From “Bank On Yourself is a Scam” to “This Can Work for Everyone!”

Dan Proskauer is a technology executive for a major health care company who heard a radio ad for Bank On Yourself in 2009 that caught his attention. At that time, the economy was in a deep recession, and the stock market was plunging.

For several years, Dan had felt frustrated because he’d been doing all the “right things” he’d been taught to do with his finances… but those “right things” were failing him – and most other Americans – miserably.

Having been burned numerous times by following the conventional financial “wisdom,” Dan was understandably very skeptical of Bank On Yourself. It sounded “too good to be true.” In fact, it sounded like it must be a scam!

(I recently interviewed Dan about his 11-year journey with Bank On Yourself, and you can click here to skip to hear the interview and/or read a transcript of it.) [Read more…] “From “Bank On Yourself is a Scam” to “This Can Work for Everyone!””

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of 401(k)s and IRAs: Pamela Yellen’s Interview on Beyond 50 Radio

I was just interviewed on Beyond 50 Radio about the wealth-killing traps of 401(k)s and IRAs and how to avoid them.

When you listen to the replay of this interview by clicking on the play arrow below, you’ll discover:

  • How the pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of traditional retirement accounts
  • Why the 401(k) employer match isn’t really “free money” at all
  • Why you should never let your employer choose where to invest your 401(k) contribution – most employers now automatically invest your money, and almost no one questions it!
  • Why you’re likely to retire in the highest tax brackets of your life – and how to legally slash your tax bill
  • How the fees hidden in 401(k)s can devour 40% or more of your hard-earned money
  • The critical difference between saving and investing for retirement
  • Why you need an emergency fund equal to two years of your household expenses
  • How to have quick and easy access to the money you need to weather the challenges life unexpectedly throws at you – and how you can get the exact same growth on that money as though you never touched it
  • The real reason many financial representatives will steer you away from the Bank On Yourself strategy
  • What the Bank On Yourself strategy is in a nutshell

You can listen to the interview by pressing the play arrow below…

[Read more…] “How to Avoid the Pitfalls of 401(k)s and IRAs: Pamela Yellen’s Interview on Beyond 50 Radio”

How to Rescue Your Retirement from “Black Swan” Events that Can Scramble Your Retirement Plans

Did you see the coronavirus pandemic coming?

Did you anticipate the disruptions to travel, schools closing, major events being canceled, quarantines, cities and states declaring states of emergency, employees told not to come into work, and chaos at stores as people panic to buy necessities?

Did you expect the Saudis and Russia would start an oil price warprecisely as panic over COVID-19 was reaching a fever pitch – causing crude oil prices to collapse in the biggest one-day move in 30 years?

Did you see it coming that investors would wake up on March 9 drowning in so much fear that panic selling in the market caused a “circuit breaker” to trip and halt trading for 15 minutes, to hopefully allow panic to subside? [Read more…] “How to Rescue Your Retirement from “Black Swan” Events that Can Scramble Your Retirement Plans”

Three Ways to Protect Your Heath and Wealth from COVID-19 Coronavirus

On February 21, a director for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) told reporters that health officials are preparing for the COVID-19 coronavirus to become a pandemic, saying, “It’s very possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen.”

The Director noted that the “day may come” where we have to close down schools and businesses like China and other countries have done.

The coronavirus is now spreading rapidly in countries outside of China, including “first world” countries like Italy.

Stock markets around the world have been plunging. And if this situation continues to deteriorate, we could easily be entering a prolonged recession and could see the long-overdue major stock market crash I’ve been warning you about.

The Coronavirus is a “Black Swan Event”

A “black swan event” is an event in human history that was unprecedented and unexpected when it occurred. The 2008 financial crisis is considered to be a black swan event, as is the dot-com bubble of 2000.

And we all know how badly those events ended. [Read more…] “Three Ways to Protect Your Heath and Wealth from COVID-19 Coronavirus”

The Wall Street Journal Podcast Interview with Pamela Yellen: The Biggest 401(k) Mistake People Make

I was just interviewed again by the Wall Street Journal for an episode of their “Your Money Briefing” podcast.

The episode is described as, “Financial security expert Pamela Yellen explains why employees should take control of their 401(k) retirement investments and not rely on their employer to invest for them.”

In this eye-opening interview I discuss:

  • Why it’s very likely that your 401(k) money is in a Target Date Fund (TDF) – even if you didn’t authorize it or request it – and three reasons that should concern you
  • 98% of all employers use TDFs, and 90% have it as the “default option,” which means they automatically put your money there unless you specifically direct them to do otherwise – and almost no one does
  • Near retirement? You’re not protected! TDFs are supposed to dial back risk as you near retirement, but in practice, that hasn’t happened. In 2008, some TDFs designed for participants expecting to retire in two years lost as much as 40%!
  • How the shockingly high fees of TDFs devour your hard-earned savings
  • The dangers of having your retirement savings in a one-size-fits-all financial vehicle
  • How to quickly and easily do your own research to compare the mutual fund options your 401(k) offers
  • How to protect your retirement savings from market volatility and ensure a guaranteed income for life

[Read more…] “The Wall Street Journal Podcast Interview with Pamela Yellen: The Biggest 401(k) Mistake People Make”

SuperMoney Interviews Personal Finance Expert Pamela Yellen on Savings and Investing Strategies

Pamela Yellen, Founder of Bank On Yourself
Pamela Yellen, Founder of Bank On Yourself

I was recently interviewed by SuperMoney, a website that rates various financial products and the companies that provide them.

In this wide-ranging interview, I answered questions like these:

Why did you decide to start Bank On Yourself?

I reveal the frustrations my husband and I experienced following the conventional wisdom about investing and retirement planning. Maybe you can relate…

If someone were to say to you, “I don’t have the expertise to handle my finances. I’ll just hire some investment firm to deal with them,” how would you respond?

Here I discuss how and why 80% of all mutual funds, financial representatives and investment advisory services underperform the overall market. If the experts can’t even do it well, how can we regular folks be expected to? [Read more…] “SuperMoney Interviews Personal Finance Expert Pamela Yellen on Savings and Investing Strategies”

The Movie You MUST See If Your Money is in the Market

You probably already know – or at least strongly suspect – that Wall Street is rigged. And not in favor of the little guys and gals like us.

But this blog post should lay any doubt about that to rest…

Let’s start with the movie you must see if you have any money invested in the market (or need a reminder of why you yanked it out in the first place).

The Big Short is based on the New York Times best seller by Michael Lewis. The main characters are played by Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell.

the-big-shortIt recounts the story of a handful of Wall Street traders who (ultimately) made a fortune by betting against the mortgages that caused the housing bubble… and subsequent crash and Great Recession. [Read more…] “The Movie You MUST See If Your Money is in the Market”

The Article Forbes Asked Pamela Yellen to Write – But Got Too Scared to Publish

Recently I was asked to write a full-length article for the Forbes website by one of their regular columnists, who I’ll call “Pat” to protect the guilty.

Pat had taken my Financial IQ Quiz and found it very insightful. So Pat asked me to answer ten questions in writing for publication in Pat’s column.

The questions indicated Pat knew full well that I have a contrarian take on Wall Street and that I’m an advocate for consumers and investors.

They included questions like…

  • “What are some of the scams in the mutual fund industry?”
  • “What’s the shocking truth about 401(k)s and IRAs?”
  • “How can investors protect themselves?”

So I painstakingly answered Pat’s questions, supporting each statement with highly credible, unimpeachable sources including Morningstar, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Government Accounting Office and the Department of Labor.

As requested, I made no mention of Bank On Yourself or the asset it is based on (super-charged dividend-paying whole life insurance).

About two days later, Pat thanked me for sending the article, but declined to run it “because there’s just too much controversy” surrounding my work.

Pat even suggested I repurpose the content for my blog (a good case for “be careful what you wish for”…).

So below are Pat’s questions with my answers in full, which I think you’ll find very interesting. Some of these questions I’ve never addressed publicly before. (Check out question #5 about “what mutual funds do you recommend?”) [Read more…] “The Article Forbes Asked Pamela Yellen to Write – But Got Too Scared to Publish”

A 9.94% Annual Return Without Market Risk? [Video Proof]

What if I told you that it’s possible to get an effective annual return of nearly 10% over time – without the risk of stocks, real estate or other volatile investments?

NeTIuNRIoCk

Watch the Video above to see proof of the return of Bank On Yourself (then click on the icon in the lower right to enlarge)

I’m pretty sure you’d wonder what I’ve been smoking!

But I’m going to prove to you how you would have to get a 9.94% return every year in a tax-deferred account like a 401(k) or IRA to equal the return of a Bank On Yourself Plan over the last half century.

NeTIuNRIoCk

Watch the Video above to see proof of the return of Bank On Yourself

To quickly recap, Bank On Yourself relies on a super-charged variation of an asset that has increased in value every single year for more than 160 years – dividend-paying whole life insurance. It’s never had a losing year – EVER – including during the Great Depression. [Read more…] “A 9.94% Annual Return Without Market Risk? [Video Proof]”