What’s the biggest myth about money?
That the answer to all your money problems is to make more money.
And for those operating under this money myth, the common mindset with regards to investing is: “I’ll wait to save and invest until I make more money.”
But here’s the TRUTH:
You’ll make more money once you save and invest.
Let me offer you a metaphor.
If your goal is stronger muscles to look and feel better. You wouldn’t wait until your muscles were bigger and stronger before you went to the gym. Saying I’m going to wait to save and invest when I make more money is like saying I am going to go to the gym when I am stronger. As with physical strength it is for financial strength — if your goal is to be stronger you have to exercise first.
To take that a step farther.
When you exercise your muscles in a certain way (biology’s laws), you don’t have to go home after the gym and worry if your muscles are going to get bigger and stronger. Your muscles automatically (and magically) just get bigger and stronger. All you have to do is exercise and the rest (biology) takes care of itself. The same for your money. You don’t have to worry about creating financial stability, security and freedom (financial muscles). If you follow money’s operational laws and principles (money biology) the money strength will come.
It would be ludicrous to think that your muscles and subsequent strength are going to grow by sitting around and dreaming of looking good in a bathing suit. It’s not the vision board of looking good that produces the desired result. It’s the action. It’s the getting to the gym and lifting the heavy weights.
If you are not under the mythical illusion mentioned above and yet you still are not saving and invest, I’m guessing it’s because you don’t know where to start. And… how would you? There simply isn’t much good and simple guidance out there.
You may have questions like:
Should I hire a financial planner?
Should I put money in an IRA or go the 401k route?
Should I consider real estate?
You have been saving
You have money to Invest
And, you’re ready to get starting in the Act of Investing … then you’ll love the advice that follows . . . . . .
First. A quick word on Savings.
Savings needs to be a Verb in your vocabulary. Not a noun. Savings is different than Investing. But, it’s the starting place of ALL wealth building. If you don’t know how to Save (as an Action), then you won’t build wealth. And, you’ll most likely find yourself in debt and won’t ever feel like you have enough for that long-awaited vacation. Savings is the key to being able to invest. Staying out of debt. And, having the cash to pay for high ticket items.
Now for Investing.
Well not quite. What I’m going to mention is the one financial vehicle that falls into both the Savings and Investing category.
It’s Whole Life Insurance. I’m not going to say much about it here, because a full description can be found in my blog here.
When working with customers, I find that WL insurance is the most underutilized financial tool of all. It’s a great asset because it’s “forces” you to save by showing up as a “bill” just like all of your other bills. This is what I call, “Spend to Save.” You spend money each month on your insurance policy — just like you spend money each month on your utility bill — but this spending actually accumulates into Cash Value that you can use for emergencies, investing, personal loans … you name it.
I have a sizable WL Insurance policy. It’s truly one of the best financial tools available that few people take advantage of.
Now… For Investing.
What few financial planners will advise you on (because they don’t know this themselves) is this:
You invest for two different purposes.
Which means: You need both investment purposes represented on your Balance-ING Sheet.
What are the two purposes you ask?
Investing for Cash Flow
Investing for Growth
Investing For Cash Flow
Investing for means you buy assets that produce Cash flow. Cash flow that you can use to buy other things (like more assets!).
I love real estate as an investment for many reasons. But, the best reason is Cash Flow. I adore the monies that come in each month from my properties. The aggregate of all my (profit) cash flow today pays for the cost of my lifestyle. [Which is the definition of financial freedom in case you were wondering].
Kim suggestion Bridge Loans as a means to generate cash flow. And, there are other vehicles you might be interested in. The key here is to know WHY you are investing (the outcome you are after). Then, you can determine what’s the best Cash Flow producing asset for you.
To be clear, cash flow looks like monthly checks (income) that go directly in your pocket. This is totally different than Growth.
Investing For Growth
Simply speaking, investing in growth means you buy assets that are expected to increase in value giving you a return on your investment.
Typical advisors ONLY advise on growth and usually ONLY recommend the stock market as a means to generate growth on investments. They simply are not educated, therefore not aware of, the many other (and usually better) options available to you. Not to mention, this advice all centers around an outdated word — retirement.
Seriously. Who wishes to tie up their money until age 59 ½, pays tons in fees over the years, and “hope” that their money grows at least 8% (which is rare once you build in fees).
I invest in deals for growth. I get pitched pretty regularly and I choose investments in companies based on a very specific set of criteria I use to help me make good assessments and selection choices. I’ve had over a dozen excellent “Exits” over the years — and, I continue to invest for growth in opportunities that come my way. Personally, I have zero in the stock market. That’s not my cup of tea. But, if you do choose the stock market for growth — it’s imperative that you choose a planner than is committed to YOUR growth, and not THEIR growth!
Kim recommends investing in the insurance policy resell market. I’ve not invested here, but, I have it on my list of considerations. If you’d like for me to learn more and report what I find out, let me know!
How much money to start?
The rule of thumb for investing is a minimum of $50,000. This means you will need at least $50,000 saved in your investment bucket to be able to play the investing game. This refers to alternative investments to the stock/bond market.
Occasionally you can find investment opportunities for a little less, but amassing a decently sized sum is necessary to acquire something decent that will generate cash flow to you on a monthly basis and/or offer a market rate return.
Keep in mind, that ALL of your savings shouldn’t be earmarked for Investing! You still need the remainder of your Savings Buckets.
Any other Rules of Thumb for Investing?
1.Look for stability over volatility.
If you were to poll people on the street and ask, “What do you define as an investment,” chances are the common response will be “The stock market.” And while that’s true, there are so many other alternative ways to invest – Many of which will steer clear of the volatile roller coaster ride inherent on Wall street. This is one more reason why I avoid the stock market.
I look for investments that are promising at least a 10% ROI. And, on the other hand, I avoid those that sound “too good to be true.” I’ve missed some big exits playing a little more conservatively — but, I work too hard for my money to gamble it.
Which is another tip — if you don’t do your homework, you are gambling –not only your money — but your entire financial future. If you are abdicating your investments to your financial advisor, for example, then — this fits the definition of gambling. You don’t have to go to Vegas to gamble your money out of your pocket and into the hands of the “house.”
Yes! You MUST know the FEES (you have to ask for hidden fees as well as the fees mentioned by your planner). Most people who work with a planner and/or have their money in 401Ks are unaware of the fees they are paying to have their money managed. As a result, they have no clue how much this is costing THEM as it’s their money.
Also, as Kim referred to — not only is that money of yours that your broker puts in his or her pocket. But, there is also the cost of not being able to use that money to put into other investments. When you add up the two over time — the fees will cost you tens, thousands or sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The warning: BE AWARE OF THE FEES!
Any final investment advice?
I love the acronym that Kim uses as a guideline. She says, “Get a CLUE.” Take these four things into account when you invest:
C = Control
L = Liquidity
U = Use
E = Equity
In the investment world, things that you can control are always going to be better investments than things that you cannot control. Example: You can control your real estate investment. You can’t control your 401k plan.
Some investments are gonna be liquid, some are not, and that’s fine. You just need to know the difference AND you need to ensure that having and maintaining liquidity is a consistent part of your investment strategy. At some point, you will need cash!
You want to be able to have access to and use as much of your money when you want. Not have to wait to some magical age in the future of 59 ½.
You want equity (growth). With the ability to borrow against it. If you have a piece of real estate that is increasing in value [creating equity] you can access a portion of the equity and use that cash for other needs or ventures.
Do you have Investment Recommendations?
The answer is, “of course!” But — I wanted to give you a 101 before we get into the next phase of the Investing educational series.
Where do you go next?
NOTE: I do not sell investments. My mission is to educate you so that you feel more empowered and have more confidence to start playing the investment game. With that said, I AM an investor and have my opinions. But they are non-biased in that I don’t sell what I recommend. I recommend what I do for myself. And, I have a tight network of trusted advisors that I work with depending on the investment strategy or product I’m interested in. So, if you wish to be on my Investment Opportunity Pitch list — let me know. That way you can be notified of investment opportunities that land in my lap.
2. Tune in to the next Krisstina-Kim Investing Convo — Alternative Investing — the investment strategy that most people don’t know, but rich people do.
Join in a weekly conversation in my Private FB Group.
See you next time!