The short version is I'm a school of hard knocks entrepreneur and innovator.
I'm a former portrait painter, and a former owner of two nightclubs, and the Spotlight Entertainment Magazine co-founder and creative director, and a Presidential award-winning Senior Director of New Product Development for what’s now AT&T again, and
a previous Global Operations Director of the then startup HR software company Peopleclick (now Peoplefluent). In other words, I understand the mindset of the small business owner, startup entrepreneur starting from scratch and a highly paid corporate executive because I've been all of those. And for the last 20+ years, a consultant, new product developer and insurtech startup pioneer in the financial services industry – including founding the first company in the world to offer actual Divorce Insurance, SafeGuard Guaranty Corporation – and, quite frankly I enjoy my reputation as a maverick, often seen as a status-quo-rule-breaking consumer advocate in the financial planning space.
My book is a forensic dissection of all the “common wisdom” advice and platitudes meant to squelch consumers from questioning what really goes on behind the doors in the financial services industry shines a white hot spotlight on whose pockets are being lined with your money, and how and why what you think you know about saving money for the future...might just be all wrong.
Think about this.
The Oscar-winning 2015 film “The Big Short”, about the internal, collaborative, criminal actions at the highest levels in the financial industry and the independent and government agencies meant to police them, which led up to the most severe global recession since the Great Depression, begins with a display of the following statement:
"It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so."
And the movie ends with the display of the following:
When the dust settled from the collapse, 5 trillion dollars in pension money, real estate value, 401k, savings, and bonds had disappeared. 8 million people lost their jobs, 6 million lost their homes. And that was just in the USA.
Can that happen again? Sure, if we turn the same blind eye to shady deals that the public seems to repeatedly completely forget as time passes. When? Who knows. But I know knows it’s coming sooner or later and if you know where to look, you'll find some important clues as to why and how, and maybe when.
But here’s the more important point.
Not a single person who had safely tucked their money away in the Money Tree strategy, that I comprehensively explain in layman's language in my book (capturing the vast majority of the gains in the previously historic run-up of both the Dow & S&P 500), lost a single dime to falling stocks and bonds in 2008.
Ruminate on that. Wouldn't you like to be in that position when the next crash happens? Yeah? Thought so. 😉
Ironically, just like in the movie, the credit for the “just ain’t so” quote so often goes to the brilliance of Mark Twain that it’s taken for granted he said it. However, scholars at the Center for Mark Twain Studies of Elmira College have found no evidence supporting the ascription to Mark Twain. In fact, the original orator remains completely anonymous based on current evidence.
Kinda like what you hear from just about every investment advisor on the planet – that ‘high rewards require higher risk’.
So yeah…that “just ain’t so” either.
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