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Posts Tagged ‘EUREKONOMICS’

The question arises: Where can you deposit your money and be guaranteed that: it will grow every year, will convert to a secure income in the future, will allow ready access without hassles, applications, or proving your worth, assure your family that they will be OK no matter what happens to the greater economy? Read the rest of this entry »
It's time for the Forgotten Generation to step forward and reclaim its destiny as the protectors of the American values that were passed on to it but which will pass out of existence if the Forgotten Generation does not act to restore them and pass on the legacy of wisdom that it received from its forebears. It's also time for the Boomers and Beyonds to discard the falsehoods and foolishness that can lead us to America's ruin. Its time for them to put renewed faith in the finacial founding fathers who wrote, spoke and lived the Four Pillars. Read the rest of this entry »

“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.

 

The Debt Paradigm

Barack Obama might, unwittingly and unknowingly, be right about solving our economic problems from the bottom up.

America’s economy – and the world’s economy for that matter – runs on debt.  Just as our country and the world is addicted to oil based fuels, our economies are addicted to debt.  The government cannot impose a solution to this problem any more than a parent can coerce a child into rehabilitating from a drug habit.

Bailouts Don’t Reduce or Eliminate Debt

For the government to give money through rebates, stimulus plans, tax credits, and bailouts to Americans who have run into debt in the hopes that they will no longer be addicted to debt is just as foolish as a parent giving money to a drug-addicted child in the hope that the money would not be used to feed the addiction.

Debt, Ben Franklin, and the Declaration of Independence

Ben Franklin said. “But, ah! Think what you do when you run into debt; you give to another power over your liberty.” That same concept applies to taking government money. Accepting money from the government as a way of life creates at the very least a psychic debt and gives the government power over your liberty–the very abuse that led the Founders to revolt and write the Declaration of Independence and the amazing US Constitution. The welfare mistakes of the past have taught us this lesson several times over.

If Barack Obama expects the mythical ‘middle class’ to climb out of the dungeon of debt and lead America to a more stable future, he needs to rethink his approach.

Here’s what needs to happen.

Individual Americans and American families need to adopt a new personal economic model that emphasizes saving over debt and over investing, which is nothing more than debt in disguise. [We will dedicate an entire blog entry to this concept at some future date.]

It’s unlikely that will happen spontaneously. Americans have been bamboozled into thinking that they should relegate their cash to consumption and forfeit control of their future to the government and Wall Street.

The Financial Behemoths have buried the idea that saving is a good idea under an onslaught of advertising, misinformation, and disinformation in support of investing for the past thirty years. America has been wrongly convinced that ‘investing’ is a form of savings.  Worse, America has been misled into believing that using debt to fund investments is a wise decision.

The US Tax Code

President Obama and the Dolts in DC need to realize that top-down legislation, executive orders, and the tax code is rewarding the wrong thing when it rewads debt and investing over saving.

The tax code cannot be revised, tweaked, overhauled or manipulated.  It is broken beyond repair.  It needs to be scrapped and replaced with a more humane and holistic system.

Financial Management Principles

If you would change America for the better Mr. President, you cannot impose policies and programs that have proven ineffective failures all over the globe.  You have to rely on the economic principles and financial practices of the Founders and Builders of America that got us here in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend my wife and I attended a presentation of the musical South Pacific at the Temple Buehl Theater in Denver. The character Bloody Mary sings a song about Bali Ha'i early in the play and the words struck me as being apropos to the ongoing theme of this blog: helping Americans are find a better way to deal with their personal economies. Read the rest of this entry »

There is much talk in Washington suggesting that the Federal Government should take over businesses and social programs based on the assumption that…

  • equality of results is essential to the success of everyday Americans
  • equality of opportunity – “the pursuit of happiness” – is inappropriate for the 21st century

An economics professor once faced a group of students that insisted that equality of results, not equality of opportunity, would create a better society and economy.  They insisted that an economic model of big government, big union, and big bureaucracy for redistributing wealth, like the one the Obama administration seems to be promoting, would work better than and that promoted by the Founders.  They believed that such a model would create a society where no one would be poor and no one would be rich – a great equalizer.
The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class based on a plan by which big government redistributes the wealth of the country to create equality among its citizens.  In this class – our country for this experiment – grades are the wealth.  We will average all of your individual grades and everyone will receive the same average grade.  You will all be equal. No single student will fail.”
The class agreed to the experiment.  After the first test, the professor averaged the grades of all the students and everyone got a B.  The students who studied hard were somewhat upset while the students who studied little were happy.  However, all of the students accepted the outcome and felt the experiment proved the case for redistribution.

As the second test rolled around, many of the students who studied little studied even less and the students who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied less.  The second test average was a C-!
No one was happy.  Doubts about the efficacy of the program crept in.
When the third test rolled around, the class average was F. The scores never increased after that.  Bickering, blaming, and name-calling created hard feelings.  The professor was demonized. The students, disincentivized to achieve at a high level, would not study for the benefit of everyone else. Every single student failed.

The professor demonstrated to the students that redistributing wealth – grades in this case…

  • failed to create benefits for any individual student
  • penalized every student

The experiment demonstrated that a socialist society would also ultimately fail. We have seen the results of these kinds of governments many times over during the past one hundred years in failed socialist countries around the world.  When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great.

“When government tries to make everyone equal instead of assuring that everyone has equal opportunity, government imprisons individual liberties, shackles incentive, and no one can succeed.”

- Dr Agon Fly

As the late Adrian Rogers said, “you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

EUREKONOMICSTM rests on the solid principles laid down in the Founding Documents and the two hundred fifty years of the demonstrated success of free enterprise that transformed America and other free societies into economic, social, and moral leaders.

These principles have endured, successfully overcome abuses along the way, and currently recognize the failures in the system that need attention…

  • Some businesses grew and prospered on the backs of slave labor but failed for the same reason.
  • Some businesses abused capital and took advantage of workers, and free enterprise America corrected for these errors by creating competing businesses that honored the work of their employees.
  • Unions began as advocates for employees and morphed into empires that exploit their members.
  • Groups like Acorn and AARP masquerade as advocates for members but act in their own interest or as the pawns of political groups.
  • Elected officials seem to lose their moral and ethical compasses as well as the memory of who elected them once they achieve office.

Financial Literacy

Knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are complimentary and synergistic.  However, it should be clear that only wisdom embodies the qualities of all three.  It is possible to have an abundance of knowledge, deep understanding, and a complete lack of wisdom.

NAZI Germany (and successors totalitarian governments around the world today) demonstrated this gap most shockingly when it applied knowledge of what is required to sustain human life and understanding of how to eliminate those requirements to annihilate six million Jewish and other human beings.  Wisdom was absent.

When discussing knowledge, understanding, and wisdom as they relate to personal economics, considering the role of education is essential.  21st century Americans do not understand money.  One of America’s leading commentators on money, wealth, and business in general said this:

“In most cases, when people make more money, they get deeper in debt.” – Robert Kiyosaki

These folks have knowledge and understanding but a serious deficit in wisdom.

Nonsense from VP  Joe Biden and Others

Our educators, legislators, unions, big businesses, and government bureaucracies have led Americans down a similar path to financial ruin.  Many Americans’ personal economies are already broken and the US government is following a fools path to financial ruin with its insistence that “We the people” need more debt.

“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’. The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.” – VP Joe Biden

Debt Equals Loss of Liberty

The foundation for a personal (or national) economy is money that you control.  Debt is money that others control.  Worse still, it is money that you actually pay those others to control.  You give up your libertyand pay others to do so as if it were a privilege.

Alternative to Debt

EUREKONOMICS™ teaches that money serves you in four – and only four – ways.

  1. It serves to eliminate debt and regain control of money that was previously ceded to others.
  2. It serves as ready cash to deal with life’s surprisingly unsurprising surprises – unexpected expenses and opportunities.
  3. It serves to deliver inflation protected income at a time of your choosing that you don’t have to work for and you can’t outlive.
  4. Finally – in every sense – your money and your wisdom about money allow you to deliver a legacy to those you care most about.

Debt is financial death and the death of liberty.  Presidents, Vice Presidents, legislators, union bosses, big business execs, and individual Americans that fail to recognize this fact lack knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Jeffrey Reeves

Redefining America and “American”

America needs neither the terrifying tsunami of new programs overwhelming it from the White House nor the violent volcanic eruption of legislative magma and ash under which the Congress is burying us…can you say “DEBT?”

Who Is In Charge?

Some Americans voted for “change” during last years presidential sweepstakes – clearly a gamble.  However, a very small but not inconsequential minority of far left politicians, union bosses at the helm of sinking ships loaded with the gold of working Americans  they claim as their own, and cabinet members turned bureaucrats conspire to takeover the US economy.

There are other contributors to and beneficiaries of these catastrophic changes:

  • ACORN, a secretive organization that manipulates good-hearted Americans for the benefit of its intentionally obscure ideology and the financial benefit of its dishonest leaders
  • The union bosses of the SEIU, AFL/CIO, AFSCME and others who confiscate dues from their members to elect their puppets and line their own pockets
  • AARP- Americas largest insurance seller masquerading as the voice of older citizens while it lobbies for programs that will enhance its bottom-line and increase the political power it wields in the White House and on Capitol Hill
  • Al Gore’s army of uninformed global warming crusaders who would willingly weaken the US economy – and therefore the personal economy of every US citizen – while China, India, the Oil States and other economic powerhouses buy America with money made by ignoring the same unrealistic and unnecessary protocols the Dolts in DC impose on American citizens and businesses
  • Other vocal interests in the non-profit and for profit sectors that hope to benefit from the “re-interpretation” if the US Constitution, the restructuring of the US economy, and the re-definition of what it means to be an American.

Put Yourself In Charge of Your Personal Economy

The question – or perhaps answer – the title to this article addresses is…

“How can you protect yourself and your family from the almost certain economic crises financed by the unimaginable debt these ill-advised and programs incur?”

The answer:  Change your mind about money. Americans have been taught to compartmentalize money issues.  We’ve been led to believe that we can fix our personal economic problems by focusing on one issue at a time: the mortgage, the 401(k), creating the mythical six months savings account, taxes.  As an example, a TV commercial running currently suggests that you can fix your monthly budget by changing from your existing satalite TV company to theirs – a savings of a few dollars per month.

Personal economies don’t work that way.

Personal economic success results from adopting a personal economic model that allows you to address all of the challenges you face during your lifetime; that allows you to flexibly and creatively deal with them as they arise without losing focus on the big picture.

Here’s how: Focus on four – and only four – uses of your money.

1.  Ready cash…There is a myth in America that you should have three to six months of expenses set aside to deal with emergencies.

BUNK!

Consider how many American families today are facing foreclosure, repossession of their cars and furniture, bankruptcy…all because they believed in the myth and ran out of money way too soon.

Consider how many of these same folks would have spent the Fourth of July sitting on the patio, drinking a beer, and watching the kids play if they had based their personal economies on cash instead of credit.

American’s need to base their personal economies on cash money and not monthly interest charges that make others wealthy from their repayments of borrowed money.

In addition, they need enough ready cash to deal with life’s surprisingly unsurprising surprises not just emergencies.

2.  Income you don’t have to work for and you won’t outlive.

There’s another myth that plays into the failure of personal economies.  Most Americans are convinced that retirement is both desirable and achievable.

BUNK!

Most Americans believe that they are saving for retirement by putting money into a tax qualified retirement plan like a 401(k), IRA, or the like.

First of all, chances are better than even that money in a tax qualified plan will not produce the income it was projected to deliver when it was sold to you 20, 30, or 40 years earlier. It is the purchase of an investment that guarantees only that it guarantees nothing. It is not a savings plan.  Moreover, it is equally likely that the taxes on that income will be higher than those shown in the hypothetical illustration from decades earlier.

Everyone dies.  People who retire, i.e., dissolve into inactivity, die sooner.  Life expectancy has increased dramatically over the past fifty years.  If you are reading this, are in decent health, and don’t engage in stupid life-threatening activities, you can expect to live to be 100 years old – or older.

What’s the point?  Most retirement income plans (including tax qualified plans) and planners use life expectancy tables to determine how you should allocate your resources from the time you retire until the date of your death at average life expectancy, which is most likely a decade or two less than your actual life span will be.  Sounds like bad planning to me.

Better to have a proven model that makes sure you have the income you need whether you work or not but doesn’t strap you with the limitations and probable failures of a hypothetical plan that neither guarantees nor promises specific results.

3.  Freedom from debt…There are pundits and advisors who would have you believe that there is such a thing as “good debt.”

BUNK!

It is essential to reduce and eliminate debt to others.  This may not be the first item on the “to do” list if you have a mortgage, auto loans, credit card debt, etc. but is equally as important as the others.

The USA Today article referenced above illustrates that America is “in debt up to [its] eyeballs” and has no reasonable chance of escaping the dungeon it’s creating for itself.  As Peggy Lee sang a few decades ago, “Is that all there is?…If that’s all there is, my friend, then let’s keep dancing.  Let’s bring out the booze and have a ball, if that’s all there is…”

Reliance on debt for the essentials and perks of living in the US is financial nihilism; keep using it until you can’t, embrace failure, and start again.  Unfortunately, there are thousands of homeless Americans that discovered that it is nearly impossible to regain what they lost to debt.  There are millions more that find themselves in diminished circumstances or relying on public assistance and charitable largess.

None of the above denies that there are occasions when incurring debt can be useful.  Our economy permits it and encourages it when there are no other reasonable alternatives; the home mortgage being the prime example.  However, relying on debt to build your personal economy is just as silly as relying on a poor diet to assure your health.

4. Your legacy…There is a class of Americans that believe you should die broke and leave no legacy to your heirs or anyone else.

BUNK!

I personally feel that leaving a legacy of wisdom and wealth (if you have it) is one of the main reasons God put us here.  The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution embody the economic wisdom we need to pass on based on their Judeo-Christian value system.

Creating family wealth has allowed America to grow into the most powerful economy in history.   The simple truths found in the finaicial admonitions of Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and other lesser knowns are why Americans have amassed more wealth in 200 years than the rest of the world did in two millennia.

Perhaps those who have received no legacy find it difficult to comprehend these ideas.  If that’s you, let me ask you to imagine your life had you received the guidance of wise counsel and the benefit of a financial foundation.  If you do so honestly, you will recognize the value of legacy – and do something about it.

These four pillars are essential to every successful personal economy.

Money is the essential foundation for that success.  Debt may play a role, but it erodes the foundation and weakens the structure so must be used sparingly and cautiously.

Remember the paradox of frugality:  When individuals strengthen their personal economies by following the practices of the EUREKONOMICS™ Model they weaken the hold of The Debt Paradigm on the economy that is being promoted in Washington and on Wall Street.

The “soulution” to the thrift paradox may be as elusive as Nessie (the Lock Ness monster) to the Dolts in DC and the Wonks on Wall Street, so I expect the US economy to muddle along until we replace them with representatives that actually understand economics and have a modicum of wisdom.

In the meantime, take care of yourself.  Build your personal economy on a solid foundation that supports the Four Pillars.

Jeffrey Reeves

Financial Literacy in Disguise

Television is a great teacher.  So is the internet.  That’s only true, however, if you pay close attention to the advertising and not the shows that are supported by advertising.

Advertising costs money. Lots of money.  Businesses that can afford extensive TV and internet advertising need to be making lots of money.  Advertising also tells you what’s at the front of the minds of Americans.

Here’s a few of the general business catagories that are currently spending millions – probably billions collectively - on TV and internet ads:

  • Credit repair
  • Credit negotiation
  • Credit watch
  • Bankruptcy
  • Tax mitigation
  • Class action law suits
  • Auto insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Investments
  • Sham WOW! [just threw that in for the fun of it]

It’s All About Selling Products

Of these, life insurance and investment ads bear special meaning for me.  For almost 40 years, I’ve been helping people understand their alternatives when considering insurance and investment decisions.

During those almost 40 years I have studied economics, insurance, investments, and all of the topics that insurance and investment advisors must study to earn and keep their licenses, registrations, and appointments.  I have also studied the various selling strategies that insurance companies and investment houses use to entice you to buy their products.

It’s important to remember that these companies are selling products.   The products are packaged as “peace of mind,” “wealth creation,” “future security,” “best savings account,” or “concern for your family.”  They are still products.

Be Aware

What is a Product

Products aren’t bad things.  However, when you follow a link or respond to an ad that points you to a web-site or a toll free number for advice and guidance, be aware that the company sponsoring the ad wants to sell you their products: life insurance, mutual funds, investment advice [yes, advice is a product whether you pay for it by means of fees or by means of commissions].

Beware of Good Intentions

Often the web sites contain “calculators” that are supposed to help you arrive at a decision, while the advisor on the other end of the toll free number claims to aim at the same thing.  Putting aside good intentions – paving material for a very unsavory place – the result of these calculations and advice will always be the same: “Buy my product.”

The product that the site or the advisor recommends may or may not be your best choice.

  • My expectation, based on experience, is that it is not even close to your best choice.
  • My advice, based on experience, is that you find an experienced advisor that is not affiliated with just one company and that does not ascribe to conventional wisdom – doing what the rest of the industry does because that’s what the rest of the industry does.

Changing Your Mind About Money

Very often your best choice is not goin to be a product at all.  Rather, it is going to be a change in your approach to creating and managing your personal economy and your personal wealth; changing your mind about money.

By Jeffrey Reeves MA, EUREKONOMIST