Don’t Be a Brand Junkie

About 20 years ago, a partner of mine was shopping for a luxury car. I had been reading the car mags and was very excited about a brand-new generation of luxury cars being introduced by Toyota and Honda. The new Lexus and Infiniti sedans had been strategically...

How Do You Measure Up in the Wealth Contest?

  "All wealth is relative; and so is its absence." - Sybille Bedford (The Sudden View, 1953) How does your financial situation compare to that of a typical wealthy American? Following are some numbers to work with (provided by Dr. Steve Sjuggerud). The average...

How Much Should You Be Mortgaged?

"Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship."  - Benjamin Franklin In April, May, and June of this year, 640,000 mortgages were in foreclosure. On a percentage basis, that's 1.23% -- the highest, by far, in the 30 years that the Mortgage Bankers...

Buying Used Cars: Overcoming the Ignorance Factor

"When buying a used car, punch the buttons on the radio. If all the stations are rock 'n' roll, there's a good chance the transmission is shot." - Larry Lujack Prices of recently purchased new cars fall like a stone. Drive a new car off the lot, and you have just lost...

Objective: You Want to Retire in 10 or 15 Years

"Cessation of work is not accompanied by cessation of expenses." - Cato the Elder (De Agri Cultura, second century B.C.) In the most recent issue of Strategic Investment, Bill Bonner says, "The average American is 44 years old, has $40,000 in his 401(k), and has more...

Mortgage Rates Dropping Like Rocks

"For all your days prepare, / And meet them all alike: / When you are the anvil, bear -- / When you are the hammer, strike." - Edwin Markham (Preparedness, 1918) Mortgage rates are lower than they've been in 35 years. Even if you already have a decent rate -- say,...

The Big Schlep

  "Can they ever retire?" - Time Magazine (July 21, 2002) Poor Martha Parry. The New York woman sold her insurance company and thought she had it made. According to Time magazine's July 21 cover story, she had $1 million in the stock market two years ago and was...

How Wealthy People Get Wealthier

It's a common misconception that borrowing money is bad. I've had students proudly tell me at seminars that their only debt is their mortgage and that they pay cash for everything else. While it's good that they have no consumer or credit-card liabilities, these...

Early Retirement: Get Paid for Doing What You Want

"What you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." - Goethe One reason we often envy professional actors, athletes, and artists is that they seem to be doing what we'd like to be doing -- but instead of paying for it (as we...

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