Archive for the "Resources" Category

One of My Favorite Books

Think-and-Grow-RichNovember 8th was the anniversary of the death of  Napoleon Hill who has inspired more people to become successful than any other person in history, including me.

His classic book Think and Grow Rich is considered the greatest self-improvement book of all time, with more than 70 million copies sold worldwide.  It’s helped millions of people to become successful, and you too can benefit from its lessons by listening to the free audio version or by reading it here.

Lionel Sosa was chosen by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to write Think and Grow Rich:  A Latino Choice.   Lionel chose 13 Latino stories to illustrate the 13 principles that Napoleon Hill synthesized from twenty years of interviews and study of the success philosophy of the richest men at the turn of the 20th century:  Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, Henry Ford, King Gillette, John D. Rockefeller, Charles M. Schwab, William Wrigley Jr., F.W. Woolworth, and many others.

Lionel chose me to illustrate the first principle, which is to “Develop a Definite Major Purpose”.  Hill’s research showed that “there is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”  Success towards achieving your goals in life begins with knowing where you are going.  Hill knew that “without a definite major purpose, you are as helpless as a ship without a compass.”

As the first person to illustrate and write about the “law of attraction” which was copied and made famous recently by the book and movie The Secret, Napoleon Hill stated that:

Any dominating idea, plan, or purpose held in your conscious mind through repeated effort and emotionalized by a burning desire for its realization is taken over by the subconscious and acted upon through whatever natural and logical means may be available.  

 The Life of Napoleon Hill

Oliver Napoleon Hill was born in Wise County, Va., on Oct. 26, 1883. For young Napoleon, the wealthy industrialists he came to admire in later years were far removed from this primitive land where poverty, illiteracy and superstition reigned.

Nap, as he was called, was 10 when his mother passed away, leaving his father to care for him and his brother. James Hill was ill-equipped as a single parent and had difficulty in taming his son’s increasingly wild nature.  Napoleon was enamored with the outlaw Jesse James, carried a six-shooter on his hip and went about the county terrorizing its citizens.

But James Hill soon remarried, and his new wife Martha quickly established herself as a force in the two-room log cabin.  Napoleon, still pained from the loss of his mother, found a guiding light.  Martha saw the boy’s potential and encouraged him.  She told him he wasn’t a bad boy, and that he just needed to direct his energy toward accomplishing something worthwhile.  She suggested he use his overactive imagination to become a writer.

When he welcomed the idea, the well-educated Martha spent the next year tutoring him. She promised to buy him a typewriter if he gave up his six-shooter. “If you become as good with a typewriter as you are with that gun,” she said, “you may become rich and famous and known throughout the world.” Napoleon agreed to the deal.

At fifteen, he landed a position as a freelance reporter for a group of rural newspapers, followed a few years later by a job with Bob Taylor’s Magazine, a popular periodical that offered advice on achieving power and wealth.

How Andrew Carnegie Inspired Him

His first major interview was with the then richest man in America—73-year-old Pittsburgh steel magnate Andrew Carnegie—and that interview changed his life.  Hill intently listened as Carnegie recounted his extraordinary accomplishments and proffered his theories on personal achievement in the book The Wisdom of Andrew Carnegie as Told to Napoleon Hill.

“It’s a shame that each new generation must find the way to success by trial and error when the principles are really clear-cut,” Carnegie told him.  What the world needed, Carnegie suggested, was a philosophy of achievement, a compilation of success principles from the country’s greatest businessmen and leaders to show the commonality of their stories, and serve as inspiration and enlightenment to those wanting more in life.

He issued a challenge to Hill:  Commit the next 20 years, without compensation, to documenting and recording such a philosophy of success, and he would introduce him to the wealthiest and most successful men of the time. Hill jumped at the opportunity.

And so, for the next two decades, between numerous business ventures and starting a family, Hill went about fulfilling the pledge.  He met with Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, King Gillette and other contemporary giants. Carnegie believed that “definiteness of purpose” was the starting point for all success—that “the man who knows exactly what he wants… has no difficulty in believing in his own ability to succeed.”  The concept became the foundation for Hill’s later writing and professional focus.

Think and Grow Rich

After numerous rejections, Connecticut publisher Andrew Pelton agreed to print the book.

Hill’s eight-volume Law of Success debuted on March 26, 1928, offering the collective wisdom of the greatest achievers of the previous fifty years.  His work became a sensation.

The sheer size of Law of Success is daunting, running to 800 to 1000 pages depending on the edition.  Originally designed and produced in a 16 part series, each volume or chapter was substantial yet accessible.

In March 1937, he significantly reduced the book to about 200 pages, and changed the named to Think and Grow Rich – the first three print runs, increasing each time in numbers, came in rapid succession and all sold out, and it continues to sell today.

Here is an original two hour video of Napoleon Hill produced in 1937 going over the concepts of the book.

by Elaine ChavagnonThis article appeared on Nov. 4, 2013 in Family Wealth Report, and it was written by London based reporter Elaine Chavagnon, based on an interview she did with me last week.

Tiger 21, the peer-to-peer network for high net worth investors, is in expansion mode in Florida after unveiling a second group in Miami in September and currently preparing for the launch of a third in Palm Beach next month.

But besides tapping the expertise of wealthy individuals and families locally, the New York-headquartered organization is looking to deepen its footprint in the Sunshine State by drawing on the strong ties it has with Latin America, Charles Garcia, chair of the Florida group, told Family Wealth Report. 

One of the main factors linking Florida – which has for a while been regarded as a wealth management “hotspot” – to Latin America is the fact that 23 per cent of the state’s 19.3 million inhabitants are of Hispanic or Latino origin, compared to a US average of 16.9 per cent (source: 2012 US Census data). The US also exports 2.6 times as much to Latin America as it does to China, with the continent being Florida’s largest trading partner.

At the same time, some 15,000 Latin Americans are ultra-high net worth individuals representing at least $2.3 trillion in wealth, according to recent estimates. Indeed, last week Garcia met with Guillermo Romo, a Tiger 21 member in San Diego, CA, who is recommending Latin American individuals to Garcia he thinks would be good members.

“Romo confirmed that a lot of Mexican UHNW families are choosing Miami over Houston, TX, Dallas, TX, San Diego, CA, and Los Angeles, CA,” Garcia said.

And, in what Garcia views as an early sign that the economy in Florida is getting stronger – fueled in part by LatAm investors – the real estate market has improved considerably in recent time.

He said: “While in 2008/9 there were 68,000 empty apartments, all of that inventory has now gone and people are progressively building again. Some of that is because there are a lot of very wealthy Latin Americans – from countries like Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela – that have invested heavily into real estate in Miami.”

LatAm focus

Having recently added several new Miami members from Latin America, Garcia said he has now decided to open the doors to LatAm families. Tiger’s Miami group includes seven Hispanics, representing about 33 per cent of these individuals (these are not Latin Americans, but US citizens of Hispanic descent or “Hispanic Americans.”)

“If you talk to the large wealth managers in South Florida, some of them are 100 per cent managing wealth from LatAm families. Others are managing money from South Florida families mostly, while others have more of a national practice,” Garcia said.

“I’m starting to invite people from Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru; I have someone from Venezuela and the Caribbean. It gives us a better outlook as to what is going on in those countries,” he said. (Likewise, part of the reason Latin Americans want to join Tiger is because they want insights as to what’s going on in the US.)

However, the type of peer-to-peer experience offered by Tiger is “very unusual” for Latin Americans, Garcia said, as they’re culturally not as open about their finances as other members are perhaps used to.

“People often joke that everyone has three books: the book you show the government, the book you show your wife, and the book with the real numbers. Disclosing information to other Tiger members – even though it’s confidential – is very tough.”

Garcia added that he’s thinking of creating a Miami-based group comprised primarily of Latin Americans, or at least half Latin Americans and half US members. (The idea would be to have around six meetings in Miami, and then have about six in LatAm.)

“I’m also trying to recruit women, as there are some very prominent LatAm business women I’ve already spoken to whom I think would make excellent members,” he said.

About Tiger

By way of background, Tiger 21 is an acronym for The Investment Group for Enhanced Results in the 21st Century and its members collectively manage over $20 billion in total assets.

The organization has 225 members overall, 85 of which are based in New York; 40 in Canada (Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal), and then there are around 100 across Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, San Diego, CA, Miami, FL, Washington, DC, and Dallas, TX.

Members are typically entrepreneurs, chief executives, inventors and other senior executives with backgrounds in financial services, real estate, industrial and consumer goods, legal services, entertainment and medicine.

The groups meet monthly to share investment ideas and experiences on a range of wealth-related issues (Garcia said 50 per cent of the meetings are focused on investments and the other half are focused on business, personal or family issues). Members also have access to investment opportunities including private equity, real estate and hedge funds.

“I think it’s interesting that when people accumulate a lot of wealth, they have a certain feeling of isolation,” Garcia said.

“When you have sold a business, for example, you might have a lot of money, but that doesn’t necessarily make you a good investor. The same skills that made you a good business person actually can be counter-productive in terms of managing your wealth.”

Growth

Garcia believes that, in order for Tiger to grow, the organization needs to recruit strong chairs that know enough about the financial markets, how to facilitate meetings and, above all, how to recruit.

Even though most of Tiger’s growth comes from member referrals, a lot of time goes into bringing new members on board, with the ultimate decision resting in the hands of the group in question.

“There is interest in opening groups in Atlanta, GA, and Chicago, IL, but you need to find the right person first,” Garcia said.

“One of the things I’ve been doing is interfacing with money managers and talking to them about Tiger – I met one earlier this week and they have already made three referrals to me. They have to understand that Tiger doesn’t compete with them; an average Tiger member already has three wealth advisors.”

Garcia said he aims to take the number South Florida members from 21 to between 40 and 50 by the end of next year.

# # #

TIGER 21 members focus not only on improving their investment acumen, but also on leveraging the power of their wealth and networks for philanthropy, business opportunities, estate planning, and raising socially responsible children.  TIGER 21’s success is built upon the willingness of members to share their best thinking, experience, curiosity, and vast networks with their fellow group members, as well as the entire TIGER 21 community.  If you are interested in being part of the TIGER 21 South Florida chapter please call Charles Garcia at 561-703-2631 or by email to Charles.Garcia@tiger21.com; if you live in another part of the country call Harley Frank, Director of Membership at (212) 584-0222 or Harley.Frank@tiger21.com.

5 Catalysts Can Create Jobs and Substantially Boost GDP

U.S. EconomyToday, labor-force participation is at a 34-year low, and the United States has two million fewer jobs than it did when the recession began. Weak investment, demographic shifts, and a slowdown in productivity growth are dampening the economy’s trajectory.

But the United States does not have to resign itself to sluggish growth.  Game changers: Five opportunities for US growth and renewal, a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), identifies specific catalysts that can add hundreds of billions of dollars to annual GDP and create millions of new jobs by 2020.

Game changers zeroes in on five mutually reinforcing opportunities:

  • Shale-gas and -oil production. Powered by advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the production of domestic shale gas and oil has grown more than 50 percent annually since 2007. The shale boom could add as much as $690 billion a year to GDP and create up to 1.7 million jobs across the economy by 2020. The impact will extend to energy-intensive manufacturing industries and beyond. The United States now has the potential to reduce net energy imports to zero—but only if it can successfully address the associated environmental risks.
  • US trade competitiveness in knowledge-intensive goods. The United States is one of the few advanced economies running a trade deficit in knowledge-intensive industries. But changing factor costs, a rebound in demand, and currency shifts are creating an opening to increase US production and exports of knowledge-intensive goods, such as automobiles, commercial airliners, medical devices, and petrochemicals. By implementing five strategies to boost competitiveness in these sectors, we believe the United States could reduce the trade deficit in knowledge-intensive industries to its 2000 level or close it—which would add up to $590 billion in annual GDP by 2020 and create up to 1.8 million new jobs.
  • Big-data analytics as a productivity tool. Sectors across the economy can harness the deluge of data generated by transactions, medical and legal records, videos, and social technologies—not to mention the sensors, cameras, bar codes, and transmitters embedded in the world around us. Advances in computing and analytics can transform this sea of data into insights that create operational efficiencies. By 2020, the wider adoption of big-data analytics could increase annual GDP in retailing and manufacturing by up to $325 billion and save as much as $285 billion in the cost of health care and government services.
  • Increased investment in infrastructure, with a new emphasis on productivity. The backlog of maintenance and upgrades for US roads, highways, bridges, and transit and water systems is reaching critical levels. The United States must increase its annual infrastructure investment by one percentage point of GDP to erase this competitive disadvantage. By 2020, that could create up to 1.8 million jobs and boost annual GDP by up to $320 billion. The impact could grow to $600 billion annually by 2030 if the selection, delivery, and operation of infrastructure investments improve.
  • A more effective US system of talent development. The nation’s long-standing advantage in education and skills has been eroding, but today real improvements are within reach. At the postsecondary level, expanding industry-specific training and increasing the number of graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math could build a more competitive workforce. At the K–12 level, enhancing classroom instruction, turning around underperforming high schools, and introducing digital learning tools can boost student achievement. These initiatives could raise GDP by as much as $265 billion by 2020—and achieve a dramatic “liftoff” effect by 2030, adding as much as $1.7 trillion to annual GDP.

These opportunities can have immediate demand-stimulus effects that would get the economy moving again in the short term and also have longer-term effects that would build US competitiveness and productivity well beyond 2020. Taking action now could mark a turning point for the US economy and drive growth and prosperity for decades to come.