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Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street’

Remember that averages are meaningless in planning your future.  Are you going to live the average life span?  Is your retirement account average – $143,000?  Do you expect to receive the average social Security check – $1077.00?

Remember also that most of what the pundits,financial planners and investment advisors call “investments” are actually speculations.

Benjamin Graham, the Dean of Wall Street and Warren Buffets’ mentor put it this way, “An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.”   Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor” 4th ed., 2003, Chapter 1, page 18. (emphasis is mine)

Benjamin Graham doesn’t suggest that you risk your principal for the possible but improbable big swing upward.  Do not jump back into the market.  You may miss an upswing and you may miss the upcoming downturn as well.  If you are in the lifeboat and the ship doesn’t sink, you can climb back on board.  If you are in the lifeboat and the ship is the Titanic, you’ll be happy as hell that you got off and stayed off.

Here’s a sobering reminder of what’s happened to the average investor and the averages over the past 20 years.

by Jeffrey Reeves youBEthebank,com, ltd

It’s March 2009.

Americans are struggling with the cost of everything from mortgages to groceries.  The struggle is the outcome of three decades of misinformation about how to handle the money that flows through the lives of American individuals and families.

Your personal economy succeeds when you control the money that comes into your life.

The Behmoths on Wall Street, Behemoth banks and insurance companies, and the Behemoth US Congress [the Dolts in DC], and the IRS…

  • Have convinced you that they know better than you what is best for you and your family
  • Have convinced you to divert your money into accounts that they control
  • Have convinced you that a maybe dollar in twenty or thirty years is worth more than a real dollar today
  • Have convinced you that you can only have the things you need and want today by using credit and mortgaging your future income and your current net worth.


Everything you learn from this blog, and from our published works, aims to reveal and clarify the most basic secret of your success with your Personal Economy…

“Keep control of the money that flows into your life.  Give control of as little of your money as possible to the Behemoths.”  Dr Agon Fly

In addition, the experienced Money for Life Guides listed on will teach you strategies and tactics to help you gain and keep control of your money.  They know how to guide you on a path that assures the success of your personal economy regardless of the bursting of real estate bubbles, the crashing of markets, and the dishonesty of the Behemoths.

By Dr Benjamin Franklin and Dr Agon Fly

In 1758 Benjamin Franklin published the final annual installment of Poor Richard’s Almanac. As a preface to this final edition he wrote The Way to Wealth and introduced Father Abraham as the main character in the tale.

Father Abraham embodied the financial wisdom that “Poor” Richard Saunders – Ben Franklin in disguise – incorporated in the 25 years during which the almanac was a staple on the bookshelves and kitchen tables of colonial America.

In 2008, on the sesquicentennial of that event, Dr Agon Fly is bringing this classic book about money back to life. The money wisdom that Dr. Benjamin Franklin captured in The Way to Wealth is timeless; however, the vernacular of 1758 sometimes obscures the meaning for today’s economy and for the personal economies of 21st Century Americans.

Dr Agon Fly offers clarification and corrects archaic words and spellings to help the reader move easily through the story and capture the essence of the messages about money, saving, investing, debt, taxes and a variety of other financial fundamentals.

In addition, Dr Agon Fly provides commentary on Father Abraham’s insights in 21st Century English and invested with the knowledge of financial products and services that were not available to Americans in 1758.

Dr Agon Fly’s comments are indented and italicized to set them apart from the main text.

Read on…

Introduction by Benjamin Franklin – Commentary by Dr Agon Fly

In 1732 I first published my Almanac under the name of Richard Saunders; it was continued by me about twenty-five years, and commonly called Poor Richard’s Almanac. I endeavored to make it both entertaining and useful, and it accordingly came to be in such demand, that I reaped considerable profit from it, vending annually near ten thousand.

Think about that! That’s about ½ of 1% of the total population as subscribers and about 2% of the total population based on family size. In today’s terms, that would be over 6 million subscribers. Any publisher or writer – even J. K. Rowling – would be pleased with that. Imagine the influence this simple publication had on the thinking and behavior of early America

And observing that it was generally read, (scarce any neighborhood in the province being without it,) I considered it as a proper vehicle for conveying instruction among the common people, who bought scarcely any other books.

In today’s world of mass communication – TV, cell phones that are more powerful than the computers of just ten years ago, print on demand publishing and – more than anything else – the internet, is it any wonder that Americans are going in dozens of different financial directions.

I therefore filled all the little spaces, that occurred between the remarkable days in the Calendar, with proverbial sentences, chiefly such as inculcated industry and frugality, as the means of procuring wealth, and thereby securing virtue; it being more difficult for a man in want to act always honestly, as (to use here one of those proverbs) “It is hard for an empty sack to stand upright.”

Ben Franklin wrote pithy sayings and motivated early Americans to work hard and save money so they could amass wealth and secure “virtue.” The amazing part of this is that it worked for the founding fathers and for many generations after them. It’s hard to be virtuous – have peace of mind and the freedom to serve our family, church, and country.

I pay close attention to the financial news. It’s part of my job to know what’s really going on in the general economy so I can properly train other advisors and guide my personal clients with integrity.

Below are six articles from financial news sources from last week I encourage you to skim the first five and read No. 6 carefully.


Government debt nears record high

The Bush administration announced its plans to borrow billions of dollars to deal with the skyrocketing budget deficits, placing the blame for the near record levels of debt on the dismal economy a…

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President Bush signs housing rescue bill

Despite previous threats to veto any proposed housing bill, President Bush today signed a controversial bill that aims to help the limping U.S. housing market as well as provide a financial boost m…

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Home prices down 15.8% in one year

Between May 2007 and May 2008, the cost of homes in the U.S. declined an unprecedented 15.8 percent, indicates the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Index of 20 cities. This figure…

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Hedge funds to post worst month in five years

Hedge funds may post their worst month in at least five years after bets on financial stocks and crude oil backfired. Wagers on a decline in financial stocks and homebuilders soured afte…

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IMF: Housing recession, credit condition will worsen

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today said there is no visible end to the ongoing housing recession in the U.S., adding that tough credit conditions could contribute to an extended economic s…

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No. 6…


March 3 2008: 3:38 AM EST

Don’t expect another bull market

Stock returns may never be the same – at least for this generation of investors.

By Allan Sloan, senior editor at large

(Fortune) — Although you won’t find it listed on your calendar, we’re approaching the anniversary of an epochal event. No, it has nothing to do with the NCAA basketball tournament. It’s a different kind of March Madness: The end of the bull market that lasted for a generation and changed the way that Americans think about stocks.

Read on…

America’s young people are trapped in a dysfunctional paradigm that is robbing them of the oppotunity to succeed.

“The June 2008 Greenberg survey, entitled “Young People: Living on the Edge” illustrates the severe impact of the current economic crisis on 18 to 34 year olds…

“Of the young adult participants, 75 percent say they have gone deeper in debt over the past year. Nearly 19 percent of respondents report having their phone, cable or utilities cut off, and more than 15 percent have faced repossession or have had their credit card cancelled due to non-payment.

“Additionally, about 33 percent of those who owe money on a credit card owe more than $10,000 overall…” – [my emphasis]

If you have children, nieces and nephews, grandkids, or friends with kids, teach them about money and how to handle it. They won’t learn it in grade school, high school and especially not in college, where they learn instead that credit is easy to get and delivers immediate gratification through alcohol, drugs, and sex.

The GAO said recently that financial literacy among Americans is appallingly low. If it’s low in general, its at the bottom of the scale for our young people.

What else could we expect after almost 30 years of misinformation about saving, home equity, mortgages, investing and money in general; misinformation provided in commercials, sound bites, and one hour TV specials that claim to be informative but never scratch the suface of financial issues. Information from the Behemoths whose only goal is to move money from your pockets into their accounts.

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN. And, if you think you know what to teach them, look at your own financial situation. Debt up to your eyeballs? Don’t teach them that. Investments that are going nowhere? Don’t teach them that. Money in all the wrong places at al the wrong times? Don’t teach them that.

First, learn yourself. Discover what the Financial Founding Fathers knew but that the Behemoths and their minions have shrouded in confusion. Discover that saving comes first, home equity is very, very important to you and using it as an ATM machine is not in your best interest. Discover that whole life insurance is a great place to put your foundation money. Discover that every successful personal economy has exactly the same foundation – money that you control, with no strings attached – and  the same framework too:

  • freedom from debt
  • secure income to last your lifetime
  • ready cash to deal with life’s surprisingly unsurprising surprises
  • a legacy of wisdom and wealth to pay forward to those you care about



“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,

John Bigelow, The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Volume 1 of 12, pg 254

Ben Franklin penned these words about a topic other than money, but could just as well have been discussing saving.

Einstein referred to the magic of compound interest as the eighth wonder of the world.

Everything I’ve learned about money in the past 50 years supports the idea that slow and steady wins the day when it comes to money.

Modern financial thinking, however, denies the validity of this idea. It focuses on the mountain top and loses sight of the trail. Why are many American’s facing foreclosure? Is it because they lack the discipline or wisdom to manage their money effectively? Or, is it because they were led to believe in the “certainty” that the “market” will always pay off in the “long-term?” Why is America’s savings rate at or less than zero? Because they were told to focus on the top of the mountain and missed the crevasse at their feet.

Surprise! We don’t live in the “long-term”. Here’s a wisdom teaching that appears in every source of advice from the Ancient Bible, to the New Testament, to philosophers and teachers in every culture and every age - except perhaps the late 20th century: Save, secure your future needs, pay off your debt, invest only in that about which you are personally knowledgeable and only with money you can afford to lose.

Ben Franklin calls it ”human felicity.” We call it peace of mind. You cannot hold onto peace of mind if your mind is constantly focused on money issues in a negative way. You cannot enjoy the mountain trail if you are only looking at the pinnacle.

You need to know where you are going. You need to stop along the way and look forward and up to anticipate your next step and remind yourself of the goal. Life is lived in the present moment and money arrives and passes through your life today. If today is lost and today’s money is lost, tomorrow cannot be better and peace of mind cannot be achieved.

Here’s a simple “how to.”

Sally, a 22 year old female, graduates from college, takes a job earning $30,000.00 per year. Sally saves $5,000.00 a year in a cash value whole life insurance policy every year until her normal retirement age of 67. At that time Sally has over $1.2 million dollars cash including dividends. She can convert that saved money into an after tax income stream of more than $50,000.00 that will last her for the rest of her life.

One simple saving strategy yields “human felicity”. Imagine the results if Sally increases her contribution every year as her income rises! This one simple strategy would yield income multiples of two, three, or greater than the $1.2 million. In addition, the cash value could be accessed by loans prior to retirement to pay for vacations, cars and even houses.



Misinformation & Disinformation…

Americans have been bamboozled into thinking that they can get rich and retire comfortably by putting their money in the hands of people whose only aim is to move money from your pocket into some Behemoth’s accounts; IRA’s, mutual funds, variable annuities, variable insurance policies, ETF’s, and on an on.

BUNK! “Investing” Is Poorly Defined…

Here’s a simple rule to apply to your personal economy: invest from savings, not from income; speculate only with money you expect to lose [if you win add the winnings to your savings.] If you never develop a savings program, you can’t recover by ‘investing’ unless you are just plain lucky. Why? Because most ‘investments’ are actually speculative.

Benjamin Graham, The Dean of Wall Street, and Warren Buffett’s teacher, taught that an investment has two characteristics: safety of principle and a reasonable return. Hmmm! Honestly evaluate what Wall Street calls an investment today.

  • Is it really an investment or is it speculation?
  • Is your money safe and secure?
  • Are you getting a reasonable rate of return?
  • Is it enough to be re-assured that all will be well “in the long-term”?

Guess what? The answers are all NO. You don’t live in the long-term. If you are losing money today, hoping that tomorrow will produce better results is foolish at best. Properly saved money guarantees a reasonable rate of return in the short-term and is safe for the long-haul. Once you have money in hand, and enough money in hand to care for your personal needs, then you may–but don’t have to–consider investing.

A Form of Insanity…

Think about this: many Americans take money directly from their pockets [payroll deducted in many cases] and place it in accounts that produce unpredictable returns for them but assured profits for the Behemoths. Not only that, at the same time they borrow from credit cards and mortgage companies at rates that are guaranteed to be higher than their ‘investment’ account returns. Go figure…

Imagine how much better off these Americans would be if they put their money into financial products that fit the definition of Benjamin Graham referenced above.

It’s time to shift paradigms, to change models; save first, invest later, speculate never!

Jeffrey Reeves

“Soylent Green is people!” Soylent Green, 1975

Conventional wisdom…

In the future world of Soylent Green, people looked forward to the occasional serving of a food, called Soylent Green that the Behemoth of that time doled out periodically. What they didn’t know was that the delightful and nutritious foodstuff was actually made from human remains. They followed the conventional wisdom of the time and questioned little if anything that their Behemoth fed them – food, ideas, solutions.

  • Conventional wisdom is doing what everyone else is doing and thinking what everyone else is thinking just because that’s what others are doing and thinking.
  • Conventional wisdom would have you believe that the Behemoths – governments, bureaucracies, unions, corporations, universities or any other organization that might hold sway over your native intelligence – know more about what’s best for you than you know yourself.
  • Conventional wisdom would have you believe that the snippet of information in an oft-run TV commercial or one-hour “special report” is the essence of a truth that Americans should embrace as a guiding principle for their everyday lives.
  • Conventional wisdom would have you not think at all and adopt solutions that move your money from your pockets into the accounts of the Behemoths.
  • Conventional wisdom makes bad decisions feel good just long enough to fleece you and send you back to pasture to grow more wool.


  • Soulution was coined by Jeffrey Reeves to describe an approach to solving money problems that is based in awareness of who you are and of what’s really happening in the economic world you live in.  It is also a tab on
  • The key element of every soulution to every money problem is found at the core of the person who has a problem and not in the cookie cutter answers that Behemoths dole out like Soylent Green.
  • The EUREKONOMICS Model is not a soulution by itself. It is a distillation of the wisdom of the ancient Bible, the New Testament, philosophers, statesmen, economists and other wise people of every era and age.
  • The EUREKONOMICS Model shows you how to lay a foundation and build a framework for your personal economy based on your unique situation but leaves the management and control of that economy in your hands.

Don’t settle for Soylent Green!

Jeffrey Reeves


“There’s no crying in baseball!” Part II

If you are truly interested in your financial future – especially over the next year or two – you’ll read John Mauldin’s newsletter on a regular basis. Here’s an excerpt from and a link to his most recent. After a detailed discussion of the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae fiascos, John opines about the near term and long term prospects for the economy and investing…

Posted Jul 11 2008, 11:13 PM
by John Mauldin

“…I am a long-term (and even mid-term) optimist. We have to work through some serious problems, but we will. Valuations are going to be low once again, and it will be time to become bullish. And researching and writing my book on how the world will change in 20 years makes me very optimistic. No one in 20 years will think of today as the “good old days.” The changes that are in front of us will be amazing. So, simply take a deep breath, be conservative today, and get ready for a really wild and fun ride.” Emphasis added…

Being conservative has always been common sense but in 2008 and for the foreseeable future it’s essential. If the Dolts in DC would recognize that and quit spending our money like it’s their own, the People they are sworn to serve would not be facing personal recessions while the fat cats in Washington get fatter. OH well! Vote for the non-incumbant and pray for a better future.

The ‘soulution’ to most Americans’ problems is to get off the credit train and get back to the basics of conservative personal economics. The people have been bamboozled for decades by the now failing financial industry and the incompetents that legislate on its behalf instead of ours. It’s time to ignore their insanity and regain our own.


It isn’t as hard as you might think. Americans who adopt the Money for Life Model find that their financial situation improves rapidly and without significant life style changes. It’s really nothing more than controlling the money that flows through your life.



Scrooge & Marner Bank…

Consider this conversation with Mr. Silas Marner, the not-so-friendly banker at Scrooge & Marner Bank.

You speak:

“Good day Mr. Marner. Thanks for taking time to speak with me today about the purchase of an asset of real property. Mr. Marner, the property I want to purchase is valued at $1,000,000.00. Here are the terms I would like to have for this purchase…

  • First, I want to purchase this property with no down payment.
  • I also want to purchase the property without any credit check and based solely on my willingness to commit to level monthly payments that your bank guarantees will never increase.
  • I want a guarantee from the bank that the property will never decrease in value.
  • I want any growth in equity value to be tax free.
  • If I decide later that I no longer wish to own this property, I want the bank to guarantee that the equity I have built up will be paid to me in cash or as a lifetime income that I cannot outlive and that the property will revert to the bank.
  • If I decide that I don’t wish to make payments for some period of time I want the bank to automatically make those payments for me as a loan against my equity at a guaranteed rate of interest.
  • If I want to borrow against my equity for any reason, I want the bank to make the loan without question or qualification.
  • If I do borrow, I want the bank to only charge me a guaranteed rate that we agree upon before signing the purchase application – even if the loan is requested years into the future – and I want the bank to accept any payments I make, even if they are less than enough to repay the loan.
  • If I die prematurely, before the property is fully paid for, I want the bank to pay my heirs the entire $1,000,000.00, less any loans I have taken, regardless of how many payments I have made – even if I die in the very first month after purchasing the property.
  • I want to be able to make extra payments and I want the bank to keep track of them for me.
  • Finally, Mr. Marner, I want to pay the bank a few extra dollars each month so that if I get sick or hurt and can’t work the bank will make my payments for me.

So, what do you think Mr. Marner; do we have a deal?”

Silas Marner speaks:

“NO! No to everything. Such foolishness is wasting my time. My bank doesn’t work that way.”

A Mutual Insurance Company…

Hmmm! A conventional banker finds these terms ludicrous. However, if you were to apply those questions to a whole life insurance contract from a mutual company, the answers would all be ‘Yes!”.

It’s true, you can purchase a $1,000,000.00 asset that

  • requires only that you qualify medically,
  • guarantees a tax free increase in equity each year,
  • has a guaranteed level monthly payment,
  • allows you to take a loan against its equity at will, at a guaranteed rate and that you can repay on your own terms,
  • assures your heirs full value of the asset,
  • promises to pay your premium if you are sick or hurt or just can’t make a payment for whatever reason.

Wouldn’t a “bank” like that be valuable to you?


Jeffrey Reeves



Liz Moyer, 06.26.08, 3:00 PM ET

Wall Street’s Widening Credibility Gap

The carnage spread across the financial sector. Fortis was down 19%, Lehman down 6%, National City (nyse: NCCnews - people ) down 7%, MBIA (nyse: MBInews - people ) down 11% and Washington Mutual (nyse: WMnews - people ) down 6%. The Keefe Bruyette & Woods (nyse: KBWnews - people ) index of bank stocks, the BKX, was off 3%. Financials dragged the S&P 500 17% below the record it set back in November. [Emphasis added]

The wizards of Wall Street can’t figure out how to take care of their own money much less yours. It’s time for every American to take back the control of their money, and there’s a simple, age old, tried, and tested formula you can apply that allows you to do that -

The Debt Paradigm Isn’t Working…

I know this may seem blatently self serving and it is to an extent. On the other hand, the paradigm that controls America’s thinking about money management, saving and investing just isn’t working and needs to be changed. Money Now, Money Later, Money for Life…How to thrive in good times and bad offers a simple, sustainable, common sense set of strategies and practices that allow Americans to wrest control of their money from the Behemoths that demonstrate only greed and lusting for your money and neither wisdom nor compassion for you.

Peace of Mind Is the Payoff…

American’s who have read Money for Life, and who are applying the principles it teaches to their personal money management practice, are experiencing peace of mind about money that seemed out of their reach only a short time ago. You owe it to yourself to learn the Money for Life secrets that have been practiced since Biblical times and which were abandoned in the late 20th century.

Avisors with decades of experience who read Money for Life write comments like this:

“I Read your book it was great!! I am a financial advisor and have been doing a lot of research about banking concepts. I like the way you introduced the concepts and I am going to institute them into my practice. It is a shame the home office doesn’t teach these concepts to their agents. The more I read and test the more I like the concepts and the less I like what I’ve been taught by those that aren’t as wise. I would very much enjoy the opportunity to find out more about what else I could be doing for my clients. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.”

Thanks for your patience and understanding. America needs to know what’s in this book, not because I wrote it – I’m simply the voice of the many who preceded me – but because the ideas, principles, and practices it presents are essential to their success with money.

Jeffrey Reeves