Gold

What is there to know about gold? I hear that it is a good hedge for investment. If it is so great as a hedge then why not a main asset?

What if I was to buy a bit of gold, wait until it appreciates a bit and then sell some of it to someone and immediately use that money to buy more? Then I would begin to stockpile gold and it would just keep getting bigger.

Buying gold would be better than just having cash because the value would not depreciate as the dollar does, and if I needed to use it I could sell it pretty readily for cash. Also, I would be less tempted to spend money that is tied up in something like that.

Do I have enough to buy anything?

Who would I sell it to?

Would I need an exit strategy? If the price of gold dropped what would I do? Hold on to it? Sell it immediately? To whom would I sell it?

After a little research I found a few answers and a few more questions. I would need at least $50 to place an order with APMEX. I could set up an account for free storage or have them ship my order to me. I could get one 1/10 ounce gold coin for about $180. I could get a lot more silver or other precious metals for that price, or even just spend less.

I don’t know what implications are involved as far as insurance and taxes. I read in several places that they recommend you to consult a financial expert about taxes on investments and the specific laws for the country and state. There are also a lot of words and terms to get familiar with, but that didn’t look too difficult.

So my next step for this is to talk to someone.

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Why 100,000?

I want a better car, one that gets better gas mileage and has four-wheel drive. I’d like a nicer apartment, eventually a nice house. Girlfriends can be expensive I hear, not to mention marriage and a family. I like my laptop but what if it crashes or gets stolen? How about some nicer clothes, my old ten-dollar hoody is getting a bit frayed and I’m embarrassed to where it in public. But it’s better than my last one, which I wore while working as a welder’s assistant, I get embarrassed wearing that even in private. A mobile device with WiFi would be nice.

These are some of the more frivolous reasons that I came up with. But these hardly generate enough drive to get me to do what it takes.

Favorite pastimes: I like to fish but a fishing license is pretty expensive. I would love to be able to buy some nice fishing equipment and maybe even go fishing in Alaska. I like to play the guitar. I’d like to get really good, but to do that I need practice and who has time to practice the guitar when there are bills to pay? Spare moments are spent learning useful skills, not dinking around with something that requires all your time to actually get good at it. I’d also really like to have a shop where I could build or create whatever I come up with. I would like to have the means and materials to dream up something and make it a reality. I might even be able to solve some problems.

I served a mission in Mexico, and met a lot of great people there. I made a lot of friends and became quite attached to them and their families. I’d love to visit in person rather than Facebook messaging and Skype. But such a trip also costs more money and time than I can justify spending.

Something else that I value is education. A couple of things which keep me from learning about some interesting subjects (aviation for example) is the cost of instruction and cost of time which in normal circumstances would be dedicated to work and living expenses. I also would like to be able to help others to afford the opportunities to educate themselves, including my children.

Hobbies would be nice to be able to spend time on but I imagine that even if I did find time and means enough to work on them I would probably use most of it developing the security and well-being of my family instead. I would like to reduce dependence on other organizations and sources as much as possible. Being financially independent is a huge factor.

Another point: can I be so selfish as to spend my life worrying about myself and my own interests? I had never thought about poverty as selfishness, but someone mentioned it in a blog and it makes sense to me. See http://wp.me/p3d0bn-8

I’m not sure how much money all this would add up to, maybe more, perhaps less than the 100,000 dollar mark. But if I can achieve this goal it would be very significant to me in itself. It would give me an idea of what I am capable of doing. It would prove to me the power of desire and dedication. I would have validated my ability to realize my own dreams. And having stretched myself to win such a sum I would not only have learned many valuable lessons about how to do it, but know that I could do it again.

So in summary, what are my leading motivations?

  1. Family
  2. Education
  3. Career
  4. Giving back
  5. Personal Validation

No You Can’t

Just for a minute I want you to think negatively.

Think of something that you do automatically, you don’t think about it you just do it, like driving, walking, cooking, riding a bike, talking. Think for a minute how many things could go wrong. Imagine just how hazardous it could be if you didn’t do it right or you failed.

You never know what is going to happen. You may have done it before but this time you might not be able to respond the right way. How dangerous is getting in a vehicle that could get out of control and kill you or others? Shrink from it, don’t be the one responsible for the pain and trauma caused by such.

Even speaking has its risks. You never know if something you say will offend someone. What if you lose a friend or certain people in your life start to think badly of you? So many things can go wrong.

Is it worth the risk? You don’t have to do it you know. You can avoid doing those things. There are others who can do it better, that have more experience. Leave it to them. You don’t have to stretch yourself or go beyond your comfort zone.

Now, if you’ve had enough…

Remember how you could do it. Remember that you have done it a thousand times and never had a problem. Remember how you handled situations that could have been bad but your reflexes saved you, and you moved on with a triumphant laugh. Think about how you have done new things, failed and tried again to succeed. Who criticized you? Who says you can’t try again? Why not?

There is a first time for everything. Now we do it, and we can’t imagine not being able to.

Now think about those things that you would like to do but haven’t yet found the courage. Imagine you have already done it many times before. Remember how smoothly you do it? Remember how good you feel when you do?

You can do it. You will get better. It will get easier. Just start. Think big, and do it.

How much will it take?

I went to crunching numbers to see what exactly I am up against.

In order to reach my goal of $100,000 by 2015, even with what I already have saved I will have to make $4,700 every month starting now. Never have I seen that kind of income. That’s about how much I have made in one summer, and about what I’ll have saved after the entire year (after expenses, taxes, etc).

My current monthly expenses are (approx.):

Food: $80

Gas: $150

Car Insurance: $35

Utilities: $40

Housing: $200

Phone: $35

Total: $540

So assuming that my living expenses stay the same I will need to earn about $5,240 every month!

Currently I have barely 1% of my goal.

Case study: Divine Comedy

Divine Comedy has gone from simply a club of comedy loving students putting skits together for their own diversion and entertainment of others, to a syndicated TV show called Studio C.

These few students got together and did what they loved to do. They did it well and produced great value, they published it on YouTube and became known far beyond their imagined limits. They gained so much traction that stopping was out of the question. Even as their years at school came to a close they continued to rise in popularity and demand. Divine comedy will never be the same as new students take their places. There is a weight and a presence left.

They have become celebrities, and their new medium, Studio C, is a major asset to byutv.

All because a group of like-minded kids came together to do what they loved to do.

Is there something I love doing that has that kind of potential?

How to make money

“Money is nothing but the measure of the value you create for other people.”

According to Mark Anastasi, I am not making any money right now because I am not adding any value to anybody or anything. My time is spent educating myself, so I am adding value to myself. To make money I need to find ways to add value to other people.

So what I am doing here is exploring ways to create value.

“You get paid in direct proportion to the amount of value that you deliver, according to the marketplace.”

Brian Tracy

Brainstorm 100 ways to create value

  1. Lemonade stand
  2. Bake sales
  3. Turnover sales
  4. Become a fishing guide
  5. Create a newsletter for college students about cheap local food
  6. Consignment sales
  7. Write a book
  8. Wash windows
  9. Clean asphalt, side walks, buildings, boats, etc, with a pressure washer
  10. Clean house
  11. Yard work
  12. Be a good employee
  13. Teach
  14. Tutor
  15. Translate
  16. Repair
  17. Rebuild
  18. Intervene
  19. Deliver
  20. Inform
  21. Advise
  22. Renovate
  23. Build
  24. Maintain
  25. Organize
  26. Entertain
  27. Consolidate
  28. Feed
  29. Train
  30. Retrieve
  31. Watch/care for

To be revised and continued…