Whether you have broken your 2020 new years resolution by now or not, for the most of us, our finances continue to be a concern.
Here is the first step towards planning for a Secure financial future.
Take Stock of Current Financial Status, that is,
Calculate your current NET WORTH.
Do this at least quarterly; certainly
do it once a year!
Compute the current value of all your assets (what you own).
The total of non-obligated funds (balance) at all bank accounts
The fair market value of all real assets you own
trade-in value of cars, motorcycles, boats, scooters, trucks, etc.
Current fair market value of all real property you own
house(s), farm(s), land(s), etc.
Current trade-in value of equipment and appliances you own
TV’s, Refrigerator, tools, computers, sound systems, etc.
Current trade-in value of all furniture, jewelry, antiques, etc.
Compute the current value of all financial investment instruments
(these are the value of these instruments
that will be available to you on demand
after deductions of all penalties, fees,commissions etc.)
Cash payout of all retirement accounts
Cash payout value of bonds, stocks, etc.
Cash payout of life and other insurance policies
Cash payout of all other investments
Compute your total debts (Liabilities);
Current short term loans
(those payable within 1-5 years)
credit card(s) balance(s)
total current value of all car loans/note(s)
other short term debt(s)
e.g. lease or rental obligations
current value of total long term obligations
many student loans have a payoff value
attached to your total balance
Other Long term contractual Obligations
current value of total child support payments
current value of alimony or divorce settlements, etc.
current value of all other court ordered payments, etc.
Compute the Net Worth
= Total Current value of Assets – Total Current Value of all Debts. This is the foundation of all planning for a secure financial future!
The numbers need not be super accurate.
This is just a birds eye view of your current position
Now that you know your current financial status,
the Next Step is to SET SOUND FINANCIAL GOALS
That is, clarify where you want to be
That’s in the next Post
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Scanning the landscape of your financial future?
There are about six major ways to become wealthy:
Be Born into a Wealthy Family
It goes without saying that
if you are the child, relative, or heir of
Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Sam Walton, or
Africa’s Aliko Dangote, or Mexico’s Carlos Slim, or
any of the royal families in Kuwait, Oman, or Dubai, etc.
also be wealthy. WILL
But this path to wealth is not available to over 99% of the planet!
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Marry into a Wealthy Family
Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle
married into British Royalty and into Wealth!
The wives of Rupert Murdoch, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk
However, this road is reserved
for only a tiny sliver of humanity. It also appears that
the wealthy generally marry
people of similar economic status.
Win a Lottery Jackpot with a Big Cash Prize
The odds of winning the mega million jackpot in the US
for example, is over 1 in 300 million
that means it is ‘possible’ to lose over 300 million times
It also means that you may never win
if you play the lottery every day
of a 100-year life span
(that is about 36,600 days!)
and never win!
As a means to wealth,
winning the Jackpot is therefore a ‘false hope’
for the majority of us. Note: Forget about the publicity
around those who win;
the prize money
(less the portion
that goes to the organizers)
is coming from all those who did not win,
(that is a lot of people!)
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Steal Money From Plenty of People or From a Wealthy Person
The problem with this approach is that
it is illegal and you may get caught,
it is anti-biblical, unethical, and immoral; moreover people/the wealthy will work to protect their money, and
therefore the success rate of achieving lifetime wealth
through thievery is also very low.
Therefore, this is not a viable approach to wealth
for average person (some still try to make a living
by scamming people out of their money).
Become a Successful Professional in a Well-paying Industry
of the economy, meaning
Also Note: “well paying industry”
star athletes, champion sportsmen, movie stars, etc.
at the top of their profession
the 100 meter Jamaican world record holder
is reportedly worth over $30 million
professions requiring high qualification, and
that are in high demand
but with low supply of workers, for example,
brain surgeons, computer whiz, fund managers, etc.
Working for income in an excellent but regular job
is not usually a means to wealth!!
The possibilities here in my judgment are greater
than the previous listings
but still for most people
it is not a feasible way to build lifetime wealth.
Start and Run Your Own Successful Business
Note again “successful” Starting and running a business requires
which many people do not appear to have;
willingness to take risks,
willingness to bear full responsibility
But with risks comes financial reward
that can grow without limit
into lifetime wealth,
as long as the business continues to grow
The proportion of people who can take this is also greater
than than the previous options!
Get A regular career and invest wisely
in other Successful Businesses
over a long period of time!
Note: you do not have to be successful at
starting and running a business; but
you must be good at picking successful businesses
over a long period of time!
This means using modest regular income, and
saving all you can, while
investing in businesses that are successful,
over a long period of time,
will generally compound into wealth!
This is the most available route for most people!
On a final note:
Becoming ‘wealthy’ need not be your goal, rather
Make it your goal to become Financially Free:
Have enough to tithe and give to the work of the Lord.
Have enough to cover your budgeted expense
including miscellaneous, as well as
unplanned and unexpected expenses.
Have enough to cover for emergencies.
Save enough to guarantee a desired standard of living in retirement.
Have enough to leave a legacy for the next generation!
Have enough to be generous and make a difference in the lives of others.
This we can all do
If we start early,
with much planning, prayer, and discipline!!
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As a general principle, debt is bad unless
It’s an investment debt, examples of which are,
in an area and, in an amount that makes economic sense education loans
a loan to purchase a house or real estate,
for which at least you have a real asset to sell off later,
it can be viewed as a form of saving at the least;
you may be able to build equity over time, and thereby
to increase your net assets position; or
an asset that will produce returns
greater than the cost of servicing the debt,
i.e. your earnings on the asset is greater than interest paid on it;
for example, a business or some form of an investment instrument
that produces an additional and an ongoing stream of income.
Long Term Loans,
credit cards, education loans, business loans, mortgage loans etc.
even for ‘good investment loans’ (debt) have one trap:
the ‘Minimum Monthly Payments’ trap.
‘Minimum Monthly Payment,’
is the amount you are required to pay on your outstanding balance
at regular periods (usually monthly, but also quarterly, yearly, etc.)
over the life of the loan;
meant to at least cover the interest on the loan.
But it may not cover your total monthly interest,
which means the amount you owe could be increasing
even while you are making regular payments!
When you take out a loan, your loan balance
which is your total debt on the loan,
continues to earn interest,
by the day, month, etc. depending on the loan details; it may also
increase when you fail to make a payment
because you get charged a penalty for late or non-payment,
which is then added to your loan balance!
If your minimum payments do not cover the interest,
in each period,
the unpaid interest is usually added to your outstanding balance
(this is called ‘capitalization’ of the interest)
that is, it’s like you took a larger loan in the first place;
future interest payments may be calculated on
the unpaid interest plus the original balance (‘principal’);
which is now the new and higher ‘principal’,
therefore your debt is growing, even as you are making
regular payments towards it!
, say you hold a balance of $25,000 on a credit card/loan
at 15% annual interest rate computed on each month’s balance, you must pay
$3750 per year in interest (25,000 x 0.15) or
$308 – $312 per month (3750 /365 * 30 days; or $3750 /12 months) or
$500 per month if the minimum payment required is 2%
If you miss one minimum payment,
the $500 may be added to your balance of $25,000
at the end of the period
to become $25,500.
Your annual interest at 15% is now
$3825 per year (25,500 * 0.15) or
$314 – $318 per month (3825 /365 * 30 days; or $3825/12 months) or
$510 per month if the minimum payment required is 2%
Additional fees (penalties) may also be added to your loan balance.
If on the other hand
you are in financial difficulty and ask for reduced payment
that is less than your interest payments,
say you want to make a $100 payment,
instead of the minimum payment of $500
you will be paying less than the interest payment
(of $308 – $312 per month);
your outstanding interest may be capitalized
i.e. added to the initial balance of $25,000:
which is $208 – $212: the difference
between your monthly interest
($308 – $312) and
the $100 you paid
will be added to your balance;
other ‘late penalty’ or ‘non-payment’ fees
may also be added to your balance
other ‘finance’ or ‘financing’ charges
may be added to your balance and
the total loan balance will increase.
Then what looks like a relief (less than the minimum payment)
turns out to be bad for you in the long run
There’s more. Check back tomorrow!
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A little introduction about Reach Ministries Int’l!
After much prayer, I began activities for this ministry in March this year
when my family finally joined me in Greenville Area of SC.
This blog was started in 2017.
Right now it is
me, my wife of 36 years and our children,
my good friend Elvis Muhabwa from Uganda,
former colleagues, friends, and well wishers, disciples, etc.
from around the US
in Illinois where I was a pastor for 13 years and
around the world who are praying for this ministry, and it can be
anyone who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior or who wishes to have such a relationship with him, and who identifies with the Vision, Mission, and Profile of the ministry below.
please also see the More About Dr. Ray – link at the home page.
In addition, My gifts are
prayer and intercession
I am a dreamer!
I believe in miracles (both:
the one-of-a kind, all-at-once action of God, and
the slow, over-time irresistible favor of God,
Reach Ministries: Army of Worshipers whose ultimate prayer is that God is glorified in and through each of them, who are passionate about achieving their God-given dreams and aspirations, and who promote and enjoy healthy,
meaningful, and fulfilling relationships in community.
Through God-centered worship, sound biblical teaching, practical training in important life skills and by creating diverse opportunities for healthy interactions, relationships and service to others, Reach Ministries will raise an Army of Worshipers to fulfill the vision.
The Three Pillars
Reach Upwards to God (
He is always reaching down to us in Love!) Reach Forward to your goals (
Everyone one can achieve their God-given goals) Reach Outward to Others (
To give and to receive; to bless and to be blessed in community!)
Because we need to respond to God’s invitation to a relationship with him
Because we need to keep moving, keep growing, keep getting better
Because we need to seek others, see, listen to, serve, and help others
which is the greatest source of fulfillment:
we can receive in life;
a meaningful and positive impact on others,
the greatest legacy ever!
Interested? What can you do?
Share, pass the word around about the following opportunities
Email me at email@example.com to join small/prayer group(s)
Follow Reach Ministries on
Twitter at reach4himwdray Follow Reach Ministries on
Facebook at reach4himwdray Check this blog for updates, encouraging, positive, and daily posts
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Reach! when it comes online soon.
As the Lord leads!
Some Basic Truths For Meaningful, Happy and Successful Life
There is a God Almighty
He will judge
He is sovereign
(owes no one any explanation, and is
free to do whatever he wills,
He is Holy but he is also
You are Special
One of a kind In a good way, despite or because of
what you did in the past
what someone did to you in the past
your DNA profile
where you were born
You have something to say, to give, to contribute, to do
in this world;
a legacy to leave behind,
a mission to accomplish, and
a dream to fulfill.
Your life has meaning!
You are of infinite value
to God who loves you and died for you
to those who love you
mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, siblings, bff etc.
You add meaning, joy and happiness to their lives.
For those who may not ‘love’ you,
They are not looking at your true value.
They are looking at something other than
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Things can and Do Change
Other opportunities will open
Closed doors may become open
New doors will open up
‘Doors’ can become walls or
ladders may be provided to scale walls!
People can change
Friends can become enemies
Bosses can become subordinates
Doubts can become trust
Opponents can become team-mates
Miracles (impossible ‘coincidences’) can happen New methods, medications, procedures, approaches will be invented
making it easier to get where you want to go in your life!
Reality, Facts, and Truth Rule in the Long Run
There are no ‘alternative facts’ Opinions, feelings, emotions, loyalties change, facts don’t
Evidence based choices are best
Respect True Scientific Discoveries
God is the ultimate scientist
They are foundation to practically all human achievements
The Other Side of Life Will Be Different
All tears will be wiped away;
No more sorrows, sickness, death, or evil,
No more scammers, swindlers, thieves, liars, sociopaths;
Those who (we) think they ‘got away with it’
will not escape the ultimate justice,
If you have invested in it!
I recommend Jesus to you, Personally!
Don’t think there will be need for ‘Faith’
Faith will become sight
It will be like the Garden of Eden all over again!
Follow Reach Ministries on
Twitter and Facebook; Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
YOU CAN DO THIS, LET’S DO THIS!
In order to have a meaningful and successful
Life after Defeat, Step 1 is to separate Who YOU ARE from WHAT HAPPENED (the event). Now the next steps:
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Take Time to Reflect
Avoid far reaching decisions while you are ‘feeling blue.’
Choices under such conditions are likely to be
ill advised, and
Learn from the experience.
Who to trust
What to do
A better way
Keep Things in Perspective
The Time Perspective
There may be other opportunities.
Take the long view.
How will this look one, two, five, or ten years from now?
How will this look from the other side of eternity?
You may have gone through this in the past,
remember how you made it through then?
The ‘Others’ Perspective
In the past your ‘win’ meant others lost!
Your experience may not be the best,
but it is not the worst either.
Others have survived such things
The ‘God’ Perspective
He lives, he sees, he knows, he understands, and
He is in control
He does not make mistakes
All Things Are Possible with him
Do it again!
Success sometimes (often) comes only after several tries
‘Third time is the charm’ Believe!
Adjust Your Line of Attack (approach)
More and better preparation
‘signs’ along the way and make adjustments
You may not be a fighter pilot but
you will be able to design the planes they fly in
You may not qualify or be approved to be a doctor
but you will be an excellent nurse practitioner or
a medical technician, or a surgical nurse, etc.
You may not qualify to become an engineer
but you will be an excellent and successful mechanic!
You get the idea!
You can Do this – Let’s Do this!
Step One – Clarify Your Life Goal
Write it down in one or two sentences
Separate out the means to the goal from the goal itself
A friend said to me that if an Angel gave her one wish,
she would ask for ‘Money’!
“What will you do with it?” I asked.
“I will open and orphanage,
something I have always wanted to do!”
“That’s your life goal, money is only the means to it!”
Step Two – Find Out All You Can About Your Life Goal
List everything you know about it
Ask people about it
Talk to those who are already in the industry/occupation/career etc.
Learn as much as you can from those who are already in the activity
Do an internship
Get a coach if possible
Read about it
The internet is your friend – you can find a lot of things there
Take courses if they are available
Step Three – Identify Resources Required and Available to Reach Your Life Goal
Time, Skills, Funds, People, Information Sources, Effort (Sweat Equity)
Step Four – Break Up Your Life Goal into Smaller Objectives
Today, tomorrow, and for the next one month!
One to six months of activities
One semester of school
One season: Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring (Dry Season or Rainy Season)
Medium Term Objectives
Annual Objectives leading towards your goal
Long Term Goal – Your Life Goal
Step Five – Take the First/Next Step
Start each day with these reminders:
“What little thing will I do today towards my Life Goal?”
“A Journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead”
St. Paul (Philippians 3.13)
“Take care of the details, but also keep the big picture in mind”
‘The future is now!’
Public Domain (Movie, Albums, etc.)!
You Can Do It! Let’s Do This!!
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