2012 Assessments for Recession Driven Riches

30 Dec

This article is an excerpt from the book, Recession Driven Riches by Heru Ur Nekhet, national Renowned Rags to Riches Guru.

Chapter 5
Make An Honest Assessment Without Judgment

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”
-Will Rogers

“Don’t succumb to excuses. Go back to the job of making the corrections and forming habits that will make your goal possible.”
-Vince Lombardi

Despite the appearance of wealth created by the mass accumulation of material goods during the last boom (homes, cars, electronics, clothes, etc.), most Americans got into the habit of living on borrowed money. Still in denial and oftentimes overwhelmed by the gravity of their financial situation, the majority of those people now find themselves deep in debt with no feasible plan to get their heads back above water. Proper realignment requires you to perform an honest assessment of your current skills, confidence, resources, mental and physical health, time management, asset values, and soundness of potential business ventures or investments. It is easy to minimize or exaggerate your financial situation if you are judgmental about how you got into the situation.

In order to effectively create a plan of action to fix your current situation, you have to know exactly how much income you have from all sources (job, investments, business, etc.) as well as exactly how much money is being spent in that same amount of time. It sounds simple, however most people never take an accurate accounting of how much money passes through their hands each month or year. Be careful not to overlook any income or expense no matter how small it might seem. Even the small expenses add up over time. If you don’t want to use the old fashion pencil and paper method to create a balance sheet, you can use an online expense tracking website such as Wesabe.com or Mint.com.

It is important that you also check the current value of any assets that you currently own. These assets include your home value, investment property value, securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs, etc.) and any other holdings you might have. Oftentimes we invest in assets and just forget about monitoring them to make sure they are still worth keeping. For real estate values you can check propertyshark.com or zillow.com. For securities you can check morningstar.com to see if they are profitable. For other assets such as gold or silver you can go to goldprice.org, but for collectables you should get a professional appraisal.

How do you know if an asset is worth keeping? The answer is simple, if it is currently performing at a rate of return that meets your current needs, then it is worth keeping. If it is no longer performing to your standard and the prospect of a turn around is not imminent, then cut your losses and get rid of it. Let’s start with your home. If your current home value is less than the purchase price, then you are paying on a mortgage for the next few decades far more than the price will ever be again. You are financing something that will probably never be worth what you are paying. This raises a couple of issues. First, it will never gain equity so you cannot borrow against it. Second, you will never be able to sell it and recoup the money you put into it. If you have no desire to ever borrow against it (refinance) or to sell it, and you have no desire to take advantage of the fact that you can now get more home for less than what you are currently paying, then you don’t have to do anything. Enjoy your overpriced home.

After taking an assessment of your current assets, you must seriously evaluate what resources you currently have to work with. These resources might include cash reserves, creditworthiness, insurance, professional advisors (accountant, broker, financial consultant, attorney, etc.), support from family or friends, knowledge, skills, etc. If you find that you are lacking necessary resources, then part of your realignment plan must include gathering needed resources.

Some Things to Assess

  • Debts – credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc.

  • Investments – real estate, stocks, bonds, IRA, TDA, 401(K), bank account, Certificate of Deposit (CD), gold, collectibles, etc.

  • Asset Values – real estate equity, gold appreciation, stock prices, collectible value, etc.

  • Income Sources – job, business ownership, dividends, rental income, etc.

  • Relationships – partnerships, family, friends, dependants, etc. Are they supportive or detrimental?

  • Skills – relevance and market value of skills, obsolescence of skills, etc.

  • Resources – time, cash flow, credit, partnerships, professional team, etc.

  • Expenses (liabilities) – basic living expenses, appropriateness of expenses, where and how to minimize expenses, etc.

  • Insurance – appropriateness of coverage, lack of coverage, excessive coverage, cost of coverage, etc.

  • Taxes – appropriate shelters, deductions, structure, etc.

  • Information Sources –news sources, opportunities, networking events, clubs, organizations, advisors, mentors, etc.

Get You Copy of Recession Driven Riches Now at http://www.recessiondrivenriches.com/

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