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Our Story

I’m Michael Isom, the founder of Vault AIS. I wish I could tell you that our firm was the result of a series of brilliant decisions on my part.

The reality is that it was the result of me learning lessons the hard way.

Thankfully, my hard-learned lessons have translated into wisdom and results for my clients

Like most of my clients, I did not come from wealth.

To give you an idea of our financial situation when I was growing up, I paid my mom rent through my senior year of high school just to help out.

I fell in love with motorcycles in the seventh grade, when I took my first job cleaning them and sweeping floors at Cycle Town Yamaha.

My wage started at $2.25 an hour.

By the time I was a senior in high school, I was earning $2,000 per month.

That’s how I paid for motorcycles, clothes, and dating girls.

When I began attending college in 1993, I started selling cell phones.

In my first thirty days, I made $20,000—ten times what I’d been earning at the shop! I had never made $20,000 in a year, let alone in thirty days.

In college, I met my beautiful wife, Wendy. We soon had two kids, Kennedy and Kadin.

I felt like I was living the American dream, making money and investing.

I found out I was good at it. So I became a financial strategist and formed a company with three partners: Ray Hooper, Les McGuire, and Garrett Gunderson, to help others be successful with their money.

One day, Les came to me and said, “Hey, I have this real estate deal going on with this investor guy. Maybe you want to get in on it? “

I checked it out and it looked good. I trusted Les, so I started with a shoo-in investment of $50,000.

Investor Guy started paying me 5% a month. Wow! Every month, I received a check for $2,500. I dropped another $250,000 into the fund. Bigger checks kept coming, so I gave him another $500,000!

I thought, I bet my client, Joe, would like to get in on this, too. And Charles. Then Kate.

The next thing I knew, I had $4.8 million of my own money and million of my clients’ money in Investor Guy’s deal, and it was paying all of us 5% every month.

Until August of 2007, that is, when the checks stopped coming.

Over the next four months, I took money out of my own pocket to cover interest payouts to my clients because I didn’t want to leave them hanging.

Then I received a phone call.

“Hi, this is Special Agent Mark Jones from the FBI. I want to talk to you about your business activities with Investor Guy. “

The next thing I knew, I was signing a deal with the Feds.

But it was too late. The money was all gone.

I couldn’t keep the company together. I was under constant, terrifying stress while being interviewed by the FBI and having them comb through my financial records.

I started drinking myself silly every night. I soon added anxiety meds and narcotics to mask the pain. I became a complete asshole to everyone around me.

The stress was so unbearable that I started breaking out in hives all over my body.

One morning at 6:00 a.m., I heard a knock at the front door. It was Wendy’s family. Her father told me, “We’re here for Wendy and the kids. They’re moving out.”

I was in a state of shock, but I couldn’t blame them—I wasn’t healthy to be around.

Twelve hours later, I was alone on the bathroom floor, hyperventilating and holding a 9mm Ruger P89 pistol with a bullet in the chamber.

I pressed the gun against the roof of my mouth.

My hand was shaking. In my mind, I screamed to God, ready to end it all.

Suddenly, I felt a rush through my body like I’d never felt before. I knew I wanted to live.

I put the gun down and made a promise to God and myself: I would extract the lessons from this, apply them in my life, and share them with as many people as I could.

That is exactly what I have been doing since the fall of 2010.

It was from these devastating life lessons that the brand and core message of my current company was born: Vault AIS (standing for asset, investment, and strategy).

From that experience, I vowed that I would never gamble in any area of my life. I warn clients on a daily basis about avoiding gambling in their life.

As I have learned the hard way, gambling is not the path to sustainable wealth. The path to sustainable wealth is to understand that:

1. You are your #1 asset.

2. Your business/career is your #1 investment.

3. Your #1 strategy is to keep your foundational wealth guaranteed, protected, and liquid.

    To learn more, I invite you to get your free hardcover copies of my books, What We’re Worth and What Would the Rockefellers Do?

    Get Your Free Hardcover Books!

    Get two hardcover books from our founder, Michael Isom, What Would the Rockefellers Do? (with Garrett Gunderson) and What We’re Worth.

    In these books, you’ll discover the secrets of the ultra-wealthy for protecting, growing, and passing on wealth for generations.