Archive - September, 2011

SERIES: Investments Your Stock Broker Never Told You About – 5

In this series, I’m sharing “other” ways to invest beyond standard 401(k), 403(b), 457, TSP, Traditional or Roth IRA, mutual fund, stock, or bond investments.

Part Five  Eliminate Debt and Bills

This one might surprise a few of you, but this could possibly be the best investment you could ever make!  Consider the amount of money from your household budget that is currently being applied to debt and monthly bills.  It is literally hundreds or thousands of dollars every single month!  What else could be done with that money? It could be invested OR you could reduce your work hours or even retire!

The rate of return is guaranteed when you eliminate bills.  If you are paying 21.99% on a credit card, you can gain that interest simply by eliminating the debt!  This is why I am such a big fan of eliminating debt – especially on items that drop in value like a rock or have no value at all.

Read the entire series (available after 9/30/2011)

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SERIES: Investments Your Stock Broker Never Told You About – 4

In this series, I’m sharing “other” ways to invest beyond standard 401(k), 403(b), 457, TSP, Traditional or Roth IRA, mutual fund, stock, or bond investments.

Part Four  Invest In Real Estate

Real estate is another great investment opportunity available.  Land, residential and commercial rental properties, and flipping houses have helped many people become millionaires.  Of course, it is VITAL in any venture like this to maintain healthy financial margin!  “No money down” real estate deals have led to many more bankruptcies than they have yielded multi-millionaires.  While it is important to consider some risk, purchasing real estate without any financial margin is a recipe for a financial disaster!

Some keys to think about when considering real estate investments are:

  • Clearly understand what you will do with the property BEFORE buying it
  • Have a Plan B and a Plan C
  • Establish healthy financial margin – at least six months worth of expenses and operating costs
  • While a deal may look good “on its own”, but sure to look at your collective holdings and evaluate your ability – time and financial – to handle the project appropriately
  • If you are susceptible to taking extreme risks, establish accountability with someone who understands the business
  • You will generally make money by purchasing the property for the right price
  • Always be ready for a “surprise” – I see them happen all of the time to real estate investors

Questions To Ask

  • Do I have the time and energy to pursue this type of investment?
  • Is this something I am only doing for the financial gain or is this something that I love?
  • Is my spouse on board?
  • If I investment my money in real estate, where will I NOT be able to invest as a result?

Read the entire series (available after 9/30/2011)

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SERIES: Investments Your Stock Broker Never Told You About – 3

In this series, I’m sharing “other” ways to invest beyond standard 401(k), 403(b), 457, TSP, Traditional or Roth IRA, mutual fund, stock, or bond investments.

Part Three  Invest In A Business

Starting a small business can provide a financial return as well as the incredibly satisfying work of fulfilling a dream.  A business can allow you to produce an income that is not entirely dependent upon you.  The McDonald’s franchise owner does not have to do all of the work, but they are able to enjoy the profits that result from the efforts of dozens of employees.  This can lead to substantial returns on investment that are far better than the average return of any mutual fund!

Consider the following scenario.  Suppose one puts up $25,000 for a franchise that produces $50,000 of profit each year.  That is a 200-percent return on investment – only it happens year-after-year-after-year …  the Lord willing!  Yes, the work would be demanding and time-consuming and energy-draining, but the return on investment is great and less dependent upon the world market.

If it isn’t your dream to run a small business, consider investing in a small business.  There are great leaders with terrific ideas that just need some additional funding in order to launch to the stratosphere.

Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Do I have a business idea that I am fired up about and believe in?
  • Has a proven business leader/entrepreneur looked at my business idea and told me it looks great?
  • Am I willing to put my own money into this deal?

Read the entire series (available after 9/30/2011)

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SERIES: Investments Your Stock Broker Never Told You About – 2

In this series, I’m sharing “other” ways to invest beyond standard 401(k), 403(b), 457, TSP, Traditional or Roth IRA, mutual fund, stock, or bond investments.

Part Two  Invest In Yourself

The greatest investment one can make is him/herself.  Investments into education and skills training can pay off far better by providing increased earnings potential.   I was able to pursue my dream of helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.  One of the key first steps was to make the investment of time, energy, and money to write and publish I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.  It literally cost me hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to accomplish this dream, but the investment has paid off!

As a result of taking this “risk”, I have been able to literally teach over 100,000 people and hear thousands of stories of financial freedom being achieved across the globe.  This business has enabled me to further expand my dream to the point that I have been able to acquire another company and serve even more people across the world.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Do I have a dream that I’ve always wanted to pursue?
  • What can I do today that would make a difference tomorrow?
  • Do I see a need where I can do something that addresses it?
  • Where can I personally add value to other people?

Read the entire series (available after 9/30/2011)

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SERIES: Investments Your Stock Broker Never Told You About – 1

Welcome to the latest series at the wildly popular JosephSangl.com – “Investments Your Stock Broker Never Told You About”!

In this series, I will share some “other” ways to invest beyond standard 401(k), 403(b), 457, TSP, Traditional or Roth IRA, mutual fund, stock, or bond investments.

Part One  Why I’m Writing This Series

Until four years ago, the vast majority of my investments were in company stocks, bonds, and mutual funds (which contained company stocks and bonds).  I began investing the day after I graduated from Purdue University.  My employer had a 401(k) available where they matched my investments 100-percent up to 8-percent of my pay.  The match was in company stock, but the money that I personally invested via payroll deduction could be invested into a variety of mutual funds.  These investments grew rapidly.

Then the recession of the late 90’s happened.

Then September 11th happened.

Then 2008 happened.

I personally experienced what many others experienced – my stock market investments all went down in value.  The value of these investments fell even as many of the companies continued to perform extremely well.

“Financial experts” had always advised me to diversify my investments.  The “diversification” options they offered were – surprise, surprise – other stock, bond, and mutual fund investments.  I observed first-hand the axiom that “a rising tide will lift all ships and a lowering tide will lower all ships.”  Therefore, in 2008 I resolved to diversify my investments so that only 50-percent of my portfolio would be in the stock market.  In the process, I discovered incredible investment options that I would never have learned from a stock broker – probably because there were no broker commissions available.

As we embark on this series together, perhaps you would like to see my current investment portfolio HERE.

Read the entire series (available after 9/30/2011)

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September National Debt Update

This is a guest post by Mark Asbell, who recently became debt-free following the principles of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

The US National Debt has increased by $84,414,120,840 since our last update in August 2011.  Another month, another BILLION DOLLARS IN THE HOLE.

National Debt as of 9/14/2011

$14,722,374,294,849

When I was going broke I’ll never forget the moment I realized the hole I was digging was getting over $400 deeper every single month.  That doesn’t even count the large chunks of debt I got into in order to make big one time purchases.  Just our normal monthly expenses were $400 per month more than our monthly income.  At that time $400 a month was less than 1% of my annual income and my total debt was less than 4 times my annual income (including the mortgage).  So I was able to keep getting more and more credit in order to sustain our deficit UNTIL…  Lenders stopped giving me more credit.  We were maxed out.  We couldn’t pay what we already owed, so why would anyone lend me more?

The United States government is facing the same dilemma on a much grander scale.  Their total debt is 7 times their annual income (Gross Domestic Product), and the hole is getting deeper by almost 4% of their annual income EVERY SINGLE MONTH.  I’m no economist but I’ve been to broke and back and the US numbers are wayyy worse than mine were.  I know what I had to do to dig out of the hole, so what does digging out of the hole look like for the government?

Mark Asbell is a key member of the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. team and has a blog focused on helping couples strengthen both their finances and their marriage – www.markasbell.com – For Richer or Poorer.

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Words That Describe Debt Freedom March

I was pondering about my family’s journey to debt freedom, and it brought to mind the following words:

  • Worthwhile
  • Margin
  • Motivating
  • Freedom
  • Intense focus
  • Self-Control
  • Disciplined
  • Dreams
  • Abnormal
  • Effort
  • NO!
  • WAIT!
  • LATER!
  • Tiring
  • Exciting
  • Possible

Those are the words that I thought of.  What are some that you would add?

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5 Years

It was 5 years ago TODAY that I gave up on my dream to become a Fortune 500 CEO, and moved back to join the staff of the church that my bride and I had the unbelievable opportunity to help start – NewSpring Church – in Anderson, SC.  I am so grateful for the opportunity that my great friend and pastor, Perry Noble, gave me to pursue a dream of helping people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

It is ASTOUNDING what God has allowed me to be a part of in just five years.  Here are just a few.

  • Wrote I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.
  • Produced the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Group Study and subsequently the Group Study DVD Lessons
  • Wrote What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World
  • Wrote Funded And Free
  • Wrote 1,475 blog posts
  • Wrote 200 Sunday newspaper articles
  • Delivered more than 150 Financial Learning Experiences
  • Trained nearly 1,000 financial coaches
  • Was mentioned in Money Magazine – the world’s largest personal finance magazine
  • Purchased Injoy Stewardship Solutions
  • Got to meet and interview one of my heroes – Dave Ramsey
  • Published a book for two new authors with our fledgling publishing company – NIN Publishing
  • Upgraded JosephSangl.com and added IWasBrokeNowImNot.com
  • Able to provide all of our tools for absolutely free
  • Developed a new APP for Apple and Android mobile devices
  • Team has grown to a total of four people who make IWBNIN – without them, this effort would be incremental instead of exponential
  • In 2008, someone gave me and Jenn a free Tahoe – seriously!

I write all of this not to boast in what I have done, but what the Lord has allowed me to be a part of.

I’m often asked why I’m so excited and passionate about what I do.  After reading this list, perhaps you might understand a little more about WHY I am so FIRED UP all of the time!  I’m a witness to the power of God moving greatly upon my behalf!

I really believed that great things could happen when I surrendered to this call 5 years ago, but I thought it would take 30 years.  It has me wondering what will happen over the next 5 years!

GET FIRED UP!

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Words That Describe Financial Freedom

I was thinking of words that describe true financial freedom.  Here is the list I came up with.

  • Margin
  • Opportunities
  • Hope
  • Responsibility
  • Blessed
  • Giving
  • Fun
  • Determination
  • Focus
  • Effort
  • Possible
  • Fired Up!

What words would you add?

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Transfer A Balance – And Save BIG TIME!

If you are carrying a credit card balance or a furniture purchase with a typical interest rate of 14.00%, 21.99% or 27.99%, you can save an incredible amount of money by transferring your balance to a 0-percent balance transfer credit card!

Here is an example of savings that can be achieved.

Balance: $7,000 Interest: 21.99% Monthly Payment: $140

If this balance were transferred to a 0-percent balance transfer credit card with a 3-percent transfer fee, the calculations would look like the following.

This ONE MOVE could save $1,314.22 in ONE YEAR! If the balance would not have been transferred using a 0-percent balance transfer credit card, the actual balance owed would have dropped by a mere $141.47. By choosing to take just 15 minutes to fill out an on-line balance transfer application, a total principal reduction of $1,330 could be realized.

$1,314.22 saved for 15 minutes work. That’s like making $5,256.88 an hour!

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Dismal. Adequate. Plenty.

How much margin do you have in your life?  Seriously, I want to know!  Would you take 1 minute to share your thoughts in the survey below (or click HERE to participate)?

NOTE: Results are completely anonymous.

 

SERIES: Proverbs 14:4 – Put Your Oxen To Work – Part 4

Welcome to the latest series on JosephSangl.com – “Proverbs 14:4 – Put Your Oxen To Work”

Proverbs 14:4 – Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.

Part 4  Put your oxen to work!

This is the fun part!  As you put your oxen to work and provide adequate nourishment and attention, they will begin to work for you in ways you never thought possible.  Your 401(k) will grow without the need for any energy expenditure from you.  The rental house will produce income and increase in value even when you are on vacation.  The book that you’ve been wanting to write will be purchased by people from across the globe – even while you sleep.  The website will sell products without your direct involvement.  The team of people at your business will work to serve customers whether you are there or not.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking your oxen will work perfectly with zero involvement from you.  The last I checked, oxen will still wander off if you don’t provide them some direction and leadership.  Be sure to establish a system that allows you to always know the numbers and enables you to measure the health of your herd.

As your oxen work for you, they will truly provide an abundant harvest which will allow you to bless your family and those in need in ways you never thought possible.

TRUTH:  Oxen acquisition can allow you to enjoy an abundant harvest.

ACTION:  Will you share with me one thing that most connected with you during this series?

Read the entire series (available after 9/15/2011)

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SERIES: Proverbs 14:4 – Put Your Oxen To Work – Part 3

Welcome to the latest series on JosephSangl.com – “Proverbs 14:4 – Put Your Oxen To Work”

Proverbs 14:4 – Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.

Part 3  Acquire oxen.

The manger is empty when there are no oxen.  The manger is designed to hold food.  When faced with the decision of “empty manger/no food” versus “abundant harvest”, I am going to choose the abundant harvest every single time.  It is my belief that this would be your choice also.

Obviously, the critical step toward an abundant harvest is to have oxen.  These oxen, however, can be expensive.  Acquiring a McDonald’s franchise can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Starting a business can also cost an enormous amount of money.  So where does one start out?  We must start out just like everyone else – start where you are with what you have.

I challenge you to write down your plans, hopes, and dreams on paper.  Seriously, take five minutes to ponder your goals and write them down.  Now, next to each goal, write down how much each goal will cost.  This process will help you understand the necessity of acquiring an ox or two.

My oxen acquisition started by fully funding my 401(k).  I contributed the maximum amount allowed by law.  Notice that I did not contribute just enough to gain the company match.  This is a great start, but to truly get the 401(k) ox to work for me, I needed to maximize my contributions.  If you simply can’t contribute the maximum, start with a little and increase it on a consistent basis so that you will be maximizing it in just a few years.  These investments seemed so little at the start that it seemed pointless.  Just 15 years later, however, the 401(k) ox is healthy and doing a LOT of heavy lifting for me!  It will do the same for you.

Nine years ago, I was living paycheck-to-paycheck.  By applying myself little by little every single day, God has saw fit to bless me.  I am convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that He can do the same for you.

TRUTH:  Oxen acquisition can allow you to enjoy an abundant harvest.

We’ll talk more about putting the oxen to work in Part Four.

Read the entire series (available after 9/15/2011)

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Happy Anniversary To My Parents

It was 52 years ago today that my parents said, “I do!”

I’m glad they did!

Like any couple who has celebrated 52 years of marriage, they have kept their vows in spite of major challenges.  It is worthy of honor so here is a list of things I wanted to point out that make me proud to say I am a son of Roy and Sandra Sangl.

  • My father started a business from scratch and made it pay off.  I NEVER heard him complain about getting up to work.  EVER.  He was up long before I opened an eyelid.
  • My mother always had breakfast ready to roll.
  • They had six children – all of them boys – with the perfect ending of identical twin boys (I was one of them and they tell me I was born 7 minutes after my twin bro).
  • They survived the raising of all six of us without going completely crazy.
  • I was brought to church every Sunday AM, Sunday PM, Tuesday, and Thursday – then youth on Friday night
  • They raised us on a farm – complete with hogs, cows, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, corn, soybeans, and wheat.
  • They raised us to be thrifty.
  • I got to observe business ownership from the inside – the good, the bad, and the ugly
  • My mother taught me how to crochet – which is a man-skill because if we get stuck in the jungle, I know how to do some serious weaving and knot-tying
  • Family gatherings have always been a priority.  I can’t remember a holiday growing up where there weren’t at least 30 to 40 people present.  For me, going to hang out with family has always been something I look forward to – not an obligation.
  • They are hilarious.  Trust me on this one.  Watching and listening to them is a rolling circus.

Mom and Dad – Congratulations on 52 years!

 

Happy Birthday To My Bride

 

It is my bride’s birthday.  That means I want to take this day to celebrate my bride’s birth!  I am so glad that the Lord saw fit to give her life!  She is a wonderful bride, wife, and mother.

Here are  10 Reasons I love my bride:

  1. She loves Jesus
  2. She loves me
  3. She is beautiful!
  4. She has carried two beautiful children into this world – a daughter and a son
  5. She is a neat-freak and our house is ALWAYS a welcoming environment because of her
  6. She is THE REASON I even get to do what I get to do – she is responsible for the entire crusade’s starting and its ability to continue impacting people across the world
  7. She is a saver with money and a risk-taker with life!
  8. She is a graduate of Purdue University (best school ever)
  9. She is my closest friend and confidant and provides the best counsel I have ever heard
  10. She is a leader – I believe that she could lead a ministry that has 1,000-times the impact that IWBNIN has had!

Those are just 10 reasons.  I could list at least 1,000 more.

I love you, my beautiful bride.  Happy Birthday!

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