April 2017 KEEPING IN TOUCH
“My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest”. —Warren Buffett
Most people are so focused in putting money into their 401k plan or building their retirement account that they forget they will need to draw it down someday. This is a critical item people do not understand. Just ask yourself what your quality of life will be as a result of gambling money during your working years in an IRA or 401k. I will tell you in advance, there is no way for you to know. Unless you have millions of dollars in a safe account under personal control, and you are expert at investing, the likelihood you can retire for much more than a year or two using a qualified plan is small.
The Need for a Plan
“The man on the top the mountain didn’t fall there”. —Vince Lombardi
Think about that. To just float through life without real goals or real plans on how to accomplish those goals, most people start nowhere and end up nowhere. It is absolutely necessary to have a goal, a strategy to accomplish the goal, and to reach out for help to those who have the expertise, experience, and the ability to help you achieve those goals more effectively.
Building a Foundation
Make savings automatic. I have seen this principle in action for many years. Most individuals don’t know, that during the entire history of America, the records indicate no individual has ever succeeded in saving a $100.00 per month for a ten year period without fail in a regular bank. There are ways that this can be accomplished. Using an insurance contract is a single example successfully used by millions of ordinary Americans. In past times, before our money supply was detached form the gold standard, most people saved their money using insurance contracts instead of banks. In this way, they knew their money was safe, and freely available as needed. In addition, they created a death benefit to protect themselves and their families against potentially devastating events. They also knew for certain they would have a guaranteed lifetime income. The guesswork was removed from the picture.
A Guide for Successful Gamblers
“You find the bargains at the point of maximum pessimism”. —John Templeton
John Templeton made a great fortune at the depths of the great depression. He saved up money and borrowed money and put $100.00 into every single stock in the market valued at a dollar or less at that time. Prices were historically low. I understand that every stock he bought, with the exception of two, multiplied many times over once the recovery took place. He eventually became an instant multi-millionaire as a result. Accumulating money and then waiting for a real opportunity is the key.
I once spoke with a lady who had only $1,000.00 to her name. Her question was, “How can I invest $1,000.00 to provide myself a lifetime income?” She was 67 at the time and her husband was 71. You can understand that her thinking was entirely upside down.
Take The Bull By The Horns
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity”.—Amelia Earhart
I recognized a long time ago that many people will never act on the information they are given. This could be because of timidity, or fear, or confusion over choices. None the less, these people will fail unless they take action. That is the main reason why I try to help people understand the strength and weaknesses of all the choices that appeal to them along with the additional options I bring to the table. People who then fail to make a decision will not improve their circumstances over many years into the future. I‘ve seen it over and over again.
Execution will trump knowledge every day of the week. This is a further confirmation of the need to act.
The problem is many people do not believe the future is real. I personally run into this very often with intelligent people in their 20’s and 30’s. They have the advantage of a long timeframe when compound interest and profitable opportunities could bring them a small fortune. They seldom act. They seem to assume the future will take care of itself. As a result, they will wait to look for help until their mid 50’s or 60’s. They will be at the top of their game. They will know who they are and what they want to accomplish. Typically, they have no assets of significance. This will be their new starting point. It is a joy to me when people have the discipline to begin early and operate according to their plans and goals. As rare as it is, it is a wonderful thing to participate in such success. I personally, am interested in being a party to success, not a party to failure.
If we feel we are not likely to succeed at a task, we tend to avoid it. You may recognize this tendency in your life, as I do in mine, I will often refuse to attempt something when I have a strong feeling I will fail. There is nothing wrong with that. Rather, it is important to look for opportunities where we believe we can succeed. Once we find such opportunities we need to work diligently to accomplish them.
I love this quote because it is absolutely true. Quite a number of my clients have hearts of gold. They want to reach out to help people in need. What they often do not understand, is they can help other people much more if they have sufficient funds themselves. Having weak finances limits their ability to help others.
“None would have remembered the good Samaritan if he only good intentions. He had money as well”. –Margaret Thatcher