What’s Your Most Powerful Money-Making Asset?

What’s Your Most Powerful Money-Making Asset?

What is your most effective money-making asset? The answer is – your inner potential. If you work hard and maximize your abilities, you, and by extension your wealth, have amazing growth potential. When you play chess, there are many different pieces and techniques to choose from. But YOU are the only one who can actually move the pieces around the board. Even if you play an automated chess game, it’s ultimately your decisions that help you win. Without you and the choices you make, there’s no game. Even the queen, arguably the most effective and versatile chess piece, can’t move by herself. You have the power Similarly, the surest way to build your wealth is to maximize your potential. How do you do that? Education Knowledge is power. Even if you were not raised with good financial habits, you can always learn. There is a wealth of online information about the basics of personal finance – such as stocks and bonds, how to budget, and investing techniques such as asset allocation, and much more. Arm yourself with knowledge, and you will have a greater potential to make sound financial choices.  Get good advice Don’t make financial decisions alone. Find an objective, qualified financial advisor to give you clear advice and teach you. Although you ultimately make the choices it’s always good to have help in the form of a qualified professional. Make the most out of yourself More than any other wealth-building tool, your own earning capacity and self-discipline can determine whether you will succeed in becoming as “rich as a king.” In order to maximize your career opportunities,... Click for more
Use a Monte Carlo Simulation to Improve Your Portfolio – and the Way You Play Chess

Use a Monte Carlo Simulation to Improve Your Portfolio – and the Way You Play Chess

One great tool for assessing the probability of risk and future success is the Monte Carlo simulation. This is true in both chess and personal finance. What is a Monte Carlo simulation, and how can it help you plan ahead? No one knows the future A Monte Carlo simulation is a computerized mathematical algorithm that builds models of possible outcomes and probabilities that may occur. It was first invented during World War II by scientists working on the atom bomb and was named after Monte Carlo, the capital of Monaco, which is famous for its casinos. Monte Carlo simulation featured in high level chess programs (like this popular chess software) assesses the risks and probabilities of using various openings and moves. While you can’t predict the future, using the Monte Carlo simulation to play out each possible move in thousands of different iterations can give you an idea of which path has the greatest odds of success. Use Monte Carlo simulations to assess your asset allocation Monte Carlo simulation is also applied to financial planning. While past performance is not a guarantee of future returns, Monte Carlo simulations can determine – based on a very large number of tests – the probability of achieving certain outcomes using real past historical data. With a database of historical asset returns, Monte Carlo simulation programs can look at specific asset allocations (i.e., 30% U.S. stocks, 25% foreign stocks, 40% corporate bonds, 5% cash) and simulate how that asset allocation would perform over a randomized assortment of market conditions. Plug your actual allocation into the system, or test any model you want, and... Click for more
How to Avoid This Surprise Chess Tactic, Which Could Mess up Your Finances

How to Avoid This Surprise Chess Tactic, Which Could Mess up Your Finances

One of the most deadly surprise chess tactics to watch out for in a game is the skewer. (Click here to watch a short video about the tactic.) A skewer targets two of your opponent’s pieces that are lined up. Usually, the more valuable of the two pieces flees, allowing the capture of the other one. Very often, this takes place in the form of a surprise attack. If you are extremely vigilant, however, you may be able to prevent this from happening. The same kind of surprise tactic can derail your finances, throwing them into disarray. Stop and think As an investor, you lack the same vantage point that allows chess players to observe every piece on the board. However, in many situations, if you just stop, think, and assess all the possibilities, you may be able to prevent yourself from falling victim to a surprise attack. Here’s an example: What would happen if you didn’t have an emergency fund? You have some savings, but they are in long-term investments that you can’t access in a hurry. One day, unexpectedly, your car breaks down and needs a very expensive repair. What do you do? Without an emergency fund, this huge expense is hard for you to bear. You can’t take the money out of your long-term savings as you need it as soon as possible, and you don’t have enough cash in your current account to cover it either. If you had built an emergency fund gradually, putting a little money aside over the preceding few months and years, you would have been able to cover this repair... Click for more
Want a Castle? Capture it on the Chessboard or Buy a REIT

Want a Castle? Capture it on the Chessboard or Buy a REIT

Some people think that if they invest in property, they can boost their cash flow income easily, with little work involved. However, buying properties and renting them out is not as simple as it seems. Playing chess is also not as easy as it looks. You need to know how each piece moves and consider each move you make very carefully. In the same way, before purchasing a property for investment purposes, make sure you are familiar with the various risks and challenges that landlords experience. Then, decide if you still want to go ahead with the purchase, or if you prefer to look for alternative options to buying real estate without becoming a landlord. Learn the business of property management Before renting out a property, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the responsibilities you have towards your property and your tenants: Make sure you understand all the tax implications of owning a second property. Anticipate technical repairs to the apartment. You may need to learn how to do them yourself, or be ready to call a handyman whenever the need arises. It is your responsibility to make sure the property has proper building codes and answers all safety requirements. If someone is harmed on your property as a result of negligence, such as in a fire caused by faulty electric wiring, as landlord this may be your responsibility. What are the risks involved in renting out real estate? Going into debt – Relying on monthly rental income to cover your debt expenses is risky because there may be times when you can’t find anyone to rent your property.... Click for more
Why Following Market Trends Can Make You Lose Money

Why Following Market Trends Can Make You Lose Money

Some people treat market trends like any other kind of fashion. Just as many people dress in a certain style because it’s popular, some investors choose a particular type of investment or react in a particular way to the markets because “everybody’s doing it.” But is that wise? Don’t follow the crowd Imagine taking this approach when playing a game of chess. Instead of thinking whether your strategy is of any real benefit to your particular situation and if it’s actually helping you win, you blindly follow a specific approach simply because you read about it on a couple of chess blogs. Without questioning it, how do you know if it’s a good strategy for you? In fact, when Susan Polgar and I wrote Rich As A King, she said a common problem she sees with amateur players is that they often memorize openings of world champions, but then get stuck because they don’t really know what to do once the board develops into the mid-game. While a particular strategy may be popular because it really is effective, that doesn’t automatically mean that it’s right for you every time. You need to look at what’s happening on the chessboard, what your opponent is doing, and then determine which strategy can help you win in your specific situation. Blindly following a strategy just because it sometimes works or because it worked for someone else, without stopping to think about its actual effectiveness in your particular situation, can be a huge mistake. As Ralph Charell wrote, “Avoid the crowd. Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess... Click for more