Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: May Snapshot

Thankfully this month, I paid off the Prosper loan, and now I’m focusing solely on the credit card balances. Remember that paying off your debts will give you a raise. Without debt, you will be able to experience your true take home pay (gross profit). Having a budget, will help you know how much your disposable income will be, and your disposable income is how you will build wealth. Mind your own personal investment portfolio. As you pay down debt, look for ways to increase income. I’ll plan on taking advantage of the loan balance transfer offers to reduce my personal line of credit to pay for emergency expenses and look for income producing opportunities. My wife is preparing to interview and will start working in the field that she loves starting next month. I believe you should do what you love and do it with excellence. If it’s possible to do what you love and generate income from it, then leverage the internet to reach as many people as possible. If it’s not possible to generate income from what you love, then let it be your motivator to do your profession with excellence. Our time is finite, but our impact can be eternal.

Over the next few months, my goal will be to reduce either credit card balance by $1000. By year end, my goal is to position myself to be able to make $1000 debt payments toward my debt via my job, and businesses. Some of the new habits I’ve adopted is listening to motivational videos, and relaxation videos through YouTube. However, for me, my core foundation remains the same, prayer, the Word, and worship. What’s your 1st response when things go right or wrong?

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.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through Mustard Seed in the mustard seed section.

“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.”

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Here’s this month’s video: THROUGH HARD TIMES – Powerful Motivational Video 2017 | PART I from the Motversity YouTube channel.

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

May 31, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

Although it must be clear that what happens to prices of stocks over short periods of time is largely a reflection of changes in investor psychology, there is more than enough information readily available to assist in the process of identifying issues that have a better-than-average chance of outperforming the market. Understanding the importance of this information is the difference between the astute investor and one who is awash in incomprehensible data. In my early training as an analyst at the prestigious Value Line organization, I was part of a group of dozens of researchers who assembled and published a comprehensive range of data on well over 1,000 of the most actively traded companies. Each single-page report contained numerous data points as well as concise commentary about the companies covered. Yet the reality was there were only a handful of key factors that told the tale of where things stood. Things have not changed in today’s world of information overload. However you go about this process, it’s essential to be aware that stock selection must lead to portfolio selection. By analogy, the task is that of picking a team with a dozen or more well-chosen players. It is most certainly not an effort aimed at coming up with only one or two superstars. The five factors are: price-earnings growth ratio, relative strength index, consistent earnings growth, coefficient variance, and free cash flow (FCF). The PEG is calculated by dividing the price-earnings ratio (P/E) by the prospective rate of growth. So if the P/E is 20 and the growth rate is 10%, the PEG would be 2.0. Although there’s no strict rule of thumb, the typical range for a PEG would be between 1.0 and 2.0, so in this example, the PEG would be considered to be stretched. (For more from this author, see: Understanding Stock Valuations: Price-Earnings Ratio.) This ratio will measure a company that is growing rapidly and help you see if it’s an actual good investment. The Relative Strength Index is a measure of the stock’s price against the market. It’s used as a check of a company’s performance relative to the market. There’s nothing like consistency of earnings growth to help expand stock valuations. If over time earnings have grown steadily and without interruption, there will be good reason for investors to be confident that more of the same lies ahead. Always check at least the latest three years. (For related reading, see: Steady Growth Stocks Win the Race.). The Coefficient Variance is a measure of the consistency of analyst’s estimates of earnings. FCF is the cash that’s left over after taxes, capital expenditures and debt repayments. When there’s free cash flow, there’s capital available for further company expansion. Another measure banks will use when looking at a company’s financials is cash available to service debt. This number reflects cash available after adding back interest, depreciation, interest, and any acceptable add backs. When you are looking to invest in a company, think about being a bank. You are lending money to a company expecting your investment to be paid back at a rate of return. The opposite is also true, if you ever lend then you should look at it as an investment. Don’t lend or invest on income you need to live off of, only lend or invest on disposable income, and be willing to lose it all.

Everything we know about In-N-Out’s reclusive 35-year-old president who just became one of the youngest billionaires in America. Thirty-five-year-old Lynsi Snyder became one of the youngest billionaires in the US this week, after inheriting full control of the burger chain In-N-Out. Snyder inherited 50% of In-N-Out’s shares when she turned 30, and on Friday — her 35th birthday — she acquired most of the chain’s remaining shares. The inheritance makes her one of the youngest female billionaires in the country. The famously reclusive heiress has been married four times and suffered through a spate of family tragedies, including the death of her father when she was just 17 years old. Snyder has only spoken to the media a handful of times over the past decade. Here’s what we know about her life. This selection will contain mostly quotes due to the nature of this article.

Snyder’s grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder, opened the first In-N-Out restaurant in 1948. Snyder became president of In-N-Out in 2010 and in 2012, she inherited 50% of the company’s shares. Since taking the position as president, Snyder has expanded In-N-Out to six states from four. She has changed almost nothing else about the brand, which prides itself on a simple menu of burgers and fries. When asked about her future plans for In-N-Out, Snyder told CBS she would “never” take the company public or franchise its restaurants. “The only reason we would do that is for the money, and I wouldn’t do it,” Snyder said in the interview. In fact, she doesn’t plan to change much about the burger chain. “My heart is totally connected to this company because of my family, and the fact that they are not here — I have a strong tie to keep this the way they would want it,” she said.

I encourage you to read this article, because it isn’t long, has pictures, and gives a fascinating insight into this private heiress. You can have success and live a private life. Be who you are in public and private. Your words and your actions behind your words carry more weight than any bank account ever will.

If you are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included BREAK THE BAD HABITS – Motivational Video 2017 from Be Inspired 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

May 24, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

Dark pools are an ominous-sounding term for private exchanges or forums for trading securities; unlike stock exchanges, dark pools are not accessible by the investing public. Also known as “dark pools of liquidity,” they are so named for their complete lack of transparency. Dark pools came about primarily to facilitate block trading by institutional investors, who did not wish to impact the markets with their large orders and consequently obtain adverse prices for their trades. While dark pools have been cast in a very unfavorable light in Michael Lewis’ bestseller “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt,” the reality is that they do serve a purpose. However, their lack of transparency makes them vulnerable to potential conflicts of interest by their owners and predatory trading practices by some high-frequency traders. (See also “How IEX is Combating Predatory Types of High-Frequency Trades.”) Dark pools have been around since the 1980s. Since you may not have heard of dark pools before, I’m going to use a lot of quotes from this article. Consider the options available to a large institutional investor who wanted to sell 1 million shares of XYZ stock before the advent of non-exchange trading. This investor could either (a) work the order through a floor trader over the course of a day or two and hope for a decent VWAP (volume weighted average price); (b) split the order up into say five pieces and sell 200,000 shares per day, or (c) sell small amounts until a large buyer could be found who was willing to take up the full amount of the remaining shares. The market impact of a 1-million sale of XYZ shares could still be sizeable, regardless of whether the investor chose (a), (b), or (c), since it was not possible to keep the identity or intention of the investor secret in a stock exchange transaction. With options (b) and (c), the risk of a decline in the period while the investor was waiting to sell the remaining shares was also significant. Dark pools were one solution to these issues. There are more than 40 dark pools registered with the SEC, made up of three types: broker-dealer owned, agency broker or exchange-owned, and electronic market makers. There are pros and cons of dark pools. The advantages are reduced market impact, and lower transaction costs. The disadvantages are exchange prices may not reflect the real market, pool participants may not get the best price, vulnerability to predatory trading by HFTs, and small average trade sizes reduces need for dark pools. The recent HFT controversy has drawn significant regulatory attention to dark pools. Regulators have generally viewed dark pools with suspicion because of their lack of transparency, and the controversy may lead to renewed efforts to curb their appeal. One measure which may help exchanges reclaim market share from dark pools and other off-exchange venues could be a pilot proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to introduce a “trade-at” rule. The rule would require brokerages to send client trades to exchanges rather than dark pools unless they can execute the trades at a meaningfully better price than that available in the public market. If implemented, this rule could present a serious challenge to the long-term viability of dark pools. Dark pools provide pricing and cost advantages to buy-side institutions such as mutual funds and pension funds, and these benefits ultimately accrue to the retail investors who own these funds. However, dark pools’ lack of transparency makes them susceptible to conflicts of interest by their owners and predatory trading practices by HFT firms. The recent HFT controversy has drawn increasing regulatory attention to dark pools, and implementation of the proposed “trade-at” rule could pose a threat to their long-term viability.

Big ideas can come in small packages. Take TED Talks, the beloved lectures on technology, entertainment, and design. Some of the most insightful talks take up less than 10 minutes of the viewer’s time. They’re perfect for when you want to expand your horizons and still get to that thing you’ve been meaning to do. Here are some talks to turn to if you want to get smarter in a hurry. “How to speak so that people want to listen” by Julian Treasure. Julian gives six tools to consider when speaking, including pitch, and other factors. Anyone can use the power of words
if he does it intentionally. “Get ready for hybrid thinking” by Ray Kurzweil. Ray Kurzweil, a futurist and inventor, argues that in two decades, human thought will be a mixture of biological and nonbiological processes. According to Kurzweil, the brain would operate the same as it does today, but if you needed some extra juice you’d be able to connect to the cloud for external neural connections — all thanks to nanobots that would live in your brain and connect to that cloud. The remaining suggested TED Talks are: “I listen to color” by Neil Harbisson, “5 dangerous things you should let your kids do” by Gever Tulley, “The next outbreak? We’re not ready” by Bill Gates, “The hidden power of smiling” by Ron Gutman, “Grit: The power of passion and perseverance” by Angela Duckworth, “Let’s try emotional correctness” by Sally Kohn, “Forget multitasking, try monotasking” by Paolo Cardini. Each suggested video is only ten minutes long, but it provides a wealth of information. I suggest that each day you should try to watch or read something new to constantly challenge your mind. Your mind is a muscle too, and it needs to be exercised.

If you are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included Warren Buffett – How to Stay Out of Debt Forever from Truly Rich Noypi 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

May 17, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

A year and a half ago, the idea of buying the virtual currency bitcoin was laughable. After a rapid rise in value in 2013, the cryptocurrency’s value more than halved by mid-2015. At its lowest point, one bitcoin was equal to about $230. But now Bitcoin is at an all-time high, and rising. Within the last month, the price of one bitcoin has climbed from $1,280 to around $1,480. Given the currency’s covert nature, the average person still may not understand how buying and selling actually works. Using the app Coinbase, which lets anyone trade bitcoins for a small fee, we decided to find out. A brief warning: If you’re going to do this, tell your bank you’re about to buy bitcoin. More on that later. This article provides a step by step process of buying Bitcoin, so I recommend reading the article if you’re interested in purchasing it. The author also has his reservations about using Coinbase, however I personally am going to use this site to buy Ethereum. It is another cryptocurrency. If you’re interested in forming an investment group with me, then contact me.

Jacob Fugger was a German banker who financed kings, explorers, bishops and popes — and along the way made the biggest fortune ever amassed by a business person. The grandson of a peasant, he persuaded Leo X to legalize for-profit lending. One of his money-making schemes provoked Martin Luther to write the 95 Theses and kick off the Reformation. He played kingmaker in the 1519 election for Holy Roman Emperor. Jacob (Jakob in German) Fugger and his money gave the vote to Charles V of Spain and put Charles atop an empire as big as Napoleon’s. Fugger was worth about $400 billion in current dollars at the time of his death in 1525 — or 2% of Europe’s GDP at the time. (John D. Rockefeller was close in dollar terms, but his wealth equaled a smaller part of the U.S. economy.) Here are some of his secrets: invest when others fear, be indispensable, know the facts, know the numbers, get a good education, keep cool, and give something back. It’s best to not let fear or analysis-paralysis stop you from making a move when it comes to investing into your future. Do you have a vision? Do you have a mission? Do you have it written out? Be indispensable not just in your work place, but in your life. If you have integrity then people will trust in you and be willing to help you. Do what you say and say what you do, but make sure you think before you speak. Knowing the facts and the numbers will help you stay grounded. Getting a good education will help you draw out the person you are destined to be. Study what you love even if it’s for free, but think about how can you turn it into an income generating asset. How can it generate passive income or any form of income? Keep cool and use your will to stay focused on your plan whatever it may be. However, in the end, look at everything through the lens of eternity and legacy. There’s no sense in amassing great wealth with no plan on how you can help humanity. Fugger is best known as the creator of the Fuggerei, the world’s first affordable housing project. He thought anyone who worked deserved to have a roof over their head. Rent came to one quarter the market rate. The Fuggerei remains in operation and is the largest tourist attraction in his home city of Augsburg. Greg Steinmetz is the author of “The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger.” I encourage you to read a book on a topic that interests, and a topic that is challenging to read to keep feeding one of your greatest assets: your mind.

If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO – LIVE LIKE A KING from MulliganBrothers 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

May 10, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

Buy recommendations are prevalent and stem from a wide variety of sources, including investment newsletters, analysts, stockbrokers and investment managers. However, few offer much advice on when it is best to sell a stock. Here are five tips on when it might be time to sell. It hits your price target, a deterioration in the fundamentals, a better opportunity comes along, after a merger, and after bankruptcy. Obviously selling a stock when it doubles is a good idea, but when you are selling it when it doubles you are saying that the company is undervalued by 50%. I’ve said in previous blogs that understanding the numbers is important. The reason you should understand the fundamentals is to save yourself from losses when it looks like a company is deteriorating. Always look for better opportunities and factor in the opportunity cost. Take the time to read the final tips, but also consider how these tips factor into your investment portfolio. What is your asset class? Where is your focus? What lens are you looking at your life through?

Hard work is as American as apple pie. We pride ourselves on pulling 12-hour days — getting in a workout before heading to the office before running to the PTA meeting and making it home in time for the evening news. Being stellar at the office, exceeding expectations, and climbing the ladder are all a part of the American dream. Until suddenly you hit a wall. You’re mentally and physically exhausted. Going through the motions day in and day out, forgetting self-care and ignoring pleas from friends to “slow down.” You are burned out. This article is a reminder of the dangers of stress on our daily life. Whether you have an educated background or not, you will find yourself in a stressful work environment. Stressful jobs contribute to 120,000 deaths each year and cost U.S. businesses up to $190 billion in health care costs , according to a 2016 paper from researchers at Harvard Business School and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Regardless of age, American workers are unwilling to take vacation time, because they want to protect their job or they feel like they must keep up with the pace of work. “Burnout is primarily caused by systemic factors in workplaces,” says Chicago-based clinical psychologist Dr. Adia Gooden. “Jobs that put more pressure on employees without support and useful feedback are more likely to see employee burnout.” Here are six keys to spotting burnout: know the signs, see how the office or work environment impacts you and others, consider how technology plays a role, know that workouts help but only so much, when to speak to management, and seeking professional help.

Research shows that burnout has three dimensions:

  • Emotional exhaustion: Feeling used up and spent; sometimes physically and mentally, as well. You may have trouble sleeping, get sick often, and become irritated at the drop of a hat.
  • Depersonalization: Feeling alienated and disconnected to others at work.
  • Reduced personal accomplishment: Feeling apathetic and losing confidence in yourself and your abilities at work. Your capacity to perform is compromised.

Be mindful of the workload of your environment, and know when to set boundaries around your time away from work so work can’t creep into your personal time. It is healthy to work out, but it’s also important to eat properly, and to engage in practices that allow you to unplug from work even during the work day. Personally, I’ve taken up listening to motivational videos, or relaxation music through YouTube. For me, these strategies come alongside my primary response to exhaustion which is prayer, reading the Word, and listening to worship music. What works for me may not work for you but if it helps you engage in the principle of rest then it’s helping you pay back your time deficit. Build into your life time margin so you can truly rest and replenish your strength, and in doing so you may see a problem from a different point of view and solve it.

For this week, I’ve included Arnold Schwarzenegger – THE STORY SO FAR – Gym Motivation – Motivational Speech from MulliganBrothers 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

May 3, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

The Pew Research Center, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C., released a major report Monday on America’s shrinking middle class. Robert Kiyosaki, the author of personal finance best seller “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” and real-estate investor, says the middle class has it harder now than when he was coming of age. This interview has been condensed for space:

MarketWatch: How do you think our idea and definition of the “middle class” has changed over time?

Robert Kiyosaki: I’m a baby boomer, and I left school in 1969. We had it really easy: plenty of jobs, high-paying jobs. You could put money in the stock market, it went up. Put it in a house, it went up. There was health insurance and retirement plans. That all changed in 1971 when [U.S. President Richard] Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard. Then you had globalization, and jobs started to disappear. That’s putting a tremendous strain on any remaining middle class.

In the article, Robert references “Rise of the Robots” by Martin Ford. This book is about the acceleration of technology and artificial intelligence replacing workers. Robert argues one of the most endangered species is a male that is 50 years old, who is not tech savvy and at the tail end of the baby boom generation. Robert admits that Trump’s administration has good intentions, however he is simply a man. Robert suggests that the way to possibly save the middle class is to take advantage of the huge boom in entrepreneurship. Technology makes it easier for people to start a business at a lower cost, but you need to have core fundamentals. When you start a business you have to be mindful not just of your local market competition but your global competition too. A good friend who’s owend a small business for 20+ years has told me that he’s not successful, he’s a survivor. There is a secret inherent trait you must have to last in business.

Net present value (NPV) is a popular measure of profitability used in corporate budgeting to assess a given project’s potential return on investment (ROI). Because of the time value of the dollar, NPV takes into account the compounding of the discount rate over the duration of the project. (For related reading, see What are the disadvantages of using net present value as an investment criterion?)

The NPV of a project or investment reflects the degree to which cash inflow, or revenue, equals or exceeds the amount of investment capital required to fund it. When assessing multiple projects, businesses use NPV as a way of comparing their relative profitability to ensure that only the most lucrative ventures are pursued. A higher NPV indicates that the project or investment is more profitable.

To calculate NPV, the estimated cash outflow and inflow for each period must be established, as well as the expected discount rate. Though the exact figures can only be known after completion, fair estimates can be made by looking at the performance of similar projects or investments.

Due to the importance of the content of this article, I’ve included more quotes than usual.

Assume a company wants to analyze the predicted profitability of a project that requires an initial outlay of $10,000. Over the course of three years, the project is expected to generate revenues of $2,000, $7,000 and $11,000, respectively. The anticipated discount rate is 4.5%. At first glance, it seems the returns are nearly double the investment. However, a dollar earned in three years is not as valuable as a dollar earned today, so the company’s accountant calculates the NPV as follows to determine profitability while accounting for the discounted time value of the projected revenues.

Manual Calculation:

NPV = {$2,000/(1+.045)^1} + {$7,000/(1+.045)^2} + {$11,000/(1+.045)^3} – $10,000

= $1,913.88 + $6,410.11 + $9,639.26 – $10,000

= $7,963.25

Excel Calculation:

Time is your most valuable of your assets. You shouldn’t waste it. This simple calculation will give you an idea if an investment is worth your time. However knowing the owner, the management team, the vision, and the mission will give you a better insight into a business’s intrinsic value. There are some things that the numbers will not tell you. Also remember that even though the numbers don’t lie, they can be fabricated too. If you have the luxury of sitting down with a business owner then ask questions and hear his soul.

If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included THIS DREAM HAUNTS ME – 2017 MOTIVATION from Basquiat Picasso 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