Category: Money Matters

THE POWER OF PASSION

“I feel sorry for the person who can’t get genuinely excited about his work. Not only will he never be satisfied, but he will never achieve anything worthwhile.” Walter Chrysler

It is easy to dismiss the above quote from the founder of the Chrysler motor corporation because you believe that your work is uninspiring. Before reaching that conclusion take time to observe others at work.

When attending to necessary but mundane tasks whether at an institution with notoriously long queues, or at check out points in stores, it is a win to be served by the person that seems to enjoy interacting with the people that they are serving. Many of you have no doubt been in a queue where a reluctant worker seems to take pleasure out of prolonging the interaction with each customer. You begin silently hoping that you will not have to suffer the apparent indignity of being harassed by a person who seems to begrudge the sun having risen that morning.

Similarly there are those people that take delight in being as efficient and friendly as possible while carrying out their work. They smile and seem to be eager to assist in resolving matters efficiently and cheerfully. People who have the good fortune to be served in this manner quickly forget the long wait and leave the interaction feeling uplifted.

In each situation the person who really gains at the end of each day s the person that is cheerful and enthusiastic – a personal choice. No matter how mundane a job may be the satisfaction that you derive comes from HOW you do the job, not what job you do.

People blessed with pursuing their ideal career or calling feel as burnt out and frustrated as anyone else if their attitude is not one of enthusiasm and excitement. We all have bad days when it is a challenge to maintain high levels of work satisfaction, however it is what we believe that decides how effective and content we are.

The power of being passionate about what you do is that regardless of the financial reward you receive, the promotions or other external benefit that come your way; the true value of enthusiasm is to live each day with a sense of purpose, peace and joy that only a job well done can bring. •

RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE ON SOLID GROUND HEADING INTO 2014

With buyer sentiment growing and more balance, the residential real estate market is on solid, although still somewhat fragile ground as we head into 2014. Given the macro-economic landscape, the market is naturally likely to remain under pressure, but coming off a good year, we anticipate stable conditions and business as usual for buyers and sellers.

Trading conditions in the primary urban sectors of the market over the last year have been at the best levels since the economic down-turn. Provided that the economy remains stable, we anticipate a good year for real estate with buyer sentiment and the willingness to buy continuing to strengthen.

Encouragingly, serious sellers have started heeding the call of real estate professionals to adjust their pricing expectations in line with market dynamics. This has meant that some of the oversupply of stock in the primary urban areas has started clearing with stock shortages becoming a challenge for agents. This in turn paves the way for those looking to sell to get their properties listed and now is indeed an opportune time for serious sellers.
Vital though, if you hope to succeed in selling, is that you understand the prevailing market conditions and work with a credible real estate agent to ensure that your home is priced just right. The economic conditions are simply not conducive to price increases beyond the prevailing modest growth levels that are set to persist this year. Having said this, sellers in many areas are seeing good offers, sometimes even multiple offers and getting closer to their asking prices.
On the whole, the favourable buying conditions will remain and dominate the year. The historically low home loan borrowing costs combined with the flat house price growth will continue to boost home affordability. Prudent though, will be for buyers to shop around and ensure they buy below their means and pay fair market value. Investing a deposit and careful budgeting for the costs of home ownership will, as ever, remain vital.

Visit www.seeff.com for more information or contact us on 044 533 0311 or email plett@seeff.com •

Two apprehended following separate incidents this week

Two suspects were apprehended in separate incidents and handed over to the local South African Police Service for arrest earlier this week.

At about 22h55 on Sunday 05 January, a resident of Longships Drive, Plettenberg Bay, contacted ADT Security to report an intruder on the premises. Armed Response Officer (ARO) Thembelani Fatuse was dispatched and arrived at the address within three minutes. There he found and apprehended the suspect who still had in his possession tools he had used to tamper with vehicles parked at the property.

On Monday the 06th, ARO Wiseman Mkatali responded to three call-outs from residents of Beacon Isle Crescent and Beachy Head Drive who also reported suspicious persons at their properties. The third call came from a homeowner in Beachy Head Drive at about 23h30; they explained that their security system triggered when the front door was forced open by an intruder who fled with a flat-screen television. Mkatali inspected the premises and it was not long before the ARO found the television – that had been dropped in the garden – and discovered and apprehended the suspect who had hidden in bushes nearby.

“If you suspect there is an intruder on your property, do not go out to investigate or confront them directly because you do not know if they are armed or how many there could be,” said Arno Hattingh, Manager of ADT Security’s Garden Route Branch. “Contact your security company or the police immediately, and provide them with as much detail as you can. If possible, stay on the line with them until help arrives.”

Hattingh added that even if the intruders have left, it is advisable to remain indoors and only go outside after security officers or the police have arrived and indicated that it is safe to do so.

– See more at: http://thegremlin.co.za/plettenberg-bay-news/wordpress/2014/01/10/two-apprehended-following-separate-incidents-this-week/#sthash.DSqyTTkL.dpuf •

Charting a Course

As a young adult I laughed off the advice that it was essential to create a plan or “road map” for my life, I was actively encouraged to set some goals. With my limited life experience at that stage I had some general ideas of what I wanted to achieve – complete my degrees and articles, maybe have a family one day.

It was only with the perfect 20:20 vision of hindsight and observing the rising and falling fortunes of companies that I worked for or consulted to that I began to understand the fundamental wisdom in having a plan, whether personal or business.

There are no guarantees that you will achieve what you plan to, but if you aim for the stars and end up with the moon, you are still better off than having no, or a low aim.

I don’t know if anyone would be happy to buy a ticket, or brave enough to board a flight if the itinerary stated “we are aiming in the general direction of North America, departing in sometime in April 2013”. Yet that is how many direct their lives and businesses!
With a plan in place you are able to focus your resources on a daily basis to achieve incremental, sustainable progress towards your vision. This may be your business funds, your human resource complement, or simply your own time and creative energy.
I have finally understood what I was taught many years ago – if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. •

 

Rich or Poor, Is it a Choice?

“The philosophy of the rich and the poor is this: the rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.” Robert Kiyosaki

While the initial reaction of most people may be to take offence at a statement as broad as this consider that it is possible to earn a fantastic salary and be in debt each month and equally possible to earn very little but have no debt.
Neither of these scenarios happens by chance, they are the result of choices. One of the most valuable investment or wealth building strategies is to “pay yourself first”. From your first pay cheque if you immediately set aside a fixed amount – whether five percent or twenty percent, there is always a buffer that can give one a sense of well-being regardless of what life may bring.
Wealth is also relative, for a person earning a salary of R2,800 per month after two years of consistently saving ten percent, with no interest taken into account a total of R6,720 has built up. After ten years R33,600. To the person earning R2,800 that feels like real wealth.
The philosophy of the poor results in a nil saving as the maxim seems to apply that no matter how much we may earn, expenses expand to the level of income available for spending. The result is that all that is left to save after spending is nil.
The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Unless a change in philosophy is made the outcome will not change.
It is difficult to make the shift from a philosophy of spending first and investing second to investing first and spending what is left, but small steps can make all the difference. Begin with R50 per month, and then increase it to R100, then a percentage of what you earn.
The best approach is to make incremental changes over time. To commit to setting aside twenty percent overnight is bound to fail. Gradual changes are the most sustainable.
No matter what your goals in life are, simply having a “nest egg” can give you the security, peace of mind and confidence to envision an entirely different future to the daily grind of the “poor mind-set”.
We are all captains of our own ships and the course we set is our choice. Reducing the “nice to haves” •

To Worry or Not to Worry?

“Either you have control or you don’t. If you do, take it. If you don’t, don’t waste your energy on worry.” Dr Wayne W. Dyer

Many people are consumed with worry – over money, time, work, what people say or think – the list goes on. The reality is that worry does not create solutions or contribute anything positive to our lives.

Worry causes unnecessary stress and tension and the consequence is that concerns over one area of our lives quickly spill into other areas. Feeling tense about a relationship at work can leave us short tempered with personal relationships at home, impact on health with lack of sleep and a multitude of other problems.

As simple as the advice above seems, it is not easy to implement. While it sounds rational when we are faced with challenges the choices on how to react seem limited. We need to accept that our first choice is how we react to issues as they arise.

It has taken many years for me to learn that the best first response is to do nothing apart from sleep on the matter at hand. Reacting emotionally and impulsively can only lead to poor quality decisions that often aggravate the initial concern.

Statistics are often quoted that 80% of what people worry about never happens – imagine all that energy redirected to productive thought and action!

The irony is that practice seems to improve our resilience in coping with adversity – the more challenges we overcome, the better we are able to deal with them. When we contemplate the lives of some people we are often amazed how serene they seem after overcoming great tragedy or hardship. These are the graduates of the “School of Hard Knocks”.

They have learned first-hand that worrying about something does not prevent it happening or create a solution, the best approach to life is to focus on what is perfect right now and to reserve your energy for dealing with real crises as they arise.

Try it on for size – don’t worry – be happy •

 

Self-Worth vs Net Worth

It seems that society values people on the basis of

What they have
What they do
What others say about them

 

 

 

 

Sadly this basis for ‘valuing” people ignores many of the qualities that can improve self-worth – kindness, patience, creativity, to share joy, friendship….

We seem to have moved away from appreciating someone for the value that their deeds bring to a community to the superficial value that their material trappings are believed to be worth.

The impact that this has on each individual’s self-worth cannot be underestimated. In the past in small communities people were not motivated merely by greed or hunger. Vocations such as nursing, teaching, policing, firefighting were aspired to. Those that contributed to the greater good of the community were valued and respected.

It may be difficult to relate to this from the perspective of our modern thinking. Building character, learning time-tested skills and feeling good about what you can give rather than get seem low on most priority lists.

Once again it comes to the basic essence of what makes us all feel good – how we are treated by others, or how we treat them? The climb to success may secure net worth at the price of self-worth, but claiming that it is to support our family or fulfil a parents’ dream seem like poor excuses.

Perhaps the ideal is to achieve a balance where one part of our lives does not need to be sacrificed to feed another. Appreciating that self-worth and net worth do not need to be mutually exclusive is a beginning.

Start small, do something this week simply because it makes you feel good. Kindness has its own reward. Feeling good about who you are is priceless. •

Gifted Moments

“Yesterday is but a memory, tomorrow is but a dream, all we have is the present, which is why it is called a GIFT”
Our modern lives seem to be steeped in distraction allowing little time or space for contemplation of how much we have to appreciate each day. Basic necessities such as a roof over our heads, food on the table and work that enables us to provide are often taken for granted. Our blessings get “lost” in our apparent absorption in past glories or trials, preparing for happiness that always seems to be just around the corner based on “when I have”…..
Few people ever experience “perfect” moments, where they have the ideal job, joyous family relationships, and a supportive social life. Many people are focused so intently on creating the ideal scenario in their external circumstances that internal acknowledgement and appreciation for what is currently present is seldom experienced.
Yet there is an abundance of gifts in almost every moment of each person’s day – your work may not be your dream job, but to the unemployed you have their dream! Your family may squabble and be demanding, but survivors of tragedies would consider you blessed, you may not be perfectly fit, but being able to walk, see, hear, think are all privileges that many people do not have.
It is all a matter of perspective, but taking a step back from perpetual busyness and the consumer lifestyle may feel difficult to achieve. Try to take five minutes out, consciously, twice each day and use your five senses to become completely aware of all the wonderful blessings surrounding you in those moments.
When you realise how each moment of the day is steeped in uncountable riches you are living in the GIFT of the present. The more moments that you can live like this, the more consistently you are creating a past that is a beautiful memory and can look forward to a future that may not be as perfect as you want it to be, but it can be immeasurably better than focusing on all that you don’t and may never have.
There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way. Moment by moment appreciation is only the beginning.
Have a happy week…..moment by moment. •

Strategic Balance

There are many diverse views on life – from the happy-go-lucky bohemian possibility that love and experience are more valuable than material possessions to the positively mercenary where money has value over all else – even one’s own family.
Perhaps one of life’s most interesting journeys is discovering where one’s personal financial philosophy lies between the two extremes and perfecting the art of creating a lifestyle that supports this philosophy.
This may from time to time require a change of focus on different activities to create the environment that will foster and support long term goals and dreams. A person who sets the goal of more time to be spent with family and friends or other interests may need to invest extra time and effort to create an environment where all priorities can be met.
Someone determined to retire as early and financially well off as possible may have to sacrifice all thought of a rewarding family life and may not have the health necessary to enjoy the objective if achieved.
Like any long term strategy it is necessary to have self-awareness to be able to determine what your objectives are, this determines your priorities and how you invest the resources available to produce income – time, money and effort. It is essential that adequate contemplation and research is invested in developing this foundation as it will be the basis of building your financial future.
Without identifying what is important to you it is impossible to imagine what shape your future might take. The most common mistake that people make is to live life as observers – reacting to external circumstances, rather than as participants who are not only pro-active, but are more resilient in overcoming unanticipated setbacks.
As the saying goes “Both a beggar and a millionaire have twenty four hours in a day. It is what they choose to do with them that makes the difference.” •

Playing for Keeps

Whether you are the wealthy inventor of a patented product or an employee struggling to make ends meet most people realise at some point that to earn money is easier than keeping it.

Coin Dropping Into Piggy BankTrue financial wisdom lies in putting a portion of the money received and then being prudent in preserving the underlying value of your assets. Many may find it difficult to believe that someone that receives a windfall of a large sum of money and simply leaves it in the bank is worse off after ten years than a salaried employee who invests a small amount regularly in carefully selected stocks and funds.

A simple parallel to this is the maintenance of a vehicle. Once purchased a vehicle it is not simply a convenient piece of machinery that transports you from A to B with no further thought. Regular servicing and insuring against unforeseen circumstances are all essentials accepted by the majority of owners.

The concept is no different when it comes to MONEY MATTERS – another “vehicle” that requires time and effort to reach your destination. Many people make the mistake of thinking that once an asset is acquired it is the end of the process. It is however just like obtaining a vehicle – it is only the beginning.

In the maintenance of assets it is essential to have regular consultations with financial “mechanics” that can assess if you need a change in strategy to protect their value, to advise on tax efficiency and how to obtain value for money in securing high quality financial advice.

The message at the end of the day is clear – if you are playing for KEEPS – to PROTECT and PRESERVE the wealth that you create then high quality advice is priceless. •

Website Developed by Business Direct Media