Archive for July, 2007
If you were going to build a house what order would you do things? Would you pick the colours for the kitchen first or choose the trees to line the driveway?
No of course not. You would first of all work out what you could afford to build. Then you would decide where you wanted to build and look for land. Then architects to design the house. THEN you would pick things like colours.
Well I think investing is the same. Techniques are kitchen colours. Strategies are landscaping.
The starting point needs to be “Do I believe I can do this?” Am I willing to back myself to be able to succeed at something I’ve never done before?”
“Am I willing to commit myself to a better future and persist until I achieve it?”
Phase 2 is getting an education so you know what you don’t know and you know what you need to learn.
Phase 3 is doing the things that failures don’t do. Like getting your structures set up first, meeting with a good broker and getting your money sorted. Investing in yourself through quality courses or finding a good mentor.
Then lastly you set rules and strategies and start honing techniques because now you won’t fail. You decided that failure wasn’t an option months ago. Now it’s just a matter of time till success whacks you across the face.
I love my friend in CHCH Ivan because he did exactly this. He knew he didn’t know what he needed to know because he wasn’t getting the results he knew he should. So he spent money he didn’t have to attend my course and get what he needed to move up to the next rung. Now he’s succeeding. Because of what I taught him? Not really. He’s succeeding because he understood that failure was not an option. he just kept looking for answers TILL HE FOUND THEM.
What about you? Do you understand that to be true in your own life, for you?
How many times today have you told yourself that you’re a failure? Or that finding deals is really hard? Or that all agents are crap? Or you’re no good at anything? Or how could I be so stupid to have …….?
Sadly your preception becomes your reality, but it is NOT the truth.
Do yourself a favour this week. Record every time you say something positve about yourself and something negative. Every evening when you add it up and discover you are pulling yourself down you have to write down enough good things about yourself to even up the score before you go to bed. When you naturally are in positive territory you have achieved a real mind shift that will equip you for success. Go on try it, you’ll be amazed.
A short thought tonight. I understand as an investment educator the need for people to manage their cashflow. I also understand that ultimately we are all looking for passive income. However I believe also that the real money in property is in capital growth and we need to focus on that to really get financially free.
I met a couple tonight who reminded me of this. They purchased a property on the North Shore for 1.5 Million. They then spent about 1 million renovating it. Yes they had the financial depth to do it but we can all afford something. Their current valuation after reno-ing. 7 million dollars!! That’s a gain of 5.5 million dollars in less than a year.
Your first deal might give you 20K but this is still much easier to make than earn. So thought for the day. Learn to manage your cashflow while you generate equity. This equation will produce real results.
If you’re too young to know what the title is about go and rent the video “Karate Kid” It has some great lessons about successful property investing.
I was thinking about it today when I had a consult with a great guy. I suspect we may become friends. His response to one of my questions made me think of the karate Kid. You see this guy had read all the books, was equipped emotionally and financially to succeed in property. When I asked him why he wasn’t already doing something he struggled for an answer. He came up with one but in reality he didn’t know why he wasn’t already succeeding.
As I thought about this after we parted I got to thinking how much we need to cultivate the right kind of habits. Sensei got KK doing wax on wax off so that when it came to karate this had become an automatic reaction. He didn’t have to think to deflect an opponents attack. And this is a key to investment success. We must cultivate habits that drive us towards success until we don’t have to think about them.
For me making offers is now a habit. I don’t have to think about it. I automatically try and buy every property I look at or hear about. That’s why I find good deals.
Telling people I can help them into their own homes is now a habit. I have a list of people wanting lease options because I have cultivated this habit.
I have made a habit out of total honesty with my investing. I hide nothing. As a result I have vendors and agents who trust me and bring me deals. Notice the power of good habits??
Whenever my revolving credit is getting low and my wife starts running warm baths and looking for razor blades I automatcially go into trading mode. I never think “Oh no what will we do?” I have cultivated a habit of taking the necessary action to get the right results.
My new friend today had all the tools and education he needed but has not yet cultivated the necessary habits to succeed. As you do something more and more the fear reduces and eventually vanishes. But only if you cultivate the right habits.
In the movie KK was angry at having to do wax on wax off, but when Sensei told him to do it in training and he realised that this boring habit was powerful skill he now possessed…….
So homework for the week. Decide that you will cultivate one new habit. This is the one single habit you need to find great deals.
Look at a minimum of 5 properties every week and put a written offer in on all of them, OK?
5 written offers a week, every week. The few of you who cultivate this habit will own a multi million dollar portfolio in short order. Yes you will annoy agents, yes you will be terrified when you start and really really hate it. But you have to get over that. Cultivate the habit. It will get easier. It’s a bit like Invercargill. Everybody knows where it is but nobody wants to go there. Well making offers is the same. It scares everybody but that’s where the money is.
Wax on ~ wax off till tomorrow
Sometimes we get frustrated with our lot and complain because things are bad. I find going to Fiji reminds me of what is really important. Seeing people live in shacks with no toilets or fresh water makes funding my next IP seem somewhat less important.
So I wanted to share some facts that came into my possession today from a Christian Research organisation.
1. Women are 49.77% of the worlds population.
2. Women perform 60% of the work carried out world wide.
3. Women receive 10% of the worlds income in exchange for 60% of the work they perform.
4. Women own 1% of the worlds property.
5. 5000 women a day die in childbirth.
6. 16000 women and children are sold into slavery EVERYDAY.
Remember these facts the next time you get a flat tire or can’t find a good property to buy. What is our life really all about??
It’s interesting that this blog pops up the day after Phil’s about women HERE.
And I think he’s right, women are under represented and undervalued in many ares of life. Partly because of the facts above. Look at the workload they carry and the unequal wages they receive for example. I think also part of the reason for this is a spiritual dynamic called mysogyny. It’s defined as the “hatred of women”, and it’s something that operates in many cultures. In the west we see it primarily appear in either worship of women, movie stars/ beauty pageants etc. or in abuse like prostitution and domestic violence.
In more traditional cultures however it is devastating. In Fiji for example until this century did you know:
1. When a new chief’s hut was built a woman was usualy placed in the holes with the 4 foundation posts and buried alive to “bless’ the hut.
2. When a chief died his favourite wife/wives and female children would sit on the grave till they died of starvation.
3. It was common for a chief to serve his favourite wife as the main course for dinner when he really wanted to impress guests. As he had lots of wives he could do this more than once!!
And we worry about interest rates and the weather!
I’ve been thinking a lot about things like keeping our word, integrity and such like.
You see I believe we are either “coverers” or “exposers”. God calls us to be “coverers” of each other. To focus on what is good in a person. To believe in the best of another until we are given evidence to the contrary.
Our society would work properly if we learned to function correctly in this manner. Take politics for example. How many times have you heard a minister say ” I think my opposition colleague’s actions, words or bill is good. Actually their proposed course of action would be the best way forward”? No they are trained to take a contrary position, often in spite of their own convictions. Exposers!!
We are the same often with each other. Gossip is much more exciting than praise. Anothers misfortune of inexplicable actions will always be seen in the most negative light.
Sadly most of us never think about how I can most protect another’s reputation. Or how can I enhance this situation.
Food for thought I hope. As for me I try and follow something my old pastor taught me many years ago regarding talking about others.
“Before you say anything it must line up with three things.
1. Is it true?
2. Is it necessary to say?
3. Is it kind?
Simple huh. Try it, you’ll talk a lot less till you get the hang of it.
Since penning this I’ve had a nother reminder of the importance of this and actually felt quite terrible that I hadn’t necesarily been keeping true to my own beliefs.
In my blog yesterday I referred to someone saying untrue things about me and I always try and be very vague as to not expose anybody in particular. However in this case some people have assumed I was referring to a particular party when I was not. So with hindsight I should have said nothing, as my earlier blog states. The issues that were on my mind when I wrote were a most unsettling incident in Fiji and a less than honest agent here in Auckland causing me more than a little pain for no reason.
An unreserved apology to my professional associate and friend if I caused you any grief through unintended association.
Well survived day 1 of the lease options course. It’s always cool to spend a day with people keen on property. Got home eventually to zillions of emails and 1 in particular caught my eye.
It was from someone I have never heard of accusing me of not being a real Christian and pretending to use my faith to make money. He accused me of this because I refused to see him without him paying my consult fee.
Now whilst it is true that I do charge often for my time to filter out the tyre kickers from those who really want time and to ensure I get to see my wife occasionally, this guy has never contacted me or asked to see me ever!! And as many of you know personally I have seen and do see countless people whenever I can and if I think I can help I try.
Sadly I have seen this behaviour often in counselling situations. It is always rooted in jealousy and bitterness that has no healthy outlet. Bitter people imagine all kinds of offences and decide that everybody is against them.
There is a typical progression to bitterness. It invariably starts as
1. Wounding or abuse
2. Resultant hurt and emotional damage
4. Irrational anger
5. Often conspiracy attitudes and behaviour
7. Physical manifestations of bitterness eg. cancer/arthritis
8. Often suicide
Why do I tell you this? Well my email “friend” tonight was a reminder that so much negative behaviour and harm to others starts with our need to forgive. From unforgiveness flows hatred, anger, sickness and suicide.
This unforgiveness is toxic stuff. Yet many of us have family we harbour grudges against. Former spouses we still hate. Church leaders we are unwilling to forgive. Not that any of us would have these issues but we may KNOW someone who does….. mightn’t we??
I believe it does us all good to check our internal compasses regularly and ask ourselves, “Is there anyone I harbour resentment or unforgiveness against?” If the answer is yes then understand the path you are on. You are the one who suffers. Your offender may have no idea they have done anything to you. Or if they have that is their issue. Your unforgiveness can destroy you, not them. You must deal with your own issues and choose to walk in the freedom only forgiveness can offer.
So if you ever meet anyone who suffers from unforgiveness I hope you will pass this info on, if you get my drift………
Since posting this blog originally I have now run a video blog series on the same subject. Final instalment tomorrow. And I still meet people consumed by bitterness and anger almost daily.
While I was in Fiji I have had someone making nasty and untrue comments about me publicly. I get emails from people wondering why I don’t correct the situation or take action. Well it’s because I feel so sad for the people making the comments. They are trapped in unforgiveness or bitterness or hatred. I don’t need to defend myself, life is too short to focus on another’s issues. I’d rather forgive them and pray for them and get on with what God has called me to. The poverty in Fiji is rapidly increasing and that is where my energies and money are to be deployed.
Let me leave you with Psalm 37. God taught us to live above the line long before the wealth creation industry was even created.
Psalm 37 of King David.
1 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
18 The days of the blameless are known to the LORD, and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish: The LORD’s enemies will be like the beauty of the fields,
they will vanish—vanish like smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;
22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off.
23 If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm;
24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.
27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.
They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;
29 the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.
31 The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives;
33 but the LORD will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
I have been thoroughly enjoying Gordon Ramsay’s tv series on kitchen disasters. Tonight the show included his “rules” for a successful restaurant.
It reminded me of the importance of rules for investing and the fact that sound principles apply across all disciplines.
One of the issues facing him tonight was a restaurant owner and chef who basically couldn’t cook. He was cooking with fancy ingredients but couldn’t cook for diddly.
Gordon said repeatedly Rule number 7. Don’t try and cook fancy food until you have mastered the basics.
Exactly what investors need to understand. Don’t try and do advanced strategies like sandwich lease options or high end trades if you can’t reconcile your bank statement.
I met a lovely couple today who wanted help to get going with investing and overcome their cashflow shortage. My initial consult included gathering basic information like income and expenses etc.
Now this couple did nothing extravagant, no expensive toys or lifestyle, yet they were really struggling to make ends meet.
The bit I haven’t told you yet is that in their worst year they earned 200K. When I asked them where the money went they didn’t know. They really didn’t know.
My homework for them was to record every cent they spent until they built a picture of where the money was going. I had to be honest with them and say that unless they got this under control I could not help them invest. Anyone who has money vanishing left right and centre and doesn’t even know where is unfit for investing. They would simply go broke. If you can’t exercise enough self discipline to have your basic finances under control you will not succeed in property.
I also had to tell them honestly that I doubted they would do what I suggested. This has been my experience with many people. The pain of where they are is inadequate to drive them towards a better place.
I share this with you because maybe it’s you? Is your current pain great enough to motivate you to be and do things differently? How committed are you? A close friend of mine told me recently that they were looking at getting a job again as they “needed money”.
I thought how sad that was because in their case filling up their day with a job shouldn’t be in their mind. It shouldn’t be an option. Only things that move them closer to their goal should be an option. If they haven’t been able to trade up from 4 green houses to a hotel yet then they need to look at how they are playing the game, not pull out the Scrabble instead.
I actually feel like I need to apologise to you all. People like me maybe do you a disservice by talking about property like it is a game. In one sense it is but it has serious consequences if you break the rules.
I do play it like Monopoly but I know the rules and I stick to them. I can play hard because I never try and cheat. There is safety in rules and self discipline. Sometimes someone won’t sell me Park Lane but that’s OK. I know that if I buy everything I can then eventually I’ll be able to negotiate my way to where I need to go because I will control the game.
So I’m sorry if I have led any of you astray by painting a picture of property as a solution to all your ills. Not because it isn’t. It is, but only if you are willing to learn the rules and stick to them. Sometimes we get carried away with the results without thinking about the effort and education we have put in to learning how to play the game.
My wife comments often that I spent huge $$ and much blood sweat and tears learning what I know and now I give so much of it away for free. As a Christian I believe that life is upside down. Being a servant can make you a leader. As I sow so shall I reap. So I happily give of my expertise to the extent that I can without cloning myself.
However it is interesting to note that those people who pay for my help so often outperform those who get the same help for free?? I never got that until recently. I hate charging for my time but people who invest in themselves seem to win??
Maybe they appreciate the value and therefore take the game more seriously?? How about YOU!!
Rereading this blog I think this is really critical stuff for us as investors.
1. Get your financial house in order. Know where your money goes. Keep good accounts.
2. Decide what you really want and decide that you will pursue it until you get there. Make your current situation so unpleasant that change is the only acceptable solution.
3. Know the rules, get educated to know how to win inside the rules. If you are unwilling to invest in yourself, don’t expect life to serve you up success for free and without effort.