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the Borrow Smart Book


Borrow Smart Retire Rich

Listen to the Introduction

This book is a key part of our Financial Advisor and Lender training, but it was written for the consumer.  I started writing this book in 1994 based on a class that we taught Realtors about how the house created wealth, and how borrowing was one of the most important decisions a client would ever make. You could say it was written and authored by me, but hundreds of CPAs, financial advisors, Realtors, lenders, and consumers provided the real issues and challenges that we address in this book.

I began again in earnest in 1999 and it became a class we taught to financial advisors all over the US, but the book was still not done. In 2004, I started a third time to write something that would be for the consumer, something that might help to clarify many of the questions, concerns, ideas, and general confusions that occur when you try to compress emotional beliefs and logical considerations in ashort 30 days (like when you are buying or refinancing a house) without really considering the financial implications of the impact on wealth over 30 years.

What came out of this process was 7 Key Concepts and 7 Specific Steps you can easily follow in a book that we released as a first printing in November of 2007. More often that not, the typical mortgage considerations: 'are we approved?', 'when are we closing?' 'what's our payment?' dwarf the larger issues of wealth that is transferred unnecessarily and unknowingly to others over a life time of house ownership.

All the money you will ever have or need will flow through your house. What portion of that wealth supports your personal wealth development, versus the wealth of others, is a function of the decisions you make; in other words how you Borrow Smart™.

It is my hope that this book will bring clarity and confidence - engaging you to think differently about the role your house plays in the wealth creation process. If you will simply learn to Borrow Smart™, your borrowing decisions will create increased cash flow that can be utilized to build your assets over time - you may indeed Retire Rich. Over 19,000 readers have purchased this book, and we appreciate your personal commitment to a mastery of your cash and liabilities.

Todd K. Ballenger

After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Todd began a financial planning practice in Chapel Hill, NC.

His interest in real estate and mortgage lending led to the development of a mortgage company focused on managing both sides of the balance sheet. Focusing first on cash and liability management, the savings and increased cash flow were then applied toward the future wealth of his clients. That initial vision was rolled into a public offering in 1999. NASDAQ: MDCM (

Since 2000, Todd primarily consults with financial institutions to develop integrated cash and liability management strategies for their lenders and advisors. He also coaches some of the nation's top individual lenders and financial advisors to stay in touch with the real issues facing the 'bridge'. We consider the lende or financial advisors a bridge between the financial institution and the ultimate client.

Todd has worked with Charles Schwab, Ameriprise, American Express, Merrill Lynch, MetLife, Wachovia, PHH Mortgage, Everbank, Old Mutual, Jackson National, LPL, and many other financial institutions and associations dedicated to developing strategy, content, training, and tools to support their financial advisors in the management of cash, liabilities and assets.

The end goal is always the same. Provide the client with knowledge to make a more informed choice through unbiased education by providing the advisor or lender with tools and content to get the job done.

Todd travels and speaks regularly to advisors, lenders, Realtors and consumers about how they can Borrow Smart™ and increase their chances of learning to Retire Rich.

Recently Todd, and a group of financial industry leaders, started the National Institute of Financial Education (NIFE), to create a new outlet for sharing a collective vision of the role financial education may play in solving financial challenges that could easily compound just like interest.

Order A Copy Today

Thanks for your interest.  You are ordering a single copy of Borrow Smart Retire Rich. To order multiple copies for personal use, or a corporate event, please contact us with your request and for volume pricing.

Todd also has a variety of speaking packages (next tab over) that can be tailored and integrated with the book as giveaway, book signing, client appreciation event, etc. Please see the tab on Speaking if you'd like to learn more about Todd's speaking format, or other Cash or Liability Management training.  As always, if you have something special, just contact us.

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Borrow Smart Retire Rich Book: the book in paperback Amt
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Todd has over 20 years experience in the financial services industry as a licensed securities, insurance, real estate, and mortgage lending professional. Todd founded three companies; Capital Savings Co, Inc., Advantage Capital Mortgage, USA, and PlanMax Financial. These three companies closed over $2 billion dollars in residential and commercial loans before being rolled into a Nasdaq IPO in 1999.

Todd is considered an industry pioneer in the area of capital market and credit market convergence, and has published courses on lending and equity management currently approved for Realtors, Appraisers, Builders and Lenders in over 45 states.

Todd was a two-time Inc. 500 winner, a three time KPMG Fast 50 winner, and the 1998 NC Mortgage Lender of the year. Todd was awarded the 2003 '40 Under 40' award by the Triangle Business Journal in NC as one of the top 40 young leaders. Todd has a business degree from the University of North Carolina.


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Corporate Events:

Todd has a variety of keynote (1 hour) programs that can be tailored to specific corporate training or client appreciation activities. He also offers optional 'break-out' workshops. These can be done together, main stage speaking with smaller breakout - or separately. His ability to paint pictures of how cash and liability management can work together make him a sought after speaker for corporate retreats and senior executive workshops.

Todd has a variety of customizable main stage events. His presence captivates Advisors, Lenders, and Realtors. He brings home practical real actionable strategies any professional can use now in the development of their practice. Each keynote event can be customized for the audience and sponsor.
Large Group Training:
Todd has a 2 hour (quarter-day) 4 hour (half-day), and an 8 hour (full-day) training format for large groups. These can be a professional group (advisors, lenders, Realtors), or a 'HUB' event, where a sponsoring party (Local Financial Advisor), brings in Lenders and Realtors, etc. Todd's last event was sponsored by a national lender who invited over 100 local Realtors and Financial Advisors to learn more about managing cash and liabilities.
Small Group Training:
Todd has a 1.5 hour Client Appreciation Event, and the above mentioned 2 hour (quarter-day), 4 hour (half-day), and an 8 hour (full-day) training format for small groups, these are typically for a lending a financial advisory practice, or a real estate firm seeking to train a specific group on liability management practices. These are also well suited for client appreciation events where a branch sponsors or invites clients in the regional area.

*most events provide CE to all participants.

To Learn More - Contact Us with your specific requirements and we'll customize a solution for you.

See Todd Speak to 3,000 Lending and Real Estate Professionals