In this episode, Tim and Brock talk with Matt Cochrane.
Matt spent six years in the Navy as an electronics technician from 1996 to 2002. After exiting, he became a patroller for the Plantation Police Department in South Florida and is now a detective. On the side, Matt has written for the Motley Fool and is now a lead advisor at 7Investing, a long term focused stock research service.
We discuss why following your passions always leads you to the right place, how connecting with people you don't know pushes your career forward, and how starting to make sound financial decisions earlier in life sets your future up for success.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @Matt_Cochrane7 and check out his write ups and researched stock picks at www.7investing.com. For $10 off your first month, sign up with referral code.
The Scuttlebutt Podcast - The podcast for service members and veterans building a life outside the military.
The Scuttlebutt Podcast features discussions on lifestyle, careers, business, and resources for service members. Show host, Brock Briggs, talks with a special guest from the community committed to helping military members build a successful life, inside and outside the service.
For episodes of the show, transcripts, and weekly newsletter, check out Scuttlebuttpodcast.co
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• Episodes & transcripts: Scuttlebuttpodcast.co
Brock Briggs 0:17
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Scuttlebutt with Tim and Brock. Our guest today is Matt Cochrane. Matt served six years in the Navy as an Electronics Technician reaching rank of E5 from 1996 to 2002. Following that, you became a Patroller and then now a detective at the plantation police department in Florida. You've written for the Motley Fool, reading on stocks and financial advice for them for five years, and now a lead advisor at 7investing. Matt, welcome to the show.
Matt Cochrane 0:52
Hey, guys, great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Tim McCarthy 0:55
Yeah, thanks, man. Thank you for being here.
Brock Briggs 0:57
So Matt, want to dive into your first early days, maybe even before you join the Navy, what was going through your head, what brought you to join, give us kind of the backstory as to why you decided to join the Navy?
Matt Cochrane 1:13
Sure, well, like I had a very blue collar raising, you know, my parents were lower middle class, I would say I mean, I had a great childhood, I'm definitely not trying to say anything. They're two great parents, a roof over my head, always got fed, things like that. But like, we didn't have a lot of extra money as far as that went. And so when it came to college, they were always like, you're kind of on your own, you know, you can live here, but we don't have any money to pay for you to go to college. And my dad had been in the Army during Vietnam. And so, you know, he had talked to me about that, like being an option to get funding for college. And so, somewhere during my illustrious high school career, you know, I realized I wasn't going to get any athletic or academic scholarships. So like, at certain point that started started sounding better and better going, joining one of the services and getting college money that way.
Brock Briggs 2:06
I think that a lot of people had that initial bug in their ear, a family member or a parent relative, kind of saying, hey, you know, give me that little push, like, hey, kind of subtly, saying, We know you're not that smart. And we know you're not that great at sports. So yeah, you better you better go do something to get that college paid for.
Tim McCarthy 2:27
Yeah, absolutely. I mean it just, there weren't too many options, you know, and so like, and I needed it to I didn't have any real drive. And, you know, it's like, I was the stupid kid. I had no idea what I wanted to do. You know, I didn't, if I had stayed at home and gone to the community college, I would have gotten like some job flipping burgers, that didn't really appeal to me either. So it was kind of just like, you know, you got to do something.
That's, that's, I think the exact story of Brock and I like, except Brock and I both joined a little bit later. So we you are 21. Right, Brock? Yeah. I was talking about Yeah. So yeah. So we had, at least I know, for me, I tried the whole college thing. Got to school. And I was like, Yeah, I This sucks. I'm not a school person. So very, very relatable. You it sounds like you were just smart enough to recognize that about three years earlier.
Brock Briggs 3:28
I don't know. Maybe that's a low bar, though. But no, honestly, like, I just needed to do something I have any direction. I didn't like school, the thought of going to college wasn't that appealing to me anyways, and I didn't know what I was supposed to go for. Like, I honestly, I had no idea what I wanted to do with like, and so almost like, I mean, in a way, like probably joining was kind of a way to punt on major decisions and say, Alright, go do this, try to get some direction or something out of it, and and see what comes with that.
Well, then it's funny too, when you you sign up, you're like signing on the dotted line there for years, or in your case, six years seems like a really, really long time. But then once you're in, you get this feeling of, you know, you don't have to kind of really make any big life decisions. And there's like all kind of a burden that's lifted off of your back when it's like, I don't have to decide what I'm doing with my life because the military is making that decision for me. It feels weird to think about that. And I don't I don't wish that on myself. Again. I like being in control of my own future now. But yeah, I think when you're young, that's appealing.
I think so I think you're right, there's there's two things you actually just said that, like I'd like to touch on the first one is like usually like sign on the dotted line. So, you know, the so I thought I might go into armed forces. And so you know, you start going to the recruiters and they start recruiting you and if not much, I mean like I was a really cheap date, but like the Navy recruiter would get me out of like the last period of high school In like by Taco Bell, and I was like, Oh, this is the greatest thing ever. I'm just gonna get free Taco Bell. Yeah, I'll just go to all these meetings for, you know, for potential recruits. And the only thing my mom said to me was like, don't sign anything, don't sign anything, don't sign anything. And so they had this thing called, I don't even know if they still have it. But if the delayed Entry Program DEP, yeah, like that. Yep, exactly. So I, like I signed up for it. Right? My parents, my parents had this letter in the mail saying, like, welcome to the Devi family. They're like, what did you do? So, but, but yeah, like, to your point, I think there is a lot of it, like the Navy says, they'll take care of you, right? Like, you have to do all these things. And, you know, you have to get you're given a lot of responsibilities. But you don't have to make life choices, you have a place to live, you, you can always go to the galley, you know, in eat, if you're broke, you know, you get, you get always you get a paycheck every two weeks. So they are in a way you do have to, they do take care of you in that sense. And when you're 18 or 19. Like that's a that's like, okay, like I know, I'll be you know, somebody's here taking care of me to somebody. Yeah,
I think two for one of the biggest ones to kind of touch on what you said, the, when you are a younger kid 1819 In my case, 21. It was especially when you first join here very much. So like, Okay, I'm at work at six o'clock in the morning, I leave work at 230 at, like 230 In the afternoon, I you know, I have this much free time. And then I'll do it again on Tuesday. And so it's very, very structured. And then it kind of gives you that it allows you to grow up and become an adult without really giving you too much. Too much freedom, which I think at least for me, that's what I needed like that, that first kind of year, year and a half year in where it's so structured, it allows you to kind of figure out how to be on your own and then being an adult. So I agree.
Yeah, through school and like your, through your school, whatever your school will be, or whatever. Like I know, it's different for different branches, like my brother was in the, the, the airborne, so I think he had a very different experience than me, but like for the Navy, like, yeah, we got out of boot camp, and you got to school, and I was at the school for a year. And you know, it's, it's like a very structured life, you know, and you just kind of get used to it. So yeah, absolutely.
And you were you 18 When you joined.
I was 18. But I turned 19 and boot camp. So I was okay, the September after I graduated high school. So Okay.
Well, and that's such an interesting dynamic to, to mention, we were both a little bit older and had kind of like lived outside the home a little bit before joining and kind of had some quote unquote, life experience. What what was going through your head at 19, when you're in boot camp, or, you know, going into school? How did that compare and contrast to like, where you came from? Was it? Did you have kind of a structured household that you so it didn't seem too far off? You said your dad was military? I don't know, some people say they join. And they grew up kind of in a boot camp household, almost like it's not structured. So I guess what was that experience? Like? And kind of Yeah, learning about the world, like, right out of, you know, joining,
I would say I came from a structured home life. So like, I would say, that being said, I think I vastly underestimated boot camp like I remember or basic training. Like, I just remember going in like, oh, you know, they make you do push ups and they make you run and you have to get up early, but whatever. It's not. It's not going to be a big deal. Like I really was just trying to say like, it's not a big deal. Whatever. I remember, like, I don't know, just a couple days into it. I'm like, Oh, what did I do? What did I do? But, you know, you I needed that rude awakening, you know, I was, again, I was I was like, really a stupid kid. With no drive in life. And like I needed like that kick in the pants. Yeah, that
like second or third day with no sleep right there at the beginning, you kind of starting to like, Man was this? Was this a good idea? I don't think that I liked this very much. I don't like the way this guy's talking to me.
Yeah. It's like nine weeks or 10 weeks or whatever it is. And like at the time, you're just like, I that seems like forever. How am I gonna get through? I can't do nine rounds of this.
Tim McCarthy 9:29
Right? I remember. I think I had the exact same mindset when I joined. I was in my own mind the epitome of fitness. I mean, I lifted weights all the time. I hit even like started running beforehand and anybody that knows me, I don't run unless I'm being chased and it better be something big Chase because I don't run. But I like I'd started running in my head. I'm like, I am just this Spartan like I can't be broken. And I remember Remember the first morning everybody was cleared for you know, they medically cleared so now they could finally like put you through the wringer. They wake us up it must have been five o'clock in the morning and just kicked the crap out of us for like two hours. I had had to go I went to the bathroom afterwards to throw up and I was just like, oh, I messed up like I am. I am not. I'm not this like Greek God that I thought I was. These guys just kicked my ass with some push ups like this is you know what I mean?
Brock Briggs 10:32
I think everybody has that. Oh, crap moment and bouquet. Oh, yeah. Where it's like, man, and there's like, there's gonna be some former Marines or army people listening to us like listening to these like spoiled Navy guys, like talk about how hard we're gonna get it? Yeah. But like, yeah, no, absolutely. Yeah, you have that wake up call where you're like, Oh, my God, I I've been off more than I can chew this time.
Yeah, you certainly do. And I definitely didn't think that I was some kind of peak physical performance. But I feel like my my bigger change during that time period was just kind of mental. After like, leaving home and being on my own for a while. I was just like, nobody can tell me what to do. I I'm my own person. And the whole concept of like, getting in trouble for other people's misdoings. That was like a really interesting foreign concept to me. I was like, Why? Why am I getting in trouble? Like, this wasn't me. I'm squared away. And now we're being punished for hours because somebody else's thing, but it ended up coming full circle. By the end, I started to understand what that meant.
Matt Cochrane 11:40
Brock Briggs 11:42
So did you. I don't know how that process worked. When you were in depth when you were signing up? Did they give you a choice on job? You said you're an Electronics Technician? Was that like, they pulled it out of the the Powerball lottery and that's just what you got? Is that something that you were interested in? What What brought you
Honestly I forget? I think they, you know, they had they make you take the ASVAB? Which, like, I guess I did, okay on it. And they're like, You should do this. I was like, okay, you know, that's what I should do, then, you know, and, oh, you're good at math. I see because of this test. So should go learn about electronics. I was like, alright, I'll learn about electronics. But yeah, I think they are, you know, they they push you into a certain thing. And you're just like, okay, yeah, the only thing I'm really glad about is like, I didn't go to the submarine route, right, like so like they they give you that pitch, like what that day and bootcamp where they come and they tell you about how great it is to be a submariner or whatever. And like, you know, you sign your life a way to that, you know, you never see the sun again. So. But yeah, like, I think I just took it as that definitely, we need this and that's what you're good at. So you should do it. And I was like, Okay.
It was a very, very close to being an ET. Tim and I actually, we're both the aviation ATS so but I remember that being an option. And the only reason I didn't choose it was because it was a six year contract versus four. So that's kind of a similar electronics background here. Where was your school at? And, and I guess what was that, like?
I did everything in Great Lakes. I did. bootcamping Great Lakes. My school was in Great Lakes and, and then I had a a C school. Like a follow up School in San Diego, which I was so I was in San Diego for four months and after the Great Lakes like Illinois, Great Lakes, Illinois, Northwest Chicago, if you're not familiar with it, but that's where I did bootcamp. That's where I did my a school for to become an electronic technician. That seemed like I was there forever. And then when I got to go to San Diego, I'm like this. San Diego is the best city in the world. I still think that like I still love my diamond San Diego. And that was my only time I spent in San Diego in the Navy, but I loved it.
Yeah, it's absolutely beautiful down there. And then did you Did they kick you right to Guam? You mentioned before this that you did a couple years in Guam? Was that immediately following school?
Yeah, so after San Diego, I did. My by this time, I'd been in like a good year and a half like it was coming up on two years, I think and like I did the next two years are on Guam at the nickname space here. The naval communication. The naval computer and telecommunication station, I think is what it was. But I did two years on Guam, which like my preconceived notions of a, like, if you tell a 20 year old they're going to Guam and like what I thought that was gonna be like, what it was what it's like, was also like, wow, like, What a stupid naive kid. I was. I really thought I was. I mean again, I mean, I was 20 and I didn't know anything about the world, but I just thought it was gonna be like some Hudson. Some, like, you know, it's just gonna be like, I don't know, it's like some island in the middle of the Pacific. And then, but yeah, it was I mean, it was like a city. It was like regular. You know, it was just just that alone. It was eye opening. It's the first time I'd been out of the country. Yeah, I guess I
Oh, God, no, you're fine. Go.
I was gonna say I have a I have a couple of friends that are still in and because of social media, I know that they're stationed in Guam. And so they're constantly posting pictures. And one of them's like, super into like snorkeling now and that kind of thing. So just seeing his pictures, a buddy of mine just seen his pictures. I, it's kind of the same thing. You know, I've never been there. I really had never seen pictures of it. So I don't know what I was expecting. But just seeing his pictures, even today, I was like, Oh, that is not what I had imagined it to be. Was it? Do you think that going to Guam was beneficial for you like being that young being able to travel or were you kind of bummed out having to leave, leave the country.
So I actually one of the reasons, in my head, one of the reasons I wanted to join was to travel. And actually, that's one of the main reasons I picked the Navy was like, I thought I would travel the most in the Navy. And so I was actually kind of bummed, like, you know, I wanted to travel but like, Guam was not like, at the top of my list, but in reality, I mean, I think I actually, I was fortunate because like, it was kind of like, it was more like, it was closer to a nine to five job than like going on a ship. I mean, like going on a ship. I mean, your life is just, it just sucks.
Brock knows all about that.
You can say it, it sucks.
So you know, so and I did my time on the ship, but like, like a Guam is more nine to five, like, and so like, I kind of started thinking like, you just almost start treating it like a regular job. I mean, like, it's more structured, don't get me wrong, I lived in a barracks, it was more structured than a nine to five you had like you the date, there were nights during the week, you're on duty. And, you know, you had to sleep at a bunk at the, the communication station in case something broke, and you had to fix it in the middle of the night. So there's things like that. But like, again, much more. You know, you could take college classes, like on you know, at night, like they would offer it there on base, things like that. You know, it was actually pretty good. So a lot of Family Guy. So I was stationed there with a lot of family guys, and they loved it on Guam, because you're in the Navy. Ship life is horrible for families. So that, you know, they get to Guam, where it's like this nine to five you go home every night to your family. And it's like, it's great. You know, so I think it was great for the married guys there the family guys. I was just a single idiot at the time. But But But yeah, I mean, it was it was kind of compared to the compared to ship life. It was pretty easy.
And that was your Guam, you went shore duty first. I assume Guam was was a short duty for you.
So it actually because it was like, I forget the exact designation. But it counted as far as a sea shore rotation accountant. I see. Oh, interesting. Yeah, I was like a little stadiumthese
Think because it's OCONUS. Yeah,
I wonder if it's maybe because it's like out of country or something like that. It counts as a sea duty. Yeah, I wonder.
Matt Cochrane 18:14
Yeah. But like, so people would try to like, extend there's like, so I was there for two years. Right. And so normal Navy Navy guys went there for two years. And all the all my married friends were trying would try to extend it for a year or two years, as much as I could. And, you know, you'd put your reasons why. And, and they finally figured out the captain we had at the time was like sympathetic if you were like, I need to get my college degree. So I'm going to take these college classes. Why do you need to get a college degree because I want to be a captain one day, I want to be an officer. And so so the captain would extend everybody who said that. So everybody learned that like you just go. You say you take college classes, say you're taking college classes to become an officer. So you can be a captain one day, and they would extend your time. So
Brock Briggs 18:57
you've heard the American dream, it's that the Navy dream the Seaman
Yeah. But something like that, so but I didn't do that. I was just there for two years. And I left but I mean, I enjoyed my time there. I made some really good friends. Like some of my closest friends of the Navy were from that time. There's a good time.
You mentioned earlier that you were a single guy in Guam, and you're now married to your high school sweetheart. Do you want to kind of dive into what being a young single Bachelor is in Guam? What's the what does that look like?
Well, it was a it's a young poor guy. Young. That's a better description. So like I mean, really like
Yeah, so my wife and I had a very often on long distance relationship. During my time in the Navy. We were highschool sweethearts. We broke up several times throughout our relationship I throughout my time in the Navy, but um, when I was single there like it was I didn't have a car you So like the city life was like far away, right? So you either had to get someone with a car to go into the city life, but like it was actually expensive because it was like Guam is like a Japanese tourist destination. So if you go into town, it's all very touristy very high price stuff. So like that, you know, for for a Navy guy that it just it was it was very pricey to go into town. And then you had the on base stuff. So you had your enlisted club or whatever like that. But there's not much not much for your love life there. So let's just put it that way.
Especially early on, you're not getting any sort of like BH or like any sort of allowances. Yeah. So you're I don't
I don't know what my salary was in 99 in the Navy, but as an e4, but it was not much.
Tim McCarthy 20:45
It was four or 500 or something.
Brock Briggs 20:47
I bet it wasn't even that much.
Really? I don't know. I couldn't tell you. But it wasn't much. I do.
Tim McCarthy 20:56
Not enough to be going to town regularly. Yeah, I think as you progress over time, you start to see you're like, Man, how did I ever survive on that little of money, you know, even as just a single person. I think looking back on some lifetime, I think every single dollar that I went, I owned at any point just went to beer. I
Brock Briggs 21:16
Yeah. Oh, yeah, I remember. I remember when I was in, it was the same thing. You know, I, I was a single dude, rock II, you and I were just tearing it up every weekend. We had like a financial advisor come to my squadron. And she was doing everybody's like monthly budgets. And they were really focusing on the e4 and below because those were the ones that were, you know, really struggling and so like, I sit down and whereas she's like, Hey, how much do you spend on this? How much you spend on this? And she's like, Okay, you're negative $400 a month. You know, where can we like make some cuts? She said, I you know, I remember she's, she's like, I see here that you average about $500 a month on going out between bars and food. Do you think you could cut that down? And I was like, Man, I don't need internet or like a phone bill. But we got to keep that budget where it's so yeah, that's, that's funny, I eat that every dollar going to beer. I think when you're especially being joining it 21 where you can go out and drink out on town and, and kind of do the stuff that maybe somebody like yourself who joined at 1819 You weren't really able to do that for a few years. That I think was a there's pros and cons to both, for sure.
Matt Cochrane 22:44
You guys, I signed up for a scam. When I was in the Navy. This like financial scam, like where you like start sending like part of your paycheck to this guy because like I had, like Brock, I don't know if I've if you've ever heard me talk about but like, I knew nothing about money. When I was in the Navy, like nothing. Like I didn't know how to write a check. Like, I like my granddad sent me a check once that I even know how to deposit it. Like I was like a financial, a walking financial disaster. And I spent all my money like I usually the first week after I got my paycheck, I would have money to go out and do everything. And then the second week, I was just eating out the galley three times, three times a day, you know, the, the Witch wasn't that bad, but you know, you'd still complain about it. But like, you know, and I would just be at the base and like, doing whatever I could around the base. Like, when I was when I was talking to my, my now wife and my my then girlfriend like if we were if we were together, like the long distance, you know, this would be for cellphone. So the long distance rates from Guam to back home were like, I mean, like our, like, outrageous. You just pay through the nose. You know, it was like a car payment every month, but just things like that. It was ridiculous.
Brock Briggs 23:53
That's really ironic that you got into this financial scam, but now I've kind of like become to be this financial savant, I guess if you will
Matt Cochrane 24:03
talk to my wife. Like, she'll be like, people who knew you back then like, what do they think now? Because they think like this. She's like, are you gonna tell me you're gonna do anything in the world is like investing stuff and you know, in stocks and anything with finances, like would have been the last thing in the world I would have ever picked. But
Brock Briggs 24:24
Yeah, I want to, I want to get to that in a little bit and talk about kind of your progression through that. Want to dive into it. You were telling us before we got going an interesting story about you and your wife and how you had written her a letter when you had gotten to the boat or kind of changing your mind or kind of asking for her back or something you want to kind of get into that. You're talking about being single in Guam. And first
Matt Cochrane 24:47
It's a ship not a boat. Come on, ship. Like yeah, so I left Guam and like, I had been engaged and it ended bad. We broke up And we didn't talk for like a long time. And I go to the USS Carter Hall. So this was early 2001. And so we were doing it, I got there just as we were leaving for a mentor, tour of the Mediterranean. And so we went, we were doing the Mediterranean tour, everything was going great through the summer, you know, we'd visit the ports, it was like, this is like the travel, like, I'd signed up for the Navy to be, you know, like Italy, and Turkey and Spain and Greece, and you know, Sicily, and, you know, all these places along the France, like along the Mediterranean coast, and I was finally like, getting to do what I really wanted to do, and I was loving it. And then of course, 911 happens. And so, you know, I knew they're about the, I remember thinking, like, they're about to shut down communications on the ship. So, you know, we, I sent out a quick email to all my family and friends and I'm okay, I know what's going on. You know, I love all of you. And I got like, for the first time like this, I've been in the Navy five years now. But for the first time, it was a it was kind of like, it's weird, because it was kind of like hitting me like, oh, wait, this is like, this is a real job. Because like, remember, like, this is like, the 90s was the time after the Cold War, right. So like, the Cold War was basically over. You know, before 911, we had already done Desert Storm, but like, we thought that was kind of over. So it was really like, I just kind of thought like, I'm gonna do this. I'm in the Navy during a great time, I'm not gonna have to go to battle or anything like that, you know, I just, I just treated it like a job, you know. And then so 911 happened and like, you have this Oh, crap moment, like, this is just gonna get real. And so I was like, very, like, I guess emotional. I don't know if that's the right word, but just very, like, Wow, just like, This is real. This is real. And so I wrote my wife a very long letter saying, like, you know, I still have feelings for you. We haven't talked to so long, but like, you know, if I think when I think about, like what I want to do in my life, like, I know, I want to be with you. And you know, very sappy. Sure. Who's very sappy. I would not want to, I would not want to read this now.
Brock Briggs 27:04
We're gonna read that on the air, man.
Tim McCarthy 27:05
Yeah, I have it right here. Actually, on my computer.
Brock Briggs 27:10
We've spoken with your wife, we're going to expose you.
Matt Cochrane 27:11
So you know, like, if you if you were in the Navy, you know, or any armed forces, you know, when you're when you're deployed, like it's sending a letter back home. So at this point, email, everything was cut off yours, no communication. And I was writing a letter where you can't like, you know, put any information about where you are or anything like that. But like, it took, like, I mean, it took like months to get to her is what I'm trying to say like, so like, I wrote this thing. And, you know, you don't hear from her for months. And then like, months later, I got a letter from her. And it was like the same, like, I feel feelings for you to blah, blah, blah, you know, another sappy letter? And then, you know, from there, it was history. But, uh, but yeah, that's how we got together for good.
Brock Briggs 27:53
I think one of the most interesting dynamics about the military is especially going to like you said, there's all the family guys at Guam, and everybody's kind of just doing like a kind of an extended nine to five, you know, you're working, you come home every night. It's kind of just this normal way of life almost. And then there's almost just this moment that everything kind of changes in your head about like, oh, wow, like I'm, I'm on the frontlines of this. And especially I can't even imagine being kind of deployed at the time when we get an attack on American soil. I, I can't imagine what that must have felt like, at that time. Kind of a wake up call? Or did you? Did you have that kind of feeling at all? Did it your feelings about what your job was and what you were doing? Did that change when that happened?
Matt Cochrane 28:43
Yeah, absolutely. But I more than that, I think it was like, at that time, like, I don't know how old you guys were when this happened. But like, it was really like, it was the first time in life where it was like, this was like, the biggest this was like, you know, I grew up in the 80s. You know, but I was still a kid when like things like the Berlin Wall came down. So you don't it doesn't resonate with you like it should have, like, the historical significance of things like that. This was the first thing in my life where I'm like this. This is like a big serious thing. And like, back home, like my wife was a she was a first time first year school teacher at this time, she had just graduated college, and was teaching class and at this time, like, I don't know, at the time, they were like, they were finding letters with anthrax in it and they thought it was the terrorists are doing this. And they thought there were more attack. Everybody was like, there's more attacks coming. Apartment complexes are going to be blown up. I mean, so it was just everybody was like, paranoid, like, you know, what's next? What's to everyone who's waiting for what's next. And so I was actually worried about her because she taught at a school and I'm just like, oh, the schools are gonna be attacked. You know, things like that. I think, you know, I think just everybody I don't know what I'm trying to say. I don't know if that's unique to me. Like, I think everybody at that time was like, this is like, like what's going to happen next? And then thank God I mean, you know, not too much else happened on American soil after that, but like, I mean, but like, people were bracing for like a lot more to happen.
Tim McCarthy 30:10
Yeah, I didn't answer. I was in third grade when 911 happened. Brock, were you fourth grade? I think third or fourth? Yeah, third, okay. And I remember I lived in, I lived in New York at the time upstate New York, that's where I'm born and raised from. And I remember clear as day being in third grade, and the school kind of like going into this lockdown pretty early in the morning. And they had brought a TV into my classroom, and they were like watching the news. And he I think about it now. And I'm like, man, they were like showing these third graders. You know, I have a third grader, my daughter's in third grade. And so it's hard for me to imagine her school now showing something like that on the news, right? Oh, yeah. And I being in New York, it was, I think, especially scary for myself and my family, because I lived about six hours away from New York City. So I wasn't like down the road from it. But I was it was still like very close to home. And so they had, they had sent us home for the day. And I remember getting home and it was like, it was on the TV. As soon as I walked in, you know, my both my parents were there, which was weird, because, you know, my dad should have been at work and whatever else, but I remember being in third grade and just thinking to myself, like, Oh, we're, we're going to war like this is. And I, for some reason had this image of, there's a scene, I think in the beginning of a Peter Pan movie where you know, London or England or something's getting bombed. And that's all I could think of that's like, what I could relate it to was this like children's movie like that's coming here? And just being like, super scared. And luckily, that, you know, like you said, that was kind of the last of it. But yeah, I remember everybody. I mean, everybody was was freaking out that there was going to be more and yeah, that was a scary time. For sure. Even for somebody I couldn't wrap my head around it at the time. But I remember as best I could wrap my head around it being very freaked out because it was so close to home.
Brock Briggs 32:21
Yeah, that's a place that I have a hard time understanding what that feeling must have felt like at that time. I know that there were your time out on the ship. I don't know if this was a similar feeling that you might have had. But I remember going out on the ship for the first time or the boat, whichever is it, we always call it. Whatever the ship. I think that on my deployment that went on in 2017, there was something that kind of clicked in my head that was like, This is real, you know, it's not, it's not just this normal thing. It's not pretend. You know, there are there are planes leaving this boat every day to go carry out like our country's mission. And, you know, coming back with an empty bomb rack is you realize that that it just is it's real. I don't really know what else how to put that. But it's um, it's an interesting kind of wake up call for for people. And I think that everybody who's served at one point or another has experience.
Tim McCarthy 33:23
Well, Brooke, you were on your deployment in 17. That was the deployment where they had like, set the record for like bombing Syria, right.
Brock Briggs 33:33
I think that there was I think every deployment sets another record to be frank, every single I don't know what it is. But every single boat when they come back, they are like we set the record for the most ordinance drop it like, I don't know, either. There is no record or people are just making that don't know what it is. But
Tim McCarthy 33:57
Yes, setting the record is kind of like a weird term. Like we set the record for the most ordinance dropped. But that's like the best way that I could, I guess describe it. There was also something else weird that happened that I'm sure correlated to that feeling. Wasn't it like the first dog fight? Like an air to air dog fight that was the first one in like an X amount of years or something like that? Where we as the Americans, one of the pilots on your ship and an F 18 had shot down a Syrian pilot?
Brock Briggs 34:28
Yeah, that actually did happen. That was VFA 87. I think they shot down a Syrian fighter jet, which was the first like aerial takedown in some stupid amount of years, like 20 or 30 years or something like that. So that was an interesting thing and a cool thing to be a part of, I guess. In some sense, that whole wake up, wake up deal. Yeah, that was a cool experience. Kind of to circle back to that. That Letter, Matt, I guess, to kind of offer some maybe advice or that letter that you wrote to your to your now wife? We're really kind of pulling the ship around here. What kind of advice would you have, I guess for maybe somebody that's currently in, or a military family or whatnot for how to kind of create a successful relationship. You've been married now for some time? You know, something about it, and how to how to create a successful marriage? What would you offer as somebody and maybe a similar position? What kind of advice would you give
Matt Cochrane 35:35
for someone in the military? Or just in general are both? Yeah. All right. Well, I mean, if you're in the military, I mean, it's different. I think it's a little different. Now. I think technology helps. Like, just as far as communicating goes, like, like I said, like, back then I remember trying to like, call, call my, my, my wife, which, at the time girlfriend, like, call her like, just like, as much as I could, but I was like, you'd have to go to like, when I was on Guam, we had a phone in our room, but like, if it's on another base, like Norfolk or something, when I was on the ship, like, you know, you have to go to like these huge banks of payphones they had, you know, you'd have to buy your AT and T prepaid card. So I think like, nowadays, you know, you can log on to your message via WhatsApp, or you know, even have a video call if you have a good enough Wi Fi or, you know, it's just so much easier to communicate now than a than it used to be. So but like, I think that's probably the key right there, right? Is communication, like having, like a very open and honest communication lines open between you and your significant other. But like, you know, I need marriage advice. That's next as much as the next guy. So like, I don't know, how much I shouldn't dishing out here. But like, Yeah, I think communicating is obviously pretty important.
Tim McCarthy 36:55
I definitely, as somebody who I know, we're talking about it a little bit, I had done long distance with my wife, who was my girlfriend for a couple of years, and she was across the country, she lived in Idaho, I was stationed in Virginia, and you're absolutely right on that part, like times are so different. The ability for me to have the ability to FaceTime her or text her, you know, throughout the day, or, or whatever, that definitely makes the world of difference. And on the ship, even like it's, it's even different on the ship now. Because like you said, there's a lot of times where they would shut down communications, and you'd have to kind of resort to snail mail. So you're talking like months in between letters. Whereas even when, when I was in, and Brock and I, we would go out to the ship together, I could send an email that would show up as a text message on her phone. So she could respond on her phone as a text message or that it would come to my, my ships email, or you have you know, if I was done with work, and I was able to log on to and I could finally get on a computer for 2030 minutes, I could on Facebook Messenger like go back and forth and Facebook message my wife and you know, so yeah, it definitely, I think I think you're really onto something there that? Yeah, it's just just the communication aspect of it. But it is significantly easier nowadays than it was even back when you're in which I'm sure doesn't even seem that long. But then I think about my grandfather was in the army. He passed away when I was a baby. But my dad had come across a bunch of letters that he had sent to my grandmother and my grandfather was in like World War Two Korea, he was a army colonel. And it was just reading these letters is pretty eye opening, because it's just time is like, the times have changed so much. And it was like a true, like love notes. You know, when he would write her he'd be, you know, my dearest, my dearest Margaret, or, you know, whatever. And it just it Yeah, just times are so different. Now you're able to communicate instantly. Whereas, even back when you were in a lot of times, it was just snail mail.
Matt Cochrane 39:11
Yeah, well, I mean, you know, you think about like, I mean, my dad was Vietnam, and we had his funeral last year. And just going through his old letters, like back home, like when he was stationed in Vietnam, but like, you know, back like, I mean, look, I had a pretty good in the service, but like, you know, you think about like, back then, like, if people serving during World War Two or the Korean War, Vietnam, or whatever, you know, they might not see their significant other for years. And yeah, you know, like, I mean, I had that like that like that oh, crap moment, like, when 911 happened, but just imagine if you know, you're in a war, you know, you can die any day, you know, and so that kind of like, it kind of brings it out of you. It's easy to be very Yeah, absolutely. Very like I don't know the right word, but skeptical or cynical about romantic things. like that when, you know during normal times, but like when you think you might die, you know, you're gonna express your feelings and yeah, now let's leave it all on the table if Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. That's that's pretty cool about your granddad.
Tim McCarthy 40:13
Yeah, yeah, it's it. I remember standing in my garage reading those and this was years ago, but it just was like, and I, my grandfather died. I said when I was a baby, but my grandfather died when I was like three. And I, I very, very vaguely remember him, but the little bit that I do remember about him is he was a very like, just a stoic dude, he is very quiet. So I remember being like, very kind of blown away reading these letters, because they really were just like, so loving and so emotional. Yeah, it was it was a cool, it was a cool thing to see
Matt Cochrane 40:47
For sure that it's cool. And it's cool.
Brock Briggs 40:50
That That sense of like life being short really makes you want to kind of that whole carpe diem, seize the day, you know, don't want anything untold. Need it all out on the table? Did when it comes to your family, did that influence your decision on getting out at all? Was that something that was on the on the back?
Matt Cochrane 41:12
So I remember that. So like I was on the I was on the USS Carter Hall we got back from so another thing real quick. So we got you're talking about setting records and stuff like all the ship setting records. So actually, like dictatorships had a record, we did it but this time I got lucky. So like, again, how I mean, I just got lucky a lot like in the service but like, we were already over there were 911 happened. So immediately, we also coast of Italy, we go over towards the Middle East in that area. And but the of the next carrier was already getting ready to come over to do their mentor. So the next carrier group basically 911 happens and they go, and they relieve us. So we had to extend our tour by like two months, you know, out in the sea. But that group that relieves us, that was a group that was there for like 15 months, just cutting squares in the Persian Gulf, you know, and like, you know, we had almost an entirely normal Mediterranean tour just the last two months, you know, we were no more port stops and things like that, but and we were out there, like getting ready for the next carrier carrier group. We didn't do anything, you know, like, we didn't drop any bombs. We didn't do any of that. It's still before the war really got took off in Afghanistan indefinitely before I rack and then the next carrier group, like I said, they get there, and they're there for like 15 months, and they were there forever and no port stops, no nothing. So anyways, we get back our ship, it was scheduled for drydock. So we, you know, we did all that which means like, you know, they, they take it out of the water. They do all these repairs on it. Like I was honored for that. And then like, like late 2002 is like when I got out like, like I did. I joined in September and I did six years, but they added three months at some point for something so I get I get snuck it in there. Yeah. So I get off in December. And we got I got married in December. Like that year, like, like a couple of weeks after I got out. But like, I remember they come you know, they tell you like well, if you you know at that point in time, I forget how many more years of sea duty I had to do if I relisted but they said, like, you know, you you finish this time and, and like, we're, like, you know, this Senior Chief on my ship was like, I'm the best at getting people where they want. So just tell me where you want to go. I'm gonna get you there. Bah, bah, bah, you know, like, it's like, I was like, well, and I was thinking of like, alright, if I reenlist at that time, they were giving bonuses for ETS, if you reenlist. So, which, I mean, it was like, $20,000, but when you're like, at that time, I'm like, that's, like, I won the lottery. Like, $20,000 I could buy a car, you know. But, so I was like, thinking like, Oh, I could go to the keys or Port Canaveral. Like, I was thinking I wanted to come home. I knew I wanted to get married, and things like that. But then when we you know, I was like, so you're gonna guarantee get me where I want? Well, we don't guarantee you but don't worry, I'm the best. I'll get you there. Sign here and we'll get exactly, exactly. So as soon as they said that I like, that's all right. I'll just, I'll take my discharge and, and go home and get married. But and so that's what I did. But yeah, I mean, like, you know, I honestly, I think if I had not been with my, you know, getting ready to get married at that time, like I would have re enlisted, but like, you know, you've seen it. You saw it too many times, you know, where like, it was just hell on married life if being in the Navy being on a ship. Like that kind of thing. I remember once we were doing we're doing these exercises off the coast of Virginia, like two miles off the coast. You could see the coast. You can see the shoreline and they were doing helicopters back and forth because we're doing like you know, supply rod and like it was like part of the drills and everything. And my immediate supervisor, my 81 His wife was giving birth to his first son, and he put in a special request to go home on one of these helicopters that was already going there any way to see the birth of his son? And of course, they said, No, you know, like, we need you on the ship. So he missed the birth of his son, you know, for for what? For what, you know what I mean? So I'm just seeing you, you see enough things like that in the Navy and you're like, okay, like, it's, it can be there's, there's a lot of great things about being in the military when you're single. But like for married life, it just it it looked, and I know people do and, and God bless them. But like, for me, I was like, I'm not, I'm not gonna do that for you know, like, if I'm gonna go have a family and get married and settle down, like, I don't need to still be in. Yeah, well, and
Brock Briggs 45:39
I never really fully understood that when, you know, like you said, you have your senior chief or some kind of senior enlisted that sitting there trying to talk you into staying in and talking about how great the Navy is, or just the military in general. And you're like, Well, I maybe I want to get out for family reasons or want to get out for personal reasons. And, you know, oh, you know, this, that it just becomes like excuses. And you look at their past history, and they're on their third marriage, that they don't have a good relationship with our kids like, and I don't say that as like a derogatory thing. It's like, no, the military is just hard on your family. It's so hard. They're hard. There's no way around that
Matt Cochrane 46:18
It's hard, like no doubt about it. It's a it's a very hard life. Especially, you know, especially for if you have a family it's very hard on a family life. No doubt. No doubt.
Tim McCarthy 46:29
Now, obviously, since since you got out you, you've become very successful in the in the things that you did that you've been doing. You're your detective. You are what is a lead? With seven investing?
Matt Cochrane 46:44
Yeah. So yeah, I'm, I'm a detective down in South Florida, and I'm a lead advisor, seven investing, and yeah, I'm very successful. But I'll take that.
Tim McCarthy 46:55
My question how so
Matt Cochrane 46:57
I mean, very successful.
Tim McCarthy 46:58
Being a detail. I mean, it being a detective is nothing, nothing to sneeze at, by any means. Now, when you were getting out, was there any sort of like senior enlisted, or, you know, officers that were kind of like, hey, you know, we know, we know you and and the military is probably, you know, the best thing for you, you know, I don't know how successful you're going to be getting out? Did you ever have anything like that?
Matt Cochrane 47:27
No, I'll tell you what it was, I wouldn't. Nobody told me like, oh, you should definitely knock it out. Or don't do that. I would say there's like a general fear. And it goes back to what we were talking about earlier. You know, when you come in, and you're 1819 20, and you come into the military, and they're like, You're a stupid kid. I mean, I was a stupid kid. Don't drive in life. No, nothing. And there's that sense, like, Okay, well, I'm being taken care of now, I don't have to make major decisions. The Navy will tell me when to be at work, the Navy will tell me where I'm going to travel to the Navy is going to tell me everything to do. They're gonna tell me what the where, you know, to walk there tell me like what, you know, curfew, I mean, it's a very structured life, right? Even, even like in Guam, where it was, like I said, it was closer to nine to five, then like ship life, it was still very structured. You know, it was not, I don't mean to give the impression was just a regular nine to five job. And, you know, after that it was, it was nothing like it's a very structured life, and they take care of you. And even if you're married on Guam, you live in base housing. So they tell you where to live. And they tell you like, here, you can always come here to eat, and they give you health insurance. You just go to the, the you know, the corpsman if you're feeling sick, you know, they they take care of everything. And so getting out, it is you have that moment where you're like, Well, what do I do? You know, like, I don't know, who's going to tell me where to work? Who's going to tell me what to wear? Who's going to tell me? You know, like, you know, all these things you start? I think there's a general anxiety. And I do think a lot of people say in Not, not everybody sees it, but just some people say and because of that, um, you know, you just have a general anxiety coming out, like, what do I do now? Like, who's gonna, you know, like, you just you just get nervous. I think that's very human, though. You know, you get that feeling. And I think that was like, I'd say that's pretty prevailing, you know, or was at the time anyway, like, a lot of people were like, Oh, are you nervous? You're gonna get a job? Are you nervous? This? You know, things like that?
Tim McCarthy 49:22
Yeah, no, I think that you're you're spot on. Brock.
Brock Briggs 49:27
Did that. Did that fear that you're kind of talking about did that kind of lead you to join the police force? Or did that kind of at least influence your decision? Because obviously, the police force isn't structured like the military is but I'm guessing that there are a lot of elements that are similar.
Matt Cochrane 49:46
Yeah. So this is what I'll say. Like, I get out and like I took this job selling construction aggregates or something like that. All right. And, like, what I figured out Like, coming out of the Navy, like, I mean, I learned a very valuable skill as electronics technician, I, I understood the basics. I mean, I was not like a, like the greatest technician ever, but I could fix like my kind of, you know, the equipment they give, put me in charge of I could fix them, whatever. But I also knew I didn't want to do that. Like, it wasn't my thing. It wasn't my calling. I didn't love it. And I didn't want to do that for the rest of my life. But I'm coming out, I'm like, Okay, well, now I'm just gonna go get a, quote unquote, regular job, you know, like, it's still not knowing, like what I really wanted to do, you know, like, I had been in the Navy six years, I still didn't really know what I wanted to do. But I did. The difference was like, going into the Navy, like, I mean, like, man, like so many times, I think back to your high school life, and like how stupid I was, and wouldn't do homework and just get bad grades and suffer for that. And like coming out of it, like, you know, I was, I started going to college, and it was like, everything was easy after the military, like, you just never had to work that hard again. So like, after you after you go through the military, you just never have to work that hard again. So everything just seemed easy, you know, everything, like putting in extra effort putting in like, like, your college classes and having to study for a test or, or, you know, you know, or do a paper or just anything like that. Everything was just so much easier after the Navy. So I took this job, and I realized I was not meant to work in an office. Like I just like, it was not for me, like doing drudgery paperwork, or talking to people, I'm trying to make sales like it was just ALRIGHT, so I learned that about myself. And when I first got out, like, my cousin's husband was a sergeant at this police department. And he, he goes, Oh, you should come here. We're hiring bah, bah, bah. And I was like, the last thing I want to do is go work at a place where I have to wear a uniform. Like, I don't want to have to shave, I don't want any of these things. I'm done with all that, right. I'm just done. And it but I realized, like I hated office work, like, like I said, a year into that job, I just hated it. I hated going in every day, I hated everything about it. And so like just being like, when I became a police officer, it's just, it was just me, right? Like, you can drive around and you it's different every single night. Some nights are so some like you're busy. Some nights, there's an emergency some nights, there's not. But like I was, I got to help people. You know, like, there's a sense there's a sense of fulfillment from that and a sense of a mission. And so like, I found the job very fulfilling, and it was just, it just suited me like I wasn't in an office, I wasn't trying to sell people things, you know, like construction aggregates, like, which was I don't Nothing about you know, it just it was just a much, much it just suited me is what I found out.
Brock Briggs 52:42
Yeah, I think that that higher calling really resonates with people and even after, even if you don't go on to some kind of public service like that a lot of people that are prior service, talk about that kind of that sense of working for something greater. And like that, that's what's really fulfilling and kind of doing it on your own terms helps you decision.
Matt Cochrane 53:09
Absolutely does not have to be public service. Like I mean, I found just as much fulfillment at seven investing and, and like, I think any job where you can find fulfillment is is great. You know, and I think that there's lots of jobs out there does not have to be like, I am not really one of those guys yet to be in like a first responder or workout a hospital, you know, like, find a job where it is fulfilling for you. And like you are helping people. There's a million jobs out there like that. And and I think that's what, you know, what you're passionate about is what you'll be good at.
Brock Briggs 53:42
Do you think that? Or what is it that you think? How do you think people should go about finding that? Is that Is it just a trial and error thing? Is that what it was for you? Or was there a way? Something that you knew about yourself that kind of led you to pursuing that? Because I think there is that? That thing, everybody in the last year of the military? I'm assuming it's the same for other branches, too. They talk about what's your plan, have a plan? You know, what are you going to do? Are you going to school? Do you have a job lined up? Like they're asking those types of questions. But a lot of times when you're when you aren't being told what to do anymore, you realize that you truly can do anything. And there, the amount of options that you have and the amount of control that you have back in your life is almost overwhelming. What would your advice be for somebody that's maybe in that position about they're looking for that that next thing or or they're exiting service, maybe they're about to leave the service or they want to, but they are scared because they don't know what that thing is? What What would your advice be for somebody in that position?
Matt Cochrane 54:47
Oh, that's a that's a good question. So that's probably a deep question. Like what I would say is this is like, just keep working like with the opportunities you're presented with and and lean into your passion. shins and like, that's kind of like how I found everything in life, you know, and, like, you have to work, you know, like, don't, don't not work, go, go get a job and, like, pursue jobs that you want to, you know, in something like you feel like you want to do, but like, pursue the opportunities that come before you. And then when you're there, lean into your passions there. You know, and then, you know, we're coming into a world where, you know, and I think it's a good thing for for the worker, like, like, I know, a lot of times people knock gig work or, you know, side jobs and things like that. But I mean, like, that's how I found out like, it's, at some point in life, I found out I loved investing, right? And so I was, uh, you know, we talked about this, but I was, uh, I subscribed to some Motley Fool services, and they had discussion boards, and I was just always asking questions on the discussion boards, like, Oh, it's just, like, question after question. Like, I would like, Well, how do you figure out this? Or how do you know, this? You know, and I think I was, like, very annoying, but there's some people there who, like just would patiently explain things time and time again. And then like, I just found out, I was answering questions, you know, I was still around the same discussion boards, I was just answering questions. And then like, they saw that I was, you know, being, you know, very proactive on these boards, and like, coming up with like, you know, useful posts and things like that. And they asked me if I wanted to try out his writing and, and I loved like, you know, so I was a freelance writer for The Motley Fool. And then I became a contract writer, you know, like, for, for some of their services. And now, I'm a lead advisor, seven investing, but like, that was just all starting from leading into some of my passions, you know, and, and things like that. But I was just say, like, keep working, and just lean into your passions, like, you'll, you know, I don't know, like my wife. So it's interesting, though, my wife, like, from the time she was in second grade, I always wanted to be a teacher, you know, and that's what she is. And that's all she ever wanted to be. So like, if you know it like that, like, if you know what your, your life calling is supposed to be, then then then do that. And I think for others might find your fulfillment away from your full time job, you know, it could be from your family, and you could be like, make a lot of money and give to like charities that mean a lot to you. I mean, there's lots of ways to find fulfillment out there. So I would say like, you know, but like, just all I would say is like, just keep working in lean into your passions.
Tim McCarthy 57:21
Lean into your lean in your passion, and would you say kind of chase chase the happiness rather than then chasing the money of it?
Matt Cochrane 57:31
Um, I would say, Chase, I would just tweak it a little bit, I would say like, maybe chase the fulfillment. That's true for happiness. Because sometimes that's, that can be like, I guess it depends how you define happiness. But like, I would just say, like, yeah, like, I think those can be different things like, or I guess I just want to say make sure that happiness isn't always like, pleasure, right? Or pleasurable? Sure. Yeah. It's like that. But like, yeah, I would just say like, yeah, like, lean into your something that you you get fulfillment out of like, there's some time. Yeah, but yeah, I think that's right. I think that's basically right.
Brock Briggs 58:06
And, like you mentioned, gig work, I think that we live in a time now, where, with not even a lot of effort, but being public about what you're doing, whether it be on social media, or there's just like a place or a community for everything now, and like getting plugged in with other people that are already doing the things that you're doing. And you know, starting to act, like you said, ask questions and start to contribute, add value to people around you that are in this space that you like, and next thing you know, you know, you're doing a lot, you know, a lot of people I really harp on to all of my friends about the value that Twitter has brought me. And that seems such like a silly thing, because I would never say that about Facebook or, or anything else like that. But Twitter is kind of how I met you. I started following you when you're at the pool. And I I have gained so much from just connecting with people of similar interests on there. So yeah, I think being public about what you're interested in, start talking to people. I've sent you several DMS before not even knowing you and you have been more than willing to, to chat with me and and help other people. So I think people are more than willing to help you out if you're willing to ask, ask the questions and be genuine.
Matt Cochrane 59:25
Yeah, I think that's right. Like I like early on. I like the like when I first joined the Motley Fool a long time ago on subscriber, like they had discussion board posts that were just like, amazing. Like, there's so many people on them, like back in the day. And I think a lot of that's probably like Twitter's kind of suck the oxygen out of that room. But like, but yeah, Twitter now is like amazing, like, you know, all the time, like, look, I don't know, I read all the times of DMing people like, you know, with questions still, you know, and it's amazing, like you said, like, just reaching out and a lot of people have been very helpful to me. So you know, like a Oh, that goes both ways. You know, like, just DMing you Brock. Right. Like, I mean, like, that's been beneficial to me too. So. But yeah, I think like, but anything like it just wherever that's found, like, whether it's Twitter or there's like community groups, like online or, you know, like my wife and I find a lot of fulfillment going to church, like, I find a lot of fulfillment from my faith, you know, things like that. But like, yeah, just like, wherever, wherever you find fulfillment into life in life, lean into that, you know, and I think that'll, I think that's the best way I can put it.
Brock Briggs 1:00:33
I think that's good. I think that's good advice. I'm speaking to your time investing in kind of getting into the financial services space as kind of a side gig for you to the detective thing, what has been the most or the biggest learning experience that you've kind of undergone or a way that your thinking has changed? As your as you developed as an investor and working at these services? What's like your biggest takeaway?
Matt Cochrane 1:01:05
So, I would say, like, going so when I when I was in the Navy, like I already said this, but like, I mean, I mean, the complete, I didn't know anything about finances, like nothing. I would spend money, money was to be spent, like, that's all I knew, it was like money was, was something to be spent and like, you would run out of it. And then you had to wait for your next paycheck, right to spend more, you know, but that's all it was, like. So I think like, you know, we got married, and my wife was like, well, like, she, I mean, she already knew, but like, she, I don't think she fully grasp, like, how much of a train wreck I was financially. And she was like, well, we got to, you have to save money and do things like that, like, why do we need to save money?
Like, I mean, it was really like, you know.
Tim McCarthy 1:01:47
We're always gonna make more.
Matt Cochrane 1:01:49
We're, you know, retirement so far, what, you know, things like that, I was just like, well, we'll have kids, but they'll just have to go have to go to college, like, I did have to go in the navy or something, you know, not gonna, like, you know, like, I mean, you know, like, I just didn't understand. I was a complete idiot, really, but like, I, I just didn't understand, like, money was meant to be spent, I didn't understand, like, the whole concept of investing it and growing that money so that you have more for things later in life or for things just not right now, you know, I guess is a better way to put it. Like, you know, we're in an apartment, we had to save for a house, you know, things like that. So she just introduced me, like, very early on to Dave Ramsey. And like, that's like, if you know nothing about money, like I did at that time, Ramsey's great, I, there's a lot of things like now, like I look back on, like some of the things Ramsey said, and I don't agree with necessarily, I'll just put it like that. But like, when you're an idiot, and you don't know how you don't know what to do with money, I think like somebody or something like that, that was just like, it was a very, like, basic thing, like, you have to budget and you have to save and then you invest and then the, you know, compound interest, like just, you know, like exploded my mind, like, the first time I understood, like, what compound interest was and how amazing that was. And, and so just like how these things like, you can accomplish so much more like money is a tool, I guess it's now how I look at it. Like how I used to just think money was meant to be spent, I think now, money is a tool in life. And you know, so it's not the most important thing, but you know, if you have this really important tool that you can accomplish a lot of things in life and like, I can be like saving, you know, investing money for my kids, so they can go to college. And, you know, obviously, if they want to join the armed forces, or if they need like that kind of direction, or discipline in life, I'll, I'll have that talk with them. But they don't have to, you know, join the armed forces just to go to college or, or, or, you know, to one day retire, or, you know, to save for a house and then to hopefully to give money away, right? Like, we all have those causes in life that mean like, it'd be great to like, you know, to get more money towards those things. And so to understand money as a tool, better than just something that was like you just spend money to, to buy, you know, whatever. Like that was like the lightbulb moment, I guess.
Brock Briggs 1:04:15
Yeah, I think I can. I can attest to that, that I have similar feelings about the Dave Ramsey's information and books and stuff. But I think it was about two years before I was getting out. And I realized that I had virtually nothing financially to show for the time that I had been in, hadn't saved anything. I had a big pile of debt, had a car payment, and all this stuff. And somehow I ended up getting a hold of his book and by the time I set the goals and I said I'm going to pay off all my debt and pay off my car by the time I get out. And I did and his his stuff works. I think that there's some really good basic principles out one on off spending more than you you are And
Matt Cochrane 1:05:00
If you need a good place to start, it's such a good place to start. And I needed it, I needed a bed. So it was a good, it was very good.
Tim McCarthy 1:05:08
I think that anybody, anybody in the coming up in the middle class, at some point who's ever tried to get their finances straight has turned towards that that program, you know, the Dave Ramsey program. So I know my wife and I have have looked into it. And yeah, I think it's everybody kind of goes to it at one point or another. Yeah.
Brock Briggs 1:05:39
Why don't you talk a little bit about what you do at seven investing what I'd like to you know, you briefly touched on it briefly touch on your time at The Motley Fool, you spun up our joint seven investing in March 2020. This last year, with Simon, once you talk about a little bit about the history of what you guys do, where you came from, the value that you guys are creating, I've been able to kind of watch and be a part of that, which has been really great. And I think the service you guys offer is really, really fantastic. You want to kind of dive into that. And
Matt Cochrane 1:06:12
Yeah, thanks for that. Thanks for that. Brock. Yeah, so like, it's a service like for. So you know, like, so coming from where I did, and just kind of sharing like, my, my history with money, I guess, like, like, something I really care about is like the, the common man right, or lack of a better term, just like the regular Joe and like his finances. And one way I think we help with that at seven investing is to offer a service where like, we can offer like, recommendations for for stocks to buy, and like how you can start set up retirement accounts or regular brokerage accounts, and how you can accomplish these goals by investing money. And, and like, look, this is what I'll say. Like, there's some people who like as soon as you bring up money, like their their brain just turns off, and they think it's like this, the most boring thing ever. And if that's you, and you have no interest at all, then did I would just say yes, go go put money in a retirement account index fund, and just don't think about, again, if that's if you just do that. But like if you there's a little bit of interest there. And I believe you can do better than that. And by putting in a little effort, and if there's a little interest, interest there to spark that effort. And again, not a lot, like well, hopefully we provide most of that for you. But like you, I think you can get better returns than you could in an index fund. And so we recommend, like, every month, we come out with new stock recommendations, and like, you know, other market commentary and things like that, but we just focus on the long term, they're not trades, we're not day trading or anything like that. We just want to buy like fine, great companies that you can identify. And by buying shares of them, you're buying, you know, a piece of that great business. And that as that business grows over time, your your wealth will with it. And hopefully, that's that's what we accomplish.
Brock Briggs 1:08:02
Yeah, I really think that you guys do that. And maybe I'm a little bit biased, because I am a subscriber and follow all your guys's content. And you guys have a couple podcasts, right?
Matt Cochrane 1:08:14
Yes, yes, we do. So yeah, if you, you're, if you're on your favorite podcast player, you can look for seven investing, and you'll see the content we put out and you can go to seven investing.com. To and, and, and subscribe. We also have free content too. So definitely just visit the site and, and poke around and like I I do believe like we offer an affordable, valuable service that most you know, like middle class Americans can, or just middle the middle class in general can really get a lot out of it.
Brock Briggs 1:08:43
Yeah, we'll be we'll be sure to link to the service and the podcasts in the show notes. And yeah, I think that like you said Money is a really kind of a daunting subject for a lot of people. And you said the brains turn off when they hear it and it's like, oh, I if I just ignore it, it won't be there. But that second level thinking of looking for your retirement and thinking ahead, delaying the gratification of right now and looking for something greater in the future is is a really powerful subject, something I really wish I had paid more attention to while I was in the Navy, you know, they have the command financial specialists come talk to you. Hey, you need to you know, here's your 401k Here's your TSP here's all of your things. And I actually am a little personal backstory, I guess I'm very thankful that I did that. My last year that I was in the Navy i a guy that I worked with had the intelligent investor. And he handed it to me and told me to read it and it was like way over my head, no financial knowledge whatsoever. But I kind of got something from it and ended up opening a brokerage account and actually rolled my Navy 401k over into like my own personal account and started investing that and that's how I ended up finding the money. They fall and subsequently you so I think I think that all of the tools are out there.
Matt Cochrane 1:10:07
Your first investment book with the Intelligent Investor? Yes. That's amazing.
Brock Briggs 1:10:12
It is a very, very, very heavy book.
Matt Cochrane 1:10:16
If you want to know more about investing don't start with that book.
Tim McCarthy 1:10:20
Well, and that's kind of what I was gonna, I was gonna ask. So with with seven investment, you're that's kind of like a good place where you can go for somebody who who doesn't know anything about about investing or money. That's like a good starting point, correct?
Matt Cochrane 1:10:38
Yeah, no, absolutely. Like this is for people like, hopefully, like I said, we're doing the heavy work for you the heavy lifting for you, like we're providing the research on the stocks, and you can go and deep into that. We usually like our recommendations come with like a about a 2000 word report coming with it, like why we're recommending it. And you can read every single word of that, and then ask us follow up questions, or you can just look at the recommendations. You know, like, I think a lot of people just like, you know, like, just kind of browse through them, so to speak, but like, yeah, absolutely. I think it's great for like people, like I said, if you just keep and bear the thoughts of money or investing, but you know, you have to do something, but you don't want to do anything more than that, like, set up a 401k, you know, or contribute to the 401 K at work or, or set up an IRA, you know, if you're your workplace of the offer a 401, you know, and just put it in an index fund. And that's, at least do that. But I do believe, like, with all my heart, like I've done it, like, like, you can do better than that. And if there's just a little interest to spark a little effort, on most people's part, like you can, you can get better returns by like, by using a service like us.
Tim McCarthy 1:11:45
Taking control. And yeah, using seven investing. That's cool. It's a it's a good, good. It's good to have that service as somebody like, like myself, I made the mistake one time of reaching out to Brock, and I was like, Dude, I have my 401k Like at work and I've like, you know, I gotta start with just maxing it out and making sure that I'm doing like the maximum contribution that I can yearly. But like, I feel like I couldn't be doing more and Brock's, like, I need to come over to your house. Like this isn't something that I can just like do over text. And I was like, yeah, like come on over. Like we'll we'll have a litigator copy of the Intelligent Investor. No, he knows me better than that. He knows it would still be sitting on my desk, and I would have never opened it. But yeah, it really kind of him sitting down. And before I know it, we're talking for like, hours about what I assume is probably pretty basic stuff. But I it just it really opened my eyes to this, like how much information there is out there, that growing same thing growing up middle class, and you're never taught this stuff in school. So I mean, he's just like, talk to me about index funds and okay, like, here's, here's this Roth IRA, and here's your 401k and blah, and I'm just like, oh my gosh, I don't know, anything. You know, I thought I was like, somewhat smart with my money because I invested in my 401k. So I think that, that that is it's super, that's really, really cool. And it it's a great service, that you guys offer over seven investing where it's not you're not overloading somebody and it seems like it's probably something that it's easy to kind of like go at your own pace.
Matt Cochrane 1:13:39
Yeah, yeah, I think I think that's right, like, you know, like, like, hopefully we don't overwhelm people with like, too many recommendations, but we're always available so you can always email us or reach out to us on Twitter and we're we're always more than willing to like go over things with you and things like that. That's cool.
Brock Briggs 1:13:57
What would you say that just kind of an interest in and taking advantage of the 401k and maybe taking a look at seven investing? What what other services would you recommend people check out maybe if they're maybe in the military, they've got a 401k that they rolled over something like that. You know, obviously the news over the last year everybody's got a Robin Hood account these days. Everybody's buying Dogecoin and buying all types of Tim shaking his head because I know he own some you know the moon,
Tim McCarthy 1:14:31
Right? Yo di diamond hands baby. Oh, gosh, Brock gives me so much crap because I bought $100 worth of Dogecoin just to like, just see what happens. And I told him when I'm when I'm a billionaire in 10 years he can he can then apologize to me.
Matt Cochrane 1:14:49
Yeah. No, I think there's a lot of great free resources out there now. Like, like if you just like like I said, I mean we have plenty of free resources. At seven investing.com, there's a million other websites, I would say the main thing you really need to take away is, like, invest for the long term like, you know, don't don't get caught up in like any, anytime people are talking about, like, really quick trades or day trading, or we're flipping this for that, or looking at charts like, like, that's not that you're jumping in the deep end of the pool where there's, honestly, there's not a, there's not a lot of money to be made. I mean, like, your money's gonna be going to commissions and taxes, and things like that, besides just the daily random randomness of the market. Wait, what you want to do, though, is like find like investments that you can invest in for the long term and not worry too much about the day to day or anything short term. So like, like any kind of resources you find that point you towards, like, good, long term investing is what you want to do.
Brock Briggs 1:15:54
Yeah, I think that look, taking that approach of, you know, 510 years, you start thinking of that kind of time sequence and things, the day to day noise of maybe the financial markets, or even just general life noise kind of starts to quiet down a little bit able to kind of think a little bit more clearly and, and look for something that's in the future and much better than what you can do in in day to day things. What if somebody was interested in like pursuing a career, like either as a detective, maybe, maybe in for your knowledge of I know, you're not like, a bank or anything like that, but you've obviously got a lot of time working in the financial services space. If somebody was interested in either of those things, what kind of advice or input would you offer to somebody, again, maybe looking to get out of the service and become a detective or something similar?
Matt Cochrane 1:16:48
I would say like, like, as far as law enforcement goes, like, like my department, like, I mean, there's a million departments out there, but they generally really like military service. Right? So I mean, as almost all workplaces really, but like, like, as far as law enforcement goes, like, you know, they, they love that I had military service and with an honorable discharge, and then and then it was like, I think I just needed an associate's degree to get hired as an officer, because, like, because I had the military service, but if you didn't have the military service you needed like, a bachelor's in, and criminal justice or something like that. But like, the military service counted for a lot with my department, in most departments. Like as far as like, anything financial, like I would just say, one, like, just, you'll probably need it. It depends, I guess, what you exactly you want to do, but like, you know, there's lots of there's lots of certifications you can get that I guess really depends what you want to do. But there's like a you know, you can become a Certified Financial Planner, you know, just want to help people like make smart financial decisions. And there's things like the you know, the the CFA designation, which you can get if you want to be like a stock analyst, so there's lots of different ways to go in that. But like, if you're more interested in stocks in the market and things like that, I would say like, you want to get public with your, with your pics and establish some kind of track record, you can do that on, you know, these days, you can do that, like I starting a blog or just being on Twitter or things like that. I mean, there's a million ways to kind of start participating with things like that.
Brock Briggs 1:18:27
And that kind of I think goes back to what I was talking about earlier, just being public, you know, kind of there's a lot of people on Twitter that have blogs and recommendations and looking to connect and teach other people so getting out there and getting plugged in with that Yeah, absolutely. Let's see do you do you have anything else any any other cool stories we need to know about any any captain's maths any financial finite huge financial mistakes we need to know about?
Matt Cochrane 1:19:00
No, I like like I think that's that's that's the majority of it. No captain's maths. I didn't rock the boat. No pun intended too much. During during my time in the service. You Yeah, like, you know, the only thing I'll say is like, it really took me like, it just made everything was just so much easier. After my time in the Navy. Like it was just like it just I needed discipline in my life. And I don't even know what that is. What would that was, you know, like I just needed that like internal like, self discipline, like okay, like you're in college. Now you have to study for this test. Well, that's easy, you know, like nobody's making you like seeing an extra watch on the ship from like, midnight to 4am tonight so you know, it's easy to go study and then you still have time for a beer later you know, instead of right. But like everything was just a lot easier after my time in the service.
Brock Briggs 1:19:52
It's funny how that works out. Everything seems not quite as hard after afterwards, right? What I'm I guess a couple final questions here. Some What advice would you give to somebody that's in the service? Now, any kind of general military advice? And then what would you give to somebody that's outside or looking to get out or exit soon?
Matt Cochrane 1:20:16
I think to someone that's in the service take advantage man of like, the like, I know, they offer college classes on bases and on ships and things like that, take advantage of that stuff. Like I was an idiot in, like, half assed my way through a lot of that stuff when I was in, so take advantage of that stuff. And if you're getting out, take advantage of their programs to like, Ah, I think it was called tarp, the transition assistance, retirement program, something like that, when I got out and you know, just gave me a lot of great like, how to write a resume and how to do a job interview and what kind of like, if you have this designation, what kind of jobs might you might be interested in the civilian field, and some people who I was getting out with didn't even go, You know what I mean, it was like a day class on a Saturday or something like that. They didn't even go. So take advantage of all those things, the military offers. You know, as far as that goes, and, you know, I think, you know, there's some good resources in the military that I wish I had taken better advantage of when I was in.
Brock Briggs 1:21:16
Yeah, I think that what did they what is it called? Taps?
Tim McCarthy 1:21:19
Taps? Yeah, I was trying to think of what? Yeah, taps Yep. And now I think, at least for me, it was like a two or a three day a through a two or three day class. And I think, I think I remember taking tabs and the most eye opening thing for me was when they were talking about, okay, how do you like how much money are you going to need to make to be equivalent? and I were like, doing the math. And there I go. For me, it was like, Okay, you need to make a you need to get a job that was X amount. And I was like, Oh, crap, like, I can't do that, you know. So yeah, no, that taps is definitely it's, there's some fluff in there that I think is just kind of that they waste their time. But it's it is absolutely good information. So that's, that's great advice.
Brock Briggs 1:22:11
Cool. Well, we really appreciate you coming on the show today, Matt, where can people go to follow along with you? You've already dropped the seventh investing thing. And we'll have that in the show notes. Anywhere else people can can follow along with you or reach out to you. So you want that
Matt Cochrane 1:22:27
Anytime, I'm very available. And I'm pretty much always on Twitter. So you can find me at Matt underscore Cochrane seven, you know, and I'm on there way too much. So if you reach out to me on Twitter, I'm sure I'll get back to you soon.
Brock Briggs 1:22:45
That's how I reached out to you and you do respond very, very quickly.