Trevor Gerszt of Goldco: “Invest in yourself first”

Invest in yourself first. Take care of your health and well being first. This way you can make sound financial decisions for your future and find investments that speak to you as an individual. Diversify your money. Don’t put your money all in one basket. Hedge your savings across various investment vehicles. Conduct research. Don’t […]

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Invest in yourself first. Take care of your health and well being first. This way you can make sound financial decisions for your future and find investments that speak to you as an individual.

Diversify your money. Don’t put your money all in one basket. Hedge your savings across various investment vehicles.

Conduct research. Don’t solely rely on what you hear, rely on what you learn.

As a part of my series about “Investing During The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Trevor Gerszt.

Trevor Gerszt is the Founder and CEO of Goldco, a precious metals dealer in Los Angeles specializing in wealth and asset protection. For more than 20 years, Trevor has sought out ways to help people build long-term wealth through the security and stability of precious metals and other alternative assets. Offering a range of investment accounts, Goldco has been named the #1 gold IRA provider in the U.S. by Inc. 500.

Thank you for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the finance industry?

As a young boy in South Africa, I would get silver dollars on birthdays and holidays. Collecting these coins became a beloved hobby of mine, as I marveled at the way they felt, looked, and sounded. Fast forward, as a young adult, I became more aware that my father may not have been making the best financial decisions for our family. So, I started working at an early age and realized that I enjoyed working hard, making money and planning for the future. In looking at where I put a stake in the ground for a career — the finance industry — and more specifically, precious metals was a natural fit for me. It has enabled me to bring together a childhood passion of collecting coins with providing a valuable service to create stability and wealth preservation.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

When I first started Goldco, I was the typical entrepreneur. I had so many ideas to build the business. I wore many hats from sales, marketing to customer service and operations — and I did it all. For a while, it worked great. I was growing the business steadily and making my mark in the industry. Over time, I had employees come and go and I distinctly recall one of them saying, “I don’t ever want to be in a position where a business lives or dies by me.” It got me really thinking about how I was running my company, what competitors were doing and my vision for long-term growth. At that moment, I realized that I was doing myself, my employees, my customers and my family a disservice by running the business this way. So, I decided to find a way to replace myself. It was so hard to let go of the reigns and it still is today, but there would be no way the company would be where it is today without the team I put in place who has taken us to new levels of growth year after year.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Yes, m. My team and I are always working on new projects. We’re constantly challenging each other with new thinking, new strategies, and new business ventures. In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, it has really challenged us to think about new ways to deliver greater security and wealth protection. We have definitely become more efficient and adaptable to the changing circumstances whether its helping individuals access funds for a health emergency, hedge their money against the stock market volatility or not make the same mistake after the 2008 financial crisis by not diversifying their portfolio before losing half of its value.

However, one of the more exciting areas were working on is cryptocurrency and digital precious metals. Our customers are looking for alternative ways to protect their retirement savings and through these progressive products; we can offer a broader range of options. While it’s certainly a challenging time, I’m excited about ways individuals are really taking control of their money and finding new ways to invest in their future.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

On a personal level, I would say that I am most grateful to my mother. For many reasons, but in particular, she taught me the value of saving for the future at a very young age.

In terms of business success, my former business partner led me to failure. I went into business with him believing that we would equally contribute value, blood, sweat and tears to growing our business. This was my first company and I treated it like it was my baby. I quickly saw that he was creating more fires and problems than helping to grow the business. I had to make the difficult decision to walk away and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Looking back at that experience, it gave me the courage to start Goldco, on my own terms and how I wanted to run the business. For that, I am grateful to him even though our partnership didn’t work out as I envisioned.

Let’s shift a bit to what is happening today in the broader world. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty and loneliness. From your experience, what are a few ideas that we can use to effectively offer support to our families and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

I’m definitely not an expert in handling anxiety in times of uncertainty. But, in general, I rely on 3 rules that help me cope with things that are out of my control.

Be Present. In times of uncertainty, and especially now, take advantage of the time to get even closer with friends and family. Ask them how they are feeling, listen more intently and find ways to engage. I find just talking about what’s on your mind helps to keep you mentally healthy.

Stay Positive. I know that is even more difficult these days, but when I’m in a negative environment or headspace, I seek out the good. What are the things that you are most grateful for? How can you help someone who may be having a difficult day? Can you give yourself a news or social media timeout?

Set a Plan. I believe the reason why people may be feeling so much heightened anxiety is that no one saw this coming nor did they plan for it. A way that you can reduce anxiety is to consider what is the worst case scenario and devise a plan to prevent or prepare for it.

Ok. Thanks for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. As you know the stock market and the economy in general have become extremely volatile and uncertain. Many people “dollar cost average” and put aside a monthly sum into a long-term savings plan for retirement, college, or a home purchase. If a loved one or a client came to you and said, “I have been saving and investing 500 dollars every month in an S&P 500 index fund. Over the next few months until the dust settles, should I be doing something else with my money?”, what would you say to them?

I am not a financial advisor but I have worked with thousands of individuals that want to diversify their portfolios. In this scenario, I would divide that 500 dollars and take 20% of savings and leave it in cash. I would then take 40% and put it in gold and silver. The remaining 40% I would leave in the market. The fundamental idea is that you diversify your money to hedge against any economic factors, global pandemics or market volatility.

I would caution that before you move your money, you do the research. Research any financial institutions, service providers or specific investments to ensure that you’re making an informed decision about your financial future.

Eventually the economy will recover and rebound. Certain sectors, like travel and hospitality might be hurting for a while. But other sectors, like technology and healthcare, might do very well. If someone wanted to prepare today to take advantage of the future recovery, what would you suggest they do?

It’s hard to say what sectors are going to fare well beyond this pandemic. We’re seeing new sectors emerge as a result of the pandemic which could offer future financial benefit for the average investor. Technology and healthcare are the standout sectors of the pandemic, for sure. But, I would suggest that you do the research into the industry, the companies, and the innovations and then consider your investment options. Personally, I have always been a big fan of real estate. With everyone staying at home and interest rates at near-zero, there has become a greater appreciation for home comforts and the industry, as a whole, has seen incredible growth.

I believe that there is always a good time to invest in gold and silver — when markets are down, precious metals tend to rise in value. When markets are more stable, precious metals continue to steadily grow in value.

The catch to all of this is using the right money to invest. Investing for the future is just that. It is using your long-term money to achieve your long-term goals. If you are short sided in this, it can result in losing money and falling behind your goals.

Are there sectors that provide exciting and lucrative investment opportunities today, specifically because of the volatility and uncertainty?

Yes, you can always find new investment opportunities — even in a down and uncertain market. What most people don’t realize though, is that precious metals are always a great long-term investment opportunity. They act as a hedge against times like these — increasing inflation, stock market volatility, political uncertainty and global pandemics.

For example, with the 2020 Presidential election nearing, we’re seeing many investors move their money into gold. It makes sense because one way that investors protected their money before previous elections was investing in gold. On the day after Trump won in 2016, the price of gold surged nearly 5%. When Obama was elected in 2008, the price of gold skyrocketed 17.8% by the end of the year.

Another area that may be exciting is the airline industry. It’s currently re-thinking air travel and with stock prices plummeting, it may be a good time to take advantage of the downturn before they return to a stronger investment buy post-pandemic.

Are there alternative investments that you think more people should look more deeply at?

As you would imagine, I am a huge proponent of alternative investments. These investment vehicles, such as real estate, physical gold and silver or other precious metals and cryptocurrency offer many benefits that traditional investments do not typically offer. Real estate and precious metals have similar reputations as being valuable long-term investments.

Cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin, is an exciting investment. Now that it has become more mainstream and regulated, the risk can be less volatile while achieving attractive short and long-term returns.

If a person in their thirties and forties came to you today and said that they have 10,000 dollars that they want to put away today for a long term investment what would you advise them to do with it?

I would always advise someone to speak with a financial advisor before making any investment decisions. But for someone in their thirties and forties, time is typically on their side when they are seeking long-term investments. I would take the 10,000 dollars and put a large percentage of it into physical silver because of its enormous growth potential and increasing industrial demand. I would also place a portion of it into physical gold, mainly because it steadily increases in value similar to real estate.

The only catch is when you make a long-term investment, whether it’s in precious metals, real estate, or Traditional IRAs, you set it and forget it. Younger investors may fall prey to short-term gains and cash out too early, losing its full potential or even cashing out at a loss.

Ok, thank you! Here is a more general finance question. You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive essentials for smart investing what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?

I have really followed 3 non intuitive essentials growing up. For my adult child or anyone who is looking to build long-term wealth, I would say:

Invest in yourself first. Take care of your health and well being first. This way you can make sound financial decisions for your future and find investments that speak to you as an individual.

Diversify your money. Don’t put your money all in one basket. Hedge your savings across various investment vehicles.

Conduct research. Don’t solely rely on what you hear, rely on what you learn.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One my favorite unconventional quotes is “You’ll see it when you believe it.” As an entrepreneur, you have a natural tendency to “believe it when you see it”. The problem was, I never got to see anything. It was like I had blinders on and even though great progress had been made; I just wasn’t in the right mindset to recognize it. Over the years, I flipped the script and relied on my faith to jump into unchartered waters of building a business and suddenly, I was seeing great progress, experiencing great returns and working with great people. If you believe in your investment and give it the attention it needs, you will undoubtedly see the returns.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have always thought about setting up an 80/20 program. For 80% of the year, we give away 20%. This could be offering a portion of our time, money or support to those who need it the most. If we all just spent a small portion of our time helping others on a regular basis, the world could just be that much better.

Thank you for the interview. We wish you only continued success!

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