☕ Sunday Brew: ‘I was born in prison’

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” 

– Albert Einstein


In this week’s email:

  • From prison to Harvard – an unlikely journey to success
  • Is working from home about to shut down the economy?
  • Why most advisors make THIS big mistake with marketing
  • Would you splurge $100 on a Kentucky Derby racehorse?


The Best Thing I Saw All Week


An 18-year-old Texas student whose life began behind bars when she was born in the Galveston County Jail has been accepted into Harvard University.

Sky Castner has a true rags to riches story.

Her father picked her up from the county jail when she was just a couple of days old and raised her as a single dad for the past couple of decades.

Her mom was incarcerated at the time and has never been a part of her life.

So when the disciplined and dedicated student submitted her Harvard application letter, she didn’t hold back.

In a move that would make any successful marketer proud, she nailed the opening line (and stuck the landing).

“I was born in prison,” the start of Sky’s Harvard essay read.

She then went on to discuss the influential people in her life – including her father, as well as a special mentor by the name of Mona Hamby.

Mona met Sky when she was in elementary school as part of a weekly community mentorship program. 

But it turned into much more than an occasional lunch together..

“I was given a paper about her. Her hero was Rosa Parks, her favorite food was tacos from Dairy Queen and she loved to read. I thought this sounds like a bright little girl,” Mona recalls. “I still have that paper today.”

According to Mona, Sky set the goal of going to Harvard when she was in 5th grade.

Not only did she get in, but she’s going on a full scholarship.

Sky says she plans on going into law or finance.

Who knows – maybe we have a budding financial advisor in the making?


Markets 📈


Remote working exploded onto the scene during the pandemic (largely by necessity). 

Now, Corporate America is walking things back a bit. 😬

We have a good old-fashioned stalemate between employers and employees.

Some are worried that too much working from home could trigger the next banking blowup. 🧨 

In big cities like San Francisco, major commercial buildings have seen occupancy rates go from 98% down to just 53% in the span of three years.

That’s creating some major cash flow issues for over-leveraged investors and banks who are left holding 8- and 9-figure bags.

Then you have Meta (that’s Facebook, ya’ll) who is asking office workers to return to their corporate digs for at least 3 days per week.

(So maybe there is hope that these buildings don’t end up going the way of 20th century shopping malls?)

But no matter which side of the power struggle you’re on, there’s a silver lining: Wall St. traders do less crime when working from home. 🙌 

So at least we got that going for us….you know?


More Market Reading 📈

📊 Payrolls rose 339,000 in May, much better than expected

😞 How paperwork errors cost families millions in life insurance payouts

✏️ Survey: Americans are still prioritizing college savings

🤖 AI propels Nvidia to ‘$1 Trillion Market Cap Club’

💵 The 2,000-rupee is going away, fueling a surge in mango purchases


Mindset 🧠

I’ve seen far too many advisors give up on content, branding, and marketing too quickly.

They spend weeks working behind the scenes to dream up a strategy.

They might even invest thousands of dollars into getting the right setup.

Then when it doesn’t work right away, they give up.

But marketing doesn’t always generate same-day results.

It takes time.

The human brain is built for relationships.

And relationships take time to be strengthened.

A relationship with a brand is like any relationship…

…there has to be some baseline level of trust.

So here’s my reminder for you:

Trust comes BEFORE growth.

Keep showing up AND keep adding value.

Relationships will be built – it just might not happen immediately.


More Mindset Reading 🧠

🤔 Behind the numbers: What holds people back from estate planning?

🏖️ 1 in 4 say they struggle to “switch off” from daily life while on vacation

🤑 How spending money actually makes some people unhappy

🧠 The psychology of Cash vs. Card purchases


Deep Dive 🔎


Fractional investing has been around for a while – at least in the traditional sense of being able to buy fractions of stocks and mutual funds with large brokerages.

The concept is simple enough…

It’s like ordering a slice of pizza instead of the whole pie. You get to enjoy a piece of the action without going broke on mozzarella and pepperoni.

That much we understand.

But these days, it’s spilling over into alternative investments ranging from art to racehorses. 

And anyone can plug a couple of dollars in and get some action.

Mage, the recent Kentucky Derby Winner, was funded in part by a group of 400 public investors that purchased a 25% share in the horse through a tiny investing app called Commonwealth.

And apparently REITs are so “last year,” with fractional investment startups like Arrived Homes allowing people to invest in rental properties with as little as $100.

People can even buy fractional shares in fine art by the likes of Andy Warhol and Claude Monet.

(The website Masterworks currently has $752M+ in assets under management with 701,218 investors.)

It’s a brand new world of investing. 

Time will tell whether that’s a net positive or negative for the general public.


Be Well,

Jeremiah D. Desmarais

CEO, Advisorist


#1 in ROI-Driven Training for Advisors

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah Desmarais

Jeremiah is the founder and CEO of Advisorist® and is a 23-time award winning financial marketer, a TED speaker and philanthropist. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNN, and Worth. His work has generated over $2 million insurance leads and helped advisors in over 51 countries generate over $300 million in sales commissions. He is the author of the best selling book, SHIFT.

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