The Secrets of a Baseball Iron Man: Cal Ripken Jr.

Secrets of a Baseball Iron Man Cal Ripken Jr

Secrets of a Baseball Iron Man Cal Ripken Jr

So we’re in Baltimore, Maryland at a really practical and useful conference which is rare enough in itself and we also got the opportunity to listen in as Cal Ripken Jr. reflected on some of his achievements.

We’re not baseball fans … at all … but you’ve got to respect a guy who played 2,632 games without missing a single one.

That’s seventeen years without missing a single inning or at bat. 17 years!

He beat the previous record, held by Lou Gehrig, by 502 games and finally removed himself voluntarily from a game to end the streak.
The game in which he broke Lou’s record has been voted the most memorable game in Baseball’s history. Not bad eh?

Cal retired in 2001.

During his chat Cal shared that the obvious #1 question he gets is, “What’s his secret? How did he play 17 years without missing a single game?” Not for injury, having a “bad day”, family issues, disagreements with Managers or teammates … not for anything.
And guess what his the answer is?

Here’s exactly what he said:

“I just liked playing.”


Gimme a break. We want to hear how you repeat positive affirmations, eat right, work hard, have a positive mental attitude, rub your lucky silver coin before every game … give us something!

“I just liked playing.” Come ON!

A little while after breaking the streak Derek Jeter, from the NY Yankees, asked him the same question … “How did you do it Cal? How did you play 17 years without missing a game? After two weeks of the season I start feeling like I need to get away for a while. How did you do it for almost two decades?”

So he gave his standard answer again, “I’m not sure, I just like to play.”

And Derek Jeter looked at him with such disappointment that Cal really felt like he had let him down. Immediately afterwards a reporter asked him, “What traits does someone have to have to do accomplish what you accomplished?”

And that got him thinking…

Cal decided he needed to answer that question to help out Derek Jeter and everyone else who has been asking him about his incredible streak.

He sat down and wrote out the things that he felt served him well over the years.

We’re going to share the notes we took during his chat… here we go:

1. The Right Approach

Right attitude, a personal mission statement, and an honest and simple approach of being ready and available for his role.

In the early 1990’s he was struggling badly and the media was calling him selfish for not pulling himself out of some games to give someone else a chance to help the team.

He was depressed about it and considered it until a veteran pitcher on the Baltimore Orioles told him on the day he was going to pitch that, as a pitcher, he only got to play every six days, and he wanted and deserved to have the very best players on the field with him.

And that it would be selfish to give into the media critics who don’t even play the game.

That single talk saved Cal’s streak.

The critics went on criticizing.

And interestingly enough, a few years later the same critics were upset that Cal may actually miss a game and break his streak because of the birth of his son.

He didn’t end up needing to … but the lessons is that you can never be right in the eyes of critics so don’t try to be.

Some Money Making Magic from 1944

As a real estate investor it’s important to know the basics.

You need to have a long term goal for your real estate business.   You must decide on some strategies.   And you need to figure out what tactics to use.

For example, “I want to create $10,000 a month in cash flow so that I can focus on my true passion and I’m using a combination of single family homes and commercial real estate with long term leases in growing communities to do it.”

Having a blueprint for your business is key.

But there’s something that’s often missed.

And it’s a big deal.

Too many investors ignore anything outside the world of real estate.

In the past we’ve shared how important it is to know how the economy works.  How things like interest rates and inflation can monkey with you assets.

Why it’s important to understand the impact of changes to banks overnight lending rates.

And there’s something else you should know.

You must know how currencies work.


Well if you’re investing in Canada but plan to retire in Tuscany, Italy it’s a big deal.

Let’s say you invest in some nice cash flowing Canadian real estate.  It goes up in value 50% over 10 years.


What if the Canadian dollar loses value against the Euro over that same time period.

You think you’ve made 50% on your money and you’re planning to use that cash to help you buy that dream villa in Tuscany.

But when you go to convert those Canadian loonies to fancy dancy Euros you realize that you’re losing out because the Canadian dollar has lost value against the Euro.

You’re $170,000 Canadian dollars no longer gets you the $100,000 Euros.

It only gets you $75,000 Euros.

Not good news for your Tuscan getaway.

So currency is a big deal.

Get it?

The example above isn’t any kind of forecast, just an example.

And to be clear the Canadian dollar is likely in much better shape than the U.S. Dollar right now.

But there are ways to make currency forecasts for yourself if you know what to look for.

And we need to start at the beginning.

It’s really important for you to know what some old guys did in 1944.

We believe it’s impossible to have an understanding of how the economy works without knowing what these “gentleman” did in 1944.

Ready for it?

Great, let’s go…

If You Don’t Know History You’re Destined To Repeat It

You know what?

There’s always money to be made.

Sometimes it’s easy to make money … think Tech Stocks in 1999.

Boy, that was fun, wasn’t it?

And think the Real Estate market from 1999 to …. well, that party is still going in Canada isn’t it.

And sometimes it’s harder to make money. Think the Real Estate market in Toronto from 1990 to 1994. And think the Stock Market from 2007 until 2010.

This week Nick and I were in Downtown T.O. meeting with a really bright investment advisor.

Young guy, but already experienced and smart, really smart.

You know why?

He knows his history better than his peers so when stocks were tanking in 2008 he was already looking at alternative investments.

He focused in on quality Real Estate via Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and he plays the bond market rather aggressively.

Remember, there’s money to be made in any market.

His parting words to us were … “Today it’s all about cash flow.

We almost had a heart attack.  He understood that but it seemed he was implying that idea was big news to some of his colleagues.

Some of you may know that we’re students of financial history because knowing what has happened in the past gives us insight and confidence in our decisions today.

For example, in the late 1800’s there were canal bubbles and railroad bubbles.

Before that George Washington had his own financial bubbles on his hands when gold money was being debased to fight wars.

This week we wanted to share two charts that should be interesting to any savvy real estate investor.

We speak with many investors who think interest rates below 5% are normal.

They forget that in the early 1980’s you were paying 16.5% for a mortgage or higher.  And if you had a mortgage renewal at that time you would be in for some serious pain.

Can you imagine having signed a mortgage in 1978 for 7% and then 5 years later being faced with renewing it at more than double?  Sheesh.

If you were financially stretched at the time then getting a mortgage for more than double your initial rate would be disastrous.

But wanna know something cool? My father-in-law locked up some GICs at 18% (yes, 18%) during that same time.

Some people were suffering others were profiting.


There’s money to be made in any market.

18% Guaranteed Investment Certificates? Are you kidding me? Where do we sign-up?

Now, here’s the fun part.

The Bank of Canada recently raised rates three times this year. Is this the start of a massive string of rate hikes or a temporary blip?  Media screaming of stalling real estate.  Economists and politicians screaming of a stalling economy.  Condo developers screaming of unprecedented demand.  What the heck is going on?

Tough call right? Well, let’s go further back in time.