Many thanks to Investor Llew for his years of dedicated service to the novice/intermediate investor community, having founded this meetup! I have personally observed Llew work tirelessly to promote financial astuteness and make it accessible to all. I feel comfortable saying that his investor education program has been one of the most comprehensive and targeted programs I've ever seen. Having gotten to know Llew over the past couple of years, I can also say unequivocally that he has proudly offered this program as a philanthropic effort, with the utmost integrity, so that others can experience the financial success that he has.
This is exactly why this program will not die. Instead we will enter into this next phase, along a continuum of educational growth, for all who are actively seeking. My group, HSIG, has taken over this meetup in efforts to continue to provide value to the community with accelerated investor education and related activities.
Stay tuned for our first meetup and updates to the meetup page, which are soon to come...
President, HSIG, LLC.
Original Message below:
I have decided that I would write out the biggest problems that I have seen of students:
Lack of Courage
When I ask the question, "Do you need Math in order to be a good Investor?" Everyone answers "YES, you absolutely do." Yet, when I ask how many classes you have taken for Investing, the Majority claims many. Then I would test their knowledge of Financial Math including % changes (ie. "What is the % change when a stock moves up $1 from $9?", "What is the ROI from an investment where you started it with $1,000 in 2002 and then in 2012, you received $11,000", "If an Investment returns 100% when you buy it.. what happens when cannot afford it and you get a partner who puts in 50%?")
The vast Majority fails to answer these questions correctly and yet they have taken or read MANY classes and Investment Books.
These same students already know that they lack the Math skills. When asked why have they not studied to correct this situation, the Majority of the answers are "I'm too embarrassed that I don't know the Math (it's really 5th Grade Math)," "I am really afraid of Math," or "I have been out of school so long, I forgot it."
I will say that if you suspect you do not understand Financial Math (try answering the questions above), have never even bothered to understand how to do any kind of sophisticated calculations (ROI, discounted Cashflow, Internal Rates, etc.), have no knowledge of what kind of Math IS Financial Math... NOT ONLY ARE YOU IN TROUBLE, but you failed to do the RESEARCH necessary to try to Figure out what you DON'T KNOW.
This all points to a LACK OF COURAGE. You have to Research what you don't know and Correct your problems. If you hide the fact that you lack basic math or don't even bother to understand that you lack basic financial math, you are taking the route of the Coward. You are burying your head in the sand. You are setting yourself up for failure.
Worse yet, you are setting yourself up for those that PREY on your lack of knowledge. They will claim that all you need to do is take their course for a huge amount of money (it may not seem huge, but if you DO THE MATH, you will notice how expensive they are on an hourly basis). They give no ASSESSMENT TEST, which is a normal requirement before you would enter any legitimate program like a University. Then, when you pass a certain class, the only requirement that you need is if you have enough money to pay for it. No exam to see whether or not you understood the information. Worse yet, no Math either.
This is a complete failure, not in the programs that take advantage of the student who lacks the Math knowledge, but in the students themselves who refuses to use the GREATEST RESEARCH TOOL OF ALL TIME, the Internet to even bother searching for Financial Math calculations.
Here's a quote from one website I just found:
If we were to measure education in the United States purely by how students performed on standardized tests, the results might be labeled: embarrassing.
Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1011/5-Financial-Math-Skills-Every-Teen-Should-Know.aspx#ixzz23pavFLAC
The reality is that you need to be COURAGEOUS in order to admit that you lack Financial Math. You then have to do something about it! This leads to the next Problem:
Lack of Discipline
First, if you do not know your deficiencies, Discipline won't help you as you can't really correct your problems. So you first have to be Courageous and understand what you lack. Then, you must take a Disciplined Approach to correcting those problems.
Even when I have students in my classes, they have admitted that they lack the Math skills and others types of skills (especially research skills), they fail to do anything BUT attend Class. Even when attending classes, I can see many students just not paying attention, playing on the internet, emailing, flirting, etc.
After class, even though there is a week inbetween classes, they neither study nor even pick up their notes to prepare for the next class.
How can anyone progress reasonably well with such lack of discipline?
Not only that, but they see that I repeat the same lessons again and again, asking me why I am not progressing the class. When I see that the majority of the students have failed to retain the information from the previous class, I just repeat the lessons. In one class, I recalled repeating the same lessons for 5 weeks! And yet they failed to move on.
To be successful, you have to be Disciplined. You have to progress. You have to become sophisticated. You have to treat it as if you are getting a degree in what you are doing, Investing. You have to live, breath and sleep Investing. If you cannot do this, there is a high chance you will not retain the information that you absolutely need to become a good Investor.
Lack of Motivation
Everyone that comes to my classes claim to be MOTIVATED. All the profiles will list Motivation as why they should take my classes to become successful. Yet, 90% of the students will drop out of my classes mainly because I make you do the work necessary to achieve your successes.
If you drop out because it gets tougher, what does that show you about your REAL motivations?
In many cases, I have to say that the only reason why students attend these classes is because they want to have the general feeling that they are doing something. So they take up a seat, have the lack of discipline to pay attention, lack of courage to actually correct their Math problems, sometimes come in late, etc.
YOU ARE JUST NOT MOTIVATED if you cannot progress even though your Mouth may say so.
You can fool yourself, but you cannot fool me. I pretty much know when I have students that are not really Motivated. The vast Majority are not Motivated even though they have claims to be.
Lack of Thinking and Insight
The funny thing I always find is that almost all the students NEVER ASK THE QUESTION THAT SHOULD BE ASKED BEFORE EVER TAKING A CLASS.
In order to point this out, I usually ask, "What is the purpose of going to school?"
The vast majority of students tell me, "To get a Degree or to get education."
I am absolutely SHOCKED when I hear such questions.
It really shows a lack of Thinking and insight if this is your answer.
No, the reason why you are going to school is to get a JOB which will PAY you MONEY.
This then leads you into the Right QUESTION TO ASK.
So, if my real goal is to get a Job that pays money and the degree is secondary, then what I need to do is MAKE SURE THAT THE EDUCATION INSTITUTE THAT I AM TAKING HAVE GRADUATES THAT MAKE MONEY, not just get a degree!
WOW!!! WHAT INSIGHT!
I am totally shocked that people believe that the purpose of going to school is for an education. IT IS NOT. It's to get you a decent job. If you can't get a decent job then there is no purpose to get the degree, is there?
I know a lot of people who have taken degrees from IVY League schools, and some wind up being baby sitters, waiters/waitresses, many are now unemployed, etc. What does it matter if you paid a lot of money for a degree and you can't get a job in that field? Worse, you owe $200k or more in Student Loans that you are not allowed to Discharge!! This is a life time of being an Indentured Servant!
The problem is a Lack of Thinking and Insight.
Your main purpose of education is really to MAKE MONEY. This is especially true in regards to INVESTING EDUCATION.
To know if the school you are going to will get you there, you must investigate whether or not the GRADUATES actually MAKE MONEY WITH THE EDUCATION THAT IS BEING TAUGHT!
This is tough to do, but is absolutely ESSENTIAL.
Many of you pluck down 10s of thousands of dollars on Investing Education Courses and yet have no real knowledge if any of the Graduates have really made money. You can't speak to someone and even if they told you they did make money, will they prove it? How do you know they didn't lie to your face?
One of the easiest ways to prove someone made money in Investing is with looking at public documents when they claim Real Estate made them wealthy. Deeds, Mortgages, etc. are generally public information. If you don't get this information first, prove that the instructor actually makes money investing, then you maybe getting the wool pulled over your eyes, and you have spent thousands of dollars getting scammed. I suspect that this is the Majority of Adult Guru education out there.
The funny thing is that while I demonstrate with my own public records and live trading accounts which has made me 100s of thousands of dollars in any given year, still I get a drop out rate of 90% or more.
It seems as though the majority of people are dreaming about living wealthy, but refuse to live the dream!
Maybe this is why all the people who constantly get scammed by education continue to do it. They would really rather dream than living the dream because living the dream is just too hard.
However, after a threshold of knowledge, living the dream becomes extremely easy.
Anyway, this Meetup will be shut down as it has done it's job, which was to keep my investing skills and education retained over the 5 years I have been teaching it.
I wish you all luck and should you wish to comment, I am sure others would appreciate it.
In 2005 I realized that there will be a multitude of Investors who will not see the flashing Warning signs of disaster up ahead. They were completely ill prepared to read those Warning Signs and therefore will drive their Investment Vehicles into disaster. Now, 4 years later, the wrecked Investment Vehicles are evident everywhere.
That same year, for the specific purpose of educating Investors that they are missing those warning signs, I formed Analyze Business, Inc., an Educational Program which takes you from the very basic to the most advanced topics in Investing. Many other programs claim to Educate correctly, however, those same programs completely fail the Student. They have basically motivated and sent the Student out to a new and dangerous road without teaching the Warning Signs to avoid the obstacles in front of their Investment Vehicle. My program will correct this lack of "REAL" Education and expose the problems of other Institutions.
I will also give demonstrations through Public Records of my own transactions such as Deeds, Appraisals, Contract of Sales, Closing Documents, Stock Trading Orders, etc. You will have absolutely no doubt in your mind that these Transactions are real. You will become confident as I produce the education with the documents and techniques.
Since 2005, I have had the opportunity to meet and Educate more than 200 Student Investors with a full range of topics. Many who stayed with my Program found it to be not only enlightening, but also helped them to refrain from making bad investments. Others who only attended sporatically have not fared as well.
Prior to this Meetup Group, I had chosen to keep my program small and accessible via "word of mouth" recommendations to capture serious Student Investors. In the process, I have honed my skills in teaching the topic as best and effectively as possible. This Meetup Group is dedicated for the purpose of teaching Investing Skills which I have gained as an Instructor for the past 4 years since 2005.
While the student environment will be serious, you will also see that you will be very comfortable. What is the point of becoming Wealthy if it is not enjoyable?
Our Mission is to provide the best Financial Education, PERIOD. We are dedicated to offer our Education Program as inexpensive as possible. Our Current rate is $20 for a 3 hour course, just $6.67 per hour.
Note: Classes are held once a week. So an 8 week course is 8 classes. Sometimes it will take longer as our Classes are taught at the speed of the class.
1. Future to Beginner Investor (9 weeks) - Your Beginning
Although you may have an MBA, work in a Financial Company, hold a CPA or Accounting Degree, etc., you must start at the Beginning.
If it were that an MBA, CPA, Accounting Degree, etc. guaranteed that you would be a successful Investor, then anyone holding one of those Degrees would be successful. While I believe those Degrees can be helpful, I have not seen a correlation between any Degree and a Successful Investor.
1. a) Return on Investment (ROI) - 3 Weeks
An Introduction to Excel and ROI.
Most Investors really don't understand how to Calculate an ROI, especially a Multi-year ROI. You will be taught to calculate ROI's for less than a year, a year, and multi-years. You will also start to learn the true meaning of Cashflow. Again, another problem with most Investors, normally Real Estate Investors. Real Estate Investors seem to think that the Cashflow of a property only has to do with the Income of a Property. That is incorrect.
This portion finishes with a test on Multi-year ROI. Once you pass this exam, your status will change from a Future Investor to a Beginner Investor.
1. b) Basic Business Model - 6 weeks
You will start to use Excel's more complicated features by building your own Analytical Tool. The Tool will be specialized for Real Estate, but it can be Customized to any Business. There are several sections: General Information, Base Rate and Points, Payment Calculation, Loan Amortization, Revenues, Expenses, Depreciation and Financial Calculations including Cashflow, Cap Rate, Net Income, etc.
This portion finishes with a comprehensive Excel exam. Once you pass this exam, your status changes from a Beginner Investor to an Intermediate Investor.
2. Intermediate Investor (6 Weeks)
You will now hone your Financial and Excel Skills in order to build a much more sophisticated and comprehensive Business Model. You will include Calulations for pro-rated 1st year analysis, Pre-Payments, and project your Analysis to 10 years out.
3. Advanced Investor (4 weeks)
You will learn to build a Business Plan.
I have been an Investor since 1998, approximately 12 years, purchasing and owning several multi-family Investment Properties in New York City as well as active in the Stock Market. All of my Investment Properties are doing Excellent, are fully Cashflowing and makes an exceptional return.
I have Invested in the Stock Market for over a Decade. Although the vast Majority of Investors have lost approximately 50% of their investments recently, I am currently returning more than 50% Annual Return on Investment (ROI) through various techniques in both Options and Stock trading techniques. All of which I will be teaching, proving and presenting in class.
I have also worked for the Federal Reserve Bank for 3 years as well as many of the top 10 Financial Companies in the world including Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and Merrill Lynch.
In 2003, my Net Worth exceeded a Million Dollars. I left the Rat Race and became a full time Investor, completely financially free, never having to work again.
If you feel that you are a serious Student looking for an Educator with my Skill and Experience, then I welcome you to join my Meetup Group.
It is the mission of Analyze Business, Inc. which I founded, to provide the best Investment Education possible for dirt cheap to the General Public that will be completely clear and understandable. The Goal is to teach you to Drive your Investment Vehicle without crashing it.
Some of the Curriculum includes:
Understanding basic and complicated Financial Analyticals such as Rate of Return, Cashflow, Discounted Cashflow, Cap Rate, Yields, Net Operating Income (NOI), Return on Investment (ROI), etc.
You will learn to build a very sophisticated Excel Tool which will preform Analyticals on Investments such as Investment Properties and Corporations.
Economics such as the Economic Indicators like Unemployment, Housing Starts, Housing Inventory, Home Sales, Home Prices, Consumer Pride Index (CPI), Producer Price Index (PPI), both Core and non-Core (the Headline), etc. Economic Topics such as "Flight to Quality," Leading and Lagging Indicators, Government Policy changes, etc.
Tax Strategies are absolutely important. Without a good understanding of Taxes, you cannot understand your true Cashflow or your Rate of Return. This is commonly called the After Tax Cashflow (ATCF) and the After Tax Rate of Return (ATROR). You will learn topics such as Depreciation, Amortization, Tax Brackets, etc. I find this the one area where almost all of my Students lack knowledge.
Again, this is for serious Students of Investing. If you don't have the time to meet a few times a month minimally, then this is NOT the meetup for you.
I am sure you will have a wonderful experience and education.