Stansberry Radio Interview Series: This is how Porter Stansberry really built his fortune
Welcome back to the Stansberry Radio Interview Series.
As you know, every Saturday the Stansberry Radio Network is bringing you the most valuable ideas from the most intriguing guests from all of our shows.
This week, Porter Stansberry interviews Mark Ford, an American author, entrepreneur, publisher, and real estate investor. He’s also the founder of our corporate affiliate The Palm Beach Letter.
Mark Ford started his first business when he was 11 years old. In the decades since, he’s started literally hundreds more… many of which are now worth millions of dollars.
Mark recently launched a new program called the Wealth Builders Club, a step-by-step course on the money-generating strategies Mark refined over the last 30 years as he built his own fortune.
In the following interview, Porter shares the priceless knowledge that Mark, one of his mentors, has passed down to him over the years…
Anyone looking to succeed in business should read closely… It’s information that you won’t hear anywhere else!
The Stansberry Radio Network
Originally aired on the Stansberry Radio Network on March 27, 2014
Porter Stansberry: Mark, welcome and thank you for joining me today.
Mark Ford: Porter, it’s always a pleasure.
Stansberry: Mark, I’d really like to dig into your wealth-building ideas today. What I really love about your ideas is that you tell people, “If you guys want to become wealthy, you’re not going be able to do it just through investing. You have to find a way to increase your income.”
That’s something that most people in publishing world don’t talk about. Building your income is very difficult and takes time. What can you tell folks about the role of income in wealth?
Ford: I’m glad you brought that up, Porter. Basically, there are two kinds of people who provide information about money…
At the low end, you have the Suze Ormans and David Bachs who tell people that the secret to becoming wealthy is to save money on lattes. On the upper end, you have people that are giving advice on stocks and bonds and options and futures and so on.
I want to tell people that if you have a modest amount of wealth; if you’re not yet wealthy, stocks and bonds is not going do it for you. The only way that you can break out of where you are is to actually create more income for your life.
I’m sorry to tell you this, but no matter how good you are at stocks and bonds, if you have a net worth of less than $250,000 and if your yearly income is less than $150,000, it’s going be very hard for you to become wealthy simply by trading stocks and bonds.
Investing wasn’t how I got wealthy. I got wealthy doing other things.
Stansberry: Mark, I personally know your wealth-building methods work. When I met you, I was making $20,000 a year. I was living on a futon in someone else’s living room, and even though I had lots of drive, lots of energy, and I’d like to think lots of smarts, I don’t know if those things really played a role in my success.
What you gave me was a very simple plan, a way of thinking about the world. And I can boil it down to this…
In every business, there is a key lever. There is something in that business that makes it work.
You showed me that in publishing, the key lever was the copywriter – the guy who writes the sales pieces. You explained that to sell anything in publishing, you’ve got to have four things…
The first is a list of client names. That might be bookstores that could put your book on the shelf, or a mailing list where you sell directly, or a web site where you’re advertising your book or your newsletter.
The second is an offer. Are you selling a $10 book or a $100 book? This is a key determinant in whether or not your business is going work.
The third is a guarantee. What kind of guarantee can you make about your materials? If you study our products at S&A, you’ll see we have great guarantees – all kinds of guarantees. You do whatever is going make the prospective customer feel comfortable.
If you go look at all the publishing companies that are in our space, we all have the same lists. We all are operating from the same basic group of folks who are potential clients. We all have roughly the same prices. There are little differences here and there, but we’re basically the same. So what’s the fourth key lever to success in this industry, Mark?
Ford: It’s copy.
Stansberry: Exactly. The fourth element is the only one that really changes from company to company. It’s just copy.
If you wanted to be successful, instead of spending your time understanding how to become a marketing guy, instead of spending your time learning how to be a writer or an author, spend your time learning how to be a copywriter.
Spend your time becoming a master of understanding that key lever. Mark, you told me that when I was 24 years old… and that’s exactly what I did.
Ford: Yes. If you’re a member of the very exclusive income class that Porter is in right now, then you can certainly become wealthy through conventional, smart, passive investing in stocks and bonds.
But when you’re in that other [not-yet-wealthy] category, you simply can’t do it. So we created a club [The Palm Beach Wealth Builders Club] to teach people the things I did to grow wealthy.
Stansberry: Let’s switch topics a little here. What’s your take on franchises?
Ford: In general, I’m not in favor of franchises. I should start by saying that I don’t do anything I don’t know about, and I don’t know about franchises. I’ve never bought a franchise.
It seems to me that it’s one of those businesses where the ones that are inexpensive are not worth buying. The ones that are worth buying are expensive, and what you end up doing is what I call a “self-employment” business. You’re working as hard as you would if you were a true entrepreneur, but your prospects are more limited because of the structure of the franchise.
But again, I haven’t done it. I’m not opposed to it. It’s just something that I wouldn’t teach and wouldn’t recommend because I haven’t done it.
Stansberry: One more similar question. Do you have a view on the multi-level marketing lotions and potions businesses – you know, the Herbalife types? What do you make of these things as far as an opportunity to greatly increase your income?
Ford: Well, the way to be in those businesses is to be the guy that creates the business, not all the people that follow up the ladder. A very small percentage are very successful.
The reason they’re successful is they’re so extraordinarily active and proactive. They’re running around day and night, calling up their friends, meeting people on subways and buses, and pushing, pushing, pushing… . If you can succeed as a multi-level person, you could do better – much better – on your own.
I would say that it’s a little bit like my feeling about franchises, except with multi-levels, I actually have been indirectly involved with them through businesses asking us to help market them.
I’ve been able to look at the industry for many years, and I feel pretty strongly that’s just not something that I would ever recommend to anybody. Not that they’re illegal, not that they’re immoral, but just the way they’re structured is such that to be successful requires so much energy and persistence. If that energy were applied to any business that you started, you’d be much more successful going that route.
Stansberry: One last question, Mark. I really enjoy helping wealthy people become wealthier. I like the intricacies of the stock market. I love the research, and I love working with people who are already very successful. But I can tell that you have a genuine passion for teaching folks how to go from making 30 or 40 thousand to making 300 or 400 thousand. Why is that? Why do you like getting down in the dirt so much?
Ford: You know, it’s funny, Porter. I thought a little bit about that. Going from having nothing to making that first million was so exciting for me, but also the hardest thing to do.
There’s nothing I can say here that’s not going to sound self-congratulatory. All I can say is that I feel very fortunate to be able to focus most of my time on helping people move from this category into that other category of wealth where everything’s much easier.
Stansberry: I appreciate all the things you’ve done for me in my life. And you know, Mark, one of the things you taught me that I embrace is this: If you understand how to build wealth, if you understand how to sell, if you understand how to live rich… if you have all these tools, you can become wealthy even if there is a global economic Armageddon.
I can guarantee you that if you took everything that I own away from me, and everything that Mark Ford owns away from him, and drop us in an average-sized city anywhere in the world, I’m very confident that in a few years we would have everything we have now if not more.
These skills can and should be learned. It doesn’t matter how wealthy you become… You still are going to need them because there will be times in your life when you have setbacks. And when I have a setback in business, I go back to the basics Mark taught me, and they always work.
Ford: Exactly. That’s so true…
Stansberry: Mark, Thanks for being on the show. Thanks for all the wisdom.
Ford: Thanks very much, Porter.
Crux note: You can listen to this highly educational interview in its entirety, for free, right here.
Mark says the key to growing wealthy is generating extra income. But most people don’t know how to get started… That’s why he started the Wealth Builders Club. He has one goal with this club: To make you a considerably wealthier person. You’ll find out how to create additional streams of income… learn little-known ways to profit outside the stock market… and have access to much of the same “help” he gives to his one-on-one clients.
If you want to safely increase your wealth in as little as 12 months – no matter your age or financial situation – click here to learn more.