How To Start Investing For Financial Independence, Part 1

Today, I am going to start a multi-part series about how to go from being a beginning investor to being "financially independent" in a steady and predictable way. At our website, we get tons of e-mails about how do I start, how do I start with little $ 's, etc., etc., etc. If you are asking this question, congratulations because you are ahead of most. All of us have been there at some point.

I must warn you …. What I am about to share here for free is what "gurus" across the nation charge thousands of dollars for in weekend seminars. The "secrets" disclosed are going to seem pretty simple because quite frankly, there are no secrets. The methods used here have been done for centuries and there is no real reason to complicate them. Let's apply these principles to see how fast someone might become financially independent without betting the farm.

Realize that everyone has wildly different starting points and different financial goals. For this series of articles, we assume that an individual has access to at least $ 15,000 liquid capital (or home equity) to start, is at least breaking even with their current income income expenses, and has decent credit to obtain financing. Note there yet? …. See the footnote below.

To start, what you need is to make your money grow while keeping your current income stream, and current expense level in place. I can not say this more plainly ….. To change your current financial path, you have to us your money and your time to grow additional income streams that increase wealth. There is many ways to do this but we are going to use investing in real estate as an example.

Now for beginners, here is the really bad news …… As an investor, you reap rewards by putting your money in HARMS WAY. You do everything in your power to minimize your risk but bottom line is that real investors make money by taking CONTROLLED risks. As investors get better, they learn how to make fantastic investment returns doing things that all their friends and relatives thing is crazy ….. However, they know exactly what risks are small in comparison to the potential Rewards.

One reason people really like real estate investing is leaseage; Ie, you can purchase an expensive property using 0-20% of your own money while financing the rest. So if you put 10% down for example, and then the property goes up by 20%, you have made a 200% return (ignoring expenses, taxes, etc. for simplicity). Of course this works in reverse … If the property drops by 20%, you have lost not only your original investment but have to come up with another 10% as well ….. Ouch!

For someone beginning, here is what I would suggest:
1) Look for an opportunity that will return at least 150% in 2 yrs or less;

2) Be mentally and financially prepared if the investment does not work out;

3) Have VERY good reasons why you do not think you will lose money …… You may not make as much as expected but you would rather not lose money at this stage.

4) Be patient. This single result should not either make or break you but it is crucial to a longer term plan.

In our Mastermind Group, we are bringing out a land project (see related article Land Investing that appears to meet these criteria (each investor has to decide for themselves.) So let's say the purchase price is $ 150,000, with 10% down and another $ 3,500 In closing costs. With good credit, then the financing obtained would make the land payments for 2 years while waiting for growth.

Now let's say after you did your analysis, looked at what had happened in the past, looked at why you thought more and more people would want this property, etc., you decide that you think this property will average 20% / Yr escalation over The next 2 years. MORE IMPORTANTLY, you decide that barring a major meltdown in the market, you think there is little chance that you can not at least break even after 2 years.

So if you end up being right about the growth, then you might net a tidy $ 43,000 (before taxes) or so after everything is considered. After long term capital gains at 15% let's say, then you just picked up about $ 36,000 of the "market's money". That is money that if you take a loss on the next investment will not be nearly as painful as if you lost your original money. When you combine this with your original investment amount, you now have around $ 55,000 of operating capital for step 2.

Realistically, you can not predict how much you will make from the investment. When I invest, I try to establish in my mind what is reasonable. Frequently, I have been surprised to the positive and made much more than expected. Sometimes I have made less. The key being put to yourself in a low risk situation where you have a strong reason to believe the market will go in your favor.

To accomplish this first step, let's look at what you really had to do:

1) Had to be willing to put $$ in harm's way;

2) Had to educate yourself enough to evaluate the risk and the opportunity;

3) Had to find the opportunity or be in a position to have the opportunity presented to them;

4) Had to act.

I would like to comment on the education side. As a former professor, I have seen very smart people spend 1,000's of hours and 10,000's of thousands of dollars educating themselves to "earn a living"; This is a great move in many cases. On the other side, I have seen very smart people who want investing to be a major source of income but will not spend any time or any money educating themselves.

To me, this is a recipe for disaster. By the time we finish this series, you will see that with a few simple steps, implemented over time, many people can easily produce more money than their regular job. Tomorrowmore, many people will put 100's of thousands of dollars at risk but know almost nothing about what they are doing. If you chose the path of making your investment dollars grow steadily with time, I hope this does not end up describing you.

** Footnote: If you are not yet at that level, here is what I suggest. First, read Michael Masterson's book called "Automatic Wealth". This is an excellent book on how to quickly change your financial position while staying employed. Next, I would read Van Tharp's new book called "Safe Paths To Financial Freedom". Van uses a very different thought process from many and so adds a great deal of rounding. Like anything else, you will not agree with everything written in these books but they provide some great thought processes. When you have some capital and are cash flow positive, they come back and revisit this article.

All About Your 3G Internet Service

In the technology circle, there is much hue and cry about 3G internet services. It is a known fact to everyone that 3G stands for “3rd Generation”, but very few are aware of this technology from its core. Basically, it’s an initiative taken by the International Telecommunication Union to create a global wireless standard for mobile internet access. However, it requires a minimum mobile internet access speed which is comparable to DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) internet speed. To meet the technology standards, there needs to be high-volume voice services.

Unlike its predecessor 2G (2nd Generation) technology, which was evolved around voice applications including talking, call-waiting and voicemail, 3G technology emphasizes on internet and multimedia based applications that facilitate web browsing, music downloads, video conferencing etc. However, to access 3G network, your device need to support an information transfer rate of at least 200 Kbit/s. With the increased demand for high-speed internet services, the popularity of 3G is also surmounting. The technology has multiple benefits to offer, some of which are discussed below:

High-speed Internet on the Go: Before the advent of this technology, it was almost a dream to get access to high-speed internet on the go. Modern developments in mobile technology coupled with 3G has created great opportunities for users to surf internet at a blazing fast speed, even while they are travelling.

Reaches Remotest Corners: It’s easy to find 3G access at places where wired connectivity is difficult to install. This helps minimize the gap in internet access in rural areas or areas with limited connectivity. The speed sometime exceeds the speed of dial-up internet services.

Affordability: 3G standards benefited the rural people to a great extent. While it’s expensive to set up wired connections at homes, the wireless internet costs less and offer better speed to the users. With the development of this telecommunication technology, users can now get high-speed connectivity even on their mobile devices.

Multimedia Usage: Both corporate and personal consumers benefit from the service as it facilitates the use of diverse multimedia applications and enhances the wireless internet experience. It enables real-time video conferencing, music download at a faster speed, uploading and downloading files at a speed that equals to wired broadband services.

Stay Entertainment: Internet offers multiple ways to keep the users entertained. For lightning fast internet speed and seamless network availability, users can enjoy online gaming, listen to their favorite music or watch movies online with their 3G internet connection.

Though, 3G internet technology is getting momentum both in urban and rural areas, there are still some places where this technology is not as effective as metropolitan cities like New York and San Diego. While telecommunication experts are hopeful to enhance the reach of both 3G and 4G (4th Generation) networks and make the services more affordable for the users, the increased traffic and the usage of mobile devices are the two main issues of concern for the tech experts. Moreover, to sustain a balance in the environment, there needs to take more precautions, as wireless rays often cause harmful radiation, which have adverse impact on the environment.

It's The Law

Billboards tell us to wear our seat belts because it's the law. I envision a day when prominent signs and ads say: "Your thoughts create your life," and "Like attractions like." We would have constant reminders of the Law of Cause and Effect everywhere we go. Actually, we do have constant reminders of this law wherever we go. In his classic book, The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes says: "Everyone joins to himself just what he is, and we may set it down that where we are, however intolerable the situation may be, we are just where we belong." I may add that however joyous a situation may be could also be just where we belong.

Charles Fillmore said in his book: Prosperity, "All true action is governed by law. Nothing just happens. There are no miracles. There is no such thing as luck. Nothing comes by chance. Explained under the law of cause and effect. " A Course In Miracles says: "Everything you see is the result of your thoughts. There is no exception to this fact." The Bible tells us that we will reap whatever we sow.

Most of us understand this law academically. The difficulty is in living it consciously. It is a law that you can not break. It is working whether or not you believe in it. You are reaping what you are sowing. Your thoughts, assumptions, beliefs, attitudes and feelings are mirrored back to you in your experiences of life. Why is it that we can pray, affirm, and think positive thoughts and still not experience changes in life that we desire?

The love of God continuously flows through us without our asking. When our thoughts and emotions are in tune with this Divine vibration, we experience joy, peace, and a sense of well being. When we are appreciating, loving, and creating harmony we are in the flow of Divine energy. When we look upon our world critically, fearfully, angrily, or with disappointment we are cutting off the flow. We label something as bad and our being begin to vibrate at the same frequency. I worry about not having enough money and my life experience becomes as one great magnetic field appealing to myself more money problems.

In Science, fields are invisible structures that occupy space and exert influence within that space. My thought forms occupation space creating a field around me. My thought and emotion create energy. My energy flows inward and outward. It flows inward, coloring my interpretation of people and events. It flows outward, looking for that which is in harmony with it, drawing it to me.

We do not merely respond to the stimuli around us; We create the stimuli. I decide what I am seeing, hearing and feeling. Your words to me are an attack, a call for help, or nothing at all depending on the choice I make. This is how my energy flows inward, influencing my responses at the mental, emotional, and physical levels.

Energy flows outward affecting external events. Years ago I was struggling to increase my consulting business. I was having trouble finding new clients. At the same time, I was spending time and energy looking for a full time job. I was afraid that my consulting practice would not increase. I was stuck, unable to increase business and unable to get a job.

My energy was flowing in two opposing directions. I really did not want a job. Conflict and fear in my thinking and emotions created a field of confusion. Finally, I made a decision to stop looking for a job and to commit to my consulting practice. I focused my energy on what I really wanted. I thought about how wonderful it would be to be successfully self-employed. Within two weeks I received a call from a client who offered me a large, well paying project. They happened to find a piece of paper with my name and number on it in an old file cabinet.

Fear is a focus on what is not desired. A focus on what is not desired puts us in vibrational harmony with what is not desired. We fill our field with thoughts and emotions that serve as attractors for exactly what we do not want. At the same time, the love of God is flowing to us. It is not appealing our heart's desires to us because we are cutting off the energy with our fearful thoughts and beliefs.

I may think: "Would not it be wonderful to have a successful business? Would not it be great to have more friends? Would not it feel fantastic to be more healthy? These thoughts and emotions begin to build a field for me As I lovingly hold my vision, the love of God flows into my field ever creating the desired effects. My appreciative energies serve as attractors, structuring my field of experience.

Often we follow up our loving thoughts with thoughts of doubt or fear. Old emotional tendencies kick in and take over. Let's say you want a new relationship and you create both the partnership and the loving feelings in your mind. Soon old fears take over. Your tendencies to feel lonely and to feel bad about past failures cut you off from the love you felt a few moments ago. You want to get rid of these tendencies but you have trouble letting go of the payoffs you're receiving for staying right where you are. It's safer to be alone. It's easier to not try than to fail again.

There may not be an exact formula to change our fields in order to experience greater well being. This is what I use:

1. I identify what I do not want.

2. I identify, specifically, what I do want.

3. I identify the feeling of well being that comes to mind when I think about what I want.

4. I choose which feeling I wish to create (the feeling that comes from living with what I do not want or the feeling that comes with experiencing what I do want?)

5. I make a commitment to what I want, and become what I want. If I want a loving relationship I need to become one who relates lovingly. I need to think, visualize, walk, talk, and feel as if my vision were already here.

6. I trust Spirit to deliver that which is highest and best for me. I am unattached to specific results trusting Spirit to decide.

Ultimately, the specific things and situations we desire are not what is important. It is the creation of an enhanced state of well being that matters. As we create this state we create a field of well being around us. This field influences all who intersect it, assisting them to create greater well being, too. The love of God, as true cause, flows through us, creating conditions that enhance joy. This is the only way to positively change ourselves and the world. It's the law.

Thinking Like An Online Entrepreneur – E-Commerce Tips

So much has been written about entrepreneurial thinking that I won’t try to distil it here. However, there are certain behaviours I have noted about how some web owners approach the development and running of their e-commerce websites which deserve a little discussion.

Let me start with the most important, influencing factor to any web owner’s success: belief.

Belief

Starting your online entrepreneurial activity with the right mindset and beliefs is like winning the match before you’ve stepped out onto the court. It’s what separates the really successful businesses from the average ones.

Ask any sportsperson or sports psychologist and they’ll tell you that your beliefs profoundly affect your performance.

What we believe is possible in our online entrepreneurial life is the limiting factor in our success.

Let’s take an example. Lots of people wish they were millionaires, but of those who want to become millionaires, very few actually believe they will be millionaires. Those that do, however, stand a far greater chance of becoming what they believe. Why? Because at a conscious and subconscious level they are doing everything they can to pursue that one objective. Now I’m not suggesting that being a millionaire should be your life’s goal; I’m just using it as an example. The point is that your underlying beliefs in what you are capable of fundamentally affect the actions you take and the choices you make.

All this may seem more like some New Age incantation rather than hard-edged business-speak, but there is good reason I mention it. Owning and running an e-commerce website is not for the faint-hearted. It is complex and demanding and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Be prepared for long hours, headaches and hard work, but also be prepared for more customers, a growing bank account and a sense of achievement. Your belief that you are doing the right thing is what will see you through and keep you on course for success.

Owning an e-commerce website can be a wild ride but how you handle it is totally dictated by your mindset and your beliefs. For example, many e-commerce websites fail because their owners give up – they lose confidence, interest and commitment, especially in the early days of their website’s life. It’s easy to give up if you’re struggling or faced with outright failure. However, those who believe they will succeed don’t see failure as a setback but as a learning experience – they have the right mindset and they will do well because of it.

I’m telling you this because you know that success isn’t a set of purely mechanical step-by-step processes. (If it were, we’d all be millionaires.) Success comes from your mindset: what you believe you can achieve and the expectations you set yourself. This mindset is as important as knowing how to Search Engine optimize your e-commerce website or write compelling sales copy.