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Has Kiplinger’s Sold Out?  The Financial Media Bias (Part 2 – The Stock Market and Saving Money)

“Personal finance publications bias their recommendations—either consciously or subconsciously—to favor advertisers.”
– Jonathan Reuter and Eric Zitzewitz, Quarterly Journal of Economics

MisinformationTwo weeks ago, we started a rant inspired by a single issue of Kiplinger’s that I picked up to read on a plane. In Part 1, we exposed the fallacies of the “How Much You Really Need to Retire” article that warned people not to “over-save” for retirement (since surely they can live on 60% of their former income), and faulty advice on “The Best College Savings Plans.” In case you missed it, here’s Part 1 of this series on the financial media bias.

Today, we look at three other highly problematic articles from that one slim Personal Finance magazine.

Hot Stock Gambles – “Top Picks of the Top Pros”

I don’t know about you, but the last time I grabbed something “hot” – I dropped it! And frankly, the picks and even the comments made by some of the money managers are telling. Continue reading

Posted in CASH VALUE INSURANCE, INSURANCE ADVICE, SAVING MONEY, WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Long Game: A Video Essay on the Path to Success

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Turtle on staircaseWe’ll be back next week with Part Two of our Kiplinger’s expose. This week, we want to share another resource that inspired many attendees of The Summit for Prosperity Economics Advisors.

What does it take to succeed?

Are history’s “success stories” people who simply had more talent or luck than the next person? Research suggests not, in most cases. Perseverance, patience, practice, and pure grit are the hidden elements of most success stories, though too often they are the untold part of the success stories we see on TV.

Not coincidentally, perseverance is also a key factor in the many financial success stories that don’t make headline news. Stories of lottery winners and celebrities fill the airwaves, yet the majority of millionaires who took the “slow way” to wealth by earning, saving, and safely investing are ignored or even discounted as a valid way to build wealth.

The Long Game is a video essay designed by Adam Westbrook and originally released on Delve.TV  that gives us valuable and entertaining history lessons while asking us to consider a fresh perspective on success. Brilliantly up-ending preconceptions we may have about people we now consider great artists, leaders, and inventors such as Leonardo DaVinci, The Long Game is a message that we desperately need to hear an this age of instant gratification and overnight success.

Give the link below a click – you’ll be very glad you did!

The Long Game, Part 1: Why Leonardo DaVinci was a Loser

Click HERE to watch Part 1.the long game part 1

We don’t want to keep you in suspense, so please proceed to the second half for “the rest of the story”! Continue reading

Posted in CASH VALUE INSURANCE, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, SAVING MONEY, WEALTH-BUILDING | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Has Kiplinger’s Sold Out? Bad Advice and Bias (Part 1 – Retirement)

“Whereas mutual fund advertising accounts for 3.8 percent of advertising revenues at the Wall Street Journal and 1.1 percent at the New York Times, it accounts for 15 percent at Money, 16 percent at SmartMoney, and 28 percent at Kiplinger’s.”

– Jonathan Reuter and Eric Zitzewitz, “Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media,” Quarterly Journal of Economics

Kiplingers-2Last week, we spent three-and-a-half-days with like-minded colleagues at The Summit for Prosperity Economics Advisors. We discussed the importance of character, the value of privatization (as opposed to allowing the government to control our choices – and our money), and the problem with “typical” financial planning strategies.

It was a breath of fresh air, almost like we had created an “alternate reality” where “up” was actually UP and “down” was actually DOWN! And then, I grabbed the October 2014 issue of Kiplinger’s for the plane ride home and stepped back into the upside-down world of “typical” personal finance in America. Argh!

When I could find the articles wedged between the full and even double-page spreads of advertisements from financial corporations, they made me crazy! As a matter of fact, I couldn’t even get my reaction into one blog post, so next week the rant shall continue as I work to expose exactly what has gone so very wrong with the financial industry in the U.S.A. Continue reading

Posted in COLLEGE PLANNING, PRINCIPLES OF PROSPERITY, RETIREMENT PLANNING | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Living in a Complaint-Free World where “Life is Great”!

complaint-free-world

Every single person is 100% disciplined to their current set of habits.”
-Dan Sullivan, Strategic Coach

“Plant a thought and reap a word;
plant a word and reap an action;
plant an action and reap a habit;
plant a habit and reap a character;
plant a character and reap a destiny.”

– March 21, 1872, The Cedar Rapids Times

Live from The Summit!
We are writing this from The Summit for Prosperity Economics Advisors where dozens of industry leaders and forward-thinking advisors have gathered. We are sharing some of our favorite ideas and resources with our colleagues and fellow advisors, we wanted to share them with you, too.

I (Kim) stumbled on the concept of a A Complaint Free World recently and just love it! I have always insisted upon living and working in a positive environment, and as I’ve written about before, beginning each day (or meeting) with a Positive Focus. The Complaint-Free world takes this and puts it into a structure to develop that positive mindset into a HABIT. Continue reading

Posted in PERSONAL FINANCES | Leave a comment

Should You Liquidate Your 401(k) Early?

“I would blow up the system and restart with something totally different.”
- Ted Benna, “father” of the 401(k), as told to MarketWatch.com

Should You Liquidate Your 401(k) Early?As investors start to educate themselves about investing, many begin to realize that their 401(k) might not all they thought it was cracked up to be. After all, even Ted Benna, the man who popularized the tax loophole that became the 401(k) program, has all but disowned it.

But should you liquidate your 401(k)? It’s not an easy decision, and there are drawbacks as well as benefits.

The Pros and Cons of Liquidating a 401(k) Early 

There are good reasons to liquidate your 401(k) (or perhaps just put future savings and investments dollars elsewhere):

  • Highly restricted investment choices.
  • Legitimate fears that income taxes are on the rise.
  • Layers of never-ending and often hidden fees that drain “your” asset.
  • Limited access to dollars for limited reasons.
  • The fact that any dollars borrowed from 401(k) have gone into the account “tax deferred” but must be replaced with “after tax” dollars… that are taxed AGAIN upon withdrawal.
  • Lack of control over qualified accounts ruled by government decisions and policies.

In spite of compelling reasons to liquidate a 401(k), there are also important considerations and good reasons why you may NOT want to liquidate your 401(k) – or not right now. Before considering such a move, be well aware of the following: Continue reading

Posted in 401K's & IRA's, ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS, RETIREMENT PLANNING, WEALTH-BUILDING | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Expectancy in America (You’ll Live Longer Than You Think!)

“You’re not getting old; you’re getting ready.”
-Ernestine Shepherd, the world’s oldest female competitive body builder.

ernestine-shepherdIt’s a Fact: Americans Are Living Longer

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), life expectancy in the U.S. now stands at 78.7 years.

Women continue to outlive men, with life expectancy being 76.3 years for males, and 81.1 years for females. Life expectancy varies according to race and ethnicity. It is highest for Hispanics, for both males and females, and lower for African Americans than for whites or Hispanics.

But don’t plug those numbers into a retirement calculator! It is mistake to assume that 78.7 years (give or take for gender and ethnicity) is YOUR life expectancy. Chances are, you’ll live much longer than you think you will, as we’ll explain. Continue reading

Posted in HEALTH and WEALTH, RETIREMENT PLANNING | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment