Gas prices and the middle class

I have noticed lately it seems gas is most expensive in Ritzville and in the Hood. Life seems to be the same way – the rich and the poor stimulate the economy. Rather ..the rich and the poor are the economy, or so it seems. And the middle class always seems to find a way to separate themselves from it just a simple observation today..

Okay I’m not saying the middle class are not actuall part of the economy honestly that would be foolish. I’m just saying it seems that the rich buy the asset that the poor spend money on which are liabilities to the poor. The middle-class, the real middle-class, which is greatly shrinking and for the reasons I am talking about here(that and they are at or approaching retirement), stash their cash and avoid paying interest. In an economy that is entirely built on debt, very little is contributed financially outside of the fractional reserve dollars that they create by holding their money in savings. However, the real value created by these people is usually very high when you look at the quality of workmanship they produce in the small business sector. The rich and the government however beat the hell out of them. We have been seeing this especially in recent years with this bloodbath of the middle class.

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What Drives the Global Economy?

Written By: Joshua Gayman

The Financial Times has been running a series this month entitled Capitalism In Crisis. When reading this story, it is apparent just how far we are from fixing this global economic crisis. As Richard Duncan points out in his latest post titled This is not a Crisis of Capitalism, “(it’s) not because of the insights contained in the articles, but because the entire premise of the series is completely wrong. This is not a crisis of Capitalism.”

Capitalism is an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit. More specifically, Capitalism is where the private sector drives production by accumulating capital and investing back into the system. With true Capitalism, the government’s role is very small.

The truth is that the United States has not been Capitalistic for decades. Our federal government spends 25% of the money in our economy and the central bank AKA “The Fed” creates the money out of thin air and manipulates it’s value. Thus, our economy is no longer driven by capital accumulation and investment like before. So if it’s not capital accumulation and investment that are driving the economy, what is it you ask? The answer is DEBT.

Credit creation and consumption(using stuff) have now become the dominant forces driving economic growth. Thus, we no longer live in a Capitalistic economy. 

Capitalism was a phenomenon of the 19th century, one that did not survive past the 1st World War. WWI destroyed the standard upon which Capitalism was built. This standard was the gold standard, and once it was gone, central banks and governments gained near-total control over economic production.

The ENORMOUS expansion of government debt that was used to fund WWI created a credit bubble that we know refer to as “the Roaring Twenties.” This bubble of the Roaring Twenties soon popped and became the Great Depression of the 1930s once the debt was too big to repay.

WW2 was no different, with again complete government control over the economy. In the coming decades after, government spending surged on social programs and military expansion. By the 1960s, the government was using Keynesian tools to control monetary policy and the rate of economic growth. In 1971, President Nixon removed the dollar from the gold standard, which meant that dollars were no longer backed by gold. This gave way to a HUGE explosion of a fiat currency supply(money backed by nothing but the faith the people have in their government’s currency). This expansion in the money supply transformed our world and gave way to the biggest economic boom in human history.

In 1964, the total of all credit in the United States hit $1 Trillion. By 2010, the credit supply had expanded 50 times to $50 Trillion(Source: Richard Duncan). This new found money, or credit, created enormous wealth, profits, jobs, and tax revenues, and ultimately brought on a new age of a global economy. As long as credit keeps expanding, prosperity increases. Credit has replaced Capital as the key driver of the economy.

The economic crisis of 2008 had nothing to do with Capitalism. The crisis of 2008 and that we are still facing today stems from issues with credit creation. Because for what caused the biggest boom(or bubble) in human history, is a debt that must be repaid(unlike Capital). The debt that was taken on which drove the expansion of the last 40 years cannot be repaid, hence the crisis. Even more disturbing, is that now a large percentage of the population is now not credit worthy. This makes further credit expansion nearly impossible. And under this credit-ran economy we now live under, when the credit doesn’t expand, the growth slows, until eventually, the music stops altogether.

This 40 year period of credit expansion birthed a new era in the global economy. The United States has been de-industrialized as a result of being able to buy products from low wage countries on credit. As Industry got smaller in the US, the Finance sector became the dominant sector of the US economy. But the music has slowed down dramatically in the Finance sector as well, now that Americans can’t bear any additional debt. Now that we are weak in industry and in way too much debt, it is a growing problem for the United States to be able to act as the driver of the global economy.

But it’s not just the US who’s economy is no longer capable of working successfully. It’s also the economies of all the countries, such as China, that have seen growth as a result of strong manufacturing and export. This is another global imbalance yet to correct.

Truth is, at least to a large extent, the government now manages our nation’s economy. The US’ demand is still the most important factor to economic growth to the global economy. The world NEEDS us to buy their stuff! But without credit, we can’t!

Now, the actions of other governments and government-related institutions(IE: the European Union) must be carefully monitored. Point in case, the news 2 months ago by the European Central Bank(Europe’s Fed) that they would lend Euros($630 billion worth) to European banks for up to 3 years at low interest rates, is the reason that global stock markets have been gaining over the past 6 weeks. The stock market is also at a high since the 2008 crisis, following news from the Federal Reserve that they would keep interest rates at near zero level through 2014.

Global markets have came back sharply not because of the success of the intervention from the Central Banks itself, but because investors are realizing that more government-directed interventions will come when necessary to prevent future crises.

It is flat out sad that the global economy depends on government intervention. This topic leads to a very controversial political subject regarding smaller or bigger government. Once side argues for bigger government to avert the crisis and the other wants small government with less regulation to get us out of the mess. The reality is, unless we can come together to find a true solution to our monetary problem, both sides will get slaughtered as the biggest bubble in human history pops and credit stops, wiping out the America middle class and taking the benefits with it that we have seen as a by-product of our global economic status.

Don’t get me wrong, market forces still have an important impact in the economy. My point is that now, more often than not, it is government or central bank’s action that has so much influence on market forces that it becomes a very grey area as to where the government influence stops and the market influence itself begins. Supply and Demand still play the key role in setting value. It’s just that today, governments have an enormous role in influencing both. It is imperative that we recognize this, and understand that this is not Capitalism. We must no longer worry about fixing the crisis with Capitalism but instead shift our attention to the crisis in the current economic system that exists in this global economy, a system of debt. The only question we should be asking is this, “Do we try to fix the current debt system, or do we need a better system? Do we need to abolish the current system and go back to the former phenomenon that was a true Capitalistic economy?” I woud say this, either way, one must understand what is going on in the global economy if he(or she) wants to join the rich, as opposed to be forced into the poor, as the middle class is wiped out.

 

Are You Living On Financial Edge?

             Are You Living on the Edge without a Financial Education?

Posted on: Tuesday, January 24, 2012|Written by: Robert Kiyosaki

When I was a young boy, the path to retirement was simpler. For the most part, if you saved your money regularly, paid your mortgage off, and lived modestly, you could retire well. This was partly because inflation was low since the dollar was pegged to gold and also because most employees could expect a company pension and health benefits until the day they died. It did not take much intelligence to have a secure, financial future.

Today, we live in a world that requires an extremely high, financial intelligence to retire well.

It is no longer enough to save money, as higher inflation and taxes wipe out your earnings. You can’t rely on a company pension because most companies don’t offer one. Instead, it is expected that you contribute to a 401(k) plan that may or may not provide you a secure retirement and that is simply a glorified, tax-deferred savings account that benefits the rich, not you.

These changes are because of two actions by the U.S. government that I’ve written extensively about, most notably in my book Conspiracy of the Rich. In 1971, Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard, making the dollar a currency instead of money. And in 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was passed, paving the way for 401(k) plans, forcing uneducated workers into the stock market, and creating the financial services industry.

It’s taken about three decades, but we’re seeing the devastating effects of those actions today as individuals and countries are living on the edge of financial disaster.

On an individual level, take for instance a young friend of mine’s father whose dad worked his whole life in an old-world industrial plant. Every time my friend talked with his dad, his dad would mention how long it was until his retirement, where he’d collect a pension and health benefits and enjoy golf a few times a week and sports on TV. There were no savings to speak of, some stock options decimated by the economic downturn, much debt, and no other plan. Unfortunately, only a few months before my friend’s dad hit the minimum retirement age, the plant went for sale, found no buyers, and closed. Now he, along with hundreds of others at that plant, cannot find a new job, have no savings, and are looking at a very insecure, financial future. For him, it may be too late.

On a national level, look at the Euro Zone. According to The Wall Street Journal, “The global economy faces a depression-era collapse in demand if Europe doesn’t quickly act to dramatically boost the size of its debt-crisis firewall, implement pro-growth policies and further integrate the euro zone, the head of the International Monetary Fund warned Monday.”

As IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde remarked over the weekend, the Euro Zone’s efforts to stymie debt problems “is about avoiding a 1930s moment, in which inaction, insularity, and rigid ideology combine to cause a collapse in global demand… A moment, ultimately, leading to a downward spiral that could engulf the entire world.” If Europe collapses, the world goes down with it — and the jury is still out on what will happen. But the world’s financial experts are sending out the warning cry.

As you read these stories above, they probably sound vaguely familiar, have little emotional impact on you, and you may have even skipped over them.

Why?

These stories echo stories that have been shared for many years now. The news is filled with stories of people living in countries on the edge of financial collapse, and then buffered by good news here and there to keep us all from falling into complete despair.

The reality is that we have become used to living on the edge, and we’re forgetting what it means to live comfortably inland. This is not all bad, if you have the right mindset.

Living on the Edge Requires a Financial Education

Living on the edge requires alertness and intelligence, you cannot give up or be lulled or else you will fall. Each step must be calculated and taken carefully, but confidently, to get to safety. The only other option is to do nothing and hope someone will save you —which is akin to suicide.

It’s for times like these that the Rich Dad Company was formed. This website, our books and DVDs, our coaching, and financial education all exist to help equip you for the perils of our modern economy so that you can be sure to have the knowledge and practical application required to survive and thrive while others fail and fall.

For many, there is no choice about living on the edge. The die has been cast for us by people much more powerful and influential than us. But we can control our actions on the edge. It’s my hope you’ll step forward confidently and smartly, equipped with as much financial knowledge and courage as you can gain and muster. It sure beats the alternative.

To increase your financial education now, click here to find out about our free resources and online community.

The First Step to Creating a Wealth Strategy

“I think it’s because many people think that their wealth vision is simply to have lots and lots of money, so defining it is a waste of time.”  

Where Will Your Wealth Take You?
Most people dream about being wealthy or play the lottery in hopes of winning millions, but few people actually have a strategy to achieve their dreams of wealth.

I hear many reasons why someone doesn’t have a wealth strategy:

– They don’t really know what a wealth strategy is.
– They don’t know how to get started.
– They think they need to wait to get started because they don’t have any money.
– They think they need to get out of debt before starting their wealth strategy.

A wealth strategy is a plan of action intended to achieve specific wealth goals.

The fact is, everyone needs a wealth strategy, regardless of goals, age, wealth, income or debt.

The First Step to Creating a Wealth Strategy
The first step to creating a successful wealth strategy is knowing where you are going. I call this Your Wealth Vision.

Your wealth vision is your picture of your ultimate lifestyle. Where do you live? How do you spend your time? What are the possibilities?

Now, we can all close our eyes for a few seconds and imagine the lifestyle of our dreams. But to truly define your wealth vision means being very detailed and specific.

For example, in just a few seconds time, we may imagine our ultimate lifestyle to include traveling. In those few seconds, we may imagine the excitement that goes with traveling, and a snapshot of a place we’d like to go, but the details probably aren’t more specific than that.

This is much different than someone who takes the time to specifically define how they see traveling in their wealth vision. For example,

– How often will they travel?
– Who will they travel with?
– Where will they travel to?
– How long will each trip be?
– Will they fly coach or first class?
– Will they stay at a hotel, rent a home or buy a home?
– What activities will do they do when they travel?

The more detailed and specific the wealth vision, the more likely it is to be reached.

Avoid This Mistake When Creating Your Wealth Strategy
Many people skip this first step.

I think it’s because many people think that their wealth vision is simply to have lots and lots of money, so defining it is a waste of time.

Plus, they are eager to move on to the next step. But, this first step is critical because you can’t get to where you’re going if you don’t know where it is you’re headed.

Once your wealth vision is defined, key pieces of your wealth strategy can come together.

For example, when you know your wealth vision, you can determine your target cash flow and your target net worth. These targets can be used to develop investment criteria so your investments work toward your wealth vision and not against it.

Your Wealth Vision
Really think about your wealth vision and the specific details. Then, put it in writing. This is the first step I always take with any wealth strategy I create.
                                                                                                                                            
Tom Wheelwright

FOCUS – “follow one course until successful!”

This is one of the greatest reads in a while! This post is a short summary of one of the chapter’s covered in Robert Kiyosaki’s and Donald Trump’s latest book, “Midas Touch.” I strongly recommend you pick up the book if you want to be a business owner or entrepreneur on any level. I love what he has to say about the information age that we all live in! – Joshua Gamen

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Essential Qualities of an Entrepreneur: F.O.C.U.S.

I recently released my newest book, The Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich and Others Don’t, with my good friend, Donald Trump. This is a book on entrepreneurship for entrepreneurs—something both Donald and I are extremely passionate about.

The reason Donald and I wrote this book is because we’ve learned the hard way that there are five, essential qualities entrepreneurs need to have in order to succeed. These qualities aren’t a guarantee for success, but not having them is a guarantee for failure. And we want you to succeed.

So, over the next few weeks, I’ll briefly share some thoughts on each quality. For more on each quality, I encourage you to purchase a copy of Midas Touch.

Last week, I wrote on the number one essential quality of an entrepreneur—strength of character. This week, I’m writing on essential quality #2—F.O.C.U.S.

Today, we live in a world of instant gratification.

When I was a kid, we had only a handful of channels on the television. If you wanted to know something, you had to go to the library and spend some time to look it up. If you wanted to know how someone was doing, you had to write them a letter – or if you had the money, call them long distance. And if you needed directions, you had to stop at a gas station to ask.

The world has changed since then. Now, there are thousands of channels on TV and most people can’t stay on one for more than a few minutes. If you want to know something, you look it up on Wikipedia in seconds through your computer or phone. If you want to know how all your friends are doing, you spend a few minutes on Facebook. If you want to talk to them, you text them – or six or seven of them – right away and all day long. And if you want directions, you hit a little map button on your phone.

This instant gratification is a result of living in the Information Age, which is a double-edged sword because living in the Information Age gives more people more opportunity than ever in history to become rich, but it also makes it harder to become rich because we’re all suffering from ADD.

Today, we live in a world that finds it hard to focus.

Because there is so much information at our finger tips, our minds, especially young people’s minds, are conditioned to move from one stimuli to the next. It is rare these days to focus on one thing for a sustained period of time.

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, however, you have to learn to F.O.C.U.S. Simply, this means Following One Course of action Until Successful. This takes time and effort – and, as we talked about last week, strength of character.

For many entrepreneurs, it takes years to master a business sector or asset class. It takes the dedication of studying hard, building your financial education, cultivating relationships, and learning from mistakes. And during those years, you’re looking at many long days, putting in lots of hours for little-to-no pay.

The difference between wannabe entrepreneurs and successful ones = F.O.C.U.S.

At the end of the day, the difference between a successful entrepreneur and a wannabe entrepreneur is F.O.C.U.S. Many wannabe entrepreneurs are looking to get rich quick. So, when one avenue doesn’t pan out, they move onto the next. The problem is they are never successful because they never put in the time and effort required to be so.

Rich Dad has never been about getting rich quick.

We’ve always been about a lifelong journey of financial education.

No one is born an entrepreneur. You become an entrepreneur over many years of learning, hard work, and F.O.C.U.S.

 

Written by: Robert “Rich Dad” Kiyosaki

Bailout: The name of the game

It is absolutely madness. Yesterday was a huge injection of dollars into the global financial system by central banks. It seems fiat currencies are swirling the drain now.. Look for precious metals to surge again and listen for new talk of a one world currency..It’s only a matter of time. However, as Robert says, “The people who understand that they must increase their financial education, save themselves and not rely on the rich, or the government, survive and thrive in times of crisis”

So increase your financial education which will lead to increase in cash flow. Rely on God and your faith, not the rich or the government, and thrive in these times of oppertunity! – Joshua Gamen

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In my book, Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money, I write that bailouts are the name of the game. This means that the ultra rich will never suffer like the middle class and poor do in financial crisis. The institutions that are deemed “too big to fail” will always be bailed out. This also means that sometimes big institutions prefer financial crisis because they know they will be bailed out, and they also know they can make a lot of money from those bailouts.

This week, a bombshell hit on the lending practices of the Federal Reserve to the largest banks in the world during the peak of the financial crisis. As Bloomberg reports in an article entitled, “Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks Undisclosed $13B,”

“The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he ’wasn’t aware of the magnitude.’ It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.”

Additionally,

“The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.”

Big gets bigger.

Everyone knew that the name of the game is bailouts for institutions that are too big to fail, and while news agencies have been talking about the gargantuan $7.7 billion in commitments by the Fed to save the economy, the details released this week through the Freedom of Information Act show what we’ve known all along – the rich will say anything to protect their ass-ets and build their balance sheets.

For instance, in November of 2008, Bank of America’s CEO, Kenneth Lewis said that his bank was “one of the strongest and most stable banks in the world.” On that same day, Bank of America owed $86 billion to the Federal Reserve in emergency loan money.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, told his shareholders in 2010 that he only borrowed from the Fed to encourage others to borrow from the Fed. In reality, the bank borrowed twice its cash holdings from the Fed, and on one day in February 2009, borrowed a colossal $48 billion – one year after the creation of the Fed’s emergency lending program.

All in all, the big six banks comprised of JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley accounted for 63 percent of all daily average lending by the Fed to banks and financial institutions, receiving over $160 billion in TARP funds and borrowing around $460 billion from the Fed.

During that time, “Total assets held by the six biggest U.S. banks increased 39 percent to $9.5 trillion on Sept. 30, 2011, from $6.8 trillion on the same day in 2006, according to Fed data.”

Additionally, the Fed helped prop up both Bear Sterns and Wachovia with emergency loans as they were being gobbled up by JPMorgan and Wells Fargo respectively. The Fed transferred $50 billion in secret loans to Wachovia to prevent financial collapse until Wells Fargo could seal the deal, and they sent $30 billion in secret loans to Bear Sterns so that JPMorgan could wrap up that deal—all while providing $29 billion in financing to JPMorgan to fund the deal.

Essentially, the Fed protected the bigger banks and helped them grow even bigger by keeping brain-dead banks on financial life support long enough to graft them into the bodies of bigger financial institutions like a financial Frankenstein.

This was all done in secret, and without the knowledge of the American people and the Congress.

The safety net.

This type of behavior is reckless because it creates a false safety net. The big banks and the ultra rich know they will be bailed out and so they take even greater risks, putting the economy at even greater risk, and playing games with your money.

As Professor Oliver Williamson says, “The banks that were too big got even bigger, and the problems that we had to begin with are magnified in the process. The big banks have incentives to take risks they wouldn’t take if they didn’t have government support. It’s a serious burden on the rest of the economy.”

Of course, this should come as no surprise, as the Fed doesn’t exist to protect the middle class and the poor. Rather, it exists to protect banks and the ultra rich. Something they’ve shown they can do well, efficiently, and without government knowledge or intervention.

Learn the rules of the rich with a financial education

All this is to show what I’ve been saying for many years, you can’t rely on the government to save you, and your definitely can’t rely on the Fed. The government doesn’t even know what’s going on in our financial policy and the Fed hides those details in order to help their friends on Wall Street…after all, the people who run the Fed used to work there, and probably will again someday. You don’t bite the hand that feeds.

If you want to avoid getting wiped out by the next financial crisis, you must understand the rules of the rich and play by those rules. With a new presidential election heating up this year, I’m sure you’ll hear many calls for hope and change on both sides. Many people will believe that their candidate will make a difference and that this will be the time things will change.

The reality is that nothing has changed in decades. The rich take care of the rich and grow richer. The poor and the middle class grow poorer. And the people who understand that they must increase their financial education, save themselves and not rely on the rich, or the government, survive and thrive in times of crisis.

Take charge of your financial future so that you can live large when hard times come.

Written by: Robert Kiyosaki

BS: “The Recession is Over.”

By Joshua Gamen

Sure. I recall a lot of hype last summer that the real estate market had hit bottom too.. Try telling that it has hit bottom to the millions of Americans who have lost their home to foreclosure this year. Or to their neighbors, who continue to throw their money at their sinking ship home while the foreclosures around them sink it’s value, and any hope for a return in their lifetime.

Who is the recession over for? The millions of unemployed people? The business owners who don’t have any customers? The guy trying to sell his home? The elderly lady trying to retire? The young adult trying to start his business? TELL ME, WHO IS THE FREAKING RECESSION OVER FOR?!

Let’s look at housing numbers:

  • Almost $6 trillion in housing wealth has been lost since 2005
  • Home values have dropped 30 percent
  • Existing home sales dropped 27 percent over the previous month
  • Housing inventories stand at 12.5 months(some part of the country, 24-36 months), over twice what’s considered healthy

What about Income, or Unemployment?

  • The unemployment rate is officially at 9.6%. It is a lot higher unofficially, because many unemployed Americans have been without a job for too long for the government to consider counting them.
  • Americans with jobs have seen their income fall over 4% between ’07-’09, and the % of Americans living BELOW the poverty level rose to 14.3%!
  • The gap is widening largely between the rich and the poor. Furthermore, the gap between the rich and the middle class is growing rapidly, as is the pace.(The top 20% of households now account for over 50% of all pre-tax income in the country = bye bye middle class.)

To quote the great educator/businessman/investor, Robert Kiyosaki:

“Maybe when the NBER says the recession is over, they mean it’s over for the ultra-rich. After all, many corporations are now posting better than expected earnings reports and balance sheets are getting healthier. For instance, FedEx recently announced that their earnings more than doubled. They also announced that they’re firing 1,700 people. Why? I believe it’s because they know what you already know, the recession may be “officially” over—but it’s not really over. Is the recession over for housing? Not according to the numbers. Thanks to high unemployment, new home orders are down 15 percent over last year, foreclosures are still rising, and pricing is not recovering. People are predicting that the housing inventory, which is more than double healthy levels, will take up to three years to work through. There will be no recovery until that happens.”

MORE COMING!

I wish I could post some stats to show that the market is taking a positive direction, but that would be covering up the truth with illusions. There are plenty of illusions out there to hide behind, but let’s be real..

Unemployment is still rising, and without jobs, nothing can get done. Business owners can’t provide jobs if they don’t have customers. And there aren’t any customers if there isn’t any money to spend. Sure, more money can be printed, but it will only become worth less as they print more and more, and they are..

MASSIVE government printing of US Currency. I call it currency, because it is just that-it’s not money! In 1971 President Nixon took the US off of the gold standard, meaning that the dollar was no longer attached to anything of value. It is simply a piece of paper that is backed by the good faith of the citizens of the United States.(See US dollar bill) They can print as much of this paper as they want, but the problem is, supply and demand will always work their course. Too much supply brings the equilibrium price down, and with the rate they have been running the printing presses the past few years, the market will soon be flooded with worthless pieces of green paper. –

If you study the history of currencies, since the earliest recorded times, every civilization that has had a currency not attached to something of value(ie: gold or silver), has gone to 0. That means, as more and more of the currency comes into existence, the existing currency is devalued, until the currency is no longer worth anything. Sound like pennies? Soon this will be nickels, then dimes, then quarters. Even the metal in them won’t be worth much, since they haven’t been made from silver since the late 60’s.(Weird how the government stopped using real silver and snatched it out of the money supply just a few short years prior to 1971 when our currency was removed from it’s tie to gold. Conspiracy?? 😉

In 1974, the government passed a law called ERISA. This made it so that people’s retirement was up to themselves, not the employer. It gave birth to plans like the 401k, and mutual funds, plans that were devised so that you could “invest for your retirement.” When this happened the American citizens turned to mutual funds, stocks and 401k’s for retirement plans. What they were actually doing was handing their money to wall street to play with until they retire, and expecting that wall street would automatically grow their money for them.

As we saw with the recent stock market crash, Wall Street is not looking out for the mutual funds or 401k accounts, Wall Street is looking out for their FAT KATS. What’s worse is, regardless of your opinion on the stock market, it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to see that when the largest demographic of citizens(Baby Boomers) start to retire, money will flow out of the stock market like never before. This will be a the second dip of this what I believe to be, double dip recession.

Foreclosures can’t slow down, not yet. Go to google and type in mortgage resets. You will see graphs that will show you the largest mortgage product ever sold – the 5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage(ARM), and when these loans will adjust. These loans were primarily written in 2006 and 2007, right at the end of the real estate bubble, and will be resetting over the next 2 years. This will cause another HUGE drop in real estate values, as the number of foreclosures will sky higher, and at a more rapid pace than current.

Good News??

There is good news…

When markets bubble and then pop, the money doesn’t disappear, it just flows into another asset class. It moves.. The money is going somewhere, so where is it going? Well, take a look at the value of gold, or silver. Go to Google, and type in “gold spot.” Examine the value of gold as it has climbed over the past week, month, year, 5 years, or further. Then check out the same for silver. Since forever, gold and silver have always been used for exchange, hence making it the real money of the world. Until the rich figure out where they can put their money to make more money, they are holding it in the form of real money, gold and silver. It’s catching on quick, think of how many places you see driving to work and back that say, “WE BUY GOLD.” It is the next major bubble, but we’re still early to the trend. Gold just went over $1,300 an ounce today, but we will see gold hit $13,000 per ounce, and in the not too far future.

Assets are cheap. Real estate, businesses, etc. Now is a good time to gather as many assets as you can, that will reward you as the economy turns around. Buy investments for what they will provide you in cash flow, do not worry about selling for a profit. That is speculation. Whatever you grow your asset and sell it for later should be the gravy. Now is an excellent time to pickup businesses for cheap, cut out the expenses, make the systems more efficient, and get the asset as profitable as possible. Now is an amazing time to buy real estate that will cash flow for you as well.(Rental income exceeding the loan you are paying to own the property.)

So…

The recession is not over. We are in a new economy, the old one is not coming back. We are in a shift from the industrial era to the information age. In this new economy, knowledge is money. You can print your own money just like the the Fed does. Financial IQ is the way out of the paycheck chasing. Get real, get right, and get assets! Financial knowledge, is the greatest asset you have, so acquire as much of it as you can!

~Josh