Ep363: Troy Holt – Save Your Money Reserves During Financial Hardships

Listen on

Apple | Google | Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube | Other

Quick take

BIO: Troy Holt is a financial educator, an independent coach, speaker, trainer, author, and podcast host. He is also the CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) of Troy Holt Consulting.

STORY: In 2014, Troy decided to quit a job that he no longer enjoyed and got another one that paid him a small salary and a commission. The money he was making could barely sustain his lifestyle. Instead of making lifestyle changes, he used money he’d received after his mom died as his fallback plan.

LEARNING: If money is tight, cut down your costs to a bare minimum. Put your trust in your family and friends, not money.


“Make money your tool and not your master.”

Troy Holt


Guest profile

Troy Holt’s more than 20 years of experience as a sales and account executive has led to his success in the areas of business growth, development, and financial planning.

As an innovative leader and effective communicator, Troy’s success is grounded in his impeccable work ethic and drive. Troy’s expertise allows him to work as both a financial educator and as an independent coach, speaker, and trainer.

Troy is a co-author of an Amazon best-selling book and is the host of the Troy Talks podcast. He serves as the CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) of his Troy Holt Consulting company.

Worst investment ever

Troy worked at a retail store as a sales rep when his mom died suddenly in April of 2014. At the time, Troy had worked this job for 11 years, but suddenly every day he came to work, he would feel pressured and did not want to be at work. He felt like he was in prison.

Troy went to see a doctor, and he was diagnosed with anxiety. He decided to go out of work under short-term disability for 60 days. When he went back to the doctor, he was told he was still not fit to work. Troy went back to his employer and submitted his paperwork for an extension, but he got denied. So he resigned.

Finding a better job

Troy found another job which started him off at a certain amount plus commission. After a couple of months, they reduced his salary by about 80% but with a higher commission. Troy’s salary was just enough to pay his health insurance and that of his wife and pay taxes.

Selling telecommunication systems was a long process, and Troy barely closed any deals.

Falling back on his money reserves

When Troy’s mom died, she left him some money. He planned to save and invest it later. However, when his job woes started, he started dipping into his money reserves bit by bit to sustain his lifestyle. In his mind, he thought he would be able to put back the money once he closed a deal and got his commission.

Troy did a lot of prospecting and working deals but barely closed anything due to the long sales process.

Things got tougher

Troy’s money reserves were dipping by the day. He figured it was time to get another job. He ended up having to take another job making less money, but at least it was not commissioned.

His reserves were drying out at this point, and he still had so many expenses to cover. Troy realized that his worst investment ever was continuing to live the same lifestyle despite his financial hardship. He should have cut his costs, but he did not, and now he had no money to invest.

Lessons learned

Money is not your source of happiness

The experience taught Troy that God is his source and provider. No matter how much or little money he has, God is the one who will sustain him, not money.

Cut your spending to a bare minimum when money is tight

When money is tight, do not carry on as usual. Buckle down and curb your spending to the bare minimum.

Andrew’s takeaways

Put your trust in your family and friends, not money

When you are losing it all, and it seems hopeless, and you cannot see a way out, remember that money is not the source of your happiness. Your God, your family, and your friends are the key to happiness.

You can deal with the tough times by controlling your costs

There are tough times in our lives that we do not want to have to deal with, but we must if we are going to survive and thrive. When such times come, the one thing you can control is your costs, so cut those costs down as much as possible.

Actionable advice

When you are facing financial hardship, stop and cut the expenses. It’s not going to last forever. It may be tough, but you can survive and get through it.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Troy’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to eradicate and erase financial illiteracy, and he wants to educate people on how money works.

Parting words


“You can get through tough times. Even if you have to reach out to someone and just have a conversation with them, do it.”

Troy Holt


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to give you winning in our community we know that to win in investing, you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. And I bet you're exposed to investment risk right now. To reduce it, go to my worst investment ever.com and download the risk reduction checklist I've made specifically for you my podcast listeners based on the lessons I've learned from all my guests. Fellow risk takers, this is your worst podcast hosts Andrew Stotz, from Ace dots Academy and I'm here with featured guests. Troy halt. Troy, are you ready to rock


Andrew Stotz 00:47
I can be that because I really have enjoyed the beginning of our discussion that we had before we turn on the recorder. And now ladies and gentlemen, you will get to know Troy. So let me introduce you to the audience. Troy holds more than 20 years of experience, as a sales and account executive has led him led to his success in the areas of business growth, development, and financial planning. As an innovative leader and effective communicator, Troy successes grounded his in his impeccable work ethic, and drive. Choice expertise allows him to work as both a financial educator and as an independent coach, speaker, and trainer. Troy is also a co author of an Amazon best selling book, and is the host of a growing podcast called Troy talks. He serves as the chief encouragement Officer of his Troy consulting company, Troy, take a minute and fill in any further tidbits about your life.

Well, first of all, I want to say thank you, Andrew, for allowing me to come and be a part of this great podcast. The worst investment ever told him he was genius, and coming up with the title and the substance that he's in the theme that he's working with. But a little bit that Andrew didn't cover me. So tell us a bit personal about me. I've been married this September, if I make it to see that my wife and I 30 years, we have a 27 year old son, and three grandchildren. And I just love people. I mean, I really get energized by connecting with people. So that's just a little personal about me. Many people don't know, but by my one of my one of my one of my greatest accomplishment is being married to my wife, and happily married. Going on 30 years.

Andrew Stotz 02:59
There's a difference too, right? Yes, yes. Yeah, some people that have been married for 30. Right. Yeah, that word happily. Right, necessarily what they would call it. So yeah, I tip my hat to you.

Thank you.

Andrew Stotz 03:13
That's not an easy thing. I know. It's not. It's a challenge. And yes, that's great. Now, one of the questions I have is that, you know, this feeling that you have connecting to people and you know, I can feel just from the moment we started talking that, that your I can feel your sincerity in the way that you talk and share. Alright, Has it always been that way? Were you always a person that you know, really got energized with other people? Or have you changed over the years? Just tell us a little bit of your youth or your background in relation to that?

Yeah, um, little story. Growing up, I never thought of myself as a leader. And I always thought a leader was somebody that had a position or a title. And so I started doing some research and, and I'm a john Maxwell, coach and speaker. And I remember john Maxwell, his definition of leadership is nothing more influence, nothing more, nothing less. So I remember I was about 18 or 19. I decided to I wanted to have just a group, it wasn't a gang. It was just a group of young people, young guys, and we were just gonna get together and hang out and do some positive things. And I was the one that say, hey, let's get together. Let's do this. Let's have a president. Let's have a treasurer. My mom even got involved. And, you know, people listen to me and they follow you know, my ideas and instructions. And it dawned on me when I got older, that I was leading then but I just didn't realize it. And so, so I've always been that that person that have always love to influence people to do what's right and do things that are positive. So yeah, it's always been a part of my DNA.

Andrew Stotz 05:06
That's beautiful. That's beautiful to hear. Well, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one ever goes into their worst investment thinking it will be. Tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it. And then tell us your story.

Yes. So the circumstances with me was I was working at a retail store as a sales rep. And I ended up well, why don't we go back. So April of 2014, my mom passed. And my mom, she wasn't she passed the 62. And she was not sick. You know, as she was on our last leg, she was, you know, living, she did have some health ailments. But she was working on that she was actually off work, push, because she got she, there was some snow and she slipped and fell and broke her wrist. So she was all from work, short term because of that. So my mom passed unexpectedly and unexpectedly, well, I was working as retail job had been working there at that time, I guess, about 11 years. And I've seen a lot of changes. And my last year, every day I came to work, I feel pressure, I just didn't want to be at work, I just felt like I was in a prison, I end up going to the doctor, you know, basically, you know, say, hey, look, you're you, I'm diagnose you with anxiety. And I just didn't just didn't want to go to work many, many of the times. I hated to be there. And when I first started, I loved it. So I hated to be there. But anyway, during that time, my mom passed, my mom left us some insurance money. And so around June, I went out of work, what they call short term disability. And basically, you have either injury or health condition that you can't work and you still get paid, you don't get paid the full amount, but you get paid partial. So I think I was out 30 to 60 days, and I got my first check. And you can stay out for a total of six months. So I went back to my doctor and he said, Well, you know, he said, anything changed us and I'm still having anxiety and things like that. So he said, Well, we extended, we'll come back I submitted my paperwork, you know, to get paid again, they denied. And so I kept trying to you know, trying to appeal it and so what I said what my goal was okay, since I'm dealing with this, I would if I had to I was just struck Short Term Disability for six months. Hopefully by that time, I will find me a new job, something that I could enjoy and paid decent money at least what same I was I was making well my mom passed and my mom left the money so around December of that time, I put in my resignation because they denied me and I denied the appeal to get the short term I put in my resignation. And to to leave, found a job they started me off at a certain amount plus commission then after a couple of couple of months, they reduced it probably about 80% and they will pay you higher commission but they reduced the salary and so my salary was basically it was enough to pay the health insurance for me and my wife and pay taxes and after that just didn't have anything of basically what is covered covered. So I worked at that job about a year and a half two years and the sales process was long as I was selling voice telecommunication systems so so many times the process was long so I'm still living the same life same expenses as if I was making bringing in an income thinking that Okay, I'll close the deal thinking that generate some with some deals but not thinking about I'm still this money's is the reserves is drying up. And it went on for months.

And I didn't close all that time I did a lot of prospecting and working deals just didn't nothing get didn't get anything close. Long sales process, right before I left that job, I did have a deal. But we couldn't get it close because of some technical stuff. So it took longer, longer. And I couldn't wait, I had to leave. And so I ended up having to take another job, making less money, but it wasn't commissioned, it was paying a hourly wage. And because I needed the income, but I have spent up all the reserves that I had from the insurance money. So here I am. We don't have the reserves. Because my goal, my goal was not to touch the reserves, take care of my mom, channel and everything, but don't spend the reserves and just live out by salary and take the reserves invested. And it got dried up. And here I am. I don't have no reserves. I'm making less. And I still have all the expenses that I started out.

Andrew Stotz 11:08
Let me ask you, can you remember a day or time when you kind of realize that you're in this situation? And you've spent all like, was there a conversation with your wife? Was there a moment of, you know, pain? Was there a moment of prayer or what was that time when you realize, damn, I've done what I was didn't didn't want to do?

Yeah, did that it was a combination of those what you just said, you know, talking about why prayer. I remember we, you know, we have in this, we still have this discussion. We hate you no matter of fact, a couple of days ago, we hate that we had that money. And you know, again, my whole intention was not to touch it. And it was just leave it there. But I still had to leave. And I think it dawned on me after it was gone. then realize when the light come on, I don't have any more of these reserves. It's gone. What am I going to do? So I felt ashamed. I felt angry. I was disappointed. I felt in a sense, like, why's everybody else being blessed? And I'm struggling here.


And, you know, I was trying to, you know, be wise and do what's right. But it didn't happen for me. So I'm so I'm having all these emotions, you know, trying to explain to my wife, you know, well, what happened, hey, we were living the same lifestyle. We didn't make any changes. We didn't make any adjustments. So, you know, we've had this conversation many times, but however, lesson learned, lesson learned. You know, one of the biggest lessons is when you get an epic position like that, to really stop and think and don't let it go. months because, because that comes out. Okay. So next month. I'm working on this. So hopefully I close a deal. And I'll get that income in next month one, month two, and then month, three, and month four. But I'm still got responsibilities. And so it just went spiraled downhill. Yep. Yep.

Andrew Stotz 13:37
And what would you say was the bottom the worst day

probably was the worst day was when I had to take a job. And go back to retail. sales. That's probably it was my work. The job that I had was outside sales. Yeah, the one that was one paying me much. And I had the freedom so now I gotta go back into retail. And, and be subject to someone. And make, don't make a lot of money but be subject to retail. So that's probably one of my worst time because I'm like, oh, man, I gotta go back. Being on a clock and how people, you know, tell me when I can go and when I can't go?

Andrew Stotz 14:35
Yep, yep. Now, you know, the thing about this story is, you know, there's so many millions of people who are in this situation right now. Right? They've been drawing down whatever savings they had. They've been losing jobs or struggling because of this pandemic situation and all and so I want you to think about those people out there. And I want you to Go through the lessons that you learn from this experience.

Yeah, one of the lessons I learned is that through the ordeal, and I and I told Andrew this, I'm a man of faith. So one thing I learned is God is my source. That was probably the biggest lesson I learned where they have a little or a lot. It can be going away quickly. And don't forget that God is the source and the provider. We make it on us. We put it on ourselves as me, there's doing this and generating it. But God showed me that the biggest lesson was he is the source. Because he sustained us. Even though we lost it, he sustained. He is the source. That's the biggest lesson. But also, I learned that we shouldn't that I should have put a governor I should have put a stop in and buckled down and put myself Oh, oh, let me stop. And let me not continue to think I have this freedom. I should have stop. Hmm, yeah. It really cut that curb your spending to really bare minimum. Yeah, not didn't do that.

Andrew Stotz 16:34
Yep. Okay, so let me summarize some of the things I took away from this. Yeah, I want to go back in time when I was 14, I was in juvenile detention center in Akron, Ohio, because of charges of inquiry liability from my parents. And then I spent a summer in a foster home. And then I came out and continued to get high and use drugs and all that stuff, and ended up going through three different rehabs the last one for the whole of my high school year. And when I came out of that rehab, it was in June of 1983, when I came out of it from that point, you know, until today, I've never taken any drugs or drank any alcohol. But I can remember one of the things my mom basically said, well, you don't have a job and you don't have education. And we spent all the money that we had for your education on rehab. So welcome to the real world. And she said, when you're 18, you need to be out. And I got out. And I went to work in a factory in a production, you know, line and it was tough. I ride my little moped like an hour to get there every day didn't. And I had to go to the church at times to get food and I was on food stamps for a period of time. During that time. I was making, you know, minimum wage, it was tough, and I didn't have anything. But I had sobriety. It's Friday, it's Friday, man, I went to 12 step meetings in Akron, Akron, Ohio, where I was living. And I had my friends from those meetings and my sober friends that we hung out, you know, maybe a little bit like, I had a little crew, like you had a crew. And every day, I look forward to spending time with them, and just spending quality time. And I had nothing and I had no, I had no hope that I would be able to go to university or anything like that. That was out of my mind. And the point that I come back to is it. The one thing I really really had was happiness.


Andrew Stotz 18:43
I didn't have any possessions, right? I just had happiness. And I had satisfaction like I was living a good life. And I was getting closer to my friends. The reason why I raised that is because later in my life when I was in Thailand, the 1997 Asian crisis happened and basically almost lost everything. And I was in my living in the factory of one of the businesses that my best friend from Ohio, who was there running it, we were living in the same factory they're trying to survive after I lost my job. And our business was about to crash. And basically, I was faced with another situation that I had lost almost everything. Now the difference was I had a little bit more education and a little bit more experience than I did when I was 18. But I can't tell you how peaceful it was for me to be able to look back and realize that my happiness does not derive from money. Yeah. And so I go back to what you said, God is my source. Yeah, you know, I think for the listeners out there, when we're losing it all, and it seems hopeless and helpless and we don't see a way out. Just remember that money is not the source of happiness. History, you know, God is our source. And also, you and your friends, your family and friends and your relationships are the key to happiness. And I've gone through my whole life, including this latest crisis, knowing that, at times, I've had to just get down on my knees and give up. But also what I've said to myself, is it. Nobody. So when you have either God is your source, or you're feeling that you have your close relationships with family and friends, nobody can take that away from you. That's true. So that's my first takeaway. And the second takeaway is that there's times in our lives, where we don't want to have to deal with it. But we must, sure if we're going to survive and thrive. And when the crisis came, you know, with the pandemic, and the economic shutdowns, which happened across the world, which have now pushed more than 150 million people into poverty across the whole world. Sure. I'm very much against the idea of just locking everything down and saying, you know, you know that, that that's terrifying to me. And so when, when it all started happening, I decided that I was going to improve myself and improve my online courses and expand that part of my business. And I basically spent the last year running at a very fast pace, because I knew if I didn't do it, it's not all gonna be there. And so you know, what I want to tell the listeners out there, and this is part of what I take away is that you said, the second lesson is that you know, you didn't stop and cut costs. So ladies and gentlemen, I really want you to learn from this, that when it gets real, and you realize, Oh, this is ticking, you know, time is ticking. Yeah, the one thing you can control is your costs. You know, and so as much as you can possibly cut those down, you're never gonna get rich from cutting costs. But the point is, there's times in our lives where we just need to survive. So those are some of the things that I take away is anything you would add to that.

Yeah. And I want to echo what you said about money doesn't bring happiness. And although I went through this, and with the money, it wasn't the money, it was the pressure of the responsibility to have all the, you know, the mortgage, that that's where the pressure was. But again, I thought about when you said money doesn't bring happiness. And for those that are listening, you know, in the US and international think about many of the superstars, entertainers, athletes, people that you know, that you looked up to that were rich, and they committed suicide?

Andrew Stotz 22:54
Yeah, I always say Robin Williams got me.

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah, he was a class. You know, I was thinking about him, too, when you were saying that, that he was one of the ones I was thinking about Robin Williams was one classic one. And so the money and the fame and the fortune didn't bring him happiness. Michael Jackson, you know, didn't bring him happiness, Whitney Houston, the money, the fame, the fortune didn't bring them happiness. And so we just have to keep that perspective in mind that make money, our tool, but not our master. Hmm. And if we can do that, and use it as a tool, make it your servant, and not your slave. Don't be a slave to it, then we could do great things with it, and bless other people in the process.

Andrew Stotz 23:49
Beautiful. So based upon what you learn from this story, and what you continue to learn, I now want you to think about a young man or woman listening to this right now, who is starting to slide down that slope? What one action would you recommend our listeners take to avoid suffering the same fate?

The one action I would recommend is for them to stop and cut the expenses. It's only temporary. It's not gonna last always just stop and cut the expenses. So you know, is basically what you want to do is stop the leak, you have a leak, a plumbing leak, and you need to stop it till you can get a fix. And just do that, and you can survive. And another thing I want to add is you can get through it. It may be tough, may not be easy, but you can survive and get through it.

Andrew Stotz 24:48
That's I think a great, great lesson that you bring to us is that through faith through you know, staying, you know, you kept your marriage alive, you know, and all of that. We're going to all of us will make it through it. And I think there's a great passage. This too shall pass.

Yes, yes, definitely.

Andrew Stotz 25:06
Yeah. So last question, what's your number one goal for the next 12 months.

My number one goal for the next 12 months, I am on a mission to eradicate and erase financial illiteracy. That's my goal is to educate family and individuals on financial illiteracy, it's huge, using some of my experience, and also some of my professional experience. That's my goal is to educate people on how money works. Beautiful. So listeners,

Andrew Stotz 25:46
there you have it, another story of loss to keep you winning. My number one goal for the next 12 months is to help you might listener to reduce risk in your life. Go to my worst investment ever.com right now and download the risk reduction checklist and see how you measure up. And the idea of financial literacy and reducing risk. go hand in hand. So as we conclude, Troy, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

My only parting words is as I said earlier, you can get through it. Even if you have to reach out to someone and just have a conversation and talk with them. Get prayer, get encouragement, do that. Especially if there's a man many times that pride get in the way and we want to handle it all. But sometimes we need to let somebody know, hey, this is what's going on. I just need to talk I need to get it off my chest and it's okay to do that.

Andrew Stotz 27:05
That's a great way to end it. Ladies and gentlemen, if you're facing trouble, pain, financial hardship, find someone you can trust and just grab them and talk to them about it. And sometimes just that process is enough to relieve that pressure that Troy has been talking about. And that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


Connect with Troy Holt

Andrew’s books

Andrew’s online programs

Connect with Andrew Stotz:

About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

Leave a Comment