Baseball and Financial Independence

How you borrow money will dictate your ability to retire how and when you want. Use this baseball analogy to learn the path to financial independence.

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Understanding the 3 sided balance sheet

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Are You Saving Enough?

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I’m getting a little worried, I’ll be honest.  The housing and stock markets have been on fire for many years now, and of course will need to correct eventually.  They always do.  And the best thing I’ve found to protect ourselves and our families is having money in the bank.  The more the better! 

Unfortunately, reports just came out stating that, as a country, we are saving the least amount of our income since 2005!  So how much are YOU saving consistently each month?  From my experience, the “consistently” part of that question is what throws off many answers from my own clients.   

Are you satisfied with how much you are saving?  Historically, many of us here in the U.S. have been horrible savers.  Financial experts have long told us that we should be saving 10% to 20% of our personal income to achieve our long-term financial goals.  Yet, I rarely see reports that show us as a nation saving more than 5%.  And now, we are hovering back down close to 2% – the lowest since 2005.   

Why is this?  Typically this drop in personal savings happens when we “FEEL” wealthy.  First, there’s housing.  House prices have been rising quickly and steadily for all of us homeowners since the Great Recession.  It’s easy to understand.  The past few years, I would help a client buy a $400,000 house, and a year later the market says it’s worth $440,000…and you feel like you just made an extra $40,000 that year.  So why not go buy some stuff, right?!  I get it. 

Add to housing the insane rise in the stock market!  The DOW raced 25% higher in 2017 alone.  The S&P 500 index grew 19%.  Theoretically, if I have a $100,000 invested in the S&P 500 index at the start of the year, I just “made” another $19,000!  Here’s an article on this if you want to read further:  http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/29/investing/stocks-2017-wall-street/index.html 

And there’s one more thing adding to my growing concern – the increase in personal spending looks like it’s outpacing the growth in personal incomes.  What does this mean?  More people are spending at a faster pace than they are earning!  And that’s not a sustainable formula. 

Even though much of this article sounds pessimistic, I’m naturally a very optimistic guy.  But I think we all learned a great deal from the Great Recession.  And for me, I define financial safety as having lots of money in savings.  This will get me through the tough times when they do come.   

What should you do?  Of course, save as much as you can each month.  Secondly, take advantage of our complimentary Mortgage and Money Review.  This is a simple 15-minute phone review where we look at your current mortgage, any consumer debts you haveand your savings goals.  Let’s figure out if there are some ways we can free up extra cash flow to boost your savings!  Just email my team at trevor.hammond@spmc.com with “Review Request” in the subject line.   

PS – if you want to read up more on what spurred this blog, here’s a good article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/01/26/americans-are-saving-at-the-lowest-rates-since-the-housing-bubble-thats-a-big-red-flag-for-the-economy 

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The #3 Mistake Home Buyers Make

If you missed the #1 and #2 mistake home buyers keep making, catch up here: The #1 Mistake and The #2 Mistake.

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The #2 Mistake Home Buyers Make

If you missed the #1 mistake home buyers keep making, catch up here: The #1 Mistake

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Top 10 Lessons I Learned in December 2017

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This is it!  I made it the entire year capturing the most important lessons I’ve learned each and every month and then narrowed them down to my top 10 to share with YOU!  Now the question is, will I be able to narrow down ALL of my 2017 lessons learned into my top 10 of the YEAR?  That will be tough, but I’m looking forward to reviewing all 120 lessons from 2017.

For now, here is my top 10 for December.  You’ll find a theme around goal setting and happiness, since that’s what December is typically about for me as I look ahead to the New Year.  I hope one or more these lessons can help you in some way move forward, either professionally or personally in 2018.  That’s why I share them.

  1. Pain + Reflection = Progress (Ray Dalio)
  1. Knowledge is only potential power.
  1. We tend to be the product of the thinking around us.  And far too much of this thinking is little!
  1. Once you truly believe you can do something, the “how-to-do-it” begins to materialize.  But first you must believe.  If you don’t, your mind will continue to find “reasons” to support this negative belief.
  1. Pursuing happiness actually pushes it away!  Happiness is actually the by-product of focusing and acknowledging your growth and progress.
  1. Lack of clarity leads to inaction.  Simply ask, “What’s the very next, most obvious step or action I want to take?”
  1. “The things that matter the most should never be at the mercy of things that matter the least.” (Jonathan Goethe)
  1. You can’t want something more for someone than they want for themselves.
  1. People love water; they hate waterboarding.  Meaning, don’t pile on too much too quickly.
  1. Failure:  Waiting for the difference-maker and not realizing it’s YOU!

Thank you for reading and following!  Keep learning.  Keep growing.  It is what we are designed to do as humans.  And PLEASE SHARE this with others to give value and help THEM grow.  Make 2018 amazing!

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Top 10 Lessons I Learned in November 2017

 journaling 1The year is winding down, and I continue to catch up on sharing my top lessons learned in 2017.  November kicked off with a special trip to learn from and share with my own coach, Todd Ballenger.  A number of these lessons came from our time together in Denver, as he continues to push me to my full capabilities and helps me create both a business AND life I love.   

And once again, I hope one or more of these lessons can help you in some way move forward, either professionally or personally.  That’s why I share them. 

  1. When hiring…when in doubt, don’t! 
  2. Find THE ONE thing to implement from each book I read. (Note:  I read a LOT of books, and tend to want to implement everything.  This is a tough challenge for me!) 
  3. “Pain + Reflection = Progress”.  This ties to my belief that there are only “winners” and “learners”.  Learn by reflecting. 
  4. Don’t try to stop thinking!  My mind will quiet itself when it is ready. 
  5. Building on people can be unpredictable.  Building on systems can be predictable AND scalable. 
  6. With structure and accountability…comes freedom. 
  7. Talent + Passions + Leadership = my unique difference that I must uncover. 
  8. There is no path.  The path is made by walking.  (Joseph Campbell) 
  9. An ‘event’ is just an ‘event’.  It may be something to address and solve.  But it’s not a problem until I attach a negative thought or weight to it.  (Yeah, chew on that one a bit 😉 )
  10. Behind every criticism…is a wish. 
  11. *BONUS!*  Your mind will filter events to reinforce a current belief.  Saying “I can” or “I can’t” further reinforces the belief.  (This is huge, and should be top of mind for us all on a daily basis!) 

Thank you for reading and following!  Keep learning.  Keep growing.  It is what we are designed to do as humans.  And PLEASE SHARE this with others to give value and help THEM grow. 

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Top 10 Lessons I Learned in October 2017

journaling 1

Well…it happened.  My year-long goal to hit “pause” and reflect on all that I’ve learned each month didn’t happen!  So I’m catching up now because I DID learn a ton in October.  I only failed to summarize it in a blog to share.  And I dedicate much of my learning for October to my long-time mentor, Todd Duncan.  My team and I spent a week in San Diego with Todd for his amazing annual conference and I could barely sleep thinking about all that I learned. So here we go with my Top 10 (of many more!) for October 2017.

And once again, I hope one or more these lessons can help you in some way move forward, either professionally or    personally.  That’s why I share them.

  1. The only progress you achieve is the progress you measure.
  2. Opportunity knocks at no door.  She will answer only when I knock.  I will knock often and loud! (Og Mandino)
  3. You can’t be anything you want to be…but you CAN be a lot more of who you already are. (Todd Duncan)
  4. Hard work pays.  Hard work you’re good at pays more.  Hard work you’re good at and you love…pays the most. (Todd Duncan)
  5. Always be sure to manage activities, not just results.  Results are a lagging indicator, and too late to correct.
  6. How would the person you see yourself being in the future…handle today?  (a powerful question that I continue to think often about.)
  7. The best experience anywhere is now expected everywhere! (Todd Duncan – meaning, we must all step up our game as service providers!) 
  8. Make your energy, vibe, and attitude your #1 job. (Jonathan Roche)
  9. View your LIFE and your HEALTH as GIFTS! (Jonathan Roche)
  10. How will what I’m doing help my clients SURVIVE or THRIVE?  (A filter for all of my ideas for business now going forward!)

Thank you for reading and following!  Keep learning.  Keep growing.  It is what we are designed to do as humans.  And PLEASE SHARE this with others to give value and help THEM grow.

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The #1 Mistake Home Buyers Make

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Understanding the 3 sided balance sheet

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