4 LESSONS FROM MY MILLION-DOLLAR INVESTING MISTAKE

 

I’ve done my share of stupid things.

That’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about helping people. I want them to avoid mistakes and poor decisions that could trip them up as they build wealth for the future. And let’s be honest—there are a lot of ways you can set yourself back five or 10 years with one minute of stupid.

So, let me share a story of one major mistake I made and how you can learn from it. Hopefully, it will serve as a lesson to stay laser-focused on your long-term wealth-building plan.

MY MILLION-DOLLAR MISTAKE

I was newly married. My wife and I were both working and making good money. I decided to risk $2,500 to dabble in some single stocks (bad move, I know) in a company called AOL. Before we knew it, the stock had more than doubled! Of course, our success got to our heads, so we bought more stock—to the tune of $10,000. In one stock. We thought we were winning, so we kept adding one dumb mistake onto another.

That $10,000 grew to $25,000. That was a huge amount for a newly married, young couple. We thought we were sitting on a proverbial gold mine! Even though that money was in a single stock, it was a large piece of our financial picture. Talk about unbalanced!

Rather than get some direction from a financial advisor, I thought I knew enough to manage my investment. I firmly believed that if my stock had grown that much already, it had the potential to go through the roof! What could go wrong?

A lot. A lot could go wrong. Before long, there was a small correction in the market, and my stock took a hit. Rather than cut my losses and run, I decided to double down. (Another bad move, I know.) I doubled my losses instead. In the end, I lost about $25,000 before I got out.

I did the math. If I had invested that $25,000 in a mutual fund with a 10–12% return, that money could have grown to $168,000 in 20 years. If that’s not painful enough, that same $25,000 could have meant $1.1 million by the time I retire.

Listening to my buddy and investing in a single stock cost me $1.1 million.

Even now, that stings a little.

WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE

The only thing that eases the pain of that loss is knowing that other people can learn from my mistake and avoid rash decisions that could cost them—literally. Here are a few things you can take away from my time in Stupid Land:

  1. DON’T INVEST IN SINGLE STOCKS.

I can’t emphasize this enough. You’re just asking for trouble. I know you hear news stories of people who invested early in some previously unknown tech company that’s now worth billions. And you think, Why not me?

Listen up, people: The chances of that happening to you are astronomical. Like finding a needle in a field full of haystacks. Basing a large part of your financial future on those odds is stupid. Plain and simple. I can’t be any clearer than that.

  1. DON’T FALL FOR A GET-RICH-QUICK PLAN.

My buddy convinced me that this was the deal of all deals. He said there was “no way I could lose,” and the early strong returns convinced me he was right. I fell for the myth of quick wealth. It lulled me into a false sense of security, and it took huge losses to shake me out of that slumber. I got impatient and greedy. And I paid the price.

If these overnight success opportunities worked, you’d hear about them every day! But you don’t hear about them—because they don’t work. There’s no such thing as a “sure thing.” Building wealth is a slow process. It takes time and stubborn persistence to stick to a proven plan—balanced investing in mutual funds. It’s not flashy. It won’t make headlines. But it works—if you stick to it and don’t get sidetracked.

  1. DON’T GIVE UP WHEN YOU MAKE MISTAKES.

When I was looking at an empty bank account after the AOL stock plummeted, I had two choices: I could wallow in self-loathing and regret, or I could pick myself up, learn from the experience, and get back on track. You have the same choices.

Notice that I said when—not if—you make mistakes? That’s because you will make mistakes. Hopefully, they’ll be minor ones. But when those happen, you can stay where you are—or you can move forward. And I guarantee that you won’t ever build wealth by reliving your past mistakes.

  1. GET ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS.

One of the reasons I lost so much money is because I didn’t get the help of people who knew more about investing than I did. I thought I could handle it. My young pride didn’t think I needed help. If I had talked to someone—and if I had listened to their wisdom—I might be $1.1 million richer in retirement.

I can’t dwell on my past, but I can choose differently in the future. That’s why I meet with a financial advisor regularly. These people know to invest inside and out. That’s the world they live in. An advisor can keep you away from risky decisions and steer you in the direction of wiser ones (if you’re willing to listen). They can rebalance your portfolio, suggest changes in your investments, and explain tax implications you might face.

Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes can be avoided. No matter how much you have in the bank, you need to stay focused. Keep your eye on your goals. Don’t let anyone or anything distract you from your financial goals. Your future is too important to lose sight of the finish line.

If you want to learn from others who have built wealth the right way, get my book, Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—And How You Can Too. We surveyed over 10,000 millionaires to discover the habits and practices that helped them hit seven figures in net worth. Their answers might surprise you!

 

Written by Chris Hogan from Chrishogan360.com

Our Love/Hate Relationship with HOAs

Homeowners have a love/hate relationship with their Homeowner Associations (HOAs).   You rarely hear someone say, “I love my HOA Board.”  The purpose of an HOA is to preserve, maintain and enhance the homes and property within the subdivision.  Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  But not all HOAs are equal.  An HOA that regulates that neighbor with a weed-ridden front yard or a broken-down Chevy in the driveway is a blessing.  However, when that same HOA tells us that when and where we can put our trash cans out, we aren’t appreciative.  I am not a fan of someone telling me what I can do with my property and land.  But I do understand the utility of an HOA Board.

Community living comes with its own dynamics. Close quarters and shared spaces can—and often does—lead to conflict: a conflict between neighbors, the association board of directors, and members; and also between the board or members and management.  Unlike other locales, Nevada requires that members of common interest communities go to the Office of the Ombudsman of the Nevada Real Estate Division for conflict resolution before filing a lawsuit.

Before any civil action can be taken regarding a dispute relating to governing documents of a common-interest community (homeowners association), the disputing parties must complete the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 38. Further, if a homeowner association provides a scheme of dispute resolution, that procedure must be exhausted before submitting an ADR claim to the Nevada Real Estate Division, Office of the Ombudsman.

The ADR programs include: 
• The Referee Program
• Mediation
• Arbitration

  1. The Referee Program – The referee program allows disputing parties to present their case to an independent referee. Both parties must agree to participate in the program to proceed. The referee can bring the parties together, listen to both sides of the dispute, review the evidence and governing documents and then make a non-binding decision on the matter. The referee is authorized to make monetary awards of up to $7,500. The referee may not award attorneys’ fees. The parties may then proceed to civil court if they wish to pursue the matter further.
  2. Mediation – As of October 1, 2013, NRS 38 mandates that mediation is the default method of resolution, should both parties not agree to participate in the referee program. The parties to the mediation provide the mediator a statement and relevant documents about the dispute, including a statement concerning an acceptable resolution. The mediator works with the parties to resolve the dispute with a written agreement.
  3. Non-Binding or Binding Arbitration –This option is available if mediation fails and both parties agree to proceed through either form of arbitration in place of initiating a claim through civil court. Each of the parties has an opportunity to present his or her case and witnesses if any. The arbitrator upon conclusion of the hearing renders a decision, after which either party may proceed to civil court.

For more information, please contact the Nevada Real Estate Division, Las Vegas,
realest@red.nv.gov, P: (702) 486-4033.

 

Tanika M. Capers, Esq.

Fresh Oil

Authors Day at MFM

Women’s Call to Prayer

Spirit Month

Family & Friends Day

Senior Eagle Sunday

Vacation Bible School

WHAT IS KEEPING THE MIDDLE CLASS FROM BECOMING MILLIONAIRES?

Middle-Class Millionaire.
No, that’s not a typo. And it’s not a myth or a fairy tale.
A middle-class millionaire is a real thing—or, rather, a real person just like you and me.
Despite what you’ve seen on the news or social media, middle-class people can become millionaires. In fact, anyone can—yes, even you. I have the stats to prove it. And I have a plan you can follow to get there.
HOW DID MOST MILLIONAIRES GROW UP?
This year, my team released the findings from the largest study of millionaires ever conducted—more than 10,000 people. One of the things we discovered is that most millionaires didn’t grow up in wealthy families. Rather, 8 in 10 millionaires we surveyed said they come from families at or below the middle-class income level.
When we break that down, 48%—almost half of all millionaires—described their parents’ household as middle class, 27% described it as lower-middle class, and over 4% of them described it as lower class.
Let those stats sink in. Half of millionaires come from middle-class homes. And one in four come from the lower-middle class. America, this is your wake-up call. The American Dream is alive and available. You just have to work for it.

HOW TWO PEOPLE LIKE YOU BECAME MILLIONAIRES
As a part of our research, we asked these everyday millionaires to tell us their stories. Here’s one such story that proves your background doesn’t matter:
Thomas grew up in the Midwest and started with literally nothing. In fact, he remembers only having two shirts and two pairs of pants for a long stretch of his childhood. He came from a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father and a mother who struggled with mental health issues. As a result, he was in and out of three or four different foster homes as a child, and both of his parents died far too young. Those early years taught him two important lessons: First, he learned that drinking alcohol would lead him away from future success, and second, he knew that he did not like being poor. Despite coming out of poverty, loss, and hardship, Thomas had a clear vision for where he wanted his life to go, but he knew he’d have to work for it.
Thomas went to college in the 1960s and graduated with a math degree before being drafted into the Vietnam War. After serving four years, he returned to school to pursue a Ph.D. in math, which he planned to use working for the Department of Defense. Instead, Thomas got sidetracked by a new passion: teaching. He taught math in a few different colleges for his entire career, spending thirty-seven years in education before retiring with a net worth of $2.6 million.
Did Thomas come up with a new mathematical breakthrough that revolutionized education? Did he use his math skills to make a killing in Vegas? No. Thomas made his millions slowly and steadily, working in a job he loved and designing a life that allowed him to build wealth on his own terms. What was his secret? He says he stayed away from debt, paid for everything he bought with cash, worked extra hours, and made wise investments. Sophisticated stuff, huh?
I know what you’re thinking: Hogan, this guy built his wealth decades ago, when the economy was better and the cost of living was lower. You know what I call that? An excuse.
But just to show you that his story isn’t an exception, let me tell you about another everyday millionaire:
Larry came from humble beginnings. His parents were Wisconsin dairy farmers who had never gone past the eighth grade. They were hard workers who hated debt—and who taught their children to hate debt, too.
Becoming the first person in his family to graduate college, Larry left the dairy farm and began a thirty-five-year career in insurance. Throughout his working years, Larry kept his spending in check, just like his parents taught him. He avoided all forms of debt except a mortgage.
He and his wife lived well below their means throughout their marriage, making saving a priority from Larry’s first full-time paycheck. Even when he was only making $5,500 a year early in his career, he still prioritized his saving and managed to save $100 a month. When he got a raise, he increased his savings. When he got an annual bonus, he saved it. When his company introduced the 401(k), Larry maxed it out. He never played around with debt, and he never got distracted by risky investments that others tried to push on him. He worked hard, stuck to his plan, drove old paid-for cars, and didn’t pay any attention to what other people had.
The end result? He retired early at age fifty-five and has a current net worth of over $4.2 million. Now, he gets to travel, play golf and tennis several times a week, visit his children and grandkids whenever he wants, and enjoy long walks and bike rides with his wife.
Did you notice the similarities in their stories? They didn’t let their family upbringing stop them. They took control of their finances and determined to live, work and save on their own terms. And both of their stories are, well, ordinary. These millionaires are everyday people—just like you and me.
HOW TO BECOME A MILLIONAIRE ON ANY INCOME
So, how can someone who didn’t grow up wealthy become a millionaire? As the stories showed us, there is a familiar pattern. Here’s a quick outline:
1. GET OUT OF DEBT.
Think of debt as a ball and chain wrapped around your neck, slowly choking you. I know it’s a violent visual, but I want you to understand just how bad debt is. You have to hate it enough to get rid of it. Period.
2. FOLLOW A BUDGET.
The research revealed that millionaires stick to the budgets they create. Did you catch that? Millionaires budget their money! They also use coupons when they shop. In fact, our research found that 93% of net worth millionaires use coupons all or some of the time when shopping. Those are my kind of people!
3. INVEST CONSISTENTLY.
The millionaires we interviewed said their company’s retirement plan was the number one contributor to achieving high net worth. As their income increased, so did their monthly contributions to their retirement plan. They invested money month after month, year after year.
4. STAY FOCUSED—FOR A LONG TIME.
Here’s the bottom line: becoming a millionaire is a marathon, not a sprint. On average, our survey participants hit the million-dollar mark at age 49. If they started working right out of college, they kept saving, budgeting, and working toward their financial goals for almost three decades. Staying focused for that long takes discipline.
I know these steps aren’t flashy. They won’t grab headlines. But they work. I know thousands of people (about 10,000 of them!) who will tell you it worked for them. The process will work for you, too.
Are you in? Let’s do this!
If you want to learn more about building wealth, check out my new book, Everyday Millionaire: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—and How You Can Too. You’ll find lots of other stories about people just like you who hit the million-dollar mark. You’ll also learn about other myths that are keeping you from reaching that goal yourself. So, get your copy today!

Written by Chris Hogan from ChrisHogan360.com