Personal Finance Blog for Retirement and Investment Advice

Dow 11,000: Déjà vu all over again?

Bill Clinton was President, the world awaited the potentially disastrous consequences of the Y2K computer bug, and – oh, yeah – the Dow closed above 11,000 for the first time in history.

Yogi Berra

The date was May 3rd, 1999, and to quote Yogi Berra, nearly eleven years later,

This is like deja vu all over again”

Yogi Berra

The Wall Street spin-makers are pointing out what a “big accomplishment it is for a measure that was below 7,000 only a year ago” to recapture the 11,000 level.

Before we pop the cork on a bottle of champagne, here’s a few sobering questions to ask yourself…

[Read more…] “Dow 11,000: Déjà vu all over again?”

Bank on Yourself hits The New York Times Best Seller List!

Buy your copy today...The recently released paperback edition of Pamela Yellen’s first book on the Bank On Yourself concept will debut at #3 on the coveted New York Times Best-Seller List on April 11.

It also hit #2 on the USA Today Money Best Seller list for the week ending March 28th.

The hardcover edition was released a year ago and immediately hit the USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Business Week best seller lists.

Find out what all the buzz is about and learn more about this proven, time-tested way to grow a nest egg, so you can take back control of your money and finances today.

What’s the rate of return on a Bank On Yourself plan?

Holding on to stocks and mutual funds

A recent comment made by a reader of this blog inspired this post.  I’ve never gone into detail on the question of how the rate of return on a Bank On Yourself policy compares with investing in stock market and mutual funds.

Holding on to stocks and mutual funds

And is it really true that if you simply hold on long enough, investing in stocks and mutual funds will out-perform just about anything else?

So, I’ve decided to lay those questions to rest – once and for all – right here.  Here’s the comment by a reader who calls himself “Tob” that sparked this post:

This is a ridiculous attempt to compare whole life insurance to the “stock market” after the worst decade. I can show you how investing blows the pants off whole life using investing basics. Balanced Funds. How many funds do you want that have produce 10% per year compounding average to convince you?”

So, has “Tob” really found that elusive investment that gives you a 10% average return, and still lets you sleep at night?

We’ll get to the answer to that question in a moment.

First, let me address the question,

“What the heck is the rate of return on a typical Bank On Yourself policy?”

[Read more…] “What’s the rate of return on a Bank On Yourself plan?”

Will the Government’s new plan to increase Americans’ retirement security work?

With much fanfare, the White House has announced the highlights of what they are recommending to help you save for a secure retirement.  Will it help you… or hurt you?

Let’s take a look at the major provisions…

1.  More Americans will be herded into a retirement plan system that most experts agree is broken

Podium

According to a newly released White House Fact Sheet, the administration wants to force many of the 78 million working Americans not currently covered by employer-based retirement plans into them.  They will do this by requiring employers to enroll their employees in automatic direct-deposit IRAs, unless the employee opts out.

Podium

Experience shows most employees do not opt out.  The result?  Many more people will be relying on the same investment strategies that have lined the pockets of Wall Street and dashed the retirement hopes and dreams of millions of Americans.

On the other hand, those who use the Bank On Yourself method have been able to move closer to their financial goals and dreams each and every single year. To find out how you could turn your back on the stomach-churning ups and downs of stocks, real estate, and other investments, request a free, no-obligation Analysis today.

2.  Proposed tax credits for retirement savings contributions mean you will be paying for other people’s investment mistakes!

Even millions of Americans who pay no taxes will receive these credits, under the administration’s proposal.

3.  Employers will be expected to do what even the experts can’t

Stock Market Plunging

Employers who offer so-called “target-date” mutual funds will be expected to “evaluate their suitability for their workforce.”

These funds, which automatically shift assets over the individual’s lifetime to lower risk as the person approaches retirement age, failed miserably to accomplish that goal during the 2008 crash.

In addition, studies consistently show that 80% of all investment advisors and 80% of all mutual funds underperform the overall market1.  Yet employers with no training or experience will somehow be expected to determine which funds will do well.

Stock Market Plunging

4.  The government wants to “promote” the availability of annuities and other forms of guaranteed lifetime income in 401(k) plans

Unfortunately, the growth and returns of some of these products may not even keep up with inflation.

5.  Beleaguered small business owners will face new costs and administrative burdens

Buried in Paperwork

According to the National Small Business Association, 64 percent of small business owners surveyed said revenues declined in the past 12 months.

When small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, we oppose mandates such as this that stand to create a new administrative burden” – Molly Brogan, vice president of public affairs for the NSBA

Buried in Paperwork

6.  The government controls your money in retirement plans, not you

The government determines when and how much you can take out of your retirement plan, and can change the rules any time they want.

Proposals to do just that have already been floated through Congress.

And if the government wants to force you to buy Treasury debt with part or all of their retirement plan money, because China and Brazil won’t take the risk any more, they can do it.

7.  While expert after expert agree that the current systems of saving for retirement are broken, few offer any viable alternatives

Broken savings

Yet hundreds of thousands of people who use the Bank On Yourself method did not lose a penny during the market crash of 2008, or during the “lost decade” of the 2000’s.

Their plans have all continued growing – safely and predictably,  and without the risk or volatility of stocks, real estate and other investments.  Which may explain why my offer to pay $100,000 to the first person who uses a different strategy that can match or beat Bank On Yourself remains unclaimed.

Broken savings

Bank On Yourself isn’t a magic pill.  It takes a little patience and discipline.  But if you have those traits, it pays a lifetime of benefits.

To find out what your bottom-line numbers and results could be, and how much income you could count on at retirement, just request your free, no-obligation Analysis.
Request Your Analysis Button

If you take the first step now, you could start taking back control of your money and your future financial security in as little as 60 days!

1. Hulbert Financial Digest, The Motley Fool

Lessons from a lost decade

I’ve lost a bet.  I’ve lost my keys.  But I’ve never lost a decade – until now.” – Sam Stovall, S&P’s chief strategist

Peptol Bismo2l

The S&P 500 ended the past decade down almost 25 percent below where it was ten years earlier.  And that doesn’t even factor in the 29% inflation we experienced during the decade.

Peptol Bismo2l

since the end of 1999, the S&P 500 stock index has lost an average of 3.3% a year, on an inflation-adjusted basis, even after including dividends, according to the data compiled by Charles Jones, finance professor at North Carolina State University.1

Hmmm… so what does that mean to the typical family in dollars and cents?

You may want to grab a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, because it isn’t very pretty…
Here’s what inflation and negative returns have done to a nest egg invested in an S&P 500 index fund (the way most Americans’ retirement savings are), over the past decade…

purchasing power of your money
purchasing power of your money

You now need a 39.9% increase just to get back to where you were ten years ago!

Given that the stock market has just experienced its fastest climb since 1933, how likely do you think it is that we’ll have another 39.9% rise this year? Especially given soaring government spending, stubbornly high unemployment, and looming tax hikes.
[Read more…] “Lessons from a lost decade”

Bank On Yourself: A financial plan you can count on

Oh what a roller-coaster year this has been!  Our entire financial system and economy almost fell off a cliff.

Bailout

And while there are some hopeful signs of new life in the economy, this year has also brought us:

  • Massive bailouts
  • A tripling of an already-bloated federal deficit
  • A falling dollar
  • Rising foreclosures (and likely to spike as billions of dollars in ARM’s are now coming up for adjustment)
  • Major banks and investment houses taking on three times (!) the risk they were before the collapse
Bailout

So what do you think next year has in store for us?

No one really knows for sure.  (Well, except maybe the folks at the Psychic Hotline.)  So how do you prepare for a very uncertain future?

Here’s a quick quiz that may reveal an answer for you…

What’s the one financial asset that increased in value during the market crash of 2008?  And in 1929?  And in every period of economic boom and bust in between?

Answer:  The product used for Bank On Yourself:  Cash-value life insurance.

As I’ve mentioned, my husband Larry and I now have 18 Bank On Yourself policies.  I’ve picked one of them to show you how a dividend-paying whole life policy like this can grow over time – even when the markets are plummeting.  It’s a great example of how Bank On Yourself gives you the peace of mind that lets you sleep at night.

Here’s how much this plan has grown each year since the beginning of 2000, a period that includes not one, but TWO devastating market crashes.  In four of these years, the S&P 500 was down for the year, as you can see in this side-by-side comparison:

chart
chart

If you had put $10,000 into an S&P 500 Index fund at the beginning of 2000, how much do you think it would be worth today?

Take a guess before you read on.

[Read more…] “Bank On Yourself: A financial plan you can count on”

Bank On Yourself success story video

In my best-selling book on Bank On Yourself, a number of folks shared the personal and intimate details of how they’ve been using Bank On Yourself to reach a variety of short-term and long-term personal and financial goals and dreams.

Perhaps one of the most inspiring stories was shared by Greg and Christy Gammon. Since I interviewed them, their lives have taken some interesting twists and turns, and their Bank On Yourself policies have come to the rescue in surprising ways.

This short video update, filmed during my national book tour, reveals the details. Just click the play button below…

QSX2tAeHNBM

No two Bank On Yourself plans (policies) are alike. Each is custom-tailored, so yours would be uniquely suited to your goals and dreams. It’s easy to find out what your bottom-line numbers and results could be. Simply request your free Analysis here… and take the first step towards taking back control of your financial future. Why not do it now, while it’s fresh on your mind?
Request Your Analysis Button

Six Frequently Asked Questions about Bank On Yourself

FAQ

I thought you might find it helpful to have the answers to the six questions about Bank On Yourself we’re most often asked – right at your fingertips.

FAQ

How many of these questions have you been wondering about?

FAQ?FAQ #1: How does Bank On Yourself compare with traditional investing and savings strategies?

You can compare the Bank On Yourself method to traditional investments here, including stocks and mutual funds, a 401(k), a ROTH plan, real estate, gold, commodities and several other investments.

If there’s a different financial product or strategy that you think can match or beat the Bank On Yourself method, I encourage you to take the $100,000 Challenge. If you’re right, you could pick up an easy $100K!

FAQ?FAQ #2: How does Bank On Yourself let you recapture every penny you pay for major purchases like cars, vacations, business equipment or a college education?

I’ve summarized this in a short video overview of how Bank On Yourself works.

However, for a more detailed explanation, you’ll want to review Chapters 2, 6, and pages 52-54 of my best-selling book, Bank On Yourself. If you don’t have the book, we offer a 35% discount on it.

FAQ?FAQ #3: I’ve heard people like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman say whole life insurance is a lousy place to put your money. Is a Bank On Yourself-type policy different from the kind they’re talking about?

[Read more…] “Six Frequently Asked Questions about Bank On Yourself”

Videos reveal how Bank On Yourself turns dreams into reality

I think you’ll find the two short videos I’ve posted here of special interest, if you’ve been wondering how you’re going to reach your financial goals in today’s challenging environment.

The first video (filmed during my national book tour) reveals how the Corey Family is using Bank On Yourself to accomplish a number of goals and dreams, including:

Just click the play button below to find out how the Corey’s are doing all this…

K9NYBiQK0Z4

No two Bank On Yourself plans (policies) are alike. Each is custom-tailored, so yours would be uniquely suited to your goals and dreams. It’s easy to find out what your bottom-line numbers and results could be. Simply request your free Analysis here… and take the first step towards taking back control of your financial future. Why not do it now, while it’s fresh on your mind?

Now find out how the Bowsher Family used Bank On Yourself to help raise $100,000 for their church

[Read more…] “Videos reveal how Bank On Yourself turns dreams into reality”

7 Really Scary Facts about Your 401(k)

Before you put another penny in a 401(k), find out what the government and your employer aren’t telling you that will scare the living daylights out of you! Here are seven frightening facts you should know about 401(k)s…

Frightening 401(k) Fact #1:

Your employer can – and probably is – making risky decisions on how to invest your money for you – without your knowledge or approval.

GA-sW_Q5014

Watch Pamela Yellen being interviewed about the problems with 401(k)s on the #1 TV station in Los Angeles

GA-sW_Q5014

Watch Pamela Yellen being interviewed about the problems with 401(k)s on the #1 TV station in Los Angeles

Many employers are now automatically directing more of your pay into your 401(k)… and automatically moving it into more risky investments – even if you had previously chosen your own investments!

And most of that money is being re-directed into “target-date” funds, which lost so much money during the last market crash, it sparked scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators. Many funds for people who pinned their hopes on retiring in one year had losses far exceeding 20%, and some funds suffered losses of 32 to 41 percent, according to Morningstar.

Shockingly, stock allocations among those funds were found to be 26%-72% of assets!

Not to mention that the fees charged by target-date funds are “significantly higher than those charged by other funds on plans’ investment menus”.

(Source: “Companies take reins of workers’ 401k’s”, MoneyCentral.msn.com, October 10, 2009)

The growth in a Bank on Yourself policy is both guaranteed and exponential. You can predict the minimum guaranteed value of the plan on the day you want to tap into it, and every point along the way.

Get Your FREE Report!

Get instant access to the FREE 18-page Special Report, The Ultimate Wealth-Building and Retirement Strategy, plus timely briefings and solutions to critical news and events that may impact your money and finances.

Frightening 401(k) Fact #2:

Get Your FREE Report!

Get instant access to the FREE 18-page Special Report, The Ultimate Wealth-Building and Retirement Strategy, plus timely briefings and solutions to critical news and events that may impact your money and finances.

The important decisions about your 401(k) are made by someone with no training or education in most companies.

[Read more…] “7 Really Scary Facts about Your 401(k)”