Danger. Economic Turmoil Ahead. Be Prepared.

I’m going out on a bit of a limb here to highlight some financial stuff and economic signs that aren’t being covered in the news, but I think it’s necessary. As I bring this stuff up with people in my circles, they are unaware. These things are happening around us, and many people are going to be caught off guard.

The Economic Signs

Last year, I read one of Jim Rickards’ books called the Death of Money. Jim is a former financial analyst for the CIA along with many other qualifications. While Jim included quite a bit of useful information, there were a couple of things that really stood out to me.

  1. Jim highlighted that America came off the gold standard in the early 1970s. That is when our money ceased to backed by gold or any “asset.” However, Jim also highlighted that Russia and China have been working to accumulate gold. I’ll speak more on this later.
  2. In the early 1970s, the US dollar was setup to be the “World Reserve Currency” by an agreement with OPEC to price oil in USD. That has helped to cement the United States as the world power that it is. It is what has allowed America to impose sanctions to such “wayward nations” as we saw fit…mainly to strong arm America’s or the western countries enemies.
  3. Since the Bush administration and more specifically during the Obama administration, have accumulated mountains of debt. In additions to this debt, the US Government and Federal reserve have printed trillions of dollars. This has served to greatly destabilize the value of the USD. Interestingly enough, we have not fully seen the repercussions of this yet which will be mass inflation.

The Death of Money was published in 2014; I read it in 2017. In the book, Jim made several projections which are now coming true.

  1. Russia and China are accumulating gold for the purpose of challenging the USD as the world reserve currency. Without adding too much detail, it is estimated that the top four gold holding entities are 1) the European Union with 8,500 tons, 2) the US with 6,500 tons, 3) China reported 4,500 tons (estimated to be much more), and 4) Russia with 1,500 tons.
  2. China along with Russia would provide an alternative for international trade by allowing oil to be traded with the Yuan, now a gold backed currency.

Normally, projections like this get forgotten over time, however, both of these projections have now come true. In early 2018, China opened oil trading based on the Yuan (Bloomberg.com) thus challenging the Petro Dollar as the only world reserve currency. Iran, Venezuela and other countries are beginning to use the Yuan for international commerce as well. Other news sources covered it as well, RT.com

Cementing the challenge to the US Petro Dollar, Russia is in talks with Saudi Arabia about production agreements that could last 10-20 years. Reuters.com Now this may actually be a good thing as oil and gas prices would stabilize over longer periods of time allowing the world economy to experience less volatility on several levels.

The other big piece of information I have for you is a series of articles related to JP Morgan Chase Bank. In 2011, JP Morgan Chase began acquiring silver. Lots of it. On the books, they’ve acquired 150+million ounces of silver. Unknown, it’s estimated they may have acquired as many as 500 million ounces of silver. By the numbers, that’s about 5,000 tons and $2.5 billion in silver or it could be 15,600 tons and $8.2 billion.

So now you have Russia, China, and JP Morgan Chase all acquiring huge amounts of precious metals (silver and gold) beginning around 2009. You have to ask, “who else might be acquiring large amounts of precious metals? Why?

In reading Jim Rickards’ book about the coming economic collapse and the death of money, he made projections that have now come true, and now we see JP Morgan Chase following one of Jim’s recommendations to protect wealth. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Okay. So What Now?

So what should we do? I wish I had all the right answers, but I don’t. What I can do though is continue to learn and prepare as best I can.

  • I’ve recently purchased Jim’s latest book, Road to Ruin and I’m eager to see what other nuggets he has for me.
  • Don’t hold too much cash. Inflation causes your cash to lose value. During hyper inflations cycles, it loses value fast.
  • Buy some silver. How To.
  • Buy some gold. How To.
  • Stick with solid financial principles. Pay off your debts. Don’t waste your money.
  • Don’t be too heavy in stocks. Economic turmoil could cut the stock market by 1/3 to 1/2. Diversify your wealth to protect yourself.

Historically, I’m not a silver or gold buyer, but now I am. Gold and silver have not been great investments when compared to the S&P, real estate or other investment options. However, during an economic upheaval, you’re not looking for investment returns. You are looking for financial stability and protection. Gold and silver have been present in the global financial system for over 3,000 years. The USD has existed for a little over 200 years which exceeds the lifespan of typical fiat currencies which is about 27 years.

How Just $10,000 Can Turn Kids into Millionaires

As a father of six kids, yes six, it is my responsibility to teach my kids how to manage and multiply their money. Most parents, like mine, taught me how to work, make money and spend it. They did not teach me how to manage or multiply my money. I had to learn how to do that on my own, and thankfully, I did learn.

Now, it is my responsibility to pass on what I’ve learned to my children. Hopefully, since they are learning about money as children and not as a twenty five year old as I did, they will be much more successful with their money. If I do a good job teaching them, they may be able to become millionaires as well, and we can keep building family wealth and our ability to help other people in need.

Lately though, I’ve been thinking a little differently. Sure I can teach my kids how to manage and multiply money. They may even become millionaires, but what if there was a way I could virtually guarantee they would become millionaires. And, I could do it for just $10,000 per kid.

Well, it turns out, that idea isn’t so far fetched. I first got the idea last year while out on a walk in downtown Salt Lake City. I’m sure it was a chilly evening since March is usually cold in Salt Lake. After a bit of work and pondering, the idea started to have legs, and it is continuing to evolve.

Now you may be thinking, $10,000 can’t make someone a millionaire. And, you would be dead wrong. In fact, $10,000 can make someone a multimillionaire, if you start soon enough. The problem is, we all wait too long to get started on our investing. Many Americans wait well into their 30s or 40s to begin investing and saving for retirement. While it’s better late than never, the real opportunity to build wealth needs to start much sooner especially if you are going to turn $10,000 into a $1,000,000.

I know it sounds little like magic or hocus pocus, but it really just boils down to time…and economic and political stability. Let’s indulge ourselves a bit by assuming economic and political stability will exist in the future. Then we just need to concern ourselves with what happens when we invest $10,000.

According to Investopedia, the average growth rate for the S&P 500 dating back to 1928 is 10%. At 10% growth, it takes money about 7.2 years to double your money, which allows us to multiply our money like this over a 70 year period.

  • Initial Investment: $10,000
  • 7 years: $19,487
  • 14 years: $37,975
  • 21 years: $74,002
  • 28 years: $144,210
  • 35 years: $281,024
  • 42 years: $547,637
  • 49 years: $1,067,190
  • 56 years: $2,079,651
  • 63 years: $4,052,651
  • 70 years: $7,897,470

Now, why did I use a 70 year period for this example? The answer is simple. Because if you put $10,000 into an investment fund the year a child is born, allows it to grow in this manner. The number years mirror the child’s age. Are you getting the picture yet? $10,000 in an S&P Index Fund could become $1,067,190 by age 49 based on historical returns.

Now I know that sounds like a long time however, based on statistics, the average population life expectancy worldwide is approximately 70 years. In theory even with economic downturns, $10,000 will turn into $1,000,000 within a person’s lifetime between 49 and 70 years. If everything goes well, $10,000 could even make a person into a multimillionaire. So let’s look at the chart a bit differently based on age.

  • Initial Investment at birth: $10,000
  • Age 7 years: $19,487
  • Age 14 years: $37,975
  • Age 21 years: $74,002
  • Age 28 years: $144,210
  • Age 35 years: $281,024
  • Age 42 years: $547,637
  • Age 49 years: $1,067,190
  • Age 56 years: $2,079,651
  • Age 63 years: $4,052,651
  • Age 70 years: $7,897,470

Time for some questions.

  • “If you could make your kids into multimillionaires, why wouldn’t you?”
  • “How would it change a your child’s thinking if they KNEW they were going to be a millionaire?”
  • “If money were not an issue, what would your children and grandchildren do to help others? How much good could they do?”
  • “If there were more millionaires, with good hearts and values, how would our world change?”

I came from financially challenged family. The idea of being a millionaire was not in my head nor in my vocabulary. The possibility of being a millionaire was a foreign concept to me. At age 25, that all changed, and along with it how I thought about money and myself. The perception of who I would become grew together with the possibilities of what I could accomplish in life.

Now, I have six children. My oldest is headed of to college in the fall. My youngest is six. I look forward to how they will use the principles and the money they will be empowered with to help others in need and to change our world for the better.

With a bit of work and vision, it’s possible to change the financial outlook of our families, our children, our country and the world. Now what will you do? A great option to start is with a Vanguard S&P Index Fund.

Fiat Money vs. Cryptocurrency

We are definitely living in a very interesting time in history on many levels. While the world is itself in a period of turmoil and change throughout the Middle East and Europe, the financial industry is also undergoing significant change. Unlike what is happening overseas, which is somewhat visible to the American public, what is happening in the financial world is much less visible to Americans. I’m talking about cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and the other 1,500 altcoins (an altcoin is an alternative cryptocurrency to Bitcoin).

While I’ve known about cryptocurrency as far back as 2010, I didn’t take the time to learn about it. As I’ve learned more about the cryptocurrency industry over the past year, I’ve become more fascinated with it and the potential it represents to the financial and commerce world. However, whenever speaking with the vast majority of my associates, I’m reminded how little most people know about cryptocurrency.

When something new like cryptocurrency is introduced, there is a period of denial and ignorance for most individuals. Cryptocurrency is very different from what we already know about silver, gold and fiat currencies like the United States dollar. Because of this “new idea”, it will take time for the majority of people to accept that a different form of currency is not just coming, it has arrived.

The creation of cryptocurrency is not very different from the creation of any other currency in ancient history. The only difference is that it is digital instead of tangible. Once you learn more about the different types of monies used throughout history including beads, coins, silver, gold, paper, and more, it is not as difficult to realize that we’re seeing yet another evolution of the monetary system. One that eliminates a primary problems with fiat currencies, counterfeiting. If you’d like to read up on the history of money, head over to Wikipedia or PBS.org for a lesson.

Now, what about Fiat vs. Cryptocurrency? Since the creation of Bitcoin in 2008/2009, cryptocurrencies have been under attack by established monetary, investing and business leaders. Every year since its inception, “experts” have predicted the demise of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies roughly 10+ times per year. You might say in the words of Mark Twain, “The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Cryptocurrencies have survived repeated assaults against their viability and legitimacy. This isn’t going to stop any time soon, but in the end, a lot of people will be eating crow when it comes to cryptocurrency as a viable financial tool.

While the US dollar is the dominant form of currency in the world today, I think we can all get distracted from the reality that worldwide, government currencies come and go over time. The US dollar will not remain dominant forever. Currencies also go up and down in value based on the current economic situations. For you money nerds out there, you might enjoy looking at the changing value of the dollar historically or versus other currencies. Inflation eats away at the value of fiat currencies like the US dollar.

While some may say that the argument is fiat currency vs. cryptocurrency as the title of this article suggests, the real question is “will cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and others play a role in the financial markets long term?” Don’t be suckered into the argument of fiat currency vs. cryptocurrency. That’s not the real question on whether or not cryptocurrencies will survive long term or make a viable investment asset. Very smart people fall into varying degrees of beliefs on both sides of the question.Only time will prove who is right.

With the emergence of ecommerce, did we see retail stores disappear completely? No. After 20 years, ecommerce finally surpassed the $300 billion mark in 2015. By comparsion, the entire retail segment for the United States stands around $4.7 trillion for 2015. Ecommerce has it’s place in the market, but it hasn’t come close to replacing the entire retail chain. Cryptocurrencies will likely serve a similar role in the financial space for the near future. They won’t replace money entirely anytime soon, but they will fill a very needed role.

Those who believe “cryptocurrencies are here to stay” are investing and making a lot of money. Those who believe “cryptocurrencies are going to fade away” may well find themselves using cryptocurrency to make purchases in the future and like all the other previously missed investing opportunities, they’ll regret missing this one.

 

Can $10,000 Make You a Millionaire?

Lots of people dream about becoming a millionaire and “living the dream”, but only a relative few do anything about it. Today roughly 8.5% of American households are millionaires. While that’s up significantly from the 3.5% in 1996, I personally would like it to be much much higher. That’s why I’m writing this blog. To help make more millionaires and help people enjoy more freedom in their life.

Quite a few people have a warped view of wealth. They either believe they will never have it, or they believe it is bad. Both of those views of wealth are broken. Attaining wealth is a good and worthy goal. And guess what, wealthy people can help more people than poor people can. So if you have a choice of being wealthy or not being wealthy, why not choose wealth?

Now, in talking with many of my friends, I’ve realized that quite a few are just stuck. The idea of being wealthy or being a millionaire is a bit unrealistic to them, as it was for me until I turned 26. At 26, the lights came on, and I set off to become a millionaire. Now, 20 years later after I made it, I’ve come to understand that sometimes all people need is a little prod, a little knowledge, and a plan.

Too many of us spend our income wasting it away on frivolous things. I’ve been as guilty as anyone, but fortunately, I put a ton of money back as well. I started investing at 26. $500 a month into mutual funds and dabbling in stocks like Intel, Dell, Nvidia, and others. I made some decent money for a young guy making $40,000 a year, but I should have and could have done better.

I’m a numbers nerd, so understanding how it all works comes pretty easy for me. Now I want to make it a bit easier for you. Let’s get started.

A Spending Plan (a.k.a. Budgeting)

If you want to build wealth, you have to get your spending under control. Planning your spending intimidates a lot of people. That’s why “budgeting” is such a dirty word for a lot of people.

Now you can do a complicated spending plan if you want to, but a simple one can help get you on track for building wealth. You can count the pennies and nickles later to fine tune your spending plan.

Break your money down into 4 categories.

  1. Living Money: Money that you need to support your basic lifestyle. This includes housing whether you are renting or buying a house, food, utilities, car, insurance, clothing, education, and medical.
  2. Play Money: This includes the things you do to make life enjoyable. Date nights, gym memberships, hobbies, vacations, a four wheeler, a boat, etc. Generally you could call this “the perks of life” category. You have to have some play money in your life of you’ll dry up and become miserable. However, you have to be balanced as well. Put too much money in this category and you’re wealth plans could be toast. Quite a few formerly rich people have put too much money in this category only to see all of their wealth go up in smoke. Don’t make that mistake as you are trying to build your wealth.
  3. Wealth Money: Now as you can guess, this is the most important category for someone wanting to become a millionaire. This is the category that is going to determine if you become a millionaire, and if so, how fast. The more money you can get into this category on your spending plan the better. We use this category in a couple of ways. If you’re in debt, you need to get out as quickly as possibly. Debt will rob you of your ability to build wealth. We use this category to accelerate paying off your house if you want to do that. Third, we use this category for investing. That’s what most of this post is about. Wealth Money.
  4. Other Money: This is anything that doesn’t fit cleanly in one of the other categories. It includes things like birthday gifts, church tithes if you attend a church, Christmas presents, and things like that. Generally things in this category aren’t required to do and the amounts may vary quite a bit. You have wiggle room to adjust things a lot in this category as long as you don’t leave off your mom or spouse’s birthday.

Now I’m not going to cover the spending plan in today’s post. I’m going to only focus on the wealth money part of your spending plan. If you want to be wealthy, you have to put as much money into this part of your spending plan as fast as you can. Wealth can be built really fast if you’re a .com startup like facebook, or it can be built over time. The most common way to build wealth is over time through good financial decisions and investments.

Wealth Money

Wealth Money. So many people miss building wealth because they are busy spending their money on lattes, cable and new cars when they could be building wealth. I like to keep things simple…well, that’s exactly not true. I like complicated things, but sometimes things can be simple. We just over complicate them. Building wealth doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it really isn’t complicated. What do I mean?

Take $10,000 for example. It’s a simple number. It intimidates a lot of people. Have you ever held $10,000 cash in your hand? Try it. It’s pretty cool. Once you hold it, $10,000 doesn’t seem like a big number anymore.

Now, if you take $10,000 as your base investment number, what happens is pretty interesting.

  • $10,000 over 20 years becomes $67,275
  • $10,000 over 30 years turns into $175,000
  • $10,000 over 40 years turns into $452,000
  • $10,000 over 50 years turns into $1,173,000
  • $10,000 over 60 years turns into $3,044,000
  • $10,000 over 70 years turns into $7,897,000

These numbers are all based on a 10% rate of return which is an acceptable and available rate of return in the mutual fund and stock market. With the right investment, you can beat 10% and build even more wealth. I like using the 10% number because its simple to calculate, understand and readily available. Let’s go with it.

Now, you may be saying “Where do I get $10,000?” or “Are you kidding? I’m 45. No way I’m going to be wealthy. You just proved it to me.” Scrap those thoughts. Wealthy people all have one thing in common. When they run into problems, they figure out a way to deal with them. So what if you don’t have $10,000 right now, figure out how to get it. So what if your 45, find a way to increase your income and make up for lost time. Heck. Colonel Sanders started KFC in his 60s. Most people are retiring in their 60s. He was just getting started! $10,000 isn’t that much money when you break it down. $10,000 spread out over 1 year is $833.33 a month. Now how can you find $833.33 a month? There are tons of ways. At $10 an hour, it’s only 80 more hours of work a month. 20 hours a week. Or if you work at Costco and make $15 per hour, it’s 56 hours. Find a way. Don’t stop looking until you find a way.

As part of your spending plan, put as much money as you can into that wealth money category. In fact, scale everything back that you can until you hit a really good wealthy money number. If you can’t get to $10,000 year, start with what you can, then work towards $10,000 year as fast as you can. Once you hit $10,000, see if you can multiply it. Can you get to $20,000? Always up your goal. The more wealth money you can sock away, the faster it will grow. The bigger it will grow. Your first stop on this journey is the millionaire milestone. Once you do that, you’ll dream even bigger. You can do it.

Now, your homework. Play with your own wealth money numbers. Take that $10,000 and multiply it. What if you did that every year for 30 years? Well, I’ve already done the work for you and I’m including it in this post. Dream big! The more wealth you create the more good things you can do in this world, and guess what, it’s a lot more fun too when you have some wealth. I love traveling and I’ve got a long bucket list of places I want to go.

20, 30, 40 Year $10,000 Investments @ 10% Charts PDF

20, 30, 40 Year $10,000 Investments @ 10% Excel Spreadsheet

You can play with your own investment planning with this investing calculator at Bankrate.com or this more colorful and simple investing calculator at SmartAsset.com .

You’ve Got Your $10,000 Investment Money

Congratulations. You’ve figured out how to get your hands on $10,000 to invest. Now what do you do with it? You invest it. Where you say? Great question.

You can invest in a multiple of ways, but if its your first $10,000, you should probably play it a little bit safer. Stay away from single stocks. Mutual Funds are a better investment for you. Your first investments should go into your 401k or a Roth investment usually through your workplace. Even inside of those investment tools, you want to make sure you pick the right investments. Again, you’re looking for investing returns of 10% or higher for over 10 years.

Outside of your workplace, you can invest through an financial advisor or you can go direct to some of the best mutual providers like Janus, Fidelity, Oppenheimer or Vanguard. They have research tools that help you select funds. Again, you want funds that return 10% or more over the long haul. That’s averaging 10% growth per year over 10 years or longer. You can also use Morningstar.com to help you with your research.

Find a solid growth stock mutual fund at 10% or more and there you go. You’re off to the races. Oh, and one more thing. Don’t freak out if the stock market and your mutual fund drops. You leave your money in. The people that freak out and pull their money out, lose. Only take money out at retirement (59 1/2 years old) and preferably only when the market is up.