August 26, 2009

Why the Cheap Will Never Get Rich

The other day a friend of mine approached me excitedly, saying, "I found the house of my dreams. It's in foreclosure and the bank will sell it to me for a great price."

"How good is the price?" I asked.

"Just before the real estate market crashed, the seller was asking $780,000 for the property. Today, I can buy it from the bank for $215,000. What do you think?" she asked.

"How would I know?" I replied. "All you've given me is the price."

"Yes!" she squealed. "Now my husband and I can afford it."

"Only cheap people buy on price," I replied. "Just because something is cheap doesn't mean it's worth the cost."

I then explained to her one of my most basic money principles: I buy value. I will pay more for value. If I don't like the price, I simply pass. If the seller wants to sell, he will come back with a better price. I let him tell me what he will accept. I know some people love to haggle; personally, I don't. If a person wants to sell, they will sell. If I feel what I am buying is of value, I'll pay the price. Value rather than price has made me rich.

Against my advice, my friend sought financing for her "dream" home.

Fortunately, the bank turned her down. The house was on a busy street in a deteriorating neighborhood. The high school four blocks away was one of the most dangerous schools in the city. Her son and daughter would either have to go to private school or take karate lessons. She is now looking for a cheaper house to buy and has asked her father, who is retired, for help with the down payment. If her past is a crystal ball to her future, she will likely always be cheap and poor, even though she is a good, kind, educated, hard-working person.

My Point of View

What follows are some thoughts on why my friend will probably never get ahead financially -- especially in this market.

1. She and her husband have college degrees but zero financial education. Even worse, neither plans to attend any investment classes. Choosing to remain financially uneducated has caused them to miss out on the greatest bull and bear markets in history. As my rich dad often said, "What you don't know keeps you poor."

2. She is too emotional. In the world of money and investing, you must learn to control your emotions. When you think about it, three of our biggest financial decisions in life are made at times of peak emotional excitement: deciding to get married, buying a home, and having kids.

My dad often said, "High emotions, low intelligence." To be rich, you need to see the good and the bad, the short- and long-term consequences of your decisions. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but it's key to building wealth.

3. She doesn't know the difference between advice from rich people and advice from sales people. Most people get their financial advice from the latter -- people who profit even if you lose. One reason why financial education is so important is because it helps you know the difference between good and bad advice.

As the current crisis demonstrates, our schools teach very little about money management. Millions of people are living in fear because they followed conventional wisdom: Go to school, get a job, work hard, save money, buy a house, get out of debt, and invest for the long term in a well-diversified portfolio of mutual funds. Many people who followed this financial prescription are not sleeping at night. They need a new plan. Had they sought out a little financial education, they might not be entangled in this mess.

A Thank You to Jon Stewart

Speaking of finance experts, I personally want to thank Jon Stewart of 'The Daily Show' for taking on Jim Cramer and CNBC. Jon Stewart did an incredible job of representing the millions of people all over the world who have lost their savings in the market. He was right in saying he thought it "disingenuous" to advise people to invest for the long term through their retirement plans while knowing full well that traders could steal Americans' retirement money by trading in and out of the market. Most traders like Cramer realize that investing in mutual funds for the long term is financial suicide. Cramer should have spoken up, but we all know why CNBC won't let him tell the truth. If he did, the station's advertisers would leave.

While I applaud Cramer for going on 'The Daily Show' and facing the music, I'm afraid he was marginalized by Stewart -- certainly outgunned -- and he has lost his credibility. He may pay an even bigger price if the SEC decides to dig deeper.

Jim Cramer is a very smart man. I watch his show. I just do not follow his advice.

In closing, I will say what I have said for years: We need financial education in our schools. Without it, we cannot tell the good advice from the bad.

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August 11, 2009

How To Find The Best Facial Skin Care Products?

by Peter Clark

As you get older you're finding that your skin isn't looking as good as it once did, it's not as healthy as it once was, and your thoughts turn to facial skin care.

That's what happens as you age. Your mother had good reasons to look for solutions and good facial skin care treatments.

Your skin loses health with age. It loses skin proteins as it ages and it loses some of it's important properties.

For instance your skin loses its skin elasticity with age. Elasticity is what holds your skin in place. Its what gives it that smooth youthful look and feel.

If you pull a fold of skin on an older woman and let go it sags slowly back into place. Do that on a child and it snaps back into place.

Loss of skin elasticity means that your skin loses some of its ability to keep itself smooth and strong. So wrinkles form. You get fine lines around your mouth and eyes. Your skin sags. You may notice this on your neck.

As you age your skin loses some of it's collagen and elastin, and for this reason you see collagen and elastin listed on the ingredients of some bottles of facial skin care products.

So one of the most important factors in a good facial skin care treatment is to replace lost collagen and elastin.

Lets look at how you do that:

1. Keeping your skin healthier.

There are lifestyle factors that contribute to poor skin health. Excessive sun exposure, called "photoaging", is one of them.

The sun strips out natural oils from your skin. And it burns your skin. Sunburn is one of the worst things you can possibly do for your skin. You must avoid sunburn and excessive sun exposure. Dont become a hermit, but dont go out in the sun for long periods in the middle of the day in summer.

Smoking affects your blood circulation and is terrible for your skin. Don't smoke if you want great looking skin.

And there's a whole range of other lifestyle factors that are important to keeping you healthy generally, because they also keep your skin healthy. Eat a healthy diet and this benefits your skin as well as your body generally.

And believe it or not exercise even helps your skin by improving your blood circulation.

2. Replace that collagen and elastin lost with age.

This is the most important goal for a good facial skin care system, but sadly most facial skin care systems don't do this at all.

Did you notice last time you bought a bottle of skin care product that there were collagen and elastin listed on the label? Well if there's collagen and elastin in the bottles they have to get into your skin, right?


It's been common science for some time that collagen and elastin have molecules that are too big to enter the skin, so if you put them on top of the skin that's where they stay.

So why is there collagen and elastin in all those bottles of facial skin care products on the shelves? Because the skin care and anti aging companies arent silly, they know if consumers see collagen and elastin listed on the label theyll buy the products. Its there to sell the products, not help your skin.

So what is the solution? If you cant replace lost collagen and elastin by putting them in the bottle how do you do it, given that replacing collagen and elastin that are lost with age is so important?

You produce a facial skin care line that stimulates the skin to produce more of it's own collagen and elastin.

Is this possible? Yes it is. You see theres a company that makes a fine facial skin care treatment range that does exactly that. It makes high quality natural skin care products that stimulate the skin to start producing more collagen and elastin.

How? By using new patented ingredient that actually helps the skin to produce more of its own proteins. Theres no collagen or elastin in the bottles.

And visible results within a month are achieved according to the studies.

Visit my website to find out where to get these natural facial skin care products that really do provide an answer to aging skin problems.