Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

July 13, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

July 5, 2016

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/040915/how-much-cash-should i-keep-bank.asp

Everybody has an opinion on how much money you should tuck away in your bank account. The truth is, it depends on your financial situation. What you need to keep in the bank is the money for your regular bills, your discretionary spending and the portion of your savings that constitutes your emergency fund. Knowing how much you should keep in the bank depends on one crucial word: budget. The author outlines two techniques: the 50/30/20 rule and Dave Ramsey’s strategy. The 50/30/20 comprises 50% for fixed costs, 30% for discretionary money, and 20% for financial goals. 50% of your money should be for costs such as rent, water, electricity, car payment, internet etc. 30% of your money is for spending on wants vs needs. 30% can be spent on entertainment or food. 20% of your money should be for the future either as setting up an emergency fund or saving for an IRA, a 529 plan, or other investments. Dave Ramsey recommends this strategy based off of what you receive via paycheck: charitable giving – 10-15%, food 5-15%, savings 10-15%, clothing 2-7%, housing 25-35%, transportation 10-15%, utilities 5-10%, and medical/health 5-10%. Beyond your monthly living expenses and discretionary money, the major portion of the cash reserves in your bank account should consist of your emergency fund. Regardless of much you set aside, you want to make sure your money is instantly accessible so you can use it right away. Personally I have two savings account, one that is directly connected with my checking account, and the other is at a different bank earning a higher rate of interest. From time to time, I will transfer from the localized savings to earn the higher interest rate, however I make sure I have enough in case I need it. It is important to bring order to your finances as soon as possible so you can get into the habit of saving and building an emergency fund. If you are interested in learning the process I do then go to the contact me section. The most recent Federal Reserve data from the “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2015” surveyed Americans and mentioned that “[f]orty-six percent of adults say they either could not cover an emergency expense costing $400, or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money.”

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/wealth-management/040416/top-5-differences-between-business-and-first-class.asp

A cartoon reproduced on Firstclassflyer.com shows a pilot in the cockpit making his welcome-aboard announcement to the passengers: “The flight time today is five hours in first class and 12½ hours in coach.” Although that may not be literally true, ask passengers who sit “up front,” and you will often hear them remark on how fast the flight seemed to go and how comfortable they were. Here are five points comparing business and first class: the waiting game, boarding privileges, getting comfortable, food and drink and attention paid. Many airlines are boarding first and business class together, however on a few first class flights, the passenger will literally be escorted from the arriving terminal to the lounge, and from the lounge to the departing terminal. When you’re considering the getting comfortable option, it’s important to know the type of plane you are flying on and if the seat will turn into a bed. Depending on what airline you fly, it’s best to call ahead and ask about those kind of options especially if you’re flying overseas. Food and drink is where business and first class differs the most. On first class you often have food prepared under the auspices of a famous chef – Air France, rated No.1 for in-flight food by the Robb Report – offers menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs. For a year, starting in March 2016, select U.S. to Paris flights will feature entrées from Daniel Boulud. Finally, in attention paid, a passenger in first class will have service which is much more proactive instead of reactive. The major differences between first class and business class are the seats and the service but the actual differences greatly depend on airlines, routes and airplane models. Still, according to USA Today, first class always supersedes business class on international flights.

http://www.marketwatch.com/video/how-to-stop-the-robocall-uprising/F9BECBB2-9C05-4142-8ABA-80EF55ED76D0.html

Robocalls—those pre-recorded, unwanted phone calls—are at a record high. Over 10 billion calls have been made in the US at the time of this article. These robocalls can both be aggressive and friendly. These calls have been occurring even on our smart phones. These calls are happening as a result of technology having access to lists and lists of phone numbers that are placed into a computer program and are then sent through the Internet in literally seconds. The purpose of these calls is to allow identity thieves to gain access to your personal information. One way you can fight back is through the FTC’s do not call list – donotcall.gov. Another way to fight back is if you don’t know the number than simply hang up and don’t answer the phone. You can also use a call blocking app called Hiya which can add the number to a block list. The best service is called nomorobo. This service is available on LAN lines, and will soon be available for iPhone and Android phones. It sees when a lot of phone numbers are being sent out or spoofing and then it hangs them up or notifies the person to not pick up. We live in an age where criminals will use technology in order to gain access to your identity, and in response we should use technology to our advantage to fight back. However, If you don’t have identity theft protection, I recommend you get a plan in place just in case. You can find out more about an identity theft protection plan by reaching me at the contact me section. “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1 NIV).

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

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

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

June 28, 2016

http://time.com/money/4368356/steps-saving-emergency-fund/

Building up your savings isn’t easy. After all, a whopping 62% of Americans have under $1,000 in savings, found a GoBankingRates survey. And, only 14% have $10,000 or more. The author of this article suggests having $10,000 set aside in savings for major life events such as home improvement, losing a job, and or if you get into an accident. Understandably this amount seems daunting. There are nine steps to follow to build this amount: assess your spending, set reasonable goals, make a budget, track everything and pay with cash, pay yourself like a bill, open an inconvenient but high yield savings account, put any unexpected money into savings, don’t pay off that credit card debt, and reward yourself. For the sake of convenience, I encourage you to take the time to read this article, and instead I’ll share with you what I do. I follow a four step process which mirrors these steps. I’ll be glad to share it with you when you contact me. It’s important to build a budget because it will help you assess how much you’re spending, and allow you to set reasonable goals. Keep your receipts, and track it even if you have to write it down. I personally use a spreadsheet I’ve built over 5 years that helps me easily forecast where I will be up to 13 months from now. There is a process I follow where I not only pay myself like a bill and take advantage of a high yield savings account, but I also multiply my savings by turning myself into a bank. I highly recommend that whatever extra money you have you don’t spend but set aside. I did find the eighth step of not paying off the credit card interesting. The author writes: But many financial experts say that the strictly logical approach of paying off the credit card debt before saving money might backfire and that you should shoot for doing both simultaneously. Another approach is to pay off the high-interest credit card debt first and then put that minimum payment money toward your savings, said Gallegos. “When you pay off a credit card with a $50 monthly payment, increase your savings by that $50,” he said. It’s like you gave yourself a raise. The final step of rewarding yourself is essential, because you’re changing your behavior and learning that spending is easy and savings is hard. That’s why getting a reward every once in a while is important to keep you going, said R. Joseph Ritter Jr., CFP and founder of Zacchaeus Financial Counseling, Inc. If everything is going as planned, you should reward yourself every six months or so, he said. It’s challenging going from an instant gratification lifestyle to a seed time and harvest lifestyle. You’re not in this process alone, there are a few out there like you who are delaying present pleasure for a future reward. You’re letting your old self die in order to take up a new life. When you make this choice, I believe you will be blessed to become a blessing to someone else. At the end of the blog, I’ve included a YouTube link to an episode of Disney’s DuckTales in which Scrooge McDuck tells the story of how he came to America.

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-you-should-have-multiple-streams-of-income-2016-6


What would you do if your boss fired you overnight? With no more paychecks coming in, how would you pay the bills, put a roof over your head, and feed your family? I know what I would do: nothing. Because I have several bosses, including myself. When you have multiple income streams, losing one is not that big a deal. Often people will say that they can’t do more because of their full time jobs and other personal commitments, however the author suggests trying to build at least one additional stream of income. Some examples are: dividends from stocks, interest from the bank (preferably at least 1% interest), rental income from an investment property, freelance income, income from a room you rent from Airbnb or from renting your car on Turo, marketing your skills, a business you start on the side, etc. The author argues when it comes to investing you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, therefore by relying solely on employment income, you take that same risk. You open yourself up to the risk of losing everything through a lack of income diversification. If you lose your job, how will you pay for your living expenses? Having several income streams makes you much stronger in case of a layoff. The author even gives examples from her own life: rent from three tenants, renting a guest house via Airbnb, cooking for guests, trading forex, dividends, owning three personal finance sites, freelance writing, translation jobs, renting out my car and motorcycle, bank interest, and P2P lending. The author suggests that a person build passive streams of income, however the author explains that building passive income takes a lot of work and time to accomplish. However, with multiple streams of income you can slowly build your retirement fund. The author suggests spending much less than you earn and that can be done in two ways: by decreasing your expenses or increasing your income. The author gives an example of how to decrease your expenses, and I suggest you contact me to learn about how to create a budget. Instead of looking at how to decrease expenses, I’m going to use her brief example of increasing your income: But if you can find one client, willing to pay you $50 per week for a two hour lesson (what worked for me was tutoring, French classes and piano lessons. You can teach anything you are good at) or a freelance project, you have made another $200 this month. Find a couple more clients, and you are now making $500 more every month. If you’re interested in starting your own side business, then also feel free to contact me for suggestions. “Committed and persistent work pays off; get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.” Proverbs
28:20 MSG‬‬‬‬

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/insights/062416/deep-web-vs-dark-web.asp

The Internet is like an ocean, and what we as regular users see or access is just the surface. But just like the ocean, underneath the surface is a world invisible from the top. Our daily Internet-related activities like shopping online, using e-mail or Facebook, searching things on Google comprises what can be termed as the “Visible Web” or “Surface Web.” This portion of the web is usually calculated using the estimates provided by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo based on the “number of pages indexed.” According to an estimate, “the indexed web contains at least 4.56 billion pages (as of May 30, 2016).” While this number may appear huge, remember that the life below the ocean’s surface is enormous and so is the Deep Web. With the advent of the Internet, there’s become a space of human creation where both good and evil exist. There is both a physical (surface) and a spiritual (deep) world. Life is more than what we can see, and faith is having trust in what can’t be seen. The deep web is the world underneath our surface internet, and it isn’t accessible by conventional search engines. The deep web itself contains an even greater amount of information than on the surface web. The dark web is often confused with the deep web. However, to be more accurate, the dark web is the deepest part of the deep web. The Dark Web is like a subset of the Deep Web, or perhaps the deepest layer of the web ocean and includes encrypted sites, as well as marketplaces for illicit activities and products including weapons, drugs and illegal trafficking. The Dark Web reflects the “darker” side of the society, and is accessible via special software’s or browsers lsuch TOR (The Onion Router) or I2P (Invisible Internet Project), which have “masked” IP addresses, making them untraceable. It is in this place where evil does exist, and identity thieves will more than likely trade your stolen identity as a form of currency. In this digital age it is important to ensure you have proper identity theft protection. I’m not talking about credit monitoring, rather a service that monitors your e-mail address, passport, medical id number, social security number, and at the same time has the ability to restore your identity back to before your identity was stolen. If you’re interested in having this type of identity theft protection. Feel free to contact me in the contact me section. While technology is a boon, examples like the Silk Road remind us of the darker side of technology. In nutshell, it cannot be concluded that the Deep Web is all Dark; the Dark Web is a small although ugly part of the Deep Web.

Below is the link to Scrooge McDuck’s idea of Work Smarter, Not Harder

https://youtu.be/8jEZraf0eDI

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

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

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

June 22, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG


Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

June 14, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG


Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

April 26, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Psalm 35:27-28 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

April 19, 2016

https://www.entrepreneur.com/video/273894

  • “Whether you’re brand-new to investing or you’re a seasoned pro who simply needs a little refresher, you can learn from this video from Brittney Castro of Financially Wise Women. Here, she shares her top-12 investing do’s and don’ts.” Do your research, do invest for the long term, and do hire help when you need it. Don’t invest blindly, don’t invest for the short term (short term defined as 6 months to 1 year), don’t let your emotions get involved, don’t listen to chicken little, don’t think you can do it all alone. Brittney encourages the viewer to continue his or her education through books, videos, audio, and seeking counsel where appropriate. If you want to be wise walk with wise people, but a crowd of fools suffers much harm.

http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/19-ridiculous-ways-to-make-10000-you-definitely-havent-thought-of-yet/

  • I’d ignore the pop up window offer from penny hoarder to get straight into this interesting article. Also as a side note, the $10s in the photo do not represent a true strap of $1000 in $10s. “No matter how you slice it, having $10,000 to spend would be nice. But it’s a lot of money to save!” This article highlights 19 different ways to make $10000. I found it fun to read and here are some of the weird ways to earn cash: start a cricket farm, watch youtube-like videos, drive for uber, and share stories about your kids on Scary Mommy. These were just a few of the writer’s suggestions. This article highlights the truth that the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just. In other words, it’s out there if you have the desire to seek it, the discernment to see it, and the wisdom of the Lord to use it for its true purpose.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-strange-facts-about-billionaires-2016-03-15

  • I enjoy watching a show on CNBC called the Filthy Rich Guide to. Basically the show highlights the lifestyle of a billionaire vs everyone else. The truth is they operate differently than most in their actions, but they do certain processes consistently. This article tells of 5 strange facts about billionaires. “This year, the world’s billionaires clocked in an aggregate net worth of $6.48 trillion, according to the Forbes Billionaires list released this month, with the usual suspects topping the list – including Bill Gates ($75 billion), Inditex founder Amancio Ortega ($67 billion) and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett ($60.8 billion).” Aquarius is the most popular astrological sign of elite billionaires, God is a billionaire (I chuckled at this one), the billionaire school-dropout saga is a myth, billionaires have a lot of children, and two billionaires can’t legally drink in the U.S. Billionaires are people just like you and me, and even a rich man needs the salvation of our Lord, so I encourage you to lift them up in prayer to make God decisions and not just good decisions. The final article highlights an alarming truth. Also, we both know God is more than a billionaire.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wealth-inequality-is-100-times-worse-than-income-inequality-2016-01-19

  • Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” (John 12:7-8 NLT). In this moment, Jesus corrected Judas Iscariot for complaining about the usage of perfume which was worth a year’s wages, and said it could be used to help the poor. The truth is that Judas didn’t care for the poor and often used that money for himself. There’s currently an income gap between the rich and the poor, but this article highlights that there’s something more alarming than an income gap. There is a wealth gap between the rich and even the average person. Wealth is your money making money for you. “Combined net worth of 4 U.S. billionaires almost as much as the total wealth of the bottom 40% of U.S. households. Last year, just 62 people held wealth equivalent to the amount owned by 3.6 billion, about half the world’s population, according to the anti-poverty charity.” The article itself isn’t an indictment against the wealthy, but it highlights where most of the wealth resides, and fortunately there are a few like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett who are looking to bring a better world. But our source of hope should not be on those of this world, rather on the One who was, is and will always be. Finally, here’s a link that allows you to see where you stand among the global rich. Enter your numbers here

Please let me know if you have anything I can agree with you in prayer about, or if you’re in need of a financial checkup.

“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

April 12, 2016

Below are the articles for the week with a short summary:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/tax/09/tax-havens.asp

  • Tax havens have existed as far back as the Greeks, and more familiar examples to us are Switzerland and Panama. There are three key attributes classified by the OECD: No or only nominal taxes, protection of personal financial information, and lack of transparency. The United States Government Accountability Office has listed two additional attributes of a tax haven: No requirement of substantial local presence and self-promotion as an offshore financial centre. According to this article there are at least 7 socio economic factors that make a particular destination a popular tax haven. A few examples of popular tax havens are the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, and the Isle of Man. “The existence of tax havens has many effects. At one level, the lower taxes or no taxes in one country put pressure on other countries for keeping their taxes low. This is good for taxpayers in the short term, but the secrecy and opacity associated with some of the tax havens may encourage money laundering or other illegal activities that can harm the world economy in the long term. The crackdown on tax evaders in some countries shows that taxpayers need to tread with caution.” Make sure you give to Caesar’s what is Caesar’s, but more importantly give God what is God’s.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237746

  • “Small-business owners usually start a company because they have a passion for a particular product or service. However, people should not open a bakery just because they love baking cakes. If you love baking, get a job as a baker.” Remember that running a business requires many essential components.  Those components include having the right legal entity in place, having a good financial structure, having a clearly defined value system etc. As your business grows create margins to keep it running efficiently. If you’re building a business define why you’re doing it. “The first step for most entrepreneurs is to sell something. Put in place the minimum amount of infrastructure that you can get by with and focus on generating revenue. Many new businesses fail because they simply cannot generate enough revenue to sustain themselves. Test the viability of your business as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.” It’s important to keep your infrastructure as efficient as possible without cutting back on quality. As your business grows, you should start weighing your cost-benefit options. You have to start accounting for these options, because your business will reach its capacity. “For example, would the business be better off if you spent time putting entries into QuickBooks or if you hired someone to do that work and spent your time selling? You are in effect buying yourself more time that you can invest in other aspects of the business.” Time is fixed. There is only 24 hours to complete a set amount of work in day. Investors care about time value. Our Lord is a redeemer of lost time so make sure you Sabbath.

http://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2016/04/06/read-this-before-you-take-social-security-early.aspx

  • Before you take your Social Security benefits early make sure you’ve explored the benefits and consequences of your decision. This author points out three key points: you only have 12 months to change your mind, your decision can reduce someone else’s benefits, and there’s less incentive to wait than there used to be. This information is helpful, but in conclusion there is an advertisement at the bottom for a service that you may or may not need. Rather than recommend his last piece, I suggest you listen to the Lord and decide as He leads you. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” (Isiah 30:21 NIV)

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/investing/creating-passive-income-1.aspx

  • “The idea of building wealth through passive income has understandable appeal, especially if you’re worried about being able to save enough from your work earnings to meet your retirement goals…Passive income includes regular earnings from a source other than an employer or contractor. The IRS says passive income can come from just 2 sources: rental income or a business in which an individual does not actively participate. Examples include book royalties and dividend-paying stocks. Investopedia defines passive income as “earnings an individual derives from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprise in which he or she is not actively involved.” Popular culture, however, defines it as “any money you earn while sitting on a beach sipping mojitos.” Financial coach and expert Todd Tresidder thinks it falls somewhere between the two, defining passive income as the money you earn from a project or investment after you’ve made an initial contribution of time or money.” It takes work to build a passive income generating asset. All things in this world operate under the principle of seed, time, and harvest. You have to be willing to put in the time to reap the harvest. This article provides 5 passive income strategies as an example: selling information products, rental income, affiliate marketing, peer to peer lending, and dividend yielding stocks. Each strategy requires diligent work, and I suggest you find a strategy that works for you, and seek the Lord. If you want to build wealth, build assets that generate passive income that is greater than your monthly expenses. If you were to lose your job today, do you have any passive income generating assets that can replace your income? The game Cashflow Classic simulates life with and without passive income. If you want to be wise walk with wise people.

Please let me know if you have any anything I can agree with you in prayer about, or if you’re in need of a financial check up.

“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

April 5, 2016

Below are the articles for the week with a short summary:
http://www.inc.com/sagelive/6-essentials-for-building-a-scalable-business.html

  • “To get from launch to limitless trajectory, entrepreneurs need to make the right moves to ensure that the business can scale at a sustainable pace, says Jim Canfield, CEO of Renaissance Executive Forums, a La Jolla, California-based membership organization for small to mid-sized businesses, focused on helping them grow. “That early stage is like the lift-off of the rocket. It’s going to be violent. It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be intense. The key is to get through it and create a successful orbit,” he says” Here are six important actions to take: look for bottlenecks, hire for the company you want to have, ask for feedback, embrace necessary change, implement systems, and build it as if you’re going to sell it. What I’m astonished by is the growth of our church. Obviously it is a mighty move of God, which supersedes all natural sense. In this article, I see the importance of being better together, the proper use of the Jethro principle, and the importance of order, because it will lead to increase.

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234712

  • “Warren Buffett has described writing as a key way of refining his thoughts (and that guy reads and thinks a whole lot). Richard Branson once said “my most essential possession is a standard-sized school notebook,” which he uses for regular writing.” “For instance, one form of expressive writing might be thinking about and writing out your goals in life—an activity that research has shown is beneficial for motivation.” Writing can lead to better thinking and communicating. Other key arguments are writing keeps you sharp with age, and writing leads to increased attitude. There are many further key points, and even a simple system that encourages regular writing. What’s the common denominator in thinking, talking, and writing? Words. Our words have power. Life and death is in the power of the tongue. God’s word does not return void. We as image bearers of the Lord, our words don’t return void either. Our words can become flesh too.

 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/272991

 

  • “Psychologist Elain Aron has studied this phenomenon extensively, and using MRI scans of highly sensitive people’s brains, she’s found that they experience sounds, feelings, and even the presence of other people much more intensely than the average person.” Here are 9 traits of a highly sensitive person: you think deeply, you’re detail-oriented, you take longer to reach decisions, you’re crushed by bad decisions, you’re emotionally reactive, you take criticism harshly, you work well in teams, you have great manners, and open offices drive you crazy. We are all uniquely and wonderfully made. The Lord has put his gifts in you that are best uncovered over time, through Step 3 of the Growth Track, and or as the Lord leads. In the end, the Lord does have a plan for your life and it’s important to seek Him to uncover it.

 

http://graphics.wsj.com/how-to-invest-in-real-estate/

 

  • Here’s a fun link. You use a graphic and it will suggest what type of real estate investment will bring you a good return based on your investment style and risk appetite. At the end my result was: “Buy the actual bricks and mortar. Purchase a one-family home, an apartment house, an office building, an industrial property like a warehouse or a retail establishment such as a strip mall or retail condo.”

At the end of the day remember: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” (Isiah 30:21 NIV) Hope you have a good week. Look forward to hearing from all of you again. Please let me know if you have any anything I can agree with you about.

James Hawk

“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