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Ask A Different Question

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

There is so much noise on the topic of investing it is hard to tune in to anything. Everyone wants your attention and your money. Sorting it all out is a daunting task. How do you figure out what is right for you? Any financial advisor you speak with is going to tell you that the products they sell are the best way for you to invest, even though they have no idea what you are trying to achieve. How do you know for sure?


I suggest that you take a step back, along with a deep breath, and ask yourself a different question. Instead of asking yourself WHAT you should invest in, I suggest you first ask yourself WHY you want to invest your money and what it means to "invest".

For most of us the WHY is something like:

- I want a better future for myself and my family than my current savings can realistically provide;

- I want a safety net, to know that if I can't work I can still provide for myself and my family;

- I want an elusive concept called retirement, where I wake up each morning and do the things I want to do and I have the money to pay for it.

And we want all this when we are young enough and healthy enough to enjoy it.

This then suggests that you need to design your life, in detail, and determine how much passive income you need to create to sustain that lifestyle indefinitely. I do not want to race my money to the grave, and you shouldn't either.

Ask yourself,

Do you like your current lifestyle?

How much does it cost each month to sustain it?

Do you want more?

What do you want to do differently and how much will it cost?

How much income do you realistically need each month to cover all the bills associated with the lifestyle you desire? This is your WHY. You are investing to create enough passive income each month to cover these lifestyle expenses. You want that income to arrive each month no matter what you are doing, that is why it MUST be passive income instead of the earned income you receive from a job or working in your own business.


Next, look at what it really means to "invest". Investing is not about the excitement of the trade, following the status quo, or doing what is expected. Investing is deploying capital in a way that maximizes your return to meet specific personal objectives. To be a successful investor you must get beyond the hype, calculate the real return on your investment and focus on creating passive streams of income because that is the ONLY kind of income you can retire on and enjoy a lifestyle you design for yourself. You need an investment you understand and can influence.

Now that you know WHY you are investing, and what investing really means, it changes the way you evaluate WHAT to invest in.

We have at least two, and possibly three, generations of "investors" who have little or no understanding of WHAT they are investing in and cannot articulate why it is the right investment for them.

Do you have a 401k or IRA? Are you invested in the stock market?


Do you understand the investment strategy used to guide your investments?

Can you change or influence it?

Can you control the profitability of your investments within your 401k and IRA?

Do you know how to calculate your true return on investment to compare it to other options?

Today's stock market is far from the original concept designed to allow companies to raise capital from a large pool of investors and to provide a way for investors to later sell their shares in those companies. This lowered the cost of capital, increased economic growth and, sometimes even allowed investors to share in the financial success of the company.


Now the stock market is driven by short term trade volume objectives to the detriment of long term stakeholder value. The markets continue to become more volatile and as trader driven activity drags the market further away from actual business metrics the entire system causes more economic volatility worldwide.

The stock market was never designed to consistently make individual investors wealthy. Today's stock market is too volatile and too far removed from actual business metrics to allow the average investor an opportunity to create and keep wealthy, not to mention providing a reliable source of consistent passive income.

This makes the question of WHAT to invest in even more critical. You must choose an investment that can realistically generate the wealth you need to create the passive income streams that will support your desired lifestyle. Throughout the history of our country successful investors have achieved their desired lifestyle through real estate investing strategies that create passive income. There are no secrets, no magic, no fairy dust. There are however, strategies that have survived the test of time and successful people who are willing to share these strategies with you.

When you ask yourself WHAT to invest in, make sure you consider ALL your options. Your future depends on it.


To find out more about real estate investing for passive income visit Lifestyles Unlimited at or call 866-945-6565.


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