Monthly Archives

November 2009

Money

Secrets of the Wealthy Couple

Wealth is a choice, a concept, an attitude, a way of life. Wealth does not just happen. A couple must choose to be wealthy. Couples rarely succeed in building wealth without the strong commitment of both partners. The Law of Attraction states that you can create your life through your thoughts. Think wealthy thoughts and you are on your way to leading a wealthy life.

Making the choice to be wealthy sets into motion forces that will put you on the path of wealth accumulation. Study wealth, model wealth, choose wealthy habits, be wealthy. Wealth, in monetary terms, can be measured in terms of Capital. Capital is useful to the degree that it generates cashflow, which is what you use to meet your day to day expenses. The key to wealth accumulation is to build capital that generates cashflow. Once the cashflow from your capital is greater than your day to day expenses, you have solved the wealth equation. The wealth equation: Income – Expenses = Capital

Build capital by:

1) Increasing your income or your incoming cashflow.

2) Decreasing your expenses.

 

How do you build capital while raising a family, paying a mortgage, a car loan a student loan, saving for education and so on? To accumulate wealth, you need to systematically build capital on a daily basis. Many of your expenses are not going to go away, without a major lifestyle change. To build capital then, certain new habits will have to be developed.

Forced savings must become a part of your daily routine. Repetitive, unnecessary and frivolous expenditures need to be eliminated. Specialty coffees, snacks, regular takeout or delivery, cigarettes and other expenditures make it virtually impossible to build wealth. If you constantly expend all of your income, then you will be unable to accumulate wealth. You will not build capital as there will be no cash left. You need to divert a portion of your income, on purpose, to a capital accumulation pool in a systematic and repetitive manner.

Capital can be equated to freedom. Freedom is your ability to live your life as you please (within the boundaries of societal and moral codes) off the cashflow from your capital. Develop habits that build your wealth rather than erode your capital/freedom. The greater your capital, and the security of it, the greater your freedom. Some examples of wealth building habits are:

  • Daily deposits to a Capital Freedom Jar.
  • Weekly transfers to a savings account.
  • Monthly transfers to a savings account.

Use your electronic organizer to remind you to do your transfers and employ internet banking for convenience. When you do spend money, spend cash. Save the change. It adds up. Put it in your capital freedom jar. When you use a bank machine, pull out an extra $20. Sell off redundant items. Put the cash in your capital freedom jar. When you make a deposit into your capital freedom jar, praise yourselves for a job well done by saying “We are great builders of capital, we feel wealthy and free, we are wealthy and free.” Deposit the money from your capital freedom jar into an high-interest savings account every time you reach as set amount i.e.: $200.

Understanding how to calculate and manage the increase in your net worth is a very important part of maximizing your capital and freedom. Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth. Assets are items which can be liquidated to receive cash or items that generate cash flow.

Assets that spin off cash are termed as Financial Assets. Wealthy couples concentrate their efforts on systematically building their Financial Assets and reducing their debt that does not support Financial Assets. Liabilities are items that use your cash such as a mortgage, car loan, line of credit, credit card balances, student loans etc.

Build your capital by calculating and monitoring your Net Worth at regular intervals say monthly or quarterly. Build a spread sheet to do this. List your assets and liabilities and calculate the difference which is your Net Worth. What gets measured gets managed! Where you put your attention, you focus energy. Where you focus energy, you achieve results.

As a couple focus your attention on systematically building your Net Worth. You will apply energy with your new Wealth Builder habits and you will achieve results with increased Net Worth. Consider starting a part time business. The cashflow you generate from your business, after expenses and taxes, can be contributed to your Capital Freedom Jar. Business income receives preferential tax treatment over income earned by salary.

Forcing savings out of what is left from your salary after taxes, and day to day expenses can be a challenge even for the most seasoned savers. Forced savings is a habit that must be adopted in order to ensure capital is built on regular and consistent basis. As outlined earlier, systematic transfers to saving is a great way to consistently build capital. This is a must!

Parkinson’s Law states that outlays will generally adjust upwards to the level of inflows. Have you ever gotten a raise and wondered why you still had nothing left at the end of the month? This is Parkinson’s Law at work. You must defeat Parkinson’s Law by throwing a wedge into the equation. If you have a regular systematic transfer to savings, you have effectively put Parkinson’s Law to work for you. Watch automatic charges to your accounts that can creep up unnoticed such as cable, insurance, vehicle loans, and consumer loans.

As you accumulate capital, you are then in a position to invest in financial assets that will appreciate and eventually throw off cash to support your day to day needs. Once your cashflow from your financial assets exceeds your daily expenses you are, by definition, wealthy. You are then in a position to work by choice, not by necessity.

This obviously will not happen in 5 or even 10 years if you are young and just starting out. It will get you there in 15 to 20 years if you have the discipline to stick with it. As a couple, you will accumulate knowledge along the way that will help you with your investment decisions to grow your financial assets.

Make sure that you have fun along the way as well. Many couples have had great luck with setting up a Fun Jar as well that gets regular deposits for the sole purpose of having fun. Remember fun doesn’t always have to involve spending money. A little financial knowledge applied at the beginning of a relationship can put a couple on track to a wealthy life. It is your choice. Good luck!

This article is based on excerpts from a soon to be published book.


Rodney K. Robertson, B.Comm., C.A.

Partner SVS Group LLP, Chartered Accountants

Rod brings with him 20 years of combined private industry and public practice experience. Since receiving his designation in 1989, Rod was a business owner for a period of time and draws upon that experience to compliment his professional knowledge base in his hands-on approach to client service. Setting goals and developing strategic plans with regular feedback has been a formula for success that Rod insists is paramount in any business. Rod has been quoted in the past by Profit Magazine, when interviewed as a CFO in the magazine’s annual edition of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies. Rod coordinates the firm’s Business Development efforts. Professional designations include a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan. Rod is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accounts for both Saskatchewan and Alberta.

On a personal level Rod is married to Cheryl and is the proud father of two wonderful little boys Kyle (7) and Blake (4). As a family they enjoy time together on their acreage and at their lake lot while attending to the educational personal growth of the family. Rod and Cheryl together have acquired and manage a sizable residential and commercial Real Estate portfolio.

Money

Money Magic For Couples

Whether you have just gotten together with your mate or you have been together for years, the topic of money is important. If couples do not discuss money this can lead to many frustrations, disagreements as well as divorce. With discussion couples can at least get on the same page towards creating a very wealthy and fulfilling future. The media has bombarded us with how to survive in a recession. It is my belief that if you focus on surviving that is all you will get; in order to thrive you must both develop a mindset for money and abundance.

Money is always a reflection of what is going on inside (beliefs, values, interests). If you are not happy with your current situation regarding money then you need to set your sights higher and develop the right mindset and habits to accumulate wealth. It will take an absolute commitment from you and your partner to change your thinking as well as apply the following principles to develop habits of success.

Here are 8 surefire ways to open the gate to abundance for you and your partner: (these do not have to be followed in any particular order)

  1. Decide what you would like to be, do and have. Identify and write down your long-term goals – 3 years, 5 years, 10 years and 20 years from now. Make a list of your short-term goals – weekly, monthly, yearly. Write out what you do want as opposed to what you don’t want. Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic, Time deadline). For example, “I will make $50,000 by September 30.”
  2. Identify any beliefs that are limiting you from being wealthy and prosperous. For example, “I don’t deserve to have money,” “There isn’t enough money to go around,” “I don’t believe that I can make $50,000 a year.” Immediately reverse your beliefs to the positive and start affirming them every day.
  3. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for what you have while achieving what you want. Every morning and night, give thanks to all that you have in life. Find as many reasons to give thanks.
  4. If you are not already doing what you love and making money at it, then discover what you love to do by making a list of your passions. In your spare time, work on the things you love and brainstorm the opportunities of making money with them.
  5. Make a budget that includes identifying all of your expenses, income and spending habits. Once you have identified them, implement the 70/30 rule. Budget to live on seventy percent of your net income. The other thirty percent allot to charity (10%), capital investments (10%) and savings (10%).
  6. Remove the clutter from your life – simplify. Once you clean up any messes in your life, doors will open for you to focus on activities that can make you more money.
  7. Surround yourself with your images of wealth and prosperity. Put up pictures, quotes and sayings around your house or work environment. Also, surround yourself with people who have positive influences in regards to wealth and prosperity.
  8. Review and visualize your goals daily. Imagine every day as if you have already achieved your goal. This will motivate you to complete your goals.

Remember that life is a journey and along the way you will reach many destinations as well as hit many road bumps. Keep your head up high, stay focused and know that you and your partner have the power and magic to create a wealth and abundant life together.

 

Wayne Lee

Mental Programming Expert

Communication

Falling Forward by Darren Jacklin

I believe that every person you meet comes into your life for a reason. I believe that it’s not what happens to us in our lives it’s what we do about it. Sometimes while I am in front of my live audiences I share with them stories of people who have impacted and touched my life. I am truly blessed to have had so many wonderful life experiences.

A few years ago I was doing a Public Seminar and a woman stood up and started complaining about how tough and difficult her life was. She started to become the poor me victim. A woman behind her a few rows asked out loud, Your life is difficult compared to what?

The woman who was speaking turned around and said, and so you think your is more difficult than mine? The woman said, I don’t think anyone in this seminar today has ever experienced what I have been through and I never wish it upon them but people I believe that everyone can truly learn from my experience.

 

I asked the woman to stand up and share and she accepted my request. She began with this:

 

“A year ago my husband and my three beautiful young children awoke one early summer Sunday morning feeling adventurous and excited to go on our two-week family vacation. We got up and packed our SUV and drove off a short while later. As we were traveling down the highway a group of people coming home after a long night of Saturday night partying decided to cross the centerline of the highway.

 

“At that moment our lives changed forever. My husband and three children were killed on impact. I was in shock – I was pinned in the vehicle helpless, not able to do anything. The emergency crews arrived to pry the vehicle open with the Jaws of Life. I was freed from the wreck and taken away. Later I had to return with the coroner and police officers to identify my husband and three children. This event changed my life forever.

 

“When I returned home, after the emotional shock started to wear off that is when it really hit me. I had to go into my children’s 3 bedrooms and pack all of their personal belongings; I would pick up things like a zip lock bag of their first hair cut trimmings; their first letter to mommy and daddy; their first little footprint that they made for me in Pre School; their first note to Santa Claus; their first picture and the note that says I Love You Mommy. I would pack up these keepsake items and save them. Some of the clothes I donated to our church and Salvation Army.

 

“Then I had to go into the bedroom I shared with my husband and look around at all of the memories that we had built over the past 20 years of marriage our life together.”

 

I asked her how she got through this experience or if she ever would. She replied confidently, “It’s not what happens to you in your life it’s what you do about it. My husband and children would never want me to go on living my life with pain and misery. Nor would they want me to be medicated for the rest of my life.

 

“I am blessed to have had three beautiful children some people today in this seminar and in this world will never be able to give birth to a child. God gave us the miracle of three. Some people in this seminar and in the world will never find their soul mate I lived with mine for over 20 years and we were also best friends. We lived in a Beautiful neighborhood had great careers and did many wonderful things together.

 

“I could sue those people who were in that other automobile for what they did but instead I have forgiven them. I could write letters to the Editors of Newspapers and blame Law Enforcement for not putting up more Police Road checks to catch drunk drivers. I could go to a medical doctor and get a prescription to take medication for the rest of my life. But I have chosen to be a Victor vs. a Victim.”

 

At that moment, the entire audience stood up and gave this woman a standing ovation. It was an experience that I and many in that room will always remember. People hugged each other in that seminar. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place. That day had an impact on so many people’s lives, including mine.

 

So the next time that you think your life is challenging and difficult, the next time the man or woman you love upsets you or you have an argument or things aren’t going the way you believe they should be going – ask yourself this question. “Compared To What?”

 

It’s not what happens to you in your life; it’s what you do about it.

 


 

Darren Jacklin’s uncanny ability to increase business income, wealth and success by uncovering hidden assets, overlooked opportunities and undervalued possibilities has captured the attention and respect of NBC TV, Elevision Network, Sharing Success TV, best-selling authors, entrepreneurs and marketing experts.

Darren Jacklin, is called a Mega Manifestor. Tell Darren what you really, really, REALLY want in your personal or professional life and he can show you how to get it! He has help people to manifest dream jobs, relationships, joint venture partners, automobiles, vacations and so much more.

For almost two decades, Darren Jacklin has traveled the planet and dedicated his life to discovering the most advanced principles for producing accelerated change. As a World Authority on Making Your Dreams Real he has trained personnel from more than 130 Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, Black & Decker, Barclays Bank, Air Canada, as well as high school and professional athletes from more than 36 countries.

Darren is supporting his fiancé Clara Chorley in her lifetime vision of building villages in Africa. For more info about Darren Jacklin, check out his website at www.DarrenJacklin.com.

Communication, Intimacy

Love S.O.S. for Newlyweds

By Debra Macleod, B.A., LL.B.,
Sex & Relationship Author

 

I’m getting married next summer, but there’s a nasty issue between my maid of honor and my fiancé’s best man. They used to date (my fiancé and I actually met through them) but now they’ve broken up. It was a messy breakup since he cheated on her, they’re on terrible terms, and are both threatening to boycott our wedding if they have to stand up together. I told my fiancé it was only fair for him to ask his friend to step down (since he’s the jerk), but he doesn’t agree and now we’re arguing. What should I do? I don’t think my friend should have to stand up with a guy who treated her so badly.

 

Ah, I’m partially out of my league: With regard to the logistics of the ceremony, including presenting this ex-couple with options so they’re not paired together, I’d encourage you to consult a wedding etiquette specialist. These folks are experts at negotiating awkward wedding issues. Just do it soon! But now to what I think is the larger and more important issue, which is the fact that you and your fiancé are arguing over this. It pains me that lovebirds like you are being drawn into this drama. If your marriage is to last longer than the wedding ceremony, the two of you must learn to insulate your relationship from other peoples’ problems. Regardless of how this situation resolves itself, you and your fiancé should use this opportunity to have a heart-to-heart about prioritizing and protecting your relationship. That involves respecting and empathizing with each other’s feelings, compromising, and presenting a united front to friends and family. Realize that this issue will be a transitory one: your marriage, however, will last forever. If you can turn this argument into a chance to showcase the insight and skills your marriage will need to survive, you’ll be the wiser (and happier) for it.

 

My fiancé and I have been together for four years and living together for two. Since we got engaged last year, I’ve noticed that our sex life is cooling down. I’ve asked him about it, but he says he doesn’t notice a difference. I’m worried this is going to get worse after we’re married, since it seems that the change has happened since the engagement. What can I do to make the sex as hot and heavy as it used to be?

 

The bad news is that there’s probably nothing you can do to make the sex as “hot and heavy” as it was in first year that you were together. The good news is that this mild cool-down isn’t just normal, it’s also necessary if your relationship/marriage is to deepen in meaning, strength, and—yes—sexual intimacy. Sure, there may be a connection between your engagement and the cool-down, but that could be a good thing. Perhaps sealing the deal has made both of you subconsciously relax and realize that your commitment is for real. Perhaps you’re both starting to sense the gravity of marriage and it’s preoccupying you. Or perhaps your long-term relationship is simply moving out of the hormonal stage. Those are all positive, healthy changes that a couple can expect to experience. You didn’t say that you or he weren’t satisfied with your sex life; you simply said that, after four years, it’s starting to cool down. Don’t make this a bigger issue than it is. Relax, keep your perspective, and use your common sense. Sex is going to change over the years that you’re together—just wait ‘til you bring your first baby home! As long as you and your husband enjoy a mutually-satisfying sex life and keep intimacy a priority, all will be well. You don’t have to experience fireworks every night!

 

How do I get over my jealousy? Whenever my fiancé talks to a pretty woman (cashiers, waitresses, whatever) I feel a mixture of insecurity, anger, and helplessness. My fiancé seems to think it’s funny and puffs out his chest like it’s a joke.

 

Believe it or not, your fiancé’s reaction may be a good one. In my experience, men who are out to make their partner’s jealous are more subtle about it. My guess is that he’s doing his best to marginalize your jealousy because he knows it’s unfounded and doesn’t know how else to handle it. You’ve also indicated the type of pretty girls he’s talking to—cashiers and waitresses that you and he encounter in the normal course of a day—so it’s not like he’s trolling the bars at closing-time looking for “hot babes.” I think you need to cut yourself some slack here. Jealousy is a normal emotion and it’s at its strongest in the early years of a relationship. When you feel it, turn your thoughts to all the ways your fiancé makes you feel like you’re “the one.” Although some degree of jealousy is normal, you must maintain your perspective, use your common sense, and keep it in-check so it doesn’t start to consume you.

 


 

Debra Macleod is an internationally published author of five sex & relationship guides. Her sixth book will be out in 2010. She is a contributor to Cosmopolitan, Bridal Guide, Men’s Health, Playboy, and Fox TV. Having just moved to Calgary, Debra can be seen on Global TV, Breakfast Television and Shaw TV, and heard on the VIBE 98.5 fm. She is also the host of “Love S.O.S” spice-it-up intimacy seminars for women. Debra has been married for nine years and she and her husband, Don, have a son.

Uncategorized

The Science of Lasting Love

How to grow a healthy marriage
By Dr. Brenda Wade

 

When Stephanie and Matt came to me for premarital coaching, they sat down on the love seat in my office, holding hands and glowing with love. I asked what they wanted to get out of their counseling and Stephanie replied, “I read in one of your books that there are two-thirds fewer divorces among couples who get premarital counseling. We love each other and we want to stay together, so here we are.”

“And both of us come from divorced parents,” Matt chimed in. “I remember all the traveling back and forth, feeling awkward, sad, and angry all the time. I use to get in fights almost every day at school. It was all I could do because I didn’t understand why I felt so bad.”

“We don’t want that.” Stephanie said firmly. “We’ve already read several books. What else do we need to do?”

“Thank God you’re here,” I replied. “It’s much cheaper to do some work up front rather than try to fix your relationship later when negative patterns are more ingrained. I have to tell you, I was a trained scientist before I became a clinician so brace yourself, you’re about to learn the science of love.”

Yes, that’s right. Scientists like John Gottman of the University of Washington and Alan Leavitt of the University of California, Berkeley have shown that there are specific factors that lead to lasting love. But the flip side is also true; there are behaviors that will destroy your relationship. Good and bad, these factors will determine if your marriage has a fat love bank account or if you’ll end up emotionally bankrupt. Following is a summary of what I shared with Stephanie and Matt over the next eight weeks of their premarital counseling that you can start putting to use right away.

The major factors that contribute to marital bliss versus martial bomb is whether you use the four A’s or the four C’s as the basis of your relationship. ‘The four what?’ you’re probably thinking. Let me break it down for you.

 

The C’s: criticism, coldness, contempt, combativeness

  • Criticism means looking for what’s wrong or focusing on the negative. We all know what it’s like to be criticized and it’s not fun. Why do this to your loved one?
  • Coldness equals withdrawing affection, love, positive attention, and/or sex. Did someone turn down the temperature?
  • Contempt is behaving as if your partner disgusts you, including eye-rolling, sarcasm, speaking in a contemptuous tone or using contemptuous words such as “that’s a stupid idea,” or “you need help.”
  • Combativeness is using either attacking or defending as a way of communicating. Attacking is “You are the problem, you never call, you should change.” Defending is “I’m not the one causing problems, I do all the work,” etc.

I cringe even writing about the four C’s, just imagine how it feels to live with them! Research shows that couples who use the four C’s as their primary means of communication, have an 81 percent–let me repeat that–81 percent chance of being divorced within five years. The four C’s are what we would technically call emotional or verbal abuse and they are withdraws from your love bank account. But wait, help is on the way!

 

The A’s: affection, admiration, appreciation, acceptance

  • Affection equals words, gestures, tones or touches that convey love and caring.
  • Admiration are words such as, “Wow, you look as attractive now as the first time I saw you,” or “you are always ready with great ideas to make our life better.”
  • Appreciation equals giving thanks for your partner and the contributions they make to you and your life. Remember when you didn’t have a partner and longed for one? Now show that they are here, show them some appreciation!
  • Everyone longs to be accepted for their true selves. To express acceptance means to love the core of who your partner is, what they stand for in the world, and even their quirks and little annoying habits. This doesn’t mean you don’t strive to grow and evolve and become better people, but it does mean no nagging about habits or your pet peeves unless it crosses the line and become a C or a real hazard to you, your partner or your relationship.

Making the A’s a daily practice automatically eliminates the C’s, thereby depriving them of any opportunity to rear their C-shaped little heads. Research shows that we develop new patterns in our brains the more we repeat something. So go forth and build those love patterns and your love bank account will never go bankrupt, it will always be full.

Not surprisingly, after implementing the A behaviors above into daily practice and working to eliminate those nasty C’s, Stephanie and Matt are now celebrating their second wedding anniversary and expecting their first child. In a note they sent me recently, they say they practice the A’s like a new religion. Adopt these behaviors and you too will grow a healthy, steadfast marriage.


Dr. Brenda is a regular on NBC’s Today Show and CNN as a psychology expert.  She has been featured on shows such as Oprah and Good Morning America, and as the host of the nationally syndicated Can This Marriage Be Saved and the national PBS Pledge Special Power Choices. Dr. Brenda is also founder of the Love and Money Summit. For more information on Dr. Brenda’s books Power Choices, Love Lessons, and What Mama Couldn’t Tell Us About Love or on her upcoming workshops, check out www.docwade.com.