Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Emergency Financial Planning – Are you ready for what’s next?

Are you planning for an emergency financial situation? Will you prosper or get plundered in the future?

You already have access to the news and you can choose to read, watch or listen to whatever you want to. There’s good news and bad news in most every story, but how do you decipher the good from the bad? And, who do you trust?

The reason that I share this information with you is expose you to different viewpoints that you may not have access to in the mass media, and to allow you to educate yourself on the facts. As my friend and author Nelson Nash says, “If you know the facts, you’ll know what to do.”

So, you think your money is safe in the bank? Here’s a list of troubled banks from Martin Weiss, chairman of Weiss Ratings. They are rated A-F, just like in school.

What would happen if these banks failed? Loans would no longer be available, fear would prevail, and if your bank failed you could lose interest and access to cash.

You may ask yourself, “How are these banks in trouble when we’ve bailed them out, and the Federal Reserve is loaning them money at practically zero-cost?” A number of reasons actually, including greed, overspending and bad loans.

Delinquency rates are increasing and commercial loans are starting to falter. Some in Congress are already asking for more bailout funds. Another massive refinancing program may be enacted soon. http://www.financialstability.gov/latest/pr_05212010.html

Adding to the problems, the Fed has not only already flooded the U.S. economy with upwards of nearly $2 trillion in newly printed money, they have promised to help bailout Europe... With no end in sight as to how much monopoly money the Fed will print, each and every dollar printed is adding to an unlimited supply of fiat currency.

Will the central banks ever tighten monetary policy again? Chances are slim, they are content merely printing money and causing your dollars to lose value through inflation. Thus cash and long-term bonds, traditionally safehavens, may no longer a good place to hold money.

Equities are more volatile than ever, and the markets are in turmoil. Now financial gurus from the mega-media houses are touting that you buy gold and precious metals to combat inflation… and to get rich?

In turn, speculators are buying gold faster than they can mine it. Analysts are forecasting a 27% rally that would extend the longest run of annual gains since the 1920’s. Gold managers are capitalizing on the anxiety and fear… Have you noticed how many advertisements there are telling you to invest in gold?

Ask yourself, how do you make money with gold? Like anything else right? Buy low, sell high… This is almost laughable, since the common man has not a clue about how to do this. Commissions going in or out can average as much as 18%, so you are down 36% before you even make a dime. Do you buy bullion? coins? ETFs??? And... very few even consider taxes.

We are no longer on the gold standard, what happens when and if another standard comes along? Right now the Federal Reserve is printing money at will, so gold no longer backs your dollars.

How do you spend gold? What do you do with 16oz of gold? Assuming you had $20,000 to buy gold in the first place… What if the government confiscates gold? They have before.

Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not saying gold is a bad investment. But… Just like anything else you have no business investing in gold until you have done your research.

With interest rates being low, the government is punishing savers. The financial institutions want you to buy the latest, greatest products, and most advisors are telling you that now is the time to buy. You are also being told to invest on your own and trade online... How is that working out?

Most American’s lost money in the greatest bull market of all time in the 90’s, even with managed money. And, those who thought they made money have lost it since. How do you realize a gain in the market? You have to buy and sell at the right time.

Certainly you can make profits if your timing is right… But that’s a big “IF”.

Do you think we are at the bottom? Do I have to remind you that less than a year ago the Dow was below 7,000? Other analysts and experts are saying we could see another correction soon… plunging the Dow to 5,000! Take a look at the last 10 years of the Dow.

All the while the government and many bond managers are suggesting that you buy bonds for safety and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS), others warn this could be a problem as well.

Social Security is beginning to deteriorate and benefit payments are starting to outpace tax receipts. Baby boomers are retiring, putting more strain on Medicare and Social Security. State governments are borrowing money from the federal government to pay for unemployment and entitlement programs.

A more prudent plan may be to step back, learn from history, analyze our problems and make informed, educated decisions.

Okay, enough bad news. So, what can you do? How can you protect your money from loss, earn a decent return, and not get clobbered by taxes and inflation? The answer is simple really, and it’s nothing new… You may think that today’s economic problems are different from those of the past, but they really are not. Money is the same today as it has been for 2,500 years.

The Problems

  • Excess Consumption
  • Excess Spending 
  • Excess Investments 
  • Excess Cash
The Solutions
  • Stop Overspending
  • Control Consumption
  • Maintain Emergency Reserves
  • Make Safe and Prudent Investments
As is often the case, we need to get back to the basics. In his book, The Richest Man in Babylon, George S. Clason outlines financial principles that have survived for centuries.

Here’s my short and updated version.
5 Simple Steps for Preserving and Creating Wealth
1. Pay yourself first

2. Save a minimum of 10%, preferrably 20%

3. Write down your expenses and buy only those things that are necessary

4. Put your money in safe and liquid assets that appreciate in value

5. Insure your income for the future

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving Your Money 
  1. If interest rates on CD’s and money markets are less than 2%, and inflatin is 3%, why would you put your money there?
  2. If the market is volatile and you can lose your hard earned cash, why would you invest your money there?
  3. If bonds and gold are no more predictable than other commodities, why would you put money there?
  4. If the Government has control, and can change the rules for your IRA, why would you invest there?
Where should you put your money? It’s not a bad idea to own some or all of the above mentioned financial vehicles, but ONLY after you have protected yourself from loss, created an emergency plan and have excess capital to invest.

Now that you have the basics, there is another advanced concept that you may want to learn. The Infinite Banking Concept™ recognizes that we have a need for finance throughout our lifetime. By utilizing this concept, and the power of dividend-paying whole-life insurance, you can recapture the interest that you are now paying to banks and financial institutions. Anytime you can eliminate interest that you pay to others, and direct that same market rate of interest to an entity you own and control, you will have improved your capacity to create wealth. Other benefits may include tax advantages, risk reduction, protection from creditors, disability and death protection.  

In order to make money like the banks do, you need to think like they do… You need to learn and understand banking. You probably already know how to make money with your labors, you just need to understand how your money is flowing and capitalize your own system.

If you do your research you will learn that life insurance has been around for hundreds of years, before the IRS and before the Federal Reserve. Life insurance companies, unlike other businesses, are looking further down the road than the next 5 or 10 years. They are planning for a minimum of 100 years. They have survived depressions, bailouts and crashes.

Mutual life insurance companies are predictable and most have been consistently paying a dividend to policyholders for more than 100 years. Whole life insurance gets BETTER over time. Every policyholder gets the benefit of the same crediting rate, regardless if you buy this year or if you bought it 20 years ago. But, beware of imposters. Universal life, variable life and indexed universal life policies, primarily sold by stock based insurance companies, do not have the same crediting rates, and can have other hazards.

You can take the first steps to securing your financial future today.

Find yourself an agent that practices Infinite Banking: http://infinitebanking.org/links/usagents.php

Read the book, Becoming Your Own Banker™, and do your research, you’ll be glad you did.

Until next time,
Barry Page, RFC
Infinite Banking Think Tank Member

Barry Page is recognized as a leading expert on life insurance and private banking. He is a Registered Financial Consultant and independent life insurance agent who helps clients with tax advantaged investment alternatives. He specializes in showing families how to protect their assets, income and lives utilizing a macro-financial approach to planning.

He has created a service that caters to families and business owners that are frustrated with the risks involved with the stock market, but still want competitive returns. His specialized knowledge and services help consumers find alternatives to traditional investing and the stock market that not only safely protect their savings, but also provide tax advantages.
His business is based in Ocean Springs, MS and he services clients throughout the Southeast. He can be reached here: http://legacyinsuranceagency.com/contact.html

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