Castillo’s “Journey to Capitol Freedom”

Kailer Hanes, Staff Writer

A very reputable figure in Rancho Mirage Highschool is here to share his secrets with you all, on life skills you need to acquire. Mario Castillo shares quite a bit of useful knowledge with us today. Castillo is very passionate about helping his students, as expressed in the classes he teaches. With that being said, he teaches Economics for 12th grade students, as well as Ethnic Studies for students of all grade levels, all while coaching for the football team. He is an investor, a “little of an entrepreneur” he claims, and wishes to pass on his wisdom on the subject with everyone today. With his life experiences, he has learned lessons in hard, gut wrenching ways and he is willing to help all of us avoid his mistakes. 

Castillo owns quite a multitude of properties and wishes to expand, “I rent out two other properties, in hopes to use that money to make more.” “Sounds easy right? Not really *chuckles* you have to know what you’re getting yourself into before you think you can take on major investments.” He exclaims, as he adjusts his mask before drinking coffee. “You have to start somewhere before you can be as such like me… try compound interest first”. The idea he shares about compound interest is a great starting point which Castillo recommends, as it isn’t hard to maintain. “You put money in, and overtime it grows, simple as that. There’s no trick and no losing.” He also shares that it teaches an individual to learn to put money away and keep it there. Being able to watch money grow and not take it out is the best way to learn to invest your money. “However investing isn’t the only thing i want to jump into with you guys, you first need to learn how to take care of your money, as i learned the hard way…”

As Castillo sits back in his blue office chair, he leads on with, “credit. Credit is the single most important number you’ll ever have in your life.” He dives deeper into this subject by telling, “Credit score determines who you are as a person, if you’re responsible or not. If you make your payments on time or not. It very well determines if money lenders or sellers will let you buy in.” He exercises this idea firmly. Castillo recommends that once students obtain a credit card, they must not miss a payment as it will “plunge your record…fast”, “it takes longer to get good credit than bad. Once you’re in the hole, it will take years to get out.” While on the topic of credit, he mentions back to the first question about investing, “if you can’t keep good credit, you can’t keep an investment”.  Castillo sits up, putting his coffee mug on the table, “once you have good credit you need to learn to save, it’s the final step in the journey of capital”.

“Now then, once you have fastened a good credit score, you can now borrow loans.” He very prominently expresses that if you’re in the process of paying off a loan, “pay double without telling the shark. You will get the payment done faster with lower interest.” “Keep that down in your mind wherever you have a loan yourself” Castillo firmly states. “Another main way to save money is to do a 20,30,50 rule. 20% of your money goes to wants, the 30 goes to bills and necessities, while 50 goes to investments. If you can manage this, you’ll grow your money like no other profit you’ve ever seen.” 

With Castillo’s beliefs that he follows on Capitol Freedom, he strongly wants to advise “anybody and everybody” to go to college. “IF you want a good paying job now-a-days you must attend college.” With current conditions in our generation, college is near mandatory if an individual wants to succeed with a high paying career. “Don’t worry about the college debt, because chances are… if you’re in college, you’ll get a high paying job. You can eliminate those debts easily.” He claims that college is the first real step to achieve a person’s goal in financial success.

Castillo himself has a credible background with some stories to share in regards to his prior knowledge. He wasn’t always “ the most responsible and resourceful person” growing up. In his early adult years (not specified) he made some grave mistakes. Starting off, “I would always wait to get a warning before paying my loans. Little did I know that when I get a warning, it drops my credit score.” Castillo perpetuated this behavior until his credit score was below the 400’s. From this incident, it took him 6 years to boast a “better than average” credit score. Castillo mentions “Quick note. Everytime a business or a lender examines your credit score. It goes down every time someone checks. You shouldn’t have to check your credit if you’re responsible. If you’re doing something wrong you want to check. That’s why it drops when you look at it.”

All the while, Castillo’s advice for capitol freedom finally comes to an end as we run out of time on the clock. It was quite fun being able to consume Castillo’s advice and past experiences, he shared extraordinarily helpful information within a short amount of time with this interview. A very well put together figure when it comes to financial planning and assistance, and was very glad to be able to share his information with my fellow Rattlers.