How To Become A Billionaire

You Have To Start Thinking Like One!

Have you ever wondered why the super rich keep getting richer and most everyone else just keeps getting by, or worse yet in some cases, keeps going backwards financially?

As a man (woman) thinks, so he (she) is. (Proverbs 23:7)

Scot Anderson, author of Think Like A Billionaire, says, “Billionaires think differently than we do. If we took all of a billionaire’s money away, in a matter of time, they would be right back to where they are today, because of the way they think.”

The following words of wisdom are excerpts from Anderson’s book.


Billionaires Think Differently About:

MONEY: We look for ways to spend money. Billionaires look for ways to invest money.

When it comes to money, the wealthy have self-control. This is one of the biggest battles you have to win in the inside of you. To have self-control you need vision. Vision brings restraints, boundaries into your life. Without vision you have no boundaries.

Your vision dictates your outcome. If your vision is big, your outcome will be big. If your vision is small, your outcome will be small.

INVESTING: We invest just a little. Billionaires realize investing is the key to abundance.

JOBS: We think a better job will make us wealthy. Billionaires know that a job will never make them wealthy; investments will.

RISKS: We stay away from risks because we might fail. Billionaires know if they don’t take risks, they’ve already failed.

Ask any billionaire how he got where he is today and he will say, “Risks!” You cannot achieve success without stepping out. We stay average because we play it safe. Billionaires become wealthy because they stepped out and took a chance. We say, “What if we fail?” Billionaires say, “You fail if you don’t take a risk.”

Most billionaires have had more than three businesses go under. Most billionaires have gone bankrupt at least one time, some multiple times.

Life is full of risks. We face them every day. If you want to have any success in life, you have to be willing to try some things, take a few chances and step into areas that are new and often unfamiliar to you.

You have to study and learn but you also have to work and apply what you learn for success to happen.

One of the principles that you have to commit to is becoming a person of action. In life, everything we do that has a reward to it also involves some risk. There is no reward without risk.

Failing at something does not make you a failure unless you stop trying.

PROBLEMS: We try to avoid problems. Billionaires see problems as opportunities to make millions.

Nothing happens in life just because you want it to. You have to make some effort. There will always be obstacles to your progress. But you have to start thinking differently about the problems you face. They cannot be things that cause you to give up. They have to be overcome.

What stands between you and success? You have to identify it and figure out how you are going to conquer it and be successful in whatever you are doing. You must think differently so that you are not intimidated by the obstacles.

Billionaires know that problems are what make life so great. Problems are where millions are made. We ignore problems. Billionaires conquer them. We try to get away from problems. Billionaires go after problems. We want a problem-free life. Billionaires know that problems are what life is about.

Successful people welcome challenges. They look for mountains to climb. The average person tries to find a way around mountains instead of climbing them. They try to circumvent and avoid problems. They try to get away from any negative circumstances in their lives, so they avoid and never face their problems.

If you want to move to the next level, you have to become a problem solver, not a problem avoider. How successful you become in life is based on how you handle problems.

If you are a problem solver on your job, your boss will love you. You will become irreplaceable in his life. He’s going to give you raises and promotions and do anything he can to keep you there. Do you want job security? Become a problem solver. There are plenty of problem finders in every business. Problem solvers are the ones who rise to the top because they are so rare.

Understand this. The more successful you are in life, the more problems you will have.

PREPARATION: We prepare today for today. Billionaires prepared today for the opportunities of tomorrow.

Billionaires know that life is about windows of opportunity. If they are not ready for the window, they will miss the opportunity. People have windows of opportunity open for them all the time. But they usually miss them because they are not prepared. The windows close before they take action.

If you do not prepare for things that will happen in your life, you will go through every single day the same way. You will not grow or change. Billionaires use a portion of time each day to prepare for whatever comes their way tomorrow.

What you want in life will not just drop in your lap. Windows of opportunity will open and, if you are not prepared for them, they will pass you by. The amount of preparation that you do will determine your harvest.

You have to seek wisdom and prepare for the opportunities you want. Knowledge and wisdom will catapult you in your business or whatever you do.

TIME: We waste time. Billionaires see time as their most valuable asset.

A billionaire’s most valuable asset is not his money. It is not his car, his house, even his corporation. It is his time. Time is the only limited resource we have. I can get more money. I can get another car. But I can never get more time. My time here on earth is limited.

The successful do not waste their time. They do not let it get away. They maximize every minute and every hour of every day. Time is irreplaceable in your life.

Your time and how you use it now is producing your tomorrow. You have to ask yourself one question. What are you producing? If you do not commit your time to learn how to get where you want to be, you will never go anywhere.

You have to identify your time wasters and you have to remove them.

Change your mind and you will change your future. Start today. Tomorrow depends on it.


See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

Next Steps To Financial Freedom

Once your credit cards are all paid off, your “emergency savings account” is fully funded to a level you are comfortable with, and you are living on a written monthly spending plan (budget), you should be pleasantly surprised at how much money you now have available at the end of each month!

With that extra money available at the end of each month, it’s now time to start planning a retirement strategy.

A very important first step you should take as you begin thinking about your retirement plans is to personally access what kind of investor you are from an emotional perspective. In other words, matching your investment risk tolerance to your personality when it comes to money issues.

Your risk tolerance is your level of comfort with the ups and downs of investing. In order to make the best investment for you as an individual, you will want to find assets that match your risk tolerance.

Low Risk Tolerance
Are you going to lose sleep whenever your assets decline in value? If so, your tolerance is low. Investments that match your risk tolerance profile include basic savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit.

Today, these types of accounts will generate returns in the range of 1%-3% annually. Using the Rule of 72 which says: 72 divided by the rate of return = the number of years it will take for your money to double one time.

Assuming your best rate of return at 3%: 72/3 = 24 years for your stash to double one time! Unfortunately, a very costly and impossible retirement strategy, unless you have a BIG bucket of money to start with earning interest at these rates!

Medium Risk Tolerance
If you don’t sweat small declines, but do stress over the big ones, your tolerance is medium. Investments that match this risk tolerance profile include stocks of large, established, financially healthy companies and mutual funds that balance stock and bond holdings.

Investments in this category might average 4%-8% annually. Assuming your best rate of return at 8%: 72/8 = 9 years for your stash to double one time! Not too bad if you’ve got a lot of years left before retiring!

High Risk Tolerance
Those with a high tolerance aren’t bothered by market swings as they are only concerned with long-term gains. Those with a high risk tolerance will likely find their investment matches in sophisticated, higher-risk investments and stocks of hi-tech and startup companies.

Investments in this category might average 9%-12%, more or less, annually. Assuming your best rate of return at 12%: 72/12 = 6 years for your stash to double one time! Now we’re getting someplace!

Adjust Investments as Risk Tolerance Changes
Your risk tolerance will change as your investment goals, financial situation and life experiences evolve. Generally, the longer the length of time until you need your money, the more risk you can afford to take. In order to make the best investment, consider where you are in life right now.

Risk tolerance is highest for investments you have chosen to meet faraway goals, such as retirement, because your investments have more time to potentially recover from drops in value.

Conversely, tolerance is lowest for investments to meet short-term goals, such as saving up for educational costs, vacations and other instances where you will need the money sooner. Especially if your retirement year is approaching fast!

In his book, Sound Mind Investing, Austin Pryor, founder of Austin Pryor & Associates, shares a great deal of wisdom on retirement planning and investment strategies.

You can download Pryor’s special report HERE.

Unless you’re a financial wizard and love doing stock market research on what’s hot and what’s not, it’s best to get professional advice from a Certified Financial Planner and/or someone you feel extremely comfortable entrusting your hard earned money to.

You can learn to do your own investing but you also have to be willing to invest the time learning more before you dive in on your own!

I just finished reading a book I wish I would have read 30 years ago! Rule #1, written by Phil Town, is an excellent book for those who want to learn more, in one book, about personal investing and taking matters into your own hands.

It’s not for everyone, but I personally am going to work at incorporating his strategy into our own retirement program.

Well, I hope this discussion on debt-free living and financial freedom over the last several weeks has given you some fresh incentive to make some life-changing decisions with your finances.

Don’t let current circumstances overwhelm you! Start today and take baby steps. If you do, I promise you will be pleasantly surprised where you’ll be with your financial situation come this time next year!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

 

 

 

 

Get Out & Stay Out!

Assuming you have more debt than you can handle right now, below are some next steps you can take to begin moving from financial bondage to financial freedom today!

Helpful Hints for Household Expense Reduction & Income Generation

  1. IMMEDIATELY STOP USING ALL CREDIT CARDS, UNLESS IT IS AN ABSOLUTE EMERGENCY. Move to a cash-only plan for all household purchases.
  2. Assess whether or not additional streams of income are possible and prudent.
  • Consider second or third part-time jobs outside and/or inside your home (home-based businesses: tutoring, selling unneeded items on Ebay, Craig’s list, Letgo, Marketplace, garage sales, flee markets, home parties, direct mail, etc.)

3. Can you take additional payroll tax deductions without owing Uncle Sam at year-end?

  • If you claim “0” just to get a check back from the IRS for overpaying your taxes, you have just given Uncle Sam an interest-free loan all year long! Why not put that money in your pocket each payday and use it to payoff credit cards or to open a savings account? (see your tax preparer to help determine how many deductions you can legally take)
  • Make sure you take every tax deduction & tax credit you are entitled to when filing taxes.

4. Homeowners – Do you carry mortgage insurance through your bank? You may qualify to drop it. Check it out!

5. Homeowner & Car insurance – When did you last shop for new quotes/lower rates?

6. Life, Health, Disability, Long Term Care Insurance, etc. – When did you last shop for a new quotes/lower rates?

7. Eating out? How often? Where? Reduce or eliminate until you are out of debt.

8. Vacations? Scale back or eliminate until you are out of debt.

9. Utilities: Gas/Electricity – Are you on a budget plan to help normalize monthly expenses for better budgeting? Call your provider, ask if they will put you on a  budget plan.

10. Telephones/Cell phones/Cable vs. Satellite TV/Internet – Whistles & Bells? Basic plans vs. premium plans. Reassess for possible cost reductions.

11. Sanitation – Do you have a choice of provider? Shop around if you can.

12. Groceries: Bulk vs. Prepackaged? Generic vs. Name Brand? A membership to Sam’s Club, Costco, etc. might be worth the membership fee for potential savings.

13. Gasoline: How much for last fill-up? Check around town, call your local radio station, use “Gas Guru” app on cell phone.

14. Expensive leisure activities: golf, bowling, pro sporting events, 1st run movies, etc.? Reduce or eliminate until you are out of debt.

15. Clothing/Shoes – Brand names vs. Generic? (Goodwill, Gabriels, Big Lots, Marshall’s, Plato’s Closet, other 2nd hand outlets)

16. Medical Expense alternatives:

  • Check for free or discounted health clinics in your area.
  • Brand name vs. Generic drugs & vitamins (prescription & nonprescription)
  • Ask your doctor for samples when he writes you a prescription

17. Miscellaneous “Wants & Desires” that can be stopped or put on hold until you are debt-free:

  • Tanning
  • Tatoos/Body piercings and associated expenses
  • Fingernail Treatments/Painting
  • Dry cleaning vs. clothing that doesn’t require dry cleaning
  • Subscriptions (magazines, book clubs, music clubs, health clubs, etc.)
  • Pets & associated expenses (food, grooming, boarding, veterinarians, etc.) – Wait until debt-free unless pets are already part of your family. They deserve proper care too.
  • Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, etc.
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gift Items (Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Weddings, Graduations, etc.) for family, friends and relatives? Homemade gifts vs. purchases?
  • Yard & Home Maintenance – Do it yourself when possible vs. paying someone else.
  • Proper maintenance on older vehicles rather than turnover every 2-4 years. These days, most properly maintained used cars will last 10 years or more.
  • Buying “good” used cars vs. buying new – Do your research first!

Baby Steps To Becoming Debt-Free

Once you’ve found ways to reduce household expenses and are generating some additional income, it’s time to implement and commit to a plan that will move you to the ultimate goal of a debt-free lifestyle and financial freedom!

1. Your first priority is to open a savings account and begin building your “Emergency Fund”. This fund should only be used to purchase items that truly constitute a household “emergency” (furnace, AC, refrigerator, major car repair, tires, etc.) Experts site various levels to this kind of fund:

  • Some experts say you should have at least $1000 saved.
  • Others say you should have 3-6 months of your paycheck saved. Obviously it will take a while to save this much. However, if you should lose your job, can you imagine the peace of mind you’ll have knowing you can still meet all your monthly expense obligations until you find employment again?

2. Next, if married, you and your spouse must sit down and develop a reasonable monthly spending plan, better known as a budget. Depending on the budget items you choose to plan on, your household income minus household expenses should equal no less than zero. If single, have someone you trust to hold you accountable help you complete your monthly spending plan (budget).

  • I’ve created a handy budget worksheet to get you started HERE. If you have questions on how to use the worksheet, don’t hesitate to email me.

3. Once your Emergency Fund is in place, it’s time to start accelerating the payoff of your credit cards using a technique some experts refer to as the “payoff ladder”. Here’s how it works:

  • Assuming you have more than one credit card, you start with the one with the lowest balanced owed, not the highest interest rate. This strategy provides you with the quickest payoff so you are experiencing a quick win. If you can add any additional money to the minimum balance owed, all the better!
  • Once the first card is paid off, you take the money you were paying on it each month and add it to the minimum monthly amount you are paying on the next card until it is paid off.
  • You keep repeating this method until all your credit cards are paid off. Then, commit to using your cards only if you know you can pay off the amount owed in full each month.

4. When your credit cards are all paid off, you can begin adding some of that new-found money to your monthly auto loan and/or mortgage payment which will accelerate the payoff of those loans and save a ton of interest!

You are now well on your way to debt-free living with greater peace of mind!

See you next week for the next steps to financial freedom and more Wisdom Matters!

 

Debt: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

As I mentioned in last week’s post, over the next few weeks we’ll look at the steps necessary to get out of debt, how to become better money managers, and begin living a debt-free lifestyle. This week I’m going to dive a little deeper into the concept of consumer debt.

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

For the sake of this discussion on debt, we’re going to assume that all money you owe to anyone is called debt, regardless of your ability to repay your loan obligations.

According to Bankrate.com, “When used intelligently, debt can be of tremendous assistance in building wealth. One of the secrets, therefore, to being smart with your money is to differentiate between good debt and bad debt. While the differences often seem logical, it is a logic that apparently is missed by many Americans.”

‘When you buy something (on credit) that goes down in value immediately, that’s bad debt,” says David Bach, CEO of Finish Rich Inc., and author of The Finish Rich Workbook. ‘If it has no potential to increase in value, that’s bad debt.'”

Good Debt

“‘Good debt is investment debt that creates value; for example, student loans, real estate loans, home mortgages and business loans,’ says Eric Gelb, CEO of Gateway Financial Advisors and author of Getting Started in Asset Allocation. Robert D. Manning, a professor of finance at the Rochester Institute of Technology, also recommends taking on debt that is tax-deductible and debt that produces more wealth in the long run.

These general rules of thumb set some clear delineations — buying a home or refinancing to get rid of excessively high interest rates is usually good debt.

Most financial experts believe that the best type of debt is debt that builds wealth over the long run, and the No. 1 example of that is mortgage debt. ‘About 40 percent of Americans are renters,’ says David Bach, ‘and the fastest way to wealth in America is buying where you live.’ Bach cites some shocking numbers to back this up. ‘The average renter has a median net worth of $4,000, and the average homeowner has a median net worth of about $150,000.'”

Bad Debt

“The concept of bad debt comes in when discussing the purchase of disposable items or durable goods using high-interest credit cards and not paying the balance in full. ‘The trouble is most people are not organized enough to retire the entire balance before the due date,’ says Eric Gelb.

Every month that you make a partial payment on your credit account you are charged interest. The disposable or durable item you purchased continues to lose value, and the amount you paid for it continues to increase. ‘When you buy clothes, they’re probably worth less than 50 percent what you pay for them when you walk out the door,’ says David Bach. ‘So if you borrowed to pay for them, that’s bad debt.’

Another bad debt area is auto debt. While most people need an automobile, and the ultimate cost of an auto is higher than many people can pay in one lump sum, the way people go about it — namely, purchasing more car than they need — turns it into bad debt.” The moment a new car is purchased and driven off the lot, it looses about 25 percent of it’s value!

 The Ugly Credit Rating Effect

“It’s also important to understand what that debt could potentially do to your credit rating. ‘Total personal debt should not exceed 36 percent of your total income,’ says Gelb. Keeping the debt-to-income ratio in mind, it’s also important not to miss payments. ‘Missed payments are trouble,’ he says. ‘A representative of Citibank said if you don’t pay within 30 days, they report that to the credit bureaus.’

When it comes to buying durable goods that won’t contribute to wealth generation, Bach offers a basic rule of thumb. ‘My grandma used to say that if you’re going to buy something that doesn’t go up in value, and you can’t afford to pay cash, then you can’t afford it.’

Exacerbating the bad debt factor is that people will apply for store credit for the savings offers that say if you open a credit card account today, you can take 10 percent to 20 percent off the cost of your purchase. What people often don’t realize is how much of that savings will be destroyed by the high interest rate on the card if they fail to pay for the items immediately. ‘You can open a store credit card account,’ says Bach, ‘and what they’re not telling you is that after the first few months, the rate jumps to 20 percent or greater.'”

Poor credit ratings, due to slow or non-payment of loans and/or credit cards, will scare other lenders away from considering your future credit and loan requests. Improving your credit score is a critically important piece of the puzzle when working towards financial freedom. Higher credit scores insure lower interest rates.


I hope this review on debt was helpful in encouraging you to think twice before pulling out those credit cards or signing for a loan without first considering the ramifications of good debt verses bad debt.

Short of buying a house or car, if you can’t pay cash for your purchases, or you know you won’t be able to pay off your monthly credit card bills in full, then like David Bach’s grandma used to say, “you can’t afford it!” I’ll admit it’s easier said than done, but it’s a great first step in working towards a debt-free lifestyle.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters on working towards financial freedom.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR-2019!

HAPPY NEW YEAR  TO ALL!

As we leave 2018 behind and ring in a new year, many folks have already prepared, or are busy preparing their traditional list of new year’s resolutions.

With consumer debt at an all time high, I wonder how many folks will make a new year’s resolution to get out of debt and stay out of debt?

In October 2018, U.S. consumer debt rose to $3.963 trillion. Of this, $2.926 trillion was non-revolving debt. Most non-revolving debt is education and auto loans. Credit card debt totaled $1.037 trillion. It exceeds the record of $1.02 trillion set in 2008.

The number one cause of divorce in the U.S.A. is financial stress. Until I turned my life around in 1986, by the grace of God, I was an expert at mismanaging money and abusing credit cards! If you’re interested, you can read more about my story HERE.


From 1994 to 2004 I worked part-time as a financial consultant. With a limited securities license I was able to sell mutual funds, and with a life and health insurance license I was able to sell life and health insurance products as well as annuities.

From 2005 to 2011 I worked full-time as a Registered Financial Consultant and started my own company, Safe Money Solutions Inc. I dropped my limited securities license, kept my life and health license, and concentrated on selling term life insurance and annuity products.

I also taught community workshops and Sunday School classes using Larry Burkett’s “How To Manage Your Money” video series and workbooks.

I offer this background information for you as I hope to share a great deal of the wisdom I have gleaned from my years spent working in the financial services industry, teaching what I have learned and what my wife and I have done our best to practice to this very day.


A New Year To Start Getting Out Of Debt and Start Building Your Wealth

Cash Box

The very first step to getting out of debt and building wealth, no matter what age you are or how much money you are making, is ALWAYS SPEND LESS THAN YOU MAKE and put what’s left in a savings account. It sounds so simple but many folks find it so hard to do!

According to Larry Burkett, here are the tell-tale signs of financial bondage:

  1. Overdue Bills => anxiety, fear, frustration, worry.
  2. Family Needs Unmet
  3. Greed => desiring more than what you have or always wanting the best.
  4. Covetousness => desiring what others have.
  5. A "Get Rich Quick" Attitude => jumping into an investment or purchase (a) you don't understand, (b) you can't afford, (c) you are being forced to make a hasty decision.
  6. Deceitfulness => Lying to others for financial gain.
  7. Worry About Investments
  8. Laziness => won't work or unwilling to look for work.
  9. Over-commitment To Work => Too busy making a living to make a life.
  10. Money Entanglements => robbing Peter to pay Paul, using credit cards to pay other bills.
  11. Self-Indulgence => irresponsible spending on items that yield temporary satisfaction and little utility.
  12. Financial Superiority => pride and hoarding.
  13. Financial Resentment => blaming others for your financial problems, including God.

 Larry Burkett also gives us the steps to freedom from financial bondage:

  1. If you're a Christian, Transfer Ownership To God => tithing is the best way to do this. Giving 10% of your gross income, or more, to the church you attend is the best way to show God that you are trusting Him to meet all your needs with what is left.
  2. Get Out Of Debt, and stay out => (a) buy on a cash-only basis, (b) practice saving money regularly.
  3. Refuse Quick Decisions => wait 30 days before making major purchases or investments. Maybe you'll change your mind!
  4. Excel In Your Work => become a valuable asset to your company. If downsizing happens, your value will help keep you off the layoff list.
  5. Contentment => seek a moderate lifestyle.
  6. Provide For Family Needs
  7. Balanced Commitment => God, family, work, leisure time.
  8. When necessary, Sacrifice Wants and Desires to provide for your needs. (a) Needs - purchases necessary to provide for your basic requirements such as food, clothing, shelter, medical coverage, etc. (b) Wants - choices about the quality of goods to be used. (c) Desires - choices that can be made only out of surplus funds after all other obligations have been met.
  9. Put Others First => Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to  receive." (Acts 20:35)

It’s important to understand that there is a difference between borrowing to make a purchase and real debt:

  1. Buying something on credit is a contract between the lender and the borrower. It is an agreement to pay.
  2. Debt is the inability to meet agreed-upon obligations.

A car loan, college loan, home mortgage, etc. doesn’t mean you are in debt unless you begin to fall behind and fail to meet your obligations to make scheduled payments on these loans.

Having said that, initiating a money management plan that pays off car loans, college loans,  and even home mortgages will bring total financial freedom and allow you to practice greater generosity in other areas of your life.


“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.” ~ Ellen Goodman

Over the next few weeks we’ll look at the steps necessary to get out of debt, how to become better money managers, and begin living a debt-free lifestyle.

Wishing you and your family a very healthy and prosperous 2019 filled with great potential for positive change!