AAII vs. Bank On Yourself: Total Knockout in Round One

Last week, I posted the rebuttal I wrote to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) review of my best-selling book, which declared the concept “too good to be true.”BOY Boxing Gloves

Since AAII said they would not publish my response or correction of the misinformation contained in their review, I told them I would publish it here and let YOU be the judge of whether AAII was twisting and omitting things… or being fair and unbiased.

The response was swift, surprising and universal.  There were so many insightful comments made that I couldn’t pick only three to award prizes to, as was my original plan.

So I picked ten (the winners are listed at the end of this post – check to see if your comment was one that was chosen).  And I’ve excerpted from a number of the comments here, so I can share some of the highlights with you.

Jeffrey summarized the thinking of many commenters about AAII this way:

AAII naturally committed the typical strategic blunders essential to the charade proposed by the investment industry (Wall Street) and financial professionals (a.k.a. traders, gamblers, speculators, etc.). Any attempt to allow people an opportunity to truly grow wealth, reduce risk, and prepare for a more stable environment challenges the status quo of buy and lose (commonly referred to as buy and hold) and then industry pundits (AAII) start the negative attacks in order to establish fear of finances and preserve their base of profits. AAII omitted important aspects of your plan, distorted facts of your plan to promote obfuscation, and blatantly twisted all aspects of your plan in order to destroy your credibility.

Thank you for presenting people with an opportunity to actually prepare, plan, and realize a better financial picture.”

[Read more…] “AAII vs. Bank On Yourself: Total Knockout in Round One”

Six scary facts affecting your finances

A number of items have come across my desk recently that should spook the living daylights out of you…

Scary Fact #1: 40 percent of all workers plan to delay retirement

61% blamed the decline in their 401(k) for this.  And a majority said they’re prepared to spend less in retirement according to a new survey by Towers Watson.

Scary Fact #2: Nation’s retirement shortfall exceeds $4.6 trillion!

A recent study revealed Boomers and Generation X’ers are coming up frighteningly short on their retirement savings.

And when nursing home and home health care costs are added in, that shortfall doubles, according to a study released this month by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Nearly half of both Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers won’t have enough funds to cover living expenses, according to an EBRI report released earlier this year.

Scary Fact #3: New 401(k) disclosure rules don’t put a lid on fees

New regulations announced this month by the Department of Labor will require better disclosure of all the hidden fees you’ve been paying in your 401(k), starting in January, 2012.

scary bat

But, for all the noise on Capitol Hill about this horrifying issue, NO regulations have been proposed or even discussed to reduce the confiscatory fees you pay!

scary bat

Even a one percent higher fee can cost an employee $64,000 or more in realized savings by age 65, according to the DOL’s own estimates.

The 401(k) situation is so bad that you will probably need to get an average annual return of 8% to 10% – just to break even!

Not convinced?  Check out the shocking exposé Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Dean Rotbart and I recently co-wrote on this.

Scary Fact #4: Hope is not a strategy

We’re headed for a retirement train wreck, and it’s going to get really ugly over the next 15 years”
– Rob Arnott, a widely respected market strategist

In a well-researched article in this month’s Fundamentals Index Newsletter, the authors point out that the return assumptions built into pension and retirement plans today assume that “everything will go right.”  They’ve relied on unrealistic assumptions.  The authors also go on to demonstrate why returns are likely to be much lower in the future.

We’re relying on hope.  But hope is not a strategy; hope will not fund secure retirements.  We’re planning for the best and denying that worse can happen.  It makes far more sense to hope for the best, with plans for realistic outcomes – and contingency plans for worse ones.”1

Scary Fact #5: 40 percent of retirees were forced out of work early

Remember the scene from the 1983 movie classic, “The Big Chill,” where the character played by Jeff Goldblum asks…

Have you ever gone a week without a rationalization?”

Well, many boomers today are trying to rationalize away the fact that they won’t be able to retire when and how they had planned by trying to convince themselves that retirement is overrated.  They now talk about continuing to work in some capacity as long as they can.

While there’s no question that this can give you more of a sense of purpose and fulfillment and keep you from dying of boredom, the reality is that many people are being forced to retire earlier than they can afford to.  Job layoffs and health issues are the primary reasons for this.

I love what I do, and I hope to be doing it for a long time.  But shouldn’t the decision to retire – or not – be a matter of choice, not necessity?

The reality is that you may not have a choice.  Nearly four in ten retirees say they were forced out of work earlier than they’d planned because of layoffs, poor health or the need to take care of a loved one, according to EBRI.

Scary Fact #6: All Bank On Yourself policy owners received a guaranteed increase and a dividend – again

I was just checking to see if you were paying attention! That’s not a scary fact (unless you’ve been procrastinating on starting to Bank On Yourself).

Halloween CashWhole life insurance is an asset class that has increased in value during every stock market decline and every period of economic boom and bust for more than a century.

A dividend-paying whole life policy grows by a guaranteed and pre-set amount every year.  In addition, the growth is exponential, meaning it gets better every single year with no luck, skill, or guesswork required to make that happen.

This gives you some protection against inflation and provides peak growth when you need it most (retirement).

A Bank On Yourself-type policy includes an option that turbo-charges the growth of your cash value in the policy.

You can know (rather than hope) the minimum guaranteed income you can take from the policy in retirement.

And, you can access the money in retirement with little or no tax consequences, under current tax law.

You can also have access to capital when you want it and for whatever you want.  No nosey credit apps or pledging your first born.

So, if you haven’t added Bank On Yourself to your financial plan yet, doesn’t it make sense to request a free Analysis and find out what your bottom-line numbers and results could be?

There’s no obligation, it’s not scary, and no one’s going to twist your arm!  If you haven’t already started to Bank On Yourself, please take the first step today and take back control of your financial future!
Request Your Analysis Button

1. “Hope is Not a Strategy,” Fundamentals Index Newsletter, October 2010 Issue

Famous people who use the Bank On Yourself method

Walt Disney

There’s one surprising thing Walt Disney, J. C. Penney and the Pampered Chef have in common – they all used the Bank On Yourself method to start, grow and/or finance their businesses!

Walt Disney borrowed from his life insurance in 1953 to help fund Disneyland, his first theme park, when no banker would lend him the money.1

Walt Disney

Following the 1929 stock market crash, famous retailer J. C. Penney borrowed from his life insurance policies to help meet the company payroll.2 Had he not had ready access to capital, the company probably would have been forced to close its doors, adding even more people to the unemployment line.

The Pamperd Chef used dividend paying whole life insurance loan for initial capitalization

In 2002, Doris Christopher sold her kitchen tool company, the Pampered Chef to Warren Buffett for a reported $900 million.  Seven years earlier, she launched the company with a life insurance policy loan.3

The Pamperd Chef used dividend paying whole life insurance loan for initial capitalization

Foster Farms was founded in 1939 when Max and Verda Foster borrowed $1,000 against their life insurance policy to buy an 80-acre farm near Modesto, CA.4

Senator John McCain secured initial campaign financing for his presidential bid by using his life insurance policy as collateral.3

So-called “permanent” or cash value life insurance (versus term insurance, which is like renting insurance) builds up cash value that policy owners can use in difficult times as a ready source of money to cover personal or business expenses for emergencies and even to cover insurance costs.

[Read more…] “Famous people who use the Bank On Yourself method”

The truth about investing in mutual funds

Investors earn returns over time that are far lower than those quoted by mutual fund firms.  In fact, it’s not even a close race.”

This is the conclusion of DALBAR, Inc., the well-respected independent investment research firm.1

For the past 20 years, “the average equity investor barely managed to eke out an annualized return that outpaced inflation.”  The average return was 3.49% per year – just slightly more than the inflation rate for that period!

Asset allocation and fixed income investors weren’t so lucky (if you can call that “luck”); they lost ground after adjusting for inflation.

Why most investors don’t come close to getting the returns touted in mutual fund prospectuses…

There are plenty of reasons for this.  For starters…
[Read more…] “The truth about investing in mutual funds”