Matt Bell’s Money Strategies For Tough Times – Book Review

By: Matt Bell (2009)

ISBN 978-1-60006-664-1

Book Price: $12.99

Personal finance

Matt Bell is a personal-finance writer and speaker, director of the Willow Creek Association’s Good $ense financial ministry, and author of Money, Purpose, Joy: The Proven Path to Uncommon Financial Success. He has been quoted in major media such as U.S. News and World Report and Chicago Tribune.

Strategies for wealth in tough times

Matt Bell releases strategies for wealth in tough times, contained in eleven chapters. He addresses issues like; you can get to a better place (Ch. 1), Secured debt solutions (Ch. 5), tapping reserves (Ch. 7), a money plan for any kind of weather (Ch. 9), using your experience to help others (Ch. 11), and much more!

Real solutions for real financial problems

Matt Bell addresses his audience with no-nonsense ideas and integrity! He delivers solutions to money troubles without false promises of quick fix ideas. He states, “First, it’s not about quick-fix solutions… Second… Tough times call for timeless principles, and the principles taught in God’s Word have stood for thousands of years.”

Practical steps will give readers actionable ideas to step out of financial crisis. Matt Bell speaks about finding money to pay down debt, saying, “There are three ways to find extra money to put toward your debts: selling possessions to raise money, increasing your income, or managing your spending more effectively.”

Bell uses powerful quotes to introduce chapters. He opens a chapter about overcoming failure with a quote from Les Brown, “When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up.”

Matt introduces spiritual solutions for readers to achieve miracle results. He asserts, “When spending is your first priority, you never seem to have enough… give, save, and then spend. His Word contains strong cautions against the use of debt… If you orient your finances this way, being generous… you will build a strong financial house… “

Bell sites data to support claims. With budgeting he says, “Just 7 percent of households use a detailed plan with specific monthly spending limits… A plan will give you the knowledge you need to make any needed adjustments.”

Build a strong household

Matt Bell supplies readers with solid strategies to overcome tough financial times, to build a strong household.

Wealth Book Review: The Kabbalah of Money – Jewish Insights On Giving, Owning And Receiving

By: Rabbi Nilton Bonder (1996)

Published by Shambhala Publications, Inc., Horticulture Hall, 300 Massachusetts Ave. Boston, Massachusetts 02115

ISBN 1-57062-804-1

Book Price: $22.95

Rabbi presents Jewish teachings

Rabbi Nilton Bonder was born in Brazil and ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He is the author of several books revealing Jewish teachings: Yiddishe Kop; Creative Problem Solving in Jewish Learning; Lore, and Humor; The Kabbalah of Food; and The Kabbalah of Envy.

Rabbinical teaching on money

Rabbi Nilton Bonder shares timeless Jewish money principles in ten chapters. He addresses such topics as, the limits of wealth (Ch. 2); wealth increased by having less (Ch. 5); living in the material world (Ch. 6); agents of livelihood (Ch. 7); obstacles to wealth (Ch. 8); death and wealth: can you take it with you? And much more!

Enhancing money beliefs via the Jewish context

Rabbi Nilton Bonder converses with readers in an informal, educational style. He relies heavily on Jewish thinking to inform his readers. This is seen in his opening remarks, “A Jewish aphorism tells us that a man shows his character in three ways: by his cup (that is, his appetite), his pocket (his relationship to money), and his anger.”

Insights gained from a Rabbi’s perspective amplify and qualify Bonder’s presentation. He affirms rabbinical views often, as follows, “The rabbis tell us that… our money is an extension of our reactions and beliefs.” & “The rabbis saw poverty as an unparalleled tragedy. In the Midrash (Exodus Rabbah 31:14) we read: “Nothing in the universe is worse than poverty; it is the most terrible of sufferings. A person oppressed by poverty is like someone who carries on his shoulders the weight of the whole world’s sufferings.”” He clearly communicates Jewish ideals.

Rabbi Nilton’s aim is clearly to motivate readers to embrace and act upon rabbinical wisdom, seen here: “… it is our duty to create maximum abundance for all without generating scarcity. In the language of the rabbinical Market, this is the ideal condition in which “one party doesn’t lose, and the other gains.”” Sounds like win-win!

Bonder is pointed in much of his addressing of solutions to our financial crisis. His answers carry a convicting sting as he states, “Much existing wealth cannot be made available to us, because of our unwillingness to share.”

Jewish concepts release money to us

Rabbi Nilton Bonder shares Jewish concepts that release money to us, helping readers to overcome poverty.

Success Step: List 3 things you believe about money. Let your money beliefs be cultured by Jewish thought.

Wealth Building – Other People’s Money (OPM): What the Rich and Wealthy Have Known for Years

Getting rich isn’t all about hard work. In fact hard work has got little to do with getting rich. It’s not that I don’t advocate hard work, I do. I love working hard but I especially like to see myself and others working smart. I know that getting rich and achieving success is not exclusively the domain of blood, sweat and tears. I’ve seen friends, work colleagues and family work themselves to the bone for little or no reward.

The Cult of Hard Work, Self-Sacrifice and The Golden Goose

There is a cult of self-sacrifice evident in our culture that warrants you to be extra busy, working super hard, and putting in crazy hours. When it comes to personal wealth building and attaining success, you’re the golden goose. However, you can only push the golden goose so hard before he/she stops laying those golden eggs. Without exception every golden goose will eventually run out of energy, capacity or enthusiasm. Therefore, learning how to utilise Other Peoples Time, Money and Skills (i.e. leveraging) is a pre-requisite to becoming rich, building wealth and achieving success.

Other Peoples Money & Leverage

In general terms, getting access to Other People’s Money (OPM) is a form of leverage that enables you to go beyond the limits of your own resources and instead apply resourcefulness to everything you do. In business terms, leverage is the key that differentiates self-employed person who owns a job from the business owner who own a business. In financial/investment terms it means getting access to cash that’s not yours in order to buy assets that you control and that produce income.

What the Rich and Wealthy Have Know for Years

The richest and especially the wealthiest people in the world have known about leveraging Other People’s Money for years. Everyone from Jean Paul Getty, Aristotle Onassis and Donald Trump have excelled at this wealth building principle numero uno. Their use of OPM to buys assets is legendary. Onassis in particular is known for having secured contracts to transport ore and oil in ships and tankers he didn’t yet own and then going to the banks securing the loans to buy the ships and tankers using the contracts. A brazen and gifted deal-maker if there ever was one!

People go about building wealth or acquiring assets in different ways based on their background, past experiences and what they have been taught or know about money. For the most part people think of great riches and wealth as largely unattainable because of the model or mindset they have about money. What most people fail to understand is that you actually don’t need money to make money. Sure it helps but what you really need is access to Other People’s Money in order to make money.

The Benefits of Utilising Other People’s Money

OPM buys you time; it enables you do things before you would otherwise be able to do them. It allows you participate in deals your own resources don’t allow you to do. It enables you make choices you couldn’t otherwise make. It takes the average person many, many years to accumulate wealth or build a business entirely from their own resources. By utilising the power of Other People’s Money you can fast-track your personal wealth building or the growth of a business. Importantly, your personal wealth building is no longer limited to what you have been able to save and invest from your earned income.

Getting High on OPM – Real Estate

Most people’s typical first experience of using Other People’s Money is when they take on a mortgage to buy their home. Typically, their initial down-payment combined with their contract of employment that demonstrates their ability to produce future income is enough for them to secure a mortgage loan against home. Unfortunately your home is not an asset, well it is, but it’s the bank’s asset as they are making income from the loan advanced, not you. If you can get a bank to advance you a mortgage loan so as to purchase an investment rental property (an asset) whereby you get to retain what remains of the rental income after you pay the mortgage, then you have used Other People’s Money to buy and asset to produce income. In order to secure this loan you need to demonstrate to the bank that you are a safe bet. They will typically want to see that you have at least 20% of the purchase price as a down-payment and sufficient net income being generated by this asset and other sources to ride out any changes in interest rates, rental void periods etc.

Getting High on OPM – Business

In business, entrepreneurs and business owners get access to Other People’s Money when they write a business plan which they present to a business agent or venture capitalist i.e. investors. This process is known as raising capital. In return for the money (known as capital) received the investor who provided the capital typically receives equity (i.e. shareholding) in the business. Money can also be borrowed from a bank and the bank is repaid the principal and also receives interest on the loan. It’s the business owner’s job to put this capital to good use; to produce products or services that generate sales revenue to pay back the loan and, of course, all the other expenditures of the business.

Other People’s Money is always available and accessible to a greater or lesser extent depending on overall market conditions. Your first responsibility as an entrepreneur or investor seeking capital is to understand and inform yourself as to the multiple sources of OPM and numerous deal structures that utilize OPM.

Jumping Through the Window of Opportunity

Finally, the chief take-away from all this talk about Other People’s Money is that rather than saying to yourself “I can’t afford to start a business” or “I don’t have the money to invest in that deal” you now know there are no real excuses or limitations. Not that using Other People’s Money is without its pitfalls. Like every financial transaction there are inherent risks. Firstly, you are liable to repay the capital borrowed and generally provide an agreed additional return to the investor. However, that’s not up for discussion here. The key thing for now is to realize that you can always get access to Other People’s Money to enable you participate in deals and do things you previously thought weren’t possible. You can start jumping through the window of opportunity when it’s open…and as you begin implementing this principle of Other People’s Money into your business and personal wealth building endeavors you begin to realize its open all the time!