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
As they say, turnabout is fair play, so I published the article on this blog, with the title, “The Article Forbes Asked Me to Write – But Got Too Scared to Publish.”
And, to make sure a lot of people read the critically important information in it, I offered an ethical bribe, giving away valuable prizes to readers who posted the most insightful or interesting comments about the article that Forbes was too chicken to publish. (I’ll reveal the winners at the end of this post.)
I encouraged readers to tell us what they thought was the REAL reason Forbes got too scared to publish my article. Most who responded understood the notion of not biting the hand that feeds you. As Kelechi wrote,
I’m not surprised the article wasn’t published. Who do you think pays for their advertising?”
And as Olivia Leyton noted…
“Perhaps ‘Pat’ has a vested interest in keeping this truth silent. Or someone else (the boss?) read the article and found it threatening to their special interests. Do you think Wall Street wants these truths to become common knowledge? Heck, no.”
Do You REALLY Think Wall Street Wants You to Know…
- How much of a wealth killer mutual funds can be? We found a popular widely held S&P 500 index fund (passively managed!) that will devour almost 23% of your money over 30 years, as one example.
- Or that you’ll never come close to getting the results advertised in those glossy mutual fund prospectuses… and the shocking reason why.
- Or that if you leave your job and contact your provider to roll over your 401(k) into an IRA, half of the largest companies will lie to you about the fees you’ll be charged.
And that’s just three of the well-documented revelations in the article I wrote that Forbes was too scared to run.
Imagine those revelations and more all in one article! It’s enough to make the Wall Street fat cats’ heads explode!
But here’s the rub…
In just the first two weeks after I published the article on this blog, over 4,000 people read it. How much would you bet that’s way more than would have seen it in “Pat’s” boring column of interviews with portfolio and fund managers?
What’s more, our website analytics reveal that our average reader spent seven minutes reading my article. That’s gotta be way, way more time than readers spend with “Pat”, don’cha think?
So the truth is being told – with no thanks and no credit to Forbes.
The Comments Posted About My Article Prove Once Again that We Have the Smartest and Most Articulate Subscribers Anywhere
Here are insightful excerpts from some of them, edited for grammar and punctuation…
“This is a very entertaining post that is also 100% accurate. You don’t see that combination too often today, with all the financial pornography out there.” – Alan Eckstrand
Those are strong words, Alan. But I can see what you mean. Porn is designed to arouse an intense short-term emotional reaction. And how does that differ from much of what is passed off as relevant financial information today?
Kathleen Wooding summed up the feelings of several commenters:
“I always wondered why I wasn’t comfortable with how companies handled their 401(k) plans. Thanks, Pamela!”
You’re welcome, Kathleen. And Marilyn Blosser wondered…
“Isn’t it amazing they ask you to answer their questions, and if they don’t like your answers, you are dismissed!”
Marilyn, I can tell you feel my pain.
I know that a couple dozen of those who responded to the article are Bank On Yourself clients already, based on their comments or the fact that I recognize their names. And not a single client expressed any dissatisfaction with Bank On Yourself.
Several commented that their only regret about Bank On Yourself is that they didn’t start sooner.
That tells you something, doesn’t it? Bank On Yourself policy owners are happy campers!
Tired of throwing the dice in the Wall Street Casino?
Ready to take back control of your financial future and know the guaranteed value of your nest-egg on the day you plan to tap into it… and at every point along the way?
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As Phil Wahl pointed out:
“What I don’t understand is why normally rational, intelligent and logical people don’t change their behavior when presented with the facts outlined in the article. Clinging to the ideas presented by the main stream financial planning engine seems to be the only response some people can muster. I truly enjoy the energy and open-mindedness of the Bank On Yourself community.”
What Revelations Readers Found Most Surprising in My Article
When I published my article, I asked readers to tell me what revelations were the most surprising to them. The responses varied, and they’re interesting.
“I was most surprised to learn that 80% of the financial representatives for mutual funds could not beat the benchmark index or average for that type of investment, and that the top-rated fund over a ten year period actually lost money for most of its investors. If they just bought the index and did not manage the funds, they would do better than making their own picks. Why should anyone pay fees to money managers who cannot beat the market averages?” – Steven Step
Steven, your last point is so simple and profound it bears repeating. “Why should anyone pay fees to money managers who cannot beat the market averages?”
“My true surprise was that Pamela recommended low cost index funds for investors to buy.” – Kelechi
Kelechi, that was just my third recommendation for investors. I hope nobody missed my first two recommendations: (1) Before you invest, build cash reserves equal to at least two years of household expenses, and (2) Only invest money you can afford to wait 20 years to recover. If that leaves you scratching your head, go back and read the answer to question five in my article to find out why.
“Most surprising: That mutual funds are required to disclose only the performance of buy-and-hold investors.” – Elise Mathov
“No matter how many times I see the data, I am still shocked at how poorly the investing public does, compared to the published returns from mutual funds.” – Stephen Grabelsky
“As a former Financial Advisor for a big bank (rhymes with Mells Dargo) I have seen the dark side of this industry first hand… I realized that going after one client at a time was too slow and I could do the same thing by becoming the broker on a 401(k) plan for a business. And the manipulation possible was even higher as we were not required to tell the employees about all of the hidden fees within the plan that would eat at their hard earned retirement funds.” – David Perez
Bill Popko echoed David’s thoughts, from a similar perspective:
“In a prior life, I was home office underwriting manager for a major financial services company. I often attended meetings in which district sales managers introduced their agents to pre-tax retirement plans such as IRAs. Often they would slide over the negatives and, in some cases, they omitted them entirely. When I asked them why they did this, a typical response would be, ‘If the agents knew the negatives, they wouldn’t sell the plans. And if their prospects knew the negatives, they wouldn’t buy them.'”
Sirley was in a similar situation…
“As a financial planner, I feel I was sold a bill of goods when I started in this business. Unfortunately, I’ve followed suit and have led a lot of clients down the mutual fund and IRA road and even encouraged them to max out their 401(k)s (to the point where the employer matches). I now find that I can no longer advise clients to invest in products I don’t believe in myself. As a result, I encourage more and more clients toward the Bank On Yourself product.”
Lisa Hastings summed up all the issues in just two simple but profound points:
The two parts of this I think are most important are explaining to people that 1) saving needs to come BEFORE investing and only after your real needs are met, and 2) challenging the idea that risk and reward are directly related.”
THE TAX-DEFERRAL TIME BOMB
Tim Cashion recognized the huge issue with tax-deferred plans. He has had a terrible first-hand experience with tax deferral, right in his own family:
“My father-in-law has an IRA like millions of Americans. Because of his required minimum distributions, he is now paying taxes at the HIGHEST rate in his 84 years! These qualified plans are a scam!
My wife and I are dentists and we outgrew our office. We decided to build a new office and needed a down payment for the SBA loan. Where does the down payment come from? Our 401(k)? Our IRA? Our variable annuity? Are you kidding me? [If we tried to use that money,] we would be devastated by taxes and penalties. Since we didn’t know about Bank on Yourself, we literally had to sell our paid-for home to come up with the money. Ironically, we were doing what all the experts were telling us about saving money and yet we had NO ACCESS to it!
The frustration of the above experiences led me to research a better way and we found a Professional. I am now on a mission to reach out to my colleagues because no one is telling them about this wonderful plan.”
Allen summed up nicely why Forbes will never publish the truth…
“The fact that you were able to answer the ten questions using a contrarian take on Wall Street while being an advocate for consumers and investors and backing up your answers with highly credible and unimpeachable sources is why the ten questions will never make it to Forbes. If they (the staunch Wall Street supporters) had been able to discredit, tear apart, dismiss, reverse, or put a negative spin on any of your answers, you can bet your 401(k), IRA and mutual fund they would have taken great delight in doing so.”
Did I feel bad that Forbes pulled the rug out from under my exposé?
Sure I did. At first. But the truth of what Paul Melies wrote made me feel much better:
“Please STOP writing these articles. I am glad that Forbes decided not to publish your work. The more people who discover the secrets of the Bank On Yourself system, the more likely that the government will catch on and screw it up for all of us.”
Thank you, Paul!
Thanks to all of our readers who took the time to read and comment on my article…
And now, here are the winners of our blog post comment contest (they’ve all been notified)…
Jason RP won an Apple Watch. His comment was very insightful and included this observation:
“If you blindly put your trust in some random financial representative who has you sign a form acknowledging you have no guarantees, then you deserve none. Would you let your kid get in a car with a stranger under the same circumstances? Then why do you put your future financial well being in that situation? You may as well just spend it all on lottery tickets and see what happens!”
There were so many insightful comments, I couldn’t narrow it down to just a handful of runner-up winners to win their choice of a $25 dining gift certificate or a personally autographed copy of my latest New York Times best seller, The Bank On Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street, and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future.
So here are the 13 runners up:
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