Don’t Believe the Hype about Financial Reform

Don’t Believe the Hype about Financial Reform The Unintended Consequences of Investing with Uncle Sam

With all of the hype from the mainstream press about financial reform, consumers might assume that the Dodd-Frank bill will actually help their financial portfolio. A closer look though at the affects of the financial regulatory changes might reveal some unintended consequences.

Over 800 pages of politically charged financial regulation can be found in the bill. And while, from a consumer standpoint, this may sound like a good thing, it will probably add to the confusion already involved with investing. The legislation does provide some protection for the consumer, however these small improvements will have little positive impact for the average family.

Once again the Federal Reserve has bypassed scrutiny and emerged as the ultimate financial regulator. Nary a mention has been given to auditing this cartel though that was the first intent of Congressman, Ron Paul.

Taking a look at what will actually occur for most, we will cover the most common places that people park their money.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=pma101-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1615456473&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrQualified Retirement Plans (401k, 403b, IRA, etc)
Popular investments such as those offered by employers, because they may offer tax-benefits and are considered to be conservative, could see these regulatory decisions affecting the costs and availability associated with these plans. What’s worse is that the full affect of the reform may not be known for some time.

Because of the gray area left in the bill, regulators have 15 months to study the issue. This could ultimately drag down the returns of these investments. Primarily these studies will involve “swaps”, “wraps” and “derivatives”, all of which can be found in typical retirement accounts. Kent Mason, partner at Davis & Harman LLP and outside counsel to the American Benefits Council, says this “would have an immediate and very troubling effect on 401(k) plans across the country.”

Mutual Funds
Although their is little mention of mutual funds in the Dodd-Frank bill, it is likely that the legislation will affect the holdings of these funds.

Their is also uncertainty for bond funds which could further increase volatility. The (FDIC) Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, will have more control to sieze troubled financial institutions, and have leeway to pay investors differing amounts on bonds, though they may be holding identical bonds issued by that particular institution. This could cause uncertain investors to dump the bonds at the first sign of trouble or to demand higher yields.

Bob Auwaerter, head of fixed income at Vanguard Group says this “can have all sorts of unintended effects”. The potential result is unequal treatment of bondholders which “will reduce liquidity and lower the price.”

Even worse, typical mutual fund investors, who are prone to trying to time market-buying decisions, could be affected by advertising. “Hot funds”, touted by financial magazines, coordinated with advertising could result in misinformation being passed along to consumers.

Derivatives
At yearend 2009, there were $464 TRILLION in outstanding derivatives. While the new bill seems to focus on this problem, it is doubtful that the new provisions could have prevented the financial crisis.

Dividends
Probably the most troubling to investors is the taxing of dividends. Without further congressional action, the top dividend tax rate will skyrocket to 39.6% in 2011. Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus (Dem. Mont.), will be a key player in the future debate over the taxation of dividends.

Brokerage Accounts
The (SEC) Securities and Exchange Commission will have authority under the bill to impose the same standard of “fiduciary” duty on brokers that currently apply to investment advisors. Meaning that brokers must provide advice that is in clients’ “best interest”. What exactly does this mean? How does a broker, that you have probably only spoken with on the phone, know what is in your best interest?

The bottom line is that the bill will provide minor improvements to consumer laws that regulate the financial industry. BUT, the major changes resulting in increased regulation will affect everyone from banks to insurance companies, resulting in more confusion and less profits.

Fortunately, there is one financial instrument that can keep you out of the confusion and chaos that congress continues to pursue. If you do your homework, you’ll find that good, old-fashioned whole life insurance has survived for hundreds of years intact.

There are many flavors of life insurance, so you’ll want to make sure you are dealing with an experienced agent that does business with a “mutual” life insurance company. Mutual life insurance carriers pay dividends to policyholders, and the owner of the contract controls the policy. You can learn more about the extraordinary benefits offered by whole life insurance here: http://legacyinsuranceagency.com/lifeinsurance/wholelife.html

Until next time,
Barry Page, RFC

Barry Page is recognized as a leading expert on life insurance and private banking. He is a Registered Financial Consultant and independent life insurance agent who helps clients with tax advantaged investment alternatives. He specializes in showing families how to protect their assets, income and lives utilizing a macro-financial approach to planning.

He has created a service that caters to families and business owners that are frustrated with the risks involved with the stock market, but still want competitive returns. His specialized knowledge and services help consumers find alternatives to traditional investing and the stock market that not only safely protect their savings, but also provide tax advantages.

His business is based in Ocean Springs, MS and he services clients throughout the Southeast. He can be reached here: http://legacyinsuranceagency.com/contact.html

Emergency Financial Planning – Are you ready for what’s next?

Are you planning for an emergency financial situation? Will you prosper or get plundered in the future?

You already have access to the news and you can choose to read, watch or listen to whatever you want to. There’s good news and bad news in most every story, but how do you decipher the good from the bad? And, who do you trust?

The reason that I share this information with you is expose you to different viewpoints that you may not have access to in the mass media, and to allow you to educate yourself on the facts. As my friend and author Nelson Nash says, “If you know the facts, you’ll know what to do.”

So, you think your money is safe in the bank? Here’s a list of troubled banks from Martin Weiss, chairman of Weiss Ratings. They are rated A-F, just like in school.

What would happen if these banks failed? Loans would no longer be available, fear would prevail, and if your bank failed you could lose interest and access to cash.

You may ask yourself, “How are these banks in trouble when we’ve bailed them out, and the Federal Reserve is loaning them money at practically zero-cost?” A number of reasons actually, including greed, overspending and bad loans.

Delinquency rates are increasing and commercial loans are starting to falter. Some in Congress are already asking for more bailout funds. Another massive refinancing program may be enacted soon. http://www.financialstability.gov/latest/pr_05212010.html

Adding to the problems, the Fed has not only already flooded the U.S. economy with upwards of nearly $2 trillion in newly printed money, they have promised to help bailout Europe… With no end in sight as to how much monopoly money the Fed will print, each and every dollar printed is adding to an unlimited supply of fiat currency.

Will the central banks ever tighten monetary policy again? Chances are slim, they are content merely printing money and causing your dollars to lose value through inflation. Thus cash and long-term bonds, traditionally safehavens, may no longer a good place to hold money.

Equities are more volatile than ever, and the markets are in turmoil. Now financial gurus from the mega-media houses are touting that you buy gold and precious metals to combat inflation… and to get rich?

In turn, speculators are buying gold faster than they can mine it. Analysts are forecasting a 27% rally that would extend the longest run of annual gains since the 1920’s. Gold managers are capitalizing on the anxiety and fear… Have you noticed how many advertisements there are telling you to invest in gold?

Ask yourself, how do you make money with gold? Like anything else right? Buy low, sell high… This is almost laughable, since the common man has not a clue about how to do this. Commissions going in or out can average as much as 18%, so you are down 36% before you even make a dime. Do you buy bullion? coins? ETFs??? And… very few even consider taxes.

We are no longer on the gold standard, what happens when and if another standard comes along? Right now the Federal Reserve is printing money at will, so gold no longer backs your dollars.

How do you spend gold? What do you do with 16oz of gold? Assuming you had $20,000 to buy gold in the first place… What if the government confiscates gold? They have before.

Don’t hear me wrong, I’m not saying gold is a bad investment. But… Just like anything else you have no business investing in gold until you have done your research.

With interest rates being low, the government is punishing savers. The financial institutions want you to buy the latest, greatest products, and most advisors are telling you that now is the time to buy. You are also being told to invest on your own and trade online… How is that working out?

Most American’s lost money in the greatest bull market of all time in the 90’s, even with managed money. And, those who thought they made money have lost it since. How do you realize a gain in the market? You have to buy and sell at the right time.

Certainly you can make profits if your timing is right… But that’s a big “IF”.

Do you think we are at the bottom? Do I have to remind you that less than a year ago the Dow was below 7,000? Other analysts and experts are saying we could see another correction soon… plunging the Dow to 5,000! Take a look at the last 10 years of the Dow.

All the while the government and many bond managers are suggesting that you buy bonds for safety and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS), others warn this could be a problem as well.

Social Security is beginning to deteriorate and benefit payments are starting to outpace tax receipts. Baby boomers are retiring, putting more strain on Medicare and Social Security. State governments are borrowing money from the federal government to pay for unemployment and entitlement programs.

A more prudent plan may be to step back, learn from history, analyze our problems and make informed, educated decisions.

Okay, enough bad news. So, what can you do? How can you protect your money from loss, earn a decent return, and not get clobbered by taxes and inflation? The answer is simple really, and it’s nothing new… You may think that today’s economic problems are different from those of the past, but they really are not. Money is the same today as it has been for 2,500 years.

The Problems

  • Excess Consumption
  • Excess Spending 
  • Excess Investments 
  • Excess Cash

The Solutions

  • Stop Overspending
  • Control Consumption
  • Maintain Emergency Reserves
  • Make Safe and Prudent Investments

As is often the case, we need to get back to the basics. In his book, The Richest Man in Babylon, George S. Clason outlines financial principles that have survived for centuries.

Here’s my short and updated version.

5 Simple Steps for Preserving and Creating Wealth

1. Pay yourself first

2. Save a minimum of 10%, preferrably 20%

3. Write down your expenses and buy only those things that are necessary

4. Put your money in safe and liquid assets that appreciate in value

5. Insure your income for the future

 
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Moving Your Money 

  1. If interest rates on CD’s and money markets are less than 2%, and inflatin is 3%, why would you put your money there?
  2. If the market is volatile and you can lose your hard earned cash, why would you invest your money there?
  3. If bonds and gold are no more predictable than other commodities, why would you put money there?
  4. If the Government has control, and can change the rules for your IRA, why would you invest there?
Where should you put your money? It’s not a bad idea to own some or all of the above mentioned financial vehicles, but ONLY after you have protected yourself from loss, created an emergency plan and have excess capital to invest.

Now that you have the basics, there is another advanced concept that you may want to learn. The Infinite Banking Concept™ recognizes that we have a need for finance throughout our lifetime. By utilizing this concept, and the power of dividend-paying whole-life insurance, you can recapture the interest that you are now paying to banks and financial institutions. Anytime you can eliminate interest that you pay to others, and direct that same market rate of interest to an entity you own and control, you will have improved your capacity to create wealth. Other benefits may include tax advantages, risk reduction, protection from creditors, disability and death protection.  

In order to make money like the banks do, you need to think like they do… You need to learn and understand banking. You probably already know how to make money with your labors, you just need to understand how your money is flowing and capitalize your own system.

If you do your research you will learn that life insurance has been around for hundreds of years, before the IRS and before the Federal Reserve. Life insurance companies, unlike other businesses, are looking further down the road than the next 5 or 10 years. They are planning for a minimum of 100 years. They have survived depressions, bailouts and crashes.

Mutual life insurance companies are predictable and most have been consistently paying a dividend to policyholders for more than 100 years. Whole life insurance gets BETTER over time. Every policyholder gets the benefit of the same crediting rate, regardless if you buy this year or if you bought it 20 years ago. But, beware of imposters. Universal life, variable life and indexed universal life policies, primarily sold by stock based insurance companies, do not have the same crediting rates, and can have other hazards.

You can take the first steps to securing your financial future today.

Find yourself an agent that practices Infinite Banking: http://infinitebanking.org/links/usagents.php

Read the book, Becoming Your Own Banker™, and do your research, you’ll be glad you did.

Until next time,
Barry Page, RFC
Infinite Banking Think Tank Member
http://www.legacyinsuranceagency.com/

Barry Page is recognized as a leading expert on life insurance and private banking. He is a Registered Financial Consultant and independent life insurance agent who helps clients with tax advantaged investment alternatives. He specializes in showing families how to protect their assets, income and lives utilizing a macro-financial approach to planning.

He has created a service that caters to families and business owners that are frustrated with the risks involved with the stock market, but still want competitive returns. His specialized knowledge and services help consumers find alternatives to traditional investing and the stock market that not only safely protect their savings, but also provide tax advantages.
His business is based in Ocean Springs, MS and he services clients throughout the Southeast. He can be reached here: http://legacyinsuranceagency.com/contact.html

It’s Your Money – Protect it or Perish!

Your lifetime of hard work, and your family are in jeopardy. The time is now to stand up for your rights as a citizen and protect your faith, family and finances – or perish. Educate yourself on the true history of our country and expand your knowledge of money so you can live a life free from tyranny.

Today our liberty is being threatened because of the power of government. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and The Federal Reserve (Fed), ironically created the same year (1913), are seizing land, assets and devaluing our dollar. Your money is being confiscated to fund illegal operations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

It saddens me to have to tell you these things – I apologize for being straightforward… But my mission is to spread the gospel… about God’s love and about your money… to reveal the facts and the truth.

The United States became what we are because of faith, family and free enterprise. A hundred years ago we were free people, with less government regulation and taxes than the rest of the world. We owned land, produced our own goods, and we believed in Christ, family and our constitution.

God warned us in the Bible of the dangers of government and greed:

“While they promise them LIBERTY, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” 2PE 2:19

“My people are destroyed for LACK OF KNOWLEDGE: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” HO 4:6

“For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person PERISH, and leave their wealth to others.” PS 49:10

“The good man is PERISHed out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.” MIC 7:2

Our founding fathers also warned us:

“I am sure there never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our Revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God who is alone able to protect them.” ~George Washington

“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” ~Thomas Jefferson

“God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: This is my country.” ~Ben Franklin

As a United States Citizen you should be outraged at what is happening to your country. Right before our eyes, history is being rewritten and our freedoms are being stolen from us by amendments to our beloved constitution. Hardly a day goes by when Congress is not adding, deleting or changing this cherished model for our independence.

Currently, Congress is debating whether or not to pass legislation that would alter the powers of the Federal Reserve. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), has worked tirelessly in his “Audit the Fed” bill HR 1207 and S 604. The Fed and the Obama administration are fighting this bill to retain power and control of our money.

The bill was gathering momentum until Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) caved in and sold-out under pressure by the Federal Reserve and the Obama Administration, and a new bill is now being circulated. The new version of the bill will likely give the Fed even more power, exempting monetary policy decisions, discounting window operations, and agreements with foreign central banks from Government Accounting Office (GAO) audits.

“The current fiscal policy is unsustainable. We are heading to a future where we’ll have to double federal taxes or cut federal spending by 60%.” ~David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States GAO

David Walker served under both Democratic and Republican administrations. He isn’t trying to get elected he’s taking an honest approach to fiscal policies and economics…

David Walker on CNN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2QE137fRvs

Our markets are in turmoil and volatility is at an all time high. Blame is being thrown around another bailout is on the horizon. This time it is Greece and the U.S. Taxpayers will fund a major portion of the Greek bailout. The Federal Reserve provides 20% of the money for the IMF, and they are the entity that will lend the money. The bailout will be used to pay back the banks that made unwise loans to Greece previously, so they will be saved while taxpayers absorb the losses. Read more here: http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-guess-whos-paying-for-that-greece-bailout-thats-right-you-2010-5

Most people’s impression of the Fed is that they control the money supply and protect us from recessions and depressions through monetary policy, Hogwash!
The Fed is a cartel, originally created by wealthy bankers. G. Edward Griffin, author of the classic book, ‘The Creature From Jekyll Island’ outlines how and why the Fed was created in his free, downloadable recording found here: http://legacyinsuranceagency.com/creature.html

“The Federal Reserve is the chief culprit behind the economic crisis. Its unchecked power to create unlimited amounts of money out of thin air brought us the boom and bust cycle and caused one financial bubble after another. Since the Fed’s creation in 1913 the dollar has lost more than 96% of its value, and by recklessly inflating the money supply the Fed continues to distort interest rates and intentionally erode the value of the dollar.” http://www.ronpaul.com/

“Economic affairs cannot be kept going by magistrates and policemen.” ~Ludwig von Mises

A free market economy, as followers of Austrian Economics believe, is the answer to many of America’s financial problems. On the other hand, mainstream economists and followers of the Keynesian model, believe that government should control monetary supply through regulation, deposit insurance and a flexible, fiat currency.

The Austrian Theory of economics is taught and practiced at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. Lew Rockwell, notable author and libertarian activist, founded the Mises Institute. He also publishes the blog, http://www.lewrockwell.com/ , where he warns of the threats of socialism, among other things.

“Workers and consumers are, of course, identical.” ~Ludwig von Mises

Read more at The Quotable Mises: http://mises.org/quotes.aspx

What does all of this have to do with you, your family and your money? You are the engine that drives government. Government feeds off of the people. They exist because of our money, derived from taxes.

How can we protect ourselves? By standing up to big government and educating ourselves on economic policy. Contact your representatives and let them know how you feel. Vote and be heard.

Why should you be concerned? Your freedom depends on it, “Use it or lose it.” Your children and grandchildren will be faced with debt beyond their control and will be forever enslaved to foreign governments and elite bankers.

On December 16th, 1773, people just like you and me, “radicals” from Boston, Massachusetts, formed the Sons of Liberty. They boarded three East India Company ships in Boston Harbor and threw 342 chests of tea into the water. This event was in protest of oppressive British taxation and tyrannical rule. It became known as the Boston Tea Party and paved the way towards our country’s independence.

Today we are faced with similar circumstances. If we do nothing and do not learn from history, we are destined for failure. Money creates power, and unfortunately, this power in the wrong hands can destroy our nation.

Money and banking are essential in our society, however, when we depend on the government and financial institutions for money, we become slaves to their system. Our knowledge of how these systems work will protect us from their bondage and increase our ability to achieve financial success.

Saving money is what built this country. In recent times we have been led to believe that “investing” in uncertain markets and with banks is the key to prosperity, when in fact this is part of the problem.

You can protect your family and your wealth by creating a system of finance that is independent of traditional banking models. Using a financial tool that out dates the Fed and the IRS, you can virtually become your own banker. This tool is called dividend paying, whole-life insurance. You may have been told by my media entertainers, parading as financial gurus, that whole-life insurance is a bad investment, they are wrong.

Life insurance is the only financial instrument that can guarantee that what you want to happen, will happen. While stock markets have plunged, owners of this centuries old financial tool have prospered. And, when properly administered, it can be used to create your own privatized family banking system that can live on for generations. You can learn more about private banking here: https://bankforlife.wordpress.com/

NOW is the time to ACT while you have time.

Until next time, Protect Your Freedoms!
Barry Page, RFC

Barry Page is recognized as a leading expert on life insurance and private banking. He is a Registered Financial Consultant and independent insurance agent who helps clients with tax advantaged investment alternatives. He specializes in showing families how to protect their assets, income and lives utilizing a macro-financial approach to planning.

He has created a service that caters to families and business owners that frustrated with the risks involved with the stock market, but still want competitive returns. His specialized knowledge and services help consumers find alternatives to traditional investing and the stock market that not only safely protect their savings, but also provide tax advantages.

His business is based in Ocean Springs, MS and he services clients throughout the Southeast. He can be reached here: http://legacyinsuranceagency.com/contact.html

How To Buy Whole Life Insurance

Discover The Benefits of Cash Value Dividend Paying Whole Life Insurance

Once you learn how to buy whole life insurance, and truly understand how it works, you can use the cash value to finance everything you buy. This requires discipline though and should only be used with the aid of an experienced agent.

All life insurance policies pay a claim when you die, but whole life can provide many economic benefits while you’re alive. If the policy is set-up correctly when you initially make the purchase, you can use it much like any other financial account as a place for your money to reside. The important step is to buy cash value, dividend paying whole-life insurance from a mutual company.

There are but a few mutual companies left today. Most of the life insurance companies have demutualized and become stock based companies. This means their obligation is to their stockholders. Mutual companies have an obligation to their policyholders. To name a few, MassMutual, Guardian, Northwestern Mutual and New York Life. There are more, but those are the major players that have been around for a while.

Before we get started on how to buy whole life insurance, let’s take a look at how the policy works. With a Whole Life Insurance Policy the premiums remain fixed for the life of the policy. A portion of the premium is used to purchase and accumulate a guaranteed cash value thus adding a savings element. You can purchase paid up additional insurance as well to increase this cash value. Dividends, which are not guaranteed, may also increase policy cash value. Provided that premiums are paid as specified in the policy, the policy remains in force during the insured’s entire lifetime.

The part of your premium that goes into a cash reserve and accumulates as cash value is tax-deferred and can be tax-free if accessed correctly. Generally you can access this cash value at any time, for any reason (Imagine doing that at your bank without a lengthy application and credit report). The reasons could be many including financing a car, a hardship, college, marriage, retirement or critical illness.

While providing many benefits of its own, whole life insurance also makes your other assets stronger. By providing protection, a hedge against inflation and significant tax benefits. With permanent life insurance in place at retirement the owner of the policy can spend down all of his assets if needed without fear of running out of money.

Some of the many benefits of owning whole life insurance:

  • Tax Deferred
  • Tax Free *
  • Estate Tax Free *
  • Unlimited Contributions *
  • Competitive Return On Investment
  • Guarantee
  • Creditor Protection *
  • Unlimited Investment Options
  • Collateral
  • Liquid, Use and Control
  • Disability Waiver *

*Benefits may vary based on your situation. All benefits should be examined by an experienced agent and may not work in all cases.

Before you purchase whole life insurance, follow these steps:

  1. Interview and find an agent that represents a mutual life insurance company. Ask the agents how much life insurance they own, and how much is whole life (Pay close attention to see if they mention “human life value” or “economic value”.
  2. Once you find an agent and decide on a mutual company, decide how much life insurance you want. You will find this is different than what you may have been told to buy, or how much you need.
  3. You may want to own some term insurance to help you achieve your human life value. If the term is from a mutual company, it is usually convertible to whole life at a later time.
  4. After you decide how much you want you can then determine how to fund the policy. Your agent should help you here, that’s what he gets paid to do. Factors will include how long you want to fund the policy and how you foresee yourself using the policy in the future.
  5. A few important riders you should look for include the waiver of premium, and paid-up-additions rider. The waiver will protect you in the event of your disability and the PUA will allow you to overfund the policy as you want to help grow your cash value.

Follow these steps and buy whole life insurance while you are young and healthy. If you have health issues, then you can buy it on your spouse, children or loved ones and you can retain ownership. Whole life insurance can provide many benefits while you are alive and allow you to pass on a legacy of financial independence to your heirs.

Enjoy Life Today, Leave a Legacy for Tomorrow sm,
Barry Page

Barry Page is an experienced life insurance agent. He can be reached at: http://www.legacyinsuranceagency.com/