The Perils of Pamela Yellen

Dale Carnegie wrote,

If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Vintage Movie poster, “The Perils of Pauline—The Abduction, 6th Episode in 2 parts”—from 1914Did your grandmother ever tell you about The Perils of Pauline? The Perils of Pauline was a 1914 series of feature films about an energetic and naive young woman who traveled the world, running into mayhem and misadventures.

Sounds kinda like the script of my life.

This is Chapter Three of my untold story. You can read Chapter 1, The Elephant and the Circus, here. And go here to read Chapter 2, about The Ugly Halloween Mask.

Launching My New Career

Where were we? Oh, yeah. So, I had hauled myself across the country and found a coach, Somers White, who helped me design a fabulous business plan. The teensy weensy problem was that this brilliant plan required me to do the one thing that terrified me the most. No, I’m not talking about parachuting out of an airplane while blindfolded. In my mind, this was something far worse.

My personal source of terror was speaking in public.

I was fine with one-on-one conversations. Even talking one-on-two or one-on-three was okay. But put me in front of a bunch of people staring at me waiting for pearls of wisdom to spew forth? I’d rather get a root canal with no Novocain, or go bungee jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, or—okay, just about anything rather than speak in public.

But my brilliant new business plan demanded it. Ugh! Once I had settled on a career of consulting and speaking to the financial services industry, I realized I better get over my paralyzing stage fright very quickly!

Life has a way of taking interesting twists and turns. Often, it’s not clear where our paths are taking us until much later.

Don’t be afraid to shoot for the stars!

I started moving into my new career, making contacts and worrying about how to get through my public speaking phobia. The artist I’d been representing, Marlene McGoffin, told me I could use more self-esteem, and she invited me to attend a workshop about building self-esteem, led by several women from Los Angeles.

As Marlene told me about the workshop, I realized I didn’t know exactly what “self-esteem” meant. She said, “Well, if you’re going to go to the workshop, you better list three results you want to get from it. Otherwise, don’t go.”

So, I grabbed a pen and scribbled this down:

  1. I want to be able to speak without fear—to any size group.
  2. I want to be in a loving, harmonious relationship—with my soul mate.
  3. I want to be able to look in the mirror and like—if not love—what I see.

Honestly? As I wrote them down, all three of those goals seemed impossible!

Getting comfortable with public speaking seemed as far-fetched as learning to swim in a school of ravenous piranha. Finding a great relationship seemed as likely as winning the lottery. And liking what I see in the mirror? Only if I lost my eyesight completely. Like many women (and men) I know, all I could see in the mirror were what I perceived as flaws—and I was sick and tired of feeling yucky about myself!

But I attended the self-esteem workshop, and it was very powerful. I can’t explain exactly what happened, but shortly afterward I began experiencing dramatic shifts in all three of the areas I’d written down.

It was really amazing how several things started happening at once.

“Do the Thing You Fear and the Death of Fear Is Certain”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Soon after that workshop, the Phoenix chapter of the American Cancer Society heard about my record-setting bachelor bid at the Sarasota, Florida, chapter—yes, my infamous open-the-circus-in a sequined-bodysuit-riding-an-elephant date. The committee asked if I would speak about my experience to help inspire the women who would be attending the upcoming Phoenix “Bid for Bachelors” event.

I said “Sure. I’d be happy to help. How long?”

“Five minutes.”

“No problem. How many people?”

“Five hundred.”

“Five hundred? Uh. …” My breathing stopped and my heart started doing the cha-cha.

But I wasn’t going to back out on this good cause. I jumped in with both very cold feet.

Later, they told me my talk went well. They told me I was fun and articulate. They told me I got a standing ovation. I honestly don’t remember a single thing about the experience, except that I was focused on not passing out.

But I had faced my dragon and survived! So I was off and running and ready to launch my business!

Life Beyond the Dragon

I started calling insurance agency managers in town, offering to do a three-hour seminar for their agents on how to find prospective clients. My proposal was to do the seminar for a discounted fee, with the understanding that if the agents got value from my session, the manager would write a letter of recommendation and refer me to other agency managers within their company across the country.

That simple strategy worked like gangbusters! The agents loved my presentation, and I soon had a dozen letters of recommendation—plus introductions to every agency manager in the country for those companies. My new business was launched out of thin air! Woo-hoo!

Within six months, I was invited to speak at the national meeting of my target market’s association. Over the next few years, I spoke three times at the Million Dollar Round Table, one of the most prestigious sales organizations in the world. Once, I even addressed them in my bathrobe! (What can I say? It was a 6:00 a.m. breakfast meeting!)

“I’m Looking for Love, But It’s Just Not There”—The Carpenters

The business side of my life was well on its way. And I had learned to be kinder to myself and more confident about my physical appearance. And my love life, which had been stuck in neutral with the parking brake on, began to move ever so slowly.

Years before, I had met—and later married—a brilliant man I met at the age of seventeen during my first week in college. Over time, his health deteriorated. He became addicted to pain killers, sedatives and alcohol. I eventually realized I couldn’t stay in that relationship. My husband was on a path of self-destruction and would have taken me down with him, except that I ended the marriage after 13 very trying years.

Having been with the same man since my first week of college, I had never really been on my own. So I naively jumped from the frying pan into the fire. I began a relationship with a man I later discovered was an alcoholic. Once I extricated myself from that unhappy relationship, I decided I would either be in a loving, harmonious relationship, or none at all. Besides, by then I was discovering that I truly enjoyed my own company. Yes, my self-esteem had grown that much!

“What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love”—Jackie DeShannon

I attended a number of singles events and did some dating. But no sparks flew. And honestly, dating is a lot of work! I was getting tired of getting all dolled up to meet guys who I would discover were not the least bit interesting to me. I decided to take a break.

Around that time, I started receiving mailers about a dating service. (This was before Internet dating took hold.) The dating service followed a model much like eHarmony does today: You fill out a profile about your personality and values, then the service matches you with people whose profiles match yours.

The pitch I got in the mail invited me to complete and mail in the profile. The letter promised I would find it interesting to see “what it revealed” about me. (That alone was a good enough reason to send in my profile, right?) I filled out the profile just for a lark, curious to see the report. I assumed it would come in the mail. But it didn’t.

Instead, I got a telephone call from the service, telling me they really needed women my age, living in that part of Phoenix, to meet the demand from the men in the area. Could they come out to my home to show me how the service works?

I explained I was not actively looking to find a mate. I was merely curious about the personality report they promised. I also told them that, as someone in sales myself, I would never waste another salesperson’s time. And there was absolutely no way I was going to join their program!

The phone representative wasn’t easily put off. She listed a handful of reasons I should listen to the presentation. Finally I gave in, saying, “But please let your salesperson know I’m not going to buy. If he still wants to come out and waste his time, okay.”

“Take a Chance on Me”—Abba

When the salesman arrived, he launched into a 90-minute, exceptionally well-crafted presentation about the merits of the dating service, and he had a good answer to every objection I gave him. When I asked the price of the service, he said it was “only” $1,500 for a one year membership, and wouldn’t that be worth it if I could find the man of my dreams. I told him there was no way I was going to fork over $1,500 when I wasn’t even interested in dating!

He left, unsuccessful in his mission to make a sale. (Hey, I had warned him!)

About ten days later, I received another call from the service. “We are desperately in need of women like you in the service. Would you join if we discounted the rate to $100 for two years?” Let’s see: $1,500 for one year, or $100 for two years. Hmm. … Isn’t that a 97% discount?

So I said, “Sure,” figuring that if nothing else, I would get some good stories if I ever decided to write my autobiography.

Shortly after that call, the dating service started mailing me one or two referrals each month. Over the next few months, I met five or six of the referrals for lunch. They were all really nice guys, and they all did seem to have a lot in common with me. The service was doing its job, all right, but there weren’t any sparks. I firmly believe there must be chemistry, even on the first date, so no second dates followed.

In December 1989, the service sent a referral to a man named Larry Hayward—the man who is now my husband, my best friend, and the love of my life. Larry sounded fascinating just based on the way he described himself on the referral form. He didn’t try to “sell” himself. In fact, he was pretty casual about the whole thing.

That was refreshing! For the first time since joining the dating service, I was really looking forward to meeting one of their referrals.

“My One And Only Love”—Frank Sinatra

When Larry and I met, we clicked on all levels. We were truly matched in so many ways. In fact, we’ve become real believers in this kind of “third-party selection process” for people looking for mates.

Larry had two previous marriages that had ended badly. His reason for joining the dating service was that he realized that on his own, he wasn’t attracting the right kind of woman. It was time to let the experts do it for him, using a scientific and tested method!

The two of us have been together ever since.

Larry worked the night shift at the post office. But he soon quit his job to work full time in my company. His talents complemented mine, and the company’s revenues soon began to grow as a result of our partnership.

We got tired of the heat, traffic and the crazy sprawling city Phoenix had become. We realized we could run our company from anywhere we wanted—and this was well before working from home or running a business without a building was common. We decided to relocate to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we still live today.

For several years, Larry and I had a blast traveling around the country and throughout Southeast Asia together giving business seminars. Eventually, the constant traveling—often four or five different cities in one week—got tiring. Then after 9/11, with all of its new security restrictions and regulations, traveling became a grind.

We decided to do more telephone seminars from home and package our expertise for sale as recorded training programs on CDs, accompanied by printed materials. Larry held my hand (so I wouldn’t tear out my hair) while I wrote two books, both of which became New York Times best sellers, and we’ve weathered a number of life’s crises together. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in business or in life.

“Magic Mirror, on the Wall, Who Is the Fairest One of All?”—The Evil Queen in Disney’s “Snow White”

So what about that third seemingly unattainable goal I had written down, the one that said, “I want to be able to look in the mirror and like—if not love—what I see”?

I’m getting there! I can look at myself in a full-length mirror, without worrying that the mirror will crack—or crack up.

I still don’t love having my picture taken for publication, but mostly now it’s because I don’t want to go to the trouble of getting my hair done and other stuff like that.

But I actually am more pleased with my appearance today than I was when I was a mere child of 30 … or 40.

I’ve also come to gauge my worth by who I am and the contribution I make to the world, rather than by what I look like.

I didn’t know that it was possible to reach those three goals, when Marlene McGoffin urged me to write them down. I plunked down cash for that workshop with absolutely no assurance it wouldn’t be a waste of money I couldn’t afford to waste.

But in that instance, as in so many other times in my life, I listened to my instinct. I followed my gut.

And I remember what personal development teacher Les Brown taught me …

Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.”

So what’s the moral of this story?

  1. What you want the most is often just beyond what you fear the most. (That’s one of life’s little ironies!) Don’t let your dragons scare you away from who you can become.
  2. It’s smart to get help from the experts, whether it’s your career, learning to feel good about yourself, improving your finances, or even finding a mate!
  3. Don’t be afraid to follow your intuition. Be willing to say “yes” more often than “no.” If I hadn’t naively accepted the gig for the American Cancer Society, if I hadn’t reluctantly agreed to meet the dating service salesman, and if I hadn’t enthusiastically accepted the date with Larry, I wouldn’t have the awesome life I enjoy today!

To put it all in perspective, I have to agree with the great humanitarian, Albert Schweitzer:

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

My life continued to take some interesting twists and turns, so check out the next chapter of my story here.

Movie poster: Perils of Pauline, by Movie Goods, Public Domain

The REAL Reason Forbes Got Too Scared to Publish the Article They Asked Pamela Yellen to Write

As you can probably imagine, I felt honored when Forbes asked me to write an article for them. Wouldn’t you be flattered if Forbes wanted you to write an article?

It was one of their regular columnists who requested the article, who I’ve called “Pat” to protect the guilty.

Pat had asked me to answer ten questions for publication. The questions indicated Pat knew I have a contrarian take on Wall Street and that I’m a consumer advocate.

I was eager to answer Pat’s questions and tell the world about the scams in the mutual fund industry and expose the wealth-killing truths about 401(k)s and IRAs.

And I supported every statement I made with impeccable and unimpeachable sources, from Morningstar to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But two days after receiving my article, Pat declined to run it “because there’s just too much controversy.”

So I Published the Article Myself

[Read more…]

Pamela Yellen’s untold story (part 2 – the ugly Halloween mask)

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs 

At the end of my circus adventure (if you missed the story about my riding an elephant in a skin-tight gold sequined leotard, you can read all about it here), I returned to Sarasota, Florida. And I have to confess, I was beginning to feel a little restless.

My dating life was non-existent and I couldn’t afford to keep buying men (it’s not what it seems!). I had been working as the sales manager for a specialty publication for three years. Work was fine, but not very exciting and not something that I was passionate about.

All in all, my life was okay. Just okay. Yawn!

[Read more…]

Pamela’s untold story (about the elephant and circus)

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T. S. Eliot

Some people have skeletons in their closet. Me? I’ve got a few friendly ghosts, memories of times when I’ve been a little wild and crazy. When I tell friends about these times, I usually get a stunned look and a “You did what!?!”

But each of my adventures, whether voluntary or involuntary, has taught me something.

Like the time that a skin-tight gold-sequined circus costume, a fundraiser for breast cancer research, and an elephant landed me on national television.

Maybe I should start from the beginning…

It starts out very “normally.” Back in 1987, I was thirty-something and single, living in Sarasota, Florida, the land of retirees and snowbirds. Now Sarasota is a lovely place, but unless you’re already collecting Social Security, it isn’t the best place to find eligible bachelors. So I did what any red-blooded American woman would do:

“I decided to buy a man”

[Read more…]

How to become your own “banker”

Over the holidays, I received a number of emails with good wishes for the New Year from subscribers who use the Bank On Yourself method to grow their wealth safely. Many also told me how they’re using their plans.

Derek Logan with his newborn granddaughter

Derek Logan with his newborn granddaughter

One of those emails came from Derek Logan, a corporate accountant who is the textbook “poster boy” for someone who did all the right things we were taught to do financially, who decided to stop feeding the insatiable Wall Street Casino with his hard-earned dollars after seeing his retirement account value slashed in half several times.

Derek started his first Bank On Yourself plan about four years ago and wanted to update me on how he’s been able to actually use his plans to become his own “banker” during that time. Derek said he’d be happy to share his experience with subscribers to this newsletter, because…

It’s not about what I have done, but about what Banking On Yourself can do for anyone.”

This could be you… [Read more…]

How bloodthirsty bank vampires drained me of 1,693% interest

Yep – I got charged an annual interest rate of 1,693% on a card I don’t even run a balance on! This will spook the living daylights out of you, so keep reading and find out how to make sure this doesn’t happen to you!

The Bank On Yourself Method Lets You Bypass Banks Altogether

The Bank On Yourself method lets you have access to the money you need, when and for whatever you need it. There are no applications to fill out and no qualifying.

Watch the video to the right to learn how it works.

You can pay your loans back on your own terms and you don’t have to worry about late fees, collections calls if you’re late or you miss some payments.

Check out our helpful Consumers’ Guide to Policy Loans here.

Did you know the typical family can potentially increase their lifetime wealth by hundreds of thousands of dollars by financing their major purchases through a Bank On Yourself plan? Find out how much bigger your nest egg could grow (without the risk or volatility of traditional investments) when you add the Bank On Yourself method to your financial plan. Just request your free Analysis here now (if you haven’t already).

Financing things through a Bank On Yourself plan even beats directly paying cash for things for several reasons.

You may not realize it, but you finance everything you buy, because you either pay interest when you finance or lease things… or you lose interest and investment income you could have had if you’d kept your money invested. Saving money in a Bank On Yourself policy first – and then using it to make major purchases – allows your money to continue growing as though you had never touched a dime of it.

growth of your money

I know of no other financial vehicle that gives you that same advantage, do you?

And not only do you get that advantage when you Bank On Yourself, it also lets you beat the banks at their own game, while providing you with a guaranteed, safe, predictable way to grow your nest egg.

Tale of a Savvy Consumer

Scissors cutting a credit cardFormer teacher Ed Ingle and his wife decided to take a policy loan to do some home improvements soon after starting a Bank On Yourself policy, “Just to see how this whole loan thing worked. It was so easy that now we laugh at the idea of trying to understand the process. There is no process. It’s our money!”

In the first two years, Ed and his wife put the policy to work in several ways. They are putting their son through a private college through the plan. “No money goes to the bank,” Ed notes.

He purchased a car using the policy… and “no money goes to the bank!”

He also financed his wife’s graduate school through the plan. (“And no money goes to the bank!”)

Ed says he no longer worries when the stock market rises and falls. He no longer worries about the interest rates banks are charging. He’s in charge of his own finances from here on out. (And no money goes to the bank!)

An Interest Rate of Almost 1,700% Per Year?

My husband Larry and I haven’t run a balance on a card in years. We have a handful of cards we use for convenience and to get points and airline miles. We get our statements emailed to us, then pay them off in full online each month.
Last month, Larry realized we didn’t get the statement for the card we use for personal expenses. When he checked the account, he realized it was one day past the due date, so he immediately paid it. We discovered there would be a late fee and some interest due. The balance was around $3,500, so we figured the interest would be maybe a few bucks, right? Wrong!

A week later we got an email that floored us. It notified us of a $15 late fee, PLUS a $162.30 interest charge for being one day late with our payment! That’s 4.64% interest per day – 1,693% interest per year! 

A whole page of fine print on the statement tried to explain all the “gotchas.” But it’s a fact that banks and finance companies are gonna get you one way or another. Why? Because they can. 

Isn’t it time we used banks for our convenience, and not for theirs?

Of course, we now have this credit card set up for automatic payment in full each month.  And if you have cards you pay in full each month, I suggest you do the same (if you haven’t already), to make sure this never happens to you.

You can fire your banker when you join the Bank On Yourself Revolution

Request Your Analysis Button
It’s fast and easy to get started. Just request a free Analysis here, if you haven’t already, and find out how much more lifetime wealth you could have when you tell banks to go take a hike and become your own source of financing. But please do it today while it’s fresh on your mind!

Are you putting your retirement savings in prison?

Ted Benna, "Father of the 401(k)"

Ted Benna is known as the “Father of the 401(k).” In the late ‘70’s, he worked as a consultant to business owners whose main agenda was “How can I get the biggest tax break, and give the least to my employees, legally?”

Tax nerd that he was, Benna discovered an obscure part of the tax code – section 401(k). Voila! By 2012, nearly 75% of all company pension plans had disappeared!

What does Mr. Benna say about his beautiful 401(k) baby today?

If I were starting over from scratch today with what we know, I’d blow up the existing structure and start over!” 1

Uh oh.

Per the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions: “After a lifetime of hard work, many seniors will find themselves forced to choose between putting food on the table and buying their medication.” The U.S. Census Bureau says the average value of 401(k) accounts of pre-retirees between 55 and 64 is only $170,645; the average value of their IRAs is only $147,345. And half of all those close to retirement age have less than $50,000 in these plans.

Something went horribly wrong. Actually, several things went horribly wrong, not only with 401(k)’s but also their kissing cousins: IRA’s, Roth Plans, 403(b)’s, SEP-IRA’s and so on.

And the problems with these government-controlled plans are in these five key areas:
[Read more…]

Why do so many people prefer THEIR facts to THE facts?

As Mark Twain noted…

Most people’s egos prefer THEIR facts to THE facts.”


And I’ll bet you can think of several people who are guilty of that right off the top of your head, can’t you?

One of my mentors, Dan Kennedy, also noted, “People are quick to dispense advice on any subject, regardless of their qualifications. Most people don’t even distinguish between ‘opinion’ and ‘knowledge.’ That’s why you must.”

When it comes to Bank On Yourself, there’s a lot of opinion being dispensed as fact… and I thought I’d help you sift through three common misconceptions about Bank On Yourself in this blog post…

Myth #1: The commissions paid on Bank On Yourself plans are high

Often, this accusation is made by advisors who profit from investing your dollars on Wall Street. They even say agents only sell these policies because of the high commissions.

What they don’t realize is that Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisors receive 50-70% less commission than advisors who structure policies the traditional way.

And the shocking fact is that the advisor who manages your money in the stock market is making at least ten times more than the Bank On Yourself advisor, if you contribute the same amount of money each year! [Read more…]

Shouting about Bank On Yourself from the rooftops

Dan Proskauer recently sent me a chart showing how his family’s net worth has grown since he started his first Bank On Yourself plan 3 1/2 years ago, and how that compares to the previous 10 years.

When Dan saw this chart on his financial tracking software program, he said his jaw dropped so hard it left a dent on his keyboard and that “we should be shouting about this from the rooftops.”

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look for yourself and note how you’ll see a more detailed version of the chart when you place your mouse over it…

Bank On Yourself

Why would Dan be willing to reveal and discuss something as personal as his net worth for the whole world to see? Because, in Dan’s words…

[Read more…]

Singer Karyn White Seizes the Day with Bank On Yourself

I just recorded an inspiring interview with Grammy-nominated contemporary/pop and rhythm and blues recording star – and Bank On Yourself client – Karyn White.

Grammy-Nominated Singer Karyn White Seizes the Day with Bank On Yourself

Grammy-Nominated Singer Karyn White Seizes the Day with Bank On Yourself

Karyn was in her early 20’s when she became the first female artist to have her first three solo releases hit #1 on the R&B charts.  She collaborated with industry legends including Babyface and L.A. Reid, before devoting herself full-time to raising a family.

After an 18-year hiatus, and a fan base that never forgot her, Karyn decided to record again.  Only this time she decided to produce her new CD album, Carpe Diem, herself – and pocket the profits the record companies used to make off of her.

In this interview, Karyn reveals:

  • How she used her Bank On Yourself plan to finance her new CD herself (and why she probably wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise)
  • How making the right choices about money puts you in the position of being able to take advantage of opportunities that will inevitably come your way

[Read more…]