Business Consulting

 

Money Is . . .

Money Is A Servant
Money is the perfect servant. Money does exactly what it's told and will serve any master that controls it. Money is neutral until used for good or evil. Money can be sold or given away and can be conserved or wasted. Money does not love or hate and can be a blessing or a curse. Money can be used and is being used as a weapon. Money can be used for good or evil. Money can be very dangerous when misused or a tremendous blessing when used according to God's plan. It's important for us to learn how to use money as God intended.

Money Is A Tool
Money is simply a tool – nothing more and nothing less. Like a hammer money can be used to build up or tear down.

A happy artist finds satisfaction and fulfillment in their work – not through the tools of their trade. The brushes, paint, and easel are simply the means to an end. The artist's joy comes from the satisfaction of creating – not from the tools being used.

It's important to remember wealth and money aren't the same as happiness. If you are looking for happiness through money you’re looking in the wrong place. It's believed that money can't buy happiness. I propose that money is one of the tools in the tool chest that belongs to happiness.

Money Is Freedom
Money is freedom from poverty. Freedom from being a debt slave. Freedom from working until the day you die. Freedom from low quality food. Freedom from not being able to help family, friends, and neighbors. Freedom from poor healthcare. Freedom from ignorance. Freedom from suffering because you don't have what you need.


Wealth Is . . .

Most people don't think they have any wealth or have the ability to create wealth. I propose that wealth is not only about money.

Webster defines wealth as "a great quantity or store of money, valuable possessions, property, or other riches". Who determines what "a great quantity” is? My alternative definition of wealth is: “enough money and assets to live a happy and comfortable life free of bad debts and financial stress”.

The amount of money a person needs to attain my alternative definition of wealth is achievable by anyone. The amount will naturally vary greatly from person to person. As you begin your journey to financial freedom it's important not to get hung up on a dollar amount.

An important step to financial freedom is to identify the level of wealth that allows you to live a happy and comfortable life free of bad debts and financial stress, then make it happen!

American culture wants us to believe wealth is many millions of dollars and before a person can say they are wealthy they must have such an amount. I propose that you are the authority on the definition of wealth.

Yes you do have the ability to define what wealth means to you and achieve it. One of the goals of Real Financial Freedom is to help you discover what wealth means to you and show you actionable ways to achieve it.

Money management principles apply to everyone's wealth regardless of the amount. It doesn't matter if your life's savings is one thousand dollars or one million dollars. We all need financial intelligence to manage and grow the money we already have. With proper money management skills you will be able to build and maintain your version of wealth.

A large portion of my happiness comes from owning and running several small businesses. My hobbies are my businesses and my businesses are my hobbies. For me they are one in the same. The money I make comes as a result of doing something I enjoy and love. I get paid sharing what I am passionate about with others! What a huge blessing from God! I am very happy with my version of wealth.


The first step to creating your version of wealth is financial education. The goal of this page is to help you begin the journey of changing your financial circumstances.  Before you can successfully play the game of money you need to know the rules. There are many rules that are really just tricks, scams, and lies used by bankers. People that know about these rules are successful at building real wealth.


Owning tangible assets goes a long way in building wealth and protecting your wealth from the predatory financial system run by bankers.


Tangible Assets

There is a difference between assets and investments. You should purchase tangible assets to carry your wealth through a crisis and purchase investments to make a profit in the short term. The same item can be used both as an asset or investment. Which one depends on the item’s intended use. The primary goal in purchasing tangible assets is to preserve your wealth - not to make a profit.

Tangible assets are also known as hard or real assets (personal property). This contrasts with traditional financial investments such as stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments. Tangible assets are physical items that you can hold or touch.

When purchasing tangible assets you should know (really know) the items. If you do not have a working knowledge about an asset group stay away from it; or work with an experienced and honest dealer. I have been a stamp collector (and part-time dealer) for over thirty years. Since I have a working knowledge of stamps I am not afraid to buy the right stamps at the right price.

Regardless of your income you need to have some of your wealth (savings) in tangible assets. It is not how much you make that matters but how much you keep. If your income is $600 a week chances are you will not be purchasing the same items as someone who makes several times what you do. It really is not about how many digits on your pay check.

Manage what you have today. Don't make the mistake of waiting until your income improves. If you do not have the discipline to save $20 a week now, do you really think you will have the discipline when you are earning more money? I doubt you will.

Remember, you do not want common items at any price. The goal is to park your wealth in physical items that hold their value. Then these items can be sold on the "other side" of a crisis after the financial storm has passed.

It’s important to remember that just because an item is old does not mean it is rare or valuable. Do not purchase fad collectibles like baseball cards. Cards that once sold for $1,500 are now selling for $150. This is because the demand is no longer there. The same is true for Bennie Babies and Barbie dolls.

With a good working knowledge of tangible assets, and basic business skills, it is possible to profit from your tangible assets. But stay focused on the goal of preserving your wealth. Do not become distracted by greed. Your family’s financial future is at stake.

Examples of tangible assets:
Coins

Banknotes (paper money)
Gold & Silver
Rental property

Land
Jewelry

Gemstones
Quality antiques
Ancient artifacts
Fine art
Postage stamps
Autographs: political, celebrity, and sports
Historic documents
Memorabilia: political, celebrity, and sports
Firearms

Ammunition & Magazines
Militaria
Watches & Timepieces
Fine wines and spirits
Classic cars
Rare books

Classic comic books
Quality musical instruments
Old collectable toys


Precious Metals

For thousands of years gold and silver were used as money. Gold and silver is insurance against corrupt and bankrupt governments, financial systems, and banks.

Precious metals are like fire insurance. You hope you never need it, but when your house burns, you are sure glad you bought it. When you buy fire insurance the day after your house burns, it is too little too late.

I strongly agree that gold and silver are an excellent way to preserve your wealth from wealth destruction such as inflation and confiscation. Also gold and silver are a very compact form of storing wealth. Remember historically precious metals do not make money they preserve wealth. Please understand this difference before buying precious metals. Gold and silver don't pay interest or dividends.

Precious metals are an excellent and safe place to park your wealth. They are one of the best ways you can protect yourself against wealth destruction. The three main reasons precious metals are an excellent choice is that they are tangible, private and portable.

Tangibility - Please see detailed section on tangible assets above.

Privacy - A potential problem with real estate is it is public. Government clerks record and preserve real estate transactions for anyone to see. Anyone with a working knowledge of the internet can study your real estate and see what you paid for it. Real estate can be held in the name of a trust. Trusts have their own challenging issues that most people have difficulty dealing with.

Portability
- Real estate is a tangible asset, but it is not portable. If for some reason you need to move or get out of the country quickly, you couldn’t take your property with you. Since real estate is non-portable, it cannot be protected from confiscation. Many hardworking people have lost their homes, land or businesses to fraud or government confiscation. One day, they owned them, then next day, they didn’t.

These problems don't exist with precious metals. You can buy them, store them, or sell them without “prying eyes” knowing. Since they are small, they can be transported discreetly. You can carry $25,000 worth of gold in your shoes or $1 million worth in a carry-on bag. Also precious metals can be shipped on a boat, plane or through the postal system.

There are several reasons silver is a better choice than gold. (1) The upside profit potential is greater. (2) More people can afford silver. (3) Much cheaper price compared to gold; the gold to silver ratio has never been so low. (4) Because of its lower price silver is easier to sell and use for barter (5) Industrial demand is greater. (6) Silver is “consumed”. In many applications silver cannot be recovered by recycling.

There are two circumstances when gold is better than silver. First - If you literally have to carry your wealth. Second - If you need to park a large amount of wealth in precious metals. As I write this article silver is trading around $16 an ounce and gold is around $1,300. At $16 an ounce $50,000 in silver would weigh 215 pounds! But $50,000 in gold weighs less than 2.5 pounds! Small gold coins can be sewn into clothing and hidden in belts and shoes.

I do not recommend buying platinum, palladium, or rhodium. These precious metals are more difficult to sell; especially if you do not live in a large city. Pawn shops and jewelry stores, which buy gold and silver, rarely see these metals. Most stores will not buy them. If they do you will probably receive a lot less than current market value.

Owning tangible gold and silver coins and bars is an important way I protect my family’s wealth. I strongly recommend you do the same.


Banks

Banks operate by keeping only a tiny fraction of their customers’ funds on reserve, speculating (gambling) with the rest. Low quality investments make up our current fragile financial system. This system is just barely held together by a very thin veneer of confidence.

In order for their scam to continue functioning, participants in the financial system must have confidence. Or at least have confidence that everyone else has confidence. Without confidence in our current financial the system would collapse very quickly.

It’s foolish to hold your life savings in the banking system of any heavily indebted country. Banks are just an extension of their governments. Banks are simply stooges that will turn against you and comply with the orders given to them by their bankrupt government masters.

When you deposit money in a bank, it legally becomes the property of the bank. You are now an unsecured creditor. In other words your deposits become an unsecured debt obligation of your bank to you. Depositors are the last to get paid when a bank fails. I am not misinformed on this. Please do your own research if you find this difficult to believe. If your failed bank gets taken over by another bank, you may receive shares in the new bank instead of your cash. Shares in the new bank are not the same as cash. You have to find a buyer. More than likely the value of the shares will be less than the value of the cash you just lost access to. Without the ability to turn the shares into cash they are worthless. You will not be able to buy groceries or pay your bills.

You are accepting a huge downside risk when you hold your savings in a bank or brokerage account. Interest rates are under one percent. When inflation is factored in, bank deposits are being eroded away every day.

The day is coming when the US government will nationalize private retirement accounts. This will give them an infusion of several trillion dollars; so they can keep their fraudulent Ponzi scheme going for a few more years. Please do not take my word for it. You need to become informed by doing your own research.

I understand you may not be ready to trade your tax deferred retirement accounts for hard assets. It is much easier to have your money "managed" by someone else. Just remember by doing this you are giving your financial security over to someone else. Always remember that your best interest is second to their profit goals. There are many thousands of documented cases where peddlers of traditional financial products knowingly sold bad investments to their clients. These criminals are rarely prosecuted and remain free to steal a family’s life savings for a commission check.


Cash

In modern American English we use the terms cash, currency and money interchangeably. Today we use the word cash and money but the correct word is currency. Historically money was coins made of gold or silver. Please note that there is an important difference between currency (cash) and money (gold and silver). You want a small amount of your wealth in currency. In the beginning of a crisis, currency will be of value because people will be scrambling to sell their money and assets for currency. Wealth cannot, and will not, be preserved by holding currency. At the beginning of a crisis having both currency and money is a good idea, but you will want to phase out your currency for money and other real assets.

The day is coming when it will be very difficult to trade currency for money or other real assets. When people have been flooded with currency; it will become almost worthless.

Only a small percentage of people will be able to withdraw their currency from their bank. If you are fortunate enough, to get to your bank within one or two hours after a crisis begins, you may be able to withdraw part of your currency. Banks do not keep huge amounts of currency on hand anymore. The currency of today is mostly in digital form. Also there will be withdrawal limits when bail-ins begin.

Rich people’s wealth is not in currency. Most of their "wealth" is only digits in their bank’s or broker's computer. These digits are just a claim on physical currency, share of a company or certificate that says they purchased a commodity. These are not real wealth. It is the same for your retirement account. The statement you receive every month is only a reminder of how much you could, and probably will, loose when the financial storm hits America.

An available balance on a credit card is not the same as currency. Likewise your debit card, which is attached to your checking and savings accounts, are not the same as currency. Credit and debit cards have their place in our modern financial system. You will not have access to your electronic currency if the electricity is off or the government closed your bank for a “bank holiday”.

At the very least you need enough currency on hand to cover three months of your living expenses and bills. A six month supply of currency would be better. Wealth held in currency, and cash equivalents, is losing its purchasing power every day. However since currency is the blood of our current financial system we must have currency. You need to reach a balance between having too little or too much currency on hand. How much will depend on your income and monthly expenditures.

The currency you have on hand should be in small denominations: $1, $5, $10, and $20 (not $50s & $100s). If you do not have a quality fire-proof safe consider keeping $1 coins. Dollar coins can be buried without the risk of rodents, fire or water destroying them.


Protecting Your Assets

How can you lose your wealth? A few ways are: bureaucrats and regulators can confiscate your stocks, bonds, and cash for all sorts of political, commercial, or bureaucratic reasons. Banks and county governments can seize your real estate if you can’t meet your mortgage or tax payments. Brokerages can collapse, wiping out your retirement accounts.

Stockbrokers hold stocks they purchase for you in their name. In almost every instance when you buy or sell securities with a broker, your name is not actually on the stock or bond certificate. The name that appears on the certificate is that of your broker, and this is referred to as being held "in street name". In fact, the broker usually doesn't even hold the physical certificates. Rather, the broker holds them in electronic form in computers. If their computers get hacked “your” wealth could disappear. What if it disappeared? It’s not likely, but it is a possibility. These records are the property of some huge financial institution. When it comes to protecting my family's wealth, my risk tolerance is zero.

Most any lawyer can sue you, win a judgment, and then put a lien on your property. He can also take a large part of your salary through court ordered garnishment. These concerns can be significantly reduced by owning gold,  silver and/or other tangible assets. You must hold them yourself in a private and secure place.


Inflation

The United States government claims that inflation is not a problem. Their official CPI (consumer price index) is rigged. In other words we are being lied to. It is in their best interest to “cook the books”. The CPI is what Uncle Sam uses to base COLA (cost of living adjustments) increases on. As of September 12, 2016 my bank’s interest rate is .07% on money market account and .025% on a regular savings account. Yes that is one fourth of one percent on a regular savings account. That is not a mistake. The rate is a friction of 1%. That is as close to nothing as you can get. You could literally lose money driving to the bank to open a savings account!

Consider this: Let us say a loaf of bread costs $1, and you make $50,000 per year. When denominated in bread, your salary is 50,000 loaves. Next year the price of bread rises to $1.10. Your salary goes up to $51,000. Your new salary in bread is 46,363 loaves. Even though your salary has actually increased, your standard of living, when denominated in loaves of bread, has decreased by over 7% ! Certainly this is a simplistic example. But it shows that inflation is really just a form of theft.

Inflation is real and destroying your wealth and purchasing power every day. Do not take my word for it. Please become informed by doing your own research. I have a comprehensive library of articles on inflation. For your free copy please contact me.

Deflation

Deflation is a decrease in the prices of goods and services throughout the economy. It is the opposite of inflation. Deflation is a rare phenomenon that does not occur in the course of a normal economic cycle, and therefore, investors must recognize it as a sign that something is severely wrong with the state of the economy.

Deflation can be caused by a number of factors, all of which stem from a shift in the supply-demand curve. Remember, the prices of all goods and services are heavily affected by a change in the supply and demand, which means that if demand drops in relation to supply, prices will have to drop accordingly. Also, a change in the supply and demand of a nation’s currency plays an instrumental role in setting the prices of the country’s goods and services.

To many people, deflation sounds like a good thing. After all, who wouldn’t want to pay less for food, clothing, and electronics? While deflation can be good for consumers, it is terrible for many businesses. It is especially bad for businesses that have borrowed too much money. Deflation in the U.S. makes the dollar stronger, which makes it harder to pay back loans. For example, if a company borrows $200,000 and we get 5% deflation, it effectively has to pay back $210,000.

Ben Bernanke assured us that the Fed would react to any deflationary trend by printing as much currency as necessary. He was not making an idle threat. Janet Yellen and other past heads of the Federal Reserve subscribe to the same mindset as Ben Bernanke.

Never forget that the owners of the Federal Reserve profit immensely from the hidden tax of inflation. But they lose money during deflation. This guarantees us, with the present unsustainable level of U.S. government debt (twenty one trillion dollars stated and over hundred trillion dollars when unfunded liabilities are included), a collapse of the US dollar is inevitable.

Derivatives


A derivative is a security that derives its value from another security, such as a stock, bond, currency, or interest rate. During the last housing bubble, many derivatives were tied to mortgages. When housing prices crashed, people stopped paying their mortgages. The derivatives tied to those mortgages “blew up”. This is a big reason why the U.S. housing crisis turned into a full-blown global financial crisis.

In other words, derivatives can turn a bad crisis into a catastrophic one. That is why Warren Buffett famously called derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction.”


What Is Money?

In American English we use the terms cash, currency and money interchangeably. We use the words cash and money but the correct word is currency. Most people use the word money instead of currency. Therefore during our study we will refer to currency as money. Please remember there is an important and significant difference between currency (paper cash) and money (gold and silver).

For an item to successfully function as money it must do three things:
1 - Function as a medium of exchange - use it to buy and sell.
2 - Be able to offer a store of value - save it today and use it in the future.
3 - Function as a unit of account - provide an accepted bases for prices.

Money can be anything of real or perceived value that people will accept in exchange for goods or services. Before gold and silver people used salt, sea shells, animal hides and many other items as a medium of exchange.

Somewhere around 200 to 100 BC China invented paper and paper money followed soon after. There is no consensus as to exactly when paper money was invented and first used. But around 1023 the Song dynasty began using paper money the way we use it today. In 1295 the famous Venetian explorer and merchant Marco Polo brought back tales of paper money from China.

For thousands of years money was coins made of gold, silver, and bronze. In 1933 the U.S. ended the production of gold coins for everyday commerce. In 1965 the U.S. removed silver from most of its coins.

Money is simply a tool like a hammer or knife. The better the tools the higher the productivity.

A skilled man with a spear can catch fish but with a twenty foot long net his productivity will increase dramatically. Same man, same skill, same river, same time of day, but with a better tool his reward is considerably more. With the net he can choose to spend less time fishing and have more time for other activities. Or he can choose to spend the same amount of time fishing and sell the excess fish. Either way his quality of life was improved by having a better tool.

Where there is a lack of tools you will find an abundance of poverty. Areas that have better tools and technology will have more wealth.

Money (paper and digital) in itself is not wealth. Money is merely a future claim on wealth. The money you have does not become real money until you actually use it to secure real wealth. Real wealth is tangible items of value like land, silver, gold, food, houses, clothing, tools, businesses, cattle, etcetera.

What people accept as money today is non-substance fiat. Governments print numbers on pieces of paper and call it money (dollars). Fiat money can also be entries held in a computer's memory.

Banks also create fiat money with every bank loan they make. You create fiat money every time you charge something on a credit card (not debit card). Before you borrowed money to purchase your latest indulgence that money didn't exist. The bank that issued your store's branded card creates fiat money every time you swipe your card.

Fiat money is currency without intrinsic value established as money by government regulation. The value of fiat currency comes from the government's ability to enforce its value and use.

Private parties can agree upon a value for fiat currency. There are several local groups that issue their own private currency. Two famous private currencies in the US are the Ithaca Hours in Ithaca, New York and BerkShares in the Berkshire region of western Massachusetts.

The money you think you have is actually anti-wealth. When you deposit your paycheck or cash in a bank, it legally becomes the property of the bank. You are now an unsecured creditor. Your deposits become an unsecured debt obligation of your bank to you. Depositors are the last to get paid when a bank fails. I encourage you to do your own research if you find this difficult to believe.

Closing Thoughts

Unfortunately, most people have no idea what happens when an economy collapses, much less how to prepare for one. How will you protect yourself, and your family, in the event of an economic crisis or collapse of the US dollar and/or financial system?

If you or your family never go through a personal financial crisis, your preparations will not be for nothing. You will have greatly improved your financial health. Also you will be ahead of inflation with a portfolio of tangible assets.

When moving your assets outside "the system" timing is extremely important. It’s better to be one year too early instead of one day too late. Never forget there are no tomorrows. Do the best you can, with what you have, where you are right now!