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Archive for October 2010

The answer to the question, “Is EUREKONOMICSTM opposed to investing?” is an emphatic “No!”

EUREKONOMICSTM is based on investment principles that are as old as money and as current as the 21st century.

Benjamin Graham, the Dean of Wall Street was Warren Buffett’s mentor.  Graham stated this principle in one concise sentence in his classic works, Security Analysis (1934) and The Intelligent Investor (1949)

“An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and a satisfactory return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.”

When look at the meaning of this sentence within the framework of EUREKONOMICSTM you discover that…

  • EUREKONOMICSTM relies on the promise of safety of principal as the primary consideration when it comes to investing the money that enters your life
  • The EUREKONOMICSTM‘ corollaries to the promise of safety of principal are…
    • whatever you think of as a satisfactory return has support that basic premise
    • an investment that doesn’t  is not really an investment; it’s  a speculation-in simpler terms it’s  a gamble

Graham’s Promise of Safety of Principal…

The the professionals in the insurance and financial services industry that act on your behalf tend to seek out the wealthiest Americans as clients.  That has an unintended consequence.  It creates a view of personal economics that applies mostly to the small percentage of the population that have already created family wealth.

That perception pervades the part of the industry that creates products as well, especially among financial businesses that create investment products and insurance products that have an investment component. As a result, many products that are called investments actually fall into the group that Benjamin Graham describes as speculative.  They offer neither safety of principal nor a satisfactory return.

There’s another issue.  You can project a satisfactory return on an insurance or investment product by using higher than realistic interest or growth assumptions.  However,  for many of the financial products available in the market today the facts surrounding the real returns of actual investments held by everyday Americans do not support a claim to safety of principal and satisfactory returns.

Take mutual funds as an example.  No registered representative would dare promise-as Benjamin Graham’s definition suggests-that an individual mutual fund could promise safety of principal and a satisfactory return. If they did, the regulators at FINRA would likely bring the advisor making such a claim before a disciplinary board to be tarred and feathered-figuratively of course.

However, financial advisors often suggest that hypothetically and “over the long term” this fund or that or some combination of funds assure safety and returns.  Based on guidelines from the SEC and FINRA, as long as you complete a suitability form and a risk tolerance questionnaire, which protects the advisor and his or her firm from the overreaching arm of regulators in the event an investment fails, the safety of principal and satisfactory return promise requirement has been met.

Take a look at the performance of these types of investments and the losses Americans have suffered over the past decade.  The tremendous American families have experienced have led to only a few disciplinary actions-and those mostly for thieves running ponzi schemes.

The Promise Fulfilled…

Insurance and financial advisors are not in any way irresponsible or engaging in deceptive practices.  The problem is that most of the insurance and investment products that are available in the marketplace are designed to serve the needs of investors and speculators that can afford to take risks-and losses.  These financial products are not designed to help the vast majority of Americans seeking to attain wealth regardless of what the manufacturers of these products would have us think.

It’s easy to recognize the truth of this assertion.  Look at your own financial progress.  I’ve been practicing for almost forty years and have met only a handful of people that started out with wealth.  Most Americans have gained wealth by struggling for years to…

  • educate ourselves about saving, investing, risk management, etc.
  • build equity in
    • our homes
    • our businesses
    • our insurance policies and savings accounts

Almost every person and every insurance and financial advisor I have met can relate to this idea.  Why then would anyone suggest that everyday Americans follow any other path to wealth?  I’ll leave that answer up to each individual to discuss with their insurance and investment advisor.

However, I caution you…conventional wisdom-which is not wisdom at all-will rear its ugly head and suggest that advisors are fools if they rely for wealth creation for themselves and their clients on…

  • financial education
  • building equity in prosaic things like…
  • homes
  • savings accounts
  • whole life insurance policies-especially whole life insurance policies
  • a strongly rooted recognition that their clients deserve nothing less

The Final Word

There is no financial product that will make you wealthy.

There is, however, one financial product that guarantees that you will have more money in it at the end of each year than you had at the beginning of the year and that should be the foundation for your successful personal economy.

That product is participating whole life insurance from a mutual insurance company.

“If it were not for the ‘last minute’, nothing would get done.” Dr Agon Fly

Many everyday events and occurrences are important; the kids are crying, the spouse is demanding, the boss is insisting, the grass needs mowed or the snow shoveled, and on and on. Chores, people, TV shows, and even bodily functions are shouting “Pay attention to me!” all the time. These demands are sometimes more urgent than they are important.

Paying your bills is one important everyday activity that becomes urgent when we put it off until the last minute. We tend to pay bills at the last minute because we think of it as an unpleasant activity.

However, paying your bills can also be an excellent exercise in awareness, self-appreciation, and gratitude.

  • You can use paying your bills as an exercise in awareness. Paying for the things you bought and used…
    • puts money at the center of your focus
    • allows you to recognize both the value and the function of money in your everyday life
    • lets you re-assess your decisions about money and realign your money usage with your life goals
  • Moreover, paying your bills is an opportunity to pat yourself on the back. You work hard. You choose to spend your money in a certain way. Paying your bills, which are the direct result of those decisions, should be a source of satisfaction and self-esteem. If that is not the case, you may want to create greater awareness about the ways you are using the money that flows through your life.
  • Finally, paying bills allows you to appreciate and be thankful for the work of the thousands of other Americans—just like you—who go to work every day to make sure…
    • your electricity is on
    • the grocery store shelves are stocked
    • the streets are safe
    • the cable or satellite TV is working
    • the water is flowing and the sewage is treated
    • the schools are open

…you get the picture.

We are entering the fourth quarter of the year. This is the time of year Americans…

· tend to run up the balances on their credit cards and incur other bills that they won’t see until January

· look forward with confidence but set themselves up to look back with regret

EUREKONOMICS™ is an approach to managing the money that flows through your life.

EUREKONOMICS™ lets you make sure you can always look forward with confidence and never have to look back with regret.

If you can delete the misconception from your thinking that paying bills is a burden and a struggle and replace that bad information with an understanding that paying your bills is a EUREKONOMICS™ practice in awareness, self-appreciation, and gratitude, you too will be able to always look forward with confidence and never have to look back with regret.

 

It’s only money…

How many times have you heard someone say, “Let’s buy it! It’s only fifty bucks. We’ll save twenty-five dollars!” Good Grief! There is no “only” when you are dealing with your money.  Moreover, savings are only savings when you put them into an account that you control.

If, instead of spending it, you put your fifty bucks in your family bank–regardless of the form that bank takes–it would compound to nearly $300.00 in 30 years at 6%.   If you add the 25 bucks you saved, you’d have over $450.00 from a single decision to not save by buying something.

Americans make those kinds of savings decisions frequently – say 12 times a year. Compound those dollars over a few decades and the total is over $5,000.00.  Do it every year for 30 years… you’ll be a lot closer to fifty grand than fifty bucks.

“Only” fifty bucks?  It’s self-deception. The old adage “every penny counts” is still in common use because it’s true. We all tend to convince ourselves that our buying decisions are wise regardless of the reality those decisions impose on us when it comes to our money.  It’s one of the oldest tricks in the world to tell ourselves “It’s only…”.

“Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of fortune that seldom happen as by little advantages that occur every day.” Benjamin Franklin

The next time you think you are saving money buying any product–on sale or not–ask yourself if the product you are buying and the money you are “saving” is really worth it.  Often it will be. EUREKONOMICS™ does not espouse a life of deprivation.  Americans have the most enviable lifestyle in the world and it’s not a sin to maintain and improve that lifestyle.

EUREKONOMICS™ does espouse the economic principles and financial practices that the Founders and Builders of America and its economy paid forward to us.  These principles and practices have been twisted and manipulated by the Behemoths–big government, unions, banks, investment firms, etc.–to serve their aims and not those of the American people.

Remember – only money is money. For everything else–your 401(k), IRA, mutual funds, investments, and so onyou have to spend your money, and worse, relinquish control of that money to strangers. When you’re closer to pushing up daises than doing fifty push-ups, having money instead of the stuff you bought will be a blessing.

This isn’t a new idea.  Tennessee Williams expressed it over half a century ago:

“You can be young without money but you can’t be old without it.”

PS – There is one purchase that Americans can make to assure their money is safe, grows tax-free every year, never incurs a loss, and is accessible at all times without penalties or restriction: participating whole life insurance from a mutual company.