9 Lessons I Will Teach My Kids to Become a Millionaire (like their dad)

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Every good parent wants the best for their kids. I’m certainly no exception.

I have three boys. Between them running around and playing with each other, I try to teach them some lessons. Why? Because I want to ensure I give my kids every chance possible at following in my footsteps to become millionaires.

I’m not one of those parents who will demand that their children attend an Ivy League college or start a business because I think it’s the best thing for them to do.

Instead, I’m going to try and model some best practices and habits that will hopefully influence them to strive for success in every area of their lives.

teach your kids to be millionaires

And when they get knocked down, I’ll teach them to get back up.

If you have children, I’m sure you can identify with these reasonable ideals.
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The 7 Rules on How to Become (and stay) a Successful Financial Advisor

Curious on the tools I use to run (and grow) my financial planning practice? You can get free access to the free report here.

How do you define success?

Success can come from many aspects: life, career, family.

Often I get asked how I became a financial advisor and what has led to my success.

When someone views me as successful, I’m always flattered.  While I do consider myself successful, I’m also very humble.

By industry standards, I’m just a pea.

I’m not a rainmaker, not a million dollar producer, not one of Forbes Top 100 financial advisors.

I don’t have hundreds of millions under management.

successful financial advisor

Most big time producers would probably chuckle if they knew the size of my book of clients.

So why do others and myself consider me to be successful?   Because I love what I do (and it shows) and get paid very well to help people each and every day.

Being a financial advisor is not easy.  That’s something  I really didn’t know when I got started in the business because my naivety and inexperience– but quickly found out.

How hard is it to get started?

When I began my career with A.G. Edwards & Sons in 2002, I was in a training class of around 55 people.  My class ranged from 23 year-olds, like myself, starting their careers to 50+ year-olds attempting a third career.  After completing training and being “in production” (better know as licensed to sell) for a year, our class of 55 had been slashed to less than half.

At my five year anniversary mark, there were only 5 of us left.

If you’re a numbers geek and you use my class as an example of your odds of surviving, then you have a 91% chance that you are going to fail if you decide to become a financial advisor.

How do you like your odds?
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6 Qualities of the Ultimate Financial Battle Buddy

When I first arrived at basic training I was assigned a battle buddy. Every soldier was.

A “battle buddy” was an individual that we had to know everything about. We had to know where they came from, where they were born, if they had any siblings, what their favorite food was, how they lost their virginity, and if they liked tacos with or without onions.

They expected that we know all this and we would constantly be quizzed by the drill sergeant insuring that we took the time to get to know our battle buddy.

The battle buddy was also responsible for making sure that we were in formation on time, we were wearing the right uniforms, that our canteens were filled, that our bunks were made to the drill sergeant’s satisfaction, and that our boots were shined. If either one of us didn’t meet any of these standards then we were both punished.

It was brutal.

The significance of having a battle buddy was important, though. If you should actually be sent into battle you would want to make sure you could depend and count on that soldier to be there for you. You should be able to count on them when you when you need them and know that they will always have your back no matter what.

financial battle buddy

In relationship to your financial life it’s important to have a similar type battle buddy, especially if you are trying to get out of a low spot like getting out of debt. It’s difficult to get out of debt especially without having some sort of battle buddy that leads you through the trenches.

The total opposite of a battle buddy is what we call a “blue falcon” (also called a “buddy fudger”). Blue falcons are those who only cares about themselves and would often get the platoon in trouble. Think of the movie Full Metal Jacket. Private Pyle is the epitome of a blue falcon. We had a few of those in basic training and I had to complete many pushups because of them.

It’s important to make sure that your battle buddy is a true battle buddy and not a blue falcon who will encourage you to spend your retirement away on things you don’t need.
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20 Financial Rules for Your 20s

In my early 20s, I made a ton of financial mistakes.

From maxing out credit cards, taking unnecessary student loans, to delaying my savings, I got off to a rocky start.

I sometimes wonder how I even have anything to my name.

Now into my 30’s, what I wouldn’t give to go back to my 20 year-old self and try to talk to sense into him.

But since I know myself rather well, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have listened.  Ha!

financial rules for 20 year olds

You don’t have to get off to a rocky start, though.

These 20 rules for finances in your 20s should help you get things in order before you head into your 30s:
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Radius Bank’s New Hybrid Checking Account Offers Nice Perks

Do you find yourself transferring money back and forth between your low-interest brick-and-mortar checking account and your high-interest online savings account? It’s understandable. After all, who doesn’t want to earn the most on their money and still have access to all that online checking accounts have to offer?

But here’s the thing: transferring money is a pain. I much rather be spending time with family than worrying about my account balances or the interest I’m earning. I’m sure you’re in the same boat.

Radius Hybrid checking

What if you didn’t have to transfer money and could still get an awesome interest rate? It’s now a reality folks, and it’s called Radius Hybrid – a new all-in-one checking account from Radius Bank.

Let’s take a closer look.
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21 Warning Signs You’re Financially Unstable

When a distant relative called me for some help with his 401k I was happy to oblige.

Anytime I can help someone save for their financial future I get excited.

Unfortunately, after several minutes the excitement wore off.

The relative had just started his new job and hadn’t even put a single penny into the 401k yet.  He was reading about the benefits his 401k offered and the one that caught his attention was the borrowing provision.

He asked me, “How do I go about borrowing from the 401k?”

Say what? 

Ummm….the last time I checked you can’t borrow from a 401k that doesn’t have anything in it!

What I eventually learned was that relative had money struggles I wasn’t aware of.

It’s likely most people who are in financial trouble are aware of it, and usually long before landing in bankruptcy court or losing their home in foreclosure.

After all, a personal financial crash is almost always preceded by a long period of financial instability.

What are the warning signs you’re financially unstable?

financially unstable

Here are 21. If you’re affected by more than one or two of them, it’s time to step back, reassess your circumstances, and take action to reverse the trend and become financially stable.
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GF¢ 054: Don’t Fall Victim to Financial Complacency

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“Whatever you do, don’t become complacent to your surroundings.”

That was a warning that we all received prior to being deployed to Iraq in 2005.

We heard it from our pre-deployment trainers. We heard it from our higher ranking officers. We even heard it from our family.

Don’t become complacent to your surroundings.

The second part of that warning that often went unspoken – but was clearly understood – was “because if you do, that’s when the enemy will get you.”

Becoming complacent is sometimes too easy. You get comfortable. You get into a routine. You think that it can never happen to you.

When you reach that state, that’s when you’re the most vulnerable. I’ve been a financial planner for over 10 years and I see this in people’s financial lives.

They become completely financially complacent jeopardizing any hope of having financial stability and achieving success.

financial complacency

The good news is that often times there are little things that can be done to get them fixed.

Here are the five most common financially complacent things I see people do and how to fix them.
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15 Ways to Invest Small Amounts of Money (and turn it into a large amount of money)

In 16 Ways to Invest $100 I gave suggestions on how to invest when you have just a few dollars.

In this article I want to take it up a notch, which is to say how can you invest when you have more than a few dollars, but not the thousands that traditional investment vehicles usually require?

Before I started investing, I was under the same misunderstanding that you had to have thousands of dollars to get started.

I was surprised, shocked really, that I could start investing in the stock market via mutual funds with only $50 per month.

And that’s exactly what I did.  Even though I later found out that the mutual funds were okay at best, the fact that I started investing in myself was huge for me.

And for many, it’s that first step that prevents them from amassing wealth later on.

For our purposes here we are going to define small amounts of money as something more than $100, but not more than $1,000. Based on that parameter, here are 15 ways to invest small amounts of money.

how to invest small amounts of money
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My Biggest Business Challenge and How I Overcame It

I’d like to share my biggest business challenge inspired by the Office Depot Business Solutions Center as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #GearLove.

If you were to poll business owners and ask them what their biggest business challenge was or is, I bet many of them would point to starting their business as the winner.

That’s certainly true in my case.

Entrepreneurial types like myself want to get things done as quickly as possible but at the same time want to focus their efforts on the quality of their service.

Back in the days when I was a Series 7 Registered Representative, I fell under the full regulation of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

That might sound all fine and dandy, but let me tell you, it’s like getting out the duct tape and putting it over your mouth when you have something important to say – not fun!

my biggest business challenge

For example, instead of being able to tell folks that the Roth IRA is amazing and rocks, I’d have to say something bland like: “Consider the Roth IRA as one option among many for your investments.” Uh, no thank you.

So, I dropped my Series 7 license. I want to be able to talk when I want to talk – and I want to say things the way I want to say them!
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GF¢ 053: 6 Safe Places to Invest Your Money in Retirement

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“If I was your mom, how would you invest my money?”

A lady who I had previously helped with her aunt’s investments for years now came to me regarding up her upcoming retirement.

She was already working with a “broker” as she called him but didn’t feel 100% secure about her investments.

The 2008 financial crisis rocked her and she was seeking something much safer for retirement.

As we discussed her various options and I asked open-ended question after another she finally asked me that question above:

If I was your mom, how would you invest my money?

How’s that for an icebreaker question!

Once you arrive at retirement you no longer have time to wait out a major decline in the stock market.

Capital preservation and providing yourself with a regular income will suddenly be at least as important as growth.

safe investments for retirement planning

For that reason, you’ll need to begin shifting your investment portfolio from equities to fixed income assets.

Here are six safe places to invest your money in retirement that will provide capital preservation and at least some income.
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GF¢ 052: How to Avoid Getting Burned by Devastating Financial Malpractice

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Several years ago, I used to play in a flag football league.

After catching a pass, I hit the open field and between me and the end zone was one lone defender.

As I glided across the field I knew exactly what I was going to do next: I was going to bust out one of my vicious Barry Sanders-like spin moves.

There was only one slight problem: I don’t possess any Barry Sanders-like skills.

Oh, yes, I’m decently athletic. But busting out such a move in the open field was not in my forte.

As I went to make the move, my cleats caught awkwardly on the ground and I ended up falling and landing directly on my hip. The field that we were playing on had several bare, hard spots and that’s where I landed. It hurt.

I knew that I’d hurt myself, but there was no way I wasn’t going to finish the game. The next day, the pain was so bad I could barely walk, so I decided to go to the emergency room. After getting an x-ray, it turns out I only had a very deep bone bruise. I was prescribed some pain medication and sent on my way.

Financial Malpractice

Now, imagine if it was the same scenario, but before I even got x-rays, the doctor recommended that they amputate my leg. While I might not know much, I’m pretty certain that would be considered medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice happens a lot in the U.S. and we’ve all heard our horror stories – but what about financial malpractice? How often do we hear those stories? On a blog post I previously shared I revealed there are certain financial advisors I would like to punch in the face.
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10 Awful 401(k) No-No’s You Should Avoid

Me: “Who helped you select the funds in your 401(k)?

Client: “Ummm…..I just picked a few options really quick.

Me:  “How much time did you spend researching what you picked?

Client:  “I didn’t.”

Me:  <sigh>

This sort of exchange happens more often than it should.  What most investors don’t realize is that at some point, your 401(k) will most likely be the largest income producing asset you own.  Sure your home could be worth more, but; the last time I checked your home doesn’t send you a monthly check when you retire.

There are several reasons why 401(k)s make sense for so many people. But the primary reason you should take advantage of your 401(k) is because once it’s set up there’s nothing much left to do (except the occasional review as I’ll discuss).

Your 401(k) can be automatically funded using your earnings at your job – you won’t have to remember to make contributions.

401k mistakes

However, there are some 401(k) no-no’s I think you should avoid. And the sad part is that many people make these mistakes . . . don’t become one of them.
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Latest posts

9 Lessons I Will Teach My Kids to Become a Millionaire (like their dad)

Every good parent wants the best for their kids. I'm certainly no exception. I have three boys. Between them running around and playing with each other, I try to teach…

Read More
The 7 Rules on How to Become (and stay) a Successful Financial Advisor

Curious on the tools I use to run (and grow) my financial planning practice? You can get free access to the free report here. How do you define success? Success…

Read More
6 Qualities of the Ultimate Financial Battle Buddy

When I first arrived at basic training I was assigned a battle buddy. Every soldier was. A "battle buddy" was an individual that we had to know everything about. We had to know…

Read More
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GF¢ 054: Don’t Fall Victim to Financial Complacency

“Whatever you do, don’t become complacent to your surroundings.” That was a warning that we all received prior to being deployed to Iraq in 2005. We heard it from our pre-deployment trainers. We heard it from our higher ranking officers.…

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