martes, 27 de enero de 2015

30 Amazing things I learned about money reading Business Insider during 1 year:

After my first year reading Business Insider, i have found interesting posts about how manage your money, get good results and why not, make millions, I have resumed some advices:


1. Save more and invest the difference: Saving is not exactly sexy, but it's a highly effective strategy for growing your net worth. If you find a way to put more money aside and invest it smartly for compound growth, Robbins says you'll dramatically speed up your financial goals.

2. Earn more and invest the difference: One of the fastest ways to have more money is to make more. Robbins says the key to increasing your income is to become more valuable.

3. Get better returns: While many people think the secret to getting big returns is taking big risks, Robbins says highly successful investors look for asymmetric risk-reward, meaning big upside potential with little downside.

4. Change your lifestyle: There are smaller lifestyle changes that could help you hold onto your cash, too. Consider downsizing your house or car, cooking more at home, or getting creative with your budget.

5. Do not think 'Money magically appears.'

6. Do not think 'Credit card debt is normal and acceptable.'

7. Do not think 'Spending will make me feel better.'

8. Do not think 'There will never be enough money.'

9. Do not think 'I need to spend all my money, or it will be taken away.'


10. The only way to make real wealth is to get rid of your salary. In a salary, by definition, you are creating wealth for others and you are creating a chain and handcuffs for yourself.


11. The longer you wait to start saving for retirement, the more you miss out on the benefits of the incredible power of compound interest.



12. If you have a 401(k) at work, you’re probably better off investing there than in your own account.
You might get an employer match, and once you set up payroll deduction, you’ll keep saving automatically without thinking about it.



13. Start by saving 15% of your salary at age 25 into a 401(k) plan, an IRA, or a taxable account (or all three). Put equal amounts of that 15% into just three different mutual funds:
A U.S. total stock market index fund, ii) an international total stock market index fund and iii) a U.S. total bond market index fund
Over time, the three funds will grow at different rates, so once per year you'll adjust their amounts so that they're again equal.


14. Talk about money with your partner: If you have a spouse or partner, then getting on track together and working out any disputes can prevent conflicts later. “People often comingle finances with their partner, and open communication is key. Make sure you talk about your finances and life goals with your partner, and align on how you will get there together,” de Baca urges.


15. Stop doing what you’re doing. We all know the saying "insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a difference result." If you aren’t satisfied, the first thing you must do is stop doing what you’ve been doing because what you are doing is what is creating your dissatisfying, current reality.
What’s great about life is the opportunity to completely change your story and direction overnight. Regardless of your past decisions, you’re always one decision away from making the right one.

16. Don’t let money define you. Your self worth has nothing to do with your finances. Being wealthy is a state of mind, but so is being broke. You are what defines you, not what you possess.

17. Start prioritizing your profits: Constantly ask yourself if what you’re doing is profitable. Focus on doing what you should versus what you feel. Never forget that impact drives income.

18. Start placing a higher value on your time. Time is more valuable than money. You can always get more money, but you can never get more time. It is possible to become twice as valuable, and make twice as much money in the same amount of time.

19. It’s Ok to say no: If you’re over-extending yourself and committing to too many things, this word will change your life. Say "no'' to everything that doesn't create income for you until you get your income to a place you feel confident and secure. Make a commitment to yourself that you will focus on income-producing activities versus tension-relieving activities.

20. Proximity is power. Most broke people hang with other broke people and they usually stay broke, together. Elevate your peer group by reaching out to those playing the game of life at a higher level than you.

21. Lower your excuses. As the excuses go up, the bank account goes down. The best excuse makers or "validators" have the smallest bank accounts. The energy and time you spend on creative excuses is better invested in thinking of actual solutions that move your life forward. Excuses are a disease and those who continue making them will continue to have money issues.

22. Shift your focus from victim to leader. Stop blaming the economy, stop blaming your past, stop blaming your boss or company, and stop thinking the world is out to get you. Charge more, switch jobs, become more valuable.


23. Learn to manage your credit cards.
Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur, investor:

"That credit cards are the worst investment that you can make. That the money I save on interest by not having debt is better than any return I could possibly get by investing that money in the stock market. I thought I would be a stock market genius. Until I wasn't.
"I should have paid off my cards every 30 days."

24. Skills are worth more than a job.
Tim Ferriss, angel investor, best-selling author of "The 4-Hour Workweek":
"optimize for learning, not earning. Work directly under or with master dealmakers, and acquire skills. This is particularly true for negotiating and hard skills like coding.

25. You need a plan for your money.

Alexa von Tobel, founder/CEO of LearnVest.com, author of "Financially Fearless":
"Not having a financial plan is a plan — just a really bad one! Given what I see as a general lack of personal-finance education, it can be all too easy to wing it with your money.

26. Learn to manage the money you have now, no matter how little.
Debbi Fields, founder, Mrs. Fields:

"Looking back now, I know that I would have greatly benefited had I initiated an investment strategy as a young adult. I was so busy trying to save every dollar and living paycheck to paycheck that the idea of wealth creation was never really a consideration.



27. Have a sense of urgency: Young millionaires become successful so early in life because they constantly work toward success instead of waiting for opportunities to come to them.

28. Find a strong mentor: Millionaires don't reach that status alone, and even self-made millionaires find smart, wise mentors to guide them as they build their careers.

29. Focus on leverage: Time is money, and while the traditional method of trading your time for a proportional payment will earn you a decent salary, it won't make you a millionaire.


30. Don't care what other people think. Young millionaires don't waste time trying to please people who don't believe in them or win over those that don't support them. Instead, they focus on their own vision and learn to believe in themselves. 

martes, 13 de enero de 2015

A year of books: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

I read about "A year of books" the current 2015 challenge of Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook). To resume this challenge is about reading 2 books per month. (So 24 books during the year) If you want to follow the Zuckerberg challenge and his current reading, check this link: https://www.facebook.com/ayearofbooks?ref=ts&fref=ts.

In my case, i decided to read a book per month and i'm starting with: "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey.

I would like to talk with you about my first pages of the book.

Covey says if you want to reach your highest goals and win your challenges, you have to identify and apply the natural laws that govern the results that you want. We have to fight against common challenges of humanity.

- Fear and insecurity: fear of the future or losing your current job.
The common answer for most people is: "I will do my best effort in my work, so outside of job i will dedicate myself to really i enjoy".

- What i want right now: i want my money now, a big house, a sharp car, to travel, etc.
Our culture and Wall street wanto to results right now. But the issue really is: do i spend the neccesary effort in order to support and increase my current standard of life during the next 1, 5, 10 years?

- Guilt and victimism: society is addicted to taking the role of the victim. "If my boss wasn't the idiot that wants to control everything", "If i wasn't born o poor", "If i were living in a better place.
Show me someone that has enough humbleness in order to take the responsability of his situation and make the choices to transform them, and you would know about the power of choice.

- Fault of existential balance: the problem isn't working -the machine of the life- or complexity or change. The problem is our modern culture tell us: "arrive early, stay late, be efficient, live in the present".

If you want to follow my current reading you are welcome or if you only have curiosity about this weird guy is doing but find it something interesting. Write your opinions they are welcome.


(Pd: Thanks to my friend Andy Pray for some corrections.)

domingo, 23 de febrero de 2014

Si gracias, ahora el/la que falta sos vos!

Hay que confesar -modestia aparte- que soy de los que es indiferente a los “Boom” de cuadres que a veces suelen darse en la atmósfera que rodea desde el trabajo, la U, la igle, el circulo de parceros, entre otros.

Pero no siempre fue así, generalmente miraba como se establecían parejas.  Algunas de la nada, otras después de un arduo proceso y me preguntaba: ¿Bueno y vos qué viejo Alvaro? O no faltaba el amig@ recién cuadrad@ que después de decirle un: “Ve, te felicito! me alegra que estés así de content@ con esa persona” -con una muy honesta sonrisa y una palmadita en la espalda- procediera con una pregunta, que más que una pregunta es quizás una bofetada en todo el mascadero y que te puede llevar de compartir la felicidad del/la recién cuadrad@ a ser el frustrado del parche con una tarea por resolver y esa frase es: “Si gracias, ahora el que falta sos vos!”.

Después de darme cuenta que los tiempos de cada persona son diferentes, también su visión, su entorno, las oportunidades que se le presentan, etc. y sobre todo después de haberme martirizado un par de veces con “la tarea por resolver”, esa que te hace sentir que sos una media naranja -con ojos, pies y boca caminando por la vida- y que necesitas a la otra para ser feliz. Esa misma, que a pesar de ser lo mas bendecido que queras, a muchos les puede robar la paz.

A esos muchos, les digo: No dejen que la presión los haga tomar malas decisiones o acelerar la toma de una decisión que es muy importante para la vida de una persona.  No es por dañarles el momento a muchos de los que ya estén con una pareja, pero así mismo como he visto “booms de cuadres” también he visto todo lo contrario, “booms de hasta la vista baby” y es que si, seamos sinceros, much@s por quitarse la presión, otr@s porque tienen vacíos o faltantes de amor, afecto y atención, otr@s porque aún no le encuentran un espacio “digno” a su tiempo libre y finalmente los/las sinvergüenzas que les gusta jugar con los sentimientos de otr@s, deciden lanzarse al ruedo de una manera impulsiva.


Y es que hay quienes creen que tener muchas "referencias personales" en su hoja de vida sentimental les abre puertas para encontrar a la persona correcta. El problema es que la relación que Dios tiene para vos no funciona como el mundo laboral y la única referencia que realmente importa es la del mismo creador. Ya lo diría el proverbio que dice: "Cuida tu corazón porque este determina el rumbo de tu vida" (Prov 4:23 NTV)

lunes, 23 de diciembre de 2013

Startup News: Meeting con Alex Torrenegra y la importancia de la programación.

Mientras salía del país rumbo a identificar oportunidades de negocio en USA y de paso participar en la maratón de emprendimiento -Hackathon- "Startup Weekend Orlando", me encontré en el Aeropuerto con Alex Torrenegra, Bogotano, CEO y fundador de VoiceBunny, empresa tecnológica radicada en el Silicon Valley y cofundador de empresas como HUb-BOG (Pd: Que meses atrás había estado compartiendo con el Presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama sobre emprendimiento e inmigración.) Para conocer más sobre Alex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th7LzxDTA3Q

Intercambiamos nuestras tarjetas de presentación. Mi proposito al ir a USA fué para identificar oportunidades de negocio. Pero, mientras hablaba con Alex se me vino a la cabeza que sería muy enriquecedor ganar experiencia en una de sus compañias. Fue ahi donde le consulte sobre si habían oportunidades laborales en su empresa para personas del área de los negocios. 
Terminando la conversación, Alex me pregunto: ¿Sabes code?

R// ....

Mi respuesta fue un no.

Al principio, me desanime por haber perdido la oportunidad, luego me pregunte:  ¿Que puedo aprender de esta experiencia? fué ahi donde me puse a pensar sobre la importancia que tiene para un país como Colombia el que sus jovenés a temprana edad adquieran conocimientos de programación y tecnología. Para que posteriormente según sus preferencias puedan aplicar sus conocimientos en los campos en los que decidan desempeñarse y porque no crear empresas de base tecnológica como la de Alex.

 Como no tomar enserio este comentario en un mundo en el que las "startups" están generando con pequeñas cantidades de capital (pd: aunque si con grandes cantidades de creatividad, riesgo y conocimiento) grandes cantidades de valor en los países desarrollados y en economías emergentes. (Pd: Para ver mas sobre la importancia de incluir la programación -code- en los currículos de las escuelas vean este vídeo en el cuál grandes celebridades se unen a la campaña de educación en este tema: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKIu9yen5nc).

No sería quien para hablarles sobre la importancia del "code" o programación tan sólo contándoles esta historia, por eso actualmente estoy estudiando "code" virtualmente (Pd: recomiendo visitar Code Academy y la Code School) y me he dado cuenta de las inmensas oportunidades que pueden alcanzarse en este campo.

Si es joven le recomiendo cacharrear en la web y explorar sobre estos temas, si es padre lo invito a que inscriba a sus hijos en cursos sobre este tema y de paso porque no, que usted también asuma el reto.

lunes, 11 de noviembre de 2013

Colombia: the Andean miracle, the next start up nation?

10 years ago, people refered to Colombia as a country of: drugs, war, corruption and other negative aspects.

A few days ago I was speaking with Saul Singer, author of “Start-up nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle” in a conference was made by Innpulsa (Government institution supports the entrepenuership and the politics in Science, technology and innovation in Colombia) and Embassy of Israel in Colombia. We were discussing about the progress of Colombia and Israel (his country) and how similar they are in that they both have been in war since their independence but like Israel, Colombia has the opportunity to become a start-up nation (PS: watch more about the opinion of Singer here, Spanish version: http://ow.ly/qIDWb)

Since 2008, the nation is experiencing a new age of increased security, progress in the peace process, foreign investment growth, stable inflation (competitive advantage over other countries in LatAm), now is strengthening its trade ties with other countries through Free Trade Agreements (TLC’s), has entered international institutions such as the Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Peru, Chile & Costa Rica), integration of financial markets (MILA,) removing barriers to business creation, and supporting the creation of the ecosystem of the entrepreneurship .


Moreover, the youth is taking lidership in the following, and more, aspects:  entrepeneurship, social, political and economic.  This weekend i shared time with some entrepenurs in a Hackathon, "Start up Essentials by Pay-pal" organized by Atom House, PulsoSocial and Toro labs, some of the most succesful start ups of the nation.

I was speaking with Andres Barreto, founder of Grooveshark & CEO of PulsoSocial. According to the press is the Latin version of "Mark Zuckerberg". (Read more about Barreto here: http://ow.ly/qFu0O). He told me about Colombia is taking the opportunity of undertaking technological base to reduce the gap with developed countries.

"Technology gives fewer jobs but gives more quality jobs, you need lots of investment in the beginning and give more value added." he spoke.

According to Iqbal Quadir Today, 75 percent of people globally have access to a mobile phone. Of the six billion subscriptions worldwide, 77 percent are held by people in developing countries. And despite the great disparities among high and low-income regions globally, there is a reasonable parity in access to mobile phones.


Moreover, the ubiquitous proliferation of this modern technology in low-income countries has taken place quite rapidly, over the course of half a generation.

Business incubators and accelerators are being created in various regions of Colombia , where entrepreneurs are escorted from the idea and business plan to generate sales and growth of companies.



Entrepreneurship ecosystem is advancing , the opotunidades to invest in Colombia are getting better and the internationalization of their companies is helping to changing the idea about colombians in another countrys ( called "Multilatinas" LatAm multinational as Grupo Exito, Grupo Aval, Grupo Sura, EPM, Carvajal , etc.)

viernes, 18 de octubre de 2013

Why the hell do I have to make a thesis that nobody reads?

Dozens of students planning to graduate from various academic programs throughout the country , who spend hours time , it will " burn " the tabs , tired of meeting with his tutor, to attend short quotations with the same , which is is spent in the library looking for literature they read between coffe and nighters , today might wonder why the hell I have to do a thesis in order to graduate?
Well, I think this question will be considering the many students who are about to finish their undergraduate (college) process or some other ( elderly) who have graduated and they see it as a total waste of time stupid and developing a thesis or article publishable .

Well, these are publishable papers based on the idea that the undergraduate student apply some of the knowledge gained during their career and can generate a contribution to the academic community in which you plan to obtain the title. But really how profitable is the production of one of these items for the academic community and to the student ? .

Well for the academic community is the possibility that a small number of these theses have the opportunity to be published in journals indexed and thus increase the number of publications per faculty and more so if this thesis is made by a member of a research group , which summary publications for the group , which in the case of Colombia improve its research capacity by funding bodies such as Colciencias . Sure, but it requires much more than having a large number of publications.

But that is for the student? , Well apart from idealism professed teachers in phrases like " is the result of a long history " " is see reflected throughout the learning process in a unique product ," among other phrases idealists , for the student is actually two things .

The first is that if the student is inclined to research and academia, is the opportunity to add items to his 'Curriculum ' is a chance to show how good is  he to investigate and to perform in his field . But what about students who are not inclined to research ?

That is where comes the roll. For them , it represents a significant cost , high opportunity cost because students generally are not inclined to opt for joining research on the labor market in non- research where experience is a crucial factor in his " engache " in therein.

Well, I mention that it is a high cost by the fact that they gave up the chance to gain experience and have more " chances " to joining the labor market, not research . Amusingly are these students who generate an average in the preparation of this work from year to year and a half and usually their work is not published in journals indexed and generally these students are the ones who choose to send make their work by externals persons .

So for them to do those jobs ? Why not replace that system by practices in companies? . Well, this answer has already been implemented in many educational institutions in which these practices help students to have greater opportunities to link the labor market. Universities in Bogota as the EAM , the Uniempresarial , among others and in Cali , universities as ICESI , the Xaverian , among others. Where the student has a choice between doing a thesis or perform in a company (internship). Meanwhile there are others that despite knowing the problems , and know that many of the works of his students will go to libraries where no one will read , except for one student who will touch future present a thesis related to a similar theme of its pair .

martes, 17 de septiembre de 2013

Cambio de Chip: Hora de cambiar sus ideas respecto a los países del sur

Si como decía Cristobal Colón: "El planeta es redondo como una manzana", ¿por qué se habla de países del norte y del sur?

El mundo como se concebía hace décadas está cambiando. La relación dominante de los países del norte con los países del sur es cada vez más difusa. En el escenario internacional algunos países del sur, cuyas economías han pasado a ser etiquetas como” emergentes” por presentar una actividad social o de negocios en rápido crecimiento e industrialización han empezado a reemplazar a algunas potencias en el plano económico,  como es el caso de China que desplazó al Japón como segunda economía del mundo y Brasil que reemplazo al Reino Unido como sexta economía (2011).

La aparición de estos países emergentes en el plano económico internacional también ha traído nuevos jugadores políticos y escenarios en los cuales el concepto de un “mundo multipolar” cobra relevancia.
Para los países de América Latina esto es de suma relevancia, ello se evidencia en el incremento de sus relaciones comerciales con los países del sudeste asiático y en el aumento de su comercio intrarregional.
Cuando para el promedio de la gente en los países latinoamericanos (entre ellos específicamente Colombia) los temas comerciales y políticos aun tengan un fuerte predominio de países como USA y algunos de los europeos, la realidad es que deberíamos ser más visionarios y direccionar la mirada tanto a a nuestros vecinos (Perú, Chile, Ecuador, Panamá, etc) en especial con el Brasil como a los paises con dinamicas similares en el Asia y Africa.

Para el caso de Colombia se habla de que muchos empresarios apenas se están dando cuenta que existía un vecino llamado Perú. Otros mencionan que los intercambios académicos para Brasil están aumentando, un país con las mejores universidades de la región y que ostentan buenos puestos en los rankings mundiales universitarios.  


¿Qué pasaría si redireccionaramos nuestra atención como colombianos en nuestros vecinos? ¿Cuántos de nuestros jóvenes están ignorando por miopía de rebaño las bondades y oportunidades de la región? ¿Cuántos han olvidado entre sus checklist recorrer esta tierra con aun muchas zonas por descubrir?