Sunday, June 30, 2013

What A Life: Barr Family Second Annual Dingy Dug Out Race

Tomorrow will be the Barr Family Second Annual Dingy Dug Out Race. Wow, that's a bit of a mouth full to say. It is exactly what it sounds like. My sister in law as bought five dingys that we will race on the dug out. With all the rain we have had lately, the dug out will be nice and full.

Here are a few pictures of last year dingy dug out race.

Notice in this last picture that the cows came to see what all the excitement was about. We also had this event in April and were all freezing cold. I glad that this year we waited for summer.

This is the entry in Jerome's school journal about the race. He was in grade one at the time.

Well I hope you have a great Canada Day tomorrow.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rich Dad Radio: Two For The Price Of One

Well I missed last episode so I will post about both Rich Dad Radio shows today.  The first one is about poverty making you sick. Literally.  Dr. Radha Gopalan who is a leading heart surgeon, talks about studies showing that poor people where more likely to succumb to viruses. Dr. Gopalan as studied both western and eastern medicine practices. They also talk about the physical manifestation that can develop from stressing over money. All in all, again a very interesting show.

On this week's radio show, the guest speaker was Bert Dohmen and they discussed currency confusion. Bert discussed the manipulation of the currency from the government. He discusses the impending crash that he suspect may take place next year. According to him, the government is manipulating the markets trying to keep the stock market strong hoping the money will trickle down into the economy of the country. The part about this show that I appreciated the most was when he praised technical trading as a strategy for being in the stock market. He says everything else in these type of economics is lagging or speculative. It's nice to know we are doing it right.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Inspirational Corner: Organization

At the very best, I can only consider my organizing type as organized chaos. But lately it's been only chaos. My desk as become a dumbing zone for school papers, receipts, notes, books; you name it, it was on that desk.

It's almost July now, so half way through the year, and I've yet to do any bookkeeping for 2013. Not only that but I notice that is slows down my productivity a lot. I had been using my lap top in the living room since there was no room on my desk and the distraction have definitely been there.

So today, I decided to regain control. It took almost all day, but I can now see my desk. In fact I'm posting this post from my laptop that is sitting comfortably onto the desk. I still have three piles of paper to go through but my Real Estate pile is done.

I don't know how you are filing your paperwork, but here are a few folders I have.

  • Numbers to be run
  • Pending offers
  • Rejected offers
For each purchased properties I have

  • Mortgage
  • Insurance
  • Purchase contract / negotiation
  • Leases
  • Property Management
For each corporations I have
  • Legal document
  • Bank statements
  • Invoice/receipts
Then other odd folders
  • Investors
  • Tenant Buyers
  • Invoice/Receipts to be paid
  • Invoice/Receipts to be scanned
I also put all paperwork on past accepted deals that didn't pan out together with a cover sheet with any notes about the deal. What went wrong, what should be changed in the future is anything and so on.

Now that I can clearly see all that I have accomplished in the past, it makes me feels like I've been slacking off a little in the present. I've created a new To Do List and I seem rejuvenated and ready to go.

This is what my desk felt like:

This is what I wish it looked like:

But this is what it actually is (by the way BIG improvement from this morning):

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Good To Know: Arms Length Mortgages

Do you have money in RRSP that is invested in mutual funds? If so, have to looked at the overall market these past few days? By now you know that I do not see mutual fund and a save and sound investment. But what else can you do with your RRSP?

This is where an arms length mortgages can come into play. First of all you would need to have your RRSP moved into a self manage RRSP account. Chances are you regular bank, even under a self directed RRSP product, will not support an arms length mortgage and you may end up having to go with a different institution (like Olympia Trust for example).

You may think this is simple enough but be prepared, the bank will put up a fight! In fact, it makes me think a lot of the Friends episode where Chandler wanted to quit the gym but when that became too difficult, decided to quit the bank to stop paying for the gym that way.

The bank will ask why you are moving you money away from mutual funds, they will discuss at great length the risk of any other investment and will then present different mutual funds if you are not satisfied with your current one. They will show you great returns potential. But those are slightly falsified as it is an annual average and they do not take any of their fees into this equation. 

Let say you have in a mutual funds $100K; if in the first year there is a 100% your account would go to $200K. However if the next year there is a %50 drop (this as happened twice already in the past 15 years) you account would drop to $100K (200 x 50%) making you total investment grow 0% (and again this is not taking in consideration any fees). This would however be advertise as 25% annual average interest growth per year; 100 less 50 divided by 2 years.

If you have had enough will power to resist the bank, and manage to move your RRSP into a self manage RRSP; you can then use those funds for holding mortgages. It does not matter if it is first or second position mortgages but it can not be for a property that you own, or that is own by one of your corporation or that is own by one of your immediate relative (parent, siblings, children). Hence the name arms length mortgages. 

This investment, not only is it secured by real estate, but it would also be protected by the RRSP system. Meaning that any growth in your investment would not be subject to taxes. Well until time comes for your retirement.

A few key points to remember. There are great tax penalty to cash in your RRSP early. So it is important to transfer your RRSP, not cash out and reinvest.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Are You Reading?: Pitch Anything

I bought this book by accident. In fact I went to Chapters looking for a different book, but since that book was an older book, it was not available. So instead I browsed around looking for a different book to read at the park while my boys would play. I found a book titled Pitch Anything. It jumped out at me because I came across this book at a time when I was starting to realise that I needed to learn to sell and present. So in other words, I needed to learn to pitch.

But wait a minute; I don't want to learn how to become a sales person, I want to invest in real estate. Yes I get that, but the two comes hand in hand. In fact, sales is needed is needed in almost every aspect of everything.

I had a great deal I was looking to wholesale. The property was good, the tenants in place, and the numbers looked good. But how do you present that. I bombarded people with the numbers. After reading the book Pitch Anything, I realised that it was a poor method of presenting it.

This book was a happy mistake and probably the book that as been the most useful to me. Buy it!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tools Of The Trade: Credit Cards

First, you may have noticed that I went a week without posting. I would like to apologise for that gab. Between travelling for work and minor health issues I have gotten behind. I've decided to restart as of today and ignore that last week.

So, today for tools of the trade, I would like to talk about credit cards. Credit cards have a bad reputation. It is true we can easily get into trouble with uncontrolled credit cards. But is the solutions really to cut them up? Is it possible that a credit card could actually be a good tool in real estate investing?

One of the benefit of a credit card is that is gives you access to money and it is unsecured. You can use it on anything you want. The secret is to use this credit card on things that will make money not to purchase "Doodads".

Did you know you could actually use a credit card to secure a property? So the problem is not credit cards and the solution is not to cut them up. The solution is to use them on good debt instead of bad debt (Doodads).

Contact me if you wish to receive a script to increase your credit card balance and to lower your interest rate.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Step On It: Evaluation

It is almost the end of the school year and the report cards will be coming home, third and final one of the year. An evaluation of how the year as gone.

I came across an article about a mom who would start to slack off in her parental duties toward school and homework as the school year progressed. We start off with energy and great intentions, but as time passes, we start cutting corners and slacking off.

This is true in many aspect of our life, not just with school. That is why we need to evaluate and reassess. With our business we do it yearly with taxes, to a certain point. But we really should schedule a time where we evaluate all the  data we have on our properties and see if we are in need of making changes.

So I'll take on that challenge and suggest you do to. Report card time!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What A Life: Summer Time Wishlist

School is almost over and before we know it, it will be summer time. To make the most of it, the boys and I sat down and made up a list of what we wished to do during the summer. Here is what our list looks like:

  • Camping at the track
  • Playdates
  • Fishing
  • Pool
  • Sylvain Lake
  • Gopher Museum
  • Royal Tyrell Museum
  • Calgary Zoo
  • Gazoo
  • Banff
  • Dirt bike everyday
  • PicNic in the field
  • PicNic at the Bergen store river
  • Yahatinda
  • Calaway Park
  • Play at the playground
  • Chuck-E-Cheese
  • Movies
  • Skate Park
Most of those items could actually be done any day with no real traveling. We can pick as we go and cross off what was accomplished or do it again. This is our summer goals and they are written down and displayed where we can see it. Very much the same as all our other goals.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rich Dad Radio: Blair Singer

This week, Robert as for a guest Rich Dad Adviser, Blair Singer. They are discussing entrepreneurship and how in the first five years how 90% of those business will fail, and for those who makes it through, most of those will fail in the next five years.

In today's economics with the lacks of jobs entrepreneurship is becoming more important and necessary. It's a subject they are actually starting to include in school the only problem is they are using teachers who are employees to teach them.

To be a successful entrepreneur, one of the most importing thing you will need to learn is to sale. Blair Singer actually wrote the book Sales Dog. Robert and Kim also recommend networking companies with good sales training as been a great way of learning to sale.

Having a good idea is no longer enough.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Inspirational Corner: A Leopard Can't Change His Spots

I wish I was rich.

How many people has said that? Or maybe I wish I had more money. I've heard people say that again and again. Well then, be rich! Wait a minute, its not that easy!! Oh?

I work for Rich Dad Education at the 3 day basic events. We offer classes in stock trading and real estate investing. People attend our events because they want to make more money for whatever the reason. So you would think they would come to our class and all buy our courses since they want to be richer.

Well no, they don't, in fact only a small percentage of people will actually go forward. Some don't even bother attending all 3 days. So why would that be? Didn't they want to be richer? Well no they don't.... not really. They do not want to be richer, they wish they were richer. There is a big difference. The difference between wishing and wanting is the doing. If you truly want something, you will take action.

Which one are you? A wisher or a wanter? Are you taking action? If you find you are a wisher, that's okay. This is the path I have chosen to take, it's not for everyone. If you know you will not be willing to be taking the actions required to make it all the way to your goal; then don't.

Of course this applies to everything you "wish" to accomplish in life. You simply need to see if you are a wisher and a wanter.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Good To Know: Diversification

Everyone knows the importance of  diversification. Your financial adviser will drill into you the importance of being diversified. Jim Cramer on Mad Money as a segment called "Are you diversified?" where he will go through someone's portfolio and confirm if they are diversified and if not make recommendation on what to get to become diversified. In fact that is the selling feature for mutual funds, it'll make you instantly diversified.
Guess what? No matter what Jim, or your financial adviser, say if you have all your money in Stocks/Mutual Funds, you are not diversified.

Why is that? Well all your eggs are in the stock market basket. If that basket drops, most of your eggs if not all will be broken.

I'm not saying that putting all your money in real estate is being diversified either. What I'm saying is you need multiple basket with different eggs in each one.

First of all, before you spread your investments in different vehicles, you need to be trained in each one. You will not start off in every aspect of investing, but as you learn you should add to your portfolio. You should also make sure that what you have in investment is secured. Are there protective stops and exit strategies?

So in each basket, you should be further diversified. For example, in the real estate basket you consider having properties in different location, you should also consider different strategies (Buy-Rent-Hold, Lease Option, Commercial, ect). Again this is the final goal, you will need to grow into diversification and accumulate into your portfolio as you learn.

Here are some funnies for you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Are You Reading?: Rich Dad's Guide To Investing

Ever wonder why investing is so confusing? Are you unsure where to start. Do you think that there is something else out there. Rich Dad's Guide to investing can help.

In the book Robert talks about what the rich are investing in and how they get to that level. He starts with a plan and teaches you how to stick to it. How to reduce risk with financial literacy and spot good investment deals vs a bad deal.

He shows you the 90/10 rule. Where 90% of the money is made by 10% of the investors. There are mental aptitude test at the end of the chapters that help show you how you see the world. Reading this quickly showed me that I needed to make changes in order to be prepared for the "what if" situation. It will guide you to moving from the E quadrant to the B and I quadrants so your not a slave to a paycheck.

If your looking for a quick fix or some magic formula that will make you a millionaire over night then this book won't help but it will help build a foundation for financial intelligence so that you know what to do when your making too much passive income within your business that you build from the ground up.

PS. Sorry about the delay to set this post, but we have been experiencing internet difficulties.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tools Of The Trade: Whiteboard

The whiteboard! Or mirror or blackboard or whatever you use that can be put on display and erasable. I've talked about how I use my whiteboard to keep track of my tasks. But it can be used for so much more.

You can display a saying for keep you motivated. You can have your calendar on there with your upcoming event.

My blackboard as my to do list (it is very satisfying to cross something off and then seeing what you are accomplishing). I also have my dead lines for ongoing deals (it's amazing how easy it is to forget about the deadlines). There is my calendar with all my obligations (work, family, real estate, etc). Finally I also have my lists. I'm a list maker. For example I have a Cashflow event coming up at the Didsbury Library, so I am keeping a list of attendees; that's on the board.

Have fun with your board, feel free to decorate it. Put up inspirational stuff. Get multiple dry erase markers and colour code your notes.

When selecting your board, make sure you don't go too small. Don't be afraid to dedicate a good portion of your wall to your dreams. Also, mostly if it's going to be in a high traffic area in your house (which I recommend for it to be so that it's looked at a lot) pick out something that is attractive and that matches your d├ęcor.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Step On It: Analysis Paralysis

Of course we have all heard of analysis paralysis. It's something that I see a lot of with new investors. They get so overwhelmed about learning the new material they are given that they stay stuck at that stage of learning.

Wikipedia says it well. "Analysis paralysis or paralysis of analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, or citing sources, so that a decision or action is never taken."

In fact, by never moving forward from the leaning process, you are actually limiting your learning. That's right, by continuing to only learn about investing you actually learn less. Robert Kiyosaki has demonstrated that with the cone of learning.

The cone of learning explains how much is absorbed from the material that we read vs the material that we hear vs the material that we see and the material that we put to practise.

So by not applying the information we learn, we might as well never bother to learn it at all. Of course the books are good, the seminars and demonstrations; but it's important that we plan to take action and make sure that we actually do it. If you wait until you are fully confident you will never do it.

So this week, if you haven't already, start taking action and become great.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

What A Life: Babies Left At My Door

So I'm a mom again, I had babies abandoned at my door and I have adopted them. That was a few days ago. Today they are three days old. One boy and one girl. My kids have named them. The first is R2 and the other is D2. Did I mention these babies are kittens?

So I went to the vet and pet store and got kitty formula and medicine syringe. I've been feeding them every 3-4 hours. So far they are doing good. Their eyes are still closed and from what I read they won't open until they are eight days old.

Also according to my reading, they will start walking when they are three weeks old. Although at three days old, they are still able to go anywhere they want to go by crawling. I've been keeping them in a laundry basket, but they are already almost climbing out of it. So a big thank you to my sister-in-law who gave me a big cage she was currently wasn't using.

So now you know how I have been filling my day and what I will be doing for the next little while.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Rich Dad Radio: Jennifer Adams

This week on Rich Dad Radio, Kim Kiyosaki is hosting the radio show while Robert is promoting his new book. For a guest she as Jennifer Adams. Kim is talking about being an entrepreneur and what it takes to be a success one and whether or not you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur yourself.

Listening in to find out how these two great women became entrepreneur from the ground up, and what made them successful.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Inspirational Corner: Money, The Source Of All Evil?

You know, when people find out financial freedom is my goal, I get mixed reaction. Most have their eyes glaze over, and a barely polite smile come across their features. To them, I'm discussing the most boring subject in the world. Ugh, finance!

Others are excited to hear about it, and are interested to hear more.

The rest, seems surprise and disappointed. They didn't realise I was evil. Because I must be evil since money is the source of all evil and I am trying to get more money.

They would believe more in working very hard for  what you get, and that you should always work hard for it. Trust me, I understand working hard, we are running a farm after all but what happens when work is no longer an option?

It's at this time that all this hard work should pay off and your start getting a pension. The problem with that is our population is getting older, and we are running out of working class to cover pensions. In fact it is no longer reliable.

When I say my goal is to be financially independent I don't mean that I wish to have seven mansions all over the world and yachts and a private jet. If that is what you want, go ahead. But to be financially independent all I need is enough passive income that will cover my living expenses. So that when I'm in a position where I can no longer work, I will still be self-reliable. I will not be a burden to the economy by demanding expensive services that the country simply can not afford not will I be an added weight to my relative.

If you learn to be financially independent, I view it as been responsible towards your country and your family.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Good To Know: Long Distance Closing

I am currently closing on a property that is located in the maritime. This time last year I was doing the same thing with a different property also out in the maritime. When talking about investing in real estate over there I always get asked when do I go view the property. It seems to baffle people that I do not. The next question I get is how do you close on a property over there. Well here is how you do it.

The first thing you need on site is a property manager. I get recommendation from my realtor and I Google for property managers. Once I have a list, I start calling and interviewing them. In a future blog I'll go in greater details on how I select a property manager, but just quickly make sure to discuss their rate, their services, and payment method. The first one I contacted for this particular property wanted to have access to a bank account that would have $10K in it at all time. He would collect rent pay all utilities and other charges that would incur and then pay himself and deposit whatever was left. This is not a bad deal if you are a brand new uneducated real estate investor I suppose; but I want to maintain the control.

Once I selected my property manager, I arranged for him and his contractor to inspect the property and to give me their honest opinion on the building. They can tell you what repairs needs to be done and offer a quote; the quality of the current tenants; if the current rent is within the current market rate and so on. Note at this point I have yet to sign a contract with the property manager. This is a great time to "test" them, how do they operate, how hard are they to reach, and so on.

I do the same for insurance companies, to make it a little easier and faster, I ask the realtor who is the current insurance company. It seems easier for them to insure a property that is already in their database.

Once your property gets the "Okay" and you are ready to move forward and close on the deal. You will need a lawyer in the same province as the property you are purchasing. In my case we only purchase property through corporation and I have a corporation in that province for that task that was set up with said lawyer.

I also have a local lawyer that will notarize all the paperwork that was sent from the original lawyer. Once that is done I scan all the document to PDF, send it to my lawyer in the maritime and courier the paperwork. This does seem to speed up the process a little bit.

The last thing you need to do is transfer the money into the lawyers bank account and the deal is done. Most lawyer's office will have multiple accounts in multiple banks making the transfer process easy. Chances are you can complete this whole thing from your own bank.

And this all it takes. A lot of people shy away from purchasing in other provinces then the one they live in, but once you get your team in place there is no reason to lose out on those great opportunity.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

What Are You Reading?: Guide To Becoming Rich, without cutting up your credit cards

Have you ever watched the TV show, Till Debts Do Us Part? The host Gail Vaz-Oxlade will very often have the participant of said show cut up their credit cards so that they can no longer use them. Do I disagree with her tactics? Well I do not agree.

While for many, credit card debts are getting out of control and they should be reined in, they can also however be great tools when used for the right reason. In fact, we bought our first multi unit property by using credit cards for the down payment.

We need to find the difference between bad debt and good debt. There are a lot a advise out there on living debt free. Although I agree debt can get out of control and become bad, they also represent growth. If you take out all debt out of the equation, get comfortable! Because you have come as far as you'll ever be.

In his book, Guide To Becoming Rich, without cutting up your credit cards, Robert Kiyosaki explains the difference between good debt and bad debt and how to use debt to make you richer faster.

If you have not read this book yet I highly recommend it. Learn to turn "bad debt" into "good debt."