Test Your Money and Investing IQ

You can win one of six valuable prizes by participating in our “Test Your Money and Investing IQ” blog contest – just enter your answer in the comments box below by midnight Monday, November 14.

 Bank on Yourself financial questions to answer

At a dinner party recently, I sat next to a retired business owner and we got into a conversation about money and finances.

 Bank on Yourself financial questions to answer

In response to one of his questions, I mentioned an important principle of finance, at which point he turned to me and said, “I’m a CPA and an MBA and I’ve never heard of that!”

Actually, it’s fairly common that I meet highly educated people who are unaware of some of the really critical basics of how money and finances work.

Funny thing is that I think many of our subscribers know these principles, even if they don’t have alphabet soup after their names.

Applying a little logic and common sense (which is admittedly in short supply in our society today) is usually all that’s needed.

And to prove my point, I’m holding a contest to see how many of our subscribers can answer the questions below correctly.

If you answer even one of these questions correctly and/or insightfully, you can win a prize.

I know that people deepen their understanding more when they participate and articulate their thoughts, so I decided to “ethically bribe” you to take a shot at it by holding a contest.

Here’s all you have to do to enter the contest…

Bank on Yourself Test Your Money and Investment IQ contest winners and their prizes

Just type in your answer to any one or more of the five questions below, no later than Monday, November 14, at midnight.  If you want, you can comment on someone else’s answer to qualify to win.

Bank on Yourself Test Your Money and Investment IQ contest winners and their prizes

After the contest ends, our team will pick the best entry (best because it’s correct, insightful, entertaining or a combination of those).  That person will win a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate.  And two runners-up will be chosen to receive their choice of a $25 Dining Gift Certificate, or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book.

Three more winners will be chosen at random – all entries containing at least one correct answer will be entered into a random drawing for another $100 Amazon Gift Certificate and two prizes of your choice of a $25 Dining Gift Certificate or autographed book.  (Sorry – U.S. residents only.)

Although there are five questions, you don’t have to answer all of them to qualify.

So test your money IQ now by answering as many of these five questions as you want:

number1If 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.

Question:  If you pay cash for a car, what’s your actual cost for the car?

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.)

number3 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.

Question:  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?

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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 financial representatives in the country who have met the rigorous requirements to be a Bank On Yourself Professional and can show you where to find money you didn’t know you had to fund your plan.

number4 What percentage of mutual funds, financial representatives and investment advisory services underperform the overall market?  And why?

number5 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?

So there you have it – just answer one or more of these questions, or comment on someone else’s answer, no later than midnight, Monday, November 14, to get in the running to win one of the six prizes!

Comments

We’ll announce all the winners in a blog post later this month.

So scroll down to the comments box below and start typing!  (Note – all comments are moderated, so there will be some delay before your comment appears.)

Bank On Yourself Dividend Paying Life Insurance v Savings Account

We received dozens of insightful entries for our “Bank On Yourself vs. savings account” contest.  They confirmed – once again – that we have a whole bunch of very smart subscribers!

The contest even inspired one reader to write a poem!

I’ve been studying these topics full time for nearly a decade now, and even I learned some new things.  So, whether you use the Bank On Yourself method or not, or you consider yourself to be an expert or a novice at understanding money and finances, you should read this!

You will undoubtedly learn some things you didn’t already know!

There were so many great contest entries, it was really tough for our team to single out only the five best entries, and the winners of the iPod Touch, Amazon.com gift certificate and more are listed below.

The contest question was:  How is dividend-paying whole life insurance different from a savings account, besides the death benefit?

Our readers gave a dozen or so distinct, key differences between the two, and I’ll summarize a number of them in a moment.

However, I think one really critical advantage of a dividend-paying whole life policy wasn’t mentioned…

Many retirees today can’t stomach the volatility or unpredictability of investing in stocks and other traditional investments and were counting on their interest income from CD’s, money markets and savings accounts.
[Read more…] “Bank On Yourself Dividend Paying Life Insurance v Savings Account”

Is Bank On Yourself a scam? (Part two)

We received several hundred correct entries to last week’s blog contest and the five randomly picked winners are listed below, along with the details of a NEW contest I’m holding.

Contest Prizes
Enter below to win these prizes!

You could win an iPod Touch, $100 Amazon.com gift certificate, a $25 dining Certificate and more!

In case you missed last week’s contest, I had posted a podcast discussing some of the internet forums where people anonymously debate the merits of Bank On Yourself and discuss whether or not it’s a scam.

Contest Prizes
Enter below to win these prizes!

On one of those threads that comes up very high in the search results, one of my toughest, potty-mouthed critics has slowly come around and admitted I’m right about many of the points I’ve been making.

When challenged by another poster about the actual returns people get in the stock market, he dragged out 29 years of records of his own investing accounts, and was shocked to discover what his returns had actually been.

The contest was simple to enter – just listen to the podcast where I revealed what my critic discovered was his actual annual rate of return BEFORE accounting for inflation and taxes… and then tell us what the percentage was.

Not a Scam

Since the contest has ended, I can reveal the answer now.  My critic averaged a 4.5% annual return over the past nearly three decades of investing in the stock market.

That’s BEFORE accounting for inflation, which averaged more than 3% per year, bringing his real return down closer to 1% per year.

And since much of his investing has been in tax-deferred accounts, he has yet to pay taxes on that money.  Of course, he doesn’t know what the tax rates will be during his retirement, when he’s taking income from those accounts.

But what direction do you think tax rates will be going over the long term?  (If you said “down,” I’ve got a Rolex watch I’ll sell you for $20.)

When you account for inflation and taxes, the question that ought to hit you over the head is…

Was it worth it?!?

Was it worth all the roller-coaster ups and downs and the sleepless nights to get 4.5% per year before taxes and inflation?

As I pointed out in the podcast, Bank On Yourself can beat that with a stick.   And without the risk or volatility of traditional investments.

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.
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 Professionals are masters at helping people restructure their finances to free up seed money to fund a plan. Here are the eight most common places they look.

My critic’s experience wasn’t unique, although I’ll commend him for actually looking at his statements and then being willing to admit publicly – if anonymously – his disappointing results.

One subscriber to the Bank On Yourself blog made a similar discovery and posted this comment on last week’s blog:

Wow. I had the exact same experience when investigating Bank On Yourself before starting my own plans (have multiple policies and am LOVING the results – exactly as predicted or better, no surprises and I sleep well at night). I made the same Google search and spent hours poring over the posts. What struck me was that nobody ever presented any evidence of any kind of scam. Some folks disagreed with the assumptions or touted their wildly inaccurate assumptions about equities as a more attractive alternative, but never did anyone have anything remotely scam-ish to report.”

This comment came from Dan Proskauer, a very analytical man who has spent literally hundreds of hours researching Bank On Yourself, running spreadsheets and crunching the numbers.

He says the Bank On Yourself method looks better the more he studies it.  Dan revealed the conclusions of his research in an interview I did with him last year.  I’d encourage you to read or listen to it.

And this concise comment made last week by a subscriber named John really summed up what a lot of people are (finally) figuring out…

I LOVE my Bank On Yourself plan, it does everything I was promised and more. I’ve not borrowed a penny from a bank or credit card in over a year. Why should I? I lend it to myself! And if you want a scam, I have two words for you … Wall Street”

Now for the details of our NEW contest…

A comment was made on the same thread that debates the merits of Bank On Yourself that it essentially works the same as a savings account, but with the added advantage of having a death benefit.  This statement really got me thinking.

Enter-To-Win

While there certainly are some ways in which Bank On Yourself-type policies function like a savings account, I can think of a lot of major, critical differences.

But rather than me telling you what those differences are, I’d rather hear what you believe they are.  And some of our subscribers are a whole bunch smarter than I am.

Enter-To-Win

So, I’m holding another contest, and our team will pick the five best answers and award a top prize of an iPod Touch (a $229.00 value), a second prize of a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate, and three runner-up prizes that will give you a choice of a $25 dining gift certificate or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book for you or to give to someone you care about.

Just answer the following question in the comments box below no later than midnight, Monday, October 3:

The contest question is:  How is dividend-paying whole life insurance different from a savings account (besides the death benefit)?

You can address one or more differences, or comment on someone else’s response to qualify.

And if you think I’m “full of it,” feel free to tell us that, too.  (Some of our subscribers don’t seem to need any encouragement to do that…)

We’ll circle back here next week to report on the contest results and winners.

To qualify, just type in your response in the comments box at the end of this post no later than midnight, Monday, October 3rd.  Please note that all comments are moderated, so there will be some delay before it appears.  (Sorry – open to U.S. residents only.)

And now for the winners of last week’s contest.  As I mentioned, we received hundreds of entries with the correct answer by both email and via the blog comments.  These five randomly chosen winners have all been notified by email:

$100 Amazon.com gift certificate – Sheri Browning

The four winners of the $25 dining gift certificate or autographed book – Jeannie Fisher, Kevin Caldwell, Lynne, and Rich Rhoads

Okay!  Scroll down to the comments box and enter the contest…

Announcing the winners of the “summer vacation” contest!

Last week we held a contest about what kind of vacation or “staycation” you’re planning this summer… and how you’re paying for it.Summer vacation-placard

There were many interesting and some heart-tugging entries, making it a bit difficult for our team to pick the winners, but here are the ones we did pick – and why.  Two entries were also chosen at random.

Each of five winners will receive their choice of a $25 dining gift certificate or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book, Bank On Yourself, for themselves or to give as a gift to someone they care about.

And together, the team picked their favorite entry and that person wins a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Read on for the winning entries…

[Read more…] “Announcing the winners of the “summer vacation” contest!”

Enter our "summer vacation" contest!

Staycation

With summer around the corner, you may be planning a vacation. Or, maybe you’re avoiding high gas prices and planning a “staycation.” Either way, we want to hear about it!

Staycation

Tell us in the comments box below. You could win one of SIX prizes we’ll be awarding, including one $100 Amazon Gift Certificate and five prizes of your choice of a $25 dining gift certificate or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book, Bank On Yourself, for yourself or to give as a gift to someone you care about.

Here’s how to enter…   [Read more…] “Enter our "summer vacation" contest!”

Announcing the winners of the “what inspires you to save” contest!

Last week we held a contest about what inspires or motivates you to save money.  The response was overwhelming and with many so inspiring and heartfelt entries,  it was very difficult for our team to pick the six winners…

Contest Winner

After much deliberation, five members of the Bank On Yourself team each picked their favorite entry – each of these winners will receive their choice of a $25 dining gift certificate or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book, Bank On Yourself, for themselves or to give as a gift to someone they care about.

And together, the team picked their favorite entry and that person won a $100 American Express Gift Certificate.  (All winners will soon be receiving an email letting them know how to claim their prizes.)

Contest Winner

Read on to be inspired by the winning entries…

[Read more…] “Announcing the winners of the “what inspires you to save” contest!”

Enter our "what inspires you to save" contest!

People are inspired to save money for different reasons.  Share what inspires or motivates you to save in the comment box below and you could win one of six prizes we’ll be awarding, including five prizes of your choice of a $25 dining gift certificate or a personally autographed copy of my best-selling book, Bank On Yourself, for you or to give as a gift to someone you care about.

Post your entry in the comment box below...
Post your entry in the comment box below...

Five members of the Bank On Yourself team will each pick their favorite entry for the dining certificate/autographed book prizes.  And together we’ll pick the most inspiring entry and award that person a $100 American Express Gift Certificate.  (Sorry – U.S. residents only.)

Just post your entry in the comment box below by Monday, March 28.  The prize winners will be notified by email on Friday, April 1, and the winning entries will be featured in that day’s blog post.

Save for something that excites you!

Research shows that people are more likely to save if they are saving for something that excites them, rather than because they “should” save.

For example, my husband Larry and I have two grandchildren living a couple states away.  We call or Skype them (almost like being there!) every Sunday.  Last Sunday, Halle, who’s in second grade, told us her favorite subjects now are science and math.  She’s learning the multiplication tables, and we spent nearly an hour quizzing her – she would happily have kept doing it for another hour, but our brains were fried!

Halle’s brother Jake loves playing basketball.  He’s a head taller than his classmates, so who knows where that will lead…

What inspires or motivates you to save?

Anyway, a few years ago, we started savings plans for Halle and Jake’s college educations.

What inspires or motivates you to save?

Doing that just feels so motivating.  And because we’re saving the money in a Bank On Yourself policy, rather than an investment account or a 529 Savings Plan, we know the money will be there when needed.  And if they decide to become entrepreneurs instead of going to college, the funds can be accessed without the restrictions or penalties common to 529 and other plans.

(Compare saving for college in a Bank On Yourself policy versus a 529 Plan)

So what inspires or motivates you to save?

Just post your entry in the comment box below by Monday, March 28, and you could win one of the six prizes described above!