Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

October 12, 2016

www.investopedia.com/articles/stocks/08/secrets-success-company-stock.asp

Some companies are just better than others. It could be name recognition, innovation, market share or any number of other attributes that makes a good company stand out from the herd. The important thing for an investor is being able to spot the eventual winners before they become household names. So, what is it about one company that makes it a good company, and does that description equate to a good stock to invest in? The answer depends on whether you ask an accountant, an economist, a marketer or a human resources expert, but by pulling all of those disciplines together, you generally can define a good company by these three characteristics: competitive advantage, above-average management, and market leadership. Competitive advantage has two forms: differentiation advantage and cost advantage. Other ways to maintain competitive advantage is through having barriers to entry, name recognition, and price leadership. Above-average management is another key component because not only can experienced management lead a company through the boom and bust cycles, but the right management can also mentor the next generation to ensure the company’s sustainability or even potential increased share of the marketplace. Good management is more likely to stay with a company that has a strong vision. One of the most important characteristics in becoming a good company is market leadership. Leadership can come in many forms, but the reputation that comes along with this tag is priceless. The label of “industry standard” is one that every company strives for. Examples include leading the market in quality, innovation, customer service or even warranties If a company has these three traits then the company could be worth investing in. However, these intangibles do not excuse you from doing your financial due diligence. Know your investment strategy and make sure you follow it. I have two different portfolios, one I use for trading and the other I use to buy and hold. Having a budget allows me to take my disposable income and invest it in the market. When you put things into order there will be increase.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/identity-theft/bad-habits-help-id-thieves-get-your-data-7.aspx

As of Sept. 20, 2016, the Identity Theft Resource Center had recorded 687 data breaches for the year, in which 28.8 million consumer records were compromised. That was before news of the Yahoo data breach surfaced. Add 500 million more records to that list. There are 6 bad habits you can avoid that can help protect your identity. “It’s definitely worth being worried about protecting yourself,” says Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy at Tripwire, a cyber-security firm. “As a consumer, you can’t be worried necessarily which company will be compromised next.” Your identity is a valuable currency on the black market. The 6 bad habits to avoid are: tossing sensitive documents into the trash, failing to check credit reports, banking on unsecured Wi-Fi, using the same password across
multiple accounts, failing to monitor accounts, and failing to freeze your credit after a breach. I encourage you to look at the statistics behind each bad habit, and what you’ll find is that Americans are vulnerable to having their identities compromised. Because we live in the Information Age our presence is out there for the world to see. Personally I check my credit at least once a year with the three credit bureaus and I’ll actually pay for the detailed version. If you have to pay for your annual physical, then why not have a detailed look at your credit also? I am in favor of identity monitoring, however for something that actually restores your identity then I recommend having ID Shield. With this product, if your identity is ever compromised, you will have access to your own licensed Kroll investigator who will restore your identity back to before it was compromised. If you want more information about ID Shield you can reach me in the contact me section.

Also, if you need a financial checkup you can reach me in the contact me section.

For this week, I’ve included 3 Million Subscribers in 1 Year! – What’s Inside? YouTube Creator Dan Markham from Shark Tank Podcast 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

September 28, 2016

http://www.inc.com/quora/3-simple-habits-that-will-make-you-insanely-productive.html

Mikael Cho founder of Crew: “I’m the CEO of two startups. One was a happy accident that became one of the fastest growing photography websites. The other has yearly revenues in the millions and has grown an average of 300 percent year-over-year. To work on these fast-growing companies while enjoying other parts of my life, I’ve had no choice but to figure out how to be as productive as possible.” The three simple habits you can do to be productive is remove the noise, focus, and maintain good health. For removing the noise, turn off your phone and computer notifications. Multi-tasking is actual a hindrance because in essence you have to shut down and restart every time you switch between tasks. Write everything down, because not only will you maintain important details for later; you will also keep your mind clear. If you repeatedly do tasks then use an app called Trello to document everything. For focus, set aside blocks of time to do similar tasks, do focused work for a particular amount of time with no distractions, and make sure you remove any chance for distractions by enforcing those times of focused work. Make sure that start your morning with easy tasks to help you build momentum, and make sure you accomplish as much as you can in the morning. For maintain good health, it’s important to make sure you move to maintain your blood circulation, and refresh your brain. Make sure you make time to spend time with someone who makes you feel happy because the person will make you feel good. Also make sure you eat healthy and use music to boost energy. So to increase productivity, Remove the unnecessary. Automate decisions. Maintain good health.

http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0910/the-two-hour-a-day-trading-plan.aspx

Every good investor knows that in order to make money on any investment, you must first understand all aspects of it, so let’s look at why most trading volume is concentrated at the beginning and end of the day. Trading occurs normally at the beginning of the day is due to a rush of programmed trades entering the market. A common rule among day traders is to always end their day without any stock positions, so they must sell their positions at the end of the day. Additionally, retail investors, trying to avoid day trading rules may purchase stock at the end of the day so they are free to sell it the next day if they wish. The four processes you can do to profit is: volume research, use limit orders, trade today for tomorrow, and gap trading. When you’re examining a stock look at the amount of volatility in the first and last hours of trading. You may be able to buy or sell at a price which is higher or lower than its fundamental value. A limit order will allow to set a maximum buy or sell price instead of buying or selling at the price the market will pay. A way to trade today for tomorrow is buying at the end of the day and selling the next day. With Gap Trading, you purchased stock YZX for $30 today but you expect the stock to rise to $35 after they announce quarterly earnings after the close of the market today. This means that when the market opens tomorrow, YZX will open at $35 if you’re correct. This creates a $5 gap in the chart which represents a $5 per share profit for you. (If you would like to know more about gap trading, read Playing The Gap.)


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 How the Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio from Bridgewater YouTube channel.

“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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

September 21, 2016

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-21/tiger-cub-citrone-sees-market-in-biggest-correction-since-2008

Robert Citrone, the Tiger cub who now runs one of the best-known macro hedge funds, is warning investors that the market moment they’ve been anticipating is at hand. “We believe we are in the midst of the market correction we have been expecting,” Citrone, founder of Discovery Capital Management, told investors in an e-mail obtained by Bloomberg. “It will likely persist over the next 3-4 months and be the largest correction since the 2008 crisis,” he said. The firm managed about $12.4 billion at the start of 2016. Money managers believe we are on the cliff due to central banks reexamining monetary policy. The CBOE Volatility Index has increased about 19% this month. Citrone, whose fund specializes in making wagers on macroeconomic events, tempered his view by describing the correction as a “healthy adjustment from overvalued market levels, which are primarily a result of exceptionally easy monetary policies.” One of the many hedge fund managers dubbed Tiger cubs after working at Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management, Citrone founded Discovery in 1999. If there are seasoned investors that are predicting a market correction, then it’s important to have a financial education to protect your finances. Personally my strategy is having a diversification in asset classes such as paper assets, real estate assets, and business assets. It’s important to have assets that generate income. If you’re interested in having your own income generating asset, you can reach me in the contact me section.

http://www.inc.com/samuel-edwards/7-ways-to-earn-passive-income-and-why-it-s-so-important.html

If you’re looking to build wealth, if you’re looking to save up a nest egg for retirement, or if you’re merely looking for a way to alleviate financial stress in your life, passive income is one of the best ways to do it. The phrase naturally sounds like a buzzword, or something you’d hear on a late-night infomercial, but passive income really exists and operates exactly how it sounds–earning you revenue without demanding much effort or attention. Of course, this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, and you won’t be able to earn millions in passive income, but even a small stream of extra revenue can make a major difference in your life. The important point to remember about passive income is that it doesn’t take up a lot of your time once it’s in place. Your more conventional forms of earning money involves earning money at the exchange of time. Keep in mind most passive income generating assets will require an initial investment of time and or money, before you can reap the rewards. The article provides seven examples: dividend-paying stocks, rented real estate, e-books, advertising, apps and existing businesses. In previous blogs I’ve talked about dividend paying stocks and how to analyze companies, and so I recommend reading my previous blogs to form your own strategy. Rented real estate will require a higher level of financial education, and it requires a larger investment versus purchasing dividend stocks. Another option is writing e-books, but it’s important to know your target market and drive customers to purchase your e-book. The author provides a few examples of income producing assets, but it’s more important to understand what classifies a passive income producing asset vs. an active income producing asset. If your asset becomes your job and requires more and more of your time, then it’s not a passive income producing asset. It’s the same as confusing an asset with a liability. Be sure it’s doing what you want it to do, and if isn’t reassess your position and do something different. Once your passive income is greater than your expenses then you can retire wealthy.

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 Top 10 Ways to Earn Passive Income from Video School Online YouTube channel.

“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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

September 14, 2016

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/fa-profession/090816/cash-value-vs-surrender-value-what-difference.asp

If you read the contract for your annuity or permanent life insurance policy, you will encounter insurance industry terms that sound similar but mean very different things. This is the case with terms such as face value, cash value, cash surrender value, surrender cost and account value. The differences between these concepts are sometimes small, but they can make a large difference if you need to pull money from your policy. The cash value or surrender value is equal to the sum of money built up within a cash value-generating annuity or permanent life insurance policy. Your insurance or annuity provider allocates some of the money you pay through premiums toward investments — such as a bond portfolio — and then credits your policy based on the performance of those investments. It should be noted that it is technically illegal for a life insurance policy to be promoted as an investment vehicle, however policyholders will use their whole, universal, or variable universal life insurance policies to grow their tax-advantaged retirement assets. As a reminder, term life policies do not build cash value. The surrender value is the actual sum of money a policyholder will receive if he tries to access the cash value. This is also referred to as the surrender cash value or, in the case of annuities, annuity surrender value. The cash value and surrender value are not the same as the policy’s face value, which is the death benefit. However, outstanding loans against the policy’s cash value can reduce the total death benefit. I’ve included an example of cash vs surrender value from the article:

Suppose you purchase a whole life insurance policy with a death benefit of $200,000. After 10 years of making consistent, on-time payments, there is $10,000 of cash value in the policy. You consult your insurance contract and see that the surrender charge after 10 years is equal to 35%. This means if you tried to cancel your policy after 10 years and withdraw your cash value, the insurance provider will assess a $3,500 charge to your cash value, leaving you with a surrender value of $6,500

It’s important to consult with a life insurance agent, and discuss what type of policy would work best for you. Ultimately you want to have a vehicle in place to provide for your family in case anything happens to you, and you have a large number of liabilities and no true assets that will provide income. Also it’s important to have a last will and testament and if necessary a trust to make sure your assets will be protected. If you want more information, you can reach me in the contact me section

http://www.forbes.com/sites/hannahsparks/2016/09/12/ultra-premium-japanese-beef-arrives-in-nyc/

Last Wednesday marked the first day of “Hida Beef Week” in New York City­­­­—a festival and publicity tour for ultra-premium Hidagyu—presented by Gifu Prefectural Government, Japan. For the next week and a half, “or while supplies last,” a selection of renowned Japanese restaurants in New York will feature Hidagyu in dishes and tastings. It was just last October that the meat provided by JA Hida Meat (Hida Meat Agricultural Association) was approved for American markets, thus making Hidagyu now regularly available. This Hida beef is on par if not better than the well-known Wagyu (Kobe) beef. This beef is a black-haired cattle breed from Gifu Prefecture, Japan. These particular cows drink from fresh springs against a mountain backdrop. Hidyagu is raised for at least 14 months or more. This promotes soft texture, delicate flavor and a unique marbling pattern that extends across the steaks, flank, shoulder and round. It’s this thin and thorough marbling that gives the beef a distinctly tender texture, and the fine webbing of fat that seals the meat’s juices like a spider’s nest. At the time of this article, there are multiple restaurants that are offering this type of beef in New York. The traditional way to eat this type of beef is as a steak or filet, but it can also be used in Japanese barbeque. In closing, Durvett seemed enthusiastic about the arrival of Hidagyu. “It just melts in your mouth like butter,” she remarked, “I want to eat some just thinking about it.” This particular article shows the benefits of having a higher quality of life. Is this possible for you? I believe so. It begins with knowing your numbers, controlling your numbers and making your money work hard for you. I suggest a financial checkup to properly assess your financial health.

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 the Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason from the TheJourney Youtube channel.

“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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

September 7, 2016

https://www.quora.com/How-can-people-pull-themselves-out-of-significant-financial-debt

First I would suggest working on a budget. A zero-based budget allows you to clarify your personal financial (and life) priorities to make sure your money is going to the items that are most important to you. I personally recommend even finding a budget format that works for you. The point is to know how much you make and how much money you keep at the end of the month. The author then recommends a “debt snowball” payment method. In this type of payment method, a person pays the minimum payment on all but the smallest debt. When that debt is paid, you take the amount you were paying toward it, and apply it to the next smallest debt. Repeat this process until all debts are paid off. Another method you can use is to align all your debts by highest to lowest interest rates and target the smallest balance with the highest interest rate. Finally, the author recommends making changes to your lifestyle such as downsizing, and decreasing increases. The author also recommends increasing your income through part time jobs or side-gigs like driving for Uber. The process of getting out of debt isn’t easy but it begins one step at time. Focus on creating assets while you get out of debt. If you’d like to learn my techniques, reach me in the contact me section.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/29/the-profit-star-marcus-lemonis-financial-numbers-to-know.html

When it comes to running a business, you have to know your numbers, says Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC’s “The Profit.” The serial entrepreneur, who puts his own cash into struggling businesses and tries to turn them around, would know. At this point, he’s invested about $35 million in companies featured on the show. There are three numbers that every business owner must know: annual sales revenue, gross profit margins, and expenses as a percentage of your gross profit. Marcus’s point is that you pay your bills with gross profit and not with revenue. Not knowing these numbers is the one big mistake that business owners make. Even in your own life, treat your life like a business. Know your gross income, expenses and net income and be as detailed as possible. Every penny matters. If you want to run a successful business, you have to know your revenue, gross profit and expenses “inside out,” Lemonis said.

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 a video clip from the Profit called You Have to Take Care of Your People from the CNBC Prime YouTube channel.

“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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

August 31, 2016

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/19/marcus-lemonis-reveals-the-best-advice-he-ever-got.html

For Marcus Lemonis, the star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” a handshake is much more than a polite greeting. “The best advice that I was ever given was about shaking hands and making a deal,” the self-made millionaire and serial entrepreneur tells CNBC. Marcus learned this advice from his Mom. “She said: ‘When you shake someone’s hand, you have to honor the deal that you made, and you have to do what you say you’re going to do,'” Lemonis recalls. It’s refreshing and a sign of a person’s character when the person honors his word. From Marcus’s point of view agreeing to something with someone has to mean something. The handshake represents it. Marcus points out that people that want to get of a legal document will find a way to get out of it.  The handshake is a way of representing the sealing of a deal. “Ultimately, I do paperwork,” he explains. “But if you want to know what the movie’s going to be like, watch the preview. And that’s what the handshake looks like to me.” “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31 NIV)

http://www.inc.com/helena-ball/2016-inc5000-indiana-ecommerce-manufacturing-fourth-fastest-growing-company-in-america.html

Most Americans spend about a third of their day in bed, and yet few have a go-to brand for sheets. Paul Saunders wants to change that. After launching as a one-man operated e-commerce site from Saunders’s garage in Evansville, Indiana in late 2009, eLuxurySupply.com is now the fourth fastest growing company in America. Last year, the company posted more than $30 million in sales–a three-year growth rate of 23,619 percent. What prompted Saunders to start this business was buying a new set of sheets for his wife that were of a poor quality, and knowing he could do better. And with his background as an ex-Marine officer and Naval Academy graduate that meant working harder than anyone else to do it. He was able to quit his job when products began literally filling up his house. And those products quickly expanded beyond just sheets: Unlike upstarts in the mattress industry like Casper and Saatva, which only sell two or three products, eLuxurySupply.com now sells hundreds of items under the bed, bath, home, and garden categories (including mattresses). And despite starting out with a direct-to-consumer model, it now also has a growing wholesale business with a presence in hotel chains like Marriott, as well as government contracts for military barracks. The company separated itself even more by acquiring its mattress pad supplier, Regency Pad. Even though the company has high capital requirements, the company’s been able to post growing sales even without angel or venture funding. From its humble beginnings of a character loan, eLuxurySupply.com has expanded to the UK, Canada, Europe and will soon launch in Japan. Saunders says the company’s definition of success stems from the original 1806 Webster’s dictionary: a generous, prosperous, and kind person. “We take care of each other and try to do right by our customers and our community,” he says. Cox, who joined eLuxurySupply.com earlier this year, says that mentality is felt throughout the company. As a leader, Saunders understands that the nature of his business requires a high paced culture, which makes hiring the right people a necessity and to work hard and smart.

 

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 a motivation video called Building Determination from the EndlessMotivation YouTube channel.

“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

 

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

August 24, 2016

www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/5-signs-youre-going-to-fail-as-a-leader.html

The best leaders I have witnessed over the years are committed to understanding how to meet the needs of employees from every generation. Have you noticed how drastically different a Millennial needs to be led versus, say, a baby boomer? I have also noticed that the best leaders have a keen sense of the things they need to avoid doing to keep leading at a high level. This is the focus of my article today. There are five mistakes that leaders can hurt overall morale: squashing the talents and strengths of team members, hoarding information, micromanaging, getting the last word, and not making themselves available. It’s important for a leader to recognize the unique gifts of each employee and put them in position to not just succeed but lead as well. Bringing out the best in each employee will not only increase productivity, but efficiency as well. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV). Hoarding information can kill trust, but a leader who is willing to share and be transparent will create a more relaxed work environment. Micro-managing is about power and there are three ways to avoid this tendency. First is by being a part of the hiring process and making sure the person fits the culture. Second is by making sure the team is trained properly and ensuring there is a process in place that encourages a team environment. Finally listen to feedback and fulfilling staff needs as needed and making sure that the added staff is equipped and empowered. Getting the last word exhibits the possibility of low emotional intelligence. This type of leader doesn’t have a vision, and doesn’t listen to the collective voice of the team in pursuing the vision. By doing these things, the team will not feel respected or cared for. It’s important as a leader to make yourself available and to allow one on one time with team members to show you do care. The best way to do these meeting is by building a time margin of at least 15 minutes into your schedule.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ceciliarodriguez/2016/08/20/at-1-1-billion-the-most-expensive-house-in-the-world-in-france-goes-to-market

What can justify a $1.1 billion price tag for a house? Before searching for the features behind the number, let’s clarify that in this case, “the house” is rather a large, opulent mansion on the French Côte d’Azur, set in a “small” privileged refuge between Nice and Monaco frequently described as the ‘billionaires’ playground.’ First, there’s the house itself, with the understated name Villa Les Cèdres—The Cedars—at the center of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, known in French as a “presqu’île,” or “almost island.” This magnificent property in the French press has 10 bedrooms, a ballroom, concierge, a chapel, 50-meter swimming pool dug into the rocks, a winter garden, and stables for 30 horses. One of its most valuable aspects is its botanical garden with 35 acres and 20 greenhouses, which is overseen by 15 gardeners and features 15,000 rare tropical species. Then there’s the location. Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat now has the most expensive price per square meter—more than €200,000 at the top end—in the world, according to le-gotha.com: “More than 50 of the most beautiful villas of the 600 on the presqu’île are worth their weight in gold. This property has been visited by various celebrities and has its own unique history. The fact that this property is listed at this price shows the value of real estate, and is a reminder that value is in the eye of the beholder.

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 Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill from the FightMediocrity Youtube channel.

“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


Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

August 17, 2016

http://www.investopedia.com/news/whats-value-blue-lobster/

Imagine heading out for a day’s work and returning with a gem that stuns fishermen across the nation? That’s exactly what happened to Wayne Nickerson, a commercial lobsterman from Massachusetts, when he caught a very rare lobster this week. A two-pound blue lobster to be exact. If you’ve watched the show Deadliest Catch, then you’ve seen the story of ship captains that make a living catching Alaskan snow crabs. I found this story and wanted to share it. The odds of finding a blue lobster is one for every two million. Blue lobsters are actually edible and have their discoloration because of a genetic mutation. They’ve been priced as high as $500 on eBay, although that listing failed to attract a single bid, so it’s safe to say the worth of blue lobsters is debatable. Lobster experts also find it difficult to put a price tag on this beautiful creature (“There is no monetary value,” Dr. Robert Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine, told us.) When restaurant Per Se featured its blue lobster and wagyu menu, it was priced at $560. For about that same amount, you can also buy a pair of rare Nike “Blue Lobster” sneakers. Value is in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes value is transferred by belief. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44 NIV). When you find something truly valuable make sure you protect it, and pass it on to the next generation.

http://www.inc.com/quora/1-financial-secret-of-the-worlds-wealthiest-people.html

The only way to get rich rapidly is to understand the principle of leverage.

Financial leverage works this way: You spot widgets for sale in bulk for only a dollar. You know where you can sell them for two dollars. You’ve got a hundred dollars, so you buy a hundred and make back $200, clearing $100. If you had borrowed $100 from your banker, paying back $110, you could’ve bought two hundred and cleared $190 for your total outlay of $100 plus $110 in loan and interest, quite a bit better return for your effort and putting your $100 at risk. Often when I look at leverage I’m looking at it from a lending aspect, however you can also leverage your time as well. If you operate as a single small business owner, you can only do a certain number of jobs per day because there’s only 24 hours in a day. If you properly create a system that duplicates and automates your service, then you can have employees do multiple jobs for you and triple your bottom line. When you can leverage your time and your money and then put your money to work, you are on the road to riches. Ask yourself daily how can I do the best for the most number of people and set out to achieve it. When your reason or why is strong enough it will create a spirit that is determined to accomplish the goal. Faith is a very important and necessary to accomplish anything in life.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-13/london-s-lonely-unicorn-two-frugal-expats-and-their-billion-dollar-startup

When Taavet Hinrikus moved in 2007 from Estonia to London as an employee of Skype, his paychecks didn’t come with him: He still got paid in euros, via an Estonian bank account. Every month, Hinrikus had to wire money to himself in Britain, and each time he felt ripped off—by expensive and arbitrary fees and by an infuriating exchange rate. In 2010 Transferwise was formed by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Klaarmann as a way of transferring money across international borders. Customers who want to send money across borders are promised the “mid-market rate,” or what banks themselves pay when trading a given pair of currencies. When possible, TransferWise’s software pairs customers who are making equal and opposite transactions, a so-called peer to peer match. It’s like Hinrikus and Käärmann’s original swap, but it’s invisible and at bigger scale. Originally this company was targeting the consumer, but as of this article Transferwise is marketing to small and medium sized businesses that need to pay for things in foreign or pay staff that are working overseas. Even though TransferWise is innovative, it is a company that should be observed carefully. TransferWise isn’t profitable—it lost £11.5 million in the 12 months through March 2015, the latest period for which figures are available. But the same is true for many fast-growing startups, and sniping over perceived inventiveness could say more about jealous rivals and today’s tightening venture capital environment than anything else. The concept of this company is to not charge outrageous fees to allow people to have access to their money if they have to exchange it to a foreign currency. It’s the idea of how can I impact a large number of people for the greater good. Everyone has a Big Idea…a millionaire dollar innovative idea. The question is not the product, but the market. If you have a life changing idea, I suggest you keep your day job and build your business part time. But before you even begin to build your business, make sure you have your finances in order and have a budget in place. Getting a financial checkup is the first step to knowing your financial condition.

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 the 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss from the FightMediocrity Youtube channel.

“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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

August 10, 2016

http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/08/04/3-dividend-aristocrats-to-buy-in-august.aspx

A decades-long history of annual dividend increases is a good indicator of a high quality company. That kind of consistency often comes at premium: Many “dividend aristocrats” trade for lofty valuations. Some do stand out as great deals, though — and three of our Foolish contributors are happy to share a few of them with you. In this article, the contributors suggest three stocks for August: ExxonMobil, Target, and Illinois Tool Works. Exxon was showing a recovery since the lower oil prices over the past year, but when the price of oil went down in July again, it hurt the price of Exxon. The company is involved in all aspects of energy production, from drilling to retailing, and that diversification has allowed it to rack up an impressive dividend history despite the industry’s inevitable pops and drops. Over the past 33 years, the company has increased its dividend by an average of 6.4% annually. This company may be a good add to your portfolio simply because of its size and its ability to hunt for bargains. Analysts are expecting the company (Target) to produce earnings of $5.14 per share this year, and the stock price is now at about 14.7 times that number. That’s well below the P/E valuations given to many other dividend aristocrats. Target announced a 7.1% quarterly dividend increase back in June, marking the 45th consecutive year in which Target has raised its dividend. The stock carries a dividend yield of about 3.2%, based on the most recently announced payment, quite a bit higher than the 2.75% yield offered by fellow retailer and dividend aristocrat Wal-Mart. Target’s valuation is lower than most dividend aristocrats now for a good reason. The company’s revenue has been stagnating over the past few years, and its operating income has been essentially flat for the past decade. Per-share profits have increased mostly due to share buybacks, as both gross and operating margins have contracted. Even though Target has some factor’s against it, the author suggests watching Target due to its dividend increases. The final stock pick is Illinois Tool Works and the author points out two interesting facts: The company has raised its dividend for 52 straight years and its dividend has grown at an average compounded rate of 11% annually since 2012. So how does Illinois Tool Works afford a higher dividend year after year? By growing its cash flows even during difficult times, thanks largely to a diversified product portfolio that helps mitigate business risks. I recommend you read the article to form your own opinion. I share these articles as a way to stimulate your interest in finances, investing, and a business point of view. Personally I believe a person should constantly be learning more on the topic of money. Money is a tool that is neither good nor evil, but it can be used for good or evil. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10 NIV). To seek money in and of itself to satisfy your own desires to me is selfish, however if you take the money you have and build a legacy that impacts generations to a better quality of life then to me that is better. Get financially educated, so you can help others. If you want to know how to become rich, then do this simple step: buy assets, and
don’t buy liabilities that you think are assets.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/04/what-kobe-bryant-would-tell-his-17-year-old-self-about-money.html


When Kobe Bryant signed his first pro basketball contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996, it made him a millionaire virtually overnight: The three-year contract would pay $3.5 million. Bryant was 17 at the time, straight out of high school. He would go on to earn a record $680 million over the course of his career, according to Forbes, which gave the now-retired player a unique perspective on wealth. Growing up, I enjoyed watching and playing basketball. I even enjoyed watching Michael Jordan. After he retired, I looked for another player to follow his career. In 1997 as I was graduating high school, I started watching Kobe start his career. It’s amazing to see his accomplishments over the years, and the letter he wrote to his younger self is educational. In fact, in his letter he encouraged his younger self to invest and not just give to his family and friends. Bryant stresses that handing money and material goods to people is not necessarily the best way to show your love, since it can negatively affect their work ethic and may even suppress their ambition. If you come into a windfall, Bryant recommends helping the people around you by investing in their future rather than giving them handouts. The article makes a good point. Don’t just give money away, invest it. Invest it into an asset. Invest it into a future. If you catch a fish for a person, the person may one day go hungry, but if you teach the person how to fish, the person will never go hungry. “Put them through school,” he said. “Set them up with job interviews and help them become leaders in their own right. Hold them to the same level of hard work and dedication that it took for you to get to where you are now, and where you will eventually go.” “As time goes on,” Bryant continued, “you will see them grow independently and have their own ambitions and their own lives, and your relationship with all of them will be much better as a result.”

http://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/5-bad-habits-that-you-need-to-ditch-right-now.html

The longer I work with entrepreneurs, the more certain I am that the ability to succeed isn’t strictly dictated by skill, creativity, and intellect. Things like integrity and personal behavior are at least as important as education and experience. Here are five personal habits that you may want to kick to the curb for prosperity and success to be yours: You frequently use the words “I don’t have time right now.”, you let your mind drift while others are talking, you ignore advice and ideas without consideration, you believe that get something right you have to do it yourself, and you ignore the needs of your body. The author has suggestions to help break these five habits that may be hindering your success. Make a list of all the things you push aside and make time to complete one or two of those tasks a week. To keep your mind from drifting, make eye contact and be an active listener by nodding your head, offering feedback, and asking questions. Listen to everyone’s opinion regardless if it applies or not, and I suggest taking notes as needed. Then go back and review what the person has said against your own values. Delegate tasks that need to be done, properly instruct the employee or co-worker, and make sure the person takes notes. If the task is not completed properly don’t take over the project, but provide feedback quickly. Obviously this scenario can’t happen in time sensitive projects, however with proper time management, a project should still be completed without issue. Finally, pay attention to what your body is telling you, keep track of your eating and sleep habits, and notice how you feel as they fluctuate. If you fall back on the I-don’t-have-enough-time excuse, track your productivity levels as you improve your personal habits. I guarantee that time will be on your side. Your health and your wealth are connected to each other. Without good health you can’t build wealth, and without wealth you can’t maintain good health. Eliminating these five hindrances will increase your productivity and at the same time build the culture of your organization.

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 Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki from the MinionNoMore Youtube channel.

“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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

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