We all want it and we all need it—and some people will do most anything to get it. Right now there are a few things you can do to really cash in big time. I don’t mean to say that money is the most important thing in the world but if you don’t have any, or not very much, it certainly makes life pretty darn rough!
What many, if not most people, don’t fully realize is that there are some critical choices and critical timing of those choices that can make all the difference in the world. It should be obvious that the “choice” of making the most income that you can and at the same time keeping spending lower than your level of income is a very good thing. By doing that you create savings and with enough savings you can make investments that, if you do it right, can give you passive income that makes your life smoother, more pleasant and rather easy. But … what about those investment choices and, maybe even more important, that thing called “timing”.
My advice to most everyone, at least here in the USA, has to do with what you could and should be doing RIGHT NOW!! Recently I said to my adult children, “You know, if you are financially wise and want to make some huge strides in your financial situation right now is the time to act! And, acting right now will pay huge dividends in the near and distant future.” What are those actions that I encouraged them to take and they are doing even as I write this blog?
Ok, here’s the simple advice which could easily be called “Million Dollar Advice”! Go buy a house or maybe 2 houses or a duplex or even more. That’s pretty simple but it’s almost sure to make my children or you a ton of money. You may be saying “Wait a minute. Prices have already bottomed out and have moved up in the last year or so and more in the last few months. You’re right but that’s OK because the big if not the huge reason to buy now is not because the possible continuing rise in values (and it might well slow down a bit) but because of a thing called “Interest Rates” or should I say ”Super Duper Low Interest Rates!” Just take a look at where we are now and where we used to be and very likely will return.
Monthly Payment on a $400,000 Loan for 30 years
Today’s interest rates are:
Rates in past years & probable future years:
Now at first glance that may not seem like a huge difference but … over the life of the 30 year loan–the difference between the 7% loan and the 3.5% loan is almost a third of a million dollars ($958,035.60 on the 7% loan and $646,624.80 on the 3.5% loan.) The big bonus is that today’s rental rates are going up and up, so you can rent those houses or a duplex’s out for more and more. Just think … 3 properties could make you almost a million bucks over the life of the loan not counting the cash flow that is possible. And what if you had more than that? At the top of my “rental property career” I owned more than 1,000 units! How does that sound to you?
I hope I have inspired you to go out and take advantage of these super low interest rates. They won’t last more than maybe one or two years longer and maybe even shorter than that. In other words, this is not the time to hesitate. It is the time to buy!
The last few weeks we’ve been focused on creating your fortune through real estate, leverage and compounding. You’ve seen the numbers. You know it could work. But have you taken your first steps?
I know the steps you have to take sound daunting at first but they aren’t that difficult at all. Things we’ve never tried before tend to seem huge and perhaps impossible but it’s only because they are unfamiliar. So try this … go ahead and go through the 2nd and 3rd step–start building capital and making low ball offers on property. Remember, during these steps, you aren’t committed to buying just yet. Putting away money is easy and it’s a great idea no matter what you do in the end. And making low ball offers … well that’s just chatting with someone. The thing is, once you’ve starting talking to property owners and realtors, you’ll realize it’s actually pretty easy. Then when someone does accept your offer, you have only one more step to take.
Just starting the process by putting money aside and making offers will do so much to boost your confidence. By the time you are ready to jump into step four–which is just an inspection and crunching numbers to find out if the property will get you the return you want–you’ll be feeling pretty good because of your successes with the previous steps.
And don’t worry if you go through Step 4 and don’t end up with a property. Just go back and repeat Steps 2 through 4 and do it over and over and over again—don’t stop. Each time you do this, you’ll have learned a lot just by going through the process. Pretty soon, the process will not seem daunting at all. It will be exciting and motivating! So go out there now and knock yourself out!!
Okay, so we’ve gone over the first 3 big steps you need to take towards creating your fortune. I did want to reset the order a bit so if you are just starting, start with writing out your goals. These will keep you energized and motivated. Step #2 will be building and acquiring your beginning capital; Step #3, start making low ball offers on ‘dirt bag’ properties and get one legally tied down.
So now we come to Big Step No. 4 …
Let’s say that after you’ve made about 2 dozen very low offers, you get one back that is accepted. So now what do you do? Well, there are three things …
1. Conduct a very thorough inspection
2. Do your calculations as to the cost of the fix up or face lift.
3. Calculate your overall investment and potential profit to see if it will give you the return that you need.
Let’s say there’s a small house that was listed at $187,500. You offered $144,000 but received a counter offer of $160,000 which you are happy to conditionally accept. (Hey … they were motivated sellers since the house had been on the market for over a year.) After inspection you’ve been able to determine that $16,000 plus your hard labor over about 6 months will complete the face lift and the bank has agreed to finance it with 20% down ($32,000). You check for comparable properties in the vicinity that are in really good shape (go to Zillow.com to do this) and estimate you can sell it for, say, a net of $204,000 dollars.
Now you crunch the numbers to see if going through with this deal meets your “rate of return” goal.
$204k less your purchase price of $160k and less the money you put in to fix it would give you a profit of $28,000 dollars. Here’s where the magic of leverage comes in—you used $32k as a down payment and the $16k to improve it for an out of pocket investment of $48k. Even though you improved the property value by 27.5%, the return on your money, the money you used to invest in this, would actually be 58.3%. And if you borrowed the $16k your return on your money would be even higher.
So does a 58.3% rate of return in 6 months or so give you enough compounding? Go check a compounding table and see what would happen to that 58.3% in a few years if you keep doing this! Are you getting excited? If so, read my book “The Next Step to Waking up the Financial Genius Inside You” to really get you on track. In fact, I will give the first 10 motivated readers the book for free! I’ll even pay the shipping. Just write to me at email@example.com with your shipping address so I can help get you moving towards creating your fortune.
One of the most wonderful things about what I do—sharing and getting out the information about my success—is that I get to see how my actions affect other people and their lives in a big way. It makes me feel so good to help other people. I certainly don’t need money now and to give a little bit back gives me the best feeling in the world! Here is a recent note I received from a young man who read How to wake up the-Financial Genius Inside You for the first time when he was 18. Now he’s 28 (I was 27 when I started investing in real estate) and ready to take on the world:
Mark, I’m very appreciative to you. You have literally set me on the right path to purchasing property & securing my families economic future for generations. I have a lot of gratitude for that. Since talking to you I have met the right people that have also set me on the right path. I now know what I have to do to start investing right here in Melbourne, Australia. There is a way…there are cheaper run down ‘dirt bag’ houses and apartments out of the city which you could still pick up for 150k-300k and all of your techniques are sure winners to increase value from the get-go. Australia’s population is going to nearly double by 2030 and I’m certain that pricing will naturally have to rise. I would definitely love to purchase property in the US but I think to start nothing’s better than in your own backyard.
I can’t be more expressive of my gratitude to you than to say that you gave me the time, were willing to meet & coach me all at no cost and that is absolute gold. It’s pure.
When I accumulate my wealth I promise to be generous with my time to others wishing to accumulate wealth. I will repay this debt as such and with all of the above said, I think that there is a lot I can do by myself at the beginning to really lay down the foundation of financial success. I’ve started creating a map. So again, thank you and I will keep you updated on my progress.
Mark, I wish you the best. You truly are blessed. Have a wonderful Christmas & New Years. You will be hearing news from me and it will be positive
I received a very kind note about last week’s blog and I wanted to share it with you some of what he said:
What I have always appreciated over the years in our association with each other is that you are always willing to help people grow and be productive in the real estate business even the little guy. Your efforts have never really been about making a lot of money but helping others which is precisely why you made a lot of money in the seminar business and book business because you lived by that philosophy. I have always found that people who are the most successful are very willing to help others. You are one of these people which I deeply appreciate.”
Craig sums up quite well my philosophy about why I do what I do. It’s not about money although I do spend a fair amount of time advising people about how to make money. It really comes down to helping empower people to do what they desire to do with their lives. It could as easily be making great art, getting in shape, or building your own home. I just want people to do with their lives that which fulfills them so they can be proud of what they accomplish and happy with the live they live.
One of the things I also like to encourage is people helping people. This is what I do to help people because it is that one very valuable thing I have that I know can touch lives and make a difference. That is also very fulfilling. Especially on those days when you receive such nice comments and know that what you are doing is truly helping others. Thanks Craig!
How often do investors think about what is involved in their investments besides money? If you’re handing your money over to a stock broker, the time it takes to invest is small but you also take on significant risk. In real estate investing, there’s both money and time involved in getting it into shape to sell or rent. In a small business investment, the common approach is to put in as little money as possible but all your free time. So considering everything, what investment makes the most sense?
The answer lies primarily in the risk level of the investment and how much your time is worth. For instance, investing through a broker takes little time but the pay back is either very uncertain or very small. Small businesses often take years to turn a profit and your time investment, which may seem cheap or free initially, can be very expensive if you consider how much you could have made working more hours or a second job. Just think, if you could have gotten $25/hour working a second job, then that 20 hours a week you spent over 6 months getting the business up and running cost you $12,500 in lost income! How long will it take you to recover that investment through your business?
In real estate, you invest both a significant amount of time and, sometimes, money (see last week’s post and page 184 in my book “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living” on how to get others to fund your investments) but the outcome is far less risky. The added bonus is that real estate will not continue to suck your time the way a small business often does, and the returns will inevitably be greater and more secure than stocks. This is why I really encourage you to look at real estate if financial freedom is a primary goal of yours.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t open that storefront you’ve been dreaming about or support your favorite budding green business with a capital investment—there are many factors beyond time and money to consider when deciding what investment is right for you—but just don’t pour your all your time and money into something that is not going to help you reach your financial goals in the near future. Keep an eye on the big picture. Because after you make your first million in real estate, you can pay someone to do all the hard work to get that business off the ground or invest in whatever you like. That’s the beauty of financial freedom.
Last week I talked about the 10% method for building the capital you need to get into what is today’s top investment opportunity—real estate. The only issue with the 10% method is that it will take some time to pull enough from your paycheck to have the seed money for your first real estate investment. So how can you take advantage of the great opportunities out there right now?
Simple. You have other people put the money in for you.
The best “super leverage” method I’ve seen is what I call the “Hansen model” after a particularly ingenious investor by the name of Dell Loy Hansen. You can read about Dell and his method in detail starting on page 184 of my book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living, but I’ll give you the gist of it here.
To start, you need a few people looking to invest in a safe, reliable project that will give them a regular and consistent return. Get them to collectively fund a down payment of 20% or more on the property you want to purchase and promise a reasonable return–say a 10% APR, an amount that is presently 500% higher than the best CD can offer. If you can put in some of your own money as well, it makes the investors feel much more secure as you’re backing your confidence in the investment’s potential by also putting your money at risk.
Then when you flip that house or rent those office spaces, get the best return possible and get the money back to your investors with a higher than expected rate of return. When they see that you not only lived up to but exceeded their return expectations, you will have created a enthusiastic group of investors for future projects as well as getting wonderful word of mouth that could bring even more money flocking to you.
There are plenty of people out there right now who have cash to invest but don’t want to bank on the unpredictable stock market and aren’t getting anywhere with the meager CD returns. So start working on cultivating those investor relationships and get access to the “leverage” you need to gain financial freedom sooner than you thought possible.
The recession is still being felt in many parts of the country and the depressing talk about how bad things are continues. Real estate prices are still depressed, interest rates are still uncommonly low, and jobs are still on the scarce side, but those indicators aren’t actually signs of doom and gloom, they are shining signs of opportunity. It is unlikely that you will see better deals on real estate or find lower interest rates on loans in your lifetime and if you are stuck in a job you aren’t happy with because you can’t find a new one, start your journey to financial freedom by investing now and investing wisely.
Of course, the first question you are asking yourself is, where do I find the money to invest? The common belief is that you need to be making big bucks in order to have extra money to invest. But the fact is, it doesn’t matter how much you make. All you need is a plan and a little discipline.
If you have ever had a big jump in salary you may have been amazed 6 months into getting those fat paychecks that you were not able to save any more money than before. That’s because we tend to spend at our income level or beyond it so if you make more, you feel like you can, or even should, spend more. Nicer dinners, more expensive clothes, a few more nights out, a pricier car or vacation and the “extra” money you are making is gone. So how do you get around this tendency?
You can do this by putting away 10% of every paycheck—automatically, without exception, every pay day–then pay yourself (i.e. pay your bills as well as earmarking money for essentials like groceries and gas) before spending on any non-essentials. This will keep you within budget and on track to gathering a sizeable sum that you can then invest and start making even more money from. In today’s economy, real estate is an accessible and wise investment opportunity that you should really be taking advantage of. And starting with this smart savings tactic will get you there far sooner than you think.
You can read more about the potential of real estate investments on pg 191 of How to Ignite Your Passion for Living as well as on page 31 of Waking Up The Financial Genius Inside You (write me directly to order this book for just the cost of shipping).
“You need to stand back from the masses because the masses almost always get it wrong.”
Some might wonder if because of my lifestyle I’m somehow immune to feeling the effects of a slow economy. I’m not saying I haven’t been hurt by it, I have. I’m not immune to it. But my take is that we’re not at the bottom yet – but we’re near.
I talked to people on my trip about it. World markets are being creamed. Many are worried. Some blame the U.S. for problems with the economy, though they have made some of the same mistakes. There is no question that a person living hand to mouth is in a bad situation and this economic downturn. It scares them — and it should scare them.