Personal Finance Blog for Retirement and Investment Advice

Pamela Yellen Named Top Personal Finance Influencer

I’ve just been named one of the 30 most influential people in personal finance and wealth, and I wanted to share the exciting news with you!

Starting with a field of more than 1,000 finance experts, the study (commissioned by MoneyTips) used a rigorous process to score and rank each expert to whittle it down to a ranked list of the top 30 influencers in wealth and personal finance.Pamela Yellen is a Money Tips Top 30 Influencer

I’m ranked #19 on this list of the Top 30 social influencers impacting Americans’ financial lives.

The list was published last week on the Huffington Post, titled, What the Top 30 Personal Finance/Wealth Influencers Know That You Don’t. I was also one of a handful of the top experts quoted in the article.

I am very gratified by this acknowledgement. For the past decade I’ve devoted my life to educating people about alternatives to traditional investing and retirement planning that have enabled hundreds of thousands of people to stop using the crystal-ball-hope-and-pray method of financial planning and start knowing how good their financial future can be.

And I’ve learned several important lessons along the way – I’ll share the most important one with you in a moment.

Those who followed my advice and joined the Bank On Yourself financial security revolution have seen their money grow safely and predictably every single year, even when the markets tumbled and…

  • They don’t have to gamble in the Wall Street casino to grow a sizable nest-egg or worry about when the next crash will come and wipe out their life savings again. (We all know the market is going to crash again – the only question is when.)
  • They can tell banks and finance companies to go take a hike and have access to the money they need, whenever and for whatever they need it – whether that be to cover an unexpected emergency or to take advantage of an opportunity. (Watch this video to see how this works.)
  • They don’t need to depend on their employer, the government or the volatile stock and real estate markets for their financial security.
  • They finally have control over their own financial futures.

Would you like to find out how big your nest-egg could grow – without the risk or volatility of the stock or real estate markets – if you added the Bank On Yourself method to your financial plan? It’s easy to find out when you request your FREE Analysis, if you haven’t already.Request a FREE Bank on Yourself Analysis

As I mentioned, I’ve learned some very important lessons on the road to becoming a top influencer, and I want to share one of the hardest lessons with you here…

Life Lesson: Develop Immunity to Criticism

To succeed at being a full expression of who you are, you have to figure out how you’ll deal with the slings and arrows of your critics. Because when you step out from the pack, trust me, those critics will find you!

In my case, I’ve taken on the biggest and most powerful institutions in the world – Wall Street and the banking industry. So it’s no wonder that I get attacked every week – especially on the internet and often by people hiding behind anonymity.

I’m no stranger to being accused of being a scammer – even though the Bank On Yourself strategy hasn’t had a losing year in over 160 years and was used successfully by one-third of our grandparents.

As Mark Twain noted, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.”

The Bank On Yourself RevolutionYet I get emails from people telling me they hope I burn in hell or rot in jail.

People trash my New York Times best-selling book, The Bank On Yourself Revolution, on Amazon who admit they’ve never read the book and never will!

And yet I still get up every morning and continue to follow my mission and passion – even when it would be so much easier to just go hide under a rock. Prominently placed on my office wall is a quote from Dan Kennedy, one of my mentors:

If you don’t offend somebody by noon each day, you’re not doing much.”

And isn’t that true? If you want to make a difference in the world, you will get push back.

Listen to constructive criticism. But don’t let self-appointed critics of your work dissuade you from what you believe in. As Chief Justice Earl Warren said: “Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile I caught hell for.”

Have you experienced this in your own life? I’d love to hear from you about how it’s affected you and how you’ve handled it.

7 Ways to Spend Less and Enjoy Life More

Do you remember during the recession when it was actually trendy to cut up your charge cards and get out of debt?

Well, that fad wore off rather quickly, didn’t it?

Americans have since resorted to their free-spending ways, and now total debt in the US has hit a new all-time record.”

Over the past several years, 6-year-term loans have become the norm for financing cars, according to Experian Automotive.

And subprime loans to business have skyrocketed – at rates equal to as much as 125% per year, when the fees are included. (You read that right – 125%.)

Borrowing creates the illusion that we can afford a better lifestyle than we really can. And sooner or later, the chickens will come home to roost. It’s never pretty when that happens.

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What does Financial Independence
mean to you?

flag-fireworks-4thWith Independence Day right around the corner, I got to thinking about the real meaning of financial independence.

(Take our survey now and tell us what financial independence means to you.)

For retired Navy Commander and Bank On Yourself revolutionary Bob Chambers, it means,

Spending time with family and friends and having a predictable, life-long income that provides a comfortable lifestyle.”

If you’ve been a subscriber for a little while, you may recall that Commander Bob agreed to share the booklet he wrote, which he called “Financial Independence Made Easy,” after we received an avalanche of requests for it when I posted an interview I did with him.

Commander Bob has been a student of money and finances for many years, and his 20-page booklet is full of profound insights, including:

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Breaking news roundup from
Bank On Yourself

Here are summaries of three important news stories affecting your money and finances…

1. Investment brokers fight rule to favor best interests of clients

Did you know that brokers are not necessarily required to act in your best interest – even if it’s your retirement savings at stake?

The investment industry – from large Wall Street firms to small independent advisors – is spending millions of dollars to fight a rule that would require a broader group of brokers and planners to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.

The Labor Department said it would release the proposed rule in January, but has already indicated it may miss that deadline. That’s not the first delay on this, though. The rule was originally introduced in 2010 and was rescinded the following year after brokers and lawmakers protested. Wow!

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Pamela Yellen’s untold story (part 2 – the ugly Halloween mask)

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs 

At the end of my circus adventure (if you missed the story about my riding an elephant in a skin-tight gold sequined leotard, you can read all about it here), I returned to Sarasota, Florida. And I have to confess, I was beginning to feel a little restless.

My dating life was non-existent and I couldn’t afford to keep buying men (it’s not what it seems!). I had been working as the sales manager for a specialty publication for three years. Work was fine, but not very exciting and not something that I was passionate about.

All in all, my life was okay. Just okay. Yawn! 

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Are you a predictably irrational investor?

Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries and dating…”

– Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip Dilbert

With full confidence, I can say that you are irrational when it comes to investing.

I know this not from talking to your broker or your mother-in-law, and I haven’t hacked into your portfolio statements. I know this because you’re human.

What will happen in the stock market isn’t predictable. But one thing is absolutely for sure and for certain: Investors are predictably irrational. We’re not talking smart or stupid, sophisticated or naïve. We’re talking across-the-board irrational.

So maybe you’re thinking that you’re the exception. You think you can handle the volatility of the market by just gritting your teeth and praying everything turns out all right as you roll the dice in the Wall Street Casino. Or maybe you think that at the first sign of trouble, you’ll be able to bail out of stocks and into bonds or money market funds to lock in your gains.

Researchers say, “Nope, that’s not what’s happening…”

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Is Pamela Yellen related to Janet Yellen?

People often confuse me – Pamela Yellen – with Janet Yellen, the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

I can understand the confusion – we share the same relatively rare last name (“Yellen”), we’re both women in finance (a male-dominated field), and we’re only six years apart in age. But that’s where the similarities end.

Janet Yellen and Pamela YellenJanet Yellen is head of the Fed, while if I were nominated, my first course of action would be to abolish the Fed. I’ll tell you why in a moment…

Alas, I am not hopeful about the progress of the economy with Ms. Yellen at the helm.  The Fed is still printing money 24/7, forever blowing asset bubbles (and the inevitable bursts that follow), and throwing seniors and savers under the bus by keeping interest rates artificially – and dangerously – low.

Of course, if this strategy works so well, why are we experiencing the slowest rebound from a recession in memory (if not in history)?

There are a lot of reasons I’d abolish the Federal Reserve…

For starters, it’s not federal, nor are there any reserves. It was conceived in 1910 during a secret meeting on Jekyll Island in Georgia of seven wealthy and well-connected bankers who controlled one-fourth of the total wealth of the entire world. Its purpose was to birth a banking cartel to protect its members from competition. (A fascinating book on this topic is The Creature from Jekyll Island, by G. Edward Griffin, available here on

Pamela’s untold story (about the elephant and circus)

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T. S. Eliot

Some people have skeletons in their closet. Me? I’ve got a few friendly ghosts, memories of times when I’ve been a little wild and crazy. When I tell friends about these times, I usually get a stunned look and a “You did what!?!”

But each of my adventures, whether voluntary or involuntary, has taught me something.

Like the time that a skin-tight gold-sequined circus costume, a fundraiser for breast cancer research, and an elephant landed me on national television.

Maybe I should start from the beginning…

It starts out very “normally.” Back in 1987, I was thirty-something and single, living in Sarasota, Florida, the land of retirees and snowbirds. Now Sarasota is a lovely place, but unless you’re already collecting Social Security, it isn’t the best place to find eligible bachelors. So I did what any red-blooded American woman would do:

“I decided to buy a man”

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Two New 401k Revelations

If you’ve been a subscriber for a while or you’ve read my new best-selling book, The Bank On Yourself Revolution, it’s no secret that at the end of the day, I’m not a big fan of the 401(k).

Or the IRA, 403(b), or any other government “blessed” and controlled retirement account. There are many reasons for that. This recent blog post I wrote reveals one big problem – mutual fund fees, which are likely devouring far more of your savings than you realize.Broken 401k nest egg

But in the last couple of weeks, there have been new studies revealing just how devastating to your financial health a 401(k) can be:

Recent 401(k) Wealth-Killing Revelation #1: 

A new academic study by two Yale and University of Virginia professors argues that millions of workers have been ripped off by excessive fees charged by plan sponsors and advisors to these plans.

The study concluded that…

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Dalbar 2014 QAIB Report Reveals the Truth About Investor Returns

I’m holding in my hands a hot-off-the-press Report from the well-respected research firm, DALBAR, Inc., about the actual returns investors have been getting in the stock market over the last 30 years. And it ain’t pretty…hot off the presses

The average investor in asset allocation mutual funds (which spread your money in a blend of equities and fixed-income funds) earned only 1.85% per year over the last 30 years!

These investors didn’t even come close to beating inflation, which averaged 2.8% per year.

The average investor in equity mutual funds averaged only 3.69% per year – beating inflation by less than 1% per year. (Was that worth the roller-coaster ride and sleepless nights?)

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