Today’s episode of “Speak Up with Anthony Scaramucci,” features a special guest, Steven Feldman, a Wall Street veteran who is also the Co-Founder of Wealthion, the precious metals company GBI and the farmland asset manager Goldcrest.
Dive into a thought-provoking conversation as these two entrepreneurs and industry veterans, who share a rich history from their early days on Wall Street, unveil their predictions for 2024. Plus, they’ll be taking your calls and answering your questions live!
Anthony Scaramucci 0:00
I’m totally in love with this music. I feel like I’m back in the 1980s and I’m at the Westbury drive-in with my popcorn trying to find the station for the movie theater. So if you are old enough to remember that you are really old. Okay, let me just put it to you that way. This is speak up with Anthony Scaramucci. I am joined today by an incredibly dear friend, somebody that I’ve known 30 plus years. And somebody that helped me and I’ll just say this very upfront, everybody helped me actually prevented me from getting fired for at least 12 months of my early career at Goldman Sachs. I ultimately did get fired. By the way. I got hired at Goldman Sachs on August 14 1989. I think I met Steve Feldman in September of 1989. He was coming to Goldman Sachs from Skadden Arps. He was a lawyer, he went the University of Pennsylvania, brilliant human being, we met and bonded very quickly. And Steve was very quick to understand that I was completely incompetent in terms of doing Excel spreadsheets or Lotus spreadsheets. And so he was trying to help me and frankly, if I had Steve next to me in law school, I would have obviously cheated off of him and at higher grades, but in any event, I end up getting fired. Anyway, the rest is history. We’ll talk a little bit about that. But you are meeting a terrific person joining me, Steven Feldman, co founder and CEO of GBI. And just 30 seconds on GBI, I think is very important. It is a global organization that serves the wealthiest individuals in the world in terms of securing and buying gold, keeping it safe, and making it a part of their macroeconomic portfolios, which is, you know, for 5000 years, gold has been a store of value in the world. And Steven has perfected that for people. He has his product at various wire houses, including Merrill Lynch, and UBS. And he’s built a phenomenal business. The one thing I can say about Steve is he’s a polymath. He’s a bit of a genius, he’s good at everything. He was good at being a lawyer. He was good at being an investment banker. So good to be an investment banker was 23 years of investment banking before he really found his true love, which was starting things. And so And the last thing about Steve, is he runs and owns and is the founder of Wealthion. And he brought me on. And so I want to introduce Steve, Steve, why don’t you say a few things here. I got some questions for you. First, welcome to the show. Welcome with skip speaker with Anthony Scaramucci, and I may let you get a word in edgewise.
Steven Feldman 3:04
Yeah, that that would be, that would be good. Well, first of all, thank you for that really flattering introduction. As my wife says, You’re just supposed to say thank you. So thank you. And yes, it’s true. We met when we were really young bucks when XL was called Lotus. And both Anthony and I are ex lawyers, but I at least had gone to business school. So I had a little advantage over him. And I am actually a full blown nerd. So I learned to work that pretty well. I look back on those years extremely, extremely fondly. With what I look at the set of worries and concerns and things I’m responsible for today. And going back there is not just nostalgic, but it was a heck of a lot of fun.
Anthony Scaramucci 3:53
It was it like it was great fun. You were you are a great friend, a three decade friend. But I want you to spend if you don’t mind, spend a little bit of time on GBI, tell us what I left out of the GBI story. How old is the company? Why did you start the company? What was the theme behind it and tell us a little bit about your execution there? And then I want to switch over to Wealthion
Steven Feldman 4:14
Okay, great. So this company actually was started to solve a problem. And it’s probably not not a particularly well known story. It’s getting old and I don’t really tell it very often. So thanks for asking. Financial crisis hits. I’m sitting at Goldman Sachs, praying, I don’t become poor or bankrupt. And I had a partner at the time a guy named Dan tap Yarrow, who’s a really pioneering guy in the crypto space. And he was a Druckenmiller and a macro guy and I’m, I’m sort of a macro econ guy from my Wharton days and we were sort of panicking a little bit. I admitted you know, there’s a lot of high cortisol levels and we decided collect vividly that we were going to go buy some gold. And we didn’t even we were so freaked out about the banking system that we didn’t even want to hold the gold in a bank, we wanted to hold it outside the banking system. So you know, the internet was a bit more primitive, but you can still have it. And I’ll try to Google and say buy gold, and you’d find a lot of E commerce shops. And you know, at the size I wanted to buy, I was very unlikely to wire money to some stranger arguably. And I ended up actually finding, finding a refiner, which was right down across the street from Goldman on at Broad, I took my Goldman back, and I bought quite a bit of physical gold. And then I pray that in my dial car on the way home, that I wouldn’t have an accident because the police would just kill me and take the gold. So that led to you know, all businesses, I think, start with the notion of you’re solving a problem. And the problem here was how do you find that institutional and trusted offering for physical precious metals. And so we using a lot of the experience we had at Goldman and finding people all the other key executives came out of other wire houses or back ends the Merrill Lynch’s the ops, we actually created a platform that plugs into brokerage accounts. So now you can buy physical precious metals, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, as easy as you could buy a stock and a bond out of the brokerage account. And when you buy it, you actually own the physical stored in a Brinks type vault. And it shows up on your statement. So T two kilos stored Singapore $80,000, excuse me, $130,000 today, and for the two kilos. And so that became a business and we added Merrill, we added UBS. And now we have direct to consumer, we’re open in Japan, or in the form of e trade in Japan. It doesn’t make me a gold bug. And I know, we’re going to talk about some things here about optimism and pessimism. I am an optimist. But I’m also a large gold owner, because I’m a pragmatic, I’m a pragmatist. Sure, and I and I have spent the last decade plus busting this narrative that precious metals are only for really negative people and of worlders. Because, frankly, it has, it’s a bit of a double edged asset class has no credit or counterparty risk. It’s great in times that are bad, and it’s absolute performance in the last 20 years has been as good as stocks and a lot better than bonds. So, you know, I don’t we don’t recommend that be. We’re not recommending anybody take it 90% of their portfolio, but we’re saying is if you’re going to buy a physical buyer broker, Bryden and institutional way, with a lot of safety and, and a lot of transparency.
Anthony Scaramucci 7:51
Steven, it’s, it’s a phenomenal business. I’ve been on Wall Street, like you 35 plus years, and everybody should have some gold in their portfolio. You know, I’m a Bitcoin enthusiast I see that, in some respects, is digital gold. People ask me about it all the time, I say, you know, you got to own both I, I totally agree with the, the narrative, your narrative is older, and frankly, more stable. Bitcoin is obviously an early adoption, technical asset, but, but I applaud, I applaud you for what you’ve done and executing the story and turning this into an international brand. But you did something else. At the same time. And this is the thing about you, you know, sort of like I created the salt conference at skybridge. I actually thought in 2008, Steven, that we were going out of business, and I thought I was going to be a third party marketer. So I needed a conference. That’s why I ended up doing it, it was nothing more magical or innovative or visionary behind it. But you invented and created Wealthion, which I think is one of the more phenomenal names, by the way. And I’m thrilled to be a part of it with you now. But tell us a little bit about that tell us about the origin of Wealthion and how that came to be.
Steven Feldman 9:01
But before before I do that, I just want to say when we made the shift, and we were looking for new hosts, I texted Anthony, would you be interested in it was literally three lines of text. Would you be interested to be a host on Wealthion? And he said,
Anthony Scaramucci 9:21
I’m a media whore but go ahead.
Steven Feldman 9:23
And he said yes. I said you’re hired. Right It was three three line
Anthony Scaramucci 9:28
when it comes when it comes to prostitution. We already know what I am which negotiating price Okay, so
Steven Feldman 9:34
it was it was the shortest hiring process in the history of mankind.
Anthony Scaramucci 9:38
But I guess one of the more disappointing things about my life if you don’t mind me adding this okay. Gore Vidal once said, one should never turn down the opportunity to be on television or to have sex. And I lament that I did not invent that quote, okay. It just bothers me. The other thing is, you know, the most dangerous place in the world is between me and a camera. If you In between me and a camera, get out of the way. Okay, so I was delighted to come on it tell us about Wealthion. Because what I love about Wealthion And I’ve done CNBC and Fox, I had my own show, I bought Wall Street from the Rukeyser. Family, we put it on Fox Business. And when I went to the White House that eventually got sold to Bloomberg, and it’s a lovely show. But this is a way more long formatted show where you can actually have a real discussion with somebody. How did you have the vision for this? How did you originate this?
Steven Feldman 10:32
Well the birth story of this comes around one something that was in our precious metals franchise, so we own a couple of E commerce franchises and one of them is called Gold Silver, which is what we would consider a content marketer, it actually has 750,000…
Anthony Scaramucci 10:53
He’s going to be a future Gold Bug. Just wait everybody
Steven Feldman 10:56
making copies of future good investor and future good investor Nikki
Anthony Scaramucci 11:00
coming in with the coffee. Look at that head of hair. Nikki knows what we’re talking about here. Daddy Claus, okay. All right, Nick, we’re on the air. So you gotta you gotta close up shop. Okay, love you,
Steven Feldman 11:11
I see. That goldsilver has 750,000 subscribers, it’s built that up over 15 years. And, you know, a trusted guru who basically provides macro advice, you know, sort of trading advice on an education in the, in the precious metals space. And, you know, you look at that content model, and you sort of gotten I sort of got addicted to the notion that, you know, that education piece is so valuable. And you know, we like to think of ourselves as a mission based company. But obviously, you got to make a little money to keep the mission going. And so he said, Okay, well listen, what if we brought in the message beyond precious metals to more macro economic, and then start there and then start to feed off of that. And so we partnered with Adam Taggart, who was the previous host, and we created a long form. So the anti CNBC long form economic education format for Wealthion. And yes, the name is killer. By the way, I’ve read that I know this, the question you haven’t asked, which is something I’d like to share with the audience, which is, so what the heck just happened when you know, when Adam left the show? I read the comments.
Anthony Scaramucci 12:27
I was getting to that. And I love you, because you’re like, we always have to talk about the elephants that are in the room or pet the elephants. So let’s pet that elephant. Talk a little bit about Adam and, and your relationship there and his relationship with Wealthion.
Steven Feldman 12:40
So you know, I read the comments all the time, we’re always trying to make Wealthion better. So I read the comments. Some are a little bit out there, but everything is read to try to make the the channel as good as it could be because it is serving the audience. It’s not serving me. And I read in the comments that Wealthion was bought by us. And that’s not true. It’s not under new management. We’ve always owned it. And Adam was the first host and he was very good at his job. But our vision for Wealthion started.
Anthony Scaramucci 13:17
I never met Adam, does he have good hair?
Steven Feldman 13:21
I’ll just there are some old there are some old videos still on the channel. You can take a look.
Anthony Scaramucci 13:27
Alright, I gotta go look, okay. My hair is a great guy. Just want to be as good hair
Steven Feldman 13:31
as a host as you being a host. Yeah, we’ve upgraded the hair.
Anthony Scaramucci 13:36
Okay, it’s important, Stephen. You know, it’s important to me that I kept it was important to me. Of course, I’m dying. And at this point, I won’t admit to people what you’re doing, I won’t confirm or deny what you’re doing to your hair. But I’ll admit. This is a Latin American dictator Brown, I have a beautiful beautician by the name of Erica. I was using Cuban leader black it looked absolutely terrible on TVs, I had to lighten it up a bit. I’m just asking about Adams here. But let’s go back to Adam I’m sorry. So so that they have good hair
Steven Feldman 14:10
Under under his stewardship, you know, Wealthion developed a very distinct voice, but in my opinion, it overemphasize what we call a gloom and doom perspective on economics and markets. And the goal of Wealthion 2.0 is to be more balanced to have different points of views brought to you by different hosts, you’re just one of a few hosts we have and certainly guests that are have a range of points of view. Listen, we’re still going to try to protect investors from cloudy days which you know will come but balance that with a buffet style pragmatic optimism because ultimately, and you and I discussed this the other day, it’s hard to play defense your whole life and make money America is about risk America is about upside. And that doesn’t by the way, how do I reconcile that with being a gold company also, which is I first want gold goes up. And so I believe that you don’t you’re not all in with risk, you know, leverage long tech stocks. But at the same token, we want to make sure that people have a balanced voice and a balanced execution and we refer to RAs and we are adding new RAS who will also reflect a more balanced style of investing. Some things as you mentioned, will not change you know, our long form, content format is going to stay and that allows us to delve deeper certainly deeper than the short form segments on CNBC, we get to learn things about like how you style your hair and Erica and how good a stylist and dire person she says, those are the things we want to connect to. We want people to connect they want I want them to connect to you connect to our friendship, connect to our guests, I want to understand what keeps our guests up at night because anyone who reaches our age, believe me no one sleeps through the night anymore. Just worry about.
Anthony Scaramucci 16:11
I want to say something you don’t like it. I think this is very important. And I want to get your reaction to it. Okay, so I grew up in a gloom and doom family. Okay, we had the earth was coming to an end every single day. My father was a construction worker, my mother was a homemaker. And my, you know, my parents are up against it financially. So they always thought that a rock slide was going to happen to the family. And they always had us uptight about money. When I was about 16 years old, I read a book called crisis investing by a guy with a new a Doug, Casey, Casey, Doug, still around, I have a, you know, I have a relation with Doug and I respect but he was writing in the 1980s, about the end of the world. Gold, you may remember, I think, had gotten to $800 an ounce, which is probably I don’t know, three or $4,000 an ounce of today’s equivalent dollars. And I was a gloom and doom stir. And then when I got to Goldman Sachs, it was 1991. I had been fired from the real estate department and I would been repotted into the equities division. And there was a guy by the name of Steve einhorn that said to me, he was our equities. He was the partner in charge of the resource department. You’re shaking your head, remember him? Of course. He said, Anthony, you got to get out of that blue collar. doomster stuff. Okay, you got to make a big bet on America at that time was 1990. He said from 1929 to 1990, stock market goes up 78 75% of the time. Yes, there are boom bust cycles and crashes. Because you got to bet the market, you got to bet the future. You got to bet new technology you got to bet on businesses like Home Depot, which were a Walmart, and he was telling me these things. And I had such a hard time moving myself from pessimism to optimism because it was ingrained in me. But I think a message that I have for people and I want to get your reaction. Yes, you got to save for the rainy day, you should certainly have gold in your portfolio, we should certainly talk about what could happen that could be really bad. But we should also talk about the exponential opportunities that are out there that can benefit the families of Wealthion customers. What’s your reaction to that?
Steven Feldman 18:23
Listen, this is the reason I love you. I didn’t even talk about this question but I’m so I’m blessed that you asked it. So listen, I’m not an I’m not an an successful human financially. I spend time in Wall Street during the greatest years of Wall Street history. But I have money trauma to you know, I grew up in a household where the monthly bill night, I moved upstairs and you know, tried not to listen, because that my parents who were extremely loving, I mean, they were like the Siamese parents. And but one hour a month, you could hear them fighting. And money was tight. And it was an issue with them. My father didn’t accumulate really enough. He was always concerned about that. And so, for me, I do have a little bit of that trauma and I never really know how to balance Wall Street and Buddhism to know when enough is and I think I’m fortunate enough I’ve worked with a lot of hard work. I’ve gotten to what a lot of billionaires don’t have which is I have enough and so what I’m trying now to be a good custodian of that wealth and that but I’m still long stocks more than I’m long gold on the theory that I’m an optimist and I believe in America and I but I have I have the benefit unlike many Wealthion viewers that I probably could withstand a meaningful drawdown. I could be okay. So there’s different portfolios for different people. And I think that part of this As your risk profile does have to have a reflection of who you are your psyche, what I got $1 $1 in the bank for me gives me more mental health and $1 in a yacht. Not that I can afford a yacht. But some people get all the pleasure in the world from the spending, I get more pleasure from saving. So my, my advisor knows that. And then if you’re depending on your age and your risk profile, you should have different portfolios. And that’s why we send people to registered investment advisors who can help people navigate that right, that ties into what does a portfolio I even though I’m a gold poor purveyor, I’ve never told anybody to have more than five to 8% in gold. And that depends on your risk, and that pretends on your age. And that bucket depends on your wealth, and that depends on your income. And so but but at the same token, by the way, one thing that people don’t understand that the s&p 500 is not the stock market, it’s the 500 best companies. And the reason that the stock market goes up is because Woolworths isn’t there, and Sears isn’t there. And all those crappy companies, they get removed. And so an index maker is constantly taking the 500 best companies and putting them in the stock market. And that’s why the stock market goes up. If you just took a single company, and you decided to bet on it, I’m not positive, you would get the same returns.
Anthony Scaramucci 21:23
Well, that’s very, very true. And let’s say that you can have some concentration like a Mr. Buffett or Charlie Munger. But your notion is that there’s a constant involvement in the economy. Buffett gave a great presentation in the year 2000, at the Sun Valley Conference, where he said, Listen, I’m going to show you names in the Dow from 1900. And he says, 100 years later, I’m going to show you the names and the Dow there was only one name Steven, it was General Electric. And he said listen to it gotten taken out of the down in the 20s got put back in the Dow and guess what, it’s 2023. GE is no longer in the Dow. And so what we know about our society, that it’s evolving, and it’s changing, but the reason why people should listen to Wealthion to come on and enjoy the commentators and the ideas and the subject material is that we can help you we can give you the tools to invest, we can give you the tools to reach financial safety, or some level of financial independence. So So where would you like Wealthion to go as you’re broadening your vision at Wealthion. And of course, addressing the elephant in the room, Adam decided that he wanted this part and start his own thing. And so we both wish him well, of course. But it’s given you the opportunity now to rethink the editorial content of Wealthion. And so where would you like it to go?
Steven Feldman 22:44
Well, we’ve already started so sitting here today, we have three, we have three hosts, we may have more, and the hosts may change. And then there’s the voices.
Anthony Scaramucci 22:56
Well, I’m not leaving the hosts may change, but I’m not leaving. I’m just like, you know, you’re
Steven Feldman 22:59
Anthony Scaramucci 23:01
You’re stuck with me. It’s like a marriage like, it’s like a Jewish, like a Jewish Italian marriage. You can’t embarrass the family. By breaking it up. Steven,
Steven Feldman 23:08
I understand you’re like psoriasis, it’s hard to get rid of. And sometimes you break out and you just need..
Anthony Scaramucci 23:14
Exactly and you have to scratch the itch every once in a while to keep
Steven Feldman 23:18
You know, I again, maybe this is too much information for our audience, which is I say, I’m no different than anybody else. We’re trying to figure it out. I have a strategy. There’s no doubt, diversity of hope of hosts diversity of voices, dedicated to education, dedicated to interaction, taking feedback, we’re gonna continue to do conferences. We are talking Eb, really, I can’t disclose the people that we’re talking to. But some really exciting names. Not only are they good, and they’re experts, and they’re insightful, but they’re fun. And they’re, and they’re normal, good. And they’re not these automaton people who just have Okay, I’m going to go speak on nine YouTube channels and say the same thing. And then I’m going to go to some crummy conference and say the same thing there. What we’re trying to do is get a little bit behind the scenes behind the scenes of what people so I can present lots of charts. But then I can present how I feel about the charts. And I can tell you a little about myself. That’s sort of the goal of the channel, and you can’t do it in six minutes. And that’s why I think we will compete well with CNBC. Although I hope we get to be that big. But that’s the goal. But we can pivot, you know, we’re running a small business we’re not you know, this is not Bloomberg TV. This isn’t Goldman Sachs. And we, you know, I would encourage people to continue to be in the comments, tell us how we can be better and give us suggestions and we will listen, I promise you we will listen but keep it polite. You know that’s the fun thing. Let’s Let’s all be gentle.
Anthony Scaramucci 24:51
But listen,I mean, I’ve had everything said about me, you know you’re the the beauty is that once you’ve had your cherry popped in terms of being blasted in The media you’re used to, you know, you don’t care.
Steven Feldman 25:02
You have thicker skin than I do, I suspect
Anthony Scaramucci 25:04
Yeah, well listen, I mean, you had to I mean when you get blown out of the White House like I did in Rome, they skin you first of all, they blow you out of the front door, you’re on Pennsylvania Avenue. They skin you alive and then they roll you in Margarita salt just as you feel so once that happens, you don’t care about anything but but the truth be told. My financial independence has come with trials and tribulations. I’ve been fired twice. I was fired. Once at Goldman rehired into Goldman. I got fired from the White House. Clients have fired me. I’ve obviously had some bitcoin dead moments, Stephen, I brought with me a prop that was given to me. Okay. This is a replica bobblehead replica of the New York Post. I’m sinking in the Bitcoin boat. The New York Post said I’m dying. And where am I going? Oh, look, oh, but you know what? It came back up. Okay. And so the point I’m making is that, you know, Bitcoin is likely now to have a cash ETF. The SEC is likely to improve it. We’re one of the investors in Black Rocks ETF. And we liked Bitcoin the same way we like gold, we want people to see it as a potential store of value in their portfolio. It’s not a get rich, quick scheme for me or for you. And this is about how you set the tools up, to go through the trials and tribulations not to be doom and gloom. But to understand that there is potential Doom and lots of boom. And so you have to be there for the boom, you know, you take yourself out of the stock market for 10 days. And they happen to be the 10 best days of the year. Well, guess what? You have a flat return. But if you’re in there and you can take the isolation, you’re generating healthy returns will outpace inflation, and you’ll have some money for your retirement. So, so Stephen, we take as you know, this is your ideas. I love you for it. Speak up. Speak up with Anthony Scaramucci has a call in show so it’s nine to the mooch that’s 928-436-6624. Call in if you have questions for Steve, we want to hear from you. Before we take these callers, though, Steve. And we have a little bit of a shot clock going. So I want you to go through the 2024 predictions for speak up with Anthony Scaramucci. And by the way, what I love about this and this and one thing I love about Steve at the top of this list, it says 2024 predictions by Anthony Scaramucci and Steve Feldman. We’re right back in 1991. Ladies and gentlemen, because Steve wrote this, Steve put it together. And because he’s a gentleman, he added my name to it. Okay, this is exactly what was going on with my spreadsheets back at Goldman. Okay, so I love you dearly. You lead us off, you tell us about these predictions. And then we’ll take questions from callers. Okay,
Steven Feldman 27:59
so we will, we’ll publish this if you’re please, if you’re not already on our email list for Wealthion Please go to the website, give us your email, and we’ll send out
Anthony Scaramucci 28:11
what’s the what’s the email that they’d have to go to? WWE dot Wealthion Just go to www.wealthion.com? So three ws.wealthion.com Yeah, you can you can log in and register with us. And you’ll get some of our content.
Steven Feldman 28:26
And by the way, the content is gonna get better. And you know, we’re upgrading everything at least we’re to try. And in the comments if you guys have predictions for 2024 We’re going to, to read those and try to put together your list too. And then we’ll compare them six months and we’ll see who’s smarter, the crowdsource predictions or are my predictions with Anthony’s editing and help so I’ll pick one by the way this was I’m going to pick one on the list and I am going to give Anthony credit for it he gave me the idea and then I did a little research which is the merger of the year so Anthony predicted that Apple is going to buy Disney and and I think that is a would be a brilliant merger. So Apple introduced its VR glasses and it’s been very flat. And if you buy Disney you can activate VR in the most amazing way imagine giving your kids glasses and having them be in Disneyland. That
Anthony Scaramucci 29:30
was very happy have to have them be on the planet Andor, have them be an Avenger
Steven Feldman 29:36
Be an Elon on being all of those things. Moreover, it would get that that catalog of entertainment that Apple TV is – I’m a streamer. So when Apple TV, apple plus seems to be one of the weaker programming you know, Hulu seems better to me Netflix seems better. Now all of a sudden they would dominate I don’t think I don’t think it would have an antitrust issue. I’m not positive in the hearts Hart Scott Rodino lawyer, but I thought that was a brilliant merger. So, Tim Cook if you’re listening, and maybe Bob Iger wants
Anthony Scaramucci 30:11
to get out. Listen, Bob Iger has said it privately that he’s back there to see if he can retool the company and make that merge. And, of course, his very famous fight between Michael Eisner and Steven Jobs over Pixar. And it wasn’t until Iger got a hold of the company that he was able to convince jobs who will allow him to buy Pixar. So these companies are very close to each other, we’ll have to see if that happens. Steven, I’m being told by Barbara, who’s coming into our chat room over here that she wants us to take a call and we’re gonna go the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go to a voicemail call that came in. And so we’re going to as Vivek, set up the video. Let’s let’s fire this up first.
Speaker 2 30:55
Did a great show. Thanks for letting me call on Mike here from Arizona. Physical armor, Swami just said something about BlackRock, State Street Vanguard being a powerful cartel and that they are using our money to create a country that we never voted for. I’m curious, what are your thoughts on that?
Anthony Scaramucci 31:15
Okay, so I’m gonna I’m gonna have Steven address that first. And then I’m obviously going to talk about it but Steve Vinick is making a point is initially point these companies own the s&p 500, the largest ETF manufacturers in the world, so they literally own these companies, and they own each other. What’s your reaction with Mr. Ramaswamy? saying,
Steven Feldman 31:37
Listen, I, it makes me uncomfortable, I, you can’t have any common sense and feel comfortable that handful of companies dominate the ownership of the stock market. And, you know, I know, I don’t know about you, Anthony is some once in a while, I get one of those envelopes, and it says it’s my proxy, and I have to vote and I take my three shares, and I’m voting, I’m like, I’m gonna really read through this and put my three shares in, so I buy my own behavior. I’m ceding my vote, to the big guys who have proxy groups and people who I served on a board of a public company. And in order to get votes just for my board seat, I had to go do a roadshow, I’m in Blackrock, I can have 12 people sitting in a room, everybody’s wearing a very expensive suit, they’re all like 30 years old, you know, sort of have to I’m like the, you know, trying to entertain them and make them like me. And it was a little exhausting, especially since I do feel like I was qualified. But you know, who knew what they were going to decide? So you’re worried? So of course, I’m concerned about it. My question is, is what what’s the better answer with the with these companies have been providing is very, very inexpensive access to these companies. I’m not sure what the fees are. But I assume most of these are three to five basis points. Yes. And so you can get access to the greatest companies in a very liquid vehicle. Yes. And you’re paying three to five basis points, which is really extraordinarily low. But I do feel like let’s I’m not a fan of massive regulation, but we all have to be very mindful that you might have five people determining the future of every company. And so you saw this in ESG, which, again, we’re for it. But are you for having five why’s people making the vote for all of these?
Anthony Scaramucci 33:32
And I believe, I mean, we believe in libertarianism and decentralization, I think what Mr. Ramaswamy is saying, which I agree with, is we have to be very careful that we get duopoly settings or try opoli settings. And one of the things is happening is because of lobbying of these big companies now, the government doesn’t act like it used to Stephen. You know, we, during the Reagan administration, you and I, of course are old enough to remember that we broke up a TNT. Remember, they were thinking about breaking up IBM, they were thinking about breaking up Microsoft those to survive intact. But AT and T was broken. We don’t break these big companies anymore. We don’t break the big banks anymore. And yet, if you go back to us antitrust law, sometimes breaking up these companies, making them smaller, actually lowers prices, there’s less monopoly competition, or elimination of competition, I should say. But yeah, it’s a great question. We have a call. I’m sorry. Go ahead.
Steven Feldman 34:28
Do you think Anthony if there was sort of a whole if you took let’s say, you took the Google Apple Microsoft you know, the guys who you can actually say moat slash monopolies and you broke them up, we would be in a better place. Are you suggesting that we would be better off breaking up the black rocks of the world?
Anthony Scaramucci 34:47
You know, I’m suggesting that we have to review the the government has to review these things again, you know, I don’t want to break up black rock. Okay, prima facia looking at it. I think it’s doing a great job and I think it’s been fair or I think, Larry, by his own admission, Larry Fink, the CEO of Blackrock probably got too connected into the ESG thing, and didn’t think of the underlying money that he’s running and the fiduciary nature that underlying money. So I think he’s gonna come at it from a more balanced perspective. But I’m just making the point that we no longer think about these antitrust issues in the country anymore. But I think we need to because you don’t want to eliminate the little guy, Steve, what ends up happening is these big, big companies. They have a lot of scale. And then they can pounce on Little People harder. I can tell you right now, if the regulatory environment was set up the way it is today, in 2005, when I started skybridge, I could not start skybridge, the first nine employees at skybridge. Stephen would have been what put them in attorneys and compliance people. And so that eliminates a competitor to skybridge. Because that young person today, I was 41. When I started it, there’s a 41 year old out there that would like to start it. But they got to have nine people involved with the with the regulation. I want to take this caller though, because we’ve got them waiting on the line. This is Dave from Ohio. Dave, thanks for joining us on the show.
Speaker 3 36:14
Hey, thanks for having me. And Steven. Good. Good. Good to speak to you. Well,
Anthony Scaramucci 36:18
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Hanukkah. Thanks for Thanks for joining us on a late December show. Dave, what’s on your mind?
Speaker 3 36:30
Well, I just want to say, you know, you’re speaking German on the hill. So before I get into my question, first addiction, where you and you and Steve, were talking about your format is brilliant. I love it long form. You know, I grew up watching my dad who was construction union guy in Jersey, no formal financial training. But you know, I would see him watching CNBC and get his get his licks in there. And he really made something in addition to what he did, based on the familiar faces on there. And last week, I saw you guys had run inside. And you just you just let them talk. You know, there’s a lot of ground covered that you can’t sit between the commercial breaks. And I think what the format you guys are in are really what the future is, and really essential to those of us without formal financial training. Getting what we need to know out of these markets.
Anthony Scaramucci 37:24
It’s great. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do, sir.
Steven Feldman 37:27
Dave, that is really nice to hear. And thank you. I got like a little business, Gustavo.
Speaker 3 37:34
Oh, good. Yeah, you know, I saw him and I’m like, you know, me my pops used to watch his little snippets on CNBC. You know, this is predates Fox Business, even. He, you guys are chatting about real estate, rent to buy. And my prediction, it’s an optimistic one, I was fortunate enough me my wife started the business, we want to own our commercial space. To kind of have our hands on the football that way. I’m kind of thinking commercial will uptick this year, and continue as most of us flock back to work flocked back to brick and mortars, we’re looking to expand into a new market, having filled our first commercial space go in a couple towns over. But I’m thinking that you know, these Class A and B buildings are just going to go up and up. Cautiously optimistic, that is the case. And I would just love to hear your take on that. And what’s it look like? Do you rent the commercial space? Or do you kind of, if you have the means gather, investors gather capital to buy that commercial space, and go from there. Alright,
Anthony Scaramucci 38:42
so I’m gonna flip this over to Steve, because Dave, you may not know this, Steve, as probably two decades of experience in the real estate world from being a lawyer in it a tenant rep, a principal, a buyer of properties and so forth. But flip it over, Steve,
Steven Feldman 39:01
you know, it is a thank you. Thanks, Anthony. And, Dave, again, thank you for the question. I think, you know, let me let me pull the lens back a little bit about real estate generally. On the positive side of the ledger, real estate has been one of the asset classes that has been, you know, an extraordinary and extraordinary wealth creator for people over the long term. And it is not just for the way it performs, which is usually very good over the long term, but because of the tax benefits it provides to individual investors. So you have sheltered cash flows because you could take depreciation and so your cash flows are typically tax free. There are 1031 transaction So towards the end, you want to sell it and you want to get the proceeds, you can turn it into another real estate deal and not pay the tax until you’re dead. And so obviously this This is Anthony mentioned how the brokerage companies go to Wall Street. And somehow I shouldn’t say that the big companies somehow go to to from Wall Street and others go and end up changing policy real estate people forever have changed government policy. And that’s why it’s such an advantage asset class. On the micro side, it’s now we’re in a technical moment, we’re technical because interest rates are higher. So that should affect cap rates. So you should be able to buy more cheaply, you should certainly be able to buy at a cap rate that’s above your borrowing rate. You don’t want to have negative interest. You have to be concerned and commercial about tenancies. I don’t think this work from home thing is going to change back very dramatic. I think we are where we are and will now grow from here. This is the new normal that people I’m in my office today, it’s you know, probably three people at a 30 in the New York office today, because Fridays, nobody wants also Christmas. So if you can gather the money, and you can do the micro underwriting to say that you’re not going to have massive vacancies for a long period of time, I think now’s a terrific time to buy, you’d be a bit contrarian, but if you could afford it, I would do it.
Anthony Scaramucci 41:11
So I just want to add one thing, Dave, and I think you’ll appreciate this from your Dad’s experience and your own in business. That’s the boldness. That’s what we need to do in our lives, we have to take that leap. Even though there could be elements of uncertainty or elements of stress associated with it, I can tell you that I have never made a real estate purchase in my life that I’ve regretted. But I can also tell you that I’ve had duration in mind. So whatever it is, you’re thinking about buying, have it in your head, you’re gonna own it for five to seven years, or a little bit longer, and you’ll catch the benefit of the up and down cycle.
Speaker 3 41:47
Yet the time time in the market is better than timing the market as it used to tell me. Right, amen.
Anthony Scaramucci 41:52
Well, we appreciate you calling in. We wish you a great holiday. We got to take a few other callers but thanks for for jumping on and call back. Please. Good. We want to hear from you did
Unknown Speaker 42:02
absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you both.
Anthony Scaramucci 42:04
All the best to enjoy the holiday, sir. Happy New Year.
Unknown Speaker 42:07
You as well friend. Take care.
Anthony Scaramucci 42:09
Okay, we got another caller. on hold. Now speaking up is Matt from Los Angeles. Matt, welcome to the show.
Speaker 4 42:19
Howdy guys, howdy guys. Thank you very much for doing this. I appreciate it. I wouldn’t tell people to buy commercial RE right now. I think that sometimes big paradigm shift. And I think this is one of those moments where you can just be on the wrong side of a trend. Like getting in stocks in 1968. Right. That’s just my personal take. Here’s my here’s my big question. And it’s removed because I know that he knows the real. I know, he knows some real heavyweights in the world of politics. I want to shift to like big, big, big picture Geo, Paul. So, you know, I’m from LA, obviously my background is a little liberal, like the average la person. I’ve always seen Trump Bibi Netanyahu. And really, Putin are like the Patricia’s kind of like team that I think is taking over in Russia. I’ve seen I’ve seen Trump, Bibi and Putin kind of as a unit in geopolitics. I think that that triumvirate is under a tremendous amount of stress and a lot of way, right now, especially political stress, in terms of, you know, dem, supported Israel being kind of shaky right now and making everyone very nervous in politics. What’s your take on this team of three people? Is it mooch? Do you think that like the the one when one hurts, it really upsets the entire team? And we’re seeing a shift where all three are kind of getting swept off the historical stage in 2024? What’s your take on that?
Anthony Scaramucci 43:39
is so so it’s interesting, you’re bringing out you’re bringing up something that I had never thought about before, but I think I don’t see them necessarily as a team, but I see them bubbling up from their populations, and certainly the same vein and so there is a national safety’s politically, right? Yes, exactly. So there’s, there’s a nationalism going on. I don’t want to get overly wonky, but if you get a moment, over the holidays, if you read the guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman, you will see both Putin. Okay, and this book is about rise, the specter of rising. Exactly. So this is about the specter of rising nationalism. Sometimes when we lose our living wartime memory, we started to glorify that in our minds. And so after the Napoleonic Wars, Europe didn’t want any more wars, and they settled on a reasonable peace treaty. After World War Two, we had a failed treaty after World War One, but after World War Two, we had a successful treaty, but we’re 80 years out from it. And you’re seeing the specter of nationalism again. And so Netanyahu, Putin and Trump represent that. And so the real question is, are there more people out there? You know, Putin is running an autocracy, but he does have to face to music with his public from time to time. And so the question is, are we exhausting that nationalism without touching off a global war because we talked when said in that book, as you get a lot of nationalism going, you could touch off a fervor and war. And I’m an optimist about this stuff.
Speaker 4 45:19
Has that moment has that moment peak, because like four years ago, we had both in Ireland power, we had BB kind of like manipulating things effectively in power. We had Trump in office, we had Putin looking a lot more healthy, not feeling kind of scared by people rejecting his vaccine. And that happened, you know, and contributed to the war, the Russian people did reject the many vaccine approaches the Russians had. So do you see that kind of thing peaking? Maybe that kind of Neo nationalist coalition, falling apart rapidly and then reassembling? What do you see in the next year or two?
Anthony Scaramucci 45:50
listen, you know, it is a brilliant question. And I’m answering it on the flag that I had never thought about it the way you’re positioning it. And I think one thing, Steven and I are going to promise you about Wealthion, this show and other shows on Wealthion. If we don’t know the answer to something, we say, Hey, listen, we don’t know the answer. So I can only give you my editorial opinion. And I think you’re bringing up something very interesting. I think we have reached that. And I think we’re actually going to come over the chasm of it into something different. There’s an elder population, there’s an older population, represented by those three men that I think are leaving the political stage. And I think there’s going to be 40 and 50. And they’re, they’re dying time. Exactly, I think you’re gonna be a little bit more data dependent. And I’m being very hopeful here. I’m hoping that they will go into a more success based outcome and less of an emotional based outcome. But I think it’s a brilliant question. I appreciate you calling in. And I don’t know, Steven, you want to add anything to that?
Steven Feldman 46:52
you’re more of a geopolitical expert than I am, we all watch with a little bit of concern about the rise of nationalism? Because it also it seems to come with a bit of violence. Yeah, that’s what’s happened, frankly, is, it feels like humans have about an 80 year memory. And so you think about today’s current events, in the guise of a world war two memory where people can’t remember the horror of an all out war, we throw around Old World War Three is going to start well, 60 million people died in World War Three, you see some of the things that are, you know, going on in campuses, and that’s forgiving, in my opinion, people forget about what Holocaust, we forgot about that. So there’s a lot that’s going on. And it takes people like you and us to remind people that there these things are horrific. And if you and I feel sometimes the nationalists take advantage of people, short memories, but I think the Barbara Tuchman book, which is unbelievably good. And folks, like yourself, have to really be thoughtful about that and stand up when when nationalism starts to tip over to some other negative space
Anthony Scaramucci 48:04
really well said. thank you for joining us. And we got to we got a prediction here from a viewer. So when I ask these guys, the s&p Up 10, in the first quarter, before 40%, crash, Steven, mix via chat, and you say what Stephen?
Steven Feldman 48:22
I, it’s very hard to predict crashes. And so let’s look backwards before we look forwards. 40% is there have been probably in my lifetime, I want to say two and a half draw downs of that percentage, right. 2008. And, and in the pandemic, and in both times, there was massive, massive federal intervention in both. And I frankly, think in 2008, there was more ability to back the truck up what looked big, then looks quaint now, tarp compared to pandemic relief. And you’re sitting there with $34 trillion of debt, I don’t know how many bullets you have left to fix the 40%. I can’t predict the 40% there’s part of me that says, you know, you should build your portfolio in a way that you can a withstand it be take some of that cash that’s earning four and a half percent today or 5%. And move it in. I’d also say this is the reason where we’re in. We’re in the gold business, which is sometimes stocks go down and often when 40% That’s when you’re happy you have something that goes up that you can sell and like in what would be behind the 40% crash. I’d say probably three things come to mind. And this is with some historical benefit of some historical research. One would be an exogenous event, right war, you know, it’s a small item with Anthony it’s a small chance You know, it happens and we’re sucked into that, you know, markets can go bad. And the other is a credit event.
Anthony Scaramucci 50:09
It’s interesting. You remember Elane Carmazelli. throw a name out at you remember,
Steven Feldman 50:14
she looked like a comedic actress or something
Anthony Scaramucci 50:17
the Lehman Brothers strategy is still around. Right? That completely rocked the Lehman strategists in 1987, that predicted the Crash 25% Crash boom, October 19 1987. We had it. And so Jane she was, she was well celebrated for it. But reason I’m bringing this up is that that crash happened? There was pain in the system. If you sold the crash, man did you miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. In the year 2000. The stock market crashed the NASDAQ went through that 40% Both Stephens. But yet if you got juked out of and many people in our generation, Steve got juked out of technology. If you got yanked out of it, you missed the opportunity of a generation, and perhaps the best opportunity US economic history. You could have put $10,000 into Amazon at its low, it’s worth $15 million today. So I guess the thing that we need to do is, is try to sit through try to stay through these things with high quality company. So I’m getting yelled at that. We didn’t cover all of our predictions. But I think Steve and I are calling an audible here, our predictions, which were written by Steve, but of course I’m taking credit for them as well. So these are Steve and Anthony predictions. Although I did predict that Elon Musk is going to invent the orgasmatron that was in the Woody Allen head in 1973 sleeper, where you just walk into the booth and you end up coming out of the booth refreshed. Let’s put it this way. But this is this is gonna be on our website. These are predictions will comment on them again next week, people can fire in the comments. Any other questions out there email wise? Here we go. I read a recent opinion on the epidemic of loneliness in the country. My kids are grown. So it’s not just me and my wife money isn’t a big issue. But I do worry about warding off loneliness. Okay, I’ll let see. Just so everybody knows here, even though Steve and I know each other for 30 years, I was one years old when I met Steve. And Steve is way older than me. Okay. Both of you believe that I have bridges on the East River that I want to sell you. But Steve, you answer this, because I think you are about six months older than me. So that makes you the elder statesman.
Steven Feldman 52:39
Yes. That makes me 39 and a half. You know, I read this opinion piece. It was in the New York Times. And the New York Times has had a bunch of articles that I think have been excellent talking about the issues that people of our age ish are going through, whether it be dealing with older parents, and how to, you know, find elder care How to Afford elder care. And then they’ve also this is the second article about the epidemic of loneliness, loneliness in the country. So I did read this. Listen, it’s going to hit my shores, too. I come from a small family. You know, I don’t have I don’t even have very few cousins, or a few, one, one sister, a couple of nephews and nieces and nephews. My kids are grown up. So this could be me. And I think that this country has done a pretty awful job when it when it gets to the elderly. You know, we’re great at capitalism. And since older people don’t spend like longshoreman, and on a Friday night, they get discarded. That’s not true. In other cultures, it’s not true in the Middle East is not true in Japan is not true in Asia. And so the whole thing is set up for you to be separated from society. And it’s a little sad. And I know people worry about this, because it even crosses my mind that I don’t think it’s going to hit me as hard as some others. But I think people have to really get off social media, and start to build their community actively before they need it. And you know, there are, I know, everybody is beating up all of these institutions, from the church, to Penn to the government. But these institutions connect us and in some way, shape or form. If you’re in New York, you should be going to the 92nd Street, why you should be going to your church and your religious communities and building your networks and you can’t do it when you’re 90. You have to start doing it in our society. You have to do it a little younger when you’re still a little bit more valued, unfortunately, which shouldn’t be the case. So I would I would really encourage people to stop get out from behind that screen which is really a lonely this machine, connect with community connect with friends, play pickleball if you have to, even though it sounds like a terrible sport to me, but I think you know, for the folks who want to find something athletic, community, religious, educational, even if you don’t love your cousin’s give him a call, keep don’t shut anybody off and stay open minded to people.
Anthony Scaramucci 55:30
I mean, it’s great advice. I’m not going to add anything to it because it’s so it’s so good. I’m gonna let that I’m gonna leave that there. Steven, we’re gonna we’re gonna we’re gonna wrap here. Okay, but before we do, what are you doing for the holiday?
Steven Feldman 55:45
I am an empty nester. So I leave in January. I’m going to Chile for a couple of weeks and everything from wine country to Patagonia, my wife and myself are doing that and for the holidays, we you know, we’ve tried to recover that, frankly, whether people are going to lots of parties. I’m a hard working guy very hard driving. By the end of the year, I’m I’m a little fatigued, I take the holidays to reconnect with friends, people who are around, write notes, read a lot of books. How about yourself?
Anthony Scaramucci 56:18
Well, okay, you know, Jews and Italians, very similar. Steven, so you’re going to be able to relate to this. I have an 87 year old mother, okay, who lives two miles from where I’m located right now. Okay. And she probably has like a geo locate or somewhere on my body that she inserted in 1965. Okay, a result of which, if I move any further from this house, like I probably get electrocuted. So I’m going to be here. But then I had permission to leave. Okay, and cross the border sometime in mid January. So I’m going to be out in San Moritz at a crypto conference after the holidays. But here on on sunny and very uncloudy and very uncode Long Island. Okay, but what am I going to do, right? We’re both from strong Island and that’s where I’m going to be. But God bless Chilean St. Moritz very fancy places for us. I want to wish everybody out there listening to speak up. A very, very merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, whatever you’re celebrating, frankly, happy holidays, a wonderful new year. We’ll be back next week, believe it or not in the interregnum between Christmas and New Year to talk about these predictions with our listeners and to talk war more about wealth management and financial fitness. God bless everybody. This is speak up and this is a wrap. And very lots of hugs. And thanks to my great friend Steve Feldman, for joining us today.
Steven Feldman 57:42
This is a fun fun, fun time.