- Published on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:52
- Written by Andrew Snyder, Editorial Director, Inside Investing Daily
- Hits: 399
Stocks and bonds are fine. But they are only part of the equation. If you want to break the bounds of mediocrity, you must think differently.
Investors are fed up. It's a common theme around here.
Ordinary folks are sick and tired of getting run over by power-wielding big shots. They're sick of all the political risk. They're tired of hearing about Wall Street beasts that are "too big too fail" when their own wealth is disappearing drip by drip... no backstop in sight.
In a very perverse way, this hatred for everything "conventional" has been a godsend for many investors.
They are angry as hell... and they're taking their money somewhere else. Anywhere else.
It has been fascinating to study. The money that's leaving Wall Street is huge... another $7.7 billion was pulled from stock funds last month.
Some of the money is going under mattresses. Some of it -- too much -- is going to Treasuries. But a lot of it is going to alternative investments...
... the stuff Washington and Wall Street can't touch.
Farmland is hot. I've heard many folks call it the "new gold." It's so hot, in fact, roughly 25% of all farmland buyers in Kansas are investors.
In other words, they're not about to plop their families on the farm and start plowing the fertile fields. Instead, they are hands-off owners... simply collecting income and watching the value of their asset steadily rise.
It's not just farms. Of course not.
Money investors once earmarked for a tiny stake in a huge company is now flowing into everything from art to whiskey (one of the hottest markets) to coins.
But my favorite angle to this story... we've seen a renaissance in the art of entrepreneurialism.
In fact, my MBA alma mater recently invited me to help launch its own start-up incubator. You can now get a degree in creating your own business.
It's a hot topic.
Even retirees are getting in on the action. I recently devoted an issue of Unconventional Wealth to the subject of using an IRA as a funding conduit.
But there are still plenty of folks who say nay nay...
It's too risky, they chant. It's too time consuming. All the good ideas are taken.
Let me introduce you to one of my role models... every entrepreneur's hero.
Michael Masterson has started dozens of businesses and helped countless folks start exponentially more.
In fact, the first time I met Michael, we were locked in a room hashing out the details of yet another one of his new ventures.
His advice for wannabe entrepreneurs is simple: Do it.
"The media has long portrayed the entrepreneur as the daring visionary, willing to sacrifice almost everything to realize his or her dream," he says.
"But it's been my experience that most successful businesses start out very differently... and much more conservatively. I have started and co-started dozens of businesses where I began with virtually no money, working only a few hours a day.
"I've helped dozens of people do the same. And very quickly, by doing the right things... following the right steps... they wind up making so much money that they no longer need the salary from their jobs."
The key to understanding the value of starting your own business is to think of it no differently from the stocks in your portfolio.
But instead of owning 100 shares out of Apple's 100 million total float... you own 100% of them.
That means you're in charge. You call the shots. And you collect the entire profit stream... not just 34 cents' worth.
But the most important part -- the part that has made so many of today's entrepreneurs flat-out rich -- is the idea that one day you can sell the company.
And when you do... it will likely be worth millions.
One man I know of started an edible arrangement business in 1999 with $100,000 in savings. Within six months he broke even. Today, he's a multimillionaire with a business that boasts sales of close to $20 million.
Another started an adventure travel business with three grand... and now draws sales of $11 million a year.
Yep, he's a millionaire, too.
My point is simple. Stocks are fine. But unless you really know what you're doing and who you're up against, chances are, you'll never shake the bounds of mediocrity.
For a lot of folks, that's fine. That's what mediocrity is all about.
But I'm betting you didn't go to bed last night praying to be average. If I'm right... you're an entrepreneur.
If that is the case, you will enjoy Michael's latest and last book (he's written dozens).
The title is perfect for what I see every day: The Reluctant Entrepreneur.
Every one of us has what it takes to own a successful business. The problem is, we are trained to shun our yearning for independence. We're taught not to take risks (mostly by the folks trying to pawn their stocks on us). And we're told how hard it is to beat the odds.
But it's not true. None of it. Michael's career proves it. And his book shows how you can do it too. (You can get it here.)
In a market where political risk is at an all-time high and the odds are stacked against you, I urge you to rethink your strategy.
There's more to building wealth than stocks and bonds.
From the Inside,
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