How do banks calculate the amount due on your monthly mortgage payment? Here’s a hint: it’s not based on an intrinsic desire to benefit you. Banks are in business to make money; you are their compound interest vehicle. In part two of our interview with Adam Carroll, he tells Wes about the Shred Method: a step-by-step guide to optimize your income, eliminate debt, and build real wealth and home equity in a much faster way than the typical 30-year mortgage. He also shares tips for building massive, passive, and permanent income in the pursuit of retiring sooner.
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- Wes Moss [00:00:00]:Have you ever thought about who sets the amount due for your monthly mortgage payment? Well, the answer is the bank, and they aren’t coming up with that number to help you. We’re the bank’s compound interest vehicle and we pay for it dutifully, month after month. My guest today, Adam Carroll, wants to change all that. He came up with a system called the Shred Method, as in, just like my apps, as a step by step guide to optimize your income, eliminate debt, and build real wealth and home equity in a much faster way than the good old fashioned 30 year mortgage. He says that the phrase I’m debt free has a nice ring to it, and I have to say I agree. He also talks to us about how he likes to build what he calls massive passive and permanent income so that he stays on a retire sooner track. Adam’s Ted Talk went viral a couple of years ago. It’s racked up over 6 million views on teaching the value of money.Wes Moss [00:01:11]:
We get to hear from him right here on this episode. I’m Wes Moss. The prevailing thought in America is that you’ll never have enough money and it’s almost impossible to retire early. Actually, I think the opposite is true. For more than 20 years, I’ve been researching, studying and advising American families, including those who started late on how to retire sooner and happier. So my mission with the Retire Sooner podcast is to help a million people retire earlier while enjoying the adventure along the way. I’d love for you to be one of them. Let’s get started.
Wes Moss [00:01:48]:
Adam Carroll. What’s up, man? It’s so good to see you. So, Adam, I really do, I feel for the 28 year old, 30 year old now having to pay the home prices that we live in in America, and and now it’s 7% interest rates. These are big numbers. So what is your feeling around paying off mortgage debt?
Adam Carrol [00:02:12]:
This has been my take for a number of years, probably the last ten or eleven years at this point. And my stance on it is I’m a big fan of knocking out the mortgage as early as possible. And whether you completely knock it out or this is sort of the distinction I’ve made recently, Wes. Some people will look at it and gosh, it’s going to take me forever. But we have a model called the Shred Method that teaches people how to do this and do it really quickly. The goal may not be for some people to pay it completely off, but to accelerate the amortization table to the point where the majority of your payment is going to principal. And the biggest distinction, I think, in this is if you look at a mortgage amortization table, you and I both know what they look like. But it’s kind of a waterfall and you took a traffic light and you set it on its side over that amortization table.
Adam Carrol [00:03:05]:
The first ten years are red, you’re paying almost entirely interest, very little principal. The second ten years are yellow, the last ten years are green. And the Shred method essentially turns it to all green lights. And instead of 30 years, we can typically shorten it to between three and seven years, depending on someone’s discretionary income. And the reason that I think it’s important, well, two things. Number one, you wrote in your book that some of the Happiest retirees either have no mortgage or they’re well on their way to knocking it out, right?
Wes Moss [00:03:37]:
Mortgage payoff within sight.
Adam Carrol [00:03:40]:
And some people would gosh it’s 28 years or it’s X number of years left. But what that’s supposing is that you’re going to follow the bank’s suggested payments the entire time. And what we don’t point, what we don’t realize is that many of us, I think, or maybe it’s overlooking that we are the bank’s compound interest vehicle.
Wes Moss [00:04:04]:
Adam Carrol [00:04:05]:
They loan us money that is an asset to them. It’s a liability to us and an asset to the bank. So I started questioning years ago, what if we turned that on its ear and we used the bank’s model against the bank? What would that look like?
Wes Moss [00:04:19]:
And that essentially is what the Shred method is. Can you tell us? Really? You nonchalantly just helped us take a 30 year mortgage to a three to seven, which is pretty awesome. Give us a little bit more around that. How do you guys help people do that with your company? With a shred method. I know there’s no magic to it. We still have to pay these things off. But give me a little bit more insight on that because that is a compelling thought.
Adam Carrol [00:04:50]:
Yeah, it isn’t magic, it’s math. And it’s math that most people just never do because we’re trained to walk heel toe, heel toe by the banking system. And what we’re doing is saying you can walk toe, heel toe heel and actually get there in half the number of steps or less. And so here’s how this works, Wes. The average consumer or the average family, let’s say when they make their income, let’s say it’s a two income family money gets deposited into checking and the money sits there for a period of time until debit card swipes and ACH transactions. And all of that happens. Right. And I would venture to guess that even you and your family have some amount of money that sits in checking for a period of time, be it days, weeks, or months on end.
Adam Carrol [00:05:38]:
Is that accurate?
Wes Moss [00:05:40]:
Yeah. Even where rates are today. Just the logistics of taking money out of the high yield money market to go to a place where it can then go pay something. I noticed it today. Wait a minute. That money is not making money markets are over 5%, but the regular general banking is at 0.5, right? Yes. Okay, so keep going. That happens just the inertia of it.
Adam Carrol [00:06:07]:
That’s right. And so why would we keep money just static and idle in a checking account, though? That is what we are trained to do for the most part. Listen, here’s the deal. This kind of goes back to what we said before about money being tangible or not. When we open up our phone app and look at our banking account, our bank accounts, and we see money in checking, there’s a little bit of like, I’m good, right? I’m good, I got an extra 500,001, 202,000, whatever it is. And yet what having money sitting in checking will do for most people is it’s an invitation to go spend. So lazy, idle money is dangerous money. That’s my first statement on that.
Adam Carrol [00:06:50]:
So what the Shred method does is it takes that lazy, idle money and it uses the income minus the expenses, which gives you your discretionary income, and it takes into account the timing of payments, the timing of when income comes in, how much you’re using at any point in time, or how much you’re not. And then through an algorithm that’s powered by a piece of software, the system will tell you, hey, it looks like you have X amount coming in and X amount going out. Send $2,783.25 from your home equity line of credit to your mortgage, knowing that in two days time you have a $3,000 paycheck coming in. So what we’re doing is we’re borrowing short term lumps of money and putting it against the amortized debt, knowing that that income is going to come right back in and fill that bucket in. So we’re borrowing in 2357 day bursts. But in the process of doing that, we’re building equity in our home. We’re reducing the interest expense on that debt. Right.
Adam Carrol [00:07:57]:
Because we’re accelerating the amortization table by months and in some cases years. And the end result is you pay your home off significantly faster because the bank isn’t getting all of that interest up front. In effect, we’re creating green lights.
Wes Moss [00:08:12]:
And then obviously, within the Shred method, you have some sort of threshold of how much you’re willing to put towards it.
Adam Carrol [00:08:20]:
Wes Moss [00:08:20]:
Is that right? So there’s a kind of a pain level.
Adam Carrol [00:08:23]:
Wes Moss [00:08:23]:
What does that pain level look like, that range?
Adam Carrol [00:08:27]:
It’s dependent on income, it’s dependent on discretionary income, and it’s dependent on how much your line of credit is and the interest rate it is. So there’s some variables in the algorithm. So what we’ll often get from folks is the question, okay, so my mortgage is 3%. My HELOC is now eight and a half percent. Does it still make sense? And what we’ll say is, absolutely it does. We’re just not going to go long on the HELOC. We’re going to keep it within a very moderate amount because you might pay tens or dozens of dollars of interest on the HELOC on a monthly basis, but every time you leverage it, you’re going to save thousands and in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars on the mortgage expense.
Wes Moss [00:09:10]:
So you have your regular mortgage, then you have your HELOC. And then in order to be able to utilize a pay down method, you’re using the HELOC. And then you’re knowing that you have cash coming in at a certain point quickly, so it might only be a day or two or three of interest.
Adam Carrol [00:09:27]:
That’s right. To extrapolate that idea, then what you’re doing is you’re kind of just repositioning that money into the equity of your property, which is still available to you via the HELOC. So I might say, what’s the difference of having 20 grand in a money market account? Granted, it’s at 5%, or having that 20 grand dropped into your mortgage and eliminating six years of payments? Right. Because you’ve accelerated the amortization table that fast. But still having access to that 20 grand via a home equity line.
Wes Moss [00:10:04]:
Did you develop this? Did you figure this thing out and go to a software group and figure out how to build it?
Adam Carrol [00:10:10]:
Oh, I wish I could say that I could take credit for it. I think what we’ve done is we’ve improved the process. But this is known as an Australian mortgage. It’s known as velocity banking. This has been around for quite some time. The software that we have, and this was developed by a different group. It’s been sold once, and then I procured it from the second owner. But we’ve been updating the software code as well.
Adam Carrol [00:10:39]:
The code itself is what tells you what to do and how to do it. And it’s a projection tool more than anything. Wes. So our goal is to create some behavior modification. And I like to call the software a behavior modification tool, because when it tells you what to do on a day by day, week by week basis, and you simply follow it and you start to see the results, it’s kind of unbelievable.
Wes Moss [00:11:07]:
I feel like I need to be on the Shred method. I’m not using it, so I need to be on the Shred method. Is your cash working for you? For years, banks have gotten away with paying next to nothing for the privilege of holding your money. Today, investors have more options as the Federal Reserve has raised and raised and raised interest rates dramatically. Why not take advantage of it? If you’re interested in finding a higher yielding solution for the safety allocation of your investment portfolio, reach out to my firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s Y-O-U rwealth.com. Let’s talk about income streams. Another big thing that we talk about here on Retire Sooner, which is the number of different income streams we have is that rises.
Wes Moss [00:12:00]:
So do our levels of happiness, which is really most likely more around a sense of peace and security, because I’ve got some diversification of income streams.
Adam Carrol [00:12:10]:
Wes Moss [00:12:10]:
And I know you talk about massive, passive, permanent income streams. Maybe give our audience your take on streams of income in terms of ideas.
Adam Carrol [00:12:22]:
Around some of them.
Wes Moss [00:12:23]:
Yeah. Are you a diversified portfolio guy? Do you want to own businesses? Would you rather own real estate? How would you like to set up streams of income for retirement?
Adam Carrol [00:12:35]:
Yeah. Mine might sound or look a little different than what some people have, and part of that is just how I built my business. I was a paid professional speaker for 20 years. Still do it. I’ll get 15 or 20 gigs a year that just come in, and it’s recurring revenue. It’s revenue that I go work for, but it comes in without me doing the marketing for it. But I realized years ago, Wes, that what I really wanted to do was I wanted to do the work once and then get paid. Get paid, get paid, get paid, get paid.
Adam Carrol [00:13:08]:
And the difference for most people is they do the work, they get paid. They do the work, they get paid. They do the work, they get paid. And I wanted to do the work once.
Wes Moss [00:13:16]:
Sounds like my life. Adam.
Adam Carrol [00:13:19]:
I wanted to get paid over and over and over again. And so I realized that what I wanted was to be somewhat of a mediapreneur. I wanted to create content and then spin the content or sell the content over and over and over again. And that looks like you’re in this world. That looks like books. It looks like the documentary. When we did the documentary, we still make money monthly on the sale of the documentary.
Wes Moss [00:13:43]:
Oh, that’s right. Your documentary on CNBC.
Adam Carrol [00:13:46]:
Wes Moss [00:13:47]:
That’s so awesome.
Adam Carrol [00:13:48]:
Wes Moss [00:13:48]:
I love that you were able to do that. It’s so great.
Adam Carrol [00:13:51]:
It was a great experience for me and for my kids to see and my wife, who I think had her doubts going in, and I got to prove her wrong. So that was good.
Wes Moss [00:14:02]:
She didn’t think that what was the bat.
Adam Carrol [00:14:05]:
She was getting word and candidly. There were a lot of friends and family that were saying it, oh, you’re making an indie doc. You’ll never make any money on this. This is a passion project. That’s all it is. And in the end, I think that thing grossed like, $400,000. And so it was good. We crowdfunded it.
Adam Carrol [00:14:25]:
There was a lot of sweat equity in it, but in the end, it paid off, and it continues to because of what we set up for it. I’m a big believer in owning business, but I prefer to have my hands in my business, and if I’m going to invest in a business, I’m betting on the jockey. Sometimes I’ll put money in friends businesses for a small ownership stake, and it’s like, hey, pay me out. Two years from now, you’re going to pay me out X amount on this business, and I’m going to own some piece. I am a cash flow investor, so I want to invest in syndications. I’m investing in ATM, tranches, alternative investments are things that I’m attracted to. And then for the most part our assets that are sitting in equities are really Roth IRAs, my wife’s 401K plan and I have a trading account. But for the most part I’m buying dividend stocks that I just want to hold forever.
Wes Moss [00:15:26]:
Okay, so you’re not necessarily an S and P 500 index investor or some of that as well.
Adam Carrol [00:15:32]:
Some of that as well. And it’s a component of the side investment account that I have my sense as I move towards retirement age and that’s subjective I suppose because my retirement age I’m hoping is 52 to 55. I’d kind of like to just be like yeah I’m done. Or I’m going to speak now X number of times a year and just cash the checks that come in. But as I get towards retirement age I’m more and more focused on massive passive permanent in the way of real estate deals or other kinds of licensing or selling information type products as opposed to just focused on the market. And I think part of the reason why wes a lot of friends and family of mine that are in their sixty s and early 70s, they did well. They put money away, they put it in the market, but that was the only place they put it.
Wes Moss [00:16:29]:
And they did not diversify with multiple streams of income.
Adam Carrol [00:16:33]:
That’s right. And as they started to draw down and then the last two years happened and they were not invested in conservative accounts they were still kind of being aggressive. They’re like, oh this doesn’t look the same now and I’m concerned I’m going to outlive my money and I don’t ever want to be in that boat. So we are putting money in the market and I’ve got an amount earmarked every year that will continue to go in. But I really want to leverage that’s.
Wes Moss [00:17:02]:
Not the only right.
Adam Carrol [00:17:04]:
Wes Moss [00:17:05]:
Well, Susie Orman just came out saying that the way to never run out of money is to work forever and work until you die. And when you do save money, never take more than 3% ever for the rest of your life. So that’s a good way to never I think she said never touch the money you’ve saved and work until you die. That’s a great way to not run out of money.
Adam Carrol [00:17:30]:
Super sexy pitch too isn’t it?
Wes Moss [00:17:32]:
It runs counter to the retire sooner philosophy because we’re trying to help people and encourage people to be able to retire a year sooner or more or even a little bit sooner because we think that multiple income streams can really work totally. I still subscribe to the 4% plus rule. As a rule of thumb, I think you can actually use some of the money you saved, otherwise why did you save it?
Adam Carrol [00:17:56]:
Wes Moss [00:17:56]:
And I think that she says that it’s dangerous. That rule of thumb is dangerous. I think it’s dangerous to discount that rule because if we’re in a world where we’re never able to utilize the income from what we invest in, what’s the point? What’s the point of saving to begin with?
Adam Carrol [00:18:15]:
I want to make one comment, if you don’t mind, on that, too.
Wes Moss [00:18:18]:
You love Susie orman the woman who.
Adam Carrol [00:18:22]:
Made what, 8 million or 12 million in publishing and kept it all in bonds and tells people what to do with their money. It’s like this seems a little inauthentic, but I digress the whole idea of paying off the mortgage and how do you shred and all of that? This plays into so well of what we’re talking about because when we talk about investing for massive, passive, permanent streams of income and I mentioned syndications and investing in business and things like that, average listeners might say, where would that come from? Where is that money? If someone presented me with an opportunity to make 15% on a real estate deal and the risk is largely mitigated on the front end, but I need to come up with 100 grand, where would it come from?
Wes Moss [00:19:05]:
Yeah, where do you come up with it?
Adam Carrol [00:19:06]:
Yeah, what I typically will say is we don’t have an income problem in this country. Wes have a liquidity problem. And the liquidity that most people don’t have should be in their home or it should be in some side account, or it could be cash value, life insurance or any kind of policy that you have access to. But for most of us, it’s in qualified funds and we can’t access it until we’re 59 and a half. And then we have 59 and a half to 70 and a half to get it without some penalty or fee.
Wes Moss [00:19:37]:
Then we’re forced to take it out.
Adam Carrol [00:19:39]:
And then we’re forced to take it out. So with shred what it does, particularly if you’re young, I mean, if you’ve got 30 year old listeners that are homeowners, pay attention, take heed, because you could have the ability to write a $50,000 check in the next 24 to 36 months if you follow this advice. And then once you’re at that point, and I think you’d probably agree with this wes correct me if you don’t.
Wes Moss [00:20:04]:
Well, hold on as long as you’re a homeowner, right?
Adam Carrol [00:20:06]:
As you’re a homeowner. Yeah, because what we need is we need that asset to begin filling the bucket with right. To create that equity pool. And then we’re using it very strategically. We’re not going long on it. We’re not going to pay down a 300,000, then go take 200,000 and drop it into some crazy investment. Maybe we’re doing it 25 or 50 grand at a time, but we’re doing it once we have sufficient discretionary income that’s actually paying that 25 down month over month over month. So what I was going to say was that when you can write a 50 or $100,000 check the investments change.
Adam Carrol [00:20:45]:
Would you agree with that?
Wes Moss [00:20:47]:
Absolutely. Yeah. That’s usually the minimum for deals that look attractive. Yeah. Usually 50 to 100. Yeah.
Adam Carrol [00:20:55]:
And so what we’re trying to do with Shredders is say, let’s look at what retirement looks like, or the next ten or 20 years of your life looks like. And is this a strategy that works for you where we can help minimize your debt load, maximize your free cash or your discretionary income, your equity, and then deploy it in ways that allow you to create those massive, passive, permanent streams?
Wes Moss [00:21:20]:
Are you always looking for those deals? Or where does the listener, the retire sooner listener, where are they sourcing those deals? I think if I think about over time, my client base that have sourced a deal will come up every year or two or three, and they take advantage of it. And I’ve seen some of those be huge wins over time. Is it up to the individual? Do people look to someone like you to find those deals? Where do they find them?
Adam Carrol [00:21:50]:
I would say largely it’s up to the individual, though, because of what we do. We have a number of contacts that reach out and say, hey, here are deals that are coming up that we think your tribe would be interested in. And I would say that there are syndicators everywhere. There are sponsors for these programs all over the place, but it’s a little bit of buyer beware. You want to find someone that’s a great operator. They know what they’re doing. And as an example, there’s a company in my backyard called Hubble Real Estate Company, and Hubble has been around for 150 years. They’re a developer.
Adam Carrol [00:22:25]:
They build apartment complexes and assisted living facilities, and you name it, they’ve kind of got their hand in it, industrial complexes. But they require upfront capital to begin the construction projects. And those are the kinds of deals that we often show to Shredders who have been with us for a while and say, you want passive income, and you want it massive, passive and permanent. Once this thing stabilizes and we’re 24 months in, you’re going to have a monthly income stream from this investment, if you’re interested. And this is a company that’s been around for a long, long time, and they do great work. Those are everywhere. They may not be 150 years, might be 50 or 100 or 30, but there are developers out there who have done great work that you could likely invest in and turn that into some of these massive, passive streams.
Wes Moss [00:23:17]:
Yeah. And I think that’s a really good message is that we don’t talk a ton about private investments here. You’re talking about private investments here and in general, without getting into specifics, I will say it’s been an area that over the course of the last 20 plus years, for me, has actually been some of the actually, most of the best rates of return have been in private deals. Now, the price we pay for that is in a lot of cases, lack of liquidity. So it’s not like an ETF where you put it in today, change your mind, you can get it out this afternoon.
Adam Carrol [00:23:57]:
Wes Moss [00:23:57]:
Right. These are long term commitments. Oh, by the way, the longevity in investing in it in general helps.
Adam Carrol [00:24:05]:
Wes Moss [00:24:06]:
So part of the reason that private investments do tend to work is you’re really committing to longer periods of time.
Adam Carrol [00:24:13]:
Wes Moss [00:24:13]:
But then again, you are usually getting an illiquidity premium. But to Adam, to your, I think, really important point, it does go back to the operator. You’re looking at a company that’s done it before, an individual that’s done it before with a team. So again, buyer beware for private deals, but I don’t talk about them a lot here on the Retiree Sooner podcast. But I will say my experience, and I think Adam’s experience has been they can be a really significant income producing or appreciation producing part of the overall.
Adam Carrol [00:24:51]:
And you know, on some of those deals too, Wes, this hubble example as a case study, the gentleman who’s in charge of capital formation for them, he know. Here’s the thing. When we get started on a project like this, particularly in an environment where properties are appreciating, which really, let’s be honest, is a byproduct of inflation, it’s not like your half million dollar home isn’t worth a million. Your dollar is worth significantly less. Right. That’s the reality. Right.
Wes Moss [00:25:20]:
You’re wilting dollars.
Adam Carrol [00:25:21]:
Yeah. But he said the cost to build continues to go up. So we know the value of this property will be more as soon as it’s done. And he said worst, worst case scenario is you get all your money back even if the project falls flat, because we would turn around and sell it at maybe even what we have in it, which somebody would pay a premium for because it’s worth more. It would cost too much to build it new. So I think there are deals like that out there that I think it was Will Rogers who said people are more concerned about the return of their investment than the return on their.
Wes Moss [00:25:57]:
So he’s still right.
Adam Carrol [00:26:00]:
So the risk out there on some of these can be mitigated in that respect.
Wes Moss [00:26:05]:
All right. After that, I’m sure we’re going to put a big disclaimer here, which is good. We always want to be very transparent and on here on the Retire Sooner podcast. So what’s next for you? What are you excited about as we wrap up? What’s the next six to twelve months look like for Adam Carroll?
Adam Carrol [00:26:24]:
Yeah, we’re continuing to build the Shred method. We have hundreds of users, we would like to get it into the thousands. And we’re really building a dedicated community and tribe of folks who are all about building a bigger life, not a bigger lifestyle. So I’m excited about the prospect of building that. My two older kids are in college now. My youngest is at home, he’s 16. So I feel like I still have two to three more years to influence him in the right way deep down. Wes what I most desire is experiences.
Adam Carrol [00:27:04]:
So in 2019, it was my very first mini retirement, and I took my family for a month to Europe. We spent two weeks in Sorrento, a week in Paris, week in London, and then this last summer, just a couple of months ago, we spent two weeks in Italy and two weeks in Hawaii. And I got a taste for it. Like, I want to do this every year or two, just take a month, go chill out and relax and enjoy my family. So I think in the next twelve, it’s planning, what’s that next great escape?
Wes Moss [00:27:37]:
And if you were to find a retirement number, date, even though, let’s say, you continue to speak for another decade and you’ve got maybe, God willing, shred is producing cash flow forever, is it a point where, what do you think that age is for you?
Adam Carrol [00:27:58]:
Well, they say great speakers never die. They just come up with new content and go, keep doing it. Right. So I think I’ll do that for a good long time. I may limit it to eight or ten or twelve events a year, but I think I would love that. By 58 to 60, the choice is almost there to work or not work, but by 58 or 60 to be able to say, yeah, now I just give back, or it’s just all free time, all relationship, all service. It’s not about the money, not about work.
Wes Moss [00:28:36]:
Awesome. Adam Carroll, thank you so much, man, for being here. I’ve really been looking forward to chatting and this certainly did not disappoint. I think our listeners are going to love it and there’s a lot of really good takeaways here. That it’s. New information to people, new perspective. Thank you so much for spending the time today, man.
Adam Carrol [00:28:57]:
It’s a pleasure.
Mallory Boggs [00:28:57]:
Wes hey, y’all, this is Mallory with the Retire Sooner team. Please be sure to rate and subscribe to this podcast and share it with a friend. If you have any questions, you can find email@example.com. That’s wesmoss.com. You can also follow us on Instagram and YouTube. You’ll find us under the handle Retire Sooner podcast. And now for our show’s. Disclosure this is provided as a resource for informational purposes and is not to be viewed as investment advice or recommendations.
Mallory Boggs [00:29:25]:
This information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. The mention of any company is provided to you for informational purposes and as an example only, and is not to be considered investment advice or recommendation or an endorsement of any particular company. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing. Involves risk, including possible loss of principal. There is no guarantee offered that investment return, yield or performance will be achieved. The information provided is strictly an opinion and for informational purposes only and it is not known whether the strategies will be successful. There are many aspects and criteria that must be examined and considered before investing.
Mallory Boggs [00:30:07]:
This information is not intended to and should not form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax or investment advisor before making any investment tax, estate or financial planning considerations or Decisions investment decisions should not be made solely based on information contained herein.
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