The Global Investor

Episode 21:1 LeVar Fraiser - Always Make Your Money Work for You

April 23, 2021 Obris Podcast by Crown Private Season 21 Episode 1
The Global Investor
Episode 21:1 LeVar Fraiser - Always Make Your Money Work for You
Chapters
The Global Investor
Episode 21:1 LeVar Fraiser - Always Make Your Money Work for You
Apr 23, 2021 Season 21 Episode 1
Obris Podcast by Crown Private
Transcript


Episode 21.1 audio only

Wed, 4/7 10:46PM • 53:49

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, commercial real estate, levar, invest, investment, investor, business, teaches, money, started, question, education, understand, podcast, work, job, sector, real estate, opportunity, good

SPEAKERS

James Evenson, [Music], LeVar Frasier


LeVar Frasier  

To save, but the money you save must be invested and it must be diversified in such a way that it's balanced. So you want some exposure to growth, you want some exposure to, you know, to things that are conservative, you know all the different things and metrics across the board. And I think that you know, real estate, whatever land rent whatever, you know, I can go down the litany of things that you can invest in, but pretty much it's succinctly a balanced investment portfolio. And make sure that your money is always working. If your mind is not always working, then I think that you know, you're you're you're keeping yourself at a disadvantage to other investors.


[Music]  

 


James Evenson  

Welcome to the Global Investor Podcast. My name is James Evenson. I'm one of the partners at Crown Private and our investor syndicate Obris by Crown Private. Our membership and our community are made up of like-minded yet unique and adventurous individuals as well as family offices. We invest in a spectrum of deals from established companies to startups. And we do so with a proven formula of due diligence, structuring and management. Our guest today is LeVar Frasier. Levar is one of the members of Obris. And we like to periodically spotlight our members so that we can give our viewers and our listeners a glimpse into the lives as well as the investor prowess of the people who are actively involved with Obris. So a little bit of a background on LeVar. He holds two patents plus has 20 years of combined experience as an engineer, an executive and entrepreneur and an investor. He founded his first business in 1997, and successfully exited that venture to go on to fund and found or in partnership with others, several other small, multi-million dollar enterprises, based in the metro Atlanta, Georgia area of the United States. Now being semi-retired, LeVar has begun to consult and share his knowledge and insights on business and/or strategies that he's learned throughout his tenure as an entrepreneur, and as an accredited investor. Welcome, LeVar. Thanks for joining me today. 


LeVar Frasier  

Thank you. Thank you for having me on. 


James Evenson  

Where do we find you today? 


LeVar Frasier  

Milton Georgia, where I live at now. 


James Evenson  

Milton Georgia. All right, very cool. I shared your brief bio with our listeners and viewers in the preamble. But I have a few more questions, because I know that there's much more that defines you. So let's start with where did you start your career LeVar?


LeVar Frasier  

That's a good question. So it's been a long time. So just as I would say, from probably after college, I started my career at Bell Atlantic Mobile in Maryland. And, and I started my engineering career there. Telecom. 


James Evenson  

Okay, very cool. At what point did you see the entrepreneurial side kicking in for you? 


LeVar Frasier  

Well, I'd say probably right around that time, because when I started there, initially, I did a short stint when I was in college at Northrop Grumman, got some secret clearances, did some warfare ESSD. And because it was a secure facility, we had to build our own computers, because you couldn't take hard drives in and out and so forth. Long story short, we had our own computers, built our own computers. So I started a little IT business, you know, like my sophomore, junior year in college, and carried that forward and took a job Bell Atlantic Mobile and started building, you know, building computers and labs, and wound up getting a contract for the state of Maryland and then got a contract with a mortgage company in the southeast and just kind of expand with some nonprofits, wound up getting with a buddy of mine from college, we developed some software for real estate agents. That's kind of where it started, you know, just that, that that. That piece of it there and then it just expanded. 


James Evenson  

So you were able to run a career, official career and the entrepreneurial side parallel, and then cross, sounds like crossing over a fair bit as well. 


LeVar Frasier  

Yeah, exactly. So that's how it started and then the business started getting busier than work. And, and then eventually I said, Okay, you know, maybe, maybe I need to try to go out on my own my own full time. So that's pretty much where it began. 


James Evenson  

Very good. So what about your investor side? When did that...When do you think that kicked in? Or do you remember? 


LeVar Frasier  

Yeah, I remember when I actually started making some money. So, I would say probably, I had been in business, I started a business, like I said, 97 kind of part time, in and out and then went full time and 2000 2001. And I would say probably around 2009 2009 2010 was when I started to dabble in some investments, some some equity investments, real estate investments. And, you know, from there it just, they just grew into being a partner in a couple different firms, a couple friends wanting to expand into different markets and I just had an interest to try to dabble...had the entrepreneurial spirit to dabble in some different things. And that's where I really started to get into some of the investment and enjoy that part. 


James Evenson  

So we fast forward now. You said it was right around 2000 you said? 


LeVar Frasier  

Well, investments throughout 2008 2009. 


James Evenson  

Okay, so we're now moving on


LeVar Frasier  

Started an entrepreneurial business around 2000. 


James Evenson  

Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay. Very cool. So you, you describe yourself as being semi-retired. Now, looking at you, you're at the point in your career, when most people are still building their careers. How did you decide to semi-retire? What's behind that? And what does that actually mean for you?


LeVar Frasier  

Well, I've been blessed, like I said, to make some decent investments in commercial real estate. And then you know, some stuff and obviously, you know, blockchain, FinTech and had a successful telecom company engineering wise. So because of just either being in a partnership, or having these different ventures, I've been able to draw either a distribution or check or some type of royalty from those entities, and it's kind of put me in a position financially, aside from this past pandemic, where, you know, I've had some, some discretionary or you know, just, you know, exceess and overflowing and from a monetary perspective sometimes. So,you know, being semi-retired means for me that I'm at a point now, where I'm, I'm doing work that I actually I'm not, I'm taking jobs and being selective on what I do more for my relationships, you know, I'm, I'm collecting a regular, you know, income from my investments, and the amount of effort that I put in and in terms of work, every day is gone. You know, down probably about 70 80%. That doesn't mean I'm not busy. I'm just not physically as busy as I, as I was with, you know, working in either one of my telecom companies or my commercial real estate business.


James Evenson  

Sure. So what does semi retirement look like then? If you're, if you're not focused so much on the business side? What How do you spend your time? 


LeVar Frasier  

Oh, so this year, this year being a, you know, a different year than most. Yeah, I spend a lot of time with my son and my daughter, and yeah, my son's very active in sports. So I've been spending time with them. But then also being able to look at different equity investments and opportunities. There's two companies that I'm, you know, just kind of some friends that I know, they're starting out a sports facility complex here in Georgia, it looks like I'll be investing in. And so we're just trying to work out the deals as a nonprofit that's starting that up. So that's something I'm looking at, and I'm just taking a board seat on that company, I'll give them some seed money there. There's a friend of mine that starting up a or wants to start up a dealership. And so I like cars. So I say, Hey, you know, I'll give you a little, you know, something to take a take a little chunk out of as an investor. So we're working out, the attorneys are working out the logistics on that. So that's a lot of what I'm doing just kind of looking at deals, doing some consulting work, obviously, you know, Rolf very well and Reggie. So we've been doing very well with our consulting and that's a lot of fun, because we're helping miners get started. We're helping educate people on you know, mining and, and the whole, you know, cryptocurrency, I call it crypto cryptonians. But, you know, help help them, you know, just get an understanding of what, what is involved with and how to get that started so we're doing some consulting work. So yeah, I mean, that's basically and from my engineering company, I've been able to, you know, pretty much offload a lot of the installation and construction work to where all we focus on now is, is design and engineering work for four or 5G solutions. So, you know, like, yesterday, I was at FiServ, you know, doing something and you know, kind of at their facility to try to get them ready. So anyway, things like that. 


James Evenson  

That sounds great. Just to give people the background, you mentioned Rolf. Rolf and Reggie. So Rolf introduced you to Obris. And you and Reggie both joined us in Panama a couple years ago. That's actually where we met. And you the three of you have, are you still calling it the North Georgia Crypto Mining Company? Yeah, so you got your feet wet in doing your own crypto mining and now you guys have added on to that consulting for others who are wanting to set up their own. You guys have a phenomenal, phenomenal setup there. I've only seen it on video and we interviewed Rolf, gosh, sometime last year about it. So I imagine things are just hopping right now with where crypto crypto assets are on the still on a meteoric rise.


LeVar Frasier  

Yeah, it's buzzing. I mean, we get we get a bunch of requests every day for consulra and the calendar stays pretty full. So we're, you know, we're booking those out. You know, the future, obviously, is a little bit of backlog there. It's been really good. Obviously, just like I said, it's gonna be just because of the explosion in the price, but there's been a lot of good things going on in the industry at large. It's not, it's not all just the prices, there's been a lot of positive things that have happened, that, you know, people that are just coming into it, we had a call yesterday, me and Rolf and, you know, we had a call where the guy we're often asking, Why are you getting into this? A lot of people start off and say, Well, I just want to make a lot of money. And then we tell them, Hey, you know, it's just like any other business, it has a cycle. So you know, if you buy at the peak, you're most likely going to take a haircut. So one of the things you want to do from an investment perspective, which is what I explained to this gentleman yesterday, you know, you look at where the highs and lows are and you try try to buy in or get in at the at the bottom, where it's a down a down part of the cycle or, you know, cycles on the downside. And then that way you can you can ride that upward, that upward potential and the opportunity of gains that come along with that. So that's a big part of what I've been doing lately, you know, just trying to educate, you know, some of our customers on that and spend some time with the family and then just do stuff that, that I really enjoy that I like, yeah, so that's, where I'm at.


James Evenson  

That sounds like fun. It sounds like a lot of fun. I'm sure I know, it's not I am sure that you've earned earned a few gray hairs along the way, a lot of [laughing] probably earned more than you have. One of the reasons that I wanted to interview you is that we, we like to spotlight members periodically in our, in our interviews. So I want to speak about Obris briefly, and that is just ask you. I already mentioned that Rolf introduced you to Obris, a couple years ago, you came to Panama, and you decided to become a member. What led you to become what convinced you that you wanted to be a member of Obris? And what what was the draw? And why do you continue on with us?


LeVar Frasier  

 Well, that's a great question. So as an independent, you know, investor, one of the things that that you find is that you make a lot of bad decisions. And so like I told you, all these investments that I started along the way, not all of them have been good. And so when you start to you don't vet things out properly, or it's a friend of a friend or somebody that comes along, and he you think he did some due diligence, and you look at a term sheet and you know, your attorney looks at it. That's that's the kind of investments that that have kind of plagued my investment career up until I joined Obris. And so with your organization, there's a lot more vetting that goes on, there's specific people that have expertise in various areas that you know, can provide some validity or you know, some sound judgment and insight on to whether or not something's a good a good investment, and it will get what what one example of that was, I forget the gentleman's name, but we were...When we were in Panama, I had a couple of people approach me about a cannabis investment. And I sent it over to I forgot his name. But..


James Evenson  

John


LeVar Frasier  

yes, I sent it over to him. He took a quick read and said stay away. And so that's the kind of expertise that you can get from from being a member of Obris.


James Evenson  

Yeah, I, I felt when you were in our, you know, when we were in each other's company, I felt like you were really good fit, because you have the you have the success behind you. And you have the competence as well as the confidence and much like others in the group, I recognize that you would be in a similar position that John was was in with you and that when somebody asks you for candid guidance on something, you have the if it's in your bailiwick, you have the expertise, and the confidence to actually say, you know what, here's how you really should read it. Yeah, now very, very cool. Well, let's talk about your investor side, because you know, Obris the three pillars are people, places, deals, I would like to you to share with our investors, your...or sorry, our listeners and our viewers. What is your perspective on investing? Or what is your What is your approach to investing?


LeVar Frasier  

That's a good question. So for me, you know, I've kind of very much like you, my family was more of a middle class family. So we kind of chugged along and have had some success and kind of moved along in the ladder of financial wealth and means and still by no means where we all want to be at but we're, you know, we're making progress. But from an investor perspective, me what I tried to do was to be opportunistic. And so I was my nephew just started a logistics company. And so I am constantly talking to him and mentoring him about some things. So 20 years of being in business, try to make sure he doesn't take the same pitfall. So from an investment... opportunistic, so having, you know, liquidity or having means to be able to take advantage of opportunities that come along, that may or may not ordinarily present themselves on a reoccurring or regular basis. So that to me is one of the things that's paramount is just being ready to pounce on an opportunity to see. The second thing that I'd probably thrown in there is that I just mentioned to you, I try to find things that I feel like they have some type of, I can understand them. They're simplistic. They're, you know, they're there, they may be complex, but I can understand it, I can talk to you about it, we can kind of it's not, it's not tricky, it's not confusing, because I find that if something if I don't understand something, if I don't feel like I can relate to it, or have any, you know, insight that I could share, or you can't, you know, you can't make it plain to me, I don't think it's a good investment. For me. It may be a good investment for someone, but it's not a good investment for me, because in the past, I've been burned by deals like that. So I stay away from stuff like that. So that's probably to the second thing where I just like to make sure that it's something that I can understand, even though I may not be intelligent upon it, you know, at that time, but with the proper education it's something that I can understand, is straightforward in the sense that I can get my money out of it, I know where I put money in, and I know how I can get money out. So if all of that's there, and then it's something that I feel like actually makes a difference in some way, then I get excited about it. I feel like it's something that I can invest in. So that's the second thing. And then and then the last thing is really just like as I explained to one of our clients yesterday, is is is being understanding the cycle of a business. Every business, I don't care how big how successful or how large has a business cycle, they don't make money every single year for hundreds of years without ever having a down cycle.  So if you can understand every sector industry or organization Corporation what have you where they are in that cycle. And then you have an opportunity invest from an equity perspective, or you know, from from from, whether it be public or private, but you already had an opportunity to invest in that, then that's always I think, you know, good to have those to have that in your mind. So those are the three things that kind of drive me as an investor.


James Evenson  

Hey, thanks. And as far as sectors go, are there...are you drawn to particular sectors? So far, what I heard was...I wouldn't call it a hodgepodge. But your criteria are things that you get, that you recognize, you see the value of them, you see where they are in their life cycle. How do you define the sector's that you that you choose to invest in? And are there areas that are just off limits?


LeVar Frasier  

Well, I think that there are some areas that are off limits with if they're, you know, if they're not kid friendly, you know, so if it's not something that's kid friendly, or you know, really family friendly, then it's not something that's going to get my dollar. That doesn't mean I don't mean I don't like it, or I don't, it's just something that I'm not going to invest in. I just can't do that with a family and kids. And I've had opportunities presented to me where I felt like the moral fabric of that opportunity just didn't meet, you know, meet the litmus test of something that I want to invest in. But as you said, sectors are things where as...it changes, I mean, you know, if you asked me, if you asked me 10 years ago, where do i think that you know, where I invested or want to put most of my money, I'll tell you in real estate, but now I'm more looking at public and private equity stuff. So it really just depends. And the reason for that is obviously the the significant amount of return. So I tried to always have a balanced investment portfolio, just like I have a balanced, you know, investment if I had have, you know, invest in stocks or funds or whatever, I just tried to make sure it was balanced, I don't overweight in one sector or another. But there are areas where I feel like there's a lot of growth opportunity, if you will. And that's things like software, social media, things that are driven in that space, obviously, you know, blockchain technology. I'm in that space. And so I think that has a lot of upside potential. And it has done really well for us. I mean, we're all crazy over the last four years, so, but I'm also a big, you know, big person on commercial real estate, you know, I like commercial real estate, I still, you know, am involved in properties in that in that regard. So I think that that's, but that's a business that's more cyclical. So you've got lean years, where you've got to make sure like last year, you've got to make sure that you've got, you've got some, you know, excess liquidity there. And then you have years where it's very robust to where you're actually building up. So those are sectors that I've kind of, you know, I've invested in software technology. And, you know, my background is in engineering. You know, I'm an electrical engineer by by, you know, from education. So, yeah, that's something I definitely understand. So wireless technology, those things I definitely am and I'm very bullish on those.


James Evenson  

Yeah, yeah, that's actually It's a great that you have a great foundational starting point for coming out of having your tech not technology expertise and the years of experience there. And particularly in this day and age, I appreciate here, I appreciate hearing what you consider a balanced portfolio or how you want to structure your portfolio. I asked that question of people oftentimes, and I think that's partly just because I learned I benefit from hearing how other people structure it, I have a tendency to get weighted into certain things, particularly things that I know well. Okay, so LeVar, one thing that you've mentioned to me before is failures, we've all had them, you've told me that you have learned in your in your world of investing, you endeavor to learn from your failures. Tell me about how that plays out for you.


LeVar Frasier  

Oh, that's, that's a great question. So, you know, I go back and say, that's one of the reasons why join Obris. To basically minimize the amount of failures that I had. Because again, I think that, you know, failure as a teacher, it kind of gives you a an opportunity to learn. But the problem is, when you're dealing with, you know, real dollars, that learning can can can be painful. So sometimes if you go out and we, you know, you, you make a wrong turn, and you get lost, and yeah, it's not you may waste a tank of gas. But if you go out, you make a bad investment, and you spend a couple 100,000, or a few million dollars on something that..it sticks with you, you know, it's not something that you get over, you get over real quick. So failures have definitely, as I mentioned, to you drove me to look at investing by partnerships of people or in a crowd. Well, you know, so I'm more akin now to look at something and say, Hey, James, what do you think about this? This is in your sector, you know, what do you think about it? You know, how do you feel about it? What have you seen? What do you think this is that, and if I don't feel like someone that I respect and trust, like yourself, is, is really comfortable with it or feels like it's something of any significance, I probably would just stay away from it. So that's really what the failures have done for me, they've gotten me to tighten up my belt of definitely more, you know, more, I'm more knowledgeable about investments now. But I would say that I'm definitely more cautious. Before I you know, I'd say, you know, it's only this amount, so I am okay, well, you know, let's, let's roll the dice. And I'm just, you know, you start running out of cash, you can't keep doing that.


James Evenson  

Well, at the same time building up a family and, you know, in your 20s 30s, there's more room for the higher risk choices. And, and likewise, we're not as wise in our 20s and 30s, as we are in our 40s and 50s. So one of the things that has struck me since I first met you is that I think you're, I think you're a really competent teacher. And I and I would say probably coach mentor would also qualify, I realize those are three, three distinct things. But what I really appreciate is how you understand complex matters. And then you break them down into simple pieces that your audience can understand, the person that you're interacting with. I see that as you talk about how you're teaching moments with your kids. But just Likewise, when we were in Panama, as we were breaking down potential investments anyway, I really appreciate that about you. Because it's not it's, it's not off putting to people. In fact, I think it actually endears you to people that they recognize you as someone who is who is wise. Where am I going with that? There is a there is a question about that. So I think we can take it as a matter of fact that you are someone who is actively teaching mentoring coaching people along along the way. So what do you wish that someone would have instilled in your 20-something self? And then in your 30-something self?


LeVar Frasier  

Oh, that's a great question. It is exactly what I talked to my nephew about. Almost regularly since he's going on this path of entrepreneurship. One is to limit limits your exposure, your financial exposure, because when you're an entrepreneur and you start out, the first thing you always just focus on is just making money. And you know, you want to provide services and obviously you can do good and you can make money, and that's what you want to do. But the other thing you don't think about is protecting those assets and limiting that exposure as you're doing that. And I think that so some people are further along because they have somebody in their family that like I said before I my family didn't start out that way, so they have somebody in their family that educates them on, hey, when you have a certain amount of means or certain things, you need to make sure that they're in a trust or they're protected here, you've got a Nevis LLC or whatever you got something set up that is going to minimize your your exposure. When because not it's not a question of if it's when some event comes along. And then you need to have that shield there. So that's one thing, I think that if I would have known that 20 years ago, when I first started business, that would be very, very, very helpful. The second thing that I think is equally important, is, as I mentioned to you, when your most most families are taught to save, and, and I say not, yeah, not all because I don't know all but I'm just saying most families from where I grew up and came from were taught to save, and savings was, you know, having certain amount of money in the bank, in a bank account, or under a mattress or in a safe wherever you feel comfortable putting it. But somewhere, where effectively it's really not working for you. You know, it's not really generating...I always, like I always joke with my nephew and say, Benjamin wants to have more Benjamins, and he wants to multiply and thrive. So having that money under a mattress or in a safe or in a bank account, traditionally is not going to safe, but it's not necessarily going to allow that to really grow in earnest. So I think the message to my children, what I've been telling them is to save, but the money you save must be invested. And it must be diversified in such a way where it's balanced. So you want some exposure to growth, you want some exposure to you know, to things that are conservative, you know, all the different things and metrics across across the board. And I think that, you know, real estate, whatever land read whatever, you know, I can go down the litany of things that you can invest in but pretty much it's a succinctly a balanced investment portfolio, and make sure that your money is always working. If your money is not always working, then I think that, you know, you're you're you're keeping yourself at a disadvantage to other investors. So those are two things really, that from a from a from an educational perspective, or mentor, that very simple. But I think that if you instill that in someone early on before they start actually earning some money, it just saves them, you know, just get some further down further down the road than where we are now. If we know that 20 or 30 years ago.


James Evenson  

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, that would have been sage advice in our in our 20s... well, both those pieces in our 20s and 30s. Well, let's stay on the education front for now, because you have a podcast. Clearly that is a priority for you in in teaching others. Just so our listeners and viewers know it the podcast is the C R F Adventures no... Ventures, excuse me CRF Ventures podcast 


LeVar Frasier  

adventures, it's something we're doing on the journey.


James Evenson  

We are definitely are. Who is your audience there, who are you speaking to?


LeVar Frasier  

Well speaking to people that are like me, you know, or like us, I mean, you know, does not, you know, not not any specific race or demographic, but people that are looking to get into investing, they don't know where to start. And they think it's hard, it's arduous, the terms or the terminology or the barrier to entry is is too high. And so what I've tried to do is break it down and say listen, you know, if you can save $1 a day and invest that, then it puts you, it puts you on the path to where you need to go. If you can be if you can have money set aside that you can, you can then take advantage of opportunities, then you know, that's going to put you down the road further to where you are and more toward where you want to go. So that's really what the podcast is about. It's about it's about getting people to understand that investing is is is not just something that you do once and set it and forget it is something that you do throughout your entire life, you change the focus of what that investment strategy may be along the way as you learn or are exposed to more things, but you always have to put your resources to work and I've always been a good saver, but I haven't always been a good investor. And so I think that my message now to my children and to everybody that that's in my circle of people that I communicate with and all my listeners is that invest your money, don't let any of it rest for too long in a bank account. Obviously you need money in the bank account, but you know, make sure that the majority of the money that you have is working and that could be in private equity, public equity, public public equity, you know, real estate You know, private, you know, like residential, commercial, obviously commercial is a lot more expensive. But wherever, wherever you can put it to work, if you want to get, you're getting 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 2-3%, you know, he started getting like a 10th of a percent or a fraction. I don't understand. For me, it just doesn't make sense to keep.


James Evenson  

That actually leads me to it to an unrelated question, I'll come, I'll come to about commercial real estate, I'll come to a little bit later. But I'm staying with with your podcast, what are your plans for the future, I think you've done a few episodes so far. And clearly, you have a wealth of material to cover if you're going to, if you're going to...you shared, you shared your goals of what you're wanting to convey. So what what are a few of the topics that are forthcoming for you in that?


LeVar Frasier  

So I think I think last one I finished up was, I think I had one it was on financials, you know, financial awareness or basically education, you know, just bringing


James Evenson  

financial literacy was your, I think was your first one. 


LeVar Frasier  

Yeah, financial literacy. Exactly. And then I followed that one out with something that was more, you're talking about real estate. So the next one is something that I'm involved in, I'm gonna kind of go down the line of things that I know and industries and sectors that I'm in. So the next one that I'll probably release, and I've been, I've been trying now that my, my daughter is a little bit older, you kind of know, she, she popped up and sprung up on us at the COVID baby, so to speak. But, but now that she's a little bit older, I have a little bit more time and that my wife is starting to get reactivated into, you know, the real, you know, I guess the world again, and the baby can travel and go out and move around. So not to digress into that. But the the podcast now that that I'm probably going to start I'm going to do one is probably gonna be on cryptocurrencies, and you know, just investment strategies in that in that space that I've done this year. And last year, and I probably won't touch too much on the mining aspect of it. Because at the end of the day, mining is so expensive, it's out of reach for most people, but everyone can invest in, you know, and Bitcoin or some of the different currencies that are out there. So I'll probably have some introduction to that. Talk a little bit about them talk a little bit about their, you know, their purpose, their usefulness, which ones I think have a real have have a future have a runway and which ones I think that there's a significant amount of appreciation there. So that's probably where I will spend some time on the next podcast.


James Evenson  

Excellent. Well, I'm looking forward to that. I don't actually I enjoy listening to your podcasts. Alright, so I'm going to stay on the education front for just one more. One more question. And that is, let's go to your kids. So you have kids ranging from I think preteen down to pre toddler right now. So a total of three. And I don't want to get I don't want to ask too many too personal of questions. But I'd like to ask, how are you preparing them for the world? We know your expectations for them in terms of being investors, but what what are your expectations? And how are you preparing them for that?


LeVar Frasier  

Well, yeah, so my son, he just turned 13, my daughter just turned 11. And we've got basically a toddler. And so her education is a lot different than the other two. So we'll talk about the other two, first, and then we'll talk about my son, you know, probably cuz he's the oldest. And so what I've been trying to really get across my son, you know, I played sports. And so to me, sports and education are hand in hand. I'm one of those people where I think that education, you know, is excellent, because it teaches you how to learn, teaches you how to excel at academia and academics and you know, how the nuances there were to be able to, to self teach yourself as you get older, you need to have good study practices and understand how to read and in technical reading, I always tell people is different than literal reading, so me and my son have already gone through that piece of it. You can't just read 20 paragraphs of technical material in one go. You know, like you can literal material, you can read that in one go. So So we've we've done that. And so obviously, Mathematics and Science and all those things in my household are really, really big. I incentivize my kids with monetary incentives, incentives to do well in that area. But, you know, I think that the sports teach you how to work with others. It teaches you about commitment and you know, having a goal and focusing on that goal and working hard and failure and success. And, you know, my son just recently this weekend, won a tournament got MVP in one of his basketball tournaments. So you know, that was good because the previous three or four tournaments they lost. And so it  just kind of shows After you keep working at something and you keep practicing, you can keep getting better and better. And so I think having that and also teaches you from a permanent from a, from an athletic perspective, it just teaches you how to be in shape. So you take care of your body. You eat, right, you get sleep, because you've got to make sure you're in good shape, and all those things that come up, I could go on and on about that, because it's one of the things I'm passionate about. But from what from that perspective of my kids, I try to teach them, you know, athletics, so you know, stay in shape exercise, academics, making sure you understand you got educated, well educated, you understand things from that perspective, and then how to push yourself and drive not to be lazy not to take things for granted, you know, and yeah, we're all in my house very, very spiritually inclined, and so I don't want to say anything on theory to your listeners, I don't know where they are in the world. So I'll just...


James Evenson  

We have a diverse audience.


LeVar Frasier  

I'll just say, I'll just say that. So you know, we are very, very in tune with that. And so I want to make sure they're founded in morality and things that that are not just, you know, when I operate my business, and not just what I can do legally, it's also what is the moral thing to do in this situation. So I want to make sure they have a good foundation, and strong morals and work ethic. That's what I'm teaching my kids. And then at the same time, I'm starting to talk to my son about, you know, investments and, and how to take a, you know, how, what does that mean, you know, how does that work? What are all the different things that are out there, and you can invest in, and obviously, you know, that I have things, you know, set up for them so that when they get older, if they're good stewards, I just had a conversation with him the other day and said, you know, good stewards, you don't do this on your own, you know, this bad or whatever. I won't say it all on your show, but I just said, you don't get anything. You can so so, so. So,


James Evenson  

That's wise parenting. That really is wise parenting


LeVar Frasier  

Well,yeah. So and then, you know, we have a nonprofit foundation where we had STEM Foundation, where we had kids on scholarships at various schools and things of that nature. So, so we're big on education, we're big on education. I'm trying to get my kids to really understand that they've got to be astute investors. And you know, make sure that saving is not just the the main part of it. For example, I didn't know anything about this, but my daughter apparently plays or has a game on her phone or something that's called Roblox. And so they recently IPO'd. So I had each one of our kids and asked him I said, Hey, well, you know, this thing just IPO'd. Do you want to buy some shares in this? You know, I'm getting for you, whatever. So, we recently we both have recently just purchased some some shares of Roblox.


James Evenson  

That's a good use of their allowance.


LeVar Frasier  

Yes, very good.


James Evenson  

Well, you let them take jobs before they finished high school?


LeVar Frasier  

So yes, that's, I'll digress for one second on that. So we had already talked about my son's first job and my daughter's too. So we live in Milton. So Milton is a little a little more rural than Alpharetta. But we're right next to Alpharetta. But in Milton, we have a lot of farms, horse farms, all kinds of farms. So we've picked out a farm for my son to be able to go and clean up some you know, to do some, some real heavy lifting to do some real farm work, where we're going to pay a minimum wage. So when he turns 14, we will tell the farmer Hey, listen, my son is going to come. Don't worry about paying him, give him the hardest work you can find make sure he's getting you got the shovel, whatever it needs to do, we're going to pay him minimum wage. And so you know, part of that education is you know, he gets that job, he does that for a couple of weeks or month or two months, whatever his break is out of school, and he's not doing something else. And he's making minimum wage, and he sees what that feels like. And he sees what understands that, you know, this is hard work. And this is how much money I made. So two things to ring true after that, because it did for me, it's that's how I said, Okay, this is not something I want to do.Two things should ring true. I don't ever want to do that again. And that's all I made. So, so now when I tell you go to school, focus on your education, you know, try to work on getting a good job, being responsible, you got something to compare it to and reference back to


James Evenson  

Yeah, man, that speaks true to me as well. I I'll often ask in a group so what was the worst job you ever had? And so far, I look back to when I was in university there and I worked from I don't know, I think my first job was eight years old, working sub minimum wage for my grandfather in his produce farm but by the time I got to university I'd had I'd had some fairly crappy jobs, but this one took the cake it was the I was working for a scale company that they maintained and retrofitted large scales for for commercial purposes. And there was a Kroger distribution center that had a defunct truck scale that they were re-commissioning and the space, go through a manhole down into the actual under under space. And it was about two feet of sludge. Now, like yourself, I am over six feet tall 6'3". For me, I think you're a little bit taller than me. Getting... what's that?


LeVar Frasier  

I said, not much. I'm 6'4".


James Evenson  

Okay. I'll stand up, I'll sit up straight. Anyway, so I had for about two weeks, the job of cleaning sludge out of this space, I think that the highest part of the ceiling was maybe three and a half feet, and it went down to about two and a half feet. And at the time, I think I was just, you know, frustrated, but my goal was to get through it. And I cannot tell you how much I can look back on that as a point of saying, I can, I can do almost anything. If I if I can do that I can do almost anything. And I don't want to ever have to do that again. You know, so I think it's really good that you're, you're positioning your kids for that and prepping them for for the future. I realiz that a lot of parents don't you know, they want they they want their kids to focus exclusively on it on the official education. But sounds like you're you're giving them a well rounded experience. What so what are you expecting for life for your now seven months old, when she is an adult? What will the world look like? And how, how do you prepare for that?


LeVar Frasier  

Yeah, I don't know that one day at a time. You know, we didn't plan to have a third one. I mean, our window of time passed. And, you know, just guess it was in the cards. That's all I can say. And so I I don't know. I mean, what I plan to do with this with this one is make sure that you know, beyond that semi retired to full retired and, and just have a lot more time, I'll tell you to be honest with you. One of the things that blessings has come from this whole COVID thing is that my kids are about about the age where my businesses were really, my jobs were just really busy. My son is 13. And, you know, my daughter's 11. And I wasn't home that much ... either from travel or from work or you know, employees or doing what and this year, I've been you know, I've been able to take them, take them to school every day when they go and be in carpool picking them up and, you know, going to games and I coach my son's team this year because they couldn't find a coach. So I've been coaching his team and parents aren't happy. You know how that is but I've been trying to do the best job I can. And so yeah, I've been able to do that when my daughter's go to some of her swim meets. So I've been able to be around the family a lot more. And with my youngest daughter, the newborn. I've been babysitting a little bit. I guess it's not babysitting when it's your I call it babysitting, because I don't do as good as mom. But you know, I've been able to, she's been able to hang out with me, I'll tell you sometimes I'm on a call or conference call where I don't have to do video or anything. And we're literally,you know, she's literally right here with me. She'll be looking on the screen at somebody and she'll be like, Well, you know, what is that what's going on?

James Evenson  
If she's on your lap now, she's being really quiet LeVar.


LeVar Frasier  

No she's, she's not here now because she's at that age now where you really can't have her on because she's she's starting to figure out that she has a voice and she started starting to try to put she's kind of at that development age where they can't speak yet, but they can make sounds and they're starting to figure out how to talk. If you if you remember that, but she's she's definitely you know, I don't know. I mean, what I expect from her what I'm looking at, it's so far away, just one day at a time.


James Evenson  

Yeah, yeah. That's a fair answer. It is it is a long ways away before she is a will be a full fledged adult. I just can't imagine that at the speed of change. What what that will be like, but rather exciting. And I think just based on what I know of how you've raised her, her older sister and brother. She's going to be well positioned for it. You know what, I think we're gonna wrap up here fairly quick, fairly soon. So I'm just going to ask you two more questions. And the first one is I want to digress to commercial real estate. You've had that's been a significant part of your portfolio, and just a a few words, what is what are your expectations for a rebound? Or a? What is what will be a new reality for commercial real estate post COVID-19? You know, when might that bounce back? If at all?


LeVar Frasier  

Yeah, so commercial real estate will definitely bounce back. I think that people always, you know, you've had a big shift to e commerce. But the challenge with e commerce is that it really takes jobs out of the local community. And then the other thing with that is it is not something people like to get out, they like to go touch feel, they like to experience the senses are not the same. The sensory connection is not the same with e commerce. But essentially, it's convenient, you know, but I think that over time, what will happen is in commercial real estate, and all sorts, whether it be Class A, Class B,C, or even if it's retail, or if it's, you know, office space, the need for that space will change. So whereas before, a lot of spaces were, you know, where restaurants and maybe fitness, and and things of that nature, they'll shift to other things that are more neighborhood centric, or more community centric, things that you really can't or not as beneficial to go online to get or do. So I think that's what you'll see you'll you'll see some places where the big the big centers shrink, but the real estate is still real estate. So there's sub divided, or there's a mixed use development that's there to where people can have a cup of coffee, and maybe they can catch a movie or rent something or do something there, or, you know, they can live right there. I mean, I see that real estate is changing in that way. So it's all like community work lives type of things, I think you'll have more centers to where, because people are able to work remote more often, as they continue to develop smart cities and 5g and that grows up, I think you'll start to have centers where there's more collaboration between, you know, between different entrepreneurs and businesses, and people that don't have to live in a specific area, but they still need, they still feel the need to get out the house and go work somewhere. So commercial real estate is all cyclical. So you know, we, when I look at it, I look at as I mentioned yesterday, and I mentioned earlier on in our discussion, I look at the cycles. And so where are we at in the cycle, so we're not at the bottom of the cycle, because the bottom of the cycle was last year, but we haven't really got through to where we'll see some leaning out in the commercial real estate space, because because you'll start to see where some people just they'll have they just the PPP money will run out, all the different loans will run out, those businesses that have been on life support will just die. And when that happens, those real estate, those pieces of real estate that were heavily invested or involved with that they're gonna have, they're gonna struggle. And so there'll be some opportunities within the next 24 or 36 months to, to pick up those properties that are, that have been really distressed because of that. And then after that, I think you'll start to see an uptick in commercial real estate of all kinds, you know, you'll start to see that start to pick back up, you'll start to see vacancies, you know, go down, you'll start to see you know, prices and things go up and continue on that on that on that matter. Now residentials in a whole different sphere because depending on where you're at in the country, you either been opened or closed or there's your the income tax situation that's more preferable to high net worth individuals or what. So that's different. But what you're going to see in that regard is there's a lot of people that have taken the forbearance and a bit of a forbearance, and they're still in forbearance every time they extend, or they come out with more money and they said something that forbearance gets extended. So long story short, when that comes to a head, the real estate market, the property or the residential real estate market is gonna in in my opinion, is gonna take big time, and it'll rebound. So it'd be opportunities here. I think that's gonna happen within the next 12 to 24 months.


James Evenson  

Thanks very much. I appreciate your perspective on that. My last question for you is very vague, very vague question for but what's next?


LeVar Frasier  

Well, so yeah, so I mentioned the two things that I'm looking at this year with some local individuals that are trying to raise some capital to do some things. So a sports complex is something that I'm looking at here in the Alpharetta area. And and the other thing is this car dealership that Yeah, wants to wants to embark on. So I figure, yeah i like cars, maybe I get a good deal on one if I'm if I'm investing in. Those are the things that are on the immediate horizon. And then just more I've been doing a lot of public equity stuff and just, you know, a lot of sector driven stuff and I've just been Enjoying a lot of day trading with with crypto currencies and in particular Bitcoin. I've been I've been having little groups and little classes on, you know, day trading with Bitcoin. I've got about 30 people that I've been helping to navigate that. And that's been a lot of fun. So, you know, we're up for the year obviously, so it's been a lot of fun.


James Evenson  

Hey, It's hard not to be, isn't it?


LeVar Frasier  

Yeah


James Evenson  

I didn't mean that to disparage your your day trading capabilities. Your I am, I'm sure that I'm sure that your your version of up is, is stronger than than many. Hey, LeVar, this has been phenomenal. I really appreciate being able to get you behind the camera to have a chat. And I'm thinking right now that I look forward to folks coming to our future events, meeting you and just meeting meeting the, we have a really remarkable group of people involved with Obris. You're You're a stellar example of that. So thanks for sharing your time with us today. And it's great, great to get some some insight into what it's like to be a mid 40s, semi retired professional with a tremendous outlook for the future. So thank you very much.


LeVar Frasier  

No problem. And thank you have a great day and it's been great being on today.


James Evenson  

Thanks for joining us for The Global Investor podcast. If you like what you've heard, we have much more to offer you. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel or to the podcast itself. Obris is an investor syndicate. We are defined by people, places, and deals. Our members and guests are an amazing group of self-made and accomplished investors and entrepreneurs. We come from 15 different countries and a wide variety of professions. We share the common pursuits of surrounding ourselves with great people in great places. while gaining significant returns in investing. Please head over to our website, ObrisInvest.com, where you can learn more about Obris, our members, investing with us, and our world class events. That's O-B-R-I-S-I-N-V-E-S-T.com. We also invite you to sign up for our free Global Investor newsletter. You'll have access to our weekly insights as well as deep dives into specific industries and global markets. And be sure to come to an Obris event. There is no better way to get to know us than through our events. We are currently working on our next live, in-person event. Check out our website for details. My partners and I created Obris to facilitate freedom, wealth, adventure and connection. With Obris you'll experience a whole new world of investing.