Thursday, October 27, 2016

Millennials to face more challenges than the Baby Boomers

At the end of the day, fundamentals are fundamentals, even when they are wrapped in a prettier package. And for all their disdain for their parent's generation when it comes to materialism, the reality is that millennials suffer from the same financial disease: the need to spend, and spend richly, on liabilities.

Simply put, as great as experiences are, they are still liabilities that take money out of your pocket. And if you don't get smart about your money and your financial future, you'll find yourself unable to enjoy those experiences later in life.

So what's a millennial to do?
Securing your financial future isn't about greed

The lessons of "Rich Dad Poor Dad" still apply to this day: increase your financial intelligence, invest in assets that provide cash flow, and enjoy the things you love with that cash flow.

The beautiful opportunity the millennial generation has is to turn their love for experiences into opportunities to grow their financial intelligence and assets. This is not about owning more stuff. It's about securing your financial future to do things you love and be the generous people that you are for the entirety of your life.

Some quick ideas:

-Turn your trips into opportunities to get to know the local real estate market and identify potential cash-flowing properties

-Take advantage of sharing economy services like Airbnb and Uber to create income opportunities
-Form an investing club with your friends and make the idea more appealing by giving it a social-good component such as using part of the funds to support a charity together
-Find ways to sell the goods you create from your hobbies to fund them and build a business

Each of these ideas could be a post in themselves, but the purpose is simply to get the gears of your mind turning. More than ever, the lessons of "Rich Dad Poor Dad" apply today. You must change the way you view money and investing in order to survive your financial future. Simply buying into the old rules of money like saving, buying a house, investing in a 401(k), and getting a good job won't do the trick. It didn't work for your parents and it won't work for you.

Robert Kiyosaki is a Japanese American investor and author of the popular book 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' where he wrote of his two dads. His rich dad taught him to think differently, inspired and helped him get rich on his own.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

To depend on Social Security is the ultimate gamble of hope

Social Security has been around for a long time now and they only have $2.8 trillion on hand. How they would ever catch up, especially given that, including other obligations, the US has $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, is not explained. Why? Because it is the big elephant in the financial room.

To put it simply, US unfunded liabilities are larger than the "future" payroll collection income for Social Security-money that has not been collected yet can't even cover the money we owe today.

In the end, relying on things that are called "assets" but that don't put money in your pocket is the biggest gamble you can take with your financial future-and relying on a government program like Social Security as your "biggest asset" is the ultimate gamble…one that you will lose big on.

Rather than passively rely on capital gains and the government to make you financial secure, you need to take control of your own financial future. That starts with increasing your greatest asset: financial intelligence.

And the key to financial intelligence is how to use both cash flow and capital gains to grow wealthy. So many people are not successful, because they're generally focusing on only one of the two. The majority is focusing on capital gains.

In my opinion, one of the primary reasons people invest in tomorrow, rather than today, is simply because they think they cannot find or afford an investment that pays them today. As a result, they often become believers in tomorrow. These are the people who often fall prey to financial predators selling dreams of the future.

As my rich dad said, "An investment needs to make money today and tomorrow." 
Today, start putting the power of true assets and cash flow to work for you.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Your Business depends on your Selling ability

If you’re making six figures today, imagine what your life would look like if you could make 10x more. You’d be a multi-millionaire in no time. Think about how much you could grow your business, how much more time you could spend with your loved ones, and how much better your life would be.

Everything in business—success or failure—hinges on your ability to sell. You have to sell your ideas, your message, your products, and most importantly yourself. If sales equals income, why wouldn’t you want to master selling?

Robert Kiyosaki is a Japanese American investor and author of the popular book 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' where he wrote of his two dads. His rich dad taught him to think differently, inspired and helped him get rich on his own.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

We retired early because of our cash flow

One of the reasons I was able to retire at age 47, and my wife, Kim, at 37, was simply because we had enough cash flow coming in (primarily from our real estate investments). It wasn't much-about $10,000 a month-but we only had about $3,000 in monthly expenses. That left us with $7,000 a month to do with as we pleased.

On the other hand, capital gains are when you buy a stock for a dollar, and it goes up to $10 so you make $9 a share. Or, you buy a house for $100,000, and it appreciates to $150,000. You sell it and make $50,000.

One of the reasons people do not become financially free is because most of them are focusing on capital gains rather than cash flow. Chasing capital gains alone is gambling-not investing. Want proof? You don't have to go back very far to find it: During the great recession starting around 2008, millions of investors lost trillions of dollars in the stock and housing markets.

"When you invest for cash flow," my rich dad said, "you're investing in a money-back guarantee. If you invest for capital gains, you invest in hope. The biggest thief of all is hope."

Monday, October 17, 2016

House as an asset | Rich vs Poor Dad

"Our house is an asset," my poor dad would say.
But, my rich dad saw things differently. "Your house is not an asset, but a liability," he said.

You see, even though my poor dad thought of his house as an asset, the fact is that every month it took money from his pocket via mortgage payments, utilities, and upkeep.

Now my rich dad owned several houses. But instead of depleting his wallet, those homes were rented out. They generated enough income to cover his expenses-with money left over. That's a true asset.

Robert Kiyosaki is a Japanese American investor and author of the popular book 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' where he wrote of his two dads. His rich dad taught him to think differently, inspired and helped him get rich on his own.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Robert Kiyosaki on TED talks

In 2002, I wrote Rich Dad’s Prophecy, I wrote about the coming stock market crash and retirement crisis as baby boomers began pulling money out of their paper-asset-stocked retirement plans in order to live. One reason why the gap between the poor and the rich is growing as such a fast pace is because so many people as still playing by the old rules of money.

To know, understand, and play be the new rules of money you first have to have a financial education. The rich are getting richer because they understand the rules of money and how to use them to their advantage. One of the reasons I wrote, in 1997, Rich Dad Poor Dad was because I knew that money was not being taught in schools and I had a calling to teach people all the things my rich dad taught me.

Going forward, the middle class will continue to shrink and the divide between the rich and the poor will only grow. I want you to grow richer. I want you to continue your financial education; I want you to learn how to profit from taxes, debt, and inflation rather than allow them to make you poorer. I believe that there is a way for everyone to become rich. It’s up to you to take action.

Robert Kiyosaki talks about why money is being devalued and why real income is going down in America.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Introverts are better at selling than Extroverts

Three valuable things learnt in decades of experience in sales

1. Find out what the other person wants, and help them get it

Too many salespeople—even experienced salespeople—focus entirely on selling a specific product or set of services. Not many people try to figure out what a lead actually wants before going into the sale full bore.

Put another way, there’s always a reason why someone says “No” when you try to sell them. They may be the most qualified lead in the world, but once you hear that first “No”, your job is to figure out what’s holding them back. And that means developing your listening skills.

Instead of asking yourself, “Why is my lead rejecting me?” ask yourself, “Why is my lead rejecting my approach?” It’s likely that you do have the perfect solution, but they need a bit more convincing.

Sometimes, it’s because the lead has a “hidden agenda” that you might not know about. Other times, it could be because the package you’re offering is only a 90% fit, and the remaining 10% needs a little tweaking. Whatever the case: listen well, and ask the right questions.

2. Meet objections with questions

The most important question you can ask a hesitant lead is “Why?” Because when you say that one, simple word, you’re reframing the conversation. Instead of putting the pressure on you, you keep your prospect talking.

Try it out. The next time a lead says “No” to you, instead of offering a discount or another product, just say “Why isn’t this a good fit for you?” 9 times out of 10, the answer will be “I can’t afford this right now.” It’s a kind of token resistance that is all too common, even if the solution is perfect. So what do you do? Try asking “Why?” again, in different contexts. For example, “Why is it too expensive? Compared to what?”

By shining the spotlight back on your lead, sometimes they’ll end up answering their own objections. In the best-case scenario, asking “Why?” helps you get one step closer to a sale. In the worst-case scenario, at least you’ll have a solid answer for why your offer isn’t working (so that you can tweak it as needed).

3. Overcome your timidity and fear of talking to strangers

Over the years, I’ve realized two things about introverts and extroverts when it comes to selling:
- Introverts are often far better salespeople than they realize because they take the time to prepare.
- Extroverts are often just as shy and timid when it comes to selling because of the fear of rejection.

In other words, it isn’t necessarily true that extroverts are always better salespeople. There certainly seems to be a large number of extroverts in the selling business, but that’s not to say that they didn’t have to jump the same hurdles we all did.

The truth is that everyone is afraid of rejection. Everyone. You can be the most confident person in the world, but in the back of your head the fear of rejection will never go away. So stop making excuses like “I’m just not good at selling” or “I’m worried about being rejected.” We all are.

The best salespeople look that fear in the eye, deal with it, and overcome it every single day.

Robert Kiyosaki is a Japanese American investor and author of the popular book 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' where he wrote of his two dads. His rich dad taught him to think differently, inspired and helped him get rich on his own.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I hated sales but it was the best thing I did

When someone comes to me asking what they should do in order to be better prepared to start a business, I always tell them the same thing: “Get a job with a company that will train you in sales.”

My rich dad gave me that exact advice when I wanted to start my business. Like most people though, I hated sales. I had the same fears that everyone has about selling. Like most people I feared hearing “no.” I eventually got a job selling at Xerox. This was the best thing—as an aspiring entrepreneur—I could have done for myself.

Selling is an art. For many it takes years to master. And there are many people who will never be successful at selling. If you want to own a business, you have to master the art of selling.

Blair Singer, my Rich Dad Advisor, says, “Greatness doesn’t happen by chance, nor does it occur in a vacuum. Greatness comes from, first, a passion for what you do; and second, a clear understanding of what you can and want to be best at.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wells Fargo incident a reminder that banks are not our friends

When I was a kid, I remember my parents taking me to the local bank to open up a savings account. In those days, I got a little ledger book. Every time I made a deposit, we'd mark it down in my ledger with the date, as well as the total savings. I remember the bankers being very nice, and it felt like they were on your side.

Today, the banks still love to help parents open accounts. They'll even do "generous" things like waive the maintenance fee on accounts below a minimum threshold to get kids money in their coffers. Some banks even have whole programs built to attract kids to open up accounts.

Why? Because when you start 'em young, you can train 'em young.

Banks work very hard at creating a friendly, good-guy persona. But the reality is they're more like greedy leeches than they are good neighbors. And as if charging fees for pretty much everything related to them making money off your money, they also profit big time from selling you financial products.

And when the pressure to sell those products gets too strong, bad things happen to the little guy.

Enter the latest scandal from a big bank, this time Wells Fargo. As The Washington Post reported, "Subject to aggressive sales goals, some two million accounts opened by Wells Fargo workers may have been unauthorized, created without customers' knowledge and 'often racking up fees or other charges,' according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau."

Why would they do this? You want me to do what?

"An investigation by the Los Angeles Times into the sales practices back in 2013 reported that branch managers had to commit to 120 percent of daily numbers and tellers had to come up with at least 100 sales of financial services per quarter. Aggressive sales goals are frequently cited in anonymous employee reviews on Glassdoor, a career web site."

People do strange things when they are afraid of losing their jobs. And fear of not hitting sales goals cost some 5,300 employees their job at Wells Fargo, as well as the institution itself a $185 million fine.

Lets you think this is an isolated incident, Jim Pearce, a 30-year veteran in the banking industry writes in Investing Daily: "The scale of the malfeasance was impressive, but I wasn't surprised it happened, given how prevalent this form of compensation has become throughout the entire banking sector. I spent over half of my 30-year career working in the investment departments of several banks, every one of which pressured their branch personnel in similar ways as Wells to sell loans, credit cards and other high margin products."

Pearce continues, "In all these cases the senior management team either knew, or should have known, about the problem long before regulators levies severe fines and other sanctions."

In this case, Wells Fargo executive Carrie Tolstedt, who was in charge of the division that opened all these fraudulent cases, gets to "retire" with a giant bonus to the tune of $124.6 million, as well as the praise of Wells Fargo's CEO John Stumpf , who said she "a standard-bearer of our culture" and "a champion for our customers."

If that's the case, I'd hate to see what the bad apples look like at Wells Fargo.

Par for the banking course

Of course, none of this should be surprising news to those who have paid attention to the banking industry over the last decade or more. I've written plenty about other bank scandals, such as Barclays manipulating LIBOR in 2012. As I wrote then, "Barclays has tried to sweep this incident under the rug by settling with British and U.S. authorities to the sum of $453 million. But this scandal is only growing." Of course, today, you'd be hard pressed if the average person remembered or even knew about this.

Most likely, people will forget about this Wells Fargo scandal in another four years time.

All this should come as no surprise. As I also wrote, "Money may not be everything, but it is important. Integrity, on the other hand, is everything. And money is a great barometer of people's integrity. When a lot of money is on the line, people will start to do unexpected things. Money often reveals who we really are."

Money has revealed the banks for what they are: greedy institutions that will do anything to get more of your money, even lie, cheat, and steal.

Yet, billions of people hand their money over to them each day.

It reminds me of the famous line from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." As Caesar is being stabbed to death by the Roman Senate, he looks at his "friend" Brutus, and proclaims, "Et tu, Brute?"

So, what's the moral of the story?

Banks never have, and never will have, your best interest in mind-but they want you to think that way. They want you to believe they are your friends. Just take a look at their advertising.

Rather, they are institutions made to sell financial products like loans, credit cards, mutual funds, and more. Their financial advisors are not advisors at all. They are salespeople. And like Brutus, they will stab you in the back when they get the chance.

It's time to up your financial education

Today, more than ever, it pays to know that the financial cards are often stacked against you. And it pays even more to know how to play the game of money on your own.

Today, more than ever, you must increase your financial intelligence. If you don't, you'll be sold down the river before you know it by a banker with a smile and his fingers crossed.

And never, never forget that the banks are not your friends.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Start investing in Assets and stop working for a Paycheck

Money is the problem. It’s the money, stupid. We’re printing it, we’re printing it, we’re printing it, and it’s corrupt. And it’s toxic. Stop working for money, start acquiring assets. Use your brain.