10 Immutable Laws Of Money
- Written by Lance Roberts | Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Money – we all want it, but few of us are willing to sacrifice to get it. Those that have it generally don't understand it, and those that don't have it come up with excuses why they can't get it. If this sounds confusing – it is.
For all that we have accomplished in the United States in the last 200+ years we have failed miserably at teaching our children the basics of money management. I am not talking about stock and bond portfolios but rather the basics of spending less than you make, understanding of credit, and how to balance a check a book.
We are inundated daily with credit card commercials that show how great life can be – just charge it. We are enticed to buy things that we don't really need though the use of zero percent financing – but only while it lasts. We are motivated to consume anything and everything in pursuit of the American dream but no one ever talks about the consequences of our actions.
The Secret To Wealth
I could literally be kicked out of the financial community for divulging the one secret that has been so closely guarded by the credit card companies, the mortgage companies, the banks and WallStreet for so many years. This secret, of course, is the true road to wealth and happiness. It is irrefutable, undeniable and absolutely achievable. If you implement this one secret in your life – you will be rich and you won't be able to stop it.
The Secret: Spend Less Than You Make
That's right. This is the one secret that no one wants you to know because the more you save – the less the credit card companies make. The more you save the less in fees that Wall Street makes. The more you save the wealthier you get.
The 10 Laws Of Money
1) Money Doesn't Grow On Trees
My father used to always tell me several things – all of which I am beginning to find out weren't exactly true – such as; "When I was your age I had to walk uphill to school in the snow – both ways!", "I could go to a double feature and eat all the popcorn and soda I wanted for a nickel and have change left over!" and, of course, my personal favorite; "Where do you think that comes from – money doesn't grow on trees!"
What my father was trying to teach me was to respect the effort that goes into making money in the first place. My whole life my father worked two jobs, and sometimes three, to support me and make sure that I had everything I needed – not always everything I wanted – but always what I needed. As a young boy, of course, I didn't fully understand the impact of what he was trying to teach me until I got a family of my own.
People generally work very hard for their money but then squander it by making bad financial decisions. You must learn respect for the money you make and one of the best ways to do this is by using an "envelope system" for a few months.
The "envelope system" is easy. Simply cash your paycheck and put all the money into envelopes for rent/mortgage, car notes, food, utilities, entertainment, etc. Then go ahead and begin living your life. What the envelope system will show you is where you are squandering your money and help you focus on the areas of financial distress so that you can cure the problem.
Oh, by the way, there is no borrowing from one envelope to cover a shortfall in another, when the envelope is empty then you are out of luck until next month...so make sure you don't spend too much of your "food" money eating out.
2) Wants Always Exceed Needs
It is always surprises me when I council people on financial planning the shear look of horror that comes across their faces when I mention the word "budget". It is almost as if I have just asked for them to amputate both arms.
However, a budget is the only way to achieve financial success in your life - you have to spend less than you make. I hear all the time; "You don't understand – I needed a new car", "...we needed a bigger house" or "...we just have to have our annual vacation."
The difference between a "want" and a "need" can sometimes be small and insignificant, but, most of the time they are on different planets. Did these people need a new car – maybe, but they could have bought a 2-year old car that looks great and saved 30% on depreciation. Did they really need a bigger house or could they have gotten by in the one they are already in. These are all the questions that you have to ask yourself.
These are your needs – everything is a "want". Keeping the "wants" under control is a huge first step in your financial wealth. So, before you buy something tomorrow – stop and think about it – is it a "want" or a "need".
Your Life Is Worth 60%
In planning your life, and spanning the gap between "wants" and "needs", build a budget after analyzing your spending patterns keep your committed expenses at or below 60% of your gross income. That's right – that leaves 40% of your gross income just hanging out in the wind, but more on that in a moment.
Now, 60% is not a magic number but it is a realistic goal to work toward and, at any rate, it's a good place to start. However, once you start using this method, you really won't need to track your expenses because your checking account balance will generally be equal to the amount of money you can spend. The key is keeping a lid on those committed expenses.
What About The Remaining 40%?
That 40% is what you paid yourself, and your family, with first. Let's look at an easy example:
Joe makes $100,000 per year and is in a 25% tax bracket. Once he is paid, $17,500 goes into his company retirement plan, pretax, OR 17.5% of our 40% goal. Joe is already almost halfway to his goal.
Joe then deposits $458.33 per month, ($5,500 annually) into a Roth IRA for himself and an additional $458.33 each month into a Roth IRA for his wife. Since these are AFTER-TAX investments we need to adjust upward by adding the taxes back in which would value the total of the $11,000 in annual contributions at $13,750. So far Joe has already saved 31.25% of his goal of 40%.
Joe then deposits $730 into an investment account each month, via automatic deposit, which is an additional $8,760 a year making up the balance of the savings goal.
Joe then has a final net paycheck he deposited into his bank account which is equivalent to 60% of his gross pay after all deductions. Each month Joe spends everything in his bank account. He doesn't have to worry about saving anything because it has already been done and Joe learns not to miss the money piling into his savings accounts because he never got to see it in the first place.
The real secret to building a budget that really works isn't tracking what you spend any more than counting calories is the secret to losing weight. The key is creating a sustainable structure for your finances, one that balances spending and income, and leaves enough room to handle the unexpected.
3) The Poor Are Debtors
This is a simple rule – "You can not borrow your way to wealth...period." You will never see a late night infomercial on how to build your way to wealth by swapping debt between low interest credit cards.
For a lot of people, part of the difficulty in reducing committed expenses comes from the need to make big monthly credit card payments. If you're carrying a substantial amount of non-mortgage debt, I'd suggest using the 20% that would otherwise go to retirement and long-term saving to aggressively pay down your debt -- but only after you cut up those cards.
Every dollar in interest that you don't pay is just like getting a guaranteed risk-free, and tax-free, return on your money equal to the interest rate on the debt. When your debts are paid off -- and it won't take long using 20% of your gross income -- immediately redirect that money back into savings.
Here are 15 signs that indicate you are not managing your financial life correctly and are hindering yourself from becoming wealthy:
1) Your credit card balances are rising while your income is decreasing.
2) You are only paying the minimum amounts required on your accounts, or maybe even less than the minimums.
3) You're juggling bills. For example, you apply for another credit card and use cash advances from it to pay an existing card.
4) You have more credit cards than a successful gambler has poker chips.
5) You are at or perilously near the limit on each of your credit cards.
6) You consistently charge more each month than you make in payments.
7) You are working overtime to keep up with your credit card payments.
8) You don't know how much you owe and really don't want to find out.
9) You have received phone calls or letters about delinquent bill payments.
10) You are using your credit card to buy necessities like food or gasoline.
11) Your credit cards are no longer used for the sake of convenience, but because you don't have money.
12) You are dipping into savings or your IRA to pay your monthly bills.
13) You are hiding the true cost of your purchases from your spouse.
14) You're playing the card game by signing up for every credit card that sends you an unsolicited offer.
15) You have just lost your job, or are fearful that you are about to, and are concerned about how you will pay all your bills.
The first step in becoming wealthy is to quit using credit cards – of any type, for any reason.
The Credit Card Rollup Solution
If you want to get rid of your credit card debt – no matter how large – the following method will work in no time. You just have to get serious about doing it.
Step 1) Sit down and cut up all of your credit cards – ALL OF THEM.
Step 2) List the balances for each card from LARGEST to SMALLEST and the minimum payment for each.
Step 3) Pay the minimums for each card on the list and 5 times the minimum for the smallest card balance.
Step 4) Repeat each month. Don't worry about paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. This approach gives you some quick wins. It's like losing five pounds in the first week of a diet.
Step 5) When the smallest credit card has been paid off ROLLUP all the money you WERE paying on the smallest credit card and apply all of it to the next card on the list INCLUDING the minimum payment you were already making on the previous card. By the time that you get to your last credit card – which will be the one with the highest balance you will be putting huge chunks of money on the card each month. Before you know it – you will be debt free.
Step 6) When you are finally free of all of your credit cards – reward yourself. Take the next two months of payments you were using to pay off your last credit card and buy yourself something.
Step 7) After you reward yourself – it is time to get back to saving. ALL OF THE MONEY that you used to pay towards the credit cards – now goes into savings. You have a lot of ground to make up and this is a good way to get there.
4) Moral & Physical Hazards Don't Apply
I remember watching "Fear Factor" and realizing that people will do anything for "quick and easy money" – "Sure, Joe, I will eat those South American Hissing Cock Roaches for $50,000." Yet, these same individuals won't do the financially smart things, and sacrifice their "wants," in order to save that same $50,000.
In America we have been raised to be financially lazy. We are unwilling to do what is necessary to become rich yet we will play the lottery, which is nothing more than a poor man's tax, in hopes of becoming a millionaire. Yet the sad statistic is that 80% of lottery winners are broke again within 10 years because of bad financial management.
Like David Letterman, I should start a segment on "Streettalk with Lance Roberts" called "Financially Stupid Human Tricks" and highlight some of the things that we are enticed to do by lenders in the name of "financial management" such as;
Borrow From Your 401(K)
Companies don't have to offer a loan feature with their 401(k) retirement plans, but according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, most of them do. Eighty-three percent of American workers covered by 401(k) plans can borrow against their accounts, and about two in five participants have an outstanding loan.
People who borrow from their workplace retirement funds, meanwhile, love to think it's a smart move, since when they repay the loan they're essentially paying interest to themselves rather than to a credit-card company or other lender.
This is true, but 401(k) borrowers also could be putting their retirements at risk. If they lose their jobs or get fired, the loan must be repaid, typically within 60 days. If that's not possible, and often it's not since people who lose their jobs don't tend to have a lot of cash sitting around, the outstanding loan balance is taxed and penalized as a premature distribution. That can equate to a penalty of up to 40% or more, depending on your tax bracket, in taxes and penalties in addition to the amount that you borrowed.
It gets worse, since you can't put that money back. Whatever the money your borrowed might have earned in future years is gone forever. If you had borrowed $7000, the average outstanding loan balance, and assume an 8% return, that loan could cost you more than $75,000 in future retirement funds.
Never touch your 401(k) plan – like your home equity. If you screw everything else up in life you will have a roof over your head and food to eat.
Stretch To Buy A House
Beware, homebuyers. Everyone around you is conspiring against your financial best interests.
Your real estate agent wants you to buy the most expensive house you can: the higher the price tag, the bigger their commission. Why do you think they always show you a house that can't afford first? This is because when they show you the house you CAN afford – you will only remember all the nice things that were in the house you couldn't afford. The next thing you know you are stretching to buy a home way out of your price range.
Your friends, and family also may get into the act, telling you it's okay to stretch for that mortgage, since rates are so cheap and your income will eventually rise. Maybe, maybe not, but anyone who's been house-poor knows the emotional, psychological and financial stress of stretching too far.
Buying too much house should mean giving up other things you want: vacations, eating out, a college fund for your kids, a sufficient retirement kitty. However, what it means to most, intentional or not, is piling on ever more debt, as you borrow to try to maintain your lifestyle.
5) The Best Things In Life Are Free
Too often we equate spending time with a loved one, or with our family, with going somewhere and doing something that can quite quickly become very expensive. However, isn't the purpose of the outing just to spend time communicating and interacting with those that we care about the most?
Learn to be creative. Board games at home, sports in the front yard, water balloon fights, $0.99 cent movie rentals and homemade popcorn, theme nights such as "Stay up as late as you can" or "Slumber party" – it really doesn't matter what you do, you can still have a lot of fun and in a lot of cases – it won't cost you a dime.
Laugh At Your Neighbors' Overspending - Petty? Yes! Helpful? Definitely!
After all, trying to keep up with the Joneses may be what got you into financial trouble in the first place. Realizing that the Joneses aren't as well off as they seem -- and are struggling with debt-related stress as well -- can make keeping up with them a little less attractive.
The average family of four has $100,000 of debt between mortgages, credit cards, car loans, etc. That means that 50% of all families have even more than that in debt. Currently, consumer debt, not including mortgage debt, is at historic highs while personal incomes fail to increase fast enough to cover the shortfall.
So, using your neighbors financial stupidity as a measuring stick for your own successful money management is a great way to keep you on track for your goals. Go ahead, deride the neighbors for financing everything they buy or feeling superior for winning a better mortgage rate, thanks to lower debt loads.
Never underestimate the power of bagging on someone to make yourself feel better – just not to their face. You do still want to be invited to dinner every now and then.
Remember that your peace of mind is, ultimately, what living frugally is all about. You are living today for what you want tomorrow. So, whether you're paying off debt, saving more or simply living within your means, you're trying to avoid the fear and stress that plague people who aren't in control of their spending. Remembering that can help you avoid burnout, stick to your plan and get you to your goal that much quicker.
6) Money Can't Buy Happiness
That ole' cliché is only spoken by those that don't have money and are unwilling to go get it. It is true, however, that "Money can't buy happiness" but it sure can buy a whole lot of whatever comes in second.
7) There Is No Such Thing As Five Easy Payments
Don't get sucked in by finance schemes. To many times people try and rationalize that they will use this credit card or that financing plan because it has zero percent interest. It doesn't matter. If you can't afford to pay cash for the item immediately, on the spot, then you have no business buying it. Most likely it is a "want" anyway.
Debt is debt in all shapes, forms, and fashions. Ultimately, it is the fine print that traps you and pushes you further away from attaining your financial goals.
8) A Wad In Your Pocket Is Better Than Your Pants In Wad
Unfortunately, 50% of all marriages in America end in divorce. The number one reason is financial distress. We all want the good things in life and we generally make emotional decisions versus logical ones. If you want to get out of debt, and be free of the financial stress that comes along with it, here are seven radical realities to get your pants out of a wad and put a wad in your pocket.
Reduce Housing Costs. Do you really need a pool in the backyard? Do you really need two extra bedrooms that are being use to store clutter and junk? People generally buy way more house than they need. Reducing your monthly mortgage payments by dropping the size of your house can put a lot more cash into your pocket.
Drop A Car, Gas, Maintenance, and Payments -- imagine the money you could save if you gave up one household car, or found other ways to commute and run errands. Or trade in your car on a two or three year old car to reduce your monthly car notes.
Get (Another) Job. You don't have to work nights and weekends forever, but if a part-time job gave you an extra $300 a month, that's $3,600 you can put toward debt this year.
Quit Your Vice. Your indulgences can add up fast. Giving up your smoking habit can save you thousands of dollars a year. Eating out can add up fast too – so brown bag your lunch and start cooking at home. It isn't convenient – but it's the financial smart thing to do.
Live moderately. Shifting priorities, and locations, can help downsize your lifestyle. .
Let the kids go public. According to the Council for American Private Education, the average cost of private elementary and high school is about $4,689 a year. You are already paying for public school in your annual school taxes – might as well get some bang for your buck. Don't think your child will learn as well as they would in a private school? How about taking some time out of your schedule to work with them at home – it's free and you will create a lot more with your child than just a smart kid.
Tap Your Crap. Garage sells, EBAY and a host of other avenues these days offer you outlets to get rid of all that crap you have accumulated over the years – and it may just generate a few extra bucks towards paying off debt.
I understand your initial reactions to most of this but once you start adopting some these guidelines you will begin to discover other avenues to begin to live within your means and begin to take the steps required to live a happy and wealthier life.
9) Dress For Success
All too often I see people driving expensive cars, dressing in $1000 outfits and wearing enough jewelry to make Mr. T jealous – yet they don't have a penny saved to their name and enough debt to declare themselves a federal deficit.
If you ask those who've already become millionaires what their lives are like, you might be surprised. I highly recommend the book, "The Millionaire Mind," by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley, author of the best seller "The Millionaire Next Door." He surveyed nearly 1,000 of the nation's millionaires, and what he found may surprise you.
First, he sorted out those who were "balance-sheet" millionaires and those who simply lived an affluent lifestyle while burdened with debt. Balance-sheet millionaires tended to own their homes without a mortgage, while those who merely lived a wealthy lifestyle carried jumbo loans. Millionaires with assets between $2 million and $5 million live, on average, in homes that are valued at $355,000 (based on the Internal Revenue Service database figures).
The millionaires in his survey tend to have started businesses, and have built their wealth by finding a profitable niche. They tend to love what they do and are motivated by building the business, not by building wealth.
They live comfortable lifestyles, but are not wasteful. In a fascinating example, most of the millionaires in the survey report they buy expensive shoes, but almost all have them resoled. For the most part, they remain married to supportive and responsible spouses who run economically productive households -- from clipping coupons to buying household supplies in bulk. Bottom line: They spend less than they earn.
When it comes to investments, these millionaires look to the stock market primarily as a place to grow capital once their businesses have matured. They are not speculators in the markets, rarely visit a casino and almost never buy lottery tickets. Of course, you might figure that they don't need to speculate, since they're already wealthy. But perhaps these stable qualities are the reason they got wealthy in the first place.
However, if you put a pair of pantyhose on your head and ask for money – that generally works as well.
10) Live Like No One Else Today
As Dave Ramsey often states: "If you live like no one else today – you will be able to live like no one else tomorrow." Rich is good. Retiring that way is easy. You just have to commit to a lifestyle of being financially smart and of being a good saver. This, of course, will cause you to be a sworn enemy of the credit card companies, a villain to the banks and ultimately ostracized by the "Jones'" for not keeping up with them.
But in the end it will be you that is laughing all the way to the bank with a wad of cash in your pocket, an emergency fund in the bank, a steady income from your investments to live on and not a worry in the world. Now, wasn't the sacrifice in the beginning worth it?
This past Friday I visited with Bill Griffith, Maria Bartiromo and Rick Santelli on CNBC to discuss my views on the latest employment report. My take is somewhat basic in regards to the data - on a macro level the jobs that are being created are temporary, low paying, jobs that do not create long term sustainabilty for economic growth.
As I stated in "Employment: The Macro Trends":
This problem with part-time employment is that it does not increase economic prosperity. Part-time employment, as discussed in the "Labor Hoarding Effect," has been an aggressively used tool by corporations to suppress wage growth, reduce overhead costs and increase profitability. The problem is that with the Affordable Care Act gearing up to start in 2014 even more businesses will resort to part-time employment to reduce the increased health care tax burden. I stated that:
"The issue of 'labor hoarding' is an important phenomenon that is likely obscuring the real weakness in the underlying economy. Without an increase in the demand part of the equation businesses are likely to continue resorting to further productivity increases to stretch the current labor force farther to protect profitability. However, as we may currently be witnessing, businesses may be reaching the limits of what they can do to continue increasing profits at the bottom line while revenue declines at the top. The implications for the financial markets going forward are clearly negative."
There has been little improvement in the number of people working part-time for economic reasons. However, as I stated, such weak employment leads to dependence of government subsidies which explains the rise in disability claims and food stamp participation as individuals seek to make ends meet.
I also discuss my views on the market and where to invest.
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- • Bill Ackman: The Basics Of Stock Market In...
- • Q3 GDP - The Devil Is In The Details
- • Housing Recovery: What Has Been Forgotten
- • The Definition Of Insanity: Republicans
- • CFNAI: Not Seeing The Growth Economists' Pr...
- • Chart Of The Day: LEI -- Leading To Laggin...
- • Be Careful Jumping On Bernanke's Bandwagon
- • Market Bounces Off Support - What Now?
- • Chart Of The Day: Decoupling Has Ended
- • Already Weak Manufacturing Impacted By Sand...
- • Retail Sales - You Can't Blame It All On Sa...
- • Personal Finance Seminar Presentation
- • NFIB - Pre-Election Hopes Of Romney Win
- • America Isn't The Greatest Country Anymore
- • "The Star Spangled Banner Is Stupid"
- • Net Export Prices And Wholesale Trade
- • Trade Deficit - Increase In Exports To Be S...
- • Post-Election Wrap Up: Economy and Investi...
- • The Next Four Years Won't Be As Good As The...
- • Recession Probability - 100%
- • ISM Composite, Employment & Black Helicopte...
- • Economic Data Flood - Weakness Behind The H...
- ► October (25)
- • Market Thoughts: Hurricane, Election & Fis...
- • Debt And Deficits - Killing Economic Prospe...
- • Personal Incomes Offset By Rise In Food & E...
- • GDP: The Warning From Exports
- • New Home Sales - Not As Strong As Headlines...
- • Chart Of The Day: Where Do Your Tax Dollars...
- • Richmond Fed Survey - More Evidence Of Weak...
- • Debt - Driving The Economy Since 1980
- • Reviewing Risk/Reward And Entry Targets
- • Chart Of The Day: LEI Coincident-To-Laggin...
- • Philly Fed Bounces - Internals Weaken
- • Housing Starts and Permits: Euphoria May B...
- • Market Rallies As Expected
- • Retail Sales - Not As Strong As Headlines S...
- • Chart Of The Day: JOLT Survey And The Peak ...
- • Trade Deficit - Recession Risks Increase
- • What Wholesale Trade Can Tell Us About 3Q E...
- • Fox Business - Bull/Bear Market Report
- • NFIB - Small Businesses Don't Agree With BL...
- • Unemployment 7.8% to 22% - Is There A Bette...
- • Why The Real Unemployment Rate Is 16.9%
- • Romney Got It Right On Jobs and Taxes
- • What Is The ADS And Why Is It Signaling A R...
- • 3 Major Risks To The 4th Quarter
- • Have Investors Really Missed Anything?
- ► September (25)
- • Second Recession Horseman Goes Down
- • GDP And Durable Goods - Heading To Recessio...
- • Market Sell Off Pushes Toward Support Level...
- • What To Expect From Post-Election Year Mark...
- • Economic Data Continues To Weaken
- • 4 Keys To Successful Long Term Investing
- • QE3 And Bernanke's Folly - Part II
- • Romney Should Be Fighting For The 47%
- • China: A Love-Hate Relationship
- • QE3 - Mortgage Rates And Housing
- • QE3 And Bernanke's Folly - Part I
- • Fed Announces QE - Initial Thoughts
- • Analyzing The ECRI Recession Call
- • Import Prices and Wholesale Trade - Weaknes...
- • Trade Deficit - Exports A Major Concern
- • NFIB - Good News Beneath The Surface
- • CNBC - The Fed, QE3 and Jobs
- • Employment Report - Worse Than It Looks
- • MarketWatch - 3 Factors Deciding The Next P...
- • ECB - A Program To Nowhere
- • When Good Employment News Is Really Bad New...
- • Draghi To Announce Sterilized Bond Purchase...
- • Productivity Increases And The Employment C...
- • ISM and Construction Spending Show Weakness
- • Stage For EuroCrisis Resurgence Being Set
- ► August (30)
- • The Incredible Lightness Of "Hope"
- • PCE - A Tale Of The Consumer
- • Q2 GDP - Nothing Good Happening Here
- • QE3 Mechanism Is Broken
- • Investing For The Next Recession
- • Pigeons At The Table
- • Durable Goods And New Home Sales
- • Monday Reading List
- • Is It Time To Buy Gold?
- • Chart Of The Day: Confidence Waning
- • To The Contrary - QE-3 Is Not Coming Soon
- • Three Things That Will Influence The Electi...
- • No Recession Now - But When?
- • Do You Feel Lucky? Well Do Ya?
- • The Monday Morning Reading List
- • Thoughts On The Market
- • Chasing Yield Can Be Hazardous To Your Reti...
- • Gold, Dollar & Rates Say No QE
- • NFIB - Dear Administration, Are You Listeni...
- • Everything Needs To Go Right
- • End Of Week Economic Data Roundup
- • Want More Tax Revenue? Increase Jobs Not R...
- • Market "Hope" Rally Overbought
- • Are Investors Really That Bearish?
- • Chart Of The Day: Follow The Money
- • Bullish Data Says No Q.E. Coming
- • BLS - Jobs Increase As Businesses Cut
- • Fed And ECB - No Action As Expected
- • CBNC - ECB and Knight Trading Glitch
- • Economic Reports Confirm Deterioration
- ► July (20)
- • Consumer Spending Points To Weaker Employme...
- • FOMC, ECB and Jobs - A Trifecta Of Potentia...
- • 2nd Quarter GDP - Weaker In All The Wrong P...
- • ECB Spurs Short Covering Rally
- • Major Sell Signal Triggered
- • Richmond Fed - Recession Risks Increase
- • CFNAI And Market Update
- • Thoughts On Long Term Investing
- • LEI, Philly Fed, Housing And The 100 Days O...
- • Corporate Profits Surge At Expense Of Worke...
- • Markets Have Trapped Fed On QE3
- • Will QE 3 Save Us From Recession
- • Consumers Flash Warning Signal
- • Import-Export Prices And Jobless Claims
- • Trade and Mortgage Data - More Evidence Of ...
- • NFIB Weakness And Recession Risks
- • Looking At The Economic Forest
- • Homes: The Case Of M2V And The Elusive Reco...
- • Coming This Fall - The Best Time To Invest
- • Euro Crisis: 366 Days Later
- ► June (25)
- • Consumer Spending Leads To Lower Q2 GDP
- • Q1 GDP - Consumer Weaker As Weather Saves T...
- • Durable Goods - Highly Volatile But Trend T...
- • June Rally Complete - Summer Sell Off Ahead...
- • The Fed And Goldilocks Economic Forecasting
- • Negative Economic Trends Clearing Way For Q...
- • CHART OF THE DAY: Fed Lowers Economic Outl...
- • No Q.E. As Expected - "Twist" Extended
- • No QE3 Tomorrow - Replay Of 2011 Continues
- • CHART OF THE DAY: JOLT Survey And Peak Emp...
- • Have A State Pension? Don't Count On It.
- • Inflation, Dollar And Interest Rates Open D...
- • Retail Sales In Decline
- • Deflationary Presssures Rising - PPI
- • CHART OF THE DAY: Negative Net Export Pric...
- • NFIB - Shows Flaws In Current Policy Mix
- • Why Spain's Bailout May Spell The End Of Th...
- • Trade - A Wholesale And Int'l Disappointmen...
- • Risks To The Market Rebound
- • Forecasting The Rebound And Bottom
- • St. Bernanke's Fight Against The Deflation ...
- • CHART OF THE DAY: US Best Place To Invest
- • ISM Composite - Economic Weakness Returns
- • TheStreet.Com - Gold Run Not Over
- • The Lie That Is Social Security
- ► May (27)
- • Yahoo! Summer Portfolio Management Ideas
- • Yahoo! Low Interest Rates Hurts Economy
- • Fox Business - Tending Your Portfolio
- • CNBC - Eurozone Slowdown Will Impact US
- • Housing Recovery - Hope and Reality
- • Interview - Southwest Airlines, Facebook an...
- • Durable Goods Disappointing
- • 4-Issues For The Market Ahead
- • Richmond Fed Showing More Weakness
- • Sell Signal Confirmed - Initial Targets Set
- • Risk Ratio Indicating More Correction Comin...
- • Confirmed "Sell Signal" Approaches
- • Industrial Production And The Recovery
- • Composite Inflation Index Declines
- • Real Retail Sales Under Pressure
- • Sex, Money and Largesse - The Hidden Depres...
- • Trade Defict - Confirming Weaker Q1 GDP
- • The Clock Is Ticking On The Next Eurozone C...
- • Initial Sell Signal In - Confirmation Is Li...
- • NFIB - Optimistic But Still At Recessionary...
- • Economic Trends Don't Paint A Robust Pictur...
- • Strategic Investment Conference - Dr. Lacy ...
- • Strategic Investment Conference - David Ros...
- • Strategic Investment Conference - Dr. Woody...
- • Strategic Investment Conference - Niall Fer...
- • 3 Likely Triggers Of The Next Recession
- • ISM Report Bucking The Trend
- ► April (19)
- • The "Consumption Dysfunction" Continues
- • Q1 GDP - Weaker Than Expected
- • Social Security Has A Real Problem - Employ...
- • Decline In Durable Goods Indicative Of Broa...
- • Impatience Will Lead To Our Demise
- • Market Cracks Support - Correction Gets Ser...
- • LEI - Slower Growth Of The Growth Update
- • Philly Fed Points To Weaker Profits Ahead
- • Mother Nature's Bail Out Coming To An End
- • 10 More Years Of Low Returns
- • 5 Mistakes That Will Crush Your Retirement ...
- • Earnings Likely To Be "Better Than Expected...
- • Market Hits Support - Now What?
- • The Return Of Economic Weakness
- • The Correction Has Started
- • The "Real" Employment Report - March 2012
- • Now The Media Is Hooked On QE Crack
- • Wave 5 Of The Cyclical Bull Market
- • CHART OF THE DAY: Signs Of Recovery?
- ► March (24)
- • The Consumption Dysfunction
- • WTF! Chart Of The Day
- • An Update On Margin Debt
- • Hyperinflation Isn't A Threat
- • Surprise! Jobs Drive Consumer Confidence
- • Death Of The Gold Bull Market?
- • Housing And The Elusive Recovery
- • LEI - Slower Growth Of The Growth
- • The Long Road Ahead
- • The "Fly" In Ryan's Budget Ointment
- • 1.8 Million Jobs Lost In 2012
- • Why 4% GDP Will Remain Elusive
- • The Stretching Of Limits
- • Rising Costs And Profit Margins
- • Retail Sales - A Lot About Weather
- • Correction: There Has Been No Correction
- • CHART OF THE DAY: Ceridian-UCLA PCI
- • NFIB - Index Up But Internals Weaken
- • Employment Report And The Market
- • Is The Investing Game Rigged?
- • OIl Prices Will Hurt The Consumer
- • Has The Correction Started?
- • The Immediacy Trap
- • 1st Quarter GDP To Be Much Weaker
- ► February (22)
- • Oil Prices WILL Slow The Economy (Revised)
- • Don't Feed The Animals
- • The Housing Recovery In One Index
- • Consumer Sentiment Responds To Market Rally
- • The Straw That Potentially Breaks The Camel...
- • Media Headlines Will Lead You To Ruin
- • Philly Fed Future Activity Points To Weakne...
- • Housing Headlines Improve - Reality Doesn't
- • The "Real" American Dream
- • Industrial Production - The Revival May Hav...
- • Consumer Confidence Has Everything To Do Wi...
- • NFIB - Optimistic But Still In The Foxhole
- • Financial Stress Composite Rising
- • Trade Data Trends Signal Weakness Ahead
- • Consumer Credit And The American Conundrum
- • Is Now The Time To Jump In?
- • Gold - The Technical Rundown
- • Bringing The NILF Mystery To Light
- • Gallop Points To Weaker Employment Report T...
- • Earning Less - Why The Poor Get Poorer
- • ISM - Misses Expectations
- • ADP Signals Weak Job Report Friday
- ► January (23)
- • Chicago ISM - Has The Recovery Peaked?
- • Home Prices Fall Further
- • PCE Points To Weaker GDP Ahead
- • Q4 GDP - "Prognosis Still Negative"
- • Fed Meeting - Reconciling A Weak Economy
- • Why Home Prices Have Much Further To Fall
- • IMF Cuts Global Forecast - US Won't Dodge T...
- • Complacency Risk Is High
- • Prices Paid And Coming Earnings Weakness
- • Housing Is Not Affordable
- • Industrial Production Confirming Changes To...
- • Patiently Waiting For The Golden Cross
- • Consumer Sentiment Rises - Still In Recessi...
- • Why QE3 Won't Help "Average Joe"
- • Industrial Production May Be About To Weake...
- • Consumer Spending May Dissapoint
- • NFIB - Small Businesses More Optimistic
- • Markets Throw Off A Buy Signal
- • The Real Employment Situation Report For De...
- • Improvement In Employment - At Least For No...
- • Markets Getting Over Bought / Over Bullish
- • Market Rallies To Resistance - Now What?
- • ISM & Construction Spending - Modest Improv...
- ► December (19)
- ► 2011 (277)
- ► December (22)
- • 2012 Outlook - Anything Other Than The Apoc...
- • Q3 GDP - "Prognosis Negative"
- • The Eurozone Is Saved?
- • Market Rally To Nowhere
- • Housing Starts Up - Patient Still Critical
- • NAHB Housing Market Index
- • A Little Followed Indicator Hints At Recess...
- • Inflation Pressures Rising In The Core
- • Economic Deluge - Economy Shows Some Positi...
- • Is The Gold Run Over?
- • Import Prices Jump - Recession Odds Increas...
- • NFIB - Bounce Off The Bottom
- • No Holiday Cheer In Retail Sales
- • A Million Dollars Ain't What It Used To Be
- • STA RIsk Ratio Turns Up - We've Seen This B...
- • Consumer Sentiment Ticks Up
- • What Are Initial Claims Not Telling Us?
- • Is Consumer Spending Really Surging?
- • Could Gasoline Prices Trigger A Recession
- • Market Rallies Into EU Meeting
- • ISM Composite Index Ticks Up
- • The Real Employment Situation Report
- ► November (29)
- • Economic Data - Headlines Bullish
- • Markets Surge As World Engages In Global Ba...
- • Was That The Consumer's Last Gasp?
- • Housing - The Margin Effect
- • Economic "Run Down" - Weakness Emerges
- • GDP - Revised Down
- • Is Market Warning Of The Next Lehman Event?
- • EOCI Index Improves - Is It All Clear?
- • Philly Fed Survey - Predicting A Peak In Ea...
- • US Debt To GDP Now 98.9% And Rising
- • Inflation - A Continued Problem For Consume...
- • Economy Shows Tenative Signs Of Improvement
- • Debate - Is US Becoming Japan
- • Presidential And Decennial Cycles - What Ab...
- • Consumer Sentiment Driven By Market Rally
- • Net Export Prices Turn Down
- • What "Average Joe" Really Thinks
- • Blood Bath As Italy Faces Crisis
- • Are Oil Prices Confirming ECRI Recession Ca...
- • Oil Price Spike Update
- • No Joy In NFIB Report
- • Market Vs Economic Cycles And Sector Rotati...
- • Employment - The Good, Bad & Ugly
- • ISM Non-Manufacturing Index - Not Adding Up
- • Productivity Up - Costs Down
- • Fed's Outlook Much Weaker Than Reported
- • Food Stamp Usage Sets New Record
- • Fed Trapped By Inflation
- • Manufacturing Not Showing GDP Strength
- ► October (24)
- • STA Risk Ratio Turns Up
- • Buy Signal Is In - But Move Slowly
- • Recession Still Likely Despite Bump In GDP
- • A Haircut, Boost and Drop
- • New Homes Sales - Glued To The Bottom
- • Consumer Is Key To Next Recession
- • Case-Shiller 20-City Index Flat As HARP Wil...
- • CFNAI - Better But Still Negative
- • Understanding Federal Debt: Point - Counter...
- • Temporary Bounce In Philly Fed Confirmed By...
- • Inflation Rises Along With Housing Hopes
- • Snipe Hunting In The Housing Market
- • Der Spiegel is Der Wrong
- • Inventories, Sentiment and Sales - Behind T...
- • The Empire Is Tarnished
- • A JOLT To The System
- • NFIB and PCI - More Signs Of Weakness
- • 1929-45 Vs Today - Following The Same Path
- • Unemployment Report Worse Than It Looks
- • Bearish Sentiment Abounds
- • ISM Composite Index - Been Here Before
- • Yield Spread Confirming Recession Call
- • Market Breaks Its Neck
- • ISM Manufacturing Index - Backlog Drawdown ...
- ► September (34)
- • 5 Months Down - Time For A Bounce?
- • Economic Trifecta - But No Winners
- • Economy Upticks & Jobless Claims Fall
- • Gallup - Economic Confidence Slides
- • Can Margin Debt Give Us A Clue On Market Di...
- • Euro Tarp - Why It Will Be A Screaming Fail...
- • Consumer Doldrums
- • Chicago Fed National Activity "Slowing Down...
- • End Of Week Technical Wrap Up
- • The Yield Spread Is Lying About The Coming ...
- • Leading Indicators Predict Weaker Economy
- • Why The Fed's "Silver Bullet" Won't Kill Th...
- • Fed Buy's Paltry $ 400 Billion - Need A Hug...
- • Market Weak - Waiting On The Fed
- • Housing Still A Drag
- • Consumer Confidence Remains At Lowest Level...
- • Coordinated Central Bank Intervention Creat...
- • Philly Fed Survey - Predicting Recession
- • CPI Rises - Inflation Hits Home
- • Consumers Tapping Out Savings To Spend
- • PPI - Pushing A Slowdown
- • NFIB Confidence Slides Lower
- • Export Prices Still A Negative For The Econ...
- • The Great American Economic Lie
- • High Yield Spread Signaling Recession
- • The Economy Weakens More
- • Obama's $ 400 Billion For Jobs And Counting
- • Trade Deficit - Points To Possible Uptick I...
- • Another Domino Falls For The Market
- • Corporate Profits Are In Trouble
- • Are Stocks Undervalued?
- • European Markets Down Sharply
- • Jobs - What Jobs?
- • Why Unemployment Is About To Surge
- ► August (38)
- • Market Bounce OR New Bull Market
- • Chicago ISM Confirms Weakness
- • Consumer Confidence Collapses - Again
- • Personal Incomes Still Under Pressure
- • Annotated Bernanke Speech - The Elusive Eco...
- • Corporate Profits - Hinting At Recession
- • GDP - Revised Down
- • The Deficit Spending Trap
- • Will Ben Go For Another Round Of QE?
- • Boomers - Are Going To Be A Real Drag
- • No Job = No New House
- • Beware Of Long Term Investing Advice
- • Technical Market Overview
- • EOCI Index Now At Recession Levels
- • Composite Inflation Index Warning Of Slower...
- • 7 Things That Make Me Worried
- • The Difference Between "WHAT" and "WHEN"
- • Empire Fed Index - 3 Strikes You're Out
- • Rosenberg On The Economy
- • Consumer Confidence Collapses
- • Trade Deficit Points To Sub-1% 2nd Qtr GDP
- • 7 Things My Mom Taught Me About Investing
- • Blood In The Streets - Part II
- • Ceridian UCLA Consumer Pulse - Going Flatli...
- • Market Bounce - Was It Stealth QE3?
- • FOMC Meeting Ends - No Change To Stance
- • NFIB Survey Says...Higher Taxes Won't Work
- • Panic Attack! Markets Extremely Oversold
- • Employment Report Less Than Meets The Eye
- • Market Trashed Again! Panic Hits.
- • Recession Almost A Certainty
- • QE 3 Coming - But Won't Save The Economy
- • Yield Curves & The Fed Model
- • ISM Composite Index - Continues Decline
- • Market Trashed - What Now?
- • Personal Income Under Pressure
- • ISM - Clinging On For Dear Life
- • Debt Deal - A Complete Failure
- ► July (38)
- • We Are All Guessing
- • Dismal Economic Numbers
- • 10 Lessons Learned From Poker
- • STA Risk Ratio - Still On Sell Signal
- • GDP - 2nd Quarter Estimate
- • Consumer Un-Confidence
- • Are We Headed For A Second Recession? Upda...
- • Chicago Fed National Activity Index Confirm...
- • Decline In Profits Leads Index
- • EOC Index Shows Economic Weakness
- • Help Wanted - Not So Much
- • Existing Home Sales - A Resumption Of Decli...
- • Housing Starts - Bouncing Along The Bottom
- • You Can't Have A Jobless Recovery
- • NAHB Housing Index - No Signs Of Life
- • Commentary: A Default Would Devastate D.C.-...
- • Tax Reform -The Overlooked Solution
- • Empire Index - Harbinger Of Bad Things To C...
- • Consumers Believe It's Really A Recession
- • Inflation Index Flashes Warning
- • Bernanke Gives US Congress "The Finger"
- • Retail Sales & Jobless Claims
- • Why The Trade Deficit Is Warning Of Weak GD...
- • QE 3 - "To Infinity And Beyond"
- • No Fear - That's Not A Good Thing
- • More Fed Stimulus - As Expected
- • NFIB - No Jobs For You
- • Why Economists Don't Have A Clue About Jobs
- • Raising Taxes Won't Raise Revenue
- • Why The Jobs Report Is Worse Than It Seems
- • Why Oil Price Spikes "Feel" Worse
- • The Average Investor Doesn't Stand A Chance
- • How To Just Get By On Food Stamps
- • Jobless Still Jobless- Teens Hired For The ...
- • ISM Composite Index Showing Contraction
- • Outperforming The Market By 30% With No Ris...
- • ISM Report - Little To Be Excited About
- • Greenspan - QE Was A Failure
- ► June (38)
- • Market Failed At Resistance - Now What?
- • Full Employment - Hope vs Reality
- • Existing Home Sales Reflect Balance Sheet R...
- • Myths Of Retirement Planning
- • Implications Of Household Debt Deleveraging
- • LEI Warning Of Economic Stumbling Economy
- • Greece Ripple Effects Could Create US Finan...
- • Consumer Confidence Falls
- • Economy Failing Right On Time
- • New Home Starts - It's The Job Market Stupi...
- • Composite Price Index - Pushing Upper Limit...
- • Empire Composite Index Signals Economic Con...
- • PPI - Ratio Pointing To Economic Weakness
- • NFIB Employment Expectations Dispells 5% Ec...
- • Trade Deficit - A Roadmap To Economic Stren...
- • How Far Might A Bounce Go?
- • What Is Really Driving The Weakness In The ...
- • Obama Says He Has No Fear Of A Double Dip
- • NYSE Margin Debt
- • Beranke Speech - A Prelude To QE 3
- • Don't Get Suckered!
- • QE3 - Just A Matter Of Time
- • Job Report Shocker
- • Where's My Bottom
- • STA Risk Ratio Indicator Update - Still Cor...
- • ISM Composite Index Confirmed Market Top
- • Not The American Dream I Was Told About
- • Never Buy Stocks Again? Seriously?
- • Where Is The Confidence?
- • ISM Manufacturing Report Hits The Brakes
- • A Weaker Dollar Equals A Weaker Economy
- • Market Bounce
- • SF Bay Bridge - "Made In China"
- • Consumer Confidence At Recession Levels
- • The Decline Of The American "Saver"
- • Greece Fire - NY Post
- • The Breaking Point
- • Financial Profits Reduce Economic Prosperit...
- ► May (32)
- • Consumer Confidence Falls
- • Slide In Corporate Profits - Part II
- • Personal Incomes Still Feeding The Gas Tank
- • Change In Corporate Profits Leads To Market...
- • Economic Surprises - The Wrong Kind
- • New Orders For Durable Goods - Another Nail...
- • STA Buy/Sell Indicator Flashes Sell Signal
- • New Home Sales Not Inspiring
- • STA Economic Output Index Takes A Plunge
- • Debt To GDP And A Sustainable Level
- • The Virtuous Cycle Of The Economy
- • Economy Shifting Into Slower Gear
- • 7 Impossible Trading Rules To Follow
- • Housing Starts Fall - Again
- • Cyclical Bull Markets In Secular Bear Marke...
- • Empire Manufacturing Index
- • More Inflation For Consumers!
- • Headline Inflation Pushing Up
- • Weakness In GDP Continues (X-M)
- • Small Business Optimism Getting Worse!
- • Import Prices Flashing Warning Signal
- • Home Prices Following The Path To Destructi...
- • The Hyperinflation Index
- • Unemployment Rate Climbs To 9.0%
- • The Link Between Productivity & Jobs
- • Commodities Stumble
- • Jobless Claims Jump
- • ISM Composite Index vs S&P 500
- • ADP & ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Have A Lo...
- • Gallup: More Than Half Of Americans Still S...
- • "Let Them Eat IPads"
- • Have We Seen The Peak In This Business Cycl...
- ► April (22)
- • Fallacy Of The Falling Dollar
- • 1.8% GDP Not So Great!
- • Bernanke's Folly - High Oil Prices Are Flee...
- • Consumer Confidence - STILL Not So Confiden...
- • Tracking The Next Gasoline Induced Recessio...
- • New Home Sales Tick Up
- • STA Risk Ratio Throwing Off Warning Signal
- • The Philly Fed Survery Says....#&^%@!!
- • Americans Receive MORE In Government Handou...
- • NYSE Margin Debt Reaching Danger Zone
- • Housing Starts Not Starting
- • Pitchfork and Torches For The Rich
- • S&P Downgrades US Credit Outlook To Negativ...
- • Why You Can't Invest For The "Long Term"
- • Jobless Claims & PPI - Not Looking Better
- • Who Pays The Taxes!
- • Retail Sales Confirms Consumer Weakness
- • Gallop Poll Confirms NFIB Index - Economy S...
- • Small Business Still Not Optomistic
- • Trade Deficit Narrows - But Not In A Good W...
- • NYSE Margin Debt Climbs
- • High Commodity Prices Not The Result Of The...
- ► December (22)