The Day I Knew Invest Now Changed Someone’s Life

Invest Now: A Canadian’s Guide to Investing

When I was writing Invest Now, I was often occupied with the idea  that the objective of this book would be to change someone’s life. I was not too worried about selling lots of copies, or making lots of money, or even becoming a famous author. I was worried about only one thing. My target was something very simple and straight forward - to change a one person’s life. To help someone with what I have learned all these years, and to enlighten someone’s life with all of the knowledge and hard work I put into my first book. If I accomplish this, I would consider Invest Now a successful venture, and I would consider myself content with the feeling of joy and accomplishment.

And then came the day I had been waiting for. This is what I have wanted to happen since Invest Now was published. On the weekend of July 12, 2008, I was attending a community-based book fair and cultural festival. This event was taking place at the Church of St Columba & All Hallows, 2723 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto. On Sunday, July 13, some visitors were browsing Invest Now. Some of them were just passing by after having a quick glance at my stall. All of a sudden, a guy rushed to my stall out of nowhere. His first question was, “Are you the author of Invest Now”? I replied, “Yes.” Then what he told me went beyond my imagination. I was totally astonished – but my heart was filled with indescribable joy and a sense of accomplishment. I am now going to share with you what that gentleman told me.

He works as a financial advisor. He came across Invest Now at a local bookstore. At first, he bought one copy for himself out of curiosity. And then, he fell in love with Invest Now instantly. He was having a hard time explaining the world of investments to his clients. Once he found Invest Now, he started giving a copy to his clients. So far, he has distributed 7 or 8 copies, but it did not stop there - he started recommending Invest Now to other advisors at his firm. He also wrote a few articles in the local newspaper, and he recommended Invest Now in those articles. Finally he said, “Thank you, thank you so much for writing a book like this, and helping lots of people to understand such a complex matter in easy way. It saved me so much time and work – before I would spend days explaining investments to my clients; now I give them this book and ask them to read it first before I recommend anything else. You made my life so easy – I appreciate your hard work and thank you for helping so many people.”

It definitely feels good knowing Invest Now has served its purpose, and changed someone’s life. I am sure I will come across many more stories like this in the years to come. However, this is not where everything ends. This is just the beginning. With my website “A Dawn Journal”, and with more books to be published in the future – I will be able to change many others’ lives. I will be able to help a lot more people; that’s what makes me write more. I needed a confidence boost, and this reader just gave me that. What I heard from him was exactly what I needed to be confident in continuing my journey into the future.

Discipline Is Still Needed For Financial Success

Discipline and Money Management 

Many things have changed, but the basics of making money remain the same. Discipline is a skill you will need to create wealth and become successful financially. Winning the lottery or being born as a billionaire Saudi princess will not happen to most of the general population. And it even does not come to a percentage - when you look at people who are rich that way. So hoping for an unrealistic way to become wealthy will not do any good and that sort of thought should be avoided in the first place.

It is not hard to achieve your financial dreams. You only need to know a few simple, basic rules. And following those rules with discipline will make you accomplish your goals. Many personal finance websites are packed with these basics to explore for free. You only need the willingness to learn and apply towards reaching your financial goals - and you need discipline to accomplish that along the way.

If you are reading this article right now, it is highly likely that you already have a decent paying job or entrepreneurship. If you don’t, you will soon have it because you are a smart and educated person, and that’s what lead you to this website in the first place. Discipline can make the difference between two identical same level money earning individuals reaching financial goals and never reaching financial goals.

Let’s look at two imaginary individuals A and B. Both have good paying jobs. Both live in the same city. A spends all his money eating out at restaurants, taking expensive vacations on credit cards, buying the latest electronic gadgets, and living in expensive houses he can’t afford. He has lots of credit card balances and never disciplines himself to set aside money for the future. His logic is that life is too short not to enjoy - and he wont be able to enjoy these once he is old. So let’s enjoy as much possible right now and forget about the future.

Author/Copyright: Ahmed Dawn

B takes a different approach to life. He thinks life is too short to work for someone else - and he does not want to spend all his life working for a corporation only to pay off his credit card bills and things he would not have enjoyed in the first place. He aims to end working for someone else and wants to live on his own terms as early as possible - while he is still young. He disciplines himself saving and investing every penny he can get and so far he is doing pretty good. He was inspired after reading a few articles and books by financial author A. Dawn and reading more financial books and articles to enhance his personal finance knowledge since then. His favourite one is this: Ten Timeless Personal Finance Tip.

The obvious difference between A and B is that A will still have to work to pay of his credit cards bill when he will be required to get hip replacement surgery. A failed to realise that to enjoy his life now, he chose to work all his life to pay off his bills. He will never be free from his debts and will die one day working and worrying paying off his bills. B will accumulate enough savings early enough to retire and enjoy his life without working for someone else and without worrying about paying off his debts. He only needed the willingness to learn and the discipline to apply what he learned.

It is still not too late or early, regardless how old you are, to decide whether you would like to be A or B. I have chosen to be B and I have many tools to offer to help you reach your goals for free. Feel free to browse all my websites listed on the right panel of this page. And don’t forget - discipline cannot be replaced by anything else and has no substitute.

Mortgage Risk – What You Should Be Aware Of

Mortgage Risk Management

When taking out a mortgage it is important to be aware of the way that it will affect your future right from the start, in order to avoid messy situations later on. A mortgage is one of the most binding commitments you can make financially, as it ties you to a debt that will be with you for the foreseeable future, and maintaining payments to it is a non-negotiable part of your daily life for the period of the loan. Getting a mortgage that will suit your personal situation is essential because if you fail to make payments you risk losing your home and putting yourself in a situation where it will be impossible to get credit for the next several years.

It is genuinely of the utmost importance that you are aware from day one that these risks are real and serious. Although there are drawbacks to poor credit conduct on any kind of borrowing, the drawbacks on unsecured lending are considerably less. If you fail to meet the payments on a credit card then the card will be blocked and you will not be able to use it. This is not an ideal situation, but as long as you can make reduced payments for a specified period you will at least be able to maintain your way of life to a certain extent. The risks that come with a mortgage are proportionately increased by the fact that you have secured the loan against a property where you are living, and failure to meet those payments will see you evicted from your home if you cannot come to some kind of negotiated settlement.

In order to manage this risk, it is important to consider right from the start that a situation may arise where your income from work will be reduced. Do you have other sources of income that will allow you to at least maintain your mortgage payments? Will a claim on the insurance enable you to keep the account ticking over until your situation improves? Are you going to be eligible to claim on the insurance at all – this is dependent on what your current health and work situations are – or will you be turned down and need to rely on another source of income?

There are many questions that you need to ask yourself, and getting satisfactory answers in your mind for each of them is an absolute essential if you are going to successfully manage a mortgage account. If you are confident of living up to whatever is required of you, then you can be happy in the knowledge that one day, the house that currently belongs partly to the bank will be yours 100%. A mortgage is something that requires a lot of maturity and financial common sense to give you the best possible chance of owning your property and maybe one day realizing a profit on it. You don’t want to be paying off debt after you retire, so keep all of your most important questions in mind when looking for the right mortgage for you.

Real Return Bonds (RRB) and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS)

Real Return Bonds And Their Place In Your Future

First Published Date : October 25, 2009

With governments around the world insisting that their recessions are over and that the green shoots of economic recovery are now visible, there is an increasing line of opinion holding that there is no better time than now to start investing – or to call a halt to a self-imposed period of no investment – in order to see the benefits of this recovery period for all they are worth. However, caution is also a concern for many given how recent the recession’s lowest points were. At this time, a secure investment with a reasonable return is the absolute ideal for anyone looking to secure a bit of money for the future.

When it comes to secure investment, it is tricky to be absolutely sure of getting what you need for your money. While the economic indicators show that the recession has finished to all intents and purposes, buying shares at the present time is still a little perilous, with companies still having to make cutbacks to deal with the realities of a post-recession age. A secure investment, it must be said, is also an investment which is unlikely to bring a massive pay-off. High returns are still only likely from high-risk investments.

If you are in a position where a comparatively low return for no risk sounds like a good idea, however, then your best choice may well be a real return bond (RRB). Very similar in nature to the American TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities), the real return bond is an investment which links your savings to the rate of inflation. As well as this interest is paid on the bond to the rate of interest. Practically speaking, this means that if you buy a $1,000 bond and at the six-month mark the interest rate is 4% and inflation at 2%, the principal of your bond will rise to $1,020 and you will receive a further interest payment of $20.40. As the interest rates climb, payments will continue to accrue based on the principal of your bond.

The important thing for an investor with an RRB is to hang on to it until it matures. If you do that, the realization price is based on the interest rate at maturity while if you sell it prior to maturity you will find that the price is based on the prevailing interest rate – and may be less than you originally invested. This poses problems for some, as the typical life of an RRB is thirty years. If you have the patience to wait this out then the return at the end can be considerable – although it is possible for the RRB to return less than face value if, over the life of the bond, there has been a net deflation.

The above warnings are simply worst-case scenarios however, as the fact of the matter is that should you invest in an RRB you will most likely be in it for the long run, and there have been almost no 30-year periods which have seen a net deflation in the market.

What RRBs should guarantee you is an above face value payout on maturity. This is useful if you are looking to support a future venture. With the 30 year life of most RRBS, many people buy them in their mid-thirties as a potential cushion for their retirement. As no-one is quite far-sighted enough to predict market behavior by the year for the next three decades, there is little benefit in assuming exactly how much you will get for a matured bond after it matures, but it is enormously unlikely to be any less than its face value and, with interest and inflation behaving normally, it can be considerably more.

Buying an RRB is something worth doing if you have a pot of money for investment and are content for it not to be liquid for an extended period of time. As long as you fit these criteria, it is an excellent way to feather your nest for the future. Most usually, the face value of a new RRB is $5,000, but there are many available for a lower price. There is also nothing to stop you from holding several bonds if you have the liquidity to invest in them. If you decide to invest in a real return bond, then your first stop should be the Bank of Canada website to consult the figures there for a bond’s “real yield” and “real price”. This will enable you to calculate the amount that you will have to pay for a bond, and how much you will get on maturity if the market behaves realistically.

Once you have gleaned this information it is time to call your broker and have a conversation, asking for information pertaining to the current and potential future benefits of buying the bond that you have identified. Once you are invested, settle in to see what the market has in store for you and be conscious that this is a long game.

As mentioned at the beginning, RRBs are not dissimilar to the American TIPS. It is possible for Canadians to cut out the middleman and directly purchase a TIPS from an American broker or the US Treasury. However, unlike an RRB, a TIPS bought from the US Treasury cannot be held inside a tax-sheltered account such as an RRSP, so it makes little sense to do things this way. It makes considerably more sense to buy direct from a broker. The major substantive difference between these bonds is that TIPS are guaranteed to pay out at least face value on maturity. Additionally, the US and Canada have different tax rules and regulations, so when deciding which you should buy it is beneficial to check the market rates in both countries.

Naturally, each possibility has its advantages and disadvantages, and the two countries will often see different economic performance over the course of an economic period. Both should, however, see you with a creditable return on your investment for very little risk.