Living Your Bucket List

I’ve always loved the water, the sun and sand, and warm weather.

Whether it’s at a lake or the beach.

Combine the water with my love for athletics and I’m game for just about anything you can do on the water.

I always thought surfing would be fun.

But after trying it several times, I realized I don’t like waiting in the water forever between sets (thats where all the action is).

So when I saw kite surfing, with the constant action, it was clear, this is much more up my alley.

It went up on my vision board and I wanted to learn to do it.

So last year my wife and I took a trip to Cancun Mexico for a week to learn how to kite-surf.

(With my instructor Daniel. He was the best!)

I had a great time. It was exciting, and fun to get up and cruise across the water.
Watching other pros do it almost effortlessly was inspiring.

(I felt like almost drown at one point, which was unfortunate, but it was awesome nonetheless.)

I just ran across a video of an incredible location to kitesurf and it’s going up on my vision board today

Check it out.

The point is not for you to go out and learn kitesurfing.

The point is, whatever you love to do, or think you might like to learn to do, put it up on your vision board, look at it every day.

Think about it when you go to bed at night, envision yourself doing it in the morning and night in the theater of your own mind.

Put a plan into action to accomplish just one of your vision board goals…and then work toward making it happen!

The Best Holiday Of The Year

In Utah, fall is really the most beautiful time of year.  The days are warm, the mornings and evenings are crisp. The leaves are turning golden yellow and sunset orange.

The air is pure and clear after the regular rain showers, and the signs of Thanksgiving are starting to appear.
Me & my son.
The football season is in full swing.  Spending Saturdays at the stadium with friends and family brings back great memories, and creates new ones.

Of course there’s the pumpkins and Halloween that every one loves, but Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

And even though its now too cold to waterski and hang out at the lake, I still love fall.

I guess I get nostalgic this time of year because my father always taught us to be grateful. To be humble, and realize that everything we have comes from God. He worked hard to create a wonderful life for my family, and always made sure we never took anything for granted.

I’ve been so blessed.

I have so much to be thankful for.

Starting with my wife and 3 kids who mean the world to me. My parents who taught me so much and sacrificed so much for my well being throughout my life and continue to be a great influence in my life.

I’m thankful for my brother and 3 sisters. I’m grateful we all have a great relationship together, and love each other very much.

Not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for the goodness the Lord has blessed me with, and as I look out my office window and see the beautiful mountains that surround us, I am often in awe.

Sometimes it’s fun to just take a minute and think of all things you can possibly name that you are grateful for. It’s amazing about the things we take for granted every day that we really should be VERY thankful for.
My family.
Things like running water, toilet paper, microwaves, central air, and cars with cup holders. It sounds a little silly at first, but its true!

These are great inventions and I am definitely grateful I’m not wondering out the back yard to the outhouse in the middle of the winter! (It wasn’t that many years ago that my mother in law grew up doing exactly that!)

Yesterday walking into the office I took a deep breath of the fresh crisp air and was grateful for the clean air, my health and body.

For me, the most important thing I am grateful for is Gods love and his sacrifice for us to return and live with him someday.

As I’ve grown I’ve learned that one of the surest ways to be truly happy is to through humility and gratitude.

This is my favorite time of year…because there is so much to be thankful for.


Do You Work As Hard To Be Successful As Steph Curry?

This years NBA Playoffs and Finals is one I will remember for a long time.

One of the reasons was of course, Steph Curry and his amazing clutch shots, the other reason was because my son Joshua is now old enough to appreciate the games and watch them with me.

I’ve always loved basketball, I love what it teaches a person about themselves, It can bring out your self doubt and help you recognize that and turn it into self confidence.

It teaches discipline and hard work. For most of humankind the only way to excel in the sport is by paying the price of time and effort in the gym, working out, doing drills, shooting thousands of jump shots, and running until you throw up.

That hard work teaches a valuable lesson that will serve anyone well throughout their lives.

Steph Curry is also a classy guy, he’s a God fearing faith based person who loves his family and isn’t pounding his chest telling the world he’s the greatest.

He’s a magician on the floor, and his attitude and behavior off the floor makes it easy to root for him.

Basketball has always been my first love when it comes to sports, it’s fun seeing my family embrace it, seeing Joshua practice his dribbling and shooting in the backyard takes me back to the days of practicing in the rain, cold and 100 degree temperatures…

All the hard work paid off for me when we won a state championship in high school, but even more importantly, it taught me that if I want to be successful in work and in my family, it isn’t going to come easy…not even close.

Anything worthwhile costs effort and work, no one gets rich and successful without it, despite what it may look like from the outside. In America financial success can be had by anyone, regardless of upbringing or race, and my next couple of articles about real life people I’ve met recently from a taxi driver in Seattle to a real estate investor in Florida, will prove it…

So enjoy this video of Steph Curry making jaw dropping shots…shots he should be able to make, and know he spent a lot of time in a lonely gym making those exact shots, long before he ever made it on the Big Stage.


Is the Venezuelan Horror Show Coming To America?

My sister in law is from Venezuela.

She’s a lovely person, puts up with my brother and keeps her 5 kids in line, for the most part.

She still has family there.

Unfortunately, they are suffering terribly. Resources are extremely hard to come by.

Last year for Christmas, instead of giving gifts to each other, we sent boxes of food, toilet paper and other supplies to her family.

And this was before things got really bad.

Venezuela has been in the news recently for the nearly complete collapse of their economy.

Bare shelves, violence and long lines to get food are now the norm.
Bare shelves, violence and long lines to get food are now the norm.

Many say their incompetent, corrupt socialist government is to blame for running their oil industry into the ground. But it’s worse than that.

Their currency has become borderline worthless. (Inflation will reach 720% this year. And it’s scheduled for over 1000% hyperinflation next year.)

It’s become so bad their government had to fly in 36 cargo planes full of printed money.

It brings back images of Germany pre-World War 2 with people carrying money in wheelbarrows to go to the store or burning it because it was worth more as firewood than buying food.


In a show of undying stupidity Luis Salas, a left-wing socialist political figure appointed to ‘fix the economy,’ blamed the countries problems on an economic war (whatever that is)…not on money printing.

He rejects the basic tenets of conventional economics, like printing too much money causes inflation.

Apparently Luis never made CoolAid as a kid…because if he had, he most certainly would know how inflation works.

Put in just the right amount of water and you have the drink of childhood champions.  But what happens if young Johnny goes overboard? He wants a little more CoolAid without doing the hard work of making another batch.

He’s a greedy little bugger, so he dumps in more water.

Now, instead of a totally unhealthy, yet delicious sugary drink, you end up with something tasting more like toilet water than CoolAid.

That’s inflation. The value (potency) of money is decreased when you put more into the system.

Unfortunately, the political and financial elite ruling class here in America are no smarter than the socialists running the Venezuelan horror show.

During the past 8 years the printing press has been running full steam. For several years they were pumping out as much as 86 billion dollars per month in printed money.

At the time other country economies were running strong (China, Japan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia) and they bought up a lot of it, so it didn’t make it into our batch of economic CoolAid yet…

The question is simply ‘When will it hit the fan?’

Well, unfortunately time may be running out.  It may be sooner than later.

China, Russia and Brazil each dumped at least $1 billion in Treasury bonds in March…

In all, central banks sold a net $17 billion and selloffs hit a record of $57 billion in January.

So far this year the dump has eclipsed $127 billion…the largest selloff since 1978.

Combine that with China and other foreign governments goal to get rid of the dollar as the reserve currency in the world, and we’ve got a storm brewing.

What does this all mean for us little people in the game they are playing?

Well, if you are a bible believer, you know Noah built the Arc before it started raining, while everyone else laughed and partied like 1999…

When the rain started, it wasn’t so funny. (For those who don’t know the story, the partiers all drowned.)

And that’s the best we can do.

Build our financial Arc.

Save some more money. Store some extra food. Think twice about having all your assets subject to a collapse in the stock market. Earn some extra money with some moonlighting

I don’t imagine it was a great time riding on the Arc with a bunch of stinky circus animals, but the alternative was slightly worse.

Brett Kitchen

P.S. We want to know what you are doing to build your financial Arc…just reply to this email.



Why you shouldn’t max out your 401(k)

Would you focus on paying off debt or investing first?
Does that matter if you’re giving up on not getting a 401(k) match?

Never put off saving until you get out of debt.
Human nature and habits show that once you are out of debt (or close to it), people often feel comfortable about their progress and end up buying another car, upgrading their homes etc.
When this happens people often never get started saving because are perpetually ‘putting it off’.
The time-value of money is such that every year you wait costs you exponentially more than you save in paying down interest debts.

How much of an emergency fund should you build up before funding a retirement account?
All the traditional financial talking heads say that six months of emergency savings is advisable.
However, most people mix up the term ‘savings’ versus ‘investing’.

They are not the same thing.

If you want secure wealth and retirement you need to build a safe foundation that won’t fall when the market crashes.

This does not happen by investing in the stock market.
The stock market is more akin to a casino and that’s not solid ground to depend on for your retirement.

Instead, people should build a foundation of wealth based on savings, not investing, that will never disappear in a market crash but still creates growth and wealth.

Only after your foundation is built should you risk your ‘extra money’ in volatile investments, which could be lost; then it won’t impact upon your family or wealth.

When would it make sense to max out your 401(k) or retirement accounts?
In my opinion It only makes sense to max out 401ks when you are fully funding tax free retirement alternatives like a Roth IRA or an IUL.

With taxes near all-time lows and Government debt at an all-time high, deferring taxes to the future is a sure fire way to crush your savings when you pull out income, because tax rates could be double what they are today.

That’s why looking for and using assets that give you tax free retirement in the future is so important.

What’s the risk of putting funds in a retirement account or 401(k) when you’re in debt?
Is taking a loan ever advisable

The risk of putting money in a retirement account while still in debt depends on what type of account you are using.

The problem with traditional retirement plans like 401k or IRA’s is that they severely restrict access to your money.

If an emergency arises such as a loss of job or an investment opportunity comes around that you want the money for it can be extremely costly to pull it out.

In these cases it may make sense for more savvy investors to borrow against their retirement plan; but this is not recommended for most people as it is high risk.


Financial markets in presidential election years

Is this a factor investors should take seriously, or is it just entertaining to argue about?
The presidential election is typically not enough to make major investing decisions in itself, however, based on how highly inflated the market is right now, it makes sense to be precautionary.

Is this unusual election year likely to make the markets break with past patterns?
The thing that makes this election year cycle unusual is the fact that the stock market has been so highly inflated artificially to begin with. That’s the reason to be leery, not just because of the election itself.

How will the general economic conditions in the U.S. and around the world change things this year?
If you believe the fed and wall street is in the tank for the democrats then more than likely they will prop up the stock market until the election to help a democrat get elected.
If the market is down, this would lead more people to vote for a republican.

Is it a time for investors to be cautious, perhaps putting cash on the sidelines?
I believe now is a great time to be cautious, but again, not simply because it’s an election year, but because of the fundamentals of the economy and the bubble we are sitting on.

How ordinary investors — NOT wealthy ones — can find a suitable investment advisor.

How do you decide whether to get a financial advisor rather than just go it alone?
For most people hiring a financial advisor is totally unnecessary.

Why? Because financial advisors usually underperform the market index and cost you more.
In fact 86% of money managers underperform their benchmarks. 86%!

Warren buffet. John bogle and Charles Schwab all recommend average people use index funds to grow wealth as they have the most predictable outcomes.

You can also use a cam-IUL strategy to grow money when the market goes up with no risk of loss when it crashes. And you can do it all without paying a financial advisor.

How do you know whether a given advisor has experience matching your needs?
Remember financial advisors are a fancy word for stock salesperson.

Most of them are much more interested in accumulating assets under management than they are managing your money to profit you. They get paid whether you make money or not.

It’s advisable to find an advisor who has a large book of clients ‘just like you’.
You don’t want to be working with an advisor who caters to the middle class if you are extremely wealthy and vice versa.

What are the pros and cons of various compensation structures – commission, asset-based, fee-only? Which do you recommend? Why not simply ask your mutual fund company? How about the financial advice offered through your 401(k)?
A fee-based planner can be an advantage if you truly aren’t still paying a percentage of your assets under management. However often they charge high front end fees that can be prohibitive for average people to afford and you never know how well they will actually perform for you.

Counting on accurate advice from your 401k company or mutual fund broker is like asking the wolf to guard the hen house. The people who run these plans are motivated by getting more assets under management.

They usually have very little experience with real estate, private lending, or insurance backed assets for income planning. You definitely aren’t getting a well-rounded unbiased financial advice from your 401k plan administrators or mutual fund brokers.

What should you expect to spend as, say, a percentage of assets.
Anytime you are paying a percentage of assets you are hurting the compounding power of your wealth.

Take for example the difference between $100,000 compounded at 8% versus 5% over 35 years.
At 8% you have $1.48 million dollars.
At 5% you have a staggering difference of just $551,000!

That ‘little’ 3% fee just cost you a million dollars!
And who got all that growth at your expense? Wall Street and your financial adviser.


Paying any fees is undesirable, but anything over 1-1.5% is unacceptable especially if your results aren’t beating the S&P 500 index at 10%; which historically 86% of money managers never do.

Almost everyone ends up paying 2-3% between all the fees loaded into stock market investments, and most never know how to calculate how much they are paying.

There are 3 critical moves everyone needs to make to prepare for the next recession.

1. Get your house in order.
Create a war chest of cash that will allow you to pay for expenses if you lose your job. A war chest is cash In the bank that isn’t going to disappear when the stock market crashes

2. Stockpile right now.
Make as much money as you can right now by finding ways to increase your income. That might include freelancing or moonlighting or starting a new business. But most of all, don’t depend on one source of income.

3. Move your assets from risk to safety.
Once the crash hits it’s too late to protect your wealth. Don’t be foolish and repeat errors of the past by letting greed drive your decisions to leave money in the market because you don’t want to miss out on some little bit more growth. This is how the typical person operates and the typical person gets burned over and over and over again.

Gratitude On The Cruise

Every September my wife and I go on a cruise, usually to the Caribbean. We usually bring 10-20 other staff members and their spouses with us.

We have a great time, traveling the world seeing the beauty of the earth.

But something happened this last time we were on the cruise.

I was walking down the hall toward our stateroom and one of the very cheerful attendants walked past with a big smile on his face… “Hello” he said with a smile.

“Hi there!” We smiled back.

Just then an older couple walked past. They were grumpy. Irritated about something, probably something to do with not getting enough food at the all you can eat buffet..

As the attendant walked past them, they could barely muster a smile as they continued on complaining about some, no doubt, insignificant problem.

The whole situation struck me profoundly.

I see spoiled Americans cruising with their boxes and bags, full of expensive clothing, and traveling in style…We’re living in total luxury going to incredible exotic locations!

We’re stuffing our faces with all you can eat food, until we are sick…we spend a week doing nothing but pampering ourselves…]

And yet, many of us still find reasons to complain!

I’ve seen first hand many guests are upset on these trips. They still find something to complain about. To be ungrateful for. They harass stateroom attendants about how the bed wasn’t made to their satisfaction…or the room service was late. (Oh the horror!)

The contrast was sad really…between the pampered guests… traveling in style, disgruntled about something, while the stateroom attendants are working hard, smiling away while sacrificing for their families thousands of miles away.

Many of them are from the Philippines, Caribbean islands, or India. Most of them are married, many have children back at home. They are living on a boat, in cramped conditions, working extremely long hours doing hard work, for 9 months out of the year, thousands of miles from their families.

These folks don’t get to see their children grow up, or be there for their wives when mom needs a break. They don’t get to go out to the movies on the weekend for date night or take a day off.

Don’t get me wrong, they are working on these cruise ships by choice, and for many of them it’s a good paying job that gives them the ability to pay the bills back home.

That’s not the point.

The point is simply this…if there was anyone that has a reason to be frustrated, disgruntled, or be less than cheerful on a luxury cruise ship in the middle of exotic caribbean islands…you wouldn’t think it would be…the guests.

You’d think the ones with a reason to be down in the dumps would be the workers.

I couldn’t help but wonder what these people must think of us ‘Americans’ as we stomp around with scowls on our faces while we are being pampered at every turn.

Certainly not all guests behave in such a despicable manner, but I’ve seen my share of this on cruises.

Then I started thinking of myself, and my own lack of gratitude.

To my shame, even with all the blessings I’ve been given. The abundance, the health, the good fortune of my family, and friends, and everything I’ve been blessed with… I find reasons to complain.

Despite being taught from a young age the importance of gratitude, and my own efforts to teach my children the value of gratitude, of giving thanks…I know I can do better. I can be more thankful, and express gratitude to the Lord for his bounteous blessings more frequently and more sincerely.

I believe gratitude is one of the greatest traits a human can posses. It raises a person to a higher plane, a level of grace and sophistication that ingrates will never achieve.

I’ve made a commitment to myself this year to cherish the blessings and goodness of God in my life…and it never fails to bring me happiness and peace.

One of my core values is Dedication to Financial Independence; for myself, my employees and you, the people we serve.

I believe that wealth is the ability to truly experience life. To live a life that is fulfilling to each of us individually…

And I’ve found that a life that is built on the foundation of gratitude and thanksgiving is a truly fulfilled life.


Brett Kitchen



Billy Mays #1 Rule For Selling (RIP) PART 1

Billy Mays is best known for his days on your television screen selling cleaning products like “OXYCLEAN” “Orange Glo” and “KA-BOOM”.

He started as a young man making sales to passersby on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

He perfected the art of the pitching, and became one of the worlds best at it…

One of the things that made him so successful was his knowledge of the most powerful human persuasion technique: The Demonstration.

He was famous for turning down huge TV opportunities on great products because of one simple reason…they couldn’t be easily demonstrated on TV in 60 seconds or less.

That was his Cardinal Rule. No demonstration = No Sale.

So as a rule, whatever it is you are trying to sell, find ways to demonstrate it visually.

This is why I’ve spent so much time and money investing in video. Video is a powerful medium, but not just for the reasons many ‘online business guru’s’ tell you.

They’ll tell you people want to be entertained. That’s true but that’s really not the power of video.

The power of video is in, you guessed it, DEMONSTRATING your product.

There are other obvious benefits, like trust, and credibility, and pre-selling your prospect, however, the demonstration that you can do on video is incredibly powerful.

My uncle and father have a business selling dog runs and dog kennels. Their product is very innovative, and unique.

When they came to me for consulting several years ago to launch the product, we put most of our time and effort into creating a compelling video that would show in the first 30 seconds the benefits of the product.

They’ve gone on to create a multi-million dollar business…and the foundation of it is a visual demonstration using video. (You can see their product at

In the next article I’ll share how to create visual demonstrations even if you have a product or service that is not tangible or visible. Many businesses, professionals, and services fall into this category…and I’ll show you exactly how to do this…next time!