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A Day in the Life of a Food Vendor

It’s 6 on a Wednesday morning, and Kabir Ahmed has snoozed his alarm one too many times. He steps softly, barefoot, around his small, second-story apartment in Jamaica, Queens, creaking through the green and pink hall.

He is late, but careful not to wake his wife and their three children, or his mother, who will be up in an hour to say prayers and cook breakfast. He puts on his baseball hat, slides his feet into rubber clogs and hurries out without coffee.

Mr. Ahmed, 46, is in the business of chicken and rice. He immigrated from Bangladesh 23 years ago, and is now one of two partners in a halal food cart that sets up on Greenwich Street close to the World Trade Center, all year long, rain or shine. He is also one of more than 10,000 people, most of them immigrants, who make a living selling food on the city’s sidewalks: pork tamales, hot dogs, rolled rice noodles, jerk chicken.

More here – The New York Times

PS: I have to admit I was fascinated by these food trucks when I was in NY last year. All of them seem to be clones of one another in much the style of the one described in the article. However, we came across one not far from our hotel which was not a clone and had a queue outside the front of it no matter what time of day or night you went past it.

How All News Services Should Begin


That Must Have Stung…..Just A Little

This has been a tough week for the 0.01% out there.

For the world’s billionaires, this week is already proving rough. The Chinese stock market dropped 8.5 percent Monday, the biggest single-day decline since 2007, and the world’s 400 richest people lost about $124 billion collectively. Chinese billionaires lost more than $14 billion of their net worth Monday alone, while the Shanghai composite index dropped by another 7.6 percent Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.

Wang Jianlin, the richest person in Asia and chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, was the hardest hit. He lost $3.6 billion Monday, more than any other billionaire. Of that, $2 billion was lost when shares of the Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co. sank 17 percent since going public in December. Another $1 billion in losses came from declines in the Wanda Cinema Line Co.

Bill Gates, the former Microsoft chairman, was the second-most affected person, losing more than $3.2 billion Monday. In Asia, billionaires in mainland China suffered the most, losing 6 percent of their total net worth. 

More here – International Business Times

24 Rules Of Life From Werner Herzog

For those who do not know who Werner Herzog is GIYF

1. Always take the initiative.
2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.
5. Learn to live with your mistakes.
6. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.
7. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.
8. There is never an excuse not to finish a film.
9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
10. Thwart institutional cowardice.
11. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
12. Take your fate into your own hands.
13. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
14. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
15. Walk straight ahead, never detour.
16. Manoeuvre and mislead, but always deliver.
17. Don’t be fearful of rejection.
18. Develop your own voice.
19. Day one is the point of no return.
20. A badge of honor is to fail a film theory class.
21. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema.
22. Guerrilla tactics are best.
23. Take revenge if need be.
24. Get used to the bear behind you.

From the back page of Werner Herzog – A Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations with Paul Cronin

Six Reasons Most People Will Never Get Rich …and How To Make Sure You Do! by Michael Yardney

Michael Yardney is an investment and wealth creation expert and a guest contributor for the Trading Game.

Successful investors do things in a certain way that helps them become rich while others continue do things differently and in general they tend to struggle.

I’ve come to the conclusion that when you do what most successful investors do, you get to become one of them, and if you don’t, you won’t.

So lets look at six simple reasons most people will never get rich and how to make sure you do:

Reason 1 – Most people wait to long to start:

Most people can’t wait to succeed; yet they are willing to wait to get started on the road to success.

Many investors are waiting for everything to be “perfect” before they get going. They wait for the right time in the cycle, the right property, the right economic environment or the right interest rates. Which means they never get going.

The longer you wait to get started with your investing, the longer it will be before you get the financial freedom you want. It takes time for compounding to work its magic and grow real wealth.

Fact is, the timing will never be perfect. There will always be reason not to invest “now.”

Reason 2. Fear stops them

Fear keeps many of us from getting what we want, especially in matters of money. Be honest with yourself and count the number of times fear has prevented you from taking action, and in the process cost you a lost financial opportunity.

Fear holds many potential property investors back. Some fear taking on more debt, others fear failure and some even have a fear of success.

Successful investors have learned to harness their fears and rather than focus on the negatives, they use fear to force them into positive action.

Rather than allowing fear of debt to stop them, some investors use the fear of being stuck in their job for the rest of their lives, without the financial independence that they are craving, to motivate themselves to take on the commitment of an investment property.

Reason 3. Waiting until they know enough

The fear of not knowing enough prevents other investors from getting started.

However the irony here is that the more you learn, the more you learn that you don’t know! The trap is that many investors think that the way to escape this paradox is to learn even more, so they read more books, go to more seminars, listen to CD’s and watch DVD’s.

As they learn more they find a whole heap more things they don’t yet know.

The way out is to recognize that while you don’t know it all, and you never will, you do know enough to get started with your investing and you will learn more along the way as you apply your knowledge in the real world, surviving any mistakes and challenges along the way.

Reason 4 – Focusing on linear income instead of passive income:

It is important to realise that not all income is created equal. Some streams are linear and some are passive.

Linear income is what you get from a job. You work for an hour and get paid once for that hour’s work, and that’s it. If you don’t turn up to work you don’t get paid.

Passive income is when you work once but continue to get paid over and over again from work you’re no longer doing. The way to become wealthy is having passive income coming in whether you go to work or not.

That’s what happens to property investors. Initially they work long hours, save a deposit and then invest in property. Now their money starts working for them and keeps giving them returns “passively” in the form of capital growth and rental income.

To put it simply “if you’re not making money while you sleep, you’ll never become rich.”

Reason 5 – Not using systems for making money:

A system for making money is something that takes the emotion out of your investment decisions and makes the results more reproducible. Make your investment boring, so your life can be exciting.

Reason 6 – Not being patient

Warren Buffet once said: “wealth is the transfer of money from the impatient to the patient.”

To become a successful property investor requires patience and persistence. Property is a long-term investment, not a get rich quick scheme.

Yet many investors speculate looking for that “big deal” which will land them a jackpot in a short period of time. In general these types of deals rarely occur and are speculative in nature and more risky.

Some investors look for the latest fad or try finding the next hot spot or speculative growth areas. If you are tempted to do this remind yourself that real estate has been the number one long-term multimillionaire maker throughout Australia’s history, yet most people that speculate in the latest fads have not made much money.

You don’t have to look for the latest fads or the latest speculative growth areas if you create your own capital growth through buying a good property at a fair price, then adding value through refurbishments, renovations or redevelopments. By doing this you are manufacturing your own capital growth.

So, it’s really quite simple…

Decide to do these six things that successful property investors do and you are much more likely to become a successful and wealthy property investor. If you don’t do them, then you may never get rich.

Michael Yardney also contributes to Real Estate Talk, Yahoo Personal Finance and Property Update


9 pearls of ancient wisdom for investment success – Michael Yardney


Michael Yardney is an investment and wealth creation expert and a guest contributor for the Trading Game.

Confucius say… “investor looking to create wealth from property can learn much from ancient Chinese proverbs.”

Okay, so I’m not quoting Confucius verbatim, however the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosophers still ring true in today’s very different, modern world and have clear application when it comes to the business of investment.

Those investors who understand the importance that mindset plays in their wealth creation journey should gain some insights from the following Chinese proverbs – a handful of my favourites…

“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”


I have found that your level of wealth will seldom exceed your own personal development. That’s because your way of thinking regarding money, wealth and prosperity will determine the financial heights you reach.


You see… your thoughts lead to your feelings; your feelings lead to your actions and your actions lead to your results. Your inner world (your thoughts and feelings will determine your outer world (your results and destiny.)


So first work on yourself, because your wealth won’t grow unless you do. And if per chance you do happen to stumble upon a financial windfall and your wealth takes a lucky jump, unless you grow out to where it is, it will go back to where you are because it is very likely you’ll lose your money through mistakes or mismanagement.


Mr-T-fools“He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”

One of the big mistakes beginning investors make is to think they can do everything themselves. They do a bit of research, crunch some numbers and suddenly they’re industry experts.


And of course you can’t tell them anything because they know it all.


As I frequently say: if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room, so recognise the areas where you need help and don’t be afraid to seek out expert advice. There are no foolish questions, just foolish people who were reluctant to ask.


One more thing: don’t be put off because a learning opportunity costs money. We all pay learning fees – either to someone who helps us or to the market because of our mistakes (which are usually very expensive.)


“A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.”

Finding a mentor is the fast track to acquiring the type of property investment insights that can never be found in a book.


Seek out mentors who have already achieved the goals that you aspire to by successfully investing through a number of cycles and just as importantly who’ve managed to retain their wealth.


mouse“One mouse dropping ruins the whole pot of porridge.”

One bad asset can be the proverbial fly in the ointment that hold back your portfolios overall growth. So review your investment portfolio regularly.


If you find a property or stock that, knowing what you know now, you would not buy again today consider selling the, err, “mouse dropping” in order to make room for a better addition to your “pot of (property) porridge.”


“A single spark can start a fire that burns your entire house down.”

Every year unforeseen X Factors come out of the blue to test us, so look forward to the best of times, but prepare yourself for the worst.


Protect yourself and your portfolio against unforeseen crises – be it a personal one, like losing income due to ailing health, or something on a larger scale. Insure yourself as well as your assets and maintain a financial buffer you can dip into, should the need arise.


“Don’t be afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

Sustainable wealth creation through property investment is not a process you can rush. It takes time for compounding and leverage to work it’s magic.


Warren Buffet put it a different way: “Wealth is the transfer of money from the impatient to the patient.”


tree“The Best Time To Plant A Tree Was 20 Years Ago. The Second Best Time Is Now.”

It’s never to late to get into the invetsment game. Sure it would have been nice to do it when the median price of a house was $100,000, but interestingly that seemed expensive to most investors twenty years ago.


There are always opportunities in the market. The sooner you start, the sooner you are on track to reaping long-term riches.


“Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in.” 

Some people think that announcing their plans to become a rich real estate tycoon to friends and family over the dinner table, will somehow make the magic just happen. In property, opportunities rarely come knocking or fall in your lap. You have to seek them out and be prepared to create your own.


The big difference between successful investors and the average Australian is that they set themselves goals and then take decisive action to achieve them.


“A fall into a ditch makes you wiser.”

Fact is: you’re going to make mistakes when you invest. We all do. However it’s not how often you fall in the ditch that matters, it’s how often you get up, dust yourself off and try again that matters.


Hopefully you will minimize your mistakes by learning from these wise Chinese sayings.

Michael Yardney also contributes to Real Estate TalkYahoo Personal Finance and Property Update

11 Lessons from the BRW Rich 200 list – Michael Yardney

Once a year the Australian magazine BRW publishes its list of Australia’s richest people and as you examine the list you’ll see every year the rich are getting richer.

So, what can we learn from Australia’s wealthy individuals?

  1. Invest in property

Property remains the single biggest source of wealth.

This should come as no surprise – looking back over the years no matter how the economy changes, the Rich 200 has always been dominated by the property entrepreneurs. And it’s much the same all over the world.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with seeing what other successful people do and applying those principles to your own life. If so many extraordinarily wealthy people have used real estate profitably, it stands to reason that there’s money to be made in this sector.

The other lessons I learned by reading the various entrepreneurs’ stories are:

01_Porsche-911-Carrera-GTS_9912. Anyone can become rich.

While last year 17 percent inherited some of their fortune, most on the Rich List were self made successes, some coming from working class backgrounds.

Attending a private school and an elite education is clearly not a prerequisite to joining Australia’s wealthy. While some forged important networks at school, many went to public schools and others didn’t even finish high school. In fact less than half have tertiary qualifications.

3. Invest counter cyclically.

Remember Warren Buffet’s famous quote: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”

4. Make your millions and then reinvest it – don’t spend it.

This is really just using the power of compounding to grow your asset base before you start spending up big.

5. Take risks early on, but not once you are established.

While many entrepreneurs took big risks to get their enterprises going, successful investors then preserved their wealth by cautiously investing rather than taking further risks.

6. Have one good idea and repeat it.

One core trait that successful entrepreneurs share is the ability to take a good idea and repeat it over and over again. Look through the list and you’ll see so many entrepreneurs stick to the same concept for years and just expand in different locations.

2015-mclaren-p1-fd7. Pick the trends.

This is different to picking fads, which are transient.

8. Go for growth.

Sure, cash flow is important but to become really rich you need a large asset base. While the average investor tries to increase their cash flow, the wealthy are obsessed with building their asset base. Much the same as those on the BRW Rich 200 list who concentrate on building their balance sheets even more than they do on their profit and loss accounts.

9. Surround yourself with a good team.

As I’ve often said – if you are the smartest person in your team you are in trouble.

10. Take action.

All the people who made it onto this year’s BRW Rich 200 list started with a dream and then took action.

11. You’re never too young and you’re never too old.

The youngest member of the BRW Rich 200 last year was aged 35 and had a greater estimated wealth than the oldest member who was 92.

What lesson can you learn from Australia’s richest people? What can you differently to become a successful investor and get ahead of the pack?

Michael Yardney also contributes to Real Estate TalkYahoo Personal Finance and Property Update

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The Trading Game Pty Ltd (ACN: 099 576 253) is an AFSL holder (Licence no: 468163). This information is correct at the time of publishing and may not be reproduced without formal permission. It is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any of the information you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.