Sometimes people make the most amazing transformation to their lives, right after suffering from a heart attack. For decades, they’ll sleep, drink, eat and exercise in ways that are not on par with what nature has designed the body and the mind to be nourished with, but little do they know that some of their veins and arteries are about to be blocked.
A heart attack is often the end result of 20-30 years of wrongdoing. Yet, the second after it happens, it’s like a lightning strike. Realizing the error of his ways, a person is inspired to make tremendous improvements to his lifestyle. His intellect, his ego and his will power are aligned in one direction; total commitment ensues.
The person becomes a new man in his existing body. He was a private who turned into a general overnight.
This is what is meant when saying that you mustn’t let a good crisis go to waste.
I want you to force yourself to envision these nightmare scenarios that MIGHT occur, if Washington and the FED mismanage our delicate market system. I want you to imagine 6% and 8% inflation, erosion of purchasing power, higher unemployment, debt write-offs, defaults by Washington in matters of Social Security and healthcare, or worse, socialistic winds of politics that change America for good.
These things are possibilities. We live within our communities; where we stand is where we sit, as the saying goes. None of us live on an island.
You can lift yourself out of poverty in America, but it is THREE times more difficult now than it was in the 20th century. Only 1 in 7 moves up the ladder these days. It takes resolve, devotion, and obligation to duty of the highest kind.
That’s true of most countries, but America is one of the only places where the rules are pretty clear, corruption is relatively under control, and there’s a pool of endless funds waiting for entrepreneurs to scoop them up and run with their ideas.
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The 3 major misconceptions that Americans usually fall into are that (1) America is special, so everyone deserves riches, (2) that being an employee who works hard is a guaranteed path to a comfortable retirement, and that (3) investing is a way to get rich.
Seldom do people invest their way to wealth. The odds of winning the lottery are more likely, generally speaking.
Wealth is mostly created by specializing and adding value. If you DON’T do that in sufficient quality and quantity, you may never save capital and retire. But, even for those people who are a drag on society, our modern democracies assist them by subsidizing all sorts of costly programs. This is why I say you need to lay more eggs, not just safeguard the ones you have. Don’t stop being a contributor.
The equation is a simple one, at the core of it: if there are more productive members of society contributing to our system than there are draggers, we advance.
The problem is that we’ve taken on severe debt obligations to live WAY beyond our means, as a society and as a planet. We will pay for this, with like coin. In nature, there is no such thing as something for nothing, in the long-term.
Pursuing a greater standard of living in the western world, we’ve lost sight of the economics of it.
Resets are not horrible events. Companies go through them, as do municipalities. Countries go through them many times. Individuals go through these cycles on more than one occasion, but I don’t think we’ve ever had a global one, like the one that’s going to hit us.
Embrace it. Prepare for it. The best way I know how to do it is to become a person of value, an individual that is both wealthy in material and in spirit.
One of my breakthroughs early on, as I struggled to save even a dollar, was that I MUST, as the top priority of my life, sit and think for 90 minutes a day in order to build character, strengthen core values, envision pragmatic ideas, and reflect.
I started this habit at the age of 23 and it has developed to 2 hours a day presently.
You’ll have great respect for yourself, your fellow man, and the world if you carve out time to have deep thoughts.
Do it for the sole purpose of self-improvement. When I did that, the whole concept of retirement became superficial in my mind altogether. At age 65, I will continue to do what I do today, develop myself and produce value. The world is headed for a retirement reset.
Don’t become a victim of it.
Research Partner, PortfolioWealthGlobal.com
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This work is based on SEC filings, current events, interviews, corporate press releases and what we’ve learned as financial journalists. It may contain errors and you shouldn’t make any investment decision based solely on what you read here. It’s your money and your responsibility. The information herein is not intended to be personal legal or investment advice and may not be appropriate or applicable for all readers. If personal advice is needed, the services of a qualified legal, investment or tax professional should be sought.
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