Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

March 22, 2017

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/070115/3-secrets-you-didnt-know-about-estate-planning.asp

Estate planning is complicated, which is why it’s highly recommended that investors seek an experienced financial advisor and/or attorney to help sort everything out. The three estate planning secrets below will help investors stay on the right path. (For more, see: Estate Planning: Introduction. The three secrets to know is avoid disinheriting children, divorce inheritance protection, and trust beats probate. If you have children from a previous marriage and want to pass your assets to them, then it’s possible that the stepfather or stepmother could pass those assets on to their children or even new spouse. A good way to prevent this event is using a living trust instead of a beneficiary designation or joint ownership. If you have a six-year-old child, then you’re not going to be very concerned with that child getting divorced at some point down the road. However, it’s never too early to start planning, and the divorce rate is currently around 50% in the United States. If you don’t take the correct actions, your child’s inheritance could end up in the hands of his or her ex. This is surely not what you have in mind for an inheritance, especially if your child is currently married and you’re not fond of the spouse. The solution is a specially designed trust. With this approach, trust shares are created when you pass, and each share will remain in the trust so the trustee can handle the shares. As a trustee, the child will be able to handle those funds as he or she desires, and this trust is protected from creditors and bankruptcy. An exception to the previous statement is if the trust is used to guaranty a loan, in which case the creditor can look for repayment from the trust. Finally, if your estate is planned through a will then it must go through the probate court system which often involves fees, taxes, and legal fees. An important note is that having a living trust doesn’t guarantee that you will avoid probate. In order to avoid probate, all assets must be titled in your name. This includes bank accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. (For more, see: 6 Ways to Lose Your Estate.) It’s important to consider the benefits of a living trust vs. a will. Trusts take a little more money to create, however as the author states in the long term, there is more money that can be left to your children. It’s important to be able to provide for your children’s children. If you’re interested in learning more about how I can help you with setting up a living trust contact me, and I’ll be glad to offer a direction.

http://www.investopedia.com/investing/alternative-investments-stock-market/

Most people think of investing as buying stocks and bonds. The more adventurous might think about a real estate investment trust (REIT). Also, some people consider buying stocks of mining companies or investing in a metals exchange-traded fund (ETF) as a way to invest in gold, silver, platinum and other metals. But what if you want to avoid anything that trades through a broker or online discount broker? There are alternative investment opportunities. Some of them can make you a lot of money, and some of them may make you a little money. Either way, you are not trapped into choosing stocks, bonds and ETFs that are traded publicly. When you start thinking about alternative places to put your money, you need to stay away from scams and get-rich-quick schemes. You need some legitimate investment vehicles that may help you prosper. (See also: Should Your Retirement Portfolio Include Alternative Investments?). The author made sure that all facts and figures were current as of February 15, 2017. The four alternative investments are peer to peer lending, real estate, gold, and owning your own business. With Peer to Peer Lending, your money is invested with a pool of other investors to loan money to people for either personal or business purposes. Your rate of returns is typically, however the risk is also higher, because these borrowers are typically not able to get loans through traditional lending institutions. I’ve discussed gold, real estate, and business in previous blogs, but it should be noted that the author recommends that an allocation of five to 10 percent in gold is considered healthy for an individual’s portfolio. It’s important to have a knowledge of each asset class. The question you should ask yourself is am I investing for capital gains or cash flow? Have I properly protected my assets? How liquid am I? Are my assets creating wealth? My strategy may not work for you because my wants, needs, goals and vision is different. Create a foundation for yourself and build from it.

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 Don’t Allow Them to Doubt You – best motivational video from the 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

January 18, 2017

http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0113/the-dangers-of-a-reverse-mortgage.aspx

It’s difficult to turn on the television these days without seeing a slew of commercials for reverse mortgages. They feature past-their-prime celebrities such as Henry Winkler and Fred Thompson, extolling the benefits of “guaranteed tax-free income” for those 62-years-old and over. What they don’t tell you is that reverse mortgages can be dangerous and can put your biggest asset—your home—at risk. A reverse mortgage is simply a regular mortgage where the proceeds are paid out over a series of installment payments instead of all at once. This plan will use the existing equity of your home, and doesn’t need to be repaid until you sell the home or die. This type of loan can be beneficial under a scenario of a senior citizen using the proceeds to stay in his home while using the proceeds for medical expenses vs. selling his home. There are six dangers to keep in mind: complexity, pressure, future health, eligibility for government programs, high fees, and spousal eviction. The article goes into detail on these dangers. Reverse mortgages can be an important source of emergency funds for some seniors who would otherwise have to sell their homes to access their equity. There are several dangers to these plans. However, that can put your home at risk and sap your asset base. In all honesty, this article is presented to bring awareness that this type of product exists, and I personally am not advocating it. I do encourage the reader to pay attention to the fact that the writer of the article used the term asset base. Remember to grow your income-producing asset column to prevent forced into this type of a scenario.

http://www.investopedia.com/news/george-soros-lost-nearly-1b-due-trump-win-gld-nflx

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros lost approximately a billion dollars following President-elect Donald Trump’s victory last November. Soros, who donated generously to the Clinton campaign, had bet that a Trump victory would lead to a sustained depression in market performance. However, the markets have responded with enthusiasm to Trump’s election in hopes that he would cut taxes and red tape. Soros also has investments in major technology companies, such as Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Netflix Inc. (NFLX), whose stock prices fell following the President-elect’s shock victory. (For more, see also: How Did George Soros Get Rich?)

In contrast, Stanley Druckenmiller, a one-time Soros protegé, seems to have moved ahead of his old boss. The Wall Street Journal report states that Duquesne Family Office LLC, Druckenmiller’s firm, saw “gains of 10% in 2016.” This is because Druckenmiller, who has voted for Republican candidates in the past, predicted that the markets would swoon initially but rally later on a Trump victory.

Druckenmiller’s bearish stance on bonds and his bullish take on the dollar vs euro did help his profits. Gold prices, which were expected to rise after a Trump win, dropped sharply after the elections. Liberty Broadband Corporation (LBRDA), which was one of Soros’s big buys has rallied 12.5% since election night at the time this article was written.

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

For this week, I’ve included Learning From Your Mistakes – Motivational Video from the Endless Motivation YouTube channel.

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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

January 4, 2017

www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/012616/4-best-countries-retiring-asia.asp

Do you have your sights set on retiring in Asia? Not long ago, Investopedia profiled the 10 Best Countries to Retire to in 2016. Now we’ve narrowed our focus to Asia and have asked the expert editors, writers and on-the-ground reporters at Live and Invest Overseas to tell us what they consider the four best destinations for retirement in Asia. Two of their choices, Malaysia and Thailand, made their list of the top 12 places to retire in 2016, and the other two, Vietnam and the Philippines, are countries they consider “up and comers” that may hit the charts next year. The city of George Town, Malaysia is a top pick for retirees. George Town has plenty of museums, jungle parks with secluded beaches, first rate healthcare, and good public transportation. Plus, the cost of living is low. No need to feel like a “walking wallet” in George Town or the rest of Malaysia; foreigners pay the same prices as locals for goods and services. A 900-square-foot apartment in an “expensive” part of George Town will cost about $480 per month; to hire someone to help keep the apartment clean, under $4 an hour.  Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches, laid back culture, and low cost of living. The author recommends Chiang Mai as a city to visit. Thailand requires a visa for long-term residents (see Getting a Retirement Visa in Thailand), but that’s no problem since the government recently rewrote the rules to provide several attractive residency options. Vietnam also offers a low affordable cost of living and is also one of the best places to retire. However, healthcare in Hanoi is excellent, but in certain areas it’s not as easily accessible. The cost of living in the Philippines is one of the lowest in the world. The tropical island of Cebu is another choice for retirees, and Makati, a safe part of Manila, has access to everything a retiree would want – good shopping, excellent healthcare, proximity to beaches and outdoor activities plus the expected big-city cultural features. Makati is also considered an excellent market for real estate investment. Even if you do retire in one of these countries, be sure to have an emergency fund that will cover trips back to the United States, and for true emergencies. The best way to create an emergency fund is by creating a budget, and the self-lending principle. To start your new year differently, feel free to go to the contact me section

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-are-the-67-most-important-investors-of-all-time-2016-05-23

I analyzed the birth dates of the most important investors of all time. Ten observations were made. This is an incomplete list. It does not include any early financiers like J.P. Morgan, no chief strategists like Abby Joseph Cohen, and no Fed chairman like Alan Greenspan. What it does include is traders, investors, hedge fund managers, Nobel laureates, economists, and early pioneers of portfolio management. Some of these people never managed money, but had a huge influence on how we think about investing, like Daniel Kahneman or Robert Shiller, for example. The author provides a chart and here are a few noticeable highlights. Baby boomers dominate this list, every person on this list is extremely smart, and there’s not a lot of diversity in this group. The article includes the names of the 67 most important investors, and they’re worth doing a little more research on.

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

For this week, I’ve included The Key to Wealth: Pay Yourself First from Jack Canfield YouTube channel.

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

Posted in Pursuit of Excellence

November 2, 2016

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/12/marcus-lemonis-common-pitfalls-any-franchise-must-avoid-to-be-successful.html

When he was in his 20s, Michael “Rooster” McConaughey nearly destroyed the business empire he built. “The biggest failure I had — monetarily wise, business wise — was I went bankrupt,” said McConaughey, a self-made millionaire who co-stars on CNBC’s reality pitch show “West Texas Investors Club.” After striking success in the oil and lead pipe business, McConaughey had nearly spent his whole bundle. “My biggest problem was I could make money, but I couldn’t hold on to it,” he said. “I was going around with all the big shots. I thought, hell, I’ll never see a poor day.” Rooster was making a lot of money, but he was spending it just as fast as he made it. Remember: It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about how much money you keep, and how hard that money works for you once you invest it. Rooster eventually had to go broke, go back to the basics and build a foundation the slow way. Along the way, the entrepreneur learned the value of business partnerships and having good mentors. “It’s amazing how that helps, just knowing someone has confidence and faith in you,” he said. “That’s a hell of a motivator.” The whole purpose of this blog is to present a different way of thinking, and encourage you to seek mentors.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/19/marcus-lemonis-shares-3-simple-tricks-to-increase-your-sales.html

Leading net-lease retail real estate investment trust Realty Income (NYSE:O) just declared its 556th consecutive monthly dividend, which translates to more than 46 years of steady income for shareholders. Just as importantly, the dividend has grown steadily over the years, and the stock’s performance has shattered the S&P’s returns since its 1994 IPO. Here’s why Realty Income is the biggest dividend stock in my portfolio and why you should consider it for your own. This stock has had been a good choice for a long-term investment for income seeking investors and investors who look for growth. This stock has paid 556 consecutive dividends since even before it was listed on the NYSE. Even more impressive are the company’s total returns. Since real estate makes money in two main ways (rental income and price appreciation), Realty Income has been able to deliver market-beating returns to investors. In fact, since the company’s public listing 22 years ago, the average annualized total return has been 17.9%. To put this in perspective, an investor who bought $10,000 worth of Realty Income in 1994 would have more than $340,000 today, assuming they reinvested all of the dividends. The company invests in retail properties that fit three criteria: discount stores, non-discretionary retail, and service-based retail businesses. Also, the company makes sure the lease structure is risk resistant through long-term “net” leases which requires the tenants to pay the property taxes, building insurance, and maintenance expense. One risk factor to consider is if interest rates rise, then it could affect the share price, however this stock isn’t to be held for a short term. The author recommends taking a long term hold of this stock. Personally, I have two different trading accounts. One I use for day trading, and the other I buy shares or ETFs of stocks to hold for the long term. Have an investment strategy that will allow you to have both cash flow and capital gains.

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

For this week, I’ve included The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham – Animated Book Review from PracticalPsychology 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

July 20, 2016

http://www.wsj.com/articles/silicon-valley-looks-for-lessons-in-theranos-1468402201

Silicon Valley’s best-known venture investors have emerged largely unscathed from the rapid descent of Theranos Inc., but the decline offers a cautionary tale for a community that bets big on visionary founders touting revolutionary technology. If you’re not familiar with Theranos Inc., then feel free to do a web search on this company. It was founded by Elizabeth Holmes, who at the time was praised as a visionary for what her company was going to do in the health service industry. Now she’s been banned from the blood testing business for two years. This company was valued at $9 billion during a 2014 funding round. “For me, the Theranos saga is a wonderful reminder: While you want to invest in people who are visionary and are committed to their businesses, you want to partner with people who are truth-seeking,” said health-care investor Bryan Roberts, a partner at Venrock. “A lot of people [involved with Theranos] fell down on that in this.” Often what a person or business does in private will in time come to the light of day. This Scripture is a reminder of this quote, “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10 NIV. Before Theranos’s problems came to light last October, at least some Silicon Valley investors cheered her apparent success. Marc Andreessen, whose firm isn’t a backer of Theranos, tweeted that Ms. Holmes would be the first female tech founder on his list of “revolutionary entrepreneurs.” One of the big red flags about Theranos was its unusual roster of investors and board members. The actual board members at that time weren’t medical experts, and the company didn’t publish its results in peer reviewed medical journals. Theranos replaced many of its directors last October and created a new medical-advisory board.
The Theranos spokeswoman said, “Theranos has boards composed of individuals of extraordinary experience and talent in many fields. Their contributions have been significant.” The article then goes on to give a few more examples of Silicon Valley startups that have run into issues. The importance of building a big business is not in how quickly it can reach a billion-dollar valuation but for how long it can last, how much good it will actually do, and how strong its fundamentals are. If the foundation isn’t strong then the cracks will appear and the truth will come to light. Theranos is a case study which will more than likely end up in a business college textbook. Financial literacy, and common sense are two keys to investing for positive cash flow.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/14/20-tips-for-the-me-of-20-years-ago.html

This commentary is from Mainak Dhar, managing director at General Mills. After twenty years, ten bosses, five moves, four kilos, and a journey that has spanned experiences across many different businesses and countries, I am back where it all began — Mumbai. Did I ever imagine I’d be working in the corporate sector for twenty years? To be honest, perhaps not, but back then a time horizon of a couple of years was long term thinking. As I think back to that twenty-two-year-old me sitting in the reception, waiting to collect my visitor ID badge, if I had the chance, what would I say to myself? Here’s an attempt. In this article, Mr. Dhar gives 20 tips to the version of him of 20 years ago. I’ve picked a few to share and I encourage you to read this article. Perhaps much later than I should have, I realized that our identity does not come from the designation we have at our jobs but what inspires us, what makes us feel alive. It’ll all be a waste of time. If money is what you chase, the goalpost will keep shifting. I figured that one out pretty early- you may as well get started on day one of your career. You learn as much, if not more, from the “bad” bosses as the “good” ones. It’ll all be ok. You’ll screw up, you’ll be hurt, you’ll have bad days but you know what, nobody owes you a happy life. You need to find things and people that make you happy. His letter is an honest assessment of working in any career. Work not just for your paycheck, but also work to learn. What do you learn? You learn or rather reveal more of your own God given gifts, and uncover new abilities you didn’t know you had through collaboration. Your workplace’s responsibility is to pay you for your job. It’s your responsibility to use your paycheck to take of your own business. Your business is your life and the legacy you leave behind.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesasia/2016/07/06/risky-business-bangkoks-tallest-gamble-is-ready-to-open

Announce plans for Bangkok’s tallest building in the depths of a financial crisis. Persist through violent street protests and a military coup. Target wealthy foreigners who would pay millions for an apartment. People thought Sorapoj Techakraisri was crazy. That he was only in his 30s added to the skepticism. The 77 story MahaNakhon tower will have its first residents this September. By far the largest skyscraper on the skyline, MahaNakhon will contain 209 Ritz-Carlton Residences, ranging in price from $1.4 million to $10 million; a five-star Edition Hotel by Marriott International; and flashy boutiques and restaurants. Techakraisri
believes that Bangkok is close to having a metamorphosis and becoming an alternative to Singapore. Techakraisri’s company Pace Development’s market capitalization is just $315 million, and its profits are scarce. “It’s not yet a solid company in terms of earnings, though it should do fine,” says Avin Sony of Asia Plus Securities, the Thai firm that managed Pace’s initial public offering in 2013. He predicts that as buyers take possession of their units in MahaNakhon this year, Pace will post a small profit, followed by much bigger earnings in 2017. Even though Thailand has been struck with political turmoil, the super luxury segment of Bangkok’s property market seems to be experiencing a boom. Ultimately Techakraisri is investing for the long term and believes that the government will stabilize, and that expats will be looking to buy his condos as a second or third home. Once the doors open at MahaNakhon and prospective buyers can see the finished product, says Techakraisri, they can expect a higher price tag. “It becomes an emotional sale. When they see the view?-and the residence, the sky bar, the hotel–they will just want it.” This article highlights the vision of a man who didn’t stop believing that a luxury high rise was possible. In contrast, to the Theranos article earlier, it’ll be interesting to see how MahaNakhon tower will do. Our dollar for now is strong, and so I’d recommend looking for opportunities in other markets if you have the ability. If you have a budget, you will be able to focus on two important things: eliminate unnecessary debt and expenses, and build a savings and have money to invest in businesses. If you’re interested in my process go to the contact me section.

Also, below is a preview for the movie the Founder based on the life of Ray Kroc.

If you have a prayer need, 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