Sunday, December 18, 2011

It is Up to You
Written by Jim Rohn

One of the first things successful people realize is the old adage, "if it is to be, it is up to me." That is, for you, the fact that your success and your course is up to you. This doesn't mean that you do it all alone. It simply means that you take responsibility for your life and your career.

Too many people today look at opportunity and figure it is up to someone else to make sure they get it. They look at financial security and hope that the government will make sure they live safely in retirement or in case of disability. They wait and wait, figuring that it is up to someone else. And then the wait is over, and it is too late to do anything. Their life is over and they are filled with regret.

This isn't true for you however. You know that you must take responsibility for your life. It is up to you.

The fact is that nobody else is going to do it for you “you must do it yourself.

Now, some people may say, "Jim, that's a lot of responsibility." Friends, that is the best news you can ever hear. You get to choose your life. Hundreds of millions of people all around this world would give anything to live in the situation you do “just for the chance to have the opportunity to take control of their destiny. "It is up to you" is a great blessing!

Here's why:
  1. You get to chart your own destiny. Maybe you want to start a small business and stay there. That's great because you can choose that. Maybe you want to create a small chain of stores. Maybe you want to have a net worth of $100 million. That's okay too. The idea is that you get to choose. You can do whatever you like. Different people have different dreams and they should live them accordingly.
  2. You can reap what you sow. Sleep in and go to work late and reap the return. Or get up early and outwork the others and earn a greater return. Place your capital at risk and earn a return “or place it at greater risk and perhaps reap a greater return. You decide what you will sow and thus what you will reap.
  3. No one else can stop you from getting your dream. Yes, there will always be things that come up and people who may not like what you are doing, but you can just move on and chart your own course. There is great freedom in that.
  4. You experience the joy of self-determination. There is no greater pride than knowing you set your mind on something and accomplished it. Those who live with a victim mentality never get to experience the joy of accomplishment because they are always waiting for someone else to come to the rescue. Those who take responsibility get to live the joy of seeing a job well done.
Let me ask you a question: Where will you be in 5 years? 10 years? Or 25 years? Do you know? DO you have an idea? Have you ever dreamed about it or set a goal for it? Are you willing to take responsibility and recognize that, "It is up to you?"

You will be wherever you decide to be in those timeframes. You decide. It is up to you.

And that is very exciting!

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2011. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Act to Create It
Written by Jack Canfield

If you want to live a dream life, not only must you decide what you want, turn your dream into measurable goals, break those goals down into specific action steps, and visualize and affirm your desired outcomes — you must start taking action!

I recommend making the commitment to do something every day in at least three different areas of your life that moves you in the direction of your goal.

If one of your goals is physical fitness, make a commitment to do some sort of exercise — aerobics, weight training, stretching — four to five times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes.

I read recently that if you simply go for a 30 minute walk four times a week, that would put you in the top 1% of those people getting physical exercise!

If your goal is financial independence, start saving and investing a portion of your income every month with no exceptions.

If your goal is to write a book, write for a minimum of one hour every day.

DON'T LET FEAR STOP YOU
Most people never get what they want because they let their fears stop them. They are afraid of making a mistake, looking foolish, getting ripped off, being rejected, being hurt, wasting their time, and feeling uncomfortable.

Fear is self-created by imagining catastrophic consequences that have yet to happen. It is all in your mind. In fact, you can actually scare yourself by imagining negative and harmful images. But simply stop the catastrophic thoughts and images, and the fear goes away.

REJECTION IS A MYTH
One of the biggest fears that stops people from asking for support, guidance, advice, money, a date, a job, the sale, or anything else is the fear of rejection.

In fact, it’s been known to literally paralyze people. They become tongue-tied and refuse to reach for the phone or get up and walk across the room. They break out in a sweat at the mere thought of asking for what they want.

I have come to realize that the whole concept of rejection is false — that rejection doesn’t really exist. Think about it for a moment. If you asked someone to join you for dinner, and they said no, you could tell yourself that you had been rejected. But think about it. Did you have anyone to eat dinner with before you asked them? No! Did you have anyone to eat dinner with after you asked them? No! Did your life really get worse? No. It stayed the same!

ACT AS IF
One of the secrets of success is to start acting like a success before you are one. Act as if.

If you had already achieved your dream, what kinds of clothes would you be wearing? How would you act? How would you treat others? Would you tithe a portion of your income to your church or favorite charities? Would you have more self-confidence? Would you take more time to spend with your loved ones?

I suggest that you begin to do those things now!

When I decided that I wanted to be an “international” consultant, I immediately went and applied for a passport, bought an international clock that told me what time it was anywhere in the world, printed business cards with the words “International Self-Esteem and Peak Performance Consultant,” and decided I would like to first go to Australia. I bought a poster of the Sydney Opera House and placed it on my refrigerator.

Within one month, I received an invitation to speak in Sydney and Brisbane. Since then, I have spoken and conducted trainings in over 30 countries and continue to expand my business around the globe.

Start acting as if you already have everything you want.

Most people think that if they have a lot of money, they could do the things they want to do, and they would be much happier. In fact, the reverse is true.

If you start by creating a state of happiness and abundance, then do the things you are inspired to do from that state of being, you will end up having all the things you ultimately desire.

BE, DO AND HAVE EVERYTHING YOU WANT... STARTING NOW!

Remember, the proper order of this is to start now and be who you want to BE, then DO the actions that go along with being that person, and soon you will find that you can easily HAVE everything you want in life--health, wealth and fulfilling relationships.

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, December 5, 2011

Put Money Back in its Place

There is a saying that “Money is the root of all evil.” But money pays for a lot of good in this world, like for the construction of hospitals, for the production of food, for the processing of our drinking water, for the research of many lifesaving products, etc. Money seems to just make a person more of what they already are. If a person
is already a jerk, when they receive more money, they might become more of a jerk. The same goes for when a compassionate person receives more money, they usually become more compassionate. Some people might even say that it is the lack of money that causes evil. Working hard at a job that doesn’t provide for our families might be considered evil. Some might say that being deeply in debt is evil. Money by itself is not evil. Money is just money. The fact is that money doesn’t really do anything. It is up to you to choose what you do with your money.

Money does not make you buy that expensive coffee every morning instead of brewing it yourself – you choose to do it; money doesn’t make you go out to dinner every night instead of only on special occasions – you choose to do it; money doesn’t make you buy that car or house or pay for that vacation that you couldn’t afford – you choose to do it. What we need to do is to face reality and take back control of our money.

The way I see it, we are in a world of instant gratification where we need to have the latest and greatest right now. Most people today will procrastinate at putting away money for the future in order to get the great feeling by making some insignificant purchase today. But, it is this type of thinking that has gotten the world into the economic crisis that we are in today. This type of thinking needs to change and we need to learn to pay ourselves first and then invest this for our future.

That’s right; I said “Pay yourself first!” If you are wondering what I am talking about, I can tell you about how the US government is already a pro at this one. If you look at your paycheck, you will notice that before you even get paid, the government has already taken their part in the way of taxes. We can take a lesson from this and apply this to our own lives.

A goal to shoot for is to pay yourself at least 10% of all of the income that you receive after taxes have been taken out. This money should then be invested for your future. It is preferable to have this money automatically come out of your paycheck and go directly into an investment account, so that you are not tempted to spend it.

Now, I know, you are probably saying, “I can’t afford to do that! I am already living from paycheck to paycheck!”

The truth is you have to do something differently or you will have the same struggles for the rest of your life.

The good news is that I have narrowed it down to two options. The bad news is that you either you are going to have to live below your current means or you have to find a way to raise your means.

Live below your means

As far as living below your means is concerned, if you are going to invest 10 percent of your earnings, you are going to have to be able to live on 10 percent less money. If you are one of those people that can live on 10% less money right away, good for you, but chances are you are going to need to follow a plan to gradually get to 10%.

Darren Hardy in his book The Compound Effect tells how he helped his assistant making $40,000 a year gradually work up to saving 10 percent of everything she earned. First, he had her track all of her spending in a notebook and to open a separate savings account with only $33 – 1 percent of her existing monthly income. Then he showed her how to live on $33 less a month, by simply suggesting that she pack her own lunch one day a week instead of ordering from the deli that day. The next month he had her save $67 or 2%. She saved the additional money by changing her cable subscription. The next month she cancelled her People subscription. The next month, instead of going to Starbucks twice a week, she decided to buy Starbucks beans and brew her own coffee. By the end of the year she was saving 10 percent of every dollar she earned and not noticing a significant impact on her lifestyle since the change was so gradual.

Raise your means

If living below your means is not something that will work for you, then you may need to face reality that you will just need to make more money or raise your means. Some of the options you have is that you can choose to start a business on the side, find a new job, or even take on a second or third job. This way you will have extra income that you can now start investing for your future.

Robert T. Kiyosaki in his book Increase Your Financial IQ went to the extreme and hired a bookkeeper to take 10 percent of all income off the top, as an expense, and put that money in the asset column. So, if he had $1000 income and $1500 in expenses, the bookkeeper was to take 10 percent of the $1000, and put that money in the asset column. With the remaining $900, she was to pay the $1500 expenses. Robert had to teach the bookkeeper to change her way of thinking. She, like most others, paid everyone else first and herself last. Since there was rarely anything left over, she paid herself nothing. Basically, her creditors, the government, and bankers were all more important than her. The changing the bookkeeper’s paradigm left Robert as much as $4000 short some months. However, this “I am more important than my creditors attitude” lit a fire under him and he was able to make more money to eventually pay off all of the people he owed, while still being able to invest for his future all the while.

Remember, it only takes is a slight adjustment in the way you look at things to become financially successful. Look at yourself as the one in command - not your money. Look at yourself as most important - not your creditors. I hope this new way of thinking will empower you to put money back in its place and for you to take control of your money.

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 comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One of Life’s Great Lessons: Learn to Be Thankful for What You Already Have
Written by Jim Rohn

Is thankfulness a survival skill? Perhaps most of you would respond with, "No, Jim, thankfulness is not a key to survival," and I would tend to agree with you. Most of us have probably already solved the necessary problems of survival, gone beyond that and are now working to achieve our desires. But let me give you this key phrase: "Learn to be thankful for what you already have, while you pursue all that you want." I believe one of the greatest and perhaps simplest lessons in life we can learn is to be thankful for what we have already received and accomplished.

Both the years and the experiences have brought me here to where I stand today, but it is the thankfulness that opened the windows of opportunities, of blessings, of unique experiences to flow my way. My gratitude starts with my parents who raised me, gave me an incredible foundation that has lasted me all of these years and continues with the mentors I've met along the way who absolutely changed and revolutionized my life, my income, my bank account, my future. I am also very thankful for the people, the associations, for the ideas, for the chance to work and labor, and to produce results; all of that has brought me to this place, to this weekend. I'm grateful for it all.

What a unique opportunity each one of us has—many of us representing different countries and cultures—to appreciate the uniqueness of our own experiences that have brought us all here, together, for these three days to learn new skills and sharpen old ones. For the countries we represent, we have freedom and liberty. These are extraordinary times. About eleven years ago [at the time this was written] the walls came tumbling down in Germany, and it started a wave of democracy and freedom like the world has never seen. We as a country and as a world have so much to be thankful for. Always start with thanksgiving; be thankful for what you already have and see the miracles that come from this one simple act.

Thankfulness is just the beginning; next, you've got to challenge yourself to produce. Produce more ideas than you need for yourself so you can share and give your ideas away. That is called fruitfulness and abundance. Here's what I think fruitfulness and abundance mean: to go to work on producing more than you need for yourself so you can begin blessing others, blessing your nation and blessing your enterprise. Once abundance starts, once someone becomes incredibly productive, it's amazing what the numbers turn out to be. But to begin this incredible process of blessing, it often starts with the act of thanksgiving and gratitude, being thankful for what you already have, and for what you've already done. Begin the act of thanksgiving today and watch the miracles flow your way.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2011. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How Many Doubling Periods Do You Have Left?

So many successful people struggle with procrastination. Does this statement describe you? Do you say to yourself, "I'll start investing for my retirement next year." Hopefully, by the time you read this, you will no longer procrastinate and start investing for your future as soon as possible.

First of all, an easy way to estimate how many years it will take to double your money on a one-time investment is to apply the Rule of 72. Basically, this means that dividing the annual interest rate into the number 72 approximates the number of years it will take to double your money.

For instance, if you knew that you were getting a 2% rate of return on your investment (72 ÷ 2 = 36); it would take you 36 years to double your money – meaning you only have one doubling period in 36 years. At 6% it would take you 12 years to double your money and that would give you 3 doubling periods in 36 years. At 12% it would only take 6 years to double your money allowing for 6 doubling periods in 36 years!

If we were to take a fictitious $10,000 and apply the Rule of 72 to it, this is what it would look like based on the different interest rates discussed above:
Now let’s take an extreme case. In an earlier blog post titled The Cost of Waiting to Invest, I mentioned that if a one-time-investment of $1000 was made for you when you were 6 months old and it was working at a 12% rate of return - that would grow to $2.3 million by the time you were 65. And this could be accomplished without adding any new money! Now, at birth, you would have almost 11 (10.83) doubling periods until you were 65, if your money was working at 12%.

Now, let’s say that now that you know that $1000 can easily grow to $2.3 million in 65 years, you set that as your goal at age 65. Let’s also, assume you are like most people and you procrastinate. If you were to wait just 10 years until age 10, you would have 55 years or a little over 9 doubling periods left until you were 65. At age 10, $1000 is no longer going to cut it – you are going to instead need to invest $3300 one-time working at 12% to get the same results at age 65.

By waiting just 10 more years, at age 20 you would need to make a one-time investment of $10,893 working at 12% to accumulate $2.3 million by the age of 65 because you would only have 7.5 doubling periods left.

Waiting 10 more years until age 30, leaving you with only 5.8 doubling periods, you would need to make a one-time investment of $35,950!

So, hopefully you can see, it is never too late to start investing – it will always be possible to make “catch up” payments later. However, be warned, that over time those “catch up” payments can get you because they will grow exponentially. Don’t overspend on the high cost of procrastination. Instead, make the investment in your future goals now.

The difference is that discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.
~ Jim Rohn

How many doubling periods do you have left?

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 comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It Is a Challenge to Succeed
Written by Jim Rohn

It is a challenge to succeed. If it were not, I'm sure more people would be successful, but for every person who is enjoying the fruit from the tree of success, many more are examining the roots. They are trying to figure it all out. They are mystified and perplexed by what seems to be some strange, complex and elusive secret that must be found if ever success is to be enjoyed. While most people spend most of their lives struggling to earn a living, a much smaller number seem to have everything going their way. Instead of just earning a living, the smaller group is busily engaged in designing and enjoying a fortune. Everything just seems to work out for them. While the much larger group sits in awe at how life can be so unfair, complicated and unjust.

"I am a nice person," the man says to himself. "How come this other guy is happy and prosperous and I'm always struggling?" He asks himself, "I am a good husband, a good father and a good worker. How come nothing seems to work out for me? Life just isn't fair. I'm even smarter and willing to work harder than some of these other people who just seem to have everything going their way," he says as he slumps into the sofa to watch another evening of television. But you see you've got to be more than a good person and a good worker. You've got to become a good planner, and a good dreamer. You've got to see the future finished in advance.

You've got to put in the long hours and put up with the setbacks and the disappointments. You've got to learn to enjoy the process of disciplines and of putting yourself through the paces of doing the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. You've got to be prepared and willing to attack the challenges if you want the success because challenges are part of success. Now that may sound like a full menu of activities, but let me assure you that the process of going from average to fortune isn't really all that difficult. Thinking about it is the difficult part. Anticipating all the effort and the changes and the disciplines is far worse in the mind than in reality. I can promise you that the challenges you'll meet on the road to success are far less difficult to deal with than the struggles and the disappointments that come from being average. Confronting and overcoming challenges is an exhilarating experience. It does something to feed the soul and the mind. It makes you more than you were before. It strengthens the mental muscles and enables you to become better prepared for the next challenge.

I've often said that to have more, we must first become more, and to become more, we must begin the process of working harder on ourselves than we do on anything else. But in addition to gathering new knowledge, new skills and new experiences, it is also important to discover new emotions. It is how we feel about what we know that makes the biggest difference in how our lives turn out. How we feel about the chances we have and the choices we have determines the intensity of our effort. Whether we try or don't try. Join or don't join. Believe or don't believe.

I'd like for you to discover some strong feelings about your life and about what you want to do with that life. You probably have much of the knowledge and a lot of the experience and perhaps most of the skills that it takes to become successful. What you may be lacking in are the strong feelings about what you want and what you want to do. You may be one of those who have become so involved in the process of earning a living that you've forgotten about the choices and the chances you have for designing your own life.

Let these strong feelings help you take a second look at your life and where you're headed. After all, you've only got one life, at least on this planet. So why not make it an adventure in achievement? Why not discover what all you can do and what all you can have? Why not discover how many others you can help and in the process how that can help you?

Why not now take the Challenge to Succeed!

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2011. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How to Combat Market Anxiety with Dollar Cost Averaging

In today’s unpredictable and volatile economic times all I see are people watching the rollercoaster ride of the stock market on a daily basis and just driving themselves crazy. I hear co-workers discussing how much the stock market dropped today and how their investments are going down the drain. I hear people worrying about their retirement and wondering if they are even ever going to be able to retire someday. I see people saving more of their money – which is good - but because of their fear in the stock market, they invest in super-conservative investments that aren’t even keeping pace with inflation.

If you can relate to any of the people I mentioned above, I hope that by reading this and learning more about Dollar Cost Averaging, you may just be able to sleep a little bit better at night. By the time I am finished, I hope to change - in a positive way - the way you think about all of the unpredictable ups and downs in the stock market.

So, what exactly is Dollar Cost Averaging? Well, Dollar Cost Averaging is simply investing a fixed amount of money at regular intervals over a period of time.

To demonstrate the power of Dollar Cost Averaging I will be comparing two extreme market conditions using two fictitious investors – Jack and Jill. They will each be investing $100 per month and we will be looking to see how well each of their investments did over a period of one year.

Let’s start with Jack (the green line in Figure 1). On the first month he puts his $100 into a fund with a $12 share price. The next month the share price goes up a little bit, and then the next month it goes up a little bit more, and then a little bit more, etc. The steady rise continues and by the end of the year the share price tops out at $17.54. Jack is pretty excited because he realizes that all of his shares are now worth $17.54, even the ones that he bought for $12! The share price’s steady rise from $12 to $17.54 represents a 46% increase! This is a classic example of steady market growth.

Now, let’s look at how Jill did (the blue line in Figure 1). On the first month she too invests her $100 in a fund starting at $12 a share just like Jack. But, then a month later it dropped all the way down to $8, and then down to $6, then back up to $8, then down to $6, then down to $4! After a few more unpredictable ups and downs, it finally made it back to where it started, at $12 a share. At this point, Jill is not extremely happy with the results, but she is glad that she is at least out of the negative and now breaking even. In this case, Jill started the year at $12 a share and finished the year at $12 a share, representing a 0% increase. With all of the ups and downs, this fund probably looks a little familiar – it looks a little bit like the current stock market, doesn’t it? We call this a volatile market.

So, if this was the only information that was given, and you had to choose between Jack’s investment (the green line) and Jill’s investment, which investment do you think most people would choose? Most people would probably choose Jack’s investment, Right? – The one with the steady growth.

Figure 1

Let’s get a little bit more information and see if this is still the correct decision.

So let’s go back to Jack’s investment (the green line in Figure 2). The first month, Jack’s fund cost $12 a share, so with $100 he could purchase 8.3 shares. The next month the cost was a little higher, so he could buy a little less or just 8 shares. For the rest of the year the price kept going up so Jack was able to buy less and less shares each month. Finally, at the end of the year, if you were to add up all of the shares that were bought during the course of the year it would have totaled 82.2 shares. But since, at the end of the year, the share price was $17.54, that means that all 82.2 shares were worth $17.54 each – even the ones that were bought for $12. So, if you multiply the $17.54 by 82.2, you get the total value of the investment $1,441.79. That’s a $241.79 profit for the year, since Jack already paid into it $1200 by investing $100 a month for 12 months. That’s not a bad profit for one year of investing, but did you realize that by ending up with $1,441.79 by investing $100 a month, that Jack made a rate of return of 39.33%?

Now let’s look and see how Jill did.

Jill (the blue line in Figure 2), just like Jack was able to buy 8.3 shares on the first month, but when the share price fell the second month, she was able to buy 12.5 shares with her $100. Look at when it dropped to $4 a share at the end of June – she was able to buy 25 shares at this time. At the end of the month, Jill’s share accumulation was 161.7, almost twice as many as Jacks! Of course her share price was lower, but if we multiply the year-end share value $12 with the 161.7 shares and you get a total investment value of $1,940.40! That’s a $740.40 profit and an unbelievable 100.5% rate of return for Jill!!

Have you ever heard of an optical illusion? Well this is a financial illusion!

Figure 2

One key thing that I hope you get out of this, besides the fact that it is unhealthy to watch the market on a daily basis, is that if you do look at your investment often, pay more attention to the share accumulation and not so much to the share price. When the media reports on a stock rising or dropping, they are just reporting on its share price.

Some other important things to know about Dollar Cost Averaging
  1. “Dollar Cost Averaging” is a lot like gravity -- it works whether you believe in it or not. If you are participating in a 401k plan, it is already working for you, even if you are unaware.
  2. “Dollar Cost Averaging” automatically insures that you will buy more shares at a lower price and fewer shares at a higher price, over the long term.
  3. “Dollar Cost Averaging” can work for you even if you are not adding any new money. If the investment is in equity mutual funds, even if no new money is added, the “Dividends” and the “Capital Gains” can be periodically reinvested to buy more shares.
  4. “Dollar Cost Averaging” does not work in an interest bearing account down at the Bank!
You see, by not understanding Dollar Cost Averaging or how it works may make people more inclined to pull their money out or at least stop investing, when the stock market takes a dive. But not you – hopefully by now you understand that the market always goes up and down in unpredictable ways and always will. And Dollar Cost Averaging automatically insures that during market lows you will be able to buy more shares and when the market goes back up your investment can compound and grow.

So, the next time you hear about a major decline in the stock market, I hope you remember this concept of Dollar Cost Averaging and think of it more as an opportunity and not so much as a crisis.

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 comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Time to Act
Written by Jim Rohn

Engaging in genuine discipline requires that you develop the ability to take action. You don’t need to be hasty if it isn’t required, but you don’t want to lose much time either. Here’s the time to act: when the idea is hot and the emotion is strong.

Let’s say you would like to build your library. If that is a strong desire for you, what you’ve got to do is get the first book. Then get the second book. Take action as soon as possible, before the feeling passes and before the idea dims. If you don’t, here’s what happens…

You fall prey to the law of diminishing intent.

We intend to take action when the idea strikes us. We intend to do something when the emotion is high. But if we don’t translate that intention into action fairly soon, the urgency starts to diminish. A month from now the passion is cold. A year from now it can’t be found.

So take action. Set up a discipline when the emotions are high and the idea is strong, clear, and powerful. If somebody talks about good health and you’re motivated by it, you need to get a book on nutrition. Get the book before the idea passes, before the emotion gets cold. Begin the process. Fall on the floor and do some push-ups. You’ve got to take action; otherwise the wisdom is wasted. The emotion soon passes unless you apply it to a disciplined activity. Discipline enables you to capture the emotion and the wisdom and translate them into action. The key is to increase your motivation by quickly setting up the disciplines. By doing so, you’ve started a whole new life process.

Here is the greatest value of discipline: self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Many people who are teaching self-esteem these days don’t connect it to discipline. But once we sense the least lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche. One of the greatest temptations is to just ease up a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you’ve started in the slightest way to decrease your sense of self-worth.

There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect. Neglect starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease. And one neglect leads to another. Worst of all, when neglect starts, it diminishes our self-worth.

Once this has happened, how can you regain your self-respect? All you have to do is act now! Start with the smallest discipline that corresponds to your own philosophy. Make the commitment: “I will discipline myself to achieve my goals so that in the years ahead I can celebrate my successes.”

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2011. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Three Things All Parents Should Know About Money - For Their Kids

Today is a special day for me. Today is the day that marks a major milestone - my 100th blog post! I'd like to take this time to thank all of my faithful readers, as well as welcome any new readers to my blog. Thank you for all of the comments and suggestions that you have left me - they've been a source of inspiration as well as constructive criticism. It has been a pleasure and a liberating experience writing on financial and personal development topics over the years and I hope you have gotten some value out of what I have written - I sure have!

I've found that as much as I love writing about different financial topics, I seem to have become the most passionate about teaching financial literacy to children. If you share the same passion for children as I do then you should enjoy the following video that was recorded just a few days ago at a financial workshop that I recently participated in. In the video I talk about the 3 most important things a parent should know about money for their kids, based on my experience.

I hope you enjoy and please leave me your comments below!



If you cannot view the video please click on this link

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 comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tap into the Powers of Your Brain
Written by Jack Canfield

Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. When those statements are the affirmation of your goals, you are certain to achieve them! Stating these goals can be tricky however, and your subconscious mind needs things put a certain way.

You need to be specific with yourself. The more specific you are with your goal the more your brain has to go on to make them happen.

Remember, vague goals produce vague results. Don’t be afraid to be detailed with what you want! Write it all down as if you were putting in an order. Your subconscious will make it happen for you by steering you toward those opportunities.

Your goals might seem a bit overwhelming at first glance. But look again! Do you see how your goals can be broken down into a series of steps? What needs to be done first and next and after that? Keep writing the steps until you reach the goal.

Here’s a fun fact to help you attain your goals: your brain does not know the difference between actually doing something and just visualizing something being done. Your brain processes the two the same way!

Have you ever imagined yourself making a total flop out of yourself moments before you really do? That is because your brain really experienced it when you visualized it. Your brain will work to make happen whatever is being inputted.

What do you daydream about? Do you visualize yourself being successful? Do you visualize other people judging you? What you think about, you bring about!

Make it a habit to spend time visualizing your goals in detail as if you are living them right now. Do it every day, several times a day! Your brain will begin functioning as if your goals are already attained. You will start being the person you want to be simply because that is what is being processed in your brain. Your brain will make you notice all the resources available to you that you never noticed before. You will attract all the things you need to accomplish your goal.

Don’t visualize what it will be like, visualize what it is like!

Live it right now in your mind, everything in the present tense. What does it look like right now? What does it sound like and smell like? How does it feel? Create these detailed images and show your brain what it all looks like already complete. Your brain brings to your awareness only the things that match your beliefs about yourself, others, and the world. Everything else it filters out. When you visualize your completed goals in detail, your brain filters out everything that doesn’t pertain to those goals!

Write down your goals, break them down into achievable bits and every night visualize them completed. Then every morning visualize them completed. Take the time that is necessary to go through each goal in detail. Trust this process, the power of your brain has been greatly undervalued in the achievement of your goals!

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, October 10, 2011

Building a Bank with Your Kids Can Teach Them Important Life Lessons

When I do financial presentations for parents I usually end with the following comments to really get them thinking:

Whether or not we choose to talk with our children about money matters, they will learn by watching us. Our attitudes and actions in dealing with spending and family finances are the most powerful lessons our child will learn about money. What messages are we sending our children?

These are very powerful words and I hope they have piqued your interest. Maybe you are worried about how you are going to teach your child the important financial lessons needed to thrive in today's world. If that is the case, I sure have a neat idea for you. Below is an example of how you can teach kids many important financial as well as life lessons with one simple and creative idea.

I wrote an earlier post The Four Money Quadrants: Teach Kids Good Money Habits They Can Live With. In this post I mentioned the importance of teaching kids the habit of splitting all of the money that they earn into four quadrants. But, the trick is getting the percentages right in each of the four money quadrants. Some good numbers to shoot for in adulthood is SPEND 70%, SAVE 10%, GIVE 10% and INVEST 10%. I mentioned that for younger children the SPEND quadrant percentage should be lower whereas the INVEST quadrant percentage should be higher, however I never went into specifics. I figured that I would leave that decision to the parent, because all children are different.

Well, since I wrote that article I came across a wonderful resource called the Zela Wela Kids Life Skills Blog by Nancy Phillips. Along with all of the extremely helpful information in Nancy's blog, I also found a children’s book that she wrote called The Zela Wela Kids: Build a Bank.

The thought of building a bank with the kids intrigued me and I immediately bought the book. Nancy cleverly names the bank the "GISS" bank, to represent the four different categories: "G"ive, "I"nvest, "S"ave and "S"pend. Also, instead of talking about percentages (something most kids can't relate to), the book talks about teaching children the self discpline to break up each dollar earned into each of the four categories (in a more kid-friendly language): 10 cents for GIVE, 15 cents for INVEST, 25 cents for SAVE and 50 cents for SPEND.

My kids loved the story and couldn't wait to make their own banks. Recently we had a chance to build the banks together and I found it to be a fun and bonding experience with the kids. My kids didn't spend too much time decorating the bank though because they couldn't wait to start filling the banks with money.

Here are some pictures I took documenting the experience.












After building the banks with my kids and corresponding back and forth with Nancy via email, she mentioned that she created the "GISS" bank for three main reasons:
  1. Creating the bank is a physical and mental learning experience so children retain more about the concepts you’re discussing (through decorating it with the things they’re saving for, writing the numbers on etc.)
  2. Kids feel proud of their accomplishment.
  3. Children of all socio-economic backgrounds could have one.
I highly recommend that you check out Nancy's blog and buy the book. With the holidays coming up it will make a great gift!

By just teaching kids about the "GISS" bank and the great habits that they can learn from the "GISS" bank can be in itself it's own mini life lesson. Besides the fact that building their own banks gives them a sense of ownership, they can learn about compassion and a sense of community in the GIVE quadrant; the power of compounding interest over time in the INVEST quadrant; the habit of setting goals and the important virtues of patience and delayed gratification in the SAVE quadrant; and responsibility and enjoying life to the fullest in the SPEND quadrant.

So, what messages are we sending our children?

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 comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Where Do You Go for Your Intellectual Feast?
Written by Jim Rohn

Pity the man who has a favorite restaurant, but not a favorite author. He's picked out a favorite place to feed his body, but he doesn't have a favorite place to feed his mind!

Why would this be? Have you heard about the accelerated learning curve? From birth, up until the time we are about eighteen, our learning curve is dramatic, and our capacity to learn during this period is just staggering. We learn a tremendous amount very fast. We learn language, culture, history, science, mathematics... everything!

For some people, the accelerated learning process will continue on. But for most, it levels off when they get their first job. If there are no more exams to take, if there's no demand to get out paper and pencil, why read any more books? Of course, you will learn some things through experience. Just getting out there – sometimes doing it wrong and sometimes doing it right - you will learn.

Can you imagine what would happen if you kept up an accelerated learning curve the rest of your life? Can you imagine what you could learn to do, the skills you could develop, the capacities you could have? Here's what I'm asking you to do: be that unusual person who keeps up his learning curve and develops an appetite for always trying to find good ideas.

One way to feed your mind and educate your philosophy is through the writings of influential people. Maybe you can't meet the person, but you can read his or her books. Churchill is gone, but we still have his books. Aristotle is gone, but we still have his ideas. Search libraries for books and programs. Search magazines. Search documentaries. They are full of opportunities for intellectual feasting.

In addition to reading and listening, you also need a chance to do some talking and sharing. I have some people in my life who help me with important life questions, who assist me in refining my own philosophy, weighing my values and pondering questions about success and lifestyle.

We all need association with people of substance to provide influence concerning major issues such as society, money, enterprise, family, government, love, friendship, culture, taste, opportunity, and community. Philosophy is mostly influenced by ideas, ideas are mostly influenced by education, and education is mostly influenced by the people with whom we associate.

One of the great fortunes of my life was to be around Mr. Shoaff those five years. During that time he shared with me at dinner, during airline flights, at business conferences, in private conversations and in groups. He gave me many ideas that enabled me to make small daily adjustments in my philosophy and activities. Those daily changes, some very slight, but very important, soon added up to weighty sums.

A big part of the lesson was having Mr. Shoaff repeat the ideas over and over. You just can't hear the fundamentals of life philosophy too often. They are the greatest form of nutrition, the building blocks for a well-developed mind.

I'm asking that you feed your mind just as you do your body. Feed it with good ideas, wherever they can be found. Always be on the lookout for a good idea - a business idea, a product idea, a service idea, an idea for personal improvement. Every new idea will help to refine your philosophy. Your philosophy will guide your life, and your life will unfold with distinction and pleasure.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2011. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Wealth was Always in the Farm

The following has been quoted (as best as I could) from a financial speaker named Brett Burks. His way of thinking and speaking is unlike anything I have ever read or heard before. Brett provides a unique perspective on how America, over the last century, has been transformed from a society of “Owners” to more of a society of “Renters”. I hope this inspires you to take the necessary steps back to the path of “Ownership”. Enjoy!

In 1900, 95% of [the] people owned what they did. They owned their own blacksmith, they owned their own farm; they owned their own convenience store. Whatever they did, they did it for themselves; it was theirs. The [other] 5% worked for those 95%. But in 2000, it pretty much flip-flopped. In 2000, 5% - 10% of the people owned everything. The rest of us went to work for them. Somewhere in those 100 years it flip-flopped. They, whoever “They” are robbed the wealth of our families. And the reason why was because we weren’t educated to what wealth really was. See, the wealth was in the farm, not in the income.

Let me give you an idea. If it was 1900 and I own a farm and that farm gives me $10,000 a year. Let’s say I grow corn and the market value of that corn is $10,000, so every year I make $10,000. Middle Class [people] think that the wealth was in that $10,000 – And say, “Oh he makes $10,000, he’s a $10,000 guy” and judge and assess me as a $10,000 person. But the wealth wasn’t in the $10,000, it was in the farm. Why? Because the minute I pass that farm on to my son, the second I do, I’m 65, he’s 18, the second I pass the farm on to my son, he is instantly, just as wealthy as me – just like that! So, now my son runs the farm and he makes, because of inflation, $11,000.

Now, could you imagine? My uncle had been in the same company for 40 years. Now think about it, could you imagine my uncle – he comes up to his boss; he says “Boss, I built this company with my sweat, blood and tears. I’ve been here from the beginning; I built this thing; I’ve been here every step of the way, now I am the director of administration. I oversee 100 people. You’re paying me $100,000 a year and I’ve been here 40 years. My son is graduating high school in May. He’s 17 years old, but he’s going to turn 18 in May as well. So, what we are going to do is; we are going to go ahead and have him, and he’s going to be your director of administration. He’s going to oversee the 100 people. And you are going to pay him $100,000 a year. Wait a minute, I was up for a raise, I forgot. You’re going to pay him $103,000.”

Now what do you think the boss is going to say?

Think about this for a second. Who cares how much money my uncle made? He could have made $100,000 a year he could have made $500, it doesn’t matter! When he’s gone his son still starts at zero! See, that’s why we aren’t getting wealthy. That’s why there are no broke Kennedy’s, there’s no broke Bush’s, there’s no broke Rockefellers. Why? Because instead of focusing on the income they focused on the asset. And if you pass on an asset to your son that’s $5,000,000, he’s not starting at zero; he’s starting at $5,000,000. He takes the $5,000,000 and makes it $20,000,000. His son makes it from $20,000,000 to $50,000,000. $50,000,000 to $100,000,000. But what we do is, we start from scratch, we get our education, we get to $100,000 a year, and then BOOM, we are done. And our son starts at the exact same spot – ZERO! He owns nothing; he has nothing; he’s worth nothing.

So, it doesn’t matter how much he made – it’s not getting passed on. You can’t accumulate wealth like that.

See, what happened was my son was one of the farmers making $11,000 a year, some corporation came along convinced my son to sell them the farm. How’d they do it? They preyed on our lack of knowledge. They told my son, “Hey, we’ll pay you $12,000 a year for the rest of your life.”
So, my son said, “Let me get a day to think about it.”

He talked to his wife and family and they say, “Well you can make $11,000 as a farmer or $12,000 doing nothing.”

“I’ll take $12,000 for doing nothing.” So, they sell the farm to the corporation. The corporation makes good and pays him $12,000. He thinks he’s done it. Because the wealth is in the income – right? And I just made $1000 more for my family.

But for everything you get you have to give. And because he did that, he forever – forever - enslaved my grandson. Because now my grandson has no farm. He will probably still farm because his daddy farmed and his daddy’s daddy farmed, etc. but now he’s going to do it for someone else.

So, now that company that bought the farm from my son is now going to employ my grandson. And my grandson is going to do the exact same job that his daddy did, but instead of doing it for himself, he’s doing it for the corporation. The corporation is now making $12,000, because of inflation, off the farm. So, now my grandson is doing the same work I did and my son did, but instead of getting $10,000 doing that work, he’s getting $6000. The company is making $12,000 and giving him $6000 and then keeping $6000. So, now forever, my grandson has no worth – he just rents his income.

You see, that’s what has happened from 1900 to 2000.

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 comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Images of Achievement
Written by Denis Waitley

Are you aware of how the FBI trains its agents to spot counterfeit bills? The FBI schools agents by training them to see all of the characteristics of bills printed by the U.S. Treasury—they deal only with genuine money. An FBI agent learns to recognize authentic ones, fives, tens, twenties, fifties and hundred-dollar notes until his or her appraisal of them becomes second nature. An agent studies a bill, both sides of it, until he or she learns every feature that makes it genuine legal tender.

That way, when FBI agents see counterfeit bills, they immediately recognize them as such. Their minds aren’t cluttered with what “might be wrong” or “what usually is left off” or “mistakes that are commonly made.” They know what they’re looking for. They are specialists in the real thing. False bills seem glaringly obvious to them.

If you allow yourself to think about the penalties of failure or all the things that could go wrong, you’re far more likely to infuse your performance with those penalties and mistakes. Continually tell yourself what to do. Don’t concentrate on what not to do.

The mind has a fascinating capability. What you think about most is generally what you do most readily. A mistake most people make is to set goals in negative terms. A tennis player may set a goal of not double-faulting a certain number of times during a match. An employee may set a goal of not being late so often. Goals to lose weight, not talk so loud and fast, and not get upset so often are goals framed in negative terms. We need to stay away from negative goal setting.

Understand this about the mind: A fear is a goal in reverse. The mind can’t focus on the reverse of an idea. The term double fault reminds the tennis player of the condition he or she wants to avoid. Being late reminds the employee of the problem, not the solution. When we think we need to lose weight, our minds store the self-image of being overweight. We need the image of the desired weight we want to attain, not the pounds of fat we want to discard. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to concentrate on not being upset.

It’s the same thing as saying, “Don’t make mistakes.” Or worse yet, to a tightrope walker, with no net, “Windy day, don’t fall!” The mind always moves you toward your current dominant thought.

We should say, “First serve in,” for the tennis player.

“I’m a punctual, on-time person.”
“I’m reaching my desired weight.”
“I speak slowly, clearly and confidently.”
“I remain calm and relaxed under pressure.”
These are all positive goal statements, which are called images of achievement, which pull us in the direction of the desired behavior rather than away from the undesired habit.

This week, stop looking at your life through the rearview mirror; instead, focus on where you want to go!

Reproduced with permission from the Denis Waitley Newsletter.
To Subscribe to Denis Waitley's Newsletter Use this link
© 2011 Denis Waitley International. All rights reserved worldwide.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Difference Between “Middle Class” and “Wealthy” Thinking

The idea for this blog post came out of an intriguing and thought provoking financial presentation that I had the privilege to listen to from a brilliant speaker named Brett Burks. Brett Burks is a multi-millionaire, who has roots growing up in the Middle Class. Brett’s experience with having been both “Middle Class” and “Wealthy” has given him an interesting introspective on the two. See how much of his comparison and contrast opinions on the two classes you agree with … or disagree with.

Brett starts off by saying that the Middle Class has had it hammered in their heads to tell their kids to get a good job with benefits; get an education; put your nose to the grindstone; kiss up to the boss; respect authority and all of this hard work will be rewarded one day. Well, then he goes on to mention that Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard. Steve Jobs, Michael Dell and Larry Ellison also dropped out of college. Furthermore, Brett’s three favorite business men Henry Ford, Ray Kroc and Andrew Carnegie never even finished high school.

Now at this point, Brett makes it clear that he is not promoting the idea that people should not go to school. He was just making the point that education doesn’t necessarily equal wealth. Education just equals knowledge. It just so happens that a lot of people continue their education with the main goal of getting more money or getting a higher paying job.

Brett goes on to say that Middle Class people want safe investments, like CDs at the bank. They think that risk is a bad thing. Wealthy people invest in equities and believe that managed risk is a good thing. They know that the higher the risk, the higher the return. And as long as you can manage that risk, you are going to make a lot more money. Middle Class people, under the wrong assumption that risk is a bad thing, miss out on money working hard for them.

One of the biggest differences between “Middle Class” and “Wealthy” thinking is how we talk about wealth. Middle Class talks about income. Middle Class want their income up while wealthy people want their income down. Wealth is not in the income. Wealth is in the ownership. Wealth is in your net worth. Every year ForbesInvesting Magazines) lists the 400 richest people in America – never is one income listed because income has nothing to do with wealth. But because the Middle Class is under that assumption they make the wrong decisions.

For instance, if you are making $400,000 and spending $470,000 you are still broke. If you are making $170,000 and only spending $70,000 and saving $100,000 a year, then you can get very wealthy very fast.
Let’s say you are 23 years old and your whole life is ahead of you and you go work at a job. How much money are you going to make the first year? Let’s say $40,000. Let’s say, you start your own business. How much do you make the first year in business? You’d be lucky to make nothing! Average businesses do not turn a profit on their first year.

If those are your two choices and you are in the Middle Class, which one do you choose? The job, of course, for the guaranteed $40,000!

If you make a decision like a wealthy person, you might think what is the value of a job? It’s really just worth whatever someone with pay for it.
How much can you sell a job for? How much can you trade it for? Nothing, right? So the value of a job is zero.

What is the worth of a business – even if it is not making any money? It’s probably still worth something. Maybe you have work vehicles. Names and numbers of contacts could be sold. And what about office supplies, computers, inventory, etc.? So, even if a business is not turning a profit, it still has worth.

Now, let’s say the worth of the business is $40,000. Same question, would you rather have the $40,000 job or the $40,000 business? In other words would you choose the job where you make $40,000 the first year and it is worth nothing or a business where you make nothing the first year, but it is worth $40,000?

What do you think 9 out of 10 people still choose? The job, right?

In Brett’s opinion, he says, “Here’s the problem, they chose wrong. They chose like the Middle Class.”

What about you? What do you think? Do you find yourself making financial decisions using “Middle Class” or “Wealthy” thinking?

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 comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Truth About Life Insurance
Written by Dave Ramsey

Myth: Cash value life insurance, like whole life, will help me retire wealthy.
Truth: Cash value life insurance is one of the worst financial products available.

Sadly, over 70% of the life insurance policies sold today are cash value policies. A cash value policy is an insurance product that packages insurance and savings together. Do not invest money in life insurance; the returns are horrible. Your insurance person will show you wonderful projections, but none of these policies perform as projected.

Example of Cash Value

If a 30-year-old man has $100 per month to spend on life insurance and shops the top five cash value companies, he will find he can purchase an average of $125,000 in insurance for his family. The pitch is to get a policy that will build up savings for retirement, which is what a cash value policy does. However, if this same guy purchases 20-year-level term insurance with coverage of $125,000, the cost will be only $7 per month, not $100.

WOW! If he goes with the cash value option, the other $93 per month should be in savings, right? Well, not really; you see, there are expenses.

Expenses? How much?

All of the $93 per month disappears in commissions and expenses for the first three years. After that, the return will average 2.6% per year for whole life, 4.2% for universal life, and 7.4% for the new-and-improved variable life policy that includes mutual funds, according to Consumer Federation of America, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and Fortune magazines. The same mutual funds outside of the policy average 12%.

The Hidden Catch

Worse yet, with whole life and universal life, the savings you finally build up after being ripped off for years don't go to your family upon your death. The only benefit paid to your family is the face value of the policy, the $125,000 in our example.

The truth is that you would be better off to get the $7 term policy and put the extra $93 in a cookie jar! At least after three years you would have $3,000, and when you died your family would get your savings.

A Better Plan

If you follow my Total Money Makeover plan, you will begin investing well. Then, when you are 57 years old and the kids are grown and gone, the house is paid for, and you have $700,000 in mutual funds, you'll become self-insured. That means when your 20-year term is up, you shouldn't need life insurance at all—because with no kids to feed, no house payment and $700,000, your spouse will just have to suffer through if you die without insurance.

Don't do cash value insurance! Buy term and invest the difference.

Dave Ramsey. (2010, October 25). The Truth About Life Insurance [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.daveramsey.com/article/the-truth-about-life-insurance/

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Don’t Get “Scared” Out of the Market

I know it has been tough lately, but try to remember the wise words of Warren Buffet, “The market always comes back!”

With the media sounding the alarm that there may be a double dip recession, the downgrading of U.S. credit rating by S&P, the dismal economic forecast for many European markets it looks like many investors are becoming gun shy, to say the least, or they are losing all faith in the stock market. You can see evidence of this daily by listening to the news and watching rollercoaster of results on Wall Street.

But, would you believe that during volatile times like these, it is actually a time of great opportunity? Let’s say you are investing a set amount of money every month. When the market goes down you can buy more shares with that money and when the market comes back up you buy less shares, however, now all of the shares, even the extra shares you bought at the lower price go up in value – that’s called Dollar Cost Averaging. By following this strategy your money can really compound even in a volatile market.

Let’s take a lesson from recent history. The stock market can plunge or soar without a moment’s notice (sort of like that earthquake we experienced on the East Coast last week), leaving no time to bolt. Likewise, the healing power of the market often arrives when you least expect it. This is one thing that you can be sure of – the market will go up and the market will go down, in unpredictable ways, but, like Buffet says, it always comes back. Just like in early 2009, after stocks had fallen more than 50 percent, many investors and fund managers were terrified, but stocks surprised people, soaring 100 percent in just a few months and healing a lot of the damage caused by the crash.

Now let’s insert some simple numbers into this scenario. A person who had about $10,000 in the stock market before the crash would have had less than $5,000 at the worst point in April 2009, but if he left it alone he would have had about $9,000 by now. Yet if he had yanked it at $5,000 and put it in a savings account, he would be lucky to have $5,100.

Obviously, everyone is different and there are many other variables to consider: your risk tolerance, your time horizon until retirement, your goals, your investment allocations, etc. I am not attempting to advise you on any of this, however, I am just stating a fact that if you pull out your money at a low point in the market, you are guaranteed to lose. By riding out the waves in the stock market and taking advantage of dollar cost averaging it is very possible, not only recoup any loss, but over time amass a nice return on your investment.

Basically, do not let the fact that there is a lot of negativity out there scare you out of the market. Take all of the factors relating to your financial situation into consideration and make an informed financial decision instead of an emotional one. And remember, the market always comes back!

Check it out! This article was featured in the Senior Market Advisor magazine.

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 comments, please post them below, otherwise, feel free to contact me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Love the Opportunity
Written by Jim Rohn

Somebody said you have to love what you do, but that’s not necessarily true. What is true is that you have to love the opportunity. The opportunity to build life, future, health, success and fortune. Knocking on someone’s door or making that extra call may not be something you love to do, but you love the opportunity of what might be behind that door or call.

For example, a guy says, “I’m digging ditches. Should I love digging ditches?” The answer is, “No, you don’t have to love digging ditches, but if it is your first entry onto the ladder of success, you say, ‘I’m glad somebody gave me the opportunity to dig ditches and I’m going to do it so well, I won’t be here long.’”

You can be inspired by having found something; even though you are making mistakes in the beginning and even though it is a little distasteful taking on a new discipline that you haven’t learned before. You don’t have to love it, you just have to learn to appreciate where you live, appreciate opportunity and appreciate the person who brought you the good news—who found you.

Appreciate the person who believed in you before you believed in yourself; appreciate the person who said, “Hey, if I can do it, you can do it.”

If you will embrace the disciplines associated with the new opportunity you will soon find that your self-confidence starts to grow, that you go from being a skeptic to being a believer. And soon, when you go out person to person, talking to people, you will find it to be the most thrilling opportunity in the world. Every person you meet—what could it be? Unlimited! Maybe a friend for life. The next person could be an open door to retiring. The next person could be a colleague for years to come. It’s big-time stuff. And sometimes in the beginning when we are just getting started we don’t always see how big it is.

So, before you are tempted to give up or get discouraged, remember all success is based on long-term commitment, faith, discipline, attitude and a few stepping stones along the way. You might not like the stone you are on right now, but it’s sure to be one of the stones that lead to great opportunities in the future.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2011. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Conducting a Personal Inventory of Your "Knowledge Resources"
Written by Denis Waitley

Self-knowledge has always been the key to preparing for competition. Knowledge of your attributes, abilities, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and traits is essential to riding the front end of the wave of change into the new century. To fully assess your own talents, realize that studies confirm that what we love and do well as children continues as our latent or manifest talent as adults.

Examination of your weekend or evening interests might reveal a gem of potential you can apply to your vocation. I strongly suggest you don’t unthinkingly relegate what you love to do for yourself solely to hobbies. You might make it, or at least integrate it into your life’s work.

The acquisition of knowledge, which is the new global power, is a life-long experience, not a collection of facts or skills. Not long ago, what you learned in school was largely all you needed to learn to secure a career. With knowledge expanding exponentially, this is no longer true. Hundreds of scientific papers are published daily.

Every thirty seconds, some new technological company produces yet another innovation. Your formal education has a very short shelf life. Life-long learning, once a luxury for the few, has become absolutely vital to continued success. Continue gaining expertise and avoid thinking like an expert.

Action Idea: An excellent benchmarking exercise is to spend a weekend with key associates or family members and dust off your childhood memories. Remember what you really enjoyed and wanted to do most as a child. The next activity in assessing your interests is considering your current ones. What do you most enjoy after work? What do you most want to do on weekends and vacations? What are your hobbies? Can you bring more of what you enjoy into your business life?

Action Step - Increase Your Reading, Writing and Vocabulary Proficiency. One of the most important qualities of successful leaders is an ability to express thoughts and knowledge. Research by management and human resource experts confirms that no matter what the field of employment, people with large vocabularies - those able to speak clearly and concisely, using simple as well as descriptive words - are best at accomplishing their goals. Well chosen, carefully considered words can close the sale, negotiate the raise, enhance relationships, and change destinies.

In a world of e-mail, fax dispersal, voice mail, sound bites, concise reports, business plans, and meeting briefs, the individuals who can articulate their goals, substantiate their claims, and support their visions, will own the future. In the 21st Century, literacy will be the major difference between the haves and have-nots.

Why do fewer than 10 percent of the public buy and read nonfiction books? One reason is that many would rather get home than get ahead. They are motivated to get by and get pulled along by the company, the economy, or the government.

Another reason is that many individuals believe that information found in books, computer programs, and training sessions has no value in the business world. How self-deluding!

As the new tools of productivity become the Internet, the Digital Versatile Disc, direct digital download of text, audio and video, and the combination of the interactive computer with telecommunications, the people who know how to control the new technologies will acquire power, while those who thought that education ends with the diploma are destined for low-paying, low-satisfaction jobs. In almost the blink of an eye, our society has passed from the industrial age to the knowledge era.

Increase your reading by 100 percent. Decrease your television watching, and that of any children in your family by 50 percent. Surf the Internet and subscribe to book summaries, or download free chapters from different sources. By reading book summaries, you can gain the essence of all the top business books in a very brief period of time.

Action Idea: Read at least one book each month, and listen to at least one additional audio book during commute or down time. One of the best sources for business audio books online is MP3audiobooks.com.

All kinds of reading and listening to fiction and non-fiction will increase your vocabulary, writing and presentation skills. Incredibly, a mere 3,500 words separate the average person from those with superior vocabularies.

Keep a dictionary beside you when you read and look up every word you don’t fully understand. Doing that on the spot helps make the word part of your vocabulary forever. And don’t depend on your computer’s spellchecker for your spelling. Not all e-mail service includes spell check. Also, you may be called upon to write longhand notes, memos, or information on white boards or blackboards at meetings. You not only want to use the right words. You also will want to spell them correctly.

A great way to increase your literacy is to engage in Internet conferences and to read summaries on the web from services like Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and other booksellers. The more interactive you become in communications and the less you indulge in prime-time television, the more successful you’ll become in all areas of your life. Knowledge is the new power. And literacy is the door to knowledge. Hopefully, attending this “Winning for Life” program will be one of the keys that will open the door to your future for you.

Reproduced with permission from the Denis Waitley Newsletter.
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© 2011 Denis Waitley International. All rights reserved worldwide.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Million Dollar Idea – By Applying the Fundamentals of the “Money Game”

A few weeks ago I participated in a "Change Your Life" Workshop where our goal was to offer "Million Dollar Financial Solution Ideas" to go. The phrase we like to use to describe the workshop is that "the workshop is free, but information is priceless!"

I hope you find the information in the video below to be priceless. Enjoy and please leave me your comments below!




If you cannot view the video please click on this link

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 either contact me or leave us your comments below.