Stock market hits 5 year high – what they’re not telling you

As the bull market that began in March, 2009 picks up steam, the Wall Street stock jocks are urging individual investors to jump back into the market with both feet. They boast that the S&P 500 has hit a 5-year high and is closing in on a new all-time high. But – somehow – they all forget to mention one pretty important fact: It also ended the year 3% lower than where it was 13 years ago at the end of 1999.

This chart tells the rest of the story you’re not hearing…

 

Your Retirement Plan Powered by Wall Street-Fast Graph
You’ll notice inflation was 36% over the past 13 years, which took an enormous bite out of the purchasing power of your savings.

Some readers may be wondering why I didn’t include the value of the dividends earned by the S&P 500 companies in the chart. So let’s do that now. The total return of the S&P 500 (including dividends) for the past 13 years was 22%, which is an average return of about 1.7% per year – and still lags inflation.

Don’t forget the fees and taxes…

[Read more…]

Fire Your Banker Video Contest Results

Wow! We received more than 150 terrific entries when we invited readers to tell us what you think about our unusual new video on “How to Fire Your Banker and Become Your Own Source of Financing”.

Prizes-neon

We want to thank everyone who took the time to give us such detailed and honest feedback, which is exactly what we need to be able to communicate the benefits of Bank On Yourself more effectively.

Five people on the Bank On Yourself team – myself included – poured through every single response, not just to pick the contest winners, but to also learn what questions and concerns you have about the Bank On Yourself concept.

At $1,000 per finished minute to film this kind of video, I was really glad no one said what they liked most about it was when it ended! Most people really liked the unusual video style and felt that it helped them better understand one of the most intriguing advantages of the Bank On Yourself method: How it lets you bypass banks, credit cards and finance companies and become your own source of financing.

If you haven’t watched the video yet, I encourage you to do that now…

There were many terrific insights and questions in the contest entries. It was tough to pick just five winning entries (we actually picked six), but you’ll find the winners listed below.
[Read more…]

Video: How to fire your banker!

We’re always looking for entertaining, easy-to-understand ways to explain key concepts of the Bank On Yourself method.  So we just completed a new – and very unusual – video that explains one of the most powerful features of Bank On Yourself – how it lets you bypass banks, finance and credit card companies altogether and become your own source of financing.

This video also addresses how purchasing things like cars, vacations, business equipment, or a college education through a Bank On Yourself plan beats financing, leasing and even directly paying cash for them.

Click the play button on the video below, then scroll down to the comments box and give us your feedback…

HOW MUCH MONEY COULD YOU HAVE BY BECOMING YOUR OWN FINANCING SOURCE?

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To find out how much more money you could have when you fire your banker and become your own financing source, request a FREE, no-obligation  Analysis.

We’d really love to get your feedback on this new video and video “style”.  (You’ve probably never seen a video like this before.)

Here are questions we’d love to get your feedback on in the comments box below…

1. Do you currently use Bank On Yourself?

2. What was the best part of the video?

3. What is still unclear about the Bank On Yourself concept?

4. What topics could we address that you think would give people more confidence to consider Bank On Yourself?

5. If you do not currently use Bank On Yourself, did this video make you more likely or less likely to request a free Analysis and get a referral to one of the Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors?

6. If you are currently using Bank On Yourself, do you feel that this type of video is something you could share with family, friends and colleagues to help them understand this method of managing your finances? Why or why not?

7. Is there any other feedback you’d like to give us?

Retired Navy Commander: Bank On Yourself Makes Financial Independence Easy

Retired Navy Commander, Robert Chambers shares how he achieved early retirement financial security with Bank On Yourself

Retired Navy Commander, Robert Chambers

Retired Navy Commander, Robert Chambers, first came to our attention when we invited Bank On Yourself policy owners to share their stories with us.

Commander Bob wrote, “I can’t tell you enough how this has changed my life, but also the lives of every generation to follow.”  Bob, who fully retired before he turned 50, notes that…

Retirement isn’t only about money; it’s about gaining financial independence, living a comfortable lifestyle and leaving a legacy for future generations.”

Bob also sent me a 20-page booklet he wrote titled, “Financial Independence Made Easy,” which details his insights into why the conventional wisdom about saving and investing has failed so many, and what his research and study have revealed about the best ways to achieve financial independence. [Read more…]

Busting the Bank On Yourself high commission myth

There is no shortage of myths or misconceptions about Bank On Yourself or the specially designed whole life insurance policies used for this safe and proven wealth-building method.

Spilling the beans on the myth that financial advisors sell whole life policies for the large commissions

One of the most commonly repeated myths is that financial advisors only sell whole life policies because they receive large commissions for doing so.

Often, that accusation comes from financial planners, investment advisors and money managers who want you to invest in the stock market, instead.

When you watch the video below, you’re going to be shocked to discover that the advisor who manages your money in the stock market is making at least TEN TIMES MORE than the Bank On Yourself Advisor, if the same amount of money is contributed each year! (And Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors receive 50-70% less commission than advisors who structure policies the traditional way.)

Maybe that’s the kind of thing Mark Twain had in mind when he said…

A lie can circle the globe in the time it takes truth to put on its shoes”

And for pocketing TEN TIMES MORE of your hard-earned savings, what guarantees does your financial planner or money manager give you? Do they guarantee you that you’ll have a certain amount of money when you’re ready to start taking income from your savings? No! In fact, if you ask them that question, they’ll laugh you out of their office!
[Read more…]

Shocking New Report Wall Street Doesn’t Want You To See

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 20 years. The news is shocking, but should make sense if you’ve been having the feeling your investment accounts aren’t rising at the rate the market has been…

  • The average equity fund investor has gotten less than half of the return of the S&P 500 over the last two decades – beating inflation by less than 1% per year
  • The average fixed income investor got – you should probably sit down for thisonly 15% of the return of the related benchmark (Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index)
  • The typical asset allocation investor got less than 30% of the return of the S&P 500 – 2.12% per year to be exact – and didn’t even keep up with inflation!

So… was that worth all the roller coaster ups and downs and sleepless nights?

[Read more…]

Best retirement plan alternative?

I can’t afford to be a risk taker any more”

Worried Senior
…says 75-year-old Margie Alford of Austin, Texas.  Yet, Margie’s financial planner is moving her CD money into stocks instead, after fruitlessly waiting for three years for interest rates to rise.

Low interest rates of the past several years have taken a toll on U.S. savers.  “The Fed has removed the last shred of possibility that interest rates will revert to normal in the near future,” according to Christopher Carroll, profession at Johns Hopkins University.1

As a result, retirees are taking on more risk… at a time they can least afford to.

With interest rates on CD’s, saving and money market accounts not even keeping up with inflation, what other options do you have?

The Bank On Yourself solution…

[Read more…]

The Ultimate Wealth-Building and Retirement Strategy… Whether the Market Goes Up, Down or Sideways

Have you been disappointed by your 401(k), IRA or other retirement plan?  Conventional wisdom tells us these plans are the best way to save and invest for retirement. Yet following this advice has resulted in financial insecurity for most Americans.

Because of this, most baby boomers have been forced to postpone retirement an average of five years.1

I’m often asked how using the Bank On Yourself method to save for retirement compares to traditional plans, so I put together this short video that reveals seven reasons Bank On Yourself makes an excellent retirement plan alternative.

Click the play button in the video below and see how many of these seven advantages you’d like to have in your financial plan…

The Ultimate Wealth-Building and Retirement Strategy… Whether the Market Goes Up, Down or Sideways

Would you like to find out how big your nest-egg could grow – guaranteed – if you added Bank On Yourself to your financial plan? No two plans are alike – yours would be custom-tailored to your unique situation, goals and dreams. To find out what your bottom-line numbers would be, request a FREE, no-obligation Analysis today.
Request Your Analysis Button
If you’re wondering where you’ll find the money to fund your plan, keep in mind the Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors are masters at helping people restructure their finances to free up money to fund a plan. Here are the eight most common places they look.

When you request your FREE Analysis, you’ll get a referral to one of only 200 advisors who have met the rigorous training and requirements to be a Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisor. They’ll show you why Bank On Yourself is the ultimate wealth-building and retirement strategy… whether the market goes up, down or sideways.

1.  Bankers Life and Casualty Center for a Secure Retirement, May 2011

The Ugly Financial Truth in Pictures

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you’ve been having a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that you’ve been treading water in your financial plan for what seems like forever, these three graphic “snapshots” reveal the ugly truth.

These snapshots clearly illustrate the fatal flaws in the conventional wisdom that’s been shoved down our throats for so long about saving and investing.

This is your retirement plan powered by Wall Street

A quick look at this snapshot tells you everything you need to know…

Click to Enlarge...

Let me ask you a question…

Where is it written that you must suffer a lost decade – or more – growing your nest egg?

Isn’t that what Wall Street wants us to believe?

The fact of the matter is that the only guarantee Wall Street gives you is that they’ll get paid whether you win or lose!

It’s also why they desperately don’t want you to know about the peace of mind, guarantees, and predictability you get when your retirement plan is powered by Bank On Yourself.

Once again, a picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s compare the growth in a Bank On Yourself plan side-by-side with what the Wall Street Casino offers:

Click to Enlarge...

The chart on the right above shows the growth pattern in a typical Bank On Yourself-type policy.  The growth is exponential (in the mathematical sense of the word).  That means the growth curve gets steeper every year you have the policy – with no luck, skill or guesswork required to make that happen.

And while these plans grow more slowly at the start (there’s no such thing as a magic pill!), the growth is at its peak at the time you need it most – retirement.

The chart above is based on the actual growth I’ve received in one of my own policies so far, along with the projected growth based on the current dividend scale.

Dividends aren’t guaranteed, but the companies preferred by the Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors have paid them every single year for more than 100 years.

Keep in mind that no two Bank On Yourself plans are alike…

Each is custom tailored to your unique situation, goals and dreams. To find out what your bottom-line, guaranteed numbers and results would be if you added Bank On Yourself to your financial plan, request a free, no-obligation Analysis now, if you haven’t already done so.
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If you’re wondering where you’ll find the money to fund your plan, keep in mind the Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors are masters at helping people find money they didn’t know they had to fund a plan. Here are the eight most common places they look.

So now let’s take a look at another bit of conventional financial wisdom gone awry…

We were taught we could count on the equity in our homes to be a major part of our retirement nest-egg.  A lot of people who thought they were doing the right thing made extra mortgage payments, so they could have the “security” of knowing their home was paid off in full when they retired.

They plowed money they could have put into safe savings into their homes instead – which got them a ZERO rate of return on their hard-earned dollars AND locked up their money in a depreciating asset.

And here’s a snapshot of where that got them…

Click to Enlarge...

News Flash!  There’s a better way!  Did you know that you can save up enough cash value in a Bank On Yourself policy to be able to write a check to pay off your mortgage in full, any time you choose to do that?

My husband and I could do that TODAY – if we chose to.  But we made the smart decision to leave that money in our Bank On Yourself plans where it is working much harder for us.

How much harder is that money working for us?  This blog post I wrote on the rate of return of a Bank On Yourself plan reveals why you’d need to get a 7-8% return in a tax-deferred account, like a 401(k) or IRA, to equal the return of a typical Bank On Yourself plan.

And that’s without the risk or volatility of traditional investments!

TIRED OF WATCHING YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN GO NOWHERE?

Find out how the Bank On Yourself method can give you the financial security and predictability you want and deserve. It’s NEVER had a losing year in 160 years! Take the first step right now by requesting a FREE Bank On Yourself Analysis.

Wondering where you’ll find the funds to start a plan? Don’t worry! You’ll receive a referral to one of only 200 advisors in the country who have met the rigorous requirements to be a Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisor and can show you ways to find money you didn’t know you had to fund a plan.

Now let’s take a look at the promise of gold.  Again, a picture is worth a thousand words…

Click to Enlarge...

I’ve found most people who are buying gold today have no clue about the volatile history of that metal.  And those who forget (or are ignorant of) the past are condemned to repeat it.

And keep this in mind – Bank On Yourself doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition, because you can use the money in your plan to make purchases or to take advantage of opportunities and investments.  (It’s your money, after all!)  Your policy continues growing as though you never touched it.  (Work with a Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisor to make sure your policy is from a company that offers this feature.)

Having your money in something that’s safe and liquid doesn’t take away your options!

This is the time of year when people often take stock of where they are today, and where they’d rather be in the future.

If you still believe that Wall Street holds the key to your financial security, and if you believe the economic challenges we’ve been facing that have caused the unprecedented volatility in the market are over with… then keep doing what you’ve been doing and hope it all works out.

But if you’re determined that the next ten years are going to be a lot better than the last ten or more, then today is the day to take the first step towards a financial future you can predict and count on by requesting your FREE Analysis, if you haven’t already done so.

When you do, you’ll find out if you qualify for a Bank On Yourself plan.  It can take up to 60 days for your policy to be approved.  So you can see why you need to start today to hit the ground running in 2012.
Request Your Analysis ButtonRequest your free Analysis now… and find out how much your financial picture could improve by adding Bank On Yourself to your financial plan.

Money and Investing IQ Contest Results

The results of our “Test Your Money and Investing IQ” blog contest are in – once again proving that we have a lot of smart subscribers!

But some of these questions about key money and finance basics tripped up some of our readers – almost no one got all five answers right. Making financial decisions without knowing the correct answer to even one of these questions can easily shave six figures or more off your lifetime wealth.

So I urge you to pay close attention to the correct answers below. You’ll also find a list of our six contest winners at the end of this post.

Here are the correct answers given by readers to the five questions…

Question #1: If you finance a $30,000 car through a finance company, your actual cost for the car is the money you spend on it, plus the interest you pay, less the value of your trade-in at the end of your loan repayment period.

If you pay cash for a car, what’s your actual cost for the car?
Finance major purchases like cars through Bank on Yourself method to save and make money

Answer: Joe Goldsmith pointed out what many people with alphabet soup after their name don’t get – that “paying cash for the car is just another form of financing.”

John Nicholson summed it up succinctly: “If you pay $30,000 cash for a car, your actual cost is the money you spent on the car, less the trade-in value at the end of the period, plus the opportunity cost – the loss of interest that the $30,000 could have earned.”

Perry Blouin went on to calculate the enormity of the total loss you could have over 40 years because of this “opportunity cost.” And Valerie Coffman noted, “If you use a Bank On Yourself policy (to pay for the car), you make money as if you never took it out, and you make money on yourself when you pay it back. Awesome!”

As Eric pointed out, “with Bank On Yourself, you accumulate the $30,000 and when it comes time for your vehicle purchase, request a check from the insurance company, receive it within 48-72 hours and then be ready to negotiate with the car dealership.”

Using your Bank On Yourself policy to pay for major purchases also gives you access to money on your terms rather than someone else’s. You can pay it back on your own schedule without worrying about bill collectors, late fees or black marks on your credit report. It beats financing, leasing or even directly paying cash for things by a long shot.

To find out how much more lifetime wealth you could enjoy – simply by using the Bank On Yourself method to make major purchases versus the other options available to you, request a FREE no-obligation Analysis that will show you your bottom-line results. I think you’ll be amazed!

Unlike stock marketing, Bank on Yourself method does not rely on sale of asset to deliver profits

Question #2: If you have a $20 stock and it goes up by 40%, how much money did you make on that stock? (Hint: This is about a key financial principle, not a math question.)

Answer: The talking heads on Wall Street NEVER get this one and do their best to make sure you don’t figure out the blindingly obvious answer to this question!

As Ruth noted,

You don’t make any money until you actually sell your stock.”

Likewise, it makes me crazy when people talk about how much value their home has lost since the real estate bubble burst. You don’t have a REAL gain (or loss) until you sell an asset and lock your profits in.

Which is in stark contrast to the Bank On Yourself method. The gains you receive each year (guaranteed and predictable) are locked in the moment they’re credited to your policy. As for losses… well, there aren’t any. This is based on an asset class that has increased in value every year for over 160 years!

Question #3: According to Morningstar, Inc., the top-performing mutual fund for the last decade (ending December 31, 2009) enjoyed an 18% annual return.

However, the typical investor in that fund wasn’t so fortunate.

What was the annual return of the typical investor in that top-performing fund? And why was their return so different from the return reported by the fund?

Answer: Only one person – Raymond Trembath – nailed the shocking correct answer to this question (no one else came even close), and he also noted the reasons why:

“The typical investor in the best performing mutual fund of the last decade lost 11% annually, even though the fund itself rose by more than 18% annually. The reason this could happen is that all mutual funds are legally allowed only to advertise the results of their ‘buy and hold’ investors, in spite of the fact that long-term mutual funds tend to be held for less than half a decade!”

Doesn’t this typify the smoke and mirrors that the Wall Street Casino uses to pull the wool over our eyes?

If you find it hard to believe that the results mutual funds report could be so different than the results the investors in those funds get, I urge you to read the article supporting this from the Wall Street Journal.

The ultimate financial security blanket

Did you know that the Bank On Yourself wealth-building method has NEVER had a losing year? Used by Walt Disney and J.C. Penney, it has stood the test of time for more than 160 years.

To find out how you can grow your nest-egg safely and predictably, even when stocks real estate and other investments tumble… and how much money you could have – GUARANTEED – on the day you plan to retire, request your FREE no-obligation Analysis and Recommendations now.

You’ll also get a referral to a Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisor who can help you find money you didn’t know you had to fund your plan.

	mutual funds and investment experts are human too and sometimes make mistakesQuestion #4: What percentage of mutual funds, financial advisors and investment advisory services underperform the overall market? And why?

Answer: Nick H. hit this one spot on when he said, “80% per Hulbert Financial Digest.”

And it’s not just because of the fees they charge. It’s because all the “experts” are humans, too, and are “predictably irrational,” buying and selling at the wrong times.

Question #5: You could have $10,000 in a mutual fund that reports an average annual return of 25% for four years… and at the end of the fourth year end up with only the $10,000 you started with.

How is that possible?

Answer: Doc Youngblood’s little story was such a great, entertaining explanation of this, I decided to include his response in full:

“How is it possible to have $10,000 in a mutual fund that reports an average annual return of 25% for four years… and at the end of the fourth year you end up with only the $10,000 you started with?

The key to the question’s answer is hidden in this short, simple story, but hidden in plain sight for those willing to see.

And the story? You’ll like this I promise—no animals were hurt during its filming.

rubber duck in a sea of cashImagine we are duck hunting and I shoot. I miss by a foot behind the duck. So I quickly aim and shoot again. I miss by a foot in front of the duck.

By the law of averages, I hit a bulls eye. By the law of dinner, my plate is still empty.

So, if your mutual fund reports an average annual return of 25% for four years, does that mean you’ve got more money in your account?

Let’s play:

Year One: Year Two: Year Three: Year Four:
Starting balance: $10,000 Starting balance: $20,000 Starting balance: $10,000 Starting balance: $20,000
Change: +100% Change: -50% Change: +100% Change: -50%
Ending Balance: $20,000
(woo-hoo!)
Ending Balance: $10,000
(ah well, at least I didn’t lose my initial investment)
Ending Balance: $20,000
(hmm. . .it’s like déjà vu)
Ending Balance: $10,000
(can anyone say, “spinning my wheels”?)

Four years later you still have a $10,000 balance. But not once did the rate of return equal 25%. Here’s the percent change for each year: 100-50+100-50. So we add that up (100%) and then we divide that by four years to show our average rate of return is 25% for four years.

Wait! A 25% average rate of return is supposed to be a great thing, right?

Follow the cash in the example above—did the cash increase? The numbers above show one scenario with a 25% average rate of return and ending up with exactly the same money you started with.investor hiding from reality

However, 25% annual compound interest is a great thing. Take a look:

Year One: $10,000 becomes $12,500 at 25% compound interest.
Year Two: $12,500 becomes $15,625
Year Three: $15,625 becomes $19,531.25
Year Four: $19,531.25 becomes $24,414.06

Were you like me and confused about the two definitions? It’s very common to confuse them AND to assume that the average rate of return is a linear type of activity, one year after the next being the same. Average rate of return and compound interest are not the same.”

(For the record, you’ll find no smoke and mirrors when you see the bottom line numbers and results you could get when you add Bank On Yourself to your financial plan.)

Now for the list of our six contest winners…

There were so many insightful answers that it was hard to pick out only six winners. (All are being notified by email.)

The best entry, picked by our Bank On Yourself team, is Doc Youngblood, who wins a $100 Amazon Gift Card! (Doc – I guess you can tell your wife she was right!)

And the two runners up, who’ll get their choice of a $25 Dining Gift Certificate or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book, Bank On Yourself: The Life Changing Secret to Growing and Protecting Your Financial Future, are:

1. Eric

2. Raymond Trembath

k on Yourself Test Your Money and Investment IQ contest winners and their prizesThere were also three winners who got at least one question right, who were randomly chosen to win prizes. The winner of the second $100 Amazon Gift Card is Robert N.

And the two randomly chosen winners who’ll get their choice of a $25 Dining Gift Certificate or a personally autographed copy of my book are:

1. Carl Schoner

2. Rita

Thanks to everyone who participated in this blog contest. You are all winners for thinking – and seeing – through the conventional wisdom about money and finances that has cost so many people so much in lost money, lost time and broken dreams.