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Millionaire Maker Brian Buffini Offers His Best Advice

The goal of Brian Buffini is to share some simple, yet profoundly impactful, advice to help listeners rise above the negativity in financial news.

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Regardless of how negative the current financial news cycle has become, one influential entrepreneur is offering his best advice to help others steer clear and aim for future prosperity. Forget recessions, market collapses and higher debt, and keep your focus on building better days to come.  

This was the approach of podcast host Brian Buffini, on the most recent episode of his popular program, It’s a Good Life.

The goal of Buffini’s program was to share some simple, yet profoundly impactful, advice to help listeners rise above the negativity in the financial news. And also to become a millionaire.

“This is not just something I’ve studied. This is not just something I’ve read about, which I have.  This is something I’ve lived in my own life. I’ve been a millionaire since I was 26 years of age,” Buffini began. “And I don’t really ever talk about that. I don’t know if I’ve ever even said that before. But a lot of you on the podcast, being new to me and what I do, and so I wanted to share with you. There’s some great principles here that I want to help you.”

Buffini came to America from Ireland with only a few bucks in his pocket, before suffering a major motorcycle accident that left him thousands of dollars in medical debt. He earned his real estate agent license, and eventually built a company dedicated to coaching and teaching other agents to attain higher levels of success. Over time, he repaid his loans and began to grow a substantial net worth.

“We have to understand that the culture’s view toward money, the typical person’s view toward money, what’s promoted on TV, what’s marketed, is not a formula for success financially. The culture’s view is success, economic success, is the ability to buy more stuff, and then typically people have to go work much harder to go and afford the things that they bought,” Buffini said. “And typically people are paying for that which they can’t afford just yet. So they’re paying with future earnings. They’re paying with future interest expenses. And they’re on the wrong side of it.”

One can rely on Fox Business or CNBC for the day’s macro-economic news or latest stock quotes, but Buffini believes the key to success is much more personal and habit-driven. And once you have an individual plan, your personal financial transformation will begin to happen.

“The first thing, before we get into investing and how to go build a fortune, is that you have to first go to work, you build your business, you do the things you need to do. You have to have a working budget. You have to spend less money than you make,” Buffini, author of the hit book, The Emigrant Edge: How to Make it Big in America, said. “You have to control what goes out. It’s the one thing you’re in total control of. You have to control what goes out. And then if you will do that, then you can earn more than you are currently spending. Then you can create what’s called a surplus.”

Buffini says the American culture needs to look past the divisive labels some attach to millionaires. He says the goal should be to be able to invest whatever surplus we have, in order to grow it and be able to do amazing good for our families, friends and those in need.

“I know full well that the majority of people listening to this today may have some financial difficulties or challenges, but I want to paint a picture of where you can get there,” Buffini said. “If the son of a house painter from the southside of Dublin can build himself a fortune 30 years ago, and build it up and create it that it becomes generational. Without being the smartest guy in his school. Without all the different advantages. I came to America, I got run over by a car. In and out of hospitals and lots of bills and had kind of a tough start. And I built a fortune, well by golly anyone listening to this can.”

Buffini reviewed the economic “state of the union,” and it’s not pretty.

He said the average retirement age in America is 63. 

The median retirement savings in the country is only $17,000.

One in three people has saved zero dollars for retirement.

The average savings for an American is only $4400.

73% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings.

The average household has $132,000 in debt.

Yet, to put it in perspective, Buffini says the poorest Americans still rank in the top 20% of earners worldwide.

So how can Americans gain control, build a fortune and become able to help others in need? Buffini lays out these tips, along with the biggest decision that he says can lead one to become a millionaire.

Invest in what you know. 

He quotes Warren Buffet, who said, “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.”

Think long-term.

“We are not long-term culture anymore,” Buffini said. “Even financially, it used to be companies would analyze by the quarter. Then it became the mid-quarter, and now it’s by the day. The dynamic is, if you plant three seeds in the ground and you pull them up two or three days later to see if they’ve grown, good luck with that.”

Stay the course. 

“You gotta be consistent is what that means. If compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world, the one thing you’ve gotta have for compounding to take place is consistency,” he said.

Re-evaluate annually.

“Peter Lynch, who was really the leader of Fidelity fund management, said know what you own and know why you own it. You’re re-evaluating annually, and you’re saying ok, here’s how it did and here’s how it didn’t do. Here’s what I was hoping for, and here’s what we got,” Buffini said on the program.

“Now if you’re willing to hold down your expenses and what you spend money on, you’ll create more income than you have expense and you’ll create the surplus,” Buffini said, getting to the biggest decision that he says can make someone a millionaire. “And with that surplus I want you to then make this decision. And if you’ll make this decision, you can become a millionaire, you can build a fortune. You can change your family’s fortune for generations to come.”

Decide what you want most – appreciation or cash flow.

“The vast majority of people shoot for both things at the same time, unintentionally, and miss both targets,” Buffini said, calling on his 30-years of real estate and coaching experience. “Well of course we want both. I want to be able to eat ice cream and lose weight. I want to be able to not work out and get fitter. I want both! The truth of the matter is that when you try to have both things happen, usually neither one does.”

Buffini says if we’ll focus on one, oftentimes we’ll naturally see some of the other. But without focus, most people can guarantee neither.

Profound advice from someone who started with nothing, fought through adversity to accomplish a great deal and has helped others walk the path toward earning that same success for themselves.

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BNM Writers

Market Still Finding 2023 Footing

After some rigorous data analysis, the thoughtful, numbers-based host was able to formulate some potential conclusions.

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While it’s hard to imagine 2023 being as painful for investors as 2022, experts still cannot say for certain we are destined for blue skies ahead. Many in the media are starting the year by sifting through the stock market tea leaves; trying to figure out what historical data can tell us about probabilities and expectations for the next twelve months.

Some think the United States is poised for a market rebound, while others remain quite bearish, feeling that negative policy implications have yet to be fully realized.

Peter Tuchman of Trademas Inc. joined Neil Cavuto on his Fox News program Friday, to offer his thoughts about where the American stock market might be headed in light of the newly-divided United States Congress.

“Markets have a sort of a gut of their own,” Cavuto opened. “Today’s a good example. We’re up 300 points, ended up down 112 points. What’s going on?”

“Markets don’t like unknowns, and markets need confidence. The investing community needs confidence,” Tuchman said. “And I think it’s going to take a lot of work to rebuild that. And as we saw the other night with what went on in the House, it feels like people should get busy governing as opposed to all this posturing.”

Six months ago, Tuchman didn’t have a solid feel for the direction of the market. And just two trading weeks into the year, he still doesn’t believe any real trend has been established.

“The market has yet to find its ground. It’s yet to find its footing,” Tuchman told Cavuto. “And still, even coming into 2023, the first week of trading we have not found our footing. We have come in on a couple of economic notes that were a little bit positive. We opened up with a little bit of irrational enthusiasm. By the end of the days we were trading down.”

Meanwhile, some financial outlets, such as CNBC, have dug into the data showing what a market rise during the year’s first week – such as what we experienced this year – potentially means for the rest of 2023. They published a story last week with the headline, Simple ‘first five days’ stock market indicator is poised to send a good omen for 2023“.

On an episode of his popular YouTube program late last week, James from Invest Answers dug into 73 years of stock market data, to test that theory and see if the first five days of yearly stock market performance are an indicator of what the market might do over the full year.

“Some analysts pay attention to this, the first five trading day performance, can it be an indicator of a good year or a bad year,” James began last week, “I wanted to dig into all of that and get the answer for myself. Because some people think yes. Some people swear blind by it. Some people think it’s a myth or an old wive’s tale. Some people think it’s a great omen.”

After some rigorous data analysis, the thoughtful, numbers-based host was able to formulate some potential conclusions.

Based on James’ analysis…

If the gains from the first five market days of the year are negative, the market rises 86 percent of the time over the full year, with an average gain of 6%.

If the first five days are positive, the market increases 92% of the time, with an average yearly gain of 16%.

Most importantly, in this year’s scenario, where the first five days saw a jump of more than 1%, the market traditionally ends positive for the year 95 percent of the time. Those years see an average yearly gain of 18%.

“Is it a good omen, does it look bullish?” James asked. “Well, yes, based on history. But remember, there are factors like inflation, interest rates, geopolitical turmoil, supply chains, slowing economy. All that stuff is in play. But history also says that the market bounces bounces back before the market even realizes it’s in a recession. That’s an important thing to know.”

On his Your World program, Cavuto wondered if the recent House speaker voting drama has added to the uncertainty facing markets.

“Historically, Wall Street definitely is a bit more friendly to a Republican administration,” Tuchman said. “We’re in new ground, there’s no playbook, Neil. And I went over it with you the last time. There’s no playbook for coming out of a pandemic. No playbook for what’s gone on over the last two and a half years. Let’s think about it. March 2020, the market sold off so radically. We had a rally of 20 percent in 2020. 28 percent in 2021, in the eyes of a global economic shutdown due to the Federal Reserve’s posturing and whatnot.

“And now we’re trying to unwind that position. In tech, and in possible recession, and inflation and supply chain issues. So, there’s no way historically to make a judgment on what the future looks like in that realm, let alone what’s going on in the dis-functionality of what’s happening in Washington. I would like to disengage what’s going on in Washington and try and rebuild the confidence in the market coming into 2023.” 

So while the data might indicate a strong year ahead, the fact is that many analysts still won’t make that definitive call amidst such economic turmoil gripping the country. 

Along with U.S. markets, they remain steadfast in their search for solid footing.

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BNM Writers

Does Radio Need A Video Star?

If there’s revenue attached, the debate is over. If there isn’t a deal on the table, and there aren’t already orders to monetize a video stream, it’s likely coming soon.

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Last week numerous stories about using video with broadcasting or audio podcasting became a hot topic of discussion.

A Morning Consult poll found that 32% of Americans prefer podcasts with video, compared with 26% who like just audio better. Among podcast listeners, 46% said they favor them with video, compared with 42% who said they would rather listen without video. It’s worth noting that these are podcast listeners, not radio listeners.

Video has become the latest trend in audio. Almost everybody is trying to do some form of video. Many shows already stream online. A few others simulcast on a television or cable channel. It seems nobody believes in pure audio anymore. It’s a wonder everybody didn’t go into television instead of radio.

Before everybody else starts adding webcams in the studio, it’s worth weighing the reasons to move ahead versus slowing down.

The first person to realize they could use video of their show may have been Howard Stern. In June 1994, Stern started a daily half-hour show on E! network, featuring video highlights from his radio show. Stern added slick production values and faster pacing on the E! show.

Don Imus started simulcasting on cable during the same month. It’s possible others that I’m not aware of started earlier.

Stern’s E! show made sense. It answered the most common questions people asked about the show, in addition to what’s he really like; the first questions people usually asked were: 1) Are the women really as good-looking as he says? 2) Do they really take their clothes off? The E! show answered those questions. In addition, it gave a backstage glimpse of the show.

The same month Stern’s E! Show began, Imus began simulcasting his show on cable networks. I would have feared losing ratings. In fact, Imus’ program director did!

I spoke to my long-time friend and colleague Mark Chernoff (Current Managing Director of Mark Chernoff Talent and on-air talent 107.1 The Boss on the NJ Shore, Former Senior VP WFAN and CBS Sports Radio, VP Sports Programming CBS Radio) about the impact simulcasting Imus’ show had on WFAN. Chernoff may have the broadest range of experiences with simulcasting radio programs with video. 

Imus began on CSPAN but shortly afterward moved to MSNBC. Chernoff told me: “When we started simulcasting Imus, I suggested we’d lose about 15% of our radio audience to TV, which we did.” Chernoff added that there was a significant revenue contribution and that the company was content with the trade-off.

WFAN had a different experience simulcasting Mike and the Mad Dog on YES in 2002. “In this case, TV was helpful, and we increased listenership,” said Chernoff. WFAN also benefited financially from this simulcast.

Imus was on in morning drive while Mike & the Mad Dog were on in the afternoon. Keep the era in mind, too. Before smartphones and high-speed streaming, it was not uncommon for people to have televisions in the bed or bathrooms and have the tv on instead of the radio as they got ready for their day. In the afternoon, fewer people would have had video access in that era.

Ratings measurement moved to Portable People Meter (PPM) by the time WFAN started streaming middays on its website. Chernoff reported streaming had no ratings or revenue impact – positive or negative – on middays. However, the company did provide an additional dedicated person to produce the video stream.

The early forays into video by pioneers such as Stern, Imus, and Mike & the Mad Dog are instructive.

There are good reasons to video stream shows. Revenue is a good reason.

If there’s revenue attached, the debate is over. If there isn’t a deal on the table, and there aren’t already orders to monetize a video stream, it’s likely coming soon.

Another good reason is if the video can answer questions about the show, as the E! show did for Howard Stern.

On the other hand, audio companies are going to throw a lot of money at video, based on the notion that it’s what they “should” do because:

  • It’s the latest trend. Being late on this trend is different from missing the Internet or Podcasting. Industries already revolve around video; television and film come to mind.
  • Podcast listeners like it (by a slight plurality).

Before turning on webcams, see what viewers will see. The studios at many stations I’ve worked at were better not seen. Considerations include; the set, lighting, wardrobe, visuals, and a plan.

Too many video streams of studios feature the fire extinguisher prominently in the shot or the air personalities milling about during terminally long breaks.

Before going live, watch the video with no audio. Is it interesting? Compelling? Does the video draw you in, or is it dull?

With program directors now spread so thin handling multiple stations, a dedicated person to oversee streaming should be a requirement for stations streaming shows.

Other considerations:

  • How could this help us, and how could it hurt us?
  • How does the video enhance the show?
  • Will personalities do their radio show or perform for the cameras?
  • What production values are you able to add to the video?
  • What happens during those seven- eight-minute breaks if it’s a live radio show (vs. a podcast)? What will people streaming video see and hear? Does everybody on the show get along?

Do you have revenue attached? What do you expect will happen to the ratings?

WFAN earned significant revenue for two. Therefore, the company wasn’t concerned when the ratings took a hit for the first one and were surprised when they helped the second one. They didn’t see any impact on ratings or revenue the third time.

After all the budget cuts and workforce reductions over the past decade-plus, before audio companies invest in video, shouldn’t we get: people, marketing, promotion, or research monies back first?

Most of us decided to get into radio (or podcasting) instead of television or film. There’s a reason they said, “video killed the radio star.”

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BNM Writers

Streaming Platforms Cannot Be Forgotten By News/Talk Program Directors

BNM’s Pete Mundo writes that if you’re a News/Talk program director, you run two radio stations and what comes through the streaming platforms.

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If you’re a News/Talk program director, you run two radio stations. Didn’t you know that? Oh. Well, you do. 

I’m not just referring to our over-the-air broadcast but also what comes through our streaming platforms. Alexa, Google Home, apps, computers, etc., are all streaming platforms of our radio stations, which for most of us, are airing different commercial inventory than what is coming through the radio.

I understand none of us are unnecessarily looking to add to our plate, but our streaming platforms are the way we are getting more people to use our product. So neglecting, or forgetting about it, is a bad business decision, especially in the talk space. 

Across all clusters, talk radio is far more likely to have high streaming use when it comes to total listening hours. Listeners are more loyal to our personalities and often can’t get the AM dial in their office buildings during the day, or even if they can, they don’t want to hear our voices through static, so they pull up the stream. 

It’s never been easier to listen to talk radio stations, thanks to our station apps and websites (although welcoming some sites to the 21st century would be a good idea). So, given the challenges many of us face on the AM band, why not push our audience to the stream and make sure the stream sounds just as good as the over-the-air product?

The tricky part in putting together a quality stream sound is trying to balance what ads are programmatic, which ones are sold locally, where is the unfilled inventory and what is filling that gap?

And unlike your over-the-air product, where you can go into a studio, see what’s coming up, and move inventory around, that technology is not available in most cases. So yes, it’s a guessing game.

But as the talk climate continues to change, the best thing we can do to build our brand and trust with the next generation of talk radio listeners is to find them and engage them where they are, which may not always be next to a physical radio. That will be on a stream. How do I know that? Because if they have a smartphone, they have (access to) the stream.

Of course, the over-the-air product remains the massive revenue generator for our stations, as in most cases, the streaming revenue is not close to comparable. But then, if we look years down the road, that will likely start to change. 

To what degree? That’s unknown. But double-digit growth on an annual basis should not be out of the question when it comes to stream listening. It should be a very achievable goal, especially in our format. So our listeners who are P1’s, love the station and want to consume as much of the content as they can, can be on the AirPods in the gym, desk at work, or in their home office and listen to our radio stations. 

Heck, with Alexa and Google Home, they don’t even have to turn a dial! They just speak. So if they’re there, let’s keep them there.

There are simply too many media options today to lose our listeners due to sloppy streaming quality that makes us sound like a college radio station. Instead, listeners, who find us there should be rewarded with a listening experience that is just as high-quality as what they would get on the AM or FM band.

And if we play our cards right, it will be better, serving the industry incredibly well through a new generation of listeners.

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