Asking A 76 Year Old Millionaire If It Was Worth It

in a previous video we hit the streets of New York to find out what people do for a living and how they afford to live there and we came across this man who used to be in the ship owning business we turned this moment into a short social media clip and it got 18 million views what kind of stuff do you guys do in New York what was your career ship owning what really yes you own ships yes what kind of ships mostly tankers seriously yeah refined petroleum product ships and you bought and sold tankers yes so we found this guy flew to Road Island and we're sitting down today with Michael hudner to hear his full story how much have you done in ship real estate must have been well over a billion dollars I mean there's a lot of money I I'm trying to understand the transition from going in a desk job into the distress ship business I had a passion most people don't actually they have a lust but they don't have a dream despite being able to live out his dream life not everything went as planned do you have any regrets let me talk about the loss of my son quickly he became schizophrenic when he was 19 he died in a car accid he was a really brilliant brilliant kid I wouldn't expect my son to have respected me if I fold it up on him you don't get over losing a child but you learn to live with it a lot of our content is making money this is what this of course it hits hits you in the face I if it doesn't you're up we also take a deep dive into Michael's views on money culture you mentioned the money culture is getting out of hand and it's not something we should teach children our world now you can be famous and considered a celebrity just for having money the money culture is running wild and nobody puts any breaks on it let's find out how Michael went from a desk job to owning over 140 ships and how he overcame the challenges and adversities he had to face on his journey this is the crazy one of the craziest interviews we've ever post done so we did this video walking around New York that people that were well-dressed that looked might I dare say wealthy so we walked around New York looked at people that were wealthy and asked them what do they do for living how's New York an advice for people like you and me and we we shat out with you and you said you owned oil tankers which we never met anyone like that and then you also talked about the money culture and that clip as of today and it's probably Higher by the time this video comes out is at 17 million views we tracked you down flew to Rhode Island and now we're here to learn more about the oil tanker business your story and and all your adventures uh you asked me what I did and I said I basically own ships and that was something I got into with a Norwegian partner in 1978 and we spent a couple of year I spent several years I was in the real estate Finance business on Wall Street going to law school at night and I had two passions one was the marine environment and I grew up around here aranet Bay we had a small boat when I was a kid 16 and a half foot sail boat as a kid I always wondered what it was like to go over the horizon not like Columbus Flat Earth I didn't mean that just like what's it like it just grabbed me and then I got enamored of financial structures as I got older for complicated reasons but they appealed to me yeah mentally intellectually we pioneered a number of financial vehicles for international shipping in the New York Capital markets things that hadn't been done before and they were built on my experience in the real estate Finance business for six years plus the benefit of the legal training I got although I never practiced and I had no intention to practice but we basically took real estate Finance Concepts and applied them to ships and I made it a point to track the capital markets for property for real estate and I felt like if I could get enough time with somebody who was an investor in real estate I could get him into a ship which was sort of floating real estate very simply put and then how much have you done in shipped real estate sh fin okay so the the dollar value of the 140 plus ships I never added it all up but it must have been well over a billion dollars I mean it was a lot of money of ships that bought and sold yeah the biggest deal we did was buying the Canadian Pacific Fleet that was 19 ships in one go one contract so you started your career out in real estate yeah and like how did you get into that and then what kind of real estate we were a Wall Street shop we're the first dedicated real estate Finance shop on Wall Street East still realy was a product it was a subsidiary of East M Dillan and Union Securities and then as employees we got to own some of the stock um we our clients Were Real Estate developers big companies a lot of Texans I mean traml Crow was a big client and um Lincoln property I want to get into the real estate business but from a financial point of view this is because of somebody I met the father of a girl I know who had done this for himself and he left the corporate world cuz he' figured out how to buy a distressed piece of real estate with somebody else and they were off and running and they left the corporate world which is an important thing to be able to do to get off to get away from W2 income I mean if you got people who are trying to figure out how to do this you got to keep your expenses down it helps if you have an understanding wife if you don't have an understanding wife it's probably better not to have a wife but that's like getting out of W2 income I think that's a really important Point yeah yeah what does that mean to you Freedom you're working for yourself so now you're an artist in a studio what do you want to create that's how I sort of felt but I had to I had to do something because I had to eat and I was in fact married at the time that I did it and my wife was very understanding very understanding that I had an entrepreneurial Drive I didn't think of it as being an entrepreneur I just thought of it as wanting to lead my own life but in today's world that's leads to entrepreneurship I I'm trying to understand the transition you know from going in a in a a desk job a very standard New York Finance desk job into the distress ship business because I think a lot of people have dreams they say I have a job in in Accounting in well if they have that dream they're all set just have to follow it yeah I did I most people don't actually they have a lust but they don't have a dream or an Envy I had a passion I mean I loved the marine environment the Marine World I wasn't into it as an environmentalist exactly but I loved being on boats loved the ocean I had a Fascination for what it might be like to go over the horizon I told you and and then I got enamored of financial structures which was just something innate in me I wasn't a mathematician that's a damn sure but I I just the logic of it and the way it worked was appealing to me and then I saw the possible synthesis of those things nobody was doing it that's attractive and I felt like whatever I do with my life I wanted to make a difference that I was there so that kind of works against being a cog and a will or whatever you call it like a tooth and a cog I mean that didn't work for me as I got to know myself better as part of the maturation process in your 20s I realized I'm not really cut out to work for somebody it's not because I want to tell everybody else what to do I don't have any interest in that actually but I don't want to be told what to do I and then you have to accept the consequences of that I mean if you want to and my father's father had a saying apparently because I never knew him he died before I was born born in 1862 he said the people who say they never had a chance never took a chance one thing I've got to highlight is that whether you're buying housing or cars or real estate or businesses you don't even have to have the money yourself you can do what you do which is fundrais I had no money I still had some college loans the world has a lot of capital looking for a home and there's a natural potentially stressful relationship between operating partners and Financial Partners the financial partners need operating people I mean if you were a guy downtown New York doing Financial deals you can't go buy a ship you can write the check and then you'll go broke you won't know what the hell to do and believe me there's no good book to read about this because you're running uh you're operating in a fundamentally hostile environment and it's saltwater and all the vagaries of the weather which can be boiling hot or Arctic cold and you're running steel and Machinery I mean good luck so you can't do it as a novice somebody's got to know what the hell they're doing on the operating side so this is we you know we're we need each other but then the you know I'd like to own ships and keep operating them and the uh the financial people want to get out so that's there you know that that's an inherent tension in any industry financial people operating people but they're looking for you I mean they need us I mean I didn't know that when I was a kid you know I thought wow you get the money well but people have money and they don't get paid to sit on it they get paid to invest it so that that's that's available for everybody who knows what they're doing I've been working hard on my upcoming book million dooll weekend which is coming out early 2024 stay tuned looking through my notes I found a lost chapter that is not in the final book very mysterious it reveals things like how to double your income without any new customer how to create complimentary products to generate more income one solar preneur did this and made an extra $340,000 how to optimize pricing strategy and maximize profits and more the Lost chapter is not online or Amazon or anywhere else it is only for people on my list like you you can download it for free at lost that's lost it's also Below in the description all right back to the video what were some of the most challenging stories or moments in this career my son became ill with schizophrenia when he was 19 he died at 23 my wife after 40 years of marriage well during the 40th year she had glol blastoma and died at the end of that year and I I I've survived good times and bad times and I'm very deeply motivated to try to be helpful to people because the things I've been through they were so difficult I'm not patting myself on the back they were just difficult and I was able to get through I like to be helpful to people and encourage people th it out and don't don't run and don't take shortcuts that you will regret how did you keep going uh when your son passed away I'm sorry to hear that in your wife let me talk about the loss of my son quickly he became schizophrenic when he was 19 he was a really brilliant brilliant kid and his behavior changed and we said like what the hell's going on here and nobody suspected any kind of Mental Illness but that's what it was he died in a car accident he took my pickup truck and went to Cambridge Massachusetts from Little Compton where he was spending the weekend which he shouldn't have done that was beyond his he was okay for driving around town I didn't want him on the highway and he I think had a paranoid episode based on the observations of his driving from Full River down to Little Compton on the return trip and he lost control of the car my wife and I were joined at the hip to deal with his illness and or to help him deal with his illness and then when he died we were devastated and for some months the emotional pain was so severe it became physical pain and you want to you don't want to get up in the morning but you get up and then you're standing up you want to fall down on the ground and stay there but you literally you figuratively and somewhat literally you have like hundreds of people standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you who want to help you so you can't just fall back down on the ground because then you're letting them down you're not doing yourself any good not doing my son any good and I said to my wife hope I said you know we got to get this in some kind of perspective or context so we can live with it because this is this this is torture the only thing worse than the way that we felt would be if we didn't feel that way then what the hell was this all about you're telling yourself how much you love your child and the investment you made emotionally and time and giving up other things it's all [ __ ] when you got a problem like that there's only one thing you're interested in it's somebody's health and I realized we are hostages to love in life you don't get over losing a child but you learn to live with it we moved on from that and had the realization that um we had been given in a sense a very um expensive and painful gift from our son which was um you get your heart enlarged and you become a lot more aware of suffering around you people that are have problems and have challenges and could use help and you become more not only more empathetic but more proactively empathetic where you act out your empathy by trying to be helpful to people and I'm sure that like me if you knew you were on the sidewalk talking to somebody whose next move after talking to you was to go 20 floors up in some building and jump there isn't anything you wouldn't say or do to stop to try to stop that so I stick my nose into problematic situations that people are having and I don't care if they want to hit me I mean I I might be able to be helpful and I wouldn't say I've helped somebody in that extreme case I described but I've definitely helped people who were lost and and needed it so that's a gift from my son and it uh shouldn't waste it you can see how tough it is sometimes but uh that's that's the the way we're made but boy I'll tell you when you have problems it certainly whatever [ __ ] quotient you were carrying through your life it gets reduced pretty close to zero because you really come in touch with what's important I can't imagine let me just start there you should and I'm sorry that you no no I mean we don't deal the cards in life we have to play them and everybody should understand that I wouldn't expect my son to have respected me if I fold it up on him I had two basic jobs which was to uh protect my family and provide for them so anyway we should get back to shipping I want to talk about the economics of shipping no no I I'm genuinely curious because I I think a lot of our content is making money living but it's not even about making money it's how to live a good life and I guess I was curious how that probably put in perspective like you're making all this money and you're losing money but you're like holy [ __ ] this is the thing I'm assuming this is what matters this is of course and this the money all it hits hits you in the face I mean if it doesn't you're [ __ ] up I I mean look I don't pretend to be immune to that but um that's why I made my comments about the money culture and especially for kids I mean you know it's tough on them I mean I see the kids today they all think they should have what their parents have and their parents might have spent a generation working for it and that's not true of everybody some people are born with it that wasn't my case it's important to to live a full life and a good life life and it's its own reward and I think that um I'm not naive about it I said when we spoke the first time I said you know everybody it's it's nice to have some money in your pocket I get that totally I totally totally get that but you but you can't destroy yourself for it and um I think you want to be careful not to burn out your marriage for it which happens in a lot of cases especially in the professions where time is everything time time time in is everything um one of the advantages of Entrepreneurship is if you get things rolling you can decide who you want to do business with that's very good for dealing with the [ __ ] quotient in your life like if you were in a big Law Firm I don't want to work with that guy well hey you want to get paid you know it's we don't have to do business with that guy and if that means we make a little less we have a better life for it I mean I'm I'm not trying to be I love it utopian but you got to think about the cost benefit of things how else have you enjoyed your money from your business successes the one material thing I had a desire for I mean it's a slight exaggeration but not too much when I was younger was to have a cruising boat that would allow me to get away I worked on first of we had a little 16 and 1/2t boat when I was a kid five miles from here great but then I worked on boats two summers when I was in college so I got paid to learn how to run a big boat I mean you know 47 feet 57 feet we one guy did nothing but crws with his wife and the other guy only wanted to race so um it just always I responded to that uh and I have a boat I got to say 60ft sailboat I've had the boat for 32 years and it was built for me and my first wife in fact I I did everything I said you shouldn't do I was working too hard I was taking a lot of risks in the late 80s looked like we'd split up and then we go back together which was the way it should have been and as our Getting Back Together project we already had two perfect children so didn't need to go for three and uh we had this boat built in the fantasy of the boat was longdistance relatively short-handed cruising were there other things that you thought would give you more joy from business success like or things that you bought or did and you're like this didn't really satisfy me in the way that people might expect or imagine when I saw the Life Style in New York I realized this isn't really for me and the value of having a lot of cash is that I mean my son very smart comment he made when he was about 20 he said money is energy 20 years old and um I had seen having more Capital as extra colors on a pallet so you're working on a canvas and you can do more things with it but um you don't have to have the money we touched on this earlier I mean money is around people who've got money or who run money are looking for things to do with people they think they can do it with successfully so you can do both um but when you start seeing people who can only talk about money and people who can only think about money and they want to tell you how expensive the wine was that they had last night I'm telling you drink it tonight pee it in the morning I mean I don't care what you're dealing with that's the that's the story nobody no nobody's doing it any different and um it's a question of your values and I'm not trying to be preachy here but just I think it's sustaining and I think as a society of free people who respect the rule of law and value human dignity and human life and opportunity how much money do you need I think the whole things are going crazy and finance capitalism is a double-edged sword you know a lot of goods come out of it because things have been done to create more value more wealth Finance more Innovation but boy we're getting it's so heavily skewed now it's just crazy can you elaborate on that because you you mentioned the money culture is getting out of hand and it's not something we should teach children and you said people are celebrities now simply for having money but it says nothing of your care character yeah so can can you elaborate on this this theme and your your feelings around this the the prime civic virtue of character has pretty much been replaced by celebrity and you can be famous for having done something but in our world now you can be famous and considered a celebrity just for having money so that's the difference in the from where I grew up and I I mean this is in New England I I mean it's different here but um I don't think it's healthy and it's happening all over the world the money culture is running wild and nobody puts any breaks on it with with your career and do you have any regrets like you work too hard was it all worth it I I don't have regrets about that I mean I can say there were times when work got in the way of things you know you're it's a constant Balancing Act in life you can't do all things at all times and I'm very I'm totally at peace with uh how I lived my life recognizing numerous mistakes I feel like life is uh you live it like an elastic band and you can take it out to the limits and you can hold it there for a while but you're got to let it come back in then you can take it out again but if you take it out too far you're going to break it and then it's done and you can't live in here so I think people have to be mindful of that then you can work it out but if you try to do all the things all the time I don't see how that works I had an incredibly rich life not easy but a rich rewarding satisfying life and I'm grateful and I'm grateful to have been born in this country where these opportunities are found more readily than any place else for a lot of our audience that wants to make money they they dream of making a million dollars what advice do you have for someone who's a young person that would like to make a million dollars or more money try things and see what gives you pleasure in doing it and then consider following that ramping up your involvement and ramping up your productivity in that area because I think that's a great start I mean would you out with a woman that you weren't attracted to what's the point you know there are things that we're attracted to you just have to let yourself find out and getting to know can be as important as getting to yes so you save yourself a lot of trouble well I'm not going to be a lawyer well okay I'm not going to be a doctor okay I think I'll be a photographer wow did you see that Sunset yesterday or whatever it is you know I mean just that's why I mean your stomach tells you things that your brain won't let through if you have a passion for something it is a form of compensation I mean to some extent you I mean you got to have cheeseburger money but it it's its own it is its own reward and it gets you through the hard times when you're just working because you're making money at it I I couldn't stand the merit badge approach I'm doing this because I want a merit badge so I can then do that and get another merit badge which a lot of people I'm sure you've seen this a lot of people maybe not the guys you're talking to they've all broken out but most of the world seems to be on that path they're looking for approval which makes you a conformist I'm not saying people should be wildly non-conformists but don't be afraid to be a majority of one can you break down the ship owning business model like how you make money let's let's specifically do this Canadian one you were talking about like how much did the deal cost like how do you make money on it how do you even you know do you look online are the Yellow Pages you know you're like oh let me just I hadn't thought of that yeah like but specifically this Canadian one you said it was the best deal of all time for you guys like what what did the numbers look like and walk us through that well it covered the most ground the fastest I mean it was one transaction it was it was 19 chips and I've forgotten some of the numbers this was in 1988 it was around1 165 or $170 million in a soft Market that was the price of the fleet I mean you can pay that for a single ship you know of some type so the numbers can get big um the best analogy and this will help any viewer is to real estate this is a hard asset business we're renting space in a Marketplace and we're subject to the laws of supply and demand and I mean and then some much greater volatility than real estate but it's comparable and it's Capital intensive um you don't get a premium particularly for the value of your management I mean you're buying and selling assets and everything comes back to a net asset perspective not like price earnings and growth potential and all that um so you you make your money with cash flow that you generate from the ships and then if your timing was good you may get asset appreciation that is not absolutely necessary to have a successful investment it's it's icing on the cake if you get it but um you could build a ship and have long-term employment and get it paid down substantially the trick here is to reduce the risk as fast as possible and then hang on for either normal markets which are quite rewarding or super hot markets which are spectacularly rewarding and me the cash is coming out of these ships like water out of a hydrant and and last thing is what is your one what is one story from running your own shipping company like what's the story that comes to mind that that makes you smile or that you're really proud of you know who DK Ludwig was Daniel K Ludwick at the end of World War I he was probably the biggest trip owner nonc nonpublic in the world had over 100 ships guy had about an eighth grade education he had built in Japan two structures one was a power plant and one was a pulp Mill and he had them floated over across the Pacific up the amazon and set on pilings on the river jar and he was growing eucalyptus trees a fast growing tropical tree to turn them into pulp and then the Brazil some Brazilian political people started trying to move in on them and they wanted to get paid for this and that and he said and he shut it down and he this was in his later years and he wrote off 500 million bucks which at that time was a monstrous amount of money he died his right-hand man was a guy I knew when I was talking to them about some ships they still owned and might want to sell we're in Old Man Ludwig's office in this guy is telling me this story that one day old man lewick says to him so the river Jarry project what do you think of that he's sort of got a conventional view of this 500 million bucks is a lot of money to lose an unthinkable amount of money to lose it's an unthinkable amount of money okay so the guy kind of mumbles say yeah he said well it was a success and the guy mumbles a little more he doesn't know what to say to his boss he say it was a success because we did it now this is another part of the story which is true I was walking across town at one point on 59th Street and across the street I thought I saw DK lwig walking down the street I was not in the shipping business at that time but I was thinking about it so he's walking down the street I hear him say this guy well you got to be a bit of a dreamer in life and I thought oh my God so you ask me now my greatest satis action is not a single story but the fact that I did it if you like this video you are going to love this video right up here where I talk to 5 millionaires over the age of 80 and ask them if the money was worth all the sacrifices they made make sure you're subscribe to the channel if you are not already we have some exciting billionaire interviews coming soon Uncle Noah loves you and I'll see you out there PE PE

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