Mignon Francois was down to her last five dollars. Her power had been turned off and she flipped on a generator only at night so her kids would have some “normal” in their life. But things weren’t normal then, and would be even less normal as she flipped that last five dollars into a cupcake empire. She’ll share the story today that’ll make you realize that you CAN do that thing that’s been frightening you.
First, though, in our headline segment Social Security is in the news. It turns out that some Americans don’t receive any of America’s largest social program benefits. What does this have to do with your planning, even if you DO qualify? We’ll share.
Of course, Doug’s ready with some cupcake empire trivia AND we’ll also throw the Haven Life line all the way “across the pond” to the UK, where James has a question that our Stackers around the world probably have all asked themselves before.
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions are in our newsletter, The 201, available at StackingBenjamins.com/201.
- Why some public employees can’t collect Social Security (Investment News)
Big thanks to Mignon Francois for joining us today. Grab yourself a copy of the book Made from Scratch: Finding Success Without a Recipe.
Watch the interview with Mignon on our YouTube channel:
- What company founded by former investment banker Candace Nelson created the first cupcake ATM in 2012?
Need life insurance? You could be insured in 20 minutes or less and build your family’s safety net for the future. Use StackingBenjamins.com/HavenLife to calculate how much you need and apply.
- James from Across the Pond has a question about structuring his retirement portfolio, assuming no annuities, income funds, or other assets outside of equities. Up until 2015, Brits were required to spend 75% of their retirement savings on an annuity.
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Written by: Kevin Bailey
Miss our last show? Listen here: Thrill on a Budget: Save Big and Have a Blast at Theme Parks.
You’re gonna end up eating a steady
diet of government cheese and living
in a van down by the river.
Live from Joe’s mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking Benjamin Shirt.
I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug, and get ready to take your Memorial Day desserts to the next level. Here to inspire us with her story and skills is the Brains Behind the Cupcake Collection stores Minan Francois in our headlines, why can’t some public employees receive Social Security? We’ll share the reason plus how that might affect your planning.
We’ll also throw out the Haven Lifeline to lucky listener James, who wants advice on structuring his investments. And then I’ll smother you all in some sugar filled trivia. And now two guys who know how to make personal finance delicious, Joe. And, oh,
hey, there’s stackers. Sit back and relax because you’re about to have an hour of financial fun. We are here, we’re ready to go. And Mr. Og, across the table. Last sip of the, uh, what is this, that vodka before you launch into this beautiful Wednesday?
Just, uh, vodka. That’s how I roll vodka.
Geez. Hey, we’re lucky he put it into a glass, Joe.
We, we totally are.
Instead of the brown bag over the gray goose. Right. We gotta,
that’s not gray goose. I’m not, I wouldn’t be ashamed of drinking gray goose from the bottle. It’s the, uh, Pop off. Pop off it. Smirnoff Mad Dog 2020. That’s coming out of the, uh, brown bag. Is Med Dog
2020 vodka? I didn’t know it was a vodka.
no, it’s, no, it’s, that’s just a vague, it’s just alcohol. It’s just as generic as it, it’s just alcohol.
It is, it’s flavored booze. Alt liquor, I think is what it, you could always tell
it’s leading up to Memorial Day when, number one, we have Robert Niles on Monday. Number two, we have a fantastic baker or chef on Wednesday and number three.
Oh, gee’s got the brown bag. Ready to, ready to celebrate the coming summer. Uh, and Yam Francois is here, man, her cupcakes just, I, I just, I, mm, I love cupcakes. You guys love cupcakes. You can’t even say words. I can’t. I am, there are very few times, and I can’t say words, but all you gotta say is cupcakes. And I’m like, oh, glass of milk.
I’m good to go. We got that. We got a great headline. But you know what, before that, I think, uh, new stackers especially, you need to sit down for a moment as we share with you a little of, uh, this, I suppose that that applies to veteran stackers as well. Everyone, I
was gonna ask why just new stackers?
I don’t know.
I panicked. All right. Too much pressure for a Wednesday. The segue game is off. Here we go. We got a great show. Let’s get rolling.
And now it’s time for your favorite part of the show, our Stacking
Benjamins headlines. Our headline today comes to us from investment news. This is written by Mary Beth Franklin.
Mary Beth writes why some public employees can’t collect Social security. Uh, social security’s. Many rules she says are certainly perplexing, but none spark more anger and confusion than the offset rules that reduce or eliminate social security benefits for public employees who also receive a pension based on a job at which they didn’t pay f.
FICA payroll taxes. Welcome to the bazaar world of the Windfall elimination provision and the government pension offset rule. While og, I am not gonna go into that for the 0.3% of listeners in Stacky Benjamins world, who this applies to. By the way, have you, have you ever had a client who this applied to?
security? Yeah. It applies to a number of public employees. It, it happens a lot in education space. Where they don’t contribute to Social Security, but instead are mandated to contribute to their, like an additional pension amount, which is kind of like the teacher version of social security in some states, uh, that can get pretty complicated too because from a planning standpoint, you just kind of always assume that their social security and if you’re not paying attention, if you’re a planner and you’re working with somebody who has a public service job or has been employed by public services for a long time.
You have to get a, a social security statement from your client because you may be assuming, Hey, you’re like everybody else. You’re gonna get social security. Oh, look, and you have a pension. Life is good. And then it gets really close to retirement. Find out we don’t get social security. I only get this pension.
Oh. Changes the cash flow a little bit, as I say. Yeah,
slightly. Well, that’s a lot of money over your retirement years. And the reason I bring that up, yeah. The reason I bring that up is not, not at all because of the fact that this affects everybody. What I bring it up for is exactly what you mentioned, og, which is that if you’ve got a new job on the horizon, big statistics lately have a ton of people the last three years changing jobs.
Looking at new opportunities, doing new, exploring new careers. When you do that, you can’t just look at what the salary’s gonna be. If you’re taking on a new job and this seems like it’s a fit and you don’t have any social security benefit, you’re gonna need to know that for your financial plan. But it’s also the same if it, you don’t have disability coverage or you don’t have life insurance coverage, whatever it might be.
If it comes with a pension and you didn’t even know it, you know, you might look at a company that has a pension, pays a little less than one that doesn’t have a pension, and go, uh, that’s, that’s not as good an offer. Maybe it is as good an offer.
There’s a lot of questions going on right now about social security and solvency and what does that look like, and, and there’s some attitude I think, that some people have, which is, give me my money, you know, I’m withholding, you know, 6.2% of my paycheck for social security.
Give it to me. Don’t, I don’t need to give this to the government. I I can manage it on my own. And yet statistically we know that that’s not even the, in the ballpark of being accurate for the vast majority of people. And, and you’re lucky that there is social security, uh, to force you to basically save this 6.5% or 6.2% your entire life because if without it, you would not save this.
So be careful what you wish for. I know that social security is far from perfect, but um, It’s like they say social security is the worst form of retirement planning except for all the other ones, right? I mean, that’s a paraphrasing of, you know what, uh, who, who was that? Uh, what’s his name? You know, dude smokes the best.
The one guy. The one
guy. 1492. World War ii, world 1492. Oh, now you can get it right now. You know the right name. Winston? Churchill. Churchill. There you go. Yes. I just had to flex that Doug. Yeah. After the basement corrected you, I found a piece on this from, uh, matthew zane zia.com, the career expert talking about some of the, some of the benefits that you wanna look for in a comprehensive benefit package.
And you want to dive into, you wanna evaluate paid time off. That’s a big one. How much work flexibility you’re gonna have. What is the retirement plan? How much matches there? To your point, og? Mm-hmm. Is there a pension? The health insurance, as you know, health insurance can be all over the place. You might pay next to nothing for health insurance, and you might be paying a good portion of your salary back in to help cover your health insurance, dental and vision.
Alternative healthcare options like an FSA or an hsa, life insurance disability coverage. Possibility of bonuses, some good stuff. Do you get a company car? Doug Doug, Doug z Camino is our company car here in the basement. Yeah. And everybody is
using it. It’s not like, My company car. It’s the
That’s why we call it the company. Car sucks. A company car is there to be used. Hey Joe, I don’t
wanna put two fine. A point on that list you just rattled off. But on pto, if that’s something that’s important to you and you’re also thinking about it in terms of compensation, I know some people consider how would accrue and, and whether or not, you know, how much you can carry over and how much can get paid out if you leave the company.
If I’m not mistaken, companies have moved to unlimited flexible time off because that does not accrue and they do not have to pay that to you when you leave. Is that why? Yeah.
I wonder why so many companies were going to that. I’m like, that’s kind of cool. It also puts a little pressure on you, right?
Yeah. To go, do I take time off? Do I not take time off? Whereas if a
company says, oh yeah, we, you know, you get two weeks to start and then you get, you know, another year or another week after five years or whatever it is, and that’s. The more traditional where if you don’t use it, there’s a dollar value to that time.
Yeah. And when you leave, they’ve gotta pay that out. That is not necessarily the case with unlimited pto that companies
have now jokes on them though, because they’ll end up with an unlimited paycheck on the, on the last you’ll just have a infinity paycheck. Well, I’ve unlimited vacation time and you owe it to me.
I’m just going on vacation for the rest of my career
time’s five years. And the other thing is that study after study have shown that people are taking far less time off when it’s unlimited than if they say they’ve got three weeks for the year. People usually find a way to use those three weeks, not the case with unlimited.
I think for me personally, I like it better if I need time off, I take it. If I don’t it, it feels like you trust
Yeah. But you’re an entrepreneur and you, you know, you don’t think the way a lot of employees of the man. Like og and I’d think, yeah, we work
for the mom, right? We work specifically for the mom, you know?
But it is funny, Doug, to your point, I think that that may also be a sign of higher turnover, right? I mean, that might be my next question. Well, if you don’t want me to bank my P T O, Then that’s because a lot of people have banked PTO in the past. In other words, a lot of people leaving the company have banked it and taken this time at the end of their career or their time at the company, right?
Well, there are usually limits to how much you can carry over. There used to be, you know, 10 years ago, somebody would say, oh, I’ve got six months of, of vacation stacked up. And either they take it all at the end and just get paid out six months, you know, as they are walking out the door or you know, they have a big sabbatical or, or get a big, big old check.
That’s not the case Now, usually that’s capped. And most employers at, you know, sometimes they’ll let you take a week over or two weeks over, but not typically much more than that. So I don’t, I don’t know that the turnover thing applies.
There are some other pieces here which people don’t think a lot about.
Like, you know, the company car thing, tuition assistance is, can be a big one. Employee discounts. Not a big one, but a very interesting one that I know. Talking to tons of HR people. HR people tell me like nobody takes advantage of the discounts that we get at, you know, places like Costco or the
Just let me know that he gets. Bridgestone tires at cost, and of course he just let me know that about three months after I bought new snow tires for the truck. That would’ve been really good to know. Fin turn could have
helped a little earlier. Could have helped. Yeah, a lot.
are expensive. Paid parental leave could be a big one.
Flexible scheduling, but I like the last one on here. Severance packages. I dare somebody to say during their interview process. Yeah. So what’s your
severance package? Tell me about what happens when you wanna fire me.
In about six to eight months, because it’s coming
in about six to eight minutes. More like it.
Yeah. We of course, will dive even more into, uh, comparing benefits in our newsletter. The 2 0 1, which is free, comes out every Tuesday and Thursday. It’s a great. Curated list of deeper dives into the topics that we talk about. Stacky Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1 gets you to the 2 0 1 signup page. M Francois is just an amazing woman.
Not only. Does she have one of the premier cupcake companies in the nation with locations in both Nashville and in New Orleans? The cupcake collection, she was down to her last $5. I’m not going to spill that story. We’re gonna have her tell her amazing story, and of course, because it is the week leading up to Memorial Day.
We always ask our celebrity chef that we invite on the show this week to share some best recipes to make the family outing the picnic, the get together the barbecue a little bit better. So minyan. Today’s also agreed to share some, some cupcake recipes if you’re not gonna go to the cupcake collection or, or order them from her.
But before we get there, I think we have some, uh, cupcake related trivia, Doug. Sure
do. Joe. Hey there, stackers. I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Duggan. I’m somewhat of a baker myself. Since today’s all about cupcakes, I’ve got just the thing to go with it. You may be thinking milk, but no, it’s an atm. Yep. That’s today’s perfectly paired trivia.
In 2012, this company, founded by a former investment banker, opened its first cupcake atm. After two years of testing, the ATM held up to 350 of their signature. Red velvet cupcakes, making them a cupcake. Innovator, what? Sea Cup Company was the first to create a cupcake atm. I’ll be back after I find the special ingredient for my brownies.
It’s stashed around here somewhere.
Hey there, stackers. I’m Backless Apron wearer and Sea cup aficionado. Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug. We’re talking about the perfect thing to go with cupcakes, you know, besides fish sauce and atm. This company founded in 2005, created not only the first Cupcake atm, but also the first purpose-built Cupcake bakery and the cupcake truck.
I’ve never said the word cupcake so many times anyway, so what company founded by former investment banker Candace Nelson, created the first cupcake ATM in 2012. It was none other than Sprinkles. And now a woman who has innovated her way from $5 to just over 6 million with her company, the Cupcake collection, Minn Francois,
and here she comes down to the basement.
Minnan Francois here. How are you?
doing well. Thank you for having
me. Well, thank you so much for agreeing to tell your story to our stacker community. Things have not always been this good for you. I wanna open up this conversation kind of where you open up your new book, which is there’s a knock on your door and it’s your neighbor and she’s got like this great offer, but you’re not happy about this great offer.
Could you, can you share this story with everybody?
Yes, my neighbor comes over, I’m sitting in my house doing the Dave Ramsey babysit plan in the back of my house with no electricity because we can’t afford it, and we are running our house on a generator. And so I sit in the house in the dark, um, or go away from the house all day to save up the gas in the generator so that when the children come home, they can have normalcy.
I’m also, at this time in my life, filling the. The bathtub with water so that my children can take back. So oftentimes we’re warming water over a fire in a pot and pouring that little bit at a time into the tub. And so I have no electricity, I have no running water, and I’m doing the Dave Ramsey baby step plan.
When I realize all I have is $5 and I haven’t even fed the family for the week. When my neighbor knocks on the door and says, Hey, I have a great idea. You should make cupcakes for all of my clients for the season, and I will buy them from you. That sounds great. The problem is she doesn’t know that I’m sitting in my house with no electricity and I only have $5.
So she sees the perplexity in my face and says, listen, I can’t pass them all out at one time. So as you make them, I’ll pay you. And you know, sometimes people mean that they’ll pay you in 30 days or they’ll pay you when they get an invoice, or they’ll pay you by Friday. And if I was gonna take this deal, she was gonna need to pay me when I gave her product, which was gonna be today.
Like, I, I need to get paid today. And so, okay, so what you’re saying is you’re gonna pay me today. And she said yes. And so I was like, okay, I’ll take it. And I shut the door and I begin to have a come to Jesus moment with God. Like, God, I bet. Why would you give me this opportunity when I only have $5? And God said, but I feed birds and they don’t toil or store up in Barnes.
So how much more will I do for you who looks like me? And I say, okay. And I test him to see if he’s real. And I go around the corner to the Kroger and I buy everything that I could buy with that $5, and I turn it into 60 that night because like she said, she would, she paid me. And so then I took the five back that I started with and I put that back just case everything goes wrong, and I turned that into 600 by the end of the week.
And I’ve been flipping that same money for 17 years to the tune of no debt. I owned a house now where the cupcake collection lives. It was the same house that we were losing to foreclosure on the day that we opened the store, and I did it with no knowledge of the business. And what a lot of people don’t know is that I didn’t know how to bake, not even out of a box.
When she offered me this opportunity, it was because I had decided that I wanted to be. Out. Right. And so when you, when you decide that you wanna get out of the situation that you’re in, you gotta figure out what does out look like for you? Well, out for me meant that I would be able to have electricity on a regular basis.
And I had been going around the neighborhood because Dave Ramsey was saying you could get out of debt by having a big sale or a garage sale. And my thought was, well, I guess all we can do is have a bake sale because we don’t have anything we can sell because we sold everything we had just to get here to Nashville.
Which as I’m sitting here talking to you about it, I was a gambler with my life.
You tru you truly were. And I’m wondering, you’re following the Dave Ramsey plan. Mm-hmm. You talk in your book about how you, you, you’re using the envelope system and of course there’s only, there’s five bucks put in an envelope at that time.
How did you get to that point though? How did you get to the point where there was just five bucks there?
Yeah, so I was a stay-at-home mom. And so, you know, as a stay at home mom, your job is to manage the resources of the finances of the family. Well, I had a husband who didn’t feel like his priority was to bring me all of the money first and then let me part it out from there.
So what he would do was give me whatever was left af after he was done using it. So what I would have to do would then to be, start stuffing cash and hiding money. And collecting it over time to sort of build up enough in order to pay off anything
you, you said your kids said red beans and rice again.
Again. Like you, you could hear ’em grown as you were making it.
Yes. We’re from New Orleans, so red beans and rice is a very inexpensive meal and ours wasn’t even gonna have meat in it. It was just going to be vegetarian, red beans and rice. Well,
it made me laugh as I, because I have a personal connection to red beans and rice.
My father-in-law, who was my best friend when he was alive, just a wonderful man and uh, but he was a health addict and, and he thought that red beans and rice was the cure for everything. So when my twins were like four, I would have to take ’em out to dinner after they went to Papa Dave’s. Because he’d tried to get ’em to eat red beads and rice every day.
So my kids at least had the opportunity. Yours didn’t. Yours had to
suck down the red beads and rice. That’s all they could
do. Yeah. Well, we’re from New Orleans, so red beads and rice is not like a consolation prize or anything like that. It’s kind like, okay, but just not every day, mom.
Right. It reminds me of the time growing up.
We got, uh, I don’t know what happened. There was a salesman that came through and. We had hot dogs and uh, they mistakenly bought too many hotdog. So every day we had macaroni and cheese and hotdog, or we had rice and hot dogs and we had, there was hot dogs in everything we had. And Amazing.
That is so funny that you said hotdog though.
I was gonna say, the other thing we did have that I don’t think I mentioned in the book is hot dogs. And that was because the, my like to this day, like my children mostly. We’ll not eat a hotdog because my son always tells this story of how we had a whole box of hotdogs that we got for free from like some rep or something like that at one point, and all we had to eat was hotdog, so it was just like either hotdog or re beans and rice.
And he was like, I never. Wanna see a hotdog again, and my daughters will not eat hot dogs.
And by the way, for everybody listening, obviously this is a difficult time in your life and I’m not making fun or making light of it, but it certainly is great that we can sit and laugh about it now, right? Yeah.
Because like, like everything, and for people listening, you will get through this if you’re in a similar situation. I mean, we’re here to prove that you will get through this and someday. You’ll be laughing about it too before this, uh, the cupcake collection. And I just, I go to your website and I start like Pavlov’s dog start salivating.
I just, I just wanna, if I was your next door neighbor, I think I’d weigh 700 pounds. Cuz I’d be consuming all of your I couldn’t
work for your, yes. What? You wouldn’t gain any weight. Actually. You’d be like me and you’d lose 50 pounds eating them every day. You know why? Because we put a lot of love in our product, and we believe that if love conquers all, it has got to include calories.
that’s, that’s fabulous. Well, then I would wanna go, yeah, let’s go. I’m, I’m gonna send you my resume as soon as we’re done. But, but, but you said this wasn’t the first business you’d started, you’d tried to start businesses before this one? Yeah. What made the cupcake collection stick where the other businesses had not?
Because I was a sick and tired of being sick and tired. B, I was afraid of God, and I’ll explain that part to you, but three A, b, and three, it was just that I had always started. It was finishing that I had a problem with. I would always start businesses and I think I would find fun in starting, but there was, you know, as soon as I would hit a rock, you know, or a hard place or hit a, a place where I had to go out and sell myself for, you know, be outgoing, I would quit.
And so my problem was, is that I was a quitter and the first thing I had to learn was to quit quitting. And the reason I was afraid of God was because I was being awakened every night at three 17. Exactly. By really. Mm-hmm. There was no alarm clock, but when I’d wake up, my eyes would pop open. It was three 17 and I thought it was to go check the stove and the oven.
And I found out that that’s not what it was about. That God was trying to speak to me and this was the only time I would be silent. So the first day that I came to say, okay, God, well how do you hear your voice? And please don’t talk though, because if I actually heard it, I might just pass out and not live or die right now.
And you know, so I decided to open up the Bible. And go to chapter three and verse 17. And in that, that day, I got my first set of instructions. And so I was being awakened like this every night, and I would show up into my living room and sit on the sofa and open my Bible and just go through the whole Bible starting at chapter three in any book and ride through until the sun would come up.
One of the last verses I read was between Deuteronomy 30, chapter 19 and Joshua, I believe it was one in nine, and it said, I’m setting before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that your family can live, and if you do not turn to the left or to the right from anything that I’ve shared with you today, you will be prosperous and successful in everything that you do.
And so the reason why I say I was afraid of God is cuz I had had God ideas before, not just good ideas. I had had God ideas before and because I believed these were my ideas, you know, cuz we’re so arrogant to believe that anything we come up with is ours anyway. At least that’s my thought. God was saying to me, it was my idea in the first place, and I’m the one that gave it to you.
So when you think that you are responsible for the success of it, you’re not. I just need you to be consistent and show up to it every day. And so when, when God was awakening me, and then he says, okay, now here it is. You’ve gotten everything. I had been writing feverishly in a journal every night until the summer come up.
Anything that will pop into my head because I learned scientifically ideas go away if you don’t write them down. Have you ever had one of those ideas, Joe, that just like at home, I’m gonna write that down.
Yeah. So I wake up in the middle of the night and I think, oh, that’s fabulous, but I’ll write it down tomorrow morning.
And the next morning I’m like, that idea was so good and it’s gone. It’s just completely gone like that. Yes.
Yeah. So I learned to write all the ideas down and when he stopped waking me up, I had filled an entire journal book and it was all the instructions that I was gonna need to open up the cupcake collection and make it successful.
it’s funny for entrepreneurs and people who are artists, well, heck people, even in their everyday job if we suffer from procrastination. I’ve been, I’ve been reading Stephen Pressfield’s, the War of Art, which I don’t know minyan if you’ve read this book, but he talks about in the middle chapters about how there’s something spiritual going on and about how he said that, uh, we have this ego.
That thinks that we’re the one creating. And he said, the magic happens when you realize that it’s already there. You just gotta wake up and bring it into existence. So it’s funny how you and Steven Presfield talking off the same, same song sheet.
Yeah. Because I believe that is so true and I love that. I haven’t read it, but I will go and get it.
Today. Oh, you’ll love it. This person is speaking
my language. Oh, he completely is. And you know, so many of us procrastinate and he just breaks through that. Uh mm-hmm. That procrastination. Let’s talk about really a symbol for you to make sure that you were successful. Because that day, that first week, you also put out a sign.
And I think that sign, I felt like that sign, even though it was for your neighborhood, it was really more for you. Like every time you passed it, it was this reminder. Tell me about the sign.
Yeah, I put out the sign as soon as I made that $600, that bakery coming soon. I had my neighbor, one of my other neighbors had a printing company and he gave it to me for free cuz he was so excited.
Did, excited about it. Listen, Germantown, Nashville was excited about the cupcake collection. So when I started this business, I didn’t know how to bake, not even out of a box, but I practiced on them. So as I was learning recipes and trying things, I would go knock on their doors and say, Hey, it’s me again.
My family says this is good. Will you try this? And they were like, heck yeah, bring it on. And so I would feed them things and they wanted the world to experience it. So this neighbor ends up making me assigned to put on my porch. It’s a little like three by. Three sign. It is not big at all, but it says Bakery coming soon, and it was mine and Bakery did not come soon.
It took me two years of working every day like it was a job before the story forever even opened.
You talk about your neighbors. Uh, I read somewhere that your neighbors called your house the Lemon Crack house. Is that
true? Yes. Yes. They called my house the Lemon Crack House because the first cupcake that I perfected was a lemon one.
Dipped in glaze, which is what I was gonna, um, I’m probably gonna talk to you about that later on. And my house before I moved in had been a crack house in the neighborhood. As a matter of fact, as we were cleaning up the house, my baby brought me something. He said, mommy, I brought you something. And it was a broken crack pipe.
man. Holy cow. Yeah. You have a wonderful chapter about your experience working in corporate America, because as your earlier businesses weren’t working out, you went and applied for other jobs. Yes. You, you try to get a job with FedEx, and by the way, talk about also, also you think you might have the job and your phone gets disconnected, so you can’t take it.
But that leads to this opportunity with at and t. Mm-hmm. What did you learn through the at and t experience and then later on the Home Depot experiences you worked in corporate America?
Oh yeah. So I learned how good I was at sales. I didn’t think I was a good salesperson, but I always had balloons on my chair.
So if a challenge was set up, I would always win that challenge, and I end up getting on the number one producing team in the building. But I, what I learned at at and t was customer service. I learned the value of not leaving, people waiting, and I think it even aggravates my children, my. That are on my team members today.
When I say things like, why are you sending an email? Pick up the phone. Call people. Why are you waiting? Do it right now. And they’re like, you know, everything doesn’t have to be done right now. But they tested us to see if you could tell how long you left somebody waiting in silence. So they’d have you close your eyes and just sit there.
And when you felt like, you know, a minute had passed, raise your hand. And some of us were opening our eyes 10 seconds in. Really that’s soon. You just really, you really don’t realize how long you’re leaving, people waiting. So I learned customer service at at and t and that I was a really good salesperson at Home Depot.
I learned how to put a product together, so I became the on staff writer and I did all the ghost writing for the founders and I, I created a paper that was internally, Distributed. So I became the head reporter for all the in-store reporters. So I learned how to market. I learned how to write.
Commercially, um, I had a degree in this, but you know, you have to actually have experience. So, yeah, in the beginning stages of my business, it was me who was writing all the publicity, who was make, who was taking the pictures of all the product and posting those on the website because every stupid thing you’ve ever had to do is taking you from where you are to where you wanna be.
Do you recommend going through the corporate America route before somebody tries to go off
on their own? I think a lot of people will end up in corporate America somewhere. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong per se with corporate America. And lemme tell you why my mother is. An amazing administrator.
She’s 75 years old. I was laughing because she said, you know, my God, I learned something today. She’s like, I’m still learning every day. But my cousin called her on the phone and said, auntie, I’m ready to start my business. I need you to do this or that. And my mother’s never owned a business in her life, but she has.
Opened up enough businesses for her children and ran other people’s businesses that she knows really everything it takes to open up a business correctly and how to run it properly. I think you still execute entrepreneurial spirit, even if you’re working at a corporate job. I believe just your client is that one customer, whatever company that you’re working for.
So I believe everybody is in an entrepreneur. It’s just that those people are in the business of their own labor,
and then you also got your degree at that time. Do you recommend the college path?
Yeah. I don’t necessarily believe that’s the way you also have to go either, because again, once you get your degree, you’ve got to go to.
What I call the school of hard knocks. Right, right. In order to apply the science that you learn. Yeah. So I, I don’t think that everybody has to also go to school, cuz I believe I got, yes, I got my bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, but I got my master’s from the school of hard
knocks. You sure did.
And by the way, speaking of your mom, just a wonderful. Chapter Plus on your mom and on the wealth that she brought to your family, like struggling with money but still rich in so many different ways, and all the stuff she taught you. There’s so many, so many lessons there. What would you say with the Cupcake collection has been the biggest aha you’ve had about business and good business and serving people?
Hmm. I think the biggest aha moment I’ve had with the cupcake collection is all you have is all you need to get you from where you are to where you wanna be. I was waiting in those two years to get enough equipment to have enough money to find the right storefront and all of those things to open up.
My business went all along. Everything was already available inside of my house. I opened that store with a dorm size refrigerator and a KitchenAid mixer because that’s what I had, and that’s what could pass the health inspection all along. I thought I needed to have a commercial size refrigerator and needed all these commercial mixers.
Yes, I was going to need those things one day, but I didn’t need them on day one.
We always let that get in our way. I think about young podcasters that I’ve mentored and they’re like, so what microphone you use? I’m like, it’s not about the microphone. Yeah. But I will say this though, Manan, KitchenAid mixers, those are gonna be around like, you know, I’m, we’ll be long gone.
They’ll be talking about, it’s like they’re dinosaurs, you know? And uh, and about how when humans were around and they’ll be like, but they had these, those KitchenAid mixers, those last forever.
Yes. I was so excited when I was able to first buy my first KitchenAid, make sure, because I was mixing by hand.
Like with a handheld mixer. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But even now my handheld mixers are KitchenAid. Well,
and KitchenAid, if you wanna sponsor the show or, or or sponsoring yard, just give us a call cuz we’re, we’re clearly fans of product. We would love that. I know. It is Memorial Day week here. Yes. And a lot of people are taking the family out to the park.
They’re getting together with loved ones. Nothing better to bring them than cupcakes. Yes. So we will have a link. By the way people wanna order from the cupcake collection and talk about this interview and talk about your book with family. But if they can’t or if they wanna give, give cupcakes a tribe minan.
Mm-hmm. Can you give our stackers a little help with maybe making it taste better? Yes.
So if you’re gonna be taking cupcakes out to the picnic right. Or out to, to the cookout. I. Sometimes, like especially during this holiday week, it begins to get hot outside for the very first time. So I would say take yourself a cooler with you, but don’t pack it down with ice.
Take yourself a cooler and get yourselves one of those pre. Packed ice packs that sort of screw into the lid. Yeah. Yeah. And only put one of those inside so that the cooler is cool so that your product doesn’t melt. That’s one way that I was wanna say to have a good cupcake experience, cuz when you’ve slaved in the kitchen over your cupcakes and making them, you definitely don’t want them to melt in the sun.
And then another thing that I would say is make. Them melt proof. One of the things you can do, instead of trying to put a traditional icing on the top of your cupcake, dip them in a a confection of sugar and sort of water mixture and cover the whole cupcake in it. It’s gonna seal a cupcake, but also give you something that’s not gonna melt and give you just enough sweetness to add to your cupcake.
And then the last thing that I would say that would make, well, it won’t be the last thing. The third thing I would say that can make your cupcakes better is when you go. Out and get a box mix. Try the mix ins that they suggest. One of the best things I’ve done is to add an extra egg besides the one that they call for, or if I’m trying to save some calories, I would exchange the oil for.
Applesauce. That’s one way that you can exchange some of the fat out of a cake and still make it super moist. But the final thing that I would say that can make your cupcakes better is to visit the cupcake collection.com and let us just ship them to you.
just press the easy button stackers.
Just press button, you know, we’ll have a link to that and we’ll have a link to the book in our show notes at stacky Benjamins dot com. Minyan, have a great memorial day. Thank you so much for. For sharing your story. It’s a great, it’s, it’s such a great story, and I know you helped a lot of people today.
Thank you so much. Thank you
so much. I hope that they will visit amazon.com and pick up my due book, it’s called Made From Scratch, finding Success Without a Recipe, or Then come on over to Instagram at minan dot Francois and tell me what they thought about it. Hey, this is Jen Pilcher, Navy spouse of 23 years, and when I’m not helping military spouses connect in our digital community, I’m Stacking Benjamins.
Big thanks to minion. What a, what a story. Og. And it just shows, again, when you think that you can’t do something, you’re probably right. But if you think that you can, even if you’re down to your last five bucks, No electricity using a generator, just when the kids are home, $5 and what she’s turned it into.
Pretty impressive. If you can’t get inspired by that, I don’t know what it’s gonna take. You know, and we get notes from people all the time that they’re struggling. They’re afraid to open up a Roth ira, or they’re worried about being able to open a savings account, not sure if they increase their savings by X amount of money per month.
You know, and Jan shows that those things are pretty easy compared to what she went through. Mm-hmm. And she made it happen. Wonderful lady. Pretty sweet and super happy to help her tell her story. Hey, let’s throw a haven lifeline and tackle some of life’s greatest questions. Our friends at Haven Life Insurance Agency, og, they put what you value first.
What cupcakes do you value most?
Well, I don’t like frosting, so I take any kind of cake. Oh. One
with you, so with
you, take the frosting and scoop it right off into the garbage disposal. So
wrong with the spoon, it’s all about the
frosting. All of it. Like, do you even like, just a little bit, just for a little bit of extra moisture.
is, I, I won’t be obsessive compulsive about it, but I will scrape it down. You know, if there happens to be a drop left, it’s fine, but Yeah. Okay. When we make cupcakes at home or when Mrs. OG does. Should make those little mini ones, like a mini cupcake. Have you seen the mini cupcake tin? We don’t even bother putting frosting on them because
they’re like, do you know what a cupcake without frosting is called?
OG cake. It’s called a muffin. You’re making muffins is what you’re doing. That’s right. Now you’re not making cups.
Chocolate cake. It’s
chocolate cake, whatever. It’s a chocolate muffin. That’s what you’re having.
Be that as it
may. It’s delicious. It goes well with OGs Muffin top. Nice. Yeah. It’s your loved ones in your time and a muffin or two.
It’s why they made buying quality term life insurance actually simple. You go to stacky Benjamins dot com slash HavenLife now for a free quote. Love what they do at Haven Life because they have cupcakes with all the frosting, the delicious frosting. Their prices are affordable. All policies issued by the parent company, mass Mutual, more than 160 year old insurer, and as frosting on this deal, you don’t have to wait for several weeks for a decision.
Really lovely customer support. How about that? Nice. We want sprinkles on it too. Uh, robust online life insurance calculators for people who aren’t sure what they’re gonna need. That’s the sprinkles. You want a cherry on top. Uh, prices are affordable. How about that? Wow. Yes. It’s amazing.
Joe, you just painted a picture with words and cupcakes and online cupcakes, financial products.
It’s amazing. Today we’re gonna throw out the lifeline too. A guy. I am 90% sure it’s been a long time. Listener all the way from the uk. James, how you doing James?
Good afternoon, gentlemen. Douglas, I’m calling from the UK with a question that I hope you can help me with, but firstly, a little background in the uk.
Before 20 15, 70 5% of your retirement savings had to be spent on an annuity. Which explains why our insurance companies have such nice buildings, but it means that we are relative newcomers to structuring our investments in retirement. Would you and OC the other chap, let me have your thoughts on how to structure your retirement funds, assuming no annuities, income funds, or other assets outside of equities.
For example, I’m thinking of two years in cash. Two years in a 60 40 fund and the rest in hundred percent equities to allow me to ride out most market downturns and also benefit from long-term growth. Obviously everyone’s ability to deal with market volatility is different, but I’d like your general views here, please.
Your advice is most appreciated and will as his customer be largely ignored, and I’ll invest everything in gold, crypto, and time shirts. Okay, for the free t-shirt. I understand that Douglas covers one of these, but I don’t think he needs one. This, the last time I saw him in London many years ago, he gave me a cup filled with one pound coins.
No idea what that was about, but if you do need to do something with the voucher, please donate it to your favorite charity or auction it off.
Thank you both. Okay, Joe, I’m just, fire me right now and hire this guy. He’s amazing. This dude is incredible and he might have been the guy that I gave all that money to cuz this is how, that’s how he spoke.
We do a UK meetup, we gotta call og. The oc, we call mooc
champ. It’s fabulous. Fantastic. I love gentlemen and Doug. That’s good, Douglas. That’s, that’s good. Uh, uh, so structuring your portfolio, og, it’s interesting that he brings up the annuity today in the fact that you know that social security truly is like an annuity for Americans.
So our headline today, James, is kind of about the American equivalent of that. But now that, uh, he’s responsible for a lot of his own retirement, uh, let’s walk him through structuring it,
which is way better. By the way. Being in control is, is way better. I think as you look at from an investment time horizon standpoint, I think the mistake a lot of people make is they assume that when you get to retirement, you gotta be conservative.
The reality is, is that you need some money the first year that you retire, and the second year and the third year, and so on and so forth. But you also need money available when you’re 30 years into retirement or your spouses. And statistically, there’s a pretty good chance that a non-smoking couple who’s 65, 1 of those people’s gonna live to be 92.
So you’ve got almost a, a, a one in four chance of, of one person being alive still 30 years in the future almost. So you need to have an income that continues to rise with inflation. And anything that you put that’s conservative cash or fixed income is not gonna increase with inflation over time and you don’t really feel the effects.
I mean, we have in the last maybe two years or so, we’ve had a sensation of what inflation feels like, but inflation overall, uh, for a long period of time does, it’s hard to get your fingers on what that’s like, cuz you know, a dollar turns into a dollar three and you go, eh, whatever, and turns into a dollar six and you’re like, eh, whatever.
But it’s the fact that over 25 years or 30 years, that dollar turns to $2 and 50 cents, you know, through inflation. That purchasing power risk is the biggest thing. So the vast majority of your money needs to be invested in things that have the opportunity to beat inflation. The only thing that beats inflation over long periods of time is the ownership of companies lending to companies or lending to governments just doesn’t do that.
So you need to have money to sustain any market declines so that you don’t have to pull money out. While the market’s going down, we advocate between two and three years worth of spending in something that’s liquid, like cash or fixed income. You know, cash or bonds. You can go as long as five years, but I wouldn’t go as few fewer than two from an emergency fund cash position in your portfolio.
Two years worth of distributions. So just kind of working this out, let’s say that you had a million dollars and you were gonna draw $40,000 a year. That was gonna be your spending plan. And you wanna increase that, that 40,000 with inflation every year between 80,000 and $200,000 should be in something very liquid and very safe and secure.
Cash, money market, CDs, government bonds, something like that. So, so two years of the 40,000, up to five years of the 40,000, the rest of the portfolio, that other 800 k or 900 k. All invested in a diversified portfolio of companies. That’s that simple draw from that eight or 900,000 every single month.
Unless your portfolio goes down a certain amount, you get to pick that number. Maybe it’s 20% where upon you draw from the cash bucket, the emergency bucket, until that’s drawn out. Because what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to prevent. Distributions from your portfolio while it’s going down. So you retire in January of 2008.
By the end of 2008, the market’s down 30%. You don’t wanna keep drawing from your, your stock account, you wanna just go, I, I’m gonna let it sit there and just recover. And I don’t know how long it’s gonna be, but I’ve got this bucket of cash that I can live on for five years or three years and not have to worry about touching my stock portfolio.
So it’ll do its thing statistically. That all works out. Over different time periods that we’ve tested it. So three years of spending and something secure, the rest of it invested in equities.
Off you go. And we’ve, uh, mentioned before, the only problem with that portfolio is not the portfolio, it’s. You, and I don’t mean you specifically, James, I mean that that does create a rollercoaster when the market goes up, periods of euphoria, which are, you shouldn’t think you’re a genius.
And on the other side periods of, uh, just these dismal bottom of the barrel feelings, which you’ve gotta be able to ward off without touching your money and making big changes. That’s the hard part. I mean, the
market’s gone down in the last 50 years, three times more than 50%. And yet over that 50 year period, a hundred thousand dollars investment is worth 22 million in a diversified stock portfolio.
that, uh, you can just drop the mic shows over people.
There it is. So the key isn’t the minus fifties. The key is stay invested during the minus fifties. The problem is, is that how do you stay invested during the minus fifties? If you’re taking money out, solve that by having the emergency bucket.
Two to three years, maybe four, maybe five, which gives you the timeframe to say, I can just live my life, keep doing my thing, and let this money compound and get back to, you know, being able to draw from it after whatever treacherous, you know, market fluctuations happen. It’s that simple. James,
thank you so much for your question.
Great to hear from you. If you’ve got a question for OG and would also like stacky Benjamins greatest Money show on Earth piece of swag, set your way. Head to stacky Benjamins dot com slash voicemail. Super easy to leave us a voicemail and we’ll answer your question. Great to hear from our friends around the world.
It’s so cool, og. When we jump on, uh, Instagram, we have a frequent person with us on Instagram, who’s in Norway. We have, uh, another fan who’s in Latvia who joins us fairly often. We have a couple great listeners in India that I hear from fairly often. It’s really cool to hear people around the. The us not just Stacking, Benjamins, Stacking, whatever denomination they’re trying to stack.
Don’t, don’t forget our
three listeners in Lichtenstein, uh, all,
all three, we got all three of them. As Doug said before, half the population of Lichtenstein, that’s our calling card, that they listen to our show. Hey, on the community calendar, we, we not only have the podcast, we of course have a robust YouTube channel where we have YouTube shorts, we have, uh, Extended plays of our interviews.
You can watch and I discuss what we talked about here today. If you’re somebody who finds yourself on YouTube a lot, subscribe to us there. youtube.com/ Stacking. Benjamins. You want all the places where you can keep up with us. Just head to our welcome guide. Stacking Benjamins dot com slash welcome will give you all the places where you can find us and get great money help.
Of course, if you’re not here for that type help, you seriously need a better team in your corner, you feel like you’re not making the right decisions. You are constantly just second guessing yourself. Well, you know it’s time to stop that and put a better foot forward. O Gina’s team are taking clients, so if you had to stack your Benjamins dot com slash og, that’ll be a link to his calendar.
You’ll be able to set up a meeting with OG and his team and see how his team can help your team make better decisions in the future. All right. That is it for today. Another day of a lot of takeaways, Doug. What should we have learned from this show?
Well, Joe, first, take some advice from mignon and create your own recipe for success.
Second, new job opportunity on the horizon. Take some advice from our headline and evaluate the total package and not just your salary. The big lesson. Only some people are fans of anchovies and brownies. My special ingredient is wasted on people with unsophisticated pallets.
Thanks to Minion Franco for joining us today. You can find her new book Made From Scratch, finding Success Without a Recipe, wherever books are Sold. We’ll also include links in our show notes at Stacking Benjamins dot com. This show is the Property of SB podcasts L L C, copyright 2023, and is created by Joe Saul-Sehy.
Our producer is Karen Repine. This show was written by Lacy Langford, who’s also the host of the Military Money Show. With help from me, Joe, and Doc G from the Earn Invest podcast, Kevin Bailey helps us take a deeper dive into all the topics covered on each episode in our newsletter called the 2 0 1.
You’ll find the four 11 on all things money at the 2 0 1. Just visit Stacking Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1. Tina Eichenberg makes the video version of this show. Once we bottle up all this goodness, we ship it to our engineer the amazing Steve Stewart. Steve helps the rest of our team sound nearly as good as I do right now.
Why don’t chat with friends about the show later? Mom’s friend Gertrude and Kate Youngin are our social media coordinators, and Gertrude is the room mother in our Facebook group called The Basement. So say hello when you see us posting online. To join all the basement fun with other stackers type Stacking Benjamins dot com slash basement.
Not only should you not take advice from these nerds, don’t take advice from people you don’t know this. Show us for entertainment purposes only before making any financial decisions, speak with a real financial advisor. I’m Joe’s Mom’s neighbor, Doug, and we’ll see you next time back here at the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I love this next clip. Guys, I wanna play you because it combines two things. It combines, first of all, just some of the idiotic stuff. You see people with too much time on their hands and not enough thinking about critical matters. Too much time to think about stuff that is totally irrelevant. And news organizations, sometimes creativity for handling.
Those incoming notes that people make, the criticism that makes you roll your eyes. This is, uh, one of the well, uh, best known TV stations. In the United States. This is from, uh, WGN Morning News. I strongly worded an email from Nick to address. He says, first I’m a big fan of double GN news, accurate, professional, and timely.
What I am not a fan of is Anchor saying thank you to every reporter after every report. Yeah. I’m not a fan of, oh, brother. Uh, please stop banking reporters. It’s their job. Yeah, it is their, Jeff, just move on and start reading the next story. We, as viewers cannot care if bankers feel the need to be over polite to field reporters.
Well, Nick, we agree and we
fix the problem.
That’s the latest
from Wrigley, Nancy Lou w G News.
Davis, w g News.
Kelly , Chicago
Police. They’re live all
morning long from Lollapalooza here in Grant Park. All right, Dan that does a for this morning. Thanks
so much. We have a strongly worded,
wgm played that on air.
it. Well done. Wasn’t that a whole gag that, I don’t remember what show it was. Was it Jimmy Fallon or somebody did like unnecessary bleeps and it made it, we’ve done
before. Way funnier. I remember we did that a few years ago where we just bleeped out random words throughout a show and it was great.
Makes it great. It’s fantastic and unfortunate of what our brain fills in on the bleeps.
Statistically, all that works out the end.