Rich With NFTS? An Interview With Millionaire Mike Hager
In debt at 27, already a millionaire by his mid-30s. Mike Hager became well-known through his fictional character “Studiotechnician Nullinger” at the radio station Antenne Bayern. The Bavarian comedian, who is now also the best-selling author of three finance books, managed to build up a 7-digit NFT portfolio within 6 months.
To celebrate his new book “Rich with NFTs”, Unchained. The Blockpit Magazine sat down with Mike Hager to learn more about his NFT investment strategies. In a personal interview, he reveals how he got ten Bored Apes, what you have to do to be successful with NFTs and why the right “Money Mindset” is so important.
Before we get into the exciting topic of NFTs: at 27 you had €35,000 of debt, today you are a millionaire. How did that happen?
The debt came about in two ways. One was that I became self-employed and put money aside for taxes. Then my tax advisor said, “Mr. Hager, now the tax is due.” I said, “Great, I’ve put that aside.” Then, he says yes, and the same amount again as an advance payment for next year. I didn’t have that yet.
The other reason was that I had invested in a penny stock at the time, a stock that only costs a few cents, and it went up quite a bit.
From that point on, I decided for myself, okay, this must never happen again. I have dealt a lot with the topic of money and investments.
I also asked a lot of rich people how they did it, how it works and how I can do it too. I implemented a lot of their advice and actually worked a lot with the mindset, with the inner attitude.
For myself at that time, when I didn’t have any money, I always said to anyone who didn’t want to hear it, “I’ll be a millionaire by 40 at the latest.” And everyone said, “Yes, and how?”.
I didn’t know how either. But I was actually able to learn a lot from books and from really successful mentors. I actually managed it when I was 35.
I then happily continued and, fast-forward to now, I have also helped many other people to build wealth by passing on my knowledge to them.
Who gave you the best advice and what was it?
Understanding how real estate works and that real estate is more or less the only relatively safe way for a private individual in Germany to make an decent investment was very life-changing for my financial development. It is practical to buy a larger asset with little money, which will then be profitable for you.
A classic example: €10,000 equity, €90,000 from the bank. Buy a €100,000 property that generates a rental yield.
This basic principle has already made very, very many people very wealthy and still works very well today. Save up a bit of capital and borrow the rest from the bank. Buy a property with it. That was one of the most important things. And from my point of view, it is one of the most important things, along with a few others, to build wealth.
That isn’t very unusual?
Building wealth is actually quite ordinary and quite boring. It involves three levers: increase income, reduce expenses and make investments. If you operate these three levers very rigidly, and above all for a very long time, i.e. not for 6 months or a year, but rather for 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 years, then you will become wealthy.
This isn’t magic. Many, many people have done this before us. It’s just a bit stuffy and boring. Sure, these days you throw in a bit of NFTs of course, throw in some cryptocurrencies, DeFi of course, decentralized finance services… There are a lot, lots of interesting areas where you can pull any of the three levers: increase income, spend reduce, invest wisely. But the basic principle, these three levers, is always the same and is very common indeed.
You mentioned a few words now: Crypto, DeFi, NFTs. What are NFTs exactly?
NFTs are non-fungible tokens, non-fungible certificates of ownership that reside on the blockchain. Fungible is something that is interchangeable. You can exchange €100 for another €100. Unique items are not fungible. You can’t swap your husband for another husband just like that, although some do, they are still unique. You cannot swap one family home for another, they are unique.
NFTs are unique objects on the blockchain, certificates of ownership, usually for the digital goods. These can be sound files, videos, images, files of all kinds that you own with this NFT.
Let’s talk about your portfolio. You built a 7-digit NFT portfolio within 6 months. You own Bored Apes and Cryptopunks. How did you choose these NFTs? Why monkeys and not parrots or something?
Basically, investing always comes down to a few basic things. You should first understand what you are investing in.
I actually bought something “blindly” at first, those were my first 2 Cryptopunks. But then I went and immersed myself very deeply in the NFT world and I certainly did more than 3000 hours of research, which is still ongoing today, in order to acquire not only basic but very deep knowledge.
Investment rule number one: acquire knowledge in the area you want to invest in so that you only invest in what you really understand. It’s always like that.
Then of course there is another rule. That’s the asymmetric risk for me: What is the worst-case scenario that can happen if I invest €160 or €1000? Then I can lose €160 or €1000, that’s it. That’s the highest possible risk I’m taking.
If I mint a Bored Ape, what is the risk? When I minted the ten Bored Aps for 0.08 Ether each (€180), that was €1800 at the time. So the risk was to lose this €1800. Now, of course, I had already seen that with NFTs, the value quickly multiples by a factor of 2,3,5,10,100 or 1000 X. I have a very low downside and a very high upside.
Then there is a rule that has a lot to do with my gut feeling. Do I have a good gut feeling about this investment?
When I bought property in the past, I would go in, look at the property and, first and foremost, always listen to my very first gut feeling. I looked at properties that had great numbers, great returns, great locations, great everything, and I still didn’t buy them because my gut said something wasn’t right. And then with this gut decision, do I like this NFT, do I like this NFT so much that if it is “worthless” at some point, it still has value for me because I just like it? And so it was with the Bored Apes.
You got into NFTs quite early. You were one of the first in your circle of friends. Even your bitcoin friends weren’t into NFTs in the beginning. Has it now become more difficult to become successful with NFTs? Is it too late to get in now?
Basically, it’s not too late to get in at all. It is definitely very important and still early enough to get involved to even deal with this technology. I think this technology will enter our lives as much as the internet did. So getting acquainted with the technology and getting started is extremely important, I think.
In addition, I also think it makes sense to learn about investment because there are simply very, very good investment opportunities. And you can make good money with them.
Can anyone get rich with NFTs?
I really think anyone can get rich. Of course, it is also important that everyone defines for themselves what wealth means for them. As for how to get rich, there are a couple of very important things, above all a lot of inner attitude. And if everyone can get rich, how is up to you. You can get rich with real estate. You can get rich with a job. You can get rich as an artist. You can get rich as a trader. Of course, you can also get rich with NFTs.
Listen to the full podcast here and learn more about Mike and his journey to success.
Want to learn more about Mike and his NFT investment strategies? His book “Rich with NFTs” (currently available in German language) is a helpful guide for anyone who wants to start with NFTs and even for more advanced people. “Rich with NFTs” is available on Amazon , Thalia , and pretty much everywhere.
In his Future of Finance mentoring , Mike shares his knowledge to show as many people as possible that they too can become wealthy.