Wednesday, February 3, 2016

How much is my Miltary Retirement worth now?

It's easy for Military Members to feel like their Net Worth is always undervalued because their retirement benefits are not calculated like civilians.

Well now you can. It's a pretty easy financial calculation. Here's how its done.
  • You calculate how much you will most likely receive during the course of your retirement
  • Then you find the present value of that total number as it's valued today
  • This is a good rough estimate

The steps are as follows:
  1. Calculate the future value of your retirement:
    1. Retirement Monthly Payment X Number of Years in Retirement X 12 Months = the Future Value of your retirement
  2. Calculate the Present Value of your retirement using the Present Value Calculator provided:
    2. Use .58 for the interest rate (this is 7% return divided by 12 months)
      • 7% is the typical return for a low risk investment
      • This is what someone would value this investment over several years
    3. Number of Periods = (Years in Retirement + Years till Retirement) X 12 months
  3. The number this calculator spits out is the Present Value of Your Retirement
Why this works:
  • You would never sell your Retirement benefits but theoretically you could
  • This enables us to place a basic value on the retirement as a whole
  • Once you have a good idea of a monetary value you can figure out present value
Why this is still a big estimate:
  • This still doesn't account for your healthcare and other military benefits, you could theoretically add those into the calculation
  • The value of this get's significantly less the further out you are from retirement
  • This also doesn't take into account that your retirement is not guaranteed as well
It's important to understand your retirement has a present value so you can see that you have built net worth over time even though that net worth is not available right now.  Well, neither is any retirement savings so it shouldn't keep you from using it as a value.

Tony D.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

How to make 100,000 dollars in 5 min

Making money make money is not nearly as difficult as it's made out to be.  This is because a of a magical little secret called compounding interest. Let's look at a simple example.
  • Does this sound a little too easy?
  • It's really not. This is based off of only 7% annual interest. The stock market and most low risk investments make around 10-13% per year.
  • I use 7% because it's really a worst case scenario and very conservative. Even with 7%, getting to 100k is relatively easy.
  • The reason this works is due to the compounding effect of interest.
  • So at 7% interest and contributing 100$ a paycheck, you easily get to 100k in 25.5 years.
  • So let's get started.

  • My #1 recommendation is to start with a big reputable company like Schwab, Fidelity, or USAA.
  • If you're in the military, use the Thrift Savings Plan.

Make sure to subscribe for more info and tips.

Tony D.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Start saving now, don't wait to pay off your debt - save now or pay later

By far one the hardest decisions people have to make is whether to start saving money now or wait. The easy answer is to wait.

"I'll get around to it."

"I need to pay off some debt first."

"I need to work some stuff out first."

Wrong, wrong, wrong... super wrong.

Start saving now. I'll show you why.

Money grows in investments. It's this magical thing called compounding interest. Debt also grows if you don't get a handle on it but it actually is limited to a fixed rate.

Money grows faster than debt because of compounding interest.

  • This is what a basic savings plan looks like with compounding interest.

  • If you wait to start your investment plan. Like in this example it pushes your whole timeline to the right.
  • Since investments grow faster later, the effect is toward the end.

  • As you can see waiting to start your investment plan has a huge effect later on. This is the part that most financial planners leave out when they tell you to pay off your credit cards first then invest.
  • The real answer is to start investing first and start to pay down your debt as you can.
  • Investing is more important in the long run.

  • The name for this is Opportunity Cost.
  • Opportunity Cost is the cost of doing one thing over the other.
  • So what happens to your debt?
    • As long as you don't make it worse, it just turns in to a regular expense.
  • Compared to your investments which continue to grow.

This is not magic or voodoo, but it is important to know what the best course is.

So what do I do?

1. Start saving money now.
2. Start to pay down your debt, slowly and responsibly.
3. The big thing is to not make your debt any worse. Just get it under control and start saving.

Subscribe for more articles.

Tony D.

How to create a simple budget: Budgeting 101

Learning to budget seems a bit overwhelming but it's actually really easy. Let's get started.
  • Building a budget is simply splitting your income into categories.
  • A simple way to look at these categories is wants and needs.

  • You need to just adjust your categories by what's really most important.
  • Once you change your categories, lock down the saving and debt payoff category.
    • You should strive to save 15%
    • You should be paying off debt with about 10%
    • This is a good place to start. Doesn't have to be perfect yet, just get started...

  • This is a fairly typically good conservative template to get you started.
  • Save 15%
  • Pay Down Debt 10%
  • Normal Expenses 65%
    • Housing 30%
    • Normal Reoccurring expenses 35%
      • Car
      • Food
      • Groceries
      • etc...
  • I like to have a junk category 10%
    • Do whatever with this...

  • Now let's look at why you should budget.
  • Your Net Worth is your Assets minus your Liabilities. Yes... this can be a negative number and usually is in most cases.
    • My net worth was always negative up until about halfway through my career.
  • Don't confuse Net Worth with Self Worth... Seriously, don't let this get you down, this is just a place to get started.

  • Assets are those things that make you money or pay you.
  • Liabilities are those things that take money away from you or cost you money.
  • One of the best ways to think about it is your net worth is a bucket. Water going in is your assets, liabilities are holes in the bucket.


  • The most important thing to understand is the difference between rich people and poor people.
  • Rich people grow their assets and shrink their liabilities. This hits a tipping point where your assets begin to produce much more than your liabilities and your wealth grows very quick

  • This is where most people get discouraged.  But this is the big secret. All you have to do is begin to shrink your liabilities and begin to grow your assets.
  • You don't have to fix everything overnight. Just start the process by chipping away at your debt and liabilities and start to slowly build your assets.

  • Getting started is always the hardest part. Here's the best way to get started.
  1. Start saving. Before you do anything else. Start to save 10-15% of your income. You can learn what to do with it later. It's important to start now.
  2. Take a real look at  your budget and see where your money is going. Start to think of ideas how to get your budget under control.
  3. Begin the process of isolating your expenses and liabilities. Identify and start chipping away at your liabilities and expenses.
  4. Learn, learn, learn... There are a ton of great resources out there. The most important thing is to start to learn.
  5. Start to grow your assets.  Remember, your assets pay you. Rich people make money from money. Even the money they do earn they put to work and it makes more money.
This is only the beginning but a great place to start. Subscribe to Commando Systems for more guides like this.

Good luck. You're on your way to being wealthy. One baby step at a time.

Tony D.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Focus - Divide and Conquer

"Rack em stack em and knock em down. "

When you focus on one task at a time you will accomplish more in less time than with multitasking.

Multitasking is a buzzword that is often misused. First off it doesn't exist. Our minds divide and conquer anyway by focusing on one thing at time. When you think you are multitasking your mind is actually just shifting between two things, focusing on one thing at a time for a brief moment.

The only time that multitasking does help is in the case of a semi-unconscious activity and a conscious activity that are linked. An example of this would be when you write notes and listen at the same time. Sense these two activities are directly related this activity can actually help you be more efficient. A great example of this is Sketchnotes (one of my favorite books).

Project management or your daily to do list is an excellent place to increase efficiency. Instead of switching from task to task work on them a little at time, chose the most important and work on it until it is completely done. Not only will you get more done but your work will be much better.

Focus on one project at a time. You'll not only get faster but you'll do much better work.

Tony D.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Why You're Fat

The main reasons you're fat are:

  • You want to be fat. Deep down you've become comfortable with where you are. I hope this makes you mad because that's what it's going to take for you to do something different than you've done in the past.
  • You think the stuff you read in fitness magazines is real information. The fact is the best info is in books. Yes those things you used to read in high school. It takes real research to get a book published. Any joker can put stuff in a magazine or the internet. Even me.
  • You think that you can exercise yourself to weight loss. Wrong… real weight-loss is like 90% diet, it has very little to do with exercise.
  • You think low fat foods are good for you. Congratulations you believe and spend your money on exactly what advertisers want you to spend money on. They don't care if you are healthy. They have only one goal. To separate you from your money.
  • You think that there is a simple one size fits all way to lose weight and it's run by someone like Jenny Craig or WeightWatchers. I can't stand these programs. They use psycology to get your money. It goes like this "Losing weight is hard. But we can make it easy… for a small fee."
  • The fact is losing weight is not hard and you don't need to spend a bunch of money.
  • What you need to do is take it seriously and start learning. "teach a man to fish…"

Ok I've beat you up enough. Don't go getting all upset yet. Here are the facts:

  • You need to get out of the mentality of a "normal" person. Normal people are content with the way they are and do whatever everyone else does. Extraordinary people live extraordinary lives. It's really easy to do. Quit looking around and seeing what everyone else is doing. Do whatever you want to do. The best way to be like everyone else is to act like everyone else.
  • This is called Social Proof and it's a dream killer.
  • I hate to say it but most of the stuff you read in magazines and the internet(yes I know) is garbage. Real info is in books. When you really take an interest in something you should learn from the experts. Real experts write books and they sell. Look for books with high ratings on Amazon. This is a great way to find experts at anything.
  • Seriously, the moment I quit worrying about my workout and started actually, really, seriously, no really, paying attention to my diet was the beginning of my quick trip to ripped up land.
  • The old saying "Abs are made in the kitchen" is legit. Seriously…
  • When you eat fat it doesn't turn into fat. When you eat fat it doesn't turn into fat.
  • When you eat fat it doesn' t turn into fat.
  • Ok, I think you get the idea. But this is by far the hardest thing for folks to accept.
  • When you eat sugar it turns into fat. Huge difference.
  • 100 percent of diets have failed for you. I know this because you're reading my article. Diets failed you because you were basically tweaking a few things but just doing what you've done in the past. You think "maybe this time will be different" It won't be. You want a different result then try something radically different.

I will be putting together my suggestions and direction for you as we go along. There is nothing to buy. I have a real job. I do this for fun. Subscribe and hang in there. There is hope and it starts now.

Here is a few tips to get you started.
  • Start learning about food and eating. Start looking at food as fuel and not just an indulgence. Indulge in other stuff. Great place to start is to read about Paleo. I'm not even a huge Paleo fan but it is a great way to get exposed to some real info about food.
  • Stop eating bread. Bread is by far the largest source of carbs in the American diet. Just cutting back on bread is a great place to start.
  • Start tracking what you're eating. Don't worry about counting anything yet. Just what and when and how you feel.
  • Learn about blood sugar and how it affects your hunger level. Control your blood sugar and you control your hunger. Control your hunger and control your calorie intake. Control your calorie intake and you know what happens next.
Subscribe for more articles. Coming soon.

Tony D.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rich Dad Poor Dad - honest review

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a book by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Get it now. 

It has a a 4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon with around 5000 reviews. This gives it some serious street cred.

I listened to the unabridged version on Audible.  First of all, unabridged means the whole book read just as it's written. I'm not a fan of unabridged versions but it's usually the only type available.

The Good:
  • The initial story about his 2 dads is priceless and awesome. 
  • The concept that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is dead on.
  • The fact that real financial education is not taught in schools is 100% accurate.
  • The rich get richer because they make money, not just earn it. The money they do earn is just used to make more money. 
The Bad:
  • I'm not that interested in hearing about his shady real estate investments that made thousands in a day. He's been studying real estate his whole adult life.
  • He should be a little more up front that his largest income is from writing these books.
  • Most of the middle of the book is vague and anecdotal to the point of wandering a bit. 
The Awesome:
  • The concept of being good a bunch of stuff, especially selling, rather than awesome at one thing is profound. 
  • The concept of creating money from thin air is actually really good. Poor people earn a living, rich people make money from the money they earn. You don't need a high paying job to be rich. You need the correct mindset.  
  • Pay yourself first, then taxes, then your bills. Good stuff. 
In summary, this book get's a thumbs up from me. The 5$ invested in the book will pay you millions years from now.

Get it now. 

Tony D.