What’s up! It’s episode 94 of Payne Points of Wealth and we have a special and very different episode for you today. We have a good friend Rich Antoniello, on the podcast. He’s the former CEO and founder of Complex Media, a company that recently merged with BuzzFeed. Rich talks about the entrepreneurship journey, how he came from humble beginnings back in Brooklyn, and how that impacted his view of finances. He also talks about the state of the financial services industry in general. It’s a great interview, Rich is a really charismatic guy, and he’s got a pretty cool take on things. We think you’re going like it.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Rich roots from humble beginnings [1:04]
- Having the guts to leave the guiled cage [8:36]
- The psychology of money [15:04]
- Sold not bought [25:00]
- What is the 3.0 version of what the market has become? [32:24]
- The impact of music [42:51]
What was it like for Rich growing up in Brooklyn?
Rich says it’s not just the location, but you have to think about the cultural and familial side. Both of his parents were immigrants. His mom was one of 9 and his dad was one of 8. So literally big families, both Depression kids, and education wasn’t big on either side. Then you layer on the neighborhood. It’s a beautiful place to live if you want to grow up around neighbors and neighborhoods where it’s basically extended family. The trade-off was that you lived a very small life because your exposure was so narrow. There were a lot of cops, a lot of firemen, and union jobs. His dad was a UPS delivery guy. The aperture of what you’re knowledgeable about and what you see is limited. There were very few executives and very few financial guys. Rich’s exposure to business was trying read a Wall Street Journal which was not something readily available.
But he thinks it was a great thing in that he learned foundational values. You couldn’t operate within that world in any other way. These were good people, but the view of ambition and even understanding what a floor in a ceiling would be like from a career perspective was just nowhere. And he couldn’t Google it back then either. The library had a whole bunch of old biographies. It was great to be able to go read about Rockefeller, but it wasn’t exactly what Rich would call inspirational from the standpoint of understanding what a blueprint or a track would be from a realistic perspective for somebody like him.
Rich’s mind on money
Obviously, Rich’s financial circumstances have changed drastically from his humble roots in Brooklyn. But how has that changed his perception of money and how is it the same just because of his upbringing? The way we’re brought up does color the way that we view our financial situation, financial security, and a lot of the decisions we make around money.
Rich explains how his perception has changed entirely but his behaviors have not come all the way along. He’s massively aggressive and understands so much more and can see the things, but there’s that little voice in the back of his head that always pulls him back from being as aggressive at the edge as he’d like to be. Check out the episode to hear him go deeper on this.
Where is finance fundamentals 101
Rich thinks the lack of foundational, honest, educational, finance 101 is unbelievable. People don’t like talking about it, but when somebody tries to sell them something they feel more comfortable going to Google than they do talking to somebody. They are looking for it, but nobody is offering that.
We should all have had this type of education foundationally. Ideally, it happens at a family level, but most families don’t have it to give. Rich says his own father couldn’t help him think about the way his life has unfolded. That’s not a knock on him, he just had no exposure, education, or the wherewithal to even think about any of those things.
Why don’t the leading platforms, especially the leading media platforms, provide that baseline level of understanding so that when you do talk about meme stocks and short squeezes you’re not getting caught up in the hoopla but you’re educated enough to look at that and fundamentally understand?
Resources & People Mentioned
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