Month End: August Snapshot


Near the end of August, I was surprised to have my previous annual review completed. It’s something that I had been hoping, praying, and struggling over throughout the year. Normally it’s completed at the end of the year, so not having a review concerned me. Even though I knew I was working as hard as I could, I felt frustrated and unimportant. I had talked about my frustrations with my wife, therapist, a close co-worker, and the Lord, but I was at my wits end. I knew I contributed greatly and was valuable in my workplace, but the lack of communication, had taken me to a place where I even considered alternate options. Surprisingly, I was called in for my review and sat down for the first time with my boss for my review. In previous years, I would complete my evaluation, and it would be submitted for approval. This year, he apologized for the delay, and asked for my thoughts on my career path. It was honestly a relief to have communication, but the greatest blessing didn’t come until the end of the month. He handed me a card showing what my new salary would be. Even now I’m so thankful to God, I had been trying to reach this number since I first entered the work force after leaving college fifteen years ago. This salary amount will allow me to pay down my debt faster, and at the same time set aside money for the future. I immediately adjusted my budget to set my current monthly income as my new estimated income and have made plans to adjust my actual income, so I can set aside a portion of this income for savings and investing.

Pray, plan, and build the future you want. I can’t say that it will happen overnight, and most of the time it will require a lot of work and sacrifice, but if you have the right attitude and work ethic you will achieve the goal you set. I’m proof that if you’re in the right environment it can happen. It’s important to keep the faith. If you receive an increase in pay, make sure you have a plan for your money. A plan can be a budget, or even a discussion with someone you trust about how to handle the change in income. Don’t waste your new income. If you’re trying to get out of debt, then stay on your path, and don’t get into more debt. I’m planning on using my debt reduction plan toward other debts I have, but I’m continuing to chip away at the credit card debt above.

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.

This month’s video is WATCH THIS EVERY DAY| You Are More Than A Conqueror Motivational Video from the Lion of Judah YouTube channel.

“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.”
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Deuteronomy 28:12 NLT‬‬
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http://bible.com/116/deu.28.12.nlt‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

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April 19, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.businessinsider.com/laura-vanderkam-power-hour-productivity-2016-10

Laura Vanderkam the author of this video argues that we should consciously spend time on the parts of our job that initially drew us to our job in the beginning. To do more of the things you love, you must recognize that certain aspects of work will expand to fill all available space. She uses e-mail as an example. We should carve out time to go after the higher priority item, and the best way to do this is a power hour. So, for the first hour of the day instead of doing e-mail, work on the first top priority item of the day. Try to carve out Monday morning for whatever is most important to you. And particularly for sort of speculative important but not urgent work that you’re going to have a hard time carving out time for. If you do it Monday morning it’s kind of the equivalent of paying yourself first.
This type of process is best for a high priority project but not a urgent project.. Time is our most valuable and precious assets, so it’s important to use effectively and wisely. I’ve found myself getting up early so I can carve out time to manage my spiritual life, and my business life. Arriving earlier to work allows me time to work on larger weekly tasks without having to be stressed. By doing this simple habit, I build margin into my time, and honor the principle of rest and I don’t go into time debt.

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-books-for-first-time-investors-according-to-a-financial-adviser-2017-4

If you are uncertain, optimistic or nervous about investments right now, it may be a good time to do a little reading. Knowledge is really the best way to counterbalance emotions, which we know may be running high for some right now. Our advice: Check out what the masters have said. They’ve devoted their lives to understanding investing and captured it all in print. It turns out there is truly nothing new under the sun; their insights apply year-in and year-out. We love original sources, so here’s our top seven books for you to read or re-read. If you don’t enjoy reading, then I challenge you to build this important habit. The books express the author’s ideas more fully than video or audio. Try reading a page out of your favorite book a day, even if it’s a children’s book. If you still don’t enjoy reading, then try an audio version, video summary, or even consult with a respected friend. The top seven books are: Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd, Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman, Against the Gods: A History of Risk by Peter Bernstein, Antifragile by Nassim Taleb, The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal, Wealth in Families by Charlie Collier, Classics: An Investor’s Anthology by Charles D. Ellis. Each book will introduce you into the world of risk, and proper thinking of an investor. It’s important to remember that you can’t just do the process, and expect the results, it’s even better to understand the process. Use your own gifts and talents that were given to you since you were born to creatively execute your investment strategy. Also have a budget. You should know what your bottom line number is monthly before you add on the stress of investing. Be willing to lose it all, and have in place an investment strategy for savings and for wealth. If you don’t have a budget in place then please contact me to let me show you my system.

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 the Darkness – Motivational Video 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

August 3, 2016

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/insights/072916/top-10-wall-street-movies.asp

After last week’s brief reference to movies, I decided to include this article. It’s a good mix of movies that have some reference to Wall Street.

From classic Wall Street to the more recent The Big Short, these are the top movies that portray Wall Street, the markets and finance.

In order to have an objective ranking system, this quick study used a cumulative score from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. The scores from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are audience scores. Since Rotten Tomatoes uses percentages (i.e., 90% of the audience liked this movie), that percentage score was changed to a 1-10 score with decimals when necessary. For example, if a movie has a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 88%, then the score is 8.8. The movie with the highest cumulative score was ranked number one. (For more, see: 4 Movies Showing the Real Side of Finance.)

Top 10 Wall Street Movies

Keep in mind that these are broad-based ratings, not just ratings from people who work in finance. (For more, see: How Hollywood Portrays Wall Street.)

IMDb

Rotten Tomatoes

Metacritic

Total Score

1. Inside Job

8.3

9.1

8.4

25.8

2. The Big Short

7.8

8.8

8.3

24.9

2. American Psycho

7.6

8.5

8.8

24.9

4. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

7.7

8.6

8.4

24.7

5. Trading Places

7.5

8.5

8.6

24.6

6. Wall Street

7.4

8.1

8.9

24.4

7. The Wolf of Wall Street

8.2

8.2

6.8

23.2

8. The Family Man

6.7

6.7

8.8

22.2

9. Working Girl

6.7

6.7

8.7

22.1

10. Margin Call

7.1

7.4

7.2

21.7

Remember, these cumulative scores are based on a broad audience. If ratings were only taken from those who work in finance, the list would likely look a lot different. For example, Wall Street would likely rank higher.

 

Each of these movies are either a thriller, comedy, or even a documentary. I suggest watching one of these movies if not for the financial education, then simply for entertainment purpose. I don’t endorse any one move in particular, and some of the movies may contain adult language, adult content, and violence.

http://www.thisisinsider.com/goldieblox-ceo-debbie-sterling-best-advice-for-entrepreneurs-2016-6

In 2012, Stanford-educated engineer Debbie Sterling founded toy company GoldieBlox to encourage young girls to start tinkering with toys and building machines.

The first-time entrepreneur is catering construction toys to young girls in an effort to raise the percentage of female engineers in the world, which currently stands at just 14%. Debbie attributes the success of GoldieBox to one lesson: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
“I think the biggest mistake you can make as an entrepreneur is pretending that you know everything, or feeling you need to come across like you do,” Sterling said. Rather, the key is “admitting freely that I don’t know the answer to something or don’t know how to do something, so long as I seek somebody who does.”
I admit I have trouble asking for help. In my work environment, because of the demands and the different layers of tasks I’m asked to do, I feel like I can’t ask for help, or I’m concerned about the level of service that will be provided. If you’ve experienced these moments too, then I encourage you to begin to delegate more and trust your co-workers more. There’s only 24 hours in a day, and within that time only so many tasks can be completed. Prioritize the important ones and ask for help on the easy ones. It sounds simple, and it may seem like it conveys weakness, but if the people you work with know your heart then they know it’s a genuine need and not a sign of laziness. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22 NIV). No one is an island, and we’re better together. Seek and get help, because it will help you grow. Sterling said the lesson is especially valuable for girls, whose self-confidence is malleable at a young age. “I see a lot of young women who feel so much pressure to be perfect and have it all figured out that have too much pride or they’re too ashamed to admit if they don’t get something right away,” Sterling said. “If they’re too afraid, they’re just going to shy away from it, which is sort of a recipe for not fulfilling your potential.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/help-for-middle-of-the-night-insomnia-1467048493

It is a frustratingly common scenario: You fall asleep easily at bedtime but are wide awake at 2 or 3 in the morning. Only after a half-hour or more of staring at the ceiling can you finally fall back to sleep. This middle-of-the-night insomnia happens to everyone every once in a while. It is an appropriate, normal response to stress, doctors say. About 30% of American adults have symptoms of some sort of insomnia each year, according to scientific studies. Chronic insomnia is generally defined as having difficulty sleeping at least three times a week for three months or more. I started having trouble sleeping a little in my college years, but even more frequently in my mid-20s. I hope this article will be helpful if you’re having trouble staying asleep. Dr. Perlis suggests that the best way to keep an occasional bout of insomnia from becoming a disorder is to simply not try to compensate for the sleep you do miss. Your body will naturally re-adjust if you don’t nap, sleep in or go to bed early to try to recover the difference. Allow your body to balance itself. The article goes on to provide helpful hints such as not allowing bright lights such as computers or cell phones. Another helpful hint is to not snack in the middle of the night, because it could condition your body to keep waking up. The article concludes with various sleep medications, and in my opinion, the best way to get fight insomnia is to actively engage in your rest. Let your bedroom be for sleep. Tomorrow will be here before you know it.

If you have a prayer request, or if you’re in need of a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included an animated book review of Start with Why by Simon Sinek

“But those who want the best for me, Let them have the last word—a glad shout!— and say, over and over and over, ” GOD is great—everything works together for good for his servant.” I’ll tell the world how great and good you are, I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.”

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG

July 13, 2016

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/031815/retire-philippines-200000-savings.asp

More and more people are choosing to retire abroad to enjoy a better climate, new experiences, access to affordable healthcare and a lower cost of living. One destination long popular with expats is the Philippines, a nation that spreads out over more than 7,000 islands. This country is located in Southeast Asia and is near Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysian Borneo. The author argues that it is possible to live better and make your money stretch further by living abroad. This article examines if it is truly possible to retire in the Philippines with $200,000 in savings. Each year, International Living’s Global Retirement Index ranks retirement destinations around the world, measuring factors such as climate, healthcare, benefits and discounts, and cost of living. For the 2015 Index, the Philippines scored 92 out of 100 for cost of living, placing it in the top 10 for cost of living, and matching Belize, Cambodia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Thailand. Only Nicaragua and Vietnam ranked higher for low cost of living, each earning a perfect score of 100. In the Philippines, the $200,000 would last roughly 21 years. If you add in Social Security, a retiree can cover most of your living expenses. The author recommends that when you do transition to live in the Philippines, you should eat and live like the locals live to begin spending at the “local rate.” As such, it is always recommended that you work with a qualified attorney and/or tax specialist when making plans for retiring abroad. Also the author adds as a foot note that you should really research before retiring to the Philippines because of the increased violence as of 2014.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-11/nintendo-adds-7-billion-as-pokemon-go-marks-surprise-hit-chart

A two-day rally for Nintendo has lifted the company’s market value by 718 billion yen, or $7.1 billion. The surge began Friday after the debut of a new mobile game app, Pokémon Go, and accelerated Monday with the shares rising by the daily limit of 25 percent in Tokyo. I encourage you to watch the video. It seems as though Pokémon Go will have an interesting effect on Nintendo’s share price but in people’s behavior as well. It’ll be interesting to watch as adults respond to their childhood activity suddenly taking on an adult life. This smartphone app has soared to the top of download charts. It’s a location based app in which users will try to find Pokémon characters overlaid on real life locations. Nintendo’s console sales have slowed, but if Nintendo can capitalize on its franchises then there is still enormous potential for profits and the company’s overall growth. Pokémon Go represents a success for augmented reality games, because it is overlaying digital images over the real world, and opens the possibility for truly mobile gaming. Also, it should be noted that Niantic, Inc. is the company behind the software that integrated the augmented reality into the Pokémon Go, and their first game was Ingress. Niantic may be a company to watch.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/09/not-saving-enough.asp

Here is a very basic plan for achieving financial independence: get a job, start to save, get raises, save as salary increases, take advantage of dollar-cost averaging (DCA), benefit from a bull market, hit magic number, and retire.
It sounds simple and straightforward on paper, but in reality, earning a high income does not automatically translate into a high net worth. The reason that there isn’t a higher net worth for most people is because there isn’t a discipline to save. Often times, when a person’s income increases, his expenses will increase also. This increase can take the form of a new home, and growing a family. Obviously with more people to take care of, the ability to save becomes more difficult. Another factor is lifestyle. People are more prone to want to enjoy life vs. setting aside money for the future. An additional factor to consider is geography. Depending on where you live, the cost of living can also be a drain on your ability to save. A final factor to consider is the eye of the beholder. What a person perceives as a lot of money may not actually be a lot, because having a better lifestyle means you end up with more to pay for. Sticking to the seemingly simple plan of earning more and saving more requires serious discipline and sacrifice. It means living below your means, regardless of the level of your means, and making savings a priority. In other words, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have…” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV). The most important thing you can do to increase your net worth is to create simple disciplines. Buy assets that produce income. Save before you pay bills or spend money. Set measurable small goals and celebrate the victories. Remember, it’s not about how much you make, it’s about how much you keep. If you want to learn a trick to help you accelerate your savings, then feel free to click on the contact me section link below.

If you need agreement in prayer, or if you’re in need of a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.

“But those who want the best for me, Let them have the last word—a glad shout!— and say, over and over and over, ” GOD is great—everything works together for good for his servant.” I’ll tell the world how great and good you are, I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.”

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG

June 22, 2016

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smartassetcom/build-wealth-in-your-50s_b_10380004.html

For many people, turning 50 signals a shift in the way they approach their finances. If you have kids, they’re probably preparing to leave the nest and you may just be hitting your stride in terms of your earning power. With retirement looming, now’s the time to amp up your efforts to save. Whether you’re a late bloomer or you’ve been socking money away steadily over the years, here’s what you can do to enjoy a rich retirement. The three steps are leverage all your savings options, be strategic about paying down debt, and manage risk carefully. Once you’ve maxed out your employer’s retirement account, you can supplement it with an IRA. Another option is a high deductible health insurance plan. You can save up to $3,350 in a health savings account (HSA) if you have an individual plan and $6,750 if you have a family plan. Once you turn 65, you can tap this money penalty-free, although you will pay taxes on any distributions that don’t go towards qualified medical expenses. Once you’re in your 50’s it’s best to have no debt or as few remaining debt obligations as possible. The author notes at this point before you begin paying your monthly debt payments, ensure that you’re still making the maximum amount of contributions to your retirement accounts. Why? Because you’re going to have to start drawing on this money when you reach the eligible withdrawal age. You want to have your money working as hard as it can for you. Even something as simple as taking advantage of balance transfer options on credit cards at lower to zero percent interest rates can help accelerate your debt repayment plan. It’s also important at this age to have a complete understanding of good debt vs. bad debt. An easy example of good debt is owning a rental property that has its mortgage being paid for by the rental income generated by renters. Again this example is a very simplified version of good debt, and just understand that personal debt which is greater than your personal income is dangerous in your 50s. The author advises managing risk carefully, and I agree. In your early 20-30s, you had your health and time on your hand, however in your 50s you should be considering a more conservative strategy. If you’re still investing heavily in stocks, now’s a good time to begin easing towards more conservative investments. You may see your returns reduced slightly but the trade-off is that you’ll be better insulated against market volatility. At this point in your life, you may not have the ability to recover your losses if you’re taking an aggressive style in the market. I also recommend not just being in one asset class but have a focused concentration in other asset classes. If you’ve followed my process for many years, you should have little personal debt, plenty of savings, and multiple types of assets that should create multiple streams of income. The important thing to do whether you’re 25 or 55 is to take action and build wealth.

http://www.inc.com/robin-camarote/1-productivity-killing-habit-you-need-to-stop-doing-now.html

I got up this morning at 5 a.m. and was pretty pleased with myself when I made it to my 9:30 a.m. coffee catch-up meeting only 7 minutes past the scheduled start. I’m chronically late–not typically when meeting with my clients, but certainly with my friends and family. They’re generally pretty accommodating, but I suspect that they’ve been more than irritated with this pattern over the years. So every year, I resolve to be more punctual, with little success until now. I’ve been curious to know why this is the case and found a clue when I came across this podcast with Richard Thaler, “Why Most Economists Might as Well Be Studying Unicorns.” The point of this chat with NPR’s Shankar Vedantam is not specifically about lateness or loss in productivity, but more about all of the mental tricks we play on ourselves to make sense of our world and rationalize our decisions. The author argues that improper mental accounting is the habit that a person needs to stop doing. Patterns of imprecise time estimating are what keep us in that perpetual state of feeling behind and overwhelmed.
In other words, estimating how long it takes to complete a task and not remaining focused is a dangerous habit not just in our personal life, but our business life as well. The danger in a person’s business life is that a person may put aside bigger projects when there is more free time, however procrastinating in this way can cause a person to avoid those bigger projects altogether. In order to improve your mental accounting, you need to time yourself on the important but not urgent tasks to put a real figure on how long it takes, and use a timer to get big projects started. On this second tip, set a specific time amount you will use to get to work on a project, and once the timer goes off, either keep going or stop based on your energy level. Personally, I’ve e-mailed my time schedule out to some of my friends to show them how essential it is to be able to organize your tasks in a day and tackle them. Having a time schedule will increase your efficiency and productivity. In a nutshell improper mental accounting can create a habit of being inconsistent. The key word to remember when operating a time schedule is consistent. Do I always hit my schedule 100% all the time? No. However, I always have a foundation I can go back to, and build upon when I am inconsistent. “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV. I encourage you to take on the habit of thinking about a task, writing it out, and talking about it. At the end of this blog post, I’m going to include a YouTube link to the audiobook version of the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. This book in essence shares the concept of Seed, Time, and Harvest.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/trulia/2016/06/15/8-reasons-to-buy-a-1000-square-foot-house/

When you think of a small space, you might think of the 500-square-foot tiny homes that have become a popular option for those looking to really downsize. But there are benefits to living in a smaller home — and you don’t have to take your square footage to extremes to enjoy them. Proof: Consider the 1,000-square-foot home. It’s smaller than the average house (according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, the average size of a newly built home is 2,657 square feet), but not so small that you need to subscribe to a movement (and buy a Murphy bed!) to live there. Personally, I’m a fan of a 1,000 to 1,500 square foot home. I don’t want to have to worry about keeping the house clean after a long day of work, and ideally I want to stay in my home the rest of my life if it’s in a good area. My fiancé probably feels otherwise, but as we age, I don’t want to have to worry about maintenance, cleaning, and other expenses that could drain our income. “Whether you’re an empty nester moving from a house into a condo, or a renter trading in a two-bedroom for a studio and a shorter work commute, many people now see downsizing their home as a step forward, not backward,” says New York, NY–based designer Heather Higgins, who frequently handles projects in the 1,000-square-foot area. “Requiring less time, energy, and money, smaller living spaces provide greater lifestyle flexibility.” Here are eight reasons to consider a smaller home: smaller tends to be more affordable, you save on utilities and other routine expenses, you can afford to be closer to the action, upkeep is a breeze, it’s easier to keep clean, you can get creative with upgrades, by thinking creatively you can still host large groups, and small homes feel cozier. These eight reasons highlight a simple idea of being content with what you have. For me having financial freedom and security is more important than having a big home that requires upkeep. For you there may be plenty of reasons for a large home, but ask yourself is the large home out of necessity or is it because you are trying to keep up with someone else? The problem with keeping up with the Joneses is that it’s exhausting! “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13 NLT. There’s nothing wrong with being content with what you have, because this life is a gift to be treasured and shared.

Below is the link to the audiobook version of the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHquD5bRuL4

If you need agreement in prayer, or if you’re in need of a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.

“But those who want the best for me, Let them have the last word—a glad shout!— and say, over and over and over, ” GOD is great—everything works together for good for his servant.” I’ll tell the world how great and good you are, I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.”

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG


June 14, 2016

http://www.inc.com/quora/7-financial-secrets-of-the-world-s-wealthiest-people.html

If you could buy a $100 bill for $80, wouldn’t you jump at the chance to do so? While value investing is a little more complex than that, it’s the general concept behind finding undervalued stocks for your portfolio. This sounds like a great idea in principle, but how do you find these amazing bargains? Here’s a list of five steps to take in order to find undervalued stocks of your own. The five steps are: understand why stocks become undervalued, only look at businesses you understand, know the metrics, go beyond the numbers, and the final rule. Understanding why stocks become undervalued involves a few potential reasons such as missed expectations, market crashes and corrections, bad news, and cyclical fluctuations. When you’re looking for an undervalued stock make sure you’re picking a business you understand or as I’d like to say a business that you love. If you enjoy drinking Coca-Cola, you’re more prone to research the company and look at its earnings vs. a company that sells steel. The author says. For example, I have a strong understanding of the banking industry, as well as real estate, energy, and consumer goods, so stocks in those industries make up the majority of my portfolio. On the other hand, I really don’t have a good grasp on the biotech industry so I simply won’t invest in it. Don’t get me wrong — I’m sure there are a lot of great companies in biotech, and many could indeed be undervalued right now, but it’s just not my area of expertise. When you’re looking for undervalued stocks use these metrics: P/E ratio, P/B ratio, ROE, Debt to Equity ratio, current ratio. As a word of caution, metrics are indicators and tell a story. It’s important to increase your financial literacy so you can begin to see what the company is doing on paper and look below the surface. Look for companies that have an obvious competitive advantage. The author states Wal-Mart as an example. The final rule is patience. At times the market will be expensive, and it’s important to know what price you are willing to buy at. You make money when you buy not when you sell. Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. Proverbs 14:29 NIV.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/06/07/why-the-8-hour-workday-doesnt-work

The eight-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach. The author states that the eight-hour work day was created during the Industrial Revolution to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers endured in the factory. Back then it was a more humane approach, and prior to this point in time during the Agrarian age, farmers would spend even longer hours working fields. It only makes sense that there is an argument for a change in the work day schedule for the Information Age. A study recently conducted by the Draugiem Group used a computer application to track employees’ work habits. Specifically, the application measured how much time people spent on various tasks and compared this to their productivity levels. In the process of measuring people’s activity, they stumbled upon a fascinating finding: the length of the workday didn’t matter much; what mattered was how people structured their day. In particular, people who were religious about taking short breaks were far more productive than those who worked longer hours. The ideal work-to-break ratio is 52 minutes of work followed by 17 minutes of rest. the brain naturally functions in spurts of high energy (roughly an hour) followed by spurts of low energy (15–20 minutes). The best way to fight distractions and exhaustion is to not fight your way through it; rather take a break and go for a walk and allow your mind to clear. If your work environment permits it, I suggest you put this strategy to the test and feel free to let me know your results in the contact me section.

http://www.inc.com/quora/7-financial-secrets-of-the-world-s-wealthiest-people.html

What does the wealthy 10% understand that the other 90% are missing? originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Here are 7 secrets: the big money is served in small increments, wages and income are what the job is worth, not the individual, personal debt is not a “tool,” it’s shackles—delayed gratification is more gratifying than instant gratification, the value of the dollar you have vs. unearned future dollars, math, the importance of life insurance, and lotteries are just another tax on the poor. Your return on investment whether it’s from investments, profits, or margins on products you’re selling, the small increments compounded over and over again is what helps a person and company retain and make money over and over again. Small steps compounded over time will create large ripples. Your job will pay you what the job is worth, however you as an individual are worth far more than $30,000 or even $300,000 per year. A good way to prove this point, if you were to go missing, your loved ones who truly love you will pay any price to find you. This point makes me think of the prodigal son who returns home to have his father restore him completely because he’s so happy to have him home. I encourage you to bring value wherever you go whether as a company or an individual. Another way of saying it is leave things better than you find them. If your heart and mind operates from this frame of being, you will see incredible results. You have to be wise about personal debt. When you carry debt, you’re in essence renting an asset from the bank and or credit card company. If you end up filing bankruptcy, you either surrender all your assets or surrender your way of living. Granted there are unforeseeable circumstances in which bankruptcy is unavoidable. However, if you can’t pay for it with cash or pay off your balance within 60 days on a credit card then you become shackled to that credit card. The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 KJV. I encourage you to pay yourself with interest and become the bank. Why not train yourself and make your savings account become like a line of credit. If you’re interested in learning more than contact me in the contact me section to learn more. Instead of buying goods that you know you will replace in a short amount of time, save up money and buy good quality products that will last longer so you save on spending future dollars that you can use to invest in income producing assets, or spend on other goods. To add to the author’s point, don’t just buy great quality products, but buy great quality products at a savings. Ask yourself: Is the sticker price the final offer? By nature, a business will build a great quality product out of great materials, but there will always be a margin so the company can make a profit. How can I cut that margin down enough for the company to still make a profit and yet save a few dollars in my pocket? That’s how you need to look at not just products you buy but investments also. Math is very important. It’s one of the core skills taught in public and private education. Math created a lot of the technology we use, but at its most essential level, it also shows the power of interest rates. In the example the author used, without an understanding of how loans work, a person can end up spending a lot of money. Use the power of compound interest for you and not against you. Life insurance, especially today, is even more affordable than it used to be. For small amounts of money, you can potentially leave a financial legacy to those after you less fortunate. The lottery even if you win it, you won’t receive the full amount. It’s understood we’d gladly pay half to receive $100 million, but remember that the odds of winning are small so don’t allow buying lottery tickets to become an addiction. The author concludes saying it’s important to live within your means. Successful people know it’s not about how much you make; it’s about how you spend it. I’d also like to add: It’s not about how much you make. It’s about how much you keep, and how hard what you keep works for you.

If you need agreement in prayer, or if you’re in need of a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.

“But those who want the best for me, Let them have the last word—a glad shout!— and say, over and over and over, ” GOD is great—everything works together for good for his servant.” I’ll tell the world how great and good you are, I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.”

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG


April 26, 2016

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-25/saudi-prince-says-aramco-valuation-seen-at-above-2-trillion

  • “Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he expects the value of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. to exceed $2 trillion as the kingdom prepares to sell part of the company in what could be the world’s largest initial public offering.” This IPO is a part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to change the economy and reduce its reliance on oil. It’s important to keep an eye on Aramco.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/042516/goldman-sachs-offers-online-consumer-banking-gs.asp

  • “On April 18 the company announced that it had completed its acquisition of GE Capital Bank‘s online deposit platform and taken on $16 billion in deposits. Retail customers can now open a savings account at GS Bank, an online-only platform, with a deposit of as little as $1.” This account currently offers an Annual Percentage Yield of 1.05% and is competing with Ally and Synchrony Financial. “GS Bank is trying to bring in more mass-market deposits by offering attractive interest rates.” I prefer to keep my options open and not have all my eggs in one basket.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-advisor/042516/why-instagram-critical-facebooks-business-fb.asp

  • “When Facebook made the decision to acquire the new social media startup, Instagram, back in 2012 for $1 billion, critics were skeptical about the prospects of the photo-sharing platform adding value to Facebook’s business. In hindsight, the decision seems to have been a brilliant one on the part of Facebook. In a recent report, analysts at Credit Suisse Group projected Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) will receive more than triple Instagram’s purchase price via the app’s revenue this year alone.” Consider Instagram, and Facebook’s presence in our own lives and in the lives of millennials. “The Credit Suisse report forecasts $572.5 million generated in revenue from Instagram in the first quarter of 2016, and an overall $3.2 billion for the entire year. The projection indicates an accelerated profitability as the photo-sharing app begins to introduce new ad revenue strategies. (To learn more about Instagram, read: The Story of Instagram: The Rise of the #1 Photo-Sharing App (FB).) Premium video is projected to contribute $260 million to Facebook’s total ad revenue.” Sharing technology will only get more and more advanced as the technology accelerates. It’s important to remember that even with this technology to remain genuinely connected to people through their heart, mind, and spirit. People don’t care about how much you know. People want to know how much you care.

http://www.bankrate.com/lite/smart-spending/financial-lessons-from-game-of-thrones-1.aspx

  • For the Game of Thrones fans, here’s an interesting article found on Bankrate.com. “Both ‘Game of Thrones’ (and the books) have more to teach us about economic and social life than we might think,” says McCaffrey, a postdoctoral fellow who teaches economics at the University of Illinois at Springfield.” It’s never too soon to prepare for what’s ahead. “A great way to prepare for your future is to begin saving early. Starting in your 20s gives you at least 40 years to grow your money.” It’s important to pay your debts. “Paying your debts promptly is always wise advice. Even better is to make sure you don’t incur more debt than you can pay.” It is important to carefully plan your estate. “The show demonstrates — in extreme terms — how badly things can go when you don’t designate heirs.” Use all the financial tools and resources available before you entrust your money to a “financial expert.” “The constant backstabbing on “Game of Thrones” makes a viewer wonder about the challenge of thriving in a world where trust is in short supply.” You must have a global macroeconomic perspective, because the world will impact your world. “Like the characters in “Game of Thrones,” we live in a big world. But unlike those characters, we have ways of staying informed about the faraway forces that impact our lives and wallets — whether it’s a European debt crisis or economic pressures from China.” Women unfortunately do not receive the same equal pay as men. “Though women have achieved positions of power and wealth in our society, challenges remain, just as Brienne and Arya have found.” You should have an insurance plan in place to cover a long term disability. “Having good health insurance is one thing, but even the best policies cover only your immediate medical care. If you’re unable to work because of a disability, you need a financial Hodor to carry you.” These examples are valuable lessons that can be applied in your daily life. “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.” (Proverbs 21:20 NIV)

http://ziglarvault.com/three-biblical-lessons-on-setting-goals-and-following-through/

  • In this article, Bryan Flanagan from More Encouragement for the Sales Professional uses the story of David from 1 Samuel in the Old Testament to show that following through on a goal can be a battle. “First and foremost, David’s attitude was very positive,” Flanagan writes. David didn’t care that Goliath was much larger than him, he only cared about going out there and winning. Approaching the process of setting goals and following through begins with a hopeful, positive outlook. You should be excited to not only reach your goals, but also eager to work for your goals despite knowing hardships may be waiting for you. “Secondly, David was prepared. You noticed that he chose five rocks.  And, he chose five smooth, flat river rocks.  (His plan was to have a few stones in reserve in case he ran into any objections),” Flanagan writes. David knew exactly what he needed to win, a key component of setting goals and following through. Give yourself all of the tools to succeed—most of which you already have inside you. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, David had “an incentive, a goal, a motivator.” David came from humble beginnings, Flanagan reminds us, he was never wealthy, famous or noble. What does this teach us? Setting goals and following through isn’t something reserved for those who are already successful. Let your hardships and your desires become motivators for you to set higher standards for yourself. Being action oriented and taking initiative to set yourself up for success is something David definitely showed us how to do.” The key piece is to follow all three steps, and more importantly to be consistent.

 

Please let me know if you have anything I can agree with you in prayer about, or if you’re in need of a financial checkup. Go to the contact me section located at the top.

“But those who want the best for me, Let them have the last word—a glad shout!— and say, over and over and over, “ GOD is great—everything works together for good for his servant.” I’ll tell the world how great and good you are, I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.”

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG