Archive for category wealth

The Fruits and Vegetables of Proper Personal Finance

A grocery store is a complicated place to shop if you want to truly be healthy and live a long life. More Americans are seeking to preserve their QUALITY of life through better eating and are now coming to understand that their choices in the grocery store must change.  The world of personal finance, wealth building, and retirement planning has the same challenges as shopping in the grocery store. There are lots of good-looking investment and savings options but very few that are actually good for you.  Few will give you the desired outcome which is a long happy life with enough passive income to enjoy your retirement and leave wealth to your heirs.

Below are a few simple rules that will help you be a better consumer of both food and financial products.

Rule 1 for Food

90% of your groceries should be real food from the produce aisle. The more raw food and living food you eat the more real nutrients you will absorb and the better your health will be. 90% of what is in a grocery store is not Food. It is a chemical compound that is packaged in an attractive wrapper but it is not food. Oreos, Twinkies, frosted flakes, spaghetti sauce etc, is not food. Apples ,Oranges, Carrots, Kale, and Bananas are food. If it comes in a package it’s probably not food.

Rule 1 for Finance

90% of all investment produces are prepackaged nightmares that come with too much risk. Avoid as much as possible IRA, 401k, 403b, Thrift savings plans, and mutual funds. These plans are mostly prepackaged garbage with very high hidden fees and lots of market risk. These products can only perform in a raising market but get hit hard every time the market falls. These products are the junk food of the finance world and American baby boomers over consumption of these products produced the greatest bull market in history that took the market to 10000 and beyond. Wipe away all the sales and marketing nonsense and realize that the stock market took off from 1982 to 1999 because baby boomers put all their money in their companies 401k,403b, and thrift savings plans and bought mutual funds. Did I mention that this group has 70% of all of the savings in the country? Over the next decade they will walk away from these products and kill the market for the rest of your lifetime. Avoid these plans and stick to safe products with guaranteed income and favorable tax treatment. You should be investing to create a pension or even multiple pensions. A focus on income and tax reduction is really all you need to understand about planning for retirement. Focus on INCOME!

Rule 2 For Food

Rarely do grocery stores market things that are good for you because they are not sexy. The sexy stuff comes in a fancy package and has a marketing slogan. There is a marketing campaign for every cookie, every toxic chemical in the cleaning aisle, every low sodium TV dinner. If it has a commercial or a mascot and people are buying it avoid it like the plague. When is the last time you saw a commercial for a grape or Kale. You body struggles to break down the things you see commercials for but it absorbs the nutrients out of the real food items.

 

Rule 2 For Finance

If it has a commercial in finance it probably has little to no financial use and too much risk. People are buying their insurance from lizards and Geckos, and dancing bears. They are being sold on the lowest monthly cost without considering what type of coverage they get for that money. That improper coverage leaves them exposed to many risk. They are walking around carrying big Orange Numbers asking “what’s you number.”  The question has never been at what age you retire but at what Income. That big orange number doesn’t tell you how much money you can spend a month and what your tax burden will be.

The best financial products are not marketed on TV. The wealthy use another group  products that are they are safe and unsexy. The wealthy look for income and products with low or no tax.  In addition, they look for companies that have a track record of paying for 100 years or more. It’s hard to make that sexy, but that’s why the wealthy are wealthy.

Rule 3 For Food

Drink lots of Water but not bottled Water

 

About a decade ago the country finally got to the point that it agreed that water is very good for the body. This was a good thing. From that discovery the industry of bottled water took off. People stopped trusting water out of the tap and started carrying water everywhere they went. Grocery stores began to stack bottled water as high as they could and a trend began that shows no sign of slowing down, ever. In fact ,the worst public water gets the more bottled water will be sold. There is just one problem with this and that is that the bottle that holds the water is poisoning the water and that poison can cause cancer. In addition , fresh water loses its’ real value after three days so all the water in a grocery store is dead water, not fresh spring water like the package claims. Great idea but poor execution.

The proper water filters and a system that gives you alkaline water in PBA Free bottles is a simple solution. This truth represents a loss in sales of billions to the bottled water industry and the grocery store so don’t expect to see this anytime soon.

Rule 3 for Finance

Save as much money as you can for retirement but not in retirement plans

Americans have one of the lowest savings rates in the world. That may be because people have seen their savings wiped out over and over again since they started investing in the stock market in the 80s. The S & L crisis, the crash of 1987, the tech bubble 0f 1999, the real estate bubble of 2008, at least once a decade people are getting hit hard and that makes them not want to save. When America was a pension society they saved a lot more. It’s not that saving is wrong but like bottled water it’s the package you wrap your savings in. Why put your savings in the stock market? Why tie your life insurance policy to the stock market? Why play hunches and trends?

We can save in solid tax advantaged , non market exposed products that state the return before we invest. We can use produces that have no exposure to the up and down of the market.  We always move forward no matter what is happening on Wall Street. Three simple questions to ask are, Can I lose Money, What is the guaranteed return, and What is the tax consequence. The answer should be favorable for all three before you invest.

 

Grocery stores and investment firms are big shining beautiful places with options and products laid out all over the place. Knowing which to choose is a matter of a proper education that develops into a sound philosophy. If you haven’t invested in that education then you simply put yourself at risk every time you enter either of these institutions. If you need a place to start try reading a simple text written by author Tony Brayboy called The Big Payback, it’s a short instructional book that’s worth a million dollars .

Here is the link: http://readthebigpayback.com/3-matrix/

Wishing you Wealth, Wellness, and Wisdom

Mark Fuller

Manager of Wealth

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How to Get Revenge on the Stock Market for Stealing your Wealth

 

The pure truth is that you have a 5% chance of retiring with enough money to live well after retirement. To join this 5% of people who are as rear as white elephants you will need a lot of information, great habits, and advice from an exceptionally informed advisor. My advisor in this regard is Tony Brayboy of Matrix Wealth Management and he can help you as he has helped so many wealth seeking people in the past. Get his new book The Big Payback.

Feel free to check out two chapters for free but get this book into your collection now.

Learn what you need to know to become as successful and you dream of being.

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WARNING – There is a New Visa and Mastercard Scam sweeping the Nation

 

 

I just received this message from the C.E.O of one of Maryland’s top lenders. Please take a moment to read and understand this credit card scheme so that you and your family are protected.

Visa / MasterCard FRAUD

 

Verified with Snopes:http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/creditcard.asp

 

This is a heads up for everyone regarding the latest in Visa fraud. Royal Bank received this communication about the newest scam. This is happening in the Midwest right now and moving across the country.
This one is pretty slick, since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want.
Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it.
This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard telephone Credit Card Scam works, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself. One of our employees was called on Wednesday from ‘VISA’, and I was called on Thursday from ‘MasterCard’.
The scam works like this:
Person calling says – ‘This is (name) and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460, your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?’ When you say ‘No’, the caller continues with, ‘Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching, and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address). Is that correct?’ You say ‘yes’.
The caller continues – ‘I will be starting a Fraud Investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. ‘Do you need me to read it again?’
Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works – The caller then says, ‘I need to verify you are in possession of your card’. He’ll ask you to ‘turn your card over and look for some numbers’. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the last 3 are the Security Numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the last 3 numbers to him.After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he’ll say, ‘That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?’
After you say no, the caller then thanks you and states, ‘Don’t hesitate to call back if you do’, and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. We were glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card. We made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. 
What the Scammer wants is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don’t give it to them. Instead, tell them you’ll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation.
The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card, as they already know the information, since they issued the card! If you give the Scammer your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you’re receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make, and by then it’s almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.
What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a ‘Jason Richardson of MasterCard’ with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA Scam.. This time I didn’t let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening. I dealt with a similar situation this morning, with the caller telling me that $3,097 had been charged to my account for plane tickets to Spain, and so on through the above routine..
It appears that this Is a very active scam, and evidently quite successful…
Pass this on to all your family and friends.

 Wishing you Wealth, Wellness, and Wisdom

Mark Fuller – Manager of Wealth

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Eddie Obeng: Smart failure for a fast-changing world

http://www.ted.com/talks/eddie_obeng_smart_failure_for_a_fast_changing_world.html?source=facebook#.UMb9rFpZR-x.facebook

Enjoy this highly energetic lecture about smart failure and how the world has changed. It will make you question what set of rules are governing your decisions.

Think it’s not against the law ,Yet!

Wishing you Wealth Wellness and Wisdom

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Mark Fuller, Manager of Wealth

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Larry Smith: Why you will fail to have a great career

When I say I love this Ted Talk I am not overstating. If I ever think of not pursuing the life I want I get myself together by watching this video and focusing on my goals. Save this video you will need it in days to come.
Become what you were meant to become or live with the regret. It’s easier to be what you were put here to be!

Wishing you Wealth, Wellness, and Wisdom

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Mark Fuller – Manager of Wealth

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If you Wake Me Up Early , Please Know How to Read and be Ready for a Happy Ending!

If you Wake Me Up Early , Please Know How to Read and be Ready for a Happy Ending!

Everyone that knows me, knows that I have two standing house rules. The first is do not ever come by my home unannounced, especially early. The second is don’t ever come to my home with Drama, especially early.
I always wake up early but I never like to communicate early because this is my quiet time to get my thinking and planning done. The last thing I want is someone in a panic busting into my space. Not to mention, that having company requires you to be a good host and put some pants on.

One morning back in 2007 as the financial world was just beginning to show major signs of weakness I received a morning caller ringing my door bell at 7 am. As I answered the door asking who it was all I heard was “hey it’s me I really need to talk to you let me in.” I wanted to be impolite but I could hear the concern in her voice so I hit the buzzer to open the door.

When she came through the door I could see she was extremely upset and angry to put it mildly. When I asked what was the matter she told me that she just realized that her financial planner had lost several hundred thousand dollars of her hard-earned money.

As she began sharing with me that she was coming off the best year of her life she took out her tax returns to show me the four hundred thousand dollar profit she had made which she promptly turned over to her broker for saving. He promptly placed the money in the stock market and it promptly evaporated due to a downturn in the market.

As I read the tax return I was stunned by what I saw in the financials of the company. That year the firm had 1.5 million in gross sales revenue and a net profit of 400 thousand after all salaries and expenses. A great year for any small service business. But then I noticed a jewel on the tax return and despite the hostile mood I got happy.

Immediately she asked what I was so happy about and I pointed to the tax return. What’s so great about that now that my money is gone. I pointed her attention to the marketing expense line which showed 100 thousand in marketing expenses that generated 1.5 million in sales revenue.

I went on to explain that if she had spent 100 grand for 1.5 million dollars in sales and made a 400 thousand dollar profit all that was needed was to double the marketing budget doing the same campaigns that generated the first 1.5 million. The additional million or more that would be generated would be mostly profit because all of the office expenses, salaries, and overhead would have already been paid. If she spent an additional 100k in marketing and generated at least 1 million dollars she would profit 700 thousand on that million.

Of course I told her, as I always had, that her broker wasn’t worth a damn but not because he was a bad guy but because his financial education didn’t allow him to really look at his client and give them the proper advice. Anyone with any financial IQ would have advised this client to invest more heavily in the business because it was clear that this business had a marketing plan that was working and they were still far below their potential.

Most investment advisors can only tell you what they were trained to tell you. “Invest in good markets because its going to get even better and invest in bad markets because the market will turn around.”

If this encounter had taught me anything it was that most business owners don’t know how to read the numbers. The most important numbers in the tax return is the marketing cost and the gross sales. Once you really have a formula for generating money you can figure out how to bring those cost down by generating more sales more inexpensively.

The other thing I learned is the returns are always higher in business than in the market. I know lots of millionaires from many different types of mom and pop businesses but almost no stock investing millionaires. I bet the same is true for you.

Lastly no matter how bad it seems, even when you have lost hundreds of thousands or millions, as I have personally experienced, there is always a happy ending once you get the numbers figured out.

Wishing you Wealth, Wellness, and Wisdom

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Mark Fuller – Manager of Wealth

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Don’t be Tricked out of Business by a Bad Economy, thats when the Money is Really Made

As all of the world braces for a possible downturn in the US economy caused by a shutdown of the Federal government , I want to encourage small business owners to keep your eye on the ball and do not put to much stock in the present moment. Moments like these are when less visionary companies make a lot of bad moves.

Because business anticipate a slow down in business they start cutting jobs, slowing production and worst of all cutting back on marketing.  Advertising less has never been the solution to any money problem. Advertising better and more directly to the right client is a good move. But cutting advertising when things slow down is the easiest way to kill your business.

Let me share a tragic example from the real estate business that I saw first hand.

When I would travel to the south for my real estate development business I would always come across the best agents from the same real estate firm. As I moved around Atlanta I kept hearing the name of the owner and her agency and I always heard how well they were doing in the market. Not long after I began hearing the name I was invited to an invent that the firm was giving.   I had never send a more professional, elegant, and sharp group of real estate professionals in my fifteen years in the business. This firm was minority and woman owned and I was especially impressed with the quality this team exuded.

It saddened me that when the real estate crash hit I began to hear their name less and less. They became less visible and most of their real estate agents left the firm or left the real estate business totally. The truth is the crash in their market, if seen properly, should have been a cash cow for this team of professionals.

The Atlanta market was a prefect storm for the real estate professional. Not only did you have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country but you also had one of the highest population grow rates in the country. No matter the economy everyone has to live somewhere and all those foreclosed homes needed to be resold. It is not rare today that almost every home sold today in that market has 2 or 3 offers made on it by either homeowners or investors.

I believe that if the owner  of this firm would have see this market crash for the opportunity that it was and translated that to her team they would be even larger than they had ever been. The perception of a bad market tricked this firm into shrinking back and missing out on the opportunity to fully take advantage of the market.

I watched a small firm buy as many as 35 homes per month for four years after the crash and sell them to Austrialian investors. In the same Atlanta market that native Atlantians quit on.

Here are the four steps that should have been taken and implemented by the firm:

1. Access how the business opportunity has changed or is changing

2.Figure out who is buying and what their buying and how many potential buyers there are

3.Put a marketing plan and action plan together for your team and go over it until you have total buy-in from your team

4. Market like crazy to the available buyers because most of your competition will be doing what they have always done or they will quit.

I hope you can apply this insight to your business and thrive from whatever changes come your way. Their is always a buyer in every market. Find your buyer no matter what happens with the federal government in the short term.

Wishing you Wealth, Wisdom and Wellness,

Manager of Wealth

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