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Monthly Archives: June 2014

One Nation Book Study

On Ben Carson’one nations website he states that the reason he wrote “One Nation” is “to try to convince our fellow Americans that ‘we the people’ are not each other’s enemies and that our strength is derived from unity and common sense, which should be ubiquitous. The real enemies are the forces that are constantly trying to divide and conquer. They create divisions based on race, gender, age, education and, especially, income. It is important that we discuss who the purveyors of division are and what drives them to seek a radical alteration in the American way of life.”

When I finished the book I could not help but want to be part of the solution which means I do what I do best and that is to engage others in a dialogue as we educate ourselves. Thus, join me in an online book study during which we will read 2 chapters a week and discuss them via an online exchange. I will post my thoughts via weekly blogs on my website.

As such, order the book (the link is to the left) and read the Preface and Chapter 1 by July14th. We will read two chapters each week thereafter so we can dialogue online.

Finally, “who knows what tomorrow holds for each of us and for our nation? We have no time to waste. Today is the day to act. Resolve to take one step toward helping our nation return to greatness. If we all do so, we cannot fail to remain ‘one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’”

I look forward to increasing our collective knowledge so that we can make wise decisions for ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation.

Preface and Chapter1

As Much As I Can Get

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“Middle class falls short on retirement funds” was the title of an article in Reuters recently. Because I work with “average” families every day in my business, mostly small business owners, I know that the advice people get is not advice at all but opinions and a hope and a prayer.

I was a client of these advisors for about 15 years until I couldn’t stand my own ignorance anymore and I started educating myself.  As such, I never ask the question which all advisors, regardless of firm, asked me, “How much do you think you will need in the future?”

How am I supposed to know how much I will need?! Isn’t that why I am coming to you Mr. Advisor?!

Unfortunately, as the article points out, what the average American thinks she will need is far too little.

Thus, the only correct answer that should come from your mouth when you are asked, “How much do you think you will need in the future?” is “As much as I can get!”

If that sounds greedy or selfish then I submit that to speak differently is true selfishness because if God chooses to bless you with the ability to earn an income, then you have the responsibility to use His talents to earn more. (Read Matthew 25)

The article goes on to explain that most people will not have enough in retirement because they “have their heads in the sand in the face of obvious savings deficits.” How is it that we judge others for their ignorance, their lack of education, when we do not seek knowledge for ourselves? If you will not take the time to educate yourself about your money, who will? 

The writer points out that while individuals recognize the need to get educated, they are not willing to pay for advice. Does that mean people won’t take the time to buy books and read? Or does that mean people are not willing to give money to someone they barely know so that person can tell them information they barely understand?

I agree. Why would you pay someone for advice that you are not even sure is going to work? What sort of guarantees can the advisor offer? Any?! 

Don’t pay someone to advise you. If the advisor is worth his or her salt, she will offer you a strategy that you can understand and you will implement. It is from the products within the strategy from which she will get paid. We all make a commission. Some of us charge you for our time because it gives the illusion that we are important but the truth is, if I am teaching you to operate in a capitalist society, then I should behave like a capitalist and capitalists do not get paid until we add value.

Oh, wait a minute…. we are still operating in a capitalist society, aren’t we?

The article points out the majority of people expect someone else to help them. They expect the government to help via social security benefits and other tax payer funded welfare programs and they expect their current employers to educate them about how to manage their money.

What’s wrong with us?! Have we strayed so far down the socialist path that we have forgotten that NO one is guaranteed anything? NO one is entitled to anything. What’s wrong with working hard for your money and saving it?

People, wake up. You HAVE to invest TIME into your own education. You have to READ! Turn the TV off and start reading. If you don’t know what books to start with, click on my resources tab and choose from a great list.

Finally, please know that the millionaires of this country are NOT the most “intelligent.” Having true wealth is not that complicated but, alas, those of us in the financial services industry have worked so hard to impress you with our credentials and all the “big” clients we serve, that we have left you feeling like maybe wealth is for someone else. But I say, why not you?

Families of sustainable wealth start because someone at some time decided to do things differently. Why not you?

To your success,

EF - Signature

Does your financial plan maximize what you have today without undermining your tomorrow? Are you willing to learn about processes and systems rather than products and quick fixes? I am here to help guide and instruct you, no matter what level you’re at.