Friday, December 12, 2014

California to France to Kansas City

Ahhhhh. Feels good to be back in the good old US of A.  Not gonna lie.

3 years ago I was still living in Alameda California which was nice but Living in France was comparatively cheap.

Kansas City Missouri is great. I'm glad I did my research and that this was my first choice. I think I made a good decision. The lifestyle is a bit slower then the Bay Area California but I like it here. I have noticed that a lot of the people here have a bit of what I would call a southern accent but its slight compared to say Texas or something(I think, Iv never been to Texas).

Iv had a few people say I have an accent after I tell them I'm from California and it doesn't bother me to hear that. After living with French people staring at me like I'm an alien from planet Mars its nothing. I don't know what it sounds like to people from here because to me its normal. I had one guy tell me that people in Kansas City sound normal and have NO accent and I had to remind him that EVERYONE has an accent and that people from England think that ALL Americans have accents. Its just a matter of perspective.

The people here are polite in general.   But  Iv only been here less then a month and already met a few people who appear to honestly care. This is something I really appreciate. Its always refreshing to know that other people do care and they don't need years of reciprocation to give a little bit. Its not that I didn't find nice people in California. Its just that Iv been gone for 2 years and Iv found friends generally forget and move on with their lives. This is probably pretty normal anywhere.

Iv found decent jobs and cost living is easily less the half what it was in California. People are surprised to hear that I picked Kansas City out of the entire thousands of cities in the USA to chose from.The only negative here is the weather.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rules for running Startups by Mark Cuban

Reading Mark Cubans interview advice for business startups on Iv taken away a few of good tips that I think are useful.  Here is what I came away with.  

1:  Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them.  Pay up for people in your core competencies. Get the best. Outside the core competencies, hire people that fit your culture but aren't as expensive to pay.
2. No offices. Open offices keep everyone in tune with what is going on and keep the energy up. If an employee is about privacy, show him or her how to use the lock on the bathroom. There is nothing private in a startup.
3. As far as technology, go with what you know. That is always the most inexpensive way. It's a startup so there are just a few employees. Let people use what they know.
4. Keep the organization flat. If you have managers reporting to managers in a startup, you will fail. Once you get beyond startup, if you have managers reporting to managers, you will create politics.
5. Make the job fun for employees. Keep a pulse on the stress levels and accomplishments of your people and reward them.  We would take people to a bar every now and then and buy one or ten for everyone. 

To read the rest of the article visit:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Putting extra savings in Money Market FUND

This article is about the type of mutual fund. For the type of bank deposit account, see Money market account.
money market fund (also known as money market mutual fund) is an open-ended mutual fund that invests in short-term debt securities such as US Treasury bills and commercial paper.[1] Money market funds are widely (though not necessarily accurately) regarded as being as safe as bank deposits yet providing a higher yield. Regulated in the US under the Investment Company Act of 1940, money market funds are important providers of liquidity to financial intermediaries.[2]  Wiki

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Go Giver: Accepting payment for Value

I read the Book The Go Giver a few years ago and I really liked the message it had to offer.  In fact, its probably one of the best books I have read on over-delivering and reaping the rewards of doing so.  But although I think the book had some great points, I also have some serious issues with it.

I don't entirely agree with the First Law and Premise: 

"Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value then you take in payment".  

As business owners, the goal isn't to provide much more value then our price point.  This is just bad business.  For example, I'm not going to sell you a brand new Ferrari for $20,000.  This is madness and its throwing money down the toilet.  No one will value what we do if we give things away free severely discounted.

I think this premise really needs to be changed to  "Provide great value and price your rates accordingly."

The reason why we don't want to over-deliver severely is because we have no guarantee that our buyers will come back or will buy more and we shouldn't place ourselves in a bad situation by setting  rates lower then they deserve.    Anyone who believes this should stay far far far away from business.

The Second Law, The Law of Compensation I think is incomplete.  It should be changed to "Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them and how wide your profit margins are."  

Again, the problem is in providing much more in value then we ask for in payment.  I don't agree that our true worth is determined by providing as much excess value then our price rates demand.  If we accept this premise, we may as well work for free and see where that gets us.

If the author of the Go Giver thought a bit more about how this applies to the financial statement in business this book would have been a real knock out.  None the less, it was a great read with a great message.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Win big through Compounding Interest

Here is the concept of how compound interest increases over the years(2 min video) as applies to 401K plans.

When I became self employed I learned even small business owners can benefit greatly with a I401K plan and with little restriction.  My best tip on the whole thing?  Start young because 401K plans work off compounding interest and gains momentum over time leading to a big payoff latter down the road.

The short video below explains the many details about the I401K plan and its benefits for business owners.

  “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.”
Albert Einstein 

In the link provided below, you can easily use a compound interest calculator to figure out how much money you will have around retirement by using the I401K plan.  Once you open the link, enter all your corresponding numbers for dollars and years till retirement.  In the field marked "Annual Addition" simply enter the amount you can invest annually into the account.

Many also set up a Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP) IRA, which allows them to contribute up to 25% of their income, up to $51,000 (2013) per year.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Get ahead by Saving (keeping) Money

The first step to wealth is often resourcefulness(read it frugality) and actually saving some of that money that you make in your paycheck.  Its not sexy, but in many cases its true.  Here are a few tips on how to get ahead even when earning less then we could be.  Cut off any reoccurring costs that you don't need or you can't get somewhere else for less or for free.

Saving money, stretching the dollar

  1. Go rural.
    It is far, easier to make a living on minimum wage in a rural area. There are many small towns where you can find a room to rent for rent or an apartment for under $350.  Try sharing a room with a friend or splitting costs with a someone else.
  2. Don’t drive.
    A car is a giant money waster on low incomes. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, if you’re working minimum wage, your car isn’t going to be worth it over the long run. Ditch the car and get whatever cash you can for it. Choose a place to live where you can get to work by foot or by bicycle. Being able to get to work reliably and for free will  cut costs, and also will also ensure that you don't lose hours due to car problems, taxis, or missed buses.  
  3.  Buying stuff and sell it for more.   Craigslist is very useful and easier to use then ebay as people are local and seem more attached to the purchase when they come by to pick up the object.  All you need is a working camera to capture a shot of the object you are selling.
  4. Spend no more than $300 a month on household necessities (food, toiletries, etc). The only way to pull this off is to cook pretty much everything yourself, or get help from a friend or family member.  Plan your meals appropriately with the goal to save.
  5. Cut cellular and cable costs. Cellular plans usually cost about $30 a month if you find the best deal in town. If you don't use all the minutes in your cell plan, a prepaid or pay-as-you-go phone may save you a lot of money. Consider not getting a cell phone at all.  Do you have a friend who can answer or screen phone calls on their phone for you?  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

8 Tips I learned about Google Plus in 3 months

I'm revealing 10 things I have learned about google plus in the 3 months that Iv been using it.  Lots of this stuff I found out haphazardly by messing around despite all the "gurus" out there who claim to know so much.

I don't like giving quality info away for free but I'm going to do it now in hopes that other people jump in and add value to my list.  SHARE WHAT HAS BEEN WORKING FOR YOU IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW!

If you have something to share, do it here!  Comment below!  Don't just plus it!

10 tips Iv learned to Goolge Plus Productivity

1)     If you want to find a specific niche of people to follow/get followed by, just enter the keyword under profile work experience.  Enter in your profile that you are a personal trainer.  Then when you go to the people box to the left side of the screen, the google suggestion area will find 1000s of other personal trainers you can connect with.  You can do this to find anybody in any niche.  Chances are the more you follow, the more will follow you.  Then just delete the ones who didn't in a single click with circlescope services.
2)     Use shared circles.  Just type “shared circles personal trainers” in the search box on google plus.  With the search results you can add hundreds of other personal trainers with a single click, many will follow you back.

3)     Not everyone follows you back so delete the ones who didn't.   This is made 100 times easier to do using circlescope.  Circlescope allows you to delete everyone in every circle who doesn't follow you back with a single click.

4)     I usually create a new circle every week.  I name the circle something like "april 1st" so I know in 7 days I'm just going to delete anyone who didn't follow me. I add hundreds of people who I hope will follow back.  When the week is over, I simply use Circlescope to delete all the ones who didn't.

5)     Plus, comment, and reshare liberally on subject matter that you are interested in.  This will increase your visibility for various reasons including the fact that people have programs that track all this stuff and they will follow you if they see you are highly active in (personal training) for example. 

6)     For people who are interactive with you, create a circle for them so you can follow their feeds without getting bogged down with all the useless posts of  people who aren't.  Then when your interactive friends post something, return the favor by commenting and plussing.

7)     If someone leaves a comment, even if its just “lol”.  Reply to it.  Say something like “I didn't know you like cats too”.  This can help get more interaction going on your profile and often develops into real conversations.

8)     Communities are something I'm just starting to use.  I found people are WAY more interactive and interested in a post if you post it in a well populated community.  The good thing is that this shows up on your profile so you look like you are getting lots of interaction on your profile even though it originally took place in the community. 

Conclusion:  I hope this gave you an idea or 2 that you hadn't though of.  If you would like to share to speed up my learning process then please do.

David Mauntz

Friday, May 23, 2014

Make Money Save Money. Personal Finance

I recently read a good basic article on how to manage money better.  I made a few changes and  highlighted what I though was especially valuable.  Here's what I came away with. 

1)  In the end: spend less than you earn. It’s the one point that comes up time and time again in every financial book.  Why? Because it’s true.

There are two avenues to achieving this goal: spending less and earning more. By working on either (or both), you can increase the gap between those two numbers. The harder you work on either spending less or earning more, the bigger that gap will become.

2)  Move towards your passions. Whatever really excites you and makes you want to do more and more and more and better and better, that’s what you need to move towards at all times.

3) Habits of all kinds are dangerous! Most people have some sort of routine in their day where they buy a morning latte or a bagel, or they drink six cans of soda, or they eat out at the same place each day for lunch.  These routines add up to a lot of money. Spending $5 every day in a workweek adds up to $1,300 over a year – that’s a mortgage payment for a lot of people. Spend some time looking at the stuff you do every day, especially the ones that require you to spend money, and ask yourself if they’re really necessary or could be replaced.

Food is a great example. Quite often, people will eat out and drop $20 or $30 on a meal that they could have made at home for $3.

4) The 10 second rule.  Every time you go to make any purchase, even when you pay a bill, stop for ten seconds and ask yourself if this is really something you want to spend your money on. Do you really need this?

5)  Don’t make yourself miserable! Most of the time, when you cut a bit of spending from your life, you’ll find that you never miss it. However, there are times when you find yourself really regretting it. If that’s the case, it’s probably a worthwhile expense for you.  See if you can't find another way to get what you want without spending as much money on it.

6) Pay off all high interest debt, such as credit cards. Focus first on the one with the highest interest rate and pay this off fully in as little time as possible.

7) Build an emergency fund.  An emergency fund is money you keep in a savings account that’s intended to be used in the event of a crisis, such as a job loss, a medical emergency, major car damage, and so on. I usually suggest to people that they measure their emergency fund in terms of months’ worth of living expenses.

8)  Start a side business. Instead of burning hours in front of the tv each night,  how about investing at least part of that time into starting a side business? You can try starting a blog with a few ads on it, or maybe you’re good with woodworking and can make deck furniture. Maybe you’re good at baking bread and can take loaves to the farmer’s market, or maybe you deeply enjoy gardening and can sell vegetables. There are lots of possibilities out there for starting a business that will supplement your current income and perhaps eventually grow into your main income.

9)  Invest! You might also want to start investing at this point. My recommendation is to buy low-cost broad-based index funds because they don't have many fees and grow well over long periods of time.