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A Case for Diversification

August 28, 2015 by  
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Wow! What a wild stock market we’ve had the last few days. Over a trillion dollars in lost value. Can you imagine having virtually all your asset held in stocks? I was asked the other night at a party, by a person that apparently was hurt pretty badly by this, how much money this huge sell off of stocks cost me. I answered that it had virtually no impact on my assets and or net worth. How is this possible? Well, it’s simple … I own just one small position in one publicly traded stock. Maybe in the long run the market drop will have an effect on real estate property values–that’s where I have almost all my net worth– but I very much doubt it.

Yes, I used to be a stock broker many, many years ago and would buy and sell stock for myself frequently, but I learned the hard way that even very smart people can lose money very quickly in the stock market. Even if you buy great stocks and those companies are making money and doing well, if the overall market takes a big hit like it has done the last few days, your good strong company stock usually goes down with the market. One of the big reasons I moved almost all my assets into improved, rent generating real estate is because I had a least some control over the asset that I owned. You see, with stocks, you not only don’t control the company or the people that are running the company, but you have no control over what the overall stock market is doing.

You may be thinking, “Okay, I agree with all that but putting my money in improved real estate takes a lot of work and effort.” And you would be correct. It does take work but the rewards can be so great and much of the work can be turned over to others. I’ve certainly found that to be true and the huge surprise and benefit to me was that I found people that do a better job finding, fixing and managing the properties than I do, or I should say “did”. I’m a big time delegator now.

At a minimum, I would encourage you and anyone that will listen to not put all your eggs in that one ‘stock basket’. Diversity is the smart thing to do and, yes, even though I own very little stock, I do make sure I diversify my asset by owning different kinds of real estate. I own everything from triple net lease buildings with national company tenants to development of storage units to small retail strip malls and even a bit of raw land. A bit of cash always being set aside is a good idea too.

I encourage you to take time to plan out your asset strategy. Don’t be like the majority of Americans who seem to spend a lot more time planning their vacation that they do planning the financial life!

 

 

Planning the Best Year of Your Life

December 27, 2014 by  
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Have you recovered from Christmas yet? If you are like me, probably not.  It sure is a great and special time of the year.  There’s nothing like family, friends and lots of giving at this time of the year.

But now that it’s over, most of us begin thinking of the next year and what it is likely to bring. And if you are smart you will start planning and setting goals so that the next year brings you what you want it to bring, rather than what just might happen to you.

For me, I usually begin my planning by reviewing the past year.  I go through my planner week by week, reading my notes, my do lists, and my activities.  Then I review my goals and see which ones I’ve accomplished and which ones I didn’t.  Yes, that can be a bit of a downer but it also gives me a gentle kick in the butt and a renewed determination to work harder in the coming year.

I think it is best to remove yourself from any and all distractions so you can really stay focused on the task of planning your life for the next 12 months.  Personally I love to sequester myself on a long flight where I can’t be interrupted by phone calls, texting and emails. On a plane, I also don’t get diverted by picking up a book or file or any other stuff like that since I am not home or in my office where I can see and easily pick up something that takes me away from my planning.

So bottom line, I want to strongly encourage you to do a review of what you did and didn’t do as this year ends, and begin writing down what your goals and objectives are going to be for 2015. You might as well make it the best year of your life. And to a large degree that is up to you.

Like I’ve said many times before, “I am preaching to myself as I preach this message to you.” So let’s get to it!

Don’t Take Planning for Granted

September 28, 2012 by  
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I talk a lot about goal setting and planning for your dreams, especially the aspect of making a plan and sticking to it. But have you ever considered what it might be like to not even have the option to make plans?

In Serbia where we recently traveled, they are so thankful that the war that tore up that country from 1992 to 1995 is over. There is still plenty of evidence of those hard years but what a great country it is to visit now. It’s very safe and friendly as well as being an inexpensive country to enjoy and explore. But the really amazing thing is the people and their appreciation for things that, at one time, they weren’t sure they could have, would not even dream about because their future was so uncertain.

These days the people of Serbia are finally feeling settled and are able to make long term plans to create businesses, start or grow families, go to school, or build a home. There are still struggles but they have at least had the ability to dream restored to them.

We take that kind of long term planning for granted because it is not only possible but pretty easy for us to plan for whatever we might want. We certainly have fewer hurdles than most of those people in Serbia. If we only take the time to plan and then act on those plans, imagine what can be accomplished in a country that encourages and supports your dreams? We should, at least, be so very grateful for that extra benefit in our lives.

 

**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?