Epic quote of the day

The world will soon wake up to the reality that everyone is broke and can collect nothing from the bankrupt, who are owed unlimited amounts by the insolvent, who are attempting to make late payments on a bank holiday in the wrong country, with an unacceptable currency, against defaulted collateral, of which nobody is sure who holds title.

– Anonymous.

I came across this while following up on news about the Cypriot government taking into consideration a bank account deposit tax in order to secure a bailout loan from the European Union on 24H Gold. Incredibly I was listening to an orchestral version of Clint Mansell’s Lux Aeterna. Many of you may instantly recognize it – audibly – from the movie ‘Requiem for a Dream’. Seemed very fitting while reading and then re-reading the above quote. Enjoy.
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Tracking your progress is critical to your future success

Every now and again I kept hearing about a book titled ‘All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten’ by Robert Fulghum and at some point I looked up the quick summary of the book to see what it was all about. It was not until recently that the messages in the book came back to me, however not in the way I might have thought. It truly did remind me that almost everything I NEED to know, I learned in my younger years!

Having now progressed into the world of business ownership and recruiting business partners, a common objection to taking action I find arising in the people I meet, and in many instances myself as well, is that we don’t know enough, or we don’t know how to do it (‘it’ being whatever is the necessary action to take), or we don’t know how to live a balanced life, or we don’t know how to properly interact with people, etc. These things that we look to overcome – or many times completely shy away from to the detriment of our own personal progress and fulfillment – are things that, believe it or not, we have already overcome! Brian Tracy says that if you’ve had a tough childhood, you’re better off than someone who has had it easy. Why? Because time and time again you’ve bounced back; you faced tough times with friends, or parents, or curfew, or fitting in, and you’ve bounced back. You already have the tools for success.

Most of the fear and excuses the conscious part of our brain comes up with when we are trying something new evaporates immediately when we realize that at some point over the course of our life (mostly when we were kids) that we stood up to some great obstacle and overcame it. The time that we mustered up enough courage to talk to the boy/girl we had a crush on; the time that we didn’t know what was on the other side of the bushes, but we crawled through anyway; the time that we had to ask for help in spite of our pride. This list can go on and on, and soon we realize that the very fears and anxieties that paralyze us from taking action today are the same fears that we overcame as children or teenagers.

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Chance to Win a Million Dollars

If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it? Where would you go; what would you see; what would you buy; what would you eat? What would you do with a million dollars in winnings?

one-million-dollarsI have something in common with many of you, and that is that we live in North America. Chances are like a great majority of people that live in North America, you’ve probably been asked a question like this, “What would you do if you won a million dollars?”, or “Would you like a chance to win a million dollars?” Now it has been my observation that over the course of people’s lives they somehow become ingrained with the idea that a million dollars would solve everything; that a million dollars would remove all their problems – they would then be able to enjoy the rest of their lives from that point on without a care in the world – because they now have a million dollars. It very nearly is the stuff of bedtime stories.

You don’t have to look very far to see the opposite however, that people who win big also lose big. In fact many of them lose everything they won in very short periods of time and end up with greater liabilities than when they started. How could this be? A man won a million dollars, his problems are supposed to go away, not come back bigger. So what could it be? Are the prices for food, gas, clothing really all that high? I think we can all agree that isn’t the case. A modest home, car, lifestyle – is that too expensive? Maybe; but this shouldn’t be the case if you’ve won a million dollars.

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Find a Mentor in your local area

Looking for a mentor? Good, you’re on a strong path. Still can’t find a mentor to start with? I know of several mentors in all parts of the globe – they are eager to coach and guide you to greatness. Don’t know who or what I’m talking Mentorabout? You should. The process of attracting these mentors has become a lot easier now – easier than it has ever been in the history of human-kind’s existence. And it is all right at your fingertips; in fact you are using it right now.

Your access to the internet provides you with an opportunity to connect with mentors young and old, alive or passed on that no previous generation of human beings have ever had. We have always been separated by large distances, vast areas of land and oceans, lack of tv, radio, and telephone connections. But that doesn’t exist now – it has permanently been eradicated due to the appearance of the internet on the world scene. Now a mentor is a click away; a download away; an audio book away; an e-book away; a webinar away.

As of this very moment I have 12 gigabytes of my various mentor’s teachings, learnings, mistakes, advice, guidance, coaching, etc., – the very skills and tools that I require to craft my own life in the direction I choose. That represents 1,966 individual files, in other words 1,966 lessons on personal development and living a life of harmonious success. They are eager, willing, thoughtful, insightful, challenging, positive, motivating. All of this at my fingertips. All I need is my laptop or mp3 player and a set of headphones, and my mentors are ready to assist me.

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Mentorship and the Value of People in Business

What has always surprised me is that the people who generate incredible amounts of value for humanity, and consequently tremendous wealth for themselves in the process, are happy to share that they had help from someone on a higher plateau, a mentor who took them under their wing. However, the majority of people I come across seem intent on proving that they did it all themselves, that they achieved some form of ultimate glory by not enlisting the help or services of anyone else.  To each their own, I suppose, yet I believe the former provides the path to greater, more harmonious riches.

The fortunate thing is that with the dawn of the internet, some mentors can be found more easily than they used to. One of the most incredible things that the United States has ever produced is a segment of the population that turned out to be exceptionally value-driven, travelling mentors. The likes of Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Og Mandino, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Denis Waitley, and the list goes on. These are people who, with much fewer distractions than our age, were able to bring incredible value to the marketplace and to people’s lives. They struggled through the Great Depression, World War II, and somewhere after the time of military-structure corporate America, they realized there was a wind of change coming – one that could empower the individual to take responsibility for themselves in a way that was not entirely possible before. A person had not only the right to free speech; they also had the implicit right to wake up as early as they wanted to; to work as many hours as they wanted to; to work as many jobs simultaneously as they wanted to; to care for their reputation and their customers reputation as much as they wanted to, etc., etc., etc.

Here is a sample of Jim Rohn talking about personal development and why you should value the people you interact with.

Gold vs. Real Estate vs. Paper

I hear this question a lot and I would like to share with you my opinion on the matter.

I decided to write about this topic today because I recently came across an article on Yahoo! Finance with the title “5 metals that may be brighter than gold”. I’ve included a short snippet of the opening statements here:

5 metals that may be brighter than gold

To give you proper context on this subject, let me start by helping you see where the author of that article, Tim Begany, is coming from. Tim is an experienced investor and financial journalist whose financial planning strategies seem to be grounded in paper investments (read about Tim here). As a result, the suggestions he makes for alternatives to gold do not surprise me because it seems to represent a large section of the financial advising and planning industry. He is a ‘paper’ guy – he talks about how most precious metals investors purchase exchange-traded funds (ETF’s). Why anyone would suggest an alternative to gold as a store of value in the first place boggles the mind, yet it continues.

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ABL – Always Be Learning

If you’ve had anything to do with sales you will have come across the “ABC” of sales that being:

A – always   B – be   C – closing.

The best person to over dramatically tell you about the “ABC” of closing is Alec Baldwin:

I was considering today that while closing is an incredibly strong requirement in almost anything you do, whether you realize it or not, an almost equally important requirement is learning. Yes, that’s right, you may actually have to learn something after your schooling years. And modern research shows that people learn best through the use of pictures and moving images with sounds. So while I’ve provided one example above, here is an image that I will talk about below.

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Safe Investment vs. Secured Investment

Safety requires that you may do something along the lines of what the previously mentioned article indicated: put your money in very low risk paper investments managed by someone else so you can see your numbers go up slowly, but you’re not really getting ahead.

Security can put you in a position where you have full or part ownership in the asset itself, thus having much greater control and if you’ve got the right assets, you’re hedged against inflation.

Let’s use some examples: paper, gold/silver, real estate – all of which can be bought and sold as paper (ETF’s for gold/silver and REIT’s for real estate)

Paper investments: Certainly not my favourite because it is so volatile. Global economies, currency wars, quantitative easing (i.e. pumping money into the economy), lack of control, etc. I’m sure people can rattle of a number of positives, and that’s fine, I’m merely stating my opinion. Looking at the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Wiki Link) we can see that it’s had some trouble in recent years and has always been prone to booms and busts. In the first graph, you will see the recent economic meltdown we went through and the subsequent rise of the DJIA. Keep in mind however, that this rise is fully due to the amount of money governments pumped into their economies to keep them afloat.

Dow Jones Industrial Average vs Gold

Therefore, when compared to gold in the second graph, you will notice that the DJIA has fallen and remained stagnant. Additionally, if these paper investments tumble further or are wiped out, you’re left with nothing, because you owned paper, not the actual business. So paper may be safe, but it certainly isn’t secure.

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Inflation is like a thief in the dark, and it’s in your pocket

I had recently presented the RKG Investment Solution to the President of a wealth management firm in the Greater Toronto Area and I had mentioned that, in my view, there is a shortage of investment options. As I see it, there’s mostly just paper investment – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, GIC’s, etc. Commodities such as gold, silver, platinum, wheat, cattle, grain, etc., exist, but are difficult to store and manage, so the natural progression for these has also been Real Estate is my answer to beating the inflation gametowards paper investment – ETF’s (exchange-traded funds). And then there’s Real Estate; this is the playground I’m in.

Now the President of this wealth management firm listened patiently and then stated that he disagreed with my view on the shortage of investments. In his eyes, there are many investment options (mind you, they’re all paper based) however he did point out that an investment in Real Estate is one of the few secured investment vehicles out there. And on that note, I decided to point out the difference between Safe and Secured.

I had previously come across an article on Yahoo! Canada Finance dated Friday, August 27, 2010 with the title: “Safe investments with reasonable returns”. Naturally this piqued my interest because I am always interested to see if anybody mentions Real Estate. With a hefty lack of surprise, I found out that this article, like millions of articles on personal finance, talk about investing in the stock market via large funds. It certainly would be valuable to readers and action-takers to have guest columnists exposing the opportunities of various investment vehicles, not just the stock market. In the mean time however, I’ll go over it a little.

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