I’m excited to welcome Andrew Bustamante, former CIA agent and founder of Everyday Spy, to the show.
We discuss how media outlets feed you what you want to hear… and how to sift through the noise and find the truth.
Turning to macroeconomics, Andrew gives us his perspective on the Russia-Ukraine war—why this event wasn’t spontaneous or a surprise… whether it would have happened under the Trump Administration… who feels the most pain from Russian sanctions (it’s not Russia)… and one country reaping the rewards.
Plus, Andrew makes a bold prediction about a Chinese invasion in 2024… and shares how to invest based on current geopolitics.
Finally, don’t miss my keynote speech, “How to easily raise millions for your metaverse project,” at TCG World’s Metaverse Expo this weekend in Las Vegas. To get 50% off your tickets, go here and use the code: VEGAS50.
- How the media controls the narrative—and how to find the truth [4:45]
- Why the Russia-Ukraine war wasn’t a surprise [16:30]
- Would the Russian invasion have happened under Trump? [22:40]
- Andrew predicts China will invade this neighbor in 2024 [24:20]
- Global effects of Russian sanctions—and how to invest for geopolitics [33:15]
- What Andrew’s company does [42:55]
- The three lives everyone has from a spy’s POV [51:08]
- Join us at the Metaverse Expo 2022 this weekend [58:00]
Wall Street Unplugged | 917
Everything you need to know about geopolitics… from a former CIA spy
Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged looks beyond the regular headlines heard on mainstream financial media, to bring you unscripted interviews and breaking commentary direct from Wall Street, right to you on Main Street.
Frank Curzio: What’s going on out there? It’s Thursday, July 7th. I’m Frank Curzio, host of the Wall Street Unplugged podcast, where I break the headlines and tell you what’s really moving these markets.
Frank Curzio: It’s interview day, and today, I’m interviewing Andy Bustamante, someone you’re probably not familiar with. Andy is a former covert CIA Intelligence Officer. He created this site called everydayspy.com, where he teaches people the things he learned in the CIA to everyday people. These things include how to read someone, how to hear what they’re saying, how to tell if their story is full of crap or not, basically full of or not, how to network better, make better decisions, know your strengths and weaknesses in terms of intelligence… Basically, he teaches you elite spy skills to win success, to get what you want, and live truly free lives.
Frank Curzio: This is an incredible interview, because Andy’s also very educated on geopolitics and his opinions on Russia/Ukraine, and China/Taiwan, which are everywhere right now, they’re very controversial. He’s going to share the easiest way to make money on all these conflicts, through rhetoric and political maneuver, and that’s going to be made throughout the next few weeks, months, years, and especially when it comes to China, who’s going to invade Taiwan; that’s what he’s predicting, and he puts a timeframe on it that’s not too far from now.
Frank Curzio: Before you dismiss it and think he’s crazy, hear him out. He’s a very smart individual. He’s someone that blew me away. This is going to be a great interview, trust me on that. Let’s get to it right now. Here’s Andy Bustamante. Andy, thanks so much for coming on Wall Street Unplugged.
Andrew Bustamante: Hey, I’m stoked to be here. Thanks for having me, brother.
Frank Curzio: I did a deep dive into you, and then I found that I just kept going to that rabbit hole, because I was so interested, and some of the services that you provide was really cool, and how you bring it all together and talk about macroeconomics, and some predictions and stuff. I do a lot of research on everyone.
Frank Curzio: I’m curious, because we met at a conference a few weeks ago, last month sometime, and you said you did a podcast and you didn’t know me. I said, I’ve been doing podcasts for a long time, and I was like, hey, I definitely have to come on the podcast. When you went back, I know that you did research on me. What kind of research you do on me, I think it was pretty good, because you did contact me the next day, or day later, and say, hey, I’m definitely interested in coming on.
Andrew Bustamante: You know, it’s awesome, Frank, whenever I do a deep dive into folks, I have to remember that I’m trained for due diligence, and I have to remember that I’m a little bit extra critical of other folks, so it’s important that whenever I jump in and do my background research, I always give people grace. What was nice is that you didn’t need a whole lot of grace. You didn’t have a negative reputation. Your research stands on its own. Your business success stands on its own, your podcast and your podcast metrics all stand on their own. Frank, from my point of view, you’re a standup guy. Now, I have no idea, no idea, what you talk about with your friends.
Frank Curzio: Yeah, I take that as a compliment. I take that because I know that the research that you do behind everything, which is really cool. I want to get into that because being in the CIA and learning these tools, I love the fact that you use them for everyday life. It brings in a total adjustable market of almost anyone where you talk about that you coach, I don’t know if coaching is the right word, but you teach the CEOs top one percenters how to read people which is important to find out which story is bullshit, which is what we do here, right? That’s why this podcast, I don’t know if you know, but when I took over this podcasts from Jim Cramer, I didn’t want to do it. They interviewed everyone and said, hey, you’ve got to try it.
Frank Curzio: I said, whatever. I just went on there and I was like, okay, this is bullshit, this is bullshit, this is that, whatever. I didn’t even want to do it, and they said, you got the biggest response from anyone. There’s a dire need to listen to people or to not be steered the wrong way. We’re in a market right now where it’s worse than ever when it comes in the media, and I want to start there, because there are things that you see, even on the macroeconomic look, where in that front where you’re seeing so many stories being printed, and there always seems to be an agenda there.
Frank Curzio: I don’t care if you’re conservative. I don’t care if you’re liberal. I don’t care what side Republican, Democrat, but it’s very hard to find out real information, real news that you could believe. How do you separate that? What are some of the things that you do to separate that, because I think everybody would be interested in that.
Andrew Bustamante: Oh man, Frank, you just unpacked so much right there.
Frank Curzio: Sorry.
Andrew Bustamante: First of all, total, no, it’s all good. Let’s start with a fire hose. What better way to start. So, for sure, I agree with you a thousand percent that there is a dire need for facts, that’s the thing that everybody’s looking for. People are looking for facts. They’re looking for truth. They’re looking for reliable objective, well thought, well reasoned conclusions. But the problem is that those same things don’t sell, because what people want to buy, they want to buy with their emotions. They want to buy things that make them feel good. When fact doesn’t make you feel good, then the people who are in charge of media, all the news sources, television sources, movie sources, magazines, bloggers, you name it. They come into a conundrum.
Andrew Bustamante: Do they produce something that will sell, and that makes people feel good or do they produce something that will not sell, but does, in fact, tell people the truth? That’s the big conundrum. It started in the 1950s and ’60s really, because the idea of fair and unbiased news, all of a sudden the funding sources for that type of news started to run dry. The only way that news media could continue to make a profit is by selling news that made people take action.
Andrew Bustamante: Now, we live in a day where information is everywhere; social media, your neighbor, television. Anybody who’s tuned into a new Netflix show in the last year, year and a half, you can see social agenda portrayed in Netflix sitcoms, Netflix shows. All the information is permeating all the different parts of our everyday life.
Andrew Bustamante: That’s really what causes all that confusion because people just struggle with differentiating between fact, opinion, agenda, narrative, inspirational aspirational motivational stuff, versus pessimistic, fatalistic, end-of-the world stuff. It just inundates us.
Andrew Bustamante: Before I go into solutions, I just want to make sure that you understand that’s where I’m coming from. That’s the world that I see right now, and the market right now, this terrible condition that the market is in as we speak, reflects all of that chaos and confusion. Even institutional investors look at the world right now, and they’re telling themselves, I’m not quite sure how this is going to go, so it’s better to be reserved than to go all in.
Frank Curzio: That definitely makes sense. Definitely does. It’s hard to go all in with so much uncertainty, and yeah, that’s one of the things you talk about. I know you want to talk about solutions, let’s go there, because I really want to talk about the geopolitical things, because I’ve seen video on this. I love your opinions on this, they’re very strong, not everyone’s going to agree with it, and I love that. At the end of the day, it’s okay to disagree. You don’t have to hate each other when you disagree, and your opinions are strong.
Frank Curzio: The factual base, a lot of it, sometimes people are just so far left or right they don’t want to hear it. Before we get to that, which is going to be really fun, I know you talk about solutions that you want to get to and things like that, because I’m all over the place. I just did a deep dive on you, so I’m very excited to talk about so many different subjects. Let’s start there. Let’s start there. Let’s go there in terms of solutions.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah, absolutely. I love it, because in the first 10 minutes of anybody listening, they’ll have something they can take home and work with. That’s a big part of my promise as a business, is I want to give everybody practical, actionable solutions. So, here’s how it works in the news world.
Andrew Bustamante: First, understand that media is used to being a single source for the user. For everybody who watches media, by and large, media companies know that you watch them and only them, or if you watch something other than your primary news source, they can predict which two or three other news sources you watch. So, liberal media sources already know what percentage of the liberal population watch CNN, what percentage watch BBC, what percentage watch you name the other liberal news sources, right?
Andrew Bustamante: The same thing happens on the conservative side. They know exactly how many people tune into Fox. They know exactly how many people tune into any other of the multitudinal conservative news sources. More importantly, news sources know that the people who watch Fox don’t also watch CNN, and CNN knows that the people who watch CNN don’t also watch Fox. As a result, they have the control of the user’s narrative. Then, they feed you the news that they know will make you feel a certain way, a way that further entrenches you in your existing opinion, and that’s what they want. The more entrenched in a liberal opinion you are, the more they can continue to feed you new liberal information. The more entrenched you are in a conservative narrative, the more they can feed you new conservative information.
Andrew Bustamante: The way that you break the cycle, the way that you outwit the bad guy in this, is that you become one of those people that reads the news on both sides of the fence. When you take multiple news sources, when you read CNN and Fox, you read USA today and BBC, you read foreign news sources like Al Jazeera, and foreign news sources like Russia Times, when you read all those different news sources, you find the truth, because the truth is where all of the news stories overlap. Where they say the same thing, that has a high probability of being fact, where they say totally different things, that has a low probability of being fact. So, it’s just like anybody who’s ever done land navigation with Boy Scouts, when you cast an azimuth in multiple different directions, that’s how you triangulate your true location, even when you’re lost.
Frank Curzio: How do we break that, because people are being conditioned, and it’s like a… Right? When you’re being conditioned, because that’s something that I’ve always done where I’m looking at all the sources. I’m not right. I’m not left. I try to bring the true story. I’ve done them with fracking, with all the BS around earthquakes and how it causes water contamination. I really thought when I got there, there was going to be dead animals every place, right? This is 12, 15 years ago. Again, I like being in the field and doing this. COVID, I was fortunate to just talk to the right people, interviewed people in Italy when they were on lockdown three, four months before I came here, two months before I came here. Also, seeing it spreading in China, what was going on, interviewing someone on lockdown in China.
Frank Curzio: So just covering that, and I realized the more I started digging and I’m fortunate, a lot of people have listened to the podcast, and a lot of doctors were emailing me, and every doctor said the same thing. They were giving me these reports that were unbelievably amazing, and studies, and everything. They said, just don’t mention my name. I’m like, why can’t I mention your name? I didn’t mention their name, but people were getting pissed off, and I’m like, I have kids. That’s what I care about, my kids’ safety, and right now they don’t need to wear a mask. They’re perfectly fine. COVID doesn’t impact them.
Frank Curzio: They didn’t know like the first 10, 12 months of COVID, California shut all the schools. There was only two kids that died. I don’t even know if they had underlying conditions that were under 12 years old, from COVID, which, do you need to close out all the schools, but there’s certain people that didn’t care, they didn’t want to hear it.
Frank Curzio: How do you break that? Where my job, and even your job, what my job is, I want you to make money, and maybe make money is by seeing what the status quo is and seeing what’s wrong about it, whether on the long side of the short side, but finding that story no one’s talking about. But a lot of times people don’t even care. They don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to educate themselves, they’re so conditioned. How do you break that? I mean, that’s got to be really difficult.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah. So, you may not like my answer, Frank, but I’m going to tell you the true answer, right? The true answer is that the world is built on ignorance. That’s the default assumption that you have to make when you go into any part of the world, whether you’re talking about lowly parts of tribal Africa, or whether you’re talking about first world states that are also nations, like Singapore. You have to understand that the whole world, all of the leadership, all of your Generals, your politicians, your intelligence infrastructure, everybody in a position of power, CEOs, multimillionaires, billionaires, they all understand that the bell curve of the human race, the fat part of the bell curve, is willful ignorance. After you turn 17 years old, there’s a cognitive developmental phase in the human brain. It doesn’t matter your religion. It doesn’t matter your sex. It doesn’t matter your education level.
Andrew Bustamante: We all, at the age of 17, develop the cognitive ability to reject information. This is why children, when you watch a nine-year-old, or a seven-year-old, or a five-year-old, they’ll pick up everything. We call them human sponges, right? It’s because they haven’t developed the part of their brain yet that rejects information. They believe in Santa Claus, and they believe in the Easter Bunny. They believe that people can all be good people and do the right thing, and everybody can live a happy, free, fair life, because they don’t know any better.
Andrew Bustamante: By the time you turn 17, you’ve developed an ability to actually reject factual information. Somebody can look at you and say, you have to get a job. If you don’t get a job, you won’t be able to pay your bills, and they can reject that information.
Andrew Bustamante: The vast majority of the human bell curve is a group of people who have the ability to say no to truthful information. That ignorance is something we have to build, we have to recognize it’s built into the human experience. The way that you take advantage of that isn’t by trying to fix other people’s willful ignorance. What you have to do is capitalize on understanding that they are stuck in a cycle where they are willfully ignorant. That’s how people make tons of money. That’s how businesses succeed. That’s how advertising works. That’s how television shows work.
Andrew Bustamante: We all know superheroes aren’t real, but how many hundreds of millions of dollars does Disney have to make off of making another superhero movie because they know people want to believe that superheroes are real. We’ll keep going to the movie theater. That’s the big mind bending truth here is don’t try to fix people, capitalize on what you already know is their existing behavior. And then you will have success.
Frank Curzio: There’s a lot to be said there. There’s so much to be said. You have my mind thinking right now, which is amazing, just some of the things that you said. Let’s transition this into one of the big things that are going on right now, which is Russia/Ukraine. I saw some of the things that you said about this. I always do my homework on everyone, and watch interviews, and past interviews over the past three, six months. You had some interesting comments on this, where it’s not a surprise.
Frank Curzio: Talk about some of the things that wear condition, like this whole entire thing where pre-this, whether people like it or not, Ukraine was considered one of the most corrupt nations. They’ve actually been able to track this for 25 years, corrupt nations, and they’re one of the most corrupt nations. Every one of their elections was corrupt, just about. I have no bias against them, and you never want to see anyone go to war, whatever.
Frank Curzio: Now all a sudden, narrative is like, Ukraine is the greatest thing. Their government is the greatest thing in the world. Everything’s fine, Russia is the enemy; they’re terrible. It’s disgusting. Everything is Russia, right? Everything with Trump is Russia. Everything’s Russia. Whenever you throw everything, even now Russia is the cause of inflation, right? It’s all Russia. It’s not China.
Frank Curzio: Notice nobody says China really about that.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Frank Curzio: They say Russia. What’s the real scoop on Russia/Ukraine? We know it does impact, unfortunately, inflation in terms of food, in terms of energy. What’s the story there? What everyone’s being fed is that Russia’s absolutely out of its mind, they did something that was very surprising and came out of nowhere, and again, that’s a narrative right now. When I listen to you, it’s a lot different from that, isn’t it?
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah, absolutely. There are two or three big factual pillars that it’s important for your audience to understand, Frank, to give them again, going back to the whole idea that the bell curve of the human existence is ignorance. There are a lot of people out there who will believe the narrative, and there’s nothing we can do to change what they believe. If you want to look at it factually and objectively, there are three main points about Ukraine to understand.
Andrew Bustamante: First, since 2011, Putin has made it very clear he was going to take Ukraine back into making it a Soviet state, a Soviet satellite, or not Soviet, but a Russian natural resource hub that was intended to serve the Russian people in the country of Russia. Since then, since the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has been the closest of the former satellite states to Russian culture, Russian history, Russian values. It’s very, very similar. It’s almost like West Virginia and Virginia. They’re very, very similar, right?
Andrew Bustamante: Putin has been saying, since 2011, that Ukraine is a priority for him to maintain the wellbeing of the people of Russia. Then, of course, the wellbeing of the people of Ukraine, because trade with Russia and Ukraine is what makes both communities, both countries wealthier. You’ve got to understand this. For a long time, Putin has been talking about how Ukraine is a country not to be meddled with by the United States, or by NATO. That it’s a priority, an economic priority, for Russia. There’s no surprise here that he’s had his eyes and his attention on Ukraine.
Andrew Bustamante: The second big pillar is that Russia and Ukraine are essentially the exact same country, the way the people think, the language that they use, is almost identical. In fact, at the time of the invasion of Ukraine, 20% of the Ukrainian population self-identified as Russian living in Ukraine.
Andrew Bustamante: It’s not like there’s a cultural divide there. It’s not like Spanish people and French people that completely think that they’re two different countries. A huge part of the adult population of Ukraine identified as Russian, and they wanted closer relationships with Russia. They wanted more Russian trade, and more Russian political ties and overlap; that’s what the two countries wanted.
Andrew Bustamante: Just like you were saying, Frank, Ukraine was extremely corrupt. It is still extremely corrupt. There are estimates that say 20% of all foreign aid that goes to Ukraine is skimmed off the top, and used for corrupt purposes, paying Generals who control fiefdoms and all sorts of terrible stuff. It’s always been a corrupt country, because it’s modeled off of Russia. Russia is also a very corrupt country. Those are important things to understand because they contradict what you see in most mainstream media about Ukraine.
Andrew Bustamante: People like to talk about how Ukraine has the right to be a sovereign nation. It didn’t really want to be a sovereign nation. People talk about how Ukraine is the victim under Russian aggression. They wanted to basically come in and become the economic stimulus that made them more financially secure.
Andrew Bustamante: Those are two big, big pillars. The third massive thing to understand, the third big pillar in the Russia/Ukraine situation, is to understand that what the US says is irrelevant, because the people who feel the biggest pain from the Russia/Ukraine conflict are actually our European partners. All of NATO, Germany, especially Poland, Romania, they’re the ones that feel the pain of the sanctions against Russia; more than the US feels the pain of the sanctions against Russia. Because of that level of tolerance, that level of economic pain, domestic pain, cultural challenge, because of that, the United States has to keep the pressure up on a very wide scale.
Andrew Bustamante: As soon as we let that pressure die down, you’re going to see Europe give up the fight against Russia, and just let Russia have Ukraine, because Europe is dependent on Russian natural gas. Europe is dependent on Russian trade. Europe is suffering significantly right now under the burden of the sanctions that they have been coerced, not coerced, but they have agreed under US guidance and US leadership. The pressure they’ve been put under by distancing themselves from Russia is a game of diminishing returns, and they know that. That’s why you’ve already seen countries, like Germany, start to release some of their sanctions against Russia. You’ve seen people release sanctions on trade, release sanctions on natural gas, release sanctions on travel, because they can’t maintain this intense level of sanctions against the country that’s their neighbor. Where the United States, we can talk a lot of rhetoric because we’re outside of that impact zone.
Frank Curzio: Very outside of the impact zone, not like China, where we’re dependent on them. Where you see, even in the NBA, and someone came out and defended Hong Kong being a private nation, and right away, they had to apologize. You can’t say that, right? It’s funny how money comes into play. Is timing an issue of why they went to war? A lot of people say, well, Trump wouldn’t have allowed this to happen. I don’t totally agree with that, but was it because Biden got elected, this happened? Did it have anything to do with that timing? You say this was inevitable, no matter what. Even a further on question to that is, what is the end solution here?
Frank Curzio: Feels like Russia is in the driver’s seat where you have Europe, and also the US is suffering. The US is suffering due to inflation. We’re seeing inflation, we’re seeing oil prices, we’re seeing food prices, a lot can be contributed to that. I feel like Russia’s in the driver’s seat where they can almost get what they want, and everything could be set under the table, but there’s a way to end this where everybody would work out. It wouldn’t be worked out for Ukraine, other than you stopped the war, and you stopped killing, which nobody ever wants to see.
Frank Curzio: What’s the outcome here, and would this be different if it was Trump, or if it was a Republican or Democrat? Did that have anything to do with it in terms of the timing, and without speaking politics, I’m just curious to hear your analysis on that.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was inevitable. It was right on schedule. If you look at the time that they invaded Crimea, and the time that they invaded Georgia, what happened in 2008? What happened in 2014? It just works. It works that they basically don’t let a full decade go by before they expand on their territory.
Andrew Bustamante: I don’t think that, necessarily, it was a Biden decision. I do think it was more of they took the temperature of NATO, and NATO has been in a strong isolationist mode for about the last 15 years. If you look at the presidents in France, and Germany, and Poland, the leadership out there has been taking a more isolationist approach, which just set the stage for Russia to invade Ukraine. I also feel like it’s not a coincidence that just a few weeks before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia, and China signed a formal agreement to back each other for the next 25 years.
Andrew Bustamante: They signed a formal alliance that said, hey, we will support one another’s global national security ambitions, and economic ambitions. Well, we all know that China’s ambition is Taiwan, and if China goes after Taiwan, they’ve made that, just like Putin did in 2011, China has made it part of their formal policy to take Taiwan before the year 2040. There are no surprises here. There shouldn’t be any surprises, but I’m sure that when they invade Taiwan, it will be a surprise to people. The fact that this agreement was signed, and then Russia tested the world by invading Ukraine, it’s just a dry run. It’s a, what’s it called before a wedding, a rehearsal dinner before the real thing, when China takes Taiwan, and I think China will take Taiwan in 2024.
Frank Curzio: Why is that? I heard you say that. Yeah. Why do you think that’s going to… That’s a bold call because we think that we’re a trading partner with Taiwan. Not as much as what everybody believes. It might be like eighth or ninth on the list. In terms of the numbers, it was like 30 billion of imports compared to 800 billion of imports from China, that we have. It’s not like massively significant. We know semiconductor production, stuff like that, and trip production. To say that’s going to happen in just a few years, not a lot of people believe that. They think it’s a possibility, but you’re actually predicting it. Go ahead.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah, yeah. I’m fine with people believing it, and I’m fine with all the experts out there that want to say that it will happen, but we don’t know when. Real experts will put a date and time on something, and then they’ll own it, whether they’re right or wrong. Call me up, Frank, in 2024, and I’ll find out if I’m right or wrong.
Andrew Bustamante: Here’s the thing. Russia just tested the world on Ukraine. The United States did nothing. NATO did nothing. Nothing. There is no material support to Ukraine, right? Are they sending weapons? Of course, they’re sending weapons, the weapons that they send to Ukraine, indebt Ukraine to the West. It’s an economic move. It’s not a military support move. You can see how afraid the West is of crossing Russia. They don’t want to cross Russia. Russia has nuclear weapons.
Andrew Bustamante: Russia has a massive economy. Russia has central geographical advantage in Europe. The West doesn’t want to cross Russia. China is watching that, and China is learning from that, because China has a stronger economy than Russia. They have a geographical choke hold on all of Asia. They’re bigger, stronger, and more successful than Russia. If the world will back down from Ukraine, for sure, the world will back down from Taiwan.
Andrew Bustamante: Look at what happened when Biden recently said that he’s going to support Taiwan. As fast as Biden could say he would support Taiwan, you had all of his PR people coming out and saying, actually, actually we’re not really changing our stance. We’re not really changing our policy. We still believe in the one China policy. You’ve got, at the same time as the Russian invasion, you’ve got China increasing military flyovers of mainland Taiwan.
Andrew Bustamante: It’s crystal clear to me that the one is a demonstration of what will happen for the other. Now, the reason it has to happen in two years, Frank, because the world has a short memory, Russia is going to win Ukraine. I’m anticipating that will happen in about 16 weeks. All Russia has to do, it’s straight out of the playbook of the US war college, everybody listening right now, who’s been to the US Army war college in the northeast, they know you take control of the high volume shipment avenues, and that’s how you win a battle.
Andrew Bustamante: All Russia’s trying to do is get over to Odesa. Once they control the southern end of Ukraine, and they control the eastern end of Ukraine next to Russia, the southern end all the way across to Odesa, then there’s no winning solution for Ukraine after Russia does that, which is why you see them concentrating their forces in that direction.
Andrew Bustamante: Once they do that, which will take about 16 weeks, then the world is going to watch Ukraine go over to Russia. Everybody’s going to stop trying. Everybody’s going to stop fighting. China wants the world to remember that it wasn’t worth the fight, so they have to take Taiwan in a period of time that’s soon enough that the world remembers; that’s why two years.
Andrew Bustamante: The other reason why two years, is because the US is going into an election cycle that’s going to be hotly contested, because our current President has some of the lowest approval rates of all time. That’s not going to get better in the next two years. Strategically, China knows it’s going to cause massive chaos in the United States to invade Taiwan. The Chinese know that the United States is going to be divided. It’s going to be divided because it will be divided over a new President, will be divided over the last four years of the last president, which included COVID, and included a recession, and included a housing crisis, and included everything that we’ve been seeing for the last two plus years.
Andrew Bustamante: The world knows that a divided America moves very slowly, and that’s exactly what China needs. China needs an America that isn’t unified, because if it’s unified, America moves fast. For those of you who were alive in 2001, we remember how fast America can mobilize when we have a unified enemy; how fast we can make decisions. That’s something China doesn’t want to have happen. They want us to move slowly.
Andrew Bustamante: That’s what you see every election year. We become divided, we become very self-aggressive. We turn inward and it’s a perfect condition for the world’s economic superpower, the one global superpower, will be too busy to pay attention to what’s happening in Taiwan. That’s just how it works.
Andrew Bustamante: The last big reason why I say 2024, Frank, is because China has set out a very distinctive agenda called the Made in China policy, or the China 2025 Plan. It says that by 2025, China wants to be the world’s leading manufacturer of high tech technology, of elite, high functioning, high tech, world disruptive technology. It can’t do that without Taiwan, and it has very publicly made claims that it’s pushing for this goal in 2025. In fact, this week, a Chinese manufacturer beat out Tesla as the highest performing manufacturer for electric vehicles. They are very, very aggressively taking this 2025 Plan. Seriously. They can’t achieve that 2025 plan unless they also have Taiwan.
Frank Curzio: So let me ask you this, because it seems to me with the US, and I want you to disagree, because I want to try to understand this, because with Russia, we really don’t have strong ties, imports, exports, anything. But with China, we have major ties. I feel like if they are going to invade Taiwan, take over Taiwan, there’s lots of things, in terms of sanctions, sanctions usually don’t work and I get it.
Frank Curzio: Plus sanctions they put on, I broke down the math behind it, which is so little. Everything, even during the terrorists, and Trump and stuff, was just funny. With that said, we are the biggest nation in the world. We have the most money in the world. We buy our goods from them. We could buy from anywhere. Granted, we would pay a lot more money than China. We know the low cost of China, but that puts us in a position of great strength compared to them.
Frank Curzio: I just feel like there’s more that we could do to stop Taiwan in terms of where Russia/Ukraine, Ukraine’s not in NATO, there’s nothing we could do. Again, Taiwan as well, but it just seems like there are more things we could do to China to try to stop this, compared to what we could do for Russia when it came to the Ukraine situation. With that happening, you’re still saying everything that we could do is really meaningless?
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah. I’m saying that basically we wouldn’t do anything, Frank. That’s exactly what I’m saying. The United States would be forced in a position: Choose China or choose Taiwan. Look at what you just laid out, Frank. We have tons of trade with China. We don’t have tons of trade with Taiwan. We have incredible economic dependency on China. We don’t have that with Taiwan. That’s all part of Chinese’ calculation too. They recognize that. In Russia, it’s okay if we put a bunch of sanctions on them, and try to devastate their economy, and try to destroy their ruble, which we didn’t do. We can try that, because we don’t have any impact because we’re separate from that sphere of influence. We are not separate from China’s sphere of influence, and China knows that, and they also know that America technically, officially, and legally observes a policy where Taiwan is already part of China.
Andrew Bustamante: Ukraine was a sovereign nation. In the United States, we do not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation. We recognize it as a current piece of China. That’s a huge difference than what you see with Russia and Ukraine. China knows they’ve got the geopolitical leverage, the economic leverage, and they’ve got legal leverage that Russia doesn’t have. For sure, the calculation that they’re typing up on their abacus, or on their calculator, they know that when they make a move against Taiwan, the United States is going to be in a really, really tough position to take any kind of active measure.
Andrew Bustamante: We will be able to support Taiwan’s resistance, it’s the same thing we’re doing with Ukraine. Supporting Ukraine’s resistance is different from actively getting involved in the conflict.
Andrew Bustamante: When you look at the 2025 Plan, you look at all the pillars that support why China would take over Taiwan in 2024, I feel like the other thing that people forget is that there are always secondary effects, and the secondary effects are something that you won’t find anywhere in mainstream media right now; the secondary effects that are currently happening between Russia and Ukraine.
Andrew Bustamante: I don’t mean to put you on the spot, Frank, but have you heard anyone talk about secondary effects outside of Russia or Ukraine? Not necessarily like wheat trade or oil, but anything other than that?
Frank Curzio: Not what happens next. Again, I think Putin is extremely smart. It’s so funny how they label him as this crazy guy, but I think he’s very calculated, knows what he is doing, but you don’t see someone like this stopping after Ukraine. It’s like, what’s next? Even when China with Taiwan, what’s next? Now you have two powers that you said, two the superpowers where I would guess there’s three of us, in terms of superpowers.
Frank Curzio: You have two of them that are getting closer and closer and closer, while we’re fighting over stupid things in climate change and the world won’t produce it and become stronger. That’s what worries the hell out of me right now, because listen, I believe in climate change, I know there should be money put towards climate change, not to the point where people are sleeping on park benches because oil is too high, because we just decided to go alternative fuels that we don’t have. That’s what worries me. That’s the secondary part. Do I think about that? I have no idea what it will be after this. You’re right. That’s not talked about in the media. Yeah. At all.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah. You’re dead on, Frank. So, the official term, the term that you’ll see in elite circles is called Global Power Competitors, GPC. We don’t call Russia and China superpowers because they can’t compete with the US economy yet. So, we call them Global Power Competitors, GPC countries.
Andrew Bustamante: There are three GPC countries, us, Russia, and China, and we’ve been talking a lot about Russia. We’ve been talking a lot about China, but then later down the list, there are other countries that are vying to climb up and get higher on that echelon. One of them is Iran. One of them is Saudi Arabia. One of them is France. One of them is, of course, North Korea is always trying to climb up on the scale, but so is Turkey. That’s where I think it’s really interesting.
Andrew Bustamante: I’m just going to derail this just for a second, because while Russia and Ukraine has been raging, what nobody is talking about is the secondary effects that conflict is having on Iran.
Andrew Bustamante: Iran, prior to Russia invading Ukraine. I’m pretty sure Iran was our number one enemy. Everybody hates Iran. When Russia invaded Ukraine, and we slapped Russia with all those sanctions, the sanctions we put on Russia very quickly outpaced the sanctions that are on Iran. Do you want to know why you don’t hear about Iran in the news right now? Because Iran is having an economic heyday. All the countries that can no longer do business with Russia, they’ve just shifted their business to Iran.
Andrew Bustamante: Iran is raking in oil revenues, agricultural revenues because Europe can’t trade with Russia anymore. That means they have to trade with Iran, and Iran is a natural resource like a smorgasbord, they’ve got oil, they’ve got fantastic vegetables, and fruits, and plants, and a gigantic workforce that’s impoverished and can work around all day. By supporting the conflict in Ukraine, we have essentially boosted the economy of the biggest villain that we’ve been targeting for the last 15 years. Iran.
Frank Curzio: That’s incredible. This is an investment podcast. If you were to play it from an investment point of view, is it military spending? How would you play this as an investor where you need to be worried about this stuff. I mean, what you’re predicting at the end of the day is just a couple of years away to two years away with China. It sounds like right now our ties with China and Russia are going to get extremely worse. If that does, that can’t be good, especially as they get closer, but how do you play this?
Frank Curzio: Again, you don’t want to play it where people are dying, and I want to make money off it, or of a war, but you want to position yourself where you don’t lose everything that you built in your 401k because of geopolitical risks and things that are going out there, and it could head that way.
Frank Curzio: What you’re saying, maybe not even 2024, if Taiwan, but just like you said, the secondary effects, what’s next after that is pretty scary. Now that you have my mind thinking, I appreciate that.
Andrew Bustamante: Actually, I enjoy my conversations with investors, Frank, more than my conversations with almost anybody else. Business owners and investors are my two favorite people to talk to, because they’re the only groups in the world that can segregate their feelings from their financial decisions, and it’s built in. If you don’t know how to do that, then you’re not a very good business owner. You’re not a very good trader.
Andrew Bustamante: When it comes to the financial point of view, this is what’s important. The United States, and the policies of the United States, are not going in a direction where American business is going to reign supreme globally. Chinese business, and Chinese policies are going in that direction. If you’re a gung ho American investor, then by all means, continue to invest in America. If you diversify your portfolio with international investment opportunities, I would absolutely be looking in China, because that’s where the massive amount of growth is going to happen.
Andrew Bustamante: Where you can invest your money into Chinese businesses that are growth oriented, in Chinese-traded companies, that is something to be considering. The other thing to consider is outright what’s called interstate conflict, which is conflict between two sovereign nations, the world is shifting away from interstate conflict. Like what we did in Afghanistan, Iraq, that’s a true blue invasion. The whole world is transitioning away from that.
Andrew Bustamante: What Russia did in Ukraine was an interstate invasion that was supposed to be just like two weeks long. They thought that Ukraine would just bend over just like Georgia did in 2008, and what happened in Crimea. They just miscalculated that. The world is turning more in a direction of what’s known as proxy war, or proxy conflicts. Proxy conflicts have a much lower death count, a much lower casualty count, because what ends up happening is rich countries just fund poor countries to do the fighting for them.
Andrew Bustamante: That’s exactly what we’re doing in Ukraine. We’re paying Ukraine in weapons, and dollars, and food, to fight Russia for us. It’s what we’ve been doing in Syria. It’s what Russia and Turkey are also doing in Syria. I don’t want anyone to be afraid of American soil being invaded anytime in the next 50 years, totally unrealistic, because what China’s gearing up to do is crush our economy by taking over as the world’s superpower, and letting us fall down to simply being a second or third tier GPC country.
Andrew Bustamante: Economically, investors are in the best position, because investors can choose where they invest their money. Follow the money. America is going to continue to invest its own money in military technology. Absolutely you should be investing your money in the same place that the US government’s investing its money, hypersonic missiles, lightweight tanks, rapidly deployable vehicles, modern day internet of things, war fighter equipment like night vision goggles and lightweight weapons, and drone technology. Those are all fantastic options to invest inside the United States.
Andrew Bustamante: The other thing to keep in mind is economic blocks like the BRIC, B-R-I-C-, Brazil, Russia, India, China. The BRIC union has absolutely exploded in success while the rest of us are suffering under a painful market, because Russia continues to trade with India and China and Brazil. Those are smart places that you can move your money, follow the money. That’s where you want to be. That’s where you want to gamble your investment.
Frank Curzio: Well said. Well said. So, yeah. Yeah. That’s the investment advice, guys, I’m giving you. For me, I love listening to this type of opinion, whether you agreed or not, because now you’re looking at, with China, they always need the US in terms of the amount of money that we spend there. Plus, they’re not really resource heavy. We know that in terms, yes, we’re earth minerals and things like that and certain agriculture. But now, when you partner with Russia, now your able to get cheap energy and holy shit, now it gets a little scary, especially what we’re doing here with NRC.
Andrew Bustamante: Then you partner with, yeah. Iran becomes your agricultural bed. North Korea becomes your agricultural bed, there’s extremely rich soil out there. Just like you said, China knows how to partner and take those resources.
Frank Curzio: The thing that worries me though, is all of them, they all want to be the best. They don’t want to join to be the best, which is good for us. When it partners up at the end of the day, sometimes, especially I see this in business with egos, they just run away, where it’s, hey, if we partner, it’s going to be great for us, but they’re like, okay, but I need to be running things. You know what I mean? I don’t know, you have my mind thinking, but for me, now, I’m looking at, from an investment perspective, where I want to go, what do I want to do? Where do I want to position myself over the next few years? But there’s a lot to be said to that. I love people that could challenge what I’m thinking, and then make me realize, wow, this could happen. Whether you believe it or not.
Frank Curzio: That’s really what you want, whether you create things or not. We covered a lot. We covered, man, feels like every major country around the world, but I want to get into specifically what you do with your site, it’s called Everyday Spy. That’s what was fascinating when I was doing the research. I love what you do, because it’s like secrets to freedom and I want to bring it up. Can you explain this everydayspy.com, and explain what you’re doing here, because this was fascinating to me. I don’t know anyone that does this, but I was definitely very interested.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah. I appreciate it, Frank. It’s good feedback to me to know that you’re so interested. Essentially, all my company is, all Everyday Spy is, it’s my opportunity to train everyday people in the skills that CIA gave me, and here’s what’s fascinating. CIA has built the most elite skill training programs in the world on the back of taxpayer dollars. Those secrets, the things that they train us, the how that they train us physically, and mentally, in how to steal secrets, and how to break into houses, whatever it might be, those skills are not actually classified as secrets.
Andrew Bustamante: What we do with those skills to keep America safe, that’s what’s secret. Nobody is supposed to know how we use the skills, or what we do to steal secrets from abroad, but everybody is essentially entitled to know, how do you build a cover story? How do you build an alias? How do you maximize your persuasion techniques? How do you win a negotiation? How do you create a close relationship in a minimal period of time. All of these skills that they trained us in, they’re just not talked about because former CIA officers don’t know how to use the internet, because we spent our whole life staying off the internet.
Andrew Bustamante: What I did with my company is basically just learn how the internet works, and then use it as a platform to teach people the spy skills that CIA taught me, and the utility has been out of this world, Frank, from talking about macroeconomic impact like this with investors, to teaching business owners how to tell when somebody’s lying to them, or giving them tools for marketing. My wife is a former CIA officer, just like I was. We built, essentially, a quiz that within 12 questions, we can tell you exactly what kind of spy you would’ve been if you were recruited by CIA. It’s our spy superpower quiz, because we know how CIA recruits, and we know that CIA looks for very specific skillsets in all people, and this is just those five categories of people that they look for.
Frank Curzio: Yeah. That was really cool. Then once you do this, then it’ll tell you the type of skills that you have, and also, more importantly, the weaknesses, and how you can get better at it. Is that right?
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah, exactly. Right, because what CIA knows about all people is that people have super powers, but then people also have unique super weaknesses, right? So, you might be extremely smart, but somehow you are not aware of your surroundings, or maybe you’re extremely good at math, but you have a family hereditary tendency towards alcoholic beverages. There are all these different things that make up a human being, and what CIA has been able to do over the last 70 years of its existence is create tests that identify where you land. They don’t reject people because people are weak. They, instead, give you training to make you strong in the area where you’re weak.
Andrew Bustamante: I have nothing but fond things to say about my time at CIA. I have blog posts. These are just one lesson at a time. It’s how I handle my podcast. It’s how I handle my blog posts. It’s how I handle my clients. I just give them one skill at a time, and then we try to master your knowledge in that skill, and then develop you into a master overall from each of those individual skills.
Frank Curzio: Now, this is cool. Let’s get into your podcast, too. That’s how we actually met. When you were talking about your podcast, and you’re like, hey, do this podcast. It’s like, yeah, I’ve been doing a podcast for 15 years, which is crazy, but I know that you love to do it. I could tell, because I list a couple of episodes, but talk about your podcast, Everyday Espionage.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah. I have a podcast. I’m the host of the Everyday Espionage podcast. It’s an iTunes top 1% podcast in the world. I’m really very fortunate for that, and my podcast is just me. I don’t do guests, because I want to make sure that I take the time on my podcast to teach one specific spy skill at a time, and teach it quickly. Every episode is less than 20 minutes, and it’s built to give you very tactical, very practical spy skills that you can immediately use in your everyday life.
Andrew Bustamante: When I started the podcast, Frank, I had no idea what I was doing. I was just talking to a microphone, but the response has been spectacular, and seeing people follow, and seeing the audience grow, and seeing where the podcast has taken me in terms of television interviews, and TV spots, and opportunities to work with folks like you. It’s why I love the podcast so much. It’s just an awesome platform to reach out to people, and give them information that otherwise they may never have seen or heard before.
Frank Curzio: No, this is great. This is awesome. I’ll say that with the podcast, what have you learned from doing the podcast in terms of connecting to the audience and the people that listen to it? For me, it’s always fascinating just to interview people and to learn from so many people, but it forced you to do the research, the homework. What have you learned from doing a podcast?
Frank Curzio: I tell everybody that comes to me, I’ll be honest with you, they come to me for advice on the podcast, and I tell them the same thing. You’ve got to do it all the time. You’ve got to make sure that you’re committed. It’s something you have to love, because I see everyone, I tell everyone, I say, I’m going to tell you how to do it, but you’re not going to do it. They wind up doing it for six months or a year, and they’re like, I can’t do it anymore, whatever. You’re committed to this, and I could tell how passionate you are about it, which is really cool.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah. The podcast has taught me a couple things. First, it taught me that there’s no need to be perfect because people aren’t perfect. You go and have a conversation with somebody over coffee, and you’re both making mistakes. This interview hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been real, and people like real, real honest, authentic conversation.
Andrew Bustamante: I have learned through the podcast that it’s better to just have a real conversation than to try to come up with some staged rehearsed conversation that people see through. Then, the other thing I’ve learned from the podcast is that you want to talk to people like you are sitting there in the room with them, because those are the people that will learn the most from you. If someone’s listening to a show, like we watch TV shows, and we listen to certain podcast shows, and we listen to them with the intention of being removed, being distant from it. It’s just background noise, it’s entertainment while we drive from place to place.
Andrew Bustamante: When you’re actually trying to give people knowledge and skills in a meaningful way, like what you do in your podcast, Frank, you want to talk to them like they’re sitting there in the room, you don’t want it to be theatrical. You don’t want it to have distracting music in the background, fancy lights, or anything else. You want it to be very straightforward and direct. If they don’t want that kind pf conversation, they don’t listen to you, and that’s perfectly fine because the less people that listen to you, the more you can serve the people who do listen to you, at a higher level.
Frank Curzio: Makes a lot of sense. It definitely does. I guess we’ll finish with this. We met at a financial newsletter media conference where, in this industry, the reason why I started my company is because there’s a lot of people that I think the industry was just something I’ve been a part for a long time. Dad was in this industry and seen it being steered where it’s more about marketing and less about making returns for people, and making these crazy forecast and promises.
Frank Curzio: Did you see anyone up there get on stage? You don’t have to name names, of course, but I was just, have you been in that industry and someone that knows how to read people, and that’s what you teach people through Everyday Spy, were you, in a first two minutes of speech, like this guy’s full of shit? I was just curious, because I’m just programmed to analyze everything now, and the worst thing I did, I played basketball my whole life, and I became a referee, was the worst thing, because now you look at it from a ref point of view in different angles.
Frank Curzio: For me, I analyze everything down to the details. Just the way I am. I know that when it comes to people, it’s probably just that inane ability to just be able to look at people and be like, okay, I know who’s real or not. I’m just curious, have you, at that conference specifically, I was wondering if you’re like, ah, because sometimes you get that a lot, especially with the conferences that I’m attending.
Andrew Bustamante: Yeah. I didn’t spend a lot of time watching the speakers on stage because I was spending most of my time watching people in the audience, and that’s something that I was trained to do. When you see people who have the spotlight on them, they turn on a different side of their personality. All people have three types of lives. There’s a private life, there’s a public life, and then there’s a secret life. When someone is on stage, they’re living their public life. It’s a very contrived public life. We all live it every day. It’s how you want the world to see you. You can’t really read a person by watching them publicly. You have to read them in their private life. Private life is when people don’t feel like anyone’s watching.
Andrew Bustamante: Everybody in the audience who’s sitting there listening, those are people who are in their private life. They’re on their phone, they’re searching something. They’re shopping on Amazon, they’re picking their nose, who knows what they’re doing, but they feel like they’re in a private space, even though they’re actually in a public setting because they don’t have the spotlight on them.
Andrew Bustamante: I actually spend most of my time observing people who think that they’re in their private life, and what that gives me, or what that would give anybody who observes people in their private life, is it gives you a chance to see what that person’s really like so that you can increase your chances of success cracking into their secret life.
Andrew Bustamante: Secret life is where people hold their trust. It’s where people make decisions to buy something from you, or it’s where people decide to partner with you. You want to always observe just long enough that you can develop a way to get someone to trust you, and let you into their secret life. That’s the difference between how you and I handled that financial media conference.
Frank Curzio: That’s incredible. I never thought of it that way. You’re looking at the people, not the person on stage. You’re right though, because I’m actually going to Vegas and doing a keynote, and you do have the personality on stage. You have to make it more entertaining than you would like this. You mentioned with interviews too. People always say, yeah, they’ve complimented me and say, well you do good interviews. I’m like, I do it as if I’m talking to you, and the camera’s weren’t on, and plus I make sure you’re prepared because one of the things I hate the most is when people like, yeah, we could do business together, and we set up a call, and they’re like, well, how many newsletters do you have? What do you… And they’re asking all these questions that you could find literally by searching for five minutes, which means you’re really not interested.
Frank Curzio: It pisses me off. I’m like, here I am going back through this guy’s career looking, everything he possibly did. I could tell the direction where he wants to go, what does he want to do? People love talking about themselves as much as they can, especially through social media channels. When you don’t do any research at all, it’s frustrating. At least it shows interest after the interviews where you’re like, wow, this guy did his homework and he researched this stuff, but it’s interesting how, even just thinking how you think. It really amazes me, how you’re looking at the people, how you look at different things, how you’re looking, you’re projecting where it’s not just, it’s like thinking bigger. You’re projecting like, hey everybody like Ukraine, Russia. Okay. Russia will take over Ukraine, but it’s like, what’s next?
Frank Curzio: All right, well inflation. No, no, no. What’s next at the bigger picture, and being able to think like that really, really impressed me with this interview today. That’s what I really appreciate anyway.
Andrew Bustamante: No, I’m glad, Frank. I’m glad I got to impress you, but even better, I feel like we got to talk about some really hard hitting stuff for your audience and that was the goal.
Frank Curzio: Now, it’s really cool. It’s really cool. If anyone wants to learn more about you, get in touch with you, I know I have your Twitter up here, which is @everydayspy, but just tell them how they can get in touch with you, learn more about you.
Andrew Bustamante: Absolutely. You’ll find me all the time at everydayspy.com. That’s my main homepage. If you’re a social media person, you’ll find me at @everydayspy handle on all social media. Of course, if you’re a podcast listener like you are for this podcast, you’ll find my podcast on all the major platforms, if you look up the Everyday Espionage podcast. I can’t wait to hear from anybody who’s watching, listening, or scrolling through the internet.
Frank Curzio: Nah, it’s great stuff. Well, Andy, thanks so much for coming on. I know we’ll talk again soon.
Andrew Bustamante: Sounds great, Frank, take care, man.
Frank Curzio: So guys, I have to say, in terms of learning something new, which I love to do at this stage of my life, I always want to make sure every single day I’m learning something new. I always write my ideas down on my phone. Anything I’m thinking of at night, or whatever, I’ve learned to do that. But in terms of learning something new, and challenging the way I think, which is something that I also love, I love to be challenged. I always say, listen, if you don’t believe in my research, you could say, Frank, you’re an asshole. You know what you talk about? Tell me why, because it’s important. You might have a very good point. You might be in this industry your entire life, and I’m looking at it from a financial perspective and not looking at the big picture. That’s how you learn, by checking your ego at the door and realizing you’re not going to be the smartest person in the room. You’ll never be the smartest person in the room, and when you are, that’s bad, you shouldn’t be.
Frank Curzio: But in terms of challenging the way I think, learning something new, this is one of the top interviews I’ve had in this podcast, and that’s saying a lot since I’ve interviewed thousands of people, as you guys know who followed me for a long time, billionaires, heads of state, legendary hedge fund portfolio managers, so many analysts. I really enjoyed it, but definitely take a look at his site, everydayspy.com. I don’t get paid a dime whether you do or you don’t. But when I went to that site, and I took that test, and not so much that I agree with the test, it only has a certain amount of questions and some of them didn’t even fit some of the answers I wanted, and explains your strengths and weaknesses.
Frank Curzio: As you dig through and you see some of the things that you could buy and purchase, and he has a big field event, which I may be taking my team, which is they have all surveillance and they create this whole structure, and apparently it’s… It reminded me of an outdoor escape room and trying to figure things out and afterwards. It’s yeah, he does this once a year. Again, you could read on his website, but I might be taking my team there, it’s just a team building event where I think it would be unbelievable.
Frank Curzio: When you go through his website, listen to his podcast, you’re going to learn a lot. I love the fact that I mentioned at the end of the interview where it’s like, what’d you think of the people that were speaking? He’s like, I’m not looking at the speaker, I’m looking at the people of the audience. I never heard that before, and it makes a lot of sense. That’s when you want to analyze people, not when they’re being… And it’s not like you’re being fake, but you do, you have a different personality when you’re on stage. You want to be interesting. I want to be appealing. You know, you’re explaining something, you want to be more assertive, compare it to talk to your friend and just relax. That’s the true you, right? I never thought of it that way.
Frank Curzio: Just speaking to him, not just on his podcast, but offline as well, and starting to learn about him and digging in. As I started digging in, I wasn’t lying at the beginning of that. I went to this rabbit hole and really started learning a lot, went through different interviews that he was doing, which you could see on YouTube, which is just really, really cool stuff.
Frank Curzio: But it had me wanting to learn more. So again, if you want to go to his site, go to his site, want to go to his podcasts fine, I don’t get paid whether you do or not. For me, I enjoyed it very, very much because I learned something new. It challenged my opinions on certain things, which I always want, because that’s always going to make you smarter by looking at both sides of the story. He did it in a way where he wasn’t being political either. He was just saying, this is what I look at.
Frank Curzio: Again, I thought it was fascinating, but like I always say this podcast is about you, not about me. So, let me know what you thought at email@example.com, that’s firstname.lastname@example.org, and guys, Daniel will be taking over the reins tomorrow, Frankly Speaking, since I’m going to be at Vegas, the Meta Expo, mentioned this a lot of the past two, three weeks to you guys.
Frank Curzio: If you happen to buy tickets, or you’re going, you could do it on our website, because I think they took off all the discounts. It’s 50 percent off. You could see that in maybe a few places they had 20% off, but we got a 50% discount off. I think it’s $99, but it’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday. There’s going to be VIP things, and specials, and stuff, and events. It’s a pretty big event. I think it’s going to be over 5,000 people in attendance, everyone, keynote speakers. I’m going to speak on Saturday 2:45, which is pretty exciting again. So, it’s July 8th, 9th, 10th, so far I’m Saturday and Sunday. I’ll be there till Monday. But if you’re there, please come by, say hello. I’m going to talk to you, hang out with you. Any questions, comments, whatever, but there’s going to be a different conference than you’re used to, because it’s going to be a little all over place than the first conference.
Frank Curzio: But you’ve got to really see the Metaverse and what it is, and what we’re doing specifically documentary-type format, which is pretty exciting what the Metaverse is, because explaining the Metaverse today is kind of like explaining the internet in 1993, ’94 ’95, you couldn’t really explain it, but look where it is now. It’s the same thing with the Metaverse. When you see the amount of money pouring in, and I just covered maybe 10% of the money pouring in, in the last podcast and the podcast before that, just Microsoft all In, ActiVision all in, Google’s all in, set up special funds to invest in these companies. You’re looking at Qualcomm set up a hundred million dollar fund to invest in Metaverse companies. When I went to the Consumer Electronic show, I saw dozens of companies talking about the Metaverse, and this was in January.
Frank Curzio: It’s here. The money’s flowing in. The estimates are suggesting anywhere from 8 trillion to 13 trillion market as we all want to find ways to connect, and we’re all going to flock to that. That’s why social media is so big. And this is the next wave of social media. This is where people want to be. This is everything that’s broken with social media, and the internet, and the ownership, and how they steal the information. It gets corrected through this.
Frank Curzio: It’s more that people are going to have their own avatars. It doesn’t mean you have to have these big glasses on, we’re invested in this trend. You know how much we’re involved in this trend. We’re not just talking half-assed, like this is pretty cool, should invest in it. Nah, we are investing in it. We made our biggest investment as a company, $5 million buying virtual real estate and TCG.
Frank Curzio: And you’re going to see why when you go to this conference. Again, you’re going to see different things. You see all my poker tournaments, eSports tournaments, gaming right now, and a lot of people have been interested in gaming. That’s the entry. That’s the easy entry into the Metaverse. It’s going to branch off industry to industry. Look at how many retailers are going to the Metaverse. Look at the restaurants that are going into Metaverse and often special deals that are working out that they could… Almost everything’s in the physical world you’re going to see in the Metaverse, and all the biggest companies who own the internet are spending tons of money to fuel this growth, and not even to fuel the growth, but they know that this challenges everything. It challenges search on Google. It challenges the advertising revenue, the advertising model through Google, through Facebook, Apple, and ownership, and how they own everything for their own app stores and stuff like that.
Frank Curzio: It challenges, they’re being forced to, invest a lot of money and get ahead of this. When you see the money coming in, you need to follow the money, because it’s not just, hey, this guy’s investing a hundred thousand here, a couple million here. It’s billions now that are being flowing into it in a market that’s crashing, which is unbelievable. You don’t see that often. That’s how important it is. Their balance sheets of flush with cash when it comes to these technology companies, and this is where they’re investing. It’s why Anderson Howard’s the best venture company in the world. The biggest largest four and a half billion they raised with their eyes closed to invest in Web3. And this was last month, and that comes on top of a $2.2 billion fund that they were investing in crypto.
Frank Curzio: I know you’re looking at crypto and seeing a lot of things crash and bankruptcies. This is a next generation. This is different. You’re seeing NFTs, Mark Cuban, Peter Thiel, just announced major investments in NFTs, are going to purchase a lot of these NFTs. I know it sounds crazy with these bullshit art, but hopefully I explained it to you, the NFTs are much, much more than that, but you’re going to see a lot of this at this conference.
Frank Curzio: If you’re not going to be there, don’t worry. We are going to interview almost all the major players there. We’re going to have a studio set up there. It’s a booth, going to be pretty crowded. It’s going to be nuts. Again, we’re going to do a documentary type format explaining to people what is the Metaverse through all these interviews and everyone, we really have an edge there where people are coming to us, and the most important people in this industry are coming to us, which is going to lead to lots of new ideas, especially in our crypto newsletter, which I know everybody’s performance on the crypto newsletter has been terrible, and everyone’s been getting wrecked lately, but it’s going to open the door to new ideas, new ideas that are being funded by some of the bigger players.
Frank Curzio: We’re going to be able to get in early into a lot of these names because of the access that we have. So, hopefully, I get to see you there. Hopefully, you get to see my speech. Really looking forward and excited. If not, don’t worry about it. I’ll be able to show you a lot of the videos and go for all the content. Everything that I learn, everything you should learn, all the ideas next week and on Wall Street Unplugged. I’ll make sure I cover that for you and show you lots of videos and stuff. Questions that come, for you to email me anytime email@example.com. That’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, Daniel’s going to be Frankly Speaking. That’s with paid subscribers. He’s going to do that tomorrow, because I’m going to be in Vegas. So, I’ll see you guys next week. Take care.
Announcer: Wall Street Unplugged is produced by Curzio Research, one of the most respected financial media companies in the industry. The information presented on Wall Street Unplugged is the opinion of its host and guests. You should not base your investment decisions solely on this broadcast. Remember, it’s your money and your responsibility.
Today, Dollar Stock Club members will receive their latest recommendation…
A stock Frank selected based on today’s interview with Andrew—specifically, how to invest for geopolitics.
This industry leader provides high-tech equipment for the U.S. defense sector… as well as 50 Allied nations. And in today’s geopolitical landscape, demand in this sector is set to skyrocket.