What’s In “The Big Black Book of Income Secrets”?

If you receive emails from investment advisory services, you may have gotten a sales pitch for The Big Black Book of Income Secrets from the Palm Beach Research Group.

The promo promises you’ll discover “30 unique income tools” in The Big Black Book of Income Secrets.

The offer entices you with a “risk-free 60-day trial subscription to the Palm Beach Letter.” If you’re not satisfied before the two-month trial is up, you’re told you can get a refund and keep the book and some “bonus” reports that are included in the offer.

To find out if The Big Black Book of Income Secrets lived up to its promises, we signed up for the “Platinum Subscription” for $99 for the first year, which comes with additional “bonus” reports.

Three weeks later, the book arrived, containing 22 (not 30 as promised) strategies, with a cover letter from the Publisher, Tom Dyson, explaining that we could log into their website to access the reports we signed on for and back issues of the Palm Beach Letter. (I guess for $99, they can’t afford to mail you hard copies of the reports.)

The First Red Flag in The Big Black Book of Income Secrets is “Income For Life”

Income for Life is Palm Beach Letter’s flagship “secret.” And the book devotes all 34 pages of Chapter 1 to it.

The Income for Life chapter, written by the Publisher, Tom Dyson, claims it’s…

The Most Underground Income Investment I’ve Ever Seen”

And Dyson notes, “The only way you’d ever hear about it is if you stumbled onto it by accident.”

Really?!?

I’ve spent the last 15 years popularizing this strategy under the name “Bank On Yourself,” and writing not one, but two New York Times best-selling books on the topic!

In addition, Bank On Yourself has been featured on thousands of major websites and publications, including Bloomberg Businessweek, Associated Press, Yahoo Finance, Fox News and AARP. I’ve been interviewed on the topic on every major TV and radio network.

As a result, our surveys show that around three out of every ten people in the U.S. have heard of Bank On Yourself. Depending on how sassy I’m feeling, if I talk to someone who says they haven’t heard of it, I’ll ask what rock they’ve been hiding under.

And certainly some of the other strategies in The Big Black Book of Income Secrets are not “secret,” either.

How “secret” are strategies like reverse mortgages (you may have even seen me on TV as a spokesperson for a major reverse mortgage company), rental real estate, various types of annuities and making money from your skills by posting your services on websites that match people looking for freelancers with people offering services?

But the Palm Beach Letter is a marketing machine that can afford to hire the very best sales copywriters whose job it is to get you hooked on paying for their investment advisory services, so they can sell more products and services to you at higher prices (some of their services sell for up to $5,000 a pop) the moment you take that first bait.

That’s why their initial offers start as low as $4.95, or $49 or $99. (Palm Beach Letter is part of Agora Publishing, one of the most successful, profitable newsletter companies around. I was Editor-In-Chief for one of Agora’s publications for a year, and got an insider’s look at how they work.)

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I did see some stock-picking strategies in the book that I wasn’t familiar with – more on that in a moment…

We’ve already established that many of the strategies in The Big Black Book of Income Secrets are not really secrets. But what about the accuracy of the information contained in the book? Can you count on the information you’ll find in it?

That’s the Second Red Flag in The Big Black Book of Income Secrets

For example, I quickly skimmed the chapter on reverse mortgages, since I’m very familiar with them, and on page 139, they tell you to “get advice from a counselor (a free service).”

You’re required to get counseling from an approved service for most, if not all, reverse mortgages. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the cost for this required housing counselor session runs about $125. The fee is waived, however, if your income is less than twice the poverty level.

And in chapter 7 on Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities, they claim that advisors don’t bother selling them because the commissions are so low, averaging “1% or less.”

So we did our own research and could find just one company paying only a 1% commission on a 3 year annuity, but that company didn’t pay the highest rate. And on the 5 year annuity, the commissions ranged between 2.25%-4%, not the 1% or less claimed in the book. Again, the lowest commission product didn’t pay the highest rate.

Maybe those are nit-picking points, but the information Palm Beach Letter provides on Income for Life (most popularly known as Bank On Yourself, which I am intimately familiar with) has some serious inaccuracies that I’ve written about on this blog.

Over the last few years, Palm Beach Letter has used other names to describe and promote this strategy, to keep it mysterious, so that people feel compelled to pay for their publications, in order to find out what the “big secret” is.

I wrote about this when they were promoting it as the “Secret 770 Account.” In that article, I discuss four things Palm Beach Letter got wrong about this strategy, such as claiming you receive a “contractually guaranteed minimum growth rate of 4%.”

That’s both inaccurate and misleading, as I explain in my article on the 770 account.

When promoting this strategy as the 770 Account lost steam, they renamed it. Read what I wrote about “President Reagan’s Secret 702(j) Retirement Plan” for details.

So, for these reasons, I have a hard time putting full faith in the rest of the information in The Big Black Book of Income Secrets.

What About the Stock Picking Strategies in The Big Black Book of Income Secrets?

Let’s take a look at Chapter 10 on “The 3-Minute Money Primer,” about “how to earn safe income with options.”

In this section, they introduce you to the “COIN proprietary screening method,” which lets you “make trades in just three minutes,” once you learn how to do it.

They then give you a list of 30 “elite stocks” to use for potential trades – all household names like American Express, Google and Wal-Mart – and then show you “three simple steps” to use to narrow down the list.

Then they give you guidelines to use to narrow down the list, such as the P/E ratio should be cheaper than the market’s P/E ratio, and why you should consider buying a stock after a damaging news story appears about it.

Then they walk you through 12 steps to track the 30 elite stocks on Yahoo Finance. And once you’ve narrowed the field down to three stocks, you’re given 6 metrics to use to compare the stocks, such as time in trade, cushion and open interest.

Now you’re ready to make a trade.

WHEW!!! It’s enough to make your eyes cross!

You really have to wonder what percentage of the Palm Beach Letter’s subscribers actually use these strategies

I’m guessing it’s a pretty small percentage.

It also appears to contradict what Tom Dyson claims on page 27 that they “hate complexity. One of the rules [we] established when we first started was we’d never recommend anything we couldn’t understand and explain in simple terms.”

The Palm Beach Group provides a lot of testimonials for its strategies, but each only contains a first name and last initial, which shoots a big hole in their credibility. Most people who are happy with a company’s services are fine with using their full identity. Check out the success stories from happy Bank On Yourself customers here to see what I mean.

There are several multiple-step strategies covered in the book, like the 3-Minute Money Primer.

So, is The Big Black Book of Income Secrets right for you? It depends. If you like and will actually implement multi-step stock picking strategies, and are okay with the possibility that there may be some inaccuracies and misstatements, the book does cover strategies that, for the most part, are safer than many strategies you typically hear about.

But if you do sign up, be prepared for a barrage of emails designed to get you to spend more money on the Palm Beach Letter’s many services.

And if you want the straight scoop on the Income for Life Strategy, and access to the most highly trained and knowledgeable network of advisors qualified to help you implement the strategy properly, you’re in the right place.

Get a FREE No-Obligation Analysis from an Authorized Advisor

It’s easy to find out what your bottom-line numbers and results could be if you added the Income for Life or Bank On Yourself strategy to your financial plan. Just request your FREE, no-obligation Analysis.

You’ll get a referral to one of only 200 advisors in the U.S. and Canada who have met the rigorous requirements to be a Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisor. They’ll structure your plan correctly to maximize the growth of your cash value and show you how to potentially add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your lifetime wealth, simply by changing the way you make major purchases. They’ll also answer all your questions. Take the first step here:

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Comments

  1. I plan to retire in 12 years, what can I do now to get the most of what I have earned. The big Black Book said something about getting income from being in your house over 25 years and over 62years old. My mother is 80 and has been in her house of 40. How do I see if she could qualify.
    Is the Big Black book just blowing smoke.

    • Pamela Yellen says:

      They are referring to a “reverse mortgage,” which is an excellent product that I have done considerable research into. You certainly don’t need to buy The Big Black Book of Income Secrets to see if you qualify! (And this is another example of how many strategies in the book are not really secrets at all.)

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