Inside Mayer Rothschild’s Secret Counting House: How to Live Like the Rich Do

Ah, to be of the privileged and cultured class – butlers, trust funds, planes, yachts, and race cars. What’s it like to have all that money? Dudley Moore, in the 1981 film Arthur, a comedic flick about a cavorting socialite and heir to a massive fortune put it most succinctly – “It doesn’t suck.”

Wealth Doesn’t Just Happen

While it certainly helps to inherit millions, according to Forbes, an astonishing 67% of the world’s billionaires, made it on their own. And the majority started out as either middle class or downright poor.

Likewise, most of America’s wealthy didn’t win the lottery or inherit their money. Many current millionaires have earned their fortunes in tech, finance, fashion, and media, while prior affluent generations took advantage of the rapid advancements of the industrial revolution by investing in railroads, oil, steel and land.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founder of one of the world’s most storied banking dynasties, was an orphan from a Jewish ghetto in Frankfurt. He went to work at 13 with little formal instruction in money or finance and taught himself the intricacies of collectible coins.

John D. Rockefeller, the oil tycoon and America’s first billionaire, grew up middle class. His father was a traveling salesman who sold a tonic and elixir called “Rock Oil” that he claimed cured cancer. The younger Rockefeller went to work at 16 as a bookkeeper earning 50 cents a day.

The forefathers of these influential families shared common traits of hard work, discipline, and principled investing.

Their rise to power and prosperity was neither haphazard nor accidental. Rather, it was part of a careful plan that involved the strategic growth and preservation of wealth

[Read more…] “Inside Mayer Rothschild’s Secret Counting House: How to Live Like the Rich Do”

Five Retirement Investment Alternatives to Your 401(k) Plan

With something as vitally important as your retirement security, you need to be aware of 401(k) problems. And you have to ask yourself, “Do I really want to have to deal with all this? Are there good alternatives to 401(k)s?”

Let’s take a look at the drawbacks to 401(k)s and good alternatives to them. The 401(k) drawbacks include:

  • Unpredictable market performance, which means the very real possibility of losing a significant portion of your nest egg
  • 401(k) rules and limitations which can cripple your options and lock your money in a virtual prison
  • Fees, both visible and hidden, which can devour one-third or more of your hard-earned money in the plan
  • Tax deferral, which can siphon off another one-third or more of your income during your retirement years

Four Major Issues You Face When Planning for Retirement: Safety, Restrictions, Fees, and Taxes

Safety comes down to risk versus reward. Great potential gain brings with it great potential loss.

Investopedia sums up risk and reward this way: “Investing requires a degree of risk, and the bigger that risk, the higher the gain should be.”

The bigger that risk, the higher the potential gain should be—and the greater the potential loss will be.

What will you do if you don’t have enough to live on because of lackluster performance, restrictions, enormous fee, taxes on your income—or a major crash just before you planned to retire?

Will you work until you’re too ill to work, or you need to quit to take care of a relative, or you’re replaced by some kid one-third your age? (Nearly half of all retirees are forced to retire sooner than planned for just these reasons, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.)

Will you go on welfare or be shuttled back and forth between your children? Will you live under a bridge?

You can’t afford to lose your retirement nest egg, any more than you can afford to lose your next paycheck. And if you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford to risk it.

Yet government-controlled plans assume you want to invest your money in some endeavor with the hopes of making a profit. But investing, by its very definition, includes the concept of risk.

And the investment doesn’t need to be sketchy to involve risk! Investments in companies as “solid” as Blockbuster Video … Borders Books … Pan Am Airlines … Sharper Image … Enron … Polaroid … even Bethlehem Steel … have led to the downfall of millions of investors who thought they were being cautious, wise, and conservative.

Trillions of dollars have evaporated from 401(k) plans due to market fluctuations alone.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is blunt about the risks of investing:

All investments involve some degree of risk. If you intend to purchase securities—such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds—it’s important that you understand before you invest that you could lose some or all of your money. Unlike deposits at FDIC-insured banks and NCUA-insured credit unions, the money you invest in securities typically is not federally insured. You could lose your principal, which is the amount you’ve invested. That’s true even if you purchase your investments through a bank.”

Get Your FREE Report!

Get instant access to the FREE 18-page Special Report that reveals how super-charged dividend paying whole life insurance lets you bypass Wall Street, fire your banker, and take control of your financial future.

Rules and Regulations That Strangle Your Access to Your 401(k) Money

Get Your FREE Report!

Get instant access to the FREE 18-page Special Report that reveals how super-charged dividend paying whole life insurance lets you bypass Wall Street, fire your banker, and take control of your financial future.

Government-approved retirement plans have more strings attached than Pinocchio before he became a real boy. It’s like your money is locked up in a maximum-security prison where someone else calls the shots—and you barely get visitation rights!

Contribute to a 401(k) plan and you’re contributing to a plan that tells you the maximum amount you can put in.

Your plan will also dictate what you can and cannot invest in.

You’ll learn that you can only borrow a relatively small amount, and you must pay it back on a strict schedule—or you can’t borrow at all.

These restrictions may seem normal, but not if you know the alternatives.

The government tells you how long you must wait to access your 401(k) plan money—your own money! You’ll pay penalties for taking virtually any distributions before you’re 59½.

Uncle Sam will tell you when you must access your money, and how much you must withdraw (and pay taxes on) each year. You’re forced to start taking distributions when you reach 70½—whether you want to or not.

Don’t get suckered into believing you control the money in your 401(k). Your plan is only tax-deferred because the government created it that way. And what the government created, the government controls.

The government can—and does!—change the rules any time it wants! The prison warden has your money under lock and key, and while your money’s in the slammer, he can impose any new restrictions or regulations he comes up with—and you have no recourse.

Do all retirement planning strategies come with those kinds of rules and restrictions? No! There are alternatives that we’ll discuss soon.

The Fees You Pay with a 401(k) Plan Compound Against You

Virtually every investment plan and most savings plans have fees or potential fees of one kind or another.

In 401(k) plans the compounding of fees works against you. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose in the stock market, your stockbroker or the advisor managing your money will still get paid.

The impact of 401(k) fees is colossal. According to an exposé on 60 Minutes, fees “can eat up half the income in some 401(k) plans over a thirty-year span.” Yikes!

You really do need to know in advance exactly what effect fees will have on your balance. But just try to find out from your plan administrator or financial planner!

The Truth About 401(k) Plan Tax Deferral

Whoever talked you into starting your 401(k) probably told you what a great advantage tax-deferral is. “You can deduct the money you put into your 401(k), and it grows tax-deferred. You don’t have to pay taxes on your growth each year!”

If you bought into that, you’re in good company. An overwhelming number of Americans—and Canadians, with their registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs)—are in the same boat you’re in.

Many folks haven’t stopped to consider that when they retire—or when they’re forced by the government to start withdrawing from their 401(k) plan—they’ll pay income tax at the going rate on every single dollar they withdraw.

Get Your FREE Report!

Get instant access to the FREE 18-page Special Report that reveals how super-charged dividend paying whole life insurance lets you bypass Wall Street, fire your banker, and take control of your financial future.

They’ll pay tax on the money they originally contributed, because the government let them deduct that money from their taxable income. Now Uncle Sam is holding his hand out, palm up. And in his other hand, he’s holding a club.

And when folks withdraw from their 401(k) plan, they will also have to pay taxes on their earnings.

All those taxes were deferred—postponed—not cancelled!

Here’s what that could mean to you:

Let’s assume you’ve retired and you need $70,000 in retirement income annually to maintain your lifestyle and do some traveling.

If that income is from a 401(k) plan and you pay an average tax rate of 25%, your retirement plan will have to throw off $93,333—not $70,000—every year. You’ll need that extra $23,333 every year just to pay the taxes on your 401(k) income.

But tell me this: if your retirement plan could throw off $93,333 per year, wouldn’t you rather spend that extra $23,333 enjoying life more, rather than feeding Uncle Sam?

Why not pay your taxes up front while you know what they are, and then have income with no taxes due in retirement?

Get Your FREE Report!

Get instant access to the FREE 18-page Special Report that reveals how super-charged dividend paying whole life insurance lets you bypass Wall Street, fire your banker, and take control of your financial future.

A Review of Some 401(K) Plan Alternatives

If you don’t like heavy-handed government-controlled plans, broaden your horizons. There are methods of saving for retirement that don’t depend on unpredictable market performance … that have very few, if any, government restrictions … that tell you in advance what your minimum account will be at retirement (and any point along the way)—after fees … and that don’t have any of the pitfalls of the tax-deferral trap.

Not every 401(k) alternative offers every one of these advantages. But there is one that does. It actually offers more advantages, as you’ll see. Let’s look at the five common 401(k) alternatives.

#1 IRAs and Roth IRAs as a 401(k) alternative

IRAs are like other government-controlled plans, with one exception: Roth IRAs. You fund a Roth with after-tax money (unlike traditional IRAs), and you can withdraw money from your plan in retirement without paying taxes, subject to various regulations and controls.

#2 Municipal Bonds as a 401(k) alternative

Municipal bonds are debt securities issued by government entities to fund day-to-day obligations and finance capital projects such as building schools and highways. Generally, the interest on municipal bonds is exempt from federal income tax.

#3 Gold, silver, and other commodities as a 401(k) alternative

Commodities are basic goods used in commerce. Examples are gold, beef, oil, lumber, natural gas, iron ore, crude oil, salt, etc.

#4 Real estate as a 401(k) alternative

Real estate may be raw land, or it may be improved with buildings, farms, homes, and so forth. You receive income from renting or leasing the property, and you may realize a gain when you sell it.

#5 Dividend-paying high cash value whole life insurance as a 401(k) alternative

Using life insurance as an alternative to a 401(k) plan may seem odd. But it’s not to the hundreds of thousands of individuals, families, and businesses, who are doing it every day. The cash value component of a dividend-paying whole life insurance policy can be used during the insured’s life to provide a guaranteed, predictable retirement income, and for other purposes.

Which 401(k) alternative is best?

What’s the best 401(k) alternative? The comparison chart below will help you decide.

Comparing 401(k) Plans with Alternatives

Does the plan …
401(k)s & 403(b)s
IRAs & Roth IRAs
Muni-cipal Bonds
Gold & Silver
Real Estate
Dividend-paying whole life insurance
Give you guaranteed, predictable growth? N N N N N Y
Lock in your principal and growth, even when the market crashes? N N N N N Y
Give you control of your money or asset without government restrictions and penalties? N N Y Y Y Y
Give you tax-free retirement income? N Only Roths Y N N Y
Let you use your money or asset without penalties or the possibility of incurring a loss, however and whenever you want? N N N N N Y
Let you use your money or asset, yet still have it grow as though you didn’t touch it? N N N N N Y
Allow you to fund your plan every year, without limits imposed by the government? N N Y Y Y Y
Finish funding itself if you die prematurely? N N N N N Y
Tell you the minimum guaranteed value of the plan or asset on the day you expect to tap into it, and at any point along the way? N N N N N Y

 

To learn more about a properly-designed dividend-paying whole life insurance strategy as a 401(k) plan alternative, and to find out what it can do for you, request a FREE Analysis. You’ll receive a referral to an Authorized Advisor (a life insurance agent with advanced training on this concept) who will prepare your Analysis and answer all your questions about the concept.

Bill Williams’ AHA Moment: How Bank On Yourself Freed Him from 401(k) Loans and Mutual Funds

Bill Williams is an enthusiastic believer in the Bank On Yourself concept because of how it has helped his family financially. He wrote to me several years ago, and I included his letter on page 228 of my 2014 New York Times best-selling book, The Bank On Yourself Revolution:

Thanks for all the good things you are doing, Pamela. I am working with my Bank On Yourself Advisor to set up my third policy, and I am so appreciative of her guidance and expertise. She has been tremendously supportive.

The real “snake oil” is all of the purported advice about savings and investing we have been fed by the “experts” in the past. I get so upset by the advice to invest with before-tax dollars into 401(k)s or 403(b)s.

I’m over sixty years old and know when I turn 70½, I’m going to have to take required withdrawals from my plans and have the added burden of paying taxes on them. After all, the IRS wants to get its hands on the taxes they let me avoid paying all those years.

I wish not only that I had learned about Bank On Yourself earlier, but that the concept could be taught to the masses when they are young enough to get the maximum benefit from it.

Here’s why I say that: I think of all of the purchases I’ve made through the years where Bank On Yourself would have been a much better means to fund them. As an example, my son’s college expenses, which I paid every cent by selling stock and mutual funds and taking a loan from a 401(k).

Needless to say, my son received a great education (to his credit), but dear old dad has nothing to show for it. I had to put money into the stocks, 401(k), and mutual fund, so I had the resources—which could have been so much more powerful in a Bank On Yourself policy! It’s as simple as that. If I had done that, I would now still have the policies, which would have even more value.

I am depleting an IRA to fund my third policy and to help fund my first two Bank On Yourself-type policies. I just hope I live long enough to enjoy all the benefits.

Bill Williams writes again, about Bank On Yourself, tax-free retirement, and dividend-paying whole life insurance

[Read more…] “Bill Williams’ AHA Moment: How Bank On Yourself Freed Him from 401(k) Loans and Mutual Funds”

SuperMoney Interviews Personal Finance Expert Pamela Yellen on Savings and Investing Strategies

Pamela Yellen, Founder of Bank On Yourself
Pamela Yellen, Founder of Bank On Yourself

I was recently interviewed by SuperMoney, a website that rates various financial products and the companies that provide them.

In this wide-ranging interview, I answered questions like these:

Why did you decide to start Bank On Yourself?

I reveal the frustrations my husband and I experienced following the conventional wisdom about investing and retirement planning. Maybe you can relate…

If someone were to say to you, “I don’t have the expertise to handle my finances. I’ll just hire some investment firm to deal with them,” how would you respond?

Here I discuss how and why 80% of all mutual funds, financial advisors and investment advisory services underperform the overall market. If the experts can’t even do it well, how can we regular folks be expected to? [Read more…] “SuperMoney Interviews Personal Finance Expert Pamela Yellen on Savings and Investing Strategies”

Could the Government Seize Your 401(k) and IRA Money?

Is it far-fetched to wonder if the government could take control of your retirement savings in 401(k)s and IRAs?

Or is that just a paranoid conspiracy theory?

The fact of the matter is that it’s not far-fetched, or a conspiracy theory. The groundwork has already been laid.

And the government already gave banks the green light to seize your bank accounts.

Read on for the facts – and I urge you NOT to discount the importance and urgency of this issue affecting your hard-earned savings…

The Government Has BIG Plans for Your Retirement Savings

An article in American Thinker titled “The Feds Want Your Retirement Accounts” revealed that, “Quietly, behind the scenes, the groundwork is being laid for federal government confiscation of tax-deferred retirement accounts. Slowly the cat is being let out of the bag.”

And Bloomberg reported that,

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is weighing whether it should take a role in helping Americans manage the $19.4 trillion they’ve put into retirement savings.”

For the last 18 months, the Treasury Department has been testing the “myRA” program – which Obama created through executive order – no Congressional approval needed.

The myRA, which stands for “My Retirement Account” supposedly “guarantees a decent return with no risk of loss.”

And the only investment allowed in this account is a low-yielding Treasury security.

Of course, the Treasury wants to get more people signed up for this program, because it means more funds flowing right back into the U.S. Treasury to help the government meet its voracious borrowing needs. How convenient… [Read more…] “Could the Government Seize Your 401(k) and IRA Money?”

Retirement Planning that Helps You Sleep at Night

Let me be blunt. If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, your retirement plan is about as good as the survival plan of that last lemming heading over the cliff!

For most of us, our “retirement planning” has been manipulated by our employers, Wall Street, and celebrity talking heads – all of whom have their own agendas that don’t seem to prioritize our financial security and well-being. And the vast majority of personal financial advisors have chosen to stick with conventional strategies without even questioning the less-than-stellar results they’ve given us over the years.

Risk, a four-letter word?When a “plan” proves that it isn’t getting the results it’s supposed to produce, doesn’t it make sense to come up with a different plan? (The answer is “Yes!”)

Over the next several blog posts, I’ll illustrate specifically how and why your conventional retirement plan is failing you and changes you can make that will let you build a retirement savings fund that is safe and secure – guaranteed.

Let’s start with the problems of conventional retirement plans. I know of at least six major pitfalls and traps and I’ll cover each one in detail. The first painful trap is RISK. [Read more…] “Retirement Planning that Helps You Sleep at Night”

The good, bad and the ugly of the new myRA

You’ve probably been hearing about the new “myRA,” a new government-run retirement account that President Obama unveiled at his State of the Union address and plans to create with a stroke of his pen.

Obama State of the Union Address

Its primary purpose is to offer a savings option to the 50% or so of U.S. workers who have no access to employer-sponsored retirement plans and have little saved for retirement.

Obama State of the Union Address

The appeal is that it “guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in,” according to Obama.

Sounds okay so far, right?

I did some digging into the details to understand more about how this program will actually work… and to help you sort through the pros and cons of programs like this.

Below I’ve listed the good, the bad, and the ugly about this new program. But really, most of the bad and the ugly points apply to all government-run retirement accounts, including 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, IRA’s, etc. So if you have one of these plans, I urge you to read this today.

The good…

[Read more…] “The good, bad and the ugly of the new myRA”

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.

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).

Yellow-Button-FREEanalysis
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.
vampire

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

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!
Request Your Analysis Button

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?”

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

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…] “Are you putting your retirement savings in prison?”

Important 401K and IRA Advice

While doing my research for my new book (The Bank On Yourself Revolution, to be published on February 11), I came across four stunning new wealth-killing revelations about 401(k)’s and IRA’s.

If you have money in one of these plans, I urge you to read this advice about your 401K and/or IRA today to find out how to protect yourself from making costly mistakes:

Wealth-Killer #1: The fees you’re paying may be much higher than you think

Target Date FundsI’ve written in the past about how Congress passed a law in 2006 protecting employers from liability as long as they automatically put employees’ contributions into certain types of mutual funds, known as “default” investments.

Target-date funds (TDF’s) have emerged as the default investment of choice. Unfortunately, they’ve also proven to be very risky AND they’re among the most costly mutual funds you can buy. (Would it surprise you to learn the mutual-fund industry lobbied Congress to get that law passed and make sure their interests were protected? Didn’t think so.)

So last month, an article in Forbes (“The Trouble With Target Funds”) revealed that, according to the prospectus of one popular target-date fund, your projected fees and expenses for each $10,000 invested is $2,478 over a ten-year period (assuming it grows at 5% a year).

That’s 25% of your savings!

So, if you had $300,000 in that fund for ten years, you’d get soaked for – are you sitting down? – $74,340! (And that’s just over a ten-year period!) It also doesn’t take into account all the other fees you’re charged in a 401(k).

The author of this article concluded…
[Read more…] “Important 401K and IRA Advice”