We Are Not All Equal, But Everyone Should Be Held To The Same Standard

Here is the truth. We aren’t equal and never have been. Some are going to do better than others. Others will do worse. Some get better or worse breaks in life. Some make better or worse decisions and get the expected results. Actions have consequences. Life is tough. That is the only thing that you can count on being equal.

The current crowd of politicians is perpetuating their money grabbing policies by trying to divide the country on race, sex, ethnicity, gender (sex) and anything else they can. They are more interested in their longevity than the country’s. The two real classes are those in Washington and the rest of the country.

If they pitch one race against the other in classrooms, they are the racists. If they pitch one sex against they other, they are the sexists, misandrists or misogynists.

The communists used to divide people against each other by working class. The current crop has picked new guidelines, but ues the same tactics for power. If they can divide us, they can rule us. It is an election tactic.

There is a trope going on that the government should take care of everyone from cradle to grave. That just makes servants out of those who are subjugated and believe in this nonsense.

There are not really 2 parties behind closed doors, only in front of the media and big tech who are their accomplices and mouthpieces. They agree on almost everything that serves them.

I’m just hoping that there is going to be consequences for those trying to make a monarchy in Washington. We fought to get away from that to start our country and I hope that it can still save what is left.

Bezos Trying To Buy Immortality Through Reprogramming

Everyone has to face the fact that we have a limited lifespan. Steve Jobs found that out 10+ years ago with over $7 billion. How much is that money helping him now?

Bezos has more than anyone at this point, although Elon Musk is giving him a run for his actual money. These guys like Gates, Buffet and others have more than they can spend. As I’ve pointed out before, their currency becomes control, power and the search for meaning.

The one thing you can’t control is mortality. That’s not going to try to stop them from trying. It’s why I found it interesting that Bezos is investing in this.

Here is his take:

“Staving off death is a thing that you have to work at,” Bezos wrote then, adding, “More generally, if living things didn’t work actively to prevent it, they would eventually merge into their surroundings, and cease to exist as autonomous beings. That is what happens when they die.”

He’s invested in Altos Labs to try and reverse the aging process.

The new company, incorporated in the US and in the UK earlier this year, will establish several institutes in places including the Bay Area, San Diego, Cambridge, UK and Japan, and is recruiting a large cadre of university scientists with lavish salaries and the promise that they can pursue unfettered blue-sky research on how cells age and how to reverse that process.

Excerpt from the link above:

Among the scientists said to be joining Altos are Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, a Spanish biologist at the Salk Institute, in La Jolla, California, who has won notoriety for research mixing human and monkey embryos and who has predicted that human lifespans could be increased by 50 years. Salk declined to comment.

Also joining is Steve Horvath, a UCLA professor and developer of a “biological clock” that can accurately measure human aging. Shinya Yamanaka, who shared a 2012 Nobel Prize for the discovery of reprogramming, will be an unpaid senior scientist and will chair the company’s scientific advisory board.

Yamanaka’s breakthrough discovery was that with the addition of just four proteins, now known as Yamanaka factors, cells can be instructed to revert to a primitive state with the properties of embryonic stem cells. By 2016, Izpisúa Belmonte’s lab had applied these factors to entire living mice, achieving signs of age reversal and leading him to term reprogramming a potential “elixir of life.”

Mid-life crisis?

It’s been said that young people dream of being rich, and rich people dream of being young. That paradox is one that people like Milner, age 59, and Bezos, who is 57 years old, may feel acutely. Forbes currently ranks Bezos as the world’s richest person, with a net worth of around $200 billion. Milner’s wealth is estimated at $4.8 billion.

Young and rich

Bezos is said to have a fairly long-standing interest in longevity research, and he previously invested in an anti-aging company called Unity Biotechnology. Rumors of the billionaire making a seismic-sized splash into the field have swirled for months.

The article goes on to mention that there are “side effects”.

The results of such mouse experiments, while tantalizing, were also frightening. Depending on how much reprogramming occurred, some mice developed ugly embryonic tumors called teratomas, even as others showed signs their tissues had become younger.

“Although there are many hurdles to overcome, there is huge potential,” Yamanaka said in an email, in which he confirmed his role in Altos.

I’VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU JEFF

Just like Jobs’ money is not doing him any good right now, Jeff can buy whatever he wants, except a few more breaths.

While the soul may be immortal, the body will never be.

How many days do we have left? I don’t know. No one does, except God. He knows the exact number of years, days, hours and seconds that I will occupy my address on Planet Earth; the exact moment that death will occur.

For those of us who believe in God, here is what is said in Psalm 139:16

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

In other words, all that money you have isn’t going to buy one more second. You also won’t take it with you.

Maybe you should try a little harder on your soul than your body big guy.

A Warning From History About The Covid Relief Bill

No republic has long outlived the discovery by a majority of its people that they could vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. - Alexander Fraser Tytler

The government is to serve the people, not the other way around. Underneath the covers of the Covid bill (go research it, you won’t believe me even if I put the facts here, but they are in the bill) is kickback money that they have given organizations who will then contribute to the politicians.

It is a cycle that has made most in congress millionaires and fund their campaign chest for the next election.

I see it and I’m not a political operative. I hope your intelligence lets you connect the dots also. The facts and the history are there. Ruling classes for all of history vote themselves power and money and destroy nations.

Great Sayings – Who Is Rich? – Benjamin Franklin, But I Say Different

“Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.” – Franklin

I think this was referring to materialism  People always want more, even when they get what they want.

King Midas wanted everything he touched to be gold, but he couldn’t eat and lost his child who was turned to gold.

I read that 4 out of 5 NFL players go bankrupt after being multimillionaires.  Most lottery winners declare bankruptcy.  Steve Jobs, Rockefeller’s, the Rothschild’s, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes and all of the most wealthy died stinking rich but wanting more.

You can’t serve 2 masters.  It’s a quote in the Bible.  You will serve one or the other, God or money.  It also says that where your treasure is, so shall your heart be.

For some, it is not wealth, rather they seek fame or some hobby or a person.  None of that will make you rich.

I’ve already said above where to look for answers that will give you your only source of happiness.  It isn’t in material things, rather spiritual.   There is nothing wrong with having material wealth, just don’t worship it.

Good luck

Where Have You Gone Al Gore? #climatechange and #globalwarming Are Calling You On the Day You Predicted The Doom of the Earth

al gore doomsday clockIn the song Mrs. Robinson is a line that states, Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?  I wondered the same about Al Gore.  He went from front page man on global warming to I don’t hear anything about him anymore on #AGW.  I wondered where he went and why?

It’s ironic that the biggest snow storm to ever hit NYC on the weekend of his predicted destruction instead of the Statue of Liberty being under water.

al gore effect

There is a famous statement that goes: Where your treasure is, so will your heart will be also.  I thought his heart was with global warming, but he’s no where to be found, so I looked for what his treasure was. If it wasn’t really global warming, what was it?

He enrolled in Divinity school so it appeared that he was looking for his treasure from God, but he didn’t finish his degree either.  So what has he been chasing his whole life, really?

The rest of this post is merely an observation based on his actions throughout the years.  Some will disagree, others will identify and most won’t care.  No judgement is being passed, merely a commentary on the general state of man with the public record as documentation.

If you disagree or want to get into an ideological debate, please see the comments policy on the right.

Note from Investors Business Daily on the end of the earth:

According to Anthony Watts, one of the most trusted sources on Climate issues, “While preening at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2006 during the premiere of his An Inconvenient Truth fib-umentary, Gore made his grand declaration. The former vice president said, in the words of the AP reporter taking down his story, that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return.” In Gore’s own words, he claimed we were in “a true planetary emergency.”

Further on December 13, 2009, he predicted that the Arctic would be ice free in 5 years.  

10 years later, there has been no measurable change in the Arctic ice.  As with most of the climate predictions, it was based on prediction models.  Anyone who has watched the weather knows that it is rarely right 5 days from now, let alone 5 years from now, yet he sold this snake oil and it was drunk by many or used as a political tool.

HIS EARLY TREASURE

It is common knowledge that he was funded by coal and tobacco, but people repent and so I supposed this was the case also.  As of the latest search, he still hasn’t sold his fortune in Occidental stock and dividends he receives.  It is nebulous as to whether he has or not, so we’ll give him a pass on it, although he’s  earned $500,000 from zinc royalties (which causes environmental issues to produce) as of the last documented tax return that is public. Perhaps it is a legal reason that prevents him from selling this asset.  Armand Hammer, the head of Occidental was well known for his communist ties to the Soviet Union was close to the Gore family.

There is also the Elk Hills case that allowed oil pipelines to run, ensuring a stream of money to both the Hammer’s and the Gores.

Nevertheless, it appears that before global warming, it was MONEY that was more important than anything else.  In the overall realm of things, climate issues appear to have only been a means to the end, or his treasure and not the end itself.

Most of what is below are documents from Climate Scientists or court records.  I don’t challenge the views on climate on either side as minds are already made up.  My thesis is that he was after money more than protecting the planet.

THE PATH OF HIS POLITICAL CAREER

He of course was a Senator and a Vice President for which he should be commended for serving his country.

It sticks in the craw of the Gore acolytes who generally are Bush 43 haters, that he lost.  No matter how many times the media recounted the votes in Florida, Bush still won every recount.  This signaled the end of his political career, but it wasn’t the treasure he was really seeking.

One thing that dogged him was that he had a low net worth compared with the other politicians who were his compatriots.  I point to the fact that he wasn’t an astute investor given the fore-knowledge congress has of bills that affect corporations.  They are not subject to insider trading laws, so just by being there any idiot should increase their wealth at an exponential rate as almost all have done.

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

statue-of-liberty-is-drowning-c

This film got a lot of play despite blatant errors which were discovered in court, but then Hollywood rarely gets the truth right and a politician making a movie sort of dooms it’s necessity for truth from the beginning.  It did finally start the ball rolling  for his money making from global warming, a cause he had pushed uphill for years.

free nobel peace prize

He also won a Nobel Peace Prize.  They soon after gave one to a President who had accomplished nothing up to that point.

On January 25th, 2006, while at the Sundance film festival screening “An Inconvenient Truth”, Al Gore said this as chronicled in an article by CBS News:

The former vice president came to town for the premiere of “An Inconvenient Truth,” a documentary chronicling what has become his crusade since losing the 2000 presidential election: Educating the masses that global warming is about to toast our ecology and our way of life.

Gore has been saying it for decades, since a college class in the 1960s convinced him that greenhouse gases from oil, coal and other carbon emissions were trapping the sun’s heat in the atmosphere, resulting in a glacial meltdown that could flood much of the planet.

Americans have been hearing it for decades, wavering between belief and skepticism that it all may just be a natural part of Earth’s cyclical warming and cooling phases.

And politicians and corporations have been ignoring the issue for decades, to the point that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return, Gore said.

He sees the situation as “a true planetary emergency.”

“If you accept the truth of that, then nothing else really matters that much,” Gore said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We have to organize quickly to come up with a coherent and really strong response, and that’s what I’m devoting myself to.”

al-gore-fire-300x222Nothing gets lost now thanks to the internet which he invented.

Unfortunately, here are 9 proven lies of the movie regarding the settled science based on a computer model.  The court ruled:

“Al Gore is the principal prophet of doom in the global warming debate, and the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth is his gospel to true believers. But Gore has misled them.”

Two years ago, British High Court Justice Michael Burton characterized Gore’s film as “alarmism and exaggeration in support of his political thesis.” The court, responding said the film was “one-sided” and could not be shown in British schools unless it contained guidelines to balance Gore’s attempt at “political indoctrination.”  This is the antithesis of the scientific method which requires independent proving of a hypothesis to be true science.

Here is how the 97% of scientists agreeing that global warming was caused by men was derived. 

Since then, he’s reiterated 8 facts of climate doom that never happened, never got close and are now past their sell by date.

Some of these are the decline of Arctic ice (there was a huge re-freeze in 2015), the decline of polar bears and the rising sea level.  I was called a flat-earther for questioning the rising tides by a believer in the global warming religion, Tim O’reilly.  When I asked for any proof, I received the statement that climate science is hard.

What is hard is for the weatherman to get the forecast right next week.  How in the world can you predict 10 years from now?  The answer of course has proven to be quite obvious.  If you go to the link starting with since (above) Tim, you’ll see that this is bunk. I’ve started to look at the climate change worshipers as the real flat-earther’s now.  They seem to be equally as wrong.

HE WAS PROTECTED BY THE MEDIA

The Press Protected His Cause nevertheless as errors weren’t generally reported, and despite trying to kick start the alternative energy sector, most companies didn’t succeed in the free market economy, rather used government subsidies and regulation to survive.  He was wise to benefit from the government backing, increasing his fortune.

money-down-toilet

Al was the nameplate for global warming until that name got tarnished.  It morphed to climate change and whatever name that didn’t lose PR favor, but it was still the same gaia cause and Al was the figurehead.  It didn’t matter what he said as he had the media covering for him on this initiative.

What did the media decide what to cover and what not to cover?

 

 

 

Unfortunately, he predicted the “end of the planet or that we would reach the point of no return” on January 25, 2016.

As it turns out, it is cooler now than on the day he received his Nobel prize.

 

THE FINAL FRONTIER, HOW HE FOUND HIS HEART’S TREASURE

He started a TV channel, sat on the board of Apple (for which he benefited handsomely) and other money making ventures.  While it did nothing to affect Climate change issues to speak of, this appears to be the treasure he was really seeking.  He sold Current TV to Al-Jazeera, an oil funded carbon spewing country  for hundreds of millions, and that was the antithesis of what he was preaching to the warmers.  Al-Jazeera has closed doors on this project in 2016 having not been able to gain an audience in the US.  Again, the media was mostly silent, he was one of theirs.

Al jazeeraPhoto courtesy of DMF.

In selling the network to the huge oil producing carbon emitters, he Found the treasure he sought, but sold Out his followers in a big way.  It doesn’t matter because what is done, is done.  His record is there for history to judge.  He is a rich man and now he is seeking ways to release his inner chakra, too bad for Tipper.  Name calling for anyone who challenges the “settled science” has been the norm, but it turns out that they are the real flat earthers as they love to call anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

SO WHAT WAS THE REAL TREASURE IN HIS HEART?

Here is where we get to the answer.  He was after the money, that was where his treasure really was, gathering wealth.  The reason we haven’t heard from him is he is rich and got people to buy into what he was selling.  He has big houses with carbon footprints of cities.  He flies on private jets to conferences and stays in huge suites.

You can see images of his massive mansions here.

al-gores-home-in-nashville algoreshome

He got his real treasure which was the dollar, and is riding happily into the sunset a very rich man.

Just like the Mayan calendar in 2012, the earth didn’t end or drown, but we won’t hear anything on Al flying in private jets either.  It seems he is the biggest flat Earther of all.

Update 8/3/17:He recently traveled 3000 miles on a carbon spewing plane for the promotion of his new movie to tell people that they should reduce carbon emissions.  It was at that conference that it was revealed that one of his houses emits 34 times the carbon emissions of a regular house.

Maybe the delusional devotees  who have bought into the weather lie include Tim O’Reilly, who could only tell me that climate science is difficult when he couldn’t explain why the oceans aren’t rising when I asked him.  Perhaps he will look past his devotion to this Gaia worship and see the facts, although I don’t expect him to admit both the error in judgement and the fact that he has completely shelved science for ideology.  Other devotees like Tom Raftery at GreenMonk have gone out of business because they couldn’t make enough money (bilk companies) or get enough government subsidies.  James Governor who helped found Greenmonk told me that he would “save” the planet or make money trying. None of these new Flat-Earthers can explain why it is cooler now than when Al received the Nobel Prize.

They have bought into the lie that Al was peddling and should have invested with him since he was after the money and would do or say whatever he needed to do to achieve it.  James in fact never either saved the world or got rich trying.

This was years before Al Gore’s revelation that he was just after the money, so it seems that the climate changers are really just greedy.  That makes them the real “Flat-Earthers”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a recent protest by the Climate change supporters:

al gore prostesters

When Knowledge is Greater Than Power

A few years ago in a small town, robbers entered a bank and one of them shouted: “Don’t move! The money belongs to the bank. Your lives belong to you.  Immediately all the people in the bank laid on the floor quietly and without panic.
This is an example of how the correct wording of a sentence can make everyone change their world view.  

  • One woman lay on the floor in a provocative manner. The robber approached her saying, ” Ma’am, this is a robbery not a rape. Please behave accordingly.”

This is an example of how to behave professionally, and focus on the goal.

  • While running from the bank the young robber (who had a college degree) said to the older robber (who barely finished elementary school): “Hey, maybe we should count how much we stole.” The older man replied: “Don’t be stupid. It’s a lot of money so let’s wait for the news to be told how much money was taken from the bank.”

This is an example of how life experience is more important than a degree.  

  • After the robbery, the manager of the bank said to his accountant: “Let’s call the cops.” The accountant said: “Wait, before we do that let’s add the $800,000 to the robbery of that we took to ourselves a few months ago and just say that it was stolen.”

This is an example of taking advantage of an opportunity.

  • The following day it was reported in the news that the bank was robbed of $ 3 million. The robbers counted the money, but they found only $1 million so they started to grumble. “We risked our lives for $1 million, while the bank’s management robbed two million dollars without blinking? Maybe its better to learn how to work the system, instead of being a simple robber.”

This is an example of how knowledge can be more useful than power.  



Moral :Give a person a gun, and he can rob a bank . Give a person a bank, and he can rob everyone.


via R.W. Forsythe

Improving Your Credit Score, Continuing Personal Financial Principles

 

This came from Christian Personal Finance, but is in my theme of taking control of your personal finances and helping yourself to use your money wisely and understand successful financial principles.  These days you need to take control of your economic situation and not rely on the government to take care of you as they will take your money in taxes at any chance they can.

If your credit score has fallen recently, due to a missed payment or two, or perhaps you have too much credit outstanding, there are some simple ways you can improve on your credit score that will get it back on the right track. Doing a combination of several of these could see your credit score rise significantly in just the next few months – and that goes for your credit score at each credit repository.

If you’d like to check your credit score,
click to get your credit score for free.

1. Pay your bills on time from now on.

This may sound beyond obvious, but if you have any late payments in the past year or two, they’re having a disproportionately negative impact on your credit score. You can’t fix this overnight, but the best strategy going forward is to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

One of the more fortunate aspects of credit scores is that the older negative information gets, the less impact it has. This is why it is so critical that you put any negative credit situations into your past as soon as possible. If you have a late payment that you made three months ago, you may not be able to do anything about that now, but if you make your payments on time for the next nine months, you’ll put that late payment one year into your past. By then, your credit scores should once again begin to rise. But this will happen only if there are no delinquencies in the future.

2. Take a time out on credit.

The credit scoring models favor older, established debt. Conversely, they take a dimmer view of new debt. For this reason, if you’re looking to improve your credit scores, it will help to avoid applying for and accepting new loans. This will be even more important if you have taken a new loan or two in the very recent past.

This will help your credit scores on two fronts. First, any time you apply for credit, your credit report will show a credit inquiry. While credit inquiries do not have a big impact on your credit score, the one they have is definitely negative. If you apply for credit with several lenders over a space of one or two months, the combined impact could be more significant. By not applying for new credit, you will not be adding new inquiries to your credit report.

The second of course is that any time you take a new loan, you receive a negative hit on your credit reports because of the lack of payment experience. You’ll avoid this hit by not taking any new loans.

3. Pay off small balance accounts.

Another factor the credit scoring models consider is the number of loans you have outstanding. In general, a person with three outstanding loans will have a better credit score that someone who has ten outstanding loans.

For this reason, you might want to pay off some of your loans starting with the smallest. If you have seven loans outstanding, and you can pay off three of them with combined balances of $1,000, you will have reduced the number of loans with outstanding balances down to four.

While this may not cause your credit scores to rise by a hundred points, it could cause a smaller increase but one that will happen pretty quickly. This is one of the best ways to get upside action on your credit scores in short order.

4. Pay down a few debts.

This one is big time, and is usually referred to as credit utilization. The credit repositories measure the percentage of outstanding debt against your amount of available credit. If you have $15,000 in outstanding balances on open credit lines of $20,000, your credit utilization is 75% (or $15,000 divided by $20,000).

For comparison sake, credit repositories generally consider a credit utilization of 80% or greater to be a negative. Less than 80% is considered a positive. It is of course a matter of degree; the lower the credit utilization, the more positive the impact on your credit scores. The higher the credit utilization, the greater the negative impact will be.

Credit utilization is considered one of the best predictors of debtor default. This is why it carries such a heavy impact on your credit scores. And even if your credit scores are good despite a high credit utilization, a lender may still make a decision not to extend a loan to you.

In order to improve on this critical metric it is important that you pay your loans down to a level in which they will be at least below 80% of available credit. You should try to get each loan account down below this percentage, as well as for the combination of all of your loan accounts. This is another strategy that can improve your credit scores pretty quickly – by lowering your credit utilization, you lower your risk of default according to the credit scoring models.

5. Check your credit report for errors.

You should review your credit report at least annually to look for errors. Many contain errors that have a negative impact on your credit scores. For example, you could have loan accounts included in your credit report that are not yours. This will increase the amount of debt that you’re carrying, and lower your credit scores.

Worse is if you have derogatory credit that is either not yours, or is reported in error. Unfortunately, when you have derogatory credit, the responsibility to clear it up rests completely upon you – even if the entry is in error. You’ll have to contact the creditor to ask them to correct the information reported. Usually, in order to do that, you’ll have to present some sort of tangible evidence that what the creditor reported was in fact an error. If you don’t have this evidence, the creditor will probably not remove the information.

Once any errors are corrected, you’ll have to specifically request that the creditor remove the derogatory information from your credit report. You should also obtain written confirmation that the entry was an error from the creditor. Just in case the creditor doesn’t get around to reporting the corrected information to the credit repositories, you will then have written evidence to do it yourself.

6. Pay off any collections, charge-offs or other past due amounts.

If you have any outstanding obligations – even if they’re well in the past – they will still be having a negative affect on your credit scores as long as they are showing up in your credit report. Make arrangements to pay them off, and make sure that you get a letter of confirmation from the creditor. The creditor should report this information to the credit repositories, but once again, if they don’t you will have to do it yourself.

Never assume that outstanding balances don’t matter because they’re five or six years old. Paying them off is another way to provide a quick lift to your credit scores, especially if you’re paying off more than one.

Take as many of these steps as you can, and you should be able improve all of your credit scores in just a few months, if not sooner.

If you need additional help improving your credit score you can hire a credit repair company like CreditRepair.com or Lexington Law.

 

Fiscal Cliff Put Into Perspective of a Household Income

Lesson #1:
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget using the
Same numbers:
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $385.00
Easier to understand ??…….OK now,
Lesson #2:
Here’s another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
Let’s say, You come home from work and find
There has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood….
And your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do ……
Raise the ceilings, or remove the sewage?

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

This goes with my series of “How and average Joe can become a Millionaire”.

I am not the author, but this is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make (the other is tithing) The whole article can be found here:

One of my good friends, “Judge Rob,” is a local, elected judge who also owns a small family business. Judge Rob paraphrased Warren Buffett when we were discussing mortgages over a recent breakfast, saying, “If I knew where I was going to live for the next decade or so, I would buy a house with a long-term mortgage.” The idea is that a mortgage is a good hedge against inflation because you pay it off with much cheaper dollars down the road.

Today, many pundits point to low interest rates and encourage people to borrow as much as they can while interest rates are low. While they do have a good point, deciding when to pay off my own mortgage caused a great deal of conflict between the logical and emotional parts of my brain.

In the early days of black-and-white television, much of the programming was old, silent movies. Who can forget the little old widow, confronted by the evil, rich banker, who licked his chops at the opportunity to throw her out as her mortgage payment came due? As the deadline got closer, the piano would bang louder and faster, and somehow Widow Nell would make her payment in the nick of time. Was I programmed by my generation’s version of Sesame Street?

There’s Something to Being “Old School”

I spent a good bit of my breakfast with Judge Rob in “Yes, but!” mode. Here’s why.

When I was contemplating paying off my mortgage, I spoke with a CPA who also happened to be a financial advisor recommended by a good friend. I explained that I was self-employed, so my income fluctuated, and my mortgage was my largest monthly bill. I suggested that there could be some emotional benefit to paying it off. Less stress perhaps?

He insisted that I could invest and out-earn the cost of my first mortgage. He pooh-poohed the idea of paying it off to calm my nerves, and kept repeating that I could easily invest my money and earn more after taxes than the cost of the first mortgage.

When I asked if his mortgage was paid off, he responded with, “Oh, hell yes!” I was flabbergasted. How could he advise me to do one thing when he’d done the exact opposite? He explained that his wife was from Germany – the old school where you pay your bills, don’t borrow money, and stay out of debt.

Then I asked him, “Once you paid off your mortgage, did you sleep better at night?” He pondered a bit and said, “Yeah, I guess I did. I no longer worried about it. No matter how bad things got, we would still have a roof over our heads.”

When I asked Vedran Vuk, our senior research analyst, about when to pay off a first mortgage, he made some excellent points. First, you should no longer view your house as an investment that’s going to rapidly appreciate as it did in the past. A house is a home, and you should look at it that way. Second, right now a mortgage can make sense from an investment perspective. If you can borrow money at 3.5%, invest it, and earn a guaranteed higher return on it, you’ll come out ahead.

The real question becomes: where can you find a guaranteed greater return, even with the low mortgage rates available today? The government is committed to keeping interest rates artificially low for the foreseeable future. Yields on CDs and high-quality bonds are pathetic.

I just checked my brokerage account, and the longest CD they have available is a five-year CD paying 1.15%. A 30-year Treasury bond will pay 2.8%. Neither holds any appeal for me, particularly if I were investing with borrowed money.

If you’ve found an investment that’s a lead-pipe cinch – one that’s absolutely, positively going to pay off – and a low mortgage rate, you may want to roll the dice. However, I want to add one more note of caution.

The upcoming issue of Money Forever‘s premium subscription, which we’re releasing on December 18, takes an in-depth look at reverse mortgages, one of the most controversial ways to help fund your retirement. Our team will explain reverse mortgages in easily understood terms, highlight pitfalls to avoid, and explain how a reverse mortgage is a good way for some (but not all) folks to fund their retirement and maintain their lifestyle.

Before obtaining a reverse mortgage you must go through HUD counseling. While researching our upcoming report, I came across a study of over 20,000 people who had been through HUD counseling between September 2010 and November 2010. A few statistics really jumped off the page!

In 2000, the average age of people receiving reverse mortgages was 73 years old. By November 2010, the average age had dropped to 71.5, and it’s continuing to decline. In other words, retirees are tapping into their home equity at an increasingly younger age, many because they have no other choice.

It was also interesting to learn why these folks wanted a reverse mortgage. In the 70-and-older group, 38% still had mortgage debt. Seventy-one percent owed 25% or more on the current value of their home, and 33% had a mortgage in excess of 50% of the value of their home. Many wanted a reverse mortgage because they could not service their existing debt. A reverse mortgage is based on the net equity in your home. If their homes were paid for, meaning no huge house payment, perhaps they could have put off the reverse mortgage for a few more years. The older the applicant, the higher monthly payment they receive.

I wonder how many of these folks lost money betting on their lead-pipe cinch investment because they had been nudged along by their CPA.

My point is simple. For most baby boomers and retirees, their home is their largest asset. You don’t want to live like the little old widow in a black-and-white film, worrying about getting thrown out of your home, particularly if you’re no longer working.

Nevertheless, if you had a mortgage with a 3.5% interest rate and we were still living in a world where a top-quality bond or CD would pay you 5% or more, it could make sense to take advantage of it. But that’s not the world of today.

Ideally, you would pay off your mortgage and then use the money you’d been setting aside for payments to build a nice portfolio. For many folks, home equity is like a security blanket – and a potential source of income for when they may really need it.

The Judge’s Word Isn’t Always Law

As I left our breakfast meeting, I shared a few parting comments with Judge Rob. The mortgage conundrum has both financial and emotional factors. Paying off your mortgage is a milestone; it really does change your life. I certainly sleep better, and my blood pressure probably dropped ten points. It was the point when my wife and I actually started accumulating true wealth.

Once I paid off my mortgage, I never looked back.

Economy Signs in the USA and EU that WE ARE IN DECLINE, PROTECT YOURSELVES

Two disturbing articles came my way.  I watch the economy and look for trends.  I found two that are similar because of political policies, yet would be so easy to fix if the respective governments would stop spending, handing out money to those who don’t deserve it, stop handing to themselves and stop the regulations.

We are headed into a depression and it appears that is what the governments want.  History shows they can control a distressed population more easily than a productive, self-reliant successful one…so the preponderance of evidence shows it is intentional.

You’ve been warned, get out of debt, get a strong cash position, stock up on supplies (they are much cheaper now before inflation) and do everything you can to be self reliant rather than convenient.  This is against all the pundits who want you to buy into this is just a phase, just like right about 1926.

Here they are.

THE USA

Link to the full article here:

#1 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001.  That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011.  That is not just a decline – that is a freefall.  Just check out the chart in this article.

#2 According to The Economist, the United States was the best place in the world to be born into back in 1988.  Today, the United States is only tied for 16th place.

#3 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

#4 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures in coming months.

#5 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.

#6 America once had the greatest manufacturing cities on the face of the earth.  Now many of our formerly great manufacturing cities have degenerated into festering hellholes.  For example, the city of Detroit is on the verge of financial collapse, and one state lawmaker is now saying that “dissolving Detroit” should be looked at as an option.

#7 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent.  Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

#8 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#9 If you can believe it, approximately one out of every four American workers makes 10 dollars an hour or less.

#10 Sadly, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#11 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#12 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#13 Incredibly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.  During 2010, manufacturing facilities were shutting down at the rate of 23 per day.  How can anyone say that “things are getting better” when our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted?

#14 Back in early 2005, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was less than 2 dollars a gallon.  During 2012, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has been $3.63.

#15 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#16 As I have written about previously, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.

#17 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#18 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.

#19 Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned.  By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.

#20 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

#21 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#22 The value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.

#23 According to one survey, 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

#24 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple.  Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.

#25 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

#26 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7 percent of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.

#27 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, 47.1 million Americans are on food stamps.

#28 Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#29 As I wrote about the other day, according to one calculation the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#30 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#31 In 2001, the U.S. national debt was less than 6 trillion dollars.  Today, it is over 16 trillion dollars and it is increasing by more than 100 million dollars every single hour.

#32 The U.S. national debt is now more than 23 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

#33 According to a PBS report from earlier this year, U.S. households that make $13,000 or less per year spend 9 percent of their incomes on lottery tickets.  Could that possibly be accurate?  Are people really that foolish?

#34 As the U.S. economy has declined, the American people have been downing more antidepressants and other prescription drugs than ever before.  In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.

THE EUROPEAN UNION

Link to the full article here:

The following are 11 facts that show that Europe is heading into an economic depression…

1. The economies of 17 out of the 27 countries in the EU have contracted for at least two consecutive quarters.

2. Unemployment in the eurozone has hit a brand new all-time record high of 11.7 percent.

3. The unemployment rate in Portugal is now up to 16.3 percent.  A year ago it was just 13.7 percent.

4. The unemployment rate in Greece is now up to 25.4 percent.  A year ago it was just 18.4 percent.

5. The unemployment rate in Spain has hit a brand new all-time record high of 26.2 percent.  How much higher can it possibly go?  This is already higher than the unemployment rate in the United States ever reached during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

6. Youth unemployment levels in both Greece and Spain are rapidly approaching the 60 percent level.

7. Earlier this month, Moody’s stripped France of its AAA credit rating, and wealthy individuals are leaving France in droves as the socialists implement plans to raise taxes to very high levels on the rich.

8. Industrial production is collapsing all over Europe.  Just check out these numbers…

You don’t have to be an economic genius to understand that the perpetual uncertainty over the Eurozone’s future has led to a widespread freeze on industrial investment and development. Industrial production is collapsing at an accelerating rate, falling 7% year-on-year in Spain and Greece, 4.8% in Italy, and 2.1% in France.

9. There are even trouble signs in the “stable” economies in Europe.  In Germany, factory orders in September were down 3.3 percent from the month before, and retail sales in October declined 2.8 percent from the previous month.

10. The debt of the Greek government is now projected to hit 189 percent of GDP by the end of this year.

11. The Greek economy has shrunk by more than 7 percent this year, and it is being projected that the Greek economy will contract by another 4.5 percent in 2013.

But sometimes you can’t really get a feel for how bad things really are over there just from the raw economic numbers.

Many people that are living through these depression-like conditions are totally giving in to despair.  Just check out the following example from an RT article from earlier this year…

A 61-year-old Greek pensioner has hung himself from a tree in a public park after succumbing to the pressure of crushing debt. A note in his pocket indicates he is merely the latest in a rash of economic crisis-induced suicides.

The pensioner’s lifeless body was found dangling by an attendant in a public park not far from his home in the suburb of Nikaia, Athens. The attendant also found a suicide note in the man’s pocket, The Athens news reports.

The man, identifying himself as Alexandros, said he was a man of few vices who “worked all day.”  However, he blamed himself from committing one “horrendous crime”: becoming a professional at the age of 40 and plunging himself into debt. He referred to himself as a 61-year-old idiot who had to pay, hoping his grandchildren would not be born in Greece, as the country’s prospects were so bleak.

Milton Friedman Would have been 100, Still One Of The Best Economists Ever

Economists have either followed Friedman or Keynes for Economic Theory over the last century.  Keynes is being used currently and you can judge the results for yourself.  For me, it does not seem to work, nor has history shown it to have worked  for any of the presidents who have based their administration on Keynesian theory anywhere in the world.

I quote one of the best authors of our generation on economics for this article.

From Dr. Thomas Sowell

If Milton Friedman were alive today — and there was never a time when he was more needed — he would be one hundred years old. He was born on July 31, 1912. But Professor Friedman’s death at age 94 deprived the nation of one of those rare thinkers who had both genius and common sense.

Most people would not be able to understand the complex economic analysis that won him a Nobel Prize, but people with no knowledge of economics had no trouble understanding his popular books like “Free to Choose” or the TV series of the same name.

In being able to express himself at both the highest level of his profession and also at a level that the average person could readily understand, Milton Friedman was like the economist whose theories and persona were most different from his own — John Maynard Keynes.

Like many, if not most, people who became prominent as opponents of the left, Professor Friedman began on the left. Decades later, looking back at a statement of his own from his early years, he said: “The most striking feature of this statement is how thoroughly Keynesian it is.” No one converted Milton Friedman, either in economics or in his views on social policy. His own research, analysis and experience converted him.

As a professor, he did not attempt to convert students to his political views. I made no secret of the fact that I was a Marxist when I was a student in Professor Friedman’s course, but he made no effort to change my views. He once said that anybody who was easily converted was not worth converting.

I was still a Marxist after taking Professor Friedman’s class. Working as an economist in the government converted me.

What Milton Friedman is best known for as an economist was his opposition to Keynesian economics, which had largely swept the economics profession on both sides of the Atlantic, with the notable exception of the University of Chicago, where Friedman was both trained as a student and later taught.

In the heyday of Keynesian economics, many economists believed that inflationary government policies could reduce unemployment, and early empirical data seemed to support that view. The inference was that the government could make careful trade-offs between inflation and unemployment, and thus “fine tune” the economy.

Milton Friedman challenged this view with both facts and analysis. He showed that the relationship between inflation and unemployment held only in the short run, when the inflation was unexpected. But, after everyone got used to inflation, unemployment could be just as high with high inflation as it had been with low inflation.

When both unemployment and inflation rose at the same time in the 1970s — “stagflation,” as it was called — the idea of the government “fine tuning” the economy faded away. There are still some die-hard Keynesians today who keep insisting that the government’s “stimulus” spending would have worked, if only it was bigger and lasted longer.

This is one of those heads-I-win-and-tails-you-lose arguments. Even if the government spends itself into bankruptcy and the economy still does not recover, Keynesians can always say that it would have worked if only the government had spent more.

Although Milton Friedman became someone regarded as a conservative icon, he considered himself a liberal in the original sense of the word — someone who believes in the liberty of the individual, free of government intrusions. Far from trying to conserve things as they are, he wrote a book titled “Tyranny of the Status Quo.”

Milton Friedman proposed radical changes in policies and institution ranging from the public schools to the Federal Reserve. It is liberals who want to conserve and expand the welfare state.

As a student of Professor Friedman back in 1960, I was struck by two things — his tough grading standards and the fact that he had a black secretary. This was years before affirmative action. People on the left exhibit blacks as mascots. But I never heard Milton Friedman say that he had a black secretary, though she was with him for decades. Both his grading standards and his refusal to try to be politically correct increased my respect for him.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com.

He also wrote this:

When both unemployment and inflation rose at the same time in the 1970s —”stagflation,” as it was called — the idea of the government “fine tuning” the economy faded away. There are still some die-hard Keynesians today who keep insisting that the government’s “stimulus” spending would have worked, if only it was bigger and lasted longer.

This is one of those heads-I-win-and-tails-you-lose arguments. Even if the government spends itself into bankruptcy and the economy still does not recover, Keynesians can always say that it would have worked if only the government had spent more.

Although Milton Friedman became someone regarded as a conservative icon, he considered himself a liberal in the original sense of the word — someone who believes in the liberty of the individual, free of government intrusions. Far from trying to conserve things as they are, he wrote a book titled “Tyranny of the Status Quo.”

Milton Friedman proposed radical changes in policies and institutions ranging from the public schools to the Federal Reserve. It is liberals who want to conserve and expand the welfare state.

As a student of Professor Friedman back in 1960, I was struck by two things — his tough grading standards and the fact that he had a black secretary. This was years before affirmative action. People on the left exhibit blacks as mascots. But I never heard Milton Friedman say that he had a black secretary, though she was with him for decades. Both his grading standards and his refusal to try to be politically correct increased my respect for him.

How An Average Joe Can Be A Millionaire By Doing Simple Principles

Notice that I didn’t use the words becoming rich.  Having a full life, belief in God, friends, family or a passion for doing something is rich.  Becoming a millionaire is about money.

Next, this subject has been addressed by the more knowledgeable than I, but I’m going to talk to the average Joe like me, which is the likely reader here.

Finally, I don’t claim to know it all, nor do I claim to be in any financial category.  I do observe trends and try to learn from them.  Hopefully I’m eating my own dogfood.

HOW IT IS DONE

It is simple math.  You either make money or spend less, or a combination of the two.  I realize that we have a burdensome government, a tough economy and a next to impossible IRS tax code.  In fact the real unemployment number is not what you read in the main stream media, but the U6 rate which as of this writing is 14.5%.

For the purposes of becoming a millionaire, we will assume employment.  That means get a job instead of living on entitlements, because that will disqualify you from this discussion.

Sure it is easy to have received Facebook stock or have invented Facebook, but the average millionaire doesn’t have that at their discretion.

USE YOUR MONEY TO MAKE MONEY

This means compounding what you have in ways other than just putting it in the bank.  I had a roommate who was a stockbroker and he told me many stories of secretaries making minimum wage who came to him at retirement with 7 figure 401K accounts.  They saved in a way that maximized the return on their investment.  This usually involves a company match and some diversification.  It also assumes that you take risk when you are younger and seek advice or study investing voraciously as it is a mystery to most….despite the fact that everyone thinks they know about it.

Part of your diversification also means not putting everything in the stock market.  As an example, real estate has just undergone a busted bubble (thanks to the Community Reinvestment Act which never should have been enacted), but it means there are properties to be had for a song right now and are ripe for the picking.  They will grow and become more valuable.  My advice is no different from what you’d expect.  Start out small and work your way up.  That process allows you to learn about what value really is, and compound your earnings into larger investments that have bigger payoffs.

There are many other ways, but the concept is the same, save and invest wisely by starting small and growing your profits and portfolio.  You must also study and read or you could throw your money down the drain if you think you know everything.  It also involves patience.  If you recall the story from my roommate, it was saving and investing over a lifetime

HOW TO LEARN

There are articles ad-infinitum to read about the aforementioned.  The other way is to talk to people who have done this.  I suggest that you start with Dave Ramsey or Crown Financial Ministries if you are starting out (or are in trouble, or anywhere in between).  It is a tried and true method of handling you money.

Who you talk to also matters.  There are people who talk in $10’s of thousands, $100’s of thousands, millions or Zuckerberg’s and Gates’.  I suggest you seek out those who are in the highest category possible as you need to think big in making and investing.  I don’t have coffee with Warren Buffet, but his advice is readily available.

Find those who are successful and ask them how they did it.  I’m betting that you’ll find there is no secret code or magic key, they just worked at it and kept their long-term goals of financial independence in mind, and kept check over their human nature.

SAVE YOUR MONEY

The other side of the equation is savings.  In other words you need to spend less and when you do, spend wisely.  Of the people I worked with at my last job, many were high salaried executives who were in debt because they had a keeping up with (or passing) the Jones mentality.  This was especially true of those in the New York area for some reason (but demographics shouldn’t really matter).  They had big houses with unfurnished rooms because they were house poor.  Living within your means is important which is my next segue.

NEED VS. WANT

Including the basics of food, clothing and shelter, one has to look at the way one buys things.  Most buy what they want rather than what they need.  If you adopt the buy it tomorrow instead of now mentality, you likely will realize that you don’t really want it as badly as you think.

There is the adequacy (not delusions of adequacy ;-)) vs. luxury mentality also.  A Casio, Timex or Seiko watch tell as good of time as does a Rolex, so unless you have money to burn, why are you buying the Rolex?  This applies to cars, clothes or virtually any tangible item.  Ask yourself, self do I need this/do I need to have the very best/am I showing off or would what I can really afford what I have?  I have relatives who have to have the very best, but have wasted as much money as I’ve earned on things to show off.

My son said that some people need to wear their paycheck.  You can see them coming down the road in cars that are raised with shiny rims and a 24 thousand watt stereo.  Others have to order the best wine, food and show off at restaurants (my brother-in-law).

Back to the person who knows this better than most, here is a story about expensive car drivers:

But what if Ranger Rich is like many people who define rich in terms of income instead of net worth? Certainly many drivers feel the need to display their socioeconomic achievements by acquiring prestige makes of motor vehicles.  They may think that those who are successful in generating high incomes drive luxury brands.  And correspondingly drivers of more common makes have dull normal income credentials.  But the hard data suggest that the level of prestige of a car and the income of its driver are not anywhere near being perfect correlates. In fact, many drivers of luxury makes have neither the levels of income nor net worth which would qualify them as high economic achievers.

Along these lines, Joann Muller, writing for Forbes.com, poses “what the rich people really drive.” She defines rich people in terms of income, not net worth.

. . . the richest people were the most likely to buy luxury brands [39% for people with household income above $250,000 vs. 8% for those people who earn less than $100,000 a year].

. . .61% of people who earn $250,000 or more aren’t buying luxury brands at all.

Her analysis indicates that those households with high incomes are more likely to drive luxury cars.  But just because someone is driving a luxury brand it does not necessarily mean that the driver has a high income or a high net worth, for that matter.

Further, here is a story about how the average millionaire deals with car buying.

You have to spend on things that will appreciate, not sparkle.  Again, my relatives are the worst offenders who have overspent on toys, baubles, cars and anything else they can waste their money on.  It baffles me.  When they bought real estate, they over paid, over leveraged and bought for show instead of ROI.

DEBT AND LEVERAGE

This gets most people in trouble.  If you can’t pay off your credit card each month, you effectively are paying more for what you bought (because of the interest).  Compounding works for debt in the same way as it does for savings.  It is the accumulation that is the issue.  I’m not just picking on credit cards, anything can be substituted here.  If you saved first, you could buy it for less and your want will likely decrease.

For housing, it used to be that you had to put at least 10% down, but due to the above mentioned CRA (can you tell I loathe that legislation?) one could buy a house they couldn’t afford because they were told they qualified for it…. with no money down.  You were PLAYED for a fool on this.  Living below your means is the best policy.

If you care to splurge on something, it’s OK….just don’t borrow.

The same can be said for leverage.  I’ll stay on housing here.  Banks will always want you to buy more as the more you borrow, the richer they get.  Typically one is paying at least 3 times the amount for a big-ticket item buy leveraging which brings me to my next segue.

PAY OFF YOUR HOUSE

The wisest know that man can not serve two masters.  When you have a huge mortgage hanging over your head, it is your boss/master/slave driver/keep you up at night worry/cause of divorce or many other calamities.  The bank won’t be calling on you to take your home away nor will you have to file bankruptcy (again, my relatives).

Besides owning a house within or below your means, paying it off early is the best way to get out of debt and improve your cash flow.  Take out a mortgage less than 30 years, pay more than the minimum and do everything you can to pay it off early.

Forget the argument that it is a tax deduction.  Congress is aiming at trying to take that away as I type.  Also, any money you get back on taxes is just an interest free loan to the government at your expense.

By doing this, for most people it will likely be one of the best long-term financial decisions they can make.

CONTROL YOUR DESTINY

Note: I am quoting Dr. Thomas Stanley here.  It is better told than I could say it, but it clearly is the moral to the story and what I would have said:

In The Millionaire Next Door I quoted the words of a corporate sales professional, a millionaire whom I interviewed.  He like other self made millionaires said that he had a “go to hell fund. . . just in case my employer suggests (insists) that I leave Austin for corporate headquarters in Rottenchester.”  He never had to leave Austin and he added, “PTL.”  In other words, [the millionaires next door] have accumulated enough wealth to live without working for ten or more years.

I was reminded of these words of wisdom after reviewing an email from Ms. F who currently resides in a lovely community in the Southern United States:

I went to my local library this morning, hoping to borrow The Millionaire Next Door. However, the only available book was in Spanish, so I borrowed “Millionaire Women Next Door” instead. By the time I completed the second paragraph on page 8, I had collapsed in a fit of “craughter” – simultaneously crying and laughing at my sad truth. My newest work assignment is no less than 8,200 miles, 18 hours of flying time and 12 time zones away from everyone who means the most to me in this world. Simply put, the situation stinks, but I had convinced myself that it was necessary to pay the bills. Suffice it to say that I have renewed by concerted efforts to become a cultivator of wealth, and I plan to share my transformation with you soon. Thank you for creating this compilation of evidence-based encouragement!

What precipitated Ms. F “crying and laughing?”  Consider the words from Millionaire Women Next Door:

Aren’t you growing tired of being among the ranks of hunter-gatherers?  Do you enjoy your hyper consumption lifestyle so much that you must fly out of town every week to earn a paycheck to pay your bills?  . . . begin making the transformation to a cultivator of wealth.   Think about that the next time you are ten thousand miles from home, surrounded by strangers, and flying in dreadful weather.   It is up to you.  Do you want to spend your life as a hunter and gatherer of income, earning a million mileage points?  . . . those financially indpendent folks. . . .  They make their own decisions about their next destination.  Right now, you and your career are essentially corporate property.  Neither one of you has the luxury of self-determination.

I also stated that:

The [millionaire business] women profiled herein will not tolerate such an existence.  They are free.  They are cultivators of wealth and satisfied with life.  They are in control of their own destiny.

INCOME AS A PERCENTAGE OF WEALTH

More from Frank Stanley, their income is only 8.2% of their wealth:

People who believe that they will never become wealthy generally fulfill this hypothesis.  I explained to Brit, who was once a member of the ultimate income statement affluent club, that he has an excellent chance of becoming a millionaire next door type and that the typical millionaire next door is 57 years old.  The Bible states that those with faith and hope can achieve a great deal.  Even those with faith the size of a grain of mustard seed will likely reach their intended goals.

The will and discipline that this couple demonstrated in paying off its considerable debt is telling.  The same determination can be used in setting aside at least 15% of their income for savings and investing.

What should you anticipate as a typical member of the millionaire next door fraternity?  One, given the calculation via the Wealth Equation, actual net worth exceeds its expected value by a factor of 2 or more.  Two, the market value of the home is less than 20% of net worth.  Three, debt totals the equivalent of less than 5% of net worth.  Four, annual income tax is the equivalent of about 2% of net worth.  Five, total annual realized income is approximately 8.2% of net worth [median], or the equivalent of $8.20 of income for about every $100 of wealth.

This $8.20 figure from my own research is fairly congruent with the findings of other researchers.  For example, three scholars employed by the Treasury Department, Johnson, Raub and Newcomb, compared the wealth characteristics of millionaires via 36,352 federal estate returns who passed away in 2007 with the incomes of these decedents when they were living.  Those millionaires who were married and under the age of 70 [like the large majority of the millionaire next door types that I have surveyed] realized the equivalent of $8.45 for every $100 of their net worth.  This figure is within approximately 3% of the dollar figure ($8.20) that was determined from my surveys.

IN CONCLUSION

There is no conclusion, just work and keep your long term goal in mind.  I may talk later about other basic ideas that contribute to this like paying cash instead of credit (briefly mentioned here), couponing, buying the store brand instead of the premium name brand and other tricks.  Nevertheless, adhering to the above puts you well on your way to being the average Joe millionaire.

My relatives laughed at me all my life for watching what I spent, how I lived and called me a skinflint.  I knew that I had a long term plan for financial security.  Today, at retirement age, they work just to keep up.  Who’s laughing now?

When Science Triumphs Over Propaganda

After spending a year with the great minds of sustainability, I finally found a Global Warming Scientist that is correct and has some facts to back it up.

Piers Corbyn got laughed at when he made this prediction in November:

While he was laughed at and was told that the science was settled, he was proven right and called out why it is the Sun that is the correct predictor of the weather.

His Website shows how the facts are manipulated and as usual, follow the money….except that the carbon trading exchange has now been closed.

As always, history proves the truth.

I wonder what the next inconvenient truth will be?

UPDATE: I found out later from Tres idiots Tim O’Reilly, Tom Raftery and James Governor got on their high horses to claim the end of the world because of CO2 and AGW also.  They voice support for Hollywood celebrities who live in mansions, fly private jets to global warming conferences and believe all the Al Gore nonsense about settled science without a shred of evidence, hypotheses that could be proven true and not one prediction of a climate crisis that is correct.  It turns out that distribution of money to fake environmental causes was the real reason they bought into this along with the worship of earth as their god instead of The God of the Bible as their religion.  I hope this makes them feel better as they travel the road paved with good intentions that leads to you know where.