Friday, May 31, 2013

Inspirational Corner: Inner Chatter, Is It Positive?

A fellow investor contacted me a while ago, excited about his plan of action. He partnered with an other investor and they got together and both wrote down their goals and plan of action. They agreed to keep each other accountable by being in touch once a week and going over what they wrote down.

I sent them both a message today to touch base and see how it was going. He never answered me, but she did. She said she was doing good and moving in the right direction; but confirmed that she hasn't been able to get in touch with her partner for their weekly follow up.

So what happend? Well it is my belief that it was cold feet. Once it comes to taking action it's easy to let our fears and insecurities take over. Negativity seeps in and cripples us into inaction.

Have you ever notice the inner chatter that occurs when you are about to do something that makes you nervous? Your toughs repeated in your mind becomes the behaviour. In a real estate investing, let's say you are about to send in an offer.
"Oh my, what am I doing? Is this really a good deal? Is my offer too high? It is too high! I bet it's too high and I'm about to get a bad deal. Or what if it's too low? Maybe it's too low and they'll refuse it and I'll loose the deal. Oh my, maybe I shouldn't be doing this"


 This is what I would consider to be negative inner chatter. You would be talking yourself out of the deal based only on your fears. Take control!! When the inner dialogue starts, control it's outcome. We ARE in control of our own thoughts. Use that control.
"Oh my, what am I doing? I'm about to send in an offer. All is good. I've run the numbers and they are good. I have properly set up my contract so that I have all my protective stops in place. If it's accepted I am ready to move forward. I know what I need to do. If it's rejected, I'm ready to move on to the next deal. I'm in control"



Did you notice the difference? Of course this applies to all aspect of our life. Some of us have been working on being positive, it's become a second nature to squash any negativity with controlled positive thinking. Some of us will need more practise, and our toughs will return to its negative ways again and again. Just be sure to be self aware and to purposely redirect your thoughts.



If we let negativity control our minds it will also control our life. And just like my friend, when it comes to taking the actions to attain our goals and dream, we will talk ourselves into inactivity.




Thursday, May 30, 2013

Good To Know: Today's Education

I'm straying a little bit from real estate investing this week, but I've come across information that I think is very important to look at. This is graduation time and a lot of our graduates are answering serious questions. This maybe something they should be made aware of first.

 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Are You Reading: Sales Dogs

I got the book Sales Dogs written by Blair Singer as an audio book. During calving season, when it was my turn to check cows I would listen to this book while I was driving the quad in the fields.



If you are investing in real estate, you will need to learn how to sale. Well unless you have an unlimited amount of funds in your name; but if your like me you will need to learn to sale.

Sales Dogs, describes the different dog breed and their sales tactics.

The Pit Bull: Will not take no for an answer.


The Retriever: Will bend over backwards to please.


The Poodle: They are the flash and the class.


The Chihuahua: The technical wizard.


The Basset: The old loyal companion.


The Big Dog: He talks the big talk, walks the big walk and does big deals.



The Super Dog: The one who as learnt to adopt the traits of other dogs for the task at hand.



Be sure to find out which dog you are and which you need to be.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tools Of The Trade: Spreadsheet

I will talk about spreadsheet; excel since that is the one I use. The more streamline my process is in my real estate business the more productive I can be. 



 

I will first keep track of which property I'm running numbers on. This can be done on either a spreadsheet or database, but what I want to ensure is that I keep track of which property I've looked at and where I'm at in the process. I keep track of the address, the city, the province, the MLS #, the price, the unit and the status.

So when I'm pulling the list of the properties I intend to pull the numbers on, I will first make sure they are not in my spreadsheet. If it is then I can see where the status is. Am I still waiting for numbers? Did the numbers not work? Did they refused my offer? As the listed price change?

By doing this and keeping track of the status is how I came across the best deal I've seen so far. Wen I looked at the status it was marked conditionally sold. So I emailed the realtor to asked if it had been sold and it fact it wasn't and available again.

I'll then use a spreadsheet to list details of the income and expenses. Breaking them down in both months and year. Make sure you include debt repayment and a clear guideline of what your criteria are. The ROI, CAP Rate and any other indication you use should be calculated on there. When properly set up, it should take you minutes to run the numbers. Streamlining this process. My spreadsheet will also indicate what the property is worth based on my criteria and where my first offer should be. This leaves very little room for emotions to interfere with my business.

I also use a spreadsheet to keep track of all the numbers on my owned properties. This makes it so that I can quickly see how a property is performing, where it is straying from the budgeted plan and so on. This helps me stay on track and keeps me accountable.


If you do not have the skills to get the most of your excel program I recommend you take an evening course.


 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Step On It: Take Action Today

This weekend I was working at a 3 days basic stock trading event held by Rich Dad Education. Our speaker was no other then Andy Tanner who is one of six Rich Dad's Advisor. What an honor that was and what a great speaker he was. 

 

Andy is full of fascinating information. He has created the four pillars of investing which is a great program that I strongly recommend from the little bit I was exposed to this weekend.

"Let me guide you through you financial education to discover the 4 pillars you must know to achieve the success you desire. - Andy Tanner"

You can hear from Andy Tanner on Rich Dad Radio, he was aired August 18th '12, September 22 '12 and November 10 '12

He spoke of the Financial Analysis on the Sovereign level, mostly for the U.S.A. It's a grim picture! What is coming, will not be pretty. If you have invested money the traditional way in the stock market, the best thing you could do is get some education now to protect yourself. The minimal thing you should do is to demand a protective stop on your current investment. Your bank or stock broker will recommend not to do this, they will not want to do it, and they may not know or be able to do it. But you should have that talk with them... NOW!!


Part of the problem with the US Finances.

 


Step On It Monday is normally on how to keep momentum with real estate investment, but protecting any other investment if they are at risk in the market, that should be addressed now.




Sunday, May 26, 2013

What A Life: Gopher Hole Museum

A few years ago, we discovered an Alberta hidden gem; the Gopher Hole Museum.

Yes you have read that right. There is a small museum in Torrington Alberta that has displayed of dioramas with stuffed gophers in a variety of scenes. It is hilarious!! The boys and I have visited that museum every year since we have discovered it. They have albino gophers, black furred gophers and the regular gophers.





There is even "hate mail" displayed from different animal activist. Now don't worry all of this gophers where found as road kill and then stuffed.


If you are ever in the area, it's worth the stop.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rich Dad Radio: Lucas Dinahan (Candy Man)

This week radio show was recorded in Vancouver, Canada while Robert was on his book tour. He had for guest a young fifteen year old entrepreneur, Lucas Dinahan and his father Lance and an ex-principal Rick and Warren Weeks from Fast Track.

Lucas has a candy/vending machine business. He currently owns 80 machines and has 30 more in storage ready to find a location. He purchase his first gum ball machine with the help of his dad at age of four when he wanted to buy a video game. He's hoping to learn more about real estate and stocks.



Rick shared a story of when he was a principal and he had a teacher bring a kid to his office for selling products (legal products) from his locker. Rick found this situation a little uncomfortable. On the one side he is to support the teacher and discipline this student, on the other side, this student is simply taking advantage of an opportunity he saw. The school system is not equipped to support young entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur classes are started to be taught in school; in fact I have taken that class when I was in high school. It was taught by math teacher who was an employee. They are discussing how effective this course will be on owning and managing a business when the teachers are employees.

This was a great show on Rich Dad Radio. Inspiring to teach the proper education to ensure my kids get financial freedom when they grow up, not just a J.O.B.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Inspirational Corner: Courage

At this point, if you have been reading my blog, you understand why mutual funds is not a good investment. Yet that is probably the majority of your investment portfolio. Along with most investors.

So why do we do it? Well because it gives us a false sense of security, it is something we know and understand. It is also something that we do not hold the reins. I think we feel more comfortable the least amount of responsibility we hold. Have you ever driven in a blizzard but felt relief because someone else was driving. The road condition where not any better, and your likelihood of crashing just as high; but that was on someone else's shoulders.

What we have learnt to do is a very sophisticated type of investing. Which is what we are suggesting you do as well. We suggest you take a hold of the wheel and get onto the treacherous road and be accountable for your financial future. Scary! I know, because we are doing it.

It's easier to be courageous when you are in a situation where there is no other options. You dedication to what you are trying to accomplish is pushed upon you. There is no other way. However it is a whole other situation when you choose to be courageous.

I describe our journey like cliff jumping. While on the ledge you just get enough "education" to know where to jump to avoid hitting the rocks, then you jump before you scare yourself out of it. I hope you can become your own motivation to make the necessary changes to accomplish what you need to do to reach your goals and dreams.


 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Good To Know: The 3 Persons You Need To Surround Yourself With

As a real estate investor, you should surround yourself with three kind of people. The mentor, the colleague and the protégé.

The Mentor: As I described in a previous post on this blog, a mentor is a very important person on your team. A mentor should be someone who as accomplish what you are trying to do. Someone who as experience and knowledge in the field you are concentrating on. The main thing a mentor can do for you is to collapse the time frame for your learning curve. What we accomplish in six months probably would have taken us years to do.



The Colleague: This would be someone with the same goal as you at the same learning level as you. Someone to bounce ideas off of and to compare your experiences with. This is a great way to keep each other motivated and with the right momentum. You can hold each other accountable.



The Protégé: This is someone who is inspiring to accomplish what you have done so far, someone starting out. Not only do you help that person grow, but they also help you evaluate your own situation and experience. You will be amazed how much you will learn from helping someone along towards the same goal.


Do you have those three kinds of people surrounding you?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What Are You Reading? $uccess $tories

Are you actively investing in real estate? If you are finding yourself still having trouble taking that first step. Or if you have taken that first step and you are looking for inspiration to keep the momentum. $uccess $tories is a good book for you.

This book is about real life people having successfully taken the first step towards their financial independence. People of all age group and all background.

A couple from Hawaii both with university degrees, where taking the slow and steady approach for their retirement investments. Something low risk, in mutual funds. But they still suffered from $20,000 loss due to the market crash.

From playing Cashflow 101 with friends, they realised their degrees wouldn't help them much in retirement or their slow and steady approach towards investing. So, following Rich Dad's advised they purchased two rental properties from foreclosure making money in the buy.

What I really like about this book is that they provide the calculations of each deals.

If you haven't yet; be sure to read $uccess $tories.



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tools Of The Trade: ICX

When I am looking into rental properties to add to my portfolio, I will not look at anything smaller then a four plex. I want the security of having more then just one source to cover the mortgage payment for my properties.

I have been asked many time where I find multi units family properties, especially since I do not look in the same province of where I live. I look online on the ICX website.

 

From the main screen, I select "Advanced Search." Then under "Looking For" I select Multi Family. I then select the province I want to concentrate my search on. When this becomes and routine search, you can select only the newest listing (last 30 days, 15 days or 7 days).
 
 
You'll then get the listing matching those criteria. All you have to do is contact the realtor for the additional details. Eventually you will create connections with the realtors and they will contact you directly when they have something matching your criteria come across their desk. But until then, use this website.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Step On It: Creating A System

McDonald's is the most successful burger franchise of all. Is it because they have the best burger? Please, have you ever ate there, the burger is not that great. So why are they so successful? That is because McDonald's as develop the best system.

In the courses we have taken with real estate and stocks, part of what the mentors have done for us is provide a system. A step by step list of what we needed to do in order to succeed again and again. If you do not yet have a mentor to provide you with that, create your own system.

In the past, we have discussed the importance of writing down your goals. From that, write down a list of steps that you will need to follow to accomplish your shortest term goal.


  1. Pull a list of properties that meets your criteria (ex: 4 units and up)
  2. Email the listing realtor requesting the income and expenses
  3. Run the received numbers
  4. If the numbers work, sent offer
Obviously this is a very simplified list, but the more detailed and the more streamlined you make the process, the more you can accomplish.

Be sure to create a system for every aspect of your real estate business (networking, education, sending offers.) Also be sure to regularly review your system. What is working well, what needs to be tweaked. Write them down, make them visible and follow them.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What A Life: Working Cows

Late post today, sorry about that. We were vaccinating our calves today and taking part of the herd out to pasture. It was a full day's work. We were lucky to not be rained on.

First we had to take the cows in.

video


Then separate the calves from the cows.



Run them through the chute and vaccinate them.



Our boys were the young helpers this year.



And the bulls had a testosterone face off.

video

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rich Dad Radio: The Next 3 G's

Last week on rich dad radio, Robert talked about getting prepared for possible crisis. He's anticipating a financial crisis in the U.S.A.

He spoke of the 5 G's (Grub, Guns, Ground, Gold, and Gas). He talked more explicitly of Grub and Guns (phisical survival).

This week he spoke of the next 3 G's. Ground, Gold and Gas are for your financial survival.

Did you know the government is printing $80 millions a month? Injecting in the market trying to boost the economy, but how long can they support that. At the same time they are shorting gold to keep the people into the paper assets.

Visit www.richdad.com/radio to learn more.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Inspirational Corner: Celebrate Your Success And Failures

Failures, unfortunately is a part of learning and growing. We have been conditioned to see failures of any kind as bad. In school if we got a question wrong we had points deducted. Pushing us towards perfection.

I once heard Robert Kiyosaki talk about learning to water ski. For four days he would get in the water grab the rope and fall in the water. On the fifth day, he rose above the water and water skied. A lady that was listening to his story commented "I wouldn't tell that to people." She is conditioned to see the failure first. And the fact that Robert spent four days falling in the water to her, far outweighs the fact that he succeeded at learning to water ski.

In stock trading, when we started to learn how to trade, we aim to have successful trade 60% of the time. So that means 40% of the time our trades will fail. At first it was disheartening to see all the failed trades that you tend to try and force a winning trade resulting in more loosing trades. It took us a long time to manage our emotions over the loosing trades.

In real estate, it's important to always be in a position where you are not forcing a deal. The seller has the problem, you are simply trying to resolve it for them. If you get in a position where you really want for the trade to work, you will make poor decisions.

It is also very important to look at your failures and analyse them. I've discovered through my failed deals that I need to work on my presentation skills, and that I need to broaden my network. If instead I would have seen my failures as a shameful event, I would not evaluate it and I would not learn from it.

So going forward, celebrate your success but be sure to also celebrate your failures so that you may learn and grow from them.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Good To Know: Bigger IS Better

A lot of people get into real estate investing by purchasing a small house, may it be the property next door, and find tenants and rent it out. The numerous landlord calls, the 100% vacancy, the unexpected expenses  makes it into a bad experience. So eventually they sell that property for hopefully more then what they paid for and breathe a sigh of relief.

"What were we thinking? Real estate is not a good investment."

Real estate was not the problem here. Lack of knowledge and preparation was.

For one, if you are purchasing any property to rent out and you are planning on managing it yourself. Be prepared to have a second job. If you are okay and prepared for that then great! But I would recommend you get familiar with tenancy act, which protects the tenants more then the landlord. If you do not really want the job of a landlord, then be prepared for the added expense of a property manager. Be sure to interview your property manager carefully.

Next, be sure to look very carefully into the previous expenses.You'll want to dedicate a percentage to vacancy and maintenance, even if none where recorded in the past.

Also, look out of your backyard. You'll need to be prepared to go where the numbers work, and that may very well not be in your local area.

Lastly, don't be afraid to go big. When renting out a single family home, if you are between tenants that is 100% of your income not coming in but you'll still have 100% of the expenses if not more.
I make it a personal rule of mine to not look at anything less then a four-plex. If you are saying, I can't afford a four-plex you are still looking in your backyard or at least not in the right area.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What Are You Reading: Rich Dad's Prophecy

How would you have liked to know ahead of time that the crash in the stock market would have occurred so you wouldn't have lost half of your retirement money? Or better yet, how did the U.S. government or the major bank see it coming and do something to avoid it.

Because there was no way of knowing, there was no sign.

Ya I don't buy that! In fact Robert Kiyosaki wrote a book in 2002 titled Rich Dad's Prophecy: Why the Biggest Stock Market Crash In History Is STILL Coming... and How You Can Prepare Yourself and Profit from It. In this book, Robert describes the events that are taking place that were about to create the perfect storm in the economic world. So if he was able to see it coming, why wasn't the government? And is today's situation really any better?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tools Of The Trade: e-Reader App OverDrive

Yesterday we talked about always dedicating a certain amount of your time to learning. As soon as we start thinking that we know all we need to know, we stop growing. It's a fact, lets just be aware that we will never be done learning.



I'm not saying we all need to go back to school, there are many other means of learning what we need to know. Today I will concentrate on books; they are the fasted and least expensive way of getting access to information we wish to learn about.

E-Books are also a great option to keep the cost low and limit the amount of space you need to dedicate to books. Also if you are able to get an audio e-book you can then turn any wasted times in your life into an opportunity to learn more. Such as driving, mostly if you have to commute; or while working out; or if you are cattle farmer like me, while driving the quad checking cows.

Smart phone these days have tremendous potentials. There is an app for almost anything. I admit I am a fan of having my phone do all the other things it can do. Could you imagine the amount of devices we would be carrying around if each only did one task. Since our phone as such possibilities,  might as well use them.

I've recently open an account at the Calgary Public Library so that I may have access to the numerous books I want and need for free. Then I got the OverDrive app, which links to the library and allows me to borrow the books I want on e-book format. Not only that but I can also get audio books this way. All this for free through my membership and no more late fees.

Just like at the library, sometimes the book you want will not be available. But this app does have the ability to request to be notify when it does become available. So no more excuse, get the app and start learning what you wish to know.

Help videos are available here to get your started.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Step On It: Dedicating Your Time

No matter what you are trying to accomplish; in our case investing in both real estate and stocks; to move forward you need to dedicate a certain amount of time to it. Unless that time is scheduled, your dedication will fluctuate. So first thing, figure out how much time a day or week you can dedicate to your goal.



Let say you've figured out you can do 11 hours a week, 1 hour a day on weekdays and 3 hours a day on weekend. Great! Now you need to allocate time to different activities you need to accomplish.

In my case, I want to dedicate my time to real estate investing. What do I need to do towards real estate investing?
  • Networking
  • Finding Deals
  • Maintaining Current Investment
  • Learning/Growing My Knowledge
Where is my timed better used? When I first got started, the learning was the most important, but as my knowledge base grew, it's became more important to apply what I had learn. Once I started accumulating investments in my port-folio, I have to continue learning, growing my business but I also need to dedicate time to my current properties to make sure they are managed properly.
  • Networking - 35%
  • Finding Deals - 25%
  • Maintaining Current Investment - 10%
  • Learning/Growing My Knowledge - 30%
When investing in Real Estate, networking is a very important part of your business, that is how you grow. Networking doesn't just happen, you need to have a plan and dedicate time to it. On top of networking, you need to actively search for deals, and when your have a deal, you need to continue dedicate time to it doing your due diligence up to closing. When you have ongoing properties you need to dedicate a certain amount of time to make sure everything is running smoothly, that the bills are being paid and the management team is doing their work. If you stop learning you stop growing. We will never know all there is to know about anything. It is important that we all understand that and continue to dedicate time to learn more may it be through books, classes or webinars.

For someone who as just decided they want to learn how to invest in real estate, but never has in the past, their priorities will be different.
  • Networking - 35%
  • Finding Deals - 15%
  • Maintaining Current Investment - 5%
  • Learning/Growing My Knowledge - 45%
Networking is a very important part of real estate investing. Even if you are not in a position to close on a deal right away, you might as well get started with your networking. Get in contact with fellow investors. You may not feel as though you are ready to more forward on deals but looking for deals is still important, that is how you put to practise what you are learning about investing in real estate. If you come across a great deal, then get it. If you can't then wholesale it to a fellow investor that you have met through your networking. I realise I've added time to maintaining your current investment when you don't currently have any in place. Use this time as prep work, get your maintenance team in place; property managers, property inspectors, etc. Also get your tools in place to keep track of your properties when you have some. Make up an excel spreadsheet that would keep track of income and expenses for example. Finally, learning, at this stage this category should have the largest time dedication but not all your time.

For someone who has capital to invest and wants to get involve into an investment opportunity but doesn't really want to commit to learn how to invest on their own would again have a different set of priorities.
  • Networking - 40%
  • Finding Deals - 30%
  • Maintaining Current Investment - 10%
  • Learning/Growing My Knowledge - 20%
In this situation, you can cut back dramatically on the total time dedicated to investing into real estate. Networking, get in contact with investors, get a sense of what they do and if it's someone you would like to invest with in the future. Make sure they know what they are doing. How did they get involve in investing? Do they have education background in this field? Who is their mentor? Finding deals would be dedicated time to checking the numbers presented to you in a deal. Is it in fact a good deal? A small portion is dedicated to maintaining. Make sure you are kept in the loop of how the investment is doing, make sure you are being paid as promised and when it was agreed upon. I am still dedicating time to learning, because even if you do have interest in learning how to be a hands on investor, you still have to be able to recognise if the deals presented to you are in fact good deals.
It is important to spend time toward you goal but it is even more important to make sure that the time spent is done so in a productive way ensuring you to get closer to your goal. Also you can try to find creative ways to dedicate time towards this. Do you commute to work? Then why not spend the 30 minutes or one hour drive with an audio book working on your "Learning". Or make social obligations into potential networking opportunities.

Make sure the time you are dedicating to investing are entered into your calendar or day timer, and if you've had to make changes to accommodate a different activity, reschedule the lost time.

How do you manage your time in order to be successful?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What a life



I raced motocross up until 2 years ago when I crashed and broke my wrists. I truly believe that motocross is one of the most physically demanding sports out there. You have to have the stamina to ride as hard as you can for 20+ minutes, be strong enough to muscle the bike around the track and be mentally focused to avoid hazards on the track.

I was racing at Washougal Washington one year. It was a huge national that consists of about 3000 amateur riders. Its a little intimating to line up on the starting gate with 39 other riders, looking down the first straightaway into a narrow first corner.

As the gate dropped and everyone accelerated down the start straight I found myself in the middle of the pack entering the first turn. I kept my focus hoped that I didn't get hit from the side. As we all exited the turn still on two wheels I knew I needed to try to pass as many riders as I could early in the race before they spread out. I managed to pass a few guys and within a couple laps I was in the top ten. As I came around one corner I noticed a hay bale in the middle of the track (it got kicked out from another rider). I looked at the bale and told myself  "I don't want to hit that."  Well.....I ended up hitting it, crashed and separated my shoulder. I was done for the weekend.

It was frustrating I felt awesome during to race. I was passing riders, I didn't feel tired, I didn't make many mistakes. Until I lost focus for a couple seconds and started thinking about what could happen.

If you just focus on avoiding the hazards you will lose your forward momentum and what ever hazard your trying to avoid will get you anyway. Look to where you want to go!!!

Adam

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rich Dad Radio: eFood & Bears Arms

If you where surrounded into a crisis situation, how long would you last? Robert Kiyosaki is very passionate about been prepared for worst case scenarios. He as been putting together what he calls the 5 G's: 
  • Grub: non perishable foods to last at least a year
  • Gas: gasoline to still remain mobile
  • Ground: a safe piece of  real estate
  • Gold: Robert as had gold and silver made into small coins, because in the case of a economic crisis, that will be the only real money
  • Guns: It may be his military background, but Robert is adamant about been in a position to protect himself, his family and his belonging
In this week's radio show, they touch base on what they consider to be the two most important Gs. Guns, and Grub. He's invited Kurt Stancel from Bear Arms to discuss the gun issues, and Steve Vincent of eFood to discuss food provisions.


In a crisis situation, how long would you last?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Inspirational Corner: Negative People In Your Life

Ever heard the saying "You are who you surround yourself with"? Ever notice how you are always down when the people surrounding you are constantly depressed.

When Adam was in surgery for his wrists. We were told that the surgery would take two and a half hours. Four hours into the surgery I had a friend call me to see how Adam was doing. I explained that he was still in surgery and that I liked to think they where just doing an extra good job putting his wrists back together. She said "Melanie, you need to prepare for the worst! He could DIE"

"..."

I said "Okay I have to go now." I know that she felt, she was being helpful. But that was not what I needed to hear. She is the kind of person, that will always plan, prepare and expect the worst. She sees the gloom in every situation. Most of our conversation includes the words "It's so hard!"

It was at that time that I knew I would be cutting her out of my life. Not obviously or hurtfully. I just simply didn't initiates the calls, I took a step back and let that friendship dwindle a little bit. I knew we had months of recovery ahead of us. Moral was going to be low enough with just dealing with the situation and I didn't want to contaminate our life with any extra negativity.

Take a look at the people in your life. Who is the one that always cheers you up and that is always smiling. That will point out the good side of any events. That is who you want close to you.

Take a closer look, who sees the gloom everywhere. Who will come running at the sign of hardship and starts complaining about life. You may want to create a little more space between that person. If that person is you; you may want to start paying close attention to your inner thoughts.

It is my belief that we control our own thoughts. If they are negative, be aware, give yourself a mental shake and seek the positive side of the situation.

It is like the Cherokee legend "Two Wolf"

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed." 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Good To Know: And/Or Assign, Your New Name

Good for you, your out there, putting out offers on properties. Maybe you are not at that stage yet. Regardless here is something you should know. Your new last name is now "and/or assign". I used to be Melanie Barr but I am now Melanie Barr and/or assign.

When placing offers on properties, having a contract in your name and/or assign give you possibilities. You can later transfer the contract to any corporation or person of your choice. I deal a lot with corporation, and at the time of the offer, the corporation may not yet be in place. The and/or assign allows me to later transfer the contract into that new corporation.

Maybe you have a property under contract but for whatever the reason you are unable to close on it. By having used the and/or assign you are now able to transfer the contract to someone else name and wholesale the deal.

So be proud of your new last name and use it in your contracts.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

What Are You Reading: Who Took My Money?

Who Took My Money? Why Slow Investors Lose and Fast Money Wins!
by Robert Kiyosaki



If you have, lets say, $10,000 to invest. Where should you invest it? Simple question, unfortunately the answer is not as easy. For one, you would have to take in consideration your comfort level and time commitment. The problem is, you may not like the answer. If you are currently investing in mutual funds. It as been my experience most people would like to get a specific fund for that answer. Not, get out of mutual funds. Did you know that most financial advisers are first and foremost sales people. They are selling a product, mutual funds. They will never advise for you to invest in anything else but mutual funds, because that is where they make their money.

I remember when we met with a representative of Primerica. His advise was to combine all of our debts into one mortgage against our house. Then amortise for 35 years and make payments as if it was amortised for 25 years. It would leave us with a massive payment that would take up all of our spare money, but we would be debt free in 15-20 years. "Doesn't that sound great?" he asked. He was a little shocked when I didn't agree. That would only work if we where done accumulating debt. But I had two small children, we where already outgrowing our house and our vehicles where on the verge of needing to be replaced.

I lost further trust in the company when the representative kept asking me to join the Primerica group and become a financial adviser. I explained that I knew nothing about that, but he assured me not to worry that it would only take a weekend course and an easy test. Really?!?? That's all it took him to advise me what I should be doing with my money to get ahead? No kidding I didn't like the answers I was getting.

If you are wondering if your financial adviser is a sales person, ask this; when do they get paid? When they sale you a mutual fund product or when they make you money?

I also find very funny that they suggest you be diversified when all they offer is a product that only makes money one way, when the market goes up. That is not being diversified. Wouldn't it make more sense that if you are to be in the market, that you diversify yourself so that you can make money when it moves up or down? And that to further diversify yourself by investing out of the market as well?

That was my personal opinion. If you want to hear more about why and where you should invest your money, read Who Took My Money?

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tools Of The Trade: CutePDF Writer

CutePDF Writer is an other program that I use a lot. Not just for the cute name. Well a little bit for the cute name but also because it's very usefull. Best of all, it's a free download.

How would you like to take an excel spreadsheet and send it to someone as a PDF file so that you know the information you send will remain the same. Or a contract on a Word document so that you know when it is signed, the wording didn't get changed around.

Once installed CutePDF Writer will be set up as a device next to your printer. Take any documents and simply select CutePDF Writer as your printer and print. A pop up menu will show up asking you what to call the file and where to save it. How simple is that.



An other great program to use for your business.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Step On It: Stalling



There will always come a time where we will lose our momentum. It's important to recognised that we have stalled and take the necessary steps to get back on track. In my case, most of the time I can't ignore that I have stalled. Mostly because my husband constantly asks "What have you done with real estate lately."

If you have to be accountable to someone, it's harder to lose your momentum. If you are into this on your own, it will be easier to lose the momentum and not notice you have. Investors that have joined an investment group or keep in close contact with fellow investors will find it easier to stay on track.

For me, December is where I stall. I like to go big for Christmas, just like my mom has always done for me. So I will, purposely stop or slow down with my investing. That is one of the good things about investing in stocks or real estate; you can control how busy you are. My problem is after Christmas is all over, I tend to continue my no action routine. It takes me a long time to get moving again.

I know this is an issue, and I realise that taking a whole month off does not work well for me. So what do I do to avoid the loss of momentum? Well there are a few things I will try differently next time.



Planning: I will still want to dedicate a large portion of my time in December to Christmas and Christmas activities. That's important to me. But I will do this with a plan, I will designate a day to looking at listings, sometime in early January and write it on the calendar. I will schedule a marketing event, exposing me to investors to help me get the motivation going again.

Don't Stop, Slow Down: Since regaining the momentum as been so hard for me, instead of stopping my investment activities, I could just decrease the amount that I do. I probably dedicate 4+ hours a day to the real estate investing (including this blog). If instead, during the holiday season I cut that down to 1 to 2 hours. I'm still moving forward and it doesn't take a very large portion of my day.

These have been my struggles with keeping momentum and my solutions. Leave comment and let me know. What do you do to maintain or regain momentum.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

What A Life: iPod Touch

I have two boys aged 6 and 7. More then anything they want an iPod Touch, like most of their friends and neighbours have. In the meantime they are reduced to scrounge time on mom and dad's iPhone and iPad when they are allowed.



Unfortunately for them, I insisted on two rules. One; they must pay for their iPod themselves and two; they must be ten years old. I'm not the most popular mom right now. They currently each have a Nintendo DS that can be found sometimes on the floor, sometimes under the bed, and sometimes they can not be found at all. It is my feeling that if they can't take care of their Nintendo DS an iPod is not going to fair any better.

From birthday money, they currently each have enough money for their iPod. They are now just patiently waiting till they reach the age of ten.

The other day, we read the comic book version of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. It discusses how kids can get cash flow from creating their own business. That got them interested. From playing Cash Flow For Kids, they already know what an asset and liability is. They understand the advantage of purchasing "Doodads" with cash over credit cards; and they can recognise the trend of a stock. What can I say, they have been exposed.

So I decided to make a deal with them. If they come up with a business idea that they would operate and make money, I would allow for THAT money to go towards the purchase of an iPod now. They are not allowed to use their birthday money for an iPod, but if needed it could go towards the start up of their business.

In fact, we even located a website called "Kidpreneur" with information and resources for kids to start their own business.

So I asked Jerome, "What do you say? Want to do that?" His answer was "No, I'll wait till I'm ten." When I asked the same question to Patrick, he also answered in the negative. When I asked him why he said, "I'm scared."

Isn't funny that they would have the same excuse adults have for not taking charge of their financial future? They are either too scared or too lazy.

So in the meantime, we are discussing business ideas, and  waiting for them to either, take action or reach the age of ten.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Rich Dad Radio: Does School Make You Richer Or Poorer, Smarter Or More Stupid?

This week on Rich Dad Radio, Robert invited his youngest guest yet, Haley age 10.

Haley is currently attending public school, there was a school project where she had to pick a job. She raised her hand and said "When I grow up I don't want to have a job, I want to own a business. May I pick that."

"No!"

Well If that is not school teaching their students to become an employee, I don't know what is.

They also discussed how her spirit was crushed, when her project she submitted was degraded for lack of effort when the subject was something her teacher did not agree with.

What can our kids do when they do not get along with their teachers? I was always told to suck it up and make it work. To not be defiant and do as I am told.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Inspirational Corner: Meeting Robert

Fast Track as arrange with Robert Kiyosaki a Canadian book tour for Robert's new book "Why "A" students work for "C" students, and "B" students works for the government".



They where in Calgary last Wednesday on May 1st. Darren Weeks the founder of Fast Track, was up on stage and described how he came to meet Robert Kiyosaki and how Fast Track came to be, and how this book tour had been made possible. They planned the whole thing in only three weeks time.

Then Robert came on the stage. I really enjoyed hearing him speak. He as a way of not sugar coating everything that he says which is quite refreshing. He spoke of his days at school and of how he struggled. He spoke of his days in the war and how the ability to change saved the life of his battalion, when some others who did not make the necessary changes to their tactic did not fair so well.

He spoke of the future for the American economic system. He paints a pretty gloom picture, one he hopes he'll be proved wrong on.

He spoke a lot of how we learn from infancy on, and how, to give our kids an advantage, we should teach them about money between 0 - 12 years of age. The older we get the harder it will be.

Everyone who attended received his new book and got the chance to get it autographed.



I even shook his hand. Now I have to figure out how to shower without getting that hand wet.