September 30, 2010

Workers in Europe Protest Austerity Measures -

Workers in Europe Protest Austerity Measures - "Workers in Europe Protest Austerity Measures"

Click on link above to read article...

This is the result of a weak economy, too much government spending, and not enough taxes to fill the void. What's their solution? Well the Portuguese government proposes that they'll freeze pensions, increase the tax rate, and reduce their spending in order to get the deficit under control again.

How can we relate this to the United States?

Currently our economy is weak and government is spending frivolously in the form of bailouts, stimulus, Recovery Acts, and a so-called Jobs Bill. Not to mention Republicans and Democrats alike are screaming for tax cuts for everyone (it is an election year for them - so they're trying to save face.) So basically, like the Portuguese, the United States has high deficits and our tax revenues are low. So what reason do we have to believe that our government won't implement some of the same "austerity measures" being used in Portugal?

In the current administration or the next - expect higher taxes on everyone, less government spending (hopefully), another increase in the retirement age, and a reduction of retirement benefits. Listen closely how politicians choose their words carefully in these upcoming campaigns - and listen to how many campaign promises that will go unfulfilled.

How many hard-working individuals are not retiring in the United States? I would like to know the statistics of those who can retire vs. those who cannot. Interestingly enough, on every street corner there's a "financial advisor" or "Personal Banker" preaching the gospel of why we must plan now through saving and investing in order to retire comfortably. Invest in a 401K and all will be OK they say...Plan for your children's college by investing in a 529 Plan and all will be OK they say...Invest in Roth IRA and all will be ok they say. But what if these "advisors" are not telling me all I need to know?

Will a car salesman try to sell you on a car by telling you all that it cannot do? Or will they instead tell you how smart you are for selecting a certain model? Or how dependable this model will be? How good of an investment you're making.... you know, all of the warm & fuzzy stuff that blows your head up.

Why should we expect a financial salesman to do any different? Like a car salesman, they'll try to sell you on the benefits of a product without necessarily telling you all of the costs, uncertainty, and risks entangled within your retirement plan.

You might be thinking - well I need to buy a car every now and then so I can go to work....and I need to invest in some type of retirement plan so that I can retire. But I say - what if you owned the dealership? And you sold enough cars to other people - that you were able to use their money to purchase your car? What if you had multiple streams of income from your businesses or through entrepreneurial efforts, that paid you every month? Do you really need a 401K if you spend your life building multiple income streams - instead of saving for just one? If you managed to build a cash flow of $10K a month, do you really need social security - which will pay out approximately $1,500/month in today's dollars?

I seriously doubt it.

Just a thought...


September 29, 2010

TAXLOOT is coming!

Everyone has heard the saying "the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer".  But has anyone ever thought why this is so?  What are the rich doing differently? 

Well there is one obvious answer to this question- TAX SHELTERS!!!  "The Rich" have highly- paid wealth and tax advisors that find various tax shelters that shield their wealth from income taxes.  These highly paid advisors also find investments that provide tax-free income!

I'm going to include these major tax shelters and passive investments used by the rich in a book that you can USE!  I'm calling this book TAXLOOT - A Wealth Planning Guide.

This book will included a step by step process that will show you how to:
  • Purchase Municipal Bonds that provide tax-free income (federal and state)
  • Invest in securities
  • Utilize income shifting to reduce your taxable income
  • Partake in gift leasebacks
  • Take advantage of new tax shelters being created during the Obama administration
  • And More!
Coming soon....


September 21, 2010

Funding your education without loans is easy.....

There was an article released yesterday (click here to read the article) stating that credit card debt has been surpassed by student loans.  Everyday it seems as if the necessity of going to college to meet the skill demand for tomorrow's jobs has been rivaled with the necessity of scholarships, grants, and loans required to be able to afford the cost of tuition.  Some students are lucky enough to find jobs within their college towns, to assist with their living expenses . ..while others simply have to find other means of covering their living expenses.

But the reason for this article is that it is considered the norm to take out loans for a college education because most people are trying to finish their degrees "on-time" in 4yrs, 6yrs, or 8yrs depending on their discipline.  And the cost to finish "on-time" is normally more than what most people can afford - which is why loans are used to fill this gap.

But there is another way....why do we HAVE to finish a "four"year degree in four years? Is there any reason why we need to do so?  Because I'm willing to bet that a student, who goes against the norm, could attend college without any student loans, and without any help from their parents.  Here's my plan for those students attending college in the near future that do not want to be faced with the pressure of repaying loans like most Americans :

- Students should attend a two-year community college (which is dirt cheap) by using grants, scholarships, and also working part-time if necessary to fund their living expenses, books, etc.

- After passing community college, enroll in a four year, in-state, public university, while using grants, scholarships, and working part time.

Of course, the goal is to finish the community college in two years and finish up your degree at the University in two years, which would give you four years total for your education.  BUT - if you can't afford to finish in four years - then stay a little longer while working and pay as you go!  So what if it takes you an additional two years to finish?  You'll have a better standard of living than most of your peers that struggle to pay off their loans and have to find a job that offers a decent salary to cover those loans.  If there's a recession or a downturn in hiring (like the one we're currently in), you won't feel the pinch as much as your friends will.  They'll be forced to accept almost any working condition because they have the pain and stress of debt collectors harassing them if they don't.


September 20, 2010

Recession is over?

The recession is over – but is it a false sense of reality? The government still has the economy propped up with stimulus money, company bailouts, and many other incentives that make it seem as if the recession is over. But what happens when the government begins to withdraw the money from the economy? Eventually corporations that have borrowed taxpayer money will have to pay it back. But what happens if and when the government can’t get every cent of taxpayer money refunded? The article released today is bittersweet (click here to read this article)…yes supposedly we’re out of a recession, but today there’s something else that should also get headline attention…the surge of Gold and the new low of the dollar this month.  Click here to read this article.  The Federal Printing Agency…uh, I mean the Federal Reserve is scheduled to meet tomorrow. Let’s see if they decide to print even more dollars to “spur” the economy and its weak recovery.

There is some good news though…we know that corporations and banks are sitting on cash…lots of it. Corporations know that they’re eventually going to have to expand and increase hiring because there’s only so far they can overwork their employees without hiring additional help. And the unwritten rule of business is that “either you’re growing, or you’re dying”. Banks are going to have to continually increase their ROI (Return On Investments), and since banks are in the business of making loans, it doesn’t make sense for them to have too much paper laying around.

People who are smart with money are optimistic in a bull economy or a bear economy…a Republican administration or a Democratic one…because there are (or at least should be) opportunities abound with both. Recession or not – learn how to be prosperous and increase your wealth, no matter what lies ahead.


September 12, 2010

Government in the way? What you can do to better your situation.

During the credit-era (2005-2007), America had a false sense of production, growth, and access to easy money in the form of credit. Anyone that could blink their eyes could get credit to buy cars, houses, investment properties, etc. We thought there was no end in sight and wanted to “let the good times roll”. But as we all know, a house of cards will soon come crashing down...and then there’s a period of rebuilding again. All the while misguided individuals are yearning to get back to the way things were and blame the current administration for not correcting the issues quickly….ironically, these individuals also say the current administration is in the way of prosperity.

So will the economy take another turn for the worse? I’d say not right now.  The government has too much money pumping into the economy that’s keeping us falsely afloat right now…the same way the credit-era gave us false growth in consumer spending and productivity. What's keeping us falsely afloat during this recession is stimulus money, bailouts, several unemployment benefit extensions, and a ridiculous jobs bill that is soon to be implemented. The problem comes when this money has to eventually be repaid back to the taxpayer…and how will the government raise revenue? Through higher taxes, of course. And starting 2011, increased taxes for individuals are definitely coming – they say it’s to pay for the government sponsored healthcare plan that won’t be implemented until 2014 – but I’m willing to bet that this money will get spent on the current deficit...and then Congress will increase our taxes again in 2014 to actually fund the government’s healthcare plan. The same way Social Security and Medicare taxes are used to fund wars…and not for our well being in retirement.

But history tells us that increasing taxes on a weak economy makes a bad situation, worse. And if history is any indication of the future…then expect a long slow path to prosperity and growth from the private sector…hopefully….depending on if the government doesn’t do any more harm than good by creating another jobs bill.

So what can you do amid the current recession and a boatload of taxes coming your way?

• Get out of debt (owe no one!)

• Save at least 8 months of expenses

• Invest

• Try your hand at becoming an entrepreneur or producing other streams of income

Of course, this is against what the government would like us to do right now. They’d rather we just spend the money – which is why they’re keeping interest rates slow to discourage us from saving any paper money. Nevertheless, right now the stock market is on sale across the board and you can get a better return on your money by investing it in sound companies like HD, DTE, F, XOM, PWE, SLV, and an index fund or two like SPY. Invest on your own by using discount brokerages like, E-trade, or Charles Schwab.

The private sector is what America is made of…and what will keep America going strong. Not the government.


September 9, 2010

What's Missing in the Internet Kill-Switch Debate

Interesting article concerning the debate over giving the power to cancel the internet, to one man....the President.  Important issues such as this one never become important to the majority of Americans.  As I type this - the #1 search trend on Google is Willow Smith.

Please click on link:,8599,2009758,00.html

Our freedoms are slowly being taken away, yet all the majority of us care about is celebrities and ESPN Sportscenter.

Just a thought.....