Hope for your financial life and beyond

4 Big Mistakes of My 20s That Affected My Net Worth

What if?

We all ask that at some point. It’s a reflective question about the past. What might have been if the events or actions in our rear view mirror had proceeded in a different fashion? Just cue the Back to the Future trilogy to see how that turned out for Marty and George McFly.

net worthIn the absence of a time machine we can’t change what has happened. So it does little good to dwell on it to the point of regret. However, our past is the best teacher for the future. The victories we achieved and the mistakes we endured help us to make thoughtful and wise decisions going forward.

We make mistakes all the time but more so in our youth. This happens for many reasons but mostly because we lack experience, have a difficult time envisioning the future and have a limited sense of our own vulnerability. Arrogance, self-promotion and a live-for-the-moment mentality are all more characteristic of the young than they are the old.

As I reflect on the decade of my 20s I see many mistakes in all facets of life. These are the four that set me back financially and contributed negatively to the growth of my net worth.

Discontinuing Skill Development

All I could see after four years of high school, four years of college and three plus years of graduate work was that the end of school had come. I was sick of school and was done with learning.

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How to Stop Making Bad Money Mistakes Again and Again

Have you made a lot of money mistakes in life? I sure have. Some of mine seemed to happen over and over again. After awhile, they end up becoming bad habits of thinking and acting that impact the course of my life.

money mistakesWhen habits become ingrained we have a difficult time changing our mind and consequently the actions that follow. It’s like we become Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, living the same day over and over, making the wrong decisions again and again.

If you find yourself in this situation, take hope. Turning the corner is possible. We do not have to be bound and determined to live a mistake-prone life.

How to Stop Making Money Mistakes

Whether it’s money mistakes other issues of life, the path can be altered. When I keep making the same mistakes over and over I work through these steps.

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Blogging Mistakes I Made That You Can Avoid

I’ve been at this blogging gig for over two years now and boy, have I produced my share of small and whopping blogging mistakes. They weren’t all in the beginning either. I just made another one last month that has really got me frustrated.

blogging mistakesNone of these have or will cause me long-term damage. Most have just created more work for me. Some happened out of ignorance and some because I just wasn’t thinking.

The worst part is that all could have been avoided if I’d read more or asked for help. As I shared Monday, I’ve had a real problem with asking for help and am slowly learning to overcome it.

Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

Here is a list of blogging mistakes I’ve committed that you should avoid. If you are looking at starting a successful blog to make money or just to have fun, don’t fall into these traps.

Not understanding keywords

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Emotions and Investing Do Not Mix

Today I’m guest posting and commenting at the personal finance blog Frugal Rules. Click the link below to read about why emotions and investing don’t mix, including some boneheaded investing mistakes I’ve made through the years when my emotions got the best of me.

emotions and investingSome things fit perfectly together. Peanut butter and jelly. Batman and Robin. Yellow and blue. Separately they have value. When combined they create something extraordinary.

The same cannot be said for emotions and investing. Like oil and water, they simply don’t mix. There is no place for emotion in the investing world if you want to have success.

My Emotional History With Investing

I started investing in 1996, just after my wife and I were married. It was the height of the 1990s bull market run that saw computer, technology and Internet stocks in particular soar to record highs. A company could go public one day and be at $200 a share the next without ever making a single penny in profit. (That’s a slight exaggeration but accurately defines the lunacy of the time.)…

Click here to continue reading at Frugal Rules

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How Do You Handle Life’s Most Embarrassing Moments?

Hidden Nuggets Series #30 – “O my God, I trust in you; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.” – Psalms 25:2

embarrassing moments

Wonder if Larry Legend every had an embarrassing basketball moment?

My teammates and I are playing defense in the second quarter of our private school state championship basketball game. Suddenly a player from our team steals the ball. Noticing an opening, I move from my defensive position up the floor. In a split second, I find myself on the receiving end of a pass with nothing but hardwood and our basket in front of me.

Pounding the ball into the floor, I streak forward, gaining speed with each step. All of their team’s defenders are trailing behind me as I hear the crowd’s cheering begin to swell. This is clearly leading to two points as an open lay-up awaits.

Then, as I approached the goal and jumped with the ball extended in one hand, the unthinkable occurred…

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5 Common Rental Real Estate Mistakes Landlords Will Make

rental real estate mistakesSo, you are ready to take the rental real estate plunge and become a landlord. Awesome! I hope that you have come to that decision by desire (you really want to do this) and not by necessity (you were forced into it because your house wouldn’t sell). One of those scenarios (hint: the first one) generally works out better than the other.

My wife and I have been renting properties for some time now and our landlord experience has been positive. I believe our success comes from a desire to run a quality business, as we never considered this to be a whimsical adventure. We spent over a year studying the idea to make sure rental real estate was right for us because we knew it has its darker side. I believe we set ourselves up for success as landlords by doing that because we went into it with our eyes wide open.

Rental Real Estate Mistakes Landlords Should Avoid

Even with all our preparation we made some mistakes with our rental real estate. Here are five big ones I want to help you avoid.

1. Paying too much for a property

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Investing Made Easy (Part V): Common Investing Mistakes

oops - MistakesIn this final edition of the Investing Made Easy series, I’d like to detail some common investing mistakes. Investing doesn’t have to be complicated but we make it so by doing some very silly things. In the end, our meddling brings nothing but frustration and lower returns.

I’ve already touched on a few of the most common mistakes in previous articles such as not having a plan, failing to evaluate one’s risk tolerance and ignoring investing fees.  And of course we want to understand every investment into which we place our money. If we don’t understand it, we shouldn’t be investing in it.

I’ve noticed through the years however, that other, less obvious issues inhibit me from having the success I desire. Each of them have hampered my investing at one point or another and it was only through losing money and honestly evaluating myself in the mirror that I was able to overcome them. (“Overcome” is a strong word, because they still creep back up from time to time and I have to fight them off again and again.)

Common Investment Mistakes

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