[Editor's Note: Today's WCI Network post is from Passive Income, MD. Here he lays out his best financial decisions from 2019. I can't help but wonder how this list will differ for 2020!]
In my previous post, I shared some of the worst financial decisions I made in 2019. To summarize, I know I’m not perfect and will definitely make mistakes. However, I’m happy to take those mistakes and learn from them. Mistakes, after all, can lead to growth.
As an appropriate follow-up to that post, I thought I’d share some of the best financial decisions I made this year. Mistakes can be valuable learning tools, but it’s also great to take successes, learn what went well, and try to double down on them.
With that in mind, here are some of the best financial decisions I made in 2019.
#1 Invested Heavily in Personal Growth
This year I spent quite a bit of time on what I consider to be “personal growth.” This one is kind of unique because, going into 2019, this was not an expense I had planned on.
Then again, I started the year thinking I was in pretty good shape, both emotionally and spiritually. But I had no idea how many limiting beliefs I carried around me.
What are limiting beliefs, you ask?
Well, they’re thoughts that keep us from reaching our full potential. It’s something that you tell yourself that truly “limits” what you can achieve.
I thought I was a pretty optimistic and action-oriented person. I was leading a good life with my family, career, and having fun with my businesses.
However, I still didn’t realize how many times I would tell myself, “I can’t do that.” And since I believed it, I wouldn’t follow through.
For example, in spite of reaching financial independence from medicine, I would tell myself that I can’t quite cut back on work and still feel totally financially secure. I was gradually retiring, but I still held on to work as a crutch.
However, through some of my personal development and goal-setting, I realized that I wasn’t living the life I fully wanted because I feared a lack of financial security. I didn’t fully believe that I was resourceful enough to figure things out if circumstances changed.
Once I recognized this limiting belief, I decided to take action to abolish it. I immediately adjusted my schedule to the life I wanted. The funny thing is, when I did, my businesses continued to flourish because I had more time to devote to them, more than making up for whatever loss of income I had from my day job. I also was able to spend more time with my family and truly experience the quality time I wanted with them.
Well, I pushed through my limiting belief and in a little less than four months, we were able to create and host a sold-out conference called Financial Freedom Through Investing in Real Estate. Over 200 physicians and high-income professionals attended, and we were able to make a huge impact on others’ lives.
This could never have happened if I let that limiting belief hold me back. Once you recognize them, getting rid of limiting beliefs can cause immense growth in your life.
So yes, investing in personal growth and development helped me push past fear and take action that benefitted me financially, but more importantly, it allowed me to live life more on my terms.
#2 Invested Heavily in My Financial Education
The fact that I’ve reached financial freedom from medicine is no secret. I enjoy telling people, not to boast, but because I want them to know that it really is achievable.
As such, I’m often asked why I continue to research and spend money on my financial education. After all, financial freedom is the goal, right?
Well, to those people I say this: in order to stay fit, you have to keep working out. You have to maintain discipline and knowledge to stay ahead of the challenges that come your way.
That’s why I spend more time and money on my financial education every single year.
This year, I took courses to learn how to better invest in real estate. I took courses on how to do better bookkeeping. I took courses on how to create better courses. I took courses on how to better convey the knowledge you have to others.
I’d say I spent five figures this year on courses alone . . . and they were well worth the investment. I saved a bunch of time not having to research these topics on my own. Each course was like a funnel of high-yield information.
I also attended a lot of conferences this year on subjects such as real estate investing, marketing, accounting, how to better run a business, and negotiation. There was certainly travel costs involved here.
However, they were also well worth the investment, and they’ve paid not only immediate dividends, but I know they’ll continue to pay off for years to come.
#3 Purchased a Rental Property
I haven’t purchased my own rental property for a few years. Instead, I’ve primarily invested passively, through syndications and funds.
This wasn’t totally unintentional. It just so happens that I’ve seen better deals coming through the passive pipeline versus finding them on my own.
However, I was able to secure another multifamily property this year. It will be closing before the new year (so hopefully by the time you read this).
The benefit of this acquisition doesn’t just lie in the value-add cash-flowing property. It should also provide amazing tax benefits to the tune of over $350,000 in tax savings for 2019 alone. That’s made possible by real estate professional tax status, bonus depreciation, and cost segregation.
It was the right purchase at the right time, and the immediate tax savings makes it an amazing investment for 2019.
#4 Hired Additional Help to Free up My Time
However, I did get some hires right, and I’m confident that they will ultimately save me time. As an entrepreneur, you can find yourself involved in every aspect of a business –from responding to emails to formatting blog posts to setting up social media.
As the business grows, it can take away time from the main joys of running it.
Case in point, the blog you’re reading right now. I enjoy creating useful content and connecting with people. That’s why I created this blog in the first place.
Eventually, I found that the other aspects of the blog were taking away what I loved about it. So, I hired help in the form of virtual assistants.
Sure, it’s a financial cost, but I consider it an investment because it allows me to focus on the things that matter to me the most. As a bonus, I know it’ll help me grow the blog even more.
Imagine that, as a physician, you were trying to answer all the phone calls at the front desk, do your scheduling, and see patients at the same time. None of us would ever do that. It’s a cost to have staff, but we all intuitively know that it’s necessary to run our practices.
The same goes for business. Often times, though, we’re hesitant because of the cost. I’ve learned that hiring the right people is crucial. It’s also completely worth the investment.
And there you have it: my best financial decisions of 2019.
Just as I learned from my mistakes this year, I’ve learned so many valuable lessons from my successes. The key is to learn and move on from the former, and double all the way down on the latter.
So here’s to a great future – both in the new year and the new decade to come.
What were some of your best financial decisions of 2019?
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