whether that be investing in a stock market or buying a house, right.

Yeah, I appreciate the opportunity to really get on here and share my passion with your crowd.

Rich: No doubt. Thanks again, you for coming on the podcast and kicking it over crypto. I'm glad he was the first episode of the new season, and I look forward to following more of his work on and off the field. And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to share it on social media and or with your networks so they can get in on this.

And if you're new hit, follow or subscribe on your favorite podcast player, however, you're probably listening to this show right now to get new episodes both free every week. So I'm excited to continue this crypto journey and also continue this new season. I'll be learning right along with you, as I said earlier, and until next time do something dope. .

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