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How to Double Your Financial Leverage

August 13, 2016 by  
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Leverage is a great tool you can use to grow very, very wealthy and do it fairly quickly, but there is another faster way to make the financial returns even bigger! I like to call this bigger and better way “Super Duper Leverage” because it really can magnify your return on investments and at a more rapid pace. The method involves bringing a partner or partners in on your deals.

In my early years of investing in real estate, I didn’t have any partners. All the money that was needed on a deal was mine and, of course, there would be the loan from the bank or from the seller of the property. But then I came across a super bargain on a 100 unit apartment building that I just had to have because I knew that it was going to be a huge money maker. The only problem was that I didn’t have enough money for the down payment.

However, as luck would have it, the real estate agent told me she had a friend that could put up a huge part of the down payment. To make a long story short, I put up what I had and this guy, who I’d never met before, living up in Idaho, put up the majority of the down payment.

Fast forward a few years … I sold the property giving the investor/partner hundreds of thousands of dollars’ in profit. The great part about this though, is that I also made the same profit but on my much smaller investment. The return was several times the amount I put in so I was thrilled and not only that, my new partner was happy as a clam, seeing he had put his money into a great deal with a partner that didn’t let him down.

Bottom line is that, with this partner putting up most of the money I was able to achieve a huge return on my investment–a much, much bigger return than I could ever have gotten on my own—and my partner had a big win as well! That’s what I call “Super Duper Leverage”.

If I’d been more aggressive after learning and profiting from the lesson I learned from that great deal, I probably could have kept up with my most successful student and follower, Dell Loy Hansen, who bought my book when he was in college. He eventually found a gold mine of very wealthy partners who, over time, joined him in multimillion dollar deals to the point that Dell now has over a billion dollars’ worth of property. Wow. Talk about “Super Duper Leverage”!

I want to elaborate on this subject more next week and give you some methods and ways to find and keep partners so as to be able to leverage your investments to the max. I’ll also talk about the legal aspects and the caution you need to use so as to do it the right way without legal troubles. You can certainly make a great deal of money with a partner but you also need to do it smart so you keep what you make and can go on to make even bigger and better investments with partners who trust you and keep coming back for more.

 

 

Avoiding Your Own Loss Aversion

June 3, 2016 by  
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Statistics indicate that the majority of people are security conscious. This fact has been verified in a number of studies which concluded that many people people’s fear of failure is twice as great as their desire to succeed. Some of these studies also noted that in general, there will be up to 5 times as many people choosing a stable situation than people choosing an option with recognized risk. In order to achieve FF (Financial Freedom) you cannot be afraid to fail or take a risk.

Our tendency to avoid risk is known as loss aversion. It means a person believes that if they lose something, say $50, their level of unhappiness with that loss will be significantly greater than the potential increase in happiness if they gain $50.  Its apparent in our everyday lives. People will order the same thing off the menu every time simply because they are afraid they might not like what they order if they try something new, even when there is a good chance they could find a new favorite. Similarly, people put their money in low interest bearing savings accounts rather than put any of it some kind of investment account that will most likely make them significantly more in interest, primarily because there is some chance of loss. So it sits in the banks making next to nothing.

The problem may come down to a belief that one has no control over the outcome of their circumstances, be it their food or their investments. A class of Harvard graduates was asked what they believed were the necessary ingredients to become financially successful.  Their conclusion was summed up in two words, “Greed, and Luck.” I couldn’t disagree more.

If you consider the statistics I mentioned, you might very well conclude that only one out of five people will ever have FF. But that is just a statistic and has no bearing on what YOU will achieve. You can decide to take the risk and be that much closer to FF. Next week I will talk more about risk taking and what you as an investor need to understand about yourself.

Green Up Yourself and Grow Faster

May 20, 2016 by  
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I don’t know about where you live but here in Utah Spring has finally sprung!!  How wonderful it is to see everything turning green and growing.  For me, I find that Spring stimulates me to grow more green stuff. I am actually talking about growing more money but more than that, I want to grow myself in many parts of my life.

As I see more and more people out and about, running, jogging, working on their lawns and gardens or fixing their houses, it pushes me to set more goals for myself.  So my theme for this week is: Let’s get out there and make our lives blossom not only financially but in how we live our lives.

Let’s use this spring time to increase our activities and grow.  We can start by simply getting out there and making this happen.  Like driving through more neighborhoods looking for properties that need a face lift. Look for beat up properties, especially the ones that might have a for sale sign posted by owner or realtor. It might mean that a house just needs the front painted or a beat up lawn needs to be re-seeded and have a few great looking trees or flowers planted with a nice little white picket fence to surround it.

If the house is beat up and shabby plus it looks vacant, take the time to find out who the owner is because it’s quite likely that the owner is a motivated seller. I’m not saying that you should not use the internet to search for properties, because that is a very fast and efficient way to find properties, but sometimes it can be so super refreshing to get out of the office or house and drive around neighborhoods. You may find things you would not have found online as well.

Also, don’t forget to do a ton of asking around … you know, that thing called networking.  Do it in every circumstance you can think of. At parties or over lunch or at work, be sure to ask people if they know of any properties in their area that are for sale, especially houses or apartment buildings that look like they are in disrepair or have sellers that are anxious to dump the property.  You can leverage yourself, big time, by tapping into other people’s brains and connections.

And while you are at this ‘greening up your springtime’, be sure to set some personal goals for yourself, whether it be for better personal health or to be a better parent, friend or spouse.  Let’s all make this springtime thing a growing and greening of ourselves and those around us!!

Compounding People

April 22, 2016 by  
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“The most powerful principle I ever discovered was compound interest!” –Albert Einstein

I relayed that quote in my blog last week. It’s a pretty amazing that here’s this brilliant scientist and thinker saying compound interest was his most incredible discovery. The thing is, the incredible power of compounding applies to more than just money. Many smart people have figured out how to expand or compound themselves or their business. To do so, they compound people.

Many religions figured this out years ago. Realizing that if they encouraged followers to have a lot of children they could grow their religious cause very, very fast.  Do you realize that if you had 10 kids and each one of your kids had 10 kids and each of them had 10 kids and that continued on for 10 generations or about 250 years, that would produce an amazing, almost unbelievable 10 billion human beings! That’s 3 billion more people than are on the planet earth right now, and all those 10 billion came from just you and your partner. That probably would never happen but it does demonstrate that huge power of compounding.

But now here is real life and modern example of the power of people compounding. In February 2004, Mark Zuckerberg and 3 of his classmates at Harvard came up with the concept of what we all know now as Facebook, which they introduced only to Harvard students in the beginning.  Within 24 hours of launching Facebook they had over 1200 students register.  Two years later in September 2006 they opened it up to everyone 13 years and older who had valid email addresses and would you believe that by August 2008 they had over 100 million signed up?

It certainly didn’t stop there and by April 2009 their numbers totaled 200 million which doubled to 400 million less than a year later and at the end of 2014 that number hit an amazing 1.39 billion.  How did all that happen?

If you use Facebook at all you know that answer.  You contact 10 of your friends who make contact with 10 of their friends and that continues on and on again, just like having those 10 kids.  And Zuckerberg sure did cash in on that power of compounding of people.  He’s now the 4th richest person in the USA with a net worth of 44.6 billion dollars and growing.

In other words, if you can get a few people behind you who are willing to recruit a few more each who are also encouraged to bring in a few more, you could have a team or group or army to help build your dream. I would encourage all who read this, as well as myself, to strongly consider how we can expand our reach and/or our business by using the power of compounding with people.

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)

SUPER MONEY MIRACLE

March 25, 2016 by  
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Ever wonder why many smart, hard working people end up making only $40,000, $50,000 or $60,000 a year while others who don’t seem to be any smarter or work any harder, make millions and even billions?  Years ago when I was advertising my first book, How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You, I used as a tag line, “Millionaires are not 100 times smarter than you, they just know the wealth formula.” So, if you are making $50,000 dollars a year, that very rich person, who is no smarter and is not working any harder than you, could be making $5 million.

On last week’s blog, I just touched on the basics of this formula. So if you read it, you may remember that I told you if you go out and buy a property that needs fixing up with a 20% down payment, putting another 5% into the fix up, you could improve the value of that property by 15%. That 15% would equal a 60% return on your actual invested dollars. But just how does that happen?

The million-dollar miracle part of that simple example, which I and others have done may times over, is a matter of leverage. You see, you leveraged your 25% (your 20% down plus that 5% to fix the place up) which allowed you to borrow 75% of the money so you could acquire the property. But your return is on the total value of the house. In other words the 15% increase in value of the property would equal a 60% return on your down plus fix up cost. Then by doing basically the same thing again on another property, you would be doing what is known as ‘compounding your return’.

Now here is the shocking and exciting part of this thing called compounding. Are you sitting down? If you keep getting a leveraged return of 60% on your investments, you can start with just $4,000 and build that into $48 million dollars in just 20 years! Now that’s what I believe is a super money miracle.

It really is that simple. Mind you, I didn’t say easy, I said “simple”. You really have to work your buns off to first find the deals and then fix them up to a point that increases their value. I’ve made a 60% return on many, many properties. I have also received thousands of letters, emails and phone calls from people who have told me that by following what I have been doing for years, they have seen, not just 60% returns, but even 100%, 200% and more.

However, you will no doubt find, as I did, that it usually is easier to get those fat returns on smaller properties.  As you move into larger and larger properties it does become more difficult but it is not impossible to get high returns on your dollar there either. I had one $2 million deal that made me more than a 100% return and even a new $27 million deal that returned more that 60% on my invested dollar.

I hope that this kind of huge potential will motivate you to keep working on deals, even the small ones you’ll have in the beginning. Remember those baby steps are necessary and very important. They show you what you can do. Those huge numbers I spoke of don’t happen overnight and that can be discouraging. Just focus on your success and build on it as you go and just like compounded money, your compounded efforts will also build into huge returns for you!

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!

 

Supporting Roles in Your Success

February 19, 2016 by  
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Last week, I shared with you some great advice from an old publication of mine, The Financial Freedom Report. I quoted from an article published in the Summer of 1995 entitled “Ask Your Barber How to Cut Hair, Not How to Make Money” which was simply saying that people who aren’t a super success as making money are not the people you want to talk to. However, there are some people you will need on the sidelines, but like knowing who to go to for advice on money, know who to go for advice on the other things you’ll need along the way, and when to bring them in.

Generally speaking, I find from experience, attorneys are deal breakers, not deal makers. Knowing that, I usually structure the whole deal before I have an attorney get involved at all. Yes, I want him or her involved. When? Just before I sign the papers. I want the attorney to read the contract to a make sure that everything is legal.

Problems can arise when the attorney steps into a management role. When going to an attorney for legal advice, you should always be sure that you ask very precise questions and not let the attorney overstep his bounds. He will if you let him. He has to play the devil’s advocate, and that is good. The same applies to your CPA, your business managers, and your bankers.

A man by the name of Owen Feltham said, “The greatest results in life are usually attained by simple means and the exercise of ordinary qualities. These may for the most part be summed up in these two words “common sense.”

So what is the bottom line from these words written so long ago? Use common sense when choosing who to go to for advice as well as what advice you take from people, even if they are “professionals” because if the advice doesn’t have anything to do with their profession, your common sense meter should be telling you to set that advice aside and have a word or two with someone that really knows what they are talking about in those matters.

Next week, just a bit more from my old publication but this time we’ll talk about common sense deals and how to avoid getting taken by fast talkers and their so-called ‘advice’.

Real Estate Investing: The Advantages Never Change

September 12, 2015 by  
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Yesterday I was going through a bunch of old files and I came across a large envelope that my good friend Joe Sugarman sent me. Joe is the founder of the company that introduced the Blueblocker sunglasses that sold millions, making Joe a very, very rich man. In the package was a few of my old ads that Joe had kept.  On the old yellowed paper I re-read one of my first half page ads printed in the Wall Street Journal on January 25, 1977. The headline read “How to Achieve Total Financial Freedom”.  I am totally convinced that the reason the ad sold so many copies of my first book, How to Wake Up the Financial Genius Inside You, had less to do with the semi-catchy headline than the sub-header that read, “Millionaires Are Not 100 Times Smarter Than You, They Just Know The Wealth Formula”. I’m sure that most people read that and it rang true to them. Because it is true.

In the body of the ad I went on to say, “Millionaires are not 100 or even 10 times smarter than you , but it is a fact that millionaires are making 10 to 50 or even 100 times more than you.” Additionally, I should consider that millionaires are not working 100 or even 20 times harder or longer than you either. There are not enough hours in the day to work 20 times longer than your average worker! And now, 38 years later, I can clearly see that the formula to making big money and accumulating great wealth is basically the same today as it was way back then.

I can tell you for sure that if I were just starting out now as a young man without any money to speak of, just like I was years ago, I would pursue the same path as I did back then.  The only difference would be that I might be a little more aggressive today than I was then. Today’s market is ripe for the picking!  For the most part the only push back that I have had in recent years from readers of the Financial Genius book is that buying properties at the prices given in the book are just not possible in today’s market.  And those critics are absolutely correct, but the ratios are still pretty much the same.  In other words today you can’t find “dirt bag” properties for prices like $40,000 or $50,000 in most markets. And that’s correct.  But the ratios for what you can make on your investment are still the same.

In many cases, you can gain a 33% value increase on a dirt bag property you fix up. On a $50,000 property, that would be a little more than $66,000. But today, you may have to pay $120,000 or $200,000 dollars for a beat up property but after fixing it up, you could sell the $120,000 purchase for at least $159,000 and the $200,000 investment for $266,000 or more. Yes, these numbers don’t take into account the money you spent on fixing it up, but if you leveraged the deal with a mortgage–using someone else’s money to make money–you will find that the return on your investment goes up a ton and will usually more than make up for your fix up expenses.  So bottom line here is don’t get hung up on the lower price examples in the book, invest and pay attention to the percentages you can gain.

To help with that, I have recently updated my Financial Genius book. It will be going to the printer before too long and I will let you know here when it’s ready for ordering.

The Failing of Stock Market Investments: Human Nature

September 5, 2015 by  
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In last week’s blog I talked about the wild stock market moves and the huge sell off, which was followed quickly by a rebound of prices. Since then we’ve had another pull back of prices once again erasing some of the gains. Some people would point to the big spring back of prices and make the argument against my conclusion that for most people investing in ‘real estate’ is a much better place for their money.

It is true that, in most cases, the market does rebound and in the long run you can make some money there as long as you buy good growing companies. The key here, as Warren Buffett has preached for years, is to buy the right stocks and hold them for the very long term. The big problem, however, is most people don’t do that. Why? It seems to be connected to our human nature. You see, when many, if not most, people buy a stock and they see it gain, say 50%, they sell it because, as I heard hundreds of times when I was a stock broker, “Hey, you can’t go broke taking a profit!” But the thing is, that stock may end up being the next Microsoft or Apple Computer company, subsequently moving up another 50% or 100% or 1000% or more over time.

On the other side, there’s the typical part time stock investor who buys a stock at $20 only to watch it drop to $10 a share, says to themselves, “I am not going to take a loss on this so I won’t sell it now.” So they hold on and wait. Over time I think you can guess what will happen. Yep, those kind of investors end up with a portfolio full of crummy, terrible, loser stocks. They kept the ones that went down and sold the ones that went up.

A big part of the problem with stocks is anyone can quickly and easily buy or sell with very little effort and that can lead to impulsive decisions. Greed and fear can cause that quick buying and selling of stock reaction–usually not a good idea. However with income producing real estate, impulse buying or selling doesn’t usually happen since it all takes more time and, of course, more effort.

But because of that ‘time and effort’ factor, most people that buy income producing properties buy and hold for the long term and if they’ve done it even half right they are collecting enough income in rents to more than cover their expenses which gives them the great benefit of being able to wait–sometimes for a very long time–until they can sell the property for a sizable gain! That’s why I love real estate.  It is also what primarily got me to leave the stock business and move into the real estate investing business. I do hope if you are not already investing in real estate, you’ll start very soon.

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