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Losing Out to Fear

May 5, 2017 by  
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I am totally convinced that most people don’t end up making big money–especially when you are talking millions of dollars—not because they aren’t smart enough but because of their fears. It is a fear of failing and/or the fear of losing what little money they may have. Believe me, I totally understand those fears because that is exactly what held me back for a long time.  But that’s when my wonderful friend and mentor, Larry Rosenberg stepped in and gave me the courage to overcome my fears or at least reduce my level of fear. At the same time, he showed me exactly how to do the big deals and reduce the risks which, of course, reduced the amount of fear I had.

Don’t get me wrong there are always risks but even so, Larry convinced me that if I wanted to hit it really big, I would have to take some bigger risks. At that point, I reasoned with myself and agreed with that old saying, “Better to try and fail than never to try at all.”  I never forgot being told repeatedly when I was young, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

There is no question that when you use financial leverage on a purchase that you increase the risk to yourself.  Like that old example I’ve used over and over—if you put 10% down on a $500,000 dollar property, you could lose all your money if that property dropped in value by 10% and you had to sell it. That’s $50k gone just like that.

That kind of risk is scary but on the other hand, if that property increases in value by 10% then you’ve just doubled your money or made a 100% return. Remember what huge numbers 100% returns do to your money over time–just one penny compounded at 100% a year grows to well over $10 million in just 30 years! That’s the great power of compounding. Of course, you can reduce your risks, big time, by using your brain and your brawn to fix up a property which greatly increases the chance of raising its value and greatly reduces your risk.

If you want to reduce your risk even more, you may want to do what one of my long time students did early on in his acquisition of property. I’m talking about Dell Loy Hansen who now owns properties valued in the billions. He started from scratch after he read my first book, How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You. How did he reduce his risk?  He went out and found partners which allowed him to buy property with much bigger down payments, so they went into these investments with a lot more equity and hence less risk. That, of course, reduces the possible return on the amount invested but, for Mr. Hansen, it greatly increased his leverage and allowed him to buy bigger and bigger properties, hence his multibillion-dollar portfolio.

So remember, if you want to hit it big, be prepared to take some risks and if you want to cut those risks a bit, go find some good partners to share in the initial down payment. Just be sure to take good care of those partners.

 

 

Lifting our Lives in 2017

December 30, 2016 by  
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As you look at or contemplate what you will be doing in 2017 and beyond, be sure to take a very hard look at the financial category. Life is certainly much more than just money but with plenty of money your options and success with many of your other goals in life can be greatly expanded.

For example, I just discovered that before the great actor and governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was famous, he became a millionaire from … yep, you guessed it … investing in good ole real estate! So even if you’ve not yet started an investment program you can do so now with savings and investing goals for 2017. It may take some time to build your fortune and you may feel you have so little to contribute right now, but try never to forget the huge power of compounding your money. Compounding can multiply even a very small amount of money into millions of dollars. Certainly Arnold knows that from his experience and so do I.

Eight years ago, when I starting writing my weekly blog it was almost exclusively about taking a small amount of money and wisely investing it, mainly in real estate, to build a fortune for yourself or at least for you to make enough to live very comfortably and retire without ever diminishing your lifestyle. But I’ve also written about health and well-being, relationships and friends, and traveling to broaden one’s perspectives on living, along with many other subjects. But I’m thinking now that as we face another year it would be wise to refocus our attention and goal setting back to that money thing that can lift so many parts of our lives including the lives of those around us.

In the foreword of the book Tools of Titans, the author Tim Ferris quotes Schwarzenegger’s thoughts not only about real estate making Arnold a millionaire but about his many other accomplishments. “I am not a self-made man,” Schwarzenegger says. “I got a lot of help … I stood on the shoulders of giants,” which was his way of giving credit to his parents, coaches, and teachers.

We all need to realize and give so much credit to others that have helped us along the way and then step up and let others climb on our shoulders to lift them up. For me I give tons of credit for my success to my wonderful parents and to the great Bill Nickerson and what his book, How I Turned $1,000 into a Million in My Spare Time, did for me. I also need to credit the great Denver real estate guru, – who took me under his wing and showed me exactly how he turned a few thousand dollars into multi-millions over the years. You can read more about that great story on my June 24th, 2016 blog.

I’ve tried to help others through my investing advice, directions, books, lectures and conversations. I have received rewards of great appreciation and many thank-you’s which are worth so much more than money. One of my resolutions for 2017 is to be more helpful to others. To accomplish this, I need to go to work right now and write down the details and specific steps or actions that I am going to take to accomplish that very goal. What are your goals and do you have them written down yet? If not, let’s do it. There is no time to waste.

The People Who Changed My Life

June 24, 2016 by  
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Last week I said that I was going to give appreciation and thanks to those people that inspired, helped and directed my life and personal development and those that lifted my financial life to great heights.

The first and probably most powerful financial mentor was Larry Rosenberg of Denver, Colorado. Before Larry came into my life I had read a few financial books that somewhat helped me start to improve my financial situation, books that taught me that the first step is to save money out of each paycheck, at least 10% but more if you can swing it.

However, what Larry Rosenberg really did to lift my financial sights to great heights was to show me what he’d done, starting basically from scratch, using financial leverage and compounding. When he sat down with me and showed me on paper what could be done with as little as $1,000 dollars, a few years’ time, and hard work, I was blown away. Thousands turned into millions and it wasn’t just a theory. He had done it! I quickly saw, and he agreed, that I could do the same thing. So I set out on my financial path and yes, it lead me to millions.

So thank you Larry. I appreciate you and I will never forget you. You not only influenced and lifted my financial world but because of you I’ve passed your directions and formulas onto literally thousands of other people. Your great influence is huge and growing and it’s so big it’s probably unmeasurable.

Larry also put me onto Bill Nickerson’s great book, How I turned $1000 into Millions in My Spare Time, in Real Estate, which gave me more details on what I should be doing and how. Later I was privileged to meet and get to know Bill very well. So a big thanks to Mr. Bill Nickerson too!

These two gentleman were a big influence but there are still more to thank. Next week, I’ll send out a few more thank you notes and show you what people have done for me and, in turn, for you!

Truly Smart Money

April 15, 2016 by  
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One of the smartest people in the entire world said this about money: “The most powerful principle I ever discovered was compound interest”.  Who said that? Can you believe it was none other than Albert Einstein?

I had forgotten that wonderful quote until the other day when I came across a booklet titled “Being Smart with your Money” written by my very dear friend and my money mentor of years ago, Paul J. Meyer.  Paul was a man who truly went from rags to riches.  As a young man, he was making a few bucks by picking fruit in California, but by using his brain and wisely using his little bit of money with leverage and compounding, he eventually amassed close to a half a billion-dollar fortune.  He was considered the pioneer of the self-improvement industry and also made tens of millions in real estate. I must give him credit for much of my own fortune.

My other mentor was Larry Rosenberg from Denver, Colorado. Both Paul and Larry basically gave me the same advice when it came to making millions with Einstein’s powerful discovery figuring into the equation as well, big time!  I was taught that, to begin with, a person who wants great wealth needs to pay himself first.  That is, no matter how much or how little money you make, set 5%, 10% or more aside and then (and this is critically important!) never, never, never spend it!  This money is not for buying nice things, it is for investing!

When you’ve built up enough from those savings, go out and invest it wisely.  Most of the time that wise investment is going to be in good ol’ real estate.  The big-time, huge key to this investment, however, is to keep at it, reinvesting the money you make on the first deal in another deal and then another deal after that and so on and so on. That is what compounding is all about.

Paul says this about what a $1,000 investment can grow into: “If that $1,000 were in an investment that brought 10% interest per year, in 73 years, I would have over a million dollars from my original $1,000 investment!  If you put another $1,000 dollars into the pot each year, it would take only 47 years to hit the million-dollar mark.” Keep in mind, that’s compounding at only 10%. As my previous blogs have demonstrated, you can do much better than that. I, and many others, have compounded money at 25%, 50%, and even 100% which turns $1,000 into many multi-millions.

Paul Meyer also gives this excellent advice in his “Being Smart with your Money” booklet: “Only when you develop confidence in a principle will you exert the effort required to change your behavior and put this principle into practice.” That means, you won’t be able to put these ideas to work for you until you take the time to look carefully at them and come to understand just how well you can do with this plan. That understanding should motivate you into acting on these principles. Paul has these great bits of super money advice to get you going as well:  “Set goals, live within your means, get on a budget and stay there, pay yourself first, put your money to work …” and, I would add, use lots of leverage and reinvest for that wonderful compounding effect.

Although Paul’s booklet is no longer in print, I do have a number of copies that I would be so happy to share. Simply write me here with your mailing address and I will send it to you. Paul’s wise words are too good to keep to myself! (Free offer for booklet is limited and will be given to those that respond first while supplies last)

Control Your Wealth

March 18, 2016 by  
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Last week I ended my blog by talking about the huge importance of saving a minimum of 10% of your income as the first step to achieving total financial freedom and making that savings plan an absolute habit so you do it automatically every time.

But now what to do with that money? Where do you invest it for the best possible return with a reasonable low risk?

One rule that I’ve kept for life in investing is to never turn over total control of my money to someone else. As a stockbroker many years ago, I played in the market and usually lost money or just broke even. Part of the reason was that not only did I have no say or control over the company I bought into but I also had absolutely no control over the stock market and the direction it went.

But then I met a guy who became my wonderful and brilliant coach, Larry Rosenberg. He convinced me that improved rental real estate was the safest and most consistent way to build a fortune. Why? Because if you buy right and buy a property that needs improvement, you can reap huge returns and much of what happens with your investment is in your control.

First of all, you have the power of leverage you can apply when you have the right assets. In other words, if you fix up a property and raise its value by, say, 15% then that 15% improvement in value can turn your investment into a fat 60% on your money! That huge return is based on your choices. In this case, you would put a 20% down payment on it and keep fix up costs at about 5%. These are your decisions to make and therefore you have some control over how well you make out on the investment.

Even today, after 40 years of experience, I still say the best investment that allows you the most control, especially in today’s market with these very low interest rates, is real estate. I started with a small house on the wrong side of town and after I fixed if it didn’t sell right away I usually could rent it out so I had a tenant whose rent I was able to set so that it was paying off the mortgage, usually with a little left over for me. Then I moved on to larger and larger properties which I was able to work pretty much the same way and I still use this strategy today.

The other thing I do to keep control besides investing in the right property and making smart decisions to keep money flowing in, is to be careful with how I set up any partnerships. When I do deals and have a partner or two they always have their name on the deed showing the percentage interest they have in the property with everything spelled out clearly. If all investors insisted on doing it this way, it certainly would cut down dramatically on all the scams and Ponzi schemes. But it also means all the partners know what to expect and there are no out of control surprises later on.

So if you are smart and want to make those big bucks you’ll get out there, take and keep control of your investments, and keep focused on the great power of compounding and leveraging. Next week we’ll go into those subjects a bit more to keep you focused on your goal!

 

The Kind of People for You

February 13, 2015 by  
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I picked up a book yesterday written back in 2003 by an old friend. The book has a one-word title: Goals! The subtitle is “How to Get Everything You Want—Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible.” I’ve always felt it a privilege to call its author, Brian Tracy, a friend. He’s not only a warm, friendly person, but he’s also smart and wise. His advice in Goals! is fantastic. I read it back in 2005, and I have reaped huge rewards from following his wonderful and sage advice.

When I picked up the book up yesterday, I took a quick look at the handwritten notes and quotes I pulled that I had scribbled in the front blank pages of the book (with the page number references, of course!) I found myself immediately pulled back into the book to my favorite parts and what I thought was Brian’s best advice and ideas. Thoughts like: “Character is the ability to follow through on a resolution after the enthusiasm with which the resolution was made has passed,” found on page 263.

But what Brian wrote about the concept that gives a person a huge advantage to be successful that really influenced me was written under the subhead, “Get Around the Right People.” Brian goes on to say that we should “make it a point to associate with the kind of people that you like, admire, respect, and want to be like sometime in the future. Associate with the kind of people that you look up to and would be proud to introduce to your friends and associates. The choice of a positive, goal-oriented reference group can do more to supercharge your career than any other factor.”

When I set my goal to be a millionaire, one of the first things I did was to set in motion a plan to meet and get to know wealthy people. On that list were two billionaires who didn’t know me from Adam but who, with persistence and a plan, I was able to meet and get to know as well as get advice and financial formulas from them. My very first “adviser”, and a man who became a good friend, was a multimillionaire by the name of Larry Rosenberg. The two billionaires were Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, and Curt Carlson, founder of the TGIF restaurant chain. Later I was fortunate enough to connect with businessman Paul J. Meyer, who built a half-billion-dollar fortune starting from zero. He shared many ideas and formulas for achieving success at a quick pace.

In the margins of Brian Tracy’s book, I found this note his words inspired me to write: “In order for me to be able to associate with the right kind of people, I must work hard on myself to be that likable and right kind of person. When I think about it I know that for me and most people, we would all much rather do business with people who we really like and we tend to shun people that are unfriendly, grouchy or that are too argumentative. I don’t even like to play tennis with people I don’t like, even if I beat them.” So the bottom line here is to meet the “right” kind of people you must work on yourself to become that same “right” kind of person.

 

The Six Wealthiest Letters

August 22, 2014 by  
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I just got back from Las Vegas where I gave a speech on financial matters; this was mainly what formulas and so-called secrets I’ve learned over the years on how to make a fortune in today’s world. I gave this presentation to a great new little company that I am pretty sure will not stay small for long–it’s called LyfeStart. I think it will grow at a very rapid pace, for two main reasons: The super sharp and experienced founders and the great product they’ve developed that helps people’s health and longevity as well as putting money in their pockets.

In my speech, I presented the financial lessons I’ve learned from a few millionaires and a couple of billionaires. Specifically, guys like Paul J. Meyer, Larry Rosenberg, Curt Carlson and Aristotle Onassis. There are two formulas that most super financially successful people have discovered and used. They can be summed up with 6 letters: OPM and OPE. OPM is “Other People’s Money” in the form of loans from banks or individuals used to purchase the right assets. OPE is “Other Peoples Efforts” which we talked about in recent posts. How do either or both of these help insure that you will make a fortune? They help you leverage yourself. As all of know with a long enough lever we can lift almost any heavy object that we want to. And believe me the same is true if you use the right lever to lift the financial part of your life. Just about every wealthy person I’ve ever met or read about has used either OPM or OPE or a combination of both.

You see what you are doing is multiplying yourself since there is not enough time in your life to do really big things financially by yourself. Believe me, billionaires know what they’re talking about. They’ve done it. Salary, commission and other income just doesn’t cut it; you don’t make a billion dollars that way and, in most cases, not even a million. There are just not enough hours in your life to make those huge numbers happen. The average person lives only about 700,000 hours. So, if you made $200,000 dollars a year and didn’t spend one penny of that, do you know how long it would take you to be a billionaire? The answer: a whopping 5,000 years!

To make it big financially you just have to use OPM or OPE or both. When it comes to OPE, what I hear the most is that “there’s just not many good people out there anymore” to which I say that’s a bunch of bunk! There are many super people out there that can and will assist you. You just need to go out there and find them. Then give them enough incentive, sell them on your dream and provide them with good direction. I’ve associated and hired so many great people that many times do a much, much better job at certain tasks, than I do. This has greatly enhanced my life and my net worth.

One of the secrets that my wealthy mentors also taught me is to be sure to study what talents and natural abilities people have and then put them in the positions that best use those very talents. That makes them happy and fulfilled while moving you faster and closer to your goals.

 

The Simple Wealth Formula

July 25, 2014 by  
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As promised, here is the simple formula for building Great Wealth!

When I was 27 years old I was lucky to meet a guy who knew and had applied this “Simple Wealth Formula” (SWF).  My mentor was Larry Rosenberg of Denver, Colorado.  He practiced SWF which made him a multi-multi-multi-millionaire. The best part is, at least for me, he was so very generous with his time and taught me just how I could do what he had done.  And yes, this SWF still works wonders today, especially with our super low interest rates.

The first thing a person needs to do to begin their own road to a fortune is to save, save, save!  It’s sad that Americans save so much less than they did in even just the 1980s when the average American saved over 11% of their after tax earnings. Now it is down around 2%.  The key to savings is simple–pay yourself first!  Take a certain amount of your earnings right off the top–let’s say just 10%–and put it away every time you get paid and then force yourself to live on what’s left over. You won’t be sorry because what you can do with that money is nothing short of a financial miracle.

That financial miracle can and will happen by using a lever, a financial lever.  Using a lever on the right assets will make millions of dollars for you.  We all know what a lever is and how a person can lift many times their weight by using a lever—it’s a very simple but very powerful tool that multiplies the strength you have, or in terms of the SWF, the power of your investment.  Here’s a simple example of how “financial leverage” works:

Let’s say that you bought a $500,000 asset putting up $100,000 of your own money and borrowing $400,000 from a bank or the seller.  6 months later you sell that asset for $550,000 dollars. (I’ll talk about how that happens in next week’s blog.) If you did that, you would have just turned that 10% increase in the value of that asset into a whopping 50% return to you on your $100,000 dollars. If we are talking about your return on an annualized basis it would be 100%–but more on that later.

I remember when my mentor showed me this on paper. My eyes just about popped out of my head.  I was even more shocked when he showed me the next key to the SWF method–compounding.  Just $1,000 dollars compounded at 100% per year turns into over a MILLION DOLLARS in just 10 years. And yes, that means $10,000 dollars compounded at 100% annually is more than ten million dollars in 10 years!

Amazing, isn’t it? But like you and most people the next big question is how in the world can you find an asset that will move up in value by 50% in 6 months or even in one year?  The answer is where the real work comes into play.  It can be done by just about anyone and you don’t have to be a genius to do it.  I’ve done it over and over and over again over the span of many years.  In the next few weeks I will talk about what the best assets are to buy, how to find them, how to purchase them and how to push their value up by 10% and even more.

 

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.