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“Stay disciplined.” With Jason Hartman & Dwain Phelps

In my opinion, this pandemic is more than just a threat on our healthcare system, economy and governments; it’s the beginning of advancing technology. My recommendation to clients and people in general is to prepare and position themselves for where we are going to be. This is the time to reevaluate and reassess your life’s […]

In my opinion, this pandemic is more than just a threat on our healthcare system, economy and governments; it’s the beginning of advancing technology. My recommendation to clients and people in general is to prepare and position themselves for where we are going to be. This is the time to reevaluate and reassess your life’s plan. This is a time to focus on your health. Try to find the quiet and peaceful place to the heart of the storm. Look for opportunities that will present themselves and be prepared to take advantage.


As a part of my series about “Investing During the Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dwain Phelps, founder & CEO of Phelps Financial Group.

Dwain Phelps is the owner of Phelps Financial Group and brings over 20 years of experience in the wealth management, retirement planning and financial services industries. Dwain has established relationships and partnerships with some of the best financial and insurance companies in the world, which allows him to offer clients the absolute best financial products suitable for their financial situations. Dwain is a big believer in relationship building with clients and believes establishing relationships will promote trust and success.


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?

My experience growing up in Detroit, Michigan, helped catapult me to pursue an interest in finance. I saw a community that lacked the financial literacy to thrive economically. My desire to see a change in my community propelled me to study business at Oral Roberts University and pursue a career in financial planning. I graduated from Oral Roberts University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Management. Three years later, I started my career in the finance industry.

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?

The most interesting experiences in my career have been the awesome relationships established with so many great people. Those experiences have taught me many important lessons in life.

I had a client who was a pastor and needed life insurance. The life insurance was mainly for a loan the church applied for to fund a project. During the process of getting to know the pastor, he shared something with me that had a tremendous impact on my life. He told me not to get overwhelmed with trying to make money, but be more inspired to create wonderful life-lasting memories for your children. He said, “become a memory maker and that will be your greatest legacy.”

Literally a year from him providing me with those words of wisdom, he died unexpectedly. I share that story with many of my clients and encourage them to create long-lasting memories for their families.

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

I’m working on a project called Literacy Nuggets. The purpose of this project is to provide information that will help people to make good decisions financially. It’s often the little-known facts of information which I call “literacy nuggets” that can make all the difference in the world. I have four videos featured on my YouTube channel, Phelps Financial Group.

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?

My wife, Tanya, has been my biggest supporter since day one. She has always believed in me. Even when the commission checks were not coming in, she never ever waivered in her belief that I would succeed as a financial planner.

We had our first child in June of 1996. I was offering life insurance part-time and felt in my heart that if I committed full-time to continuing my education in the finance industry, success was inevitable. I felt I needed to leave my job and go all in full-time, 100% commission. Her belief in me inspired me towards excellence, and 24 years later, I’m still going strong.

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?

The world as we know it is changing right before our eyes. Growing up, there was a cartoon show called the Jetson’s — it was one of my favorite cartoons shows. I would see how they had computer chips that allowed them to do just about anything.

In my opinion, this pandemic is more than just a threat on our healthcare system, economy and governments; it’s the beginning of advancing technology. My recommendation to clients and people in general is to prepare and position themselves for where we are going to be. This is the time to reevaluate and reassess your life’s plan. This is a time to focus on your health. Try to find the quiet and peaceful place to the heart of the storm. Look for opportunities that will present themselves and be prepared to take advantage.

This is not the time to panic! I encourage all to position themselves for where will be coming out of this pandemic.

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 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?

There is an old theory that says, “buy low and sell high.” This is the time for people to buy stocks. Imagine a Sony 4k HD 75-inch television that normally sells for $1,800 and is on sell for $540. Even if I didn’t need a television, that’s going to be hard to pass up on.

There are tremendous values right now in the market and investor should be positioning themselves for some potential long-term growth. I would encourage every investor to do research on companies that will be players in the healthcare, e commerce, financial, oil and gas, airlines and technology industries.

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?

I would suggest, and highly recommend, that investors and potential investors begin to research and study companies that are positioning themselves to future success. Look at sectors that will be major players in years to come and find those companies who they see are potentially good investment options.

I never recommend individuals start investing without doing some homework. Understand the difference in growth stock opportunities versus stock dividend opportunities. Investing is not a science, but it does boil down to understanding knowledge of sectors and companies that are prepared.

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

I believe the airline and entertainment industries will provide some potential lucrative opportunities. Once they established a process to make it safe to be at airports and on airplanes again, we will see the airline industry rebound — I would say potentially within the next 13 months. There are some good buys right now with a few of the airline companies. I would also look at companies like Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Walt Disney, I personally believe there are good opportunities there.

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

Real estate, in my humble opinion, is an investment option that people should consider. People should also consider commodities such a silver and gold. We currently operate in a fiat money system where it’s value can change in a blink of an eye.

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

There are many factors that need to be considered before making any investment recommendations, such as debt issues, liquidity, emergency savings and risk toleration. If all factors are good, then at the current moment and situation with the stock market, I would recommend we look to research companies that are potentially a good buy now.

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?

  • Commit to Research: My number one rule is education leads to good decision making. The more committed one is to research, the more confident they will be as an investor. Research will allow you to take advantage of good opportunities and avoid bad ones.
  • Understand cash flow statements: This is a great barometer to measure solid companies to invest in for potential growth. Companies with positive operating activities are typically great options.
  • Have the right temperament: I often discuss the two emotions of investing: fear and greed. When investing long-term, just know there could be some turbulence. Trust your research and try not to get too emotional.
  • Stay disciplined: Discipline is a commitment to do something regardless of feeling. Successful investors are disciplined in their approach and research. Discipline will prepare you to take advantage of great opportunities.

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

One of my favorite quotes is, “you are only as strong as your weakest link.” A wonderful part of life is that no one is perfect. We all have weaknesses we are aware of that need to be address in life. I’m a big believer in attacking weaknesses and making them a strength.

A weakness I had early in life was my speaking ability. I was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and had a speech impediment issue as a child. I was made fun of for many years and it affected my ability to read and comprehend. I had a speech therapist for four years in elementary school. The very thing that was an obvious weakness has become a major strength. I have made over a million dollars in commissions speaking to people over the past 25 years.

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 would initiate a moment of “brotherly love.” The world needs a litter dose of love, and I’m speaking of unconditional love. It’s unfortunate that we have leaders who are divisive and political parties who only care about their agendas that keep us divided. Love forgives and heals and is the key for true unity in any society. It’s a genuine love for all of mankind, not just people who share your values. So, there you have it, love has and will always have the greatest impact on people in my humble opinion.

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

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