Should you be worried about the Dow’s plunge?

We're doing it again!

If, like most Americans, you have a substantial portion of your nest-egg in stocks and mutual funds, I urge you to take a few minutes to read this right now…

The U.S. stock market has lost considerable ground and volatility has returned with a vengeance.  The situation is precarious in both Japan and the Middle East.

But the recent stock market plunge was virtually assured before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.

Here’s why…

We’re doing it again: Buying stocks after big gains in the markets.

In 2008, 2009 and most of 2010, mutual fund investors in almost every month took more money out of stock mutual funds than they added. Then, in January, someone hit a switch.

Investors decided that it was time to get back into the stock market. Keep in mind this decision came after an almost 100 percent gain from the market bottom in 2008. So in December we pulled $10.6 billion out of equity mutual funds, and in January we poured an estimated $30 billion into the market.

Do you see the problem here?”1

The problem, as this article from The New York Times blog titled, “Are We Buying High All Over Again?” points out, is that investors are repeating past bad behavior.  Just as they have done throughout history, and just as they will continue to do for the rest of time.

[Read more…] “Should you be worried about the Dow’s plunge?”

Is Bank On Yourself too good to be true?

A review of my book, Bank On Yourself, in the December 2010 issue of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Newsletter declared that the concept is “too good to be true.”

The reason given was, “A life insurance policy loan is not truly a loan.  Rather, it is an advance that the insurer must eventually pay out.  Worse yet… policy loans can erode a life insurance policy over time.”  It also pointed to “potential tax liabilities.”

This review brought to mind one of my favorite quotes…

If you’re looking for an excuse, any one will do.”

– Dan Kennedy

So I wrote the editor and explained there was some misinformation in the review, and that I would like an opportunity to correct the record, pointing out that their motto is “Unbiased Investment Education.”unbiased investment education

The editor told me to let him know what I think is incorrect, and he “will take a look at it.”  I suspected he was just “humoring me,” but gave him the benefit of the doubt.  However, when I submitted my rebuttal, he replied that they would not publish it because “there are no factual corrections to be made.”

I informed AAII I would be publishing my rebuttal on this website, and let YOU decide who is taking things out of context, committing sins of omission, and twisting the “facts”… and who is being fair and unbiased.  We’ll pick three of the most interesting, insightful and/or humorous comments made on this blog and award the posters their choice of a $25 gift certificate for a restaurant in your area or a personally autographed copy of my “too good to be true” book.

Besides that, there are several points made in my rebuttal that I have not made elsewhere, so you will find value in reading this (I made it a bit more colorful for your reading pleasure)…

[Read more…] “Is Bank On Yourself too good to be true?”

The dangers of fuzzy thinking about money

It often shocks me to see what passes for “journalism” these days in publications many people put their trust in, like the Wall Street Journal.

Slow and Steady Saving?A recent article in that publication titled, “Slow and Steady Saving Still Pays,” is a classic example of what happens when you use fuzzy thinking and math… and expect to convince readers of your position.

Sadly, I suspect many readers did lap this article up because, after all, it was published in the Wall Street Journal.  They wouldn’t lie to us or lead us astray, would they?!?

I don’t think this article was intentionally written to mislead you.  I believe the author has just been as brainwashed by Wall Street as most Americans have been.

So what ARE the problems with this article?

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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…

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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”

Dow 36,000? What were they smoking?

dow_36000_1

Ten years ago this week, the book, “Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market” was published.

dow_36000_1

It became a best-seller. And, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Lessons of a Bull Market That Never Happened” (9/20/09):

Back then, the only people subject to sustained derision on Wall Street were those who dissented. Anyone who warned that shares might disappoint was ignored. The few predicting a crash — let alone two — were considered cranks.

Yet, in spite of the current stock market rally – one of the steepest in history – the Dow is STILL below where it stood in September 1999!

How many times during those years were your hopes raised, only to be dashed again and again?

Wall Street has some “dirty little secrets” they don’t want you to know about, but I reveal them all here.

Interestingly, one of the authors of that book recently said he still believes the Dow will hit 36,000.  Meanwhile, there’s some guy now predicting the Dow will go down to 1,000!

What do YOU think will happen… and why? You can voice your thoughts below…