Achieving Healthy Smile From Cosmetic Dentistry

smileYour smile is one of the first physical attributes people notice about you; shouldn’t you make it stand out? Cosmetic dentistry can help you achieve that healthy, beautiful smile that will turn heads!

To obtain a beautiful smile and maintain your excellent oral health care, it is imperative that you find a dental professional you trust. Ask for recommendations from friends and family, and do some research on the doctor. Check the dentist’s accreditations and affiliations, as well as his or her expertise. Visit the dentist’s website and if you are looking for a cosmetic dentist, view the gallery of patients before and after their procedures to see samples of the doctor’s work, and schedule a free consultation, if available. Make sure to ask questions to ascertain whether or not this dentist is the one you want to work with. Once you have settled on your dental professional, the next task is determining the cosmetic procedures necessary to achieve your desired result.

Need a little confidence boost? Teeth whitening is an easy, relatively inexpensive way to change the look of your smile. Have stains from coffee, red wine, smoking or tea? Simple bleaching or whitening can have a dramatic effect on the aesthetic appeal of your smile. These products contain some type of peroxide and the amount varies from product to product. In-office professional teeth whitening such as ZOOM! BriteSmile, and Rembrandt use a whitening gel and ultraviolet light to take your teeth to a lighter shade and to remove stains. KOR deep bleaching is a product that is more expensive than the others but can lighten your smile by 16 shades! Also, the results with KOR are permanent while other whitening options require continued maintenance. Want to try whitening your teeth at home? Dentist near Edmond can give you recommendations for the best at home whitening including gels, toothpaste and whitening strips. Used correctly and consistently, whitening offers a stunning, white smile to you give you the added self-confidence to show off that smile! It’s an uncomplicated, economical way to transform your smile from dull to dazzling!

If your teeth are chipped or your smile could use a little help to be extraordinary, dental bonding is also an inexpensive option to discuss with your dentist. Bonding is just what it sounds like—tooth colored resin is bonded to the tooth and hardened with a high intensity curing light. It can be used to fix chips or cracks, close gaps between teeth, replace silver fillings or even change the entire shape of the tooth. In addition to being one of the most economical cosmetic dental procedures, it is also one of the fastest: each tooth can be bonded in just 30 to 60 minutes in office. The two drawbacks to bonding is that the bonding material can chip so it is best to avoid chewing on ice or hard foods; and bonding material only lasts between three and ten years, depending upon your oral health care. However, bonding can be an excellent way to make your teeth more attractive, even temporarily.

Looking for a more permanent fix to your less-than-perfect smile? Porcelain or resin veneers are thin, custom made covers that are applied to the front of your teeth and then bonded. If your teeth appear too thin, with gaps or chips, veneers can rectify your problem. Veneers can be used to change the color, shape, size or length, dramatically changing your smile! Your dentist will place temporary veneers on your teeth while the permanent veneers are constructed in a dental lab. Once the veneers are bonded to your teeth, they are permanent, making them an excellent choice to achieve the smile you have always wanted!

A simple way to even out your smile is enamel shaping or contouring. If your teeth have an uneven edge or are slightly overcrowded, your dentist can correct those small imperfections by gently reshaping the tooth or teeth in question. If your teeth look fine, but your gums take away from your perfect smile, gum reshaping might be an alternative to consider. If you have a “gummy” smile, one that makes your teeth appear smaller, the gum line can be changed to one or several teeth to expose more of the enamel, which “lengthens” the teeth and improves the overall smile. A discussion with your dentist will determine whether these procedures are right for you.

Considering replacing a silver filling with a tooth colored crown, but don’t want to invest a lot of time? Ask about CEREC one day crowns and see if you might be a candidate for this advancement in cosmetic dentistry. The first step is having the dentist examine the tooth and prepare the tooth for restoration. Your tooth will then be coated with a safe, tasteless powder and then photographed with a special digital 3D camera to create an optical impression. If you always hated the goopy impressions involved with crowns, this new technology makes that a thing of the past. The tooth is then designed on Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, down to the very last detail. This ensures the snug fit of the crown once it is placed. When the rending is complete, it is sent to an onsite milling machine and it makes the restoration within minutes. The new crown is fitted, then polished and bonded into place. No need to wait for a new restoration; a new one can be ready in less than an hour!

Dental implants are a procedure that is changing peoples’ lives. Whether you have lost a tooth or teeth to dental decay or an accident, a brand new tooth can be put in its place, reserving the integrity of your smile. It’s like growing new teeth! A titanium screw is attached to the bone of the missing tooth and a fabricated tooth is attached to an abutment, securing the crown to the implant. If well cared for, implants can last a lifetime! They also look, feel and function just like natural teeth. If you are missing one or more teeth, discuss dental implants with your dentist to see if you are a candidate for this revolutionary procedure.

An investment in your smile can last a lifetime, so having a smile makeover to put your best mouth forward might be worth the time and money involved. Discuss with your dentist your aesthetic goals, budget, and options to determine the cosmetic services to best reach your desired results. A combination of efforts can take an unflattering smile and turn it into your best feature.

Does Cosmetic Surgery Make You Beautiful?

Now it’s out in the open and a decade ago plastic surgery was quite hush, hush and many people are talking about it. It was previously just for the wealthy and famous and now it is for who can manage it and needs to enhance their look. Its all about altering that part of the body which you do not enjoy whether it be belly, your nose, breasts, chin, the sky is the limit these days. With progress and new techniques in surgical instruments the variety of cosmetic operations is growing annually.

Although, most individuals who receive or need cosmetic surgery have a certain aim to reshape, remove or correct imperfect regions of the body, plastic surgery additionally engulfs added kinds of operation including hand operation and reconstructive, microsurgery, burn treatments. In these kinds of operations restoring or correcting function and form into a particular part of the body is not unnecessary.

In the current society the goal would be to appear, behave and feel lovely and youthful. It’s said that cosmetic surgery has grown by 50 percent since the start of the century. This can be a great increase that shows the reality that folks are obsessed with beauty. With cosmetic surgery of looking youthful and beautiful the dream could be a reality. Select an area to improve and a Oklahoma City plastic surgeon can alter your look for your liking. This occurrence just isn’t restricted to race or sex. Men and girls are getting cosmetic surgery in addition to African American, Hispanic and Caucasian.

Typically the most popular aesthetic operations include abdominoplasty, liposuction, nasal surgery, eyelid surgery and breast augmentation. Without needing to eat healthy or exercise with a great number of operations to select from a man could become an ideal specimen.

Nevertheless, having cosmetic or plastic surgery when you get right down to it isn’t all fun and games. Lots of individuals who have plastic surgery need added operations and become hooked. Having a lot of operations can be harmful to to your own body but also to not only your pocket book. Every time open you run the risk of disease and organ failure.

Make a listing of questions to your surgeon when you’ve got your consultation to reply. Ask your surgeon the benefits and drawbacks of your operation. If you comprehend the dangers involved in advance it’s simpler to make a suitable choice. Have your physician summarize all the steps to your own process and after what you should anticipate and so you realize not only what will be going on during the operation but how long it takes to recuperate. Testimonials with graphics are an excellent means to get a sense of what you should expect after surgery. Request your physician if he’s any from previous customers.

Sadly plastic surgery is getting a quick fix for those who are not happy with themselves. It’s these individuals who desire to always have operation after operation and are never pleased. After you’ve had plastic surgery taking yourself can be comparatively simple or hard. Remember that you’re still that same individual even if you’ve had important changes. Operation does not alter the interior we should not rely on a scalpel to make us beautiful and it just alters the outside.

Acupuncture and FAQ’s

Acupuncture is an early Healing Artwork which arrives from Japan, China and other Asian nations. Acupuncture operates nicely with other types of medicine. Acupuncture balances a man’s life energy, or Qi (pronounces “Chee”). Treatment is according to the assumption that a free flow of Qi maintains well-being. Disorder may be caused by a block in this flow like heart problems may be caused by a blocked coronary artery. Softly touching the Qi energy is like releasing congested regions, enabling the Qi to yet again circulate thus restoring well-being or opening a gate.

Acupuncture can work for a variety of states, including but not restricted to:

  • Respiratory
  • Circulatory and Digestive states
  • Menopausal and Reproductive issues, menstrual
  • Dependence
  • Stress
  • Injury
  • Depression and other emotional issues
  • Sleeplessness

The Immune System additionally reinforces, provides relief from long-term illnesses, and encourages general well being, personal growth and interior core strength. An assortment of individuals of ages have located Acupuncture to be successful where other types of treatment have not been successful. Individuals frequently report an overall improvement of well-being as well as progress in the state they initially sought treatment for, because Acupuncture treats the entire individual.

It’s possible for you to expect to have a thorough history taken during your first treatment, and a thorough check in during subsequent sessions. The acupuncturist will keep a secret graph by which your progress is tracked by her. You may ask any questions you enjoy the acupuncturist herself or about the treatment. Before the real treatment, the professional will feel your beats in establishing the best course of treatment to help her. She’ll also feel your heartbeats after adding needles and by the end of the treatment.

Acupuncture OKC expert will add several really fine, clean, disposable, stainless steel needles into distinct point in your body – . A few of these needles will stay in place for a period, others will be removed promptly, dependent on your beats and your symptom. Maybe you are requested to rest with needles set up for 10-15 minutes. Some of US will feel improvement within their state promptly, for others – either way is not paranormal and cannot be called in advance of treatment.

Acupuncture is practiced by An Accredited Acupuncturist who generally has a master’s level training. The exact same medical boards that control MDs regulate the profession. This is determined by your reasons. If you’d just like to experience relaxation, a decline in pressure-induced symptoms such an overactive mind, stressing, muscle tension, troubled slumber etc – you are extremely likely to see improvement in these symptoms from only one session. This can be particularly helpful in the beginning of your holiday as it allows you take complete benefit of your time off and to leave behind your routine life for the time being. If, on the other hand, you happen to be experiencing illnesses that were more serious, more intensive and/or more routine treatments are called for.

Any kind of painful musculo-skeletal condition responds to 2-4 treatments, scheduled together, say every other day or daily. More long-term conditions respond to 2-3 sessions scheduled together, followed by treatments that are standard, say every 2-6 weeks, according to the state.

I recommend that you just do the following:

  • Participate in some type of routine exercise.
  • Be certain you acquire some sort of quiet time every day – it can be short.

There are hardly any side effects to Acupuncture, particularly in comparison to things like operation or drugs. It’s also crucial that you notice which you may experience what’s termed a Healing Crisis – there may be an initial, quite short lived aggravation of your symptoms, continuing up to several hours, followed by noticeable improvement. Healing Disasters are a comparatively common, but usually not a cause for worry.

Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture is another system of acupuncture. Some acupuncturists practice just this kind of acupuncture. Auricular Acupuncture Allergies, and is effective for states like Stress, Depression, Insomnia, Dependence. At Cabot Shores, it’s integrated into an individual Acupuncture session. Auricular Acupuncture is generally supplied in an organization setting, and for habits and mental states it can be more powerful this way. Supplied in an organization setting, it’s exceptionally cost effective along with community-building. Groups like Community Mental Health Centers, Detox Facilities, Chiropractors, Veterans Groups frequently use this type of acupuncture.

The Best Way To Spend Less When You Move

You can find many measures to planning and executing an effective move. Each measure is a vital part of the large image. It will help you save cash and keeps you. Each measure is not irrelevant to any kind of moving service you’re contemplating for the move. Setting thought into your move ahead, studying the procedure that is transferring and preparation each step manner in advance will make an effective relocation moves. You need to prevent any expenses that are additional. The matter that is significant is that several measures are easy and can be done way.

The initial step to saving money when you go, it to write down everything! Keep a laptop and a little pad with you where everything is listed by you. Use a laptop that is sectioned like we’d have used in school. Write everything in pencil rather than in pen. By doing this you keep your moving notebook and always have the option to make changes or corrections arranged. Use colored pencils that are different and create a color code on your own. It’s going to help you.

Begin to list every one of the things you happen to be intending to go. Leave several pages. This way you won’t forget anything, although you always have the option to make changes or delete things on! One piece of advice about carton counts or cartons is that most folks under estimate the amount of cartons we’ll have. Be not conservative relating to this. As you going day gets close changes can be made. Yet this will allow you to to see the bigger picture about how big your move.

You’ll have created a working inventory on your move after you have created a listing of every one of your stuff. The packing material that is most significant will be cardboard boxes. You do not need to go out and purchase unique cartons unless you possess specific things that need handling and unique cartons. Make sure that the cartons are clean and powerful. It’s very important to be sure that every one of the boxes are stack-able, although you want cartons which can be different sizes for different needs. This help you when you must unpack at your place and will save space in your current place. It will likewise help load and unload your stuff in the truck that is moving! One important guideline to remember, although easy is the more heavy the carton, the more difficult it’ll be to proceed. For heavy things including publications, use cartons that are smaller. This is why you’ll want cartons of different sizes.

By gathering cartons that are used, you are going to save numerous dollars. Another excellent way to spare cash on packing materials would be to conserve old papers! This really is a superb packing material. It can be used by you for many of the things you will end up packaging into the cartons. Keep in mind that paper has ink on it , nor use paper for packaging anything which will be sensitive to it (including clothes, since it might create spots which is difficult to remove.) It’s possible for you to use paper for wrap and also shred it positive and if needed it as stuffing within the cartons.

Remember that you’ve got other stuff in you as you are able to use. Some models that are great are all your towels and linens. These may be used to wrap going such as lamps you will be packaging. Even though going is an excellent opportunity to do away with tons of stuff which you may not desire or desire, those old drapes which you might despise might only be convenient so do not throw them out fast when you’re packaging. Save them if you’re able to use them and throw them out.

The following step if you are going in saving money, is contemplating the various kinds of moving services which are accessible for you. You’ve got several choices. Each has its benefits and drawbacks and you’ll need to research them to make an educated choice. If you understand people who have moved over the last number of years you may want to talk about it together and their encounter with the moving service they select. Although moving just isn’t about your property, but can also be a life altering encounter, you may need to consider your personal physical and psychological demands and to what extent you will end up able to participate in the move.

Now it’ll be important that you begin getting free moving quotes to your move! The web also can enable you to study the services that are moving in addition to get free moving estimates. Allow the movers! You are going to want thing list or your inventory helpful when you’re discussing to moving services and moving companies OKC. This can be how they’re going to have the ability to give a free moving estimate to you! Don’t forget to discuss any for going, packaging or possibly storage. It’s crucial that you remember a quote is an approximation and never a a cost that is guaranteed. A “Binding Approximation” for example is only going to be binding if there will be no additional work or materials desired on your moving day and if your stock is right.

Each moving or mover service will have the capacity to e-mail you a free moving estimate for the move! It’s important to prepare yourself about the language of proceeding, so that the moving quotations can be correctly deciphered by you. One crucial move to make when you read a quote that is moving, will be to make sure exactly what you discussed with the company that is moving is written down. Anything not written and assured down will not be binding! Ensure there’s no obscure language on the quotation. Obscure language will mean that someone is attempting to conceal something and that will not function as sort of folks you need to conduct business with! It will likewise mean that day on moving, you are going to have tons of unpleasant surprises which will set you back considerably more income. No one loves that!

Once you’ve made your selection, make sure you be in experience of your moving company or service that is moving. You may need to upgrade your inventory when you’ve got changes to make removing or adding items. The important thing is, to save cash going, plan and you should think ahead of time. You should prepare yourself about the moving services accessible to you personally and the moving business. You must know of going the language. You must be clever and think about where it is possible to save and make use of easily accessible stuff, not spending money on high-priced stuff which you don’t desire or desire. You have to be clever if you are talking with moving services and moving companies. Remember whether it seems too good to be true, it likely is, be bright!

Oklahoma Aviation Careers For Oklahoma Aviation Degree Holders

Oklahoma Aviation is profession that is quite fascinating. It’s significant impact on economic condition of world. Oklahoma Aviation sector not only contain aviator/flyers just, all others are belong to Oklahoma Aviation. It includes private jet charter, airport management, space exploration, human factors, jet mechanics, airplane design, electrical engineering, computer systems, and customer service. Oklahoma Aviation professionals works in distinct sections of Oklahoma Aviation sector. Considerable chances will be explored by you in Oklahoma Aviation sector. Aerospace business or Oklahoma Aviation can generally broken up into:

Flight operations that are-

  • Navigation services and Air traffic
  • Oklahoma Aviation repair and care
  • Passenger and cargo services
  • emergency services and Earth treatment
  • Weather services
  • Design and building
  • Communication
  • Laws
  • Oklahoma Air Travel management

Ancillary services

  • Airline Professions- Airlines are considered as among the biggest company in sector that was economical. Individuals may believe airline professions are limited pilots and flight attendants. The scenario is completely distinct amounts of professions can be found in airline. Distinct professions can be joined by high school pupils to faculty degree holders with specialized learning Oklahoma Aviation in airline. Following are some professions in airline.Fixed-base Operator Supervisor
  • Handler
  • Representative
  • Security Representative
  • Supervisor
  • Inspector
  • Booking Sales Attendant
  • Employees
  • Machinist

Engineering Professions: Engineers play several functions in plane production. Pupils with special specialized training and college degrees can join engineering professions in Oklahoma Aviation. Following are some engineering professions in Oklahoma Aviation.

Aviator Professions: Many alternatives will also be accessible for aviators besides airlines. Second class medical certification, commercial pilot certification and specialized training are required to join Oklahoma Aviation as aviator. Airline Transport Standing and first class medical certifications can also be prerequisite to join Oklahoma Aviation as aviator for some pilot professions. Aviator professions that are distinct are offered in Oklahoma Aviation contain following-

  • Astronaut
  • Military Aviator
  • Coverage Aviator
  • Aviator

Plane Production & Care- Plane making firms assemble broad assortment of plane for example Airbus and Boeing, Pilatus, Cessna and Eclipse. These plane making firms offer many professions in care and plane making in Oklahoma Aviation sector. Working as professional in plane care & making you’ll be designing planes of tomorrow -engine private plane to plane that is enormous. Tech and exceptionally skilled engineers are permitted join this profession. While assemblers, automobile mechanics and tech have to have high school diploma school degree holders can act as engineer. Avionics specialist can also be quite demanding profession in Oklahoma Aviation. Service plane and avionics specialist installs electronic. Following is the list of significant professions accessible production & plane care.

  • Jig & Fixture Manufacturer Tool
  • Sheet Metal Manufacture
  • Assembly Setup
  • Tech & Electric Installers
  • Quality Control Tech

Authorities Professions for Oklahoma Aviation Professional- U.S. government supplies amount of chances in Oklahoma Aviation sector. Livelihood opportunities accessible authorities for Oklahoma Aviation specialist are as follows-

  • Inspector Specialist
  • Security Engineer
  • Security Engineers
  • Aerospace Manager

Wages Info for Professions in Oklahoma Aviation- Following is the typical per year salary info for some professions in Oklahoma Aviation.

Airport Professions can earn to 91,563 from $30821
Avionic specialist can bring in $70, to from $40,000 000
Aerospace and o Engineering can bring in $200, to from $24,000 000
Aviator can bring in from $27,000 to $230

Oklahoma Aviation profession is essential part of modern society. Demand for qualified professionals is growing day by day for various professions in the area of Oklahoma Aviation. Oklahoma Aviation sector offers amount of Oklahoma Aviation livelihood chances to personals with backgrounds, abilities and different interest. It depends on private interest which profession you need to join in Oklahoma Aviation sector. To become professional in any area of Oklahoma Aviation you must get any degree in the area of Oklahoma Aviation sciences. Distinct degrees from entry level to progress degree are for sale in Oklahoma Aviation.

These degrees include bachelors in Oklahoma Aviation, associate degree in Oklahoma Aviation, and masters in Oklahoma Aviation. Any degree can be earned by you according to your own demand. If you need to enter in the area of Oklahoma Aviation and are new pupil you are able to join associates degree in Oklahoma Aviation. But you need to enhance your abilities bachelors and master degree and if you’re in middle of your profession in Oklahoma Aviation is best for you. Both of these degrees update abilities and your knowledge. It is now very simple to get these degrees. You are able to go for on-line degrees in Oklahoma Aviation should you be unable to get degree in conventional mode.

Distinct top accredited online universities and schools that are on-line offer on-line degrees in Oklahoma Aviation. Online degrees accessible the area of Oklahoma Aviation comprise On-Line Masters in Oklahoma Aviation, On-Line Bachelors in Oklahoma Aviation and Online Associates in Oklahoma Aviation.

Some Great Benefits Of Braces In Oklahoma

The healthiness of your teeth cans really enhance besides enhancing the look of your smile. In Oklahoma you can be noticeable in your head more than other things, when you take into account some great benefits of wearing braces in the city. Braces enhancement from  Orthodontist Norman OK can align the look of your teeth. But did you know that they are able to do a lot more for well being and the health of the mouth area? This short article will talk about some of the advantages of braces.

They might be made up of various materials including ceramic, steel or plastic. Although it’s more typical for their sake to be glued to your own teeth throughout your therapy some braces may also be eliminated. By putting a bit of stress on the on tooth, gradually pushing them to go into the specified posture, braces work. The time frame you will use braces is determined by the seriousness of the situation. It generally runs from a few years.

Among the very obvious advantages of wearing braces is the enhanced look of your teeth. Your teeth can be correctly aligned by braces and complete differences between them. Your assurance may increase when your teeth are right. By being assured in the look of your teeth, you can be allowed to smile more. It’s been shown the more you grin, the more happy you are feeling. It is sometimes a huge relief in order to smile confidently after years of being uncomfortable about how that they appear or attempting to conceal your teeth.

The healthiness of your teeth cans really enhance besides enhancing the look of your smile. Being unable to wash them correctly often leads to rot. It could result in gum recession and use your teeth for those who have issues with your chunk. This may result in injury to teeth that are specific where the stress is the most heavy.

It may be hard or even also debilitating to chew the food in case your teeth aren’t correctly aligned. Additionally, it may hinder your capability to make presentation sounds that are appropriate. Braces help alleviate these issues and may enhance your sting. Sky Ortho have found various advantages that go beyond simply enhancing the look of your teeth.

The Value Of A Property After Experiencing A Tragic Death


Value of property that experienced a tragic death

On one of my winter open house rounds I stumbled upon a beautifully renovated Edwardian with three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the top floor, a full bathroom on the first floor, and a bonus room on the bottom floor. It looked a lot like my rental house I sold this summer, but brand new.

At 2,500 sqft, I thought the house would list for ~$1.8M and sell for closer to $2M. But instead, it was listed for $1.49M and had been on the market for several months already. I immediately wanted to buy the place given the ~$500,000 pricing discount.

Upon further investigation, however, I learned from the new listing agent there was a terrible fire back in September 2013, hence the gut remodel. That’s fine, so long as the new construction was done up to code. But then the listing agent went on to tell me there was not one, but three deaths as the result of the fire: a 33-year old father, his one year old daughter, and her grandfather.

As a new father, my heart sank to the deepest depths of the ocean. I could not imagine losing my son so early. My only wish for the Grim Reaper is that my son outlives both his mom and I, 25 years from now. 

Buying A Property That Experienced A Tragedy

Even with a 20%+ discount to fair market value, I would never buy a home that experienced such tragedy. Call it superstition, but I would always wonder whether their ghosts would haunt us because we had taken over their home. Maybe the house is cursed and would consume all of us in the future as well with a new fire.

When the firefighters got there at 1:30am, they said all the fire alarms were blaring. I’d like to think that if I smelled fire and heard the alarms, I would have the calmness to wake up my wife, pick up my baby, and walk 20 feet out the door. Even if a fire was blocking my way, I’d walk through the flames protecting my little one knowing that short-term burns would be better than death. But such disasters often happen too quickly to react.

The only way I would ever consider buying a property with such a tragedy, even at a steep discount is if it was for a rental. In San Francisco, you have to disclose if there has been a death on the property within the past three years. The owners waited until the fourth year to list, which may or may not have been on purpose. But as a landlord, you don’t have to disclose, but you probably should just in case.

In the end, I decided even if the property was free I wouldn’t be willing to own the home. It would be like owning a dog that mauled to death three children. The constant association with such a tragedy would be too difficult to bear.

Other Types Of Deaths In A Property

Based on my research, it seems like the average discount to market for a tragic death on the property is somewhere between 15% – 25% in America. Tragic deaths include: homicide, suicide, death by fire, death by electrocution, death by falling.

For nontragic deaths, the discount is anywhere from 0% – 10%. Nontragic death is considered death by a natural cause e.g. old age, organ failure, disease.

If you are a home buyer, let me offer up a guide to how much of a discount you should argue for during negotiations if you are OK with buying a property that experienced a death. It’s always good to anchor low in the beginning and move towards the middle.

Property price discount

Now that I think of it, perhaps there’s an arbitrage opportunity for buying new construction homes in places that are extremely superstitious about home deaths or areas with a much older demographic. Surely there are plenty of people willing to pay a premium knowing they are the first and only person to create new memories in a new home.

Let’s embrace everyday as if it were our last.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Related:

The Real Estate Investing Rule To Follow: BURL

Insurance For Natural Disasters: Fires, Earthquakes, Hurricanes Oh My

Is there a certain percentage discount that would entice you to purchase a property? The house that was listed for sale in this post didn’t receive an offer at their offer due deadline. 

Note: Thanks to reader feedback, I’ve created a Financial Samurai iTunes channel for those who enjoy listening. I’m still trying to figure out how to get the channel to list all the podcasts published. In the meantime, I’ve created a Financial Samurai Podcast page that has every single podcast I’ve published, including the links to the respective posts. Feels good to highlight a problem and take action. 

The post The Value Of A Property After Experiencing A Tragic Death appeared first on Financial Samurai.

To Get Better, Be Brutally Honest With Yourself

To get better, you must be brutally honest with yourselfOne of the downsides of putting yourself out there is that you open yourself up to misinterpretation or criticism. Fear of ridicule is one of the biggest reasons why 97% of people don’t do anything to change their life. It all starts with getting bullied at school or admonished by our teachers or parents for doing something different. Is it no wonder why we all get in line once we graduate?

For some reason, I was always the kid who fought back against bullies, no matter how big or how menacing they were. I figured, even if I got pounded to a pulp, before I did, I’d be able to at least get in one blow and it’d be worth defending my honor.

Because of my defiant behavior, I went to the principal’s office plenty of times. I was suspended from school twice for fighting and my parents were none too pleased. It didn’t matter who started the fight, if you fought back, you were equally punished. I thought this was a bullshit system, which gave me my first clues into a rigged society.

Despite the discomfort of doing something new, I’ll continue to experiment in order to grow. But sometimes, I’ve got to recognize failure by being honest. Here are a couple examples. I’d love for you to share some of your examples as well. 

Honesty Is The Only Way To Get Better

1) Developing an audio version of each post. When I’m too tired to sleep, I like to work to give insomnia the middle finger. One of the ideas that popped up was to make an audio version of each post. Not only would the audio version include some ad lib to give each post more color, it was also a good opportunity to practice my oral communication skills. Further, an audio version would make FS accessible to those who enjoy listening to podcasts during their commute.

After completing three audio versions, I asked for feedback in my private newsletter whether folks found it useful or useless. To my disappointment, I only got ten responses out of 20,000+ subscribers. Nine said audio versions were useful, one said it was useless. In my mind, I was thinking I’d get at least 50 responses, just like how I did when I asked for parenting tips. But I think people were too afraid to speak the truth.

So if I’m brutally honest, what does this mean? It means: 1) nobody cares about audio versions, 2) I haven’t made a strong enough connection with my newsletter readers, 3) I haven’t added enough value to my subscribers, 4) my voice hurts people’s ears, and 5) my newsletters are too long.

It’s hard to realize the truth, but the truth is the only way I can optimize my time and improve my verbal delivery. What’s the solution? Only do audio versions if I have the energy. If I do an audio version, try to speak more clearly and introduce new stories. But also realize that since nobody cares about the audio version, I should feel free to let loose and just have fun with the delivery.

2) Making people think in different ways. I enjoy reading material that leaves me thinking about a situation long after I’m done. It’s the same thing with movies like Inception or the season finale of The Sopranos. Whatever happens next is based on your interpretation.

Despite everybody saying they want the freedom to choose, I’ve found that most people simply like to be told what to do. Due to my personal preference for deeper thinking, I’ve ended up confusing many of my readers with unclear prose.

Here’s an example of one reader’s feedback from my post, How To Stop Worrying About Your Child’s Future In A Brutally Competitive World. The entire point of my post was to help parents stop worrying about their kids not getting straight A’s, not getting into a prestigious university, and not working at a coveted job that pays well.

I find it interesting that you state as fact the equivalency of a top rated University with a top rated job. Perhaps Silicon Valley is more merit based than your previous field, but after your first 3 year gig after graduating from any school your peers rate you on merit and the sky is the limit. 

I worked with very good people who trained a couple years in a local college and really bad people with PHD from top rated schools.

I also believe it’s somewhat telling of American ignorance to make a statement like that. Sort of like why Americans can’t get universal health care in place. The powers that be are working hard influencing the population that “socialist” health care is bad. 

It’s becoming ingrained into American Life practices that prevent upward mobility of the masses. I don’t have the legacy statistics handy but many college acceptances are handed to those who have not earned them.

I mean – Didn’t George W. go to Harvard? Doesn’t that provide an interesting data point on the quality of graduates from Top Rated schools?

My opinion is that your child needs a higher education as an pass to get into the workforce. If the industry is merit based, he needs work ethic, communication skills and a bunch of other attributes that are not taught in schools for success.

It sure sounds like he agrees with me, yet he doesn’t realize it. Getting a college education today doesn’t guarantee you squat anymore, and it certainly won’t guarantee you anything 18 years from now. I even link to the post: What If You Go To Harvard And End Up A Nobody, yet the reader still thinks I only believe people who go to top rated universities get top rated jobs.

If I’m brutally honest with myself, what does this conflict mean? It means: 1) I write too much fluff, 2) confuse people, 3) don’t understand the trend of shorter attention spans, and 4) stubbornly think people like multiple layers in a post just because I do.

So what’s the solution? Write shorter, simpler posts that tell it like it is. Just like USA Today, dumb down posts to make them easier to understand. For example, instead of sharing stories explaining why so many people have miserably low 401k balances, just write something simple like, “People don’t save because life happens.” Bam! Time saved. Message conveyed. If I can’t get my point across, I’m failing.

Seek Judgement

Look, I know it’s easier to do nothing. But I challenge you to open up yourself to judgement and ridicule if you want to grow. Some people will be nicer than others when it comes time to evaluating what you’ve put out in the world. Others will project their insecurities onto you. Embrace the feedback and be brutally honest with yourself! It’s the best way to get better.

Feedback from readers has given me the green light to introduce posts that are short and simple. Being honest made me realize I’ve been spending too much time doing things that don’t matter. As someone who needs more time, these discoveries are a blessing.

Other benefits of being honest with yourself:

* You’ll stop blaming others for your problems and focus on improving yourself. As soon as you wipe away your delusion, you will become happier.

* You can scale your business faster because you’re addressing the lowest common denominator. Personal finance sites that focus on saving and frugality are often much larger than sites that focus on different ways to earn more money.

* You will get paid and promoted faster at work because you’ll more clearly recognize your blind spots. It’s hard for your colleagues and friends to be brutally honest with your deficiencies because they don’t want to hurt your feelings, get sued, or get murdered when you decide to go postal.

Related:

Dunning-Krueger And Your Delusional Self

Be Unapologetically Fierce About Pursuing Your Dreams


Readers, what are some of the ways you’re putting yourself out there? What kinds of critical feedback have you received that helped make yourself a better person? Any more feedback for me to make FS better without spending more time? Thanks!

The post To Get Better, Be Brutally Honest With Yourself appeared first on Financial Samurai.

How To Invest In Speculative Investments Like Bitcoin Without Losing Your Shirt

How to invest in speculative investments like bitcoin without losing your shirtIn late 1999 I had my Bitcoin moment. I was a 22 year old first year analyst working on the international trading floor at a major investment bank. The internet boom was peaking and I had just gotten my year end stub bonus of $20,000. Although the $20,000 magically turned into $12,000 after paying New York City taxes, for the first time in my life I no longer felt poor.

I took $3,000 of my bonus proceeds and invested in a company called Vertical Computer Systems Inc (VCSY). I didn’t know much about it. All I remember was that it was a China internet play with a telephone dial pad as its home page. I was on the Emerging Markets team and spent all my time looking at Asian and Eastern European plays. Surely, VCSY was going to be the next Yahoo!

In a couple weeks, VCSY went from around $3 to $6, did an inexplicable 20-for-1 stock split and then went up to around $9. In other words, within six months it went from $3 to $180 pre-split and I had 1,000 shares.

The stock’s 6,000% move was ridiculous as everybody I knew on the Street started piling into the name. I eventually got out of the stock at around $156 a share, netting a cool $153,000.

Realizing VCSY was 95% luck and 5% being in the right place at the right time, I sat on the cash for a couple years, watching the NASDAQ implode before finally getting the guts to use all my after-tax proceeds to buy a $580,000 condo in San Francisco with a $464,000 mortgage in 2003.

In retrospect, I should have kept hunting for new VCSY’s every year. However, while my wealth continued to grow, I was too afraid to lose even small amounts of money. The dotcom crash had scarred my investing psyche because I personally knew many people who lost both their jobs and their paper fortunes. The subsequent housing bubble crash was even more devastating because so many more people were affected.

If only there was a system I could follow that would give me the confidence to consistently swing for the fences without losing my shirt.

Investing In Speculative Investments Without Losing Everything

We know we can get rich by gaining Maximum Exposure to risk assets in a bull market. We also know we can get rich by building a business where we own all the equity. The downside with leveraging up to buy property and stocks or forsaking a steady paycheck to start a company is the potential to lose A LOT of money and time.

What if there was a way to strike it rich without taking any risk? I never really thought about this possibility until a reader brought it up. Previously, I’ve always just allocated between 5% – 10% of my investable assets and swung for the fences.

Here’s what DoneAt53 wrote to another reader who is worried about current market valuations:

Start going to cash. Find a long term CD that pays 2.5% or toss money into savings bonds. With the proceeds buy S&P500 options. With 100K, you can use the $2,500 – $4,000 interest, depending on your risk free choice to purchase Dec 2018 265 options for 1400 each. Two will cost you $2,800 and you’ll have a 53% participation ratio, buy a third for a total of $4,200 and sell 2, Dec 2018 295’s for $200 credit each. You’ll have a 78% participation ratio up to 295 (11%) and 26% participation ratio above that and it will cost $3800 of your interest.

If the market tanks, you lost the interest on your money and very little of if any of the principle. If Mr. Market keeps going up, you get a nice percentage of the gain designed at your comfort level with (almost) none of the risk.

Understanding the options jargon is less important than understanding this concept:

With your risk-free investment income, invest in the most speculative investments that have the potential to give you the highest returns. Even if you lose your entire investment, you will never go to the poor house because you will never lose principal.

Examples Of Speculative Investments

* DoneAt53 discusses buying out-of-the-money options that provide higher returns on a specific stock or index versus buying the actual stock or index. The downside is that if your options expire out of the money, they are worthless.

* Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are the hottest speculative investments at the moment and finally attracting mainstream capital. Bitcoin could easily collapse by 80% next week, but it could also continue to go up multiple times because of a surge in liquidity and world-wide adoption. You can by your slice of Bitcoin on an exchange like Coinbase.com.

Bitcoin versus other asset classes performance

* Internet and tech stocks in emerging markets. Buying the Googles, Facebooks, Ubers, Apples, of XYZ emerging markets is a straightforward investment thesis. Buying the next “Yahoo of China” was my investment thesis in 1999 when I bought VCSY. I continued this thought process in 2013 when I wrote, Should I Buy Chinese Stocks? Sina, Baidu, and RenRen have all done really well since.

* Angel investing where you provide seed stage capital is another way to earn massive returns. The problem with angel investing is that companies often have a minimum of $25,000 – $100,000. That’s unaffordable for most people, especially if you need to make $25,000- $100,000 in risk-free income. I’m no longer angel investing partly because of bad experiences. But if the minimums come down, I might do so again.

* The crappiest small cap IPO that has gotten bludgeoned since going public for whatever reason. One example is Blue Apron that IPOed at $10 and fell all the way down to $2.97/share. I decided to pick $10,400 worth up at $3.15 a share. They found a new CEO, lowered guidance, and fired a bunch of people since. The bar is low now and the stock shot up to $4.15 at one point. I hope they get bought out.

Blue Apron purchase price

Another example is Snapchat. It went IPO at $17, got foolishly hyped up to $27/share and then disappointed repeatedly in its quarterly results and fell to $12 a share. The problem with my SNAP purchase at $12.24 is that even at current levels, it’s still valued at $18 billion. It’s harder to move rapidly or get purchased for a large premium when the company is already huge.

Snapchat purchase

The recent crap IPO I missed was Funko (FNKO), a maker of toys. They priced the stock at $12, gapped up to $19.93 and closed that week at $7, all before reporting results. Now the stock is up 40%. You’ve really got to pay attention if you want to capture such opportunities.

* Original works of art from unknown artists who you think have the potential to go mainstream. If they don’t go mainstream, at least you can enjoy the work.

Speculative Investing Framework Example

To provide clarity, I’ve created a Speculative Investing Framework. The person below has $650,000 of low-risk capital returning $28,000 a year, or 4.3%. He proceeds to invest $28,000 in various speculative investments with a potential return of -75% to +625%.

The example has several assumptions that should be noted: 1) the low risk income is not required for survival, 2) rental income may or may not be considered low risk, 3) the time frame for the potential returns is unknown or up to the investor to decide, and 4) to deploy such a strategy, you must save aggressively and stop spending like a knucklehead, and 5) it’s up to you to figure out what else beyond CDs and muni bonds are considered low risk and invest accordingly.

Speculative Investing Framework Financial Samurai

Even if this person loses his entire $28,000 of low risk income in speculative investments, he’ll be fine. The key is to not get carried away by cutting into principal, much like a gambler does when he pulls out his wallet or goes to the ATM machine for more cash.

It’s Hard To Get Rich Quickly Investing In An Index Fund

Although earning a 16%+ return on your S&P 500 index fund in 2017 is excellent, it’s a relatively slow way to earn a fortune since the stock market averages around 8% – 9% a year long term. After all, one of my motto’s is achieving financial freedom sooner, rather than later.

If you want to get rich quicker, it’s worth carving out 5% – 10% of your investable assets and/or reinvesting your risk-free income into speculative investments that complement your plain vanilla investments each year. Just make sure your risk capital is capital you can afford to lose, because you will lose quite often. Also make sure you have a comfortable cash buffer to provide for you and your family in case Armageddon strikes again.

Because I hate losing money, I decided to invest time in my 30s building a lifestyle business. I figured worst case, I’d become a better communicator and learn something about the online publishing world. I knew I would not regret putting in an extra effort while I still had the energy.

My problem now is that at age 40 I’ve hit an inflection point where time is much more valuable than money. The desire for more time is why I’m happily farming out my capital to people who want to spend their careers looking at investments. It’s the same reason why I’m highly amenable to hiring a property manager the next time my tenants give me hell.

If you are lucky enough to strike it rich with a speculative investment, do your best to turn the funny money into a real asset that generates stable cash flow. If not, use some or all of your lucky winnings to pay for a better life.

Barring a natural disaster, the $580,000 property I bought in 2003 with my VCSY money will still be there generating $4,000+/month in rent forever. And if not, maybe I’ll make it into the Financial Samurai office or have my parents or sister live in it for free one day.

Remember: You only need to get rich once! Turn your lucky break into a gift that keeps on giving.

Related: Investment Ideas At The Top Of The Market

Readers, how much of your capital do you allocate to highly speculative investments? Do you have any big wins? If so, how did you spend or reinvest the proceeds? Note: On 9/25/2017, a condo unit next to mine with a similar layout sold for $1,360,000. 

The post How To Invest In Speculative Investments Like Bitcoin Without Losing Your Shirt appeared first on Financial Samurai.

How To Get Financial Aid Making Multiple Six Figures A Year

How to get financial aid making multiple six figures a yearDespite earning a six figure household income, many parents struggle to pay for their children’s education without going into debt. This post highlights how you can qualify for tuition assistance despite making $200,000, $300,000, $400,000, or even $500,000 a year.

I was talking to a parent of four who used to send his kids to a private grade school K-8 about the makeup of families who pay $30,000+/year in tuition per child. I cherished my time growing up in Africa and Asia up until middle school and enjoyed my experience attending a public high school in Virginia. To have my son attend a homogenous school where everybody looked the same and came from similar economic backgrounds would be a shame.

The dad mentioned the school tried to diversify its student body through financial aid. When I asked how the school determined which families got financial aid, he said something surprising.

“Households qualify for financial aid if they don’t make at least $100,000 a year per child.

In other words, if you have four children, you qualify for financial aid if you make $390,000 a year. Financial aid consists of low interest rate loans, but mostly free grant money. I thought this was a high threshold because $390,000 is right around the top 1% income level in the country.

Nobody needs to send their kids to private school given every child can go to public school for free. Further, I’m not sure if too many folks decide to have four children if they can’t afford to raise them. Sure, one or two children may be unplanned. But having four is definitely intentional.

Because the dad and mom could not afford to continue paying $120,000 a year in after-tax tuition for their kids, they moved their family to the suburbs to attend free public school. Ah hah, at least they decided to take action instead of complain why life was so hard making $500,000 a year!

Financial Aid While Making $500,000 A Year

Despite finding a solution, the dad seemed a little bitter about not being able to get financial aid for his kids because he asked me the following,

Is it better to provide financial assistance to underrepresented minorities and lower income households whose kids have a much higher probability of dropping out after several years at the school because they don’t have enough parental support? Or is it more worthwhile to help families like mine who make just over $100,000 a kid, but whose kids will likely graduate from school?

His argument was that social engineering in private school wasn’t working, just like how the lottery system for public schools in San Francisco is arbitrary and a waste of property tax dollars. In San Francisco, living in a neighborhood where you want your kids to go to school gives you no edge.

Part of every private school’s wish is for as many of its students as possible to graduate so the school can score higher marks when rated. The higher the marks, the greater the school´s demand, prestige, and tuition revenue. Further, the more successful the graduate, the higher the donation rate, which over time has grown in importance.

I still believe trying to diversify the student body to better reflect the makeup of the city is a more worthwhile goal than trying to help families who make just over $100,000 a kid, but who all look the same. Diversity is worth it because the real world is diverse. If you spend your entire life in an un-diverse bubble, you will have a tougher time getting ahead.

Before taking out the pitchforks, let’s take a look at why this $500,000/year family could no longer afford sending their four kids to private school. A recent divorce might also have something to do with it.

Budget Breakdown For A $500,000 Household

Financial Aid For $500,000 A Year Household

Based on a 36% effective tax rate, the couple needs to earn $203,125 a year just to cover the cost of private school tuition for four kids. What I haven’t included are the additional givings every family is pressured to offer each year.

Although a $1,700,000 home sounds like a lot, the median home price in San Francisco is $1,500,000. With a six person household, you need at least four bedrooms and preferably three bathrooms. The median house size in San Francisco is closer to three bedrooms, two bathrooms.

I’ve gone through the budget in detail, and there is very little left to cut, except for contributing less to their respective 401ks for 2018, taking one less vacation a year, and donating less than 2% of their gross income to charity.

Even if they donated $0 to charity and spent $0 on vacation, they’d still be $3,620 a year in the hole without lowering their 401k pre-tax contributions.

The problem with this family is that they are not accumulating any liquid savings to pay for any emergency expenses. With six people in the household, something always comes up. In other words, this family was scraping by on $500,000 a year and now has $130,000+ of breathing room by sending their kids to public school.

If this family is ~$23,620 in the hole each year on a $500,000 household income, then a family making only $390,000 a year is certainly going to be hemorrhaging money if they send their four kids to private school. Let’s take a look at their budget.

Why A $390,000 Household Qualifies For Financial Aid

Financial Aid for A $390,000 A Year Household

As you can see from the chart above, even after lowering the student loan debt, donating less to charity, spending less on vacations, and lowering their effective tax rate by 4%, this household is $70,440 in the red every year. From a school administrator’s point of view, financial aid is warranted.

Kids Are As Expensive As You Want Them To Be

A quality education is becoming the biggest contention point between the rich and poor. I know many ultra wealthy parents who donate heavily to every level of education to increase their child’s chances of getting in. And then there is a whole swath of multiple six figure income parents who feel downright middle class because they can’t get any assistance.

The great thing about the internet is that it makes knowledge accumulation free. And when something can be obtained for free, the value of anything that requires payment declines.

For those who like to plan, it’s good to realize the $100,000 income per child threshold for financial aid is becoming more common among private grade school and universities today.

If you’re making $199,000 a year and have two kids, it might not be worth the extra hours and stress to make $50,000 more. And if you have kids under five, it’s probably best to spend as much time with them as possible anyway.

At the same time, if you’re making $380,000 a year and are considering adopting a fourth child, knowing you’ll be eligible for tuition assistance may make helping a little one easier.

Related:

How To Make Six Figures At Almost Any Age

Career Or Family? Data Says You Only Need To Max Sacrifice For Five Years

Readers, what are your thoughts about being eligible for financial aid when earning multiple six figures a year? Should financial aid be focused more on underrepresented minorities and lower income families instead? What do you think the right income per kid threshold is when financial aid kicks in? Should the government do more to subsidize parents who decide to have a lot of kids?

The post How To Get Financial Aid Making Multiple Six Figures A Year appeared first on Financial Samurai.

The Main Types Of Risk Exposure To Be Aware Of When Investing

The main types of risk exposure when investingI’m not sure if homebuyers truly realize how much concentrated risk they are taking when they buy property. I’m particularly concerned about first time buyers putting less than 20% down because they can’t afford a larger downpayment. Given they can’t put at least 20% down, it’s likely they also don’t have any meaningful investments in stocks, bonds, or private ventures. In other words, they are all-in and then some with real estate.

Just in case it’s not obvious, mortgage debt is also considered investment risk exposure. You’re basically leveraging up to make a concentrated bet on a single asset that hopefully goes up. If it goes down and you need to sell, you’re screwed. During the last downturn in 2008-2009, the average American’s net worth got destroyed because over 80% of the average American’s net worth was in real estate.

Some people have asked me why I’m not in a bigger rush to reinvest 100% of my house sale proceeds (~$1.8M) in this bull market. If I did, I’d still have $815,000 less in risk exposure because I paid off the mortgage.

The first reason why I’m not in a rush to reinvest the proceeds is because it’s a lot of money and I don’t want to lose it. I’ve redeployed about 60% and am slowly re-investing the balance each month. The other reason I’m in no rush is because I still have roughly $1,000,000 in mortgage debt, meaning that with a current cash balance of ~$900,000, I’ve got maximum exposure + $100,000 in leverage to risk assets.

The Definition Of Maximum Exposure

Maximum Exposure is not just investing everything you have in risk assets like stocks and real estate. Having Maximum Exposure is investing everything you have in risk assets AND borrowing as much as possible to also invest in risk assets.

With real estate, banks will generally lend your household up to 5X your annual household gross income. With stocks, brokerage accounts may let you borrow up to 50% the value of your stock holdings in the form of margin. For the record, I’m not a fan of going on margin buying stocks or taking a HELOC out to buy risk assets.

The time to have Maximum Exposure to risk assets is when there is blood in the streets. That time period was most recently between 2009 – 2010. The problem is that nobody can properly time their Maximum Exposure to perfection. It can only be done in hindsight.

Given perfect timing is impossible, one must raise and lower their exposure during a cycle. The long term trend is luckily up and to the right. But the desire or ability to work is finite, and so is life itself. There’s no point dying with boatloads of money, especially if it’s going to be taxed at 40%.

I did a reasonably good job getting Maximum Exposure from 2003 – 2007 with investments in stocks and two San Francisco properties and one Lake Tahoe property. Total mortgage indebtedness was roughly $2,200,000 as a 27 – 30 year old. Then I went backwards for several years until the market started stabilizing in 2010, and ultimately recovering.

I wanted to de-risk by $1.1M in 2012 because I had just left my job, but nobody wanted to buy my property at the asking price. By the time 2014 rolled around, a 4.1% CD came due and I had the fire power to buy another property to gain Maximum Exposure again.

It’s strange how quickly my mindset changed from de-risking to increasing risk in two years, but I decided to take on $1,000,000 more in debt to buy a fixer in Golden Gate Heights because my online revenue was growing, my net worth had rebounded, and I strongly believed buying a panoramic ocean view home on both levels for $720/sqft was a no brainer.

The Definition Of Full Exposure

After selling my rental house this summer, I’ve now only got Full Exposure. This is exactly what I want after a ~60% rise in San Francisco property prices since 2012, an ~82% rise in the S&P 500 since 2012, and a ~130% rise in the NASDAQ during the same time period. Further, given my site’s size and the fact that I’m still a one man band who now has fatherly responsibilities, I’m expecting online revenue growth to slow.

Full Exposure is defined as investing all your cash flow and having all your assets tied up in risk assets plus a comfortable buffer. The comfortable buffer is up to each individual. For me, I like to have at least $100,000 in cash for emergencies or investment opportunities.

Full exposure also requires one not be leveraged to a risk asset, or have cash equal to the amount of mortgage or margin exposure. Given I have about the same amount of mortgage debt and cash, I’ll further refine my definition and describe my exposure as Synthetic Full Exposure.

Because I’m not sure how long the bull market will last, I’m concurrently paying down mortgage debt and investing in stocks, bonds, and cheaper real estate investments around the country each month. The goal is that by the time a bear market arrives, I’ll have less debt, additional gains in risk assets to buffer for a downturn, and plenty of cash to take advantage if things get really ugly.

The Definition Of Reduced Exposure

I define Reduced Exposure as investing less than 70% of your regular after tax, after all expenses income and having more than 30% of your net worth in risk-free assets like cash, CDs, treasuries, and municipal bonds. Reduced Exposure is great leading up to a bear market and for at least the first year of a bear market. Eventually, you’ll want to switch from reduced exposure to Full Exposure once there are indications that the bear market has bottomed.

Again, it’s impossible to perfectly time the market. Therefore, it’s important to do your best to manage your risk exposure at various points of the cycle. It’s not bad to sell a little too soon or buy a little too early. You don’t want to be selling when everyone is selling, nor do you want to buy when everyone is buying. The herd mentality destroys pricing rationality.

I’m not in Reduced Exposure mode yet because corporate earnings are still very strong, interest rates remain low, and the government is trying to be accommodative to businesses with tax reform. Although it feels like 2007 again, it also feels like the party could continue for a couple more years.

Little-To-No Exposure = Misery

You can have little-to-no exposure to risk assets, but that type of exposure will likely leave you bitter at life because you’ll have to work forever or experience endless envy towards those who bought a home. Read any real estate section in any major city newspaper and you’ll feel the angst of the writer talking about how unaffordable prices are. The same goes for the stock market section where journalists regularly make fun of the meteoric rise in certain stocks and cryptocurrencies. You can bet your bottom dollar all the authors have been left behind.

Don’t get left behind.

In 20-40 years, your children will ask you why you didn’t take advantage of today’s low prices. We all wish our parent’s bought as much ocean front property and unhealthy McDonald’s stock when they were young. My grandfather could have bought beach front land in Waikiki during the 40s for nothing, but he didn’t want to be next to a butcher. Darn it.

One thing I will note is that after you achieve your stretch net worth goal, you can’t help but want to run up the score even more in a bull market. One reason why is because you know the bad times will eventually come again and you want as big of a buffer as possible. Another reason is simply because you can afford to take risk with money you didn’t think you’d ever obtain.

To achieve financial freedom, more than half the battle is to simply have enough risk exposure for as long as possible. The exact type of exposure you have is secondary. You can read endless articles and books about why such and such an asset allocation is best.

Here’s my take on the proper asset allocation of stocks and bonds by age and my recommended net worth allocation by age and work experience.

My hope is that everyone who reaches their stretch net worth goal uses the money to buy themselves time. Time is always running out, which is why I encourage everyone to retire by a certain age and not a certain financial figure.

Readers, what type of risk exposure do you currently have? How do you plan to adjust your exposure in the coming years? 

The post The Main Types Of Risk Exposure To Be Aware Of When Investing appeared first on Financial Samurai.

Destroy Debt Quicker In An Easy And Painless Way

A fun and easy way to pay down debt quickerIf you haven’t noticed, we live in a consumerism society where we are bombarded by advertisements that compel us to spend on things we don’t need. Some things are definitely worth spending up on. But for everything else, save your money.

Like many people, I have debt. Although my debt is tied to property, which tends to appreciate over time, it’s still debt that I plan on getting rid of by 2027. I don’t have any revolving credit card debt because the interest rates are usurious.

Earlier this year, I got rid of $815,000 of debt by selling a rental house for roughly 30X annual gross rent. I don’t miss the rental income because I don’t miss the $3,400 monthly mortgage, the $23,000 in annual property tax, the $3,000 in annual maintenance, the $2,000 in annual insurance, and pain in the ass tenants.

Despite the large pay down, I still have about $1,000,000 in debt spread between my primary residence and my vacation rental in Lake Tahoe. Simple math states that if I can pay down $100,000 a year, I will be debt free in 10 years. Here’s an easy strategy how I plan to get there relatively painlessly that I recommend you follow as well.


Paying Down Debt The Easy Way

To start, everybody needs to total up their debt and set a time frame for when they want their debt to be paid down. You have to have a deadline or else you will more than likely not take your debt payoff seriously. By 2027, I will be 50 years old. There’s absolutely no reason to still be in debt at this age given my income and current liquidity.

After you’ve decided when you want to be debt-free, set up bi-weekly or monthly calendar reminders to pay down some debt. For example, I have a calendar reminder on the 25th of each month to pay down extra principal. Because I set up autopay for both my mortgages, if I try to pay down principal during the first 16 days of the month, the system will think that I’m trying to pay my mortgage, which consists of interest and principal. But by paying an additional amount after the 16th, I ensure that I’m paying down principal only.

Once you’v established your calendar reminders, establish new debt pay down reminders that correspond with days of consumption. For example, Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all popular holidays that encourage us to spend. Here’s a calendar of the upcoming holidays you can choose from.

Public Holidays USA 2018 To Pay Down Debt

Paying down debt when you usually would be spending is the key to achieving a huge sense of financial gratification that will keep you paying down even more debt.

If you’re a football fan, you know the devastation of being on the 5 yard line and seeing your quarterback throw an interception that gets run all the way back for a 12 point swing. If you are a basketball fan, you know the pain of seeing a layup blocked and the opposing team breaking away for a slam dunk for a 4 point swing.

The goal is to be the opposing team which emerges victorious after what looked like a sure thing – spending money. Embed in your head that each day that promotes consumption is actually a day where you will pay down debt. As soon as you turn the equation around, you will realize how ferociously consistent the message becomes to always pay down debt.

You Won’t Regret Paying Down Debt

Over two years have passed since I paid off my rental condo in Pacific Heights and I have no regrets, despite the mortgage rate only being 3.35%. I still remember paying off about $40,000 in business school debt in 2008 when the rate was around 3.5%. No regrets here either. I experienced tremendous satisfaction paying down low interest rate debt. I suspect paying off expensive credit card debt would prove even more satisfying.

There’s something amazing about no longer being indebted to any one or organization. You feel more free. When it comes to making a higher return on an investment, the satisfaction is ephemeral because the money usually just sits in an investment account and provides zero utility. Whereas once a debt is paid off, there’s the satisfaction of simplifying your life with one less reoccurring bill payment.

For the financially savvy, I do recommend following my FS-DAIR investing / debt pay off framework to get the maximize return on your money. We are after all, in a bull market where it’s best to take full advantage until the music stops.

Pay Down Debt Or Invest Framework - FS-DAIR

As for my wife and I this Thanksgiving week, we paid off $16,000 of mortgage debt. We were only going to pay down an even $10,000, but while in line at the bank I got bombarded with six e-mails telling me to buy something I didn’t need. Therefore, it was only right to pay down an extra $1,000 in principal for each annoying e-mail.

Readers, what are some fun and easy ways you pay down debt? Have you ever thought about turning the consumption cycle around to your advantage? Have you ever regretted paying off debt? If so, what was the circumstance?

The post Destroy Debt Quicker In An Easy And Painless Way appeared first on Financial Samurai.

Things Worth Spending Max Money On For A Better Life

Things Worth Spending Maximum Money OnIt’s good to be frugal. If you are, you’ll likely never get into financial trouble. I was very frugal saving between 50% – 70% of my after tax income until about age 35. Then I decided there was no point saving so much money if I wasn’t going to live a little.

Instead of trying to walk the entire city of Budapest, I ponied up 30 Euros like a baller to get on the Hop On Hop Off bus. Instead of just having lemon water with my rib-eye steak, I started ordering a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. As I pushed the spending envelope a little more each year, I gradually realized I didn’t miss the money. My lifestyle actually got better.

The root of my frugality stems from watching how my parents spent their money. My father always drove a beater and my mother utilized things until the very end. When you’re gunning for early retirement, every single dollar counts. And once you’ve left the work force, there is a lingering fear of running out of money that’s hard to elude until after about the third year.

If you suffer from frugality disease, here are some things worth spending a premium on for a better life.


Things Worth Spending Max Money On

* Mattress. You spend a third of your life sleeping. It makes sense to get the absolutely most comfortable, most supportive mattress you can afford. Go top of the line so each day you are fully rested and rejuvenated for the grind ahead. Just be aware that mattresses have massive markups, which is why there’s been a plethora of mattress startups over the years.

* Vision. Vision may be our most important sense. Therefore, it’s absolutely worth buying the most comfortable contacts or glasses. If you wear glasses, go for the thinnest lenses with anti-reflection and a scratch proof coating. Buy daily wear contacts that contain the latest breathable technology. Stop reusing your disposable contacts beyond their recommended usage. Get sunglasses with UV protection.

* Dental care. Throw away your $5 manual tooth brush and buy the best sonic tooth brush with UV sanitizer that brushes hundreds of times faster per minute. You can’t grow back your teeth or your gums. Floss and brush at least twice a day. Your older self will thank you.

* Work clothes & shoes. Instead of buying a lot of mediocre quality clothes and shoes, buy only a few items– as if you were building a boutique of high quality items. Purchase only the most finely woven fabrics for your suits and the finest grain leather for your shoes. Sure, you may have to pay 2-3X the average price, but the items will last longer, and you’ll have less clutter.

* Baby care products. Babies are helpless. Buy the most comfortable, waste absorbing diapers possible. Get the right creams for diaper rash. Feed them only the healthiest food. Why risk anything when they are developing their foundation.

* Sports equipment. If you’re serious about performance, then you might as well give yourself the best chance to perform by buying the best equipment. You’ve already got enough to worry about trying to improve your physical fitness and skill.

* Prime property. You want to buy property in the most prime location possible. Prices hold up better in a downturn and rise faster in an upturn because there is only a limited supply. Think about prime property as being located at the apex of a triangle under which there’s a huge base that’s always looking to move up.

Related: Housing Expense Guideline For Financial Independence

* Home appliances. Given it costs the same to install a $500 shower head and a $100 shower head, you might as well get the best shower head possible. The same goes for tiles, toilets, bath tubs, hot tubs, cabinets, faucets, floors, molding, and paint. The worst is when a home seller remodels on the cheap. This causes the savvy home buyers to offer low purchase prices because they know they will be ripping everything out again.

* Home theater system. Buy the highest definition TV and most enriching surround sound system and you’ll never want to spend money going to the movies ever again. Given you’re never going to the movies again, you’ll make back your home theater system cost in no time.

* Mobile phone. The average person checks their phone 80 times a day. Some of us who have internet businesses check a whole lot more. Given the data plan costs the same regardless of the quality of phone, you might as well get the best phone possible.

* Wellness. Massages, physical therapy, acupuncture, therapy, medicine, and coaching are all things worth spending top dollar on. Thanks to technology and globalization, life has become grossly complicated and stressful for many people. Physical and mental health are priceless.

* Vacations. The average private sector U.S. worker receives only 16 paid vacation days and holidays a year. One in four Americans does not have a single paid day off. Therefore, if you plan to go on a rare vacation, you might as well make it the best adventure or enjoy the best amenities possible. If you want 30 or more paid vacation days and holidays a year, work in New Zealand, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, or Austria.

* Food. Your body is your temple. If you eat junk, you’re going to start feeling and looking like junk.  Your energy, mood, and outlook are all affected by the food you eat. It’s worth paying a premium for fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish.

* Car Safety. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, 37,461 people were killed in 34,436 crashes, an average of 102 per day. There are supposedly over five million crashes in the US per year. If you have a dependent or a small child, it’s worth buying the safest car you can comfortably afford – even if it means breaking the 1/10th rule for car buying.

* K-12 Education. If your public grade school system has low marks, then either move to an area that has high marks or pay up for a private grade school with high marks. Education is one of the most valuable gifts you can give your child. It was only after I graduated from business school that I realized how valuable a good education was for my career and beyond. Knowledge, confidence, and connections are integral parts to achieving a happy and financially independent life. As for university, highly ranked public universities offer better value if you are paying rack rate.

* Web hosting. Not only do you want to buy a private domain name such as FrugalForLife.com versus wordpress.frugalforlife.com to make your site legit, you should also pony up for at least shared web hosting to make your site run faster. Bluehost is offering a a sale for shared hosting as low as $2.65/month, and I’m sure many other hosting companies are as well. If your site starts gaining traction, you can always upgrade your services. After three years of using basic shared hosting services, I’m now paying a guy about $160/month for a private dedicated server because you guys are worth it. Up time and security are paramount when it comes to running a large site.

Identify The Things Most Important To You

It’s important we identify things that are most important to us and spend accordingly. Don’t cheap out on everything on your path to financial freedom! For the most part, I always recommend buying less and focusing on quality over quantity. Having a house full of clutter doesn’t do anybody any good. Further, I’ve never regretted spending up on an experience. Great experiences tend to appreciate with time.

It’s strange, but despite a rising net worth thanks to a raging bull market, I don’t have a desire to buy anything new. I’m content with our cozy home, our one family car, and the scrumptious food we eat every day. Being able to see the best healthcare providers at UCSF for my family is one of the things I’m most happy about. Where I do plan to spend more money on are services to help save time at home. But that will be a topic for another post.

What are some things you value that are not on my list? What are some things on my list you don’t agree with? Any holiday blockbuster deals you’ve seen that are worth taking advantage of? I think I may just buy more Amazon stock instead. 

Related: When Is It OK To Forsake Stealth Wealth And Spend Up?

The post Things Worth Spending Max Money On For A Better Life appeared first on Financial Samurai.

Be Unapologetically Fierce About Pursuing Your Dreams

Be unapologetically fierce about pursuing your dreamsRemember that annoying kid in school who made fun of you for getting a good grade? The goal was to make you feel bad at doing well so he wouldn’t feel so terrible about himself. I had plenty of encounters with such kids growing up at my public high school. In the end, I brushed their mockery aside and decided to be the best student possible to get out of Dodge.

I thought the mockery would slow down as I got older, but it seems to have amplified due to the internet. Most recently, I was criticized for my idea of starting and keeping a business going to provide options for my son when he graduates from school. Andrew in Vancouver, who is 28 with no kids said I was obsessed, among many other things. Another guy named Li from Asia, who is also 28 with no kids, called me crazy over e-mail.

Why is planning ahead and offering an idea to help other worried parents considered obsessive and crazy? In my mind, it is stupid not to plan for the future due to globalization increasing the competition for jobs and technology taking away jobs. Andrew and Li are the same annoying kids in high school who are now adults.

There are a lot of dreamers who read this site looking for a better life. But due to the fear of being ridiculed, they hesitate to pursue something different or to put themselves out there for the world to see or read. Even Andrew decided to shut down his website once I visited his site to understand where he was coming from. It’s probably a good idea because his employer would be none too pleased reading his article about how laziness was helping him reach retirement sooner.

It’s OK to be unapologetically obsessed with the things you care about. It doesn’t matter how whacky your goals may be. The people criticizing you are too afraid to try themselves. They wished they had your courage. They’re fearful that one day you might succeed, making them regret their lack of effort.

Here are four examples where I was widely panned, but due to an unwavering desire, I was able to prove my detractors wrong. I’d love to hear your stories as well.


(audio version)

Overcoming The Naysayers

Tennis: There was this arrogant, overweight guy named Chris 10 years ago who captained a 4.5 level team I was on. He seldom let me play because he thought I was weak, even though I was beating the other starters on the team. Every time we’d get on the court for practice he would make fun of any mistakes I made.

One day, I had enough and told him to play me in a singles match or shut up. He accepted the challenge and I ended up beating him 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on a cool evening over a two hour time period. The next day he went to the hospital for pneumonia and stopped playing for five months.

Wanting to prove him wrong for not playing me during the playoffs where we eventually lost, I joined a different team a year later and ended up beating them during the playoffs. No victory tasted so sweet. I credit Chris for keeping me motivated to keep practicing and keep eating right. He’s still a 4.5 level player today while I was bumped to 5.0 three years ago.

Blogging: I told one of my colleagues, Robert, about my new blogging endeavor back in 2009. Instead of being cool about it he made a funny face and started typing on an air keyboard in mockery. What kind of idiot makes fun of a senior colleague who will be interviewed by the promotion committee to determine his fate?

Not only did he not get promoted that year or the next year, the firm shipped him off to NYC in a different department that is being crushed due to electronic trading. He’s still at the same firm doing the same miserable job, but for less pay.

This site, which he made fun of, is now the financially best thing I’ve ever done. It earns at least 2X more than his job with 70% less work and 90% less stress. If I one day want to sell it and do something new, I can. If he wants to sell himself one day, he can’t, unless he wants to try the black market for body parts.

Then there was this other blogger from Canada who kept bagging on a blogging network I started in 2010. Although it didn’t take off like I planned, it still made over $10,000 a month for a couple years and still makes $1,000 – $2,000 a month today without any work since I only post there maybe once a quarter. Meanwhile, he gave up on his site and decided to be a grocery store manager. It’s a head scratcher why he was so critical, but I wish him the best.

Ongoing criticism by random readers and the occasional blogger gets me fired up each week. So please keep it up!

Related: The 10 Best Reasons To Start An Online Business

Writing a severance negotiation book: When I first published, How To Engineer Your Layoff, I heard an endless cacophony of doubters from readers and other bloggers who said the idea was stupid. The most frequent things mentioned were, “why would anybody pay you to get laid off,” and “that sounds sketchy and not something I’d do to my company.” Today, I still hear the doubters.

Five years later, I’ve received dozens of personal e-mails telling me how the book helped liberate them from a bad job situation. One woman told me this summer she walked away with a $65,000 severance, when she would have just quit with nothing. Another guy told me he not only walked away with what I’m guessing is at least one hundreds thousand dollars because he was a co-founder of the company that got acquired, he also sent me a glowing article an online publication wrote about his transition to angel investing.

One doubter confessed he was let go with only two months of severance after eight years of work. I had to break it to him that his two months of severance was not severance, but mandatory WARN Act pay. He sadly got zero severance and would have known this had he opened his mind.

Although the book has not changed my financial life with only about $3,500 a month in sales, it has helped everyone who sent me a thank you e-mail, which is incredibly rewarding. Further, if there’s ever a downturn, sales for this book will take off and help even more people.

Related: The Inside Scoop On How One Man Negotiated His Freedom

Early retirement: The natural transition after negotiating a severance is to take some time off, find a new job, change industries, start a business, or retire. I decided to permanently leave corporate America at 34, live a simple life, and just write. Writing is what I’ve loved to do ever since I was a middle schooler writing international pen pal letters from Malaysia.

Of course I had my naysayers. Leaving a high paying job before your highest earning years sounds foolhardy. But the funny thing is, many people in the finance industry wanted out as well. They just didn’t have the courage or the plan to leave. If I later realized I needed more money, I’d just go back to work.

Given it was my financial well-being I was putting at risk, I was my biggest naysayer. You can see every early retirement stone I turned over in the post, The Dark Side Of Early Retirement. But thanks to publishing this post two years before making a move, I was able to face my fears and gain some perspective from hundreds of people who had made the same move. If Andrew and Li were around back in 2010, they’d probably also think this amount of planning was obsessive and crazy.

Thinking about the downsides of early retirement was the catalyst for coming up with the idea to negotiate a severance. Negotiating a five year severance package enabled me to try new things without fear of financial ruin. Since leaving full-time work in 2012, I’ve been able to consult in a new industry, travel extensively, and grow this site 10X by simply being consistent.

Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for extricating myself and my wife from the matrix. If I listened to people who told me I was stupid for leaving banking, I’d probably be incredibly unhealthy, stressed, and unhappy right now.

Related:

Early Retirement Five Years Later: Reflections On Life After Work

Achieving The Two Spouse Early Retirement Lifestyle

You Will Regret More The Things You Don’t Do

The #1 reason why more people don’t do the unorthodox is because society has a terrible way of accepting the unusual. People able to pursue freely their interests are the luckiest people on Earth. Conversely, people who not only don’t pursue their interests, but also try to take others down are the saddest people who will forever wonder why they never made an effort.

To all the dreamers out there who want to do something different, please go for it. Don’t let the naysayers deny your dreams. As the saying goes, “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Related: Perpetual Failure Is The Reason Why I Continue To Save So Much

Readers, what are some things you want to do that you’re hesitant to try? What is one thing you decided to go for despite all the naysayers? Given many things today were once whacky and new, why don’t more people experiment with different things? What became of those annoying kids in grade school who made you feel bad about your efforts? 

The post Be Unapologetically Fierce About Pursuing Your Dreams appeared first on Financial Samurai.

Winter Is The Absolute Best Time To Buy A House

Winter is the best time to buy a houseI’ve checked out open houses every weekend for the past 16 years.The idea is to blend exercise with remodeling ideas and property knowledge into a one to two hour window. I’ll usually visit three to four open houses within a two mile radius.

The knowledge gained from open house hunting helped me remodel a couple houses without the use of an architect and gave me confidence to go all-in in 2014 when I bought a fixer in SF, despite already have multiple properties and two large mortgages.

Without a doubt winter is the absolute best time to house hunt. The simple reason is that anybody listing in the months of November through January is probably desperate. During the winter, the weather is at its worst, many people are away during the holidays, most people don’t move until the summer due to school, people tend to front load their spending, and anybody who can’t wait until spring to list must be having financial issues.

If you plan to sell your house, please don’t list during the winter! You will have bargain hunters like me trying to terrify you into selling at a below market price.

House Hunting During Winter

If you pay close attention to your local property listings, you will notice the most amount of price reductions during the winter. These price reductions are largely the result of the properties being initially overpriced and sitting on the market for more than 30 days without at least an asking price offer. This is when desperation starts setting in.

The effects of over-pricing your property

Lesson: Don’t over price your property. It will back fire.

It is much more emotional and worrisome to sell a house than to buy a house. I know this first hand after spending 45 days trying to sell my house to a guy who took out a $2,000,000 loan and another $300,000 loan. So many things can fall through from the buyer’s side including: failed inspection, failed loan, cold feet, further negotiations and more. Once a deal is broken, people start wondering what’s wrong with the property.

Despite all the reasons I listed why house hunting during the winter is the best time and listing during the winter is the worst time, there’s one more reason I came across that is super important: seeing whether the house can hold up to the harshest elements!

Here in San Francisco, it doesn’t get below 40 degrees in the winter. But what we do get is plenty of rain for the entire winter season. At least when it rains in San Francisco, it tends to dump snow in Lake Tahoe.

In January 2017, I got a text message from my old rental house tenant saying his bedroom ceiling was leaking. We had just experienced three consecutive weeks of rain and apparently there was leakage from the light well above his room. I was completely stressed out because identifying where the leak comes from can often be a mind bending task.

Water proofing leaking light well

Water proofing leaking light well of my rental

On the next sunny day, I went over with four cans of FlexAll to seal the entire light well and all the seams of the roof. I also cut out a hole where the leak was coming from so I could let it air out and re-patch after making sure the leak was fixed.

Thankfully, my easy fix worked, and the leak stopped. But it was then that I started really considering selling the place due to maintenance headaches. Who knows how long the sealant would hold up. The roof was 10 years old and a new one would cost over $20,000. Further, my wife was in her third trimester and I really didn’t have time.

After successfully selling my house this summer, I forgot all about the leaky roof and maintenance stress until this winter.

The Opportunity

Because I still have about $940,000 in cash sitting around from my home sale, I continue to check out ocean view properties in San Francisco. It’s just habit after so many years. I stumbled upon a house that fell out of contract and slashed its asking price from $1.5M to $1.4M. Even at its new lower asking price, nobody has made an offer for a month. Perfect!

I saw the property in the evening and I wanted to see it during the day for the ocean view. Unfortunately or fortunately, the day we arranged for the second visit so happened to be raining. When I got there, I was surprised to see a massive leak where the vent attached the ceiling in the garage.

Check out the video and tell me this ain’t a disaster for the seller who must now not only disclose the problem, but fix the problem and then prove to prospective buyers the problem has indeed be fixed. I’m sure they’ll also probably have to offer at least a one year warranty to fix anything in the house since they advertise the home as “95% new.”

If I had seen this property when it was first listed during late summer, there is no way I ever would have caught the leak. If I bought the property, I would have found tenants and three months later, they’d be texting me with this video showing. Then I’d be pissed at the seller for not disclosing the leak or making sure everything in the house was in good standing. My stress level would be through the roof and I’d probably take on an entirely different tone with this post.

But thankfully, I didn’t re-invest all my home proceeds immediately. I took several months investing a little over half the proceeds and am now actively hunting for great property deals in the middle of rainy season when fewer people are looking.

With this new leaky information, the listing agent disclosed to me they had a buyer at $1.5M a couple months ago, but he fell through because his loan approval failed. They rejected a $1.35M cash buyer in favor of the buyer with the loan. Given it’s been over a month at the new lower asking price of $1.4M, and the $1.35M cash buyer is nowhere to be found, I’m thinking a $1.25M offer might be in order.

Unlike the stock market, where it’s hard for the average person to get an information edge, real estate provides a lot more opportunity for those who are willing to hustle. If you must buy property at the current top of the market, then winter is the time to look your hardest.

Related:

Every Consideration Before Selling An Investment Property

The Real Estate Investing Rule To Follow: BURL

Which Is A Better Investment: Real Estate Or Stocks?

Readers, anybody out there also love to house hunt during the winter? Have you bought a house during the winter for a great deal? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Why do you think sellers list during the worst time of the year?

The post Winter Is The Absolute Best Time To Buy A House appeared first on Financial Samurai.

It Feels A Lot Like 2007 Again: Reflecting On The Previous Peak

It feels a lot like 2007 againReflection helps us appreciate how far we’ve come. Reflection also helps us learn from our mistakes. In this post, I’d like everybody to reflect on several key items: Career, Finances, Health, Family, and Happiness. See if you can tie the five together and weave a story about who you are today.

The one thing I know for sure is that 2017 feels a lot like it did 10 years ago. But this time, every asset class is expensive. I’ve got folks asking me about investing in cryptocurrencies when they haven’t even invested in stocks. Other folks are asking whether they should use their HELOC to buy another property with an 80% loan-to-value ratio. Everybody has maximum investing FOMO right now!

It’s an exhilarating time, but it’s also a perilous time for those who don’t have perspective. 

Life In 2007

Career: I was finishing up my third year as a VP at a large investment bank in San Francisco. 2007 was also the year I turned 30. Given my boss recently departed to become a client, I was left to take over the west coast business. Knowing my worth, I asked for a raise and a promotion and got them. If they lost me to a competitor, they would have been screwed for at least six months as they scrambled to find and train my replacement.

30 years old was a significant age because I finally felt like I could be taken seriously. Getting my MBA in 2006 also gave me a confidence boost. I was loving my career because I was finally my own boss in San Francisco. Sure, I had to work with the head of the office and a more senior colleague in a different department, but for the most part, I was free to control my own schedule. So long as the business was coming in, nobody could complain.

In 2007, I thought I could easily work for 10 more years and then call it quits for good. Little did I know the financial crisis would crush my industry and cause me to pursue a different path just four years later.

Related: A List Of Career Limiting Moves To Blow Up Your Future

Finances: I received the biggest bonus of my life in 2007 due to a negotiation I had with my big boss in Hong Kong. It was a handshake agreement, so you never know until the end of the year when bonuses are paid. But he delivered as promised. From that day on, I decided to be loyal until the very end.

Although the stock market was booming, I was still hesitant to go all-in due to the dotcom bubble that began to collapse in 2000. Instead of investing everything I had in the stock market, I decided to invest most of my savings in real estate. At least with real estate, if all went to hell, I’d still have something to sleep in.

I bought my first SF property in 2003, lived in it for two years, and was renting it out to a couple in 2007. In 2005, I decided to take out a $1,200,000 mortgage and buy a single family house in the Marina district for $1,523,000. It was the cheapest house for its size in the neighborhood because it was on a busy block next to the busiest street.

Because my real estate investing experience was positive, and I had just received a big bonus, I decided to buy a $718,000, 2/2 vacation condo at The Resort At Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe in 2007. I loved the place because that’s where I took my girlfriend on our first getaway date back in 2001.

I was delirious about my financial luck and felt I just couldn’t lose. I was imagining that my compensation would continue to grow by 10-20% a year for the next five years. There were some warning signs about the stock market and real estate market getting ahead of themselves, but I didn’t listen carefully. Instead, I myopically focused on my fortunate career situation. I wish someone with decades of experience sat down with me to run through the pros and cons of buying more property then.

Notice the frequency. Nobody know when the next downturn will begin.

Health: Work was stressful given the 60-70 hour work weeks. But at least my chronic back pain from 2000-2003 was gone. But what replaced my chronic back pain was teeth grinding and TMJ. It hurt to speak for more than an hour. I remember paying $700 to a specialist dentist who ground down parts of my molars so I could get some relief when I closed my jaw.

I was in OK shape because I started aggressively playing tennis again. But of course, I suffered from occassional tennis elbow pain that kept me from swinging freely. I weighed between 162-165 lbs, which was a normal weight for someone 5’10” tall.

Now when I look back on my diet, I realize I ate extremely unhealthy due to frequent client entertainment. I’d often take clients to fancy steak restaurants and nice lounges. The wagyu beef and Moscow Mules tasted especially good thanks to a corporate card with a $200/head budget.

I remember telling myself that no matter what, living in San Francisco was healthier than living in Manhattan.

Family: My girlfriend graduated college in 3.5 years and came out to live with me in December 2001. She was 27 in 2007, and I was unsure whether starting a family was a good idea yet. Work was extremely busy and I had all this pressure to keep the ship afloat given my boss left.

But I knew she was the one, so I proposed during the heart of the financial crisis in 2008. We got married in Hawaii in December 2008.

If the financial crisis didn’t hit, I would have been more confident to start a family by 2010. It would have been nice to get parental leave and company benefits. Further, since our son is the best thing that has ever happened to us, he would have been in our lives for seven years longer.

It’s so difficult to figure out when is the best time to have children. Even if you decide now is the time, it might take several years to conceive.

What I do know is that having a life partner through my entire post college journey has been priceless.

Related: When Is the Best Time To Have Children? A Physical And Financial Decision

Happiness: I was ecstatic about getting a raise and a promotion. Part of my happiness stemmed from having gone to public high school and public university. Never in my wildest dreams had I thought I’d have a job at a respectable investment bank and earn a healthy income. If I had gone to an elite private school, I’m not sure I’d be as happy because I would have expected all these things and more.

It’s funny, but the memories that stands out most from this time period were figuring out what ring to buy and the cozy little wedding on our favorite beach in Hawaii the next year.

My happiness level has never really fluctuated much since graduating from college in 1999. It’s always been about a 7-8 out of 10. The happiness of getting recognized at work only lasted for maybe three months. The pressure to deliver took over.

San Francisco home price forecast 2018 and historical chart

Life in 2017 And Beyond

The most important thing I learned from 10 years ago is thinking that I couldn’t lose, and then losing big when the financial crisis hit in 2008. I remember swearing to myself in 2010 that if my investments ever came back to pre-crisis levels I would take some money off the table. I tried to do so in 2012 by selling my primary residence in order to pay off a ~$1,000,000 mortgage and live in a small two bedroom, one bathroom apartment. But nobody wanted to buy my four bedroom house.

The difference with 30 year olds in 2017 versus my 30 year old self in 2007 is that I went through the dotcom collapse in 2000. I saw paper millionaires end up with nothing within a couple years. They had to start all over, like the guy who made my breakfast croissant each morning. As a result, I tried to diversify as much as possible.

It’s hard to really know how scary recessions can be if you’ve never been in one with significant money at stake. Everybody likes to say they’ll hold on to their investments and buy more during a downturn. But when your investments are down 30%+ and many of your colleagues are getting fired, the first thing you do is think about survival, not dumping every last cent you have in the stock market.

I’m praying that I’ll finally be satisfied with what I have today and no longer grind as hard. My health depends on it. Staying in San Francisco and being surrounded by so many success stories has finally taken its toll. My recent bout of chronic back pain reminded me not to forget the point of financial independence and owning a lifestyle business: a better life.

Some Final Thoughts

* It’s easy to extrapolate explosive growth in your career and net worth in a bull market. The problem is, nobody wants to work forever and things always change. Be more conservative with your expectations. Don’t confuse brains with a bull market.

* No matter how much money you make or have, your steady state of happiness won’t really change. Stop thinking that if you get to X amount you will be happy. Retire by a certain age, not a financial figure. There will always be something that will give make you feel bad. But the good thing is, you’ll likely revert back to your steady state.

* If you’re relatively young (under 40), it’s worth swinging for the fences during the good times. It’s worth allocating some funny money to chase unicorns. Money is abundant and cheap. Once the spigot shuts off, dumb ideas no longer get funded and silly job offers are no longer given.

* Learn when to cash in your chips by setting goals. You made these goals because you decided how much was enough. If you’ve somehow found yourself way beyond your goals, then absolutely focus on using your profits for a better life. The saddest thing is losing a massive lead.

* Even if you buy at an inopportune time, if you wait long enough, you’ll likely eventually get back to even. Just look at us now.

* The next 10 years will go by faster than the previous 10 years. Make the most of it.

Related: Recommended Net Worth Allocation By Age Or Work Experience

I’d love to hear about where you were 10 years ago, and what you learned about yourself then that you will apply to your life now? Time truly accelerates the older we get. Let us not waste a single minute. 

The post It Feels A Lot Like 2007 Again: Reflecting On The Previous Peak appeared first on Financial Samurai.