(Originally published on August 3, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)
By Mark So
Don’t think for one second that because the world is in financial crisis, there is no money going around. The truth is far from it. The fact is that the world is literally overflowing with money. It may not seem like this applies today, but always remember this: money is never destroyed—only transferred.
Wealth, on a daily basis, is constantly transferred from those who do not know how to manage money to those who do. Even, and most especially, during a financial crisis, this holds true.
Let me take the recent financial crisis, break it down for you, and explain how wealth was transferred. I’ll show you the steps to begin the process of “wealth flow.”
This article will be the first of a series, with each article ending with an activity or task. If you seriously want money to run after you, I strongly recommend that you follow the assignments for every article and give me feedback along the way.
In the recentU.S.financial crisis that started June of 2007 and reached its peak in October of 2008, theU.S.stock market (and consequently the Philippine stock market) lost more than 50 percent of its value. Most people panicked and took out their money, or whatever that was left of it, for fear of losing even more. When they did that, they lost half of their wealth—which took a lifetime to build—in a span of days. As of
September 29, 2008, approximately $1.2 trillion was wiped out in theU.S.alone.
Let me repeat: The money was not lost. It was merely transferred.
During the same crisis, there were a few brave souls who bought those stocks at extremely low prices. They held on to it, and became a whole lot richer overnight. Warning: Do not be overwhelmed by what I am going to share next. Even if my examples are in billions of U.S. dollars, the principles I want you to pick up will and can be applied to your situation. More importantly, do not put in everything you have in any investment vehicle because of this. This is not the point of my example.
In theU.S.the most notable figure to do this was Warren Buffet, who bought a significant chunk of shares at Goldman Sachs in September 2008.
Despite the odds and the panic, Buffet bought the shares at basement bargain prices. He invested $5 billion, held on to it during the worst of the crisis (which was October 2008), and turned it into $8.7 billion very recently. Another similar story–although he did not buy stocks but rather bet against them (a.k.a. short trading)—is John Paulson of Paulson and Co., who made a killing by betting against the U.S. subprime mortgage market. He made $4 billion after the worst of the crisis was over. Although Buffet and Paulson were the few covered by the media, there were more who made killings, as well, but the public just didn’t know about it.
Now you might be thinking that those guys are professional investors—how can you ever come close to doing that yourself? Well, first let me explain that this is just one of many examples of “wealth flow transference.” You don’t have to be in stocks or investments to apply what I will be teaching you in the next few articles. For those of you who know me and have been following my column, you know that I will teach you how to do it in a very practical and “anybody-can-do-it” approach, so read on.
While I am not saying that you cannot be a billionaire, I will leave that option wide open for anybody willing to try; but before we think about billions, or even millions, let’s first come back to earth and start with the basics.
How and where do I Begin?
I’m designing this and the succeeding articles as thoroughly as possible so that you will not only understand it, but also experience it by applying it to your life, article by article. Of course you may opt to go faster and I will inform you how to do that in the very near future.
In the meantime, this should be your first “realization” for this particular article: Running after money if you do not know how to manage it will result in you forever chasing after it. Get your house in order first, build a strong foundation for money management, and you will see that the money will start running towards you—and staying with you.
Now to learn and apply this lesson, here is your first assignment:
1. Go to my blog http://www.markso.wordpress.com and subscribe to it.
2. Search for, read and comment on the following articles in the blog’s search box:
a. “The Most Important Advice About Money I can Ever Give You”
b. “Money Management Simplified parts 1 to 3”
Good luck—until the next article!
Mark So is a businessman, investor and educator. He is the chairman and CEO of BusinessmakerAcademy—a business, finance and corporate training center. He is the founder and Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Asia, a trading club of Forex Traders across Asia. He is also the founder and chief trainer of the Philippine Franchise Institute, which specializes in training and growing existing Franchise businesses. A sought after speaker for business and investing, you may e-mail your comments and questions to email@example.com or call the office at (2) 687-4445/3416/4645 for a schedule of his seminars.
(All rights reserved. Copyright Manila Bulletin. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.)
(Originally published on Sunday, July 11, 2010)
By MARK SO
My wife and I used to live in a condo unit when we were newly married. At first, the condo was pretty spacious and needed some furniture so we got a little bit of this, and a little bit of that; then gifts would come from friends and family on special occasions; and over time, the stuff we had piled up. I remember feeling claustrophobic at one time; I literally couldn’t breathe anymore, and no matter how many times we would donate or purge items, we felt that the condo was magically getting smaller and smaller.
Now this is not because we keep buying stuff; we actually live (then and now) a very simple life. We do not buy anything we do not need and we donate and ‘purge’ regularly; the fact is everyone will eventually have more stuff over time. This is what I call “the power of accumulation” and what I wanted to share with you today is how I use this power in businesses, and how you, too, can build something small first, then slowly, over time, accumulate not just “stuff” but also wealth.
Before I start, I’m sure you are thinking right now: “I can’t start a business yet; I don’t know anything about businesses.” So I want to let you know one powerful truth:
Everyone starts at ZERO.
Every successful business owner starts by not knowing much about business. Sure, some of them might have studied starting a business, whether in college, grad school, books, and even through seminars. And I wholeheartedly believe in education, but let me tell you another powerful truth:
Experience is the best teacher of all.
Let me explain further. If I were to tell a 5-year-old child to stay away from the stove because s/he might get burned, then show the child pictures of what a burn looks like and tell him/her that it is very, very painful—then the child has been educated on how not to get burned right?
Now, the child will listen to you…for a while, that is. But when you are not looking and the stove is on, chances are, the child will still go near the stove and accidentally burn his/her hand anyway—because the child needs to satisfy his/her curiosity as to what the word “burn” means, and understand what you meant about how painful it can really be. Now, the moment s/he gets hurt and realizes that s/he never wants to get burned again, s/he has gained experience.
Likewise, the best way to learn about business is to experience doing business and find out first hand what it is like to go through the pains and gains of being in business.
So are you ready to gain experience and accumulate businesses? All right then, here’s the simple formula/plan that you must start doing now to start accumulating wealth through businesses:
S+R+A = Power of Accumulation
S = “Start small”
There are many ways to start a business, but my method is the one that you can do right now. First off, know that no one can ever be sure if a business will succeed or not. So, common sense will dictate that you start small. If you have a small business already, good! If you don’t, then start one now by starting a sideline or ‘racket’. If you need some suggestions for creating a business without adding any costs, go to my blog at www.markso.wordpress.com and search this phrase: “Money Management Simplified Part 3.” In that article are two incredibly simple ways to start a small sideline business with zero costs. I would also suggest that you read the whole series (parts 1 to 3) to learn how to manage your money for businesses.
As my readers already know, when I start businesses, I start them with zero costs: to me that is the ultimate way of starting small.
R = “Remain Small”
When I start a small business, and it becomes a success, I do not hire a lot of people; I keep it small and manageable. But I do something special inside the business to make it even more profitable. I call it multiple Streaming. It’s a technique that I teach in my 7-point formula seminar. What multiple streaming does is that it takes an ordinary sideline or ‘racket’ and it doubles the income streams of that business every year.
Now, if I increase my income stream per business and keep my staff small and manageable, the business becomes a lot more profitable even without becoming too big.
Why do I like keeping my businesses small? Well, lots of reasons but the most important reason is that small businesses can move a lot faster than bigger businesses and the relationship between the customers, the staff, and me are more direct and personal, no red tape.
A = “Accumulate”
Now, once my small business’ income stream stabilizes, I do it all over again with the same process, I start another small business, then I ‘multiple stream’ it until it is profitable, then add another when ready. I simply keep adding small, profitable businesses over time and these accumulate into true wealth. Imagine money coming in from multiple sources—when you wake up, when you are asleep, when you are eating, when you are on vacation. It’s an incredible feeling, I assure you.
The Power of Accumulation
So going back to the introduction of this column, when my wife and I started out in a small condominium, we learned that you will always accumulate more “stuff” no matter what. So I learned to apply this incredible power into businesses and instead of the awful feeling of claustrophobia, I achieve something else—freedom from financial worries. So now, you too can accumulate more wealth by just following the simple plan that I outlined for you, and of course gaining as much experience in the process. All the best! Good luck and God bless!
About the Author: Mark So is a fervent businessman, forex trader, marketer, sales consultant, and educator. He is the chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy—a business, finance, and corporate training center. He is also the Chief Forex Trainer of Forex Club Manila. Mr. So is slated to conduct his “7 Point Formula Seminar” this July 31, 2010. If you are interested in attending this seminar, email Mark directly at marksoATzerocapitalclub.com (replace the AT with @). To read more of Mark’s interesting and life-enriching articles, you can go to his blog at http://www.markso.wordpress.com.
(All rights reserved. Copyright Manila Bulletin and Mark So. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.)