Book Review: Picture Your Prosperity by Ellen Rogin

What does your perfect future look like to you? Could you imagine a huge, shiny car driven by a chauffeur, a big, beautiful house with a beautiful yard? Wouldn’t that be nice? Yet you will never achieve such a dream, won’t you?

Regardless of the dream life, you aspire to, you probably accept that it will remain just that, a dream. The only way to truly prosper and build wealth is to discover a long-lost aunt who is a billionaire or win the lottery.

However, you’re wrong. Getting wealthy is relatively simple. The key is learning the steps and thinking in a certain way. 

Picture Your Prosperity helps you define and reach your ideal life. With this book, you will learn how to visualize success, set goals, and set aside the money necessary to achieve anything you desire.

You may be wondering if you should read the book. This book review will tell you what important lessons you can learn from this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Lesson 1: You can live a prosperous life if you set goals, assemble them, and visualize them continuously

Everyone wants a life of success, happiness, and prosperity. Yet what does this mean in practice? What does a prosperous life look like?

You can figure this out by drawing what’s called a prosperity picture, which is a visual representation of what you want from life now and in the future. All you need to do is follow three simple steps.

The first step is to define your goals. Decide today, tomorrow, and in the long run what you want. What kind of life do you want? Where are you now? What scents surround you? Which people are around you?

Once you’ve answered these questions, look for pictures that represent your desires. If you find a picture of your dream house or car, keep it in your mind.

The second step is to bring your goals together and make them easier to visualize. Draw a picture of future prosperity on a blank sheet of paper. 

Start by drawing a horizontal axis labeled “time frame” that spans from the present to the future. On the vertical axis, draw a line going from the bottom to the top, labeled “finance”.

Divide your picture frame into four squares, each representing a different combination of time and money. You can now include pictures of your goals in each box based on how much money you will need and when you want to achieve them.

For instance, your dream house may be way outside of the upper quadrant because it’ll take a lot of money and time to make it a reality.

Step three is to constantly picture your vision in your mind. Keep in mind that you have just created something that can change your life. Don’t put it in a drawer and ignore it. Every single day, make sure you see it so you are reminded of the goal you are pursuing.

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Lesson 2: Prepare your subconscious with the power of visualization so that you can make your vision of prosperity a reality

I like the idea of prosperity, but how do you make it a reality? Preparing your brain for the future you desire is the first step, and believing it is possible is the second. This can only be achieved through visualization, as simply visualizing your goals will bring them closer to reality.

Exactly how?

Science proves it: visualization works by activating the reticular activating system, or RAS, located in small parts of your brain. By filtering out irrelevant information, it works at a subconscious level.

Think about the situation if you bought a green Corolla and all of a sudden there are green Corollas everywhere. Rather than a sudden increase in green Corolla drivers, the RAS tells you that green and Corolla are relevant to you. This means that your RAS serves as the gatekeeper to your brain, allowing you to train your brain to notice the opportunities you desire.

Therefore, how can you make your personal prosperity picture a reality by using your RAS?

The key is to “see” the future you desire!

Srinivasan Pillay, a Harvard Medical School researcher, found that people stimulate the same parts of the brain when imagining an action as they do when performing it. Due to this fact, if your visualization is successful, your chances of success are enhanced since you have already “done” it.

Researchers from Russia studied four groups of Olympic athletes and compared their physical and mental training schedules:

The first group did only physical training. The second performed 75 percent physical exercises and 25 percent mental exercises, including visualizing themselves winning. A third group split their efforts equally, and a final group only focused on physical activity for 25 percent of the time. Which group performed best?

That’s right, it’s the last one.

Lesson 3: Your financial well-being depends on your ability to determine your current net worth

Visualizing your goals can help you achieve them, but not without the money required. Planning is also necessary.

Getting control of your finances is crucial to your success, even if most people prefer not to think about it. A life you want won’t be possible without a financial plan and considerations. One of the author’s clients, Jim, had the classic retirement picture: he was going to sell his house, buy an RV, and travel the country.

Despite following their dream, they were unable to make ends meet because they did not plan financially.

However, all of that was preventable. It is possible to avoid Jim’s parents’ fate by taking a financial inventory of all your assets and liabilities. This can be done online or on paper.

You can use online financial planning tools like Mint.com if you prefer to use a computer. Plug in your data once, linking your bank, investments, and other accounts, and the system will update automatically.

Although some people worry about security when dealing with money, those who are wary of online tools can always pick up a pencil and paper. Begin by listing your pluses. There are three major asset categories to include on this list: cash, investments, retirement funds, and personal belongings.

Then comes the less pleasant, but extremely important part: debt.

You should make a list of everything you owe. Any outstanding loans and other forms of debt should be included, such as mortgages, unpaid credit cards, and any other outstanding debts. Once you have listed everything, you can calculate your net worth by subtracting your liabilities from your assets. That sum is the current state of your finances.

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Lesson 4: Getting rid of debt and ensuring a safety net is the first step to creating your dream life

After you have determined your current financial situation, it is now time to plan your way to financial prosperity. Pay off your debts first.

There are many ways to accumulate debt, from mortgages to car loans, but one of the most perilous is credit card debt. That’s because spending now and paying later can quickly become a problem if you don’t watch out.

After Jennie separated from her boyfriend, she remodeled her house and went to the Caribbean. During this time, she accrued a $10,000 credit card debt!

How should you react if you find yourself in such a situation?

Your debt should be paid off as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you’ll pay more interest. Jennie, for example, would be debt-free in 8 years after paying $9,000 in interest if she made the minimum payment of $200 per month. By paying $300 a month, she would pay less than $4,000 in interest and be free of her debt in four years.

In addition to paying off your debts, it’s also important to put a little money aside every month. This is because life can be unpredictable. You will need insurance in three areas to protect yourself no matter what the future holds.

In the first place, health insurance is essential. You should investigate government-subsidized options, employer plans, and private insurance. 

Secondly, you need disability insurance. It is estimated that 25 percent of workers are injured each year. 

In that case, insurance can be a lifeline if you can’t live without your monthly income. When you have dependents, life insurance becomes crucial. When the worst happens, make sure your loved ones won’t be left with financial problems if you pass away.

Lesson 5: Compound interest is the key to a successful journey on the road to prosperity

You might find yourself with little money left over at the end of each month even if you earn a high salary. It’s common. Fortunately, it’s possible to increase your net worth. All you need to do is control your spending.

Plan your spending by writing it down. Identify your net income or everything you earn after taxes. Organize all of your expenses into groups and make a list. Examples include healthcare, housing, transportation, education, children, personal, and entertainment.

When you know your net income and expenses, you can calculate your remaining unallocated monthly income. Once you begin to look clearly at your spending habits, you will be able to reduce unnecessary expenses. 

A client of the author, Lisa, analyzed her spending habits and discovered many redundant expenses, such as two digital New York Times subscriptions, a gym membership she hardly used, and many others. It was unnecessary for her to spend $131 every month!

You can now invest your unallocated funds wisely, which means using compound interest, a way to build wealth by adding interest to a method of investing already accruing interest over time. By putting money aside regularly, you can take advantage of compound interest.

Imagine you are in your mid-twenties the to early thirties and you have an average salary. Investing $2,000 a month at just 6 percent interest will result in $1.3 million in 25 years! 

Don’t worry if you can’t afford that. With a mere $200 a month, you can earn $136,000 in 25 years. If you think about it this way, saving $200 a month only means putting aside $6 a day.

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Lesson 6: Invest in certificates of deposits, bonds, and stock funds if you want to achieve prosperity sooner

It’s true that you have the tools to accomplish most dreams, but not all dreams are small, and time isn’t always on your side. Don’t want to wait 25 years to accomplish your dreams? No worries. Try short-term investing.

Savings accounts are not the only option; there are others as well. Certificates of deposit are an investment tool that requires you to commit to investing your money for a fixed time period, usually five to six years. 

Despite having less flexibility than savings accounts, they pay higher interest rates the longer your money stays in the account.

Short-term bond funds are another option worth considering. Bonds are loans that an investor makes to a government, municipality, or corporation, and a fund is a group of bonds. 

Taking out bonds basically makes you a lender. A bond is a fixed-income security, meaning you are paid interest at a predetermined rate, and they usually have a higher return than certificates of deposit.

If you’re willing to take a higher risk in exchange for a higher return, you should consider investing in the stock market.

This is how it works.

Similarly to bonds, you can invest in individual companies, stock funds, or pools of shares. However, if you have a high-risk tolerance, you can opt out of paying fund manager fees, which range between 0.2 and 2 percent of your investment, and buy stocks on your own. 

Individual stock prices are more subject to volatility than those in a stock fund, so the risks are higher.

Thanks to all you have learned, you now have a clear picture of your prosperity. You just have to believe in it, get your finances in order, and prepare to live your dream life!

About The Author

Ellen Rogin is a certified public accountant and financial planner. She has worked as an advisor for over two decades.

Currently, Lisa Kueng is an executive director at Invesco Consulting. She has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years.

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