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.
- DO NOT give your credit card number to anyone that calls you on behalf of a charity.
- 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.
- Beware of names that sound good, like Churches for Harvey Disaster. These are often scammers taking advantage of you.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
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:
- 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.
- They ask you to take down your post because they will buy it from you.
- They will send you a cashier’s check, business check or money order right away.
- They are out of the area and will have someone pick it up from you and ship it to them.
- The check you receive is hundreds, or thousands, of dollars more than the price you agreed to.
- 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.
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.
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:
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Recently I ran across a financial literacy test put out by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation based on a survey of 25,000 people.
There were only 6 questions, which I found to be very basic. And as you would suspect I got them all correct; but then I have studied money. You can take the test yourself at http://www.usfinancialcapability.org/quiz.php
The national test results were awful: While 81% of Americans believe they have “above average” financial literacy, the test results showed that only 37% were able to pass this basic financial literacy test. (The sixth question was a bonus.) The national average was 3.16 out of 6 and in California, where I live, the result was even lower than the national average at 2.97 out of 6.
Here are more results:
- Almost 33% of Americans don’t know how to calculate interest payments;
- About 28% of Americans don’t understand the relationship between bond prices and falling interest rates; and
- 66% couldn’t get at least four of six financial questions right!
There is a HUGE gap between those who think they understand money and finance and those that actually do. This is what makes the Wealth On Any Income course so valuable. As I continue to remind people; this is not taught in school; parents can’t teach what they don’t know; and even Certified Financial Planners® are not taught how to create a personal budget.
If you want to really become financially literate, learn how to create and achieve financial goals, move from a place of debt to wealth, then watch the replay of the Wealth On Any Income online program.
You can get access here
To your prosperity,
I am always excited to share with you some great resources to help you succeed in all areas of your life, not just real estate and finance.
So I am really excited to share with you a cool event that I’m participating in with other amazing coaches, authors and speakers where we are providing you some of our best tools and techniques, for free!
Get Your Year in Gear Giveaway Continue reading Two dozen free gifts