Monthly Archives: February 2011

19 of 28: How Smart Are You? Take A Test

Today I was asked, “If I never see you again, what do you want me to remember about you?” To which I responded, “If I never see you again I hope you will remember that Kasandra desires to educate others regardless of what is in it for her. She wants me to have an increased ability to make better decisions for myself and my family.” As a wealth educator, I push those who are willing to be pushed to expand their mind so that regardless of the issues at hand, one will have the mental dexterity necessary to perform better/arrive at the correct answer faster.  Thus, below is a medium difficulty brain teaser designed to be solved within five minutes: Investment Strategies: A father gives his two sons $1,000 each to invest. Jim loses 30% in the first year, but makes back 50% on the remaining money in the second year. Shawn makes 5% in the first year and another 5% on that in the next. Who has the most to show their father after two years? Bonus question: What the “average” rate of return for each brother? Double Bonus question: Would Jim be ahead of Shawn if he had made 50% the first year and taken the loss of 30% in the second year? Which strategy are you following? Are you risking your money for a high reward? Do you know that there are strategies that allow high reward and low risk? Are you working with a skilled wealth practitioner or a product provider? Do you even know the difference? Do you want to?

17 of 28: Wisdom Is Containted In Proverbs

Some people make it a habit to read a chapter of Proverbs at the start of every day given the Lord so nicely laid out 31 Proverbs for us to study. I enjoy this practice and while I have not been consistent in reading a Proverb a day for a year, I have read the book intermittently for about that long. In my bible, it states that the purpose of Proverbs is: To teach people how to attain wisdom, discipline and a prudent life and how to do what is right – in short, to apply divine wisdom to daily life and to provide moral instruction. My NIV bible highlights Proverbs 1:7 as a key verse as it encapsulates the book’s overall purpose: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” I personally like the direct approach Proverbs 12:1 takes in capturing the essence of the book when the Lord states: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Because I am an educator, Proverbs speaks a language that I value and wish others would embrace as, alas, far too many detest discipline and, thus, shun the wisdom that could lead to their freedom. If you are a person of discipline when it comes to your personal economy; if you seek knowledge and wisdom when it comes to the macro-economic impact of micro-economic movements within your family economic system, contact us so we can help ensure you have the optimum return on EVERY dollar in your system.

16 of 28: Forget Thin. I Want To Be Hot!

Have you ever checked out peoples’ butts? I mean just sat there and watched as people walked by and checked out all the saggy butts, the skin tight jeans over non-existent butts, the designer jeans reshaping the overly round butts, and every once and a great while you see a really nice ass? It’s rare isn’t it? Heck, everyone has some semblance of flesh on their backside but for 60% of the population their butt is more bulbous than bodacious. For the minority that might be considered “thin,” they simply have no butt of noticeable significance. A truly nice ass; a butt worth admiring; a butt I would want – now that is rare. But, for me, I don’t accept just average. I don’t want to be just  “thin.” While thin is nice and I am glad the Lord continues to bless me with a body that has not expanded too far and wide, I simply do not want to be just thin. I want to be HOT! Don’t you? If you could achieve HOT; if you could change a few things in your daily routine, maybe not even too much, and yet attain the status of HOT, would you want to know the few things necessary? Of course, if I told you that your HOT status may not come within a few months but it may even take a year or two, would it still be worth it if, again, I did not impact your overall lifestyle in too dramatic of a fashion? I can. I know how to guarantee you will be HOT! But, alas, I am not a personal fitness coach. I am a personal wealth coach and if you are okay with having “enough,” if you are fine with doing “okay,” then I am not the trainer for you. However, if you want to be HOT when it comes to having your money work for you, I can get you beyond “enough” and “okay” and I can help you get MORE! Heck, who wants to be just thin when you can be HOT!

15 of 28: Is There TRUTH?

If you were to identify someone as a Christian, what definitive factors would you look for to support that claim? From your perspective, is the Christian message mostly good news or mostly bad? What evidence do you have to support your opinion? What reasons do you think Christianity gives that Jesus is the only way to God? If it is possible for each of us to personally tap into the “unique god within ourselves” and thereby assure eternity/salvation/nirvana for ourselves, then is there really a “God of the Universe”? Or is He/She/It just someone we make up so we feel better about the standards we have created for ourselves? Is there such thing as TRUTH?

14 of 28: Love Means “To Give”

On August 21, 2005 I woke up with clammy skin and a headache not just because I had drunk too much the night before but because I knew I had blown it. As the Director of an international organization and host of the board meeting, I knew my alcohol consumption the night before had not been “appropriate” for a professional setting…or any setting for that matter…and I felt sick. The look on a few of the board members’ face told me everything I needed to know. I called my boss who was suffering from pregnancy sickness and had not made it to the morning meeting and with an edge of desperation in my voice asked, “What did I do last night?” And, with sadness in her voice she simply stated, “Oh Kasandra.” That was the last time I drank alcohol. Tonight, six and a half years later, I hosted a benefit dinner for Caron Texas, one of the oldest and most successful residential rehabilitation centers in the nation for individuals who want to recover from the debilitating disease of alcoholism. Far too many people knowingly suffer with this disease and an even greater number are in denial about their dependency on their favorite “relaxer” but, alas, organizations like Caron Texas make it possible for these people to find true peace. Please join us again in May when we host our second benefit event. If you have a heart to give to a worthy organization which positively alters the life course, not just of one individual, but his or her family and community, please contact me about what sustainable giving can mean for you.

13of28 – 6 Groups Get Your Money

There are only 6 groups who can enjoy your money while you are living and after you die: 1. Government in the form of taxes 2. Financial institutions in the form or fees and for the products they sell 3. Healthcare facilities in the form of hospitals, nursing homes and hospice 4. Other wealthy people who have the money to buy your assets that you have to sell for pennies on the dollar because you are in a bind and need capital or because your heirs have a fire sale to pay for the estate taxes 5. Charities 6. Your family To whom would you like your money to go? Do you have a strategic plan to ensure that the groups you want to get your money, get it? Does your plan maximize what you enjoy today without undermining your tomorrow or disinheriting the people and institutions you love? Are you willing to learn about processes and systems rather than products and quick fixes? I am here to guide and instruct. Please reach out.

Day 11 of 28 – This is my act of worship

I blog because I am an educator and God designed me to impart my knowledge to others. But it is not just about what I know, but it is what I have experienced. Together, knowledge and experience result in what I am led to beleive is what He wants me to say. I don't spend hours in mediation hoping for a loud voice from heaven to inspire me with holy words. Rather, this entire act is, in essence, my spiritual act of worship. I blog becuase He first loved me and it is by His love that I care for others at a level that does not even make sense to me but, alas, I care and thus I write. My prayer is always that my workds may touch someone precisely at the moment they need to hear the words and it is not because of any eloquence I posses but, rather, because He wants you to hear. Thus, may the words that come from Epiphany Financial bring you to new levels of understanding about yourself. May you be inspired to take actions that He planned for you so that what you experience in this temporal world is improved and enhanced while you grow deeper in your understanding of who He is and what His eternal world is really all about.

10 of 28 – Murphy’s Law On Finances

Murphy’s Law is a series of epigrams of which the most famous is “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Besides this most famous saying, there are many other witty and pointed statements, often with a clever twist in thought, that are worth considering when one analyzes how he approaches his personal finances. For example, • A shortcut is the longest distance between two points. • Everyone has a scheme for getting rich that will not work. • In order to get a loan, you must first prove you don’t need it. Because I help people have financial freedom, by implementing a capital recapture strategy as the foundation of all other economic movements, I often hear, “This seems too good to be true.” According to Murphy’s Law, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. However, when you think about what I do, it is only “good” because I teach an individual how to have control. Until they met me, most folks have no idea how much financial power they have.  What I teach clients about and the strategies and systems we employ, actually takes a lot of effort. Because I teach economic principles and truths that work regardless of what life may bring, it is indeed, “good” and it is, indeed, “true.” So think about what the majority of financial planners offer, “If you trust me, give me your money and I will put in a box and you don’t have to do anything but this box will grow huge for you to access many years later.” How much more complicated is the message? How involved did you get, really? And what about all the other dollars in your system – the dollars you spend to finance cars, pay for taxes, send your kids to private schools, take a family vacation – do you have a plan to recapture these dollars or is the box your financial advisor growing for you going to be big enough to cover everything today AND tomorrow? Now tell me, what system is too good to be true? So, let’s examine these Murphy’s Law epigrams when you consider what most US citizens have as their wealth “strategy” which is, “I have an investment guy and he manages my money,” money which accounts for maybe 5% to 10% of one’s overall family income and is all tied up in securities products: • Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse. • Build a system that even a fool can use, and only a fool will use it. When you are ready to take control of your finances, your purchases, your investments, your taxes, your growth, when you are ready to start a system that is sustainable and flexible and that you understand how to work within, when you are ready for more, contact me and let’s start learning some macro-economic principles which can dramatically alter the course of the rest of your life and that of your loved ones.

9 of 28 – We Have 2 Ears and 1 Mouth for a Reason

While the marriage book I am reading does not go too deep into any area, it has some pearls of wisdom that make sense for anyone regardless of their marital status because we are all involved in relationships. We relate to our bosses, our employees, our co-workers, our clients, our pastors, the coach of kid’s sports team, our neighbors….the list goes on. We relate to everyone and the key question to ask yourself is – How well do I relate? How strong are my relationships? How deep do they go? How “healthy” are they? Does my relating to others generally cause joy or discomfort or even anger? How well do I relate? As such, what I like most about this very quick read is the fact that the focus is consistently placed on the individual because no matter how much we think it is them; no matter how much I think they are doing it to me; the truth is that it ain’t them and they are not doing it to me, they are just doing it.  What I am trying to convey is that people do not spend more than a few seconds thinking about me because they vast majority of the time they are focused on themselves. Thus, if I want to be effective and even successful in my relationships, I need to spend time making sure I am a whole and complete person who can actually listen with attention and intention rather than waiting my turn to speak. Thus, from “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts,” snippets from Question 4: Can You Say What You Mean and Understand What You Hear? Whether a marriage sinks or swims depends on how well partners send and receive messages, how well they say what they mean and understand what they hear. (p.78) A couple’s ability to communicate is the single most important contributor to a stable and satisfying marriage….one of the most important skills you can learn is how to talk so you mate will listen and how to listen so you mate will talk. (p.79) It is basic human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. But people actually avoid pain first and then seek pleasure. (p.81) Good communication is built first on who you are – and only later on what you do. Before practicing communication “techniques,” these couple work on who they are as people. Your partner will not trust you if he or she feels you are not genuine. Without genuineness, little else in marriage matters. (p.84) Authenticity is something you are, not something you do. It comes from the heart, not the hands. (p.85) Communication is not what you say, but what your partner understands by what you say….We often think about learning “good communication skills” as learning to express ourselves more clearly, getting our message across. In fact, however, 98 percent of good communication is listening. “ (p.88)

8 of 28 – It Always Come Down To Personal Responsibility

I have been writing about the “Seven Questions To Ask Before – And After – You Marry” from the book “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.” Question #3 is: Have you developed the habit of happiness? And it is at this point in the book that I felt particularly compelled to write because the wisdom offered extends to everyone regardless of your “significant other” status. The trick is to get the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions….Happy couples decide to be happy. In spite of the troubles life deals them, they make happiness a habit….The most important characteristic of a marriageable person is the habit of happiness. (p.60) Happiness in marriage has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with will. (p.61) Humans develop a habit of programming their minds to be either mostly negative or mostly positive….By force of habit, each of us is either basically positive or basically negative. Our circumstances change with the weather, but our attitudes stay the same. The negative person defends his attitudes with the rationale of being realistic, while the positive person looks beyond the current state of affairs and sees people and situations in terms of possibilities. (p.63) Negative interpretations are guaranteed to sap the happiness out of a marriage. But how do we cultivate positive attitudes when our spouses do something we dislike? The answer lies in taking responsibility for our own feelings. (p.64) “They have taken from me everything I have – except the power to choose my own attitude.” [Victor Frankl’s thoughts as he stood naked, starved and beaten in front of his Nazi inquisitors who had already killed everyone in his family.] Research reveals that the level of a couple’s joy is determined by each partner’s ability to adjust to things beyond his or her control. Every happy couple has learned to find the right attitude in spite of the conditions they find themselves in. (p.66) Without the capacity to rise above your circumstances, you will never cultivate happiness. You may have more success, beauty, intelligence, health and wealth than anyone else, but if you do not cultivate contentment in every circumstance, unhappiness is certain. (p.68) Every symptomatic problem in marriage [in ANY relationship] can be traced to a breakdown in personal responsibility….The habit of blaming your spouse is completely contrary to the principle of taking responsibility for your own attitude. (p.72) The habit of happiness is an inside job. If you find the right attitude in spite of atmospheric conditions, if you program your mind with positive impulses, and if you adjust to things beyond your control, you will discover that living happily ever after need not be a myth. (p.75)