A Farmer’s Approach to Wealth Making


farming

 

The universe is a perfect example of collaboration and interdependence. Nothing stands alone!

We are members of that system. Our lives exhibit different dimensions that must work together if we aim for harmony and prosperity.

Attaining financial wealth is the result of thoughtful and intuitive groundwork on our part. Just like love, self esteem, happiness. They are all fruits, of healthy roots!

To use farming as a metaphor, a wise farmer decides what he/she wants to grow, picks up good seeds, prepares the land (weeding, leveling, fertilizing, etc), waits for the right season (which takes knowledge), then plants the seeds carefully.

That is the bulk of the work. After that, he or she must keep tending to the land, making sure it’s well-watered, free from insects, and so forth.

The rest is not his/her job! The seeds, given the right environment, know what to do. A farmer can’t speed up or slow down their growth.

Aiming to create and grow wealth is quite similar. It starts with knowing what we want, in as much details as possible, while leaving ample room for creativity and spontaneity.

The next step is finding the right “land”, which is the right business or investment that would translate what we want into actual products and/or services, profitable investments, or both.

The “seeds” are plenty. The challenge is to choose the right ones for you and your dream. It is essential to give this enough thought and soul searching. Sit down, write down, reflect, talk to others, collect and analyze information, release negative emotions, then make your decision(s).

What we seek, seeks us! As strange as it may sound, I’m sure you could find examples from your own life to the truthfulness of this finding. Most of the time we meet halfway, but it won’t come knocking on our doors (it might for a few). We must “move” intelligently towards it, and while moving, we continue to be open to what the road might throw before us. That might be another opportunity we haven’t thought of.

Let’s summarize what we have explored so far:

  • Know what you want.
    • This can’t be emphasized enough. We either know what we want, or not. In the latter case, someone, or something, else would choose for us
    • The farmer, in the above metaphor, knows that he/she wants to grow, say, corn this season. What do you want to “grow”, and how would you know? Go back to the basics. Ask yourself fundamental questions about your life in general. Be as honest as you can when you answer. Let those responses come from “you”, regardless of others’ approval, regardless of your current circumstances, and regardless of past conditioning and limiting self-concepts (this is a tough one. Go through it gently and steadily)
    • The outcome is your vision/mission statement. The constitution of your life! Something that reflects who you truly are. Something that inspires you every time you read it!
    • Derive from that statement your wealth objectives. Write them down as intentions, in the present tense. Avoid woulds and shoulds. And stay away from “wanting”. Here’s an example: “I intend to reach $$ net-worth by end of 20xx
  • Find the seeds
    • Now that you know the destination, look for the vehicle(s) that would take you there. One source that is readily available for you is this blog. Read the articles from the beginning. You’ll find a multitude of concepts, strategies and techniques to help you decide what vehicle you’d like to ride
    • Once you find what seeds you like to grow, look for the right implementation. This is also covered in details throughout the blog. However, you can do your own research using whatever tools that are available to you. The point is to plant those seeds in a good, “fertile” environment
  • Take care of your new farm. Nonetheless, allow it to grow on its own. Give it time and be patient. A farmer wouldn’t wake up every morning, go to the cornfield, and yell at it: Grow, grow! Be watchful at this stage and well-informed, but not willful

Finally, what we set out to achieve in life follows timeless principles. The more we know and understand those changeless facts, the smoother the ride, and the better the outcome would be.

The Wealth Maker

© Image Credit: www.shermanfarmnh.com, From Google Images. © Google Inc.

How Can an Investor Read The Future?


Investing is not only an intellectual enterprise. It challenges all dimensions of an investor’s personality and character. That’s why it is an inner job, before it manifests in the outer.

Nonetheless, an investor is not a fortuneteller, a speculator, or a gambler. He or she sees the activity as a business, which is prone to loss and profit, rise and demise.

Human beings are bound by the laws of cause and effect, and governed by the flow of time. Is that so? We tend to “like” to surrender to such determinism because our minds need to find closure on everything. Without such “unconscious” obedience to these laws, without time, the mind gets lost.

Within each and every one of us is a potential greater than the mind. Tapping into that potential requires awareness and inner work. You may start by paying attention to the mind’s ceaseless thinking, and train yourself to be an observer, not a participant in the thousands of thoughts the mind conjures up everyday! You can reach a stage where you “choose” what serves you and add value to your life, while releasing that which confuses or troubles you.

The mind can’t stop working. This is a blessing. Nevertheless, it could turn into a curse when the mind starts using us to “entertain” itself, especially as it finds itself “free”. Keep it busy with something suitable to its nature, and useful to you and to the world around you. Apart from that, practice the art of “un-participation”. You are not your mind!

Here you might say: I’m confused! Are you telling me to be mindless?

Not at all. I’m asking you to be “mindful”. To be the master of your mind not its slave. There is a huge difference between the two worlds.

How is all of that related to investing? Surprisingly a lot!

When you become in command of your mind, and hence your life, all your activities start flowing effortlessly. You bypass the mind’s resistance to the new in favor of the old and familiar.

That leads to a very important fact, which sets the stage for the rest of this discussion: History does not repeat itself! Each and every moment is independent and new, and it may surprise you.

Does that make me read the future? You might ask.

Not literally. However, it advances you light years ahead in your ability to engage the moments while they unfold, which is, in my humble opinion, better than reading the future.

As you rid yourself of a troubling past, and be fully present here and now, you become “aligned” with true universal principles. Time becomes your friend. Cause and effect your servants. You are no longer asleep, spiritually. You start to “see”. You begin to “know” without thinking. You step into a new realm that has already been within you, but now you’re “awake” to its existence and brilliance.

From this new foundation, your investment decisions (and all your decisions) will change, for the better. You have on your side the best advisor ever, you! The real you…

This can only be proven through direct experience. Do not believe any of the above, but try it and practice it, honestly.

After all, whose life and whose money are we talking about? Doesn’t that deserve exploring something new? Haven’t we had enough of resigning to the old, only because it is familiar? And we all know, too well, that “familiar” does not equate to “successful”. Most of the time, it leads to the opposite.

Any breakthrough, throughout human history, has come about by challenging habitual thinking and exploring the frontiers that laid dormant behind the mind.

Gravity isn’t only physical!

The Wealth Maker

Beware of Binary Options (BO) Trading!


Despite its newness, BO trading has almost gone mainstream. The promise of fast and easy attainment of riches fuels its overwhelming proliferation.

People with no experience whatsoever embark on this adventure. After all, opening an account takes seconds. Placing a trade is swift and instant, and so is losing money!

The business model of the so-called binary options brokers (many of them are regulated by gambling authorities, if at all) is an old-fashion scheme, where the winners take part of the losers’ money, and the house keeps the rest. Does that remind you of any other business model?!

New brokers are popping up everywhere. The only region that doesn’t welcome them as much is North America. None of them is recognized or regulated by financial authorities in either Canada or The US.

The platforms, the graphs, the glamour, and even the so-called “rules” play on the psychology of the users, who soon become losers of hard-earned funds.

What is the split? Probably one winner in every 100 or more members. So let’s run a quick calculation. The winner is so good, he/she nets $1000 a day. The losers, on the other hand, give up an average of 50/member. Total loss: 50 *100 = 5000. The winner gets a grand, and the house keeps four; not bad at all! Keep in mind that this example assumes a very low-end of the game. Usually, the split is one winner out of at least 500. And the losers let go of more than 50 a piece.

Is that business, investment, or even trading?

No. It is not, by any measure. It’s a new form of online gambling. People talk about using technical analysis to “predict” the closing price of an asset, when the trade expires. What’s that called? Betting, right. Fighting the odds, with eyes less than half-oppened.

Financial markets are unpredictable on the long-term, let alone for minutes and/or seconds. A price graph may decide to have a “hiccup” right before expiry, costing you all the money you’ve put on that price closing higher (or lower) than the entry point. The reason could be a piece of news, High Frequency Trading (HFT), or any other unpredictable event that may have taken place momentarily, causing a trend to change direction, wiping out your “investment.”

Is that fair? Well, first, no one forces you to do it. And second, which is more important, this is an emotional rollercoaster. Very few people can maintain their composure in the face of such rapid changes. Those are the few winners, exactly as in poker, or any other money game.

Money is a vehicle to exchange real value. Playing with it isn’t healthy, both for the individual and the economy.

Please notice that nothing is being exchanged, not even futures (for example, commodities or stocks). The whole deal is about prediction and speculation. The “trader” buys the “right” to put money on a probability, which is affected by factors that are entirely outside the reach and control of the trader. Can you buy and sell probabilities? You can utilize statistical data to make an informed investment decision. Here, that piece of information has become the asset!

We need to know the traps so we wouldn’t step on them.

Go back to the articles on this blog, or any other source you trust. Gain the knowledge of real investment, real work. Know your options, and never commit money to buying fish in the ocean!

The Wealth Maker

Go Slow


Rushing is a form of greed. We can’t squeeze in a moment more than what it unfolds to offer. What does that mean? You might ask.

Each and every moment is a medium of expression and interaction. Our attitudes determine the way we interact with those moments, but nothing can “change” the nature of a moment, and what it has come to offer.

When it comes to investing, this is so rewarding, even if you can’t observe its effect immediately.

“Go slow” is not a synonym of “be lazy”. It’s an invitation to be mindful of your vision, objectives and actions.

Take your time researching a potential business; read, analyze, and discuss, but never rush to a decision under the pressure of timing the market. That strategy has proven to be misleading, at best…

Once you reach a decision, and you become ready to act, then go for it, do not delay. Here you can be bold and swift.

Now you have planted the seed. You can’t sit next to it and repeat: “Grow, grow, …”. Can you do that on a farm? Can you speed up natural processes, skip a season, harvest in February and plant in September?

The same principles apply across the board, in each and every human endeavor.

Your seed is the “wonderful business” you’ve mindfully invested in. Go slow! Learn to wait. Cultivate patience. It pays in droves at the right time.

How do you know if it is time to harvest? When the business ceases to be “wonderful”, or when it has already produced a handsome return. Before you sell, though, you should have already completed the same research process on another business, in which you intend to reinvest the profits from selling the first business. You need to have liquidity as part of your portfolio, but don’t leave too much sitting around, doing nothing (actually un-invested money becomes a burden, over time, as it loses some of its original value due to inflation and other factors).

Is that boring? You bet it is! But boring is better than losing, isn’t it?

Refrain from buying and selling for the sake of having fun and excitement. Find another venue to satisfy that desire. Investing isn’t a game to be played. It is a discipline to be followed…

Good Investing!

The Wealth Maker

The Wealth Making Architect™


If you performed a Google™ search on the above title, you’d get something along the lines of either wealth advisors or engineering architects.

I wanted to introduce this term to reflect the necessity of building wealth from the ground up. Furthermore, to emphasize that “wealth” is not only financial. When an engineer designed a house, for example, he/she would take into consideration all the aspects which would make that house livable and ready to become a home!

Another vital step in creating that architecture is to create a blueprint. Have you ever heard of any sort of construction that didn’t have a blueprint to start with, to build upon and use as a baseline?

A Wealth Making Architect (WMA™) is going to follow the path of his/her counterparts in other disciplines. However, instead of designing a brick and mortar dwelling, they design a life-long wealth making, growing, and maintaining epic, with the client being the hero.

And here’s a list of the steps involved:

  1. Find out what the requirements really are: Working closely with your client, you set an objective to clearly “understand” the hopes, the dreams, the needs, and the responsibilities of that client. Once you’ve reached such understanding, you turn it into a set of specific, implementable”requirements”; one which the client accepts and feels satisfied with
  2. Now you go to the drawing board and create a solution derived from the requirements. This is easier said than done. How can you “weave” requirements into solutions? Into a blueprint that has an eye on the vision, and another on the strategy and plan. Your knowledge and expertise play a major role here, and that involves specific methods, processes, products and/or services available. Sometimes you might need to seek help from other members of your organization/team to “develop” new products or services that would meet the requirements (those must prove reusable with other clients in order to justify the cost and time of a new development)
  3. The next step is a comprehensive review of the solution with your client. Although you both had reached a set of specific requirements, the blueprint might not express what the client was hoping for. This could be the result of the client being not sufficiently informed/educated, or it could be a flaw in the design. Either way, a revision and an update version of the solution should be created. This can take more than one iteration
  4. Once you reach an agreement with the client on the blueprint of his/her financial story, you start translating that solution into long-term and short-term objectives. Each objective requires an action plan. Here comes the knowledge and skill of financial planning, or let’s say, wealth-making planning; the bits and bytes of what needs to be done on a daily basis
  5. Implementing the plans is not an open-ended endeavor. You wouldn’t hand them over to the client and “instruct” him/her to go ahead and “do” the steps! You still need to work with them regularly, and make sure they are ready to commit their time and energy to implementing what has been mutually agreed upon
  6. As with any plan, the process continues dynamically. This is the tracking/observing, feedback, review and update/correction cycle. Plans are not meant to be set in stone. They must evolve in reflection to consistent change. However, a good architect would not divert too much from the original vision and the blueprint.

The past is gone for all of us. The future is known to none of us. All we’ve got is the present moment. Planning, to a great extent, is a matter of trying to predict the future based on past experiences. It helps, but nothing is certain. That’s why it’s a good practice to keep risk planning in sight, and always have plan B within reach!

The Wealth Maker

Are you ready to start?


Why do most dreamers end up at the nearside of their dreamland?

Why do only three percent of the population, or less, make it, financially?

Is it lack of knowledge or lack of courage?

Or is it a main effect (not a side-effect) of a widespread disease called: Perfectionism?

How much preparation does one need in order to start? And what kind of preparation is that?

We tend to fall prey to our own predictions! Our own procrastination, which is, oftentimes, an implicit result of our fears…

So, when do we start? At the onset of the dream, or when the dream starts vanishing!

When the dream is ripe; clear in your mind and soul, and you take one action, just one simple action, something remarkable happens!

Trouble? Challenges? You bet! Yet, you got a huge advantage there; the image is still vivid behind your eyes and between your ears. Sometimes it’s even pounding in your chest.

While challenges mount up the moment you start, your momentum has been set in motion. Just before that one action, you had been in total inertia. Your own dream had been weighing you down.

Never wait till your plans are perfect. They will never be.

Dream vividly, intend purposefully, plan carefully, yet, start taking actions now!

The process is not linear. Always balance out your preparation and your action energy, even if you have to juggle between the two. Actions give you valuable feedback on your plans, so you would revise and improve them. Plans, on the other hand, guide your actions, so you wouldn’t shoot in the dark!

The Wealth Maker

The Trader: Financial Awareness


 

“When a proactive, constructive idea hits you, all of a sudden, never dismiss it, act on it instantly”

That exactly what happened one afternoon, two months ago. I felt so driven to create a LinkedIn group, and name it The Trader. No analysis or deliberate planning, just a strong gut feeling.

Are gut feelings, intuitions, inspirations enough to embark on a new business idea, take an investment decision, or get married!

Honestly, I am not sure. It depends on the person, the topic, and the circumstances. In this case, it was clearly a good idea. The only resistance came from this part that always says no!

I’m so glad now I listened to that hunch. The Trader has become an exemplary group, in less than two months. Not because I created it, but because of the fine people, who accepted my invitation to join, then shared their wisdom, expertise, and hearts. I owe this success to them.

So what is this group all about? Most LinkedIn groups are networking boards. It is different with The Trader. The vision, in three words, is to learn, share and grow.

The world today is filled with financial advisors, professional traders, investors of all types, wealth management experts, financial authors, or just novice beginners, who are eager to find their way through all the clutter, online and off-line.

The Trader aims to start a movement of “financial awareness”. When the right people get their heads, and their hearts, together, have a clear vision, and robust intentions, they can create miracles. You don’t need thousands of members, just a selected few.

The discussions are still spontaneous, which is perfectly normal and healthy. Down the road, and guided by the group’s vision, The Trader will step on its path.

I believe The Trader can present a robust and sane investing model to the industry. That could be the nucleus for a revolutionary trend, one that is rooted in the principles of value investing, yet flexible enough to utilize the best of evolving schools of thought.

It is still young. It has a bright future, and a rich potential.

The Wealth Maker

 

Enlightened Work


 

Over the years, I have come to believe and realize, that in order to reap the tangible and invisible fruits of work, one must provide real value to others. Something he or she feels proud of. Something that coincides with the principles that person believes in, and knows to be true.

The rewards are numerous. Money and the riches are but one of them. How about “peace of mind”, “healthy self-esteem”, “an elevated sense of spiritual content”, “deep satisfaction”, and happiness, to name a few?

Yet, above all comes a unique connection with The One who Blesses us with the gift of work! The ability to go out in the world and create positive change, without expecting gratification from our fellow humans. Rather, we look up and say: “Thank You for making me a channel, through which You Provide some of Your Bounties!”

It is possible to make money in today’s world without offering any value in return. Moreover, it is possible to make a lot of money by spreading harm and misfortune.

By choosing to be an enlightened wealthy being. By choosing to create wealth and value, you benefit yourself, as well as all around  you.

What is real value? That is something you need to identify. It is not the same for everyone. A farmer provides value by producing quality food. A doctor by eliminating disease, and so on.

Find something you love to do. Check its validity against your principles. Learn all you can about it. Set an intention to excel at it, and then move into that direction with all your energy. That is success!

The Wealth Maker