dont_be_fooled_imageDon’t be fooled…we’re not out of the woods yet. Although sales temporarily increased in November (and now spilling into early December), property values continue to decline nationwide. The $8000 tax credit deadline of November 30th pushed a large number of buyers off the fence and into the buying mode but it didn’t solve the real problems. The underlying factors including unemployment, excessive foreclosure inventories and more and more underwater properties keep the trend heading downward. In fact, experts are predicting that the 3rd quarter of 2010 is the expected bottom.

What is headed our way in the next 9 months? First, a flood of new short sales. This time, it’s interest only and option ARM loans that will be recasting to amortized loan programs. Sudden payment hikes will spell more defaults and since the majority of these loans are secured against property that is worth far less than the loan payoffs, expect a deluge of homeowners to simply walk away. Short sale city. Second, banks have been stock piling foreclosures (not putting them up for sale) throughout 2009 in hopes of a recovery. But they can’t keep sitting on these properties forever. Banks are going to have to bite the bullet sometime, which appears to be 2010. Foreclosure city. Third, the consensus from experts and lawmakers alike is that the unemployment level may not budge much in the next year or so. That alone will prevent any considerable improvement in purchasing power across the board which will, in turn, prevent an increase in property values.

What does all this mean to you? Short sales and foreclosures are where it’s at in 2010.

And don’t be fooled…you won’t be able to take full advantage of this tremendous upcoming opportunity without a mentor. No one succeeds without a mentor. Look at every successful person you have ever met, read about, watched a movie about or simply heard about; every single one of them has had at least one mentor, and in many cases, more than one. Warren Buffett, (2nd wealthiest man in the world) had a mentor named Ben Graham. Napolean Hill (author of Think and Grow Rich) had a mentor named Andrew Carnegie. I could give you a thousand more examples but you get the point.

If you want to make 2010 the greatest financial windfall of your life, you already know that short sales and foreclosures are the ticket. Now all you need is a mentor to take you where you want to go.

I have personally spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to include mentors in my own endeavors. It was and still is today, the best money I have ever spent.

Don’t be fooled…trying to pinch pennies and “save” by not investing in a mentor is the biggest financial mistake you can make. I know all too well. In the beginning, I tried to do it all on my own, by just reading books and attending seminars. In the end, I ended up homeless and living out of my truck. It was an enormously painful, embarrassing and unbelievably humiliating way to learn such a simple lesson.

But you don’t have to learn this lesson the hard way. You can choose to invest in a mentor now, while you still have plenty of time to take advantage of the incredible opportunities heading straight towards you in 2010.

But don’t be fooled…not all mentors are the same. You need to work with someone who knows infinitely more about the subject than you do, has already achieved the same kinds of results you want to achieve and will outline a specific period of time in which to work with you. One major mistake I see so many investors make is when they 1.) Take on a “partner” who knows as little or even less about the subject as they do, 2.) Has not achieved any verifiable results and, 3.) They agree to work with this “partner” for an indefinite period of time. Did I step on your toes there? I hope so.

Don’t be fooled…unless your mentor and you have aligned incentives, you won’t achieve the results you want.  For example, if you pay your mentor all the money for their services upfront, your mentor will not have the motivation to help you succeed.  It’s no different if you hire a painter to re-paint your house.  If you pay the painter all the money upfront for their services, they lose all motivation to make you happy…you’ve already given them their reward before making them earn it!

Don’t be fooled…a good mentor doesn’t always tell you what you want to hear, but more often, they tell you what you need to hear. I’ve met hundreds of people over the years who travel from seminar to seminar, sheltered in the cocoon of bootcamps, simply because the people on stage are always telling them exactly what they want to hear. Am I ringing any bells here? The reality is that you don’t need another inspirational speech. You need what all of us need, and that is, a mentor to tell you the cold hard truth and to hold you accountable for that which you have committed to. For some reason, the person we most often lie to and put off most, is ourselves.

Finally, don’t be fooled…when it’s all said and done, what most of us need, is a whole lot less coddling and a whole lot more kicks in the pants.

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