It only takes a spark

One of the world's amazing wonders...

One of the world’s amazing wonders…

I just met with my Spark sisters and I am stoked.

As always, I learn a lot when I am with them, more so when I keep my mouth shut. From them come the most wonderful stories and learnings and I am just thankful to be in their presence.

Here are 5 things I learned from them today:

1.  Spouses need at least 15 hours per week with each other. 20 for couples who are in crisis.

No, your husband can’t be watching TV while you are on your computer. You have to be there, with him, talking to him – about his day, about his thoughts, about everything and nothing. It cannot be just a co-existence, there has to be a purposeful exchange of self, or a simple touching of minds. 

You can also apply this to your children. At least have a date with each one (if you have more than one like I do) every week. I know Bo Sanchez practices this and it cannot be overemphasized. Children are young once, their minds can be trained in (what should be) the most positive, inclusive, loving environment they will ever know in their lives only in this short span of time. It does not matter if they are 3 years old or younger. They know.  Let’s not squander this time with them.

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Within the Wealth Circle

Clouds Almost Touching Clouds

In October 2011, Bo Sanchez launched another initiative aimed at helping those financially motivated to become wealthier, and he called it Wealth Circle.

Of course I could not resist being part of it.  Turned out, not everyone could get in because there was an application process that consisted of about a 10-page questionnaire (or something that seemed that long) that quizzed one’s financial health, motivation, problems, overall outlook in life.  It was a tedious process, one that made me re-assess my life, and reflect on it, making me laugh and cry a little (it was gut-wrenching and soul-satisfying).

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Money Summit 2011: If You Think Education is Expensive, Try Ignorance

A New Day

A New Day

Yes, please sign me up!

Seminars.  Opportunities to learn new things, new ways of thinking, new (and hopefully more effective) ways of making money, new trends, meet interesting and like minded people… how could anyone pass that up?   I could not.

And I am still touched by the ripples (a.k.a. benefits, gains, blessings) that simple “Yeses!” to seminars were able to earn for me: the MavenSecrets blogging seminar which gave me this blog, the Ricky Lee Scriptwriting Seminar from long ago that so inspired me but failed to make me a scriptwriter (which friend said can’t have it all?), the Truly Rich Club seminar and materials (mostly CDs I still listen to in my car) from Bo Sanchez that I still remember to this day (that jumpstarted the personal-finance-me – who would ever think?), the Inquirer.net financial planning experiment that gave me my financial-planners-partners in MoneyDoctors, Bob Proctor’s Six-Minutes to Success and Rich Schefren and Jay Abraham’s League of Extraordinary Minds that are still giving me new insights into the human psyche and the Registered Financial Planning seminar I am currently attending which hopefully will make me financial planner extraordinaire (hopefully).

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Easter Egg Hunt

Brighter than the Darkest Night

Brighter than the Darkest Night

We could not wait for dawn to break through.

But as it is , the night was still blanketed with stars.  But we were excited and could not sleep because of the excitement.  We have just painted our Easter eggs, my brothers and I, just a few hours ago.  We had 2 eggs each.  One of mine had waves of red and blue, the other had a wash of light red, just hint of blush, and I thought it was beautiful.  My brothers were equally focused on the task at hand (but their eggs were not as pretty as mine).  I almost felt sad when we finished and handed it to our mother so she can paint, with her harsh black tipped pen, an amount on it.  She then sent us outside, to the “adults”, so we can hand to them our works of art so they can hide it at the empty lot beside our house.  I still remember scouring the wall, silently, with my brothers, tiptoeing so we can see where the eggs were being hidden.  But there was only darkness.

At last, the first ray of sunshine broke through and with it, we let out an outburst of delight.  We could not eat, or take a bath, or dress, fast enough.

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How We Did It

 

A Door, Windows

Did”.  I am not sure about that word.  Because it is in the past tense and means the fun and the adventures are over.  When they are not.  We are just beginning.A reader wanted to know how we “did it”.  She said she read my first post but that I just skimmed the surface of how we overcame the bleak prophesies of our first financial planner, that I did not really explain how we got that 24% increase in our annual income, and more importantly, how we overshot it.  If you have not read that first post, here is what our first financial planner said:

“While the couple’s Emergency Fund Ratio (EFR) will be over 1x by the end of 2007, the ideal ratio is 3x.  The couple would need to add around Php149,000 to their annual income to meet such a ratio.  To raise their savings rate to 18.1% from 6.7%, the couple would need additional annual income of Php262,000, or add 24% to their current annual income.”

So, how?

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Hoarding Emails (and Letting Go)

Simplify

I was getting tired of seeing 5,600+ unread mail in my mailbox.  What’s funny is I am also being bombarded with emails that say I should simplify my life.

So I did.

But it is harder than I thought.

As of press time, I still have 3,089 unread emails.  And it is growing by 50 a day.

I am confounded as to why my unread emails became that much.  I am usually overly zealous at reading what’s up in my world and everyone else’s.  Looking at my 2008 emails (Gmail has allowed me to keep them), I saw that I had read each and every one.  I do not know what happened between then and now.

Maybe it’s just that I am a sucker for enlisting for products and services.  In early 2009, I was so big on personal finance and internet marketing that I had signed up for those websites and people my mentors recommended – Schefren, Daily Wealth, Daily Crux, Morningstar, Napoleon Hill, Bob Proctor, League of Extraordinary Minds, Carl Ocab and many more other websites.  I seriously think this is the time when my emails ballooned to unimaginable and my life went from simple to crazy-exciting.

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Mutual Funds: Magic of Larger Numbers

 

Hop In

I think I first heard about Mutual Funds from Bo Sanchez.  He likens it to a vehicle that almost anyone, with some funds to invest, can jump into, and that it should be a staple in the portfolio of any smart investor.

I was not entirely convinced (I did not really understand).

To further dispel the mystery of this so-called staple – Mutual Funds – I did some further reading and some interviews.  It is simpler than I thought.

Mutual Funds, turns out, is an investment vehicle where people can pool their resources to take advantage of the magic of larger numbers, that is, because a lot of people invest into “the fund”, they have a large number, and thus, the mutual fund manager – a professional who will manage the investment – can get better rates of return for them.  The mutual fund manager trades the “pooled” money on a regular basis and the net proceeds or losses are then typically distributed to the investors annually.  As my friend Salve Duplito said in one of her articles in MoneySmarts, with as little as USD$100, the regular John or Juans can get their feet wet in an instantly diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, or both.

A sort of safe haven for the cautious investor.

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How To Get To Your Dreams (Second of Two Parts)

Like Minds

Like Minds

I have a secret.

But before me, it belonged to Bo Sanchez (and maybe before him from some really wise man).

I could still remember the time when I first heard him speak of it.  I was cruising in my car and listening to one of his boxed audio seminars.  It was the first CD I received from him as a member of his Truly Rich Club.  I honestly did not think much about that CD – I plugged it and listened.  But there’s something about a two-hour traffic and listening to Bo’s charismatic voice that gets the heart pumping and the mind dreaming dreams.

He was telling a story, of what he did a long time ago, when he was just learning about riches and dreams.  He wrote about them. And when he wrote those dreams, he considered them as not just dreams.  He regarded them as if they were already realities.  He confessed, though, that when he was writing them – being a best selling author, being a wonderful husband, having a nipa hut (middle) with a fishpond (front) and a coconut tree (back) – he was laughing (could not help it).

I laughed too. (i thought i saw the other drivers look at me silly)

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