Why It’s Important to Diversify Your Investments

Now that tax season is upon us, it’s a good time to assess whether or not you are saving for retirement, and if so, are your retirement funds truly diversified? After reading this post, I hope that you will be able to answer that question.

What is diversification?

 

diversification wordle

 

Diversification is defined as investing (spreading) your money among the following types of investment classes:

  • Businesses
  • Income-Producing Real Estate
  • Paper Assets–stocks, bonds, mutual funds
  • Commodities–gold, silver, oil

 

Why Diversify?

 

According to Robert Kiyosaki, author of the best selling book,”Rich Dad’s Conspiracy of the Rich“, he suggests that most average investors invest in paper assets mainly because they are the easiest to get into (buy) and do not require a lot of management. Therefore these investors may have their money in several mutual funds and/or own several different stocks, thinking that they are diversified. The problem however is that all of these investments are all in the same investment class–paper assets. This is NOT true diversification. Since paper assets are affected by the ups and downs of the stock market, if the market goes down, the average investor will lose money in all his/her investments.  This reminds me of the old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.  The basket might break, and you’ll lose those eggs. This is an important fact to keep in mind when saving money for retirement.

True diversification, involves investing into all 4 investment classes.  If you are able to do this, you will better minimize your risk of losing money. For instance, you have paper assets that can lose money if the market goes down, but at the same time, your real estate investments can provide money (cash flow) as rent. In other words, loss in one investment class can be offset by gains in another investment class, thus minimizing risk.

 

How the rich and middle class invest their money

 

1. Businesses:  The rich may own several businesses that all produce passive income (income earned on other people’s time and effort). The poor and middle class may work several jobs that provide earned income.

2. Income earning Real Estate:  The rich may own several properties that provide income in the form of rent paid by tenants. The middle class may own homes, but it most likely will be a primary residence in which no rental income is coming in, but money is going out as mortgage payments to a bank instead.

3. Paper assets: Both the rich and middle class may own paper assets. However, I think that the middle class may have more of them because they are relatively easy to buy, doesn’t require a lot of management, and they are easy to liquefy when needed.

4. Commodities: The average investor or middle class does not know how to go about purchasing these types of assets (gold, silver, oil) much less where to purchase them. The rich or sophisticated investor however, has no such issues because of superior financial education and knowledge.

 

My Investment Diversification Plan

 

My goal this year is to have money invested in all 4 investment classes. This is what I have done so far:

1. I am currently working on establishing an online affiliate marketing business.  This business (my #1 recommendation) allows me to earn income while I learn the fundamentals. My goal is to earn enough passive income so that I can leave my 9 to 5 job. Click here for more information .

2. Although I do not have any rental properties, I am however, investing in real estate through another lesser known vehicle called a Self-Directed IRA. These types of IRA’s allow you to have more control over how you want your funds invested. My self-directed IRA provides funding as short-term loans for contractors to develop land and build housing. Monthly interest-only payments are made; the principal is paid back to me when the houses built are sold.

3. I currently have both traditional and Roth IRA’s that are made up of different mutual funds.

4.  My goal is to open a self-directed IRA that purchases precious metals such as gold and silver. I can transfer some of my funds from my real estate self-directed IRA.

 

call to action wordle

 

I urge you to speak to your financial planner or tax accountant for guidance, as I am neither. Everyone’s financial situation is different; therefore, what may work for me may not necessarily work for you.  Do your due diligence and research regarding self-directed IRA’s and purchasing commodities.

It has been said by many financial experts that people should be saving for retirement. However, a large majority of people are either not saving enough or unable to save at all due to too much debt and expenses. Make the changes in your life that you need to do in order to prepare for retirement. The most important thing is to get started today; don’t procrastinate.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this discussion, feel free to post them below. I will be happy to respond.

Best wishes,

Deidre

 

 

My Lead Company–An In-Depth Review

Name:  My Lead Company                                                                      

Website: www.myleadcompany.com

Price: Varies–depends on # of leads purchased

Owner: J.R.  Jackson, Founder/CEO

 

 

For those of you who are in the network marketing/affiliate marketing business, or even a brick and mortar business, you need leads that convert to sales in order for that business to be successful. While the jury is still out on whether or not it is better to buy targeted leads, I will assume for the purposes of this post that you are interested in buying targeted leads. The purpose of this post is to inform you about one such company that I currently use called My Lead Company.

What is My Lead Company?

 

With My Lead Company (MLC), affiliate and/or network marketers can purchase leads on a weekly basis for just about any online business. What sets MLC apart from other companies in the lead selling business is that they have a trademarked technology called LeapFrog™ which means that when you sign up and purchase a lead package every week, you will lock your position in what they call a straighline downline. This means that anyone else who joins after you(regardless if that person was directly referred by you or someone else), they will not be able to leap over your position in MLC’s straightline downline.  MLC runs their LeapFrog™ system every night at midnight pacific time, so they stress that you buy your leads at least once per week in order not to lose your position.

 

MLC’s Straightline Downline

 

 

Here are the different types of lead packages that you can purchase through My Lead Company:

 

My Lead Company’s Business Opportunity Option

If you are looking for a business opportunity to make some extra money, MLC gives you the chance to do so.  All you have to do is promote MLC through your blog, social media, email, classified ads, etc. Once someone joins through your affiliate link and purchases a lead package, you will earn a commission. Another feature that sets MLC apart from other competitors is that MLC pays commissions DAILY. In fact, they have a countdown clock telling you exactly when the next commission payout will be.

MLC_countdown_clock

Maintaining your locked in position in the straightline downline previously mentioned is important because the higher up you are on the straightline, the more money you can receive in commissions.

 

My Lead Company Benefits

1.  You can purchase as many lead packages as you want– according to your budget

2.  For each lead package purchased, you get 10% extra leads thrown in for free to compensate for those whose  contact information is either incorrect or inactive

3.  In addition to buying leads, you have the option to become an affiliate member and earn commissions from getting others to join and purchase leads

4.  Commissions are paid at midnight daily–the more you refer others who buy leads, the more you earn

5.  Leads purchased are generic; they can be used for any business

6.  Free to join; also get free replicated website to promote MLC as an option

6.  Compensation plan includes 19 different ways that income can be earned (see video below)

 Get your 100 free leads here

 

Possible Drawbacks

1.  Have to purchase leads on a weekly basis in order to receive daily commissions–can be costly for those on tight budgets

2.  Leads are generic; no guarantee that most of leads that are purchased will result in sales for your business. May have to purchase large number of leads before you start to see results

3.  Slow response time for support tickets submitted.  On two occasions, I submitted a support ticket and the response time was slow–more than 48 hrs

4.  Lead packages purchased are standing orders–they will keep sending you leads every week unless you cancel before the next order is filled.

5. No option for ordering leads intermittently; you have to order a package then cancel the order when you get the reminder email from MLC that you will be billed for the next order of leads on a certain date. This email has a link for you to cancel your order.

 

My Overall Rating for My Lead Company

      3 star rating

I gave My Lead Company a 3-star rating because I have not yet received any money from them. Don’t get me wrong, I do have some money accumulated in my eWallet, but MLC will not let you cash out until the amount is greater than $50. My main frustration with MLC is that I do not like the fact that they want you to order leads weekly. Since I am not yet making sufficient income from affiliate marketing, I cannot afford this. The reason J.R Jackson says that MLC is set up to have you order leads weekly is because past experience and research with purchasing leads weekly  has better results.  I think this is really a gimmick to get you to keep paying for leads automatically. You’d be surprised how fast a week goes by, and then Wham!–you’re billed for another order of leads (you’ll receive that courtesy email from MLC saying that your lead order has been filled). Currently, I order leads when I have the funds to do so. I do not like the process of placing an order and then having to cancel before the next 7 days have passed just so I won’t be billed for the next order. I find this very inconvenient.

Another frustration I have with MLC is that if you have not ordered any leads for a month or more, they will send you an email saying you will lose your place in the straightline downline unless you place an order for leads to secure your position. If you are not ordering leads, you will be LeapFrogged™ over by other members that have joined and ordered leads after you.  I think this is another gimmick by MLC to make you feel like you are losing something and guilty for not ordering leads.

Training and Tools                       MLC_Univ_logo

In regards to MLC promotional tools, there are text ads and banners that can be used to promote MLC.  There is also a resource library containing marketing materials that can be used for any online business. However, you must be an active (paying) member in order to have free access to these materials. For free members, the only other training tools available are archived conference calls listed under “MLC University”.  Personally, I think that the number of conference calls provided by the CEO Mr. Jackson, are few and far between. Currently there are only 6 archived conference calls, with the latest call recorded sometime in November of 2014. I think companies that really want to help its members succeed usually provide training more often and more consistently.

Conclusion

I think that purchasing leads through My Lead Company can be of some benefit for those who want to expand or grow their businesses. However, I think it will most benefit those who can afford to purchase large lead packages. In other words, if you can afford to purchase leads every week and you are getting results (converted sales) from those leads, then by all means continue to utilize the service.  If you are either just starting out or have a very limited budget (no money) to purchase leads, then a better alternative may be to generate leads from other free sources, such as through social media. To get up to date training on how to utilize social media to promote your business and how to generate leads, click here for my #1 recommendation.

It is my sincere hope that I have given you enough information to draw your own conclusion regarding purchasing leads through My Lead Company or purchasing leads in general. Please feel free to leave your comments or questions below as I would love to know your opinion.  Feel free to click here to get 100 Free leads to promote your business as a parting gift–thank you for taking the time to read my review.

To your success,

Deidre

Playing Cashflow–Lessons Learned-Game 4

Here’s the outcome of the fourth Cashflow game I played. Although I lost the game, I was able to get out of the Rat Race faster than I did in Game 3 (45 minutes in this game as opposed to 1 hour the last time).

Game Four (Using the electronic version with 2 computer opponents)

 

My Occupation: Airline Pilot

Opponents’ Professions: Teacher and Web Designer

Winner:  1st place: Web Designer

2nd place: Teacher

3rd place: Airline Pilot (me)

Lessons Learned

As I was playing this game, I made some interesting observations:

  • I felt much more comfortable using debt to acquire more assets. In fact, I had purchased 2 businesses and 4 properties before I got out of the rat race. I have never purchased this many assets before. Now I’m really beginning to understand what Robert Kiyosaki means when he says that the rich use other people’s money as leverage to buy more properties. I took out loans 3 times to make the down payment, and my monthly cashflow was enough to pay down some of the bank loans. I also sold 2 of my assets that were paying me the least amount of cashflow so that I could purchase a limited partnership and pizza business.

 

  • The ironic thing about this game was that I was leading in terms of passive income acquired for most of the game. However, I was not the first to get out of the rat race; the Teacher was first, and I was second.

 

  • The Web Designer was the last to get out of the rat race, but ended up being the winner because she landed on her dream and was able to purchase it

This just goes to show you that the outcome can be very unpredictable–the win does not always go to the person with the most money or who gets out of the rat race first. The strategy used by both of my opponents was similar–they purchased stocks and then redeemed them for cash, which was then used to buy properties. No one seemed to be fearful of spending their money. Overall, I was pleasantly challenged.

Since I had the same profession in this game as I had in Game 3, I stuck to the same strategy used in that game. Other people’s money (bank loans) was used as leverage to buy more assets. Even though I lost the game, I honed my skills in analyzing and recognizing good deals when I saw them.

If you want to know more about the Cashflow game (why Mr. Kiyosaki designed it), I highly suggest you read his best-selling book Rich Dad Poor Dad This book discusses the fundamental differences between his real father (poor dad) and his best friend’s father (rich dad) regarding money and finance.

For more information about the Cashflow game, please read my review by clicking here.

I welcome your comments or thoughts about playing this game. If you are interested in learning how to be successful in either making money online and/or owning a business, then you must increase your financial IQ and also learn the basics of running a business the right way. Click here to find out how you can learn the basics for free.

Have a great day,

Deidre

 

Buying Targeted Leads–Is It Really Necessary?

Every online business needs new customers or new leads in order to stay alive. However, the question is should leads be purchased or not? There seems to be no real consensus on this.  Some internet marketers will argue that buying targeted leads is essential in order to have a thriving business while others will argue against buying targeted leads because they rarely convert to sales. Let’s look at the chart below that points out the pros and cons of purchasing leads.

Buying Targeted Leads

 

Pros & Cons

My Experience with Buying Leads

I have bought hundreds of leads in the past 3 years, and the majority of them did not pan out, meaning that they did not open my emails regarding my network marketing opportunities. I realize that there is no “guarantee” that every lead purchased will convert to a sale. However, since I  was on a limited budget, I wanted the ratio of leads that opted in to receiving my emails to be high. For instance, out of 200 leads, I expected at least 10 of those leads to opt in. I know that the process of getting leads that convert is a numbers game (more leads=more potential conversions to sales). Due to my limited budget however, I had to look for other ways to generate leads.

Other Ways of Generating Leads

customers

For those of you who either cannot afford or choose not to buy leads, here are some alternative ways to generate leads:

1.  Use of social media–                 social media, facebook logo, twitter logo

You can either follow(or tweet) people or join FB groups who share your interests or who may be potential customers for your business.

2.  Offline advertising–Business cards, flyers, word of mouth

business cards, word of mouth

 

flyer bulletin

Even though we are in the computer age, good old fashioned ways to advertise can still work and should not be overlooked. Some examples include placing classified ads in newspapers, placing flyers or business cards on community bulletin boards in supermarkets, or simply talking to other people. You never know– a friend or family member who may not be interested may know someone else who is.

3.  Online advertising–Press releases, safelists, traffic exchanges, blogging, email marketing

4.  Creative advertising–combination of above mentioned ways

Use your brain to come up with unique (legal and ethical) ways to advertise and market your business. I have read several blog posts by highly successful network marketers regarding how they generate lots of leads that convert to sales by being creative. For instance:

  • One network marketer actually placed a few of his business cards on the gas pumps at a station while he was getting gas for his car.
  • Another network marketer placed her business cards discreetly in public places, such as bank ATM’s, public restrooms in hotels, shopping malls

Final Thoughts

Based on my research and personal experience, there is no right or wrong answer to the question of whether or not leads should be purchased. While purchased leads convert to sales for some, it may not do so for others.  It’s really like rolling the dice. My suggestion is to try both free leads and purchased leads to see what results you get. Whatever way works best for you, by all means stick to it. For those of you who are new to affiliate marketing and need help in learning how to get leads to get your business up and running, feel free to check out my #1 recommended source for in-depth training on lead generation and more.

If you have any thoughts or comments about purchasing leads or need help, please feel free to put your comments below. I’d love to hear from you.

Bonus: Click on the link below for more tips and strategies for lead generation.

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/teddywa/blog/tips-tricks-strategies-and-secrets-about-lead-generation/a_aid/c4abc8f4

This my way of saying thanks for taking the time to read this post.  Have a great day!

Deidre

 

Understanding Keyword Research Made Simple

Keyword research

Keyword research, keyword research….if you are involved with network marketing or have a website or online business, I’m sure that you’ve heard quite often that in order to get lots of traffic to your website, you have to know what keywords to use so that your posts or webpages get high ranking in Google. The higher the ranking your webpage is in Google, the more traffic will come to your webpage, and the more likely you will get sales as a result.

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is defined as a word or concept of great significance. It can also be thought of as either a word or a phrase that people put in a search engine to look for information. Keywords are basically words and phrases people use everyday. People do searches online everyday for just about anything you can imagine.

Why are keywords important?

Keywords are mainly important because:

  1. They help your webpage get high ranking in the search engines
  2. They help bring targeted traffic to your webpage, thus increasing your potential of making sales

 

What are the main problems people have with keywords?

1. Lack of understanding of how they work.   Many people have no clue on how to do keyword research, so they may write pages of good content, but the pages never get traffic because they lack the keywords that people are using in the search engines.

2. People do not know how to perform keyword research properly. This is most likely due to people perhaps not being trained on how to do the research. One of the biggest differences between successful network marketers and those who are not is that the successful marketers know to use keyword research effectively. These are the ones whose webpages are almost always ranked high–on page 1 of Google.

3.  People think that keyword research is too time-consuming.  If the assumption is that keyword research takes a long time to conduct, they will either not attempt it (and just hope that their websites will somehow get ranked in Google) or just do a haphazard search instead.

 

A Simple Approach to Beginning Keyword Research

When I first started writing posts for my blog, I had no understanding of what keywords were much less how to use them properly. However while searching for legitimate opportunities to make extra money online, I came across Wealthy Affiliate.com (my #1 recommendation) that helps people who want to make money online through blogging or through their websites. Click here to listen to a sample of one of the trainings provided by one of the site’s owners regarding using keywords.

I also would like to introduce you to a nifty little tool included in the Wealthy Affiliate site that simplifies keyword research–it’s called Jaaxy.  Jaaxy is a software that allows you to accomplish the following:

  • Niche research ( if you are unsure of what people are constantly searching for online)
  • Determine which niches are low competition vs. high competition
  • Find popular keywords that are used by people in the major search engines, such as Google and  Bing
  • Find keywords that convert to potential sales

Skeptical? Why don’t you see for yourself? You can open a free account which allows you up to 30 searches. If you find Jaaxy truly amazing, you can then upgrade to get full access for $19 per month.

If you for whatever reason do not want to open a free account at this time, I am giving you the opportunity to try out Jaaxy below:


 

In closing, I hope I have given you a clearer understanding about keywords in general as well as the importance of doing keyword research properly. Please feel free to leave your comments and/or questions and I will be happy to respond. Have a great day!

 

Deidre

 

 

The Cashflow Quadrant–An Honest Book Review

 

Have you ever wished that you can make money and achieve wealth like rich people do? If the answer is yes, then it is very important that you have a clear understanding of which quadrant you are starting from and what it takes to move into the quadrant where the rich reside.Robert T. Kiyosaki’s The Cashflow Quadrant, is the sequel to his first book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

In Rich Dad, Robert discussed the differences in philosophies between his real father and best friend’s father regarding money and finance and how they both influenced him and made him what he is today. You can read my Rich Dad book review here.

The Cashflow Quadrant, explains the 4 categories (quadrants)that people fit into based on how they earn money as well as their thoughts about finance. Robert states that it is possible to move from one quadrant to another. However in order to do so, a person must be willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes.

What are the 4 Quadrants?

 

Cashflow quad chart

 

E-employee

  • Has a job
  • Focused on job security and good benefits

S-self employed

  • Owns a job (like to”be their own boss”)
  • Value independence–don’t want or need supervision
  • Professionals–doctors, lawyers, plumbers, hair stylists

B-business owner

  • Owns a system
  • Employs others to run the system (business)

I-investor

  • Doesn’t work for money; money works for them
  • Use other people’s time (OPT) and other people’s money (OPM) to achieve wealth
  • Playground for the rich

The poor and middle class are mainly on the left side of the quadrant (E’s and S’s) while the rich are on the right side of the quadrant (B’s and I’s).

 

Which side of the quadrant is best?

 

According to Robert, it basically comes down to a choice between having job security and financial freedom. If job security is most important to you, then you’re most likely choosing to be on the left side of the quadrant–as an E or an S. If having financial freedom is most important to you however, then the right side of the quadrant– B and I is where you should be.  If you are currently unhappy being on the left side of the quadrant and wish to move over to the right side, there are some things you need to change.

 

How do you move from the left side to the right side of the quadrant?

1. Change your thinking and mindset.

  • What you say to yourself internally affects your actions and becomes your reality.

2. Try to make decisions based on logic rather than emotion.

  • For example, the making and losing of money is an emotional subject. In order to move forward towards the right side of the quadrant, Robert says that it is necessary to be emotionally neutral to winning and losing; it’s all part of the game.

3. Learn what you need to learn about money and finance and continue learning.

  • As you learn more, your financial intelligence will increase.

4. Take action on what you’ve learned. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

  • Robert says that making mistakes is oftentimes the best way of learning.
  • Take small steps when taking action. Think of the analogy “a baby must learn to crawl before he/she learns how to stand up and then walk”.

5. Believe in yourself that you can move from one quadrant to the other.

  • If you don’t believe in yourself, then why should anyone else?

 

Is reading The Cashflow Quadrant worth it?

 

I would say most definitely yes it is. If you are unhappy about where you are financially or how your life is currently going, you need to know exactly where you are and you have to decide where you want to go in the future. I think this book gives you a blueprint for

  • helping you determine where you are financially
  • identifying which paths are options for you to choose in shaping your financial future
  • identifying what things you need to change in order to make your financial future goals a reality

 

Actions I have taken since reading The Cashflow Quadrant

After having read this book, I took action and did the following:

1.       I took some real estate classes taught by Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Education series

2.      As a result of taking one of those classes, I entered into a lease option deal with a real estate entrepreneur who was into renting, rehabbing, and selling homes.  I was successful for a while, as the deal was providing me with positive cashflow every month. However, this deal fell apart later on because I made the mistake of not having the proper written contracts in place. The real estate entrepreneur suddenly without warning, closed up his company (or reorganized under another name) and just stopped paying me. At the time I did not the money to take legal action against him. This was a painful lesson in experience ( I lost money) but it was a good lesson in that I learned what not to do if the situation should arise the next time. I would not have learned this if I had not made the lease option deal in the first place.

3.     Made the conscious decision to seriously pursue affiliate marketing. I decided to do this because affiliate marketing would give me the best way to learn the ropes and make money at the same time. If you are also interested in getting involved with affiliate marketing, you can take a look at my #1 recommendation.

 

I hope I have helped you decide to read The Cashflow Quadrant. Now that the new year 2015 is approaching , this would be the perfect time to assess your life and how you want your future to unfold. Feel free to share this post with others who may be interested.

As always, if you have questions or comments I will be happy to help.

Deidre

 

Playing Cashflow–Lessons Learned–Game 3

Here’s the outcome of the third Cashflow game I played.  It took me an hour to get out of the rat race, but this time, I won the game. Hooray!

Game Three (Using the electronic version with 2 computer opponents)  

     

My Occupation: Airline Pilot

Opponents’ Professions: Janitor and Firefighter

Winner:  1st place: Airline Pilot (me)

2nd place: Janitor

3rd place: Firefighter

Lessons Learned-How I Won

As I was playing this game, I made some interesting observations:

  • My profession as an airline pilot has the largest amount of expenses and debt. Nevertheless, I was able to use debt to acquire more properties and businesses that provided a lot of cashflow.

 

  • I now understand what  Robert Kiyosaki meant when he mentioned in his book  how his rich dad taught him that the way to achieve wealth is by playing Monopoly in real life. In other words, buy 4 green houses and trade them in for 1 red hotel. Instead of green houses and red hotels, I bought 3Br/2Ba houses and duplexes with small cashflow amounts and  traded them in for businesses and an apartment building that had large cashflow amounts. This allowed me to accumulate enough passive income to get out of the rat race in a relatively short amount of time.

 

  • Ironically, the janitor got out of the rat race first. However, she was unable to acquire enough businesses on the fast track because she kept losing all her cash by landing on “divorce” and “tax audit”.

 

  • The janitor’s inability to buy businesses due to lack of cash gave me the opportunity get onto the fast track and land on my dream (African Safari) and win the game.

 

  • The more I play this game, I noticed that sometimes things don’t always turn out the way you think. For example, I thought that the janitor would eventually win the game because she got out of the rat race and onto the fast track first. Who would have thought that she would run into some obstacles (through the roll of the dice) that prevented her from winning? That’s just how life is–unpredictable.

 

This is not the first time I have played Cashflow as an airline pilot. However, this is the first time I have won. I did not think it was possible prior to this game because the pilot has a lot of debt and liabilities, such as taxes, child expenses, and credit card debt. Besides, my financial IQ was not as high then as it is now. I think the best strategy of getting out of the rat race for anyone who has the airline pilot as a profession should use other people’s money (bank loans) as leverage to buy properties that provide cashflow. When the opportunity arises (using the market cards), sell the properties and use the remaining cash to pay off the bad debt and purchase more properties.

It is my hope that I have piqued your interest to perhaps play Cashflow and see for yourself what I’m talking about.  The Cashflow game is designed to teach those who play it the lessons and principles taught in the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad

I welcome your comments or thoughts about playing this game. If you are interested in learning how to be successful in either making money online and/or owning a business, then you must increase your financial IQ and also learn the basics of running a business the right way. Click here to find out how you can learn the basics for free.

Have a great day,

Deidre

Playing Cashflow–Lessons Learned–Game 2

Here’s the outcome of the second Cashflow game I played. I lost, but I learned valuable lessons that will help me as well as you get out of the rat race faster the next time.

Game Two (Using the electronic version with 2 computer opponents)            

My Occupation: Firefighter

Opponents’ Professions: Teacher and Doctor

Winner:  1st place:Doctor (she was able to meet her passive income goal)

2nd place: Firefighter (me)

3rd place: Teacher

Lessons Learned–Why I Lost

Even though I was the first to get out of the rat race (it took me only 45 minutes to do so) I ran into some setbacks that cost me.

  1. The roll of the dice made me overshoot my dream; therefore, I was unable to purchase my dream despite having more than enough money to do so. In real life, sometimes it just comes down to a matter of timing (a roll of the dice) whether or not you are presented with a great opportunity.
  2. In fact, this roll of the dice made me land on “divorce” and I lost all my cash.
  3. I could not recover in time before the doctor was able to spend $300,000 to strike it rich on the Russian Oil Deal.

    Russian Oil Deal

    Would you take a chance on this?

  4. Basically, the doctor gambled and got lucky (she rolled higher than 4 on one die) which gave her $75,000/month in passive income. That made her meet her passive income goal to win the game.
  5. In retrospect, the doctor gambled (took a chance) on an opportunity and it paid off. How many times have you “gambled” on something and it either works out or doesn’t? Either way, it’s a 50/50 chance. This is a prime example of how life in general can be.

Even though I lost this game, I am proud of the fact that I played much better this time than in Game One. I was better able to spot good deals and take advantage of them. I also lowered my expenses by paying off bad debt whenever I had the chance. This has contributed to me getting out of the rat race quickly–in  just 45 minutes. I have played games in the past where it has taken me an hour (or more) to accomplish this. I will challenge myself to see if I can get out of the rat race again in less than 45 minutes. If I can do this consistently, then I will say that my financial IQ has increased.

Until the next time,

Deidre

 

 

Lessons I Learn by Playing Cashflow

 

 

CASHFLOW 101

If you are wondering what it’s like playing Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow game, I thought I would give you a taste by describing the outcome of each game I play against computer opponents. I have to tell you that sometimes (or OK several times, lol) the computer opponents have beaten me.  It’s not something that I’m particularly proud of, but it just proves that I have to get better by increasing my financial IQ. Even Robert says that “the more you play the game, the richer you’ll become”.  If you are playing Cashflow on a regular basis, I would like you to join me in discussing the following:

  1. how you like the game
  2. how often you play
  3. what are you learning from each game played
  4. anything else about Cashflow in general

 

My goal is to learn how to get out of the rat race (and stay out of it) by increasing my financial IQ. It is my hope that people will comment and provide feedback about their experiences as well.With feedback and dialogue, we can learn from and help each other. For more info about the game Cashflow, click here

Game One (Using the electronic version with 2 computer opponents)

My Occupation: Airline Pilot

Opponents’ Profession: Janitor and Police Officer

Winner:  1st place: Police Officer (he was able to get on the fast track and purchase his dream)

2nd place: Janitor

3rd place: Airline Pilot

Lessons Learned–Why I Lost

  1. I was hesitant to take out bank loans to purchase property that I knew were good deals
  2. Instead of focusing on buying properties with positive cash flow, I focused on trying to raise money by selling the opportunity to another player via auction or fixed price. I sold 3 opportunities to the airline pilot. In hindsight, I just helped him get out of the rat race faster instead of helping myself.
  3. Fear of being downsized and not being able to pay my expenses
  4. Did not recognize a good deal when I had the opportunity to buy it. For instance, I sold the following card to the police officer:

Good Deal or Bad Deal?

I sold this deal to my opponent because even though the down payment was $0, the cashflow was -$100. At the time I thought that this was a disadvantage because the negative cashflow was taking money out of my pocket. However, my opponent thought that it was a great deal because he accepted my auction price of $800 for it. Less than 10 minutes later, he was able to sell it via a market card for $135,000. The remaining money after the mortgage was paid off enabled him to purchase a big deal and thus enter the fast track.

After the game was over, I realized that both of my opponents used the same strategy: buy property using bank loans and then trading them in when an opportunity arose in the market to sell. The entire game took 25 minutes from start to finish. My goal is to be able to get out of the rat race and get on the fast track to win the game in a short space of time.

I welcome any comments, suggestions, or questions in regards to playing the Cashflow game. Remember Robert’s quote,”The more you play this game, the richer you become”.

Wishing you success,

Deidre

 

 

Customer Service–To Automate Or Not?

 

Has the following scenario ever happened to you?
You call up a customer service number because you either have a question or a complaint. However, before you get to speak to a real live person, you have to go through a series of voice prompts BEFORE you get a real live customer service rep. Oftentimes, I’ve come across automated voice systems that seem to either “hesitate” before giving you the option to speak to a customer service rep or provide that option dead last. It’s as if they don’t want to provide that option.

Why is this so? Could be several reasons–my best guess is:
1. The company is hoping your question or complaint will be solved with automated responses.
2. the company is hoping your question or complaint will be answered in the FAQ section.
3. It is more cost effective for the company to make its customer service system more automated.

In other words, they don’t have to hire as many customer service reps to answer the phone (A computer doesn’t get sick and can work 24/7)

 

My Pet Peeves

 My Pet Peeves

One of my biggest pet peeves with automated customer service systems is that the voice prompts are too long. I often find myself forgetting which number I’m supposed to pick after listening to the entire choice of prompts. If I forget, I choose listen to the entire choice of prompts a second time for fear of choosing the wrong prompt and not being able to correct my mistake. If that happens, I have to hang up and repeat the whole process. That is soooooooo frustrating…

 

Here’s another pet peeve. When you first dial the customer service number, you may have the option of either using your voice or using the keypad on your touch-tone phone to activate the prompts. Whenever I choose to use the voice-activated prompts, the computer never understands what I say, even though I speak slowly and clearly. Therefore, I end up using my phone keypad to activate the prompts.

 

I know we now live in a world that is becoming more and more automated and computerized.  I might be “old school” but I believe that nothing beats real person to person customer service. It may be possible that the younger generation (ie. Milennials) is more comfortable with automated customer service than the older generation (ie. Baby Boomers).  Nevertheless, if a company wants to provide quality customer service, it should be provided in a way that appeals to all of its customers. Sometimes the fastest most cost-effective way to provide customer service may not be the best way.

 

To Automate or Not to Automate? That is the Question

 

To answer the question as to whether customer service should be mainly automated or live, I think companies should provide sufficient options that appeal to all customer types, such as:
1.  email
2.  instant messaging (chat box)
3.  live telephone support
Believe it or not, there are still some people in the world who hate email and avoid using a computer as much as possible. Therefore, the phone option would be most suitable for them.

 

What do people value most in regards to customer service?     

                                  

 

Customer Service clipart

  • Quick response time
  • Professionalism
  • Respect

If a company can provide what its customers value most, then that company should be commended and should also do its best to keep it going.

I would love for you to provide your comments or thoughts on this matter because I would like to know how others feel about this issue. Remember–happy customers are returning customers who may also bring referrals. Therefore, if you own a business (either online or brick and mortar), this is something that you must consider if you truly value your customers.

To your success,
Deidre

PS
If you enjoyed reading this post, feel free to read my other post regarding customer service by clicking here.

Bonus:
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