Aaron Chapman discusses the future of real estate investing in the face of rising interest rates. Learn the art of strategic investment and more.
Don't fear the market; navigate it. In this episode, we have Aaron Chapman to take an unfiltered look at the current state of the real estate market and discuss why investors should stay active despite the challenges. Aaron shares his journey through the peaks and troughs of the real estate landscape. From predicting the impact of inflation to discovering the influence of hedge funds on the housing market, he breaks down everything that every investor should be aware of in 2030. Aaron also challenges the conventional beliefs about interest rates, dismissing the fear around it and encouraging investors to focus on the bigger picture. Throughout the episode, he emphasized the importance of understanding the time value of money and reveals a unique strategy to thrive in the market. Tune in now and get ready to rethink your approach to real estate in 2030!
I have a friend on the show with me, Mr. Aaron Chapman. What's going on, Aaron?
It's been a while.
I'm super excited to have you on this show. I know we have done some episodes in the past, and a lot is going on with everything, the world, and the real estate industry. Aaron Chapman, you come with decades of experience in the finance industry and the mortgage industry. You have this insider knowledge of what's going on with the interest rates and what you are thinking about the future. This is what this show is going to be diving into what we are to do as real estate investors and entrepreneurs with the economic environment.
You also have a book coming out that we might dig into. You do a lot of charity events as well. You are getting behind the Operation Underground Railroad and human trafficking. That's coming to light and everything with the new movie that came out, Sound of Freedom. Let's talk about Aaron Chapman. Give us a little bio and background of who you are if they haven't heard of you.
You said a massive mouthful of all the stuff that we can be talking about and me getting into this whole conversation. I'm living life minute by minute attacking what's in front of me. When somebody tries to sum it all up, I'm like, “There's a lot going on. I don't know if I had the physical capacity and all this stuff.” My background came from running heavy equipment and working in the mines. I started on a cattle ranch in high school with the family. Honestly, I cheated my ass off to get through high school. The only reason I even made it is because I engineered C because I could pick locks. I found where they stored all the tests.
I figured out how to get into the office, how to make copies, and how to shrink them. I'd trade that for homework and I had a little business going on. I made my way through it that way. I then went to the oil fields of Wyoming and I started learning how to work in that environment. It's a different environment dealing with people of that type.
They are great people. You have the vast difference between the guys who are down in the trenches, getting the work done by hard men, and then the guys in suits are trying to tell them what to do. You see that dynamic swing between those two things, the educated guy who understands the theory of what's being done, and then the guy who knows the practical application of it and how sometimes the two don't quite meet. It was interesting to watch that.
From there, I was running heavy equipment and in the mines in New Mexico. I got to let go of that because they were shutting down the project. I came back to Arizona. My wife and son were here. I come back and forth every 13 shifts for 6 days. I thought I would get a job anywhere. It should be easy to get a job and I couldn't. I couldn't find a job to save my life and I got to a point where I was going to apply for a $10 an-hour truck driving job to haul landscape rock. As I went to this place to apply for this job, I ended up getting hit with the same thing I kept hearing, which was overqualified.
It was killing me that this was going on. I was at the point where I was so broke that my wife gave me a coupon for free diapers just to get diapers for my kid. As I'm going to the grocery store, my gaslight comes on. I had to pull up to the pump, run my debit card, set a quick pair, and get a decline. I went through my truck and looked for a couple of coins. I found some of those, locked doors in my truck, and I walked out parking lot. It felt like a couple of hours to find enough change to get 2 gallons of gas. In 1997, you could use 2 handfuls of change to get 2 gallons of gas. It was possible. You couldn’t do that nowadays. It was easy to be able to get that.
I went into the store. I took my coupon, got the diapers, and then I had my head down trying to get out of there, and a guy recognized me and called my name. He invited me to dinner, and he introduced me to this industry. I got to thinking about this. I have known that guy for years. He introduced me to this industry. I started as a telemarketer in December of ‘97. If I took an extra few more minutes to find those coins, I didn't find enough of them or I found them quickly, I would never have seen Keith. That would have never happened. This industry is so freaking hard, especially starting as a telemarketer in 1997.
I'm thinking about this, guys. Now, the industry is down to we have the same application level for mortgages that we had in 1996. I got into this in 1997. What was the prevalent way to get on the internet? It was AOL, so we didn't have it. When you were filling out a loan application, it was in triplicate. There are people going to read this episode who have no idea what triplicate is. You are going to have to look that up. If you got a fax, the stuff would roll up. If you weren't careful, you would have smudged the fax and you had to get a new one.
It was an interesting time to work back at those times as far as the level of implications and interest rates. All of that's very similar. When I think about what I had to go through to get into this, it was just hell. The industry is building up into it, coming from my background to this to now being ranked the number seven in the United States of 1.1 million people that do my job.
The average person in my space right now closes between 0 and 1 transaction per month. We are taking on 100 new applications a month. I'm very blessed, but blessings come from a beating. This whole process of getting here was getting the hell beat out of me the entire way. I got the opportunity to go through the crash in this industry. I got to see that firsthand and I didn't see it coming. All these people were like, “You are in the industry. How do you see it coming?”
That came in a way that nobody understood. There were guys that were running companies. I was a minor for crap's sake. I came off a cattle ranch. How am I going to see that? My eyes are open now. I can see what's happening in the background a little bit differently from what I could see there. I got the blessing of being able to go through the crash from a hospital bed. August 8, 2008, I got taken out about 80 miles plus an hour by a kid in his dad's truck. I woke up in the hospital with my memory. It wasn't completely wiped. I had patches of memory, but it'd last every three minutes. I'd have to reset every three minutes. I got out of the hospital in a wheelchair. I had to learn how to walk again and train my brain how to work again and come back to an industry that was obliterated.
That's when I stumbled into the turnkey real estate investor working their way into Arizona, and then from there, they went to Indiana, then to Texas, and then Missouri, and then around the country. I stuck with them. What was funny is how many people kept telling me, “Quit doing these loans. They are on $50,000 a piece.” “It sucked. I wasn't getting paid for crap, but I was doing the loans.”
We are doing 4, 5, 10, 20, or 30 of these and it was $150,000 a month, but the price points got bigger and bigger. That's how we became number seven in the United States by sticking with what got me there. It was a mentor of mine telling me one time years ago. He says, “No matter what happens, no matter what shiny objects you have, you stick with what got you there.”
By doing that and maintaining that focus and direction, we are still able to keep trucking through this tough time in the market when the industry itself is getting obliterated. It's not easy for us. It sucks. I'm not loving what we are in the middle of, but I'm still loving my business because of the people I interact with. I have such great relationships with so many great people that it makes it worth keeping going. Plus the conversations I have, even like conversations like this. I want people to walk away from communication with me feeling like, “I can get this done.” The only way they are going to get that done is by having somebody in their corner who's encouraging them and giving them the information they need to be successful whatever it is they are choosing to do.
Thank you so much for sharing your background. The one nugget that I want to repeat is what your mentor told you. “Don't leave what got you here.” I was having a conversation with the real estate investor. We have all been going through a lot of challenges. A lot of us are thinking about, “Maybe I should do something different. This is getting too hard. It's getting too challenging. Maybe I will start a different business.” I have even thought of those thoughts too. Maybe I want to do something else. I have been doing this for so long. Maybe I will go do something else. I have been doing some other things, but I want to be clear that sometimes we forget how hard it is to start something new and something that we are not familiar with.
It's easier to stick with what you have been doing with what got you here to stick with it. I told this other guy. He said, “I have been doing this for 10 to 15 years. I'm tired. I'm burnt out. I want to do something else and something new.” I was telling him because in the same business I am. We flip a lot of houses, do wholesaling and rentals, things like that. It's like, “You have learned so much. You should stick with it. There's nothing like this particular business. Look at all the other businesses. There's nothing like it.”
I encourage him to stick that out. I look at you. You are 25, and you could have done a lot of different things in the middle of all this but you are continuing with what's got you here. I want to go into the background. You also mentioned what's happening in the background. You didn't see what was going to happen during the crash. Maybe you are learning some things in the background now. You have talked about how it's been a challenging time for you. Can you take us in behind the curtain a little bit? What's going on in the background of the economy, the interest rates, and real estate investors? What's some of the chaos going on in your world?
People who have maybe followed me on my YouTube channel, I share things about the economy and I share things about real estate investing where I can get into that a little bit more where they get to see this. Where interest rates come from is the mortgage-backed securities. It's a pool of capital going into a place, and then we take it back out to work.
As long as there's stuff flowing in there or the more that flows in there, the more that we have the capability. Think of it this way. Supply and demand. Let's say we are going to an auction and we are 100 people. There's only one item being auctioned off, and we are all there for that one item. How expensive is it going to get? It’s expensive.
If there's only you and me going there and there are 100 of the same item, we are going to walk out with one of those pretty freaking cheap. We happen to go to the one place that had the collection of it and they are like, “We want auctions off,” but we are the only ones there. That's where the benefit of understanding the supply and demand thing.
What I am showing you is the mortgage-backed securities back to 2008. This is where the supply had gone and where the supply is now or where it's been. If we go back here to 2008, we can see I drew this yellow line a few months ago to go back and say, “Where did the thing where quantitative easing start? What happened to the market the day that they announced quantitative easing?” That was November 25th, 2008 when they announced quantitative easing. Do you know that term?
I do not.
It's interesting how many people have forgotten that term because it was very prevalent back then, but it's something we haven't talked about. It's a fancy way of saying the Fed is going to buy way of the US Treasury dumping a pile of money into the markets to spur the economy. What you had was Hank Paulson, who is the Secretary of the Treasury, who came from Wall Street. His background was Wall Street, and so now he's coming and putting his knowledge to work for the US Treasury.
Is that part of a lot of the stimulus checks and stimulus money things?
A lot of the stimulus stuff was going on then, and then they started buying treasuries, mortgage-backed securities, and corporate bonds and throwing money in there to keep driving stuff. You have that going on. You then have Ben Bernanke who was running the Federal Reserve and comes from an Education background. He's taken his education in theory versus the guy in Wall Street. They came and said, “Let's dump trillion dollars into this.” What this represents is that line is the day they announced quantitative easing. Everything was below this line until they announced it, and all these investors started jumping in with them. This shows the flood of money going in and staying and continuing to go in because it's coming out and being used for mortgages. They have to put more in.
It kept compounding it in there until we saw these 2% interest rates back here. All this compounding capital came in until they decided on October 13th, 2021, “We are going to do quantitative tightening.” When they started quantitative tightening, it fell off the cliff. That means the Fed is going to stop dumping money in there. This represents $8.9 trillion being put in there.
The reason I share this with people is that when we look at these charts, you will see where we are at now. We are worse than we were back in 2008, 2007, and 2006. We are back to 1997 levels as far as interest rates are concerned. My business took off in 1998 when the interest rates dropped below 7% for real estate and for people buying houses to live in. We got 6.875% on the rate sheet. I took on five new deals that weekend.
I prayerfully quit my second job. I was still getting up at 3:00 AM working until noon, and digging holes in the ground for people. I then go to the office by 2:00, and work until 10:00. I sleep four hours a night for a year until the interest rates go below 6.875%. I talked to God and said, “When do I need to do this? I was getting killed. It was destroying me.” I finally felt comfortable leaving the one and sticking with the other. I have stuck with it ever since.
Now that I look back on this, I see what's going on here. You understand the background of the people who put this to work. You understand what they were doing a little bit more now. They took money created in thin air, threw it into our economy, pushed interest rates down, drove us heavily into a massive consumption-based economy, and pushed manufacturing and jobs way outside of our country.
They got people buying houses in a frenzy. Now they have locked the inventory up. Inventory is not going to move easily, especially with people having two-point whatever percent interest rates. CNBC was saying, “We are probably not going to see a lot of inventory until some of these arms start coming due.” It's amazing what percentage of people got talked into adjustable-rate mortgages.
How many people got talked into balloon mortgages? Over these last few years, a common theme was,
“We’ll take the lower arm for now and refinance for the rates to go down.” What makes them believe they are going down? We already had a run for where this was created. Inflation was blown through the roof, and now they have locked it all up and they have tightened up the inventory. We know the hedge funds are on target by 2030 to control potentially 60% of the available single-family housing in the United States by 2030. That's all over the place.
I'm not preaching anything new. I was preaching it new, to begin with. Everybody's like, “You are crazy. Where's that coming from?” Now they are seeing the magazine articles, the Wall Street Journal, and New York Times talking about it. I'm like, “You are right. I'm getting that all the time.” They are taking over. The only thing we as real estate investors can do to try and stop this crap is to go buy the houses. They are worried about the interest rate being so high. The interest rate doesn't matter. It's a number on the scale. That's it. The problem that we have had for this whole run for several years on those charts is it is very easy to sell cash-on-cash return as the metric for whether you become a real estate investor or not.
Prior to that, cash-on-cash return was not a thing. It was a thing, but it was not the thing that you focused on. When you look back pre-2008 crash, all that time back behind the 1990s and early 2000s, people weren't getting massive cashflow. The rent raising was not high. The interest rates were high. They were people who wrote these things out and understood the time value of money was working in their favor.
What I mean by that is inflation is eroding our dollar's value so quickly because of the abundance of the dollar. How I helped illustrate that is in pre-1920s, they used to mint a $20 gold piece. It was 1 ounce of gold. It wasn't a pure ounce because it had a little bit of copper for durability, but mostly an ounce of gold for $20. You could walk into a department store and buy a suit, tie, shirt, belt, a pair of socks, and a pair of shoes for that $20 gold piece. You can't walk into a department store and even buy a pair of socks now for $20, but you can buy all that with an ounce of gold still. Why? The gold's value hasn't changed. The value of those goods hasn't changed. The currency that we are exchanging for is what has changed.
Because it's eroding so fast, what I tell people is to take the 30-year fixed. Never listen to these fools who put you in an armed situation. They are trying to sell you and I'm trying to help you. Take the 30-year fixed. Pay the minimum payment for the entire 30 years. Use your tenant’s money to do that because you will never pay what you borrowed.
If you don't believe me, send me a message or an email. You can go to your app store and look for the QJO Investment Tool. That's my app. It calculates the time value of money. If you bought a $200,000 house, you put 20% down, you'd finance $160,000, you will pay $400 and $2,000 in principal and interest, and that will mess with your head. Ignore that number because every time you make a payment to the bank, it's worth at least 0.666% less than it was the month before.
Because of that, over 30 years, that $400,000 and $2,000 stretch over 30 years is equal to $152,000. You have paid $8,000 less than what you borrowed when you pay it very slowly. Take those cashflows or monies that you are in the back of your mind thinking, “I should pay off my mortgage faster.” Invest it somewhere else. Let it compound. I'm a big fan of the infinite banking strategy. Continue to compound it over there and then leverage the things, then compound it again somewhere else. Leverage and compound. You continue to do that. It's impossible to fail. We can do a couple of quick bits of math if you are up for it and I can explain this to the investors.
I like it.
Let's say that $200,000 house we mentioned and you are putting 20% down. How much is 20% of $200,000?
It is $40,000.
Let's say, for the sake of round numbers between lender fees, appraisals, taxes, insurance, all this stuff you put up, you had to put up another $10,000. Now you are investing $50,000. This is where your mind starts to trick you a little bit. You have got that $50,000 number in your head but remember the $40,000. How much is your loan on a $200,000 property?
It is $160,000.
This is the main job everybody who buys investment real estate. You bought a place you can keep reasonably rented for the entire time you own it. Who pays $160,000 off?
If you rented out, the tenant.
Let's take $160,000 and divide it by 30 because that's how many years it's going to take your tenant to pay it off, and we will get to see how much they are giving you every year, averaged over 30 years. I know there's an amortization table. That's not something to get into now. What do you get? I will give you guys the number. I have done this so many times. It's memorized. It's $5,333.34 is what you are going to find that is. That is equivalent to 10.6% of your $50,000 investment.
You are increasing your initial investment of $50,000 by 10.6% every time just by keeping somebody in the house and paying off the mortgage. That's it. We already know you are making that much of a return on your investment. Let's take a look at this other thing. We live in this inflationary environment. Housing is going up. Do you know how much the houses are appreciating in 2023?
I do not, but I know it's going up.
It's going up. According to CoreLogic, Case-Shiller, and Black Knight, they have all said it's about 8.8% to 8.9%. That's significant. In an interest rate-increasing environment, everybody says the rates will push the prices down. That's not happening. Why? It’s because cash is coming in and it's buying these houses. Hedge funds are keeping that going. Inventory is ridiculously low because there are too many people who have low interest rates. This is engineered in my mind. These guys did this for a reason so they can start capturing all that and force the next generations to become this subscription-based society. I'm getting off the numbers here. Let's go back to those numbers, 8.8% to 8.9%. Let's say you only are getting 2.5% consistently for the next 30 years. What is 2.5% of $200,000?
It is $5,000, which is another 10% on your $50,000. Just by simply picking the place that people you believe would want to rent, and by picking an environment that will at least do 2.5% appreciation, which is easy to find in the South and the Midwest, you are going to get a 20.6% increase on your initial investment of $50,000 every single year averaged over that 30 years. That's before we get into cashflow and tax benefits. That's before we get into the fact that you are not even giving back what you borrowed, and you get to keep the spread as you are raising rents.
You can even do those numbers if you rent that place out for $1,800 a month and you only make $100 a month. Every investor is like, “The cash-on-cash return sucks. I won't buy that house.” I'm telling you, “You are a fool.” Even if you only raise the rents by 3% and nobody wants to buy in a place that's only getting a 3% rent increase, they are like, “Where are the eights? Where are the tens? Where are the twelves?”
At 3% on $1,800 is only a $54 a month increase. No tenant is going to move out for $54. When you think about that, if you start only making $100 a month, now you are making $154, your cashflow went up by 54%. Although lenders getting a compound decline because of the time value of money. Quit getting so wrapped up and these double-digit cash-on-cash returns and looking at people's Facebook posts of how badass they are because they got this cash-on-cash.
The cash-on-cash returns that kicks ass now are crappy markets that you can't count on keeping that money because you have to keep fixing that house having to deal with those particular types of tenants. Be a lot more discerning about what you buy and understand that small movements on big things become big movements on small things.
A small movement on the larger rent itself is a massive movement on that little cashflow. The small movement on the pay down on your house is a massive movement on the smaller down payment that you put into it. You have to put the right correlation of how these things work and understand that you as a real estate investor getting involved is going to completely kill it. I'm closing on two properties out in Missouri. I'm selling lots that they are not making my money. I'm dumping the lots now because people are paying a lot for them, flipping those into single-family residences. I'm also taking money from my infinite banking and paying cash for those.
I am putting liens against my property so that I can do rate and term refinances, get my cash back out, and put it back in, and now I have assets that I can control for virtually nothing, or at least very little because it's going into the family trust. The kids are going to occupy those because, unfortunately, my adult children now are being forced out of housing in Arizona. There's no way to be able to afford these things. Our trust acquires them and leases them back to them at a profit. They are paying for their future.
Thank you so much for taking back the curtain and letting us know what you think. You said a lot, but the moral of the story is people have gotten this false sense of returns in the past few years. Now we are getting back to this normal real estate investing and a lot of people are locked up overanalyzing the market and interest rate. I even had a conversation because I'm buying rentals now too. I even had an interest rate with one of my friends saying, “Why are you buying rentals now? You are going to bleed to death on them because of interest rates.”
I feel like I'm purchasing these right. They are cashflowing, but other people are starting to give opinions and I'm sure they are all thinking opinions about, “Now is not the time to buy. Interest rates are too high. I'm going to sit on my cash. I'm not going to do anything now.” People are locking up and your advice is to continue to get out there, put your money into the market, buy the houses as real estate investors, and stop being scared and paranoid because they are afraid of what happened in 2008. Is that your advice to them?
That's what I'm doing. If it's going to be as catastrophic as they claim it could be, there are a lot of people claiming a huge catastrophe with real estate. It's going to be a lot more than just real estate. Where's your cash going to be sitting anywhere? Here's the other thing about me having cash sitting in the bank. I don't like it sitting in the bank.
We already know we had a bailout back in 2008. Now it's, “If your money is sitting on a failing bank, they have the capability to take your capital and give you stock.” They can do that. Your money is going to be gone anywhere. Having it locked up in an actual usable asset that you can do something with, to me, is the greatest thing that we can do. We are going to preach that way from the very beginning.
The problem that you have when people purchase and they leverage is what they are leveraging for and what they are doing with that capital. Is it going back to? I try to keep my capital all on deployment. I don't like having it sitting somewhere. I will have it sit in my infinite banking life insurance policy waiting to go back and get deployed. I got one back in 2016. In 2016, I purchased one to put $90,000 into it. I had $82,000 or $83,000 available to me in the cash value to use.
I have redeployed over $1.1 million from that since 2016. That's another thing I help people do. Understand how to use that infinite banking strategy to your benefit and become a machine to keep growing your assets. I had to start at zero in 2016. Think about what I explained before the 2008 crash. I went into that hospital that day. I was wheeled in there at 190 pounds. I was a rock climber, marathoner, mountain biker, and all these things. I was worth about $3 million-ish. I got wheeled out weeks later worth a negative $1.5 million in change with 156 pounds. My life completely shifted significantly in the opposite direction. I had to crawl back from that. I had to learn how to walk again and train my brain how to work again.
I had to go and pay off all these debts because I couldn't file for bankruptcy. I had too many hard assets, but they were not liquidable assets because the crash happened. I had real estate, cars, and things, but they weren't worth anything. Bankruptcy is not going to help. You have to take all those assets. You have way too many assets but not worth anything.
My attorneys had quite the battle, but it was interesting. I was able to take a little bit of capital and negotiate with everything. I had the best negotiating capability of anybody in the crash because when they called me up and said, “Why are you not paying your payments?” “Here's my first $1.7 million medical bill for the first week of my hospital stay and I have got three more weeks to send you.”
They backed off and said, “How can we help?” I was blessed to be able to negotiate my way through that and take every single cent that I had and pay everybody off, and I got clear of all that. I was at a 460 credit score after I left all that. I had to crawl back from that and save that $90,000. By the time I hit 2016, my credit score was in the 700s. I had $90,000 and started investing in real estate. That was my restart. I don't know how much, but I have real estate in six states. I have got a lot of things going on. Could it come crashing down again? Sure, or you can sit here under your freaking rock and let your cash completely erode on you because the dollar is eroding at a pace of 12% per year. That's 1% per month your dollar is going away.
They are not paying you anything. They are charging you through the bank and they are hitting you at 1% because of what's happening with our economy, or you can put in a hard asset that even we prove that 2.5% appreciation, which we know that's going to happen. The hedge funds are not going to come barreling into this the way that they are and not push those prices up. That's what they are designed to do. These guys are doing that. You need to decide which end of this whole subscription-based economy you want to be on. Do you want to be the person providing the people will subscribe to or you want to be the one subscribing to things? It's common.
We don't have a choice in this. I wish that we had a choice in this. We can't take those streets with torches and pitchforks and stop this movement. It's happening because of the powers that be and going to digital currencies and all this crap. I hope that we can prevent some of those BS. The bottom line I believe within the next two generations is that it will be a purely subscription-based economy.
BMW tried that crap and they got shot down. Check it out. You guys can find it. They sold pretty much a high-end BMW for a mid-range price, but you could subscribe for the features. You couldn't use your seat warmer unless you paid the monthly fee. You couldn't use your air conditioner unless you paid a monthly fee. You couldn't use your radio unless you paid the monthly fee and all these things. I may not be exact on what features they put on a monthly subscription, but they tried that and they got shut down. They are going to keep trying. If you own the real estate, you will be offering the subscription. If you don't, you will be subscribing.
Thank you so much for being on the show. This is awesome. Get in the game. Keep doing what you have done to get you to the place that you are at now. Aaron, we dove into a lot of different things. You are doing so many amazing things. I want to give you the opportunity to also mention you have a new book that is coming out in the future. You could talk about that. You are also doing some amazing things in human trafficking with Operation Underground Railroad, which my wife and I went and saw the movie, the Sound of Freedom. We have been talking about that. You can mention the book or the charity that you are involved with.
We will talk about the book once I'm ready because I don't know if anybody shared the forward with you or any of that stuff yet, but I have got the forward out there. I'm still trying to come up with the title. That's what's killing me. There’s the title and then I have got the editor. I have got people working in the background on it. It's going to be a few months. I want to come back on and talk about the book.
There's a lot of artwork with it in the book. Robert Allen wrote the Forward, I don't know if you know Robert Allen. He said, “You need to have some illustrations there.” My brother is an artist. He read this book and he took every chapter and created a piece of art for every chapter, like the illuminated manuscripts from the 1300s or 1200s, which is a religious type book. It's a very irreverent book, but it's like a field trip book because of the art.
When you look at something, all the elements of the Forward are in that. I will send you the Forward if you want to take a look at it. We can come back on and talk about the book when that time comes. Eric, I'd love to have him on the illustrator along with the author talking about it. We will push that then. Also, your question about OUR. I watched a documentary about Tim Ballard years ago and was like, “I got to meet this man.” It took me a little bit of time. I not only got meet him, but we became very good friends. Before the movie Sound of Freedom was released, I had an opportunity to see that several times in private viewings.
I also got to know the director very well. I bought a watch from the director. It was in the movie. There was an AP being watched by the guy who played Paul. The director had that watch, and so we got to talking over tacos one day, made a deal, and I ended up owning that watch now. Who knows where that value is going to be? It was awesome to get to know these guys and then get deep into understanding what they are doing.
We have been trying to raise capital for several years and we have probably raised between a few events. What we have done internally probably directly impacted over $500,000. Indirect impact, I don't even know because then there are a lot of people that put on their events. There's a lot of crazy press going on right now when it comes to Tim Ballard and his character that people want to say. All I can say is I have spent a lot of time with this guy, stuff that they say I have not personally seen. That's not something I was there to be able to witness and say, “He's this or that.” All I know is the individual I was with.
He is very kindhearted and driven man who's seen some stuff that you can see he wears a lot of weight as a result of things he's had to see and do. He gets very passionate about something. He stood on Capitol Hill and raised hell with the legislators calling them out for being complicit in what's happening to these children and the people across the country and the world. That's when hell got released on him. You guys have to come to your own decision on whether or not you support this cause or not support this cause of what the mainstream media wants to talk about one individual. They held off on any conversation about him until such time he started calling out people being complicit and also the success of the movie.
That took five years to get released. I saw that way back and in the battles that they were going through to try and get that finally released, and then it hits the ground. The second that hits the ground, and he's in a position to have a platform to make those statements, now he's getting villainized. You guys do your math on that one, but all I can say is I agree with him. Children are not for sale and they are literally under fire all the time.
This is a war that is not just a war on the person or a war on our souls. What I find interesting is that divisiveness has never been more prevalent in our world than it is. Technology is supposed to unify us and bring us together, but it's dividing us faster and faster. I know you are a very God-loving Christian man, and what I find very interesting is how even we Christians can find divisiveness in us following the same philosophy of Christ. “This person over here is a Born Again. This is Catholic. This is a Baptist. This is a Mormon.” All of a sudden, we have all these, “Why is there a problem?”
It's amazing how divided we have become when it's unnecessary to be divided. We need to continue to unify the best we can. Whether it's unifying under Christ or whether it's unifying for whatever cause, I believe that if you are unifying under Christ, you can't have a better way to unify, and then you have somebody as an example of how we should all be. If we are that way with each other, none of this has any power over us.
You doing this show and me coming on this show, the one thing I want people to be able to walk away from here is be kind to the people around you. Know that they are going through something tough and be willing to share with them. Be willing to help them and be willing to understand that person is no different than you are. They need your help as much as you need them. If we don't have each other, we have nothing.
Thank you so much for sharing. Thanks for your heart and your passion. I believe in unifying together, especially for Christ and in these missions. We all want this horrific human trafficking industry to go down and to bring light to the darkness. Let's all join together and unify in that. Thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate you. That's a wrap.
Thank you. Anytime.