Everyone borrows money: to buy a house, to buy a car, to buy an office block, to buy a business.
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When you borrow money you are usually dramatically improving your lifestyle, and your chances of making your first or 50th million. You are also probably taking the second-biggest risk of your life - behind getting married and having kids. Like all risks, this one carries the promise of great rewards. There is no doubt that the quickest way to millionairedom is through borrowing money, and we would always encourage everyone to make a million dollars if they can!
But whether you make that million or only $100,000 can depend heavily on the deal that you can negotiate with your friendly banker.
But what do you know about banks and bankers?
Do you know how they arrive at the amount they will lend you? Do you know how to qualify for the cheapest interest rates? Do you know why it is that one bank will say no, yet the one across the road will say yes?
In short, do you know the rules that they are playing by? Probably not.
Yet you will know everything there is to know about the car, house or the business you are buying. You will research other prices. You will try everything possible to find out the vendor's bottom line. You will suss out how negotiable they are on payment terms. You will take great interest in their personal financial position to help you negotiate the best deal.
Then, when it comes to financing, you are likely to hit three or four banks and grab whichever deal comes along first.
It's not surprising, though. Banks try hard to woo you with their marketing machine. They spend millions to convince you of their respectability, trust and honesty, all in the interests of getting you to accept their terms and their offer without so much as a whimper. And yet logic dictates that you should be suspicious of any organisation that has to sell its integrity through advertising!
The people who come between you and the bank do nothing to undermine this image of integrity and respectability. They dare not, for the banks wield remarkable power and the lawyers, accountants and brokers spend most of their professional lives dealing with them and getting new clients from them.
So most people forget that banks are capitalist, profit-making machines just like McDonald's. Their main purpose in life, like most other large companies, is to make profits, grow bigger and wield more power.
So in your ignorance you end up paying more interest than you need, offering more security than is needed and sign your life away with hardly a whimper.
Borrowing money, whether it be to buy a Mini, a mansion or a meat factory, is one of the most important decisions of your life. You are making an agreement with an organisation that may become your number one enemy in a few years' time if you get into financial trouble. Making that decision without knowing the other party is like leaping into marriage to the first person who will have you - purely on their terms.
So this book is for anyone who borrows money. Whether you are borrowing $10,000 to buy your first car or $100 million to buy your first conglomerate, the same principles apply because the same philosophies underlie the bank's thinking.
This book will help you negotiate the most advantageous deal and save you money and sleepless nights when you sign on the dotted line.
More important still, this book will show you how to have fun with a species that can be the most difficult and the most depressing to deal with - bankers.