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Whether you’re a seller or a buyer, always have a lookout on scams. We are bombarded daily with advertisements and promotional campaign. Sometimes when you see a deal and find it amazing, do you due diligence, because it often turns out to be “too good to be true“. Better yet, hire a professional. It is not worth trying to save a little money than wide up losing more just because you are not careful.

We all know we don’t like to pay for insurance, because it feels like throwing money away. We will only find insurance to be a good investment when we fall into traps and unfortunate situations. Yes, it is possible to sell a property by yourself, however, the realtor profession exists for a reason, they are a type of insurance you purchase or along with the deal to make sure someone with the right knowledge is there to follow through the entire process.

Although realtors are not mortgage specialists, they have the knowledge that can help their clients be safe during a property transaction. It’s never a bad thing to be too careful!

Below are six suggestions written by Dianne Nice on an article posted on CTV News

1. Beware of unusual offers. Never lend your identity to anyone or sign documents you do not fully understand. “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”

2. Do the math. Look at the listing history on the property and do a comparative market analysis. Check the number of sales and price ranges for the community. If the home’s listing price is much higher than the average value of neighbouring homes, it could mean someone is flipping the property or has had it fraudulently appraised.

  • The realtor you work with should be responsible for doing the proper market analysis by comparing the properties you are interested in to the comparable in the target area. He or she will have to find out the prices for properties around yours and make sure that the price you are about to settle with is legitimate.

3. Don’t assume the seller is honest. Get your own realtor or independent representation for your purchase. If the seller objects, something is wrong.

  • If you have haven’t started looking for properties, hire a Realtor and tell him/her what you are looking. It will be their job to find somewhere that you are satisfied with. Make sure you keep him around to close the transaction, it is their job to keep you safe.
  • If you have found a property and about to close it, it is wise to hire a Realtor to make sure that all the details of the transaction are done properly. He will also be able to point out things that people who is not familiar with real estate will normally miss out. The realtor will also be able to tell you whether the price you are aiming for is whether too high or too low comparing to the current market in that specific area. He will also be of great assistance during the price negotiation process.

4. Do a land title search. This will show the name of the property owner, any mortgages or liens registered on the title, as well as previous sales and transfers. You can also buy title insurance to protect against title fraud.

  • The land title search process also falls under the responsibility of the Realtor. It is their job to make sure you have a clear title once you have close the deal. Without the Realtor confirming this important detail, there’s always a chance that you are either buying someone who do not actually own the property, or do not intend to give you the title once he or she receives your money.

5. Get your own appraisal. You may want to include, as part of your offer to purchase, the option to have the property appraised by a member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada.

  • Realtors should have contacts with numerous property appraisal companies. Even if the other party of the transaction have said to you that they have a proper appraisal completed, it is always safer to re-appraise the property with someone who is working on your side.

6. Secure your deposit. Make sure your money is being held in a real estate trust account by a realtor or lawyer. This will ensure your money is safe until the deal closes.

  • It is your Realtor’s job to guard you deposit while the transaction is happening. Once the transaction has been completed and the title is transferred to your name, then the seller will be able to retrieve the deposit from the brokerage’s trust account.

There are too many traps and scams, and real estate transaction always involve a bit large chuck of your hard-earned money. You can never be too careful.

Will you be willingly drive a car without insurance? Often we feel like we are just throwing the money away, until the day when someone breaks in or crashes you car. This is when you wish you had purchased insurance. It is the same deal with hiring a Realtor, it is their job to make sure your transaction go through safe and sound.



Danism Logo

I’ve never been good at Photoshop, it’s not impossible to learn, but I never spent the time learning because I didn’t think I’d ever be using it. Then I realized how expensive it could be to hire someone to use their imagination to create a logo for you. It’s difficult for me to grasp the idea of paying someone to use THEIR imagination to create something that will represent you and your philosophies. No matter how skilled and imaginative they are, I think there will always be something that they have missed out that you will later realize and kick yourself for not seeing it earlier. You might even notice it then but didn’t speak up because you don’t want to be an arrogant customer.

I read somewhere in an article that no matter what you are marketing, it’s all about branding. It’s all about marketing yourself. Then you will become attached to whatever product or service that you provide. In my logo for whatever I’m doing in the future, I want to incorporate my life and start branding from the very root of it all, myself.

I didn’t use my name in the logo, there’s just something not special enough about it. So I made up a word that I feel could be general enough to be used for whatever I want to do in the future and still be relevant to myself.

In my crude attempt at Photoshop, this is what I came up with…

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p.s. I welcome criticism


Yesterday, I had finally reach the halfway point of the first step I need to take in reaching my goal. I have completed half of the course I need to pass to start my career. Although it’s considered minuscule in the grand picture. I still feel that it’s worth a little personal celebration.

It’s definitely true that when you think you know what you want to do in the future and is determined, there’s not a lot that is able to stop you, despite the many obstacles that you can clearly foresee. There’s only literally 15 days until the initial deadline I give myself, but there’s always hope of finding a way to reach it. Regardless that this course has the thickest textbook I have ever studied. I still managed to get through half of it by now and I’m going faster and faster.

It’s halfway through the Summer 2010 and I have not done anything besides studying this course. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t done much this summer, comparing to the regular summers I used to have with all the house parties and drinking, but you can say this summer went exactly as planned. What’s left is ignore all the negativity and focus on the only thing I need to do now.

A while ago, I sudden had a feeling I need some luck to come my way. I did some research on it and found 貔貅 (pi xiu). I spent a couple of days reading over information on it then decided to go to the Buddhism Temple in Richmond to find one. Luckily, they did have it. I was surprised because it isn’t popular in Vancouver, yet. Maybe it was meant to be, it was expensive, and wore it ever since I got it. Religion DO cost money.

I have lived in Canada for over ten years. This summer is the first time I felt like I had to go to the Buddhism Temple. I wasn’t forced by anyone and no one triggered this thought, it just happened. I thought I was personally an atheist, but now I know, I’m halfway to Buddhism. Maybe it’s the latent effect of my childhood, my parents and grandparents are all Buddhists.

In general, Supposedly this 貔貅’s main purpose is to keep negative forces and bad luck away from you, its secondary purpose is to bring you wealth and help you keep it.  I felt like I needed a motivational booster in my life so I decided to find one.

Yesterday, I went to the Temple again, this time with Rex and Jeff. It’s weird that I find my mind peaceful when I go there. I never thought I’d be a “temple-goer”, but I have to admit, I like it. It’s good that you have someone to thank when you depend mostly on yourself when you achieve something. And it’s great to have someone/somewhere to go to when you need some strength to endure hardships. All we need sometime is to do things that’ll simply satisfy ourselves, without needing an explanation. You don’t lose anything to believe in something, but you don’t know what you could miss out on if you don’t. If you believe it, it exist.

No matter what business you are in, marketing is the KEY. Without great marketing, no matter how excellent your products or services are, it would not get too far. Today, we’re still in the beginning of the social media hype. Countless of business market themselves on the internet, but are they doing it the right way? Using the most effective tools?

HomeGain ®, a connection portal for realtors and buyers of real estate conducted a survey on the top marketing practices and preferences of realtors today. Parts of the result were a bit shocking to me.

According to HomeGain®, over 1,300 real estate agents and brokers in US participated in the survey. Each type of marketing strategies receives a score out of 10 for effectiveness; with 1 as the least effective and 10 as the most effective.

1= Least Effective 10= Most Effective

Networking and referrals for Realtors is at the top of the list as excepted. Word of mouth advertisement is at its best in this industry. Building a large and solid network should be the top priority for realtors, as a matter of fact for any industry.  Printed Ads may become obsolete. The public views thousands of advertisements a day, no matter where they go. They have learned to look pass it and place them into their unconsciousness. For me personally, I will not complete give it up. Its low cost/investment will still give me an increase of 3.6%; it’s better than nothing.

This second part of this survey asked the agents and brokers what strategy they will choose in the future. Results show that they will continue to focus on referrals, e-mail campaigns and featured listings. They are less likely to invest time and money on strategies such as Twitter, banner ads, pay per click advertisements, outdoor advertising and MySpace.

Below is the Top 10 Marketing Objectives for Realtors in 2010.  We will likely include in all the top 10 strategies mentioned. Moreover, YouTube will likely to be used more than before in the future as a marketing tool in the real estate industry.  (1=Least Likely to Use; 10= Most Likely to Use)

  • Referrals (8.9)
  • Email Campaigns (5.7)
  • Postcards/Mailers (5.4)
  • Featured Listings (5.2)
  • Facebook (4.9)
  • Print Ads (4.3)
  • Blogging (4.2)
  • LinkedIn (4.1)
  • Online Lead Generation Services (4.0)
  • YouTube (3.5)


Condo expert Jai Wadhwani reveals six key things investors should research before purchasing a condo unit

Dec 16, 2009 – Buying a condo unit as an investment property can be tricky, but if you consider several key fundamentals, you are more likely to end up with a winner. As always, each of these areas should be carefully examined and the more information you can gather, the better.


With location comes all factors that define an area, including amenities that are close to the development. For example, investors should check out the local neighbourhood’s transit, retail stores and restaurants, entertainment centres and offices or places of employment. You will be able to sell or rent your unit based on a potential buyer’s and renter’s desire to be close to work or shopping facilities. You will then have an advantage over another property, which may be a safe location, but doesn’t offer anything extra or meet the specific needs of a client.


The layout of a condo can allow you to increase the selling price between $20,000 and $50,000. You can do this by paying close attention to the details of a project. For example, if there is a one-bedroom plus den and the den is large enough to convert to another bedroom, this increases revenue because now your unit is in the two-bedroom price range. Before buying, always look for ways to make improvements on any given unit.


Look at several similar units and determine an average price per square foot. Once you have this figure, you can look at what the current market value is and compare it to nearby developments. If yours is higher or lower in value than others with the same projected occupancy dates, then you may want to compare such factors as what finishes or features are being offered in your project. This is also where your agents’ expertise comes in handy. For example, project one has granite counters and offers stainless-steel appliances with hardwood floors. Project two does not come with granite, has white appliances and carpet versus hardwood floors. Some buyers may pay between $8,000 and $10,000 more on the purchase price for project one. You may even be able to increase the rent based on a market that would pay extra for these features.


It is important to know about future developments like what residential and commercial buildings will be coming up near your investment. For example, if you are aware of a future condominium being built within proximity to your investment, find out what they may have to offer compared to your development. An agent will be an excellent tool as they may be in contact with certain builders in the area. Look at both advantages and disadvantages. This will help you determine what factors to point out to a potential buyer or renter and make your unit stand out amongst the masses.

You will also want to look at any upcoming commercial developments such as a grocery store or a coffee shop. These are great selling points to a potential buyer or renter and point to economic growth in any given area.


Being aware of what amenities your condominium offers over other buildings will help determine the price point. For example, you can look at a building with high-end amenities. While the amenities are excellent and better than any other building nearby, will your buyer or renter be willing to pay for it? There must be a price tag attached, either in the purchase price or in the maintenance. Some people, for example, may prefer location over amenities as they may not use the gym or pool. Find out what renters in the area prefer, as this will help you determine which development is the right one for you.


If you’re buying off the plan, consider what will happen by the time the project is complete. What will happen to the market in two, four, 10 years? Make sure you look at all aspects and plan for the long term. What if you can’t sell the unit? Will you be able to afford to carry it and for how long? What will your carrying costs be and how will that compare to the rent you receive? What if the unit sits vacant; how long can you last if there is no one to rent it? Be sure to go over all factors to ensure that you can handle a condo as an investment property.

Jai Wadhwani is a sales representative at Royal Lepage Meadowtowne Realty in Mississauga, Ont. For more condo information, visit

From the October 2009 issue of CRE


This is an article from real estate investing for beginners dot com

The first step to real estate wealth starts with your mindset.

So how do you know if you’ve got the mindset of a wealthy person or if you’re traveling the path of the poverty-stricken? Let’s see if your brain is in the right place with a simple test…

The Situation:

Even though you may know nothing about real estate investing, I walk up to you and say “I’ve got a real estate deal that needs $20,000. What do you say?”

What would be your response?

Poor mindset response: “I don’t have that kind of money, Jarom.”

99% of the American population would come up with some version of that statement–”sorry, I don’t have the money so I can’t do it.” That is why 99% of the people in this country are not wealthy and never will be.

Do you think Donald Trump ever says “I don’t have the money”? Does Warren Buffet every say “I don’t have the money”? Did Henry Ford, Charles Schwab, or John D Rockerfeller ever say “I don’t have the money”?

No! And it’s not because they have the money either.

They’re wealthy because even if they were dirt poor, they wouldn’t respond “I don’t have the money.”

So how would they respond? If you’ve read Think and Grow Rich (pick up your free copy on our recommended reading list if you haven’t), this is how you would respond:

Wealthy mindset response:

“What would this deal make me?”

People in a wealthy mindset don’t ask how much it costs, they ask how much it will make them.

This is important–let me put it another way.

Wealthy people (or those who are on their way to being wealthy) don’t look at opportunities based on price. They look at the benefits and then decide if the price is worth it.

You see, the wealthy know that if the deal is right then they can find the money. It doesn’t have to be their money.

If you asked me “What would the deal make me?” and I replied “$30,000 in six months” do you think that, if you didn’t have the $20,000, you could find someone who did and offer them $27,000 in six months to borrow their $20,000? And you’d make $3,000 in the middle for doing a little money-finding leg work.

The whole reason I’m asking you for $20,000 in the first place is because the deal will make me $40,000 and I’m willing to give up $30,000 of that so I don’t have to use my own money.

If I use my own money, the number of deals I can do is limited to how much money I have. If I tap into other people’s money, I can do as many of those deals as I can handle.

Donald Trump and Warren Buffet know this, so when a new investment crosses their desk that makes sense to them, they don’t look at their bank account to see if they have the money. They grab the deal and then find the money to make it happen.

After all, if your first response is “I don’t have the money” how would you ever know if the deal was a good one? You wouldn’t.

The whole point of this exercise is that big opportunities are going to cross your path. If you’re in the mindset of poverty and scarcity then you’re going to miss them. But if you prepare yourself by learning how the wealthy think and work, you’ll be in the mindset of abundance and wealth.

Then you’ll recognize opportunity when it knocks, and you’ll be ready to take action.

-Jarom Adair
Real Estate Investing for Beginners

Everybody knows that Google map is an amazing tool for anyone

As for real estate investors and agents, this free service provided by Google is actually more useful than you may imagine.

It provides all the properties listed for sell, for rent, and foreclosures.

Here are the easy steps for this amazing FREE information

Step 1:

Go to

Step 2:

Type in the zip code or address of your target
investing area.
Step 3:

Then to the right there is a little tiny line
of blue text that says “show search options”.

On the drop down menu choose “real estate”.


GoogleMaps will give you a full map of your target investing area!

It will show you:

  • – Properties for sale
  • – Properties for rent
  • – Properties in foreclosure

This is a fast and easy way to get a visual overview of your investing area, for free.

If you’re buying a property you want to know what
percentage of properties in that area are for sale?

How saturated is the market?

It helps you not only plan your exit strategy properly,

You can go to a motivated seller and pull up and show them, “hey in your area
there are 47 other properties just like yours on the
market.  So if you need to sell now, this is why you
should take the creative offer I am giving you
because this is your best option.”

And on the foreclosure part –
You can see properties or even land lots in foreclosure.

Again – before buying or selling you want to know
what the foreclosure percentage looks like in the area.

This is a great resource for compiling details of the comp. in the interested area where you are planning to buy/sell/invest!

Luxury Living in Canada

This is an article from Canadian Real Estate Magazine by Suzanne Sharma.

As real estate prices across the country continue to climb, owning a big-ticket home is no longer just for the rich and famous. In fact, in some markets a million-dollar price tag is merely a starting point. Suzanne Sharma looks at whether it’s really worth breaking the bank for these high-end properties
One of the driving forces behind the increase in Canada’s overall real estate market is the nation’s luxury market, defined as properties and homes that are worth more than $1 million, have desirable amenities and scenic views, and are in a good location with a low crime rate. According to the 2007 Carriage Trade Luxury Properties Poll, 12% of Canadians reside in homes that fit this description.
“The great strength of our economy is allowing senior executives and those that are affluent to get into the luxury home market,” says Darryl Mitchell, manager at Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. “If they’re already in that market, then they’ve been able to increase their equity and invest.”
According to a report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, the number of Canada’s high net worth individuals – defined in this case as people with assets (excluding primary residence) exceeding US$1 million – is growing at an annual rate of about 6.9%. As incomes rise, these individuals are finding it easier to purchase high-end properties.
A safe bet?
Mitchell notes that the tax structure in Canada encourages buyers to purchase more expensive homes. “One of the only ways that a person can gain wealth and not get taxed is by the purchase and sale of a home,” he says. “A single-family residence is exempt from being taxed.”
However, these high-end homes are not for the average Joe, since it could be extremely difficult to meet mortgage payments. “Some people might be tempted to buy a very expensive home with mortgage payments at the verge of their capabilities because our rates are still very low and might go even lower next year,” says Walter Koziej of Mercury Mortgages Inc. “But what happens three to five years down the road when the rates do go up? It’s a disaster waiting to happen.”
Luckily, Canada’s mortgage system typically doesn’t allow people to borrow over their limit. The sub-prime lending crisis in the United States, where lenders offered borrowers a low rate for a short period of time and then dramatically increased the rate for the rest of the term, is not an option here.
If you have the funds to purchase a luxury property, then Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto lead the luxury market race with average high-end prices greater than $1million. According to Royal LePage, Edmonton is also gaining momentum, with the average luxury home just shy of the mark at $950,000. This makes the city a good buy now, since many realtors in the area are expecting Edmonton’s high-end market to soar in the next few years.
Vancouver prices breaking records
British Columbia still boasts the most expensive real estate in Canada, with cities such as Vancouver, Victoria, South Surrey and Kelowna all breaking the $1 million average point, according to RE/MAX.
Vancouver is also the province’s top producing city in terms of investment dollars. According to RE/MAX, the average luxury property in Vancouver costs more than $2 million and the average price per square foot is $2,000. In fact, it is almost impossible to buy a property for less than that in the downtown and inner-city areas.
“Prices have increased so much that the average person with the average income cannot afford to buy a condo in the downtown core, so they have to buy outside the city,” says Christa Frosch, real estate agent at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “Therefore, there is more high-end product sitting on the market due to price appreciation.”
The high prices have not deterred international investors from purchasing within the city. These types of buyers, classified as ‘ultra-upper-end buyers’, typically purchase properties listed above the $2 million price point.
“Before, Vancouver was kind of a sleepy town and not really on the radar,” says Ben Kielb, real estate agent at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “I don’t think the market warranted having luxury properties because it was too risky. But now you’re attracting investors from Eastern Europe, China and Dubai, and you’re opening it up to the world.”
Additionally, the ageing Baby Boomer population has taken an interest in Vancouver real estate. “Baby Boomers are a very large market segment and have taken advantage of significant amounts of equity buildup over the last few decades,” says Cameron Muir, chief economist at the British Columbia Real Estate Association. “Many of them are translating that equity into luxury properties. The wealth of the Boomers is adding to demand.”
Waterfront properties and homes with mountain views tend to be the investment of choice for buyers. According to RE/MAX, areas west of Vancouver, such as Kitsilano and Coal Harbour, have had the highest appreciation, as well as unit sales, with many properties selling in 30 days if well priced.
Calgary surges ahead
2006 proved to be a booming year for Alberta’s real estate. It was a period when in-migration increased, creating a buyer frenzy, which subsequently caused property prices to rise. Calgary became a city with a prominent luxury market and an average price of $1 million, according to RE/MAX.
The capital that is being made in the oil and gas industries in Calgary is attracting many executives who are moving into the area and purchasing high-end real estate. Additionally, the city boasts one of the highest average family incomes in Canada.
“People pay a lot more here in the luxury market than even in the United States, but people will buy here because the job market is so good,” says Thomas Keeper, real estate agent at Century 21 Terrace Real Estate.
There has been a 57% increase in high-end units sold in Calgary, according to RE/MAX. Keeper notes that two years ago, only half of the homes priced at more than $1 million would sell in the first year, whereas now these properties generally sell within three months.
Lakeside properties south of Calgary in Lake Bonavista, Arbour Lake and Auburn Bay are the most popular with buyers. Additionally, country estates that are situated on two- or three-acre lots are an investment of choice.
“If you can afford the high-end payments, it’s a win-win situation,” says Keeper. “If the market goes down, you get to live in a beautiful home, and when the market goes up, the gains are exponential.”
Toronto tops the luxury meter
Real estate in Ontario has continued to swell in both price and units sold. Areas such as Kitchener, Mississauga, and Hamilton have become excellent investment opportunities; however, it is Toronto’s luxury market that has taken the province by storm.
In the first three quarters of 2007, 2,201 high-end properties were sold, a 33% increase over the same period last year, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board. In many parts of the city, entry into the luxury market will cost closer to $2 million, which is quite an increase from 25 years ago when the highest properties were in the $300,000 price range.
The most sought-after homes in the city are just north of downtown Toronto in the Forest Hill area, which is up 78% in sales year-over-year, and Rosedale, which is up 13% in sales year-over-year according to RE/MAX. In the north end, Yorkville is the number-one choice for high-end condominium investors, with the Four Seasons Private Residences, Trump International Hotel & Tower and Shangri-La all selling at a rapid pace.
“The biggest reason for the increase is immigration,” says Mark McLean, partner at Sotheby’s International Canada. “We’re seeing a lot of people coming from other parts of the world who are looking for stability, cleanliness and education, and the reality is that in other parts of the world such as Paris, London, New York, real estate is so expensive.”
The average high-end property in New York is about $5,000 per square foot according to McLean. In certain parts of Paris and London, luxury properties are averaging about $8,000 per square foot.
Risks and rewards
Buying high-end definitely means that you get the very best in location, amenities and features, as long as it is within a price range that you can afford. However, if it’s an investment you’re looking for, the luxury market carries a higher level of risk.
“If the market cools or goes sideways, luxury homes are tougher to get rid of,” says Kielb. “It’s a lot easier to sell a $300,000 condo than a $5 million home. People are a little more hesitant and cautious.”
It is also more difficult to invest in a luxury rental property. McLean notes that there isn’t a great deal of product on the rental market that is high-end. Additionally, once a property becomes available, it stays on the market much longer since rent prices are typically between $5,000 and $10,000 per month. Therefore, it would be more beneficial to purchase two $500,000 properties instead of one $1 million property.
On the flip side, when a market appreciates in value, investors who buy high-end will achieve greater returns on their purchase. “It works with percentages,” says Keeper. “Where a home priced at $500,000 will increase yearly at a rate of about 10%, it will be the same as a home that is worth $5 million.”
The most important factor when purchasing high-end is the higher utility costs, fees and renovation expenses. If these items are affordable, then buying within the luxury market can be a sound purchase.
“A home is a sanctuary and I think this is particularly true for high-income earners,” says Maureen O’Neill, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. “Astute businesspeople also recognize that real estate is an excellent long-term investment, so really, there’s no better way to pamper yourself than to invest in a spectacular home.”

Knowledge is power;
Solid foundation of knowledge is the roots of a tree.

Be a leader, not a follower;

Not only think differently, but also DO differently


Here’s a short piece by the famous Robert Kiyosaki

By Robert Kiyosaki,
author of Rich Dad Poor Dad

I was speaking on financial intelligence a while back to a group of university professors in Singapore. At the end of the talk, one of the professors asked me:

“Where did you learn about business and why do some people make more money than others?”

Responding to the first half of his question, I referred to my book Rich Dad Poor Dad and explained to him that I had a father who was just like him, a respected and highly intelligent career educator.

My other dad, my best friend’s father, who also spent many years raising me, was a school dropout, but was a natural financial genius. My business education came from him.

Thinking rationally vs. thinking emotionally

To the second half of this question I replied: “The best business school I attended was Vietnam. In Vietnam I learned what I believe to be my most important life skill.”

“And what is that?” the professor asked.

“To know if I am thinking rationally or emotionally,” I replied. “While in combat, l learned to be a master of my emotions and to think clearly, even under extreme pressure.”

I went on to tell him of a day in 1972 when the engine of my helicopter gun ship suddenly quit. There was a loud bang and then deathly silence followed by the most horrible of sinking feelings. We were falling out of the sky like a huge rock.

Every part of me was screaming, “Pull back on the stick and add power.” But my three years of pilot training had taught me to think rationally and override my emotions.

Instead of pulling the nose of the aircraft up, I pushed the nose of the aircraft down and dove the aircraft straight for the ocean below me. To this day, my mind is burned with the vision of the deep green ocean coming up at me at blinding speed.

As we faced what appeared to be our certain death. If I had done what I felt like doing, which was pull the nose up, I would have died that day, taking four other people with me.

Most people live in fear of losing money

“And how has being the master of your emotions been important to your success?” the professor inquired with even greater curiosity.

Wanting to stay in his world, I replied using his frame of reality, “Have you ever had very smart students with great grades go out into the world and not do well financially or professionally?”

The professor nodded.

“When it comes to money,” I replied, “it is the emotion of fear that keeps most people poor. Most people live in fear of losing money or risking money so they say things like ‘play it safe’ or ‘don’t take risks.'”

The professor immediately interjected, “Are you saying be careless? Live dangerously?”

“No,” I replied. “all I am saying is that you need to know when you are thinking emotionally and when you are thinking rationally. When you are emotional, thinking rationally is often the hardest thing to do.

“Money, sex, religion, and politics are emotional subjects. So when it comes to those subjects, most people are not thinking rationally. When it comes to money most people are so afraid of losing that they wind up losing. That is not too intelligent.”

The professor was beginning to nod his head.

I continued on, “Another example of emotional thinking versus rational thinking is when someone says, ‘I don’t feel like doing it.’ Many people are not successful because they let their feelings do the thinking for them.

“For example, every morning I get up and say, ’I it feel like going to the gym,’ but hopefully my rational mind overrides my emotional mind and sags. ‘Come on, one hour, and it’s over.’ If my rational mind wins I ride my bicycle to the gym, and if my emotional mind wins, I snuggle up in bed for another hour.”

How you respond to fear makes the difference

“And to you, that is the primary difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?” asked the professor.

I nodded my head. “When it comes to money, I am often going in when most people are getting out. Or I take risks, while the masses are playing it safe.

“I feel the same fears they do, I just use my mind differently. That ability to do what is necessary, in spite of my feelings screaming at me to do otherwise, is the single most important life skill I have learned.”

“But aren’t you afraid?” asked the professor.

“Yes.” I replied strongly. “I have the same fear as everyone else. It’s how we respond to that fear that makes the difference. As I said, most people would have pulled back on the stick when the engine died, and l was trained to push the nose forward.

“The same thing happens financially. People pull back, play it safe, terrified of making a mistake, while life’s opportunities pass them by.”

The professor seemed to be understanding so I kept going. “There is another aspect of fear that also causes people to lose money, and that is the fear of ostracism, reportedly the number one fear of most humans.”

“Why the fear of ostracism?” asked the professor.

“Ostracism is the fear of being different, or standing alone, or being ridiculed by peers. That fear causes people to conform rather than risk being different. In Australia it’s called the ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome.’ In investor language, the fear of ostracism leads to the ‘thundering herd’ mentality.

“The fear of being different causes people to band together, so they wait for social proof that what they are doing is right. It is also called the ‘madness of the crowd.’

“So they enter markets late, buy what their friends are buying, and get slaughtered. After an experience like that, they spend the rest of their lives living in perpetual fear, continuing to go along with the rest of the crowd that is not going anywhere financially.”

“So how does that affect financial intelligence?” asked the professor.

Financial intelligence is a 50/50 proposition.” I began to summarize slowly. “50% of financial intelligence is what you learn in business school, or in my case what I learned from my rich dad. It is the so-called technical knowledge about money, accounting, finance, investing, and business.

The other 50% of financial intelligence is knowing when you are thinking rationally and when you are thinking emotionally. To simply say, ’play it safe’ is not a rational thought because it is a thought that is generated out of emotion. To say, ’play it smart’ is a thought coming from the rational brain.

It is that 50/50 relationship that is the basis of financial intelligence, and to answer your original question, why some people make more money than others.”


By: Sharon Hiebing

Should a Real Estate Investor have a real estate license in order to be successful? Often new investors will ask themselves this question.

What is the answer? Well, it depends on the person asking the question. There is no right or wrong answer. First, each investor must look at their goal in real estate investing. Do they want to purchase one property a year, or twenty?

If they’re taking the “slow and steady” approach, then access to a lot of property will not be a high priority. This investor can take their time in locating profitable markets, performing market research, acquiring team members, and making offers that are accepted. They basically can accumulate their resources and leads through methods other than being a real estate professional.

If, however, they want to invest at a consistent pace, with a goal of one to two properties a month, and they want to do it in their own backyard, then perhaps having a license would be beneficial. This would give them access to all inventory on the market, in addition to “insider tips” on new or upcoming listings.

In fact, in a buyer’s market, they may turn a potential listing into an investment purchase, creating a win-win for the seller and the agent, since in a buyer’s market it can take many months to sell a home, and they’ve just saved the seller the realtor commission.

If an agent operates in an area that does not meet their investment criteria (i.e. cash flow, appreciation, etc.), then there obviously is no benefit to becoming an agent in the first place if one of their primary goals is to find investment property.

As many realtors will tell you, it is not an easy job. You have to work when everyone else doesn’t, which means a lot of nights and weekends. People will want to negotiate your salary. You may play tour guide instead of agent if you’re not good at pre-screening clients. And in a down economy, you may find yourself with very little to no income.

So should you become a realtor just because you’re investing – not unless it’s a job you really want to do and finding viable property is simply a perk!

People generally think they need to have an extensive education in real estate before they can invest. This is simply not true. There are so many ways to get experience without taking risks that it would be silly to spend six months to a year getting a real estate license before you made your first investment.

Yet, many people do exactly that. They feel they must read a ton of books or attend a bunch of seminars before they can “pull the trigger.” Don’t misunderstand. Education is very important. But when it is sought after to the point of preventing you from taking action, it can become a liability.

Usually people have a lack of confidence in their abilities when it comes to doing something new for the first time. If this is the case, then hire a coach, or find a mentor. In fact, many successful people feel when it becomes time to try something new, they need to have guidance from someone with experience.

After all, why should anyone re-create the wheel when there is always someone out there who has been there, done that. If they’ve already attended the “School of Hard Knocks,” why should you become one of its alumni? Finding a Coach or Mentor can save a lot of time, a ton of money, and a great deal of heartache in the long run.

So, do you need a real estate license to be a successful investor? It depends…..