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(On Money)

hen you ask people to make a list of what they want, money is often at the top of the list but when you ask them what are they doing to get it, they usually say something like "Well... I have a job and go to work each week!" and when you ask them to name how many people they know who got rich by working a 9 to 5 job, suddenly, you could hear a pin drop.

That's because very few people get rich by working for somebody else (except for a few CEOs of Fortune 500 companies who are making a few millions each year but those are exceptions).

In 1991, I heard Tony Robbins say "...If you want to master ANYTHING in your life, you just can't leave it to chance, you have to make it a study", I knew that he was right on and since it was money that I wanted to master, then I decided to do research on money and study how the rich are attracting it and learn as much as I could on the subject.


The 5 Money Making Methods

So I quickly found all the ways a person can become rich and by analysis, shrunk them down to these 5 major methods. You can do the same, just think of a millionaire and ask how that person made it and it will most of time by using one of those 5 categories. If you find other categories let me know.

Here they are...

  • CHANCE (Lottery, Casino, Treasures)
  • ILLEGAL (Drugs, Bank Robbing)
  • GIFTS (Inheritance, Grants)
  • INVESTMENTS (Stocks, Pension Fund)
  • BUSINESS (Selling products/services from someone else or your own)

I quickly analysed each method. My favorite one (and I think i'm not alone here) is the LUCK one. Here you just buy a lottery ticket or put $1 in a slot machine and VOILA, you are rich, case closed. However, I quickly tossed aside the idea of winning the lottery because the odds are impossible to beat.

Next we have the ILLEGAL or organised crime option. Sure you can make money there but you not only risk prison or getting killed and EVEN if you escape that, it's hard to just quit and leave "the team" for good unless you want to end up in a body bag because they will always want more money.

We also have the GIFTS option where you receive a big check in the mail from out of nowhere. An old rich uncle who just died and you inherited all his millions or a company or government who decided to send you big check or grant to make you continue the nice project you are working on (ex: research on cancer).

Next, we have the INVESTMENTS option. This one is not for everyone as it usually takes a lot of money to start with or you can always start investing at 20 in some pension fund and stick with it for many decades. If you want your million $ asap like me, this category is not for you.

Finally we arrive at the BUSINESS option. If you crossed off all the above options to make money, then this one might be the only one left for you and you are not alone because just to give you an idea, 85% of all the millionaires out there made their millions in this category.


Business...the only option left?

By deduction, you might have arrived at the same conclusion as me which is to start a business. I was looking at these 5 major categories and was wondering where did I fit?

Even though I wanted to make money using my favorite game which was the casino french roulette, I knew that it wasn't very wise to think that and I also didn't have any rich uncle ready to send me a big check. I didn't want to get into the organised crime either because I didn't want to spend my life in prison or die young. I didn't start to invest when I was very young and even if I did, waiting 50 years to get rich wasn't my thing.

Once you realize that Business is THE ONLY OPTION LEFT, you either drop it and continue to stay poor and work at your boring 9 to 5 job for the rest of your life or you do what Tony Robbins said above which is to do research and study the topic you want to master and in this case here it's "business" and that's exactly what I did.


Starting A Business...

Now even though it was nice to know that at least I had 1 method left for me to become rich with, starting a business was the furthest from my mind because I didn't know anybody who started a business, didn't have a clue on how to start one and didn't have a lot of money either to start with. Still, I had no choice, it looks like I had to start a business or never make it rich.

Starting a business may sound like rocket science for many but basically is comes down to this... You just buy a product at a lower price than you sell it...PERIOD!

It doesn't have to be another General Motors or Microsoft with thousands of employees and big headquarters. You can even start at home during the week-end and do your business on the internet too without seeing any of your customers in person. All you have to do is find a product that people want to buy, buy it at a low price and resell it with a small profit and then repeat the process. That's all there is to it.

In 1992, I ordered a program called "BluePrint for Success" and it was a set of 3 big books on marketing and a set of audio tapes from the CSBI (Canadian Small Business Institute) teaching us all the ways we can start a business with.

What I loved about the marketing course was that it was really down to earth saying things like "you have to replace your time with a product because you can't work 3 hours in 1 hour, however, you can sell 3 products in 1 hour".

What he meant is that if you get paid $10 per hour and you want to make $30, you have to work 3 hours to get that $30 but if you sell a $10 product instead of your time, you can sell 3 of those $10 product in just 1 hour and make that $30. Also, with the help of a few basic marketing techniques, you can sell 1, 5, 10, even 100s of these products during that same hour, get the picture? I liked it :-).

Here are the different ways you can start a business...

  • Selling your own physical products (ex: Inventions)
  • Selling your own services or digital products (ex: Talents, websites, ebooks)
  • Selling products or services created by others (ex: Import/export, affiliates).
  • Selling products created by both you and others (ex: Franchises)

By far the simplest "physical products" business you can get in is the franchise (McDonald's, Walmart, Home Depot) option because all the hard work has been done for you. You don't need to do a business plan and do market research to see if people will want to buy your products, do sales projections on how much money you can make each month or ask where to find suppliers, etc. All this was done for you and they usually done that successfully otherwise the franchise would have disappeared.

In fact, when you go to your bank to get the financing to start a new business, if you tell them that you are starting a franchise, they will be more tempted to lend you money than if you tell them that you start a new business that you created from scratch because with a franchise, at least the bank will know that many other franchises were profitable so the risk of losing money is less than with a new venture.

Still in the "physical products" business category, the next one is selling a products or services created by others. For example, you want to start a computer store, you don't need to invent the computer, you just need to find the suppliers or distributors who will let you buy them at low wholesale price and then resell them with a profit.

By far the hardest "physical products" business category is the INVENTION one because now, you have to do EVERYTHING. You first need to do market research to see if anybody will buy that thing. If yes then you need to protect your inventions by getting patents which cost a lot of $ then find manufacturers to build complex automated machines to build your products in great quantities and then you need to create a brand new marketing network (distributors, retailers, shipping companies, etc) all that from scratch. Talk about investing lots of $$$ before you even made your first sale.

Now thanks to the internet, there is a new type of business and products that we can sell and that's DIGITAL PRODUCTS. Those are products that you don't need any shipping (unless you send them on a CD in a box) because people can download them directly online via a website. It could be a website, a software, an ebook,etc.

This type of business has revolutionized the way people can start a business because now they can create a website which is the equivalent of a store but in digital format, place pictures of products you want to sell, place a little "Buy It Now" or "Add To Cart" button and people will pay for the product and the shipping BEFORE they actually own the product. This gives you the money upfront so you can take you profit right away and then send the rest to your supplier and make him ship the product directly to your customer (this is called dropshipping) so no need to store a garage full of products and the beauty of this type of business is that you can keep your day job, sell your products to people on the other side of the planet and get orders and make money even while you sleep because your website is open 24/7.

So after all these years of research and many business startups later, you might want to ask me which business is the best one to start with and my answer will be "NONE of the above"! At least none of the examples that I gave you. You see, they all have flaws and my job is to go with the one that has the least amount.

Basically, you can take all these different ways of starting a business and put them into 3 clear categories.


1- The Old Way...(Street based biz)

The Old Way of starting a business is what we call the "Brick and Mortar" store that you find inside a mall or on the streets. Their obvious flaw is that they cost an arm and a leg.

You have to find a business office, lease it for a year or so, paint it and load it with shelves and buy many products to fill those shelves and pay for a big sign outside and then pay employees and then you can start making money. Even if you manage to do all that, almost nobody knows that you opened your doors so you will need to add the regular marketing and advertising costs on top of that to attract new clients.

So as you can see, lots and lots of money upfront without a single penny coming in even for a franchise where you are almost assured that clients will come. No thanks.


2- The Present Way...(Internet based biz)

Next you may have the same type of business of selling physical products but instead, your store may be on the internet (ex: Future Shop website).

The main problem with this type of business is that you have to ship the physical products and they sometimes break during the shipping and that's a real pain in the a** because the customer is not happy and doesn't want to pay to ship it back to you so now you have to pay to ship that broken product back to you and then pay to ship it to the manufacturer and then pay for the shipping to get the product back to you and then pay the shipping to send it back to your customer hoping that this time, it will not break during shipping. No thanks, I'll pass on that one too.

Still in that same category, you have digital products stores. As explained above, this is one of the best way to start a busines because websites today cost just a few 100s and again, you don't carry any inventory, just the pictures of the products and if you sell digital products like websites and ebooks, that's even better because now you don't have to ship anything since your clients can now download them for free on your website.

So is digital stores selling digital products THE BEST way to start a business then? Nope. Why? Because you still have to find hot digital products to sell and since it's so easy and cost almost nothing to do a website these days, almost everybody can start an online business so get used to competition, LOTS of competition. There will always be some guy who sell the same products for 10% or even 50% less than you, killing your business in the process.

However, THE biggest problem of all these businesses is not to get the store (real or digital) up and running or even load it with cool products at the lowest price but to FIND customers, LOTS of customers.

Who cares if you have the coolest store on the street or in the virtual mall with the best and cheapest products in the world, if nobody comes in to buy, you are screwed and depending and waiting for customers to buy SUCKS!

So if all those types of businesses suck, what's left you might ask? This one... :-)


3- The Future Way...(Automated Online Trading)

The best one I found is called AUTOMATED TRADING. Automated Trading is a form of Stock Market trading but instead of dumping millions to a broker and letting him buy a ton of stocks for you while you play golf, you start with $50, open an online trading account with an online broker (ex: http://www.Oanda.com) and with your computer you buy and sell stocks (Forex in my example) by clicking the BUY or SELL button on a trading software and make 1000s of $ when you want to sitting in front of your computer at home in your underwear. How cool is that? :-)


The Stock Market???

Why The Stock Market? What makes it so good? Well, many reasons.

First you don't need to create any stores because you buy stock or forex directly from the stock exchanges through the help of a broker that gives you a direct and live access to the markets and let's you buy and sell them when you want to.

Second, you don't have to find products either because those are the stocks or forex that are already there for you to buy or sell.

Third, you DO NOT have to wait for clients to come in to buy what you want to sell because at the Stock Market, there will ALWAYS be many buyers standing by to buy the stocks you want to sell. How cool is that?

Forth, YOU DECIDE how much you want to make today. You can buy or sell 1 Stock, 100 or 1 million on top of that you decide WHEN you want to buy or resell those stocks. Many day traders after making $200 or $500 quit around 11 am, close their PC and just go play golf. Now THAT is the way to live your life. :-)

It is still a business but as I just said, without the need to have a store (on the street or online), without the need to find products and buy them at low prices and especially no need to advertise to attract clients and just like an online business, you can trade Forex 24 hours per day (From Sunday 5Pm Est. to Friday 5Pm Est.)

So you can keep your current job and make even more money after your working day is over by sitting at home in front of your computer trading Forex.

Now if this type of business is so hot, how come you have never heard of it or anybody you know is doing it? Because first of all, this is fairly new. Online Trading needed not only fast computer but also fast internet connection and those arrived at the end of the 90s and early 2000s. So it's barely a decade old for the average guy on the street.

Second, in the past, you would go and meet in person your broker, make them a big check with LOTS of zeros (ex: pension fund) and let him buy a bunch or stocks in your "Trading Investment Portfolio". In other words, it was a business for rich people.

Even during the 2000 decade, if you wanted to trade Stocks online, you could open a trading account but the initial investment was still $25,000 minimum for Stocks then another form of trading tool arrived called "eMini Futures" where you could trade those by opening a trading account for as low as $2,000 but recently, a new player is coming in called Forex (Short for Foreign Exchange or International Currencies).

You can trade Forex today with many brokers by opening an account for as low as $50 with online brokers like FXCM or Oanda. Just Google it or go to Youtube for more info.

Next, you also needed regular brokers to evolve too and become online brokers to let their clients get a direct live access to the markets and softwares to see Stock Charts going up and down every second and also let clients buy and sell them at home.

You see, not too long ago, clients were not trading on their own, they would visit their stock broker, write them a big check with lots of zeros and let them buy and sell the stocks for them. So just knowing someone who had a stock broker was rare because this meant that you had a friend who was millionaire or very rich.

Now just like any business, to make money, you have to BUY LOW and then SELL HIGH otherwise you will lose money. Anybody who has seen a live Stock Chart moving knows how hard it is to predict whether the Stock will go down or go up so if you are not good at this, you will lose your shirt. Once again, Tony Robbins's quote comes in and to master the art of trading, you need to do research about it and study the pros. In 2003 and up, that's exactly what I did.


Mastering The Stock Market

In most books or online courses about trading the stock market, you will hear that you cannot just buy and sell on the fly, you need to have a plan or a strategy regarding when to buy and when to sell (which I found) and that you must first trade with play money to test your trading skill (which I did) and when you make money on a constant basis, you then open a real money account with your online broker (ex: $5,000, some ask for less) and then trade with it using your trading strategy which I did, until I lost it all in the weeks that followed. Hehe, oops!

So what happended? The strategy that I had was tested with play money during the summer of 2005 and I was making on paper, $500 per day on average but when I started to play with real money after labor day, all the big traders came back from their summer vacations and now my trading system wasn't good after that and I lost my $$$.

I then got so mad that I decided to get my revenge on the Stock Market by studying the pros and what I found out blew me away. There was an online broker called TradeStation who not only have a software to trade like the other online brokers but has a built-in section where you can program your trading system into computer code lines.

This way, you can backtest your system in the past weeks, months and years to see if your system is good or not and when I heard about that, I quickly ordered a book to learn this Stock Market System Programming language and programmed my 2005 summer system. I found out that my system was only good during the summer of 2005 and that it failed after that period but it also failed BEFORE the summer and was losing money too in 2004 and even in 2003.

So if I had heard about TradeStation in the summer of 2005, I would have seen that the system sucked before that summer and I would have never got in and risk real money on it like I did. I would have continue to program new trading systems and backtest them 1 by 1 until I find 1 system that would make me rich. This is exactly what I'm doing these days in case you ask. ;-)


Let's recap

So long story short, if you want to be rich, you need to start a business and start buying (low) and selling (high) products like 85% of all the millionaires on the planet.

You will need to...

  1. Find products to sell (physical or digital)
  2. Find suppliers to buy them at low price (manufaturers)
  3. Find clients to sell your products at a higher price (individuals or retailers)
  4. Make A LOT of sales to become millionaire

You can create a brick and mortar store on the street but get ready to mortgage your home because you will need to borrow A LOT of money to pay for the office, the products, the shipping, the employees and the advertising too in order to attract clients in your store even for highly succssful businesses like franchises.

You can also create an online store but you better have original products or face very tough competition with their super low prices. Get ready to pay for the shipping of broken products you may ship to clients and online advertising to attract clients to your online store.

If you are like me, just the idea of creating a store (real or digital) makes you sick and if you have no clue what products to sell or where to find manufacturers to buy them at cheap prices from and if selling products is not in your blood, then you can always skip all that and learn about trading the Stock Market (Forex) because in this business, the store, the products, the buyers and the sellers are already there waiting for you, to make money there however, you will need to have a good trading system and here you have 2 options.

  • Program your own Stock Market system
  • Buy or Lease an already existing trading system

To program your own trading system, you will need to learn about the stock market charts (called Technical Analysis) and find the sweet spot regarding when to buy the stock (LOW price) and when to resell it (when the price is HIGH). You will need to program that system and backtest it during the past weeks. months and years to avoid finding systems that are good only during a short period like I had in 2005. You will need to backtest it, find its flaw(s) and then reprogram it to fix each one 1 by 1. Then you can install it in your trading software and it can start trading on it's own just like a robot working for you, turning your computer into a real money printing machine.


Conclusion

So right now, if like me you want to be a millionaire but don't want to even bother with starting a business, you might be thinking that this Stock Market System Programming thing is not such a bad idea after all and might be a nice shortcut to financial independence. Well, not so fast.

First of all, just like a 5lb diamond, you won't find this type of programmers on every corner. The succesful ones are very hard to find and even if you find one they almost never share anything valuable. Also, you cannot hire a good Stock Market System Programmer because if he is REALLY good, he will find in a matter of weeks/months a trading system that pays $250/month and will leave the job right away.

Why leave with a system that pays just $250/month you may ask? Because the beauty of the Stock Market as I mentioned above is that you can buy 1 stock but you can also buy 10 or 100 stocks so suddenly that little $250/month system becomes a money making machine that can pay you $2,500 or even $25,000/month. Get the picture?

Second, stay away from website selling systems, they either suck or have major drawdowns meaning that yes they can pay $250/month on good months but they might not be rock solid and they will have many bad months where they can lose $250/month or more and that is why they sell their systems at such a low price.

I mean think about it, if you have an assured lottery winning ticket, would you sell it $500, or even $50,000??? I wouldn't. I would not only keep it to myself but if I had to sell it, it would be at top dollar, that's for sure.

So your best bet is to either become a Stock Market System Programmer yourself by learning about the Stock market on Youtube by watching seminars and buying all kinds of books and courses or you can gather all your friends, find 1 of them who will be the guinea pig, make all your friends put money in the pot to pay a salary for that programmer so that he can work at home and pay his bills and do all the dirty work of learning about the Stock market that you and your other friends don't want to do yourself and sooner or later, hopefully, your programming friend will find such a system that will make you all rich.

As for me, I will never depend on anybody so I have decided to become a Stock Market System Programmer myself and I STRONGLY suggest you do the same.

Cheers,


Merlin