The Prosperity Blog

Kick-Start the Savings Habit

“As important as I think (saving) is, national savings has always been relegated to the B list of economic measures.”
 Edward M. Gramlich, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve from 1997 – 2005

Woman Putting Coin In Piggybank

Believe it or not, there was a time not long ago when Americans tracked their savings instead of their credit card debt! Now saving money seems like a memory from yesteryear. To be sure, many Americans set aside money, but it goes straight into mutual funds, often by way of 401(k)s and other qualified retirement accounts, where it is no longer liquid, guaranteed, or under their control.

These days, we are so eager to run that we forget to walk first! We neglect saving in order to “invest,” when both are necessary. Saving money provides the crucial foundation that allows us to then invest successfully. 

In Pound Foolish by Helaine Olen, director of Vanguard Center of Research Steve Utkus points out that before the rise of the financial planning industry in the 1970s, the cornerstones of personal finance were “savings accounts, whole life insurance, and the home mortgage.” Most people’s number one fear was speaking in public, not running out of money.

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Prosperity Principle #1: Abundance Mentality vs. Scarcity Thinking

“You can be creating or complaining, but never both at the same time.”
-Dan Sullivan, Strategic Coach

Between the two of them, Joe Polish of I Love Marketing and the Genius Network and Dan OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASullivan, entrepreneur mentor and founder of Strategic Coach, have mentored and masterminded with a “who’s who” list of entrepreneurs including:

  • Sir Richard Branson (Virgin companies)
  • Tim Ferris (4 Hour Workweek)
  • Bill Phillips (Body for Life)
  • Jeff Walker (Product Launch Formula)
  • Peter Diamandis (X Prize Foundation)

And while the two of them are masters in entrepreneurial STRATEGIES and HABITS, in the conversation posted below they discuss the absolute necessary foundation of success: our ability to THINK from a prosperous, abundant mindset. (This is also the first of our 7 Principles of Prosperity, which you can learn more about in our Prosperity Accelerator Pack,  our gift to you.)

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Investing Outside of the Stock Market

“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”
– Elon Musk

One Targeted Ball Different Vs Same Change InnovationInvestors have short -term memories, which is why so many are optimistic about the stock market right now. But if you think the stock market is headed for a correction or even a crash, you’re in good company. And if you aren’t sure WHERE to invest OUTSIDE of the stock market, you’re not alone by a long-shot.

Even nervous investors still cling to the stock market because:

  1. They aren’t open-minded to try something new, even if they are unsatisfied with their current strategy.
  2. People mistakenly believe that the risk and roller coaster ride is required if they want to earn a good rate of return in the long run.
  3. Some investors just aren’t aware of other options. They lack the knowledge, confidence, and guidance to seek better alternatives.

Typical financial advice tends to give very limited options, fixating on “how much of your portfolio should be in stocks, and how much in bonds.”

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STOLEN SAVINGS: Three Men and a Bank Account

How Civil Forfeiture is used to Confiscate Bank Accounts

“Banking is a very treacherous business because you don’t realize it is risky until it is too late. It is like calm waters that deliver huge storms.”   — Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Civil Asset Forfeiture word cloud on white background

Your bank claims to keep your money safe from fraud, theft and harm… but what happens when the criminals are government authorities who can tell banks to freeze or even seize accounts?

That is precisely what Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws allow law enforcement and the IRS to do. Shockingly, money and assets can be taken without convicting or even charging the owner of the money with a crime. Indeed, the reason these “civil” asset forfeitures have become so prevalent is that the burden of proof is much lower with civil cases rather than criminal cases. Additionally, those doing the taking usually benefit from the confiscations.

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Should You Make Decisions Based on Gut Instinct?

Is it smart or foolhardy to use our intuition and gut instincts for important, even financial decisions?

We’ve asked Tammi Brannan of InstinctiveLife.com to share her thoughts in the following guest post:

crossroads signCrossroads are moments in our lives when we are faced with a decision, some more monumental than others, but each as integral to the direction of our lives as the next.

Sometimes, the crossroad occurs ahead of us. For example, we may have to decide which job to take, or which financial vehicle is best for our money. For these decisions, we have time to consult the advice of others or list the pros and cons of each decision based on research.

At other times, crossroads occur in the middle of something. We might have been in a job or a relationship for years, and decide it’s time to move on, merely because of the way it makes us feel.  At times like this, it’s harder to consult the advice of others, because the crossroad is due to an internal conflict between where we are and where we want to be.

Regardless of the type of crossroad you are facing, a decision needs to be made, it needs to have the best outcome possible, and you likely have very limited time in which to make it!

So how do you make decisions in a timely manner that are well-advised and won’t mess with your bottom line? You can poll the advice of well-meaning friends, family and colleagues. You can enlist the services of experts. Or you can tune into your “Inner Guidance Chip” and find an entirely new and enlightening way to make decisions!

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Is It Time to Get Out of the Stock Market?

“Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em;
know when to walk away; know when to run.”
– Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”

If you’re invested in the stock market, is it time to take your money and run?

Businessman running with a bag full of moneyI don’t have my crystal ball (and I tend to avoid speculation), but the answer to the question, “Is it time to get out of the stock market?” just might be YES.

As an advisor practicing Prosperity Economics, I’m never one to recommend that clients invest heavily (if at all) in the stock market in the first place. And right now, I am more relieved than ever that my livelihood does not depend on me convincing people to keep plugging money into the stock market. I don’t think my conscience would allow it.

I’m not into fear-mongering and believe we have to focus on the positive and what we can control. I’m also a realist when it comes to knowing that the stock market is not something you or I can control. We can only control how – or whether – we engage with it.

The signs are pointing to now being a very good time to move money out of equities and into alternative investments or even cash equivalents.

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The Truth About Typical Financial Planning and Advice

“The fancy graphs and charts giveth, and the fine print taketh away.”
– Financial Planning has Failed

The Truth Green Road SignThe following is an excerpt from our new ebook by Kim Butler and Kate Phillips, Financial Planning Has Failed.

You can get the entire book for free as part of Partners for Prosperity’s BRAND NEW Prosperity Accelerator Pack.

(Excerpt begins.)
I entered the field of financial planning with gusto, optimism, and the enthusiasm of a true believer. At first, financial planning was exactly what I had hoped for – a chance to be successful through helping people financially. But over time, disillusionment set in.

Financial planning sounded like a good idea, and it’s certainly much better than nothing! But as I learned, it was all based on best guesses, assumptions, unfounded optimism and mathematical half-truths.

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