Difference Between Men’s and Women’s View of Money. The how-to’s of investing are the same for men and women. The biggest difference is that many women do not make their financial lives a priority until they have a “wake up call”, until they have to. The statistics show that 1 out of 2 marriages ends in divorce, and the year after divorce her standard of living drops 45%. Today, many women are facing job loss. 58% of baby boomer women have less than $10,000 set aside for retirement. 3 out of 4 elderly Americans that live in poverty are women, but 80% of those women did not live in poverty before their spouse died. So, women today lack ample financial education and still have an idea of financial dependency. Both things can be fixed with a good financial education and some motivation.
Personal Year from Hell. In 1985, we were living in Hawaii, sold everything we had, and moved to California to start a business. We soon ran out of money and were even homeless for a very brief period. We were blaming everyone else for our failure, and I finally had to wake up and stop waiting for someone to come and save me. The key was for me to actually do something. Literally, the first thing I did was to start a business. I had a friend with a clothing line, and I asked her if I could put her clothing in hair salons… sort of mini-boutiques. Many people were telling us to just get a job and get back on our feet, but I am very glad we didn’t do that. I’m so glad we didn’t quit on our own business aspirations.
My Very First Real Estate Investment. In 1989, our business was just starting to take off and we still didn’t have much money at the time. Robert told me that I needed to start investing. So, he taught me what his Rich Dad taught him, and then told me I was on my own and to get started. So, I found this cute little 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house in Portland, OR (which is where we were living at the time) and at the time it was $45,000. I had to come up with $5,000 for a down payment, which I didn’t have. I was very scared because I didn’t know what I was doing. But I did my due diligence and tried to find a reason why I shouldn’t buy it. It finally came down to decision time, and I did it. I went to closing, and my hand was shaking so badly that they could barely read my signature. I was worried about whether the tenant would move out, whether I would make a mistake, but I did it. I began collecting the rent, keeping up the maintenance, and each month I ended up with a $50 cash flow. It wasn’t much, but I was proud. That little 2 bedroom, 1 bath was where I learned the fundamentals of real estate investing.
Ample Opportunity in Real Estate (if you know what you’re doing). Real estate is something that you have to enjoy in order to succeed. I have always loved real estate, and that’s why I’ve been successful is because I love to learn about it and find great deals. But investors must remain true to themselves. There are four asset classes: business, real estate, paper assets, and commodities. You really have to do your homework and figure out which asset classes you are interested in. I think there is a lot of opportunity to pick up property at low prices, which gives you a better return. I am all about buying and holding, not flipping. We hold our property and rent that property because we love that cash flow every single month. I think interest rates will definitely be going up in the not-too-distant future, so we are locking in rates now and preparing for the worst.
Creative Financing Strategies. The first 10-12 years of my real estate investing, I never used traditional financing. We had bad credit and not much stable income during the early years. We did a lot of seller financing. Lease options are a good way to go. We also did assumable loans, which I think will become more and more common because the banks don’t want to hold the property either. There are many people using private lenders as well. Look out for a course online on creative ways to finance real estate.
How Can Women Take Control of Their Finances?. 60% of the nation’s wealth is controlled by women, and 90% of women alive today will, at some point in their lives, be solely responsible for their entire financial well-being. The first step to taking control is to let go of the thought that someone else is going to take care of it for you. The next step is to educate yourself on finances. Listening to financial podcasts, reading financial books, going online and getting good resources, or joining a club of local investors. It is up to the investor to get educated on every financial decision you make. The next step is to start small and invest in something. It can be as simple as buying a few shares of stock or buying a silver coin. Once you have some skin in the game, your interest goes up and your education increases.
Cash Flow Game in Your Area. One great resource for gaining financial education is to join a local Cash Flow club. You can go to RichDad‘s website and view many of the clubs that are available. These clubs are not affiliated with us (although they are using the game we created). There are over 3,500 Cash Flow clubs around the world that popped up spontaneously to learn together and provide support.
Focus on Assets, Not Salary. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is about shifting my focus away from my income and hourly wage to acquiring assets. An asset does not need to be an expensive or complicated thing. For example, one lady I know loves designer purses, which are normally liabilities that you cannot earn any income from. She buys all these designer purses and is renting them out to her girlfriends for special events. When I made this shift in my mind, that’s when my income really started to kick into gear.
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