A Message from Anthony Cutaia
At the age of 21 in the early 1970s I joined Edwards and Hanley in New York City, entering their training program to learn to become a stockbroker. I chose to be proactive from the very start. I did not want to just sit around, as others were doing, and wait for a great stock to leap out at me. That hardly seemed the right approach. Instead, I decided that I would learn as much as I could on my own so that I could show people what some of the better investment vehicles were.
Yet, even that approach turned out to be haphazard and chancy. I needed to develop a financial planning strategy. Along the way I grew to appreciate the concept of the ''timeliness of money.'' What did that phrase mean? It meant that there was a good time to make a move on the financial front as well as a bad time. And I had better learn the difference as early as possible.
I began my career as something of a conservative when it came to finances, believing that simply by conserving cash in accounts that provided compound interest one possessed a very powerful tool in building wealth. I still believe in these principles today, 30 years later, only now I am pushing it to the next level.
I did not want to see people ''bury'' their cash in equity then; I do not want to see them do it today. Putting your cash in equity means putting all of your cash into the hands of the banks.
I want people to have cash at their disposal so that they can use it to build wealth.
What I've done today in our business is to take the principles that I used 30 years ago and shift them to the next level by arguing that you should use the equity that exists in your investment vehicles as a catalyst or ''feeder'' to build additional wealth.
The investment vehicles of today may be different, they could be an annuity or mutual fund or some other kind of transaction, but the basic concept—the timeliness of money—is as important today as it was in the past. You have got to know when it is the right time to make a move on the financial front—and when it is the wrong time.
In the early years I used to call this notion ''dollar cost averaging'' and I had people make investments every month in mutual funds. That was the philosophy that was promulgated at that time. Some followed it; some did not.
When I got into mortgages and real estate, I began to see that I was doing things that were the natural extensions of the things I had been doing earlier. Now, as properties appreciate in value, still using the concept of the time use of money, my wife and business partner Susan Cutaia and I urge our clients, the new class of real estate investors, to look upon their investment vehicles as a means to accumulate wealth.
The investment vehicle thus becomes the ''feeder'' of one's overall investment strategy: the idea is to use real estate to take out equity and convert it into real cash. That is what this book is all about.
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