Stephen interviewed on annuities
Updated: May 1, 2019
Mark Maiewski: Today you're going to learn how to earn market-like interest on your personal and retirement accounts by using a clever and guaranteed way that will remove the risk so you never suffer losses on those accounts.
Mark Maiewski: Hi everyone and welcome to today's call. My name is Mark Maiewski and I'm a lifestyle protection specialist and tax planning consultant in Asheboro, North Carolina. One of the pressing questions I frequently receive from clients is how can I grow my long-term money without playing the market and its associated costs and risks? So are you finding it harder to save and prepare for retirement? Stock market is up and down. It's hard to earn consistent returns every year and listen, taxes are on sale now, but it's inevitable they will be going up. So I'm always searching for ways to reach the upside of the market with no risk for my clients in addition to helping them save on taxes.
Mark Maiewski: Well, the good news for you today is I'm very excited to bring to you our very special guest, Stephen Gardner. And the reason I asked Stephen to join us is due to his diligent research that he has revealed to help families and investors find safe alternatives to the stock market. Plus, I know of no one else that understands these principles of wealth better than Stephen. Currently, he is a bestselling author of six financial books. He's also an independent financial columnist for Jim Cramer's investment new site, The Street, which has 30 million monthly readers. Stephen, welcome to the call.
Stephen Gardner: Hey, thank you mark. I'm happy to be on the call today with you and your clients.
Mark Maiewski: Great. Hey Man, you've been busy. You just finished book number six. And for those of you listening, Stephen's newest book is Taming Wall Street. What a great title. So, tell us Stephen, how did you come up with the title of that book and why did you write this book?
Stephen Gardner: Oh, well, I came up with the title because these proprietary platforms that we're going to look at today earn like Wall Street. They mimic the indexes that are on Wall Street, but they can't lose. You can never slide backwards once you lock in your account value. And so it ends up being a Tamer version of Wall Street. And so taming Wall Street. I've always been a fan of the chronicles of Narnia and Aslan. When I went through some difficult times in my life a few years ago, there was this image of a lion that would give me courage. And so that ended up being the cover of the book was that lion. And you know, there's Wolf's on Wall Street and there's bull markets and there's bear markets. And so what I want to do is show people how to be a lion, take control of their finances, educate them on good sound, financial principles, you know, protect your money from losses, be careful of the fees that you're being charged without even knowing about it in most cases.
Stephen Gardner: So, my background is education. I come from a long family of educators and my passion is money. And so, before I got as busy as I am now, I used to work with about 500 families a year. And most of my clients are on the wealthier end. Over 50% of my clients are doctors of some kind. But as I worked with these families, I also worked with many families that were struggling and even these wealthy doctors and business owners they're paying high fees. They're losing money when the markets dip or even more money when they just drop out from under you without even realizing what's going on. And so, as you read the book, the title Taming Wall Street becomes very obvious. But in a nutshell, I show people how to take advantage of the gains of the market and earn like the stock market.
Stephen Gardner: The groups we work with, however, have figured out how to eliminate the losses and the groups that back them will guarantee that you won't lose your money. You won't have to give back past years growth. I mean, who cares if your money grows by 5% and 8% and 10% only to have a 20% loss that takes you back to where you were and now you're out three years, right? So you get the power of the stock market and the American economy, but we remove the losses. Okay. So again, you get a tamer version of the same powerful growth engine and you know, mark, everybody wants to capture the ups of the stock market and they want to remove the losses. And, that's what my book shows people how to do.
Stephen Gardner: So why did I write the book? You know, this was actually my favorite book to write. I'm very passionate about the two major topics that it covers and I've been involved in insurance and retirement planning since 2003. Around 2007 I was introduced to a way of saving and growing my money. That was a total paradigm shift. I mean, it really, it Kinda messed with my mind on how to save and invest and take control of your money. The strategy allowed me to legally avoid paying future taxes, which was huge. It allowed me to retain liquid access to my money in case of an emergency or an investment opportunity that came along or to help me recover the money I normally spend on major purchases like cars and other real estate investments. It's a strategy that allows you to earn interest in two places at the same time. And so the end result when people do it correctly is they end up with more money.
Stephen Gardner: It's pretty cool. So that's what the first half of the book is about. And then the second half, which is what you wanted to cover today with your clients that are on this call, it is where you can grow a larger sums of money, like an IRA or a Roth or a sep IRA or an old 401k. Maybe you've changed jobs and have some old 401k money. Or maybe you just have cash sitting at the bank earning a pitiful 1% or less. And you don't want to tie it up in a five year CD earning 2 or 3% because that doesn't even keep up with inflation, right? And so, these growth focused annuities earn like the stock market, but the insurance companies will guarantee that you won't lose your money or have your account values slide backwards after they lock in.
Stephen Gardner: And I found mark that most people would rather consistently earn 5, 6 , 7 percent without the risk of loss, then try to go for the 7 to 9% that Wall Street continues to market and Brag about, even though they're not really getting it and run the risk of losing their money. And so I think most people just don't know where to look. It's like the goldilocks principle, right? It's not too hot and it's not too cold. It's just right there in the middle. But that's what people need is that consistent growth. And so, it's these growth focused annuities that I want to shed light on and explain the advantages and disadvantages.
Mark Maiewski: Well the book is Great. I've gone through it several times, I've shared it with many clients. Now you've thrown out some pretty bold statements. So I wonder if you can elaborate on them with me. First, you said that these are guaranteed. So let's talk about that. And then you also mentioned that they can have market-like gains when the stock market is up, but not lose it to the market when it drops. And the third thing I think you mentioned was consistent earnings. So can we cover those first and then I have some common questions I receive that we can cover during the remainder of the teleconference. So what, what do you mean when you say guaranteed? Because I know that's a word Wall Street is not allowed to use.
Stephen Gardner: Yeah, not on Wall Street. In fact, there's very few, it's only the insurance world that can really use the word guarantee. And that is based on nothing to do with the FDIC your bank is going to offer. What it means is the insurance company guarantees that they will meet their financial obligations based on their ability to pay their claims. Now, the groups that we work with, they've been in business for over a hundred years and have a very good reputation for keeping their promise. And these guys are so highly regulated. I mean, their accounts are being audited every 30 days. Some of these guys, they have reputations to maintain. One of the groups I work with, they've had an A rating for 90 years in a row. And so these insurance companies are incredibly conservative. When it comes to Wall Street, they take major risks because every 90 days they have a stock call. These phone calls where they get the investors on the line.
Stephen Gardner: And, every 90 days they've got to post gains or show something big, something magical is going to happen on the horizon. Right? The insurance companies think 50 years in the future, so they don't play in the same risk pools. They don't have the same pressure that Wall Street has. But they're also not trying to hit home runs every time. They feel like if they can consistently get a base hit, they're going to drive in more wins than the person that's always swinging for the fences. And so what they mean by that, and we'll get a little bit more detailed as we talk about how to get market like returns. But, um, once your account locks in, then that becomes your new baseline. So I'll give you an example. Let's say that you have $100,000 and the account goes up by 8%.
Stephen Gardner: Well now you have $108,000. Your account would then do what's called an annual reset and it would lock in. Now they don't guarantee what you're going to earn in year two. None of us know that, right? But from now on going forward, 108,000 is the new locked in rate. That's what they now are saying. We guarantee you won't go below that amount unless you take money out to live on. And so, this is based on the claims paying ability of these A rated, hundred year old companies that have been keeping their promises during the Great Depression, during World War I, World War II, the great recession, The dot com bubble and the inflation crisis that we saw in the 80's. They kept their promises during all of this. So that's what I mean when I say the word guarantee and that once that money locks in its contractual that it won't go below that account value.
Mark Maiewski: Well, I've had clients in these programs during the great recession when the market dropped by a total of 39%, and one of them lost money. So I can speak from personal experience with my own clients.
Stephen Gardner: Yeah. Most people know this, but until it's pointed out, they don't think about it. But since the year 2000, just since the millennium the stock market has lost over 39% of Americans wealth twice. Not once, but twice! Smart. I mean, think about your baby boomer friends and clients and the seniors and the younger people that you're working with. Think how much more money they would have if they didn't lose during these times. I mean, none of us have a crystal ball. No one can tell you when the next market drop will be or how much it will be, but I can tell you what total confidence that the stock market will drop again in the future. And in fact, Jack Bogle, the founder of vanguard predicted that we will see two major drops in the next decade.
Stephen Gardner: And so people have got to protect their money from these drops that are inevitably going to happen. Warren Buffett, his company, Berkshire Hathaway, took a 28% loss on Kraft this year. And in his annual letter to investors, he told them that another major drop is coming and that losses are just part of the game. Well, I can tell you, Mark, that losses are only part of the game if you choose to allow them to be part of your game. And my clients have removed losses completely and chosen to play in the safe zone while still being able to get a good rate of return on their money.
Mark Maiewski: Well, those are some really good points. And I remember reading those articles and I was just shocked when I heard how much Buffett had lost because he's the guy that everybody looks towards. So I've been in the business for over 20 years. My clients have suffered through the loss of the 39% or more since 2000. So I know exactly what you're talking about. So let's talk about how these programs earn like the market. Now I know your book goes into greater detail and even shows some real life results, but how would this work for my clients?
Stephen Gardner: Okay. Uh, that's a good question. So how did they get market like returns but not market like losses? First I just want to remind your clients on this call that insurance companies don't think or behave like Wall Street. Okay. They look into the future differently. They have longer time horizons than Wall Street. If Wall Street doesn't perform, people leave and go to something else. They bounce around all the time. That's why I can confidently tell you that if Wall Street says you can get 8 to 12%, people are just not getting that because they are bouncing around too much. Right? So, the pressure for high gains quickly leads Wall Street to make decisions that end up in losses. Sometimes big losses. They are short sighted, they play the short game, whereas, insurance companies play the long game.
Stephen Gardner: So they have most of their money in corporate bonds and dividend paying bond. Some of it is inside of commercial real estate and a small amount is inside of the stock market. What they are good at is buying options that pay a higher amount when they do well, but don't lose if they perform poorly. So these options have a leveraged payout. If the market goes in the direction that they believe it will go with the growth focused annuities that I described in the book, the client's link their money to an index and earn based on how that index performs. But let me be clear, a client's money is never placed directly in the index. The index performance only tells the insurance company how much to credit your account when it grows. So for example, there's a growth focused annuity out there that pays 70% of whatever the S&P 500 earns for the year.
Stephen Gardner: So, your account value, if the S&P 500 went up by 12%, you would earn 8.4% and that amount of money would then be locked in never to go below that new amount. For simplicity's sake, let's say that you had 100,000. Your money just grew to $108,400. Right? So, but let's say that the following year, the stock market dropped by 12%. The person directly in the stock market just lost 12%. So now their account value is down to $98,560. So while they were bragging about getting the 12% and you only earned the 8.4%, they are now two years into it with less than what they had at the beginning. And you're still sitting at $108,400. Pretty neat, right?
Mark Maiewski: Yeah. We're not losing money. Yeah. When the market tanks is incredible.
Stephen Gardner: Oh yeah, yeah, absolutely. And so, yeah, there, there could be years where being directly in the stock market could be to your advantage. And most years the market is going to grow and you're going to be able to take advantage of that. But when it drops, it's just so devastating. So that's what this really is protecting against. You're basically counting on the fact that there's going to be losses and you're protecting in advance, right? When the market goes up, everybody wishes they were in the market. I'm telling you from talking to 500 families a year, everybody wishes they were in the market, right? It's a fear of missing out. But when the stock market drops, everyone wishes that they were as far away from the market as they could be. And this program allows clients to take advantage of that upside growth and eliminate the downside risk.
Stephen Gardner: Now here's something to really think about. I want your clients to pay close attention to this. In the past 40 years, there have been three major drops. I'm not talking about small drops, like 10 to 15%, even though I know those are big, there have been too many of those to mention. I just want to focus on the three major drops, right? So in the mid eighties, the market dropped 22% in a single day. People can Google black Monday. Uh, imagine losing nearly a quarter of all your money tomorrow. In the mid nineties, there was the savings and loan crisis and the market dropped like a rock. Around 2000, there was the Dot Com bubble when the market dropped three years in a row. Three years of double digit losses back to back. And then, uh, oh actually I guess there were four major drops. Right? Cause everybody listening in on this teleconference right now, certainly lived through the Great Recession when the stock market dropped by 39%. Right. So, if you look back over time, that's four major drops. Right? I don't know how old most people listening to this call are, but if you will be alive in retirement for the next 20 to 30 years, my question is, how do you plan to survive?
Stephen Gardner: Can, can your portfolio handle market drops like these?
Stephen Gardner: Would market drops like this damage or completely ruin your retirement? I mean, how many people do you know that thought they were rich in 2007 and getting ready to retire and now they're still working because of the devastation? So it's one thing to endure the ups and downs of Wall Street when you're younger and while you're still working. It's an entirely different landscape when you are 55, 65, 75. Drops in your later years can ruin your retirement, significantly lower your income that you count on or make you dependent on your adult children to take care of you. And Mark, I'm sure in the last five or more years, you've met hundreds of people that had to delay their retirement because of 2008 or had to continue to work with no retirement date in site or worse, they were in retirement and had to go back to work. I'm sure that you've come across people like that.
Mark Maiewski: Yeah. And I believe it's the biggest fear for those who are getting close to retirement or in that phase of life. I mean, trying to time the market is never a good strategy either.
Stephen Gardner: Yeah. I mean, survey after survey shows that the number one fear among baby boomers and seniors is not death. It's running out of money. Because you hit a certain age where it's very hard to be hired. You certainly wouldn't make enough to take care of yourself. You get one shot at retirement, so you just have to do it right. So, you know, these losses can be prevented, but only by getting your money away from direct participation in Wall Street.
Stephen Gardner: If people want to guarantee that they will have money and income during retirement then they need to work with programs that have guarantees. If they want to speculate want to speculate on Wall Street, then they're just going to have to take responsibility for the consequences that come with Wall Street; the major drops. So again, if you want to guarantee you're going to have money and income, then you've got to have your money inside of programs with guarantees.
Stephen Gardner: And I've seen it way too many times, but it also leads me to, it's the main reason behind my desire to educate clients on this way of protecting and growing their money so that they understand fully how to do it and why to do it.
Stephen Gardner: Yeah. I mean, I'm on the same mission. My book will show people a few other ways to protect and grow their money in programs with a time commitment as short as five years and as long as nine years. The book will show you actual earnings and when you do the math, you can see how during bad times of the economy and good times these programs have earned between five to 8% depending on the year. You know I often think at what rate of return am I willing to risk my money and at what difference of return am I willing to risk my money?
Mark Maiewski: Well, that's, that's an interesting question. So what do you mean exactly by that?
Stephen Gardner: Okay. So, what I mean is if you could earn an average of 6% with no risk, what difference of a higher return am I willing to risk my money? So for example, Wall Street is constantly beating their marketing drum saying 8% returns, right? Yet an unbiased research firm like Dalbar shows that the average investor in mutual funds actually earns closer to 3.5% because of fees and losses and bouncing around. They don't get these returns. So is it worth leaving the realm of safety earning 5 to 6% to enter the realm of risky for the extra 1 to 2%? I mean it's an extra 1 to 2% "maybe" versus a locked in consistent return. Right? So is it worth exposing yourself and your retirement account to these losses? And I think everyone should ask themselves this question, especially as they get into retirement. Is it worth the excitement of a little higher return and the stress of potential market loss for that little of an increase; a potential increase?
Mark Maiewski: Right. Well, and that's a really great thought exercise. It would be one thing if it were 6% safe versus 12% or 16% with risk, but when you're talking about a few percentage points in gain with the potential for double digit losses, I mean it really begs the question on whether it's worth the risk. So before we wrap this up, let's cover a few common myths about annuities so people have correct information and then we'll go ahead and wrap up the call. Okay?
Stephen Gardner: Okay. One that I hear is, annuities are expensive and have too many fees. This is true if you're dealing with what's called a variable annuity, which invest your money in mutual funds. The contracts that we use, they have no upfront commission that's eating into your money and they don't have an annual fee. So 100% of your money from day one starts going to work for you. In some cases there's even an occasional bonus. It just depends on the program, right? So the fees are not an issue. If there are fees, let's say someone wanted to throw on an income rider, that has to be disclosed upfront and it's all put in writing, but the growth focused annuities I'm talking about, there are no annual fees. There is no commission that eats into the money and there is no tax that eats in when you're doing an apples to apples transfer.
Mark Maiewski: I was gonna say me just give you a quick story about that cause I had a client that owned a variable annuity. It had shown significant growth for like three years according to the "returns". But when we examined this a little bit closer, we discovered that she was paying 1.7% for an insurance expense that would never end and would continue as the account grew. And that was on top of the other 0.83% in administrative expenses that were also occurring. So then on top of that, you reviewed the turnover ratio, which shows that because these are in mutual funds, it was determined that the eight funds that they were using, it turned over 109.88% each year. So every time something gets turned over, there's another expense. And where do you think that expense is coming out of? It was coming out of the the mutual fund company or is it coming out of the client's money?
Stephen Gardner: Yeah. Everything is always taken out of the clients back end.
Mark Maiewski: Exactly! This is just why we want people to understand what fees are being charged within this type of annuity. But what we're talking about your growth, annuities, it doesn't have any of these kinds of fees.
Stephen Gardner: Yeah. The growth focused annuities that I'm talking about don't have any fees unless you add on a rider. I don't do that. I know that there are people that add that, but again, it must be disclosed and it's typically less than 1%, but again, the programs I'm talking about, they operate on a spread, not on an annual fee.
Stephen Gardner: Okay. So, another one that I hear is my money will be tied up. I won't have liquidity. Almost every one of these growth focused annuities that we're talking about allow you access to 10% of your money. I mean, you can take more than that, but there is a small penalty for doing that simply because they've taken your money and put it to work. And if they have to sell or back out of a contract early, they do take a financial hit on that. And so they do pass that on. But everybody that I have helped get into these programs understand - I'm in this for five years, I'm in this for seven years, I'm in this for nine years. They're not looking to go away. And if your money is protected and it's going to grow, you don't want to walk away anyway. Right. So, you do have access to your money.
Stephen Gardner: The biggest one that I hear, that I just absolutely have to clear this up, is when I die, with my annuity, the insurance company keeps all of my money. This only occurs when you outlive all the money you initially invested and the gains earned, right? So you would have to burn through all of your money. Now, if someone turns on a stream of income from that, they still have to pay you, even if you've run out of money.
Stephen Gardner: But the only way that they're keeping the money is if you've already spent all of the money. So what I mean is, let's say that somebody puts in $1 million, right? And they die a week later. Their family gets the full million dollars, or let's say that, they put in $100,000 and five years from now it's grown to 135,000 and they die. Their family gets the $135,000. So it's an absolute myth. They don't keep the money. And you know, anybody that has a concern about that, we can show you in writing the death benefit and, and what your money will pay out. Right.
Stephen Gardner: So, another one that I hear, Mark, maybe you've heard this, is if I move money to an annuity, I'm going to start with less than what I moved over. Again, the annuities that we're talking about, that's not the case.
Stephen Gardner: That may be true for a variable annuity that's buying into front loaded mutual funds with fees. But again, the growth focused annuities that we're talking about, 100% of your money gets moved over. So if you move $100,000 your $100,000 participates, right?
Stephen Gardner: Now, two disadvantages to moving money to these growth focused annuities. First, you don't receive, all of the market returns in some of the strategies, right? So sometimes you'll earn between 45 to 70% of whatever the S&P 500 does, right? Other times I do have access on these proprietary platforms. I have access to programs that can earn a hundred percent and it operates on a spread. So it really just depends on the strategy you choose. There's also multi-year strategies where you can have an even higher participation rate than 100%, because you're locking your money in for let's say a two year period or a three year or a five year period. Because they're not doing trades all the time they save a significant amount of money and then they pass that onto you in the form of a higher participation rate. Right? If you ask for all of your money back before the end of the term, again, the insurance company has put your money to work. And so, there would be a surrender charge for them to take your money back out of that, right? It's similar to a CD. If you walk away from a CD early, there's a penalty, right?
Stephen Gardner: So, now there are bad annuities out there. There are even annuities that are good that I still wouldn't touch. And so the ones that we're talking about, I believe are the best of the best. They don't have the fees. They have the guarantees. They have the good track record. We have access to the top money managers in the world because these companies can afford them. And yet there's not these annual fees to get access to these high end managers. Right. So pretty neat that way. Last thing, people always assume that banks are a safe place to keep their money. I recently heard a statistic regarding the number of bank failures in this country since the year 2000. Any guesses on how many banks have failed since the beginning of the Millennium?
Mark Maiewski: Well, I would hope there wouldn't be a hundred, but, uh, I have no idea.
Stephen Gardner: Well, it's actually 553 banks. And if you had assets at the bank above the FDIC insurance of 250,000, one in 10 people gotten back 100%. In the same 19 year span, you don't see that kind of failure rate with the insurance companies. That's again, because these companies, for the amount of liability they have, they have more assets in reserve, right?
Stephen Gardner: And so you think about who do you want to park your money with? And yet, I just recently read Mark that there's over $9 trillion parked safely inside of bank products. But you and I both know those bank products have pitiful earnings. None of them are keeping up with inflation. And yet people are worried about where to grow their money. And so what they do is they go, okay, I'm not making it. I'm not going to make it inside of a bank product. I've got to leave the realm of safety. And they go into the risk of the stock market. Now remember I asked the question, at what rate are you willing to leave? Now, if with these growth focused annuities, you could get 5, 6, 7%. You're leaving the realm of safety to make maybe 1%. It's simply not worth it.
Stephen Gardner: But if you've got your money in a bank and it's earning 0.5 and you could 'maybe' earn eight, can you see why people leave the realm of safety at 0.5% to go for eight? That's why people are going back into the market even though they don't want to. It's because they don't know about the program in the middle. They don't know about the safety with the potential for gains. And that's why we're trying to educate people. Right.
Stephen Gardner: I'll give you another example. Okay, 401k thrift plans for employees of the Federal Reserve. The people that run the money of the country, They have 22,000 employees. 75% of all of the money that the Federal Reserve has for their employees is inside these annuity contracts. It's not at the bank and it's not on Wall Street. It's in these annuity contracts. The Federal Reserve, 22,000 employees, they're not even using the banks or Wall Street. I mean, that is like such an indicator of very intelligent people when it comes to macro and micro economics running an economy, the power of the dollar and where do they go? They're going with these insurance companies.
Mark Maiewski: That's really good stuff. Hey, we've gone over our alloted time for this, that we had planned for the call, but I really, really appreciate you taking the time to educate my clients on this incredible tool and really whet their appetite on how it could benefit them. So can you just give us a quick recap of why you and your clients love the concept and then we'll sign off.
Stephen Gardner: Yes. And thank you. Thank you, Mark, for having me on again. So, the book is going to give a better education to people than what you and I could cover here in 30 or 40 minutes. It's going to show real life examples. And if somebody wants to work with you or with myself, we would certainly build out customized numbers. We will show you the published earnings from the companies, they're rating as far as safety, how long they've been in business. We will put everything on the table so that people can make an educated decision. I know people are tired of losing money. We just went through this at the end of 2018, some people lost between 10 and 15% and it came very, very quickly right before Christmas. Right. And people don't want to worry about when is the next correction coming.
Stephen Gardner: Are we gonna slump into a recession. Is there going to be another drop. We know that the markets will drop. If you're going to live another 20, 30, 40 years, just know that these are absolutely coming and you can choose if you want that to be a part of your game, like Warren Buffet said, or if you want to remove it from your game, like I'm showing you. Right. And again, I think people want to know that their money is going to grow. And that it's not going to slide backwards in value when the market drops. I think people like the idea of partnering with an Insurance Group that's been in business for over a hundred years, that has more assets than liabilities, that has a track record of keeping promises even when things got hard for our country. So I think these are the main reasons if I were to recap is just the safety, the guarantees and the continued ability to get the growth that they need in order to live on their money during retirement.
Mark Maiewski: Beautiful. Well, thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with me and my clients today. So if someone wanted to get more information, how do they go about doing that with you?
Stephen Gardner: Okay. Well, anyone listening to this call today or just tuning in, I want to send you a free copy of my new book Taming Wall Street. It'll go through this in detail. If you go to YourBridgePlan.com and click on the work with me button, it'll just ask for your name and address and then my assistant will get that out in the mail to you. So YourBridgePlan.com. They're going to learn a lot more going through the book and I'm happy to get on and do a free consultation and do those custom numbers. As you know, Mark, I am passionate about this stuff. I am on a mission to change America one family at a time, as I know that you are. People can also reach out to me if they don't want to go through the website, they can reach me toll free at (888) 638-0080. It's a recording where you can request the book so you don't have to talk to anybody there. But yeah, that would be, I think the next step would be let's get you educated and then you can make an educated decision once you understand this and can see some customized numbers.
Mark Maiewski: Perfect, Stephen. Thank you again for your time and the generous offer.
Stephen Gardner: Thank you very much, Mark, as my pleasure. Have a good rest of your day. Bye Bye.