Ali Jafarian

Understanding the Media with Scott Groves

Episode Number 005
Duration 53 min

This is a great episode with my friend and fellow FRD, Scott Groves. We discuss a variety of pursuits including identity, team building, the psychology of real estate / inflation, and how to better understand the media. Scott shares his perspective on all of this and more!

Guest details
Scott Groves - Father, Husband, Coach and Loan Officer
Scott Groves


[00:00:00] Ali: Welcome back folks to the Pursuit of Something. Ali here with a good friend, Scott Groves. Scott and I have known each other for two-ish years. And we've had the luxury to get to know each other quickly via our father's mastermind Front Row Dads. And as I start this podcast journey, I was extremely excited that you said yes to being one of my earlier episodes, because when we have conversations, Scott, I usually, experience a multitude of emotions.

Some of it includes intense laughter other into it, you know, there's, intense emotions around fatherhood. Um, you're always somebody that I feel like I learned from, and that I have conversations that leave me inspired in some way. So thank you for being here first and foremost. And how would you like to introduce yourself?

[00:00:54] Scott: Well, thanks for having me on man. Yeah. You mentioned the dads group and that's, that's kind of how I described myself usually. And just a couple of words. It's like husband, father, loan officer, coach, author, and now podcaster, uh, also kind of going on this passion project journey like you are to. Uh, I'm a libertarian, hence the, hence the hat with the Gaston snake on there.

And, yeah, I'm just trying to balance all that stuff. The older I get, the more that I realize, one of my core values is the pursuit of just like variety. And so, I just, I do a lot of different stuff. You know, I've fallen in love with jujitsu the last couple of years, and now I got my kids in. No chance I'm going to get my wife into it, but that's okay.

And, yeah, just trying to be a lot of things to a lot of different people and have some variety of my life. You'll probably hear my kids running in and interrupt us. You'll probably hear the dog escape at some point from the backyard. So I apologize for that advanced, but yeah. You know, 40 hours a week, I'm a loan officer and then I try to squeeze everything else in, in the margins.

[00:01:55] Ali: Totally. You know, you're talking about that. Do you. And now you've used sparked some curiosity. Do you find yourself overthinking? Like when people say, like, what do you do? Or like, who are you? Is that something that crosses your mind or it crosses your mind with the intent to have like focus singularity on labels or to your point, do you stay diversified where it kind of evolves?

[00:02:29] Scott: You know, let's say interesting question. And I find myself tailoring the answer based on who I'm talking to. And so I always have this fear and this insecurity that like, if I'm talking to my realtor partners or a potential client, and they find out that, you know, I do the podcast and I also coach loan officers and I'm, you know, waiting to my kids and stuff.

Um, I'm always fearful that if something goes wrong on the loan or I can't get back to a phone call right away, Somewhere subconsciously, they're going to be like, oh, well, cause that, that fricking guy is doing something else. You know, he's not focused on just being a loan officer, which, which really couldn't be further from the truth because I put 40, 50, 60 hours a week into doing that loan officer stuff.

And just, you know, instead of listening to Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven for the millions of time, or, you know, binge watching The Walking Dead. I just substitute that time with smoking cigars and doing podcasts and going to jujitsu. So I don't ever think I'm doing a whole lot more than anybody else in America.

I, you just think I'm more economical with my time, but I do find myself when I'm answering that question kind of tailored. To the person that I'm talking to. And if I'm being honest, sometimes that comes across as fake, you know, because if I'm talking to a dad in a dad's group, sometimes I'm excited to talk about what I do for a living.

And if I'm talking about somebody, you know, that could be a potential referral. I already know I'm good at doing loans, but maybe I'm also excited about talking to them about the podcast. So it's kind of weird where I feel, I feel very genuine and authentic, but sometimes I feel like I'm being disingenuous in the moment based on who I'm talking to.

So, you know, like on my bio, anytime I do an interview, I really just boil it down to like five or six words, you know, father period, husband period, author period, loan officer period. Cause I don't really want to expand on that. And yeah, it's kind of a, it's kind of a weird dilemma when you're doing a lot of different things in your life.

[00:04:23] Ali: I couldn't agree more. That's why I asked the question and I have a lot of resonance with what you just said, where I find myself. Like, if I'm talking to someone that I know there, this is more of a business. Okay. This context around business, then I find myself setting this immediate pressure to like position myself with that label at the forefront.

Em, what's interesting. Scott is, I'm actually trying to really let go of that. So really forget about the status games. I read a recent book that rocked my world and it's like, one of the concepts is. Like how we have all these identities and they shape our perspective of how we think, how we act. And like you said, how we show up for certain people in certain contexts and environments, as opposed to just being like I'm Ali and.

The reason for that psychologically is because it's so much easier for us as humans to correlate like, oh, well, if he tells me that he's entrepreneurial or he's a dad, your mind can quickly start processing, be like, well, there's things I can talk to them about or questions I can ask.

Right. So, because you do so many things, I thought that was really interesting and it kind of segues into the heart of this, this show. This podcast is. You have a lot of things in motion. What is currently in focus? Like what's big on your priorities right now? Or what is, and again, I want you to answer this with like the freedom to that.

There is no expectation. Like, what are you into right now? What is Scott going after?

[00:06:06] Scott: You know, it's funny in the last couple of weeks. Prior to the last couple of weeks, I wanted to have had an answer. You know, my wife and I were kind of in transition. We're living out of two houses right now. We're, we're kind of, we're we just got a lot of transition in our lives.

So two weeks ago I would have been like, man, I don't really know what I'm into. I'm just trying to hold it all together and make sure I don't lose track of, you know, date night with my wife or taking the kids to Jitsu or picking them up from school. Cause there's that, authenticity from my five-year-old.

When, you know, they just don't know how to lie yet. And so he's like, so dad, are we going to go on a hike and do something fun? Or do you have more meeting calls? And I'm just like, oh dude, wait way to just like, take a knife, stick it right in my, dong up through my gut and make me feel like a horrible human being.

Cause I'm ignoring my children for meeting calls, which doesn't matter if I'm on a podcast. If I'm dealing with mortgage and stuff in his mind, everything is meeting calls. I'm on the computer. Dad's ignoring me, he's on a meeting call, which, you know, he never really saw until this recent pandemic where now we're all working from home.

And so now he gets it like, oh, dad needs to be left alone a majority of the day to do meeting calls. So prior to two weeks ago, I would say, I wouldn't have had to answer that question, but, you and I obviously big voracious readers and a book that I'm into right. It is called, Who, Not, How, who not, who not how?

Just so great. I couldn't remember the title, but you know, really the premise of that book is instead of thinking how everything gets done, you just think about who. And so the last couple of weeks has really been doubling down on my team because. Two amazing women that the, uh, the world work in my mortgage business to the point where, you know, most of my realtors and clients know to call the two of them after we kind of set the initial strategy after we do the initial plan and we know there's a deal there.

These two women take over masterfully and so really pouring into them. Then I have an executive assistant who helps me run the coaching. To the point where she can now sell a coaching client, she can do the maintenance she's even jumped on and done a couple of emergency coaching calls for me.

She's amazing. And then, I, I finally found the right lane. Good friend and marketing assistant, Chris, who, you know, as long as I let him get up around noon and work until two or three in the morning, he's awesome at structuring our podcast and doing the videos and editing on the stuff. And so the last two weeks have really been about systematizing.

What they do. You know, I kind of have this background on zoom of the waves and the Palm tree. And just because I want to get to a point where I do strategy and set the vision and do some of the lead generation, which really, if you're doing it right only takes a few hours. And then I want to sit on the beach and smoke cigars and pay my team more money than they ever thought that they could make so that they can run the podcast, the mortgage business, the coaching business.

And so the last couple of weeks when I've really been diving into, is this idea. All right. How do I cast a vision that's big enough for the team to where, you know, nobody wants to support you. If Scott's vision is just not to do mortgage tasks, that's not fun for them. That's not cool for them, but if we're building a team where I can generate the revenue and then they can make more money than they ever thought possible by actually, you know, building the.

and that's a vision they can probably get on board with. And then, you know, how does that relate to them and what they wanna accomplish in their life? So the last couple of weeks have just been like, reassessing. Hey, what do you guys want to do? What's what goals do you wanna accomplish? What do you like doing during your day to day?

Which thank God is different than what I like doing in my day to day and, and really figuring out how I can make this work so that in a couple of weeks, when I go to Cancun with my wife, because we're in desperate need of kind of alone time and reconnect. Some fun time in the hotel, we can, we can be in Cancun for five or six days without me looking at my phone or freaking out about it, you know?

So that's, that's really what I've been doubling down on the last couple of weeks.

[00:09:57] Ali: Love it. Okay. Yeah, that was a great book. I thought when I I've read different books, lots of books on leadership and delegation and systems, but the way that that was written by Ben and through Dan Sullivan, it just made it so simply clear that like, yo, there is someone who can do the thing that you shouldn't be doing.

And as you talk about that, I could just kind of feel the conviction that it sounds like you're really systematizing. It's not an easy task. That's one of the things like I've had mild success with delegation over the years, and I'm not good at it. I totally respect that now because I'm an introverted engineer.

And so it's hard for me to let go, but I love what you said in terms of painting a big enough vision. Cause then it becomes a true team effort. When you talk about a little bit about that, Scott and like the nature of your business, something that peaks, my curiosity is your perspective on the market.

And I don't want to sound cliche like, Hey Scott, what do you think's going to happen? Like, you know, the kind of shit that people just make I dunno, precarious. I don't want to sound cliche. I'll just go back to that. But I am truly interested because you're in the heart of seeing loans every single week.

And you know, we're in this sort of unprecedented era of real estate where even I got sucked into like potentially buying a mountain house out here and I had to like back up, cause I was like, this is too intense. I'm just curious. Like, what do you make of this? And obviously you and your team have been wildly busy, but has a slow down, is it going to slow down?

[00:11:40] Scott: No, you know, and it's interesting. I'll tell you what I tell my coaching clients. And then I'll tell you what I tell my mortgage clients. So what I tell my coaching clients, meaning people that do mortgages for a living. So I coach about 130 loan officers. What I tell them is.

Basically what my grandma told me when I was a little kid, you know, don't get too big for your britches. All financial cycles are cyclical. There will be a downturn eventually. The problem is, some markets are cyclical every five to 10 years. Some markets like if you look at interest rates, we're in a 60 year market.

Uh, downward compression on interest rates. If you just look back 60 years. Yeah. There's some spikes, there's some crazy stuff that happened in the seventies. Like a quick up and down during, inflation Carter era, you know, the run on the gas tanks and stuff, or on the gas stations, but generally speaking, we're in like a 60 year downward.

Pressure on interest rates. And there's a lot of people, much smarter than me that think that this could just be like two thirds of the way through a hundred year cycle where, you know, eventually see 30 year fixed mortgage rates that have a one in front of them. Right. And if it's like, if all of a sudden mortgage rates go to 1.99, instead of 2.99, I'm going to refinance every client I've ever met and we're going to be busier than ever.

However, that could end pretty quickly. So what I tell my loan officer coaching clients is, hey, prepare for the worst, but also hire ahead of demand. Like as long as you're busy, as long as the business there, keep hiring, keep growing, but keep expenses low, keep savings high, have variable expenses that kind of can ebb and flow based on production.

Don't, don't get to this point, which is where I was prior to 2009, where, you've got a $20,000 a month expense either in your business or your personal life. You're barely making $20,000 a month, but you're just planning on inevitable growth. It's like, no, no, you want to keep your expenses around five or $6,000 a month and bank the rest for a rainy day.

So I'm always preaching to my coaching clients. I kind of sound like Chicken Little, the sky is falling for the last two, three years. Like, hey, you know, keep things tight, k eep expenses low, keep savings high. Now that's what I'm telling them because that's my job as a coach to prepare them for the worst case scenario without scaring them.

And then what I'm telling my mortgage clients is, yes, we are. It does feel frothy, right? It feels like all asset classes, stocks, bonds, houses, gold, crypto, pork bellies, whatever it does all feel like everything is really expensive. However, if you look at some of the key indicators like household formation, the number of housing units available, the fact that the federal government under both administrations, Trump inviting just pumped 50% of all the U.S. Dollars that exist just came into the economy in the last 20 months.

That's kind of some scary, but also beneficial for property. Inflationary queues, meaning, you know, the, the best explanation I've ever heard of inflation is from Thomas Soul. Everybody should read his book, Basic Economics. It's amazing. Basically inflation is just too much money chasing too few goods and that money can come from the stock market, soaring, that money, you know, too much money chasing too few goods that money can come from huge amounts of cash being basically created out of thin air overnight because of crypto.

Or it can be because the government is pumping so much money into the economy with stimulus and infrastructure in low interest rates that there's just too much money chasing too few goods. So it's not really like the house that I have here in LA. Magically intrinsically went from a value of 900,000 to $1.2 million.

But if 50% of all the dollars in existence in America just got pumped into the economy in the last 20 months. And it doesn't look like that's gonna stop, my house on paper is probably going to be worth $1.4 million in a year or two, because there's just too much money chasing too few goods.

And so for people that are looking to buy owner occupied houses and they can afford the payment and they've got some money in savings and they can afford to put together a real down payment, you know, which thank God all the loans now are being properly underwritten. This isn't 2009, where there was a ton of supply

and the government was allowing us to effectively create fake loans to get people into those houses. Right now there's not enough supply. And we're underwriting loans correctly, and there's just money falling out of the sky for a lot of people . I don't want to detract from the fact that a lot of people suffered over the last 18 months, either physically or financially, but the reality is the clients I'm talking to.

They're like, oh yeah, I'll offer, you know, 700,000 instead of 600,000 or offer 1.5 million instead of 1.4. Cause the truth is Scott. It's kind of funny money. You know, I'm getting $500,000 in gift funds from my grandfather, or I just scored $200,000 on this crypto thing, or I'm finally liquidating that Facebook stock that I got for working there for five years, five years ago.

So again, for my coaching clients, I want them to be prepared for the worst for my mortgage clients, I'm like, Hey man, I'm looking around my wife and I just bought another property five months ago because I think solely because of inflationary pressure and the fact that there's not enough houses in America for the amount of buyers in America, I think property values are going to continue to go up, which I want to be pessimistic.

I want to say that property values are going to go down. I want to say there's going to be this big crash and everybody's going to be able to get a deal on real estate. But short of going to war with China or something crazy like a black Swan event, I don't see anything happening.

That's going to force the market to crash and I've got clients that have been pre-approved since 2015, 2016, they've been sitting on the sidelines being like, well, I'm going to wait for a downturn. I'm going to wait for the bubble to pop. I'm going to wait for the crash. And in the meantime, they've left, left, you know, 30, 40% appreciation on the table by not buying six years ago.

So that's kind of a long answer to your simple

[00:17:41] Ali: question. It's a great answer. And you hit on so many different aspects. How I've thought about it because you and what you make really good points. Scott, not just like I could sit there and just soak it up at, in being pitched, which you have obvious soft skills to make such sales, but it lends to the other piece of this, which I really want to talk to you about.

Knowing you as a friend, I know you're well-researched, I know you're not just selling this to sell it. I know that you've read the books. Your methodology on research is actually unique. And we'll talk about that in a minute, in terms of how that affects or how that relates to the media and the news, which is really fascinating to me, but.

Staying on this real estate for a second, as someone who is not an expert, but I feel like I have pretty sound logic when it comes to analyzing patterns, like I'm really big on human patterns. And you mentioned cycles like looking at economic trends. I don't go quite as deep into the research as you,

but on the surface I can be like, whoa, this is a crazy time. And normally when people are scurrying in excitement there's an opportunity to not jump into the herd, right. And say, okay, I'm going to let the excitement go. And then on retrospect or the counter side of that, when people are just frantically, freaking out, out of fear based anxiety or decisions, That's a time when it's, you know, there's an argument to take action, assuming you have the resources, the funds, et cetera, to take action.

So this has been sitting in my head lately, especially when my wife and I were really considering buying a second home, a mountain home and got really close in terms of making different offers. But something about it instinctually one, we didn't find like the one that just lit us up and we're like, this is it.

And it's quite exhausting too, since it's, you know 90 minutes to two hours away, every time I want to go see these houses, but that aside, there was this instinct I had where it feels like a trap. I feel like I'm getting stuck in this trap because anything I go after in this market out here, we're getting close to paying almost 20% over asking price and.

That alone, just sort of caught me in a way where I'm like, this feels like I'm jumping in the herd that said, I'm going to agree with a lot of the other points you made where on paper I'm like, well, the trends don't seem like this is going away. The interest rates are favorable.

And in general, I do some more psychological surveyance of why people want mountain homes and logically, it makes sense. People with money or wealth, or like I want land and I'd rather be somewhere beautiful, like the mountains of Colorado. So I'll just go buy that home. You see what I'm saying?

So like, if there's different things that play here, but I will say I got caught in the middle and I just kind of froze and then backed out of it.

[00:20:42] Scott: Yeah. There's an interesting psychology and I'm not smart enough to know the answer, but I can probably at least pose the question is that when we think about we'll just go with home affordability, but this is really the same, whether you're investing in the stock market or gold, or keeping your money under the mattress, when you're buying a house, there's kind of three components. So obviously the price of the house, but then when you talk about an affordability index or you go to one of the big ones is used as the case Shiller index, which has been around for about 30 years, I'm like how affordable are houses. They look at the price, but they also look at the interest rate relative to historical times.

And then they also look at the income. The house can cost $7 million. But if your Uber driver is making $75 an hour because of inflation and minimum wage going to $75 an hour, well then all of a sudden it doesn't seem that expensive. Right. And so what's interesting. And again, I don't have the exact answer, but I can at least pose the question for some reason

clients think with interest rates, even last December, when we were at the lowest interest rates in the history of the world financial cycle, people were still like, well, do you think they're going to go down more and I can get a deal? We're literally the cheapest you have ever been able to borrow money in the history of the known world.

And you're like, but do you think I can get 2.625 instead of 2.75? So on the interest rates there's this weird psychology of can I get a better deal? And then on the income, there's this weird psychology of well, whatever I make for money. I earned that money, right. You know, I'm talking to graphic designers who are making $250,000 a year.

I'm talking to lawyers at tech companies who make $600,000 a year. And mind you, these are people when they got out of UCLA law school, they were going to be stoked if their entry level job was a buck 50, and now they're making a thousand. And so people have a hard time being self-aware of, hey, I'm making more money than I ever thought I was going to make, because everybody's like, well I make this money

cause I worked so fucking hard. I'm so smart. So there's those two psychological aspects. And then when you look at the price of the home, psychologically, people think about like, well, I could have bought this 10 years ago for $200,000 cheaper, or I could have bought this in the 1950s for $50,000. You can't hold

in one bucket, the psychological trap of I earn all this money, I'm worth it without being self-aware that your income is kind of inflated, but then feeling like you got screwed because you weren't alive in the fifties or the sixties to buy property in Beverly Hills for 70 grand for a single family residence..

And it's this weird psychological trap. So I swear when I say the two ladies Melanie and Ann, shout out to the two of them who helped build the loans, my job is almost to play psychologist with the clients and get them to understand what they can afford comfortably without putting themselves in a bad spot.

And then I'll pay other people to build the loans and be the loan widget constructor. I just need to help with the psychology of it because you're right. Most of my clients are like you they're, they're in a good situation income wise, rates are still pretty close to the historical lows that we saw last December.

And yet properties are really expensive, but guess what? Milk's really expensive. Right? My grandmother and my grandmother was alive and knew I paid $120 last month for a pair of jeans. She would kick my ass because she wouldn't understand. She's like, what do you mean jeans cost more than $7 a pair at Walmart or whatever.

And so these are just things we have to think about when we're thinking about our finances, but it causes a big trap. As I started making money again in 2012, 2013, I left a ton of money on the sideline because I got my ass kicked in 2009. I lost a hundred percent of my 401k, because little did I know that the 401k at Washington mutual was all in WAMU, common stock.

and I wasn't smart enough to know that that was a problem. So I literally, at 28 years old lost a hundred percent of my 401k that was supposed to double several times over my lifetime and be, you know, millions of dollars. And so I left all my money on the sideline and my financial advisor was like stop

we gotta be in the market. We gotta be in the market. And finally, a couple of years ago, I let him put my money in the market and it's done great, but it should have done great for the five years that I was basically being a psychological pansy and leaving the money on the sidelines. So I don't know, man.

There's no easy answers right now, but it is interesting to think about our own psychology. Like where are we trapping ourselves?

[00:25:02] Ali: Totally. That's what it is. To me it's a game, it's a trap. Unless you go into it with a hundred percent confidence on the true why and that's what I was trying to relieve myself of and, you know, come the spring

if we decide to get serious again, it's going to be, why do we want this? Not, is it the right time? Is the right price? Because you're right. That's exactly what happens. The mind starts playing games and trap is a fantastic word for it. So let's move into the news and the media, because if there's anything I've observed and gave you a little bit of feedback, not too long ago, when you published a really cool video around this, it's that

kind of taking your perspective on the media today, and this is this when I say something like that, it's kind of broad, but where I think you have a very powerful and unique take on this, is that like, and I'm just going to say what I observe and then I want you to kind of lay it, lay it down for the audience is that I feel like you're aware of what's being discussed in the media, but then you go with the Scottie Groves magnifying glass, detective mode, and you go find out where's the truth in this?

Where's the source? Where's this coming from? And you start to break it out into different pieces to the point where some of these sources aren't even known to people. And you shared that in our social group, you've also shared it in conversations I've had with you where it's really fascinating to me because one, I'm anti-media mainstream media.

I'm so far removed from it, Scott, that I don't know what the fuck is going on in the world. I really don't. And in some, you're probably better off for it Dude. I'm telling you in some ways I feel reckless, but I have so much peace of mind and people just tell me when there's something important going on.

And part of that was intentional and creating boundaries around what I let in and out and productivity, et cetera. But I also just think that it's hard to trust the media. And the last few years have demonstrated that. So what's your take on this and maybe you just give sort of a overview of your methodology and how you evaluate, analyze.

And how do you verify things in the news?

[00:27:28] Scott: It's a really interesting question. And I think we can go all the way back to Rush Limbaugh, ruined this for everybody, or at least the trendsetter and for the record I'm libertarian, I'm definitely more conservative with a small C not necessarily a registered Republican you know, conservative with a large C.

So I'm more conservative with a small C, more libertarian with a small L, not really identifying with either the Republican party or the libertarian party, you know, when push comes to shove, I'm probably gonna end up voting more frequently with Republicans than Democrats, just because I believe more of what they say they're going to do, even though they rarely actually follow through and do it.

But I say Rush Limbaugh kind of ruined this because journalism used to be, prior to probably the late eighties, early nineties, a pretty low paid job. They were kind of like, I don't remember the term is, muck something, where you had real investigative reporters that had grit and they wanted to be a thorn in the side of politicians.

And they wanted to get the information out to the people as a who's done it, I stuck it to the man and got, you know, got the information out to the public. Well, the problem is with Rush Limbaugh and everybody that came after him, they realize that they could make a fuck ton of money being part of the news instead of reporting the news.

And so all of a sudden, when you've got a journalist who went to NYU or went to Berkeley or went to an Ivy league, and they're busting their ass to fight with their editor for a budget to do investigative journalism so they can make $70,000 or $50,000 a year and live like a popper.

And then they look at Rush Limbaugh, just signed a $7 million contract to talk shit three hours a day and give his commentary on politics and try to become the news instead of reporting the news, like the motivations got all out of whack and disaligned, and I don't care if you're watching Wolf Blitzer on CNN or Rachel Maddow on MSNBC or Tucker Carlson on Fox news.

You have to accept you're watching a showman. You're watching theater. You're watching opinion based reporting and that's fine if you know what you're getting, but the problem is people don't know what they're getting any more and they're sucked into these echo chambers where

They're just getting a caricature of the opinion that those outlets think the people want to hear. Which is just pathetic, you know? Cause I remember when Tom cruise went kind of nuts on Oprah's couch and was jumping up and down about how much he loved what's her name and, and he was talking shit about psychotropic drugs and he was espousing some of his Scientologists beliefs.

People castrated him of like, why in God's green earth would I ever take medical advice or get my news effectively from Tom Cruise? Tom cruise go make Top Gun Two. Spoiler alert, I'm super excited about Top Gun Two. And Tom cruise is probably my favorite actor. Doesn't mean I'm going to him for my medical and spiritual advice, but people understood that in that moment of like, oh, here's a crazy showman

who's trying to tell us what to do in our personal life, in our medical decisions, in our relationships, in our religion. You're getting the same thing from the people that are on the news. They're just a little bit more polished and they're a little bit more slick about it. So I started the podcast On the Edge Podcast, really just for my own sanity because probably my friends and my wife and my 19 year old son were sick of hearing me rant about politics.

And I'm like, all right, well, let me do it. And see if anybody listens and then, you know, I'm just a moron who barely graduated high school. I went to the Army straight out of high school. I knew I was going to go to the Army. So I kind of pissed off my senior year of high school.

I went to junior college for awhile. I don't even know if I graduated from junior college to tell you the truth. I was going to transfer to UCLA, started making money in the mortgage business, but I'm like half a moron. Right? So I hired a tutor, shout out to the platform Wyzant - WYZANT.

You can literally find a tutor on there for somewhere between 20 and 80 bucks an hour in any topic you can possibly imagine. So I found this guy, who's getting his PhD at Brown, an undergrad at Columbia University. Master's at Columbia University, highly versed in politics.

He happened to be ex-military, which is cool so we relate and I hired him as a tutor and for 80 bucks an hour he just walks me through how to have effectively a more informed opinion. And now, instead of listening to Tucker Carlson who's giving an editorial opinion on an opinion of somebody who read an opinion article for somebody that gave an opinion on some underlying study that nobody actually read.

So by the time the information gets to us, it's just completely bastardized. And by the way, I'm not picking on Tucker Carlson. I think he's a pretty smart guy because all of them do the same thing. But instead of gaining my opinion, from an opinion of an opinion of an editorial of an opinion, we all have this magic thing called Google.

Right? You can just go to the legislation. You can go to the White House proposal. You can go to the Supreme Court on the cases that are being heard. People with barely a high school education, I almost didn't graduate high school because I had 55 absences.

I discovered girls and surfing and wrestling all of my senior year and decided that I wasn't going to go to class. I barely graduated high school and I can read through this stuff and decipher it. It's not that hard. And so one of the things that I'm trying to do on the podcast, and sometimes we'll just do this, like we'll literally go through the website.

Here's the story one of the most recent ones, it probably won't be timely by the time this podcast comes out. But one of the recent ones is does the government want to spy on you if you have more than $600 of transactions into your bank account and both the right and the left have all their talking points about this.

And you know, everybody's talking shit and Snopes is trying to verify it. In fact, checkers are, are putting disclaimers up on people's memes, but all you have to do is go read the five page proposal from the White House that lays out their new banking initiative. I have a little bit of insider baseball information because I've been working in the banking and finance industry for 20 years.

So I've had to take all these compliance classes, but you can just read the bill and surely the IRS wants records from every bank in America and every financial institution, including Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, Coinbase. They want transactions from anybody in America. Transaction history. For every client in America who has more than $600 a year in transactions.

They want the whole kitten caboodle. Yeah, I can't imagine the government's ever getting more information for any purpose other than taxing you or using against you. So when you start to think, like, is the government spying on your bank accounts? Yeah, it's right there in the proposal. They want it all.

And in addition in that same bill or that same proposal, it's not a bill yet they want, I can't even remember what the number is, some ungodly amount of money, 200 million, two billion, something like that, for more IRS enforcement officers. So it's like, you can go read the actual proposal and maybe you have a different interpretation than I do, but it's pretty much laid out there.

Um, Hey banks send us every single transaction. Hey Congress, we want an ungodly amount of money for more IRS enforcement. Well, you can put two and two together and you don't have to listen to Tucker Carlson or Rachel Maddow's opinion, you can form your own. And I think if you read that, you'll probably form a similar opinion as I do.

And so I'm just all about trying to go to the source material versus the bullshit. Cause I just, I can't handle anymore. I turned off cable years ago, once in a blue moon, I'll catch a snippet on YouTube of one of these media talking heads and I'll listen to it for what I think it's worth.

But I think we're really getting away from the place where people are going to trust institutions. And they're going to trust people. I mean, that's why Joe Rogan is much more popular than any cable news host in America by like a hundred fold. Because people are getting to the point where it's like, I don't trust the narrative.

I don't trust the institutions. I trust people, which is kind of scary. Right? Because imagine another pandemic comes along where the death rate is 10% of humans instead of like 0.001% of humans. I think there's a big swath of Americans that aren't going to trust the government and it kind of depends who's in office, which is scary because there's just a distrust in institution.

So anyway, again, another long answer to a simple question, but I think it's worth kind of parsing out there.

[00:36:00] Ali: No, lots of great parsing. Everything from what you started with in that was interesting. And this is exactly why I wanted to talk about this with you. Is it, I got some education out of this, just pinpointing that back in the Rush Limbaugh era is like personalities started to gain more traction, then true journalism.

And to your point, it's like money speaks. Why would somebody bust their ass if they're like, oh, I could make 10 times that and be more famous or have more status if I had a personality and gave some opinion on something. And then to your point, that's when the truth starts getting chopped up tons of different ways bastardized interpretation comes in.

It's funny, Scott. I am so anti news that occasionally when my dad visits he'll want to watch the nightly news. And the other day when he was here, I happened to be downstairs when it was on like, had to stop. Cause this was so foreign to me at this point, where like just the. I know this is mainstream, you know, NBC or something like that.

And just like the music just like tonight on nightly news. And for someone again, who's removed this. I'm like, what the fuck is this? Just from the second you turn it on just the fear-based music and you starting with the shittiest stuff in the world and just squeezing the knife and turning it.

And it's so obvious to me, cause I'm not in that game anymore. They've just hooked you. It's not even a matter of whether or not you trust them. You're just in this game of fear where you have to turn this shit on every night and I'm not singling out my dad because he lives in Europe and they have their own system where news can be more organic, but I'm just painting the picture that when you remove yourself from that

and then you see it from the outside, you're like, what is this? And then there's the whole online world, right? Where now the last five, 10 years, that landscape has changed dramatically where people have their live feeds going all day long. And I don't even know much about this, but, there's the clubhouses of the world.

And like these things, these apps, these stations, these channels keep popping up where kind of to your point, it's like, who are people going to trust when they need a source to trust? It's probably not going to be more institutionalized entities. It's going to be people with the most votes people with the most followings, because they're the ones who do the same thing instead of fear, they've got you hooked on their cup of tea or their perspective on situation.

So it's really fascinating to me. I'll also say that I keep my distance and that's why I like to learn from people like you, because what you said at the end there, which is really important that I want people to remember is we have the tools to figure out what's real and what's not.

Stop being lazy, type in a few things and fucking read instead of listening or assuming, or I heard this who heard it from this, it's like, just go read and like do the thing that we used to do before we had this web of media, what's real, what's not. And we haven't even talked about the fabrication of Russia, Facebook like manipulated.

That's a whole different thing. Like we're just talking about the validity of general news.

[00:39:27] Scott: Absolutely. And what I have found because I canceled cable, I used to get the direct TV super package with NFL ticket. I think when I finally cut the cord, I was paying like $250 a month for cable, you know, $3,000 a year.

That's a lot of money to consume a lot of garbage. And what I've found now is oh, the website I'm most in love with right now is Substack. And Substack is basically just a newsletter page where you can subscribe to people. So there's a couple people. I love like Barry Weiss, Glenn Greenwald, a couple other guys, and I subscribe to their page and I pay like $500 a year

because these are people whose voices I trust, opinions I trust, their kind of classical liberals who have been pushed out of the democratic party because they're like, oh, you guys are going a little crazy. I'm definitely not a Republican, but I'm definitely not a Democrat anymore. So I'm finding these voices that are politically homeless as I would consider myself.

And they're effectively doing investigative journalism on their own dime . Either they had an exit from a company, or they saved well and they're like, wait I can do this living in Ohio instead of paying a hundred thousand dollars a year to rent an apartment in New York, because I had to work for the New York times or the Wall Street Journal or whatever.

So I spot them like 500 bucks a year to be part of their sub stack. And, and in fairness, you can get all of their stuff for free, cause they're just trying to build an audience, but I kind of think it's worth paying for the journalism that you like and whatever your flavor is. So whether you're a hardcore progressive or a hardcore conservative or somewhere in between

you can find trusted voices who are doing the work. And then the beauty is there's an opportunity to support them financially, by cutting off some of these other expenses that are just garbage. I remember one time I was so emotionally tied to the outcome of a Lakers game or something, and my wife was pregnant with our second kid.

Dude, I've got a second human being coming into this world. Why am I so worried about the outcome of this regular season Lakers game? And I, I think that was about four years ago when I cut the cord. Cause I'm like, I don't need to watch live sports anymore.

The news is garbage. Everything else that I care about I can get on demand and you know, now freed up that money to invest, in people, again, this kind of people over institutions, freed up money to invest in people who I trust. And I want to hear more from, so that's kind of been my methodology.

It doesn't mean it's right. It's just something that I'm into.

[00:41:44] Ali: No, I like it. I like it for another reason that aside from supporting these people when someone has the freedom to like most journalists in some manner are artists, right. If they really care about their craft, all of us actually have an artist and as in many ways or in some way, but it's like, what's really cool about that

and the sub stack approach is that by backing them and paying them what they're asking for in terms of a fair wage, it allows them to do their art again. Right. And they're not sucked back into that bullshit game of well, I got to pump out 10 articles a month because the company says that's the quota to hit.

And then I won't get my bonus. You get right back to sucked into the games. Whereas if it's someone you can tell, like their passion is like, hey, I want to write, I want to write about the news. I want to write about this. Then by backing them, we're giving them freedom to do that. So I think that's awesome.

A few rapid fire questions. Cause I think these are going to be fun with you. Our children are the same genders and the same age, which the audience doesn't know, but now they do. And since we both have five-year-old sons who love Superheroes, who is your favorite superhero? Batman. Oh, that was fast,

[00:43:03] Scott: easy.

I mean, Batman easy, just because it's like, I love going to a superhero movie and having that suspense of disbelief and thinking people can fly. But in the back of our mind, we're like, yeah, that's never going to be me. Theoretically, Batman could be you. Right? Not that I want my parents to be murdered. Not that I'm on the way to be a billionaire or anything like that.

But in the back of your mind, you're like, ah, you know, some shit was going down, I could jump in and save the day like Batman. I'm never going to be Thor. My wife has a crush. I don't know if it's Thor or Chris Hemsworth. I hope it's Thor and not Chris Hemsworth because Chris Hemsworth is a good person. But I kind of feel like in the back of my mind I could be Thor.

My five-year old on the other hand, who's in his destructive phase of life, he just loves the Hulk. Everything is about the Hulk. Everything is about daddy, can we watch that scene again where the Hulk fights Thor, he just thinks it's amazing. Like watching two superheroes fight each other. So, Batman from me, Thor for my wife.

Hulk for my son and my daughter has no opinion other than the fact that she loves the little girl that played Wonder Woman in the beginning of a wonder woman, 1984. Which by the way, that's the only good scene in the movie. The rest of the movie is total garbage. But my daughter's in love with the fact that there's a little girl like her that could ride a horse and throw a spear and, and shoot a bow and arrow.

So wonder woman will probably be my daughter's favorite as soon as she can conceptualize.

[00:44:23] Ali: Wow so, and I'm not just saying this to mimic you, but this goes to show how we've talked about in the past, how we have similar families, which we've had multiple conversations, is that if I were to answer that authentically, mine is Thor because he's like.

Well, what could you not like about Thor? He's this powerful man. He has hair that I can never get. He's probably six, five, and I'm five, seven, right? So he's the opposite where I'm like I want to be like that dude. Now what's also funny though Scott is that as a kid, I kid you not, I always thought with Batman.

I was like, this could be possible. Right. Whereas like Superman you're like, man, that dude can fly, he's shooting lasers out of his eyes. Like you, as you became of age, you're like, ah, that's not possible, but there's something about Batman and his cave that I was in love with.

I was like, if anything, I could at least build that cave and just have that crave. And again, just crazy coincidence, my daughter who's three like your daughter, she always, when we talk about superior, she brings up Wonder Woman. So that's very interesting and coincidental crossover.

One other quick , fun question. What animal are you most scared of?

[00:45:40] Scott: Oh, snakes. Easy, really petrified. Yeah.

[00:45:46] Ali: I just move removed two so this is the first time I liked handled snakes yesterday. We were doing a yard work as a family, and my wife's lifting up some old firewood and there's two little garden snakes, although I'm not an expert, but they didn't look very big.

And so I took the rake and was lifting them as if I knew what I was doing to get them out of the yard. The kids got a crack out of that and yeah, there is something about snakes. Growing up I was very fearful for spiders, but snakes. Yeah. I don't think it's not something I'd want to mess with.

[00:46:19] Scott: Yeah, Florida is kind of calling to me.

You know, cause they have no state taxes. I'm here in Los Angeles, California, which is kind of miserable right now. Florida is really calling to me because I love the politics of their governor. I love the fact that they're fully open. I love the fact that they're like no mask mandates again.

No, no personal income tax. It's a beautiful state. I've visited there many times, but one of my coaching clients lives there and he was talking about how he bought a little lake house. And the, owners that had lived there before only used it kind of seasonally. And they're like, hey, you know, as a favor, we know you're going to use this as a second home.

We'll leave a bunch of the furniture behind cause we don't have any need for it. He's like, oh cool. When they moved in, they moved the bed and the headboard away from the wall and the guest bedroom. And there was like a three-foot Python, just chilling back there behind the headboard. And when he told me that, and then sent me a picture, I'm like 0% chance I'm ever living in Florida.

There's too many damn snakes. You walk out and there's an alligator in your pool.

[00:47:18] Ali: Yeah,

[00:47:19] Scott: no, thanks, man. Never living in Florida, even though that state's kind of calling to me.

[00:47:23] Ali: Snakes and Gators are definitely a deal breaker. Okay. So last, the way I like to close these shows is giving you the freedom to talk about what you're selling and what I mean by that before you answer is that this can be product.

It can be coaching, it can be whatever you want. But what I like to help people realize is that. Where I feel like in some way, we're all selling something, assuming that we're talking and we're on podcasts and we're sharing ideas. So you don't need to get trapped into an identity, as we talked about at the beginning of the show. This could be a concept or it could be something related to business. This is my way of saying, what would you like to leave people with on a final note and where can they learn more about Scott Groves since you are indeed a fascinating human.

[00:48:14] Scott: Well, I appreciate that, man. I'm kind of selling our two YouTube channels. So we have one YouTube channel, it's just Scott Groves team. That's where I put up all my mortgage stuff. We just started this new series called Mortgage Mysteries, which is three to four minute videos that are demystifying the mortgage process.

Cause one of the things that I find is 20 something years into this I'll say stuff and it's not really jargony, but I expect people to know what I know. And I'm like, wait a minute, I got 20 something years in the industry. Now there's a lot of first-time homeowners that don't know what I know. Now, just the simple process.

As simple as like, what is a mortgage? A lot of people who buy houses don't know what a mortgage is. So what I'm selling is trying to get people to subscribe to that Scott Groves team page if they have any interest in doing any kind of business with us, whether it's mortgage or coaching or whatever.

And then obviously trying to sell subscribers onto the, On the Edge Podcast. We've talked about everything from interviewing somebody who's doing a world-class podcast on Guns and Roses, which is my favorite band, all the way to sex therapy, to hardcore political opinions that are very unpopular and one day I'm gonna get banned from YouTube.

Anybody that wants to get in touch with us professionally, that Scott Groves team YouTube channel. Or anybody who is interested in more of our political rants, which is really just an excuse for me to film good conversations while smoking cigars the, On the Edge Podcast, YouTube channel, that's kinda what I'm selling and where I'm driving traffic to.

I think I'm really just from a personal side, trying to sell this idea that having the On the Edge Podcast and being opinionated has 100% cost me some business relationships. And I work in LA it's very progressive market. Many of my realtors are not shy about their very progressive opinions, which is very much in contrast to what I kind of believe on the libertarian front.

And it's okay. And I don't mind, you know, I might think they're wrong, but I don't think they're evil, but in some ways, some of them think I'm wrong and evil. So it has cost me some relationships. And I guess what I'm trying to sell as either a principle or an is like, it's okay I'm not mad at you.

You shouldn't be mad at me. People are going to be who they are. And if we're entering this world where everybody kind of knows everything about everyone, and there's just not a lot of privacy anymore. That's okay. We'll kind of pick our tribe and do more and more business with more and more people that either agree or they're okay with agreeing to disagree, which I think is more beautiful.

But if we can't get there, which I hope we can. That's okay. There's plenty of people that agree with you agree with me that, you know, there's a lot of fish in the sea. There's a lot of business to be done. So that's kind of the thesis, I guess I'm trying to sell with all this.

[00:50:54] Ali: I love it. Yeah. I think from, from my exposure to your podcasts, it's great because you have these intense conversations and that lens right into what you just concluded with, which is that you're being your authentic self.

That was a big part of why I wanted to have a conversation with you. And you, you delivered on that. I honor you for, for stepping out and just talking about the things you want to talk about and not holding back your opinions and beliefs because of a business agenda, because those are the status games

a lot of people are playing and sure you can play them. But then are you ever really free? Like, no, you're just trapped into these, these games is identity. So thank you for doing that. Keep doing it. At least you have my vote to keep being Scotty Groves. And other than that, man, thank you.

I appreciate you being here with me.

[00:51:45] Scott: Cool dude. Thanks for having me on and all the luck to your podcast, man. I know you're doing it for total altruistic purposes. Like everything else I think you do in your life. There's no agenda. There's no hidden anything. And I just, it's one of the things that I love about you.

So anytime you need me to show up for anything. Even if you need us to help you to make a decision on the house in Colorado, fly out there and we'll go check it out together.

[00:52:06] Ali: That's very realistic. But no, thank you. That means a lot. And I appreciate you, man. So thank you for that. Cool. Well, we'll talk soon.

Awesome. Take it easy.

Ali Jafarian

Ali is a father, husband and serial entrepreneur with a deep drive to create. He writes, records, codes and builds things to inspire the artist in all of us.

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Understanding the Media with Scott Groves
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