The Forbes Formula

Over the last decade, I have been fortunate and privileged to develop an ongoing friendship with Steve Forbes.  We first worked together in 1999 when he was producing a book entitled Great American Success Stories.  After that, I began visiting Mr. Forbes in his office on each of my trips to New York City.  Over the years, we have had many wonderful conversations sitting around the table in the library on the second floor of the Forbes Building.  I have often wished I could include the readers of my books, those who watch my movies, and you who read these weekly columns in those wonderful discussions with Steve Forbes.

Earlier this year, Mr. Forbes did a small cameo role, playing himself, in a movie based on one of my books —  After we shot his part in the film, Mr. Forbes and I sat down at the library table for another of our treasured conversations, but I captured this one on film to share with you and those who will buy The Lamp movie as the interview will be one of the special features on the DVD.

Steve Forbes is probably more associated with money and finance than anyone in the world today.  I believe his views on how our money relates to our lives are priceless.

Recently, my coauthor Tim Maurer and I have written a new book designed to help people take control of their lives and their futures by taking control of their money —The Ultimate Financial Plan.

I’m a firm believer that no one ever had a money problem.  They may have had an idea problem, a motivation problem, a management problem, or a lack of direction problem, but money is never the cause of your problems.  Money is a result.

Last year, there were several million quarter-inch drill bits sold in North America.  Ironically, no one really wants a quarter-inch drill bit.  They simply want a quarter-inch hole.  In much the same way, no one wants money.  They want the things and the security that money can bring.  We would be foolish, if not insane, to desire a huge pile of dirty, crumpled-up slips of paper with pictures of dead presidents.  What we want, instead, are the homes, cars, vacations, college educations, and retirements money can buy.  In The Ultimate Financial Plan we give readers the tools that they need to make their money start working for them as hard as they have worked for their money.

These are confusing and frustrating times in the financial world.  Your retirement plan has probably lost value, your savings may have dwindled, and you may be questioning the value of your home.  It is more important than ever that you keep your financial goals in mind and make sure that your money plan is custom designed to get you from here to there.

The current financial cycles will inevitably change, and there will be better days again and difficult days will follow that.  The important thing is that you know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.

As you go through your day today, remember:  Money is a tool and a vehicle.  It can serve you if you will harness and control it.

Today’s the day!

— by Jim Stovall