I was really excited when one of the largest consumer newsletter publishers in the world, Agora Publishing, asked me to be the Editor-In-Chief of The Women’s Financial Alliance, a new publishing franchise dedicated to helping women grow their wealth safely and enjoy a richer lifestyle.
We launched a free e-letter – The Women’s Financial Edge – at the beginning of May, and it’s being extremely well received. We’ve already been featured in USA Today, CNBC, Huffington Post, The Detroit Free Press and more.
If you haven’t already subscribed, you can do so here right now. And when you do, you’ll be able to instantly download our Bonus Report, The Best-Kept Secrets of Successful Women.
This Report contains 28 powerful, easy-to-implement strategies and tips for saving more, avoiding costly financial mistakes, saving a relationship, gaining a career advantage most men will never have, getting more done in one day than most people do in a week, losing weight effortlessly, and much more! (Get this Report instantly when you sign up to receive the Women’s Financial Edge here.)
Perhaps you’re wondering…
Do Women Really Need or Want Different Financial Advice than Men?
Good question! And one I asked myself when I was first offered the position of Editor-In-Chief of this new publication. That got me doing a lot of research, and I was surprised by what I discovered…
I absolutely did not want to write another book… but I wanted to share with you what changed my mind.
Yup, after months of brain-numbing work and putting in hours that could kill a horse, I just sent the manuscript of my second book off to the publisher. The title is, The Bank On Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future.
It will be published early next year, and there is no doubt in my mind it will hit all the best-seller lists, just like my first book. (Of course, I’ll let you know how you can get an autographed copy.)
This book is incredibly well documented and will blow the lid off the “conventional financial wisdom” and expose it for what it really is – a way for Wall Street and the banks to continue to line their pockets at our expense.
Writing my first book in 2008 was one of the most painful experiences of my life. It was all-consuming of my time and energy for nearly a year. I swore to my husband Larry that I would never, ever again set myself up for the stress of looming deadlines, the agony of the editor’s red pen, and the loss of so many weekends and so much sleep. Nope. Never again.
Are you ready to have the peace of mind of knowing at least a chunk of your nest-egg is in a plan that goes in only one direction…
And has never had a losing year in over 160 years? You can know the guaranteed value of your Bank On Yourself plan at any point in time before you decide to move forward. To find out what your numbers would be, request your FREE Analysis, if you haven’t already.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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…
If you’ve ever searched for Bank On Yourself on Google, you’ve probably come across a couple of websites containing threads where posters debate the merits of Bank On Yourself.
One such thread that comes up high in the search results has nearly 200 posts spanning the last year and a half.
On this lively audio podcast, Bank On Yourself founder Pamela Yellen discusses how her toughest anonymous critic on that thread has slowly been coming around.
He now (grudgingly) admits that Pamela is right about many of the points he has been contesting. And, when challenged by another poster about the actual returns people get in the stock market, he even dragged out 29 years of records of his own investing accounts, only to conclude that he is “just an average investor.”
To listen to this fast-paced, surprising interview, click on the play button below, or you can download the recording as an mp3 and listen to it on your own player or iPod now at:
Near the end of this 15-minute interview, you’ll also discover a fast and simple experiment you can try to determine if Bank On Yourself really is a scam… or if it’s the ultimate financial security blanket in both good times and bad.
We really want to hear your comments and feedback! Tell us what you think in the comments box below. Please note that any comments containing the answer to the question of what was Pamela’s critics rate of return will be posted after September 24th, so as not to give away the answer…
You’ll also get a referral to one of only 200 advisors in the country who have met the rigorous requirements to be a Bank On Yourself Authorized Advisor, who can answer your questions and show you how much your financial picture could improve when you add Bank On Yourself to your financial plan.
Nobody is going to twist your arm, and you won’t even be asked to buy anything at your first meeting with your Authorized Advisor.
Everyday, we are bombarded by news reports – and those who parrot them – reminding us of how dire our economic circumstances are.
Consider how demoralizing it is to be constantly reminded that your chances of finding employment – or holding onto the job you still have – dwindles if you have outdated skills, live in certain regions of the country, belong to specific ethnic groups, or have passed your 40s?
Look at the high percentage of fellow citizens who are out of work, or awash in credit card debt, or underwater on their home mortgage, or reliant on food stamps, or lacking adequate health insurance, or holding too little savings (especially if they lose their jobs or face a crisis), or likely will have to live as paupers in retirement.
If you fall into some or any of these categories, why even bother to get up in the morning? After all, your fate is not your own. You are but a leaf on a raging river, being carried along by forces too strong to resist.
Although millions of Americans, sadly, do subscribe to such can’t-do thinking – and no doubt money misery does enjoy plenty of company – these “helpless” victims of the economy are absolutely wrong.
They are not a statistic and should never think of themselves as such
They are individuals, blessed with free will and living in a country where opportunity remains one of our most abundant natural resources.
Personal creativity, willpower, persistence and a commitment to do whatever it takes to succeed are far more reliable social safety nets than unemployment insurance, supplemental nutrition assistance (food stamps), Medicaid or Social Security. Moreover, they are all well within our absolute individual control.
If you (or a family member, friend or neighbor) are out of work, your unemployment rate is 100%. If you find a job, or create one for yourself, your unemployment rate drops to zero.
It really doesn’t matter what percent of the population was in the same boat with you when you determined to place your fate squarely in your own hands.
What matters is your commitment and diligent efforts to get out of the boat on your own and serve as a shining example of how others can follow your lead.
We can heal what ails our country’s economy – beginning one citizen at a time.
Executive Summary: Given the poor track record of the government and private sector when it comes to safeguarding the financial security of Americans, the authors propose a Declaration of Financial Independence in which individual citizens pledge to take responsibility for their own lifelong financial well being.
Americans need a financial revolution in 2011 as surely as we needed a political revolution in 1776.
Our system of earning, saving and investing money simply is broken. It relies way too heavily on the tag team of government and mega-banks and financial institutions, and way too little on the self-reliance and individualism that made our nation great.
The federal government, by every reasonable standard, has proven to be a poor steward of our money and financial security.
The lockbox that was supposed to be Social Security – with Uncle Sam holding our funds – repeat, “our” funds – for us, turns out to be a thinly veiled Ponzi scheme that is rapidly draining to insolvency. Ditto Medicaid.
It was the circus-like policies of the government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led directly to the housing crash in 2008 and turned the American Dream – owning one’s own home – into a financial nightmare for tens of millions of us.
The federal government poured close to $600 billion taxpayer dollars into the bailout of unstable private businesses, including AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, General Motors, etc. – rather than permit the free market to right its own wrongs.
A core tenet of the Bank on Yourself Nation is that money should always bring pleasure or satisfaction, never regret or guilt.
For so many people, that principle seems unrealistic, especially considering how very hard it is most months just to stay afloat – paying for necessities such as groceries, medicines, utilities, transportation, insurance and the like. Oh yes, let’s not forget the always hungry tax monster!
Seems to so many of us that our paychecks are swallowed whole by our obligations before we ever get the chance to even sample the flavor of having some accumulated cash in our pockets and bank accounts.
Executive Summary: Goal setting is a vital life skill that can be practiced year-round. Most people don’t succeed on their first attempt. Ironically, each setback increases the probability that the next try will come closer to the mark, if not directly hit the bulls-eye.
There are five basic tools that all goal setters should equip themselves with to increase their odds of success: Passion, Persistence, Planning, People and Positivity.
It has been more than 120 days since New Year’s 2011 and by now many of us have long since given up on our various resolutions. They were the best of intentions, but life and reality once again got in our way.
If you are one of the millions of lapsed goal setters, now is the perfect time to reboot. Whether it’s cold and blustery outside or the trees are blooming and a warm breeze is blowing, the process of setting and reaching goals should be a year-round, all-weather, life skill. No champagne required.
In fact, goal setting is one of life’s most important skills, given that very, very few of us are handed exactly what we want without ever having to ask and work for it.