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Live That Laptop Lifestyle Everyone Craves!

Updated: Jun 10









Our special guest today is Shlomo Freund is a financial coach who shares his strategy, the same one he teaches his students, so they can experience a leisurely lifestyle that is so sought after.


In today’s episode we cover passive investing, the ins and outs of flipping websites; from optimizing, growing, and selling a website to how to get the most out of our income. Shlomo and his family have experienced digital nomads and world travelers. He shares some of his favorite places to visit and how he and his wife have been able to live this life even with kids.


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Transcription:

Lindsay:

Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the passive income examiner. I'm so excited again today to bring you a phenomenal guest today. We have Mr. Schlomo Freund. Did I say that correctly? Cuz if not, I'm gonna say it again.


Shlomo:

Schlomo Freund


Lindsay:

Is it German. You know, is my native language, but I never learned to speak it. So you know, it should come naturally, but it doesn't.


Shlomo:

Don't feel bad about it. Freund is the only German word. I know. don't worry.


Lindsay:

Well, it's so great to have you here. We have such an amazing topic to dive into today. I mean, we're gonna get into passive investing, traveling around the world, being able to basically live that laptop lifestyle that everybody's so desperately CRAs. Um, so like let's just start out with you telling us a little bit about yourself and kind of how you got to where you are in life. I can't wait to hear this.


Shlomo:

Sure. So this whole lifestyle things build up. It doesn't happen during the day. Uh, I'm an entrepreneur for the past, like 18 years or so. Uh, I'm an engineer, but I'm not doing engineering for about a very long time. Now I've always had this, uh, either doing a side gig or something. Even when working, doing my day job, it's kind of, I want my own ownership and I became a financial coach about five-ish years ago, coming from since of a young age, I liked, um, reading about, you know, like the first section I read the newspaper was finance at age of eight or age of 10. Uh, I still do that when I'm getting the weekend newspaper. Not, not that often. I remember trading, U.S. dollars to shackles with a little post-it note yellow one with my, you know, telling my parents, oh, the exchange rate is up. I'm gonna change the exchange today. So this kind of experience. So it was something there. And I'm also, my mother used to be a travel agent. So traveling was part of something in the house, uh, going different places around the world. So five years ago I wanted to bring those two things together and build a free financial self. So getting people, the, their desired lifestyle for me, it's travel and flexibility, but doing it financially in the right way, that's basic. That's basically it.


Lindsay:

So I like how you say that financially the right way. So that implies that there's a wrong way. So let's talk about that a little bit. What are some of the things you see people doing? That's holding them back from living their dream lifestyle.


Shlomo:

So I think that they see the shiny, uh, shiny objects out there and they must have it now while if you're looking more of things long term, then, first of all, you, then you, you can think of what are the more important things for you or what is less important, important for you and then making sure you actually get it. So you save for it, you invest for it. Um, I know, or I knew two years ago that I'm going to, uh, change our car in about six months. So two and a half years ago, I, I have money there. It's invested at the right amount at the right return to get to the amount of a car. So I plan for that. Uh, so, but it's not only about the things that you have to, but it's only also about the thing that you want, like traveling around the world, like going on a vacation, like having a, I don't know if you want a sailboat, so a sailboat, all this has to be there. Just have your dreams inside your financial planning


Lindsay:

Makes sense. I mean, I like how you're thinking. I noticed that in conversation with people, a lot of people struggle with that saving piece. You know, that rule of thumb that says we should have six months of savings or a year's worth of savings. Often people either don't save enough or B, they don't know how to be strategic to get what they want. So it sounds like what you're doing is really beneficial. Um, let's talk a little bit more about how it works in your life and kind of what you do. Some of the strategies that you use to become effective in that, in that, in that way. So to speak. And also really, I wanna get into passive income, but first, tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are financial. Like what steps you took.


Shlomo:

So when I work with people, it's basically following a roadmap that I developed. It's not rocket science, it's pretty simple, but it makes things just, just then make sense. And I'll, I'll go step by step. So there are four steps there. One, the first one is design your desired lifestyle. Understanding what is that thing that you want to get to, how your future life looks in X amount of time. And this is where I just mentioned your dreams and think that you really care about you want more, you want more family there, the family should be there. You want, um, uh, expensive cars there, expensive cars should be there. Whatever is that you want three apartments, it should be there. Any of those then, uh, I find that people sometimes lacking the basic understanding of how money works and kind of sometimes basic definitions of, of, uh, of finances.


Shlomo:

So define how to calculate your net worth how what's cash flow, how compound interest work, and how powerful that is. That's a major one when you should take, uh, loans and for what? So consumer debt versus non-consumer debt. That's the second step. So upgrading your financial knowledge, the third one is, is basically taking all your numbers and learning to control them. So this is about the calculation of your cash flow and your net worth and optimizing that. So it will be best for the fourth step where you take all those, the previous steps information and create a plan. What do I need to do today every month to get to all those dreams on my list and in what assets I should put that money? And if that doesn't work with your current lifestyle or what you have right now, okay, let's see how we make that happen or let's prioritize your dreams or the things that you have to, it creates that conversation around what's important and what's less important for me in life. I hope that makes


Lindsay:

Sense. So that does make sense. And I like it. And I'd like you to maybe break down today and give us like one tangible tip. Uh, your step number two, specifically about like education on money. What do you see of the, you mentioned four different things that people struggle with, or maybe it was five what's one of the more common ones you said. Uh, I think you said something about compound interest.


Shlomo:

Yeah. Uh, that's a major one. Uh, when I show people just by playing with compound interest calculators, how powerful that is. It's like, okay, now we get it. So you spoke about people struggling to save, but even if they start to save a little bit, save and invest that in X return, we're not gonna go into that specific number. Now, it doesn't matter. The money can start working for you. However, it only works if you give it time. And the more time, the better as an example, my daughter, she's now six. When she was a year old, I put money for her that will probably gonna give her when she will be 20 or 21, because I wanna be preferred for that. I want to give her, uh, a good starting for her life. The thing is that it's not a crazy amount of money, but in 1820 years, it will be a significant amount of money, but it only works if you give a time that compound interest. That's my example.


Lindsay:

Got it, got it. Yeah. So people are, you know, first of all, they're lacking a vision right. For what they want, which is so powerful. Mm-hmm because it seems like when you know your, why it's so much easier to stay committed to the plan. And then B they're lacking a plan. I mean, too many people are just going day to day paying the bills and trying to make ends meet and hoping that maybe one day they'll have enough money for savings or for putting it away. So you're suggesting let's make a plan. Now let's look at what we can do to grow, uh, and then go after our dreams, essentially, which is smart and very effective. Also, I like how you mentioned the net worth statement, you know, a lot of really wealthy people, they go based on their net wort---h. I mean, when we talk about superstars or, you know, famous people, this, the media is always saying, oh, his net worth is worth. Is this, why do you do a net worth statement? And how do you do it? So to speak, like if you could give us little tips on that.


Shlomo:

So I go very simple. I have my own, uh, spreadsheets that I calculate my net worth. It helps me track how things are going with my finances. Um, even, you know, so you mentioned all those, those famous people that have this and this net worth, and that makes us okay, we need that 15, 20, 30, 50 million in the bank. And when you're going through the process, I mentioned before, you kind of see that you, you really don't like there is a, you know, you're okay with reasonable dreams. Yes, you CA you, you might want to have a 50 million mansion, but do you really need that? Sometimes it just doesn't give you the value that you really it's, it's kind of the dream, but when you're breaking this down into what it's worth for you, why do you need that? And this is what I'm working with. People, uh, understanding how your favorite or your best day looks like. And it's not about, uh, swimming of, uh, in a large swimming pool with bunny in it. Okay. It's not, it's just not, it's simple things like being with family, having good experiences and maybe good food. Okay. So you get to that. I, I think I lost a little bit track with the question though.


Lindsay:

well, we were talking about a network statement and why it's important and then kind of how to do it.


Shlomo:

Yeah. So it's very simple calculation understanding what are your assets? It's your, any, anything, your house, your car, all your accounts in the, at the bank, and then all your liabilities. These would be, uh, your loans. If you have a mortgage, your mortgage, any other payments that you have money that you owe to friends and family, maybe things like that, uh, assets minus liabilities gets your net worth. Hopefully it's not a negative number. If it's a negative number, start building up towards that. It will be a positive one, but I gotta mention again, for me, net worth it. It's not so much about that number. It's about tracking that I'm on the right track. If this, if the trend is growing, I'm happy. And this is how I see if things what's working, what's not working what I need to change. That's why I do my net worth.


Lindsay:

That is so powerful. And I'm just gonna share with the audience and with you a little bit about my story, that I've never shared on the podcast before, and it's coming up because we're talking about net worth statements. So, um, when my husband and I wanted to leave the city and move out of the state, we wanted to live in the rural setting somewhere. I think it took us all in all, probably three to five years. Once we really got serious about it. And one thing we did was a net worth statement. We met up every week and we went over our net worth statement and it was constantly going up and down, like you said, and we decided on certain assets to invest in, but what was really cool about it is it helped us get out of debt. We were negative. Our net worth was a negative at the time.


Lindsay:

Our house was, uh, the only thing working in our favor so we got out of car debt, we paid off all of our other bills and we started saving. And by the time we moved, we had savings in the bank and our net worth was positive. And that I have to say is like one of the biggest things that helped us be able to achieve our dreams. So I am saying this to just a test that your methodology is accurate and works for everybody. Um, and for people who don't know how to do it, I hope they reach out to you because it is very effective,


Shlomo:

Super effective. Yeah. I do it for like four or five year, four, four years now, more or less.


Lindsay:

So, um, let's go into like your lifestyle. What was your dreams when you, you got started and kind of, where were you when you started and then where are you now?


Shlomo:

Um, so I grew up in a family where traveling with the world was it wasn't the thing, but it was, it was always there. Uh, I guess not too many people in Israel in those years were traveling that much. Um, I think it was quite, um, unusual for a four-year-old to go for a trip in the us, uh, at the eighties in Israel. Um, but somehow that it's kind of in me loving to travel. And what we do today is being a kind of remote lifestyle. So we both work remotely, both me and my wife, uh, once or twice a year, we travel for a couple of months or several months somewhere. And, uh, we also homeschool our kids. So it's kind of, we take them with us. We travel there. We kind of experience a place as much as we can because we can stay there for a longer time. And also traveling is much cheaper when you go for long term. So, because by flight tickets just, uh, you know, spread out on longer period, we also rent our place when we're leave, when we're leaving. And, uh, Israel is a pretty expensive place. So you get quite of your trip covered when you, when you do that. So all these things are coming together to have this flexible lifestyle that is working for us nowadays.


Lindsay:

What are some of the best places you've traveled? And like, do you have any special recommendations?


Shlomo:

wow. Uh, so we've done five or six of those locations so far. Could we start in 2015 or 16 and once or twice a year? Yeah. Um, so we found out that we love more of, uh, non-Western countries because the culture is so different, kind of you open your eyes and you don't know what's gonna happen this day, that you just don't understand what's going on. Before we started this lifestyle, we lived in Beijing for three years, and that was an amazing adventure. We moved there because we decided I wanna see how it is to live in China. I had some, uh, I learned some Chinese before and we kind of wanted to try it out. And we stayed there for three years. I built a company there anyway every day was an adventure really every day, every day, every day. And now when we travel as a family, so I we've been to Thailand for two or two and a half months. We've been to Sri Lanka for three and a half months. That was a wonderful adventure. Not to say that our let's say Europe adventures. Weren't amazing. They were just different, you know, the boundaries of what's gonna happen today because you understand the culture in other countries that are not Western. It was absolutely okay. What are we gonna discover today? And when I said before that we like living in a place and experiencing it. So it's a few levels up when you're at a non-Western country. I hope that makes sense.


Lindsay:

I find it fascinating. I've never been to any of those countries. And that's why I always ask because, you know, I love to hear what other people have to say, and then maybe one day I'll get there, but, uh, you can, I can imagine. So you're you like adventure and it sounds like doing something different every day. And obviously, you've established yourself with the lifestyle that you're creating income while you're adventuring. So let's talk a little bit about how you've done that. Obviously that's gonna be a little bit in the more recent terms. Um, what are some strategies that you've used to earn passive income?


Shlomo:

So I really diversify between I dunno if could say a lot or a few of those, because I really try. So first I try things, you know, uh, smaller scale and then I grow them. So I do hold a star P portfolio, and I do value investing there. Uh, I think that's, that's our thing. However, I also hold crypto and at the last year and a half or two years or so, uh, I'm also investing in niche websites. So I operate a website and different websites and different niches, um, which do bring income. I already buy them when they bring income and I, uh, intend to flip them. So basically you optimize a website, you grow it, you sell it. That's that's the business. So this comes along with my financial coaching business. It's not as passive, but because I love travel and, and, and investment, and that, that's my way to combine that passion and help others.


Lindsay:

Oh, it makes sense. Totally. I mean, everybody, I believe if, if you have a passion, do it. And especially if it's helpful, I mean, to me, that's the way the world works. We give, and we spread that goodness. And when we bless others, they bless others and it pays it forward. But to be able to do it because you love it, not because you have to is the power. And that's the really cool part, you know, you've, you've set yourself up so that you've got your basics covered and then you do this from a place of giving, and obviously, you get paid for it, but I mean, you're doing it with the intention of helping others and that's the beauty of it. That's, what's so cool.


Shlomo:

Definitely, definitely. Yeah. I think that, the most, uh, so when we had the little talk right before the recording, you mentioned a few income streams and the one about the niche websites and all that is really not, doesn't really count or people really don't know about it, that they have, they can do that. And when you're talking about finding your passion or something that you like to do, you can find something already working and then work that operate it, make an income from that, and basically live anywhere and do whatever you want, whatever you like. So this is something maybe a takeaway your listeners would want to, yes, that exists. You might want to try that.


Lindsay:

Let's talk about that a little bit more. So what do you look for in a website when you're thinking of buying, uh, an already set up website? Like how do a, how do you find them, and then B how do you analyze it? Just kind of an overview of that.


Shlomo:

Okay. Uh, so I have a whole workshop on this, but, uh, if, just to make it, uh, pretty short, so there are marketplaces out there for finding those websites. Uh, a few of them are empire flippers.com, motion, invest.com. Uh, Flippa is another famous one. Some of the websites at the marketplaces are vetting the websites. Some of them don't vet them, but so I'm not saying it's easy, really need to know what you need, what you you're doing and vet the websites and understand, uh, if this is a good one or not, but the offers are out there, uh, on marketplaces, other places to find that is in, uh, private Facebook groups for buying and flipping websites. They also exist, uh, as well as sometimes when you are part of this market and people know that you're buying and selling websites. So basically they just reach out to you that also happens.


Shlomo:

And the way that it works is the website is calculated by its, uh, net revenue times a multiplier around 35 times the monthly income of a website. So if you have, uh, a website that makes $1,000 that will be worth around 35,000. It can vary between, let's say a multiplier of 20 to a multiplier of 50. Okay. Because if the website is very strong, if it's very all, if it has many income streams, um, then it will get a higher multiplier. If it's downtrend traffic, if there are problems with the website, the multiplier will be lower, but then maybe it's an opportunity because you know how to handle these problems better than others. So that's an opportunity for you. So there are all these kinds of things also at the last year or so, the multipliers of the market for that have gone up. So basically even if you bought a website a year, a year, or something ago, even if you haven't done anything, I mean, at least you kept on what it was doing before. It's worth more. So it's, it has a, it, it has appreciated


Lindsay:

Interesting, like everything else, everything is appreciated. It seems like in the last, in the last year


Shlomo:

Used cars use cars,


Lindsay:

Cars, you can use cars, everything. Yes. And indeed, um, everything, but everybody's like base pay salary. Right.


Shlomo:


Lindsay:

Um, that's great. I love that advice. I mean, that's a great tip that I we've never talked about on the, on the podcast is, is flipping, um, websites. The question that I'm sure everybody is begging to know is how smart do you need to be from a website perspective? Like, do you need to be an SEO guru? Do you need to have your hands in a lot of different, um, avenues and understand monetization? I mean, really? Is that something that you cover in your course, or is that something that people really need to get educated on before even attempting that


Shlomo:

People would need to know what internet marketing is and how to monetize websites? However, it's not rocket science and don't forget that you can be an expert in everything. So you have, I work with freelancers and people that do some of the work that I don't feel I'm good enough at, so you can buy those services. But the basic operation of having a website, um, manage a WordPress websites a little bit about plugins, uh, have content there. Uh, somehow affiliate marketing works, how advertising works, all this thing. Uh, it's kind of an overview, but it's not really, uh, you don't have to be an expert in that actually know of someone, uh, who's teaching those things. Uh, you can go to the website, flip.com. Um, that guy's name is MUFI. He's got a lot of information that guy flipped 180 plus websites at the last 10 years. So he is, uh, teaching those things and talking about those things. So you might be interested to go and check it out.


Lindsay:

That is a great tip. Thank you very much for sharing. I agree. Uh, I think I will check that out. This is something very intriguing to me that I've considered, but never really considered serious enough to actually look into it. You know, it's like kind of actually, I'll be, I'll be honest. I have a dream board that I made back in 2006. I have it right here behind me. And along the bottom, I wrote flip businesses. And at the time I was thinking about buying and actually selling just businesses and, you know, but the more and more I learn about passive income and, and having that freedom to be able to work from a laptop and to move around, uh, I homeschool too. So being able to take my kids on journeys and go adventuring, uh, is such an appeal that I can't even bring myself to think about buying a brick and mortar business and having to put all my time and energy into it, to bring it up to then resell it. I love this idea of creating these online businesses, even on Shopify. I see people just set up Shopify stores, get 'em optimized and then sell them like that too. So there's a couple avenues people can look at.


Lindsay:

This is such a great, I mean, like, I feel like we're going into such detail. I don't wanna overwhelm people, but it's really valuable information at same time too. You know, of like, this is good stuff.


Shlomo:

I'm glad


Lindsay:

What are of the transformations that your clients have gotten, you know, by working with you even just, you know, one example of somebody that you have in mind that comes to mind.


Shlomo:

You know, I find that people come to me when there are before it's either they have, they had a change. So let's say they had, uh, sum of money or they got promoted at work or their business working much better. It's like, okay, what's next level. What do I do? So I have an example of somebody who really didn't know anything about, uh, how to invest and how to approach that. And now he's doing everything by himself and kind of managing his own finances as, and, and doing it great. Uh, and even if he is not that experienced, he knows to ask the right questions and check things. Okay. He knows the risks, he knows the returns, you know, he's on it. Okay. So that's definitely a success story from my point of view. Other kinds of people that coming to me is before a big decision, I mentioned that, uh, so they need to decide if they are about, if, if they going to buy a house or not.


Shlomo:

So they plan to buy, they want to buy, can we do this? Can we not do this? And what I'm able to do is showing them if you're buying the house, then dream number one, two, and seven would not work. So let's talk about it. Is this important to buy the house? Now, maybe just in five years, maybe just in 10 years, let's make it all work. That's just the things we we spoke about, but they want to understand, okay, where we are. Can we do this? Do we need to postpone it? Do we do next? And then I give them, uh, kind of a, a, the plan of what they need to do to get to where they want.


Lindsay:

How often do you meet up with your clients? Are you meeting just monthly to review things or do you meet more often?


Shlomo:

So it really depends on, on the, on the program that they're at. I, I just launched an online course, so we'll put that aside. It's the same information, but when I'm doing one on ones, it's usually five to six meetings where they have, uh, two weeks in between each meeting there and the homework that I give them. So that's the basic plan. And there's another way of doing this basic one for two and a half or three months. So, and then doing a tracking call every month throughout the year to check that you're really on things. So it's kind of the, the basic one or the essential one, and then a tracking one for another nine months. So it really depends what people choose. And there is an online course, but that's recorded. So it's not, it's not live with me.


Lindsay:

Right. I especially love what you do because it's different than just a financial planner who kind of takes over your money. Does it for you and then shows you where you're at. You have to trust them. You have to, I mean, you're EDU you're not educated enough to understand what they're doing or not doing. I love how you're empowering people to really take control of their finances and create the future that they desire. It is so empowering. I love what you're doing. Um, thank you. Just gonna say anybody who's listening to this, you know, they say only take advice from people who have what you want. And clearly Schlomo has the goods. go check them out. What is your website? They can find you ,


Shlomo:

It's, it's freefinancialself.com. That's my website. I love it. You can get in touch there.


Lindsay:


Shlomo:

Uh, the, the name copywriting is, uh, my wife's. She, she brought the name.


Lindsay:

It's a good name. It really is. Yeah. I love it. It's great. Thank you. Yeah. so do, how do you guys just random conversation? How do you guys, um, teach your kids financial education? Do they have like their own net worth statement and are they keeping track of their own little stuff?


Shlomo:

Okay. So our kids are not that old. Uh, my oldest is six years old.


Shlomo:

Okay. But since, since she was four, we already even, maybe a little bit before talking about money in the house, it's not a taboo. Uh, we're we're talking about, you know, making decisions and priorities and things like that. And from a, we started giving her allowance when she was, I think she was already four years old and she have still have, has, uh, three jars. So it's, uh, spend, give and save. And she puts the money in each one of those. And she manages her finances. Then of course she makes mistakes. and that's great because she learns from them and she, uh, buys and sells things. And, uh, we're trying to be minimalist, but it's not always working with kids. So we kind of tell her, if you sell this, you have money to buy something. Or if you bring something into the house, so let's get rid of, uh, one, two and three. Uh, so yeah, it's a process. It's still a process because not everything is working, but it's still the, the, the financial education is around here.


Lindsay:

Well, she has control of her money. You're teaching her good money habits about where, you know, how to organize it. She's learning about buying and selling. I mean, at that age, I mean, that's perfect. I love it. And, you know, pretty soon she can be having her own network statement and she'll have something to show for it. So that's even, I mean, that's just really great. I'm, I'm digging it.


Shlomo:

I'm, I'm I, I contemplate when I should start paying her interest for postponing getting her allowance and kind of, if you keep it, you'll get a little bit more next month. And how do I present this? I have friends by the way, who just their money is just in their parents' bank. And it's basically an Excel sheet and their parents pay 10% a year for them, for the money that they, and they never, they never use the money. They just let it sit there. But they understand by that the compound interest concept, which is very


Lindsay:

Important. Mm-hmm have you ever heard of the



I think it's called the marshmallow test. Did you? It's on YouTube. Yes.


Shlomo:

Yes.


Lindsay:

Is that okay? I'm gonna just explain it for people who don't know. Sure. But it's, it reminded me of it, what you were saying. So they took a group of five or six year olds, and they took 'em one at a time, in a room with a marshmallow, and they said, we're gonna leave you here with a marshmallow. If you eat it, you only get the one. But if you wait till we come back, we'll give you two, we'll give you an extra one. So they would sit there and they have 'em on camera. And you see their cute little faces while they're like drooling over this one, marshmallow, and they just wanna eat it. But studies found that kids that were able to wait for that second marshmallow had that resiliency and did better financially later in life. So it's really cool what you're talking about, because you know, it teaches them that resiliency at such an important age. I think that's just brilliant.


Shlomo:

That works. So, yeah. I need to think when I'm starting doing that for, with my daughter probably within a year or so, we'll see.


Lindsay:

Yeah. Hey, if she's six, you'd be surprised. I have a six year old she's this she's very like she's savvy. She's ready to do that. I think six is a great age. You know, they also, they're learning, adding and subtracting so they understand what double means. You know, if you get a dollar, now you might get $2. If you wait till the end of the month, you know, kind of thing, or however you do it, 50 returns


Shlomo:

Pretty good next week, next week. Fine. not next year.


Lindsay:

Oh man. This been such a great episode. I'm so glad to have you here. Thank you so much for coming on and being a guest.


Shlomo:

It's been a pleasure. Thank you for so much for inviting me.




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