Losing $300,000 of Your Life Savings in an Investment Deal Gone Wrong w| Kierra Asnauskas

Episode Number: 202

Episode 202- Losing $300,000 of Your Life Savings in an Investment Deal Gone Wrong w/ Kierra Asnauskas

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Losing $300,000 Of Your Life Savings In An Investment Deal Gone Wrong W/ Kierra Asnauskas

Jamila Souffrant 0:00

You're listening to the Journey to Launch podcast how Kierra lost $300,000 and is on Her Way to Financial Redemption.

Intro 0:14

Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom.

Jamila Souffrant 0:38

Hey journeyers Now, this episode of the podcast Wow, I sat down again with episode guest 131. So Kierra Miss unconventional was originally on the podcast episode 131. She shared her amazing story from going broke and living in her car to traveling the world on a path to reach financial independence. You don't have to necessarily listen to that episode before you listen to this one. But it is and it does give you good context. But with this episode, Kierra told me she wants to come back on the show and give an update on where she was in her financial independence journey. Now typically when people come back on the show, they're sharing maybe that they reached you know, an amazing milestone, maybe they're reached financial independence or something else. Kara has another type of story to tell she is sharing how she actually lost was scammed out of $300,000. Her essentially her and her husband's life savings, their investments. And I wanted Kierra to share the story, she wanted to share the story because she wanted to share what it's like in the middle, the messy middle, the really messy middle, and how it came to be what she did, what happened. And what I'm most drawn into with Kierra's story is how she is withstanding this loss. And what I want you to listen out for it to listen to, is the path that she was on before she lost the money, this path of the internal worth the internal wealth that she was building, and it's something I talk about all the time. You know, I know we want to reach all the goals, all the goals, all the money, have all that but all that can be gone in a second and you'll hear from Kierra. And so I hope this story teaches all of us a bit about loss and redemption, and also allows us to see really where our values truly lie and where our wealth truly lies. So with that, we're going to get into the episode you will hear Kierra talk about Teri Ijeoma's course trade and travel. I partner with Teri to share more about investing. So Teri is someone who's been on the podcast before and talks about investing in another way than I typically do and she has an amazing program but in the episode you'll hear Kierra talk a little bit about it. If you do want to find more information about that program, you can go to journeytolaunch.com/teri. Otherwise, let's get into the episode and then we'll talk a little bit after the brief.

Jamila Souffrant 3:09

Journey to launch is supported by First Republic bank. Whether your goal this year is to buy a home, start a family or start a business First Republic is prepared to support your financial goals with extraordinary service. From day one. Your dedicated First Republic banker will be in your corner focused on understanding you and your needs. Together you'll design the financial solution that best fits your personal and professional goals. And as your needs evolve. You can always call or message your dedicated banker directly from their mobile app for anything that comes up along the way. Learn more at first republic.com that's first republic.com member FDIC Equal Housing lender.

If you want the episode Show Notes for this episode, go to journeytolaunch.com or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. in the show notes. You'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are in og journeyer or brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes to listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Hey journeyers I have a returning guest on the rocket on the rocket in the rocket if you're on the rocket that'd be very dangerous. You need to be inside with me. Kierra here from Episode 131 Miss Unconventional Welcome back to the podcast.

Kierra 4:47

Thank you so much for having me back on. I can't wait to talk to you.

Jamila Souffrant 4:52

Okay, so you sent me a message you were you know, I follow you since we connected and you were on the podcast which everyone she was on episode 131 her title of that podcast was from broke and living in a car to traveling the world. So it's definitely a episode you need to listen to. And in that episode, you were really close to reaching financial independence, you talk more about, like how you went from being broke, to like living out your dreams. And so you sent me an email, you sent me a message you like I have some updates for you that I want to share with fellow journey errs and I don't know the details, because I wanted to wait to hear them in the conversation, but part of it involves you losing everything, or mostly a lot of your money after you reach financial independence. And now you're building that back up. So we're gonna get into it, guys. Before we do, can you take us to the last time we spoke, you were like in school on your way, like really close to reaching your financial independence number. What happened since then?

Kierra 5:49

Yeah, so the last time we spoke, I believe it was September 2019. I was in Zagreb, studying for my MBA in HR. And I had already reached debt freedom. By that time, because I had worked a six figure contract in Afghanistan, teaching English to Afghani women who serve in the Afghan National Army. And my husband also worked in Afghanistan is and all that. And so we both had become debt free. Well, he was debt free before I was, but it was my goal to become debt free before we got married. And that happened. And so we were on our way to financial independence, we were just stacking our money, we were gonna save and we're gonna invest, we put it all, like we maxed out our 401k at the company, we were at twice, and then we had our savings and all that stuff. So literally, around the time that we were talking, I was planning on, you know, enter into an HR leadership development program in corporate America, like I was going to go that route, and then do like a side hustle like Miss UnConventional, what's going to be like a side hustle. And then I went to Malta, for a business retreat with Glo Atanmo. And that retreat changed my life, I came back, and I couldn't think about anything else, but Miss unconventional. And so for my last assignment, in one of my courses, it was a career planning assignment where we had to actually do these personality tests. And based on the results of the personality test, we were supposed to come up with our career path. And so I thought, Oh, this will be the perfect opportunity for me to drop the bomb on my feature and you know, my classmates that I will no longer be matriculating through this program. And it just so happened that that same day, my husband was coming in from Afghanistan. And so he was going to get he was going to get at the same time they were going to get the news, right. So that's what happened. I told them, I was dropping out, I was going full time entrepreneur to pursue my dreams, because I wasn't sure if I was going to have that momentum again, right? Like I just wanted to capitalize on I'm like, school will always be there, I can always go back. But what I can't guarantee is that I'll have this type of passion and momentum and fire. So I did that. And if you want me to get into how I came into contact with this opportunity that went sour, then I can do that. But yeah, that's that's kind of where I was.

Jamila Souffrant 8:06

Yeah. And you know, you're and again, if you want to hear the details of how Kierra first got out of debt, and then you know, got the contracting job in Afghanistan, like how she completely turned her life around Episode 131. But I would love to hear because here you are, now you're out of debt you now have, we saw that entrepreneurship is the way to go. So you change and pivot. So what happens next? So how close were you to financial independence at the point now you're making the decision to quit? Because we talked about financial independence? just stepping back a bit, So in the technical sense, right? You can you could tell me if you thought of it in a different way, but now you're you have saved and invested enough money that you actively don't have to work, you can live off your investments. Is that how you were looking at your financial independence Number two?

Kierra 8:51

Yes, that's exactly, but I just didn't plan on, you know, not working at all. But I just wanted to reach that number for what it signified that security that it signify, but I was going to continue working on my business.

Jamila Souffrant 9:03

Right. And at this point, when you decided to quit, or the program, were you really close, how close were you to your financial independence number?

Kierra 9:11

We were about almost 200k

Jamila Souffrant 9:14


Kierra 9:15

No, we were in 200k and like, that's how much like we had like, that was our net worth.

Jamila Souffrant 9:20

Okay, so you had 200,000 Okay, yeah.

Kierra 9:23

So for us at that 4% like, you know, we could have we would have been like having to do geo arbitrage and like live out, you know, outside of the states and to, you know, in one of the cheaper countries, but we could have done it with that amount. Right. So, technically, we were like, almost there. Right.

Jamila Souffrant 9:41

Okay. And so then what happened with this opportunity?

Kierra 9:44

So and November 29? No, October 2019. So only maybe a month or two after I spoke to you. I randomly ran into old friends. I used to work with on the cruise ship in Hawaii. Remember last time I told you that I worked on a cruise ship is And it was just like on the streets of Zagreb, a random Street, I had decided to go get lunch right before class. And it was not like a main hub. It was not. So it was random. And I like was crying. She was crying like, we all just had a reunion. But it turns out that for the last three years, they have been retired in the sense that we just spoke up, right, like, and they were traveling the world, and they were on track to hit like 100 countries. And so of course, I was asking them, like, how, how they were doing it. And they told me that they were living off of their interest of their investments. And obviously, that's something I know about, right. As someone who has students of fire, I'm like, oh, tell me more. Right. And so I inquired further and discovered that a friend of theirs had a business trading on the foreign exchange for other people. So he was essentially trading on forex for them. And, of course, like he would take 50%, but they would receive five and a half percent per month of their total investment

Jamila Souffrant 11:04


Kierra 11:05


Jamila Souffrant 11:05

of what they were investing?

Kierra 11:07

Yes. And if you know anything about the foreign exchange, you know, that five and a half percent, that's pretty conservative compared to what you could make if you're being really aggressive. So I was like, oh, okay, like, first off, that's almost, that's almost 90% a year, like, you know, that's crazy. But at the same time, I'm like five and a half percent a month trading on the foreign exchange, I'm like, but that makes sense, because people do make that kind of money. And that's actually, that's not that much, right. So I'm thinking to myself, this makes sense. And it wasn't one of those MLM setups where they didn't get paid to refer me or anything like that. It, it wasn't like a part of, oh, they get me in and they sign me up, and they make money off of my money. It was nothing like that. I talked to my husband about it told him everything that they had told me. And like, these are good people Jamila like they had no reason to like lie or anything like that. So it wasn't, I didn't feel anything in my gut was wrong with the whole situation like nothing. If anything, I felt on fire, I'm like, totally figured it out. This is the way forward, this is how we're gonna do it. Right. So I'm, like pumping it up. My husband is on board, and we get in contact with the guy who trades for them. And he gives us a contract, I read over the contract, it seems legit enough like to me Jamila, I'm not an idiot, I promising. Like, I've read like 50 personal development books in my life. And like, I consider myself to be well versed. But there were no red flags. And so we started with 25K. And we wanted to see, hey, are we going to get 5%? Like 5%? Because the range was three and a half to six and a half percent. But he said it was hovering over that 5% for them for the last couple years.

Jamila Souffrant 12:47

Right, Okay, so before you keep going, this sounds like a movie. Honestly, this sounds like the start of a movie, where you feel like old friends. And like they're telling you about this thing. Okay, let's step back a little bit. And I want to talk about forex trading, if you can just give us a little context. You know, you don't have to get too deep in but just for someone who's not really completely familiar with that, and like what that is.

Kierra 13:09

So it's the art of trading currencies, right? So with the stock market, you're trading pieces of a company, right? Like you're trading, you're trading stocks in a company, you know, one moment they might be up like Tesla might be up and the next day the stock plummets, right. But with foreign exchange, you're trading currencies, the US dollar, Japanese yen, the Euro the pound, that's what you're trading is that instead of the stocks, that's the best, that's the simplest way I can explain it.

Jamila Souffrant 13:40

Right. Okay. And so you made this so you meet friends who have been dealing with someone who's doing this and making them money, and they introduce you to him, and you start out so you give him 25,000? Because typically, he helps return 5%. Right. So what would that have been like, you're thinking, alright, let's see what he could do with this 25,000.

Kierra 13:59

And I told my husband, I was like, Look, I'm putting in my money first, for the first couple months, like, I'll show you that this is what I put in my money first, I'm like, 25 k. and a month later, we get our statement. And it's roughly 5%. Right? A little bit over. And so I'm like, Okay, cool. I put it in another 25 K, my money, just to see. And again, it happened again. And so the third time Elliot puts in some of his money. And this brings us to January when we went all in, because we saw for like two and a half months that this was consistent. And we were like, okay, let's just put it all in. So we put maybe like 195 K, I think in by the end of it, and so that was January. And when we saw like, that statement come February, we were like oh we're rich

Jamila Souffrant 14:50

okay. And I want to give people math here. So you put it in 195. So if you were getting 5% of that and a half percent, five and a half percent, okay, so let me do that. Again. Almost $11,000 they You got return on that money? And did you have to how did you fund that? Was it like you took money from your 401k or investment account?

Kierra 15:06

Well, we had already taken our money out of the 401k, put it into our checking account, and we transferred it from our checking account. And so you had to pay also penalties on that. We did have to pay penalties on it. Yeah, yeah. Okay.

Jamila Souffrant 15:18

But you're like, Alright, at this point, if I can make this back like this, you're alright. So now you're all in you put 195,000 and you got that that first five and a half percent return? Yeah. Okay, what happens next? Oh, my gosh, I feel like this is like building up. Oh, my God.

Kierra 15:33

Yeah. So. So we got that, that first indication that like, Okay, this is financial freedom, because if you can't live off with $11,000, then something's wrong with you. Like, that's how we were, like, something's wrong with us, if we can't manage to live off of this, right, like we were living off of much lower than that before. So anyway, February hit. So March, we decided to cancel our 12 cities in 12 months tour, because, uh, you know, we were, that was not sustainable, obviously. And good that we did. Because right, when we moved to Dallas, COVID hit, like, two weeks after we started taking out the money, we started living on the money from March on, right, and I'm talking 10,000 here, 15,000. Here,

Jamila Souffrant 16:21

this is the return from what was coming from the portfolio that he was trading for you the monthly return that you were living off of,

Kierra 16:26

right, the interest we were, we were starting to withdraw once a month, based on the interest. So we wouldn't take all of the interest, we would just take, you know, like a little bit less of that the rest of it, like whatever we left, maybe it was two K or three K, it would go back to the it would be added to the principal and it would continue to build, right. And so we did that up until September, I'm telling you in September, we would do our largest amount, which was 25,000. And the reason we did that is because I had a couple of programs that I wanted to invest in self publishing, school, all these things. And so we did it because I wanted to invest in these programs for my business and all that stuff. And literally less than two weeks after we made that big withdrawal, we get notice that the courts had placed a freeze on his personal and business accounts, including our money that was in his business accounts. So we no longer had access to that money. When we tried to email him a notice popped up said basically from his lawyer, like, Don't email here, no more contact the CFTC. You know, this is an ongoing investigation, you know, so, honestly, Jamila, I was hopeful I was optimistic because, you know, throughout the whole year, I had done so much personal development work. And even prior to that, like so much mindset work so much like emotional wellness work, that I didn't feel the brunt of it, you know, like, I didn't feel like, Oh, you just lost, like $300,000 because that's pretty much what it grew to be by that time.

Jamila Souffrant 18:01

Yeah. Okay. And so I that's why I'm glad you said the number because I'm wondering at this point, how much was in the account? So 300,000?

Kierra 18:09

Yeah, about $305,000

Jamila Souffrant 18:12

Wow, that you no longer have access to

That's it?

Kierra 18:16

I no longer have access to it is frozen. And we don't even know if it's all still there because obviously it's the pending investigation. And but all we know is that he collected up until 2013, he collected over $57 million worth of funds, and they claim that he misappropriated 47 million of it so we don't even know if everybody he had over 1100 clients so we don't even know if all the money for all the clients was in those accounts or anything like that. We don't know if it that means that this gone in terms of everybody's funds, and he wasn't just the the saddest thing about this is like he wasn't just trading for strangers. He was trading for his family and friends like this is a public figure like this is somebody like who's known like in his own right in his field. So it wasn't like he's some tech guy behind a desk like ripping people off like these, like his family and friends are also involved like, including my friend who's whose mutual friend, right. Yeah, I just couldn't believe it. And that's the reason why I think I couldn't believe it either. I'm like, I know I hear about this stuff. You know, you watch like, The Wolf of Wallstreet and all that stuff. And you know, they do it to strangers, but I didn't think I've never heard of anybody doing it to like their family and friends. So I just didn't think it was possible. And you know, like I was just on my Florence scovel Shinn speak positivity.

You know, even my husband who, you know, is not a believer or anything like that. He was trying to think positive thoughts like he was, you know, we both were trying to stay strong for the family and friends that we got into it. And so, yeah, like, it's, it's crazy because you had a webinar with Teri Ijeoma. And, you know, that's my girl. I love her. She don't know me but I love. And back when you get when you had that webinar, I had purchased trade and travel as a gift for my husband, because I knew I wouldn't be able to do it. And when I purchased the trade and travel for him, it took him about a month to dive into it. But he dove in and he liked me like he started killing it. Like I'm talking ever since that moment, like ever since he started learning from her. He was making anywhere from 10 to 20% a month like he's doubled. He's doubled his money, he hit the $1,000 a day club, like two months ago. So I mentioned that because had that not happened. This was prior to us losing anything. This was us just like wanting to diversify, wanting to diversify our skills, our knowledge and our money. And eventually I'm like, Oh, you know, he's trading currency for us. Let's trade stocks for ourselves. Let's diversify. Right? That was my thought process. Like learn this. Since you're at home thinking you're my executive assistant, I need you to like actually do some work that can give us return.

Jamila Souffrant 20:59

So to back up what you started Teri's program kind of before all everything kind of back in the summer, when we did the first class together.

Kierra 21:07

Yeah, the webinar,

Jamila Souffrant 21:08

I think we did our first one in July. So like,

Kierra 21:11

that's when it was

Jamila Souffrant 21:12

okay to set me back a bit, too. So you guys are very hopeful you're seeing returns on this portfolio. And you're continuing to go in you continue to, like you said, diversify and learn different ways to trade. So this person you said, like he was a public figure like it was he? Where was he based?, I'm drilling down to these questions. And then we're going to get to like where you are now. Because I also want people to like, understand, like, how this can happen to people, right? Like, you would think like, oh, like that, that wouldn't happen to me, or I wouldn't be interested in something like that. But you'd be surprised. And the difference between, you know, like, real, solid opportunities, like Teri and her trading course. And then something like this, I want to be able to like, talk through that.

Kierra 21:55

And that makes sense. And that's the reason why I'm on here to like, you know, really show people but yeah, he's us base Florida, you know, so he's an American. It's not like he's some guy in Serbia or something like doing this, like, No, he's, he's a US citizen. And so it's crazy to think about how all of this unfolded. But had we not been thinking like that, because we could have just been content with what we were getting. Right? We didn't have to think outside the box about like, how we can diversify how we can learn new skills, how we can start doing other things, you know, me like continuing with my business, Elliot, even wanting to still work as a contractor teaching Explosive Ordnance Disposal and all that he's still doing that, because he didn't want us. Like, that's his passion. He loves this stuff. So he was still doing that learning. Teri's course on the site, we had all these things in the works. And so which had we not? It would have probably been an even tougher blow.

So yeah, like that's we were kind of setting ourselves up. But still the biggest takeaway, the biggest lesson that I learned was, no matter how good that basket looks, not to put all your eggs in them. And I knew that I'm a smart girl, I knew not to put all my eggs in one basket, which is why we were taking all these other steps. But we were too slow. We were too slow in diversifying. Because we're like, man, he's been doing this since 2013. Our friends have been withdrawing way more than we do every month, like, you know what I mean, for their lifestyle and all that stuff consistently, with no issues. And so there was just no red flags. And I, honestly, if I were to go back to the moment where they were telling me about it, I still think it would have been the same thing. Because, again, there was nothing. I've run this over and over in my head, trying to figure out because there's usually like red flags, there's usually even if you think there isn't like you think about it enough. There are some red flags. But there was for me, there was nothing.

Jamila Souffrant 23:59

So when it comes to that type of business model, is that something that people actually do? And it's something sustainable, like this way that you give people money to trade on your behalf? Like, is that something that is legal one and that people actually it's a sustained business model for people?

Kierra 24:13

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Like with hedge funds and things like that. People who do it on a grander scale, like that's basically what it is somebody gave you their money to then trade on their behalf. But but we only hear about it on the grand scale. We don't hear about the person who you know, has maybe 10 to 15 people that they trade for, which is completely legal. My, my husband, even after all of this, he was like, I've discovered my passion, my purpose. Now, my purpose is to restore or recoup what our friends and family have lost by trading by trading for them by getting good enough to trade for them, because it is legal, and he can do that. And to just prove to people that not every trader is a scam artist,

Jamila Souffrant 24:52

right? And I guess that's the thing, right? Because then you hear stories like this and you're just like, but why that's why they go to the bigger maybe companies even though they just aren't They have same types of sometimes scams and things happening. I just think this is such a interesting thing. And you know, as it comes to financial independence and everything, right, you you to whom much is given, much is required, like to whom this information that we're receiving these doors that are opening up for us, like the opportunities that we didn't know, were possible, right? Like, you didn't have no clue about this when you saw your friend and they told you about it. So you didn't know that it was like, you could get into it this way.

Kierra 25:30

I thought it was for white men. Like I thought that the white men did this for each other. It's like To be honest, if I'm being completely honest,

Jamila Souffrant 25:39

and it's still probably a legit way that people make money, right? Um, but it's just like, I find that there's levels to it, right? And like, I guess on a scale of like, not, you know, risky, risky, if you were like to look at Okay, investing in, you know, putting money into savings and putting money in a high yield account and putting money in your 401k and all these things are like as you keep going, now you're gonna invest taxable investment. And then possibly now Okay, investing, like the way Teri does it, okay, now, next level investing like forex, or even crypto, like there's levels to this and every level, there are legit people who can help you there are legit ways to become wealthy, but also feel like, you know, it scares a lot of people. So I guess part of this is I don't want to scare people from taking appropriate risks.

Jamila Souffrant 26:24

But I do want to put people on notice that you do have to be careful.

Kierra 26:28

So do your due diligence, make sure they're registered with the CFTC make sure you know that they're just in compliance, you know, like, do your due diligence on the company and make sure they're in compliance on on all cylinders, because that's maybe something that could have provided the red flag, the fact that he was exempt when he first started first started trading from registering with the CFTC. But as you grow and get bigger and bigger, have more clients, you have to register. So that could have been the possible red flag had we looked into that, but we didn't.

Jamila Souffrant 26:59

Okay, so that for me, so as learning lessons, you know, looking back when you talk about not seeing a red flag, but you would have done differently, where you would have looked him up to see if he was registered. When you went into business with him?

Kierra 27:11

Yes, it was just an oversight. Because I trusted, you know, my friends, and the fact that they were his friends, he had like he traded for his family like it, I truly just had this naive trust. And I didn't do my due diligence and checking. Maybe, actually, now that I think about it, and now that we're talking about it, that would be the thing that I would do, if I were to go back and this sort of be the case again.

Jamila Souffrant 27:40

Yeah. And again, you know, you could be sitting there like, Whoa, like, I'd never do something like that. And they always say, sometimes people start out with the best intentions, like, I don't know this person, but there are people like that with possibly good intentions, and then things get carried away. They're not, you know, I don't know why he got caught up. But it just also feels like part of what has allowed you so if you go back into your story Kierra about how you elevated yourself from being you know, broke in a car to, you know, teaching in Afghanistan and building the wealth that you built and just being such as like a dynamic business owner, like part of that guts that you had to be able to do that also then, you know, puts you in a position then to take risks that other people maybe would not even be in a position to take in.

Kierra 28:24

Right exactly.

Jamila Souffrant 28:26

So I feel like it's a gift in the curse because you know, I've no doubt and I know you're going to talk a little bit more about this like at what you're doing to build yourself back up but I think that's like your gift is that you probably are very you know, like all right like you go after it like you're doing because when you first told me you were in Afghanistan teaching I'm like whoa, like even though I don't know really how it is like that is like wow, that must be risky. So I do you know you have that personality. So I just think it's fascinating.

Jamila Souffrant 28:55

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Jamila Souffrant 30:46

As I'm thinking about journeyers listening to this as their thinking about their own journey, you know, maybe they are a little bit more risk adverse than you and even me, but it's just the matter of doing your due diligence and really taking time and knowing the kind of risks you can afford to take. So even with Teri's program, right, I know one of the things that I personally have not taken Teri's program, but I have close family and friends like my sister, my best friend, people who are who trust and tell me the truth, have and then all the receipts that people like really who have taken it, say like it's legit, but there are some people who when they listen to Teri, or hear that I'm doing something with are just like, Oh no, like what is this, it seems like a scam. And that for me was hard. Because I'm like, the last thing I want to do is to like introduce my audience, anyone that could possibly hurt them in a way. But then also giving my audience hopefully, if you've been listening this whole time to the to the podcast and to the things that Teri and I, when we do the classes together is that it's never positioned as get rich, it's she's not trading for you.

Kierra 31:48

Yeah, you're learning it on your own.

Jamila Souffrant 31:51

And these are the things where I want even whether there's Teri or someone else that you're interested in doing or another type of program, maybe it's fun, and maybe it's real estate, is that you take the appropriate risk. So if something costs to invest in the program to learn $1,000, $700 $2500, $5000, that it may be risky for you to do it. Because you know, this is money that you could put somewhere else. But if you lost it, you would not be destitute, you can still have a roof over your head, because the last thing I'd want is for someone to like put their last into anything like that. And then something happens. But it's also having the confidence and the knowledge that even if you were to you know, not do the work or lose your money, and you have the knowledge to be able to move forward in a way that can help you whether it's a lesson

Jamila Souffrant 32:35

learned or not. And so I just want to like dig down into that, because I do think what's going to help you moving forward. And what's probably helping you already is all the things you have gained from the experience moving forward.

Kierra 32:46

And here's the silver lining so to speak, had we not had that interest coming in. And living off of that for eight months or whatever, we wouldn't have experienced a lot of what we experienced, we wouldn't have been able to do a lot of what we did, I wouldn't have been able to grow my business the way that I did. And there's a lot that would not have happened. So I can't say that it was all all bad. And there's always a seed of opportunity in every tragedy in every in every failure, you know. So for us, it's looking at what happened and what we did in learning from it and being able to move forward wiser and just you know, hell bent on getting restoring recouping you know, our loss, but also becoming stronger than ever like this. This is a true test for a relationship a marriage, right, like the number one cause of divorce. I think it's what communication and then finances and then infidelity. Those are the top three, finances is huge, right? A lot of people would probably divorce if I was married to anybody else if I were to divorce me, you know, but he's like, No, we did this together. Like, you know, this is this is our situation is our problem. But a lot of couples may not have been prepared or ready to deal with this type of loss. And so it tested us, and we are so much stronger. When I tell you it pulled us even closer together, which I didn't think was possible. It pulled us even closer together because we had to start getting really resourceful. And even like so my husband went from when we first started dating to being like what I would call an atheist to now being sort of like agnostic, because like we've been It's weird. It's really weird to see the changes in our relationship and in his way of thinking and and even his spirituality. And so like, I'm like, oh, maybe this was the catalyst. Maybe this was a way to bring you closer to God. I don't know. But I wish it was a little more subtle. But if this is

Jamila Souffrant 34:50

It didn't have to be 300,000 It could have been 10 like, Come on.

Kierra 34:55

Give you maybe 20 but then hold back.

Jamila Souffrant 34:58

I would have learned my lesson. At five, okay, like,

Kierra 35:02

the whole bag, one bag, but my friend kept telling me she's like God keeps telling me to keep to tell you here that he's going to restore everything that you lost and then some. And so I just believe that. So that's part of the the mindset that we're going in. And I'll never forget, a couple months ago, my husband saying he, we were both kind of like crying on the phone. He was away. And he was like here is I woke up this morning. And I just felt like and I know, you're probably going to be like, what the heck are you talking about? He said, but I just think we have to forgive. I know that sounds crazy, but I think we have to forgive. And I'm like, Who are you? And what have you done with my husband? You know, but he was right. We have to forgive in order to just release and move on. Because we can sit there and marinate in misery. Or we can start doing taking back control of our life and doing something about it, and putting in putting in place a plan to get everything that you know, that's ours by divine right.

Jamila Souffrant 36:02

Oh my gosh, yes. And do you think losing that amount of money is similar to an I don't want to say it's like a near death experience. But you know, like people who have had those near death experiences, like they come back and they have a different view of the world and life and time? Do you feel like your money at like the concept of money has changed for you? Because to lose it all like that. And there's so many people who you know, whether it had lost like everything, and like, had to start from zero again? Do you feel like it's changed your perspective of money? Do you feel like at the end of the day, you would take more risks? Because it's just money? Like you're so like, you experience what most people are terrified of, like losing all their money, and therefore what like all of it, right. But you're still alive. You're still breathing, though.

Kierra 36:50

Well, kickin breathing, right.

Jamila Souffrant 36:52

And so when I think about smaller wrists, you know, whether it's a you know, investment in a course or program or just doing things in life, and you think about what you ask yourself, will I die? No, I'm still alive. I'm still breathing, it's a chance. all that to say, do you perceive do you look at money differently? Like, actually, it's not as big as a deal? Or do you feel like you actually hold more value to it? Now?

Kierra 37:13

That's an amazing question. Thank you for asking it, because it's really important. And I'm going to tell you right now, for me, yes, I look at money differently. Now, it's definitely feels like a surreal like out of body experience. But I think it is rooted in all of the personal development work I did prior to like the fact that I've been able to withstand this and keep a positive and optimistic outlook on life, and still feel like that, as long as I'm the one making the risk, I will continue to take calculated risk in the future, some people will let this experience like shut them down forever, put all their money into a savings account or under their bed and like never, ever think of it again. That's not the way we're thinking about it. And I say all that to say there are other people who lose everything. And they they sadly commit suicide, they go into a deep state of depression, they're never the same again. So it really is rooted in the work that you do on yourself. Every single day, had I not been reading, journaling, practicing gratitude on a daily basis inside of my morning and evening routines. Had I not been doing that already, prior to this happening. I don't know if I would be speaking to you the way that I am now. You know, feeling confident about the future and feeling like this is just one setback for the biggest come up ever, because that's exactly how I'm viewing it. In as soon as I come up, I'm making sure that everyone that I personally know who lost will, will be brought up with me. And so a lot of people are thinking all men for him. So they're like, I don't care about everybody else. I lost my own money. I just you know, but for me, I don't have the luxury of thinking like that because I just don't I I can't think that way. And so I have to keep going you know, because I've been called I have a purpose I have to keep going I can't let this ruin me. So you know when you find your purpose and when you have routines that are rooted in gratitude and just for life in general. Yeah, like you're going to see things a lot differently than someone who may not have done the work

Jamila Souffrant 39:23

yeah, that's beautiful. And it really you know, I give advice and anyone listening to this now I know you know you're listening to this because you want to pay off debt you want to save the money you want to quit that job reach financial independence one day and all these money goals that matter and you know, mean something to you but really what Kierra is talking about like this daily journey that we're all on is hour by hour, minute by minute second by second of improving and being your best self without the money. Who are you without that because that is the riches and I and I've been trying to like I've always you know want to bring it back into the conversations. I have and It's not just about the dollar amount, it's the Inner Wealth that you cultivating you create and people was like, Yeah, yeah, give me the money first. But that can be taken away from you everything that we have, like, we can't go on, you know, when we are gone from this earth, we can't go with it. And so you your vessel, who's inside that spirit, that person, like, What is that, and I that's why I say it's so important to invest, you know, the time, the energy, the resources in you, because nothing can take that be taken from you,

Kierra 40:29

that's going to be my biggest investment going moving forward. And my my greatest investments moving forward will always be in myself, and my own personal and professional development. So if I'm spending 1000s of dollars, it's gonna be on me and my brain, my education, my spiritual growth, and all that it's something that no one can take from me. If that makes sense.

Jamila Souffrant 40:50

It does. It does. And this is what I keep saying and every time you know, I forgot which rich person or wealthy person, maybe it was Jay Z, someone said, like, you know, basically, you could put me anywhere on God's green earth, I will triple my worth. Like it doesn't matter. I can and they have this show. I haven't watched it. It's called undercover billionaire I believe. I think Grant Cardone is too I forgot the channel. But they put this millionaire or billionaire him right now grant in the middle of nowhere with nothing, no resources, and it's like he's charged with what can you do within a certain amount of time? And again, I don't know what's happening, but I'm sure he'll he'll be okay. And it's that kind of determination mindset that I think we need to focus on. Okay, so what are you doing? Now? I know you're doing a lot, right. But what is your plan to rebuild? What are the next steps for you?

Kierra 41:40

Thank God, I just secured a really big contract within my business, becoming a productivity coach for inside of someone else's course program, a big name, and I won't mention it here. But so that's been a blessing. And then also just continuing with my one on one work, my vision board workshops, my goal setting workshops, which you had, which you brought me

Jamila Souffrant 42:01

Yas you came into the money launch club, you did a workshop. Yes, yes, it was great.

Kierra 42:05

Yeah, yeah. So like being commissioned to do things like that, I'm going to scale that because a lot of corporations actually want things, what I can do the goal setting workshop, a lot of that's in demand for a lot of bigger corporations as well. So I'm going to be pitching myself to those. For those type of opportunities. I'm exclusive for the productivity coaching inside of like course programs right now. But even that can be something that I scale, the one on ones are not super scalable, but something that I also want to get into, because that's a way for me to offer, you know, a premium high ticket offer, but you know, really add value to someone's life. I'm coming out with a book that I really like, it's my goal is to sell 10,000 copies in this for like within 2021 of this book. It's called Permission to pivot granted, and unapologetic guide to changing your goddamn mind and life. And then I'm going to publish three more books, so one every quarter. And then in addition to that, my husband is going to continue to trade. But now he's going to be even more serious about it than he was before. And he also works as a contractor still, because that is his passion. And basically, that's, that's what the plan is for myself and for him. So we're just gonna both just walk in our purpose, start to rebuild, live below our means. Next month, I'm moving back in with my mom, he's moving to El Paso to be to be I hit because you know, his job is in El Paso. I'm moving to LA with my mom to Ohio. So we're going back to the long distance life like we had to do when I was in Zagreb, and he was in Afghanistan, because that's how we can reduce our biggest expense, housing, and hopefully food if my mom buys me food. But if not, you know, I'm gonna take what I can get, but you know, and then just stacking because obviously, we have more than enough to get another apartment, maybe not keep this one. But we have more than enough to get an apartment. But we we want to do what we did when we were in Afghanistan, making 182 grand a year, live rent free food, free all that stuff and be able to stock and rebuild faster. And so that's where that's where we're at. That's what we're doing. And I'm excited because I know that I'm going to be okay, I know we're going to be okay, my family's going to be alright, I'm just more concerned about my family and friends who were in Look who were affected by this. Because, you know, maybe they're not looking at it the same way. Maybe, you know, they're not taking it as well. And so, you know, it's us trying to rebuild not only for ourselves, but for them as well.

Jamila Souffrant 44:30

Yeah, yeah. I mean, what a story and I think, again, that mindset part of it is really key. So you know, not waiting until there's something like this that happens until you lose something or you feel the loss of something physical or tangible but like doing the work before that, you know, being prepared, not just that you're preparing for the worst, you're just preparing and being aware of what needs to be

Kierra 45:00

If I had to give like some advice, I would just tell people now to start practicing gratitude on a daily basis, no matter how much is in your bank account, no matter how much you have right now, just start weaving that into into your life. Gratitude, being grateful to whomever you pray to, for what you have now, so that if it is taken away, you know that what's important, are all those things that are inside your wish. What are you most grateful for? Well, I'm most grateful for my husband, you know, I'm most grateful for the fact that I'm breathing that I'm living, I'm walking in my purpose that I have a business and maybe it's not like a million dollar business, but it doesn't have to be It's mine. It's my baby. And I'm working hard to get to that point. So there's a lot of things to be grateful. I have amazing friends, you know, and opportunity. Opportunity keeps coming available to me, and I'm going to keep seizing it, and I'm not going to marinate in misery. And so I would, I would tell people suggest to do that to practice gratitude, to invest in their personal and mental development in emotional development. And just make sure that you're always staying grounded. And rooted in gratitude.

Jamila Souffrant 46:08

Yes, I love that. And here, please tell everyone where they can keep up with your journey because you are far from over.

Kierra 46:14

I am. So I'm active on Ig at Miss unconventional underscore, I'm also on clubhouse at Kierra Asnauskas. But you could probably type in miss unconventional and find me because you know, I don't know want you to get the spelling wrong. I'm coming out with a podcast called the productive boss podcast. And if anybody wants to work with me to like, as far as productivity, lifestyle design, mindset work is concerned, you can just DM me on Instagram, I always respond.

Jamila Souffrant 46:44

Amazing. I mean, I feel like I'm gonna have to have you on the podcast again in the year to do like a check to see what you're not. So this is awesome. Thanks so much, Kierra.

Kierra 46:53

Thank you so much.

Jamila Souffrant 46:58

What a story I really hope you enjoyed and learned from that conversation with Kara and I'm telling you, we kept saying it in the episode, you know, you think, hey, that would never be me. I would never maybe quote unquote, fall for something like that. But as Kierra said, as someone who well read is all about personal finance and development, this is something that she still was able to get into and lose money. And so my biggest charge, as always, is to work on the internal stuff, the murkiness inside all of us, and not to tie our happiness to money. I know that is easier said than done. But as always, that can be taken at any moment, whether through investments or some other way. The other thing I wanted to basically highlight is this idea of being able to take calculated risk, and to really do your research and not think that you can, you know, get ahead fast and there's ever a quick money to be made. Right. And so with that, you know, whether it's me talking to you about a program I have or introducing you to Teri and her program, Trade and Travel, I want you to have discernment in your decisions on what you can afford to do, what you're willing to risk. I do feel that in order for us to, you know, get to the next level in a lot of areas, we do need to step out of our comfort zone, try something different that takes risk, but calculated risk. And I hope through the tools of this podcast, through the conversations that I've had on the podcast through my story, that you are able to make your own educated and balanced decisions. Some of them you know, will not always turn out the way you want. We will be missteps you know I personally still make mistakes, those things will happen on this journey. What I want for you is to be able to be resilient enough to bounce back from them to withstand the rain and the storms that come along and are just on the path. So love to hear what you thought of this episode. Let Kierra and myself No, I'm journey to launch and kierra is at Miss unconventional_

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What would you do if overnight you lost over $300,000 of your life savings in an investment deal gone wrong? Unfortunately, that’s what happened to this week’s guest, Kierra Asnauskas. Kierra and her husband went from coming close to their goal of reaching Financial Independence to losing it all and having to start all over again. Tune in to what I hope to be a cautionary and inspirational story on taking risks and being resilient in the face of adversity. 

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Kierra and her husband lost over $300,000
  • What is forex trading 
  • Kierra’s biggest takeaway from losing it all
  • How Kierra is able to move on and rebuild and much more…

Episode 202- Losing $300,000 of Your Life Savings in an Investment Deal Gone Wrong w/ Kierra Asnauskas Click To Tweet

Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:

  • Kierra was a guest on Episode 131, “From Broke and Living in a Car to Traveling the World w| Kierra”
  • If you want to check out Teri’s Trade & Travel Program, click here.
  • If you missed enrollment, join the waitlist for my FI course and Money Launch Club.
  • Join The Weekly Newsletter List
  • Leave me a voicemail– Leave me a question on the Journey To Launch voicemail and have it answered on the podcast!
  • Watch me on News12  Watch my latest segments on News12
  • YNAB –  Start managing your money and budgeting so that you can reach your financial dreams. Sign up for a free 34 days trial of YNAB, my go-to budgeting app by using my referral link.

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2 Responses

  1. She’s learned nothing, unfortunately. There were clear red flags:
    -real investment professionals never guarantee a set return such as 5%
    – you should always be cautious of affinity scams, as this is how Maddoff worked as well
    -you should have diversified investments, not be invested entirely in ForEx
    -only work with licensed professionals if you’re going to foray outside of index funds

    Honestly I think Teri Ijeoma is another dangerous teacher — she’s teaching people to take out HELOCs to fund investing with debt. They could lose their house.

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