Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

December 14, 2016

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/012016/how-anheuserbusch-makes-money-bud.asp

Tobacco companies and gun manufacturers get plenty of scorn. Yet for some reason, the multinational corporations that make and sell perhaps the most addictive and damaging legal substance of all get a free pass. To the point that when such a company is the target of an acquisition or merger, senators and governors of opposing parties will band together to see that nothing even threatens to jeopardize the company’s future. We’re referring to purveyors of alcohol in general, and Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) in particular. The world’s largest brewer sells $43.6 billion worth of the demon liquid (and related, less satanic potables) every year, boasting a high gross margin of 60.7% and inspiring some of the strongest customer loyalty this side of Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG). The result is a $177 billion company that seems capable of doing little wrong in the eyes of investors. In 2008, InBev merged with Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch InBev operates in 25 countries. The company divides its operations into 9 regions: North America, Mexico, Latin America North, Latin America South, Europe, Asia Pacific North, Asia Pacific South and Global Export & Holding Companies. The company’s North American region was responsible for 25.8% of total volume in 2015 – totaling in 118 million hectoliters (over 3.1 billion gallons). We take it for granted that the region that includes the United States has to be Anheuser-Busch InBev’s largest, right? Wrong. That would be Latin America North, at almost 27%. This includes Brazil, one of the combined company’s countries of origin. The Asia Pacific region follows at 19.3%. On a per-capita basis, no one drinks like Europeans do. Volume there accounted for 9.4% of the company total, followed by Mexico at 9.1%, and Latin America South at 7.9%. Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced plans to buy SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer. The investor who goes long on Anheuser-Busch InBev stock is rarely disappointed, whether in the short term or beyond.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/121316/americas-rising-household-debt-whats-behind-it.asp

Credit card debt can be a major roadblock to your financial goals, such as saving for retirement or increasing your net worth. Unfortunately, new data from the New York Federal Reserve suggests that after a debt decline, Americans are borrowing money at a rate that approaches pre–Great Recession levels. The result: Household debt is rising and credit cards are a major driver, along with mortgages, student loans and auto loans. Here’s a quick breakdown of what the Fed’s research uncovered. Credit card debt continues to contribute to a household’s total indebtedness, as well as student loan and mortgage debt. The increase in household debt may be attributable to two primary factors: a steady increase in the cost of living and stagnation in wages. Since 2003 household incomes have increased by 28% but the cost of living has climbed by 30%. That gap doesn’t sound big, but the disparity between earning and spending may be a driving force for some Americans to turn to credit cards to cover the gap. Some items, such as medical costs (57%) and food and beverage prices (36%) increased massively more. The cost of living is going to force people to create a debt repayment plan, and at the same time force others to create additional streams of income. I suggest that if you haven’t created a budget, then you should. A budget will show you how much you are spending, and when your income is the most vulnerable.
If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included How to Retire Early: The Shockingly Simple Math from Video School Online YouTube channel.

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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 23, 2016

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/284566

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


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-ways-to-make-your-kids-smarter-about-money-2016-11-16

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

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

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

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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 9, 2016

http://www.investopedia.com/advisor-network/articles/110316/7-ways-grow-your-account-balances/

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


https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/278848

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

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

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

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

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: April Snapshot


Every journey has its own setbacks and detours, however despite those moments, you must remain consistent about where you want to be. Will you run into unforeseen expenses and liabilities? Absolutely! I encourage you with this idea: I’m in no way perfect, but I serve a perfect God. He knows an exit strategy into every situation I’m placed into whether it’s good or bad. Repent quick, Forgive quick, and Move on quick. This previous month, I had to adjust my strategy and take advantage of the zero percent balance transfer offered on the Capital One card. As the wedding date draws closer, Jill and I have had to discuss the costs involved in the wedding. I’ve found this discussion very important, because in discussing finances, we’ve come into agreement on how to handle our finances together. I love her more and more each day, because she fills in and covers the weaknesses I never knew I had.

Specifically, I’ve re-focused my debt reduction on paying down the Barclay’s card while slowly reducing the other debts and applying principal reduction payments where I can. Always seek wise counsel where you can and use their counsel to take advantage of the best situations that present themselves. Their counsel will help you discern if the choice you make is the best one for you. When I got out of debt before, all I did was focus on making extra money to pay off debt. This time I’m paying down debt, saving, investing in assets, and growing my assets that produce income. Why? Time is fixed. We only have 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. Time will run out. Use and manage your energy efficiently and effectively so that you can get as much out of each moment as you can. If you consistently focus on saving and buying assets, then when you finally are out of debt, you will have a larger amount in savings and more income producing assets vs. getting out of debt and then having to build savings and assets. Also, by saving and investing while you are getting out of debt, will create a discipline inside of you. How am I able to do it this way vs. the last time? I have a budget. A budget will put order into your life. Order proceeds increase and increase proceeds multiplication. Knowing your net income number is the key to being able to get out of debt, save, and invest. There is a process that I follow that I will share in future posts. Remain consistent and diligent on your journey.

Have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, and if you need a financial check-up contact me. More details about a financial check-up is in the contact me section.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
https://bible.com/1/pro.22.7.kjv

I believe in your journey to…. A Debt Free Me

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: March Snapshot

Over this past month, I’ve had the opportunity to pay off the Wells Fargo Line of Credit and utilize a zero-balance transfer option on my Barclay’s card to reduce the payment amount of my overall debt. My next target will be the Barclay’s card as I chip away at the Capital One card. It’s important to be flexible with your debt re-payment strategy. Set your sight on a balance and target it but be open to opportunities to reduce the debt faster, even if you utilize a promotional balance transfer option. A word of caution, when you do use a promotional balance transfer remember two points: 1) the offer is for a 12-month period on average (check your terms) and 2) you are charged a balance transfer fee (weigh the cost vs. benefit). In the end, a balance transfer can eliminate the high interest debt which can not only eliminate the payment but also create a lower payment overall which increases cash flow.

An increase in cash flow, creates more money to reduce debt, or to be used towards living expenses. In your journey, you’ll experience a lot of emotional forces at play which may encourage you to spend. The best process to fight these forces is to seek help from others, set up small reward systems to curb the spending, and grow your asset column. As I said in one of my earlier posts, I’ve gotten out of debt before, but when I did, I had no control over my spending and got right back in the hole again. Why? Because I didn’t take time to address my spending issue in the first place, and I didn’t grow my asset column. While you’re getting out of debt, see if you can create something which will produce money for you. The one thing we have which is absolutely fixed is time. At some point the clock will reach zero. Value your time and maximize your use of it.

This new year has been challenging, because of the wedding planning and the financial obstacles that present itself. Every obstacle creates an opportunity to trust God and those closest to you. You’re not in this process alone. There’s a four-step process that I do whenever I receive income, which I will share with you in a later post. This process has blessed me in my journey to debt freedom. I’ve included a short video clip from Joe McGee to help you turn an obstacle into an opportunity. Enjoy:

Turning an obstacle into an opportunity is about changing your vision and your thinking. Have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, and if you need a financial check-up contact me.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
https://bible.com/1/pro.22.7.kjv

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: February Snapshot

Over this month, I’ve had the opportunity to pay off the Upstart loan and reduce the balance on the Capital One card. Thankfully I was able to do this payoff and reduction through a zero percent balance transfer to a new card. With this transfer, my payments to the Capital One card will be reduced, and the term loan payment of $207.29 is no longer a part of my debt repayment schedule.

Remember that the benefit of a term loan is that the principal and interest payments will in a fixed time pay off your debt. Even though this type of loan pays off debt, it can reduce your cash flow. Positive cash flow is important to survive and acquire passive income producing assets. With the debt now being converted to a zero % interest debt for 15 billing cycles, I’m able to focus use more of my income to pay down that balance or because now the payments are interest only, I’m able to focus more money towards other debt balances. It is important to stand firm and maintain your debt reduction strategy. The minimum balance payment of this card will be less than the original payment to upstart. Have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, and if you need a financial checkup contact me.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
https://bible.com/1/pro.22.7.kjv

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: January Snapshot

Below is a progress report of where I am at the end of January:

Welcome to a new year! Since 2013, I’ve begun my year with 21 days of prayer and fasting following the habit established by church: Church of the Highlands. https://www.churchofthehighlands.com/ If you are a person of faith, then I encourage you to connect to your local church. Our Pastor Chris Hodges says that real life change happens in the context of relationships.

During this time of fasting and prayer, I sought God to strengthen my finances and prepare Jill and I for the upcoming year.  During that time, I felt God say for me to grow closer in friendships and family members I’ve let slip away over the past years. And in that moment, I realized how much we need each other.

Jill and I talked over our vision for 2016 and what we’re believing God for in our finances. I specifically had three specific points, which I will share with you in the next post. During the mid-month, we agreed to start a part-time business selling identity theft protection plans. It’s so exciting for us to be able to talk openly about business and grow something together.

We also discussed my remaining line of credit and credit card, and with her agreement, I decided to balance transfer $1000 to the Barclay’s card I paid off last year. The card was offering a low 2.99% rate. This low rate would allow me to save money on the interest I was currently paying on that line of credit. Also, my Capital One card is offering a zero percent balance transfer rate. I plan on accelerating my payments to $500 per month to pay this line of credit off faster.

Once this line of credit is paid off, I will either re-focus and pay off the balances I transferred over or set aside more money for the wedding. I’m believing and trusting God for big things this year, and in the next post I’ll share how powerfully he’s worked in my life.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
https://bible.com/1/pro.22.7.kjv

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Posted in Debt Free Me

Vision 2016: Grow in three areas

For 2016, I’ve discussed with my fiancée to grow in three areas. The last time I got out of debt, I was so focused on debt that I forgot two valuable factors: lost time and missed opportunity. I didn’t save while I was getting out of debt, nor did I look for opportunities to create passive income producing assets.

This time, I trust is going to be different, because of two important people in my life: my God and my future wife. All of this current I owe to Him and her being a part of my life. It’s a truth I’m thankful for more and more every day. I encourage you to save what money you can save and look for income producing assets too. If you don’t build a strong foundation during the storms of life, then you won’t be prepared when the storms do hit. Here’s are three areas we’re focusing on:

  1. Bless others
  2. Invest money into passive income generating assets
  3. Pay down consumer debt

In the next posts, I’ll explain the process I’m using as I’m journeying to a debt free me. If you have any questions, or need a financial check-up, contact me.

Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me


Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: December Snapshot

Here’s December’s snapshot:

At year end, I look back on the year and I thank God for opening my eyes and providing a way to get closer to a debt free me. The most important first step is for you to take the time to look at the debt you do have and decide if you want to continue being a slave to the debt you pay.  In life you will always have expenses, but you won’t always have liabilities. Liabilities in the form of credit cards are not necessary. Instead of paying interest to a lender; why not pay interest to yourself?  Pay yourself with interest. In my next few posts, I’ll show you how to become the bank.

Next year, my focus is going to be paying down one specific debt. I’m specifically focusing on the Wells Fargo line of credit.

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

https://bible.com/1/pro.22.7.kjv

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: November Snapshot

Below is a progress report of where I am at the end of November:

Talking with my fiancé, we agreed that I could balance transfer over $200.00 to the Capital One debt, which is why the Capital One debt increased. I made a $670.00 payment to the Barclay’s card to pay my debt off before year end. Remember if you’re going through a debt reduction plan to always communicate with your partner, and to keep a laser focus on reducing the debt.  I’m able to pay down my debt at such a fast rate because of two reasons: 1) I know my numbers because I have a budget 2) I’m willing to sacrifice, sell what I don’t need and work for extra cash.

Next year, my focus is going to be paying down one specific debt, because I need to save money for our wedding, but I will keep my heart and mind open to any opportunities that come available.

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

https://bible.com/1/pro.22.7.kjv

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me