A collection of links to the very best articles, tips and tools for personal, professional and business success.

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The Killer Combo – Child-like Imagination and Experiential Wisdom

By Bigg Success Staff

10-01-08

Growth

dream

People who succeed bigg dream bigg. They aren’t constrained by the same forces we are.

That’s bull caca!

They absolutely are constrained in exactly the same ways all of us are. But there’s a bigg difference …

They don’t allow themselves to be constrained! They don’t see themselves as constrained. How do they do it?

Why you can and how you will

They don’t spend a lot of time telling themselves all the reasons why they can’t do something. They focus on why they can and how they will.

By changing the focus from “can’t” to “can”, they open their minds to all sorts of possibilities. Because your mind will go where you lead it. Get it thinking about why something can’t be done, it will come up with all kinds of reasons to justify your opinion.

To succeed bigg, you have to get your mind to think of how it can be done. In like form, it will start producing a number of ways to overcome all the obstacles that hold others back.

Sure, some of their ideas may not work. It doesn’t matter. What does matter – they are paths to the possibility of achieving the impossible. One of them will work.

Little minds, bigg dreams

But if we never get out of the gate … if we just assume we can’t win the race … we won’t. We must dream again – we must dream the kind of dreams we dreamed when we were young.

Maybe not the exact same dreams, but dreams that are as bigg as those conceived in our little minds!

  • When the world was our oyster.
  • When there was nothing we couldn’t do.
  • When we could imagine all of the things that we would accomplish.
  • When we couldn’t wait to grow up so we could get to all these wonderful ideas.

We’re better equipped to achieve our bigg dreams now

Because if we combine the dreams of our youth with the wisdom gained from our experience, we can achieve things that other people only fantasize about – if they allow themselves to think about them at all.

You see … that’s the difference now. We have an asset we didn’t have when we were young. We have our experience and all that we’ve learned from it. So the possibility of achieving the impossible is more probable! It’s a killer combination for achieving bigg success!

But we don’t think about that – we just stopped dreaming bigg dreams. We accepted being average and ordinary, when deep in our souls we know we’re excellent and extraordinary.

All it takes is one person finding one way

We have to believe again! Believe that we can achieve what we conceive! Then find a way to do it. It only takes one person discovering one way to do anything that’s never been done before. Then the world marvels at the accomplishment.

You are that one person! 

You were born to dream bigg dreams. You know it because you’ve done it. You were born to be excellent and extraordinary. But first you must remove the limits that keep you from dreaming bigg.

Tap into your imagination. Dream about what can be. Then start thinking of ways to do it. Believe – really believe, deep down … to your inner soul – that you will win. You can achieve this one thing. You will achieve this one thing. Now, take action and achieve bigg success!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show

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Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

By Bigg Success Staff
09-26-08

Bigg Success with Money

diversify

One of the most important tenets of investing is to diversify, diversify, diversify. However, it’s a principle that’s been around for a long time – remember “don’t put all your eggs in one basket?”

By diversifying, we earn the greatest return over time with the least volatility. There are three ways to diversify your portfolio:

#1 – Diversify across asset classes
Your portfolio should include a variety of stocks, bonds, cash, real estate and more. A rule of thumb is to subtract your age from 120 to determine how much of your money should be invested in stocks (or more likely, stock mutual funds). Most of the rest should go into bonds (or bond mutual funds).

#2 – Diversify within asset classes

Within each of these asset classes, you also want to diversify. For example, you don’t want to own a single stock, or even just stocks in a single industry. You don’t even want to just own domestic stocks. Own multiple stocks in multiple industries in multiple countries.

#3 – Diversify over time
There’s one thing that’s certain about the market – it will go up and down. By investing some amount of money at regular intervals (e.g. with every paycheck), you diversify over time. This principle is known as dollar-cost averaging.

When the market is up, you’ll buy less of the same than when it’s down. So you’re buying less when prices are high and more when prices are low. Doesn’t that make sense? Isn’t that what you would like to do with anything else you purchase frequently?

Two simple solutions

One relatively easy way to diversify is through mutual funds. Pick no-load funds with low annual expenses and good performance. Diversify between stock funds and bond funds. Pick domestic funds and international funds. Then re-balance every year to keep your assets allocated properly.

An even easier way to do this is to pick a no-load mutual fund with a targeted retirement date. Then let them do all the rest. The downside is you may get a little better performance by selecting funds from more than one fund family. The upside is you have pros constantly watching over your portfolio. All you have to do is watch over the pros!

Diversification smooths out performance. When stocks go down, bonds often go up and vice versa. So you get the best possible returns without the volatility of a single class of financial assets.

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You as Chief Investment Officer

By Bigg Success Staff
09-26-08

Bigg Success with Money

stocks 

There’s one thing you should know about your money – no one will watch over it better than you. So you must take control of your money and your investments.

Now you may be thinking, “I don’t understand money.”

Well, the cold, hard truth is that you better learn the basics because otherwise you will find people who take your money without giving you the returns you deserve.
 
You may be saying, “I don’t have time to manage my investments.”

There are ways to compensate for that, but you need to understand that being entirely “hands-off” increases your risk of undesirable net returns.

We dug up a great article from Money, written by Jason Zweig. It’s an interview with William Sharpe, the dean of financial markets. Sharpe is revered in academic financial circles, winning a Nobel Prize, for his revolutionary work on market principles.

Sharpe reduces all of his knowledge into 4 key principles of investing:

#1 – Diversify
Owning assets that represent the entire market gives you the best return given your risk.

#2 – Economize
Just as you would with any other outlay, look for the lowest cost way to manage your money and conduct transactions, without sacrificing quality.

#3 – Personalize
Tilt your portfolio toward your unique circumstances, thinking about risks you have outside financial assets.

#4 – Contextualize
Anytime you’re thinking of straying from just buying the market, think again. Make sure you can justify the reasons behind your action.

Putting it into practice

You can use these four key principles to guide you as you make investment decisions. Let’s look at a simple way to put them into practice:

  • Buy shares in a mutual fund that targets a specific retirement date.
  • Make it a no-load fund with low expenses.
  • Buy additional shares in mutual funds that target assets where you have significant exposure. For example, if you have a long commute, you can hedge by investing in stocks that will profit from high gas prices.
  • Don’t stray. When you’re thinking of buying a stock you just got a “hot tip” on, think again and ask yourself why you’re buying. Don’t sell just because the market falls. Stick with your plan.  

There are other ways to execute Sharpe’s principles. However, this is the simplest way to do it, especially if you don’t have much time to manage your investments or you don’t understand investing that well.

Just don’t forget – you are the Chief Investment Officer for your organization. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility for how well your portfolio performs. For most of us, it’s best to outsource and inspect – make sure your chosen managers are performing well. If not, find one that will. Your future depends on it!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show

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Two Billionaire Investors Give Their Two Cents Worth

By Bigg Success Staff
09-26-08

Bigg Success with Money

2_cents 

Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world according to Forbes, may well be the greatest investor of all time. Not surprisingly, he recently made a sizeable investment in Goldman Sachs, one of the firms who had been battered by the recent crisis on Wall Street.

Typical Buffett move.

It goes along with his strategy “to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy when others are fearful.”

So what does Buffett know? Why is he willing to invest now in the midst of all this financial turmoil?

Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett’s college professor and mentor said, “An investor’s worst enemy is not the stock market, but oneself.”

Profiting from pessimism

A great book by Robert Hagstrom, Jr. called The Warren Buffett Way: Investment Strategies of the World’s Greatest Investor, quotes Buffett:

“The most common cause of low prices is pessimism – sometimes pervasive, sometimes specific to a company or an industry. We want to do business in such an environment, not because we like pessimism but because we like the prices it produces. It’s optimism that is the enemy of the rational buyer.”

However, many investors do the opposite. They buy when everyone is buying, which drives prices higher. They sell when everyone is selling, driving prices down.

Think of it this way – if all the restaurants in your community suddenly cut their prices by twenty percent, would you eat out more?

Of course you would!

This billionaire’s stocks returned 9,900 percent

Another man who understood business and stock market cycles was the late J. Paul Getty, one of the world’s first billionaires and, at one time, the richest man in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

In his book, How To Be Rich, he says, “I began buying stocks at the depths of the Depression. Prices were at their lowest, and there weren’t many stock buyers around. Most people with money to invest were unable to see the forest of potential profit for the multitudinous trees of their largely baseless fears. I had confidence in the future of the American economy and realized that shares of many entirely sound companies with fine potentials were selling at only a fraction of their true worth.”

He goes on to say that he made over 100 times his investment on many of these stocks, bought during the depths of the Great Depression!

The best time to buy stocks

He continues, “Common stocks should be purchased when their prices are low, not after they have risen to high levels during an upward bull-market spiral. Buy when everyone is selling and hold on until everyone else is buying – this is more than just a catch slogan. It is the very essence of successful investment.”

How did he have so much confidence that prices would go up?

Because as he explains, “History shows that the overall trend of stock prices – like the overall trend of living costs, wages and almost everything else – is up. Naturally there have been and always will be dips, slumps, recessions and even depressions, but these are invariably followed by recoveries which carry most stock prices to new highs. Assuming that a stock and the company behind it are sound, an investor can hardly lose if he buys shares at the bottom and holds them until the inevitable upward cycle gets under way.”

The worst time to sell

J. Paul Getty fully understood the turbulence we faced. While every stock market crash or bear market has its own unique features, they also have a lot in common.

Getty said, “The anatomy of a stock market boom-and-bust … is not too difficult to analyze. The seeds of any bust are inherent in any boom that outstrips the pace of whatever solid factors gave it its impetus in the first place.”

Getty offered advice to weather the storms. He said, “Another valuable investment secret is that the owners of sound securities should never panic and unload their holdings when prices skid. Countless individuals have panicked during slumps, selling out when their stocks fell a few points, only to find that before long the prices were once more rising.”

Think about the advice from these two great investors when you’re thinking of buying … or selling.

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show

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Success Building Blocks: Competitive Greatness

By Bigg Success Staff
09-17-08

Timeless Principles

success_pyramid

John Wooden, arguably the best coach in the history of college basketball, developed the Pyramid of Success.  It’s a wonderful tool to succeed bigg in any endeavor you choose.

So far, we’ve discussed four rows of his Pyramid.  Industriousness, Friendship, Loyalty, Cooperation, and Enthusiasm form the foundation. The second row consists of Self-control, Alertness, Initiative, and Intentness. The third row, which sits right in the middle of the Pyramid, includes  Condition, Skill and Team Spirit.

The fourth row, which is also the second from the top, is made up of Poise and Confidence

This week, we’ll look at the single block that sits at the top of the Pyramid.

Competitive Greatness

This success building block sits atop Poise and Confidence. Without these two, Wooden asserts you won’t achieve Competitive Greatness. But it goes beyond that – this block sits at the top because it is the result of all the rest. Putting in place all the other attributes helps you achieve this one.

The great performers bravely step forward when others are afraid. They thrive when others wither. So they want to be the point person in attacking the bigg challenge. After all, who is better suited to lead the cause? They believe it is up to them. This is their opportunity to shine … and they do! 

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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John Wooden's Pyramid Of Success

Success Building Blocks: Industriousness

Success Building Blocks: Friendship

Success Building Blocks: Loyalty

Success Building Blocks: Enthusiasm

Success Building Blocks: Cooperation

Success Building Blocks: Self-Control

Success Building Blocks: Alertness

Success Building Blocks: Initiative 

Success Building Blocks: Intentness

Success Building Blocks: Condition 

Success Building Blocks: Team Spirit

Success Building Blocks: Skills

Success Building Blocks: Poise

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