Your ‘smarts’ might be your biggest roadblock to success — It’s true, if high intelligence was the biggest determining factor in investing success, then all the top professors and economists in business schools would be the wealthiest people on the planet. When you’re smart, you’re used to being 100% right all the time and stick to your guns even if all the signs in the market are telling you otherwise. It’s why some of those overeducated fund managers make such lousy returns for their clients.
Ihad the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Raso. CEO and Co-Founder of Online Marketing Gurus, Andrew has had a long, career in the SEO and SEM industry. After years of working for agencies, Andrew started OMG to remove the complexity of SEO and provide simple, transparent results. He has recently won a B&T 30 under 30 award in the Entrepreneur category.
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 marketing industry?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember — started with selling PS4s as a teen, then freelancing as a uni student. I actually built my first website — for my personal training gig during uni and I did SEO on it myself. Ever since learning about the ins and outs of SEO, I’ve been hooked on the idea of being an entrepreneur ever since. Of course it was only a matter of time before I got hooked on investing as well, after all, being in business is an investment.
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?
This happened quite recently actually. I was scrolling through my LinkedIn and saw an agency had copied one of OMG’s online ads, word-for-word. The best thing about this? They forgot to change the name of the agency in their ad copy! So their ad copy was still advertising OMG instead of their own agency!
I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery right?
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes. I think during this time, giving back to the business community is the most important thing OMG can do as a business. That’s why I’ve worked with my team to launch two exciting free initiatives.
The first one is the OMG Marketing Hotline. With this service, businesses can access C-suite marketing expertise for free and get their bruning marketing questions answered. I know marketing during this time can be especially challenging. That’s why I’ve set up this service, to help people run their businesses the best way I know how.
I’ve also put together a COVID-19 Checklist together with my team. This checklist includes key insights and strategies to help businesses adapt during this crisis. We’ve gotten quite a good response from this — I’m happy to see that what I’ve put together is helping businesses.
I’m also in the process of mapping the next stage of growth for OMG — a vision that’s longer than this year and even this decade. The thing I want to emphasise is that now is the time to gear up and get ready to go at it again full speed when things get back to normal
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?
Of course, I’m eternally grateful for my dad. He made me the person I am today. He has always put me and the family first. I saw him work a huge amount of hours, everyday, in order to put food on the table.
When I started OMG, he was always there to support me. He’s seen the ups and downs and has gotten me through the hardest times.
Family comes first before absolutely anything. There is no hidden intentions, there is no hidden love. It’s completely unconditional and that’s something amazing. I’m blessed to have the most amazing family and support network.
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 think feeling anxious about the world is a common feeling, and that’s ok.
First and foremost, check in with yourself. Most of us go into auto-pilot under stress, and often neglect our own needs. This is a recipe for burnout, overtime you may get feelings of resentment, feel unusually tired or just have a particularly short fuse. So, check-in with yourself first. Otherwise how can you take care of someone else when you neglect yourself?
We can support our loved ones by being more present with them. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the gloom and doom. Since we have all this extra time together, why not make it fun? I think it’s important to be more present.
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?
I would say keep buying your stocks now, everything is at a discount. If you can afford it and want to play the long game, throw some more money into the stock market if you can! I’ve been telling everyone I know to keep buying stocks, especially staple stocks the economy will not affect, a few have already reached out to thank me as they’ve already doubled their money.
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 time to plan, change and adapt. I recommend strategically planning and thinking ahead of time, right now. There is not one single business in this world that hasn’t been impacted by COVID-19, now is the time to plan for everything post COVID-19.
Are there sectors that provide exciting and lucrative investment opportunities today, specifically because of the volatility and uncertainty?
I’ve actually recently gone into the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) business with a friend of mine, selling PPE equipment to those who need it most. There are always opportunities out there, you just need to know how to look for them.
Are there alternative investments that you think more people should look more deeply at?
Of course, I always try and find the opportunities, even in difficult times like this. I actually brought a few properties in the last few months. With so many experts predicting the property market will drop into free fall, did I make a mistake? I believe in playing the long game, and buying more when the market is soft. The market will pick up again, economics told me so when I studied it. 😉
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?
What I always say — put it into staple stocks that won’t be affected much by the economy. The stock market is a long term game, the longer your money is in the stock market, the less risk you take on. If you compare stock prices now to the low point during the GFC, you will be able to see that the stock market always goes up over the long run.
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?
- Patience — all investments take time to generate a significant return on investment. The stories you hear about people playing the stock market and making millions of dollars overnight — it’s too hard to replicate. Remember it’s time in the market that counts.
- Your Analysis Of The Market Is Irrelevant — We have so much information at our fingertips, it’s easy to try and find explanations for what happened in the market to give us an illusion of control. It happens all the time! I heard stories of analysts and financial planners who guaranteed to “crash-proof” their clients’ portfolios and ended up losing more money for their clients than if they had stuck with simple index funds. Making accurate predictions is too hard, you’d be better served by recognizing your mistakes.
- Your ‘smarts’ might be your biggest roadblock to success — It’s true, if high intelligence was the biggest determining factor in investing success, then all the top professors and economists in business schools would be the wealthiest people on the planet. When you’re smart, you’re used to being 100% right all the time and stick to your guns even if all the signs in the market are telling you otherwise. It’s why some of those overeducated fund managers make such lousy returns for their clients.
- Invest like how poker is played — Play each hand as it is dealt to you. If you get a bad hand, fold.
- Keep your investment dreams alive — Investing is not going to be all sunshine and rainbows, it’ll get hard and demoralising at times. The only way to power through those times is to use sheer motivation and determination. Have a goal in mind and remind yourself of that goal when things get tough, make your dreams come true.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Mindset is everything”. I went for a walk with my friend the other day, and it was dead quiet. He said “appreciate this, it’s the last time you’ll see the streets like this” then I started to appreciate everything.
I have a business that thrived when things got tough. Everything around me, I just had a different reflection of and for the first time in my life I was truly happy.
As soon as you look at things differently and change your mindset, that’s when happiness will find you!
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. 🙂
Oh wow, what a huge responsibility! 😉 I guess apart from the obvious like ending world poverty and having world peace, I just want people to know that it is possible to achieve their dreams! One of my dreams was to be driving around in a Ferrari, and when I had that dream, it sure seemed impossible at the time.
Too often people think that people simply achieve their dreams overnight! They weren’t there when you were walking down a main road walking into retail stores pitching your idea. They weren’t there when you had to walk back from meetings because you had no money for a cab. But hey, it was an overnight success right. Although, material items should not be the reason you’re doing it day in and day out. It sure puts things into perspective how you have worked extremely hard for something and there is an item at the end of the tunnel. Always remember why you’re doing it. Have the right intentions and never stop working. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you for the interview. We wish you only continued success!