Monday, May 24, 2010

Mastering the Earning Game
Written by Jack Canfield

When faced with a challenge, some people freeze. They stop taking action. They drift or coast, hoping that the problem will disappear. They blame, complain, whine, or moan about their circumstances.

You have another option: Take 100 percent responsibility. In an unreliable economy, pointing your finger at the president, oil producers, mortgage lenders, Wall Street, or your boss takes your attention away from the inspired actions that will improve your financial well-being.

Starting today, move into action.

The things that you do during the next few months will dramatically affect your earning power and financial resilience for years to come.

Focus on Your Core Genius

Socrates said it best: “Know thyself.” Those two words offer timeless wisdom about attracting wealth.

Inside you is a core genius—something that you love to do, something that’s effortless and fun. When engaged in this activity, you feel fully alive. Time disappears, and you disappear into a pure state of flow.

This activity is your core genius. It might be teaching, coaching, writing, painting, acting, selling, computing, or accounting.

Whatever it is, discover it. Connect it to a demand in the economy. Then make this activity the cornerstone of your career.

Dan Sullivan, a successful strategic coach, describes entrepreneurs as con artists. They get people to pay them for doing something that they love to do—and would otherwise do for free.

“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy,” said Malcolm Forbes, former publisher of Fortune magazine. And as a multimillionaire, Forbes knew something about attracting wealth.

Delegate the Rest

The flip side of doing what you love is letting go of the rest. Successful people focus on their core genius—and delegate everything else.

You can use the same strategy. Perhaps your core genius is sales. Then ask your manager to let someone else process paperwork, make photocopies, and schedule meetings. If your core genius is training, then find someone else to call prospective clients and process seminar registrations. If it can be done faster, better, and more cheaply by someone else, then let it go— once and for all.

Create More Value

When customers are hard to find and revenues decline, people often rivet their attention on the bottom line. The dominant question becomes: What can we do right now to make more money? Actually, there’s a more powerful question to ask first: What can we do right now to create more value? This shines a spotlight on the only reason that anyone makes money over the long term in the first place—by selling a product or delivering a service that creates value.

Mike Milliorn used to work as an Avery Label salesman. Some of his customers were restaurant managers who needed labels for food containers. The problem was that conventional labels dropped off containers when they sat for days in a refrigerator. Mike saw the need for a new kind of label, preprinted with the days of the week and an adhesive that survived refrigeration. He knew this would create extraordinary value.

Mike suggested this idea to Avery, but the company wasn’t interested. So Mike started producing the new line of labels on his own. Working out of his garage, he started a company called Daydots—which he sold for millions of dollars. He attracted that wealth simply by taking action on a simple idea to create more value.

Deliver What You Promise—and More

Even in tough times, successful people deliver what they promise. Then they add extra value by delivering a product before it’s due, by adding new services, or by offering a competitive price.

Adding extra value could call for more action on your part. You may need to gain special skills, make new contacts, or put in some more hours at work for a while. That’s a small price to pay for attracting new levels of wealth.

Make it a habit to exceed expectations. You’ll get noticed. You’ll get repeat business. And you’ll attract new opportunities in every area of your life.

Remember the True Meaning of Attraction

A limo driver once asked me how to achieve financial success. I told him to save 10 percent of everything he earns, invest it, and keep reinvesting the dividends. By the look on his face I could tell he was disappointed. Like so many other people he was looking for a get-rich-quick scheme.

The desire for such schemes is one reason for the global mortgage meltdown. Too many individuals and organizations believed that they could live well beyond their means. They piled on debt without creating value. The consequences are affecting all of us.

Attracting wealth is not the same as pretending to be wealthy. Rather, the Law of Attraction is about raising the vibrational level of your intentions and actions. When you do, the results unfold in a way that enriches you—and the rest of us.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Does Your Family Have an Effective Risk Management Plan?

To create an effective risk management plan for your family you must consider mitigating two risks:

1.) The Risk of Dying Too Soon – You need to think to yourself that if you were to die unexpectedly and your family members are still relying on your income, how will they replace that income? Basically you will need some form of Life Insurance to mitigate this risk.

2.) The Risk of Living Too Long – You need to think to yourself that if you were to no longer have anyone depending on your income and you made it into your retirement years, how much money will you need to live on? To mitigate this risk you need to consider some type of Investment vehicle for your future needs.

Below is a story of twin brothers named Slim and Tim who are 30 years old and who use two different approaches to manage the risks of Dying Too Soon and Living Too Long. The two brothers have the same financial resources and make the same amount of money so they can afford to pay the same amount of money.

After much discussion and pressure from a salesman, Slim finally bought a “Cash Value” Life Insurance policy to protect the $50,000.00 of annual income that he and his family relied on. He decided he needed a policy for $500,000.00, because if he were to die, the surviving family members could invest this money and if it was working at 10% they could withdrawal $50,000.00 annually.

Total Coverage (Face Amount)$500,000.00
Monthly Premium$350.00
Cash Value at Age 65$300,000.00
Total Premiums Paid In (over 35 years)$147,000.00
Difference at Age 65$153,000.00(Gain)

So, by paying $350.00 a month in premiums, Slim had both of his risks covered. If he Died Too Soon the $500,000.00 death benefit would help his family to continue living the lifestyle that they were currently used to living. If he Lived Too Long he would have accumulated $300,000.00 of cash value from his life insurance policy to use in his retirement years which will be $153,000.00 over what he actually paid into the policy! In this case, Slim has mitigated both of his risks in one pretty little package!

Tim’s family also relied on his $50,000.00 income. So, Tim decided to get the same amount of coverage as Slim, but he decided to go with Term Insurance instead.

Total Coverage (Face Amount)$500,000.00
Monthly Premium$62.00
Cash Value at Age 65$0.00
Total Premiums Paid In (over 35 years)$26,000.00
Difference at Age 65$26,000.00(Loss)

Because Term Insurance is so cheap, Tim has a significantly lower monthly premium payment of $62.00 per month that is $288.00 lower than that of Slims. It looks like Tim has the risk of Dying Too Soon taken care of with his $500,000.00 death benefit. But what about Tim’s risk of Living Too Long? It looks like when Tim is at retirement age he will have nothing to show for himself after paying $26,000.00 into the Term policy.

So, at this point who has made the better choice? Slim, who bought a Cash Value Life Insurance policy or Tim, who bought a Term Life Insurance policy?

Now, let’s just look and see what would happen if Tim were to save the $288.00 difference in monthly premiums over the 35 year period of time and invest that difference in a Mutual Fund with a Roth IRA tag.

Here’s what would happen if Tim were to invest $288.00 per month for 35 years
  • @ 6% = $412,000.00
  • @ 8% = $665,000.00
  • @ 10% = $1,100,000.00
  • @ 12% = $1,800,000.00

This is how Tim could mitigate his risk of Living Too Long! With a Roth IRA, Tim will be able to start pulling out money Tax Free when he is over 59 ½! If Tim only got 6% on his investment, it would still be better than the amount of cash value Slim had accumulated in his Cash Value Life Insurance policy over the same amount of time!

Another interesting point is that for most* Cash Value Life Insurance policies you can only get one or the other. If you Die Too Soon, your family still gets the death benefit, however, the cash value is used to help pay for the death benefit. Also, if you Live Too Long the cash value is paid out to you and the policy terminated – so, no more chance at the death benefit money! (*Some Cash Value Life Insurance policies will pay you both the death benefit as well as the cash value, however, you will pay for this with a much higher premium payment)

When you buy Term Life Insurance and invest the difference, the two accounts are separate. So, if you were to Die Too Soon your beneficiaries would be able to receive the death benefit as well as the amount of the investment. If you Live Too Long, chances are you no longer need life insurance. You can decide at any time to cancel your Term Life Insurance and live off of your investment.

Moral of the Story: If your family doesn’t have an effective risk management plan in place then you should consider getting one. But always remember – when mitigating the risks of Living Too Long with Dying Too Soon never mix your Investments with your Insurance!

I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Cycle of Completion: Making Way for Success
Written by Jack Canfield

Do you live in a state of mental and physical clutter? Do you have a bunch of unfinished business lurking around every corner?


Incomplete projects, unfinished business, and piles of cluttered messes can weigh you down and take away from the energy you have to move forward toward your goals.

When you don't complete tasks, you can't be fully prepared to move into the present, let alone your new future.

When your brain is keeping track of all the unfinished business you still have at hand, you simply can't be effective in embracing new tasks that are in line with your vision.

Old incompletes can show up in your life in lots of different ways... like not having clarity, procrastination, emotional energy blocks and even illness. Blocked energy is wasted, and a build-up of that energy can really leave you stymied.

Throw-out all the clutter and FEEL how much easier it is to think!

Make a list of areas in your life (both personal and professional) where you have incompletes and messes, then develop a plan to deal with them once and for all. Fix and organize the things that annoy you.

Take your final steps in bringing closure to outstanding projects.

Make that difficult phone call. Delegate time-wasting tasks that you've let build up.
Some incompletions come from simply not having adequate systems, knowledge, or expertise for handling these tasks. Other incompletions pile up because of bad work habits.

Get into completion consciousness by continually asking yourself...What does it take to actually get this task completed?

Only then can you begin to consciously take that next step of filing completed documents, mailing in the forms required, or reporting back to your boss that the project has been completed.

The truth is that 20 things completed have more power than 50 things that are half-way completed.

Finishing writing a book, for instance, that can go out and influence the world is better than 13 books you’re in the process of writing.

When you free yourself from the mental burden of incompletes and messes, you'll be AMAZED at how quickly the things you do want in life arrive.

Another area where you'll find incompletes in your life is in your emotions. Are you holding on to old hurts, resentments, and pain? Just like the physical clutter and incompletes, your energy is being drained by holding on to and reliving past pain and anger.

Remember, you'll attract whatever feelings you're experiencing. So, if you're stuck in revengeful thinking and angered in muck, you can't possibly be directing energy toward a positive future. You need to let go of the past in order to embrace the future. Letting go involves forgiveness and moving on.

By forgiving you aren't releasing the other person from their transgression as much as you're freeing yourself from their transgression. You don't have to condone their behavior, trust them, or even maintain a relationship with them. However, you DO have to free yourself from the anger, from the pain, and from the resentment once and for all!

When learning to forgive, make sure to complete the cycle.

Acknowledge your anger, your pain, and your fear. But also own up to any part you've played in allowing it to happen or continue. Make sure to express whatever it was that you wanted from that person, and then see the whole event from the other's point of view. Allow yourself to wonder what that person was going through and what kind of needs he/she was trying to fulfill at the time.

Finally, let go and move on. Every time you go through this process you're learning how to avoid letting it happen again!

I'll be back in two weeks with another edition of Success Strategies. Until then, see if you can discover ways to immediately implement what you learned from today's message.

(For more insight on this subject, read Chapter 28 titled
Clean Up Your Messes and Incompletes in The Success Principles.)


Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Immediately Pay Off Mortgage with Inheritance Money vs. Get Standard 30 Year Mortgage. Which Choice is Better?

For more mortgage comparisons, also read:

If you are buying a house off the proceeds of a large inheritance, should you immediately pay off your mortgage or should you just get a standard 30 year mortgage? The following story should help answer this question.

Twin brothers, Larry and Louie, both decide to purchase identical homes, with the same original mortgage amounts ($300,000.00), through the same mortgage company, on the same day. Their father had just passed away and they were able to split the $600,000 death benefit, from their dad’s life insurance policy.

Louie decides to take his half of death benefit and immediately pay off his new $300,000 mortgage. Louie was told that he would save over $347,000 in interest payments, would own his new home free and clear from day-one, and would never have to make a monthly mortgage payment.
Larry, on the other hand, took his half of the death benefit and put it in a diverse portfolio of growth mutual funds. He then withdrew $1,798.65 each month, for 30 years, to make the monthly Principle and Interest payment.

Who made the smarter financial choice – Larry or Louie?


Louie has his home paid off immediately, and never has to worry about a monthly mortgage payment. Also, because Louie has no mortgage, he saves $347,514.00 in interest payments over a 30 year period, as opposed to his brother Larry.


Larry had $1798.65 withdrawn from his mutual fund account (initially fueled with his portion of the inheritance) every month over 30 years to make his mortgage payments. Over that time Larry will have to pay $347,514.00 in interest. Also, it is interesting to note that Larry will still owe $213,146.93 on his home after paying for 15 years!


Well here is a fact that not too many people know: $300,000.00 only has to work at less than 2.58% over 30 years to generate $647,515.00 – the total cost of Larry’s mortgage including priciple and interest! With Larry’s portion of his inheritance sitting in a mutual fund making 12% interest, he will have accumulated $900,170.67 after 15 years and by the time he payed off the mortgage he will have accumulated $4,490,675.15. And this would all be possible while still withdrawaling $1798.65 a month and also by not having to deposit another single cent into the account!


In both examples, each brother had the immediate tax free use of $300,000.

Summary:
  • Both twins were given $300,000.00 Tax-Free.
  • Both bought identical homes, each with a $300,000.00 original mortgage.
  • On settlement day, Louie refused the original mortgage and traded his $300,000.00 for his “fully paid off” new home.
  • On the same settlement day, Larry accepted, and closed, on his standard 30 year mortgage, and then put his $300,000.00 to work!
  • Louie’s $300,000.00, invested immediately to pay off the mortgage, only works about less than 2.58% over the same 30 years! Louie invested $300,000 in bricks and mortar that can do virtually nothing financially meaningful. (All other things being equal, both homes will appreciate the same amount over the 30 years. Home appreciation is totally independent of whether the home is paid off, or has a mortgage attached to it.)
  • Larry’s $300,000.00, working at 12% in a portfolio of mutual funds, will provide a withdrawal of $1,798.65 each month for 30 years (360 months) – and still continue to grow to $4,490,675.00 by the end of the 30 years!
  • 30 years later, you can see what each twin has to show for their original gift of $300,000.00:
    • Louie has a home that he has owned for 30 years
    • Larry has a home plus several million dollars
The Money Message:
  • Don’t sell your “Money Machine” too cheaply!
  • Try to keep emotions out of financial decisions.
  • From a financial point of view, it is rarely ever the best to accelerate the payoff of a low interest rate mortgage!
I'm so excited to share this information with you. If you have enjoyed the information or feel that it would benefit someone else, please share it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.