Top 5 Tips to Build Wealth and Success

25 07 2011

By Peter Gorenstein and Farnoosh Torabi
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Warren Buffett is worth $45 billion. That wealth isn’t only a factor of savvy investing and good business — the “Oracle of Omaha” is also known as a penny pincher. Buffett still lives in the same Omaha, Neb., home he bought in 1958 for $31,500. Follow his frugal formula, and you too may wind up with a lot more money than you ever dreamed. This week Financially Fit covers five tips to build wealth and success.

1. Live Below Your Means.
Being wealthy isn’t just a product of your salary or investment prowess; it’s learning how to save. “We can make a lot of money, you can make a little bit of money, but the second you spend all the money is when people get into trouble. Saving is the key to preserving your wealth,” says Ed Butowsky, managing partner of Chapwood Capital Investment Management, a firm that manages money for wealthy individuals. As many Americans realized during the booming real estate market, just because you think you can afford something doesn’t mean you should buy it. Keeping an eye on your bottom line will pay dividends over the long term.

2. Bounce Back From Defeat
With nearly 15 million workers unemployed right now in the U.S., it’s easy to get discouraged. Don’t! Most successful and wealthy people have overcome obstacles and failure along the way. Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple when he was 30. Today, he’s a billionaire and a legend. Plus, after getting fired, he created another billion-dollar media company, Pixar. “Bouncing back from defeat is something all great achievers have. They have this undying belief good things will happen and will continue to happen,” says Butowsky. Take Michael Jordan. “His airness” was cut from his high school basketball team. Motivated by the rejection, Jordan became a star the next season. The rest is history.

3. Self-Promote
Regardless of the profession, the rich and successful tend to have a strong sense of self-worth — key to skillfully navigating an upward career path. Mark Hurd, who was ousted as CEO of Hewlett-Packard in August, couldn’t be kept down for long. Using his business skills and connections, in September, Hurd was named president of Oracle. (Hurd and Oracle founder Larry Ellison are known to be close friends.)

4. Have Street Smarts
Bernie Madoff lived the high life for decades, scamming unsuspecting clients, with a money-making formula that proved too good to be true. Only afterward did we learn that with a little due diligence, most clients could have easily uncovered the fraud. But it’s not only the swindlers and the con men you have to watch out for. Many times, friends and family take advantage of the rich. Whether it’s a handout or an investment idea, Butowsky advises his high net worth clients that in most cases, it’s wisest to just say “no.” The best way to do that: have someone else do it for you. “You need to really set up a wall between you and your family,” he advises. “If you don’t want to give them (family or friends) money … saying no is probably a good idea.”

5. Buy Cheap
The rich can afford to splurge, but that doesn’t mean they do. John Paulson, a billionaire hedge fund manager, bought his Hamptons “dream house at a bargain basement price,” according to Greg Zuckerman, author of the Paulson-based book, “The Greatest Trade Ever.” The story has it that Paulson eyed the home while it was in foreclosure. Finally, on a rain-soaked day, he purchased the home on the Southampton town hall steps. He was the only bidder. On New York City’s Upper East Side, Michael’s— The Consignment Shop for Women— has been a bargain-hunting destination for more than 60 years. “We have a good percentage of women who can afford to shop on Madison Avenue but really like the idea of saving that money,” says proprietor Tammy Gates. From Chanel to Gucci and Louis Vuitton, the store specializes in high-end designer merchandise for a reasonable price. Speaking of her clientele, Gates says, “they’re wealthy for a reason. They recognize that bargains keep people wealthy. Paying top dollar when you don’t have to doesn’t make sense.”

This article is part of a series related to being Financially Fit


“Today I start the Change I Want to See”

24 07 2011

“Today I start the Change I Want to See”

Lord, let me be the change I want to see

To do with strength and wisdom

All that needs to be done

And become the hope that I can be.

Set me free from my fears and hesitations.

Grant me courage and humility.

Fill me with spirit to face the challenge

And start the change I want to see.

Today, I start the change I want to see.

Even if I’m not the light, I can be the spark.

In faith, service and communion

Let us start the change we want to see,

The change that begins in me.”


… “Change” is the only thing that is permanent in this world. …and so be it. God’s Will’ be Done !!

We may have the power to control changes in our own self,
but that may not reflect on the entirety of the world that is
clamoring for a change.
if we start reflecting on our deeds, we may find that there are indeed
something that needs changing, as the saying goes
you can always see a speck of dust in somebody elses face but
the whole lot of mud that covers your body may seem to be invisible to you,

for who are we to argue with god’s plans?…if it is God’s Will for change to take effect, so be it! Let it be done
…time can only tell

…makes me wonder again, did we all learn from our past?

…if not, we still have plenty of time to straighten up and correct
whatever needs correcting.
…like in my stock picking, plenty of rules i had violated before and
the outcome of my performance tells all.
to all of us and to whole Filipino nation as well, let’s all start the change today and see what we want to be done!

…i think that most of us are so much dwelling on the current situation,
we might have been missing on something that maybe dawning right
on the horizon,
…the present is were we live now, but the future is where we are all going to be, the past is were we must analyze and learn…which most of us tends to forget…when i say a white paper having a dark spot, or maybe the paper had been all soiled up, it had become a distasteful waste and of no use.…we keep on barking at these “pest’s” in the oposition and administration,
but have we checked ourselves on the mirror? Isn’t it already a culture of the entire filipino to be corrupt, not just the official… who in the first place put them there?
…and going back to soiled paper, all is not lost. try dipping it in water and it will crumble into bits… now do the the recycling and you may be able to make a clean piece of paper out of that soiled one.…maybe you were right?

armageddon maybe the only solution!!

that is, dip the entire populace into water and recycle back…
a “culture cleansing” if i may say

“Good and Evil”
“Black and White”
“Night and Day”
“Sunrise and Sunset”
“Sun and Moon”
“Awakening and Sleeping”
“Peace and War”
“Health and Sickness”
“Rich and Poor”
“Bullish and Bearish”
etc. etc. etc.
All Contrasting… Right?? These are all part of the ingredients of the world we live, isn’t it?
Whatever we say or do, those are facts and it will never change…
They will be here to stay for these are all the essence of a balancing
of what we call life.
…at the end of the day… life must go on, come what may

“Today I start the Change I Want to See”

Filipinos now PHIL’s Top Investors…

22 07 2011

The government expects to have an easier time attracting foreign investors now that Filipino businessmen are openly displaying confidence in their own country by funneling more funds to the economy.

According to Efren Leano, executive director of the Board of Investments (BOI), latest figures show that local businessmen account for 70 percent of the country’s total fresh capital infusions.

Foreigners, he said, used to have a larger share in the new investments.

“Before, we were having a hard time enticing foreign businessmen because they know that even the Filipinos are not interested in investing here. But now, with the locals accounting for 70 percent of the new investments, this is a good indication that even the Filipinos now believe [in their country],” Leano said on Thursday.

In 2010 the BOI approved P304 billion worth of new projects. In the first half of the year, new investment registrations already reached P250 billion.

Leano said the investments of Filipinos are a natural attraction for the foreigners to invest here, too. “We, in promotions, see this as a good promotional factor. We can say that ‘yes, you can come in because our countrymen now also believe because they are investing.’ Before, they didn’t believe us because even the Filipinos themselves didn’t believe,” he said.

Trade Undersecretary Cristino L. Panlilio, who is also and BOI managing head, said they are now working on at least five new measures aimed at making the country more friendly to foreign direct investments, although he has yet to disclose these.

“We are still working on the research and paperworks,” he said.

The new Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) details the listing of activities that will qualify for a host of incentives, such as income-tax holidays and duty-free importation of capital equipment for 2011 and 2012. It has already been approved by President Aquino.

Panlilio said the IPP for 2011 and 2012 listed as priority sectors agriculture and fishery, creative industries, shipbuilding, mass housing, energy, infrastructure including the public-private partnership projects, research and development, green projects, motor-vehicle, tourism, strategic projects, and disaster-prevention and mitigation projects.

“The Philippines is growing fast, and if you decide to keep your state of inertia because you listen to naysayers, you’ll be left behind. If you look at the Philippines after this present administration is over and you did not invest and you have not positioned in business, you will regret,” Panlilio said.

Turning Weaknesses Into Strengths

21 07 2011
Steven Place has this excellent article today  entitled “You’re Poor and Impatient, and that’s OK“.  

He points out something I think most of us here can relate to. One, we’re all most probably trading accounts under 30MM and we don’t really give a damn about what economic policies China, the US and all the European leaders have to discuss during G-20s and all other meetings.  Essentially, we aren’t whales.

We have 2 things that many whales can’t have: liquidity and a shorter timeframe.

Unlike most fund managers, we actually don’t need to think much about the fundamentals of the company we’re trading in, because the lack of liquidity isn’t something that will be overly expensive for us.  Equally important, we are able to get away with just trading stocks due primarily through the price action because the short term time frame will never be correlated with the long term potential of the company.  That is where we, traders, live and thrive for the game.  Hedge fund managers’ accumulation and distribution is something we can coat tail, or follow, or front run both on entrance and exit because we have little pockets.

This reinforces what Charles Kirk teaches too.  He reminds us ”how unimportant our opinions are.  Opinions are disregarded while opportunities are exploited.  When one is confused with the other, frustration will ensue.”  “Also, if your goal is to make money in the markets, stop trying to make yourself look smart, and turn off and turn out the noise.” 

Read more of his wisdom here as he talks about how much he enjoys trading and mentoring other traders.

James de Porre also known as “Rev Shark” used to talk about the same things in his book” Shark Investing.”  You can listen to his audio books. Check his site

I’d just like to write one of the things he used to say below:

Shark Investors are Aggressive – This doesn’t mean you act rashly.  What this means, is that you move fast, opportunistically and big.  Don’t squander the opportunity by not seizing or capitalizing those opportunities.  Aggressiveness is not merely in the buy side.  When the market turns bad, you’re aggressive about selling too.  You don’t hope and pray that things will turn.  You take defensive action and find safety.

You’ve got power, and you merely need to know you have it to control it.

You’re a shark, I am too :D

– The Faceless Trader


It’s interesting to know that Rev Shark is actually deaf in real life, so you may think your deafness is a disability, but that is one strength in the markets :D

The Chinese Dog vs. the Filipino Dog

21 07 2011

The Chinese and Filipinos realized that, if they continued squabbling over the Spratlys, they would someday end up having military combat. So, they decided to settle their dispute with an ancient practice: A duel of two, like David and Goliath. This duel would be a dog fight.

The negotiators agreed each side would take 5 years to develop the best fighting dog they could. The dog that won the fight would earn its people the right to rule the disputed areas. The losing side would have to renounce its claim for good.

The Chinese found the biggest, meanest Dobermans and Rottweilers in the world. They bred them together and then crossed their offspring with the meanest Mongolian wolves.

They selected only the biggest, strongest puppy of each litter, fed it the best food and killed all the other puppies. They used steroids and trainers in their quest for the perfect killing machine.

And after the 5 years were up, they had a dog that needed steel prison bars on its cage. Only expert trainers could handle this incredibly nasty and ferocious beast.

When the day of the big dog-fight finally arrived, the Filipinos showed up with a very strange-

looking animal, a Dachshund that was 10 feet long!

Everyone at the dogfight arena felt sorry for the Filipinos. No one there seriously thought this weird, odd-looking animal stood any chance against the growling beast over in the Chinese camp. All the bookies took a look and predicted that the Chinese dog would win in less than a minute.

As the cages were opened, the Dachshund very slowly waddled towards the center of the ring.

The Chinese dog leaped from its cage and charged the giant ”wiener-dog”. As he got to within an inch of the Filipinos dog, the Dachshund opened its jaws and swallowed the Chinese beast whole in one bite. There was nothing left but a small puff of fur from the Chinese killer dog’s tail floating to the ground.

The stunned crowd of international observers, bookies and media personnel let out a collective
gasp of disbelief and surprise.

The Chinese left in disappointment and disgust.

An American dog expert approached the Filipinos, shaking his head in disbelief. “I do not understand,” he said, “Chinese top scientists and breeders worked for 5 long years with the meanest, biggest Dobermans, Rottweilers and Mongolian wolves, and they developed an incredible killing machine of a dog!”

The Filipinos replied. “Well, for 5 years, we have had a team of Filipino plastic surgeons from Vicky Bello working to make an alligator look like a Dachshund.”


12 07 2011

They call us gamblers… they say we depend on luck,

They claim that no one can beat the market… and we’re just wasting our time,

This isn’t a real job, we should give up our hobby… they say,

But if they only knew… that we are the masters of risk,

The essence of entreprenurial spirit… the liquidity of economy,

We live by our wits, eating what we hunt… adapting to the ever changing jungle-scape,

That is the market.

We trade the currency you circulate when you… shop,

We trade the company you work for… each day,

We trade the gold on the watch… on your wrist,

While you wilt at the sight of failure and loss… we relish adversity,

We are not afraid to take losses… to talk about our losses,

To rebound from our losses… those are our defining moments,

Discipline and self awareness… are our companions,

We are what you always wish… you could be,

And we’re coming out of the shadows,

We… are traders.