December 16, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-inventor-of-the-401k-says-he-created-a-monster-2016-05-16

Most religious men find the answers to their prayers in scripture. Ted Benna found them in the U.S. tax code. Fed up with clients only interested in getting the maximum tax break for themselves while doing as little as possible for their employees, he began to feel he could either remain a workplace benefits consultant or a Christian, but not both. In fact, just weeks before his life’s eureka moment came in September 1980, he thought about leaving the Johnson Companies, his suburban Philadelphia firm, to take a job at a local Christian college. Instead of quitting, Benna, 74, helped turn a little-noticed new subsection of the tax code into the least likely of household names: the 401(k). With a 401k you can put aside pre-tax earnings with a company match up to a certain percentage into a retirement account. This retirement account is managed by a financial services company that will invest your money into the stock, and bond market and overtime build your retirement. This process would replace the typical pension plans that companiess had used for years, and put the financial responsibility on the employee to take care of their retirement. In fact, the original purpose of section 401(k) was to limit the use of executive cash-deferred plans. The Johnson Cos. administered 50 401(k)s in 1982, mostly to its own employees. Today Americans have some 50 million plans holding roughly $3 trillion in assets. Benna’s firm earned its money on the record keeping for the plans (with the help of a $65,000 Wang computer), but outsourced the actual investing component to the Vanguard Group, back when the future mutual-fund giant was still in its nascent days. “Ted was the moral standard within the company and thought it was a conflict for us to also handle the investments,” Wright said. “He believed in doing the right thing.” But like many critics, in recent years he began to think 401(k)s might not be the right thing. He’d created “a monster” that should be “blown up,” Benna lamented in 2011. The 401k plans themselves have grown so complicated. They’re filled with hidden fees, and have so many opportunities for bad decisions that the financial industry benefits more than the savers. “For all its issues, the 401(k)’s biggest value is that it turns spenders into savers,” he said. “Not that I spend much time basking the glory of the 401(k). What matters most to me now is spending time with my grandchildren and my horses.” I think that this forced process of making spenders into savers by the government can be risky, and there needs to be a re-examination of what components are missing from the public education system. Financial education is topic that should be, but isn’t often talked about in homes. In my profession, I see a lot of people that don’t understand the importance of managing credit and risk. I believe a person should look to build multiple streams of income, and not be 100% dependent on their job and the government to take care of them. It’s about taking personal responsibility and learning, and not just handing your money over to someone.  Personally I do have a 401k, but I also look for opportunities to build my income producing asset column, and fight to lower my own consumer debt. I do these things with two things in mind: legacy and eternity. What’s your why?

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/use-self-made-billionaire-ray-dalios-2-minute-rule-to-radically-improve-your-meetings.html

Why do so many of us hate meetings? There’s no shortage of reasons, from wasting time in entirely unnecessary get togethers, to overlong scheduling, and meandering conversations. But somewhere towards the top of nearly everyone’s meeting pet peeve list is oafish meeting behavior. I’m sure you’ve experienced the type of thing I’m talking about – the spotlight hogging, endless interrupting, and under informed bloviating that can make getting together with colleagues about as much fun as watching paint dry. So how do you ensure everyone gets a turn to speak, but that the loudest of the group don’t monopolize the meeting and drown out other good ideas? Ray Dalio, founder of $160 billion hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and self-made billionaire, has a simple rule that can ensure everyone gets their time in the spotlight. On the TED Ideas blog recently Dalio shared nine rules for meetings from his new book Principles: Life and Work . The entire post is definitely worth a read if your organization struggles to keep meetings under control, but one idea stands out as both exceptionally useful and dead simple. Dalio calls it “the two-minute rule”:

The two-minute rule specifies that you have to give someone that uninterrupted period to explain their thinking before jumping in with your own. This ensures everyone has time to fully crystallize and communicate their thoughts without worrying they will be misunderstood or drowned out by a louder voice

This concept isn’t new, and it was instilled in us at an early age. But these two minutes of freedom will allow a person to express his thoughts without interruption. You may need to enforce this time constraint, but make sure you know your team knows this constraint is in force going in. if you’re in leadership/management role, give it a try and see if it changes your work environment. The purpose is to ultimately bring the team together, and find the areas that can be improved together.

This week, I’ve included The 13 Truths – Matthew McConaughey [MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH] from the Mulligan Brothers 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

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December 9, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.inc.com/tom-popomaronis/the-scientific-7-step-formula-that-will-transform-anyone-into-a-morning-person.html

Do you wish you could get up in the morning with ease? Sure you do. If you haven’t been able to crack the morning code yet, there’s a scientifically-backed recipe to help, thanks to behavioral psychologist, Jo Hemmings. Hemmings shared with Mail Online that she specifically crafted the steps to shake up the body. So, prepare to have some serious ammunition that is guaranteed to win the morning fight naturally instead of grumbling and downing java for energy. The seven steps are: sleep on the left side of the bed, wear yellow, set your alarm to an upbeat song, exercise, do a headstand, take an [ice-cold] shower, and eating breakfast (slow energy release). These seven simple steps are worth trying to see if it can change your morning routine. The morning is how you face the day, and it’s good to try new things that will help you power through the day.  Those quiet moments as you face the day are your moments. Cherish them and squeeze every opportunity out of them.

https://www.inc.com/adam-robinson/at-my-first-startup-i-lost-120000-couldnt-meet-payroll-heres-what-i-learned-about-staying-afloat.html

It was early on a Monday morning when I received the call.  It was Marcy, one of our consultants, and she sounded a bit concerned. “Adam, I didn’t get paid today.” I told her that I’d investigate and get right back to her. When the customer service rep from my payroll provider told me that the bank declined our payroll debit, a lump formed in my throat. Frantic, I logged in to view the company’s bank account. The balance: $0.00 On Friday, there had been over $120,000 of cash in that account. Monday morning, the account was empty. I was stunned. What in the world just happened? I was a first-time entrepreneur, and had I been asking myself the tough questions about our business along the way, I would have seen quite clearly that a freight train was bearing down on us. Here are the six questions I should have asked: Do I have the right relationship with my bank?, How many days can I run this business without new cash flow?, Do I have a customer concentration issue?, Do I have the right business model?, Is everyone on our payroll delivering tangible value?, and Do I need to be spending money on that? As a credit analyst, whenever I’m looking at a business loan request, I’m also asking two of the questions that the author asks. How long will it take for the borrower to receive their accounts receivable? If a business’s accounts are stretching out paying the business from 30 to 60 days to 90 to 120 days, then the business may be having issues collecting from its customers. Another factor I look for is the customer concentration. If a borrower has two accounts that make up over half its revenue, then the company is a risk in my opinion. If you’re looking to save or improve your business, then ask yourself these questions, and be aware of the following lessons: Once the stuff hits the fan, it’s too late to make friends with your banker. My weak collections process created major cash flow problems. I hadn’t built a predictable model for landing new business. Running a high-growth, receivables-based business with low profit margins is a recipe for disaster.  Had I rightsized my organization sooner, I would have had sufficient cash to cushion the impact of a slowing economy, and Little expenses add up to a big cash drain.

This week, I’ve included NEVER GIVE UP – Motivational Video – BEST MOTIVATION FOR 2018 from the Mulligan Brothers 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

December 2, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-blockchain-how-does-it-work-explainer-2017-11

From a ‘castle’ full of bitcoin millionaires to the initial coin offering (ICO) craze, it’s hard to escape the chatter about how some people are building their fortunes off the new world of cryptocurrencies. But behind those cryptocurrencies sits a technology called blockchains, which some people believe could fundamentally rewrite how transactions are handled online. With analysts at UBS estimating that blockchains could be a $300 billion to $400 billion global industry by 2027, it’s clear that regardless of what happens in the bitcoin bubble, blockchain technology is here to stay. Here’s what you need to know about blockchains, the technology that’s set to disrupt the world of contracts, finance, shipping and countless other industries. This article is filled with detailed information regarding blockchain technology.  A blockchain is a digital ledger that is distributed across the internet. This ledger is linked through cryptography, and are bound in a way that can’t be edited. Inside each block is transaction history for every transaction that’s ever occurred on the block. Blockchains are good for two things: recording events, and making sure that record is never erased. Blockchains in essence can remove the middle man through a smart contract or a self executing contract. What makes the blockchain unique is that the network is distributed as illustrated above. With a distributed network there is no one central server to attack. Ethereum is popular with startup companies, and Hyperledger Fabric allows large corporations to create blockchain projects. This article is a pretty in-depth analysis of blockchains, and I believe this technology will ultimately end up changing our future.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gingerdean/2017/06/30/3-ways-to-start-living-on-half-your-income

Living on half your income. Impossible? No. Daunting? Yes. How do we accomplish this? With willpower made of steely determination and making major sacrifices. Add to that a dash of honesty, and you’re on your way. Easy, right? All joking aside, the obvious first step is to cut back on your spending, and the way you do that is by taking a hard look at your expenses. But first, let’s take a look at why anyone would want to save half of his or her income. The author advises that if you’re married pick one income stream to live on or save half of your combined income. If you’re single you’ll want to save half of your income. Three steps to take are: track your spending for 30 days, go on the no spend diet, and automate your savings. The no spend diet involves spending money on only the essentials, and not spending money on anything unnecessary. Should do this diet after tracking your spending for 30 days. After doing the first two steps, automate your savings to deduct bi-weekly or monthly. The author also recommends examining the amount spent when it comes to home, car, and children. Doing little steps can have big returns in the end. It’s important to manage your finances, and it begins with knowing how much you get paid per month, how much you have to pay, when you have to pay it, and how much is left over. When money comes in, go ahead and have a plan for it. What is your long term goal? Does it line up with your vision? What does retirement look like for you?

This week, I’ve included Wake Up Early|End Laziness|Motivational Speech Compilation |Morning Motivation|Success Motivation from the Be Inspired – Daily Motivation 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