By David Treece
It’s easier to lose money than it is to make money. Think of all the hours you worked to earn your last paycheck or all the years you persevered in your career to earn your Social Security check. We’ve all checked our bank balance and realized that money seems to have leaked out of our account. If our financial life is going along unabated by the apparent economic stagnation, it’s crucial that we consider the return OF our principal as opposed to the return ON our principal. If we do not make it a priority to continually monitor our financial life, our apathy may lead to despair. This article will explain why it’s more important to retain your money than it is to make a high return.
Whether we like it or not we are in business with the government. When we started paying taxes we gained a business partner, the government. We have known that we are not the ultimate authority since we were a child and our hand got smacked when we stole a cookie. We do not get to set the rules, but it’s imperative that we understand the rules. Part of making wise decisions is to understand historical trends and what has happened in the past, because from past events the rationale for the rules has been set.
Banking interests have had a role in the boom and bust cycles of the economy since America’s inception, for the simple reason that he who controls the money has influence. Shrewd savers will understand that observing what is happening with banking interests is imperative to understanding how they should make financial decisions.
The clearest example that most people can easily remember of the influence of banking interests is the recent mortgage meltdown in 2008. Members of Congress are the benefactors of banking interests in the form of campaign donations and other means. So it comes as no surprise that the majority of Congressmen were willing to bail the “Too Big to Fail” banks out when their schemes of lending money to questionable borrowers began to implode on them.
Most people today and especially Millennials (those born 1982 to 2002) who have begun their working career in the last decade cannot remember when interest rates were higher. Short memories and lack of knowledge have created an environment of normalcy despite the economy being stagnant. The stagnation is due in part to the free-trade deals like NAFTA and CAFTA. Sadly, we are twenty years into NAFTA and again many people seem to have forgotten life before NAFTA. And important for today, the American voter must hold lawmakers’ feet to the fire in order to stop TPP. With TPP the American worker will be further disfranchised and America’s ability to make decisions in her best interest will be tragically limited.
Since interest rates have been very low for the better part of two decades, major amounts of money have gone into the stock market because savers and investors realize little return can be made at banks. Most conventional stock market investors store their money in mutual funds. What most people do not realize is that mutual funds are like bank accounts, only with risk. They are not taking into account the return OF their principal… only the return ON their principal.
The other aspect that conventional stock market investors do not realize is that banking interests have a major interest in the stock market. For example, banks may have loaned money to the companies listed in the S&P 500. Who do you think profits if the company does well? Money flows to the bank, and the bank can then loan out each dollar it takes in multiple times. Individuals like Jeff Bezos, the creator of the online marketplace Amazon, can leverage his assets in one direction and make billions in a matter of minutes. The point is that banks make money whether interest rates are low or if they are high. The difference is that since banks have legislative privilege they do not as immediately feel the impact of losses like an individual stock market investor does.
Simply put, when we subject ourselves to stock market investing we have further partnered with the government, and we all know the government always gets what it wants. In the 1970s legislation was passed to give the government more control of our retirement savings, and it allowed people to unknowingly accept golden handcuffs with the introduction of the 401k. Today these plans have swelled to the whopping figure of around $20 trillion dollars in combined individual accounts. And who set the rules for how and when the savers can use the money? The government. And who do you think wants that money?
In today’s world of uncertainty, fixed insurance savings plans are the safest and most reliable place to store money. More than likely, you would not know this unless you’ve met someone like the writers of this article, because the Wall Street Retirement Scam has been indoctrinated into the general population since the 1970s. A savings vehicle that gives you safety, guarantees, and the ability to never lose money in contract form is not where the rule makers want you to have your money. The rule makers want it where they can control it. Take off the golden handcuffs and live in financial freedom!