Capitalism is a multi-faceted system that intertwines economic practices with sociopolitical ideologies, and few understand its complexities as well as AJ Osborne, CEO of Cedar Creek Capital. A seasoned expert in the realm of self-storage investment and entrepreneurship, Osborne is deeply familiar with capitalism’s misunderstood aspects and how education and participation can transform lives. He knows that it goes beyond mere economics, harboring transformative potential for people and communities alike.
Osborne’s passion for capitalism has given him a deep understanding of both the natural environment and the manmade systems people have constructed within it. In his mind, they are two sides of a coin, with comprehension of the latter being just as important as the former.
“How can you expect to work within it if you don’t understand it?” asked Osborne, who sharpened his perspective on financial self-reliance through personal challenge.
In a more harrowing journey than most, Osborne came face-to-face with the inner workings of capitalism when he faced a life-altering event. Facing head-to-toe paralysis and a consequent job loss, he realized the importance of risk management and the value of owning revenue-generating assets.
Fortunately, Osborne and his family were okay. Thanks to his income-generating self-storage assets, he managed to focus on recovery without impacting their lives too heavily.
Reflecting on those times, Osborne remarked, “I was going to go home for the first time, after months being in the hospital, on Christmas… and all I could think about was, I’m sure the kids are going to be spoiled. And that was when I realized how important having passive income through ownership is.”
Driven by these experiences, Osborne champions the necessity of a comprehensive educational approach to capitalism on his podcast, Saving Capitalism. In particular, he aims to reach the younger generation hoping to address several misconceptions and give them the tools they need to confidently navigate the complex world of finance and entrepreneurship.
“We just have painted such a superficial picture of capitalism, that it’s not actually the reality at all of capitalism. That stigma has come due to the lack of education around it,” says Osborne.
Advocating an understanding of risk, Osborne stresses that capitalism empowers individuals to own and grow their capital. It is more than just superficial wealth and instead about having the ability to create, invest, and build a secure financial future. He relays this by sharing his personal journey, which goes from being heavily reliant on a job to becoming financially self-sufficient.
Ideally, his goal is to engage listeners and foster a culture of open dialogue. He explains, “I want to have deeper conversations with people that are extremely knowledgeable. I want to dive into what we’re seeing and what we’re learning.”
Redefining Participation in Capitalism
Osborne is not satisfied with capitalism in its current state. To him, it is all about individual empowerment and economic freedom, which can only be achieved when it is democratized and open to every individual.
“I believe that every single person that we can bring into the system, let them participate directly, not just through stocks, but I mean actual ownership, cash flow, equity, real growth, right? That capitalism works for everybody because that’s how capitalism should work,” he asserts.
During his darkest days, Osborne made a promise to himself. He experienced how the freedom of capitalism could save people, and he is determined to extend the same lifeline to others. He envisions a future where everyone has the knowledge and resources to participate in the American capitalist system building a society that values entrepreneurship and economic liberty.
AJ Osborne’s commitment to reshaping perceptions of capitalism and refining economic education stands out. By promoting a future where the broader public can actively participate in economic growth, he underscores that comprehensive education is the linchpin of a resilient economic framework.