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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mastermind Alliance

We normally hear about forming a mastermind alliance when it comes to business. This was made popular by Napoleon Hill in "Think and Grow Rich". What we commonly forget is that we need a mastermind alliance in our personal lives.
I am a single father and I knew from the beginning that I was going to lean on my friends and family a lot. The past 2 weeks I've come to recognize that my close friends and family are my mastermind alliance. These are people that have been there for me and my kids. They all share the common goal of seeing each other succeed. What I love about them is that we all share a sense of loyalty to each other and it's unspoken. I love my mastermind alliance deeply and I'm not just saying this cause I had a few drinks :).
I suggest for everyone to make sure you surround yourself with good friends and family. Accept the help when it's offered and don't allow for pride to turn help away.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tax Time

Tax time again and some of you are done while others are waiting until the April 15th deadline. For those of you who are single and just starting your career, you are just realizing what a big chunk Uncle Sam takes. It was 13.5 years ago that I was in your situation. My brother and I began to look around to invest and there was plenty of foreclosures to buy. I would still have equity had I bought but life threw me a curve ball, my ex-wife.

That's another story but learn from me and talk to your cpa or tax preparer about the mortgage interest deduction or depreciating investment property. Right now there are many opportunities. Look all I'm saying is that in my life I've stepped in it and I'm just trying to show you where it's at so you don't step in it too. Take advantage of this market.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Government is Making an A$$ Out of You & Me

I would love to tell you were the exact flaws are in the stimulus plan but I can't because just like most legislatures, I have not read it. What I want to mention is that the stimulus plan is making the assumption that people will get into debt in order to continue to shop and that banks will begin to lend money. The money going out does not have any guarantees to get paid back except in the form of raising taxes. What if our nation becomes a nation that saves more than spends and the banks still don't lend money. What we need is economic expansion and to attract foreign investment cause we just can't keep recycling our own money in our economy. Small companies provide expansion but the government still makes it expensive for a small company to run. Lower payroll taxes and you will begin to see more companies hire. Stop protectionism and allow our companies to compete freely.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Good Intentions are not Free!

I have started to read Obama's book and just from the prologue I know where this book is headed. Let me first say that I have a lot of respect for what he has accomplished and the amount of hope people have because of him. He went up against all kinds of odds to get where he is at and now he believes that we would be better off if everyone got a free ride. He wants the government to pay for everyone's opportunity.



This idea has good intentions behind it but it comes at a cost. Government would have to pay for those who could not afford it and so basically that means Joe and Jane taxpayer are going to have to pay more taxes. This would drive down the incentive for someone to work while they went to school or to start a savings for school. How about those who build character and develop their drive from having to struggle? As far as I remember our country is full of opportunities for rich and poor.



The other night Obama mentioned that he just could not sit around and do nothing. Cutting payroll taxes is not doing nothing and it would lower the cost for all businesses and allow them to hire. His argument against giving taxes back is that people will not spend it. These are the same people that he says in his book that must be trusted to choose for themselves. He also says that consumer spending alone can not get us out of this mess. If people don't spend then that means they are saving and therefore the banks do not need a bailout cause they can make more money by making more loans. The people borrowing are now spending and putting money back into the economy. How much of our GDP do we expect government spending to be? I do not think we can develop a dependency on our government being a big percentage or else we will just have to keep raising taxes and eventually become a socialist country. I guess that is one way to fix our immigration issue cause at that point immigrants will just decide to stay in their own countries. Opportunities and Innovation will cease to exist. That my friends is why you should be scared.

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Good Intentions are not Free!

I have started to read Obama's book and just from the prologue I know where this book is headed. Let me first say that I have a lot of respect for what he has accomplished and the amount of hope people have because of him. He went up against all kinds of odds to get where he is at and now he believes that we would be better off if everyone got a free ride. He wants the government to pay for everyone's opportunity.



This idea has good intentions behind it but it comes at a cost. Government would have to pay for those who could not afford it and so basically that means Joe and Jane taxpayer are going to have to pay more taxes. This would drive down the incentive for someone to work while they went to school or to start a savings for school. How about those who build character and develop their drive from having to struggle? As far as I remember our country is full of opportunities for rich and poor.



The other night Obama mentioned that he just could not sit around and do nothing. Cutting payroll taxes is not doing nothing and it would lower the cost for all businesses and allow them to hire. His argument against giving taxes back is that people will not spend it. These are the same people that he says in his book that must be trusted to choose for themselves. He also says that consumer spending alone can not get us out of this mess. If people don't spend then that means they are saving and therefore the banks do not need a bailout cause they can make more money by making more loans. The people borrowing are now spending and putting money back into the economy. How much of our GDP do we expect government spending to be? I do not think we can develop a dependency on our government being a big percentage or else we will just have to keep raising taxes and eventually become a socialist country. I guess that is one way to fix our immigration issue cause at that point immigrants will just decide to stay in their own countries. Opportunities and Innovation will cease to exist. That my friends is why you should be scared.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Can an Average Person Buy at the Bottom?

Many people keep waiting for the housing market to bottom. Lending guidelines are getting stricter as prices continue to drop. As prices continue to drop more investors are coming in to the market to snatch up inventory. Well at least rent has seemed to reach its limit but still doesn't change the fact that paying rent is just as bad as a negative amortization loan. You will never have equity from paying rent and that is on guarantee I can make.

If you are thinking about buying speak to a professional that can sit with you and analyze your situation. I am not just talking about finances but look at your short term and long term goals, is your family increasing or are you going to have kids leaving the nest. A good real estate professional will consider everything about you before they advise you whether or not you should buy.

Stay positive and remember our economic cylces always have these dips. Some longer than others but in the long run we always trend up. Keep your chin up and smile cause it is about to get better.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Scam Artist

First they started on Craigslist and now I've even been contacted by one on ActiveRain. I'm sure all of the social media outlets are next. Does anyone really fall for these scams where they have millions in a bank and they need you to get it out and they're willing to part w/ 10% to 20%?

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Executive Compensation Limits

Companies taking bailout money now have limits of $500k/year for senior executives. Some argue that now they will not be able to attract talented executives. They forget that the current executives were getting paid a lot and they were terrible. I guess everyone skipped the class on risk management.

Not only do they want our money but they want to do whatever they want and not answer to the ones lending them this money. If you want to run your company your way then do not ask the taxpayer to bail you out. Go to your shareholders and ask for more money.

Congress do you now see what you have started. Take the money back and let a new set of entrepreneurs supply the demand that is left when these companies fold.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tax Shelter

Well it's that time of the year again. The fifth season that everyone dreads, tax season. We begin to gather up all the statements that we have received and some us even begin to dig up receipts and question what we can write-off. Are those Adidas I bought a write-off? I am sure everyone knows at least one person who thinks they can write off personal items. The only personal item, that I could think of, that can be used as a tax shelter is your home.



The home itself is not a tax write-off but the mortgage interest and property taxes associated with the home are tax write-offs. This tax season take the time to sit down with your tax preparer and ask how you can benefit from paying mortgage interest instead of rent. The low prices of homes now has made homes affordable once again and in some cases you can have a mortgage for less than what you pay for rent. This is a case by case basis so please do not write me to tell me that there is no way that you are going to move out of an apartment in West Los Angeles and find a home in the same area with a mortgage payment that is equivalent, of course not you have to find a home in another area. Do not get caught up in getting your taxes done and then focusing on how much you are getting back but focus on how much you paid total. So many times I hear someone tell me that they have a refund of $4000 coming to them and when I ask well how much did you pay total, they do not know. They could have had $20k deducted from their check and do not realize that they actually paid $16k in taxes. Also ask about the federal housing tax credit. You can also get more information at http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/faq.php.



For those of you who have stuck it out in your homes and are looking for even more tax shelters, consider the tax credits that are available for making your home more energy efficient. You can visit http://www.energystar.gov/ for a list of these credits. During these tough economic times you can also take advantage of cheaper labor and more competitive pricing.



Remember if you do not have the kind of tax preparer that will talk to you then switch. There are plenty of CPA's and financial advisors that would be more than happy to sit and talk with you. Final note, these are just suggestions. I am not a CPA or licensed financial advisor. My real estate license does not make me a professional in those fields so please consult with a licensed professional. Feel free to call me if you need a referral cause that I can do and after years of networking I have a few good ones up my sleeve or on my pda.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Babyback Ribs

I have a trip coming up to St. Louis and I've been put in charge of finding the best babybacks. Any suggestions?

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Babyback Ribs

I have a trip coming up to St. Louis and I've been put in charge of finding the best babybacks. Any suggestions?

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