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Monday, March 23, 2015

Getting Featured On Money Magazine

How I Got Myself Featured On Money Magazine:


Can you anticipate a potential future financial outcome?  I did.  And believe it or not, I actually do it quite often.  Whether or not YOU believe me is another story.  Being a Generalist Opportunist, I live in a world of “what’s possible.”  Compare that to most people who live in a self-doubting, incredulous, and “that’s not possible,” world.  Why do most people shut off their stream of thoughts that have them living out a scenario they themselves designed?  People would rather not waste time thinking of a future where a great thing is happening to them.  This is sad, isn’t it?  I understand why this is.  The letdown of something not happening to you, over-and-over, can be psychologically damaging to your ego.  I don’t let my ego get in the way because I aim with a shotgun, and not a pistol.  In other words, I shoot at everything as a Generalist Opportunity, and since I’m shooting with a shotgun, I’m bound to hit something!

Sometime in October of 2014, I received an email from the “Money Matters Panel.”  I don’t know how they got my personal email.  Maybe I submitted my email address when I first subscribed to Money Magazine?  Who cares, really?  MMP’s email was an invitation to be part of a “panel,” more like an online community, that would contribute to the things Money Magazine showcases.  Let me share the email I received after completing the tasks they asked of me in order to become a member:

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Dear Carlos, 

We are excited to welcome you to the new Money Matters Panel website! As a member of this community, you are encouraged to participate in community activities, such as taking surveys, answering polls, participating in group discussions, and more! You'll also be able to interact with other members to share your opinions and ideas.

To begin, simply go to: 
http://moneymatterspanel.com/, and log in using the email address and temporary password listed below. Once you log into the site, we recommend that you change this password by visiting the My Profile page, and then clicking “Change Password.” 

Email: calilimexica@yahoo.com


Once logged in, take a few minutes to browse the site and see what we're all about. 
Participate in the latest quick poll on the homepage, and check out the discussion forums!

If you have any questions, you can always contact me at 
admin@moneymatterspanel.com

Thanks again, and we look forward to speaking with you!

Thank you, 

Bob                                            

Research Director, Money Matters Panel




What I can’t share with you is the time I spent online answering over 100 new member Money Matters Panel questions that would serve as their data about me.  Field items included information about my ethnicity, my age, magazines I read, the financial websites I frequent, etc.  The darn thing took me close to 45 minutes to complete.  Let’s stop for a second to consider some important thoughts.

Would you have clicked on an email with the subject line: Money Matters Panel?  Maybe.  Would you have read the email in full?  Possibly.  Would you have then on your own time, clicked on the provided link for taking a required questionnaire?  Say you had.  Now, once starting the questionnaire and seeing that you had multiple questions to answer, with a status bar barely moving after each completed response, would you have ploughed through?  Most people would say, Screw this, I’m too busy, and click the “x” at the top of the page, never to see it again.  Having done the questionnaire, I can assure you that it was cumbersome; enough to have made most people quit midstride.  Here’s where things come together.  I didn’t quit the process myself because I had a potential financial future in mind even before I clicked the provided link!

I thought,
Hey, maybe if I become a Money Matters Panel member, and contribute often, I may one day be featured on their financial makeover articles? 

I love these pieces.  They’re my favorite articles in the magazine.  Love the photographs of each family.  Love how they present each family’s finances and how they recommend financial action at the end.  And I had always wanted to be on Money Magazine in this format.  Did I know at the time how people made it onto Money Magazine?  No!  I didn’t care.  I hypothesized that people made it onto Money by being active members of the Money Matters Panel.  And I was wrong!  Making it into the magazine had nothing to do with your participation as described in the email above.  I take that back, if you read the first paragraph again, you’ll get to the part that says, “…discussions, and more!”  That was the most important part of that sentence, as it turns out.  You see, just a few weeks later I received this email:


Dear Carlos, 


Get help with your investing challenges!

Has the volatile market caused you to flee stocks for the security of cash and bonds? Are you close to 100% in stocks but thinking now it might be time to dial back? Would you like to rework your investments to generate more income from dividends and bonds? If so, we’d like to help. 
For an upcoming issue, MONEY is looking for people who'd be willing to share their portfolio with our readers and in exchange have a top-shelf financial planner examine their investments from top to bottom and come up with a full financial plan.

To participate, you must be comfortable sharing details of your personal and financial life (including your real names) and being photographed for the story. We're particularly looking for people who have an annual income of at least $50,000 for singles, $100,000 combined for couples. 
If interested, please send us a note at makeover@moneymail.com. Please tell us a little about your investment challenges and include your name, age, city, occupation, name and age of each member of the household, email address, phone number, and a link to a photo, if possible. Please also include a few details about your family’s finances, including income, expenses, assets, and debts. All of this information will be kept confidential until we talk and you agree to appear in the story. Everybody has an investment challenge, so let’s hear yours!

Thank you, and thanks for reading MONEY Magazine.

Sincerely,



Diane Harris



Executive Editor 



And there it was: A “what’s possible” outcome becoming more possible!  My “that’s not possible” mindset readers are probably thinking right now: Carlos, you’re full of it!  No way anyone thinks to join a time consuming online community with the idea of doing so simply to one day be in a magazine.  Well, I did!  At this point in the story, however, the outcome I pictured had not yet materialized.  I still had to follow the instructions given in the above email and apply.  On November 12th, I received an email from Paul Keegan, Money Magazine contributing writer.  A string of back and forth emails between Paul and me ensued, too many to share here.  They were follow-up questions that would complete the Gomez family package, including pictures of my wife Jessica, and our two toddlers, Rehani and Ajani.  I thought for sure we would make the cut.  Only to get this email from Paul at the end:


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