The Streetwise Guide to becoming Rich - Develop the mindset of the wealthy
Written on the 30 April 2016 by James Cagney
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The author of this eBook, James Cagney, maintains that you should only take advice from people who have experience and have achieved success in a specific field of endeavor. James says when requesting immigration advice you should ensure that you only take advice only from someone who has successfully immigrated. Only these immigrants have earned the right to give you advice. James has helped thousands of people to successfully migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the USA and the UK. James and Shelagh (his spouse) and their five children migrated to Australia from South Africa in 1998. They have made a success of their lives in Australia. James and Shelagh now have ten grandchildren who were born in Australia. James has the experience and knowledge to help you and your family to do the same. James has the following qualifications:
James has written other eBooks which you can access by clicking below:
Many authors have written about Principles of Wealth Creation over the years - too numerous to mention here. I will cover some of the principles I have used over the years having learned from the following authors:
Wallace D. Wattles author of "The Science of Getting Rich"; Napoleon Hill author of "Think & Grow Rich"; George Classon "The Richest Man in Babylon"; Og Mandino author of "The Greatest Secret in the World", "The Greatest Miracle in the World" & "The Choice"; Donald Trump author of "The Art Of The Deal"; "Think like a Billionaire" & "Never Give Up"; Chris Howard author of "Turning Passion into Profits" & "Building Wealth Like a Billionaire"; Richard Branson author of "Screw it, Let's Do It"; Robert T. Kiyosaki author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" & "Rich Dad's Prophesy"; Roy McDonald author of "How To Turn $1 dollar into $1 Million in 7 Years OR Less"; Chris Gray author of "The effortless Empire" ; Mal Emery author of "Your Right to Be Rich"; Rhonda Byrne author of "The Secret"; Noel Whittaker author of "Living Well In Retirement"; Jan Somers author of "Building Wealth In Changing Times"; Robert Schuller author of "Tough Times Never Last, But Tough people Do"; Steve MacKnight author of "From 0 To 130 Properties in 3.5 Years"; Ian Marsh author of "The Inconvenient Truth about Business Success"; Gene N. Landrum author of "Entrepreneurial Genius" and, Catherine Ponder author of "The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity".
All of these authors have a common thread:
"YOU HAVE TO DEVELOP THE MINDSET OF THE WEALTHY BEFORE YOU CAN BE WEALTHY".
Well that should be easy, I only have to think that I am rich and then I will be wealthy. Not quite that simple. YES - you have to believe it before you can achieve it but if it was as easy as dreaming it then everyone would be wealthy. The problem is that we read books and then we put it on the shelf and say to the book "I took the time and effort to read you - now you make me successful". The same thinking applies to many university and college graduates who frame their certificates, put them on a wall then sit back and expect those certificates to work for them - because they worked hard to get the qualification. Well good luck, because this is nothing more than a pipe-dream. Success takes effort and discipline. The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most in the future for what you want most right now. We want nice clothes, fancy cars, up-market homes, lots of holidays and more 'of everything'. There is a trade-off: you have to plan and work for wealth because it does not automatically fall into your lap. The idea that the universe will supply all your wants if you think about it, meditate on it and wait for it to automatically happen is absurd.
I have heard all the cliches and contrary to much of the New Age thinking that "The world is conspiring to make me successful", "You tap into the universe and riches flow in abundance" and more of this wishful, unrealistic, wishy washy thinking. A third of the population in the world today is starving or malnourished. Hundreds of thousands of people are at war today fighting for some cause or other. Terrorists are killing Innocent people. Cancer is the new epidemic. People are killing themselves with alcohol and drugs. Violence is growing out of proportion. So if you happen to live in a democratic first world country today be very very grateful. Count your blessings every day because you have the opportunities in this life which most people on our planet do not have. So burn the incense, put on the soft music, meditate about the perfect world all you like but unless you become wealthy - how are you going to help others who are less fortunate? People say to me that "Money will not buy you happiness'. Well please tell me "What will poverty buy you?". Who can you help, what can you give and what charity can you support?
Having said that how can you help others if you can't help yourself? In an emergency situation in an passenger aircraft we are instructed to put our oxygen masks first before we help others. Sort out your mindset about wealth first and then go and help others to do the same. Leo Calvin Rosten was an American humorist in the fields of scriptwriting, storywriting and journalism who said "We see things as we are and not as they are." In other words if you believe you will always be poor you are. Conversely if you believe you are prosperous you are," Mr Rosten also said " Courage is the capacity to confront what can be imagined". Therefore have the courage to think big. To have big dreams and goals and have the courage to pursue them.
THE ORIGIN OF NEGATIVE THINKING ABOUT WEALTH
So why is it that most people want financial freedom yet the struggle week after week to pay the bills and then retire broke? People today are frustrated because they feel the are not getting ahead - inflation, income taxes, other taxes, daily expenses and trying to cope with crisis after crisis. The problem is the future is so hard to think about that we put it aside say we will think about it later and look for short term relief. So we find our relief by watching the footy, cricket, shopping, surfing the net and having barbecues and drinking alcohol, which only gives us temporary relief. A wise man once said that alcohol will not solve your problems it will only irrigate them.
So unless the problem is immediate it is not worth thinking about. We tend to put our problems into the 'too-hard' basket and on the back burner only to find that life's problems are still there and our inertia has caused the problem to grow out of control.
I used to put my lack of wealth down to a "Lack of financial knowledge" - that was to blame for my situation. This may be partly true but I don't believe it is the reason why people are broke at retirement because all the people who read books, buy property and investment magazines attend numerous seminars about investing should then be rich! After all they have the knowledge and now the knowledge should work for them. That is not the case because in reality most of these information seekers never take ACTION. If you ask them why they have never taken ACTION they have a pocket full of excuses. So if it is not a lack of financial knowledge - what is the real reason people continue to procrastinate and refuse to take ACTION on what they have heard and learned. Jan Somers, who was a pioneer in the nineties about investing in multiple properties, and has in excess of 100 properties, says her book "More Wealth from Residential Property" that being positive, and having the right attitude, is one of the most difficult concepts to understand, but plays a huge part in determining how high you travel up the ladder of success". Well Jan Somers should know - just see how wealthy she is today.
You can meditate, visualize and dream all you want about your plans but unless you take ACTION you will not succeed. You are either moving towards your goals or away from your goals. If you are not making decisions because of all those well-worn excuses you have in your arsenal then you are moving away from your goals. You have to focus on the positive aspects of investing and not dwell on all the negative things which may go wrong. Once you have decided on a course of action don't let anyone, anything, or any circumstance stand in your way on the road to success. Napoleon Hill the author of "Think and Grow Rich" said " All riches, of whatever nature, begin as a state of mind". In other words you must conceive it before you can achieve it.
Napoleon Hill wrote "Successful people make decisions quickly and change them slowly". Therefore we can conclude that "unsuccessful people make decisions slowly and change them quickly". I have seen this with people who I have spoken to in the past about investing for their future. So many excuses why they should procrastinate and when they eventually decide to invest or buy an investment property they more than often get cold feet and cancel the purchase. That way they do NOTHING by opting for a SAFE option and thus will end up broke. These people do not know how to control their negative emotions. They are habitual procrastinators and unless they make the decision to change they will end up broke, embarrassed, ashamed and living off the charity of family and friends in their retirement. A very good book about how the conscious and unconscious mind works in decision making was written by Malcolm Gladwell in his book "Blink". This is a absorbing read which will transform your thinking about decision making.
The first step to wealth creation is self-awareness. You need to study what I call "The nature of human nature" so that you can understand why you think and act the way you do today. Here is a quote you need to absorb so take some time thinking about it " We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are". There are a number of books about personality styles, character traits, and personal values. If you would like a list of these resources click >>> HERE. Take time and effort to "Know thyself" because you have a much better chance of achieving your goals when you know where you are now. Once you have completed that you need to formulate a strategy to help you achieve what you want in life despite your fears, hang ups, self doubts and self- limitations. It's a sad fact that most people spend more time planning their annual holidays than they do planning their future.
Let's look at the steps we normally take in planning your holidays and we are very motivated to do because we enjoy the short term rewards that holidays give us:
1) know where you are now
A lovely scene in Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" is when the Cheshire Cat asked Alice "Where are you going Alice" to which she replied "I do not know Mr. Cat". The Cheshire Cat said "Well Alice, if you don't know where you are going any road will get you there". This is the way that many of us run our lives today - any road, not too sure what road, but all roads lead to success - don't they? No, they don't and if we want to be successful it is not going to happen by chance. John D. Rockefeller said "The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find out what interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it put your whole soul into it - every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have".
THE ROAD TO WEALTH
Lets look at the different investment platforms you can use to create wealth: business, shares, futures, commodities, hedge funds, property, bonds, commercial property, residential property, property trusts, etc. Whatever platform, methods and strategies you choose or any combination thereof, you must be mentally prepared before you begin your journey because each path has its own unique pitfalls and challenges as well as opportunities. It would be great if we all had a crystal ball and could see the future but we don't. Therefore, we have to create our own future. Paul J Myer, founder of the Success Motivation Institute (SMI) said "Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass".
What is most important is that we must decide to "become" before we can "be" or "have". Jim Rohn, the personal-development legend said "Success is not to be pursued: It is attracted by the person you become". For example, if you choose to make your money in business, immerse yourself in business education. Read the auto-biographies of successful entrepreneurs, read magazines, go to courses and seminars. You need to sharpen your Axe if you want to cut wood efficiently otherwise you are going to expend a lot of unnecessary energy.
You do not have to have a university degree or MBA to run a successful business. But you do need to know how a small business needs to markets itself to compete with big business. How the local labour laws apply, administration processes; accounting procedures etc. You have to learn these basics in order to help you succeed. If you don't know these you are destined to fail. I have found this to be true in both big business as well as small business. In big business you need to be a specialist - a computer programmer, a marketing manager, a production manager, an accountant etc. In small business you need to be a generalist, a jack of all trades to succeed. You are like the General Medical Practitioner (GP) who refers his patients to specialists when he/she thinks it is necessary. You need to know a little about everything to discern good and bad advice from specialists.
Whatever investment platform you choose your ultimate success will depend on your mindset. It is about your attitude and beliefs about wealth. Your beliefs about money come predominantly from your childhood. It is the belief system instilled by your parents, grandparents, your family, your friends and your teachers and their attitudes about money which have formed your beliefs about money today - children learn what they live and then live what they have learned. If these people of influence at a crucial time of your life had good attitudes towards money then it is most likely you will have a good attitude towards money. Unfortunately this works in the opposite if those people you had around you thought that money was bad, evil, unattainable, and scarce, not worth the trouble then you are on the road to being broke in life and in retirement. For example, if you constantly heard that "money does not grow on trees", "money does not buy you happiness", "money is the root of all evil", "you have to have money to make money", "money is not everything", then you most likely believe the same, think the same and act the same. It will seem that no matter how hard you try to make money you just can't make enough.
The problem is you sabotage yourself through your own self-limitations and you become your own self-fulfilling prophecy. Worse still - you pass on your self-limitations to your children and grandchildren. You perpetuate the cycle of poverty and lack. That is why you find that some families have been on social security generation after generation. Sad but true! The popular economist John Mynard Keynes said "The bdifficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." Make a concetred effort to develop the mindset of the rich rather than dwelling on the realities of the past.
The billionaire Robert Kiyosaki said "Once my thoughts and attitude changed, my actions and results changed". These self-limiting thoughts and attitudes are keeping you back and you need to change. It is not easy to change the way you habitually think - It takes dedication and discipline. Each of us has a flashlight which shines into the dark and we illuminate either our bias, prejudice, our pre-conceived ideas and our self-limitations OR our we see the opportunity that exists. What does your flashlight illuminate in the dark? The trouble is many people are stubbornly holding onto their outdated beliefs. You have heard the saying "You can take the horse to the water but you can't make it drink". Well today we do not have the time for the horse to drink - you and your horse have to "Water ski" to be successful in today's competitive environment. Not much point trying to hold onto old ideas - think about the Dinosaurs they could not change fast enough. Are you going to be a Dinosaur? Then you will go the same way - into extinction.
PREPARATION FOR THE JOURNEY
I would call myself a Strategic Entrepreneur. Over the years I have run many different businesses and invested in a number of residential properties. I have made heaps of money and I have lost money (more times than I would care to mention). When things are good you go on holidays, upgrade the house, buy new cars and eat at expensive restaurants. When the business and market turns for the worse and you start to lose money only then do you revamp your marketing and sales strategies. Unfortunately during the tough times I could not help thinking negatively: "Woe is me", "I have worked so hard and the market is so bad, how can anybody expect to make money", "it's the darn government - they are to blame for this economic mess", and "It's not my fault it's my staff or my spouse or my business partner" etc. All these thoughts are a self-fulling prophesy for failure. The truth is simply that I was so negatively conditioned by my upbringing that the self-fulfilling prophesy of "No matter how hard I try I am destined to be poor" would come back to torment me time and time again.
Over the years I have taken numerous courses on motivation, business, Internet marketing and spent tens of thousands of dollars "to sort myself out" - only to find that they did not work! Guess what? I was not to blame because I saw huge flaws in what these courses were teaching. Of course the testimonials they gave were phony. I found a way to blame them rather than blame myself for my own failures. Pass the buck - it's easier that way. It had taken me a long time to think as I did and worse still I found was that I was surrounded by people who thought the same way as I did. Misery does seek comfort and I was very willing to dump my truck load full of hang-ups and garbage onto others. They were good listeners and they did sympathise, but they did not give me a solution to my problem. What I found I was doing was carrying my heavy burdens around with me and then saying to others "please hold my burdens for me so I can feel better". This never worked because I would always take the burdens back and carry them around again trying to find someone else who would carry my burdens for me once again. Yes birds of a feather flock together. All that happens is that the ducks quack and make a lot of noise. I needed to change and become an eagle and fly about the crowds and the noise.
Eventually i came to realization that "My life story is a work in progress". William Hazlitt author, social commentator, and philosopher said "Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater one". Once you make up your mind that if you set high goals for yourself adversity is inevitable on your your journey. However we need to learn from our experiences in life as those who do not learn from the past failures are doomed to repeat them. I had to change my thinking in order to grow and readily accept the principles of wealth that have worked so well for others. The breakthrough came when I started educating myself through Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). It took what I had learned about Goal Setting to another level. When I first heard about NLP I thought it was voodoo - all of those mind-bending techniques and manipulation to get what you want - surely that can't be a good thing? My introduction to NLP was through Anthony Robbins at the "Unleash the Power Within" 3 day seminar which I attended in Sydney Australia. Many of Anthony Robbins students were in the large audience of around 5000 people and they were raving fans who could not stop telling us what Anthony and NLP had done for them. I saw highly motivated people and I wanted to be like them. No better testimonial can you find. I recommend you attend one of Anthony Robbins event with an open mind. I know many people do not like the hype of American speakers but It does not matter what you think of him - just absorb what he teaches. He is the master motivator and an NLP practitioner.
I took it a step further and attended another weekend seminar run by Christopher Howard called "Breakthrough to Success". I once again realised that I was a work in progress and that I needed to make more changes to my mindset and I could achieve this through using the principles of NLP. I remember sitting next to a middle aged lady who looked unimpressed with Chris Howard's seminar. I asked her how she was enjoying the seminar and she said "I am not enjoying this at all. It's a scam and Chris Howard is only trying to sell his courses". It took me aback. How could we both be sitting in the same seminar and while I was soaking up everything and she had the attitude that she was wasting her time. It was her mindset - in her case a negative mindset. I then realized that I had come a long way as a "work in progress" because I used to think like her. I admit I was a bit angry at her negativity and I said to her "If you don't like the seminar you don't have to be here. You are free to leave". She was taken aback and did not speak to me for the rest of the session. But it must have given her a new perspective about the information because I saw her during the second day of the seminar and she was smiling and positive. I felt good about it because I had helped someone to think positively about the benefits. Iron sharpens iron and we do need to be upfront with negative people. Otherwise you will fall into the trap of complaining about life just like they do.
I have attended additional Chris Howard and seminars, read his books, read his eBooks, listened to his CD's watched his DVD's over and over again. I highly recommend you do the same because they are jam packed with information on NLP, leadership, sales techniques and business strategies. Spaced repetition is a tried and tested tool. I find that every-time I listen to the same CD or re-read a book I get more gems from them. Then you need to use these NLP techniques and assimilate them into your life. If you are interested in more information about these seminars and courses click >>>HERE.
I have continued to educate myself because I believe in what the movie actor Will Rogers said "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there". In addition to my three year Marketing Management Diploma I have completed the Marketing Management MBA module from Heriot-Watt University. However, I realized that my marketing knowledge was very academic and more geared to big business. We need to reading what is relevant in today's marketing environment and to our own niche.
A few years ago I took a marketing course through the "Streetsmart Business School" run by Mal Emery, Ian Marsh and their team. The Streetsmart course was designed for small business and I found it more useful to my current situation. I found the course invaluable and highly recommend this course for every person running a small business today. I continue to read the Streetsmart marketing material, listen to the Cd's, watch the DVDs and review my marketing strategies. In order to succeed in the highly competitive business climate of today's world you have to be continually learning. I believe I am the sum total of all my education and experiences and so my journey continues upwards and onwards. If you are interested in more information about the Streetsmart Business School click>>>HERE .
THE PRINCIPLES OF WEALTH
I want to discuss the a very important mind-set in creating wealth which comes from the book "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George Clason. The Richest Man in Babylon first appeared on the scene in 1926 as a series of information pamphlets on basic financial management. By 1927, several of these pamphlets had been compiled into a book and this collection has been in print ever since. In short, The Richest Man in Babylon is a series of financial parables which are as true today as they were in the early nineties. The author refers to five basic rules called the "Laws of Gold" which will help you create wealth. These laws are:
Buy this book and read it over and over until you make this thinking a habit. I am only going to cover the 1st Law: "Put aside 10% to build an estate for your future". What this means is that you pay yourself first. The problem is we go to work day after day, work hard, earn our wages and pay everyone else first and if there is anything left over at the end of the month you might for that brief moment think about investing it for your future before you spend it. Unfortunately expenses will always expand to the amount of money you earn so that extra money will soon find a partner and disappear into the distance. I know you have to pay your mortgage and your bills to protect your credit rating but think about it - how is it working out for you doing this month after month, year after year? Are you in the Hamster wheel, running as hard as you can until you are exhausted. As I have mentioned people (and mostly those that are so spiritually minded that they are no earthly good) often challenge me and say that "money will not buy you happiness". Money may not buy you happiness but don't you want to give it a go and see if money can help to make you happier? Give it a go if it does not make you happy you can always give your money away. It is not about the money itself. It is about freedom of choice that money gives you! Today one of the chief causes of marriage break-ups is the lack of money. Every month becomes a struggle as partners accuse each other of not making enough, not working hard enough and squandering the money on unnecessary things. Jim Rohn said "We all have two choices: We can make a living or we can design a life". Money gives you that choice but only if you learn to use it wisely. Follow the "Laws of Gold" and enjoy life and help others along the way.
One of the problems today is we are all living beyond our means. Keeping up with the Jones's. The difference between our lives and those of our grandparents is our higher expectations in life, our higher standard of living and an unquenchable thirst for technology. The desire for multiple TV's, computers, surround sound stereos, smart phones, iPads, Androids, X-boxes, Nintendo etc. etc. etc. We are tempted by the "No deposit, no interest loans" from the electronic, furniture and white good retail stores. We buy the latest technology, appliances, the most comfortable lounge suites and whatever makes us feel good because this is interest free! These toys and luxuries have added to our cost of living and our standard of living and our expectations and entitlements keep rising year after year. These luxuries are all bad debts (non-income generating debt). Let's look at how much we are spending today compared to our parents:
The only reason we can't afford to invest our money is because we spend too much on bad debts. We overindulge our kids who demand more and more and therefore will never appreciate the value of a dollar. A dollar saved is actually more than a dollar earned because you have to add the tax you have paid to earn that dollar i.e. $1 + tax = $1.30 (at a marginal rate of 30%). This does not look like much but add that to your net wage and see how much that is every month, every year, after year for 10 to 20 years Then work out the 10% which you should have saved which could be earning you compound interest or compound growth had you invested that money in an asset for 10 to 20 years. Go onto a bank website and do the calculations and you will find out how easy it is to be a millionaire when you use compound growth and compound interest to your advantage instead of the bank's advantage. For more information about this down load my FREE eBook "The 7 Pillars of Financial Freedom"" >>> HERE. . In this eBook you will learn how to Increase your financial IQ and beat the banks".
We should be investing 10% of our income but we say we don't know how. Start to cut back on all unnecessary spending. Buy fewer "take out" meals, cut the mobile plans - use pre-paid and when that is used up let other people phone you. Discipline your kids to stop those unnecessary phone calls to their friends. Let your children catch public transport instead of being a taxi service wasting money on petrol and wear and tear on your car. Or the unheard of today 'let them walk'! We would not have so many overweight kids in our society today if they did walk and got some consistent exercise. If they do not learn now that "Discipline weighs ounces, and regret weighs tons" they will not be able to follow the Laws of Gold and they will be on the road to poverty. The only reason they are on this road is that you did not teach them. Unlike regret "knowledge carries no weight" so teach your kids the principles of wealth so they can become investors early in life.
Do not get hung up on a perceived 'religious inference' by the reference to the past " Kingdom of Babylon" to demonstrate wealth. We are not referring to the morals of the ancient people of Babylon we are talking about the principle of investing before you pay your everyday bills. Besides this 10% you invest you should also be giving 10% of your income in tithes either to a church or to an organisation which supports worthy charities. The principle of tithing is used by many of the rich around the world every day. You do not have to be "Religious" or "Spiritual" to make this universal principle work for you. In Catherine Ponders' book "The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity" she covers this in great depth and it is an essential read in your journey towards sustainable wealth.
WE RELY TOO MUCH ON THE GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE FOR US
This is not going to be a popular subject but it has to be said. It is time to ask yourself the tough questions now rather than wake up at 67 years of age and wonder how you are going to survive for the next 20 years. If you continue to procrastinate it will be too late. I am not prepared to sugar coat the pill or be overly concerned about your political affiliation. By the way I am being over critical of government . Will Rogers one of the most popular commentators this century said "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts".. I am going to say it as it is without worrying about being politically correct - so here goes.
Firstly, the Australian Government is broke and that you have no option but to look after yourself in retirement. Cut-backs are going to continue as the public eventually comes to the realisation that the Government cannot keep spending more and more on social services. Author George Bernard Shaw wrote "A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul". So the politicians will pander to the whim of the people to get into power. This is how Australian politics works with each term of office:
And so the process continues for another 3 to 4 year term. This is what one of the most successful presidents of America said "The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other" Ronald Reagan.
Politicians do not want to acknowledge how a budget works. The fundamental law of a budget is to spend less than you earn. Yet the politicians continue to promise more and more spending so they can win the next election. If you ran your household budget like that you would go broke. If you run a business like that you will go broke. Politicians' response to this: "We realize we are spending more than we earn but we are not as bad as other countries". What lunacy is this? Do they not have any common sense at all? Let's go broke like many other countries around the globe and everything will be OK because everybody else is doing it?
Because we pay our taxes we believe we are entitled to services. That is a fairy tale. We pay taxes so we can support a three tears of government we can't afford. Employees -. After we have paid the Federal, State and Council politicians and employees their salaries and entitlements we get what is left over. Unfortunately that is not enough to provide what we need as a country to create jobs and to provide social services. For example, the current Medicare system is something we simply can't afford in the long term and a future government is going to have to make changes. Te American political satirist and journalist, P.J. O'Rourke, wrote "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!". Unfortunately for the ruling party at the time that announces these changes will lose the next election.
A point to take note on is that the Greek government could not afford to pay the pensions to the elderly because the government had used all the money they 'borrowed' from the pension funds. So the answer to this negligence by the government was to borrow more money from the European Union and to get further into debt. Of course it is never the politicians fault - it's the global economy's fault. If the Greek government could borrowed the pension money do you not think that the Australian government will not work out a scheme to 'borrow' the money in Superannuation Funds to pay it's deficit? With our ongoing current deficit how long will that Superannuation money last. All the government has to do to persuade a gullible public is that the Superannuation companies are taking too much in fees to run the Superannuation Funds (and they are because they skimmed $30 Billion last year in fees) and they will do a much better job at no cost? Think about that. What will happen to your Super when, not if, this happens. Are you prepared to take the risk? Governments through the ages do not change their philosophy. This is what Frederic Bastiat, the French economist (1801-1850) said "Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else". If you would like more information about investing your Super click >>> HERE.
We should be thankful that the Liberal National Party (LNP) Government in the 1990 to 2000 decade, who were prudent and resourceful and accumulated a huge surplus. However, the Labour Party lavishly spent this surplus going into a huge deficit to keep the economy from declining during the Global Financial Crises (GFC) in 2007-2009 and in the aftermath of 9/11 in the USA which affected the world economy. Therefore the GFC and 9/11 did not affect Australia as much as other first world countries who did not have the luxury of a huge surplus and did it tough for many years after the GFC. However, the government ransacked the coffers, gave away a "bonus" to people for plasma televisions, consumer goods, new cars, free gas hot water systems to motels and hotels, subsidised pink bats in roofs, and the list goes on and on. All this money for non investment purposes, which gave Australia a temporary growth period but provided nothing sustainable to improve our economy in the long term. Winston Churchill said "I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle".
We have the two major parties in Australia which are poles apart. The Parliament is like a professional wrestling ring which resembles the popular WW Wrestling television series from the USA. Men and women in parliament putting up a show for the public to earn their large pay packets, grunting and groaning and pretending to hurt each other. The media are there with cameras poised as the audience laps it all up cheering and jeering. Of course we all know it's a farce but we either enjoy the entertainment or accept it as the norm. It may be entertainment but the tickets are expensive to the show in our parliament i.e. your income tax money!
You can ignore what I have said about the problems we will face in the future in Australia. We only see what we want to see. For example, if you want to buy a sky blue Toyota Corolla with grey interior all of a sudden you notice Toyota Corollas everywhere whilst you are driving around. There were always Toyota Corollas on the road but because your focus is now on that make of car we begin to notice how many there are. If we are going to have something to leave for our children we need to focus on opportunities and solutions and not on problems.
We need to make smart decisions about the future of our country and for ourselves. We can not control what happens in the USA economy, the European economy, the Chinese economy and the stark fact is as individuals we have very little control of what happens in the Australian economy. However, we are a democratic society and we have the right to vote for common sense in the elections, even if it is at the expense of our 'entitlements'. We can not live above our means and the answer is not to "give away the farm" to get votes during every election campaign. I wrote an article about our politicians called "Bring in the Clowns" which you may find amusing. Click >>> HERE if you would like a chuckle.
WE CAN'T COPE WITH OUR OWN FINANCES
Another problem in Australia is that nobody taught us how to invest for our future: Unlike the global economy and the Australian economy our own finances are an area which we can control. Lets look at the fundamental reasons why we find it difficult to control our own finances and get ahead in life:
I know that many of us would like to leave something behind for our children when we go to meet our maker. The best thing you can do for your kids is to look after yourself first. As mentioned previously like in an airplane emergency put your oxygen mask on first before you help others. If you are not creating wealth by investing wisely yourself how on earth are you going to teach your children? It is a case of "Do what I say" and not "Do as I do" which is something that the younger generation always disliked about the older generation. Be an example to your children rather than a nagging old fella.
Other parents I know have joined the "SKI CLUB" i.e. "Spend your Kids Inheritance". Many of these parents have worked hard all their lives trying to pay off their mortgage, educate their children, pay their rates and taxes, spend a fortune on groceries which keep going up with inflation and more. They believe they now have the right to enjoy their retirement. There is nothing wrong with that. However, wouldn't it be nice if you could enjoy your retirement and still have something to leave to your children and grandchildren? I am not saying you should give your kids a lifetime of food stamps so they don't have to work. The saying "Give someone a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime" applies to your children as well. Teach your children the principles of wealth. As Warren Buffet said we should educate our children so that they have every opportunity in life, but do not give them so much money that they do nothing. Teach them the principles that will ultimately make them successful in their own right. Would'nt it be nice if we left a worthwhile legacy after we have passed on.
Others have the great Aussie attitude of "She'll be right mate". Have you ever stood next to your car in the morning and said to yourself "I might die today". Of course not - yet the statistics say there is a chance you may die in a motor accident. We learn to accept these everyday risks risks, yet we are reluctant to take any risk whilst investing for our future. You can minimise your risk by making informed investment decisions. Find someone who can help you. The author, James Cagney, has formed the organisation called Wealth Mentors and if you would like ongoing advice on your future contact James and click >>> HERE. Most of the wealthy have a mentor and some even have several mentors. If the wealthy need mentors then surely we too need mentors.
However many of us live in false hope believing:
Make the decision to do something about your own future and do not rely on others to do it for you. Who would want to live with their kids in their retirement anyway? You know there can only be one "Queen Bee" in a hive! Besides who wants to be a burden on their children? They have their own lives dreams and challenges to live through. Why become a burden to them?
It is about making informed decisions. The little general Napoleon Bonaparte, who was a master at battlefield strategy said: "Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than the ability to decide". What amazes me is most people just do not want to make decisions about their future. That is why 95% of our population are broke at retirement. They can't or won't or simply do not know how to make decisions about investing for their future! How sad is that? Some people even admit they are procrastinators and use that as an excuse to avoid making decisions because they just can't face making them. They are controlled by fear and have become members of the "Club". They have joined the "Think about it" club, the "One of these days" club, the "Mirror" club (always looking into it but never doing anything). Resign from being a member of these clubs NOW. They are full of losers not winners. Some of these clubs are disguised under different names. Many of the traditional clubs around Australia have lots of members who belong to the losers clubs above. Out of respect to the founders and ideals of these clubs I will not name them. Be aware of your associations as these will determine your life.
If you have let your debt get out of control here is a few strategies you can follow to reduce your debt1.Set a budget and stick to it.
GET INTO THE GAME
Once we have the tools to succeed we must take ACTION. We have to get off our comfortable seats in the grandstands and get into the game. Be an active participant. Stop complaining about the referee, the players, the coaches. You do not have the right to complain until you have done it yourself. Research has shown that successful people are positive, take personal responsibility and are proactive (called the 3 P's). These people know how to take ACTION rather than sit in the grandstands giving advice. Some of us don't even get to the grandstands we would rather sit in our comfortable armchair and shout the odds. Much more comfortable. I am reminded what Neale Donald Walsch an American author of the series Conversations with God said "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone". If you want to be a success stop being a spectator and get into the game.
Who heard this as a kid growing up "When we win the Lotto" we will .........buy you the bicycle..........go on holiday.................. buy a home. Waiting for chance, waiting for better days, waiting for our ship to come in. If you don't do anything different nothing will change. I urge you to take ACTION. Albert Einstein said that "The height of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result". Therefore you need to follow Jim Rohn's advice "You can't change your destination overnight but you can change direction overnight". Make up your mind to think differently and work towards achieving your goals. Paul J Meyer said 'Success is the achievement of worthwhile , predetermined personal goals".
There is a story (true or not it is still a great principal to remember) that the King of France arrested three noblemen and charged them with treason. They were convicted and the date was set for their execution. The square for the execution was prepared. The crowds in the square were screaming for the blood of the traitors. The traitors were paraded out as the crowd spat on, swore at and abused them. The executioner's assistant put the traitor's heads into the guillotine braces. The executioner stepped up. Silence fell onto the crowd. The priest read the last rights to the traitors. The executioner cut the rope. The blade was released.....swish.... it descended - then....... 20 cm before the blade reached the necks of the the traitors it jammed. King Louis took this as a message from God and declared the noblemen innocent and gave them a pardon. The first nobleman released stood up and admonished the King saying that he was innocent and had been unjustly accused and that God had proved his innocence and the King owed him an apology. The second nobleman fell at the feet of the King and promised the king his loyalty for the pardon. The third nobleman looked up into the guillotine mechanism and shouted out loud "Hold on......I see the problem". No matter how many opportunities some people are given they will always look for the problem. Look for the opportunity in every problem and not the problem in every opportunity.
Life is not meant to be easy. It is a character building journey. If you are in a difficult place right now think about actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author, and activist, Christopher Reeve best known for his cast as Superman. At the height of his career Reeve became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Culpeper, Virginia. He was confined to a wheelchair and required a portable ventilator for the rest of his life. What he did after his accident was amazing and showed the character of the man. He did not bemoan his unfortunate accident Christopher lobbied on behalf of people with spinal-cord injuries and for human embryonic stem cell research, founding the Christopher Reeve Foundation and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Center. This sis what Reeve said "If you think the game is worth it, you play the hand you're dealt". No matter what your circumstances are now If you believe you are destined to achieve your goals in life assess it is worth it start taking ACTION today.
Think about this: Your days on the pension are going to be like living on the dole. Although we can fantasize and dream about what we will do in our golden retirement years, the reality is you simply won't have enough money to enjoy your life on the pension. I don't see people on the dole being able to afford to travel around Australia, take overseas holidays, being able to afford to eat at good restaurants, being able to treat their grand kids - do you? Your retirement will be more like watching four walls of your home (or a room) for 20 years and your big treat will be a roast at the local bowls club once a month. Not much of a retirement is it? On the other hand, imagine having four investment properties paid off and providing you with a passive income of $100,000 plus a year in retirement. Would that help you to enjoy financial freedom in retirement?
Let's face it, it is better to be able to live a lifestyle and have dignity well into retirement than to be broke, embarrassed and ashamed and living off the charity of your kids, family and friends and the government's meager pension. Would you agree? You know that one of the best ways to help the poor is not become one of them! Men are living on average to 82 years these days and with the medical advancements we are living longer and longer with every decade. With stem cell technology the possibility exists that we can even grow new organs in our bodies. However, that will cost you a heap of money and you won't be able to get that on Medicare (the Australian government health system) so if you do not have money be very careful how you treat your body!
Women live longer than men - averaging 85 years at present. Therefore ladies make sure there is enough money when we men pass on. Those around the world cruises do cost a lot of money. Jokes aside the partner who is left behind needs to have enough money to live a comfortable life and we need to plan for that (after all they put up with us men for long enough). How can we even think of leaving our spouses in poverty? So begin planning the lifestyle you want now and into your retirement.
PLANNING FOR OUR FINANCIAL FUTURE
Most people know they have to invest for retirement but do not know "HOW" to do it. Firstly ask yourself this very important question "WHY" would I want to invest"? Write these "WHY's" down and read them every day. Once you become acutely aware of your own personal reasons you WHY you want to invest you are ready to create a FINANCIAL strategy. There are numerous ways to invest for your future and my book the "The 7 Strategies you need to create wealth" will show you the HOW. This book is due for release in October 2016 and will retail for AUD$.30.00 The strategies are:
Strategy 1 - Develop the mindset of the wealthy
Strategy 2 - Profitable Property Investing
Strategy 3 - Increase your Financial IQ and beat the banks
Strategy 5 - Start a successful on-line business
Strategy 6 - How to run a profitable business
Strategy 7 - Know your risk capacity and have an exit strategy
However, there are three things that can stop you from doing something about your financial future:
Life is a journey so take the first step and then another and another......... and you are bound to reach your goals. However, many people don't want to crawl before they can walk, walk before they run and try and they leap over the chasm then fall never to try again. Obstacles can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks. It is easy to become the victim and say "I would be rich if it was not for ............ my parents........ my spouse.......... my education....... my job......... my hard knocks etc. etc. Become the hero in your life's journey take on the dragons and stop being a victim. Napoleon Bonaparte said "Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength". Your children are looking for a hero to follow. Let that be you! Show them how to take informed decisions and calculated risks.
It is your choice! If making investment decisions was easy everyone would be rich. Make the decision today and you will be one step closer to your destination. Start your planning today. The spaceship that took the first humans to the Moon was off-course most of the time. However, the control centre made adjustments on an ongoing basis during this epic journey and the astronauts landed safely and man walked on the moon for the first time. We often have to readjust our direction many times on our journey so that we can reach our destination safely. I am a great believer in following Principles of Wealth Creation. Principles are the cornerstone to building success. Many of the wealthy will tell you that they have made and lost millions of dollars during their lifetime. Every time they have lost money it is because they have veered away from the basics - the principles of creating wealth. Donald Trump lost billions of dollars during the Global Financial Crises(GFC). When interviewed on television by one of the ravenous reporters looking for a victim he did not blame the economy or the GFC . His response was that he himself took his eye off the ball and stopped doing the basics well. Stick to the basics and stay focused on your goals. I chuckled to myself when I read the "Ask Ann Landers" column where she wrote "Opportunities are often disguised as hard work, so most people do not recognise them".
Put it this way you have two choices:
1) Make all the mistakes yourself and join the school of hard knocks, OR
2) Follow simple principles and learn from other peoples' mistakes.
In "The 7 Strategies you need to Create Wealth" I will share some of the strategies that many others before me have followed and the principles I have used to create wealth. I will also share the little known strategies which close friends and business colleagues have successfully utilized to create their wealth. The guru investor and billionaire Warren Buffet said "The reason I see so far is because I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me".
EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING
I trust that these principles will give you results that you want in life. People strive after knowledge but remember that knowledge not applied is useless. If Roger Federer or Serena Williams gave you their tennis racquets would you play as well as they do? Of course not! Their tennis racquet is not enough to make you a good tennis player. - you would have to be passionate about the game and spend endless hours practicing to achieve success. Not much point looking forward to the strategies contained in this eBook if you do not practice the principles. My hope for you is that you will apply the strategies and principles and become the person you were destined to be. One thing is certain: TIME is not your friend. You blink and you go from your twenties to your thirties, to your forties, to your fifties and sixties. Ask people now in their sixties how fast the time went. Please stop procrastinating and take ACTION NOW before it is too late. Your future starts NOW. If you need more information about profitable property investment and business opportunities click >>>> HERE. Paul J Meyer the founder of Success Motivation Institute said that "Success is the progressive realization of pre-determined, worthwhile, personal goals". You have to have personal goals and forget about what others are doing. If you continuously compare yourself to others you will either become conceited or depressed because your journey in this life is unique. For example if you want to be a millionaire and you only have $10 in the bank you might have to make that a medium term or long term goal. Your goals need to be written, realistic and achievable to have any likelihood of achieving it. Unrealistic goals will demotivate you because they are always too far away.
I use affirmations and visualisations to help me to achieve my goals. Affirmations are either quotations from famous or successful people; or statements you have personally conceived or read. I use these quotations and positive statements (affirmations) which I read or hear from others daily. These statements can't be airy- fairy statements they must be appropriate to your personal circumstances. I have these in writing on a notice board in front of my desk so that I can look at them every day. Not all of these affirmations will apply to my current situation every day but reading them prepares me for any adversity or obstacles which may arise as I continue my personal journey. Anybody who tells you that life is a bed of roses is right - it is full of beautiful things with sweet aromas but also thorns that hurt when you step on them as you venture into the business and investment world. I have a presentation that I use at my investment seminars which has over 140 quotations and affirmations. I am willing to give you copies of these as a gift. Click on >>> AFFIRMATIONS and I will email this Power Point presentation to you. Please don't request this so that it can just sit in your in-box or be stored away on your computer in a file. My suggestion is that you read about three a day out loud and at least three times during the day. Do this with intensity and emotion to prompt you into ACTION. In addition I spend about 15 minutes a day visualizing (more about this below) and meditating on my goals to internalise them and make them part of my habitual thinking. Make this a habit and do it preferably before you start your working day. It will give you that motivation to cope with every situation.
Visualize your goals to make them real. This is a technique which I learned from NLP. Albert Einstein said "Imagination is more powerful than knowledge". For many of us our brain is more receptive to pictures than words. Affirmations will train your mind. By visualizing your goals and dreams you will make them more real and attainable. I suggest you cut out pictures from magazine, travel brochures etc. which align with your goals. I know this sounds childish but that is exactly what you need to do if you want to make your goals a reality. Research shows that as we get older our ability to use our imagination dissipates. Our imagination as a child was fully functional but as you got older we were taught to stop day dreaming and get on with our work. When you shared your hopes and dreams with others they laughed and told you to "Get real", "Stop dreaming" and "Come back to earth". Our logic took over and we learned to suppress our emotions and imagination.
Therefore, you need something to get your imagination going again. What I do is I put these pictures into a pocket photograph album because I travel around the country doing investment seminars and I can easily carry my pocket album with me.You can get these at photography shops or stationary outlets. I paste the pictures into the album and below it I write the goal. As I read the goals out loud every day my mind sometimes wonders but when I look at the pictures I am able to focus better on that goal.
I also have a "Vision Board" at home in my study with pictures of where I want to travel to and goals I still want to achieve. I also make goals to "become" for my vision board and into my photo album. You need to set goals to "become" (called intangible goals) because you have to develop character traits and attitudes before you can "have". These 'become" goals are harder to set than your "have" (tangible goals). For example if you are in sales and you want to earn more money you have to learn sales techniques and "become" a master sales person before you can earn more money. Money does not fall from the sky simply because you wrote it down as a goal.
You need to state your goals in the "present" rather than into the future. That way they become more like of an Affirmation. This is a NLP technique which has served me well over the years. For example, if you want to go to the Greek Islands on holiday:
This is an example of a tangible goal (haves). - "It is NOW (Date) and (we) are in the Greek Islands. We are enjoying the ........................" (use emotional words and have pictures of whatever you want to do). Don't hold back on what you want because you think you don't deserve it or do not have enough money. If you can't dream it you will never achieve it. Winners visualise the rewards of success. Losers visualize the penalties of failure.
This is an example of an intangible goal (become) - "It is NOW (Date) and I am a great sales person. I understand my prospects' needs and wants and they are signing a contract for an investment property today". Paste pictures of a contract, a pen and paper, money, happy clients etc. etc. with this goal.
Once again remove that boring adult persona which you have developed over the years. Become a child again with a vivid imagination. Paul J Meyer said " Whatever you can vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass". Get rid of your logic and use emotion and visualisation to propel you towards your goals. Review your goals at least once a day. The more often you review your goals the faster you achieve them because they are foremost in your mind throughout your day. That way you do not confuse "Activity" with "Productivity".
Some people find it hard to set goals. Here is a goal setting formula which I learned from Brett McFall, Internet guru, and the author of "Make money while you sleep".
THE MORNING 6:
What is my dream?
How will I feel inside when I achieve it?
What will I be able to do because of it?
Who will I help?
What fun things will I do?
What is one thing I can do today to take me closer to my goals?
Read through the list above before you start your work day. You will become more focused and ready to accept the challenges of the day. Abraham Lincoln, the American president during the civil war, experienced overwhelming defeats in battle at the beginning of the war said "Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed". It is easy to become discouraged when things go wrong and your goals seem to be a distant dream which you feel you will never reach. Continue with your affirmations and visualisations to keep yourself motivated if you want to reach your goals in life.
Brett McFall suggests that at the end of each day, before you go to sleep, that you read the following statements and visualise the day you have just had.
THE EVENING 7:
And, I have added 2 more to his list which I habitually ask myself each night:
I have added the two above because as a Christian man I believe that God helps me to achieve my goals and dreams. I also "count my blessings" because some days when nothing seemed to go right I tend to feel depressed. Let's face it no matter how motivated and goal driven you are sometimes the events of the day make it hard to feel motivated. But I find it amazing how much better I feel and how much easier it is to fall asleep when I have meditated on the "Evening 7". Remember no matter how depressed you feel there are other people on this planet who are far worse off than you. Your 'Gratitude" is as important as your "Attitude" to life in the pursuit of your goals. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. We have to enjoy the journey towards achieving our goals as much as the attainment of our goals. Otherwise we will always be stressing and working with no time to enjoy ourselves in our pursuit of our goals. There will always be obstacles to overcome on our journey to success. I have an affirmation that helps me deal with this "If you don't like something change it. If you can't change it then change the way you think about it". You can print the Affirmations I offered to you in rows of three and paste them into a pocket photo album. That way you can look at your affirmation throughout the day to keep you motivated. Click >>> HERE for these Affirmations to help you achieve your goals.
You do not have to be limited by these points. Develop at list which is tailored to suit your goals in life. Share this with others for often in helping others we find that we help ourselves. There are many other techniques in NLP that will assist you to achieve your goals. if you would like to know more about NLP and effective goal setting click >>> HERE.
I love the story of the rich man who said to the student do you want to know the secret of success. Of course the eager student said "Yes". The rich man said grab your swimmers (bathing trunks) because we are going for a swim. They dived into the pool and came up for air. The rich man immediately pushed the student down into the water and held him down, The student thrashed about gasping for breath. The rich man released the student and he came up for a breath. The student took a gasp of air and the rich man pushed him down again. The student had no more air left and began swallowing mouth-fulls of water as felt his life ebbing away.
The rich man let go and the student came to the surface gasping desperately for breath, spluttering and coughing. The rich man helped the student to the pool edge and he climbed out and lay on the ground. After about 5 minutes the student sat up and found the rich man was sitting beside him. The student said to the rich man "You tried to drown me". The rich man replied "How badly did you want that air". " I thought I was gong to die" cried the student. "Do you want to be successful"."Yes said the student". ""Do you want it as badly as your life depended upon it". And then the student realised that he had learned the first secret to success and wealth.
This eBook will have given you valuable insight into the mindset you need to become rich. However, knowledge itself is not enough. I know academics who have amassed great knowledge but are poor as church mice. I also know go-getter's who have little more than eight years schooling who are extremely wealthy. The difference - ACTION, PERSISTENCE and DEDICATION and not simply education. You need motivation and if you split the word it could mean a MOTIVE for ACTION.The master motivator Zig Ziglar said "Motivation is the spark that lights the fire of knowledge and fuels the engine of accomplishment. It maximises and maintains momentum" . You need to take action NOW because time is not your friend. Don't get me wrong - education is vital in today's world but unless you act upon what you have learned you may have wasted a great deal of time, effort and money spent in acquiring that academic knowledge.
Calvin Coolidge the 30th President of the United States of America said "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent".
Contact James Cagney for more information about the Wealth Mentors Network. You will benefit greatly from the resources which James and his associates have to offer whilst you learn to fly with the eagles instead of continuing to waddle and quack with the ducks. Click >>> HERE for more information.
The information in this article is not financial advice and you must seek professional advice applicable to your particular circumstances before acting upon or using any of these strategies. Changes in government and legislation occur frequently and without prior notice and financial markets are unpredictable. Please note that the information herein is of a general nature only and is not intended as specific advice for any particular person or entity.
Author: James Cagney