appraisals

BPO: the most important part of a short sale

“BPO” stands for “Broker Price Opinion.” It is a report for the given value of a property, that a real estate agent will give to a lender to determine what to do with a property where they have a loan. And it is just what it sounds like, an opinion! All they do is quickly glance at the recent solds in the neighborhood, and go to the house to take pictures(they are at the property no longer than 10 minutes – a time frame that no buyer would feel comfortable making a solid offer in, given that it is not enough time to do any due diligence on a property to see what it has/needs.

Without going into too much detail here, let me just tell you I met both an appraiser and a BPO agent at a property yesterday, on a property valued somewhere in the  $2 million range. Because I met both the agent doing the BPO, and the appraiser, the property will close because they have a keen understanding of what is really going on, since I took the time to enlighten them. Can you imagine if I just left it up to the opinion of the two people who had spent no more than a couple of hours looking at the subject property?!(and in cases of cheaper house, taken no more than maybe 20 minutes analyzing the value!)

And then this morning I met another BPO agent on another property we are doing a deal on, valued around only $100,000. The property probably would have came back to the bank with a broker price opinion at $130,000 or more if I hadn’t been there to meet the agent, in addition to sending her comps and letting her know the listing history prior to her arriving at the property. I also took the time to make sure she actually looked at all of the systems in the house and pointed out needed repairs. Had I not been there the agent would have not seen any of the needed repairs or structural issues to the house. These things have a significant impact to the buyer and many agents fail to realize they have two ends of each short sale transaction to work, not just the buyer, but the bank too!

If you were to ask a room full of real estate agents what the biggest factor is in the success of a short sale transaction, I would presume you would hear dozens of different answers. Answers ranging from how severe the homeowners hardship is, to how much money in retirement accounts the homeowner has, to whether or not the person that is on the loan actually ever lived in the house or was just a cosigner, or the most common…”who is the bank?” I would like to think one or two agents would get it right, but would be surprised to hear much more than that. While these factors do play a role in the short sale settlement, they are not THE most important factor.

The answer is simple, and it only contains three letters: BPO. The BPO is the hinge of the entire short sale. If you have a high BPO you are probably not going to close your short sale, unless that is of course, if you can get another BPO ordered and have enough time to go through that process. I have seen more short sales go to foreclosure because the BPO was not addressed properly then any other reason for short sale transactions not closing.

It takes approximately 10 minutes to comp a property(look up current home sales) and send that email to the agent who is processing the BPO, prior to them arriving at the property. It takes usually no more than an hour to drive to the property, meet the agent there, and then tell them where your offer is and the listing history,  shake their hand and walk away. Sometimes you may leave the property feeling like you are going to get a high-value, and sometimes it will be the opposite, where you will leave feeling energized and know that you are going to have a slam dunk deal when the bank finds out they are getting more money out of the transaction after their closing costs then the true value of the property.

Setting up properly and processing the BPO correctly as the listing agent will be the deciding factor in 90% of short sales. I don’t care what the hardship is or how much excess cash the seller has, or even how much assets they have or none of that. I care what the value is and what the net is to the lender. Since I do have control over these things, contrary to popular opinion, I close consistently the short sales I take on.

It’s not rocket science.. Influence what you have control over. This is no different than anything else in the real estate business or for that matter, life.

To inquire about referring Joshua Gayman a short sale in the Arizona area or for assistance with negotiating a short sale of your self or for a client, or if you are a homeowner and another state just looking for guidance and true counsel, give me a call – I’d love to chat!

-Joshua Gayman

Essential Qualities of an Entrepreneur: Brand

Essential Qualities of an Entrepreneur: Brand

Posted on: Tuesday, December 20, 2011|Written by: Robert Kiyosaki

In some ways, it’s fitting that I sit down to write about a brand as an essential quality of an entrepreneur this morning. All across the headlines are blazing the news of the death of Kim Jong Il at the age of 70 years old.

Interesting among the more standard news stories about the Kim’s reign — and the devastation it caused his country and his people — is an article in The Wall Street Journal on the mythic nature of Kim created by his propaganda machine.

According to the article, there are two filters through which Kim was viewed.

To his people, Kim is a “peerless leader, master of all knowledge and gifted athlete”— or at least gives the appearance as so — with huge banners and paintings showing his likeness all over the country of North Korea and carefully constructed photo ops and news stories painting him as such. Newscasters, announcing his death on television, we’re in tears as they reported the news.

To the world, Kim is a brutal dictator with a bizarre love of gray jumpsuits. He oversaw a country that declined from a communist regime over decades into one of the poorest and most brutal dictatorships in the world, imprisoning millions, killing untold numbers of his own people, and pushing scores of North Koreans into abject poverty and starvation.

But these are all perceptions, as no one really “knew” Kim. Very few world leaders actually met with him, and his own people only heard his voice once, in 1992, on a broadcast where he said, “Glory to the people’s heroic military.”

Eventually, however, as it does for everyone, the truth gets out. And that brings me to branding.

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve briefly shared some thoughts on the essential qualities of an entrepreneur, based out of the book, Midas Touch, by Donald Trump and me.

So far, I’ve written on strength of character and F.O.C.U.S. This week, I want to talk about the importance of a brand.

The Importance of Brand for An Entrepreneur

Many people think a brand is what you make, which is not true. What you make is simply a commodity. A brand is what communicates who you are as a person or a company and informs what you make.

A brand is different than a commodity. For instance, Coca-cola is a brand. Store-“brand” soda is a commodity — not a really a brand. Nobody collects Safeway-brand cola merchandise — and no one builds museums to celebrate the history of Kroger soda. They do for Coke though, because it is a brand — and one that people love.

A brand is important for an entrepreneur because it helps people instantly know what you stand for. For me, my brand is taking complex financial information and making it easy and fun to learn. My company represents that brand, and people trust me and my brand. My brand is authentic.

And that’s why today’s news is so interesting, because it communicates a universal truth about branding.

Kim Jong Il had a brand (we all do to a greater or lesser degree, and many refer to is as a reputation). To us, it’s clear that his brand was a brutal dictator. But we don’t really know, yet, what his brand was in his own country. He worked hard to pass himself off as a great man and leader to be revered and who cared for his people and country against a world out to get them. But I’ll wager that most North Koreans don’t buy that brand. Why? Because the reality of their lives as they starve and face persecution don’t measure up to that brand.

His brand is not authentic. It is a veneer held together by fear. Now that he’s dead, it will most likely unravel. News sources are indicating as much, with most world leaders predicting a huge and possibly violent power struggle on the horizon.

That is an important lesson in branding — your brand must be authentic, or you’ll eventually be found out. You can be successful by some measure with a brand that is not authentic, but eventually that lie will be found out and what you’ve built will come crashing down. Rather than shoot for a period of success by creating a false brand, a true entrepreneur seeks to build a legacy by creating a true brand.

And a true brand comes from doing what you love and building a great company that desires to share that love.

For me, I love to see people’s lives changed by financial education, just as my life was.

My company exists for that sole reason, and it’s reflected in my brand. I don’t need a propaganda machine to communicate that. My actions and the products of my company represent that, my employees live that, and my customers attest to that.

If you plan on being an entrepreneur, as I hope many of you are, I would challenge you to begin the process of self-discovery for both you and your company. Who are you, really? What are you passionate about? What defines you and your company?

Once you have discovered the answers to those questions, build your company around them and live them truly. Only then will you have a true and authentic brand, and only then will people look and you and say, “Yes, I know and love that brand.”

Don’t think you can fake it. Because you can’t. Eventually, everyone’s true brand comes out—just as it will for Kim Jong Il in North Korea.

Essential Qualities of an Entrepreneur: Strength of Character

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about something hopeful I see in America, the rise of young people interested in entrepreneurship (“There’s Hope Yet”). More than ever, the upcoming generation wants to start businesses and pursue their passions by starting companies that will not only take care of them and their family, but also benefit society as a whole. I applaud this.

I recently released my newest book, The Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich and Others Don’t, with my good friend, Donald Trump. This is a book on entrepreneurship for entrepreneurs—something both Donald and I are extremely passionate about.

The reason Donald and I wrote this book is because we’ve learned the hard way that there are five, essential qualities entrepreneurs need to have in order to succeed. These qualities aren’t a guarantee for success, but not having them is a guarantee for failure. And we want you to succeed.

So, over the next few weeks, I’ll briefly share some thoughts on each quality. For more on each quality, I encourage you to purchase a copy of Midas Touch.

Strength of Character

As a young man, I started a successful Velcro wallet business. This was in the early 1980’s and MTV was just starting to take off. My partners and I had the foresight to take advantage of the wave of rock bands coming out of MTV, and we licensed band names and logos to place on our wallets.

For a while, business boomed. We had thousands of distributors around the world shipping our wallets for us, and we had millions in sales. The problem is that we didn’t really know what we were doing. As a result, many of our sales partners were 120 or more days late on paying us or had skipped out entirely. Because of this, we couldn’t pay our vendors, didn’t have the materials to continue production, and were in danger of not paying our employees and our taxes. We were in a cash crunch.

I’ll never forget sitting down for lunch with my rich dad to go over my financials for the company. Looking over the financial state of my company he said to me, “Your company has financial cancer. You’ve mismanaged a company that could have been successful. You need to look at reality and admit you’re incompetent and that your business is a failure.”

It was a hard word to hear. Up till that point, we tried to hold on, thinking the next big break would come. But it never did, and things were going from bad to worse.

After that conversation, I went back to my partners, and we did the right thing. We liquidated our inventory, paid our employees what was due to them, and set aside enough money to pay our taxes. The company was finished, but at least we weren’t crooks.

That was my first major failure as an entrepreneur. But it wasn’t my last. And if there’s anything I’ve learned after 30+ years as an entrepreneur, it’s that you will fail. The question is not whether you’ll fall; it’s how many times will you stand up?

The #1 essential quality of an entrepreneur is Strength of Character.

In order to succeed, you must first have integrity to do the right thing, and second, have the fortitude to continue moving forward even in the face of failure. Those who lack strength of character quit in the face of failure. Those who have strength of character get stronger in the face of failure by learning and adapting for the next opportunity.

How strong is your character?

I leave you with one of my favorite commercials of all-time.

Written By: Robert Kiyosaki

What happened to our money, to our country?!

By: Joshua Gayman

The reason Occupy Wall Street is happening right now is because there is a huge movement of young people who want to reclaim this country from corporate interests. These protesters feel that our political system has been hijacked by Wall Street and their corporations. Not only that, but they feel that our elected officials now serve the interests of the wealthy upper 1%, instead of “the 99 percent.”

I’m gonna write..Dang it!!! I’m gonna write…

It’s not that I can’t do, but that I can reach more people online than I can on the street. Also, I can capture attention. Why protest when I can speak more clearly through my mac sitting in my bedroom. I don’t oppose the Wall Street crashers. They are frustrated. They feel that the system has hijacked the way of life their parents had and that they planed to continue, and they are right.

The solution is that we need to reclaim our own money. If America acts now, we still have the financial and political power globally to reclaim our position. China will fight us hard, but we really need not compete directly. We don’t have to buy Chinese. If we open back up the factories we can put millions back to work and produce value back into our society. My God, can you imagine what stuff we would have cooking right now if everyone was working hard to better society? We are geniuses. I don’t really know why, but for some reason us Americans kick ass. In all actuality, I don’t think we have anything that any people don’t have. It’s just the timing and in my honest to God opinion, it’s God’s plan for this time.

So how did we really get where we are now? The world has turned upside down in the past 3 years!!

Well..Life happens. The only thing constant in this world aside from God’s love is change. Because of this thing called time, everything constantly evolves.

So what happened?

1700’s – USA is founded. We say F U to Britain because we do not want to use their currency and pay their taxes anymore. We draft a constitution that we will never let another entity print our currency and we will never have an income tax. We kick their butt and start our own country on free market using gold to back our currency. As an interesting sidenote..The South made their own currency during the Civil War, but with no gold backing it inflated to zero value..

We go from Wild West to Industrial Revolution. Life is changing rapidly with new mechanics. Lots of production is created, in fact, it is exponentially created because of leverage and tools.

Let’s face it..The media is about as honest with us as a politician. So when you think about it, how do you really know what you learned in school was even truth? I know I hear you already, “Oh here we go, another conspiracy article..” NO – Listen to this: John D. Rockefeller founded the US Board of Education in 1903. What did  that guy want with the school system? And since he did buy it..Why didn’t he add education on money into the school system? Why do we still have a school system that is hundreds of years old and was created to manufacture military? Now here is my point, we have no idea if the things we read in our history books are true. History is not math, gramar, or science. History is one of the biggest tools used for manipulation and deception.

Moving on…

10 years later, John D Rockefeller, along with other ultra rich men such as JP Morgan, and Paul Warburg, founded a company and called it the Federal Reserve. This company would issue currency to countries. The trade off that they could offer to the Congress was that if they printed the money, they could give it to the government. Scandals in the Congress are nothing new, and the Federal Reserve Act passed.

Time for an income tax!!

The income tax was supposed to be to fund WWI, but we still pay it today, 100 years later…

20’s…HUGE recession, but it was removed from Rockefeller’s history curriculum in our education system that he hijacked.

GREAT DEPRESSION: Debt from WWI is too much to pay. we need more currency. The government confiscates gold and then raises the dollar-associated value to it by over 50%, hijacking over 50% of the real money in circulation and jeopardizing our whole system.

WWII – America wins. Bretton Woods Act is passed, making the United States’ currency known as the Dollar, the Reserve Currency of the World. Oil is now traded in dollars, making it so that other countries must exchange their currency for dollars and then purchase oil. This causes the value of the dollar to increase drastically and therefore makes it easier for the United States to get credit from foreign investors who are eager to invest in the luxurious American economy. After all, their debt is backed by the good faith of their tax payers.. Remember too, the Congress can now go the Federal Reserve whenever they want, increase their “debt ceiling,” and borrow more money.

America rocks like rock stars for 27 years, get involved in some turmoil overseas, increased the debt more. Then Nixon said let’s have a REALLY big money supply, since everyone in the world treats our dollar like gold! He totally cuts the link between the Dollar and gold. Expanding the money supply to infinity.

A few years later, the “Employee Retirement Income Security Act” is passed, making it so that the tax payers are responsibly for their own retirement, and the burden is lifted from corporations. Birth is given to the IRA and 401K. This makes it so that retirement money flows to Wall Street and they can operate the money as a ponzi scheme, with money from new investors paying out the old people as they retire. *Another sidenote:  Social Security(Which was enacted during the great depression), also operates as a ponzi scheme, with the money flowing into the system from young workers’ paychecks and out to the retired older folks. The money retirees paid into the system has been spent.

For nearly 40 years, we lived out of our minds!!! There were recessions and expansions, but the reality is that no matter what, we could always get more money because we had a credit card with no credit limit. The credit card company was the rest of the world buying our debt, and the Federal Reserve company selling it.

Our economy boomed and we just kept continuing to kick ass. We got fat, lazy, and greedy, but we stayed smart. We powered through at the front of the line with our advances in technology, especially with computers and the internet. We created several huge bubbles with the stock market, precious metals, dot com, and real estate, but we never thought about the larger bubble that was emerging around all of the other bubbles. The credit balance that we had…The biggest bubble of all, debt!

In all reality each bubble helped us. Because off of each bubble, we could sell more debt, increasing our limit. The last one we benefited from was real estate. When we all could buy a house or re-finance one and get a rediculous amount of money for, with nothing down but a signature. How bitchin is that!? You could make $30,000 a year, live in a $300,000 house, drive a $30,000 car and have mad toys. All you had to do was refinance your house when you needed more money to cover your bills.

Then it popped. It popped because people could not afford the minimum debt payments on their mortgage payments anymore. Even with interest only loans and low interest short term adjustable loans, the mimimum monthly debt was just too much. The world quickly realized that the actual real estate was never truly worth what we sold the debt for. Values plummeted, but so did families losing their homes.

The government tried to keep the bubble going(and still is) by lowering interest rates, again and again and again. The Federal Reserve is happy to do so because it preserves the system of debt. If we stop selling our debt, they cannot continue to gain power over us for our indebtedness. Also, with all of the other countries attached to our debt system, known as the dollar, it keeps it easier for them to have a leash on the entire planet.

With mortgage payments stopping, lending stopped. Now, even with super low interest rates, the people are simply not allowed to take on anymore debt, unless they still have some collateral left that they are willing to put up, and most don’t..

With a country that’s whole currency system operating on debt, not getting any more loans, the economy dried up.

2007 – The banks failed because nobody could afford their loans. They sold a product that was risky, and they lost. The collateral from the loans was not sufficient to cover the exposure they had. Congress decided that if the banks failed, lending would stop, people could run to the banks to withdraw their money, and the economy would die, so they took on more debt from the federal reserve, pinning the tax on the US taxpayers back still(but now getting exponentially larger) and marched on with the debt system, even tho it was by all means bankrupt. They gave it to the banks, “to lend to the people.”

The banks didn’t loan shit to the people. The rest of the world gets mad(particularly China), because we are now exponentially increasing our money supply, and thus devaluing our debt to them.

With no buyers left outside of our country to buy our debt, and no assets to pledge them, the company knows as the Federal Reserve decides that they will just buy our debt themselves. This keeps the cash flowing into the United States, and stays off a collapse for the short term. The money supply keeps exponentially increasing, as prices rise on exports to combat the artificial expansion of our money supply.This is what is known as “quantitative easing.”

Meanwhile, people keeping losing their houses, their jobs, their businesses. Everyone keeps waiting for life to go back to normal. But it doesn’t happen…

The stock market goes up and down, but it doesn’t have any effect on anyone. The people that have money seem to keep getting bigger. But everyone you know is broke and jobless. People hear what the banks did with the money that they were given that was supposed to be for lending. They hear about the bonuses to all of the CEO’s that took their house.

Student loans never stop, but everyone is starting to figure out that the debt created by going to school is huge and they aren’t making nearly enough to make it manageable, if they are making anything at all.

Let’s face it…The debt system is broken. We still have some HUGE values that we contribute to the world. I like all of our professional sports, Google, Aaple, Nike, I could name many many more. But, we don’t have anything left to pledge as collateral to keep receiving debt to live on. We already pledged it up….

Present Day:

We go to Wall Street. We protest about the greed and corruption. We don’t go the the corporation the Federal Reserve who created the system, instead we go to the investors on Wall Street who’s job is to keep money flowing into the market to satisfy the system and pay our people’s retirement’s through pensions. Without Wall Street, many retirees would lose their retirement. Retirees like teachers, firemen, and police officers.

We need to take back over our systems. It’s sad to say, our currency is falling to zero like a slowly bleeding cow. And there is nothing anyone can do to stop the bleeding. We try to stop it with band aids such as expanding the money. But expanding the money without expanding the demand for the debt can’t create real value. So the dollar will die.

Value is coming back. Value is king. If you have a trade, great. If you don’t, learn one. What do you love? How can you do that so as to benefit society? If we can get back to creating real value, they’ll keep buying our debt. But we should not let Congress give away our value to the Federal Reserve. We can sell our debt directly if we are going to sell it at all.

What will happen next?

I don’t know.

I suspect that to preserve the system of debt, the central banks will create a globally currency. The world will buy into it because they won’t have a choice. The debt bubble in Europe popped too. Asia is next. The Chinese have been devaluing their currency to try and combat the inflation of the Dollar. The global currency will be digital, as in all actuality the Dollar is now digital itself. I don’t know which part of the world will receive the biggest inflow of the global currency, but I suspect that it will be the gographic location which produces the most value. Competition is inevitable.

No matter what, we aren’t here for a long time, we’re here for a good time…

Peace and love,

1.

S&P downgrades US debt

“If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year, & are $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget & debt, reduced to a level that we can understand.”

– Dave Ramsey

3 months ago S&P downgraded the economic outlook on US debt from “stable” to “negative.”

Last week Moody’s downgraded the economic outlook on US debt from “stable” to “negative.”

Last night S&P downgraded the US debt from it’s sterling “AAA” rating to” AA+ with a negative outlook.”

Just like S&P and Moody’s didn’t downgrade subprime CDOs until the mortgage-backed bonds they held were practically worthless, S&P waited for U.S. debt obligations to reach five times GDP and for the U.S. dollar to lose 84% of its purchasing power over the course of a single decade.

 

Update 7/30: Gold prices all time high! – debt ceiling drama.. – US credit rating downgrade? QE3? Real estate prices.

Written by: Joshua Gamen

GOLD

Gold hit an all time high of $1,633.80 per ounce on Friday! Driving up the price is the result of central banks buying gold and coincidentally(sarcasm) the decline in value of the dollar. The drama in the white house regarding the debt ceiling has had quite an impact on the price of gold lately, as has the news that the US can’t keep perfect credit by devaluing it’s current debts from printing more money. But what is really key here, is that the central banks(the people who print pieces of paper that people use as money around the world) are buying gold.

SILVER

Silver has been idling around $40 per ounce this past week or so, and looks to continue it’s descent upwards along with other commodities including oil which is at a price of $95.70 per barrel and approaching $4 per gallon. The increased price in silver, just like gold and oil, is an economic reaction to the depletion of value in the US dollar. This is because value does not leave the planet, it simply transfers between different asset classes. Right now the money is flowing out of the dollar and into gold, silver, oil, real estate, food, etc.

I am holding to my recent prediction of silver hitting $200 per ounce by October 2012. If silver hits $200 per ounce, that would put gold at a price of $8,156 per ounce based on the current ratio of silver to gold at roughly 41 ounces of silver to 1 ounce of gold. Strong projection, but I’d like to get some talk going on about the subject. With Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently telling Congress they are working on doing more of the same thing(creating debt for free, devaluing the currency, buying back treasury bonds, QE3…) along with the possible default on the US debt, a credit rating downgrade of the US, and rising prices in oil and gold, I think it’s a harsh reality we could face. What it would ultimately mean would be very bad for the poor and middle class, inflation..

Debt CeilingCredit Downgrade

The politics are what they always are, a battle for power.

The reality is, they’ve argued over the debt ceiling being raised for too long and it has already took effect on the credit rating of the country. The reality is that a credit rating downgrade will be just as catastrophic as a default on the debt. The stocks will tank, the dollar will free fall, and gold will surge.

Tho many me be interested to see who wins the heated debate over the hot topic between the Democrats and the GDP, the truth is as Robert “Rich Dad” Kiyosaki puts it: ” that no matter who wins this battle, the war may already be lost—and the American public will be the casualties.”

Like I said, politics are a battle for power –  Here is the fact:

WE HAVE A BIG DET, AND WE CAN’T PAY IT BACK. SO IF WE PILE MORE DEBT ON THAT, WE WON’T BE ABLE TO PAY THAT BACK EITHER. The Credit Rating Agencies know that we can’t pay this debt back, even tho they have took this long to finally admit it. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings have all warned they might cut the U.S. credit rating. S&P, in particular, has said it could move even if a debt-reduction deal is met and the $14.29 trillion federal debt ceiling is raised.

S&P has cited $4 trillion in debt reduction as a figure that would be appropriate for keeping the triple-A rating. S&P has also said it wants a credible agreement, meaning one that has bipartisan support.

Neither side is close to a $4 trillion figure. And given the wrangling, the chances of strong bipartisan support for any deal seem unlikely, investors said(“Downgrade Threat Looms”).

..Now, the question shifts from what will happen to what am I going to do now that I know what is happening.

The definition of insure is this: “to guaranty against future loss or harm.”

The US dollar is a commodity. Everything going on right now is sending that commodity to the tank, and since it has no intrinsic value as it’s physical body(paper), it will now stop until it reaches zero. Now, you can have your political beliefs on everything and that’s fine, but you wouldn’t buy a house without insurance, and you wouldn’t drive your car without insurance, so why do you hold your money as a piece of paper with no insurance? Gold and silver are insurance to the dollar.

My point is that it’s not about what I want to be money, right? We all have ideas of what we want or think should be money, it’s about what probably is going to be money.

Real Estate

Meanwhile it remains a perfect storm -a good one 🙂 – to invest in real estate! Prices are still low while sales are high. Most important is that interest rates remain at all time lows, making the oppertunity to leverage and cash flow abundant. We’re getting it done with outstanding returns here in Phoenix, AZ. Give me a call if you are interested in doing some investing – 623-252-3234, let’s talk.

-Joshua

Crush it! Passion comes before sales!

By: Joshua Gamen

I saw the movie “The Social Network” this weekend. If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend it. It is an interesting story and a very well done feature about the story of the creation of Facebook. In watching the movie, the business principal that stood out to me most was that

it’s not about monetizing, it’s about having the best product, then money follows, as was seen with Mark Mark Zuckerberg, the main character and creator of Facebook becoming the youngest self made billionaire ever.

Of the many flaws that have stemmed as a result of our fiat currency system(fiat currency = currency that is not backed by anything of tangible value) as well as our fractional reserve banking system, we have a common factor in our economy of businesses putting sales in front of the product they are contributing. When the Fed pumps monopoly money into the economy, people naturally lose focus on real value, and instead strive to attain as much currency as possible, which they use to then obtain objects of value. The extra step of attaining the currency has created out modern day sales process, and along the way it has given the ultra-rich a vehicle to drive off with our stolen wealth.

I’m not against the idea of money. I believe it is critical for the economy to have a common item to keep trade fluid. My point tho, is that with an over-supply of currency, the focus shifts from creating things of value, to attaining as much currency as possible. The result is less REAL gross domestic product. This doesn’t do anyone any good except for the people trying to gain power.

The beauty of this depression that we are in(technically referred to as a recession – technically referred to as over…) is that with the money supply constricting, it has allowed people to let the smoke clear and start seeing what is real again. When your money is limited, you cannot help but begin to see more clearly what you really want and need. This depression, along with the power of the internet and modern technology, has created a shift from focus on sales to focus on value. It is now more important than ever to be contributing a good product or service. With less currency chasing the same amount of goods and services, the cream is rising up and it is leaving behind the crap! This brings up another great point, “It is never a bad time to start a business unless you’re starting a mediocre(or bad) business.” – (Quote from Gary Vaynerchuk.)

In a boom economy, you can attain currency(sell) on just about and idea or business, as long as you have a strong focus on sales and a good hustle. In a down economy, you CAN thrive, but it is imperative that you are contributing something that gives real value to your consumers.

There are 2 more points I am trying to make with this writing:

1. People – EVERYONE – needs to start thinking of themselves as a business. While I strongly recommend working with people, I strongly oppose working for people.

2. Everyone needs to cash in on their passion! Learn how to live out your passion, and you will have all the money you need, plus control of your own time and destiny. Remember this, skills are cheap, but passion is priceless. Don’t get stressed out thinking about how you will sell, or “monetize” your ideas. Focus on what you are passionate about, then teach, and the people will come to consume what you are providing. People do not want to be sold anymore anyways, they want to be educated. Everyone is disgustingly tired of being “sold” to.

Pick your passion, do it for yourself, and focus on the quality you are delivering as a contribution to your passion. Worthless activities will diminish as a result of doing this, which will increase your purpose, followed by increasing your happiness.

Blowing Bubbles

by: Joshua Gamen

WOW!

Have you seen the price of gold or silver lately? If this is not something you track, change that. Here is why: As gold and silver go up in value, the cash in your wallet goes down in value. Literally speaking, the value is transferring from the paper dollar to precious medals. And FAST!

Gold went up roughly $60 in the month of September. As of today, in the past year gold has gone up $300. In the last 2 years it has gone up roughly $430.  PAST 5 YEARS = up $845 dollars, nearly tripling it’s value in dollars.

In October 2005, gold was worth a spot price of $466 dollars. Right now, I am currently looking at the up to minute price of gold at $1,314. Gold has nearly tripled in value. Conversely, the dollar is worth roughly 1/3 of what it used to be worth versus gold.

PARADIGM SHIFT

At first it is a bit tricky to think about the economics of financial value. But let me attempt to break it down for you.

Everything has value. A gallon of milk is worth something, a question answered is worth something, gold is worth something, a stake in something is worth something, clothes, automobiles, paper, everything has a value. Part of the reason we are in the mess we are in right now economically, both nationally and globally, is that the government has manipulated the value of the US dollar so that it had more value than it should.

This started when President Nixon took the dollar off of the Gold standard in 1971, in an attempt to CREATE more money for circulation to make everybody do and have more, and thereby get people doing more and making more happen(a good economy). The US dollar is the reserve currency for the world, and so as it corrects itself to being back to what it was originally worth(about the same as a napkin), the world suffers economically.

Going back to the beginning of time, gold and silver have always been used as money. Every civilization that has ever printed or made some kind of currency, and not had anything tangible backing that currency, has ended up with a worthless currency. Currency is only worth as much as people think it is worth. If people don’t think paper bills will be worth as much as other items in compared to trading(ie: gold, silver, diamonds, oil, clothes), then paper bills will become worth less and less. Google: Hyperinflation, Germany.

VALUE

Value is always value, and it shifts to things of which men(and ladies 😉 perceive to have it. 5 Years ago real estate was believed to have a lot of value. The thing is, a house is a house just like it was 5 years ago. The difference is 5 years ago people thought that a house had a high amount of financial value strung to it, now people are seeing it for what it is, a shelter from the weather, warmth, etc.

For most of our known lives, we have thought of the US dollar to carry extreme value. I was in my early 20’s before I every grasped the concept of currency as opposed to money.

MY TAKE

The dollar is crashing, hard and fast! Since the early 70’s, the government has been printing more and more money, in an attempt to keep everyone engaged in more commerce. As the government prints more money, the money in circulation is worth less. The government is now pumping more US dollars into the economy than ever before, and at a more rapid pace than ever before as well! US trade is down, we export significantly less than we import. So where is our value? It’s leaving fast! The good news is now is the time to position yourself to get as much things that have value to you as possible, with a declining dollar. If you can invest in a few pieces of gold or silver here or there, do it. You will get more and more for your gold and silver in the future.

The population is gradually having a paradigm shift themselves, from value being in the dollar, to value being in precious medals. As the people catch on to the idea that their money(US currency) is becoming worth less and less, they will flock to precious medals in an attempt to keep any tangible belongings they have.

The currency bubble that has been inflated for the past 4 decades is popping fast, while the precious medals bubble is just blowing up. Expect gold and silver to rapidly gain against the dollar in the next couple years, as the value of the slutty dollar shrinks, and the value of real estate continues to fall do to the number of bad mortgages adjusting, and rapidly increasing payments along with foreclosures.

Most importantly, get and stay financially educated. Knowledge is the new money 🙂

BS: “The Recession is Over.”

By Joshua Gamen

Sure. I recall a lot of hype last summer that the real estate market had hit bottom too.. Try telling that it has hit bottom to the millions of Americans who have lost their home to foreclosure this year. Or to their neighbors, who continue to throw their money at their sinking ship home while the foreclosures around them sink it’s value, and any hope for a return in their lifetime.

Who is the recession over for? The millions of unemployed people? The business owners who don’t have any customers? The guy trying to sell his home? The elderly lady trying to retire? The young adult trying to start his business? TELL ME, WHO IS THE FREAKING RECESSION OVER FOR?!

Let’s look at housing numbers:

  • Almost $6 trillion in housing wealth has been lost since 2005
  • Home values have dropped 30 percent
  • Existing home sales dropped 27 percent over the previous month
  • Housing inventories stand at 12.5 months(some part of the country, 24-36 months), over twice what’s considered healthy

What about Income, or Unemployment?

  • The unemployment rate is officially at 9.6%. It is a lot higher unofficially, because many unemployed Americans have been without a job for too long for the government to consider counting them.
  • Americans with jobs have seen their income fall over 4% between ’07-’09, and the % of Americans living BELOW the poverty level rose to 14.3%!
  • The gap is widening largely between the rich and the poor. Furthermore, the gap between the rich and the middle class is growing rapidly, as is the pace.(The top 20% of households now account for over 50% of all pre-tax income in the country = bye bye middle class.)

To quote the great educator/businessman/investor, Robert Kiyosaki:

“Maybe when the NBER says the recession is over, they mean it’s over for the ultra-rich. After all, many corporations are now posting better than expected earnings reports and balance sheets are getting healthier. For instance, FedEx recently announced that their earnings more than doubled. They also announced that they’re firing 1,700 people. Why? I believe it’s because they know what you already know, the recession may be “officially” over—but it’s not really over. Is the recession over for housing? Not according to the numbers. Thanks to high unemployment, new home orders are down 15 percent over last year, foreclosures are still rising, and pricing is not recovering. People are predicting that the housing inventory, which is more than double healthy levels, will take up to three years to work through. There will be no recovery until that happens.”

MORE COMING!

I wish I could post some stats to show that the market is taking a positive direction, but that would be covering up the truth with illusions. There are plenty of illusions out there to hide behind, but let’s be real..

Unemployment is still rising, and without jobs, nothing can get done. Business owners can’t provide jobs if they don’t have customers. And there aren’t any customers if there isn’t any money to spend. Sure, more money can be printed, but it will only become worth less as they print more and more, and they are..

MASSIVE government printing of US Currency. I call it currency, because it is just that-it’s not money! In 1971 President Nixon took the US off of the gold standard, meaning that the dollar was no longer attached to anything of value. It is simply a piece of paper that is backed by the good faith of the citizens of the United States.(See US dollar bill) They can print as much of this paper as they want, but the problem is, supply and demand will always work their course. Too much supply brings the equilibrium price down, and with the rate they have been running the printing presses the past few years, the market will soon be flooded with worthless pieces of green paper. –

If you study the history of currencies, since the earliest recorded times, every civilization that has had a currency not attached to something of value(ie: gold or silver), has gone to 0. That means, as more and more of the currency comes into existence, the existing currency is devalued, until the currency is no longer worth anything. Sound like pennies? Soon this will be nickels, then dimes, then quarters. Even the metal in them won’t be worth much, since they haven’t been made from silver since the late 60’s.(Weird how the government stopped using real silver and snatched it out of the money supply just a few short years prior to 1971 when our currency was removed from it’s tie to gold. Conspiracy?? 😉

In 1974, the government passed a law called ERISA. This made it so that people’s retirement was up to themselves, not the employer. It gave birth to plans like the 401k, and mutual funds, plans that were devised so that you could “invest for your retirement.” When this happened the American citizens turned to mutual funds, stocks and 401k’s for retirement plans. What they were actually doing was handing their money to wall street to play with until they retire, and expecting that wall street would automatically grow their money for them.

As we saw with the recent stock market crash, Wall Street is not looking out for the mutual funds or 401k accounts, Wall Street is looking out for their FAT KATS. What’s worse is, regardless of your opinion on the stock market, it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to see that when the largest demographic of citizens(Baby Boomers) start to retire, money will flow out of the stock market like never before. This will be a the second dip of this what I believe to be, double dip recession.

Foreclosures can’t slow down, not yet. Go to google and type in mortgage resets. You will see graphs that will show you the largest mortgage product ever sold – the 5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage(ARM), and when these loans will adjust. These loans were primarily written in 2006 and 2007, right at the end of the real estate bubble, and will be resetting over the next 2 years. This will cause another HUGE drop in real estate values, as the number of foreclosures will sky higher, and at a more rapid pace than current.

Good News??

There is good news…

When markets bubble and then pop, the money doesn’t disappear, it just flows into another asset class. It moves.. The money is going somewhere, so where is it going? Well, take a look at the value of gold, or silver. Go to Google, and type in “gold spot.” Examine the value of gold as it has climbed over the past week, month, year, 5 years, or further. Then check out the same for silver. Since forever, gold and silver have always been used for exchange, hence making it the real money of the world. Until the rich figure out where they can put their money to make more money, they are holding it in the form of real money, gold and silver. It’s catching on quick, think of how many places you see driving to work and back that say, “WE BUY GOLD.” It is the next major bubble, but we’re still early to the trend. Gold just went over $1,300 an ounce today, but we will see gold hit $13,000 per ounce, and in the not too far future.

Assets are cheap. Real estate, businesses, etc. Now is a good time to gather as many assets as you can, that will reward you as the economy turns around. Buy investments for what they will provide you in cash flow, do not worry about selling for a profit. That is speculation. Whatever you grow your asset and sell it for later should be the gravy. Now is an excellent time to pickup businesses for cheap, cut out the expenses, make the systems more efficient, and get the asset as profitable as possible. Now is an amazing time to buy real estate that will cash flow for you as well.(Rental income exceeding the loan you are paying to own the property.)

So…

The recession is not over. We are in a new economy, the old one is not coming back. We are in a shift from the industrial era to the information age. In this new economy, knowledge is money. You can print your own money just like the the Fed does. Financial IQ is the way out of the paycheck chasing. Get real, get right, and get assets! Financial knowledge, is the greatest asset you have, so acquire as much of it as you can!

~Josh