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

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October 14, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.businessinsider.com/bitcoin-gold-opposites-why-you-might-want-to-stock-up-2017-10

Bitcoin is frequently compared to gold. But it’s not an either/or proposition… and I’ll tell you why. Indeed, gold and bitcoin are the only two widely distributed, decentralized methods of exchanging value as currency. There is no central authority issuance like there is with U.S. dollars or any other fiat currency. Likewise, neither bitcoin nor gold can just be “printed” at the push of a button by an anxious central banker. You have to either earn your gold by mining it – which is also what you do to get bitcoin, but with computers instead of picks and shovels – or you can pay cash for it. But there’s one big difference between the two…Gold is the very opposite of new technology. Gold is a physical, tangible and real asset. Gold is a physical tangible asset that has held value for thousands of years. Bitcoin is a code that is store on the internet, and if you lose it, then you lose your bitcoin. I’ve had friends that have lost their private key and as a result have lost access to their bitcoin. Bitcoin is built on blockchain technology and the distributed ledger system and it’s not easy to explain to the average person. Bitcoin will never be gold. Gold is the standard when it comes to being a store of value and medium exchange. But… you should still own bitcoin.  Bitcoin is the ultimate in freedom of asset ownership. The government can’t confiscate it from you, as it did from owners of gold in 1933 in the U.S. under Executive Order 6102. You can cross national borders with bitcoin in your possession on a USB-stick device, a piece of paper… or if you can memorize your private key, with no physical object in your possession of any kind. Whether your bitcoin is worth US$100 or US$100 million, it makes no difference to how you move and store it (which is clearly not the same with gold). You don’t need a trusted middleman to send it, and you can move it around the world, securely, in a matter of minutes. And if you’re looking for gains… bitcoin is a lot likelier than gold to be up 1,000 percent three years from now. Even though its price has soared over the past few years, it’s still nowhere near mainstream yet. So gold and bitcoin both deserve a place in your portfolio. Gold has stood the test of time and is a medium of storing value. Bitcoin’s time, on the other hand, is just beginning. Blockchain is the future, and when you have an opportunity to buy the future and tuck it away, you should take it. If you’re interested in learning how I purchase bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, feel free to contact me.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-spot-stock-market-bubbles-2017-10

They don’t ring a bell at the top and tell you to get out, but I have to say that I’m pretty sure that I can hear something. I’m not sounding the alarm on the entire market, but I think it is past the point where buying certain very popular technology companies is a good idea.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say that you do not want to own this group of companies today. More on that in a moment. First, let’s look back at some helpful history… I mentioned that there isn’t anyone who rings a bell for us at the top to tell us that it’s time to sell. That isn’t fully accurate, because there are always signs.  The trouble with those signs is that while they are very obvious with the benefit of hindsight, they aren’t so easy to see in real time. In 1929, JFK’s father Joseph Kennedy Sr. picked up on one of those subtle signs and didn’t just get out at the top, he scored a massive windfall on the way down as well. Kennedy had made a lot of money in the 1920’s with the market going up, but it was when he was getting his shoes shined one day that he changed his strategy and made even more money. What happened? While sitting in the shoeshine chair, Kennedy Sr. was alarmed to have the shoeshine boy gift him with several tips on which stocks he should own — yes, a shoeshine boy playing the stock market. This unsolicited advice resulted in a life-changing moment for Kennedy Sr. who promptly went back to his office and started unloading his stock portfolio. In fact, he didn’t just get out of the market, he aggressively shorted it — and got filthy rich because of it during the epic crash that soon followed. They don’t ring bells at the top, but apparently when shoeshine boys start giving stock advice it is time to head for the exits. Why was this moment important? Because someone with no education of the financial markets was gambling with the market, and if the average person with no financial experience is gambling, then when the market starts to turn down, those with financial and emotional intelligence can make a lot of profit. The author goes on to express his concern with the high level of concentration in technology companies specifically FANG+.  In fact, there is the NYSE FANG+ index comprised of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Alibaba, Baidu, Nvidia, Tesla, and Twitter. From September 2014 to 2017, these group of stocks have had a 28.44% annualized return. The author would’ve owned these stocks three years ago but would he own them today? No!  As a group these stocks are frighteningly expensive today. That is generally what happens when stocks go up that fast, they become much less attractively valued. Rather than just take my word on that, let’s look at some facts. Here are the current trailing price to earnings multiples for each of the members of the NYSE FANG+ index:

  • Facebook – 37 times
  • Apple – 17 times
  • Amazon – 242 times
  • Netflix – 215 times
  • Google/Alphabet – 35 times
  • Alibaba – 62 times
  • Baidu – 47 times
  • NVIDIA – 51 times
  • Tesla – Doesn’t even turn a profit
  • Twitter – Doesn’t even turn a profit

 Individually these stocks range from expensive to absurdly expensive. On average though, I’d have to say the valuation of the group is close to the absurd. The average price to earnings ratio of the eight companies that actually have earnings is 88 times. Yikes! Does it mean these companies are bad companies and are going to collapse? No not necessarily, but are these prices possibly too high? Only your fundamental and technical analysis can give you the answer. Again, having financial and emotional intelligence is important when building wealth. As volatile as the stock market, you should watch the prices of the cryptocurrencies, and you’ll see truly volatile swings. Markets are controlled by supply, demand, and emotion. Carefully monitor the market and understand these tech companies to find your entry point, and always ask yourself what is your exit strategy? What are your plans with the capital gains?  Are you willing to lose it all?

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.

This week, I’ve included HOW BAD DO YOU REALLY WANT IT? [SUCCESS] – Motivational Video 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

September 16, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.businessinsider.com/former-citi-ceo-30-of-banking-jobs-will-be-wiped-out-in-5-years-2017-9

Vikram Pandit, former CEO of Citigroup, says 30% of banking jobs could disappear within the next five years.  In an interview on Bloomberg Television, the 60-year-old Indian-American said threats from artificial intelligence and robots will “change the back office.”  “I see a banking world going from large financial institutions to one that’s a little bit more decentralized,” he told Bloomberg’s Haslinda Amin. Last year, Citigroup predicted 30% of job losses over a decade vs Pandit’s prediction of five years. A key component of this change is artificial intelligence taking away the back-office processes that are being handled by employees. As these processes become more and more automated, the employees that are willing to continue education, and train others that may have the opportunity to keep their jobs. Because we live in the Information Age, it’s important to have the skill of wisdom to be able to discern the useful information from just information. Many other former and current finance executives have voiced similar concerns about jobs being made redundant thanks to artificial intelligence. Last month, Axel Lehmann, COO of Swiss bank UBS, said AI would “fundamentally change the banking business.”  “I don’t want to get blindsided. It’s less the technology, as such, providing a transformative element in the banking industry,” he said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s really alternative business models that has the potential to shake up everything and eat into our cake. In my opinion, the emerging blockchain technology will completely change the Banking industry. From my experience, banks are looking to constantly increase efficiency. One way is through having a smaller workforce handling multiple processes, and the other is through automation. For an interesting perspective, I recommend Bank Revolution – https://youtu.be/I4eVuxQXXBs

https://www.inc.com/will-yakowicz/secret-weapon-amys-kitchen-secret-to-500-million-success.html

In 1987, just five months after Rachel and Andy Berliner launched their small frozen organic food business out of their Petaluma, California ranch, they had to dismiss their entire staff–all five of them. The Berliners started Amy’s Kitchen with one product–a vegetable potpie, which Rachel would bake in their kitchen. After initial excitement, order volume petered. “We didn’t realize how seasonal the frozen food business was back then, and once summer hit, the orders stopped coming,” Andy said over the phone from the family ranch. Fortunately, the company could hire everyone back once the orders began to come back in. It was during this time that Andy began an association with Don Watts. At this point, Andy realized that his finances especially his bookkeeping was out of order. I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing your numbers. “You don’t need a little help, you need a lot of help,” Andy recalls Watts saying. Andy says many different employees were writing checks, and the company was not keeping good track of its payments and expenses. “Don laughed when we told him how we paid our bills,” says Andy. “But when he joined us full-time, he said he would help us become a $100 million company. Of course, we’d grow much bigger.” When Watts joined the company as its CFO it was under the condition that the company remained private. It was through his guidance that the company would get its first line of credit for $20,000. Only five months later, the company’s revenues would grow to $240,000, and the company would then increase that line to $100,000. “At every stage, he preached how we shouldn’t build up too much inventory and taught us how to study your margins and expand profits. He taught us how to not build up overhead and operate lean,” says Andy. “He helped us stay grounded and helped us transition from making potpies in our kitchen to making 14,000 a day.” Amy’s Kitchen pioneered the market for organic vegetarian frozen meals and today brings in an annual revenue of $500 million. Rachel and Andy’s intention was to not get rich, but to pass on a business to their children and possibly their children’s children. The most valuable advice, Andy says, was how Watts told them to never, ever sell. “Watts would remind us: ‘The day you decide to sell or go public is the day I walk out the door,’ Andy remembers, adding that although Watts is no longer alive, Amy’s still heeds the CFO’s advice and is committed to staying private. The important lessons from this article is to make sure if you have a business that is driven by accounts receivable and inventory is to keep your inventory manageable, and ensure you are monitoring your margins. Margins such as gross profit margin, cost of goods sold, and operating expenses. How quickly can you get you paid from your  customers? Does it take 30, 60, 90, or 120 days? How can you operate leaner? Why is it important to keep your company private? In the end, what is driving you when you create a business? What is your legacy?

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.

This week, I’ve included THE WARRIOR MINDSET – MOTIVATIONAL VIDEOS – BEST MOTIVATION FOR 2017 from the Video Advice 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