What you see ain’t so

Back in the 1980’s I was a partner in a pension company that we sold to a public company in 1987. I stayed in the business into the 1990’s and the people I saw and met with were all successful business owners and their advisors. What I saw were people who made plenty of money to take care of themselves when and if they chose to retire.

It wasn’t until the owners began to retire, or sell their business, or terminate their company’s retirement plan that I began to meet with the employees and talk about their financial situations. Prior to the plan’s termination I would meet the employees in groups. I would explain how the employer was contributing to their retirement plan and what their present and future benefits would be.

But when the qualified retirement plans would end, I began to meet with the employees individually. We would talk about what they wanted to do with the distributions that they would receive. That is was when it opened my eyes to the reality. What I saw with the owners and their advisors was NOT what the world looked like. That was only 5% of the population.

The other 95% of the population were the employees and both their situations and mindsets were completely different. I would explain how rolling over their retirement money into an IRA would be the best thing to do. It would avoid both the income taxes and the penalties on their money. Almost all of the employees were younger than age 59½ .

Here are the things the employees told me:

“I’m going to make a down payment on a new car.”
“I’m going to buy one of those new big screen TV sets.”
“It’s time for my wife and I go to on a nice vacation.”

What became obvious was that I had no idea of the mindset of the majority of the population. What I saw was not what was real for most people. In the words of Gloria Steinem “Rich people plan for three generations. Poor people plan for Saturday night.” What I saw was the 5% rich, and not the 95% poor. The people I hung around with had the wealthy mindset, and that was the mindset I chose to adopt.

What do you see?

What is your mindset?

Who do you hang around with?

What do you believe that just ain’t so?

Sincerely,

Rennie

Credibility Input Requested

For the last couple of months I have been working on a video series to teach the same system that I covered in my live online course. It is the same system I used to go from broke at age 50 to multi-millionaire. As a reminder, the profits from my online courses, books and financial/business coaching I donate to the charity, www.ShelterToSoldier.org

But do I have credibility?

My step-daughter may have a valid point. She said I should not be doing these videos in my Hawaiian shirts, like I wear all the time. She said it does not create the credibility that I am wealthy. It does not make me look like people should listen to me.

What do you think?

If you recall, there were demonstrations by people who condemned the “one percenters.” These were the people who fell into the 1% of the population that appeared to have a disproportionate share of the wealth in America. On Google you can find out how large of a net worth is needed to be among the top 1%, and I am there very comfortably.

BUT I do not, have not, and have no plans to, dress in expensive suits, wear expensive watches, or drive a fancy car. I have no need or desire to be flashy to impress people I will never know. It is more important for me to be comfortable in my own skin.

So, I have been doing these videos in my Hawaiian shirts.

The picture in this post is an example – a photo with two of my four grandchildren after we built a work bench together:

Please weigh in (by commenting below) and let me know if you think it is okay to do the videos in my Hawaiian shirts, or if I should dress in a way that would impart more credibility.
Have a Happy Halloween, and thank you in advance for your comments.

Sincerely,

Rennie

The Broke Philanthropist

There is nothing that hurts my heart more than to see a philanthropist that is broke.

– Rennie Gabriel

So often I meet with, or speak with, people who have a big purpose. They are skilled at what they do and can make a big impact in the world. However, they often lack the business skills, or ability to execute a systematic approach to reach their goals and create the impact that is deserved. Instead of making money first, and an impact second, they attempt to make the impact first from a place of no money.

You might have established a podcast; written a book, or be working on a book; created a program live or evergreen; or written articles that have been widely published. As an example, a book is a tool to reach the world, but it is NOT the key. You cannot create a global impact with a book but no money.

Like many people, you might think you will make money selling a book, but that is NOT where the money is in becoming an author. The book gives you the credibility to be taken seriously, and be paid more for your advice than a non-author. The very word, authority, is made from the word author.

My best example is the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. For my example, please forget his royalty was probably about $1 each, and that he has sold millions of copies. Let’s say he printed 1000 copies on his own at $10 each and gave one away to each head of the Human Resources Department of the Fortune 1000 companies. And let’s say out of 1000 people he reached out to, he was only able to book 3 trainings based on his concepts at $500,000 each. His $10,000 investment would produce $1.5 million in revenue. That is where the money is made in becoming an author.

There are two points I want to make: One; open your mind to the best way to make money as an author. As you can see, it is not about selling books; it’s about the leverage you create when you become an author. Two; when you have money you have more credibility, and more leverage to make the impact you want to make.

And the system I used to create a multi-six figure passive income is the same one outlined in my Wealth On Any Income book. That is what allows me to donate 100% of the profits from my online programs and coaching to charity.

My publishing company put out about 80 titles in the bookstores, so I do know something about the book publishing industry. So, if you are working on a book, and have some questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I will answer your questions.

Sincerely,

Rennie

Data Breach, Smata Breach -Equifax

By now everyone knows about the Equifax data breach, including scammers who will compound the problem with phony email solutions. Beware of the phishing emails. By now everyone knows about the Equifax data breach, including scammers who will compound the problem with phony email solutions. Beware of the phishing emails.

Here is an example that I received: Αffесtеd bу thе Εquіfаx brеасh? Ηеlp prоtесt уоur іdеntіtу nоw.

It came from LifeLock <info @tigempl.us> which is certainly not a LifeLock email address. And if you place your cursor over the body of the email (do NOT press your Enter Key) you will see you will be directed to a website that has nothing to do with LifeLock. This is the scammer website to steal your identity.

The important thing to understand with the Equifax data breach is that Equifax did not patch a third party application that they were supposed to, and criminal hackers obtained access to the records of 143 million people. The vast majority were Americans, and while the records from people in other countries were also exposed, it is so much smaller.

The point is YOU need to protect yourself and assume your records have been compromised. The hacker criminals got access to vital information like names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and in some cases, driver’s license IDs and credit card numbers.

What can the criminals do with that information?

How about this:

  • Open financial accounts
  • Apply for credit cards, mortgages, and other financial services
  • Get medical care at your expense
  • File for a tax refund in your name
  • Get a job in your name and let you pay the taxes (I cannot believe a criminal would want a job unless there is more they can steal… just saying.)

Bottom line: Complete Identity Theft.

What should you do?

Put a credit freeze on your credit reports to prevent anyone from doing the above. You can release the credit freeze if you apply for a loan because you will have a 10 digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use, and it should be never be giving to anyone else.

Here is where to go to do that: Equifax: (800) 685-1111 or https://www.freeze.equifax.com/

I suggest doing it online as I did. I seriously doubt Equifax is prepared to accept 100 million new phone calls.

This is one of the best explanations on how it happened:
https://www.wired.com/story/equifax-breach-no-excuse/

Sincerely,

Rennie

Charity Scams

Hopefully this information is not arriving too late. It is a warning to avoid charity scams in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that destroyed many parts of Texas.

  1. DO NOT give your credit card number to anyone that calls you on behalf of a charity.
  2. DO NOT donate to any charity that calls you on the telephone. Do not mail checks, do not send gift cards, do not send money orders.
  3. Beware of names that sound good, like Churches for Harvey Disaster. These are often scammers taking advantage of you.
  4. If you give to the Red Cross, mark your donation to be specific to Hurricane Harvey. The Red Cross has been widely criticized for how it handled donations for Superstorm Sandy in 2013. It had not spent more than a third of the money it raised seven months after Superstorm Sandy.
  5. For the relief effort after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 one half billion dollars was raised by the Red Cross and they say they provided homes to more than 130,000 people, but the only six permanent homes have been built five years later. The Red Cross has not been transparent in how it spends its disaster relief money, and much of it goes to overhead and not to the victims.
  6. Over 20 years ago I wrote about the problem of charities that have sound alike names and are total scams. Examples are:
    • American Institute for Cancer Research (sounds like the American Cancer Society)
    • United Children’s Fund
    • A Child’s Wish (sounds like the Make A Wish Foundation)
    • Center for Advanced Heart Research.
  7. You can confirm the integrity and efficiency of charities you might consider by going to www.CharityNavigator.org

Do not let scammers pull on your heart strings and donate to those who line their pockets with money that needs to go to those who are truly desperate.

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day holiday.

Sincerely,

Rennie

Hot Body or Hot Credit Score

This is a welcome trend to me: Surveys conducted with singles on dating sites like Tinder, Match.com and OKCupid showed that 58% felt that a physically fit credit score was more important than a physically fit body.

While this is usually not brought up during the dating process, it might be a good idea at some point during the first five dates to discuss credit scores. You could pull it up it on your phone, show your date and say, “Here is my credit score. Show me yours.” Maybe not in those words, but you get my drift. You are not asking your date to tell you how much money they earn, but request they show you how well they handle what they do earn.

Over twenty years ago the first book from my publishing company was Couples and Money by Dr. Victoria F. Collins. She started as a psychologist and then became the partner of a money management firm in Newport Beach, CA. While another 79 more books followed, I followed the theme of helping people in buying real estate, getting out of debt, investing and similar topics.

The point is that more than 50% of couples divorce over money issues. So it makes sense to get started on the right financial footing.

Here are some more survey results:
69% of respondents said that credit history was very or extremely important
Only 67% said a sense of humor was an attractive feature

There was a difference between how men versus women answered, which is not surprising to me. 61% of men said financial sense was a top priority in finding a soul mate, but 77% of women had it as a top priority.

And according to a study by Bankrate.com, 42% of respondents said that someone’s credit will determine if they will pursue dating them. So it makes sense to get this information up front, unless of course you have something to hide.

Sincerely,
Rennie

Wealth Expert; Fake, Phony or Real?

There are many people in the financial advice space who will tell you how to make more money, get more clients and become wealthy. Some are wildly successful from growing seminar businesses or gathering money from other people to invest. Some write books, have TV shows, do podcasts, write columns or send out enough direct mail they could wipe out a forest.

How do you know who to trust with your money?

How about DO NOT trust anyone else with your money except yourself?

If you are on my list and have read any of my emails, then you know that I am comfortable financially. I am not a billionaire like Warren Buffet or Sheldon Adelson or Mark Zuckerberg. And do you really think you would, or could, have personal access to any one of them?

Our home is paid off. We have enough passive income that we not outlive it, and there will be plenty of money to pass on to our heirs. You can ask any advisor you might think about working with to share their personal financial situation with you. I am willing to do that. You could find out they need fees or commissions from YOU to pay their bills.

What do you want?

Do you want to:

  • Stop worrying about credit card bills?
  • Know you will always have enough to cover your bills?
  • Cover emergency expenses without using credit cards?
  • Dramatically grow your business and your income?
  • Feel comfortable about how and where you make investments?
  • Have your work be a choice instead of a requirement?

To learn how to do the above you can watch some of the videos on my website; you can fill out the forms that you got for free with a summary of my award winning, best-selling book; and if you want personal support, I am here to serve you. You can book a time to speak here: http://meetme.so/RennieGabriel

As a reminder, because I am able to live on my passive income I donate 100% of the profits from my book, coaching and speaking to charity, mainly www.ShelterToSoldier.org

Sincerely,

Rennie

 

** This article also featured on “Rise Up for You”

Check Scam

Have you ever posted an ad on Craigslist, or some other website, to sell something? Well you have probably been warned to only work with people locally, and beware of phone checks, cashier’s checks and money orders.

Recently I was selling a beautiful stainless steel fridge for a friend who moved out of state. It was only about 2 years old, had about 22 cubic feet of storage, French doors for the refrigerator, a lower freezer, ice maker and cost about $2400 new. It was advertised for $1200 on Craigslist.

Here is how the scam works:

  1. You get an email, text or even a phone call that someone wants to buy it and pay full price. Sometimes they might ask what your lowest price might be, but that’s just to appear legitimate.
  2. They ask you to take down your post because they will buy it from you.
  3. They will send you a cashier’s check, business check or money order right away.
  4. They are out of the area and will have someone pick it up from you and ship it to them.
  5. The check you receive is hundreds, or thousands, of dollars more than the price you agreed to.
  6. You will be told their assistant made a mistake, or some of that is to pay the shipper, but you can keep an extra $50 for your trouble. Just send back the difference in funds to the scammer. Example: Item sells for $1000. You receive a check for $3000. You send back $1950 of real money to the scammer and are left with a check of $3000 that will bounce.

Here is the silly situation: The cost to ship this fridge from California to Florida would be anywhere from $300 to $1000. It makes no sense to spend that much extra money when it could be purchased in Florida for the same amount, or less, and not have to pay for shipping.

The point is; do NOT sell to someone out of the area unless the individual can be verified. Do NOT send anything until funds clear your bank (this could take 10 days). It is best to just deal with people who are local to you and will pay cash. Cash will never bounce unless it is counterfeit.

You will see below a copy of the FedEx mailer that was used.

image

Some items of note:

  • It shows it was sent from someone local to me, but the person said he was in Texas, and the check was drawn on a Florida bank and I am in California.
  • Edge Artists and Associates is a phony company with a phony Facebook page
  • The phone number goes to an individual that has no company and has no knowledge of the scammer’s name; in this case Samson Wilson.
  • The check drawn on the bank is for an account that is closed, or checks have been stolen (The phone number in the memo section is for Regions Bank)
  • All of this information can be obtained from the FedEx envelope or Google.

My goal in sharing this information is to potentially assist you in avoiding an unpleasant situation in the future.

Sincerely,

Rennie

A perspective: No meaningful progress on health care until you address these issues

Our representatives in the U.S. Congress and Senate are debating health care, and completely missing the big picture of what is needed. Please read the full article from my elementary school classmate, Dan Morhaim. He is both a medical doctor (who had 90 doctors and 120 employees in his medical practice) and a representative in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Here is a link to the full article from The Baltimore Sun:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0716-health-care-issues-20170712-story.html

In summary:

Point 1: Health care coverage should no longer be an employement benefit, and not all companies can afford to provide it. It should be available like a medicare for everyone approach.

Point 2: The people on the front lines of medical care need to be brought into the conversation. The cost of health care administration, paperwork and claims is a huge percentage that does not provide patient care.

Point 3: The way to drastically reduce health care costs would be to look intelligently as the following problems:

  1. The Chronically ill: Five percent of patients account for 60 percent of health care spending. Studies show that the key to managing these patients is to provide carefully developed personal care plans.
  2. End-of Life care: With the aging of the population and advances in medical care, people are living longer and increasing the rate of completion of advance directives and engaging hospice and palliative care earlier will result in more satisfactory end-of-life care experiences.
  3. Addictions to illegal drugs, especially narcotics, cocaine and methamphetamine: These are responsible for the majority of violent crime, HIV, hepatitis and homelessness in both urban and rural areas. Studies show that up to 80 percent of patients who come to emergency departments without insurance are there for substance abuse issues.
  4. Legal addictions (alcohol and tobacco): These are still major causes of disease. Studies prove that investment in addiction treatment programs — for both legal and illegal substances — is highly cost effective and saves money and lives.
  5.  Mental Health: Of the tens of millions of people affectect only a fraction of those receive treatment. Mental illness is costly to treat, but the societal costs — to patients, families and communities — of not treating are far greater.
  6. Prevention and Innovation: From safety proofing the homes of at-risk seniors to encouraging fitness for all ages. Scientific research creates dividends in improved health and a reduction in costs. This is the wrong time to cut funding that could lead to new treatments and cures. 

PLEASE, please share this with others in your email sphere, on Facebook, and with your elected officials.

Saving Capitalism

While sitting in my doctor’s office last week I ran across a Time magazine article from May of this year entitled Saving Capitalism. Because I enjoy articles about finance that round out my understanding of money, I picked it up.

The point of the article is that banks used to loan money to businesses to expand their ability to sell products, perform research, manufacture goods or whatever. And that lending approach created jobs. Since about 1980 the shift has been to loan money against existing assets to create profits. And companies that made money through selling products they manufactured now make more money by loaning money, from Sears to General Motors and General Electric.

This shift leads to a loss of jobs, and it is a global issue not limited to the United States. It shows up from the growth of the financial industry and debt-fueled speculation to how shareholder value is determined based on short term planning for profits instead of long term viability of companies.

The question to ask is whether or not financial institutions are lending money in ways that provide a true and measurable benefit to the society at large? Or, are they lending money primarily to enrich themselves?

The following are a few  paragraphs from the article, and you can read the whole thing >>here<<.

Over the past few decades, finance has turned away from this traditional role. Academic research shows that only a fraction of all the money washing around the financial markets these days actually makes it to Main Street businesses. “The intermediation of household savings for productive investment in the business sector—the textbook description of the financial sector—constitutes only a minor share of the business of banking today,” according to academics Oscar Jorda, Alan Taylor and Moritz Schularick, who’ve studied the issue in detail. By their estimates and others, around 15% of capital coming from financial institutions today is used to fund business investments, whereas it would have been the majority of what banks did earlier in the 20th century.

To get a sense of the size of this shift, consider that the financial sector now represents around 7% of the U.S. economy, up from about 4% in 1980. Despite currently taking around 25% of all corporate profits, it creates a mere 4% of all jobs. Trouble is, research by numerous academics as well as institutions like the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund shows that when finance gets that big, it starts to suck the economic air out of the room.

It’s even the reason companies in industries from autos to airlines are trying to move into the business of finance themselves. American companies across every sector today earn five times the revenue from financial activities—investing, hedging, tax optimizing and offering financial services, for example—that they did before 1980. Traditional hedging by energy and transport firms, for example, has been overtaken by profit-boosting speculation in oil futures, a shift that actually undermines their core business by creating more price volatility. Big tech companies have begun underwriting corporate bonds the way Goldman Sachs does. And top M.B.A. programs would likely encourage them to do just that; finance has become the center of all business education.