7 Reasons the Economy is Worse than it Seems

Do you believe the economy has improved significantly since the Great Recession?

Or do you feel like we’re staring down the barrel of a cannon whose fuse has already been lit?

The stock markets should be down considerably by plenty of measures, but many investors appear to have been hypnotized to believe that nothing can go wrong.

I believe things are worse than they may seem on the surface, and extreme caution is warranted, for the 7 reasons I spell out here.

I’ll also give you some tips on how to protect yourself and have a “Plan B” in place in case the you-know-what does hit the fan.

Here Are 7 Reasons the Economy is Worse than It Seems…

1. Addiction to Stimulus and Low or Negative Interest Rates

We have been guinea pigs in the greatest experiment in monetary policy in the history of the world.

Every time the Federal Reserve so much as sneezes, the markets whipsaw. In this topsy-turvy world, good news about the economy becomes bad news for the stock market and vice versa.

Even the Fed knows it’s in over its head and has lost control of the situation. But that won’t stop them from continuing to experiment with you and me as their lab rats.

2. Overheated Stock Market Valuations and Deteriorating Fundamentals

Profits for S&P 500 companies continue falling, but the S&P 500 is trading at the highest level of projected earnings since 2002.

3. Rising Poverty and Expanding Government Assistance Rolls

The U.S. poverty rate has actually risen since the “official” end of the Great Recession in 2009. (I say “official” end because, to a lot of Americans, it still feels like we’re mired in a recession.)

During the same period of time, food stamp usage increased 39%.

4. Persistent Underemployment

A measure of the number of people working part time who want – but can’t find – full-time work in their field, that peaked above 16% at the height of the last recession, still remains above 12%. Obviously, that’s a major drag on economic performance.

Slow Wage Growth5. Slow Wage Growth

Between 2009 and 2015 inflation-adjusted median weekly earnings actually fell by about 1%, and median household earnings fell by around 4%.

6. Global Economic Weakness

Many people underestimated how the economic situation in other parts of the world affects our economy. But no one can deny any longer how interconnected our economics all are.

Emerging economies like Brazil and Russia have been heavily impacted by falling commodity prices.

The largest economies in Europe are struggling. And China, which is now the world’s second-largest economy, is experimenting with an economic transition that many think is likely to fail.

If it does fail, the U.S. economy could be seriously impacted.

7. By Historical Standards, We’re Already Overdue for Another Recession

Historically, recessions occur at alarmingly regular intervals.

In fact, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, by post-war standards, we’re almost two years past due for the next recession. Ugh.

The political uncertainty we are facing with the upcoming election isn’t helping any either.

As people who know me well will tell you, I’m an optimist – I always see the glass as half full.

But while I hope for the best, I also have a backup plan – my “Plan B” to help my family weather those tough economic times that seem to come when you least expect them.

What Characteristics Should a True Safe Money Plan B Have?

It should have all of these:

  • No loss of principal or gains in a market crash (safety nets)
  • Guarantees
  • Liquidity
  • Control
  • Tax-favored
  • Contractual growth guarantees

Out of the more than 450 financial products I’ve investigated, only one meets all the requirements: The Bank On Yourself method, based on super-charged dividend-paying whole life insurance. These plans have increased in value every single year for more than 160 years, in every period of boom and bust, including during the Great Depression.

And no luck, skill or guesswork is required to make that happen.

In addition to the benefits I mentioned above, the Bank On Yourself method also provides:

  • Asset Protection – your cash values are protected from creditors and lawsuits (varies by state)
  • Privacy – your plan and its growth, along with the income you take from it, are generally not reported to the government or IRS
  • Lets You Become Your Own “Banker” – so you can get access to cash whenever and for whatever you want – no questions asked

You control how and when you pay it back and – if your policy is from one of a handful that offer this feature – your plan can continue earning the same guaranteed annual increase and any dividends the company credits, even when you’re using that money elsewhere!

Here’s the Key Question to Ask Yourself:

Safe Money Plan

Does having your money…

  • safe…
  • liquid…
  • growing significantly faster long-term than a savings, money market account or CD…
  • and earning the exact same guaranteed annual increase and dividends – even when you use it

… take away any of your options?

The reality is that it gives you more options, not fewer.

Here’s how to protect yourself in scary times

It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. To find out how you can benefit from a custom-tailored Bank On Yourself plan, and discover why it’s the ultimate financial bunker for scary economic and political times, simply request your FREE Analysis here.

You’ll also get a referral to one of only 200 advisors in the U.S. and Canada who have met the rigorous requirements to be Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors.

Don’t dilly dally! Do it now! Just click this button:

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President Reagan’s Secret 702(j) Retirement Plan – What it Is and How it Works

The Palm Beach Letter is at it again! And that’s why we’ve been getting questions about “President Reagan’s Secret 702(j) Retirement Plan,” and how it compares to Bank On Yourself.

The 702(j) account has gone by other names, including the 770 Account, President’s Secret Account, Invisible Account and Income for Life.

First let me reveal exactly what the 702(j) Retirement Plan is, and then I’ll tell you what they got right… and what they got wrong.

The 702(j) Retirement Plan is yet another name that the Palm Beach Group gave to the Bank On Yourself method, which relies on a super-charged variation of an asset that’s never had a losing year in it’s 160+ year history. [Read more…]

6 Costly Retirement Plan Traps and How to Avoid Them

If you’re like most people I talk to, you’re making several critical mistakes with your retirement accounts.

These mistakes could cost you literally hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

But what’s worse is how these retirement plan traps can cost you your family’s well-being, and mean the difference between having to struggle to get by during what should be your golden years … and being able to enjoy life’s luxuries.

With all the economic uncertainties and worldwide turmoil that have been churning the markets, it is vitally important that you know how to avoid these costly retirement plan pitfalls today.

That’s why I’m urging you to join me and our Director of Education, Lee McIntyre, for this special online event. You’ll discover which retirement plan mistakes you are making and how to avoid them.

Space on this online event is limited, and there is no cost to attend.

Here’s What You’ll Discover During This Online Event…

[Read more…]

Get all your questions about Bank On Yourself answered – Live Webinar

You’ve been reading about Bank On Yourself. You may have thought about trying the program. But you might have questions like…

  • “I don’t totally get how the concept works.”
  • “How can I be sure this is really legitimate?”
  • “Could this really work for me in my situation? How can I find out, without actually meeting with an Advisor or feeling obligated?”

That’s why I’d like to invite you to join me and three of the most experienced Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors in the country (learn why only 200 Advisors have met the rigorous requirements) for a no-holds-barred online event where you can get all your questions answered anonymously.

Space on this online event is limited, so reserve your spot here now. [Read more…]

5 Financial Myths that Are Destroying Your Wealth

The problem isn’t so much what people don’t know, the problem is what people think they know that just ain’t so.”
— Will Rogers

Remember when you were absolutely certain about something that turned out to be false? Like Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. Or how about the witch that hides under your bed waiting to attack so you have to flip the light switch then spring into your bed before she gets you? (Okay, maybe that one’s just me.)

In honor of National Financial Literacy Month, let me just debunk a few “things you know that just ain’t so”:

1. You’ll come out ahead by deferring your taxes, and that’s one of the prime benefits of retirement plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs

[Read more…]

Why a Little Financial Information is Dangerous

Just cuz you’re following a well-marked trail doesn’t mean that whoever made it knew where they were goin’.”
— Texas Bix Bender

I respect people who are self-educated, and I respect people who continue to educate themselves about various topics, even after they’ve finished their degrees. As legendary basketball coach John Wooden used to say, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that really matters.”

That said, a little financial self-education can go a long way – toward completely destroying your financial future!

Why? Because when you cobble together your financial education with bits and pieces of advice you see on the internet, read in articles or hear on TV, you’re not really building a strong foundation of financial literacy. It’s like that old story of the 12 blind monks and the elephant. Each monk felt a different part of the elephant and used just that part to figure out what the whole animal looked like!

So one blind monk tells you to pay off all your credit debt ASAP, while another tells you that you need to build up a rainy day fund. One insists that you max out your 401(k), while another says to secure your future by paying off your mortgage. And the blind monk standing at the elephant’s tail thinks the economy stinks – so you need to get yourself a stash of precious metals!

When it comes to personal finances, you really need to see the whole elephant

[Read more…]

The Checklist: What You Need to Know Before You Commit to a Financial Product or Plan

People are quick to dispense advice on any subject, regardless of their qualifications. Most people don’t even distinguish between ‘opinion’ and ‘knowledge’. That’s why you must.”
— Dan Kennedy

Your Uncle Vinnie corners you at the Sunday barbeque: “You got to get on board! It’s like buying into Microsoft in the ’80’s.” Your dentist tells you to open wide and “You gotta check out this once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s the mother lode!” Your golf buddy swears she’s found the “ultimate tax shelter.” Your advisor calls with an exciting new financial product “that will get you 15% plus annual returns with little or no risk!”

Whatcha gonna do?

Hey, I’ve spent 25 years investigating over 450 financial products and vehicles. The research was intense and required sleuthing skills that probably qualify me for CSI. I can tell you that, though these products were sparkly and seductive on paper, 99.9% of them didn’t stand up to scrutiny!

I’m guessing you don’t have the time or inclination to put in that kind of effort. But to protect your family’s financial future, you need to get answers to at least a few basic questions before you (and your money) jump in: [Read more…]

It’s National Financial Literacy Month – Do You Know Your Financial IQ?

April is National Financial Literacy Month, and here at Bank On Yourself, we’re doing our part to give Americans the knowledge and skills they need to make smarter financial decisions.

As President Obama noted in a 2011 Proclamation supporting National Financial Literacy Month, “We must strive to ensure all Americans have the skills to manage their fiscal resources effectively and avoid deceptive or predatory practices.”

And the Senate resolved in 2012 that “increased financial literacy empowers individuals to make wise financial decisions and reduces the confusion caused by an increasingly complex economy.”

Wow! I think “complex economy” may be an understatement!

So we’ve put together a quick 20-question quiz here that increases your understanding of the most critical things you need to know about managing your money, investing, and planning for a secure retirement. [Read more…]

Can you Roll Over your 401(k) or IRA into a Bank On Yourself Plan?

One of the most-asked questions we got on last week’s “Ask a Bank On Yourself Advisor” live online event was…

“Can I roll over funds from my 401(k)/IRA/403(b)/TSA into a Bank On Yourself plan – and what are the tax consequences?”

Moving money from a conventional tax-deferred retirement account into a Bank On Yourself plan is a common method people use to fund a policy.  It’s not technically a “rollover,” since you can only do that from one 401(k) or IRA to another.  Here’s how it works… [Read more…]

How Sequence of Return Risk Can Devastate Your Retirement Lifestyle

There are three words that could have the biggest impact on whether you enjoy a comfortable retirement… or you have to struggle and forego life’s luxuries – and even life’s necessities.

But almost no one is talking about these three words. And there’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of them.

These three words could have more impact on your retirement lifestyle than living longer than you expected… or than being forced to retire sooner than you planned (which happens to nearly 50% of Americans, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute).

The three words may sound a little technical, but I’m going to make them brain-dead simple to understand. [Read more…]