My First Book: The Millionaire Choice is Here!

The First Copies Have Arrived!

It’s hard to believe that after a little over a year of hard work the first copies of my new book have arrived! It seems very surreal. At times, I wondered if this day would ever come. Sometimes, writing a book feels like a never-ending journey.

I was a bit intimidated when I started writing in late May 2017. Would I actually be able to write a book? How do you go about writing a book? How do you publish a book? Would it turn out well? And the most intimidating question, would people even like it?

Now that I have the book in my hands and readers are starting to give me feedback, I’m pleased that all my questions have now been answered, and I like the results so far!

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Why Did I Write on This Topic?

I first took an interest in personal finance in 1996, my own personal finance. I had blown through a $39,000 income and racked up $16,000 in car and credit card debt after my first full year as a manufacturing engineer. As a math guy, those numbers didn’t add up for me, and my quest to improve my finances began.

Now, 23 years later and after working in the personal finance education industry for sixteen years, I noticed a few things. For starters, people all over our country still don’t know how to handle money correctly. Even with all the David Bachs, Tony Robbins, Dave Ramseys, Suze Ormans, and T Harv Ekers out there, people are still slipping through without a solid financial education. And it’s not just poor people. It’s everyone. People with six-figure incomes. People in poverty. People in all walks of life.

Another thing I noticed is that many people just don’t do math or finance well. Seriously, that may seem like a no-brainer but listen for a minute. Most of the money books out there are filled with “financial terms,” “financial ratios” and “financial calculations.” Financial terms, ratios, and calculations are intimidating to many people. It’s like learning to read a foreign language. It’s hard. I’ve seen this first hand when working with family members who have trouble calculating tips at restaurants. Even simple financial math can be hard. Although I didn’t set out to write my book and exclude financial jargon and formulas, it turned out that way, and I’m glad it did. One of the biggest comments I’ve gotten from my readers so far is, “I get it!”

I did set out to do a few things with this book. One, I wanted to equip people to become millionaires just like I have. Today, about 10% of American households are millionaire households. I believe that number should be much higher. I believe almost anyone can become a millionaire if they make the right choices. Two, I wanted to make it as simple as possible for people to understand how they can become millionaires. This turned into the 10 Keys of the Millionaire. And three, I wanted people to realize that becoming a millionaire is not just about money. It includes things like character, how you manage your time, learning and finding mentors. So many of the financial books today focus only on the money aspect of building wealth. Building wealth is about more than just financial formulas and investments.

So, why did I write a book on this topic? I guess it comes down to three main things: 1) people need a financial education delivered in a way they can understand it and act on it, 2) my career and life experience have been in personal finance, and 3) I felt led to do it.

I hope you’ll check out my new book, The Millionaire Choice at www.themillionairechoice.com. Due for release November 2018, available now for pre-order at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Books A Million.

Signup here for updates, tips, and help on The Millionaire Choice.

Understanding the Global Financial World

I began learning about personal finance when I was twenty-five. That’s where I’ve been focused for the past twenty years. Learning about wealth building within the US economy. Stocks, real estate, precious metals, currency trading, building your income, etc. Recently over the past two years, I’ve been spending some time reading and learning about world politics and global finance. The journey has been very eye opening.

As I’ve spent more and more time talking with people about their money, I’ve come to realize how little people really know about what is going on in the financial world both here at home in the US and in the global financial world. Things that affect the well being and futures of themselves and their families. Things that are already in motion. Are we prepared?

Take for example what is called the “dollar hegemony.” In more common terms, the dollar’s dominance as the world currency by which all other countries do business with each other. The dollar has been the dominant form of exchange for decades. It has propped up the US economy and allowed a majority Americans to enjoy a very prosperous lifestyle. However, did you know that several other countries are positioning to challenge the dollar’s dominance in global finance?

China has been acquiring gold since since at least 2009 in an effort to position the Chinese Yuan as an alternative for global trade and settlements between nations. Russia also has been acquiring gold in a bid to divest off the western banking system and alleviate risk to their economy as a result of US and western sanctions. In late 2017 and 2018, China conducted testing of their oil exchange conducted in gold backed Chinese Yuans. This article by Brookings Institution provides a glimpse into the current state of the Chinese vs. US oil markets.

This is just one example of how global financial developments will affect us as Americans.

The 2008-2009 Financial Crisis

The average American doesn’t understand what really happened during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and how it was different from previous financial crises that the United States has faced.

During previous financial crises such as those faced in the early 1900’s, 1930’s and 1940’s, insolvent banks were allowed to fail. In other words, “unhealthy” banks were allowed to fail, and “healthy” banks survived. While there were some losses to the general public as the financial system rebooted itself, the system repaired itself and continued. Bad debt was dealt with and the system healed.

In the 2008-2009 financial crisis, all banks were bailed out by the Federal Bank and ultimately the American Taxpayer. Losses were mitigated and the overall debt remained. The amount of overall global debt increased with the bailout of the banking and other financial institutions.

According to James Rickards in The Road to Ruin, the additional national and global debt load that was incurred in 2008-2009 has still not been “unwound” in 2016. It is this debt load and still accumulating debt load that will make the next financial crisis even more catastrophic to the US and global financial system.

Little Known Facts of Financial History

I’m a rather young 47 years old. I remember the gas crisis of the 1970’s where my parents waited in line for rationed gasoline, and I remember discovering that someone had siphoned the gasoline out of my parents’ cars during the evening. Now I have experienced and lived through the financial crisis of 2008-2009. However, I’ve never lived through the United States government confiscating personal property as it did during the financial crises of the 1930’s.

On April 5, 1933, less that one month after being sworn in as President of the United States, FDR put into action Executive Order 6102 requiring with limited exceptions that all gold held by U.S. citizens be surrendered to the U.S. Treasury. Oh, and let’s not leave out the fact that any citizen that failed to comply would be met with imprisonment.

So this begs the question, “will the government confiscate assets again during a future financial crises?”

Is Your Interest Piqued?

You may be asking how all this may affect your financial future? I don’t have all the answers, but I’m searching.

The financial elites control the global and national financial systems. It’s all connected through the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and other entities. By looking into the past and learning about the global financial world, you get a glimpse into what the future will hold during any future financial crises. It is much better to be prepared than unprepared during a financial crisis. One of our many mistakes is to believe the illusion that everything will continue in a healthy and stable fashion. History shows us that financial instability is a norm of the financial system, but many of us live our lives as if the “party” will never end.

If you’d like to learn more about the global financial world, check out James Rickards The Death of Money and The Road to Ruin to get you started.

 

 

 

Finally! New Book Cover is Finished!

I never realized how hard it would be to write and finish a book when I started in May 2017, but finally, it’s done! The book copy is done. The cover is done. Now it is prepping for print!

Truly writing a book is the project that never seems to end. It seems like things just keep coming up to do or redo that keep you from finishing the job. Thankfully, I had some good friends and professional support in my editor, Anna Floit of The Peacock Quill, and my publisher, Morgan James Publishing. I can’t imaging trying to write a book on your own without some help!

During my writing, it was fun to hear about the different ways people write books. Some plan books out for years. Some just start writing. Some come up with an outline and then get to work. After writing my first book, I believe there’s not a right or wrong way to write a book. There’s just the way that you do it, and that is one of the things that makes it special. For my book, I crafted an outline using the chapters. After coming up with a list of chapters I wanted to write, I thought about what I wanted to include in each chapter. Some of the original chapters didn’t make the final cut. I’ll probably include them in another book someday.

I was very apprehensive after finishing the first draft in early July 2017. That’s when it was time for phase 2, get feedback from one of my very close friends. I gave him my book in early July 2017. When August arrived, it was time to touch base with him again to see what he thought. The anticipation of what he might say was nerve wracking! Did he like it? Would he think it was bad? What if he told me to throw it in the trash and start over? I vaguely recall the conversation, but one part of our discussion I remember very well. I asked him, “Is it worth writing?” He answered, “Yes. You’ve got a lot of work to do, but it’s worth writing.” His reply was all I needed to keep going on my book. Just that little boost of affirmation gave me the energy and confidence I needed to keep moving forward.

It’s been thirteen months since our conversation, and finally the book is done. Soon it will be heading to the printers. It seems so surreal.

The Book Wrap

This particular week I’m very excited because the book’s wrap has been completed. The book wrap includes the front cover, the binding, and the back cover. This is one of the last steps of production before the book is ready for the bookstores. With each completed step, I can feel the reality of my first published book and with it, the hope and excitement of being able to help people with it’s financial teaching.

The book cover process was pretty straightforward for me, and I was very happy that the publisher liked my cover concepts. I’ve heard many horror stories about publishers not really doing a good job on book covers for the authors and the authors not being satisfied with their covers. In my case, I’m very happy. I was able to present a mockup to the publisher and they quickly came back with several covers to review. After several revisions and tweaks, we ended up with a finished cover. The book wrap, binding and back cover, needed to wait until all of the writing was finalized so that we knew the page count of the book. This week, the final version came back, and well, see what you think. Comments welcome!

I present to you the book wrap for The Millionaire Choice, Millionaire or Not. You Can Choose.

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Announcing My First Book: The Millionaire Choice

It’s been just over a year since I start writing my first book. Officially, I began writing Wednesday evening, May 24, 2017 while sitting on my apartment patio overlooking the mountains in Salt Lake City. It was an inspiring view. Perhaps I was a little ambitious since I wanted to have it finished and printed by December 31, 2017. I tend to be a little optimistic and naive at times.

While I planned to write a book at some point in my life, I didn’t plan on doing it now at age 47. However, looking back over the past year, it was the perfect time. I recently left a premier job where I worked for 15 years ending my career at the executive level. I then took a brief 1 year break to buy some real estate and explore some new opportunities. When May 2017 rolled around, the timing just felt right, and our family was in a good financial spot. And with that setting, I began formulating a plan for my book, a book about money and helping people shape their financial future.

Writing the Book

I’ve been a student of personal finance since I was 25. Studying and working in the financial industry for 20 years led me to write a book on personal finance. Not much of a surprise since my expertise is in the personal finance space.

As I continued thinking about the money problems people are facing, I really wanted to come up with a way to turn the personal finance industry upside down. There are a lot of people doing great work, but it still seems like we’re barely scratching the surface in financial literacy and education. About 10% of American households are millionaire households. That means 90% of households have a net worth of less that one million dollars. In simpler terms, there are roughly 110 million American households and about 10 million millionaire households according the the US Census. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Many Americans net worth is far less than one million dollars. In fact, many Americans net worth is less than $100,000. I think that is terribly sad.

After wrestling through various titles, I landed on The Millionaire Choice: Millionaire or Not. You Can Choose. I believe becoming a millionaire is a choice. Whether or not we become millionaires is based on the life and financial choices we make.

As I began writing the evening of Wednesday, May 24, 2017, I felt compelled to write with urgency. During an overnight layover in Denver on my Friday evening flight home to Nashville, I spoke with my wife about the book and the progress I was making. Somewhere during the conversation, the idea of completing the book in 30 days came up. At the time, that seemed like an impossible task considering our work and family circumstances. However, occasionally circumstances change and amazing can things happen.  In June 2017, I penned 60,000 words and completed 90% of the book’s first draft. Yea. I was shocked too!

Now one year later and after several revisions, multiple reviews by friends, family and other professionals, the manuscript for my first book is finished and off to the publisher. I never imagined writing a book was so difficult!

Inside the Book

In The Millionaire Choice, I share my story of growing up in a financially messy home where money struggles were common and a lack of good financial knowledge and habits reigned. At age 25, I began to change.

I was 25 years old when I realized I was headed into a financial disaster if I didn’t change, so I began studying money. After about 90 days, I realized that I could become a millionaire by the time I turned 40…if I made the right financial choices. That was when I made what I call The Millionaire Choice and formed my own personal millionaire plan, my plan to become a millionaire. Hence the purpose and goal of my book, The Millionaire Choice. To inspire and help people become millionaires regardless of their family background or financial circumstances.

The backbone of The Millionaire Choice are the 10 Keys of the Millionaire, the 10 principles that helped me to break my family’s generational cycle of financial mismanagement and become a millionaire by age 40.

For now, it’s available now for pre-order on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books-A-Million and other bookstores. The official store date is November 13, 2018. You can learn more about my upcoming book at themillionairechoice.com.

My Inspiration for Writing The Millionaire Choice

During my time in the financial world, working for two different personal financial education, and talking with people, I learned a few things that both saddened and challenged me.

I realized that there are entire segments and people groups in our country that aren’t receiving the financial training and education they need. Why? The reason is simple. They don’t have money. Businesses can’t make money off of broke people, and so very little effort is being made to help the people who need financial education the most. I don’t have all the answers, but I hope that I can make some small difference to help those in need of financial help and education.

I’m excited to be able to help people get their finances in order. Although our family has been able to break the cycle of financial mismanagement, so many of the people I meet are not there yet. They need guidance, help and encouragement.

In time, I really would like to find a way to turn the personal financial education industry upside down to help all those who need and want it. It’s not just about a book or making money. It’s about making a difference in the lives of others, transforming families, and changing the world.

 

 

Silver and Gold. An Interesting Scoop.

I have to admit that I’ve never been big on gold or silver investments. Historically, the stock market has been a much better investment over the long haul that silver or gold, but there are times when silver and gold make sense in your investment portfolio. Let’s take a look.

According to Wikipedia from 1970 to 2010, gold’s growth was 3,792% while the Dow Jones Industrial average was 1,280%. That makes gold look like a very good investment tool! However, from 1975 to 2010, the Dow Jones outperformed gold 1,259% to 929%, and depending on the day, gold is actually down around 7% from it’s $1,410 value in 2010. Gold peaked around $1,800 in January 2011. Now trading around $1,300, that represents a 27% decline in value.

Now what about silver? In 1970, silver was valued at $1.63 per ounce. In 2010, silver’s valuation had grown to $20.19, a 1,138% gain per Wikipedia. Those numbers however, only tell part of the story. In January 2011, silver’s value peaked near $50 per ounce. Today, silver’s valuation fluctuates around $17 per ounce. That’s nearly a 65% decline in value from it peak in 2011! But still, if you had purchased at just the right time, silver would still be a viable investment tool, and you may have benefited from it.

As a savvy investor, investing in silver or gold appears to be an inferior investment tool compared to the S&P or the Dow Jones. However, there are times when silver or gold do make sense in an investment portfolio, and if you are looking deep enough for the right signs, you may just be able to benefit from buying some silver and gold. Perhaps one of those is upon us now.

Sometimes the best investment decision is to follow the leaders. In this case, the leaders are some very well known players in the financial world. Let’s start with Russia and China. Russia and China have both been acquiring gold at the state level as they both move away from US Dollar holdings, according to Bloomberg.com. You can see the aggressive acquisition of gold by both Russia and China with the Official International Gold Holdings.

Another major player to watch is JP Morgan Bank which has aggressively been acquiring silver since 2010 and now holds the largest ever quantity of silver reserves in history. In 2014, this article at the Market Oracle was published related to JP Morgan’s acquisition of silver naming them as the largest silver holder in history. It is estimated that JP Morgan may be sitting on as much as 700 million ounces of silver. So you have to ask why? Considering silver is down 65% from it’s high in 2011, JP Morgan stands to make a bundle as the prices return, but you may do well to think that they may know something that we do not.

The last indicator is to see what billionaire investors are doing like Warren Buffett. In recent years, we’ve seen Buffett buying up infrastructure and energy. Another way to look at this is that he is buying up transportation of goods and oil, which is a commodity similar to silver and gold. Buffet has in the past been a silver buyer himself to hedge against market collapses when he acquired 129 million ounces of silver and held it from 1998 to 2006.

So while I’m not an avid gold and silver buyer myself, the signs are all around us that power players are preparing for something, and we would be wise to pay attention.

Primer on how to buy silver

Tips on buying gold

Great silver and gold vendor

 

Danger. Economic Turmoil Ahead. Be Prepared.

I’m going out on a bit of a limb here to highlight some financial stuff and economic signs that aren’t being covered in the news, but I think it’s necessary. As I bring this stuff up with people in my circles, they are unaware. These things are happening around us, and many people are going to be caught off guard.

The Economic Signs

Last year, I read one of Jim Rickards’ books called the Death of Money. Jim is a former financial analyst for the CIA along with many other qualifications. While Jim included quite a bit of useful information, there were a couple of things that really stood out to me.

  1. Jim highlighted that America came off the gold standard in the early 1970s. That is when our money ceased to backed by gold or any “asset.” However, Jim also highlighted that Russia and China have been working to accumulate gold. I’ll speak more on this later.
  2. In the early 1970s, the US dollar was setup to be the “World Reserve Currency” by an agreement with OPEC to price oil in USD. That has helped to cement the United States as the world power that it is. It is what has allowed America to impose sanctions to such “wayward nations” as we saw fit…mainly to strong arm America’s or the western countries enemies.
  3. Since the Bush administration and more specifically during the Obama administration, have accumulated mountains of debt. In additions to this debt, the US Government and Federal reserve have printed trillions of dollars. This has served to greatly destabilize the value of the USD. Interestingly enough, we have not fully seen the repercussions of this yet which will be mass inflation.

The Death of Money was published in 2014; I read it in 2017. In the book, Jim made several projections which are now coming true.

  1. Russia and China are accumulating gold for the purpose of challenging the USD as the world reserve currency. Without adding too much detail, it is estimated that the top four gold holding entities are 1) the European Union with 8,500 tons, 2) the US with 6,500 tons, 3) China reported 4,500 tons (estimated to be much more), and 4) Russia with 1,500 tons.
  2. China along with Russia would provide an alternative for international trade by allowing oil to be traded with the Yuan, now a gold backed currency.

Normally, projections like this get forgotten over time, however, both of these projections have now come true. In early 2018, China opened oil trading based on the Yuan (Bloomberg.com) thus challenging the Petro Dollar as the only world reserve currency. Iran, Venezuela and other countries are beginning to use the Yuan for international commerce as well. Other news sources covered it as well, RT.com

Cementing the challenge to the US Petro Dollar, Russia is in talks with Saudi Arabia about production agreements that could last 10-20 years. Reuters.com Now this may actually be a good thing as oil and gas prices would stabilize over longer periods of time allowing the world economy to experience less volatility on several levels.

The other big piece of information I have for you is a series of articles related to JP Morgan Chase Bank. In 2011, JP Morgan Chase began acquiring silver. Lots of it. On the books, they’ve acquired 150+million ounces of silver. Unknown, it’s estimated they may have acquired as many as 500 million ounces of silver. By the numbers, that’s about 5,000 tons and $2.5 billion in silver or it could be 15,600 tons and $8.2 billion.

So now you have Russia, China, and JP Morgan Chase all acquiring huge amounts of precious metals (silver and gold) beginning around 2009. You have to ask, “who else might be acquiring large amounts of precious metals? Why?

In reading Jim Rickards’ book about the coming economic collapse and the death of money, he made projections that have now come true, and now we see JP Morgan Chase following one of Jim’s recommendations to protect wealth. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Okay. So What Now?

So what should we do? I wish I had all the right answers, but I don’t. What I can do though is continue to learn and prepare as best I can.

  • I’ve recently purchased Jim’s latest book, Road to Ruin and I’m eager to see what other nuggets he has for me.
  • Don’t hold too much cash. Inflation causes your cash to lose value. During hyper inflations cycles, it loses value fast.
  • Buy some silver. How To.
  • Buy some gold. How To.
  • Stick with solid financial principles. Pay off your debts. Don’t waste your money.
  • Don’t be too heavy in stocks. Economic turmoil could cut the stock market by 1/3 to 1/2. Diversify your wealth to protect yourself.

Historically, I’m not a silver or gold buyer, but now I am. Gold and silver have not been great investments when compared to the S&P, real estate or other investment options. However, during an economic upheaval, you’re not looking for investment returns. You are looking for financial stability and protection. Gold and silver have been present in the global financial system for over 3,000 years. The USD has existed for a little over 200 years which exceeds the lifespan of typical fiat currencies which is about 27 years.

How Just $10,000 Can Turn Kids into Millionaires

As a father of six kids, yes six, it is my responsibility to teach my kids how to manage and multiply their money. Most parents, like mine, taught me how to work, make money and spend it. They did not teach me how to manage or multiply my money. I had to learn how to do that on my own, and thankfully, I did learn.

Now, it is my responsibility to pass on what I’ve learned to my children. Hopefully, since they are learning about money as children and not as a twenty five year old as I did, they will be much more successful with their money. If I do a good job teaching them, they may be able to become millionaires as well, and we can keep building family wealth and our ability to help other people in need.

Lately though, I’ve been thinking a little differently. Sure I can teach my kids how to manage and multiply money. They may even become millionaires, but what if there was a way I could virtually guarantee they would become millionaires. And, I could do it for just $10,000 per kid.

Well, it turns out, that idea isn’t so far fetched. I first got the idea last year while out on a walk in downtown Salt Lake City. I’m sure it was a chilly evening since March is usually cold in Salt Lake. After a bit of work and pondering, the idea started to have legs, and it is continuing to evolve.

Now you may be thinking, $10,000 can’t make someone a millionaire. And, you would be dead wrong. In fact, $10,000 can make someone a multimillionaire, if you start soon enough. The problem is, we all wait too long to get started on our investing. Many Americans wait well into their 30s or 40s to begin investing and saving for retirement. While it’s better late than never, the real opportunity to build wealth needs to start much sooner especially if you are going to turn $10,000 into a $1,000,000.

I know it sounds little like magic or hocus pocus, but it really just boils down to time…and economic and political stability. Let’s indulge ourselves a bit by assuming economic and political stability will exist in the future. Then we just need to concern ourselves with what happens when we invest $10,000.

According to Investopedia, the average growth rate for the S&P 500 dating back to 1928 is 10%. At 10% growth, it takes money about 7.2 years to double your money, which allows us to multiply our money like this over a 70 year period.

  • Initial Investment: $10,000
  • 7 years: $19,487
  • 14 years: $37,975
  • 21 years: $74,002
  • 28 years: $144,210
  • 35 years: $281,024
  • 42 years: $547,637
  • 49 years: $1,067,190
  • 56 years: $2,079,651
  • 63 years: $4,052,651
  • 70 years: $7,897,470

Now, why did I use a 70 year period for this example? The answer is simple. Because if you put $10,000 into an investment fund the year a child is born, allows it to grow in this manner. The number years mirror the child’s age. Are you getting the picture yet? $10,000 in an S&P Index Fund could become $1,067,190 by age 49 based on historical returns.

Now I know that sounds like a long time however, based on statistics, the average population life expectancy worldwide is approximately 70 years. In theory even with economic downturns, $10,000 will turn into $1,000,000 within a person’s lifetime between 49 and 70 years. If everything goes well, $10,000 could even make a person into a multimillionaire. So let’s look at the chart a bit differently based on age.

  • Initial Investment at birth: $10,000
  • Age 7 years: $19,487
  • Age 14 years: $37,975
  • Age 21 years: $74,002
  • Age 28 years: $144,210
  • Age 35 years: $281,024
  • Age 42 years: $547,637
  • Age 49 years: $1,067,190
  • Age 56 years: $2,079,651
  • Age 63 years: $4,052,651
  • Age 70 years: $7,897,470

Time for some questions.

  • “If you could make your kids into multimillionaires, why wouldn’t you?”
  • “How would it change a your child’s thinking if they KNEW they were going to be a millionaire?”
  • “If money were not an issue, what would your children and grandchildren do to help others? How much good could they do?”
  • “If there were more millionaires, with good hearts and values, how would our world change?”

I came from financially challenged family. The idea of being a millionaire was not in my head nor in my vocabulary. The possibility of being a millionaire was a foreign concept to me. At age 25, that all changed, and along with it how I thought about money and myself. The perception of who I would become grew together with the possibilities of what I could accomplish in life.

Now, I have six children. My oldest is headed of to college in the fall. My youngest is six. I look forward to how they will use the principles and the money they will be empowered with to help others in need and to change our world for the better.

With a bit of work and vision, it’s possible to change the financial outlook of our families, our children, our country and the world. Now what will you do? A great option to start is with a Vanguard S&P Index Fund.

Detours on Life’s Journey.

What a crazy couple of years my life has been. Quite a few of my friends often accuse me of TMI, and I confess I’m guilty as charged. Today may be one of those TMI days, but I’m a pretty open book. I like it that way.

Two years ago on May 2, 2016, I was released, fired, from an amazing company working in the personal finance education space. After fifteen years and seeing the company grow from 30 people to 550, it was my time to go. I tell people one of the best things that ever happened to me was joining that company, and when it was my time to leave, one of the best things that happened to me was to leave. Although I found it emotionally easier than I expected to move on, the resetting of life and career had to take place, and after fifteen years with the same company, some unplugging too. In the midst of all this, the timing was uncanny.

My mother-in-law had been battling cancer for about a year. She passed away in July 2016 and was buried on July 29th, my youngest son’s birthday. Without a job, I was better able to support my wife, her family, and my family through this time.

My mother was diagnosed with cancer in August 2016. She passed away in early November and was buried on November 15th, my middle daughter’s birthday.

As you can imagine, 2016 was quite an upheaval time for our family, and in the midst of it all, I spent an enormous amount of time delving into politics. I discovered how utterly naive I was about our national and global politics. What I learned truly shocked me and transformed my thinking, but I’ll save that for in person discussions with interested parties.

In January 2017, I found myself yet again working in the personal financial education space for a small company out of Salt Lake City, UT. I hadn’t sought out our planned to re-enter the personal finance space, but there I was as COO for a company that was trying to compete with my previous employer. With a little team of 12 people, my new journey began.

In the first 30 days, I stopped a $500,000 mobile app project, released 4 people, discovered how bad our financial position really was, and put together a brand, product and marketing plan to get things moving in the right direction.

In the next 30 days, the CEO revealed he and his five companies were under investigation. As expected, investment funds dried up quickly, and my time with the company ended May 31, 2017. After a short five month stint, I was once again unemployed. Five months, may not sound like a long time, but its what you do with the time that matters.

During my five months in Salt Lake City, I did a lot of soul searching and thinking. A lot. Searching for what was really important to me as 46 year old husband, father of six, Christian, and digital entrepreneurial minded guy. I thought about what possibilities the future held and where I wanted to go.

Being away from family five days a week, three weeks a month, makes you realize how valuable your family really is. Working sixteen hours a day, five days a week, makes you realize how valuable life really is. Seeing people struggle with life and money helps you realize how important people really are. Helping and inspiring struggling people is extremely satisfying.

And then there was all this free time I had from being unemployed. Hmmm. I kinda liked this freedom. Freedom to explore new endeavors. Freedom to be with my family. Freedom to be with my kids. Freedom to be with my wife as I sit in a coffee shop now with her writing this blog post. I rather enjoy this freedom, and I am very reluctant to give it up. It was interesting to me why hadn’t I thought this way before.

Since childhood, I was programmed for the job mentality getting my first real job at thirteen. From there, the job mentality continued to get more deeply ingrained. Over the last two years, I have been blessed to meet dozens of people who have broken free of the “job” mentality, and they have inspired me to do the same. Jobs are great tools for many people, but for me, they’ve run their course. I’m looking forward to taking months off with my kids through the summer and traveling. Even as a top level executive, I wouldn’t get that level of freedom if I’d stayed with either of my former employers.

Where has my journey and all of my thinking and soul searching led me over the last two years? Well, it has led me to a place I never imagined. In May 2017, I decided to write a book and began the task. In June 2017 with all my free time, I completed the first draft of 60,000 words. This month, I am putting on the finishing touches, and turning over a finished manuscript to my publisher on Monday, April 2 with my book due to release later this year. Crazy.

So let’s do an inventory of the last three years, marriage on the rocks in 2015 (did I forget to mention that?), lost job of 15 years as top level executive, loss of mother in law and mother due to cancer, and “reboot” job ended. Yet, through all of that, now my family is stronger and happier than it has ever been, my marriage is better than its ever been (pretty freaking amazing actually), and I’m finishing my first book (more to follow).

Aren’t the detours on life’s journey interesting? Even when things are crashing around you, do your best to keep moving forward. You’ll be amazed at what can happen.

Through this season of life, I found a few things that really helped me keep moving forward.

  1. Marriage Counseling. Recently, I’ve spoken with several friends that are going through divorces, and I admit that my wife and I were dangerously close as well. However, we chose a different road when facing our marital issues.

    I’ve spoken with people that say, “we went to marriage counseling.” Then I ask, “how often?”, and they reply monthly for three months. Sadly, my friends were not serious about saving their marriage.

    When I first suggested marriage counseling to my wife, she was reluctant and a bit afraid. I simply asked, “Do you want the next 18 years of our marriage to look like the last 18 years?”, and she replied, “No.”

    At the end of our first session, the counselor asked when we would like to come back. I said next month. My wife said next week. That was the beginning of weekly marriage counseling for six months, and it was the beginning of reshaping our marriage into what we have today as we sit together at the coffee shop writing. She’s amazing.

  2. Learn and explore. When I lost my job, I spent a lot of time learning about politics, real estate, investing, raising kids, being a better husband and other things. I should have been doing that all along, but with a job and six kids, life gets a little overwhelming.

    During my jobless season, we were fortunate to have enough money in place to give me flexibility to learn and explore new areas in life. Now once again, it’s a continuing part of who I am. My reading list has ballooned into new topics causing my mind to expand.

  3. Good people. It is so important to surround yourself with good people. As a working family man, I had allowed myself to become too isolated from other men. Truthfully, my parents had very few friends and were very isolated. I followed their example, and it was unhealthy. The additional free time to reflect on life, allowed me to address this issue in my life.
  4. Be open to new things and new opportunities. Over the last year, I’ve been exposed to new ideas and opportunities. Things like cryptocurrency which I’ve avoided for the last seven years are now on my radar. While one day I wanted to write a book, I didn’t think it would be in my 40s, and I didn’t think I’d write it an be published all in one year! But, I had the time, idea, and desire, so why not? After that, it just became work to do.

Life’s detours sure can be interesting.

Taking Advantage of Our Millionaire Opportunities.

What an exciting time it is to be in the financial space. The financial markets are at all time highs with the Dow Jones breaking 25,000. Personal and governmental debt has reached extremes possibly causing an implosion of the entire western financial system at any time. Russia and China are weaning themselves off the western financial system by working to create a gold backed alternative currency with the goal of dethroning the US dollar as the only world reserve currency. And then there’s cryptocurrency, where new “Bitcoin Millionaires” are being minted regularly.

In this crazy financial climate, the question is, “what are you doing to build and protect your family’s wealth?” Too many of us are going for the immediate gratification of that new car, luxury vacation, or indulging in some other way to spend your hard earned money. The reality is, it’s what you do with your money today that will determine if you will be a millionaire or multi-millionaire tomorrow. Does that make you think differently about how you are going to spend your money today? It should. Every dollar you spend costs you multi-dollars in the future.

At a meager 10% annual growth rate, $500 spent this month would have become $2,000 in just 14 years if you had invested it. $8,000 in 28 years. Now, how will you spend that $500 this month?

Perhaps, you have a bit more disposable income than the average person. Maybe you have $5,000 to spend this month. If you spend that $5,000 this month, you just cost yourself $20,000 in 14 years or $80,000 in 28 years.

Whatever money you have available, if you want to be a millionaire, you have to learn to multiply your money rather than spend it. To multiply your money you have to practice taking what you have and turning it into more. You can’t do that by spending it all on the latest gadget or your favorite latte at Starbucks.

Now, let’s get a little radical. 10% is a great annual return if you’re using real estate or the stock market, but what about getting a better return? Sometimes opportunities are all around us, but we miss them. I missed one in 2003 when my wife told me to invest in Apple Computers at $4 a share. Ouch. That one still hurts. Hindsight is usually 20/20, and we recognize our missed opportunities. Why do we miss these millionaire maker opportunities? That is a great question. Sometimes we’re just clueless about the opportunity, and it isn’t on our radar. At other times, we’re just not willing to take the risks. Well, the opportunity is here again and it’s called cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and the like. How do I know this is a millionaire opportunity? Because I’ve met quite a few people who have already become millionaires through cryptocurrencies. I’ve recently met several people who invested modest amounts between $5,000 and $50,000 who saw their investments grow to over $1,000,000.

Over the last several months as I’ve continue to get deeper into the cryptocurrency industry, I’ve recognized we’re still in the early stages of the industry, and we are quickly entering the early adoption phase where the industry takes a deeper hold on society and becomes more mainstream. The news is all around if you look for it. Crypto Coins News and Coin Telegraph keep you abreast of the daily industry news.

During my cryptocurrency dive, I’ve talked with dozens of people about cryptocurrency. Some people are taking the risks with cryptocurrency investments, and some are skeptics. The skeptics are usually the tradition financial and investing guys committed to the status quo and what they know. I would call these guys safe traditional investors. Cryptocurrency is too new and volatile for them. To them it’s a bubble waiting to pop. What I believe they are missing is that cryptocurrency is the birth of an industry. It won’t follow all the traditional rules of investing. When Ford created the car, he created an industry. It changed everything. Here we are again with Bitcoin in the financial market

I believe the “wise” risk takers will be smiling with millionaire, and I believe that the skeptics will once again be reliving the “missed opportunity moment.” In time, we will know who is right and who is wrong.

In any case, you can’t be a fool with your money or investing. Whether you want to stick with traditional investing tools like real estate and the stock market or you prefer riskier investments like crytpocurrency, it is important to take advantage of your millionaire opportunities and be smart about them. Educate yourself and sync up with people who are smarter than you on the topic. As part of my cryptocurrency learning, I connected with the team at Crypto Capital Club’s Telegram Chat and Adela Investment, the first Cryptocurrency Investment Fund based in Nashville, TN. Adela’s team has helped bring me up to speed on the cryptocurrency space. A few other great resources include Chris Dunn and The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast hosted by Trace Mayer.

I always remember to consider the risks with any investment. Here are some simple rules that I follow.

  1. I never invest more money than I am willing to lose if things go 100% south.
  2. I never risk money I need. I could lose it all.
  3. I know cryptocurrency is considered a “high risk” investment at this time. It is very volatile. As the industry matures, the risk should become lower.
  4. I only put at risk 5-10% of my net worth. If things blow up, I have plenty of money to fall back on to keep going.

Let me know if you become a “Cryptocurrency Millionaire”. I’d love to hear your story.

Fiat Money vs. Cryptocurrency

We are definitely living in a very interesting time in history on many levels. While the world is itself in a period of turmoil and change throughout the Middle East and Europe, the financial industry is also undergoing significant change. Unlike what is happening overseas, which is somewhat visible to the American public, what is happening in the financial world is much less visible to Americans. I’m talking about cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and the other 1,500 altcoins (an altcoin is an alternative cryptocurrency to Bitcoin).

While I’ve known about cryptocurrency as far back as 2010, I didn’t take the time to learn about it. As I’ve learned more about the cryptocurrency industry over the past year, I’ve become more fascinated with it and the potential it represents to the financial and commerce world. However, whenever speaking with the vast majority of my associates, I’m reminded how little most people know about cryptocurrency.

When something new like cryptocurrency is introduced, there is a period of denial and ignorance for most individuals. Cryptocurrency is very different from what we already know about silver, gold and fiat currencies like the United States dollar. Because of this “new idea”, it will take time for the majority of people to accept that a different form of currency is not just coming, it has arrived.

The creation of cryptocurrency is not very different from the creation of any other currency in ancient history. The only difference is that it is digital instead of tangible. Once you learn more about the different types of monies used throughout history including beads, coins, silver, gold, paper, and more, it is not as difficult to realize that we’re seeing yet another evolution of the monetary system. One that eliminates a primary problems with fiat currencies, counterfeiting. If you’d like to read up on the history of money, head over to Wikipedia or PBS.org for a lesson.

Now, what about Fiat vs. Cryptocurrency? Since the creation of Bitcoin in 2008/2009, cryptocurrencies have been under attack by established monetary, investing and business leaders. Every year since its inception, “experts” have predicted the demise of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies roughly 10+ times per year. You might say in the words of Mark Twain, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Cryptocurrencies have survived repeated assaults against their viability and legitimacy. This isn’t going to stop any time soon, but in the end, a lot of people will be eating crow when it comes to cryptocurrency as a viable financial tool.

While the US dollar is the dominant form of currency in the world today, I think we can all get distracted from the reality that worldwide, government currencies come and go over time. The US dollar will not remain dominant forever. Currencies also go up and down in value based on the current economic situations. For you money nerds out there, you might enjoy looking at the changing value of the dollar historically or versus other currencies. Inflation eats away at the value of fiat currencies like the US dollar.

While some may say that the argument is fiat currency vs. cryptocurrency as the title of this article suggests, the real question is “will cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and others play a role in the financial markets long term?” Don’t be suckered into the argument of fiat currency vs. cryptocurrency. That’s not the real question on whether or not cryptocurrencies will survive long term or make a viable investment asset. Very smart people fall into varying degrees of beliefs on both sides of the question.Only time will prove who is right.

With the emergence of ecommerce, did we see retail stores disappear completely? No. After 20 years, ecommerce finally surpassed the $300 billion mark in 2015. By comparsion, the entire retail segment for the United States stands around $4.7 trillion for 2015. Ecommerce has it’s place in the market, but it hasn’t come close to replacing the entire retail chain. Cryptocurrencies will likely serve a similar role in the financial space for the near future. They won’t replace money entirely anytime soon, but they will fill a very needed role.

Those who believe “cryptocurrencies are here to stay” are investing and making a lot of money. Those who believe “cryptocurrencies are going to fade away” may well find themselves using cryptocurrency to make purchases in the future and like all the other previously missed investing opportunities, they’ll regret missing this one.