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  • 12:25:33 am on June 18, 2009 | 0 | # |
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    We’re Moving!

    Master of My Domain

    Hello and Welcome!

    My name’s Adrian John Cartwood, but my friends call me AJC.

    I’m sorry to have to tell you that you’re a little late … you’ve missed the party!

    But not to worry, there’s an even bigger party opening at a new location.

    Let me explain …

    In 2008 I opened this site as a free online coaching program where I mentored just 7 Millionaires … In Training! over two intensive years. During this time, I showed them how to become as rich as they need to be in order to live the kind of life that they always dreamed of.

    I’m uniquely qualified to teach this, because I went from $30k in debt to over $7 million in the bank in just 7 years, and I created this site to prove that anybody can do this without resorting to scams, clever online or MLM marketing tricks, no money down real-estate, or any other shady way of making money.

    Yes, anybody can learn how to make $7 million in 7 years. No scams, no schemes, just by following some good, old-fashioned financial advice …

    To prove this point, Scott (a young doctor), Ryan, Josh, Debbie (who volunteered to leave the program to help me write a book about their experiences with this experiment), Jeff (the true life Top Gun navy pilot who replaced Debbie), Diane, Mark and Lee (a retired Police Chaplain!) all participated and you can read about their experiences on this site.

    Now, I have hugely expanded the program into a new online Guided Learning Experience and finally opened it up to the world!

    Well, what are you waiting for?!

    Click Here!

     
  • 01:53:22 am on June 10, 2009 | 0 | # |
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    Liftoff!

    Pre-dawn-liftoff

    Well, as I mentioned before, we actually lifted off before we reached the launch pad …. ooops 😦

    But, in personal finance – thus, this ‘grand experiment’ – we’ll actually be doing a lot of back-tracking even as we move forward at great (I hope!) speed …

    … in fact, some horses have jumped right out of the gate so fast, we’ve had to gently coax them into slowing down, just a tad 😉

    Horses and rocket ships? Now there’s a broken analogy, but it’s all in a good cause, because:

    As promised, we are now moving into MM201

    For at least a few of the 7 Millionaires … In Training! the past few months has seen a confirmation that their MM101 strategies are sound (but, I don’t know any who shouldn’t have made at least a slight shift in their thinking?), but for others, change is required.

    I’m retired at 49 [AJC: and, I intend to stay at this age for my ‘blogging persona’, much like a perpetually 10 y.o. Bart Simpson] … if I had this advice in front of me when I started out (probably in my mid- to late-20’s would have been the right-frame-of-mind time for me), I would be retired before 35 and be living my Life’s Purpose already …

    …. it really is just a 7 year project IMHO, give or take a little 🙂

    Some of the keys that we have learned already are to:

    1. Set a solid base (bankroll management, respect for money, delayed gratification) without going over the top (it’s just not necessary to live totally ‘frugally’)

    2. Have a very clear understanding of the ‘why’ (your Life’s Purpose), the ‘what’ (your Number), and the ‘when’ (your Date)

    3. Select the right ‘how’ i.e the MM201 ‘tool/s’ that are most appropriate for YOU to get YOU there

    … the ‘who’ is pretty straightforward: it’s only YOU who can make this happen!

    This is a great time to sit back and really reassess your NEED to reach your Number by your Date … if the back of your head doesn’t tingle whenever you think of it, you’re probably wasting your time even trying.

    Now, assuming you DO have the burning desire to get ahead, the real ‘riches’ of this experiment are still in front of you: everything up to now has been on 1. and 2., and – while we will review these two areas every so often – the gates on 3. are about to open!

    So ….

    1. Pull out your old notes and take another look at your Number / Date and most importantly the Compound Growth Rate that you need to get there. What are they?

    2. Take another look at the table by Michael Masterson and affirm which ‘tools’ you think will help YOU along the way; remember, this table is just a guide (ideally, you should select the LOWEST compound growth rate tool that you have some affinity/interest/passion for. Why? It’s probably the lowest risk tool for you …)

    3. Review your “passion table” (the areas where you earn/spend/do/ and/or have special abilities)

    I want you to get pretty clear in what you are planning to do to get to your Number by your Date; for example, if a business, specifically WHAT kind of business and HOW (buy, start, etc.) … you’ve had a long time to let this sit in your subconscious (which is why we started looking at MM201 then back-tracked to MM101 for so long) … don’t be shy, spit it out!

    If you need help from the community, join in with a comment right here, or tack onto any of the 7MITs who you feel most comfortable communicating with and alongside (that’s why I chose such a diverse bunch) to ask for (and get) the help you need. Then, let’s get our ‘growth engines’ selected and, specified

    … in fact, I want you to think of this as going out to tender: if you were to ‘buy’ the tool that got you to your Number on (say) CraigsList, how would you write the Wanted-To-Buy listing for it; for example, I might have said:

    WANTED

    Operating manuals for one business in the call center services field (manuals only, as I intend to start this business from scratch); would also consider IT or services-based business models, but no manufacturing businesses or businesses intended to run as a sole-proprietorship, please. Has to be able to be modified with good processes and IT (that I will develop) to make more efficient (a.k.a. profitable).

    Has to have potential for rapid expansion across many countries via franchising or strategic partnerships (ideally Australia to develop the business, then New Zealand to test the ‘franchising’ model, then roll out to USA, then UK, then possible key countries in Europe). Must come with good potential for cashflow that can be applied to residential RE investments (apartments) and commercial RE investment (including owning the building that the business resides in). Must be saleable to a large multinational or have IPO potential.

    Big houses, flashy cars and first class travel not mandatory. Genuine enquiries only. No Business Brokers, please.

    … I’m sure that you can do a MUCH better job than me!

     
  • 02:35:59 am on June 8, 2009 | 24 | # |
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    Under the spotlight: Josh

    under_the_spotlight

    I’m starting a new ‘occasional series’ where we put one of our 7 Millionaires … In Training! – or, any other reader – under the spotlight when there is an interesting or unusual aspect of their journey towards their Number / Date that needs to be discussed.

    Josh is the lucky first participant, as a result of some discussion that we have had online (with this post) and via e-mail (that I will summarize below) …

    … this is designed as a discussion – Josh and I are looking for YOUR thoughts!

    ___________________________

    I told Josh (via e-mail):

    Listen, you’re keeping me up at night … and, believe me, this project isn’t usually what does that! So, here’s my concern:

    Professional poker players KNOW that they need to manage their bankroll carefully; this means:

    – Not risking more than 15% of their bankroll in any one session
    – Breaking up their ‘windfall’ winnings in a similar manner to the 1/3 x 3 method that I outlined for you in that post.

    Note: if your income comes from external sources you can ‘fiddle’ this a bit e.g. to make it 50/50 passive v trading or even 1/3 passive and allocate fully 1/3 x 2 to trading. Also, I’m not here to tell you how much of your trading account to risk on one ‘bet’ …. if you want to follow your system for 100% of the trading account in one ‘hit’, go for it.

    But, if you DON’T come up with a better bankroll mgt ‘system’ than Bet It All, you will have problems later; look, this is MM101 For Traders and if you don’t make the habits now when you DON’T need them, you definitely won’t have the habits when you DO need them!

    So, I’ve got some ‘special homework’ for you, Josh:

    1. Buy/Read that Jesse Livermore book (you’ll love it, anyway) … esp. for how high he ‘flew’ and how far he eventually crashed. You have to KNOW this will happen to you one day if you don’t do what’s necessary NOW: http://www.amazon.com/Jesse-Livermore-Worlds-Greatest-Trader/dp/0471023264

    2. Come up with a ‘bankroll management system’ that will work for you under all circumstances (i.e. now when Josh = No Commitments and later when Josh = mortgage, school fees, family commitments, etc., etc.) … and, I don’t want to hear “bet it all now so that I have a LOT of money to split up more wisely later” 😉 One system for all circumstances!

    3. Think about what/how you will deal with the ‘passive investment account’; read this series of posts CAREFULLY:

    http://7million7years.com/2008/09/08/if-its-not-passive-its-active/

    http://7million7years.com/2008/09/09/how-to-build-a-perpetual-money-machine/

    http://7million7years.com/2008/09/12/the-perpetual-money-machine-begins-to-wind-itself-up/

    http://7million7years.com/2008/11/06/your-perpetual-money-machine-wont-start/

    I’m happy to bounce ideas around, but this is your ‘homework’ …  and, it will help me sleep better if you come up with a GREAT plan – one that you, hopefully, actually intend to keep to 😉

    Josh responded with:

    [I] hear what your saying, basically discipline myself now, so when I have a lot of money, it won’t be an issue (is this what your saying?).

    I agree in theory, and in 95% of practice, but right now it seems foolish to have cash sitting on the sidelines in a sub-par investment when it could be really working, because blue chip or good MLP dividend stocks aren’t going to help me GET to my number, but will help me maintain it. And right now I’m still not there.

    This is my plan. Lets assume I have 500,000 now. The minimum I would like to start a hedge fund with is 500,000, but  I would also like to purchase an apartment soon which costs between 750,000-1.2mill, the purchase of the apartment is important because I would like to get married soon (six months). So I’m thinking….

    Once I have the apartment = 1.2 mill (worst case) I can start the hedge fund = 500,000 Lets just round up to 2 million dollars.

    Once I have the apartment + the 500,000, I can understand dividing the cash into separate investment strategies to minimize risk at that point because there’s nothing to rush for, since I’m basically retired at that point anyway.

    Also I plan to break the 20% rule, and own my house free and clear. This stems back to basic biblical principles of the borrower being servant to the lender. Let me know your thoughts

    BTW: Josh also says that his “closing value of assets under management for today is $477,000”, which is quite a sum for a young man …… to build from and protect 😉

    ____________

    Josh and I would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

     
  • 01:14:55 am on May 22, 2009 | 4 | # |
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    Making Money 201?

    060523-O-0000N-001

    I now realize that I was a little premature running the photo of the space shuttle actually launching off the pad; where we’ve really been until now is back at the Launch Control Center making sure that we are all prepared for the flight: suits [check]; oxygen [check]; flight training [check]; flight physicals [check] …

    … a.k.a. Making Money 101

    Some people like the training; others hate it … regardless we all NEED it and HAVE to go through it in order to increase our chances of surviving the voyage without breaking up: the training and physicals that we have undertaken will see us through an arduous flight … plenty of G’s [AJC: you might equate that to your required Annual Compound Growth Rate] and a long journey through unexplored territory …

    … a.k.a. Making Money 201

    And, we’re now pushing the shuttle out onto the launch pad; while you’re strapped in, waiting to hit the launch button, there’s nothing to do but check your commitment: if it’s not high enough, your just wasting your time … it’s not too late to turn back … if you do, only your pride will be hurt 🙂

    _______________________

    Josh has made a huge financial windfall; but, it comes with a warning (read the comments on his post) … even so, he represents the desires of pretty much anybody who wants to get ahead of the curve, financially-speaking:

    When are we starting MM201, I’m jumping out of my skin here?

    I think that Josh speaks for us all: we’re chaffing at the bit to ramp up our MM201 activities [AJC: some, like Josh, have already started … heck, why wait for me?!] but, here we are, tied down in the minutia of counting check stubs (‘No Budget’ Budget) and counting minutes (Power of 10-1-1-1-1) …

    … of course, there’s a good reason; two actually:

    1. We want to create a great base to lift off from, and

    2. We want to ingrain the habits that will help us keep our money once we get it!

    But, there is good news: most of you already have MM101 well under control (some, perhaps overly so) and the others, well, you now have the tools to claw your way out of the financial muck hole (e.g. No Budget, Budget; Power of 10-1-1-1-1; MM101 savings rules) … it’s just a matter of applying them; …

    … in either case, we’re leaving MM101 now – except for the occasional ‘touch base’ to see how we’re doing … and, of course, we’re always open for questions (via post and/or e-mail); just remember that there are now 7 who can help you if/when you need it!

    So, let’s smoothly transition to MM201 and we’ll do that by reviewing a few things with our 7MITs over the next few days, that you may also want to review (and, share with us!) … stay tuned!

     
  • 02:32:54 am on May 4, 2009 | 1 | # |
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    The ‘No Budget Budget’

    budget-cut

    I asked our 7MITs to try the little ‘expense recording’ experiment that I just wrote about today on 7million7years.com … I’ll let you click this link to read it over there …

    Suffice it to say, that I really found this process to be ‘eye opening’ when I stumbled upon it a few years ago … and, highly recommend that you try it, too!

    You’ll be able to read about the 7MITs experiences with it over the next few days (some tried it … some didn’t … hopefully, they’ll write about it either way).

    Stay tuned … 🙂

     
  • 02:32:08 am on April 14, 2009 | 4 | # |
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    Making Money 101?

    picture-11

    Of course, what we’ve been doing over the last few weeks is quietly reviewing the ‘financial picture’ for each of our 7MITs … I hope that you have taken the opportunity to do the same?

    Perhaps your financial picture overlaps in part with one or more of the 7 Millionaires … In Training! and you have some comments / advice of your own? This would be a great place to let us know what you think!?

    Equally, it’s a great place to share your own questions / issues / concerns … after all, this is a forum for all 🙂

    I’m particularly interested to hear:

    1. What, if anything you will change in relation to your current financial situation?

    2. How / when you intend to go about it?

    3. What results you are hoping to achieve?

    4. What (if anything) you intend to do about your current debt?

    BTW: if you are planning to increase/decrease your current debt via a debt snowball, avalanche, bazooka, cash cascade, all, none, or I don’t know … this would be a GREAT place to discuss it.

    5. What questions that you may have (if any), in relation to how you are (or should be) handling:

    a) MM101

    b) 1. – 5. above

    c) any of the comments (mine included) to the 7MITs’ last post

    I have asked the 7MITs to respond to these same questions … but, why don’t you take the lead?

    That should just about wrap up our ‘formal’ MM101 discussion – in fact, I want you to finish this current stage of planning your own Journey To Millions having a reasonably clear idea of what is ‘wrong’ with your current financial picture (if anything) and what you need to do about it – so make the most of it … ask the questions that you need to ask 🙂

     
  • 03:16:35 am on March 24, 2009 | 4 | # |

    Going For Launch …

    space-shuttle-lifting-off-launch-pad-postersI would like to open one of the most important discussions that we will have on this site; it starts by summarizing from your Networth IQ profile (you do have one, don’t you?!) the following numbers:

    i) Income Statement (actually, this isn’t even in the NWiQ!):

    – Your current AFTER TAX income (include spouses/partners, if relevant) = A … take a moment to reflect on how this is made up.
    – Your current total expenses (as above) = B … ”       ”               ”
    – Your current rate of savings/deficit = A – B … this should also include what is going in to your 401k … think about what you intend to do with this (or about this, if a negative).

    A. Income Statement (actually, this isn’t even in the NWiQ!):

    – Your current AFTER TAX income (include spouses/partners, if relevant) = A … take a moment to reflect on how this is made up.
    – Your current total expenses (as above) = B … ”       ”               ”
    – Your current rate of savings/deficit = A – B … this should also include what is going in to your 401k … think about what you intend to do with this (or about this, if a negative).

    ii) Net Worth Statement

    – Your Total Assets = C … Run you eye over this side of the NWiQ table again
    – Your total Liabilities = D … ”              ”                  ”               ”
    Your Net Worth / Deficit = C – D … think about what you intend to do with this (or about this, if a negative).

    IMPORTANT: The effort that you put into this exercise and ensuing series of discussions with the 7MITs who are going though a similar exercise, which I am quite prepared to carry on as long as you are, will probably make the difference for how well this ‘experiment’ works for you (and, them!).

    We’ve programmed your Number into the Orbital Trajectory Computers, we’ve suited up the astronauts and set the shuttle on the launchpad  …

    …. Houston, we have a GO for launch!

     
  • 02:00:19 am on March 9, 2009 | 0 | # |
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    liability_cashflowAre you an optimist or a pessimist (I’m already on record on this subject)? It might depend upon how well your assets outweigh your liabilities …

    … this diagram shows quite nicely how the cash flows – out! – for each liability …. does that mean that a liability = bad? Not necessarily, it depends on how you use it to (eventually) drive (a lot more) cash back in!

    It was enlightening to see the similarities – and differences – between the strategies for each of the 7 Millionaires … In Training! for each of their key ‘assets’: houses; cars; 401k’s.

    Now, rather than ‘pulling teeth’ and looking at each of the separate areas of liability for each of the 7MITs – besides their bosses, coworkers, spouses and dependents 😉 – I asked each to just summarize what they owe, who they owe it to, what (if anything) they intend to do about it, and how (and by when). Perhaps, you should do the same?

    I know we’ve already covered some of this (under cars and houses), but here we are really looking at the whole subject of liability/debt in one place.

    I’m looking forward to see what they – and, you – come up with 🙂

     
  • 02:37:03 am on February 21, 2009 | 4 | # |
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    My Chevy’s got a 401k block …

    chevy-blockI couldn’t think of a way to both wrap up the previous week’s set of posts on cars and begin this week’s series on retirement savings, hence the ‘punny’ title! 🙂

    And, it wouldn’t be fair for me to lecture the 7MITs on their cars if I didn’t recount mine:

    My first car was a 3 year old Chrysler Galant (a little 4-cylinder car available in Australia … I’m not sure if it ever made it to the US?)  that I bought for 100% cash, 2/3’s sourced from my after hours jobs while I was studying and 1/3 from a nice present from my Grannie. I had just got my licence and my parents were about to go away on an overseas vacation, so they didn’t want me driving it until they got back “just in case something should happen to me” …

    … so, the minute they left the house, I backed the car out of the driveway.

    Unfortunately, we lived on a very steep street and I let the car roll into a lamppost across the road. I put the car back in the garage, where it sat (bruised) until my folks got home 😦

    My second car was a brand new Toyota T-18 (a cute little hatchback) that was brand new to the market … when it arrived, I had to sell my only investment – a 5 ounce gold ingot – for a $50 loss, so that I could raise the extra cash for the car.

    I’m sure you heard about the first gold boom , when gold hit $850 an ounce … yep, you guessed it: that was the week AFTER I sold my gold! Talk about selling an appreciating asset to buy a depreciating one …

    I bought the T-18 1/4 from the trade-in value of Car #1, 1/4 from my ‘gold cash’, 1/4 from a gift from my folks (not bad, huh?), 1/4 from a car loan that I paid off quick-smart.

    I then traded the T-18 on my beloved 10 year old, 1972 Porsche 911S in ‘gorgeous’ lime green (yuk!) … that one was all impulse purchase funded 100% by the trade-in and another car loan. Not my smartest purchase, in some respects because it cost me an arm and a leg in mechanicals … but, I had a helluva lot of fun racing it (on and off the streets) and actually made a huge profit when I sold it to a sucker … I mean friend-of-a-friend.

    That was the last car that I ever had to buy myself until the Maserati (all the rest were company cars from places that I worked or through businesses that I owned) which I paid for in cash … talk about depreciation: I paid about $35k less than sticker (which was circa $125k) for a 6-month old car with only 1,700 miles on the clock. My two other cars were essentially rentals, I worked out a deal that was better than owning or leasing …

    Of course, shifting countries meant new cars, and I simply paid cash for the Lexus SUV Hybrid for my wife and the BMW M3 Convertible for myself … do I meet the 5% Rules? I’m pretty sure that I do, but one of the advantages of Making Money 301 is that you can stop counting 🙂

    Did I do the right thing with my cars until now?

    If I did, it was largely by accident … at the time, I didn’t know about the rules that I’m giving you here … funnily enough, the older I got – in looking back – the more that I found I met these rules by accident (i.e. the 20% Equity Rule for my house, and the 5% Rule for cars/possessions). I was happy to go without the fancy cars until I could afford it … and, lucky enough that I eventually could 😉

    Now, let’s shift gears and look ahead, towards the next stage of this ‘grand experiment’ in Millionaire-Making … your retirement savings:

    Assess what you have you got in your retirement accounts.

    Take a look at how it all got there … did your employer do all the ‘hard work’?

    Did you actively work on building your retirement savings?

    How is it invested? And, why?

    And, how badly have you been hit over the last year or two? And, what are you going to do to recover?

    Also, how much $$$ and % of salary do you invest and what is the employer match?

    Easy!

     
  • 04:12:01 am on February 4, 2009 | 8 | # |
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    yellow-carIf your house is your biggest purchase, then your next biggest purchase is likely to be your car …

    … but, you aren’t most people!

    I assure you – that through the course of this experiment, if you choose to participate actively along with our 7MITs – you will make MUCH bigger purchases by way of businesses/investments/RE/etc.

    So, to put this all in perspective, think about your car:

    1. What is it (are they)?

    2. How long have you had it (them)?

    3. Did you buy new?

    4. How much did you pay then?

    5. How much is it worth now?

    6. Did you pay cash? If not, what was your loan? How much left to pay/ What is the payout value (if you know, or can easily find out)?

    7. Why don’t you take public transport, ride a bike, own a rickshaw i.e. why do you need a car?

    8. What/when/how (much) is your next planned vehicle purchase and how do you expect to pay for it?

    BTW: 7million7year’s own car – the Maserati in the pictures – has been sold (or, so the dealer has assured me) … I think I will break-even on my purchase price due to a number of conflicting factors:

    – I paid cash 🙂

    – I bought the car 6 months old (and, only 1,700 miles on the clock) for a $35k discount off new 🙂

    – I am selling the car in a recession with a 8% dealer’s ‘consignment commission’ 😦

    – I am transacting in FOREX currency 🙂

    Now, I’ll just have to be content with the new 7m7y Mobile …

    2008_bmw_m3_convertible_in_blue_images_1

     
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