Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Greatest Prospector in the World

7ca4643d950f4bd09e96de75113a3031-GP_Cover_frontThe Greatest Prospector in the World is the title of a new work of “Business Fiction” focusing on the six “secrets” of sales prospecting success. The author is Ken Dunn, CEO and Founder of Las Vegas based Next Century Publishing.

The six secrets are slowly revealed over the course of a charming tale that begins in the year 1910, a story Dunn describes in the book’s subtitle as “A Historically Accurate Parable on Creating Success in Sales, Business, & Life.

For those who wish to skip on to the six secrets, they are laid out in the short Afterword, in which Dunn acknowledges a literary debt to Jim Stovall’s Ultimate Life Series and Og Mandino’s classic The Greatest Salesman in the World.

Dunn himself is no slouch in the world of sales prospecting: after an early career in police work he started businesses in property management, finance, direct sales and publishing.

You can find more at the book’s web site, www.greatestprospector.com. Also check out Dunn’s recently launched ReadersLegacy.com, which is a kind of Facebook for book lovers. In an interview in his Toronto offices, Dunn described Reader’s Legacy as “Facebook meets Amazon.” The site even features a kind of literary currency called “Lit Coins,” (reminiscent of Bit Coins).

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Kenn Dunn (Twitter.com)

The 6 secrets of Sales Prospecting

I’ll reveal the titles of the secrets but you really need to read the story to get the context. As the cover image shows, it’s all about prospecting for gold nuggets.

Here are the six secrets:

1.) Dress for the Weather

2.) Know what you’re looking for

3.) Use the right tools

4.) Get in the River, Even when you don’t want to

5.) Make it Fun

6.) Work Hard for Six Days, Rest for One

 

 

 

Findependence: A Healthy, Wealthy and Wise 2016

new year goals or resolutions - colorful sticky notes on a blackboard

By Sandy Cardy

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

“’Tis the Season…” but the season for what exactly? “To be jolly” if you stick to the lyrics. But who can stick to the lyrics when all around you there are others hurtling towards excess?

Given that this is the same every year, it would be more factually correct for the lyric to read, “’tis the season for consumption” – and consumption on a truly grand scale. The numbers are mind-boggling. $595 billion in the US alone splurged on holiday season 2013 (from Thanksgiving to Christmas). And likewise for food consumption – an all-you-can eat binge and perfect recipe for calorie-bloat and food comas. So maybe the song ought to go, “‘tis the season for over-consumption.”

Just as over-consumption of credit can cause debt troubles, over-consumption of the wrong foods or lifestyle can leave you with harm

“’Tis the Season …” but the season for what exactly?

“To be jolly,” if you stick to the lyrics. But who can stick to the lyrics when all around you there are others hurtling towards excess?

Given that this is the same every year, it would be more factually correct for the lyric to read, “’tis the season for consumption” – and consumption on a truly grand scale. The numbers are mind-boggling. US$595 billion in the US alone was splurged on holiday season 2013 (from Thanksgiving to Christmas). Likewise for food consumption: an all-you-can eat binge and perfect recipe for calorie-bloat and food comas. So maybe the song ought to go, “‘tis the season for overconsumption.”

The season for overconsumption

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas Christian Nativity scene of the Star and three Wise Men and Bethlehem in the background

A merry Christmas to everyone who has been part of the Financial Independence Hub in its first full year of existence. We had originally planned to run only the above image today, but — seeing as that may seem a bit stark — decided to run the following that unexpectedly came in via the folks at Mawer Investment Management.

Twas the week before Christmas
And never you fear
We’ll again provide readers
With a review of the year

Currency, oh, currency,
The Swiss shocked us, it’s true
Franc’s affair with the Euro
Is over, it’s through!

And Greek drama continued
Creditor confidence not rising
A third time they default?
It’s still not surprising

Yet the Greeks voted “No!”
To the offer presented
But down to the wire
They took the deal and relented

And China began
To falter in May
Early gains, they reversed
To investor dismay

Then, in mid-August
China devalued the yuan
Making everyone wonder:
What’s going on?

Can China still grow?
We started to doubt
They told major shareholders
Sorry – no getting out

Still, while we acknowledge
China’s problems and vices
Much of this turmoil
Was captured in prices

And in Canada the impact
Of oil price decline
Meant a swift end
To the TSX climb

Emerging Markets faced headwinds
A high U.S. dollar their bane
Will 2016 prove better?
Or is it more of the same?

And far from complacent
Were the monetary authorities
Forty-three saw fit
To make easing priorities

Would the Fed raise rates?
First yes and then no
Investors on edge
Anticipation did grow

And now it’s December
And the world lies in wait
The markets anticipating
A raised interest rate

She did it! Oh my!
Yellen made the decision
But will this new rate hike
Cause world markets derision?

Looking back on the year
Most events weren’t that sunny
And that’s why we stick to:
Be Boring. Make Money.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Mawer Investment Management Ltd.!

Some financial reading ideas for 2016

By Robb Engen, Boomer & Echo

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

I don’t know if I’d describe myself as a voracious reader, but I do enjoy a good book and like to read the latest on personal finance, investing, behavioural finance, and leadership or motivational topics. In fact, this year I found myself putting down my phone or laptop more often and picking out a good book to read instead.

Some of the good ones included Carl Richards’ One-Page Financial Plan, and Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry.

I also enjoyed Ben Carlson’s A Wealth of Common Sense, about why simplicity trumps complexity in any investment plan. Mark Goodfield of The Blunt Bean Counter fame rewarded us with a compilation of his best work in Let’s Get Blunt About Your Financial Affairs. And finally, one of my favourite authors is Michael Lewis and I read his latest – Flash Boys – about a group of Wall Street guys who figure out how the stock market is rigged to benefit insiders.

Reading list for 2016

One of the most influential books I’ve ever read was Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow. This book convinced me that my investing success up to that point likely had more to do with luck than skill or hard work, so I finally made the switch from picking individual stocks to indexing.

Since then, behavioural finance, economics, and psychology have been topics of interest. A couple of books in this area have caught my eye and I’ve put them on my reading list for 2016:

MisbehavingFirst, Richard Thaler published a new book last year called Misbehaving: The Story of Behavioral Economics. Like his mentor, Daniel Kahneman, Thaler uses observations and experiments to explain how our behaviour is often so inconsistent with the economists’ model of rational choice.

I might also read: Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Irrationally Yours

Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behaviour economics at Duke. He wrote a book this year that I want to check out called, Irrationally Yours: On Missing Socks, Pickup Lines, and Other Existential Puzzles.

I might also read: The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves

The Index Card

I’m a big believer in keeping things simple and that especially applies to personal finance and investing. There’s no need for things to be as complicated as the financial services industry makes it out to be. That’s why I was excited to hear that Helaine Olen, author of Pound Foolish, is coming out with a new book in January called, The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated. Check this out:

“When University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack interviewed Helaine Olen, an award-winning financial journalist and the author of the bestselling Pound Foolish, he made an off­hand suggestion: everything you need to know about managing your money could fit on an index card. To prove his point, he grabbed a 4″ x 6” card, scribbled down a list of rules, and posted a picture of the card online. The post went viral.

Now, Pollack teams up with Olen to explain why the ten simple rules of the index card outperform more complicated financial strategies.”

I might also read: The Incredible Shrinking Alpha: And What You Can Do to Escape Its Clutches

Thing ExplainerFollowing the topic of simplicity, Randall Munroe, author of the hilarious comic XKCD, came out with a new book called Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words.

“Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone—age 5 to 105—who has ever wondered how things work, and why.”

I might also read: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life

The Devil's Financial DictionaryI’m really excited about this one. Jason Zweig, financial columnist at the Wall Street Journal, wrote a survival guide to the hostile wilderness of today’s financial markets with The Devil’s Financial Dictionary.

I might also read: Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich

The Essential Retirement GuideFred Vettese is an expert on Canada’s retirement income system and sits on the Pension Policy committee of the C.D. Howe Institute. His latest book is called, The Essential Retirement Guide: A Contrarian’s Perspective. It debunks typical retirement rules of thumb and reveals how you can calculate your personal wealth target – the amount of money you will need by the time you retire to live comfortably.

I might also read: The Real Retirement: Why You Could Be Better Off Than You Think, and How to Make That Happen

Final thoughts

It looks like I’ve got a ton of reading to do next year. Of course, all of these books will get tossed aside if and when George R. R. Martin finally publishes The Winds of Winter, the sixth instalment in the A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series.

What’s on your reading list for 2016?

In addition to running the Boomer & Echo website, Robb Engen is a fee-only financial planner. This article originally ran on his site on December 20th and is republished here with his permission.

 

FWB TV Video: The investing enemy in the mirror

The latest FWB TV investing video is now available by clicking on the linked title here: When it comes to investing you are often your own worst enemy. That’s Benjamin Graham pictured above. The four-minute video — which is also archived at Findependence.TV —  describes the hazards of investing when you’re under stress, or when a surge of testosterone raises your confidence more than may be prudent. Or as the comic strip character Pogo once famously pronounced: “We have the met the enemy and it is us.” Below is additional commentary by FWB TV’s Paul Philip:

By Paul Philip

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Human beings are not hard wired to make good financial decisions. It’s a fact. We are emotional beings and are affected continually by the news around us. Most investors react exactly the opposite to what they should do when their investments inevitably fluctuate.

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