full screen background image

Home of The Crash Proof Principle

May 1, 2017

The Best Kept Secret in the Banking Industry

Our Crash Proof Principle for this week exposes the best kept secret in the banking industry— credit unions.

A credit union is a financial institution in which members cooperate by pooling their money together to provide traditional bank services like loans, savings accounts, and CDs to its members. In the United States, credit unions are nonprofit entities, and their structure is designed to ensure fair dealing and safety.

What makes credit unions such a hidden gem is how they stack up against the commercial banking industry. When you deal with a commercial bank, the profits come from you, the depositor, and go to shareholders who buy stock in the firm. Credit Unions, on the other hand, are non-profit and designed to work for you, the depositor.

All profits in credit unions come back to you in the form of higher CD rates, lower interest rates on loans, higher money market rates and more protection on your accounts. By becoming a member of your local credit union, it’s like you belong to a family business in which all members share in the success, rather than the firm’s investors.

It is no longer true that you must be employed to qualify as a member of a credit union. In fact, any credit union within your zip code will be happy to receive you. And remember, when choosing a credit union always favor the larger ones, because the bigger the family, the more support you’ll have with your accounts.

Our Crash Proof Principle this week is never be a customer when you can be a partner. Find out about how your local credit union can better serve you.

March 1, 2015

Choosing the Right Retirement Financial Advisor for You!

Finding the right advisor is critical to understanding the difference between the accumulation phase and the retirement phase of life and learning how to adjust your investment strategy for the phase you’re in.

Imagine selecting your Financial Advisor as you would your doctor. If you had a heart condition would you see a proctologist or a cardiologist?

Don’t be so quick to laugh.

They’re both doctors. They both went to medical school. So, why can’t you just see the proctologist for your heart condition?

Because he’s looking at and analyzing the wrong end!

Many people in or near retirement are dealing with Accumulation Phase advisors who are trained and focus on risk investments: stocks, bonds and mutual funds. These advisors may be appropriate for your working years when you’re accumulating your retirement nest egg, but not when you’re trying to safeguard what you’ve worked all your life for and cannot go back out and re-accumulate.

When you’re in or near retirement, you don’t have the luxury of time to rebuild what took you a lifetime to accumulate. The crucial difference in retirement is that you’re dependent on your assets to last as long as you do, making market risk a potentially crippling financial problem. It’s wise to find a Retirement Phase Advisor who will protect your investments, because you simply don’t have the time to recover from losses to your nest egg.

Most advisors are trained in risk investments, like stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and they don’t have the specialized training to address the concerns and crucial issues retirees face on a daily basis. You need an advisor with the proper training in safe alternatives outside the securities industry, because the securities industry deals only in risk. Retirement phase advisors can educate you on the little-known IRA and IRS laws that will protect your nest egg from its two biggest threats—taxes and market risk.

Knowing the difference between an Accumulation Phase advisor and a Retirement Phase advisor could save your portfolio. In retirement investing, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Our Crash Proof Principle this week is seek out the right advisor for the phase that you’re in, one with the specialized training to guide you through retirement and seek out safe alternatives outside the securities industry, which grant market-like returns without any of the market risks.

December 1, 2014

Evaluating Your Risk Tolerance in Retirement!

Recognizing the uncertainties associated with your investment portfolio is crucial to properly protecting your financial wellbeing. This is especially true for those of you in or near retirement, because you simply don’t have the time to rebuild your shattered finances, which you intend to see you through the harvest of life, when you reap the rewards from a lifetime of hard work.

It is vital to have a firm awareness of how much danger your assets are exposed to, which means it is your duty to know the true risk associated with every vehicle you are invested in. Failing to understand how much risk you are exposed to could have catastrophic consequences for your retirement, forcing you to spend more time growing your crops before you can enjoy the harvest.

One common misconception that can spell doom for hopeful investors is the belief that the word “bond” is a synonym for “investment safety.” The truth of the matter is that bonds, by their very definition, are the opposite of safe, they are a risk class investment.

Bonds, like all securities such as stocks and mutual funds, are very volatile investments which can rob you of your life’s work overnight. Just ask anyone who was invested in General Motors bonds when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009. These people were deceived by the reputation of bonds, which they thought would protect their assets from harm.

Municipal bonds have also proven to be notoriously unreliable, as cities like Detroit, MI, Harrisburg, PA, Stockton, CA and others have declared bankruptcy, delaying bond payments indefinitely.

Even Treasury bonds, which are touted by most financial advisors as a keystone of stability, have the potential to impoverish retirees who had too much faith in their “safety.”

In fact many experts are suggesting that due to the masses of investors fleeing to the false sense of safety in bonds following the financial crisis of 2008, the bond market is now in a bubble and could be set to burst soon. Ironically, because of this unwarranted belief in the safety of bonds, those who are invested in the bond market will learn the truth about risk class investments when the bubble bursts.

If you, like many other investors, were under the impression that the bond market was a safe place for your retirement savings, you should consider re-evaluating the risks associated with securities investments.

Like many of our Crash Proof Principles, this week’s principle comes down to education. The best shield against the many threats to one’s nest egg is proper education on retirement finances. So get educated on the true risks associated with your retirement portfolio and the safe investment alternatives outside of the securities industry that guarantee a fruitful harvest in retirement.

November 3, 2014

The Look Back Principle

Have you ever looked back on your life and said, “I wish I knew then what I know now?” Everyone has; it’s only natural to wish you could go back in time and tell yourself everything you learned in your journey through life.  This concept can be used to illustrate an important philosophy in retirement preparation.

Working exclusively with those in or near retirement for nearly four decades, I have gained an incredible appreciation for making the best of every moment while we still have them.

I have asked consumers who lost more than half of their nest egg from market crashes what they would do differently looking back. They always reply, “I would have taken more time to learn about my investments and do things differently.”

We all know retirement is coming, and most of us have some idea of what we need to do to get there, but most don’t take the time to learn how to get through retirement once we’re there.

The problem is most of us don’t take our own advice. So when you’re thinking about retirement, imagine yourself twenty years from now.  What would you want to tell yourself about retirement?

You can prepare for the future, all it takes is education.  Learn everything you can about retirement, the sooner the better. Educating yourself now is like taking a glimpse into the future, and it will ensure that you’re not Looking Back with regret.

When you get properly educated you might identify some steps you can take now to be better prepared for the future.

The Look Back Principle is allowing yourself to take what you have learned from your past, apply it to the present and avoid regret in the future.