Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: November Snapshot

I’m thankful to see the end of this month, because it’s two more months until I get to say I do to the love of my life. This year has been challenging to say the least, and I’m very blessed and thankful that I’ve could consolidate debt and at the same time use balance transfers to my advantage. I’m thankful to have a job that is allowing me to stick to my debt reduction plan, and the fact that I have a plan in place. I’m also thankful for the assets I’m building over time and the income they will produce. The other side of this situation is I have a supporting relationship that encourages me and my spirit when I get discouraged. Don’t do life alone. Find someone you can openly speak with your finances about, and have someone encourage you to stay committed to your debt reduction plan.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income, while reducing debt or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need a financial check-up, contact me.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 30, 2016

Pokémon GO has entered Phase 2. Phase 1 was something somewhat surreal, with people roaming in packs in every major city, enriching developer Niantic Labs and the Pokémon Company by untold millions in the process. That was bound to end. The game ended its record breaking stint at the top of the app store’s “top grossing” chart, yielding to more reliable stalwarts like Clash Royale, Mobile Strike and Game of War: Fire Age. It’s a shame, if only because those first two weeks or so with Pokémon GO were some of the most exciting video game experiences I’ve had — pretty much ever. And it’s a shame because the game stood to make billions more if it had been able to capitalize on that. There are some estimates saying that the app’s revenue is up to $500 million in just 60 days which will put it on track to hit $1 billion by the end of the year. Pokemon’s success happened without there being a lot of key features. The author foresees the game getting better, and the players that stick around will have a more addictive experience. By not having simple revenue streams like cosmetic items, Nintendo potentially lost out on millions in revenue by not capitalizing on the initial Pokemon Go phenomenon. Time will tell how well the Phase 2 of Pokemon Go will do. Currently there is another app that is in beta that will soon be released and hopes for the same amount of success. The app is called Firefan. If you want to know more information, please contact me.

In addition to the typical stock and bond funds, there are those folks who prefer owning a physical commodity, such as silver or gold. Buying an ounce of gold today will set you back about $1,300. That’s a steep price tag for one ounce of the precious metal. If gold is too rich for your blood, you might be interested in investing in the following five precious metals better than gold. The five metals are silver, platinum, steel, aluminum, and copper. Silver has more global industrial uses than many of the precious metals, and thus silver’s value is impacted by the business cycle. Per the author: Here are some silver funds to consider investing in: iShares Silver Trust (SPLV), PowerShares DB Silver ETF (DBS), Silver Miners ETF(SIL), iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners ETF (SIVR). Platinum also has an industrial use, and historically has sold for 1.5 times the price of gold. As of Nov 3, platinum was 70% lower than the price of gold. With steel, the World Steel Association forecast a 0.2 percent increase in global steel production this year and 1.1 percent increase in 2017. The aluminum price has fallen more than 40 percent since 2011 as China has ramped up production of the commodity. Due to its diverse uses, aluminum is set to rise as well. Copper is considered an important precious metal due to its similarity to more expensive metals such as silver and gold. Copper is ductile, malleable, and conducts heat and electricity well. Despite those similarities with more expensive metals, copper is priced lower and used more extensively across industries. Copper is invaluable for wiring, plumbing, circuit boards, HVAC systems and telecommunications equipment. Remember when trading in commodities there is higher risk because unlike a company there’s no dividends to receive while you’re waiting for a commodity’s price to rise.

If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included Reinvent your Life – Charles Bukowski from The Journey of Purpose YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” Proverbs

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 23, 2016

“It ain’t about how hard you’re hit, it’s about how you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. Get up!” Sounds like wise words spoken by a billionaire business mogul, right? Actually, it’s a quote from Rocky Balboa, the gritty, tough-as-nails boxer portrayed by actor Sylvester Stallone in seven Rocky movies. The movie is a good example of passion, hard work, and determination. Daymond John’s book The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage references Rocky Balboa as a good inspiration as a business owner. Having desire and desperation is a competitive edge that causes creative and efficient thinking. “The same goes in business,” John writes. “When you want it, when you need it, you find a way to make good things happen. When you expect it, when you feel entitled to it, you might be headed for an ass-whupping.” Being in business isn’t just the numbers, and the product, it is at its core about the business owner. It’s about your emotional intelligence and the strength of your spirit. Life will hit you hard, but if you have a strong spirit, and understand what it takes to rebuild and learn from your mistakes, you will succeed.

It is crucial that your child has an idea of personal finance at a young age. You want them to grow up knowing how to pay their bills and understanding what it means to be in debt. Here are five ways you can teach your child about personal finance that can also be fun and memorable. The five ways are: take them grocery shopping, invite them to help organize your receipts, set a short-term savings goal, give them rewards instead of allowances, and have a discussion. When you go grocery, shopping sit down with your child and explain how much you are looking to spend and have them help you coupon clip. Make a goal for a specific dollar amount and have them go with you and help you find each item and stay within budget. After shopping have your child sit with you to organize each receipt and go over the items. Doing this process will show your child how expensive things are and at the same time show how much taxes can affect how much you spend. Sitting down with your child to set up a short-term savings goal and a “savings jar” or savings account will help them save to reach goals. I suggest looking at savings account online to show the different interest rates that competing banks will offer to get your business. If your pre-teen child doesn’t have a job instead of doing an allowance, set up a rewards allowance. Doing household chores for an allowance is preparation for a job, and shows that with work there is a result. It’ll help them develop and at the same time appreciate work instead of expecting to be taken care of. Finally having open discussions about what your child wants financially is important. I suggest to take it one step further and talk about issues over the dinner table. Let these types of discussions be as common as talking about your day. Talk about both the good and the bad, and what you plan to do next. Communication is the most important piece of not just a healthy business, work environment, but a family also.

If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included Michael Jordan’s Top 10 Rules For Success from Evan Carmichael’s YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” Proverbs 28:26 MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 16, 2016

Donald Trump has secured the White House and investor attention is quickly turning to finding companies perfectly positioned to profit from his plans. While no one can know for certain what’s in store, Trump’s plans to ramp up infrastructure spending could make this the right time to pick up shares in Chicago Bridge & Iron (NYSE:CBI), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), and Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF). Trump’s vision for America involves rebuilding bridges, roads, and railroads. It’s estimated that $3.3 trillion is needed to fund this process. Chicago Bridge & Iron has its roots in bridge-building, but the company, which now goes by the name CB&I, has transformed itself into a major player in energy and water infrastructure. This company receives 70% of its revenues from US Projects so it could be a good buy if infrastructure spending increases. Industry watchers target EPS of $4.54 in 2017, and that means that investors can buy shares for less than seven times next year’s estimates. 
Caterpillar’s machines are a staple of construction sites everywhere, but slow global economic growth has caused a downturn in the company’s business over the past few years, and that’s been a drag on its shares. Last quarter, North America sales, which represent about half of the company’s global revenue, fell 20% year over year because of lower infrastructure and mining demand and lower oil prices. If Trump can kick-start U.S. construction activity, then Caterpillar’s North American construction equipment and diesel and natural gas generators revenue should climb. If the company can properly manage its expenses, and its global demand doesn’t decline, then Caterpillar could be a good addition to your portfolio during the Trump presidency. Cliffs Natural Resources is an iron ore company that is the largest producer of iron ore pellets for American steel companies and producers. Over the past year, the company has reduced its debt and cost of goods sold which means a higher net income. The author recommends these stocks, but I encourage you to seek more than one source when adding to your portfolio, and another factor to consider is are you holding to sell or are you holding to hold onto forever? I’d research to see if these stocks are paying a dividend, and if they aren’t what is your exit strategy when you buy this stock? Ultimately ask yourself am I investing for cash flow or capital gains?

Due to the value of the author’s content, there is heavy quotation:

You may dream of having $1 million, but if you got it what would your tax plan be? One school of thought says just get the money and you can figure out what to do then. I reject that idea and I’ll show you why – the goal should be to keep more of what you make. Let’s start by thinking about professional athletes and entertainers, who often come into large sums of money but find themselves in a different situation regarding taxes. If they are considered independent contractors and not employees, then they would receive their million dollars without any taxes taken out. With even more up-front money in gross income, they could end up spending even more money, only to receive a surprise at tax time when they find out how much they still owe.

In the 1980s I met someone whose boyfriend won $4 million in the lottery. He opted to take the payments whereas most people take the lump sum payment. Was that a good idea? Today, if you take the lump sum in a $1 million lottery, your total federal income taxes are estimated at $356,875. Instead, let’s look at what happens if you take the million dollars as 20 payments of $50,000. Your total federal income taxes are estimated at $5,684. You have saved $243,195 over the 20-year period.

Total Winnings  $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Payments 1 20
Paid Out in Year 1  $1,000,000  $50,000
Taxes in Year 1 $356,875.00 $5,684
Total Received in 20 Years $356,875.00 $113,680
Savings $0 $243,195

This example above shows the power of delayed gratification, and at the same time how much taxes can affect the money you receive. When someone says, they make $50,000 a year, ask yourself is this amount gross income, take home (gross profit) or net income? Most of the time the number is gross income. This amount is before taxes and deductions, so your actual take home pay is a lot loss. In the above scenario, if you were given only $4 million to live in, would you be able to manage it properly to grow or would you spend it all? When you’re investing in assets always think of cash flow, and return on investment. How long will it take for me to get my money back when I put it in on an investment? Remember it’s not about how much money you make, it’s about much money you keep and what you do with it afterwards. With a financial checkup, I can help analyze how much your net income is, and I can show you what I look for when it comes to cash flow.

If you need a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included Marcus Lemonis’s Top 10 Rules For Success from Evan Carmichael’s YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” Proverbs
28:26 MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 9, 2016

One of the common top concerns that I hear from individuals is how they’re not able to save. A consistent savings plan helps you build a solid financial foundation. But where do you begin? Here are seven ways to help you grow your account balances. Your strategy starts with your spending plan. (For more, see: 3 Smart Ways to Update Your Investment Plan.) The seven ways are: create a budget, set up a savings plan, considering opening a CD, consider opening an online FDIC-insured savings account, maximize your contributions, consolidate your retirement accounts, and invest early and often. I believe creating a budget is the first and most important step in not just saving money, but money management period. How do you know how much you can save when you don’t know how much you have after all your bills are paid? Your budget should have enough room to save money. There are four steps in my process, and if you’d like to learn about it, you can reach me at the contact me section. The author states that a savings plan should include three to six months of expenses. In my opinion, you should set aside income instead of expenses. The reason is you are more likely to earn more than you spend. Setting aside three or six months’ worth of income will create an additional buffer for unforeseen large expenses. A CD will give you a higher yield vs your savings account, but it will often require a higher amount to open. In regards to savings accounts, your online savings accounts will have a higher annual percentage yield (APY) vs a standard savings account you’d get at your local bank. Personally, I use Ally Bank, but I recommend you use websites such as or to check your rates. Three ways you can maximize your 401K is by maximizing your contributions, consolidating retirement accounts if you’ve moved between jobs, and finally to invest as often as you can early in life. In my opinion, you should invest enough to ensure that your company is matching your contribution. Be sure to check with your HR department to find out how high they will match your contribution. I recommend that you increase your financial knowledge to invest in not just paper assets, but in assets that will produce income. One day you will retire, and it’s better to have multiple streams of income.

Nearly all marketers agree on the importance of social media marketing for business growth. And considering that 33 percent of millennials today say social media is one of their preferred channels for communicating with businesses, I expect it will become even more important over time. That said, a lot of brands still don’t know how to use social media to engage audiences and help their own bottom line. There is, however, a right — and wrong — way businesses can share their content on social media. Since there is a lot of valuable content in this article there will be a lot of quotes, and I highly recommend that you read this article. The right way is having a business share its content on the platforms where its target audience spends the most time. The author recommends that the business do research into the demographics of different platforms. It’s best to have two focused social accounts to build your business vs. having multiple unused accounts. Even if you have the same end-goal for your content across social media, you should optimize it for each platform’s characteristics and strengths. For example: Videos tend to outperform images on Facebook. Twitter posts, while no more than 140 characters, should be even shorter if you’re including an image. (Luckily, that should be changing soon.) LinkedIn doesn’t support hashtags, so don’t use them. For Twitter and Instagram, hashtags are a necessity. Using visuals can help when you post on any platform, so be sure to use imagery. The author does also state that it is wrong to not vary your content. With the rise of paid social options, it’s no surprise that organic reach has become more difficult for brands. But you can still get the most out of your organic posts by sharing them at optimum times, which tend to vary by platform. Finally, the wrong thing to do when using social media is to spam newsfeeds. Keep in mind having an online presence doesn’t give you a presence in just your local community, with the right infrastructure you could have a global presence. Think differently, and think how you can create an income producing asset. Think about how to increase cash flow, and how to preserve assets. Always keep in mind wealth is a measure of how long your riches will last you. If your income from your assets is greater than your expenses, then you can quit your job and retire rich.

If you need a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included How to be successful – the success cycle (Tony Robbins) from The Internet Marketer YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” Proverbs 28:26 MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 2, 2016

When he was in his 20s, Michael “Rooster” McConaughey nearly destroyed the business empire he built. “The biggest failure I had — monetarily wise, business wise — was I went bankrupt,” said McConaughey, a self-made millionaire who co-stars on CNBC’s reality pitch show “West Texas Investors Club.” After striking success in the oil and lead pipe business, McConaughey had nearly spent his whole bundle. “My biggest problem was I could make money, but I couldn’t hold on to it,” he said. “I was going around with all the big shots. I thought, hell, I’ll never see a poor day.” Rooster was making a lot of money, but he was spending it just as fast as he made it. Remember: It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about how much money you keep, and how hard that money works for you once you invest it. Rooster eventually had to go broke, go back to the basics and build a foundation the slow way. Along the way, the entrepreneur learned the value of business partnerships and having good mentors. “It’s amazing how that helps, just knowing someone has confidence and faith in you,” he said. “That’s a hell of a motivator.” The whole purpose of this blog is to present a different way of thinking, and encourage you to seek mentors.

Leading net-lease retail real estate investment trust Realty Income (NYSE:O) just declared its 556th consecutive monthly dividend, which translates to more than 46 years of steady income for shareholders. Just as importantly, the dividend has grown steadily over the years, and the stock’s performance has shattered the S&P’s returns since its 1994 IPO. Here’s why Realty Income is the biggest dividend stock in my portfolio and why you should consider it for your own. This stock has had been a good choice for a long-term investment for income seeking investors and investors who look for growth. This stock has paid 556 consecutive dividends since even before it was listed on the NYSE. Even more impressive are the company’s total returns. Since real estate makes money in two main ways (rental income and price appreciation), Realty Income has been able to deliver market-beating returns to investors. In fact, since the company’s public listing 22 years ago, the average annualized total return has been 17.9%. To put this in perspective, an investor who bought $10,000 worth of Realty Income in 1994 would have more than $340,000 today, assuming they reinvested all of the dividends. The company invests in retail properties that fit three criteria: discount stores, non-discretionary retail, and service-based retail businesses. Also, the company makes sure the lease structure is risk resistant through long-term “net” leases which requires the tenants to pay the property taxes, building insurance, and maintenance expense. One risk factor to consider is if interest rates rise, then it could affect the share price, however this stock isn’t to be held for a short term. The author recommends taking a long term hold of this stock. Personally, I have two different trading accounts. One I use for day trading, and the other I buy shares or ETFs of stocks to hold for the long term. Have an investment strategy that will allow you to have both cash flow and capital gains.

 If you need a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham – Animated Book Review from PracticalPsychology YouTube channel.

“If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.” Proverbs 28:26 MSG