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Marko Zlatic is the creator and host of Whiteboard Finance, a successful YouTube channel with a mission to provide actionable content that enables one to create financial wealth. In this episode, Marko has graciously shared his rich real-world experiences as a stock market investor, student of finance, and entrepreneur.

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Chris Pratt: We have a very special guest today. He grew up in a middle-class household raised by immigrant parents. He has a finance degree from the University of Akron. He is the creator and host of Whiteboard Finance, he has a great new website, whiteboard finance.com. He is an advocate of financial literacy on his YouTube channel with over 430,000 subscribers. His name is Marko Zlatic. Welcome to the show, Marko.

Marko Zlatic: Thank you, Chris. I appreciate you having me on.

Chris Pratt: Yeah, thanks for taking the time to come on and to talk to our listeners. I think you have some really great insights as a developer and as a personal finance advocate, I want to start by talking a little bit about your background. So a lot of our listeners are our younger folks in, in high school, even high school, college, young professionals just starting out their career. So you mentioned that you grew up in a middle-class household raised by immigrant parents, and you say, and I quote that, “I didn’t grow up rich or with rich parents who taught me everything. I know about money, everything I learned about money investing in financial literacy, I’ve learned on my own. And so can you”, and I absolutely love that quote and that’s one of the things I preach in the show. Uh, so could you talk a little bit about your background and how you eventually got involved and learned about personal finance?

Marko Zlatic: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, like the quote says, you know, I was just a regular kid, grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio probably couldn’t have gotten any more middle-class if I tried, I mean, we lived in just the regular, you know, neighborhood grew up with a regular, you know, upbringing and childhood, just like any other kid in the Midwest or probably around the country grows up with, so my parents were immigrants or they came from Eastern Europe. They came to the States in the mid to late seventies. Just for context for your listeners. You know, I’m in my early thirties and ended up getting a finance degree from the University of Akron in December of 2010. So everything in that quote encompasses kind of the reason why I started Whiteboard Finance, because I just simply wanted to teach something that I was passionate about. And that happened to be, you know, personal finance, investing, entrepreneurship, a little bit of real estate, a little bit of a car sales, even. So everything that I talk about on my YouTube channel and also on my website, it comes from personal experience. And I just love sharing that.

Chris Pratt: Your finance degree. Why did you decide to go into finance or maybe, I don’t know. Did you go to college undecided? What, what made you decide to do finance?

Marko Zlatic: Oh, no. I knew for sure that a finance degree is what I wanted to do. Um, I got started in investing in stocks when I was 18. So 14 years ago in 2006. Um, so some of the older listeners may remember Trade King as a brokerage. They don’t exist anymore. They got bought out. But, uh, to answer your question, the reason why I wanted to go to college for a finance degree is not necessarily for the analytical or corporate finance side, even though I did actually work in that later on in my career, I actually went because I wanted it to be a personal financial advisor. I wanted to teach people. I wanted it to help people. I wanted to spread the knowledge of financial literacy, which I just feel like, you know, at least in the United States, we don’t get that kind of upbringing in most school systems or even colleges for example.

Chris Pratt: Oh yeah.

Marko Zlatic: So I think that there’s a big need for that, but, um, ultimately I ended up working for this one insurance firm. I’m not going to say who it is, anyone that’s, uh, pursuing finance in college already knows what I’m talking about. So I’m not going to name them, but ultimately just ended up being a terrible taste in my mouth, a terrible experience selling this whole life insurance. Then, ultimately that kind of turned me off to that “world of financial advising”, even though that really wasn’t truly financial advising, it was more of, you know, insurance sales. So either way that kind of turned me off and I ended up working at a tech company early on after the car sales gig. And then I ultimately went into commercial real estate development, uh, commercial mortgage lending, you know, uh, middle market analysis at a publicly traded bank and then actually went on YouTube full time. So..

Chris Pratt: You’re so full of experience.

Marko Zlatic: I know this is a long-winded, where is yeah, yeah, it was, uh, it was just a crazy way of kind of scratching that itch that I never received by becoming a financial advisor. That’s ultimately why I started Whiteboard Finance.

Chris Pratt: An you’re only on your thirties. That’s, I mean, that’s awesome. So you mentioned whole life insurance. We actually haven’t really talked about whole life insurance on the show very much in, or life insurance at all. I find that a lot of people are very heavily persuaded into whole life insurance and they view it as an investment and, uh, as a good investment or at least that’s how it’s sold to them. Can you talk a little bit about whole life insurance and what you think about that? What is it first of all?

Marko Zlatic: So basically you can have whole life insurance or term life insurance. Think of it as either, you know, buying a car and owning a car, which is whole life insurance or renting a car or leasing a car that’s term life insurance. Okay. You still have a car when you own the other one, you don’t, you’re kind of renting. My ultimate philosophy on this is first and foremost. Most people need to realize that insurance can be structured in a million different ways. So I don’t want to paint any, you know, whole life insurance salesman as, you know, bad guys or salesman or anything like that. And vice versa, same thing with the term life, you know, guys and gals. But ultimately what people have to realize is, is that everyone’s financial needs are different. So maybe, you know, a whole life insurance could fit into your personal financial puzzle, especially depending on the way it’s structured.

I don’t know. I don’t sell this stuff day in and day out. However, for most people term life is adequate. Just because, you should be taking care of your own nest egg anyway, and not having to bank on the whole life. Insurance has kind of like an investment if you will, or having to bank on the insurance is like the end all be all to your, you know, financial freedom if you will. So my point is, is if you’re, if you’re financially responsible all throughout your life term, insurance should be enough to get you there until it expires. And then when you see it become, you know, a little bit older or at that certain point in your life where you don’t need it anymore, that’s where you’re investing and all that stuff that you’ve been doing for 10, 20, 30, 40 years should, uh, take the rest of the slack in your financial portfolio. If that makes make sense.

Chris Pratt: Okay. I know that there, there are mixed schools and I stay away from whole life insurance just because if it’s so complex that I can’t understand it, I don’t want to, I don’t want to be anywhere near it.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah. And just so your audience knows, I’m definitely not the “insurance guy”. I’m 32 healthy, you know, play soccer, don’t do drugs, you know, all that kind of a thing. So, you know, everyone thinks they’re invincible at our age and probably your listener’s age as well. But yeah, insurance is definitely an important component. I mean, my rule of thumb is if you don’t have anyone relying on you putting food in their stomach, you know, what do you really need insurance for? Unless you’re living some extravagant lifestyle, but once you start to have dependents and kids, and, you know, people who rely upon your income to kind of sustain themselves, literally dependence that’s when you should start looking into it, you know, do I recommend your 19 year old listeners listen to, or, uh, buy term insurance right now? Absolutely not. They don’t need it, unless they really want to. But my point is, is that insurance should be meant to replace a stream of income, if that makes sense. Yeah.

Chris Pratt: If you die. Right. Um, so I want to shift gears a little bit to your investing journey. You said that your investing journey, and I love this, your investing journey began when you started flipping Pokemon cards and selling mixed tapes, CDs as a kid. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Marko Zlatic: That’s right, man. Well I told you, we were in Cleveland, man. We’re in the hood and I’m just kidding.

Chris Pratt: Lol, Cleveland!

Marko Zlatic: Um, so basically, so your listeners have to realize, like I said, I’m 32. So like in middle school, that’s when like CD burning, like burning CDs and creating mixed tapes CDs kind of met the world of like Napster Kazaa, uh, you know, uh, Limewire all those websites or all those software pro bono.

Chris Pratt: Well Napster! That’s old school, man. No kidding.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah, I’m old. I’m old. I got some grades..

Chris Pratt: You’re not old. No, no, no.

Marko Zlatic: So basically I used the find leak CDs from the actual studios themselves, like for example, like M & M show or, you know, Marshall Mathers LP, like, you know, a bunch of rap, CDs, mix tapes, things like that. And I would basically burn them. I would download them overnight. Cause you know, we had the 56 K dial up and then you eventually graduate to DSL and cable later on in life when I would leave the computer on all night and download these whole albums and that would burn like, you know, 5, 10, 20 copies of each album and I would sell them lunchtime, you know, but you know, it’s, I don’t wanna like incriminate myself, but you know, I was like 11 years old doing this. I didn’t know I was,

Chris Pratt: the statute of limitations has passed.

Marko Zlatic: Um, I didn’t know if I was doing anything right or wrong, I just knew like, Hey, my friends wanted this CD and I’ll sell it to them. That kind of a thing. So anyway, I used to sell mixtape CDs. I used to sell Pokemon cards. I know that’s like popular now. Like at, you know, 14 years later, I didn’t realize that would be a thing or no, actually 20 years later, I didn’t realize that’d be a thing. But at middle school, you know, I would find all these Pokemon cards. And I would literally, I had a, like a poster board, like a whiteboard on my mailbox and I created like a sign that said Pokemon cards for sale. And I would sell all like the rarest ones that came into these decks because they didn’t really play it. I just knew that they were valuable. And that’s kind of like one of my first businesses was selling mixed tapes and also Pokemon cards, but I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I mean, I came up with more sophisticated stuff than that, but this is when I was literally like 10, 11, 12 years old kind of a thing.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. Everyone has their, their, uh, childhood stories and entrepreneurship that they kind of graduated and, and developed over time into real businesses, like what you have now. So that’s really awesome. So I imagine that you were also really, I don’t know, maybe good at saving or what did you do with your money? Maybe you weren’t. What did you do with your money as a kid?

Marko Zlatic: So at 15 and a half, I got my first job at a it’s called Angie’s pizza. It’s a pizza place here in Cleveland. And, uh, I was everything. I was the bus boy. I took orders over the phone. I made pizzas. I bust, I did everything. It was, it was crazy. So at that time, uh, we were making like, I think 6.25, an hour, 6.50 an hour, which was crazy because all my other friends were making like 5.25 or 5.50. And you’re like, Oh my God, you know, I’m rich, I’m making a dollar or more friends. Yeah. That basically just told me like, you know, the worst of working and also just like, Hey, you know, you busted your ass for, you know, eight to 12 hours. Like, why would you go and like blow this money?

So the thing is though, I was never really like a “saver saver”, but I understood the worth of putting in like a hard day’s work. Because after that I bust at TGI Fridays, I worked in, you know, I was a bartender throughout college. I worked at nightclubs, you know, mostly cash businesses. I used to valet valet cars. And basically you just learn kind of like what the value of a dollar is, and you don’t want to like blow it on stupid stuff. But at the same time, you know, I liked certain things and nice things, but it was never like extravagant. It was always just like, Hey, you know, I would look at it like, you know, this thing that I want to buy cost me four hours of work or 10 hours of work or two weeks of work, is it worth it? And that kind of helped shape my perspective of whether I want to buy it or not.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. So, so our esteemed guests that we had on the show a little while ago, John Hope Bryant would say that you were a hustler. And I mean that in the best sense of the word.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah.

Chris Pratt: You’re a hard worker for sure. Okay. So, and at this point you were already investing, right?

Marko Zlatic: I’ve been investing since I was 18.

Chris Pratt: Since you were 18. Yeah. Okay. What were you, what were you investing in at this point?

Marko Zlatic: I would invest in stuff that I just knew like, Oh, I wear Nike soccer cleats. I’m going to buy Nike. Oh, I eat breakfast at McDonald’s. Let me buy a McDonald’s. Yeah. I had no idea what I was doing.

Chris Pratt: So you’re investing in single stocks.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah, and then as I went to college, that’s when ETFs and index funds, like in the mid early two thousands started becoming more and more popular. And I’ve pretty much been an index fund investor ever since. Like, I don’t get me wrong. I still have a lot of, of those same individual companies that I invest in. And even in my SEP IRA, I have individual companies that I invest in, but my Roth IRA is mainly made up of index funds and ETFs and target date funds.

Chris Pratt: And you said, I quote after I got my first big boy job, I focused on investing with Vanguard because I knew I needed to start investing into a Roth IRA for my retirement.

Marko Zlatic: Correct.

Chris Pratt: We talk a lot about Roth, IRAs and retirement. And uh, we’ve, we’ve mentioned Vanguard the company a little bit. Can you talk about why you decided first of all, to start investing for retirement after you got your first job? How old were you at? 23 years old?

Marko Zlatic: Yep. 22.

Chris Pratt: Okay. So you started investing for retirement at 22?

Marko Zlatic: Correct? Yep. So I’ve been with Vanguard for at least my Roth IRA with Vanguard for over a decade now. And the reason I needed, or I knew I needed to invest with a Roth is because I did all the due diligence and basically thought to myself, Hey, you know, after this five-year vesting period is over, um, you know, well, even before then the pre-tax dollars or the after-tax dollars that I’m putting into this Roth IRA, you know, I can basically use this as a hybrid savings account if I really want to. Um, so I’m sure if you’ve talked about Roth IRAs before, you know, your audience knows that, you know, whatever you contribute to Roth IRAs, your money that’s after tax dollars. So if you invest 50 grand over a number of years, say like eight, nine, 10 years, whatever the max allocation amount is now, it’s, you know, six grand before it used to be 5,500, say that 50, 60 grand grows to a hundred grand.

You know, I can still touch my contribution and take it out at any time, you know, penalty free and tax free. And then even after five years, there’s some other advantages that come to that as well. So I just figured to myself, Hey, instead of putting this money and just the regular savings account, you know, why not invest for my retirement? And, you know, God forbid, if something happens, I need it for an emergency or some other opportunity, you know, I can still take out that money because it’s after tax dollars. So, um, I have really liked the Roth. There’s a lot of advantages to it.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. Can you talk a little bit about what it means for the money to grow tax-free in a Roth IRA? I think people are confused with this concept of, well, you already paid tax. So how is it tax-free ?

Marko Zlatic: Yeah, so that’s, that’s the beauty of it. That’s the crux of it is, you know, everyone makes a certain annual gross salary. So say, you know, you’re a W2 employee. You make a hundred grand a year just for easy numbers. Well, you know that your net income or your net pay is not going to add up to be a hundred thousand, it’s going to be a hundred thousand minus, you know, all the state, local, federal, you know, regional, uh, you know, all that stuff, you know, social security, the paycheck that you get is going to be less than your gross

Chris Pratt: Uncle Sam.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah. Everything, uncle Sam, right? So basically after you pay uncle Sam death and taxes, death and taxes are the only two guaranteed things in life that if you pay the taxes, you’re left with net income or after tax income, which you then contribute to a Roth IRA.

So that’s the Roth portion. So IRA, as everyone knows, is individual retirement account. The Roth just means that it’s after tax. So the beauty of that is if you start early, you have the power of compound interests working on your behalf. So if you start it, let’s say 22 years old, you get your first big boy, big girl job, and you invest 500 bucks a month. Let’s call it six grand a year. You know, for the next 10, 20, 30 years, you’re going to be sitting pretty, um, hopefully knock on wood by the time you’re of retirement age. So the reason for that is because your contribution, depending on what you invest in, and that’s a big, you know, asterix right there, you know, I’m not telling you to invest in penny stocks, you know, cause you’ll probably have zero by the time you reach 59 and a half, but if you’re investing in solid blue chip companies or, you know, index funds, ETFs bonds, et cetera, et cetera,

Chris Pratt: What’s a blue chip company ?

Marko Zlatic: So it’s basically a company that’s solid, it’s a company that’s provided massive amounts of value and their stewardship of their shareholders’ money has been excellent to exemplary.

Chris Pratt: Could you give like some examples of, of blue chip companies?

Marko Zlatic: Yeah, sure. Um, it’s pretty much everything that sits in my dividend portfolio, uh, Johnson and Johnson, Coca-Cola, Pepsi,

Chris Pratt: All these are companies everyone’s heard of.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah, for sure. So anyway, um, just to, just to finish, my thought is basically once that money has been growing, you know, you’re only contributing X, but your, your contributions have hopefully grown to Y a much larger number. And the beauty of the Roth is depending on the way that this country is going with, you know, it could become, you know, a socialist country tomorrow and say, tax rates are 99%. Right. I’m just saying that to make any, make a point, you know, if you’re a retired and you go to take out money in a pre-tax advantage account, like just a traditional IRA or a 401k, well, you’re going to have to pay 99% on those. Um, depending on your income tax bracket, of course, I’m just saying this to prove a point. My point is with a Roth taxes could be 99% by the time you’re 59 and a half. And as long as..

Chris Pratt: It doesn’t matter the,

Marko Zlatic: And as long as the structure of the Roth, it doesn’t matter because you’ve already contributed to that account with after tax dollars. So it boils down to whatever’s in that account is yours upon retirement period. End of story.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. And that’s really the beauty of the Roth. I think there’s, there, there are a ton of different rules of thumb that, that different people use. One of the big ones is you invest in Roth until you’re about 45 years old and then, um, uh, potentially switched to traditional. It, it can depend based on, you know, a number of different factors, but for anyone who’s, who’s young in their twenties or thirties, even, you know, you’re not going to shoot yourself in the foot by investing in a Roth IRA as opposed to, uh, a traditional IRA. So don’t let that decision of which one to invest in hold you up. Either one, even if you invest in traditional, that’s better than not investing at all. So I just want to make that clarifying point. And then you invested in, in your, you still invest in Vanguard. Why Vanguard and what is Vanguard? Yeah,

Marko Zlatic: Vanguard is just a brokerage. So when people hear like Schwab Vanguard, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Robin Hood, Weebly, M1, these are all just different brokerages. I invested with Vanguard because they have always been, and they still are the 800 pound gorilla in the room. You know, they have, I believe the most assets or retirement assets under management, and they just been an excellent steward of people’s money. And they’re actually one of the original. So Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, he’s one of the originators of the index fund or the ETF, which basically provides a super, super low cost way of getting massive exposure and diversification to equities, to the stock market. So you’re doing, you’re doing what a financial advisor would do for you anyway, just that probably 97 basis points less in fees. That makes sense. A significant discount,

Chris Pratt: Right? So you’re saying, uh, a financial advisor would charge you maybe for every hundred dollars you put in, they charge you a dollar or $2, whereas Vanguard is going to charge you maybe 2 cents or even half a cent,

Marko Zlatic: Correct? Yep.

Chris Pratt: So you have a blog and a YouTube channel called whiteboard finance. First of all, what made you, you’ve talked about this a little bit, but what made you start whiteboard finance and whose idea was it to use a whiteboard?

Marko Zlatic: Yeah, so it was my idea. Um, my, I just figured, okay. I have limited space and I don’t want to reuse like sheets of paper, you know, like if you’re in a classroom and the teacher

Chris Pratt: Save the trees.

Marko Zlatic: Big sheets of paper, you know, I just figured, Hey, you know, a whiteboard is a lot easier and I don’t want to erase boards. So it was my idea just to buy a huge whiteboard off of Craigslist. My brother and I went to go pick it up in the middle of like October, November in Cleveland. So we froze our hands off because it wouldn’t fit in the trunk. We had to hold up the roof. But yeah, the reason I started it was..

Chris Pratt: You held it with your hands on top of the roof while you’re driving?

Marko Zlatic: Oh yeah. My hand was like blue, by the time we got home, it was so

Chris Pratt: There’s that hustler mentality.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah. I mean that, that whiteboard has an ROI in the probably hundreds of thousands of percent, so it’s worth it. But, um, my, my point is, is that I started Whiteboard Finance because I never scratched that itch of becoming a financial advisor because I went from car sales to tech, to commercial real estate. And, um, although those were, you know, rewarding careers and career paths, it’s just that I always wanted to teach. So I bought an expensive camera. Um, I thought I was going to do photography as a hobby, you know, pay to take pictures with my wife and go into nature and do all that stuff that never happened. That cameras started collecting dust. And I said, dude, you didn’t just spend, you know, thousands something bucks on this camera, you know, for it to collect dust. So that’s when I decided to start the channel and use it as a YouTube camera and start my channel.

Chris Pratt: That’s awesome. I have a camera here that is absolutely collecting dust. It’s actually, my phone’s camera’s probably a little better than Canon T3i DSLR camera. Yeah.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah. I’m familiar. Yeah. My first one was, uh, the 70D, Canon 70D.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. That’s a, that’s a pretty good camera. Yeah. Yeah. So you talk about, uh, a lot of stuff on your YouTube channel and, and, uh, on your blog, both are fascinating by the way. I highly recommend everyone check them out. What would your recommendation be in today’s economy, in today’s market for someone who’s looking to start an investment portfolio?

Marko Zlatic: Yeah. So as I mentioned earlier, I kind of went through that evolution of like, Oh, I have an iPod, I’m buying Apple. I have Nike soccer cleats, I’m buying Nike. You know, I went through that evolution of like, not knowing what I’m doing to, you know, intelligent investor, fundamental analysis, you know, Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffet, kind of a thing to saying, Hey, you know, forget all this. I’m just buying index funds and ETFs, and then kind of just following the market just for fun. But ultimately I think that what’s appealing to me now, as I get older, especially with a lot of macro economic factors that we can, or may or may not go into in this conversation, is it depends. But my point is, is that with interest rates being 0% right now and just with everything going on in the world, um, the thing that’s appealing to me is not necessarily capital growth. It’s more of wealth preservation and also streams of income.

Chris Pratt: What do you mean when you say capital growth?

Marko Zlatic: So like you buy a stock for $10. It grows to 30, over 20 years. I dunno.

Chris Pratt: Okay. So that’s not what you’re focused on right now is what you’re saying. Yeah,

Marko Zlatic: That’s always good. Don’t get me wrong. Like growth is always going to be in my portfolio, but my main portfolio is from my tax advantage accounts. Like my SEP IRA. For example, I have a series on this on YouTube every week, I invest $230 into my dividend portfolio. Um, and the reason for that is because I want to invest a thousand bucks a month, which is 230 bucks a week. And I want that to ultimately create a stream of income of, you know, let’s say 1 to $2,000 a month. So I know that, Hey, at least in retirement, I’m going have this stream coming from these dividends of one to $2,000 a month. Uh, maybe it will pay for my Porsche payment. Maybe it’ll pay for my grandkids education. Maybe it’ll pay for a really nice restaurant. I don’t, I don’t know. I have no idea.

My point is, is that with, um, interest rates, the way they’re going now, I can only see things staying the same or becoming negative, meaning that savers are losers. And I know there’s a lot to unpack here, but you just got to watch my YouTube channel and understand what I’m saying. Um, right now savers are not being rewarded for being disciplined and diligent and saving their money. You’re now incentivized to take on debt and to make speculative bets or investments in order to grow your money. Otherwise, your money’s purchasing power is being deteriorated by inflation, low interest rates, all that stuff. So basically you need to preserve your wealth or create a stream of income in order to sustain your current living standard. If that makes sense.

Chris Pratt: Yeah. And, and, and, and so what you’re really saying is that the FED, which is the, you know, the, basically the governing body that sets interest rates for savings accounts has set interest rates at 0% in part due to the COVID pandemic. But regardless of the reason why that interest rates are 0%. So the money that you make in a savings account is near 0%. You know, even the best savings accounts now are below 1%, but inflation is still rising at about 3%. I don’t know if you know the exact number right now. Uh, and so what that means is that there’s a 2% difference. So if your money just sits in a savings account, you’re actually losing 2% year over year on your money, uh, as opposed to investing it. And of course, this is to encourage people to take out loans because the loans are really low interest rate loans, right? And, you know, everyone wants a free money. Everyone wants low cost money until they’re leveraged up to their eyeballs. But you mentioned this really cool thing that I want to cover about dividends. What is a dividend and why invest in dividends? You mentioned a little bit about the why, but what is it?

Marko Zlatic: Yeah. So a dividend is basically a company. So let’s go back to that example of blue chip companies, for example, and you can also invest in dividends via ETFs and index funds. My portfolio is basically a mix of REITs real estate, investment trusts, individual, um, dividends, a dividend paying stocks, excuse me, and then dividend ETF. So it, dividend is basically a company giving you a share of their revenue, basically saying, Hey, Chris, thanks for being a shareholder. Here’s a pat on the back and a little, you know, three months paycheck from us just telling you, thank you for being a shareholder.

Chris Pratt: So they send you cash every, every year.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah. So it all depends. Some dividends stocks over some stocks pay monthly, some pay quarterly, some pay biannually, some pay annually. It just depends on their policy, but it’s basically just that company giving you a share of their revenues saying, Hey, thanks for being a shareholder kind of a thing. So, um, the reason for me kind of doing that SEP IRA as a dividend portfolio is two things. So as a dividend investor, I’m not necessarily too concerned with the appreciation in the stock price, if it keeps up with inflation or if it outpaces that that’s awesome. That’s kind of like a cherry on top. However, what I’m looking for is a long track record, typically decades, at least one decade in my criteria, um, preferably two or three of dividend growth and also dividend payout streak. So meaning they haven’t missed one single year of either raising their dividend by 2% or more, or they haven’t missed a dividend payment, no matter the economic conditions, whether it’s 2008, whether it’s 1930 or great depression, this company is still managed to pay out a dividend. So the reason for that is because the easiest analogy that I can make is a rental property. So say for example, Chris is a landlord. He has a rental property. He knows that this rental property is going to be his long-term hold. He doesn’t care if the price, the property goes up, 20% goes down, 10% goes, sideways, goes up 3%. It doesn’t matter. As long as his tenant is consistently paying him rent that rises 2% per year, keeping up with “inflation”. Does that make sense?

Chris Pratt: That makes perfect sense. Absolutely. And by the way, this is not a novel or, or niche strategy. Um, the biggest name that comes to mind that does, this is Kevin O’Leary, Mr. Wonderful. From Shark Tank, he is a big dividend investor. So it’s probably not the type of investment that is most commonly talked about in terms of growth. It’s more of a talked about in terms of, like you said, multiple streams of income generally in stages like retirement, but it’s, it’s very commonly used techniques. I don’t want people to think that, you know, this is just some crazy thing you made, you made up and you’re testing out right now.

Marko Zlatic: No!

Chris Pratt: This, this is definitely a safe, proven strategy. All right. We’re out of time. Thank you so much, Marko. Again, this is Marko’s Zlatic. I highly, highly, highly recommend that you check him out on his YouTube channel Whiteboard Finance and his amazing website, WhiteboardFinance.com. It’s been featured in Forbes, Side Hustle Nation, Business Insider, Creative Mornings, and WWD. Thank you so much for coming, Marko.

Marko Zlatic: Yeah, my pleasure, Chris, thank you so much for having me. Um, I’m a big fan of the show. I have listened to multiple episodes and just the fact that you invited me on, I think you’re going to do great. Just stick with it. Uh, you’re a great interviewer and thank you so much to your audience for sticking until the end. I appreciate it.

Chris Pratt: Thank you.

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