Archive for Wealth
The dream turned into a wakeup call. My first year as a financial consultant I netted $10,000. A little short of my goals. With a family of four and two kids heading towards college this was a setback of major scale. We had saved, invested and planned before launching but still this was worse than I ever imagined.
The biggest obstacle was self imposed. I wanted to build a fee based advising and planning business. By doing this I collected a small quarterly fee rather than a much larger commission. I wanted to build a business with a long term focus. Help people plan their financial futures while reducing the potential conflicts of interest.
In the short term it meant giving up 80 percent of my income. In the long term it meant building a scalable business that could grow exponentially.
Many of the veteran brokers told me, “You’re crazy. You can’t build a business like that. You’ll never survive. People won’t go along with it. You’re a fool.” Read More→
Steve Cohen, “The Millionaire’s Magician,” became an overnight success. Really?
As a child he was intrigued watching and performing magic tricks. He had natural talent and unbounded interest.
He says, “While other kids went to soccer and football camp during the summer I went to geeky magic camp.”
No doubt growing up he probably wasn’t the big man on campus.
He performed through college, perfecting his skills and earning a living. After graduation he married a Japanese woman and they moved to Tokyo. There he connected with the general manager of a large hotel. After a private showing he gained a contract to put on magic shows.
He eventually returned to the US and set out to be a career magician. But how do you break into the big time? The field was already crowded with headline performers. And how do you make contact with the people you need to?
He would do small preview shows for agents to get contracts. Then start all over when it ran out. Read More→
About four years ago, in the midst of the real estate boom, I was advising a friend on her finances as we sat in my office one afternoon. She’s a little older than I am and retired. That’s her dream. No more work.
The problem is she doesn’t have enough money to sustain her life style through decades of retirement.
I said to her, “You need to sell your house and move into something smaller. Then invest the extra to generate income. This will reduce your living expenses as well. Help you get your cash flow in balance.”
She answered, “But this is my dream home. It’s what I’ve always wanted. I just couldn’t sell it.”
“But you’re going to run out of money before you run out of retirement,” I replied. “You’ve got to change something.” Read More→
“Wealth is largely a result of habit.” – John Jacob Astor
While visiting our daughter in Washington D.C., on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we drove to Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington. The grounds were spectacular. The house, stately, overlooking the Potomac River. The gardens were laid out magnificently. It testified to the wealth and accomplishments of a remarkable man who lived an amazing life.
Yet George Washington wasn’t born into wealth. His father died when he was young leaving the family destitute. As a boy he worked as a surveyor in the wilderness of Virginia. When he was old enough, he enlisted in the British army and fought in the French and Indian War. Yet he always loved the family home at Mt. Vernon. At the time there was only a small house on the grounds and mostly wilderness surrounding it. But he would go there often for respite. Read More→
“Trick me once shame on you. Trick me twice shame on me.” Anonymous
In January, a woman called me on the phone at my office one afternoon. In broken English she said, “I’m from. . . (and named a law office). I am calling you on behalf of your phone service provider. Your bill for $26.73 is overdue.” I asked her for the phone number she was referencing and she gave me one we use for our office at home.
She went on, “This was for charges in November. Do you remember getting billed for this?
I replied, “No. And if we did it’s been paid because we pay all our bills on time.”
She went on, “We have been assigned this bill to collect. If you will give me a credit card number today we won’t charge you for the service charges.” Read More→
There he is twirling and dancing on roller blades at one of the busiest intersections in Fresno. The signboard strapped to his back reads “Cash for Gold” and advertizes a local jewelry store/ pawn shop. He is skating, playing the guitar and singing along with his boom box. People definitely see his sign though I don’t know if they visit the jewelry shop. Day after day he’s out there doing his thing with all of his energy.
A few months ago, a local newspaper did a feature article on him. He’s a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. He was out of work and needed a job so he applied for this one. He said he loves to be outside and roller blade. He also loves playing the guitar, singing and entertaining people. Seems like he created his dream job. He thought outside the box and threw in a huge helping of enthusiasm . Read More→
“I can’t know exactly how things are going to turn out all right. I just know that things are going to turn out all right.” Nick Murray
“How do you stay so calm when everyone is freaking out?” a friend asked me.
As the stock market melted down through March of 2009 I was asked this question in different ways but scores of times.
In February one client said, “All my friends have taken their losses and cashed out. I’m the only one still in the market. When I go to parties and we talk about our investments they think I’m a fool.”
Some clients sent me emails of alarming news floating around the internet. Conspiracies that would end the world. Read More→
“There is always an easy solution to every human problem – neat, plausible and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
“What do you think about investing in . . . ?” John, a client, asked me, naming the latest hot investing fad. “I’m concerned about the deficit and inflation. I’m thinking of selling some of my investments before they go down again and buying it.”
“John, I agree with you in part,” I answered. “In two to three years, unless the government unwinds the spending, we’re going to see inflation heat up. And the government is never good at unwinding programs they start. But that investment has a terrible long term track record.”
“What do you suggest, then?” he asked. Read More→