Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

December 16, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-inventor-of-the-401k-says-he-created-a-monster-2016-05-16

Most religious men find the answers to their prayers in scripture. Ted Benna found them in the U.S. tax code. Fed up with clients only interested in getting the maximum tax break for themselves while doing as little as possible for their employees, he began to feel he could either remain a workplace benefits consultant or a Christian, but not both. In fact, just weeks before his life’s eureka moment came in September 1980, he thought about leaving the Johnson Companies, his suburban Philadelphia firm, to take a job at a local Christian college. Instead of quitting, Benna, 74, helped turn a little-noticed new subsection of the tax code into the least likely of household names: the 401(k). With a 401k you can put aside pre-tax earnings with a company match up to a certain percentage into a retirement account. This retirement account is managed by a financial services company that will invest your money into the stock, and bond market and overtime build your retirement. This process would replace the typical pension plans that companiess had used for years, and put the financial responsibility on the employee to take care of their retirement. In fact, the original purpose of section 401(k) was to limit the use of executive cash-deferred plans. The Johnson Cos. administered 50 401(k)s in 1982, mostly to its own employees. Today Americans have some 50 million plans holding roughly $3 trillion in assets. Benna’s firm earned its money on the record keeping for the plans (with the help of a $65,000 Wang computer), but outsourced the actual investing component to the Vanguard Group, back when the future mutual-fund giant was still in its nascent days. “Ted was the moral standard within the company and thought it was a conflict for us to also handle the investments,” Wright said. “He believed in doing the right thing.” But like many critics, in recent years he began to think 401(k)s might not be the right thing. He’d created “a monster” that should be “blown up,” Benna lamented in 2011. The 401k plans themselves have grown so complicated. They’re filled with hidden fees, and have so many opportunities for bad decisions that the financial industry benefits more than the savers. “For all its issues, the 401(k)’s biggest value is that it turns spenders into savers,” he said. “Not that I spend much time basking the glory of the 401(k). What matters most to me now is spending time with my grandchildren and my horses.” I think that this forced process of making spenders into savers by the government can be risky, and there needs to be a re-examination of what components are missing from the public education system. Financial education is topic that should be, but isn’t often talked about in homes. In my profession, I see a lot of people that don’t understand the importance of managing credit and risk. I believe a person should look to build multiple streams of income, and not be 100% dependent on their job and the government to take care of them. It’s about taking personal responsibility and learning, and not just handing your money over to someone.  Personally I do have a 401k, but I also look for opportunities to build my income producing asset column, and fight to lower my own consumer debt. I do these things with two things in mind: legacy and eternity. What’s your why?

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/use-self-made-billionaire-ray-dalios-2-minute-rule-to-radically-improve-your-meetings.html

Why do so many of us hate meetings? There’s no shortage of reasons, from wasting time in entirely unnecessary get togethers, to overlong scheduling, and meandering conversations. But somewhere towards the top of nearly everyone’s meeting pet peeve list is oafish meeting behavior. I’m sure you’ve experienced the type of thing I’m talking about – the spotlight hogging, endless interrupting, and under informed bloviating that can make getting together with colleagues about as much fun as watching paint dry. So how do you ensure everyone gets a turn to speak, but that the loudest of the group don’t monopolize the meeting and drown out other good ideas? Ray Dalio, founder of $160 billion hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and self-made billionaire, has a simple rule that can ensure everyone gets their time in the spotlight. On the TED Ideas blog recently Dalio shared nine rules for meetings from his new book Principles: Life and Work . The entire post is definitely worth a read if your organization struggles to keep meetings under control, but one idea stands out as both exceptionally useful and dead simple. Dalio calls it “the two-minute rule”:

The two-minute rule specifies that you have to give someone that uninterrupted period to explain their thinking before jumping in with your own. This ensures everyone has time to fully crystallize and communicate their thoughts without worrying they will be misunderstood or drowned out by a louder voice

This concept isn’t new, and it was instilled in us at an early age. But these two minutes of freedom will allow a person to express his thoughts without interruption. You may need to enforce this time constraint, but make sure you know your team knows this constraint is in force going in. if you’re in leadership/management role, give it a try and see if it changes your work environment. The purpose is to ultimately bring the team together, and find the areas that can be improved together.

This week, I’ve included The 13 Truths – Matthew McConaughey [MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH] from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

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

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

October 7, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/disposable_income.asp

Although it is not the only factor in deciding how wealthy an individual is, disposable income does have a significant influence. If you have little or no money after taxes and expenses, then it is hard to save and invest for the future. In this article, we’ll look at four ways you can increase your disposable income. The four ways are get a raise- or a second job, start a business, investing income, and spend less. Getting a raise is one of the easiest ways to increase your disposable income this can be achieved by continuing your education, taking a pay cut in exchange for performance bonuses, and there are other guides that can help you in getting a raise. Another way is to get a second job, however the draw back to this approach as an employee as your income increases you will be pushed into a higher tax bracket. Starting a business is another way of increasing your disposable income. The difference between having a small business vs a job is that with a business you can lower your tax liability. Some of your business write-offs can even be claimed against other income sources, but you have to follow the rules carefully. (See also: Capital Gains Tax Cuts For Middle Income Investors.) The major drawback of starting a business is that there is no guarantee of success or income like there is with a raise or a second job. Starting a business takes a certain type of person, one with the motivation and the ability to handle the details involved in implementing an idea. The time, effort and nerves that it takes to run a business (that has no certainty of success) means that very few people will take this route.

Investing income is considered a form of passive income. This is a misnomer because it does take active effort to create income from investing – you have to research investments, build and maintain your portfolio, etc. – but it is generally considered to take less effort than, let’s say, shoveling concrete day in and day out. Investing income can come from stocks, bonds, real estate, or many other forms. The common theme is that they ideally produce a return on the money you put into them. (See also: A Guide To Portfolio Construction.) Creating income through investing is a process of accumulation. Even if you consistently get a return on investments (ROI) of 20%, if you only have $1,000 in the investment, you will add a little less than $200 to your yearly income after any fees and taxes have been paid (and there is no guarantee of consistent returns of even 10%). Searching for stocks with a history of dividends, sometimes called income stocks, can help create some income now, but it will still not be as rapid in results as a second job. As you put more money in, however, more money comes out in the form of returns. Investing is a great way to increase your disposable income in the long run, but it won’t do wonders for your immediate situation unless you have a huge chunk of capital just sitting around. Investing takes patience, time and discipline (it is also subject to taxation). That said, it is one of the surest ways to gradually add to your disposable income without exerting yourself too much. Finally, spending less will increase your disposable income.  Having a budget and knowing how much exactly comes in and how much exactly goes out and when it goes out is key to setting aside more money for investing. Each of these four steps should be a part of your life strategy. It’s your money and the choices are yours. What is your vision and what is your legacy?

http://www.businessinsider.com/shopify-citron-andrew-left-business-dirtier-than-herbalife-2017-10

Andrew Left is back at it again. The Citron Research founder tweeted on Wednesday that the Canadian e-commerce company Shopify was a “business dirtier than Herbalife.” He also posted a seven-minute YouTube video outlining his bear case, titled “Citron Exposes the Dark Side of Shopify — The FTC Will Take Notice,” and posted a report to his firm’s website. In the video, Left lays out the big question he has around the company: Outside the roughly 50,000 verifiable merchants working with Shopify, who are the other 450,000 the company says it has? According to Left, many of them are, among other things, influencers paid to promote the company. “Shopify, a company that has mastered the good ol’ get-rich-quick scheme,” Left says in the video. “What’s never discussed by Wall Street is the real business behind Shopify.”  Left set a target price of $60 on the stock which was 49% below the closing price on Tuesday and on Wednesday the stock dropped by 14%. Whether or not his claims are true, when he speaks the market listens and responds in kind. But Left is perhaps best known for his damning October 2015 report that accused Valeant Pharmaceuticals of being a “pharmaceutical Enron,” and he helped bring up questions regarding the firm’s accounting and relationship with the specialty pharmacy Philidor.  I’ve included the link to Citron Research here: http://www.citronresearch.com/ If you’re going to increase your knowledge in any asset class, you need to learn from people wiser than you, and trust in your God given gifts. Living in the Information Age, you have full access to as much information as you could possibly want. Carve out a half an hour to a few hours of your day to increase your knowledge and look for scenarios to apply it. Keep it simple, how can I make money, how can I money make money, and how do I repeat steps 1 and 2 to infinity?

If you are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

This week, I’ve included YOU CAN ALSO BE GREAT” – Elon Musk Motivation – Motivational Video from the Mulligan Brothers YouTube channel.

 

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

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

September 16, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

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

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

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

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

If you are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

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

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

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: July Snapshot


This month, my wife started her job. To be able to work in a job that you love, and get paid for it, it’s one of the great blessings in this life. My wife had the opportunity to study and earn a degree in something that she’s passionate about. On the other hand, I have fumbled through life. I originally studied information systems in college, and switched to business administration, because at the time information systems was too challenging for me, and I wanted to graduate college in four years. After I got out of college, I went to work at the Disney Store, and worked many extra jobs just trying to make the ends meet. It wasn’t until I took a change order to a local bank that my life changed. Now I find myself working in the banking industry for over ten years. However, it wasn’t until my mentor, and friend that I consider a brother asked me to read Rich Dad Poor Dad, that I changed how I looked at my personal finances. It’s because of his friendship, that with the Lord’s help I grew to form my framework on how I view finances, and the importance of eternity and legacy.

She received her first paycheck this month, and it was such an exciting moment being able to use those funds to pay down debt. Every penny we apply toward the debt I know will lead us to having even more money in the long run. While we’re looking to reduce our debt and expenses, we’re continuing to increase our income. My wife’s associate in her business, has been doing a phenomenal job at growing his business. Because she is over him, she is receiving the overrides from his production. She can go about her day and receive a deposit without any effort. This example is true passive income. Passive income requires active work on the front end. I’ve made myself available to him 24-7 to continue to ensure his growth, and provide guidance as needed. The most important thing about this situation is that we were friends first before I brought him into this Legalshield business. If you’re not willing to form a relationship with those you work with, then don’t be surprised if you don’t have any results. My friend’s sales approach is outside of the system’s way of thinking however it’s working. I only want the best for him and want to see a day where he earns the six-figure ring. This next month begins 21 days of prayer, and in this time, I will seek the Lord with the hopes of hearing from Him. In your life, take a moment to stop, breathe, rest and reflect.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income, while reducing debt or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need a financial check-up, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through Mustard Seed in the mustard seed section.

“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.”

Deuteronomy 28:12 NLT

http://bible.com/116/deu.28.12.nlt

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Here’s this month’s video: CHANGE YOUR HABITS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE – Amazing Compilation (So Inspiring!) from the Be Inspired – Daily Motivation YouTube channel.

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

June 14, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-stop-using-filler-words-speech-presentation-2016-12

Americans are famous for using filler words like “um”, “uh”, “like” and “y’know”. On average, we utter two to three filler words for every 100 words we speak. One method to stop using filler words is the clap method. Ask someone to listen to you speak and clap whenever you use a filler word. It will seem weird at first, but you’ll be able to determine how many filler words you use in your daily conversation. The self-recording method involves setting up a camera or cell phone device to record yourself during conversation. The best way to correct yourself from using filler words is by pausing in between each thought. “It is a matter of training yourself to tolerate a long pause and telling yourself that you will not lose people’s attention or respect.” – Paula Statman. People will also use filler words when experiencing anxiety. A good way to manage this anxiety is to shift your focus to helping the audience. Finally, it’s important to practice giving speeches, so you will build your confidence. The best way to communicate your spirit is through your words, and in my opinion the most efficient and effective way to communicate your words is through speaking. Your spoken words can communicate tone in a way that written words can’t. Remember that words are powerful. Words can become flesh.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-25/renaissance-mints-another-billionaire-with-two-more-on-the-cusp

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”

―Margaret Fuller

Want to know one of the “secrets” to becoming a better leader? Become a more voracious reader. One of the best ways to “stand on the shoulders of giants” is to read. We hear it all the time–that the most successful people, our greatest leaders, are people who read constantly (including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffett). Reading for leaders is a way to broaden their knowledge, to expand their world view, to gain insight and widen their perspectives. But the secret is knowing what to read. Not every book will get you where you need to be. Here is my list of the top five books you must read if you want to become a more successful, well-rounded leader. The five books are: The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, The 48 Laws of Power, and Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization. Each book is worth reading, however I’ve selected a direct quote from the article regarding the 48 Laws of Power. “When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity. … You cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others.” A contrast to the usual “feel-good” tone of most leadership books, The 48 Laws of Power brings a hard-edged ruthless grit based on the philosophies of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Carl Von Clausewitz and stories of politicians and other manipulators throughout history. Robert Greene’s “48 laws” focus on making yourself look good, building your own confidence, self-preservation, and winning. Even if it’s a message you’re not entirely comfortable with, it’s one you need to know. It’s important to listen to different points of view even if you may not agree with the point of view. Each of these books, I believe will help draw out the leader in you. Be a servant leader and serve for the greater good of eternity and legacy. Just remember that when you lead you can be the target that gets hit first, so be true to the values you believe in.

If you are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included SINK OR SWIM – Motivational Video | You don’t have to face yourself on Friday from Fight it or Accept it 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

May 17, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-buy-bitcoin-using-coinbase-2017-5

A year and a half ago, the idea of buying the virtual currency bitcoin was laughable. After a rapid rise in value in 2013, the cryptocurrency’s value more than halved by mid-2015. At its lowest point, one bitcoin was equal to about $230. But now Bitcoin is at an all-time high, and rising. Within the last month, the price of one bitcoin has climbed from $1,280 to around $1,480. Given the currency’s covert nature, the average person still may not understand how buying and selling actually works. Using the app Coinbase, which lets anyone trade bitcoins for a small fee, we decided to find out. A brief warning: If you’re going to do this, tell your bank you’re about to buy bitcoin. More on that later. This article provides a step by step process of buying Bitcoin, so I recommend reading the article if you’re interested in purchasing it. The author also has his reservations about using Coinbase, however I personally am going to use this site to buy Ethereum. It is another cryptocurrency. If you’re interested in forming an investment group with me, then contact me.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/7-money-making-lessons-from-the-richest-man-who-ever-lived-2017-05-02

Jacob Fugger was a German banker who financed kings, explorers, bishops and popes — and along the way made the biggest fortune ever amassed by a business person. The grandson of a peasant, he persuaded Leo X to legalize for-profit lending. One of his money-making schemes provoked Martin Luther to write the 95 Theses and kick off the Reformation. He played kingmaker in the 1519 election for Holy Roman Emperor. Jacob (Jakob in German) Fugger and his money gave the vote to Charles V of Spain and put Charles atop an empire as big as Napoleon’s. Fugger was worth about $400 billion in current dollars at the time of his death in 1525 — or 2% of Europe’s GDP at the time. (John D. Rockefeller was close in dollar terms, but his wealth equaled a smaller part of the U.S. economy.) Here are some of his secrets: invest when others fear, be indispensable, know the facts, know the numbers, get a good education, keep cool, and give something back. It’s best to not let fear or analysis-paralysis stop you from making a move when it comes to investing into your future. Do you have a vision? Do you have a mission? Do you have it written out? Be indispensable not just in your work place, but in your life. If you have integrity then people will trust in you and be willing to help you. Do what you say and say what you do, but make sure you think before you speak. Knowing the facts and the numbers will help you stay grounded. Getting a good education will help you draw out the person you are destined to be. Study what you love even if it’s for free, but think about how can you turn it into an income generating asset. How can it generate passive income or any form of income? Keep cool and use your will to stay focused on your plan whatever it may be. However, in the end, look at everything through the lens of eternity and legacy. There’s no sense in amassing great wealth with no plan on how you can help humanity. Fugger is best known as the creator of the Fuggerei, the world’s first affordable housing project. He thought anyone who worked deserved to have a roof over their head. Rent came to one quarter the market rate. The Fuggerei remains in operation and is the largest tourist attraction in his home city of Augsburg. Greg Steinmetz is the author of “The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger.” I encourage you to read a book on a topic that interests, and a topic that is challenging to read to keep feeding one of your greatest assets: your mind.

If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO – LIVE LIKE A KING from MulliganBrothers YouTube channel.

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

Proverbs 28:26 MSG

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: April Snapshot


Honestly this month has been a month of miracles. I honestly believe because my wife and I honored God at the beginning of the year that He has put favor on our year so far. My wife did get approved for her personal line of credit, so she was able to consolidate down some of her debt. I could do a balance transfer, which is why you see my balances go up for the month of April. Fortunately, I could pay off the Wells Fargo term loan, and my goal is to pay off the Prosper loan by the end of May. If everything goes as intended, then I will have an additional $650 per month in income. This additional income I can use to focus on reducing my debt at a faster rate, meeting any living expense needs, saving to invest, or saving in case of emergency. When you’re creating an emergency savings, save at least one month’s worth of income no more than three months’ worth of income.

Paying off your debts will give you a raise. You’ll begin to be able to realize how blessed you are as you break off the bondage of debt. You also won’t know how much you are losing to compound interest until you really look at the numbers. We didn’t make any sales in our organization; however, I sincerely believe in my team. I believe that once they slowly build momentum, it will change their lives for the better both financially and emotionally. Ask yourself. Are you trading dollars for time? I’m continuing to look for ways to be generous not with my finances but with my time, energy, efforts, and connections. I encourage you to look at the win-win scenario and looking at life through the lens of eternity and legacy. A win-win scenario is helping a friend of mine who was looking to sell a car, and another friend who was desperately needing a car. They were able to strike an agreement that worked for the both of them. Finally, my wife passed her test and is now licensed. This journey was four long years of blood, sweat, and tears. Honestly it was a miracle that she passed. There is a powerful momentum building this year.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income, while reducing debt or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need a financial check-up, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through Mustard Seed in the mustard seed section.

“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.”


‭‭Deuteronomy28:12NLT‬‬


http://bible.com/116/deu.28.12.nlt
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I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Here’s this month’s video: THE TRUE GRIND – 30 Minute Motivational Speech Compilation from the Motivation Archive YouTube channel.

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

April 26, 2017

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles below

http://www.businessinsider.com/11-mental-habits-to-give-up-if-you-want-to-succeed-2017-4

Stop waiting for happiness and success — you can start achieving them in the present by giving up these toxic things. When we aim to become happy and have a successful outlook, we often focus on getting to the next station in life. Happiness is seemingly always “someday” in the near-distant future — like once we finally land that promotion or find the right partner. I’m a huge proponent of setting new aspirational goals, but I also know the severe importance of having a positive outlook on life. Your inner-happiness needs to be harnessed in the present, so you can use the power of positive thinking to reach those new heights eventually. When you solely focus on the future to be happy, you end up ignoring the toxic habits and attitudes that could be dragging it down in the present. It won’t be a cakewalk, but it is possible to harness a successful and upbeat outlook now with some shifts to your mindsets and habits. The 11 habits you need to give up if you want to succeed are: give up FOMO, give up unrealistic standards of perfection, give up on expecting praise from others, give up on negative self-talk, give up on being defensive, give up the scarcity mindset, give up on being set in stone, give up the short-term mindset, give up on the negativity of others, give up comparison, and give up self-doubt. FOMO stands for fear of missing out. It’s important to evaluate each decision before you make one and not let the fear of missing out govern your strategy. Don’t let your identity be determined by what others think of you, have the courage to see the abundance of life, stay focused on your path, and be flexible. Each mental habit the author encourages you to give up is a negative self-habit on how you respond to the world around you. No man is an island, and we genuinely do need each other at some point to survive. Studies estimate that we say 300 to 1,000 words to ourselves every single minute. If you engage in negative self-talk, that’s a lot of nasty words being thrown your way. That’s why none other than the U.S. Navy SEALs swear by positive self-talk as a way to take on a strenuous day, and to avoid negativity. When their oxygen flow is suddenly cut off underwater, SEALs are able to tough it out by telling themselves that everything is fine and thinking positively. So you can probably also use this tip to get through a day at the office. To start, tell yourself how great your day is going to be as you’re riding the subway or driving down the freeway. If you start encountering a rough morning, go outside for a few minutes and repeat some more positive affirmations to yourself.  If you aren’t in the habit of using positive words for yourself then I suggest you find books that have positive themes. Personally, I believe in taking the time to read the Bible. If you take the time to read the book of Proverbs, you will be filled with a wisdom that can truly impact your life. All habits can be changed even if it’s one small step at a time.

http://www.investopedia.com/advisor-network/articles/how-market-pricing-should-fit-your-investing-strategy/

The investing world can be a scary place. It can also be exciting. At times, it can seem like there’s nothing to it, and at other times it can seem like the most complicated thing you’ve ever done. All of the thoughts and emotions that are part of investing are enhanced because, after all, you are putting your money and your financial future at risk. Risk and reward go hand in hand when you invest. You can be very conservative and not subject your investments to much risk, but then you are not going to get much in the way of return on your investment dollars. Or you can take a lot of risk, looking for the proverbial home run. That approach can lead to stellar returns, or it can lead to distressing losses. So what is your strategy when it comes to investing your portfolio? Are you actively looking for that one piece of information that will give you the edge you need to catch the next wave of increasing prices of your favorite tech stock? Or maybe you suffer from “paralysis by analysis,” overwhelmed by the information flow and its potential impact on your portfolio? (For related reading, see: Information Overload: How It Hurts Investors.) A newly formed strategy is investing based off President Trump’s tweets. There are a wide range of strategies out there, and this article is devoted to introducing you to the strategy that the author uses. The first building block in the science behind this investment philosophy is the need to embrace market pricing. While that sounds a little complicated, it’s really not at all. It simply means that the financial markets are very efficient and that all of the information available on a particular stock, bond or other investment is reflected in the current price. Millions of investors around the world buy and sell investments every day, and the information they bring to the markets helps to set prices. When some new information affecting an investment comes out, it is immediately factored into the price of that investment. Let’s use the price of Apple stock as an example. If Apple is coming out with a new iPhone soon, you know about it, we know about it, and millions of people around the world know about it. There is no way to profit from any kind of information edge that you might think exists, even if it is only temporary. That’s why it’s not a good idea to run out and buy Apple stock when you hear the news. Years ago, there may have been some pieces of information that took time to work through the markets, but with today’s technology, that time gap has disappeared. Many of us have alerts on our smartphones that let us know in real time when some important news has been released. (For related reading, see: How the Internet Has Changed Investing.) The author recommends using an evidence-based investment strategy, and this strategy requires humility. You must be humble enough to know that you will not know more than the market. I recommend that you find the asset class you are passionate about, and research it in depth through experience, talking with others experienced in that asset class, and vigorous research either online and or through books. Once you have your investment strategy, make sure you have a good mix of assets. Your assets should have two basic strategies one for insurance, and one for wealth-building. The goal is to always look at your strategy through the lens of eternity and legacy. Think about your children’s children and the impact on the world around you.

If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included 50 Rules & Advice From Successful Billionaires and Entrepreneurs from Motivation Archive 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

March 29, 2017

http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/the-awful-truth-about-getting-rich-that-no-one-wants-to-hear.html

Many people want to be incredibly wealthy. (How you define “incredibly wealthy” is of course up to you–my “incredibly wealthy” may seem like pocket change to Floyd Mayweather, Jr.) Many people don’t hope to achieve that goal…but many people do. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But you will never become incredibly wealthy by working for someone else. And you will never become incredibly wealthy by living a “safe” (more on that in a moment), “positive work-life balance,” time-clock-punching professional life. If you want to have a certain amount of money in the bank, then you are less likely to have it if you’re working for someone else. Even people with advanced degrees will earn an average income of less than six figures. When you work for someone else, you implicitly accept a limited upside and unlimited downside. Unless you somehow manage to be the employee version of a unicorn, you will never, ever become incredibly wealthy. In 2014, it took $127 million in adjusted gross income to make the top 400. (That sounds like a lot, but it just barely got you in the door. The average income of everyone on the list was $317 million.) Those are fun stats to whip out at parties, but what matters is how the top 400 made their money:

  • Wages and salaries: 4.4 percent
  • Interest: 4.2 percent
  • Dividends: 10.9 percent
  • Sale of Capital Assets: 65.2 percent
  • Partnership and S Corp Net Income: 16.2 percent

The author points out the way to become incredibly wealthy is to start your own business that can be scaled to a significant size. Unless you’re an actor, or musician, or athlete–in which case you’re still an entrepreneur, because you’re in the business of you–starting a successful business is the only realistic way to become incredibly wealthy. If that is your goal, you’ll need to start yours. Today.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/fundamental-analysis/09/value-investing.asp

Value investing, and any type of investing, varies in execution with each person. There are, however, some general principles that are shared by all value investors. These principles have been spelled out by famed investors like Peter Lynch, Kenneth Fisher, Warren Buffet, John Templeton and others. In this article, we will look at these principles in the form of a value investor ‘s handbook.
Value investors agree that you should buy businesses and not stocks. Investors should look at the fundamentals of the company and not the trends in the stock price. You wouldn’t pick a spouse based solely on his or her shoes, and you shouldn’t pick a stock based on cursory research. You have to love the business you are buying, and that means being passionate about knowing everything about that company. You need to strip the attractive covering from a company’s financials and get down to the naked truth. Many companies look far better when you judge them on basic price to earnings (P/E), price to book (P/B) and earnings per share (EPS) ratios than they do when you look into the quality of the numbers that make up those figures. It’s best to invest in companies that you understand vs. being attracted to a company’s earnings. To quote Buffett: “look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” You can get a sense of management’s honesty through reading several years’ worth of financials. How well did they deliver on past promises? If they failed, did they take responsibility, or gloss it over? A good manager will be focused on growing the company and not just its market value. Growth in the company increases the value to the shareholders. If you do happen to find undervalue stocks and if you have the liquidity available, then go ahead and buy as much as you can. Keep in mind that the market only matters when you enter or exit a position. When you sell an investment, you expose your portfolio to capital gains and usually have to sell a loser to balance it out. Both of these sales come with transaction costs that make the loss deeper and the gain smaller. By holding investments with unrealized gains for a long time, you forestall capital gains on your portfolio. The longer you avoid capital gains and transaction costs, the more you benefit from compounding. Value investing requires a lot of patience and discipline, but when you do so, the potential payoff is large. Ask yourself how does this fit into my personal investing strategy? Do I like investing in paper assets, real estate, businesses or commodities? What is my concentration level? What is my exit strategy? Most importantly what is my legacy? When you look at your life through the lens of legacy you won’t lose focus on your vision and goals.

Items in italics are direct quotes from the articles above

If you need are interested in creating a budget, then contact me for a financial checkup in the contact me section. Also, learn more about the self-lending principle in the mustard seed section.

For this week, I’ve included Be Powerful –motivational speech video – T.D. Jakes from the Motiversity YouTube channel.

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

Posted in Debt Free Me

Month End: February Snapshot

This month I celebrated my first full month living with my wife. We were fortunate enough to go to the marriage conference together at the last minute, and I was thankful that we did. Our apartment is starting to look like a home, and my wife has begun studying to take her test to be licensed as a registered nurse. This month especially is filled not just with numbers and budgeting but faith also. Faith in things not yet seen and having the will to continue to do a good work regardless of the outcome. I have the opportunity for a new position at my job and having to rely on something greater than myself to handle these new responsibilities. Either way when I get paid my process remains the same and I look to use my self-lending principle whenever I can.

I’m looking to sell as many plans as possible not just to reduce debt, but to also help protect people. My thought process remains the same: increase income, and lower expenses, look for income producing assets, and build wealth to leave a legacy. Over the next few months you should see my debt reduce significantly. My wife and I have talked about using a consolidation loan to consolidate and reduce the payments on my two installment loans which should free up more cash flow. The only drawback of an installment or term loan is the payments are set for the term of the loan unless you can convince the loan officer to re-amortize the debt.

If you want to learn more about how I’m increasing my income, while reducing debt or if you want to have someone to discuss your debt reduction strategy with, or if you need a financial check-up, contact me.

Also, learn more about how I use the self-lending principle through Mustard Seed in the mustard seed section.

“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.”
‭‭Deuteronomy 28:12 NLT‬‬


http://bible.com/116/deu.28.12.nlt

I believe in your journey to….

A Debt Free Me

Here’s this month’s video: Retrain your Mind from the Be Inspired YouTube channel