Dave Schalow

PhD, CLU, ChFC, CFA, CFP

I am passionate about helping people achieve financial success.  I have spent my entire University teaching career helping college students gain the necessary skills to achieve their goals and dreams.

In addition, my company Schalow Success Systems LLC tries to provide the same type of information for those who are not in college but still pursuing their goals.

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Malcolm Gladwell in his excellent book, “Outliers”, says that to master anything requires 10,000 hours of practice.  Well, I have substantially more than 10,000 hours teaching and training people how to understand difficult concepts that will help them Make More Money and become More Successful.

Who am I, and Why can I help you?

Short Version

  • PhD in Finance (University of Arkansas)
  • MBA in Risk Management (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • BBA in Marketing & Finance (UW-Madison)
  • Professor of Business (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point) – Current
  • Professor Emeritus in Finance (California State University-San Bernardino)
  • Have also taught full time at:
    • University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (First Teaching Job after PhD)
    • St. Cloud State University (Went here so my wife could complete her MS degree in Accounting)
    • Pittsburg State University (Visiting Professor here while my wife completed her PhD in Accounting)
  • Lots of Professional Designations
    • Chartered Financial Consultant (CFA)
    • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
    • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
    • Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
    • Former Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
    • Graduate Real Estate Institute (GRI)
  • Licenses & Sales Experience
    • Life & Health Insurance
    • Property & Casualty Insurance
    • Security Licenses
    • Mortgages
    • Real Estate Sales/Broker
  • Business Owner
    • Real Estate Investment Company (First Love)
    • Real Estate Brokerage (Saw how much money I was leaving on the table by not getting a commission)
    • Mortgage Company (Saw how much money I was leaving on the table by not doing the loans)
    • Seminar Company (Started teaching others to do the same thing I was doing)
    • Internet Based Marketing Company (What is better than getting paid without ever leaving home.
  • Published Author
    • “California Real Estate Principles,” Textbook used throughout CA at Universities or to get Real Estate License.
      • From 1999 to 2003 if you wanted a license in CA, you had a pretty good chance of using my book
    • Numerous “Boring” Academic Articles
  • Personal
    • Wife-Chris (PhD in Accounting, CPA, and Retired Professor of Accounting)
    • Two Adult Daughters
    • Seven Grand Children
    • 4 Dogs/12 Cats/17 Horses (Used to be worse.  We had more than 50 at one point.)
    • Black Belt in GoJu Ryu Karate
    • Basketball/Chess/Hunting/Fishing

Long Version

I grew up in Central Wisconsin.  The house I now live in was one of my vacation homes when I lived in CA.  My parents were farmers  in Central WI.  Unfortunately, shortly after I was born my Dad developed Multiple Sclerosis. (MS).  It hit really hard and he was 100% paralyzed.  I never saw him walk, and he could barely talk.  You basically had to be able to read lips to communicate.

As a result, we had to move off the farm to town, and my Mother had to stay home to take care of my Dad full-time while raising me and my two older brothers. I have thought of this a lot over the years if ever tempted to feel I was going through something difficult.  Imagine what they dealt with!

With that backdrop, notice that I didn’t mention our income.  Neither one really could work because of the MS and neither my Mom or Dad  even graduated from high school.  Neither were eligible for Social Security, so the only income the family had was from my Dad’s small veterans disability pension.

I heard a lot of, “No, We can’t afford it” as a kid.”  I still remember my first bike came from the City Dump.  I really hated being poor.  It had a big effect on me, but I didn’t really know anyone who had money other than from watching people on TV.

Over the years, people have asked me how I got from there to where I am today.  For most people, that would probably be a hard questions.  But, for me it has always been easy.

Earl Nightingale and “Our Changing World”

In elementary school I remember riding to school with a neighbor, Mr. Worden.  On the way he listened to a radio program which was on every day for 5 minutes.  It  was Earl Nightingale who actually was the first person to ever have a Gold Record with a spoken word album, “The Strangest Secret.”

I’ll even give away the secret.  Six Words:

You Become What You Think About

All of his messages were in one way or another related to this theme.  You determined what happened to you.  Not your circumstances.  You could do anything.  No matter where you came from.  No matter what your background.  It wasn’t about who you knew.  It wasn’t about who your parents were.

It Was All in Your Own Control

He talked about goals, attitude, and the proper mindset.  If I just focused on what I wanted instead of what I didn’t want, I could accomplish anything.  From that point on I never doubted that I would go to college (even though I knew no one at that point who ever had) and I would be professionally successful and RICH someday so I would never have to say that,

No, we can’t afford it!

In high school I worked at a grocery store about 30 hours per week.  By the time I was a senior I was the night manager of the store closing up at midnight, putting the money in the safe, and locking the store.  I moved up rapidly because of things I learned from Earl.  The most important one about job success was to always be willing to do what no one else wanted to do.

Successful People Do What Unsuccessful People Won’t

This concept has always served me well.

The other big takeaway was that to have career success you should:

Always Do More than You are Being Paid For...

Then, off to college which I paid for entirely by working my way through school.  I never took out any student loans as an undergrad.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get off to a great start in college.  I had a 1.6 GPA my freshman year.  Everybody always assumes just because you have a PhD you must always have been a star at school.

I wasn’t very motivated toward school.  I was more interested in Beer, Basketball, and Girls than studying boring topics that weren’t directly going to make me any money.  Late in my freshman year I met my wife, Chris (40+ Years and Counting).  She talked me into staying in school even as I was thinking of dropping out to pursue a full-time opportunity in the grocery business.  We were married, and I straightened out my grades and ended up with an amazing 2.74 GPA for my entire undergrad career.  You never fully recover from a 1.6 gpa during your freshman year.

Needless to say, most employers weren’t all that excited, except for one thing.  Right after getting married, I quit my minimum wage job at the grocery story to get into straight commission sales.  I really hated the hourly thing and having to ask a boss for a 25 cent raise, or waiting 6 months until I was eligible for another raise.

I wanted to be paid what I was worth!

I was never afraid of it.  I don’t know why.  Most people are.  It must have been Earl in my subconscious mind.  I discovered, after a slow start that I was good at it.  I didn’t quit, no matter how bad I was in the beginning.  I didn’t make my first sale until more than three months.  I almost quit many times.  Got NO appointments in my first 100 phone calls.

We lived on the tips from my wife’s waitress job.  She would come home from work and dump her tips (mostly quarters) on the table and we would use these to go out and by groceries or pay the rent on our furnished apartment.  But then I finally got my first commission, $700 on the sale of an insurance policy.  This was big money back in 1974.  I think our monthly rent was about $150.

I discovered that although my GPA wasn’t impressive I had built up a track record in sales and a work ethic that let me write my own ticket for any sales oriented position.  On graduation I took a sales position with Sentry Insurance.

My plan was to get my MBA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while working full-time at Sentry, spend two years in sales, then move into management and ultimately conquer the world.

At the time, I was the youngest sales rep that Sentry had ever hired.  They did not have a policy of hiring sales reps right from college at the time.  But because of my track record they made an exception.

First problem.  Academia places a high value on GPA and prior success in school.  UW-Madison was not impressed!

They Turned Me Down for Grad School

Being unwilling to quit on my plan, I immediately reapplied.

They turned me down again!

Normal people take the hint.  Well, I never intended to grow up to be "normal."

One of the top graduate programs in the country was basically telling me I did not have the ability to succeed.  I appealed a third time and this time I got an in-person appeal hearing where I could plead my case.  The sales training paid off as Earl said it would.  Even if you are not in a sales job, “You are in Sales.”

I Got In

and ended with a 3.4 GPA and my MBA.  Why did I persist.  Earl told me that Winners Don’t Quit!  Successful people believe in themselves.  I always liked the old Henry Ford quote.

“If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, either way you are right.”

Problem one handled.  Good Job!

I always wondered, how did Earl learn all this stuff?  Turned out he learned from Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegue.  You always stand on someone else's shoulders.

Problem 2, Sentry Insurance Fired Me!

As I was approaching the end of my MBA program, I applied for a management position with Sentry’s home office.  They offered me the perfect home office job effective six months in the future when I graduated.   I had told my boss my original plan and he told me No. 

He did not want me to leave the field because I was doing so well and he didn’t want to try to replace my production.  He wanted me to spend another couple of years in sales and then he would arrange for me to move into management with his blessing.  So I did what any self-respecting trainee of Earl Nightingale’s School of Success would have done.

I didn’t tell him about the MBA and did it anyway!

At my own expense, even though the company had a program that would have paid it in full.  Then I applied for the management job without telling my boss.  When he found out from the home office he went ballistic and had me fired.  Not good corporate PR to sneak around behind the bosses back.

Now I was unemployed, still in school with about 4 months till graduation when I could really line up a new job.  We had also just had our first daughter, Tracy a few months earlier and bought a new house.

The phrase, “up the creek without a paddle,” came to mind.  Well, we survived for a few months until I graduated with the help of unemployment insurance and food stamps.  

I felt really bad about taking this help at the time but have long ago come to terms with it.  The guilt left when years later I found myself paying over $100,000 per year to the IRS. The IRS has always loved me.  I have been audited over 10 times!  That is one of the Benefits?? of making a lot of money.  You make it worth their while to come after you.

My prior job performance and academic background, (MBA in hand) allowed me to get multiple job offers immediately upon graduation.  I moved into Agency Management for another insurance company.  Once again, when I was hired I was the youngest agency manager in the country.

I did a couple of years in management, but never really liked the day to day job.  Although I was “the boss” in my territory.  I still had a boss too!  As you could see from my previous experience, I had (have) some authority issues.  I also didn’t like the hours and the expectations for how to dress and all the things that go with an executive position.

I still remember the day that it hit me.  I was sitting in my office and looking at my name and title on the door.  Unless I was promoted to my bosses’ job, I was going to have the same position for nearly the next 40 years.  By now I had seen what he had to do in his job and it didn’t look appealing.  He traveled 36 weeks per year!

I Freaked Out.

After a few months of “life evaluation,” I applied to a PhD program in Arkansas.  The reason for Arkansas was that I had to come home to announce to my wife that I was going to quit my really good job and go back to school and live like a college student again.  We were going to have to sell the house, one of the cars, all the toys and move 1000 miles to an apartment.  Oh yeah, we had now just had our second daughter, Kelly a few months earlier.

What was the hook for Arkansas?  My wife’s parents lived there and I thought that would soften the blow.  Sales skills once again came in useful.  At that time, they probably didn’t like me that much.  Shortly after I had met my wife in WI, her parents moved to Arkansas and she was expected to go with them.

For Better or Worse, She Didn’t

I met her during my freshman year, and didn’t really make a great first impression on her parents.  Because of my grocery job I always worked from 4 till midnight.  So I picked her up for our first date after I closed the store at midnight.  I had long hair, parted in the middle, with a headband.  I'm sure they thought I was a real prize.

I am sure they could tell I was going to be a star some day. 🙂   40+ Years later we still joke about “the First Date.”

The PhD program was impossibly difficult but I discovered that I really did have the ability to do the work.  I ended up with a 3.9+ GPA even though the work was much more difficult than the undergrad and MBA.  Not bad for a kid who started with a 1.6 gpa.  By this time all of Earl’s training had really kicked in and I was a Goal Driven Machine.

By the time I made the decision to switch careers, I had the opportunity to decide on what I really wanted to do with my life.  Earlier I had thought it was just money.  I was wrong.  I had done well with the money from my career but did not like the lifestyle.  My perception of the professor lifestyle was what I really wanted.

  • They Made Good Money (Not Great)
  • Made a Difference Helping Students to Become Successful
  • Taught just 2 Days a Week (At the time I didn’t really know they did stuff the other days too)
  • Had 3 Months Off During the Summer
  • Month Off During Christmas Break
  • Week Off for Spring Break
  • Because of Academic Freedom, Bosses are not too much of an issue!

Sounded Good to Me

Once started on my professorial career I decided that I wanted it all.  The Big Money too!  After awhile I realized that I could invest and build a business on the side, because of the flexibility of the 2 day teaching schedule.  I discuss how I developed the business career in my FREE Financial Success Report, so I don’t want to repeat that here.

The business strategies I now teach got me to the lifestyle I always dreamed about.

  • Six or Seven Figure Annual Income (for over 25+ Years)
  • Ranch in Southern California (30 Minutes from Disneyland)
  • Three Vacation Homes (Party House in Las Vegas, Retreat in Mountains of SoCal, 40 Acres with 2 Ponds, Barn & Riding Indoor Riding Arena in WI)
  • Drove Corvette Dream Car
  • Worked Only 2 Days a Week
  • Retired originally in my early 50's

Not bad for a kid from Central WI, who got his first bike from the city dump!  Thank You, Earl Nightingale!

Then, I Had a Stroke

Blind in one eye and one arm was paralyzed.  Intensive Care for 3 Days.  Woke up the next day and was fine.  Go Figure.  It was virtually miraculous.

To illustrate something about my personality, I had the stroke while teaching a class in CA.  Eye got blurry, couldn’t move my arm.  Did I ask for help, call 911?  No, kept lecturing for an hour to finish the class.  Rode the elevator up to my office and could barely recognize others.  Told secretary to cancel afternoon classes.  Drove home by myself on SoCal highways (8 lanes on both sides of the road with everyone going 70+ mph) with one eye and one arm!!

So much for PhD’s being smart. 🙂

After recovery, I started to think about retiring at about the age of 50.  Finally, made the move back to Wisconsin where I grew up but absolutely hated retirement.  About 2 years later went back to teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point which was near my 40 acre WI home.

Unfortunately, still had more heart problems resulting in surgery.  Personality hadn’t changed much.  Still very much Type A. Taught a summer class two weeks after the surgery.  Hid it well.  Most people didn’t even know I was just out of surgery.

Finally, why do I still doing this business stuff?

After having a full recovery, and starting to feel really good again, I decided I wanted to gear up my side businesses again.  But, without all the stress.  So, I started researching the internet for online ways to do what I used to do in the Real Estate world without the travel, people problems, and stress.

I did my due diligence and waded through all the scams, and spent a lot of money trying out different programs until I found some things that I knew would work.  It really helps having the PhD in Business and 30 years experience in determining fact from fiction.

When laying in the hospital bed the night before major heart surgery, you think about a lot of different things.  I discovered I was not really afraid of dying.  I was very comfortable with my faith that is the greatest gift my parents gave me.

What really bothered me, was the loss to the world of all of my knowledge.  I know this sounds pompous, but by the time you have done everything I have done, you really do know stuff! 

A lot of stuff!

I wanted my children and grandchildren to benefit from my years of experience.  That is what the blog and all the trainings are for. The blog and trainings will be there when the grandchildren are old enough ro understand.  I want to be a resource for them on how to be successful.  That is how I am writing the blog and recording the trainings.  As if I were answering questions from my grandchildren.

If you saw the original Superman Movie, it is the “Fortress of Solitude” idea.  The big idea is that anyone willing to work very hard,  and commit to continuing education can develop the same type of lifestyle that I have had without necessarily going on endlessly to school like I did.

If this sounds good to you, and you want me to help you achieve your goals.  Purchase one of my programs, which gets you Membership in my team and will allow you to benefit from my 10,000 hours!

Welcome!