Financial Plan: The Worst Thing You Can Do
When I was a young man, I set a goal of being a millionaire by the time I was 30 years old — and I did. The problem was that I immediately lost all that money.
I had flaws in my plan, flaws that taught me some valuable lessons.
The lessons I learned from my experiences, successes, and failures allowed me to adjust my plan so that I could become financially free again by the time I was 47 years old.
The point is that I never changed my plan. I simply adjusted the strategies I used to execute it. I improved on it more and more. Sticking to my plan helped me to achieve my goals.
Often in life, when our plan doesn’t turn out, we abandon it all together. That is the wrong approach. A failed plan first requires an assessment of what went wrong.
More often than not, the plan needs some adjustments, not to be abandoned. Today, I’ll share the five steps you need to make your plan successful…
Before we get to the steps, we need to clarify what you’re trying to accomplish.
Simply stated, a goal is something you want to achieve. Maybe you want to buy one investment property within a year. Or maybe you’re determined to earn $5,000 per month in extra income within two years. Whatever your goal may be, it’s important to make sure that it’s something you plan to achieve.
Investing without goals is random investing. In other words, gambling. And gambling is for losers. That’s why if you want to be a successful real estate investor, you need a plan.
Depending upon your situation and investing goals, this can be either a huge negative or a huge positive. There is not a one-size-fits-all answer. I predict there will be even more volatility in our market in the years ahead.
But your investing strategy can use that volatility to your advantage.
Here are three common investing strategies:
- Buy low, sell high.
- Buy something for protection.
- Buy cash-flowing assets.
But before you can do any of this, you of course need to know your plan. So, how do you discover your own plan?
#1 Take your time
Good plans rarely happen overnight. To find the right plan for you, you need to think long and hard about your life, what you want from it, and where you want to go. This can take days, weeks, and sometimes months. Take the time to discover and define what is really important for you in life.
During this time, don’t talk with others until you know what you want. All too often, people either innocently or intentionally impose their ideals on others instead of respecting what others want for themselves. This is your time to define what you want for you.
#2 Find a coach
Once you know what you want in life, find a coach that you can trust. This should be someone who has successfully done what you want to achieve. Ask them to provide their qualifications and interview several people. It will be an eye-opening experience for you.
Your coach is there to guide you when you develop your plan and to ensure you stick to it. A coach isn’t there to coddle you; your coach is there to push you when you don’t want to be pushed and correct you when you need it.
#3 Set realistic goals
Lots of people abandon a plan, not because the plan is bad, but because the goals were not realistic.
Identify goals in a way that reflects what you want in life. Lots of people say, “I want to be a millionaire!” Don’t do that. That’s a cold, stale and lofty goal and one that is easily dismissed, especially when you’re having a hard time making your first $10,000.
Set goals that are real to you: “I want to have enough passive income to cover my family’s expenses so I don’t have to worry about money and I can spend all my time with my children.” That’s better! Figure out how much passive income you need to achieve it and put a plan in place.
If you make your goals more personal, you’ll have a better chance of sticking to your plan to achieve your ultimate goal.
Don’t just sit on one goal and think that’s it. Start with small, realistic goals then improve or add to those goals as your financial education and experience increase. It’s best to learn how to walk before you run a marathon.
Don’t get discouraged if you make mistakes. Having realistic goals doesn’t mean you’ll win 100% of the time. Mistakes are part of the process of learning from and achieving your goals.
#4 Get a team
Business and investing are team sports. As your plan evolves, you will need team members who can assist you in achieving your dreams. Members of your team might include a banker, accountant, lawyer, broker, bookkeeper, insurance agent, and/or a successful mentor.
Each of these team members will need to be vetted by you. Don’t just take anyone onto your team; instead, find the right player for each position.
When you have assembled your team, meet with them often. I held meetings with my team over lunch for many years. I learned a lot about business, investing, and the process of making money through these meetings.
#5 Mind your business
Whatever your plan, always remember the words of rich dad, “Regardless of whether you work for someone else or for yourself, if you want to be rich, you’ve got to mind your own business.”
Don’t be distracted by side projects. Yes, it may earn you an extra buck but it just ate up your time; time that could’ve gotten you closer to your goal. If it doesn’t move you in the right direction in relation to your plan, don’t do it.
What About Bitcoin?
My Rich Dad advisor, Andy Tanner, recently just sold his Bitcoin. You might be thinking he’s crazy or that he just doesn’t know anything about Bitcoin. Regardless of the answer, Bitcoin just wasn’t an investment he was interested in — it didn’t match his investing goals.
For me, on the other hand, I like Bitcoin, I like the technology and what it means for the future. For me, Bitcoin is like gold in the sense that it’s outside of centralized control — for now anyway.
One of the most common mistakes new investors make is that they focus on what they want to own rather than what they want to become. A person with no knowledge or understanding can own investments.
But being a proficient investor means that we have learned and practiced the ability to take the right steps to achieve specific, desirable results.
As you concentrate on growing your knowledge of investing through education, you will enjoy becoming more aware of the investing techniques people use in the stock market to achieve monthly cash flow and retire early. In time, you will not only realize that it can be done, but that you can become competent in how to invest intelligently for your own success.
Play it smart,
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily