JF2457: How to Leverage Infinity Banking to your Advantage with Anthony Faso and Cameron Christiansen
Anthony Faso is a self-proclaimed recovering CPA who transitioned his financing firm towards infinity banking when the global financial crisis happened on 2008. Cameron Christiansen was a small business owner whose life was changed after reading a book by Nelson Nash. Together, they help clients utilize an infinite banking strategy to secure cash-flowing assets and create a passive income. Initially, flipping raw land was something novel and rigorous to finances for them. Infinity banking is not just for you but also something you want to leave as a legacy for the next generations to come. Today, Anthony and Cameron discuss on how to leverage infinity banking to achieve your goals.
Anthony and Cameron Christiansen | Real Estate Background
- Full-time financial advising
- 10 years experience in real estate
- Cameron’s portfolio consists of raw land
- Anthony’s portfolio consists of flipping raw land and rentals
- Based in Las Vegas, NV
- Say hi to him at: www.infinitewealthconsultants.com/bestever
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Best Ever Tweet:
“Nobody’s going to care more about your money than you.” –Anthony Faso
Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show. I’m Joe Fairless. This is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any fluffy stuff. With us today, Anthony Faso and Cameron Christiansen. How are you two doing?
Anthony Faso: We’re doing great. We’re excited to be on the Best Ever show.
Cameron Christianson: Thanks for having us.
Joe Fairless: Well, I’m glad that you two are excited and you’re welcome. Looking forward to our conversation. Anthony and Cameron, they’re based in Las Vegas. They’re focused on raw land and they fund their raw land acquisitions. Also, I know Anthony, you’ve got some rentals, but both of you do raw land. One of the ways they fund that are through infinite banking. And Best Ever listeners, I know you’re familiar with infinite banking. We’ve talked about it many times on the show already. But we’re going to learn more about what they’re buying in terms of raw land, how they’re structuring it, and get into some specifics. First off, Anthony and Cameron, do you two want to give the Best Ever Listeners a little bit more about your background and your current focus, and then we’ll roll right into it?
Cameron Christianson: Absolutely. Go ahead, Anthony.
Anthony Faso: My name is Anthony, I’m a self-proclaimed recovering CPA. I’ve been a CPA for over 20 years. I had my own firm, and then really when ’08 happened, that was eye-opening. I kind of saw the advice I was getting and giving to my clients and also from financial advisors just were wrong and were not helping me achieve my goals. During that time period, I transitioned to more focus on creating passive income. We’ve done that by transitioning my firm, I sold my CPA firm and started teaching the infinite banking concept full-time about 6 years ago. So now our focus is doing it for ourselves as well, but helping people create financial freedom where their passive income is more than their monthly expenses.
Cameron Christianson: A little bit of my background is that I moved to Vegas 16 to 17 years ago. I was a small business owner and I didn’t have an HR department, so I started looking at retirement plans for myself. To be honest, I got pretty frustrated pretty quickly, because at the end of the day, what it felt like was everybody just was trying to separate me from my money, and I didn’t like that idea. So I actually never did anything, I was just kind of overwhelmed and frustrated with the advice that I was getting. I came across Nelson Nash’s book about becoming your own banker, and that’s really what kind of changed my financial life, and kind of set me down this road. So I started advising like 10 to 11 years ago. A while back, I met this guy, and he and I kind of have the same passion as far as creating income instead of creating someone’s net worth… So we shook hands and started this business venture.
Joe Fairless: And what’s the business venture?
Cameron Christianson: We are infinite wealth consultants, we help clients implement the infinite banking strategy, infinite banking concept. Our focus, as Anthony just mentioned, is really on buying or helping someone secure cash-flowing assets to create that passive income.
Joe Fairless: Okay. How does raw land fit into the cash-flowing assets category?
Anthony Faso: Well, I would say when I first heard about flipping raw land, that sounded very capital-intensive, something I did not know about and did not want to get involved with… Until somebody sat down and really — they first explained the problem. If somebody is buying a single family, the sales market is very efficient. There are realtors that will help you sell it, there are appraisers that will help verify the value, and there are banks that will help with the transaction. Yeah, we’re talking about raw land literally in the middle of nowhere. That market is very inefficient, and the sales price is very small. It can be as low as 500 when you buy it, to maybe 12,000 when you sell it or 15,000. So a realtor is not going to get involved, and the banks are not involved.
The problem is that the market is very inefficient, which means there’s an opportunity. What we do is we come in and we help make that efficient. We have a process to find and purchase land, ideally 25 cents to maybe 33 cents on the dollar. It’s getting harder to buy right now, but what we do is we buy it and then we immediately put it up for sale. The key thing is there is no bank financing, so we are becoming the bank. We may buy, say, a property for 2500 dollars, list it for sale for 10,000 grand, but what we’re really looking for is somebody to buy it on terms. Meaning they’ll put 200 down, 250 a month for however long of that time is. The key is we’re making 250 of passive income. The key thing is we never transfer ownership until it is paid in full.
So if somebody defaults partly through, we just put it back into our system and list it for sale. Then with some volume, that 250 goes to 500, and then we slowly build up that reoccurring cash flow each month. What’s also great about this is that you can leverage virtual assistants to do a lot of the work. We have a VA who handles all of the offers that come in and close, and they even cut the check. We’re not really involved in the buying, except for approving the sale, and then we have VA’s that help to market it. We’re currently taking the sales ourselves, because that’s kind of a little tougher to delegate.
Joe Fairless: When you say you’re taking the sales yourself – so you’re determining what the strike price is to sell the raw land that you own? Or on the acquisition side are you talking about?
Anthony Faso: I mean on the sales side.
Joe Fairless: On the acquisition or disposition?
Anthony Faso: Disposition.
Joe Fairless: Okay, when you have a piece of raw land and you’re selling it to someone else, you two are involved there.
Anthony Faso: I would say, probably one of the advantages of this is that we’ve turned this into a family business. My son’s 27 and my daughter’s 22. She’s just graduating college next month. We’ve got all of them in there. My son is helping with some of the technology, and he’s taking the calls when somebody wants to buy a property from us. My daughter is in there with the marketing, and helping…
So kind of what we’re trying to do is — first of all, I’m trying to create some passive income myself. But also, what we’re trying to do and kind of why we named our firm Infinite Wealth is for one, the wealth is not just dollars, but it’s more importantly the common sense, the knowledge of how money works, and how to create passive income. And then with the infinite, if we’re doing this right, we’re going to teach the next few generations. I want my kids to work hard, but I don’t want them to work as hard as I had. At least maybe they can learn some of those lessons in their 20s, that I didn’t learn until my 40s.
Joe Fairless: What are some of those lessons that come to mind?
Anthony Faso: What I’ve found is nobody’s going to care more about your money than you. The only time I lost money is when I gave up control to somebody else.
Joe Fairless: So you don’t passively invest in stuff?
Anthony Faso: Personally, I don’t. I deal with some turnkey rentals, but that’s probably as passive as I get.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, I wouldn’t consider that as a passive investment, at least in how I’m thinking about it. I’m thinking more general partner, limited partner, you’re a limited partner and you trust the general partner is going to do what he or she says they’re going to do with your money.
Anthony Faso: I know, I’ve got a lot of clients and a lot of people that do that. I would tell you, once bitten, twice shy. I got into a deal and I thought I did my due diligence. I went out there to meet them and things didn’t go as well.
Joe Fairless: What type of deal was it?
Anthony Faso: It was apartment complexes.
Joe Fairless: Oh man, that’s what I do. Dang it. Okay, what happened?
Anthony Faso: That is the million-dollar question, what happened. What I do know that happened is they stopped paying the monthly preferred interest. The question is really why? Well, there were some fires, a major employers closed the shop… They’re about to liquidate, so we’re about to get our money back. I’ll feel better once I have my money back.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don’t want to jinx anything. Fair enough. I didn’t realize it was still ongoing. Fair enough.
Anthony Faso: But I will say, I’ve got clients and I have friends that do it very well. What our philosophy is, we need to build up until, ideally, when we are first starting out, we should have some control and learn. Then as we build up and have more assets, then it’s more advantageous to start getting into more passive investing.
Joe Fairless: I hear you. One lesson is that no one cares about your money more than you, and you want to maintain an active role in overseeing it. What are a couple of other things?
Cameron Christiansen: I’ve got one, I’ll jump in there. My kids are a little bit younger than Anthony’s. They are eleven, nine, and seven, and so we’re not actively in investments with those guys. But as Anthony mentioned, it’s really just teaching them how to think. One of the biggest things that I’ve been trying to teach these guys, even at their young age, is that what most people are taught, the greatest thing that you can do with money is really to just set it in an account and let it sit. This idea of compound interest. But that’s not how businesses work and that’s not how banks work. What they’re doing is they’re constantly turning their product.
So once we’ve accumulated some money, now what we need to do is we need to go put that money to work, and the more times that we can turn that dollar or that product every single year, the more money that we’re going to make. That’s what plays into the infinite ideas – the more times that we can turn that single dollar, the more money that we will end up with at the end of the day. And then it goes back to control – we want to try to retain as much control as we possibly can.
Joe Fairless: The contrarian might say to what you just mentioned, “Yeah, of course, the more times you can turn the money and continue to make a profit, the more that you’ll make with that initial investment.” But you’re not mentioning the fact that you could lose your money in those subsequent investments. By getting a big goose egg as a return or losing your original principle, then you have to make significantly greater returns than you initially would have had to do if you would have just left your money alone in the bank account. What are your thoughts on that perspective?
Cameron Christiansen: Sure. What I say is I want my cake and I want to eat it too.
Anthony Faso: Right.
Cameron Christiansen: So I want my money sitting there, compounding for me, and I also want it turning. That’s exactly what we do with Infinite Banking. As you know, you’ve had a couple of guests on, previously and…
Joe Fairless: And I do have an account myself.
Cameron Christiansen: Yep. Perfect. So what you’re doing is your cash is sitting there in a policy earning for you, and you’re going to leave it there, you’re not going to take it out. You’re actually going to take a loan from the insurance company and use their money to go and invest. So now we’ve got the best of both worlds. We’ve got our money sitting in the policy continuing to compound every single year, and as you said, and as Anthony said, it’s all about control – when we put that money out, we’ve better have done our due diligence, we’d better have a very good understanding of what we’re putting our money into, and there would be a very high expectation, a very high likelihood of a certain outcome in the investments that we make.
Joe Fairless: What are the downsides to your approach? Perhaps maybe a deal that lost money. When I say your approach, I’m talking about infinite banking, raw land, and ideally getting people on terms. So there are different angles you can take with answering this question, but I just want to get the full picture for what are some potential downsides to your approach.
Cameron Christiansen: On the first piece of land that I bought, I had no clue what I was doing. It was just outside of Las Vegas, about an hour away. I took somebody’s word for it on [unintelligible [00:12:40].07] here are the historical returns, here’s the appreciation, this is what it’s done over the last several years, and those things are projected to continue to do that. Great. Sounded awesome. So I went and bought that, and to be honest, it was pure speculation. I was buying it here and hoping that it would be worth more tomorrow than what I bought it for. That was a lesson. I lost probably 30,000 dollars doing that. I gave up control, I didn’t do my homework; so you go down that list, I marked all the boxes.
Joe Fairless: How do you determine the value so that you’re not speculating? Earlier, Anthony mentioned you’re buying 25 cents to 30 cents ideally on the dollar. But how do you know that you’re buying at that discounted price?
Anthony Faso: Well, what Cameron’s problem was he didn’t consult me before he did it. [laughter]
Joe Fairless: Is there enough room for Anthony’s head, Cameron, between where you two are situated?
Cameron Christiansen: There isn’t. Your listeners can’t see this. I’m in the very little corner of our Zoom meeting because his head is so big. [laughter]
Anthony Faso: If this is the first time you’re listening to us, Cameron and I are good buddies and friends. We’re always ragging to each other.
Joe Fairless: Yeah, I picked up on that when we first started talking. I appreciated the dynamic so I thought I’d play into it.
Anthony Faso: So the question was, how do we find out what these pieces of land are being sold for. That’s where you have to take some time and do some research. There is no MLS for raw land, but there are some key websites. Landmodo is one of them. A lot of people will post their raw land on that website. You can go in there and see what those are selling for. Then there are a couple of other small…
Joe Fairless: What’s the website? Landmoto? M-O-T-O?
Anthony Faso: It’s Land, and then M-O-D-D-O? I’m going to find out. Sorry.
Joe Fairless: Okay.
Anthony Faso: Because I have a VA who does that…
Joe Fairless: Oh, right, modo. L-A-N-D-M-O-D-O. I did Landmoto in Google and that didn’t…
Cameron Christiansen: I will say this is, Anthony is really good with numbers, but he’s not great with words.
Anthony Faso: I would not argue that.
Joe Fairless: Alright, Landmodo. L-A-N-D M-O-D-O. Got it. Please continue.
Anthony Faso: Okay. You need to do the research from worthy sites. There’s very little being sold on eBay, some are sold on Craigslist… But it is going to take some time to really find out what these pieces of land are selling for. But if you feel comfortable with the land selling around $10,000, and you offer say $3,000…
Joe Fairless: Well, before we get into that, I just want to learn a little bit more about this. You said earlier that you’re buying in the middle of nowhere. How are you possibly getting comps for buying in the middle of nowhere? That seems like a lot of research, and then even when you do the research, not getting a true comp. It seems like it’s a decent amount of speculation.
Anthony Faso: There is some speculation there and that’s where doing the research on some of those sites is where you’re going to find a ballpark of what they’re selling them for. There is some speculation there, which is why you want to offer much less than what the selling price is. If you think it’s selling for 10 grand, if you offer three, you have a good margin in there. Maybe it only sells for five, and you’re wrong by 50%, but at least since you bought it so low, you can accomplish that margin of error.
Joe Fairless: Got it. Okay. So high level, take us through your system in terms of financing and how you buy it. Let’s say you find a piece of land, you do the research, it makes sense… Walk us through how you go about funding it through your infinite baking approach.
Anthony Faso: Okay, so you’re going to need capital for any business, whether it’s a business, or flipping land, buying a syndication, or whatever it is, it’s going to take capital. That capital has to reside somewhere. With Infinite Banking, instead of that residing in a checking or savings account, it’s residing inside a cash value life insurance policy. What we did is each of my kids have their own policies, so we each took loans and put them into the LLC. Now the LLC has the cash to buy the land and also pay for expenses. Then once we buy the land and it’s being sold, we have that income coming in.
So we have the choice… Right now, we want to buy more land. We are not paying back our policies, because there is some interest in the policies, since we’re not taking your money, we’re borrowing the money from the insurance company. But when you use it for an investment purpose like this, that interest is tax-deductible. We’re just paying the interest each year, so we can deduct it, and then we’re keeping the capital inside the business to expand the business. At a certain point, when we have enough funds and we want to start taking some money out, we will take some money out and put it back into our policy.
Joe Fairless: It makes sense. I know we’ve talked about this on the show, so no need to get into some of the weeds there. Anything else that you think we should talk about as it relates to your approach that we haven’t yet?
Cameron Christiansen: What comes to mind is you’d mentioned that there were previous advisors on here that have talked about this strategy… And I would say that we take a little different approach. We’re bigger fans of buying assets instead of recapturing expenses. We do have a podcast as well, and on there, what we’re doing is we’re highlighting investment opportunities to create that income. There are some differences between advisors when it comes to this infinite banking strategy. It just depends on what somebody is trying to get accomplished.
Joe Fairless: What’s the name of the podcast?
Cameron Christiansen: Infinite Wealth Podcast.
Joe Fairless: That would make sense, given your complete name.
Cameron Christiansen: Very creative.
Joe Fairless: Yes. Well, we’re going to do a lightning round real quick. But first, taking a step back. What’s your best real estate investing advice ever?
Cameron Christiansen: Invest in what you know.
Anthony Faso: Think long-term.
Joe Fairless: We’re going to do a lightning round. Are you two ready for the Best Ever lightning round?
Cameron Christiansen: Yeah, let’s go.
Anthony Faso: Yeah. I’m ready.
Joe Fairless: Best Ever book you’ve recently read?
Anthony Faso: This book – I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention… It is Fake by Robert Kiyosaki, where he talks about fake assets, fake teachers, fake money, and what’s going to happen in the next financial crisis, which some could argue, we’re in right now.
Cameron Christiansen: Favorite book for me Antifragile by Nassim Taleb. It’s part of a four or five-book series, but that is by far my favorite. In that book, he talks about the English language doesn’t have a word — we have a word for fragile, which means when you put stress and pressure on something, it breaks. Everyone believes that the opposite of that would be resiliency, which is just withstanding that stress or pressure. But in his book, he highlights things that gain from disorder, which would be antifragile, which means that that object needs that stress or pressure to grow. I love that book, it relates to finances and relates to personal life as well.
Joe Fairless: Wow, that’s deep. I like that.
Cameron Christiansen: It’s a great one.
Joe Fairless: How can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you two are doing?
Anthony Faso: You can check out our podcast, Infinite Wealth Podcast. We actually have an online course that talks about infinite banking and real estate, and ways to create passive income. We do charge for that course. However, for the listeners, we do have a special link where they could go in and get access to the course. We just want to teach them these concepts. We’re not going to call them, we’re not going to bother, we’re not trying to sell. Our business model is we educate, and then if this something you want to do, then we would hope that we’d earn your trust to come back to us. That URL is…
Cameron Christiansen: Infinitewealthconsultants.com/bestever.
Joe Fairless: It is now in the show notes for the team to put that up. Thank you so much, you two, for being on the show, talking about your approach to buying raw land and why buy raw land. Ideally, you sell it on terms, so that you can get that cash flow, but flipping it is good too if you’re making a good profit, and then how you fund that through your infinite banking approach. Thanks for being on the show. I hope you two have a Best Ever day and talk to you again soon.
Cameron Christiansen: Thanks, Joe.
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