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How to Weather Financial Climate Change

weather_a_stormBigg success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on money.

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We hear a lot about climate change and its implications. It occurred to us that financial markets change much like the weather.

So here are 4 tips for weathering financial climate change:

Asset prices heat up and cool down

Stock prices skyrocket. Then they fall.

Real estate prices rise. Then the bubble bursts.

Nothing goes up linearly. Yet most of our projections do. Plan for all weather – diversify.

You won’t create much wealth without taking some risk. But you can manage that risk by investing across asset classes (e.g. stocks, bonds) and within asset classes (large cap, mid-cap and small cap stocks).

Price movements can be extreme

Experts are predicting more volatility in the years ahead. We don’t mind it when prices are rising quickly. But we have to be prepared for the other side as well.

Very, very few people successfully time the market period after period. So it’s important to move your money to less risky assets as you near the date when you’ll need it. If you’ll need it in less than ten years, you may want to look at shifting money to something less risky.

As we always say, talk with your financial planner about your specific situation to determine your best move.

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Watch your emissions

By emissions, we mean money out the door. In our businesses and in our personal lives, it’s much easier to spend less than to make more.

When you’re getting ready to spend it, think about how many hours you have to work to earn the money in the first place. If you really want an accurate picture, do this on an after-tax basis.

Make the green house effect work for you

When you’re buying a house, ask some important questions. Do you really need that extra room? How often will you use it?

You may decide to buy a smaller house and invest the “green” to further diversify your portfolio and increase your returns.

Also, invest your “green” in energy efficiency. Improving the efficiency of your home pays you back month after month by lowering your utility bills. You can’t say that about most outlays.

Take these four tips and go green to build a sustainable future for yourself. That’s bigg success!

How are you weathering financial climate change?
Share that with us by leaving a comment, e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com or leaving a voice mail at 877.988.BIGG(2444).

Thank you much for visiting us today. Next time, we’ll discuss a positively fantastic way to improve your bottom line. Please join us. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00496-100709.mp3

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Simply Living Simply

simple_houseBigg success is life on your own terms. Today we’ll focus on money, one of the five elements of bigg success. There’s a tendency to define bigg success as having more money.

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But is it possible to have too much money?

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georgeI remember Donald Trump being asked about the difference between $70 million and $700 million. He said, “A bigger boat.”

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marylynn
Some people don’t need a bigger boat. Other people don’t need a boat at all!

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georgeThat reminds me of something one of my mentors once said, “There are two good days in the life of a boat owner. The day you buy it and the day you sell it!”

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marylynnToys are the fun side of money. It’s the side we usually think about. But more money also means more responsibilities – more legal issues, more accounting hassles, more management headaches even if it’s just managing your portfolio.

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A lot of people think you can just hire someone to do those things for you, but you have to be careful how much you delegate. No one will look out for your money like you will.

A simple choice

While our society often seems to equate bigg success with bigg money, it’s important to determine what you want. Bigg success is life on your own terms. Live the life that makes you the happiest.

For some people, there is such a thing as too much money. They choose a different path to bigg success.

We can reduce this to a simple choice:

  • adjust your lifestyle to your wealth or …
  • … accumulate enough wealth to support your lifestyle.

Now don’t think it’s a rags or riches mentality. You don’t have to live like a pauper if you choose to adjust your lifestyle.

Many people are perfectly content simply living simply, but comfortably. They have a nice house, drive nice cars, and take nice vacations. Of course, you get to define nice.
 

Simply pick your number

Let’s look at the difference between these two choices. First, let’s say you can live life on your own terms with an income of $100,000 a year. Financial planners tell us we can draw down our portfolio at the rate of 4% a year when we retire. So that means you would need $2.5 million of assets to support your lifestyle.

Now, what would it take if you wanted to live large? We hear a $250,000 a year income is now considered “rich” here in the States. So let’s use that as the magic number.

Then you would need a portfolio of $6.25 million.

Quite a difference, huh? You don’t have to stress about accumulating such a large portfolio if you adjust your lifestyle to your wealth.

Some people enjoy a higher quality of life by choosing to simply live simply yet comfortably.

They worry about money less because they have less money.

It’s life on your own terms. You pick the path that makes you the happiest. That’s bigg success!

What about you? Are you happy living simply or do you want to accumulate wealth?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG(2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so much for simply spending your time with us today!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Please join us next time when we’ll talk about the one-minute layoff. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00436-071409.mp3

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Wealth is in the Eyes of the Beholder

santa-claus This is our twist on the old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Many people are enduring a rough holiday season. We may not be spending as much as we normally would. We see that as a bad thing. We don’t want to disappoint our kids.

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Sometimes we forget how much we already have. As we get older, we put expectations on ourselves and judge ourselves based on what we have and the gifts we can give.

The cardboard box

Have you ever seen a little kid get his or her first bigg toy – the one that comes in the bigg cardboard box? Have you ever seen a kid put the real toy aside and start playing with that cardboard box? They turn it into a fort and have fun with it for hours, playing with their friends. Through the eyes of us adults, that cardboard box is extraneous. Through the eyes of a kid, the cardboard box is a valuable toy itself.

We develop our point-of-view from our experiences. Obviously, we want to learn from them, but we need to be careful not to take away the wrong lessons. So this holiday season, try looking at the world through the eyes of a child again. Look at things as if you were seeing them for the first time. Be innocent again.

Through the eyes of a child

We want to share a touching story comparing how we perceive things as adults to how we might see them through the eyes of a child. A rich dad wants to show his daughter how less fortunate people live. So he took his daughter out to the country, where they spent a couple of days and nights on a farm with a family most people considered very poor. Here’s the conversation as they drove back to the city …

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dad
How was the trip?

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girl
It was great, Dad.

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dad
Did you see how poor people live?

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girl
Oh yeah.

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dad
So, tell me, what did you learn?

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girlI saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them. We have a staff that serves us, but they serve others. Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.

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As you might imagine, the girl’s father was speechless. He thought he would teach his daughter a lesson … it turns out that it was he who needed to learn one.

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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We really appreciate you checking in on us today. Join us next time when we talk about the best present of all. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00291-122208.mp3

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A Sure-Fire Way to Stop Innovation

island We read the transcript of a great speech, entitled How to Get Rich, given by Jared Diamond at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. It offers some great lessons in history, economics, and innovation.

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He asks the question, “What is the best way to organize human groups and human organizations and businesses so as to maximize productivity, creativity, innovation, and wealth?”

Now wouldn’t we all like to know the answer to that question?

He says that in the thirteen thousand years of human history, we have thousands upon thousands of “natural” experiments. To answer his question, he looked at extreme examples of societies in isolation.

The isolation begins

About ten thousand years ago, the places we know as Australia, Tasmania, and Flinders Island were connected – people could freely travel back and forth between them. Then the glaciers melted.

Even though they were only about 200 miles apart, the water-going craft of that era couldn’t traverse the rough seas between these three islands. So the 4,000 people of Tasmania and 200 people on Flinders Island became completely isolated from the rest of the world.

The isolation ends
In the seventeenth century, these two islands were “discovered” by the Europeans. The first to be rediscovered was Tasmania. It was noted that, at the time, the society was the least technologically advanced and most primitive group of people in the world.

They had no fire. They didn’t have any tools. They didn’t even know how to fish. In fact, archeologists have shown that they had less technology than they had ten thousand years before.

So, you ask, what about the 200 people on Flinders Island? When it was discovered around the same time, there were no people there. They became extinct.

Our islands

So we learn that small isolated groups don’t innovate. They may even regress. This historical example got us thinking about islands that we create, often without even realizing that we’re placing ourselves in isolation.

Field

Discoveries aren’t isolated to a single field. If you only talk to people within your field, if you only consume content in your space, you’re missing out on a whole world of ideas that may be fruitful for your field.

Media
Many people only consume media with which they agree. Seek out the opposing point-of-view. When you do that, you’ll either reinforce your beliefs or you’ll start to discover other alternatives.

People
Universities often don’t hire graduates of their own programs as professors. They fear it will lead to nepotistic thinking. Let’s learn a lesson from their policy. Get outside your circles of friends and business associates. If you work in the for-profit world, get to know some people in the non-profit world. If you work in government, make sure some of your influencers are in the private sector.

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georgeI’m a pretty social person. But looking back on my former businesses, I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t feeling fulfilled because I didn’t spend enough time seeking out ideas and alternatives outside my sphere.

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It’s so easy to get so busy running your business, working your career, or managing your life that you fail to invest important time in connecting yourself to people, places and things that expand your mind.

Islands are a great place to visit. Just make sure you don’t get stuck there.

What islands have you seen people create?

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00264-111308.mp3

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Questions to Ask before You Invest in Real Estate

By Bigg Success Staff
04-07-08

Bigg Success in Real Estate

real_estate 

We’ve all seen the infomercials that tout real estate as a get-rich quick panacea. Just buy their product, follow their advice, and soon you’ll be quitting your job and living on easy street.

The problem is … it’s a dream, not a reality.

We’ll hasten to add that their program is probably a good one. A small percentage of people will buy it and succeed, although probably not as quickly as the infomercial would lead you to believe.

Investing in income-producing real estate is a great way for the right person to increase their net worth. In fact, it’s one of the most certain ways to get rich … slowly!

But the question is … are you the “right person”? In other words, is real estate investing for you? Because make no mistake about it, real estate investing is a business.

Real estate is a business
Even if you only own one investment property, you’re in business! So you should have some general knowledge about running a business and some specific understanding of a real estate investment business before you invest.

You need to understand the marketing, operational, and financial sides of real estate investing. You need to know how to

  • promote your property to prospective tenants
  • keep your property in good condition
  • track your income and expenses

Questions to ask yourself
It all comes down to your personal characteristics and your plan. Do you have what it takes to be a bigg success in real estate investing?

So before you start looking at property to invest in, ask yourself some difficult questions.

  • How will you find good properties for sale?
  • How will you determine how much to pay for a property?
  • How will you know if the property is in good condition?
  • Do you have the time and patience to keep looking at properties until you find the right deal?
  • Where will you get the money required for the down payment?
  • After you make the down payment, will you have money left over for unexpected costs?
  • Will you have enough money to keep paying the bills on the property even if you have a vacancy?
  • How will you find prospective tenants?
  • How will you screen these people to make sure they will pay their rent on time and take care of your property?
  • Do you have the time and patience to show your property to prospective tenants?
  • What will you do when a tenant is late on his or her rent?
  • Do you have the temperament to remain unemotional about your tenant’s situation and your investment?
  • Are you prepared for phone calls late at night or early in the morning because your tenant needs something repaired?
  • How will repairs be handled?
  • Do you know the law in your area regarding your rights and tenants’ rights?

If you don’t like your answer to the above questions, don’t despair. You can find a partner to fill in the gaps or consider hiring a property management firm. You won’t make as much money, but you can still build your wealth. Or you may just decide that being a landlord isn’t for you.

Contrary to what many infomercials would lead you to believe, real estate investing isn’t easy. However, if you have the right temperament and approach it as the business it is, it’s a great way to supplement your retirement. It might even make you rich … slowly!

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