Michael Paulding Thomas

I'm a retirement income specialist and trainer of financial advisors living in Mission Viejo, California. My interests include technology, reading, film, cycling, motorcycling and my family.

For over three decades I've trained part-time/full-time financial advisors, and helped develop 2 $200k-earners, 10 $100k-earners, 15 part-time $50k-earners and built a $1.6M annual revenue business.

About Me

I want to be happy by doing well by doing good.
Live life to the fullest, fight for what you believe in, and go down swinging.

I strive to be a Renaissance Man, a Professional, and a Gentleman. I am a connoisseur of the art of self-Improvement. I am a German-American and support the original principles of America: [freedom, liberty, individual rights, free-enterprise and capitalism.

I try to live a Quantified, Uncluttered, Minimalist, and Simplified, but a High-End Life. The less you have, the more you value it.

I work to sustain a high level of self-esteem, which is derived from living up to my values, principles and beliefs.

Interesting Facts

Interesting Achievements

Interesting Stats


Ayla Baha Thomas

Professional photographer, painter and interior designer.

My wife, my partner, my best friend, my "Engel" and my love. She's not only beautiful and extremely talented in all things artistry, but she has the personality of an Angel.

My objective is to have a relationship with her based upon love, trust, respect and laughter. We will continue to nurture our life-long friendship and will never lose sight of the fact that we are more than just individuals; we are partners. I will respect her individuality and will support her in achieving her life goals.

Paintings by Ayla

Parents & Grandma

My relationship with my dad is extremely important to me. I want to support him in all decisions he makes, and to remember that all that I am - he showed me the way.

My mom. I wish I knew her better. She died when I was seven.

Omi (my German Grandmother)

Referrals, Affiliates & Recommendations

Below are services I personally use and endorse. Disclaimer: I get some form of referral credit from a few of the links (indicated below).

  • Tesla - You can use my Tesla referral link for 1,000 miles of free supercharging for your new Model S, Model 3, Model X or Model Y.

  • Tesla Screen Protector - Your Tesla is a premium car, so is this screen protector for the touchscreen of Model S, 3, X. You can use my referral link.

  • Tesla Accessories - Awesomeize your Tesla with great accessories from Abstract Ocean. Use my code to get a discount.

  • Stadia Pro. Play games anywhere, anytime on any device. Use my code to get one month free of Stadia Pro (in addition to your trial month).

  • One Financial Bank - My online bank. Use my link to get $50 when opening an account.

  • Coinbase - is a secure platform that makes it easy to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and more. Based in the USA. Use [my referral code](You’ll both receive $10 in Bitcoin when they buy or sell $100 or more on Coinbase!) and we’ll both receive $10 in Bitcoin when you buy or sell $100 or more on Coinbase!

  • Project Fi - Google's telephony service; use my code EUU0H0 to get a $20 credit when you join Project Fi.

  • Private Internet Access - my favorite Virtual Private Network. Works with Windows, Chrome Browser, Android and iOS. Use my referral code.

  • DropBox is the most popular cloud storage system on the market. It allows users to move files, such as images and video, off their computers and onto a database in the cloud. Use my referral code and if you install Dropbox we’ll both get 500 MB of bonus space.

  • Internxt Drive is a zero-knowledge file storage service that's based on absolute privacy and uncompromising security. Use my link and we'll both get $5 of Internxt credit as soon as you activate your account. You can redeem that credit for a premium Internxt membership.

  • DigitalOcean hosting service. I host my business' Wiki. If you use my referral code you get $100 in credit over 60 days.

  • Menlo Club - monthly subscription of great stylish clothes. Use my code RE845886 for a discount.

  • Blacksocks - the best dress socks. Use my code for a discount.

  • Hyperice - use my code to get $20 off all their products.

  • Moo Business Cards - these are the best business cards. Almost every client comments positively on them. Use my code and get 20% off your first order!

  • Lyft - use my link to get $5 off your first ride.

  • Uber - use my link to get $5 off your first ride.

  • AirBNB - Use my code and you'll get $55 toward your first trip.

Interesting Stuff


Michael & Ayla's bikes

Two Specialized Diverge Expert Carbon "Rolling Adler" (mine) and Ayla's.

Component/Item Brand Model
FrameSpecializedDiverge Expert FACT 9r carbon (2021), SWAT Door integration, internal routing, 12x142mm thru-axle, Roubaix S-Wrap tape, Satin Oak Green Metallic/Gloss White (58)
PedalsShimanoM520 SPD
Front WheelDT SwissG540 rim, 24mm internal width, tubeless ready, 24h, Specialized full sealed bearing thru axle hub, centerlock disc, DT Swiss Champion 14G stainless steel spokes, DT Swiss brass nipples
Rear WheelDT SwissDT Swiss G540 rim, 24mm inner width, tubeless ready, 24h, Specialized full sealed bearing thru axle hub, centerlock disc, alloy freehub body, DT Swiss Champion 14G stainless steel spokes, DT Swiss brass nipples
Front TireSpecializedPathfinder Pro, 2Bliss Ready, transparent sidewall, 700x38mm
Rear TireSpecializedPathfinder Pro, 2Bliss Ready, transparent sidewall, 700x38mm
SeatpostRovalTerra Carbon Seat Post, 20mm Offset
ForkSpecializedSmooth Boot, FACT carbon, 12x100 mm thru-axle, flat-mount
CranksetShimanoGRX RX810-1
Bottom BracketShimanoShimano Threaded BSA BB
ChainShimanoUltegra, 11-speed
Rear DerailleurShimanoGRX RX817 Di2, 11-speed
CassetteShimanoXT, 11-speed, 11-42t
Shift LeversShimanoGRX RX815 hydraulic brake levers, 11 speed electronic shifting
HandlebarSpecializedSpecialized Adventure Gear Hover, 103mm drop x 70mm reach x 12º flare
StemSpecializedFuture Stem Pro
Front BrakeShimanoGRX RX815, hydraulic disc
Rear BrakeShimanoGRX RX815, hydraulic disc
SaddleSpecializedBody Geometry, Power, Hollow Titanium rails, 143mm


Tesla Model 3 Performance+ "Electric Adler"

Tesla M3P+ Full Stats

  • Model 3 Performance

  • Dual-Motor

  • Front motor: Induction

  • Rear motor: Permanent magnet

  • Full Self-Driving

  • Long-Range Battery (2170 cells)

  • Range: 285 miles

  • 450 HP

  • 471 Torque

  • 0-60: 2.9 seconds

  • Top speed: 162 mph

  • Multi-Coat Red

  • Premium White Interior

  • Premium Interior/Audio Package

  • Premium Connectivity Package

  • Autopilot computer: 2.5

  • 19" Inch Wheels

  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S

  • Unlimited Lifetime Supercharging

  • Enhanced Autopilot (EAP)

  • FasTrak Tolls

  • Free CA HOV Lane Access

  • List of full specs

Modifications & Customizations

Previous Vehicles

  • Toyota Celica 1977, Kaiserslautern, Germany

  • Honda CRX, 1989, Frostburg, MD

  • VW Golf, Cumberland MD, late 1990's

  • VW Golf 2006, Orange, CA, 2006 - 2008

  • Mercedes E350, Placentia CA, 2010 - 2014



Games Completed / Currently Playing

  • Tomb Raider (part 1 of 3), finished with Ayla 2019-11-31

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (part 2 of 3)

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider, (part 3 of 3)

  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey, completed 100% 2020 April 9, Hours played: 302, #1 on Exophase Leader's Board!, 93/93 Achievements completed, Level 99 + Mastery Letarted: 12/15/2020vel 4, 66 Cultists Killed (all), Attained Tier 1 Mercenary (top), 15,039 Total Kills, 2,290 Assassinations, 1,006 Mercenaries Defeated, 22 Arena Champions Defeated, 69 Mythical Creatures Defeated, 100% Abilities Acquired, 416 Legendary Items Collected, 471 Orichalcum Collected, 100% Ship Upgrades, 303 Ships Defeated

  • Assassin's Creed Valhalla, started: 12/15/2020

  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, 100% completed 12/14/2020, played on Jedi Master level, all 10 Stims acquired, all Abilities attained + 7 additional skill points, all Secrets found, 90%+ of all 5 planets explored, 35 of 40 Trophies attained, reflected Blaster Bolt Kills: 554, parried Enemies: 621, perfect evades: 101, play time: 53 hours, #5 on Exophase Stadia Leaders Board

  • Monument Valley 1 (Google Play Games)

  • Monument Valley 2 (Google Play Games)

  • Alto's Adventure (Google Play Games)

  • Alto's Odyssey (Google Play Games)

  • Detroit: Become Human, completed with Ayla (PS4)

  • LittleBigPlanet 1 (PS3)

  • Gran Turismo 6 (PS3)

  • Ridge Racer 7 (PS3)

  • Colin McRae: DiRT (PS3)

  • Rock Band (PS3)

  • Ridge Racer 1) (PS1)

  • Tekken (PS1)

  • Colin McRae Rally (PC)

  • Dirt (PC)

Health / Fitness / Grooming / Style

Health & Diet

Live a long life, free of sickness. I honor my body physically by taking great take care of it through exercise, supplements and proper diet.

The Simple Secret
Get Slim from Diet. Get Fit from Exercise.

Specifically: LC/HF \+ IF \+ HIT (Low-Carb / High-Fat diet + Intermittent Fasting + High Intensity Training).

Have a goal of "zero carb". It's not possible, because there are hidden carbs everywhere. But if shoot for "low" carb you'll end-up with more than you expect.
High fat. Yes, really. Lot's of fatty meat (ribeye, burnt ends, bacon, butter etc).
Low to medium amount of protein.

Article: The Top 5 Benefits of the Keto Diet

16/8 Intermittent Fasting. This means no food for 16 hours straight, and only eating within the remaining 8 hour window.

Try to slowly increase to 18/6 and even 20/4.

Health & Fitness

The Kettlebell Swing
Use for aerobic conditioning. I do 60 continuous swings with a 48kg kettlebell, five days a week.

The Kettlebell Get-Up
Kettlebell Get-Ups - for all-body strength. I do three Get-Ups per side with a 48kg kettlebell, five days a week.

Forearm Exercises

Zenith 1 Gripper from IronMind
NSD Power Essential Spinner Gyroscopic Wrist and Forearm Exerciser
Finger Bands

  • Practice good grooming. Be clean and odor-free. Check B.O. and breath. Fingernails.

  • Get your nails done (all twenty). You're a Pro, not a pig farmer.

  • Shave correctly with a double-edge razor, with high-quality DE blades, use a brush and high-end shave soap.

  • Take care of your skin with good skin care products. Consider subscribing to Birch Box.

Hair Care

  • x

Dental Hygiene

Skin Care

  • x

My Favorite Colognes

My Favorite Colognes



BMW 1200 RTW Full Stats

  • Platinum Bronze Metallic (including painted Top Case)

  • Flat twin boxer engine, 1170 displacement, single cylinder, four-stroke, liquid cooled, 92 kW power, 125 Nm torque

  • Shaft drive

  • 6-speed gearbox with gear shift assistant pro

  • Cruise control

  • Brembo dual front / single rear disc brakes with Bosch i-ABS

  • Automatic Stability Control (ASC) with Rain, Normal and Dynamic modes

  • Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA)

  • 233 kg dry weight

  • Partially integrated braking

  • Hill start control (brake-hold)

  • Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires

  • Tire pressure indicator

  • Adjustable electric windshield

  • LED daytime running lights

  • Integrated radio, SiriusXM and USB mp3 player, all with external speakers or Bluetooth

  • Heated grips and seats

  • Radio and USB mp3 player

  • Custom Sargent front heated seat

  • Integrated Garmin BMW Motorrad Navigator V

  • Keyless ride and central locking: on/off and full locking of bike, gas cap, all compartments, side cases and top case

  • Anti-theft alarm system

Modifications & Customizations


Previous bike: R1200 RT 2006

Movies / TV / Watching Sports

Film & TV


Germany FIFA World Cup Stats

  • Franz Beckenbauer is the only one of two people to have won the WC as player and as a coach.

  • Most appearances in a World Cup final: Germany

  • Most appearances in World Cup semifinal: Germany

  • Most matches played: Germany

  • Most goals scored, champions: Germany

  • Most tournaments played: Antonio Carbajal (Mexico, 1950–1966) and Lothar Matthäus (Germany, 1982–1998).

  • Most matches played, finals: Lothar Matthäus (Germany, 1982–1998).

  • Most tournaments with at least five goals: Teófilo Cubillas ( Peru 1970, 1978) and Miroslav Klose (Germany, 2002–2006).

  • Largest deficit overcome in a win in a final: West Germany, 1954 (coming from 0–2 down to win 3–2 vs Hungary).

  • Most players scoring at least seven goals in a tournament: 1970 - Gerd Müller (West Germany) and Jairzinho (Brazil).

  • Most matches coached: Helmut Schön ( West Germany, 1966–1978).

  • Most matches won as a coach: Helmut Schön ( West Germany, 1966–1978).

  • Most final appearances as player and head coach: Mário Zagallo, Brazil (1958 & 1962 as player, 1970, 1974 & 1998 as coach); Franz Beckenbauer, West Germany (1966–1974 as player, 1986 & 1990 as coach)

  • Most goals scored all time in all World Cups: Miroslav Klose - 16

  • WC 2014 Golden Glove (top goalie): Manuel Neue

  • Germany is first European Team win WC hosted in South American Country: WC 2014, Brasil

Music / Concerts / Plays


  • My YouTube Music profile

  • Vocal Trance is my overall favorite music genre, and my favorite artist is Generation Trance. Their mixes are available for free on their forums.

  • My favorite artists include: a-ha, Marillion, Cold Play, Sade, George Michael

Plays, Musicals & Concerts


Books & Reading

Books & Reading

Cigars, Pipe, Scotch & Spirits

Photo Albums of Ayla & I Enjoying Cigars & Scotch

My Humidor Set-Up

I use the Whynter CHC-251S Stainless Steel 400-Cigar Cooler Humidor, 2.5 Cubic Feet which controls the temperature, and I control humidification via the Cigar Oasis electronic humidifier.

Cool Pipe Smoking Paraphernalia

Scotch & Spirits

Scotch & Spirits Paraphernalia

  • Blomus Stainless-Steel Flask

  • Vinturi Spirit Aerator

  • Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator

  • Oster Wine Opener


I'm a self-professed Tech geek

My Security Protocol

Security and convenience are in constant tension. The more secure a protocol is the less convenient, and vice versa. The key is to find a workable balance between the two.

  • Use a VPN for all internet connections (mobile, laptop, servers), such as Private Internet Access or ProtonVPN.

  • Use a non-tracking search engine whenever possible, such as Brave Search or DuckDuckGo.

  • Use a secure email service, such as [ProtonMail]() for important and sensitive emails (banking, tax returns etc.)

  • Use a secure messenger, such as Signal messenger. (Signal also handles SMS/TXT on Android, and is what Edward Snowden uses.)

  • For online storage use fully encrypted cloud storage, such as ProtonDrive or InterNxt .

  • Use the Brave browser. It is based on Chromium and is 90% similar to Chrome. Do NOT store passwords in Brave (or any browser).

  • Store passwords and sensitive data in Bitwarden. Use a memorable and long passphrase and turn on 2FA, but all other passwords for websites and apps are generated by Bitwarden (never make your own passwords nor reuse old ones).

  • Use 2FA for all websites and apps that offer it. Use Bitwarden to store the codes/seeds.

  • Use Cryptomator to create an encrypted folder/drive on your computer to store your really sensitive information and then store it in an encrypted cloud storage (#5 above). For example, store your Bitwarden backups here.

  • Consider switching to Linux for your laptops/desktop/server (I use Pop! OS). Microsoft, Mac and Google don't have the best track record regarding privacy and security.

My Daily Tech Carry

Android Apps & Services

  • Brave chromium browser

  • Google Gmail

  • Proton Mail

  • Google Chat / Meet

  • Signal

  • Google Contacts

  • Google Calendar

  • Proton Calendar

  • Joplin note-taking / to-do

  • Google Drive

  • Google Pay

  • Google Podcasts

  • Google Photos

  • YouTube

  • YouTube Music

  • Google Books

  • Google News

  • Google Home

  • Stadia

  • Nest

  • Amazon Kindle

  • Emby

  • Trakt

  • Nokia Health Mate


  • Instagram

  • Twitter

  • LinkedIn

My Connected Digital Home

Origin PC Media Server

  • Origin PC Custom S-Class Chronos Black with Red Accents

  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I Gaming

  • Cooling: Asetek Frostbyte 120 Sealed Liquid System and Enermax 80mm fan UTCB8

  • Power: 650 Watt Silverstone SFX Series

  • CPU: Intel Core i9 7900X 10-Core 3.3GHz (4.3GHz TurboBoost) Skylake-X

  • Graphics card: 11GB NVIDA EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

  • Memory: 32GB G.Skill Ripjaws 3000MHz DDR4

  • OS Hard Drive: 500GB Samsung 960 Evo PCIe NVMe M.2

  • Data Drive 1: 4TB Western Digital Caviar Black

  • Data Drive 2: 4TB Western Digital Caviar Black

  • Networking: Two LANs (Intel 1211 Gigabit) and Intel Dual-Band Wireless AC 8265

  • Audio: On Board High Definition 8-Channel Audio

My Webinar, Streaming, Screencasting, Recording Set-Up

Trips, Travel, Vacations & Events

Places I've visited.
Google Local Guide Level 4.
U.S. Customs Global Entry Traveler program.