“Chaos is merely order waiting to be deciphered.”
―Jose Saramago, The Double
We often send this checklist out ONLY to our clients, but this year, we are sharing it with all of our readers and subscribers. We hope you find it helpful as you organize your finances!
And more importantly, we wanted to share some of the thinking and principles behind it.
We read the various examples of “financial checklists” that appear at this time of year, and see the same ineffective strategies being promoted again and again. This shouldn’t be a surprise, since it is the financial institutions that benefit doing the promoting. However, if you want different results, you simply must take different actions.
Typical financial planning advice tells us to max out our qualified accounts, putting most of our dollars out of reach and into the stock market, out of our control, and under the government’s (and our employer’s) rules. Typical financial planning tells us where and how to invest our money, almost always with risk. It tells us when and how much of our own money we can have back (and the government tells us what their cut is.) Typical financial planning teaches us to accumulate, but not how to USE our money, make it work for us, and create cash flow.
We practice Prosperity Economics, which is the complete opposite of the typical financial planning so common in the marketing place. Prosperity Economics teaches us to keep control of our own dollars and build sustainable wealth that expands our choices and cannot vanish in a market crash.
We use our 7 Principles of Prosperity to guide us, because they have stood the test of time. The same is true with the products and strategies we recommend; they work for you and they work for us and our families, too, yet they are often the opposite of what most people are doing.
Our Annual Review Checklist represents the quick distilled “bullet points” or what to DO when practicing Prosperity Economics. Today we’d also like to briefly share the 7 Principles of Prosperity that guide our strategies and actions. These principles (along with a lot of testing on calculators and in the real world) inform “why” we do things the way we do.
THINK: The first of the 7 Principles of Prosperity instructs us to examine how we THINK. Are we thinking abundantly, or living our lives from the assumptions of scarcity? Our consciousness will guide our behavior and our results! For instance, if you believe there is “never enough,” you will spend every penny you make (and then some). However, if you believe there is more than enough, you’ll find ways to save, to give, and to invest in yourself.
Similarly, thinking from scarcity may cause us to accumulate money, but makes us afraid to use it, fearing there may NOT be “more where that came from.” Scarcity-thinking equates our security with our paychecks, our retirement accounts, or our house, but a prosperity mindset recognizes the limitless value within us, and leads us to create value in the world as well as our personal economies.
SEE: The second Principle of Prosperity teaches us to SEE the Big Picture of our finances – The Macro-Economic view. Typical financial planning tells us to focus on the rate of return, or the interest rate of our mortgage. It gets us focusing on a few trees, but unable to see the forest. Prosperity Economics asks us to look at our WHOLE personal economy, and ask how we can get MORE dollars growing, and how to do that sustainably and reliably.
MEASURE: Prosperity Principle # 3 is to MEASURE opportunity costs. Instead of telling us to “buy everything with cash” and “prepay your mortgage,” this principle teaches us that our own cash has a cost, and to recognize and consider the cost of paying with cash. We will either pay interest or pass up interest, and there are many situations where we can build wealth faster through strategic borrowing and leveraging.
FLOW: The fourth Prosperity Principle is to create cash FLOW with our dollars, rather than focus on accumulation. If you had a million dollars paying only one percent interest in a savings account, you’ll only be able to use $10,000 a year sustainably! We want our clients to feel comfortable USING their dollars to create cash flow. There are many ways to do this, such as investment real estate, businesses, providing temporary financing for real estate projects or other people’s businesses, and so on.
Too often, we forget that successful wealth-building is not about amassing a large pile of money, but it’s about using our wealth (dollars, skills, knowledge, connections, etc.) to create a sustainable life that inspires us, empowers us, and enables us to offer our deepest gifts.
CONTROL: The fifth Prosperity Principle is to CONTROL your wealth. As we explained in detail in our article on The Mistakes Wall Street Hopes You Make (part 2) and Life Insurance Commission Shock article, the end result of many strategies is to have you turn over your dollars to big financial companies who use your dollars to make them more dollars.
We think it is frankly insane to put your money where you are told what you can and can’t do with it. (One of many reasons why we don’t believe that the government, the Department of Labor, and your company’s HR department should dictate your investment decisions!) While understanding that different investment vehicles do have rules that must be followed, our clients to keep their dollars under their control so that they can make these choices, and not have the decisions about their money made for them.
MOVE: Prosperity Principle # 6 is to MOVE our dollars. Just like water gains power from movement, as opposed to remaining stagnant, so our MONEY gains power and momentum through movement. We see our economy strengthen when money “moves,” when people start shopping for the holidays, or feel confident to spend as well as earn. Movement is what creates cash flow in our businesses, our national economies, and our personal economies.
Think of having money move THROUGH your assets, not TO your assets. We teach our clients about the velocity of money, because wealth is not created when money sits stagnant and still under lock and key, but when it moves to us, through us, through our communities, back to us, and so on.
MULTIPLY: The seventh Prosperity Principle is to MULTIPLY your money by MULTIPLYING the ways in which you use each dollar. When you put your dollars to work doing more than one job, they become more efficient. Just like your smart phone does more than one job, likely replacing an ipod, a GPS system, a pager (remember those?), a pocket camera and a calculator, so your dollars can do multiple jobs.
This is what we teach our clients to do with their dollars, and it gives them tremendous freedom! They don’t have to scrimp and save for a new car, a college education, a retirement fund and protection against a list of every unknown – they can do all of this at once, using a multi-purpose Prosperity Fund as needed when various scenarios arise. Best of all, they can meet those needs without having to liquidate their fund and start from scratch.
These 7 Principles of Prosperity are the organizing principles of Prosperity Economics that guide our strategies, products, and decisions.
With those principles in mind, enjoy our Annual Review Checklist for 2014! Just click on the link below to download or print your copy.
Please feel free to share P4P’s Annual Review Checklist, along with this article. And as you organize your finances, let us know if we can help, or if there is a particular section you are interested in hearing more about.
We do take time off for the holidays, but if you fill out our contact form, we will be in touch as soon as we are able to schedule an appointment.