Monday, July 29, 2013

Unfreeze the Financial Power inside yourself

In the past few days a friend of mine (whom I would define as “definitely wealthy”), expressed some worries over his financial assets which underwent a major erosion lately.
Because of increasing financial losses together with the real estate crisis, his incomes are not the same they used to be. And his spent is growing bigger day by day.
In practice he’s in that peculiar stage where the spent is higher than the incomes. 
What really stunned me was considering the fact the man is smart, he’s not a rookie, he’s a man who knows what he does and he’s economically and financially literate. 
Why he’s so worried then?
First factor. The worry. 
As you may have read in my latest post, at the end of the day having a bad feeling might be helpful only for one thing: to realize that what you think does not match your desiderata.
The Law of Attraction tells us that what you think is what you get, even if it’s actually what you don’t want to happen. Because our mind does not distinguish between what we want and what we don’t want. 
Whatever we think on an emotional level, that thing will get closer to us. 
I know it might sound strange or even weird to most of you, but this is exactly what happens. 
In this particular case, the worry is like a red alarm lighting up in our cockpit. 
It tells us that something is not aligned with our will, but because we keep thinking about it, it’s going to get closer to us. This is the case in which you have to be awake, simply to realize that something’s wrong. 
That’s what can happen to a wealthy man with a brilliant mind, someone who is financially literate and skilled enough to forecast a loss in the long term. 
The second factor is our friend’s financial intelligence. Indeed he’s got all the skills to know if he’s getting richer or not. So his list of priorities (that helps him to filter the world’s events) is already well set upon the Retire Rich scale.
The sum of the first and the second factors together made me wonder: “Someone who knows how to make money with Rental Properties gets so worried…there should be something wrong here.”
That’s when I said to myself: “Luigi you absolutely have to know what’s wrong with this situation and let it know through the blog to all of your friends!”
As you just read, his worry is like an inner voice that says : ”hey, watch out! The spent is out of control and you have fewer incomes. Let’s get busy and do something to change this course…Meanwhile I am sending you a worrying message to let you know what’s going on”.
If you manage to understand this kind of signals you’ll be able to undergo a process of self-criticism and make the necessary changes to feel better. 
The financial distress is very hard. It creates many worries and some of its consequences might be dramatic. But there’s a positive side, what goes around comes around if you take the right path. 
The thing is, sometimes, even if you realize what’s the right thing to do, contingency is there to make things harder and you can screw up. 
In these cases, it might be helpful to have a friend like a business saviour. That would make it easier for you to find a way out. 
It’s not always said that you can break through but I have seen it working… for many.
One thing I want to say is I am not willing to tell here what’s the formula to become Rich or to become Richer, because mine is just life experience or better business experience. 
That said, after we scrutinized our friend’s worry, which is motivated by facts and strengthened by the experience, I said to myself: “Luigi try to go deeper into this thing and make yourself an idea on what’s really going on”.
That’s when I started analyzing his portfolio.
His are properties in non-exclusive areas, which are hardly rentable. It became obvious that in a time of crisis like the one we are living now, fewer people would like to buy your property and even fewer would be interested in renting yours. 
Properties in non-exclusive areas that are non-profitable. Plus you have to consider the expensive mortgages.
Eventually I analyzed his financial needs. A property rental that is certain and safe. 
The worry finds its roots in the fact that it would be aimed at high profits but his assets don’t allow him to do so while he’s leading an expensive lifestyle. 
This formula leads to impoverishment and you need to take drastic measures to stop it. 
1. Drastic cuts to your lifestyle .What you can spend for current expenses has to be reduced to the essential. Cut! 
2. Determine your Operating Cash Flow (OCF)- You have to calculate the incomes from every estate, decrease Condo fees, interest rate where applicable, amortization where applicable, a fixed amount for maintenance fees, property taxes and income taxes. If the result is negative, your property is a moneypit.
3. Do a nice mortgage analysis. At this point, I am revealing you the power of the financial lever and I make you an example. The lever is like electrical energy you can light up your bed room with it or you can give it to someone on the electrical chair or you can also get shocked with it.  
Mortgages are very similar to electrical energy. A mortgage is useful only and solely if it helps you to produce cash flows. My advice is to make it with actual cash flow and not future. So that if the mortgage rates have interests that are too high, or the amortization are too fast, you should negotiate new conditions. 
Simple to say, hard to do it. By yourself. Just in case I advise you to find a financial planner who can help you in finding the right financial product that better suits your needs. 
4. At this very moment, by using the elements of the preceding points you can determine your Cash Flow by following the information already in your possess. The cash flow will be the result of the sum of all incomes, the business outcomes and your living expenses. Through the Cash Flow you can make simulations to understand if the properties you have possess all the requirements to be profitable and/or if some of them or others could be more suitable for your specific case.  
5. After you know what you have to do, you can give the sales mandate to your real estate Agent. I always suggest to rely on trustable and expert Estate Agents because they know the market better than anyone. Although they have to be reliable, honest and work on your own interest. I am kind of lucky because I can rely on really skilled professionals.
I do work on these things very often on a weekly basis. It’s my training to enter the Retire Rich stage.
If you are reading this, you understand this can be very valuable, but then any situation is different and you can only rely on yourself and the expertise you were able to develop while working on the field as I do every single day. 
I warmly invite you to read my other posts on financial wealth that you can find in the blog index. 
You should also remember you can always contact us at I will personally take care of every email and I would provide you with valuable advice on every issue you may submit to my attention. 
I would like to thank my worried friend for telling me about his situation and for providing me a chance of reflecting about this situation. 
Obviously, I will never reveal his identity.

Luigi Foscale

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kelly Taylor of Beverly Hills 90210 is a positive icon for new generations

Who doesn’t remember of Kelly Taylor from the hit tv series Beverly Hills 90210?
Kelly today has two marriages ended in divorce and from her second she had three children.
Kelly’s career skyrocketed with Beverly Hills 90210 a prime time television drama that aired on the FOX network from 1990 until 2000 for a total of 10 seasons in which she appeared in 292 episodes.
Now we read in the news that she is got a “down to earth” attitude about spending money.
"I'm nothing like Kelly Taylor. In fact, Beverly Hills is not my scene at all. Yes, I live in L.A. but I don't live in a mansion with a cook and a butler." "Every day, I get up and make breakfast for my girls. I sit on the rug during story time at my daughter's school"Every minute is precious, and now more than ever, every dollar I bring home, or manage to save, means more safety and security for my family and our future””. 
Some malicious gossipmongers commented this recent statement with her recent divorce and by assuming that she’s in financial troubles.
From my point of view these comments are just meaningless as in my vision, at least from what she says, she’s got instead what I call some common sense. A mother who cares about her children and spend time with them is an excellent model for the young generations.

Back in the 90’s she was a model for teen-agers who are today’s family mothers. 

In fact In September 2008, Garth returned to the role of Kelly Taylor on the series premiere of the CW Network's spinoff series, 90210. In the new series, Garth's character Kelly Taylor is now a guidance counselor at West Beverly High, a role that perfectly fits with the 41 years old actress.

In real life, Garth and her children just moved out from their 8,416 square feet Toluca Lake home, who she bought together with Twilight actor Peter Facinelli, back in 2005 for the price of $2.85 million and which they have now put back in the market for $5,995,000 after having spent an undisclosed amount to renovate it.

After her latest divorce from Peter Facinelli, Jenie became a divorced single mom and together with her kids she just moved into a Los Olivos ranch with four dogs, two goats, five cats, two small horses and a pig.

In many occasions Garth stood up for animal rights and because of this she’s got all my respect as I am an animal activist too. Obviously today is more newsworthy the fact that a Hollywood actress stays home with her kids rather than the ordinary news of someone who got caught for drugs-related crimes or for a hit-and-run under DUI.

Today a mother who stays home and at the same time is a (successful) actress is big time news, as a matter of fact being this the case, I totally relate to my wife who besides being a great businesswoman, she took a wise decision to stay home with our kid and personally grow him . That’s why she sold the famous Teatro Nuovo, one of the most important theaters in Milano. Obviously the choice of being just a mom, is absolutely a respectful choice, because motherhood is the most important job ever.

Some media speculated on Jennie Garth’s comment about money in a negative way, “every dollar I bring home, or manage to save, means more safety and security for my family and our future”.

Instead this comment reminds me a lot Benjamin Franklin famous say: “a penny saved is a penny earned”.

I actually think that her attitude about saving and about financial security has led her to be a rich person under many aspects. Or at least I assume so.

Let’s start with the fact that Jennie Garth appeared in 292 episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 running from 1990 to 2000, that’s a ten years total. Let’s consider for a moment that under a financial point of view she can only rely on the fortune she made with this series. 

In order to net her incomes, let’s consider that the amount of her revenues for season remained the same along the years.

Let’s take some standard assumptions, because in this exercise we want to determine not the actress’ exact financial position but a more general approximate picture.

If we assume that with Beverly Hills 90210, back in the 90’s she made $30.000 for episode, Jennie made about 8.760.000 in 11 years, that means an income of about $800.000 a year. Let’s take these 800k as her whole income from the year 1990 to 2000.

At this point we could ask ourselves how much of that big amount of yearly incomes has been spent and how much is left out for investments and what kind of investment she made.

Here we present some possible scenarios:

The first picture is the one in which the person is lured by easy money and she spends all she gets. She doesn’t have a buck for investing and so she won’t have any potential income source. If Jennie had made this choice, now for her it would be very hard because she had to work to support her family, not considering her Alimony check.

I really wish she doesn’t fall in this picture.

The second scenario can be defined almost as “hilarious”.

Let’s speculate that for every working year of her life she only spent 20% of her total income and the remaining 80% she invested it in a series of 1 bedroom apartment in Upper East side Manhattan.

If this is the picture, her lifestyle would had been more sober during her working years, because instead of spending $800k per year she would had spent $160k circa. That’s always $13k per month, which during the 90’s was big money.

In this scenario, in 11 years of work she would had saved about $7 million, with which, back in the 90’s she could had bought 29 apartments for an average price of 240.000 bucks each. In this scenario, today she would had an estate of more than $14 million and an average value for each apartment of about $500k.

If this was the case, today she would had automatic incomes for more than $500.000 per year.

Not too bad…..

The third scenario is even more sparkling.

Let’s speculate she saved the 80% of her pay, like in the New York apartments case. If during the 90’s she had bought a 1 bedroom apartment in the best area of the Rumenian Capital, Bucharest, she would had bought at an average price of $30.000 per unit and now she would had more than 230 apartments.

Averagely, in 2013 those Bucharest apartments have an estimated value of $130.000, so her assets today would had been of over $30.000.000 and it would give her about $1.000.000 per year.

In practice if she had saved her money and invested in Bucharest, today she would had greater incomes than those she made working for the whole Beverly Hills series.

Obviously investing in East Europe it’s kind of difficult and you have to have the right connections there, I mean you have to work with people you trust and it’s thanks to this sort of “entrance filter” that today you can still make interesting profits in a city like Bucharest. 

At this point I really wish Jennie had invested in real estate.

I conclude by saying that if during the 90’s, she had the same saving attitude she has today, at present she could had stayed with her family and spend quality time with her kids without worrying for anything.

She just by had to keep her account book right checking her incomes and outcomes.

I wish instead she did not let herself get caught in the wave of buying properties and making too much building improvements like it seems she did with her Toluca Lake home, because the market would not recognize her today, indeed it seems that home is still stuck on sale with the same pricetag.

In this article we saw how much important is saving your money, but how even more important is investing in real estate.

If you are interested on how to become a Retire Rich personality you can read my other articles or you can write me to: . I will personally respond to your email as soon as possible.

Luigi Foscale
Why if Benjamin Franklin makes a statement everybody applauds, while whether a good looking female says the same thing the very same crowd puts her down? I would like to debunk the false myth that an attractive person cannot be also smart and intelligent on a several levels: financially because she knows how to manage her assets and emotionally because she stays home with her children. All my respect to the attractive women who are also clever and a big applause to my wife who gives me the inspiration for this article. In fact still at today the under-representation of women in influential position are still a problem, all over the world, and this is a very serious matter because if we keep women out of our game we give up a crucial human resource who can instead make an enormous difference in our own future.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sting, Music & Business

In our past posts we examined how many big names with great incomes, went from riches to rag and died in poverty.
How many times you read of this and that superstar’s jewelry being sold in a public auction? 
Or how many times you read on the papers about that NBA star ending in jail for whatever reason?
Unfortunately there’s a number of these examples. 
If you want to know it all, the list is going to grow… indeed I would really like to reveal who’s the next basketballer who’s going to get broke. I really do but I hold it back. 
Luckly, there are some music stars instead who are not just world famous singers, they also are great businessmen.
These are the people we should admire because they have been both successful in their art as well as in their business career, and in some cases they made their real money in this last one.

Today we talk about Sting.
According to the Sunday Times, Sting is one of the richest artist of England. Obviously everyone can imagine he made some serious money, however instead of wasting it in shenanigans like many of his colleagues, our man invested in many real estate properties. 
His Real Estate list goes from NYC, London, Malibu and a number of properties in the countryside. 
One of these properties is of particular importance because other than being really beautiful is also profitable (please allow me this personal judgement) and it supports his image of businessman.
You read it right. It’s profitable, it helps in supporting his image and staying there is a real pleasure.  
How could this be possible? 
Well that’s very simple.
Sting is a great businessman and he was able to exploit his real estate qualities and bring them out to their top.
Let’s start with his Tuscan property he and Trudie Styler own in Figline Valdarno about 45 minutes southeast of Firenze, a 300 hectares property (about 741 acres) in the world’s most exclusive countryside. The farm is called Il Palagio, (the ancient Tuscan word for Palace, a word used during the Renaissance age) which they bought from the Duke Simone Vincenzo Velluti Zati di San Clemente. Sting and Trudy they get it restored and even expanded the property with more acres (today is about 900) and they converted all the farming to Biodynamics.
At the Palagio, they produce and sell wine, Extra virgin Olive Oil and honey. Obviously their main production is wine. They hired top professionals for their business as their viticulturist is Alan York, while their Enologist is the world famous expert Paolo Caciorgna. 
The property lies in one of the best areas of the Chianti. The property includes: farms, vineyards, historical buildings and from all the above listed elements combined we can conclude his food products are of the highest quality level. Indeed we know their wine and their organic olive oil are exported both in England and in the US and are sold in places like Harrods in London or Dean and Deluca in the US. 
A second key element is the land. Tuscany’s land is absolutely unique, there’s no other place in the world like the Tuscan countryside and you can talk to whoever has been there he can tell you he immediately fell in love with it. Many of them bought a home there and for many is a permanent holyday destination. This made Tuscany a world’s famous tourist destination. 
Of course there are other elements that made Tuscany famous abroad, Just consider the fact that the British Royals love Tuscany and when they want to spend some time there, they go visit their Tuscan peers, as still at today many land owners in the Chianti Regions are noble families who own their properties as part of their family old heritage. 
However, if we talk about creating value, what’s really smart is to link excellent food products from a world famous land to a world famous music star who campaigned for environmental issues countless times. 
What a better way to support the environment than apply biodynamic farming into your own land? Besides we know Trudie donates a percentage of all profits to the environmental causes she and Sting support, like the Soil Association, which promotes organic food and farming in the U.K., and the Rainforest Foundation, which the couple founded in 1989.
I really admire Sting for the way he managed to create his Tuscan business and how he did manage to communicate it. 
Investing in Tuscany can be really an excellent investment other than a real pleasure. 
At this point I wish you know you can follow this profitable wave of investing in Tuscany and if you are interested in it, you can write directly to myself at 
I will be happy to help you out with whatever question you might have regarding investing in Tuscany.

Luigi Foscale

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Luigi Foscale on Eastern Europe

Why if in Italy a bank goes bankrupt nobody in the world would care about, while if maybe the island of Cyprus (whose value is equal to two Italian banks) the world seems to crumble?

This month I posed myself this question and I answered with what you can read below.

This article’s subject is aimed to show you how some of the weak economies could provide some inputs to reflect on.

We have examined a number of Eastern European economies and we compared them to the average West European data, and to the so called rich countries, among them: USA, UK, Germany, Finland, Denmark and Israel. 
Of these countries we have taken into consideration the number of inhabitants, the median age, the life perspectives, the unemployment rate, the total GDP, the GDP per capita, in the years 2010/11/12 and we also made a forecast. 
First of all we examined Poland. Among all the East European countries Poland is a relatively young country with 38,8 median age. It’s the 21st country in terms of GDP with $802 bn. The unemployment rate is of 20.7% that is particularly high. A positive element is the GDP per capita, that goes from 19,700 USD in 2010 to 20,500 in 2011 to 21,000 in 2012. 
The second country we picked up is Romania. A country with a large population with a youthful median age. Its GDP IS OF $274 bn, the 49th world’s economy. Even in this case the GDP per capita has grown from 12,400 to 12,800 since 2010 to 2012.  
The most meaningful data is the unemployment rate that is of 4,3% only, which is an excellent result if we consider the middle term perspectives.  
The third country we look into is Bulgaria that despite it has less inhabitants respect to Romania and Poland, it has grown its GDP per capita from 13,500 to 14,000 to 14,200 for the years 2010 /11 and 2012.
Greece has few inhabitants more than Bulgaria (10m vs 7m),however its data are negatives, because of the economic crises that crunches the country since a while. The unemployment rate is 24.4%. Almost a person over 4 is unemployed and he’s looking for a job. Besides, Greece has suffered an increasing continuous loss of its GDP per capita from 28,700 to 26,700 to 25,100.
Dramatic data. The drastic drop of the GDP per capita leads the country to have a contraction in their productivity, that is echoing in job cuts, first of all in the private sector. 
The private sector employees have a drop in their consumption, companies pay less taxes and the government has less budget also for public servants who are sent home. This way they create more unemployment and more crisis. The country appears to be in a self-feeding downward spiral with no chance of going upwards.
The GDP per capita increases in Poland, Bielorus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Ucraine (+10% GDP per capita in 3 years!) Russia (+10% GDP per capita in 3 years!) and Azerbaijan. 
We’ll now analyze the numbers in terms of absolute value. Greece has a GDP o f 280, Poland 802, Romania 274, Israel 247, Finland 198, Denmark 208. 
If you look at the Rumenian GDP, you’ll notice that the Rumenian economy isn’t that small. This is due to three factors. A fiscal policy that sees an average taxation of 16% that allows the black market to surface in a natural way and not in a coercive way like it happens in the so called “rich economies”. 
Romania is an example of how you can take advantage from globalization, because since the end of the Communist era, back in the 90s, the local governments, have created the basis to attract foreign investors who brought there their production plants and chains. 
This led to a substantial growth of the GDP and a growth of industrial activities. In practice even governments are in competition among them to attract the good customers (foreign companies and investors).
Another data that is meaningful is unemployment. Let’s see the countries that we all consider as rich. The unemployment rate in Liechtenstein is of 2,8%, in Switzerland is 3%, Japan 4,4%, Austria 5,2%, Denmark 6,4%, Germany 6,5%, Finland 7,8%, USA 8,2%.
You think all these countries are rich?
Under a certain point of view you could affirm that in rich countries there’s a high employment rate. This is supported by an economy that produces products demand. In practice in rich countries demand supports jobs. 
So it’s better to invest in those countries which have a high employment rate?
Sure, because countries with high employment rate have average salaries that keep growing. Average salaries are connected to the residential real estate values. If we compare the average salaries with the real estate prices, you will notice that values are balanced. The average salary is a crucial indicator through which I decide where I am going to invest in real estate.
Now if I am telling you that Azerbaijan has an unemployment rate of 1%, Croatia of 3,4%, Russia 6%, Bulgaria 9,9, Romania 4,3%, you think these are business opportunities too?
While you are reading these words, if you already asked yourself if this giant world crisis was manipulated by someone, now you know it’s better to learn as much as possible, studying the economic data in order to have a clear idea of the situation. An idea that has to be yours only and not dictated by someone else.
If you don’t understand the numbers and you think they are difficult to grab, don’t worry, I want you to know that they are made difficult on purpose, because this way those in the government can better control their own interests. 
In the end it’s really Cyprus so scary with its 10 bn bailout, that is a bit more of what has been given to save an Italian bank or two years of property tax in Italy? 
Dear Reader open your eyes!
Luigi Foscale

Monday, February 25, 2013

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did it too…

According to the L.A. Times the Jolie-Pitt have bought a huge farm in Italy. The couple joined a long list of celebs who found in Italy that special place where to secure their own investments.

The Jolie-Pitt family have bought Villa Costanza, a 4.4 acres property in the Valpolicella, the renown wine-production area in the Veneto Region.

Villa Costanza - Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

At present the Villa is named after the founder (Costanza Caldera from Bergamo) of the Religious institution that owns the property since 1953, The Pious Mothers of Negrizia.
The Saibante family were the property owners since the end of 1500 until the beginning of the last century, when they left the property for the family's extinction. Eventually the Monga family succeeded. Today's visible structures are datable to the early decades of the 1600. The Palace is an upside-down U shape with two façades. The main one has an outstanding body and two aisles which are perpendicular to it; the one facing north looks at a fountain with a marble group. On the ground floor we find a porch that goes along the three sides of the building. The west wing, that already embodied some cottages,it was eventually uplifted, while in the late 700 it was probably used as stable. The noble floor windows are rectangular-shaped, while the center of the facade sticks out with three giant windows decorated by a nun from the institute. The courtyard is closed by a little wall in which are set 6 mythological statues preceded by two tuff-made lions. On the inside there's a well which origins goes back to 1623. Inside the buildings there are two large halls, one with a Cotto pavement and another with a Soffitto a Cassettoni (Lacunar ceiling). The other in its central body and stuck off on the courtyard has a stucco decorated ceiling and walls frescoed with landscapes. Today is used as Chapel. In the first hall, that is decorated with frescoes by Verona born painter Paolo Ligozzi (1629), high pedestals prop up two telamons (colossal marble male figures used as columns,) holding up two Ionic Capitals upon which the roof beams are based.
Paintings of army leaders and of continents are plugged into fake niches and in the overdoors. From the ancient garden there's not much left out: the fountain and an artificial grotto. The park was devastated by the Germans during World War II. There are still a few architectural pieces from the collection of Andrea Monga.
The area is a world famous enotourism spot, whose grow is of stellar proportions thanks to its Amarone and the Spumante. Let’s not forget Valpolicella is just a hour drive from Venice, what could be a better connection between the dolce vita and a great real estate investment?

A growing number of celebrities and big investors are choosing Italy and first of all Tuscany to invest their assets but other regions are entering the target list and Veneto is obviously one of them and not just because of Venice. 

Retire Rich by Luigi Foscale

Let’s not forget Veneto is the home of the Palladian Villas, a series of XVI century properties designed by Architect Andrea Palladio for the wealthy Venetian Merchants of the Renaissance period. As many of you certainly know, the Villa Rotonda (or Villa Capra) by Andrea Palladio was taken by Irish Architect James Hoban as model for the project of the White House in Washington D.C.

Indeed all the Palladian Villas are protected by UNESCO as part of a World Heritage Site.

Although here is not just a matter of cultural heritage. As a matter of fact the very first reason for buying here is beauty, the beautiful landscape, the beautiful architecture, the monuments, the Palladian Villas, then there’s the wine, and the delicious food…

All these elements are tourism attractions and tourism brings money. That’s why buying a property in Veneto is a very valuable investment, because it’s a tourist attraction, and any property lying in any tourist spot has an additional value to its square meters.

A property in an Art city can be considered like an AAA bond thanks to the economy linked to it and the many people who come see it and who work with its visitors. A Coffee shop in front of the Arena di Verona will always be in business, like any other travel and lodging business in any classical tourist site. Is this brick culture or culture of brick?

In this case it’s both. The connection between culture and brick as investment is very profitable. If we follow the cultural economy equation we’ll find out:

Unique Culture = Interest = Tens of millions of Tourists = retail businesses that work = properties linked to Culture that are crowded = properties that return value.

Obviously you don’t have to be a millionaire to be part of this high return business.

Luckily also those who only have €100G can be part of this investment plan and regarding the growth, the sky’s the limit.

Besides investing in Italy which is the nation with the 90% of the world art heritage and the highest number of UNESCO protected sites, it also means having the chance of enjoying yourself the value of culture by enriching your knowledge (that never hurts) and more important by investing in highly valuable cultural sites you give the local economy a contribution to preserve the world’s heritage.

In the end, if you think like the Jolie-Pitt family, that Culture is a great investment form, and that buying a triple A real estate bond can be a profitable choice, you re on the right page.

I personally invest in Culture-related properties and I find myself very comfortable with it.

Investing in Culture is the best investment you can do because it helps growing your pocket, your knowledge and your spirit too!!!

Luigi Foscale

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Real Retire Rich Story

This week I would like to submit you a very interesting case study that it was also showed on Discovery Channel’s “Europe’s richest people”. 
Indeed I think it’s extremely important to study rich people, how they did make their fortune and how did they manage to keep their wealth along the years.
I won’t reveal this person’s name for now but I can anticipate he’s a famous pop singer who went through some real hard times before he made it and who during his long career he collected something like 87 among gold and platinum discs. 
What’s interesting however is the fact that instead of squandering all of his money in a short time or living a losing life which would had ended in misery, like many people in the sport or in the show business, (among them even some American basketballer who at the latest London Olympics instead of focusing on his own job, tried to pick up another discipline’s gold medallist girl who was instead very smart and flatlined him).
During his whole career our singer saved up a fortune of about $110 million and he has been living with his wife for more than 40 years. Together they have four children, nine grandchildren and a beautiful dog.
I think it’s a great example of a Retire Rich story. 
How did he do it? 
Let’s study together the money psychology of this Retire Rich leader.
First of all he knew the show business was an erratic world and our singer was enough smart he knew money had to be invested in real estate.
With this simple-as-abc statement our singer managed to build a fortune along the years. 
It’s amazing to see how such a very simple statement may change a man’s destiny. He was convinced that in an erratic environment you needed financial stability. 
And he was right.
While you are reading these words, you understand you can adopt these beliefs too, you understand your financial destiny depends on what your beliefs are. Rich beliefs attract wealth.
In addition, our singer pronounced some words that could be considered as a real manifesto: “Always invest in the brick ‘cause it’s steady….it’s one of the best investments ever”. “Bricks can’t be spent, they’re there…. I am not a great businessman, my job is singing.”
“Always invest in the brick.“
”’s one of the best investments...”
“...Bricks can’t be spent...”
While reading these words, you understand that the right intuition about money can also lead you to wealth.
Attention and care over his fortune in the early years allowed this singer to keep his wealth. 
“How to handle money is very important in today’s world”.
“You have to be careful.”
“You could have made millions, and find yourself with your bank account empty.”
“Always look after your money.”
This is an entrepreneurial lesson. You have to learn how to manage your money.
Would you know what he invested on?
Our singer bought homes and hotels in different places: Las Vegas, Hawaii and Mexico. One of his best buy was the Pink Palace in Los Angeles, that he bought in the 70’s from a Hollywood diva for a knockdown price and which he sold in 2002 for $4 million. 
Don’t forget properties are the best investment as stated by a millionaire who has been accumulating properties for 40 years.
Our singer’s name is Engelbert Humperdinck.
He knows what life worth...
I really admire him and I wish to be an example like him one day. 
Luigi Foscale

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Wealth & Health Manifesto

I know many people whose only goal in life is to accumulate wealth. According to the common logic, a successful person is someone who owns a large luxury house, a sporting car, a basketball team…the list could go on and on.... and there are also many specialized magazines that keep their readers up-to-date about the latest must-have gadget.
However my personal experience taught me that despite many of these material things could satisfy our sensorial pleasure, I am deeply convinced that real success isn’t just about material things.
According to German Psychologist Erich Fromm there are two modes of existence struggle for the spirit of humankind: the having mode, which concentrates on material possessions, power, and aggression, and is the basis of the universal evils of greed, envy, and violence; and the being mode, which is based on love, the pleasure of sharing and in productive activity.

I don’t wan’t to debate here Fromm’s thesis but I think that after considering these two approaches it makes more sense “being” a person of success.
At this regard I would like to make a real example: there’s this man that we’ll call him “The Banker”. This is a real person but as this blog aims at being an inspirational source even from unsuccessful stories, we won’t report his name here and we’ll leave it anonymous.
The Banker graduated cum laude, he worked top jobs in a major financial consulting firm and eventually became the CEO of one of the major Financial Groups of the planet.
As a banker he made very audacious choices, and the market followed its gut. The media supported him and praised him for his great organizational skills. Afterwards he resigned from office and his stock option package was equal to an eight digit check.
From the professional point of view he did a great job. In addition, if you had to make a ranking about the most successful people on an European scale, our Banker would be mentioned among the first five.
However if I would tell you his son is a drug addicted and spend 6 months a year in rehab centers while his wife has an affair with her personal trainer, would you still judge him as a successful man?
What do you think he would feel when he’s about to go to bed at night... is he proud about what he created?

Will he be a happy man who’s accomplished about his own life?

I had the chance to meet him and I can say that nonetheless he’s an extremely powerful person, I think he’s hiding a deep sense of depression and frustration.


Because success, real success, it’s ALSO economic success but it’s not just that.

Can you define yourself a successful person if your affective life is a total disaster?


Until the Western Civilization’s ethics would be exclusively founded upon material wealth, our civilization it can't be defined as really evolved.

Real success, in my opinion and on my life experience, it’s based on 5 areas that have to be in perfect balance:

1. Health
2. Love
3. Wealth
4. Social health
5. Entertainment

Let’s see them one by one:

First Wealth Area. Health

Ancient Romans used to say: “Mens sana in corpore sano”. [1]

I don’t think there’s a better expression than this.

In my opinion “Mens sana” means to be serene and mentally stable. Having no problems that take your sleep away.  Being what endocrinologist Hans Selye define as Eustress. Not too much loaded not too much down. A just mid-measure that allows you to be centered on your own being.

There are some techniques, I have been using for years and of which I can guarantee their effectiveness.

Every day, do 15 minutes of Meditation. You lie down in a quiet spot and you focus on your own breath. If your thought shifts to something else from your breath, you have to focus back on your breath. During the exercise you feel really light and quiet, often it might happen you enter the REM phase.

Another technique is to try visualizing yourself and your objectives as they were already accomplished. Our mind indeed doesn’t make a difference between a visualization that has been lived in first person and what happens in reality.

Another advice is to dedicate some of your daily time to an activity you like. For example you can listen to your favourite music, you can pat your pet or practice your favourite sport. This would help you to unplug your mind from the daily routine.

The "corpore sano", means to be perfectly fit. Practicing sport and following a healthy diet.

This means keeping yourself away from possible illness. Keep yourself in good shape and in good health is an activity that guarantees you the reach of other spheres of wealth, so it can take you one step closer to the real success.

Unfortunately it can happen you get sick, even in a serious way. As everyone of us, I happened to live very unfortunate moments. When I was a teen-ager my father had cancer and at the beginning, it was a real blow both for me and for my family.

However despite living a great state of distress, I did not let my downside get me down to the despair and since day one I tried to react to this thing by facing it with my interior strength, to which I relied on instinctively. Since the beginning I tried to transfer my inner energy to the other members of my family, first of all to my father who was the one who was physically suffering. The strength I tried to give him was to help him fight his disease.

I always faced difficult moments like this as a real personal challenge and I tried to not let myself be in despair. Nonetheless I was living a great state of suffering bur I never gave up, because deep in my heart I knew, I was sure I would had break through it because I wanted it with my whole being to be back living the life I had before. This way, even if going through an enormous suffering I made myself the way to overcome these difficult moments.

This experience provided me with the self-confidence that was necessary to face and to overcome any test that I would had undergone later in my life.

During my teen years my life was completely dedicated to sport. I played Rugby, Ice Hockey and Sailing.

I used to play in the Milan Rugby team and I joined the team in South Africa in 1995. There was the national World Cup.

Our first match in the calendar was with the Harlequins, a world famous team of the Premiership. Obviously it was a team that was way stronger than us under many points of view.  However since the first time I knew we had to meet them, I told myself: "don't be discouraged, do your best and you ll be ok with yourself and your consciousness".

The match was going really bad for us when I found myself in the typical "life dilemma" kind of situation. I had two chances, completely different from one another.

Option 1 I could have got rid of the ball and save myself from the tackle but it would have meant to give up the chance of scoring the try.

Option 2 I could have tried to keep the ball and running at full throttle targeting the try straight ahead. I had to consider though that by pointing the try I had to break through the defence line with a concrete chance to suffer a fracture somehow. Although it was a lifetime chance.

A real dilemma indeed.

Without hesitating I tried to break the defence line and after a number of physical adversities and a couple of headlong falls I scored the try but my shoulder cartilage was totally gone.

Our team had ended the changes because of the player accidents and I kept on playing despite the pain. We obviously lost the game but we gained the respect of the world champion team.

Today after a series of complex surgical operations I am still disabled and I had to give up both Rugby and Sailing, although as a consolation I have a story to tell, a story whose absolute protagonist is the strength to which we can turn to in those moments of difficult when we don't know where to grasp and the only thing we can rely on it's ourselves and our inner strength.

Second Wealth Area: Affection

Living without affection leads to loneliness, a grey area and a slow sense of emptiness.

Whoever you love, my suggestion is to harvest affection. In order to harvest affection you have to spend some of your active time with your loved ones.

For some people affection comes from their parents, for others it's their children, in many families even brothers and cousins are a source of affection so as pets they can be both source and the recipients of our affection.

My advice is to harvest your affection for what it's possible to yourself, because in the long term affection is the only element of strength in the life of everyone of us.

Third Wealth area: The economic wealth

For many people it's the main objective.
As I said before, material accomplishment is very important because money can allow you to do certain things they would be difficult or impossible otherwise.

Money is energy. If you possess it in great quantity it allows you to have a life with more chances.

Those who say money isn't important he lies and he knows he lies because our society and its mechanisms they are all based upon money since thousands of years ago.

Great amounts of money can assure yourself the best healthcare assistance, edgy cares and dedicated physicians. A number of American schools are private (even if they have scholarship programs for talented students, which I totally agree with).

However the real economic wealth isn't connected to possessing a certain status symbol.

I think instead that economic wealth is also a personal status of totally subjective nature.

"You are in the economic wealth range when you have automatic incomes which are higher than current spending". This is the wealth level I defined as Retire Rich.

To be at this level of wealth you have first of all to "feel rich".

It's absolutely crucial to convince yourself you live in a world of abundance and wealth. Even in a difficult moment as this, it's absolutely fundamental to see and feel yourself as rich. And if while you are reading these words you are thinking of your debts, you have to be aware that according to the law of attraction you are attracting even more debts.

According to the law of attraction you ll get what you think of today.

So it's absolutely crucial to see yourself as a rich man.

Although this isn't all. You also have to put in practice the tricks I explained in my latest post: The Survival Handbook. Do your Cashflow, set your goals and track them.

So you have to get busy in a constructive way in order to achieve your economic wealth and you will see you ll have the success you deserve.

Fourth Area. Social Wealth

In life you always have to seed.

The more you seed the more you pick up then.

If in your life you have been lucky, it's necessary to share what you have with those who don't have it yet.

At this point you could ask me. Are you asking me to do a sort of charity?

Absolutely yes.

I do charity and many people like me do it as well. Everyone of us has its own area. Everyone of us has his own skills. But it's very important to share what we have.

If you are too poor to share something economically, you just need to lend your work for a social cause. For example you can help out kids in an orphanage or go visiting elderly people who live in a perennial state of solitude.

Luckly we live in a world in which there are a lot of charities. You really can do a lot with very little. Believe me.

I personally help both little children who urgently needs surgical operations and abandoned dogs to find a home out from the Italian-shelter-lagers.

I have adopted three marvellous little dogs that were going to die. One is called Blacky. She's an interbred between and American Staffordshire and a Pintscher; it's a very sensitive pet. When she looks at me while I am eating I am able to read her eyes full of terror because of her past life starving fear, that she felt when she was in that shelter. I really feel shivers when I think of what she could have felt in her past.

Pilly is a foxy half breed which when I have adopted her she suffered pneumonia and was under-fed. After many intensive cares, she is now ok and she got strength and force. She always play with my 2 year old son and when she's with him she checks everything is cool. It almost seems she's working: when my son wakes up in the night or he's not well she comes to my bed to wake me up.

Princy is the latest she's been 7 years in a little cage that did not allow her to grow up. She's got her back legs broken and calcified so she cannot walk. She came at our home sick of every possible disease. She risked blindness and she was bleeding. After two months of antibiotics and highly specialized cares, now she's ready for a surgical operation in which they will put in place a prosthesis on her knees. The professor who is following her case he's the world number one, he said it's his second case so tragic but he's positive he's going to make her walk again.

Who knows how would she feel after seven years she didn't walk!

When I look in their eyes I read gratitude and sometimes I also see their sad memories, that are linked to the terrible past they lived. Although they know that now they are loved and protected.

I am an animalist and I am proud of it.

I know that when I come back home they re waiting for me.

It's not true that dogs don't talk. They talk with their eyes.

Fifth area. Entertainment and Culture

Time is a subjective variable of which anyone has a different perception.

In order to feel well, it's important to cut out so much time to feel satisfied from it.

Did you ever think how time flies away when you re doing something you like and how it does never flow when you re in line in the surgeon's waiting room?

If you like it time is the most important resource in your life.

You have to know how to manage it otherwise it would handle you.

Don't be afraid about cutting out some space for yourself. These bits of time are crucial because they allow you to feel better. Obviously abusing your free time can lead to perdition or to moral dissolution.

It doesn't matter how much time but the quality of the time you dedicate to yourself.

Free time is fundamental for any person who wants to define himself as a successful person.

Some economists say that wealth can be measured in months... in the number of months you are able to survive without working while keeping up with the same life tenure you are used to.

Obviously there are also other methods to calculate wealth level.

Time is fundamental and having free time isn't a luxury it's a necessity.

In one word: have fun.

As you had the chance to read we have been talking about health, affection, money, sociality and free time.

You don't think I did not suffer by leaving the sports I loved?

Very much.

However, in the past few years I have been thinking a lot about my life experiences, and I have tried to make a lesson, a moral lesson out of it, for myself and my children, something I could have transferred to my future generations. What I came up with was the idea that the real wealth and the real success in the end it's to have developed a formula that allows yourself to face any future challenge that the life presents you ahead.
I personally developed my formula upon my life experience and my formula is based upon inner strenght and the affection of my loved ones.

Once you got these two things you are ready for any challenge that can be ahead of yourself.

Have a nice journey
Luigi Foscale

[1] a healthy mind in a healthy body.