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Great business people.

September 1st, 2009 Joe No comments

Good business people plan, analyze, crunch numbers and generally talk themselves into mediocrity.  They do what works and never veer from that plan.  The same corporate plan has been and is used all over the world today.  These people may come across a few golden nuggets in all their meetings and brainstorming sessions but they never have the authority or the balls to implement anything.  That is where the great business people see an Achilles heal, great business people are willing to try new things. Great business people are willing to take risks.  Great business people do not need numbers to back something up because they know that throughout history there have been many amazing things that made no business sense until they were commercialized.  However great business people also can recognize these perfect moments in time when a new idea comes along and is perfect.  New great business people are being born every day.  New great business people are graduating college everyday.   Beware good business people, great business people are quietly taking your jobs.

How do you become a great business person?

$2 Dollars

August 30th, 2009 Joe No comments

Step three of Average Joe Millionaires getting rich 101 is best explained with a story.

When I was a kid I went to my uncles Paul’s house.  We were in his kitchen having a bit of orange juice and when he opened his cabinet I saw a small stack of cash sitting on the top shelf.  As a 13 year old kid a stack of $20 dollar bills an inch high was a lifetime worth of allowance.  I thought that was SOOO much money.  Uncle Paul took the money down and we counted it.  He had about $400 dollars.  He said that every time money came into his hands he took 10% and put it there until he had around $500 dollars and then he put it into a savings account.  He said he started when he was 21 years old.

When he was 21 he met a girl he wanted to marry.  He had talked to her and she told him that he had to buy a ring.  So the next paycheck he got he took $2 dollars and put it in the cabinet.  My Uncle was 21, he was broke, and he was only making $200 dollars every two weeks.   Most people would not even bother saving $2 dollars.  Uncle Paul may have not bothered either but he needed to buy a ring.  Paul ended up saving up around $500 by picking up extra shifts and putting all his extra money in that cabinet.  He bought his ring and married my aunt.  Uncle Paul stuck with the savings routine and from that day forward he started saving between 10% and 20% from every check.  Uncle Paul saved all that money and  put it into a special savings account last year Uncle Paul and I were talking about money and I asked him how it $2 dollar savings account is doing.  Paul said “that account now has about $2.5 million dollars in it.”  $2.5 million dollars and it all started with $2 dollars.

Protect Your Money

August 27th, 2009 Joe No comments

These days in the headlines we hear about recession, and depression. It seems everyday that you hear about someone scamming people or ripping them off. There are really more ways to lose your money than there are fish in the sea. Money can be there one minute and gone the next. I was recently reading the article here on the New York Times talking about the fall of some of the nations super wealthy. The part of the article that interested me the most was about John McAfee the mastermind behind McAfee Security Software. His wealth was at one point over $100 Million Dollars, due to the free fall of real estate and wall street he is down to $4 Million. That is a 96% fall. You here this story all the time. You even hear this story in good financial times. _____ lost all his/ her money in a matter of seconds after he worked his whole life building his wealth.  This brings me to my point. Protecting the money you have is step two of getting rich and staying rich. You do not want to spend your time building your wealth just to lose it to a scammer or market downturn. To avoid having your name associated with a story like this you want to make sure you are educating yourself about the investments you are making. There were many people screaming at the top of their lungs that we were growing too fast in the real estate sector. In fact there are stories of guys making millions because they knew the fall was coming and they invested in a way to take advantage of a fall.  Many people put their trust in “financial experts” to invest their money.  This unfortunately is not always a good option.  I am not saying that their are no good financial advisors or money managers out there, I am just saying that if you are getting advice from one make sure to thoroughly investigate the advice given.  The days are gone where you can put a percent of your paycheck in a diversified portfolio and expect decent returns.  It is important to work and educate yourself about your investments on your own.  John McAfee made $100 million dollars investing in a business he knew inside and out.  Many people get complacent once they have made a little money.  They put their money into investments and relax.  Insert story here.

Protect your hard work through educating yourself on your investments.  Always have investments that are on the ultra safe side.  I keep about 30%-40% of my net worth in ultra safe investments.  This way I know that if everything else goes to zero I still have a third of my money.
Education is the reason I started writing here. I want to hash out information and ideas with you, as well as share anything I have that might benefit you. In the mean time I would love to hear from you in the form of questions comments and information you would like to see discussed here on Average Joe Millionaire. I have a back log 50 posts long so stay tuned, I am writing as often as possible. Better yet subscribe to the blog! That way you get updates when I post.

Debt

July 28th, 2009 Joe No comments

Today all the big news mills are talking about DEBT. Everyone in America including America is in DEBT. Everyone talks about DEBT like its this huge terrible monster. The fact is there are two kinds of debt. One kind is what most people today are battling and the other kind is not really a big deal. For simplicity I will refer to these two kinds of debt as good and bad debt.
Starting with bad debt because I like to get the bad news out of the way. Many people today have been affected by greedy politicians and government policies. If you have been affected in the recent economic down turn (most of us have) your bad debt may have spiked. This is not 100% your fault, however its not all “their” fault either. A poor financial education leads to being “affected” by greedy people. The greedy people are not going anywhere so the only thing you can do is get a financial education. Bad debt is any debt that does not make you money. Bad debt is your personal credit card balances, bad debt is a car loan, bad debt is a personal mortgage. Anything you have to pay for that does not pay you back or make you money.

Lets get on to good debt because thats more fun. Good debt is a mortgage on an investment or income property. Good debt is a note with a supplier for business inventory. Good debt makes you money and bad debt takes your money. Thats the simple way to know the difference. Many people have experienced bad debt. Many people have not experienced good debt. It is funny that 90% of the people experience bad debt and 90% of the people hold only 10% of the wealth in America. The top 10% of the wealth holding people I guarantee you have experience with good debt. Good debt is the fastest way to become a millionaire (aside from lottery, jackpots, death, marriage, and other unreliable sources) Sometimes you will hear the term leverage. This is because you are taking a small amount of your own money and using it as leverage to get good debt and therefore make money. I recently was looking into buying an income property for $300,000. I went to the bank to see if I could leverage my money and therefore not have to tie as much up. The bank told me I could borrow $270,000 to buy this income property. I was pretty surprised since we are in the middle of a credit crisis. I only needed to come up with $30,000 to buy a $300,000 income property. The property was a four plex. The total monthly income from the property was $3000 a month. My payment for the mortgage was going to be around $1400. That means I would gross $1600 a month. I thought that was pretty good for only investing $30,000 of my own money. I know thats only a 5.33% return on my investment PER MONTH! Thats a 64% return on my investment per year. I think thats a pretty great investment at any level. We are still only talking about $1600 per month but it was a great real world way to show you what GOOD DEBT is. Good Debt makes you money Bad Debt takes your money.

Like I was saying earlier many people currently have bad debt. It is time to stop collecting bad debt this only keeps you from your millionaire goal. Even us millionaires have to keep bad debt in check. Bad debt is real simple to get. Getting out of debt can be hard. You have to just make it happen. A way to make it happen is to start collecting assets. An asset is something that gives you money, like a business, income property, or investment. I prefer my assets to give me money monthly. All assets are different some pay monthly, quarterly, yearly, every 5 years, and many other crazy combinations. To get out of bad debt it is best to acquire assets that pay as often as possible because you need to pay those bad debts to stop them from growing.
Continue thinking about getting out of bad debt. Consider all your debt, do you have good or bad debt?

Next post acquiring assets, where to find them? What does a good asset look like?

What is the definition of wealth?

July 14th, 2009 Joe No comments

Long before I had made my first million I studied the people around me.  I am sure everyone does some studies of their own.  I saw that my uncle had all kinds of cool toys.  He had one son and his son had every motorcycle, go cart, mini car, four wheeler known to man.  My uncle drove a corvette and had a really big RV.  I thought he was Rich!  I remember telling my mother that I had seen my uncle pull out a wad of cash from his pocket and that was it, I knew he was rich.  Today I can look at that same uncle and know that he was not only poor but very poor.  He may have been able to borrow all that money to buy all those toys but he was struggling so bad making the payments he did not even use banks.  He kept all his money in cash in his pocket.  So that wad of cash I saw when I was a boy well that was all the money my uncle had at that point.  Now I know, he had about $1500 in cash to his name.  That seems like a very scary place to be.  This brings me to the question.

What is the definition of wealth?

When will you be rich?  There is defiantly a point when you are either rich or not rich correct?  It took me many years to discover that rich is not necessarily an amount of money its an amount of freedom and money (in my opinion).  Without the time to enjoy life money means nothing.  You must develop your income with assets that require little to no time.  To me money is a means to an end.  I do not like money, I like the things money allows me to do, see, and experience.  I like that money can help me make some of my dreams come true.  The government classifies you as upper middle class when you make over $150,000 a year.  This seams pretty interesting to me.  Some places in the country if you make $150,000 a year you are not even making ends meat.  If you live in Manhattan you basically need to make twice that to feel like you are succeeding.  If you live in San Antonio Texas and you make $150,000 a year you are going to live very good.  It was not until I really discovered this that I knew being rich was different everywhere.  The most important part of this is that it also means it is easier to get rich in certain areas in the country.  I also eventually noticed that those easy money places change.  For instance   From about 2002-2005 Las Vegas Nevada was the hottest real estate market in the United States.  People were experiencing 25-100 percent gains in property value in a year.  This created many new millionaires.  I have a few friends that are in the real estate business in Las Vegas they literally were making millions of dollars a year.  I have a friend who is just a lowly real estate agent in Las Vegas.  In 2004 he made 1.5 million dollars.  All he was doing was selling houses.  It should be obvious to all my students that this type of break neck growth is just temporary and could never sustain.  It did not.  Las Vegas is now a foreclosure nightmare.

There are three lessons in todays reading.  One there is opportunity everywhere, however there is sometimes better opportunity in places you are not currently living.  Doing research to find a low hanging fruit is well worth your time.  You do not have to invest in your local market.  There are many professionals that can help you find and maintain great investments in their local market.  Currently I am finding that Texas is a bargain.  People are making great passive income on there real estate investments in Texas.

Lesson two: break neck gains.  These are something every one has seen and heard of.  They do not last.  They are not an indicator of a good time to jump into a market.  They are an indicator to get out of that market.  You never want to jump into a market that every person in america is buzzing about.   Once everyone is talking about it, it is over.

Lesson three:  Investing in other markets outside your local market can be very financially rewarding.  It is easier than you might thing.  All it takes is a weekend to hop a flight and go look at some of the properties you have identified as good deals on paper.

RULE 101

Remember the rule.  Look at 101 investments before you put your money on the table.  This gives you an idea of what is out there and is an easy way to get educated.

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