Setting Goals at Trading and Investing

What good is a map if you don’t know where you want to go?

What good is a map if you know where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are now?

The first thing you must have is a GOAL or TARGET and compelling reasons WHY you want to get there. You must have STRONG reasons to develop a burning desire for achieving your goals… and a burning desire and strong reasons are what will give you strength in times of difficulty or tribulation.

Secondly, you need to know where you are. Otherwise it’s hard to get to where you want to go if you don’t know what you need to change/improve. Self-awareness and self-honesty are critical.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” – Lewis Carroll

Self awareness is a vital issue, but I want to focus on your GOALS as a trader and investor in this post.

You have to know where you are going. You have to know what you want. And you have to put back of that want a BURNING desire.

A burning desire is the fuel for your journey. As with anything worth accomplishing in life, the path to reaching your goal or target is NEVER a straight line. Trading the markets consistently and profitably is such a destination. The ability to pull consistent income and build consistent wealth from the markets is a highly coveted ability. And because it is so lucrative and so freedom-giving the Universe makes it something that is challenging for most to achieve.

If the journey is easy or straight, your rewards will be paltry because anyone can have that ‘reward’. And besides, how boring would your life be if all you did was go after easy things and never failed? How fun would life be if you never had a challenge or a setback?

I remember back when I played baseball that one of my favorite things was taking on a team that was in front of us in the standings, or a team that maybe only had a few losses and we were meeting them for the first time. The games were intense and exciting to play in. Often the pitchers were more talented and so you would get less hits – but the game would be so much more fun than a 20-2 boat race. Each little aspect of the game became so magnified… but I remember feeling so ALIVE at these games.

So pause to reflect and EMBRACE your past challenges and your current challenges… .and the ONES that will INEVITABLY come as you move forward and gain more skill and prowess in this investing and trading game. A lot of times we try to fool ourselves and think we have personally evolved to a point where we will no longer face challenges in our lives and in our occupations – but if you are growing and getting better, then you will face challenges.

“Welcome Every Experience.” – Jim Rohn

One great metaphor I’ve heard of is about ants. Ants will FIND A WAY. Next time you see a train of ants going in a direction put your foot in front of their path. What do they do? Go over your foot? Go around? I know they do not turn back and go the way they came… at least none of the ants I’ve seen.

And I haven’t met an ant yet that stopped, sat down on a grain of sand and started crying about how the Universe is unfair and this challenge is BS and why does this stuff always happen to him and life is so hard and…

But hey, maybe the ants are special in my neck of the woods. Check it out in your neck of the woods and see. The point being is that I’m sure we’ve all met at least one person who melts down and gives up at the first sign of resistance or challenge.

Be like the ant. Define your Goal and Target, visualize achieving it, back it with burning desire and excitement, and you will simply AMAZE yourself.

Buying Platinum Jewelry As an Investment

Investing in a precious metal like platinum can be a good long-term hedge against the volatility of the stock market, and there are many ways to invest in it. One of the best ways is to buy jewelry made from pure platinum. This allows you to hold a valuable commodity as well as wear a beautiful piece of jewelry – sort of like having your cake and eating it too!

Here are some great reasons to buy platinum jewelry as an investment:

  • The strength of platinum allows jewelers to make quite intricate, yet extremely durable, pieces without mixing in other metals. Thus, you can have a piece that is practical both as jewelry and as a bullion-type investment.
  • Platinum is about 30 times more rare than gold, yet is usually valued in the same general price range. Since it is so rare and so useful, many people believe that platinum could drastically increase in value in the coming years.
  • Platinum is stronger and more durable than either silver or white gold, and is impervious to rust or tarnish, and so is a great alternative to these metals as jewelry.
  • Platinum is important in the auto industry, for use in anti-pollution devices. As environmental regulations get stricter over the years, the value of platinum should continue to rise. And as emerging markets like China and India continue their explosive growth (car sales in China grew by more than 50% in 2009), the demand for platinum will continue to grow as well. All these factors point to a steady increase in the value of platinum jewelry in the coming years.

Financing Your Business With Vendors

Vendors are critical partners having the ability to seriously help or hinder your business. A good relationship with a vendor will help with cash flow, assist in quality service with your customers, and help you reduce the struggles of managing inventory. A bad relationship with a vendor can cause several headaches including seriously hurting the lifeblood of your business, your cash flow. Most business buyers never consider partnering with their vendors to finance their purchase. Here are a few ideas on how to work with vendors in financing a new acquisition.

1. Extend your terms – If you purchase a business that has a heavy need to work with vendors you maybe able to get your vendors to extend your terms after your acquisition. This can allow your business the ability to free up critical cash flow. Don’t be fooled into thinking that an increase in cash flow will pay for you acquisition. It may help with the temporary lull in business that naturally occurs after the change on ownership. One of my students got a primary vendor to extend his terms from net 30 to a one year, no payment no interest relationship. This worked well for my student and the vendor had established a relationship that can potentially last a lifetime.

2. Sharing a letter of credit – Depending on what type of vendor you have (and your relationship with them) occasionally vendors will be willing to extend or share a letter of credit with a client to help them. For example, a construction company that needs materials such as granite countertops maybe able to go to a granite wholesaler and in lieu of a profit they could share a portion of their letter of credit to finance a portion of the construction. Obviously the vendor would be compensated by future business and a spread on the letter of credit.

3. Trade services for materials or like-kind services- A general contractor could offer to trade services for materials. A grocery store could share space for warehousing with a food supplier in lieu of product. The possibilities are endless.

4. Equity investors – Vendors frequently become squeamish of investing in clients because there can be a change in the perception of the relationship. I think that this can be a perfect marriage between two businesses if it is done correctly and with consideration. For example, a struggling business has past due debt to a smaller vendor. A new party could acquire the business and share a portion of the stock in the company to resolve the past due debt. Vendors are not in the habit of investing in their clients; however there can be a time and a place where it is necessary for the survival of all parties.

5. Leaseback strategies- This is a strategy you can use with equipment vendors. An existing business owns $200,000 in equipment. You sell the equipment to the equipment vendor and in turn leaseback to you. Consequently you free up cash to assist in your business purchase.