Master Your Finances with Mr. Michael Wakatama – Transcript

Written by on March 31, 2023

0:00:00.4 ANNOUNCER: So you wanna know the ins and outs of managing your money? Well, lucky for you. You are just in time for another episode of Master Your Finances with Certified Financial Planner professional Kurt Baker. Kurt and his panel of experts are here for you, and will cover topics from a legal and personal standpoint. They’ll discuss tax efficiency, liability owning, managing, and saving your money and more. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider offers continuing studies programs for adults who need flexibility. Want to add new skills to your resume? Take a continuing studies course at Rider University. Now, let’s learn how we can better change our habits with Kurt Baker.
0:00:49.0 Kurt Baker: Do you wanna know why now is a great time to schedule a private consultation about the latest solar energy benefits? Do you wanna learn about the current state of solar energy in New Jersey? Michael Wakatama, an accomplished sales and marketing leader with years of relevant experience across a variety of business sectors joined Sanctuary Solar to help nonprofit organizations with their fundraising efforts. Today, Michael will show you what it’s like to have a private consultation regarding solar energy. He will ensure you that you’ll have access to the most up-to-date information about New Jersey’s solar energy state. Michael, thanks for coming on today. This is something that’s been going on, I guess, for quite a while. I remember in the ’70s, my dad and I talking about how we put reflective shield on our windows as part of a way to like improve solar.
0:01:37.6 Kurt Baker: We talked about solar energy down in Florida. I lived in Florida. I mean, this thing’s been going on for, like forever. Solar energy has been out there. But now, we’ve had several iterations and I think we’re getting to this point now where this is really like pretty much mainstream man. Right? So we’re just seeing this is, I think we’re hitting that tipping point, so to speak. And you’re actually part of that whole revolution where finally after all these decades, it looks like we’re really on that cusp of it all making a lot of sense. Right?
0:02:04.2 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. Yeah. No, I’ll tell you what, thank you Kurt, for having me on your show. I really appreciate it. Solar has been around for a really long time. Our solar energy production, if you will. And the oddity is that most people don’t realize how long there’s been this ability to power, to generate power from solar. But in the last, well, I got into the industry about 12 years ago, and at that time there was a… It was starting to dominate or not dominate, but it was starting to get more prevalent, there was a lot of folks going in for leases because that was the only way to sort of mitigate, reduce costs to get into to acquire solar. Since that time, now you have dedicated financial institutions that fund solars very similarly to a financial institution for a mortgage or a car or anything else.
0:03:05.6 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:03:06.6 Michael Wakatama: And so that has also really helped the industry sort of, really, excuse me, take up more bandwidth. And so you look at that and then you look at the different incentives that are out there, there’s a federal tax credit that comes to 30% of the cost of your solar system that can be taken over one or two years, provided the person has the tax appetite for it. In the state of New Jersey, we have one of the highest SRECs, which are Solar Renewable Energy Credits in the country. So New Jersey is really a hotspot for solar. The oddity being that only one in three homes qualifies. I can get into that in the moment but with that, a lot of times people have a certain perception of what solar, you can see what it is on the roof, but how does it work, why is it beneficial and looking at it from the numbers perspective, I think when people see the numbers, you can make an educated decision as to does this make sense or not? But I always say my thing is know what you’re saying no to.
0:04:26.4 Kurt Baker: Right. Exactly. Yeah. No, I remember years ago my neighbor across the street put solar panels up and I know it was a leasing program. Right. ‘Cause back then the cost was pretty high. So there was a fairly long-term leases, if I remember correctly. But you did the net then, and I think his energy bill went from like, whatever, $300, $400 a month down to like $20 or something. It was like sort of some really low number.
0:04:46.6 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:04:46.9 Kurt Baker: He was very happy about it. I remember that.
0:04:49.3 Michael Wakatama: Oh, I’m sure he was. Yeah, the leasing portion, the reason why it was again sort of the way to go was because unless you had cash to finance this or got a cash loan from your bank, like I said, there was no financial mechanism through the banking industry to finance these solar projects. But now… So leasing was very dominant and usually with the lease, someone’s saving between 30%, 40% off their bill, but the company, the solar company takes the energy credits and the tax incentive. So you sign those off, but now it’s a different landscape totally. So.
0:05:39.8 Kurt Baker: Okay. So now it sounds to me like what you’re telling me is the leases are not the prominent way this is done now. No more or less people take loans out and buy the panels themselves, buy the whole project themselves. Is that usually… I’m sure the cost point has been coming down over the years, right?
0:05:54.5 Michael Wakatama: It has been. So the cost of obviously as the increased production of panels and inverters and all the equipment. Yeah. The cost does come down from when I started 12 years ago, but again, the thing is that you have a opportunity now to own the panels to… Oh, you always did, but to own the panels on your tax credit and own the SRECs, which are eligible for 15 years in New Jersey. In a lot of cases, people are cashflow positive somewhere in the five to seven year range, depending on what the production is.
0:06:39.3 Michael Wakatama: I just did a system for somebody. This was a… Sorry, a commercial system, but I showed her a positive cash flow in seven years, and then over the next 20 years, she’s now in a net swing of actually making money because she has that much production. So, again, and it’s always different for everybody because there’s… How does it work and everything else, where you placed, what’s your roof angle? Is there shade? Is there… A variety of different things? So no two systems are gonna be exactly the same, more than likely. And on top of which, it’s really important to have a sit down consultation. Not just the one sit. I believe that… And my philosophy is this, I will sit down with a close customer and basically just go over their bill.
0:07:31.3 Michael Wakatama: Most people do not know how to read their bill. It’s the one bill that you can get in the mail every month that can change from month to month, and yet you have no idea, but you pay it. And this PSE&G, JCP&L, Lens Electric, I’m not knocking them. No, that’s not the point here. The point being that when you have a variety of line items there, you don’t really know what’s the USF charge? What is this charge? So, we go over that with the customer initially. And then with that bill, I can also determine how much power they consume from a year. Once I have that consumption tabulated, then I can put it into software that will now turn around and generate a production of how much roof space or if it’s a ground mount, how much ground space do I need to offset as much or the maximum of their… Over, sorry… The usage over the course of year.
0:08:31.4 Kurt Baker: So I have a question about that because, let’s say, I mean, okay, I’ll give you a couple examples. You’re going to calculate my utility bill for the year X kilowatts per year, right? Now, let’s say, on my shopping list for this Christmas is to buy the new Tesla Plaid, right? Now I might gonna be plugging that sucker in. So my calculation might be different next year.
0:08:51.5 Michael Wakatama: It could be, yeah.
0:08:52.3 Kurt Baker: Right? So my question would be, when you start figuring out these tax credits, is there like a formula based on my current energy expense, am I allowed to like, go up to a certain amount of panels? Because let’s say, what if I wanna put on more excess capacity than what my panels are actually… Than what my current usage is? In other words, I’m anticipating additional usage in the future. Maybe I’m gonna convert from gas stove to an electric stove as an example, right? So maybe I’m thinking, well, okay, if this works well, maybe I’m gonna start adding more things that might be electric that aren’t currently electric. So what’s your thought about how all that works?
0:09:23.3 Michael Wakatama: And that is such a tricky proposition because here’s the thing. You’re absolutely right. Let’s look at what the EV market looks like right now. That basically if you have solar, you have a gas station on your roof. If you buy an EV.
0:09:36.8 Kurt Baker: Less fumes though.
0:09:38.5 Michael Wakatama: Less fumes. There you go. [laughter] But yeah, so we cannot produce… The state regulates that we cannot produce systems that go over 100% of your current consumption. I will tell you though, that if one is looking to add more electrified pieces and components in their home, would have to cycle through another year. There are certain ways to add more, but then it’s not an easy process. I wouldn’t let that discourage anybody from going solar because chances are, if we get to maximize their system, another… What we call the offset, so if we get 100% offset, which means that we can create a system that produces just as much energy as what they use from the current year or the previous year, that’s the offset. Typically, these systems can actually overproduce.
0:10:43.0 Kurt Baker: Oh, okay.
0:10:44.3 Michael Wakatama: We can’t design them to overproduce, but they can typically overproduce. And there’s different ways to really manage one’s energy consumption once that happens. Smart thermostats, going to LED lighting, it may even be, and depending on… We also have a water product, but getting something that, what do they call those? The heaters, that instant heaters that do your waters…
0:11:12.8 Kurt Baker: Oh, oh, yeah, I know what you’re talking about.
0:11:14.6 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. It’s slipping my mind here.
0:11:17.6 Kurt Baker: Yeah, I know what you’re talking about. [laughter]
0:11:18.5 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. Yeah. In other words, it’s not a tank, it just heats the water.
0:11:21.3 Kurt Baker: Tankless heater.
0:11:21.8 Michael Wakatama: Thank you. Tankless heater.
0:11:23.5 Kurt Baker: Tankless water. Tankless water heater. There you go. Between us we’ll get a brain. [laughter]
0:11:25.8 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. Yeah.
0:11:26.3 Kurt Baker: Sorry, man. I know what you’re talking about though.
0:11:29.0 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. So, again, I wouldn’t let that detract anyone saying, “Oh, what if I add all these other components?” Yes. I get that. But there’s other ways to reduce what you’re consuming so that, that production, when it’s at a certain point can now be excess production, because whatever you exceed from your production gets stored on the grid. And think of it sort of like direct deposit. So during the day, nobody’s home and the panels are generating energy. No one’s using it. So it’s going into your bank of energy, at your utility. You come home at night and now you’re turning on the lights and all this other stuff. That’s like you going to the mall with your debit card, where you’re cashing out over what you’ve built up.
0:12:21.5 Kurt Baker: Well, that’s awesome. Hopefully my bank is FDIC insured. But [laughter] we’re gonna take a quick break here. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. We’ll be right back.
0:12:28.3 Michael Wakatama: Alright.
0:12:28.4 ANNOUNCER: This is Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, certified financial planner professional, learn about tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money and more from Kurt and his experienced panel of guests. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider University offers flexible education for adult learners. For more information, it’s
0:13:04.5 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finance. I’m here with Michael Wakatama, and we’re talking to the solar energy. And before we left the break, you were talking about how we were… A lot of times you build the system for 100% capacity, which is what you’re allowed to do by regulation. But in some cases that’ll actually overproduce once you go into production, ’cause you might start changing things in your house, like maybe going into LED lighting, doing other things to reduce the cost. And you may actually get more energy than you think, but if you think you’re gonna have an extreme jump up then what you wanna do is tell your kids, “Yeah, leave their stereo on all day and all night.” [laughter] Burn as much energy as you can in the 2023 ’cause in 2024, man, we’re gonna buy that new EV. [laughter]
0:13:43.5 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, yeah. Well, yeah. Leave all the lights on and…
0:13:47.5 Kurt Baker: Yeah.
0:13:47.8 Michael Wakatama: Run the air conditioner with the windows open and…
0:13:50.1 Kurt Baker: Right. Yeah. [laughter] Build up, gonna pay this year, but next year we’re gonna save a lot of money.
0:13:54.9 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:13:55.2 Kurt Baker: So basically they’re looking at that past year usage to be clear about it. So they’re gonna take, I guess this is the last 12 months.
0:14:01.7 Michael Wakatama: Yes.
0:14:02.1 Kurt Baker: So it’s just not a rotating year, what do you call it? A floating year. Yeah. So you go ahead and just take the last 12 months, figure out what that is, and then you move forward. So if you think you’re gonna really do some conversions, maybe try to do the conversions ahead of time, that way you get the max credit. And then, so let’s say I’m gonna… Here I am, I’m gonna build my own house, right? Let’s say it’s a brand new house.
0:14:26.4 Michael Wakatama: Yep.
0:14:26.9 Kurt Baker: And I guess two scenarios. One, what if I am gonna connect to the grid, that’s one scenario. What another scenario is, I’m gonna build it up in the middle of nowhere and I don’t wanna be connected to anybody for some reason. I’m not sure if that’s even possible in New Jersey. But let’s say… Let’s assume it was. That’s not possible in New Jersey, just will miss that one. But I was just curious about if it’s brand… I don’t know what my usage is.
0:14:46.6 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:14:46.9 Kurt Baker: Is that something that would qualify to set it up? ‘Cause I know now they talk about wanting to set houses up to be designed to take on solar. I know, I think California makes you do that now, right?
0:14:56.1 Michael Wakatama: Yes.
0:14:56.1 Kurt Baker: You have to set it up to be solar ready, I guess as they call it, right?
0:15:00.8 Michael Wakatama: Yep.
0:15:00.9 Kurt Baker: I would think that’s kind of smart. If you’re building a house now, you might wanna put the infrastructure in place. Even if you don’t wanna do solar right this minute, you at least wanna be ready so you don’t have to go retrofitting your house later on. I would assume. To me it just makes common sense. It’s gonna be cheap while you’re building it, whereas later it might be a little bit more expensive. So what are your thoughts about all that?
0:15:15.8 Michael Wakatama: So to answer your first question, as far as, if it’s a new home, new construction and I think you know this too, that I’m also a real estate agent.
0:15:23.4 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:15:24.6 Michael Wakatama: I know a little bit about all that, but we can do what’s called… Use a tool called a load calculator.
0:15:32.0 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:15:32.3 Michael Wakatama: And what the load calculator does is, it creates… But it’s tedious, but it works. I have to count how many fixtures in the house. I have to count dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, how many outlets. And so every time you put that unit into the load calculator, it creates an estimation of what that consumption might look like.
0:16:00.0 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:16:01.7 Michael Wakatama: I actually can do… What’s crazy is that with the load calculator, it typically builds out a bigger system than what the customers end up using.
0:16:11.1 Kurt Baker: Okay. If I put in three outlets on a wall, it doesn’t necessarily, I’m using all three outlets. Right?
0:16:14.5 Michael Wakatama: Right. [laughter] Yeah. But then again, if you have a double… One outlet that has a power strip and everyone’s charging say stages…
0:16:22.7 Kurt Baker: True. That’s true. That’s true.
0:16:23.8 Michael Wakatama: But what I like about the load calculator scenario is that, again, more than likely it’s going to create more energy. Sorry, it’s gonna show more consumption which allows me to build a bigger system.
0:16:37.9 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:16:38.6 Michael Wakatama: If the capacity is there. So keep in mind that rooftop capacity, you can only place… Well, you are only supposed to place solar on south facing roofs. You can do it east, west. You can’t… Doing north facing roofs doesn’t make sense because sun’s not… That’s not in the… We’re in the northern hemisphere.
0:17:02.1 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:17:03.0 Michael Wakatama: So, there’s certain homes, sometimes the people want them on the back of the house versus the front of the house.
0:17:07.3 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:17:08.3 Michael Wakatama: So you have to factor all of that in. But I did a house for somebody in Vineland and Vineland was a challenge, because they’re their own utility company and they do things very differently, I was able to do a load calculator and the gentleman had just moved into the house and the max fit on that house was even with his roof and he had a detached garage, 17,000 kilowatt hours, which basically was covering for him, his wife, the two kids, the foster kids. I mean, he’s got a big place and a 17,000 kilowatt system that is pretty large. You’re producing a lot.
0:17:47.8 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:17:48.3 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. So what happens too is that with excess production at the end of the year, the power company, if you produced more than you consumed, they’ll true you up with either a credit to your bill, because you’re still gonna get a bill, you’re still gonna get for delivery charges.
0:18:05.3 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:18:06.4 Michael Wakatama: But I figured like this, I’d rather have money coming my way if it’s smaller because they don’t give you the… It’s not the same dollar for dollar back and forth. They give it back to you at the wholesale rate.
0:18:17.7 Kurt Baker: Okay. So now you’re a wholesaler, right? [laughter]
0:18:22.0 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:18:22.2 Kurt Baker: Buy retail, sell wholesale.
0:18:25.0 Michael Wakatama: Oh, yeah. Well, you buy retail, consume, and then whatever you don’t use, you sell it back wholesale.
0:18:30.1 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:18:30.5 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:18:31.0 Kurt Baker: Alright. So not 100% level field, but better than zero, right? Of course. Right?
0:18:34.3 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. Yeah.
0:18:35.6 Kurt Baker: Okay, you build out that system. ‘Cause into this… So now you’re selling it back to the utility company. Now what if I had like a Powerwall like a battery backup system in the house? How does that integrate into this system now? Because obviously part of that reason is, let’s say everything goes down, that the sun’s not shining and the utility company went out of business because a hurricane just rolled through, right?
0:18:55.6 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:18:57.5 Kurt Baker: How does that incorporate into this? ‘Cause is it… ‘Cause is the power actually going back to utility company? ‘Cause it’s probably going into my reserve, right? Into my bank of batteries.
0:19:06.5 Michael Wakatama: So the system shuts down typically if there’s a problem with the grid.
0:19:10.8 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:19:11.2 Michael Wakatama: And grid problems are blackouts and such. If you have a Powerwall, there’s energy that’s consumed there. But the Powerwall depending on how it’s set up, it also depends on what your main service panel looks like. But it can only, in certain cases, kinda like a generator only be attached to couples of circuits on the board.
0:19:31.5 Kurt Baker: Right. Okay.
0:19:32.4 Michael Wakatama: And even then, it’s a bit of a tricky scenario because what if… If you’re producing more and the battery can’t take anymore, where else is the energy going?
0:19:46.6 Kurt Baker: Right. Then that goes to the utility. Right?
0:19:48.9 Michael Wakatama: But if the grid is down.
0:19:50.0 Kurt Baker: If it’s down?
0:19:51.0 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, so…
0:19:52.1 Kurt Baker: That’s a good question. Where does it go then?
0:19:53.4 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, well, I would say to you like this, I think there’s a lot of folks that if you’re in a trouble zone or something like that, I would consult them one on one.
0:20:04.5 Kurt Baker: Right, right.
0:20:04.6 Michael Wakatama: Because it’s a little more detailed and a generic…
0:20:07.0 Kurt Baker: Okay. So it’s all specific. I got you.
0:20:08.8 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. I’d want to see their main service panel and sort of see how that’s set up, because that’s, it’s not going to be the same for everybody.
0:20:14.5 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:20:14.9 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:20:15.3 Kurt Baker: But there are ways to manage it, apparently.
0:20:16.8 Michael Wakatama: Yes, there are.
0:20:17.6 Kurt Baker: Right, okay.
0:20:18.6 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. Absolutely.
0:20:18.7 Kurt Baker: So if you’re… Let’s say the power system is up. So what will happen is I’m charging my battery backup system first, I’m assuming.
0:20:24.7 Michael Wakatama: Yep.
0:20:25.0 Kurt Baker: And then the excess from that would go to the grid.
0:20:27.8 Michael Wakatama: Yes.
0:20:28.2 Kurt Baker: And if I still have excess, then that would come back to me at the end of the year in a form of a wholesale credit number that would help offset the delivery charges they’re still charging me, right?
0:20:36.0 Michael Wakatama: Yes.
0:20:37.0 Kurt Baker: To basically be connected to the grid.
0:20:39.1 Michael Wakatama: Right. And the delivery charge, at that point, when you have your own energy, people will have a bill, $3, $4.
0:20:47.4 Kurt Baker: So, it’s not going to break the bank typically less than a latte.
0:20:50.2 Michael Wakatama: Well, yeah.
0:20:51.0 Kurt Baker: Possibly. It depends on where you buy your latte.
0:20:53.9 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, this is true.
0:20:56.2 Kurt Baker: So it’s a nominal cost just to really be connected, which of course is nice. It’s good to have the best of both worlds. Now what if, and I don’t know if this is the case in New Jersey, because I don’t know… I know it’s not in case… What if somebody was like off the grid in this case, we just design it off the grid without…
0:21:09.4 Michael Wakatama: That can be done, but the thing is that then you don’t have net metering.
0:21:12.6 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:21:13.1 Michael Wakatama: And net metering is what allows you to… Well, that’s what allows you to send power to the grid. But then if you’re not connected to utility, then how do you get your state credits?
0:21:24.1 Kurt Baker: Okay. So that’s part of the state credit process. Okay. So there’s really no harm, in fact, in New Jersey, this is probably uncommon where you’re not near the grid. Right? I mean, I can’t imagine there’s too many areas in New Jersey that don’t have the grid nearby. Right?
0:21:36.2 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:21:36.7 Kurt Baker: So for us, it’s probably what other places… I know other parts of the world, so to speak, when you’re more rural then there are houses where there really is no grid. If you want to build a cabin in the middle of the woods, you may have to be off the grid.
0:21:47.0 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. There’s a whole different set up for folks that are non grid connected.
0:21:52.0 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:21:52.9 Michael Wakatama: Than those that are.
0:21:54.0 Kurt Baker: Right. And they’re typically using less energy most of those places they don’t, they tend to…
0:21:58.7 Michael Wakatama: It depends if you…
0:22:00.4 Kurt Baker: I guess it’s true.
0:22:00.5 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. If you have a farm and then you have dairy farm and you’re milking the cows and you’re like, yeah.
0:22:06.0 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:22:06.8 Michael Wakatama: My dad lives on a farm overseas and he’s got… We have, I think, about 35 acres or so. It’s not that big but the point being that he’s got a well, he’s got multiple wells and this, that, the other. So the energy costs go up there.
0:22:21.1 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:22:22.0 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. Especially… And that brings up another topic that people that are using wells should definitely look at solar because here’s the thing. Most of those… The majority of those homes tend to be on larger plots.
0:22:36.4 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:22:37.6 Michael Wakatama: And to your point or to your question, are probably more slightly rural.
0:22:43.0 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:22:43.8 Michael Wakatama: I found that a lot of those homes, especially in South Jersey, a lot of those homes are larger and have larger roof space. And if they have an acre plus maybe instead of going rooftop, they can go ground mount.
0:22:55.9 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:22:55.9 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, I think looking… Anyone that has a well system and you have a septic and all these other things that typically if you’re tied into the utility, they’re covered but they’re not so.
0:23:07.6 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:23:07.9 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, I’d definitely look into that.
0:23:09.7 Kurt Baker: Yeah no so not being connected to… So you mentioned something about the positioning of the roof and how much… Because I believe my house actually faces east west. Right? So in that case I don’t have a southern facing direct to roof. So can I just tell the wife we’re going to turn the house on the edge?
0:23:25.4 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:23:25.6 Kurt Baker: And just go hang on, we’ve been to Craterland.
0:23:28.3 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. We gonna come out… Just gonna tilt it. No. So think of it this way, you have… We live in the northern hemisphere.
0:23:36.1 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:23:36.4 Michael Wakatama: Okay. So the sun, the equator line is to our south.
0:23:41.4 Kurt Baker: Yes.
0:23:41.7 Michael Wakatama: So our sun technically comes from the south. So during the summer months we are closer to the south that’s why we’re at summer and it’s hot.
0:23:50.3 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:23:50.3 Michael Wakatama: In the winter months, the access turns and we were… Then the southern hemisphere is close to the sun and we have winter.
0:23:55.8 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:23:56.2 Michael Wakatama: So the sun is always… To generate energy, it has to have some facing capability to the south. Now east west is okay as well. Sunrise in the east sets in the west.
0:24:09.4 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:24:09.9 Michael Wakatama: Typically the west side is the more dominant because usually the day is longer on that…
0:24:16.2 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:24:16.4 Michael Wakatama: The sun is stronger from that point, it’s picking up the sun at its highest point and strong. Whereas on the east side you have to wait for sunrise. And if it was a cold day, there maybe frost build up.
0:24:30.4 Kurt Baker: Yeah.
0:24:30.5 Michael Wakatama: So it melts fairly quickly. So once that is gone, then…
0:24:34.8 Kurt Baker: So if I have an east, west facing window, I mean let’s say would I typically need more panels? Because I’m not getting that direct.
0:24:41.7 Michael Wakatama: Yes.
0:24:42.1 Kurt Baker: If I was facing south, obviously I’d get a pretty good angle. Right?
0:24:45.7 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, yeah.
0:24:46.5 Kurt Baker: Otherwise, I’m getting like kind of half and half a little bit, a little a lot less as far as what I’m receiving from the sun, right? So okay.
0:24:52.0 Michael Wakatama: Absolutely.
0:24:52.9 Kurt Baker: Yeah. So there’s some pros and cons to everything, obviously…
0:24:55.7 Michael Wakatama: And that’s why I say it’s never the same for everybody.
0:25:00.1 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:25:00.3 Michael Wakatama: But to have that consultation is really key because for myself, at least, I will show exactly, how it’s going to look, what makes sense, and quite frankly, I also tell customers if it doesn’t make sense so.
0:25:16.4 Kurt Baker: Right. Awesome.
0:25:16.9 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:25:17.2 Kurt Baker: All right, we take another quick break. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. We’ll be right back.
0:25:21.4 ANNOUNCER: This is Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, certified Financial Planner professional, learn about tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing and saving your money and more from Kurt and his experienced panel of guests. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider University offers flexible education for adult learners. For more information, it’s
0:25:51.2 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Finances. I am here with Michael Wakatama, and we’re talking about solar energy on basically residential and how in the past it was pretty much leasing for the most part. Now more institutions are doing lending, so straight loans. And so now you get advantage of the different credits that are available, federal and state which can bring down that cost. You’re saying in many cases you’ll be net positive around five to seven years, depending. However, you need to know each circumstance is different, especially with the existing houses that weren’t designed necessarily to hold the solar. But it can then… It can be done depending on the, how your house is set up and how the roof faces the south and things like that. And whether you’re gonna put them on the roof or I guess on the ground you can put them as well. Right? So you can put them depending on where you’re at, you can figure out what the best methodology is, right?
0:26:42.0 Michael Wakatama: Yes.
0:26:42.3 Kurt Baker: Alright. So if I’m interested, and you gotta set it up, you go to 100% of what your current rolling 12 month usage on your utility is. And then sometimes afterwards you can kind of tweak your thing. So maybe you can get up around a little bit above that in case you are plan on adding some additional things like an EV or something like that. You might have that capacity. So most of the systems in New Jersey sounds like are connected to the grid, which gives you a nice backup just in case. It’s a cloudy day, in the meantime, you get the advantage of having the solo. So you kinda get the best of both worlds it sounds like. So kind of run us through like the business aspect of how all this works.
0:27:16.9 Michael Wakatama: Okay. So let’s say Kurt I come… I talked to you and you say, “Oh, you know, Mike, I’ve been interested in getting solar or I’ve been thinking about it, my neighbor got it. But I don’t really know much about it. What does it look like? How does it work? What I would do… What I do is a 30 minute consultation and I usually do them virtually ’cause it’s a lot easier. And with that, I will give a total soup-to-nuts education of what is solar, how does it work, what is the equipment, what is the process and then walk them through the… Into the last step. Usually I would prefer to have a bill prior to that consultation because that way I can at least create a design and it makes it relevant to that particular homeowner.
0:28:11.5 Michael Wakatama: So once that happens, I’m happy if someone says, I want to talk about this with my accountant. Great. Perfect. Because your accountant manages your money and with income, and keep in mind we’re talking about tax credits that come against your income. So if you have enough tax appetite, how does it look? How do you spread it out? I am all for someone going to their accountant first. I will not ask someone to sign anything. Probably until they’ve at least discussed it. Assume everything looks good. Then if we are at a point that we mutually decide to move forward, then what we do, the next step in our process is once we have all documents signed and covered, then we move to the first step, which is a site survey. And so the site survey is a gentleman of… Somebody, sorry, that comes out, does a visual inspection of the roof goes in the attic and wants to make sure that based on either the age of the roof or if there’s a chimney or if there’s vents, that it’s clear because if… Not necessarily clear, but just that they’re not in bad shape.
0:29:20.8 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:29:21.3 Michael Wakatama: We don’t want to go up to put something on there and then it’s in bad shape and then we have a bigger problem. And in some cases with the roof, depending on the shingle type and age, we may have to replace the roof. So fortunately, we work, we partner with a variety of different roofers. I’m always happy to look for more. But if a roof is required, we can put that into the financing. Now if you’ve seen… You’ve probably driven around or seen some signs. Oh, free roof. It’s not free…
0:29:53.0 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:29:53.2 Michael Wakatama: It’s not free.
0:29:53.8 Kurt Baker: I kind of guessed it wasn’t a free roof.
0:29:55.8 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, it’s not free. It can be… The cost of it can be absorbed through tax credits and so forth, but it’s not free. Yeah. And I’m the first one, in fact, I was thinking about creating a a YouTube channel that says the roof is not free. [laughter] But no, in seriousness, so we can package that in. Now the advantage of that, this is twofold. Keep in mind that, like I told you before, you get a 30% tax credit and that can roll in… Since you’ve rolled it into the number of the total system, you can actually basically get a discount. Or sorry, you can get tax credit back for that cost of the roof that’s been included.
0:30:36.2 Kurt Baker: Right. Okay.
0:30:36.9 Michael Wakatama: So anyway once the site survey is completed, then we do a final design if there’s any changes that need to be made. During that time, we also have paperwork that the homeowner would’ve signed for permitting a variety of different things with the townships. And it’s gotten better back, I don’t know, seven, eight years ago could take 30, 45, 90 days to get some of the paper back.
0:31:04.2 Kurt Baker: Oh my goodness.
0:31:04.9 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. Now the townships, they’re… They’re really smart about it and they can usually turn it around probably like two weeks.
0:31:11.4 Kurt Baker: Oh, that’s not bad. Okay.
0:31:12.3 Michael Wakatama: But once we have that, then we can now schedule for installation. And we call it putting the glass on the roof. [chuckle] Once we schedule out for installation, we can typically do a home in one to two days. We use racking and then they insert the panels and then the system is physically on your home. The last step is that your electricity provider has to come out and switch your meter because right now you have a one-directional meter. And when you go solar, you have a bi-directional meter.
0:31:52.1 Michael Wakatama: So it’s sort of like going into that bank account, direct deposit thing during the day, it’s building the bank, at night it’s depleting from the bank.
0:32:02.2 Kurt Baker: So can you sit outside and just watch your money bank enough if you want?
0:32:05.0 Michael Wakatama: Actually there’s an app you can watch it on [laughter] and if you wanna watch the… If you wanna sit and watch the meter, that’s fine. I don’t… And here’s the other part, when I was thinking about this in the drive up, I’m like, people that… Like I said, your electric bill varies from month to month.
0:32:21.8 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:32:23.0 Michael Wakatama: When was the last time you looked at your meter to gauge how much it electricity you used?
0:32:28.7 Kurt Baker: Well, I look at it all the time when I take the trash out, but do I actually read it?
0:32:31.7 Michael Wakatama: Did you read it? Yeah.
0:32:32.3 Kurt Baker: Probably not [laughter]
0:32:33.5 Michael Wakatama: Well, I thought of it because as I was driving up, I’m saying, Okay… I was just looking at my gas tank. I was like, “Oh, okay. I have enough to get to Princeton and get back and everything else. But we know that with our consumption of fuel, we know that with consumption of food, we know that with a variety of different things. But do you really know what your electric bill is… That number’s gonna be when you…
0:32:55.7 Kurt Baker: No, it’s always a big surprise. It’s always a big surprise.
0:33:00.6 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, [laughter]
0:33:00.6 Kurt Baker: Oh, that’s how much we spent last month. Okay.
0:33:02.0 Michael Wakatama: Well, yeah. And it’s after the fact, so, because you have an app that can show you production, it’s tremendous because now you could actually take more control over it. I look at it like online banking. At one point in time, okay, you could only go like to an ATM to go get your balance or you had a checkbook where you had to do the physical math. Now, I can go on an app. I can see in those roundup sense or whatever, I can see where everything is in real time. That is what the app’s gonna show you in real time.
0:33:37.8 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:33:38.2 Michael Wakatama: Consumption. Yeah.
0:33:39.3 Kurt Baker: Okay, well, that’s awesome. So you get to know exactly where you’re… What’s going on. Right? Okay.
0:33:43.6 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. Even… So now at that point, maybe you’re realizing, “Oh wow, I’m leaving this many lights on or what are the other things that drain power slowly or cable box and some other things, but if you really want turn them on off is your decision. But at least now you can sort of play around with it and say, “Okay, maybe I can do this here and do this here,” and I can… Pennies create nickels. Nickels create dimes. Dimes turns into dollars.
0:34:09.7 Kurt Baker: It definitely heads up.
0:34:10.7 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, so… Yeah, there is that as well.
0:34:14.6 Kurt Baker: All right. So now they put the meter in. Then what happens after that?
0:34:17.4 Michael Wakatama: So the meter… Once the meter is put on… Yeah. And that is basically what we call PTO, permission to operate, and so the electric company… They come in just to make sure that all the conduits have been run correctly, and that there’s no safety hazards. Any pipe sticking out in the wrong way or whatever. But that doesn’t happen, and yeah, once you have the PTO, permission to operate, they switch the meter. You are now solar, your system is now active.
0:34:45.5 Kurt Baker: Okay. Well, that’s awesome. I guess one of the things, and I don’t know if this is still the case, ’cause you’re doing this inspection ahead of time, what happens if like five, seven years from now, all of a sudden something happens to my roof, I got a leak in it. How does that… How is that… How do I manage that? ‘Cause that’s the thing that used to come up all the time. I remember when solar first came out, in fact, there were some instances where peoples that they put the solar panels on, then like two weeks later it started leaking. I know that’s probably not happening anymore ’cause you do an inspection, but things do happen. Things break, so how is that managed? ‘Cause now I have to work around that somehow. ‘Cause, I have panels up there now.
0:35:17.2 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. So if that’s the case, the panels can be easily removed to address the leak. I will say this much, having been in this industry for a while, the companies that were doing shoddy work where there was roof intrusions and so forth, they’re not around anymore.
0:35:39.0 Kurt Baker: Okay, that’s good to hear.
0:35:40.2 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. And so that’s also part of the reason why you have the site survey. So because we need to go into the attic to see what the condition is, also gauge and with the tiles and so forth. And anytime there’s a drill that goes into the roof, there is a polymer that goes right behind it so that they’re airtight. They’re watertight, and really if you’re going to have a roof leak, you’ll know within the first year and the roof leaks are covered for 10 years.
0:36:08.8 Kurt Baker: Oh, okay. All right. So that’s… I knew that had gone away, but I wanted you to explain how that did? I knew years ago was an issue, but I have not heard anybody in like a decade talk about leaks in roofs. Haven’t heard it come up anymore.
0:36:20.3 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, there was a lot of characters running around and installing solar, and so they’re just like slap them on and walk away and… Yeah.
0:36:26.5 Kurt Baker: Now what about maintenance because, as you mentioned, it’s glass on the roof, right?
0:36:30.9 Michael Wakatama: Mm-hmm.
0:36:30.9 Kurt Baker: Well, at least in my house, glass gets dirty. So is there some kind of maintenance program to keep these things working optimally over time? Or do you… Or does it rain enough to not worry about it? I’m just curious about like, what do you do from a maintenance perspective?
0:36:43.6 Michael Wakatama: So there are companies that are out there that can clean panels, I think here… Here’s the story. So if you’re in a heavily treed area where there’s a lot of pollen, it’s gonna eventually wash itself off and do the cycles of seasons, hot, cold. It almost kind of rinses it through, generically. However, I’ll say this much, I would again take it on a case by case basis. Because, let’s say we install panels today, in a year from today, your particular home for whatever reason has more something dirty or something that’s impeding the production. And keep in mind, this app is gonna monitor your production. So if there’s something going on that’s impeding it, whether it be a tree, a cloud, over time we’ll know before you do.
0:37:35.0 Kurt Baker: Okay. So you’re monitoring it to make sure.
0:37:36.8 Michael Wakatama: Yes.
0:37:37.3 Kurt Baker: So you know what’s going on. You can take proactive action, right?
0:37:39.7 Michael Wakatama: Yes. Yes.
0:37:39.7 Kurt Baker: All right. Well, that’s excellent there, Michael, you’re listening to Master Your Finances and we will be right back.
0:37:45.4 ANNOUNCER: This is Master Finances with Kurt Baker, certified financial planner professional, learn about tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money and more from Kurt and his experienced panel of guests. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider University offers flexible education for adult learners. For more information, it’s
0:38:19.9 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m here with Michael Wakatama. And we’re talking about solar panels. And I guess right now we just finished installing it and now we’re… We have PTO or permission to operate, which means now you got that bidirectional meter working and I’m getting my credits and it sounds like things have come a long way. I know some of the issues that I remember early on is like, potential roof leaks and things like that. It sounds to me like pretty much all that’s been resolved through a 10 year warranty and checking the roof out ahead of time and getting “Your free roof”, which just basically means you’re financing a new roof as part of the whole process, which is fine. If you need a new roof anyways, you need a new roof. So, that’s just the bottom line.
0:38:57.5 Kurt Baker: And so, once it’s on there, it sounds like it’s pretty much maintenance free unless there’s a case-by-case or maybe some issues, but you’re monitoring that on an ongoing basis. So, you’ll kinda know how it’s going. Other than… Which is not the case with your currently utility. Very few of us go out and actually watch our meter on a day-to-day basis. I know I do not. And so, I have to admit that. I just pay the bill at the end of the month, and that’s the end of it, but so you have a little more control about what’s actually happening, which is kind of interesting, which I think is great. And you can always integrate the power wall type thing. And they have extra added protection in case the utility itself goes down. You got at least some buffer there for a period of time.
0:39:31.2 Kurt Baker: So, that’s awesome that the business has definitely gotten better. And you can do loans now. We get all the credits, which used to be done by the leasing companies. And they would keep all the credits, so that’s how they were… That was kind of their business model. So, you got some other things you wanna talk about as far as from a non-profit standpoint. You wanna explain a little bit how that works?
0:39:47.1 Michael Wakatama: Sure.
0:39:48.4 Kurt Baker: And how it might benefit nonprofits?
0:39:50.1 Michael Wakatama: Absolutely. So, I’ve done some work in the non-profit space for the last, the past couple of years. And I’m highly passionate about being in that space because I’m fortunate in that I grew up pretty well, but then, as I became more responsible for my own stuff, then I realized how life really looks like. Sucks being an adult. I wanna be a kid again, but be that as it may, I’m a single parent of a now 17 year old. His birthday was yesterday.
0:40:23.9 Kurt Baker: Ah happy birthday.
0:40:25.0 Michael Wakatama: Oh, yeah, nice, I gave him the keys to the car. He got his license yesterday, so now…
0:40:29.0 Kurt Baker: Oh, good luck. [chuckle]
0:40:29.5 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, thanks.
0:40:30.1 Michael Wakatama: He’s a good kid.
0:40:32.5 Kurt Baker: Okay. Good.
0:40:35.3 Michael Wakatama: But I really gravitate towards non-profits that are geared around kids, whether it would be kids playing sports, or whether it would be for kids that have food insecurity, for kids to grow and have certain different learning capacities, improvements in their learning or assistance, if you will. So what I’ve created is my own little company called Project Sundraising. And it’s Project Sun-d-raising. So, instead of fundraising, it’s sund-raising.
0:41:15.3 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:41:16.0 Michael Wakatama: And with that, I am looking… I will be… As I do campaigns in different parts of the state, I will, for example, let’s say I’m from Mercer County, I’m going to select certain nonprofits in Mercer County that I’d like to give part of my earnings from the solar back to that nonprofit. It’s important to me also because having worked in the nonprofit space, we have multi-million and billion dollar corporations… Nonprofits, sorry, that get really big donors, but some of the small ones are really struggling. And a lot of them fell off the grid, and shouldn’t have the grid. Ha ha.
0:41:57.6 Kurt Baker: There you go.
0:41:58.4 Michael Wakatama: I know. Fell off the grid during the pandemic. And I have a soft spot for that. Even if it’s the local little league team, or organization that needs to get helmets or for the girls, they need sports bras. There is a variety of different needs that are out there. And I can’t save the world, but I can certainly do a little bit. I’m in a good position to give a little bit at a time to local organizations.
0:42:27.7 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:42:28.3 Michael Wakatama: So, with Project Sundraising, so we’re not a non-profit. I didn’t register as a 501c3, but it is my… I own the website. I own the trademark, the patent, the way, and so forth and so on. And I’m really just happy and excited that not only can I help a homeowner, but I can put money back into that homeowner’s community or vicinity.
0:43:03.0 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:43:03.6 Michael Wakatama: So it’s almost like an indirect give by them, if you will. I am also looking at an organization that I won’t mention it yet ’cause it’s not fully done, but the organization in Australia, they manufacture these little solar lamps.
0:43:24.0 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:43:25.1 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, and it’s on a little cube, it’s like a three by three cube, plastic. It has a mini solar panel on one side. And it has LED lights on the other side. And these are being used or distributed to people overseas in highly energy deficient areas. So, African villages, folks in India, folks in Australia. That for some people, just having power or light is a premium.
0:43:58.8 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:44:00.2 Michael Wakatama: So the other part of the Sundraising will also be that I would like to engage… I plan to engage children that are from income-constrained communities and let them… So I’m gonna order the kits and actually do days where they can make the kits.
0:44:18.0 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:44:18.6 Michael Wakatama: And think about the power of not only giving them an education on solar energy, and they’re getting it real time and handling this, a child in that scenario may never… Would never think that they can help somebody else, but not knowing that that’s somebody else in another country looks at them and thinks they’re living great.
0:44:36.8 Kurt Baker: Right. It’s true.
0:44:38.1 Michael Wakatama: It’s true.
0:44:38.2 Kurt Baker: Yeah, that’s true.
0:44:41.7 Michael Wakatama: And so, what is the power in that in terms of children here that are in underserved communities or whatever the challenges is that they actually have a power to help somebody else? Nobody ever… They’re probably always looking at things who can help me, but now, they can help people around the world.
0:45:00.0 Kurt Baker: Nothing better than helping somebody else man.
0:45:00.8 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:45:01.2 Kurt Baker: Nothing better than helping others.
0:45:03.1 Michael Wakatama: And I think it just starts a conversation that has to happen. The children that are… Like I said, my son had his birthday yesterday. He’s 17. He’s always known about recycling. He’s always known because he grew up in a culture of saying, “Okay, the Earth matters to me.”
0:45:18.0 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:45:18.2 Michael Wakatama: And it does matter to him in a big way. Us the grown ups, we’re still fighting over it, but what’s real and what’s not, but I think it’s important for these, for kids to understand what solar energy and just energy in general.
0:45:35.2 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:45:35.3 Michael Wakatama: Where it’s going. Look at even EV manufacturers, a lot of them will say, oh, we’re going totally EV by this date, by this date. So, fast forward five, six years when my son graduates from college, that might be the only means for him to get a reliable, economical car. I can give him that knowledge. I can give his peers that knowledge, or even the kids that are younger than him, I can give them that knowledge. So yeah, that’s my little stake in the nonprofit world.
0:46:04.8 Kurt Baker: Well, that’s awesome. So basically when somebody purchases the solar system, then part of that revenue stream comes back into the community, it sounds like, right?
0:46:12.3 Michael Wakatama: Yes.
0:46:12.6 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:46:13.0 Michael Wakatama: Yeah. And that’s me personally. That’s… So I’m using, I’m putting it into my organization that I own, project Sundraising.
0:46:19.6 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:46:19.9 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:46:20.2 Kurt Baker: Well, that’s awesome that you’ve given back like that, that’s just fantastic.
0:46:24.8 Michael Wakatama: Couldn’t have it any other way. [laughter] And I would like to say that, when I launched the campaign in Mercer, I’d love to be able to contribute to yours to Attitudes in Reverse, so.
0:46:35.2 Kurt Baker: Oh, wow. We obviously appreciate that. [laughter]
0:46:37.1 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, no, no, no, like I said, I’m…
0:46:39.4 Kurt Baker: I didn’t ask him that by the way out there.
0:46:40.4 Michael Wakatama: No, no.
0:46:40.8 Kurt Baker: There was no… I didn’t say anything.
0:46:42.0 Michael Wakatama: No. No. There was no… I made the decision yesterday and actually you will get it but, yeah, yeah. The bandwidth of what kids have to navigate in today’s world. I often say to myself, raising my son, wow, there’s some questions I don’t have answers to.
0:47:02.7 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:47:03.3 Michael Wakatama: Because I don’t even have that level of experience. It was 70s, 80s where it was generally a mild time at that point. But the last eight to 10 years, it’s like, I’m having to explain things that when he’s five years old that I didn’t think you need to know he was 10 years old and so forth.
0:47:24.6 Kurt Baker: Yeah. There’s definitely a lot more exposure to younger and younger kids. Things that we as adults never really had to experience that. And that additional information flow, let’s just call it, is something they’re not really equipped to manage quite yet.
0:47:39.3 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:47:39.4 Kurt Baker: And so you have to really help as an adult, help them to process this stuff in a constructive way as best we can. ‘Cause the information’s there and it’s flowing. We’re in the information age, so to speak. It’s hard to “turn it off.”
0:47:52.5 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:47:52.7 Kurt Baker: But you can either slow it down and then help them to process whatever is coming through until of such time they’re a little bit more mature and ready to kind of handle and make their own decisions about how they feel about things. But it’s kind of nice to help them with that process.
0:48:08.8 Michael Wakatama: Yeah, and that’s why I circle back to wanting to focus on children because… And especially through Project Sundraising because every child, no matter what they do, where they go, this or the other, they’re gonna have to turn on a light switch somewhere.
0:48:22.5 Kurt Baker: That is true.
0:48:23.2 Michael Wakatama: Yeah.
0:48:24.0 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:48:24.7 Michael Wakatama: You may live in a mansion, you may live in a shack, you have to turn the… You still have to turn the lights on.
0:48:27.9 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:48:30.5 Michael Wakatama: And I want to be able to give everybody, of obviously the adults who own, who are homeowners down to the children, that they are gonna be the future of cars and everything else.
0:48:43.4 Kurt Baker: Yeah.
0:48:43.5 Michael Wakatama: There’s a whole lot of information there. And my goal more than bigger, bigger than just selling solar systems, is really to provide education. If somebody says, I love what the information you gave me, Michael, but I’m not interested, I’m fine with that.
0:48:58.4 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:48:58.9 Michael Wakatama: I don’t push a pen over the edge and say, I don’t… I call it the Luca Brasi close.
0:49:06.1 Kurt Baker: Okay. [laughter]
0:49:06.6 Michael Wakatama: But I have nothing like that. I really think that I want individuals to understand how it works. But I also share that, hey, this is… I also share that I’m working with X amount of nonprofits and I think that separates me from a lot of folks because at the end of the day, we’re happy to do business with people here and there, but do you give back? Do you… Are you engaged in community? And I really, really believe in that. So I’m personally investing into it.
0:49:36.4 Kurt Baker: Well, we definitely appreciate any final words. We’re about to run outta time, but Michael, we appreciate having you on. You want to add anything else?
0:49:41.8 Michael Wakatama: No.
0:49:42.1 Kurt Baker: As we’re wrapping up here today?
0:49:42.9 Michael Wakatama: Not really. Kurt, thank you so much. And I’ve been talking this for about this for a while.
0:49:46.8 Kurt Baker: Yeah.
0:49:48.3 Michael Wakatama: And what’s odd is that you’re like, wait, you’re in this business, you’re in that business. Most people… I say I have a portfolio career.
0:49:56.8 Kurt Baker: Right. Okay.
0:49:58.5 Michael Wakatama: But I’m excited about what I’m working on and within the Princeton area, the state of New Jersey, I can service clients from all over. But, if you wanna find me, you can look for
0:50:12.3 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:50:12.7 Michael Wakatama: I’m gonna turn on the site on Sunday when this… Or whenever this airs, so yeah.
0:50:18.5 Kurt Baker: Awesome, Michael. All right. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. We appreciate you tuning in. Have a wonderful day.
0:50:23.6 ANNOUNCER: That was this week’s episode of Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, certified Financial Planner Professional. Tune in every Sunday at 9:00 AM to expand your knowledge in building and managing your wealth. Missed an episode? No worries. You can subscribe to a free weekly episode of Master Your Finances to listen to on your favorite podcasting platform. Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, whatever. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider offers continuing studies programs for adults who need flexibility. Want to add new skills to your resume? Take a continuing studies course at Rider University.

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