Building A Better Future

Expert advice helped our 2004 Financial Fitness Contest Winners create the right foundation to reach their goals

or had any children,” says Potter, who was considering running a Subway sandwich franchise. “Once I get my real estate issues sorted out, I am going to begin to see real growth as I should clear $700 a month between the two properties. I’m going to be on the right road.”

THE ADVICE: Work at present company for another six years and build solid cash reserves, experience, and relationships.
THE FOLLOW-THROUGH: Potter was promoted and is quite comfortable where she is.

THE ADVICE: Purchase one investment property every two years. Accumulate approximately 10 investment properties by retirement age.
THE FOLLOW-THROUGH: Potter has already purchased a rental property and says this advice seems feasible. “I just have to make sure that I learn more about how to manage the properties, or get a property manager, as I’m finding out there can be many headaches,” says Potter.

THE ADVICE: Manage cash better. Decrease amount of emergency cash. Take some money out of the checking account and put it into a diversified mutual fund account until retirement.
THE FOLLOW-THROUGH: Potter says she needs a big cash reserve. “I had to increase my emergency cash due to the fact that I was acquiring property, the old place has been without a tenant, and I have a problem tenant in the new building,” says Potter. “I need to have back-up right now, to have access to cash, so I didn’t follow through on that recommendation.” However, Potter continues to contribute to an existing mutual fund.

THE ADVICE: Obtain a home equity line of credit on all properties.
THE FOLLOW-THROUGH: She got a HELOC on her primary
residence in March. She has a $25,000 line of credit.

THE ADVICE: Establish an IRA.
THE FOLLOW-THROUGH: “It’s on my to-do list,” says Potter.

THE ADVICE: Aggressively build relationships with entrepreneurs. Consider budgeting $3,000 annually for relationship development, including joining local clubs, and attending the alumni functions and gala events of charities or nonprofit boards that senior executives at her company support. Make a 10-year gift to her undergraduate or graduate school.

THE FOLLOW-THROUGH: Potter says she hasn’t had time to pursue these activities yet, but she is working with a mentor from Emory University who is in commercial real estate. She enjoys being in the mentoring program: “We talk about a lot of aspects of real estate, as well as career and personal development issues,” says Potter.

THE ADVICE: Do not hurry to purchase a Subway franchise because it may not maximize Potter’s personal interests and high level of technical skill.

THE FOLLOW-THROUGH: Franchise acquisition is on the back burner. “With my schedule, I didn’t have time to do a business plan for Subway and go to a two-week training program in Connecticut. It just wasn’t feasible,” says Potter.

June Winner John Young
John Young got married in March and plans to have children in the not-too-distant future. The 35-year-old is also well on his way to achieve his dream of owning five buildings in five years. He had one property and purchased two more in 2004. He used an interest-only loan with a

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6
ACROSS THE WEB