Are You Telling Your Friends and Family Too Much?

Are You Telling Your Friends and Family Too Much?

A friend of mine, Andrew (not his real name), is married with two kids.  A few years ago, his life was like many Americans – he carried consumer debt, had no savings, and was stressed out.  Life was not turning out the way he’d hoped.  Then he realized he was responsible for the mess he was in and set about to change things.

He worked hard to improve his financial position.  He eliminated all his consumer debt, leaving only his home mortgage which he has now paid off more than half.  He owns a single rental property which he recently paid off completely.  Due to his and his wife’s diligence in paying down their debt, his wife recently stopped working to stay home and care for their children full-time.

Andrew’s family lives in a nice home, but he and his wife drive older, paid-off cars.  They don’t take annual, expensive vacations.  They aren’t flashy.

Andrew listens to financial podcasts like The Money Peach, reads books like The Richest Man in Babylon, and is excited about his future.

Although some would like to think so, this isn’t easy for them.  Andrew works two jobs.  One is seasonal while the other is commissioned-based so there are good months and bad months, good years and not-so-good years.  This requires frugality and communication.  Sometimes the couple is on the same page about purchases and sometimes they are at odds (like all of us), but they are always focused on the same goal – staying debt free so they can live a life that most can’t achieve.

While I’m in the office, I touch base with Andrew about our financial journeys.  It’s one of our favorite topics to weigh-in on and we’re very open about how each of us is doing.

One morning recently, he was slightly bothered.  I asked him what was wrong, to which he replied, “I learned something disturbing this weekend.”

“What?” I asked.

“You can’t talk about how you’re doing to most people.  They’re either going to be jealous or expect you to start paying for everything.”

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What are the Poor Four?  And are They Keeping You from Being Wealthy?

What are the Poor Four?  And are They Keeping You from Being Wealthy?

I read the most astounding paragraph in the June 19th, 2018 edition of USA Today.  In Wealth of Millionaires Surges 10.6% to top $70 Trillion for the First Time, David Carrig was reporting on the World Wealth Report 2018 recently released from global consulting firm Capgemini.  It was the third paragraph of the article that really caught my attention,

The number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) – which Capgemini defines as those having investable assets of $1 million or more excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables and consumer durables – grew almost 10 percent, or 1.6 million to 18.1 million in 2017.

After reading the title of the article, I wondered if this was supposed to be a shocking paragraph?  Was it something to get the readership wound up enough to raise their collective fist in anger and yell, “Life’s unfair?”

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A Refinance That Cleaned Our Clocks

A Refinance That Cleaned Our Clocks

In 2012, as the market struggled to improve, interest rates continued to fall.  They were in the mid 4% range at this time.

I was keenly aware of this, especially since we were paying 6.5% interest on a seller-financed contract for a little office property that housed a janitorial firm.

I’d run the numbers on the property and realized we had a great opportunity.

Based upon the rent the tenant was currently paying and stabilizing cap rates, our property was now worth substantially more than we paid for it.

I’d read about refinancing a property and pulling cash out to purchase another property.  This seemed like a perfect opportunity to make that happen.

I took the idea to my investing partner, Kevin.  “What do you think?”

“It sounds like a great idea.  Let’s do it."

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Everyone Has a Journey

Everyone Has a Journey

Several years back, I helped run a Kenpo Karate school.  Part of my responsibilities were leading classes, both for adults and kids.  As I interacted with various students, I sought to understand their motivation for learning Kenpo.

Some of them were there to learn self-defense, an obvious goal due to the subject matter.  Others were there to increase their physical fitness, again, a somewhat understandable goal. 

However, there were those who sought the community aspects of a karate school.  They were looking to “belong” somewhere. 

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Release Your Inner Badass to Make More Money

Release Your Inner Badass to Make More Money

My girlfriend recently came to me with a personal finance book she had just started reading.  “You’ve got to read this,” she said.  “I’m loving it.”

“Cool, I’ll check it out when you’re done.”

When she gets excited about a money book, I’m going to pay attention.  We are both avid readers, but our paths of interest don’t cross very often.  This was one of those times so I took notice of her excitement.

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When The Seller Acts as the Bank

When The Seller Acts as the Bank

Earlier, I referenced “seller financing” in the acquisition of a property so I figured I should expound on that idea a bit. 

To date, I’ve used seller financing in three personal transactions: two commercial buildings and one residential property.  It’s also been used in transactions where I’ve acted as a broker.  It’s one of the first questions I ask whenever talking to a prospective seller.    

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When NOT Owning Real Estate Makes More Sense

When NOT Owning Real Estate Makes More Sense

A former client of mine was a successful franchisee who preferred to lease his store locations.  However, when he couldn’t find an acceptable location to lease, he purchased a building that met his needs.  This happened to him twice.

When he couldn’t lease or purchase a suitable location, he was forced to purchase land and construct a building for his business.  This also happened to him twice.

He therefore had four buildings in his portfolio that he didn’t want to own, but needed to for the sake of opening stores in certain markets.

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