The lush beauty of a midsummer day like today really underscores why my co-founder Chris Martenson and I started Peak Prosperity over a decade ago.
We want to help people live with abundance and be happy. That’s our simple goal.
To succeed, we first have to identify and wrestle with all of the challenges and constraints that stand in the way. An over-indebted economy, peak resources, declining net energy, manipulated markets, deficient leadership, accelerating inequality, decaying infrastructure — to name just a few.
Yes, it can all feel depressing, scary and overwhelming at times.
But sitting in the warm sun next to a fruit-laden apple tree (as I just did moments ago) and taking a moment to appreciate all that nature rewards you with in return for living in harmony with it — beauty, peace, healthy food, fulfilling work, a place to gather with those you love — helps ground us in what’s truly important.
And it reminds us that it’s much more useful to focus on the good we are creating in life, rather than get mired in the negativity we seek to escape. The former inspires us; the latter just saps our will.
As a case in point, after producing this week’s Market Update video (which includes an excellent guest appearance by Joe Saluzzi), I found myself angrily stewing on the abundant and criminally unfair practices the big Wall Street banks use to enjoy obscene profits at our expense. And how in any crisis they’re not only protected, but enriched.
It’s not like any of this was news to me. Or that I, personally, have any agency in changing the banking system.
But nonetheless, my brain rat-holed in anger at those bastard banks until I saw this tweet of Chris’:
Chris nailed it here. If we’re able to secure our own requirements for a happy life, then the rest of the thrash happening in the surrounding world really loses its control over us.
To his credit, Chris set himself the goal last year of finding a very specific type of property to convert into a sustainable, resilient farmstead. He closed on the property in December and has been regularly documenting here at PP.com his prodigious efforts so far in getting the property up and running. (he shares his latest insights here, for those interested)
And as someone who has known Chris closely for over a decade, he’s indeed much less emotionally impacted now by the latest boneheaded Fed policy or sanctioned theft perpetrated by TPTB.
He’s too busy living his intended life to care. There are cows to put to pasture, and garden rows to harvest.
What’s Your Vision?
Chris’ journey raises a great question: What’s your vision?
Where do you want to be, ultimately? And what do you want to be doing when you get there?
Not having a vision but craving a better life is like jumping into a car without a map (or GPS) and randomly driving around, hoping you’ll end up someplace better than where you left. It’s not often a winning strategy.
Even having a defined vision isn’t very useful unless you’re laying out specific goals to bring it into reality, and pursuing them purposefully.
So, what’s your situation? Are you making good progress towards a well-defined objective?
If not, then that’s a clear sign that your process or your vision (or both!) isn’t satisfactorily fleshed out yet. And that’s where you should be placing your mental energies right now.
One Path To Success
If, like Chris, the life you want involves living in a different place than you do now, you need to make time your ally, not your enemy.
The same is true if you want to put your capital to work outside of the Wall Street casino.
In both cases, lots of homework is required to identify and fairly value your options, then acquire and manage what you decide to go with.
Those looking to move should first determine if relocation to a new county/state/country is the best fit for their needs. Helpful resources for folks making that decision are Joel Skousen’s book Strategic Relocation and our podcast on relocation with James Wesley Rawles.
Movers and investors alike will benefit from the hours of expert insights contained inside Peak Prosperity’s excellent educational video series in Real Estate Investing.
Whether you’re looking to find the best value on your next primary residence, or whether you’re interested in owning a tax-advantaged and inflation-adjusting income stream that you control (not the Wall Street sharks), you’ll need to:
- understand how real estate as an asset class works and its overall economics
- determine which type of property and what market you want to purchase in
- get familiar with that niche and start tracking prices and listings to develop an eye for what constitutes good value
- identify and recruit a good team of expert professionals to help you (e.g., realtor, mortgage lender, accountant, attorney, property manager, syndicator, etc)
- line up your financing
Here’s a quick taste of the kind of highly practical value the video series offers:
And that was only a 4-minute clip. The full series is 12 hours long. It’s chock-full of additional essential guidance for success.
But all of the above takes time, measured in months (at a minimum) to do well. So get started now.
Fortune Favors The Prepared Mind
As we often emphasize: Your prospects tomorrow will be determined by the actions you take today.
Because of the widespread economic pain caused by the coronavirus, 4.2 million US households failed to pay their mortgages in June. A national downturn in housing prices seems a certainty at this point.
It behooves you to ask yourself how you want to be positioned should home prices indeed drop substantially over the next several years, especially if you are seeking to acquire your “forever” home the way Chris just did.
And if you own property, perhaps you might want to sell now. Or, if you plan to hold, at least mentally prepare yourself for the emotional stress should market values drop for a prolonged period of time.
If you have tenants, you may want to lock in longer leases to ensure you have the necessary income to ride out the down cycle. Or re-finance or re-capitalize as may make sense.
And if you’re interested in using a market correction as an opportunity to buy property at (potentially significantly) better valuations than today, then you should use the time now to become sufficiently educated and prepared.
For those interested, we have compiled and published our excellent 6-part educational video series How To Invest In Real Estate For Safety & Profit into a Vimeo playlist. It’s a hugely helpful resource.
Its first episode (2 hours long), can be watched here for free. If you find value in that, you can purchase the other episodes individually, or purchase the full bundle at a substantial discount.
But the key point is to get started. Your prospects tomorrow will be determined by your actions today. Fortune favors the prepared mind.