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The Power of Leverage and Compounding

January 11, 2013 by  
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So now that we’ve gone over the first 3 big steps to building your fortune, it’s time to get to the very important Big Step No. 4. But before I lay that out, I thought we ought to talk about the power behind what you are about to do, the power of leverage and compounding.

My first introduction to leverage and compounding was as a stockbroker in the 70’s. I wanted in the worst way to make a fortune and do it quickly. I knew that there were seemingly ordinary people making millions of dollars in a matter of a few short years. What I didn’t understand was how that was possible. My thinking was stuck in the mindset of trading my hours for dollars and with only 168 hours in a week even with a decent hourly rate of $25 it would take 20 years to hit a million and that’s with the ridiculous assumption that I would not spend a dime or pay taxes!

Then I was introduced to leverage and compounding by Larry Rosenberg, a new brokerage client of mine and soon to be mentor. At that point I was becoming quite adept at bond trading and was shocked early on when I figured out I could make 100% return in a matter of weeks. I could buy $100,000 worth of bonds with only $5,000 or my own money, borrowing the rest from the brokerage firm. That’s using leverage. So if the bond price moved up just 5% the bonds would be worth $105,000 turning my 5k to 10k! Eureka! I had just discovered a money machine! But the bad news is that I could just as easily lose all my money if the bonds dropped 5%.

Larry Rosenberg introduced me to a safer, more consistent and more controllable asset: improved real estate. With this you could make a 100% return in 6 months to a year and do it with consistency and very little risk. But what Larry made me see that got me super motivated was what a 100% return per year will do to even a very small amount of money. $1,000 dollars at 100% compounded return will grow to the incredible sum of more than a third of a billion dollars in just 35 years! Although a consistent 100% may be hard to sustain, I did it for a while and reached my first million net worth in 47 months with only a couple thousand dollars to start.

This may all just sound like numbers now but in the next few weeks I will go into more detail with specific examples of improved real estate deals you can make so you can put these powerful concepts to work.

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