Archive for August, 2013

Don’t Follow; LEAD

If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.

–Win Borden

Read Full Post »

Alvin Toffler on Change

Change is not merely necessary to life–it is life.

–Alvin Toffler, Futurist

Read Full Post »

Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.









–Henry Kissinger

Read Full Post »

Judging Others

stop judging and you will not be judged.  Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.  Give and gifts will be given to you…  And He told them a parable, ‘Can a blind person guide a blind person?  Will not both fall into a pit?’

–Luke 6:37-39

Read Full Post »

Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary.  I’ll be damned if I am going to pay for a landslide.

–Joseph P. Kennedy

Read Full Post »

Following the Pack

Do not conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.

–Romans 12:2

Read Full Post »

Brinkley on Criticism

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.

–David Brinkley

Read Full Post »

I have long advocated the “pay yourself first” principal, in which the first 10 cents of every dollar you make goes into an investment portfolio designed to give you a high quality of life in your retirement years.  When this is mentioned, there is the inevitable question: “But what if we owe consumer debt; should we still pay ourselves first, payoff the debt first, or split the difference?”

Consider this metaphor.  You find yourself back in grade school, and a bully stops you on the sidewalk each morning and takes your lunch money away.  You could decide to do nothing, realizing that one of these years you will be out of school.  You could tell your parents that the price of lunch went up, allow the bully to keep taking the usual amount, and hide the rest away in your shoe.  Or, you could decide that you have had enough of the bully’s behavior, and that you want to take your self respect back.  Besides, you are tired of going through the day hungry.  You focus all efforts on stopping the bully, by whatever means necessary.  Now that you can see the forest from the trees (those bullies really seemed bigger than life when you were smaller), you know the right answer.

Granted, we weren’t minding our own business when the big ole’ banks came along and demanded our lunch money.  But, if you have consumer debt, you should consider them bullies nonetheless.  Think about it.  Banks pay you well under 1% per year to keep your money safe and sound in an account, but they turn around and charge you double-digit interest rates on your credit card balances.  They know you will most likely make the minimum payments, and they count on that to make their profits.  The last thing they want is for you to plop down a pile of cash and proclaim your freedom.

There is your answer.  As an investment professional, I realize the return you could make on a successful investment.  But, the higher the potential return, the more risk you take.  I had clients in “safe” AA-rated Lehman Brothers bonds when the government decided to let them go bankrupt.  How does a return of 20 cents on the dollar sound?  I guarantee you, however, that the banks will continue to charge you interest on your credit card debt at a level astronomically higher than what they are charged to borrow money from the federal government or another bank.  They wouldn’t put up with this extortion, so why should you.  Every dollar you pay down your debt is a dollar you are paying yourself.  And every time you pull out that credit card, knowing that your balance won’t be paid off within 30 days, you are creating a bully that will pester you each and every day.  Pay off your consumer debt first, and vow to never let it get out of hand again.

Mike Hazell

Copyright 2013, Penn Wealth Publishing.  All rights reserved.


Read Full Post »