Friday, December 26, 2014

Oy Vey Money Versus Proud Mary Money

Most of us have some sort of income... Income from a job, from rental real estate, or from royalties from something that we have invented or created like a book or a witty invention.

Then there's money that comes just because we are a citizen of a certain country...a government refund.
Although I appreciate it, no matter what it's's just "Oy vey" money....because I did nothing to deserve it or earn it. "Oy vey" money is useful, but not inspiring..... utilitarian, but not fulfilling.

I've noticed that the source of the money really strongly affects how I feel about a certain chunk of change....and the size of that chunk matters very little in terms of how it makes me feel.

For example, there's a writer I follow who has created a homespun fishing lure business on the side.
It is his love and passion to create lures and find the best places to sell them. At this point, the business is not enough to entirely carry his household expenses, but the joy and fulfillment he is getting from seeing the progress of his homemade creations is inspiring. He's at the stage where he is considering great expansion in marketing his goods. Whatever nickels, dimes and dollars he earns from this venture...I would be tempted to call his "Proud Mary Money".

I have upon occasion celebrated this kinda money too. I can assert, that "Proud Mary Money"
has a lot going for it. It contains within it's DNA all sorts of good stuff....momentum, hope, fulfillment of a life's dream, and hint of a better tomorrow. "Proud Mary Money" has my sweat, focus and artistic bent written all over it. This kinda money is gutsy and has a pioneering spirit. "Proud Mary Money" goes where no man has gone before.

Do you have some of each? Does that five bucks you earned selling one of your homemade treasures on Etsy make you grin for 5 hours straight? Did that Youtube video you created that's earning you 3 cents per day, make you chuckle while you're driving to your "day job" ?

Even if your "Proud Mary" fund is so teeny tiny as to not even deserve a bank account of it's own, I'll bet that you are already bragging about that new book you wrote, video you created, item you sold on line, etc....because you created it with your own sheer will, curiosity, artistry, and pioneering spirit.

When push comes to shove, my goal is to focus on creating more in 2015. I am so pumped! It's gonna's gonna bring increase....more Proud Mary Moments.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tony Robbins on Basket Brigade

You just have to watch this video. It is Tony's retelling of the story of one of his Thanksgiving experiences

with his parents when there was no food ....and then the miracle of the man at the door.

If any of you have ever experienced some kind of hunger, you will understand his story.

Also, if you have ever entertained the notion of feeding the hungry, this story will most certainly inspire you to action. Incredible story. Bring some tissues.


Name That Blog

Years back when I first started this ole Blogger blog, I was on a thought bender.
My bent was towards empowerment and I felt so totally empowered to realize that everything I ever wanted or wished to know was certainly within my grasp. My months in college and university had filled me with a fresh zeal for the power of "access". Knowing the right professors, experts and connections gives you access to folks who can answer some of your most pressing questions. Then when you get your first question answered to your own satisfaction, you are able to move on to another brilliant inquiry. As the scriptures say "Line by Line, precept upon precept".(isaiah 28:13)

I fell in love with the notion that not only was I powerful because I valued my own questions and the process of inquiry, but I realized that I was powerful because I discovered I had learned how to
find out anything I wanted to know.

It wasn't just a spiritual process, although that remains a vitally important part of my personal learning process. Prayer is part and parcel of the learning and inquiry process. I ask God to help me continue to grow and to lead me into the knowledge and fields of inquiry that He wants me to pursue. I ask God to help me to retain the knowledge that I glean. I ask God for access to more teachers and mentors as the time is right.

I have found that women in particular don't necessarily take their own quest for knowledge very seriously, especially if they are mothers. The needs of their children and their spouse often cloud their inquiries or dull them into apathetic science. But, after reading this post, you won't fall for that mistake will you ?

But I have found that a woman who comprehends and respects her own capacity to learn and gain knowledge is a better and happier mom. Don't lose sight of your curiosity. Let it lead you into more data...more factual information. Women who gain mastery of a subject became capable of accomplishing anything they set their minds to. ( for more on this idea, read the book called "The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman)

So, permit me to wrap up this post....merely by repeating what I came to believe when I started this humble blog. Ladies and gentlemen, elders and students, rich and poor and everybody inbetween....let me roar and empower you today....because it is still true... YOU really CAN Know ANYTHING. May 2015 show you that the access to knowledge you long for is right there waiting for you to chase down and make it your own!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mutual Funds and those Pesky M.E.R.'s

Sometimes I think the whole mutual fund industry is based upon the premise that very few North Americans trust themselves to invest their own money. They'd rather hedge their bets with someone who has a few letters behind their name than do their own research and pick their own stocks.

Now the rage is all for ETF's which , in my mind, is the same thingy majiggy as mutual funds except with a facelift. It's those M.E.R.'s which annoy me. (management expense ratios)
The "professional" fund managers are permitted to take a cut of all the investment into the fund, whether or not the fund is performing well or not. Talk about a gurantee! But the guarantee operates in the best interests of the fund managers, not necessarily in yours or my best interests.

Those who buy mutual funds keep being sold the story of the "safety of buying the basket" instead of stock picking individual shares.

But what about picking stocs in a similar fashion to the institutions that you admire? If you admire the Provincial or state wide teacher's pension fund, then it's not going to be impossible for you to find out which shares they own. Yes, you can copy's perfectly legal. You just might not get the same deals as they get because their huge chunks of buying power sometimes negotiate a better price for their cuts of stock, as opposed to an individual "retail" investor.

Warren Buffet has a stream of folks following his every stock purchase. I recently learned that many of his stock purchases are now hidden from the public for a certain period of time, just because there is such a huge following behind his every transaction. When someone's investing is considered an "institution" it is like they've graduated into playing the big leagues. That doesn't mean that you can't make money as an just that it's a pretty different game we play. Individual investors just don't have those economies of scale that institutional investors have.

Another thing to consider is that individual investors are often concerned about transaction/commission fees for their every stock sale/purchase. But institutional investors carry such large portfolios, that I would assume they are given a free ride when it comes to charges for commission fees and the like.

Don't be discouraged....just learn the rules for the game you want to play. Outsmart them, by being observant, teachable, well connected and persistent. Time is on your side.


Investing Secret

I've come to a conclusion...after reading a plethora of finance authors and doing my own real time real life research......that the simple key to excellent investing can be summed up in one seemingly
humble word, but permit me to say it's called "discipline".

The famous investor/author/teacher Robert Kiyosaki talks often about how folks come up to him and ask him for a tip on the next big investment idea, or for a stock tip, or some secret investment product that is sure to turn their fortunes around. Robert K. always responds tactfully by asking them a question such as "Well,  what kind of investor are you?"

Are you a good investor? That's a better question to ask, than to simply ask someone for a stock tip. Are you able to carry out financial plans? Are you disciplined with your money? Or do you need to give the financial decision making power over to someone more disciplined than you are? Do you trust yourself with money? Do you give away money too freely? Do you overspend and wind up up to your ears in consumer debt? Have you figured out how to maintain a constant influx of cash into your life?

How folks handle money is a good way to measure where they are on the "wise vs foolish" scale.When it comes to investing...the results can be even more devastating. Folly has a way of infecting even the best investment ideas. Therefore, never share a great idea with someone who is foolish. Test out someone's character before you share anything of financial value with them.

Anyway, I realize too, that most investment plans are based upon the assumption that humans, if given access to a large lump sum of cash, will spend it wildly and at top speed, thereby causing their lives to out-survive their money. That's why financial advisors who focus on providing/selling retirement "income" products rarely talk about the necessity or benefit of fiscal discipline. They would rather sell you something like an annuity, so that you, in essence, as a very old adult will be given an "allowance" every month of your retirement. The large lump sum of cash is handed over to the financial "professional" because we have been sold that line that
says we can't handle a large chunk of cash if we have access to it.

But I don't appreciate it when folks undermine my capabilities or any one else's for that matter.
What's wrong with having a large chunk of cheese and just sawing off a modest chunk of it each week?
Money doesn't spoil. It's not perishable. If you can train yourself to only utilize modest chunks of your own savings throughout your retirement, then you won't need to turn your cash over to the "professionals".
You'll have mastered yourself and your own spending and thereby conquered the world.
You can even set up your own system of giving yourself your own "allowance" by having automatic transfers set up from your investment accounts to your "spending" account in modest weekly or monthly portions. You can follow the crazy bootstrapper Alan Corey's example, by simply making your money "hard to get to" by NOT having a bank card and putting it in a bank that is located really inconveniently far away and have no internet access to the account. Yes, you can discipline yourself, without having to pay a professional top dollar to do this for you. You are disciplined. You can control yourself. The future belongs to the disciplined.

Peace and good will.


This is Probably Not Your Last Christmas

Just a quick thought for those of you heading out to finish up your christmas shopping list. I just wanted to mention....that if you are tempted to consider this Christmas as the absolute end-all and be-all Maximus Christmas of all time....please remember that as long as you  are breathing( and Jesus hasn't returned) , Christmas will surely come around again next year.

Therefore, if you've burnt the short bread cookies and bought generic sox for your nephew instead of brand name.....don't happy, because you'll most certainly have another chance next year to get it right.

I spent years hyping up every single stat holiday, and finally realized that my world wasn't going to end if everything wasn't uber perfect for every celebration. Life continues. Family continues and God's plans for us all most certainly continue on into eternity.

Peace and good will.