Tag: motivation

“We Are Wall Street”: The Top 1% Are Mad as Hell and Fighting Back!

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Like a scene out of Atlas Shrugged…

Wall Streeters recently struck back by dropping leaflets on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Here’s what the leaflets said:

“We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, it’s not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.

Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back some whatever, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.

Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 4am and work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t’ demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.

For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team to $5k extra a summer, thank you very much. So now that we’re going to be making $8k a year without upside, Joe Main street is going to have his revenge right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but its really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom. We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Main street our food supply…will he? And will they?”

PS – When you are ready to stop complaining and ready to start thinking like a billionaire… follow this link to reserve your copy of “The Billionaire Mindset”

A Different Take on the Richest 1%

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My inbox has been bombed with e-mails from folks outraged by the wealth disparity between the richest 1% and the balance of America. A few bullet points:

  1. The Top 1 Percent of Americans Owns 40 Percent of the Nation’s Wealth
  2. The Top 1 Percent of Americans Take Home 24 Percent of National Income
  3. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Own Half of the Country’s Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds
  4. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Have Only 5 Percent of the Nation’s Personal Debt
  5. The Top 1 Percent are Taking In More of the Nation’s Income Than at Any Other Time Since the 1920s

I wondered what it would take to be in the “Richest 1%” certainly these are the  “jet owners” our President has vilified. When you do the research it takes an annual family income over $200,000 to qualify for the richest 1%. As someone who has spent his professional career “playing Monopoly” with multi-millionaires and deca-millionaires in the commercial real estate investment, development and finance industry the admission standards to be included in the top 1% seem appallingly low and describes nearly everyone I’ve ever dealt with over my business career.

The “Occupy Wall Street” folks want to take the wealth of the Richest 1% and redistribute it to “the people”. If that were allowed to happen I can guarantee that within 5 or 10 years the folks that had their wealth stolen from them will get it back. How will they do this? Because they have mastered intellectual, personal and financial discipline.

PORTRAIT OF A MILLIONAIRE [1]

Who is the prototypical member of the Richest 1% You may be surprises to learn what the typical American millionaire can tell you about himself?(*)

* I am a fifty-seven-year-old male, married with three children. About 70 percent of us earn 80 percent or more of our household’s income.

* About one in five of us is retired. About two-thirds of us who are working are self-employed. Interestingly, self-employed people make up less than 20 percent of the workers in America but account for two-thirds of the millionaires. Also, three out of four of us who are self-employed consider ourselves to be entrepreneurs. Most of the others are self-employed professionals, such as doctors and accountants.

* Many of the types of businesses we are in could be classified as dullnormal. We are welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and paving contractors.

* About half of our wives do not work outside the home. The number-one occupation for those wives who do work is teacher.

* Our household’s total annual realized (taxable) income is $131,000 (median, or 50th percentile), while our average income is $247,000. Note that those of us who have incomes in the $500,000 to $999,999 category (8 percent) and the $1 million or more category (5 percent) skew the average upward.

* We have an average household net worth of $3.7 million. Of course, some of our cohorts have accumulated much more. Nearly 6 percent have a net worth of over $10 million. Again, these people skew our average upward. The typical (median, or 50th percentile) millionaire household has a net worth of $1.6 million.

* On average, our total annual realized income is less than 7 percent of our wealth. In other words, we live on less than 7 percent of our wealth.

* Most of us (97 percent) are homeowners. We live in homes currently valued at an average of $320,000. About half of us have occupied the same home for more than twenty years. Thus, we have enjoyed significant increases in the value of our homes.

* Most of us have never felt at a disadvantage because we did not receive any inheritance. About 80 percent of us are first-generation affluent.

* We live well below our means. We wear inexpensive suits and drive American-made cars. Only a minority of us drive the current-model-year automobile. Only a minority ever lease our motor vehicles.

* Most of our wives are planners and meticulous budgeters. In fact, only 18 percent of us disagreed with the statement “Charity begins at home.” Most of us will tell you that our wives are a lot more conservative with money than we are.

* We have a “go-to-hell fund.” In other words, we have accumulated enough wealth to live without working for ten or more years. Thus, those of us with a net worth of $1.6 million could live comfortably for more than twelve years. Actually, we could live longer than that, since we save at least 15 percent of our earned income.

* We have more than six and one-half times the level of wealth of our nonmillionaire neighbors, but, in our neighborhood, these nonmillionaires outnumber us better than three to one. Could it be that they have chosen to trade wealth for acquiring high-status material possessions?

* As a group, we are fairly well educated. Only about one in five are not college graduates. Many of us hold advanced degrees. Eighteen percent have master’s degrees, 8 percent law degrees, 6 percent medical degrees, and 6 percent Ph.D.s.

* Only 17 percent of us or our spouses ever attended a private elementary or private high school. But 55 percent of our children are currently attending or have attended private schools.

* As a group, we believe that education is extremely important for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. We spend heavily for the educations of our offspring.

* About two-thirds of us work between forty-five and fifty-five hours per week.

* We are fastidious investors. On average, we invest nearly 20 percent of our household realized income each year. Most of us invest at least 15 percent. Seventy-nine percent of us have at least one account with a brokerage company. But we make our own investment decisions.

* We hold nearly 20 percent of our household’s wealth in transaction securities such as publicly traded stocks and mutual funds. But we rarely sell our equity investments. We hold even more in our pension plans. On average, 21 percent of our household’s wealth is in our private businesses.

* As a group, we feel that our daughters are financially handicapped in comparison to our sons. Men seem to make much more money even within the same occupational categories. That is why most of us would not hesitate to share some of our wealth with our daughters. Our sons, and men in general, have the deck of economic cards stacked in their favor. They should not need subsidies from their parents.

* What would be the ideal occupations for our sons and daughters? There are about 3.5 millionaire households like ours. Our numbers are growing much faster than the general population. Our kids should consider providing affluent people with some valuable service. Overall, our most trusted financial advisors are our accountants. Our attorneys are also very important. So we recommend accounting and law to our children. Tax advisors and estate-planning experts will be in big demand over the next fifteen years.

* I am a tightwad. That’s one of the main reasons I completed a long questionnaire for a crispy $1 bill. Why else would I spend two or three hours being personally interviewed by these authors? They paid me $100, $200, or $250. Oh, they made me another offer–to donate in my name the money I earned for my interview to my favorite charity. But I told them, “I am my favorite charity.”

If you would like to know more about Millionaires and Billionaires – follow this link to reserve a complementary copy of my white paper titled “The Billionaire Mindset: Zen and the Art of Business”.

[1] Source Material for this article from The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D and William D. Danko, Ph.D

Visit this link for the complete article on wealth disparity by Dr. G. William Domhoff

 

 

 

 

MLB Playoffs: My Annual Team Payroll Analysis

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With Fall in the air and my hometown Tampa Bay Rays in the playoffs for the 3rd out of 4 years my thoughts turn to…. my 4th annual playoff payroll analysis. Maybe I have a screw loose (my wife will attest to this), but I think it is amazing to compare and contrast how well a team does on the field with how well their front office does managing the payroll and delivering RESULTS!

Full disclosure… I make a living as a “money guy” comparing and contrasting one investment vehicle with another and allocating capital accordingly. I spent my day comparing risk and reward, so my mind can’t help be fascinated by the astonishing payroll differences * in professional baseball as opposed to other team sports that have embraced a salary cap. Baseball does not have a level playing field. Large market teams like the New York Yankees use the rest of the league as their farm system. When the Yankees need a new pitcher they sign the hottest free agent in the league. Doesn’t this just seem wrong?

The best thing about the playoffs is that every year there are 2 or 3 small market teams that make it to the final dance. Like Polyester and Spandex Clad Davids they have slain the great Goliath to enter the playoffs where every team starts 0-0 and any one of 8 teams can win the World Series.

Of the 30 MLB Teams Tampa Bay Rays rank 29th in payroll… only the Kansas City Royals spend less on their players than the Rays. How about that for efficiency? Since the team was purchased by a former partner at Goldman Sachs the front office has done an incredible, virtually perfect job at getting maximum efficiency for the lowest possible payroll. To make it into the Playoffs as the Wild Card Team the Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox with an astonishing $162 million payroll. Hard work, a great farm system, exemplary scouting, team spirit & passion defeats a payroll 3.95x larger. That is a team you gotta love.

I’ll be cheering for the Rays! How about you

?

American League: New York Yankees $ 203 million Detroit Tigers $ 106 million Texas Rangers $ 92 million Tampa Bay Rays $ 41 million

National League: Philadelphia Phillies $ 173 million St. Louis Cardinals $ 105 million Milwaukee Brewers $ 85 million Arizona Diamondbacks $ 54 million

* Payroll statistics from USA Today

Have a favorite song that tells a story?

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The weekend project in my oldest daughter’s 9th grade literature class is to find 10 songs that tell a story (narrative poem)… and then summarize ’em… very cool assignment.

Have a favorite song that tells a story? Here are five of mine:

5. Roy Orbison’s cover of “The Comedians” written by Elvis Costello
4. Pearl Jam’s cover of “Last Kiss” written by Wayne Cochran, Joe Carpenter, Randall Hoyal & Bobby McGlon
3. Johnny Cash’s cover of “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” by Kris Kristofferson which also earned the Country Music Association Award for “Song of the Year” in 1970
2. Johnny Cash’s version of “A Boy Named Sue” written by Shel Silverstein (poet, cartoonist and author of children’s books)
1. Waylon Jennings 1977 song “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” written by Bobby Emmons & Chips Moman is pure outlaw country magic

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Over 10,000 people a day start turning 65 this year…

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I was talking on the phone to a friend of mine today (he is 70+ years young and still working every day as a real estate broker/investor) and was stupefied by a statistic that he shared with me: over 10,000 people a day will be turning 65 staring in 2011.

Even more staggering is the fact that this wave of humanity will be turning 65 every day for the next 20 years! There are close to 80 million Baby Boomers that will live longer, work longer and be healthier than previous generations.

What have you done to prepare your business for this wave of consumers with dramatically different needs than their parents? I took a big step twenty years ago when I moved from my hometown of Buffalo, NY to Florida. I firmly believe that the Florida sun, beaches, year-round outdoor activities, great international airports, low taxes and low cost of living will continue to pull new residents to the Sunshine State.

Read the original article in the Denver Post.

Thanksgiving Blessing

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Thanksgiving is a big deal for my family. Over the last few years my wife and I have assumed the responsibility of hosting Thanksgiving at our home rather than rotating it throughout the family. We have an open door policy and our friends and family typically bringing folks we’re never met before with the head count regularly topping 40-50+. To paraphrase Forrest Gump: “(Thanksgiving at our home) is like a box of chocolates… you never know (who) you’re going to get.” There is always way too much food with bountiful leftovers graciously shared at the end of the night. It is a wonderful time of year.

Since the feast is at my home I have the honor of bestowing the blessing. Here is my blessing from 2010…

Most of All

Thanksgiving Day gives us
a moment to pause and reflect on
the blessings in our lives
that usually go unnoticed:
healthy minds and bodies;
a home that surrounds us
with comfort and protection;
a well oiled car to get us to
school, work and soccer practice;
delicious food, for pleasure
in both eating and sharing;
clothes to snuggle up in,
books and good entertainment
to expand our minds;
and freedom to worship our God.

Most of all we are thankful
for our family and friends,
those treasured people gathered around our table today
who make our lives extra special.
On behalf of my wife and daughters we are grateful
that you joined us on Thanksgiving Day and most of all
we are grateful to have you as a
part of our lives the other 364 days of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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If you can’t, you must. If you must, you can.

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Last week I watched my wife do the hardest think she’s ever done… no, not childbirth (I was there for that, too). As the youngest of four siblings she stood in front of dozens of friends and family pouring out her heart to give her beloved father’s eulogy. It was a magnificent and uplifting moment and I have never been more proud of Tanya. She shared stories across the emotional range from humor to sadness moving all members of the audience to get to know her Daddy just a little better. What she did reminded me of the Anthony Robbins quote, “If you can’t, you must. If you must, you can.” Her father would have been proud.

My Father-in-Law was a retired Marine Officer and the family selected a full military service Atlanta-design-agency. It was a spectacular send-off attended by 10 young Marines in full dress uniform and their commanding Major. After a 21 gun salute a Marine played Taps on his bugle. It was a great moment of pride that our country pays respect to those that have served even if their service was in the 1940s to 1960s. The flag of the United States was meticulously folded 13 times and presented to my Mother-in-Law with the following statement, “On behalf of the President of the United States, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and a grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s service to Country and Corps.”

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DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL

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You’ve failed
many times,
although you may not
remember.
You fell down
the first time
you tried to walk.
You almost drowned
the first time
you tried to
swim, didn’t you?
Did you hit the
ball the first time
you swung a bat?
Heavy hitters,
the ones who hit the
most home runs,
also strike
out a lot.
R.H. Macy
failed several
times before his
store in New York
caught on.
English novelist
John Creasy got
753 rejection slips
before he published
564 books.
Babe Ruth struck out
1,330 times,
but he also hit
714 home runs.
Don’t worry about
failure.
Worry about
the chances you miss
when you don’t
even try.

– Harry J. Gray, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, United Technologies in a 1981 ad on the back page of the Wall Street Journal

[DAVE’S COMMENT: I taped this poem the the back of my bedroom door through high school. In college I retyped it and taped it to my bathroom mirror. It has inspired me time after time since I first saw it almost thirty years ago. Thanks, Harry.]