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Ian Dunlap Highlights The Importance Of Investing Long-Term, Talks Helping Charlamagne tha God & Joe Budden

April 15, 2023

Read the full interview on AllHipHop.com!

When it comes to investing and financial wealth, Ian Dunlap has all the answers. Boasting 410K followers on Instagram alone, his bio reads “THE GREATEST INVESTOR OF THIS GENERATION”… and he has all the tools and knowledge to back up this statement.

In describing himself, Ian Dunlap states he’s “a person that’s passionate about investing. I’m just trying to share my blueprint with others that I’ve learned over these last 15 years. Some people can win in this market while our economy is being shaken all over the world.”

Growing up, Dunlap looked up to his father who was an entrepreneur with his own construction company. Beyond that, he cites Allen Iverson, Tupac, Jay Z, and Nas as his biggest influences. While his field of work may be specific, he’s always seen himself at an intersection between the influences of Hip-Hop, plus what he’s learned in business and investing.

Through his own personal experiences attending mundane conferences, Dunlap turned his podcast Market Mondays into a live show — even selling out Madison Square Garden last year in November with special guests Floyd Mayweather and Jadakiss. This is his equivalent to attending a rap concert, but leaving with information that would change your life forever.

AllHipHop spoke with Ian Dunlap about his roots, how he ended up in this space, starting Red Panda Company, who he’s helped in entertainment, relationship with Fatman Scoop, selling out Madison Square Garden, partnering with Steve Harvey, and more!

AllHipHop: Where are you from originally?

Ian Dunlap: I’m from East Chicago, five minutes from Gary, Indiana, 20 minutes from Chicago. So I was Midwest, born and raised.

AllHipHop: Oh wow, I know Gary is a little more rough. How was your upbringing?

Ian Dunlap: Super rough. Whatever image you have in your head of Gary is identical to my hometown. But that’s why it’s more important that these messages need to be spread. Because I truly believe from the 1960’s through now, if this information was shared in the inner cities, the crime rate would be cut in half. The murder rate will be cut in half, we wouldn’t have as many people in jail. It was a super rough upbringing.

AllHipHop: How did you get into this space?

Ian Dunlap: I had a friend Art who was working at JPMorgan during the last recession in 2008. I remember I was in Indianapolis, he called me. He said, “Hey, all my coworkers are selling all this stuff.” I’m like “Damn, this must be a bad recession coming if they’re selling everything.” He said, “No, they’re selling everything to raise more money so they can buy more stocks.” Of course, at this time I wasn’t investing. So I’m talking to my family about it, everyone’s like, “No, it’s too risky. I wouldn’t do it.”

He told me five stocks to buy. He bought them himself, he called me three months later. He said, “Hey, it’s time to liquidate.” I’m like, “What the hell does liquidate mean?” He’s like, “Wait, you didn’t buy the stocks I told you to?” I said “No. I heard you, but my family told me it was risky.” My friend put in $115K in 2007. By 2008, he was up $950K. Two years later, he got up to 7 million. Retired from JPMorgan at 35 years old, and hasn’t worked in corporate since then.

From that moment, I promised to never miss another recession. I was p#####, not gonna lie. But it goes to show: even if a friend tells you to do something, if we don’t have all the information or it’s not passed down from generation to generation, we may miss out on an opportunity because we weren’t equipped with the information we needed. From there, I started my investing journey to try and make up for lost time.

AllHipHop: Talk about starting Red Panda Academy, and what that stands for.

Ian Dunlap: Red is a little bit of symbolism. When the market is down, the charts are usually red. A bear market, that’s representative of a panda. Normally, when the market got really bad, that’s when everyone started to call me. I’ll be in different chatrooms and trading groups, that name just stuck. Because whenever we were having a bad day, people will call me.

I wanted to share on social media first, giving insights on what I was doing, then it grew. People said “Hey, why don’t you begin to teach it?” I don’t want to teach, I’d rather give them the information directly. I started in 2014, it’s grown to 40K members now. It’s grown into something beyond my imagination, just by helping people first. That’s my number one rule, is to help first. Let people get the result, then figure out a way how to do business on the backend.

AllHipHop: Besides the friend at JPMorgan, did anyone help you?

Ian Dunlap: To be honest, no, because investing is very dark. It reminds me of entertainment in the sense that no one tells you their secrets. After I didn’t listen, I sat down with him 10 more times. He gave me a list of 30 books to buy. I began spending 8 to 9 hours a day, just trying to learn. Along the way, I met a few hedge fund managers who guided me after I began to have my formula. But no one was waiting with open arms to teach me. I had to call and figure stuff out. Bring it to them, let them monetize it, then they’d give me a couple of secrets in exchange.

AllHipHop: What books did you read?

Ian Dunlap: One of my favorites is called Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins. He didn’t write the book, but he interviewed all the top people in investing. It’d be the equivalent if I interviewed L.A. Ried, Puff, Suge [Knight], Lucian [Grainge] and compiled it into one book. He interviewed 35 of the best investors. That book has changed my life. That book has made me more money than any other book that I own, I own 350 books. That’s a really good one.

Market Wizards is another good book, that’s a book on trading and how to take advantage of a market if it’s falling and how to get rich in a recession. That’s a really good book. The third one is really thick, but it’s called What works on Wall Street. It tells you everything you need to know about investing, from the 1400’s through now. It breaks down every single commodity, every scenario we can go through. It’s 700 pages, but it’s a really good read. It’s a cheat code on how to invest for the long-term.

AllHipHop: Who are some of the biggest people in the music space have you helped?

Ian Dunlap: Charlamagne tha God, shout out to my guy. He started with $100K grand, then he started Brilliant Idiots a couple months after. He was at $400K three months later. I’m working with some of the artists now, but they don’t want me to use their name yet. The #1 focus for all artists is whatever platform you’re uploading your music to, means you can have equity there, or at least invest in the stocks publicly.

I’ve asked 200 artists: what’s the most important place that people listen to your music? Apple and Spotify. How many shares with Apple and Spotify do you have? None. You’re buying all the jewelry, I get it. I totally get it, because there’s a certain lifestyle that most artists want to push. But if we focus as a collective of owning these companies outright, we will have a lot more leverage.

Joe Budden and I are really cool. When the Spotify deal went apart, if you guys would have got preferred shares from the very beginning, even when they dropped you, you would’ve made the same amount of money from shorting the stock. Shorting the stock is when you can take your ownership and borrow against it, and make money as it goes down. You could’ve made the same value $30, $40 million on the downside of the company calling apart as if they gave you a deal.

When Rogan came on board, the first thing Rogan asked for was partial equity in a company and Class A shares. Even if they dissolve his contract early, they can either sell the shares off or make money as the stock was going down. It’s really important for artists to not only know as they’re selling their catalogs now and know about equity royalties, it’s really important for whatever platform that they are on that they all share at the same time.

Take the situation with Thug, his whole team turned their back on him, after he looked out for everyone. If Thug could have put away $4, $5 million four years ago, he’ll still make $10 to $20 million every two years, just from investing long-term. That’s why this message is really important.

AllHipHop: What’s your relationship with Fatman Scoop?

Ian Dunlap: That’s my guy! Scoop is one of my best friends. We met a few years ago, and going back to that old principle of just helping. Just being a fan of him, his voice and seeing everything he’s doing. When we first started talking, I’m like “bro, let me help you.” He’s like, “What do you want?” I’m like, I just want to help you. Everyone in the music industry thinks that’s so weird. Even when I started working with Joe, I said “buy Bitcoin here. Buy Microsoft here.” He said “What do you want?” I just like your music and f### with you. He said “No, that’s not how it works in the industry.”

I’m not in the industry, I’m just helping you guys as a fan. Scoop was the same way, but Scoop was more receptive. He started investing and started seeing it, we built a bond. He helped connect me to be able to get Floyd on the Madison Square show, which is a blessing. He’s opened a lot of doors for me, and I’ve opened some for him. That’s my guy, one of my best friends in the world.

AllHipHop: How was it doing his podcast?

Ian Dunlap: Amazing, I told him we need to do more together. But you know, his travel schedule is… I ask him all the time, how the hell do you fly to Dubai, come back and go to London then back to the States. It’s a blast having a conversation with him, even watching him how he’s been able to master his voice and energy to rock a crowd. A lot of those things I’ve learned from watching his live shows as well.

AllHipHop: How did the idea of Market Monday’s come about?

I was dancing around with the idea of doing a podcast. I had did an episode on their main podcast Earn Your Leisure. Episode went really well, we recorded January 2020. COVID hit, they put the episode out and it caught fire. We went on YouTube and did two shows. At one point, Rashad said “hey, I want to add some podcasts to what they were doing.” I said, the episode I did is doing really well. There was no one in the culture that people trust to talk about investing and money. Let’s work together.”

He said “great, it’s a perfect partnership. Episode already worked, the two Lives went great.” After that, we started doing the show every week. After five or six weeks, it started to catch traction. The most important thing is consistency, who referred you is key. Rashad and Troy, one of my friends has been cool with them for 10 years. She had to pitch them a few times because it was so touchy around investing stocks. At the time, they said “if this goes well, great. If it goes bad, it’ll go horrible.” But I’ve been doing this for 12 years now, I think it’d be a home run. Some say we’ve been making history the last couple of years.

AllHipHop: What’s been the highlight? I know you sold out Madison Square Garden, that’s epic!

Ian Dunlap: The crazy part is up until that show, I had never even been to Madison Square. For my first time selling it out, definitely a highlight. Having Mark Cuban on the show because I went to Indiana University, that was big for me. David Rubenstein, he’s a billionaire. Had four billionaires on the show so far, Mike Novogratz. Those are all huge moments.

Of course, to be able to do Toronto, sell that out and do Ghana at the end of this year, is going to be absolutely amazing. But it doesn’t cover people on the show that have made $20 or $30 million on the lower end. Millions a year, all off of free information. That’s the part: for people to make money. Everyone always asked me, “when are you going to do a hedge fund?” And I am always tell them

Market Mondays is the hedge fund.  My idea was to make so many people money, that I can walk into JPMorgan or Deutsche Bank and build a partnership that way. It’s been going pretty well.

AllHipHop: Talk about Invest Fest US and Invest Fest Europe, you partnered with Steve Harvey?

Ian Dunlap: After the interview went well with Steve Harvey, went to Troy and Rashad like hey, maybe we can partner on something. Invest US, the first one had 5K. The second one had 15K, this year has 22K. This past year, we did the first UK version at Royal Albert Hall. Sold it out, that was incredible. This year, we’ll have around 7K or 8K people at that one.

Our mission now is to take this message and spread it around the world, because the struggle is the same. If you’re part of the culture, we all have the same aspirations and dreams. But no one is there to really deliver the information. It’s been a great partnership, he’s opened his arms to us tremendously. I’m working right with his right-hand man to be on some of the TV stuff as well, that’s been a great partnership. Investfest US is getting bigger, bigger every year. Hopefully three or four years, we get to the point we’re doing 40K, 50K people in the stadium.

AllHipHop: You’re meeting with agents, what plans do you have next?

Ian Dunlap: [laughs] I’m in a little bit of a bidding war between two agencies, but I just signed to CAA. They want me to do two scripted shows, two non-scripted documentaries, a couple books. That’s exciting to see. They see the vision of what’s coming. As the market and economy continues to be in turmoil, we need better content around investing. Working on that soundtrack, working on this event now in Dubai, which would be the end of the year. That’s pretty exciting. I’ll walk through how to trade.

I don’t want to teach people how to trade. I want everyone to bring their laptops and we make money together, but I’m also going to set them up with people that can help them arrange and start businesses there. Knowing how to trade and win in the market is going to be really key over these next 4-5 years  especially with the global war that is occurring between China and the US. Of course, Market Mondays Live shows the rest of this year in London, Chicago, and Ghana for the rest of this year. We’ll probably take it to 12 cities next year as well.

AllHipHop: Anything else you wanna let us know?

Ian Dunlap: Invest long-term, it’s the only way to freedom. Of course, if I can do anything to help personally, text me anytime. I’m happy to guide you through that.

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